It seems that the wheels are failing off the Nationalist bandwagon and people want to bail, so far 4 SNP MSPs have declared for leaving, they obviously didn’t sign up to the dream will never die as prescribed by Alex Salmond. One of the gripes of SNP MSP Gail Ross in stepping down at the Holyrood election after a single-term is the travel. When you think of the Proclaimers saying they would ‘walk 500 miles’, Ms Ross sitting on a train presumably in first class is just too much of a hardship for her. Officially she was leaving for family reasons, maybe the Scottish Parliament could be moved nearer her house so she could just run across in her dressing gown and slippers, do a talk then run across to the house put a washing on before coming back to do a bit of voting.
As a way of staying, Ms Ross, 42, a former Highland councillor who came to Holyrood in 2016 wanted a less cost saving option, she said MSPs should be able to attend committees via video link. She also said she should be able to vote online from her constituency as should others who live far far away in a distant galaxy. Could you imagine, live from Caithness, Sutherland & Ross wisdom from the kitchen from Ms Ross.One wonders if papers had to be read, she would get them in the post or fax through? Apparently, Ross was often tipped for promotion, but never became a minister, is there anyone in the SNP who isn’t a rising star? The reason I ask is because the press keeps trying to spin the line of enormous talent in the SNP when the truth is the SNP is like a barn with the doors open with nothing inside.
As well as Ross, the ‘exodus’ from Holyrood includes Bruce Crawford in Stirling, James Dornan in Glasgow Cathcart, and Richard Lyle in Uddingston & Bellshill are also leaving next year. Crawford is 65 years old and looks like a candidate for being a readymade member of the elderly. Looking at him, I doubt his chances of a long and happy old age; he looks on the way to an early death via heart attack. James Dornan is also off, he is part of the Sturgeon cabal of Glasgow Southside his leaving is a blow to Sturgeon and leaves a vacuum in Sturgeon support. He is 66 years old, he says he has put off stuff and wants to spend more time with the family. Richard Lyle is 69 years old and hasn’t been a powerhouse of ideas for the SNP, his major claim to fame is that Lyle has been at the centre of an ongoing internal party dispute within the SNP Uddingston and Bellshill branch which saw a small minority of party members state that they would refuse to vote for him at the Holyrood election. So, Ms Ross wants more family time, and three other MSPs have ‘done their shift’ and are looking to spend the rest of what time they have left enjoying themselves.
Ms Ross said:
“The decision has been reached due to the demands of travelling to Edinburgh and being away from home for sometimes five days a week, every week. I want to be able to spend more time with my family, to watch my son grow up and to be more involved in local issues, things I cannot presently do. The sheer size of the area I represent also means that I am having difficulty in reaching every part of the constituency on a regular basis and I am not able to represent my constituents in the way they deserve and rightly expect. I recently asked the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee to ask if there is any possibility that members could video in to meetings and remote vote. If we are to encourage into politics more young people with families who live far away from Edinburgh, this has to be considered. It has not been an easy decision to make and I wish to sincerely thank everyone who has supported me in my journey through council and then parliament. It has been a huge privilege to represent the place where I grew up and although the job has sometimes been very challenging, these years have been some of the most rewarding of my professional career. My drive for independence is stronger than ever and I will continue work to make sure that all families can grow and prosper in an independent Scotland.”
If you remember I advocate the removal of the list system, this would mean smaller constituencies which in part would solve part of Ms Ross’ gripe. As to her final remark about working tom make sure that all families can grow and prosper in an independent Scotland, I find that laughable. If you aren’t willing to sacrifice for public office while getting paid for it, what chance is there when you are out of the political bubble? I think Scotland has heard the last of Ms Ross unless she goes back to being a councillor.
So far, four SNP MSPs have decided to throw in the towel, you do get a sense that the party is over, and when you know it, good sense dictates leave early. As the countdown continues to the Alex Salmond, the pressure is on the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon. Nicola Sturgeon isn’t a person who generates loyalty; don’t be surprised if more SNP MSPs decide that doing a runner is a wise career choice. One thing I saw online is that Marco Biaggi, a former SNP Minister has ruled out a return to the frontline of SNP politics, citing he has done enough of the things he wants to do.
What price the cause now Nicola?
It seems that the ‘cause’ isn’t as big as some people try and make us believe, when you stick in so many talentless people who are selfish, don’t be surprised by the outcome. They have had their ‘marriage of convenience’ with the SNP. Now, it rather looks like they are ditching Nicola Sturgeon, the party and the cause. They want to enjoy retirement in the Sun rather than the coming storm which encircles the SNP as a party.
Finally, it is less than two weeks till the start of the trial of the year, Alex Salmond at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, it will be all star; all action, and a packed house. What makes that trial special is obviously who is on trial, but let us not forget who are going to walk in the door as accusers. When a ship is sinking, when a party is over, when an event has run its course, leave early, sticking around for the finish may leave you disappointed.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University