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Don’t you wonder sometimes?

Posted on August 24, 2023 by

About sound and vision, we mean.

Three hundred and forty grand?

Maybe 800 or so delegates – our estimate, and roughly 1% of the party membership at the time – attended the SNP conference in the cavernous and mostly-empty P&J Live arena in Aberdeen last October. (Capacity 15,000.)

For comparison purposes this is what the venue looks like when it’s full, for someone called Gerry Cinnamon. (No, us either, although apparently he did have a single get to No.39 in the charts a few years back. From the name we’d assumed he was the front man of a Stone Roses tribute act.)

That means that something like £425 a head was spent providing delegates with “audio visual”, whatever that actually means, for the three-day event. It would have been cheaper to send them all to Disneyland Paris to see the New Year fireworks.

We’ve asked a few people in the trade, and nobody can even begin to come up with an estimate of how you could possibly spend that much money on AV for a political party conference of a few hundred people. The accounts do not break down the figure.

At one point a party source did suggest that the enormous onstage screen – not a projection, as you might reasonably expect, but an actual physical screen about 30 yards wide – might conceivably have been the culprit.

It would seem a massive, insane extravagance for a cash-strapped party (and God only knows where they store it the rest of the year), but when you’re blowing £107,000 on a camper van that you just park on the CEO’s mum’s drive and never actually use for anything, we suppose such things seem relative.

However, we did some digging and it looks like the giga-screen was in place at least as far back as 2019, so that put us back to square one in terms of explaining the vast expenditure in 2022. [And please note that we’re far too classy to make a joke about the width of screen you need to get Kirsten Oswald or Ian Blackford in.]

But in any event it’s not even nearly the weirdest thing in the SNP’s 2022 accounts.

There’s also this, for example.

The Parliamentary Levy is a deduction from their salary that SNP MPs are required to pay to party funds, ostensibly to cover some of the party’s operating costs, such as office rent and employee wages. We’re reliably informed it’s £250 a month (£3,000 a year) per M/SP.

(The accounts say it makes up 7% of party income, which in 2022 was £4,248,625. That means the levy generated just under £300,000 in 2022, which squares pretty well with £3,000 a head from around 110 M/SPs.)

The only people who pay it (and who can therefore be “debtors” in this context) are those MPs and MSPs, which suggests that several of them – at least seven – failed to cough up some or all of their share, to the tune of almost 20 large. We wonder who couldn’t spare the £250 out of their £7,200-a-month pay packet, and why?

Someone who had plenty of money to spare was former CEO Peter Murrell. He lent the party £107,000 of his own personal cash to help it with post-election cash-flow in 2021. The majority of it still hasn’t been paid back, even though Murrell is no longer a party employee.

Of course, they might be short of readies, having blown an astonishing £470,000 on IT – a pretty hefty bill when it’s only two years since you laid out £285,000 on the same thing, and you only have around 25 employees.

That’s £30,000 PER STAFF MEMBER on computers and software in 36 months. The SNP either has some really expensive taste in software, or it’s building a secret army of android stormtroopers.

(The top-tier pricing for Salesforce CRM is actually only £264/user/month, which for 25 employees would be £79,000 a year, meaning there’s still almost £400,000 to be accounted for.)

Then there’s this:

(We apologise for the low quality of these images, they’re as supplied on the Electoral Commission website. They’re basically a PDF of low-res pictures rather than text, which means that as well as being hard to read they’re impossible to search, which hasn’t always been the case – 2020 and 2021 were proper searchable text docs – and which we suspect is deliberate on the part of the party.)

A similar disclaimer about members lowering their payment levels appeared in the 2020 accounts, with COVID rather than the cost-of-living crisis getting the blame.

The thing is, they’re absolutely bare-faced flat-out lies.

The above graph shows that payments per member actually shot UP in both 2020 and 2022 (there was no such disclaimer in 2021, when levels were flat). Since 2019, in fact, the amount of money paid to the party by the average member has rocketed by an inflation-busting 55%, from £17.88 in 2019 up to £27.69 last year.

However many gullible saps are left in the SNP, they’re being milked hard. But then there does seem to be one born every minute.

One other interesting thing we noticed is that while almost every line in the accounts is accompanied by a numbered explanatory note, one that isn’t is the tripling of the amount spent on legal fees (this, of course, being long before anyone was arrested in connection with Operation Branchform) – an additional £118,000 of members’ money compared to 2021.

And another line NOT accompanied by an explanatory note is conference income.

We’re not really sure how you manage to generate half a million quid in income from a few hundred delegates rattling around an arena for three days – we don’t imagine the SNP is getting the bar receipts – but whatever the answer is, it’s clearly something the party doesn’t want to talk about.

There was a bit of a fuss about cash-for-access a few years ago (and other SNP conferences have made significantly more money than this one), but there’d need to be one hell of a lot of corporate shmoozing going on at a few thousand quid a time to get to half a million oh now we understand.

Still, you do need to scrabble up some cash when you’re losing members at the rate the SNP is. The filing reveals that almost 10K have bailed out in the first six months of 2023 alone. That’s an accelerating exodus – it took two years to lose 20,000 members from the party’s peak of 126,000 at the end of 2019, but only another 18 months to shed another 30,000.

The accounts are a goldmine for the inquisitive, but with a UK election looming in the next 12 months (average campaigning cost circa £1.5m), if the SNP doesn’t stumble across an actual goldmine pretty soon things might be about to get a little hairy.

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0 to “Don’t you wonder sometimes?”

  1. Stephen O'Brien says:

    The Murrells needed a telly that size, to watch it from their campervan parked in Dunfermeline. Maybe for a drive-in movie.

  2. Dan says:

    Numberwang! #SNPStylée

  3. Captain Yossarian says:

    There may be news coming down the tracks that will decapitate the SNP. At some point it may come thick and fast. Don’t replace them with Labour. That just replaces one mafia organization with another. I remember Sturgeon standing-up at Holyrood to say: “They say that Douglas Ross is mediocre, but mediocrity is a far ambition for Douglas Ross that he will never, ever get close to”. It sounded like crap to me but John Swinney thought it was great and was laughing away. I understand the clock is ticking on these two now. Another fabulous piece of investigative journalism, by the way.

  4. TheeForsakenOne says:

    Not sure if they count this to conference income in the accounts but I’ve heard several groups mention that the cost of renting booths at the conference are extortionate which, honestly, I could see adding up to a fair chunk of that income.

  5. John Main says:

    Superb journalism.

    Nobody does it better.

  6. Iain More says:

    Membership was collapsing under the MI6 Agent Wokist Sturgeon and it continues to collpase under under the MI6 Agent Useless Yousef. The Gold seam is now tapped out. The SNP is fast becomg an American Mining Ghost Town under the Wokist leadership of MI6 Agents.

  7. Captain Yossarian says:

    It looks to me as if they have another source of income. Whatever it is no-one knows. But, the SNP can just tap them for cash whenever they need to.

  8. Doug says:

    Apparently cinnamon is good for reducing blood pressure. Maybe the SNP hierarchy should buy £600,000 worth.

  9. socratesmacsporran says:

    Back in the days when Rugby Union was strictly amateur. and the high heid yins at the top of the various unions went through club accounts with a fine-tooth comb, it was common knowledge that certain leading Welsh clubs could be relied upon to come up with weird and wonderful purchases in the accounts.

    Who at the top of the SNP has Welsh ancestors? Maybe they’ve been taking lessons from family history.

  10. AnneDon says:

    I believe the real deluge of departing members started in January 2020. It had nothing to do with the pandemic, which hadn’t hit the UK then.
    The people I knew who left (often after decades of membership) were leaving in response to the statement Nicola Sturgeon made on the day the UK Brexited, when they realised she was never going to lead us to our independence. They were people who had held many offices in their branches, the folk who train the canvassers. I had met them during #indyref as they were members of our Yes group, which covered the same area. They had been active during the lean years, and Sturgeon, Murrell and co had sickened them so much they left.
    The statement SNP HQ later put out claiming it was all down to the pandemic was a total lie.(No longer news, of course)
    Folk were sending in heartfelt resignation letters and being brushed off with a short, boilerplate email. No wonder the Sturgeonites refused to give the information people needed to find out what was happening in their party.
    And no wonder they’ve brought Foote, who was part of that clique, back as CEO. They dare not risk appointing anyone who might shed light on their shenanigans.

  11. Nemisis Benn says:

    If MPs and MSPs are kindly donating, say, £3,000 each per annum are they also payong income tax on this money? Or does the SNP claim Gift Aid as well (the mugs still pay the tax, but the cup is a bit fuller!)

  12. Graeme says:

    Only recently discovered Gerry Cinnamon cause I’m old and have children who talk about such things. Can thoroughly recommend. He pulled in ove 100,000 punters to Hampden Park last summer and had the place bouncing.

    A bit like Nicolas glory days at the hydro but more energetic

  13. Ian McCubbin says:

    Great journalism Stu.
    Where their money comes from is probably one or two we’ll known rich supporters.
    But the overall creative accounting to try to dispel the ‘lost ‘3/4 of Million pounds is hardly believable.
    Looks like this Nu SNP are broken fir the coming general election.
    Even if the rich supporters donate NU SNP has less than half the activists in my area it used to.
    I imagine this is reflected nationally in Scotland.
    Alba and ISP rising hopefully.

  14. Ian McCubbin says:

    Great journalism Stu.
    Where their money comes from is probably one or two we’ll known rich supporters.
    But the overall creative accounting to try to dispel the ‘lost ‘3/4 of Million pounds is hardly believable.
    Looks like this Nu SNP are broken for the coming general election.
    Even if the rich supporters donate NU SNP has less than half the activists in my area it used to.
    I imagine this is reflected nationally in Scotland.
    Alba and ISP rising hopefully.

  15. Robert Hughes says:

    With these last two posts alone , you’ve done more critical analysis & rational exposition than the entire collection of stiffs , gifs, hacks n crackerjacks that pose as the * Scottish * Press .

    Exemplary journalism .

  16. Kcor says:

    Haven’t the SNP’s England based auditors stated that they don’t have a clue whether the accounts are true or false?

    IMHO they are fraudulent, full stop.

    Funds have been stolen or have been handed over to their cronies, and then hidden as SNP expenses.

    Who were the Audio Visual costs of £339,117 paid to?

  17. Mi6 and Westminster are probably supplying SNP with untracable money as they want a slow lingering demise of the party and in this way keep independence away miles down the road almost out of sight.

  18. Johnlm says:

    Where’s Paul Baxendale-Walker working these days?

  19. Suz says:

    “we don’t imagine the SNP are getting the bar receipts”
    You’d be correct in that imagining. At the 2019 conference in the same venue, at lunchtime the two small cafes were full and there were no seats in the communal areas (you weren’t allowed back into the auditorium with food either) Rather than sit on the floor I thought I’d try the restaurant on the top floor that I’d spied earlier. As I ascended on the escalator I was confronted with a certain Mr Murrell, standing right at the edge of the escalator, looking like the world’s creepiest and most obnoxius bouncer. He was physically preventing anyone from entering the restaurant (which was closed and in darkness anyway) I’m imagining because there was a bar in there and they didn’t want the faithful having access to Dutch courage and asking awkward questions back in the auditorium. As a result I ended up sitting on cold concrete downstairs with a sad sandwich along with several other delegates. I was less than impressed.

  20. Meindevon says:

    Graeme 8.02pm I was there at Hampden last summer. Like you I was made aware of him by my (half Devonian) son. It was absolutely cracking. Rev, I would have thought he was right up your street. Diamonds in the Mud makes me greet every time.

    Anyway, no clue as to what has gone in in the SNP hierarchy the last few years. It’s mortifying and many folks down here love bringing their failure up. To leave the door open for SLab to come back will be their biggest fail if it happens. Well second biggest, I suppose. And if that happens Scotland will probably never recover. How Sturgeon sleeps at night I don’t know.

  21. Merganser says:

    Meindevon @ 9.07.

    Hanging by her feet from the rafters I reckon. It’s easy when you’re bats.

  22. Charles (not the R one) says:

    Meindevon wrote :

    “How Sturgeon sleeps at night I don’t know.”

    How about tucked up cosy in bed with, or dreaming about, her girlfriend?

  23. JakeDM says:

    I’m just wondering where they’ll show Foote’s second income from the security services on the books next year?!

    I’m joking of course, but if I worked for the security services, the first person I would have targeted after 2014 was the Daily Record Editor.

  24. Mac says:

    Not even read the 2022 accounts. But just looking at the stuff highlighted above… it is not a good start.

    The 666k in ring fenced funds is gone.

    It was never ring fenced.

    So of course you will not find it now, many years after it was all spent.

  25. Peter Wilson says:

    It’s probably best not to confuse the AV/IT spend as being something to do with the conference: I suspect it’s all to do with kitting out the 2nd floor offices at Gordon Lamb House as a state of the art TV studio. The work for this went on all through Covid lockdowns – I watched the work being carried out each day when I walked my dog down Crichton Close/Jackson’s Entry each morning and I understand from those in the know that around £350k was spent on this but I’m not aware of this resource ever having been used since it was installed. Indeed, I haven’t seen any of the staff back in the office since Covid. One other point: the SNPs Jackson’s Entry hq is less than 20 metres from BBC Scotland’s Edinburgh Studios in the very same Jackson’s Entry.

  26. Barry says:

    I attended conference a few years ago with a trade stand and I’m sure we had to fork out £8k for a 4m x 3m area. Trying to think how many there were – probably about 30 ish maybe? And we were in the smallest size of stand.

  27. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Gerry Cinnamon wrote and performed the song Hope Over Fear the Indy rally in George Square ahead of the IndyRef. It was also released as a single.

    Surprised you haven’t heard of him Rev as his opinion of the music industry is a lot like your opinion of the mainstream news media.

    “The only reason I’m in this game is because it’s full of imposters ruining music and my very existence annoys them and it pleases me. If you’re a working class musician hearing this or reading it and you respect the art of song writing more than the art of pretending then you have a responsibility to get involved. There’s a war on for real music and if you’re sound and can write decent tunes then you’re on the front line whether you like it or not.”

    He’s worth a listen.

  28. Mac says:

    The missing 666K was spent, and not even remotely recently.

    The closing balance of cash held today (and for a long time) by the SNP is peanuts versus the missing 666k balance.

    Accounting by definition seeks to capture everything. “to be held accountable”.

    Yet some think the missing 666k is hidden up Murray Foote’s arse and will appear out of no where on the SNP’s books.

    The money is long since spent. That is why you cannot find it. Like that fiver in your wallet you spent in 1995. It is gone man.

  29. Alf Baird says:

    Jockanese Wind Talker @ 11:21 pm

    “He’s worth a listen.”

    Aye yer richt, an mair than thon, he’s (b)raw Scottis cultur, an thay Scots fowk puir luve Gerry man. Scottis naitional consciousness bigtime.

    googell – Gerry Cinnamon – Canter (Live at Hampden Park)

  30. robertkknight says:

    The rancid SNP…

    The gift that keeps on giving.

    The way things are going, Murray Foote will go down in history not as the guy who snatched Indy from Scotland with the tissue of lies called “The Vow”, but as the last CEO of the now utterly discredited and holed below the waterline SNP.

    Like a dinosaur stuck in a tar pit, there can only be one outcome…

  31. Alf Baird says:

    robertkknight @ 11:48 pm

    “the last CEO of the now utterly discredited and holed below the waterline SNP”

    Yes Robert, this guy was head of comms for SNP over the last couple of years during which time half the membership left. A couple of years as CEO should finish the job. The SNP is run by the British state, same as Starmer’s Labour.

  32. Shug says:

    what is the name of the audio visual company and who is behind it

  33. David Hannah says:

    I’ll say it. They are stealing all that money.

    Every single one of them is a crook.

    Cash for access, did Theresa May pay for access before the hotel off records, hotel meeting when Nicola capitulated?

    Did the Israeli lobby pay for access to the SNP? Probably.

    The military industrial complex? It’s an honour Mr Zelensky, Stephen Flynn says.

    The 400,000 dead. It is an honour.

    Bury the SNP.

  34. PhilM says:

    @Peter Wilson
    I am confused by your post but I have tried to think through the content of what you’ve posted.
    Can you explain the phrase “it’s probably best not to…” I am unclear why such a phrase would be used unless you’re being ironic.
    If we’re dealing with accounts, then surely confusion (as you suggest) has no relevance, but if there IS confusion in the way you suggest, then the document excerpted above would not be genuine. That need not necessarily be a problem but the document has been ‘uttered’, therefore a reasonable person examining such contradictory information would come to the view that there must be a problem.
    If money has allegedly been spent on audio-visual ‘matters’ for a national annual conference – that’s the truth that the document says about itself – and yet your eye-witness testimony and your personal enquiries inform WoS readers that a huge amount of money has been spent on a state of the art studio which has not even been used, then these contradictory statements might lead a reasonable person through the use of objective logical thinking to the reasonable suspicion that this appears to be a straightforward case of embezzlement.
    The funds were to be spent on a specific conference at a specific place during a specific time-period – the accounts say this and there should be evidence for it – yet you are saying that you personally witnessed something that suggests a completely different explanation i.e. that this organisation’s funds, listed as audio-visual conference expenses, may have been ‘converted’ for a completely different purpose.
    As I understand it, that conversion would be considered by a fraud specialist as an example of embezzlement. I am not suggesting that at all. I am trying to make sense of the contradictory information in the above article and Peter Wilson’s personal testimony.
    A member of Scotland’s fourth estate, doing some straightforward investigative journalism, should surely be able to discover what this all means. I shall be looking forward in the next few days as one of our esteemed national reporters treats this important topic with the seriousness it deserves.
    In the meantime, I wonder if our resident accounting whizz, Skip_NC has a view on this matter…

  35. David Hannah says:

    The entire cabal – the sturgeon cabal – will have bought themselves the latest apple laptops… Sorry. You’ve bought Sally, and the rest of the gravy bus a new I phone. You’ve bought Nicola the lastest apple laptop.

    They must think the cops are thick.

    That’s where all the It money has gone. On gifts for themselves you just know it.

  36. David Hannah says:

    All aboard the gravy bus?

    Who wants the latest I-Phone.

    Well put it down as audio visual?…

    Get tae f*ck.

    Where’s the missing 600K Nicola? Where’s the missing money?

  37. charlie says:

    aw that poppy went somewhere to some burd’s company or a guy dressed up like a whore’s company. The money’s gone. The SNP’s giving it out while it’s still there. much like the college I used to work for, gone now for the teachers and staff but the pensions for the management still there. That’s a general observation on British management culture, which says let’s have a summer of independence/advertising/ new campaigning and dae zero per cent of fuck all. Pocket your money and see if it works next salary cheque. You can guess the next word

  38. A Scot Abroad says:

    I’m unsure if another political party has gone bust before in British history, but the SNP may be about to. Those accounts look incredible, in the literal sense.

  39. twathater says:

    Shurely there must be shom mishtake, I mean if income is X amount and expenditure is X amount the items listed in expenditure and outgoings have to be provable and traceable, but is that not where a competent honest firm of accountants would have to satisfy themselves that all of the items listed as outgoings and expenditure actually existed and documentation and evidence was in place to ratify that situation , and surely if that is not the case the competent and honest firm of accountants would have a duty of responsibility to inform the relevant authorities that they are not satisfied with the evidence being presented as an honest example of financial propriety,in this day and age the authorities are extremely concerned about money laundering , surely it would make sense for the authorities to ensure that all is above board and no impropriety is taking place by using GHOST figures to balance the books

  40. Captain Yossarian says:

    It will all come down to an evidence backed point of detail in the end. They tried that with Alex Salmond and they couldn’t make it stick. Can they make it stick this time?

  41. Mel says:

    If my memory serves me well, in previous accounts there are showing high conference costs, pretty sure the costs for AV was one of the stand out figures. I remember being gobsmacked. If I’m correct – worth checking – then this isn’t a cost to buying anything, simply a hire cost.

    Thought at the time it seemed a good way to exaggerate costs if you don’t need to declare specifics.

  42. Robert Hughes says:

    With these last two posts alone you have done more critical analysis & rational exposition than the annual output of the collection of line-toeing , dissembling monkeys-with-keyboards that pose as ( with a few honourable exceptions , eg Kevin McKenna ) the ” Scottish ” Press Corps .

    Exemplary J.O.U.R.N.A.L.I.S.M .

    Read n learn o ye wretched hacks of the Earth

  43. John Main says:

    I’ve just had a wee mini-break in Wee Ginger Dug Land, to see what colour the sky is there (and explore their mither tongue). Man, it’s refreshing and innarestin to see things from a different slant. Here’s some of the facts I learned:

    NS is loved cos she uses her time and money to help the poor.
    The International Community is watching us to see how she is treated.
    The accounts are all good.
    Alba is infected with rabies.
    SNP membership is rising.

    I could go on.

    Anyways, I thoroughly recommend it to all Wings BTL readers who fancy a weekend away. It’s a great place for a wee holiday, but like Edinburgh, you really wouldn’t want to live there.

  44. Breeks says:

    ” The accounts are a goldmine for the inquisitive, but with a UK election looming in the next 12 months (average campaigning cost circa £1.5m), if the SNP doesn’t stumble across an actual goldmine pretty soon things might be about to get a little hairy…”

    £1.5 million? Chicken feed.

    “ A proposed £2.1bn subsea electricity “superhighway” between England and Scotland has now had planning consent by all necessary authorities approved.”

    Looks like they’re going to flatter Scotland with a generous supply of …. Oh.

  45. Robert Louis says:

    With London’s ‘man in Scotland’, Murray Foote, firmly ensconced within the SNP as chief executive, the demise of the party will continue.

    It is abundantly clear, that since 2014, London and its ‘security’ apparatus, have been busy infiltrating the independence movement. stick and carrot style.

    For example if Some clown were found to be accessing kiddie porn, well MI5 can make the charges disappear, provided they work on the inside to undermine and defer any serious moves to independence. As a bonus, if they do a really good hatchet job, they could get a BBC TV series and a book deal/recording contract. Or maybe you are a well known SNP MP, but your boyfriend/girlfriend has been found doing something they shouldn’t – London can make it all just ‘go away’ – at a price.

    Or, the other way around, how about getting an easy job at Glasgow University (and it does seem to be a ‘thing’ there) – you’ll get to call yourself ‘professor’, no matter how thick you actually are. Imagine the ‘prestige’ of telling all your friends that suddenly you are a ‘professor’. Pretty cool huh? All you need do, is keep smearing Alex Salmond, a wholly innocent man, who seriously DOES want to lead Scotland to independence.

    It is blindingly clear, that London now controls the SNP, merely as a vehicle to funnel pro independence sentiment – to keep the natives from getting too restless. Designed to give the illusion of pushing for independence, lots of moaning, questions at PMQ’s etc.. but NEVER any direct action to get Scottish democracy.

    Sadly, their are still lots of Scots who cannot see this, even after the SNP made the chief architect of ‘the vow’ in 2014, their chief executive. As the old saying goes, their are none so blind, as those who will not see.

  46. DavidT says:

    Doing MSM’s job again. They’ll be busy copy-and-pasting this morning.

  47. robertkknight says:

    “How about a magic trick… I’m gonna make this ring-fenced six hundred grand… disappear…”

    If it were tasked to me, I’d invent a bunch of new ‘ghost’ members, who are conveniently outside Scotland and/or only wish to join ‘HQ Branch’ and not get involved in local campaigning, (to avoid CA membership secretaries getting sus’), then allocate a hefty % of the IndyRef2 funds to them for their annual subs and multiple small (unregistered) donations, and weave these through the accounts. This having the added bonus of artificially inflating the membership figures whilst allowing for the ring-fenced funds to be spent elsewhere.

    Coupled with ludicrous amounts of that spending elsewhere on dodgy items, equipment, functions, etc. (receipts scribbled on napkins are acceptable) plus credit card expenditure to make your eyes water, and…


    Your six hundred grand? It’s… gone…

  48. Marie M says:

    Hi breaks very interesting article,I take it Scotland will get to pay for connection to this new grid in order to power 2 million homes in the UK. How lucky are we?

  49. Den says:

    Unbelievable, Who signed off this set of account? Hans Christian Andersen ?

  50. stuart mctavish says:

    If we’ve been too clever by half its a honey pot & SNP will have mirrored the way UK gov accounts for itself in order to answer every question with a dossier along the lines of, heres how the permanent civil service does it in dept of treasury, culture media & sport, trade & industry, coughid & ppe, etc. before exploring the old parliament’s authority to execute contemporary legal experiments – such as pre trial proceeds of crime and civil asset forfeiture (ie on grounds of arbitrary policing)

    That said, an alternate explanation for the media expense might be to pay an army of internet warriers that were either:
    (a) silenced by not dissimilar methods to those that saw Prigozhin kidnapped from exile in Belarus and put on a moscow st peterburg flight after only 2 months interrogation, or
    (b) working closely with the authors of the vow for last 8 years to create a utopia for English deviants

    If (a), solution might be to focus efforts on ensuring a disproportionate number of (non deviant) Scots find work with starlink & truth social rather than say, upping the budget to build a competing system pre Indy.

  51. Breeks says:

    DavidT says:
    25 August, 2023 at 7:27 am
    Doing MSM’s job again. They’ll be busy copy-and-pasting this morning.

    But isn’t that appropriate DavidT, since the SNP are so determined to do the BritNat Unionist’s job for them?

    Where do you actually stand DavidT when you manifestly expect the SNP to get a pat on the back for selling Scottish Independence down the river?

    Please explain. Or do you simply snipe and go?

  52. Karen says:

    Off topic – I’m sure Patick Harvie shouting “bigot!” at a heckler breaches the ministerial code?

  53. Jontoscots21 says:

    Brilliant and piercing analysis Stu. You go so far as to itemise the likely cost per staff member of SalesForce. For those not in the know this is the customer /member engagement tool sold worldwide by the woke California corporation and its CEO Marc Benoit. Maybe they gave it to all branch secs and membership secs, and maybe there were a few freebies for the Murrell’s and their gang. In any case it’s the sort of detail that if a well a well padded Scottish mainstream journalist was asked to uncover, it would’ve the equivalent of the rest of deciphering string theory.

  54. desimond says:

    Bit harsh on Gerry Cinnamon, local boy made good and all that. Not his fault he doesn’t pander to bear watchers down South.

    Liked the “Lets all give £5” note…seen a few of them on Twitter. Jockholm Syndrome really is strong among them.

    BTW..Peter Wishart noted in latest Private Eye for being treated to a day out at Billy Joel at Hyde Park on July 7th by the Betting Lobby. Over £1100 quids worth no less. Im sure the puggie players in Perth will be happy to hear that.

  55. Black Joan says:

    Any Questions from Peterhead tonight should be worth catching. Alex Salmond and Stephen Flynn on the panel.

    Thank you for yet more actual investigative journalism, Rev.

  56. willie says:

    A most interesting and well researched article Mr Campbell.

    Brings into the clearest of focus as to just how bust in every respect the SNP is.

    The picture of thousands at conference not to many years ago compared to the picture of few hundred that attended the recent Aberdeen conference absolutely underscores the hard numerical facts re money and members.

    The SNP are done and the sooner gone the better. Their days as agents of the British state are coming to an end. But the demand for independence has not come to an end.

    Undernoted is an extract from a retired solicitor who recently published some independence securement strategy thinking. For me it reinforces how the independence train is not dead, but rather only the soon to be defunct SNP is dead.

    Here it is. And it is a route, which in part or in whole does not need a corrupted anti independence ” Trojan Horse ” devolution party like the SNP, but rather relies on existing legal rights accepted by the international community.

    “I suggest that the resolution should be drafted by a mix of legal experts, including at least one from our friendly state, but also one of our great writers, to ensure a text that stands comparison with some of our finest from the past. It would:

    Start with a declaration that prior to 1707 Scotland was a free, independent state playing a significant role in world affairs, that entered into a union, which a significant number of her population now reject, having demonstrated their disquiet on countless occasions and for good reasons. And

    That the UK government has repeatedly acknowledged that the Scottish people are a nation free to choose their own destiny, that it allowed a referendum, then made countless false promises, and that it now obfuscates and delays.

    As a result, modern Scots have been denied membership of the community of nations, have lost access to their major trading partners, and have lost their fundamental freedoms to travel, associate with friends and study abroad. They fear that worse is to come, citing the expressed enthusiasm by those in control of the UK Government for breaking International Law, plus threats to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, all voted for by the majority of English people while consistently rejected by Scots.

    Requests the United Kingdom to permit the Scottish Government to hold a second referendum, on such terms as may be negotiated, such referendum to be monitored by a UN agency to ensure fairness and in the case of the UK Government refusing to do so to declare the United Kingdom in breach of the United Nations Charter and to authorise the Scots to hold a referendum themselves.

    I envisage that the whole process could take several years, but it could start as soon as the political will existed to go ahead with it, as it must surely be within the mandate of a government elected with independence in its manifesto. The regret, of course, is that we didn’t start eight or nine years ago.

    If all went according to plan, a resolution would be debated and voted on, resulting in a formal request to the Court.”

  57. Breeks says:

    Black Joan says:
    25 August, 2023 at 9:58 am
    Any Questions from Peterhead tonight should be worth catching. Alex Salmond and Stephen Flynn on the panel.

    Thank you for yet more actual investigative journalism, Rev.

    Hmmm… timing.

    That Planning Approval I mentioned earlier for the power link to the English power grid takes it from guess where…. Peterhead.

    “ A proposed £2.1bn subsea electricity “superhighway” between England and Scotland has now had planning consent by all necessary authorities approved.”

  58. Ron Clark says:

    Be honest,,,who else got caught up in all the hype when Sturgeon came to power in 2014?

    We were the Party that was different from all those corrupt Unionist Parties.

    Our Party would never stoop so low as to actually steal money from Party funds.

    There would be no sex scandals.

    We would be whiter than white. All above board.

    Jump forward to today, and just take a minute to take in the devastation Sturgeon and her band of self serving thieving bastards have carried out on ordinary, everyday punters who innocently believed Sturgeon and her Party actually were different from all the rest.

    Sturgeon has now planted a racist Asian as leader of the SNP and a unionist Chief executive,,,both of whom don’t have one single fibre of Scotland becoming an independent nation in their body.

    And you can just picture Sturgeon saying to us:-

    “One nil to me Suckers”.

    She is a human wrecking ball who must be rejected by all indy minded Scots for ever more.

    This dirty stinkin evil bastard will rot in hell.

  59. Robert McAllan says:

    Aye Breeks, @7:08, ah huvnae heard Bute Hoose bummin’ thair chat aboot this. Ah wunner how?

  60. Black Joan says:

    Indeed, Breeks @10.35am. Salmond/Alba have been good on the energy injustice NewSNP is enabling.

  61. willie says:

    Don’t know how many have heard but no lesser a man than the thoroughly discredited James Francis Murphy, one time politician and Secretary of State for Scotland is now apparently the man advising Sir Keir Stammer on matters Scotland.

    If ever there was a man who was so widely despised before being kicked out by the electorate it has to be our James Francis Murphy. Who but who could forget the pitiful circus show of Murphy and his soap box tour of Scottish constituencies – or forget the seagull swoops when he set his soap box up on the promenade in Oban and had thereafter to abandon ship in a hurry.

    Well he’s back and poor wee Anas apparently has no say. Ah, bring back Murphy, bring back Murphy and remind us all of our yesterdays.

  62. TURABDIN says:

    Don’t you wonder sometimes were the nauseating English Daily Mail online, a medium which considers Scotland an ingrate region of the UK, to be made compulsory reading whether Scots would be quite so keen on that «Union»?
    Aversion therapy might just work.

  63. Mia says:

    Am I right that these accounts have been released by the EC after having being reviewed by the new auditors?


    That extravagant audiovisual expenditure sounds unbelievable (literally), like a convenient money pit. It is an astonishing £300,000 extra compared to the previous year.

    Actually, the entire conference expenditure looks like a money pit. The conference expenditure in 2022 is almost exactly £500,000 more than in 2021.

    500,000 is a beautifully nice round figure if you need to move large chunks of money around, isn’t it?

    According to the published accounts in the EC, the SNP claims to have received an income of £515,951 from the conference in 2022. That is roughly 2.5 times the income from conference they received in 2021.

    At a time when they are haemorrhaging members, one has to wonder which third parties are being so generous with the SNP and more importantly, why and in exchange of what.

    Are toxic polices like the GRR, the bottle scheme, the disaster of the ferries, the privatisation of the NHS by the back door, a sudden change in external policy views or the handing of Scotland’s stone of destiny to the English king the price tag of having such generous donors keeping the party just about out of bankrupcy?

    Looking at the published accounts, the conference and the item named as “miscellaneous” appear to be the only two items in the list of income sources which generated some form of increase in income from 2021.

    Further analysis of the miscellaneous income reveals that the “miscellaneous” increase comes from “legacy” and “parliamentary levy”. The income coming from every other source cited on the section “income” was lower than for 2021.

    This opposite trend for those two items is a bit intriguing, particularly when the party has alienated and haemorrhaged membership compared with previous years, so one would expect less generosity towards the SNP in the wills rather than more in the form of “legacies”. Did HM Queen Elizabeth RIP leave some “legacy” to the SNP in her will?

    The conference expenditure included in the accounts for 2022 is £569,853, That is almost an order of magnitude higher than their conference expenditure in 2021 (£64,068). That is an astonishing increase.

    569,853 – 515,951 = -53,902. This is the deficit generated by the conference. Remarkably, that deficit is far closer to the conference expenditure in 2021 than the official expenditure declared in the accounts. Mmm.

    The auditors must have quite a bit of fun looking at the receipts for that conference expenditure. I am assuming they were they presented with receipts.

    The conference income for 2021 was £195,526. Discounting from that figure the conference expenditure for that year, they made £131,458 in profit out of the conference in 2021. That is roughly double of what they spent. Seems like a good investment. Shockingly, in 2022 they made nothing. In fact, they lost money if we are to believe those accounts.

    So from being financially srewd in 2021 and using the conference successfully as a tool to raise funds (as you would expect a seasoned party would have learned to do), we are expected to believe the exact same people in charge, those lauded “election winners” went completely gaga and seemingly transformed the conference into a hopeless money pit and a tool rather efficient at attracting large sums of money in and immediately burn them away without giving the money much time to even touch the bank account before being rushed out again.

    Asking from the point of view a household wife, at what time did they decide to blow the budget in the conference? Because, and I am guessing, the total income they were going to receive from the conference would not be known until the conference was over. Or was it known before-hand? if it was, how? Is there any possibility at all that some income coming from other sources might have been mistakenly identified as “conference income” as well?

    In basic housekeeping budgeting, you would do your estimation of what you can afford to spend on the basis of the income raised by the same event the previous year. Judging by what they got in 2021, the over half a million pounds expenditure in the conference sounds like a huge extravaganza (a budeting failure). Unless, of course, somewhat they already knew beforehand how much money they had at their disposal because, and this is my pure imaginative speculation, let’s say, for example, they might have received the conference (or other source) income in advance???

    That lovely round £500,000 figure entering and immediately exiting the accounts leaving nothing but a deficit behind is intriguing.

    Unless you want to deliberately sink the party’s finances, you do not increase expenditure in the conference by almost 10 fold when you know your other expenditure is alarmingly surpassing your other income unless you know you will recover (or already have at your disposal) the amount spent at the conference plus the extra income you need to match your other expenditure. This is basic housekeeping financing.

    Either the leadership chose to throw the kitchen sink at the conference to accelerate the bankrupting of the party, or that extra money entering the party accounts thanks to the conference and immediately exiting through the same channel feels odd.

    There is another intriguing thing. If I did my calculation right, membership income has only decreased by a 9%. However, membership related expenditure have reduced by an astonishing 43%.

    Considering the inflation has increased the price of everything, the actual proportional decrease from 2021 to 2022 may be even bigger.

    Lower administrative costs point to having less members (and less administrative burden) to deal with. So, have membership figures reduced by 40% or they have suddenly became super-efficient at saving money when processing membership paperwork?

    Becoming super-efficient at managing membership related expenditure but simultaneously becoming rubbish at managing conference expenditure? mmm

    A few months ago they weren’t even able/prepared to to give a definite membership figure. Either they genuinely did not know how many members the party had, in that case one has to assume they could not know how much membership income they were receiving either, or they knew exactly how many members they had but could not reveal the figure because some income was entering the party accounts in the form of “membership” but coming from somewhere else (this is again pure imaginative speculation). “membership income” combined with a refusal to declare exact number of members becomes a very useful tool to include in the accounts income coming from somewhere else.

    A conveniently “fluid” membership figure could also become most useful when in need to inflate the vote count for a particular candidate.

    I also find rather intriguing that the Labour party accounts do not appear to explicitly include conference income or expenditure anywhere. The tory party, plaid, the libdems, the greens and DUP do.

    Labour has a large conference and one expects this event to be one of the biggest expenditure creating items in the accounts. So why is it not explicitly reflected in their accounts?

  64. TURABDIN says:

    Polly Toynbee, in the Guardian three days ago, managed the feat of singing the praises of Keir Starmer and his key rôle in the Rutherglen by-election without mentioning «Scottish Labour», the labour candidate or Anas Sarwar.
    He who pays the wee Scotch piper does call the tune.

  65. David Hannah says:

    I wonder if Gupta paid for access Nicola?

  66. Beauvais says:

    Devolution was the big mistake. It created a corrupt version of the SNP in little more than a decade and a half.

    Independence will not be delivered by elected politicians. It will be achieved by serious minded people.

    O/T See how Norway has first class competitors in abundance all over the Athletics World Championship events. That could have been Scotland too if we’d voted the right way nine years ago.

  67. desimond says:

    Devolution was the big mistake. It created a corrupt version of the SNP in little more than a decade and a half.

    Independence will not be delivered by elected politicians.


    Wasn’t Alex Salmond the leader of a Devolved Scotland when he tried to deliver Independence. What part of that was corrupt on the SNP side?

  68. Beauvais says:

    Desimond @12:58

    The corruption in the SNP happened gradually. Careerists were drawn to the party as it became successful at Holyrood.

    Alex Salmond bears no blame for that process. He did a remarkably good job of running a devolved administration and came close to winning independence. All that in spite of the decay taking place in the SNP. The corruption of course accelerated like mad after Sturgeon became FM.

  69. TURABDIN says:

    When a process is prolonged inevitably it will develop weak points which those with corrupt intent may exploit.
    The independence process is far behind schedule and way off target.
    If this were a business the bungling management would be sacked.

  70. Jamie says:

    Very informative, well done.

    On a side note, Gerry Cinnamon wrote a really good song called sometimes about one perspective of growing up in a housing estate in Glasgow.

    It speaks to a lot of people who have experience of similar so that probably explains his popularity to some extent particularly in Glasgow.

  71. Kelpie says:

    Mia @ 11.24

    I wondered why there was no venue cost in 2021 and a quick search revealed that the 2021 conference was entirely online so not comparable at all. A better comparator would be the pre-covid 2019 conference at the same venue, and in 2019 conference cost was £833,092 (2018 – £695,424) while conference income was £718,846 (2018 – £683,833). BTW they got the venue at a bargain price in 2022, saving more than £120k

    Interestingly the cost for AV was higher in 2019 at £375,972 (2018 – £265,656) and ICT costs in both 2019/18 well north of £200k.

    Has the SNP been splashing cash extremely lavishly for several years or is this normal for a political party? Does anyone know costs for a similar-sized corporate event?

    The audit costs for 2022/21 are around 40% higher than 2019, I guess the auditors had significantly more work to do.

  72. dearieme says:

    I wonder whether some of the Parish Councils that existed in Scotland until about a century ago, were better run, and by higher calibre people, than the devolved government of Scotland.

  73. Mia says:

    “BTW they got the venue at a bargain price in 2022, saving more than £120k”

    How many attendees did they have at the conference in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015?

    Claiming there was a saving of £120,000 is only credible if you are not throwing away the money in the first place by hiring a ridiculously oversized venue with capacity for 15,000 when you are only expecting a tiny audience of less than 1000 and then you blow 300,000 in audiovisuals.

    Let’s look retrospectively at the conference income/expenditure from 2014 to 2008:

    In 2014 conference income was £357,738. Conference expenditure was £224,030. Profit made

    In 2013 conference income was £320,657. Conference expenditure was £192,417. Profit made

    In 2012 conference income was £330,430. Conference expenditure was £195,226. Profit made

    In 2011 conference income was £338,529. Conference expenditure was £193,917. Profit made

    In 2010 conference income was £243,946. Conference expenditure £156,137. Profit made

    In 2009 conference income was £278,049. Conference expenditure was £172,752. Profit made

    In 2008 conference income was £335,916. Conference expenditure was £195,192. Profit made

    Pretty consistent figures don’t you think? And every year since 2009 up to 2014 the party consistently made a similar profit during the conference. This is what you expect to see from a party that has been running for several years. Once you find a successful formula, you keep using it.

    From 2015 the figures started to change quite dramatically.

    In 2015, conference income was a wild £758,037. Conference expenditure was £664,722. Still made a profit though.

    In 2016, conference income was an even wilder £922,191. Conference expenditure was £709,907. Still a nice profit.

    In 2017, conference income was £747,467. Conference expenditure was £598,831. Still a very healthy profit.

    In 2018, conference income was £683,833. Conference expenditure was £695,424. First year since at least 2008 when they did not make a profit at all at conference. This is a turning point. What changed?

    From then onwards, the only year when they did not make a loss at conference was 2021, which is a year when their conference was online.

    What is fascinating though is that their conference in 2020 was also online and still they managed to make a loss! Conference income in 2020 was 142,358 while conference expenditure was 176,790. How on earth did they manage that?

    I am sure that, like me, you will have also noticed that the figures on both expenditure and income from conferences from 2015 onwards change wildly from one year to the next and not always towards an increase compared to the previous year.

    Bizarrely, the conference income recorded in 2022 is almost half the conference income recorded in 2016.

    If, as they claim in their website, their number of conference attendees keep increasing each year, and, according to the “Welcome” page of their brochure for their 2022 conference, “the SNP conference is one of the biggest political events in Europe attracting thousands of delegates, and members from all corners of Scotland, as well as organisations, businesses, observers and media from across the UK and further afield”, how do you explain that huge drop in conference revenue and costs?

    Costs of things have gone up since 2016, not down.

    The variability in the figures for conference income and expenditure per year since 2015 compared with the consistency observed from 2009 to 2014 is odd and denotes change in strategy. It suggests the “conference income” and the “conference expenditure” are coming from very different sources to those responsible for the conference income and expenditure from 2008 to 2014.

    If you look at their 2022 conference brochure “Conference Engagement Opportunities”, you see how they are rising money. In particular, the “sponsorship”, “branding” and “premier fringe events” sections of the brochure caught my attention.

    I wonder if those were the entry points for undesirables like the Gender and self ID nonsense, deviants, furries and paedo apologists, that flag were the gluton trans arrow is swallowing the LGB colours and other political undersirables from outwith Scotland made their way into party policy and through them gained access to our parliament. When did the SNP become a professional lobbyist entertainer instead of a political vehicle for Scotland’s independence?

  74. McDuff says:

    The SNP will have no difficulty finding the money for the GE as Westminster will happily provide the funds.
    Another brilliant piece rev.

  75. Brian Fleming says:

    Never heard of Gerry Cinnamon? Where were you in 2014.

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