Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Housekeeping Note

Apologies to everyone for switching pre-moderation on, then off, then back on again.  I'm afraid this Hokey Cokey routine may be the pattern of things to come, because I'm simply no longer willing to tolerate our resident troll, and he just doesn't seem to have got the memo.  I know people will say "oh but you put up with GWC for years", but this latest character is much darker - he's profoundly racist (against Scots and others), homophobic, and just about every other facet of bigotry you can think of.  A fair proportion of the Jockbashing trolling is directed at me personally ("Hey Scotty the Scrounger, Get Bedxit Done", etc, etc) and I make no apology for saying that has played a part in my decision.

Of course there are also troll comments from other directions, and I was particularly bemused by a lengthy anonymous comment yesterday from a chap who pompously informed me that he was going to stop reading the blog because I had failed to apply any critical thought to the story about my sister's phone being found under twenty feet of sand on Gullane beach.  Honestly, if you feel the need for a self-important rant of that sort, take it elsewhere.  I simply related the story as I had picked it up, and no, I didn't stop to consider whether the twenty feet thing was feasible.  I now gather it was actually twenty centimetres.  A shout-out to Latvia, by the way, because at least one of the couple who found the phone is Latvian.  They go metal detecting in different locations every weekend and are hoping one day they might find a Roman coin.

Turning to another subject, the fundraiser for the next Scot Goes Pop poll has reached its target - in fact as things stand it's exceeded the target by precisely £1!  A million thanks to everyone who donated - both large and small donations were absolutely crucial to getting us there.  I had a real blast from the past earlier today - my old 'friend' from the 2014 indyref, Lap Gong Leong, contacted me from Hong Kong with a couple of suggestions for poll questions.  In fairness they were perfectly reasonable suggestions, and I'll consider them with all the other great suggestions that you've left in the comments section.  Hopefully we'll get some more good results from the poll - but, as always, remember there are no guarantees.


  1. Well done James, it was clear to me that the trolling on your site was because it was so fair, clear and well written. There could be no argument with the facts as you presented them therefore some other means of interfering with and confusing the conclusions to be drawn was employed. These methods are now called Trumpian but you will rise above all that.

  2. Talking about funding, SNP income via donations has been climbing substantially in the past few years.

    SNP declared donations:
    1.76m 2020 (extrapolated from data to June 2020)
    1.37m 2019
    1.21m 2018

    2019 would have been an expensive year due to the surprise GE on top of the EU elections (1.4m campaign costs I read), but the fighting fund must have grown impressively in the last 10 months, which would explain the upbeat comments on this ahead of ief2.

    I understand they have zero debt too.

    2019 accounts show:

    Total income sources:
    Membership 42%
    Fundraising 28%
    Events 14%
    Legacies 7%
    Parliamentary Levy 5%
    Policy Development Grant 4%

    Spent as follows:
    45% Campaigning
    20% Staff
    15% Events
    8% Operational Costs
    5% Professional Fees
    4% Fundraising
    3% IT Systems

    So by the bulk of income comes from members and fundraising. A whopping 45% spent on election campaigns as noted.

    And vital too; the UKGE election was key to both taking the democratic high ground and ensuring a decent increase in Scots taxpayer's cash Westminster has to give to the SNP in the form of short money etc rather than unionists getting it.

    Unionists of course already trying to pretend the party is financial trouble...

    1. I also noticed that the income received from membership fees has stayed the same (actually about £1,000 more than previous year) which suggests that the claims of a membership exodus that seems to always be speculated about has zero grounds.

    2. They had circa 500k in debts in 2019. This is completely normal, every large company will have debt on their books. Companies don't pay cash on delivery for goods, they get stuff on credit which goes down as debt in the accounts.

      Of course once indy ref is announced they have to 'find' just over £500k. As they say they can instantaneously access these funds and do not have the assets to cover this amount, then am assuming they have a pre arranged line of credit to cover this amount.

    3. Adam, the point is they shouldn't need to FIND just over £ 500k for an independence referendum. The money was supposed to be ring fenced and be cash in hand not used to fund other things and then rely on a bank overdraft or loans to fund an independence referendum.

      So money has been raised specifically for a referendum but no date has been set for a referendum and the money raised has been used for other expenses.

      All the problems that the SNP have are down to the membership letting the leadership just do what they want without any proper oversight.

    4. Simple couple of questions on the accounts:

      1. How much money has been raised through funding specifically for the purpose of funding an indyref.

      2. How much cash is there in the accounts?

    5. Unknown -,what is the latest number of SNP members?

    6. SNP had were +270k on balance at the end of 2019, so comfortably in the black (as per page 16).

      And that's with two election campaigns in a single year, one of which was unexpected. Hence such high campaign costs (45% of expenditure).

      Based on figures to june, they'll have picked up ~1.5m in cash donations by the end of this month; 30% up on 2019.

      With no elections and covid curtailing general campaigning, the spend here will be much lower than last year (1.4m) so the coffers should be looking very healthy. Even if they'd spent exactly the same, cash reserves would still be at least 0.5m now.

      Given the strength of this position and solid income, they'd have zero problem raising cash in an instant too as Adam says.

      As for 'ring fencing'; such a fund would never show up in accounts. It would be mixed in with all net assets and liabilities. Even if it was cash in a separate bank account it would still just lumped in with all net assets. It might not even be in that form, but invested in such a way that it could be released very quickly. It could even be in the form of a quick loan backed by assets if it could not be released quickly.

      Holding large amounts of cash for extended periods of time is not a wise use of money. I act as a director for an SME (uni-spin out) and we keep set % of operating costs as cash in the back and invest the rest.

      I find it comical that unionists expect some sort of special entry in accounts that details 'referendum fund' lol.

      And the accounts are nearly a year old anyway. They describe finances at end 2019. We are nearing end 2020.

      You can't pull up 2019 accounts to say the SNP are lying about their 2020 finances. I mean what? What kind of idiot does that, particularly when there is already some donation data for 2020; 30% or so up on 2019.

      I expect SNP member numbers did drop back in line with support for the party and indy from 2016-18. It has likely been rising again since, particularly since Yes went into the lead early this year. This would be normal; membership of political parties typically follows voter support.

      It would be very strange for the SNP and Yes to be polling so high without an increase in members. The greens will have probably seen some pick up too. Unionists will have lost members as their vote weakens.

    7. Adam, the point is they shouldn't need to FIND just over £ 500k for an independence referendum. The money was supposed to be ring fenced and be cash in hand not used to fund other things and then rely on a bank overdraft or loans to fund an independence referendum.

      This is nonsense. If I promise you 500k on demand, and I can produce it, it doesn't matter shit where it comes from, as long as I produce it to give to you.

      For it to be stored as cash, I would need to enter into an additional agreement with you that I planned so store it only in that form; I don't believe any such statement was made.

      You need to look up what 'ring fencing' means; the government 'ring fences' future cash from tax and borrowing that hasn't even been earned by workers yet, never mind paid in tax and put in a bank. It's a guarantee that a particular amount of income, current or future, will be reserved for a particular purpose.

      If we enter a new iref campaign and the SNP don't produce the cash promised, then they'll have broken their promise. As things stand, they have not and it's ridiculous to suggest they have, particularly when it's clear they are doing well financially.

      Only unionists would argue otherwise.

    8. So in summary the SNP win multiple elections promising an independence referendum and collect money from independence supporters for such a referendum but there is no date for a referendum and some of the money has been spent and replaced with a promise to make it available if ever needed in the future.

      Well ain't that just grand. Promises promises promises - but no independence referendum.

  3. Good James to be honest with you I very really read what's posted underneath what you have written. Keep up the good work

  4. There are a lot of small donors instead of the other political parties getting sizeable donations from individuals. That is what keeps the party in funds. Just realised I have had a standing order to donate monies each month since 1980.

  5. With reference to the money raised for the " ring fenced" indyref fund - not the weaved through the accounts fund - should the monies be returned to sender if the referendum has not happened after what - 10 years - is that unreasonable or should it be 5 years. I'm asking because I doubt there was any guarantee of a refund in the small print if unused after a period of time. What is a reasonable period of time ?

    1. If it was stated that donations were refundable, I'm sure people can ask for them to be refunded.

  6. James, good to hear your upbeat comments anent SNP funds....
    unlike the muckraking on this on other sites, where people not even in the SNP are claiming to be holding the party to account on how donated monies are spent.
    Aye, and keep sticking it to the trolls
    James. They've targetted this site and made it almost unreadable at times.
    As next year's election nears they'll nae doot be back, and we'll all need to be vigilant.
    BTW What are the C o S thinking about?
    Jim Wallace doing a Dougie Ross.
    Long tentacles of the British State or is that paranoia?

  7. All these people involved in the persecution of Alex Salmond should have been shown the door long before now by their bosses. The fact they haven't is because their bosses Evans and Sturgeon are implicated in the whole evil malicious affair.

    1. If only some verifiable independence supporters were actually making evidence based claims that the SNP were persecuting Salmond...for no apparent reason at all, damaging their own party / careers.

      Then people might give the rumors more credence.

    2. SS - so the Parliamentary inquiry is just a rumour according to SS - Trump would be proud of SS.

  8. The slowing I've been talking about for some time is really starting to show now.

    Restrictions are having an effect says FM

    The first minister says last week saw a significant slowing in the rate at which new cases are increasing and that has continued.

    Ms Sturgeon says:

    Cases in the last week, up to today, have increased by 4%.

    Two weeks ago the weekly increase was 40%.

    The latest estimate of the R number, published today, suggests that it is still above 1, but may have fallen slightly to 1.3.

    The first minister says all of this suggests that the measures introduced five weeks ago to curb household meetings are having an effect.

  9. On the Question of burying things deep. I don't blame your sis for burying Scots Indy not unless N.Sturgeon happens to be a secret sister of yours James. I guess if she was then the lost phone in question would never have seen the light of day again.

  10. The arrogance and ignorance of people like SS is appalling. SS says who are you ask about the SNP accounts. You are just a random nobody on the internet.

    Well it is independence supporters like me who vote for the SNP, contribute to SNP funds and the " promised ring fenced referendum fund". We have every right to ask about the funds and it is people like SS who will make people less likely to contribute in the future. Of course being a Tory that is what SS wants.

    1. I'm a member of the SNP.

      Not a particularly active one in the party, but I chip in each month. So yes, I think that allows me to offer an opinion on the matter.

      Have you donated? If so, have the SNP broken the written conditions of that donation? If so, you can pursue a claim against them. Moaning on the internet is grand waste of time and lazy by contrast.

    2. My Yellow SNP mug will be staying at the back of my cupboard until the current leadership is gone and replaced by decent honest people who actually want independence. I will continue to use my nice white AUOB mug for the present.

      Only fools believe it is ok to use money collected for a specific purpose (a referendum) to use it for other purposes without agreement with donors and then say don't worry I can borrow the amount needed in the future. It is a breach of trust.

      What if the bank says no.

    3. "We have every right to ask about the funds and it is people like SS who will make people less likely to contribute in the future. Of course being a Tory that is what SS wants."

      And I thought the Tories wanted Sturgeon's SNP in power as Sturgeon doesn't want indy / won't go ahead with an iref?

      Are you now saying the Tories don't want people donating to the SNP as that will help the latter win indy for Scotland?

      Your posts are rather hard to follow; you seem to contradict yourself on a regular basis.

      People can donate here:

    4. I just made a donation. When unionists tell me 'the SNP finances look rubbish!' or 'you can't trust them with your cash!' etc, it always prompts me to made a donation.

    5. "What if the bank says no."

      Well, you need to actually prove they'd have to ask the bank. No evidence has been provided that they don't have the cash in hand, or could not have produced in the past at short notice without borrowing for a campaign. The 2019 accounts don't show that in any way. They just show a snapshot at close of business on the 31st December.

    6. Likewise Skier, As a 2 member SNP Household we've filled in our Christmas draw tickets.
      That's £40 to keep YES and SNP both up there at 58%.
      Mind you, there's bugger all else to spend it on!
      We're decent honest people in the only party you can trust to get Scotland to Independence.

    7. Ramstam - you may be a decent honest person but you are a fool if you think this leadership will deliver independence. So Ramstam who removed Salmond from the SNP history?

      The difference is that when Sturgeon is finished as leader I would not call for her to be removed from the SNP's history no matter what she is guilty of. The truth is important and so is telling the true history.

      I guess some SNP members are now so used to being kept in the dark they don't even know when shit is being shovelled on them.

  11. Does anybody else listen to the media for England and think what the hell is going on. Labour is accused of anti-semitism all the time. But Boris Johnson actually says anti-muslim and racist things and gets voted Prime Minister. Nigel Farage is pretty much anti everyone who's not White English and becomes a TV personality. The media constantly has a fake debate about racism. Like we're not allowed to say blackboard anymore kind of stuff and you're definitely not allowed to point out anything Winston Churchil said that was racist.
    Can anyone borrow me hat and gloves a good pair of wellies so I can immigrate to Iceland.

  12. I've been a lurker on this site for many years but stopped reading the comments because life is too short to read the abusive nonsense from GWC. Kicking him off the site was long overdue. I feel sort of sorry for the poor soul who appears to spend his life abusing people. Does he have any friends?
    But don't be too heavy on the moderating. Ive wasted a few minutes of my life reading the BBC's "Have Your Say" on Scottish issues and the seething hatred directed at Nicola by most of the posters of the site is sickening and even libellous. I tried to respond in kind and some knuckle-dragging neanderthal complained and I was moderated out. The BBC won't let you criticise Bumbling Boris!

  13. I asked above re the SNP 2019 accounts

    1. Membership numbers - no answer.

    2. How much money was raised for the indyref fund by the end of the 2019 accounts - no answer.

    3. I asked how much cash is held in the 2019 accounts - no answer.

    What I did get was a lot of spiel from SS saying didnae worry everything is ok I do the same for my SME. Only unionists would ask questions says SS. Well that is what is wrong with the SNP membership - you don't ask any questions.

    1. Why are you asking people on a polling website? Why not make inquiries at the SNP. If they are required to tell you, they will. They might even if they are not.

      " asked how much cash is held in the 2019 accounts - no answer."

      What does this even mean?

      The accounts are for the 31st December 2019. They don't show how much cash was in the bank 1st January to 30th December 2019. Nor do they show how much was in the account on the 1st January 2020. Ergo, they cannot be used to show the SNP could not produce X amount of cash at short notice, e.g. 24hrs. The accounts show >1m assets at the time.

  14. SS - its a pro independence blog by James Kelly and I want Scottish independence unlike you. Try looking at the top of the page.

    SNP members don't even get told how many members there are.

    SNP members and independence supporters don't even get told how much money has been raised for the indyref fund.

    The accounts show the amount of cash in hand and in the bank - SS does his usual deflecting nonsense faffing about with stupid date examples - the figures are £96,854 down from the previous year of £411,042.

    Cash in hand down from £411,042 in 2018 accounts to £96,854.