It Ain’t Effectively So

The SNP’s newest councillor has been criticised over a £600 “telephone and ICT” expenses bill.

Anne McTaggart, who defected from Labour to the SNP last week, incurred costs nearly fifteen times higher than her colleagues…

McTaggart was a Labour MSP between 2011 and 2016 before she was effectively deselected by party members.

– Paul Hutcheon, 6th November 2019

So sayeth Paul Hutcheon in his ongoing Saga of the Evil Provost, as serialised in the Daily Record. I have highlighted the curious phrase “effectively deselected.” Deselected would suggest a fairly matter-of-fact presentation of the process: that the membership was unhappy with Ms McTaggart, & undertook the established deselection process: effectively deselected, on the other hand, suggests that her deselection came about by somewhat less conventional means. I wonder if anyone could elaborate on that?

Well, Mr Hutcheon covered this in 2015.

SCOTTISH Labour leader Jim Murphy is ­considering reforms to his party’s selection procedures that could effectively sack weak MSPs and replace them with fresh talent.

Several party insiders said Murphy was sympathetic to ending the system of “protected places” for Labour List members, in a bid to attract new blood.

Nearly 60% of Labour’s MSP group were elected to the Scottish Parliament in 2011 on regional lists.

Existing re-selection procedures mean that, subject to passing a ballot of local members and unions, sitting list MSPs are guaranteed the top places in Labour’s rankings process. Party members must settle for spots lower down on the lists.

In Glasgow, if sitting MSPs Anne McTaggart, Hanzala Malik and Drew Smith get through their ballot, the top three places on the list go to them.

– Paul Hutcheon, 11th January 2015

We now know, of course, that some MSPs did not make it through the 2016 selection process – but what’s this?

Scottish Labour have announced their list candidates rankings for May’s Holyrood elections.

With the election taking place through Additional Member System (AMS), there are two types of candidate, constituency and list. Given current polling, and the near wipeout in last year’s general election, it is expected that the vast majority, if not all, of Labour’s MSPs come May will be elected via the the lists.

The candidate shortlist was announced in December, and was the largest ever for the party – with 106 people competing for the 56 places. Party members finished voting earlier this week, and the full results were officially announced today. Turnout was 62%.

Under new reforms brought in by former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, only the leader Kezia Dugdale and deputy Alex Rowley have places secured at the top of their region’s list. Each regional lists is also ‘zipped’ along gender lines, to try and ensure a more equal gender representation.

1. Anas Sarwar
2. Johann Lamont
3. James Kelly
4. Pauline McNeill
5. Bill Butler
6. Patricia Ferguson
7. James Adams
8. Soryia Siddique
9. Paul Martin
10. Samantha Ritchie
11. Hanzala Malik
12. Anne McTaggart

Now the “effectively deselected” comment becomes clear: Ms McTaggart was selected on the Glasgow list – but placed so low that it seemed extremely unlikely post-General Election 2015 that even a third of their list MSPs would be elected (in the end, only the top 3 made it).

Exactly what Mr Hutcheon meant by “effectively deselected” is undoubtedly up to the reader. You could say, justifiably, it is simply shorthand for saying “members did vote for her, but because 11 other people got more votes than her across the board, there was little possibility she would be elected at all.” The exact same could be said of the other 8, who were also “effectively deselected” by the membership despite the membership actively voting for their placement. Given the party were celebrating their “largest ever selection,” it seems logical that Ms McTaggart’s placement was simply an unfortunate result of superceding by much more popular candidates (wheesht youse)

You could also say – again, I think justifiably – that Mr Hutcheon’s use of “effectively deselected” without clarifying the process of the “effective deselection” could be interpreted by readers as suggesting that members, one way or another, made the active decision to ensure Ms McTaggart was not selected through means other than the formal deselection process – that she was so profoundly unpopular & unwanted by the party membership that they actively sought out a way to remove her from public office. This is, of course, entirely possible, given we know how the party can be about their own elected members. I’m sure you could argue that the party membership didn’t want Ms McTaggart returned at all – I note that Mary Lockhart, one of the most prominent supporters of Scottish Independence within the party, was also placed at the bottom of the list (Mid Scotland and Fife) – but then, if she was truly that unpopular, why would the party settle for “effective” deselection when they could just have ensured she wasn’t on the list at all?

Ms McTaggart is the latest in a line of politicians from other parties who have joined or voiced their support for the SNP since the 2014 independence referendum – a former Lord Provost announced her support for the SNP’s Stephen Gethins last month alone. It isn’t up to me to say what was in Mr Hutcheon’s heart when he used the adjective “effectively” in conjunction with “deselected” (and “sacked”). But hopefully he’ll update his article to clarify to any readers who reached the second conclusion. It’s just that using the term “effectively deselected” for a candidate who, in fact, by definition, was selected without explaining the qualification could lead to confusion on the reader’s part.

31 thoughts on “It Ain’t Effectively So

  1. Cactus says:

    My thoughts aussi indeed and may aye me Al… (puis je moi)

    You said it… former Labour voters are moving to Yes Scotland, oui know.

    The night be young…

    83 days to go.

    4 and two.

  2. Cactus says:

    Hey, ah really get excitable all the time (mibbies to ma detriment.).

    Nah, it’s cool… we now HOME man.

    Let’s get excitable dude:

    Let Scotland be effective.

    Effectivate yerself!

  3. Cactus says:

    This one is for you, Al…

    Avec d’amour.

    Aye have many helpful ideas for iScotland…

    The latest one aye think of has to do with… ‘a hat’.

    To be c’d…

  4. Cactus says:

    Just one more… just because

    It’s Saturday 2019

  5. Cactus says:

    Let iScotland create our own effect

    Let’s be ourselves once more

    Let’s do it again

  6. Cactus says:

    NOW is the time of Sunday 2019

    82 days to go till showdown!

    Stay withIN our EU

  7. Cactus says:

    I remember well many of your previous postings (2014 to present)

    Their UK’s ‘Nuclear Deterrent’ be upon your doorstep

    Their Weapons of Nuclear Mass Destruction

    Let’s get it gone

    Vote for iScotland

  8. Cactus says:

    May aye share anuther wae ye we’re listening tae the now…

    NOW playing

  9. Cactus says:

    IF you choose to watch televsion and have a subscription to Sky

    Don’t watch this video:

  10. Cactus says:

    One more if aye may:

    This is Petricor:

    (the scent ye sense n smell after raindrops hit all the evergreens)

    Ask Wiki:

    Thank you for the pleasure

  11. Cactus says:

    Speaking of our European Union… let’s stay in and on it


  12. Cactus says:

    I was gonnae chill at 2:17, but ah’ve just seen whit Annie Wells has just said Al…

    “Scottish independence: Tories urge Labour voters to switch sides”

    Ahhhhhh ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

    Hey Connie how:

  13. Cactus says:

    INwith speaking of ‘Scottish’ Labour (allegedly)

    Good night and good morning

    Wrap up warm

  14. Cactus says:

    Keep warm and stay warm (when did you last experience this…)

    To get to iScotland equals the above

  15. Cactus says:

    Times three chords and the truth y’all

    Ask John (and mibbies mair)

    John kens:

    It’s guid tae be alive, Scotland

    That’s mon thoughts

  16. Cactus says:

    I have further thoughts like…:


  17. Cactus says:

    Howde aye, we got just 26 days to go to Vote FOR Scotland. Our Scottish voters’ political compasses sit naturally and set in the west, whereas English politicians’ and voters’ political compasses continue to move to the far east and off of their chart!

    I’m gonna head out into Paul Masterton’s constituency and see if I can put the “Vote FOR Saturday night Scotland” vibe out there. Somebuddy gotta do something. Good luck Kirsten, would be good tae have ye back.

    I am going to utilise ‘le new hat’.

    Ah may pop back in later on Al, hope yer doin’ guid.

    A change back and return to iScotland would do us good, Scotland.

  18. Cactus says:

    Mornin’ y’all, dis mornin’ is the excellent 17th of festive season, let’s talk…

    Oh yeah, 25 days to go till we’re aye aye.

    Ahm awa tae think about iScotland, and therefore, dance:

    ‘Le nouveau hat’ did good in Saturday Giffnock ’19 Le soir…

    Listen to IndyLive radio, listeners, ahm a comin’ in for the next show sometime next week, like…

    “As aye was gaun over the Cork n Kerry mountains”

    All will be revealed.

    Call me.

  19. Cactus says:

    How we doin’ Scotland, ye ready tae vote aye FOR our Scotland?

  20. Cactus says:

    Hoagy C knows, as does the beautiful Jane Russell.

    She touched my fingertips… my heart is on fire.

    Don’t ye know like?

    “One day soon our European star will shine…”

    Without vision ye cannot see…

    Money on TeleVision.


  21. Cactus says:

    Cheers tae ye Anne McTaggart, in ye come

    Welcome aboard lady baby

    This town is so keen…

    We have places to go

    Maggie knows

  22. Cactus says:

    Right here, right now Scotland.

    We don’t need to wait or want till tomorrow

    Why wait or put it off another day, iScotland?

    The Claim of Right knows

    Piano intro

  23. Cactus says:

    New clock:

    It’s good that our country, Scotland, remains a Country and a Kingdom.

    Let the people vote.

  24. Cactus says:

    Before the end of flexible January 2020…

    Let’s do 12/12/19:

    Clara P has been called up on the same day too

    Here’s a oui festive song:

    Left up and to the tippy top

    C’est 217 maintenant

  25. Cactus says:

    Aye said before I wouldn’t swear here, therefore, here’s Kevin:

    The Christmas of ’19 begins NOW

    Jesus is 2019 years old

    Cheers AWOP 🙂

  26. Cactus says:

    Speaking of bicycles…

    Here’s Nazareth with a white one:

    Nae sweary words contained there withIN this one, this time

    Hello hello velo velo

  27. Cactus says:

    All the best for the 25th of next month… Jesus Christ

    Many happy returns

    Make a wish…

  28. Cactus says:

    Hey, what is Santa gonna get you THIS year Jesus?

    Have you been a good boy?

    Make a list.

  29. Cactus says:

    Peace on earth is a popular and good start.

    Howsabout a Tory free Scotland!

    Howsabout just iScotland.

  30. Cactus says:

    Dude, ahm in the casino, ah ain’t gamblin’, just watching, 17 is comin in regularily like… 15mins to go Al.

  31. Cactus says:

    Ah’ve been sittin in watching the players play poker, lot’s of noise, life is effective… SO long as we re-elect our Scottish Government next Thoisday… Aye

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