Sunday, February 14, 2021

Here's why the NEC's plan to rig the selection of list candidates is indefensible and unsustainable

I asked on Twitter yesterday whether anyone knew the specifics of the SNP's plan to discriminate in favour of BAME and disabled candidates for the forthcoming regional list selections and rankings.  I was told that I'd need to consult a leaked document - which is, of course, exactly as it should be.  Selection of SNP candidates is quite simply none of the business of party members, and if members really want to know what's going on they'd better make sure they have a really well-placed informant.

Anyway, this is what will apparently happen, in the absence of a (highly probable) legal challenge or a sudden outbreak of common sense...

"2. For the ballot in the Scottish Parliament Regions of Glasgow, Lothian, North East Scotland and West Scotland— 

a. a ranked list will be produced from the member’s votes; 

b. if the candidate in first place has responded to the survey advising that they are BAME, the ranked list will be made public as it is; 

c. in other cases, the highest placed candidate who has responded to the survey advising that they are BAME and who has indicated that they wish to be included in the ‘reserved places mechanism’ will be made the first placed candidate on the list which is made public.  

3. For the ballot in the Scottish Parliament Regions of Mid Scotland & Fife, Central Scotland, South Scotland and Highlands & Islands— 

a. a ranked list will be produced from the member’s votes; 

b. if the candidate in first place has responded to the survey advising that they are a disabled person, the ranked list will be made public as it is; 

c. in other cases, the highest placed candidate who has responded to the survey advising that they are a disabled person and who has indicated that they wish to be included in the ‘reserved places mechanism’ will be made the first placed candidate on the list which is made public."

There's no danger of that winning a plain English award, but what it seems to mean is that candidates who declare themselves to be BAME or disabled but do not declare a wish to be included in the reserved places mechanism will be discriminated against just as much as the non-BAME, non-disabled candidates.  Additionally, of course, if you're a BAME candidate in one of the 'wrong' four regions, or a disabled candidate in one of the 'wrong' four regions, you will also be discriminated against.  This is particularly a problem for BAME candidates whose home region has been set aside for a disabled person, and vice versa.

Here's an example of how the system would work in practice.  Suppose SNP members in Mid-Scotland & Fife decide to rank their list candidates as follows -

1) Carson Campbell (BAME)
2) Iona Quigley (non-protected)
3) Petra Brady (disabled)
4) Una Robertson (non-protected)
5) Hector Johnston (non-protected)
6) Brian Thompson (non-protected)
7) John Leckie (disabled)

So the contest has been won fair and square by a BAME candidate - great, you might think, but I'm afraid Mr Campbell is out of luck, because he's stood in a region in which the discrimination is in favour of disabled people. So he's shunted down to Number 2 on the list, where he's unlikely to be elected as an MSP unless the SNP lose constituency seats.  The hopes are even more forlorn for the person who was actually voted to be Number 2 - Iona Quigley is in a non-protected category and is artificially demoted to Number 3.  Wonderful news, though, for the top-ranked disabled candidate Petra Brady?  Well, I'm afraid not!  When she filled in her form, she indicated that she wanted to be ranked on her merits and didn't want to participate in the protected places scheme, so she's discriminated against and is demoted to Number 4.  After the adjustment, the person who tops the list is John Leckie - who the members wanted to be ranked bottom, and who is much less popular than another disabled candidate, and also much less popular than two other candidates from protected categories.

Adjusted result after discrimination:

1) John Leckie (disabled)
2) Carson Campbell (BAME)
3) Iona Quigley (non-protected)
4) Petra Brady (disabled)
5) Una Robertson (non-protected)
6) Hector Johnston (non-protected)
7) Brian Thompson (non-protected)

There's obviously a big debate over whether positive discrimination is even appropriate in candidate selection, but if you're going to do it, this is the absolute worst way of doing it - an East German-style altering of an actual election result to declare the last-placed candidate the winner.  That's a recipe for people walking out of the party in disgust when they realise their votes have been treated with contempt.  Much better would be to have separate ballots for protected and non-protected candidates.

However, the whole idea is misconceived for all sorts of reasons.  Firstly, if the plan is to increase BAME and disabled representation in the Scottish Parliament, why put all your eggs in the basket of the list?  In some cases, the SNP might need to lose constituency seats for even the Number 1 candidate on the list to be elected.  Isn't it a bit odd to say "we're trying to win these constituency seats even though that could scupper our plans for a more representative parliament"?

Secondly, why are an equal number of regions being set aside for BAME and disabled candidates, when there are far, far more disabled people in Scotland than BAME people? According to official figures, 4% of the population is non-white, which means there should be five non-white MSPs on a strictly proportional basis (there are actually two).  Given that the SNP will only win around half the seats in Holyrood, their contribution to those five non-white MSPs should be around two or three - and they already have one in Humza Yousaf.  So why are there four protected BAME places on the list?  By contrast, the definition of 'disabled' being used is so sweeping that it must include an enormous proportion of the population.  Indeed, it's so sweeping that it's impossible to tell what proportion of current MSPs are disabled.  "Not all disabilities are visible" as the saying goes.

Thirdly, why are certain ethnic minorities such as "gypsy/travellers" and "Polish" specifically excluded from the BAME protected places? As far as I know we don't have any traveller MSPs, and no-one can say that travellers aren't victims of horrendous discrimination in wider society - the current leader of the Scottish Conservative Party is on record as saying he would crack down on them if he was Prime Minister for a day.

Fourthly, there's the question of the quality and suitability of the candidates who could end up as SNP MSPs as a result of this mechanism.  I was recently subjected to a volley of invective from Graham Campbell, who is seeking one of the BAME protected places.  He effectively accused me of racism simply for using the term "identity politics" (even though it should have been obvious from the context that I was talking about the trans issue), and ranted about the evils of "patriarchal capitalism", which presumably he wants to overthrow.  On the face of it those are far-left views, and it's not unreasonable for SNP members to want to consider properly and have the final say on whether they wish someone who holds those views to be their standard-bearer.

Fifthly, the SNP NEC has apparently been advised by Scotland's foremost legal expert on these matters that the protected places scheme would be unlawful, and that a successful legal challenge could potentially bankrupt the party.  Given that such an outcome might end any chance of independence in the foreseeable future, the fact that the NEC has ignored that advice does not exactly quell suspicions that the SNP has been the victim of entryism by people with an agenda on which independence does not figure highly.


  1. Exactly right James

    It’s more worrying than that


    ‘In some cases, the SNP might need to lose constituency seats for even the Number 1 candidate on the list to be elected. Isn't it a bit odd to say "we're trying to win these constituency seats even though that could scupper our plans for a more representative parliament"?’

    Consider some constituency MSPs who are out of favour with the current leadership’s ideology. It would suit the agenda of the cabal for them to suffer electoral ‘mishap’ as it would make it more likely for the favoured few to be elected. Expect, at the very least, a lack of central support in certain constituencies.

    A big majority would be awkward for those with priorities other than Independence, it would be much more comfortable to be dependent on the Greens and ‘forced’ to drive the controversial policies through.

    1. Think the SNP policy has always been to put the constituency candidates top of their lists. In normal circumstances that's to act as a safety net. In these it'll mean that no amount of backstabbing will work.

      However the rules seem designed to completely undermine confidence that the list candidate at the top is there on their own merit. They also mean that you won't see the vote totals ever because if you only saw them in regions where the mandated first pick was on top you'd know that the rest were parachuted in.

  2. I can't say I'm one for paying much attention to 'leaked documents' nor 'unnamed SNP insiders', unless of course I'm looking for entryists, who would be the most likely source for this sort of thing.

    The above proposal sounds stupid and illegal, so it's most likely not going to happen or never was being seriously considered as stated.

    And I thought everyone was happy with the recent changes to the NEC, including the addition of cherry and co?

    1. "or never was being seriously considered"

      The NEC have already voted in favour of it.

    2. "And I thought everyone was happy with the recent changes to the NEC, including the addition of cherry and co?"

      I presume you already know the answer to that question and are being vexatious, but for the benefit of those who don't know: it's not just the elected members of the NEC who get to vote.

    3. It’s tricky, I find it hard to see a route to loosen the grip of affiliate group votes on the NEC; they would need to back it to have a chance of getting to conference (where I’m confident it would pass)

    4. The NEC have already voted in favour of it.

      Good heavens.

      No, I didn't know. Well, it's not likely to last as it's too subject to legal challenge.

      I get that it's well intended, but that doesn't detract from the silliness of it.

    5. Surely in the end we get to know the actual list candidates before voting anyway, so people can still judge if they like who is on the SNP list in the booth?

    6. Skier - you must also factor in that BAME and disabled for this will be on the basis of self-ID into either of those categories. For example Tourettes (Mennie) or dyslexia (Spears). It's grade A bonkers

    7. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - says "Good heavens. No I didn't know".

      You never seem to know much about what is going on in the SNP. Sure you are a member or is it another one of your lies.

      Can Skier self id as disabled due to being a pathological liar?

    8. Hi IfS, are you incapable of posting anything that doesn't involve purile insults?

    9. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - are you incapable of posting anything but lies?

      So will you self id as disabled due to your incapacity. No don't bother answering it will probably be a lie.

    10. While it's true that the NEC voted for the changes, it was only achieved thanks to the casting vote of the Chair.
      It's the first time I can remember a Chair voting against the status quo following a 50-50 vote.
      The reason this is the norm is that it means whatever the resolution/proposal is can be brought back after a period of discussions, research, and evidence gathering, but if the obviously contentious vote is passed thanks to the Chair - that's it - and 50% of NEC members get even more angry !

      Other problems, as others have mentioned, relates to the affiliate groups. We have a situation where an NEC member - previously a national office bearer - is rejected overwhelmingly by conference delegates in the Conference 'internals', but then reappears after some orchestrated musical chairs inside one of the affiliate groups !

      In addition, it was discovered that there is no rule recusing NEC members who will directly benefit from the proposal from effectively voting for themselves.
      (I'm told this was brought up by concerned, worried, angry NEC members - and simply ignored.)

      Some of those members had already declared their intentions to stand for the list before the vote, and others have appeared since the full list was published yesterday.
      It's the kind of process that mirrors what used to happen in the old Labour Party when Militant effectively took control back in 80'/90's, and made Labour unelectable.
      It took over a decade for ordinary Labour Party members to purge the entryists and reintroduce democracy to the party.
      During that time, we had .... Thatcher.

      Anyway, if those now candidates had been recused, this awful, probably illegal policy would have been defeated by a healthy margin.

      To most of us, this is yet another example of the absolute control of everything in the hands of a few.

  3. Under equailities law there are very limited reasons in which positive action is allowed to be used. I would guess that the SNP are trying to use this one:

    "enable or encourage people who share a protected characteristic to participate in an activity in which their participation is disproportionately low"

    So basically they would be arguing that there are not more BAME or disabled MSPs because of the lack of current BAME or disabled MSPs so using positive action could increase the number of BAME or disabled MSP therefore would encourage more BAME or disabled MSPs to want to be MSPs.

    You can see why there are concerns that this would be considered unlawful. Even if you did manage to convince a judge of the above there is this part:

    'participation is disproportionately low'. People of BAME ethnicity make up about 1% of the Scottish population. The number of MSPs of BAME ethnicity is therefore proportunate to the population they represent.

    As you say in your blog, that's even before you get to the reason of why you are concentrating on these protected charicteristics rather than the others.

  4. We're going to build a tunnel. A great big beautiful British tunnel!

    You couldn't get more insular and nationalistic than this hair brained s**te.

    Erm, planning is a devolved matter and a tunnel doesn't get around customs checks you imbeciles. It's not like you can sneakily drive underneath these. You'll simply have to queue up at the tunnel exit to have your cargo checked.

    Tunnel linking Northern Ireland and Great Britain 'could be approved next month'

    ...The Telegraph has already come up with a nickname, dubbing it the 'Boris burrow'.

    The paper says the tunnel, if built, may please those in Northern Ireland angry at European Union checks on ferry cargo coming here.

    TBH, if England wants to pay for this it's ok for me. Just needs to give Scotland it's barnett share. Could be a useful Scotland-Ireland link post-indy & irish reunification.

    1. When I moved out of my parents' home they gave me a coffee machine. Nothing fancy, the kind with paper filter that cost like 20 EUR at the local electronics dealer. But it was a nice gesture and I've used the thing for about 10 years.

      And the bridge will be the farewell present when Scotland and NI are mving out. He wants it approved fast, because you never know how much time is left. Handing over a farewell gift one year after someone has moved out is a bad look.

      Say what you want about Boris, but the man knows his manners.

  5. Re Tunnel but,but,but Beauforts Dyke, mega tons of ww2 munitions!'s_Dyke

    Maybe the tunnel is to run from the Mull of Kintyre

    1. That seems a very convoluted way to force decent roads on the peninsula ;o)

  6. Are travellers and Polish people ethnic minorities?. Is easy to criticize do you have a solution for getting more minority groups represented in the Parliament

    1. I'm Irish and technically we should have 1 MSP who is Irish.

      I'm disappointed that Irish is not covered by BAME because of skin colour which seems racist to me.

    2. You have an entire country of your own. Just like Pakistanis or Chinese in Scotland. Poland is 7 times as populous compared to Scotland, so they're not a minority either.
      Scots are very much of a minority with in the UK but are not classified as such, neither are the sheep shagging rugby cheaters.

    3. Hehe: Are you seriously asking me whether Roma and Polish people are genuine ethnic minorities? Well, let me put it this way: Hitler was keen enough on exterminating them.

    4. Many muslims...jews...blacks...have 'countries of the their own' in addition to being either a UK citizen (so are in their country) or legally resident here. It doesn't make them not ethnic minorities.

      Many 'gypsy travelers' in the UK are born and bred brits so have a country of their own, i.e. the UK. Still a minority group.

      Irish are an ethnic minority in Scotland and the UK with a long history of being persecuted by the British and particularly the English. 'No blacks no dogs no Irish'.

      Scots are an ethnic minority in the UK with a long history of the same. It's how the PM gets away with calling us 'vermin that shouldn't get a vote for 40 years' in the same way he refers to my black colleagues as 'piccaninnies with watermelon smiles'.

      Personally, it does seem that the definition of BAME is racist by excluding white minorities who can suffer similar levels of racism. At the moment, Scots are having to leave England due to this for example.

    5. Boris Johnson saying Scots are vermin is not racist it's bigotry there's a difference

    6. Will Humzas Hate crime bill retrospectively include Johnson when he comes up to Scotland or does that sort of thing only apply to Salmond.

    7. This is just right wing Madness. You people will turn people away from Independence with your attitude towards trans, women, and minority groups. If I want to read this rubbish I'll look at Wings or listen to LBC. All this going on about people if they feel British means there something Despicable about them is just plain wrong. Constantly going on about Scots people as if they have some kind of moral high ground. What and nightmare. That's not directed at you James. It's the nasty people who comment on here

    8. Race is defined by social characteristics and/or physical. This isn't right-wing, it simply is the case. It is the right that try to define race by genetics.

      Jewish people are most commonly white are they not? Genetically I am sure you'd struggle to find any difference from other whites. So were the Nazis bigoted or racist? I believe the latter.

      Modern science regards race as a social construct, an identity which is assigned based on rules made by society.[2] While partially based on physical similarities within groups, race does not have an inherent physical or biological meaning.

      To be honest, it is racists that think we can put everyone into into well defined groups based on genetics. The Nazis were keen on this, making measurements of facial features etc, but it's not really possible; genetics is a total mix and match with no clearly defined boundaries. Someone can only really be black if they agree they are, unless you want to start telling people they are black even if they disagree? For sure it would be difficult for some to argue they are not, but for others the boundary is way too blurred. Putting people into undefined groups against their will is racist.

      By contrast, you can always define what a French person is; someone who holds French citizenship. They cannae argue they are not if they legally are.

      I am not a British national, but I accept I am a Scottish and British citizen. I do hold Irish nationality and hope to hold Scottish nationality too soon.

    9. Interesting comments, and ones worth looking at more closely !

      Is it that because the 'decision makers' realised that as 'traveller/Polish' (East European ?) candidates can't be easily identified as an ethnic minority - they are placed on a 'prohibited' list ?

      After all, I believe that as with the disabled list, BAME candidates 'self identify' (those two words again !) as such, so prohibition is the only way to exclude those who wouldn't obviously lend themselves to a post-election '' look at us !! The SNP is really really inclusive '' spin-fest.

      In this part of Scotland, we have significant numbers of Polish, Ukranian, Estonian, and Lithuthianian SNP members, supporters, and voters.
      Many are 3rd or even 4th generation, while others have been here for a few years.
      At least two families have a quite recent 'traveller/Roma' heritage.

      I wonder how they feel today ?
      They are all proud Scots, but they are also very aware of their heritage and ethnicity

  7. After independence, all decisions not pertaining to the running of Scotland should be put to the people in a referendum, like many other countries.

  8. Scots Irish people Polish people are not ethnic minorities in Europe. Use our maxing up race with nationality.

    1. Are Polish people an ethnic group? Yes. Are they a minority in Scotland? Yes. They are, therefore, an ethnic minority.

      This is silly - it's right up there with "Joanna Cherry wasn't sacked".

    2. Race = 'a grouping of humans based on shared physical or social qualities into categories generally viewed as distinct by society'.

      Scots = a race. French = a race.

      It's not defined by skin colour which is a spectrum just as much a nationality is.

      Saying e.g. 'Scots are vermin' is racist.

    3. Brits regularly racially abuse the French, e.g. saying stuff like 'stupid bloody frogs, why don't you speak English or even better, go back to where you came from!' for example.

      'No blacks, no dogs, no Irish' is unquestionably racist, lowering both to sub-human status.

      Racism isn't about the colour of your skin.

    4. Being prejudiced is when you put people in groups. Brits regularly abuse 👈example.

    5. It's the actual law that race may be defined by nationality; a protected characteristic under the equality act.

      Refers to the protected characteristic of race. It refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.

  9. James, I read your tweet that the SNP should have welcomed Salmond back after the criminal trial. That was never going to happen.

    Even now they send out a mystery women claiming to be an alphabet woman working with the biggest Britnat on Britnat TV -Glen Campbell - using the same techniques as Kirsty Warks abomination of a programme to diss everybody. Poor old Linda Fabiani gets to publicly apologise on TV. Feel sorry for her at times.

    The best laugh as the mystery woman sits there saying her piece is when she says we have no voice. No - you had your say in court - you had your say with the Britnat media over and over again. You had your own TV programme - Courtesy of Wark - and you have your say through the government funded Rape Crisis Scotland - Brindley who is always speaking out about how badly they are treated. SNP/Scotgov continuing their smearing of Salmond. SNP/Scotgov giving millions to the Britnat media.

    Hey but some people think everything is ok in the SNP.

    Just how do we know that person Campbell talked to is one of the alphabet women anyway - take Campbell's word.😂😂😂

    Was anonymity given to the alphabet women for them to continue a campaign against Salmond and continually retry him with the help of the Britnat media.

    1. I assumed it was a whitehall civil servant the BBC was talking too. They were 7/9 in court after all. Interesting that you immediately accuse the SNP, unlike indepdence supporters would do normally.

      On this topic, I noticed Sturgeon didn't attack Salmond or accuse him of anything in her submission, but instead was at pains to point out she had never seen evidence of any wrongdoing, and crucially, that their 30 year close friendship created a massive a conflict of interest. Hence the normal role of an FM in proceedings could never apply; she could only walk away and not try to intervene on his behalf. Same would of course apply with his best mate Swinney, the DFM.

      By contrast, Salmond just attacks sturgeon from the start, making a wide range of accusations. Strikingly, he doesn't mention their close personal relationship at all, even though it is absolutely key to everything. In fact, if you replace 'The FM' with 'My close friend of 3 decades / like family', his submission reads completely differently. TBH, most of his arguments fall down.

      I would have hoped he'd have stated clearly for the recorded the truth; that him and Sturgeon were so close it was impossible for her to intervene with one mother of a conflict of interest, and that he felt it right and proper that he not ask her to do so.

      I do hope he makes a point of highlighting their close friendship when he appears at the committee. It is key to everything. It both explains sturgeon's behaviour and exonerates him as a sex pest. He's been close to sturgeon right back to when she was a young activist, yet she openly says she never saw evidence for sexual misconduct. Completely exonerates him.

    2. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - I have asked you on many occasions and each time you run away. You continually post that 7/9 of the alphabet women were UK civil servants and the other 2 SNP. I ask you again is that when the false accusations were made, or at the time of the trial or now.

      Bye bye Smearer - because this is when you normally run away because you do not have a clue.

    3. It only matters at the time of trial, obviously.

      That's when those concerned were 'trying to jail Salmond' whilst on the whitehall payroll.

      If people suddenly start accusing Salmond of past sexual harassment once they are getting a fat paycheck from London, it does raise questions don't you think?

    4. Although most of them, I understand, were civil servants working for ministers when Salmond was FM. Otherwise, how could they have been close enough to Salmond to make the claims they did?

    5. So that is not their current status then is it Smearer Skier - current as in Feb 2021.

      And it was not their status as at the time of the offences either according to you.

      So you are not telling the whole story are you Smearer because you don't have a clue and you don't know how many, if any, are standing in May 2021.

      Thankfully I will not have to specifically vote for any of them in May.

    6. As Salmond says in his submission Sturgeon had a duty to intervene as she is bound by the Ministerial code not to let her Government act unlawfully. The process Sturgeon signed off was patently unlawful and a lawyer like Sturgeon could see that but not only did she sign it off she let her Government continue with it for a year until her own external lawyers threatened to walk off the case (Judicial Review) unless it was conceded.

      This whole exercise was conducted deliberately to smear Salmond and it continues to this day. Independence supporters have 3 options:

      1. Confront it.

      2. Ignore it. = condoning it.

      3. Deny it and actively attempt to cover it up. = collusion.

    7. Sturgeon was Salmond's best friend of 30 years. Like family.

      That creates a conflict of interest which relieves Sturgeon of her normal duties here. This is blindingly obvious and I assume why Salmond doesn't mention it in his submission. You cannot have a mate of 30 years who is likely family too you using their power and influence to intervene in an investigation into your work conduct. This is HR 101.

      Of course it does highlight a potential problem with the system; what happens in the event of such a conflict of interest? The DFM acts? But then Swinney was a best mate of Salmond too... Again a massive potential conflict of interest.

    8. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - an example of option 3.

  10. I believe and hope that the SNP will win the vast, vast majority of consituency MSPs and therefore who is on most of the SNP regional lists will not be elected anyway.

    Candidates should be chosen on merit not on self id one day as an independence supporter then the next day going off in the huff and self id as a prick.

    1. We need more dashes of vinegar, as in your last sentence! :-)

    2. I agree. I will look at list candidates in my region and pick based on that. My list vote is, after all, my most important and should be for who I want in government.

      My constituency vote is just for who I'd most like as a local MSP, not for which party I want to lead Scotland.

    3. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - you do not have a clue how the electoral system for Holyrood works or you are deliberately lying. Based on the number of lies you post I suspect is the latter.

    4. SNP voters can be sure their SNP vote will be counted if they use it on the list. They cannot be sure of that for the constituency as it is FPTP.

      Here in the borders for example, the SNP lost most constituency seats, but made up for those loses with list votes for them; total seat allocations for each region being based on the list vote.

      In the model of AMS used in the United Kingdom, the regional seats are divided using a D'Hondt method. However, the number of seats already won in the local constituencies is taken into account in the calculations for the list seats, and the first average taken in account for each party follows the number of FPTP seats won. For example, if a party won 5 constituency seats, then the first D'Hondt divisor taken for that party would be 6 (5 seats + 1), not 1

    5. IFS I believe and hope the SNP more or less sweep the board on constituencies as well and if that happens I don't think they will be allocated many list seats. I do see the list vote as a sort of insurance rather than a wasted vote as in I do think they will win big in FPTP seats therefore won't get many list seats but if that doesn't happen they will be compensated via list seats. I'm not 100% decided on my list vote yet but that is my general feeling the now.

      I ask not to attack your views, but as someone who hopes the SNP wins the election which I gather from your post that is your position. Do you not think that the constant attacks on the party from yourself and others risks damaging there election prospects rather than them changing policy which I assume is what you desire?

      All the best

    6. Matthew, I do not think my posts will make any difference to the outcome of the election. The SNP is sick and needs to be brought back to health.

      I did not create the only government process for former ministers in the world which just happens to have been used to attack one person Salmond and was proven in court to be unlawfu, unfair and tainted by apparent bias. I did not then pass on the details to the Crown Office. I did not organise 10 women to tell porkies at a criminal court. I did not establish a Parliamentary Inquiry. I did not refer Sturgeon to be investigated for breaking the Ministerial code. I did not fund and ask the Rape Crisis people to continue to attack and smear Salmond. I did not ask alphabet women to continue to smear Salmond. I did not ask Sturgeon and Swinney to smear Salmond. I did not ask all these players in this criminal farce to lie on oath at the Inquiry sessions. I did not ask the Scotgov to try and cover up all their wrong doings.

      Despite knowing there are criminal scumbags in the SNP I will vote SNP for independence and hope for a large majority so that when Sturgeon does nothing even the most dense will see the way forward to independence does not include those settling for a comfy devolution lifestyle.

    7. Someone should tell Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) that all votes are counted in elections in Scotland.

    8. If you vote on the list for a party which fails to reach the 5% threshold in your region, your vote will not count towards the make up of the government.

      If you vote for the a losing candidate in the constituency vote, your vote will likewise not count towards the make up of government.

      See the electoral reform society for details.

    9. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - all votes are counted in Scotland. Whether or not a vote specifically elects an MSP is evidently a different matter.

      All votes are counted in Scotland. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar - oh that's you Smearer the sites pathological liar.

    10. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) says "total seat allocations for each region being based on the list vote"

      That is just plain wrong. A deliberate lie or someone who does not know what he is taliking about.


      In the model of AMS used in the United Kingdom, the regional seats are divided using a D'Hondt method. However, the number of seats already won in the local constituencies is taken into account in the calculations for the list seats, and the first average taken in account for each party follows the number of FPTP seats won. For example, if a party won 5 constituency seats, then the first D'Hondt divisor taken for that party would be 6 (5 seats + 1), not 1. The D'Hondt method is also implemented in sequential rounds, rather than using a table to find the highest averages, although both ways produce identical results.[6] Similar systems are used in Wales and London.

      Which part of this don't you understand IfS?

    12. Constituency seats are counted as regional lists seats already won, with the remaining list least seats then allocated on a PR basis taking this into account.

      If they constituency seats were not part of the total list, they would not be included in the calculation method.

    13. Smeaer Skier (liar since 2014) - you do not seem to understand any of it or as more likely you are lying to promote voting SNP twice in every region.

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  12. May I ask what is possibly a naive question?

    What if someone that is not personally in the categories described but for whatever reason advocates strongly for BAME and disabled folk? If they have encountered them, felt strongly that they were disadvantaged and advocated for them. But were not personally identifiable as BAME or disabled.

    I'd hazard that a lot of mental health legislation was probably not introduced by people suffering from the illness, but by competent advocates for their cause.

    Or am I just completely wrong about this?

    Your answers below might clarify my thoughts.

    (Apologies James, but I had to delete the previous version of this post, as it clearly required a 'not' in the right place.)

    1. It's a good point Douglas. I would say sometimes walking in a man's shoes is not the same as living in them.
      Lived experience can give you a better understanding.

  13. It's true that not many SNP candidates on the list will be elected.
    They real opportunity to assist disabled/Bame SNP members to enter Holyrood was missed when picking candidates for the constituencies.
    A bit of an embarrassment IMO, and far too late to be wringing hands now.

    1. To do that you would proabably be looking at deselecting sitting MSPs

    2. Ramstam - you are correct. It is a sham and an irrelevance in practical terms. Just right on grandstanding by the SNP.

      Unknown - a large no. of SNP MSPs are retiring so you are wrong

  14. The socialist Graham Campbell who attended a very select English Private school.
    A champion of the wokerati who uses the language of "Citizen Smith" to convince people of his left credentials!
    He uses the term rascist with the same frequency as others use a full stop.
    Wake up people!

  15. If candidates are not expected to justify their self-declared BAME or disabled status, can't every candidate just tick that box and the entire scheme will be neutralised?

    1. Anyone Scottish is an ethnic minority within the context of the UK. National identity / nationality is after all a protected characteristic.

  16. Salmond...sturgeon...salmond...sturgeon...female willies...

    Brexit causing supply problems for small UK manufacturers: survey

    LONDON (Reuters) - New post-Brexit trade restrictions have pushed up the cost of parts and raw materials for two thirds of small British manufacturers surveyed last month, and a majority reported some level of disruption.

  17. Given the hatred shown on here towards female MSPs by some, coupled with English right wing blogs constantly accusing them of serious crimes, the fact they bear the brunt of violent threats isn't a surprise.,death-threats-sent-to-third-of-msps

  18. I had a look at WGD BTL, and guess what, they are doing a Smearer Skier. Martin Hannan of The National is a Unionist and is probably an embedded Unionist plant say the old folks home residents.

    When it is down to the last two that are still Sturgeon fanatics that should be a ridiculous sight. The two of them claiming everyone else is a Unionist and comparing how often they check under their beds for unionists. Who will be last man standing saying everyone is a Unionist. My money is on Smearer Skier staying the course to at least the last sixteen. He clearly has no pals to do an intervention.

    1. Do you support any Scottish blogs or is it just English ones you advocate?

    2. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - unlike you I support Scottish independence.

  19. Well the SNP arent getting my list anyway. They lost that vote ages ago and have done nothing to get it back, quite the opposite in fact. But thanks for the heads up about the rigging James.