HAVING spent may hours poring over the expenses claims submitted by local Unionist politicians to determine whether they were useful in campaigning against them (and often they were), I am both gobsmacked but somehow unsurprised by the Eva Bolander expenses scandal.

I’m gobsmacked that there has been no internal oversight from the SNP which has allowed them to pick up on this matter before it became manna from heaven for the British nationalist parties and the media in Scotland.

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Every single elected member of the SNP, be it local councillor, MP or MSP, should have the need to be restrained with expenses hammered into them from the moment they are elected, but that must be followed up by self-policing from within to ensure that those guidelines are met.

The fact that Ms Bolander’s clothing expenses were under budget is now irrelevant. They were greater than her predecessors’ and were extravagant in their content. If Ms Bolander wants to get her hair done, or her nails polished or buy new underwear then she should foot that bill herself. If she wants to purchase formal wear to use when representing the city of Glasgow then she must show good judgement and restraint when doing so; 23 pairs of shoes in two years and designer fashion labels is not a sign of either.

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I said I was gobsmacked but why am I unsurprised? Because a close look at the SNP unfortunately reveals that there are too many within their ranks willing to do the same. From MSPs claiming for a bag of chips to councillors paying parking tickets, there are too many who see the public purse as their own purse, and this has to cease.

The best form of criticism is self-criticism. Unfortunately over the last few days I’ve seen many people who seem normally level-headed and fair-minded circling the wagons and defending what is to me indefensible. The whitabootery needle has gone off the scale in the attempts to deflect and justify something which is patently unjustifiable.

We didn’t campaign to get Labour noses out of the trough so that SNP noses could get stuck in; we told people across Scotland that there was a better, cleaner and more open political future ahead – and the SNP should be setting that example.

SNP HQ must get a grip on this issue and ensure that this never happens in the future, but the SNP membership must also be pro-active and scrutinise not only to their opponents’ expenses but to their own elected members’ expenses to ensure that all their hard work, knocking on doors, handing out leaflets and standing on street stalls is not silently undone by greedy or thoughtless individuals within their own ranks. Glasgow could be lost for the price of a few pairs of shoes. Let’s not lose the fight for independence the same way.

James Cassidy

AS an SNP member I am glad that the Glasgow Lord Provost has at least apologised for her extravagance of her use of public money. This is the kind of behaviour we have become accustomed to from Westminster and I for one don’t want to see it here in Scotland.

Some people are of the opinion that because she spent £8,000 of the £10,000 allowance that then that’s OK. I don’t think so, not with all the homelessness and children living in poverty. Public money could be put to a much better use.

Isn’t this woman dressed up to the nines portraying Glasgow falsely? I don’t know her salary but I bet she could pay to get her manicures, hairdressing, and a large portion of her wardrobe. 20-plus pairs of shoes? That takes the biscuit.

Who the heck at civic occasions etc is going to notice if she wears the same shoes and the same dress more than once? Clothes don’t make a person, their character does!

E A Smart
Milton of Campsie

NO-DEAL Brexit with no or low toilet paper supplies is a possibility, yet continuing on the theme there has been plenty of “bumf” flushing out of the back room at No 10 in recent days!

The briefings, innuendos and at times crass accusations based on leaks, are all witness to a problematic No 10 out of control. Who is pulling the puppet, one may ask?

As the sonorous UK press try to use divination to deduce what is happening, trying to “read the runes”, like former Kremlinologists did on USSR watch as of yore, the media think tanks are perplexed.

A new cunning methodology is to the fore at No 10, an iterative and daily changing game of chaos and obfuscation driven by some guess-who deus ex machina – or to be more precise, unkempt “backroom boy” intent on something anarchic – thus thunder sections of the UK media. No-one really knows what lies behind it all and high-sounding, seriously penned speculation from the “serious” press and commentariat floods out across the press and airwaves.

As a new Queen’s Speech is about to hit us, we will see the pantomime unfold with the monarch referring to “my government”. So what are we to make of it now, after the recent antics of “her government” breaking the law over an unlawful proroguing of parliament, to mention just one of the many wrongdoings?

The disconnection between pomp and actual reasoned government could not be greater at this juncture.

John Edgar

DO the political naifs who are trembling for a “Plan B” realise that their demand for such is a concession to our opponents? The way to achieve independence accepted internationally is through a legitimate referendum, and that is what we are going for. The UK authority has its backs to the wall on that, as it can only oppose that in defiance of international law and the Scottish Claim of Right.

I have no idea why anybody thinks the SNP appearing to wobble on that is anything other than a gift to the Unionists.

Dave McEwan Hill
Sandbank, Argyll