Call for a “Scotland United” candidate to fight any by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West

Former First Minister, Alex Salmond, has turned on the “political vultures” promoting a by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West accusing them of “promoting naked self-interest and hypocritically dressing it up as a public duty”

Salmond said;

“Margaret Ferrier made a mistake, a serious one certainly, but a human mistake. She was frightened and panicked when given a diagnosis of a then little-understood virus and ran for home and hearth. For this, she was punished in court by community service and could have been censured by the House of Commons without provoking a recall petition.

Other MPs did exactly the same and have gone unpunished, the current and past Prime Ministers held and attended parties and were merely fiscally fined, and the current Cabinet Secretary has gone totally uncensored for speaking at the “Christmas quiz” held in his office with “drinks and snacks” on 27 December 2020 or indeed for the reported Whatsapp messages to Matt Hancock mocking people in quarantine. Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Officer for Scotland resigned eventually for repeated breaches of her own lockdown regulations but has since been restored, rightly in my opinion, to her medical career.

There is hardly a family in the land who did not lose a loved one or friend to Covid and people have the right to be angry with all those who repeatedly flouted or ignored regulations. However, only Ferrier faces the complete and final end of her political career for a single mistake, with all the good she has done set aside and counting for nought. No reasonable person should think that fair or equitable.

The reality is that Margaret Ferrier was thrown to the media wolves by a then First Minister anxious to divert press attention from the other public health failings of her administration and sentence pronounced by those with a vested interest in a by-election. The current First Minister has carried on this disgraceful lack of compassion to a woman who has devoted her life to furthering the cause of Scottish independence. If SNP members need to understand what has gone wrong with their party, they need to look no further than this totally depressing display of disloyalty.

If a Party has no solidarity within itself it will not command the loyalty of Scotland.

The recall process itself is a democratic disgrace. Why should ten per cent of the constituency be sufficient to call a by-election? You could theoretically have a contest when 90 per cent of the people did not want one or did not care. If a majority of the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West want a new MP then they would have had ample opportunity at next year’s General Election.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party are party political vultures anxious to pounce and turn a nationalist seat into a unionist one and hypocritically promoting their naked self-interest as if it were a public duty. The problem is unless there is a dramatic change in direction, their plan will work.

It’s time for Humza Yousaf to shake off the legacy of his predecessor and a constituency which contains Hamilton, with all its historic resonance for Scottish Nationalism, is the ideal place to make a change.

If there is to be a by-election in Rutherglen then let it be fought by a single nationalist candidate standing on a Scotland United platform for independence.

In that way there would be a fresh start for an independence campaign in this constituency and a by-election fought on the future of Scotland, not on the track record of the SNP administration.

Humza Yousaf needs to act now to avoid a human mistake from Margaret Ferrier becoming a serious set-back for the entire national movement.”

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