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Stealing a wage

Posted on June 10, 2020 by

We’ve often said on Wings Over Scotland that we really don’t mind if journalists are biased. Everyone is biased, including us – we’d just rather people stopped pretending to be impartial when they weren’t. But what we do really hate about the Scottish media is just how astonishingly bad at its job it is.

A particularly striking example arose recently.

Pretty much every newspaper and broadcaster in the country carried the sad story of former Labour MP Paul Sweeney‘s fall from besuited lawmaker to skint benefits claimant. And yet not a single one of them asked the question that literally every single reader of the story would have been shouting at their screen.

Sweeney was an MP from June 2017 to December 2019 – two and a half years. When he was elected the basic salary for an ordinary member had just gone up to £76,011. The following year it went up to £77,379 and from 1 April 2019 it went up to £79,468.

On being defeated in the December election Sweeney also received a generous redundancy package, the average being around £18,000.

What that means is that in just 30 months, Paul Sweeney was paid a grand total of around £210,000 by the taxpayer as a basic wage. Unlike most employees, his travel to work and London accommodation expenses were also picked up by Joe Public, and he enjoyed the benefits of heavily subsidised workplace restaurants and bars.

According to the income tax calculator on, he’d have paid a total of 33% of that salary in tax and National Insurance.

Which means that including the redundancy package Sweeney would have trousered just over £140,000 in disposable income during his time as an MP, which is actually around £4,600 a month.

(According to the same website the National Living Wage, the amount set by MPs for everyone else to live on, is £1,251 a month after deductions, so Sweeney was pocketing almost four times as much as a typical worker.)

The most money you’re allowed to have in the bank and still be eligible for Universal Credit is £16,000. That means Sweeney must have less than that much left, so he’s spent at least £124,000 in those two and a half years – all while working long hours as an MP and jetting constantly between London and Glasgow. Quite frankly we’re kinda impressed that a committed socialist found the time to blow so much dough.

(All this assumes he started off broke. His previous job was in fact in management with BAE Systems, who aren’t known for paying poverty wages.)

And yet not one single solitary Scottish journalist – people who raced to Craig Murray’s house to see how fancy it was when he dared solicit donations to fight his prosecution for contempt of court – apparently thought to ask:

“Hey Paul, really sad that you’re on the dole now, but did you really blow 124 grand while you were an MP? Didn’t it occur to you to put a few quid away for a rainy day, given how precarious an MP’s job can be?”

But that’s not even what we really wanted to talk about.

Today’s Times carries a story about SNP finances – which apparently took two people to write – which is such an atrocious piece of mendacious content-free fluff that we suspect it actually came direct from SNP HQ. Maybe someone was owed a favour.

Audaciously, it attempts to portray the complete drying-up of sizeable donations to the party over the last three years as a positive.

But it’s hard to know where to start with the complete cobblers in the above paragraph. The supposed “December 2019” membership figure of 125,482 is in itself a slightly questionable number (“based on its annual accounts”) from a House Of Commons Library briefing paper, but more to the point is from a year earlier:

And as previously documented on this site, SNP membership income, as recorded in the party’s annual accounts, has in fact been in steady decline since 2015, and is now £500,000 (almost 20%) lower than its peak that year.

(Quick links: 2015 accounts, 2016, 2017, 2018.)

The party, which always liked to regularly trumpet its soaring membership figures, hasn’t released any new official numbers in the best part of two years, which suggests that the direction of travel may not be upwards.

Meanwhile, costs have skyrocketed. Two unscheduled UK general elections in 2017 (£1.6m) and 2019 (no figures available yet), plus the costs of the EU referendum, have taken big bites out of the bank balance.

(Even at the budget-price £91,000 they spent fighting Brexit – less than the £100,000 that was poured into an unsuccessful and arithmetically pointless attempt to capture a single Holyrood seat in Shetland. The Lib Dems easily held on to win by a margin of almost 16 points.)

The Times piece, however, breezily quotes an unnamed party source who asserts that not only can the declining membership income endlessly fill that hole, but can also build up reserves, and that past donors will dig deep into their pockets again should there ever be another indyref campaign on top of the usual electioneering.

But hold on a minute. We know that the SNP has already held not one but TWO indyref fundraising drives – supposedly to be ringfenced for a referendum campaign and NOT spent on normal party business, so they’d already be available to spend at a moment’s notice in the highly unlikely event of an indyref happening.

And yet that money has vanished into the ether. The first campaign in 2017 raised over £480,000 but the party’s total bank balance at the end of 2018 was just £411K.

A second indyref fundraiser launched just over a year ago – supposedly once again ringfenced, this time for the “specific project” of producing and distributing a book for a future referendum called “An Independent Scotland: Household Guide” – has never published any figures for how much money it’s taken in.

That could of course be for one of many reasons: because the total is disappointing, or because the party’s keeping it a secret for a big triumphant reveal, or because it simply doesn’t want to answer any awkward questions about where all the money’s gone when it publishes its 2019 accounts in August.

(Which from that 2018 starting balance of £411,000 will have had to be raided for the European elections and the general election, likely to be somewhere in the region of £2m combined. And a Holyrood election, which is usually the SNP’s biggest spending ticket of all  – 2016’s cost almost £1.5m – looms on the horizon less than a year away.)

Luckily, thanks to the incurious incompetence of a Scottish media which has recently turned into Nicola Sturgeon’s most devoted bodyguard, awkward questions don’t seem to be much of a danger.

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    1. 10 06 20 14:56

      Stealing a wage | speymouth

    88 to “Stealing a wage”

    1. jimnarlene says:

      “Luckily, thanks to the incurious incompetence of a Scottish media which has recently turned into Nicola Sturgeon’s most devoted bodyguard, awkward questions doesn’t seem to be much of a danger.”


    2. Astonished says:

      Curiouser and curiouser.

      Up until the 30th June we can still extend membership of the EU.

      If this has not been done – by the first of July I expect fireworks. And Blackford to keep his word or resign.

    3. ronnie anderson says:

      Hopefully a lot more of the Labour/Tories/libdems/Greens follow suit , they have good experience in form filling ie Expenses forms that is .

    4. Republicofscotland says:

      No money, no independence referendum, let’s not get our hopes up, as for Sweeney, no doubt he’ll have stashed the cash somewhere, it’s good he’s now getting a taste of Labours values. The British press can go to hell for all I care, the sooner they join Sweeney in the busted flush cafe the better.

    5. Oneliner says:

      Who picks up the tab for the reported £600k that Ms Evans squandered on a botched court case?

      That’s a lot of money for a civil servant to play with.

    6. Begs the question WHAT did he spend that £124,000 on?

      He also got got expenses, so food and other things to live in London was taken care of by the taxpayers as well.

    7. Oneliner says:

      A ‘word’ to Paul Sweeney


      Pity he wont have enough to pay for evening classes in English.

    8. Merkin Scot says:

      No mention of Mr and Mrs Lottery Winner?

    9. Lekraw says:

      “Luckily, thanks to the incurious incompetence of a Scottish media which has recently turned into Nicola Sturgeon’s most devoted bodyguard, awkward questions doesn’t seem to be much of a danger.”

      I am being pedantic, I know, but that should be “don’t”, rather than “doesn’t”.

    10. Breeks says:

      That’s quite a lot of pennies dropping…

    11. Mike Lothian says:

      My guess would be he probably bought a house, it’s certainly an easy way to get through that about of money

      But who here can honestly say that they’d save a big chunk of their wages each month in case of a rainy day, that election where he lost his seat was 2 year into a 5 year term, I doubt anyone just elected would really expect to lose their seat after just 2 years

      I didn’t like the guys politics, but stop kicking him when he’s down

    12. fillofficer says:

      poor sweeney, not
      offshore account, no doubt
      if true that he’s skint,
      he could sue RossT for multiple fondlings at WM bar
      the polis have the evidence, don’t they

    13. lothianlad says:

      Any minute now a fair, impartial, balanced and meticulous investigative journalist from Scotland’s print media and/or the BBC, will be all over this……????

      Sturgeons bodyguards …… very accurate.

    14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I am being pedantic, I know, but that should be “don’t”, rather than “doesn’t”.


    15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “But who here can honestly say that they’d save a big chunk of their wages each month in case of a rainy day”

      Me. I do. I’ve never been paid even half as much as an MP but I’ve still got a little nest-egg salted away that would last me significantly longer than the five months it took Sweeney to claim UC after getting the boot. Largely because both Labour and the Tories have dismantled the welfare system so brutally that I know it couldn’t be relied on if I was unemployed again. I was there for a while years ago, when it was considerably more generous and less draconian than it is now, and it was borderline impossible to live on then.

    16. Juteman says:

      Maybe he didn’t qualify for it?
      The article said he was awaiting a response.
      No fun being skint, even if he is a Unionist.

    17. callmedave says:

      Aye! He’s been a bit of a spendthrift right enough poor boy! 🙂

      Remember that tracing app. “A world beater” said Boris well.

      Health Secretary Matt Hancock has refused to give a date for the full launch of the NHS contact tracing app, which was due to be released in mid-May.

      It’s been viewed as a key part of the Government’s strategy to contain outbreaks of coronavirus as the lockdown is lifted.

      “The app is progressing and we will launch it when the time is right,” he said in Parliament today.

      “I am not going to put a date on it.”


      Today’s BBC figures for us where we are but not for where they are.

      N. Ireland…today……00…….Total……537…BBC
      England……today…..*88…….Total…*27707…NHSE + SUN
      UK…………no data…..Total…. no data

    18. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Maybe he didn’t qualify for it?
      The article said he was awaiting a response.”

      I went through the UC application form to check for this article. If you say you have over £16,000 it tells you immediately that you’re eligible for £0. So if he got as far as sending the application in, then it’s highly likely he doesn’t have over £16,000.

    19. stonefree says:

      I got some figures fron 4 relatively local branches of the SNP and two in particular.
      Membership down between 22% to 25% money through the door down about 20%
      Money spent up,
      @ Merkin Scot at 2:21 pm
      Colin Weir died, there were muttering that Mr & Mrs.Weir were not pleased at the waste of money by Sturgeon.
      With Sturgeon’s choice of chums I wouldn’t think Brian Souter will be giving and more money

    20. Paul K says:

      A year-and-a-half as a senior executive with Scottish Enterprise, two-and-a-half years as a very well-paid politician, an £18,000 redundancy payment just a few months ago, then a paid role as part of Angela Rayner’s Deputy Labour leader campaign. Five weeks’ later he claims universal credit because he doesn’t have more than £16,000 and wants us to feel sorry for him. Total wanker.

    21. winifred mccartney says:

      I have to say I did wonder at Paul Sweeney claiming universal credit so soon. He obviously was not one of the favoured ones who landed a plumb job via the labour looking after its own network or the unionist thank you for saving the union brigade, but of course he brought one of their own into disrepute by calling out his behaviour so he could not be rewarded in kind by them either.

    22. Gordon Keane says:

      I do not believe for a minute this failure of an ex MP needed to claim benefits from DWP.
      There is no way he would’ve qualified.
      He couldn’t possibly have used up that amount of money.
      That was a publicity stunt and nothing more, in my view.
      I commented on it at the time elsewhere, but I just don’t believe a word of it from that guy.
      Also, as an ex MP, he should already have gotten that Westminster payout by then.
      As for SNP…. well, folks will only put up with being fooled for so long (as Labour can attest) with promises of moves for Independence they don’t keep!

    23. Robert Louis says:

      I recall I contributed a small, but reasonable sum to that supposedly ‘ring-fenced’ funding drive by the SNP for indyref. We were assured it would NOT be spent on anything else.

      It would be nice to know where it is.

      As for Paul Sweeney, boo – hoo. Their are way too many folk in much, much worse situations than him, for me to care.

    24. dakk says:

      Nights out with Lard Foulkes and the like will have accounted for a goodly chunk of it I don’t doubt.

    25. Tinto Chiel says:

      How much did the SNP’s Stop Brexit Bus paintjob cost?

      Now that was a waste of money, apart from there being no mandate (ooh, the irony) for such a campaign.

    26. Lekraw says:


      ^Quality gaslighting MacGregor^

    27. Richard Baker says:

      “Which means that including the redundancy package Sweeney would have trousered just over £140,000 in disposable income during his time as an MP, which is actually around £4,600 a month.”

      Not disposable income. Disposable income does not include living costs. (I’d also note that he would get much less than the £16,000 average by virtue of having been there a very short time.)

      (And, incidentally, isn’t it just entirely possible that Sweeney bought a house? Property owned does not prevent UC.)

    28. Juteman says:

      How about this for another route to follow for the SNP.
      They use the next Holyrood elections as a Yes vote. If Yes wins, they will negotiate independence from the UK. An election will be called after this process, maybe a year?, when folk can vote for the first government.
      If the SNP vote at the Holyrood election is less than 50%, the SNP will resign, even if they are the biggest party, and leave Holyrood to be run by the Tories. That should focus minds.
      It will never happen, but you can wish.

    29. James says:

      Brian Souter the bible bashing homphobe?

    30. Ottomanboi says:

      Vive l’intolérance….

      “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

      The NW1, woke SNP deserves to be put to sleep. The money drying up may be the soporific.

    31. Col.Blimp IV says:

      “It’s Disorientating”

      Eh? Can he no find his way back to the gravy train?

    32. Habib Steele says:

      Lekrow says, “that should be ‘don’t’, rather than “doesn’t”. It depends on whether the word “media” is being used collectively or distributively. Either can be correct depending on the use.

    33. Skip_NC says:

      Is there any chance the ring-fenced money is held by another organization, such as a proto-Yes Campaign fund? It is not immediately obvious from the Notes to the Financial Statements where that income has been recorded in the Income & Expenditure Account.

    34. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Is there any chance the ring-fenced money is held by another organization, such as a proto-Yes Campaign fund?”

      No. I addressed that in the previous article.

    35. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And, incidentally, isn’t it just entirely possible that Sweeney bought a house?”

      Yes he did, the articles nearly all talk about his mortgage. But the average mortgage doesn’t gobble up £124K in two years.

    36. cynicalHighlander says:

      Seems like it got put in a petty cash drawer and the’ve lost the key.

    37. Effijy says:

      I have every confidence that jobs for the boys will produce a nice wee number for their fellow unionist.

      Rutherglen had an Englishman sent up for a safe seat that he got for 5 years, doing nothing for anyone, before being booted out by SNP. He is now the COE in the Nuclear Industry?

      How about Dippy Dugdale with a job in a University that doesn’t
      involve cleaning.

      Even Dim Jim Murphy got a nice we number working for a friendly millionaire socialist.

    38. Jill Sharpe says:

      Perhaps it’s to justify making him a Lord so that he can make ends meet?

    39. Mike d says:

      Mike lothian 2.38p.thats a shame he missed 3 yrs of the gravy train.

    40. ahundredthidiot says:

      Juteman @ 3:01

      ‘no fun being skint…’

      Health aside, if you are skint in the West, it’s your own stupid fucking fault. You’re either falling for every scam under the sun and having your money taken off you – or you’re a lazy bastard.

    41. twathater says:

      Sorry O/T Laydees and gentlemen I have noticed recently that many of us indy supporters are not happy with the speed and direction of NS and the SNP gradualists towards indy

      Many people were asking what do we do to get their attention and to show them that we are not happy and we will NOT be ignored

      I posted what I thought was an ideal way to get their attention and to THREATEN their hegemony or complacency, unfortunately it only recd 2 positive responses

      I will now put my head in the lions mouth and ask (nicely) if our most esteemed leader Mr Campbell could do a post where we could append our names or monikers clarifying that we would indeed support NOT giving our vote to the SNP unless and until they agreed to the terms required and stated to access our vote and support

      I don’t know the figures for the readership of WOS but I do know that it is comprised of posters and lurkers and it would give ALL an opporchancity to vote , and if successful it could be rolled out via twatter ,faceplook , YES hubs , and even the SNP membership

      I know that WE are ALL FRUSTRATED but a mass of disaffected
      Independence supporters OPENLY THREATENING the SNP to GET IT DONE VIA A PLEBISCITE must at least warrant some attention

      UNTIL someone comes forward to take up the legal challenge proposed by Breeks and Lorna Campbell we HAVE to find a way to FORCE NS and the SNP to come on board

    42. Famous15 says:

      I did not realise how many paid assistants and people like equalities advisers were employed by the SNP ironically pushing policies not shared by over 99% of the membership.

      My meagre £8 per month is very satisfyingly not going toward paying their wages.

      When we start campaigning for INDEPENDENCE again I will review my preferred recipient for my largesse .

    43. Mike d says:

      Juteman 3.51pm. I like that, the SNP can use the 2021 Holyrood election with a mandate for independence if they win. Telling the people of Scotland that they will step down with immediate effect if they lose, and that Scotland will then be welcome to having Holyrood dismantled and suck up the decades of future death and austerity that boris and his cohorts will foist on them. That’ll focus their minds if nothing else.

    44. Stoker says:

      Oh that’s another good article, you’re on a roll these previous few days Rev. 🙂

      Not read comments yet so apologies if following question has already been asked & answered.

      In The National’s article of 2017 Labour asked the Electoral Commission to investigate the SNP’s appeal for donations etc etc. Was there ever an outcome to this and if so does anyone have a source that is not a link to a BUM rag?

      And when all else fails we will beg on our knees for a “Gold Standard” S30. That’ll scare the shit right out of them eh?

    45. callmedave says:

      Today’s total figures updated by WMGov

      N. Ireland…today……00…….Total……537…BBC
      England……today…..*88…….Total…*27707…NHSE + SUN

    46. PacMan says:

      ahundredthidiot says:10 June, 2020 at 5:25 pm

      Health aside, if you are skint in the West, it’s your own stupid fucking fault. You’re either falling for every scam under the sun and having your money taken off you – or you’re a lazy bastard.

      Depends how you define skint. If skint means just standing still where you are unable to get enough money saved to better yourself apart from living on beans on toast for years then it looks like you don’t like in the West of Scotland then?

    47. PacMan says:

      Mike Lothian says: 10 June, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      I didn’t like the guys politics, but stop kicking him when he’s down

      There are plenty of people who have been put on the furlough and in the same situation as him who don’t get newspaper articles written about them. Therefore it’s hard to have that sympathy for him especially considering the generous package he had got.

    48. Tatu3 says:

      “The harsh reality is that there is no point at all in demanding a referendum unless we can be sure that we’re going to win it convincingly…… We have to win it, and we have to win it well.”
      WGD talks a LOT of sense. (As always). Unlike the vast majority here!

    49. PacMan says:

      Mike Lothian says: 10 June, 2020 at 2:38 pm

      But who here can honestly say that they’d save a big chunk of their wages each month in case of a rainy day,

      Being on a low wage, I had did that by practically eating beans on toast for years and not doing anything else after the financial crisis of 2008. As a result, I’m in a better financial position especially with the uncertainty now. It was a personal choice I made but it isn’t one that I would recommend or want anyone else to experience if they had the choice.

    50. Robert Graham says:

      oh remember that we used to use that as an apology way back when straying off topic saw people post a warning first .
      Anyway i guess independence supporters should be saving their money to cover the expected fine heading their way ,
      A fine you ask yep a fine for fkn Loitering at the exit door we have all been parked at for the last bloody six years ,waiting on the key holder getting off their arses and getting back to bloody work .is it too much to ask i mean thats the whole point isn’t it ?

    51. Allium says:

      I don’t really know if its appropriate to post this link here, and if it gets deleted then fair enough, but since we’ve been discussing her and this issue lately, and since its really rather terrific and courageous of her –

      And I can still hope she changes her mind over indy, can’t I??

    52. ahundredthidiot says:

      PacMan re beans on toast.

      Yes, if that’s what it takes. And you should be recommending self imposed hardship to get out of poverty (a self inflicted injury – health aside, of course).

      I remember the poorest parts of Scotland – all claiming abject poverty – and everyone of them with a fucking satellite dish on their walls/verandas!

      Poverty is a choice in the West. The only sympathy I have is that ‘money’ is not taught in schools and for a very good reason. 95% of people will never be financially free……capitalism demands it and Governments comply.

      If you can work, you can earn. and it doesn’t matter how much, so long as you KEEP IT. I remember Dave Ramsay speaking with a fella in Florida who cut grass 6 days a week, on his own, and was a goddamn millionaire – why? – no stupid PCP car he’ll never own, credit card debt, buying garbage he didn’t need to fill up his kitchen. Paid his mortgage down early instead of borrowing against it and started investing/saving.

      If beans on toast for years is what it takes, then that’s what you do.

    53. CameronB Brodie says:

      OT but here’s one to support JKR.

      Master Class: The Ontology of Gender
      For many years now – at least since the publication of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex in 1949 – feminists have been thinking about what “being a woman” amounts to. Beauvoir in that watershed book proposed that being a woman is not just a matter of biology. As she famously put the point, “One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.”

    54. Skip_NC says:

      “Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      10 June, 2020 at 4:47 pm

      “Is there any chance the ring-fenced money is held by another organization, such as a proto-Yes Campaign fund?”

      No. I addressed that in the previous article.”

      If you mean the article “The Betrayer” posted on January 31st, I do not think you addressed it. You stated it was “highly unlikely” that they had done so. However, the accounts state that there are 272 Accounting Units and that the SNP accounts, to which you link above, are unconsolidated.

      So the answer to this is found in identifying the 272 Accounting Units. If that number solely consists of branch, constituency and parliamentary Accounting Units, the SNP has some serious explaining to do to those who donated to a ring-fenced fund.

    55. CameronB Brodie says:

      And here’s another.

      Feminist Metaphysics
      Ontological Commitments, Sex and Gender

    56. Juteman says:

      ahundredthidiot at 6.19.
      “Poverty is a choice in the west.”

      I don’t think ive read a more disgusting Tory remark on here in the last 8 years.
      Shocking post that unfortunately is far too common BTL on here these days.
      Fuck right off with that far right shite.

    57. CameronB Brodie says:

      Thanks, I wanted to say much the same but I hoped someone else might. 😉

    58. Dogbiscuit says:

      SNP have given up on Independence and now just want to burnish Parties sjw credentials by passing Green measures while we are under house arrest and forcing through trans insanity .The retard Patrick Harvie is about to see his green dreams come true. We’re being prepared for less as a society. Pedestrianisation of city streets with more dangerous lunatics on pushbikes. A sort of green communist dream. In order to power electric civilisation we will need either hundreds of oil or gas fired power stations or perhaps dozens of nuclear stations that’s if everyone maintains car ownership but switch to electric. It’s a pipe dream. The greens smoke too much green. See how fanatically SNP and Greens try to force suicidal policies on a once free people. We’re now being told when how why and who with by an arrogant First Minister who is bringing some of her prisoners dangerously close to rebellion.

    59. Dogbiscuit says:

      I will never vote SNP again. There are no parties worth voting for in Scotland. We are a defeated people living in occupied territory paying tribute to an enemy exchequer. As you know our vote is worthless in Westminster. We are Helots.

    60. CameronB Brodie says:

      I’m certainly not defeated.

      Full text.

      Law as affiliation: “Foreign” law, democratic federalism, and the sovereigntism of the nation-state

      This essay explores the role that law plays in marking the identity of a nation-state and the concerns – which I gather under the term sovereigntism – that animate interest in dictating what position “foreign” law ought to play as a domestic resource in adjudication. In some countries such as the United States, opposition to “foreign” law has a long pedigree, exemplifying an exclusivist form of sovereigntism. In contrast, South Africa’s Constitution is also sovereigntist but inclusively so, directing its jurists – as an expression of that nation’s identity – to consider international law.

      After showing why exclusivist sovereigntism cannot succeed as a practice in barring law’s migration and how it is wrong as a theory of democracy, I commend engaging in important questions raised by sovereigntism: whether the import and export of law ought to be regulated by national law, what legal actors ought to be active in the trade in law, and how sovereigntism illuminates human aspirations to use law to make distinctive identities for nation-states.

    61. Dogbiscuit says:

      So money ring fenced for Independence campaign may instead have been swindled? No never. I am shocked well ah do declare dishonesty among carpetbaggers- Alan Smith MP- and scoundrels -Mhairi Black MP- Can it really be so?

    62. Dogbiscuit says:

      Cameron perhaps not defeated in your spirit but as an effective political force I fear the Yes movement is not enough on its own.

    63. Dogbiscuit says:

      When the leadership are defeated so too are their people. Anyone’s allowed to borrow that pithy little truth.

    64. ahundredthidiot says:


      your definition of ‘far right’ doesn’t have a very high bar does it?

      away on a BLM protest and smash up a working class persons business, you leftist, woke, imbecile you – stark reality and facts don’t suit your ‘type’

    65. CameronB Brodie says:

      The leadership may be ‘defeated’ but the people aren’t, and the people can access international law through the EU. While we are still connected.

    66. Dogbiscuit says:

      You might as well expect a cat to stop licking its arse as expect Ian Blackford to resign for anything.He is a gutless useless buffoon of a man.

    67. Dogbiscuit says:

      I hope you’re right Cameron.

    68. Dogbiscuit says:

      Hello lurkers. What the hell is that you’re all drinking?

    69. Dogbiscuit says:

      Poverty is to some extent a choice .Dont act all powerless now. I’m not wealthy. When I was young I chose a drunken licentious lifestyle now I’m older I don’t drink so much. I could have stuck with the few chances that came my way but chose instead to piss them away.The left use other people’s sense of helplessness to build political careers on .The left essentially has nothing to offer as it stands by and allows the NHS to be privatised. Did you see the US Democrats patronising the hellout of black people? All African scarves and kneeling like medieval penitents. Only racists would think black people are so stupid. It would help if politicians and the media would stop propagandising race issues. Maybe with media heat and hype removed from the mix an honest discussion,dialogue can be had.

    70. Dogbiscuit says:

      The Democrats have nothing to offer black folks except youth workshops and welfare. Keep them poor hungry angry and voting Democrat .Getting nowhere just like British Labour and now it seems the SNP.

    71. Clwyd Griffiths says:

      My brother is a supply teacher, when he’s not in work he has to sign on for universal credit (and wait 6 weeks). He would have loved to have £124k to fall back on during lean times. What on earth did Paul Sweeney did with all that money??

    72. Dogbiscuit says:

      When WGD says ‘win it well’ what does he mean ?What? With some panache ? A flourish? What the fuck is he on? There are no guarantees before any fight battle competition or vote. If that was the attitude in 2014 we wouldn’t have bothered.

    73. Juteman says:

      I’m anything but woke, and I would gladly put your lights out if you called me an imbecile to my face you big mouth coward. Now fuck off back to your mocking of poor people you twat.

    74. Juteman says:

      The BTL mob / 77th Brigade have finally won.
      I’m out of here.

    75. Muscleguy says:

      I expect GRA has caused lots of women members and their male supporters to cut up their party cards so those we have seen saying that on twitter is just the tip of the iceberg. I wonder if that loss of supporters with presumably some telling the party what for on departing might be behind the current shelving of the GRA bill.

      Not to mention WM has kicked theirs into the long grass thus denying the SNP the cover they were hoping for.

    76. Kenny says:

      I’m fine with Sweeney having spent big while he was earning a lot. Lots of people do and that’s fine. What I don’t understand is how he tore through his redundancy money in just a few months, not to mention why a man of such clearly great ability couldn’t find any other job in the meantime if he knew he was skint. Even a job at minimum wage would combine with that redundancy payment to make an income well over £30,000 for the year.

    77. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi dOgBiScuit.

      Just to let you know…

      I’ve been scrolling past your (cough) comments since millennium vanished a couple of weeks ago.

      You post $h!†€. What’s the point? Most of us have discerned your motive.

      Time to hand over the baton to one of your ‘comrades’.

    78. Liz g says:

      What Brian said @ 11.32…. There’s more than enough of them around!

    79. Liz g says:

      Muscleguy @ 9.29
      I know personally of at least 10 plus their families,who have given up!
      I should add these are activists not just members and before they left,they tried every mechanism they knew to signal to the Party that this “gender stuff” was not on.
      They got nothing back….totally ignored….and for the one’s who took the view that it was better to be inside the tent pissin out,the recent election of the woman’s officer was the last straw!!!!

    80. Papko says:

      “Luckily, thanks to the incurious incompetence of a Scottish media which has recently turned into Nicola Sturgeon’s most devoted bodyguard, awkward questions doesn’t seem to be much of a danger.”


    81. Cod says:

      Membership numbers for the SNP are in the Financial Year accounts,latest version of which runs up to December 2018.

      In that, on page 3, it states quite clearly that on 31 December 2018 SNP membership stood at 125,534.

      In actual fact, the membership numbers had continued to rise through 2018, as they had previously been reported at April 2018 as 118,162, and at 125,500 in August 2018 (at which point they were recorded in the House of Commons library as the second largest party membership in the UK, overtaking the Conservatives who had at that same time 124,000 members)

      The numbers as at December 2019 will be in the accounts for period ending December 2019 once they are published.

      Accounts for all the parties can be found at

    82. Cod says:

      And, although, yes, these do appear to be self reported numbers, the fact they appear in an official accounts report would seem to lend them some credence.

    83. David B says:

      The branches fund all the elections. Central office may well organise large print runs on leaflets or swag, but the branches pay for all of it. You would know that if you were active in the party.

    84. Cmonindy says:

      Dont fret too much, Rev. All monies I had earmarked for Wings now is headed for SNP. Every little helps.

    85. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The branches fund all the elections. Central office may well organise large print runs on leaflets or swag, but the branches pay for all of it. You would know that if you were active in the party.”

      Well, no. Branches get 25% of member subs to fund their activities. Or at least they did until recently – the central party is now keeping 100% of them for itself.

    86. Stuart says:

      Rev, that Guardian article clearly states that Sweeney’s redundancy payment was 2 months wages which would make it GBP13K and change, not 18K as you imply. I’d also point out that your figure of 140K disposable income overstates the case. Mortgage payments reduce disposable income. Plus anyone who has travelled extensively knows that when you have to buy every meal in a restaurant or cafe it’s considerably more expensive than eating at home and the Parliamentary dining room subsidies will only reduce that somewhat.

      Add in that MPs find themselves forced to attend numerous evening functions in their electorate and MPs rarely get to spend their evenings at home and they wind up eating takeaway most nights. Former Australian MP Barry Cohen wrote that as soon as you get elected every group and organisation in the electorate regards you at their beck and call and you refuse them at your peril. A conscientious MP winds up working 12+hours a day 7 days a week. I’d expect that it works similarly in the UK. The fact that Sweeney only had a 200 seat majority means he probably needed to use every opportunity to appear in front of the voters.

      Since my family emigrated when I was 10yo I know sweet FA about the minutia of Scottish politics in general and Paul Sweeney in particular. I’d never heard of him before. However if he won by 200 votes his seat was clearly marginal. The way things work in Oz is that the people who run for marginal or unwinnable seats are usually first-time candidates who run not in the expectation of winning but in order that they can prove themselves viable candidates so that next time they can be selected for a safer seat. For them actually winning can be a catastrophe – they have to give up a secure career for a job that may only last one term. That’s probably the case with Sweeney.

      If I was in his situation knowing I might be out of a job in 5 years I’d put every spare $ into paying down my mortgage, and that would include any money in my bank account over the 16K limit. Can you honestly say you wouldn’t do the same? BTW it’s not acceptable to gloat over the misfortune of someone just because you disagree with them, schadenfreude is never a good look.

    87. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “BTW it’s not acceptable to gloat over the misfortune of someone just because you disagree with them, schadenfreude is never a good look.”

      Please quote the lines from the post that you consider to constitute “gloating”.

    88. Stuart says:

      The entire post is mean-spirited, that’s what I consider gloating. Suggest you look up “schadenfreude” in the dictionary. As I wrote previously, I wouldn’t know Paul Sweeney if I tripped over him so I have no axe to grind but I found your obvious pleasure in his misfortune distasteful. If he had been an SNP candidate I doubt you’d have written the same piece.

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