Corruption Is Never Sudden

Douglas Chapman MP, one of the good guys. He resigned as the SNP National Treasurer denied access to the party’s accounts – an outrageous act – but he and other NEC colleagues who resigned failed to take any action against the unethical stance oF Peter Murrell, the NEC chairman.


We are witnessing the Big Clean Up of SNP deadheads, psychophants, and the hoodwinked. This letter from Isobel Lindsay appeared in the Herald letters column, a fine example of clear thinking. This site agrees with every word.

“When organisations become significantly corrupt, it is seldom sudden and seldom due to one person. It evolves as part of the culture over time and it requires many people to be complicit. The critics are marginalised and excluded.

This certainly characterised New Labour and the current Starmer party. Power struggles, intrigue, manipulation, lack of transparency is hardly unusual in politics. But the SNP used to be better than most. It had fairly robust and open democratic structures. Even when Alex Salmond was at the peak of his status in the party, he had a huge struggle to change party policy on Nato and only won by a few votes. It was the votes of ordinary delegates which genuinely elected the National Executive and on the whole most members felt that party headquarters were reasonably accountable.

The Peter Murrell/Nicola Sturgeon leadership changed that and it became worse over time. Many in the party were aware of this but the mantra was “wheesht for indy”. Some discretion in publicly challenging bad practice is understandable but it can also be the route to a corrupt culture. It normalises bad practice.

Secretive money management and dishonest membership figures are only a limited part of this story. The undermining of decent individuals who were insufficiently obedient was common practice. There were much worse things. When historians come to investigate the true background to the Salmond trial, they will find a disturbing story originating in a paranoid fear of his return to Holyrood which spiralled beyond the original intent.

But let’s take something simpler and completely in the public domain. When the elected national treasurer, Douglas Chapman MP (one of the few who comes out of this with credit) and the Audit Committee of a governing party resigns because the chief executive of the party will not give them access to the full party accounts, why did the Scottish media treat this as a marginal issue? Why did the majority on the National Executive who are legally liable not act? Why did all but a few MPs and MSPs keep totally quiet?

The trouble with a corrupt culture is that it can appear to work successfully for years but it takes only one stress point for it to fall apart.

The drive for Scottish independence will not be derailed by this but it may have to remain in the station for a bit longer while the existing crew are changed.

Isobel Lindsay, Biggar.

NOTE: Isobel Lindsay is what is known is Scotland as a doughty fighter for the SNP and Scotland’s liberty, and by the tenor of her letter, remains faithfull to that just settlement with England. She was vice chair of SNP and also of policy at SNP, supported the constitutional convention, and was convener of campaign for Scottish Assembly that paved the way for Holyrood, and vice chair of Scottish CND.


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10 Responses to Corruption Is Never Sudden

  1. alfbaird says:

    Isobel Lindsay is a Scottish national treasure; JK Rowling isnae.

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    I endorse that remark fully.

  3. duncfmac says:

    Brilliant and accurate words . I was a student of Isobel’s back in the day!

  4. The truth eventually emerges, and eventually, this ring of truth – inevitably – feels better for all concerned!

  5. lorncal says:

    “… When historians come to investigate the true background to the Salmond trial, they will find a disturbing story originating in a paranoid fear of his return to Holyrood which spiralled beyond the original intent… ”

    On the button. It was never about the alphabet women or misconduct around sexual shenanigans – they were always peripheral to the real intent – but always about Alex Salmond’s return to front-line politics, and the strength he held, and still holds. Even now, we have letters in The National telling him to keep out of internal SNP matters, and, worse, telling former members of the party to keep out, too, as if, one day, we woke up and decided that we would all become dissidents for no discernible reason. These people have no shame, no comprehension that they are part of the problem, that they have lost sight of reality.

    I do not believe that independence has been destroyed. I believe that all this had to happen for the movement to start over in a way that the SNP leadership, party and membership were simply not willing to do under Sturgeon. She is still briefing arrogantly and shamelessly as the house of cards topples around her, with no show of remorse for what has been done under her leadership to the party, to former, often very long-term members who felt they had no choice but to leave and to our country, as a whole. She has appeared on ‘Loose Women’, a programme I, personally, have no time for, because it is superficial and has no remit to pontificate on Scottish politics. I believe that most English people would be accepting of our going out of the Union, although I also believe that most would be saddened by our departure, and we will always have much in common. It is the British State we need to be wary of because it will do all in its power to detain and retain us, at great cost, if we are not careful now. However, we will go, if not sooner, then later, because we must.

  6. Yes, lorncal, and as you say “a paranoid fear of his return to Holyrood which spiralled beyond the original intent” virtually sums up more than these few words can; however, when the full story is published, Alex Salmond’s already great strength will be magnified beyond our ability to describe just now!

  7. Alastair says:

    This is the dark British state at work , interestingly was it the SNP model they used to turn Corbyns Labour party . The dismantling of internal party democracy to create a dictatorship to shut down debate. Those who are conviction politicians or left wing are removed deselected for complient automatons to be put in their place . Those who can be controlled and told what to think and what to vote.
    When the Supreme leader becomes the lovee of the Guardian and Loose women you know your politics is in trouble and that they have sold you out.
    One puppet out , let’s hope the apprentice puppet doesn’t get in.
    Dissolve the Union.

  8. sadscot says:

    “She is still briefing arrogantly and shamelessly.”
    She is indeed. She’s even claimed she isn’t “out of step” with the Scottish public over GRR!
    Re below the line at the National, I only browse now and again as it’s so ghastly it’s depressing.
    Catching up later yesterday on Sturgeon’s travels I just couldn’t believe how she is still able to just bat stuff away and remain in utter denial.

  9. sadscot says:

    “was it the SNP model they used to turn Corbyns Labour party”
    I think it’s fairly clear that the Labour Party “moderates” took care of that matter all by themselves with a lot of help and encouragement from the UK media.

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