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How to make a coup

Posted on February 02, 2021 by

Having never been part of a political party, an area where Wings lacks expertise is in understanding the nuts and bolts of their operation, and how a party’s rules can be used to usurp their members’ power. We’re delighted to have someone equipped to provide a valuable insight into how that’s happened to the SNP in the last two years.

The following line is still a definitive statement in the SNP constitution:

“National Conference is the supreme governing and policy-making body of the Party.”

But in practice it is no longer the case. The 2018 redraft of the constitution centralised power in the Leader and in the NEC. The party Leader has sole and total power over policy – both in the manifesto and in government – and the NEC has sole power over who represents the party and what they are allowed to say.

So in effect, since 2018 the party elite – not the membership – has ruled the SNP.

(At present the centralisation of power is compounded by the fact that the Leader’s husband is CEO and can use the party administration to enhance his wife’s position.)

Communication between party branches is strictly controlled through top-down party structures. Remarkably, it’s only through ad-hoc social media routes that branches and members are able to find each other and interact. (There’s no reason why a branch directory couldn’t be provided with contact details of office bearers. There are many ways to do this which avoid GDPR or data protection issues.)

The National Conference notionally remains the supreme policy-making body, in that policies passed by conference become party policy, but there is no linkage between party policy and policies in the manifesto. There is no mechanism for members to force policies into the manifesto.

The manifesto is written by the Deputy Leader and signed off by the Leader, giving the leadership total control. There’s no requirement for the SNP to follow party policy when in government, and contentious policies like self-ID of gender and the Hate Crime Bill were never passed by conference. As policies are not required either for the manifesto or for government, conference has become a carefully stage-managed PR event as opposed to a policy-making body.

(The obvious solution being that the policy committee’s remit should be expanded to include responsibility for the manifesto.)

In between conferences, the party’s governing body used to be the National Council, a large body representing all wings of the party.

But in 2018 the National Council was replaced by regional steering committees and National Assemblies. The remit of the steering committees is not to hold the executive to account, nor is it to develop policy – their focus is on campaigning.

The National Assembly, meanwhile, is a networking event, devoid of any power. The party is happy to have the members deliver leaflets, but not to make policy.

The constitution gives the Leader the tools to ensure her supporters are promoted and any potential rivals or rival groupings can be disadvantaged. This is done through the party machine, run by the CEO. Supporters are rewarded with early vetting decisions, involvement and promotion at party events and paid party positions.

By appointing the Business Convener, the Leader effectively controls speaking spots at conference. Elections to most internal positions take place during conference, so the Business Convener can allocate numerous slots to leadership favourites to increase their profile and give them a significant advantage over other candidates.

These elections could instead take place prior to conference ensuring that all candidates have a fair and equal chance.

Only 70% of the NEC’s members are elected by Conference. With the rest not elected by and therefore not accountable to Conference, it’s difficult to claim the NEC is a proxy for Conference compared to the hundreds-strong National Council.

The NEC wields total power over who can stand for election for the SNP. The NEC appoints the vetting committees and sets the parameters under which they work. The NEC also controls vetting appeals – despite the fact that there’s already a separate Appeals Committee, elected by Conference, which would obviously be the legitimate entity for the job.

During vetting conflicts of interests can arise, with candidates for selection sitting on (and even chairing) vetting panels that vet their potential rivals, as happened during the recent round of selections. Clearly it’s just basic common sense that no candidate should serve on a vetting panel with the power to block their own rivals.

The NEC has the power to alter any rules not explicitly reserved to Conference. This even includes altering the NEC’s own Standing Orders. Other rules they can alter include the elected members’ Code Of Conduct. This runs the risk of the NEC inserting conditions into the COC that an elected member would find impossible to accept, and therefore the elected member being forced out of the party, without those changes ever having been approved by conference.

The voting of the members of the NEC is secret, which is plainly bad for accountability. There should be no secret votes or SurveyMonkey polls – the NEC seeks consensus, but when votes are taken the members’ voting record should be added to the minutes.

There are nine affiliated party organisations, who each have a seat on the NEC. The affiliate also gets a minimum of six delegates to conference (the minimum for branches is just two). The constitution makes it very difficult to remove an affiliated organisation – they can only be disaffiliated by a conference resolution brought by the NEC, of which they are a member.

No minimum membership is needed for an affiliate, and given their disproportionate power they’re an easy vehicle for entryism and for a faction to consolidate control of the NEC even though it may represent only a couple of dozen people.

Rather than wait for the Deputy Leader’s report, which is being produced by a working group very heavily weighted towards a certain faction of the party, it would be best for branches to take the initiative and propose a resolution to change NEC membership by removing affiliated organisations. The affiliates can continue to propose resolutions and to socialise.

Another source of great friction, and accusations of bias in all directions, has been that the National Secretary receives all complaints about member conduct and then, on his own authority, decides which ones to pass to the Conduct Committee. This usurps the role of the Conduct Committee, who were ostensibly elected to do that job. Changing this would require only an e-mail address and some administrative support.

The issues above only scratch the surface of the issues with the 2018 constitution, but the core problem with it is tha the focus is on maintaining the power of the Leader and her supporters, as opposed to the primary aim of the constitution – independence.

The constitution exists to protect members’ rights and to protect party democracy, and when that fails we’ve seen that the result is a party making bad decisions.

.

Denise Findlay is a former SNP Conduct Committee member. A version of this article also appears on the excellent Yours For Scotland.

 

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    132 to “How to make a coup”

    1. Gordon Hay says:

      It is clear to me that Sturgeon is now little more than the SNP’s Communications Director (i.e. Press Officer), the real “leadership” of the party is vested in others.

    2. shiregirl says:

      This is great reading. There are many – including myself, who are seeing the machine for what it is. I’m disgusted.

      Thank you Denise.

    3. James Horace says:

      With the Rape Crisis Scotland update on the committees reaction to the red herring messages submitted to the salmond inquiry, I have a feeling this wont be the final Wings post of the evening.

      I am excited to see where the publication of the REAL messages comes from. Craig Murray, Kenny MacAskill, Wings or Alex Salmond himself.

      This will be a very interesting fortnight ahead. ?

    4. Liz says:

      Oh boy, we were all duped.
      The SNP is now broken.

      NS has used the massive membership, and the indy movement to futher her own agenda.

      There is now no doubt, after reading that.

      She has shat on the aspirations of Scots wanting a normal independent country.
      This is a massive be trayal.
      How much damage has she done?

      The wheels have now come off and it was her own arrogance and hubris that have done this.

      Tonight on twitter one branch spokesperson said, they had lost FOURTEEN % of their members over the weekend.
      Another said, their branch had folded due to lack of members.

      We are at the end game.
      Thanks Denise

    5. TNS2019 says:

      TNS2019 says:
      2 February, 2021 at 5:30 pm

      It strikes me (and I could be wrong because I am homo sapiens) that this moment is the time for SNP members to decide what type of party they want.
      It is a binary decision.
      Is what they are seeing OK?
      Or is it not?
      If they fall into the former camp, then they have no place in Scottish history, They have deserted reason, betrayed justice, and effectively defamed the founding fathers of Scottish nationalism.
      If the latter, they must now set out their stall.
      Labour are going through the same existential crisis. There is nothing new in this. It is politics.
      Stepping back from all of this and I see a great opportunity.
      Ditch the Murrells and their cynicism, their abuse of power, and their narrow-minded parochialism.
      Identify instead someone who can not only lead a party but a nation and forge its identity on the national stage.
      It is clearly not Sturgeon who can never, ever, be a Jacinda Ardhern.
      And it can never be Swinney.
      And nor can it be any of the lickspittles with craven personal ambitions who have supported them.
      This is a pivotal moment in the history of our nation.
      The annointment of the man or woman who takes us forward.
      The sword tht must be plucked from the stone is that of ‘justice’. The rule of law. Reason.
      Without those we are dead as a nation.
      For those prophesying doom, let us think of this as a moment of creation.
      It is the end of the old guard and the arrival of the new.
      If that person and those people exist.

      Why Swinney is a dead-man-walking: https://www.tns2019.org/new-blog-1/2021/1/29/the-charges-aga

    6. Ian McCubbin says:

      It is clear that the driving forces in the party are the minority groups affiliated to the party and not the ordinary members.
      I would be better using my voice through Trade union group as a member of SAU rather than as a branch member.
      But I won’t, because I don’t want position or power. I want Independence which seems more likely to have a chance with ISP gaining list seats and becoming independence opposition to SNP in Holyrood.

    7. Graham says:

      Ok, yeah, I get it now. Very difficult to vote SNP in good conscience.

      There is no pro independence party standing for constituency votes, right?

      Maybe we should abandon Indy ship and let It sink for now, until a Democratic Party worthy of Scotland’s vote is formed.

    8. Tom says:

      Prof John Curtice in Holyrood Magazine yesterday:

      “With no viable Plan B in sight, Curtice believes the SNP could opt for “Plan C”, essentially resurrecting their old position that a vote for them is a vote for independence.

      “It used to be SNP policy that if they won a majority of the MPs at Westminster or the MSPs at Holyrood, they would regard that as a mandate to pursue independence,” he says.

      “The reason they changed their policy (in favour of holding a referendum) was because they were trying to say to people that they could safely vote SNP without running the risk that they were voting for independence.

      “If you look at what happened in 2011, 38 per cent of those people who were in favour of devolution rather than independence voted for the SNP. Until very recently, the SNP have been dependent on the support of people who were not in favour of independence. A crucial thing that’s changed is that’s no longer true.”

      Curtice says that if the polls are right, the level of support for independence is such that a referendum is no longer “electorally necessary” to convince voters to back the SNP.

      He says: “Given the current level of support for independence, the SNP could go into an election and say a vote for us is a vote for independence and it doesn’t look as if it would make a difference to their level of support.”

    9. Graham says:

      @TNS2019 said “ It is a binary decision.”

      Binary? No, sorry those aren’t allowed in the SNP anymore.

      Non-binary only please.

    10. Bruce Hosie says:

      I left the party in 2016 when it was clear that power was being consolidated with the leadership and the members becoming nothing more than a cash cow and leaflet distribution. I would imagine most parties were similar but it was disgusting then as it is now. The SNP I hoped were different but even if the members want real change the chances of that are slim so many appear to be deciding to leave due to having little choice. I have never been a fan of Sturgeon, sadly her legacy will be not delivering a referendum and destroying a party which had so much potential to bring about real change. How sad it is to witness what we hoped was our salvation politically become the play thing of the woke with vested interests and to be in control of what has been described as a political family mafia on social media. We have come so close and the Murrells are going to destroy that, it’s all so Scottish.

    11. Beaker says:

      Interesting article.

      Also rather worrying.

    12. Bob Mack says:

      MONOPOLY. That’s it in one word.

    13. Betsy says:

      Over on Twitter Councillor Campbell is currently accusing James Kelly (Scot Goes Pop) of being a racist.

      https://twitter.com/JamesKelly/status/1356644208904396802

      I am aware James isn’t too popular round these parts but it seems to be an entirely unjustified attack. I can only assume our Woke chums have finally tired of calling everyone transphobes and moved on to accusations of racism.

    14. Meg merrilees says:

      Apologies if I’m being REALLY thick but HOW did the 2018 redraft come into existence?

      Was a redraft even suggested at conference that Year?
      Or is this Nicola’s ‘Henry V111th prerogative’ now –
      I want to do this, so let’s just change the constitution and then I can do it when and how I want. Maybe this all being redrafted alongside the Sexual Harassment Policy while the ‘team’ was ‘on a roll’?

      Incredible!

    15. Captain Yossarian says:

      TNS2019 – Dynamite sir….I hope everyone else reads this. I’m hoping that a week today, Alex Salmond will put all Scots out of their misery.

      I can only offer my full agreement on Mr Swinney. The most foul beast ever to feed at Holyrood.

    16. faolie says:

      You read things (thanks for this, Denise), you hear things, you see tweets, and nothing gets better. Everything just makes you feel worse about the Party and, crucially, about the drive (or lack of it) for independence.

      And yet, what do we do in May? There is no choice but to vote SNP, because if we don’t return the Party with a massive majority, we can kiss goodbye to independence. The UK government will see to that by locking us into the Union without an escape route.

      Today, I’ve read tweets from people saying that such and such an action or someone’s sacking, or the Alex Salmond stitch-up has tipped them over the edge and they’re not voting SNP at the election.

      Well, all I’d say to them is that this isn’t just some election protest vote where you get a chance to kick the ruling Party. If we don’t return the SNP at May’s election, Scotland’s chances of independence are toast. So think carefully about voting in May and where you place your cross on the ballot paper.

    17. Ian McLean says:

      What a shambles.

    18. Robert Hughes says:

      Thanks for that clear exposition of the mechanics of the SNP machine Denise ( and WoS ) .

      The disgraceful/disturbing total usurpation of power by the Murrells could not be any clearer .

      Equally shocking is how they were able to get away with it

      Was no one seeing what was happening ? Was the N.I.C.O.L.A hypno/psych/osis sufficient to turn anyone in it’s orbit into uncritical nodding-dogs ?

      ” this town needs an enema “

    19. PhilM says:

      Isn’t all of this just based on the Tony Blair/New Labour playbook?

    20. Andy Ellis says:

      This is just Kafkaesque. The more I hear about the SNP, the gladder I am I left.

      The organisation is plainly rotten to the core, and the SNP membership and branches must bear the primary responsibility for the sorry state of affairs detailed by Denise Findlay.

      It quickly became apparent to me when I was a member and wrote to the party complaining about their treatment of Gareth Wardell’s case that something was badly wrong: I didn’t realise quite how institutionally corrupt and nepotistic the party’s structures were.

      I trust the ISP are looking on and taking notes: the SNP is a great example of how NOT to do things. They have to ensure that their party uses best practices, openness, accountability and structures answerable to as many of the ordinary members as possible.

      Those of you who insist on staying shackled to the corpse of the SNP have some some explaining to do, and some urgent action to take. Get control of your branches and fix this: history will judge you harshly if you do not.

    21. Prasad says:

      Is there anything to stop them allowing Sturgeon to stay on even if she is proven to have broken the ministerial code?
      Seems like they can do what they like.

    22. Republicofscotland says:

      Jesus, the SNP really is the equivalent to The People’s Front of Judea.

      Its become the personal tool for Sturgeon and Murrell to push whatever f*cked up agenda that takes their fancy.

    23. Denise says:

      The constitution was created and signed of by Angus McLeod the erstwhile useless National Secretary

    24. Bob Mack says:

      It really must take some chutzpah to accuse Boris of being anti democratic on a daily basis, and then read Denise above.

      Do as I say, not as I do.

    25. Prasad says:

      Betsy says:
      2 February, 2021 at 6:41 pm

      God, another nutter.

    26. Wee Chid says:

      faolie says:
      2 February, 2021 at 6:46 pm

      “If we don’t return the SNP at May’s election, Scotland’s chances of independence are toast.”

      I think you have missed the point that the general feeling on here is that the chances are toast anyway – unless something is done to change the party from its current course of madness. Murrells have no intention of delivering independence. It might take a spell on no SNP at Holyrood to get a proper indy party back on track. WM are going to try to scupper our chances, whoever gets in.

    27. somerled says:

      If you remove Sturgeon & Murrell then what ?

      You still have Swinney, Yousaf, Forbes, Freeman, Russell, Sommerville, Hyslop, etc and i know some are retiring but will still have a voice in the party. Look at Mike Russell and what a waste of space as President he is. Those not directly involved in the Salmond Conspiracy are still guilty for not speaking out or speaking up. Then there is Derek Mackay who will no doubt be back sometime.

      The Westminster lot are as bad. If there ever is Indy, do you really want Blackford, Black, Blackman, Macdonald etc involved in running Scotland. Why are Hanvey, Whiteford, and a few others so silent on this. Are careers more important than integrity ?

      Thirteen years of this Scottish Government and over 20 years of Devolution but Scotland hasnt improved and in some areas like Education & Health we are going backwards.

      This Devolution disaster needs to end. You will never fix the SNP as there are too many MPs, MSPs, Councillors and members who are easily corrupted and you wont convince the majority to take the risk of going it alone. Membership of EU is uncertain and after the vaccine issue, do you really want to be in a union with them?

      There are two options in my opinion. The SNP is finished as its rotten throughout. A new Indy party like ISP with all decent ex SNP people but it needs big names likeSalmond, Macaskill Macalpine and Cherry now. Resign from SNP and sit as Independent or in new party. What are you waiting for?

      Alternatively and i know its not popular here but concentrate on WM reform in representation, financing, maybe the Federal option as its never been tried or close Holyrood completely?

    28. Bob Mack says:

      @Faolie,

      If nothing changes, then do we really want an SNP as described by Denise above having a working majority ?

      Not for me. I would prefer thst they had to rely on a party like the ISP to pass legislation. Keep them honest.

      Its how we vote to achieve that aim. We must certainly neutralise the Green vote at all costs as they are partners in crime with legislation proposals.

      Underpinning this is the assumption many voters will still vote SNP, but things can change.

    29. Dan says:

      Thanks for setting this out Denise and assisting folk to comprehend the internal Party processes.
      It now all seems rather familiar to this…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_law_of_oligarchy

      While I am at it… Keep up the great work you are doing Denise. I’m not sure how you and many others sustain the amazing level of effort you all commit to the cause, but what you all do is much appreciated.
      Stu linked to your twitter feed at the foot of the article but many miss the blue links, so I’ll tack it on again here. It’s well worth a follow or bookmark folks.

      https://twitter.com/GraceBrodie

    30. AllyReid says:

      Set up for absolute control, not healthy

    31. Dave M says:

      What an utter, utter shambles

    32. crazycat says:

      @ Meg Merrilees at 6.42

      Iain Lawson on Barrhead Boy’s Scottish Prism (https://www.barrheadboy.com/scottish-prism-2nd-feb-2021-iain-lawson/) explains that the changes were passed by Conference at a poorly-attended session.

      They were also “woven through” (to coin a phrase!) in such a way that each seemed innocuous on its own. It is only when they are put together as Denise has done here that their full cumulative effect is apparent.

    33. Hatuey says:

      If the ISP isn’t able or willing to commit to party democracy so that the membership gets to determine policy, and aren’t willing to enshrine that constitutionally so that it cannot be changed, then the ISP can go (like The SNP, Labour, and the rest) and take a flying fuck.

      Reminder: in a democracy politicians are supposed to be servants, not masters.

    34. Mia says:

      “The 2018 redraft of the constitution centralised power in the Leader and in the NEC”

      Stu, may I ask when in 2018 did this redrafting of the SNP constitution and the big changes started to take place?

      Was that before or after Mr Salmond was pushed to resign on 29 August 2018?

      Could his resignation from the SNP be seen as the real objective behind the complaints procedure by the dark forces inside the SNP, Sgov and British state to take absolute control of the party and derailing it as the vehicle for independence, without Mr Salmond stopping them?

      These are the words of Woman H during the criminal case:

      “I wanted it to be known in the party so it could become a vetting issue and they could deal with it at whatever stage they saw fit. For vetting, for future staff, for party conduct.”

      Looking at the evidence sent to the inquiry, it was very obvious to those preparing the procedure that they would not be able to discipline a former minister under the ministerial code. The only route opened for them was if they were disciplined through their own party.

      In addition, this is what was published regarding Nicola Sturgeon’s text messages exchange with Mr Salmond in early November 2017:

      “She said she agreed to meet her predecessor as she had the impression that “Mr Salmond was in a state of considerable distress” and might be poised to resign his SNP membership”

      On 26 August 2018:
      “Ms Sturgeon posts a further statement on Twitter, saying the SNP has “no legal basis at this time to suspend Alex Salmond’s membership”.

      When you put all those statements together, there seems to be a mighty obsession by all these people to get Mr Salmond to resign his membership or “to be vetted out”.

      Now, at the time of resigning (29 August 2018), Mr Salmond said this:

      “In my letter to the National Secretary I state that it is my absolute intention to reapply for SNP membership just as soon as I have had the opportunity to clear my name. I hope that is by the end of this year”

      He could not request his membership back at the end of the year because the vultures still had him tied down in the judicial review case. He could not request his membership back after the Judicial review either because the vultures had already prepared the criminal court case, conveniently stopping him to take part in the GE2019.

      What are the odds that these vultures, knowing that they would lose the judicial case, still prolonged it unnecessarily to stop him re-joining the SNP before he was arrested?

      Was pushing Mr Salmond out of the SNP and keeping him out of the SNP the main objective here?

      I mean, it is not like these people are subtle in the way they are going about hollowing out the SNP. The actions of Oswald the other day ignoring the legal advice and allowing those people with direct vested interests in the result to take part in the vote and then voting herself in favour was not short of outrageous. The stupid response of Spears seemed taken from a comic, particularly when this woman is said to be or have been a Law student. The attacks on Ms Cherry by this group to stop her getting anywhere near the NEC and SNP are just far too transparent.

      How was the timing of this threat that Ms Cherry received with regards to the last NEC meeting? What is the likelihood that the threat could have been designed to stop her attending the meeting and stop having a presence in social media?

      I am more and more convinced the genderwoowoo is a professional team of trolls working for the british state and their mission is to take control of the SNP to derail independence – the same mission Sturgeon, Murrell and the civil servants and spads involved on this have.

      It is my personal opinion that the recent targeting Ms Forbes might be just an attempt at distraction – attempting to present the genderwoowoo as non-selective. They are very much selective: these people have been targeting Joanna since at least the moment Mr Salmond left the SNP because she was the one that could have derailed their entire strategy.

    35. MWS says:

      Can’t believe what I’ve just read. It’s corruption at all levels isn’t it? Jeezo.

    36. Kenny says:

      This party’s rotten from the top down. It’s finished. An elaborate scam that’s been rumbled – but yet the brazen it out.

      For me, there’s two reasons why it’s managing to keep afloat;
      a) the media are offering clear-passage to the SNP (obviously).
      b) Twitter, although only a small % of actual voters, are enabling it from sheer ignorance and refusal to believe that the party – and Sturgeon – could possibly be corrupted.

      It’s plain as day now that msm are turning a convenient blind eye, but it’s the second reason that leaves me quite exasperated. I have followers/following who, even after yesterday’s blood-bath still maintain an unquestioned support of the party, and, by dint of that support, are siding against Cherry etc – what does it honestly take for these people to see glaring and obvious evidence of corruption?

      Corruption aside; if the Twitter devout refuse to believe, and wish only to see the Immaculate leadership, then, yes, they have a conspicuous reality problem, undoubtedly, but I see not so much as a mention, or a solitary campaign for Scotland’s independence – the whole point of the SNP – and still they worship, like peasants. This is unforgivable.

      I shouldn’t be so despondent by the blind faith in others, no, but Twitter is a weathervane, a still important micro-news channel for the movement – these people are supposed to be in-touch, on the ball, savvy from receiving news before the media. My god.
      I don’t buy that they’re all 77th, I can only imagine they must be living extremely troubled lives?

      “Hail the Messiah!”
      “I’m not the Messiah!”
      “Only the true Messiah denies His divinity!”..

      Nothing changes.

    37. Lothianlad says:

      Mia

      “I am more and more convinced the genderwoowoo is a professional team of trolls working for the british state and their mission is to take control of the SNP to derail independence – the same mission Sturgeon, Murrell and the civil servants and spads involved on this have”.

      100% agree

    38. Mac says:

      Reading this fascinating account you can see how premeditated and thought-through all of this is. Like it was well researched and planned how to execute a coup from within.

      It is just yet another example (in the now near endless list) of how Team Sturgeon have methodically and systematically set about undermining the SNP and destroying it from within.

      We see this pattern of ‘salting the fields’ in everything Team Nicola touches.

      It is everywhere you look throughout her entire tenure, everywhere, with the attempted stitch-up of Alex Salmond intended to be the cherry on her shitcake.

      Who cares why anymore, she is just a rat doing what a rat does. I no longer care what squalid shit in her head led her to sell out everything she said she believed in. That’s her problem but I would not want to live with myself after what she has done.

      In the long list of ratbags who have fucked their own country Sturgeon is right up there.

    39. Effijy says:

      Now if the ring fenced members Indy 2 Ref fund of Circa £600,000
      has been frittered away on Mr Murrell and all the legal costs and all
      they have is a borrowing facility to borrow that sum,
      did the bank think that was a safe bet as SNP had 125,000 members
      and if 50,000 members have left and many more each day,
      would they really release that level of funding to such a train wreck?

      As we see members have no right to know anything about their money
      or any sum that could be raised from the banks but keep your mouth shut
      and your wallet open.

    40. Josef Ó Luain says:

      Few, it appears, thought to look behind the Cult-of-Nicola facade or, indeed, question its existence or purpose. Hopefully, if nothing else, an invaluable political lesson will have been learned and rigorously applied by all in the future.

    41. Colin Alexander says:

      I have no regrets about ending my SNP membership. As far as I’m concerned, Sturgeon, Murrell and Angus Robertson can be kings and queens of the dung heap.

      What does surprise me is that any decent pro-independence minded person continues to remain a member.

      I guess it must be an emotional attachment to the auld days, when the purpose of the SNP was achieving Scottish independence.

    42. Ebok says:

      Bruce Hosie @ 6:37 pm

      My wife and I quit in 2016 too, for the same reasons. I blame the wife for that. I wanted to leave a year earlier, but she persuaded me to remain. Unusually, my instincts were better on that occasion.
      However, I could never have imagined the scale of what was unfolding. Shocking report Denise, thanks for the insight.

    43. Daisy Walker says:

      Iain Lawson on Barheadboys program revealed that the person who drafted and pushed through the changes to the SNP constitution was none other than

      Angus Roberston.

      re the genderwoowoo/trolls/britnat theory.

      I think its todays version of what they did to the labour party back in the 1980’s. Genderwoowoo is all about creating a new, highly lucrative market for the medical industry – and is being relentlessly pursued by the industry, on a global scale, for that reason.

      (It actually creates a bit of a bind for the Britnats, because its meant they have had to put it on hold in England for a bit, in order to look sane. But as soon as they can spike Scotch Indy, it will be back on their books as soon as they can take a back hander.)

      And before that in the 1960′ and 70’s they stuffed labour full of thick as mince unionist gangsters, pursuing unmeetable targets and calling strikes for stupid reasons. (apologies to the genuine union reps who were honest)

      The MO is infultrate, pursue something unelectably stupid, enrole stupid troughers who will push it through en mass and end up with a shambles of a party, that no-one decent could ever vote for. Jobs a good un.

    44. James Horace says:

      James Kelly really is losing his shit right now with the councillor.

      I like watching Jimmy get annoyed, as the Sturgeon apologist he is.

      Whether its Tim Farron, this councillor, Facundo Savala, or Rev Stuart Campbell himself, its quite enjoyable watching this dweeb get wound up.

    45. Achnababan says:

      Interesting the year in focus is 2018…. did sturgeon plan the salmon stitch up as part of the coup?

    46. Ottomanboi says:

      From Culture War by Alexander Adams
      [Starting a sentence with the statement “As a woman/ African American/Muslim/gay man, I…” is used as a priori authority for subsequent statements. Being a member of minority subsets lends supposed authoritative or authentic insight and leads the speaker to demanding redress as a victim of systematic oppression, institutional discrimination or casual offence. Conversely, certain subsets (male, heterosexual, white) are viewed by post-liberals as less authentic and valued due to historically inherited privilege. The language of victimhood now dominates political discourse. The statement “I am offended by…” now carries weight in debates when all it demonstrates is the capacity of the speaker to articulate a temporary and subjective position that is as incontrovertible and inarguable as it is substantially meaningless. Rather than points being argued between equals on the basis of logic and evidence, common discourse is now conducted between representatives of inherently unequal subsets and hinges on depth of feeling In debates, markers of identity are established and compared; social advantages of subsets are weighed up in a court of emotion and historical injustice; the ideas of empirical deduction and evidence have been disposed of, truth becoming a relative concept.]
      Welcome to the politics of “I FEEL”.
      Not for those of a rational disposition.

    47. Hugh Jarse says:

      Victim reversal.

      It wasn’t a conspiracy, it was a therapy group!

      Committee collapsing.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-55910549

    48. Betsy, I like the use of the racist term ‘white fragility’ in that Tweet from Campbell, cos it’s just another American-imported load of shite. It’s basically a way for anybody of another colour to spit on white people, abusing them, then calling them ‘fragile’ if, understandably, they take offence at it. Fucking disgusting swill, and unbelievable that racists can get away with using it. Only works on self-flagellating wannabe-American white people here, mind you, not ones with sanity and dignity and self-respect.

    49. Mac says:

      Nicola Sturgeon is nowhere near clever enough to have planned all of this. Not even remotely.

      Someone did plan all of this I am sure but it was not her.

      Whoever it was they hit the ground running as soon as NS became leader and they have been very busy these last six years.

      The damage done to the SNP is immense and they are not done yet.

      Sturgeon is about to become useless to them so I expect she will be used a political pyrotechnic as a final act. In true firework show tradition it looks like we are now entering the grand finale.

    50. cynicalHighlander says:

      @Meg merrilees says:
      2 February, 2021 at 6:42 pm

      Apologies if I’m being REALLY thick but HOW did the 2018 redraft come into existence?

      Was a redraft even suggested at conference that Year?

      Listen to Barrhead Boy and Iain Lawson on Prism

      https://www.barrheadboy.com/scottish-prism-2nd-feb-2021-iain-lawson/

    51. Terry says:

      I know he’s been a bit of a moan about Wings but James Kelly’s getting a battering on twitter from some of the wokey folky.

      He is a Nicola fan – but also a big fan of Alex and says that Alex is his political hero and would succeed if he came back on a list party.

      https://scotgoespop.blogspot.com/2021/01/a-new-alex-salmond-led-party-may-now-be.html

    52. Captain Yossarian says:

      I just heard that the Fabiani Committee has just decided unanimously not to publish any of the Vietnam Group WhatsApp messages.

    53. Hugh Jarse says:

      This would be a good time to get the Streisand effect into play.

      Over to you Frankie Boyle!

      For those who worry about a privacy free dystopian future, fret not.
      If we all accuse each other of a bit of touchy kneey…

    54. Betsy says:

      @WhoRattledYourCage,
      Yes I spotted that one. Quite a neat trick that- the more you deny you’re a racist the guiltier you look. I suspect we’ll be seeing a lot more of these tactics from our woke friends who will of course massively overreact and cry victim the minute anyone gets angry with them for levelling the accusation.

    55. Garavelli Princip says:

      The SNP is now a thoroughly Stalinist party – plus TRANISH Inquisition (copyright S.Campbell) overtones.

      This brilliant analysis plots in detail the contours of an authoritarian totalitarian takeover of the party.

      Add to that control of COPFS, Police Scotland, the Civil Service and family control of the party, not to mention the Twitler Youth as Brown-Shirted Sorm- Troopers and we have a clear picture what is envisaged in an independent Murrell-SturgeonLand.

      A truly frightening prospectus – except that independence isn’t really on the menu, is it?

      Murrell-SturgeonLand will be a fully-owned protectorate of BoJoEngerland.

    56. TNS2019 says:

      Bear with me. I am being serious.

      I have a perosnal axe to grind. Let me declare that at the start.

      My analysis is this.

      1. Sturgeon might escape. She is very badly tarnished by the whole Salmond affair but she could survive. In which case independence has no future.
      2. Without Swinney, Sturgeon is doomed. He is the game-player and the dark shadow that hangs over Scotland.
      3. Swinney lied to Parliament. It is not even questionnable in the way that the Sturgeon issue is. He must go for that alone.

      Swinney’s crime is partly constititutional, but mainly humanitarian.
      He F*cked a special school in his own constituency for political reasons. He destroyed lives. He lied to kids and he lied to families.

      https://www.tns2019.org/new-blog-1/2021/2/2/you-showed-no-humanity-as-a-parent

    57. Jim F. McIntosh says:

      There is no excuse for the honest and sincere MPs for not speaking up about dodgy changes in the way the party is run. I know that the MPs turned down a wage rise recently but maybe its time to reduce their wages even further to just above the minimum wage and maybe we would get a better quality MP who is not so scared to lose his job when standing up for what they believe in and what their voters endorsed to carry out.

    58. Dan says:

      Looks like ITV Border have taken down the vid with Patrick Harvie interview as it had a touch of PH smearing Wightman at the end.

      https://twitter.com/andywightman/status/1356647685923737602

    59. Liz says:

      The crocodile tears over the ‘victims’ is vomit inducing.
      RCC getting quote tweeted, the majority saying those poor women, I’m greetin’ etc.
      None of them have seen the messages, this is why todays society is up shit creek.
      No one wants to see the evidence, they all just jump on the band wagon

      James Dornan, who has become a total sycophant since his reinstatement, blocking folk on twitter for pointing out, these women are NOT victims.

      Anyway squeaky bum time for Paisley and Blackman.
      They are being threatened with legal action.
      I’d love to see the smirk wiped off that fat actor’s face.
      Crowd fund hete, https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/action-in-defamation

    60. Hugh Jarse says:

      Note the time when ‘news’ arrives.

      R Crisis attack piece, and a few hours later, way after hours, the committee caves.

      Subtle it isn’t, like the Cherry pop.
      Panicking.

      And ye shall know them by their deeds.

    61. Mac says:

      What Nicola did to the SNP was what they call a ‘Reverse Takeover’.

      Team Nicola took over a vibrant buzzing SNP from AS and systematically and ruthlessly hollowed it out, replacing the party with wokerati brownshirts with a totally different political agenda.

      Only the facade of the pre2014 SNP was retained, just enough to keep the ‘loyal’ voting for them and thinking it is still the old party.

      But it is not. It is now an Imposter Party

      For the last six years they have been faking it, mugging off the Scottish electorate into thinking they are voting for the pre2014 SNP.

      You are not. It is clear as day now.

      As bad as it looks it just takes one election cycle to wipe the slate clean of this current infestation.

      We will all still be there after we do. Next election we are back with all new people or a new party. We do have the power as voters to put this right again.

      It us who are the independence movement, not the SNP. It is time to prove it.

    62. Daisy Walker says:

      Well, Dr Philipa Whitford’s twitter account is up and running, at least until 2 hours ago.

      Not a peep from her about Joanna Cherry QC.

      Extremely disappointed to say the least.

      If, since we’ve been given a figure from one branch, there is a 14% drop in membership across the board, in the SNP, how will that translate in terms of reduction in votes.

      I truly understand the need for Party loyalty, but this is scorched earth shit.

      For those clinging to the SNP in hopes of fixing it from within. I think your only way is going to be to step away, stand as Indy’s and re-form it later.

      There comes a point where staying silent is being complicit. And that point is now.

    63. cynicalHighlander says:

      Founded 1934 died 2021 ignominiously I will never vote for them again.

    64. Captain Yossarian says:

      @TSN2019 – It all depends upon Alex Salmond, doesn’t it. We only have a week to wait. Cherry, Salmond and MacAskill are keeping quiet for now. I seem to remember Craig Murray saying that the WhatsApp messages would amount to nothing.

      There is more interest in the Rangers administrators case than there is in this amongst the press just now and I wonder if that is because an injucnction of some sort has been served on them?

      However, a week is a long time in this case and I have the impression that Alex Salmond will not be intimidated by fear of further prosecution by the Crown Office. That would go down very badly in Scotland just now.

      I also have an interest in seeing John Swinney’s ‘Holly-Willie’ persona exposed. He is nothing of the sort and is, in fact, one of the most arrogant fools at Holyrood.

    65. A. Bruce says:

      Roddy McLeod in the Barrhead Boy’s ‘Through a Scottish Prism’ has an excellent conversation with Iain Lawson. You shouldn’t miss it.

    66. Confused says:

      trump, biden, media, the truth, experts, liberals and the CIA –

      https://mondediplo.com/2021/02/02usa

      this looks a bit too long and boring to be worth reading, but it delivers on a slow burn

      he manages a few zingers –

      “Protesting against a politician who insults the CIA is a notable innovation in left praxis.”

      “The dream of a certain kind of liberal today is not so much to represent ordinary people as to police them.”

      “the form of liberalism I have described here is inherently despicable.”

      NB the american “liberal-left” is absolutely and utterly “woke”.

    67. Astonished says:

      Ok – Here’s my take. For what its worth.
      .
      First SNP members (including me, in fact especially me) were duped into believing the super secret plan guff. And as long as we were not agitating for independence we could win what we liked. Nicola was perfect for that but now a significant number of us have seen through her. Our imperial masters would love her to stay on – but that seems unlikely although they might get her to stay until May.
      .
      If we vote SNP into government in May under Nicola’s leadership then what we will get is thought crime bill and genderwoowoo. Not independence.
      .
      If they lose our imperial masters will want another nicola loyalist for more of the same.
      .
      Our only hope is that our very cowardly MSPs and MPs stand up to the woke before then. I think we should never abandon hope but it ain’t looking good.
      .
      To cheer you up a little – Once Nicola has outlived her usefulness to our imperial masters- I have no doubt they will throw her to the wolves ( at a time of their choosing).

    68. TNS2019 says:

      Captain Yossarian

      Folk are thinking that Sturgeon is the weak link. Not so.
      Swinney has a very rigid strategy that will fall apart under scrutiny.
      He is the weak link.

      Believe me.

    69. Daisy Walker says:

      Thanks for the link Liz,

      Having been asked to remove the offending comments and failing to do so, Paisley and Blackman facing legal actions for defamation.

      Have contributed to the fund. Sarah Pullman makes a very decent comment about how they’ve targetted JC also.

      I pointed it out on the other link, with the legal definitions, but the transgender ideoligy and political agenda when coupled with illegal acts designed to frighten the public – is terrorism. So grossly abusive messages, and threats of violence are not something reputable people would want to be associated with.

    70. Captain Yossarian says:

      @TSN2019 – I have seen Mr Swinney lose arguements before in front of many of his colleagues at Holyrood and Victoria Quay. He just ignores it and carries-on. He needs to be removed from the political scene and our public bodies re-set.

      Even the Teaching Unions are afraid to take him-on. I’ve never understood that. Is it because Scottish teachers are paid 50p/hour more than English teachers?

      In terms of strategy, I’ve always found that he didn’t have one at all. He finds the simplest things complex, or ‘challenging’ as he prefers to call it.

    71. Intractable Potsherd says:

      @Captain Yossarian:
      2 February, 2021 at 8:25 pm

      ‘Holly-Willie’ is probably illegal 🙂 [Sorry – I just need to be a bit flippant to offset the ever-increasing shit-shower.]

      For what it’s worth, I never understood what Swinney was so popular with some. His utter arrogance over the Named Person scheme showed he will never admit he’s wrong.

    72. Strathy says:

      An eye-opening article, Denise.

      Most people will have assumed that the SNP still operated through democratic processes.

      The Murrell’s have turned the party into a dictatorship and they will extend that across Scotland if they get a majority in Hollywood.

    73. Bob Mack says:

      This is not recent of course about Joanna. Councillor Graham yesterday I thinkvon twitter let slip that after he joined the NEC in 2018, he and others have been determined since then to get rid of anyone who they considered transphobic

      Judge and jury and Kangaroo court spring mind.

      Do they actually think they can inimidate Scots for long?

      I bet they can can’t.

    74. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Intractable Potsherd – Swinney’s a fanny….does that help in any way sir?

    75. TNS2019 says:

      Swinney is autistic.

      No offence meant by that. He just is.

    76. Strathy says:

      Sorry for the stray ‘.

    77. Betsy – this from Graham Campbell: “Yes you did – you used that racist trope and buzzword of ‘identity politics collective’ which is itself a terms designed to ridicule target & isolate all oppressed marginalised groups. As I said the identity politics we should attack is racial capitalist patriarchy’s ideology.” When somebody talks like that, you know they’re not ever going to say anything worth listening to, or even vaguely sensible. It’s teenage student politics as ideology and shield.

    78. @ faolie at 6.46pm: What are you talking about? The chances of independence ARE toast because of the SNP! Sturgeon has no intention of bringing about independence, and no workable strategy. She has all but wrecked the independence movement. She and her acolytes will not be forgiven. Besides, the SNP is in abject chaos, is riddled with corruption and criminality, has totally lost its way, and is on the verge of implosion. People aren’t going to vote for a party that has so catastrophically failed to do what it was elected to do.

    79. Captain Yossarian says:

      @TNS2019 – you’re thus saying he is an autistic fanny. Well sir, that is indeed offensive. I shall report you first thing tomorrow morning.

    80. Stoker says:

      Thank you for this great insight, Denise, and once again thanks to WOS for bringing us the articles the rest are scared to touch.

    81. Iain Lawson says:

      It’s a game, they never released the WhatsApp messages from Peter Murrell, Ian McCann or Sue Riddick because the committee never asked for them. They released to the committee the messages they never asked for. It’s a game, a cover up. Murrell can’t face the committee again because they will ask him about messages they know exist but which he denied at the last visit.

    82. Betsy – also from Graham Campbell in that Tweet stream – “For Black folks ALL mainstream politics stems from white supremacy – the ultimate identity politics.” This man is in a mainstream political party, the SNP, as a councillor! So he’s calling himself a white supremacist! I am laughing here. Zero joined-up thinking on display here. What a clown.

    83. Stoker says:

      ScottieDog says on 2 February, 2021 at 8:02 pm: “Why I no longer buy the national.”

      Scottie, the link you supplied says “This tweet is no longer available.” Care to elaborate a little so we know what it was about please?

    84. TNS2019 says:

      Captain Yossarian

      I will comply with the authorities and take my punishment.

    85. Richard D Lanigan says:

      Sound familiar? “Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi’s critics charge that, rather than keeping Myanmar’s political factions bought in to the democratic transition, she mostly sought to muscle them out. They accuse her of hollowing out her own party, replacing experienced hands with flunkies; purging would-be rivals; heightening restrictions on journalists; marginalizing Myanmar’s minorities in favor of her ethnic Burmese support base; and consolidating what even some members of her party characterize as the beginnings of authoritarian rule. “It became a one-woman party”.

    86. McDuff says:

      The SNP has over a 100 MPs/ MSPs so where are they?
      If they are not condeming these atrocities then they are suporting them. It’s time their constituents started holding them to account over their silence.

    87. Ian Mac says:

      “The constitution gives the Leader the tools to ensure her supporters are promoted and any potential rivals or rival groupings can be disadvantaged. This is done through the party machine, run by the CEO. Supporters are rewarded with early vetting decisions, involvement and promotion at party events and paid party positions.”

      However bad you thought it was, it’s worse. This is quite shocking. So the ‘party’ doesn’t exist in any sense as a body of people with a common goal who agree amongst themselves the rules and policies. This is a fan club for an oligarchy, no better than Farage’s ridiculous limited company masquerading as a political party.
      They have commandeered all of the decision-making and rule-making apparatus for themselves, with the means to disadvantage and ignore any member who disagrees. There is no democracy in this corrupted system, a Stalinist cadre rule the roost with a mechanism which brooks no dissent or challenge. This is no doubt a model for how they envisage an ‘independent’ Scotland would function, with these people in absolute power. The have exploited the Scottish people’s wish for independence in the most cynical and misleading way in order to give themselves power without accountability, free from scrutiny, decisions made behind closed doors. With regular purges of dissidents.
      There is no way this mob should be allowed anywhere near either independence or Scottish governance. They are doing so under false pretences, and must be challenged at every turn. They have probably ruined the case for independence until we can get shot of them, which probably suits them nicely, as they reckon they can stay at Holyrood on very high wages and expenses ad infinitum, passing virtue signalling and largely ineffective legislation for the foreseeable future. While Scotland suffers. What a parcel of rogues.

    88. MartinM says:

      Can’t believe Anne McLaughlin and Graham Campbell now effectively run the SNP using internal structures and systems most of us have no understanding of. Surely Graham Campbell didn’t vote for himself to become an MSP? I am pretty certain he works for his partner as part of her MP office team and we already know he is probably the most inactive councillor in Glasgow Council history but none the less he is paid more than £17.000 by the tax payer and if he does work for his partner we don’t know what £ that will be but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him try and be Office worker/Councillor and MSP all at once…wow that’s a great return for a former socialist!

      The more you learn about the SNP the more you arrive at the view, all politicians are in it for the big gravy train and just want to ignore elections!

    89. paul says:

      TNS2019 says:
      2 February, 2021 at 6:31 pm

      Scotland has become a rogue state: https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19058388.this-might-see-putins-russia-msp-anger-former-rangers-administrators-treated-like-terrorists/

      TNS, while I’ve gone through quite few of your blog entries on this agonising episode, I’ve yet to find a motive for j swinney’s animus towards the school.

      Do you have a theory you could put in a nutshell, or would that be prejudicial to the case?

    90. paul says:

      oops meant to quote the previous comment.

    91. MartinM, sure Graham Campbell would just say he is taking political power from ‘white supremacist’ hands (see my two posts above). He seems pretty racist to me.

    92. kapelmeister says:

      Is Graham Campbell really a Nat or does he Natty Dread?

    93. Colin McKean says:

      Unbelievable, so this whole mechanism, to produce a self perpetuating machine – the only disruption to same would be independence.

      We need a new party, one that can get us to Indy and have a future with accountability in our politicians.

    94. Stoker says:

      Folks reading this thread out there. Please try and avoid clicking on the direct link to The Herald as this helps them bring in advertising finance, as well as possible new subscriptions by spreading the link about. Not to mention seriously insulting to the efforts of those of us who go to the trouble of archiving links.

      For any newcomers wondering why: The Herald is one of the major players that crapped all over our IndyRef and still does crap all over Scotland and our ambitions. Most of us interested in achieving independence do our best not to help these BUM rags in any way we can. We don’t get fooled by the odd truthful article or childish clickbait “poll” etc. (BUM = British Unionist Media)

    95. Mist001 says:

      It became apparent to me a number of weeks ago that Scotland had become a rogue state. I asked the question, only to be rebuffed on Craig Murrays site and I’ve said it here on this site too.

      So, I’m pleased to see that at least me and one other realise what’s going on.

      Without boring anybody or repeating my reasons or previous posts, but we’re looking at a dysfunctional judicial system, a corrupt government (or management) and if it’s to be believed, the increase in support for independence.

      Boris Johnson and the rest are all watching this unfold and the end game of all this is going to be direct rule from London.

      It doesn’t get any more obvious than this.

    96. Betsy says:

      @WhoRattledYourCage,
      Once you see it as the cynical exploitation of issues for personal advancement, you can’t unsee it.

    97. Carol Neill says:

      I’m . Just . Stunned. Stupid maybe but stunned

    98. Brian says:

      This is just another reason I will never join a political party. Too many eejits.

      So the SNP does the most Scottish of things and decides to lose while it’s winning..FFS.

    99. James Horace says:

      Can anyone confirm if Graham Campbell and Stuart Campbell are brothers……?

    100. Seumas McCue says:

      I noticed a couple of people with their photographs in the article.
      Given that we have got Peter and Nicola, it might be instructive if we knew how many power couples there are in the SNP.

    101. Bob Mack says:

      Could someone post Richard Murphy s Tax Research UK blog.

      Very very interesting including comments.

    102. Carol Neill says:

      I’m a bit thick but being a lesbian ( I’m not) but if I refuse to have sex with leeze I’m a homophobe ? Please feel free to correct me

    103. cirsium says:

      @mia, 7.17
      Thanks for that comment. It makes sense of the actions taken at the beginning of this operation.

      @Bruce Hosie, 6.37
      it’s all so Scottish.
      Is it? Would it not be more accurate to say that this mess is all so typical of a UK state infiltration operation? Have you seen what operations the UK is currently funding in Lebanon (https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/02/british-embassy-infiltrates-lebanons-military-intelligence-provides-snooping-equipment-manipulates-p.html#more?)? Remember what went on in Northern Ireland?

      “You do not know how crafty they are. You do not know how evil they are. You do not know how they sully everything they touch.” (Mohammed Mosaddegh on the UK government 1951). Mohammed Mosaddegh was the democratically elected Prime Minister of Iran, whose government was overthrown by the UK/US because he wanted Iran to control its oil not UK/US oil companies.

    104. Jack says:

      Isn’t it great we have our very own Mr and Mrs Ceausescu running Scotland.

    105. bscotfree says:

      Stuart has prefaced this article by advising that he lacks the expertise about how the SNP is structured/run. Same for myself (voter – not a member) so this explanation has clarified a great deal for me. Thank you Denise Findlay.

      As far back as 2016 I recognised a conundrum: why should an SNP leader/Scottish FM not be actively working and preparing for independence – which clearly wasn’t happening. However I didn’t have enough information to answer the question. In 2017 I remember saying to relatives that I wondered if Sturgeon had been got at. It was still a mystery then.

      I can see now, as we all can now, how the Murrells and fellow plotters insidiously took control of the SNP. I have stated previously that Sturgeon has a swelled ego and is extremely ambitious, but she has also proved to be utterly ruthless in her determination to keep power. I sense that Peter Murrell is equally the root driver of this corruption.

      The SNP is currently a personal tool of the Murrells and gang. I will not give them another vote and would welcome a new independence party. As things stand I will vote ISP on the list.

      I don’t believe there will be another referendum vote ever again, and so support a plebiscite vote to attain independence. There is no chance of the current abysmal set of SNP politicians going for this and thats good because the thought of them negotiating a settlement with Westminster is terrifying. They are utterly useless and ill equipped.

      Sadly it seems we have been out manoeuvred and will have to wait some years for the rebuilding of an honest competent vehicle to achieve independence. But so be it; I don’t want an independent Scotland born in this corruption with these actors.

      The truth will out and Sturgeon will leave in disgrace soon. Her legacy will be her failure to govern fairly and honestly, and it will be defined by the disastrous decision to destroy her former boss. Somebody on Wings called her ‘Tony Blair in a skirt’. A fair comparison. I believe Blair lives with constant regret that he took the disastrous decision to go to war in Iraq.

      I have seen Sturgeon being called many names (descriptors) in recent months but the one I favour is ‘The Imposter’.

    106. Bob Mack says:

      @Laukat,

      Yes thank you. My pad wont copy any more.

      When Richzrd Murphy speaks you should listen. in the comments section he states he bas heard “things”from contacts.

    107. Captain Yossarian says:

      @paul – I’ll tell you an interesting story about one of John Swinney’s schools:

      In 2014, one of John Swinney’s Hub contractors was building a new school. The Project Manager said ‘what you’re trying to do here will never work’.

      John Swinney’s contractor sacked the Project Manager and carried-on.

      The school was built and, ever since, it has been sinking into the mud just as the Project Manager said it would.

      When the Project Manager complained, saying: ‘I told you this would happen’, John Swinney says: ‘It looks OK to me’, Education Scotland says: ‘It looks OK to me’, the Council says: ‘It looks OK to me’ and the contractor says: ‘and it looks OK to me too’.

      Sounds like an unbelievable story, doesn’t it? It just cannot be true?

      Our old favorites on this site, the Scottish legal profession, they think it’s OK too.

      The Teaching Unions, surprisingly, won’t say anything. Absolutely nothing.

      What’s the solution? Why not ask the experts? Is this school safe, or not? That was done over three years ago and we have the answer but because it is not the answer John Swinney wants, he’s ignoring it.

      I’ve often wondered if he and his legal advisors are complying with criminal law. What do you think?

      That would depend entirely upon whether the school is safe or not, wouldn’t it.

    108. ScottieDog says:

      @stoker
      Looks like the article has been edited. The wording had a bias against him imo.
      It starts..

      “THE Holyrood committee probing the Scottish Government’s botched handling of harassment complaints against Alex Salmond has taken the unprecedented step of issuing a notice to the Crown Office demanding a number of documents from the former First Minister’s two trials.”

      Other parts of the article appear to have changed if I’m not mistaken.

      https://www.thenational.scot/news/19033454.alex-salmond-inquiry-demands-crown-papers-unprecedented-move/

      This paper infuriates me. It won’t get another cent from me.

    109. Strathy says:

      Just noticed the autocorrect as well (at 8.43pm). What I meant to say was –

      An eye-opening article, Denise.

      Most people will have assumed that the SNP still operated through democratic processes.

      The Murrells have turned the party into a dictatorship and they will extend that across Scotland, if they get a majority in Holyrood.

    110. ScottieDog says:

      It wasn’t botched. It was concocted but the national knows this

    111. Willie says:

      They may have planned and schemed to take control of the SNP but in doing so they have killed the party. Maybe that was their intention. It certainly seems that it was.

      These recent moves in the NEC at the weekend, with the concomitant move to sack Joanna Cherry has made this quite clear.

      With an SNP with members dropping off a cliff, it is now only a matter of time before the party goes bust. Bust because it has spent the hypothecated monies donated to fight a referendum, bust because it is now heading towards having lost over half of its membership, bust because all it’s big donors have gone, and bust because having already spent hundreds of thousands on legal fees defending Peter Murrell and Alyn Smith it now faces a barrage of legal challenges and law suits from many others.

      But it is in going bust that remaining members need to seek advice. The SNP is technically an unincorporated association and the members of unincorporated associations can be jointly and severally liable for debts.

      A sobering thought. And for those MSPs sitting quietly hoping for;re-election wheesting for Indy, keeping the head down, ask yourself where is the money going to come from, or even more sobering, where are the votes going to come from, their time is up.

      Titanic and Turkeys might be an appropriate epitaph for them. But out of the wreckage a new movement will arise.

    112. Hugh Jarse says:

      Kapelmeister
      Wailers.

      Know woman? No cry!

    113. mike cassidy says:

      Devil’s Advocate conspiracy theory

      If you are going to argue that the rot started with Nicola Sturgeon becoming leader

      Then how much blame for the clusterfeck do you apportion to Alex Salmond – who had no problem with seeing her as his heir apparent

      One of my tinhats says he always knew she wasn’t up to it

      Was happy to hand her the poisoned chalice of leadership during the post-referendum blues period

      All with the intention of stepping back up to the plate saviour-style when it fell apart

      What he didn’t count on was her determination to hold on

      And him losing his seat

      Well

      Its that or Salmond really fecked up

    114. Jacqueline McMillan says:

      BUSTED FLUSH

    115. TNS2019 says:

      paul says:
      2 February, 2021 at 9:20 pm

      TNS2019 says:
      2 February, 2021 at 6:31 pm

      TNS, while I’ve gone through quite few of your blog entries on this agonising episode, I’ve yet to find a motive for j swinney’s animus towards the school.

      Do you have a theory you could put in a nutshell, or would that be prejudicial to the case?

      “yes”
      Bear with me.
      Tomorrow.

    116. paul says:

      Captain Yossarian says:
      2 February, 2021 at 10:02 pm

      @paul – I’ll tell you an interesting story about one of John Swinney’s schools:
      …….
      I’ve often wondered if he and his legal advisors are complying with criminal law. What do you think?

      That would depend entirely upon whether the school is safe or not, wouldn’t it.

      Cheers for that.

      The prim but dim act certainly had me fooled until recently.
      Seems, like his immediate bosses, to be quite the martinet.

    117. Angry Weegie says:

      @Astonished If they lose our imperial masters will want another Nicola loyalist for more of the same.

      No need. If they lose, there will be a Yoon coalition government and by the end of the 5 year term, HR will be gone and laws will be passed by WM and agreed by the Yoon SG to prevent independence.

    118. paul says:

      TNS2019 says:
      2 February, 2021 at 10:39 pm

      paul says:
      2 February, 2021 at 9:20 pm

      TNS2019 says:
      2 February, 2021 at 6:31 pm
      ……

      “yes”
      Bear with me.
      Tomorrow.

      In your own time, each stone overturned seems more shameful (to we principled sentients) than the last.

      That pic of him and wishart hangin’ with the local laird should go on his next election flyer.

      Fucking degenerates, the lot of them.

    119. And spouse says:

      Tony Benn quote
      In the course of my life I have developed five little democratic questions. If one meets a powerful person………………………………ask them five questions: “What power have you got? Where did you get it from? In whose interests do you exercise it? To whom are you accountable? And how can we get rid of you?” If you cannot get rid of the people who govern you, you do not live in a democratic system.

    120. Elmac says:

      Willie @ 10.24pm

      Dead right Willie, and its the only sure way our nation can be rid of Sturgeon and her entourage. If anyone reading this is still paying members subs, making donations, or assisting with fund raising then please wake up. They will take your money, your time and your shoe leather and treat you as clowns to be milked, just as they have done for the last 6 years.

      We CAN do something to stop this. We can cut off the cash which is the lifeblood of this corrupt clique.

      Interesting point on the liability of members in the event of insolvency. I had a quick look on line but could not find anything specific relating to members of political parties. However I did find the following under the heading:

      Unincorporated Associations – Liability of Members, Officers and Trustees:

      As a general rule a member’s liability is limited to the amount of the subscription because when he joins a club he does not intend to incur any liability beyond his subscriptions payable under the rules. However, if a member or officer is found liable for a debt his liability is usually unlimited.

      Hope you can prove me wrong on this as I would have preferred that the remaining membership might have had sleepless nights over the issue. However, joint and several liability would certainly attach to any SNP members or officials who incurred debt on behalf of the party at a time when they should reasonably have known that the party was insolvent. The last financial statements produced by the SNP suggest they were technically insolvent if you took into account the ring fenced money they purloined.

    121. David Caledonia says:

      Legio X Fretensis

      You cannot survive this
      Its better to face upto reality and surrender
      Its going to end in your liquidation
      So go gently and quickly for your own good

      The Masada complex is alive and well inside you and your party
      NS, do everyone a favour just go while the goings good

    122. Frank W says:

      Will this coup self ID as a bull?…I’ll get ma coat.

    123. StuartM says:

      The best way for members to reclaim ownership of the SNP is to withhold money. On the evidence of the 2019 accounts the Party is stoney broke and has no reserves with which to fight the election. They might have accumulated some funds in 2020 but I doubt it. That bunch spend money like a drunken sailor and there’s absolutely no financial discipline, which is why the IndyRef funds and any one-off windfall donations (eg legacies in members wills) have been frittered away on salaries for them and the mates they put on the Party payroll.

      It looks like the SNP had to make an appeal to members for donations to pay for the 2019 snap HoC election. If they’re going to mount a campaign for HR 2021 they’ll have to do so again. This is an opportunity that’s too good to miss. Here’s what I propose:
      1) retain your membership so as to be able to vote but reduce it to the absolute minimum
      2) email your local MSP, MP and Councillors and tell them you are not going to donate to any appeal for funds or work for their election campaign until Sturgeon and Murrell are gone. Tell them exactly why you are taking this stance. I suggest you include some or all of the points Denise Findlay has a made above. Tell them you expect them to take a stand on these matters or you will actively campaign against them at every future election.
      3) copy the email in 2) to all the other SNP MSPs, MPs, etc and to every member of the NEC and your local branch & Constituency Association officers.

      If enough members do this the flood of emails will convince the fence-sitters that they’re facing a members revolt and their jobs are on the line. This might stiffen their spines enough that they’re prepared to take action. We can only hope.

    124. Lynne says:

      Willie says:
      2 February, 2021 at 10:24 pm
      They may have planned and schemed to take control of the SNP but in doing so they have killed the party.

      Sounds like a virus to me.
      https://www.quora.com/After-billions-of-years-of-evolution-why-havent-germs-recognized-that-to-kill-their-host-is-to-commit-suicide

    125. Bugger Le Panda says:

      So, Muriel Gray is out of luck

      She would have fitted in well withe Woke brigade

    126. ian foulds says:

      Excellent article.

      A major clear out is required to allow the Party to return to reflecting an organisation that can be trusted by the Scottish people.

      I wish you and like-minded party members well in bringing this about.

    127. Kath says:

      Thanks for this, very useful.

      My answer to “Why do you want independence” was always “Because I want to know what it feels like to live in a real democracy”. I feel sick these days. All these years we’ve been trying to get out of the grip of an ever more antidemocratic UK, and now we’re as far from it as we ever were because “the master’s tools will never dismantle the masters house”.

      “… survival is not an academic skill. It is learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish. It is learning how to take our differences and make them strengths. For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. And this fact is only threatening to those women who still define the master’s house as their only source of support.”
      Audre Lorde

      Long before TRAs, some transexuals and women made common cause, recognising how we were all of us injured by gender in different ways, recognising gender as one of the master’s tools.

      There’s always people on every side of an argument happily wielding the master’s tools as weapons. How can it be otherwise when we’ve all have our heads steeped in this divide and rule crap from birth.

      And TRA’s would probably use that quote against anyone who does not support self ID and the hate crime bill. They have an “argument” that a feminism that doesn’t centre men, that protects women’s/sex based rights, is inherently racist as well as transphobic. But the TRA’s include the people in power in the SG who have been persistently dishonest and anti democratic. TRA’s are not on the outside.

      SG TRA’s created a law that will criminalise a marginalised group as transphobes solely for identifying themselves and discussing the objective evidence on biological sex, safeguarding and their legal rights.

      SG TRA’s stay silent when people on their side make hundreds of rape and death threats against women communicating about safety and legal rights, and then there’s the sleekit wans with their faux concern, implying “she asked for it”

      They are criminalising the “mistrust” of male bodied people in women’s spaces – criminalising the survival instincts of women, including the ptsd that’s as endemic as male violence against women.

      They are using the law to impose forced speech, regressive sexual stereotypes and homophobia.

      And it’s TRA’s who justify the use of the law to silence us on all of this by saying a feminism that doesn’t centre men is racism, that women discussing evidence on biological sex and safeguarding is just “white women tears”, malicious accusations of sexual assault to cause a lynching.

      Not much in the way of common cause. They’re going to have to be building some more jails.

      For those telling us to wheest, you’ll have a red line too, it’s just not been crossed yet. If you can’t imagine what it is, you’re just lucky.

    128. Cara says:

      Amazing writing Denise – excellently explained, it would be far more beneficial to real change and accountability if this could be translated into terms the wider public could appreciate.
      It’s easy to forget there’s a whole world of people who believe in order to support independence, you must support the SNP. More specifically – NS. Time to change the narrative and be the leaders Scotland truly deserves.

    129. Patricia Spencer says:

      Great article Denise. If this SNP leadership represent a ‘progressive Scotland’ they can take a hike. Sick of their predictable shenanigans and fearful for my daughter’s, nieces and other women in this dystopian feck up they are construing.



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