Tuesday 11th September 2018
Is Jackie History?
© John Black 2018

Politics is all about power and influence. As the saying goes, power corrupts.

This reporter can reveal that there are skeletons in her closet.

A Vale of Leven woman was suffering from cancer. The postcode lottery meant that she and her family would have had to move to Newcastle to get treatment on the NHS. To be treated in Scotland, she would have had to pay for the new drug and the family could not afford the 10,000 cost.

As is usual with such things, Jackie Baillie MSP got lots of print coverage in her efforts to capitalise on the plight of her constituent.

All of the political bluster did not get the woman any closer to treatment.

It so happened that I had 10,000 in my bank account at the time.

I went to the Beatson and had a meeting with the nursing sister who counsels patients and family members.

I told her that I would pay for the treatment.

My anonymous intervention unlocked the political barrier. This sorry state of affairs could not reach the front pages of the local paper.

The patient got the treatment. Jackie Baillie got the credit.

In fact Jackie Baillie milked the situation for months after.

She even insisted on accompanying the patient on a visit to her consultants "To make sure that the treatment was correct"

This self-sacrifice and dedication of Ms Baillie was duly noted in the press.

What does Ms Baillie know about cancer treatment?

What does she know about ethics?