Saturday, 17 October 2015

Hiving your bets ..... the SNP Swarm ...

After the skewed headlines by the Gruniad on the SNP conference I am left  wondering just why do they bother sending reporters when they could simply make up the stuff back in London and save on a whole load of expenses.

This week I have read articles suggesting the SNP want Scotland fracked or gassed to bits, have not really built some 60,000 new homes for housing association rental - it is a myth apparently,  there is a rift between the members and the leadership over land reform and yet another Gruniad, 'The SNP bubble has burst' opinion piece which flies in the face of the continuing rise in the high level of support for the SNP in the run up to the May elections for Holyrood which every poll is recording. The Independent is little better, The New Stateman's 'One Party State' cover totally hysterical (in both meanings of the word) while the Torygraph is what it is and the Daily Mail descends ever further into 'National Inquirer: Aliens stole my husband' levels of frothing at the mouth hyperbole, bullshit and myth which even the Daily Star would struggle to give credence to.

Strangely one London journalist, an avowed Tory, discovered the myth that is 'The Scots hate the English and the SNP are the ringleaders' was just that as she shared a late night taxi back from a conference 'Do' with three lady SNP delegates because, "We can't leave you to back to the hotel on your own." What she found even more amazing was Ms Sturgeon did not go around with a protection screen of SPADs running blocking moves on folk they thought she should not speak to her (the norm at normal party conferences apparently) but she spent the evening wandering around with her husband in tow (or not) speaking to ordinary SNP members. Worse for the fairy story grim writers in the London Parish Pump Media our aware Tory even had the piece published in the Huffington Post. I doubt you will see either Torygraph or Daily Mail headlines on Monday which say "Shock Horror, it appears we have been lying about the SNP and its membership all along.

Yesterday I waxed a bit lyrical on the view point of 'Ordered Societies' and why they were driven by schism and oppression, so were inevitably doomed to fail. I also started playing with the idea of the ordered chaos of the individual (swarming) as the the most effective and efficient way to form human societies. 

If you actually look at how a Bee Hive is organised and run it is not actually the queen who is boss. The queen is simply an egg laying machine, the eggs end outcome is controlled by the needs of the worker bees who decide when drones are produced rather than female workers and which female worker eggs can become potential queens. The worker bees randomly wander around the hive while via pheromones and other physical triggers move to act as cooling fans, honey producers, new cell builders and all the different jobs required in a successful hive, in effect they are the ultimate in multi-tasking individuals operating in the best interests of the hive.

The nearest I have been to operating in this way is aboard well run Royal Naval ships. The hive is now a metal ship which is packed with sailors who appear to be, to the outsider, randomly moving around inside and over the ship with little apparent effect on which way the ship is going. Yet each of these sailors can also multi-task to a greater or lesser extent and act at all times in the best interests of the ship with out any direct instruction from the Captain. Why? Because it is mutually beneficial to keep the ship safe. In a RN ship with a swarm mentality you will find a well run, happy and proud bunch of sailors operating with high levels of mutual respect and regard where discipline is rarely a problem apart from minor infringements more to do with young men's high spirits (and the consumption of) than malice.

I have also served on one ship where this was not the case. The First Lieutenant ran the ship as a martinet, sought to set officers into clique's and thought competition was setting the ship's departments against each other. To compound matters the Captain was a weak man and ignored officers requests to seek the First Lieutenant's transfer as the solution to the problems he, as captain, was having with the ship's effectiveness and efficiency. The ship was messy, badly maintained and routinely had to deal with fights between lower deck sailors when ashore. I was lucky enough only to be aboard for transit but found myself endlessly listening to unhappy, demotivated officers and senior rates off loading to me abouty their First Lieutenant and referring to their Captain as the 'Boy Scout Leader'.

Think of any organisation you have been a member of and ask yourself:

  • Why did you join?
  • Why are you still there? 
  • Are you happy and content?
  • Or why did you leave? 
I will hazard a guess that those who have stayed long term in any organisation they have joined is because the culture ticks most of the effective and efficient hive operating boxes or, having left, will have happy memories of their times in the organisation and retain friends who are still there.

So while the SNP membership has expanded exponentially since September 2014 it was interesting to note that conference still felt as if there were only 11,500 members and not the 115,000 currently paying their membership dues. The culture is not the one of mutual and insincere back slapping the Unionist Parties Conferences' epitomise where praise is routinely insincere, 'best wishes' routinely false and the term 'full support' comes with a serious health warning of serial back stabbings.

The SNP Party is more like a well run hive, while individuals do act chaotically and randomly, the ultimate aim is to ensure the SNP Party runs efficiently and effectively in the best interests of Scotland. If sometimes this means us worker bees have to remind the 'Queen' and her close support team who actually runs the hive and to bugger off and think again, from time to time via conference resolutions, is that such a bad thing?

I suggest if the SNP forgets what it is, what makes it such an effective political animal and travels down the path of the Unionist Parties in terms of policy control by a few at the top, its support and membership will collapse.

I leave your good-selves to draw the parallels with the state of the UK Union.

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