I have often been asked why I don’t go for political selection? The answer apart from the daily workings of political life is tedious in the extreme, is that your life ceases to be your own.
Those that do take to the political arena are faced with a life which is always under scrutiny, and every detail of your past dug into by political opponents and journalists keen to find any piece of dirt or slander that they can pin on you.
There is nothing surer to tell us that a new Independence referendum is in the offing than when allegations and downright lies start being flung about, and they are falling upon us like a hail storm at the moment.
Over the course of the past few days we have seen Mhairi Black singled out for seemingly living it up on her travel expenses. The lie that she has been travelling business class rather than economy like the rest of us poor punters on her flights to and from London, has been spread and regurgitated by all and sundry, including Labour and Tory MSPs.
The fact that she doesn’t either personally book her flights or that there is no such thing as business class for domestic flights is a total irrelevance. As long as the slur sticks then with the chattering classes, job done!
This was rapidly followed up with the genuine news that Natalie McGarry, the suspended SNP MP who is now Independent has been formerly charged with financial irregularities from her involvement with Women for Independence and with some SNP regional group.
A lot of people have as such concluded before the case comes to court that she must be guilty as charged and have been making hay with it.
Who knows whatever happened to presumption of innocence until proven guilty in this country?
I neither know nor can say whether she is guilty as charged or not, and neither does anyone else until judgement in court has been reached. But in the meantime it is all grist to the mill in the political slurry.
And then there is the case of Michelle Thompson MP, who has been suspended by the SNP since allegations were made against her over possible mortgage dealings in a practice she was involved with prior to entering parliament as an MP.
Given the length of time that she has been suspended and no police action against her, it has been suggested recently that she be allowed back into the SNP group. I suspect this will now be put on hold given recently adverse publicity against others.
And now today, we find the Daily Record doing a hatchet piece on Chris Law MP. Not only did they report that Chris had been Interviewed by police in Dundee yesterday in relation to an allegation of financial irregularity with regards to his own personal “Spirit of Independence” campaign during the Independence referendum but they also managed within their gutter press piece to include Natalie McGarry and Michelle Thompson in it, along with aspersions on Chris’s personal life.
“POLICE are investigating a third SNP MP over financial dealings.
Dundee West MP Chris Law was detained and questioned in his home city yesterday.
The investigation is focused on Law’s Spirit of Independence referendum campaign, where he toured Scotland in a refurbished Green Goddess fire engine in the run-up to the 2014 vote.
Another of the SNP’s huge new intake of MPs, Natalie McGarry, was charged with embezzlement less than 24 hours before Law was questioned.
And Edinburgh Western MP Michelle Thomson is still suspended from the party as police investigate property deals carried out for her by a solicitor struck off for misconduct.”
“Law was not charged with any offences yesterday.
Police said: “A 46-year-old man was detained and has been released pending further inquiries.
“Investigations are continuing.”
A source close to Law told us: “Chris attended the police station on Wednesday morning and provided information in relation to a matter under investigation.
“He has agreed to provide the police with further information and is confident the matter will be resolved.””
Law briefly returned to his home in the west end of Dundee last night.
But he turned his 4×4 in the drive, spinning his wheels, and drove off again as our reporter tried to get him to stop and speak.”
How dare he not speak to your reporter!
A woman had arrived seconds before him in a green vintage sports car.
Yes….what of it? He has a partner, and what does what she drives make a difference to the price of bread?
When we arrived, there was a brass plate next to the doorbell which said “Law” and “mortgage services”. It was later removed.”
Chris was in financial services prior to entering parliament, and given this sudden press interest he probably decided to make it somewhat more difficult for your journo pals to identify his house!”And why separate the brass plate name, unless to emphasise FINANCIAL to suggest IRREGULARITY? It read ” Law mortgage services”
“An Aston Martin racing car with the number 007 was parked beside the house. The 46-year-old MP is a “petrolhead” and vintage bike and car enthusiast.”
Yes….What of it?
Law has said he set up Spirit of Independence to reach voters who said they were not getting enough information about the campaign.
He travelled around Scotland in his blue-painted fire engine and claimed to have handed out two tons of leaflets and raised £30,000.
Law is a colourful character who got a social anthropology degree, trained as a chef, organised motorbike tours in the Himalayas and worked as a financial adviser before entering Parliament.
He, McGarry and Thomson were all elected in the incredible SNP “surge” after the referendum, which saw the party claim 56 of Scotland’s 59 Westminster seats.
But the SNP Westminster group has been beset by scandals since, and the inquiry involving Law is another headache for party leader Nicola Sturgeon.
Glasgow East MP McGarry was charged on Tuesday after a 10-month police investigation into tens of thousands of pounds allegedly missing from Women for Independence, a campaign group she helped found.”
And finally we get to the real nub of this scandal piece….To link all 3 to Financial Irregularities….In effect SNP are crooks!
By lesser Implication, The SNP do not do due diligence in whom they select for MPs.
Now to the facts:
Of all of these highlighted over the past week in articles by the Express and Record, Black,McGarry, Thompson and Law, None have been convicted of anything!
McGarrys case goes to court, but nothing has as yet been proven against her.
Black has already and very quickly cleared of the garbage said about her.
No proceedings have been raised against Thompson after over a year, and might I suggest that by this stage, none will be.
As for Chris Law, not only was his campaign during the Independence referendum off his own back as a private individual not connected to the SNP, but he financed it himself along with thousands of private individual contributions willingly given to help him.
We have heard very little with regards to the actual criminality of the person who as part of Kezias team got convicted for misappropriation of Labour funds.
It has also gone extremely quiet over the many Tory MPS accused of irregularities during the last general election.
With the Tories in a guddle over Brexit and their own infighting, and Labour in an eternal conflict of death, and with an Independence referendum in the offing, we can expect the unionist media and press to be in full flow attacking the SNP.
SNP BAD! will be ramped up even further, and given that it has already reached this stage, we know that Independence is coming!
The SPIRIT OF INDEPENDENCE
The Spirit of Independence is on the road
We’ve fixed her up and given her a new coat
She once seemed done and past it
All her best days left long behind
But now look at her in her majesty
Bringing The Spirit of Independence to our minds
In her youth she saved so many
No danger of disaster would she fear
She doused the Fires of Fear out
when her waters would dry our tears
But somehow we all forgot her
except for those staunch and faithful few
As she laid to rest and rot
while our spirit of Independence grew mildew
But you cannot take away what’s in your soul
though you may bury it so deep in a black hole
You may convince yourself you’re worthless
Or let others keep you tied in velvet chains
But buried beneath the lies and fears
lies the spirit of Independence in your veins
The centuries may come and pass us by
Succeeding generations all buying the Big Lie
Were too poor, too weak, too stupid
A region cleared for human herds of sheep
but something near forgotten now is stirring
The Spirit of Independence lies so deep
So we’ve dressed her up in finery
And she proudly takes the road
She is coming to our communities
And her Saltire it flies bold
Her pride of worth, is our worth of pride
She calls now believe in me
For the Spirit of Independence shall set us Free!