Missy M’s Sin of Omission 146


Ambitious SNP Westminster hopeful Gillian Martin seeks to bolster her standing within the party by a peculiarly snide attack on me, in which she continually reiterates how much she likes me but…

Among the buts is this story about the Yes campaign meeting Gillian and I both addressed in Insch:

One thing that jarred very much with me as we took questions from our very mixed audience of Yesses Nos and Undecideds on that night of the panel we shared, was the way Craig responded to a genuine question from an undecided person in the audience. He effectively called her and her question ignorant. She left straight afterwards. I know this because she is a friend of mine I hadn’t seen in ages and had wanted to say hello after. But she was gone. She had been rubbished and presumably left angry and humiliated. Given a kinder response she may have stayed and may even have been persuaded to vote yes. I don’t know if she did, but no matter.

I actually recall the incident very well. The questioner asked how an independent Scotland could possibly afford all the infrastructure of central government that currently existed in London, by way of ministries etc.

I replied that Scotland was already paying for 10% of all that infrastructure in London. With that same money, we could pay for the infrastructure of central government in Edinburgh, the difference being that the net drain on the economy as our taxes left for London would be stopped, and that this money would now be spent in Scotland. Undoubtedly there would be initial start-up costs on infrastructure but these should be seen as capital spending stimulating demand in the economy, not as loss. The view that such spending was a loss was the ridiculous Thatcherite fallacy of economics.

Gillian Martin may consider that “I effectively called her and her question ignorant”, and I suppose that is one possible analysis. But I promise you the question and answer were as I just related. I had no doubt the question was asked as a unionist sneer and if my answer rubbished it, so be it.

But here is the important point. As the young lady did indeed rather ostentatiously leave the meeting after my response, I asked some of the meeting organisers what that had been about. They told me that she was very well known in the community as an active Conservative and that an immediate family member of hers held some position in the Tories.

Now Gillian Martin claims the woman was a friend of hers whom she had wanted to greet. In which case Gillian Martin must know that she was a Tory. In which case, her omission of this most relevant of facts from her account of the event is a deliberate ploy aimed at discrediting me.

I don’t think I have met Gillian Martin apart from that meeting, and she struck me as perfectly nice. But ambition does unfortunate things to people. I do hope the brownie points were worth it, Gillian.

May I offer as an antidote this conversation I had yesterday with that most thoughtful and perceptive of Scottish interviewers, Derek Bateman.


146 thoughts on “Missy M’s Sin of Omission

1 2 3 5
  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bell"a)

    Craig

    You probably won’t remember, but I did once ask you a question about the administrative costs of independence for Scotland.

    You didn’t answer at the time – fair enough – but I’m happy you have finally gone some way now to giving your opinion.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    …a deliberate ploy aimed at discrediting me.

    Probably. Nice to think you’re worth discrediting, no? That’s party politics, anyway. A sport for the thick-skinned only. However, I thought Missy M’s piece was pretty sympathetic, and reading it entire is my recommendation.

    Here:

    http://misssymartin.blogspot.co.uk/

    As for the Bedroom tax. I am weary of having to explain in 140 characters on Twitter how this question worked. It’s one of the reasons I’ve written this post. At the vetting interview there were a few questions which were designed to elicit discussion, test your ability to face personal dilemma and prove an understanding of the challenges an SNP cohort in Westminster might face. I got a similiar question but answered it in a way which allowed me to suppose that the situation was one in which the mitigating measures and extra powers we had secured for the Scottish Parliament would mean that our core ideologies were intact and the people of Scotland would be helped. The panel allowed me the space to pontificate on this at length. I know others who gave an answer which said that the question was moot as the SNP would never support the Bedroom Tax and proceeded to give a full answer as to why this was the case. They and I passed vetting. None of us came out of the interview shouting “Holy crap! the SNP want us to support the Bedroom Tax!”

  • craig Post author

    Baal Zevul,

    Pay attention. I have never thought the SNP actually plans to support the bedroom tax. What the question illustrates is a demand for absolute party loyalty, whatever the party asks you to vote for.

  • Abe Rene

    How good it is to hear both sides. Who would have guessed from reading Gillian Martin’s blog alone that her friend was a Tory activist.

    Perhaps too this lady knew well that you were an intellectual heavyweight, and that would explaining her taking off so quickly.

  • Herbie

    The SNP seems to be riddled with fifth columnists.

    Easy to achieve when so many are ex-Labour and Conservative.

    The vetting committee seem to have employed a Stakeknife to filter out any true believers.

    You’re well off out of it, Craig.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Re The Yes campaign…well he is a really nice bloke…”young guitarist of the year”..so my mate told me…and he always says hello Tony, and I can never remember his name (its a bit Irish..or maybe Scottish)..

    But he chats with us ..me and my wife..and he told me…Next Saturday I am Playing in Canada – Quebec…but didn’t tell me any more details..We are doing a your and they want me to Play Lead Guitar…

    So one Saturday night he is playing in front of around 100 people in our local pub…and we are all mesmerized…the kid is that good.

    I didn’t know what happened next..till he came back a few months later to our local pub and told me…

    The Following Saturday….We Played in front of 80,000 people in Canada

    And we had been booked to do a Full US Tour…

    But at The Canada/US Border…They wouldn’t let our Drummer in…They said..He’s Black He’s Got Long Hair and a Curly Beard…He Looks Like a Terrorist…

    So All The Guys Of The Extremely Famous English Band…had a meeting…after 5 hours waiting at the American Airport

    And Told The US Border Guards – AND The Management And Said No We are Not Going To Do It..Unless You Let Our Drummer In

    Yes – Cancelled The Entire US Tour and Came Home. To England.

    Well – I think it was Yes…most of The Musicians have Certainly Played Under That Name..including Rick. The Guitarist is Called Dave..and yes I do remember his name.

    Tony

  • craig Post author

    Boab,

    You will have to expand on that. What in this particular post illustrates a lack of diplomatic skills? And what do you know of what diplomats actually do, as opposed to the Ferrero Rocher adverts, and the skillsets required? Otherwise you are just another party lackey joining in the meaningless insults.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Pay attention. I have never thought the SNP actually plans to support the bedroom tax. What the question illustrates is a demand for absolute party loyalty, whatever the party asks you to vote for.

    I am paying attention, closely. Why, I’m not sure, but a desire not to see you go off the rails on this one is something to do with it. The assertion that you came out of the meeting alleging that the SNP supported the bedroom tax was not mine. That’s Martin’s mis-implication, probably coloured by subsequent Press reports. However, the fuss you made about the meetings enabled Labour and the Hootsmon to pick up that notion and run with it, damagingly. Martin gives a different assessment to yours of the purpose of that question, which seems credible to me, as the occasional victim of corporate and academic job interviews.

    And, correct me etc, but weren’t you describing Malcolm Rifkind as a sympathetic soul a few posts back? It’s not forbidden to have friends in other parties…an adroit answer to this alleged Tory would have merely have left the reference to Thatcherite economics present but unspoken, no?

    I’d respectfully suggest you contact Miss Martin and smooth her ruffled feathers rather than initiating a blog war. And if she’s reading his, I’d suggest she reciprocated.

    Ends.

  • giyane

    Going back to Mark Golding’s “eyeful of gossip” from inside the SNP, I couldn’t remember at the time which Scottish sea bird does that.

    http://www.kilda.org.uk/weekildaguide/guide04.htm

    ‘Fulmars will spit a fishy smelling oil at anything (or anyone!) that gets too close to their nest. If fulmar oil gets on your clothes, the smell stays there, no matter how often you wash them.’

  • Doug Daniel

    “Ambitious SNP Westminster hopeful Gillian Martin seeks to bolster her standing within the party”

    You weren’t an “ambitious SNP Westminster hopeful” before you were disbarred then, Craig? Why the need to characterise her as some political careerist trying to curry favour in order to climb up the greasy pole? Is it not possible for someone to disagree with you without there being some ulterior motive behind it?

    I know Gillian in real life, and that characterisation is quite simply false. She’s pretty much the perfect example of the kind of story many folk have about the indyref campaign – someone who wasn’t in party politics but felt compelled to start helping out during the indyref, reacted to the disappointment of the result by joining the SNP the day after, and is now standing because folk like me kept telling her what a brilliant candidate she’d be. She’s not a careerist (she’s gone a funny way about it if she is…), and unlike certain other people (cough, cough), she has absolutely no expectations about the whole process and is just seeing what happens. I’m pretty certain if she’d have been rejected by the vetting panel, she’d have just went “oh well, it was worth a shot” and carried on with life.

    When someone makes accusations about something you’ve been through yourself, and you disagree with their version of events, it’s only human to want to tell folk your side of the story. “Brownie points” don’t come into it, and it’s pretty crass that you feel the need to accuse someone like that just because they’re disputing what you’ve said.

    But rejection does unfortunate things to people…

    (Incidentally, Gillian says she hadn’t seen her friend in ages – you even quote that line. Assuming she is indeed a Tory activist, wouldn’t you agree that it’s entirely possible that she has no idea about this, since she probably wasn’t a Tory activist the last time Gillian saw her?)

  • Malcolm

    I think your basic point is well made there, but overall her piece does perhaps accurately reflect the possibly important point your often razor sharp tongue maybe not being looked too kindly upon. Certainly I didn’t read the piece as a complete character assasination, although I’d suggest the criticism for going public is misplaced given how often you’ve made it plain you have only responded to an imminent release of this whole affair to the public domain anyway.

    Either way I’ll continue to read your posts with interest, I fear every response you make to this now reasonable or not will be used as a stick to beat you with. Hopefully it’ll be consigned to history soon and you find a better vehicle for your talents than a political party that clearly wouldn’t allow you to be yourself.

  • Hamish

    Hi Craig
    I look forward to your continued contributions around exposing the lies and deceipt of the UK government.
    Maybe The MP gig doesn’t suit at this time (folk not ready yet?). Don’t be despondent you have a lot of respect out there. Good luck.

  • Herbie

    Have to say I was very amused by that Scotsman article, attacking Craig and defending the SNP.

    Even pooh poohed the very notion of any conspiracy. Like really. A politics with no conspiracies. What’s that.

    Not quite what one would expect, eh.

    These double dealers always expose themselves thus.

    Problem is, the fifth columnists will be the experienced politicos. They’ll appoint believers who are newbies, muppets and wannabees, none of whom will have the skill to see what’s going on and even less to do anything about it.

    Same thing happened with the SDP.

    That’s why Craig wasn’t acceptable. He knows the system too well. He’d be too much of a match for these UK statist goons.

    There’s always the possibility of forming a breakaway Scottish Independence party after election. The old switcheroo. It’d be difficult and would need expert assistance, but not impossible, and certainly not unprecedented in these sorts of circumstances.

  • Caterina

    Until you retract your blog that describes no voters as “either evil or quite extraordinary thick” you aren’t fit to stand for a Picnic Party never mind the SNP. Your reaction has only proved that the vetting committee made the correct decision. It’s important to realise that bitterness is unacceptable and only plays into the hands of our opponents. I joined the SNP on the 19th of September and I am very pleased that the vetting committee got it right.

  • craig Post author

    DougDaniel

    Your loyalty to your friend is admirable, but I don’t quite understand why you believe she should be allowed to post criticisms of me, but I should not be allowed to post criticisms of her. Why do you believe that?

    As described to me, the questioner was a Tory from a longstanding Tory family. It seems unlikely to me that Gillian did not know that, but I accept the possibility. But I do not believe anybody could genuinely take the question, in both its wording and the tone in which it was asked, as a genuine one from an undecided person. Gillian is not that daft.

    There were a lot of people at that Insch meeting and some of them may well come to read this. I should be delighted to hear an impression from an audience member as to how it came over to them.

  • craig Post author

    Caterina,

    Nope, not retracting that. Have you read the full blog, incidentally?
    If the SNP want to reject me on the grounds that I am contemptuous of unionists – which I am – that is very interesting. But the interesting thing is, that at no point during either the assessment or the appeal, was that particular blogpost, or indeed anything I have ever written or said, mentioned. So were that the reason, they have a peculiarly cowardly way of going about it.
    I have given a lot of thought to that analysis, incidentally, and I have decided I did omit a category. No voters were evil, stupid or cowardly. I am however fully convinced that those three categories cover every possibility,
    Why, Caterina, what do you think No voters were? Right?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Craig, Brilliant,

    “Pay attention. I have never thought the SNP actually plans to support the bedroom tax. What the question illustrates is a demand for absolute party loyalty, whatever the party asks you to vote for.”

    What I did once at the end of the night..at My Party in Our Home…well it was a Warning Really..I never actually chuck anyone out…

    I played Dead Can Dance “the wind that shakes the barley” it turned everyone stone dead..and they listened…it haunted them…the switch..so different…

    Followed By This

    “The Darkness – Get Your Hands Off My Woman”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hI9eVW4cTR8

    but all they could hear was this..

    “I sat within the valley green, I sat me with my true love
    My sad heart strove the two between, the old love and the new love
    The old for her, the new that made me think on Ireland dearly
    While soft the wind blew down the glen and shook the golden barley

    ‘Twas hard the woeful words to frame to break the ties that bound us
    But harder still to bear the shame of foreign chains around us
    And so I said, “The mountain glen I’ll seek at morning early
    And join the bold united men, while soft winds shake the barley”

    While sad I kissed away her tears, my fond arms round her flinging
    The foeman’s shot burst on our ears from out the wildwood ringing
    A bullet pierced my true love’s side in life’s young spring so early
    And on my breast in blood she died while soft winds shook the barley

    But blood for blood without remorse I’ve taken at Oulart Hollow
    And laid my true love’s clay cold corpse where I full soon may follow
    As round her grave I wander drear, noon, night and morning early
    With breaking heart when e’er I hear the wind that shakes the barley”

    Tony

  • Resident Dissident

    Perhaps someone who is a friend of Craig might politely suggest that he has more than made his point and there comes a time when to stop for your own sake. I am no friend of the SNP but I do know that political parties can be a source of much friendship, even with those who you agree to disagree with.

  • craig Post author

    Res Dis

    As soon as people stop posting attacks upon me, I shall be delighted to move on. I had hoped that my “The Last Man” piece drew that line, but then I was sent a link to Gillian Martin’s blog. As long as people keep snapping at my ankles, I shall respond. It is my nature. I appreciate your concern is genuine, but strangely for such an evil sharp tongued person, I have no shortage of real friends (many of whom are unionists) 🙂 They seem better than some people at differentiating between the exercise of a polemic blog and real life!

  • Andy

    Hi Craig,

    To be completely honest, I hadn’t heard of you before this row emerged.

    Just a brief note however to say I am impressed with your political past and the way you have handled yourself in this, ‘debacle’, if you will. Please do not lose heart and consider standing in 2016 as an MSP, it may well turn out to be for the best.

  • Pete The Punk

    I’ve always rather admired you, Craig, but I’m fast gaining the impression that you really are a bit f a knob.

  • craig Post author

    Worth pointing out that half of the very dedicated team of close friends who keep this blog going as volunteers – a much more labour intensive task than you might imagine due to denial of service attacks etc. – are unionists!

  • dadsarmy

    The clue is in “friend of mine I hadn’t seen in ages”

    hadn’t seen in ages

    And yet in your article this attempt to discredit someone who has criticised and disagreed with you, by claiming she wants to discredit you:

    “In which case Gillian Martin must know that she was a Tory. In which case, her omission of this most relevant of facts from her account of the event is a deliberate ploy aimed at discrediting me.”

    Pathetic.

  • craig Post author

    Dad’s Army

    You are a boring party drone who has been attacking me on a number of websites. If you had read the comments, you would see your point has already been made and I had already replied to it:

    “As described to me, the questioner was a Tory from a longstanding Tory family. It seems unlikely to me that Gillian did not know that, but I accept the possibility. But I do not believe anybody could genuinely take the question, in both its wording and the tone in which it was asked, as a genuine one from an undecided person. Gillian is not that daft.

    There were a lot of people at that Insch meeting and some of them may well come to read this. I should be delighted to hear an impression from an audience member as to how it came over to them.”

  • John Goss

    I agree Herbie. This has been the failure of all parties, Labour and Conservative in this country, who have conformed to a parliamentary system based on the US model of politics. As a result the block opinion can be, and is, bought by those with the biggest cheque-book, and such people (usually Israeli friends) dictate policy. That is what is wrong with the electoral college system, and what is wrong indeed with politics today. Everything has become centralised.

    In his interview with Derek Bateman Craig mentioned a couple of politicians, Jeremy Corbyn and Paul Flynn, who are I suppose ‘tolerated’ by the Labour Party machine because they were on the electoral candidates’ register before Tony Blair turned the Labour Party into another Tory Party. There are quite a few more, like Diane Abbott, John McDonnell, Dennis Skinner and all the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs. Unfortunately the electoral college system has prevented MPs with a Socialist voice from entering parliament any more. So when those left in this dwindling group die or retire: “Hello America”.

    Craig’s in a difficult position now knowing he has joined a similar neo-con block-vote political party cross-fertilised by Labour and Tory exiles when he is asked questions like “will you still support and vote for the SNP and its candidates?” If he says Yes, as he already has done, the SNP gets the best of both worlds. It gets a professionally polished pro bono speaker supporting somebody who will not question issues that should be questioned, and who may also be a twat. On the other hand if he resigns (I very much doubt they are going to expel you Craig) the SNP can justifiably say it proves our point. He is not loyal.

    Craig, I beg you, get out now. These people have no conscience. They are the same as Tony Blair and Jack Straw. You have nothing to gain from being with them because even if at some time in the future they offered you a candidacy they would control you, or expel you. It is a classic Catch 22. The arithmetic is simple. Take the punch on the nose for supporting a naff party and get out. Then see if you can muster up loyal support and stand independently.

1 2 3 5

Comments are closed.