AS the SNP virtual conference approached I attended a branch Zoom meeting to discuss the final conference agenda. There was genuine anger at the way ordinary members have been treated.

Branches were asked for resolutions months ago only to see them all (more than 100, I understand) binned. Amendments were then asked for and also all swiftly binned. In an hour-long discussion a few members were angry enough to suggest that we try to reject the whole conference agenda at the start of the meeting. Others feared what that would say about the party six months before the Scottish Parliament elections.

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Another suggestion was to move a remit back of each resolution one by one. However that raises the question – remit them to where? Do we want to see them all resurrected at a repeat conference sometime in the spring?

There were half-joking suggestions that we should ask for our delegate fees back.

“Approved” lists of candidates for the NEC and officer bearer positions are now appearing on the internet. The latest is the oddly named I see that I have been included in it (thanks for that) but someone else has been more “approved” as #1 for the West of Scotland NEC. Who decides who gets on this list? What is the criteria to be a good guy (or gal)? Might it be the folk suggested as #1 candidates? The site calls for more transparency but fails to show it by naming its authors on the site.

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In the end our branch decided simply to wait and see what happens. There was frustration and fear that the whole thing could turn into a giant public mess and a PR disaster.

Maybe it would have been better not to hold the whole damn thing, blame the Covid, wait for a vaccine and hold a real conference with real resolutions and real amendments in the spring, maybe even after May, to discuss the next – hopefully final – steps forward.

Brian Lawson
Candidate for the SNP NEC West of Scotland region seat