I posted my Open Letter to Nicola Sturgeon on Monday, 7 days after I hand delivered a Data protection request to SNP headquarters in Edinburgh. Those 7 days had seen no response, by post, email or by telephone.
Three days after posting my open letter, having experienced the black hole of the SNP mailing system before and no longer willing to wait on the reply that never comes, I headed again to SNP HQ in Edinburgh to hand over a paper copy of the letter which I had already sent to Nicola Sturgeon by email. Heading down the Royal Mile I received an alert from my phone. Lo and behold, an email from SNP National Secretary Patrick Grady. It was not the response I was looking for, and I suppose I would be naive to think that it ever would be. It is merely an acknowledgement, and a cold one at that. His letter, and my response, are reproduced below:
Dear Mr Grady,
Thank you for your reply of 02/09/15. I shall deal with each point in turn.
I am glad that you have acknowledged that there were problems with the selection process in Airdrie and Shotts, and that these have been raised with the relevant officials. Unfortunately those people (myself included) who made complaints (regarding bullying, malicious allegations, breaches of campaign rules, breaches of data protection act, etc) have received no response from those with whom we raised those complaints. I am bitterly disappointed that you feel that your party has dealt with these in a satisfactory matter, and I would request that you perhaps revisit these matters and give them the proper investigation that they warrant. Asking local branches to investigate themselves is nothing short of scandalous.
I note that you have acknowledged my Data Protection request and look forward to a response in due course, within the required timeframe.
I am happy with the service I have received from Police Scotland and feel that they have done all they can based on the evidence available, and as far as that goes it remains a Police matter. What I find disappointing and worrying is that your letter does not address the single most important issue that I have raised, and that should have been the simplest to say: that the SNP does not condone bullying or intimidation.
Let me be clear so that there is no misunderstanding. I do not hold the SNP as a party responsible. I am convinced that the attacks which I and my family have endured have arose from stating publicly my opposition to aspects of the SNP’s operations, and which some misguided individuals have decided to act on. I think that any right thinking organisation would have issued a statement condoning such behaviour as unacceptable in any walk of life. I am sure it is not beyond the skills of SNP HQ to compose a sympathetic response which would serve to send out a public message confirming its moral stance while making it clear it was not responsible. Instead you have managed to dance round something you could have so easily addressed and I have to ask you, what message are you sending out?
Subject: Re: SNP Bullying and Intimidation: An Open Letter to Nicola Sturgeon
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2015 11:14:58 +0000
Dear Mr Cassidy
Thank you for your email dated 31 August 2015. I have been asked to respond as the office bearer responsible for the candidate selection procedure.
Many of the points you have raised about the selection in Airdrie & Shotts and about the operation of the local party have already been considered and discussed with the relevant officials.
As far as you make a new complaint about data privacy, this will be looked into and responded to within the prescribed timescales.
I note that the alleged incidents of criminal behaviour have been reported to the Police. As such it would not be appropriate for me or the Party to comment any further at this time.