12 February 2012

Study reveals average SNP member is "stunted Jacobite bogle"

There's a splash in this morning's edition of the Scotland on Sunday, reporting findings from research conducted by Professor James Mitchell and Dr Lynn Bennie, on the demographics of the SNP membership.  Including topline findings on attitude to the death penalty, NATO and homosexuality, the report dawdles behind this cutting from Saturday's Kinlochbervie Chronicle. It transpires that Scotland is awash with researchers, scrutinising the composition of the party of government, its peccadilloes and preferences. Ecclefechan reports...

Study reveals average SNP member is "stunted Jacobite bogle"
Ecclefechan Mackay (MA), Political Correspondent

He is four foot three inches tall, is devoted to the House of Stuart, and whenever anyone invites him to remove his bobble hat during Scotland's only warm summer day, he takes it as a personal insult – say hello to the Scottish National Party’s everyman. The comprehensive dissection of the SNP’s membership in a new academic study reveals for the first time the political, ideological, and personal make-up of the thousands of low-slung atavistic hobgoblins who have helped the party to power at Holyrood.

The study, conducted by Dr William Augustus of Cumberland University, involved distracting SNP members with a "shiny groat" while persecuting them with a series of increasingly personal questions, from their attitudes towards a range of aberrant sexual practises to the precise length of their inseams. 

The questionnaire was carried out between February 1707 and March 2012. It shows that nearly a quarter of members (5 per cent) had joined since 1745. Despite expectations of a young and vital movement, the shock study reveals that 88.2 per cent of the six people who responded to the study were male, while the average year of birth came out at 1724, two key conclusions the book’s author had not anticipated. To the dismay of the party leadership, the study also discovered that retired Skye boatswain, Flora MacDonald, 290, remains the SNP's only paid-up female member to date. 

Controversially, the study also found that only 19.7% agree with an independent Scotland retaining the Hanoverian succession. The membership's continuing commitment to the rightful sovereignty of the King over the Water will be a disappointment for Alex Salmond, who is perceived to have moved the party in a pro-Hanovarian direction. 

Interpreted as an attempt to distance himself from the effete scions of the House of Stuart, the First Minister was widely photographed widely last year, consuming a coiled, peppery sausage during an unofficial visit to Cumbria. Salmond also sought to use his Hugo Young lecture last month to emphasise what one government spokesman described as Salmond's "Hanovarophile passions". Interrupting his keynote address after just ten minutes, the First Minister produced a portrait of Queen Anne, and proceeded to oggle her suety phizog in lascivious silence for a flattering five minutes. The specially-invited audience of Guardian grandees variously described the display as "impressive" and reassuring", with Guardian editor, Adam Humbugbridger, assessing Salmond's performance as "breathtaking", adding "he really is the foremost pro-Hanovarian politician in Britain today".

Asked about their preferred candidate for the Presidency of an independent Scotland, 98.8 per cent of SNP members supported Corrie-bagging rambler Tom Weir, while fifty one per cent of party activists identified their favourite flavour of nun as "carmelised". Dr Augustus' survey also shows that two thirds of members (45 per cent) go border reaving at least once a year, donating on average two head of black cattle to head office annually.

Contacted last night, a Scottish Conservative Party spokesman said "Nobody will be surprised by these findings. Anyone who has seen an SNP conference on the telly knows that the party consists entirely of diminutive wool-clad kobolds."


  1. An excellent piece of research by Ecclefechan Mackay which matches my own work done in the bars of Glasgow, spent an hour in the Scotia once, and having lived in Rothesay during an SNP annual conference. This work completely supports my bias and I shall be using it for reference in the future. Cant be bothered reading the Mitchel Bennie work but should it not be Bennie Mitchell,

  2. nice reductio (maybe a bit cutesy).

    One point that isn't factored in, but ought to be acknowledged, is that until recently affiliation in Scotland to the SNP (e.g. party membership) was damaging to careers, especially in the public sector. This inevitably affected the overall membership profile.

  3. We're not kobolds. We're hobbits.

  4. I would join the SNP, but checking into it it seems incompatible with my job

    So I can't

    I definitely couldn't engage in any activities for any party, like comment on a blog

    Oh Bugger!

  5. The Mitchell Report, which I contributed to as a member of the SNP a few years ago, can be downloaded from here:



  6. This is absolutely fabulous satire. Loquacious, wordy and just the correct amount of historically intransigent. I will be linking every one of my fellow bogles to this

  7. Groundskeeper Willie12 February 2012 at 18:21

    'Asked for their view on the statement, “homosexual relations are always wrong” 21 per cent agreed and 52.6 disagreed.'

    So far as I'm aware I don't have any relations who are homosexual but if I did I find it hard to believe that they would always be wrong.

    Surely they would be bound to be right some of the time?

  8. I was really confused when I read that story cos Jim Mitchell's study was done in 2007. So it's not news really is it? I was sure it had already been published.

    The other thing people need to bear in mind is that it's not definitive. The survey was sent to every member, I received one and filled it in. But then I am afraid I forgot to send it back. So there is an element of self-selection in the people who sent it back.

    Are older, NATO supporting but monarchy opposing men more likely to return a survey than younger NATO opposing but monarchy supporting women? Who knows?

  9. Legendary fact about last Rothesay Conference. Due to the high demand from SNP delegates the town ran completely out of supplies of custard. Not whisky, not shortbread, certainly not tartan. Custard. It sheds an interesting and - I am sure could be made to look - sinister light on all these old boys doesn't it? Whatever were they doing with all that custard?

    Incidentally I have no idea if that tale is actually true but I have heard it so many times it ought to be even if it isn't.

  10. Four foot three inches tall? Nicola Sturgeon is about that height, but then so is Wendy Alexander!

    (Both needed cushions at a QT show in Glasgow I attended a few years ago!)

    Indy, custard has many uses. However, some uses are best left to the imagination.........

    Or so I've heard.........

  11. Indy,

    "The survey was sent to every member, I received one and filled it in. But then I am afraid I forgot to send it back. So there is an element of self-selection in the people who sent it back."

    I remember receiving it too, as an undergraduate in traditional disarray in my last year at the University of Edinburgh. I *ahem* neglected to post it back in a timely fashion too...

  12. Of course Scotland has an historic claim to Cumbria which cannot be denied, along with joint ownership of the Falklands with Argentina.

  13. Marvellous stuff LPW. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is "Ich bin ein Kobold!"

  14. I am that ſtunted Jacobite bogle, and I am not ſurpriſed that a bearer of the diſhonoured name of Mackay ſhould be found in the ranks of our foes. I mind weel my gudeſire’s account of the kicking we gave the traitor general of that name at Aldclune, and if the prepoſterous Ecclefechan were within ſwinging length of my claymore I would execute the damage on him his nameſake joukit by baſe cowardly flight. It is a mark of the Unioniſt beaſt that even his damned lees dinna compluther, and that he canna even ſpell the name of his perjured Teutonic godlings conſiſtently, the Hanoverian ſumph that he is. And he diſna ken that “Queen” Anne wiſna ane of the Elector’s ſauſage-maſticating brood, but oor ain King Jamie’s fauſe dochter. Quham the gods wad deſtroy, they firſt mak wud; and the time is clearly gey near quhen we will ſet aboot the ſmatchets with oor ſwords!

  15. Am Firinn,

    Any complaintſ about inaccuracieſ in Ecclefechan Mackay's piece ſhould naturally be forwarded to the Preſſ Complaintſ Commiſſion. I warn you, however, that they are notoriouſly cloſe to George and his ilk...

  16. I too filled in the form. I lied!

  17. Anonymous,

    Although an ornery sod myself, and therefore sympathetic to the contrarian, I can't see the immediate glee of fibbing to researchers. What the devil did you lie about, and what?