Wednesday, 16 February 2011


I don't care much for big business supporting political parties, nor for that matter for trades unions doing it, but life is life and we start from where we are, not from where we would like to be.

So, with the unions funding Labour and the big financial organisations funding the Tories, we have to be grateful that this money is coming to us.

Getting our message through with a hostile press and a hostile state broadcaster is a hard job. The rubbish that is printed about the SNP has been startling over the years, and the way that some achievements have been ignored in the main stream media, including the BBC, is jaw dropping. The curled lip of some presenters when the government is mentioned brings shame on a supposedly neutral state funded organ.

So we need to be able to get the message across with posters, ads, tv and most important of all, people.

The SNP is lucky. Its members get off their backsides and do what they can, whatever that is, from folding communications and putting them in envelopes to going out “chapping doors”. We are lucky that our main asset costs nothing. But other assets do cost money and we will have to pay for the advertising campaign which we must mount.

We need a million pounds. Let’s see if we can get it.

(As so often on this blog, my thanks go to Cynical Highlander for bringing this to my attention.)

Pics: Isn't it one of the prettiest and the best places on Earth (despite today's weather)


  1. The good news just keeps on coming SNP overtake Labour in a proper, i.e. statistically valid, poll of 1000 people.

    SNP up in both votes over the 2007 results, this is before the extra cash for the campaign kicks in.

  2. Dubs:

    Interesting article and discussion that follows it. A bit more acceptable level than the Hootsman (printed in England).

    There are certainly some circumstances which may have affected people's attitudes (Lockerbie Report and Labour's lies; Budget and Labour's childish refusal to vote for it after getting everything they wanted except some open ended commitment to spend, which no party would ever give; Jim Devine being pathetic and being found guilty of stealing.

    It should wipe the smile off Gray’s face. Have you heard the rumour that Bendy is hoping to topple Gray? Would this be before the election or after it?

  3. Should that be .... double your money and give extreme religious beliefs a voice in your government...

  4. Thank goodness the Labour Party is out of power then Braveheart.
    Have *you* a bowler hat perchance?

  5. Bowler hat, shamrock, it doesnt matter. The SNP is in hock to both sides. Or have you forgotten Tom Farmer being ordered by the ArchBish to give (£500,000?) last time.

    Extremely dangerous IMO to have such types funding your party. Particularly if you want to be independent....Think Ireland circa 1950....


  6. The sight of Brewer and Curtis on Newsnicht last night as they discussed the Times article, with their lips trembling with indignation will stay with me for ever, "but but surely it's only a blip," quoth the red faced oily haired one. I am so looking forward to this election as I feel it is going to be another earthquake in the UK.

    Elmer Fudd can always get a start with Oxfam again.

  7. Heh, Braveheart. Surely those contributions would cancel each other out?

    Ah, you worship Formula One motor racing...

  8. The present Labour party seems to belong to the unions, and the leader is in hock to them.

    Over 50% of the funding for the Tories comes from the City of London and it's plain what that means, isn't it. I mean George couldn’t be kinder to them.

    Everyone has views on things which don't accord with our own. For heaven's sake this idiotic state has a state religion. The head of state is the head of a church. It's like the bloody Vatican here. And it's the Church of ENGLAND that is the state religion, that one Wullie will have to get married in. Not the Church of SCOTLAND or the Wee Frees, or the Methodists. And the Roman Catholics are forbidden to go anywhere near the Royals.... WHAT? In the 21st Century?

    How is the SNP supposed to get money in your opinion?

  9. He he... I wish I'd seen that KBW....

    How dare we? It's the Snarl's turn...

    Can you imagine the finances after Kerr's had his hands on them....?

  10. Tris, I don't know where the SNP should get its money. But I do know that Brian Souter and the ArchBish are not donating from a socially liberal viewpoint. They don't want an independent Scotland with gay marriages and equality for women. That's not where they live. If we went back 100 years in social terms they would not be unhappy. I wouldn't want to live in such a country... particularly if I was female.

    I wouldn't like it if the Labour party took their money. They will extract a price.

  11. Well, you may not know the answer to the funding problem, but that’s OK for you. It’s not your problem. It is however, A problem, and it has to be solved....

    I do take your point BH. There is always the hope of some influence. The QPQ. The fat cats fund the Tories and they expect to be allowed to pay virtually no tax; they funded the Labour party too, and they got what they wanted.

    But either we give the parties tax payers’ money, or interests have to fund political parties. My money going to Iain Grays’s bunch of ........... Jeeeeeez, I’d take the gas.

    Besides what can Soutar do? What’s he peddling? Religion? I can’t really see the Scottish people buying into that big time. And fair doos, he hates poofs and he hates women. OK. They aren’t going anywhere. Equality laws exist; no government would try to take away women’s rights now or gay partnerships.

    He’s probably hoping for preferment for his buses

  12. Your quite happy for them to take large donations from supermarkets take gifts of booze from a drink firm which financed the opposition to minimum pricing and take money from the city of London financiers/fraudsters what strange bedfellows unionists have.

    I don't want to live in a country with WMD, willing to start illegal wars and create a society of inequality of such a scale that we now have. We can all be selective but yours are knee jerk fears.

  13. IN 2007 Tom Farmer started the ball rolling by giving £100k and not the £500k as stated above by Cllr Gallacher. I hear non-SNP members, just ordinary voters have been coming in to SNP offices and giving cash as they have read about the double the donation effort. All the cash and cheques will need to be added to the online payments so the figure on the SNP website will be lower to what is actually coming in. No doubt aa appeal mailing will be winging its way to the membership.

  14. Sorry lads. Your position amounts to "So what if the religious zealots fund my party. Other types of people fund your party".

    So the SNP is just another party scrabbling for advantage. I know that, SNPers seldom admit it.

    And in this case, the people you are taking money from, and selling influence to, want us to go back a century and more in social terms.... a small narrow backward looking country....

    Not on for me I'm afraid. You can swallow it if you like... but you cannot deny it.

  15. So you are a Tory "Braveheart".

    And you are talking about selling influence...

  16. tris,

    Must say I'm a tad surprised at your remark "he hates poofs and he hates women" and wonder how you can justify it? Does that mean he hates a good percentage of his work-force and, even, his own sister? Does an applicant's sexuality or inclinations influence his recruitment policies and processes?

  17. Braveheart,

    In your world, before accepting donations, questions regarding religious affiliations should be asked? Are you sure, given your moniker, that you are not having a wee pop at the SNP?

  18. Voter: Yeah, there will be a lag between teh money coming in and the figure shown on teh website.

    But the donations are good. There is a movement across the country that seems to be saying "even if we don't want independence, we need to keep the talentless team of Labour out."

  19. So BH... would an SNP government them immediatly bring in rules taking away women's and gay rights?

    Is that what you are suggesting?

  20. Touché Conan...

  21. @John Brownlie 9.24

    Read what I wrote: that's not what I'm saying.

    I'm saying neither Brian Souter nor the Arch Bish is gifting millions to the SNP so that we can have a socially liberal independent Scotland. They are both social conservatives and, if they put money your way, they want your cooperation.

    I would not be happy if my party took such large amounts from such sources. And I would not want to live in a small independent country in which the government owed favours to such people.

    As I said above, think Ireland circa 1950... not for me, I'm afraid.

  22. I say that about Soutar because i understand that he was so against the removal of clause 2A which Mrs Thatcher brought in, that he funded a private referendum across Scotland to try to ensure that the government would not repeal it. He also spoke out against the equalisation of age of consent for gays.

    I know a guy who works for him and who has done since his was a pretty small concern. He's a bus driver and was with him pretty much at the beginning. His attitude to women is a sort of 1950s thing, according to my mate.

    That is the basis for my comments.

    I maintain that despite accepting him money, I don't see lower wages for women and a 25 years age of consent being on the cards in any SNP government.

    He's a bit of a snob too. He describes his customers as beer drinking, chip eating, and council house dwelling. Charmless git.

  23. Who is the archbish?

  24. @Tris 10.17 I don't think anything as crude. But it would be more difficult to get progress on that type of issue, and easier to regress.

    Tris, if the churches buy the government, they own it. They are not a benevolent society, and they don't think in months or years. They want to own your soul forever, and they think decades and hundreds of years ahead.

    So todays' donations are an investment in a small weak indepnedent country, depending on our donations to keep politicians in power.....

    As I said, I would not be happy if my party was so directly dependent on religiously motivated donations...

    BTW, have you ever heard Alex Salmond directly oppose (not criticise, just say it's not right) Brain Souter's attitude to gays? If you did, I'll bet it was before Souter started pouring money into the SNP.

    As for Tom Farmer. He had no politics before the ArchBish asked him for the favour....

    "Thomas, if you give generously, I'll say a wee mass for the sake of your soul....".

  25. tris,

    "Claus 2A"? - There's a huge difference between being against the "intentional promotion of homosexuality in primary schools" and a huge difference between even what your mate claims and a generalisation that "he hates poofs and women". I think he would have been a very young child just starting school in the "1950s". Did people in the "1950s" really hate women?

    Perhaps the £20 million raised by his charitable trust for under-developed countries had specific clauses "not be be utilised on behalf of poofs or women"?

    NB: Souter's charitable works should not be mentioned in front of Labour voters.

  26. Braveheart,

    Okay, when Souter funded the postal poll regarding Clause 2A what was the SNP's reaction to the results?

  27. So which party is funded by an organisation, or organisations, or large funding individuals that are OK by your standards? Or do you just have a hatred of religion? Or do you just hate the SNP? Or what is it?

    I mean I wish that we didn't have to depend on money from bigots or financiers, or union leaders... but someone has to fund the bells and whistles of the advertising campaign leading to an election.

    The SNP cannot compete without that, given that the press and the broadcast media are against it.

    The English Labour party/trades unions will provide Gray with the money for Labour and the Tories will get their money from the rich businessmen, many of them financiers who are responsible for the mess we are in.

    I shouldn't think anyone in the right mind will fund the Liberals. I mean we won't know whether they will ditch their policies to support Labour or ditch their policies to support the Tories.

    Neither the Liberals nor the Tories have government potential in Scotland. But the SNP is a government party. It has to be funded from somewhere. We little people don't have any money left, thanks to the combined efforts of the English based parties with high inflation and low interest rates on savings.

    So is the SNP supposed to turn down Souter’s money because he might try to lean on them for something (which in any case he would never get as we are locked into the European Convention for Human Rights).

    If any government tried to go backwards on rights for gays or women or ethnic minorities, it would be ruled illegal by the courts under judicial review.

  28. They ignored them

  29. tris,

    Souter was referring to those who vote Labour and I agree that it was charmless but then generalisations in any form tend to be.

  30. Right John. Your point is well made. I take it back.

    I wrote that last night when I was tired and was angry at the, in my opinion, astounding attitude of BH.

    I was wrong. One should never comment in anger. One should never comment when one is tired.

    No I don't think people hated women in the 1950s. But they were treated differently. You know, protected and cherished, but not taken as seriously as equals as they are today.

    "Run off and make some tea dear. We have men's matters to discuss."

    We all know people who hang on to that attitude and many of them born after the 1950s. “Yes yes, women are equal, but....”

    In the 1950s people did hate poofs, and I use that word because that was what they called them... not gays or any of the politically correct names of today.

    That should have read 28.

  31. I accept that his charitable works are extensive. I could have used that as an argument against what BH was saying. It was a missed opportunity.

    Like I said I was tired and grumpy. I apologise.

  32. Well John, not everyone who votes Labour eats chips, drinks beer or lives in a council house.

    And not everyone who uses busses votes Labour: my mum for example. (Although the beer and chips is a bit of a problem).

    But some people are poor and they have to use his buses much though they would prefer not to.

    It's rarely a pleasant experience compared with private transport and almost always used as a necessity rather than a lifestyle choice. It was pretty tactless and unchristian to describe his customers like that.

  33. tris,

    Okay, I'm off to make the tea. I've just checked with my Mum and she tells me she was more than equal in the 50s but failed to tell my Dad. Needless to say, he agreed.

    As far as Braveheart is concerned as soon as I see Braveheart, Brigadoon, shortbread, etc etc mentioned I know that the writer has unionist affiliations.

  34. Tris he's Cardinal Keith MIchael Patrick O'Brian Archbisshop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and you can read about him here....

    Wouldn't want him whispering in the Scottish Taoiseach's ear....

  35. tris,

    I agree with you, as usual! It was an utterly charmless remark and I'm surprised that Niko has not come on to defend himself.

  36. My comparion was to Ireland in the '50s... a much different kettle of fish, in social terms, to Scotland (although that wasn't perfect either...)....

    Anyway, you chaps can continue to try to avoid facing the facts... I just say that I wouldn't want people like Souter or O'Brien buying my party.

    And I wouldn't want to live in a small independent country where they had the slightest influence.

  37. BH:

    You keep on telling us who you don't want to fund your party, whatever that is.

    You haven't said who you are happy finding your party.

  38. LOL John. You don't "usually" agree with me... only sometimes.

    You're off to cook the tea... at midday?

    I hope it's salad.

  39. Let me put that another way: the reason O'Brien favours the SNP is that he recognises that his regressive social programme has no chance with Labour.

    Cardinal Winning was a social liberal (as far as a cardinal can be and compared to O'Brien), backed Labour (with lots of reservations) and tried to push the poverty agenda, with other social matters such as gay rights and abortion given less prominence.

    O'Brien is much more illiberal. He opposes stem cell research, gay rights, abortion, and associated ideas, and thinks these areas are more important than poverty, jobs etc.

    In other words, he wants to save your soul, not your life.

    And he thinks an independent Scotland would be ripe for his agenda. And that buying SNP politicians might give him even more traction if Scotland became independent.

    You may be sanguine about these things: I wouldn't be.

  40. Tris. It's obvious that party funding is a problem. I'm happy with TU and other individual contributors. Obviously there are individuals that I might not like, (but I also might not know about them), and if they tried to use money to buy influence it would not be right..

    If another acceptable method of party funding was proposed, I would look at it with an open mind.

    But we do know about Souter and O'Brien, and if they were buying interest in Labour I would not be happy.

    I also think that they are buying the SNP with the hope that (assuming independence) a young, small, weak and vulnerable country would be much more open to their influence than an big, confident and effectively pagan country like the UK.

  41. @Tris, I keep talking about the funding of the SNP because that's the subject of your post....


    BTW, no-one has addressed my first question: "free from what?".

  42. BH: England; the Tories.

    If I had millions I would help fund the SNP. Not because I'd want anything from the government, but because I want a Scotland that is not ruled from London, by 590 MPs that have no connection with it, and 59 who do.

    You keep saying that you are talking about the SNP NOT being funded by these people who might want a quid pro quo, but you won't say who you think should fund parties. Any party? That is surely my point. Someone has to come up with money. It’s either big business or the trades unions. Both has an agenda.

    I fail to see what archbishops of a church have to do with funding the party. They aren’t offering money from the Vatican are they? Then we’d all have to be celibate and wear frocks!

    If the archbishop sometimes comments on policies which he approves of, there’s nothing wrong with that. The C of E used to be described as the Tory party at prayer. Churchmen have every right to comment on policies.

  43. Braveheart

    Free from being effectively - or in this case ineffectively - ruled according to the wishes of our next-door neighbour's voters.

    Next time you get paid, pop in next door and tell your neighbour that he/she can run your finances for you and that, hopefully, you'll be happy with whatever money they decide they give you in return. Any important decisions regarding your life will be made by them and, in return, you cannot make any decisions for them.

    You will also agree that if he wants to improve his property or life-style you will pay a share, decided by him, of the total costs.

    If he picks a fight with someone, of his own choosing, for his own gain, you will do your share of the fighting even if do not wish to do so. If he tells you lies to get you on-side you will have to believe him.

    Do you want me to go on??

  44. I didn't see your post above.

    So you think the TU don't have an agenda?

  45. @John Brownlie

    "Free from being effectively - or in this case ineffectively - ruled according to the wishes of our next-door neighbour's voters."

    Except we're not, and if you take the voters of Scotland as the judge, they don't think that either.

    What would be different if Scottish voters only had influence in Scotland? How much happier would the people of Scotland be?

  46. Braveheart,

    "Except we're not"??????

    You are ruled by the Tories because that is the wish of English voters. That is a fact which is, I suspect, beginning to dawn on voters in Scotland.

    You must be aware that if the UK partliament decided to dump nuclear waste in Edinburgh Castle that ALL the combined MPs in Scotland would be powerless and comprehensively out-voted.

    Obviously, then, the vast majority of MPs will naturally rule along the wishes of their own constituents and the best Scotland can hope for is a degree of altruism and good-will. So far Scotland has hoped in vain.

    If you can justify, and agree with, the actions of the UK Government over the last twenty/thirty odd years then you are welcome to your view-point.

    Incidentally, why do you call yourself "Braveheart"?

  47. John, the people of Newcastle didn't vote Tory either. Or Manchester. Or many other places. That's democracy, the Tories are the biggest party, they got most votes. They win.

    I presume you would have democracy of some sort in an independent Scotland?

    I agree that if the UK Parliament wanted to dump nuclear waste on Edinburgh Castle, that would be a problem. But they don't.

    I agree with some of the actions of the government over the last 30 years and I disagree with others. How else could it be? Are you saying that, in an independent Scotland, everybody would always agree with all the things every government did?

    I call myself Braveheart because the (real and fictional) Braveheart wanted the best for the Scottish people. Like me.

  48. BH so easy to make these spurious claims again and again but regrettably as republican we are not at liberty to simply take your word that the Archbish is pulling Tom Farmer’s strings. Presumably in return for a more medieval attitude toward abortion or some such?? These sort of statement are not only pejorative but they also appear to be unsubstantiated at this time. Unforgivable in the 21st Century when it is so easy to give a link to your proof don’t you think?

  49. I think Newcastle and Manchester are parts of England aren't they? And as such should rightly be ruled from England. Scotland is a country and should be ruled from Scotland. Don't you think its a bit ridiculous to comapre a Country to an English city?

  50. @Munguin. That the Archbishop asked Tom Farmer to give money to the SNP? is public knowledge. It wasn't subject of an official report so it would be difficult to get it on the web (e.g.), but it was covered in the press at the time. Of course it's understandable if you haven't heard of it: you can't be expected to know everything.

    John raised the question of being ruled by Tories although Scotland didn't vote Tory. I pointed out that Newcastle didn't vote Tory either, but they have a Tory government too. That's how democracy works. If there's another point to his or your argument, what is it?

    If it's that Scotland should be independent, I know you think that, but I don't think the point that democracy entails winners and losers is of any relevance to the arguments for or against independence.

    Unless you are saying there would not be winners and losers in a Scottish democracy. I would like to see how that would work.

  51. BH please explain how its alright for party to take donations from the drinks industry and use there research to vote down the minimum pricing proposal. Listen to this (19mins) and justify blaming the caffeine content.

  52. I see common knowledge is it? In all the papers at the time was it? Only I didn’t hear anything about it and didn’t see anything in the papers which I read every day. I must be stupid or blind then? Which one of those is it you were implying?

    Oh and best of all not a sniff of all that on the internet, nothing at all, so that huge furore just passed the internet by did it? So we just have to take your rather condescending word for it do we? Well I for one wont!

    Please is that the best you can do to substantiate your spurious allegations or is that an excuse for sloppy research.

  53. @ Cynical Highlander, no thanks. I took the invitation to comment on SNP funding as in "DOUBLE YOUR MONEY AND SET SCOTLAND FREE ". I don't want to change the subject, even if you do.

    @Munguin. There wasn't a huge furore. But I can see why you too want to deflect away from the implications of the religious sector trying to buy the SNP.

    Brian Souter gives half a million last time and pledges to give another half million, Tom Farmer acts as the Arch Bishes envoy and gives hundreds of thousands. Both these groups are socially illiberal and want to buy influence in the SNP and (they hope) a fledgeling independent Scotland.

    That makes me nervous . I wouldn't want religion to have any undue influence in my gevernment, and a new small weak fresh country might be easy prey for a rich and influential religious lobby.

    Nobody here seems able to addresss that question directly.

    Do you think it's healthy that so much of the SNPs funding comes from such illiberal sources?

    Do you think that they are giving all this dosh out of altruism? Or might they want something in return?

    What might that be?

    Would you like that?

  54. BH I think that you have got a bee in your bonnet about organised religion, for whatever reason, I don’t frankly care! But it has clearly led you to make a series of unsubstantiated claims on here, I do care about that! When challenged to make good on your, otherwise, preposterous claims, the best you can do is...well nothing really except repeat them.

  55. I think you're paranoid Braveheart. Chill. You are worrying about something that won't happen in a million years.

    We've all said as much as we are going to say.

    Nothing new is coming out, so the subject is closed.