Other than thank you from the bottom of my heart. For the first time in many months I have genuine faith in the SNP. I am hugely impressed by the good sense displayed by the collective wisdom of the Conference delegates.

Before I go further I want to highlight the bravery and dedication of Dot Jessiman. If she had not had the courage to speak out from within the NEC and spell out what was really happening none of this could possibly have happened so spectacularly. Ordinary members owe Dot a great deal. She made their victory possible.

They were aware things had been going wrong, they were concerned with the lack of urgency in driving Independence forward, they were incensed at the selfish and destructive minority interests that were elbowing the rest of the Party and moderate members of the NEC aside, the attempted bullying by these same groups of Joanna Cherry, Joan McAlpine and others. The drive to takeover and control the Vetting and Selection procedures and to centralise everything removing a huge range of powers from ordinary members. 

They had to find a way to change direction. A way that did not damage Nicola who remains a popular leader. Not an easy task as it was becoming overwhelmingly obvious that the NEC had become a very divisive force and the leader, for whatever reason, was turning a blind eye. It could not go on. They had to act.

They did and all that was stopped after last night. I hope to see the decision to kill off National Council reversed. Restrictions placed on the role of the NEC in future selection contests returning much more of the powers to branches and CA’S. 

So before the new NEC sets out on their new and more productive path forward there are a few matters that need urgent attention. I was very impressed by the incoming Treasurer’s commitment that one of his first tasks was to establish what the true status of the money that the previous Treasurer had been unable to demonstrate still existed. Given that is almost ££600k it is no small matter. Clearing that up honestly, irrespective of where that truth may lead, will go a long way to reestablishing trust in the Party’s fundraising activities.

Given that during the Conference the previous Treasurer appeared to confirm that the Party had paid out what is reported as around £150,000 for legal expenses and a charitable donation to settle claims relating to some foolish public spat between Alyn Smith and the Brexit Party Chairman we need some information on how the Party arrived at that decision. What was the process that agreed this? Who had the powers to make such a decision? I ask because folk on the NEC state they were not consulted. What obligation, if any, did the Party have to pick up this huge bill? Is this a legitimate use of member’s subscriptions? Given we have so many elected representatives what is the Party’s potential exposure to this type of expensive mistake? I think the new NEC would be wise to create some fixed regulation to deal with this otherwise Mr Smith’s mistake could be repeated making huge holes in the Party’s finances. I may also point out the Party’s money is also being used to finance the Party Chief Executive’s legal costs with the Inquiry following his involvement in a WhatsApp group. It would be very bad news if subscriptions are regularly used to finance legal bills. This needs urgent NEC attention.

My advice would be to get these matters settled quickly and openly. Start off with a clean slate and then you can move forward with considerable Party unity and goodwill behind you. Being open and transparent, opening rather than closing down avenues of communication between the NEC and the ordinary membership will guarantee ongoing co-operation and support bringing about the type of constructive unity and effort across the Party that will make the SNP an unstoppable force.

As I survey Twitter today I am reading more and more people who had become disillusioned in recent years are now planning to rejoin. Faith is returning. You did that. The ordinary delegates did that and everyone in the entire Yes Movement owes you our grateful thanks. It was a very good day for Independence. Let’s all work together to create many more.

Wishing us all a brighter future

I am, as always


28 thoughts on “WHAT CAN I SAY?

  1. I am one of those who would like to rejoin the party (along with my wife) to give more support in the lead up to the May elections, but not until we receive clarity on those finance matters. As you state, Ian, ”irrespective of where the truth leads us”, it must be done – and done as quickly as possible.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. YES, Peter the Mole Murrell is the Power behind & in Front of the Current FM!
    Anyone who has been a regular attendee at SNP Conferences Must have seen Peter ‘Direct’ the FM!
    We need an Inquiry into the Current CEO, I think Now is the Time! The Mole is Not the FM but acts like He is!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Yes we are moving forward but some MP’s seem to think they have carte Blanche to say what they like with implicit criticism of their colleagues. The rules must apply to all members.
    The hard work starts now!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a pleasure to read something that is genuinely offering a way forward to Independence as a matter of urgent priority and not an afterthought of lip-service. You are right to emphasise our debt of gratitude to Dot Jessiman, Iain but we should not forget our debt of gratitude to YOU. Without your writing and reporting, including the information from Dot about the shenanigans in the NEC, we would not have known what was happening and been able to take collective action. WELL DONE, Iain and THANK YOU!

    Liked by 7 people

    1. That’s an extremely valid point, George. I can’t imagine what state we’d be in if not for the stoic and ongoing efforts of our bloggers, every single one of them, prominent and not so prominent. When Covid has shut-down meetings, marches and live debate, the bloggers have created online discussion, podcasts, guest-contributors and a platform for news and information.

      And, not wishing to be continually negative, these bloggers have not once been included by the political wing of our movement – the SNP – in the forward progress of Scotland, by way of gratitude or sharing, or of seeking opinion or approval. And yet, partly by their crucial inform, we now have a genuine light in the tunnel. Their contribution can’t be overstated.
      Thanks, Iain, all of you, right enough.

      Liked by 6 people

  5. Two things, Iain;
    let it be known, to the likes of Alyn Smith and others, that we’ll not sit quietly acquiescent while the opportunists and those with minority interests trash our country’s future – we’ll be watching them, all of us – don’t even go there.

    I’ll consider re-joining the Party, not now, but as soon as the husbandry of the SNP is no longer under the control of the Murrells and those who support and cover up for them.

    Yes, I’m pleased (I occasionally smile) and I’ve never been more focussed on independence.
    Good work, particularly, from the bloggers and from some determined Twitter fowk.
    Keep up the great work.

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Great news indeed but has anyone read Alyn Smith in the National today. His out burst is absolutely incredible and he comes across as the lush boy in a tizzy about being dumped by delegates.

    Seems that he cannot accept that the voters dumped him and this is what has thrown his bloated ego into a tizzy of cat calling and disparaging folks who did get elected.

    Well he better get used to it. Call it what you will but he’s been dumped, binned, chucked, rejected, and he now tantrums for all the world to see as he verbally lashes out. No nationalist Mr Alyn Smith. Nothing but a bloated lush full of a sense of entitlement.

    More too be pitied than anything else we are nevertheless well shot of him as the Convener of Policy, and eventually his tantrum will subside.

    And next stop, it’s not difficult to imagine that he’ll be deselected from trying to stand for any future parliamentary seat.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. From reading blogs like yours Iain, I became aware of the state the NEC was in. For many years I kept clear of
    involvement in my local Branch but ultimately I was sparked to take part again before the candidate for the coming election was chosen. It was difficult to know who were involved with these factions but my choice of candidate won and as far as I can make out, she is a good hard working local person completely dedicated to Independence.

    So a huge thanks to you Iain, the rev, and other bloggers – a small victory for common sense!

    Liked by 4 people

  8. The last few days has rejuvenated my determination to fight for the cause of freedom. We will continue to root out the carpetbaggers and careerists who used the movement to further there own needs. Who should have put Scotland first. It may have been a slogan from the past but it has never been more important as now and the next coming months. My opinion for what it’s worth. Call it for Thursday the 27th March 2021. That way we have grabbed the initiative and offered the Scots a way to escape austerity. The panic in Whitehall and throughout Westminster would leave them in disoray. History tells us WHO DARES WINS.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Hopefully the online dung- flinging fest will ease up soon and we can return to lobbing snowballs at unionists instead of each other . The Alyn Smith stramash has a way to run , I fear , but that will soon be yesterday’s news .

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Iain, could you please tell me what does Peter Morrell dae? I am pretty well a political anorak, but I haven’t a clue what he does, or is supposed tae dae.


    1. He is the head of the administrative arm of the Party largely centred round the Party Headquarters operation. Technically supposed to report to the NEC but they are not allowed to know what his salary is so that seems a bit doubtful.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. On a more positive note with a new Treasurer I am hopeful that the truth about where all the donations to another independence campaign have gone. A new brush can indeed sweep clean.

      Moreover, isn’t it heartening today to learn of proposals being released by Alex Salmond to tackle head on how we deal with the economic fall out from COVID and Brexit.

      Our country is facing an economic holocaust and all we get from the First Minister is her daily stage performance that most people are seeing it for what it is. Increased testing, tracking of super spreaders, more targeted measures rather than mass lockdowns, earliest possible roll out of the vaccine together with concrete action to recover our economy. That is what we want. Not the Nicola floor show.

      And the idea of a National Housing corporation to build for sale and rent the much needed housing required to address our very real housing shortage. Isn’t that a long over due action to ramp up quality building and create jobs and employment. Yes hearing Salmond and Alex Neil promoting economic recovery measures is truly good news as the jobless totals inexorably rise to levels unseen in generations.


      Liked by 1 person

  11. So Peter Murrell’s salary is a secret.

    That’s rich since the members pay his wages!

    But it’s not just his wages the members are paying for. Seems that there are some hefty legal bills also being paid for Mr Murrell and said to be running into tens if not well over a hundred thousand pounds. But that’ll be a secret to, kept carefully under wraps.

    And another secret that members might know about is how their membership subscriptions and donations were also used to provide legal support to Alyn Smith who apparently defamed Nigel Farage. And with the SNP also paying, yes paying damages to Nigel Farage, it seems another hundred plus grand of members money was burnt.

    Maybe Iain, if you have any insight into this you could do a piece on what you understand has actually been shelled in legal fees, compensation payments and wages to these two characters over the last few years. Surely members have a right to know.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I wasn’t going to renew my membership in October but did so that I could nominate some good guys for posts on the NEC and then I applied to be a delegate to try to ensure that they got voted in. Glad I did – but there is still a lot to do. Really enjoyed your input in the Twa Auld Heids the other night . Keep up the good work.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I would also like to add my thanks to yourself – and the other unblinkered bloggers and commenters – for helping to bring some sanity back to the current SNP and hopefully signalling a return to 100% focus on our aspiration . Well done , thank you . Yes , I too enjoyed the discussion hosted on Twa Auld Heids

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Sorry can’t get too excited, not until Sturgeon and her ilk have been cleansed from the party.

    For me, Sturgeon is a liar and cannot be trusted and still continues to say that Salmond is guilty. Simply disgusted by the likes of her, Smith, etc.


  15. Thanks a great post, and now we can get back to a forward looking, positive and proactive movement for Scotland to regain independence ASAP.
    Sad to see the comments very quickly descended into ‘SNP very bad, that Nicola needs to go, pretendy Scots accent from some (!) not getting my vote’ style. Is there one party in the UK that is squeaky clean, no, quite obviously.
    The SNP imo had been infiltrated and the FM played by the BritNat state, to say the least. It’s not difficult and a centuries old tactic.
    The Brit state wanted rid of Alex Salmond fearing any involvement in the inevitable indy ref#2, and also does anyone think in a million years that the Brit state would allow Nicola Sturgeon free reign without interference from outside the party. The EngGov install people of their choosing at high level in the Scottish government, it could hardly be more suspect and undemocratic, it’s just a ridiculous situation for Scotland to be in!
    Nicola Sturgeon has done an amazing job so far, dealing with a Tory gov at WM, a reduced ‘budget’ (the few crumbs thrown back condescendingly, after the EngGov treasury removes Scotland’s massive revenues and resources! They have taken £trillions in thieving Scotland’s oil, bloody tragic) to try to repair years, decades and even centuries of Brutish rule and damage to Scotland, and the people of Scotland.
    I see the polls are showing a big majority for the SNP at list and constituency level for election in May. The BritNats will be panicking, and plotting.
    It will be ramped up somehow, but as you say Ian, things are looking more positive now re the NEC. It can ‘only get better!!!’
    Independence for Scotland is crucial to the social and economic health of the country,
    anything else, (going on the BritNats record at WM and re Labour in their ten years at Holyrood!) is just unthinkable. A narrow British Nationalist, backward looking UK is not not an option for Scotland anymore.
    We can all now start to work towards that goal and sort out Scotland’s political democratic arena and makeup, as well as rejoining the EU after that.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. Getting to the bottom of the status of the ‘ringfenced’ donations is essential. Depending upon the answer there could be evidence of fraud, and that would have to be dealt with extremely quickly before the election.

    Other parties have questionable financial dealings of course, that they will never be brought to task for. For example, the Conservative’s ‘dark money’ donations funnelled through DUP. But the difference here is that indyref 2 donations were sourced from ordinary supporters, who won’t support any future fundraiser if they don’t know how their earlier donations were used.

    Liked by 2 people

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