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Wings Over Scotland

The Last Days Of Saigon

Posted on March 01, 2023 by

By now many of you will have seen last night’s article on Craig Murray’s site, in which a current SNP branch convener revealed how the party machine is setting fire to all its own rules in a desperate attempt to secure the succession of Humza Yousaf.

Yousaf is the party establishment’s last hope of keeping all of its misdeeds in the last few years under wraps, and realising the magnitude of what’s at stake if he loses to Ash Regan or Kate Forbes, they’re abandoning all pretence of neutrality or integrity and throwing everything they’ve got at getting him elected.

To be honest, such is our lack of confidence in the process being overseen by Peter Murrell that we struggled not to put “elected” in inverted commas there. Because at the moment Murrell is a living breathing illustration of one of Stalin’s most famous quotes.

Alert readers may have spotted an interesting story in The Times yesterday in which the SNP claimed to have hired “an independent firm” to run the leadership contest.

But remarkably, the article continued for over 400 words after that opening paragraph without ever actually naming the company who’d been employed.

Since the paper would have had no reason to run the story unless the SNP had fed them it, the absence of the name was clearly not an accident. And the only logical conclusion to be drawn from those facts – one which was confirmed to us this morning by an elected party insider – is that in fact nothing has happened. The SNP is simply continuing to use the company it’s used for such matters for several years.

That company is called Mi-Voice, and Wings readers have heard of it before.

(The first paragraph of that article also linked to one about an SNP parliamentarian – on that occasion Alyn Smith MP – blatantly breaking the party’s rules about internal elections in exactly the same way Emma Harper MSP has done this week.)

To save you some time reading all of it, the October 2020 piece provided evidence about the deeply unsatisfactory voting process. This was the key finding:

Concerned yet?

Wings makes no suggestion that Mi-Voice is acting unprofessionally or corruptly. Its job is to do whatever its clients tell it to do – its website boasts that its approach is “tailored for you” and includes “complex voting scenarios”, so if its client tells it “Oh, we’ve had a bunch of extra votes that we forgot to mention and we need you to add them to the totals”, it has no choice. It’s just providing a mechanism.

So the problem isn’t Mi-Voice, the problem is who they answer to. In the interests of democracy, it should not be Peter Murrell, who is manifestly not impartial. Were that in any doubt, the construction of the election hustings provides ample proof.

Every single one of the nine events supposedly sold out its capacity – including the online one, which has no reason to have a limited capacity – before most people even knew they were happening, a deeply suspicious level of interest in a political party’s internal elections. It seems extremely likely, given recent events, that this outcome was engineered deliberately to ensure the hustings are all stuffed with hand-picked Humza Yousaf supporters.

But in any event, if the SNP’s membership is really the 100,000+ that the party still routinely claims, that means that barely 3% of its members will get the chance to see the candidates debate in what’s already a contest shrunk to a quarter of the length it’s supposed to be according to the SNP constitution.

That’s because to ensure the hustings are a (cough) “safe space”, the party is not only excluding the media (a defensible position to let candidates speak freely) but also preventing the debates from being livestreamed even to SNP members.

The SNP already possesses the ability to restrict livestreams to verified members – it conducted its conferences during the COVID pandemic in just such a way – so there is no possible rational justification for not allowing those who can’t attend the events in person to watch them.

Forbes and Regan have already called for streams to be provided and for media access. Yousaf has said he has “no problems” with the media being there but hasn’t commented on streams for members (an interesting illustration of his priorities).

The indecent rush in which the entire process is being conducted is another measure clearly designed to favour Humza Yousaf. Kate Forbes is still officially on maternity leave with a new baby but is being expected to race all over the country at breakneck speed, while Ash Regan is on a precipitous learning curve at dealing with intense scrutiny. After a rather shaky start she’s getting better fast, and the party establishment clearly don’t want that to continue.

(The hustings will also take up a huge proportion of the truncated campaigning period, both denying candidates the chance to campaign among the wider membership, and members the opportunity to question candidates on their views and policies if they don’t have tickets to the sold-out events. Clearly this favours the higher-profile Yousaf, who is more of a known quantity, although one could also argue in the light of his track record that it’s a double-edged sword.)

Just in case the deck wasn’t stacked enough already, the hustings are also mostly going to be chaired by some of the party’s most extreme “woke”-wing figures, including Kirsten Oswald and Julia Stachurska, along with the party’s President and Depute Leader, whose allegiances to the continuity candidate are not in any credible doubt.

So Kate Forbes and Ash Regan, who both intend to ditch the hugely unpopular Gender Recognition Reform bill, can expect a rougher ride than Yousaf, who has declared his intention to pursue it in line with his (he hopes) predecessor.

The rules have also been designed to further disadvantage Ash Regan, whose main campaign organiser Kirk Torrance isn’t a current SNP member and will therefore be banned from assisting her at the events, as would other advisers like Robin McAlpine.

Wings understands that both Regan and Forbes will seek a one-off right of reply via an email to South Of Scotland members to address the rule breach by Emma Harper highlighted in Craig Murray’s piece last night. Whether the party will grant it or not is unknown, but even if they do it’s only one of a torrent of underhand manipulations that are being deployed against them.

Voting in the leadership election doesn’t start for another two weeks. So while there will still be serious failings in the process, it’s not too late for genuinely independent oversight to be brought to bear on the counting of the votes at least.

Given that the winner won’t just be securing a party role or a council nomination or the like, but becoming First Minister of the entire country, it’s something that everyone in Scotland ought to be regarding with great urgency.

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0 to “The Last Days Of Saigon”

  1. Daisy Walker says:

    Can you host them in a zoom type meet? That would put the cat amongst the pigeons.

    If SNP HQ do not allow Ash and Kate similar e-mail contact in the south of Scotland then if I were Ash or Kate I would be seeking legal representation for discrimination on the grounds of sex.

    I suspect they would have a very stong case.

    I also hope that they start gathering evidence of counting irregularities – that also amounts to employment discrimination.

    Never thought I’d see the day when the party that I voted for and supported would be clearly seen as Corrupt As Fuck. Used to be that was the tory crown.

  2. Ian McCubbin says:

    Thank you Stu for all this detail.
    It us worrying yet kot a surprise as an ex SNP member to see such a stitch up process.
    I just hope enough decent members who are clear thinkers are left to vote in either of the two women.
    Also that Useless gets a rough ride at some of these hustings.

  3. David says:

    This kind of carry on should see the vast majority of SNP voters abandon the party in future elections if HY is voted in.
    The Cruickshanks of the country and the gender deranged will be the only people backing them.

  4. Andrea says:

    No, I had not read Craig’s article.
    One comment about that, though. The guest writer says that

    “Of course, as a new mother, [the calendar of the hustings] is particularly constraining for Kate Forbes.”

    I don’t want to sound callous, but that’s her problem. If she cannot get to the hustings because of her family situation, things will only get worse once she is in the job.

  5. Thank goodness Wings is detailing the extremely perilous situation that democracy in Scotland is in right now. And with very effective visuals for all those who don’t read the text closely, the message will surely get through to at least some SNP members. A forlorn hope?

  6. socratesmacsporran says:

    I look at current events and have come to the conclusion – Since the SNP cannot even pauchle an internal election adequately, what hope have they of ever running an independent country?

  7. Snecky says:

    As a former SNP member and activist, I found the Mi-voice system very lacking in the past. You often had to chase up HQ to get access to Mi-voice emails and voting, and getting a reply from HQ wasn’t exactly easy either. I am sure that SNP HQ are aware of the problems so if they are sticking with the Mi-voice, that says volumes.

    I find it hard too to imagine that everything was booked out so quickly. Granted, this is a high profile vote but the general response to elections verged from some participation (mainly I suspect by the activists who have now left the SNP) to almost total apathy.

    To give you an idea of patterns in the fairly recent past, a certain councillor (now MSP) was selected to run having received 11 (or was it 13) votes in the branch selection procedure for council elections a couple of years ago…. Hustings for MP candidate selection rarely got more than say, 80-100 attendants in our local large town. Online hustings for the regional list vote got about 30 participants from memory. Not that there was much point turning up anyway as the candidate selected came about 5th in order of votes received but was able to play the disability self-ID card so got to the top of the regional list anyway.

  8. Georges says:

    The quotes from Orwell and Stalin at the start of your article sum up Surgeon’s SNP; rotten to the core.
    As always, when trying to determine why people act as they do, the old adage is as true now as ever; follow the money.
    The career politicians (and their tax payer funded advisers) who have used the SNP as a means to a cushy tax payer funded salary are desperate to preserve the staus quo. Their lifestyles depend on it. Bought and sold for English gold, such a parcel of rogues in a nation.

  9. Scott says:

    Do we know if BBC Scotland have any intentions of hosting a TV debate? Find it odd that there’s been little coming from them. Assumed they would have wanted to host one as well as STV.

    Live TV debates will probably sadly be the only opportunity for the wider SNP membership & all of us to see all 3 candidates in action.

  10. dandydons1903 says:

    Chairperson Imelda and cronies are just using the same playbook the East German communist partei used to use ie promoting from within with nothing to see here…….

  11. ronald says:

    Daisy Walker 12.23

    Corrupt as Fuck And thats only at the start of this process lol

  12. Viscount Ennui says:

    My reading is that Forbes is now WM’s preferred option and that this has been intimated to her. Which is why she is sending out untra-conservative vibes whilst still dangling the indy carrot.
    Call me a fool but I suspect that Forbes will get in with WM backing.

  13. Ronmacdee says:

    Don’t we already know the answer to your question?

  14. David Hannah says:

    The SNP is some of the most organised crime the world has ever seen.

    I want to see Murrell and Sturgeon in handcuffs by the end of all of this.

  15. Confused says:

    Um, I think I was cracking “jokes” about exactly this last night. Satire is dead.

    At the risk of enraging protestants, the system used by the vatican to elect a new pope was analyzed by anti-fraud people and thought to be extremely secure. SNP HQ need not do the thing with the smoke though.

    Since there is no independent audit trail, people need to set one up themselves; report how you voted on social media, or someone setup a site with a “how I voted” app. If enough people use it, the statistics will be sound. Being unofficial it will be panned by the media, but it will tell you “how bad the smell really is”.

  16. Shug says:

    If I were a member of the NEC I would be absolutely bricking it.

    This can only end up in court with the NEC members having a personal liability.

    And Ash has a KC in place

    Jings they are not very bright are they

  17. Scotsrenewables says:

    Viscount Ennui says:
    1 March, 2023 at 12:59 pm
    My reading is that Forbes is now WM’s preferred option and that this has been intimated to her. Which is why she is sending out untra-conservative vibes whilst still dangling the indy carrot.
    Call me a fool but I suspect that Forbes will get in with WM backing.

    I fail to see what your evidence is for this, but you might be right.

    In any event, I am sure Forbes would use Ash Regan’s talents wisely in her government. The two women seem to have a lot of time for each other.

  18. Bob Mack says:

    From the heady days before the referendum and to the renewed hope after the referendum to this.

    We have been well fooled for such a long time, but I will never give up the fight.

    Let all their names carry the stigma they deserve in Scotlands history.

  19. Dramfineday says:

    Thank you Stuart for another brilliant exposé. I had been quietly kicking myself that I left the party after the GRR vote and so, never expecting Sturgeon to go, would miss the chance to vote for a new leader. Now….after these revelations, na. Hell and Handcarts come to mind.

  20. sadscot says:

    I wonder if Scottish MSM will even highlight any of this.

    Can only hope that Joanna Cherry KC will hit the roof, and the media!

  21. Steve L says:

    It’s difficult to put into words just how bad Yousaf will be for Scotland as FM.

    From an Indy point of view I can’t imagine he’ll do the movement too many favours either.

    So no matter what skin you have in the game, this guy should be stopped at all costs.

  22. Peakcrew says:

    Through a Scottish Prism has offered to host a special with the candidates. KF and AR should seriously consider it, in my entirely naïve opinion.

  23. Geoff Anderson says:

    They use Survey Monkey at NEC meetings. McCann takes 30 minutes to announce the result after a vote…..instead of seconds.

  24. bluegrass banjo says:

    Theo Usherwood

    Two birds, one stone question from Stephen Flynn, Westminster leader of the SNP.

    “Does it hurt the PM to know that the Labour leader believes in Brexit more than he does?”


    Stephen Flynn direct one- liners every PMQ is a good watch

  25. Rob says:

    BBC Radio Scotland’s lunchtime news reports the first hustings will have one journalist and one photographer to cover the hustings on a pooled basis, all records shared to all outlets interested. Other recored takers also to be present but I can’t remember if they were streamers or video people.

    The expectation is that would be repeated at all hustings, but isn’t yet confirmed.

  26. Breeks says:

    The thing I find utterly baffling is why people can see this happening in real time, yet not be reaching for the emergency corruption klaxon. What is wrong with people that they think this carry on is no cause for concern?

    Is the corruption so utterly rancid that even featherlight exposure to scrutiny is so unthinkable, that “appearing” to be corrupt and garnering suspicion, is considered the much lesser evil beside being exposed as actually corrupt and garnering outrage and interdiction? What other conclusion can you draw?

    I also think you’re going too easy on Mi-Voice Rev Stu… If they’re employed as independent consultants who will parrot whatever they’re employer tells them to say, that seems like fraudulent activity designed to mislead people, and not withstanding a criminal prosecution, what kind of reputation or integrity can Mi-Voice properly enjoy? It’s not my field, but surely there must be some relevant duty of care protecting the public from deception…

    What a cesspit Sturgeon and Murrell have engineered, and I truly, truly, wonder whether the SNP has anything left to offer the Independence Movement. Frankly, Ash Regan seems like a forlorn candle flickering in the window.

    I’m not sure Murrell is trying to save his crumbling empire, or whether the intention has always been the absolute and total destruction of the SNP.

    Do they really want Humza? How can he, a Muslim, possibly champion the Transgender Extremism? It just doesn’t compute.

    Or do they actually fear that Ash Regan might yet steer the SNP away from catastrophe and back towards the light? The assassination of the SNP is not complete… yet.

  27. PhilM says:

    @Daisy Walker
    There’s no evidence that Ash or Kate are being discriminated against WRT the protected characteristic of sex, whether that’s because both are female or because they happen to share the protected characteristic of being of the same sex. They are being treated less favourably than Humza not because he’s a man and they are women but because he happens to be the preferred candidate.
    I also don’t see how they are being subject to indirect discrimination either, both are currently fulfilling the same role as Humza i.e. SNP MSPs and both put themselves forward as candidates to be FM just like Humza. Being treated unfavourably because of maternity leave is prohibited conduct but then Ash is being treated the same way and she is not pregnant or on maternity leave, so Kate would have to prove discrimination beyond anything Ash is being subjected to.

  28. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “BBC Radio Scotland’s lunchtime news reports the first hustings will have one journalist and one photographer to cover the hustings on a pooled basis, all records shared to all outlets interested. Other recored takers also to be present but I can’t remember if they were streamers or video people”

    If you look at the document in the article, the permitted pooled photographer and broadcast camera are only for establishing shots.

  29. Jontoscot21 says:

    With woodenheaded Stalinist HR fixer Oswald in charge of hustings and the disgraced head the ba’ Murrell allowed to manipulate the election isn’t there a case for involvement by the courts or the electoral authorities? Maybe boycott so that Useless can’t claim a mandate and the fix is an asterixed election.

  30. Anton Decadent says:

    @sadscot, as far as I know elements of the Scottish MSM were given a cash float by the Scottish government which would in no way influence their editorial content.

    Re the MSM, the two I read daily are the Herald and the Guardian, I go to them for slanted opinion and propaganda dressed up as news and I come here for a glimpse behind the curtain, what they do not want us to know.

  31. John C says:

    It is exceptionally disturbing that a party in government is adopting Trumpian tactics and rhetoric under the guise of ‘safe spaces’ to ensure the party elite get their chosen man into power. It is also disturbing to see so-called ‘progressives’ cheer the decision to exclude the media under a variety of reasons from ‘MI5 infiltration’, ‘Unionist psy-ops’ and other equally Trumpian reasons to deny basic accountability and transparency for not just the SNP members who can’t make hustings, but the millions of us who aren’t party members but want to see what our potential First Minister has to say for themselves.

    All three candidates are less than inspiring. All won’t solve the many problems Scotland has, but it is still important for the public to hear them speak otherwise the SNP look fragile, weak and authoritarian.

  32. President Xiden says:

    Look, if 81 million Americans can vote for a potato , then Humza could easily be anointed.

  33. Athanasius says:

    I dunno, Stu. Call me paranoid, call me crazy, call me a tinfoil hatter, but something about your post gives me the uncomfortable intuition that not all is as it should be with the SNP leadership election. Is it just me, or is anybody else getting that vibe?

  34. President Xiden says:

    socratesmacsporran says:
    1 March, 2023 at 12:37 pm
    I look at current events and have come to the conclusion – Since the SNP cannot even pauchle an internal election adequately, what hope have they of ever running an independent country?

    Indeed, and the same Government of the ferry fiasco are promising us 20 minute neighbourhoods with a utopia of services all within 20 minutes our homes. Blimey, that’s good considering we can’t even see a Dr as things stand these days.

  35. stuart mctavish says:

    They prolly sharing more than we got for the following appointments, so its not like MSM will be missing a big scoop*:

    Dewer, McLiesh, McConnel, Alexander, Gray, Lamont, Murphy, Dugdale, Leonard & Sarwar
    McLetchie, Goldie, Davidson, Carlaw & Ross
    Wallace, Stephen, Scott, Rennie & hamilton
    Swinney, Salmond, Sturgeon


    *unless and to extent Humza be demonstrating how he’ll allay any fear associated with the middle east 2 hashtag by getting hammered for (rather than at) FM questions

  36. David Hannah says:

    Hopefully some Russian hackers manage to infiltrate their meetings with spy cameras hidden up their sleeve.

    It will all he staged. A bunch of Green haired goblins telling mother Kate Forbes to reframe her bigotry so that women with penises can feel valid.

    Fuck right off. That’s all I can say. If I were a candidate I’d tell them to ram their fake hustings.

  37. Liz says:

    It’s so fucking annoying.
    We know its happening and we can’t seem to do much about it.

    I believe if Humza gets shoed in, he’ll be gone in under a year

  38. SusanAHF says:

    This absolutely reeks of corruption. Yousaf is the least suitable candidate and if he is “elected” it will be for convenience and woke points ie he’s not white and is a mohammedan.

  39. alan scott says:

    While undoubtedly the party is trying to stitch the election up for Humza I’m not sure all of their actions make sense. If the hustings are going to be stuffed with Humza supporters and chaired by Humza supporters I would have thought the party would want to stream the meeting to all members. No doubt he will get rapturous applause for his creative genius while the others get booed for their inability to understand that a man can be a woman.Any propagandist worth his salt would want to share this rather than keep it secret. I would expect the party to allow streaming in the near future in the interests of “openness and transparency”.

  40. Den says:

    Murrell and Sturgeon with the support of a corrupt Lord Advocate and Police Scotland were a 6hr Jury deliberation away from pulling off one of the biggest miscarriages of Justice ever in the UK, many of their co conspirators are still within the SNP fixing an internal election is chicken feed to them in comparison.

  41. barelybare says:

    Thanks for this article. The voting and counting is certainly where attention needs focused. From what I read on Mi-Voice’s site, it is quite flexible, so you can manage your own votes if that suits your use case. i.e. Secure and Open participation models

    I wonder if Murrell & co can generate a voter code for an imaginary person, then without any email involved go to a web browser and register a vote for that code? i.e. how can irregular voting be made to work?

    Another thinh to keep in mind is that people say the SNP had 100,000 members but noone except Murrell & co know if that is true. Is anyone allowed to see the list of members? So they can maybe sit and watch votes coming in over the 2 week vote timeframe and feed in votes as necessary to let Humza win. Will anyone be allowed to see what went on? Highly unlikely.

    It all needs investigation and reporting by a super sleuth.

  42. joolz says:

    I have a ticket for 10th March, but I booked as soon as they became available. Presumably they can’t confiscate 400 phones at the venue so, no doubt, some recordings will come out. But that is the reason it should be broadcast to all, many audience recordings will, no doubt, be selective and give a biased view. The WHOLE event should be visible to all members.

  43. Lizzie55 says:

    It’s odd that Mi-voice are a dormant company and have been for many years.

  44. Frazerio says:

    With Humza Useless, I think we all know what we’re getting.
    I just dont trust Kate Forbes. Hiding behind maternity leave to avoid GRA & save her job, but dropping ML like a stone when the opportunity arose to scale the greasy pole arose. At 32, its really not her time.
    The only thing that troubles me about Ash Regan is how completely perfect she seems. She’s like a perfect identikit leader in waiting for this precise moment. She is the only choice if you are for independence. The Rev alludes to a slow start for her, but I must have missed that. She resigned at the right time. She had a comprehensive plan in place as soon as the bid was launched & she’s had a grown up answer any time I’ve seen her talk.

    That all said, I’m off to put some cash on the Continuity Kid to soften the disappointment of the stitch-up!!!

  45. Daisy Walker says:

    PhilM says:
    1 March, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    @Daisy Walker
    ‘There’s no evidence that Ash or Kate are being discriminated against WRT the protected characteristic of sex, whether that’s because both are female or because they happen to share the protected characteristic of being of the same sex.

    They are being treated less favourably than Humza not because he’s a man and they are women but because he happens to be the preferred candidate.’

    I’m going to suggest that it would be up to the SNP to prove your above statement, and that potentially Ash and Kate have every right to enquire as to the unfair treatment being dished out to them, as to whether it is motivated by sex discrimination.

    Not a good look for the SNP to have to acknowledge, yes we were treating them unfairly, but it was not for that reason, but other motives.

    By failing to treat all the candidates equally and fairly as laid out in law – as an organisation, they broadcast that they are not an equal opportunities employer and those with listed protected characteristics on the EQA would be entitled to view it as a hostile environment for their employement and promotion prospects.


    ‘I also don’t see how they are being subject to indirect discrimination either, both are currently fulfilling the same role as Humza i.e. SNP MSPs and both put themselves forward as candidates to be FM just like Humza.

    Being treated unfavourably because of maternity leave is prohibited conduct but then Ash is being treated the same way and she is not pregnant or on maternity leave, so Kate would have to prove discrimination beyond anything Ash is being subjected to.’


    I hadn’t given a lot of thought to Kate’s maternity leave status – however, since you’ve raised it, I’d suggest that the presence of Ash in your argument is a bit of a red herring.

    Is Kate on maternity leave? Yes. Are current procedures making reasonable accomodations for her maternity leave status, to ensure she gets an equal opportunity to make her case for Leadership?

    Ummm, I’d suggest she is not. Firstly be the Harper e-mails and access to same, and secondly, as others have mentioned 8 day hustings, all around the country, with a new baby in tow.

    Imagine just for a second that all the candidates were of the same sex, but 2 were Asian and one was white. If the white one got access to the kind of promotion as Humza has received, but the Asian ones did not – do you think for a minute that a defence of, well it looks like racial discrimination, and it was discrimination, but not for that reason, but other motives, would hold water.

    Nor would there be a defence of, we did it to both of them, so it couldn’t be discrimination now could it, they could both keep each other company.

    I think its worth pointing out that both Ash and Kate would be acting as individuals in presenting a complaint – it would not be a reasonable defence for the SNP to say, look it wasn’t just one woman we did this to, there were 2, so we couldn’t have been singling them out for discrimination.

    The above is just my take on it. I’m not an expert in any way.

    Anyway, I’m sure its all ancient history now, Humza will be outraged, given how litigatious he is over discrimination issues, he’ll be all over this to ensure fair treatment for all.

  46. David Hannah says:

    Well spotted lizzie.

    Mi-Voice is now a dormant company? It doesn’t operate anymore.

    Murrell has the dodgy goods from the company that doesn’t exist and will chose the next leader, after the fake hustings.

  47. Alf Baird says:

    SusanAHF @ 2:19 pm

    “Yousaf is the least suitable candidate”

    From the perspective of Scottish national independence, yes. But not from the British-American imperial perspective, which is anti-independence. It is not just the SNP hierarchy who are managing this process. Scotland has to be kept in its box.

  48. Shug says:

    Mi voice director Benjamin marsh. Us that the same chap that works for the UK energy programm, the civil service and previously the mod.

    Interesting line of connections

    Am I seeing things

  49. Alex Stone says:

    I wonder how many times the NuSNP cult have been on the phone to twitter these last couple of weeks, trying to shut Stu down.

    Because where else would we get this level of information to consider?

  50. Johnny says:


    The Mi-voice website seems to suggest the actual company in charge of the supply of the electoral software offering is called Democracy Technology Ltd, as per here:

    That company is still active and filing total exemption accounts for a small company, as per

  51. Astonished says:

    If Humza wins – What do you think will happen ? Members will be aware of the fix, and at his first failure will be raging that someone else didn’t win.

    The nuSNP are skint, and have fewer members. How many fewer is anyone’s guess (mine is less than 50,000). The party is deeply divided and wedded to the virtue-signalling greens. They will again have to try to pass the hated GRR bill.

    Humza is not famed for his bravery, decisiveness or ability. He is famous for plotting, extra-marital affairs and political failure. When he fails ( and I don’t think there is any question that he will) will Sturgeon come back with a fresh bag of carrots ? I don’t think she can.

    And what of Ash, Kate ? Will they remain in the nuSNP to be regularly pilloried. I don’t think so.

    If Humza wins – I think the nuSNP will implode.

  52. wullie says:

    When the Humza stitch up wins Im quite sure he will offer nikla a position on the from t bench for a bit of continuity you understand .

  53. Duncan Gray says:

    We could set up our own online hustings, ask each candidate to attend, and send out invitations to all members. They could send in their questions in advance

  54. Shug says:

    Lizzie’s 55
    Check the director names in linked in

  55. Garavelli Princip says:

    I think decent non-Murrellites in the SNP and the ‘losing’ candidates (i.e anyone not called Humza Yousaf) need to get lawyered up.

    Know any good KCs in the party?

  56. Gregory Beekman says:

    Are Forbes and Regan dumb or what? They must have known there was no point in them standing. Good job they’re not men, or Sturgeon would have had them in court on dubious sex abuse charges.

  57. David Hannah says:

    Humza Yousaf is a dirty cheat. The Murrell’s have fixed the election for him. Fixed before its even began. The evidence is there in black and white.

    Get the lawyers in the phone.

  58. Merkin Scot says:

    Humza Yousaf is the continuity shoe-in candidate in the same way that Liz Truss was. Ultimately, he will be just as successful.

  59. barelybare says:

    If people are trying to insinuate Mi-voice is dodgy they are off in the wrong direction. It is a system. The user can use it how they like, within its capabilities.

    If I buy a Ford van I can use it to transport legal goods or to carry illegal goods while driving over the speed limit. That has nothing to do with who the directors of Ford Motor Co are.

  60. orri says:

    Early notification of an event so you can ensure the feedback you want and ensuring that only your version is released sounds exactly what the SNP did with the two consultations on the GRR.

    Problem is that the members may not fall for it. So I suppose they could always fall back to reporting the result of the vote.

  61. Jane Doe says:

    As an expat Scot, and Conservative Party activist for 40 years can I give a few thoughts on the Emma Harper MSP mailing to members? It seems to me that EH, officers etc of the South of Scotland SNP and possibly the national party are in breach of data protection legislation. I would think that Scottish legislation will be similar to England as the GDPR was EU legislation which was then applied to the UK. When registering a mailing list a named person is legally responsible. The contact details on a mailing list are to be used only for the registered purposes of the organisation concerned. I would think that the SNP purposes would be to promote and campaign in the interests of the SNP as a whole…. not a partisan section of the SNP. I think that EH, the local party bigwigs and even the national party could be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office of Information (ICO). During the Europe Referendum, the Conservative Party as a whole did not have a policy either for Brexit or Remain. It was down to individuals members including Ministers and MPs how to campaign and vote. CCHQ made it clear to constituency parties that the Conservative mailing list and Canvas data could not legally be used to campaign by either side. Neither could party facilities such as office, telephones, printers etc. I suggest a few complaints from SofS members to the ICO would be in order.

  62. Doug says:

    Is there a Deep Throat in Mi-Voice?

  63. Big Jock says:

    Here is the question. Why did Nicola resign so suddenly, along with the Chief Constable. Connect the dots and it will make sense. Pressure from a third party authority has requested their departure or there will be consequences.

    However they haven’t got rid of Murrell , he is the puppet master supreme. Is he actually an agent of the state? It begins to look more and more likely. He is running about like the Teflon Don. He seems untouchable.

    Are we in actual fact trying to defeat the UK state in Murrell. A futile ambition at the moment.

  64. Graeme George says:

    Peakcrew says:
    1 March, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    ”Through a Scottish Prism has offered to host a special with the candidates. KF and AR should seriously consider it, in my entirely naïve opinion.”

    According to Roddy (Barrhead Boy) only one of the three candidates have accepted his offer, the other two have remained silent, Roddy didn’t say who accepted but no prizes for guessing

  65. Mac says:

    Mi-Voice is a holding company.

    The action seems to be happening in its wholly owned subsidiary company called Democracy Technology Ltd.

    The same people also seem to be involved in a company called IMETA Holdings Ltd.

    Which is a holding company for IMETA Technologies Ltd

    Same people involved but IMETA is serving financial companies and seems to be their main business.

    So absolutely yes, these folks will do whatever the client (i.e. The SNP) asks them to do as long as it does not break the law. Their business IS manipulating data however their client wants. Citing them is no guarantee of anything.

    Now we see why Murrell keeps the total membership numbers so murky as well. The whole process is designed to be opaque and therefore wide open to abuse.

    Ash Regan’s point was a brilliant one. Having Murrell count the votes is like having Carrie count the votes to decide who Boris Johnson’s successor would be. It is a nonsense.

    Ash Regan and Kate Forbes need to bandy together and threaten to kick up shit if these abuses of the system are not rectified. They should in no way legitimize the fraudulent election of Humza Twoface by participating in it if it is essentially rigged.

    Everything is always a stitch-up with these cunts. That is all they seem to know. Time for it to end.

  66. Lizzie55 says:


    If snp are contracted to Democracy Technology then that is who they should say are undertaking the contract. It’s still very odd that a many years dormant company has a contract with the snp. Where is the due diligence?

  67. Republicofscotland says:

    If its truly the case with the lection vote counting company then it doesn’t matter what happens Yousaf or Forbes will win and the status quo will remain.

    WTF are the membership doing about this, its their party not Murrells or Sturgeons its the membership that makes the party, they MUST do something to stop this outrage, the sole reason for the existence of the SNP, their raison d’etre is to obtain independence any way possible, has the membership forgotten this, take back your party or watch it become insignificant and end up like BLiS which became a laughing stock in Scotland.

    Mr Norris has acted, the membership MUST follow suit, and remember if you want Scottish independence vote Ash Regan, Christ I shouldn’t even need to say that.

  68. Antoine Roquentin says:

    A “Murrell”, might yet become an opprobrious term for future generations of independent Scots wishing to express their contempt regarding politicians of an unquestionably flawed probity. “Sic a parcel o [Murrells] in a nation” Jist sayin, like.

  69. Mac says:

    These is definitely a steel edge to Ash Regan. You could see it clearly in that ITV interview.

    She knows her own mind and dealt with the usual boring gotcha crap questions very well considering how new all of this must be, being in the intense spotlight.

    The demands that she name specific countries who would support Scotland’s right to self determination in the event of 50+% of the Scottish population voting for the SNP (who ran on a one issue manifesto, independence) was pathetic. Utter dickhead of an interviewer but par for the course with ITV etc…

    Regan does seem to be learning fast.

    Humza Yousaf is a distant third in this contest. He does not have the support and is not liked.

    This is between Forbes and Regan or at least it would be if we had an transparent and honest voting system.

    All the polls at the beginning had Yousaf in third and a distant third. Now he is being talked up like it is between him and Forbes. Bollocks. They are obviously doing this so when they cheat it, it is more believable.

    Yousaf does not have anywhere near the support. He’s is an arrogant wank by all accounts who is widely disliked in the SNP. No way are people voting for him to be leader in great numbers. No chance.

  70. Iain More says:

    Emma Harper hasn’t just breached the Data Protection Act in my view but I am pretty sure as a former Branch Organizer that she has broken the Party’s own rules. The whole thing is looking increasingly rigged and fraudulent. Oh well!

    Useless Incompetent Yousaf winning would be an Electoral Boost for Alba. Alba Party could justifiably take the gloves off in my view and stand candidates against the Wokist Traitors and the Transgender Nazis that currently run the SNP to the detriment of Scots Indy Movement and the Scottish Nation a a whole.

  71. Haagsehighlander says:

    Why would a supposedly independently minded msp allow/back
    Freeport’s,Kate? And if yousless gets in,I’m worried I might self combust.

  72. robertkknight says:

    Here’s hoping disgruntled SNP members do as I did… Quit (in droves) and join ALBA.

  73. jlm says:

    Forbes and Regan should abandon the Murrell Hustings and run their own event (on zoom?) answering the questions Yusless is given.

  74. Republicofscotland says:

    Re my 4.09pm comment about the SNP membership doing something about this outrage, it looks as though they bottled it a long time ago and now its too late.

    “Ordinary members have no mechanism to demand anything since the Sturrell gang abolished the NC & gerrymandered NEC. The membership should have gone ballistic when NC was abolished but didn’t – too starry-eyed over ‘Oor Nicola’ to act on any disquiet they felt. Now it’s too late.”

  75. Alastair Campbell says:

    Kate and Ash should form a joint ticket uncoupling the FM and Party Leader roles.
    One FM and Deputy Party Leader and the other Party Leader and Deputy First Minister.
    Covers a larger constituency with one prioritising running the SG the other Independence Campaign.
    Work smart.

  76. sadscot says:

    @ Republic of Scotland
    “Mr Norris has acted.”
    Yes but posting a letter on Craig Murray’s site doesn’t achieve much.
    Laws on DP have been broken here by the SNP and Harper. Election procedures have been breached. That’s serious. Formal complaints should follow along with an investigation. Craig Murray can’t do much.
    Based on all that’s coming out this whole election should be stopped.

  77. Lollypop says:

    I reckon Humza will be the SNP’s Liz Truss. They’ll vote him in deliberately to keep out the other two, then replace Humza within months.

  78. John Green says:

    Alba Party could justifiably take the gloves off in my view and stand candidates .
    I expect alba to do just that, unless they get a formal agreement with the snp

  79. Fiona says:

    I wonder why AR and KF entertain this rigged system. They should just refuse to attend and get on with normal campaigning.

  80. Andrew scott says:

    Like the last days in saigon shredders will be close to melting with over use!

  81. Ebok says:

    It would be useful if something along the lines of an exit poll could be arranged, though as it hasn’t been suggested it may not be possible. That would be a shame as these types of polls are generally quite accurate and would highlight the gross discrepancies we expect.

    As for leadership, many of us have been crying out for the emergence of someone who could follow in the footsteps of Alex Salmond. I really rate Ash Regan and believe she has all the attributes necessary to be his natural successor.

    Whatever the outcome of this leadership ‘contest’ she gives me hope for the immediate future whether that be leading SNP and prioritising Independence, working with all yes groups, or in the event of a stitch-up, she gives me belief that she has the bottle to fight and unite with like-minded Independence groups, and that her time is merely delayed.

  82. TheSNPLeftMe says:

    “Politicians are like bad horsemen who are so preoccupied with staying in the saddle that they can’t bother about where they’re going.”
    ? Joseph Alois Schumpeter

  83. Anton Decadent says:

    I just read a piece in todays Guardian which plays the race card to promote Yousef and only gave mention to Reagan and Forbes to note their inexperience when compared to Yousef.

    Re the trans lobby, two organisations which have donated to pro trans publications in the UK are Google and Goldman Sachs.

  84. Skip_NC says:

    Ebok @ 5:34pm, I suppose the exit poll with which we are all familiar at general elections would not be possible, as this election lasts two weeks.

    There have been two polls done with SNP voters. Given that the SNP got almost 1.3 million votes on the constituency ballot alone in 2021, the leadership electorate is only a small proportion of that. The don’t knows were 53% in one poll and 45% in the other.

    As an aside, I took a look at the accounts of Democracy Technology Ltd. It seems to be a small operation. Twelve employees and not much in the way of equipment. I suppose some will be leased, but the minimum lease payments noted in the accounts are at the sort of level that would cover rent on a building that might host a dozen employees. I haven’t yet looked at the parent company accounts.

  85. President Xiden says:

    If this is the last days of Saigon, Humza is piloting that helicopter.

  86. Doug says:

    Whatever the result eternal credit to Ash Regan for having the guts to come out fighting for independence. She is not afraid to put independence front and centre – where it should be.

  87. David Hannah says:

    Colin Mackay saying you can follow the debate on STV website at 7pm. In his previous tweet he said you could watch it live.

    Here’s hoping we can watch it.

  88. Ebok says:

    Skip_NC @ 6.00pm

    Thanks Skip, I realise the two-week voting window might be a problem, though I was thinking more in terms of Rev’s polls where he can produce stats based on party allegiance, that sort of thing.

    Perhaps if Rev notices this exchange, he’ll inform us.

  89. Stoker says:

    Just in case it hasn’t been mentioned in the comments so far, the BBC in Scotland text service is announcing that there will be a 1-hour special of ‘Debate Night’ with all 3 party candidates on 12th or 14th March (can’t remember) from Edinburgh.

    Steven Jardine will host the debate and put audience questions to the three candidates. I wonder how the BBC audience selection process will be handled? Will there be an SNP plant version of ‘Orange Jacket Man’? I wonder what inspired the change of heart?

  90. robertkknight says:


    “eternal credit to Ash Regan for having the guts to come out fighting for independence.”

    If she wants to spend her time “fighting for independence” she should join ALBA.

    Sturgeon’s rancid SNP is a lost cause.

    A single pro-Indy SNP MSP who finds their “guts” does not a revolution make.

    Where are the other MPs and MSPs complaining about the process and the rule breaking?


    Sturgeon’s rancid SNP has bought and sold Scotland, not for English gold, but for access to the trough that is Westminster – which is near as damn it the same thing by today’s standards.

    The SNP is not pro-Indy nor will be with the incumbent crowd of chocolate teapots in place – including the three candidates.

  91. Stoker says:

    Fiona says on 1 March 2023 at 5:32 pm:
    “I wonder why AR and KF entertain this rigged system.”

    That has crossed my mind too. I believe both of them should resign as soon as the fix is made official and Hoozat Useless is appointed. Then both women should join ALBA stating they could no longer tolerate the internal corruption of the SNP with all the electoral law-breaking and fixing going on with Murrell at the helm. I can’t see Ash staying but i’m not 100% convinced Kate would leave. I’ve had some doubts about her recently. I hope she proves me wrong, i really do.

  92. robbo says:

    That twat useless is standing right in front of Ash Regan.

    What a toss.

  93. ronald says:

    RepublicofScotland 4.58 .

    That Collette Stevenson.s reading of a Idiot board to camera .

  94. Alan Mackintosh says:

    No idea if I have sneaked in by mistake, but I’m just watching a livestream of the hustings from Cumbernauld I think…

    Dunno if everyone can access it…

  95. socratesmacsporran says:

    Watched the candidates’ initial speeches on the STV website: Useless, Hopeless and Clueless.

    Under the SNP, we will not get Independence, because all three are going to ask nicely instead of taking it back.

    England will never let us go voluntarily – we have to take Independence.

  96. Alin Scot says:

    A lot of the questions from the audience members in Cumbernauld are lightweight and not focussing on major issues like land reform and housing.


  97. Ron Clark says:

    Tried watching the debate, it bored the fuckin arse off me.

    Inspired I was not.

    Couldn’t stand watching Russell and Yousaf.

    I actually think that was their plan, bore the arse off the bastards so that the continuity candidate sweeps the board.

    Let’s hope the format changes in the BBC and STV debates.

  98. Alin Scot says:

    Good promotion of Welsh Water on the table. What’s wrong with Scottish?

  99. Ron Clark says:

    Yousaf tells us he will fight the Section 35 order with everything the Scottish government has. He tells us Westminster will not impose their laws on a democratic decision taken by the Scottish government.

    We know for a fact Yousaf is talking bullshit, because the Westminster government have done it not so long ago with the Section 30 order, which Yousaf and Co lay down like frightened dogs and never lifted a finger to overturn that decision.

    Yousaf is a carbon copy of what Sturgeon would have said if she was sitting in that debate tonight.

  100. David Hannah says:

    I watched the husting. I like Regan’s idea about getting NHS Nurses and the ground floor staff into a meeting to tell them what is needed. As there’s two many chiefs enjoying a free lunch.

    She mentioned EFTA which makes sense as we can’t go into the EU straight away.

    She says there’s going to be an assembly.

    And that was it.

  101. Republicofscotland says:

    Well that’s the Cumbernauld husting live stream finished, I watched it all, Ash Regan performed well, and a question was asked on the GRRB, thankfully Regan stood by her guns on it.

    The crowd appeared some what partisan to Yousaf, his replies to questions appearing to recieve the loudest applause, according to Mike Russell there’s another nine hustings to come and three tv debates as well.

    Ash Regan summed up by saying that she is the only candidate with a plan for independence, and listening to Yousaf and Forbes, that seems to be the case.

  102. Mac says:

    I also tried watching it. Was unlucky that I immediately caught Humza Twoface talking deeply boring bollocks and after 5 minutes or so I simply had to turn it off. Hopefully wings took the hit on our behalf and watched it, God help him.

  103. David Hannah says:

    I spotted the Welsh water too Alin. It’s the same in the NHS. All the water is shipped in from Montgomeryshire in Wales. It makes no sense what so ever.

  104. Big Jock says:

    I watched bits of it. Humza comes across as a smug overconfident little boy. Maybe his private school exuberance?

    He was trying too hard to be nice and friendly. But most of what he said was generic Sturgeonesque verbal dihorea.

    God help us if he gets in.

  105. David Hannah says:

    All three candidates rejected the claim of right approach which is disappointing. It’s part of the route to Independence, the historical context.

  106. Dan says:

    Alin Scot says: at 8:17 pm

    A lot of the questions from the audience members in Cumbernauld are lightweight and not focussing on major issues like land reform and housing.


    Aye, I don’t really get why so much is made of hustings with multiple random and often quite niche questions packed into a short time frame. It’s like politics for goldfish or those with ADHD.
    To me all it does is highlight who on the panel can waffle and sound most coherent.
    The reality is that to properly answer a specific question would require in depth analysis to gain knowledge of the particular subject matter being discussed, which would then allow a range of possible outcomes in terms of policies to answer the question.

    Ministers have specific remits such as transport, justice, health, etc, and they have SPADS working for them to assist because management of that remit requires more than is possible by one person. There is just no way one individual can possibly know everything on all subjects, so by winging it after being put on the spot with a question it is inevitable there will be flaws in any answer produced. And there’s also little chance the audience would have full comprehension on what is actually being talked about. (Even Stu on his twitter feed tuned out at one point over a question relating to two year olds education as has know idea what it was about.)

    It’s really not dissimilar to last week when Ash took sneaky questions from C4Ciaran whilst walking through a packed building. Why the fuck would you compromise your ability to answer important questions accurately and coherently in an interview by accepting to take them when not fully focused.

    I really don’t want my country’s future course determined by made up on the hoof compromised policy.
    Take the time to produce a decent manifesto backed up with references, and let the people read and absorb it, this could do away with a great deal of all the unhelpful drama and stress.

  107. Big Jock says:

    David. Why the hell is Scotland importing water! It’s insane.

    I remember at Glasgiw airport. The sign said welcome to Scotland, but I couldn’t get Scottish water anywhere.

    I have the same problem with some pubs. We are importing shitty lager from all over the world. Yet we have a distinct and historical brewing tradition. For Scottish ales and beer that isn’t feckin watery lager. Why do we need 10 different lagers? They all taste roughly the same. Yet consumers buy it because of marketing.

    We really need to stop importing so much in Scotland. That even includes bread and butter. The most basic items.

  108. sadscot says:

    @Republic of Scotland
    Forbes stood by her guns too on the GRR bill. She believes Holyrood should be mature enough to sort out the issues arising re the bill. She was also very certain in her responses. Credit where it’s due.

  109. Bobo Bunny says:

    The same lies and bullshit that we get from Westminster, and whichever party is the latest UK establishment lackey. What is the point of independance if we are changing one set of corrupt bastards for another? Fuck the SNP leaders. Traitors every one, and this sham leadership contest is the cherry on the cake.

    If I were an SNP member I would be in utter dispair at the shite that is unfolding daily. Why did nobody in the SNP rank and file say or do something about this for the past 8 years? In any other country a Bute House would be in flames, with the Murrells, Robertson and the rest of them hanging upside down out the windows. Absolutely disgusted with the whole bloody lot of them. Why has Murrell not been arrested yet? How come the SNP cant get rid of him?

  110. Jm says:

    Humza ..the Atlanticists choice,by hook or by crook.

  111. David Hannah says:

    They said that no one is chapping doors for the SNP anymore.

    That’s because Sturgeon, Mike Russell and the rest have talked Scottish Independence into the long grass. With a horse box, and a cap in hand.

    It’s only because of blogs like Wings Over Scotland and others out with the SNP that the flame is still barley alight.

    The fact that Northern Ireland is back in the EU should humiliate them all. Their strategy has failed. Their governance is abysmal.

    Nicola’s do nothing approach means were out the EU. Even Arlene Forster has more clout than Nicola ever had.

  112. laukat says:

    I think Regan is going to struggle to get elected. As much as her policy proposals are much more to my liking she isn’t polished enough in her answers and speaking style to give punchy memorable lines that will resonate with voters. If the timetable for the election had been longer she may have developed and got there but you can see that Forbes and Yousaf have a much smoother delivery as they have had to do a lot of televised interviews and debates.

    By having such a timetable it allows no time for candidates to bring forward developed policies and offers an advantage to the candidate that supports the current direction as they don’t have to offer anything new.

    Forbes could be ok as a FM. She sounds more willing to take policy decisions back to conference and more aware that she can’t possibly take charge of all issues. Her policy proposals are vague but I suspect she too has been disadvantaged by the aggressive timetable. You can see enough in her answers to know she’s very structured in her approach and is probably a very good problem solver but she may struggle with people who are politically creative and instinctive. If she does become FM I hope she is smart enough to take advice from Salmond, Sillars and others with a better intuition on how to capture the publics imagination.

    Yousaf has the style of a used car salesman. Its very polished but completely disingenuous. As a FM he would be nightmare not just for the public but for the rest of his cabinet as he will just bounce between the hot topic of the day, offer no real sense of direction and confuse pretty much everyone.

    From what I have seen the best I can hope for is Forbes as FM with Regan given a ministerial role on the constitution which gives her more freedom to create forums that rebuild the yes movement and restore relations with those in Alba. Hopefully Forbes is astute enough to leave Yousaf in Health but later dismiss him.

    I was hoping that someone would ask a question along the lines of ‘The SNP has faced criticism on its finances with reports of missing £600k – how will you restore faith in the processes of the party and financial matters are above board?’

  113. Big Jock says:

    Not only is this the opposite of what would happen with Forbes as opposed to Humza. It appears the MSM are printing press releases for the SNP.

    That money they gave to the MSM and Murray Foote, seem to now own the press.

    Who would ever have thought the SNP would be in bed with the MSM. Whatever the press tell you, real supporters of independence know the opposite to be true.

  114. Breastplate says:

    Akin Scot,
    I can understand where you’re coming from but there can be no major issues to address from a subservient Scotland other than independence. Everything flows from being able to make decisions for ourselves.

    We can’t emphasise enough the meaning of self determination.

  115. Alan A says:

    Viscount Ennui at 12:59 pm
    “My reading is that Forbes is now WM’s preferred option… which is why she is sending out untra-conservative vibes whilst still dangling the indy carrot.”

    I see what you mean but I genuinely think Unionists and the SNP will be really worried about KF getting in. Yes, she will lose the woke / green vote from the SNP but! that vote will not leave the Yes Movement, whereas she will break into the new territory that SNP in current form cannot. Soft unionists will listen to her because of her conservative views on other matters, she’s the real choice for solid longer term independence support but it will involve a longer wait than Regan supporters want and to be honest, carries quite a risk of missing this present moment (but to be honest I think Sturgeons already let this ship sail).. Humza is the unionists choice every day of the week! Sturgeon without the impression of competence – a gift, I can only assume his “supporters” want to maintain the status quo rather than achieve independence. Whatever – there it is, just another man’s opinion….peace be with you all.

  116. David Hannah says:

    We should kick Patrick Harvie out of Government. He’s been given 30K wage increase for being the cabinet minister.

    Lorna Slater’s bottle recycling plan sounds as crazy as she is. She’s ran away from debate night once again! Haha. That Shauny Boy has her to a T.

  117. Derek says:

    Regarding water; there should be a jug – filled from a tap – on the table, from which all are free to pour. Branded water in plastic bottles? More rubbish to re-process.

    Regarding beer; there’s a lot of interesting Scottish brewing going on. Mostly pale ales at the moment it seems, rather than Special/Heavy, but that’s the current taste. Some lovely stouts and porters too.

    As my pal points out though, sometimes a pint of Tennents is just what you want.

  118. Red says:

    Derek Mackay must be kicking himself all over again. He would’ve surely been Nicola’s anointed one, if it wasn’t for that pesky kid.

    Anyway, like all good and completely real people I plan to vote Humza 3,000 times.

  119. Breastplate says:

    Sorry Laukat,
    I don’t understand the idea that politicians should be able to lie with conviction being a positive factor. Perhaps you are seeing something I don’t.
    I would like our politicians to be first and foremost honest.

    I also don’t understand why anybody believes that an FM that is willing to work constructively with Westminster is a good thing. I would genuinely like someone to explain that to me because as I see it, something that is constructive to Westminster is destructive to Scotland in this current relationship.

    Of the 3 candidates, none of them, and I would ask people to prove me wrong in this respect, none of them will deliver more than they say they will.
    Every single one of them will over promise and under deliver.
    Again, let me know if I’m wrong but many people here have become entangled in their own hopes and aspirations.

    If we can agree that it is completely normal for politicians to over promise and under deliver, where does that leave us in relation to which each one says?

    1. Humza Yousaf claims he is a not a Unionist but is absolutely unwilling to upset the apple cart.
    2. Kate Forbes claims she is not a Unionist but she is willing to upset the apple cart if Westminster allows her.
    3. Ash Regan claims she is not a Unionist and is willing to upset the apple cart at every single election.

    Perhaps I’m wrong but if all the candidates hold to their position then it is quite clear to me who the possible change is going to come from.
    Of course, perhaps we don’t really want change?

  120. Tartanpigsy says:

    Before I go any further, just reached the bit relating to Mi-Voice,
    Can members not request a paper ballot?

    This is the biggest snp leadership election since at least Alex Salmond v John Swinney circa 2004

  121. Breastplate says:

    Alan A,
    I agree with you up to a point.
    I think Yousaf is the Murrel gang’s choice.
    I think Forbes is Westminster’s choice.
    I think Regan is somebody unwanted by the previous 2 groups.

    If Yousaf walks the talk, he’s a Unionist.
    If Forbes walks the talk, she’s a Unionist.
    If Regan walks the talk, she is Westminster worst nightmare.

    It is completely possible they could all be lying.

  122. Tartanpigsy says:

    So I’ve skim read the rest of the article
    The irony that strikes hardest is that media manipulation is being used by the current SNP leadership.
    What stopped independence in 2014?
    Media manipulation
    So who works for who?
    I hope an upset can be pulled off but I’m not holding my breath

  123. Big Jock says:

    Don’t know about anyone else. If Humza gets the gig. I won’t be voting SNP until he’s gone. I grudge voting SNP as it is. Its purely tactical,not because I support them. They are getting no more useless mandates from me.

    If I thought Alba were in with any chance , I would vote them on the 1st ballot. But I use Alba for my second vote.

  124. Tartanpigsy says:

    While I’m at the ranting, anyone who still doesn’t believe voting manipulation went on in 2014 really hasn’t been paying attention.
    There was countless anecdotal evidence.
    I’m not saying it changed the winner, media manipulation took care of that, but it certainly contributed to the clear 10% gap that occurred on the day.
    Idling Council vans outside the EK count and swathes of identical crosses being emptied out in front of me are not something you forget easily

  125. Kcor says:

    Andrea says:
    1 March, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    “I don’t want to sound callous, but that’s her problem. If she cannot get to the hustings because of her family situation, things will only get worse once she is in the job.”

    I second that.

    Does her own ambitions and the country come before her baby?

    I can’t see any exceptional experience, talents or wisdom she has to offer the country.

    If she has the interests of the country at heart, she should drop out and make it easier for Regan to take on the SNP/British Establishment.

  126. DJ says:

    Breastplate @ 10:58 pm

    Think you’ve nailed it. If independence isn’t front, back and sideways, from now on, Westminster will laugh and keep walking all over us. As it’s been doing for centuries. People need to waken up!

  127. wull says:

    The Welsh water does make sense. It is there to celebrate St. David’s day, March 1st, thus showing some solidarity with the Welsh nation. David, who was a Welsh bishop of the 6th Century, is the patron saint of Wales.

  128. wull says:

    For those unhappy about the Welsh water, the intention was presumably to show solidarity with the people of Wales. And no doubt, but again presumably, to show support for their independence movement. Think of Plaid Cymru, with which the SNP obviously has a mutually friendly relationship.

    March 1st is St. David’s day, and he is the patron saint of Wales. He was a Welshman, a 6th Century bishop, who lived and ministered and died in Wales, possibly the son of one of the local Welsh kings or chiefs.

  129. wull says:

    The water is for Wales. March 1at is St. David’s day. David is the patron saint of Wales. Simply the SNP sending a friendly signal to Plaid Cymru.

    This is the third time I have tried posting this, with a slightly different formulation each time. Maybe it will be third time lucky, and it will appear.

  130. wull says:

    Apologies for the double post, which might even become a triple. Since there was a certain delay with the first two, which did not seem to be appearing, I tried again with another one. Not blaming anyone for such repetitious pedantry – only myself! Thank you for your patience.

  131. James Barr Gardner says:

    I beginning to suspect a Westminster like wheeze, where Humza Yousaf gets elected but it’s only a front as he then gets to appoint his Deputy..Angus Robertson..could this be the real deal….?

  132. twathater says:

    For clarity I haven’t watched the hustings yet and according to comments it appears I am not missing anything , but I did listen to an interview of Ash Regan by John Mackay on STV and it appears Ms Regan is already back pedaling on her earlier more radical pronouncements

    When asked by Mackay about a de facto election she maintained that would not happen, as to have a de facto vote would entail only having one policy on a manifesto ,but if elected, her manifesto would INCLUDE independence as well as other policies,and if voters returned 50+1 of the votes she would encourage WM to come to the negotiating table, Mackay as usual asked what she would do if WM said NO, her answers were garbled and weak, Mackay said what you are proposing is what Sturgeon has proposed and WM keep saying NO , how is your proposal any different, IMO she was weak and unconvincing

  133. keviano says:

    I wonder how many younger voters – whom the SP needs to convince and keep as independence supporters – will be turned on by Forbes desire to prioritise the needs of business over the health service or social inequality.

    If Forbes believes challenging another Government’s veto over the Scottish Parliament is not worth the effort, how in God’s name does she think she get Westminster to hand over section 30 powers within 3 months of the next General Election.

    Does anyone seriously believe she has the character and ability to engineer such a lurch to the right with her focus on business over tackling social equality?

    Some might – but they’re a deid.

    As for Ash Regan – it’s pretty much obvious she is destined to become Alba’s leader in Holyrood – an even lonelier destiny I bet, than she inhabits now.

    As for Humza, sure he’s a slightly better media performer – he needs to get better and fast. He needs to get sharper and if he really wants to honour his grandfather, he needs to ditch wishy-washy talk about talking-shops talking independence.

    He is the best of the bunch but it can be no more easy ride if he wins the race. He needs to be prepared to lose friends and take the fight to the real opponents of independence.

    Those opponents are not and never were the rank and file or even the leadership of the SNP. They are and always will be those who seek to destroy the SNP and the independence cause.

    We all need to ask ourselves which side really we’re on.

  134. SusanAHF says:

    Ha Ha Ha. No more comment required

  135. Ron Clark says:

    keviano 3.51am

    Your post is either a wind up, or you are really Pete Wishart, or you are out of your head on the whacky backy.

    Or you have mistakenly came on to Wings Over Scotland instead of Wee Ginger Dug.

  136. David Hannah says:

    I doubt it was to show solidarity with the Patron Saint of Wales and the Welsh Independence movement.

    Have a look out everywhere you go from hotels to corner shops, the NHS Hospitals you’ll see the Princess Gate, Welsh water absolutely everywhere. Or the hills of Montgomeryshire water. It’s everywhere in Scotland.

  137. SteepBrae says:

    James Barr Gardner
    I beginning to suspect a Westminster like wheeze, where Humza Yousaf gets elected but it’s only a front as he then gets to appoint his Deputy..Angus Robertson..could this be the real deal….?

    Been suspecting that too, James – takes the reins when the coast is clear, rides to the rescue, business continues, bodies remain buried, job done.

  138. Alan A says:

    Breastplate says “I think Regan is somebody unwanted by the previous 2 groups”. Ie Westminster and SNP.

    Yeah, that is something we can all agree on!

    There’s some parallels with Corbyn – 1) she’s not party establishment / political class, 2), she represents the core ‘movement’ that underpinned (past tense) her party, 3) she plays with a straight bat and might just ‘do’ things if she got the chance (squeaky bum time for all concerned), 4) she’s not got public recognition and isn’t the smoothest operator. Untested on the big stage.

    Like with Corbyn there could be an upset (a glitch in the Matrix) and she gets in against the odds… I can see it now and yep! that’ll keep Sunak and The Murrells up at night.

    Downside – she’s TNT – might just spontaneously say something Ill advised and blow the SNP to bits, but I guess that could have its merits too. Last point- isn’t it a farce that there’s so few top flight Holyrood SNP up for it? They’ve all shat except 3 who deserve credit for that.

  139. John Main says:

    @David Hannah says:1 March, 2023 at 10:01 pm

    The fact that Northern Ireland is back in the EU

    That’s a great “fact”. A stoater in fact.

    Where did you get it?

  140. Wally Jumblatt says:

    The thing that most depresses me is the fact that the calibre of people in politics (North & south) is so very, very poor.
    We vote for most of them and allow the fellow-travellers to selected.
    Until such times as we can encourage skilled,imaginative, generous and competent people to stand for election, I see no end to the downwards trajectory of misery and lack of opportunity in Scotland.
    They can’t do education, justice, economics, build ferries, keep people healthy, encourage business or promote even sport.
    The current shenanigans in selecting a leader comes precisely from the fact that we gave over power to shallow, bitter and envious fools

  141. John Main says:

    @keviano says:2 March, 2023 at 3:51 am

    As for Humza, …

    He is the best of the bunch

    If your assessment is right, keviano, that just means the complete bunch needs to be swept into the dustbin of history.

    If Humza ends up as heid of the cooncil at HR, then the pretendy parliament is deid for a generation.

    In which case, close the fucker doon and gie us taxpayers a rebate.

    No true Scot will ever acknowledge Humza as their leader.

    That goes beyond Indy BTW. Humza will be detested equally by Indy supporters and by Yoons.

  142. Big Jock says:

    John. If Humza gets it. Then Holyrood is dead to me. I will play no part in watching my country crumble into the sea.

  143. Achnababan says:

    I would not be too concerned about where the water is bottled. Big companies own them all and the profits go with them

    Globalisation ….

  144. Bob Mack says:


    Are you WGD incognito ?

  145. Mac says:

    I had a long comment on 2014 and stuffing the ballot written yesterday and then pressed the wrong button and lost it.

    I think we definitely need to look again at 2014 especially versus the 2015 GE results in Scotland and in light of the Salmond stitch-up and knowing what know now about Sturgeon.

    Looking at the numbers and I think they were stuffing the ballot in 2014.

    I think the result was likely much closer with either YES or NO having a slim majority but it could well have been YES.

    I also suspect this explains what was done post 2014, especially to Alex Salmond. Something really spooked them about 2014.

  146. Big Jock says:

    Mac – The postal votes were fiddled, definitely. The other one was this. The highest yes voting areas had the lowest turnout!! They made sure it wasn’t close enough for a recount , and just enough to win. It’s not rocket science for the state and MI5 to fiddle a ballot. It’s probably easier than most are aware of. Remember some ballot boxes were delivered in Taxis!! Taxis…for the future of a country!

    Cameron’s first words :” there will be no recount”.

  147. Tinto Chiel says:

    Re “stuffing the ballot”: as long as yon wee Anti-Buddha squats in Bute House there can be no confidence in the election process.

    And the fact that there is no outcry from SNP MPs and MSPs about the breaches of election rules and other dodgy procedures tells you everything you need to know about their calibre.

    What a rotten bunch.

  148. Mac says:

    Out of 3.6 million votes cast in 2014 the difference between YES and NO was only 384,000 votes.

    That is not a lot and that is all it would have taken to turn a dead heat into a ‘convincing’ NO.

    But it looks to me like the ballot stuffing in 2014 was higher, maybe even in the 400,000 – 500,000 range, which takes a narrow YES victory and converts it into a clear NO victory.

    It is not just stuffing the ballot either, physically destroying YES votes achieves the exact same result and of course leaves less trace.

    No doubt at all that both things were happening. For sure ‘they’ will have been vote rigging to some extent, the question is just how much.

    We only got the referendum as they were sure it would be NO. As soon as it became a real risk of YES, the 2014 referendum became unacceptable.

  149. Mac says:

    (Apologies I screwed up my email address yet again so the first version of this comment went to moderation, please delete.)

    Out of 3.6 million votes cast in 2014 the difference between YES and NO was only 384,000 votes.

    That is not a lot and that is all it would have taken to turn a dead heat into a ‘convincing’ NO.

    But it looks to me like the ballot stuffing in 2014 was higher, maybe even in the 400,000 – 500,000 range, which takes a narrow YES victory and converts it into a clear NO victory.

    It is not just stuffing the ballot either, physically destroying YES votes achieves the exact same result and of course leaves less trace.

    No doubt at all that both things were happening. For sure ‘they’ will have been vote rigging to some extent, the question is just how much.

    We only got the referendum as they were sure it would be NO. As soon as it became a real risk of YES, the 2014 referendum became unacceptable.

  150. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Tartanpigsy, Mac, yes there are several instances of thngs not adding up. There was a study of voting done using the electoral rolls and the postal voting where it showed turnout up in the high nineties, it was in south west scotland I think. There was a report published, will try and find it unless someone else remember it.

    In addition I came across a statistician whose analysis showed there was ballot stuffing but the skills for that are not my forte so unable to critique it further. I did send it to Stu and some others but it needs to be someone who understands what they’re looking at. Could find it again if there is anyone here who does statistical analysis…

    I did try and send it to SNP MP’s but not interested, we were naive back then.

    And I also remember Ian B mentioning a spook telling them after a meeting, that we had won…

  151. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Found it

    Final Report The Postal Ballot at the Scottish Independence Referendum 2014

  152. Dan says:

    The electoral register was completely redone after the Sep 2014 Indyref, and before the May 2015 General Election.
    There were close to 4.3 million, 97% of “Scottish” adults registered on the old electoral roll, and iirc the new electoral roll only had 3.6 million registered, but for a GE that would exclude 16 & 17 year olds and non UK EU Citizens who aren’t eligible to vote so goes some way to explain reduced number.

  153. Mac says:

    Big Jock, oh yes, the very high turnout overall is one massive alarm bell but the significantly higher turnout in NO areas versus YES areas makes that a chorus of alarm bells. The combination of those two things strongly suggests significant ballot stuffing on the NO side.

    If you look at the 2015 GE results where Sturgeon was gifted the 56 seats out of 59, a very large number of NO voters simply disappear / do not turn-up. That is very strange and that result in 2015 WAS very strange. I think we all felt it at the time, why vote NO and then do this… it didn’t make any sense.

    But it does if they cheated in 2014.

    Postal votes were huge and wide open to abuse. And no exit polls allowed of course…

    You know it was cheated to some extent because these gates were deliberately left open to allow it.

  154. DMcV says:

    Oh, dear: the shouty Stu acolytes descend into Trumpian denialism

  155. Republicofscotland says:

    SadScot 9.40pm.

    She did say something along those lines, but what cuts her out of the running for me, is she’s not up for the 50+1% margin on independence, and the SNP’s is supposed to be about independence a whatever way they can achieve it, we’ve already wasted eight years, and Forbes wants to wait until the numbers are well up.

  156. Mia says:

    “He is the best of the bunch”

    To give labour’s “resurrection” the best chance and to secure firmly the lid on the trail of inconveniences left by Murrell and co?


    To efficiently utilise a majority of anti-union MPs to Scotland’s advantage and deliver independence?

    Not a chance.

    I have been wondering for a while if rendering the SNP unelectable with crazy policies and an unpopular leader was part of a strategy designed to to assist the much trumpeted labour “resurgence”, while thwarting the potential for a functional anti-union MP Majority at the next GE.

    While not appealling enough to all fundamentalists and those like me, fed up of the “manana, manana” when it comes to presenting a credible plan to deliver independence, I can see how Forbes would retain much more of the pro-SNP vote than Yousaf and has to become even more popular than Sturgeon.

    A credible, unifying leader would thwart Labour’s CPR process. Judging by the disgraceful attacks from Black and co towards Forbes, it is evident a SNP win in the next GE is not the plants’ desired outcome.

    The thick silence around Ms Reagan and the way she was left out of pictures and headlines as if there were only 2 candidates rather than 3, suggests Ms Reagan is the candidate the British establishment does not like at all.

    I am sure by now, the powers that be know very well that tories promoting an SNP candidate is like giving them the kiss of political death. We saw Ross recently in Holyrood sounding almost convincing on his attacks towards Yousaf. We have also seen Mogg defending Forbes from the smearing attacks on Ms Forbes. Reading between the lines, it seems that Yousaf may also be the favourite candidate for the tories.

    So yeah, Yousaf is the best of the bunch for those who are hoping for a labour resurrection and for those who fear a functional anti-union MP majority being elected this time on a mandate to deliver independence.

  157. Mac says:

    This all from wiki so forgive any errors / typos and hopefully these numbers don’t come as a dogs dinner.

    Here is 2014.

    Yes 1,617,989 44.70%
    No 2,001,926 55.30%
    Invalid 3,429 0.09%
    Total votes 3,623,344 100.00%
    Registered voters
    /turnout 4,283,392 84.59%

    Here is the 2015 GE in Scotland (56 seats out of 59).

    SNP 1,454,436 49.97%
    ALL OTHER 1,456,029 50.03%
    TOTAL 2,910,465 100.00%
    Registered voters
    /turnout 4,093,481* 71.10%

    (*I had to deduce this number from the 71.1% turnout percentage.)

    The SNP vote likely fell versus 2014 as the 16 year olds who voted YES in 2014 could not vote in 2015.

    But look at the fall in ALL Other parties combined in 2015 versus the NO votes in 2014.

    So even though this is crude, it is very possible that the above result in 2015 IS the real referendum result in many ways, as that vote in 2015 was likely not rigged, whereas 2014 likely was.

    It definitely is highly suspicious by itself but when you then consider what they did to Salmond and everything else that has happened post 2014… it starts to look like a racing certainty.

    (I also recall the comment on here about the mysterious guy who turned up at the SNP meeting just after the referendum and told them all they had been cheated. )

  158. Republicofscotland says:

    Alan Mackintosh.

    Thanks for that link, it would appear to me after reading some of that link, that postal votes are open to abuse.

  159. Stoker says:

    I remember well the Electoral body announcing prior to our 2014IndyRef that there was major discrepancies with the electoral register running into the millions. And they stated by the time the independence referendum came around this figure was expected to be far higher. If i remember correctly, i have 13-MILLION in my head. I also remember posting comments about that here on Wings quite a few times, along with other folk doing likewise.

    Lots of questions exist regarding that IndyRef. Three situations that stick in my mind is there being no exit-polls and how Lord Ashcroft’s polling company could come out with a poll of who voted what first thing (by 9am) the very next morning after the vote. I’ve always treated the results of his “findings” with a healthy dose of suspicion. The third thing i can’t get over is the transportation of ballot boxes “to be counted” elsewhere. Transported by unknown faces at all hours of the day & night. That, for me, is just not right and leaves the whole system open to abuse. And that’s not a “conspiracy” theory, it’s a fact.

  160. David Hannah says:

    John Main. Northern Ireland, is getting a deal that allows them access to EU single market for goods. They might not have a man in Brussels. But Ireland’s basically United now in all but name. The people can move freely with the EU if they apply for an Irish passport.

  161. Doug says:

    Yousaf has all the arrogance of entitlement of scum like Boris Johnson.

  162. Frank Gillougley says:

    Three recent memorable accurate turns of phrase that will remain with me:

    1. ‘Corrupt As Fuck’ – Daisy Walker
    2. ‘Scotland’s a cesspit and a shitehole’ – John Main
    and thirdly, very useful in case you ever forget it –
    ‘A ruling group is a ruling group, so long as it can nominate its successors’ – George Orwell. Which for me is up there with Jim Kelman’s definition of the ruling elite of Great Britain.

    And there you have it. The rest is all the usual smoke and mirror stuff. Its all just so sad, really.

  163. DJ says:

    DMcV says:
    2 March, 2023 at 9:13 am
    Oh, dear: the shouty Stu acolytes descend into Trumpian denialism

    Oh, dear: the shouty Westminster acolytes descend into Boris denialism.

    Sorted for you…

  164. Stoker says:

    Big Jock says on 1 March 2023 at 10:25 pm:
    “It appears the MSM are printing press releases for the SNP. That money they gave to the MSM and Murray Foote, seem to now own the press. Who would ever have thought the SNP would be in bed with the MSM. Whatever the press tell you, real supporters of independence know the opposite to be true.”
    (NOTE, folks, direct link to a Unionist rag removed)

    Aye! And there you are doing their donkey-work and helping them to spread their tripe. Who would ever have thought a so-called independence supporter would promote direct links to a Unionist rag? And using Scotland’s most popular politics blog to do so. Sending advertising clicks and possible new subscribers their way. Aye! It’s a strange old world eh! Hypocrisy!

  165. Oneliner says:


    I am not an expert in these matters but if there was dubiety regarding the 2014 voting procedure, surely there must be some recourse?
    I would not expect the UK to comply with any investigation but what about the UN? Or would the UK have a veto?


    ‘Shouty’ in text terms normally means capital letters – I cannot see any.

  166. Eric says:

    A couple of the candidates dangling Independence carrots. Talk about dates and election results.

    It’s all very well talking about when, but they need a plan on how to win a referendum. Have they made any progress since 2014?

  167. John Main says:

    @ David Hannah says:2 March, 2023 at 9:37 am

    John Main. Northern Ireland, is getting a deal that allows them access to EU single market for goods. They might not have a man in Brussels. But Ireland’s basically United now in all but name. The people can move freely with the EU if they apply for an Irish passport.

    I say BS.

    The new rules segregate goods traveling between the EU and NI, from goods traveling between GB and NI. In particular, goods from GB to NI intended to remain in NI are not subject to the current checks and delays.

    EU law as applied to NI is reduced. A veto on the application of EU law to NI is granted to NI.

    BTW, you can move freely in the EU if you apply for an Irish passport. Big furry deal.

    Or just get yourself a rubber dinghy. It’s all the same in the end.

  168. Effijy says:

    The earlier link

    Really proves for me the postal ballot boxes were tampered with by Westminster resources.

    Why don’t the Scottish Parliament hold a major enquiry into it and declare the Union is nul and void due to their corruption and denial of democracy to the people of Scotland.

    N Ireland now has a trading advantage that will see potential investment here had over the Irish Sea. Why are they in the EU and Scotlands repeated desire to stay in the EU overruled
    When we are supposed to be equal and all in it together.

    Indy ref was won on the vow that a No vote keeps Scotland in the EU
    and at Brexit a resounding 62% wanted to remain.

    The Tories generally get less than 20% of votes in Scotland.
    This isn’t democracy when ruled by a party we haven’t given a majority to in 70 years and counting.

  169. Bob Mack says:

    The only hope for a referendum within the next decade lies with Regan. The other two indicate clearly it is not in the immediate agenda. That’s it folks.

    Decision time.

  170. stuart mctavish says:

    Red @10:51

    No idea how it works in practice but presumably whoever wins the hustings/ vote still needs to take their victorious campaign to conference, where their leadership will be confirmed or denied on a show of hands.

    Accordingly, if Ash or Kate find themselves leading a fully booked conference of disgruntled mps, msps, and SNP payroll, and there’s 99000 blokes outside raging about not getting in and how big their bums look in the new kilts, even the unionists might start to smell the fix – and be obliged to stand candidates in every constituency to defend the dream.

  171. John Main says:

    Innarestin article on Unherd:

    “Humza Yousaf is Nicola Sturgeon in disguise”

    I am tempted to suggest he is Nicola Sturgeon in blackface, but I wouldn’t want to stoop so low 🙂

  172. jock mctavish says:

    With a claimed membership of 100k+ and a likely actual membership of 50k? Murrel has 50k votes to “play” with….stinks to high heaven. Has to be AR for me or we are all dead in the water – as no doubt planned. If HY gets in it’ll be comfy slippers all round and goodbye to Indy for a while, but also the end of a once fine party – death by a thousand carrots. If so, bring it on, probably best in the long run and we all go elsewhere for the answer.

  173. robertkknight says:

    Bob Mack…

    “The only hope for a referendum within the next decade lies with Regan”

    Is that the famous Norwegian Blue referendum? You know, the one people still talk about as though Sturgeon hadn’t let the UKSC wring its neck, send it off to the taxidermy man, then hand back to her, gift wrapped, so she can show it off to the party faithful every so often to distract them from the sh1t-show that is health, education, ferries, gender woo-woo, etc. etc.

    Aye, I think I know the one you’re talking about…

    Newsflash! It’s dead!

  174. Republicofscotland says:

    Re last nights hustings, it was interesting to listen to Yousaf say that Sturgeon is the smartest person he knows, and that if she can’t find a route independence in eight years then who can.

  175. James says:

    John Main;
    Careful there, boy – your Tory is showing.

  176. laukat says:

    In my opinion Boris Johnson’s plan was to appoint a successor so out of their depth that within a few months the Tory party, particularly the extreme right of the Tory party, would be so desperate for him to return that they would forget all his illegal acts.

    However were his plan fell down was in getting someone so laughably out of their depth in Liz Truss that she couldn’t managed a few months to allow Johnston time to build up a campaign for him to return.

    I wonder if Sturgeon has looked at that and lined Yousaf up as the stooge knowing that he won’t be able to keep the gender WooWoo cohort happy and that same cohort will beg for Sturgeon to return at a time after all her illegal acts have been dealt with?

  177. Tommy Sheridan says:

    Yet again your articles and insight have been invaluable over recent weeks as the wheels well and truly begin to detach themselves from the unprincipled and integrity devoid vehicle the SNP as a political party has become. The leadership lies, deceit, and identity politics worshipping to the exclusion of any independence campaigning or commitment to progressive social and economic change have left the party once adored by nearly 1.5 million exposed as a snake like den of careerists much more consumed with their own personal interests and image than the interests of ordinary Scots and the dire need for separation from the British Westminster Titanic. I listened to the three leadership candidates answer a question at last night’s hustings in Cumbernauld concerning the ‘bravest’ thing they had ever done in politics. The bumbling and incoherent at times answer from the Champion of Broughty Ferry who so skilfully represents Pollok and Cardonald in Glasgow, ninety miles away from his home (Glasgow is good enough for us but not Humza it would appear), illustrated powerfully how over-promoted this guy has been throughout his political life and how unsuitable he is to lead the SNP and/or Scotland. His ‘bravest’ act in a multi-ministerial encrusted career was to ask John Swinney for more money for the NHS while he held the health portfolio. It was worse than pathetic. We deserve better guys. Asking the finance secretary for more money to sustain Scotland’s most loved and necessary public asset is ‘brave’ in the planet Humza inhabits.
    Kate Forbes couldn’t be worse but she wasn’t much better. Suggesting a burly man who was heckling her at a public meeting come to the front of the hall to make his point was at least a tale of interaction with real people and involved more gumption than Humza had displayed but the comments of a leader? Not for me.
    Ash displayed why she is the only one of the three leadership candidates that offers any real hope for the wider independence movement and the SNP specifically. She explained the context and circumstances which played out in the run up to the Stage Three debate on the wholly unnecessary and deeply divisive Gender Reform Bill. She recognised the primacy of women’s rights and the fact trans-rights are enshrined within the 2010 Equality Act. She fought her corner internally within the cabinet and argued for it to be a conscience vote. She was re-buffed by the identity politics cult which runs the SNP and despite the bad press she was bound to attract and the need to resign her ministerial portfolio at the Justice department she showed the courage of her convictions to not only resign but turn up in the chamber to defend her position and face down the gender obsessed cultists. She showed political courage and leadership. She is the standout candidate, the only candidate who offers hope to the wider independence movement and cause. I hope there are enough SNP members left who still believe in independence to vote for Ash and secure her victory. If Humza wins the SNP will continue to politically decay and ALBA will have to re-double it’s admirable efforts to step up to the plate. Nature abhors a vacuum. With Humza leading the SNP there will be a political vacuum in the independence movement.

  178. Mia says:


    You can see that something is definitely going on more clearly if you just look at the registry for UK General elections, as these are not distorted by the 16 and 17 year old figures which were introduced just prior the 2014 referendum

    According to the electoral statistics for Scotland, Scotland’s electoral registry for UK elections was as follows:

    December 2008 – 3,885,148
    December 2009 – 3,869,700
    GEN ELEC 2010 – 3,863,042 (turnout 63,8%)
    December 2010 – 3,928,979
    December 2011 – 3,941,592
    December 2012 – 3,985,257
    *March 2014 – 4,027,187
    *March 2015 – 4,035,394
    GEN ELEC 2015 – 4,099,532 (turnout 71%)
    December 2015 – 3,896,852
    December 2016 – 3,929,963
    GEN ELEC 2017 – 3,988,441 (turnout 66.4%)
    December 2017 – 3,950,643
    December 2018 – 3,925,820
    December 2019 – 3,988,550
    GEN ELEC 2019 – 4.053,056 (turnout 68.1%)
    *March 2020 – 4,079,612

    (the figures for the GE were extracted from

    I am not sure why the reporting for 2013 was not given and why it was transferred from December to March of the following year for both, 2013 and 2014. It is just a wonderful coincidence that those happen to be the years when the referendum took place and also when the first GE after the referendum, where a landslide for the SNP had been predicted. was held.

    Personally, I find astonishing that as many as 202,680 people disappeared from the Scottish electoral registry in the 6 months window between the 2015 GE day and December of the same year.

    It is also fascinating to see how from the 1 December 2019 to the date of the 2019 GE, just 12 days later, the registry increased by 64,506 people.

    It is also fascinating that the number of overseas electors included in the Scottish electoral registry has jumped from 868 in March 2014 to an amazing 15,230 by December 2016.

    There was also a convenient jump in overseas electors from those registered in December 2019 (11,587) to those registered by March 2020, just three months later (15,369), and who presumably registered in time to cast their vote at the GE.

    The thing is that it is wonderfully convenient to have an over-inflated electoral registry in a country with a very small population like Scotland, because it gives you a double opportunity to inflate the vote in a particular direction changing the outcome to your favour:

    a. it gives you the opportunity to “cast” votes on behalf of ghost electorates
    b. if gives you the additional opportunity to slightly inflate the turnout. If you inflate the turnout over an already inflated electorate figure, then you have an even bigger window of opportunity to inflate the vote.

    It is of course most convenient to keep the actual figures of the electorate blurred and unclear so as to give you even more flexibility.

    The general election in 2010 had an electorate of 3,863,042 people with a 63.8% turnout (that is around 2,464,621 votes).

    The GE in 2015 had an electorate of a wonderful 4,099,532 and a slightly higher turnout at 71% (that would be 2,910,668 votes).

    The difference in vote between the General Elections in 2010 and 2015 is a significant 446,000 votes, and that is just the result of a subtle increase in the electorate figures and the turnout. That is more than enough to turn the result over. Let’s remember that in 2015, just above 50% of the vote in Scotland was for pro-indy parties. Looking at those figures, one has to wonder what the real percentage was.

    400,000 votes would have easily changed the outcome of the referendum. By the way, the turnout during the referendum was an incredible (and I literally mean non-credible) 85%.

    But sadly, what this also tells us is that if the powers that be have at their disposal the possiblity to sneak in over 400,000 votes by the back door simply by slightly overinflating the electorate registry and then pumping up the oficial figures for the turnout slightly (or not so slightly), there is no way we will ever be seen as winning a plebiscitary election/referendum based on the percentage of the vote unless we take absolute control over those electoral registries.

    Looking at the population statistics, we know now that for several years the number of deaths in Scotland have been surpassing the number of births, so where on earth are all these extra “voters” coming from?

    The population in 2010 was 5,222,000. The extrapolations made for 2015 from this figure was 5,365,000. That is an increase of only 143,000 which dwarfs in comparison with the extra 440,000 votes in GE 2015 compared with 2010, unless of course we had the strange scenario where nobody died in those 5 years. Also, it should be noted that a number of those 143,000 would be migrants with no opportunity to vote in Uk elections. So, where are all these new voters coming from?

  179. Shug says:

    In see the Record calls having an independent Scottish currency bonkers and slags off Ash Regan for suggesting it.

    Well that at least confirms it is the only correct route to control your economy.

    Anyone suggesting using the pound has no understanding of the implications.

  180. McDuff says:

    They are all just a monotone no fire, passion or determination.
    We need an AS but there is really no one that inspires.
    Never thought we would end up in this place.

  181. fruitella the hun says:

    Does anybody who supports it care to explain why 3000 x £1million is currently being spent to dual the A9 more than it already is duallad? If it involves fatality stats are these comparable amounts to fatality-driven budgets in the health service, safety at work, effective remedies for obesity, cycling, drug deaths, poverty? Or is just the usual bung to the construction industry with a bit of green-bashing thrown in?

  182. Lenny Hartley says:

    Mia, it is very easy yo surmise where the “Extra” Voters are coming from.
    They are economic migrants from mainly England prompted by Daytime TV shows that tell them that they can sell their Terraced House in England and buy any of the remaining housing stock in rural Scotland for a relative pittance.
    Handy bonus for the English is that these mainly ageing migrants put the NHS and Social Care Services in Scotland under even more pressure than present and take the costs off the English Taxpayer.

  183. John Main says:

    @James says:2 March, 2023 at 10:55 am

    John Main;
    Careful there, boy – your Tory is showing.

    Not sure which post you are referring to, James.

    Maybes all of them.

    Not scared of the ‘T’ word though, just as I am not scared of the ‘R’ word or the ‘F’ word, or the ‘M’ word.

    They are all deployed to shut up the speaker, when the argument can’t be refuted.

    Come to think of it, as our Dear Leader called many of us racists, fascists and misogynists just a few weeks ago, perhaps these are now badges of honour.

    I assume the Continuity Candidate will need to maintain or even ramp up the hatespeak against many of us ordinary Scots.


  184. Breeks says:

    I caught Forbes saying Independence front and centre in 2024 Election, to seek a mandate to hold a referendum… Seem to have heard that shite before.

    Regan is my favourite, but she needs to grow into the job a bit more. I think she will. Right now, by necessity, she’s after the SNP vote for Leadership. If she wins, I think we may see things improve.

    I have no idea what audience Humza is playing to. I cannot imagine playing to the Trans Taliban will endear him to the Muslim / business Community,

    At least Ash Regan is speaking to the right people, which looks promising, but I hope the wider Independence Community isn’t waiting for the SNP to put it’s house in order first.

  185. Sal says:

    The SNP have likely filled all the Hustings with their own chosen people for “reasons” obvs.

  186. John Main says:

    @ fruitella the hun says:2 March, 2023 at 11:46 am

    Writing as a petrol-head, I like the idea of Scotland finally getting a roads infrastructure fit for the 20th century (no, that’s not a typo).

    However, I will miss the isolation and different culture of the west coast and the far north that I enjoyed as a boy on holidays.

    But that mostly disappeared 20 years ago. It’s traffic, houses, and immigrants you see now when you visit.

    A careful assessment of the true reasons for improving road links to the north of Scotland might show that the objective is to open up the area for development and exploitation. As the indigenous inhabitants won’t be breeding in numbers sufficient to occupy the new homes and fill the new job vacancies that will be created … you can join the dots.

    Deniers are welcome to write my post off as “Tory” or whatever. But I simply write it as I see it.

  187. David Hannah says:

    I’m worried about this bottle deposit return scheme.

    It’s more money being taken out of our pockets. This will be inflation on steroids.

    I might just drink tap water. Stop drinking fizzy drinks.

    It’s what Loopy Lorna Slater would want.

  188. d n wade says:

    Is anyone planning to bring an application to interdict the current procedure, or to compel compliance with the SNP’s constitution?

  189. AndyH says:

    If Humza Youzlaz wins then the SNP will be finished and many will break off to Alba.

    Unfortunately (some might think fortunately) that means a longish period out of government in Scotland for an Independence minded party.

    Back to square one basically.

  190. Alf Baird says:

    Tommy Sheridan @ 11:15 am

    “the unprincipled and integrity devoid vehicle the SNP as a political party has become”

    Well said. All that we see (and do not see) fits the decolonization template given to us by postcolonial theory:

  191. Merganser says:

    dn wade @ 1,17

    I imagine people are keeping their powder dry to see what the result is first before bringing proceedings,

  192. RonS says:

    The arguments about constitutional procedures aside, I see Glasgow City is discounting civic parking to the membership attending the hustings, but presumably won’t be extending the same accommodation on that day to the shoppers making a financial contribution to the businesses paying rates to Glasgow City.

  193. Ron Clark says:

    What is Yousaf’s preferred route to Scottish independence?

    I missed his explanation because it got all tied up with his gushing push about Nicola Sturgeon.

    So I am absolutely non the wiser regards Yousaf and his route to Scottish Independence.

  194. akenaton says:

    Seems total madness to imagine that Independence can be achieved when most of the proles think that those who have been running the SNP for the last decade are a mixture of perverts and grifters …sometimes both!
    Mrs Forbes is correct, she will need 5 years to build a new clean party that we don’t feel dirty and compromised voting for.

    I believe Independence would be good for the people of Scotland, if it was built in a mould which inspired people to think beyond themselves, build a nation to be proud of. The wokies will protest that minority rights are the way forward…..Bullshit, back in the day rights has to be earned not handed out like sweeties to infantile members of the victimhood clan.
    M&Co tried that and were swallowed up, injected with “Lie serum” which turned them into monsters and creatures of the Alphabet people.

    You left facing loonies, if you really want Independence and are under 80, give the lassie a chance to put up an argument which makes Independence viable, creates a Party in which we can invest some social trust and attracts real people to government.

  195. lothianlad says:

    The SNP leadership is now in total panic mode. they fear the light being shone on their activities.
    The membership really need to mobilize to oust these turncoats.

  196. Doug says:

    Until the 2021 census figures confirm it we’ll have to go by accents in the High Street and supermarkets.So far so anecdotal. So far so suppressive. So that’s why the SNP doesn’t give damn about independence.

    It’s the SNP of Sturgeon, Murrell and Yousaf who are deliberately damaging Scotland’s desire for independence.

  197. Ron Clark says:

    Yes, you would think that any SNP member could challenge the SNP management with regards the voting set up.

    They could challenge the secrecy of the voting system.

    They could ask for an impartial company to be brought in to over see the counting process of every vote that is cast.

    And make sure every vote is traceable.

    It surely can’t be that difficult to organise that.

  198. SusanAHF says:

    I have noticed an increase in English accents out and about, as well as Eastern European so I understand what you’re hinting at Doug. No doubt the Free Port nonsense will exacerbate this though with an undualled A9 and mostly single track rail line the FP might struggle to be efficient

  199. Peter Wilson says:

    Stu – I can’t find it now, but a couple of weeks ago Mike Russell wrote in the National that 6-7 times the Scottish Tory party membership (which he identified as being around 10k) would be voting in the SNP leadership election. I was surprised not to see any further comment on this uncharacteristic openness about the Party’s membership numbers because that would suggest that the total number of eligible (or allowed) voters is around 60-70k – some way away from the dizzy height of approx 125k reached after Indyref1.
    In any normal world, a management that casually (or deliberately) lost 60k members/customers in the space of eight years would, have seen its CEO shown the door super-pronto.
    The other obvious point is that the SNP’s rage about the Tory leadership race only allowing its 70k+ members to vote for a new Prime Minister to the exclusion of the rest of the UK population can now be seen to be pure hypocrisy.
    Surely, before the final vote takes place, the SNP needs to be pushed to disclose its actual eligible membership numbers, even if only to discover how many will in the end bother to vote, but conversely to possibly learn after the poll closes how many more votes have been cast for one candidate than actually exist in the total membership.

  200. Lorne says:

    Without being flippant,
    As the incumbent(s) has really been a married couple.

    Then it would be a far better proposition to have BOTH Forbes and Reagan perhaps as a job share?

    Less personality politics so less media attacks on non policy rubbish and more policy and strategy.
    Supporting each other.
    And not the puppet dumwit Yusless.

  201. akenaton says:

    “Across the morning sky
    All the birds are leaving
    Ah, how can they know it’s time for them to go?
    Before the winter fire
    We will still be dreaming
    I do not count the time”

    Who knows where the time goes?

  202. Alastair says:

    The Murrells will do everything to subvert the demographic choice of the SNP members to put in place Humzas, another plant for the British state.
    If useless gets the Leadership of the SNP nothing will happen to further the cause of independence and the SNP will become a wasted vote. When the truth and scale of Murrells Betrayal emerges the SNP will be finnished as a political force. The SNP membership must not let these rats get away with it.

  203. FionaN says:

    Swinney is going now. Next please? Robertson?

  204. Gordon Gekko says:

    Kate Forbes is a neoliberal globalist and should be in the Lib Dems.

    Ash is pure Indy with a common weal background.

    It’s a no brainer but I can guarantee the voters will make the wrong choice.

    The Other option of the 3 is simply there to split the vote. To make sure Forbes / Brussels wins.

  205. gregor says:

    Pete Wishart (02/03/2023): Twitter:

    “Aberfeldy has always been the centre of the contemporary UK music industry…”:

  206. gregor says:

    Aberfeldy (2011): Somewhere To Jump From:

    “Skipper to captain
    I’m running aground
    Swell of the ocean
    Is dragging me down
    You could be steamin ahead now
    But we’re drifing apart
    Give me somewhere to jump from
    Somewhere to start…”:

  207. SusanAHF says:

    Humza Yousaf is an Asian mohammedan who has little in common with the majority – white Scots of a nominal Christian background – so should not become leader. He’s also racist.

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