1.  When I joined the SNP in 1974, a mandate for Independence would be obtained when the Party won a majority of the Scottish MPs sent to Westminster.  This “Big Bang Theory” was accepted by (almost) everyone, including Margaret Thatcher and, way before her, Winston Churchill.  Devolution changed everything in the 1990s when Alex Salmond persuaded most Nationalists (including me) to accept Devolution as a “first step to Independence”.  “If only we could show the poor Scottish people that, with limited self-government powers, we could make a go of running things for ourselves, surely the path to full-blooded Independence would be obvious!”  This route was to prove an unattainable mirage.

2. Salmond put far too much faith in Nicola Sturgeon in the old days, thinking he could control her. While he attended to constitutional and economics matters as FM, she was his deputy who had free rein over health, social care and other social matters – a huge remit. He trusted her, which he must bitterly regret now!  However, she was not on the same personal agenda which I have discovered in my research.  Whether they had a “lavender marriage” or not, the Murrells, Peter and Nicola, had a plan for private power and control in political life.  I believe Salmond, who is on record as objecting to the pair being at the top of the Party and Government, stated when he was on his way out as FM. It was too late then and the Murrells just ignored him.  He should have done something about it when he was in power, not complained afterwards. A few high-profile people, such as Kenny MacAskill, objected but it was also too late. Since then, Sturgeon has successfully ridden two horses as Leader of the Party, with her husband as a mere apparatchik, and, separately, as First Minister, . She has successfully convinced many people – for example within the MSM – that she has Chinese walls in her brain. No pillow talk between the Murrells, of course!

3.  One crucial thing that Salmond did was introduce a popular referendum of the Scottish electorate as a necessary step to go through to achieve Independence.  “Surely after achieving a majority of SNP MSPs at Holyrood (as in 2011 but not repeated since then) and at Westminster (as in 2015 and thereafter), we could win a referendum of the people”.  But it was not to be.

4.  This alternative Gradualism (akin to “Steady State Theory” in Physics), plus a a steady Party growth, allowed the SNP to attract: (a) lots of mediocre carpet-baggers who saw a career at Holyrood, one that they couldn’t achieve outside, and (b) lobby and other action groups to latch on to this new rising political movement, not just the usual lefty-liberal types but emerging forces like Feminism, LGBT and others, who seldom saw the pursuit of Independence as their cause, but a suitable “local” vehicle to associate with. These groups returned little to us but Sturgeon (and others) were receptive, new forces within politics to court – and with her particular persona and psyche, she reciprocated.

4.  From 1999 to 2007, SNP MSPs were mostly people with  real-life baggage with them.  In other words, they had earned a living and inhabited the outside world, free from immersion within the political bubble.  Salmond did the right thing in 2007 in assembling a pretty competent government who didn’t make too many mistakes.  The message was minority, but competent government.  Sturgeon was one of the few who didn’t have much experience after she qualified as a solicitor – and a chequered short career it was too.  Our circumstances changes in 2011 when in the Scottish Election we were able to “game the electoral system”, winning 69 seats out of 129 (53% of the total) with only 46% of the vote.  (Labour choose the wrong “game” by concentrating on constituencies with no dual nominations to constituency and region.) 

5.  We  lost the Independence Referendum in 2014 by 55.3% to 44.7%, a huge margin of 10.6%.  In my opinion, Salmond was wrong to resign – stupidly he thought he could still control Sturgeon who was “crowned” with his blessing.  Big mistake.  The MSP 2011 input had produced a cohort who often thought, largely, that they could rule the world but they had little experience of the actual world outside politics.  Few had earned a living in trade, business and the professions.  The result has been growing governmental incompetence ever since.

6.  Nevertheless, the Government and many MSPs were easy meat for Wokish lobby groups, either due to: their own orientation, being flattered by attention, seeking an easy, cumfy life, or occasionally thinking they were doing good.  Also, the Party has been completely corrupted internally, starting in 2017 with the abolition of National Council and the reduction of ordinary member representation and the proliferation of overlapping special interest groups on the NEC.  Now NEC controls everything, including direct candidate selection, through the Murrells, Angus Robertson (predictably), Michael Russell (sadly) and several others in the Nicola band of acolytes.  Conferences for many years are just Nicola fan-club rallies. 

7.  There will be no indyref2 next year and Sturgeon and her coterie will play us for sheepish fools until the Party collapses or they leave at their own choice.

This is the story of many organisations, not just political parties.  A complete change, either internal generated, or forced upon it, will be required to reverse out this nasty cul-de-sac. 


A Disgrace at Westminster Yesterday


There is a most interesting comparison between the time when Alex Salmond and I (at different times) were expelled from the House of Commons, and what took place with Kenny MacAskill and Neale Hanvey on Wednesday. The comparison is with the demeanour and language of the Speaker, and the underlying reality. 

When we disrupted proceedings it was on one of great days in the parliamentary calendar – the budget.  The Speaker didn’t lose the plot, show any animosity, stuck to the well knownscript for such occasions, named us, and when we didn’t move, the then Leader of the House, again with his own script always at hand, moved that we be suspended, with his motion then subject to a vote. Only after the vote did we leave. 

When we did it, the SNP was a minnow group of MPs, representing a party which at that time seemed to pose no real threat to the British state, and so could be dealt by the Speaker with what was the usual way with bad boys misbehaving in the club. We were, of course, barracked by the Tory and Labour backbenches, and stood our ground in what was a hostile atmosphere.  But the Speaker was cool, and after we refused his order to sit down, left it to the usual procedure conducted by the Leader of the House. 

Not so with Speaker Hoyle on Wednesday. Although Kenny and Neale are no longer in the SNP, on the issue they sought to raise, who has the right to hold a referendum, the elite holders of power in the British state see them as no different from the Blackford group – asserting a position endangering that state.  Unlike when Alex and I were there, there is now a perceived real threat that simply will not go away. 

Result?  Anger, frustration, intense dislike, fear of and fury at what Kenny and Neale stand for boiling over. No mere barracking from British party backbenchers, more like a baying mob.  No smooth reading of the usual script from the Chair, but face contorted and coarse snarling language to “shut up and get out.”   Speaker Hoyle’s reaction was a giveaway.  He did represent the majority in the Commons. They know that the drive for independence is not going to be smothered by repeated rejections for a referendum, and his reaction showed just how much they resent what is to come.

Jim Sillars’ Judgment on Queen Nicola’s Rule

I am very pleased to reproduce below Jim Sillars’ excellent essay on SNP First Minister’s reign since she was “crowned” after Alex Salmond’s resignation in 2014. In my opinion, it is a hugely important and is published here with full permission of Jim Sillars and Iain Lawson, the owner of the blog “Yours for Scotland” where Jim’s original analysis was published. Readers who wish to comment on the essay may make their contribution by clicking onto Iain’s blog at:


An essay by Jim Sillars to mark Nicola Sturgeon becoming the longest serving First Minister since Holyrood was created.

Nicola Sturgeon is now the longest serving First Minister. That fact in itself means nothing. The measure of her is in what she has or has not accomplished, in building rock solid majority support for independence, and whether under her leadership, in the areas of legislative and executive competence available to a Scottish Government, she has improved Scottish society.

As a convert to independence (I was first elected to Westminster in 1970 beating an SNP opponent) I would be delighted to record here that under Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership Scotland has become an exemplar of what a good society should be – vibrant with a debate noted for its respect for others who differ, free to think and speak openly, our youngsters leaving school well educated, endowed with the ability to think critically, entering an economy offering them wide opportunities, all inspired by a government at Holyrood sparkling with talent drawn from back benches whose members have the spunk to hold their own to account. That Scotland would be a self-confident nation, with a large majority ready for the next step to full sovereignty.

I cannot write and say that is so, because it is not. In 2014, when Nicola Sturgeon took command of the SNP, party and government, Scotland was vibrant: we had just had a great debate with the voter turn- out in the September referendum the highest ever. Today, however, Scotland is widely regarded to be in a state of stasis, with the SNP party’s internal democracy emasculated, its members in thrall to the cult of personality, and Scotland’s government, politics and economy stuck in the quagmire of mediocrity.
Nicola Sturgeon is in total control of the party and government, so the responsibility is hers for failure to build that rock solid independence majority, for the deplorable state of Scotland’s education, health service, transport infrastructure, blunders on energy, and all round dispiriting incompetence.

Scotland, the source of much of the Enlightenment, now has a people, due to her legislation, afraid to think and speak freely, because speech can now be a crime. On the constitutional issue, her inability to be a genuine national leader who makes explicit that both positions are legitimate, and so entitled to command respect as between opponents rather than as enemies, has allowed the debate to become toxic, and the nation bitterly divided. “A nation divided cannot stand,” does not mean in our case the nation annihilated. It means what we have now – a nation so at odds with itself, that its division on the constitution trumps everything, with the result that we are not even standing still, but going backwards in a world where, with the rise of the Indo-Pacific region, we face the most intensive competition for trade and wealth creation.

I am not surprised that Nicola Sturgeon is a failure where it matters. I have never had cause to reconsider the view Margo MacDonald and I held of her when she was part of the Alex Salmond coterie: an articulate expounder of a brief, an effective attack dog on the opposition, but narrow, dogmatic, lacking imagination, and without that sweep of the intellect, and breadth and depth of thinking, that marks out politicians of the first rank from the rest. She is a machine politician: tomorrow’s headline hunter, the pursuer of the celebratory selfie, the aficionado of political fashion – reluctant to define a woman – and incapable of thinking big. She has been a major speaker at umpteen party and other conferences over many years, but I doubt if anyone can remember even one that contained an original idea, or formed a phrase that inspired them to a new level of belief, and will always be remembered.

Yet, she has won election after election, so is there some hidden genius that I and other critics have missed? I don’t think so. At Holyrood she has “won” elections, but not a majority of seats and votes, something due more to the split in the unionist vote, and the abysmal level of the opposition parties both inside and outside the Holyrood chamber, than to her own abilities and record in government. Opposition party leaders don’t seem to understand that FMQs are about questions, penetrating, persistent questions, and that starting off with mini speeches is a gift to a minister, who can pick and choose which bits to answer. Nor do they seem to get it, that you need to attack a government not only in parliament but outside, among the people, day-in-and-day out. Hitting the First Minister’s ego and temper now and again, is nowhere near enough. Nicola remains lucky in her opposition

: Labour still hasn’t got its head around why it fell from power, and so remains in a tangle over the Scottish question, while the Tories have yet to find someone with the popular touch to replace Ruth Davidson, and so get people to listen to them.

Another factor explains the SNP electoral success despite its failures in government. I doubt if she was the originator, but has certainly been the electoral beneficiary of the “Wheesht for Indy” mantra that says ignore all the faults and failures of the SNP government because they are for independence, and that to criticise them will only help the unionists. I have met people who can recite all the failures, but say we must remain quiet lest we damage the government’s image, and so in turn damage the very idea of independence. Nicola has kept around forty per cent of the people in that trap of being deliberately silent, by managing their desire through her never ending boasts of delivering another referendum. Neither she nor they seem to grasp that there is no point of a referendum unless you are in a position to win, and that you don’t win unless you campaign and build the independence vote. That is precisely what Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP has not done.

The burst of the independence vote beyond the fifty per cent mark in opinion polls, when Boris Johnson was at his worst during the pandemic, was never real and did not last. Support for independence is roughly where it was in September 2014, almost 8 years ago. Back then a national organisation was in place, people were, surprisingly, not down hearted and many of the local groups stayed in being. Taking over from Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon was in a perfect position: maintain that nation-wide base, engage it in continuing the campaign, and use its energy to build upon the forty five per cent gained in the referendum. But, of course, that would have meant she and the SNP only having a say, not total control, because there was more than the SNP in that national effort. But Nicola and control go together. And so that great national machine, embracing thousands, was allowed to decay and die.

Today’s independence movement is made up of disparate groups, who march instead of thinking, split and splintered, with no threat to the grip of the SNP.
That grip is a negative one. Wicked Westminster is the bolt hole she invites her followers down when it would be uncomfortable to face the reality of Scottish failure. Without doubt, she is the author of the grudge and grievance policy that is injurious now to Scottish-English relations, and will poison the atmosphere when Scots sit down, post-independence vote, to negotiate a treaty with England on our exit from the UK. I often wonder if Nicola gets it: that Scotland will not be independent on the day after a Yes victory, no more than the UK was out of the EU on the morning after the Brexit vote. A treaty will be required, to set the day of independence and much else of supreme importance to both states.
Create and continue bitter relations now, and you may well get bitter people on the other side of the negotiating table.

Scotland is a nation of five million, England a nation of sixty million, by far our largest export market. We are bound by geography in one island. Good relations in devolution times should pave the way to good relations when and if we separate and map out how we co-operate on security, borders, trade, foreign, defence, energy, free movement of people, and cultural relations policies. That kind of expansive forward thinking, which includes understanding England’s national interests, is beyond our First Minister who revels in difference, and manufactures it when it doesn’t exist, even to a petty level, as was the case with the national census, now rendered useless. Hostility between Holyrood and Westminster has become her creed.

She is in the class of what I call big N nationalists, who define themselves in relation to England, and are moulded by the feeling that Scotland was dealt a bad hand in 1707, and seem glued to the idea that the grounds for independence must be complaint of being deliberately ill done by, by our large neighbour. During my sixty years in politics I can point to the negative consequences, the ignoring of a special Scottish interest, in policies made in London, the political and economic centre of a country badly divided in terms of wealth between the South East and the rest. The discovery of oil in the 1960s, and the centralisation of North Sea policy in the UK capital, with calls for a specific Scottish share scornfully rejected, is a classic example.
But the case for Scottish independence does not need to be based on antagonism towards England. It can be better expressed in a positive way as a matter of Scottish state interests which, in the 21st century, as distinct from the position in 1707, leads us away from union with a larger country now divested of empire, its relative influence in the world diminished, and whose economic management in these circumstances has proved less than dynamic.

Those are post-empire forces born of historical development, with sometimes damaging consequences for Scotland economically, for which no contemporary English group, being unable to reverse them, are culpable. People in North East of England could make the same observation, but unlike Scots, who joined the union as a state, and have remained a distinctive polity, they do not have the same options as us. I have yet to see Nicola Sturgeon and those she is leading, express the case for independence in that way. She appears to prefer inventing Westminster as a malign bogeyman from whose clutches we must escape.

But let us now turn and deliver judgement on those areas where devolved power makes the Scottish government as autonomous now as it would be were Scotland fully sovereign – where the buck stops not with Boris Johnson, but the First Minster. We could pick out the CalMac ferries fiasco, and ask how Nicola Sturgeon could launch a ship with painted windows and, apparently, a false funnel, and not ring the alarm bell within her government that something was seriously wrong. We could pick out the juvenile handling of our Saudi Arabia of wind status, with the government pocketing only £700 million while others will waltz away with many billions. Or the current lesson on how not to take public ownership of our railway.
But it is in the educational management of our greatest national asset, our young people, that we find failure heaped upon disastrous failure: a moral and economic catastrophe the responsibility for which rests with she, who once asked to be judged on her education policy.

Hogging the limelight back then, it was the First Minister who bragged about closing the attainment gap between schools in deprived communities and the more affluent. This week, hiding in the shadows, through the mouth of her education minister, she shamelessly abandoned the children of the poor.

Education must be seen in two contexts. One concerns the child for whom, on moral grounds, the education system should stimulate a desire for knowledge, with the gift of a growing level of literacy creating the ability to expand that knowledge, and so imbue each individual young person with a sense of self-worth and self-confidence sufficient to ignite personal ambition to achieve in life. The second is the economy: it is imperative that our children are equipped to earn their own income, and the nation’s, in a world where countries that were once basket cases (China), struggling (India), under colonial control (Africa) are now creating new middle classes whose children are pouring out from universities as graduates in the sciences and technologies, brilliantly creative and fiercely competitive. Where stand our children in that world arena? Literacy levels tell the devastating truth – primary schools in deprived areas 56 per cent, only 80.7 per cent elsewhere.

Instead of enhancing their position as participants in the world economy, SNP education policy handicaps them. They and the nation will pay a heavy price for that failure.

Although her record is strewn with error, Nicola Sturgeon looks and feels safe, untouchable, “Supreme” as one newspaper described her. But failure after failure, blunder after blunder, levels of incompetence that are impossible to hide, eventually take their toll of reputation. Democracy has a habit of catching up and dismissing politicians who promise and fail.



I was content that he and Tasmina secured a slot for his weekly Show on RT, despite Sturgeon’s views to the contrary . I have watched most of the episodes. Alex is an excellent host, and it is well produced by Tasmina. I, of course, accept that Kremlin-owned RT had not even attempted to exercise any form of editorial control over the Show. “The Alex Show” (and several other programmes) have provided credibility for non-Russian viewers in the UK and elsewhere.

However, things have changed and we should not forget that RT stands for “Russia Today” and TODAY Russia is invading a neighbouring independent country, Ukraine. It’s quite blatant. Vladimir Putin, in my opinion, is an unreconstructed former KGB Colonel in Leningrad (sic) and quite a rational megalomaniac, states that “Ukraine has no right to exist” and “is an artificial country”!

What does Alex mean when he writes ” … until peace is re-established?” Who decides that? Is that when Russian subjugation of the Ukrainian people is achieved and there is no overt fighting? There is nothing “statesmanship” about that.

Alex is just giving our opponents ammunition to lob back at us. Sturgeon and her clique are having a field day. He has not even identified President Putin as the Russian aggressor-in-chief. The unambiguous naming by Alex would certainly test his editorial independence in RT broadcasts!

I have been dipping into RT News bulletins over the two days and can scant mention of the thousands off demonstrators on the Russian street “Against the War”, or the near two thousands who have been already arrested for that offence. It’s one thing to demonstrate in Edinburgh or Glasgow, but in Moscow against the Putin regime?! 

In the world of “real politik”, Alex has made a big error and I fear it will act against the ALBA Party in May. Older readers may remember the personal stand in a BBC UK-wide broadcast in 1999 he took against NATO bombing of strategic targets in Serbia when the Serbs were carrying out a murderous campaign of ethic cleansing in the later new independent Republic of Kosovo just before the first elections for the first new Scottish Parliament. In my opinion again, it could have cost us seats in that first Parliament. Was that “statesmanlike”?

Alex condemns unacceptable abuse against Tasmina, as I do. Further, he called for prayers against any “escalation” of the war. I assume he means the military invasion of independent Ukraine by Russia but apparently can’t can bring himself to say these words. I wonder why?

Alex Salmond, SNP Justice and the Moorov Doctrine

Some Thoughts from former SNP MSP Bill Walker


Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying to articulate my thoughts on the outcome of the Alex Salmond trial and his acquittal and, in light of my own experience, consider what implications this could have for the SNP and the historic and unique Moorov Doctrine in Scots Law.


Alex was charged with 13 counts of sexual assault against nine women and, after a two-week trial by a female-majority jury in the Edinburgh High Court, the verdict was quite clear: Salmond was found not guilty of any “criminality” in 12 charges, with the last charge determined as being not proven.  A jury had cleared him of all charges.  Although Salmond’s defence team admitted some “inappropriate” behaviour with female staff and colleagues, they were successful in convincing the jury that nothing was criminal or illegal in his actions.


The Salmond trial has occurred at the time when I am currently engaged in completing Volume Two of my memoirs, entitled “Politics in My Life”, and it has caused me to re-consider the behaviour of the SNP hierarchy in the lead-up to my own nine-day trial in 2013. My own trial was conducted in the lower Edinburgh Sheriff Court with no jury. I was found guilty of 23 charges of domestic abuse against three women by a sheriff sitting alone.


Prior to my trial, the behaviour of the leadership of the SNP, which I had joined in 1974, caused me great distress in 2011, not long after I had been elected as SNP MSP for Dunfermline.  In my case, the SNP leadership were made aware of accusations against me in 2008.  Instead of informing me at that time of these complaints, they secretly retained this information, allegedly conducted a covert investigation without my knowledge and only subsequently advised me in 2011.


It is incredulous to believe that when my my former wife’s former brother-in-law, Robin Armstrong, walked into the Constituency Office of the then Deputy Leader of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon, to make complaints against me, that she was unaware of these complaints.  Indeed, I suspect most people would suggest that it be inconceivable, given Nicola’s close relationships with Mhairi Hunter, her Constituency Office Manager who received these complaints, and Peter Murrell, SNP Chief Executive and Nicola’s soon-to-be husband at SNP HQ, who received Mhairi’s Complaint Report that same day.


When in 2010 I took steps to get on the SNP’s “List of Approved Potential Parliamentary Candidates” for the upcoming Scottish Elections in May 2011, at no stage of the very inquisitorial vetting process was any reference made to any complaint about me. I did, however, confirm in my application my appearance in the civil court as part of previous divorce proceedings.


It wasn’t until September 2011 that I was called in to SNP HQ by Ian McCann, Corporate Governance and Compliance Manager, to tell me that “a complaint had been received about me” – some three and a half years previously! I was flabbergasted. At my request, I was given a copy of the Complaint Report to Peter Murrell, although McCann had no explanation of why this complaint had not been disclosed to me sooner. I responded to these allegations in writing, all with relevant references. When I submitted this documentation and asked what would be done with my responses, he answered: “Nothing at present. We’ll just keep it on file, in case it’s ever needed”. His parting words to me were along the lines of: “I suggest you destroy/burn your copy of the Complaint Report on this matter”. I didn’t, of course, do that.


Nevertheless, having been previously suspended from the Party in March 2012 following a Sunday newspaper report, I was then expelled the following month for apparently not completing an application form “correctly”.  I was treated as persona non grata by the Party.  I had been well and truly “dumped”, albeit this did not extend to most members in my constituency and many MSPs in Parliament. In fact, I was widely encouraged to fight the suspension and appeal the later expulsion.


I notice that Alex Salmond said after his acquittal that he had wished to the raise certain issues in his defence during his trial, but was legally unable to do so. Now that he has been acquitted of all charges, I await with interest his disclosure of the evidence he believes demonstrates the ‘political conspiracy’ against him by the SNP and the Scottish Government. It is deeply disturbing and ominous to think that the SNP may be sitting on dossiers on ordinary activists and elected members to potentially use against them at a later date. However, as my own and Salmond’s more recent treatment indicate, these dangerous tactics appear to be embedded practice in my former party. I await a thorough cleaning out of the SNP at the top. The Salmond disclosures promise to be revealing, to say the least.


Of course, both in my case and in Salmond’s, the prosecution in court sought to deploy the Moorov Doctrine.  Indeed before asking the jury to retire to consider their verdict, the judge in the Salmond trial, Lady Dorrian, reminded members of the jury of the existence of the historic and unique Moorov Doctrine in Scots Law, under which all or some charges in an alleged pattern of behaviour could be judged to corroborate each other, even though none could be proved in their own right.  Happily for Alex Salmond, the jury appear to have decided that, certainly in 12 of the charges, there was a “non-pattern” of accusations from eight of the complainers.


In my own trial in 2013, the sheriff, Mrs Mackie, was “judge, jury and executioner” and did not have the encumbrance of a jury to deal with. She alone decided that the Moorov Doctrine (intended originally to apply over a short term for sexual charges) could apply for all 23 historic domestic abuse charges over the 27 years period from 1967 to 1993/5, without any individual allegation being specifically proved.  Indeed, I believe objective documented defence evidence submitted disproved several of the prosecution claims but, apparently under the Moorov Doctrine this could be disregarded.


A number of judicial writers have questioned the operation of the Moorov Doctrine over the years. It may have been acceptable, indeed appropriate, in Glasgow for a sexual assaults case when it came into existence in 1930 but, nowadays, with so much electronic, documentary and other forensic evidence available from a multitude of sources, the days of the Moorov Doctrine, should be numbered.  Its use has now spread widely to many branches of the criminal law.  I look forward to a serious judicial review of the Moorov Doctrine and its applicability today in Scots Law.  It does not exist elsewhere in the UK.




1. “Bill Walker: My Story – Vol. 1 A Private and Professional Life”, Amazon Books, September 2017


2. “Bill Walker: My Story – Vol. 2 Politics in My Life”, Amazon Books, due to be published later in 2020


All correspondence to

Mr Joseph Miller of Dunfermline

A Tribute to Joseph G Miller (Joe) of Dunfermline


I was very saddened to learn of the death (12 May 2019) of Joe Miller, a great and supportive friend, in Dunfermline.

I have known Joe for many years.  He was a great patriot and a long-term fighter for the Cause of Scottish Independence.  A prolific writer to the press, Joe’s letters were always concise and cogent, a style I longed to copy but failed in miserably.  Always gentlemanly and polite, Joe’s manner was focused on the substance of an argument and not on the personalities involved.

At the time of my campaign to win the Dunfermline seat in the 2011 Scottish Parliamentary Election, Joe was Convener of  the Dunfermline Constituency Branch of the Scottish National Party (SNP).  Together with my Election Agent, Alan Stewart, he kept me on the “straight and narrow” and helped organise all the other volunteers in that successful campaign.

After my resignation from Parliament in September 2013, Joe and his wife, Joellen, were very supportive and helpful to me and my wife, June.  Perhaps the largest legacy to me was his assistance with Volume One of my autobiography (Bill Walker: My Story) published in September 2017.  Joe was always attempting to curb my tendency towards verbosity and recently finalised his Foreword to Volume Two, due to be published later this year.

Ever the courteous gentleman, I shall remember Joe fondly.  My thoughts are with Joellen and their children, Carol and William, at this extremely sad time of loss.

(Signed) William G Walker







Sorry for Delay!


I must apologise for the delay in publishing Volume 2 of my autobiography “Bill Walker: My Story”.  Especial apologies to those readers who planned to acquire this book as a Christmas present!

Volume 1 concerned my “Private and Professional Life” and has generated a lot of comment.  It was very detailed but not one request for a correction has been received!  The same diligence is being applied to Volume 2, now entitled “Politics in My Life”.  This is taking a bit more time than anticipated due to additional material to be considered following recent research.

So, sorry about all this but keep checking this blog for updates.


Bill Walker, former MSP for Dunfermline

All correspondence to



Brexit and Salzburg

I’ve had another “Letter to the Editor” published in The Sunday Times yesterday (23 Sep 2018,page 28), following my previous one last month.  It was on Brexit and Theresa May’s meeting in Salzburg last week and is reproduced below.

Salzburg is a lovely place to visit but evidently not for any type of “negotiation”!



Dear Sir

Clean Break

Last month you published my letter on Brexit in which I said “we shall get nowhere by simply being nice to people”. And so it has come to pass in Salzburg.

Of course, as good neighbours we must continue being civil with our existing EU partners but with a clean leaving date on 29 Mar 2019. We should pay our legally required bills and then seek, separately, free-trading arrangements with the remaining EU and the rest of the world. Any border issues between the UK and Ireland are a matter for those two governments

Each convoluted move to appease the divided Conservative Party and suck up to the EU hierarchy is doomed. Let’s get on with it.

Yours faithfully

William G Walker



Scotland’s Future in EFTA?

Efta is the Best Deal We’ll Get

I was so impressed after reading Lord David Owen’s Comment article in The Sunday Times of 05 Aug 2018 that, after a gap of five years of writing to the Press, I submitted a letter in support to the Letters Editor.

This was published yesterday (12 Aug 2018) as the lead letter in a section entitled “Efta is the best deal we’ll get”.  I reproduce it below but have reinstated some text which, I believe, aids my message.

The current political position is a mess.  I have tried here to use the teachings of the Scottish Enlightenment, i.e logic and rational thinking. but is anyone listening?  There might just be time to avoid disastrous political decision-making of the past.


“Dear Sir,

A Brexit Solution?

Lord David Owen is right. The people of the UK, in a “people’s vote”, have already decided to leave the European Union (EU), now set for 29 Mar 2019. A logical next step is to resume our membership of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and so stay in the European Economic Area (EEA) as a non-EU member. This would be as part of the “EFTA governance” pillar of the EEA which would separate us from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) to which EU countries subscribe, thus ensuring UK national sovereignty.

However, we would be subject to EEA jurisdiction in our trading where the governing treaty, based on the Vienna Convention, determines the outcome, not the EU’s ECJ. It is outrageous to think that we are leaving the EU but might somehow still be subject to its Court.

It is infantile in the extreme for Theresa May to think that the UK can get a bespoke deal with the EU based on the now dead Chequers cabinet “understanding”. Quite frankly, the EU has bigger fish to fry and we shall get nowhere simply by being nice to people. Asserting strongly our right to paddle our own canoe, after settling any final membership dues to the EU on leaving – certainly not £39 billion – is the logical way to go.

I commend Lord Owen’s correspondence with the Prime Minister. Hopefully, she is reading and thinking. She might even want to recruit him to her now seriously depleted Brexit team!

Yours faithfully

William G Walker








Bill Walker: My Story” – Volume 2 to be Published in 2018

Bill Walker, former Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Dunfermline Constituency, has welcomed the positive reception to Volume 1 of his recently published autobiography, ‘Bill Walker: My Story’ and advises of the forthcoming release of Volume 2.

Commenting, Mr Walker said:
“I have been very, very pleased at the reception given to the first volume of my autobiography, covering my private and professional life, since its original publication via Amazon Books, on 10 Sep 2017 as an e-book, followed by the paperback on 29 Sep 2017.

“To date, I have not received a single request for a correction which is a relief in view of all the detail I provided.  I appreciate that the content of Volume 1 was frequently technical and business-oriented, yet I was glad to have been advised by one reviewer that it was “never boring!”.

Mr Walker continued:
“I am now working on Volume 2, entitled ‘Politics and Justice?’, in which ‘Setting the Record Straight’ will again be both the subtitle and my objective. This volume will focus on the murky world of party political manipulation and control and my treatment by a Scottish criminal justice system that I would suggest has shown tenuous concern for the pursuit and delivery of justice. My entry into elected politics, after a long professional career and nearly forty years as an SNP activist, exposed me to the ubiquitous personal and political treachery that operates at the highest level.

“When published next year, Volume 2 will provide an account of my experience which will meticulously detail how the SNP hierarchy were both aware of allegations made by a relation of a former wife many years prior to my candidacy and election as an MSP, and then embroiled in orchestrating a political cover-up”.


All correspondence to:


                                                               Vol1 - FrontCoverJPEGfromDavid
 “Bill Walker: My Story” Autobiography Now Available in
Bill has now published Volume One of his autobiography, “Bill Walker: My Story”, as a hard-copy PAPERBACK, available online through Amazon Books *.
Subtitled “Setting the Record Straight”, Bill Walker first covers a private and professional life, full of interest and surprise.
From humble origins, he became a patent-earning leader in the global development of nuclear medicine scanning, before entering other professional areas.
His private life was less smooth with periods of great happiness, fulfilment, frustration and desperate sadness.
His later entry into elected politics exposed personal and political treachery against him at the highest level.
Bill Walker has much to say about the murky world of internal party politics and his treatment by a Scottish legal system which, his supporters suggest, had little connection with the pursuit of justice.
Best regards
The Publishing Team
* “Bill Walker: My Story” can be found online at Amazon Books, as both a downloadable e-book and now a paperback. Photographs accompanying both books can be found on his blog, as posted earlier this month.


News Release

Former SNP MSP Bill Walker Publishes Autobiography
Bill Walker, the former SNP MSP for Dunfermline, has now published his autobiography, “Bill Walker: My Story”.
Subtitled “Setting the Record Straight”, Bill Walker first covers a private and professional life, full of interest and surprise.
From humble origins, Bill Walker became a patent-earning leader in the global development of nuclear medicine scanning, before entering other professional areas.
His private life was less smooth with periods of great happiness, fulfilment, frustration and desperate sadness.
His later entry into elected politics exposed personal and political treachery against him at the highest level.
Bill Walker has much to say about the murky world of internal party politics and his treatment by a Scottish legal system which, his supporters suggest, had little connection with the pursuit of justice.
“Bill Walker: My Story” can be found online on Amazon Books, first as an e-book. It may be downloaded directly onto a Kindle or, via a free Kindle Reader, onto virtually any computer to read.  Photographs accompanying the e-book can be found on this blog immediately preceding this post.

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.15  With future wife June atop the Sky Tower in Auckland. Dec 2008

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.14  With Scots-born Australian cousins Gordon and Florence at her home outside Melbourne. Nov 2008

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.13  My client in Gdansk with whom I worked from 2003 to 2005

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.12  Reliving our Ohio-Nuclear days with Dr Philip Stimpson, Chairman of Mediwatch Plc, at a watering hole in Houston, Renfrewshire. Summer 2005

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.11  Former wife Diana Walker at her home in Airth with our lovely dog, Ailsa, during one of my dog-walking visits, shortly before Diana had her put down. Summer 2003

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.10  June (on right) and I with our good friends from my teenage years, John and Sheila Beak (now resident in Canada), in the Red Lion at Culross, Fife. Feb 2003

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.09  Ian and I with other exhibitors on the Glasgow, Scotland stand at Nor-Shipping 2003 in Oslo

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.08  With my SHIPS business partner, Ian Chisholm, at the Nor-Shipping Exhibition in Oslo. Jun 2003

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008


18.07  My double-sided 2003 business card. I carried out work across the range of markets and skills indicated

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.06  Anne at her favourite vista just south of Ardvasar. Oct 2002

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.05  With Anne Gruber at dinner in the Ardvasar \hotel, Skye. Oct 2002

A Quieter but Busy Life 1996-2008

18.04  My eldest son, Alastair, on a visit to Edinburgh, one year before he died in Aug 2001