Thursday, March 28, 2024

On Craig Murray and pluralism of party allegiance

A Scot Goes Pop reader contacted me last night to ask what I thought about Craig Murray's decision to join the Workers Party of Britain and stand as one of its general election candidates in England, even though it is an avowedly British unionist party led by George Galloway, who famously voted Tory in 2021 in an attempt to stop independence.

To be perfectly honest, this was the first I'd heard of Craig's decision, so I had to read up on it.  I suppose it's the sort of thing you can look at either way - on the one hand it compromises Craig's support for independence, but on the other hand having a prominent independence supporter as a leading candidate also compromises the Workers Party's unionist credentials.  

Craig of course has one of the most complicated and unusual histories of party allegiance of anyone I can think of.  When I first read his blog around fifteen years ago, he was a member of the Liberal Democrats, and when the Tory-Lib Dem coalition government was formed in 2010, he wrote a blogpost flatly titled "I support this government".  But he quickly became disillusioned with the Cameron-Clegg administration (unsurprising given his radical views) and defected to the SNP.  He later left the SNP and joined the Tommy Sheridan-linked Action for Independence umbrella party, which unveiled him as one of its list candidates for the 2021 Holyrood election, before withdrawing all of its candidates in Alba's favour.  Craig has subsequently been a high-profile member of Alba, and was one of my fellow candidates in the highly controversial Alba NEC elections last year.  (Indeed he was elected to the NEC but declined to take up the position.)

As regular readers will know, I was elected in January to a special working group that is reviewing the Alba constitution.  And as you can probably imagine, that's meant I've spent more time over the last few weeks reading through obscure clauses of a party constitution than is really healthy for anyone.  Craig's decision to join a new party brought to mind this section - 

"6.1 A member who is a member of another party registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission in the Great Britain register and intending to contest elections in Scotland is regarded as being a member of a political party expected to contest elections in opposition to the Party. A member in this situation ceases to be a member."

That's fairly unambiguous, so I checked the Electoral Commission website.  The Workers Party of Britain is registered in the Great Britain register, and has declared an intention to stand candidates in Scotland.  I assumed, therefore, that Craig must have reluctantly left Alba to become a Workers Party candidate, but I checked his Twitter account and in fact he said this - 

"I haven't left Alba. I checked with Alex who said what I do in a foreign country is up to me!"

Now I want to make crystal-clear that I'm not in any way having a go at Craig here, because I think Alba were extremely foolish to introduce the rule barring membership of other parties.  As what Alex Salmond initially billed as a "list-only party", there was a golden opportunity for Alba to break new ground with more relaxed rules that encouraged ties between different pro-independence parties.  OK, in practice it would still have been impossible for Alba members to also be members of the SNP and/or the Greens, because those parties would still have had the more draconian rules.  But it would have sent a really powerful signal.  I thought it was incredibly disappointing that Alba after only a few months became just like any other party, demanding exclusive loyalty to itself and sometimes taking punitive action against members who fell short of that.

(To be clear, though, this is not one of the areas of the constitution I'm actively seeking to change, because I know I'd be banging my head against a brick wall.)

So in a way it's a good thing that what I regard as a bad rule is being disregarded in Craig's case.  But there's not much doubt that it *is* being disregarded, and what I would say is that I hope such flexibility and tolerance will also be shown with the "little guy" and not just with big-hitters like Craig who Alba particularly wouldn't want to lose.  I've expressed my worry recently that Alba is becoming a touch too authoritarian, and what mustn't happen is a two-tier system whereby a select few members benefit from minimalist interpretations of the rule-book, while others are subjected to military-style discipline based on maximalist interpretations.

195 comments:

  1. " I checked with Alex who said what I do in a foreign country is up to me!"

    Does this mean that Craig lives in England?

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    1. Just that he's standing for a seat in England I think

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    2. Murray's family live in Edinburgh but he is currently in exile across Europe concerned he will be locked up again if he returns to the UK.

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    3. Ah OK. He seems an odd choice of candidate if in exile.

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    4. Thanks IFS, I wasn't aware Murray had moved abroad so assumed the 'other country' reference was to an English seat where Reform would have more chance of electoral success.

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    5. "Other country" is clearly a reference to England. Not totally convinced about all this "exile" stuff either, I haven't heard anything like that.

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    6. It means that Alex calls the shots and can do what he wants. A while back I asked on here if Mr Campbell of Wings over Scotland was an Alba member, but I never got an answer. He declared a while back that he was intending to vote for the tories. If Campbell is an Alba member, should a public declaration of intent to vote for the tories not be an adequate reason for expulsion from Alba ? With regard to Craig Murray's defection (if that's what James Kelly seems to consider it) to Galloway's latest party, does the fact that Galloway was running about draped in the Union Jack alongside some of the most right wing figures in Scotland, standing against Alba candidates in the 2021 Scottish elections not ring any bells with Mr Salmond?

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    7. Is Stu Campbell an Alba member? I don't recall him ever declaring so (maybe James knows). The intention to vote Tory is a bit of a red herring to be honest. He lives in a Tory/Lib Dem marginal in a leafy suburb of Bath where Labour has no chance and, obviously, can't vote for independence there. He usually votes Lib Dem but their candidate is a 'transwomen are women' clone and Campbell has a big problem with that (rightly in my opinion). So that's his justification, whether you agree with it is another matter.

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    8. Anon at 4.12pm - "exiled stuff " - I may well be wrong in that comment but it is based on what he has previously posted on his blog that he was chased out the country by threatening letters by the security services after he was stopped and interrogated at an airport and his pnone taken. It may be it has calmed down now but he is still leading an intinerant lifestyle to use his own words although he posted he was in London for the Assange trial. Who knows for sure the current position - you don't and neither do I.

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    9. Felix - Campbell's declaration for the tories was no red herring imo. He could have said ge would abstain. Instead he opted to declare his support for the right wing political party which denied the Scottish people an independence referendum which they had democratically voted for in 2021. Nobody has yet denied he is a member of Alba. I consider Craig Murray's actions as quite bizarre (and at the moment he is a confirmed Alba nember). Campbell's actions imo are equally bizarre.

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    10. Anon at 4.15: I made abundantly clear that I wasn't having a go at Craig, and no I don't regard him as a "defector". By definition he can't be a defector if he's still an Alba member. My central point isn't really about Craig at all, it's about whether lesser-known Alba members can also expect a similar amount of flexibility in the interpretation of rules (although that's a euphemistic way of putting it, because the rule I quoted seems pretty watertight).

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    11. To be fair to Rev Stu he is voting based on party differences on the issue of trans about which he is passionate.

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    12. I'm not saying he isn't a member of Alba, I genuinely haven't a clue. As for the 'red herring', perhaps I expressed myself clumsily but I just mean he has to chose the lesser of two evils in that seat. I would abstain myself so I agree with you that he's making a mistake but I honestly don't think he is a dyed in the wool Tory, he often says things just to be controversial.

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    13. Just noticed I mentioned the Reform party at 4:00. I should of course have said Workers party. (It's a bit confusing when Galloway changes parties every couple of weeks and I was confusing Reform with his Respect party variation).

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    14. James Kelly - do you know of anyone else who's currently an active member of two separate political parties? Definitely a new one on me!

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    15. Anon at 6.01: It's actually not that unusual for SNP members to also be members of Plaid Cymru. For example, I remember Rhiannon Spear announcing she had joined Plaid. That's allowed because the SNP only stand candidates in Scotland and Plaid only stand candidates in Wales. What makes the Workers Party different is that it has registered an intention with the Electoral Commission to stand candidates in Scotland, which means sooner or later it will be in direct competition with Alba.

      Another answer to your question is that many people are members of both the Labour Party and the Co-operative Party. That sounds like a point of pedantry, because to all intents and purposes the two parties are each other's alter ego. But in strictly legal and organisational terms, they're separate entities and are separately registered with the Electoral Commission.

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    16. James Kelly - I've learned something. Appreciated.

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    17. There is a regular poster on WGD who is Welsh, lives in England and is an SNP and Plaid member. Not sure who he votes for in elections!!!!

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  2. I was aware of this development and have been waiting for some time to see if Murray posts an article with his explanation as to why he feels the need to do this. Now he may have said something on X (Twitter) but I don't follow twitter much.

    Being a member of an English Britnat party and a Scottish Independence Party does not sit easily with me to say the least. Not sure how he thinks he can stand for an election whilst being in exile across Europe due to the current British state witch hunt he is enduring. Pretty sure some in the British establishment would love to do to Murray what they are doing to Assange - namely, lock him up for years without trial.

    Alba having a rule in its constitution which can just be overruled when the party leader wants to doesn't sit easily with me either. I did consider joining Alba in the early days to provide support for a fledging party of independence but now feel happy with my decision to remain independent.

    Galloway rightly identifies the colonialism in Palestine but is blind to it in his own homeland of Scotland.
    Freedom for Palestine and Chains for Scotland should be the party motto of Galloway's party. So while I have a lot of respect for Craig Murray in so many ways perhaps you should have been "having a go at Craig here."

    Good article all the same.

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    1. Does George Galloway identify himself as Scottish at all? I honestly don't know, and don't follow him. His unionism might be the same maximalist kind as Alex Cole-Hamilton's that insists that there is only Britain and Scotland simply does not exist at all. That would explain his hostility to devolution.

      Regards colonialism: his argument would be that as a Brit, he's hardly subject to colonialism from his fellow Brits. Nor are his pals in Dundee: each and every one of them British, too.

      Repellant as it is as an argument, it's the only form of British that's self-consistent. Abolish the "national teams" and unify the country around London.

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    2. " Scotland simply doesn't exist at all" - that has always been Westminster's long term goal and is consistent with the end game of colonialism. The fact that people like Galloway have been converted to being British (English in all but name) is also consistent with colonialism.

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    3. A few weeks ago on LBC, Janes O'Bruen played a clip from a speech made by Galloway in which he berated the UK Government for hosting regugees in 3 star hotels. To my mind it was the type of oratory from Galloway that could have come from a member of the old Bational Front.

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    4. I always feel that George Galloway is rugged yet serene in so many ways.

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    5. George Galloway is settling into the rรดle, we can all agree.

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  3. When he was SNP leader, Salmond wasn't averse to unilaterally overturning democratically decided policy (such as the party's commitment to a referendum on the monarchy), so this isn't too surprising.

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    1. Big dogs are going to big dog, for better and for worse.

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    2. Which was the correct decision for the whole social union angle and stopped the party getting diverted into irrelevant arguing about the monarchy.

      Parties need a somewhat top down approach too. The leader needs to have ideas and lead people. Can't do that if he/she needs to ask the members. Theyll win or lose in the electorate, and hold office or not on that democratic basis.

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    3. New proposal for the constitution: whatever the leader says it is whenever you happen to ask him.

      Oh, sure, there should be rules for the plebs who don’t have his number, too. But they can just be patient. The important people are speaking now.

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    4. Which was the correct decision for the whole social union angle and stopped the party getting diverted into irrelevant arguing about the monarchy.

      There was no "irrelevant arguing". The matter had been decided. The leader chose to reopen it and reverse the decision because he preferred his way.

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    5. "Parties need a somewhat top down approach too."

      You might have an arguable case (albeit an ugly one) if we were talking about a large party. But a small party that is still trying to establish itself cannot afford to treat its members like followers or disciples. Those people will think "if we're light-years from power AND we don't have a say in policy and stategy, what's the point?" They'll quickly look for somewhere else to go. Many already have.

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    6. I disagree, if you don't like the leader and the leaders' team's policies, put forward a motion and stand against the leader. By all means, put forward opinions about policy for discussion and a vote at conference but the leaders should have a veto in my view. Otherwise why would anyone bother asking Starmer or sunak or Yousaf anything? If their decisions are tied by the party? Fact is policies come organically through the party membership but Sunak, Yousaf and Starmer make the final decision alongside their colleagues. That's reality.

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  4. I hold Craig Murray in high regard but I'm often left a bit confused by his actions. He's a very principled man but I couldn't honestly say which principles he values above others.
    Rampant self publicist? I know others accuse him of that, certainly, but he's a much more nuanced and sophisticated individual than Galloway.

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    1. Agreed. He’s a confounding character. I agree with his aims but, yeah, his actions are quite another thing!

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    2. Bizarre is the only way to describe Craig Murray's actions!

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  5. I agree with IfS that Alba having a rule in its constitution which can just be overruled when the party leader wants to doesn't sit easily with me either. If AS wants to decide everything, he should have set up the same type of company organisation as UKIP/Reform, where members have no say, and not promised that Alba would be a model, member-led party.

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    1. Not sure I would go along with that. A party to succeed must be leadership-led. And Alex Salmond is a figure who should be allowed to lead from the front.

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    2. If he was leading from the front, he would have run in Rutherglen and we'd be in a different political environment, whatever the result.

      The fact Scotland's favourite political gambler didn't take that bet still confounds me. It was a win-win. Might as well go out in a blaze of glory instead of a general election whimper. Prove your point, or move on.

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    3. Alba was very clear why it did not run in Rutherglen. They decided to stand aside at that by-election to give the SNP the maximum opportunity to prove they can successfully fly solo. Alba believed that four pro-independence candidates already in a first past the post election risked handing the seat to the unionist Labour Party. Therefore Alba stood aside for sound strategic reasons.

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    4. Anon @ 3.24 Yes, I rather think the wind went out of Alba's sails with that decision to not stand in Rutherglen. It was a really bad call imo.

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    5. Anon at 4.05. Disagree. Alba stood aside for good reasons given by anon at 4.04.

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    6. "Alba believed that four pro-independence candidates already in a first past the post election risked handing the seat to the unionist Labour Party"

      On that logic they should also be standing aside at the general election.

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    7. Anon @ 4.07 They were reasons, certainly, but I wasn't convinced they were good reasons at the time and I'm even less convinced with hindsight. It was a big surprise that AS would march his troops to the top of the hill only to march them down again without putting up a fight. It felt like he'd lost his nerve a bit, or his judgement was off. Realistically, there was no chance of Alba causing a Unionist victory. That was already in the bag as it was clear the SNP voters would stay at home.

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    8. An unfair point. Nobody is more resilient, nobody has better political judgement, than Alex Salmond.

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    9. Wings was never a member of ALBA. He has never claimed to be either.

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    10. ALBA standing aside in Rutherglen for "strategic reasons" - what rubbish. Made no sense then and less now, that ALBA are standing 12 candidates in 2024 general election. ALBA should've stood.

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    11. June: Alba's strategy is fully coherent and makes sense.

      As Alba pointed out at the time, Alba were generously providing the SNP with maximum opportunity to demonstrate they could fly solo. The SNP failed Alba's test.

      Alba also proposed a United Scotland ticket in which SNP stood aside in some constituencies and Alba in others.

      However SNP have rejected Alba's initiative and so Alba now as promised in the General Election Alba are planning to enter the competition widely and now are holding true to that promise by preparing to stand 12 excellent candidates.

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  6. Hi everyone, you seem to have noted an important step in this which is George Galloway announcing he will no longer campaign against Independence. You can google sorry my right hand is strapped can't do links.
    Also I have stood in Blackburn before.
    Alex and I both felt that recent controversies I have been involved in would be a distraction for Alba if I stood for the party. That is all.
    Pending clearing up some of these points I am not actually a Workers Party member yet but they are supporting me as are Blackburn's group of Independent councillors.

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    1. Thank you for explaining. Well done on all your work hitherto. You deserve praise for what you have done.

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    2. "I am not actually a Workers Party member yet"

      Yet? Does that mean you're planning to join? And will you be standing as a Workers Party candidate or as an independent? Those two questions go to the heart of the issue, so it would be helpful if you could clarify? Your Wikipedia biography lists your current party as Workers Party and says you left Alba in 2024. (I know Wikipedia can be wrong but even so.)

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    3. "the successful Greater Manchester branch meeting on Sunday 17 March at which Craig Murray was selected as the Workers Party candidate for Blackburn."

      https://workerspartybritain.org/2024/03/18/craig-murray-selected-for-blackburn/

      That seems very clear. Is it wrong?

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    4. I don't think Mr Murray is being entirely candid here. He's giving the impression that he's an independent candidate with external Workers Party support, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all. The Workers Party website clearly states that he has been selected as their candidate. Elsewhere it explains that non-members can apply to become Workers Party candidates, but if selected they will be expected to become members by the time of the election. So at some point or another Mr Murray will move into flagrant breach of the Alba constitution, and when he does, Alba will have to decide whether the rules apply to all members or just to some.

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    5. Anon at 7.42 , I think your stirring the pot here if I'm honest. The guy is saying he'll be the candidate for that party once his checks have been done. What's the big deal?

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    6. Flagrant breach haha. Neither are going against each other and it's in another country. Behave

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    7. The big deal is that as soon as he joins the Workers Party, the Alba constitution states he can no longer be an Alba member. You are also just plain wrong that "neither are going against each other", the Workers Party are standing against Alba in Scotland. This is all clearly explained in James's article and it's not my fault if you didn't bother reading it. Why comment on an article you didn't read, or on an issue you don't understand?

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    8. Anonymous at 7.56: there are quotes suggesting they won't be standing in Scotland anymore. Craig Murray could confirm?

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  7. sorry seem to have not noted

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  8. I was a member of both Alba and the SNP, doubt I was alone
    .

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    1. Sure, but you were breaking the rules of both parties, and at a minimum you would have been told to leave one of the parties if anyone had noticed.

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    2. Yes I know.

      But also it appears these are parties in different jurisdictions so don't see the problem.

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    3. How many f****** times does this need to be explained to you? They are not in different jurisdictions, they are in the same jurisdiction. They are both standing in Scotland.

      Are you clear now, or are you going to make the same idiotically wrong point for a fourth or fifth time?

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    4. Alba are standing in Blackburn are they?

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    5. I don't know if you really are this thick or if it's just a pretence. Alba are standing in Scotland, you know, the same country the Workers Party are standing in. Clear now? EXCELLENT.

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    6. Daily record article

      "He also said his party would not stand against the SNP at the general election: "We don't operate electorally in Scotland."

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    7. Who's the idiot now?

      Or have you just not briefed yourself properly before having a go at everyone else? Strong words indeed

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    8. The Workers Party registration at the Electoral Commission:

      "Fielding candidates in England Yes
      Fielding candidates in Scotland Yes
      Fielding candidates in Wales Yes"

      https://search.electoralcommission.org.uk/English/Registrations/PP11382

      Who's the idiot now? Still you. And no, I'm not "having a go at everyone else", just you. You're one very stupid person, not a planet.

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    9. The electoral commission knows better than the party leader do they? Clown

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    10. The Electoral Commission registration is cited by the Alba constitution as the determining factor. James even quoted the relevant passage but you apparently still haven't bothered to read it. You are, quite literally, a cretin.

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    11. In which case it's a minor infraction then isn't it!!? Because they're not competing !

      In which case what's the big hoo ha

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    12. If you two don't stop using abusive language against each other, I'll start deleting your comments. And no, I have not been posting anonymously on this thread, and if anyone ever makes a baseless accusation like that again, they can find some other forum to post on in future.

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  9. Alba's an Independence party not a Unionist party. England is a different country to Scotland. The simple answer would seem to make a minor change to Alba's constitution to "recognise that as a party of Independence, membership of a party in another country is not prohibited". You'd think this could be done by concensus, as in if no objections within say 14 days, no vote needed. Job done.

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    1. Another one who can't read. The Alba constitution already says (effectively) that membership of a party in another country is not prohibited. The problem is that the Workers Party is not in another country, it stands candidates in Scotland.

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    2. Another one who cannot read beyond one article. There's another article indicating, in the Daily record, they are not standing electorally in Scotland.

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    3. A throwaway comment in the Daily Record does not trump the Alba constitution, which states exactly how this will be determined: "A member who is a member of another party registered as a political party with the Electoral Commission in the Great Britain register and intending to contest elections in Scotland is regarded as being a member of a political party expected to contest elections in opposition to the Party. A member in this situation ceases to be a member"

      And let's look at again at the Workers Party registration with the Electoral Commission:

      "Fielding candidates in England Yes
      Fielding candidates in Scotland Yes
      Fielding candidates in Wales Yes"

      You're in a very deep hole, Anonymous@9.00. Best to stop digging.

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    4. For the second or third time, try to comprehend..

      George Galloway
      Has Decided
      They are
      NOT
      Competing electorally in..
      Scotland.

      The electoral commission doesn't force parties to field candidates, you complete fool.


      *Added invective purely in kind.

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    5. For the seventeenth time, try to understand, THE ALBA CONSTITUTION STATES THAT THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION REGISTRATION IS THE DETERMINING FACTOR, NOT SOME COMMENT IN THE DAILY RECORD. There's probably a reason for that, you know.

      Cretin.

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    6. So, anonymous twit at 8.55pm who can't think things through. The solution would be to change the constitution, as I suggested, to this:

      "We recognise that as a party of Independence, membership of a party in another country is not prohibited." And change the existing paragraph quoted from

      "A member in this situation ceases to be a member."

      to this:

      "A member in this situation ceases to be a member if there is a conflict of interest in their dual membership such as, but not restricted to, the standing of a candidate from both parties in the same constituency.".

      Do you really need me to cross the t's and dot the i's any further, or do you have wit enough to do it for yourself?

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    7. That's not a minor change, it's a fundamental one. The whole point of that bit of the constitution, and you can see from the careful wording that this is 100% intentional, is to ban membership of any party that stands anywhere in Scotland, not just in constituencies where there is an Alba candidate.

      Thicko.

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    8. Really quite abusive language . Somebody's an idiot, thick, cretin. Poor stuff this

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    9. The purpose of the existing clause, Anonymous at 9.32 pm, is very clearly to avoid any conflict of interest in such a dual membership, so the change is hardly fundamental, it is minor.

      You clearly missed the part where Craig Murray would be standing in England not Scotland, and unless there's a big change of policy it would seem exceedingly unlikely that Alba would stand in England.

      I am not, by the way, a member of any party. Reasonable people like James could increase membership from people. People like you who are aggressively witless are the reason people leave parties like the SNP for instance.

      Perhaps that's your real intention?

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    10. No you're not reading it properly. It's not even describing a situation where someone stands as a candidate for a rival party, that's an even more extreme situation. It very simply bans anyone from being a member of any other party that is registered to stand candidates in Scotland, which the Workers Party is. It doesn't do that by accident, it's 100% intentional.

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    11. *patience* - But Craig Murray isn't standing in Scotland, he's standing in England, which is another country. A country Alba doesn't stand any candidates in.

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    12. But the Workers Party is registered to stand in Scotland, which is all the rule in the Alba constitution is concerned with. It's not a question of patience, you're simply wrong about this.

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    13. Not wrong at all Anonymouse at 10.36. All it needs is a minor change in Alba's constitution to recognise that England is a different Country to Scotland, something which wouldn't be hard for most if not all, Independence supporters to understand. And the clue is in the name "Alba".

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    14. Sigh. The penny just isn't dropping is it? England is a different country from Scotland, but Scotland is not a different country from Scotland. The Workers Party is registered to stand IN SCOTLAND.

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    15. But Craig Murray would be standing in England, which is not SCOTLAND!

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    16. But that is not the point of the rule. Read it, for Christ's sake! You've been pontificating for hours about a rule you either haven't read or haven't understood. It's got nothing to do with whether someone is a candidate for another party, let alone WHERE they are a candidate. It's far, far broader than that, and absolutely deliberately so. It intentionally bans anyone from being a MEMBER of any other party that has registered an intention with the Electoral Commission to stand in Scotland. What you're saying is literally as ridiculous as saying "it's fine for an Alba member to also be a member of the Labour party, as long as they only stand as a Labour parliamentary candidate in Plymouth". WTF?

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    17. But you totally miss the point. The rule can be changed. You've been going round in circles for hours trying to say what the rule is, without realising that the rule can be changed. It's not written in stone, you know. Rocks don't have to melt! It's a minor change.

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    18. It's like debating with a giraffe, for all the sense you're making. I've already explained to you why it isn't a minor change. Of course absolutely fundamental changes can theoretically be made, in theory the moon could turn into a walrus overnight, but it won't. Alba's rule won't change because it was put there deliberately for a very good reason. They didn't ACCIDENTALLY ban their members from joining other parties that are active in Scotland (even if those members ONLY stand as Labour candidates in Plymouth). You seem to think they did do it by accident, and that's why we all know you're an imbecile.

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    19. Anonymous at 12:05 AM - you keep bringing me problems, bring me solutions!

      Or don't you want Alba member Craig Murray to stand as a candidate down in England for the Workers Party of Britain - or George Galloway to stop opposing Independence - and perhaps for the Workers party of Britain to also stop opposing Independence. Did you not read Craig Murray's post earlier at 5.26pm where he said, and I quote:

      "Hi everyone, you seem to have noted an important step in this which is George Galloway announcing he will no longer campaign against Independence."

      and do you not know that as Alba says "where we stand":

      "ALBA Party is first and foremost a party dedicated to creating an independent, fair and prosperous Scotland."

      and do you not think Alex Salmond realises that this is a prize worth having for the Independence movement, and that a very very minor change to Alba's constitution is a price worth paying for a bigger prize?

      Now tell me: what is more important to you - a minor obstruction in Alba's constitution, or the prize Craig is bringing to Independence - George Galloway stopping opposing Independence?

      Well?

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    20. You want solutions? Try expelling the dude. The rule is there for a reason, it's not the "oops we've banned people from joining our opponents by total mistake" scenario you cretinously seem to think it is. All that's missing from the rule is its enforcement.

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    21. There wasn't much sign of Galloway dropping his campaign against independence during the Rochdale by-election. He boasted about it on all of his leaflets.

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    22. Anonymous at 12:28 am - more from Alba which I doubt you're a member of:

      "Scotland stands at a critical junction of our nation’s history. Should we continue to accept that Westminster Governments that we do not vote for have the authority to veto our right to self determination, or should we grasp the thistle now and act to restore Scotland’s independence."

      What price a restrictive rule in Alba's constitution, if a small change brings the restoration of Scotland's Independence one step closer - the very purpose of the party's existence?

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    23. Then suggest a small change. All I've seen you suggest so far is a revolutionary change to a system that no sane party in the universe would ever adopt, ie. allowing members to join the party's opponents. What next, do you think members should be allowed to bring machetes to conference?

      Delete
    24. What price a restrictive rule in Alba's constitution, if a small change brings the restoration of Scotland's Independence one step closer - the very purpose of the party's existence?

      Is it a given that having GG aligned with the No side is damaging to Yes? If electoral results are anything to go by he's pretty unpopular in Scotland

      Delete
  10. The fact Galloway has said Workers Party not standing in Scotland does change the cadence of this issue somewhat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No it doesn't, unless he changes the party's registration details with the Electoral Commission.

      Delete
  11. This is getting beyond a joke. To the extent that I can work out which one is which, the anonymous commenter who has now made a baseless allegation against me for a third time is no longer welcome to post here under any circumstances, and I'll be deleting all of his comments if and when I spot them. But the other one of you can stop using abusive language too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Ehm seemingly I'm getting caught up in this mass deletion. ok!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem with so many people posting anonymously is that there will sometimes be cases of mistaken identity in situations like this. I'm sorry if I deleted the wrong person's comment, but to avoid that, it would help if you use some sort of moniker, even if it's not your real name.

      Delete
    2. Sorry I am the poster at 21.16, had not thought of that.

      GT

      Delete
    3. Anyway point is made, I see the problem but it could be cleared up quite quickly if they really are not standing candidates. Not sure they will bother changing paperwork but for Craig Murray's sake maybe they should.

      Delete
    4. If they do change their paperwork, though, they're not really the "Workers Party of Britain", are they? Doesn't add up.

      Delete
    5. Maybe, I can't get too excited either way. As long as they're not standing candidates in Scotland id be fairly comfortable for Murray to stand for them as it's obviously about the middle east conflict he also cares about. Down in England, if it was another scottish party competing against Alba obviously problems.

      Delete
    6. James, I have pleaded several times for people to put some sort of identifier on their comments to no avail. All I get is sarcastic remarks that me and IFS aren't using our own names and so are also anonymous. I can't get through to people that it would help debate if everyone took ownership of their own posts. Hopefully, as site host you'll have more luck because it's becoming a nightmare trying to have a conversation here.

      Delete
    7. Felix some of the posters don't even bother making it clear who they are responding to. Presumably they know who they are responding to but seem incapable of making it clear to others. Most of the time it's just laziness in my opinion.

      Delete
    8. I agree mostly it's laziness but there's also those motivated by cowardice. The ones happy to make snide remarks about others (mostly you๐Ÿ˜) while hiding behind the safety of unidentified contributions.

      In the old days here we had GWC who at least was honest about his trolling. Now we have the likes of Mr 'I agree with myself' multi-posting on a regular basis in a desperate attempt to make himself appear relevant and popular. Plus, of course, the unidentified trolls who regularly pop in to vent their spleen against Salmond and Alba before scurrying back to the safety of the Dughoose where group think rules the day.

      To be honest, I'm tired of it. There's no reason why people can't add a name when they post - they can call themselves Nicola Sturgeon if they want, just pick something and stick with it.

      Delete
    9. Felix, Ive been reading this blog for years. Theres rather a big difference between the insane abuse delivered by GWC (natsis was it?) and the obvious and out of hand disagreeing about actual arguable points above between a number of commentators.

      Why commentators needed to get to abuse over a simple disagreement between what's in a conditions of alaba membership and realities of a political parties current campaign strategy in Scotland is beyond me.

      Peter

      Delete
    10. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    12. Thanks Peter. Yes, the nonsense we've seen on this thread wouldn't have happened if the abusive poster was obliged to identify himself. He could still argue his point but in a more civil manner and nobody would be using anonymity to accuse James himself of posting anonymous comments which was one of the accusations he was forced to delete. As you have shown, it's perfectly simple to 'sign off' your contribution with one word

      Delete
    13. The rule could simply be to delete any comment that has "Anonymous" without a name unless they reply to themselves within a few minutes saying they forgot to add their name.

      Delete
    14. I think the problem is James would have to do that himself and he'd be here all day deleting anonymites (is that a word?๐Ÿ˜). Really people should be grown up enough to identify themselves but some are more comfortable sniping away from behind the screen of anonymity and others know that what they say is nonsense and don't want to own their comments.

      Delete
  13. Its ridiculous the number of people posting anonymously on here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 68 anonymous comments on this thread alone, not including those James has had to delete. How can you possibly know who said what? At least one character regularly posts a comment then returns a few minutes later to tell us how much he agrees with what he has said! The whole thing has reached the level of a farce.

      Delete
    2. Wheres IFS to bring some decorum to events

      Delete
    3. Looks like plenty disagreement between anonolanders on this thread!

      Delete
    4. Totally agree with Hamish and Felix.

      Delete
    5. Anon at 10.47pm - I've been too busy laughing at that stream of comments above. It's hard to post when laughing so much.

      Delete
    6. Comedy gold in that exchange above with WGD numpty yesindyref2 at the heart of it. At least unlike the other WGD numpties who post on here he disnae hide behind anonymous postings.

      Delete
    7. I'd be surprised if Ian Funcan Smith start posting here. Very surprised indeed.

      Delete
  14. Craig Murray has never been an independence supporter in his life, he's a chancer who'll do anything to enhance his profile and or bank balance exactly the same as Alex Salmond is doing right now with his wee band of gypsies pretendy political party that keeps his profile going until he can get his feet under the posh table in the House of Lords if Labour keeps their word to him

    ReplyDelete
  15. It would appear that it is correct that Galloway will not stand his party in Scotland ( I was unaware of his statement - don't read the Daily Redcoat normally) but the guy is still against the independence of his homeland. He prioritises Palestinian freedom ahead of Scottish freedom. Perhaps he should consider getting rid of the Britain in his party name and change it to Workers Party of England and leave Scotland and Wales alone. I assume as it does not say UK N. Ireland is already excluded.

    I see Dr Jim has honoured us with his presence again at 11.42pm. Jimbo has spent the last few years rubbishing talk about Sturgeon as conspiracy theories but here he is with his own conspiracy theory. Jimbo needs reminding that it was Blowhard Blackford who stated that the SNP should be allowed to join the major troughing league of the House of Lords. Troughing in the minor league of the House Of Horrors is obviously not enough for Blowhard Blackford.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Blowhard Blackford". That is utterly hilarious ๐Ÿ˜‚. I don't think I have ever read anything as funny as that. In fact I think my sides are going to split with all the laughing I am doing. Oh no.... I think I'm going to pee myself laughing now. I have never encountered such wit. Thank you. See you.

      Delete
    2. Moshie - you are a strange person. It wisnae meant to be funny. Blowhard Blackford continually sounded off about Scotland not being removed from the EU against its will. Blowhard was found to be just a great big balloon of hot air. Instead of the nonsense SNP slogans like "Tory free Scotland" and Stronger for Scotland a more accurate slogan would be " SNP over promise and under deliver".
      Moshie you are obviously a new visitor to SGP as I have been referrring to Blackford as Blowhard for many years on SGP and you are the first to find it funny.

      Delete
    3. Too negative about Ian Blackford. His service to the SNP deserves praise. The sacrifices he made to the party in terms of time and other factors have helped to advance its vision. Blackford has added to the SNP's growth. His sacrifices demonstrate his belief in the SNP. His resilience inspires not only fellow party members but also voters who aspire for positive change in society.

      Delete
    4. The criticism of people within the SNP by certain people on this site is way over the top.
      What would we give for someone with Sturgeon’s leadership qualities right now? I also feel Ian Blackford is missed as well, Flynn is doing ok but he ain’t Blackford.

      Delete
    5. On what planet is "he ain't Blackford" a put-down?

      Delete
    6. Anon @ 9.52: agree 100%.

      Delete
    7. I agree with myself too.

      Delete
    8. Sturgeon is missed but Humza doing well.

      Delete
    9. Anonymous agrees with anonymous. Same person - probably. A WGD numpty - possibly.

      Anon at 9.33am - Blowhard Blackford has added to his own growth. What is this SNP vision you mentioned? Must have missed that. What has Blowhard sacrificed? He is paid handsomely as an MP with big big expenses. How about you tell us what Blowhard actually delivered instead of all the guff you posted. You won't because all he has delivered is a lot of hot air.

      Delete
    10. IfS your words are too negative.

      Ian Blackford's achievements are many.

      He achieved a position as a leading figure in Scottish politics.

      He had secured important roles as the Westminster leader of the SNP and as MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber since 2015.

      As SNP leader at Westminster he took the lead in an opposition role in the House, holding the UK government to account.

      He has worked to secure funding for his constituency of Ross, Skye and Lochaber, as well as advocating for broader Scottish interests in areas such as infrastructure, healthcare, and education.

      He has been a strong supporter of renewable energy and has campaigned for greater investment in renewable projects in Scotland, leveraging the country's natural resources for sustainable energy production.

      Given his constituency includes rural areas, Blackford has been an advocate for rural communities, to support their economic development and infrastructure needs.

      His achievements span the international stage, engaging with foreign governments, diplomats, and organisations.

      He has been appointed a member of the Privy Council.

      He has served on the Intelligence and Security Committee at Westminster.

      Delete
    11. Anon at 2.27pm - wow - an SNP numpty that actual responds when challenged. Well I asked you what he had delivered so what have you come up with.

      1. Personal achievements for himself don't count I’m afraid. So being a "leading figure in Scottish politics " is nil points.

      2. " Secured important roles" nope same again - nil points.

      3. " Took the lead in an opposition role " nope same again - nil points.

      4. " Secure funding" - if that actually happened I'll give you a point for that.

      5. Campaigning disnae count - nil points.

      6. " an advocate " disnae count - nil points.

      7. " engaging with diplomats" - disnae count - nil points.

      8. " member of privy council" - disnae count - nil points.

      9. Helping the Britnat security service most certainly disnae count - nil points.

      Now you clearly cannae distinguish between delivering real benefits to the people of Scotland from helping the Britnats in Westminster you must be Blowhard Blackford or the Britnat troll KC. Either way you are a blowhard. Too negative - tough.

      Delete
    12. Anon at 2:27, excellent post. I, like you, hold Ian Blackford in high regard.
      IFS, I’ve come to the conclusion you get some sort of kick out of disagreeing with everybody on here.

      Delete
    13. Anon at 4.22pm - agreeing with yourself disnae count. You cannae even get your facts right. You disagreed with my initial post at 11.58pm 28/3. You hold him in high regard for helping Westminster security services do you. I only disagree with SNP/WGD numpties and Britnats - which are you.

      Delete
    14. IFS, I posted at 4:22. The comment at 2:27 WASN’T me.
      My one and only comment was 4:22, so I’m afraid once again you’ve got it wrong!

      Delete
    15. For the purposes of clarity I posted at 2.27. I am not the one who posted at 4.22 who was agreeing with me. The allegation that people who agree are all one person is just that - an allegation.

      Delete
    16. IFS, well that proves it! Obviously 5:05 and 5:14 aren't the same person because...Well they just urnae right. Just a coincidence that 'both' are on the blog within minutes of each other, anonymous of course, to disprove your scurrilous allegation.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Delete
    17. I agree with ifs and I am most definitely not the same person.

      Delete
    18. I also agree with ifs and I am most definitely not the same person.

      Delete
    19. There is only one true ifs but it is good to see others on this blog who want Scottish independence.

      Delete
    20. Three numpties in a row hahaha

      Delete
    21. Anon @ 5:49, I'm not sure if you're replying to me (the curse of what a binfire the comments section has become) but I haven't got involved in the Craig Murray debate at any point. I'm just pointing out how ludicrous it is that, rather than identify themselves in some way, people expect us to just take them at their word that they're not multi posting.

      Delete
    22. IfS your dismissal of Blackfords achievements seem too negative to me. Fee will be as high achieving in politics.

      Delete
    23. That should say few not fee.

      Delete
  16. I support a Scottish Republic, of course I consider England and her decadent monarchy a foreign country, so it's okay if Craig Murray stands there on the condition that Galloway's party does not contest any seat in any Scottish constituency

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sadly, that's not the position. The Workers Party is registered as standing in Scotland.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous you are being deliberately obtuse. The Wrkers Party has clearly said it is not standing in Scotland. George has said he will no longer campaign againt Indepenence.
      Those points have changed since the party was registered. This is a good thing.
      I am not actually joining the party pending confirmation of these points.
      You seem delberately to misunderstand.

      Delete
    3. Craig, how about getting Galloway to campaign FOR scottish independence. Now that would have an impact. I have always found it difficult to understand how a man who so clearly sees the evils of colonialism in Palestine, way across the Med, cannae see it in his own homeland.

      Delete
    4. Let's nail this down, Mr Murray. By "pending confirmation of these points", do you mean you will not join the Workers Party and will not stand as one of their candidates unless they change their registration details with the Electoral Commission so that they are no longer registered as standing candidates in Scotland? Because if you don't make that the condition, you will be breaching the rule in the Alba constitution. Arguably you have already broken other rules simply by announcing an intention to stand for a party that is registeted as active in Scotland (an anti-independence party at that).

      Delete
  17. So sad to see the abusive comments on this post particularly about a moot (irrelevant) point at this moment about Alba rules. Mr Murray has clearly stated that he is not a member (yet) a member of the Workers party so is clearly not in breach of the Alba constitution. I also feel it is sad that individuals post as anonymous but I respect their right to do so. However thank you Mr Kelly for an interesting blog .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, that's pretty desperate. As an official Workers Party candidate Mr Murray is obliged to become a Workers Party candidate by the time of the election. So he'll either be in flagrant breach of the Alba constitution or he'll have to step down as a candidate. One or the other. So neither "moot" nor "irrelevant".

      Delete
    2. John, I also respect people's right to be anonymous (after all, I'm 'anonymous' myself in that regard) but they could still put a username to their comments so that we know who's saying what. Is that too much to ask? The site is a chaotic mess at times.

      Delete
    3. Agreed.

      But in our lazy arsed favour: Blogspot makes it all too easy to just type your comment and hit submit without going through the palaver on your phone of assigning a username. They forever sign me out of my blogger profile so I’ve long given up on that.

      Delete
    4. Anon @ 9.07. Mr Murray is not currently a member of another political party so is not currently in breach of Alba constitution. He may well do so in the future when it will apply but not just now so I maintain it is a moot irrelevant point at this time.

      Delete
    5. Yeah I've had similar problems with the platform and have sometimes been forced to log in as anonymous but when that happens I always sign off my comment with Felix at the end.

      Anyway, I guess I've done this subject to death. I'm not trying to criticise people (apart from Mr.'I agree with myself '๐Ÿ˜‚), just to make btl a bit more structured.

      Delete
    6. John Jones, don't be ridiculous. Becoming a candidate for a party that require all candidates to be members can be taken as an extremely clear indication that he will inevitably move into breach of the Alba constitution and that he fully intends to do so. There's nothing "moot" about that.

      Delete
    7. Okay, you seem to be determined to argue about something that is not relevant at this time and while I stand by my original post I’m afraid I’m not interested in engaging in this further so we will just have to agree to disagree. Take care.

      Delete
    8. As it is self-evidently highly relevant at this time for the reasons I have already patiently explained to you, I have no interest in agreeing to disagree with you. I will simply carry on pointing, laughing, and explaining how stupidly wrong you ate.

      Delete
  18. For clarity, GT, I deleted your comment above because I interpreted it as an attack on my moderation decisions and not because I necessarily mixed you up with abusive Anon from last night (although you could be one and the same for all I know).

    ReplyDelete
  19. I could be wrong, but I don't think there can be any registered candidates for an election that hasn't even been called yet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The stupidity of that comment tops the lot. Nobody is talking about registered candidates, but the registration of an intention to stand candidates. That is the test in the Alba rule and for very obvious reasons. Otherwise people could say "oh don't worry Mr Salmond it's fine that I've joined Labour because there's no election at the moment and there are no registered Labour candidates".

      I'm sure that makes sense in your own head.

      Twit.

      Delete
  20. Anon: You know who you are. Please go away. I made abundantly clear to you last night that you are no longer welcome to post here under any circumstances. That means, for the avoidance of doubt, that I will be deleting every comment I see you post, and I've no intention of allowing you to do the innocent "why are my perfectly reasonable comments being deleted, I'll try again" routine every five minutes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trolls gonna troll! It seems that, for some:

      Trolleamus igitur juvenes dum sumus

      Mmmm

      Delete
    2. Personally, I prefer your touchy, petty, foul mouthed, triggered troll to the predictable, plodding, tedious pish from the fertile mind of KC. At least you get the Pythonesque spectacle of a ritual hand-bagging.

      Delete
    3. The fertile, plastic bunting bedecked mind of KC. Rich tea biscuits will be served at noon, on a wonderfully gauche Princess Di plate from the cringing tartan shop on the high street. God save the adulterous king!

      Delete
    4. somos cretinus agus con handbag

      best,
      trollasaurus

      Delete
    5. Bruidhnidh an trobha rudan glรจ gรฒrach, tha sin fรฌor.

      Delete
    6. Interesting hypothetical: does posting Gaelic comments on Wings get you banned? I am, but I don’t remember why.

      Delete
    7. I notice this KC keeps getting mentioned.
      I’m confused. Who is he/she?

      Delete
    8. The site’s biggest “rah rah up the union!” troll used to sign his comments KC for a while. Stood for King Charlie, ofc. He’s still around. Watch for personal trolling of IfS, in particular.

      Delete
    9. Ah right cheers for that. I’ll keep a lookout for him.

      Delete
    10. KC is a sad little worm who worms about this blog kidding on he is this or that. That right anonymous TartanTam.

      Delete
    11. Independence for Scotland, TartanTam???
      Now I’m even more confused!

      Delete
  21. Hiya
    Very un-pc here I know but I'm a happy SNP member and voter.
    Happy Easter everyone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is for me a great party.

      Delete
    2. It’s certainly achieved a lot more than Alba ever will, that’s for sure.

      Delete
    3. Good for you. It must be a blessing to be half arsed about independence.

      Delete
    4. It's all the same person mate, just 'I agree with myself' trying some new patter.๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

      Delete
    5. It's an exciting time to be a member of the SNP. I attended the SNP conference last year. I was able to meet MSPs in person and participate in discussions with other members. Being in the SNP has been an empowering experience!

      Delete
    6. I agree with anon 8.00. The SNP is a great party and now is a great time to be in it.

      Delete
  22. Have Sturgeon's gang got a grudge against Jeffrey Donaldson?

    ReplyDelete
  23. Again, this is getting way, way beyond a joke. I've probably had to delete several times more comments today than on any other day since switching off pre-moderation. When I did open up the comments section, I published my moderation policy several times, so no-one has any excuse for this endless pretend bafflement about why their comments are not staying up. But to reiterate the moderation policy for slow learners -

    1) I reserve the right to delete comments for any reason I see fit, and without explanation. You should only submit comments if you understand and accept that.

    2) Although explanations will not usually be provided, a general rule of thumb is that comments that misrepresent my own position, or that attack me personally, or that state or imply a blogpost should never have been written, are particularly likely to be deleted unless I happen to have time to respond properly. You are of course free to attack or misrepresent me in other online spaces, but if I allow you to do it here without reply, that can sometimes be misinterpreted as tacit acceptance on my part of whatever point was being made. There are only so many hours in a day, and if there are six or twelve comments per day misrepresenting or attacking me, I simply won't have time to reply to them all.

    3) Comments that attack or query my moderation decisions, eg. "why was my perfectly reasonable comment deleted?" will almost certainly be deleted.

    4) Follow-up comments that ask "why did you delete my perfectly reasonable comment asking why my perfectly reasonable comment was deleted?" will almost certainly be deleted, and so on into infinity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have on the whole found James to behave consistently with these principles.

      Delete
  24. Setting aside a Scotland United for a minute, are there seats Alex or Nicola could contest in England (such as Starmer's, if Corbyn can't be persuaded, or Boris's if he threatens a comeback)? I'm thinking if Galloway has changed his mind on independence he might be open to a pro European alliance, by now now, too..
    : )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nicola Sturgeon has no interest in Westminster or English politics, that's Salmond's first love

      Delete
    2. It has been said that Salmond liked Westminster a lot.

      Delete
    3. No reason to get personal here. Both of these leaders were brilliant in their own right. We'll be lucky to see the like again quite frankly. The antipathy towards one or the other is staggering given they went up against the British state and very nearly won. Time after time trying to get them to trip up.
      What have you done to help?

      Delete
    4. Salmond never went up against the British state, he colluded with it and the party knows it, and why there was never any coming back for him ever
      The true story on him will be told soon enough with evidence provided, and still the Alba faithful will refuse to believe it

      Delete
    5. Anon at stupid o'clock : hope the hangover isn't too bad. Get yourself some electrolytes, it'll pass.

      Delete
    6. Anon at 1.39am - you escaped from your ward again Dr Jim. Jimbo flies over the cuckoo's nest on a regular basis.

      Delete
  25. Comments may be about to spike when the Bathtub Reverend takes his ball home this weekend. Wings regulars will be itching for a new home for a while. Hopefully the Duggers are nice to their share of the refugees!

    ReplyDelete