2021: Control freak’ Sturgeon’s ‘Stalinist power grab’
Nicola Sturgeon and SNP party chiefs are tightening their grip on power with sweeping reforms to the Party’s top brass of management.
The SNP National Executive Committee (NEC), the highest decision-making body for the party, is being slimmed down from 42 to 32 members.
But an immediate consequence is that around half of the party’s regional officers representing thousands of members across hundreds of branches across Scotland. are set for the chop. But the move has sparked fears over the lack of scrutiny the party will have from members in future following the “slimming down.”
In a draft paper, the SNP leadership said: “Feedback from our consultation highlighted the need for further reform of the NEC, not least from those with experience of NEC membership.”
Former SNP member Kenny MacAskill, now an Alba Party MP, branded the move as a “power grab” by party chiefs saying: “The SNP has gone from being one of the most democratic political parties to being one of the most autocratic.
This Sturgeon power grab is just the latest example and one of which any Stalinist would be proud. All power in the SNP is concentrated in the hands of two people. Its leader and its chief executive are of course married to each other. This unhealthy dynamic does not allow criticism or dissent and this move is designed to remove the last vestiges of democracy from the SNP and to ensure the NEC is nothing more than a rubber stamp for the leader and chief executive. It does this by changing the balance away from those elected by the members and towards those appointed.” (Press)
George Kerevan provides a damming analysis of what has happened to the SNP after many years in office
The shift to the right in policy terms has been accompanied by the rise of a powerful Party bureaucracy. The policy is made by employed special advisers rather than members and Corporate lobbyists have easy access to ministers.
With success in Westminster elections, a large number of MPs and their staff have become dependent on our opponents (the UK State) for salaries and pensions and there is a powerful system of patronage and a career ladder to keep aspiring high flyers in line and ensure their loyalty.
The Party HQ and the Leadership now have a deeply ingrained disdain for members and especially for the volunteers who run the branch and constituency networks. Associated with this is the large cohort of MPs and MSPs, their energy perhaps sapped by the routine work of representing individual constituents, whose focus and drive appear suppressed by a combination of healthy salaries and a position of relative impotence in relation to the tiny select Leadership group.
George Kerevan.Journalist, economist, filmmaker, ecosocialist and former SNP MP for East Lothian. The rest of the article can be found here: (https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2020/08/15/festival-of-democracy/)
Two examples of leadership nepotism
There are many who enjoy the largesse of the Party leader and her select inner circle of LGBTQ+ activists. One is the patronage and continuous employment in politics gifted to french-born, Aberdeen Councillor Christian Allard whose Linkedin profile lists his political interests as Economic Empowerment • Education • Health • Human Rights • Politics • Poverty Alleviation. Strange !!! No mention of Scottish Independence. And an examination of his Twitter activity reveals a dearth of mentions of Scottish independence.
Political career: Gave up working in the private sector in 2013 and has been in paid employment continuously with the SNP between 2011-and 2022 and has been awarded “Protected” status.
Jul 2011 – May 2013 · 2 years: Constituency Officer (Kintore) for Dennis Robertson (MSP).
May 2013 – May 2016 3 years: Member of Scottish Parliament (MSP): Committee service.
May 2016: Scottish General election: Topped the SNP’s regional list in the North East. Not elected due to the strong performance of the party in the constituency vote. Regional seats went to candidates from the lists of other parties.
May 2017 – Present 5 years: Aberdeen: Councillor for Torry and Ferryhill: Elected with 910 1st preference votes.
Aug 2017 – Apr 2018 9 months: Aberdeen: Community Integrated Care: Support Worker.
Jun 2019 – Jan 2020 8 months: Member of the European Parliament (MEP).
May 2021: Scottish General election: Automatically selected as the second list candidate for the SNP in the North East. Not elected due to the strong performance of the party in the constituency vote. Regional seats went to candidates from the lists of parties, other than ALBA on the instructions of Nicola Sturgeon.
May 2022: Standing for re-election as councillor Torry and Ferryhill. Success would extend his employment with the SNP to 16 years. Surely time for someone else to get a chance at earning some easy money courtesy of the protection of the Party Leader.
Another benefitting from the “nod and a wink” politics now so prevalent in the SNP is Joshua Mennie, a protected candidate who gains that security through his claims that he suffers from Tourette’s syndrome!!
At the time the Finance minister, McKay resigned and Kate Forbes came to the rescue with an excellent presentation of the budget, the zealous monomaniac and ferocious tweeter Mennie ignored the scandal of McKay being forced to resign for grooming a child to confront an imaginary one.
A church-going minister tipped to be the next Finance Secretary, who believes as the bulk of the Party membership also does that the legal definition of male and female ought not to be changed without informed public discussion and agreement.
He tweeted: “The last thing our party needs is Kate Forbes climbing the ladder when she has such questionable views on equality. I’m always concerned when politicians conflate their personal religious beliefs into their work-life to the detriment of others,” confirming a complete lack of self-awareness.
His tweet, (since deleted) was his response to a letter published in the press (https://www.thenational.scot/news/19859777.kate-forbes-calls-tolerance-gra-debate) highlighting concerns over the Scottish government’s proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, a law that would replace the legal definition of sex with gender self-declaration.
Jan 2021: NEC Meeting hijacked by LGBTQ activists
The LGBTQ group proposed that the SNP’s eight regional lists for the Scottish parliamentary election should include in top place, either a *BAME or a disabled candidate.
Four regions would be allocated a BAME person and the other four a disabled person. The proposal carried the rider that disabled status should be by self-identification with no confirmatory checking being carried out.
The proposal was debated at some length since many members believed it would be illegal to adopt the proposal under equalities law. The matter was deferred and referred to the Party’s legal counsel, Jonathan Mitchell QC who warned that the policy was legally dubious and open to challenge in the courts and any case brought by a person disadvantaged by the rule would probably succeed, and cost the SNP tens of thousands of pounds in legal expenses.
But the LGBTQ group insisted the proposal should be decided by the NEC and its LGBTQ Chair, Kirsten Oswald allowed the matter to be put to a vote. The vote was tied and it was expected that in compliance with accepted practice the Chair would cast her vote for retention of the status quo. She didn’t and passed the motion placing the Party at great risk of legal and costly claims of discrimination.
Three members announced conflicts of interest before the vote and should have recused themselves from the vote. They were:
Fiona Robertson declared that she intended to seek the top spot on the North-East list as a disabled candidate who was in attendance as a substitute for an NEC member who was unable to attend. Did not recuse herself from the vote.
Graham Campbell, a councillor from Glasgow who declared his intention to stand on either the Glasgow or Lothian lists, both of which were to have their top spots reserved for BAME* candidates under the proposal. He did not recuse himself from the vote. His partner is SNP MP Anne McLauchlin.
Greg McCarra from the Association of Nationalist Councillors (who is neither disabled nor BAME) also declared he was seeking the nomination. He did recuse himself from the vote.
Those subsequently included as candidates on the protected list for the North East of Scotland included. The nature of their self-declared disability has been withheld but it is common knowledge they are all LGBTQ+ activists: