First off, this is little better than extortion. "You want to keep your job? Pay my organisation." When the Mafia do it, it's bad. When a political party does it, it's still bad. No libertarian should support this sort of crap.
Secondly, it'll lead to sorry; I mean, increase corruption. The SNP aren't all that big, but imagine if Labour and the Lib Dems were to go down this route. The political party with the most seats would also have the most members working for the parliamentary civil service, which would quickly become a self-reinforcing situation. Every time a sitting MSP lost an election, the incoming victor would be faced with an entire staff hostile to their ideas and batting for the other team. A politicised civil service is something we're supposed to avoid, not aspire to.
David makes the classic mistake of the business manager:
It's perfectly natural for managers to want employees to support an organisation's product, especially when that "product" is ideological.
It's natural, yes, but it's not all that useful. The world needs people like David: they really care about what their company does, so are the ideal people to run businesses. But what they always fail to realise is that the world is also full of people who are very, very good at doing things they don't give a damn about. People who can take pride in a job well done merely for its own sake, regardless of what the job is. Companies are full of people like this, and their managers always fail to empathise with them. We don't need "motivational" pep talks about the share price; we don't need company mousemats, covered in mission statement, to take home with us; we don't need press releases from head office emailed to us every day. We are perfectly capable of being good brilliant, even at our jobs without being passionate about the industry. And it's exasperating for us that our managers are so rarely capable of grasping this concept.
employers should have the right to lay down whatever conditions of employment that they see fit.
This is absolutely correct, but I'm amazed to see it in this context. I never thought anyone would have to spell this out to David Farrer, of all people, but here we go. The SNP MSPs are not civil servants' employers. Civil servants and MSPs both work for the same employer: the taxpayer. Yes, taxpayers should be able to lay down conditions of employment for their employees MSP's salaries could be decided by referendum, for a start. But Alex Salmond's suggestion is akin to my demanding the right to decide how my company's cleaning lady spends her money simply because I happen to be further up the org chart than she is.