It is inevitable that there will be questions surrounding the activities of any political party. Normally these cause little problem and can be easily answered and explained to the satisfaction of all, or certainly the vast majority.

The problems only start when the questions are not answered and when those who should be doing the answering and explaining hide behind a wall of silence and evasion.

Such action makes things invariably worse than they need be. It convinces those asking the questions that there is indeed something here that can’t be answered without revealing something quite major, embarrassing or very wrong indeed. If the questions being asked are on very serious topics it is highly unlikely avoidance in answering will be a successful strategy. The problem will escalate with those determined to get the answers and seeking the appropriate measures taken to solve the problem.

I believe under the Constitution the National Secretary is obliged to investigate any member in the event of any serious complaint being made. This requirement seems to have been ignored. It is not the only one.

Parties have procedures for dealing with these situations, well established ones which often go back decades and have been used successfully with many varied disputes and disagreements to resolve any matter. It often starts with the suspension of those involved and a panel being established of widely trusted, experienced and respected individuals who examine the issues thoroughly, prepare a detailed report of the events and dispute and make recommendations which can involve reprimand and censure all the way up to expulsion in the most serious cases, or of course finding everyone being cleared of all wrongdoing.

Now let me talk about today’s problem. It is serious, very serious. It involves two major problems. The first and most serious is that there was most certainly a malicious plot, involving a number of very senior SNP members and staff, to fit up the previous leader of the Party, with the initial intention to keep him off the approved candidates list but which escalated until criminal sexual allegations were made and a very public trial took place. 

In the course of the trial it became obvious that these allegations were not believable to a jury. Not remotely believable, and every single charge was thrown out by a jury comprising more women than men. Some of the allegations were disproved i.e. they never happened. The evidence proved that the most serious charge was shown to be a fabrication. A fabrication that could have resulted in the innocent person being jailed for an extensive period, perhaps the remainder of his natural life. Now if this despicable and dangerous behaviour is not worthy of  a disciplinary investigation to establish the truth of the matter and take whatever disciplinary action is deemed fair by the investigating panel, then there seems little point in claiming that any fair and effective system still exists in the Party.

Now it has been suggested as an excuse that no action is possible because the court imposed restrictions to keep their identities secret. Any investigation and actions can be carried out effectively by using the same alphabet system as the court used themselves. There is no need to publicise their names, there is a need for justice to be carried out. It is a spurious excuse, the ruling refers to not making public their identities, not absolving them from confidential disciplinary proceedings. Anyway any investigation needs to be wider than just those who made the allegations themselves, but all those involved, including their male allies and they have no court ruling in place to keep their identities secret.

I know what the problem is. It is that these people are senior, the recent expose of the Party’s CEO being involved only makes it more difficult. I had no idea of this until it became public knowledge but it only serves to emphasise why there can’t possibly be a blanket refusal and cover up to deny the established disciplinary procedures of the Party, just because of the identity of those who require to be investigated are so senior.

People talk about this issue splitting the SNP and the Yes Movement and I agree it is but the solution is to use the well established systems within the Party, that have always been used in the past to resolve such matters, not allow those responsible to walk away without penalty, perhaps be candidates in next May’s elections, does that remotely sound like fair justice to you? It will not work it will infuriate, it will explode.

So the solution to achieve unity is not to hide but to act. Doing nothing is not an option. Sorting out the NEC will also have to be tackled as I would presume the investigation panel might include some of them and that would need to be a fair balance, indeed it might be better to involve members of standing outside the NEC perhaps chaired by a former senior figure. She will not thank me for the suggestion but the Former Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick has the reputation for honesty and fairness and the authority amongst the broad membership to be seen as an effective Chair. I am looking for solutions and peace in our time here. It can be sorted quickly if the will exists and it has worked in the past, including investigations involving senior people.

There really is no excuse unless you accept party democracy and the Constitution is there to be totally abused by the powerful at will. If that is the case, then you have surrendered to the powerful the one Party that was genuinely controlled by the membership. You will have betrayed all the members over all the years who fought to keep the Party free of such intrigue and in the hands of the Ordinary Party Members. You will have invited and welcomed the Westminster corrupt system of Political fixing into your own home. It will never be the same again.

Let’s get the investigation organised and underway, behind closed doors, and let us all unite and get back to campaigning TOGETHER for INDEPENDENCE.

I am, as always


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  1. My thoughts exactly Ian.

    The SNP leadership must act responsibly , quickly and honestly to address this matter.
    We desperately need a united front in Scotland .

    ‘The truth will set us free ‘ 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Very well said!

    May I just add that the disservice silence does the SNP has a corollary in the opportunity to reassert the party’s democratic credentials and recover the respect that is draining away daily.

    Liked by 6 people

  3. I thought the system used in the past was simply to boot folk out at the merest hint of impropriety whether it was actually true or not, e.g. Michelle Thomson?

    Anyone know why this doesn’t seem to apply here?

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Iain states what should be self evident but clearly is being ignored by many. For some of them this may be to protect themselves. For others it may be because they have not the confidence, whether in the Party or its membership to be other than an organisation in the Unionist political mould. Iain calls this out for the flawed prospectus that it is.

    It reminds me of something I learned in Sunday School (and that was not yesterday) that a “whited sepulchre” may be painted to look bright and shiny but inside it is still a grave full of corruption and death.

    I joined the SNP to win and build a vibrant and for want of a better word, GOOD, Independent Scotland. I did not join to whitewash a grave of standards and aspiration and call it the Party of Independence.

    We can redd oot this byre of the mess that has been created and move forward proudly, confidently and QUICKLY to our goal. If we don’t, what makes anyone think that those hiding in the dark will want to achieve independence that might change the status quo for them?

    In short, if you want an Independent Scotland and not a whitewashed grave of an SNP leaving Scotland trapped in this miserable Union THIS IS A MUST READ.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Assuming an investigation exposes those involved, we’d inevitably still be left with a few rats in the bag that perhaps nobody has the authority, or the balls – or the intention – to deal with. I’m not only heartily sick of the SNP, I’m genuinely saddened that, for me, it’s broken beyond repair.
    Hold on, I’ll soften that despair by saying I’d come back to the party – without a shadow of a doubt – under one leader only: Alex Salmond. I trust that man, and he’s the only person who’d clear out the garbage. Am I suggesting that’s a possibility? No. But in the absence of a strong leader, whatever happens within the coming months, whatever the outcome, we’ll still be left with a gang of MPs, MSPs and councillors who’re not only not interested in Scotland’s independence but are actively and surreptitiously working against, it and we’ll still be asking the same question: Who do you trust?
    The party’s over.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. That’s the thing- trust. They have ruined trust- especially for members like me who don;t know the internal geography of the SNP. I hope it is not as bad as you describe but it may be. I believe in Nicola and Alex and trust them both absolutely and I think they were both targeted. I am so angry with the stupid plotters. Beyond words. If Scotland loses her chance as a result- history will name them- and they will never- ever -be forgiven. Scotland’s independence is important for Europe now – and the planet. That’s how I feel anyway.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. The inaction in this matter is very disturbing, and it suggests that a number of those involved think that the longer they can delay any movement and hence any outcome, the more it will damage the Party’s prospects in the May elections, and the case for Independence. This inaction is actually POLITICAL SABOTAGE and should be regarded as such. Furthermore, it is also true that ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’. Those concerned will inevitably be ‘outed’ eventually, and the longer it takes the heavier the price they will have to pay. They should think very carefully on this. Verb, sap.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. It is hard to come to terms with what has happened to the party, Iain. This blog is much needed. I hope they read it. I really hope they do.

    The problem for me is that, on the one hand, we might have a NEC and other cabals that are out of control and ruining the trust that the party once had, and, on the other, I just cannot see Nicola Sturgeon not being in control. The only conclusion from those two opposite situations is that sanction must have been given to those elements who are causing the unnecessary problems because nothing else sit well with what we see of the FM’s control of the party.

    She can be persuaded to back off from something if it proves to be too contentious, as we have seen from the parking meantime of the GRA reform and the step back from the most contentious parts of the ‘hate crime’ legislation (although still squat in the wings), but can she be persuaded to step forward and bring in independence? Perhaps, if the pressure is great enough

    We do not have long to come up with a workable solution, and the FM is very adept at ignoring concerns and carrying on regardless. This is her greatest fault, along with her loyalty to people whom she should be avoiding like the plague. Loyalty is a fine thing in the ordinary person in the street, but, in a politician, it can bring downfall. With her recent tweets, she has shown partiality for a certain clique and an individual from that clique – an individual, moreover, whom the hierarchy appears to want in position as an MSP one hell or high water, albeit she is extremely divisive and guilty of the same kind of behaviour the FM decries on her behalf.

    I think that was a major error on the FM’s part, and one she may well come to regret in the near future. Basically, all this ‘wokerti’ stuff has come from nowhere and taken ascendancy in only a few years. It will destroy the SNP unless it can be brought to heel and neutralized effectively because it is so contentious, that it will split the party. Already, we see two parties, effectively: those, mostly older and longer-term members and supporters who want action on independence now and who are not really supportive of the regressive – and it is regressive – ‘wokerati’ agenda; and those who are young, ambitious, partly using the party as the vehicle for their own, personal agenda and for the group agenda, mainly devolutionist rather than independist.

    Should they be in the party, let alone standing for Holyrood? The answer? If Labour in Scotland had not crashed and burned, I suspect they would be squatting there, instead, many of them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is where it gets difficult for people like me because I don’t know about these individuals and cliques. From this perspective, it would be wise for Nicola not to back any candidate. And I totally agree with you about the weird meanderings of the NEC with “wokerati” stuff- I’m 69 and did not know that word till very recently! But they are a disaster! Independence first- how could they not understand that????

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Excellent, thoughtful comment, Lorna. We have to accept Sturgeon as SNP leader if we are to avoid major, damaging, ruckus, no alternative; and indeed she has strong qualities. Tragically, these do not include deft footwork, the ability to change course, to assess when compromise is needed to defuse a dangerous situation.

        (She lacks strategic nous also imo, but the tide is flowing so strongly in our favour that hopefully this failing is not yet critical. I don’t buy all the WoS invective against NS, but still … eg, this would be the perfect moment to denounce the abomination of the IMB, call back MPs to Scotland permanently, announce a constitutional convention with all MPs, MSPs, MEPs, District Council leaders and others, and clear Holyrood agenda for passage of the referendum bill. That would surely get international attention, but… she either doesn’t see it or has no stomach for it.)

        This however, the attempt stubbornly to override democratic values in the Party is toxic, so dangerous to our cause. When the Party CEO is caught putting out texts to pressure the police to attack a former FM, that boil has to be lanced, FAST! As one commentator I read said: Peter Murrell has the right to remain silent and he has the right to remain SNP CEO, but he does not have both rights at the same time. Either he confirms or denies those texts and explains himself, or he must resign.


      2. Lawrenceab – the Whatsapp messages being leaked are being investigated by the police. Why would the police investigate the leaking of them – (it was made illegal to do so at the start of the Salmond criminal trial ) – if they weren’t genuine. Nearly two weeks on if they were rubbish Murrell/Ruddick would have said so by now. Indeed at FMQs today Sturgeon declined to comment on them saying it was up to others to do so.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Site Title and commented:
    If we all put Scotland first, the solution, I believe is exactly as you say. Get it out in the open. Follow the rules. Foil the unionists who would use all this maliciously against Scotland’s chance of independence. The people involved in the plot must accept the consequences of what they did. The most serious consequence for each one of them is that the SNP should not under any circumstance ask any other member of the party to trust them. They should be given the chance to speak on their own behalf perhaps- but they were either foolish or malicious- or perhaps both. The point is that Scotland is on the brink . Scotland MUST come first. We need someone like Tricia to take hold of this and sort it. You are absolutely right.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This whole business is bad enough that it is happening but the major disappointment is the number of SNP members and independence supporters that just want to cover it all up. I truly thought we were better than this.

    In addition, cover ups mostly fail and just make the scandal worse.


  10. Excellent, as always, Iain.
    How can the ordinary members put pressure on the powers that be to sort this out before it really splits the Party and again we miss the opportunity for Independence???

    Yours for Scotland
    Catrina Shand

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

    Liked by 1 person

  11. ”The first and most serious is that there was most certainly a malicious plot, involving a number of very senior SNP members and staff, to fit up the previous leader of the Party, with the initial intention to keep him off the approved candidates list but which escalated until criminal sexual allegations were made and a very public trial took place.”

    Then I stopped reading. Your comments are based rumour and innuendo.

    No one knows if there was a ”malicious plot” at all. That’s what the ongoing investigation is all about. And secondly as far as I can make out, if there was such as plot, it involved, in the main, Scottish Government Civil Servants. It looks as though you are another who believes everything you read on WoS.


    1. Margaret, as Iain said if you know the people who were involved in this scandal then there is absolutely no doubt what was going on. The leaked Whattsapp messages from Murrell to Ruddick are more than a wee clue. It would be great if none of this was true but we do the cause of independence a disservice if we turn a blind eye to this malicious criminal behaviour.

      Liked by 1 person

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