Monday, August 16, 2010

Glasgow's apparachniks fear influx of new party members...because?

A belated follow-up to this story:
An SNP councillor at the centre of vote-rigging allegations has been cleared of wrongdoing by the party.

Jahangir Hanif faced claims he had falsely signed up new members to the Nationalists.

However, the SNP’s governing National Executive Committee has ruled the allegations did not stack up.

The row blew up last month after Hanif announced his intention to stand in next year’s Holyrood election.

The Glasgow Southside Central councillor is trying to secure a top spot on the city’s regional list, which returned four SNP MSPs in 2007.

He faced allegations he had falsely signed people up to the party to boost his chances in the internal contest.

An e-mail from party activist Shona McAlpine to Hanif said: “If the media get hold of the fact we are falsly (sic) signing people up they would have a field day,” adding: "Can you tell me if any of the others you have sent are real members or just ones you have made up?"
At the time I did say I thought, despite Cllr's Hanif's chequered past, nobody seemed to be alleging any rules had been broken. The case seemed to be based on the fact that there was a "late flurry" of new members, albeit with *Asian* names. Why the journalist concerned (or his "source") felt that latter fact to be relevant to the case wasn't disclosed. Whatever:
The allegations were heard last week by the SNP’s NEC, a body that includes senior MSPs, but the claims were thrown out.
But today, what do you know- Glasgow, another political party, more alleged selection procedures corruption and an ""ethnic minority" interest cited:
Senior Conservatives in Glasgow have raised the alarm over an alleged plot to influence the selection of party candidates.

Seven constituency chairmen and women have written to the party’s central office in Edinburgh about a mass sign-up of members linked to the newly-created One Nation Forum.

Mark McInnes, the director of the party in Scotland, is to meet the seven today to listen to their fears.

The forum was formed last year by businessman Majid Hussain in an attempt to improve links between ethnic minorities and the Scottish Tories, as well as to raise funds for the party.

However, senior Glasgow Conservatives are concerned that the forum may have signed up hundreds of members ahead of the candidate selections for next year’s Holyrood poll.

The retirement of the Conservatives’ sole list member in the city, Bill Aitken, has sparked a scramble for this seat as well as other constituency nominations.

It is believed an influx of forum members to the party could decide the election for top place on the list, as well as influence the contests for constituency selections.

The party is due to select its candidates this week for the Glasgow Pollok and Glasgow Southside seats, the latter of which is being targeted by Mr Hussain.

Seven constituency leaders have now put their fears in writing to Mr McInnes, the Scottish party’s top official.

The letter notes: "We the undersigned are writing to express our concerns and ask questions in relation to selections and the list rankings for Glasgow.

"It has come to our attention that this year approximately 100 people joined en masse an association outside Glasgow, but they in fact reside in Glasgow."

It continued: "If it is found that a potential candidate has brought in members to unfairly be selected and/or receive a high ranking (if selected), this would be most damaging to the party in Glasgow, but also nationally, at a time when we do not need negative publicity."
I can't give you any more information on "One Nation" (named after Disraeli's brand of Conservatism?)but it was apparently set up last year by businessman Majid Hussain in an attempt to "improve links between ethnic minorities and the Scottish Tories, as well as to raise funds for the party". Nothing wrong with those aims; Hussain is member of the Conservative Party of some 18years standings and again, it appears no rules have been broken, so...
And any prospective candidate who has managed to sign up 200 pro-Conservative sympathisers for the party in Glasgow should be probably given the benefit of the doubt in my opinion.

So first the SNP, now the Conservatives, who's next?


Dilettante said...

After all, Glasgow City Conservatives isn't really where a power-hungry machine politician is likely to end up, is it?

O'Neill said...

Indeed, D.

Bald men squabbling over a comb comes to mind.