Convicted abuser Bill Walker seems unlikely to step down as an MSP and while there are some avenues for removing his salary, at least while he’s actually serving his sentence, there doesn’t seem to be much Holyrood can do about it. Retrospective rule changes are incompatible with the European Convention of Human Rights (incidentally celebrating its 60th anniversary today). To be perfectly honest I’m tempted to think that the problem here is not with the arrangements for removing a sitting MSP against their will but with the way that the case was handled by the prosecution, particularly the choice of summary trial.
Bringing in overarching systematic changes to one system (Holyrood) to deal with a failure in another (how the prosecution handled the specific case and, perhaps, its attitude towards domestic violence in general) seems to ignore the actual problem. That said it’s really not OK for Bill Walker to remain in office, so in the spirit of getting the violent sod to stand down I propose that when he is referred to it is done so as “convicted violent abuser Bill Walker MSP” in much the same was as Brendan O’Neill was given a prefix by Stavvers.
Hopefully he’ll step down soon: I don’t think I could take regular protests against me at my place of work, but then he doesn’t seem a very self-reflective person and maybe in the mean time his continued presence will prompt Holyrood to have a look at problems with the way the Scottish justice system treats cases of domestic violence.