Saturday, December 27, 2014

Craig Murray

I've been following Craig Murray's quest to become an SNP candidate at the general election with quite a bit of interest and curiosity, because the outcome was always going to be the most high-profile test of whether the SNP were following a 'broad church' or a 'tight discipline' approach in the wake of the referendum.  Craig's vision of how to fight for independence was almost the polar opposite of the SNP leadership's - as I understand it, he wanted no deals with the London parties and thought that more powers for the Scottish Parliament were a distraction or a trap, whereas the leadership want a deal with Labour to bring about as many powers for Holyrood as possible.  As it happens, I entirely agree with the leadership about strategy, and think that turning our back on the chance of a much more powerful parliament within the UK would be crazy.  But it doesn't necessarily follow that Craig's disagreement with the gradualist approach should have precluded him from standing for the SNP - there's a strong case to be made that the decision should have been left to the local constituency association wherever he decided to put himself forward.

So was today's decision to bar him from the candidates' register justified?  The general rule of thumb is that the minimum discipline required to remain part of a parliamentary party is that you follow the party whip on votes of confidence.  Strictly speaking, the question that apparently proved to be Craig's undoing (whether he would vote to retain the bedroom tax if a deal with another party required the SNP to do so) is not an issue of confidence in the government.  However, it could be argued that discipline on a wide range of issues is much more important for a smaller party that is attempting to become a junior partner in a 'governing arrangement' at Westminster (I call it that because it probably won't be a full coalition).  If, say, 2 or 3 of the party's 25 MPs were known to be unwilling to vote in line with the terms of any deal, that would significantly weaken its bargaining power in post-election negotiations.

The leadership were probably in a no-win situation on this one.  By taking this decision, they've bitterly disappointed many people, including myself, who admire Craig Murray and feel that the SNP would be enhanced by being broad enough to have a place for someone like him in its parliamentary ranks.  On the other hand, in these specific circumstances, I find it hard to criticise anyone too severely for having a laser-like focus on securing the prize of more powers, and ensuring that the momentum generated by the referendum isn't squandered.  I'm fairly convinced that's what lies behind this, and I don't think Craig's suggestion that there is a danger of "managerialism" creeping in is justified.  As I've said before, if the SNP end up surprising themselves by entering into a full-blown coalition with Labour, they'll do it not because they want to (they seem genuinely repelled by the idea), but because almost any price is worth paying to bring about self-government.

By the way, I don't think anyone should be concerned about the hypothetical question relating to the bedroom tax - I would imagine the interviewers just came up with the most extreme example they could think of, ie. could you vote for something that every single person in this party loathes if it was necessary to secure a bigger objective?  In reality, it's almost impossible to conceive of any Labour-SNP deal that wouldn't abolish the bedroom tax, but it's inevitable that one or two other painful sacrifices will have to be made.

One thing about this episode is that it should dispel the silly idea being put about by some commentators that the SNP aren't really interested in a deal with Labour, and are secretly hoping for a general election outcome that would leave them as a numerically strong but politically powerless opposition group.

181 comments:

  1. I have a lot of respect for Craig Murray in terms of his actions when he was an ambassador. His commitment to human rights is outstanding. However, I am afraid to say that his blog, and in particular some of his writings there, has left him open to being hammered in the MSM if he became a SNP candidate at the general election. Also, reading his statement in support of his candidacy on his blog, Craig rejects outright any coalition with Labour, irrespective of the fact that the SNP would demand significant powers for Holyrood in return.

    Pondering these factors I can't say I am surprised that the SNP are not allowing him the chance to become a candidate. I think Craig Murray would be much more suited to standing as an Independent candidate for Holyrood, like Margo MacDonald, Dennis Canavan did. I don't get the impression that he is really suited to being in a modern day political party, with all the constraints that entails.

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    1. I certainly hope he failed vetting because of the nasty stuff he'd said about No voters. It'd speak very poorly of the party if the sticking point was indeed the particular question he cites.

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    2. I feel sorry for Craig Murray in his failure to be selected... it's fairly obvious that the SNP are trying to be all things to all men... thats why I have never joined.... BUT... I support CM emphatically over any suggestion of rejection of an alliance with the labour party under any guise or leadership. They are a group who have never had other than their own political dogma and financial interests at heart. The most recent interview on 30/12 Radio 4 with alistair darkling is all the evidence the SNP should need but regretfully will not understand. If any such coalition is entered into by the SNP they will lose my lifetime support.

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  2. In reply to some good points by Peter Bell, Craig said he thinks the SNP's aim should be to make the union ungovernable. As much as I sympathise with that view, it's just not compatible with what the SNP will be trying to do. I suspect the thing that did for Craig's chances will be something he doesn't think is controversial, but actually is.

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  3. "I would imagine the interviewers just came up with the most extreme example they could think of, ie. could you vote for something that every single person in this party loathes if it was necessary to secure a bigger objective?"

    Christ, imagine if you could ask such loaded (must say "yes" to get the job) questions in proper job interviews.

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    1. Also, the question is moronic. No "deal" would be worth voting for the Bedroom Tax. Any MP who voted for that would be wrong to do so, not just morally but strategically.

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    2. Totally agree and "moronic" is a good word for it.

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    3. It's a Kobyashu Maru question. The test is how you justify your answer. In this case you're expected to understand that you will have been part of the collective decision to support the tax. You have to show enough trust in your party colleagues to realise that there must have been arguably good reasons for the decision.

      To jump immediately to the conclusion that the SNP would issue a command from on high for MPs to vote for something repugnant and MPs would be expected to obey unquestioningly reveals a disastrous lack of understanding of how the system he is applying to be a part of works. If he doesn't understand this by now, it's too late. It's not the selection committee's job to educate the candidate.

      The right answer wasn't yes or no, it was a considered response demonstrating that the candidate understood how a situation which sounds so unthinkable might arise, within an ethical party whose fundamental instincts would be to oppose the tax.

      Craig Murray failed a test designed to see if he had any political nous, and his reaction to his failure demonstrates why. Add that to the rest of the baggage and it would have been madness to accept him.

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    4. Spot on Rolfe. An admirable understanding and explanation of the process.

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    5. " You have to show enough trust in your party colleagues to realise that there must have been arguably good reasons for the decision".

      Ha, ha ,ha. I love that.

      Can you list realistic reasons for voting "yes" to the bedroom tax? In the context of progressing the electoral success of the SNP of course.

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    6. It's a hypothetical question designed to show how the candidate handles it. Everybody at that vetting session was asked it.

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    7. Well if it was a strategically planted question by the SNP hierarchy can you please inform us of the acceptable reasons (e,g, candidate judgement, strategy, Scottish political awareness, etc) for responding "no"?

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    8. It's not about a yes or no answer, it's about how the candidate handles the question. If you can't handle it then you're a doubtful prospect.

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    9. Consider the possible alternative questions.
      1) Renewal of Trident
      2) Bombing Syria
      3) Student fees
      4) Private provision in the NHS

      How much do the SNP value "group discipline issues" over principle?

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    10. How did Craig handle it compared to other candidates that said "no"? You seem to have the insight to the detail here.

      Were any applicants that indicated a "no" answer successful in their application to stand as candidates?

      Of those that said "yes" is there a breakdown between those that:

      1. Simply lied
      2. Actually support the bedroom tax
      3. Don't think as "there must have been arguably good reasons for the decision"?

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    11. Nobody in the SNP supports the bedroom tax. The question is asking whether you're prepared to hold your nose and vote for something you profoundly disagree with because it's part of a deal the SNP have entered into (in which major concessions have presumably been won).

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    12. No-one in the SNP (I assume) supports

      1) Renewal of Trident
      2) Bombing Syria
      3) Student fees
      4) Private provision in the NHS

      Should willingness to hold one's nose and vote for them be a necessary qualification for candidacy?

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    13. James, so "no" was the wrong answer - candidates who refuse to hold their nose and vote for something they profoundly disagree with do not proceed.

      I get that. I obviously don't agree with it.

      I just don't get people dressing it up like some profound insight into how people hold themselves, react, have insight to strategy, etc.

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    14. Alan : Nicola Sturgeon has already made clear that Trident is a red line, so asking the question about that would have made no sense. In any negotiation of that sort, some topics are red lines and others are up for discussion.

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    15. Rolfe and Mick,
      you need to step away from your party loyalty vista for a moment. Tell yourselves whatever makes you feel better (such as Rolfe's Kobyashu Maru question critique) but the Scots public have watched every single one of the three main stream political parties hollowed out through just such candidate selection procedures with MP voting behaviour completely dominated by their leadership, resulting in zero tolerance of 'internal' opposition, on any issue. (polltax, tuition fees, illegal wars etc. etc.)

      This in turn has (actually) led their supposed socialist party in fact to become authoritarian neo liberal, their Liberal party to become right authoritarian wing neo liberal and their (wet) right wing party to become bonkers right wing authoritarian neo liberal!

      You seem to think a clever intellectual argument is somehow going to erase 30 years of the Scottish electorate's practical experience of exactly the political system these kind of 'selection' questions/criteria, as practised by all these parties, have finally produced.

      What evidence do you have to reassure us that the SNP are in actual fact immune (as you seem to imply) to the phenomenon that has so seriously hollowed out every other political party in Scotland/UK?

      Rolfe you say, 'To jump immediately to the conclusion that the SNP would issue a command from on high for MPs to vote for something repugnant and MPs would be expected to obey unquestioningly reveals a disastrous lack of understanding of how the system he is applying to be a part of works.' .

      Change SNP for any one of the other main political parties, remove your SNP shades and then tell me that it's not you two that sound desperately naive. Labour Tories and spectacularly the Lib Dem MPs have all done exactly that, and for exactly the same reasons of supposed 'power broking' for coalition/power sharing strategies.

      This is an issue that needs constant vigilance and a simple faith that 'we' are different, without providing evidence why, will not cut it out in the non party political world and nor should it. Please explain why we need not worry.

      Oh and Rolfe, do you not find it at all uncomfortable to be sighting Stoat as evidence upon which to rest your case. Let me remind you, he's not on our side and so may not have our best interests at heart. Just a thought.

      braco

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    16. James:

      and the other three...?

      It sounds very much like, you can have principles, within approved limits.

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    17. The NHS and student fees are both devolved matters. And bombing Syria (or not bombing Syria) couldn't plausibly form part of any deal anyway - it's not that sort of issue.

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    18. Craig Murray failed the vetting for a lot of reasons most people have figured out. It wasn't about that single question no matter how he wants to spin it.

      The question wasn't about "holding your nose" either. It was about using an extreme example to find out if the candidate understood about collective decision making and how it works.

      That's what I've been trying to explain, and if I haven't succeeded it's probably time to quit.

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    19. "Craig Murray failed the vetting for a lot of reasons most people have figured out."

      I think in fairness to Craig Murray, it has to be said that if the decision was taken for other reasons (for example because of his comments on his blog about No voters), then he hasn't been told the truth. We have to take the reason he's been given at face value, ie. that it was about group discipline only.

      "The question wasn't about "holding your nose" either."

      Whatever the question was seeking to draw out, it was certainly presenting a hypothetical scenario in which an MP would be voting for something that he or she profoundly disagrees with.

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    20. Apparently some candidates managed to convey a "no" answer to the same question in a manner acceptable to the selection committee.

      We only have Craig Murray's version of events. He's not behaving well by any standards. His reaction is petulant, self-serving and absolutely heedless of the damage he's doing to the SNP.

      He was given one obviously valid reason for rejection, a reason which must have been based on a lot more than a single answer to a single question which he wasn't diplomatic enough to figure out. It may be that additional reservations were not expressed, perhaps out of kindness, or perhaps out of a desire not to hand Mr. Murray any more ammunition to throw to the media in the inevitable fit of pique.

      This isn't about Craig Murray's sense of entitlement or being "fair" to him. It's about the SNP's 2015 election campaign. Judging by what just happened, I'd say that giving him as little detail as possible to milk for grievance was a good decision.

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    21. Braco needs to step away from his hilariously OTT hysteria over Murray not getting selected because he sounds just like another westminster bubble unionist as they are trotting out some of the precise same type of hyperbolic bullshit over this.

      Seriously, get a fucking grip. You are deluding yourself if you think this is anything other than someone not suited to the role he applied for not getting it.

      But yeah, this REALLY proves that the SNP are just the same as little Ed's expenses troughing Iraq supporting drones and the other westminster bubble twits languishing in piss poor polling, doesn't it?

      FFS indeed.

      I don't need to prove anything to those eccentric SNP haters who still haven't come to terms with the colossal surge in membership and unquestionable popularity of the SNP and their new leader. How supremely out of touch do you have to be to think Craig not being suitable for the post means anything other than Craig not being suitable for the post. Guess what? So will plenty of other candidates but they won't be doing the unionists job for them because they are not up to what is needed to cope with the utterly biased and hostile media situation the SNP has always had to deal with.

      Some friends of mine in the SNP suggested I run in the political sphere a while back. My response was laughter. (I was touched too and also let them know it) Why? Because not everyone is suited to being either an MP, an MSP or even a councillor. That's the basic fact of the matter we seem to have somehow forgotten in the midst of the lunatic hyperbole.

      Being a good or dedicated campaigner does NOT automatically make you suitable for political office. Nor does having a weel kent blog or speaking at well attended campaign events. It is entirely true that some of the skills needed transfer over from those things but like I already said there are plenty of dedicated Indy campaigners who know fine well they work better outside the political parties and are getting on with it.

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    22. (cont.)

      We have a leader in Nicola who comes fae fucking Dreghorn fer christ's sake and some idiots think not selecting Craig means we are out of touch??? In yer dreams pal. (no offence tae Dreghorn by the way but it's hysterically funny trying to even imagine somewhere that could be further away from the London elite that dominate the westminster parties) I've personally watched Nicola field questions from ordinary scots tirelessly, with good humour and a great deal of skill while giving no hostages or open goals to the biased unionist media. You think everyone can do that? Think again. We have been blessed with a colossal influx of new members some of whom will get selected and may well go on to great things in time. But not all of them will and everyone who goes into the selection process knows perfectly well they are up against some stiff competition because of that so had better be prepared for disappointment when they enter that process. It is a privilege to be selected to stand up for scots in the scottish parliament, EU, or westminster or even in a council. It is not a right and you also don't get in automatically just because you were prominent in the first Indyref campaign.

      I've had a lot of time for Craig as he has unquestionably done some truly excellent work in his field as well as some good campaigning. But if this has taught us anything it's that very high up on the list of questions for any candidate should be "How will you react if you are not selected?" since that seems to be the most telling thing of all in this case at least.

      I remember some of the same kind of absolutely OTT hysteria during the Smith Commission 'burning'. Same usual suspects in the unionist media and elsewhere shrieking cluelessly and a few truly hilarious overreactions to it even on the likes of Wings comments. One lunatic seemed to think Nicola's job was on the line because of it. LOL I kid you not. Doesn't really square with her very real and very hard won popularity as the polling keeps proving, does it? Nor does the SNP's popularity. Nor does the astonishing membership approaching 100,000. So the sooner those who seem to resent those facts and finally get to grips with them the better, because if they were hoping it was a flash in the pan they have quite clearly been proved utterly wrong by now. Things have changed for good. Scottish politics has indeed been transformed. The bitter resentment and the usual snide sniping coming from those who seem to hate the SNP will do them no more good than it's doing the Eggman and his shambolic London Labour office branch.

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    23. Nailed it

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    24. Mick,
      Why is your default always so 'you're either with us or against us', black and white? You are ascribing to me statements and attitudes I do not hold. I understand that it does make it easier for you to simply dismiss me as a 'concern troll' or as an unhinged Craig Murray groupie ,of which I am neither. (Please read all my posts on this thread.)

      I am expressing a few fairly well justified concerns about the manner in which Scotland's structural democratic deficit (media, establishment, civil service, education, business etc.) has operated forces upon every Scottish political party in the past, and is likely to operate similarly (if not recognised and continually countered) on future parties working in a similarly undemocratic environment. The SNP, as the party of power in Scotland, cannot simply be assumed to be immune.

      That does not make me an enemy! I vote for the SNP. I campaign for the SNP. I have a vested interest in the SNP succeeding. I want an Independent Scotland. Where does any of that open me up to accusations of seeming to hate the SNP? Where would you suggest it acceptable for me to voice my few concerns? Is there such a forum, or am I to just 'find some discipline' and turn my brain off? I am not a member of the SNP for this very reason, but I am a friend and very strong supporter of Independence.

      I note you do not address my points. Scotland has a historic tendency to vote for political parties into long blocks of political dominance. The Scottish Progressive Unionist (Tory) Party 40s, 50s and mid 60s, Labour since then, and now The SNP. The system was able to adapt and convert (corrupt) those previous parties without significant change to the system of Scottish governance or control in the past.

      I am not saying that this has happened to the SNP or that the SNP have not won significant concessions already. All I am expressing is a wariness that those same institutional and establishment pressures which are alive and well in Scotland will begin to bear down, more and more, on the SNP the longer they are the ruling party in Scotland (under the current undemocratic playing field).

      This has very little to do with individual personalities but rather the difference between a party of opposition and a party of power. Over the longer period, parties of power obviously attract a different type of character from a party of dissent or protest. The SNP is negotiating that very tricky phase and all I am suggesting is that it would be wise to stay vigilant to any possible early signs of these effects. Especially as a possible reaction by the established party politicians to their new, enormous influx of radicalised and politically impatient YES activists now making up a large part of the mass membership.

      Does all this really make me beyond the pale Mick, a Unionist stooge or 'useful idiot'?

      braco

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    25. You can't seriously think anyone in the SNP who just campaigned their hearts out to get independence after decades of the same needs any lessons in the democratic deficit?? Come on, get real.

      You also seem to have somehow confused one man's personal opinion of a selection process (he is quite clearly upset at) with the systemic failure to address the concerns of ordinary scots by westminster over decades. So you might want to turn down the ludicrous hyperbole since the only other people making that kind of absurd leap are the unionist media you are eager not to be confused with.

      "I note you do not address my points."

      I note you haven't made any unless you are deluded enough to think I believe for one second Craig not getting selected is somehow indicative of anything other than Craig not getting selected like so many others won't be.


      "I am not saying that this has happened to the SNP or that the SNP have not won significant concessions already."

      That's big of you.

      "All I am expressing is a wariness that those same institutional and establishment pressures which are alive and well in Scotland will begin to bear down, more and more, on the SNP the longer they are the ruling party in Scotland"

      Yes because there was always the danger that the SNP didn't have a fucking clue what they were doing all these decades and haven't actually noticed that Labour treated scotland like a personal fiefdom whose voters they arrogantly think they are entitled to. Good thing you spotted that or christ knows how we would have coped with the enormous majorities we somehow also didn't notice we have to overturn in a few months.

      The SNP have been in power since 2007 so forgive me for taking your timely 'warning' with a truly enormous pinch of salt. The first people who would have noticed this imaginary shift to aping the out of touch westminster establishment parties would have been the scottish voters. They certainly don't seem to share that view going by the 2011 landslide and current polling. Quite the opposite in fact.

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    26. (cont.)

      "This has very little to do with individual personalities"

      Who do you suppose will believe that I wonder? I strongly doubt any of James regulars will fall for that spin and I doubt even Mr Murray could possibly claim it's not about him with a straight face in the light of his reaction to not being selected. Since, lest we forget, he was not the only person not selected and there are going to be plenty more not selected too without this tedious unionist hysteria that will last as long as the Smith 'burning' did and signify just as much. Which would be nothing.

      a possible reaction by the established party politicians to their new, enormous influx of radicalised and politically impatient YES activists now making up a large part of the mass membership.

      Oh dear god, do you actually believe there are SNP politicians fearfully plotting in the background because of the 'terrible burden' of nearly 100,000 members?!? LOL

      Let me tell you the reactions I have seen from some of these SNP politicians to the colossal influx of new members. Awe, delight, surprise, inspiration. Knee jerk Orwellian urges to ape the westminster parties was, for some strange reason, not even close to being among the reactions. Possibly because however "radicalised" these new members are (politically engaged would be more accurate since "radical" is usually the unionist media's phrase to try and scare voters and demonise SNP activists) they know fine well that when the SNP say they want Independence they mean it and have already proved they can deliver a referendum when the scottish public wants one.

      Also, if you don't like a robust response then don't court one with your amusing attempts to be patronising. Not that I don't enjoy the humour in seeing those attempts but you really are wasting your time since everyone can read how you chose to address me and Rolfe to begin with. Don't dish it out if you can't take it back.

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    27. Oh fine, Mick. I am the Unionist enemy am I then? (I am not BTW.)

      braco

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    28. " I am the Unionist enemy am I then?"

      That you now keep wanting to boil it all down to that speaks volumes. I've given you plenty of reasons why I think this is a tedious unionist media manufactured 'storm'. I also can't help the fact that so many unionists are trying to whip up outrage over this, predictably enough. Like I said, don't dish it out if you can't take it back because you were the one who started with the attempts to be patronising and insulting.

      "Rolfe and Mick,
      you need to step away from your party loyalty vista for a moment. Tell yourselves whatever makes you feel better"

      "Change SNP for any one of the other main political parties, remove your SNP shades and then tell me that it's not you two that sound desperately naive."

      "Oh and Rolfe, do you not find it at all uncomfortable to be sighting Stoat as evidence upon which to rest your case. Let me remind you, he's not on our side and so may not have our best interests at heart. Just a thought."


      Yeah, doesn't really square with this "I am the Unionist enemy am I then?" 'outrage', does it? Just a touch hypocritical in light of that I would think.

      " Please explain why we need not worry. "

      Why I do believe that I did. At quite some length. :-)

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    29. A close friend of mine for nigh on 35 years has held aspirations of SNP candidacy on different occasions at various levels. He is as intelligent and street smart as any political operator I have ever come across face-to-face and he is charming with it. His problem is that he doesn't always follow the disciplined approach to party consensus and that has consistently been his downfall – without realising it he can very easily go off-message. But he recognises his shortcoming and neither complains bitterly nor seeks pity for his lack of success in being named a candidate. Instead he knuckles down and offers support on the doorsteps of Glasgow to whichever candidate is up for election.

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    30. None of those, read in context, seem to me to be particularly condescending Mick. I was not intending to 'dish' it out, just trying to construct a response to assertions I disagreed with.

      I am not the sensitive flower you are trying to paint me as, so don't worry about forthright view sharing with me. Thing is, I worked hard campaigning during the referendum too and don't really appreciate the constant insinuation that I am some sort of enemy within. Understandable surely? We all have experiences and opinions we want to discuss and share. I thought that's what forums like the excellent Scot Goes Pop! are all about.

      We will just have to disagree on your last point. :-)

      braco

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    31. Disagree all you wish. It changes nothing. Not the way Murray has conducted himself after failing to get the selection or the blatantly obvious unionist hysteria over this trivial and inconsequential stuff. :-)

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    32. "Oh and Rolfe, do you not find it at all uncomfortable to be sighting Stoat as evidence upon which to rest your case. Let me remind you, he's not on our side and so may not have our best interests at heart. Just a thought."

      I have no reason to lie about my opinions of Craig Murray at this moment in time. Had I been saying this while the selection process was ongoing, your scepticism would be understandable as I could be trying to make it look like I found him a liability when I secretly felt threatened by him. But I remained silent as the selection process was ongoing, I wouldn't have wanted to interrupt my enemy when they're making a mistake.

      Given that Murray's political career is now over before it even started, I think I can honestly say that I think the SNP dodged a bullet on this one. Looks like there are plenty in the SNP who agree.

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    33. Well Stoat, I did say 'may not' ;-)

      braco

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    34. Stoat is an honest unionist, and I don't see any reason to disbelieve what he said, especially as he didn't say it until the decision had already been made.

      Unlike the Labour party, who apparently called on Nicola to block Murray's application on the grounds of his remarks about No voters, a couple of weeks ago. At the time I detected a whiff of amateur reverse psychology in that.

      Except that "Grouse Beater" on Wings seems to think he'd have been a shoo-in as an excellent candidate, but someone in the SNP read a comment of mine on Wings that I thought he was a loose cannon, and this compromised the integrity of the process and caused the committee to turn down his application.

      I think some people need to get a grip.

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  4. Craig Murray does have good qualities but I've always been wary of the potential PR disaster he could have been. His open comments about no voters being "morally repugnant" for example and many other comments would have been a field day for the press.

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  5. Craig Murry is completely right about making the UK ungovernable-is Scotland puts a whip into our hands we should not hesitate to use it with vigour. It is beyond me to understand why anybody would think that a coalition with the Labour Party would spell anything other than disaster for Scotland generally and the SNP in particular.

    So many in the former Yes Campaign were only interested in independance as a means to open up a political space for the 'real' Labour Party and not because they believed in independance as an essential in and of itself. Well that has changed and most people are now all too well aware that there is no difference between the Red Tories and the Blue Tories (they are the 2 cheeks of John Bull's arse and nothing but s**t from between the pair of them).

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    1. Absolutely Alasdair.

      braco

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    2. Sorry, but going that way would be a spectacular own goal. It would most likely lead to the fall of the government and a Tory or Tory/UKIP majority at the next election.

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  6. @Calum Findlay

    That comment in particular would have been seized on with relish by the MSM.

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    1. Yes, he said that no voters were "so stupid he's surprised they know how to breathe" and that they were "evil or extraordinarily thick". You can see where my doubts about him came from. I can't help but feel we may have dodged a PR bullet here.

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    2. And the selection committee are well aware of that. Just as well somebody was.

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  7. On a point of information the leadership don't take the decision. The election committee does - and does so on the basis of a 5 hour assessment process, of which the interview is just one part.

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    1. OK, but I think it's fair to say that the committee will, for the most part, be in tune with the leadership's thinking.

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    2. Sure, it's mainly NEC members who do vetting. It's just important that people understand the fat cats are not fat cats really. And they've been elected by party members.

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  8. Craig Murray's reaction to not being selected is evidence enough to realise the SNP have made the correct call on this one. The man is a walking PR disaster wagon in waiting.

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  9. I commented on Wings a couple of weeks ago that I thought Craig Murray was an unsuitable candidate for reasons others have mentioned above. Not a team player, loose cannon, a past that makes him eminently smearable, a blog full of intemperate, opinionated and erroneous posts, and his public vilification of No voters. I was torn limb from limb for my pains.

    I think the selection committee made the right decision. His reaction rather confirms that. His reaction to my comments earlier in the month was pretty unedifying too.

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    1. I commented on that post to support you & that I thought Craig was being unfair on you despite the fact that I thought you were speaking with honesty & integrity. I also said something about SNP being in your DNA & that you couldn't bear to see the SNP brought down by a loose cannon. 2 hours later the post had been deleted but not before several other commenters had said that he was out of order for publicy posting what should have been a private matter in the first place.

      In this case, the right decision was reached as this spat is now all over Twitter & no doubt some will use it to make mischief.

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    2. I didn't actually see the post because I was out at the Film Society that evening and it was all over by the time I got back. However the whole episode just reinforced my point. A mature, level-headed candidate shouldn't even have come on to Wings to try to pick a fight with me, never mind put up a blog post attacking me.

      What I wrote was pretty mild, just expressing my personal reservations for reasons detailed above. I certainly didn't attack him or accuse him of anything. But some of his acolytes ran to him and clyped that Morag was attacking him on Wings and he immediately barged in. It wasn't edifying behaviour.

      Thanks for your support, Lollysmum, I really appreciated it. I'm glad the selection committee had his number and I hope the whole thing will blow over now.

      Delete
  10. Since the referendum result, there seems to have been an upsurge in tribalism between the two sides, although I suspect most Yes and No voters are not involved, and are just getting with their lives. I do sometimes wonder if some people on both sides are just happy to be part of a tribe, to have a go at the rival side.

    The problem for the Yes side is that 45 per cent for independence is not good enough, although it was a very good result in terms of what the Yes campaign were up against. However, to achieve independence in the future we need to persuade more people to support independence, and of course this means a fairly considerable proportion of those who voted No in Spetember. You do not this by telling them they are evil or thick or such like. Politics is a ruthless business, to pretend otherwise is ridiculous. Tough decisions have to be taken. Salmond and co did not take us to the position where we are because they were not ruthless. To pretend that politics is about principles, and you elevate the latter above all else is to fundamentally misunderstand the nature of politics.

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  11. I'm very disappointed that the SNP didn't choose Craig Murray as a candidate. Given what a loose cannon he is along with the comments he made about No voters, it would have been absolutely glorious. I was really relishing the prospect of watching the media tear him to shreds. Alas it was not to be, the SNP are clearly too sensible, dammit.

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    1. I'll let you all in on a little something I used to do when canvassing for Better Together. I've got a tablet computer and I took it with me. I'd talk to an undecided switherer, we'd do the usual thing discussing the issues surrounding independence. Then I'd ask them if they had family and friends who will be voting no. When they inevitably answered yes to that question, I would bring out my tablet and show them a certain little video. I'm sure you know which one I mean, it's the one where the good Mr Murray makes his little speech in front of the Yes Scotland public meeting savaging No voters and gets warmly applauded by all assembled. I had the video saved on the tablet all ready to go. The reaction from the those I showed it to rarely disappointed. Many were shocked at the intolerance not just spoken, but also applauded.

      As soon as I saw that video I knew it would be manna from heaven.d the reaction from the

      Delete
    2. I could say a lot more than I did, and maybe I will. Craig Murray's main interest is Craig Murray. He joined the SNP after the 2011 landslide I believe. He has several failed Westminster attempts in his CV and he didn't advance in the LibDems. He has never lived in Scotland as part of a Scottish community as far as I know (being a student at a Scottish university doesn't really count).

      It all smacks of self-serving opportunism to me. He dazzled a lot of people with his "I was an ambassador" thing, but I think he damaged the Yes movement in just the way Stoat indicates.

      Nobody could have stopped him during the referendum campaign, but I trusted the SNP selection committee to see through it all in the aftermath. I admit I worried now and again, when people I had thought were quite sensible joined the Murray claque, but I should have known better than to be concerned.

      Hopefully he'll now resign from the SNP and gather his personal support as an independent.

      Delete
    3. I very much hope he stays in the SNP. Regardless of whether the SNP are a broad enough church to have him as an MP, surely it's a broad enough church to accommodate him as a member?

      Delete
    4. Not good enough for Rolfe? Sounding very personal to me.

      Just to clarify, my post earlier was not particularly in support of Craig Murray as an individual, but more a response to the issues that this 'selection' process has raised for the wider Independence movement.

      braco

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    5. After what he has done today I'm beginning to wonder if he'll be expelled from the party. Giving Labour ammunition to claim that all SNP candidates were required to state that they'd vote in favour of the bedroom tax isn't clever and arguably brings the party into disrepute.

      Given some of the things he has now said I thought it was obvious he was intending to resign. How can he want to remain a member of a party he has such a low opinion of? If he wants to stay on as a member he's going about it a funny way, and I'd say his jacket is on a shoogly nail.

      Delete
    6. But you will still vote SNP if you want an Independent Scotland. An Independent Scotland is not about games or fucking Westminster. It's about getting 50%+1 of the population off Scotland to vote Yes. And that is not served by extremist candidates who want to undermine and destroy the UK because no matter how much Westminster fucks Scotland over, most families have someone down there who will rebel against the idea of fucking England over.

      Delete
  12. muttley79 you are totally spot on.

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  13. Labour will do a deal with the Tories before the SNP. There will no balance of power just potentially a lot of noise. The unionists will happily sacrifice Labour in Scotland to preserve their union.

    Bruce

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    Replies
    1. I think that is actually the most likely outcome. A grand unionist coalition of some form.

      An SNP majority with a mandate for devo max will face down a group of (mainly) English/British MPs who suddenly find themselves lacking an electoral mandate to govern Scotland (as unionist parties don't have a majority of Scots MPs).

      Going to be interesting (if polls translate to results).

      I can't see any SNP-unionist coalition as that could not work, not unless the SNP were a unionist party and voted on English matters, whereby cancelling the huge power they'd wield over Scotland's future.

      Nope, it will be very much Scotland lost to Westminster if we do elect the SNP, with very tough negotiations to follow and another iref if they don't work out. In that sense, it is a kind of iref re-run, but for devo max.

      Delete
    2. Actually I feel pretty certain of the most likely outcome.

      Chaos.

      A lib dem party that will have just taken one of the most severe hammerings it has ever known with calamity Clegg still at the helm for how long? Something just a touch unlikely to promote a coherent negotiating stance if they ever had one to begin with. (which they don't) Indeed many of those remaining lib dems are openly saying they need to get away from power and rebuild.

      Then you have little Ed.

      LOL

      If you think he has comically low popularity ratings now just wait until you seem him 'in action' campaigning for the GE. (Those interested should look at the little Ed 'effect' on Labour polling and results at local elections and the Euros. It ain't pretty) Does little Ed even have a plan outside his bargain basement tory lite triangulation and silly energy price offer? Doubtful, but Labour want power SO much now it's not as if they are going to start caring how shambolic or Red Tory they look to get it.

      What of the incompetent fop? Well there is the small matter of the tories splitting over Europe in such a spectacular manner that even John Major would not have thought possible, but apart from that, what could possibly go wrong? :-D

      It's going to be a numbers game and it's going to be every single month at a time every vote at a time unless real and meaningful powers are finally delivered. The westminster parties will not fare well over those coming years (to say the least) given they are anything but popular with the voter right now and they also seem to have limitless reserves of incompetence as well as being hopelessly out of touch with the public. Again, check the polling to confirm this as they are comically low for a reason.

      The SNP will need to be at their sharpest to negotiate the chaos but I know which party I would rather have on the side of the scottish public amid the shambolic westminster leaders grab for power and the polls certainly seem to be indicating that is very much the majority view in scotland too. :-)

      Delete
  14. TBH Craig can hardly pretend to be shocked nor does his citing of a purely hypothetical (which was quite obviously not the reason he wasn't selected anyway as most of the posters have already highlighted) show anything other than an unpreparedness to accept the realities of what the SNP now face. The SNP turned a minority administration into a majority government. We are well aware of the pragmatism required to put the best interests of the scottish people first, but there is also no prospect whatsoever of the SNP repeating the same kind of jawdropping stupidity and incompetence calamity Clegg and the yellow tories were guilty of in any negotiations. Be certain of that.

    Craig should take a lesson from other prominent pro-Indy voices who knew fine well they were far better suited to continuing the fight from outside the party system. I suspect in time he will realise this and continue to be an independence advocate without feeling the need to blame others for what I'm sure he already knew was a basic incompatability between his own somewhat maverick style of doing things and a party which simply cannot afford to give hostages to fortune away to a rabid and utterly biased unionist media. There is no level playing field so we in the SNP (and indeed the other Yes parties) have to be a great deal more focused and competent than the opposition. The other parties and their MPs/MSPs can get away with shooting their mouth off, carelessness and incompetence. We can't. That's the reality which Craig can hardly have missed being hammered home to everyone during the first Indyref.

    Fact of the matter is Alex took responsibility and quit after the first Indyref result. He made it crystal clear independence is bigger than him or the SNP but since the next Indyref will quite obviously need the SNP to make it happen those who join it and wish to represent it are made well aware that they are working together within the party system to make it happen. I have no doubt the SNP and the other Yes parties have learned many lessons from the first Indyref already. So too should those campaigners outside the party system who will still be needed for the next one.

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  15. If the scenario arises where the SNP potentially hold the balance of power it will be very interesting to see if the Labour party are willing to countenance such a deal with what they consider to be their mortal enemy in Scotland - I suspect not.

    Remember AS suggested a "rainbow coalition" with Labour to keep the Tories from governing at the last GE which Gordon Brown rejected preferring to go into opposition instead.

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    1. It would be madness for Labour to enter a coalition with the SNP. Entering into such a coalition would only encourage people to vote SNP in future elections, safe in the knowledge that Labour would be open to working with them to keep the Tories out. Labour need to make it clear that voting SNP in the general election seriously risks a Tory government, entering into a coalition with them would jeopardise that message.

      Delete
    2. Madness you say? You can only work with what you've got though.

      Delete
    3. LOL stoat. SNP will not enter a coalition with Labour. That would make the SNP a British party and leave the SNP powerless.

      Having the public think a vote for the SNP is a vote for some sort of SNP support for Labour is a good thing though. No need to vote Labour if that's the case as you say! As the MSM has said; a vote for the SNP is vote for Labour at UK level.

      Hence the wee vague hints from Salmond.

      Delete
    4. "SNP will not enter a coalition with Labour. That would make the SNP a British party and leave the SNP powerless."

      I'm sure you're right on that. It would probably be a matter of voting with them on certain things without going into formal coalition.

      "Having the public think a vote for the SNP is a vote for some sort of SNP support for Labour is a good thing though. No need to vote Labour if that's the case as you say! As the MSM has said; a vote for the SNP is vote for Labour at UK level.

      Hence the wee vague hints from Salmond.


      Smart move from Salmond. Which is why it's imperative that Labour don't fall into the trap. Even if it means sabotaging their only chance of them forming a government in May, they need to keep the SNP at arms length.

      Delete
    5. Stoat : What are the Labour party for if they don't want to form a government?

      "Remember AS suggested a "rainbow coalition" with Labour to keep the Tories from governing at the last GE which Gordon Brown rejected preferring to go into opposition instead."

      To be fair, it wasn't so much Gordon Brown to blame as it was the likes of Tom Harris and John Reid, who toured the TV studios campaigning for the Tories to take office. I suspect Labour will be hungrier for power this time, and the likes of Harris will be slapped down if they try the same stunt again.

      Delete
    6. "Stoat : What are the Labour party for if they don't want to form a government?"

      Careerists who are looking forward to their next expenses claim, obviously.

      Delete
    7. And yet you campaigned to keep the status quo? I am baffled as to why that alone made any of Us better together who was not one of them.

      Delete
  16. As a former Diplomat, I would have expected Craig Murray to have realised that the question he was asked relative to the Bedroom Tax does not have a simple YES / NO answer and maybe his failure was more down to his inability to respond accordingly.

    On face value, a NO answer was to be expected as the SNP are totally against the Bedroom Tax as displayed by the Scottish Governments attempts to reduce hardship it has / is causing many Scottish citizens SO the question he should have asked is WHY would the SNP Group ever vote to support it?

    Obviously, if the SNP were only supporting a Labour Party minority government on a supply and confidence basis - this implies - "we'll scratch your back provided you scratch our back"

    In other words, WHY SHOULD WE SUPPORT YOU UNLESS THERE IS SOMETHING EVEN MORE SIGNIFICANT ON OFFER TO SCOTLAND?

    "Supply and confidence" is a trade off on everything so maybe Craig Murray should have thought more carefully before he answered NO as his (expected) moral answer.

    With a significant background in the diplomatic service & politics his answer would not have satisfied me either. YES he may be a man of high morals and principals as he has displayed in the past however in politics and in particular Scottish Politics in Westminster (for the next few years) it is vital a united front is kept so that the maximum powers can be extracted for the Scottish People.

    There is always a BIGGER picture on every issue and a simple YES / NO isn't always the answer.

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  17. @Stoat

    You do not seem to get it. Every act of intransigence and blatant disregard for a substantial section of the electorate in Scotland by Westminster and unionists in Scotland makes independence more and more likely. It would spell the end of Labour in Scotland, and I suspect probably in the UK if they rejected a deal with the SNP/PC/Greens, in favour of either a very weak minority administration, or letting the Tories in again a la 2010. I am really not sure why you cannot see this. The problem is that the No campaign have completely alienated those who voted Yes, and they have failed completely to appeal to those soft Nos who want substantially more powers for Holyrood (see the opinion polls on more powers over the last decade or so).
    You cannot keep on scaring pensioners, EU citizens in Scotland, and making vows and promises you never keep.

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  18. @Stoat

    Smart move from Salmond. Which is why it's imperative that Labour don't fall into the trap. Even if it means sabotaging their only chance of them forming a government in May, they need to keep the SNP at arms length.

    Unionists in Scotland and at Westminster apparently cannot see past the SNP as a party. In your posts you never seem to appreciate or are even aware that the SNP are attracting the support of over 40 per cent of the electorate in Scotland. The voters themselves appear not to enter into your thinking. How do you think the unionist parties' behaviour looks to those who vote SNP? Do you think they think this is a great example of how well Westminster governs Scotland? Do you honestly think the Union will be maintained by the attitude of intransigence towards the SNP, and more importantly, the voters of that party?

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    1. Those Yes voters who make the leap to the SNP (The extent of which depends on whether current polls will translate into a reality in May) most likely won't be coming back to any other party. A better hope would be to leave them so utterly scunnered that they don't bother voting in future.

      Delete
  19. WeSaidNoToYesMen :-)December 27, 2014 at 11:20 PM

    It's a 100 days since you lost the referendum. Anything planned?

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    1. Yup. Our plan : 35 SNP seats next May, followed by Devo Max.

      What's your plan to stop us?

      Delete
    2. 30 would actually be sufficient. A majority. Unionist parties lose mandate to govern Scotland.

      I think it's readily achievable.

      Delete
    3. Can you please stop posting this made up gibberish?!

      Delete
  20. Thanks Rolfe for the Kobyashu Maru reference, luckily for me I'm out of the way of that sort of thing unless I ever stand as a candidate for the SNP! Like Lollysmum I was in that thread telling him he should delete the whole inappropriate thread, and received a superior answer in response. Well, that's all grist to my mill.

    That thread alone, but other articles on his blog would have ben enough to disqualify him, and especially as others have commented, his vilification of NO voters. Most of us living here would have NO voters as friends or family (a daughter for me), by insulting them he antagonises us. For activists like us, that's not going to make us change our minds, but for the general public it may well have done, and do in future.

    Causes like Independence attract sincere and genuine enthusiasts, campaigners, activists, people who put a lot of work into the cause.

    They also attract hangers-on, people out for themselves and seeing an opportunity to promote themselves, further their own interests. And that's all I'm saying.

    Great thread, good responses. I enjoy reading Stoat's open comments too :-)

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  21. "He has never lived in Scotland as part of a Scottish community as far as I know (being a student at a Scottish university doesn't really count)." (Rolfe)


    What a strange and unpleasant thing to say. Why does being a student at a Scottish university not count? Where does Murray live now?

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  22. Incidentally, I know of a candidate, post-ref join to the SNP, local in the constituency, who posts in one of the MSM I also do, and his comments are moderate. Strong, but sensible. I'd say if he was vetted on those comments, he'd pass. I'll be going to the hustings, but the other candidates will have to be very good to get my vote! I wouldn't vote for CM in a month of Sundays if he was in my constituency.

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  23. Oh dear, I have to answer the vitriolic Morag yet again, now crazed with triumph at my exclusion and posting under the name of her cat, Rolfe.
    ""He has never lived in Scotland as part of a Scottish community as far as I know (being a student at a Scottish university doesn't really count)." (Rolfe)
    I was born and schooled in Norfolk because my father, an Edinburgh man, had been posted there in the RAF. The family moved back to South Queensferry before I started university. I was seven years in Dundee, though apparently that "doesn't count" as I was a student. During that period my parents were living first in South Queensferry, then in Incheswood near Inverness. I lived in Dundee those seven years and almost never left Scotland.
    On joining the Diplomatic Service I did of course leave Scotland again. I moved back permanently during the referendum campaign to work for independence, and now live in Edinburgh, back among my very large family here.

    Here incidentally is the speech which Stoat claims is s rabidly hate-filled he used it to convert voters to No. It has almost 100,000 views on Youtube with 1,100 likes compared to 70 dislikes. Judge for itself whether it bears any of the interpretation put on it by Stoat, Rolfe, Indyref2 and the others.

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    1. If I was mistaken about you not having lived as part of a Scottish community I apologise for that error.

      I am relieved beyond words that the SNP selection committee had enough sense not to approve you as a candidate. Your subsequent reaction has demonstrated the rightness of that decision.

      Surely you don't want to remain as a member of a party you have such a low opinion of? A party whose candidate you only might vote for?

      Delete
    2. Pay attention CM, I didn't comment on your speech, never heard it, no interest. I did read your comments about NO voters on your own blog and found them offensive, damaging to the cause of Independence, and puerile.

      Delete
    3. And another thing. How in God's name could anyone who was once a diplomat fail to understand the real point of that question?

      Delete
    4. Craig, what of that matters. What is the goal. For sure it must be disappointing not to be accepted as a pseuod-SNP candidate. But does that really matter, will it really help the cause to disclose the questions used to seed the outcome?

      Sometimes in life it is better just to sit back, let things happen and not care about the outcome. This is one of those moments.

      Delete
    5. Craig, please don't tell me you're using YouTube likes as a barometer of public opinion? Most YouTube videos get far more likes than dislikes. Want to know why? Because most people who look for specific YouTube videos do so because they like them and want to watch them.

      Can you not understand that many people (Yes and No voters alike) would find the descriptions you make of their No voting friends and families to be more than a little objectionable? To think you used to be a diplomat. Looks like the SNP have more thorough vetting procedures than the Foreign Office.

      Delete
    6. That's a very perceptive comment, Stoat. How did someone without a single diplomatic cell in his body get into the diplomatic service in the first place? That has to be the biggest puzzle in all this.

      Craig Murray joined the SNP in 2011, after the landslide but before the referendum campaign started. There can have been no reason to refuse his membership application at the time. The party couldn't do anything about him during the campaign, even though he was clearly a two-edged sword to put it mildly. Now, though, they're showing they're not as easily dazzled as some of the Yes activists.

      Delete
  24. oops forgot link for speech
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CIQ8VVn8AJA

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  25. "Oh dear, I have to answer the vitriolic Morag yet again, now crazed with triumph at my exclusion and posting under the name of her cat, Rolfe."

    Such a comment on a public blog against someone who might be a Constituent, is in itself a valid reason for your rejection as a candidate, IMHO. Petulance is not a redeeming trait for a politician. YMMV.

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  26. Craig, 1. Morag was not "vitriolic" and 2. This shows why you were not selected.

    Please calm down and think carefully before any more damage is done to all of us who support Scotland.

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  27. After today's Scotland on Sunday front page I think Craig Murray should resign from the SNP before he's expelled. This may sound harsh, but his self-indulgent childishness is in danger of damaging the party and it may be that the sooner the break comes the better.

    If I thought so badly of the SNP as he obviously does, I wouldn't want to remain a member.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds like you have been found out. Go join Scottish Labour if you want such a destructive message to be put forward,.

      Delete
  28. Rolfe,
    you are now using Scotland on Sunday front pages and Stoat posts (both undeniably hostile to the Indy movement) as your justification in calling for a fellow party member to be expelled!

    Did you quote those sources as your absolute proof, demanding that Alex Salmond resign for his 'self indulgent childish' damage to the YES campaign after whatever crap they concocted about him that week? No you didn't did you. You rightly called it out for the blatant Unionist propaganda it was/is. What's different now Rolfe? Suits your personal agenda, so Stoat and the Scotsman are now to be taken seriously.

    Does not look good, no matter what the internal wrangling is within the YES movement. Looks to me that you need to re assess exactly where your political enemies lie. CM has said The Scotsman was already briefed from within the SNP and going to print an attack piece on him, before he spoke to them. Who briefed them and why surely is an interesting question to us in the Indy movement, don't you agree?

    braco

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    1. And just to be clear, I'm not calling for Craig Murray to be expelled. I'm pointing out that the way he is behaving, that is what is likely to happen. He has chosen to make internal party selection procedures public, in a hostile and critical manner. We have no idea whether anyone within the SNP leaked anything to the Scotsman. It could have been a pure fishing trip, and he fell for it hook, line, sinker and rowboat. Even if he was circumspect with the paper, his subsequent grievance-filled blog post gave them everything they wanted.

      How can he possibly want to remain a member when he has such a low opinion of the party, anyway?

      Delete
  29. What evidence is there that they were briefed? For a political party that is so extremely cautious in all it's media relations, is it at all plausible that they would brief against one of their own members to a unionist newspaper? Is it not more likely that this was a baiting communication from a unionist newspaper in search of an anti SNP headline, and it seems to have worked very well. Organisations, companies, political parties have communication procedures for a reason, because communications from journalists like this need a cool head and a carefully considered response, not an emotional, accusational and very public blog post.

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    Replies
    1. Nobody knows the facts at this point, not you, not me and not Rolfe. All I am pointing out is what CM has stated.

      The idea that I am being 'ridiculous' to even contemplate that individuals within a political party are capable of briefing against another member of that political party in an 'enemy' newspaper, I would say is naive.

      That political manouvering goes horribly wrong is not unusual. Again, look at the history of every other political party in Scotland/UK for examples.

      This was the weapon of choice used by New Labour to keep the sheep in line, is at the heart of their moral implosion (along with the other two Scots parties of power) and is the only reason that this 'selection' story is of any interest to me. I do not want to see it repeated, in any shape or form, in the SNP. I vote for them!

      braco

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    2. You were doing more than contemplating it, you were demanding to know who was responsible.

      What I was calling ridiculous was your assertion that I have a "personal agenda" - more than simply hoping that a selfish and damaging individual is distanced from the party I support, I presume?

      That, and your ludicrous equivalence of Alex Salmond with Craig. Murray.

      If you can't see from the above posts - not just mine - that the man is heap bad medicine, there's not much more to be said.

      Delete
    3. I made no equivalence of Salmond and Craig Murray. I made an equivalence of the source of evidence used against both and your differing attitudes to that same source.

      I only used Salmond as I know he was expelled from the SNP and no doubt created plenty of 'damaging' headlines for the Party. I am sure we could both reel off name after name of people who the Scotsman used to fabricate 'damaging' none sense about for a headline, throughout the referendum campaign. Use any one of them if you prefer. My point remains.

      As I have said already, CM as a candidate is not really what interests me in this story. It's the 'selection' process and it's implication for non SNP candidates from the greater YES movement. Was that not the policy change announced at the conference as a sop to calls for a YES Alliance?

      Anyway, goodnight Rolfe.

      braco

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    4. Braco as we do only have CM's opinion on what has gone on, I am basing my assumptions on the track record of the SNP and they do not appear to have a track record of briefing against other SNP members, least of all privately briefing the Scotsman, rather they appear to be cautious in their communications and media relations almost to a fault, which is why we had that awkward situation of john swinney refusing to comment on BBC bias. I find it preposterous to think that the SNP would all of a sudden start behaving in the mould of new labour in relation to a highly outspoken candidate with significant following when they have no track record of doing so in the past. It seems much more likely to me that a journalist baited Craig and he fell for it hook, line and sinker, lashing out in a destructive way as he did so.

      Delete
    5. Do you know Airdrie and Shotts Lorna? I in no way believe such a thing would be official SNP leadership policy. If such a thing was to happen, it would be via individuals acting in self interest and local political machinations. This is politics and unfortunately no party is completely immune. Best not rule things out until facts are known and keep vigilant is my view.

      braco

      Delete
    6. Edna Welthorpe (Mrs)December 28, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      We might want to consider the time lag from rejection to public moan and too whom he informed the rejection to.

      Delete
    7. Absolutely love the moniker. Is Joe Orton really still alive?

      Delete
  30. Craig, I am not a diplomat and do not have your experience of politics, but even I can see that this line of questioning would be used to find out if you understood the compromises that individuals must make to be part of a team, and more importantly, it would also reveal if the potential candidate would be someone who would publicly disagree with the party and be prepared to damage the parties electoral ambitions by giving our opponents with the biased MSM ammunition in which to lie and divide the SNP.

    You have failed the test miserably and as someone who has previously been a supporter, you have proven yourself to be egotistical to the point of being harmful to any group you would be involved in.

    oh, and on behalf of the elite/labour/Unionists. thanks a million Craig!!!

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  31. I think the change at the conference was that recently joined SNP members could stand as candidates. If I wanted to stand, for instance, I could put myself forwards even now, it closes at 5pm on 31 December 2014. With any luck I'd get rejected!

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  32. I realise the discussion has moved on but I'm still curious to know why Rolfe thinks going to a Scottish university 'doesn't count' as living in a scottish community.

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    1. I lived in England for many years, and was a member of SNP London Branch. Actually, I was membership secretary. I have some experience of people with no personal experience of living in Scotland joining the party from romantic, idealistic, misty-hills-and-heather notions. These people were often disruptive, as they had no idea at all of the realities of life in modern Scotland.

      While nobody should be excluded from participation for reasons of ethnicity or residence, I've often questioned why people with no personal experience of living in a Scottish community would want to be involved in the SNP.

      Many people come to Scotland to study for four years, live in student accommodation, socialise almost exclusively within the university environment, and never move into the actual community. If they then move straight back out of Scotland and never return during the next 30 years, I don't think four years of the cocooned university life really gives them a personal connection with the country.

      However, it seems I was mistaken in my belief that this reservation applied to Craig Murray, and I have apologised for my misapprehension.

      Delete
  33. I've been reading the various comments and thinking about the kind of person I want my MP to be. Since it is impossible for any party to be 100% in line with what all the candidates want (never mind all the members or all the voters), it follows that a candidate would have to to be able to agree to voting against their beliefs on some issues. That is more important I think in a FPTP system than in a system that is based on coalitions and consensus. It is also more important where a small group is seeking objectives not shared by the majority. Sometimes you have to accept grey on one issue if the alternative is suffering black on another issue.

    I am also very leery of “make or break issues”. Take a long hard look at how the Republican Party in the USA uses such issues to gain votes from the Democrats. If the people whose votes were swayed by these campaigns stood back and looked at the whole of each parties policies, they might have a different view. The Newspapers and the TV channels make sure that never happens.

    People interested in the big picture might want to take a look at this website.

    http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/

    However, they may want to wait until the New Year when the site will include the devolved Regional Parties like SNP.

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  34. The SNP is trying to be all things to all men, that's always it's achilles heel. But in the end it must pick one. This infighting is just the beginning. More will cleave off as the memories of september fade.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Dear Trolly

    You wish.

    We have picked a side. That of the people of Scotland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. only 44% of them

      Delete
    2. The poor people or the rich people? There isn't a "people of Scotland".

      Delete
  36. There is some astonishing naivete above, and total ignorance of the nature of politics in North Lanarkshire. Craig was failed at vetting because he has strong name recognition and was a threat to the bland apparatchik candidates, Neil Grey (Alex Neil's SPAD) in Airdrie and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh (recovering Tory) in Falkirk. It was bugger all to to with party discipline and the bedroom tax.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think how many will take Labour party methods with them into our SNP! this is a worry,for some of us well me anyhow. The politics in North Lanarkshire is the same as most places Not all it seems to be,take first part of my comment and place it here.Any anonymous person can try the what about and what if and insert doubt in the minds of people that is how Labour have done it for many years doubt and fear the trade marks of the Labour party and as I say any anonymous comment con spin the mantra of Labour like the one above.

      Delete
    2. SNP candidate selection simply doesn't work like that. Nobody can be promised or guaranteed a candidacy.

      It was nothing to do with the bedroom tax, and much less to do with party discipline than with Murray's total unsuitability to be an SNP candidate. Inability to work as part of a team, particularly as a junior member, was clearly part of it, but for goodness sake the guy was a train wreck waiting to happen.

      Delete
    3. At last somebody that knows how the system actually works! trim the choice down that members get to select from . The vetting process is there because the members alone cannot be trusted to exercise their democratic choice.
      From one Anonymous to another.

      Delete
    4. Two word answer to that.
      Bill
      Walker

      Delete
    5. Exactly. It is absolutely essential that the people who gain acceptance to the approved candidates list are whiter than white, and supremely capable. I don't suppose such perfection is ever really attained, but it's something to strive for. Bill Walker slipped through the net because there was nothing against him at the time but rumour which could well have been defamatory spite. Even so, I think lessons have been learned.

      I would have been horrified if Craig Murray had made it through the vetting procedure. His own public persona revealed him to be grossly unsuitable for the role. But the process worked. The unionist press will just have to file away the copy it was preparing, resurrecting all the old (and new) scandals attached to Murray's name.

      If anyone thinks this was some deep plot to keep the saintly Murray out of parliament for some nefarious reason, they're welcome to go right on thinking that.

      Delete
  37. Well James I have to disagree with you on Craig Murry.He was part of the establishment for many years and perhaps yearns to back within their bosom.Perhaps he is desperate for a platform on which he can say all the things he has been blocked on.I am not certain,what I am certain about is you do not come out and "slag off" the very people you want to help you get that position.Could Craig be out to cause some losses to the SNP and by doing so endear himself back to the Establishment ! The course of the referendum and the dirty tricks played nothing Machiavellian would surprise me.I am certain that we have brought in many moles to ruin the lawn,or enough wooden-horses to fill the streets of Troy.I am very suspicious just now,with the amount of new members some will be waiting to cause some trouble I am sure of.Maybe when those that have came in as a plant see how we are,and find our ambition is honest,maybe they will decide to stay as true seekers of independence.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's the other way around. This affair shows that the SNP wants to keep good relations with the evil, corrupt British state even while breaking away from it. Murray knows too much and will say too much about what the British state is actually like.

      Delete
    2. Or it could be that he said that around half the electorate are stupid and evil. That's kind of a no-no when you're wanting to run for election.

      Delete
    3. I think the sheer number of new SNP members is a good defence against the sort of entryism you describe, Charles. If there are people who joined to cause trouble they can only be a tiny minority of the new members, and in that context I think the amount of damage they could do will be extremely limited.

      I don't discount what you suggest about Craig Murray, as I think it's highly likely Yes Scotland was infiltrated by people batting for the other team. However, I'm more inclined to think he was just a disastrous choice as a diplomat, and after being sacked, and getting nowhere with his LibDem career, decided that the Scottish independence campaign was a useful vehicle to ride on back into popularity, relevance and political power.

      Delete
  38. There is no plausible scenario in which the SNP requires its MPs to give effective support to the Bedroom Tax. Murray's failure to recognise this fact was, in my opinion, enough to disqualify him. That and the fact that his first instinct was to stand on his own self-righteousness rather than think the issue through.

    Murray would have been a disaster as a candidate and a liability as an MP for the simple reason that he appears unable to make the distinction between the roles of elected representative and activist.

    The vetting panel got it right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed. If this episode has done nothing else, it has highlighted that folk with a propensity to lose their rag when people disagree with them are not suitable for elected office.

      (I actually include myself in that description - but then I'm also self-aware enough to realise it!)

      Delete
    2. Agree completely, Peter. I think many events combine to indicate that the diplomatic service made a disastrous choice when they picked Murray. He's about the most undiplomatic person I've ever encountered, against stiff opposition.

      I'm also concerned by the way he seems to have managed to dazzle so many Yes activists into believing the sun shines out of his backside, despite glaring and damning feet of clay. Their readiness to idolise someone who clearly worked to get into the very heart of the British establishment and has been through their training and indoctrination regimes was quite startling.

      I'm extremely relieved that the selection committee wasn't taken in by this, but had the guy's number. After all he said yesterday, I wouldn't be surprised if wheels are set in motion to expel him from the party. Unless he resigns first of course, which would be the logical and honourable thing to do.

      Delete
  39. "Many people come to Scotland to study for four years, live in student accommodation, socialise almost exclusively within the university environment, and never move into the actual community."

    As someone who works in Higher Education, I object to this attitude, A university community is a real community and many students build close links with campus staff as well as neighbours during their time studying.
    Moreover, these days, even in fees-free Scotland, students are hardly 'cocooned'. Many balance their education with one or more part-time jobs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a fair point. I'd still be inclined to feel that someone who only lived here for four years as a student, then immediately left again and lived elsewhere for the next 30 years, was an odd fit for the Scottish independence movement. But I take your point.

      Coincidentally, I was talking to a US student of mine who was bemoaning the fact that she wouldn't be allowed to stay here after she qualified, although she'd come to love the country. I mentioned that if we'd got a Yes vote she might have been OK, and she revealed herself as a Yes supporter. She also mentioned that all her Scots-born class-mates were almost covert Yessers, quietly remarking that they were off to vote now and really hoping the vote passed. She was studying in Glasgow, mind you, I only had her for EMS.

      Delete
  40. @ Rolfe, I don't have a problem with Craig as an activist, it's his 'lose cannon' approach to being told he isn't suitable is what convinces me he should not be considered for any part of the SNP.

    I hope we can allow him to continue as a blogger and activist without insulting him at every opportunity as he does have a lot to offer, but I just hope he regains the credibility he has lost over the past few days, and realises that Scotland on Sunday must have simply realised he would be rejected so did a 'sting' on him, because they knew he was a lose cannon that they could use for their owns ends.

    It's a minter Craig, but you were done up like a bleeding kipper mate.

    ReplyDelete
  41. It was obvious to me from his behaviour over various issues during the independence campaign that he was a loose cannon to end all loose cannons. I didn't quite expect the melt-down that occurred on Saturday, but with hindsight I probably should have.

    Until that happened, I had assumed that even if he didn't pass the selection process (I didn't think he would, as I know it's pretty discerning) he would continue as an SNP member and activist. After Saturday, I find it hard to see how he can. How can anyone say the things he said about the SNP on his blog and elsewhere, and honourably continue as a member of a party he obviously despises? The only honourable course of action is to resign.

    I'd already figured out that he hadn't been accepted as a candidate, when several of my friends suddenly came out and confessed that they'd gone through the selection process and been accepted. Others tweeted about passing their vetting. When the internet wasn't swamped by breathless tweets telling the world that Craig Murray was an approved candidate, it wasn't hard to figure.

    Not only that, the SNP published a list of approved candidates a couple of weeks ago. We were told at our branch that we should look at the list and if any group of ten of us wanted to nominate anyone else from the list, we should. I was happy with the branch nomination and didn't look, but anyone who was interested could have checked to see if he was on the list.

    Unlike pretty much all the other hopefuls, Murray didn't wait for the result of the selection process before letting the world know of his ambitions. An article was run on the Scotsman declaring that he was going to be a candidate, and you had to read some way down it before the information was conveyed that he was "still waiting for the results of the vetting process."

    He obviously felt it was a formality. His silence when so many others were announcing their success spoke volumes. The reasons for his rejection weren't that hard to figure out either. It would have been extremely easy for the Scotsman to set up a sting on him on that basis, pretending that someone within the SNP had leaked the result.

    That in itself was designed to enrage him, of course. His reaction unfortunately demonstrates better than anything else could have done that the selection committee called it exactly right.

    I think he's burned his boats in the party with that. Conceivably, an abject apology for the blog post and the rest of it might be accepted, but I don't see Murray as the abject apology type. I think his only course is to resign.

    Of course he can continue as an activist. Nobody can stop him writing his blog. But he isn't party political material and I think the LibDems could probably have told us that some years ago. Maybe he'll stand as an independent, and of course that doesn't have to be in Scotland. He might find a suitable constituency. Good luck to him.

    The sooner he parts company with the SNP the better though, after what's happened.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, spot on Morag.

      Now the Daily Record is saying that Craig felt he was bullied by the selection panel and quotes him as saying that when he said 'No' to the bedroom tax question 'it was end of interview'

      However the Record goes on to quote his blog posts about how No voters were thick and evil etc, so he has now lost credibility with both Yes/SNP voters and No voters..quite a feat for a prospective MP!!!

      There's no doubt that the Unionist MSM had a list of tasty Craig Murray quotes at the ready for when he was selected and we would have saw an enormous shit-storm whipped up by the MSM.Labour focused on Craigs comments about 'ordinary hard working Scots'
      Jim Murphy would have been rubbing his hands with glee at the opportunity.

      Craigs behaviour since then has shown clearly that we have dodged a bullet with this and he has lost my respect and that of many other SNP /Yes people.

      I shudder to think about the amount of damage that he would have caused us as the MSM hounded him and goaded him into making more of his silly outbursts.

      Electoral suicide!

      Delete
    2. Didn't I read somewhere 'Rolfe' (or rather Morag Kerr) that you are an MI5 agent and you're an admin on Wikipedia called 'SlimVirgin'?

      Is that why you are engaged in this character assassination of Craig Murray?

      (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Morag_Kerr#SlimVirgin)

      Delete
    3. Patrick Haseldine cites a defamatory article about me that he wrote himself. He is aware of course that taking out an action for defamation against someone with no assets is insanity, unless one is very rich oneself. Maybe one day one of the many people Patrick has defamed over the years will win the lottery. That should be fun. Maybe it will be the guy who already threatened him with a libel suit.

      I understand that the person known as "Slimvirgin" is a lady living in Canada by the name of Linda Mack. ( I occasionally edit Wikipedia under the clever pseudonym of Morag Kerr, by the way.) I have never met Linda Mack or communicated with her in any way. There is a picture of her on the internet and she looks nothing like me. I understand that Patrick has been told that we are two different people, by people who have met both of us. Jim Swire for one. As usual, however, Patrick doesn't let the facts stand in the way of a good story.

      I just love the idea that I'm an MI5 agent. Tell me more!

      Delete
    4. There's a shed-load of dingoes kidneys, Morag Kerr ('Rolfe'), to prove that you're an MI5 agent. Your cover is well and truly blown! Henceforth, you can never be an SNP candidate ever again!

      (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Morag_Kerr#Adequately_Explained_by_Government-fed_Propaganda.3F)

      Delete
    5. Citing your own defamatory writings doesn't prove anything, Patrick. Do go and tell the SNP whatever you fancy though.

      Delete
    6. Pathetic performance in Tweeddale West:

      In a by-election held on 10 October 2013, Dr Morag Kerr was beaten into third place when she stood as the Scottish National Party (SNP) candidate for a council seat at Tweeddale West (Scottish Borders Council).

      Give up now, Rolfey Girl, before the SNP expel you for MI5 activities!

      (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Morag_Kerr#Foray_into_politics)

      Delete
    7. I told the whole story of that by-election in the next thread, as it happens.

      We were perfectly happy to retain third place, as that's what we need to do in 2017 to keep an SNP councillor in the ward under the proportional STV system. Job done.

      Please, please, embarrass yourself by contacting the SNP with your delusions. I could do with a good laugh.

      Delete
    8. The SNP will no doubt be in touch quite soon Morag to award you the DCUWWCY (Don't Call Us We Won't Call You) for all your MI5 activities!

      (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Morag_Kerr#Pure_Sir_Humphrey)

      Delete
    9. You're a laugh a minute, Patrick. Don't ever change!

      Delete
    10. Incidentally, Morag, when are you going to drop all this cloak and dagger 'Rolfe' nonsense?

      (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1607665385752&l=bb396e30f0)

      Delete
  42. Who in the hell do the Scots think they are demanding extra powers, and within a union, when they already receive more that any other english region?
    If scottiepoop wants to be a westminster Poddle under a labourSNP coalition, just to further the SNP's project within Holyrood, he ought to marry Morag, they'll make a grandiose pair of establishment stooges.
    Its clear that anybody who votes for the SNP will vote for Labour and its festering politics. here goes another blog in favour of their bedroom tax, next stop work houses for the young unemployable academics, the media and arts students, whilst the SNP will have lunches with multinationals and ol Donald Trump at Westmonster, ensuring that all is well at Balmoral.
    I also hope that Missy Martin, a newbie who also agreed to enforcing the bedroom tax in unison with Labour will be prepared for the unemployment that will hit Aberdeen soon, it might change her blue eyed views of an utterly reprehensible SNP. And now with Kinnocks best boyo intonation 'To think that SNP's stooges are going round Ediburgh briefing Unionist newspapers on why they are scared and frit about one wee man....
    I'd love to see jack Straws face when challenged on torture within the House of Commons, I would have loved to see the SNP utilise his vast experience in all matters of foreign policy, borders and peace making, but hey, he could always run as an Independent if he so chooses.

    ReplyDelete
  43. "Who in the hell do the Scots think they are demanding extra powers, and within a union"

    We probably think we are a country that was solemnly promised those extra powers in return for staying in the said union.

    "If scottiepoop wants to be a westminster Poddle under a labourSNP coalition, just to further the SNP's project within Holyrood"

    What does that even mean? By "the SNP's project" do you mean independence? If so, I plead guilty - I "just" want to further the cause of independence. That is kind of what the SNP is there to do.

    And Gillian Martin has not "agreed to enforce the bedroom tax". Don't be so silly.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Didn't I read somewhere that you 'Rolfe' (or rather Morag Kerr) are an MI5 agent and an Admin on Wikipedia called 'SlimVirgin'?

    Is that why you are so engaged in this character assassination of Craig Murray?

    (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Morag_Kerr#SlimVirgin)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Patrick Haseldine cites a defamatory article about me that he wrote himself. He is aware of course that taking out an action for defamation against someone with no assets is insanity, unless one is very rich oneself. Maybe one day one of the many people Patrick has defamed over the years will win the lottery. That should be fun. Maybe it will be the guy who already threatened him with a libel suit.

      I understand that the person known as "Slimvirgin" is a lady living in Canada by the name of Linda Mack. ( I occasionally edit Wikipedia under the clever pseudonym of Morag Kerr, by the way.) I have never met Linda Mack or communicated with her in any way. There is a picture of her on the internet and she looks nothing like me. I understand that Patrick has been told that we are two different people, by people who have met both of us. Jim Swire for one. As usual, however, Patrick doesn't let the facts stand in the way of a good story.

      I just love the idea that I'm an MI5 agent. Tell me more!

      Delete
    2. There's a shed-load of dingoes kidneys, Morag Kerr ('Rolfe'), to prove that you're an MI5 agent. Your cover is well and truly blown! Henceforth, you can never ever be an SNP candidate again!

      (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Morag_Kerr#Adequately_Explained_by_Government-fed_Propaganda.3F)

      Delete
    3. Citing your own defamatory writings doesn't prove anything, Patrick. Do go and tell the SNP whatever you fancy though.

      Delete
    4. By the way, do you actually think Linda Mack is an MI5 agent? I'm genuinely curious here. How would one be an MI5 agent while living in Canada?

      Delete
    5. Pathetic performance in Tweeddale West:

      In a by-election held on 10 October 2013, Dr Morag Kerr was beaten into third place when she stood as the Scottish National Party (SNP) candidate for a council seat at Tweeddale West (Scottish Borders Council).

      Give up now, Rolfey Girl, before the SNP expel you for MI5 activities!

      (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Morag_Kerr#Foray_into_politics)

      Delete
    6. I told the whole story of that by-election in the next thread, as it happens.

      We were perfectly happy to retain third place, as that's what we need to do in 2017 to keep an SNP councillor in the ward under the proportional STV system. Job done.

      Please, please, embarrass yourself by contacting the SNP with your delusions. I could do with a good laugh.

      Delete
    7. The SNP will no doubt be in touch quite soon Morag to award you the DCUWWCY (Don't Call Us We Won't Call You) for all your MI5 activities!

      (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Morag_Kerr#Pure_Sir_Humphrey)

      Delete
    8. You're a laugh a minute, Patrick. Don't ever change!

      Delete
    9. Incidentally, Morag, when are you going to drop all this cloak and dagger 'Rolfe' nonsense?

      (https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1607665385752&l=bb396e30f0)

      Delete
  45. All of the above is exactly why I am opposed to any/all political parties and agendas,so much time and energy wasted by so many obviously clever positive people who,s effort and industry should be used for the advancement of Scotland and all of it,s peoples,I am for the Common Weal with a common purpose in changing society for the better,no left no right just straight down the middle for Alba.

    ReplyDelete
  46. I gave my opinion over here for those interested:

    http://scottishstatesman.com/maverick-murray-rejected-to-stand-for-snp/

    ReplyDelete
  47. Wings Over Scotland: Surveillance and Intimidation by Morag 'Rolfe' Kerr

    (https://ahdinnaeken.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/wings-over-scotland-creepy-as-fk-3-surveillance-and-intimidation/)

    ReplyDelete
  48. Patrick, honeybunch, you and Longshanker should get on like a house on fire. When's the wedding?

    ReplyDelete
  49. During the 2014 Scottish Independence campaign, Morag "Rolfe" Kerr was accused of using the 'Wings Over Scotland' site for intimidation and harassment of Unionist politicians as well as criticising prospective SNP candidates in the aftermath of Scotland's 'No' vote.

    (https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Morag_Kerr)

    ReplyDelete
  50. "Acused of intimidation and harassment of Unionist politicians" hahahahahahaha!!!

    how about was "accused by the biased Unionist MSM, of challenging the disgusting smears and insults of Unionist politicians, who's only interest was to keep their well practiced snouts in the generous trough that they had become accustomed too.
    A they felt they were fully entitled to said trough, due to the fact that they had earned this privilege as the reward for selling Scotland out to the Westminster elite."

    ReplyDelete
  51. Patrick Roden, you have to understand that Patrick Haseldine writes these Wikispooks things himself, then touts them around as if they were someone else's work.

    He has it in for me because I don't entirely buy into his conspiracy theory about the Lockerbie bombing. In his world, anyone who doesn't accept that he's right, must be denying it because they are an agent of the British state trying to suppress his discovery of the truth.

    He's comedy gold, actually.

    ReplyDelete
  52. DID I WRITE THIS CRITIQUE OF YOU, MORAG 'ROLFE' KERR?

    “I’m just curious to know where he lives so I can metaphorically stick two fingers up at the place.” said Dr Morag Kerr in the comments section of the 'Wings Over Scotland' blog site earlier this year.

    The target of her curiousity was Keith Howell, an indy-ref 'No' supporter keen to hold the Scottish Government to account for alleged inappropriate use of government funds. Mr Howell claimed the current Holyrood SNP incumbents have misused public money to promote the “SNP manifesto” and “propaganda” document also known as the White Paper.

    So keen was Mr Howell to pursue and publicise this claim that he’d paid for a full page ad in the free newspaper, 'Metro'.

    The timing of the ad proved to be unfortunate. It coincided with the removal of a 'Wings Over Scotland 'political poster the previous day from the Glasgow underground.

    Howell became the focus and target of Campbell’s othering and hate preaching blame game. In a Wings blog entitled, ‘Ironic timing’ Campbell’s cabal of cultish followers swallowed the ‘hate ritual‘ bait and waded in to their perceived “enemy” with “merciless contempt”.

    Dr Morag Kerr, Campbell’s self confessed No.1 fan – she claims he is a “genius” – took it upon herself to track Howell down for her metaphorical master and posted the results on the 'Wings Over Scotland' comments section.

    Relying on her forensic analysis and evidence gathering skills, she provided not only Mr Howell’s address and postcode but also supplied explicit directions on how to find his property.

    So incensed was Dr Kerr by Howell’s transgression against the indy holy grail, that she took it further. She furnished details on the value of Howell’s home, landmarks associated with it, the history of the area, speculated on potential business use, the area of land surrounding the house and suggested courses of action to be taken against the indy-ref transgressor.

    The address details were eventually redacted by Campbell – for undisclosed reasons – but not before several days/weeks had passed. And, of course, the job/damage was done by then. Howell and his wife found themselves both intimidated and shaken by the online activities of Campbell and Kerr.

    (https://ahdinnaeken.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/wings-over-scotland-creepy-as-fk-3-surveillance-and-intimidation/)

    ReplyDelete
  53. This is quite delicious. Stuart Campbell's creepy stalker and my creepy stalker join forces. Or perhaps Patrick merely learns from the egregious Longshanker.

    That entire post of his is a lie, of course. Other people on Wings discovered Mr. Howells's address, not me. And if suggesting that a Yes Scotland leaflet might be posted through his letterbox as part of a normal delivery run is a "course of action to be taken against" someone, dearie me, I'm terrified.

    So from the lies about me that Patrick writes on his Wikispooks site, to the lies about Stuart (and me) Longshanker writes on his blog, there seems to be no distance at all.

    ReplyDelete
  54. FOR MORAG, WHEREVER I MAY FIND HER

    Is Morag 'Rolfe' Kerr the person Craig Murray desperately yearns for?

    (https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/543410011989622784)

    ReplyDelete
  55. Not being one who regularly bothers to read 'below the line', I hadn't realised that Craig Murray's blog was such a haven of tinfoil hattery until I commented on his last bleat on this issue.

    I see some of them have come across to here.

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  56. Rolfe,
    this is just sounding sadder and sadder, whichever side of the CM 'divide' we are supposed to be on. Please re read and re assess your CM posts on Scot goes Pop! The quantity alone must be telling you something (let alone the quality of nutter you have managed to draw here). Surely?

    Please return to interesting, factual, considered debate.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Patrick Haseldine pops up from time to time, wherever I go. I can't help that. He's a nut, and an occasional stalker. (I'd forgotten all about the time some people on Wings discovered that the "Ordinary Man" unionist advertiser on the Metro was a near neighbour of mine, and the chit-chat about the coincidence.)

    OK, I went on a bit about a subject that has been topical. It is after all the subject of the thread. James also goes on a bit about his conflicts with the guys at Political Betting. I just get so fed up with all the one-sided adulation of the sainted Murray, and the urge to point out the other side gets the better of me.

    ReplyDelete
  58. All right, I'll delete that last part. It was probably too much information anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  59. jeez
    as if Wings over Morag was not enough - now we have Morag goes pop.

    Gies a break!

    hoss

    ReplyDelete
  60. The establishment fear him. Why does the SNP?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlt_IiQvjNo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could the answer be because he is not afraid to speak the truth when he sees injustice? I would consider that to be a real asset considering the reputation of politicians of all colours for disguising facts.

      I agree with Rolfe that there should be an inquiry into Lockerbie. Patrick Haseldine also believes this, I'm pretty sure. I see common ground there. Attacks though on others are not helpful. In reading the comments it would appear that Rolfe has an antipathy towards diplomats. My understanding, though I have not read her book, is that Morag Kerr does not believe that Bernt Carlsson may have been the target of the Lockerbie bombing whcih took so many lives. But then he was a whistle-blowing diplomat. Craig Murray is also a whistle-blowing diplomat. Patrick Haseldine is a whistle-blowing diplomat. Now whether Morag has been recruited by any of our secret services, who incidentally do not have a reputation for telling the truth, I have no way of knowing. Certainly her behaviour towards whistle-blowers is uncannily like what would be expected of a spook. We are so indebted to whistle-blowers like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Craig Murray and Patrick Haseldine for having the courage to, as George Fox put it: "Speak truth to Power."

      Delete
  61. ^ Absolutely spot on. Athough I'm not sure it's the SNP fearing Craig or rather infiltrators in it taking advantage of the weildy selection process to do the bidding of the British government. It certainly has Craig as an enemy. Delivering his rejection to time with Christmas looks unnecessarily vindictive to me. It doesn't fit.

    ReplyDelete