WHERE IS THE LOOT?

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LET US SEE THE LOOT?

So three members of the Finance and Audit Committee, appointed by the National Treasurer to sit on a committee whose remit is to ensure the financial health and probity of the Party finances have decided to resign.

They really had no choice, these were professional people, with backgrounds in finance and business, with professional personal reputations to protect and who recognise that after repeatedly trying to obtain the access to the books that would allow them to fulfill their role they had made zero progress. Every request being ignored or rejected by the Chief Executive Peter Murrell.

If you have ever worked in senior management or attended any course in corporate management you will be well aware of the need not to ignore such behaviour from any Chief Executive and that you have a personal, indeed legal responsibility, to ensure that position cannot remain secret. So not only should we thank those who resigned for their efforts we should also thank them for the manner they resigned, reporting their action to the NEC, the body ultimately responsible for the governance of the Party, stating the reasons for resigning at the committee so nobody could claim ignorance of their reasons, or ignorance of how their Chief Executive is behaving.

I note from the Wings site that amongst the concerns they had were “massive bank charges”. This, if true, would be extremely worrying. Bank interest rates are at historic low levels at the moment, so for large charges being levied very substantial borrowing must be taking place. How members can equate such a position with recent public announcements seems difficult to say the least. People may remember the upbeat announcements of £1.5 million being available for the election and having located the 600k “ring fenced” money it was going to be used for a new department headed by new employee Marco Biagi. Readers may also recall my skepticism of those announcements. Can I say with certainty what the problem is? No I can’t, nor can anyone else, that is why those responsible for the financial probity must win access to the books to carry out their duties. How ridiculous and pathetic to have to fight to be able to do so?

Wings also mentioned a potential financial calamity from the previous month’s ludicrous decision to “fix” the number 1 slots on the list across the entire country in direct contradiction to the legal advice from an eminent QC that warned such a move could open up the Party to legal and damages costs amounting to potentially many hundreds of thousands of pounds. What is it about this Party and ignoring legal advice?

At the time I was astonished that plan was not removed from the agenda by the National Secretary in light of the legal advice but it certainly is a consideration that both the National Treasurer and his Finance and Audit Committee would have a duty to consider given that the potential amounts involved could bankrupt the Party. The news that the Party has already received lawyers letters on the topic should be a big concern and the Party might be wise to revoke that decision before nominations close at the end of the month.

Now when Allison Graham, the NEC REP for Mid Scotland and Fife, and, one of the three who resigned, announced their decision to resign to the NEC it set off an angry confrontation with other, mainly appointed, NEC MEMBERS. They were incensed, why had this been raised at the NEC? Their main complaint was this now risked members of the Party finding out about it. None of them were angry at Peter Murrell , all their anger was directed at Allison for reporting it directly to the body that was ultimately responsible and who had the constitutional responsibility for fixing the problem. The solution being to instruct Peter Murrell on penalty of instant dismissal to hand over the books that they can be formally inspected and audited. Needless to report this was not even discussed.

The minutes have now been published for the meeting minus any news of the resignations, or their reasons for resigning, or any plan to overcome the impasse.

I have never heard of any significant organisation operating with revenues the size of the Scottish National Party where it is acceptable or normal for the Chief Executive to refuse access to the books to those officers or appointees of the National Treasurer and where such action stops the proper financial and audit procedures necessary to ensure everything is being run honestly and above board. I know nobody is allowed to know his salary but everything else as well? Come on!

The NEC should not ignore their responsibilities in these matters, they are ultimately responsible for the proper governance of the Party and could find themselves legally responsible if their negligence leads to members funds being lost or improperly used. Simply omitting the issue from the minutes will not be sufficient to disguise those responsibilities. This article itself records the names of who formally advised the NEC of these matters.

The three members of the committee were Allison Graham, the NEC Member mentioned above, Frank Ross, a chartered accountant and the current Lord Provost of  Edinburgh and Cynthia Guthrie, who is a company director with a Livingston based company. They did the right thing. I am sure they found it difficult but nothing good comes from allowing reckless financial irregularity like this to continue unchallenged.

The SNP is in a hell of a mess, no matter where you look there are huge problems. The Party, as well as the politics is in a dreadful state. Unlike the politics where there are always arguments about who is responsible, when it comes to the Party it is crystal clear. The total responsibility lies with the NEC and the Chief Executive. I feel sorry for a lot of the newer NEC members, most of the problems were the fault of the previous Woke dominated NEC who seemed happy to let the Chief Executive and his staff run the entire Party unchecked.

It is that irresponsibility and negligence that has led to today’s problems. Somebody better wrest the books from Peter, or is it Peter and Nicola soon, just in case they are not around much longer.

Late last night I was contacted by a branch whose treasurer spent three months trying to contact the National Treasurer. Why the delay? It took HQ THREE MONTHS to create an email link to him following his election in November. Sound like a slick operation to you? No me neither!

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

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54 thoughts on “WHERE IS THE LOOT?

  1. Iain:  What a mess. If it was not for you and Wings, who would know?  I thought back to the time of Gordon Willson. Just could not happen then.

    Jim

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Hi Jim, what were the problems that beset the party during your time Jim? Were there any at all? My guess is the party has had ups and downs, great things and skeletons in it’s cupboard, like any organisation, from the day it was born. If it hadn’t, we would surely have achieved Indy a long, long time ago?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I understand that the NEC is the “ownership body” of the party in that all of the assets of the party are “owned” by the NEC, and not by the party at large. If this is correct then all of the liabilities of the party will also be the direct
    responsibility of the NEC. Are these liabilities owned jointly & severally by the members of the NEC ?

    The term jointly and severally indicates that all parties are equally responsible for carrying out the full terms of an agreement. In a personal liability case, for example, each party named may be pursued for repayment of the entire amount due.

    So that would mean that any individual NEC member could be liable for 100% of the debt of the party. Last NEC member – are you listening ? Please switch off the lights.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. Very worrying. Would elected NEC members be forfeit for covering debts? Would the appointees representing minority groups also be liable? Would the personal property of NEC members be forfeit to repay debts? If the members have been asking for information about insurance policies to cover their costs, they also need to be sure that such policies would apply if criminal activity was the cause of deficit, and appropriation of named funds for other purposes is apparently a criminal act, isn’t it? . Maybe they should ask those resigning members who understand finance and thereby the law on finance to advise on whether the NEC should resign en masse to avoid loss of their homes and savings. Maybe the NEC should before resigning make a formal request for investigation to the Fraud Squad. But I don’t think anyone would blame them for taking action to protect themselves, provided that they would not still be liable for damages for being members at the time any misconduct was occuring. I hope to goodness that they can make themselves safe. I hope I am not being alarmist, but the SNP is not a limited company, and the NEC members seem to be very vulnerable. People like the three resignees do not take such action lightly. Heavens, what a mess Peter Murrel’s ostrich acts seem to be making. Is he suffering from dementia I wonder?

        Liked by 7 people

    1. Does that only apply to elected members of the NEC, or does it include those directly appointed by Murrell from the affiliate groups?

      Do those parasites have free rein without legal consequences?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I’d hope that anyone participating in the vote would be in scope, regardless of whether they were a member or “helping out a friend”. Robertson, for example, would have been aware of the legal advice and had access to the same papers as everyone else in attendance

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Perhaps, but we’re talking about a political party here, representing a country, and answerable to its citizens, many of whom have paid considerable sums of money for the primary and specific purpose of financing the furtherance of a promised outcome. Furthermore, this particular Chief Executive has been undergoing extreme scrutiny of late, with a great deal of very serious questions unanswered or ignored.
      I’m of the mind that most Chief Executives operating as such would be subject to a visit by the Fraud Squad? – cups of tea being flatly refused.
      It’s high time these confidence tricksters were brought to justice.

      Liked by 6 people

  3. I outlined my concerns to Stewart Stevenson, the recently elected National Secretary, on this matter 5 weeks ago and have sent a reminder of 2 further occasions but have yet to receive a reply.

    I do know that Catriona MacDonald (Constituency candidate for Edinburgh Southern), having just been elected to the NEC in November 2020, resigned in January 2021 because of the NEC choosing to ignore the legal advice regarding the fixing of the Regional List selection of candidates. I know this only because, when I contacted her on this topic, Catriona informed me directly that she did this on principle (and, I suspect, sensibly to avoid liability should any legal challenges occur).

    We don’t even know who the NEC members are currently – as I am aware that there have been even more resignations – and minutes of meeting are either not taken or not published.

    So there’s not much chance of getting any financial detail on the books.

    Maybe there’s a reason why Peter Murrell keeps magpies?

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Deeply worrying. And if we had not been so close to the GE I would support resignations….I suppose all we can do is try to fight the election which is to be on a mandate for independence….that is the nub. For having said so the converse is if we lose the election… we lose the referendum option.

    Like

    1. What referendum option? Isn’t it obvious to you yet that they are dangling carrots once again and besides, they have no money to campaign for Indy. Trying to “sort them out” is proving impossible now. How would it be any easier after their shenanigans are endorsed by a majority in an election? It would just encourage them to carry on this path. I’m afraid, at the moment, there is no referendum option.

      Liked by 9 people

  5. So it is true that three members of the Finance and Audit Committee have resigned and that these resignations were because Peter Murrell the Chief Executive would not give the audit committee access to the books.

    This, as many feared is now confirmation that something is very seriously wrong and suggests maybe that the Party is going bankrupt.

    For remaining party members this must come as a huge shock. Having given for so long how could it come to this.

    Well it maybe should not sadly be as much of a shock as it is.

    Online commentators like Lawson and Campbell have for some time been warning their suspicions that something was wrong.

    Big big salaries to Murrell and Ruddick. Huge legal fees paid out to support an MP fight his personal legal battles. Ditto the cost of legal fees to support Peter Murrell. Unbelievably too the party picking up the bill for the compensation that an elected member had to pay a party he had defamed.

    Or even the exposure that party funds were being spent on paying for emotional counselling for the disgraced young boy text pest Derrick Mackay fame

    No wonder therefore that the ring fenced donation money disappeared. And no wonder that access to the party books is being kept a secret.

    Absolutely heartbreaking remaining party members.

    The SNP is no longer a properly functioning party.

    The fear of the party becoming insolvent together with individuals being fingered for fraud, must now be looming large in certain minds.

    Audit committees do not resign en-masse for no reason.

    Will there in fact be an SNP soon?

    Liked by 10 people

    1. ..did you mention the grotesque sum of money that was found to coach inquiry witnesses to lie, Willie? No? Okay, permit me to mention it (for the benefit of new visitors to Ian’s site, as the great majority are now fully aware of the following facts)

      A professional coach was employed to assist members of the Sturgeon cabal to cope with having to answer questions at the inquiry into the harassment of a former First Minister. Coaching, for witnesses with a clear conscience, should never be necessary for those simply telling the truth. This coach, however, was easily the poorest return for money to date as the Sturgeon witnesses, far from being convincing, collectively suffered onset of forgetfulness – they lied. That is a fact. We know it is a fact, we know the evidence exists showing this as fact. That the Sturgeon witnesses were permitted to return at a later date and alter sworn evidence is nothing short of scandalous.

      Incidentally, I don’t have the exact sum of money to hand, but I believe this ‘coach’ was paid in the region £50,000.

      The party will declare bankruptcy and apportion blame to Covid.

      Like

      1. KPL…as those being coached were, in the main, civil servants I expect the costs were met by the SG admin budget, so all the Scottish people contributed not just the SNP members. It should have come from the SG learning and development budget although I expect there were some interesting ways used to record it. More will have been spent per head on those witnesses than on any other member of the civil service staff on learning and development in one year.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I find the situation fascinating. It’s hard to imagine how any sane person could behave with this level of brazen dishonesty and utter contempt for all laws, ethics, and norms (not to mention for the membership of the party he runs). It’s hard to imagine a diagnosed narcissistic sociopath carrying on like this.

    And yet Murrell carries on regardless, apparently satisfied that he is utterly immune to any consequences of his actions. Which suggests he is acting in the knowledge that he has protection from powerful forces whose reach must extend way beyond the confines of poky wee Scotland and its feeble institutions.

    Liked by 15 people

  7. The Murrells are like the operators of a Ponzi scheme. All smiles and confidence until the inevitable sudden huge crash. The attempt to smear Alex Salmond and the missing cash. The truth will emerge.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Sadly I posted this a day too soon now with some edits and additions

    TRULY HORRENDOUS and for the life of me I can’t see a way forward I find it doubly sad that no SNP MSP has the balls (excuse that gender related term) to stand up and say ENOUGH!!!

    And yes I know that they are between a rock and a hard place with an election only a few weeks away BUT!!!!

    To quote a rather famous Englishman ‘Cowards die many times before their deaths’ ‘If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?’

    Hopefully that revenge is sweet and soon.

    Being an independent supporter for most of my life I cannot see how I can vote for THIS LOT and sadly this is about every last one of them sitting on their hands and playing at the three monkeys

    What is it about Fish Rotting From The Head, that looks so true and accurate here

    I just watched Craig Murray’s video

    https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2021/03/a-very-tough-video-to-make/

    And like him, I am devastated upset very angry and deeply depressed at this happing in my country.

    Was I right or was I wrong when I said Things can only get better and hopefully soon tough one that?

    I expect a lot more to come, and sadly I don’t think this is all due to external forces, or even a conspiracy to GET the SNP. Rotten to the Core seems about right, and we need a complete clear out of the top management people of the SNP before I will again vote for them

    Surely it is time to call in the fraud squad and Police Scotland to look at All the SNP’s and Scottish Governments recent shenanigans

    Going to be an interesting week when we get to see both reports into NS’s did she or didn’t she break the Ministerial code reports. That looks so unimportant when you are a free thinking intelligent person independent with a capital I and look at and see the big picture emerging from this tightly controlled secretive party………….nothing to see here, that is not my recollection, and I don’t think that is what happened but let me get back to you won’t wash here NOR WILL let the people decide.

    Drip by drip it is being revealed as is their self belief in their own importance and being not subject to the rules (they simply don’t apply to them, rules are for the wee people)

    What a complete and total F.U.!!!!

    Being an Ex Senior Project Manager with my skill set being bringing major totally out of kilter projects back from the brink and fully and correctly implemented, and for many of the UK’s top companies I can see many similarities here with the SNP. Lost the plot and lost the vision of the purpose of the project and got diverted with add nice looking add-ons that had no value or place to play in the project. Even knowing that they were heading to a calamity that could destroy the organisation those at the top went into hiding pretending everything was fine and would come good, all it needed was MORE TIME…..NOT strong project leadership and management And as I discovered when I took on the project….the need to support the Project Manager was STILL lacking and objections were made as to what I was going to do and who I was leaning on hard to do their job properly…and yes on a number of occasions I took the nuclear option back me, or I walk and sadly occasionally I had to walk.

    Liked by 7 people

  9. The NEC need to look at the books, there needs to be an explanation of where the ring fenced referendum £600,000 is hiding. The National Treasurer needs to react to the resignations of the Audit committee. The NEC need to get their position in personal responsibility sorted out. The party is probably not in a non trading position. It needs some transparency.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. This makes me even more certain that Peter Murrell is a British state plant who is trying (succeeding) to dismantle the SNP.

    The SNP, or any political party for that matter, should make it that the Chief Executive should stand down if their spouse/partner is elected leader of the party.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. A very good article Ian and excellent comments that must open the eyes of those who still believe in the SNP. It was interesting to read that some on the NEC were more concerned about SNP members and the public finding out about Peter Murrell’s actions. Are they really as shallow as that? Do they lack understanding of the seriousness of the situation? You mentioned Fiona Robertson and I would be very sorry if she was not held responsible for the mess in the same way as others on the NEC. She, who was removed from the NEC by party members but returned as a regular stand-in person, must take responsibility for her actions. There are many who have remained tight-lipped while knowing what has been going on and justice now needs to take its course. I only hope someone is brave enough to contact whichever authority is required to bring it about although the situation may warrant the authorities coming in without being invited.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YOU WROTE

      I only hope someone is brave enough to contact whichever authority is required to bring it about, although the situation may warrant the authorities coming in without being invited.

      Words are easy to write

      Why don’t you contact the relevant authorities and see if that will make a difference

      Like

      1. Words are indeed easy to write but quite troubling when their focus is something I have supported for a number of years. When I wrote ‘I only hope someone is brave enough to contact whichever authority….’ I was directing the statement towards some person in the SNP who might develop a conscience and decide that the situation should be investigated.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes what a bloody mess the SNP are in, and more to the the point they’ve let a helluva lot of folk down, what’s even more depressing is that not one, not bloody one SNP MSP or Crown Office personnel, has come forward to blow the whistle and stand up for Scotland, that is the biggest scandal of all, what does that say about the calibre of person within the Scottish government, the SNP and the Crown Office.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. it makes us cry but the UK at the higher levels is full of jobsworth people and nepotism, and sadly we cant roll the clock back to when people were highly moral and focused on doing the right thing..sadly that as we have seen is exceptional behaviour now, that is very very depressing

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Can someone link me to a reliable source for the current total SNP membership ? I see plenty about a recent surge in new members but can’t find a number for the total.

    Like

  14. How many are actually left on the NEC? There seems to have been many resignations, lately. It would appear that the entryists are the last ones standing, probably denying that it had anything to do with them and the Party will bail them out financially!
    Looks like we need to ‘keep oor heads doon’, get an SNP majority then empty the NEC and Party out and rebuild from scratch. Could be the poor councillors, at the council elections in 2022, bear the brunt of the backlash.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Frank

      I think it goes without saying that in 2022 the SNP might take a bleaching at the Council elections. But that presupposes that there will be an SNP by then.

      The next while will determine if the SNP continues in its present form. Under its present leadership , certain elected members, and current financial standing or in fact lack of, there is no guarantee that it will.

      Not sure therefore Frank if keeping the head down will change anything. Maybe financial collapse and or an electoral bleaching in May will be the catalyst for a New SNP to arise.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Who would ever think that people who pled absolute loyalty to Scotland could so quickly betray the whole Nation, and have the gall to walk around as though totally innocent of any crime. What are the SNP members doing? Why is no one standing up and saying “enough of this nonsense, time for change”. The SNP may think they’ll get their majority in May, but that is looking increasingly impossible. They’ll get all the dafties out in force but the more astute will shun them for alternatives… let’s just pray it’s the correct alternative for Scotland’s future and not sleep walking into the arms of Westminster.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. According to, and as you will see from the electoral commission website where the SNP constitution and last accounts are available for review, another set of accounts are now falling due for the year end 31st December 2020.

    In preparing these accounts, and I extract as under-noted the Party has, similar to other enterprises, to report in accordance with prescribed accounting standards –

    EXTRACT

    “ The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 requires the National Treasurer of the Party to prepare the financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the Party and of the surplus or deficit for that period. In preparing those financial statements, the National Treasurer is required to:

    • select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;
    • make reasonable and prudent judgements and estimates;
    • state whether applicable accounting standards have been followed;
    • provide details and explanations of any departures in the financial statements; and
    • prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the Party will continue in operation.

    Section 41 of the Act requires that the National Treasurer is responsible for keeping proper accounting records that disclose, with reasonable accuracy, at any time the financial position of the Party at that time and to enable him to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Act. Section 43 of the Act requires that the National Treasurer is responsible for delivery of the statement of accounts to The Electoral Commission by the required deadline.”

    ENDS:

    And so with new accounts due, and with membership and membership income absolutely shredded, and other income down too, the previous predictions of underlying financial difficulty may be beginning to more than raise its head.

    I certainly wouldn’t like to be signing off last years as yet unpublished accounts, nor making a statement on the party stability going forward. BHS, Arcadia were maybe high profile corporate insolvencies, but maybe the SNP could be the first political party insolvency

    Interesting also, in the event of an insolvency, who would be liable, the officers like Murrell and Ruddick, members of the NEC, or even members who are maybe technically part of the unincorporated (?);association that is the Party. Yes, the three members of the Audit and Finance Committee ( one of whom is a chartered accountant ) did not resign for no reason.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Communication in the Murrell household is derisory so it seems. Mr M would have us believe that he knew nothing of the AS matter. Perhaps Nicola is equally unaware of the financial situation of the party she leads. Hmm …….

      Liked by 3 people

  17. By reference to the House of Commons Library, the following is recorded –

    “ Estimates from political parties’ head offices, press releases and media reports indicate that:
    The Labour Party has around 540,000 members, as of April 2018, according to an unconfirmed estimate published on the LabourList. The latest official estimates, in party annual accounts, suggested more than 564,400 members, as of December 2017.
    The Scottish National Party has just under 125,500 members, as of August 2018.
    The Conservative Party has around 124,000 members as of March 2018.
    The Liberal Democrat Party has around 99,200 members, as of August 2018.
    The Green Party (England and Wales) has around 39,400 members, as of August 2018.
    UKIP has around 23,600 members, as of August 2018.
    Plaid Cymru has around 8,000 members, as of August 2018 “.

    These are quite outstanding figures for the SNP due to its membership of 125,000 relating to a country of around 8% of the UK. Multiply that figure by 11 to 12 times and you get a direct UK popularity comparator with Labour and the Conservatives, or half it, and you get a competitor with Plaid Cymru.

    And so with anecdotal reports of just under 60,000 members having left the SNP over the last eighteen to twenty four months, it becomes crystal clear how an Uber popular party has fallen like a stone, and may have some way to fall yet, despite what the party are now trying to suggest.

    But think of the cash impact. 60,000 less members at let’s say £30 per annum. Then maybe let us say another £15 per member in small donations or selling raffle tickets or buying merchandise. That’s a reduction in income of around £2.7/million pounds per annum.

    The recent to do about accounts, and the cancellation of funding remitted back to branches certainly suggests how a financial cris could be biting. £2.7 million a year is a big income reduction and there’s a whole party apparatus to be paid for including two well known big salaries.

    But maybe the folks who’ve been warning of financial difficulty are just partisan anti Nicla malcontents throwing mud on behalf of a thoroughly still guilty Alex Salmond.. ……because all in the garden is rosy as the deck chairs ever more recline.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hi Willie, I’m with you. Things are far from rosey and haven’t been so for a long, long time now. I’ve started visiting these blogs, trying to learn more about what has been happening over the last few years to develop a credible alternative to the SNP. To be honest I’m struggling. As a relative ‘outsider looking in’, there seems to be plenty highlighting of how bad things are with the SNP but very little about what’s the alternative – like now. I’m sure the work has been done and is ready to be launched. The frequent hints of ‘there’s something massive going to happen’ is presumably that – new party, new leadership, top name defections from the SNP, a bright and positive Indy-focussed way forward. That said, they’re cutting it a bit fine. The 6th May is awfi close. Maybe the element of surprise is part of the plan. Willie – do you know what the plan is? Presumably it ain’t simply carrying on having endless criticism of everything and anything to do with the SNP? Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Willie, if you look at the 2019 accounts they may have had 97K in the bank but they also had 357K in trade creditors (mostly unpaid campaign bills for the December GE) due more or less immediately. So they were 260K in the red before they even started 2020. That’s before you realise that they were a year behind in paying the branches – about 500K from memory. With a declining membership base that is a real problem because the 25% branch share of 2020’s smaller subscription income isn’t enough to cover the 500K owing to branches for last year’s subs. Is it any wonder they were running out of money so very early in 2020?

      Although they classify income under a variety of different categories – subscriptions, donations and legacies from supporters’ estates – in reality ALL of the SNP’s income comes from members, so members resigning en masse is a huge problem. A rational management would be doing two things: firstly cutting its payroll to live within its reduced income and secondly taking steps to halt and reverse the membership decline by addressing the issues of the members. That Peter Murrell is doing neither of these is grounds for his dismissal for incompetence. Their tactic of begging members to renew their subs early is robbing Peter to pay Paul with a vengeance – it may solve a cash shortage this month but it creates a further shortfall in succeeding months. The suspension of branch “dividends” goes back to at least the 2nd quarter of 2020 so the previous NEC should have been asking questions at that point about the financial situation. If the SNP has gone into overdraft as seems likely, I think questions should be asked about on whose authority.

      The NEC is there to represent the members and oversee the management of the SNP. They should play the same role as the Board of Directors in a public company. So it is the CEO who is answerable to the NEC, not vice versa. Any Managing Director who refused to provide financial data to his Board would find himself terminated immediately. Murrell is only doing this because he’s got Sturgeon backing him and because he probably knows that their unelected stooges on the NEC are too stupid to comprehend the state of the problem. If the Treasurer and the Finance Committee are not allowed to know Murrell’s salary then who authorised his salary in the first place: he himself or his wife? Murrell and Sturgeon have to be sacked.

      BTW as an unincorporated association ALL of the members are collectively and individually liable for the organisation’s debts, not just those appointed to the NEC. I’m not versed in UK law but I’d think that a liquidator could claim against former members if he could show that the organisation was insolvent when they were members. So resigning may not protect you from liability.

      Like

  18. Results from last Thursday’s Council by election in Helensburgh and Lomond South due to the death of the sitting councillor –

    Con – 1206 [50.7%, +11.7]
    SNP – 562 [23.6%, +5.8]
    Lib Dem – 333 [14.0%, -8.1]
    Labour – 133 [5.6%, -2.9]
    Green – 123 [5.2%, +5.2]
    SWP – 22 [0.9%, +0.9]

    Con GAIN from Lib Dem elected previously via multi member transferable vote system.

    But just look at the SNP vote.

    Now I know by-elections are by-elections and Helensburgh has lots of Royal Navy type voters due to the sub marine base. But the SNP vote at 23.6% and 50.7% for the Tories certainly suggests the SNP are a long way off taking the Dumbarton Constituency parliament seat in May.

    Put simply in 2016 Jackie Baillie held her seat for Labour. And so with a national swing away from the SNP, with Jackie Baillie having come across well on the enquiry committee, and with the the Helensburgh Tories who will vote tactically to support Jackie Baillie against the SNP in the Parliament elections as they do, it looks very likely that SNP hopeful Toni Giugliano has little to no chance of taking the Dumbarton seat in May.

    But hey ho, everything in the garden is rosy. SNP 1 and 2 we’re all with Nicola and Nicola can do no wrong, does no wrong as we soar to our assured victory. And then I took the rose tinted glasses off and the ear plugs out, and switched on brain.

    But as I say, this was only a by election.

    But this was only a Council by election and Toni is with Nicla!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. GOOD Afternoon,

    At the end of each post, you say there are buttons “at the top right”.
    Unfortunately, I have always failed to see them ANYWHERE.

    Am I looking in the wrong place???????

    Regards
    Catrina Shand

    Sent from Outlook

    ________________________________

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    1. It may depend on your device. On my Windows desktop, there is Home, Blog, About and Contact on the same line as the blog’s title, which is on the top left. On my iPhone, the button you need is hidden behind the Menu+ button, which is on the left of my screen. Tap that and it takes you to the menu that you need.

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  20. I have just come over here from a twitter conversation with a #BothVotesSNP account

    I had tweeted earlier in reply to Math Campbell, who had told another poster that he wouldn’t comment on the missing money because “Internal party matters are internal business”. I had posted back that many people had donated who weren’t SNP members so his premise was false, and also audited accounts are published and public, so again, hardly an internal issue which could demand secrecy.

    #BothVotesSNP challenged me to raise it with my Branch, inferring that I wasn’t an SNP member (and so it was none of my business). I replied that up until recently I had indeed been a member but when I had made enquiries at Branch and HQ level, I had received no response. This, and other issues, were why I resigned. I was then told that the money was “none of my business”

    Again, I pointed out that many Yes supporters had donated money and they wanted to know where it had gone – the accounts have no line showing ringfenced funds of £600k. Nor (if we are to believe the “woven through” story) does the bottom line show anywhere near that amount. Endless enquiries result in no answers.

    The response this time was that the poster gave to many charities and he didn’t ask them what they did with the money, but if he wasn’t happy with them he stopped donating. I suggested this wasn’t a good example because charities don’t run the country. I was then blocked from his account.

    What is it that people are so afraid of ? If the SNP have the money, then let them show it to their members – then all these people who think I and folk like me are just stirring little liars can shove the proof in our faces. Or they can get the SNP legal team onto Wings where I saw it first.

    But they don’t – they just tell me I’m not really an independence supporter at all, I’m a unionist.

    Or maybe it’s just that I hold onto the notion that I always thought an independent Scotland was going to be better than this

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Molly’s Mum. The problem is that the SNP don’t have the £600k that was donated to fund a referendum campaign. Put simply it has been spent or given away because it isn’t in the accounts. What it has been spent on or who it has been given away to is anybody’s guess as there is no transparency in the SNP accounts.

      To say that the £600,000 generously given by committed people has been ” woven through the accounts ” is the most breath taking piece of arrogance you could deliver. Like wiping excrement off your shoe the people who gave their money must be feeling pretty irked.

      But then again some 60,000 members over the last twenty four months have felt irked enough to throw in the membership towel. And so, it is not difficult to understand why you were palmed off like the excrement covered shoe with the comment that the money was an internal matter. Sometimes when you’re in a hole the advice is to stop digging and maybe the response that you’d need to raise the question with the National Treasurer might have been a more appropriate Twitter response.

      In truth very few will actually know anything about the SNP accounts and the party’s financial standing. They are a secret known only to a very few – like surprise, surprise, Peter Murrell.

      Could the SNP run out of money and become insolvent in the very near future. Well that could well be a possibility. But to quote a response, that would be an internal matter, a very internal matter.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. When whoever it was in the SNP uttered the words “woven through the accounts” why didn’t someone in the upper echelons simply reply “bollocks”?

        The whole point of ring-fenced money is that it is set aside to be used for the intended purpose and no other. Anyone with the most basic mathematical ability can see that the money raised was never, ever woven through the SNP accounts. The bank accounts held by the SNP have simply never contained enough money.

        I am looking at this from 3,000 miles away, but if it were my money, I would want to know what had happened to it. The money is not woven anywhere but SNP leadership is trying to spin a yarn.

        Liked by 2 people

  21. The person I’d expect to intervene now, if only to press the “alarm” button, is the party president and former Chief Executive, Mike Russell MSP. There are others, but I think he’s in the best position even though being president is only a nominal position. I hope he’s not one of those who believe this will all just blow-over, like an irritating April shower. At least if we sound the alarm now, it avoids that being done by our friends at the BBC, STV, and so on, about a week before the election. Would they? Yes, of course they would.

    The problems for anyone who makes a formal complaint to “the authorities” is, first, who to notify; second, what will actually happen; third, will it reduce the chance of an SNP government after 6th May. Not an easy call, so folk may choose to wait till after the election in the hope of not much damage being done before then. The NEC, as a body, is surely where the main responsibility lies, but the NEC seems to be constitutionally controlled by the Business Manager appointed by the current leader whose husband is supposed to be answerable to the NEC. I’d call that corrupt, and indefensible.

    It’ll be a while before the 2020 accounts are inspected. I think there were questions about the accounts for 2019, e.g. about the invisible ring-fenced referendum fighting-fund, but I suppose the Electoral Commission must have been satisfied with what they received.

    I know we should try to avoid conspiracy-theories, but that doesn’t mean there’s never a conspiracy. Given that the SNP’s purpose is to break-up the UK state, the UK state has an interest in undermining the SNP, and that, as with all organisations, is most effectively done from within. Full-frontal external attacks are too obvious, and more likely to fail or rebound. If our opponents could arrange for us to fight each other, they would be foolish not to. Also, there’s the old saying about “never interrupt your opponents when they’re making a mistake”. The new constitution adopted in 2018 may have been the biggest of those mistakes. The loopy attempt to take retrospective disciplinary action against a former first-minister may have been a mistake rather than a malicious activity by a number of people.

    I know some folk argue that Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell are both acting against independence, and that’s increasingly difficult to argue against. The fact that the leader of the party is married to the chief executive is just plain wrong, and would not be tolerated in any other large organisation. That it has happened in the SNP raises questions about power within the party and about the motives of those two people who could and should have stopped it right at the start. Of course, we shouldn’t discount the possibility that it’s just an unfortunate matter of personalities who are both wrong for the job they’re supposed to be doing. Either way, I think they both have to go. I believe the electoral effect of the First Minister leaving now would not be good, so that might be best postponed till after 6th May. (No, I don’t expect her to resign, I’m just stating a preference)

    Given that the SNP is a minority government at present, I think it’s foolish to assume that the recent loss of active and experienced members can be countered by the very recent new members to somehow win a majority. Experience does count, as does the likelihood that quite a lot of those new members think they’ve joined a fan-club. How many of them will be able to do any real work? We can be sure that some people will be voting for other independence parties, and that will have some effect on the result, even if small. I also think we should not assume that the obvious conspiracy against Alex Salmond will have no effect on the election result.

    Beside the assumption that there’s going to be an SNP majority after May 6th, there is the assumption I’ve seen that our opponents will not be able to form a unionist coalition. Look at the bigger picture!

    The SNP is a real threat to the UK. We all saw how quickly Labour removed a candidate who expressed acceptance of another referendum. If the only way of stopping a referendum and keeping the UK together is to form a unionist alliance of Labour, Tory, and LibDem MSPs, that is what they’ll do. It is what I would do. This is not a wee computer-game, that you can play with your “friends” online, and pick up again tomorrow after school.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Good comment, one small correction, the Electoral Commission will have no interest in tracing the “ring fenced money” they are only interested in ensuring that the books are truly representative of the financial position at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. It is the silence of the MSM that should concern us. As Iain pointed out some time ago they have a great deal of information. However it is now obvious they want to keep everyone in place to maximise the damage to Independence just as the postal votes go out.

    Liked by 1 person

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