by Colin Campbell
A READER, David Birkett, has sent in his lengthy view on blustering Ian Blackford, and criticism of the “simple 10-acres crofter” who is Ross MP and the SNP leader at Westminster, and who rakes in a fortune there in salary and expenses under a system he professes to hate. He writes:
1/ Ian Blackford was wealthy before he was elected. He was a high flying exec at Deutsche Bank for many years so it’s not inconceivable that he was already a millionaire before he became an MP.
2/ Quite apart from taking a massive salary it’s highly likely that this is the least he has earned in a long long time.
3/ His croft is a hobby farm, it’s admittedly disingenuous for him to suggest he’s a simple crofter given his employment history but technically he was retired as a banking exec and crofting when he got elected.
4/ MP’s expenses also include salaries of their staff. An MP is allowed an Office Manager, Researcher, up to two full time equivalent caseworkers , and an admin assistant. If Ian has a “full staff” then about £140,000 of that figure is salaries.
5/ Travel to anywhere remote in Scotland can be quite expensive, as an example a flight from Aberdeen to Shetland costs £350 one way. accommodation can be expensive too as they have a captive and needy customer base. It regularly costs Ian £600 to travel one way from his home to Westminster, where he has to pay London prices for his accommodation there.
If during his £600 journey home he gets stranded anywhere (say because an island flight or ferry is cancelled) he then has to find accommodation until he can get home, which in itself isn’t cheap (as prices miraculously shoot up when flights/ferries get cancelled), especially if it is tourist time.
6/ Finally it’s a bit misogynistic and sexist in the extreme to suggest that Mrs Blackford only got a Range Rover because of Ian’s earnings. I don’t know much about his wife but maybe she has her own money? Maybe she too can afford a Range Rover?
Well I don’t know anything about Mrs Blackford either. Maybe she can afford 20 Range Rovers of her own. Maybe they both can.
But there’s something that doesn’t sit at all right with me about this staunch defender of the poor and impoverished being so ostentatiously loaded himself, and still taking the fullest advantage of all the money that Westminster has to offer. Particularly when he’s pushing for change – independence – which would hit the lowest paid and poorest off hardest.
And on that subject, I find it somewhat peculiar that there are so many job vacancies around, the hospitality industry being just one example, where firms can’t get people to work. Is anyone registering as unemployed anymore? Have Drew Hendry or Blackford made any inquiries about that?
For the past two years I’ve been working nights at a riverside hotel. On the brink of turning 65, I just left a couple of weeks ago. It was only part-time for two or three nights a week but it was still quite hard graft.
A pal I used to work with in the papers who works there called me up and asked me if I wanted the job. I didn’t need it financially, but I just thought it would be a bit lazy to turn it down. And an all-night job does nothing for your “work-life balance” or your “wellbeing”, the apparent priorities for Blackford and the SNP as they advance their crazy “four day week and same pay for everyone” lying agenda.
If Ian Blackford had ever checked in at that hotel, and at two in the morning had phoned down and ordered a drink, 20 packets of crisps and 15 cheese and ham sandwiches, I’d probably have been the one wheeling them up to him.
As far as work goes, you do what you feel you should do. David Birkett says it’s disingenuous for him to suggest he’s a simple crofter. Disingenuous? My father was a genuine hard-working 20-acres crofter all his life. Blackford’s little “joke” is an insult to people like him. And as far as Blackford goes, has anyone ever seen a real crofter shaped like that?