Wednesday, July 1, 2015

VOTE : Which is the SNP's "A-Team" now?

When the Scottish Parliament was founded in 1999, the SNP took great pride in being the only one of the three parties with Scottish parliamentary representation to send their "A-Team" to Holyrood.  All of the SNP's six sitting MPs made the switch across, compared to only a small minority of Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs (although to be fair the party leaders Donald Dewar and Jim Wallace did both make the move).  As the SNP's numbers in the Scottish Parliament swelled after the 2007 and 2011 elections, it seemed obvious that almost every last drop of the cream of the crop was in the Edinburgh chamber.

But all of a sudden, it doesn't seem quite so clear-cut.  The referendum drew a large number of very talented people to the SNP for the first time, and some of them now represent the party at Westminster.  Many of them have dazzled the most seasoned of London political observers with classy maiden speeches over the last few weeks.

So I thought I'd put it to the vote.  Which is the SNP's "A-Team" in 2015?  Is it Team Holyrood, or Team Westminster?  Here are some of the leading lights in each camp...

TEAM HOLYROOD : Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney, Alex Salmond, Humza Yousaf, Richard Lochhead, Roseanna Cunningham, Angela Constance, Fiona Hyslop, Joan McAlpine, Kenny MacAskill, Alex Neil, Shona Robison, Linda Fabiani, Derek Mackay, Keith Brown, Michael Matheson.

TEAM WESTMINSTER : Angus Robertson, Stewart Hosie, Alex Salmond, Pete Wishart, Angus Brendan MacNeil, Philippa Whitford, George Kerevan, Tommy Sheppard, Deidre Brock, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, Ian Blackford, Brendan O'Hara, Michelle Thomson, John Nicolson, Mhairi Black, Joanna Cherry.

Although Alex Salmond is on both lists, it's probably fair to say his firm focus is now on Westminster.

As ever, the voting form is at the top of the sidebar.  Vote wisely!


  1. This is getting hard to call and as I have been following the Scotland Bill in Westminster while Scottish Parliament is in recess, my vote has just gone to the great group of mostly new MPs.

  2. Opal Fruits are great.July 2, 2015 at 12:18 AM

    Team Holyrood. They delivered the referendum and ultimately paved the way for team Westminster's success for the UK election.

  3. Impossible to vote for one or the other.

    There are two A-teams, playing to different sets of rules but with the same goal in sight.

    What is certain is that both teams are head and shoulders above the opposition in both matches.

  4. I totally agree with Barney. We have two A-Teams. They all work for the best interests of the Scottish people.

  5. Considering Team Holyrood has the First Minister of Scotland and party leader, I'd say it wins by default. That said, I agree that there is no "A-team," just the one big team with two divisions.

  6. The SNP is now AAAA rated (Holyrood, WM, Europe, Councils). They are all doing a fantastic job. I voted Holyrood, since that is where our main focus must be. The rookies at WM are impressive, but it's still early days. I am sure they will do very well - a wide range of ages, backgrounds, experiences and abilities, and they all have been battle-hardened, forged in the fire of the referendum campaign.

  7. If I might make a military analogy here. We have ONE army of independence with a Commander in Chief and several Generals leading the forces. We have now opened up a Second Front with new recruits bolstered by seasoned fighters but it is still ONE army of independence. Peacenics feel free to use your own analogy.

  8. There is only 1 team - part at Holyrood and part at Westminster.

  9. Take Kenny Macaskill out of the Holyrood team, and I will plump for them.

    1. I was going to say that. Maybe lose Joan McAlpine too.

    2. Her local branches and activists will disagree strongly Keaton. The amount of work she put in down here during the Referendum and GE15 campaign has seen her nominated to stand for the constituency - and she'll win it !
      She's under severe personal pressure at the moment, but still manages to get to all the meetings in a huge area - and she's made most Holyrood debates and Committees.
      Her passion and energy is infectious, and there's no doubt she's mostly responsible for the local membership going from under 300 to over 1,200. Many are YES activists who worked with her during the Referendum - and joined the party so they could work with her again during the GE15 campaign !

      She's one of few down here who will stand up to the local landed gentry (they bully local Labour and LibDem councillors), and ordinary folk now know they now have a voice.

  10. Could vote. Won't vote. Both great teams even if they differ in personnel, so why compare them: they have been selected to do their best for citizens of Scotland in venues that are not comparable in their requirements.

  11. I have to say I have been very impressed by a number of the new MPs, and Angus Robertson has surprised me by rising to the task of leading them with ease.
    Tommy Shepard, Joanna Cherry and Hannah Bardell have particularly impressed.

    1. Agreed - and that's why BBC Scotland and the others are ignoring them ! Short piece about the shocking 'EVEL' announcement on this evening's Reporting Scotland (a Polish football team had more coverage), and tonight's Scotland2015 is about Syria !

      Yet today we saw the most vicious attack on Scottish constitutional politics since the scandal of the 1979 '40% rule'.

      The BBC Scotland TV 'text' pages had that story was at item ten 45 minutes ago - it's now disappeared altogether

      Andy Murray, Scotrail, an minor attack in a prison, a court case, last night's storm, and crime stories are considered more important - and they aren't.

      Our MPs are doing everything they can to stop the constant attacks on Scotland and her people - and BBC Scotland is ignoring it all in it's main broadcasts.

      We know why.

  12. Grayling and Hague's comical rushed attempt to solve the WLQ in a matter of days was indeed as shambolic as everyone knew it would be.

    Here are some 'highlights'.

    Pete Wishart, the SNP’s shadow leader of the Commons, said that these measures would be good for the cause of Scottish independence.

    The SNP’s Patrick Grady says these proposals include the concept of a “double majority”. But the government ruled this out in relation to the EU referendum bill, he says. (The SNP want a rule saying the UK will only leave the EU if the UK as a whole votes in favour, and if there are majorities in all four separate nations).

    Will this apply to private members’ bills?

    Grayling says this measure will not apply to private members’ bills, or to 10-minute rule bills.

    Grayling just says Private Members Bills won't be subject to this procedure?! So we will now have 2 types of primary legislation? #chaos

    The SNP’s Roger Mullin says these plans put the Speaker in an invidious position. He says he will be the arbiter of what is in the interests of his constituents, not anyone else.

    The SNP’s George Kerevan says Grayling does not understand the West Lothian question. He says he has discussed this with Tam Dalyell, He says Dalyell objected to the idea of there being different classes of MPs. That would create a muddle, he thought. He says Dalyell thought you should either have separate parliaments or (Dalyell’s preference) a single, union parliament.


    Yes Grayling, the Scots voted to stay in the Union. And what a way to reward them, by carving their representatives out of the UK Parliament

    Chris Bryant MP @RhonddaBryant

    Grayling refuses to answer questions about his proposal from Father of the House. Shabby shabby man. Leader of the House shd show more grace

    EastAyrshireSNP ‏@EASNPYouth

    @GeorgeKerevan :If you introduce multiple competences for the different MPs, you'll end HoC, cause confusion, create chaos&end union. #EVEL

    Neil Gray MP ‏@NeilGrayMP 9m9 minutes ago

    Well done to all my @theSNP colleagues who were called after the statement to #EVEL and stand up for our constituents in Scotland

    Stephen Noon @StephenNoon

    Sitting here in the heart of Westminster, watching the #EVEL debate, it's clear that the Union, like the building, is falling apart


    Said in the EVEL statement that the Tory measures are constitutional bilge and unworkable garbage. And that's the good points...

  13. Oh and hot on the heels of Cameron's EVEL omnishambles..

    Here's a couple of apposite tweets from Rev Stu concerning THE VOW and the Smith report.

    Wings Over Scotland ‏@WingsScotland

    The Tories have just sent someone to sit on the Scottish Affairs Committee who says "The Vow" was meaningless waffle: …

    (He's right, of course, but what does that nomination tell us about the Tories' attitude to the Smith report?)

    We will not be short of utterly damning material for the Holyrood campaign, be certain of that. #BetterTogether?

  14. An easier question I cant find,the answer to the question of which is the "A" team is simple we are as one and all for the one team,no divisions here.

  15. I voted for Holyrood but agree that there are two A Teams, although very different. Imagine if they were all in Holyrood! Too poor, too wee, too stupid?