Resurrecting the SNP

The majority government of the SNP that ignored the people’s mandates

Criticism of the SNP by this site has been reserved to their flawed policies, but in the last two years to the regressive actions of Nicola Sturgeon and her husband Peter Murrell. When the Salmond trial was in process this site stuck to the issues of his innocence and condemned the outrageous Kirsty Wark documentary viewed as a thumping attempt to retry him.

Readers will note, the Grousist, together with close associates, prefer to do our own thinking and not be swayed by bloggers who shout the loudest or who adopt an aggressive, bullying persona. Grouse Beater policy is not to tar and feather. Phony independence supporters diving in when they saw an opportunity to defame got short shift and booted off the site.

Scotland is a country with a small population. One can be an errant administration only so long. People will spot incongruities and hypocrisy and intervene. Scots will turn against you in good Scottish style, exercising a powerful sense of justice. Any smaller, and you have Iceland and its ‘pots and pans racketing’ revolution overturning corrupt bankers and politicians. In Iceland you can still congregate to protest outside the Parliament unlike we Scots outside ours.

One hoped the SNP would be shamed by its historic disaster and show humility. It decided to do the opposite. In a flurry of self-righteousness, it sustained attacks on Salmond’s honesty giving more bullets to our enemies, and it kept throwing good supporters ‘under a bus’. This was to remain the SNP’s modus operandi. (There are long-serving SNP members who simply will never accept the party strayed miles off the path to self-governance.)

It piled arrogance upon piss-poor judgment. Like a vexatious neighbour living in a conservation area who won’t abide by civilised rules – “It’s my house, I can do what I like with it” – one loses patience and calls in the ASBO team, all else having failed. Talking personally, I found the SNP remote from daily life, a fiefdom acting above the electorate, which is the very opposite of what a nationalist party is meant to be. This situation leaves one cold, perplexed and alarmed. Why am I a non-person? How did this happen?

Once the worst plotters and colonial travellers are removed from their SNP power perch we can concentrate on renewal, and protect our Parliament from more colonial incursions. We must show Scotland can deal with its own problems in its own way. We need no help from our oppressors.


By Kevin McKenna

The empire, which had taken ten years to build, was toppled in less than one month. This is what happens when a party becomes drunk on power and thinks it can govern by decree: it’s true because we’ve said it’s true.

The Nicola Sturgeon/Peter Murrell axis which had come to rule the SNP have been forced out, brought down by those elements which always turn healthy organisations rotten: hubris, lies and brute repression of internal dissent. Let no one be in any doubt: when the decay set in, it then proceeded from the head down. All that remains to be quantified is just how much damage this pair have done to their party, the movement for Scottish independence and faith in the wider conduct of politics in Scotland. So detached from reality, so self-deluded had Peter Murrell, the SNP’s chief executive, become that when he resigned on Saturday he was still clinging to a fantasy. “Independence is now closer than ever,” he said in his resignation statement.

It’s not though, is it? In the 12 years since the SNP’s landslide triumph at the 2011 Holyrood election we’re now at a point where the prospect of independence has never been further away. The comic relief has been provided by those commentators and analysts who had danced to their tune, and are now scurrying to put some distance between themselves and their fallen heroes.

Some of us saw this coming four years ago. By stealth, the commitment to secure independence was being shelved, to be replaced by a lexicon of fatuous phrases. “Standing up for Scotland” became the clarion call of the SNP’s professional wing. This was soon augmented by pledges to be “progressive”.

“Standing up for Scotland” represented little more than yelling for a Section 30 order and waving your arms around as you accused the Tories of “disrespecting democracy”. These outbreaks intensified immediately before and after elections and then quietly subsided. It was also evident that in the years following the first independence referendum no serious work was being done on securing a second one. And that anyone calling for a Plan B was being marginalised.

“Progressive” was nothing more than doubling down on gender recognition reform even as it became clear that aspects of it would endanger women’s safety, as became starkly evident in the case of Isla Bryson. It was a convenient fig leaf to conceal the uncomfortable truth that the SNP had failed catastrophically to improve the lives of multitudes of Scotland’s poorest citizens. Progressiveness thus became a cruel hoax advanced by the political elites, including a superannuated trade union boss class, aimed at pretending they were being radical. Instead, they were pandering to the insidious whims of a gathering of misogynistic young men who had hollowed out the party.

An even worse fate than that which befell those few who were serious about independence was now visited on the gender reform dissidents, mainly feminists who (literally and metaphorically) had targets painted on them and suffered violent threats and intimidation, much of it orchestrated by central office.

Yet, for this climate of fear and menace to proceed unhindered over so many years there needs to be a division of lumpen party drones good for little more than mocking and abusing opponents of the regime. The insidious genius of the Sturgeon/Murrell power strategy was at work here.

They gathered to themselves a coterie of dim-witted and unquestioning acolytes, ever willing to do their bidding and promoted them into jobs and responsibilities far beyond their limited capabilities. It soon became known within the party that if you wanted a promotion or preferment on the Holyrood lists all you had to do was shout loudly at the chosen target and pledge unquestioning fealty to Nicola Sturgeon.

You’ll have seen them on Twitter in recent days. Some, with only a rudimentary grasp of simple arithmetic, plainly couldn’t understand the membership figures being presented to them. Others, including Mhairi Black, were still accusing Ash Regan and Kate Forbes of being “Trumpian” for casting doubt on the integrity of the leadership contest.

The Sturgeon/Murrell power dynamic also succeeded in turning the National Executive Committee into its own Praetorian Guard and stripped it of any semblance of objective propriety. Good, decent and hard-working people were chivvied out of their positions and replaced with bad actors and fake virtue merchants who could be relied upon to target those who had been singled out for special treatment. Those individuals possessed of genuine intelligence and ability and who might thus threaten the hegemony of Ms Sturgeon were soon set upon and manoeuvred out of the way to be replaced by party laggards.

These malingerers are largely blameless in the apocalypse that’s engulfed this party: they were just following directions. It’s the party veterans such as John Swinney, Angus Robertson and Michael Russell who should be hanging their heads in shame. They all knew what was happening, yet chose to remain silent in exchange for an easy life and a comfortable retirement.

It’s not clear yet if there are sufficient grounds to scrap the contest to succeed Ms Sturgeon. What should be occupying the minds of all three candidates though, is to what extent the winner’s tenure will be tainted by the shambles that’s been exposed at party headquarters. Ironically, Humza Yousaf may have most cause to complain. If the claims that thousands of former party members have been sent voting forms are true then his chances will have been adversely affected.

You might also argue that when the man tasked with overseeing the process has been forced to resign for deliberately misleading the party’s media manager, then the process has been mortally wounded. You may also reasonably doubt the fairness of a contest where the First Minister’s most powerful and closest advisor has been secretly detailed to assist her favoured candidate. It epitomises the duplicity, dishonesty and arrogance which are now exposed as the hallmarks of the Sturgeon era.

Kate Forbes and Ash Regan in particular have rendered a service to this party that offers it a chance of long-term salvation. Both have braved an extraordinary fusillade of abuse and vindictiveness simply for standing against the favoured candidate of Sturgeon/Murrell. Yet, they have maintained their dignity.

And now we know why they were targeted. Having witnessed the corruption and sleaze that flows through the higher echelons of the SNP, they each gave notice of their intent to purify it and to be rid of the leeches who have fed upon it. Time will tell if their actions have yet come too late to expunge the poison in the system.


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6 Responses to Resurrecting the SNP

  1. Gordon Hastie says:

    There’s a great book in this, that’s for sure, but not one written by the usual suspects such as Kirsty, Dani and co. Dani’s already done her puff piece for the Guardian, but that was before the Murrell house of cards collapsed. There’s also a great book in an MSM opposed to indpendence but apparently supportive of the Murrells.

  2. Grouse Beater says:

    ‘All the First Minister’s Trans men’/

  3. peeliewallie says:

    Says it all really.

  4. duncfmac says:

    What peeliewallie said! I will probably never be able to trust the party now, I fear. Russell has been a sell out and a disgrace in all his roles and is culpable as any. The idea of him being in temporary charge and trying to gloss over the corruption and true state of the SNP is particularly unpleasant to witness. All of the silent no marks have no place in a fit for purpose party in future. Not sure who that would leave but for me you could comfortably count them on one hand and have two fingers left to give them a deserved message.

  5. diabloandco says:

    That piece didn’t miss – don’t know who said it but it has stuck with me many years , ‘when trust has gone like the soul to the body it never returns”

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