As I and others attract abuse from some who remain in the SNP I reprint this article from February 2021, long before Alba being formed warning of the problems coming down the road. They have not gone away, indeed they are worse, many of those abused by the Leadership are now candidates for Alba in this election. Let there be no doubt the folk in this photo had at least as much to do with the formation of Alba as did Alex Salmond. Many good people have left the SNP but the problems highlighted remain, unresolved and with only bigger problems looming. This weekend is your last chance to sort this. Read this was I wrong with my forecasts?
This article is going to hurt. I know this because it needs to be written and it hurt me to write it. I am coming to the conclusion that the SNP is in the hands of the enemy. That what we are witnessing is the intentional destruction at every level within the Party. The policies, electoral appeal, assaults on the unity of the party intentionally spreading division and rancour that is resulting in thousands of activists leaving and destroying branches that are fed up being ignored and treated with no respect by HQ staff. The complete destruction of the financial base of the Party through high salaries and giving their pals jobs, while alienating those who finance the Party all mean one thing and it’s going on in front of our eyes. A crash is coming, it is just a question of what comes first, the votes or the finances.
Let me give you some examples, the 11 point plan is a fig leaf to keep us tied to the absolutely useless S30 disaster than has been the policy for too many wasted years already. If you gave every party member a truth pill you probably would not need two hands to come up with the number of true believers that it could ever work.
THE MAGIC MONEY TREE
You may have read the story at the weekend about how the SNP will spend £1.5 million on the May election while spending the “missing £600K” on Indy Ref preparations. I hope you were not fooled by these lies because that is what they are. They were designed to buy them a few more months, to get them to the election, before the truth comes out. These are aspirational figures, they don’t have the money, they need to raise, you need to give them it between now and May for it to happen. That wasn’t how it was presented to you was it?
Firstly the SNP don’t have 1.5 million to spend in May. The SNP are skint. The figure they are quoting is imaginary, to spend that they would need to raise it first and where is that going to come from, for a Party that is no longer trusted by many of its remaining members and is bleeding huge numbers of resignations every day?
I am told the Audit Committee, that contains some competent people with financial backgrounds are doing the unthinkable…asking searching questions and getting no answers, just avoidance and fog.
Don’t believe me, check out what has been happening on the financial front recently. This next part comes from a contributor to the Yours for Scotland site. I have checked what is written here and I believe he is right about this. From Stuart 99.
Wings have since revealed that then-Treasurer Colin Beattie “suspended the Branch “dividend” due for April-June 2020″ because supposedly, the Party’s income was projected to be 25% down due to Covid lockdowns. They were also asking members to renew their annual subscriptions up to 2 months early supposedly because of those Covid-related problems. That is a lie on so many levels:
(a) the SNP’s major sources of income are members subs, donations and legacies. Annual Conference basically broke even in 2018 but lost money in 2019 due to a 110K blowout in audiovisual expenses, it’s disguised by showing the revenue and expenditure separately. Any reduction in SNP income is much more likely to have been from the large numbers of members quitting the Party and no longer paying subs or donating.
(b) the SNP owed 357K to Trade Creditors payable more or less immediately yet had only 97K in the bank. Funding that 260K shortfall plus paying their bloated payroll out of whatever members subs came in during first quarter 2020 meant that there was no money in the bank to pay branches
(c) the branch “dividend” is actually the Branches’ 25% share of members subs and not for April-May 2020 but for the same period in 2019. They’re robbing Peter to pay Paul and with rapidly declining membership subscriptions they’re heading for the cliff. 📝 these dividends are not now being paid out, even a YEAR in arrears.
(d) Asking members to pay subs early is another example of robbing Peter to pay Paul. It may help them out this month but creates a shortfall in the following months, and a shortfall in 2021’s income if they continued to encourage early renewal into the 4th Quarter of 2020
In any competently managed organisation the response to a declining income is to reduce your expenditure to match your income. As salaries and related on-costs are the biggest expense that means staff cuts. Not the SNP. Instead of cutting their payroll by say sending Sue Ruddick packing and Murrell taking a pay cut, instead they ADD to their expenditure by creating a new position for Marco Biagi, no doubt on a salary that’ll keep him in the manner to which he became accustomed as an MSP. Add in Pete Murrell’s legal fees for the Holyrood Inquiry and SNP HQ must be bleeding cash.
The other response by a competent management is to halt the decline in income and try to reverse it. For a political party that means convincing existing members to stay and recruiting new ones. Once again, not the SNP. They’re content to see existing independence supporters leave in droves while only interested in retaining a handful of the Wokerati.
The inescapable conclusion is that the management of the Party by Sturgeon and Murrell has been incompetent, aided by an equally incompetent Beattie. It remains to be seen if the new Treasurer will be any better than Beattie but things aren’t looking good. The SNP are heading for a train wreck unless Sturgeon, Murrell and their cronies are removed pronto and the adults take back control.
There is method in their madness in appointing Biago. The plan here is to use his salary, and the unspecified number of existing SNP staff who are being seconded to his Indyref Preparation Unit, is to give the impression that the supposedly ring fenced missing 600k fund is being used for this purpose. There are a few problems with this, firstly it looks to me like an accounting trick to move existing staff salaries that require to be paid from the SNP main budget into a new cost category where the money can be claimed to be coming from the missing fund when in fact it is coming from the SNP’s main budget and will “reduce” the spending on the embarrassing high existing salaries. Handily it will also gradually get rid of the serious questions about where that ring fenced money went. Secondly there is no Indyref campaign to be “preparing” for. Thirdly the funds were raised on the basis of spending on the campaign, not paying SNP salaries in advance of one.These are measures designed to disguise and confuse,nothing else.
Things have only got worse since the above was written, much worse, members are still leaving in their droves. That income has gone, probably for ever.
Now, let’s turn to the NEC at the weekend. It was conducted on Zoom and the First Minister zoomed in and spoke for an extended period, not looking at the fifty or so members directly but at an angle of 45 degrees to the screen. It was not a friendly call, members had been warned at the outset of the meeting about confidentiality, the thought police were on duty and dire measures would be taken if there was any leaking. More about this later. Her main focus was devoted to Wings over Scotland and the need to take severe action against anyone who dared share anything from the site. Freedom of Speech is not at the top of her agenda at present. This should be a surefire way to keep the Conduct Committee busy for decades to come. Probably get rid of quite a few MP’s and MSP’s as well, was Wings not the most read website read in the Parliament the last time they looked?.
NEC members who are supposed to get papers seven days before the meeting got them at 8pm the night before. Even then it was not them all, papers were still being delivered to members during the meeting. This involved members leaving the Zoom meeting to look over the newly received papers before returning to the meeting.
The big topic was the definition on transphobia. You would think such a debate would be led by the two Convener’s elected as responsible on these matters by Conference, the Woman’s Convener and the Equalities Convener. You would be wrong, it was led by Fiona Robertson, the lady kicked off the NEC by Conference but who was attending the NEC as a substitute (again) for one of the myriad minority groups who enjoy appointed rather than elected status on the NEC. THE APPOINTEES ON THE NEC ACCOUNT FOR OVER 30% OF THE VOTES. In my view this is absolutely outrageous and undemocratic as it hands the agenda at every NEC to their control, particularly with Kirsten Oswald of the Woke faction in the chair.
Several members of the NEC had submitted resolutions and papers well in advance of the meeting for discussion. Submitted in time to be circulated in accordance with the rules. None of them featured on the agenda and were not permitted by the chair to be discussed. This is not the first time this had happened. The December meeting had a resolution to set up a sub committee to examine policy and strategy for the May election, specifically to look at ways to advance Independence. The NEC agreed to discuss it after National Assembly which most members thought reasonable. Of course the day before, the whole National Assembly was outmaneuvered with the pre announced 11 point plan. The idea of a sub committee has never made it back on the agenda since. It has been buried.
I would be extremely worried about being on the NEC these days, the SNP appears to have no protection in place for NEC members and they could potentially face personal liability for any decisions taken. As people will recall they recently voted, against legal advice, to impose the list fixing for Bame and Disabled candidates and with clear warnings that potentially huge amounts in damages and legal costs may be liable in the event of an adverse court action. I don’t know if they have any insurance. I know members that have asked for sight of any protection that is in place to protect their interest but thus far nothing has been provided. This is the height of irresponsibility, a lack of liability insurance is just crazy, irresponsible and stupid. Members homes may be at risk here. There have been resignations of elected members already and others are considering doing likewise unless evidence of protection is produced.
The truth of course is that the last NEC was so pathetic and woke dominated that they were happy for the SNP staff at HQ to take control of the Party and what a mess they have made of it. They don’t need to worry when the courts come for their money it won’t be Peter Murrell or Sue Ruddick that are liable but the NEC, INCLUDING the Goodguys and gals who had no idea just how bad things were when they stood for election last November. I have spoken with several who find it hard to believe it’s so bad, one said “we knew there were problems, but we had no idea it was so bad. I am having to consider resigning which I don’t want to do but I will if we don’t manage to change things soon”.
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I am told that despite the lengthy and stern warnings about keeping everything secret Kirsten Oswald had a flaky before the end of the meeting when she read on Twitter events that happened in the meeting minutes before. Why she was surprised I don’t know, you can’t act the bully, threaten and cajole, rule out any sense of democracy or balance and expect people with principle to sit there and take it. The NEC leaks like a sieve and thank goodness it does. It will be those leaks that will do for the Woke. Everything they do will be out in the open and those responsible will be accountable to the survivors of the woke disaster at Conference later in the year. Nothing they do will remain secret, exactly who is doing what will be known. They will be accountable. It is their greatest fear, hence their hatred of the bloggers, especially Wings. Hate away, we are going nowhere.
Now to return to the Thought Police latest trendy topic. Transphobia. Let’s be clear here this is intended to silence and bully women in the Party who oppose GRA and the Hate Crime Bill and to make it easier to label men who support the women in that opposition misogynistic. It is been put in place to take certain prominent women out the Party. People like Joanna Cherry and Joan McAlpine. Members will be “trained” not to offend by “experts” like Fiona Robertson who has no academic qualification but nevertheless has used the self ID route to declaring herself an expert.
It did not get off to the best of starts, the template for the definition was the same as the much discredited and problematic IHRA definition of anti semitism, the same wording and examples, a sort of cut and paste job, probably by the resident “expert” Fiona Robertson. You know the person whose ludicrous allegations about the much loved GROUSEBEATER being an anti semite resulted in him being expelled from the Party. He was never an anti semite and I know to this day, his final days, it troubles him greatly that this injustice was forced on him. The SNP TREATED THIS GREAT SCOTTISH PATRIOT DISGRACEFULLY. So beware anything that has Fiona Robertson’s name to it, it will be a political tool of her design and will be used maliciously against those who do not conform to her Woke policies.
Everyone wants to make it possible for everyone’s rights to be protected. The problems start when one group want “rights” that infringe on others rights. As a grandfather of a ten year granddaughter I can never support biological men being allowed in female toilets. I am sorry, but self ID declarations that they are women just doesn’t cut it with me. That may make me a misogynist in their view but it also makes me a careful and responsible grandparent. Guess which one I will choose to be?
I cannot get my head round this. This election should be the greatest opportunity to move Independence forward but the SNP LEADERSHIP are pulling back on Independence while pushing these extreme gender issues which no Party Conference has ever discussed or supported and which are splitting the Party asunder. It looks and feels like deliberate sabotage and when, not if, it becomes an election issue it will cost the SNP HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF VOTES.
Nicola Sturgeon is a clever woman, a skilled politician, she must know these policies, no matter how worthy she considers them, will be hugely unpopular and will unite opposition to the SNP. Likewise the Hate Crime Bill which has united literally hundreds of organisations against its implementation. Pushing them at this time is the actions of a leader who wants to lose, not win an election.
So to return to my original point I say, the current leadership are losing thousands of members, dividing the party from top to bottom, lying about the true financial state of the Party, disguising the loss of hundreds of thousands of pounds of ring fenced Indyref money, promoting policies that will result in the loss of hundreds of thousands of votes in the election, operating an undemocratic NEC and has a part time leader who is totally tied up, doing a good job on Covid but ignoring everything else that is going badly wrong. Finally, her husband is useless at his job as well. Now do you want me to talk about the plot against Alex Salmond?
That can wait another day! Probably tomorrow would be my guess.
I am, as always
YOURS FOR SCOTLAND
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