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By Jason Michael
IMAGINE FOR A MOMENT that I could tell you with absolute certainty the future of the Scottish independence campaign. Imagine that I knew for definite, without being elected, the details of a Scottish government announcement more than twenty-four hours before it was to take place. Imagine I knew the exact position the First Minister and her government will take, the ins-and-outs of the consultation process ahead of a draft bill to be published a year from now, intimate details of a proposed working group, and the timetable for the legislation being introduced to our national parliament. Now imagine that I knew all of this information days or weeks before most of the people we have elected to represent us in parliament. Let us even suppose these are details relating to national security, defence, or other sensitive information with the potential to damage the country, the integrity of our democracy, or cost lives. Other than making me some class of wizard, being privy to all this would make me a very dangerous man.
Yet, we have such an éminence grise. Dumfries and Galloway MSP Joan McAlpine exploded on social media last night when one “Jordon, Duke of Edinburgh” – the partner of Alyn Smith, allegedly – revealed to his Twitter followers the full details of a Scottish government announcement to Holyrood scheduled for tomorrow. Like my hypothetical example above, he had all the details; the position of the government, details of the consultation process and the working group, and the timeline of the bill going before parliament. Had this been Westminster, had this been a matter of national security, Mr Jordon would right now be languishing in a cell and so too would his source. According to McAlpine, Jordon has “consistently abused” her and other women on Twitter over the subject of this leaked legislation – gender self-identification.
Perhaps more worrying is the fact that the leak is wider than Jordon. BBC producer and director of Pinksixty.com, Leeze Lawrence – who has also been engaged in a long-running online campaign against Joan McAlpine and other members of the “GOP,” messaged McAlpine yesterday afternoon accusing her and her “cock of shit bigots” – that would be the “GOP” or biological women concerned about the ramifications of the Gender Recognition Act (GRA) on women’s safety – of abusing Jordon, the guy with all the insider information. In her rather pointed message to McAlpine Lawrence claims that “it wasn’t just him [Jordon] that knew this.” The real punch comes at the end, of course: “People came to us.” Us, who’s this “us?” In a nutshell, the BBC’s Lawrence Leeze is telling us – and we know it’s the truth because she knows the details – is that someone right at the heart of the SNP, right inside the inner circle, is leaking private government information to Jordon and to this mysterious “us” – Leeze’s “LGBT audience” at Pinksixty, the BBC, it’s propaganda office, her/their handler(s)? – who knows?!
For all the chaos and meltdowns at Westminster, not once has the contents of one of those fabulous red briefcases been leaked by an insider’s other half. Not even when Ross Thomson was humiliated in front of his party colleagues did he dish the dirt on the London government – and let’s face it, he’s about as low are you’re going to get in politics. Whatever way the SNP looks at this, it’s bad. It stinks to high heaven. This leak has blown the political vehicle for independence wide open; it has shown that the political leadership of the entire independence movement is as watertight as a burst teabag, a reminder that we aren’t as good at this as we like to think we are.
Alyn Smith has not yet commented on the situation – and maybe that’s for the best. If he is the source of the leak, he has to know this is right up there with the best of sacking offences. Movement activists are sick and tired of a gender identity crusade that is fast becoming the chief priority of a certain cadre around SNP HQ. “This issue is causing a lot of upset in the movement,” a senior SNP figure wrote to me this morning. “Certain individuals have been allowed to openly attack women in our party and no action has been taken.” The majority of women in both the party and the movement are critical of self-ID and the lobby advancing it. Those who stand up and speak out against it or are in any way cautious, women like Joan McAlpine and The National’s Shona Craven, have been subjected to unrelenting online harassment and abuse.
By making this a top-down prime objective – you know, to be “progressive,” the SNP is committing a colossal act of self-sabotage. There’s a general election on the horizon, and the SNP isn’t exactly winning friends and influencing people in the movement. In the midst of a woeful Conservative leadership contest, with all its revelations about class-A drug abuse, with a dead-in-the-water Prime Minister, and with everything south of the border looking like the last days in the führer bunker, the SNP has managed to achieve precisely zilch for independence – the reason it’s in power in the first place. In fact, if any other prison anywhere in the world was as dysfunctional as HM Prison Caledonia has been for the past decade, there would have been a mass breakout years ago. We have missed one opportunity after another – always waiting on that glorious announcement, the unveiling of the master plan, and the firing of that non-existent starting pistol. The legislation we have coming is fitted with an inbuilt self-destruct button in the form of a request for another Section 30 Order. But, sure, with none of this going for us – let’s bully the women of the movement into accepting laws that frighten them. We can all see how that’s going to play out.
From where I’m sitting, this has to be about the last straw for the SNP. This is not what people voted for, and it’s certainly not what so many Scots politically re-energised after 2014 put their faith and hope in. It’s one thing for the fanatics to swear blind this is the only vehicle and Nicola is the only Joan of Arc, but when there’s little evidence of diesel in the tank or a sword in the maid’s hand – then maybe it’s time to call last orders. The party’s over. There’s too much now at stake for the independence movement, and this cosy set within the SNP had better realise this in short order or get ready to step aside and let some grown-ups get on with the job.
13 thoughts on “Loose Lips and Leaks Sink Ships”
The article captures everything you need to know about where this could be going. WHO is the leaker (it may NOT be Alyn Smith, although is doesn’t look good), and it could be someone else taking advantage of this to drop Alyn in the doo-doo as well (particularly as he was just elected leader of the group in the European Parliament). A double hit, as it were.
BUT … Jordon is a loose canon, and is either incredibly stupid (why else would he publish this Tweet) when given this information; OR he did it deliberately knowing full well the consequences on the SNP leadership – including his boyfriend. So what’s going on?
If it isn’t clear now, I would suggest that people reflect on the fact that the UK-SS will have placed people in the YES movement – and obviously the SNP – years ago. So, if it isn’t Nicola (I know, paranoia getting out of hand), then it’s someone close to her and the Leadership. Who is agitating, Why now, and for Whom? It all seems too convenient when we could be on the cusp of a significant change in the geo-politics of the UK.
I’ll put my tin-foil hat away for now, but someone please PLEASE convince me I have this wrong.
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I don’t think you have it too wrong, but I don’t see a need for British clandestine involvement. It looks to me that people like Agent ‘Jordon’ are putting their gender politics before the cause. That is their right, but if we’re in this for independence then we have to take folk like Jordon on.
If you want to know who the leaker is perhaps the best place to look is among the people who are so strongly promoting it within the party. I have one person in particular in mind.
Thanks Jason! I’ve come to the view that independence needs to be taken out of the hands of the SNP. But who will take it in hand?
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very well said, the rank and file SNP members know nothing of this or the danger to the indy movement by going ahead with this legislation. Time this was sorted if someone senior at SNP HQ needs to go, so be it, Indy is far bigger than any one person.
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The more practiced the SNP get at governing (within the Union) the more wobbly they get at Indy.
Jason has shone the spotlight on the real issue for YES. Everyone decries – don’t split the vote, it’s the only vehicle, and yet If it leaves the SNP to its own devices, when the time comes it may not be ready to act.
It is probably time for YES to lead and make the SNP follow.
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I assume, if this is a genuine annoyance at the concept of leaks and not just that you dislike the leaker, that you are even more incensed and outraged by the leaking of a SG announcement a full ELEVEN days in advance by Wings here? https://twitter.com/WingsScotland/status/1139448688311451649
(Not to mention the possibility that this announcement was changed due to the leak.) Surely a bigger concern?
I wouldn’t normally respond to conspiracy theorist stuff like this Jason, but just a few corrections here:
1. Not once have I implied I have an inside source. This information was A. Already on Twitter and B. Also being widely discussed. If you’re posturing yourself as an investigative journalist I’d probably do some investigating, but hey, just me. Right of response is pretty good practice – would have been happy to clear this up for you.
2. The only reason I’m being attacked for this is because Joan tweeted it, again despite it already being out there. Joan thinks being called a TERF and a bigot is a stream of misogynistic abuse, despite being both a bigot and a TERF. Her bullying and call to attack random Twitter accounts who disagree with her has gone on for months now, feel free to scroll through.
3. What world do you live in that you think a Westminster or Whitehall leak would result in jail time? You understand these happen at almost a daily rate right? That MPs and actual inner circles are caught leaking regularly?
Thanks for getting in touch.
Thank you for this. Women are scared and these men are looking for a political stitch up of our rights.
Only Nicola can sort this, but she is personally so pro LGBT&GenderID, I doubt she will be able to do what the Independence movement requires on this.
I note that my comment has been censored.
It was, yes. Not at all because of the content of the comment – which was as good and as insightful as always, but because my personal decision to stop interacting with you. You are an outstanding asset to the independence movement. I have never had cause to think otherwise. However, and given this is my ball, I choose not to allow it to be a platform in which I am mocked (re our last interaction on Twitter). It’s a simple case of me censoring certain people to remove unnecessary causes of frustration and anger. We all have the freedom to do this on our platforms. I hope you can at least understand my decision on this.