Yesterday was Wings’ biggest day of traffic in January – something which was no small beer, because January was this site’s busiest month for traffic since June 2017. The majority of it was down to one story – our shocking scoop about the incredibly shady goings-on earlier that day at a meeting of the SNP’s National Executive Council.
The reaction to it was absolutely explosive. Half of the Parliamentary SNP spent the whole night running around social media frantically firefighting their own members, who were absolutely furious about what they’d just discovered. Poisonous abuse from the party’s woke faction poured out like never before. We got called every kind of bigot under the sun by SNP officeholders.
(The article, of course, made no mention of any sort of bisexual people, Jewish people, trans people or women as a group, let alone actually being prejudiced against anyone. Ironically just about the only kind of prejudice that wasn’t alleged was ageism, possibly because it would have been a smidge too ironic coming from a bunch of bedwetting children whose basic ideological stance is that anyone over 29 is a Nazi.)
But there was one thing you DIDN’T read amid the torrents of hate.
You didn’t read anyone saying a single word of the post was untrue.
Because, naturally, it WAS true. The legal advice we published was true. The fact that Kirsten Oswald, having been advised that the proposal would likely lose in court, put it to a vote anyway and then used her casting vote to break the resulting tie and carry the proposal forward, was true.
Nobody disputed a single material fact we’d written, they just screamed about how outrageous it was that someone had told ordinary SNP members what their own NEC wouldn’t tell them – that it was risking large sums of their money pursuing a policy that discriminated AGAINST disabled and BAME people on the basis of where they lived, and could throw the SNP’s entire election campaign into unimaginable chaos.
We especially enjoyed the irony of this one:
What, like whoever leaked the Alex Salmond case to Davie Clegg, Mhairi?
The overwhelming reaction of ordinary members and activists that we saw on social media last night wasn’t anger at Wings. It was anger at the NEC. It was very clear who most SNP supporters thought were undermining the party and independence with their actions, and it wasn’t us.
We could have printed any of literally hundreds of responses that were much less restrained than the ones above.
Numerous people tried asking Mike Russell to specify in which ways the article had “misrepresented” the events of the meeting, let alone doing so “brutally” or “unfairly”. Answers came there none.
We were accused of making “abhorrent comments” about Graham Campbell.
But literally the worst thing we’d called him was a “councillor”, which he is. Below is the entirety of what we said about Cllr Campbell:
Some of the party’s more extreme elements took a bolder approach, suggesting that deliberately breaking equalities law to the clear detriment of huge numbers of minority candidates was in fact a heroic and principled step.
(Which also begged the question of why bother to spend quite a lot of money on legal advice at all if you were just going to ignore it anyway because legal advice subjugates minorities or something? Sadly it wasn’t even possible to ask that question, never mind get an answer, because as usual Ms Spear had shown her deep commitment to engagement, democracy and transparency by blocking replies to her tweet.)
All our best pals showed up:
Although none of them could, when asked, identify a single piece of “disinformation” in the article (or indeed any other Wings articles) either.
But we can’t blame them for joining in. Absolutely everyone was talking about it, even on a platform we’re not allowed to be on.
Everyone except the Scottish press, that is. Because as we write this, fully 19 hours after we broke the story, there still hasn’t been a single word about it in any Scottish newspaper, either print or online.
So let’s just recap what actually happened:
– the SNP rode roughshod over several established procedures and rules in order to pass a motion they’d been advised against by a QC on the grounds that it was probably illegal.
– ignoring that advice is highly likely to cost the party a six-figure sum of money that it really doesn’t have to spare, and wreak absolute havoc with its election campaign.
– if enacted, the policy would effectively bar disabled people from any chance of getting an SNP list seat in all of Scotland’s most populated regions.
– if enacted the policy would effectively bar BAME people from any chance of getting an SNP list seat in all of the other regions (except South Scotland).
– if enacted the policy would allow people who weren’t actually disabled or BAME at all to self-identify as such and steal list places/seats from real disabled or BAME people.
– if enacted the policy could let a white person, who hadn’t received a SINGLE vote from members, to be parachuted into the top list spot in a region and be counted as a black person.
– if enacted the policy would actually bar transgender people from any chance of getting an SNP list seat in ANY of Scotland’s regions (unless they were also BAME or disabled).
– Wings didn’t actually express any view whatsoever on the principle of getting more BAME and disabled candidates nominated. We’re entirely in favour of that, although we’d prefer it if they were actual BAME and disabled people rather than the same tiny fringe of angry woke entryists who’ve been repeatedly rejected by SNP members on their own (lack of) merits but keep trying to find a cheaty way of slithering into seats without having to win any votes, by pretending to be oppressed minorities.
(Seriously, if you think we expressed a view, quote it to us. We expressed a view on the conduct of the meeting and in particular its chair, and on the behaviour of certain prospective candidates. At no point did we say, or in any way imply, that it was a bad idea to try to get more BAME and disabled candidates nominated. That principle, and its complex and difficult ramifications, are a discussion for another day.)
So, y’know, ho hum. Business as usual. The SNP’s toxic, hate-twisted and increasingly embattled and panicky woke faction continues to thrash and scream and try to deflect from the fact that more and more SNP members and supporters are discovering what it’s been up to and don’t like it, and as usual the Scottish media misses the story because nobody spoon-fed it to them in a press release.
Wings, meanwhile, will continue providing its readers with the simple and verifiable truth, and let them make of it whatever they will.