Roger Mullin Speaks Out.

I have reproduced this from the National. He has been a personal friend and colleague for many decades. He is a man of the utmost decency, honesty and worth. I, and I hope you will be interested in how he determined his vote in this election.

HAVING just cast my vote to elect the seventh different party leader since joining the SNP 58 years ago in the days of Arthur Donaldson, and since yesterday on my 75th birthday I informed my family of my decision to stand back from an activist role in party politics, I thought some might be interested in what has influenced me to vote for Kate Forbes.

I want to achieve Scottish independence as soon as possible, and ideally I want to live to see it. I don’t get overly concerned about short term fluctuations in support, but I do get deeply concerned about our cause and the type of party we should be.

In all my years a cornerstone has been a belief in a democratic route to independence and to a healthy democracy within. The party has always had robust debate about policies and strategy and rightly so. Rigorous debate and challenge are how effective policies and strategies emerge. Holding office bearers to account at national councils as well as

conference was always an important part of party governance. It never needed to be said that the members of the party were sovereign and that their role in policy development was critical. We had a shared responsibility. 

We have made great strides. But I have been dismayed by some of the developments in recent times. I have never known a time of such intolerance in the party, of people substituting ad hominem attacks for robust debate, of a lack of respect for the members who need to do the hard yards of campaigning, of a belief that only one view should be allowed to prevail and be respected. Whichever side of the argument your opinions may lie, I defy anyone to say we had a healthy, open and robust debate over the recent gender recognition legislation. And it’s not the only topic where there has been a lack of effective debate and where a few believe they are the font of all wisdom.

The rise of so-called identity politics bringing with it all the traits of authoritarianism is of course not unique to Scotland. But it needs to be resisted. There is nothing progressive about authoritarian approaches. We need to have open democratic debate, where amongst other things free speech is treasured. Free speech of course means we need to value the contribution of opposing opinions, not close them down let alone the obscenity of threatening expulsion.

The strength of character and openness of Kate Forbes after the most vicious abuse, at times bordering on sectarian attitudes, has won my admiration. However that of course is far from enough to be someone who can lead us to independence.

For years, I have long argued that if we truly believe in independence we should be preparing for it. It’s what I learned working in newly independent countries. In many cases many years were spent building up the capabilities and capacity for independence. We need to be devising plans for a Scottish civil service, to create financial and environmental regulatory frameworks, to reform our tax system, ensure effective land reform, and making our public sector bodies ready for independence. We need to change and be more ambitious.

I have always seen devolution as a stepping-stone to independence, never an end in itself. We need to be more ambitious in how we use devolution to make the case for independence, to serve the people well, but at the same time raise their eyes up and see the better future we could create together.

I also want us to face a harsh reality. We are not going to dream our way to independence. We have yet to win the economic argument amongst those who are not yet supporters of independence, but are persuadable. We have been talking to each other (in too many instances abusing each other) too much and not engaging with our fellow citizens who are yet to be persuaded. We wont persuade anyone by lazy thinking or glib promises let alone abusive language. That’s another reason I like what Kate Forbes has been offering. She doesn’t want to insult those with a different view but rather to engage and persuade. It’s how we have made progress over the years. 

But she won’t do it alone. I know she is committed to bringing in all the talents in the party to help prepare for independence. We should have been doing it ever since we were forming a government at Holyrood, but as the saying goes, it’s never too late.

I also want to see us practice what we preach. As a party we rightly demand of other organisations that they have the highest standards of governance – we should be no less demanding on ourselves. When I was on the NEC a couple of years ago, I failed to win the case for openness, transparency, reform and good governance. But because I lost then does not mean I don’t think we can do it. I think the basic standards of decency and openness displayed by Kate Forbes, together with the authority that comes with being elected leader, gives us every chance of bringing much better governance to the party.

Others are entitled to their choice of leader of course, and as in the past I will respect the choice of the members. My choice however has become increasing clear over the recent week which is why I voted for Kate Forbes.


Roger is being modest here, nobody fought harder to win the case for openness, transparency, reform and good governance than Roger. How do I know that? Others on the NEC told me. He watched in horror as the NEC, IGNORING legal advice voted to implement the Woke inspired fixing of the list elections promoting BAME and self ID disabled to the top of the lists across the country. A beneficiary of that vote was Emma Harper, the same one who issued thousands of illegal vote Humza letters earlier in the campaign. Her diabetes placed her above Joan McAlpine, who polled many more votes than her but we can’t prove it because it was a bizarre election where the results were never revealed, not even to the candidates themselves. The Legal advice had warned that this potentially laid the Party open to huge legal costs and compensation if any person lost their seat in the Parliament because of this fix, and fix it was because it was designed to get rid of one person and one person only, Joan McAlpine. The SNP were lucky Joan never pursued that route. Shortly thereafter a number of NEC elected members, frustrated at being regularly outvoted by APPOINTED NEC. Members left the Party. Roger did not, he continued to serve until he reached the end of his term, when he and others chose to not contest re election. I am sure many older SNP members will share my high opinion of Roger. He must be heartbroken at what has happened in the SNP in recent years.

I am, as always



44 thoughts on “Roger Mullin Speaks Out.

  1. Taking Roger’s criteria in turn, I would say that Ash Regan is more openly committed to each one and has a more clearly expressed strategy for satisfying them! I don’t see any evidence here that trumps Ash’s claim for leadership.

    Liked by 15 people

  2. Latest from Smitty on Wings

    HQ does have full visibility of Myvoice and further updates have been given to Humza’s team today. I was not given figures but I was told that Humza is ahead of Forbes but nowhere near enough to win outright.Regan doing better than expected. Turnout rate was higher than expected on opening but a higher amount of votes are uncast than predicted at this stag. I asked for the percentages but this was refused.

    Someone close/with knowledge of the Humza team say that it looks like it is over as Regan/Forbes votes wont go to him. She said that there is not a good mood in the team now and there are already mutterings of blame.

    Without knowing the gap between Regan / Forbes, whose voters have likely done a 1-2 for each other. It likely that Forbes will win overall but with so many apparantly undecided maybe she can get ahead of Forbes who has slipped. Without the percentages it is anyone’s guess.

    However, it is not yet know if HQ will mobilise the ghost votes as there may not be enough to get Humza the overall win

    Liked by 14 people

    1. I should also say that if Regan or Forbes win then the troughing wokerati in Holyrood and Westminster will have the mother and father of all fits. I think both ladies have the backbone to deal with this and if the leading lights of the troughers do get led away in handcuffs that can only help …

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I admire Roger Mullin’s tenacity and resilience in sticking with the SNP.

    The party under Murrell/Sturgeon has now lost so much credibility with respect to its internal elections and selection processes that I will view anything other than either a victory for Ash Regan or Kate Forbes as another pauchled result.

    Liked by 14 people

    1. Breaking on The Scotsman:
      SNP ministers set for court battle over Hamilton Report evidence on Nicola Sturgeon’s conduct

      Evidence about alleged misconduct by Nicola Sturgeon around the Alex Salmond inquiry is set to be subject to a court battle with ministers to press ahead with disputing a transparency ruling.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That takes me back to when the SNP was an exemplar of democracy. The debates were strongly fought on all sides but there was no animosity involved. Members listened quietly (most of the time) and made their judgements accordingly on whether or not the speakers had persuaded them to their point of view.

    In the evenings, I saw members with strongly opposing views during the debates having a friendly drink together in the local pubs.

    However, nowadays It appears that members come with their position set in concrete and treat speakers with opposing views appallingly. Even when we achieve our goal, is that the kind of government people want to see?

    As Roger has stated, what we require are “the highest standards of governance” and what we need set in concrete is our Constitution that allows for those not working in the best interests of the people of Scotland, or the “Common Good”, to be swiftly removed from public office.

    I do wonder how many of today’s politicians would find themselves “swiftly removed”?

    Liked by 15 people

  5. I’d like to thank Roger for his ability to stick with the party knowing what they were upto when removing the NEC powers from the members.
    And an apology from myself for my harsh words at the time.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. If Forbes wins I hope the first thing she’ll do is loudly and repeatedly declare GERS for what it is in regard to an independent Scotland: a heap o cack!

    Liked by 9 people

  7. Another good man who has stuck in there to try change things like Steve Norris who highlighted the use of party e mails in the borders on behalf of the Humza campaign. Hats off to them and many others as I could not have done it. The next couple of weeks will tell if anything can be salvaged from the SNP and for those stalwarts I hope there is but I am scunnered with the SNP and done with them.

    Liked by 15 people

    1. David, I spoke with a long-time friend of mine yesterday, and knowing how attached he was to the SNP, was extremely surprised to learn that he had given up his membership. With SNP HQ (Murrell Enterprises), now admitting they only have 58,000 members, I suppose that I should not have been so surprised that he was one of them. How do you lose 68,000 members our of a total of 126,000 within a couple of years.

      Of course, I had tried over the past few years to enlighten him to what was taking place within his party but he stuck by the SNP “come hell or high water”! He was so upset, that he was in tears and I had to change the conversation to help alleviate some of his distress.

      I know how much he, and so many others, have given to the SNP and I then saw first-hand just how distressing it was for some of them to take that final step and leave the party that they have given so much of their lives to support.

      Liked by 11 people

      1. As a short term member but long time voter is was not such a big wrench to leave when I saw the direction of travel. I still have friends in the party at least I think they are still there as we now avoid talking about it as it got a bit heated. Being a voter in Argyll and Bute with an invisible MP , a trougher MSP and a former MSP who I used to admire I just feel let down and am done with them as a party but again wish any of the good people hanging in there fighting for change all the best.

        Liked by 10 people

      2. How do you lose 68,000 members our of a total of 126,000 within a couple of years.’? You have an incompetent, spiteful egotist who has done everything except what she was elected to do, as leader.
        68.000 scunnered people is a helluva lot and I am one of them.
        Had I still had a vote, I would not think of voting for anyone other than Ash Regan, She has the fire and determination to change the SNP from the stinking cesspit of corruption it has become back to the respected, credible party I joined 60 years ago aged 16.
        Yousaf is a pathetic apology of a Sturgeon clone and Forbes has neither the drive nor the personality to lead anyone anywhere except up another blind S30 alley.

        It was extremely distressing to step away and heart breaking to watch the party I gave so much of my life to disintegrating into the mess it is. Most of the elected representatives in both HR and WM are only there for the cushy job. They are shameful ‘crawlers to the core, doing and thinking whatever Sturgeon told them.

        Liked by 14 people

  8. i have the highest regards for roger both as a human and his time as an mp i campaigned to get him elected and with him for indy in 2014 a true gentleman and a very good singer of scottish songs as well , but i cant agree with his 1st choice of kate , my own choice is ash no.1 and kate no.2 .

    Liked by 10 people

  9. If Kate wants to challenge WM on an issue, please let it be on a social democratic policy such as radical land reform – something many in the YES (and likely undecided) camp have been crying out for. There is little point in saying we have to ‘build support’ for independence if we simply emulate the policies of london. Choose a hill to die on where the people will have your back.

    If you want to alleviate poverty under devolution, without the levers of a central bank etc, you have to have a fair policy of redistribution. I don’t mean putting a penny on the higher rate of income tax. Proper redistribution is taxing rentierism and land banking etc.

    if we want a constitutional battle with WM – section 35, let them try to block radical land reform, national energy company etc. Lets see how the BBC tries to spin that one.

    Has anyone asked kate, who she thinks the soft No’s are?

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Ask Forbes what she has done to ‘build support’ for INDEPENDENCE since taking office. Answer, HEE HAW!!
      Forbes has stated categorically that under her stewardship a Section 30 order would be requested giving the WESTMINSTER Government carte blanche to do of its own choosing.

      Begging for a Section 30 order will NEVER deliver Scotland’s Independence!! Forbes isnae sae daft she disnae ken that, but she thinks we are!!

      Liked by 5 people

  10. Ash Regan to me is the only candidate that will push for independence. Kate has shown no dissent with Sturgeon or Murrells on anything . Ash Regan has nailed her flag to the mast ,we need genuine change not more of the same. Let’s hope the membership of the SNP see it that way . If Humza wins it’s a fix an the SNP will dive into oblivion. If Kate wins prehaps she can create a post for Ash as minister for independence. If Ash Regan wins I will celebrate for a week knowing the final game is on.

    Liked by 8 people

  11. The three candidates:

    ‘ A Mummy’s Boy’
    If he wins expect Sturgeon and Murrell to be frequent visitors to Bute House through the back door….Sturgeon to change his nappy and Murrell to wipe his arse.

    ‘A Yellow Tory…..oh my God’
    If she wins will she turn into ‘Sturgeon mark two’
    The signs are there.

    ‘Embryonic Alex Salmond in a dress’
    Fire in her belly and if she keeps true to her principles Scotland will have a fine FM
    and we will be on our way.

    Sadly it won’t probably be the person that Scotland needs the most….AR
    Her time will come though

    Liked by 9 people

  12. Thank you for that Mr Mullin, you’ve certainly given your all for the SNP, as for Kate Forbes its no secret that she wants build support for independence, sadly though she still wants to go down the S30 route, which we all know is a dead end.

    Liked by 9 people

  13. Fair-play to Roger, if a person can’t follow their own nose and vote for who they choose as a matter self will, what’s the point of it all? Like the vast majority of Scots,, I don’t have a vote to cast, otherwise Regan would be my first pref. However, where I see evidence of courage and iron, many others won’t, and that’s exactly as it should be, I believe. It has been cultist politics and certainly not critical reflection, that has brought the movement to the sorry, divided place that we find ourselves in today.

    Liked by 7 people

  14. A colonially subjugated and exploited people do not have control over their territories economic resources or economic levers, or even what remains of their subordinated culture. How, therefore, can a devolved ‘Scottish Government’ (i.e. merely a UK spending dept) possibly ever ‘win on the economy’ when much of that economy is plundered and controlled by external interests outwith Scotland?

    We would be far better explaining to the people why our nation is socially and economically under-developed (due to colonialism) rather than promising something we cannot hope to deliver until we are independent.

    Frantz Fanon was right, the dominant national party elite ‘has only a rudimentary understanding’ of our condition primarily because ‘it has never undertaken a reasoned study of colonialism’. That ‘reasoned study’, I would argue, is summarised here:


    Until our political leaders mention the ‘c’ word (colonialism) it is evident that they still don’t understand that self-determination independence is decolonisation. This may also explain why some SNP members opt to vote for the second best candidate rather than the only one offering a route to national liberation.

    Liked by 10 people

  15. I have never met or spoken with Roger, though I saw him in the crowd at one of Alex Salmond’s shows in Edinburgh a few years ago. Anything I’ve read by him has been intelligent and thoughtful; and I truly think of him as a thoroughly decent man. He was very supportive to Michelle Thomson when the SNP were treating her badly, and he deserves all respect for that. I can understand him wishing to step back in these ugly times; but I do hope he stays around in some capacity – even as a background advisor to Kate, should she be successful in the leadership contest. There are not many left in the current SNP with his intellect, and I wish him well, whatever he decides for the future.

    Liked by 5 people

  16. I’m just about to start a new job, I’ll nip next door and ask my neighbour if I can have my wages paid into his bank account. I know he won’t mind as we have spoken about this before and he’ll give me an allowance to runs my own finances every month. Who’d ever sign up to that!

    Is it just me or does anyone else believe Kate Forbes is treating us all like idiots? How is the SNP leader ever going to make Scotland’s economy flourish to the point that Scotland is wealthy enough to be Independent, when our neighbour makes all the rules and holds on the purse strings? Scotland is rich and can survive independently without England, all we need is the power of an independent country and an honest leader to take us there and Kate Forbes isn’t that person all she is doing is kicking Indy into the long grass and using the economic reason as an excuse for doing it. She could even give a time frame as to when she’d make a move on Independence.

    Why would anyone join a party that wants Independence and you’re given the opertunity to lead that party and delivery Independence for your country., and you dont take the action needed to deliver that independence. Why would you want to wait and remain in a union that both your parents and yourself wanted to leave all your lives. It’s not because you have a long list of things you want to do before you delivering Independence, it’s because I’ve just given birth to a new born baby and being FM gives me and my new family the security I need while my child grows up, she mentioned that, Independence doesn’t give me that. What is Kate Forbes plan? It’s so good that’s she doesn’t even know when asked and trust me she been asked more times than I can count. How many years will it take for Scotland to be Independent under her leadership she couldn’t answer but Ash Regan could she said three and Humza said five, Forbes couldn’t even give an answer to a question both she and her parents have wanted all their lives.

    I believe her when she said “I want to reach out to Labour and Conserative voters” because she knows the SNP under her leadership is going to lose support and the reason is she’s not going to delivery a referendum or Independence she won’t even make any mention about it. She wants to reach out to unionist voter to remain as FM.

    Liked by 5 people

  17. Ash needs to speak more slowly, which will also lower her tone which will produce more gravitas to what she is saying. Kate is a more measured speaker.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. The final question on the BBC event tonight was: ‘if you become leader what do you think your biggest achievement will be?” Yousaf and Forbes both mumbled about doing something on ‘poverty’ (which neither has experienced) while Regan opted for action on ‘the NHS’.

    The correct answer for any aspiring national party or independence movement leader would have been ‘delivering independence and liberating the people’.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. That answer of course would solve or improve every other issue.
      However I think the question was a bear trap in order to catch a candidate into stating the obvious.
      The headlines today in all the papers would have been….”Candidate prioritises Independence above NHS, Poverty, Education etc”

      This is the Unionist Media.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. We won’t get anywhere by pandering to “the Unionist Media”, or giving them £millions as the current SG ‘cabinet’ has been doing.

        Liked by 2 people

  19. Interested tussle between two Unionists for top job at the SNP. I’ve no idea why I don’t trust Cambridge educated, raised in India Kate Forbes. I just have that sickly feeling in my stomach every time she opens her mouth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Willie McRae was a Lieutenant Commander and aide-de-camp to Admiral Lord Mountbatten. He supported the Indian independence movement and Scottish Independence.
      A Countess was a leading figure in the Irish Independence Movement.

      Background is not a guide to developed values

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Not in all cases but its generally a very good indicator so I have valid suspicions just as I have with Sturgeon coming from English stock and raised in OO stronghold Ayrshire. It’s never full Scottlish bloodline, born and raised in Scotland. This could be called racist or paranoid but how do you know for sure someone is who they say they are without hard evidence?


  20. Absolutely sound comments from a man who has independence and a long commitment to the SNP at his heart.

    Personally I think Ash has more to offer than Kate in moving things forward, reinvigorating the movement. pushing for independence. But that would be my choice and of the two, with Ash 1 and Kate 2.

    As for Humza it would be ” Nil Points “as they used to say in the Eurovision Song Contest with no ranking vote whatsoever. That should be borne in mind by those wanting either Ash or Kate and not Humza.

    Members should remember this important point as the clique of Murrell continue to work hard to gerrymander Humza into position

    Liked by 6 people

    1. A very different comment. You are judging on skill, proven record and demonstration of integrity via a resignation.
      However I could be a plant having lived in Ayrshire at one point for many years.
      Should we distrust the owner of this Blog? Could I find evidence of old Conservative links? I prefer to judge on actions…such as opposing the closure of steel plants. His efforts in Salvo and running this Blog.

      The infiltration of the “progressive” brigade into the SNP destroyed the YES Movement. Most of them had the correct background. Why did the Left suddenly consider Men in dresses Progressive Politics.

      As Burns once said “…I’m talking to the man….naw his claes”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “I prefer to judge on actions”

        There is clearly a considerable distance between some of the candidates regarding their stated ‘action plan’ on the route they wish to take to independence. Yousaf and Forbes are both still parroting the failed s.30 referendum approach which confirms that neither of them views independence as an urgent priority ‘action’.

        Independence is of very great urgency for a whole range of reasons which means that action on the task must be immediate and decisive. Ash Regan is the only candidate offering any prospect of such ‘action’, as most commentators here agree.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I think this was a response to me but apologies if not. You are absolutely correct on judging people on merit but I would argue that it is the yes movements open doors policy without proper vetting which has resulted in our lack of gains and stagnation on the Indy front. Katy Forbes is the choice of the English media, I’m just waiting on her writing a few articles for the Guardian. She’s also married to an active Tory which is also a red flag. It’s very possible this script was written a long time ago as the antidote to Sturgeon’s woke infiltration, keeping the show on the road while damaging any indy prospects in the short term. We need a bit more discernment as a nation and a bit less naivety. I don’t want to be here in 3 years time telling people the same thing I told them about Sturgeon in 2019. The British State have fully infiltrated the SNP top to bottom.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. She is not married to an active Tory, he is not a member of any Party. I try to be fair and often print comments I don’t agree with because I respect the right of opinion for themselves and I support freedom of speech. I don’t have any time for false misrepresentation so I will put your comment down to a mistake this time. Secondly even if he had been what difference would that make. I can think of at least one MSP who was in a relationship with a senior Labour politician. People are individuals.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. The 3 candidates were asked 5 questions about the GRR Bill and LGBT+ rights and Humza Yousaf responded on 6 March.

        Humza for Scotland Campaign

        Equality Network
        Scottish Trans
        LEAP Sports Scotland
        LGBT Youth Scotland
        Stonewall Scotland
        LGBT Health and Wellbeing

        6 March 2023
        A written response to your joint letter to SNP candidates to continue with commitments to LGBT+ equality.

        To all concerned organisations,…..

        Question 2
        Keep the GRR bill on the Parliament’s books and commit to seeking the revocation of the Section 35 whether via the courts or by agreement with the next UK government, to allow trans people access to a fairer and simpler process for legal recognition of who they truly are.

        Response from Humza Yousaf
        Scotland is doing nothing new in bringing in the GRR bill. Since our legislation passed, two more countries have passed similar legislation that humanises the process. We are just catching up with other countries in this respect, then. There is nothing controversial in this legislation.

        I voted for the GRR bill and, as First Minister, I will challenge the UK Government’s Section 35 order. As a devolved issue, the Scottish Parliament has the right to decide, and the UK Government has no right to exert its authority over our pursuit of human rights. Their challenge of the GRR bill is not only an affront to trans rights, but also an affront to Scottish democracy. I will support the GRR and repeal section 35. I am unapologetic and unequivocal on that issue.


        Where Humza Yousaf states “There is nothing controversial in this legislation”, where has he been these past few months?

        Then he says, “As a devolved issue the Scottish Parliament has the right to decide, and the UK Government has no right to exert its authority over our pursuit of human rights”. That’s the problem – the UK Government does have the right and that’s what the restrictions in the Scotland Act ensured.

        Finally, he says, “I will support the GRR and repeal section 35, I am unapologetic and unequivocal on that issue”.

        Well, that will be a clever trick indeed, and I look forward to how he will be able to repeal Section 35 as it is legislation passed at Westminster.

        Liked by 4 people

  21. I have often thought that there are some in the SNP who do not actually want independence, but who just luvvv the wee “pretendy” parliament – all the trapping and no responsibility! Just a thought eh .?

    Liked by 2 people

  22. I was pleasantly surprised by debate Night last night. I know its not a high bar after the awful offerings to date, but the format allowed the candidates to give their best so far. This is what the electorate want to see, who looks and sounds like a leader. HY should have done much better but displayed very little to suggest he’s been awake let alone engaged with his govt posts and that will reflect badly.

    Public perception is the crucial factor, it doesnt matter how right or pure any of them are. I’m glad the debate mostly kept away from process details – that is something for the Yes movement and snp membership to get stuck into.

    Ash gave one of her best performances to date. Ash and Kate both have the brains and qualities required. On that performance for who looks most like our FM its KF 1st, AR 2nd, HY 3rd.

    (As long as KF looks to be ahead I’ll be voting AR1, KF2)


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