The Aldi SNP 93

There is one particularly worrying mindset among some fellow SNP members which has repeatedly recurred across social media, particularly Facebook, in response to my observations. It is what might be seen as the apotheosis of political corporatism.

I take these comments from my last post to illustrate the point, though the same meme can be found in hundreds of comments this last couple of days on many sites and tweets:

“Perhaps it would have been better just to accept you didn’t get the job.”


“If the guy can’t even handle a very polite rejection for a job without blogging about it for 3 days, then he shouldn’t be near politics. Period.”

And most tellingly:

“This is the retail equivalent of going for a job interview at ALDI, being unsuccessful and then deciding to set fire to the store on the wayout.”

There is something very worrying – and I really do mean very worrying – about people who believe that a corporation hiring staff is the correct comparator for somebody seeking to enter a democratic process. I was not asking corporate managers acting on behalf of shareholders to give me a position as an employee.

A political party is not a company. It is not owned by shareholders. Its members are supposed to be, within the party, on an equal, democratic footing. I was seeking to put my view of the correct direction for the SNP before the members of the party in a constituency, where I had spoken and been questioned at four hustings meetings. The members in the constituency could then take a democratic vote on whether they thought I was the best candidate or not. I was prevented from remaining in that democratic process and my name was removed from the ballot, due to a decision at HQ. Had I been selected I would have wanted to put my vision of an independent Scotland – consistent with the programme of the SNP – before the electorate as a whole, and conduct a most vigorous campaign and debate.

The idea that this exercise in democracy is a job interview at Aldi clearly is inappropriate. The people who put that idea forward have no feeling for liberty or democracy. For them, seats at Westminster are jobs for the boys in the gift of party managers, and the ordinary members have no more say in it than the staff do in the policy of Aldi. I find some of these attitudes genuinely worrying. I was concerned that the SNP contains a very strong democratic centralist tendency, which we members must guard against. I now see I was wrong. I should have deleted the word democratic from that sentence.

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93 thoughts on “The Aldi SNP

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  • Sheila McIntosh


    The one thing you seem to be missing is that you were applying to be a POTENTIAL candidate for a political party. A party has to have a manifesto – policies to put forward to the general electorate. SNP members can contribute to and shape policy by submitting resolutions first to their branch which will work their way up to National Conference and become Party Policy. There can be no room for individualism by a candidate except in his/her personal message. I believe other YES activists have passed the test.

    So the answer briefly is that all candidates for the SNP have to go forward on the SAME manifesto – that is what the electorate will vote on. I can only suspect that this is where you failed the process but that will leave you free to put forward your own proposals and suggestions on all kinds of things and as an SNP member argue your case to the correct forum.

    Rejection does NOT mean you were not considered good enough – perhaps the opposite. Think about it. As a lady footballer you would not be considered for a gents basketball team.

  • Elaine

    Dear Craig

    It is better to be right and retain your integrity than it is to be universally liked but corrupt. Far better, in fact it is the point. Politics is virtue’s servant not its master.

    I value people who speak out and reveal what’s really going on. And so does the electorate, though it may take them time to adapt on first hearing it. (Especially since the media and opponents throw a barrage of undermining ‘unformation’ about the source.) But once they do the public’s gratitude sees these high integrity types as virtuous, above politics. Campaigns need these drivers. The SNP had a chance to be elevated by association by allowing you to stand for selection and in my opinion they missed it. Instead they made the party look more murky.

    Though it might have meant thinking outside the box for the SNP they should have, and realised what they had. I’ve read online comments concluding (tellingly after the SNP had made known their verdict) you are a loose cannon. However people who are bound by their conscience are predictable because they always do the right thing; they see no other open option.

    Being ahead of the game meant a friend and colleague should have been found that the SNP had no problem communicating with to facilitate the relationship whereby you could work together. For example, it is obvious where you think the truth is compromised you will likely speak out eg after the selection result was threatened to be made into a news story it was no shock that you felt compelled to add your account. And that of course a very valuable thing. (I liken it to the work of Pilger and Assange.) Party devotees online do themselves and it no favours by droning out what they only reinforce as a party line. It’s unthinking: you have ‘disagreed’ with the party, but the party can’t be wrong, it must be you – open season on you.

    It’s an ugly side to the online presence of the grass roots. Kenneth Roy exposed it once after he committed the heinous crime of not agreeing absolutely and enthusiastically with all the shortly-to-be Yes campaign support – he had an opinion. So touchy, the online rabble rounded on him and all of a sudden, to his surprise, he was an arch unionist. That was a few years ago but the tendancy hasn’t gone. Of course it really repels voters who aren’t already in that gang and therefore who we want to support independence. It shores up stereotypes of fanatics and one party state ‘natzis’, that undermines the message. Anyway, there are reasons why, and solutions… I voted Yes despite these types.

    Please don’t let any any of it throw you off path, Craig. Telling the truth is far too vital for society. Thanks for all your blogs.

  • Patrick Haseldine


    In reply to the question “Why does the SNP fear Craig Murray?” posed by “Anonymous” on the SCOTgoesPOP! website, John Goss wrote:

    Could the answer be because he is not afraid to speak the truth when he sees injustice? I would consider that to be a real asset considering the reputation of politicians of all colours for disguising facts.

    I agree with Rolfe that there should be an inquiry into Lockerbie. Patrick Haseldine also believes this, I’m pretty sure. I see common ground there. Attacks though on others are not helpful. In reading the comments it would appear that Rolfe has an antipathy towards diplomats. My understanding, though I have not read her book, is that Morag Kerr does not believe that Bernt Carlsson may have been the target of the Lockerbie bombing which took so many lives.

    But then he was a whistle-blowing diplomat. Craig Murray is also a whistle-blowing diplomat. Patrick Haseldine is a whistle-blowing diplomat.

    Now whether Morag has been recruited by any of our secret services, who incidentally do not have a reputation for telling the truth, I have no way of knowing. Certainly her behaviour towards whistle-blowers is uncannily like what would be expected of a spook.

    We are so indebted to whistle-blowers like Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Craig Murray and Patrick Haseldine for having the courage to, as George Fox put it: “Speak truth to Power.”


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