by Colin Campbell
SNP MPs at Westminster have always adopted a holier-than-thou attitude to the Mother of Parliaments.
They look with disdain on members of other parties, particularly the Tories, and regularly complain about the noise and heckling that is a traditional element of the House of Commons.
They are above all that. They do not wish even to be there. They feel “imprisoned”. They are only enduring the ordeal of sitting on the famous green benches to better serve the interests of “the people of Scotland”. It is a penance they nobly suffer on our behalf.
They cannot wait to “break free” from a rotten, corrupt system when independence finally permits.
Or so they’d have us believe.
Well there’s nothing holy about the latest scandal to erupt around the SNP.
The Daily Record reports that an “SNP worker accusing two MPs of sexual harassment claims the party have ‘happily swept this under the carpet’.
“The staffer claims one SNP MP inappropriately touched him when he was 19 and accused another of drunkenly asking him for sex in two separate incidents in London.
“His complaint is now being investigated by the SNP after it was submitted last month. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been informed.” The chief whip has now stood down after being named as one of two nationalist MPs at the centre of sexual harassment claims. MP Patrick Grady has resigned his whip’s position. Another female MP has strenuously denied claims made against her.
But the SNP at Westminster, who like to think their group represents a shining example to us all in terms of high moral principle and impeccable moral rectitude, must feel distinctly uncomfortable about all this. Claims of drinking, pawing, sexual harassment – it doesn’t exactly fit in with the image they wish to present back home.
Despite the posture of feeling “imprisoned” we know for a fact that some of them adore the place and are desperate to get back there at each and every election.
Half of these MSPs used to be local councillors. Now they inhabit one of the most famous buildings in the world, and can bask in the prestige, perks and privileges it affords them.
Not to mention the large salaries and vast expenses they can accrue. Recently seven SNP MPs were in the top 10 when it came to raking in the kind of money, in expenses alone, that ordinary people can only dream of. And there are plenty of elegantly furnished, subsidised bars where the booze flows freely for those who want to partake of it.
However, up till now money-grubbing hypocrisy was the only charge that could be levelled against any of them. Now accusations of an altogether different nature have surfaced.
Will anything more emerge about this, will there be repercussions? Or will it, as the accuser claims, be “swept under the carpet”?
When it comes to the rotting hierarchy of the SNP these days, it seems pretty much everything else is.