I discovered today that the SNP has suspended the membership of my old friend and former conference buddy, Chris McCusker. I might have known about this earlier but for the fact that I would rather grit-blast my eyeballs than read the British Daily Express. (WARNING: MAY CONTAIN NUTS) To save you the pain, I can summarise the story in a way that will be all too familiar to many former SNP members. British Nationalist propagandist (Blair McDougall) complains, SNP bosses dump the target of the complaint. No attempt to stand up for a member regardless of how well they have served the party or for how long. There’s no need for me to give an account of Chris’s contribution to Scotland’s cause as well as the electoral success of the SNP. The people who need to know already do. I’ll mention only his tireless efforts on behalf of the SNP Trade Union Group.
Needless to say, my sympathies lie with Chris McCusker. Not just because he is a friend but because he is the latest victim of the SNP’s knee-jerk pandering to British Nationalists. I don’t know the details of what happened in this instance. But from previous similar incidents we know that typically the SNP won’t even speak to the member involved before taking action against them. Action that needn’t even be prompted by a formal complaint. It is not unknown for the SNP to launch disciplinary proceedings on the basis of a few British Nationalist Tweets. Some Unionist troll on Twitter only needs to use the word ‘abuse’ and the SNP bosses start scrabbling around looking for a member to sacrifice on the altar of British Nationalist hate-mongering.
It doesn’t seem to have occurred to anybody in the upper echelons of the SNP that pandering to British Nationalist propaganda in this way only serves to reinforce their lies about independence campaigners. The party bosses seem to imagine that they can placate the BritNat beast by feeding it the occasional well-known figure from among the SNP’s declining membership. Or by railing against independence activists in the manner of Pete Wishart (see below) or Toni Giugliano.
Did anyone in the SNP hierarchy even take time to inquire what actually happened at the Perth demonstration? No! The party’s instant and now totally predictable response was to take whatever was ‘reported’ in the British media as gospel. There was no hesitation. They went straight to echoing and amplifying whatever disinformation and misrepresentation was being peddled by the British propaganda machine. The SNP leadership demands unwavering and these days unquestioning loyalty from members. This is not reciprocated. The SNP leadership has become a big button emblazoned with the words ‘PRESS ME’ presented to British Nationalist propagandists. What do they expect other than that this button will be pressed with increasing vigour and frequency?
What is the consequence for independence activists of the SNP’s pandering to British Nationalist propaganda? Does the peremptory disposal of people like Chris McCusker dilute the vitriol hurled by the British media? See below for the answer to that question.
It seems clear to me that the more the SNP bosses allow themselves to be played by the British media the more the British media are going to play them. And it’s not the party managers and officers who suffer. It is the whole of the independence movement. Because the British media have no compunction about tarring every one of us with the brush so reliably loaded for them by the ‘party of independence’.
How can we hope that Nicola Sturgeon and her party might stand fast for Scotland when they won’t even stand up for their own members?
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