Guest Post by Debbie Oliver
When I joined the SNP it was a membership lead party. Policy ideas came from ordinary members who brought their ideas to their branch. If the branch saw merit in it, they circulated it between regional branches. If it was popular it was batted about within the branches, with members contributing to its development. Once finalised, it was put forward to Conference, as a resolution, to be voted upon. Delegates from each branch would attend. The resolution would be debated then voted for by the delegates. If passed, it would be developed into a policy by MSP working groups. If it was 50/50 ish, it would be refered back for further development and if it was voted down it would be ditched.
That is true democracy in action, where the party membership determine the direction of the party.Since the party rule changes brought in in 2018, that no longer happens in the SNP. The membership, branches and even the NEC have been ignored over the past couple of years. The SNP administration run the party now, not the members. Who voted for HCB and GRA? It wasn’t the membership, they were not asked and current polling shows that the Scottish electorate are two thirds against them! But the SNP administration no longer listen to their membership…..apparently, they know best.
I resigned my SNP membership the morning after Jo Cherry was demoted to the back benches for speaking out, in my name, against the threat to womens’ rights to their private spaces……which GRA, as it stands, threatens.
Kirsty Blackman was asked whether a committee of 100% males, of whom 50% self identify as women would be deemed to be gender balanced………she said YES! Why would any biologically born woman accept that? Why would they accept that their hard (sufferagette) won rights should be simply swept aside for men self identifying as women? The SNP used to be the party of Self Determination………It is now the party of Self Identification!
Thankfully, after months of Scots Gov refusing to release their legal advice to the Parliamentary Inquiry and holding up the report until the very last days of parliament….the report was pretty damning on Scots Gov by the way…..but hey, by dragging it out until just before parliament broke up, they saved themselves from being quizzed about it. So don’t have a go at Alba’s late timing……the Parliamentary Inquiry had to conclude first and Scots Gov & Crown Office were the obstructors to the Inquiry’s progression.Scots Gov persued an unfair, unlawful and apparently biased Harrassment procedure on AS, and when they realised they couldn’t bring him down that way……..someone leaked confidential government documents to the Daily Record.
The 23 strong police team did 700 interviews with 400 women whom Alex had been seen to have contact with…….and not a single complaint was made. Yet somehow the prosecution managed to find a few UK payrolled Civil Servants to embellish stories, which the High Court chose not to believe and admonished AS on all charges. (The Not Proven one, being the lady member of staff that he had had a drunken cuddle with him in 2013….admittedly he tried to take it further….she objected and he stopped. They had a mediation session, she accepted his apology and although she had been offered a different post, she chose to stay and continue to work with him until he stepped down as FM in 2015. In 2018 she was sought out and told that his actions constituted sexual assault in the current #MeToo vista. Scots Gov supported the two initial complainants until their harrassment policy went off the rails. Then Scots Gov reported the complaints to the police, without the knowledge and against the wishes of the complainants! The Scots Gov did not provide any support to these two women throughout the High Court trial…..they dropped them like a stone before the judicial review was even heard! Their evidence to the parliamentary inquiry states this, and the inquiry’s report is damning of Scots Gov’s treatment of these women.
The Parliamentary Inquiry report, Ms Dunlop’s report and the Ministerial Code Inquiry report are all worth reading, to bring things into perspective. But i suspect those who prefer the vilification of Salmond won’t even bother, because it would only cause discomfort to their focused mindsets
.Alex Salmond made one public statement when he left the court of Judicial Review in early 2019. He made another public statement a year later when he left the High Court, cleared of all charges……and never publicly said another thing until he was sitting in front of the parliamentary committee to give 6 hours of evidence…….where he managed to remember everything. Unlike the FM who couldn’t remember, couldn’t recall, wasn’t involved, had no recollection etc etc.He has never called for her resignation over the botched Scots Gov proceedure, never named her as one of those he suspects of colluding against him. He currently advocates SNP1 and Nicola Sturgeon for FM. Whilst she ignores a high court ruling to denounce his fitness to stand, refers to him as a drinker and gambler and states that she will not, under any circumstances, work with him!The only thing he has ever said, which has been framed, unfoundedly, as an attack, was his insistence that there was a meeting between his agent Geoff Aberdien and NS on 29th march 2018, as it was to set up the April 2nd meeting at her house. So if she has denied this in parliament……which she did on numerous occations……
Her own written evidence to the inquiry contains the WhatsApp messages between her and Alex….where he clearly states:”The Scottish Government may well believe it is lawful. My Senior Counsel believes it is unlawful. That’s the whole point of the arbitration. The legality will have to be resolved either in private (in a confidential and binding arbitration) or in public at the Court of Session. The Scottish Government, and you, have everything to gain from arbitration. If my legal advice is wrong, I will accept that and the current process proceeds. If the Scottish Government legal advice is wrong, you discover that without losing in a public court.”
So, he never asked her to sweep anything under the carpet! She appears to have misled in her oral evidence about that folks! And her current demonizing of him is utterly despicable.
Independence supporting parties need to be standing together against Westminster……..yet here is NS, slagging off ” her friend and mentor of 30 years”, stating that she will never work with him! What is that about? It is certainly not the road to Independence! Indy Folk need to pull together as one to achieve that but NS says NO! Only an SNP majority, with NS calling all the shots is good enough……vote SNP2 folks, chuck your Indy votes in the bin and let the unionists back in……Nicola can bat the unionists off whilst keeping IndyRef on the back burner indefinately…… just throw them another mandate carrot.
So, why would anyone vote for ALBA?Because Alba is what the SNP used to be……..the party of Independence for Scotland, with Independence as its primary policy. For it is only after Independence that we can truely recover from Covid, Brext and 300 odd years of British (resource leeching) rule. ALBA…Where the membership will lead policy once again and vote for what the majority approved of…..the democratic way.As for the Alba candidates, well SNP have issued their manifesto……scroll to the “Our Record” page and do a wee bit of googling on the list of achievments they have published. Check out how many of the, especia-lly top notch, ones (free prescriptions, free tuition etc) were introduced by SNP under the Salmond administration. Although any mention of AS has been wiped from the SNP website…..We still have our memories to rely on……Don’t allow yourself to be brainwashed by folk who claim all the kudos for NS over the most popular SNP policies, most of them were enacted by the previous SNP FM … Alex Salmond, leader of the Alba Party. Who states….if every single SNP voter gave their list vote to Alba, we could virtually wipe out the unionist voices in Holyrood.Which is why the MSM refuse to give Alba a media voice. The union is deeply concerned, in a way that SNP1&2 never bothered them ( because SNP2 votes are virtually all binned if they win most or all of the regional constituencies) But if Independence voters chose Alba or Greens on the list……the unionists will lose lots of list seats and be diminished in their standing in Scotland. So whats not to like Indy Folk?Now that there is an imminent opportunity to get ride of the majority of unionist MSPs from Holyrood…..what are you going to do? Gamble, at high odds, of throwing SNP2 votes in the bin, uncounted for Independence……or ensuring that your list vote will go to Alba or Greens….where every single vote you cast will count towards unseating unionists and gaining us an Indy supporting majority in Holyrood?
Westminster won’t play fair with Scotland over Indy and NS is simply not equipped to joust with them. She is an excellent manager, as Covid has proved, but she is not an Indy Warrior like AS……Whilst Patrick Harvey is more Eco Warrior than Indy Warrior. AS spent many years at WM, spending hours in their library, studying and understanding their laws and precedents, then using them against WM to get the best for Scotland. He is a very intelegent, tactically minded man and he has Scottish Independence written through his very being, like a stick of seaside rock, and is a deffinate advantage to the Indy cause.We have a battle ahead, to free ourselves from the UK and we need our best political warriors on our frontline. You may point out the areas where AS failed to convince voters in 2014…….do you not think he has reviewed those failings over the past 7 years? Perhaps he now has solutions to eliminate the failings of the 2014 campaign?One thing is for sure, with the NS administration only dedicating 7 part time workers for 7 months over 6 years on progressing the framework for independence…….they aint planning to go there anytime soon and have no answers to the shortfalls of the 2014 campaign
.So, to go back to AS having to take the sole blame, in your mind, for losing in 2014…….Perhaps it was actually the Better Together lies in the last week, against purdah rules, that turned the 51% YES to 55% NO? Or are you adament that the entire blame is to be cast at the feet of the man who took 23% Indy support to 45% support in 2 years?Yet NS has only increased Indy support from 45% to 53% in 7 years whilst collecting, how many, Indyref mandates along the way? And she has just stated that she won’t even think of persuing another IndyRef until at least 2024!Both,Wales Indy support and NI unification support, have rocketed since the Brexit vote in 2016……so can NS honestly claim all the kudos for the increase in Scot Indy support?……And if your answer is YES……is she also due kudos for increasing the voting intention in Wales & NI too? Back in the real world, if the truth be told, it’s actually all down to, our “Best Indy Activist Ever” …… BoJo!
Oh and by the way….The Alex Salmond Show is produced in Scotland and RT buy it as a package deal. They have absolutely no influence on its content. But then you would know that if you had ever bothered to check it out……instead of regurgitating the bile that your similarly ignorant, bias & opinionated compatriates spout.I support Scottish Independence and I will place both my votes in the best place to achieve that. SNP…aka Hobson’s Choice for Indy in the constituency and ALBA on the list…to unseat the unionists and to get a party into Holyrood who will actually progress our Independence cause……just like the SNP used to do in the good old days. If you want the election count agents to throw your second vote in the bin….then on you go, my consience is clear. I have taken the time to explain the potential boost for Indy by voting Alba or Geens on the list vote, to replace unionist MSPs with Indy ptomoting ones .You can now make an informed decision……will you vote for your party or country on the list on 6th May?I’m making sure that both my votes will count towards an Indy Majority in Holyrood on 7th May.