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A matter above party

Posted on October 07, 2020 by

On 23rd March this year, after Alex Salmond was found not guilty of 13 criminal charges in the High Court, I called on the Scottish Government to set up a judge-led inquiry into the allegation that he had been the subject of a conspiracy involving the Scottish Government, which resulted in him being accused of criminal behaviour.

Today I am repeating my call for such an inquiry.

To be credible such an inquiry would need to be independent of politics and politicians. It should be presided over by a judge whose remit would be to establish the facts and decide if there had been a conspiracy, if so who were the participants and did they break the law.

The judge should have the resources and powers needed, with full access to all relevant documentation including papers protected by the court. The inquiry should also have the legal powers to call whichever witnesses it chooses.

The need for such an inquiry is becoming clearer every week, given that the present parliamentary inquiry is subject to two negative outcomes – failure to get the information it needs, and a damaging daily drip-feed of allegations, both of which are having a corrosive effect on public opinion and party morale.

This is a matter that rises above party. It is about conduct in the public sphere, and whether there has been an abuse of power. I hope my fellow MSPs right across the party spectrum will join with me in this call.

It is in the people’s interest to have this issue dealt with fairly and swiftly, in the hands of an experienced and impartial judge. Only an independent inquiry can do that.

.

Alex Neil is the SNP MSP for Airdrie & Shotts. 

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    96 to “A matter above party”

    1. Bob Mack says:

      Seconded.Make it sooner rather than later.

    2. Fionan says:

      Stu, should you make clear at the start that this was written by Alex Neil?

    3. ScottieDog says:

      It clearly states ‘Alex Neil’ at the top

    4. Patrick Roden says:

      100% agree.

      In fact, it has become clearer as time has gone on that a full enquiry that can’t be hindered or blocked by the very people who are possibly involved in the conspiracy, is essential to restore a lot of peoples confidence in the SNP, the police, and the Courts, because my cofidence has been shattered in all of the aforementioned groups.

      I know I’m not alone in these feelings.

    5. Mike d says:

      Those old shredders will be going flat out.

    6. Big Jock says:

      I think Murrell is disliked and often feared by many SNP MP’s and MSP’s. The older heads like Alex Neil are not afraid to stick their head above the parapet. They have nothing to lose.

      I get the impression that relationships are now breaking down between Sturgeon and her party. Is this the beginning of the end for the Murrells.

      There will be so many like us who are very angry about the FM’s failed strategy , and of Murrells dictatorship.

      Salmond was a legend that Murrell tried to destroy. He will pay a heavy price for his behaviour.

    7. robertknight says:

      Well said Mr Neil.

      Unfortunately, the smoking gun and body parts are being placed under the patio as we speak.

      Whilst there will be a lingering stench of decay, justice will not be seen to be done and the guilty will carry on, aided and abetted by their obvious, and not so obvious, sympathisers/supporters.

    8. Kenny says:

      This is good.
      Important to see your valued opinion on this site, Alex. Yes, about time we had a proper legal process and proper accountability, for what we’re doing now is just jerking-around and conning Scotland with London-style corruption.

      ScottieDog says:
      7 October, 2020 at 10:15 am
      It clearly states ‘Alex Neil’ at the top

      It didn’t initially, but was amended.

    9. Ian Brotherhood says:

      When is the committee publishing the Murrell/Sturgeon evidence?

    10. Luigi says:

      Agreed – this needs to be sorted out, one way or another.

      In the next Holyrood election, my first vote goes to the SNP. As for my second vote? Well, still undecided. For anyone still unsure what a “circuit break” is, well the independence movement has effectively experienced a circuit break lasting three years.

      I don’t want another prologned, constitutional “circuit break” in 2021. SNP soundbites and tough rhetoric no longer cut it. If I can’t see some real movement soon, some affirmative action by the SNP, I will support another indy party, even if ultimately unsuccessful, which will probably happen unless big hitters like Salmond and Cherry get involved.

      The jury is out.

    11. sog says:

      And if party leaders object, ask them about recent membership numbers.

    12. stonefree says:

      Mr.Neil is correct, If prosecutions arise as a consequence
      Then I would hope that custodial sentences would result.
      After all that is what would have happened to AS

    13. Kenny says:

      stonefree says:
      7 October, 2020 at 10:40 am

      Mr.Neil is correct, If prosecutions arise as a consequence
      Then I would hope that custodial sentences would result.
      After all that is what would have happened to AS

      Absolutely, and perhaps one of the reasons we’re seeing so much obstruction from every one of the shady characters involved. I sincerely hope all of these people are sleeping dreadfully at night, yes. They really thought they’d be smart, didn’t they?

    14. kapelmeister says:

      I agree 100% Alex. A judicial inquiry is a must now. And any witnesses at such an inquiry will be aware that false testimony would be perjury.

    15. Dickie Tea says:

      Absolutely 100% support this.

      1. The SNP Cabal are hiding stuff that will come out and damage the party soon
      2. Sturgeon is prolonging the Covid misery to hide from the facts. Yes the virus is still there but the reaction to it is haphazard and deceitful
      3. The current investigating committee is full of the like of Murdo Fraser who simply wants to use it as a platform to attack the SNP and by proxy the independence cause

      We need more leaks akin to the Murrell Whatsapp before anything will get done

    16. Heaver says:

      You hide information from inquiries because you are guilty and are facing jail.

      The hiding is another crime. More jail.

    17. Skip_NC says:

      Thanks for the link Ian Brotherhood. I’ve only got to page 2 but does Mark McDonald have a legal case?

    18. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Skip_NC –

      Sorry, I really don’t know.

      But someone will.

      😉

    19. David Rodgers says:

      Wonder what the chances of this happening soon are. The SG will surely want to stonewall with the current inquiry certainly up to the next year’s election. Nevertheless kudos to Alex Neil for setting the ball rolling.

    20. Dave Beveridge says:

      Can’t they have a vote in the Scottish Parliament to set such an inquiry up? It’d be interesting to see who voted against having one.

    21. Allium says:

      God, Salmond really trusted NS fully until quite late on. Thanks for the link, fascinating reading.

    22. Balaaargh says:

      Well said, Mr Neil.

      If you take anything away from this debacle, it’s that you don’t use WhatsApp. Use signal or telegram and set meshes to disappear after 24 hours.

    23. Alison Brown says:

      Who could not agree with this? Only the guilty parties!! Has to happen as soon as is possible. Disband the internal inquiry – it’s doing nothing except damage. Those guilty of attempting to put Alex in prison for the rest of his life must be held to account.

    24. Douglas says:

      Yes
      Now

      Does the judge need to be from within the U.K.?
      I think there is precedent for judges from completely out with U.K. which might be even better

      e.g. Kiwi with no links to anyone

    25. Kenny says:

      Thanks, Ian Brotherhood, for the link; of which an excerpt from (Nicola Sturgeon):

      Alex Salmond told me on 2 April 2018 at a meeting at my home that complaints against him were being investigated under the Procedure. At that meeting, he showed me a copy of the letter he had received outlining the detail of the complaints.
      As has been reported already, four days earlier – 29 March 2018 – I had spoken with
      Geoff Aberdein (former Chief of Staff to Alex Salmond) in my office at the Scottish Parliament.
      Mr Aberdein was in Parliament to see a former colleague and while there came to see me.
      I had forgotten that this encounter had taken place until I was reminded of it in, I think, late January/early February 2019.*
      For context, I think the meeting took place not long after the weekly session of FMQs and in the midst of a busy day in which I would have been dealing with a multitude of other matters.
      However, from what I recall, the discussion covered the fact that Alex Salmond wanted to see me urgently about a serious matter, and I think it did cover the suggestion that
      the matter might relate to allegations of a sexual nature
      ..
      *Bold/emphasis mine

      Meeting re the single-biggest event of the previous 2 years was ‘forgotten’? That’s so much horse-shit. In fact, that’s just such a flimsy, only-thing-I-can-think-of line that it grossly insults the #MeToo movement she purports to act on behalf of.

      Here comes the judge..

    26. Oneliner says:

      @Scottie Dog

      It didn’t to start with

    27. mountain shadow says:

      What a fine man Alex is.

      Despite the allegations against him, you can see that he was still trying to protect Nicola and the Scottish Government.

      If only she had paid heed to his guidance.

    28. Bob Mack says:

      Sturgeon does not mention that her husband as Chief Exec of the party was actively colluding with others to put Sa!mind in jail.

      What sort of marriage and management team of a party are they?.

      They never talk about anything that is important enough to affect the pafty’s public image?

      Bovine excrement. Yes bullshit.!!

    29. Hatuey says:

      One of the things that has always gnawed at me is not knowing exactly why the government threw in the towel in the first trial at the Court of Session, resulting in Salmond being awarded over 500 thousand.

      I’m not an expert in these things, but surely if there were issues with the government’s case in the first trial that could be construed as “apparent bias” then there was a possibility or even dare I say a likelihood that that bias would somehow creep into the criminal trial. No?

      My simple reasoning being; with the same people and same events involved, how could there be apparent bias in one trial but not the other?

      That’s the thing that has gnawed.

      Gordon Dangerfield makes an attempt today in his latest blog article to explain why the government threw in the towel at the court of session, based on his reading of a submission made by the government to the Holyrood enquiry.

      https://gordondangerfield.com/2020/10/07/salmond-inquiry-the-scottish-governments-case-makes-no-sense/

      I know everyone is going to be distracted today with other stuff but I anticipate the other stuff will be a disappointment and I think Dangerfield is well worth reading on this. There’s a real mystery – conspicuous by its absence – at the heart of the government’s statement on the first trial and why it capitulated.

      I’m more confident than ever that this doesn’t end well for the government.

    30. James Che. says:

      If inquiries were set up, how slow would this process be, results before or after the election
      Would voters be left in a quandary during the run up and during election.
      If this was taken up it would have to be started almost immediately so voters had a fair idea where their vote would go.

    31. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Hatuey –

      Cheers for heads-up re Dangerfield latest – off to read it now.

    32. Daisy Walker says:

      Have just read through most of NS’s letter/messages.

      The WhatsApp messages reveal the following:

      Alex sought legal advice, and was informed the SG’s process was unlawful.

      He offered arbitration process, which would have sought to have the matter dealt with, in private, protect the complainers identities, address the alleged offences in a legally appropriate manner (which at that time were being dealt with as employment/civil law issues) and ensure the SG would not be brought into disrepute.

      NS went full out for the flawed Judicial process which cost the Scottish Tax payer a minimum of £500,000 in compensation to Alex.

      She cannot argue that it had not been brought to her attention that the Judicial process was flawed. Alex even makes reference to her qualifications as a lawyer, and asks her, as a lawyer, to review the legal points and evidence he was presenting. So she cannot argue that she is unqualified to assess these points.

      Reading her statement – she has written a very good statement, and covered her times/dates/actions very, very precisely. If the committee concentrate on her statement – rather than the contents of her messages she will slip away unscathed.

      Just to summarise:

      Alex informed her the initial Judicial process was flawed, he showed her evidence (presumably of collusion) and he offered her a legal alternative to address the complaints, he highlighted her obligations under code of conduct and made her aware of her legal responsibilities as First Minister, i.e. not to waste public money on illegal legal proceedings, and he highlighted her qualifications as a lawyer, that she was qualified to assess this information herself.

      What was the Judge’s verdict for the first trial – ‘fatally flawed due to apparent bias’ – wasn’t that it.

      Wow. To those who still believe in Nicola – she was told the procedures were flawed, and she was offered an appropriate legal alternative method of dealing with the complaints – and she went ahead with the illegal one and wasted tax payers money and brought her party and former First Minister into disrepute.

      Is this competent, conscientious, trustworthy behaviour, is it likely to win us Indy?

      With friends like these.

      Frank, get the door, and once she’s out lock it so she never gets back in again.

    33. Mr Campbell, (& Mr Neil)

      What you still refuse to process two years after calling me ‘mental’ is the police & courts judicial process that Alex Salmond was subjected to, is standard normalised practice – to remove the human rights of ALL men falsely accused of sexual or domestic violence.

      His case – to destroy his reputation and legacy – was but a microcosm case in an infinitely larger, ideologically precedented drip-fed ‘reality’, underpinned by a propaganda invention *designed* to destabilise and divide society(s) by demonising and dehumanising men as a whole, that toxically empowers ‘white feather‘ women who upon a catalyst trigger (my hunch is #HunterstonB) will simultaneously guilt-shame channel young men *primarily* – into a military uniform.

      “Original minds are not distinguished by being the first to see a new thing, but instead seeing the old, familiar thing that is overlooked as something new”. Friedrich Nietzsche.

      ‘False Accusations – Alex Salmond & Gaslight State ‘Domestic Abuse’ (2018) by #GaslightingGilligan; https://wp.me/p94Aj4-Fo

      ‘False Accusations in Spain ’ (2017) by #GaslightingGilligan; https://wp.me/p94Aj4-oZ

      ‘Early Warning Signs of Fascism: #Nr5 ‘Rampant Sexism’ & ?The #MeTooMatrix’ (2018) by #GaslightingGilligan;? https://wp.me/p94Aj4-Ai

      ‘The #MeToo Truth of Nr5 #RampantSexism’ (2020) by #GaslightingGilligan; https://wp.me/p94Aj4-1Y2

      Kind regards,

      Johnny McNeill
      ‘Gaslighting Gilligan’ (© 2017)
      Twitter: @GasGilligan

    34. Dan says:

      That it comes to this says all you need to know about many of the conniving instigators and self serving idiots involved in the whole debacle.
      For the latter, the apparent lack of foresight and imagination to consider the optics and reality of how bad it could look and be for them if their group’s endevours fell apart implies they really aren’t that smart.
      For the former, they will probably know there would be some kind of protection from the worst of any storm if it kicked off, due to the underlying nature of the establishment protecting their own.

    35. kapelmeister says:

      Bob Mack @11:25

      “What sort of marriage and management team of a party are they?”

      connubial blitz

    36. Al-Stuart says:

      .
      Good morning Alex,

      Thankyou for putting your head above the parapet.

      Yourself and Kenny MacAskill are at risk of handing politics a good name.

      You will recall when Jack McConnell was First Minister he proposed Kevin Dunion as the first Scottish Information Commissioner. This was an inspired appointment as Dunion was and is an independently minded person. He is literally a “troublemaker”, having written a book by that very title. His stewardship at SIC Freedom of Information (Scotland) was an example of fairness and independence from political interference.

      Alex, your words are a breath of fresh air. The fact they appear on the Wings Over Scotland website give some of us hope of fairness and justice.

      There is something profoundly wrong at the head of the SNP and by association, the Scottish Government. To have yourself, a former Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice and a serving SNP MSP, and Kenny MacAskill, a former Cabinet Secretary for Justice and a serving MP., brings two senior members of the SNP with gravitas together to remedy this horrendous situation. The fact that serving parliamentarians at both the Scottish and the UK legislatures acknowlede there is something wrong here, vitallly helps inform both legal establishments that a problem exists and a solution must be found,

      I would be incredibly happy if WoS was wrong on this. But Stuart Campbell has done the groundwork and research. His analysis is forensic and compelling. Whatever your perspective, there is a requirement to have an independent and inscrutable inquiry above reproach, with the legal capacity to obtain the requisite evidence in the gerrymandered effort to persecute, prosecute and imprison the former First Minister. Alex, your words are balanced, measured and hit the mark. So much so, that I write them again so I can share the core of your contribution when speaking of this matter to my friends. A message that needs to go far and wide…

      To be credible such an inquiry would need to be independent of politics and politicians. It should be presided over by a judge whose remit would be to establish the facts and decide if there had been a conspiracy, if so, who were the participants and did they break the law?”

      I suspect that this would be blocked or at best the current leadership would be “willfully blind” as to the merits/demerits of appointing an independent inquiry led by a judge.

      Therefore is there a mechanism where Holyrood could hold a vote in parliament in this matter?

      To MANDATE the elevation from the committee convener, Linda Fabiani stating the Holyrood inquiry has been “completely frustrated” by the lack of evidence being handed over and the serious allegation by Linda Fabiani that the inquiry she chairs is being “obstructed” and have the inquiry removed from politics and placed before a judge?

      Alex, I fear that ONLY a VOTE by the Scottish Parliament would mandate the current leadership to appoint an independent judge led inquiry.

      Surely with the internal committee being frustrated and obstructed in this matter, a vote of the entire parliament WOULD stand a decent chance of being passed?

      Not least, but when prominent SNP ministers start contributing articles and concerns on Wings Over Scotland, matters must be at a seriously strained level behind the scenes.

      I think fairness, decency, justice and conscience would lead to sufficient SNP MSPs voting FOR an independent judge led inquiry.

      That WOULD bring the disinfectant of light onto this whole dreadful matter. Only when the injustice of what happened to Alex Salmond, will there be any chance of the SNP getting back into the fight for Scottish Independence with all the members campaigning for IndyRef2 and not, as is evident in BTL comments across all the Indy and YES blogs, the divided state in which we currently find ourselves.

      Alex, thankyou again for your wise words.

    37. montfleury says:

      You can defuse bombs or you can hide in a bunker and let them go off. If you have a bunker that is.

      Time this bomb was disassembled by professionals to keep us all safe.

    38. Ian C says:

      So from what I gather from her statement, Ms Sturgeon purported that she found out that a former FM was the subject of an investigation/procedure and only from the the subject himself. And she did not think that this was, in any way, unusual.

    39. Sharny Dubs says:

      Good to see this, however…

      Justice delayed is justice denied. As has previously been said, the shredders will be busy.

      Still cannot get my head round why people who make false accusations and have attempted to damage innocent parties should have their identities protected?! Surely they are the kind of people who would not allow their identities being known to impact their lives in any way?!

      Oh well!

    40. Daisy Walker says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood – I can’t see PMundells additional letter, I get a message saying it has not been archived?

      Any advice.

    41. Oneliner says:

      One wonders just how good a lawyer NS is. Perhaps that is behind her frostiness towards Joanna Cherry – professional jealousy.

    42. Gregor says:

      As a believer in independence but increasing loather of the SNP, it angers and saddens me that the case for the former is daily further undermined by the latter. Unfortunately, when voting for secession, too many think too short time. All they see in the immediate future after secession is the probability of further mismanagement by this bunch of liars, spivs, incompetents, trough drainers and political correctness obsessed apparatchiks.

    43. Fiona Nelson says:

      The damage being done to the SNP but worse still Independence is horrendous. Alex is right this needs to be sorted fairly and legally and soon. The Tories will only use it against us. Agree with Daisy Walkers comments, time for Frank to get the door and lock it.

    44. mr thms says:

      This article is from January

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jan/26/rebecca-long-bailey-calls-for-greater-powers-for-scotland-and-wales

      Keir Starmer, the Labour leadership frontrunner, has called for a fully federal UK, devolving power to the nations and regions of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland after Brexit.

      The shadow Brexit secretary said only a new federal structure for the UK could “repair the shattered trust in politics”, amid growing clamour in Scotland for another independence referendum.

      He said there would need to be a national conversation about a new constitutional settlement. However, it could mean taking more power away from Westminster and handing it to regional authorities and devolved governments on areas such as raising taxes, green industrial strategies and transport systems.

      The idea of a federal UK was championed by former prime minister Gordon Brown after the Scottish independence referendum of 2014. He called for a “patriotic third way” with power over fisheries, farming, welfare and far more taxation handed to devolved governments.

      At the time, the Scottish Conservatives called on Brown to say whether another referendum would be needed to gain approval for such sweeping changes, while the SNP dismissed it as undeliverable as Labour was “not even in a position to deliver pizza”.

      It’s beginning to look a lot like pizza…

    45. David Morgan says:

      just sickened by what they put mr salmond thru

    46. Grey Gull says:

      @Ian Brotherhood
      Thanks for the links but, like Daisy, I can’t get Peter Murrell’s.

    47. Nigel says:

      A judge-led inquiry? Definitely.

      Can you see the ScotGov going for it though? Let all those uncomfortable facts and then all the machinations of various governmental functions and bodies to draw a veil over it all?

      The AS affair is a scandal which must not be allowed to fade away without proper scrutiny.

    48. JayR says:

      Alex Neil please don’t stand down as an MSP, we need MSPs like you more than ever.

    49. McHaggis69 says:

      “Thanks for the links but, like Daisy, I can’t get Peter Murrell’s”

      the pdf part has been dropped off the hyperlink.
      Add it yourself in the URL and you’ll get there.

    50. Fionan says:

      ScottieDog says:
      7 October, 2020 at 10:15 am
      It clearly states ‘Alex Neil’ at

      Scottie dog, it didn’t say that when first posted, I can assure you. I can read, thank you!

    51. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Grey Gull/ Daisy –

      Sorry if that was my fault, copying the link.

      Be assured, it is still there!

    52. Ronald Fraser says:

      PMQs,

      Why does Blackford bother travelling all the way to Westminster from Skype only to make some announcement that is not related to indyRef2?

      Begging Boris to continue paying Scots an extra £20 per month on their Universal Credit payment.

      You are better off staying in your broom cupboard in Skye Blackford.

      As has been said before, the SNP MPs are all chocolate teapots.

      A waste of everyone’s time and money.

    53. Lenny Hartley says:

      IB still cant read Murrells message

    54. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Lenny –

      Try here, scroll down to end of ‘Written Evidence Received’ block.

      https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/115516.aspx

    55. Hatuey says:

      I haven’t read any of the released information on the Salmond stuff, but let me guess that it presents a picture of perfect honesty and impartiality as regards Sturgeon’s role.

      Let me further guess that no light is thrown on what is quite obviously the fundamental core issue in all this; the alleged conspiracy to convict Salmond.

      It’s important in situations like this that everybody gives consideration to the known unknowns and the increasingly conspicuous unknown unknowns and I would bet none of those feature in the releases made today.

      Personal statements and selective releases of information might be of interest, but let’s not pretend there’s any guarantee of honesty or truth in such things.

    56. Garavelli Princip says:

      “It is in the people’s interest to have this issue dealt with fairly and swiftly, in the hands of an experienced and impartial judge.” Alex Neill MSP

      Good luck with that Alex – a fine and proper sentiment – but the idea that you will find an ‘impartial judge’ in Scotland – given the narrow incestuous pool from which they are selected and appointed, and their common membership of the various golf clubs and lodges with the very people whose conduct you quite properly wish them to investigate- are tiny to non-existent.

      The only useful outcome of such an exercise would be to put all of the evidence in the public domain.

      Then the only judges that matter – the people of Scotland – can decide for themselves just what a parcel of rogues we have in the political-legal-judicial-civil service establishment

    57. katherine hamilton says:

      So what is Mr. Neil gonna do? Good to see another SNP MSP using the hated and despised WOS to talk to the masses. However he calls for his fellow MSP’s across the spectrum to support his call. Fair enough. Make your call in parliament, pal, not here. What is the procedure in Holyrood to make such a call? I know it’s only the government who can set them up, so do some politics Mr Neil. Put a motion down, get yer cross party support and force their hand. They’ll refuse, of course.
      Then whatyagonnado? Vote of no confidence? Bring them down and go for an early election when no new government can be formed? Go for it.

      I now call on Trump to resign, and I’m calling on all Wingers to support me. Makes about as much sense unless I have a plan. I don’t. Has Mr. Neil?

    58. Willie says:

      Why do we keep repeating the untruth that the Alex Salmond case cost the taxpayer £500,000.

      £500,000 was only the cost paid to Salmond for his legal fees. What needs to be added to the cost to the public purse is the cost of preparing the revised complaints system and the government’s costs in defending the action before throwing in the towel. Add that and you might find initial costs for the Salmond fiasco to be of the order of maybe £3m.

      But then Lesley Evan’s said we may have lost the battle but not the war and a team of twenty three police officers, specialist lawyers, dedicated civil servants and the Crown office procurator fiscal service spent a year investigating and bringing charges against Salmond. Factor in then the cost of the trial itself not just up to, but after acquittal, and you get further public purse costs of maybe another £10 million.

      Absolutely huge numbers, and numbers that we have thus far failed to talk about. We could already be £13 million down.

      And what if Salmond sues the government and or individuals in the government and the civil service. How much could that cost the public purse. The illegal and biased prosecution of the Duff and Phelps directors by police and the COPFS is already reporting potential damages payouts in the sums of around £38 million.

      Yes, Scotland’s Government, Police and Prosecution Service are coming across as rotten to the core. Alex Neil is correct to demand a judicial enquiry into the Salmond outrage. But it is wider than that, and people must go now.

      Sturgeon should step down before she and her husband are metaphorically taken out, and like Mussolini, hung upside down from a lamp post.

    59. Willie says:

      And yes, when you have the anarchy of a rotten and corrupt Police Force and Prosecution Service the potential for metaphorical lampposts and heads on spikes becomes ever more possible.

      We must, and I mean must, bring back honesty and accountability to our public services because otherwise it is a one way street to disaster.

    60. Grey Gull says:

      @Ian Brotherhood
      Thanks! Also, thanks for the Dangerfield link. Interesting read. Wonde if we will ever get to the real truth of all of this. Smoke and mirrors everywhere!

    61. Daisy Walker says:

      Peter Mundells letter is complete smoke and mirrors Totally impenetrable guff, and designed to be so.

      In terms of co-operating fully with the inquiry, it obstructs in the most effusive manner.

      Why does he require legal advice?

      Why is his lawyer writing to the committee. How much are they charging for this letter?

      Why are SNP members paying for this, were they consulted.

      Are the means by which one of their employees is provided with legal representation set out anywhere, in a fair and transparent manner, or is it only for those and such as those.

      Why was Alex Salmond – a man falsely accused, why was he not provided with legal representation.

      The questions get more powerful and the stench stronger by the minute.

    62. McDuff says:

      I quite agree with Alex Neil. However as the manure seems to involve Sturgeon, Murrell, the Crown Office and police I fear it will be extremely difficult to get at the truth, but I earnestly hope we can.

    63. Monsieur le Roi Grenouilleverteetprofonde says:

      Some really important stuff in the NS material.Of course there is much meaning hovering in and out of the lines but my initial look of the first parts led me to think-what a consummate professional she is.
      As I read further and further into the submission my sympathy wavered and dwindled to near zero.It confirmed a sense, again only with my intuitive interpretation, that there was a concerted effort to take the issue to the edge(i.e a trial), for reasons that are unclear(although I could speculate), but seem to confirm at worst a malicious, or (at best) an uncompromising desire to damage AS.
      Awaiting other reactions with bated breath.

    64. mr thms says:

      JayR @ 12:16 pm

      “Alex Neil please don’t stand down as an MSP, we need MSPs like you more than ever.”

      The article is from September 2016

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-37471933

      “Meanwhile, Alex Neil, formerly a member of Ms Sturgeon’s cabinet who has argued that Scotland should embrace the opportunities of Brexit, has said leaving the EU provides a “golden opportunity” to win new devolved powers for Holyrood.

      Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Neil said it was “blatantly obvious the UK government hasn’t got a clue about how or when to proceed with Brexit”, urging the Scottish government to put forward a list of demands for the coming talks.

      He said powers and funding could be repatriated from Brussels to Holyrood, rather than Westminster, as well as additional powers not previously devolved due to EU rules, such as full control over VAT.

      Mr Neil said these powers would amount to “neo-independence”, creating “the ideal platform for advancing to full sovereignty for the Scottish people in the early 2020s”.

      The Scottish Conservatives said Mr Neil’s comments showed the SNP was “becoming increasingly chaotic” on the issue of a second independence referendum, calling on Ms Sturgeon to ease economic uncertainty by ruling out a fresh vote.”

      Can’t see Devo Max working with the UK Government’s Internal Market Act 2020.

      Mhairi Black says it will drive a bulldozer through the Scotland Act 1998.

      There’s always Labour’s left over pizza..

    65. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It clearly states ‘Alex Neil’ at the top”

      That’s my bad, for about five minutes it was bylined by me until someone pointed it out.

    66. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And what if Salmond sues the government and or individuals in the government and the civil service. How much could that cost the public purse. The illegal and biased prosecution of the Duff and Phelps directors by police and the COPFS is already reporting potential damages payouts in the sums of around £38 million.”

      The Salmond fiasco is bad enough, but I cannot for the LIFE of me understand how the Lord Advocate is still in a job after the Duff & Phelps screw-up. ADMITTING to “malicious” prosecution and costing the public purse TENS of millions isn’t a resigning offence? Dear God above, what is?

    67. Monsieur le Roi Grenouilleverteetprofonde says:

      Again, as with the Sturgeon submission it is only possible to infer from tone and style that there is a distinct odour of dissimulation to the Murrell ‘evidence’.
      I hope it will be subjected to a forensic examination.

    68. Skip_NC says:

      Wolfe is an unelected civil servant. So if anyone is to resign it should be his political master (or mistress). So, once we find out who is the political master (or mistress) we can ask them to resign, as honour dictates.

      Oh, wait a minute…

    69. Lorna Campbell says:

      Wouldn’t be at all surprised if this was not a sneaky wee ‘conspiracy’ and a monumental ckco-up at one and the same time. Cui bono? Guess. Same as the GRA and ‘hate crime’ stuff. Another almighty mess that has torn the party in two. When you don’t see you are being played, you get played. Someone somewhere (with all due respect to Breastplate) wants both the heads of Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon. Had Mr Salmond been convicted, Ms Sturgeon would be gone long since.

    70. I’d venture that there are 5.4 million of us outside this wee ‘bubble’ who have moved on from Salmondgate.
      Our energies are turned to saving our country, Scotland.
      WoS used to be part of this campaign. Sadly, no longer.
      I am not a member of any party, and 5.3 million of us are not members of the SNP.
      Food on the table, roof over our heads, warm clothing, heat and light, a government of the people of Scotland, elected by the people of Scotland, and accountable to the people of Scotland, and accountable to the people of Scotland, are the goals of the real world outside this cosy little bubble of nothing, and what we are fighting for.
      An Independent Scotland.

      The petty careerist bun fights of yesterday’s men and women are not even a side issue.
      You are arguing with yourselves, while Scotland marches to independence regardless.

      It’s time to give this a rest give us all peace or disappear up your own collective self importance.

    71. Republicofscotland says:

      Thank you Mr Neil for your thoughts on this, I wholeheartedly agree that there must an inquiry, hopefully sooner than later.

    72. C Griffiths says:

      Surely the time for all this is after the election next year, and even better, after a successful indy campaign. That’s what Mr Neil and you Stu should be focusing on. Not this. This can wait. To pinch a phrase “now it not the time”.

    73. mr thms says:

      If the SNPs ‘Labour’ stalwarts are saying federalism is great news for Scotland, who are we plebs to argue..

    74. Albert Herring says:

      EDIT: Not working link.

    75. Astonished says:

      The ice is cracking, the SNP fence-sitters are thinking of speaking out. And the woke are eyeing each other wondering who first to throw under the bus.

      An honourable man in murrell’s position would have resigned long before now.

      And regarding lesley evans I can only surmise malfeasance in public office is no longer a crime.

    76. Wee Chid says:

      C Griffiths says:
      7 October, 2020 at 3:09 pm
      “Surely the time for all this is after the election next year, and even better, after a successful indy campaign. That’s what Mr Neil and you Stu should be focusing on. Not this. This can wait. To pinch a phrase “now it not the time”.”

      What a great start for a new independent nation – a corrupt government that tramples over human rights – no thanks. It would be just as bad as Westminster.

    77. Mac says:

      Completely agree with Alex Neil. This needs a proper judicial review. No fucking about any more.

    78. twathater says:

      @ Jack collatin 2.38pm Jack I have always admired your comments posted both here (seldom) and over on WGD, you appear as a man with conviction and a belief in the truth, I agree that most ordinary people have MORE important issues to think about than politics, but when issues directly impact on them personally THEN they do pay attention

      So what you are saying is let’s make sure the SNP and NS are our next govt for another 4 or 5 years, THEN Nicola can carry on with her GRA and HCB bills even though they are hated by the people who know about them, also let’s vote for and elect Nicola’s twittler youth stormtroopers in HR so that they can ENABLE these bills to pass with ANY objections rounded on and piled on and charged under the HCB

      JACK do you think ANY of the voters might then START to pay attention, when their kids are having sex education taught to them by men dressed as women, telling their infants that it’s alright and agreeable to engage in anal sex called rimming, irrespective of the damage it may cause to women’s reproductive systems, do you think they may pay attention when men with cocks turn up in women’s changing rooms and toilets next to their wee lassies and the polis charge them with hate crimes because these deviants SAY they are women

      My question to you JACK is do you think Nicola will get us INDEPENDENCE before or after all this happens

    79. Wee Chid says:

      Seen on Facebook – and I nearly choked on my dinner due to the irony

      ” The very people who are baying for the blood of a man who has had no evidence tested against him in any forum or tribunal. The presumption of innocence seems to be afforded to everyone except Peter Murrell.”

      Hasn’t he admitted that he sent the messages?

    80. twathater, my views on a man in a dress attempting to enter a changing room in which my Everlovin’ is trying on a dress or such, are well known.

      However, my only focus right now is on independence.

      No..that’s all I have on this.

    81. Nosey says:

      The plot thickens ? It’s all coming out bit by bit, SNP are in BIG trouble once the whole shit hits the fan!!

    82. Jack says:

      Oh I see Nicola, you ‘forgot’. Did you, aye?

    83. Jack says:

      Or to quote another Scottish comedy catchphrase “Ah smell shite”.

    84. Asklair says:

      Sick to my stomach this is not being resolved, Alex resigned to save public embarrassment for the cause even when he was innocent, those people have no shame, no respect, the members of the SNP have a duty to Scotland to resolve this sooner than later or be seen as in that camp of dishonesty.

    85. stonefree says:

      @ Willie at 12:43 pm
      Money wise I don’t believe you’re far off

      Metaphorically Nicolae and Elena Ceau?escu demise seems fitting

    86. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Jack.

      Or this “Scottish comedy catchphrase”…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHVuPhOUDH4

    87. deerhill says:

      Unfortunately, couldn’t finish reading Murrell’s letter.

      I always get queasy trying to translate”weasel”.

    88. Andrew Morton says:

      Well that’s not going to happen.

    89. AllyG says:

      Recent events – such as the Assange case – makes you wonder if “…an experienced and impartial judge” is too big an ask.

    90. Grendel says:

      “Conduct in the public sphere”???
      I’d accept that from most folk but not Alex Neil. His name conjures up the dirty politics of North Lanarkshire and the world of the “Monklands McMafia”.
      Ask any of the ex-SNP members in Airdrie & Shotts if they are surprised at the current revelations regarding Sturgeon and they will undoubtedly reply that they aren’t. What we saw locally five years ago is now being played out at the top table. It’s just took a while for you all to catch up.
      When we said the rot went right to the top we were either laughed at or ignored.
      Who’s laughing now?



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