It’s always good when people with specific local knowledge respond to an article. The following comes from Willie Hutchison who was a member of the SNP in Graeme’s constituency in Dumbarton when HQ effectively sidelined Graeme and his local office bearer’s and took over their selection procedure.
Removing branch and constituency secretaries, as well as the constituency convener’s access to the centralised mailing lists thereby suspending all communications with members was I recall a trick pulled in the Dumbarton Constituency during the last Hollyrood candidate selection process.
Cancelling the hustings the night before it was due to be convened and replacing it with a HQ organised hustings where Michael Russell was drafted in to replace the Constituency Convener in an HQ organised meeting only promulgated to online members a day later was another trick as I recall.
And of course in setting up the hastily organised HQ run hustings, the online Zoom format was restricted to 100 maximum, or around 85 if you deduct out candidates, HQ support staff and Michael Russell, and you have the result of around a hundred or more members locked out of hustings participation.
Of course in Dumbarton the HQ malarkey didn’t stop there. Hostile and rigged HQ vetting committees binning candidates, timing decisions to literally hours before the vote, having appeals reviewed by a candidate who was standing on the list as a BAME candidate, was another trick. And of course, the successful candidate, the HQ preferred in the HQ circle choice, he knew or most certainly appeared to know early on he was approved because he went to school early doors in the press to say he was the candidate for the Dumbarton Constituency.
And so, despite all of that, and an expensive without much doubt HQ supported campaign, the preferred HQ anointed candidate failed to take the seat allowing the previously 109 vote marginally held Labour -seat ( Jackie Baillie) to increase its Labour majority over the SNP to 1,483 votes!
Had it been a local candidate as opposed to an HQ parachute in job into what was Labour’s weakest constituency seat in Scotland then I think it would be fair to say that Dumbarton would be SNP. But like the vicious and utterly outrageous SNP 1 and 2 diktat, our Nicola and her clique committed electoral flagellation.
And if you look back in history and to 2007 you will see that Graeme McCormick had the biggest swing in the whole of Scotland from Labour to the SNP in what was thought to be an impregnable labour stronghold. 11,652 to 10,024, it was a great result albeit that he did not win. And now where has the candidate’s star gone in the new Nicola run Nu SNP that he tries to support.
But don’t take my recall of the situation in this particular constituency. Ask the question as to how many members have chucked it. How many attendees that branch and constituency meetings get. Joan Hutchison makes some very good points as to why. And yes, whilst there has traditionally been merit about keeping discontent within the walls of the members, the SNP, a party who many spent a lifetime building, is past that point. And this has all happened these last eight years.
Were it not for the fact that the Labour Party and the Tories are so unpopular, the SNP as it has now become would be finished. But you know what, the independence movement is bigger than the SNP and it’s freeloading backsiders, and they will change, or be changed and or be replaced.
I know the above is true because my own sister was an Office Bearer in this constituency. She was disgusted at the fiddle and left the SNP in disgust along with many others. My sister is now a member of Alba.
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland.
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