Surely Shauny Boy speaks for the nation with his most recent video. Seriously, why are any of the rest of us getting up in the morning to run our small business or tend to our patients or lay those breeze blocks, all to try and make Scotland a better place, if our party of government thinks this sorry leadership election ‘will do the plebs’.
Two unprepared candidates and one extravagantly-resourced cypher have been given three weeks to pretend they’re ready to run a government by standing in tiny rooms talking to audiences hand-picked by one candidate’s backers under a media black-out (nearly) without any access whatsoever to their electorate and no information (nearly) about how many of them there even are.
Then two unprepared candidates ask for some basic norms of electoral processes to be put in place and Scotland’s liberal establishment goes nuts. How dare they want independent oversight of an election which is being run by people who are also running the campaign of one of the candidates! How dare they expect to know the size of their electorate in advance!
Because being suspicious of how Peter Murrell runs the SNP is a ‘conspiracy theory’. Suspicions with absolutely no basis whatsoever, because the liberal establishment doesn’t read anything they don’t agree with so they don’t know anything.
Therefore, as a last public service before I finish the week early and crawl off into a weekend to drink and watch rugby and pretend with all my little heart that this isn’t happening, let me support our confused liberals with some things to chew over on the whole ‘do I really trust this process?’ question that clearly isn’t plaguing them.
But, since this whole thing is already a Monty Python sketch, let me just respond in kind. I am desperate to get to that intellect-numbing first beer so I’m not spending my afternoon hunting out links. Believe me or google it or just stay ill-informed. This is a democracy after all. Right?
God, is this really happening?
So why should anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
This is about election-rigging, isn’t it? Well, let’s start there. What about the time that they let their members vote for candidates for elections and then they just overruled them by having their unelected NEC insist that candidates with disabilities (like dyslexia and diabetes) should be identified after the vote takes place and replace candidates at the top of lists to push critics of the leadership out of elected positions?
OK, well apart from election-rigging, why would anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
What if they’d sought legal advice over this arbitrary opponent-exiling, were told it was illegal – but just did it anyway?
OK, well apart from election-rigging and legal-advice-ignoring, why would anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
Perhaps it would be worth knowing how the NEC became unelected. That happened after reform candidates were elected onto the NEC – so HQ just added another bunch of unelected members to the NEC to countermand the democratic mandate provided by the membership?
OK, well apart from election-rigging and legal-advice-ignoring and governance-stacking, why would anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
Did you know that, just after the NEC was stacked, and at a barely-attended online-conference a couple of hundred people passed a little-discussed resolution which gave the unelected NEC the power to rewrite the party’s constitution at will?
Fair enough point, but apart from election-rigging and legal-advice-ignoring and governance-stacking and constitution-distorting, why would anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
To be fair, anyone can put a resolution to a conference. Well, unless SNP HQ doesn’t want them to. Many dozens of branches have repeatedly supported motions the leadership doesn’t want discussed and they never get on the agenda, no matter how much support they have. And there is no right of appeal.
Right, but other than election-rigging and legal-advice-ignoring and governance-stacking and conference-hobbling and constitution-distorting, why would anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
Do you know what happened to the people who were democratically elected to the NEC and the other governance committees on a reform platform?
They were relentlessly bullied and prevented from doing anything. For example, committees where the leadership had lost a majority were simply prevented from meeting because only HQ can call the meeting and despite those meetings being constitutionally required, when the members of the committee tried to meet anyway they were told they didn’t have the right and threatened with the constitution.
It’s really, really embarrassing
That sounds wrong. But apart from election-rigging and legal-advice-ignoring and governance-stacking and conference-hobbling and constitution-distorting and democracy-obstructing, why would anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
OK, let’s go back a bit for a minute. Remember when there was going to be a referendum? And everyone was really excited and was dying to get campaigning?
Ah, those were the days.
Right, now do you remember when SNP HQ decided to cash in on the enthusiasm by running a crowdfunder for a referendum campaign (which wasn’t happening anyway) and then they spent the money on something else altogether?
That sounds illegal. But they wouldn’t do that again.
Oh. Still apart from election-rigging and legal-advice-ignoring and governance-stacking and conference-hobbling and constitution-distorting and democracy-obstructing and money-misappropriating, why would anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
Well, this whole missing money thing was kind of a problem so the Audit Committee of the party asked to see the accounts which it is not only legally entitled to see but is legally required to see to discharge its members’ duty as auditors. SNP HQ simply… refused. The Treasurer and half the committee resigned. No action was taken.
Hmmmm, that’s definitely dodgy. But apart from election-rigging and legal-advice-ignoring and governance-stacking and conference-hobbling and constitution-distorting and democracy-obstructing and money-misappropriating and company-law-ignoring, why would anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
Shall we stick to money?
Yes. Because there was that issue where the Chief Executive of the party gave an anonymous loan of a lot of money to the party, the day after the police had come calling about the missing money. At least three separate Electoral Commission rules were broken in the process.
Sorry, didn’t I mention? The police have not only been investigating the missing money, they asked the nation’s prosecution service for permission to escalate the investigation into a full criminal probe and the prosecution service concurred, leading to the country’s top policeman visiting the First Minister to warn they were going to be interviewing her husband under caution. She resigned a few days later.
Again, didn’t I mention that? SNP HQ is run by the leader’s husband.
What, like a nepo-baby?
He’s a bit more like a nepo-grandpa but yes. And yes, he is very seriously being investigated by the police for fraud.
I’m a Scottish indy-supporter. How much more humiliation is ahead?
Jings. But apart from election-rigging and legal-advice-ignoring and governance-stacking and conference-hobbling and constitution-distorting and democracy-obstructing and money-misappropriating and company-law-ignoring and nepotism and electoral-rule-breaking and dark-donor-concealing and being-investigated-for-fraud, why would anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
How long have you got? There’s a lot more of this. Really, a lot more.
Could you speed it up.
Well this week SNP HQ was caught telling an absolute outright lie about membership numbers. In 2017 HQ basically sold the party to the Heathrow expansion campaign for very big bucks. Back before that they required all their members to go and knock like tens of thousands of doors to interview people and send the results back and then they were put into boxes which were never opened. And they spent nearly half a million pounds (or say they did) on an office refit.
Offices are expensive.
They rent this office.
Oh. This quick-fire round is kind of depressing, like lie-telling and corporate-sell-outing and member-conning and literally-unbelievable-profligacy depressing, but none of that is about dodgy dealings with elections.
Profligacy? Do you remember when they spent hundreds of thousands of pounds of members’ money on extravagant election parties for the party’s elite?
I’m going to stop you. Stick to elections.
Hold on. There was one big thing which was all really super-dodgy and that was the whole business about the prosecution of Alex Salmond and..
No. No. We can’t talk about that. They will demand we lose our jobs. Just elections.
Fine. Because there was the time that a popular MP who wanted to move to Holyrood but was the party leader’s number one enemy was prevented from doing it.
…this won’t be good, will it…
The NEC rushed through an absolutely ridiculous rule specifically to make it almost impossible for her to stand for the seat. Instead they parachuted in their own candidate who was opposed by a genuinely local candidate who had previously been an MSP. Their candidate won using the same kind of election system used in this election. The number of votes cast for each candidate is secret to this day.
Seriously, I hide under the duvet in the morning and pray there won’t be, like, more of it…
The same electoral system?
OK, that was clumsy of me. No. No. the NEC designed a new bespoke election campaign for the leadership in which the candidates aren’t allowed to contact their electorate. Or know who they are. Or prepare.
My doubts are growing. But can you just clarify, apart from election-rigging and legal-advice-ignoring and governance-stacking and conference-hobbling and constitution-distorting and democracy-obstructing and money-misappropriating and company-law-ignoring and nepotism and electoral-rule-breaking and dark-donor-concealing and being-investigated-for-fraud and lie-telling and corporate-sell-outing and member-conning and literally-unbelievable-profligacy and the thing we’re not allowed to talk about and candidate-eliminating and dodgy-election-design, why would anyone mistrust SNP HQ?
Did I mention that HQ is quite clearly both running the election and running the campaign for one of the candidates?
Jesus Christ. Did you say you were going for a beer?
Wait, there’s still a lot more, like really a lot more…
Look I’m paying for the drinks all night if you just stop telling me these things.
Look at you – you’re like a liberal commentator already. It’s St Paddys. I’ll kick off with a Guinness. And ketamine. A lot of ketamine.