Disbarred 250

Upset and depressed after being barred from the SNP candidates’ register by the hierarchy for “lack of commitment to group discipline”.

I was asked at assessment whether, as part of a Westminster deal with another party, I would agree to vote for the bedroom tax if instructed by the Party. I replied “No.” End of SNP political career. Problem is, I really believed we were building a different kind of politics in Scotland. I also knew that a simple lie would get me in, but I couldn’t bring myself to utter it.

I had very, very strong support from ordinary members to be the candidate in Falkirk or in Airdrie, and had 17 requests to stand from other constituencies, several from branch meetings. I wonder what the SNP new membership will think of this?

I had intended to keep this a private grief if possible, but I was phoned at 8am this morning by the Scotsman, who had plainly been briefed in some detail from within the party hierarchy. I was also phoned by the Sunday Herald, who were coming from a different direction, having picked up a whiff of Tammany Hall about the SNP selection process in several constituencies.

In the interests of full openness, these are the complete communications I have been sent regarding my rejection as a candidate:

Thanks for coming along to the Assessment Day on 6 December and apologies for not being able to get back to you before now.
I’m afraid to say that the Panel did not feel able to recommend you for approval as a potential parliamentary candidate at this time. While you showed excellent qualities, you could not give a full commitment on group discipline issues, and for that reason the Panel could not recommend approval.
There is scope to appeal this decision, and if you wish to do so then contact my colleague Susan Ruddick – (email address deleted) – who will be able to put that process in train.
Best wishes
Ian McCann
Corporate Governance and Compliance Manager
Scottish National Party


Dear Craig,
Thank you for attending the Appeals Panel yesterday.
Unfortunately your Appeal was not upheld.
I wish you luck in your future endeavours.

That is it. I have asked for more detail of why I was refused, but been given none. All I have is “you could not give a full commitment on group discipline issues”, and the only question to which I gave an answer that could possibly be interpreted that way, was the one above on the bedroom tax. There was, incidentally, no corresponding question designed to test the loyalty of right wing people.

I should note that I was astonished by the hostility of the appeals board, chaired by Ian Hudghton MEP and flanked by two MSPs. They could not have been more personally unfriendly towards me if I were Jim Murphy: their demeanour was bullying. They were less pleasant to me than was Jack Straw or anybody in the Foreign Office when they were sacking me for blowing the whistle on extraordinary rendition and torture. It was a really weird exercise in which these highly taxpayer paid professional politicians attempted to twist every word I said to find an excuse to disqualify me. I found it a truly unpleasant experience.

My analysis is that those in the SNP who make a fat living out of it are terrified the energy of the Yes campaign may come to threaten their comfy position. I think there is an important debate here on how the 80% of the SNP who are new members can affect its existing gatekeeping structures. No new members were involved in deciding if I was a fit candidate, and the 1500 new members in each of Falkirk and Airdrie were denied any chance to vote for me as their preferred candidate.

This also makes a complete nonsense of the SNP’s much publicised move at the Perth conference to allow non-members to stand as SNP candidates in an “opening out” to the wider Yes campaign.

I do worry that the idea of Whitehall ministerial limousines in a coalition is of more interest to some in the SNP than independence. I also am really concerned that the SNP has become, like other parties, a source of lots of taxpayer-funded careers. A significant proportion of those that do pass the vetting process are Special Advisers or work in SNP MP’s, MSP’s or MEP’s offices. The SNP is developing its own “political class” which is the opposite of the citizen activism of the Yes campaign. It became clear to me that a lot of SNP insider thought around the selection process is not about furthering independence, but about jobs for the boys (and girls).

Every candidate for selection is allowed a 350 word statement including cv to be given to members with their ballot paper. This is the 350 word statement which I had submitted to HQ for distribution to SNP members in Falkirk, prior to my disqualification. It has never been distributed, but I would like every SNP member to read it. If you know one, send it to them:

My aim is to achieve Independence.  The Smith Commission shows we will never be given the control of our own economic resources required to achieve our aims of social justice, or to stimulate the economy, within the Union. 

I think we have to avoid the trap of managerialism – of being just another political party but a little more competent and fair.  We should maintain a firm thrust towards the goal of national freedom.

I will vote with the SNP group, but my voice within the party will be against any coalition agreement with Labour or Tories.

I want to defeat Labour, not sustain them. I want to end the Union, not to run it.

Within the SNP we must guard against success leading us to develop our own careerists. Professional politicians in Westminster have become a parasitic class with interchangeable beliefs, out for themselves. There are too many of them – Special Advisers, research assistants etc. The number of politicians paid for by the taxpayer has quadrupled in 30 years.

The best MPs contribute from a wide variety of life experience.

I want the dynamic citizen activism we saw in the Yes campaign to lead to a new kind of politics in Scotland. Bubbling up from ordinary folk. And I want that energy from the people to defeat the forces of the mainstream media and the unionists here in the coming election.

Together, we can do it.

If selected as our candidate I will immediately move my family home to Falkirk and begin campaigning. Once elected MP, my home will become my constituency office and open to all, and no MP will work harder for his constituents. No Scottish MP will have lower expenses. I shall regularly attend the Commons and speak in debate.

Craig Murray
Writer, Human Rights Activist.
Chairman, Atholl Energy Ltd
Rector, Dundee University 2007-10
Honorary Research Fellow, University of Lancaster School of Law 2006-10
British Ambassador Uzbekistan 2002-4
HM Diplomatic Service 1984-2005
MA 1st Class Hons Modern History

Declined LVO, OBE and CVO as a Scottish nationalist and republican

Maybe that statement is what really got me disqualified?

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250 thoughts on “Disbarred

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  • Bertie Baws

    Perhaps the whole corrupt system is arranged so that any apparent official opposition eg Trade Unions, Political parties are all in place just to convince you something is being done when in reality they are all part of the same machine.

    The current anti Scottish anti SNP rhetoric spewing from the unionist controlled media certainly appears to me an attempt to push the whole of Scotland right behind the SNP.

    It is possible the SNP could be just another psychological tool in the world of deception politics. Just here to control and give hope to the disillusioned rebellious Scots, to keep us towing the party line and away from open revolt, simply stringing us along without actually having any real determination to take us to full independence?

    It has been claimed previously that the SNP had been infiltrated high up by Mi5. Now when you consider the security of the UK which would include the continuation of the UK is the top priority of the security services then you can almost guarantee the SNP had an MI5 presence. If indeed they had been infiltrated at the highest level then their current position would be one of misdirection. To keep us convinced they were moving Scotland in the right direction by achieving small gains from Westminster whilst all the time retaining us within the UK.

    Is it true that since coming to power in 2007 the SNP have failed to request an extension to the Wilson Doctrine which would keep MI5 from tapping MSP’s phones without individual clearance from the Prime Minister same as it is in westminster? I have to ask why anyone who claims to want to keep westminster’s nose out of our affairs would allow that loop hole to remain open? Unless perhaps they were the ones benefitting from the intelligence gathered?

  • eveningperson


    I have followed you for some time now and respect what you say as an accurate reflection of what happened in UK foreign policy.

    However I can’t help feeling you had a rather rosy view of both the SNP and Scottish independence. I could see no reason to suppose that politics after independence will not be a continuation of business as normal on both sides of the border, and the SNP is the party of Donald Trump and Brian Souter. A political party is no place for anyone with principles.

  • CaperAsh

    Craig, I think you could look at this politic-philosophically, and simply, as a natural expression of an important underlying dynamic regarding basic mission/vision.
    SNP is a political organisation in Party form designed to effect change from within the system which includes having MP’s in Westminster etc, i.e. working within the existing political framework of the Union. They desire to change that framework but meanwhile function within it. Frankly, someone has to do it.
    Meanwhile your published stances – if I understand aright – argue for a more radical independence approach, i.e. making that front and centre in terms of what should be discussed and done.
    Radical Independence not only advocates independence, but also a committed left wing approach, or at least one that advocates in advance (before independence has been achieved) various deep changes in social structure and polity. Something like that.

    I think the suggestion of forming another political party is a good one, even if a logistical and practical nightmare. However, just as an exercise, I think both you and your readers/followers would very much enjoy a draft platform, something which a hypothetical new Party (‘Independence Party’ comes to mind) could form around. I suspect that if that platform could be contained to about five key points, any subsequent discussion involving objections and suggestions might prove fruitful. The limitation demands that we focus on the key priorities and not get sidetracked by secondary level issues. Also, the draft platform doesn’t need to worry about logistics – i.e. how to make it happen from either within or without existing political setup, merely what are the key aspirations?

    Just a thought from across the pond.

  • Mary

    Leaving aside Jemand’s insulting comment, I would remind him that he links to: http://atheistfoundation.org.au/article/islam-scraping-off-the-whitewash/#Unbelievers
    Most unsavoury stuff.

    Before that it was some person called Pat Condell on YT
    There’s no racist like a liberal racist

    Condell is also a Zionist. Try this. Really nasty vitriol.

    The great Palestinian Lie

    and before that it was: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    !! Dear commenters, I leave you to decide about the person who chooses such strange links.

  • Ian Corrigan

    As an SNP member may I just say how saddened and disappointed I was, not only with the decision to reject you as a potential candidate, but with the reaction from some quarters when it was announced. I genuinely believe you would have made an excellent candidate and potentially a fine SNP MP.
    I hope this will not sour you from the SNP but will perhaps make you more determined to continue to seek a candidacy in the future.

    Best wishes for 2015


    Ian Corrigan

  • Mochyn69

    Craig, don’t take it personally. Continue to fight the good fight, don’t give up but don’t go independent or form your own party. The national liberation movement needs to remain a broad kirk, whilst being singular and focussed. Don’t give the devious unionist scoundrels a chance to fragment the independence movement and continue to divide and rule.

    Electioneering and party politics is a very different beast to single issue campaigning as you need to win friends and influence people. Some of your comments after the indyref vote about the No voters, which incredibly included a majority in Eileann nan Siar, were intemperate. Washing the dirty linen about your selection process in public is even more so.

    If you feel able to swallow your pride and mend bridges with the party heirarchy, and they with you, perhaps you could then start a little lower down the ladder and seek nomination as a local councillor first, and then to Holyrood as a launchpad to Westminster, if that’s where you really want to be.

    As for the SNP, they should learn the lesson of the Lib Dem rogues, and rule out ANY form of coalition with the rUK parties.

    Finally, I would be very surprised if there was not some jiggery pokery going on in the background. I just watched the 2006 BBC documentary about the plot against Harold Wilson on YT. Take care!

  • Jemand

    “Leaving aside Jemand’s insulting comment, I would remind him that he links to: http://atheistfoundation.org.au/article/islam-scraping-off-the-whitewash/#Unbelievers
    Most unsavoury stuff.

    Before that it was some person called Pat Condell on YT
    There’s no racist like a liberal racist

    Condell is also a Zionist. Try this. Really nasty vitriol.

    The great Palestinian Lie

    and before that it was: http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    !! Dear commenters, I leave you to decide about the person who chooses such strange links.”

    . . . .

    Mary, why do you support Islamic hatred of atheists?

    Why do YOU hate atheists and attempt to spread hatred of us?

    Why do you describe criticism of religion, especially violent religions like Islam, “unsavory”?

    Why are you continuing to lie about my position on Israel? You know I am a critic of its mistreatment of Palestinians. So why lie about it?

    Lastly, I could link to many very disturbing videos that show the true nature of Islamic culture. I don’t provide those links because they make me sick, and you can easily find them yourselves if you want to. These videos graphically show women being stoned to death for alleged adultery, corpses of children after having been raped and killed by their new husbands, beheadings of “criminals” like apostates. It’s utterly sickening, but not quite as sickening as a self-righteous supporter of such barbarity masquerading as a caring humanitarian. That is really sick.

    You Mary, are a collaborator. You are a collaborator supporting Islamists in the propaganda war being fought between them and those of us who are anti-Islam. By being a collaborator, you support child rape, you support murder of unbelievers, you support the repression of women, you support mistreatment of animals, you support barbaric treatment of non-muslims and you support a medieval Arabic cult.


    Here is a little taste of the culture that you support, Mary –

    I’ll post more links to non-gory videos to keep you updated on the religion that you wholeheartedly support.

  • tom. keatings

    47 of Labour MP s failed to even turn up for the vote on the bedroom tax,they all turned up to vote on the Tory welfare cap and they all turned up for the vote ti increase Mps pay and expenses,that includes my mp Pamela Nash,you defile the good name and founding principles of a once great political movement,my dad,a miner must be spinning in his grave that the party he and his like founded is now run by spivs and conmen,he turned to me the day Blair became leader and said thats the Labour party deid son,boy was he right.You now have Murphy in charge,an expenses fraudster who should have been charged for his illegality and I would like to know how it was possible that he could claim for a student grant for 9 years study when the rest of us were limited to the first degree plus one year postgrad,he must have lied to the grant awarding body,,,,,and he left with no qualifications after being funded by the taxpayer for 9 years of nothing,this needs investigation ,you shame what the Labour party once was.Over 1 million he has claimed in expenses alone,,,,,Labour,ah could vomit

  • David Murphy

    Shame you didn’t get through but the sour grapes is a bit off putting Mr Murray. How long have you been a member of the SNP? Surely you can’t just expect to walk in and get your own way and burning your bridges is a bit self defeating IMO. Perhaps this post actually validates their reasoning for rejecting you on this occasion.

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