Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Alba NEC election outcome

I'm really honoured to say that I've been elected as one of the eight ordinary members of the Alba Party's National Executive Committee.  The successful candidates are:

Female ballot: Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, Michelle Ferns, Denise Findlay, Suzanne Blackley

Male ballot: Roddy MacLeod, Josh Robertson, James Kelly, Hamish Vernal

Congratulations to all of the above, and commiserations to the many excellent candidates who weren't elected on this occasion.  I'd like to also thank the Alba members who nominated me, and the conference delegates who voted for me at the weekend.  I really appreciate it.  

I'll do my best to be one of the voices of the rank and file membership on the NEC.  On that subject, I noticed earlier today that two people had emailed me on Saturday with specific questions, but both messages ended up in my spam folder.  I'll try to reply later tonight (although in one case the answer may not be very helpful, because I'm a bit hazy on the subject matter).

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Scot Goes Popcast: You can watch the full videos of my recent interviews with Yvonne Ridley and William Duguid HERE and HERE

44 comments:

  1. Congratulations.

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  2. Congratulation James, you’ll do well. If Alba go places, you’ll go places in it. Let’s hope for both—for Scotland!

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  3. Congratulations! I hope Alba's NEC works in a far smoother and more transparent way than that of the SNP, and that you and your newly elected colleagues are able to make an impact.

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  4. congratulations James. I hope Alba's NEC will keep the faith with the membership. Although this is the very membership who will be on the look out for leadership infringements! :)

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  5. Well done one and all.
    Well deserved voices for Scotland.

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  6. Congratulations James

    De stellafella

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  7. Llongyfarchiadau Congratulations from Wales.

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  8. James very pleased for you. Well done. I hope you enjoy your time on the first ever Alba NEC. Maybe Roddy will invite you all to Catalonia for one of your meetings.

    My suggestion is that Alba puts in each and everyone of it's future election mandates that a vote for Alba is a vote for independence. None of this pathetic farting about with mandates for a referendum like the devolutionalist SNP.

    When I was watching Sturgeons speech the other day it was so boring my attention wandered to her bookcase and I thought aye that's where she keeps her collection of unused mandates and her hubby keeps his multiple versions of SNP accounts.
    There is probably also a "hit list of people to be sorted" tucked away in the corner with a tick alongside the names Murray, Cherry, Salmond.

    Enjoy your success then please get to work getting us out of this hellhole of a UK union. My promise is to buy some Alba merchandise and at least if Alba end up like the SNP I can kid on it's just the name of Scotland and not the party. I had to bin all the yellow SNP stuff. That was some long term foresight by the SNP choosing yellow because it turned in to the most yellow Independence Party on planet earth.

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  9. Well deserved, James. Now on to Independence!

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  10. Congratulations, Jim.

    Off-topic, but wouldn't have been nice if ALBA, in addition to the two well-deserving life memberships, had given one to Craig Murray as well?

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  11. Meanwhile in the land of the numpties and the home of the doggers Dr Jim is still having multiple orgasms over Sturgeons speech. Pretty good stuff Jim for a 72 year old. Jim wants us to know the whole world is watching Sturgeons speech and is bringing happiness and enlightenment into every home in the world. It's a crackerjack of a speech Jim tells us.

    Jim, of course, has previously expressed his distaste for sycophants.

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  12. Congratulations on your election, but can I point out one little hypocrisy? I'm all in favour of positive action when it is manifestly needed. When there is gross under-representation of any group in parliaments, political party governing bodies etc, and I fully support efforts to equalise the numbers of male and female representatives on the Alba NEC.

    However, when the SNP make efforts to try and increase numbers of under-represented groups by manipulating their lists of candidates, they are being dictatorial and corrupt, while Alba are doing it for honourable reasons. For clarity, i think both parties are right in their actions and (IMO) have both done so for honourable reasons, but why doesn't Alba's imposition of quotas open them up to the same criticisms that were levelled at the SNP?

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    1. Alex, James as a member of the Alba NEC may want to reply to you but I would just remind you of the self ID aspect of the SNP. People self idling as disabled or women. As I remember posting that as I am colour blind I could self ID as disabled. Also the SNP knew that they weren't going to get many list MSPs.

      That is the difference to me - it wasn't genuine. Others may think differently.

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    2. It's not quite the same thing though, is it? The result of the female ballot did not affect the result of the male ballot or vice-versa. However, the result of the BAME/Disabled ballot in each region directly affected the ordering of SNP candidates not on those ballots.

      As an aside, I am pleased to see that six out of eight in my first four picks on each ballot got elected.

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    3. Skip_NC, but it IS the same thing. Of necessity, having a female ballot affected the number of males voted on to the NEC. If it didn't, what was the point of having a female ballot?

      The sole reason for Alba creating two separate ballots has to be because the leadership expected women to be under-represented if they didn't.

      Again, I agree with the idea of having separate ballots, (or putting disabled people at the head of regional lists as the SNP did), but my point is that when the SNP did it, it was the dictatorial leadership imposing their views on the membership, while the Alba leadership did it for purely altruistic reasons.

      Double standards....

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    4. But there were separate ballots in the Alba NEC elections and the top four in each ballot got elected. In the SNP candidate selection contest there was a ballot-within-a-ballot, except (if I'm not mistaken) the party did not say who was standing on which ballot. The overall winner did not win and, instead, was supplanted by someone who may have finished last with a terribly low number of votes.

      The practical effect of the Alba election is to elect people that the membership sees as best able to take the party forward. Not everyone capable of doing that was elected. That's politics.

      The practical effect in the SNP process was that the best people did not get selected. I have cerebral palsy. If I were resident in Scotland and an SNP member, I could have put myself forward on the disabled list somewhere and I may well have been placed first on the list with two or three per-cent of the vote. I really don't see how the two are comparable.

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    5. Alex you say " the sole reason for Alba creating..................". Surely the reason is to have an EQUAL number of male and female representatives on the NEC and the Alba approach GUARANTEES that. Which clearly is not the same as the SNP approach - not by a long way. So it seems to me it is not a matter of double standards but different standards.

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    6. IFS, you are absolutely right, the reason for Alba doing it that way was to ensure an equal number of male and female representatives on the NEC, an aspiration I totally agree with. However, it follows that if there HADN'T been separate ballots, it is possible, even probable, that women might have been under-represented.

      The aspiration of the Alba leadership was to have an equal representation. Why is it not possible that a similar "positive action" by the SNP to increase the representation of disabled people in parliament wasn't also possible?

      Why is it that Alba were manipulating the ballot for aspirational reasons, but the SNP were manipulating the ballot for sinister reasons? It's not the actions of either leadership I'm questioning, it's the hypocrisy of damning the SNP and praising Alba. I commend both parties........

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    7. These oh-so-fine sentiments just don't ring true somehow, Alex. First of all, I don't know on what basis you assume that women would "probably" have been under-represented without the separate ballots - if anything, the list of female candidates looked slightly stronger than the list of male candidates. Secondly, there's a touch of "what sharp teeth you have, grandmother" in you innocently wondering what possible reason anyone could have for questioning the motivations behind the SNP's reserved places scheme. Perhaps start by looking at some of the specfic individuals who benefited from it, or the individuals who thought they might benefit from it, and then look at whether they or their close allies had any hand in bringing the system about.

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    8. Alex, James Kelly has covered the point I would have made - namely there may have been more female representation than men if there was not equal ballots. There is no hypocrisy in my comments Alex. Your reply conveniently ignores my point about self ID and of course one election was for NEC (Alba) and the other was about list candidates ( SNP). Although James rightly also contrasts the SNP NEC set up which is a total disgrace of SNP leadership manipulation. The current plan of the SNP is to reduce the number of elected members on the SNP NEC.

      Alex I am sure you will come to realise what the current SNP leadership is just as you realised eventually what Labour is. Everyone who wants independence will get there but we will have wasted a long long time getting nowhere believing in Sturgeon.

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    9. You may well be right. I hope not, but you may well be.

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  13. Congratulations, James

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  14. James, I want to make sure that any Alba merchandise I buy goes to the Alba party. Do you have any guidance as to where I should buy it from. I could obviously just donate again but I would like to demonstrate my support in some other more visible way. Mugs, t shirts, masks hoodies etc.

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    1. I don't know the answer to that off the top of my head, but I'll let you know if I hear anything. Perhaps a merchandise section will be added to the website at some point.

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    2. I have had a look on line and there is plenty of stuff available but I just don't know if it is Alba party approved and the party gets at least a share of the money. Obviously I would prefer it if 100% of the money went to Alba.

      I'll do a straight donation at the moment and wait to see if you can give me any advice on the merchandise.

      Thanks for the reply.

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  15. Congratulations, James.

    You certainly ruffled a few feathers when you made an honest appraisal of the Scottish political situation, saw the writing on the wall, and decided to back ALBA. No hints, no half-measures, no fear, just a brave and honest "This is where I am" stance - I liked that.

    All the best in this new position- I am sure you will make yet another valuable contribution to the cause in due course.

    Cheers. :)

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  16. Mike Russell says people like me are talking bollocks that the SNP wil never deliver independence under the current leadership.

    Now apart from Mikes horsebox what else have they done?

    Anyone want to explain why 4 months after the election in May Sturgeon hasn't sent her formal letter requesting a section 30 as she did after the last UK GE.

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    1. Fear that BJ might just call her bluff and give her one?

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  17. Stuart Hosie MP and ex deputy leader of the SNP boasting on Twitter that some poll gives the SNP all 59 of Scotlands MPs in the next GE.

    1. We had 56 before what difference does 59 MPs in Westminster make.

    2. It doesn't say to me that Hosie thinks either we will have a referendum before the next GE or there will be a positive outcome to the referendum.

    Is Hosie thinking we may be back to the possibility that the SNP MPs may hold some sort of balance of power again in Westminster after another GE and force a sec 30. Not impossible but is this what we want from leaders of an independence movement. Is this the secret plan - fingers crossed?

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  18. SEPTEMBER THE 18th

    Every year the leader of a Scotgov that garners votes by saying they are for Scottish independence should be made to make a statement on Sept 18th explaining why we are still not independent. And if it is Alba in some future year then it should apply to them as much as the SNP today.

    What are we getting this year - 50 odd Orange Walk marches in Glasgow. Why does Glasgow Council allow this? Why not one march. Why allow them to maximise their bigoted hatred of Catholics throughout the city. Do they have some sort of orange god given right to those numbers of marches?

    SNP Glasgow council - bloody useless. Good at getting organisers of AUOB marches locked up mind you.

    Humza Yousaf - bloody useless. I remember his speech in Nov 19 in George Sq Glasgow going on about how he is a real Glasgow boy. Well if he is he would know all about the anti catholic bigotry in Glasgow of the orange coloured bigots but his horrendous Hate Crime bill doesn't even include it.

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  19. Congratulations, James. Thoroughly deserved.

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  20. TWO CHEEKS

    Remember when the saying was Labour and Tory two cheeks of the same arse.

    Today's saying after 6 years of Sturgeons Scotland is:

    Westminster and Holyrood two cheeks of the same arse.

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  21. SCOTTISH ENGINEERING

    Scotland used to be well known for its engineering. Now the only engineering the Scotgov is concerned about is social engineering by Somerville who wants to turn us all in to non - binary people. John ( Redactor Man ) Swinney was bad enough putting pornographic materials in to schools but Somerville well she is ...........

    Now Somerville found the devolved aspects of Social Security too difficult for her to handle and the devolved powers were given back to Westminster. These powers were obviously a political poisoned chalice that Westminster knew would be very difficult to manage but putting Somerville in charge as well then that just made it impossible. So why is she now Education Secretary in charge of schools? To re- engineer ( brainwash) young minds that's why. Oh and she is a pal of Sturgeon.

    In Westminster Johnston picks people for his Cabinet based on being a Brexiteer and not competence.

    In Holyrood Sturgeons picks people for her Cabinet based on personal loyalty to her and not competence. Oh and it helps if you sign up to all this Queer theory stuff.

    Dr Jim may be told in the future he must be Dr Jemima at least 3 days a week or it will be a Hate Crime as he is not accepting his non - binary status. Somerville will finally have got a job done.

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  22. HOUSE JOCK

    If anyone wants to see what a House Jock looks like have a good look at the house slave acted by Samuel Jackson in the Tarantino film Diango Unchained. Jacksons character, a black slave, runs the house for his master Leonardo Di Caprio. Jackson convinces himself he is like one of the masters family by grovelling etc etc his whole life and getting a few friendly comments thrown his way and a better standard of living than most slaves but when a crunch comes he sees he is ultimately just another slave. No different from the black slaves working Di Caprio's cotton fields. Jackson's character never considered FREEDOM. Just accepted the position he was born in to. Jacksons character also found Diango, a free black man, offensive. Black men should not be free. It is not what Jackson's world is all about.

    A whole nation (Scotland ) was enslaved by military force in the middle of the 18th century and most people were turned in to House Jocks for centuries.

    Scotland still has many many of these House Jocks and there are a lot of them in the SNP leadership.

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  23. Congratulations, hope you bring some even handed common sense to the party and the overall Independence movement. We need out and we need to agree to disagree till that happens. Good luck James.

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  24. POOR HUMZA and THE INDECENT BRITISH MEDIA

    Now any decent broadcaster would decide that it was in very poor taste to show that film of Humza Yousaf the Scottish Health Secretary tripping himself up on his disability scooter. But of course the British Broadcasters never miss a trick to disparage/humiliate anything/anybody Scottish.

    That's what happens when you are a devolutionalist Humza. They have no respect for you. You only have yourself to blame.

    Your government gave money to the British media. They have no respect for House Scots. If we were independent then it wouldn't have happened. You only have yourself and your colleagues to blame.

    Be serious about independence and you might get some respect.

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  25. James, firstly congratulations!! :)
    As a Wings follower I am surprised but very pleased to see that you have finally seen the light.
    Hopefully, you can bring others into the light too and see that ALBA is the main Independence for Scotland party (there are notable exceptions to help the cause of course but not the current incumbents of the Scottish Parliament)
    Work to keep this party member led, not devotee/appointee led and you will do amazing along with the other NEC ALBA candidates.

    Let's bring ALBA forward and with it Scotlands' Independence

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    1. Thank you for the good wishes, but just for the record I have not "finally seen the light" about anything. I said consistently for a very long time that if Alex Salmond set up a new party, I was likely to support it. I was, however, totally opposed to the proposed Wings Party, which was and remains a dreadful idea. If a Wings Party had been set up, I would not have joined or supported it - and for that matter I did not join or support the Independence for Scotland Party or Action for Independence when they were set up. Alba is completely different because it has the critical mass to prosper.

      I'm surprised, incidentally, that nobody has commented upon Stuart Campbell's change of heart. He claimed after the election that continuing with Alba was an exercise in futility, but now he'll be editing the Wee Alba Book. It's extremely welcome that he's "seen the light" as you would put it.

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    2. James, what you say in your first paragraph is certainly how I remember your position. Although I have to say I never thought a Wings party was a possibility. Campbell has a lot of attributes but it's hard to see him as a politician.

      Second paragraph - good point. Hopefully Campbell's forecast about Alba being an exercise in futility is one that he gets wrong. Worryingly his track record, to be fair, is very good. It's certainly better than all these numpties that keep forecasting a referendum next year - year after year.

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  26. I’m in danger here of being swamped as my point goes against the grain of the overwhelming opinion of poster on this blog. Personally I don’t give a flying f**** who and how we get independence, so long as we get there. I haven’t been convinced by any of the argument that SNP don’t want independence, the more vitriolic the the less convincing the anti SNP point becomes. I therefore still see the SNP as our only chance of Independence in the next five years. If they don’t deliver a referendum as they has said, then their chance will be over, and their popularity will plummet. If, as many want on these pages, Alba take the leading role, how long before we get there? Therefore the choice is for me the only choice, SNP are our only real hope of me seeing independence in my lifetime. Any other route will take decades including another party leading the way. We are therefore in a position where we all need to pull together, or it ain’t happening for a very, very long time. If I’m right and we all pull it off, then we have a blank political canvas to battle it out. If I’m wrong, then SNP will be out and we start again, but I won’t see it and I suspect a lot on here won’t either. James has pledged his allegiance, I hope he brings some much needed calm and guile, we all need to pull this out. Keep the nastiness and bickering out, let’s get over the line, fight it out then.

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    1. I'm afraid that's just a very naive, black-and-white point of view. The reality is that if the SNP deliver independence by 2026, it'll almost certainly be due to external pressure (from Alba and/or others). If left to their own devices, the most they'd do is ask for a Section 30 order after a ridiculously long delay, and then have Ian Blackford boom "SCOTLAND WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS!" when the answer is inevitably no.

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