Jim Sillars: Totalitarian SNP run like the communist party
THE SNP hierarchy has been accused of exerting “totalitarian” control over backbenchers by a former deputy leader of the party.
Jim Sillars, who famously won the Govan by-election for the Nationalists in 1988, accused the current leadership of operating the most authoritarian regime in British politics.
The attack was dismissed by an SNP spokesman who said the current public spats within the party over Nato membership shows that it is ready to debate issues.
But Mr Sillars pointed to the absence of dissent within SNP ranks over the recent legislation to create a single national police force, adding there had been an “astonishing spectacle” over “many years now of no rebellion against leadership policy and opinion.”
Writing in Holyrood magazine, he added: “If I did not know better, I would easily believe the leaders had been schooled in the old communist party, where the top, the elite, made the decisions and the rest fell into step automatically, with not a word of dissent.
“Totalitarian would be a fair description of Scotland’s majority party.”
Mr Sillars said it was “not
possible” for all the SNP’s MSPs to be “in total agreement with Salmond, Sturgeon and Swinney, yet no-one has dared tell them to get lost”.
He added: “Those willing to be told to shut up seem happy to wait until the leadership issue edicts and statements – and follow whatever line is laid down for them.”
Nationalist defence spokesman Angus Robertson will ask delegates at the party conference in October to back the new pro-Nato stance with the support of First Minister Alex Salmond.
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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