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A game of Blankety Blank

Posted on December 23, 2020 by

With precisely the grim level of cynicism we’ve now come to expect as standard, the Scottish Government has released a key document relating to the Salmond inquiry two days before Christmas, hoping it’ll be buried in the ongoing coronavirus-and-Brexit-related implosion of the UK.

The document, which contains legal advice relating to the judicial review brought by Salmond regarding the Scottish Government’s investigations into false allegations of misconduct against him, is extremely heavily redacted. But a few interesting passages remain, so let’s have some fun.

The document, dated 28 December 2018, is a report from Sarah Davidson, the then-Director General of Organisational Development and Operations, one of those vague job titles that covers a multitude of sins.

It is, officially, the document which advised the Scottish Government to concede the case, on which it had by that point already spent an amount of money it refuses to reveal to the Scottish public – but which can be reasonably estimated at upwards of half a million pounds, given that we know Alex Salmond had spent a similar sum by then on his side of the argument.

But on even a cursory examination of what little remains unredacted, that line falls apart like a second-hand IKEA cabinet assembled by an old blind woman.

Let’s start with this one. What goes in here, readers?

What it’s claiming – and readers can make their own judgement about how believable a claim this is – is that the Scottish Government’s extremely expensive legal counsel only found out a few days before they were due to go to court that Judith Mackinnon had had extensive contact with the two complainers prior to being appointed as the Investigating Officer.

(The two QCs acting for the Scottish Government were Christine O’Neill as “junior” counsel, and Roddy Dunlop as senior, two of the country’s most eminent advocates. Alert readers may recall Dunlop from his successful work on two high-profile cases of recent years, on behalf of Alistair Carmichael and Kezia Dugdale.)

So it’s interesting to ponder what’s missing. (We don’t actually know how long any of the redactions are, because they’ve all been replaced with “[Redacted]” rather than blacked out. They could be a single word or a dozen paragraphs.)

The most obvious thing would be a word like “frankly”, but why would anyone want to redact that? Similarly there’s no conceivable reason to redact something like “in the opinion of counsel”, and it’s very difficult to plausibly add anything to that sentence which might identify anyone whose identity is being kept secret.

The only reason to blank out something there is if it’s in some way incriminating, such as – and we emphasise this is pure illustrative speculation on our part – “contrary to what counsel had been led to believe by the Scottish Government”.

It’s perhaps worth mentioning in passing that the word “unstat[e]able” is one with a very particular meaning for anyone practicing law. What it basically means is that if you deliberately conceal evidence or misrepresent something about the case to the court, or allow your client to, you’ll be struck off.

So make your guesses, folks. We’ll call that Blank 1.

What’s next?

Now, there’s nothing actually redacted in the paragraph above, but there’s certainly something missing from it. Who, a casual reader might wonder, has been failing to be adequately “systematic and comprehensive” in terms of their “duty of candour” to properly inform the legal counsel the Scottish Government is shovelling your money at? Who was in charge of this process? Who designed it and who was carrying it out?

We imagine that it was these people here:

(We know there are more than one because of the use of “share” rather than “shares”.)

We’ll call that Blank 2.

The next part comes under “SUMMARY OF COUNSEL’S ADVICE”.

Well, that’s helpful. But we know that the 19-21 December parts refer to the so-called “watershed moment” at which point it was no longer possible to deny that the game was up. So what happened on and before 31 October?

We know that counsel gave the Scottish Government advice on the case in that period, because that’s what’s been redacted above. And fortunately the document goes on to outline in more detail what it was.

Okay, not much more detail. But we learn that SOMETHING was revealed on 19 October, and that it was something that everyone knew was important and had to be disclosed. But that revelation didn’t officially take place until 19-21 December, two months later.

So let’s speculate illustratively again. We know it’s something the Scottish Government wants to hide, because it’s been redacted. So let’s imagine, by way of example, that counsel knew fine on 19 October that Judith Mackinnon had been in extensive contact with the complainers, and had advised the Scottish Government that this completely torpedoed the case.

It is, we can’t help but noting, somewhat implausible that they didn’t know, because if not then the Scottish Government was wasting an awful lot of money not telling its very costly representatives stuff that they really needed to know in order to arrive at their advice. But we can’t tell you that for certain at this stage, so we’re only speaking hypothetically here – let’s call it Blank 3.

But if that’s what’s being hidden, why, then, would the Scottish Government not take that advice, and instead plough on, burning public money, for several more months? Perhaps this paragraph includes some clues.

It may or may not be important to remember that in December 2018, when this report was produced, Salmond still hadn’t been charged by the police – that didn’t happen until the middle of January 2019.

Had the Scottish Government been advised in October that its prospective case in the judicial review was untenable, its last hope of avoiding either an embarrassingly comprehensive defeat or an almost equally embarrassing climbdown would have been if some other events had overtaken the judicial review and caused it to be shelved. Events such as, purely illustratively, a criminal prosecution.

Was the Scottish Government advised to concede the case in October 2018, but kept stalling and spending money in the hope of dragging it out until a criminal prosecution took the judicial review off the table entirely? This document doesn’t tell us.

But such a strategy would presumably have been quite poorly received by its legal advisers, whose hard-won reputations would be at stake if they were asked to present such a laughable case in front of a senior judge like Lord Pentland.

(And we know it was a laughable case because Alex Salmond was awarded costs on the almost unprecedented punitive “agent and client” basis, reflecting the court’s anger at having its time wasted.)

Does anything in the document tell us how counsel felt?

The short, innocuous-looking paragraph above is in fact probably the most explosive unredacted revelation in the whole document. Because what it says is that the Scottish Government’s legal counsel had given it an ultimatum – “concede this case or we quit”.

Such a step is almost unheard of. For a pair of QCs to walk away from a client rather than be humiliated (or worse) in court would be an event of earthquake proportions – especially when that client was a government.

And yet here it is, in unredacted black and white. The Scottish Government’s counsel could no longer endure the case they were being asked to present in court, and was forced to deliver a threat to its own client.

(Dunlop was perhaps already rather stung after having had to repeatedly and painfully apologise to the court because he’d been misinformed by his employers.)

And yet we’re expected to believe that these learned people, charging hundreds or thousands of pounds an hour, had been strung along at public expense for months on end without being told absolutely key facts, which were known to everyone else and their dog who was involved.

It’s not hard to see why this document was released two days before Christmas. But as we say, we’re only guessing about what all the bits we’re not allowed to see could contain. So perhaps, as a light-hearted festive parlour game, readers could offer some more innocent explanations in the comments below.

Give it your best shots, gang.

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  1. 23 12 20 19:56

    A game of Blankety Blank | speymouth

260 to “A game of Blankety Blank”

  1. Confused says:

    i skimmed this myself – but the redactions make it near useless (unless you like speculation)
    have you tried the copy-paste trick into notepad?
    sometimes these documents retain their edit history

  2. Intractable Potsherd says:

    Oh, boy! I’ve spent a lot of time around barristers (lecturing in law), and I know that “In our opinion, we will need to withdraw” is the lawyerly equivalent of the best dockyard swearing you’ve ever heard, combined with “Take off and nuke it from orbit – it’s the only way to be sure”! Most barristers will never find themselves in such a situation – it is really rare. The smell from the direction of Holyrood just got a bit more foul.

  3. Tannadice Boy says:

    Bart Simpson, the dog ate my homework. Transparency equals redaction. This is damaging to the SG because it reveals as Jackie Baillie contested…there is something to hide. Excellent work Stu.

  4. Daisy Walker says:




    junior counsel indicate .. in light of their professional duties, they will REQUIRE to withdraw on 3 January if matters are not resolved by then.

    Any Scottish Lawyers out there who can shed light on all the types of PROFESSIONAL DUTIES that would REQUIRE them to WITHDRAW from representing a client.

    Asking for a Leader, an Innocent Man, and a Scot.

  5. MrRocknRoll says:

    Wow. All those Indy marches I attended. All those miles of ground walked, always believing ‘Oor Nicola’ was going to lead our nation to become a normal independent country. And nearly every other week, you Rev, reveal the total ineptitude of her ‘leadership’. I’ll admit that for a while I was in denial, but you back up your posts with FACTS(!) Thank you sir. From a broken-hearted Yes voter, who will never stop believing, (in independence).

  6. Robert Hughes says:

    ” Baron Munchausen and Don Quixote share the view of counsel about the likely prospects of success defending the decision at Judicial Review …….”

  7. Helen Yates says:

    My take on this whole fiasco is that a plan was laid to set Alex Salmond up because obviously him returning to politics would upset the cozy structure built up by the gradualists,
    they knew it was unlikely to succeed but they reckoned maximum exposure would leave a stink that they hoped would cling to Salmond.
    The fact that they proceeded knowing their case was unlawful confirms that in my opinion.

    There can’t be many who can’t see that there are serious questions still to be answered in this case.

    The fact that Murrell didn’t stand down from his highly paid position when his wife took over as leader should’ve rung alarm bells for many and the fact that Sturgeon didn’t intervene to ensure he did compounds that, was she always a plant or was she bought off, maybe her new husband turned her, whatever none of us can know the truth.

    What is obvious is that she shouldn’t be able to survive the enquiry, and while I expect the opposition may well call for her resignation I can’t help but feel that somehow she is going to hang on, we know she only wants another 5yrs in office and of course that is more than enough time to ensure that Westminster gets Scotland tied down so tight we’ll be shackled to the union for the foreseeable.

    Alex Salmond resigned because he didn’t want to cause the party he loved any embarrassment or damage and yet Murrell clings like a leech, as does Leslie Evans, is there a bigger power in the play here? I believe there may well be.
    of course I could be completely wrong and it’s all been a case of big Egos that was the catalyst for this whole shit show.

    I believe the only hope that we have now is that Alex is playing a waiting game and will surface at just the right time, I can’t accept that a man such as he who has spent his life fighting for Scotland and her people will allow this small clique to destroy his life work, I’m praying that he will get his revenge and that it is as sweet as I expect it to be.

  8. Terry says:

    Not much wonder they keep Judith McKinnon off camera. The weakest link at the mo. Mind you there’s more shoogly links to come.

    Thanks again for all your work on this. There’s still too many our there burying their heads in the sand. They’re going to be gutted.

    I’m horrified and disgusted with the lot of it. Can you imagine the hell that Alex and his family have gone through. This would have broken lesser beings. Haste ye back Mr Salmond.

  9. john rose says:

    Is it possible that they tried to search for documents pertaining to the case with key phrases, or names and came up blank? And this is why counsel were informed so late of relevant documents?

    It all does seem like someone in the government has been watching too much “yes minister”

  10. Roddy Dunlop would have to be a pretty shi@e lawyer not to know this was a f@cked up investigation from the start,

    either that or he is a good lawyer but wanted the cash.

    which is it Rod , thick as mince or just greedy.

  11. Al says:

    This may be relevant. From rule C4.4 Law Society of Scotland Conduct of Solicitor Advocates

    “4.4.8 You must not accept instructions to act in circumstances where, in your professional opinion, the case is unstatable in law or where the case is only statable if facts known to you are misrepresented to, or concealed from, the court. If such circumstances arise after you have accepted instructions, you should decline to act further.”

  12. Muscleguy says:

    Since we know Lord Pentland was getting extremely testy and threatening over the fact that Scotgov kept submitting requested documents firstly pretty much entirely redacted then partly unredacted then slightly unredacted. His patience snapped at which point Scotgov’s counsel threw it in the towel to stop the full unredcacted documents being released.

    Salmond through the Enquiry is still fighting to have the full unredacted documents released. Looks like throwing it at a judge with full legal powers is indeed the only way. Since Scotgov are still in contempt parliament and the sovereign Scottish people in not releasing them.

  13. Muscleguy says:

    @Helen Yates
    There’s an informed rumour that Sturgeon is after a UN job in Geneva which requires PM Johnson’s approval. That would mean she is putting personal ambition ahead of Party and Country.

    She must surely know that if that is where she ends up then history will not be kind to her.

  14. shug says:

    it is funny Nicola not wearing a mask came out around the same time, and the unionists were very light on her today!

  15. Republicofscotland says:

    Oh I’d say it been so heavily redacted because Saint Nicola-as didn’t want her little helpers (the guilty clique) to feel unwanted at this festive time of year, Ho, ho, ho.

  16. Bob Mack says:

    There are only two possible explanations.

    1. Neither junior nor Senior Counsel had read the new policy.


    2. Someone was hiding facts from them about who was involved and when .

    Make your own mind up.

  17. M_Alc says:

    “(We know there are more than one because of the use of “share” rather than “shares””

    I guess unless it’s one of the they/them pronoun gang.

    ?? Ignore me, I’ve been on the alcopops.

  18. Eileen Carson says:

    Why oh why do we keep seeing “a duty of care to the complainers” but not for those complained about? What happened to equality of JUSTICE in this country!

  19. Astonished says:

    Could I suggest that we will find out what they’re hiding. And sooner than they like.

    I believe polis scotland were involved at an early stage and they are not going to want to hide much, as they have proper rules.

    It ain’t looking good for the alphabet cabal , the murrells and the civil servants involved. Good. I suggest they all start having porridge for breakfast.

    Like indyref2 this isn’t going away.

    On a brighter note I believe a goodly number of the wokeratti have left the party.

  20. Bob Mack says:

    This perhaps explains the big push on getting the women to formally complain to the police. Evans and others admitted as much ,and that the original 2 women did not want police involvement, but were “persuaded”.

    This just gets murkier by the day.

  21. crazycat says:

    @ M_Alc at 8.24

    I’m not convinced too much should be read into that use of the third person plural rather than singular,

    given that:

    Annex A paragraph 1) says “…requiring the IO to have had no prior involvement “in any aspect” of the matter being raise…”

    and, later, it is stated that

    “28 December Junior Counsel indicate (& it seems that Senior concurs)…”

    (my italics)

    when raised and indicates would appear to be required by the tense of the first quotation and the existence of only one Junior Counsel in the second.

    It is possible that proof-reading is not one of Sarah Davidson’s skills.

    (I haven’t been on the alcopops, I’m just a permanent pedant; which, sadly, does not mean I never make typos myself!)

  22. Bob Mack says:


    Is it possible , if you are correct that only one person was driving this agenda ,was the only one liaising with counsel, and was the only one informed ? Its not remotely feasible, but you would have to believe that if the plural was inaccurate..

  23. Margaret E says:

    Just sent a little Christmas present to Wings and richly deserved. Thanks you very much Mr Campbell!

  24. Stoker says:

    Helen Yates wrote at 7.58pm:

    “Alex Salmond resigned because he didn’t want to cause the party he loved any embarrassment or damage and yet Murrell clings like a leech, as does Leslie Evans, is there a bigger power in the play here? I believe there may well be.”

    If that’s a reference to Westminster, Helen, as far as i’m aware Westminster (or UKGov to be more precise) advised very strongly against pursuing this against Alex. Sure i read that somewhere.

  25. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    I can actually smell shite.

    It will only take one weak or honest individual to break ranks then it all falls down.

  26. Margaret E says:

    Incidentally, it is very clear that Ms Sturgeon is actively seeking another high-level job. Reflect upon her CNN interview with Amanpour. That does not happen by accident. And a day later, interviews with Spiegel, Le Monde and El Pais. It is happening quite openly. I can’t understand why more people don’t get this. She has already prepared for a way out.

  27. David Rodgers says:

    Didn’t NS promise full cooperation etc in supplying documents to the inquiry? Pretty cynical that it’s uber redacted and sent just before Xmas 🙂

  28. Beaker says:

    The words of 2020 have been “Unprecedented”, “COVID-19” and “Lockdown”.

    Better add “Redacted” to the list…

    As for Blanket Blank, the only winners of the chequebook and pen are lawyers.

  29. Jan cowan says:

    Thank goodness you’re here with your dedicated determination to get Scotland through this mess.

    I am beginning to think that everything will fall into place on time and we’ll have our independence soon.

  30. Wee Chid says:

    I wonder if the mask escapade was to give her an excuse to resign – or is that just wishful thinking on my part? Of course, it could have been a ploy to test her popularity. Maybe it was just a mistake but, knowing she knows how much she is being watched, I’m a bit doubtful about that one. F**k I’ve become a cynical auld bitch.

  31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “This may be relevant. From rule C4.4 Law Society of Scotland Conduct of Solicitor Advocates”

    Ooh, that’s worth editing in.

  32. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I wonder if the mask escapade was to give her an excuse to resign – or is that just wishful thinking on my part? Of course, it could have been a ploy to test her popularity. Maybe it was just a mistake but, knowing she knows how much she is being watched, I’m a bit doubtful about that one. F**k I’ve become a cynical auld bitch.”

    So am I, but my cynicism went to “If she does this, then apologises, she knows the Yoons will go absolutely tonto and so Yessers will automatically be inclined to leap to her defence”.

  33. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Could NS et al be stringing the Holyrood Inquiry out waiting for the Covert Human Intelligence Sources (Criminal Conduct) Bill to receive Royal Assent?

    “The Bill will insert new section 29B into Part II of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, creating a ‘Criminal Conduct Authorisation’ (CCA).

    CCAs may be granted where necessary for a specified purpose:

    1. in the interests of national security

    2. for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder

    3. in the interests of the economic well-being of the UK”

    Scottish Independence ticks 1 and 3, (2 as well if England runs out of leccy and the English electorate eventually work out that they are the subsidy junkies just as the subsidy stops)!

    Wonder if it can be applied to activities retrospectively?

    Mair Power tae yer elbow Stu.

  34. Skip_NC says:

    Blank 1 – “much to our surprise”

    Blank 2 – “One thousand six hundred and ninety bears in the woods”

    Blank 3 – photographs of Peter Murrell’s rather racy Hallowe’en costume.

    Do I get a tacky cheque-book and pen?

  35. Derek says:

    The thing that jumped out at me was “havers” in your second piece (numbered 4). I know of its meaning in Scots, but have no idea if it has a specific legal meaning. I’m off for a neb at Gloag & Henderson…

  36. Derek says:

    …(Scots law) the person in whose custody a document is…

  37. Gaavster says:

    Haver – In Scots law, the person who may hold documents in relation to a specification of documents. They may be cited to a commission to explain why the documents have not been produced, and what searches they have carried out.


    RESOURCE ID W-012-6416



  38. Tannadice Boy says:

    @Wee Chid 9 04
    A genuine lapse I fear. Nothing that will move the compass either way. She will resign soon on the basis of extraordinary reasons. Her health, it’s been so tough leading a Nation through a pandemic every day, like we have nothing to do with it. Real reason breaching the Ministerial Code twice. Inquiry a hairsbreadth away. Getting there. Stitched up a fellow human being on an evil charge. And done nothing about female rights. Not a good look.

  39. Gaavster says:

    Sorry about my fat fingers and poor cut n paste skills folks

  40. kapelmeister says:

    “…at which point the SG’s case became, to an embarrassing degree, unstatable…” .

  41. David Holden says:

    I thought the case collapsed because Liz Lloyd was about to get grilled and the Scottish Government wanted to prevent that happening and now from this it looks like their legal team were going to walk. Are the two things connected?

  42. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Haver = Person who has

    Different from haver = babble, talks shite etc.

  43. G H Graham says:

    I’d wager that it is the QCs and advocates names that have been heavily redacted.

    Imagine all those years at law school, wading through reams of bullshit just to pass the bar, getting hired by top dollar law firms and then nailing your entire career onto a once in a generation TV spectacle, only to discover at the last moment that your client is a complete fuckwit who has been lying to you all along.

    Is it any wonder that they don’t want their names tagged along with this bunch of vengeful feminists, bed wetters & gender studies extremists?

  44. Garrion says:

    This may sound naive, but why the feck are the Scottish govt redacting anything? It’s not like Holyrood has state secrets to protect, other than the current clusterfuck of self interest and sleazery, a’course.

  45. willie says:

    Don’t know what readers think but Roddy Dunlop comes across as something you would wipe off your shoe.

    Intelligent, articulate, this guy was a Queen’s Council no less and he played along with the rotten performance until eventually he had to say enough was enough.

    Certainly makes you realise how folk like him can be nothing less than articulate scum bags where the law is but something that provides a ruse to earn big money.

    But maybe my opinion is wrong Mr Roddy. Maybe you are an upstanding QC and if so, please come back and correct this perception and explain why you didn’t withdraw earlier.

  46. Bob Mack says:

    @Skip NC,

    Very good. 1690 Bears. I almost missed that!!

  47. willie says:

    And yes, the Faculty of Advocates. A trade union with the most base of motives.

    Well not all advocates are base. Some will have balance and a sense of fairness. The exposures here in the Salmond case shows however that many of the faculty’s finest are as far away from balance and fairness as your local drug dealer is when it comes to making clean money.

    Honesty and fairness is but nothing as this ongoing outrage shows, and there are still lawyers, advocates, trying to help cover up foul dealings by their paymasters.

    Legal prostitutes in fact.

  48. Ronald Fraser says:

    Sturgeon resigning will feel NEARLY as good as Independence itself.

  49. kapelmeister says:

    Predictably the Scottish media have given the opposite of Blankety Blanket coverage. Preferring to draw a veil.

    Instead it’s “Oh look the FM dropped her mask!”.

    Her mask has been dropping all year, thanks in no small measure to Stu.

  50. Contrary says:

    Well, well, ‘duty of candour’, who’d have thought it? Candour certainly hasn’t been much in evidence lately,,,

    Sarah Davidson is a very senior civil servant, is on Leslie Evans’ Executive Team (whatever that means) and is line manager to many Directors, including Nicola Richards (up to her neck in it, possibly it’s just starting to reach above the nostrils now). Ms Davidson wasn’t involved in any part of the procedure development or the investigation phase. I found her evidence interesting – twice she had been commissioned to review the procedure itself, and twice halted – 1st because of the JR, the 2nd time due to the criminal trial (and then an external investigator was chosen to do it, and apparently it has actually started now, I think).

    In her evidence Sarah Davidson says she had no contact with legal counsel. The permanent secretary (Leslie Evans) asked her to urgently prepare a report to collate all the advice received from ‘professional advisors’ on the 21st December 2018. She submitted the report on the 28th Dec 2018. She also claims no advice was given by her in the report. I think the advice seen in the report was that already given by advisors. The Permanent Secretary received ‘additional legal advice’ on 31st Dec 2018 (that must have been when they telt her to get to fuck; people don’t have meetings on the 31st unless they are in deep trouble). So that’s an interesting 28th Dec entry – I’ll have to go over it to see how it fits in with the rest.

    All the evidence is like that – swathes of emails and documents are [redacted]. Trouble is, we don’t even know what bits were redacted for what reason: legal advice? Identify an accuser? Just refers to a junior civil servant talking about what they’re having for tea hat night? Frustrating.

    I doubt very much it would have only been Judith Mackinnons contact with the complainers before becoming IO – I’m pretty sure the JR would have ripped apart her investigation too – she was reporting directly to Leslie Evans by then too. Well, Lord Pentland has banned the investigation and decision reports from ever being seen, so I’d say it’s a bit more than just the wording in para 10. The Scottish government still keeps trying to show that report to people.

  51. Graeme Hampton says:

    It looks to me like endgame for Nicola. I’m guessing she knows the game is really up and is just deploying a scurry of squirrels to stave off the inevitable until after the election so that she can install her favoured successor.

  52. crazycat says:

    @ Bob Mack at 8.55

    I’m not saying that only one person was doing the things you list.

    What I’m saying is that you cannot use the language on its own to work out whether it was one or more than one, because elsewhere in the same document there are typing/grammatical errors of a similar nature.

    It’s certainly possible to argue that it was likely to be more than one person because of the nature of the actions described, but that’s a different deduction.

  53. Dan says:

    Looks like Blinkty Blink doesn’t want anyone filling in the Blankety Blanks!

    Or there’s simply no ink left in any of those yellow pens…

  54. Polly says:

    It’s looking worse and worse the more that comes out, but it’s only confirming many fears we’ve had for months.

    But I wonder if they say the governments case became unstatable on 21/12/18 then why give them until 3/1/19 to resolve the matters they say need settled or taken care of? What exactly did they want resolved before then? Also the restatement of the need for candour, not only with junior counsel this time but including Director of Legal Services possibly for added gravitas, on 2/11 after previous statement 19/10. Curiouser and curiouser.

    As an aside, when I went searching for legal stuff around this issue, I came across the fact that Hamesucken is still a thing on statute books. I’d come across the term years ago in a historical context, meaning armed robbery in the home, but assumed then, wrongly it was obsolete. Scots law and old Scots terms are intriguing.

  55. Jim Tadgercock says:

    shug says:
    23 December, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    it is funny Nicola not wearing a mask came out around the same time, and the unionists were very light on her today!

    I was thinking the same. Pat on the back Rev and also for once I seem to agree with all comments so far.

  56. Polly says:

    @ Crazycat

    ‘What I’m saying is that you cannot use the language on its own to work out whether it was one or more than one, because elsewhere in the same document there are typing/grammatical errors of a similar nature.’

    You have a point – but on the junior counsel (28 December Junior Counsel indicate..) do we know for a fact there was only one junior counsel or was there only one named?

  57. HamlyHaynes says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    23 December, 2020 at 9:14 pm
    “I wonder if the mask escapade was ”.

    Now, now she was just showing her “human” side.. someone said, wonder if the old dears told her to Eff off!!!

  58. Dan says:

    Some tattie tattle as Scottish spuds catch “Brexit” blight.

  59. Arrkay says:

    Surely there isn’t enough sand left in the world for the Sturgeon fan club to bury their heads in.

  60. holymacmoses says:

    Thanks for this Wings. It would be great to obtain a word count of the original document in relation to the one they’ve offered up; it might enable folk to get an idea of how much is being withheld.
    Perhaps the threat, by the Legal Eagles, to withdraw themselves, was one of breaching the law should they present the case and wonder if this may have something to do with the fact that Mr Salmond had not legally been charged. I am also assuming that the ‘protection’ of the names of the complainants was a real issue for all concerned (one assumes because of ‘promises made and debts unpaid’) and it became obvious that the ONLY way this could happen was to charge Mr Salmond and thus give the women the safety of legal anonymity.
    It is a tangled web and the weavers have created a very thin material case for their defence . It’s a piss poor country that fails to reveal such a disgraceful misuse of Government power.
    A totally imaginary scenario came to me that the FM let the cat out of the bag after the EU referendum and made it clear to a leading Independence advocate (currently out of office) that she felt that resolving the EU issue and keeping the whole of the UK on an even keel was more important than any call for independence. This scenario could well lead to ever-increasing stakes with one side believing that they held all the cards – forgetting that , having a good hand is only half the battle ; it’s having the brains and the balls to play one’s cards at the right time that will win someone the prize.

  61. Robert graham says:

    There’s not a pit deep enough and no amount of concrete available to bury everyone in that profession probably the best idea is to drown the fkrs at birth

    This cess pit that is the Courts Judges Lawyers and all associated with producing baffling bloody indecipherable crap needs removing .

    Drowning them in the shite they produce would be a good start and give hours of entertainment

  62. bipod says:


    I see that Jason Leitch has been all over the TV today spewing conspiracy theories about the dangerous new variant and that is the reason why we need another lockdown only two weeks after we have had a lockdown which didn’t even move the statistics at all. I still note that there is no definitive evidence to actually show that it is any more infectious than the old one. Its like politicians in Scotland and England can’t use the same old scare about the NHS being overwhelmed (NHS lousia jordan and the nightingale hosiptals in england are still empty btw) or millions of people are going to die so they have came up with this new super covid scare.

    At the committe today he said:

    It was noted that the code numbered variant has demonstrated exponential growth during a period when national lockdown measures were in place

    Because lockdowns are not an effective way to control the spread of a highly infectious virus that is already endemic in the population, they haven’t been effective at “controlling” regular old covid and they won’t be effective with any of the 20,000 variants that now exist in the world, but that doesn’t mean we are dealing with super covid. It just means lockdowns don’t work.

    I also see that cautious nicola was caught red handed today not wearing a mask while talking to a group of grannies at a wake, not even cautious nicola can keep up with her labyrinthine restrictions once the cameras are turned off.

  63. crazycat says:

    @ Polly at 11.03

    I spotted the errors when I read the article, but decided not to mention them because they don’t matter that much and I didn’t want to belabour the point. Then when someone else referred to the singular/plural issue, I did comment, not entirely seriously, and this has now assumed far more importance than I intended!

    I don’t know for a fact how many junior counsels there were; I assumed from this sentence – “The two QCs acting for the Scottish Government were Christine O’Neill as “junior” counsel, and Roddy Dunlop as senior, two of the country’s most eminent advocates” – that that was the full complement. Can non-QCs be counsel?

    I should have stuck to my original decision to keep my observation to myself 🙂

  64. Donda says:

    Wonder if Murdo Fraser with his Tory contacts has access to the unredacted advice? Imagine if committee members have already seen the evidence the SG is fighting to withhold? It means they will recognise every dodge and lie told on the witness stand. Might explain why Peter Murrell was looking like a condemned man. He is sick with worry they already have the truth and is terrified the game is up. For him and his wife.

  65. Josef Ó Luain says:

    The thin edge of a very substantial wedge me thinks. The difficulty will lie in finding someone in Scotland with the strength, skill and the integrity necessary to fully drive it home.

  66. David Wardrope says:

    In the spirit of Christmas, I’d like to invoke Mel Smith’s Santa and suggest that all [redacted] parts are concealing the word “blooming”

  67. Alf Baird says:

    Still seems quite bizarre that an organisation’s disciplinary procedure, its ‘investigating officer’ and her ‘senior management’ (Evans and Sturgeon) should seek to punish a FORMER employee who is no longer connected with or employed by the organisation. How does that work then? Nae wunner the court chucked it oot.

  68. Hatuey says:

    Bipod – “It just means lockdowns don’t work.”

    Would you share a lift with someone who you knew had Ebola?

    Do you think you’d have more chance of catching Ebola if you shared a lift with someone that had Ebola?

    Et cetera. Et cetera.

  69. Daisy Walker says:

    St Nicla’s job is done. Parliament is closed for Christmas and New Year. Covid prevents any public protests (and I’m not going to argue with the pros and cons of that).

    Brexit – No Deal is delivered. With Scotland an integral part.

    If she can hang on and make the SNP an unelectable mess for May 2021, or defer that election – she will get her bonus.

    Meanwhile she has served her unionist masters well – job done. Both have wriggle room – punt her to the UN, or keep her in post for the next 5 months (and I think she now wants out). Advantages of punting her – a new face won’t have the same baggage – ‘new carrots, trust me, listening’…

    Remember after 2014 – England got a HUGE fright. Scotland is the cash cow. They cannot afford to lose her.

    In that context given the way ALL the opinion polls were showing – holding a Brexit ref and risking Scotland all over again – made no sense – other than from the point of view of the powers that be – not wanting to pay Centuries of tax from the Trust Funds, accumulated from the slave trade, the opium trade, the spice trade, 2 world wars, and of course raping a pillaging entire continents with colonialism.

    And – key to that was to call the Labour Party to heel (not difficult, sadly) they should protest, but ineffectually, they should be woolly in what they offer, and absolutely not the opposite of Brexit, they should not back the SNP on a key vote which would have made a No Deal Brexit illegal.

    Second key to that, was to nobble the leaders of the SNP to do much the same. By expensive means, or threats of violence. As long as it gets done.

    Ultimately voters get no option at the ballot box. Jobs a good n.

    There is one great big fly in the ointment, called public opinion.

    It is like moving a huge ship, in clay, but once it gets momentum, it is unstoppable.

    I think we Yessers – for our own sanity as much as anything – need to reposition the point of victory,

  70. Hatuey says:

    “… punish a FORMER employee who is no longer connected with or employed by the organisation. How does that work then? Nae wunner the court chucked it oot.”

    Actually, Alf, the court didn’t chuck it oot at all. The government threw in the towel because they knew the case was a loser.

    The internal workplace investigation was entirely inappropriate for the reasons you suggest. Salmond had no connection with the Civil Service. And even if he had a connection, the change of regulations allowing them to go after former employees etc., was highly dubious from a legal standpoint too.

    The obviously knew all that. It’s also clear that they weren’t really bothered about the conduct of the investigation itself. The Investigating Officer’s role, forming relations with the complainers, drafting the new procedure, etc., destroyed any possible pretense of impartiality. Nobody cared.

    All that seems to have mattered was that the investigation found AS guilty and they could use it as the basis for involving the police and bringing criminal charges against him. I guess that’s what we might call “the war”.

  71. bipod says:


    What does that have to do with lockdown, even in the proper lockdown you favour like the one back in march I was still coming into contact with people nearly every single day.

  72. Polly says:

    @ Crazycat

    ‘I should have stuck to my original decision to keep my observation to myself ?’

    Sorry to keep it going but whether you were serious or not in your suggestion it is a very important document so you’d expect them not to make simple errors therefore it’s easy to start wondering ‘what if…’. All the redactions already make the brain wonder what is there, but slips of grammar etc. has the same effect.

    As for junior council, O’Neill only became QC this year I believe.

  73. Polly says:

    Sorry counsel

  74. mr thms says:

    Dan @ 11:15 pm

    The “UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill 2020” passed its third stage yesterday.

    When it receives its Royal Assent, Scotland will be ‘dynamically aligned with EU rules’ that will meet the EU requirements for the export of seed potatoes.

  75. crazycat says:

    @ Polly

    Yes, I agree, the document should have been checked better. But presumably neither its author nor its recipients expected it to be scrutinized in public!

    “Events”, however, have exposed their arrogance / incompetence / complacency.

    And yes, O’Neill was only recently elevated : There’s counsel, and then there’s Queen’s Counsel.

    (In trying to find reports of the judicial review containing the names of the lawyers, I came across one citing Roddy Dunlop as referring to the Investigating Officer as “he”! I assume this is a mistake by the reporter, rather than RD being unable to work out what sex Judith Mackinnon is.)

  76. Hatuey says:

    Bipod: “What does that have to do with lockdown”

    If you think it would be a bad idea to share a lift with someone who has Ebola, and think it more likely that you’d catch Ebola if you shared a lift with someone that had it, then you agree with the theoretical and practical for lockdown.

    All of your arguments hinge on us not knowing what would have happened if we hadn’t gone into lockdown. The evidence is clear on that.

    Countries that were slow or relaxed about lockdown have generally had the worst experiences with coronavirus – that includes the US and the UK who are top of the “really fucked everything up” league.

  77. Andrew F says:

    I think the last “redacted” you note may be actually even worse than you suggest.

    I’m a Barrister and I know very well that being humiliated by having a poor case to run for a client who insists on giving it a go is very unpleasant but not a quitting matter. You make the best case you can with what you’ve got – it’s our job.

    On the other hand, our duty to not mislead the Court is extremely serious. If Counsel knowingly conceals a crucial fact or document, or allows a client to do so, they don’t just get humiliated they get struck off. End of career as well as reputation.

    What you have to do is advise the client of the situation and tell them that if they insist on following that course you are obliged to withdraw from the case. And then of course you have to tell the Court that you have a professional obligation to withdraw.

    You don’t tell the Court WHY, but everyone will know that the client has put you in an untenable position.

    I believe that is what the last point is actually all about. It’s exactly presented the way any Counsel would do it.

  78. Polly says:

    @ Crazycat

    ‘ I assume this is a mistake by the reporter, rather than RD being unable to work out what sex Judith Mackinnon is.’

    🙂 Maybe he was having a private joke at the expense of this government and their trans agenda to get back at them for all the apologising he had to do for their slipshod duty of candour. Or maybe we are not the only ones making assumptions about people. 🙂

  79. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    When we get KNOWLEDGABLE people commenting BTL on WOS, we know that ATTENTION is being paid to the content here.

    Hopefully, matters will be resoled, whether or not it causes embarrassment to certain individuals.

  80. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    “Hopefully, matters will be resoled, whether or not it causes embarrassment to certain individuals.”

    should be,

    Hopefully, matters will be resolved, whether or not it causes embarrassment to certain individuals.

  81. twathater says:

    It is really infuriating realising just how much power we plebs don’t have when it comes to the establishment

    Sturgeon and her cabal of ner do wells are just merrily carrying on gathering their lucrative salaries and adding loads to their pension pots whilst ripping the pish out of the electorate , and what is even worse is that some in the independence movement are happy to support and excuse this criminality , no wonder Labour ruled the roost for so long

    What IS long overdue is for a full judge led inquiry where proper answers can be elicited from these liars , and the people , all the people can be made aware of how this travesty which has cost taxpayers at least £1million was due to corruption at the highest level

  82. Beaker says:

    Andrew might be able to clarify this, but I would of thought that some of the redactions may be due to GDPR and DPA. GDPR is a potential minefield if you are not careful.

  83. mr thms says:

    Scottish Government Ministers voluntarily decided not take their full salary entitlement 12 years ago. The First Minister’s current salary is therefore the same as the 2008-09 entitlement of £135,605, and a Cabinet Secretary’s current salary is the same as the 2008-09 entitlement of £96,999.

  84. Iain More says:

    Meanwhile MI5 follows Sturgeon to a funeral just to keep her in line, in case she also got any funny ideas??????

  85. Sharny Dubs says:

    Merry Christmas to all on wings.

    And a special merry Christmas to our tireless hero Stu, at a time when hero’s are so few and far between and so sorely needed. I raise a glass to you sir

  86. jockmcx says:

    A scotsman an black american and a tramp meet in a utube

  87. Effijy says:

    As we thought this stinks to high Holyrood.

    There is unlawful manipulation, clandestine meetings, sheer incompetence, a complete
    Disregard for the public purse and justice and Westminster representatives have their
    finger prints all over it.

    Sturgeon will announce that her health has suffered as a result of excessive workload and stress
    In battling Covid and Murrell will given the opportunity to resign from office or be sacked.

    Wonder if he can join Michelle Moan in the Lords for services against Scotland.

    Another parasite with a very rich life style awaiting his retirement.

  88. Mia says:

    Stu, I am sure you have already seen it, but this is from the Herald, published on 26 Nov (“Alex Salmond inquiry: Nicola Sturgeon’s gatekeeper called to give evidence”, by Tom Gordon)

    “On 21 December 2018, after a search of documents Mr Somers produced (within Scottish Government) two calendar entries for the 20th and 21st November 2017 and confirmed those meetings were with Ms A.

    “He produced these diary entries on the same day he was asked to perform the search; which was also the first time he was asked to perform that search”

    “Mr Somers had been due to be asked about them in court as part of evidence disclosure for the judicial review, but the Government conceded and he was never questioned”

    “The day after the second meeting, 22 November 2017, Ms Sturgeon confirmed she wanted the new harassment policy to apply to former as well as current ministers.

    Her formal sign-off, which had existed in draft for several days, was communicated to the Government’s top official, Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, by Mr Somers”

    Could it be that the case became unstateable not because Judith Mackinnon had had extensive contact with the two complainers, which as you say, is ludicrous that the Counsel did not already know but rather because of the by then open evidence of contact of Mr Sommers with Mrs A and the proximity of those meetings to the moment Sturgeon decided she wanted the harassment policy and the implications for her this may have?

  89. Ian says:

    I have a couple of questions.

    Does the investigation Committee’s final report have any authority for further actions based on their findings or will they just submit a report which although possibly damning, effectively ends the investigation with no further actions happening?

    Some of the answers given so far are clearly contradictory (hence the current request by the Committee’s request for ‘clarification’), which in a court would be perjury, but not so with a Committee investigation?

    Also does the Committee only get redacted (censored) documents as well, and if so, that then makes a nonsense of them getting to see all complete requested documents (or ‘relevant’ as NS prefers to call them) from which a final conclusion can be determined?

    The key seems to be whether it can be shown that NS has lied and in particular to the Scottish Parliament, which would be a resignation matter.

    A vote of no confidence in NS may be another outcome option but I suspect the unionist’s are content with her where she is.

  90. Found this joke in a Christmas cracker,

    The lawyer’s son wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps, so he went to law school. He graduated with honors, and then went home to join his father’s firm.

    At the end of his first day at work he rushed into his father’s office, and said, “Father, father, in one day I broke the accident case that you’ve been working on for ten years!”

    His father responded: “You fricken idiot, we could have lived on the funding from that case for another ten years!”

    true story.

  91. Ottomanboi says:

    Redact is simply Americanese for suppress, an activity governments calling themselves democratic ought not to engage in regardless of circumstance.

  92. Dan says:

    mr thms says: at 12:56 am

    The “UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill 2020” passed its third stage yesterday.

    When it receives its Royal Assent, Scotland will be ‘dynamically aligned with EU rules’ that will meet the EU requirements for the export of seed potatoes.

    There are concerns the UK Internal Market Bill may come into play in such matters though.
    Can you offer any input which would allay those concerns?

  93. Polly says:

    Mia @ 7.59am

    More than possible I’d say. So many folk seem to have had their fingerprints where they shouldn’t be found. And this from the Guardian in October this year makes one wonder who the as yet unidentified person also at one of the Somers meetings might be. Since that person has not yet been identified and the judicial review was collapsed before his giving evidence perhaps that’s the important clue.

    ‘In a disclosure that will raise further questions about what Sturgeon knew and when, McKie also asserted that her principal private secretary, John Somers, twice met one of the two complainants in November 2017, soon after the complainer indicated she may have allegations to make against Salmond.

    In his letter to the committee, McKie said another as-yet-unidentified person was at one of those meetings. They took place several weeks before Sturgeon signed off on the new anti-harassment policy in late December 2017 that allowed civil servants to make retrospective complaints against former ministers. The two complainants filed formal complaints against Salmond in January 2018.

    Salmond’s allies allege the Scottish government admitted defeat in his civil action because his lawyers were about to call Somers, forcing him to admit Sturgeon’s office had had contact with the complainers.’

  94. Polly says:

    Sorry forgot attribution. From Guardian, Salmond accuses Sturgeon of pursuing vendetta over report into harassment claims by Carrell on 27/10/20.

  95. Patsy Millar says:

    Happy Christmas Stu and all the best for 2021

  96. Stuart MacKay says:


    It’s my understanding that the Internal Market Bill specifically requires all standards with the central and devolved governments to be aligned so there are no barriers to trade.

    The Scottish Government can dynamically align with EU regulations all it wants but it cannot block trade internally – so no bans on chlorinated chicken arriving in England and being exported to Scotland.

    If producers want to follow higher EU standards then they could but that would only work if they were exporting 100% of their output to the EU. If any part of their trade was within the UK then unless it was perceived as a high quality product they’d have to compete with other suppliers and so be at a disadvantage. As for marking something as “Produced in Scoland”? Well, you can kiss goodbye to that.

    You can rest assured that whatever the revisions made when the legislation is finally passed that the lowest common denominator is going to apply.

  97. Breeks says:


    Seeing that Trump has pardoned 15 people, but not Julian Assange. Anybody know if means hopes are dashed for Assange, or is there still a chance of a pardon from Trump before he leaves office?

  98. Republicofscotland says:

    Breeks @9.57am.

    One wonders if Trump has arrange for himself to be exempt from any form of prosecution by the incoming new POTUS Biden, he’d be foolish not to.

    I see Trump pardoned four Blackwater personnel who went on a rampage in Iraq killing dozens of civilians, and he’s also pardoned two people who falsely pushed the Russia did it narrative, who found themselves in prison.

  99. MaggieC says:

    Re Harassment and Complaints Committee ,

    Updates from the Written evidence page ,

    The Convener wrote to the Chief Constable on 23 December 2020 regarding any involvement from Police Scotland in the development of the procedure and in the handling of complaints ,

    Following the evidence session on 8 December, the Convener wrote to Peter Murrell requesting further written evidence ,

  100. Achnababan says:

    Andrew F @ 1.36am

    ‘If Counsel knowingly conceals a crucial fact or document, or allows a client to do so, they don’t just get humiliated they get struck off. End of career as well as reputation’.

    That’s a very good point!

    Makes complete sense that in fact the Gov. Lega Council were warning the Scot Gov that they could not be involved with an attempt to mislead the court. Explains a lot including the collapse of the trial!

    Now if we only had a decent legal mind on the Holyrood Enquiry team … there is of course, Murdo Fraser……..’nough said!

    Anyone interested in the legal aspects of the Get Salmond Enquiry please check out Gordon Dangerfield’s blog. Excellent comments there too…

  101. Mia says:

    “The key seems to be whether it can be shown that NS has lied and in particular to the Scottish Parliament”

    True. But I think it could be even more damning if it was found out that she could have abused power by directing (being persuaded to direct) the apparatus of government and vast sums of taxpayers’ funds towards destroying the political reputation of somebody to stop their coming back to politics. And worse, then attempting to hide her implication in the matter by using as shields a good number of government staff and civil servants who by taking part on this manoeuvre, would have corrupted their political impartiality and immediately became interested parties in this not coming to light.

    When you think about it, how do you maximise your chances of succeeding in a political conspiracy with low probability of success? By involving as many people as possible so they will all help you to cover it if it does not succeed or by involving someone with a lot of power that has more to lose than you.
    Do we see here both?

    The timing of those meetings of Mr Somers with Ms A is crucial because it leads you to wonder if it could be those meetings (having Ms A and B “on board”?) what might have moved Sturgeon/somebody else to persuade Sturgeon, to give the green light to the by then evidently biased, procedure. It also leads you to think that if Somers met Mrs A right before the green light for the development of the new procedure was given, somebody else from government might have also met with Mrs B for the same purpose.

    If it is true what was published in the Herald that it was only in the light of the civil court case that Mr Somers dug those dates from the official diary because nobody had asked him to do so before (and that he never thought in volunteering before) it is plausible that their Counsel might have not been aware of any of these meetings (and the shenanigans around them) and suddenly realise that there might well be other evidence that “somebody was never asked to dig out” and provide them with. If I was one of those lawyers, at the time such crucial meeting dates resurfaced leaving an awful lot of lines untied and exposing the counsel as unprepared, I would be hearing alarm bells everywhere suggesting counsel’s reputation might have been used as collateral for a political conspiracy – becoming another party with interest in it not coming to light?

    Their words are interesting ” if matters are not resolved by then” What does this mean? That they expected Evans to collapse the case before then or that they hoped the Judge would give a verdict before then so this new evidence (and potentially more) would never have to see the light of day?

    Somers’ meetings are, in my view, a massive can of worms. One can see why if there was something untoward in all this process and the theory of a conspiracy against Mr Salmond had wheels, the revelation of those meetings and the timing of them would lead to an awful lot of uncomfortable questions for a lot of people, Somers, Evans, Sturgeon, Mrs A and B, Sturgeon’s chief of staff and the counsel themselves.

    I like to think that a good judge would like to get to the bottom of it by demanding access to all involved parties’ diaries, email and phone records (mobile and office landline) to cover all bases. After that, I think it is very unlikely that Sturgeon, Evans, the civil service, the complainers, Scottish government and of course the counsel would come out smelling of roses.

    It seems to me that the collapsing of the case was a damage limitation exercise for an awful lot of people, not just Evans or Sturgeon. That letter from the counsel comes across as a damage limitation for themselves, rather than anything else.

    It does not take you to be a professional sleuth to realise that this case was doomed from the start. It is difficult to believe that Sturgeon, Evans, other instigators or the counsel themselves ever believed they stood a chance in hell to win the case. So the question remains: what was the real motive behind starting all this complaints procedure? Where they just after tarnishing Mr Salmond’s reputation (by the principle that shit always sticks even if it is not you own), but the whole thing spiralled out of control becoming an industrial scale cover up exercise?

  102. Achnababan says:

    Willie at 10.18pm

    I agree that there are some very dodgy characters high up in the Scottish legal system ….. but I am afraid that is true of high-up characters everywhere.

    They learn and practise the dark arts to advance themselves. With a few honourable exceptions of course, they are in leadership roles in organisations because they look after Numero Uno 24/7, not because they care about the people that are forced to work for them.

  103. Daisy Walker says:

    Point 12 in the released letter shows that the Petitioner (Alex Salmond) has the right to disclose all except ‘The only limitations in practice are .. in the naming of the complainers’

    I hope he does disclose the relevant docs. This nonsense is just dragging on and on.

  104. Daisy Walker says:

    Stuart MacKay says:
    24 December, 2020 at 9:57 am

    It’s my understanding that the Internal Market Bill specifically requires all standards with the central and devolved governments to be aligned so there are no barriers to trade.

    The Scottish Government can dynamically align with EU regulations all it wants but it cannot block trade internally – so no bans on chlorinated chicken arriving in England and being exported to Scotland.

    If producers want to follow higher EU standards then they could but that would only work if they were exporting 100% of their output to the EU. If any part of their trade was within the UK then unless it was perceived as a high quality product they’d have to compete with other suppliers and so be at a disadvantage’

    Aye Stuart, and its worse than that, one of the first things to go will be legislation about accurate labelling on food stuffs. Not so much a level playing field, but a method by which producers of substandard food can hide the fact and ‘compete’ with the good guys – while the customer has no clear way of finding out the difference.

  105. Republicofscotland says:

    Sturgeon’s hapless husband could be the key to removing her, Inquiry chair Linda Fabiani wants him back to question him again on several glaring inconsistences, such as the FM believing that certain event in the Salmond debacle were party business and that meant it did not have to be recorded, however Murrell told MSP’s that it was Scottish government business, then there’s his contradictions on what took place at their home, when it took place, who was there.

  106. HighlanderMSP says:

    I read the document yesterday when released and agin today, as a Regulatory professional, accustomed to redaction of documents required in submission – it just reeks. I suspect that your assumptions are pretty close to the mark, if not actually on it, it also shows the contemptible depravity of the Lavender Gang (Nicola, Peter, Liz, Leslie, SAS et al) and the extraordinary lengths that they were willing to pursue in order to ward off a perceived threat to their security from Alex Salmond. I’m rather concerned about the position of the Lord Advocate in all of this, his position in Government, his position as head of prosecution for the Crown, and his unquestionable involvement in this farce, bringing it to the point where eminent Counsel pull the most severe of threats short of actually dropping their client because of patently obvious wrongdoing.

    An excellent piece from you Stu, and Scots (true Scots) are indebted to you for your continuing efforts in ensuring that integrity above all else rises above the ethical and moral swamp that is The Scottish Government.

  107. Achnababan says:

    Good investigative stuff Mia.. I am impressed!

    The very big question I have is why Nicola Sturgeon somehow approved a process which ultimately led to a court case.

    No politician I have very met, far less a First Minister, would ever want to go to Court – as it is in Court then the truth invariably comes out and things can be said that cannot be unsaid.

    It should have been the role of Lesley Evans to urge caution but rather it is she who wanted NS to go for the jugular. Bizarre behaviour from a very senior civil servant to say the least!

    I agree that probably the Murrells primarily wanted to smear AS so as to destroy his political career and would have been happy with that.

    But I believe that NS was encouraged to go beyond this into the public and legal minefield she now finds herself, by her closest advisors who actually want to destroy her and AS.

    She stupidly fell into their trap – the trap set possibly by MI6 who may or may not be controlling at least one of those advisors.

  108. Stuart MacKay says:

    Although the deal with the EU will be sold and portrayed as “business as usual” as usual, all the devils will be in the details.

    The EU probably wanted to avoid all the supply chain disruption with Toyota and seafood exports from the UK being good examples. The basis of the deal is probably about minimising the immediate disruption unless, of course, you’re a potato farmer in Perthshire.

    In the medium term I expect there is some cooling off period where the UK and EU markets start to disengage from each other as regulations get progressively applied.

    So there will be a huge sigh of relief but it will be relatively short-lived. The real damage won’t be obvious, but as each EU business decides to buy from other EU countries instead of renewing their current contracts with UK ones, it will still be severe.

  109. 1971Thistle says:

    @Mia @ 10h15

    “the whole thing spiralled out of control becoming an industrial scale cover up exercise”

    Surely such a thing could never happen (again)? It would be highly amusing if there were Watergate-style recordings, mind you…

    I think the trouble was groupthink and a belief that they were cleverer than they were

  110. Achnababan says:

    Daisy Walker at 10.28pm

    Spot on about food standards. I fully expect a new British label smothered in Union Jacks to be introduced to promote dodgy food from some parts of the UK and from abroad.

    The intention is to undermine Scottish food produced to a higher standard – much like the ‘Red Tractor label’ was introduced to undermine Organic Certification by creating confusion in the minds of consumers. The Red Tractor label did not raise standards, merely promoted bog standard food as something ‘special and better’ which it wasn’t.

    Filthy rich capitalists are calling the shots here and are taking the consumers for mugs!

  111. Achnababan says:

    Stuart Mackay @ 10.32

    Spot on!

  112. Stuart MacKay says:


    I was sort of the same opinion. That it was a culmination of several events, #metoo, etc. rather than a concerted attempt to eliminate Salmond. However I realise that’s completely wrong. The clincher for me was all the redactions highlighted here by the Rev. There are simply too many threads criss-crossing each other for it not to be an orchestrated conspiracy. It may have gotten out of control but it’s abundantly clear that Salmond was seen as a threat and every stop was removed to get rid of him.

    Whether MI5 is involved, is in sense immaterial. The scope of the conspiracy is too vast and the rot in government is so extensive that only significant jail time for all of those involved will start to repair the damage.

  113. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Achnababan re ‘She stupidly fell into their trap – the trap set possibly by MI6 who may or may not be controlling at least one of those advisors.’

    Alex Salmond offered NS the opportunity to deal with the complaint in a formal, legal manner – by Arbitration.

    She had a duty to treat Alex, or indeed any other person, scrupulously fairly. And she should have gone to the wall batting for that to happen.

    Instead she bent over backwards in the other direction, arranged for laws to be re-written to take effect Retrospectively – in the area of employment/harassment laws – for someone who was no longer a member of staff.

    Not with standing that – as a lawyer – and in view of Westminster’s advice (that the new laws were shit, unworkable, and blatantly unjust – paraphrasing) – and they would not be touching it with a bargepole.

    This goes way beyond hubris, over confidence, and incompetence – although those things are well on display.

  114. Achnababan says:

    Stuart Mackay above

    Ok but 2 points:

    Lesley Evans is the only person to have the time, resources and power to orchestrate the conspiracy not NS.

    NS is guilty and must resign because she knew of, and supported the conspiracy.

    But why did she do this when all the advice she had was that the Law Courts would expose her and most likely find against her?

    This is madness but who was stoking her madness? She/he is the real enemy of the country.

    That simply does not make sense for any normal politician. But perhaps we are not dealing with normal.

  115. Achnababan says:

    Absolutely right Daisy, absolutely!!

  116. Dunadd says:

    Soon be time to “take back control” of our waters, (including those stolen in 1999).

  117. Strathy says:

    Andrew F at 1.36am.

    Very interesting information from a Barrister.

    We have learned from the document that, if they had been able to, the Scottish Government would have lied to/concealed vital information from the Court.

    The only thing that stopped them was their Counsel’s adherence to their own professional standards.

    Interesting to hear that Sturgeon may be seeking an international role that will require the utmost probity.

    Not a cat in hell’s.

  118. McDuff says:

    More sterling work rev.
    What I can’t understand is the SG is obviously hiding something and yet they seem to be getting away with it.
    I still don’t understand why Sturgeon has changed into this evil individual who seems to be consumed my so much hate for AS and contempt for Indy supporters.

  119. Grouse Beater says:

    “Roddy Dunlop as senior … eminent advocate … his successful work on a high-profile case of recent years, on behalf of … Kezia Dugdale.”

    For the record, if worth little, I thought Dunlop’s work on behalf of Dugdale, shoddy in the extreme. It relied almost entirely on him depicting you as a vindictive, nasty and unscrupulous person’. He didn’t understand someone could be like him, a seeker of truth whose job entails not caring what people think of him.

  120. Liz says:

    Thanks for all your hard work this depressing year, Rev.

    I haven’t commented much recently, my service provider has been acting up.

    I see WM has betrayed the seed potato farmers, no surprise there.
    Nicola’s response, a Christmas message.
    She becomes more like a reality TV celeb daily.

    It’s hard not to get depressed but…. onwards.

  121. Skip_NC says:

    Breeks at 9:57am, President Trump can pardon or commute sentences up to 11:59am on January 20th, as long as it is for federal crimes. He has already announced at least two lists of pardons on separate days. Ford’s pardon of Nixon set a precedent of pardoning for crimes that may have been committed but not charged.

    Of course, a Twitter announcement is not the same as something he signs and seals.

  122. Lorna Campbell says:

    It always seemed untenable that no legal advice was sought, so it was also always tenable that the advice was ignored. If the advice was given, and it appears so, and it was spelled out that the case was sunk, why the hell did the SG carry on wasting public money on a non-starter? This is not a one-off because so much since has shown that intransigence and a sense of absolute entitlement were, and are, evident.

    If counsel threatened to walk, we can be sure that the case was impossible to save, and also, that the clients would have been informed of that situation. This is where it becomes inexplicable except as a deliberate series of actions thereafter to ensure that Mr Salmond was in the firing line. Was the civil service out of control? Did they have quite another agenda in mind other than nailing Mr Salmond (or, should that be, as well as nailing Mr Salmond)? The only other agenda that springs to mind is the one that damages independence.

    The questions remain: how much did the SNP hierarchy/administration know?; why was the civil service left, ostensibly, to run the government during this time? and where were the brakes, and the oversight, that required to be put on to bring this juggernaut to a halt before it went as far as the criminal case? Or was the criminal case the last chance saloon to get this done, but it all went pear-shaped? I have a feeling you are going to get there before the review, Rev.

  123. 1971Thistle says:

    @Strathy @ 11H09

    “Interesting to hear that Sturgeon may be seeking an international role that will require the utmost probity. Not a cat in hell’s.”

    Think Christine Lagarde; her dodgy record never held her back

  124. Polly says:

    @ Stuart MacKay

    ‘It may have gotten out of control but it’s abundantly clear that Salmond was seen as a threat and every stop was removed to get rid of him.’

    Indeed. It was only the previous summer Salmond had been on the Fringe, then news headlines that same November of his RT show and the proposal for him becoming involved in the takeover of the Scotsman. He was making himself a very visible and hostile force against the UK government.

    @ Daisy Walker

    ‘This goes way beyond hubris, over confidence, and incompetence – although those things are well on display.’

    Indeed and very well said as usual, though I think some of the forces who involved themselves are/were primarily happy it is leading to blame and tarnishing the Scottish government.

  125. Bob Mack says:

    Much to do today preparing to see one of my daughters and granddaughters for the first time since February.

    I may not lost over the next day or two, but I could not enjoy Xmas properly without thanking all the contributors on the site for what they do.

    We are the ones fighting for a country with principles and standards. We want decency in our governance and are not prepared to shut up to appease others. Let it remain so.


    Thanks for everything. Merry Xmas wherever you bring in the day. My gratitude is boundless. Journalism has earned a bad reputation over the years, and deservedly so.

    This does not apply to you. Yku are a seeker of truth who is always measured, rational and evidence based at whatever ckst to yourself.

    Believe me when I tell you that we owe you a great debt far beyond financing your research. We could never repay in mere money what you have expended in time ,effort, and mental stress for a great cause.

    Merry Xmas.

  126. Polly says:

    @ 1971Thistle

    ‘Think Christine Lagarde; her dodgy record never held her back’

    Indeed it didn’t. Also perhaps relevant the way she got the job. Dominic Strauss-Kahn’s fall from grace and public humiliation in US to keep him from catching a plane. Many believed conspiracy at the time and some things were suspicious. There was also the fact his phone went missing before his televised arrest and pictures of him in handcuffs. The attempted rape charges were later dropped by the prosecutors when the reappraised the witness statements. Perhaps there’s a precedent there?

  127. Stuart MacKay says:


    Nothing really makes sense. It’s next to impossible to avoid getting caught up in the emotion of the events, particularly since it seems like so much fiddling while Scotland burns.

    Everything that gets reported is just an interpretation of what really happened. Everybody has a position or angle even if it is just subconscious. It’s best to step back and try to form your own opinion and not accept everything at face value.

    In any case, whether there was a conspiracy or not, is not so important. There is significant damage to the reputation and function of the government, the police and the courts as a result of this. It’s going to take quite a bit of work to repair it. I’d like to see some visible steps to restore confidence and trust in the institutions of power. Jail is about as clear a signal as you can get. Scurrying off to the UN, an institution about as corrupt as FIFA, is not an option.

  128. 1971Thistle says:

    @Polly @11h49

    DSK was an easy target; he had plenty of skeletons in the closet; the French way was to ignore/tolerate such things.

    I think DSK was set up; man brought down by sex scandal – who’d a thunk it? – but the plan was conceived an executed by smarter folk than we have here (as well as being a plan that was likely to work).

  129. Polly says:

    @ Bob Mack at 11.34am

    Well said. A very merry Christmas to Stuart especially and to all here. Take care Stuart, your honesty and even handedness with friend and foe alike is invaluable and appreciated by fellow truth seekers as Bob says.

    I hope you all have a peaceful and happy Christmas and that we all have a better new year than at present seems possible. May all our wishes come true.

  130. Polly says:

    @ 1971Thistle

    ‘but the plan was conceived an executed by smarter folk than we have here (as well as being a plan that was likely to work)’

    Yes true about skeletons and about execution of the two plans, at least on the surface. But our ‘conspiracy’ if it was that might possibly be better in one way since it had the advantage of attacking the two birds with one stone tactic. It hit either one or the other of Scottish independence, or possibly did enough to damage both. There may have been method in some of the madness, not some of the alphabet women obviously, but behind or above the scenes, if not centre stage.

  131. Jack says:

    Releasing a document with bits redacted is a bit like complying with a search warrant but not allowing access to the part of the building where the stolen goods actually are.

  132. Calum says:


  133. Daisy Walker says:

    Well said Bob Mack.

    It’s been a difficult year, and 2021 is unlikely to be any less challenging.

    For the most part, folks are just trying to do their best according to how they see it.

    Peace and love, as a wise man once said.

  134. Robert Graham says:

    totally o/t
    Anyone tempted to order anything from Light in a box DONT they are con artists
    A bit like the management of the SNP trading under false pretences

  135. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    My shaver from Light In A Box arrived yesterday…

  136. David Ferguson says:


    Very best case for DSK he was brought down by his own irredeemable stupidity.

    1. He looks like a repulsive old toad.
    2. She was a hotel cleaner.
    3. He claimed that consensual sex had taken place.

    If you looked like a repulsive old toad and a cleaner came in to clean your hotel room and was instantly overcome with such overwhelmng feelings of lust for you that she simply had to have sex with you right there and then, would you or would you not think there might be something rather suspect going on…

    Answer if you’re DSK: “Nope. It all makes perfect sense. Go for it!”

  137. Robert graham says:

    Who would have thought it

    Spitfires and a quick rerun of WW2,

    All Curtesy of the BBC

    And the announcement of Bawjaws victory will be timed exactly to suit the News Cycle and give him the widest possible audience

    Don’t look closely at anything he says he has achieved because it will fall apart at the slightest examination like everything that the Tories promises

    And Briandoonthetoon best of luck with your purchase eh stand back before you plug it in , a quick check on Trustpilot gives a totally different experience by a lot of very disappointed customers I guess you have been a lucky one

  138. Nally Anders says:

    Well said Bob Mack @ 11.20. I agree with every word.
    Thanks to everyone here today with some superb posts.
    We perhaps should remember that Nixon was not impeached for bugging Watergate, he was impeached for the cover up.
    In the AS stitch up, whether the architect or a willing dupe it’s clear NS climbed aboard a juggernaut and can’t get off. A car crash awaits. Let’s hope our wish for Independence is not collateral damage.
    Best wishes to all for the coming year.

  139. Republicofscotland says:

    An excellent article from Richard Walker, pointing out that we’ve never been in a union, and that without independence England with its majority (population and Parliament) will continue to call the shots where Scotland is concerned.

  140. Patsy Millar says:

    @Robert Graham – totally agree about Lightinthebox; sent for a Christmas jumper what arrived was nothing like the photo and shoddy to boot. As for their complaints dept. useless. It was all I needed on top of the doom and gloom re Covid and indy2!

  141. Republicofscotland says:

    Well STV sold Scotland out years ago carrying just about all of England’s content now, in their eyes we’re still North Britain.

    To add insult to injury if by chance you want so watch an old Scottish progamme, for there’s certainly no new ones that I know about, you have do as STV says and go to their STV Player.

    Scottish history and culture is almost but eroded completely from our terrestrial channels.

  142. Graham King says:

    Thanks for your further investigation, and to commenters too for their inputs. I generally learn things here, even if I do not agree with every comment, and would far rather be informed of facts (however unwelcome) than be ignorant! Hail Alba and here’s to you all in 2021.

  143. Republicofscotland says:

    “NICOLA Sturgeon has slammed a “disastrous Brexit outcome” after it was reported that a multi-million-pound Scottish export has been excluded from a trade deal between the UK and EU.”

    Christ Sturgeon you had four f*cking years to do something about this clusterf*ck, you did nothing to get us out of this “union” instead you bitched and moaned about Brexit. Now the shits hitting the fan yet again and you want to lay the blame at Johnson’s door knowing fine well this was the most likely outcome.

    Stand aside and let someone who really cares about Scotland and its people grab the reins and take us to independence, you treacherous b*stard.

  144. Ottomanboi says:

    This is an interesting item of whimsy.
    Perhaps Scotland might lay claim to the ancient counties of northern England that were formerly Scottish and have been ill-served by Westminster rule?
    The logical consequence of an independent Scotland ought to be the application of the principle of subsidiarity to the maximizing of local and regional autonomy.

  145. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    Aye 100% @ Republicofscotland says at 2:50 pm

    Hopefully her Twitter feed (and Bullshitter Blackfords) are filling up with comments similar to yours about their absolute dereliction of duty the the Sovereign People of Scotland!

    We BTL all knew this was coming, if the SNP didn’t (and didn’t even plan for it as a contingency) they are either fucking useless or complicit!

  146. Willie says:

    Yah boo, news is the Yookay has taken back control of its borders, its laws, its immigration and it’s fishing waters.

    Von der Leyen however speaking just now at 3.00 and sounds a different view from what the yookay appear to be suggesting. Prepare for Bullshit from Boris and the boys trying to spin this as success.

  147. Willie says:

    Boris has just issued a picture of himself with two thumbs up saying ….the deal is done ‘

    Oh this has has a mell to it and now at 15.09 the Sell Out Queen has issued to say it’s against “ Scotland Will “ . No shit eh Nicola. Success eh!

  148. Famous15 says:

    I have no dog in the fight. I am not a member of the SNP. I have held the life long view that Scotland must be independent and must reject the Treaty of Union as it is breached daily.

    We are big enough,rich enough and wise enough.

    That wisdom is now being called upon.

    Let us do this.

    Independence though normal, is now imperative.

  149. Dan says:

    @ ROS

    Surely if the FM is now pure ragin’ about the negatives of “brexit”, that would be due to her finally realising that the terms of said “brexit” are now known to her as shit!

    So with the terms now openly known as pish, maybe, jist maybe she could facilitate Scotland having that choice to determine oor future we were to have…

  150. Willie says:

    The “ deal has delivered EVERYTHING “ promised to the British people back in 2016.

    Sounds to fuck like the RN will be letting off a couple of Trident nuclear missiles in a two rocket salute.

  151. Saffron Robe says:

    I agree with other commentators that the IMB will induce a race to the bottom. Surely we want our products and produce to be a mark of quality? This will only be possible with independence. Whatever is branded under the Union Flag will become (if it is not already) a mark of poor quality and low standards. I have noticed there is already a move towards removing Scottish branding. I’m sure I’ve seen a couple of adverts for Scotch whisky which do not even mention the words “Scotch” or “Scotland” or show a Saltire.

    Along with others I’d also like to wish Stuart all the best at this time of the year and thank him for all his hard work and for providing a forum where we can debate and express ourselves freely. We may not always agree, but I think everyone here hopes for a better tomorrow and a brighter future for our nation.

  152. Willie says:

    Just listened to Von Der Leyen making it quite clear the EU is 450 million whereas the UK is not and if the UK does not play by the rules then there will be sanctions on the U.K.

    She also said that the EU operates from a position of might that the UK doesn’t have.

    Wonder if Westminster will have a bust up again because it sounds like it ain’t no deal that the Brexiteers wanted. Me I’m looking for the big yellow bus with the daily satchel of £350m for the NHS.

    Oven ready deal, more like the oven ready turkey!

  153. Famous15 says:

    Savour this from Madame President EU.

    “The UK is a third country”

    Rightly taking the pish out of les Anglese.

  154. Kenny says:

    The jailing of Alex Salmond had one main aim.

    What is he most identified with? Taking Scotland to the point of independence.

    The jailing of Salmond was designed to bury the idea of Scottish independence by forever associating it with the idea of a man who preyed on women.

    Remember the newspaper stories next to pictures of the Yorkshire Ripper and mass murderers?

    That is what you would have got during the next indyref if Salmond had been found guilty and jailed.

    The person behind the attempted jailing of Salmond wanted that. Many people think: surely someone who would win indyref2 for Scotland would never want for anything ever again?

    But there is a greater prize. The rewards for burying Scottish independence. Can you imagine what that means to HM Treasury?

  155. Gerry Parker says:

    What an asset you are to Scotland Stu. Have a good time over the festive season.
    Best wishes also to all wingers especially Tartan Tory, The Man in The Jar, Silvertay, x sticks and The PNR, Patrician and others too numerous to mention.

  156. Robert graham says:

    Just a coincidence
    Bawjaws makes his victory speel on the BBC
    Behind him the cross of st George the English Flag prominently displayed
    Aye just a bloody coincidence eh
    That’s yer jingoistic English Government on full display
    Just wait till we put you in your rightful place under our English boots
    Anyone know anyone who admitted to voting NO in 2014 I haven’t met one yet if I do I will remind them that this mess is their fault it’s all down to them , they own the whole bloody shitstorm

  157. Effijy says:

    Sky News banner advises that the Brexit deal delivers
    everything that the government promised.

    For some reason I can’t see the extra £350 million per week
    for the NHS when Covid is other.
    Do the former Empire nations know that are being colonised again?

    Now Patel can stop all these nasty Doctors and Nurses from foreign
    nations coming here and saving lives.

    Scotland has had its maritime waters stolen, its oil, its fish, its democracy
    and it’s Sovereignty!

    I can’t see or hear the majority independence parties in Holyrood
    Attacking and defending for Scotland?

  158. ben madigan says:

    here’s a chart illustrating the EU-UK Deal

    Best wishes to the Rev and all Wingers for a safe and Happy Christmas

  159. Robert graham says:

    Every single clip of Bawjaws victory speech on utube it doesn’t matter what channel they all have the ability to comment removed
    Aye yet another bloody coincidence eh
    Utube has removed comments on Bawjaws performance
    Bloody police state

  160. Sensibledave says:

    …. I think the news of a “deal” is big problem for all the opposition parties. Boris has done what he said he would do and got the sort of deal that most leavers wanted. Meanwhile, the snp has indeed allowed Scotland to leave the Eu against its will, whilst Labour and the limp dims have been left looking stupid and inept.

    For regulars here, you now have to convince floaters to leave a Union that has a Tariff free, quota free deal with the EU – to having no deal with the Eu and being independent from the U.K.

    Things just got harder I think.

  161. ahundredthidiot says:

    Skip NC

    and that’s probably the one thing (these pardons) that tells me he knows he’s leaving the WH.

    He certainly set new records for the loser though, what was he?, 12 million votes up on last time (maybe around 18%) and won Florida and won Ohio – and still lost. And Biden made the record books too for winning the least amount of Counties, just over 500 (17%) compared to Trumps circa 2500…..(if that doesn’t raise eyebrows for someone who got the most votes ever, I don’t know what will)

    But hey, you’ve President Harris to look forward to.

  162. Republicofscotland says:

    Dan @3.15pm


    This God awful deal for Scotland, which Sturgeon surely must’ve known would happen, is a propaganda dream for her, she’ll now bleat tirelessly to Scots that its all Johnson’s fault, until next years elections, (If they go ahead and I have serious doubts that they will), when infact she could’ve done something about it for Scots.

    She should’ve organised and held an indyref between 2016 and now she didn’t instead she chose to set up Salmond, and give the okay to very unpopular policies such as the GRA and Self-Id bill, the Hate Crime bill, and go after anyone (Craig Murray, Mark Hirst) who pointed out her machinations along the way.

    Its not Johnson that’s f*cked us, we know what to expect from him, no its Sturgeon, she’ll do more damage to Scotland than any Tory PM ever could by keeping us in this horrendous onesided union.

  163. Skip_NC says:

    ahundredthidiot, I am not looking forward to President Harris. Biden’s presidency is a stopgap. Four years hence, I hope someone in the mould of John Kasich will step forward so that moderate voters who despise the authoritarian bent of the Democratic Party will have someone to vote for.

    Anyway, that’s by the by. Today, there are matters of importance to the people of Scotland that should be discussed on a blog devoted to (mainly) Scottish politics.

  164. Republicofscotland says:

    Jockanese windtalker.

    I hope that she and Blackford get pelters on social media, people need to realise that we’re in this terrible position not because of what Johnson has done, we know what to expect from him. No we’re in this very precarious position because of what Sturgeon hasn’t done.

    She’s had four years to hold an indyref to stop this but instead she chose to go down the finger pointing route, and now we must face the consequences of her very poor leadership.

  165. Liz says:

    All the SNP politicos who are kerping quiet, we know a lot read WoS, when Sturgeon gets her UN job, she will drop all of you like a hot potato and leave you to clear up the mess.

    So, even for the sake of saving your own careers, you need to stand up for Scotland and stop covering for her.

  166. Fireproofjim says:

    An awful deal, which will leave us worse off, but taking the long view……
    The main plank of the No campaign in 2014 was that an independent Scotland would be kicked out of the EU. They can’t use that now and the tone from Europe is that Scotland would be welcomed back.
    The U.K.,which would then be just England and Wales, has a trade agreement with the EU so Scotland in Europe would benefit from that, and the argument that “75% of your trade is with England” becomes meaningless as we are now in the same trade deal.
    Also Europe would support us as they did with Ireland.
    All in all this could be good for Independence.

  167. Sensibledave says:


    May I suggest you watch the recent interview (on YouTube) between Andrew Wilson and Andrew Neil. The Eu may well welcome back Scotland, but not until it resolves currency and deficit issues … which will take up to 10 years. 10 years outside the EU and the U.K.? That’s a tough sell to the Scottish electorate. …. given the propaganda that has been spouted about the “economic disaster” of not being in the EU?

  168. A Person says:

    For me the meanest, most squalid part of this deal is the refusal to participate in the Erasmus programme for young people. Pure spite and poverty of spirit. Says it all. Anyone who thinks this will be a boon for the union is onto plums.

    Merry Christmas to Rev Stu, Scotland’s real opposition, and the crazy people who comment on here- most of you have our country’s interests at heart! Let’s hope 2021 is a better year than 2020!

  169. Cenchos says:

    A Christmas Carol Stave 5. The End of It.

    Boris awoke, and the bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!

    `I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.’ Boris repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. `The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob, Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this. I say it on my knees, old Jacob, on my knees.’

    His hands were busy with his garments all this time; turning them inside out, putting them on upside down, tearing them, mislaying them, making them parties to every kind of extravagance.

    ‘Ah wait’, said Boris. ‘I still can’t dress properly. Shouldn’t that have changed? ‘

    Frowning, Boris looked out into the wintry Christmas morning, but instead of a bright and hopeful dawn, the fog was, if such were possible, thicker even than that of the night before. The lights from across the narrow street were dimmed by the blinding fog, the murderous fog which sought to choke-off the very life-breath from the few passers-by who shambled past his bedroom window.

    ‘Oh what have I done?’ cried Boris in his new-found freedom. ‘God Help us, every one!’

    And from the depths of his dwelling, he heard the clanking of slowly advancing chains.

  170. Republicofscotland says:

    SensibleDave @4.53pm.

    I recall reading that current EU members already run a deficit.

    There were eight EU-27 Member States, namely Latvia, Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Italy, Belgium, Hungary and Spain, that recorded deficits in 2019 that were smaller than 3.0 % of GDP. Two EU-27 Member States had deficit equal to or higher than 3.0 % of GDP: France (-3.0 %) and Romania (-4.4 %).,%25%29%20and%20Romania%20%28-4.4%20%25%29%2C%20%28see%20Figure%201%29.

    AS for a Scottish currency, if Sturgeon was serious about Scottish independence which she isn’t she’d have had some sort of plan in place by now, which didn’t include Sterlingisation.

  171. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Sensibledave.

    Please explain this “deficit” that an independent Scotland would have.

  172. Beaker says:

    On the deal, I’m a but perplexed about seed potatoes. I know what they are, but I cannot recall Sturgeon or Blackford ever promoting them. It was always bloody fish. Blackford’s response was always going to be the same, no matter what the outcome of the talks was.

    Doesn’t surprise me that a deal of sorts was reached. The ending of Erasmus is worrying, however I’ll leave judgement on that until we see what the new Turing scheme brings. Those on their courses will be allowed to end them, so I would expect Turing to be implemented next year.

  173. Sensibledave says:

    Republicofscotland and Brian

    I have not said it can’t be done. I haven’t said that it isn’t a valid political stance. I haven’t said Scots won’t vote for it.

    I did say it just got a whole lot harder.

    As a layman , I keep making the huge mistake of overestimating the nous of the opposition party leaders. All of them.

    I assume that they have fantastically intelligent teams that “game out” scenarios. We do this, they do that .. then we do this … and so on. But it would appear not. They are just dumb!

    Just watched Starmer dancing on the head of pin. Pathetic. He has got absolutely every strategic call totally wrong. Which brings us to the SNP. They have one more shot at indyref2 or the subject truly will be dead for a generation. There is not a chance in hell that Sturgeon (or anyone else) in power is going to be pushing for indyref 2 next year. Their only hope is that Brexit is indeed an economic disaster. That is a very feint hope.

  174. Robert Hughes says:

    Seasonal best wishes to you Stuart and all the BTL contributors , for telling the uncomfortable truths and putting integrity before expedience. Have a peaceful Christmas and a good New Year everyone

  175. Republicofscotland says:

    Beaker re fish, Sturgeon has always kowtowed to the landed gentry, she even has one of their gatekeepers Higgins on her pay role, so it would come as no surprise to me if she pointed out regularly the importance of fish in Scotland, and in the process playing the hand for the bourgeois and upper classes in Scotland with regards to fish.

    Only a few meg rich families in Scotland control the majority of fish quotas. This highlights the scams they get up to.

  176. robertknight says:

    Looking forward to Scotland taking back control of our laws and our destiny.


    Forgot Sturgeon is in charge.

    As you were…

  177. Daisy Walker says:

    Beaker – re seed potato industry.

    Scotland – being cooler in temperature – has better crop health than England (less bugs)- for this reason they have an extensive industry in producing stock seed potato for export.

    England grows crop potatoes, if they were to keep replanting this stock, over and over, crop yield drops dramatically due to increased disease within the crops. So, they are not licensed to grow Seed Potatoe Stock.

    Over the last 20 years Scotland has been instrumental in exporting this know how to some the Eastern European countries. (Which, with the benefit of hindsight, might not have been quite the thing to do – but it coincided with some of our Farmers, buying farm land over there, and even leading to some of the highly trained ‘tractor drivers’ working here and abroad). They really are highly trained – modern tractor machinery is highly technical these days – so I’m not being sarcastic in any way.

    The growing of seed potatoes, quality control/inspections, breeding of new types of potatoes, research in to the health of potatoes – Scotland has been internationally leading the way for decades now. It’s a multi million pound industry for Scotland, including the University Science part of it.

    The selling of it – affects English farmers not one whit.

    Tayside and Angus – really big areas for Seed Potato industry. I’m sure Cosy Feet and Sweinney will be along, any minute now, with some fighting talk.

    Am I right in thinking that WM is being recalled so that MP’s can vote on this Brexshit deal. I know what our SNP MP’s now have to do. Question is, will they.

  178. Daisy Walker says:

    Just out of interest – if you were one of the No Voting Farmers from 2014… with your Tory banners in the fields – now looking quite literally at loosing the family farm, and business you’ve spent 30 years building up….

    Why would you suddenly vote for the SNP and Indy, if all they are about to do is capitulate, and beg for one more Mandate.

    They might vote for Indy and the SNP out of necessity – but they sure as hell aren’t going to if all the SNP offer is big talk and no trousers.

    NS said, ‘not till the terms of Brexit are known’ That would be now Nicla – and its shit.

  179. Beaker says:

    @Daisy Walker says:
    24 December, 2020 at 5:40 pm
    “Beaker – re seed potato industry.”
    Thanks for clarifying. I thought potatoes would be valuable (I used to grow them as a teenager!).

    Oh well, it’s almost Christmas. Let’s hope that Santa is wearing full PPE, has had his vaccination and is observing social distancing. There may be a problem however, since after he leaves the UK he may not be allowed into a few countries…

  180. Ronald Fraser says:

    English bastard Johnson gives news conference surrounded by four stinkin english flags.

    And where is that prick Blackford???

    Hiding under his bed???

  181. Stuart MacKay says:


    I’m waiting for the emergence of a right-wing, independence party. That will be the sign that the Union is dead in the water and the penny has finally dropped with the more conservative elements that sacrificing themselves for the greater good of England really is not in their best interests.

    @everybody else

    With a few exceptions, the discussion here over the past few weeks has been excellent. There’s a lot more detail in the comments and there’s a decent range of opinion as well. Above all else thanks to the Rev. This really is a lonely furrow to plough and an immense amount of work. It’s deeply appreciated and I think we’d be utterly lost without you. Thanks also to Chris Cairns – you’re insightful and a master of your craft.

    A Merry Christmas to all.

  182. Ronald Fraser says:

    And where is the woman who has been on our screens every day of the week to cover Covid19???

    Why is Sturgeon not at the podium telling the world Scotland will now go full steam ahead towards Independence by holding an Independence referendum in September 2021.

  183. Ronald Fraser says:

    My hatred for all things english has just gone through the fuckin roof.

    The bastards!!!

    Sturgeon,,,ya fuckin dud,,,get us out of this fuckin mess,,, Pronto, ya fuckin imposter.

  184. Dan says:

    Defo lookin’ forward to oor Queen’s speech the morra. Hope she thinks very carefully about what she says…

    But as Scotland is getting robbed yet again she’ll probably jist go full on gansta and drop a Crimbo Rap (C-rap) on us.

  185. PacMan says:

    Stuart MacKay says: 24 December, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    I’m waiting for the emergence of a right-wing, independence party.

    I thought there already was one?

  186. PacMan says:

    Now in the coming days we will know what Brexit will truly be like and the SNP going into overdrive about being taken out of Europe, imagine if Johnson actually throw them the gauntlet and handed them a S30 for a referendum?

    I can imagine the paper tigers at SNP HQ will be ordering reams of toilet paper for days afterwards.

  187. Terry says:

    Thanks Stu – you have again championed the cause most courageously and with fearless journalism – always in support of Scottish independence. For calling out st Nicola of Assisi you’ve got pelters from the wheesht for indy crowd. But good for you – its the TRUTH!

    A return of Alex in the new Year? Here’s hoping – cos Nicola is a dead loss – nae, worse.

    Happy Christmas to all the excellent posters on here.


  188. Derek says:

    @Skip_NC says:
    24 December, 2020 at 4:23 pm

    I am not looking forward to President Harris.

    The thought struck me recently that at some point you may have the chance of President Ocasio-Cortez, maybe in 2 or 3 elections’ time. Any opinions?

  189. Iain More says:

    I wish you all a happy new year when it comes, knowing that we are now all fucked because of Sturgeon and her lamentable leadership. The Yoons will of course sell their souls and grannies if they haven’t already done so, so fuck them.

    As for Xmas = Bah Humbug!Today I am reminded of all those Farmers, Fishermen, Foreigners and Academics alike that voted Naw in 2014 = hell mend the lot of them.

  190. Iain More says:

    A Person says:
    24 December, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    For me the meanest, most squalid part of this deal is the refusal to participate in the Erasmus programme for young people. Pure spite and poverty of spirit. Says it all. Anyone who thinks this will be a boon for the union is onto plums.


    Our universities were hot beds of Naw buggery in 2014. Hell mend them. Yeee reaps what you sow!!!! Nearly every fuckin academic I knew voted Naw in 2014. Their sinecures are on the line now. The big business model that is education in Britannia is now collapsing. Well ha bloody ha, they can rot in hell as far as I am concerned.

  191. Republicofscotland says:

    Meaningless drive, on the piss poor Brexit deal from Johnson’s lapdog in Scotland Douglas Ross. This excuse for a man doesn’t give a monkey’s about Scots or Scotland.

  192. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Stuart MacKay says:
    24 December, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    I’m waiting for the emergence of a right-wing, independence party. That will be the sign that the Union is dead in the water ‘

    I’m basing my reply on what happened re Thatcher/Devolution. By the time all the arguments had been won, over and over, all who cared, had no more stomach to repeat…

    And at that time, it was not so much the ‘great right wing’… more a great lumpen mass of complacent, and by that time, even they realised.

    In this respect, if you judge it by gut instinct, our fellow yessers, who cling to the ‘st nicla’ narrative and spout a Scottish version of ‘but Scotland isn’t ready’.

    In that respect, they may be right.

    But, events mean, sometimes we do not get to choose. Sink or swim… or in Scotland’s case be forcibly drowned, or arrest the fuckers who would do that to you before they get near the water.

    We are about to get our house blown down, followed by an avalanche, followed by a hurricane. We stand a much better chance if we resist and fight back, while we actually have a house – to meet in, to make food, to plan.

  193. Saffron Robe says:

    I have been mulling over something Jockanese Wind Talker said regarding the Criminal Conduct Authorisation. Jockanese Wind Talker explained that:

    CCAs may be granted where necessary for a specified purpose:

    1. in the interests of national security

    2. for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime or of preventing disorder

    3. in the interests of the economic well-being of the UK

    The third point is obviously to try to stop independence, but independence would be economically advantageous to Scotland whilst being economically disadvantageous to England. Therefore could it not be argued that the “UK” cannot be defined as a whole in terms of “economic well-being” because it is comprised of two historically separate nations – Scotland and England? The UK is really a pan-national, or more correctly, a dual-national state and not a mono-national (or one nation) state. What is good for one may not necessarily be good for the other and, in this (economic) context, surely they cannot be considered together (or defined) as the UK?

    It could even be argued as regards point one, in the interests of whose national security, Scotland’s or England’s?

  194. Skip_NC says:

    Derek @ 7:04pm, AOC is smart – there is no doubt about that. However, I do not think she has the political maturity to be at the head of the executive branch yet. I do think she has the capacity to grow into it though.

    You observe that she may have a chance in two or three cycles’ time. That is probably a fair assessment. However, she will be thirty-five years old on October 13, 2024 so she could, in theory, run next time. I think it is unlikely though.

    I can certainly see her running in 2028 or 2032. However, it is a long time since anyone has gone from House of Representatives to the Presidency. Normally, it is a Governor or US Senator. Both US Senators from New York are not that old (Chuck Schumer is 70 and Kirsten Gillibrand is 54). Clearly, Donald Trump broke a lot of norms, including having no political experience, so maybe there is a chance for someone who is a good orator and who has some experience in Washington.

  195. robertknight says:

    Ronald Fraser

    Some people hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We on the other hand are governed by wankers.

    The English at least have a government that does their bidding, looks out for their interests and isn’t afraid or ashamed to do so.

    The English can sleep in the knowledge that their government will do whatever it takes, and shaft whomsoever they must, in order to look after their people.

    Scotland, on the other hand…

    What sort of “government” does Scotland have?

    Is it the fault of the English that the “government” of Scotland couldn’t drag itself away from the gender woo-woo madness, the hate speech nonsense, the Salmond cover-up, to actually stand up and fight for Scotland, as Westminster fights for England?

    I think your ire is directed at the wrong ‘scapegoat’ Ronald. Open your eyes and you’ll see Scotland’s problems lie much, much closer to home.

    Sadly, history shows us that it was ever thus…

  196. TJenny says:

    Stu, a very Merry Christmas to you and a heartfelt thanks for all you do. If only we had you leading us, Oh, how different things would be. (Or even as a govt adviser, as they definitely need someone to put a squib up their arse).

    A big THANKS to Chris Cairns too, for his excellent cartoons and best wishes to all Wingers.

    Do we think that if Angus Robertson wins in Ed Central in May, Nicola will hand over the reins and side step ino the UN or somesuch?

    With dodgy Angus in charge, (or worse his even dodgier wife wielding the power behind the throne a la Carrie S), that would be Scotland out of the frying pan and into the fire. 🙁

    We need our govt to be standing up for Scotland and NOW IS THE TIME.

  197. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Merry Christmas Stu and all on here.

    Next year will be a good one don’t ya think.

  198. Boaby says:

    Sadly I think Santa bojo knows the union is pretty much secure with the aid of his little helpers here in scotland.

  199. Daisy Walker says:

    i’ve not long read Craig Murray’s latest article.

    ‘A Deal was always going to be broker because of . a, b, c…’

    And there is good chance his reasoning is right.

    Would have been really very useful to the Yes cause if he had shared those A, B’s n C’s before now.

    Dear Craig, You hold those cards close to the chest, and people will absolutely start thinking you’re a grifter, no better than the current bunch elected, looking for the main chance

    You are better than that. Why keep that info quiet until now?

  200. dramfineday says:

    The day approaches…….may I wish you and yours the compliments of the season from my family to yours, irrespective of your politics or beliefs.

  201. Gfaetheblock says:


    95% of seed potato sales are unaffected. Not great news to lose 5% of a market, but I am unclear how you see families losing their businesses over this.

    48 % of seed potatoes go to England, so if indy scot was in EU,then the market would be net 43% smaller. So are you against independence because of seed potatoes?

  202. 100%Yes says:

    4 and half years since our neighbor decided to leave the EU and take the Scots along as prisoners with them out of the EU. I can’t recall how many times I’ve heard over the 4yrs these words “a vote for the SNP is a vote for Independence” and today’s topic from our Great leader who’s still hiding as health Minister seed potato aren’t we in a sorry state of affairs and what do we have to look forward to in 2021 seed potato’s, “A vote for the SNP is a vote for seed potato’s” thank god I joined the ISP.

  203. MaggieC says:

    This is just to wish Rev Stuart and everyone else on here a Merry Christmas and Best Wishes . Take care and stay safe .

  204. Famous15 says:

    Ronald Fraser? “Seed of the Gael”

    If you do not think like me I wull kick you in the balls.

    Win your heart and mind? I’ll tear your heart out and club you to death with your aorta.

    An see if you are A English bastird,well fuck of.

    See how good I am at Public relations ! I am a genius with the bigliest brain in the universe..

    The rest of the peoples of Scotland see a clear message to win independence but bow to the virtues of Ronald Fraser arsehole superior.

    Independence is normal.

  205. Daisy Walker says:

    Gfaetheblock says:
    24 December, 2020 at 9:23 pm

    48 % of seed potatoes go to England, so if indy scot was in EU,then the market would be net 43% smaller. So are you against independence because of seed potatoes?’

    So, a decision made by England, for England, is ‘only’ going to be detrimental to Scottish see Potato Market by 43%

    And you think, I’m against Indy?! I did not have all the figures, when I posted, other than detrimental to Scotlands’ Seed tattle industry (like what England doesn’t have)… and somehow You translate that into, I’m against Indy? Seriously go and fuck yourself and put holly on top of it. With a berry on top. Merry Brexit.

    Ho ho ho – ‘only’ 43% detrimental to a Scottish Industry. so, not quite half way’s but almost half ways decimated… so, that’s OK then. NOT!


  206. Grey gull says:

    Time for me to wish all fellow Wingers a Merry Christmas. Struggle a bit with Christmas as my father was a man who called it an English holiday. Anyway, as the late, great fiddle player, Angus Grant, said “Be kind to strangers” And you are all strangers in a way but also fellow travellers on the road to independence. Hope you enjoy tomorrow.

  207. Boaby says:

    Stu, have a merry xmas and a happy new year.

  208. Daisy Walker says:

    Just found out that Alex Duncan died in Sept 2020. A verify piper and nephew of Gordon Duncan.

    All the way gutted. He was a nurse by profession, notwithstanding his talents as a pper. only 26.

    The Sleeping Tune never seemed more apt.

    Hamsh Hendrson had the heart of it.

    The piper is weirie, the piper is fey
    He will na’ come doon fir his vino the day…

    So fair weill ye banks o Sicily, fair ye weil, ye valley n shaw
    There’s nae Jock’ll morn the Kyles oh yeh
    Pair bliddy squaddies are weirie.

  209. Gfaetheblock says:


    Chill and read the post

    Brexit deal kills 5 % of the market

    Independence in Eu would kill net 43% of the market, the 48% we export to England that we could no longer do, minus the 5% we would get back from the eu27.

    Or put another way, independence is 9x worse for the seed potato export market than brexit.

    So, what I was asking was, is the seed potato market more important to you than independence?

    Merry xmas

  210. Dan says:

    I note the red cross on the single internal energy market.

    Wonder how that will play out with approximately 10% of GB Grid supply usually coming from EU countries. Currently France (6.5%) and Belgium (3.2%), Dutch has been offline for a good while now but usually was similar to Belgium amount.

  211. Ronald Fraser says:

    Gfaetheblock 11.03

    Scotland would continue to trade with the Englanders.

    Why would Scotland want to stop trading with our nearest neighbour???

    What you are quoting is sooooo 2014.

    And an independent Scotland would export MORE to engerland.

    Are you an Englander???

  212. Fireproofjim says:

    I dot see any logic in your argument that England will kill 48% of the seed tattie market if Scotland is in the EU.
    The EU has a free trade deal with the U.K. therefore Scotland in the EU will have a free trade deal with England.
    England wants our tatties. No problem.

  213. Ronald Fraser says:


    Independence is normal,,,but as you have been told on numerous occasions,,, you are not.

    Now you little insignificant Sturgeonista,,,fuck off back to the Wee Gingerbread Man’s website.

    Ginger Duggers are barred from entering Wings Over Scotland.

    This site is for real men and women, who are up for a fight.

    Unlike you and your snowflake cronies.

  214. Effijy says:

    You need to recognise that an independent Scotland would continue to
    Trade with England. They need oil,fish, crops, beef, water, renewable energy, shell fish,
    whisky, timber, Ski Slopes they can drive to, etc.

    They need what we have and they will bluff and puff before signing.

    They will but what is the difference if Sovereignty is everything,
    If taking full control of your economy, laws and borders is vital.
    If being able to trade with all nations freely was good for England
    why would it be worse for Scotland.

    To be rid of the rancid corruption of Tory Westminster and the not a clue
    abstention party formerly know as Labour would be worth other loses.

    62 nations have already expelled the English Colonists from their country
    and have no regrets.
    Norway, Belgium and Finland demanded their independence from other nations
    and are doing very well for themselves.

    Look at all the former Russian satellite nations all flourishing and happy
    with a long desired self determination.

    Do you say our wealth of resources and talents make Scotland the only
    nation on the planet that could manage their own country?

  215. Gfaetheblock says:

    If Scotland was indy in EU, we would be bound by EU / rUK trade agreements. We would want to trade with England, they are our biggest trade partner, but we would not be in control of this.

    Brexit is a terrible idea, but it is also really poor for the independence argument

  216. Daisy Walker says:

    @Gfaetheblock says:
    24 December, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    Great deal of sleight of hand G. A %5 drop in the market (your figures) is a 5% drop in the Scottish market because England does not trade in Seed Potatoes.

    Well done you for thinking that is in any way good for Scotland, considering its a multi million pound industry. Not the normal slant on economics.

    Well done too for assuming the if Scotland stays in the EU, and England leaves (but negotiates some form of trading deal – which would include Scotland… obviously) just out of spite, they will punish us and not trade at all… What with all that electricity WE EXPORT TO THEM, oh yes, and OIL and GAS.

    So, what they going to do, sit round a candle? They can chose not to buy whiskey.. different story when it comes to energy. Ya Fanny.

    I don’t care to crunch your numbers, right from the most basic start, Scotland Seed Tattie industry – built up to International repute – over 50 years, is down 5% – your figures.

    THAT’S BAD. Opposite of GOOD.

    I’m glad to take your advice about being ‘chilled’. Sadly no amount of ‘advice’ will ever cure WANKER.

    Feel free to away n shove a Christmas tree up yir arse. Ho ho ho.

  217. ScotsRenewables says:

    Ronald Fraser says:
    24 December, 2020 at 11:18 pm
    Now you little insignificant Sturgeonista,,,fuck off back to the Wee Gingerbread Man’s website.

    Ginger Duggers are barred from entering Wings Over Scotland.

    This site is for real men and women, who are up for a fight.

    Are you speaking for Stu? Or just vomiting random bile?

  218. Fireproofjim says:

    Well, at 11.45 may I wish all Wingers and of course the inimitable STUART CAMPBELL a happy festive season.

  219. Ronald Fraser says:


    Did you really need to post that???

    Always ask yourself that.

    You can spot the Sturgeon diehards a mile away.

  220. Effijy says:

    Norway has an EU membership they pay for but they
    don’t get a seat or a say in new EU legislation.

    Does Bojo’s deal mean the UK pays a large membership fee for free trade?
    Does the UK still have a £40 Billion divorce settlement?

  221. Gfaetheblock says:


    I never said that it was good for Scotland, please read the posts and tell me where you saw that., I was just trying to understand where you got your assertion that people were losing their farms over this (which you haven’t answered so I will assume you just made this up) and to have a conversation about the economic impact of differing trade arrangements.

    Not my figures, the scot gov Brexit impact figures, that show England is the key market here, page 19 for ref

    Nighty night.

  222. ScotsRenewables says:

    Ronald Fraser says:
    24 December, 2020 at 11:50 pm

    Did you really need to post that???

    Always ask yourself that.

    You don’t do irony, do you?

  223. ScotsRenewables says:

    Merry Christmas everyone, let’s hope it’s the last as a subjugated country.

  224. Hatuey says:

    When May slapped Sturgeon down in 2017 with her “now is not the time” insult, we were told that we’d be allowed a referendum when people knew what Brexit amounted to. The logic of the argument was that voters in Scotland would deserve to know what was on the table first. Sturgeon went along with that. Everybody went along with that.

    But that was before they devoted themselves to destroying Salmond and the disastrous General Election of that year. Everything went very strange around then. Everything changed.

    We will most likely never know the truth but I think everything above is connected. There’s something missing though, something we don’t see. I don’t think party infighting spurred by the terrible election results fully explains it.

    But it’s our job to look forward, not back. We have a lot going for us too, more than ever in a way. Sturgeon has definitely muddied the waters but Brexit and Coronavirus are hugely compelling arguments for independence – in both cases our country is being exposed to massive harm and the UK Union ties our hands in terms of being to respond, defend our economy, and protect our people.

    No amount of cleverly crafted lies and propaganda can disguise all that. It is not a matter of opinion that thousands of Scots have needlessly died, it’s a matter of fact. It’s not a matter of opinion that Brexit has harmed our economy and living standards, it’s a fact.

    Things might need to get worse before they get better, that happens sometimes, but all those things that make things worse are only going to bolster the argument for independence further. With a new leader, it should be very straightforward.

    Refusing us a Section 30, when you think about it, is an invitation to pursue independence by other means. Their refusal is a dismissal of the rules and if the rules are dismissed then we can’t be held to them.

    Sturgeon has made independence seem impossible but it isn’t.

  225. John says:

    The next part comes under “SUMMARY OF COUNSEL’S ADVICE”.

    That’s quite interesting.

    It suggests that the SG is prepping for a challenge on the basis that this issue had been resolved already back at the time (2013). That’s why they say “…though not a member of the SG staff in 2013…”

    They are saying that Judith Mckinnon is a new set of eyes. She wasn’t around in 2013, ergo she “have had no prior involvement”. They then create a massive Red Herring. Judith McKinnon was here to take a look at Alex Salmond “in the context of the Me Too Movement”

    That’s to take the eye away from how they simply assert that issue 1 is resolved in the negative.
    That is that her “involvement in discussions” does not count as “prior involvement”.
    Such Jesuitic sophistry permitted the SG to frustrate Salmond for another two months until the end of December 2018.

    I suspect that MsA is the drunken cuddle on a bed. They were forcing the poor woman to re-imagine that incident not with a boozy Alex Salmond, an essentially kind man, and whose apology was given and accepted, but with a predatory Harvey Weinstein. All very Dani Garavelli.

    Nicola Richarda told us Ms A didn’t want to go to the police. She was used as a red herring, by women who hate women.

  226. Ronald Fraser says:


    Did you really need to post that again by???

    Always ask yourself that.

    You can spot the Sturgeon diehards a mile away.

  227. Alf Baird says:

    Hatuey @ 12.05

    “Refusing us a Section 30, when you think about it, is an invitation to pursue independence by other means.”

    That is absolutely correct, and an imperative. Scots must revert to a majority of Scottish MP’s = independence. The ‘gold standard’ nonsense of a S.30 is a total red herring, no other colony in history ever required or sought a S.30 for its independence. Scotland is being hung out to dry by Governor General Sturgeon and the SNP elite with their ‘gold standard’ drivel.

  228. Liz g says:

    Merry Christmas to the Rev and all the Wingers , hopefully our last in this accursed Union 🙂

  229. MaggieC says:

    Hatuey @ 12.05 am ,

    You wrote “ When May slapped Sturgeon down in 2017 with her “now is not the time” insult “

    It wasn’t T May who used the words “ now is not the time “ is was N Sturgeon that used them in her letter to T May ,

    From the Section 30 letter from N Sturgeon to T May in 2017 ,

    “ I am therefore writing to begin early discussions between our governments to agree an Order under section 30 of the Scotland Act 1998 that would enable a referendum to be legislated for by the Scottish Parliament. I have, of course, noted and carefully considered your public position. However, it seems that we are in agreement on the essential matters.

    For example we agree that now is not the time for a referendum.

    You confirmed to me on Monday, and repeated in your letter invoking Article 50, that you intend the terms of both the UK’s exit from the EU and of a future trade deal to be agreed before March 2019 and in time for ratification by other member states – in other words, between the autumn of next year and the spring of 2019. As you are aware, this is the timescale endorsed by the Scottish Parliament for a referendum. “

    So N Sturgeon never asked for a section 30 order , it was only to begin discussions about the section 30 ,

    And her letter to B Johnson in 2019 from the Scotsman ,

    “ Nicola Sturgeon’s letter to Boris Johnson requesting a section 30 order to hold a second Scottish referendum has been published. “

    And from the letter ,

    “ I said on Tuesday that I would be publishing the detailed democratic case for the transfer of power from Westminster to the Scottish Parliament, now being sought by the Scottish Government, by order under section 30 of the Scotland Act or an Act of the UK Parliament, to allow for an independence referendum that is beyond legal challenge.

    “ I am enclosing a copy of that document. “

    Link to the Scotsman ,

    Where N Sturgeon wrote “ I am enclosing a copy of that document “

    That document has never been published by the Scottish Government .

  230. Hatuey says:

    Alf, it’s even worse than you suggest and more simple in a way. The fact is we tacitly agreed to play by the section 30 rules. In doing so, as you point out, we did what no other country was asked to do. We tried to be reasonable, in other words, and dedicated ourselves to playing by their disadvantageous rules.

    They reneged on that arrangement when they said “no” to the first request for a section 30. At that point the section 30 game was declared over.

    There was a moment back then when we could have demanded a referendum or threatened a constitutional crisis – right in the middle of the Brexit carnage when Sterling was tumbling every day. They would have given us our referendum back then just to shut us up.

    But Sturgeon is a rank amateur who can’t see past her own popularity ratings. We know that now. Every single issue and policy she has championed has resulted in ignominious failure. Every one. The Salmond scandal tells you everything you need to know about her priorities.

    You simply can’t support Sturgeon remaining as leader of the SNP and say you support independence; even if she wanted to deliver independence, and there’s very little evidence of that outside of her own sound bites, she’s just really bad at converting.

    I can rhyme off a dozen major areas of policy that she’s failed on, dramatically failed at that. Those who say they support her can’t point to one major area of policy that she has succeeded on. Not one.

  231. Hatuey says:

    MaggieC, I notice your first letter from Sturgeon to May isn’t dated. It’s clear from reading it that Sturgeon was trying to be clever and responding to May’s assertion that “now is not the time”. If you provide a date for that letter, I’m sure I can prove that and, that is to say, I’m sure you’ll see that May said it first.

    All spilled milk under the bridge now through.

  232. MaggieC says:

    Me @ 2.38 am ,

    This article from the bbc shows a copy of the letter from B Johnson to N Sturgeon refusing a section 30 order ,

    “ Scottish independence: Johnson rejects Sturgeon’s indyref2 demand
    14 January 2020 Scotland politics “

  233. Hatuey says:

    On the Brexit deal, none of our opinions matter. The opinion of those that have always been against Brexit more generally aren’t going to matter either.

    The opinions that matter are those stalwarts of the Brexit party, ERG, and right wing of the Tory party.

    And here’s the good news; they’re going to come out guns blazing in the next few days against this deal. These guys don’t want to bow to the EU on anything and so any deal is bound to be seen by them as a betrayal of Brexit.

    There’s a good chance that Boris will depend on Labour support to get this deal ratified. Can you imagine how angry they’d be with him if he needed that support?

    This isn’t over by a long shot.

  234. MaggieC says:

    Hatuey @ 3.06 am ,

    The date was the 31 st March 2017 from the Scottish Government link . I don’t know if T May said it first or not but as you say it’s all spilled milk under the bridge now

    I’m just so bloody angry that N Sturgeon and the Scottish Government have done absolutely nothing since the Brexit vote in 2016 in regaining our Independence since then and I say that as an Snp voter for 40 plus years .

  235. StuartM says:

    Are these redactions solely for us plebs or are the Committee also being denied the intact document? If I were on the Committee I’d be not only insisting on having an unredacted report but also copies of the actual legal opinions, not just whatever some third party thinks I should know. AFAIK no court would accept such evidence but would insist on being presented with the original documents. Why then should the SG expect a Parliamentary Committee to do so? Or are they still hiding behind the figleaf that the advice is protected by legal privilege? Surely lying and refusing to provide documents to a Parliamentary Committee constitutes Contempt of Parliament and punishable by jail?

    On a side topic, can any of the legal eagles here explain to me why what I assume to be a highly qualified and experienced barrister needs another barrister to assist them in court? Is this to help them carry the files or is it simply to milk the client of even more legal fees? If he needs someone to keep notes and give a second opinion surely the client’s solicitor who’s usually in court anyway can do that. And why in 2020 is the legal profession not only dressing up in the height of 18th Century fashion but using 18th Century English to boot? If you must wear wigs and gowns then at least go the whole hog and complete the farce by requiring tricorn hats, neckstocks, frilled jabots, knee breeches and buckled shoes. Oh and powder those wigs, wear a smallsword and maybe add a beauty spot to complete the image of a Georgian dandy. Or of course you could always take a bold leap forward into the 21st century and wear contemporary clothing and go bareheaded while speaking standard English.

  236. MaggieC says:

    Hatuey @ 3.21 am ,

    As you say labour will vote for this “ deal “ .

    From Keir Starmer on twitter ,

    Labour accepts this deal and we will vote for it.

    “ We must now build a better future for our country and make Britain the best place to grow up in and the best place to grow old in. “

    I think that it’s Wednesday that Westminster has been recalled to debate “the deal” but they also have forgotten that it’ll only take one country in the EU to veto the deal . It would be great if Ireland stuck two fingers up to Westminster and said that they weren’t happy with the deal . LOL

  237. TJenny says:

    StuartM – I agree with every word of that, also, why is justice so expensive? Well out of the reach of mere mortals. Thank goodness today we have crowdfunders.

    Merry Christmas to you.

  238. Hatuey says:

    Thanks for that Starmer quote, MaggieC… I’ve been avoiding the news lately.

    I think we can expect the Brexit fireworks to start on Boxing Day. Nigel will probably be the first to kick off.

  239. Hatuey says:

    Correction! Nigel is backing it and declaring the war over.


  240. Robert Louis says:

    Ok Nicola, we now know the sh*te brexit deal, we know the date, 1/1/21. Their is no more excuse for your provarication and dithering.

    Scotland is in real peril. This is not just a political argument for debate, but an actual reality.

    You and and your many, many do-nothing, lazy, MP’s, MSP’s and councillors. Collectively, you were elected to secure independence and keep Scotland in the EU. It was in your freaking manifesto.

    You do not need another mandate. May 2021 is way too late. On 1st January 2021, state your government’s intention to secure Scotland’s place in the EU and that since the treaty of union has now been unilaterally been breached by Westminster, it is null and void.

    No other country would tolerate what is being done to Scotland for one second. Not one. But more to the point, no supposedly pro-independence leader of such a country, would not still be sitting on their backside, tweeting about their fav books of 2020, instead of saving their people, economy and country from wanton destruction at the hands of England.

    Do something, for f***’s sake. For goodness sake, DO SOMETHING!

  241. Robert Louis says:

    Oh, and especially for Nicola, to quote a line from Alex Salmond, when he slapped down libdem wee jobby, Nicol Stephen in the parliament, “Happy Christmas”. Said with feeling, in case you are unsure.

    Maybe somebody else can find the relevant video (I couldn’t)

  242. Ruglonian says:

    Merry Christmas to all Wingers, especially Stu and Chris who’ve spoiled us rotten again with another year of exceptional posts.

    Hope you all have a peaceful day.

  243. StuartM says:

    I notice some commenters are still spouting the usual nonsense about the”Yoons”, MI5, Westminster etc etc being behind the plot to frame Salmond. Wake up people! The conspiracy was hatched wholely in Scotland at the top levels of the SNP Government. The beneficiaries of smearing Salmond were firstly Nicola Sturgeon who undoubtedly saw AS as a rival for her position, and secondly those SNP insiders who hoped to be parachuted into a safe Holyrood seat and knew they had no chance against him or who knew they would get ousted from their well-paid sinecures if he regained leadership of the SNP. Peter Murrell had thus 2 reasons to oppose Alex’s return to Holyrood, as well as many of NS’s inner circle. Some of Alex’s accusers seem to be motivated by payback for real or imagined slights, such as the one who Alex declined to support for a Holyrood seat in preference to a more qualified local candidate.

    Yes the Unionist media were more than happy to cheer on the destruction of Salmond – see Craig’s statement that as soon as Alex’s barrister got up to present the defence case the MSM journalists all closed their notebooks. The MSM outlets reported every accusation by the prosecution in salacious detail while reporting not one of the defence witnesses’ evidence, no doubt because they didn’t record it in the first place. Is it any wonder that most of the public believes Alex was guilty but “got off” on some technicality or other?

    IMO Leslie Evans was up to her neck in the conspiracy but not the prime mover. She is a creation of Nicola Sturgeon who not only gave her the job but also renewed her contract after her failures costing the taxpayer half a million might reasonably have required her resignation. (To ensure she kept shtum about Sturgeon’s role in the affair?) Sturgeon is the one who stood to benefit, LE was pleasing the boss to hold on to her job, which as far as I can see she wasn’t qualified for in the first place given her failures in her previous positions.

  244. Ronald Fraser says:

    Even Johnson said yesterday that his critics told him he couldn’t handle both Covid19 AND Brexit simultaneously.

    He said he proved them all wrong by delivering Brexit and staying on top of Covid19.

    Now if an english clown like johnson can do two things at the same time, then surely the leader of the Scottish National Party can equal, if not better him.

    My point is that Sturgeon’s claim that she must put all constitutional politics to one side until Covid is defeated is just more Sturgeon bullshit.

    Our hands are tied behind our backs.

    Pete Murrell is holding the gun to our head, while Sturgeon tightens the knot around our wrists.

    Sturgeon is a crook and a fraud,

    We can only hope a new leader can come out of the shadows in the very near future and take on the Murrell’s and these english clowns who are all denying us our Referendum.

    Sturgeon has tried to pacify the Yes Movement, she must not succeed.

    Robert Louis 6.56am, I feel your pain and frustration.

  245. McDuff says:

    Quite so. Other countries leaders seem to be getting on with other things during covid. NZ has held an election and two referendums during covid without any problems.
    The reality is that the Murrells are sly but not very bright and I would have serious misgivings about Sturgeon handling separation negotiations with England.
    She HAS to go.

  246. Astonished says:

    Merry Xmas to all.

    Robert Louis et al . I agree . Sturgeon must go.

  247. Mac says:

    Aye Merry Christmas to all.

    Keep up the fight.

  248. dandydons1903 says:

    Imelda Sturgeon and her wee fat husband and all the gender woo freaks……..removed now!!!!!!

  249. StuartM says:

    One further thought. Three reasons why Nicola Sturgeon isn’t keen on pushing for independence:
    1) If she pushes for an Indy2 referendum and it fails she’d probably have to resign
    2) If Indy2 did win the process of setting up all the institutions required for independence – central bank, foreign affairs, defence etc – is a lot of work and carries the risk of stuff-ups which could again threaten her position
    3) Probably most important, the opposition parties would be re-energised by no longer having the millstone of their English siblings round their necks. Having achieved its raison d’etre of independence the SNP could well see the right and leftwing elements of its MPs, membership and voters defect to the other parties and politics revert to a traditional right-left divide. Nicola finds herself leader (or not) of an insignificant fringe party.
    Choose one or all of the above.

    I reckon Nicola is quite happy with the current situation and finds the prospect of an independence referendum too risky. Whereas Alex Salmond would retire quite happy having achieved independence as his political legacy, Nicola wants another 20 years of a political career.

  250. @ StuartM at 11.29am:

    Scotland’s independence is INFINITELY more important than Nicola Sturgeon’s position! If Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t understand that, then she has no business leading the SNP.

  251. StuartM says:

    @MichaelLaing at 11:34am


  252. Mia says:

    “The conspiracy was hatched wholely in Scotland at the top levels of the SNP Government”

    I doubt it. There are simply too many actors involved in this smear campaign against Mr Salmond for it to be just a SGov thing. They may be the main instigators, but not the only ones. They are getting help and a lot of it.

    When you look in retrospect, it is quite clear this smear campaign has been going through escalating stages involving more and more people each time, for it to be just a Sgov thing. The MSM, broadcasters, police, he CEO of the SNP himself with those whatsapp messages, the crown prosecution ?? appear directly or indirectly, voluntarily or not thrown into this and they are all most definitely not controlled by Sturgeon.

    I have come up with my own outrageous hypothesis after looking backwards to events, snippets of info read from the evidence submitted to the inquiry, watching the continuous attempts of Sturgeon’s gov to obfuscate the inquiry, the timelines reported by the MSM and of course the help of a generous amount of nice Christmas wine to “to clear up” the mind and make my tin foil hat work better.

    This hypothesis is based in gut instinct and a good dose of my own imagination.

    The summary of it is that colluding forces needed Mr Salmond to be out of Scotland’s politics. When he threatened to come back in 2017, a soft smear campaign or “humane” warning started to stop him (the airport nonsense and sudden interest by SKY news in a story 8 years old).

    When this did not work the smear escalated to the next stage – the complaints procedure extended to former ministers that are not covered by the ministerial code and therefore bonkers and totally impractical.

    When this new phase of the smearing got out of hand too (he launched a judicial review leaving them stuck on their own sht) and not only the man was not broke or broken but now they were forced to concede the case because their lawyers could no longer represent them, and to make matters worse, now parliament itself was demanding its own inquiry that could reveal breaches of the ministerial code, along comes the big guns in the smearing: the biggest police hunt in recent history in Scotland and beyond, and a criminal case built in such flimsy accusations that the waste of taxpayers’ money and legal brains’ time is hardly justifiable in the eyes of anybody apart from the accusers.

    It is my opinion that the criminal case aimed at three things:

    1. first and foremost to delay if not collapse that parliamentary inquiry for as long as possible – I guess if Mr Salmond had been declared guilty of at least one of the charges, the complaints procedure would be justified and the parliamentary inquiry abandoned.

    2. to protect the damning evidence and identities of the instigators and their helpers. In other words, to airbrush their tracks

    3. To break Mr Salmond economically and psychologically making him completely unelectable, compliant and fed up of politics.

    So far they have failed. But their desperate fight to protect the evidence continues.

    For some time, the idea in my head that there has been a concerted effort from different actors with colluding interests in removing Mr Salmond not just from front line politics, but from public life altogether has been forming. This concerted effort has become, in my view, too obvious to not notice since the 9th November 2017, the day RT announced Mr Salmond’s new programme.

    Prior to that and for reasons on which you can only speculate, there were some quarters interested in keeping Mr Salmond out of Scotland’s politics by whatever means necessary. I am of the opinion that elements of the Sgov and SNP are not the nationalists they claim to be and have been acting on behalf of the interests of the British state all along. For those, and those that saw Mr Salmond as a threat to their premiere and sinecures, his return to front line politics may have been seen as appealing as a bucket of cold sick.

    However, the minute his programme was announced in RT, some colonial powers here and abroad saw the antichrist reincarnated. When this pro independence, intelligent, influential, admired, outspoken and disinhibited man when it came to politics dared to use as his platform a broadcaster that happily shows two fingers to the unionist and pro USA and pro-Israel narrative imposed by Westminter and that other broadcasters in the UK follow as gospel, the earth almost stop spinning.

    It is my opinion that at that point, all the above interests and the colonial ones relying on the status quo suddenly colluded on one point: he had to be removed from politics, and from our TVs.

    I think if you look back in time you can see a progressive scalation of measures (should we interpret them as warnings?) that culminated in the outrageous waste of taxpayers’ money that was the criminal court case.

    Mad as it may sounds, I do not believe Mr Salmond just lost his seat in 2017 because in just two years people started hating him. I am of the opinion that there was already then an active, concerted effort to push him out of Scottish politics, so brexit could go ahead and more importantly, the theft of powers and assets from Scotland could be finalised without this thorn in the colonial arse of Westminster.

    And that concerted effort, in my view, involved elements from inside the SNP. Why do I say this? Because, looking retrospectively and judging by their total inaction, it suited them to use the “losing” of big guns like Mr Salmond in the election as an excuse to park aside indyref indefinitely, to preserve the union and help England by not interfering in the imposition of brexit over Scotland and the theft of its assets.

    I may be wrong, but I do not think that if Mr Salmond had been in the HoC all this time the English establishment would have had such an easy ride robbing our powers, assets and rights as they have had with their poodle Sturgeon.

    I still remember like today Mr Salmond standing up at every opportunity reminding Mundell and the rest in the HoC that the powers should be coming from Brussels to Scotland in full, because that is the convention and that was what the Scotland Act implied. I do not remember a single time Westminster’s poodle Sturgeon defending our powers and assets with even half of the fervor he used. The only thing I remember, with utter disgust is how she surrendered our popular sovereignty on 31st january 2020 and rushed to kneel in front the English convention of WEstminster sovereignty so she could force the need of S30 over us and justify her doing nothing to stop the power grab.

    I am sure I am not the only one that saw the GE2017 as a massive con exercise whose only aim was to thin down the SNP in preparation for brexit. And they succeeded on that. My fear is the SNP were on it to their eyebrows.

    The cynical in me has also convinced herself while wearing the tin foil hat that the parachuting of Robertson to the Edinburgh seat after deliberately and undemocratically blocking Cherry was a reward for his services when he lost (gave up willingly?) for a better cause his seat in 2017. This is of course just speculation but I am of the opinion that Mr Salmond was always the target of that election, and Robertson was thrown in for good measure to distract the electorate and make it look like it was not personal, simply that the electorate did no longer like Mr Salmond. Then, of course, miraculously, in 2019 when Mr Salmond is nowhere to be seen because he has been thrown in bogus court cases, along comes the SNP and recovers the seat, yeah right…it stinks.

    If it is true what is published out there, Mr Salmond expressed an interest in coming back to politics in 2017 around the time a lot of noise was being made about Mark McDonald having to resign due to what seemed like an innocent mistake. And what happened? Immediately and miraculously, a nonsensical, blown out of proportion issue in an airport involving Mr Salmond suddenly resurfaces after 8 years and grabs the attention of SKY news!
    Gosh, SKY must have been really desperate for news at the time when somebody who was no longer in politics became all the sudden so darn interesting that even matters that happened 8 years before would make the front pages.

    In some of the evidence submitted to the parliamentary inquiry it was stated that it was precisely on the same day that Mr McDonald gave up his ministerial job (4 Nov 2017) that Lloyd “found out” about SKY news being interested in the airport thingy. Amazing (and convenient) coincidence one would think. Convenient if you needed to disuade Mr Salmond from returning to politics and you are so naive to think a man like Salmond is just going to turn round and walk away.

    Apparently, from some reports in the news, it was also Lloyd who told Mr McDonald he had to give up his ministerial job. Amazing the level of political power a mere civil servant like this one seemingly has.

    In a magnificent turn of events, on the 7th November, Nicola Sturgeon dismissed the idea of McDonald having to resign his seat (heaven forbid Salmond could take it), claiming “Some may well have thought it was not serious enough to resign for.”
    Hypocrite as usual: “some, but not me”.

    I guess by then the powers that be moving Sturgeon’s strings thought it would be better to keep an innocuous Mr McDonald on the seat than the horrifying prospect of seeing fox Mr Salmond waltzing in the chicken coop.

    It is remarkable that such a silly thing about the airport and at a time when there was so much crap going on in UK politics to fill the front pages several times over, suddenly it grabbed the attention of so many people. So far that I recall, Lloyd, Sturgeon, the SNP hierarchy, SKY news and of course Robertson mentioned this event. Blimey, everybody talking about an issue that had happened years ago? I am sure I am not the only one who wonders if they were trying to give it far more relevance than it actually had in order to smear Mr Salmond.

    What reason could Sturgeon or the SNP have to stop Mr Salmond, one of the most popular, astute and respected pro independence SNP politicians and her mentor, a unique force of nature that had put Sturgeon in power, from getting an MSP seat if not a collusion of interests with Westminster?

    It must be the Christmas wine I had, but I can’t think in any.

    Let’s now move to 2 days later, the 9th of November 2017. The moment hell almost froze. That is the day RT announced Mr Salmond’s programme. That day, every establishment minion and their dog went beserk, apoplectic even to the point of almost self-combusting. Every outlet of MSM announced the sacrilege of Mr Salmond running his programme “on a Russian propaganda mouthpiece” nothing less! Well, from where I am standing, what is the real difference between a Russian propaganda mouthpiece and a USA/Israel one? Not much I reckon.

    But what I found most bizarre was when on the 10th November, just one day after, even Sturgeon joined in the carnage against Mr Salmond because of his programme in RT.

    I remember wondering at the time, why on earth a Scottish Nationalist like Sturgeon, who should be desperate to break ranks from Westminster’s propaganda and pro-union controlled narrative could have such an issue with Mr Salmond’s programme in RT.

    Looking backwards, the conclusion I reached at the time was that either she was a poodle of the UK gov, she was licking the boots of USA establishment or she was just another opportunistic careerist that did not see the role of Scotland’s FM or the person who delivers its independence as her ultimate goal.

    I am now convinced that until Mr Salmond’s programme was announced on the 9th November 2017, keeping him out of politics and away from interfering on brexit “negotiations” and the theft of Scotland’s assets was the only aim.

    It is also my opinion that until that point, mild “warning tools” had been deployed against him, like taking his seat from him in 2017 or now a sudden interest from SkY for this airport nonsense. It remains to find out who actually tipped SKY News of this.

    But after his programme was released and looking at the time line, it seems to me that the urgency to remove him not just from politics, but from any form of public life became off the scale and so the smearing of his reputation started in earnest. I am convinced that this is the point where big colluding interests started to join forces.

    The cynical in me that is not ashamed to wear the tin foil hat every now and then, also wonders if the overinflated story of the norvichock nonsense blaming the russians and then the poodles from the SNP towing Westminster’s line condemning the russians when the evidence was flimsy to say the least, was not another opportunistic attempt to undermine Mr Salmond’s reputation in the eyes of the voters. Wasn’t at this time also that the massive hyperbole about RT went off the scale when they were saying that RT could be forced out of the UK airwaves by revoking their licence if Russia was found that had something to do with the poisoning? Well, this was only in March 2018, only four months after Mr Salmond’s first “controversial” programme was broadcast.

    From Mr Dangerfield’s blog, on 31st October 2017 Sturgeon and her cabinet requested a complaints procedure review. Here is the wonder if this was intended to oust Mr Mark McDonald, but that is for another day. If I remember correctly, from documents submitted to the parliamentary inquiry there is a letter dated 22 Nov 2017 that Somers was instructed to send to the Permanent Secretary on behalf of the FM.

    If I am not mistaken, it was in that letter that the FM made it clear to the Permanent Secretary that the complaints procedure should be retrospective and extensive to former ministers. “Time should not be a constraint” or something down those lines, the letter said.

    From the 8th November to the 22 there are only 2 weeks, so if you have your tinfoil hat on like me today, you could think well, they are moving fast to stitch him up. But that does not do justice to how fast they were moving in the opinion of my hat, because the 22 of Nov comes after Somers had already met with Mrs A twice, once on the 20th Nov and another time on the 21st, unbelievable close to when the subject of the policy changed. Let’s remember that at the time Mrs A met with Somers, the policy was not retrospective and Mr Salmond would not be covered by it. So one may ask, what exactly prompted Mrs A to contact or Somers to contact? or whoever was that made contact with Mrs A? Did she already know at the time of her meeting with Somers, and before the scope of the procedure had been changed, that she would be able to formally complain via the procedure?

    A cynical like me wonders if the change in the policy was done only after making sure there was at least a complaint that would be coming forward, but more importantly, after Mr Salmond had ignored the first warning shot of the sky nonsense and went to increase even more his profile on RT and worse, out of reach from Westminster’s “narrative guidelines and advice” for broadcasters.

    It would be interesting to know when was the first time MrS B made contact with somebody form Sgov/civil service. From the information submitted to the inquiry, in the messages between Nicola Richards and McKinnon (Phase2FN15(2)) dated 28 Nov 2017,it was obvious she had made contact before, but I am not sure if this was before the 22 of Nov 2017 or not.

    What is clear from the messages is that there had been contact with this person more than once and that both complainers were on board BEFORE the new complaints procedure had even been signed by Sturgeon.

    From a note that McKinnon sent to herself on the 8th December, it seems they already had an ideal scenario that involved having an interview (I am assuming this was with one of the complainers) before Xmas 2017 and with the other in January. It is remarkable they already had a plan of action when 8th December is as much as 12 days BEFORE the procedure had even been signed by the FM. They clearly were convinced the procedural change would be signed.

    I am of the opinion that the change in this complaints procedure to make it extensive to former ministers even when they were not covered by the ministerial code, was just to damage Mr Salmond’s reputation beyond the point of remaining electable and forcing him to leave RT (because RT may sack him as damage limitation, perhaps?).

    It is also my opinion that they would have reached their goal on 23 August 2018 if Mr Salmond just went quietly as they expected he would.

    But Mr Salmond pulled the rug from under their feet on 24th August 2018 by announcing he would request a judicial review of their botched process.

    The Scottish gov continued its bluff by claiming they would defend themselves vigorously, which to me means they would probably do a Dugdale making the case super-expensive to bankrupt him.

    Other big guns are brought in too to deter him from attempting the judicial review: on this same day and conveniently for the SGov, late in the day it is published that “Police Scotland has confirmed it is investigating two allegations of sexual harassment against Alex Salmond”

    Now the poor man has suddenly to fight on two fronts and the judicial inquiry is no longer the most important for him, as he does not risk prison on this one. It is the other one that is potentially much more costly and risky.

    Salmond, astute as he is, pulled the rug under their feet yet again by launching the crowdfunder that met its target in hours. I think this was the real turning point. It was clear at this point that a mere smear and vacuous threat would not do.

    It seems to me these idiots never planed or expected the case to ever make it to court, it was not designed for that, it was only a propaganda exercise to smear him and render him unelectable.

    I think this is the reason why the procedure was so botched, so rushed, so badly done without them covering their tracks leaving so much evidence behind. Hence, the frantic attempts that remain today and that are splashing even the deputy FM to stop that evidence reaching the parliamentary inquiry which is what they really fear and of course the aim to cover the arses of all the instigators and their helpers.

    It is my personal opinion that they knew on the 24th August 2018 they did not have a chance in hell to win the case unless more and more powerful and influential people were brought into the matter to force things in a particular direction. In other words, to mutate the judicial inquiry into something else to make him stop.

    Let’s not forget that all over this, the smears and innuendo continued and continued even after the criminal case ended and continue today. It is my opinion they are determined to destroy the man.

    It is my opinion that the Sgov embarked on the judicial review wasting taxpayers’ money to avoid losing face and also because they were confident that with the help of the continuous pumping of garbage by the MSM, the psychological pressure of knowing the police is actively looking for something to pin you down, and the threat of a criminal case the man would give up sooner.

    They obviously underestimated him and his popularity so they ended up reaching the embarrassing point where their own lawyers had to find themselves a backdoor to escape the embarrassment and protect their own reputation, leaving them after the 3 of January.
    I genuinely think they all expected him to run out of money or give up sooner than that. Remember the laywers’ letter regarding stopping on the 3rd January? “if by then the matter is not resolved”. There would only be another way for it to “be resolved” before the 3rd of January that was not Evans collapsing the review, and that would have been if Salmond would have collapsed the judicial review himself, which after what he was put under, another weaker man would have done.

    But his winning of the case brought another problem: the evidence, or at least some of it, was now on his hands too. So how to ensure that evidence remains under wraps and the names of the instigators protected?

    Criminal case here we come!

    Remember the letter from the lawyers?
    “This includes our next steps in relation to the complaints raised by Mrs A and Mrs B, which of course still sit with us for consideration” – are they referring here to the police complaints that were placed in September?

    Also from the lawyers’ letter:

    “We are also mindful of our duty of care to the complainers and to other members of staff who would be affected by the concession”

    What is the scope of this duty of care to members of staff “who would be affected by the concession”? Are we talking about advice on how to remain anonymous or how to protect that damning evidence that led them to collapse the case?

    Remember the infamous: “I have a plan so that we can remain anonymous but have maximum effect”?

    Well, here is my most outrageous yet tin foil hat thought: what are the odds that some of those instigators are now hiding like cowards behind anonymity as accusers and still having maximum effect in protecting the damning evidence because any questions the inquiry ask about them have to be measured to avoid revealing their identity as accusers, because any document of evidence released will have to be redacted to the point of almost becoming inteligible in order to remove their names and any reference to them (or anything that may pass for that, because who is checking?) or cannot be released at all?

    For the record, I have not a clue who Mrs A and B are, if they are some of the alphabet accusers for the criminal case or not and I do not know the identity of any of the alphabet accusers. I am so dumb that even with every clue out there, the wine and my tin foil hat on I could not work out who they are.

    There are other interesting points in the timeline:
    25 August 2018 –Mr Salmond complains that private information about the probe was released to the media. The Scottish government replies claiming the investigation was confidential – how it could possibly be confidential if the information reached the press?

    26 August 2018 – As a response to the accusation of leaking information, the muddying of the waters attempting to move responsibility away from the Sgov begins: on this day, Sturgeon tweets “the SNP has no legal basis at this time to suspend Alex Salmond’s membership”. What does the SNP have to do with this? Up to this point it was clearly just a government matter, and not even that because Mr Salmond was no longer in government and did no longer have to abide by any ministerial code. So what was the purpose of this remark if not some attempt to move some of the heat and attention from the Sgov into the SNP?

    29 August 2018 – Mr Salmond pulled the rug from under Sturgeon’s feet by resigning from the SNP, leaving it abundantly clear that this is not a party matter at all but a government matter. In addition, he launches a crowdfunding appeal. This was a turning point, I think that led the parasites to throw everything they had to the fire.

    8th January 2018 – Evans collapses the case and the infamous whatsapp group commences
    10th January 2018 – The Scottish conservatives call for a parliamentary inquiry
    14 January – Mr Salmond is accused by the FM “spokesperson” of an attempt to smear the FM (ah, the cheek)
    15 January – MSPs agree to have the parliamentary inquiry
    24 January – Mr Salmond charged with sexual assault and attempted rape.
    25 January – Murrell’s infamous whatsapp messages calling for pressure on the police to act.

    I think the threat of a parliamentary inquiry is what triggered the criminal court case, in order to stop it or delay it to the point it was less damaging (close to the Holyrood Election).

    It is because of this that I do not believe for a second this is just a Sgov matter. There are bigger players here. The Uk gov would not hesitate to have thrown Sturgeon and the rest of her coterie of worshippers under the bus at the minimum opportunity unless either Sturgeon and the Sgov have become the shields of somebody else more important for them or they are in fact, one of them.

    In light of the persistent obstruction from the Sgov to hand in the evidence, why haven’t they taken to the courts to force them to release it? Are the parliamentary inquiry committee directly or indirectly, willingly or not helping to delay the outcome of this inquiry too?

  253. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Excellent summing up Mia!

  254. StuartM says:

    @Mia wrote:
    ” There are simply too many actors involved in this smear campaign against Mr Salmond for it to be just a SGov thing. They may be the main instigators, but not the only ones. They are getting help and a lot of it.

    When you look in retrospect, it is quite clear this smear campaign has been going through escalating stages involving more and more people each time, for it to be just a Sgov thing. The MSM, broadcasters, police, he CEO of the SNP himself with those whatsapp messages, the crown prosecution ?? appear directly or indirectly, voluntarily or not thrown into this and they are all most definitely not controlled by Sturgeon.”

    Mia, I respectfully disagree. IIRC Craig Murray, who does know the identities of the Alphabet Sisters, (he was in court for their testimony) states that they are all part of NS’s inner circle. The CEO of the SNP is Sturgeon’s husband and would fall with her. The police and crown prosecution service report to members of Sturgeon’s cabinet. Resignations should have been demanded after the admission of malicious prosecution of the Rangers administrators but there have been none. Why is Sturgeon protecting the Lord Advocate and others responsible for that abuse of power and financial loss to the taxpayer? I’d submit that it is because it makes them beholden to Sturgeon for their continuing in their lucrative positions and thus prepared to collude in the stitchup of Salmond. If they’re ready to proceed with one malicious prosecution then why not another.

    As I said previously, the MSM and the unionists were more than happy to pile on AFTER the leaking of allegations against Alex and the subsequent court case. Given how he has been a figure of hate for them for years their glee at his anticipated downfall is not surprising. That doesn’t prove that they were part of the conspiracy.

    For me the most persuasive proof that the sexual assault allegations were tosh lies in the failure of a year-long police investigation to come up with anything other than the original tissue of lies from the Alphabet Sisters. 20-odd police officers engaged in a year-long fishing expedition – is that an appropriate use of police resources? Do you have a shortage of crime in Scotland? We know that lechers don’t just do it once or twice, they have long histories of trying it on with every woman they meet. Think of Bill Clinton, Donald Trump and Rolf Harris – their predatory habits were well-known in their circles if not initially to the public. A female commenter on one of the blogs wrote that she had been in charge of the VIP lounge at Edinburgh Airport and it was well-known among the female staff which of the VIPs would try it on. She never heard a bad word about Alex.

    I think that the police and CPS put so much effort into the fishing expedition precisely because they knew how flimsy the allegations of the Alphabet Sisters were and were hoping for something more substantial to turn up. When it didn’t they went ahead anyway despite knowing there was evidence the allegations were false. For example the police must have interviewed the witnesses at the photo sessions where Alex is alleged to have fondled one woman’s bottom but couldn’t find anyone to corroborate it. In the attempted rape allegation the defence was able to produce a witness to conclusively prove that the complainant wasn’t even present at Bute House on the day she alleged Alex attempted to rape her.

    The decision to proceed with such flimsy evidence must have been in the hope that the jury would be swayed by the prevailing hysteria about #MeToo to convict or at the very least smear Alex’s reputation irreversibly. That last objective they may well have achieved with the help of the MSM presstitutes who failed to report the defence witnesses who conclusively disproved the allegations. This leads the public to believe the allegations are true but Alex somehow “got off”. An example of the ongoing smears is an article I read on Holyrood Magazine’s website which stated “Salmond’s behaviour was undoubtedly dreadful but not criminal” – is this the dreadful behaviour that was proven NEVER TO HAVE OCCURRED? The jury plainly didn’t believe most of the Sisters by bringing in Not Guilty verdicts in all but one of the charges. The Not Proven verdict related to the “tipsy cuddle” incident which had been admitted and dealt with administratively years before. The jury clearly felt that while something happened it didn’t amount to sexual assault, but didn’t want to brand the complainant as a liar.

    Lastly, I was shocked to read on Wings and Dangerfield’s blog that even if you win a civil case you are not awarded reimbursement of your full legal costs by the court. This constitutes a serious barrier to defending your rights at civil law, not to mention that if you lose you become liable for the other side’s costs as well. Only the rich can afford to pursue or defend civil action, especially against well-funded government or corporate entities. As for criminal prosecution, the defendant isn’t entitled to reimbursement of legal costs at all no matter how spurious the charges against you, unless you can afford to fund yet another court case for malicious prosecution and hopefully win it. Truly under the current system you only get as much justice as you can afford to pay for.

  255. Spike says:

    Just seen this from Dimitry Orlov…..

    Russia just put up another firewall against the madness gripping the West. A new law will effectively block #MeToo by making it #MeTooInJailForLying. It reads:

    “Libel connected with accusing a person of committing a crime against sexual inviolability and sexual freedom of a person or a serious or very serious crime shall be fined up to 5 million rubles or imprisoned for up to 5 years.”


    Recently in the West numerous careers, reputations and lives have been ruined using unproved accusations of sexual impropriety. In Russia such accusations will now bring on an automatic criminal investigation and if the accusations cannot be proven to evidentiary standards used in criminal law then a large fine or a jail term will be imposed.

  256. Breeks says:

    Mia says:
    25 December, 2020 at 7:33 pm
    “The conspiracy was hatched wholely in Scotland at the top levels of the SNP Government”

    I doubt it. There are simply too many actors involved in this smear campaign against Mr Salmond for it to be just a SGov thing…..

    …….I have come up with my own outrageous hypothesis after looking backwards to events, snippets of info read from the evidence submitted to the inquiry….

    I don’t believe there is anything outrageous in that hypothesis Mia.

    There is without doubt something corrupt and rotten at the heart of the SNP, and that it is providing a beachhead for Establishment ‘forces’ to exert influence over Scotland’s Independence Campaign.

    Equally dangerous, (and even perhaps forming part of that subversion), is the prevailing attitude that Sturgeon is great and can do no wrong. When the stench of corruption is everywhere, you really have to wonder about those who can’t smell it.

    These people, the Pete Wishart types, are the “complications” preventing the surgical removal of a tumour.

    What an absolute mess.

    For my own part, it is only the emerging corruption that comes as news. I credit myself with being a vociferous and outspoken critic of Sturgeon from way back, when it wasn’t a popular theme to comment upon. For me, the watershed was 2016 when Sturgeon waltzed on past the constitutional ramifications of Brexit, and simultaneously surrendered ALL the initiative to Theresa May by arbitrarily dooming Scotland to political paralysis “until the final details of Brexit were known”.

    In hindsight, maybe criticising Sturgeon for Constitutional illiteracy and hopeless strategic ineptitude was giving her too much credit.

    The bottom line however, is that the SNP is compromised. People will of course vote with their consciences, but in it’s current form, the SNP is unelectable. Their “winning” is now synonymous with passive endorsement for half a decade of indolence and corruption, and a threadbare tapestry of lies about Scottish Independence.

    I’ll only be voting in May IF it’s a plebiscite election, and I can vote for an Independent Scotland. If that hasn’t happened, then I’ll be staying at home.

    Don’t imagine that’s Plan A however. “IF” the SNP had been on the ball since 2015, we’d have short circuited this bourach of corruption and secured Scottish Independence via a Constitutional route, and breached Articles of Union. That remains Plan A, but nobody will seize the initiative.

  257. Robert Louis says:

    Breeks at 0656am,

    Agree completely. Of course right now, the Scottish Government has one final opportunity. You see, the treaty of union has now been broken in big style (in legislation and international agreements with the EU) by the English government, and, Scotland is therefore by default perfectly able to simply walk away from it. Indeed, the treaty of union is now null and void. It is clear to the whole world, as to why.

    In addition, as England has now agreed its post-brexit deal, it means that an independendent Scotland back in the EU, would be able to continue trading with England, as N.Ireland and Ireland (and the rest of the EU will. In addition (and this is where the real power comes from), as an independent member of the EU, Scotland would be able to veto any further trade agreements between England and the EU – thereby giving the Scottish government an upper hand during the ‘divvying-up’ talks post independence from English colonial rule.

    The question is, will the Scottish Government act on this?? All the signs suggest they won’t do a damn thing. And that is the REAL betrayal of Scotland.

  258. Mia says:


    You make a compelling case. But Whitehall/UK cabinet are not stupid. They will have a cartel of minions working on their behalf and these are the ones that will take the rap. They will seek to avoid implicating the British state as much as they can. They would not be doing their job otherwise.

    Why do you think one of the people to be interviewed in the inquiry was allowed to get away with just a sound interview with no camera and after admitting she might get advice on her answers? I mean, anybody could be claiming to be this person or be with this person in the room telling her what to say. Where is the proof of identity?

    I will never be convinced this is just a Sgov matter because what I am convinced of and have been for sometime is that Sturgeon is working, directly or indirectly (in return for something for herself perhaps) for the British state and that forces me to look continuously beyond the SGov.

    That all the idiots up to their armpits on this leaving so much untied evidence are from Sturgeon’s circle I do not dispute for even a second. Perhaps it was designed like that to completely discredit the SNP should the case ever reached the court, which would explain Sturgeon’s sly attempts on 26 August 2018 to muddy the waters by suddenly trying to move the attention from the government into the SNP or even prior to any of this the enormous efforts by the MSM to make stick what they presented as a “civil war within the SNP”. But that these idiots who do not appear to be able to organise a pish in a brewery worked alone, I do not believe for a second.

    There are far too many people involved on this at so many levels to escape Whitehall’s attention unless they are deliberately looking the other way and as I said in my previous comment, this in my view was just a phase in what looked like a deliberate and orchestrated attempt to discredit Mr Salmond, something that had already started well before the 31st October, which is when this complaints procedure first idea came about (or so they wanted us to believe).

    Alarm bells should have been ringing in Whitehall since at least 17th November 2017 when taking the words from the Herald (17 July, article from Tom Gordon) “an unidentified person in the UK Cabinet Office emailed a senior official in the Scottish Government to say they felt “very uncomfortable to be highlighting a process for complaints about Ministers and former ministers”.

    Those alarm bells should have been, and perhaps had been raised by civil servants working in the Scottish government themselves. Yet, we are still to see the rest of body of that email sent by the UK cabinet, how did the UK cabinet knew this process was taking place, who contacted them first and when. May be that extract has been deliberately taken to make it look that Whitehall did not want anything to do with it. What if the rest of the email says something like : very uncomfortable if it ever reaches court because it will fall flat? What can be inferred from that email though is that the UK cabinet suspected at the very least, at that point, even before the process had been made extensive to former ministers, even before contact was established with the 2 complainers, that it had very few chances to succeed in court.

    17th November is just 3 days before Somers’ first meeting with Mrs A, and 9 days before, in line with Sturgeon’s letter of the 22 Nov 2017, the policy changed to be extended to former ministers. I would not be surprised if there are other emails back and forth to the UK cabinet prior to that one or interesting things in that email that have been omitted from the public eye and that encouraged the process to continue but do whatever it took to stop it reaching court, which is exactly what we have seen.

    Because, quite frankly, here we are expected to believe the UK cabinet office was aware this process was taking place and was “very uncomfortable” with it, yet it let it continue or the Sgov was so irresponsible that it continued it totally against the advice (again, maybe the attempt is here to deliberately portray the SNP gov as incompetent).

    Not just continue, mind, to actually defy the advise and accelerate, when civil servants were involved on it.

    Even more bizarrely, that did not stop civil servants in whitehall praising this botched complaints procedure that was about to be tested in court having no chances of success or the civil servants that drafted it and even demanding something similar for the UK gov!:

    “Opinion: Salmond case shows need for independent complaints procedure in Whitehall” – published in CSW world, 7 Sept 2018 by Amy Leversidge.

    Look at the date, 7th September 2018. This was a little bit over a week after the first report in the press that said the police had received information of allegations of sexual assault by Mr Salmond. At this point, Whitehall and the UK cabinet office knew what was going on and that case would probably not have a chance in hell of succeeding in court, yet, they were praising it and asking for a similar one for the UK gov? You got to laugh at it, though.

    Those civil servants work for the British state, not Scotland. If they really were appalled for what was happening, they would have been stopped it right on their tracks by walking away from it. Bizarrely, all those civil servants continued involved in it and now seem to be the victims of a sudden epidemic of amnesia every time they are called to declare in the parliamentary inquiry.
    Also, the level of intervention and control of civil servants in all the process is simply disturbing.

    Even at the beginning of the inquiry, the questions from the (pretend?) opposition (tories/labour/libdems) were directed to the meetings of Sturgeon with Salmond. They were focused on a perspective that attempted to present Sturgeon as if she was trying to protect Salmond, that when you see the whole picture is laughable.

    As far as I recall, at the beginning there were no real questions of the motives of the procedure or the reason to make the procedure extensive to former ministers that are no longer employees of the government and therefore no longer covered by the ministerial code. In my view, after that bit of the email from the UK cabinet that question should have been the first, second and last question every day. The next question, of course, should have been what exactly prompted Mrs A and Mrs B to contact the Scottish government/civil servants to inform them of something that happened, allegedly, in 2013 (for years before) when Mr Salmond was not even in politics any longer and when extending the policy to former ministers made the UK cabinet “very uncomfortable” and did not take place until the 22. The third question is of course who leaked the information to the press and why this had not been investigated yet.

    My gut feeling tells me this was just part of a planned smear against Mr Salmond that picked up pace after his joining RT and the complaints procedure was just another step in the process. A process that, in my view may include but that expands beyond Nicola Sturgeon’s government and civil servants attached.

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