The Scottish National Party has been accused of “infiltrating” local schools in order to “brainwash” pupils into supporting Scottish Nationalism. Michael McCann MP claims to have seen evidence from a local SNP meeting, where delegates boasted of “sterling work” being done in local schools to encourage children to persuade their parents to vote SNP through pester power.
SNP members reacted furiously when it emerged that a local Labour party activist, Andy McMillan, attended an SNP ‘meet the candidate’ meeting at Murray Bar and secretly recorded the proceedings. He then passed a transcript of the meeting on to Mr McCann, who published quotes from that transcript on his website earlier this week.
According to the transcript, one delegate told the meeting “Sterling work was being done by the SNP youth wing in all local schools. The meetings were packed out at lunchtimes and this would be intensified during the election period as pester power from children could help persuade their parents to vote SNP.”
The speaker said that more teachers were being converted to Scottish nationalism, concluding: “We must remember that the youth are tomorrow’s voters and we should get them whilst they are young.”
Next a teacher took to the floor, telling the meeting that in her school they had been showing children recordings of Westminster proceedings, which the children found boring. “This process helps to put children off Westminster,” she said.
Duncan McLean, secretary of East Kilbride SNP reacted angrily to the report, telling East Kilbride News “Mr McCann has resorted to his usual tactic of throwing accusations at opponents in scurrilous attacks.
“This was a meet the candidate event, there were members, old and new, and supporters as well as non-members present, it is ridiculous to claim that we were a bunch of activists discussing secret plans.”
McCann, the MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, said “I am concerned and shocked by this development, as I am sure many parents will be too.
“It is surely wrong for any political party to attempt to take advantage of impressionable children in this way.
“I would therefore call upon South Lanarkshire Council to carry out an investigation to ensure that children are not being manipulated in this way, that no education facilities are being used for political purposes and that employees of the council are not misusing their positions.
“I would also like to establish if parental approval had been sought or given for their children to attend these political rallies”
Jim Gilhooly, executive director of Education Resources at South Lanarkshire Council, told the Herald Scotland: “It is worth noting that these allegations are anonymous, so must be treated with caution. Furthermore, our secondary schools have all confirmed that there are no such political meetings organised within school premises at lunchtime or any other part of the school day.”
The report has been branded “creepy” on Twitter, with some likening the move to Germany’s Hitler Youth movement.
— Dan Buzzard (@DanBuzzard) March 26, 2015
The SNP has come under fire before for using children as a pawn in their political power games. Much criticism has been leveled at the party for introducing a “named person” state guardian for every child in the country, regardless of the fitness of their own parents for parenting.
Yesterday the campaign group “No SNP 2015” published a first-hand account on their blog from a mother who’s 12 year old daughter had been called in to see a school nurse without warning. The nurse, who was unknown to the girl, asked her a series of personal questions such as whether she wet the bed at night, whether she had started her menstrual cycle and whether she would talk to her mother about puberty.
When the mother rang the school to complain, she was told that consent had been given when they signed up to the Core Program, which includes ‘SHANARRI’ (safe, healthy, achieving, nurtured, active, respected, responsible, included) and ‘GIRFEC’ (Getting It Right For Every Child) as well as the named person program – “all of these being the euphemisms for the SNP’s plan for making all Scottish children wards of the State, undermining the role of all Scottish parents, brainwashing our children with vile inward-looking nationalism and consigning the family unit to the dustbin of history,”