I was gobsmacked to see the latest instalment of the Monklands McMafia saga played out in the national press today. I believe events in North Lanarkshire have taken an interesting turn. Given that the SNP suspended Julie on the basis of a “he said, she said” report which is now looking less credible by the day, it would be completely wrong of the SNP to not suspend anyone who is subject to the investigation mentioned in the article. Precedents have been set: Natalie McGarry and Michelle Thomson being the most high profile. It is time that Nicola Sturgeon stopped tiptoeing through the Tulips and takes the decisive action which is required to deal with this scandal.
With an election coming up Nicola Sturgeon MUST reassure voters in North Lanarkshire that the SNP are a party with the courage to deal with difficult internal matters head on if they are to retain any credibility in the eyes of the public. This matter is not going away and will likely have a great effect on the council elections in 2017 as well. Nicola may sweep this under the carpet for now, but that carpet is getting awfully bumpy. Focus on Europe may deflect for a while, but that too will soon be history. I believe that the party imposing candidates from outside the area would be the first step in showing a commitment to regaining that trust.
I think the time has come for the good councillors within the SNP to stop pretending that there is going to be a happy ending here. With the allegations which have been made against them I think it safe to say that neither Julie McNulty or David Baird have a future within the SNP. Having seen friends fail the vetting process I think it a safe bet to say that any councillor with even the merest whiff of the suspicion of their loyalty and reliability will find themselves surplus to requirements as 2017 approaches. Better they leave with dignity at a time of their choosing than to be cast aside later when the publicity has died down.