NB Not the shortest post and not had much time to edit, but any forward thinking and/or SNP MPs/MSPs fans etc capable of listening may get some value out of the ramblings.
Will the SNP, Cybernats and #IndyRef be buried for a another generation by the time that GE2022 comes round? Or will it be some kind of Obama "Yes We can" campaign message?
I don't agree with politicans often but President Sturgeon is absolutely right in that
"How they handle Alex Salmond and his crowd funder will define who the SNP is as a party"
But unlike the SNP who will strategise and stratagise and then ignore their supporters, how they handle Alex Salmond and his crowdfunder in the last week and the next week or so... will define the trajectory of their party.
The Data Doesn't Lie
Gideon Mack, a book that’s recommended reading by John Swinney’s Scottish Education and Advanced Higher English seems like a good place to start with this post and the Ministers observations with his charitable fund raising efforts – on the irony given Mr Salmonds crod funder – and how
“When a project becomes successful everyone wants to be part of it"
Based on this sentiment and the lack of Scottish Celebrity endorsements who have previously been public in their support for an independent Scotland… but who have been a lot quieter more recently, what does this say about the future prospects of The SNP? It’s not good I’m afraid.
Nor is looking at the data with the attempt to bring back the #IndyRef #VoteYes humour with the #SNPCivilWar as there were two key differences.
1) The Network Effects were not there to bring the numbers needed
2) The Feedback Loops were not there... there was a bit of sinister snark in the humour.
The SNP is boasting about having 125,000 members, but hang on a minute!
Didn't they have 100,000 members after the 2014 IndyRef?
An extra 25,000 members in 4 years?
This group was mobilised in 2015 for sure (Actually they were not... the Network Effects and Feedback Loops were)... But let's say for arguments sake it was their canvassing, where where they in 2017 for Mr Salmond and the rest of #Team56?
Could the polls and votes head south for the SNP? As far south as poor old Gideon Mack fell when rescuing Jasper?
When writing posts like this, unfortunately, it’s with the realization that the organization responsible for Scale Up Scotland has not been very successful with scaling themselves and don't listen until after the fact.
It has become a massively arrogant organization that appears incapable of listening to people.
Indeed, in my experience, it actively goes out of its way NOT to listen to people.
A Party Like it Was in 1997
I wonder if I were able to go back in time to the only time I ever met President Sturgeon to say:
“You may only have won 6 seats tonight – In 1997 when I canvassed for Jim Byrne and attended the count – but in 17 years time you’ll have cult Celebrity status after a failed #IndyRef attempt… but a year later will have 56 seats at Westminster in the 2015 General Election. But Alex Salmond will lose his seat in the 2017 General Election and resign in 2018 amid sexual harassment allegations but he’ll have a crowdfunder for £100,000 after 4 days… because of the massive Cybernat problem on social media”
Besides questions like
“What’s social media? What's crowdfunding?”… and/or
“But General Elections only take place every 4 years”
(Yeah I know! Even the public are saying 'Not another one!' Want to hear about all the referendums too? No? That makes two of us, because neither do we in the future!)
How believable do you think that would have sounded? Well here’s one for you…
By 2022 not only will IndyRef2 be dead but The SNP *Just Might* be back to the same levels of representation as 1997.
Never! No Way! Says any SNP MPs reading this (and God only knows what awaits someone who suggests such blasphemy on Scotland's "Chosen Ones" on social media as the Cybernat trolls catch wind of the suggestion).
However! Before the hounds of IndyRef/SNP/Guardians of the Saltire are unleashed - by whoever it is that does the unleashing! - Please allow me to pose this little question:
How many people can you name who’s insights have been accurate for EVERY ELECTION in Scotland since those glory days of the SNPs celebrity status in 2014/15?
Well, whether the rationale was sound or not... I've nailed every single one! Yes! All of them!
Even when all the experts and pundits said "The polls can't be right.. can they?" Go check my posts around the time of the elections.
MPs and MSPs won’t look at the issue of call centre jobs going and the need to reskill for people who will lose their jobs in that sector… but I bet the 1997 result and my record with predicting this stuff got them thinking!
I’ve already sent an email in April/May with the subject line of “How MSPs can Keep their Jobs,” and for anyone at the fancy away day marvelling at their fancy mural with
"Connecting People and listening to people is important"
That same email thread suggests that MSPs lead the way with helping schools to connect too... the response? Crickets! Nothing. Nada! Naught!
Perhaps you need to be a member of the yellow shiny badge club to be in their Scotland... But I was once and got the same reply, so maybe you need to be one #Team56?
"Yes We Can" IndyRef, Trump and Podemos
#IndyRef and politics is a good way to demonstrate how and why the future life of companies may well go from 75 years in days gone by to 15 years at the moment and could reduce further to 5 years on the current trajectory.
I’ve mentioned the book New Power quite a bit and it’s not just the plebs that will be disrupted by the pace of change.
As, Chris vander Kuyl, one of the SNP’s darlings who DO get listened to highlights… the pace of change will never be this slow again.
Politics remains dominated by "Old Power" where power is sought and held... but like, call centres, this may soon disappear, leaving the old guard behind.
Politics and "The People" are in this same period of transition - SNP you can't unleash movements like #IndyRef and then only use it for your buddies to get a chusy job - The eventual winners, especially in Scotland because of #Indyref - may well be "New Power" where power is like a current.
Old Vs New Power is Labours problem too. Corbyn is "New Power" with his fans and will revolt if MPs get rid of him... His MPs are "Old Power" (Some, Bailrites, being further right that the Conservatives) have tried everything and they can't do it... it's a mis-match. It will be interesting to see who wins that tussle!
Politicians not only would have learned from Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, but the tech companies liked Obama and between them, they figured a few things out re political campaigning and social media.
#IndyRef was one of the first campaigns in the UK where Social Media played a big role – all MP/MSPs were on social media and #IndyRef was being talked about everywhere online and offline and #VoteYes/#NoThanks being national water coolers.
I’ve written so much about the “Network Effects” and “Feedback Loops” this created for the SNP from 2014-2017 that you can find that elsewhere, but they made SNP Domination Inevitable for 2015.
We look to 2016/7 for the next but it’s not the UK that we look to it’s the US and to what extent did Trump learn from what Obama did with the tech companies, #IndyRef and shifting campaign spend from traditional spend to online?
The Podemos party in Spain went from unknown to the opposition within 2 years... so could a new party enter politics and, if as participatory as they are… be the 2nd largest party in Scotland/UK, I think they *Just Might* come close!
No? Disagree? Well the SNP went from #Indyref #VoteYes super stardom to... Hmm I'm not too sure what they are today in 4 years.
Proponents of the SNP may well say - a lot of hustle and good work went into getting them to that position and that is the very point of this post.
It takes a lot of hustle behind the scenes for a long time to build communities... but there is no training for this here, but successful tech companies all have community managers.
Thatcher, Blair, Cybernats… and the Future of The SNP?
Take a look at social media and the kind of rhetoric people are using… from any of the parties
As I highlighted to two of the three MPs that I have any time for at all… take a walk through Glasgow at rush hour… people are miserable!
I’m rereading Ayn Rand’s “We the Living” and it’s extremely difficult not to apply Rands 1930s Russia to Glasgow today, based on what I see and my experiences
"If they ask you, in America - Tell them that Russia is a huge cemetery and that we are all dying slowly"
Disagree? Well how about 59 of the 100 most deprived areas in the UK are in Glasgow??!!
Now it’s 100% true that Thatcher did a real job on the working classes and on Scotland… almost every new industry since the 1950s has its base in the South East of England.
And let’s not even go there with the Miners Strike and/or the impact that this had on Glasgow and the “Factory of the Empire”
Then add in a dose of “Things can only get better” with Tony Blair and his Iraq War and Gordon Brown’s ‘Sorry there’s no money’ memo to the Treasury for the incoming Government.
Whether it’s Thatcher, Blair, Brown… Every MSP/MP/Party has a valid reason to say
“My predecessor has handed me a bum deal.”
But that's why you're paid the big bucks (And they are big in this economy) bozo!
Whether IndyRef, The SNP, Brexit people are looking:
1) To be heard and
2) For things to go back to when they had more money, when their life was better*
*As people offer with criticisms of Putnam’s “Bowling Alone” were these communities better for everyone?
Did people from ethnic minorities have a ‘sense of belonging’ in the bowling clubs, church committees and PTAs etc of the 1950s?
A recent article that highlights how much worse 30 years olds today have it so much harder than 30 year olds in the 1990s… but some people, like women, were better off.
Regardless, the elite old school boys sticking together and bailing the banks out + the innovation from tech companies, means that those days ain’t coming back… and Holyrood and Westminster are not going to listen, at least not in the way that people feel they should be heard in these days of Facebook, Twitter etc etc.
What will change this? The sad news is… the changes could already be here.
The reason I WAS (Please note the past tense) supportive of #IndyRef and the SNP?
1) The cultural conditions – for a 3 weeks period (7th-22nd Sept2014) were special
Imagine if Saint Salmond said the day after IndyRef in his ‘One Scotland’ speech we’re either
i) Going to donate £1 from our 100,000 SNP member base to good causes, or more likely to be the case
ii) We’ve set up a crowdfunder and are encouraging out members to continue to give like they have done with the food banks at George Square etc £1 for a One Scotland good cause campaign
2) As highlighted above they are the only party who are new enough to remember what it’s like to be the underdog and have very few seats… Until the whole sexual harassment scandal and news that the completely non-existent split and Sturgeon Vs Salmond who do not have different support bases of Old Vs Newer members.
What might one potential outcome of this non-existent different support base be?
Well if Alex Salmond can’t rejoin the party for two years and/or is found guilty… is such an egomaniac going to slip quietly out the political scene?
An egomaniac with a passion for independence with 4,000 people contributing £100,000?
Could the crowd funder have been a test to see if public support was with him?
Did he wonder "Could I follow Trumps example and 'grab people by the pussy' have the admission on tape and still get elected... Is my support base strong enough for that? Let's crowd fund it to find out"
Could an Alex Salmond Scottish Independence Party 2.0 grow as quickly as Podemos and blame others on the 2014 failed #IndyRef attempt?
The Cameron, Boris, Gove buddies have done a good job of that one... and Boris is still there, doing and saying what he likes.
A Fair & Just Society Vs ForFairness
So people bought into all the “Hope over fear” and “A fair and Just Society” but a society where the majority of the UKs deprived areas are in one Scottish city and the architect of the SNP’s idea of #ForFairness is… wait for it… Are you ready for this... A crowdfunder for his legal fees... against a sexual harassment case?
Well let me tell you this much all the
“We have the biggest #IndyRef march we’ve ever had!”
Tweets in the world ain’t gonna cut the mustered to see a repeat of #GE2015 for the SNP in 2022 or to get another 5% agreeing with the original #The45... if they still feel the same (And they don't!)
Never in a month of Sundays... More hustle than that will be needed to rebuild the trust that's been lost!!
Voters Can (Sometimes) Have Long Memories
I have and will NEVER vote Conservative!
The reason? Because Thatcher did to my young adult years what Blair and Cameron did to my kids young adult years… they fucked it right up!
Watching my parents struggle to make ends meet as their mortgage grew… Teachers industrial action meant they refused to do unpaid extra-curricular activities and, as many will know, the list is endless.
But between now and #GE2022 All may look hunky dory and the Independence movements' equivalent of Trumps “Deplorables” AKA the ‘Cybernats’ will continue to argue with everyone and anyone…
Unionist Bastards (Tories), Red Tories (Labour), Unionist, Corrupt and Conspiring MSM (Because The National is so objective… News flash folks: ALLthe papers lose money… ALL the papers are backed by political interests)
But, just like the shock of GE2017, including when Alex lost his seat… The SNP (And IndyRef2) may well find itself decimated.
The reason? They promised hope… but delivered none #ForFairness.
Almost 4 years on from his celebrity cult status in the run up to Indyref Alex Salmond idea of “A Fair and Just Society” under the banner of the SNPs version of the Saltire meant that 'fairness' means something different to many of us, if I knew fairness to an MP = #Team56 and a £100,000 crowdfunder I'd be Erm #NoThanks!!
Don’t blame me. I voted Yes… and I told you every step of the way how I was feeling as a voter, I also highlighted where the dangers were and how to avoid them.
So hope The SNP MPs and supporters had fun laughing off the Civil War that never came… did you spot it though?
1) The numbers were not there. Sept 2014 there were enough people talking about it online and that facilitated action offline… you don’t got the numbers no more for what happened in 2014 to happen again – for Holyrood or Westminster never mind #IndyRef2
2) The Civil War wasn’t Sturgeon Vs Salmond MPs… It was the silence of SNP MPs about Salmond Vs the SNP supporters who - at the moment at least - even the SNP can no longer influence in any way… even if they were brave enough to Tweet out
“Hey that’s not how we roll round about here”
I would not be surprised if they got the same kind of abuse everyone else did.
But the fact that the SNPs FE Minister lost her post because of something that they wrote in a blog years ago... Demonstrates precisely how much this party values it's support base beyond them keeping #Team56 in their own jobs with their volunteering as campaigners and #Cybernat duties.
Why is no one saying "Hey don't post that, it could affect your #ScotlandCan #Godo job prospects?" ...The data don't lie. That's how much the SNP - and other parties - care about their support base. Tech companies should do more about abuse? WTF!!
These Trolls, along with Salmond’s actions (The crowdfunder), the realization that after 11 years in Government and no real change can, has already (as we’ve seen with GE2017 Vs GE2015), and will see people return to their old voting habits, AS I SAID THEY WOULD IN 2015!!
So the rise and fall of The SNP support from when the Scottish Parliament opened to 2022, just over 20 years?
Cybernat/ Deplorables Or “Yes We Can”
Is this the only outcome? Given that May and Corbyn face exactly the same issues for exactly the same reasons? People want real change and real leadership as well as the ability to participate.
If shouting for this party over that one... with none of the elected representatives taking part - whether to temper their supporters or join the conversation - then that's what these poor JAMs (otherwise known as "The People" who - Sturgeon, Davidson, May and many others know ever so well) will do.
Is there more of a "Yes We Can" that could promise to actually deliver what Obama's campaign said we could with other participating? Sure there is!
This weekend when #SNPCivilWar was kinda trending, just like the weekend of Sept 2014, we had SNP/Independence supporters who were also tiring of the angry cybernat rhetoric... and they were saying so to their fellow supporters.
But the SNP and their MPs said nothing... just broadcast Tweets or chatting amongst themselves - Westminster online via Twitter.
Tribal Leadership, Hug Your Haters, Zombie Loyalists and New Power all books that I've recommended to the few MPs who have engaged with me in the past.
The good news for the SNP is that Labour and the Conservatives have clearly done nothing to be ready to take advantage of any SNP/IndyRef #NewPower storms when they come round? Politicans answer to this appear to be get their cheque books out to pay Cambridge Analytics?
But Facebooks latest Beta details where it’s at... and a lot can be learnt from Podemos, what people are looking for is not only for their voice, concerns and struggles to be heard… but to offer suggestions that are part of the solution.
I have solutions that I am 100% sure are would work in Education. The response you get from SNP MPs?
Join the party… why would I affiliate myself with an organization and swear my undying loyalty when, I don’t agree with everything you do or say (After all this is the ‘political classes we’re talking about), and when there was only a spark of genius for a three week period 4 years ago – which was nothing more than a happy accident that delivered GE2015.
This organisations support base on social media also appears to be a good representation of how smug, arrogant and as uncaring the press make the SNP out to be (NB with the exception of few people I’ve engaged with).
I said to the Yes campaign Manager on the weekend of Sept 2014 what was needed… I was right and I was ignored.
President Sturgeon says “This will decide who we are as a party and as a country”
I’m glad she knows who Scotland is because I have not got a clue who Scotland is… I sure don’t feel all that “Scottish” anymore... and I def don't have any sense of belonging in Sturgeon’s Scotland.
As for deciding who the SNP is as a party, she is absolutely right, there is the chance to do what should have been done on 21/22ndSept 2014… to reset the culture and say
“This is what a Cybernat is: We put the #VoteYes banter to good use to have fun… to win over others with good humour, good deeds and good arguments”
In 2015 I spoke to Ian Blackford and told him to have all the good news stories curated on Declara and have his activists discuss the articles in their private team space… so they were ready for the world of 140 character politics AKA EXACTLY in line with what Facebooks latest Edu Beta is today (Could have been 4 years ahead of the curve mate!)
Instead we had a brief convo and email exchange but no real follow up or action.
Your loss Right Honorable "Scotland's Voice Will Not Be Ignored" when-I'm-at-Westminster-but-not-with-a-Scottish-pleb Mr Blackford
I know how these things would have played out over the last week and would have helped to put the “Network Effects” and “Feedback Loops” – and I can add helping with the #NewPower storm – that was Alex Salmond his sexual harassment allegations, resignation, crowd fund, #SNPCivilWar and cybernats.
Once again, and not for the first time… It’s a shame that the SNP have not put more resources into Digital Citizenship or Community Management training.
I guess Chris vander Kuyl was right in his 2015 Scottish Learning Festival “Education lacks leadership,” it does under the SNP.
As for his Scotland lacks talent bull shit… I guess he was actually correct with that one, I just must have missed the last part, perhaps he said “Scotland lacks talent in terms of politics.”
I hope he has more success getting through to the SNP when it comes to making Scotland the most entrepreneurial country in the world… he’ll have his work cut out with such high levels of deprivation.
The Five Sages of Decline
Two days after GE2015 I spotted it. I spotted it because I noticed it in an organization that I continued to work at for longer than I should have.
Today when I spot it I move on… Immediately!
If my observations are correct and the SNP do lose a lot of ground in 2022 how insightful would that have been?
To have spotted two days after a record result and record swings to the SNP (Which again, the GE2015 results was spotted by me in Sept 2014), I noticed that they had started their decline… slide further in 2017 and into oblivion in 2022?
Smug? Happy about ANYONE even stupid people like MPs with their £75k + expenses losing their job? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Not even if it was one of Margaret Ferrier, now Clare Haughey's case workers (And that's saying something! My experiences with two of Ferrier's case workers have been horrible!)
They have families and kids too... it's horrible for anyone, even greedy self interested politicans who are incompetent at their jobs to lose their livelihoods
Feel for Alex Salmond and his “He’s wealthy man” but not relishing the thought of £100-250,000 legal fees to defend your reputation and everything he’s worked for? Sure, I can.
He is innocent until proven guilty but the handling for all concerned, The SNP, Alex Salmond and the people supporting the crowd funder have been poor.
And I don't mean the people supporting it in a
"Don't tell me what to do with my money" kind of way...
But in a
"If he's such a great man and you had so much money to donate... why not cover the less controversial campaign fund crowd funder that didn't meet it's £5,000 target for GE2017"
Kind of way
"Why didn't people vote to return him to Westminster in 2017?"
How many more shocks like that are to come for the SNP?
"No one saw it coming" Alex Salmond about the 2017 election result, HEY I DID! YOU JUST DIDN'T LISTEN. AT ALL!
"GE2022 SNP - 6 seats... No one saw it coming" President Sturgeon (Or whoever replaces her after all the non-infighting.
Most definately not saying that's what WILL happen but, if not handled well in the next few weeks, it may well be a very real possibility.
Can't see my 15 or 17 Year old voting Conservative or Labour given the decisions they took that meant they grew up under their "Austerity" and "Credit Crunch"
I wonder what they'll make of The SNP and the continually excuse of "It's Westminster's fault" as valid as that may well be... their view might be
"Well why have a Scottish Parliament if you can argue your way into significance... isn't debating what you do for a living?"
So why write this if I'm no longer supportive of this party? Well like it or not... that goes for me and the Cybernats who have told me what they think of these observations... I live in Scotland.
You'll also find my core values on my website.
I might not be a fan of the SNP or living in their Scotland, but if I can "Do a 5 min favour" "Show my Friednship First" and "Collaborate" (Even with people I'm not too keen on and/or when my voice is not heard) then I will.
The SNP 2014-2018 highlights that scaling isn't easy and that if the culture and/or trust goes... You're gonna have problems.
John Swinney and/or Jamie Hepburn (Or whoever is in charge of Edu and reskilling the workforce), happy to chat about my own experiences transitioning from call centres and sales to Community Management.