Yes campaigner who said No voters were bad parents announced as SNP list candidate for Holyrood election

Lloyd Quinan was an SNP MSP from 1999-2003. Since then, he’s left the SNP, flirted with the Socialists and caused controversy during last year’s independence referendum when he said that No voters were bad parents. From the Huffington Post:

Lloyd Quinan, who served as a MSP between 1999 and 2003 told a meeting in North Berwick on 9 June that the Scottish people “have an opportunity to change the lives and life chances of our children for he future”.

He added: “I will be partisan about it, if you vote ‘No’ you leave them with more of the same, then you’re a bad parent.”

Quinan quit the SNP after losing his seat in the Scottish parliament and was then briefly a member of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP), before quitting that party too in 2005.

A spokesperson for Alex Salmond told The Herald: “Abuse has no place in the referendum campaign, whether from Yes or No supporters. Lloyd Quinan is not a member of the SNP – and indeed hasn’t been for over a decade.”

Note how quick the SNP were to distance themselves from him.  Nothing to do with us, they said.

Except, just 14 months later, he has gained approval as a parliamentary candidate for the SNP for next year’s Holyrood elections. So, they are quite happy to put up someone in my region who thinks that I and the majority of people who voted against independence are bad parents. Ok, so he’s 9th on the list so he has virtually no chance of getting elected, but that’s not the point. It’s his acceptance into the fold so soon after he expressed those views. We can’t even put that down to local mavericks. We know that the SNP has a deeply centralising candidate approval system. Remember when they rejected Craig Murray for being too much of a free spirit? They must have known of his comments yet chose to approve him anyway. 

That kind of flies in the face of Nicola Sturgeon’s attempt to reach out to No voters at her conference in Aberdeen today.

Willie Rennie called on her to disown Quinan’s comments. He said:

Nicola Sturgeon might be love-bombing No voters from the conference platform but if she is serious about bringing people together she needs to disown the comments of one of her own candidates on the parenting skills of people who voted for Scotland to stay in the UK.

When Lloyd Quinan told an audience during the referendum that No voter were bad parents, the SNP rushed to distance themselves from his offensive and outrageous comments. But now Nicola Sturgeon’s party has welcomed him back to the fold with open arms, apparently with no questions asked.

Mr Quinan has sailed through the SNP vetting process despite his controversial record. Will the SNP be keeping an eye on him to prevent future outbursts or does he have free rein to continue to offend 55% of the population?

61% of people in Edinburgh, where Lloyd Quinan hopes to be elected, voted No at the referendum. Does the First Minister share the view of her SNP candidate on their qualifications for parenthood? Does she think that people have forgotten his slurs?

I don’t think he’s going far enough. How can she disown his comments and still allow him to stand for her party?




* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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  • Caron, the only time that the SNP may be beaten will be in a post Independent Scotland until then normal rules of politics have be suspended, the SNP and Lloyd Quinan can do no wrong newspapers, polls, media can criticise and highlight whatever the SNP are doing good or bad it does not matter because the people are supporting something bigger than politics and any political party which is a cause and that cause is the inevitable Scottish Independence and supporting the SNP is their ways and means to getting to Scottish Independence.

  • I am looking for a home for my second vote in the forthcoming election. Whilst I disagreed with Nick Clegg’s decision to climb into bed with the Tories I do believe he did his level best to temper tory excess during his time in government. I think that is becoming more apparent by the day. That had inclined me towards Lib Dem. But the more of this peurile nonsense I see the more I move towards the greens. You have 1 Scottish M P who has been publicly exposed as a liar, currently embroiled in court proceedings, and facing the real possibility of being removed from his seat. You are at your lowest ebb ever. You have been playing the SNP bad card for years, and are facing extinction in Scotland. What is it they say about continuing to do exactly the same thing and expecting a different outcome? And what was it Willie Rennie said about everyone deserving a second chance? Deary deary me.

  • David Faggiani 15th Oct '15 - 3:13pm

    Erm, are we not taking this a bit personally for liberals? He’s perfectly free to opine stupidly, and rival parties are perfectly free to appoint stupid people for election. He wasn’t being racist, sexist, ableist, let alone corrupt. He was just saying something stupid, borderline nonsensical. And now he’s being put to democracy. And, as you point out Caron, they’ve shuffled him into a list seat that he can’t feasibly (really, possibly) win. So what are we really angry about?

  • PHIL THOMAS 15th Oct '15 - 4:45pm

    Steve……………..The SNP can be beaten. All Unionist supporters need to get out there to fight the cause not hiding in a dark room waiting for the demise of the SNP ?

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 15th Oct '15 - 5:24pm

    @David Faggiani – But if that other party is wiling to have someone with those views on their candidate list, then we are at liberty to call them out for it. If the situations were reversed, they would be the first to point it out. I don’t think there’s any “borderline nonsensical” about it – it was something that a person hoping to represent an area in parliament should not say.

    @Steve The thing about deserving a second chance is that you generally have to acknowledge that you did something wrong. There’s been nothing to suggest that Lloyd Quinan does acknowledge that whereas Alistair Carmichael has apologised and paid a disproportionately heavy price for his error of judgement.

  • “Alistair Carmichael has apologised and paid a disproportionately heavy price for his error of judgement.”

    Apart from not accepting his Ministerial severance pay what other price has he paid?

  • Sorry Caron we need to disagree on what constitutes an error in judgement. It was so much more. David calls it right in my opinion. If you run these sort of posts it damages the libdem prospect of picking up second votes. It doesn’t appear to achieve anything positive. That is of course only my opinion but opinion polls suggest I am not alone in thinking that way. Give me reasons for my second vote to be lib dem,not what you see as reasons not to vote for someone else.

  • Caron Lindsay Caron Lindsay 15th Oct '15 - 10:29pm

    Steve, an opposition party needs to do both. We need to be much better at advancing our vision. Willie did that quite well when he told his story in this video.

    When a team of just 5 opposition MSPs influences policy on stop and search, armed police, sectarianism, college places, childcare and many other issues in 5 years and have achieved more than the official opposition, they are surely worth a vote. For 5 years, they have stood up to a powerful establishment and spoke up for those whose liberties were being threatened without due cause. They’ve pushed for more power to local people and less to the centre. That’s pretty impressive.

  • The current lib dem strategy looks to me like it’s going to be a disaster. The lib dems need to do what the SNP did, set out a vision about what they want the country to be like and sell people on that vision. Being the anti somebody else party won’t win them a solid base of core supporters.

    Attacks on the SNP need to be limited to pulling apart their record in government, I.e. things that the party have done wrong in office such as centralising the police force.

    Attacks such as ‘his opinions are UNACCEPTABLE, how dare he think and express an idea like that’ or ‘he said he personally prefers people of faith, he has to explain himself to me, I might be OFFENDED’ are not going to work and will damage the party in the eyes of the public.

    The lib dems only have five seats left in holyrood and that is under AMS. They’re now in danger of losing most of these too.

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