By Brenda Steele:
Yesterday I received an e-mail from a friend with this link:
SNP internal election results may cause problems for Nicola Sturgeon
My friend thought that “Overall this report sounds quite fair” but not being an SNP member wanted to hear from someone closer to the action.
My reply started off with this.
Overall, it has some validity, but it betrays bias in the idea that these are highly organised factions with traditional allegiances.
In particular, this:
The left-leaning Common Weal group has secured 11 seats on the party’s ruling body – the national executive committee (NEC) – in internal party elections.
It is quite entertaining to think think of there being an organised SNP group under the Common Weal banner. It is not just a stretch, but a leap of the imagination beyond Robin McAlpine’s wildest dreams. Anyway, Common Weal claims to be non-Party political these days – more of a (left-leaning) think tank and Dr Craig Dalzell. aka TheCommonGreen is a regular and (in my opinion) valued contributor.
Common Weal did publish a list late on. They were the last to do so – that I know of, anyway . As someone who was involved on the margins of the list(s) being passed around, I would have updated my own list (compiled from various other sources) – but I didn’t find anybody on the Common Weal list I didn’t already know about. The BBC piece does not mention SNP members for Independence on Facebook – a loose group that combined for the purpose of dealing with the problems on the NEC. They were instrumental in getting information out. The name they chose to give themselves is telling of what the situation within the NEC had become – given that for decades the stated manifesto aim of SNP has been Independence.
My final comments on the BBC article to my friend were these:
The claim about a low turnout is deceptive. It is true that many delegates did not vote on the resolutions but
a) they were not what the branches submitted, and
b) there was no opportunity to “remit back”.
Many therefore abstained. The voting for the NEC is the grass roots asserting themselves.
The BBC is right about how Nicola responds being a measure of her leadership.
Today (3rd December) I came across this piece :
Ordinary members owe Dot [Jessiman]a great deal. She made their victory possible.
They [ordinary members] were aware things had been going wrong, they were concerned with the lack of urgency in driving Independence forward, they were incensed at the selfish and destructive minority interests that were elbowing the rest of the Party and moderate members of the NEC aside, the attempted bullying by these same groups of Joanna Cherry, Joan McAlpine and others. The drive to takeover and control the Vetting and Selection procedures and to centralise everything removing a huge range of powers from ordinary members.
My thanks to Dot Jessiman for her courage and persistence in getting this out into the open
and to Iain Lawson for his excellent piece describing what has happened much more accurately and succinctly than I could.