Vote SNP - we know where you live

Alasdair Allan

This is a private journal about all the exciting things that have happened to me since I stood as MSP for Gordon the Western Isles. I am dedicated to the people of Gordon the Western Isles, and there is nowhere else I would rather represent. I even intend to live there soon.

I am not to be mistaken for for that imposter who pretends to be an MSP.

I really like this dynamic and exciting blog layout, which suits me perfectly.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Visit to Barra

Now that school Parliament is out for the 14 weeks of summer it is good to be able to relax and do what I want around my house, or go somewhere civilised like the mainland, or visit places where people know me, like my office.

So when Mr Angus told me to come to Barra straight away to see the appalling state of the hospital, I was more than happy to jump into my car and drive slowly, but carefully, to the airport - allowing 45 minutes for check-in and another 45 minutes for the 8 mile drive - to fly to the Island of Barra, which is even further away than Uist.

Ms Nicola was coming to the Island of Barra to rename the hospital as St Salmond's by the Sea and to criticise the Labour Party for failing to do anything about the appalling state of the hospital which has been allowed to go to rack and ruin over the past number of years. Or so Mr Angus told me as we formed the guard of honour at the airport, waiting for the plane to land.

As the plane landed I ran out onto the runway, which was covered in sand, and threw myself prostrate so that Ms Nicola could stand on me to avoid getting her Jimmy Chu shoes dirty, which she obviously appreciated as she wiped her feet on me more than once.

We climbed into the stretch tractor for the journey to the Ospadal (that's hospital in Gaelic!), narrowly avoiding running over Cllr Donald Manford, the supposed leader of the SNP Group on the Council who was astonished to see us there. "Perhaps we will be successful on the return journey" said Mr Angus, who invented the tractor when he was a boy, before showing the driver how to change gear.

Mr Angus was explaining to Ms Nicola about how the wicked and evil Labour Party had paid no attention to the hospital over the past few years, whilst trying to read the directions to the hospital that Mrs Jane had written out for him. The street of Barra had been swept clean of seaweed, sheep poo and anyone who might want to meet the Minister, or might recognise Mr Angus or even I.

As the tractor negotiated the pedestrians forming an orderly but unsteady queue outside the off-licence, Neil Neil MacNeil, Neil MacNeil MacNeil, John Iain MacNeil, Iain John MacNeil, Travis MacNeil, Oighrig MacNeil, Peigi Donald O'Neil MacNeil, Seumas Chavez and Philomena MacNeil Mugabe, Ms Nicola laid out her priorities for the meeting and the visit.

In no particular order they were

  • No promises about anything
  • Make the right noises at the right time
  • Maximum photo opportunities
  • Be seen to be interested in even the most tedious detail
  • I was to carry her bags at all times
  • Under no circumstances were critics to be allowed within 100m (at which point her civil servant smiled, and lifted his jacket to show a gun "for defence only")
  • and finally, something to do with health care
Briskly pushing aside the patients and staff who were blocking the way for the photographer we managed to get enough photos to justify the ministerial visit, before we handed out the press release announcing the success of the visit and left after a visit that seemed to last hours, but took only 10 minutes including 9 for photos.

Mr Angus took us all back to the airport by the scenic route, which seemed to be the same route as we had taken the first time, and then Ms Nicola was gone. Mr Angus and I went back to see those who wanted to make representations to Ms Nicola with her apologies. Mr Angus sent me into the room and went off to see Harlot MacNeil "on constituency business". Thankfully no-one recognised me and I was able to get out after standing in a corner for barely three hours.

Press releases issued: 43 (42 by Ms Nicola and 1 by Mr Angus)
Protesters met by me: 17
People who recognised me : 1 (Mr Angus!)

I've read my wise words this many times

* No, not really. If you haven't worked out that this is a satirical exercise, then please get a life. And find one for Alasdair.