Judge me on what I have done. Those were the words of Tavish Scott when interviewed on radio and television.
Well the short answer is precious little that is worthy but a great deal that is less than expected from our MSP.
To understand what a calamitous failure Tavish has been in his life in politics one has to start at the beginning.
As a councillor he was a failure and his one claim to notoriety was his involvement in the Nick Reiter affair, which he has never explained.
He then moved his incompetence to the Scottish Parliament in 1999. Here he proved himself to be not very good at very much with one notable exception. He showed that he was a brilliant property speculator, pocketing himself a tidy sum from his investments in the Edinburgh property market, all this was done with yours and my money, not his own.
Before last May’s election Nick Clegg said that if he found out that any of his party had profited in such a way at the expense of the public purse he would throw them out. But we all know just how good Nick’s word is, to name tuition fees for example.
What else has Tavish done, or should I say who else has Tavish betrayed?
Remember well the day he stood with our fishermen who were blockading Sullom Voe. Remember him standing there proclaiming: “Brothers, I am backing you all the way and I’ll vote against any deal that affects your livelihoods.”
Then off he scarpers back to Edinburgh and promptly votes against his brothers of a few hours before. Yes that is the kind of brother no-one wants.
In his party, Tavish, and others, are accused of being control freaks. He demonstrates this by his petulance and dismissive approach to the ideas of others; if Tavish didn’t think of it, then it’s no good.
Take council tax where we in the SNP had an idea, which in my view was not perfect but it was a start. Now Tavish and his Lib Dems had a different idea but would he discuss a compromise? No, it had to be Tavish’s scheme or nothing and so off he stomped.
Then we had Alex Salmond making a perfectly good proposal that if Westminster wants to close our coastguard stations then the Scottish government should be allowed to take them over. But Tavish thought that this seemed too much like independent thinking and action so once again he stomped off.
He reminds me of the spoilt brat in the school playground with the only football and who if you didn’t let him play where he wanted to, picked up his ball and ran off.
Another matter that needs explanation is the current fuel price rip-off. While it is not a Scottish Parliament responsibility we all feel the effects of the Con/Dems’ total and complete lethargy in this matter.
The Con/Dems fall guy Danny Alexander comes away with a load of Westminster gobbledygook, trying to give the impression that they are full of enthusiasm to get us cheaper fuel and that they are working their collective socks off trying to persuade Brussels of the merits of their request. What a load of twaddle they have been telling you over the past 11 months and a bit.
I spoke with a very good friend of mine who works at the heart of the Brussels bureaucracy and they told me that as this type of request was nothing knew and was already in operation then if the Con/Dems had applied at the very outset of their administration we could have been enjoying cheaper fuel since about last July.
Yes the Lib Dems have been a lot of help and what they have really shown once again is that they are not to be trusted at any level of government. Once again they have demonstrated that they are happy to throw away their so-called principles for the nice comfy seat of a government limo.
So there you have a few snippets and I could with a little more time fill this paper with Tavish’s shortcomings, but at the end of the day it is down to you to judge. On 5th May you will have your chance to make that judgment. So what are your alternatives?
You could choose Labour, who got the country into the mess in the first place, or you could choose Tory but you already have a Tory standing, that is according to Tavish himself. This leaves Jean Urquhart who has been a hard-working councillor in her adopted Ullapool where she is also a successful hotelier and knows full well the needs of island life.
She knows of the need to preserve our fishing industry, the need for a successful and affordable tourist industry, and the absolute need for excellent transport links. She is also a stalwart supporter of the retention of both Stornoway and Lerwick coastguard stations.
Finally, if you decide a plague on all our political houses then you could choose Billy Fox, an honest and ardent campaigner against the massive windfarm development proposed for Shetland.
At the end of the day it is down to you. But whichever way you decide please, please go out and vote. And if you are considering not voting, just remember that there are people not all that different from us who are currently dying on the streets of Libyan towns and cities just for the democratic right to vote.
Tigh Na Mara,