As it happens, one of the things that we’ve been occupying ourselves with during the current news drought is pulling together a post called “The SNPBAD Files”, collecting all the desperate smear and innuendo of the Unionist press as it systematically tries to discredit every one of the 56 SNP MPs elected last May.
Until last night we hadn’t been sure which had been the most pathetically dismal. Was it the MP who still did a few haircuts in his barber shop on Saturday afternoons? The one who bought a derelict London house many years before he was an MP, renovated it with his own hands and now sometimes stays there when working at Westminster, rather than charging expenses to the public for accommodation? Or perhaps the one who tweeted that he was opposed to the concept of monarchy, the foul monster?
Now, though, we have a clear winner.
This morning’s Scottish Daily Mail carries a vicious piece attacking Dr Philippa Whitford, a breast cancer surgeon and the MP for Central Ayrshire, on the grounds that she’d done a few days of work over the summer and Christmas holidays covering for other surgeons who were ill or on leave.
Roping in the extremist so-called “Taxpayers Alliance” pressure group and worthless Scottish Labour rentahonk Jackie Baillie (we assume Alex Johnstone MSP was out), the Mail harangues Dr Whitford across the front cover and two inside pages, in some deeply pejorative language, for neglecting her constituents, lining her pockets at the expense of a “cash-strapped” hospital, and daring to keep her professional skills up to date so that her years of costly training and life-saving expertise aren’t lost to society.
(The General Medical Council requires doctors to do so, or be struck off the register and no longer able to perform surgery.)
The inescapable conclusion is that the Mail, the TPA and Jackie Baillie want to hound Dr Whitford into letting those skills fall into disuse, reducing the number of breast cancer surgeons working in the NHS, lengthening waiting times for women with the disease, and therefore quite possibly causing them to die.
(The article having been written by a woman is especially pungent in that context.)
Further comment from us seems superfluous, but we’re not sure we trust ourselves to carry on anyway.