Employed by the BBC for 34 years, John McCormick was Secretary then Controller of BBC Scotland, 1992 -2004 before being appointed to the post of Commissioner in 2008, with the Electoral Commission, the toothless independent elections watchdog and regulator of party and election finance.
The referendum held on 18 September 2014 wasn’t so much an electoral process as an unfettered festival of jiggery-pokery and gerrymandering since the illustrious electoral commission was headed up by the former Controller of BBC Scotland.
McCormick, claimed he and his independent Commission were well-placed to provide “honest john” support to Alex Salmond’s historic plebiscite.
The people of Scotland faced a historic decision in the independence referendum and needed to have confidence that it reflected the will of the people.
To command that confidence the referendum had be transparent, open to scrutiny and deliver a result accepted by all. (The Scotsman)
An online petition demanding a revote in the Scottish independence referendum nearly reached 100,000 signatures as vote rigging conspiracies gained momentum among disappointed pro-independence campaigners.
It didn’t take long for accusations of voting irregularities to start swirling after Scotland voted “No” to independence. In the aftermath of the result, pro-independence Yes campaigners took to social media in large numbers to complain about reported incidents of vote fraud and to demand a return to the polls.
The insidious dogma of hyper-extremist activists is holding Scottish politics to ransom
Scotland is a colony of England and its politicians are permitted to operate only under the strict control of the Westminster government. Faced with this reality the acceptable face of politics within Scotland has become narrow-minded and focused on encouraging the development of pressure groups with narrow agenda’s who are able to successfully transfer their aims and ambitions across the border to England.
LGBTQ hyper-extremist and fundamentalist activists increasingly exert political influence on society in England and Scotland well in excess of levels warranted by their numbers and mainstream politicians need to be alerted to this since many of the views and demands for change they wish to impose are toxic to the vast bulk of the electorate.
Addressing the issues in Scotland requires an understanding of the modus-operandi of the activists which is to become cuckoos in the nest of the SNP and over time crowd out anyone who failed to accede to their demands.
As of February 2022, the group have grown in numbers and influence and through a process of gerrymandering, internal election processes now dictate and decide SNP policies.
The SNP no longer exists in the form many of its members signed up to yet it strangely continues to promote itself to the Scottish electorate as the party of independence.
The two main LGBTQ activist centres are located in Stirling and Aberdeen and are focussed on the leadership of two SNP MP’s: Alyn Smith and Kirsty Blackman who together with their supporters have done little to progress the cause of Scottish independence and should have the courage of their convictions and leave the SNP too form a new political party and stand for office in a by-election in a new LGBTQ Party.
The Aberdeen faction first raised its head in January 2018 when a small number of LGBTQ activists located in the Grampian Region formed an umbrella organisation the “Aberdeen Independence Movement” (AIM). Its membership comprised:
Co-Chairs: Fatima Joji: from Westhill, Aberdeenshire, topped the SNP’s North-East regional list for the Scottish Parliament elections. Kenny Anderson: Longtime SNP supporter. Managing Director and Majority Shareholder, Anderson Buchan Properties Ltd.
Other members Neil Baillie: SNP Councillor Vicky Harper: SNP Councillor Andy Stuart: SNP Convenor Aberdeenshire West
Finance Team: Virginia Dawod: Manager, Robert Gordon University.
Theo Forbes: Graphics Media And Communications Officer. 2016 2018: Member of the National Executive Committee and National Events and Fundraising Officer, “Young Scots for Independence”. 2017 2021: Employed by the SNP as an intern from September 2020. Attended Aberdeen University studying Politics & International Relations.
Joshua Aaron Mennie: from Aberdeen 2018: 2020: Media Consultant. Intern for Kirsty Blackwood MP. 2019 – 2020: Member National Executive Committee (NEC) and Convener for the official LGBTQ+ wing of the SNP. 2022 – Pres: Communications & Officer Manager to Karen Adam MSP at Holyrood.
Tourette’s Syndrome* sufferer, Mennie is a person to note since his rise to prominence within the Party has been remarkable. In his 3 years of membership, he has been elected as a disabled member of the NEC. Heads the “Out For Indy” group and is the leader of the party within a party, the LGBTQ+ group of the SNP.
The Equality Act 2010 (‘the Act’) and Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (‘DDA’) defines a disabled person as:
“A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.” Tourette’s syndrome is not listed in the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book (the guide used to help SSA representatives determine whether a person qualifies for disability based on their condition)
And the Mennie family are well represented in the party. His sister Jessica was elected in 2019, SNP councillor for Donside in Aberdeen (£18k annual salary). She was also the office manager (2015-2019) to Mark McDonald MSP, who was forced to resign from the Party by its leadership who outlandishly accepted an allegation of sexual harassment against him based on a joke about an autocorrect error in a single text message. It is claimed that she also works for party HQ in a new job which was allegedly not advertised and for which nobody else was interviewed.
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.
Fiona Robertson who 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. Campbell, whose partner is SNP MP Anne McLauchlin, did not recuse himself from the vote.
Greg McCarra from the Association of Nationalist Councillors (who is neither disabled nor BAME) also declared he was seeking nomination. He did recuse himself from the vote.
Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates. The 2011 census identified, 2.66% of the Scottish population as Asian and 0.5% Black and the SNP policy is unfairly discrimatory against Asians. Not a lot of wisdom in directly transferring and implementing American electoral policies in Scotland
Those subsequently included on the protected list for the North East of Scotland included: Fatima Joji, Christian Allard, Fergus Mutch, William Duff, Julie Bell, Nadia El-Nakla, John Cooke, Lynne Short, Gillian Al-Samarai and Joshua Mennie.
Comments on the North East Scotland list candidates:
Joshua Mennie. See before. Claimed to be disabled suffering from Tourette’s Syndrome
Gillian al-Samari: Councillor for Dyce, Bucksburn and Danestone (salary £18K) also worked for Mark McDonald MSP between 2013-2019. McDonald was forced to resign from the Party by its leadership who outlandishly accepted an allegation of sexual harassment against him based on a joke about an autocorrect error in a single text message. Councillor Samari ceased working for McDonald on 23 March 2019 and transferred her employment to Kirsty Blackman MP on 1 May 2019, taking up a position as a caseworker. Her swift transfer was criticised by opposition party’s who accused her of double-dipping” the taxpayer’s purse.
Fatima Joji: Caseworker for Richard Thomson MP. interests: politics and development advocacy. Holds a postgraduate diploma in ‘International Development (Poverty, Inequality & Development). Chair of AIM. Key political statements:
26 May 2021: Unsuccessful in the Scottish election in the North East regional list she tried to address the issue within the party but felt she now needed to speak out after being “harassed for months” with no support from the Party.
On her experience as a candidate for selection in Aberdeenshire West, she said that as a Black candidate it had been mixed. While the local membership was “largely positive” her name had been included in a tweet claiming that Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf had overturned the decision to fail several BAME candidates at vetting, allowing them to stand.
But Joji insisted she had passed vetting without issue. “But I think it did have an impact,” she said of the tweet.
She urged the SNP to address the under-representation of BAME candidates, particularly in areas with large communities of colour through the list system Saying. “I think there is a real opportunity there to turn rhetoric into reality.”
10 Sep 2021: I am SNP because of its progressive and inclusive policies that are built upon the foundations of equality fairness, dignity and respect.
Mennie attacks Kate Forbes
The SNP’s Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, fell from grace after revelations in the press that he had made sexual advances toward a 16-year-old boy, inundating him with inappropriate Facebook messages and inviting him to meet up.
Mackay resigned on the day he was supposed to present the SNP Government’s budget and the Government’s Public Finance Minister, Kate Forbes, completed the task. Her presentation was excellent and she became the front runner to replace MacKay as Cabinet Secretary for the Economy. But in Mennie’s mind, her proposed appointment, as opposed to Mackay’s resignation, became the controversy.
The zealous monomaniac and ferocious tweeter ignored an actual scandal. Mackay, a 42-year-old minister, was tipped to be the next leader of Scotland 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 indeed other non-church going ministers also believe, 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.”
As evidence of these “questionable” views, he also tweeted: “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).
Putin’s Russia pulls the strings and the Tory Party Dances to their tune
In the past ten years, approximately 10,000 super-wealthy Chinese and Russian business investors and entrepreneurs have been issued with “golden visas” by the Tory government providing them with a right of residence in the UK.
So many of Putin’s oligarchs and their wider families have gained the advantage of the scheme that the UK capital is now known as “Londongrad”.
Assertions that Tory’s welcome inward investment regardless of source is well-founded.
The “tier one” investor visa, requires only that the applicant operate a UK bank account with a balance of not less than £2m. This permits investors full residence in the UK for up to five years.
But eligibility for extensions and permanent residence is guaranteed after making further investments.
Scottish Tory’s have the affrontery to demand a Public Inquiry into Russian interference in Scottish politics
The Westminster “Intelligence & Security Committee” (ISC) only this week released its politically delayed Russia report warning that the UK is at risk of Russian exploitation because of the Tory Party’s acceptance of large amounts of political donations, establishing inappropriate relationships with Russian oligarchs. The report read:
“In brief, Russian influence in the UK is “the new normal”, and there are a lot of Russians with very close links to Putin who are well integrated into the UK business and social scene, and accepted because of their wealth. This level of integration London, in particular, means any measures now being taken by the Government are not preventative but rather constitute damage limitation.”
And information released to the public today revealed that 14 of the present Tory government ministers,(including six Cabinet members) have accepted tens of thousands of pounds in donations from Russian oligarchs.
A public inquiry should be conducted without delay so that UK citizens can be assured all measures necessary will be introduced urgently bringing an end to external interference in the nation’s politics. Including banning the practice of politicians taking money from foreigners.
But a 2018 Tory government inquiry giving a warning about Russian influence has been blatantly ignored
The report, published by Theresa May’s Tory government, “Foreign Affairs Committee”, accused government ministers of risking national security by “turning a blind eye” to Russian, “dirty money” flowing through the City of London.
Concerns were also raised about “golden visas” being issued in ever-increasing numbers despite the alleged involvement of Russia in the Salisbury Novichok nerve agent attack.
In its conclusion, the report demanded that the Government get tough on foreign nationals by tightening the rules of the scheme making it more secure.
But interestingly, the one voice of dissent from his own committee was from the then Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson who suggested that “there was no real role for Government in the process”.