by Colin Campbell
MORE election material landed on my doormat for the Inverness West Highland Council by-election than for the last two parliamentary elections combined.
That’s what happens when a poll is an actual contest rather than an inevitable coronation.
In May, Fergus Ewing’s opponents for the Holyrood election didn’t put up much of a fight. They knew his victory was assured no matter what they did. The same lacklustre campaigning applied when Drew Hendry was returned to Westminster in December. His re-election was a foregone conclusion also.
That was because swathes of nationalists backed the SNP duo in the belief that it would bolster the cause for independence.
And that was despite the fact that Ewing has been the MSP for Inverness for the past 22 years, and hasn’t personally advanced the cause for independence by one inch.
And Hendry is desperate each time to get back to the perks and privileges and vast salary and expenses he enjoys at Westminster, a place he claims he despises and has called his “imprisonment”.
Gullible nats seem to believe that guff. The glorified ex-councillor is enjoying his spell of incarceration in the world famous Mother of Parliaments to the fullest extent, and despite the occasional bluster about independence, I suspect it’s one prison he never wants to leave.
But the Inverness West election was a hard fought affair and in the end was won by the Lib Dem candidate, who I said here a few weeks ago had the best chance of winning.
This had the very welcome effect of keeping the SNP out.
And why should that have been a priority in a council election where local issues should be all that matter?
Because even with this fairly low grade affair a win for the SNP would have been seized on by the nationalists as providing further evidence of the insatiable demand among the populace for independence.
The same applies to another council election held this week in Caithness. The Lib Dems won that one too, and more importantly, the SNP didn’t.
This in reality means next to nothing for the arguments over independence. It’s impossible to draw any conclusions about it relating to the national mood.
But that wouldn’t have stopped the SNP with their disgracefully bloated battalion of publicly-funded spin doctors propagandising success to the full if they had won in either poll.
They didnt get the chance.
But the SNP assuredly do need every boost they can get these days amid the internal rancour and bitterness which could yet tear them apart, and already partly has done, with the creation of the extremist Alba Party.
This week Queen Nicola and her cronies were almost drowned by negative headlines relating to their U-turn on oil.
Having based the 2014 referendum case for independence on the billions that would supposedly pour into Scotland from the oil industry after “freedom” had been secured, they’ve now decided it’s a threat to climate change and our very existence and want it closed down.
This massive U-turn will be added to the growing list of factors which make the case for independence so pitifully weak, despite the face painting fanaticism and the threat to start those disruptive and futile marches again, to the drone and drumbeat of “Independence Now!”.
And at the very start of the new school year, it was interesting to see that the most extensive education guidance produced by the SNP Scottish Government relates to “transgender rights” for pupils, right down to first year infants.
No wonder this evoked dismay bordering on disgust on social media even among party members.
Sturgeon and Co with their transgender obsession, which sometimes seems even to trump their independence obsession, are steadily losing touch with ordinary people.
No wonder they were so desperate for a ray of sunshine, any ray of sunshine, even in a council election involving a cluster of voters in Inverness West.
So three cheers for the worthy Lib Dem winner, Colin Aitken, and in Caithness Jill Tilt, for denying this bunch of political frauds, liars and transgender obsessives even that.