by Colin Campbell
ON May 22 of last year SNP MP Margaret Ferrier made her feelings about Westminster very clear.
In a Facebook post on the eve of the last Holyrood elections she declared: “While the SNP is delivering progress in Scotland the UK has ground to a halt. Vote SNP this Thursday, 23 May, to send a strong message that Scotland deserves better than a Westminster system that isn’t working.”
And, just to reinforce these highly critical observations, underneath the post she presented a large illustration with a picture of herself with the big bold heading: “Westminster isn’t working.”
Well if it wasn’t working then for Ms Ferrier, it sure as hell seems to be working well enough for her now.
The shamed MP who broke every rule in the book on coronavirus restrictions is clinging on to the place like a limpet, resisting all pressure, including a demand from Nicola Sturgeon, to resign.
There has been plenty of criticism of her from all quarters but I haven’t seen any reference in the media coverage about what she thinks of Westminster – or at least what she claimed to think of it before she plunged into the mire.
And it didn’t take me long to find what I was looking for.
It was completely inevitable that somewhere out there there’d be scathing criticism from her of a Westminster system that she and her colleagues claim they have only contempt for and want to destroy.
And sure enough, there it was, in big bold letters, a year last May. And there are probably other such statements from her as well, if anyone takes the time and trouble to find them.
It’s virtually obligatory for every SNP MP at Westminster to publicly express their disdain and contempt for the Mother of Parliaments.
The implication is that they can’t wait to see the system crumble and fall apart as a result of Scotland becoming independent.
They give the impression that they can’t wait to get out of the place fast enough.
Ferrier’s virus difficulty merely highlights what a sham and a charade that is.
She is clinging on and is determined to stay there at all or any cost. Nothing will budge her. She may eventually be forced out but any sense of shame over her virus recklessness doesn’t enter the equation.
The lady is not for turning, and she’s certainly not for going either.
“Westminster isn’t working” Ferrier flagrantly broke the rules and should be booted out forthwith.
But when it comes to SNP MPs soaking up the perks and privileges and salaries and vast expenses, they’re guilty as sin, the whole grasping bunch of them.
Inverness MP and Westminster socialite Drew Hendry – who positively loves entertaining guests in one of the most famous settings in the world – isn’t in the Ferrier class when it comes to recklessness and shamelessness.
But he’s right up with there with her when it comes to slagging off Westminster, despite his manic desperation at every election to get a first-class ticket back there.
In his campaign material for the General Election in December there wasn’t a single mention of the “I” word – independence – not one, presumably because he didn’t want to stoke up controversy on that front and just wanted to present himself as a hard working local MP representing everyone.
But a week later – after he’d been safely re-elected – there was no such reticence, as he called for another independence referendum “to escape from being imprisoned within this Union”.
As we at the time headlined this sudden change of mood and tone: “Westminster prisoner Hendry would love a life sentence.”
And in January he posted a video on his Twitter site of an interview of himself on Sky TV arguing passionately for “indyref2”.
It was quite a turnaround from his independence-free campaign material of a month earlier.
I don’t believe Hendry wants independence much more than I do. He makes the right noises when he deems it necessary but life is far too cosy for him in his palatial SW1 surroundings, and in Inverness he enjoys a level of prestige so far removed from his role as an ex-councillor. And the ex-councillor knows he’ll keep being returned to Westminster by SNP voters ad infinitum.
And what of the money grubbing SNP buffoon across the Kessock Bridge? At the last count Ross MP Ian Blackford raked in £242,000 in annual expenses, as the second highest claimant at Westminster.
He’ll bluster and bellow at Boris Johnson at PMQs but when it comes to squeezing every penny he can get out of the Westminster system he claims to despise he’s in a class of his own.
And does he really want his pampered, ultra-privileged lifestyle in London to fall apart as a result of independence? The sheep on his “simple 10-acres croft” on Skye will gain the ability to fly before that happens.
This pair aren’t alone. With one or two exceptions, like the unhinged Western Isles MP Angus McNeil who sounds like he wants Westminster burned to the ground, they all want to remain there and to keep raking in the cash and basking in the perks and privileges. Priorities change once they get the taste of the Westminster high life, and Margaret Ferrier is the clearest and most unsavoury proof of that.
“Westminster isn’t working” Ferrier has set herself apart with her recklessness and shamelessness.
But she’s not alone. And when it comes to rank hypocrisy, the rest of the SNP freeloaders in London aren’t far behind her.