A Heinous Crime

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Will blood letting on the alter of political expediency cause the sun to shine and crops to grow?

Who are my accusers?

Some of my family are Jewish, Uncle Hymie, a Holocaust  surviver, buried in the Jewish section of Edinburgh’s Piershill Cemetery. My entertainment lawyer is Jewish, producer colleagues are all Jewish save one Irishman, writer friends are Jewish.

I worked with Israeli Educational Television. I teach Jewish graduates. In youth the rabbi thought me potential rabbi material. (The priest thought me good Catholic material.)  I have a David, Michael, Beverly, Esther, Adam, Audrey, Aaron, Samuel, Benyamin, almost everyone except a Shlomo in my family. I count Eva Menuhin as close friend.

Who calls me anti-Semitic?  The enemies of Scotland do. Sadly, a few  are SNP officials. And how did they do it? They did it via guilt by accusation. 

SNP officials Angus MacLeod and Fiona Robertson are unfit for the important post they currently hold. I shall return to them later. Humza Yousef did not cover himself in glory either, pronouncing his love of false accusation before knowing who I was and what the case was about. But then, who looks to unqualified justice secretary Yousef for sound judgment?

It transpires, after many months of demanding reasons, the SNP Disciplinary Committee via SNP HQ admit the SNP did not think me anti-Semitic in the least. They thought a single sentence in a 2,000 word essay might be construed as anti-Semitic, in other words, an unconscious thought crime. And yet they allowed the press and public to think I was a jew hater. That’s the repression of the new SNP. From Mike Russell, SNP President in an email, SNP HQ’s staffer’s name redacted: Quote “The Disciplinary Committee had the evidence in front of them and made a decision. They did not label him an anti-semite, but did consider that the words were, even if that was not the intention. Unquote.

In all the manufactured hullabaloo that emanated from the GMB union bosses and Labour’s blundering Scottish branch, calculated to deflect criticism from their anti-Scotland antics, no one appears to have noticed that Rhea Wolfson – the woman the GMB used as frontman – expressed only mere annoyance at being questioning over her speech to the exploited women in the GMB’s fraudulant rally.

In fact, Wolfson – sent the critique first for right of reply – is not even the subject of the essay, a two part essay, the second entitled, ‘Fascism – Us and Them’, an analysis of how intolerance has crept into political speeches. The GMB’s misogynist ugliness was the springboard and the substance for my polemic.

The GMB is the subject of the first essay. Wolfson appears late in the article. Her lack of a specific allegation of malice aforethought begs the question: why did the SNP react so ineptly and cowardly in assuming there was cause for concern?

The essay deconstructs the GMB’s antipathy to Scotland

On what basis did the SNP’s Disciplinary Committee suspend my membership, ultra vires, and without me present or actually a member of the SNP – and yet agree upon a verdict of guilty? (I had let my membership lapse many months earlier.) Who in that committee is qualified in law? Angus MacLeod appears qualified in vindictiveness. He took no notice of my letter of protest, making plain the Jewish members of my family. He wanted his bosses to see him a loyal officer.

In essence, my essay stated a few obvious truths, namely that a union exists to uphold the civil rights of its members, there to spread wealth among the workers, the weak and the disenfranchised. And yet we have the glaring contradiction of a Unionist organisation operating in Scotland telling the populace to forego their civil and constitutional rights by voting against their own interests – self-determination. This is hypocrisy writ on a union banner. The GMB exploited the women they claimed to be defending, in good misgynist style.

The women taking time off to protest lost pay and losing pay for the effort – a seriously bizarre method of attaining pay equality – were mobilised to show frustration at the alleged length of time Glasgow Council is taking to work out a complicated but a fair and equitable system of settlement.

Is there a similar Scots-based union manufacturing unrest and operating in England, and if so, why? The subtext of my article was the sexism of the GMB, and the worrying adoption, consciously or unconsciously, of neo-fascist language seeping into our every political discourse.

The fault, dear Brutus…

To my mind the fault lies with the SNP.  And that is a very sad thing to have had to say.

For one thing, the party ought to have been quicker off the mark in spotting the GMB’s tactics in regard to the women’s strike. Were the SNP street smart they would have drawn the GMB’s fire power. Instead they left the beleaguered executive of Glasgow’s Council to repeat impotently their avowed support for pay equality, a mess left by the previous Labour administration supported by none other than the GMB. We saw media glee at the sight of a group of women protesting their situation the entire fault of the SNP.

Was a two-day loss of pay rally the only way the GMB could show impatience? Of course not. The more strikes seen to happen in Scotland, the more opponents can claim we are the same society beset by the same problems as England, so let’s not determine our own future, let’s not be self-reliant.

The principle

The essay in question concentrated on the blatant undemocratic stance of the GMB denouncing the rights of Scotland to decide on its future, and the misogyny employed to exploit the low-paid woman.

Post Script: Months after my essay was published, the GMB was sanctioned by an English QC-led official Inquiry for “rampant misogyny, hiding cases of sexual harrassment, and denying women their rights”. The boss, Tim Roache, a man who condemned my essay though admitted he had not read it, resigned in disgrace. The squit who tried to divert attention from the GMB’s failings, his Scottish branch manager, Gary Smith, is still living in the land of GMB colonial delusion.

The principle under attack is this: if every individual named and smeared by our opponents is to be taken out by the SNP and summarily executed for the sake of political expediency, who can blame the enemies of Scotland for keeping a list of prime targets until each is eliminated?

The brutal tactics of the British State know no limit. Why does the SNP emulate them?

Fiona Robertson

I call upon Fiona Robertson to step down from her post as Women’s Rights and Equalities Convener. She does not have the acumen or the experience to command the post. Her attack on my integrity is both scurrilous and lethal. Her blog inflamed the issue. Her preposterous psychobabble was quoted and argued extensively in the Twitter sphere causing countless people to stray into defamation.

Her deconstruction of my essay is the work of a chronic fabulist. It attempts to seek out and prove the impossible by conjuring unconscious thoughts and prejudices out of thin air, and portray them as inherently evil – thought crimes. She promotes herself as an expert in Freudian psychology. She has no qualifications in the discipline.

I need cite only one example of her hubristic ineptitude. She claims my reference to the genesis of the GMB in east London is a ‘dog whistle’ – a sly all-encompassing fascistic use of language that I deplore. She is telling people what to think. 

East London is where a number of boiler maker factories existed. The GMB began exclusively as a boilermaker’s union. Any number of boilermakers working there were not Jewish. Indeed, what has Robertson to say to the author of Wikipedia’s page on the GMB which states the same historic record?

As for the alarmist Angus MacLeod, a disastrous national secretary, his letter instructing the conduct committee is full of inaccuracies and tendentious assumptions instead of asking me questions. This is a boy scout trying to earn a badge for lighting a fire without matches. Either he acted upon instruction or indulged in self-aggrandisement. He too, should resign.

I shall go further – those who say one should know a Jewish person by their surname are almost certainly the same who think you can tell a Jewish person by their facial features. That despicable ideology is not too far away from sewing a yellow star to their jacket.

Those who proclaim themselves supporters of human rights violate mine.

Post Script: Both Angus MacLeod and Fiona Roberston were voted off the SNP National Executive Committee late in 2020, but Robertson was invited back unelected and continued making peoples’ lives miserable.

And the rest…..

I predicted what the SNP’s decision would be and alas was proved correct. They endorsed the falsehood. We hope to create a better society than now; in this case the SNP show us they prefer the old ways.

They have precedent for sacrificing loyal supporters. Mark MacDonald was hounded for a pre-Jurassic tweet of no great significance. Michelle Thomson was crucified and yet had done nothing wrong. More recently Neal Hanvey, and SNP  candidate got it in the jugular only to be elected as an independent MP. And lately Denise Findlay was fitted up to block her election as chairperson of the clod-hopping Discipline Committee, some of her views at odds with SNP disaster prone policies.

Then again, I am in good company, the SNP expelled Alex Salmond back in the days when he was an outspoken, energetic young politician.

Thus, truly humbled by the support received from people I do not know, I do not think the SNP is in any mind to admit it has made a serious error of judgment.

Post script: Michael Russell, an old colleague, reviewed documents and acknowledged the serious miscarriage of SNP rules – he avoided saying, a quasi-judicial court gave no thought to the presumption of innocence – but then he stepped back from doing more by asking I go through SNP HQ. This offers double jeopardy. In a carbon copy of a classic Kafkaesque nightmare, SNP HQ demands the impossible, that I “reapply for membership”. Three emails to the new National Secretary, Stewart Stevenson, lie unanswered. This is an organisation that does not give a damn.

I reprint the letter below from those shocked at the SNP’s unconscionable reaction to assassination attempts by our common enemy. The SNP ignored the pleas of its rank and file who actually knew me. What are we to make of the SNP now?

The Petition

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE SNP AND THE WIDER SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT

In writing this joint statement we, the undersigned – bloggers and other influencers in the campaign for Scottish independence, affirm our commitment to independence and to the unity of the independence movement in its entirety.

It is not our aim to cause discord or to encourage members of the SNP to cancel their memberships. We hope only to raise our concerns and to ask that the Disciplinary Committee and the leadership of the SNP reconsider their decision, and we hope sincerely that the contents of this letter will be taken seriously and in the spirit in which they are intended.

Yesterday the decision was made by the Disciplinary Committee of the Scottish National Party to rescind the party membership of Gareth Wardell, the well-known and much respected author of The Grouse Beater blog. This decision was made as a result of an article he published addressing the issue of the GMB, a London-based trade union, acting in Scotland to deny people their democratic rights.

Owing to the author’s reference in the blog to the Nazis’ attitude to trade unions in the 1930s and 40s and his quotation of the term “the Jew” – in the context of citing Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf – the leadership of the GMB union accused him of making an antisemitic attack on Ms Rhea Wolfson, who, unbeknownst to Mr Wardell at the time of writing, is herself Jewish.

We agree without reservation that antisemitism and all forms of racism, prejudice, and discrimination are always wrong. The campaign for Scottish independence is an open and inclusive social and political movement which welcomes the participation and activism of everyone who believes independence is the best option for the future of our country. However, after much discussion and careful consideration, we do not accept Grouse Beater’s contribution was indeed anti-Semitic or racist or discriminatory in the least.

It is our firm belief that his words were deliberately and opportunistically taken out of context and weaponised against him and the entire movement in a concerted attack by the union, members of the Scottish Labour Party – to which the GMB is affiliated, and elements of the anti-independence tabloid press.

Frustratingly, this unjustified accusation was taken up by and supported by a number of high-profile people in the SNP – most notably Ms Fiona Robertson the SNP’s national women’s and equalities convener. In an article published on her own blog titled: “Holding Ourselves to Our Own Standards”, she made the claim that “most people… are not people who have enough background experience of anti-Semitism to make that judgement.” Yet she herself, without any qualifications in racism or antisemitism in particular, is – apparently.

Misquoting and wholly misrepresenting Gareth Wardell, Ms Robertson went on in her piece to offer a somewhat problematic definition of antisemitism and from this establish her case that he was sending out a “dogwhistle” to anti-Semites and racists:

The explanation is as follows: if you are writing about a union leader who is Jewish, bringing up Hitler’s view on unions – that they were dangerous because Jewish people controlled them – and then specifically talking about the Jewish union leader implies a link. Otherwise there is no reason whatsoever to start quoting Hitler. It essentially says ‘Hitler believed that Jewish people controlling unions was bad, and this person is Jewish and is controlling a union in a way I don’t like.’ The link between those two dots is ‘so maybe he had a point’.

“Bringing up Hitler’s view on unions,” even when speaking to a Jewish person, is not in and of itself anti-Semitic. This is at best a tenuous grasp. Gareth Wardell at no point claimed unions were dangerous “because Jewish people controlled them.”

This much is a serious misrepresentation of the point he was making. On this Mr Wardell was clear; that this was Hitler’s view, and that the Nazis used this pernicious belief in order to undermine and attack trade unions – which he describes as one of the “cornerstones of democracy.”

Ms Robertson concludes this argument by suggesting that Mr Wardell’s conclusion is that “maybe [Hitler] had a point.” This assessment, sadly, suggests only one of two things; either Ms Robertson has failed to understand the article she is critiquing or is guilty of malicious intent. The Grouse Beater article implies no such thing.

It is reasonable to conclude, given the position of Fiona Robertson in the SNP, that her opinion has become the uncritically accepted opinion of the party’s leadership and has therefore informed the judgement of the Disciplinary Committee and its decision to expel him from the party.

We, the undersigned, hold that both this judgement and the decision to cancel Mr Wardell’s membership of the party are unwarranted and utterly unacceptable. This decision undermines freedom of expression within the party and the movement, and seriously damages the trust that we depend on, that the party will not dispose of us in order to satisfy a perceived need in the political leadership in the movement to appear above reproach.

Signed 

Craig Murray, David Hooks (PoliticsScot), Jason Michael (Jeggit) MacAlba, Mr Malky, Tommy Sheridan, Tradasro, WeeDetour, Ken McDonald (Managing Editor iScot), Peter Bell, Indy Witch – Margaret Lindsay, Eddie Macdonald, Alicia Murray, Deryck Rossborough, Bernadette S., Ken Scott, Nevyn, Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh, Janie (Dissolve the Union), Caroline (Freedom Woman), Professor John Robertson, Matt Vallance (Socrates MacSporran), Margaret McGill, Karen Fisher, Ann Christie, Piers Doughty Brown, Stuart Teadley, Lynn Middleton, Iain MacGillivary, Ian Brotherhood, Hugh Wallace, Valerie Rettie (TenaciousV), Fearghas McKay, Ramona McMahon, Arthur Stramash, Danyal Khan, Graham Turner, Terry Ferguson, Bill (ScotsSolomon), Professor John W.Robertson, David Mooney, EU.Linda, Tomas O’Braonian, Marion Scott, Suzanne Robertson, James A. Mcvean, X.Stick, M. Cooper, Brian Robert Joyce, Jammy Dodger, Fiona Kabuki, Patsy Millar, Gordon Bain, A.B. Allan, Helen Yates, Jim Dewar, Gordon Doyle, Tracy Cairns, Highlander Patriot, Gordon Adam, Elaine Mackenzie, Morag Kerr, George Trist, Rab Paterson, Chas Anderson, Dubh Stiubhart, Dave Llewllyn, Anthony Little, Ian Foulds.

Pste Script:The SNP executive ignored the voice of their own rank and file.

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66 Responses to A Heinous Crime

  1. angusskye says:

    The day the SNP “suspended” you, GB, coincidentally was the day that my own membership, and that of my wife, was due for renewal. We decided not to renew immediately and decided to “see what would happen”. In a tweet, I notified our local MP, Ian Blackford, and our MSP, Kate Forbes of this.

    Yesterday’s “expulsion” leaves us horrified at the level of stupidity being shown by the SNP. We will, therefore, not be rejoining and will give our continued support for independence elsewhere.

  2. Today the SNP lost my support. Appealing to the mob; totally disregarding principle. That’s something which we simply cannot support. You have done nothing wrong, and it was the duty of the SNP to support you as a result. They have failed you, and they’ve failed us. What a shame.

  3. Grouse Beater says:

    I’d not have wished this on anybody.

  4. I’d like to associate myself with the Open Letter. Like many others both inside the party and in the broader movement, I have been horrified by your treatment in this matter. I have today resigned my membership of the SNP in protest. A party which not only allows but apparently condones the monstering of its own members and supporters like this isn’t one I feel welcome in.

    The struggle goes on, and for better or worse the SNP is effectively the only game in town to deliver independence. I’m sad I can’t in all conscience remain a member as a result of its Orwellian response to your blog, but will happily participate in the broader Yes movement to reach our goal.

    In the meantime, I hope you do take legal action against the worst offenders, and stand ready to support you both morally and financially. Luckily I now have some cash that was earmarked for the SNP which is suddenly available for other purposes!

  5. calanish says:

    I resigned my membership this morning on hearing the news of your defenestration. The form letter from Peter Murrel was brief and ignored the reasoning in my resignation note.

    ‘Thank you for letting us know that you wish to leave the SNP.
    We’re sorry to see you go. In meantime, please accept my thanks for your contribution to the party.’

    sigh

  6. Grouse Beater says:

    Aye. I’d hate to think folk are dispensable.

  7. grumpydubai says:

    Commendations to you all.

    I hope common sense eventually prevails in the upper echelons of the SNP and those in more minor positions.

    They should remember that, in Scotland, power is only given by the will of the people and so it can also be removed.

    Here is to an Independent and accountable Scotland.

    Ian

  8. I support the letter.
    Haven’t resigned membership yet – I want to see the explanation for this decision. (Assuming there will be one?)

  9. P.S. Also looking forward to seeing some sincere apologies appearing here, from those who now realise that they may be facing defamation charges.

  10. How does one sign this petition?

  11. Grouse Beater says:

    I can add your name. Fearghas – if you wish.

  12. Please add my name. I deplore the noxious budding culture of “point-and-destroy” whereby mere mischievous accusation can trigger “execution” without due process. It echoes in principle the hysterical horrors happening abroad under so-called “blasphemy” laws.

  13. Grouse Beater says:

    You wish is my command – name now added and with thanks.

  14. @ ianbrotherhood

    I wouldn’t hold your breath if I were you; quoted below is Ian McCann of the SNP’s response to my email resigning from the party:

    “Andy
    I’ll have your resignation processed. I’m sorry that you’re choosing that path. The Member Conduct Committee is elected by Party Conference to carry out a role specified by our constitution. They’ve made decisions in the past that I probably wouldn’t have made, but that’s how it goes. However, the views of any individual member can’t take precedence over the collective decision of the body that is elected by the Party to do that, or else we no longer have internal democracy.
    Best wishes
    Ian”

  15. Grouse Beater says:

    Internal democracy? Is that the intellectual level he wishes us to accept?

  16. This is just what the British nationalists want, a rift , independence supporter against independence supporter.Sometimes its best to wait and see how things develop, people on all sides here rushing in.Get a grip.What is important your reputation, what others think about you or Scottish independence.Being so close to Scottish independence you have to make a choice there isn’t time to resolve issues first.You could have waited and then quietly dealt with it.

  17. What’s important to me is my conscience. I will never stand by and observe a wrong, without voicing my opinion. I certainly want independence but that does not mean I’ll discard my loyalty to fellow Scots who dedicate their efforts to achieve the same goal as I have.

    I stand with Grouse Beater and disagree with the handling of this matter, for many reasons

  18. Grouse Beater says:

    You mean, I could have submitted myself to double jeopardy? And those trashed after me, what of them? We support a party that is supposed to be a model of fresh and tolerant thinking.

  19. @Andy Ellis –
    Thanks for letting us see that response to your resignation notice.
    The wording is interesting but still sheds no light on the actual judgement. I find it hard to believe that this ‘internal democracy’ which Ian McCann regards as sacrosanct doesn’t appear to involve the ‘Member Conduct Committee’ making its findings/reasoning available for party members to scrutinise.

  20. Marconatrix says:

    Honestly this all came as a most unwelcome and unpleasant surprise to me. As we may be approaching a critical period for Scotland, Indy and the SNP, I really don’t know what to make of it, knowing nothing really about the inner workings of political parties. Could it all be just a glorious cock-up or the fault of one opinionated individual? A general policy?? Or even, if you’re of a suspicious frame of mind, a carefully contrived conspiracy by forces unknown aimed at derailing the whole independence movement???

    It’s good to see so many bloggers and others coming out in support of GB, but should you all be tearing up your SNP membership cards rather than fighting this from the inside?

    Just my thinking aloud on a dark an stormy night. Oidhche mhath dhuibh uile …

  21. Grouse Beater says:

    Frankly, it’s a bit of a mystery to me too. Mis-communication maybe, respect my authority maybe. Who knows? Couldn’t have happened to a nicer chap, in my view. 🙂

  22. Count me in!

    Professor John Robertson

  23. Grouse Beater says:

    Much appreciated, John. I shall add your name with pride. Thank you.

  24. @ianbrotherhood

    Yes, the wording is interesting. Ian McCann no doubt felt constrained in what he could say because it was an on-going investigation when I first raised concerns, and it related to a 3rd party not to me. As you note however, the party has been anything but clear and open handed in relation to this. I don’t see why the composition of the Committee, what evidence was heard and from whom, and what the decisions was, wasn’t made public.

    If that’s the SNP’s definition of internal democracy, then my decision looks even more solidly grounded. I have little doubt that there are many within the party who disagree both with the result and with the process, but few are prepared to put their heads above the parapet. The moral cowardice involved does the party as a whole, and the individuals who are failing to speak out, no credit.

  25. socratesmacsporran says:

    Gareth, please count me in as a supporter. Although my own two blogs: Socrates MacSporran – Scottish Football Philosopher, and Aristotle Armstrong – Scottish Rugby Philosopher, deal with Scottish Sport, I am a firm believer in and supporter of independence for Scotland.

    I sometimes find myself shaking my head in bafflement at some of the actions and decisions of the SNP – such as their stupid move to suspend you.

    More power to your elbow.

    Matt Vallance

  26. Grouse Beater says:

    I’ll add you in as Matt Vallance (ScoratesMac) if that’s okay. and gratefully.

  27. Grouse Beater says:

    This letter is republished with the approval of Barrhead Boy.

    I think that this is a Gestapo like action of the part of the Disciplinary Committee. I read the article in question and found that there is absolutely nothing Antisemitic in it.

    I fought Antisemitism in a church congregation of which I was Minister in Canada in the late 1980 and early 1990s. I wrote an article for the New Brunswick Law Journal which was used by the lawyers representing the victims in a case before the Supreme Court of Canada.

    Gareth must be reinstated and the Disciplinary Committee and party leaders must apologise for this wrong that has been done to him.

    I do not want to be a member of a political party that uses a Gestapo like court to silence a member for what seem like personal grudges or vindictiveness on the part of his accusers. If Gareth is not reinstated and does not receive an apology, I will discontinue my membership of the SNP.

    William H Steele

  28. Hugh Wallace says:

    GB,

    I read about this late last night and decided that this decision by the SNP was the straw that broke my camel’s back and I, too, have resigned from the party. My letter to Peter Murrell will be in the post shortly.

    As I say, this is the final straw in a decision I have been (reluctantly) coming to for well over a year now. I had certain lines in the sand drawn but have allowed them to be breached on several occasions but this is one too far.

    I will continue to vote SNP because there is no other game in town. I also believe that are doing an excellent job in government on so many accounts, but maybe that is part of the problem. I want the SNP to lead us to independence whereas they are giving all the impressions of being a party who wishes to retain political power within the status quo rather than changing that status quo.

    Hugh

  29. Grouse Beater says:

    I voted for a party with new, fresh ideas, sound ethics and unshakeable respect for their supporters. They try hard.

  30. Alice Boden says:

    As a party member myself, I was very sorry to learn that you find yourself a victim of the SNP’s thought police. When did referencing Hitler become taboo? It was completely obvious from your essay, which I have just re-read, that you find Hitler’s views utterly repugnant and that you refer to them only to make the point that nothing good comes from such attitudes. If you did not know Ms Wolfson was Jewish, welcome to the club. What an ego she must have if she assumes that everyone is fully briefed on every personal detail of her life story. Why would we care about her religion? Suddenly we are all naive if we don’t recognize Jewish surnames. I would say that’s a very encouraging trend. In any case, your writing contains nothing anti-Semitic. (How easily that accusation is bandied about at present).

    It is disappointing that the people on whom we all depend to be fearlessly leading us to Scottish independence, are themselves so apparently lacking in respect and loyalty. It is also alarming to see how easily they alienate such a valuable advocate for Scotland’s independence. I know that supporting the SNP at the ballot box is vital if we are to gain independence, but if the party continues to abandon its most inflential supporters when any whiff of controversy threatens, it risks losing a lot of funding from members and losing votes, too.

    It appears that the SNP’s over-riding view is that mud sticks, but who was slinging it and why? They don’t care, apparently. The party is implying that their wish to appear squeaky clean might be grossly unfair to a few blameless individuals, but it will be worth it when we walk away from the UK. Maybe the best we can hope for is that they admit that acquiescing to this slur on your character was an exercise in damage limitation, but we might be waiting a long time even for that admission – maybe a footnote in the memoirs of the first leader of an independent Scotland.

    Please, please do not stop putting your head above the parapet. We know you are free from blame.

  31. Grouse Beater says:

    That’s a fine letter, Alice. Thank you. I am still bewildered as to why the SNP reacted so badly and showed no respect.

  32. I am being irked by a long bout of “l’esprit de l’escalier” (“what I should have said was…”).

    Or as Shannon Wheeler has it in a fine 2011 cartoon:

    “‘L’esprit d’escalier!’ That’s the expression I couldn’t think of.” –

    I would like to add the two words “or deluded” to my earlier statement. This notes the ongoing entrenchment in our wider society of an unaccountable hyper-subjectivism, officially exempt from (even outraged by) calls for objective appraisal.

    My definitive petition rationale therefore becomes:

    ‘I deplore the noxious budding culture of “point-and-destroy” whereby mere mischievous or deluded accusation can trigger “execution” without due process. It echoes in principle the hysterical horrors happening abroad under so-called “blasphemy” laws.’

  33. I’m 100% behind you GB. God only knows what Ms Robertson’s case actually is. Thou shalt not mention nazi Germany in anything to do with “our” independence movement, presumably. It may well be, “deliberately and opportunistically taken out of context and weaponised.” But so what and why should that mean getting expelled from the SNP, if you do mention a rather giant part of our world history? It’s not written the SNP constitution for starters.

    Good luck comrade.

    Don’t let the idiots grind you down.

    Heedtracker

  34. Merkin Scot says:

    The first thing I leant at Cheder was that I had the choice of being Jewish or British – whatever was most advantageous in the circumstances. I now choose to be neither but understand completely how the ‘anti-semitism’ trick works. Ms. Wolfson has used it perfectly. Her script could have been written by GIYUS. Unfortunately, the SNP has been well taken in.

  35. GB, I would like my ‘signature’ added too – sorry if I didn’t make that clear.
    Good to see the support here and elsewhere.

  36. Grouse Beater says:

    With great pleasure! 🙂

  37. Please add my name to the petition Gareth. I am sick to the back teeth with this whole ‘mind your language’ Dictum. Everything we say getting interpreted as meaning something else according to the political fashion of the day. I despair at the education & intellect of our MSPs if your essay can so easily be mis interpreted & scewed. What chance have we got when they are faced with interpreting the Laws & Regulation we are governed by, now & in the future if common sense & literal intelligence is left to them?
    We have MPs standing up in our Parliament LYING to us day in day out. yet do we see them piloried & suspended from the party? No- and that is more offensive to me.
    Valerie Rettie @Tenacious V

  38. Hugh Wallace says:

    GB, please add my name to the petition.

    Hugh Wallace

  39. Grouse Beater says:

    Done! I shall add you to my Festive card list! Hope we meet one day.

  40. Grouse Beater says:

    I’m indebted. Val. Will do now. As with others, I hope to meet you one day.

  41. g says:

    The SNP are running scared of a press that despises them to an extent. That is sad.
    Also, they have more able people in Westminster(and out of elected positions) than they do at Holyrood. Nicola Sturgeon’s a top class FM but her leadership of the party has been lacking in a number of important areas. Wee things like this(no offence) are happening as a result and they have bigger consequences.

  42. calanish says:

    Hi again – can you add my name to the letter as well please – Fearghas McKay

    We have met a long time ago, Children’s Crusdade, I was the ASM.

    For those who say we should be less hasty in resigning from the SNP I refrained from resigning when GB was suspended in the naive hope that defenestration would not occur. Regrettably the organisation fell into the ‘look a dead cat’ narrative that Ms Wolfson & the GMB played, I had hoped they would be more astute by now.

  43. Grouse Beater says:

    I remember you! What a beautiful letter. Thank you. That wonderful enterprise took the best years of my industrious youth but so many have benefitted from the SYT that I am left with no regrets.

    As for the ‘Deliquency Committee’, they most likely were reading off a prepared script, indeed, their ‘Equalities’ convener – there’s a misnomer! – by her reckless analysis ensured I had a case to answer, thus it was pointless for me to respond to the clamour and I let my membership lapse. Yesterday I received a letter from the SNP telling me it is ‘very easy’ to rejoin, proof positive that the party too often fail to tie up the loose ends.

    Thank you for the kind things you have had to say. I have done as you ask and added your name to the list of petitioners.

  44. Ramona McMahon says:

    Please add my name also, I’ve read and reread your original article, and for the life of me cannot find anything anti-Semitic, mentioning Hitler is a lesson than needs repeating loudly and often, less we go down that path again, and currently there seems to be ample opportunity for that. The SNPs stance here is disappointing to say the least, what message is this sending out? I used to think this party was almost family, that we would always look after our own, seems not and after supporting the SNP for the last 45 years I’ll be having serious deliberations whether to renew.

  45. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you, Ramona. I think our representatives reacted far too fast to a calculated and fabricated attack by our opponents. One did the unprofessional thing imaginable, she prejudged and undermined my defence. I became the sacrificial casualty. No matter. We are Scotland.

    You are correct, there is absolutely nothing racist in the essay, nor the second part ‘Fascism – Them and Us’.

    I shall gladly add your name to the list.

  46. David Mooney says:

    It seems all you have to do is mention the word Jew and/or Hitler in an article and self interested political parties scream anti-Semitism at the first opportunity. I remember Ken Livingstone being caught up in this kind of crap a couple of years back and it seems to have killed his career completely.

    It doesn’t matter what political persuasion you are Tory, Lib/Dem, Labour or SNP, anyone is fair game to these self serving opportunists. It’s sad to see the SNP behave in this intellectually absurd and manipulative way.

    I am no longer a member of the SNP (that ship sailed years ago), mainly because of the establishment elements that seem to becoming more prevalent as the years go by. I used the think the SNP was better than that but multiple examples of this kind of nonsense persuaded me otherwise.

    Please add my signature to the list.

    Dave Mooney

  47. Grouse Beater says:

    You support added, Dave. Thank you. Your first sentence sums up the issue in epitome. My review of ‘Son of Saul’ received no such admonishments of religious bigotry though it mentions, Hitler, Nazis and Jews through the essay.

  48. Patsy Millar says:

    Didn’t know I could add my signature, but please add me.

  49. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you, Patsy.

  50. Hi please add my name ‘A.B.Allan’

    This knee jerk reaction is the reason I have never been
    or will be a member of any political party, you lose your voice.

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