PAUL HUTCHEON’S recent Sunday Herald exposé of Tommy Sheridan’s thuggish security personnel has unwittingly revealed further tensions within the SNP. In Hutcheon’s piece, Nicola Sturgeon unequivocally distanced her party from Tommy Sheridan’s Hope over Fear campaign. Yet, ex-First Ministerial aide, Joan McAlpine, openly supported the convicted perjurer’s self promoting vehicle held in “Freedom Square” last week. AhDinnaeKen investigates:
By Longshanker aka @ergasiophobe
“TOMMY IS not somebody I would choose to campaign side by side with” proclaimed Nicola Sturgeon in an investigative story into the thuggish background of Tommy Sheridan’s Hope over Fear security chief, this week.
Her statement sends a clear message to the party faithful. As far as the SNP are concerned, unrepentant convicted perjurers and confirmed misogynists are out of bounds to the party hierarchy.
But not, so it seems, to political hybristophiliacs and ex-First Ministerial aides like Joan McAlpine MSP.
Joan and the “Annan and Dumfries crowd” attended the Hope over Fear rally last week to provide overt support and encouragement to one time ‘project partner’ and “mad shagger” Tommy Sheridan.
According to SNP insiders, the Nicola Sturgeon-Peter Murrell axis/marriage holds too much power concentrated in one place in the party.
The marriage of the two is viewed as a problem due to Sturgeon’s urge to centralise and Murrell’s power and ability to assist her in doing so – the duo hold a major dominating influence on the finances, personnel and strategy of the party.
McAlpine’s election to the National Executive Committee in December last year was viewed by many as a necessary counter balance to the combined power of the heavyweight pair.
Tensions bubbling under the surface seem likely to erupt some time soon given the recent revelations that Sturgeon held secret talks with INEOS in January this year – McAlpine has already caused ructions in the party over its Energy minister’s stance on industrial fracking.
McAlpine’s appearance at the Hope over Fear rally is seen as a source of irritation for a First Minister keen to present the party as a progressive party delivering social justice.
According to one senior party member, McAlpine’s open show of support for Sheridan will not readily be forgiven:
“Joan’s attendance is privately seen as a needless gaffe by many women in the SNP.” she said.
“Joan has already been a high profile source of public embarrassment on a number of occasions to the party, despite her popularity in certain quarters.
“Her presence at the Hope over Fear rally will be viewed by Nicola as an act of open defiance. Just how this will play out within the party remains to be seen. But it will not be forgiven or forgotten.”
Commentators and pundits alike think the party will struggle to contain the factional infighting currently threatening to break through into the public domain.
Watch this space.