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

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  • craig Post author

    Caterina

    Genuine congratulations on your skills in converting No voters in your local area. I agree the pendulum has swung already. It will swing further as people realise “the Vow” was a total sham. I have no doubt we will get to Independence, and sooner than many people think. The process is now irreversible.

    This is a polemic blog. It adopts positions of rigid intellectual reasoning and pushes through their consequences to the limit. Its aim is to provoke debate and make people think. As I am sure you have realised, opposing opinions are not only tolerated they are positively welcomed (though often very robustly challenged by other commenters). The aim is absolutely not for people to agree with me. In fact I have often said I would seriously worry about anyone who agreed with everything I post. I don’t even agree with all of it myself. The aim is to stimulate debate.

    So, to tae my No voter characterisation, I would argue that a notional voter in the position described with Indyref2’s daughter’s motives could be encapsulated under the category of “evil”. She doesn’t care if the UK state illegally invaded Iraq and caused hundreds of thousands of deaths, she doesn’t care about the UK state being implicated in torture and extraordinary rendition or the deportation of the entire population of Diego Garcia. Nor is her primary concern a more just society that looks after the poor and needy. No, she voted No because she cared about her own mortgage.

    By characterising that unapologetic selfish view of society as “evil”, I intend to make people think that they should take a wider concern than their immediate personal benefit. It is an attempt to shock people into thinking in ways they haven’t been accustomed to. I have no reason to doubt that the young lady in question is in everyday life a perfectly nice person, but we all need to be jolted into thinking of the consequences of our lifestyles and the actions of the state we support with our taxes, on others.

    I perfectly understand that this approach draws on an old-fashioned polemic tradition which does not gel with the soundbite methodology of modern politics. But I do not operate in everyday life in the style of my polemic blog. To repeat, this blog is kept going by the unremitting hard technical work of unionist friends.

    Winston Churchill’s most famous witticism came when, intoxicated, he was next to Labour MP Bessie Braddock at dinner. She said:
    “Winston, you are drunk.”
    He replied:
    “Bessie, you are ugly. But tomorrow, I shall be sober.”

    Today that remark would utterly condemn him from politics for being both drunk and sexist. I ask you to consider, Caterina, that you are being as accusatory as you think I am.

  • yesindyref2

    Technicolour
    I read some of his blogs. Blogs which are publicly available. To the public. Which may include Unionists and those against Independence. And now recently against the SNP, for many years the only hope of Independence and even now, the main and the straight path route to Independence through the next Referendum. Craig Murray on his own is neither going to be able to get another Referendum, nor persuade enough of the 55% to vote YES next time.

    The evidence is totally of his own writing, including the thread he had the sense to delete after being advised to by a fair few people including me.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    I’ve been away with some personal and family difficulties, and I don’t post much anyway, but belated seasonal greetings to Mr Murray and all commenters and a Happy New Year in advance to all. I am sorry that Mr Murray has had such a disappointment, and I hope he will be able to stave off the bad feelings that inevitably accompany such an occurrence.

    I do not feel very qualified to comment on the nuts and bolts of these goings-on, but I just wanted to highlight something that I find fascinating: we are now seeing a false version of history being created, right in front of our eyes. I do not yet know whether it will become the culturally accepted version or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised.

    I will summarise this false version thus: “Craig Murray was rejected as a potential parliamentary candidate for the SNP, and he reacted by displaying sour grapes in public, complaining about the matter on his blog and criticising the assessment procedure and the individual members of the Appeals Panel, instead of maintaining a decent silence about the matter to avoid damaging the party.”

    We can actually see this myth taking shape in comments on this blog and on other sources. I am particularly interested in the blog posting by Gillian Martin, that Craig Murray links to above, and which is clearly going to be very influential, in which she makes the following comments:

    “…after Craig Murray’s blog and the ensuing nonsense on the internet…I have a responsibility to give some context…”

    “…Surely, if he took to the internet to air his feelings on not being selected in a way which is being criticised by many as less than dignified, he perhaps couldn’t exercise restraint when bigger hurdles were fallen at as an MP. Craig is not the first person to have failed vetting but he’s the only one to my knowledge who has publicly complained about it and given an impression on events that opposition parties will now blow out of all proportion to damage us…”

    “…Only close friends and family knew my feelings. Sometimes that’s the way you have to do things. Telling the internet is only a short term salve, and probably one you’ll regret as time goes on…”

    “…sometimes it’s best just to take rejection quietly and reflect privately…”

    This blog posting displays either astonishing carelessness or remarkable intellectual dishonesty. If Ms Martin has read Mr Murray’s blog at all, she surely cannot have missed this prominent sentence in the middle of his very first posting on the matter:

    “…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 am assuming that Craig Murray is not lying about this, but that seems to me a pretty safe assumption.

    Ms Martin clearly indicates that the matter began with Craig Murray’s blog, which is flatly untrue. It is quite clear that his blog posting is a response to a hostile briefing from within the SNP party hierarchy, and that he would have preferred not to have discussed the matter at all. Even if one does not believe Mr Murray on that point, it is surely Ms Martin’s “responsibility” to “give some context” regarding this rather important point about who actually put the matter in the public arena in the first place. Why has she omitted that from her piece? What is Mr Murray supposed to do, not respond to hostile briefings against him? Why should he keep silent when others do not? But I am now seeing loads of comments about what a loose cannon he is, because the plain fact that he did not start the matter is being omitted, either inadvertently, or more likely deliberately.

    There’s a myth building right in front of us: I will try to do what I can to counter it.

    Kind regards, John

  • craig Post author

    Doug Daniel

    If she is in her late thirties, she is certainly remarkably well preserved. But the fact that you evidently know who she is, is an interesting thing to reveal at this stage. Did you know who she is when you started commenting, or have you since discovered? And as you now know her age, presumably you can enlighten us as to whether she is in fact a Tory?

    Ed L

    No, I gave her a full and frank answer to a pretty stupid snide pro-unionist question.

  • Doug Daniel

    I wondered where you’d go next. No Craig, I don’t know the woman in question, so let’s nip that one in the bud straight away. I only know that she’s in her late 30s, and I only found out about an hour ago. Not that it makes any difference anyway. Although her Toryness-or-otherwise was not in question, so I’m not sure why you’ve brought that up.

  • yesindyref2

    Craig, I’m sure you’re quite an intelligent chap underneath all that bluster. I have no idea of your financial circumstances, but one of the reasons for Independence for a lot of supporters was a “fairer more just society”. Included in this is a decent wage for people, support for those that can’t earn, or can’t earn enough for various reasons.

    But at the heart of that is that a lot of people, probably the majority these days, are on the bread line, barely able to pay the bills each week / month / year, put food on the table, keep a roof over the head even if the house or flat is cold. Clothes? Old but usable. Luxuries – very few if any.

    Every so often during the Ref, an IFS report or other would come out. From the data an executive summary would gloss the data. From that a press release would subtly change the executive summary to what the authors wanted. From that press release the Unionist media would create the headline: “Scots will pay £100 a week more under Independence”.

    And what would you see in the first reply under that article? Someone posting “I don’t care if it costs me an extra £100 per week, it’ll be worth it for Independence”. Well, blow me down with a feather and run over me with an old-fashioned steam-roller. An Indy supporter has, in the eyes of the undecided, accepted it will cost an extra £100 a week to be Independent. The problem is that that’s £100 more a week than their “disposable income”, so it’s a NO from them, then. Analysis of the data shows the headline to be a lie, but then all they did was take the press release, didn’t they? Who on earth is going to look at that data apart from the likes of me.

    For people scratching a living, on the edge of survival, what happens in Iraq, Afghanistan, Malaysia, North Korea, Tony Blair, is of absolutely no interest at all. All they can see is the food prices going up, the energy prices going up, their wages staying the same or going down. Or worse, they have no job. Many would have no money but for minimum wage rather than living wage, and zero hour contracts that actually give them some hours, often quite regularly. Another ideal they hate, loathe and detest because it puts them on the scrap-heap, on the wonderful UK IDS Slavefare system.

    I’m afraid ideals are for those that can afford them. Everyone else just has to get on with life and make the best of it themselves, while giving the odd few pounds to the next charity appeal and doing without a packet of biscuits for a week or two.

    That’s the real world and I, and many others, live in it as best we can.

  • craig Post author

    Indyref2

    No you don’t know about my circumstances. I grew up in circumstances entirely contrary to those people tend to presume about me. And I grew up among people in real need themselves who cared very deeply indeed about the sufferings of others throughout the world. You, however, inhabit a nasty self-righteous little world where not caring about anyone else or anything else is justified by having to pay the mortgage. I reject not just your vision but your characterisation of the people of Scotland, where the most generous view of independence was found precisely among the poorest communities.

  • craig Post author

    Doug Daniel

    No, her Tory-ness is precisely the question. Gillian Martin says that I called ignorant a floating political ingénue asking an innocent question. I say I gave a direct but reasoned answer to an obvious Unionist asking a pointed Unionist question, who turned out to be a Tory.

    It makes all the difference or not whether I “humiliated” a floating voter or simply out-argued a Tory. I don’t believe you can’t see that. And while I accept that it is conceivable Gillian did not know her friend was a Tory, I ask you to accept that the question – which I have given – was more of a unionist statement than a question.

    So I repeat the question. You have found out her age. Can you confirm she is a Tory? It is absolutely to the point.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    I will now give my democratic credentials..don’t be ridiculous..I never put myself up for a candidate for election..I knew I had none of those skills…I was incredibly shy..I also have this muscular problem too..but it is not that..The Public Speaking…yes I can do it…but I have only done it a few times once at school…and yes I did hold the audience…and they were interested and asked questions….and yes I have done it a few times since…but well I simply haven’t had the Practice and I Still Talk Raw Working Class Oldham…

    Other than that two people I know asked me to sign their Electoral Forms for Election..One Local and One National…neither got in..and I didn’t even vote for them…but it was just so sweet to be asked to sign their nomination papers… as a candidate for election.

    They were Putting Themselves Up For Election…and they didn’t ask me to vote for them…they just asked me to sign their nomination papers…I think they needed about 12 signatures..maybe 10…

    One of Them is a Political Scientist…a Professor of it. Teaches it at The University (well he did)..My Daughter’s Best Friend’s Dad when they were growing up…(she used to hide from him in our house..and my wife would tell him…No She’s Not Here…and He Demanded to be let in…I came to the door and said No She isn’t Here (and to the Best of My Knowledge She Wasn’t (she was 15 and with her boyfriend but not here) see. My Daughter is here..see…can you see your’s??His Daughter Got Arrested Too///the second time..She Didn’t Run away..and he went Paranoid…Blair’s DNA Police You…see just ticking boxes..and putting the kids in jail..He switched from Labour To Liberal..overnight..

    The other one is someone else altogether..maybe even the leader of his party..

    He is an Even Better Musician…He’s even My Friend on Facebook

    And I thought he was so good..not seen him for years…I asked The Girls at The Wedding…to give his band another gig…and they did..

    I think its the day before the Next Wedding we have been invited to in January..I’ll have to ask my wife to check…they won’t change the date of the wedding..They are Very religious..and I have Bought a New Suit…and I haven’t done that for 35 years.

    What I write, might be boring, but its true…What do you Do?

    Tony

  • yesindyref2

    “You, however, inhabit a nasty self-righteous little world where not caring about anyone else or anything else is justified by having to pay the mortgage.”

    Right back at you son: “No you don’t know about my circumstances”.

  • craig Post author

    No, but I can read the arguments you put forward. I said nothing about your economic circumstances. I know that your daughter’s concern was her mortgage – you said so.

  • Ed L

    Craig,

    I’m sure you did and I’m sure she deserved it but insulting potential voters is, to put it kindly, bad for business.

    That’s not groupthink, it’s politics 101

  • technicolour

    “the question – which I have given – was more of a unionist statement than a question.”

    Yes, and without knowing the origin of the question, you answered it at face value. Please don’t get upset about it.

  • yesindyref2

    That’s a better response. Your first came out with an unneccesary insult which I guess was because you were rattled by the obviously provocative: “Craig, I’m sure you’re quite an intelligent chap underneath all that bluster.”

    Thalamic pause, Craig, that’s your friend. Think before you react. Your apparent friend is not always your friend, and your apparent enemy is not always your enemy.

    Anyway, you obviously don’t best fit as an any Party candidate but, like others have said, I’d recommend you stand as an Independent, Westminster could do with a bit of fire and brimstone. I’d suggest going head to head in Murphy’s constituency and try to get “debates” face to face. It’s low down on the SNP list of winnable seats though anything’s possible if the polling results keep up, and I daresay you’d get a bit of unofficial support depending on the local branches analyses.

    Night night, sleep tight, don’t let the bad bugs bite.

  • Herbie

    Democratic centralism would dictate that you keep your candidates as dim as possible. That way you don’t get much opposition from other potential big beasts within the party.

    Blair for example, pulled that trick off to a remarkable extent, and indeed it was the stuff of much media coverage.

    Interestingly the days of independent minded candidates came to an end in the 1980s, other than the legacy MPs who remained. That was of course the point at which the rich began to get much much richer whilst the poor and middlin income became poorer and poorer.

    These things are connected.

    That’s certainly what the SNP are up to. You only have to look at the witterings of their new candidates to see that.

    Oh so pleased with themselves on being selected and so laughably dim.

    It’s the SNP dopes and Blair babes all over again.

    These are but robots to a corporate purpose, but they’ll be the last people to know or care.

    And that’s what elites like best.

    God help Scotland.

  • yesindyref2

    Herbie
    These are not candidates, they are nominees as candidates. Probably most constituencies have more than one nominee, it gets to hustings and a constituency member vote, then the winner is the candidate. I’ve read of one that apparently has a football team of nominees.

    As far as Independent candidates is concerned, they have limited success so far. One of my hopes for Indy was that there would be a more open politics in Scotland, and Independents would have more of a chance. I’d like to see Independents able to be supported as a pooled percentage on the list system for Holyrood, perhaps then selected by ballot, perhaps by percentage achieved in their constituency.

  • John Goss

    yesindyref2 30 Dec, 2014 – 11:20 pm

    No I didn’t see the debate regarding NATO but I have no reason to doubt your summary, and no real argument with your logic.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Surely we are well just spiders in a web thing…I can’t possibly knock it cos even I handbuilt my own website – unix and apache and raw html..much of which I copied and edited…But it was Running Live…and They Loved It…it was just so Easy for them..I had encoded everything I knew to enable them to do as much of their job as they could do…so that they didn’t have to phone, bleep or page me…unless they really didn’t know how to sort out the problem…

    And they enjoyed the Responsibilty I gave them…Cos what we were Doing Was Very Important Nationally Throughout The UK

    Those Kids Won The Queen’s Award For Industry

    Cos we Made It Work.
    24x7x365 for years

    My Son still Does it.

    He Runs his Own Business.

    If it stops working…they may get slightly annoyed…

    99.9% availability Promised and Achieved.

    British and The Best.

    Tony

  • yesindyref2

    Herbie
    No idea. I’ve no idea even if it will be made public, or just available at branch / constituency level to members. I did hear the names of 3 of the nominees so far early December in my branch. One at least is a new member, apparently very active in YES, well thought of, and that includes me having read some of his postings in the media after (I looked through his profile). No idea yet though if he made it through vetting!

    John Goss
    I’m as critical of political parties as the next person, non-aligned up until after the Ref when I joined to keep the momentum going. Also as it turns out to question from within and make suggestions / criticisms and they seem to have gone down OK so far – been tolerated anyway! From the outside the SNP seemed to be the most democratically put together of the lot, though the Greens seem to be similar. I think the SSP are as well but don’t know a lot about them. I’ve read the comments made about the SNP in these blogs and will keep them in mind to check out as I go along. From what I’ve seen so far they’re not justified, but then I’ve only just started 🙂 There’s little doubt 70,000 and rising new members will make a difference, especially because many after the ref were previously unaligned from what I’ve read – never done politics in their lives, much like me before the ref.

  • Doug Daniel

    I thought I’d made it clear, but no, I can’t confirm if she’s a Tory or not. But then I never said she wasn’t – I had no reason to think the information you got from the organisers was wrong.

    The reason I say it’s not the point is that I’m not questioning whether you’re right about the woman being a Tory or not, merely your assumption that Gillian knew this but purposely omitted it from her article.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Just think of something that hardly ever fails…well it’s never failed for me…Has it ever failed for You.

    You see they only employed The Best as permanent Staff and Gave Me The Job of Recruiting Some of The Contractors…and we went out for an informal chat…about everything under the sun…sometimes the fine details of their jobs…and I soon got to know if they were any good or not…

    I said to The Very Best..Oh Come Please Apply For The Job…We all Love You Cathy…

    Please Be Our Boss.

    So She did..Got It..and told Me at 5 Minutes Notice To Do It..

    Totally Threw Me Into The Deep End..To Present MY Ideas..

    I Blew Them Away..they said yeh O.K.

    Independently in Parallel

    Tested and working (yes I thought of that too)

    Its still working.

    Tony

  • Ishmael

    The right wing money whores are really closing in now.

    And of course they are totally self deluded. Organisations run far better as a bunch of independently mined people. Who are individually each and able to problem solve and develop. Grow from each-others strong positions.
    ………. All that’s really necessary to agree on is core aims. But it’s dam clear now the core aims are responding the hand Westminster tightening grip ya balls.

    The truth shown by Craigs welcome openness about this is the SNP is not broad and open. They have inbuilt bias toward centrist, corporate, capitalist, ‘disciplined’ right wing politics. Overly secretive (unless it’s them doing the leaking, obviously)….Caring about the perception of event’s by the public (who they are meant to serve) rather than the truth. They then criticise when is brought to light, through defence.

    I don’t agree with Craig, I think there plans within the SNP to try to support the bedroom tax. I think they will do all they can against people.

  • technicolour

    I think you mean the power-wielding executive and/or party apparatchiks, rather than the whole of the SNP?

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