It’s (hopefully) no secret that I’m not a member of the SNP so some may question my stepping in to this current scandal. I am, however, a member of Yes Clydesdale and it was through them that I first met Philippa Whitford (in fact, it was a talk organised by our group which went viral and was responsible for launching her political career).
Through the course of the indyref I had the opportunity to sit on Q&A panels alongside Philippa and can find absolutely nothing but praise to say about her.
She is a person of incredible knowledge and inspiration who took the incredibly brave step of moving from a hard fought career in healthcare to casting herself into the thankless “kindergarten where people make animal noises” which is the House of Commons.
So to today and Dr Whitford finds herself the target of the latest and lamest SNPBAD smear yet.
The actual story is that she gave up a substantial chunk of her Christmas and New Year holiday to cover for a sick colleague. She spent 5 days saving lives while others in the benches opposite hers spend their “moonlighting” days being paid to destroy the very NHS in which she works. (As Wings Over Scotland points out, she is also compelled to work a certain number of days as a surgeon per year if she is to maintain her license to practice so it’s hardly a job she’s just doing to top up her pocket money)
A little further digging reminds us of the increasing problems with medical staff in England causing more hospitals to hire locum doctors at fees of, on average, £1,700 per day.
That Labour’s Jackie Baillie would have the temerity to be complicit in this transparent smear is just one more notch on that party’s slide into irrelevance. If even they cannot resist their urge to try to find just one more SNPBAD story then I cannot see any reason why any voter would think them worthy of being the party of opposition in next year’s Parliament.
I’d put out a call asking the Baillie and Daily Mail to retract and apologise for this piece but I know how futile that would be. I do hope that everyone, even those on the other side of the political landscape from Dr Whitford and myself, feel as utterly appalled and ashamed for the state of the press as I do. We deserve so much better.