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.

93 thoughts on “The Aldi SNP

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  • Ishmael

    “I think you will find that he went a little bit further than that.”

    As this kind of thing always does, employs what it can, has ripple effects throughout society, increasing the violent and dominating culture that ordinary people emulate. Or just get trapped in.

    The rise of racist and other forms of oppressive ideology. It’s not like you can be a fascist state and keep it to yourself, people work for/under these corporations and institutions. + The state makes dam sure it touches as much of peoples lives as it can.

  • Resident Dissident

    “Syria said on Saturday it was willing to participate in “preliminary consultations” in Moscow aimed at restarting talks next year to end its civil war but the Western-backed opposition dismissed the initiative.”

    Perhaps it was something to do with their not being invited?

  • Mark Golding

    Thanks Macky -great read; a broad view and on-point.

    What the Anglo-imperialists were paying for in corrupting Ukraine’s politics was a ring-side seat at a fight between Ukraine and Russia. And what they got instead is a two-legged stool at a bar-room brawl between Eastern and Western Ukraine.

  • OldMark

    Anyway, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again, and keep an eye on that spider.

    Craig, follow Komodo’s recommendation. Thereafter, consider Brian’s suggestion, but instead of standing against Jim Murphy perhaps chance your arm as an independent republican in a seat where there is grassroots resentment against the officially approved SNP candidate, and ideally also a duffer standing in Labour colours (there should be plenty of these in Scotland).

    You’ll be castigated as an undisciplined splitter for a while, but in time the Scot Nats will see sense and offer the peace pipe, as was the case previously with Jim Sillars.

  • Keith Steele

    Actually Peter Jones has it spot on:

    ‘And as for your exclusion from the SNP candidate ranks, might I suggest that it has little to do with your unwillingness to toe party lines over the bedroom tax or anything else, and a lot more to do with the probability that anyone who regards 55 per cent of the electorate with loathing and contempt is utterly unfit for public office’.

    He’s also spot on with the fantasy economics of YES

  • technicolour

    Well, it’s not my style of thinking, but actually:

    “His own experiences ensured that no amount of cajolery could eradicate from his heart a deep burning hatred of the Tory party. “So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin,” he went on. “They condemned millions of people to semi-starvation. I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying, do not listen to the seductions of Lord Woolton. They have not changed, or if they have they are slightly worse.””

    Nye Bevan:

    Mind you, he was already in power when he said that.

  • Tom Platt

    The conclusion to the following article might well provide a constructive way forward:-

    To continue to try to pretend that Craig is merely an ordinary foot soldier for Indy like me and some of the rest of us would be to pass up a golden opportunity for GE 2015, the next Holyrood election and the effort to continue the momentum for Indy within a year or two.

  • Resident Dissident

    “You’ll be castigated as an undisciplined splitter for a while, but in time the Scot Nats will see sense and offer the peace pipe, as was the case previously with Jim Sillars.”

    And then you and your wife could be stitched up again.

  • Dez

    I think if you research each political party you will find that each of them is a company and has a company number. It doesn’t show this on companies house(they say that they do not show UC companies on their site but do not define UC) but does on other company search sites. As for shareholders, good luck finding them. They really do not want people to know who they are. FOI requests have been made and ignored along with other attempts to find out. Thanks

  • Douglas

    Dear Craig,

    I really value your work for independence. I am not a member of any party, mainly because I couldn’t see myself following party discipline and none of the parties have got it perfectly right (i.e. none follow to the letter my views).

    I think I can achieve more when discussing independence with doubters if I don’t have to wade through a lot of comment about SNP mistakes (real or imagined). I find it actually helps me in a discussion to be able to say ‘Ive never been a member of a party’.. and then discuss the issues.

    You will continue to achieve more for our cause acting independently without the baggage of party.

    The SNP is a strange hybrid because it has to act as a party of government with party machinery, discipline and positions on all sorts of issues when at it’s core it is an idea -independence.

    Please keep doing what you do best.

    Kind regards


    Ex-Forces -who also found out to his cost (albeit much less than your cost) the dark side of our state… hence also Ex-BritNat.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bell"a)


    ““His own experiences ensured that no amount of cajolery could eradicate from his heart a deep burning hatred of the Tory party. “So far as I am concerned they are lower than vermin,” he went on. “They condemned millions of people to semi-starvation. I warn you young men and women, do not listen to what they are saying, do not listen to the seductions of Lord Woolton. They have not changed, or if they have they are slightly worse.””

    Nye Bevan:

    Yes, and the people were so convinced by that drivel that at the next general election (1950) Labour’s lead of over 100 seats shrank to a handful and at the next general election after that (1951) they were defeated.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bell"a)

    And THAT was followed by 25 years of unprecedented prosperity and increased living standards.

  • Peter

    Independence but not from Europe!

    “For the next six months Slovenia will be one of the most powerful countries in Europe and we will see a real shift from the influence of old member states with outdated views of EU politics to the importance of the new member states, of smaller countries and of working together as nations.”

    “I will be sending my best wishes to Slovenia and I look forward to the day when Scotland will join Slovenia at the heart of Europe.”

    No they are still a Side Show and so will be Scotland.

  • Bob Sinclair

    You are not the only one to fail the selection process and given your subsequent behaviour it’s becoming more and more apparent why you failed. Newsflash, sometimes people fail to get the job. Why not try a wee bit of the skills of tact & diplomacy you presumably have given your former ambassadorial role. Instead of providing ammunition for those opposing independence it might be more helpful to our cause if you ‘zipped it’

  • Vronsky

    So far as I can tell (and I am a party member) the vetting panels used by the SNP are unelected, or at least not elected for that specific purpose. Leaving aside that this is inherently undemocratic, there is also a problem with timing.

    As things have unfolded, the vetting panels in many cases knew which candidates were nominated in which constituencies. This knowledge may have informed their decision in Craig’s case. He was nominated in Falkirk and in Airdrie & Shotts, but in both these constituencies he would have been challenging party favourites: in Falkirk, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh and in Airdrie, Neil Grey (who he? – Alex Neil’s personal assistant). In fact I suspect that the executive in Airdrie expected Neil Grey to be sole candidate.

    It seems to me highly undesirable that a vetting panel should know who your rivals would be in your chosen constituency – the opportunity, and temptation, to arrange outcomes is obvious. Craig’s experience points to a need for reform in the process.

  • fred

    Looks like Brent crude may have broken the $60 support level, trading at $57, next support level $40.

  • Patrick Haseldine


    Having been disbarred as an SNP candidate, Craig, you were prescient to have tweeted on 12 December 2014: “For Morag, Wherever I May Find Her”.

    In no particular order the multi-talented Morag “Rolfe” Kerr is a Peeblesshire vet, MI5 operative, former Membership Secretary of the SNP (London Branch), Admin on Wikipedia, 9/11 debunker on the James Randi Educational Forum, Secretary Depute of ‘Justice for Megrahi’, author of “Adequately Explained By Stupidity? Lockerbie, Luggage and Lies” unsuccessful SNP candidate at Tweeddale West, opinionated commentator on Wings Over Scotland and self-appointed vetter of SNP candidates.

    Hoping that Hugh Kerr is not similarly Kerrsed!

  • giyane

    “And THAT was followed by 25 years of unprecedented prosperity and increased living standards.”

    Until Mrs Thatcher came along and took it apart for bird’s nest soup.

    Habb I do believe you are wearing a Thatcher-copy, Blair blue quiff perm. Just what is wrong with a government investing in its own people, like China? Why is it so unthinkable to market worshippers that workers should benefit from government strategy rather than just services bums?

    Scotland has invested in renewable energies. Why is it so very wrong to use democratic power to make good decisions?

    The machine of government is turning, but the link that connects the torque force in the gearbox to the wheels has been removed.

    Your diff has gone.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Well, maybe Craig is beginning to realise it. My kids taught me about 5 years ago, when they were both eligible to vote for the first time. I spent nearly two hours coming up with every reason I could think of to get them to vote. They comprehensively defeated my every argument..with the final killer..Dad please do not vote for any of these horrible people. None of them are worth your vote.

    I think we had some democracy left, when I saw Harold Wilson speak on a Fruit Box in Oldham market in 1964…

    But even then, maybe it was an illusion, and Wilson was just as controlled as the rest of them.

    Now we don’t stand a chance….until the power goes off, but that will probably be even worse. People will panic without their daily dose of the propaganda contained within the mindless TV…

    Here is a bit of history

    The Victory of ‘Perception Management’ By Robert Parry

    …To understand how the American people find themselves trapped in today’s Orwellian dystopia of endless warfare against an ever-shifting collection of “evil” enemies, you have to think back to the Vietnam War and the shock to the ruling elite caused by an unprecedented popular uprising against that war.
    While on the surface Official Washington pretended that the mass protests didn’t change policy, a panicky reality existed behind the scenes, a recognition that a major investment in domestic propaganda would be needed to ensure that future imperial adventures would have the public’s eager support or at least its confused acquiescence.

    This commitment to what the insiders called “perception management” began in earnest with the Reagan administration in the 1980s but it would come to be the accepted practice of all subsequent administrations, including the present one of President Barack Obama.

    In that sense, propaganda in pursuit of foreign policy goals would trump the democratic ideal of an informed electorate. The point would be not to honestly inform the American people about events around the world but to manage their perceptions by ramping up fear in some cases and defusing outrage in others – depending on the U.S. government’s needs.

    Thus, you have the current hysteria over Russia’s supposed “aggression” in Ukraine when the crisis was actually provoked by the West, including by U.S. neocons who helped create today’s humanitarian crisis in eastern Ukraine that they now cynically blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Yet, many of these same U.S. foreign policy operatives – outraged over Russia’s limited intervention to protect ethic Russians in eastern Ukraine – are demanding that President Obama launch an air war against the Syrian military as a “humanitarian” intervention there.

    In other words, if the Russians act to shield ethnic Russians on their border who are being bombarded by a coup regime in Kiev that was installed with U.S. support, the Russians are the villains blamed for the thousands of civilian deaths, even though the vast majority of the casualties have been inflicted by the Kiev regime from indiscriminate bombing and from dispatching neo-Nazi militias to do the street fighting.

    In Ukraine, the exigent circumstances don’t matter, including the violent overthrow of the constitutionally elected president last February. It’s all about white hats for the current Kiev regime and black hats for the ethnic Russians and especially for Putin…..


  • david holden

    @Macky thx for the cluborlov link. a very succinct precis. my only question was whether the US has in any meaningful sense left I-wrack. has the infamous green zone been dismantled?

    re the ongoing debate raging here, it is curious how little any of us really respects the principle of voting. its implementation is universally staged not by informing the electorate what the alternatives are, and them subsequently voting as per their personal decision (or not), but in terms of telling, or persuading, in as large numbers as possible, and with others how they “should” vote. such a paradigm would inject new life into the supermarket shopping community – eye-contact counts would rocket, fuelled by wild-eyed aisle debates about gluten-free bread and genetically-modified ox-livers.

    to those who maintain that freedom emerges from the barrel of a gun the most telling arguments will ever be those comparing the virtues of Glocks, AK47s, tanks or well-trained squadroons of kilted jihadis with dirks in their teeth and cranially-mounted rocket-launchers.

    similarly, amongst those who maintain that the road to liberty runs through democratic centralism much hot air will be generated whilst leafing through price-catalogues for items like leg-irons, police batons, brain-control helmets or media control briefing strategy papers.

    not to mention the price of champagne and the kiddies’ parties…

    a nation gets the politicians it deserves? – on the threshold of our third millenium (of what?) this ancient maxim cries out for enlightened critique.

    forward with labour!
    backwards with the conservatives!
    sideways with the libdems!
    to infinity and beyond! SNP

    “go back to your constituencies and prepare for power!” – Sir Cyril Smith, OBE

  • Tony M

    Morag, reverting to the Rolfe handle, calling for Craig to be expelled from the party on the ScotGoesPop link above (apparently one of Scotlands top 10 political websites, first today I’ve ever heard of it, and not been missing much). Yet the sustained vicious and venomous constant drip drip of groundless attacks on Craig from Morag herself was and still is more than adequate grounds for Morag’s own expulsion, knowing as she must have done, unquestionably, that she was attacking unjustly a fellow SNP member, with nothing more than innuendo and falsehoods, repeated all too tediously often, far more than most could bear, and who when pressed to outline the cause of her extraordinary animus waffled inconsequential and absurd nonsense of no substance or feigned a huff and vanished only to resume soon after the next day or on the next Wings thread, banging on about how awful Craig Murray was, till people were pleading with her to stop or simply seeking out Morag-free parts of the internet to escape it. Such behaviour, a relentless concerted smear campaign in public fora and on social media is I understand explicitly prohibited by the same party rules the ultra-loyalist Morag groupies and others, swear are holy writ. What a nest of cuckoos and vipers indeed.

    Patrick Haseldine thanks for the links. A wrong ‘un for sure, she’ll wreck Wings too if she has her way, already has certainly turned many away from that otherwise one time great site. I independently came to similar conclusions that there was something not quite right about this person, but held my tongue and watched her dig herself a deeper and deeper hole as her attacks on Craig Murray became more frequent and increasingly disturbing. It all begs the question -why is the SNP unwilling or incapable of rebuking or disciplining Morag Kerr for flagrant breaches of party rules. Her one woman (though now her escort of palace guards have shown their hands, hello you lot) hate campaign within the referendum campaign and in the aftermath could not have gone unnoticed.

    She infers too or boasts that she a central figure in the candidate vetting process, inherent in her certainty re the Bedroom Tax question that “Everybody at that vetting session was asked it.” Her unsuitability for that or almost any other responsible role, and the damage that must result, must have been so patently obvious that it beggars belief, if the claims she makes are not simply self-aggrandisement i.e. whoppers, just as the vague nebulous claims she never let up making about Craig Murray proved to be merely vapourous spiteful rubbish, but behind it somewhere an agenda and purpose.

  • Ailean

    Craig wrote: ‘I am not a fan of devo max at all. We will never be given real economic autonomy; it is all smoke and mirrors. We will still be tied to neo-con UK foreign policy. I am not interested in managing the Union. I am interested in ending it.’

    I think the SNP are now, I suspect, attempting to embrace all those who believe that devo-max is a solution. It is not. I am very disappointed that they have gone this way because I believe it is very short sighted and naiive.

    I was very saddened to read this.

  • nevermind

    I second every word of Tony M., thanks to Patrick and Macky for the apt links. Having encountered this Morag Kerr on my first ever outing to Wings over Scotland, she seemed to dominate the blog with a directional badmouthing and control freakery in whoever dared to comment her/his support for Craig, obsessive would be a mild word for it.

    That book on Lockerbie one can only assume, even if what Patrick said is only half the truth, is nothing but a cobbled up fabrication, a directed symphony, rain out of a watering can, she is a plant not a genuine SNP member.
    but why should this matter? well, because she must have enjoyed protection from others, there must be a gallery of stooges out there, keeping it all together with some vitriol glee and diversions. And to say that those at the top had no idea, would be like asking a horse to brew a cup of tea.

    I expect top get some flak for what I say here, but to hell with it, about time to speak up for Independence and reform, those thousands of new members, full of hope and energy, deserve something else than game playing and cover ups.

  • BrianFujisan

    ” those thousands of new members, full of hope and energy, deserve something else than game playing and cover ups.”

    Well said @ 10;61 Nevermind

    i’m one of the newbies with SNP, i was shocked as this row broke, I felt terrible for Craig. and Mary is Correct, get out of it for a wee while Craig.

    I’ve been trying digest what some commenter’s have been saying Re SNP, thinking of Canceling my new membership.

    Then We have some Wonderful people out there helping the Homeless, Like –

    And Anonymous Glasgow were out doing the same both on Sunday afternoon, And after 8pm last night…

    And this From Earlier tonight –

    Just back from a wee stoat through Motherwell with my youngest daughter.threw some of the stuff left over from last night into a bag just in case we came across any homeless in my area but not really expecting to see wrong was I?we found an older guy lying in a doorway who ,to be honest was in a bit of a state and could barely talk.we gave him some food and warm clothes and sat with him for a while just to make sure he was ok.still left feeling guilty tho.are we really doing enough to put a stop to this?

    Some poor Souls are Helpless, and the Helpers feel Helpless, as the Last sentence Above would indicate.

  • david holden

    is independence an end or a means?

    i know the hard work of conceptual analysis holds little appeal for moderns, but without more clarity on this, what does the rest of the debate really amount to.

    political principles should be TOP-DOWN beginning from things like fairness, social justice, creativity, and creating a social context for joyful living and compassion towards the afflicted.

    political action should be BOTTOM-UP beginning with needs and incentives articulated within the fabric of community life.

    the stalinist political party, now the standard model in the “free west”, is the complete opposite of this. it begins with the absolutely single-minded goal of gaining access to the levers of power, and when it attains this for a while, it dictates to people how they should live.

    few people who are both decent and awake can really gain much from working with stalinists. it must be done, but that aspect of politics should be a flank of any real progressive movement, not its center.

  • woody

    Maybe the SNP ‘managers’ are a bunch of Zios and they don’t like your stance on the Middle East, Craig, for the usual disreputable reasons.

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