The Most Shameful Smear

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.


6 thoughts on “The Most Shameful Smear

  1. Bravo. This is shameless.

    As you say Dr Whitford gave up some time to cover for a sick colleague. Had she not, it is possible that the operations scheduled for the days when her colleague was ill (who wants a sick surgeon?) would have been cancelled.

    In that case I assume the Mail would have been chasing Baillie for a sharp word or two about cancelled cancer operations and just how badly the SNP run the health service in Scotland (albeit better than teh Tories do in England or Labour does in Wales).

    Before going into politics Ms Baillie held administrative posts with local councils. I suppose that, as she is not obliged to continue to practise her skills and to be able to prove that she has done so, she will be able to slide back into her ex position when she deservedly loses her seat.

    I’ve always thought little of her, and of the Mail, but this is a new low.

    Wings has also reported a bizarre story on the same page of the Mail, which critcises George Kerevan for employing his wife as a secretary/assistant. He pays her £25,000 for a 50 hour week. Neither niggardly nor generous.

    But Kerevan only takes the average Scottish wage of £27,000 pa for his MP remuneration . This means that between them Mr and Mrs Kerevan together take £52,000 pa in salaries. The complainant in this case is Tory MSP Alex Johnstone, whose personal salary is £59,000 or thereby.

    You have to laugh at these people.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As a beast cancer survivor I’m grateful to skilled surgeons like Dr Whitford. I’m disgusted but unsurprised by the deliberate attempt by the mail to smear her in the most appalling fashion. The fact that they approached her for comment yet ptinyrd this despicable smear anyway defies belief. The ‘journalist’ is a woman attacking another woman too. As gor Jackie Ballie there are no depths which she will not plumb.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What else does anyone really expect
    from a low iq loud-mouthed wind – bag such as Baillie who is clearly extremely unlikely to be able to run a bath let alone a parliamentary constituency or cope with even basic politics at holyrood !!!!


  4. The comments i see here disregard the fact that the SNP brought this on themselves by choice.

    Peter Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) is the SNP’s Shadow Leader of the House in the House of Commons and the chair of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee. He has previously served as the SNP’s Westminster Spokesperson for the Constitution and for Culture and Sport and Chief Whip. He plays keyboards in his spare time. Peter announced the following.

    ‘No SNP Member has a second job, a directorship or a place on a company. Our responsibilities here are our sole concern and our only responsibility. SNP Members serve our constituents and ensure that the agenda for the nation is progressed. That is what we do when we come here. It is only this House among the Parliaments and legislatures of this nation that seems to have this difficulty. It is only at Westminster where there is an issue about paid directorships and second jobs. We certainly do not have such issues in the Scottish Parliament, and I do not believe they have them in the Northern Ireland Assembly or the Welsh Assembly. I believe that there is something peculiar and particular about this House. It has something to do with the history and the culture, something to do with the sense of entitlement that almost seems to come out of the pores of this place—the idea that people came to this Chamber because it was something for them to do after their main job.’

    That seems pretty clear.

    The committee selecting Dr Whitford as a suitable candidate for Westminster should have informed her of her obligations to quit her doctor’s job, to comply with Wishart’s promise. A neutral observer would recently have questioned the choices the committee selecting MP’s (and the occasional MSP) seem to have gone astray.

    Is Peter Murrell (Chair of the selection committee) up to the job, or like Louis van Gaal, should he fall on his dirk?


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