Tuesday, June 1, 2021

How many resignations will it take before the leadership recognise that the problem is not the NEC's critics, it's the NEC itself?

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Ed Coulson works in community radio in Ireland, and he was kind enough to record a sort of masterclass for me when I first started talking about the possibility of a Scot Goes Pop podcast.  By the time I listened to it, I had already recorded the first podcast, and unfortunately I realised that I'd done the complete opposite of a lot of what Ed had advised! However I've taken some of his advice on board for the subsequent episodes.  He got back in touch the other day and was the bearer of bad news - I had said the Scot Goes Popcast was now a 'proper' podcast because the episodes are downloadable from Soundcloud, but it turned out that's nowhere near enough, and I needed to set up an RSS feed and submit it to various podcast directories.

I finally seem to be getting there - the Scot Goes Popcast is now available on Spotify and on Stitcher, and I've also submitted it to a couple of other directories.  I haven't submitted it to Apple yet (which appears to be the most important one) because there were a few extra hoops to jump through, and I was a bit uneasy that they were asking for payment details.  However, I may still do that at some point.

Having gone to all this trouble, and having also taken out a paid subscription on Soundcloud, I kind of feel like I'd better continue with the podcast now, so keep the suggestions for potential guests coming.  My last three invitations all drew a blank, although as one of those was to renowned environmentalist Alistair McConnachie, maybe it was just as well.


  1. I have to say I am pretty disappointed in those quitting. It seems they are not willing to fight for what they said they needed to be elected to do. It's Wings 'quit when the key moment arrives' type behaviour. 'When the going gets tough, the tough resign!' etc.

    Ok, so we have very small group in the SNP that don't agree with the leadership. This is hardly 'turmoil'; it's only unionist using that language. We must keep in mind that the electorate just gave a record thumbs up to the current SNP leadership in a nationwide 'give your thoughts on the SNP leadership performance competition', which implies they are getting things reasonably right and are much more in touch with Scots electorate than those figures in the party that oppose them. And it's not because the SNP are the only indy ticket in town; the Greens are a strong force and we had a new party led by the former FM. People just chose the SNP. The people spoke.

    I think it's healthy to have debate, and that's clearly possible in the SNP as nobody's been booted out for disagreeing. They just quit their posts, but not their seats I note.

    Anyway, if the SNP is 'unreforamable', then the honorable thing to do would be for those who believe that - and are not willing to try and reform it from within - to quit the party and their seats, with by elections as necessary.

    If Alba MPs etc stood down and called by-elections, I would have serious respect for them.

    As for Cherry, I await actual details / evidence of exactly what reform is needed, why etc. Also the by election for her constituency. The latter is needed unless I will think her a hypocrite. I listened to what she had to say before and backed her for the NEC. Seems it was a wasted backing and I should have got behind someone that see things through.

    I also don't see why 'students = immature'. I work at a university; this definitely isn't the case. Maturity as naff all to do with age. It's a bit insulting to suggest it is.

    1. I'm not talking about chronological age, I'm talking about my own experience with student politics and student politicians. I await your apology for misrepresenting my position. Thanks.

    2. Strange to aim the focus of your disappointment at those blocked at getting to the truth, rather than the people who are obstructing them in every way possible.

      Yes, that strikes me as very odd indeed.

    3. Sorry, I meant generally. I was just reacting a bit to the 'student politics' thing (as a uni employee) as this term is used pejoratively, including for younger SNP activists by the UK media (inc Wings).

      I don't think students are any less mature than non-students when it comes to politics. It's nothing to do with age or educational status. Seasoned politicians are certainly not naturally more mature than students! Look who is PM of the UK!

      Within the SNP, Alba and the Greens I see both mature and immature behavior from different individuals myself. Thankfully this is confined to relatively small groups in both cases.

      In terms of people leaving the NEC, these seem mainly to be Alba defectors, so it's not really a shock in any way. If they support Alba, they obviously should resign immediately from the SNP NEC; it would very wrong for them not too! It's not scandalous or turmoil for the SNP.

      If I decide Alba are my party I'd hand in my SNP membership too.

      I am disappointed in Cherry. First for her not trying to be an MSP, but preferring Westminster, and now for walking from the NEC.

    4. "I don't think students are any less mature than non-students when it comes to politics."

      When I was at Glasgow uni, Labour were dominant in student politics, and they got ROSS KEMP elected as Rector.

      I rest my case, m'lud.

    5. As for "Cherry preferring Westminster", I mean not only is that blatant spin, it's particularly cynical spin because you know it's the opposite of the truth. She wanted to switch to Holyrood.

    6. Skier up to his usual craven repetition of the SNP PR line again. If you don't think the lack of any democracy in the NEC, and the cultish sycophancy is a problem, you are sticking your head in the sand. And if you don't think serious people resigning because they are blocked from fully auditing the accounts is a serious issue you are a fool.
      As for Joanna Cherry, this pathetic line you are peddling is a lie. Of course she wanted to be an MSP, have a wild guess who blocked her. The harassment she has had to endure, without support from her own party, is atrocious, despite being leagues ahead intellectually and pragmatically of nearly all the current anodyne and mediocre executive. The SNP is becoming a byword for secretive, antidemocratic practices. If you doubt me look at the the last three NEC meetings, in particular the risible denunciation of people who had left, for very good reasons of their own, despite being long term stalwarts of the party.

    7. As for Cherry, I await actual details / evidence of exactly what reform is needed, why etc. Also the by election for her constituency. The latter is needed unless I will think her a hypocrite.

      Am I missing a crucial part of the story here? Why would failing to trigger a by-election make JC a hypocrite?

  2. Philosopher Donald Hoffman would be an interesting interview.

    Economist Mark Blyth too, who recently came out for independence

  3. The Trees For Life guy - rewilding Scotland

    Restoring the ancient Caledonian Forest Alan Watson Featherstone TEDxFindhorn


  4. Anyone know the up-to-date membership figure for the SNP? How much money are current members giving to the SNP? Is it increasing or decreasing?

  5. Why not invite Joanna Cherry?

  6. Purely, an independent comment from Wales, but your contribitor Scottish Skier, is a bit of a tool. Best Wishes.

    1. He was handy when the Brit trolls filled the comments section. But now they’re bashed, he’s turning on his own. It happens. Some people like a fight, that’s all. Keeps them in shape I guess.

      Anyway, though I disagree with Skier on all his specific points (especially Cherry resigning her seat, come on, she’s SNP!) I also reckon this NEC trouble is nothing the public is ever going to notice. It’s Nicola’s party, Nicola’s government and Nicola’s country. They voted for it. I didn’t but my side (Alba, obviously) got thumped!

    2. An SNP apologist, excuser, and denialist. Straight from party HQ.

    3. @John Muir.

      Trolling is when you post on a website in anther country with the primary purpose of just calling the locals names.


  7. https://www.thenational.scot/news/19346119.chris-hanlon-pledges-not-step-snp-nec-despite-allies/

    Chris Hanlon pledges not to step down from SNP NEC despite allies doing so

    Hanlon added that he could see more “reformers” elected onto the body again when the ­internal ­elections happen at this year’s ­conference.

    I am pretty disappointed in Cherry for quitting. I am starting to think she's a bit too 'all mouth and no trousers'. I am not disappointed in Hanlon for staying, but impressed. Respect. 'When the going gets tough, the tough get going' is the old saying.

    Will I now get called an 'SNP stooge taking orders from SNP central' for criticizing one reformist SNP MP who decided not to stand for Holyrood and has resigned from the NEC, while saying I'm impressed with another who is still pushing hard for the reform he believes in?

    I think to many people act like their hero's can do no wrong. On both sides.

    As I am an activist for no party but Yes, I don't do this.