In 2008, there was a by-election in Glasgow East.
The SNP put a candidate, John Mason, after a hard fought campaign which went right down to the wire, he won by 365 votes.
At that by-election, I met several people, one of them was Humza Yousaf, I was sent with him and his future wife Gail Lythgoe to do leafleting at a train station to catch commuters coming back and forth. Being new to political campaigning, I was surprised to be left on my own on a platform, while he and his girlfriend went to the other side.
As, I was handing out leaflets, I was joined by Matt Kerr, he is the Labour Councillor for the Craigton Ward. So, we ended up chatting away, but I couldn’t help but notice that Humza Yousaf and his partner sat on seating and occasionally handed out a leaflet here and there, this surprised me as I thought, they would be pro active.
Another person, who I met during that the campaign was late MSP Bashir Ahmad; I wasn’t an SNP member at that time, every time he saw me, he would make a point of popping over for a chat. In part, he was responsible in me making my mind up to join the SNP. I thought at that time, these Nationalist crowd seemed really nice people, and Bashir genuinely was, it wasn’t until later, I discovered that the SNP was rotten to the core.
Fast forward to 2012, and I decided to put myself forward as a council candidate in Glasgow, at the selection day, I saw people who I had campaigned with previously and who knew me well. Among the group was another Asian man, Adil Bhatti, although I had seen him at the ‘big’ by-elections, I didn’t know him well. At selection day, he did a talk to the group on Police, my topic was recreational violence.
Mr. Bhatti decided that he wanted to put himself forward as a candidate for Ward 4 which is the Craigton Ward. I had put myself forward for Ward 3 which is Pollok. Anyway, at that Pollok SNP selection meeting was an employee of Humza Yousaf called Shona McAlpine, she was part of the Sturgeon clique. During the process and to my surprise she started to abuse the Asian man, Mr. Bhatti who had been sent out of the room by Chris Stephens, the current candidate for Glasgow South West.
Out of all the people who put themselves forward to be candidates in Ward 3 & 4, I was the only person to speak out against the way he was being treated, all the current SNP Councillors in Wards 3 & 4 were silent, and as I said, so was Chris Stephens, he was also the Pollok SNP branch sec so held a position of authority. He could have stopped the abuse but he didn’t, he remained complete silent.
Adil Bhatti, a former ally of Nicola Sturgeon had experienced discrimination, I know this to be true, because I witnessed it, and put a stop to it. Later on in the evening, I was unsuccessful as the Pollok branch also rejected me, was it because I stood up for Adil Bhatti, I don’t think so, I thought at the time, it was based on their pure contempt for me. I was generally; the only rank and file member of Pollok SNP to come out, the other circa 130 members, week in week out wouldn’t come out for Chris Stephens.
Given his experience, I am not surprised that Adil Bhatti has claimed the grassroots of the SNP is prejudiced against ethnic monitories. If you had seen how he had been treated that night, you couldn’t help but think his chances of a free and fair election process had been deliberately sabotaged by Shona McAlpine.
Adil Bhatti, has said there is "racism" among the Scottish National Party’s rank and file members. I don’t know whether that is true, however, there is discrimination which is practiced in the SNP, and that discrimination goes right up to the top of the organisation which Peter Murrell, Nicola Sturgeon’s husband is the Chief Executive.
My experience was Sturgeon’s husband didn’t seem to be too bothered to act on complaints from members.
I experienced discrimination during my time in the Scottish National Party, but this was because although a member, I was never accepted by them. As I have repeatedly written, the SNP is a party within a party; it is run like a cult. When Adil Bhatti sought help from unpopular Nicola Sturgeon, he says Sturgeon totally ignored the situation. Given the conduct of her husband, Peter Murrell that doesn’t surprise me in the least, like many people, Adil Bhatti found out his face didn’t fit, in the SNP, there is no such thing as equality or being promoted on merit in my opinion unless you are one of the clique.
Bhatti's observations appear to be in sync those of another ex Sturgeon ally Muhammad Shoaib, he said that prior to leaving the organisation; he had experienced bias in the party.
Muhammad Shoaib decided to defect to the Labour Party.
Shoaib caused controversy on his way out the door of the SNP by saying that SNP activists wanted "coconut Pakistanis, not pure Pakistani" candidates, and cited Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh. The phrase "coconut Pakistani", which he said meant "white inside" has been fiercely condemned by the SNP. I once campaigned with Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh in 2011, I wouldn’t describe her as a "coconut Pakistanis” and the choice of words is a rather poor taste. I would simply describe her as pleasant enough to work with; however, she is an opportunist in my opinion. I doubt she would make a good MP for Ochil & South Perthshire from the point of view of the constituents.
Unsurprisingly Humza Yousaf has been rolled out to protest.
"These are more disgraceful comments from a Labour Party member, which are completely untrue. To attack the late Bashir Ahmad as weak is a truly appalling slur on a wonderful man who was the most sincere politician of his generation”.
I would go along with Bashir Ahmad as a nice gentleman, I found I genuinely liked him, if I had stayed with the SNP; I would have done his campaign if he hadn’t unfortunately died.
"The SNP is a civic party which embraces all of
communities and ethnic diversity, which is clear for all to see."
This is from a man who employed a woman who abused an Asian, a man who married a woman who ran a hate campaign against Labour MP Ian Davidson, and was one of the laziest people I ever came across in Nationalism. As a member of the Pollok SNP branch, he never did a single day of activism, week in week out for years with me.
And he is part of an organisation that does practice discrimination, as to his claim that “the SNP is a civic party which embraces all of
communities and ethnic diversity, which is clear for all to see."
That is just verbal masturbation otherwise known as a load of ‘wank’ in my opinion!
The Campaign for Human Rights at