Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The wrong sort of purity test

This morning I cast my votes for the ranking of SNP list candidates in the Central Scotland region. A chorus of voices on Twitter said "why bother, James, the whole thing is a farce, the results are being rigged", and of course the word "rigged" is not meant figuratively in this case - the NEC is literally planning to change the winner if members vote the 'wrong' way. However, I believe in voting as a matter of principle, and even if I lived in an authoritarian country I'd still want to at least attempt to make my voice heard. 

Interestingly, one of the huge flaws that I identified the other day in the NEC's plan does actually apply - there are several candidates from ethnic minorities (from memory I think there are three) in Central Scotland, a region that has been arbitrarily set aside for positive discrimination in favour of disabled candidates only. That means the BAME candidates will be actively discriminated against, and it will be harder, not easier, for them to become MSPs. It literally makes no sense. 
 
I'm happy with my vote for Michelle Thomson as Number 1 candidate, although even that is a largely symbolic choice, because unless something goes horribly wrong she should be comfortably elected on the constituency ballot. Some of the lower rankings were a lot trickier because I'd never heard of some of the candidates. There are candidate statements provided when you vote, but a lot of them are of the motherhood and apple pie variety. I ended up looking at the candidates' presence on social media for little clues as to their real views and priorities. Denise Findlay recommended Anum Qaisar-Javed to me, although mixed views were expressed about her. So I had a closer look, and from the limited information available I decided to take a leap of faith and give her a high ranking. I know this will sound ridiculous to some people, but one small thing that reassured me about her was that she retweeted Alex Salmond a couple of weeks ago - that gives me hope that she won't be overly-factional. 

Perhaps, though, I should have waited to see who signs Kirsty Blackman's trans rights pledge. She has indicated that she will only give her preferences to those who sign the pledge - which suggests that people who do sign will be tacitly giving their approval to a McCarthyite purity test that has nothing to do with independence. Let's be clear: that's not where the membership is. I recently ran a Twitter poll to ask whether people would still support independence even if they knew for certain that an independent Scotland would not deliver their preferred outcome on self-ID. In spite of the fact that my followers probably contain a disproportionate number of people who feel strongly about the trans issue, well over 90% said they would still support indy. If a pro-indy party is going to have a McCarthyite purity test at all, that's probably the only one worth having: will people prioritise indy even if it means not getting their way on other things?

65 comments:

  1. Joan McAlpine is a candidate for my regional list again.

    Lesson I learned from this is not listen to people who make abusive 'unfounded allegations / calls to arms' on here that told me she wouldn't be.

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    1. That she wouldn't be a candidate? I think you got the wrong end of the stick - people were pointing out to you that she was being shafted by the protected category scheme, meaning she can't be ranked top and is thus less likely to remain an MSP. There was nothing "unfounded" about that.

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    2. No, they (it wasn't you) said she wouldn't be standing in my region at all and was going somewhere else.

      Instead, she's standing in the same constituency again (where she was just 3.4% behind, up 7.6% last time) and is a candidate on the list who I intend to vote for.

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    3. Exactly! She was removed from first place by an illegal vote. A vote the lawyers stated to the NEC would be difficult to defend if challenged.

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    4. I don't understand. How could McAlpine hold any sort of ranking until members have voted?

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    5. Simple. The members will rank as normal then HQ will amend the ranking to place a disabled candidate as No.1. If the members had Joan top she would now take 2nd place. This was the illegal NEC change.

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    6. Sorry, you said 'She was removed from first place by an illegal vote'.

      I understood McAlpine has yet to be voted into first place by members (I intend to vote for her). If she is, she may yet be shunted out of that under rules brought in by the NEC to facilitate more MSPs from minority groups. I understand the NEC vote wasn't illegal in any way, although it does sound like while it was well intentioned, the positive discrimination approach put in place is flawed and open to legal challenge. Which McApline is free to do assuming she is voted into the top ranks of the list, then is shunted out of place, and doesn't win her constituency.

      This is bit different to what you described, which sounded a bit like the misleading sensationalist language of the daily mail, Wings and other assorted right-wing English sites.

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    7. I think the confusion is that Joan *was* top-ranked at the last election and elected from the list first. Custom would normally have her retain that position if she so wished and didn't win her constituency, which I hope she does. In that way she was 'removed from first place'.

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    8. No matter how members vote she will not be No.1
      If she does not win the constituency she will be out of Holyrood.
      Candidates can self define their disability. It is not done by recognised definition.

      Is that sensationalist languages?
      I would call it a factual description.

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    9. Yes, but that's not what you said. You are now backtracking.

      And why can't Joan just identify as disabled or BAME? Failing that, just go to court? I mean if the process is discriminatory, it has to be challenged. And if self-iding as disabled is fine, then she's free to. Maybe she has some back pain or something. That could count.

      Sorry, while the process does seem totally stupid, it's not as if, in addition to the entire SNP, the crown office, the police and the courts, disabled and BAME people are now all in on the Salmond conspiracy too. While seems to be the line of attack from some.

      This is list thing is the same as GRA; well intentioned stuff being poorly thought out.

      Wanting minorities properly represented is a good thing, as is making life easier for people with medical sex dysphoria. As is letting people dress how the want and shag who they want etc.

      However, laws should be defined by the legally definable, otherwise they will end up a mess and in the courts. Which this one is heading for. It will be corrected if it is wrong.

      However, there's no need for sensationalist stuff here.

      I'd rather the SNP were screwing up by being nice to BAME folks than calling them 'piccaninnies with watermelon smiles' while forcibly deporting them en masse to the Caribbean.

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    10. I understand the NEC vote wasn't illegal in any way, although it does sound like while it was well intentioned, the positive discrimination approach put in place is flawed and open to legal challenge. Which McApline is free to do assuming she is voted into the top ranks of the list, then is shunted out of place, and doesn't win her constituency.

      Will members be notified of the pre-adjustment rankings, though? I thought we were just going to get the final list order with no way of knowing whether it was modified by the scheme.

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    11. FOI should sort that if not made available. Clear cut case as the system must be fair; hence the concerns about it being easily challenged in court. And a refusal to FOI would be enough to take it to court where the results would be forthcoming.

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  2. I voted yesterday in the North East and ignored all candidates from factions. It was easy for me as I knew a few of them that I voted for.


    The latest UK poll - NS is doing well in England compared to the 2019 GE.

    https://redfieldandwiltonstrategies.com/latest-gb-voting-intention-15-february-2021/

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  3. Should I have had my email yet? I couldn't see one so far.

    Maybe google are in on the Salmond thing?

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  4. Well I am still voting SNP on the consituency for Scottish independence and to reduce the number of Britnat MSPs despite the current leaderships corrupt actions so I personally do not think it is that great a surprise that people will set aside concerns about GRA to vote for independence.

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    1. Out of interest, which constituency / region are you in? I'm in Christine Grahame's / SoS.

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    2. Smearer Skier ( liar since 2014) - I have posted a few times my region. You should pay more attention.

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    3. For the benefit of new readers to SGP then.

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    4. Smearer Skier (list since 2914) - pissof. Trawl back through previous posts if you are that interested.

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    5. It's kinda suspicious that you don't want to say. Are you even in Scotland?

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    6. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - nope it's all there in previous posts. You comment plenty of times on my posts. Memory problem or you just don't even read my posts when you comment. So take the hint and pissof.

      Are you even on this planet with the pish you post.

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    7. The kind of conversations you two lead I've only come across at gay bdsm joints.
      But - this whole 'plan' to favour 'ethnic' and 'disabled' candidates's definitely a bit of a farce. I mean what's 'ethnic' and what's 'disabled' - can you just self-describe yourself as belonging to those categories or do you need some sort of certificate to prove you belong to the right category. It reminds of blond lecturers at US universities claiming they had a native or African American ancestor and the right to positive action themselves.
      It's again one of those issues (the same as GRA) I really don't want to spend months discussing. Does anyone (or has anyone in the recent past) who'd describe themselves as 'ethnic' or 'disabled' feel disadvantaged or discriminated against in the SNP?

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    8. Hi IfS. I can't see the issue with you saying what region / constituency you are in. Unless you are not in Scotland, but maybe in Somerset or something.

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    9. Smeaer Skier (liar since 2014) - I have posted which region I am in and how I voted in 2016 previously. Not my problem you either cannot read properly or have a memory problem or it was one of your other multiple personalities that read the posts or you were on some drugs at the time or you accidently hit yourself on your head with your hammer.

      Pissof Smearer - you are like a stalker.

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  5. At risk of turning this into an internal snp discussion, I see the same name at the (alphabetical) top of the selection list on the snp website for both Lothian and South of Scotland.
    Is that an allowable thing? ( maybes is at list selection stage???)

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  6. Personally, I would just change the system. I would rather we got rid of the Regional Lists (except, possibly, for one, relatively small, Pan-Scottish List for minor balancing purposes), and just had fewer, larger constituencies that returned multiple MSPs (perhaps 3-4)using much the same system we currently use for Regional Lists.

    I would make the party lists "open" rather than "closed "though. That is, the Parties could rank their candidates on the ballot paper but the voter would be able to ignore that ranking and put their cross next to another candidate in that Party's list. For example, you might want to vote Green but the 1st ranked candidate on their List is, in your opinion, a pratt .... so you ignore him and put your cross next to whichever of the other Green candidates you would prefer. When it came to totting up, the Greens might merit an MSP in your constituency so they would see what Green candidate got the most votes (which might not be the Party's preferred choice) and they would become the MSP.

    It would go some way to prevent even well meaning "fixing" and incumbents getting a "meal ticket for life".

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    1. MBP - I think you are Smearer Skier. Why? You both post the same pish and love to accuse people of being unionists.

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    3. Got a double post in there when I clicked the "Go back" arrow.

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    4. MBP - having the same trouble as Smearer Skier he is always having to delete his posts.

      MBP so it is ok for you to troll me and call me a Unionist and say I am some other poster but when it happens to you I'm the troll. Have a good long look in the mirror Smearer Skier - liar and troller.

      Troll on Skier.

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    5. No IfS, its the constant tirade of repetitive abuse that makes you a Troll. Nothing more.

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  7. I'm in a similar situation in mid scotland and fife. I know a couple of candidates from my branch but the others I know very little about and the candidate statements aren't all that helpful. Will wait until closer to the deadline to see if I can get any better information!

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  8. Does anyone know of any countries which currently clearly support independence but have not be able to get that?

    What about countries which tried to get indy from the UK but are still part of it because the PM said no?

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  9. I have eight MSP's. I wouldn't vote for any of them.

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  10. If a disabled non BAME person put their name forward in a BAME designated region then they cannot be discriminated against. Shurely. Would the law nor require then to be treated equally? Just sayin.

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    1. What if someone self-identifies as black? You know, like Ali G.

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  11. Does anyone know if the SNP candidate for the leaderdale and Melrose by election is in on the Scotland-wide trans-cult pedo conspiracy to take out Salmond?

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    1. Now Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) isn't even trying to hide he is posting pish.

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  13. My loyalty to Scotland is constant,
    although my regard/respect for any particular MP or MSP is always under review.
    Many SNP folk are truly genuine politicians but anybody putting a particular policy before independence won't get my vote.
    BTW, It's not a good look to see some of the comments on here anent BAME or disabled SNP members who want to help in the Indy fight as much as the rest of us.
    They deserve their chance, and don't deserve to be made scapegoats or victims by internal party rammies.
    If SNP systems had been in place to get some of them selected as constituency candidates the present situation would be less febrile.
    I certainly feel for present list MEPs
    who have proven records of service.
    We'll just have to beat the bloody Tories in the constituencies!

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  14. COMPARE and CONTRAST - A Tale of Two Political Trials

    1. Trump trial.

    The jury consists of victims, witnesses and accomplices. A simple majority is insufficient. A two thirds majority required. Both the prosecution and defence can present their evidence. Trumps republican political party colleagues acquit him.

    2. Sturgeon Trial.

    2.1 PART ONE. James Hamilton QC independent assessor determines himself if Sturgeon broke the Ministerial code. Remit for Hamilton written by Swinney. Hardly a neutral person to determine the remit. Evidence considered by Hamilton not disclosed. Remit may or may not be widened by Hamilton. Hamilton is the investigating officer, judge, defence, prosecutor and jury. No politicians directly influencing the decision.

    2.2. PART TWO - Parliamentary Inquiry - Evidence controlled and restricted by the Scottish Government and Crown Office who are also being investigated. Witnesses restricted due to alphabet women anonymity. Witnesses allowed to lie by Convenor and not answer questions. Witnesses allowed to continually "update" their written testimonies when shown to have misled the Inquiry. The Inquiry Committee members are investigating officers, judge, defence, prosecutors and jury. The Inquiry members are all politicians.

    Which of these two bonkers trials are thought to be based on the highest levels of fairness and justice. Trump or Sturgeon. Neither can be described as models of just process.

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    1. The Trump trial was based on lies motivated by hatred and a desire by the Demofascist party to exterminate all opposition.
      Turning "Peacefully and Patriotically protest" into a call to overthrow the Government is somewhat of a reach. Unless you are suffering from TDS when it all seems to be perfectly acceptable.
      Just like accepting Millions of fraudulent votes, actual voter suppression by the media and terror tactics by the BLM/Antifa stomtroopers. Orange man bad isn't going to cut it for much longer.

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    2. Peejay - thanks for your opinion but you didn't compare and contrast the two trials.

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    3. I understand it was Salmond who devised the ministerial code process? Swinney was his DFM for a good while.

      SNP obviously don't control Holyrood as they don't have a majority, unlike when Salmond was FM.

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    4. And I feel I should remind people of these wise words when they push unproven allegations on the internet:

      https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/crime/edinburgh-mp-joanna-cherry-reports-fresh-incident-concern-police-3135355

      She [Cherry] tweeted: “I’ve spent the morning arranging enhanced security at my home & reporting another incident of concern to police. Unfounded allegations & calls to arms on twitter have consequences & I hope politicians from all parties will bear this in mind.”

      It was Trump making up allegations that the US wasn't democratic that caused the capitol violence.

      People should not incite similar action against Scottish democracy.

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    5. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - your post has no relevance to my original post so your opinion as ever is unwelcome and in this instance irrelevant rather than your normal lies.

      Did you write the script for that pathetic alphabet woman on Sunday colluding with the BBC. You are always referencing the BBC and defending these plotters. Like you she is a proven liar.

      Who would have thought it would come to the SNP/Scotgov colluding with Glenn Campbell of the BBC the Britnats ultra Britnat. Yes that's what you are defending Smearer and I know what that makes you.

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    6. Unfounded allegations & calls to arms on twitter have consequences & I hope politicians from all parties will bear this in mind.

      You should calm down IfS.

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    7. As cherry says, it's unfounded allegations and calls to arms that results in this:

      https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/19091362.survey-finds-third-msps-received-death-threats/

      Survey finds third of MSPs have received death threats

      As well as 33% of all MSPs receiving death threats, the figure rose to 46% for female MSPs.

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    8. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - you should stop defending the indefensible and stop lying.

      1. I am not on twitter.

      2. I have made no calls to arms.

      3. I have made no unfounded allegations.

      4. I have made no threats to anyone of any violence.

      5. What I have said is that you are a liar and you prove that on a regular basis.

      6. What I have said is that you are a smearer and you have just proved that again.

      7. What I have said is that you are option 3. Collude with the people who attempted to put Salmond in jail. You prove that on a regular basis every day.

      The truth to liars like you Smearer is like kryptonite to superman but you ain't no superman just a craven party weasel.

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    9. You are making unfounded allegations on social media. Serious allegations of conspiracy to commit perjury; crimes that could put someone in jail. Yet you provide no evidence. You won't even go to the police but just try to convince people others are criminals, inciting people to take justice into their own hands.

      I cannot see the difference between you and those you claim to condemn. At least they went to the police and let the courts decide on their claims.

      And James Hamilton QC was appointed in January 2013. Who was FM back then?

      https://www.gov.scot/publications/ministerial-code-advisers/

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  16. w.r.t the Joan McAlpine situation - surely all she has to do is "self-id" as disabled and then she'll retain her place at the top of the list as long as she gets the votes?

    Sometimes when you are facing a grave injustice you have to fight using the tools (no matter how descpicable) available to you. Otherwise you risk losing to those less scrupulous who are prepared to gerrymander.

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    1. I agree. Why don't members use the self-id tactic themselves to show how ridiculous it is?

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    2. Sure. I'm an ethnic minority in the UK (Scottish and Irish) and am 'trans non-binary'* as I believe the concept of gender identify is a crock of s**te. There is no such thing as binary gender roles / expression / thoughts / presentation; only biological sex is binary. I refuse to be pigeon holed as having some ridiculously sexist binary 'gender'. I only have a sex.

      I don't even have to self-id as this; just use definitions from stonewall etc.

      ----

      *
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-binary_gender

      ...Non-binary people as a group have a wide variety of gender expressions, and some may reject gender "identities" altogether.

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  17. It's interesting how the attacks on sturgeon have now moved to attacks on Scottish democracy and justice as a whole. 'The parliament is corrupt...the police are corrupt...the courts system corrupt....everyone is corrupt...you can't trust any of them'

    They are getting very frightened of iref2.

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    1. The Tories and their bedfellows should look in the mirror, they will see where corruption really is.

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