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?

250 thoughts on “Disbarred

1 4 5 6 7 8 9
  • jbond

    It makes me sad but I’m totally unsurprised that the SNP is in fact the Yellow Tories. They join the purple tories, blue tories, red tories and orange tories.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “By the way, I do really dislike people who post as ‘Anon’ – it’s so cowardly.”

    Tell us more about yourself, Natasha – perhaps starting with your surname, the town you live in and what you do for a living.

    Don’t be shy now!

  • Theresa Stirling

    Totally disappointing that the Yellow Tories have refused your entry. It would appear that the SNP are no better than Labour, Tories or Liberal Democrats. I have been saying for years that what we actually need is a PEOPLE PARTY anyone in power at the moment are no use and will not change.

    Sean Clerkin is an extremely good man who has been attempting to help the PEOPLE for years and all he gets is grief from the so called officials who are there to WORK FOR THE PEOPLE.

    Time to get rid of them all they are as much use as a Chocloate watch and the PEOPLE must get together and stand against those who are not working in the best interest of the PEOPLE.

    SNP, LABOUR, TORIES AND LIBERAL DEMOCRATS. They work together against the people not for the people.

  • Mary

    Thanks John (and the robin) and Robert. A good new year to you too.


    What does Ms Sturgeon have to say about Craig being rejected?

    It is extremely bad publicity for her party just as she starts off.

  • fred

    “You drip contempt for the Yes campaigners in your area. Not pleasant.”

    Which is different to your contempt for No voters how?

    The SNP are the elected government of Scotland and their duty is to all the people of Scotland as how they voted. They must put that duty before their personal ambitions for independence and it’s time some of the “new members” of the SNP realised that.

    Calling 55% of the electorate “either evil, or quite extraordinarily thick.” is not good politics especially when falls in oil prices have proved them right.

  • Tony M

    Polygraphs seriously? Nothing could possibly be more discredited. There’s no question that Anon, Res Diss and habbaduk, lying low at the moment, all have distinctive styles but might nevertheless all be the same person, and are here acting only in bad faith, as disruptors, and are paid for their right-wing drivel and apologia for every despicable act the fascists of the US, UK, Israel and allied regimes daily carry out.

    John Goss, I wouldn’t have thought the requirement of the intellect to be codebreakers or cryptanalysts is in any way applicable to these troublesome drones, manning the blogs is simply the lowest level work-experience/apprenticeship for the majority of MI? interns, blue-blood ‘it’ girls and blue-eyed boys, as well as a place to put out to grass near retirees, who’re not much use for anything else, who’ve proven serially inept in anything of importance, or who’re blown over and again and are useless for sensitive or overseas roles such as the appalling crone Charles Crawford who’d been publicly outed as MI6 decades ago. Of the latter sort – the time-servers – the inconveniently principled I think would rather quit on a reduced pension than stoop to this sort of regimented gutter regurgitation of their master’s loathsome voice. It’s the lowest of the low we’re dealing with, not codebreakers or mathematicians moonlighting and dishing out abuse and oozing unctuous servility for some light relief. Class based recruitment, combined with cynical disregard for ethics and remarkable absence of ability is what has always made the British secret services woefully ineffectual, kept the more capable out as much by their own choice, as by exclusion and guarantees spectacular failure in these ‘services’ every endeavour, usually with entirely counter-productive, disastrous outcomes, borne out by their long and unimpressive record of utter uselessness.

    Ignore their absurdities, their barbs, their super-abundant hypocrisy and fallacial arguments, even their faux-moral outrage, their inconsistency and self-contradictory what-aboutery, as just so much noise. Too many of those who decry them go out of their way to encourage them, by giving them so much as the time of day and flattering them by presuming for as much as one moment that they are genuine and amenable to even acknowledging the many glaring errors of their troubled ways when these are painstakingly and robustly pointed out to them over and again -as still they come back to poison the well, to repeat the same tiresome tropes shamelessly even after the most comprehensive exposures of the recurring vileness at the heart of their stock positions, vilenesses which they, but not we, so quickly hope are forgotten. At times like that the second division are rolled out for a brief outing, but the ringleaders are pushed back to the spotlight soon enough, their line-manager soon sees to it there’s no slacking.

    I think of them as battery chickens, never known freedom, and their necks for the chop.

  • Ross Robert Smith

    I was wondering why you weren’t on the roll – I was just about to e-mail you but by chance I stumbled on this.

    As a member from the Falkirk area I was going to nominate you for my first choice, a clear winner over the rest, but now I’m not entirely sure who to vote for.

    I think you would have been a fantastic candidate but I can clearly see why the SNP wouldn’t have let you stand, you have to be able to toe the party line – that’s just party politics in the UK, unfortunately.

    Be that as it may, I don’t agree with their decision and I know that you’re passionate and believe in what you say and would have made a fine MP.

  • scottishmatters

    Craig, I’m a new SNP member who tweeted for your selection, often. I’m glad you spoke out. Anyone with an ounce of political savvy will accept that the new membership would present it’s own.challenges to the party, and this is to be anticipated. It doesn’t affect my allegiance, because in the grand scheme it’s something to nip in the bud.I’m still for you standing as an independent, although I don’t live in Falkirk. I wish u well and any decent progressive should applaud your openness.

  • Kenny

    Craig, you gave the right answer. The “bedroom tax” is unScottish and it would bring shame on the SNP to ever vote for it, especially at the bidding of a unionist party. For what anyway? I would hope it would be for the dissolution of the Act of Union and the immediate arrest of Blair, Brown and Straw at the very least!

    I hope you stand as an independent for Holyrood in 2016. You would be helping to raise the profile of our parliament in doing so. You would be following in the footsteps of Queen Margot.

    I am dismayed an SNP member tippped off “The Scotsman”. That rag hates Scotland and the people of Scotland and is part of the corrupt Westmonster media. There should be an internal inquiry.

    Keep up your blog, Craig, you are the most interesting voice today in Scotland, along with Lesley Riddoch. We are indeed blessed with great talent in Scotland if the SNP is able to get along without Craig Murray as a Westmonster candidate!

  • Nicola

    Thats because they are planning a coalition with the Tories to punish Labour…….just like they did in 79.

    I said it as soon as I knew we had lost the referendum and NOTHING has convinced me otherwise to this day.

    This post just adds to my suspicions.

    Give 2015 a miss Craig and stand as an Independent in 2016 x

  • Tony M

    It is sheer absurdity to suggest that the SNP would enter a coalition with either Labour or the Tories at Westminster, and ahistorical nonsense to suggest they did in 1979. It didn’t happen then and is simply impossible now or in any forseeable future or scenario. A lot of accusations are flying around but that is the most improbable and fanciful so far, take a bow ‘Nicola’ you’re comic gold.

  • fred

    ‘The “bedroom tax” is unScottish and it would bring shame on the SNP to ever vote for it, especially at the bidding of a unionist party.’

    The bedroom tax itself is pure Marxism so any party calling themselves Socialist must be careful how they criticise it. The faults are in the uncaring way in which it was implemented rather than the legislation itself.

  • Johnstone

    Clachangowk, David Lyon

    Can you hear yourselves? Do you really think that you have a monopoly on the political process?
    Sounds like your party has exactly the same sickness as the Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems any one of which the SNP it seems would jump into bed (room tax) with

    Sorry Craig, but this Party IS also clearly beyond the pale.

  • Tony M

    There’s no caring way to force people, especially older or disabled people out of their homes, out of their familiar neighbourhoods, apart from the networks of their friends or their neighbours. Neither do the financial arguments make sense, countless cases have occurred where people have moved from local authority or housing association properties with an extra room, to privately let but smaller houses, but the rent for the smaller house or flat has been higher than that for they house they have just left, in these cases the housing benefit costs are higher than if the person had remained where they were in the first place. It is ill-conceived and malicious legislation, sidestepping the undeniable facts that housing is in intentional short supply and the house prices are grossly, many times overvalued, a bubble which the longer it is artificially sustained will burst all the more damagingly. Marxist my arse, you’re full of shit as ever Mr Fred.

  • fred

    ” Marxist my arse, you’re full of shit as ever Mr Fred.”

    “To each according to his needs.”

    Critique of the Gotha Program

  • Glenn MacLeod

    I’m very sorry that you weren’t chosen as the candidate Craig – as a member of the SNP I believe they’ve made a big mistake, revealing a rigid compliance to a powerful bureaucratic clique within the party who are living very well at the taxpayers expense, cynical of someone with the guts to say it how it is, and the direction we want to go.

    In one respect I’m glad that you remain free of a political party’s conformity and hope you continue as an independent voice. You have a large audience of admirers who thoroughly respect your integrity and I’m sure you’ll find the right avenue to express the cause for independence – Please stand as an independent – Scotland and the World needs you more than ever as we enter a very dangerous period being orchestrated in London and Washington:


  • Abe Rene

    Sorry to hear that the SNP wouldn’t accept you as a candidate for MSP. Possibly you might pass muster with another party’s discipline (e.g. the Greens). If not, perhaps you could stand for the Scottish parliament as an independent. Judging from the recent referendum, you would probably stand the best chance in Dundee.
    And there’s always being an historian or historically based story-teller!
    Good luck.

  • Ben the Inquisitor

    It’s obvious the Establishment ;has a deadly choke-hold on the process.

    Time to apply a nimble finger on pressure points on the body politic.

  • Tony M

    In what way or what aspect of it is ‘Marxist’ Fred? You’re bandying about terms I doubt you even barely comprehend in order to muddy the waters and give a sheen of faux-intellectualism to your vacuous pronouncement, when Marxism has not the remotest relevance or least connection, however tortuous, to the subject being discussed.

    You’re a liar and a fraud Fred. That’s what comes of lending the BNP your last functional brain-cell for such a long time and expecting it to be still usable when you need it again.
    Second division indeed, and bottom of that.

  • smiling vulture

    If SNP form any pact with any westminster party,their will be a meltdown,If SNP voted for bedroom tax,crowds would be waiting at Gretna Green

  • Iam Scott

    I don’t think you gave the SNP much choice but to reject you.

    Your response to the bedroom tax question should have been far more expansive than a simple yes or no and should have demonstrated an understanding that sometimes some concessions need to be made in order to move things forward.

    For example if Labour said support the bedroom tax and you’ll get another referendum, would that not be a price worth paying?

    And in your statement you say “my voice within the party will be against any coalition agreement with Labour or Tories.”

    How exactly is the SNP in Westminster going to advance the cause of independence without some kind of deal.

    Also, to throw your toys out of the pram in this manner when rejected just shows why the SNP could not have you representing them.

    Just look at tomorrows papers, you have already provided the unionists with an open goal to attack the SNP with.

    At the end of the day your ego has taken a blow, you should have focused on the bigger picture and worked out for yourself that the objective of independence is far greater than one man’s political career.

    Whilst you principles are admiral, politically you appear to be naive.

  • Andrew Wilson

    I wouldn’t take it personally at this time Craig, there has to be a certain type of person seeking selection and representing SNP at Westminster. The progressive policies perhaps aren’t up to the level you want to operate at right now, in future, who knows.

    I know you’re bitterly disappointed, however, this blog entry serves no purpose other than to cause animosity and perhaps the selection board have it spot on, if you have a minor set back lashing out like this isn’t being very disciplined is it ? it’s in all honesty the last thing you should have done.

    You were prominent during the Yes campaign, gained the adoration of lot’s of Yessers, however, a general election and dealing with party politics at Westminster is a completely different kettle of fish.

    Chin up, there will be a place for you but not at this time.

  • Ben the Inquisitor

    “Chin up, there will be a place for you but not at this time.”

    If not now, when?

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Disappointing and the “party loyalty” question they asked you sounds deeply unfair. I would not consider anyone who would answer “yes” to it to be fit to be an MP. I’ve heard various attempts to explain it, but none of them convincing.

    You should maybe consider what you post on your blog and on facebook more carefully though. For instance was it wise to say that all No voters must be idiots or else evil? I know both Yes and No voters and some of each voted the way they did for good reasons, and some of each for very stupid ones. And to ever win independence you need to persuade some of those who voted No to vote Yes next time. Insulting them is going to have the opposite effect.

    The Scotsman had already quoted your “idiots…or else evil” quote and if you had been selected it would have been used against you and the SNP during the election campaign.

  • Neil MacKenzie

    I’m in the SNP and if choosing a candidate would have had alarm bells ringing in my ears at this:

    “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.”

    To me you have declared upfront that you’d be troublesome for the party, this blog post confirms that view. As a previous respondent suggested, I also believe you’ll be better continuing your current work from outside the established party mechanisms. If we return a significant number of MPs, we will need them to toe the line so we can exert power over policy that effects Scotland. If that means Scottish votes for English laws, so be it.

  • Clydebuilt

    GUTTED…… one thing that has marked out the SNP from other parties is their discipline they stick together…..they have to they are up against incredible odds. Possibly Andrew Wilson has got it right. I wish you had been selected and I wish you hadn’t gone public. It will be used against the party, by some very nasty people.

  • John Goss

    Fred “each according to his needs” although used by Marx was not originated by him. More relevant today is the massive gap between rich and poor which would not have happened without war-criminal and Tory, Tony Blair, who removed a basic tenet of Labour Party philosophy, proposed by Fabian, Sydney Webb, which is called clause 4 and reads:

    “To secure for the workers by hand or by brain the full fruits of their industry and the most equitable distribution thereof that may be possible upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange, and the best obtainable system of popular administration and control of each industry or service.”

    What has been removed from us is common ownership. If you are reading Craig I think you should stand as Old Labour. Scots know about Old Labour. By the time Sydney Webb wrote the above 4 war years had passed since the death of pacifist, suffragette supporter, mine-worker representative, who like you was persecuted for being a man of principle, Keir Hardie. Scots are canny folk. The new blood in the right-wing SNP more rightly belongs to this movement. I’m sure you could take these members with you. And for God’s sake get rid of the electoral college system.

  • Dcanmore

    I’m sorry to hear you didn’t get selected by the SNP as a potential parliamentary candidate, but quite frankly I expected the decision was going to go against you. Craig you are an astute human rights campaigner and I enjoy your writings and interviews, but if I was on an SNP panel and knowing your history over the past 10 years or so, I would ask the question: “Is Craig joining the party for what it stands for and to do what’s necessary to further the cause of the party and its work in Scotland, or will he be distracted and use his parliamentary seat as a bigger platform to campaign for Tony Blair’s administration to be brought to trial?”

    If the SNP makes huge gains in Westminter at GE2015 and you wre to be part of that, I’m afraid the media in this country, being so utterly hostile towards the SNP, will use you to beat the SNP over the head with. It is going to get ugly again in the run up to May and the media will be relentless again if the polls continue to predict an SNP threat.

    Craig, you are a maverick, and one that I am glad is around, but political parties can’t afford to take on mavericks because they become the news over and above the party they represent. It doesn’t matter if you are right on every single issue that you talk about, the media don’t care if you are right, they care about selling a product to their core audience, so the story becomes about you, your history and potential conflict within the SNP. Even if it doesn’t exist, they will invent it on the back of half truths. If you were an SNP MP tomorrow I can guarantee you will never be invited on Question Time or Radio 4 but will be on page 5 of the Daily Record or the Guardian or the Daily Mail/Telegraph/Express, and it won’t be for anything you stand for.

    At this moment in time and up until voting day in May the SNP are walking on egg shells. Anyway, I always thought the Green Party was a better fit for you. But I suggest you stand as an Independent at the SE2016. In the meantime Craig, you still have an important roll to play informing the wider world about the black heart of the British State. Please keep doing it.

  • craig Post author

    There seems a peculiar failure by all the SNP loyalists posting to take on board that I went public only because the Scotsman had already been given the full story from within the SNP, with an anti_murray slant of course. Iam Scott in particular is very misguided in blaming me for tomorrow’s press when it was the SNP hierarchy and not me that called the press in to this story.

1 4 5 6 7 8 9

Comments are closed.