Originally published in September 2020.
THEY WONT BE SOLVED IF YOU DO THE ABOVE!
Have you forgotten about it yet? That is the tactics, by now you are expected to have forgotten all about the NEC and “moved on”. Oh you were mad alright, many wrote in. How many got a reply? Not a lot of hands up I see. How many got an honest reply? Not a hand in sight.
What has happened to the SNP?. The party that for decades prided itself on its open, honest, accountable structure has been replaced by a NEC embroiled in internal plots, secret ballots that destroy all accountability, rule changes designed to pull a drawbridge up stopping any outsiders (for that read ordinary members) challenging those currently in power and make it very difficult to achieve personnel change.
To this end, they control the reconstructed NEC secretly blocking MP’s at Westminster contesting seats for Holyrood while dusting off their own applications for the vacant seats. Intent on pursuing a policy agenda that concentrates on GRA and the Hate Crime Bill, policies that are opposed by huge swathes of the membership. Some of those pushing this agenda admit they are “soft on Independence” and several had direct and indirect involvement in the Alex Salmond trial.
Strange things are happening elsewhere, SNP controlled Glasgow City Council are partly responsible for the jailing of Manny Singh the former AUOB organiser for the crime of refusing to move the agreed time of the Glasgow March as many of those participating had purchased travel tickets based on that original time which had been agreed and would then have arrived hours after the March if it was brought forward. Not sure what part of the Independence Revolution is an SNP administration reporting him to the Procurator Fiscal, then again there is a small section of the Party that are quite keen on courts and trials isn’t there? Think about this, the sentence was way in excess of the offence, why? Will this not act as a serious deterrent to others from being organisers of similar events in the future? What are we to make of SNP politicians playing a role in this?
I hear stories of good people being rejected by the Vetting Committee because they did not fit, particularly if they are planning to seek a seat where the woke front are busy backing their own candidate for the same seat. I haven’t even mentioned Edinburgh Central yet. Hearing Woke candidates fly through vetting while their competitors get held up and delayed allowing the Woke candidate a head start locally. I also got a message from a member of one of the minority groups who lost her position in the Group she was a member of for refusing to support GRA, so the problem is widespread at all levels. Much more on how candidate selection Is being influenced coming shortly in the weeks ahead. Be prepared for more shocks. Investigation underway.
The rules introduced in 2017 also pose a threat as Joanna Cherry wrote in the National last week “The risk is that we might insulate our elected representatives from the accountability we have always been proud of in the SNP and create a self-perpetuating group with no entryway for outsiders or fresh talent.Without a change we are in danger of creating a Catch-22. Only those with an existing profile can stand to be representatives and only those who have successfully become representatives will have a profile.”
This is what happens when candidates are restricted to the contacts they can make with constituency members in a selection contest, you hand a huge advantage to those with name recognition and make it very difficult for anyone outside this elite group to win a nomination, no matter how talented they might be.
The only hope this democratic disaster can be averted is if ordinary members take back control and use their votes to start axing those responsible for this outrage from their positions of power. To do that they need to organise, identify those they wish to replace and put together a credible slate of candidates capable of winning the positions on the NEC. I hope there are those willing to take on this task. It is urgently needed. Those behind these moves are very focussed, the fight back must be as well if it is to be successful. Organisation is all. I can publicise your efforts but I can’t organise it unfortunately. Good folk that are members need to stand up for the ordinary grassroots members. In the past that would not have been a problem.
I can understand how this has come about. In recent years the SNP have been making steady political progress, caveat, in the polls. In these circumstances it’s understandable that people presume that progress is happening across the Party. It’s only when this group went too far and run the spiteful tactics on Joanna Cherry that light was shone on the matter and people suddenly realised all was not well. In the past members could have relied on one or two senior members speaking out but the strict regiment under Nicola does not treat open criticism well and I am sure many were intimidated. This intimidation did not serve the Party well as now the level of surgery required is much greater than would have been the case if operated on earlier.
There is a remarkable connection between the people involved in many of these problem areas, many feature the same people, close associates or partners, both male and female.It will be a big job to win this Party back. I very much hope the ordinary membership have the will and the courage to do so. Unity in any political party is important but the need for it must not be abused by those in authority running roughshod over the ordinary membership. Particularly if it’s for their own selfish benefits.
I write this article because a lot of people and branches have written to both Party HQ and the National Secretary. Many have not received even an acknowledgement or a reply to their specific questions. Clearly they are being ignored in the hope they will just go away. I am doing my best to make clear they won’t,,until someone, somewhere comes up with answers as to why the NEC acted as they did, clearly outside the Constitution. Rerun the vote without any secret ballot or PR system is the solution. It will be a running sore otherwise.
I don’t know who you should write to, The Chief Executive? Don’t know if he will still be there or if he could write back without further entangling himself in the entire mess. The Business Convener? By all accounts she has lost the ability to communicate to the lower orders. To encourage responses I will publish at least one article a fortnight until the replies arrive. Honest ones!
It’s really easy, if you want your Party back you need to create a storm over this. If you don’t it won’t be your Party anymore. It’s late in the day already, these people have got a real hold.
They are not running your Party well, by all accounts there are serious questions building over the Party’s finances and also current membership levels. Surely it makes sense to deal with these NEC problems and the Alex Salmond plot before more problems pile in on top?
Nobody is going away, ignorant silence will not work. I hope.
I am, as always
YOURS FOR SCOTLAND
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