First Person with Allan Crow
Dear Bill Walker, Finally, that’s plain Mr Walker - how does that sound?
Sting a little bit? Maybe irk you slightly?
Despite your very best efforts, the trappings of office have finally been ripped from your hands - the same hands you shaped into a fist to blacken the eye of a woman two weeks before you married her.
The same hands which now stand convicted of 23 assaults over three decades.
The same hands you threw up in horror and outrage when the allegations of domestic assault were first revealed by the media.
Convicted in a court of law, ostracised by your peers, publicly criticised by your own family, and condemned across society, and yet, those hands still had to be prised, finger by finger, from the trappings and status that come with the initials ‘MSP’
Faced with protests outside Parliament, calls to stand down, and moves by your fellow politicians within it to slash your salary to pennies in the event of you being jailed, you finally, albeit grudgingly, took the hint.
Now, politicians caught doing wrong usually fall on their own sword. It’s called ‘‘doing the honourable thing.’’
Ring any bells, Bill?
Obviously not judging by the final blast of bluster as the door to your Parliamentary office slammed shut behind you for the last time.
And when you finally decided to go, you did so for all the wrong reasons.
There was no hint of an apology, no acknowledgement of your appalling, reprehensible conduct, no acceptance of wrong-doing, no sense of remorse or shame.
No, you only stood down because of the ‘‘media onslaught’’ which made it impossible for you to do your job.
Nothing to do with the 23 convictions for domestic assault that may just have shredded your credibility, authority and standing as a community leader and a man?
And having whinged at the media - the same media you just loved to court with your endless press releases welcoming this, supporting that (all complete with the obligatory photocall) - your PR man them commits possibly the most spectacular own goal I’ve ever seen by releasing a statement so bizarre, so ill-thought out, so appallingly presented, it actually stopped every newsroom in its tracks as someone said ‘‘guys, you got to see this ...’’
To attack one of your former wives in print having already been convicted of physically attacking her is beyond belief.
Seriously, Bill, did you pay for this advice? If so, please get a full refund!
The sight of your PR pal issuing grovelling apology after grovelling apology on every news bulletin was pure farce, but it was issued in your name so, ultimately, you must take responsibility.
So, here’s my own PR advice - and it’s free of charge as I wouldn’t want any of your dosh anyway.
Leave the spotlight with whatever shreds of dignity you can find, and spend the first of many, many long nights staring into the mirror in the hope you finally recognise the person responsible for your downfall. Handy hint - he’s the guy staring back at you.
Protest all you like, but the verdict of the court and the people is pretty damning - you are a contemptible bully, just like all men who attack, abuse or threaten the people they once promised to love, respect and protect.
There are no excuses. There is never justification.
Raise a hand and you destroy all trust.
Raise a hand and you damage lives, possibly forever - bruises may fade, but memories never do. These scars may not be seen but can still split as raw as any cut.
That, old Bill, is your legacy. You proud of it? Whether or not you go to jail, you’re absolutely finished as a politician and as a man with any standing or respect.
No group will want you as a spokesman.