Jennifer Dempsie has stood down as SNP List candidate for the Highlands and Islands in the Scottish Election in May 2015.
The former aide to former First Minister, Alex Salmond, the present girlfriend of the SNP’s titular Westminster group leader, Angus Robertson and, by dint of both, extremely well connected with the SNP hierarchy has been proven to be in a position to deliver access and persuasion for corporate contacts to the very highest level in the Scottish Cabinet.
Ms Dempsie appears have stood down in the wake of former SNP Leader, Gordon Wilson, asking for her to be reinterviewed for the SNP LIst candidacy in question.
Her statement in standing down showed her still at it, using even this opportunity to advertise her business in public relations and, by association, promote the value of her continuing connections. She said she was standing down because: ‘I have realised that there is still more I want to achieve in my career in business, with some exciting new opportunities arising.’ You can bet on that. The SNP preminently – tribally – looks after its own, provided they stay on message.
Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, gifted £150,000 to DF Concerts, promoter of massively successful annual music concert, T in the Park – three weeks after the event, on the premise, retrospectively claimed, that the £9 million in the black company needed this money to ensue that the event happened.
The usual handy internal investigation has cleared Cabinet Secretary Hyslop of any wrongdoing, presumably on her own say so. It is said, in faux stern mode, that in spite of this finding, Ms Hyslop may well ‘have to appear before the Scottish Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee’.
Will this shiver her timbers? Hardly.
That, like all the parliamentary committees, is in the control of the majority party pf government, the SNP. It has an SNP chair and four of the eight other members of it are SNP MSPs. The Parliamentary Committees under this government are legendary for their unchallenging support of government policy and of government ministers. Ms Hyslop has nothing to fear.
Audit Scotland, has signalled that, regardless of the internal clearing of the Culture Secretary, it is to hold its own examination of the issue.
Again there is absolutely no reason for concern on the part of the Cabinet Secretary.
The national Audit Commission is every bit as tame as the parliamentary committees – with less apparent reason to be so, since it is established as a supposedly objective watchdog of standards in procedural compliance and probity in the management of public affairs in local and national government. Time and time again it has been proven a nervous, unconfident and self-mutilatingly toothless guardian.
In a unicameral parliamentary system, with national agencies of scrutiny intimidated into reliable compliance with just about anything; with no parliamentary opposition worthy of putting a capital letter on that name; and with besotted and wilfully blinkered hordes of voters, the majority government is utterly beyond accountability.
This is no democracy. Nor is it any good for the government itself.
When you know that no one can lay a finger on you and that no serious scrutineer will even try, you get drawn more and ore into doing what you like – because you can. And doing what you like because you can quickly loses you the understanding of the need for and purpose of the necessary proprieties.
This has manifestly been happening to the Scottish Government and has to be a matter of concern to anyone who believes in democracy and in the hard wired connection between responsibility and genuine accountability.