Serial Reject 150

I have just been rejected at vetting (again) by the SNP and therefore cannot put myself forward to fellow members as a potential parliamentary candidate. This time they added the somewhat gratuitous comment that I would not only be “unbecoming” as a parliamentary candidate, but as a member. They also suggested, in writing, that I owe a public apology to senior figures in the party. I have written back to ask to whom and why (I really have no idea). I have not received any reply to that yet. I have received a reply to a second query, and am told that the “unbecoming” comment does not indicate any desire or expectation that I should resign membership. Indeed they say they hope my contribution will continue, but as my sole contribution appears to be as a whipping-boy I can’t quite see why I should share that hope.

You will forgive my posting some videos which I think explain the case for my defence:

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Obviously this all causes me to think long and hard about my future political effort. My key focus is ensuring that neither excessive caution nor that most insidious temptation, managerialism and the comfort of power and office, prevents an early second referendum. It is very easy to convince yourself that you are doing good in your taxpayer-paid job. Status is seductive. The SNP is full of siren voices arguing that they should enjoy their spoils for a decade or two while maintaining a steady trudge towards independence. They whisper that we have to await a 60% Yes lead in the opinion polls before we try again as another defeat would be disastrous.

But the greater danger is that the momentum fades. You would have to be the greatest optimist in the World to imagine a more favourable conjunction of circumstances for Independence than an extremist Tory government at Westminster, a Labour Party in meltdown, the Liberals almost eliminated and the SNP supreme in Scotland. Plus the residue of the huge momentum of the IndyI campaign, which put on 14 points in 12 months.

This dream conjunction will not last forever. The great danger is letting the moment slip through our fingers. If pro-Indy candidates sweep Holyrood, having already swept Westminster, we would be quite entitled to declare independence without a referendum. As I repeat till I am blue in the face, the majority of countries in the world have become independent states in my own lifetime, and the vast majority of those without a referendum. There is no legal requirement for one, and it is essential that we retain the threat of UDI in case Cameron tries to refuse a referendum; otherwise we are accepting a Westminster veto on the will of the Scottish people.

A referendum in 2018 must be the goal, with the threat of UDI should Cameron refuse. That is what I want to work for. I am only an individual, actively disowned by the party of Scottish government. But nonetheless I shall dedicate my energies to this goal.

150 thoughts on “Serial Reject

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  • vronsky

    Predictable and predicted. Craig is simply not the mouldable plasticine required for service. Much more shocking is the quality of many of the candidates successfully passing through the management filter – a regiment of zombies. I look forwrd to posting videos of the local hustings, where I fully expect to see the semi-literate daughter of the local ruling dynasty presented to an unfortunate electorate.

  • Robert Crawford

    Serial Reject.

    If you were to stand up in Parliament and say, under “parliamentary privilege” what you know about whom. The cat would be amongst the doos. Would it not?

    The SNP is not going to let you do that to their pals at Westmonster.

  • BrianFujisan

    Again, Fkers.. Disheartening to hear that… As a new member Myself, Not pleased. Too Varied for them 🙂

    i Agree that another Indy Ref should be sooner, rather than later, And as RoS says, The SNP must include indy ref in their 2016 manifesto.. no point in waiting to fritter away all that momentum, and new Energy Re SNP support. I fear the next generations will have a much tighter police state to deal with as the fight drags on.

    But something will Need to be done about the Media, and Monitoring.

    I could never understand why the SNP didn’t ask ODIHR and OSCE for an observation mission, And No Exit polls WTF!.

    From Craig’s

    ‘Oh Dear! New Labour’s Control of BBC Scotland Must Be Curbed’ Thread –

    ” If Salmond asks for an OSCE observation mission, I have no doubt it will be granted”

  • Bob Costello

    Craig, once again the SNP have disappointed me in disallowing your application. I am heartened however by your position on this being the best opportunity in a lifetime for independence and I feel that this should happen at the next elections in 2016 with the snp and all pro independence parties going for it on an independence manifesto. I have been banging on about this till I am blue in the face. Thank goodness there is someone else out there with the same idea

  • Bob Costello

    Craig, you must consider standing as an independent and if you do and your chosen seat is anywhere around Dundee then you will have the Yes Bus Dragon for independence team at your disposal. We made a difference to the voting in Dundee during both the referendum and the Westminster elections.

  • Peter


    So Cut them a little slack.

    I fully agree with all you say – I just find it all very frustrating waiting while the Tories torch the country. I think that the balancing act they are doing this is impressive (to say the least). I do cut them slack – after all I will continue to vote for them at least until we get independence. I might even vote for them after independence but I’d want to see them swinging a fair bit further left.

  • Republicofscotland

    “I just think there are a lot of things done behind closed doors. Salmond must have been in cahoots with the Establishment in Megrahi’s release from prison. ”

    Ruth, it was BP who lobbied the then Labour government to hurry through a prisonsr transfer of Megrahi back to Libya, in order to gain access to the countries oil reserves.

    But the Westminster government didn’t bargain on the SNP winning the 2007 Scottish elections.

    The oil deal between BP and Libya was signed around 2007/8 long before Megrahi was released on compassionate leave.

    Ironically it was Alex Salmond himself that exposed Blair’s “Deal in the Desert” in 2007. The deal had taken place almost two and a half years before Megrahi’s compassionate release.

    The Scottish government had asked Westminster to remove Megrahi from the prisoner transfer agreement but, Jack Straw rejected the SNP governments demands.

    The Scottish government was fitted up by the press media and Westminster government, as they all helped to push the story that Megrahi was released on compassion by the SNP government for oil in the Libyan desert.

    When infact Westminster (Jack Straw )had concluded a prisoner transfer agreement for Megrahi for Libyan oil years earlier.

    Ruth might I suggest you read G A Ponsonby’s book London Calling, you’ll find it very interesting indeed.

  • bevin

    The SNP appears to be run on Democratic Centralist principles.
    The choice of Parliamentary candidates should be a local matter.

    That it is not, and that all potential candidates must be approved in advance by the party’s central office is an indication that the organisation in question is thoroughly opposed to democracy.

    A party seeking national independence can only hope to be successful by broadening its appeal to include the widest possible range of opinion which in Scotland will mean not only the John MacLean left but also the neo-Jacobites.

    Such a party would reply to criticism of its ‘mavericks’ by glorying in the breadth of its support.

    It seems to me that while there is no doubt that the recent electoral landslide in Scotland reflected a nation’s disgust at Westminster’s callous and nasty policies, the SNP’s centre remains firmly in the grip of neo-liberals, opportunists and career builders. Such a situation cannot last long, indeed it depends entirely upon continued Blairite control of the Labour party. If that changes it will be in large part because the rottenest borough in the Labour party was demolished in the General Election- perhaps that was the SNP’s historic mission, clearing away the worst scoundrels in the Labour party. And making it possible to build a new one.

  • John Goss

    I am sorry for this decision. When they rejected you the first time I criticised the electoral colleges for centrally picking candidates who kow-tow to party dogma. It excludes mavericks. I suspect Dennis Skinner would never have been selected if they had had the same narrow-minded dogmatic approach when he started out as a Labour Party candidate.

    It was a very mean trick of the SNP to deliberately try to spoil your Christmas, and in particular Hogmanay, celebrations with the timing of your first rejection. This to my mind was a despicably nasty approach designed to cause you as much hurt as possible and reflects very badly on the SNP.

    I would have gone independent in December in your position and actually thought there was no chance of you ever getting on the candidates list.

    Neil Mackenzie explained after this comment that he was not gloating and held a great admiration for Craig.

    Macky has a point with the Crimea, Scotland and even Donbas referenda comparison. What really surprises me is why you have not criticised the fascist coup government, installed by the west, over the deaths of so many civilians in Novarossiya where they are constantly being bombarded when if it was Israel bombing Palestinians you would, quite rightly, be blogging about the disgrace. We are only commenters and cannot choose what you write. But on this subject you seem, I might be wrong, to be in line with MSM.

  • Republicofscotland

    “I Agree that another Indy Ref should be sooner, rather than later, And as RoS says, The SNP must include indy ref in their 2016 manifesto.. no point in waiting to fritter away all that momentum, and new Energy Re SNP support. I fear the next generations will have a much tighter police state to deal with as the fight drags on.”

    Good points Brian, but, the real problems will, just resurface again unless the SNP address them properly we need sound and watertight answers over



    The EU


    Plus other policies that Better Together used as a big fear mongering stick to beat us with.

    Gordon Wilson ex-SNP leader has also urged the SNP to quickly address these matters otherwise the indy ref may well just be a re-run of the last one, and by then the impetus will, have faded.

  • nevermind

    Can I just add to all those who say stand as an Independent. You know what I think of party politics and its relations to an unfair disproportional voting system, fettered by the SNP. Without it they would not have had the swagger of power they accrued under FPTP.

    Another point, if you do consider to standing you will have a plethora of helpers, in Scotland as well as from down south. I surely would come and help.

    Standing on most of the SNP’s policies, with an added urgency on Independence, whilst keeping a clean campaign, booking venues early, networking with local communities and offering support in local projects are all actions you could do, without elections being called. You do in a private capacity. I’m sure that the many supporters you have in Scotland would want to help and sponsor such an event in their areas.

    If you advertise these meetings properly and pull crowds, the media would pick up on it. Just as with Corbyn they would rake over the old tired stories, something you could easily ignore whilst focusing on your campaign. Even without the media word would spread by mouth, people would mention it in Radio -hone ins and debates.

    Dundee sounds a nice town to visit…..

  • Courtenay Barnett


    In my humble opinion, you were rejected because you would come as a human rights activist “loose canon”. By this I mean that you have an independent mind and stand on principle as you perceive it on any issue. This does not make you suitable to tow any party line and/or be effective as a politician who has to tell the electorate what they want to hear with false promises to become elected. You are not that sort of person.


  • Mary

    A propos of nothing in particular, I was looking to see how many Special Advisers there are now in the HoC.

    In 1995 there were 34, including 6 at No 10.

    In November 2014, there were 103, including 46 at No 10.

    The salary bill for them (yes we pay!) was £8.4m

    In 1995 it was £1.5m

    The likes of Adam Werrity and Damien McBride were SPADs.

    ‘Special advisers are temporary civil servants employed to help ministers on matters where it would be inappropriate for permanent civil servants to become involved. They provide assistance from a standpoint that is more politically committed and politically aware than would be available to a minister from the permanent Civil Service. Their employment ends at the end of the Administration which appointed them or when the appointing Minister leaves the Government or moves to another appointment.’

  • davidb

    We self select when we read sites like this, or Wings, or Bella. Or the Daily Fail. We find ourselves in the company of like minded folks, so its natural to assume we are normal. That we represent a mainstream point of view.

    The SNP vets all its candidates. There will be many people rejected who are very good. People who are an asset to their country and to the cause of independence. Mistakes will be made. But don’t let anyone forget that the only way we are going to get our independence is through the SNP. Like the ANC or Congress India, there may well be other parties, but only one will deliver us in the end.

    I agree with others above when they suggest Craig stands as an independent. In the Holyrood election it looks likely that all 10 of the FPTP seats in NE Scotland constituency will stay SNP. The Libdems took their List seat with 6.8% of the vote – just over 18,000 votes. Margo took her seat with a similar vote in Lothian. The campaign can be crowd funded.

    So go for it man.

  • Robert Crawford

    Serial Reject.

    I will be writing to Nicola Sturgeon to let her know that I think she is wrong by rejecting you.

    Wee Johnny the barber will make more money in the next five years than he ever made cutting hair. Politicians pay is “found money”. All their costs are met by us.

    I am to receive a “gesture of goodwill” from “THE BOARD” of Forth Valley ROYAL Hospital for the £55.00 stolen while I was under the knife.

    That is all no more said the SPSO.

    It is all loaded against us by those at Westmonster who make the Law to keep us down.

  • Ruth


    What I’m referring to with Salmond is Megrahi’s actual release which was made ‘conditional’ on his giving up his appeal and the false information given out that Megrahi had a very short time to live.

    Also, you haven’t mentioned why Salmond didn’t support an inquest into Lockerbie.

  • Edward Andrews

    Sorry Craig, while I accept your undoubted talents and concern for human rights it you want to know why you were turned down you only have to read your last sentence.
    “A referendum in 2018 must be the goal, with the threat of UDI should Cameron refuse. That is what I want to work for. I am only an individual, actively disowned by the party of Scottish government. But nonetheless I shall dedicate my energies to this goal”.
    No, a referendum which we can win has to be our goal. We only had the last Referendum because the SNP had it in its manifesto and therefore when there was a majority government had to carry it out. We did far better than we had any right to expect.
    Consider for a moment what would have happened if Gordon Brown hadn’t been such a woosh when Wendy said “Bring it on”. He they brought it on and had a quick referendum on a short campaign we would have been lucky to have got 30% and Independence would have been dead for the next 20 years.
    While it is nice to call for a dated Referendum and say that we will loose momentum the fact is that we will have one when we can win, not before. As for UDI that in itself demonstrates why you are not fit to stand in the line as an SNP candidate. The Unionist parties would love that.
    As someone who has seen trouble spots have you actually worked out how UDI would work? What happens if Westminster simply closes up Holyrood? Do you seriously propose that people take to the streets? I don’t believe that you can show a love for the people of a nation by killing them and that is effectively what you are suggesting.
    Remember Yeats
    Did that play of mine send out
    Certain men the English shot?
    Did words of mine put too great strain
    On that woman’s reeling brain?
    Could my spoken words have checked
    That whereby a house lay wrecked?
    Before you suggest this kind of silly and dangerous thing think it through, we cannot wand to independence through Scottish Blood, and this is effectively what UDI means.

    And all seems evil until I

    Sleepless would lie down and die.

  • N_

    The SNP won’t sweep Holyrood next year, certainly not on the less than 50% of the vote they got in the British general election this year. (In fact, this might be the whole idea with Jeremy Corbyn.) I reckon turnout next year may be higher than the SNP would like.

  • derek c

    What David said at 4.45. The SNP is a means to an end. You have made the decision to continue to fight for Scottish independence. Thank you Craig for all you do.

  • John Goss

    Ruth, I agree. And there is a lot more to Lockerbie than meets the eye. Bernt Carlsson was almost certainly the target of the murder as Patrick Haseldine has many times claimed. Now, of course, we know that the bomb was placed on the plane at Heathrow and an inquiry would open up a whole can of worms. Cameron, who loves inquiries, would never allow this one. Since Alex Salmond does not want one either it could be he has been compomised.

    Meanwhile Patrick Haseldine has been pursuing the murder through Police Scotland.

  • N_

    @Mary – I just read it somewhere recently, looked it up too, and thought what a lovely word! 🙂

  • nevermind

    If the SNP wants to govern in Coalition at Westminster, they need popular goals and objectives, not run with the Tories to suit and proffer their hate’s. Any coalition with Greens or JC would be on a common goal. If the SNP does not agree to a fair proportional voting system for us voters at General election, they will show the same ignorance towards voters as the Tories and new Labour, it will open the eyes of the many who still believe that Independence comes only through the SNP, not the people.

  • Republicofscotland

    Ruth, false information of how long Megrahi had to live? I didn’t realise terminal cancer had an exact date.

    It was Labour’s Ian Gray and Tory Bill Aitken who questioned the 3 month time line, no surprise there then. Both medical professionals Dr Andrew Fraser and Professor Karol Sikora were suprised that Mr Megrahi lived 8 months by his 3 months prognosis.

    Prediciting someone’s exact day of death from prostate cancer in my opinion isn’t an exact science Mr Megrahi also had access to state of the art drugs.

    The story that Mr Megrahi wasn’t as sick as he was made out to was carried firstly by the Sunday Times, all other media outlets followed their lead, the BBC revelled in the story attacking the SNP government at every occasion.

    Megrahi had his 2002 appeal turned down, he launched another appeal which looked promising, however he abandoned it after finding out his cancer was terminal, and that he was going to be released under compassion.

    As for the final question you pose, I can only assume a inquest would’ve damaged the reputation of the British government,since they first introduced Megrahi as a candidate for prisoner transfer, in order for BP to gain access to Libyan oil resources, years before the Scottish government offered Megrahi a compassionate release.

    Alex Salmond had touched on this in 2007, and was attacked by the media, especially the BBC, when interviewed by Kirsty Wark.

    The British government in my opinion just wanted the whole episode to go away.

  • Republicofscotland

    John Goss, yes it’s with almost certainty that the brown samsonite suitcase was loaded onto the plane at Heathrow. Baggage handler at Heathrow John Bedford,claimed he went for his break and when he returned the case mysteriously appeared from nowhere.

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