Dot Jessiman’s letter had a huge impact. Record numbers of readers to my blog yesterday. People are concerned about the chaos that seems to surround the “ ring fenced money” and other financial matters.
Dot’s brave decision to go public has encouraged others and my story today relates to that new information…what exactly happened at the NEC meeting in March when one of the three members of the audit committee read out on behalf of all three of the auditors their concerns and explanation of why they were resigning?
Now in any normal Organisation an event of this kind would be a serious matter, the NEC under the constitution is the body ultimately responsible for the finances of the Party and an audit report highlighting concerns you would expect to be given proper consideration. Certainly a fair hearing, a willingness to consider the matter. At least an appreciation that the auditors felt something was sufficiently amiss that they had made their best endeavors to uncover the problem. Having been blocked from accessing the information by the Chief Executive they felt they had no alternative but to report it to the ultimate regulatory body within the Party and tender their resignations to emphasise the seriousness of such a serious breach of best practice. They probably had never considered the possibility that the NEC would be happy for this blockage to remain in place. The person they were reporting of blocking them access was the Party Leader’s partner but they were raising practices, not personalities. I would remind readers two of the audit members were the current SNP Lord Provost of Edinburgh, a chartered accountant and also another who is a senior Director of a Group of Companies.
The other of the three auditors was an elected member of the NEC and Allison Graham , delivered a measured and calm report and explanation of their concerns and why they felt, in order to protect their own professional reputations, that they had no option but to resign as the present situation was completely unacceptable and ensured that lacking access to the required information they could not carry out their duties and advise the elected National Treasurer properly.
All hell broke out, nobody wanted to discuss the content of the report, they went bananas because Allison had read it out at the NEC MEETING. Leading the complainers was a Nec Rep from the Highlands and Islands, a Ian Cockburn, who works for the Westminster Leader Ian BLACKFORD in his Dingwall office. Another member of the NEC described his attack on Allison as a mad, bad tempered “rant”, very aggressive and completely unjustified. He was outraged that she had raised the matter at the NEC. When he finished he got widespread support from the Wokies but not just them, a very senior figure, the Party Leader made clear she fully approved of Cockburn’s aggressive verbal assault on the female auditor. She was backed up by, I nearly fell off my seat when I heard about this, Cllr Graham Campbell who boasted about his considerable business experience, his wide experience as a company director/trustee of various bodies emphasising he was the last person to be questioned about transparency or financial probity! The NEC member who supplied me with this information said “My impression was they would not recognise good and proper governance if it hit them in the face”. Cllr Campbell, this self appointed “expert” in financial probity and transparency, then stated Allison should NEVER have been permitted to report this to the NEC. So much for transparency, that didn’t last long!
Now normally this could be dismissed or devalued by the usual tactics of disputing the facts, raising a counter story. Not this time, we live in the 21st century, the meeting was being held on Zoom and one enterprising NEC member, shocked at what was happening to poor Allison took some important screenshots.
The support for the aggressive rant against Allison is highlighted in screenshot one
Support from the Wokies
And best of all the financial expert Cllr Campbell
So there you have it in the clearest form. The NEC wanted it buried. They are not trying to find any answers about the ring fenced funds or anything else. They are sitting round the table armed with shovels, not for digging but for burying any attempt to bring about proper management of the financial assets of the Party, in other terms, members and non members funds.
Now you can keep your head in the sand, be blind to what is happening within the most important vehicle to deliver Scottish Independence. These actions are killing Independence, they are splitting the Yes Movement asunder.
You can decide whether you side with honest transparency and the operation of proper financial governance as has always been the case until recent years or whether you want people who have lost all proper responsibility for the posts they hold, to carry on regardless…until it all comes crashing down, as it surely will.
Now you can understand why three auditors resigned and the National Treasurer Douglas Chapman MP, elected by Conference to sort this mess out, had no option but to resign when he was also blocked from accessing the information he needed as well.
You asked for proof…how much more do you need?
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland
BEAT THE CENSORS
Unfortunately a number of pro Indy sites have turned out to be merely pro SNP sites and have blocked a number of bloggers, including myself. We have managed to frustrate these efforts to close us down through our readers sharing our articles and building our audience. In addition many have taken out free direct subscriptions. I very much appreciate this support.
Are available on the Home and Blog pages of this website. By taking out a subscription you will receive notification of all future posts. You will be most welcome.