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As we all recall the recent NEC elections made sweeping changes and a lot of people lost their places, including several senior figures. Noses were out of joint for a few days as some of that faction in the Party very publicly announced they were moving to the Greens. Already one of the most prominent members who were voted off the NEC by delegates is back on the NEC via one of the minority groups who can appoint their representatives irrespective of what ordinary delegates think. This needs to be changed in the future, delegates at Conference should vote for those that are nominated to represent these minority groups. Seats on the very important NEC should not be determined by just a relatively handful of people. These folk don’t just speak and vote on minority matters. They have full rights to vote on and discuss all issues so it’s important they are acceptable and have the majority support of all delegates. Manifestly this is not the case in this instance.

While the rest of the Party celebrated getting their Party back, be sure the element that lost out are planning their comeback. Their first opportunity is the oncoming National Assembly later this month. 

People may recall that the last time Councillor Chris McEleny tried to debate a Plan B option at a National event there was an organised group geared up and ready to shout him down, to give him no opportunity to make his case. Many of those experienced delegates that were there said it was disgraceful and that they had seen nothing like it at any of the other SNP events they had ever attended. It was visible intimidation and bullying at an SNP Conference. To my knowledge nobody was ever disciplined for what happened.

Now the same groupings that joined together last November must do so again. They must make sure they attend the online National Assembly and be to there to support Keith Brown and ensure no group or organised clique can be successful in trying to close down fair debate and discussion.

People should be able to hear and consider the various arguments and options in an atmosphere of mutual respect. It is possible to hold very conflicting opinions but still respect your opponents right to make their argument freely and without any attempt to shout them down. 

I know National Assembly is a discussion forum with no policy making powers but this should still be regarded as a step forward towards normality in that any forum is being permitted to discuss possible alternative strategies is something that has not been seen in recent years. It may have been forced on the leadership to allow them to head off the uproar over the tactics employed to stop the debate surfacing at the policy making Conference last November, but it is still welcome and I trust Keith Brown to chair it in a fair and democratic manner. I just hope the rumours I am hearing are incorrect. People are turning up and paying their money to discuss various strategies to win Independence, not lectures on how to campaign. I hope the maximum time is devoted to the topic of the strategy and route to Independence, God knows people have waited long enough for that opportunity.

Anything that facilitates fair debate and discussion is to be valued. Too much of politics today is dominated by name calling and smears. I believe the reason for this is that there have not been the regular opportunities to debate issues. These debates educate delegates, improve the communication skills of those who speak on issues, builds confidence and provides quality arguments to take forward. It also allows members to hear the views from delegates from other areas. It can  provide the platform for those with talent and ambition to become better known improving their chances of election to national office in the future. It is necessary and healthy to have competition for those posts if self serving cliques are to be avoided. My message here and we probably need COVID to be defeated before it can properly flourish, is that politics should not always be dominated by the keyboard. Face to face discussion and debate must also have its place.

SNP members must be aware that constant vigilance is needed to ensure that the new NEC is given a fair opportunity to take the party forward in a new positive direction. Spend your £6 to book you spot at National Assembly, it is open to all SNP members and let fair debate flourish.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

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13 thoughts on “DON’T SLIP UP NOW!

  1. There’s also an attempt by the clique members rejected as constituency candidates to get to Holyrood on the list

    Rhiannon Spears posted a message on Twitter that has official SNP logo and was ambiguously worded so that at first glance it looked like she was already a list candidate for Highlands & Islands (absolutely not so)

    Branch members need to be alert to this gaslighting

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Entirely consistent with the debacle that was the Salmond affair. Just how deep have the tentacles of the pseudo ‘woke’ infiltrated the party? Every time the Salmond affair came up against any obstacle, even a legal one, it was bulldozed through and they carried on. This is the mark of that mindset. They are extremely dangerous in that they will not stop till they are stopped. It is that simple. Women trying to protect their rights and sex-based spaces now need to get a grip, too. Start campaigning to have the 2004 GRA quashed as being totally unnecessary, since other pieces of legislation afford trans people all the same right as the rest of have. Like these other pseudo ‘wokists’, they want it all and they don’t care what they have to do to achieve that. If this mindset is perfectly willing to contemplate the destruction of children’s and young people’s lives, a few barriers in the NEC and party is no going to hall them at all. They need to be fought with their own weapons. That means calling them out everywhere, any time they appear in a different guise. They have little to no interest in independence, little to no interest in the Scottish people and their day-to-day problems or in their future. These people have an agenda, and it has nothing to do with anybody’s rights except theirs to take away everyone else’s. The destruction of of any form of society – liberal or repressed – appears to be their sole aim. Like spoiled toddlers, they see nothing beyond their own horizon. You can at least teach toddlers by example and by learning. These people don’t want to learn anything. Their world is black-and-white and was constructed just for them. Everything and everyone else are mere tools.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. Folks like Rhiannon Spear have not gone away whilst similarly those booted off the NEC by the democratic votes of members will try to creep back through minority group placement.

    It is therefore imperative that both members and the new NEC remain vigilant, not just in terms of strategy but who gets on the list.

    But in the list vote there is a conundrum. Last time over 953,000 votes secured the SNP 4 seats.

    Now if the SNP do as well as they say they are going to do, over a million SNP votes will deliver no seats.

    So why is HQ actively pedaling to the branches the strategy of SNP 1 and 2. Does Nicola really only want a slim constituency majority of maybe 68 to 70 seats with all the rest of the list seats held by Unionists or a very small number of Greens.

    The active promotion of two votes SNP may however be spent strategy. Independence voters are more than capable of selecting where their second vote should go and to who best should get it.

    So watch that space.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I find it astonishing that a sophisticated, well-developed political party, a party of government indeed, can have failed to see the glaring fault in allowing minority interest groups to have nominees for the SEC rubber stamped as members of the NEC without the scrutiny of the general membership. What kind of two-bit outfit is the SNP? Or is it actually the case that the conspirators are at work here to ensure the old NEC regime is not lost? I am not a party member but a committed Independista – do I want to vote for a party that is this dysfunctional in its procedures?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Who knows what or who is behind it all, but it’s not unheard of for powerful factions to infiltrate legit parties/governments they wish to see extinguished. Just a thought. Ps. The religion and sport cards didn’t work, gender did and it’s not going away. The BritNats are desperate, rats a cage, not a nice combination.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was reading an article in the National today, the “NEC have voted down motion for independence strategy working group”. I noticed on a Twitter post, someone repeatedly stating that that headline wasn’t true – that the NEC have said they have simply deferred the issue:

    “…an SNP spokesperson said the meaning of the decision was that NEC would defer to the membership’s discussions at the National Assembly on January 24 and return to the subject thereafter. Citing from the meeting’s notes: “The NEC will look at the potential for establishing a Working Group on Independence Strategy once the National Assembly has reported on its meeting of January 24.”

    Over & over, this person repeated that quote and said the headline was incorrect & very misleading – that while they’d voted it down, they were going to return to it.. I though it VERY strange because I had very clearly read that that wasn’t so. It clearly stated they were NOT going to return to it! And I posted the relevant passage that disputed what he was saying. I can’t find that post at the moment because I can’t remember who put it up but it really doesn’t matter. WHAT’S MY POINT – on reading your post above, I felt I needed to write a comment about the NEC, showing that in spite of new NEC members, we were still getting the same old schtik – no getting to talk about independence. And I went to find the National article to check the information I had gleaned, and to make sure of my position before writing this comment. TO MY SURPRISE…I found the National article – but did not find the paragraphs I was looking for! I now understand why that commenter under the post was adamant the NEC was coming back to the discussion about independence strategy after the National Assembly. The paragraphs in the article I read that disputes this, has now disappeared!

    It seems a part of the article has been taken out & I can’t help wondering why? The paragraphs:

    “…However, a SNP CWG spokesperson disagreed that the issue was deferred by the party’s ruling group at the meeting.

    The SNP CWG spokesperson responded: “The NEC voted against the motion. It did not vote to defer the motion. One person requested that this be looked at again after the National Assembly but that was not voted on.

    “Another motion on the agenda was deferred to a future meeting using standing orders. This one was not. We are glad to see that the leadership are making a U-turn on this, but this is an alarming precedent to be had – that the outcomes of the NEC can be changed to suit.”

    Now… is this paragraph pertinent? Was it taken down because it was wrong? Or because NEC/Scotgov, WHOEVER, do not want us to know that it will NOT be going back to the NEC for discussion? Or that the NEC is still changing rules to suit, whenever it is convenient? WHY is it not going back to the NEC for discussion? And WHY are we not allowed to know it won’t be going back for discussion? WHY are we not allowed to know NEC is still manipulating the rules for their own purposes? If those CWG comments are true, why were they taken out of the original article?? If they were untrue & thus article amended, then… why haven’t National editors said so? It seems there’s still funny business going on re NEC & to me, that is DISTURBING. Even getting new people on NEC doesn’t seem to be making a difference…

    What I also find disturbing is all the talk of members getting (or NOT getting!) a say.I believe that should be so! But – when exactly are the SNP going to accept that NOT ALL INDY VOTERS ARE SNP? When are they going to accept that SNP govern ALL of Scotland, that their voter base is people from ALL PARTIES & NONE? When will the accept that other Indy supporters and activists have valuable opinions and ideas that should be courted, counted & used to as a base for independence strategies too. THEY ARE THE VOTERS. And it is they who will decide who gets into Parliament in May. What persuades THEM to vote for SNP and Indy is just as pertinent as votes from SNP members. Perhaps it’s time to listen to those good folks too.

    WHATEVER, SNP IGNORING EVERYONE ISN’T A GOOD LOOK and may be their downfall this time. A lot of disgruntled people not getting a say isn’t helping their cause. There are 7 voters in my household who are getting mighty sick of carrots…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I share your concern and I am being told that the sweeping change in November is still not sufficient when the minority representation and other groups are added. I am also told the Chair Ms Oswald is also a major problem. I am currently amassing information for an article post National Assembly. I can however confirm there is more that happened at the last
      NEC that has not yet been made public that is going to anger a great many people once it becomes known, if not by the 24th then from me, shortly afterwards!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m sorry – I think I’ve given the impression that I’m not glad of the new people on the NEC. I certainly am. I think what I’m trying to say is that we hoped enough good people were elected, to make a difference. And – that hasn’t happened. Unfortunately certain elements that were voted out, have now been re-elected on a different ticket, so we still have certain non indy agenda’s to cope with!

        Well… seems your next article is going to be a real Lollapalooza (Sorry, but it just seemed the right word in the circumstances, Canadian though it may be! *A real humdinger of a revelation!* for those not familiar with the word!) and sounds like I’m going to have to take some HBP meds before reading it! *sigh*… Oh well, best to know what we’re dealing with, I guess, so we know how best to deal with it. Shades of UXB… :-/

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, and it appears they are trying to force through ‘reserved top spot’ for certain recognised groups on the regional lists. This despite the date for applications having closed. So only those who have applied already could be considered. So much for equality. If someone eligible under these conditions didn’t already pass vetting they can’t now apply.
    This has already been thought through. I hope the NEC don’t endorse this.

    Liked by 1 person

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