The SNP are taking bats from all aer the Parliamentary chamber at the moment.
The Lib Dems have constantly been breathing down their necks on the use of vaccine passports, taking a moral stand against it saying how it’s a joke people having to show medical history to get into nightclubs and large scale events. They’re taking huge jabs fae the Tories on their left-hand side anaw, slamming them for being too saft on hings like crime and drugs.
A constant skud they're getting from the other side of the chamber is from Labour, who have positioned themselves this term as the party who cares most about the healthcare system in Scotland. Week on week, there is constant reminders of how badly hospitals are doing in Nicola Sturgeon’s constituency, a right red face for FM in the eyes of opposition.
In September, a man called Cameron Gough spoke out about his 10-year-old laddie who almost died because of the safety issue wi the water used in cancer wards in Queen Elizabeth University hospital in Glasgow. An independent review found that 84 children had been infected wi some rare bacteria and there’s now an ongoing investigation into the deaths of various cancer patients. Sawar disclosed in Parliament that two clinicians have spoken to him in the last two months, anxious to disclose their identities in fear of being bullied and intimidated… and they both came forward wae different cases of a child dying because of the waterborne bacteria.
Sawar called it the biggest scandal the Scottish Parliament had seen in its entire puff, pointing out that it’s been on Nicky’s watch for the issue’s entirety. A “failure in leadership,” as he calls it, claiming she should use emergency powers to sack the Health Board and the Scottish Government Oversight board. “Another week of dithering and inaction” just isny good enough the now. A speech in Parliament that left Lib Dems leader, Alex Cole-Hamilton, in nothing but admiration…
Sturgeon hit back saying that it’s a farce to suggest noubt is being done. She pointed out that several reviews and investigations of high priority are in place to “establish the facts” so that proper action can be taken. That isny to deny responsibility, at least in Sturgeon’s eyes, but rather to stress how important it is they are bang on the money wi whats gawn on before taking action.
This is undoubtedly a huge issue… naebody, not even the Scottish Government, will deny that. Sawar has weighed in heavy here and rightly so.
The manner Sawar’s done so hasny left everyone too happy but. He’s gone down the line ae sayin there’s a culture of ‘cover-up’ and ‘corruption’ in the Scottish Government and this is just another case. In retort, 23 senior clinicians wrote a letter to Sturgeon and Health Secretary Humza Yousaf about the “immense disappointment and frustration” about the way the hospital, colleagues and treatment was being portrayed in Parliament. They’re saying it's creating anxiety and distress around families with loved ones in their care. Over and above that, also hitting back by claiming Labour are out of order to say they’re no open and transparent… they argue such allegations with little evidence to back it up are dangerous for the state of our health service.
Unfortunately for the Scottish Government, that’s no all… Labour shared photos of mould growth inside the hospital, asking whether they see this is as good enough:
I'll gee Labour their due... mould puts the fear ae death in me and I was just about at the whitey loading that picture up. Sturgeon pointed out at this week’s FMQs, however, that the pictures posted by Labour were over 2 years ago and had been sorted since.
The SNP keep taking digs but how long will the bruises last?
I’ll say one thing, Sturgeon is like a well-oiled machine that refuses to break down the now. The Scottish Parliament has been hailed for encouraging collaborative politics, everyone working the gether with the way the chamber is set oot n that. Well, nothing about the parliament is collaborative at the minute. The parliament right now is like a grown-up version of that game ‘hunt the c…’ ye used to play as a kid. For obvious reasons I canny put the full name on ere.
If yer struggling to mind, you had runners and chasers, with each runner taking a letter which added up to a word kept in secret. Chasers, looking all aer the streets to find each runner, batter them til the pain is too much and they gee up their letter.
There was always one kid. No matter how much they were kicked and punched, bruised ribs from jabs flying at all angles, they simply wouldn’t gee their letter up. That’s what I’m reminded of when I’m watching Sturgeon on the tele just now.
…and that’s aw fine and well, but she’s got a mammoth task of the independence referendum coming up. No matter how strong she looks at defending criticism and blame, she needs to convince hundreds of thousands that an independent Scotland would be dandy compared to their current situation in the UK. Labour’s dig, in particular, does not help claims that the government are simply independence daft and are taking their eye off the ball on certain issues. ‘Eye off the ball’ isny my phrasing either by the way, the FM actually admitted, in that exact language, on the tele, that the Government might no be quite at it wi some issues. That was in the lead up to the last election.
In fairness, some might say hang on a second here… the independence question was a huge talking point in the lead up to the election and the results reflected apetite for another referendum. Why wouldny they be pressing on wi it?
I’d tread carefully here, as you wouldny be saying that to the mourning families of the two children that have died during this scandal.
Regardless, when people think of Scottish Independence they think of the SNP. Supporters of the cause will argue otherwise, but this is what people generally think. As a result, the SNP will have to be spotless in the run-up to the vote and this is a biggie they’ll want to nip in the bud.
And independence aside, criticism comes from genuine problems that affect real people… no matter how well it‘s deflected.