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Accurate and truthful information

Posted on February 10, 2021 by

First Minister’s Questions was very interesting today. Ruth Davidson had some tricky ones which Nicola Sturgeon simply didn’t even attempt to look like she was answering, and we might come back to one of them in particular a little later on.

But Jackie Baillie’s were even more pointed, especially this one:

With our trademark scrupulous fairness we’ve included the full question and answer, and they raise a whole series of issues, but if you’re in a hurry the key part we want to talk about right now is between 0.18 and 0.26.

Because that’s when Jackie Baillie, in reference to the infamous meeting with Geoff Aberdein on 29 March 2018 that the First Minister’s written submission to the inquiry said was an impromptu “head-round-the-door-in-passing” event that she subsequently claimed to have forgotten all about, says this:

“It was the case that the meeting was pre-arranged, and for the specific purpose of discussing the complaints made against Alex Salmond.”

That’s intriguing because Baillie didn’t say “allegedly”. She didn’t say “Geoff Aberdein claims…” or “some reports have suggested”. She just stated it as a bald fact.

Our own information, from a very well-placed source, is that Geoff Aberdein’s written evidence – sent to both the Fabiani committee and the separate Hamilton investigation but blocked by the former and therefore inaccessible to the public – not only claims that the meeting was prearranged and for that purpose, but also corroborates that claim with evidence from other people.

We find it almost inconceivable that Jackie Baillie would make such a black-and-white public statement if she didn’t know that for certain. And if she does know it, then it’s equally inconceivable that the Hamilton inquiry can find other than that Sturgeon broke the Ministerial Code by lying to Parliament about it.

(And possibly in several other ways too.)

So it’s in that context that we must read Sturgeon’s repeated refusal to say that she’d resign if Hamilton found her to have lied.

Baillie actually gave her a slight escape route by making it a hypothetical and specific question rather than simply asking Sturgeon if, as a general principle, she would give a pledge to uphold the Code. If Sturgeon had given that pledge (which you’d think would be a bare minimum standard for any FM), then the specific question answers itself, because the Code is unequivocal that ministers who lie to Parliament must quit.

But in reality it would have made no difference if she had, because as we already know from her promise of two years ago to “co-operate fully” with the Fabiani inquiry and to give the committee “whatever material they request” – only to then refuse co-operation and material on at least 58 separate occasions – the First Minister’s pledges aren’t worth the paper they aren’t written on anyway.

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    128 to “Accurate and truthful information”

    1. Craig Jones says:

      Watching Ruthie at FMQs, and you almost feel yourself getting drawn in to screaming:

      “Get intae the Bastard Ruthie”.

      How the hell did we end up in this place?

      A very uncomfortable place to be for me.

      I almost feel guilty of some terrible wrong doing.

    2. Ian McCubbin says:

      Again I say time will pruduce the truth.
      The window of slipping away for NS is closing fast.
      Karma is coming her way.

    3. Dickiet says:

      Stu

      You keep forgetting that the ministerial codes says “..intentionally lies” and that will be her eventual get out.

      Guaranteed

    4. Anonymoose says:

      It is now the utmost importance that both Alex Salmond’s and Geoff Aberdein’s statements and evidence are approved and released in full by the committee.

      This is not only affecting the credibility of the committee members, but that of the entire Scottish Parliament as a democratic and justice upholding institution.

    5. Mighty S says:

      Apologies if this has been asked before.

      When could the Hamilton inquiry be published? After the SG inquiry I’m assuming, but could it be delayed until well after HR2021?

      Also, could those findings also be prevented from being published? Especially if the Crown Office berserkers are still in post.

    6. Breeks says:

      Give me one reason why Sturgeon cannot comment on her rebuttal of accusations prior to her appearance before the Committee.

      “I look forward to having the chance…” she says.

      She’s got the chance, time and time again, every time she’s in front of a mic FFS! Unlike Alex Salmond, Sturgeon isn’t gagged in what she say under direct threat of imprisonment, and this blanket assertion that she cannot answer issues of her own conduct before her Inquiry appearance seems disingenuous and entirely contrived. The purpose is presumably to evade scrutiny and avoid giving the Committee awkward information she might later be cross examined over.

      There is nothing to stop her answering these questions. Her ‘silencing’ is an entirely false and fictitious premise. It is simply evasion.

      How many times has she ducked out of scrutiny, but used her public platform to repeat the false smears about Alex Salmond’s alleged misconduct? Funny how she loses her reticence to comment when it suits her, eh?

    7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “You keep forgetting that the ministerial codes says “..intentionally lies” and that will be her eventual get out.

      Guaranteed”

      That’s the whole point. If Aberdein’s evidence is corroborated then she CANNOT say she just forgot the meeting happened because it was of no significance. It becomes an indisputably deliberate lie.

    8. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “When could the Hamilton inquiry be published? After the SG inquiry I’m assuming, but could it be delayed until well after HR2021?”

      According to the Times he’s said it’ll be by the end of February, but in any event it HAS to be well before the election so that Parliament can debate it. Them’s the rules. We covered that fact less than a week ago, BE MORE ALERT.

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-last-tickings-of-the-clock/

    9. Charles Hodgson says:

      “Intenionally” that’s the get-out clause I fear.

      O/T and forwarded from the ‘four little words’ thread just for the yucks (in both senses):

      Sturgeon’s endorsement of the trans ideology that the difference between the sexes is only a social construct, means dairy farmers will now have to milk male cows. You’ll run the risk of having a gut full of bull spunk, but that’s the price we have to pay to combat gender bigotry.

    10. Jim Thomson says:

      It occurred to me some time ago that the time wasting is designed to ensure that all back-ups of data held in archive specifically for restoration of a system following catastrophic loss of live data will be cycled OUT of the archive and there will be no way of recovering ANY of the e-mail/diary data held thereon.

      If I was a polis tasked with preserving evidence I’d have secured all of those data back-up tapes ages ago. Probably far too late now.

      Those of us used to data back-up and retrieval will be familiar with the son-father-grandfather type systems used to ensure that data loss is minimised in the event of a mistaken deletion of such data or, indeed, a malicious deletion (which is not out of the realms of possibility).

    11. Recent Lurker says:

      I have to say that I’ve only been reading the articles on here for a month or so and was pleasantly surprised at the forensic level of detail in which you pull apart NS and the SNP.

      I’m no great fan of either, or the prospect of independence, but wanted to say how refreshing it is to see a community hold the government to account because we know Holyrood and the media here are too feckless to.

      Keep up the good work Stu

    12. David Lyon says:

      What exactly does Sturgeon have on the MSPs who are taking bullets for her?

      She’s about to go into the side of a mountain and Wishart & Co are still cheerleading her.

      They must know they’re damning themselves harder the longer this goes on.

    13. jason kennedy says:

      I want pills that help me spring to my feet as quickly as Sturgeon did. She was totally wired.

    14. MikeW says:

      as a previous poster the fact I am in agreement with conservative and labour msp is uncomfortable, but when they are right they are right. I am not so partisan not to realise that just because someone is in a party i generally don’t agree with, that they can not have some good ideas or be right occasionally.

      As for what she has, I think a lot are all in this together and have known about it, if she falls they fall… i also think their has been far to much “friending” with the journalist which is a reason they are not keen to report this too (other than they see that the union is not threaten by her)

    15. Peter A Bell says:

      “…asking Sturgeon if, as a general principle, she would give a pledge to uphold the Code…”

      All Ministers are pledged to uphold the Ministerial Code. Or they wouldn’t be Ministers. Sturgeon would have enjoyed batting away such a question.

      Jackie Baillie’s failure to qualify her allegation with “allegedly” is interesting. Could be considered abuse of privilege regardless of evidence that she has seen but neither Parliament nor public has.

    16. The Dissident says:

      Well, you heard it hear first.

      Nicola Sturgeon suggests that the committee should be interviewing Liz Lloyd and Geoff Aberdein without any restrictions or redactions.

      “if the committee is really interested in proper, full transparency it will be ensuring that everybody who has relevant information to offer… is before the committee, fully, openly, on the record and on oath.”

      Or maybe she was thinking about someone else.

    17. Contrary says:

      Very good point: no ‘alleged’ in there at all. Interesting indeed.

      NS went to great lengths to avoid answering that straightforward question: would she resign if found guilty. Sounds like an easy one to answer: at least for an open and transparent politician that knew they had done no wrong. Her answer to it can be summarised ‘I will only ever resign if I can’t somehow wriggle out of it, and I have the British State on my side’.

      She’ll need shoe-horned out, without a doubt.

      An embarrassment, truly.

    18. Stoops says:

      Craig Jones at 2:17 pm
      “Watching Ruthie at FMQs, and you almost feel yourself getting drawn in to screaming:

      “Get intae the Bastard Ruthie”.

      How the hell did we end up in this place?

      A very uncomfortable place to be for me.”

      I know what you mean, It makes me feel unclean, but the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

      I almost feel guilty of some terrible wrong doing.

    19. Douglas says:

      Surely she is not deluded enough to expect to be able to play it as:

      ‘It was just a small slip, nothing to see, technicality, I’m the COVID Queen (compare me to Johnson not Jacinda Ardern), bluff, .bluster’

    20. Lorna Campbell says:

      The Aberdein meeting could not have been both an impromptu, momentary affair and an organized meeting prompted by the FM’s office, at one and the same time. It could not have been about the Alec Salmond allegations and not about the Alex Salmond allegations at the same time. You cannot claim that it was a ‘surprise drop-in’ and a scheduled meeting at the behest of the FM’s office specifically to discuss the Alex Salmond case, at the same time. What other reasons would Mr Aberdein have had for ‘dropping in’ on that day? That is, Mr Aberdein, who was representing Alex Salmond?

    21. true scot says:

      @ Jim Thomson Yes – and this is why it was controvertial that Nicola Sturgeon was using SNP servers for email. Because it’s party infrastructure there’s no data governance, deletions are literally under the control of Peter Murrell and it’s also not governed by FOI. I’m sure this is no longer happening – however it was back when this was kicking off. There were the usual excuses at the time – it was done for expediency out of hours etc – but a similar situation was the crack that Trump found in Hillary Clinton’s armour essentially scuppering her.

    22. Socrates MacSporran says:

      The SNP will have to keep Sturgeon well away from Andra Neil. He will never allow her the wriggle room Jackie Baillie did, but will nail her to the wall.

      She’s in deep doo-dah.

    23. Effijy says:

      The exact date she knew be I a day earlier or a week I don’t
      care too much about.

      If was an HR issue in any work there would be a slap for not recording it
      but not much more for claiming it was forgetful.
      Anyone here say they didn’t forget something important?

      I want action on women being supported to make false allegations
      without consequence to them.

      I want heads to roll for it going to the police against the women’s expressed wishes.

      I want the person behind changing procedures to only include former First Ministers.

      I want the Lord Advocate, CPFS and Police charged with corruption and malice.

      I want transparency and every document involved made public to everyone.

      Why should anything in government be made secret?
      Actions must have justifications that hold water in broad daylight.

    24. Captain Yossarian says:

      Our Watergate is not being exposed by The Scotsman, it is being exposed by The Spectator.

      That shows us how truly fecked-up this country now is. Corruption in our midst is being spelled-out to us by Fraser Nelson.

      The Scotsman is getting-in on the act in some 11th hour attempt to still appear relevant. It tells us that it was John Swinney who had the final say on redaction of documents. I think that some of us had worked that out months ago.

    25. Nosey says:

      Wot a joke she is……. banned most of the relevant material being published that would see her in jail dirty lying scumbag

    26. 100%Yes says:

      What a right piece this woman is, it say in The National “Nicola Sturgeon urges inquiry to compel Alex Salmond to appear before them”

      My whole family has has decided not to vote for the SNP on both the constituency and List, unless Sturgeon is removed or steps down as leader.

      https://www.thenational.scot/news/19079755.sturgeon-urges-holyrood-inquiry-compel-salmond-appear/

    27. Al Hunter says:

      The legal people keep coming out with all this ‘not in th epublic interest’ crap – is there any way to make it know to them that is very much in the ‘public interest’ ? Are there petitions or other pathways ?

    28. Effijy says:

      O/T

      The government has been criticised for spending up to £600,000 defending a legal challenge against its award of a contract to a company run by long-term associates of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings.

      The estimated costs could exceed the £550,000 the government spent on the contract with the company, Public First, to conduct focus groups on its Covid-19 messaging.

    29. Contrary says:

      In fact, is Jackie Baillie being clever here – she’s stated the circumstances of the meeting as fact, in parliament (so part of the written record), and Nicola Sturgeon made no effort to correct her. Does this lend weight to it being fact, as no objections were raised (in fact, the subject was avoided totally except to say ‘hypothetical’but we don’t know which bit she thought was hypothetical – Id assume only the bit about IF she breached the ministerial code). Hmm.

    30. David Rodgers says:

      Never thought I’d see the day when indy supporters are cheering on the likes of Ruth Davidson and Jackie Baillie but it’s come to this stage.

    31. Sharon says:

      Remember when Jeremy Hunt “broke ministerial code” – and where is he now? Oh … well, I hope Scotland can do better.

    32. Captain Yossarian says:

      @100%Yes – wee hairys fae Dreghorn know how to fight dirty and make a lot of noise.

      Alex Salmond and Andrew Neil will just absorb it. We’ll hear what the Court finds tomorrow but, as a credible force in Scottish politics, she and Swinney are finished.

    33. Cath says:

      What are people’s feeling on SNP membership right now? Leave or stay and fight?

    34. Margaret Lindsay says:

      She ( Sturgeon) gave a very telling answer, basically the alphabet women are entitled to due process, she is entitled to due process, but strangely enough, no mention of Alex Salmond also being entitled to due process. We really need to tear Scottish politics down and start again.

    35. Suz says:

      Something’s afoot (okay, a LOT of things are afoot, we know that) but she KNOWS she’s not going to have to give evidence to that committee. She’s way too sure of herself and is hanging everything off of that single peg – “I look forward to giving evidence blah blah…”

    36. Dickiet says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      10 February, 2021 at 2:37 pm
      “You keep forgetting that the ministerial codes says “..intentionally lies” and that will be her eventual get out.

      Guaranteed”

      That’s the whole point. If Aberdein’s evidence is corroborated then she CANNOT say she just forgot the meeting happened because it was of no significance. It becomes an indisputably deliberate lie.

      Understood but she will just say it was a mistake, not intentional, a slip of the mind, and whatever other excuse there is. Hamilton will of course say the same. Yes there was a wee confusion over dates, it’s irrelevant, it was not intentional blah blah blah

      Hope I am wrong but doubt it.

    37. Dickiet says:

      Cath says:
      10 February, 2021 at 3:23 pm
      What are people’s feeling on SNP membership right now? Leave or stay and fight?

      Resigned but will vote SNP / ISP. Independence is more important.

      Hopefully ISP hold her ankles to the fire

    38. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Dickiet – pre-arranged meetings have to be recorded and minuted. That’s her problem.

    39. Daisy Walker says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      10 February, 2021 at 2:37 pm

      “You keep forgetting that the ministerial codes says “..intentionally lies” and that will be her eventual get out.

      Guaranteed”

      That’s the whole point. If Aberdein’s evidence is corroborated then she CANNOT say she just forgot the meeting happened because it was of no significance. It becomes an indisputably deliberate lie’

      ————–

      Unfortunately you are not correct and laws in Scotland have had to be amended due to people arguing successfuly in court that even though someone with learing difficulties could see that a certain course of action would have xyz consequences, when they did it, they never intended for it to have that effect.

      To give an example, a group of people, had a picnic under an Eagles nest, while it was sitting on chicks, the eagle flew off, clearly being disturbed, they filmed themselves doing it, they filmed the eagle flying away, they commented about the eagle flying off the nest… but the law at that time stated the offence was committed when a person wilfully or intentionally disturbed the nest of a schedule 1 bird.

      They argued they never ‘intended’ and got off. The law was amended later to include the words ‘or recklessly’. But you get the point.

      With regards NS performance today, I rather got the impression she was giving a warning to Mz Bailley re ‘holding important information’…. She did not seem defeated in any way.

    40. Betsy says:

      @Cath,
      I left the SNP a good while back for reasons unrelated to the current shitshow. If I were still a member just now I’d be inclined to hang on, having come this far and see how things play out once both inquiries have made their findings. The only change I’d be making just now is to pay the minimum possible contribution to keep my membership live.

    41. TNS2019 says:

      Rev

      Get the point about intentionality, but the code also states that any ‘errors’ must be corrected as soon as possible and she has not done that.
      She has had plenty of time.
      In our case, Swinney lied to Parliament and very obviously so. But although the opposition know about it, they have done nothing.
      There is something amiss at Holyrood in terms of the lack of scrutiny by the opposition and I can understand why this fuels speculation about pacts between the parties or interference from elsehwere.
      Basically, if this were taking place at Westminster, both Swinney and Sturgeon would have gone a long time ago.

      https://www.tns2019.org/new-blog-1/2020/12/1/head-brick-wall-interface

    42. Anonymoose says:

      Dickiet says:
      10 February, 2021 at 3:33 pm

      Understood but she will just say it was a mistake, not intentional, a slip of the mind, and whatever other excuse there is. Hamilton will of course say the same. Yes there was a wee confusion over dates, it’s irrelevant, it was not intentional blah blah blah

      Hope I am wrong but doubt it.

      If she does say it was a mistake/not intentional/the magpie distracted her, then she has admitted to the failure to record Government business and not only broken the minesterial code once, but TWICE just over one meeting.

      That begs the question of any other Government business that slipped out of her diary.

    43. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      I was browsing Craig Murray’s Twitter and he mentioned this (updated):-

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2021/01/my-sworn-evidence-on-the-sturgeon-affair/

      In it, he mentions,
      37. In August of 2019, I learnt that my friend the veteran investigative journalist Laurie Flynn had been digging into the events which led to the Court of Session judicial review, and had an article written. I offered to host it on my blog. It was extremely interesting and highlighted the role of redacted, a name that was coming up again and again.

      38. I therefore published Laurie’s article on 23 August 2019…

      I went into Craig’s archives and read the article.

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/08/the-alex-salmond-fit-up/

      In it, the author states,
      We have no way of knowing what came out of these hearings except that top civil servants were compelled to appear under oath and be questioned. I do know that Evans appeared before the Commission as did Investigating Officer Judith Mackinnon. I also know that Nicola Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff, a Ms Elizabeth Lloyd, was due to appear when the Scottish Government suddenly decided to collapse the case on January 3rd 2019. Finally we know that when Ronnie Clancy QC appeared in the Court of Session he had a large folder of killer documents to underline his case.

      The case was collapsed so that a person’s ‘evidence’ could not be heard?

    44. frogesque says:

      @Cath 3.23

      My membership lapsed a few days ago, not renewed.

      Email to branch, email starts:


      Because of ongoing issues with the Fabiani enquiry, GRA, NEC take over of the party, no Indy date, treatment of J Cherry and N Hanvey, the compromised position of J. Gilruth, evasiveness by P Murrel and the missing ‘ring fenced’ Indy campaign donations, I have let my membership lapse.

      SNP will definitely NOT get my Regional List Vote (totally wasted in Fife anyway) and even the Constituency vote is in serious doubt.

      I am heart sickened that a party of Indepence has reduced itself to this. Should it ever get back to putting Independence for Scotland front and foremost and an actual date rather than a wimpy 11 point plan for another rejected S30 then I may reconsider.” email ends.

      Just a reminder, my MSP, J. Gilruth is the partner of K Dugdale yet was adopted for Holyrood 2021 with no alternative candidate or vote.

    45. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Further to my comment at 3.41:-

      http://archive.is/Nrc9L

      http://archive.is/dnNrM#selection-1877.0-1881.266
      (The Garavelli story)

    46. Gav says:

      I just had a thought occur. When the 2016-21 parliamentary term ends all msps stop being msps whilst they seek re-election. Say NS is forced to resign, does that absolutely prevent her from seeking to become fm under a new parliamentary term?

    47. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      Whoa! Our fine, upstanding First Minister is looking RATTLED there. She jumped up off that chair to answer “like frogs in a dynamite pond” (Hunter S Thompson) and her famous legendary iconic laconic composure is totally gone. Nae luck hen! Very, very interesting…

    48. stuart mctavish says:

      If Sturgeon were as wicked as some appear to want her to be, rather than resigning, it might be far more instructive to see her test the integrity of parliamentary process further with testimony to the effect that Salmond was prone to patting her own scapula (through her clothes) back in the day.

      All things being equal, doing so would instantly qualify her for the same questionable protection accorded to some of the other ladies involved – only downside being that the obligation to become anonymous might adversely affect the fourth estate’s ability to hold government to account over covid protocols, in the event it wanted to, now that those at risk have been vaccinated.

    49. Luke says:

      The inquiry is a stich up.

      National reports that the first minister wants the inquiry to compel Alex to attend and that power has never been used before.

      To force a private citizen to an inquiry where they have blocked that very citizens evidence to tell the truth under oath is no inquiry – it’s an inquisition.

      Baillie et al should disband what is clearly a further prosecution attempt of a private citizen.

      They’re hoping he slips up in the inquiry to achieve a prosecution, and if he doesn’t turn up, then we’ll prosecute him under compulsion laws. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

      Tyranny on stilts.

    50. true scot says:

      The danger is that people will vote Mustard the way they used to vote Red. The SNP are defying political gravity – their performance has been poor in many of the areas that normally matter to people, and their legislative agenda seems to be around signalling virtue. Independence is beyond them. It’s too hard. Face it. There’s not enough talent there to make it happen. Everything they collectively touch seems to turn to shit. But never underestimate a cornered and wounded beast. I look at Sturgeon and I see the eyes of a career criminal who’ll do whatever is needed to survive. This is all about career – not country. I think I despise her more than Farage now.

    51. Tannadice Boy says:

      It’s not that these shenanigans don’t have any consequences for the public. I learned today from Politics Scotland that in addition to the £24 million in the Rangers malicious prosecution case, consequential losses for the injured parties could spiral the total bill to £100 million. So that is 4 schools or one hospital. And not a resignation in sight.

    52. Lulu Bells says:

      Absolutely no-one just drops in on the FM, she has the diary from hell and every minute is accounted for, no-one would get past her admin team either in the SG or at HR, absolutely no-one, regardless of who they are and most especially not Geoff Aberdein and his role with AS who by the time of this possible ‘drop-in’ was not her favorite person. Hell, her office would not even sign Alex Salmond into the building do you think they would let his CoS pop in for a blether.

      Earlier this week Ruddick referred to ‘the women’, now NS does it again, it’s all about being fair to them. Constantly referring to this is simply constantly suggesting that in some way Alex Salmond is guilty of what these women accused him of and these poor women have been wronged in some way and this inquiry is somehow going to make things better for them.

      Regardless of the wrongdoing of Leslie Evans and her team in the handling of the women’s complaints the women have had their day in the strongest and most public way anyone raising a complaint at work could possibly do (whilst no one knows who they are), what more do they want or deserve. This is no longer about them.

    53. There's a Stormski Coming says:

      It was a damn clear question and not a ‘hypothetical’ one….it was a clear cut question which Nicola ignored and threw a few squirrels.

    54. Cath says:
      10 February, 2021 at 3:23 pm
      What are people’s feeling on SNP membership right now? Leave or stay and fight?

      If Scotland was a normal independent country I’d have left the SNP before now

      I’m fighting for independence to the bitter end, so I’m definitely staying.

    55. Charles Hodgson says:

      If she had testified under oath, the Govt would have collapsed there and then. They had no exclusions in place at the time of the questions she could have been asked, and would have to have answered.

    56. Daisy Walker says:

      o/t very good podcast by Mandy Rhodes of Joanna Cherry, who gives a very good account of herself, but also an insight in how deeply unpleasant the whole thing has been.

      One thing that comes across strongly is that she knew she’d get pelters for standing up for Scotland, she just never expected it to be from her own party. They don’t have her back. What a shower. Divided we fall eh?

      She did not mention names, but stated catagorically, the recent arrest by Police Scotland was for threats of sexual violence towards her, from a member of the SNP. No word from Nicla as yet, no heartrending wee video blog about it… any minute now.

      You can get the link for the interview from JC’s twitter account. Well worth a listen.

    57. Lulu Bells says:

      me @3:59…and just say that Leslie Evans and her HR team had not messed up the investigation to the complaints and had gone through correct process and reached the conclusion Alex Salmond had a case to answer based on their flawed new procedure. What could possibly have happened then? They had no conceivable way of holding him to account, or taking any disciplinary action against him. So it was always completely pointless unless they were planning on breaking their own codes and making the accusations against him public and that was to be his ‘punishment’.

    58. Sarah says:

      @ Cath: I am staying as it gives me a few opportunities to try to spread the word [a very few as am currently the only one at branch meetings who won’t wheesht for indy] and to vote for cleaner officeholders, better policies e.g. plebiscite election, etc.

      Have to say it is no fun. I would far rather be in a Yes party.

    59. Charles Hodgson says:

      Probably greetin’ at Sturgeon’s feet. Don’t make me testify / perjure myself, PLEASE!

    60. Steve davison says:

      .can not understand why anyone would still vote SNP in any situation.Firstly they will not push forward indie and a redundant second point due to point one why oh why would you give them power in a indie Scotland they would create a one party leader for life state .They have been let of the hook for so long in the dismal running of the country on the premise indie was coming and blame westminster get out.Everyone wake the fuck up this lot are a shower of white not fit for your support in a church hall election

    61. Stuart MacKay says:

      The First Minister doth protest too much, methinks.

    62. Name (required) says:

      please correct me if i am wrong
      (i often am – and bizarrely even change my mind and view its proven to be so – who knew)

      but did not our saint nic(ola) imply that she would

      see you next Tuesday ?

      you getting it yet ?

      lol

    63. Republicofscotland says:

      Sturgeon also played to the gallery today by saying that she relished the opportunity to give evidence to the inquiry, she further insulted our intelligence, by claiming its all just one big conspiracy theory.

      Like Trump, Sturgeon will need to be dragged kicking and screaming from Bute House, for she won’t respectfully do the right thing and resign as FM, when its shown that’s she clearly broke the Ministerial Code.

      Its a sad state of affairs when we hope that BritNats such as Baillie and Fraser expose a supposedly independence minded FM, who in reality has damaged the indy cause to no ends.

    64. Taylor Stevenson says:

      If I’m correct James Hamilton was also at the meeting on the 2nd April 2018 at the Sturgeonov house so you would assume he would have known why he was going, unless of course he just dropped in for a cuppa and AS, LL and GA were already there. NS is so confident methinks JH may have been nobbled…

    65. lumilumi says:

      [i] Margaret Lindsay says:
      10 February, 2021 at 3:27 pm

      She ( Sturgeon) gave a very telling answer, basically the alphabet women are entitled to due process, she is entitled to due process, but strangely enough, no mention of Alex Salmond also being entitled to due process. We really need to tear Scottish politics down and start again. [/i]

      This stood out to me as well. NS is once again making it all about the poor alphabet women, who’ve already had their day in court, where a jury found AS not guilty. NS is still trying to spin and smear an innocent man.

      NS’s words about due process, transparency, truth etc. ring very hollow, very hypocritical. Especially odious is her insistence that she should be entitled to due process. Yeah, right, like you gave and are still giving to AS?

      What a piece of work she is! Makes me sick!

    66. Captain Yossarian says:

      Could it be the case that Aberdein’s evidence confirms that an official pre-arranged meeting took place in Sturgeon’s office. There will be a record of who attended, when it started and when it finished.

      If Aberdein’s evidence was not allowed to be considered by the Fabiani Inquiry, will the Judge tomorrow not wonder why that was the case.

      If it is allowed to be released now, will that not clarify whether we have been lied to by the FM, or not.

      Regarding Daisy’s observation from earlier that the FM did not look worried today. If she was indeed not worried, then she would just have answered the questions. She’s not only worried, I would say she is shitting herself just-now.

    67. Republicofscotland says:

      O/T.

      Joanna Cherry doesn’t want to lead the SNP, and she might quit politics altogether.

      https://www.thenational.scot/news/19080001.joanna-cherry-says-not-want-snp-leader-may-quit-politics/

    68. Yasmin says:

      Women women women… if this is how things will be with more women in red tape roles like peoples adviser etc then perhaps the argument for more doesn’t hold. I for one am sick to death of seeing these band of women make a laughing stock of governance. Salmond left a respected and competent government and within a few years sturgeon and her cabal of witche have created shambles.
      Justice will only now be served if she and wuss Murrell are jailed for their lies and corrupt conduct, particularly when they were happy to jail an innocent man on false charges.

    69. Ken MacIntyre says:

      Dear Guardian

      Rafael Behr states in his article today about the scandal which has engulfed the Scottish Government in its attempts to frame Alex Salmond:

      ‘The truth may never be excavated from beneath the rubble of civil war between nationalist factions’.

      This is seriously misleading.

      First, the truth about Sturgeon and her cabal’s botched attempt to ruin Alex Salmond with false allegations and then cover it up is publicly available and supported by evidence. ‘Conspiracy theory’ is now conspiracy fact, attested by the former First Minister and a sworn Affidavit by a former UK Ambassador.

      See:
      Affidavit Craig Murray.pdf

      Salmond submission to Hamilton.pdf

      Second, the process has involved the corrupt collusion of the Scottish civil service, the Scottish Crown Office and Police Scotland and goes well beyond nationalist faction fighting, to seriously question the integrity and impartiality of Scottish government and law enforcement.

      Third, as is well known, Salmond was found innocent by a jury last year, on all 13 criminal charges.

      See also Alex Salmond’s submissions to the Holyrood Committee on the judicial review below which found the Scottish government’s complaints process biased, unfair and unlawful, awarding the highest scale of costs.

      To suggest that this is a ‘civil war’ when it is Alex Salmond who has been the victim of a wicked plot to ruin him and send him to prison on false charges, followed by an obvious and clumsy cover up, is below the standards of reporting expected of the Guardian. Before Scottish voters cast their votes this spring they should be in no doubt of the nature of their government and it’s the media’s duty to report it.

      Kind regards

      Ken MacIntyre
      7 Northcote Crescent
      West Horsley
      Leatherhead
      KT24 6LX
      07582 355368

      See also
      AStoHolyroodCommitteeJan21

      AStoHolyroodCommitteeDec20.pdf

    70. Beaker says:

      @Craig Jones says:
      10 February, 2021 at 2:17 pm
      “I almost feel guilty of some terrible wrong doing.”

      No, you are showing that the integrity of Parliament is important, and above party politics, however awkward that may feel.

      I only wish some of the idiots posting on social media felt the same.

    71. Stuart MacKay says:

      Cath @3.23pm

      I had intended to wait to see how the inquiries would play out and what the reaction from all parties would be before making a decision. I still had some hope of there being something to salvage when all the smoke had cleared however Ruddick’s “Oh, look a squirrel” a couple of days ago was the last straw.

      It’s been said here before that members will have to justify their continued support given everything we know. I could no longer justify remaining, even to myself.

      Simply put – I resigned because things are so bad I felt my own integrity and self worth was at stake.

      That’s a bit dramatic, but now, only jail sentences for all involved will satisfy me.

    72. Sarah says:

      @ Ken MacIntyre at 4.24: that is an excellent letter to the Guardian. I hope two things: that they print it; that they read the evidence and learn what is going on in Scotland.

    73. lumilumi says:

      @ Lulu Bells @ 4:08pm

      Yeah, seems that way. Leaking the complaints to the press (should I say friendly press) could’ve been the plan all along – to “punish” a perceived political rival and take him out without having to substantiate any of the claims because workplace confidentiality etc. Actually just an underhand political tactic of tawdry smears.

      I wonder if they expected AS to just go quietly. Well, he didn’t, and here they still are, trying all kinds of tactics to just make it (and AS) go away. Total lack of strategic thinking from the start. (On top of all the apparent corruption in the Crown Office, the Police, the government and the political party/parties!)

      Who lacks strategic thinking? Why, Nicola Sturgeon, of course!

    74. Tony Henry says:

      Cath says:
      10 February, 2021 at 3:23 pm
      What are people’s feeling on SNP membership right now? Leave or stay and fight?

      I left. Fight from the outside.
      1. They don’t listen on the inside anyway. They didn’t even tell Joanne Cherry about the 11 step plan so communication is non existent.
      2. Leaving hits their numbers and their pocket. They cannot claim your support if you have left but if you stay they will trumpet that as support and refuse to recognise your legitimate objections.

      That’s why I left.

      She reminds me of a wee chap hiding in a bunker in Berlin in 1945 denying impending disaster.

    75. richard richardson says:

      Rev Stu
      “That’s the whole point. If Aberdein’s evidence is corroborated then she CANNOT say she just forgot the meeting happened because it was of no significance. It becomes an indisputably deliberate lie”

      But what if there was another person at the meeting of 29/3 and she/he provides evidence supporting the Sturgeon version of events and this contradicts the Salmond/Arberdein et al evidence?

    76. Sarah says:

      @ Stuart Mackay: I agree – I too want prison sentences for the crooks and all the weak complicit parliamentary members turfed out.

      But I am staying to help in no matter how small a way to ensure something is done within the party to achieve those aims. And to try to get the manifesto to be on a plebiscite basis.

      BUT if the Rev got involved in a really feisty Yes-based party I would swap to that. Such a party would be honest, successful and FUN!

    77. Captain Yossarian says:

      @richard richardson – that sir is why you minute meetings; or at least you should minute meetings. The SG don’t do that, of course.

    78. Astonished says:

      What are people’s feeling on SNP membership right now? Leave or stay and fight? :

      Very good question. Are you listening Mike Russell ?

      I think I’m minded to stay and fight with no donations or campaign helping. Pay the minimum you can and second vote ISP (if they agree its a plebiscite).

      The upside is eventually you’ll get to vote out the wokeratti.

    79. Toz says:

      post at 4.24 has Kens full address and mobile number, maybe best removing this part?

    80. Alf Baird says:

      Tannadice Boy @ 3:58 pm

      “in addition to the £24 million in the Rangers malicious prosecution case, consequential losses for the injured parties could spiral the total bill to £100 million. So that is 4 schools or one hospital. And not a resignation in sight.”

      Don’t forget the £300 million wasted on two poorly specified ferries which may never operate and which would have cost just £30 million from an Asian yard, and actually be delivered, as in built and operational. And the very same SG officials who are responsible for that ‘catastrophic failure’ (according to Holyrood REC committee) are now about to order more ferries…..

      Which means it really disnae maiter whit ony Holyrood committee finds oot.

    81. Liz says:

      Archived version on Joanna’s interview in the National.
      Looks like they’ve blocked replies again.

      She would be a massive loss to Scottish politics, we are getting left with the pen pushers and bench warmers.

      https://archive.md/sgMkt

    82. Alf Baird says:

      lumilumi @ 4:36

      “..the apparent corruption in the Crown Office, the Police, the government and the political party/parties!)”

      It does appear to be the case that Scotland has a somewhat colonial ‘justice’ system which is primarily directed at oppressing those whom the colonial power views as its adversary, much as Nelson Mandela cautioned is a tendency for some nations ‘social institutions’. That this has may always have been the case in the ‘union’ gives food for thought, whilst recent and ongoing events have merely shone a light on our wretchedness, which is nothing new.

      It is to be hoped that international human rights organisations including the UN and its agencies are looking closely at ongoing events in Scotland, which could become even more oppressive. However it is the Scottish people themselves who must cast out the oppressor, which is the rationale for independence of all peoples, and fortunately there are another 4 independence parties to vote for now, in addition to the daeless SNP and the doubtful Greens.

    83. David Duncan says:

      It might be that the FM is relatively confident, not necessarily in her position, but of the most likely outcome even if she’s found guilty of having misled Parliament. There’s a technicality in pts 1.3(c) that’s potentially interesting.

      Para 1.3(c) of the Scottish Ministerial Code states ‘It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to the Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead the Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the First Minister;’.

      She effectively has to offer herself her resignation. What in effect does that mean. Would she in fact offer her resignation to Parliament or to the SNP group. If the latter – then she might be comfortable in the prospect of it being rejected and her retaining her status. I suspect she would be less so if the judgement were by the whole of Parliament.

      There is the ‘knowingly mislead’ argument which might be used in defence – however that in itself might require an untruth to be told … but how sacrosanct do we each believe telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth actually is in this saga.

    84. H Scott says:

      ‘true scot says:
      10 February, 2021 at 3:05 pm
      @ Jim Thomson Yes – and this is why it was controvertial that Nicola Sturgeon was using SNP servers for email. Because it’s party infrastructure there’s no data governance,’

      Hilary Clinton, who Sturgeon admires, did the same thing with her emails.

    85. lumilumi says:

      Republicofscotland @ 4:20pm

      What a sad loss to Scottish politics if such an outstanding indy-supporting politician as Joanna Cherry decides to retire from front-line politics.

      I wouldn’t blame her, though, after the truly awful way her own party leadership have treated her. She had a very successful career before politics and she will again.

      Compare and contrast that with the braying student politics entryist and careerist mob that have hounded her, with the tacit approval of the party leadership.

      If the SNP really prefer to pander to the woke faction over retaining the talents and knowledge of Ms Cherry, it is a very bad sign.

      Do you want politics and laws based on hurty feelz of (self-identified) “special” groups (excluding women, if the HCB goes ahead), or politics and law based on science, statistics, macroeconomy, facts, knowledge, insight, strategy and seeing the bigger picture of society as a whole?

      Which is it, the SNP?

    86. Donibristle says:

      She did a Tony Blair at every turn.

    87. Big Jock says:

      You know when she is lying when she throws her hands around and starts ranting in a defensive manner. Talking on her heels, all over the place. It’s what liars do when they are cornered.

    88. John Martini says:

      “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.”

    89. SilverDarling says:

      If Joanna Cherry does leave politics it won’t be because she had nothing to contribute. Her current seat is being gerrymandered out next election and as we know she sought to move to Holyrood where her expertise and knowledge would have been so welcome.

      The fragile snivelling small people of the party could not have that though. Remember mediocrity is celebrated in SNP of NS. People are elected not on the basis of what they can do to improve the lives of citizens but on the basis of their own perceived right to a seat. Scotland has become a place of entitlement if you are in the clique. This is SLab all over again.

    90. John H. says:

      David Lyon says:
      10 February, 2021 at 2:54 pm

      “What exactly does Sturgeon have on the MSPs who are taking bullets for her?

      She’s about to go into the side of a mountain and Wishart & Co are still cheerleading her.”

      When she eventually falls, as surely she must, then people like Wishart will claim that she was on the verge of getting us independence. But that nasty people like Stuart Campbell and Craig Murray prevented her. Wishart will use that as an excuse for himself as well.

    91. Cath says:

      Cheers for all the membership replies. The crazy thing is that I reckon my branch would be happy to see me leave (wrongthink!). And my thrawn streak is telling me that means I should stay. Will go and listen to some Clash and think about it…

    92. twathater says:

      As others have pointed out the never ending heart tugging strings about the POOR women is disgusting and deplorable , and the only way they can continue with this mantra is due to the anonymity granted presided over by the courts , YET that same anonymity is being relentlessly ABUSED by these very same alleged victims by continuously smearing and denigrating a man who has been exonerated, through ANY medium they can access , surely the courts and the legal profession are aware that having been found not guilty of ALL the charges by a jury of his peers the continued assault on his character renders the anonymity order an egregious breach of AS human rights

      How can it be right that these women aided and abetted by members of the government and institutions directly funded by the same government are FREE to continue with impunity trying to retry and overcome a JUST and LEGAL verdict in the court of public opinion , surely that is NOT what anonymity orders were designed for , surely at some point the legal profession have to decide enough is enough the alleged victims by their excessive actions are devaluing and damaging the intent of the anonymity orders

    93. Boaby says:

      The liar tony blair used to gesticulate with his hands like that as well.

    94. Nally Anders says:

      Cath @3.23pm
      I decided a few weeks back that I cannot vote SNP. All of the corruption has disgusted me.
      However that desperate video, immediately followed by Jo Cherry’s demotion and Humza rowing back on the HCB ammendments basically put the tin lid on it.
      Was the whole thing staged to kill these two birds with the one stone? I believe so.
      How is it that a tiny minority holds such sway with the FM is utterly appalling. She’s now firmly nailed her colours to the mast and is seemingly unconcerned about losing woman’s votes.
      SNP will likely gain a majority in May, bringing in GRA and the supporting HCB, but not in my name.
      If I thought for one instant they had any real intention of pushing for Independence, I might reconsider but I don’t believe they will.
      Conversely, in the short term I’ve held onto my membership in order to vote in a leadership contest.
      If NS clings on or if Alan Smith or Angus Robertson stand, the membership is gone.
      ISP on the list vote.

    95. Hugh Jarse says:

      Radio Shortbread is going big on the weekend meeting at the Murrells gaffe being the big issue, but it’s saying nada about the pop in Aberdein sesh.

      It almost sounded like the issue was NS potentially intervening on AS behalf!

    96. Alex Stone says:

      Charles Hodgson says:
      10 February, 2021 at 2:41 pm
      “Intenionally” that’s the get-out clause I fear.

      O/T and forwarded from the ‘four little words’ thread just for the yucks (in both senses):

      Sturgeon’s endorsement of the trans ideology that the difference between the sexes is only a social construct, means dairy farmers will now have to milk male cows. You’ll run the risk of having a gut full of bull spunk, but that’s the price we have to pay to combat gender bigotry.

      As a lifelong vegan, i endorse this message. 🙂

    97. Puzzled says:

      The Sturgeon connection with the Clinton’s is apparent with her connection to Devi Sridhar, fully paid up member of the Clinton foundation . Let’s save that particular can of worms for another day.

    98. Wee Chid says:

      Cath, I’ve remained a member (at £5 per year) simply because of the Women’s Pledge Facebook Group. I’ve left several times in the past and only re-joined to take part as an observer at the count in Dec 2019. I renewed my membership this year in order to vote in the NEC election, at the request of people in the women’s pledge but I can’t see that the change in personnel there has achieved much. I’ll keep it on until it expires because they aren’t likely to give me my £5 back. I won’t be going round any doors canvassing or doing any leafleting though and can’t see me renewing this year – not unless the stable is completely demolished and rebuilt.

    99. Wee Chid says:

      Charles Hodgson says:
      10 February, 2021 at 2:41 pm

      Thanks – that’s my morning cornflakes ruined forever.

    100. twathater says:

      I also noticed NS at FMQ repeatedly referencing that she is looking forward to facing the inquiry committee to face their questions , would those be pre prepared questions to which she has pre prepared answers to , and would the SNP guard dog be intensely watching and vetting ANY questions that may NOT follow the laid down script
      She also repeatedly referenced the person who is unwilling to be a patsy in this FARCE ignoring the many reasons the most obvious being that he will not be permitted to tell the TRUTH which would destroy her

    101. Tannadice Boy says:

      Alf Baird 4:50pm
      The additional cost of the re-engineering of the new sick kids hospital in Edinburgh is 90 millon. The 100 could have covered these works. And then there is the unforgivable delay. As far as the ferries go, never ask a committee to design a racing car because you will end up with a diesel bus. Where is the accountability? You would not get away with a fraction of these debacles in the commercial world without serious consequence. So I still don’t know who to vote for in May but it will not be the SNP. Genuinely politically homeless.

    102. Mia says:

      I have often wondered what could possibly be the purpose of involving Aberdein on this, when he was no longer in the Sgov nor working for Mr Salmond. The man had nothing to do with any of this. So why dragging a third party in?

      Could it have been to manufacture a credible time-point reference including an external, and therefore impartial and credible witness, with the aim to distract from some other previous date?

      It has been published that the FM sent a text message to Salmond on the 5th November 2017. That was the day we were told by a witness in the criminal court case that they contacted the SNP to tell them about her complaint against Mr Salmond. Yet, we are expected to believe Ms Sturgeon, the leader of the SNP nothing less, was not informed of this.

      There is also an entry in NR timeframe (updated on 6 December 2017) for 5 Nov 2017 that reads “NR/JMac meet Ms A”
      Again, we are expected to believe Ms Sturgeon, the head of government and ultimately responsible for any complaint, was not informed of this.

      Ms B meets Ms Sturgeon’s private secretary on 20 and 21 November 2017. Again, we are expected to believe the FM’s private secretary was going solo about this and did not inform his boss about it either, particularly when it was on the 22 November 2017 that a formal letter on behalf of the FM was sent to the Permanent Secretary asking her to proceed with the complaints against former ministers.

      Ms Harvey received the 16 text messages from someone at the end of October 2017. Again, we are expected to believe Ms Sturgeon was not alerted by anybody of a fishing expedition being conducted among SNP personnel. Wow.

      Far fetched as it sounds, I am wondering now what could be the odds that this meeting on the 6 March 2018 was just a decoy aiming to push forward 4 whole months the point when it could be publicly argued that the FM learned about the complaints. This would distract from the time those complaints arrived, which was November 2017. It is not like the meeting with Aberdein was organised immediately after the complaints were filed, but 2 months after. A lot can happen and be planned in 2 months.

      The FM is being investigated regarding breaking the ministerial code because, among other things, she claimed she was aware of one fact 4 days later of when she is claimed to have known. But what if it is not 4 days later, but 4 months later? Would those who are so willing to turn a blind eye to a “miscalculation” of 4 days, be so willing to turn a blind eye if it was not 4 days but rather a “miscalculation” of 4 months?

      Even more importantly, claiming that she knew about the complaints 4 months later, give or take 4 days, would immediately detach her from the strange fishing expeditions looking for complainers that might have taken place as early as October 2017. If proof was ever found that she knew already in early November 2017 about those complaints, it would be much more tricky for her to detach herself completely from the fishing expedition, particularly if civil servants from her own government or SNP members of staff might have been involved in it?

      What if SKY pursuing the airport story around the 6th November 2017 and the tripe Evans was telling during the inquiry that there were 2 people that were very upset because they had been contacted by Salmond regarding the Sky story was in fact another decoy to hide the real reason why those employees were uncomfortable?

      There is an interesting exchange of emails around the 3 Nov 2017 among the materials published by the inquiry. In those emails, it appears some members of staff viewed the review of the complaints procedure as a “witch hunt”. I am referring to document Phase1FN10/YY007

      If I am not misinterpreting what I have read published in the press (I am referring to an article written by David Clegg, and published in the Daily Record on 15 January 2019 with the title “Inside track of how Salmond v Sturgeon…”), the first “meeting” between Mr Aberdein and somebody from the the Sgov in March 2018, took place on the 6th March 2018.

      The Daily Record article says “During the March 6 meeting, — told Aberdein — hoped there was no basis in rumours Salmond was plotting a political comeback. — suggested this would be very difficult given his status on RT. Crucially, — also made reference to the sexual misconduct claims”

      The article also says that Mr Aberdein informed Mr Salmond of what he had learnt in that meeting about the complaints.

      If what the Daily Record published is true, this meeting took place on the 6th March. But it was not until the 7th March that Evans officially informed Mr Salmond of the complaints. So, this person from the SGov was informing Aberdein before Mr Salmond had even being informed. Leaving apart potential breaches of Mr Salmond’s privacy rights by informing about these complaints to a third party without Mr Salmond’s consent and even before Mr Salmond himself had been informed, what was this Sgov person doing? Fishing? A tangential shot across the bows expecting Aberdein to run to warn Mr Salmond against coming back to politics?

      Or was this an attempt for this Sgov representative to portray themselves as the “good cop” in whom Mr Salmond could trust while Ms Evans was acting as the “bad cop” in the performance?

      Are we expected to believe there was no careful coordination between the timing this 1:1 informal coffee meeting with Mr Aberdein and the timing of the official communication by Ms Evans to Mr Salmond of the complaints just the day after?

      mmm…

      And more importantly, are we expected to believe all this was happening and the FM did not have a clue about any of it?

      mmm…

      What are the odds these people might have thought that on the meeting of the 2 April 2018 Mr Salmond was just ready to give up and resign from the SNP so the whole thing would wind down and would become just an opened and closed case where the complaints procedure would not have to go any further because the main objective, which was to completely remove the Mr Salmond’s grip and influence on the SNP, would have been achieved?

      The complaints were officially filed on January 2018. Mr Salmond was not informed officially until 7 March, that is 2 entire months delay. The result of the “investigation” was not released until August 2018. By that time, plan C (the criminal case) was quite possibly already in motion, particularly if we are to believe some fishing expedition had started already 10 months before.

      So what happened to the 2 original complaints during those 2 months until Mr Salmond was informed? After all the rush those civil servants went through to release the complaints procedure, now those official complaints were simply left to sit aside awaiting Mr Salmond’s response? Or was it the case that other things were planned and put in place during those 2 months so Mr Salmond was not informed until there was a clear and carefully set out plan to cover all avenues?

      The article of Clegg also says:

      “— insists — had no knowledge of the Government probe at that stage and was instead referring to questions the press office had been fielding”

      So we are expected to believe the press office in the Sgov had been divulging information of complaints against Mr Salmond even before Mr Salmond had been informed but the FM, clearly deaf and blind, did not find out a word about any of this.

      mmm…

    103. TNS2019 says:

      Learn from Trump.
      SNP = corruption.
      Simple message.
      Either they change their leadership and re-brand, or we need a new independence party.
      It will never happen after May.
      So someone needs to get their skates on and their message out.
      Scotland is not safe with the SNP.Tragic that I should be saying this about my own party but it is true.

    104. velofello says:

      My recollection – Geoff Aberdein was contacted by a member of the SNP government and invited to a meeting with the FM. He decided to consult two friends/colleagues prior to the meeting. He attended the meeting.He has testified that the meeting took place. I would expect that his two friends can confirm his discussion with them.

      And the FM when questioned says that the meeting had ‘slipped her mind”, really!

      Is my recollection correct?

    105. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “She effectively has to offer herself her resignation. What in effect does that mean. Would she in fact offer her resignation to Parliament or to the SNP group. “

      It’s not ambiguous at all. It says “to the First Minister”. That’s her.

    106. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “If I’m correct James Hamilton was also at the meeting on the 2nd April 2018 at the Sturgeonov house so you would assume he would have known why he was going, unless of course he just dropped in for a cuppa and AS, LL and GA were already there. NS is so confident methinks JH may have been nobbled…”

      You are not correct. You’re confusing James Hamilton with Duncan Hamilton.

    107. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “All Ministers are pledged to uphold the Ministerial Code. Or they wouldn’t be Ministers. Sturgeon would have enjoyed batting away such a question.”

      She could either have said yes, or she could have dodged it and looked even shiftier than she did.

    108. Helen Yates says:

      I did notice Sturgeon was quite red of face on a couple of occasions during FMQs, she reminds of one of those people who could convince you black is white, she’s that good with her mouth. however I feel more strongly than ever after FMQs and then the debate on the malicious prosecutions by the Crown office that the unionists now have all the ammunition they need to do irreparable damage to the SNP in the run up to the election.

      I’ll say this because it is my strong belief that if Mays election is not a plebiscite then come May the SNP are gone and with them independence.

    109. tartanfever says:

      vellofello@ 5.59

      No, your recollection is correct. In fact, it was Sturgeon’s office that decided to use Aberdein as a contact point/go between to Alex Salmond.

      His involvement is entirely at the initial request of Sturgeon & Co.

    110. Sylvia says:

      tartanfever @6.19

      Geoff Aberdein left the SG in 2014-I haven’t been able to fathom out why he was used as the go between?

    111. Famous15 says:

      I think people forget that the FM is surrounded by assistants and some you would think are joined at the hip so anything needing corroboration for her will be remembered by them. Her closest assistant was present REDACTED and had fun.

    112. Veritas says:

      It may not be directly appropriate to this post but it now transpires that the Crown Office are offering all employees involved in the various malicious prosecutions which we know about ( more to come) legal advice – at no cost to them but from the public purse/- legal advice from a very expensive Edinburgh law firm.
      Why do they need legal advice & why are we paying for it?
      This is preparation for obfuscation & obstruction in the event of any enquiry- sound familiar?

    113. BuggerLePanda says:

      @sylvia

      AS resigned after the Indie Ref result.

      All the allegations go to when he was FM and Geoff Aberdein would have been AS’s shadow.

    114. zebedee says:

      What the ministerial code actually says, as quoted verbatim by Jackie Baillie in the youtube video up above:

      ( c ) It is of paramount importance that Ministers give accurate and truthful information to the Parliament, correcting any inadvertent error at the earliest opportunity. Ministers who knowingly mislead the Parliament will be expected to offer their resignation to the First Minister;

      Source: https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-ministerial-code-2018-edition/pages/2/

      Neither ‘intentional’ nor ‘lie’ exist on that page.

    115. BLMac says:

      I think it portends well for the future of Scotland that supporters of independence are prepared to fight for truth and decency even when it’s against our independence party.

      We will have a decent and honourable government because we do not tolerate corruption. (How many Tories are openly contesting the Westminster govt over corruption?)

      The other thing, just how criminally dumb are the SNP hierarchy?

      The world’s largest and most influential organisation pursued a ‘Weesht for Jesus’ campaign over paedophilia issues (strange how it’s always the sex issues), and yet even they had to buckle in the end.

      ‘Weesht for Indy’ isn’t going to work folks.

    116. zebedee says:

      In any case she will claim any misleading was unintentional, she will be backed up by her chief of staff, and if it comes to a vote, everyone will vote on party lines, like always happens. Same with Hamilton’s report.

      So in the end, it comes down to whether the voters are scunnered. If rumblings are felt then SNP MSPs will discover a conscience. If not, it will be business as usual.

    117. T.C. Nu says:

      Famous15@16:49 pm

      ‘I think people forget that the FM is surrounded by assistants….’

      Assistants?, sycophants, I think was the word you really wanted there, or, all things considered maybe a better description would be, to coin a word, sapphicophants…

      allegedly, I hasten to add.

    118. Hamish Kirk says:

      What has it come to ? I feel compelled to buy the New Statesman of 10 February so I can read Joanna Cherry’s piece. Has it come to this ?

    119. wee monkey says:

      Effijy says:
      10 February, 2021 at 3:16 pm
      “OT”
      You are increasingly coming across as a sturgeon shrill.

    120. David Caledonia says:

      Heh heh heh,

    121. TNS2019 says:

      BLMac says:
      10 February, 2021 at 7:06 pm

      I think it portends well for the future of Scotland that supporters of independence are prepared to fight for truth and decency even when it’s against our independence party.

      Such wise words, Sir/Madam/Non-gendered individual

    122. Corrado Mella says:

      I have the uncomfortable sensation that we’re looking at a few deranged individuals hell bent on an act of revenge against anyone that had the disgrace to live a way of life corresponding to the chromosome pair they were be born with.

      As if it was every man’s fault that women are biologically disadvantaged in sports and, rather than demand to compete on an even playfield, want to split sports by biology rather than ability.

      Usain Bolt has trashed all other men in every race he participated. What do we do, do we exclude tall men from races? That’s a genetically driven biological advantage.

      Black runners regularly trash any runner from any another ethnic group. Again, another genetic advantage.
      Do we split sport by racial background?

      Reductio ad absurdum (pushing things to their limit) always exposes wrong ideas.

      Women’s rights to their personal spaces are under assault by woke zealots.
      Some of them need safe spaces, but the genderwoowoo brigade says it’s discrimination and a biological man that self-IDs as a woman is entitled to use a ladies’ bathroom.
      If I self-ID as disabled, with no medical proof, can I use a bathroom reserved to the disabled?
      If I self-ID as a child, can I get a discount at the movies?

      Again, reductio ad absurdum and you can see the turds float.

      There is no contradiction between the two problems above: it’s all part of the same strategy to exasperate everyone and get us to go at each others’ throat.

      That’s how the BritNazi Establishment plays the game: batting from both sides with cretinous, absurd, highly controversial and polarising arguments, sit back and look at the peasants kick each other in the teeth while they feast on swan’s foie gras.

      The first step is to get these agitprops, kompromat cretins out of the way and go back to normal, civil discussion about things that really matter.

      That’s why Mrs Murrell and her clique, the Twitler Youth, the genderwoowoo wokeratti, Papa Bear, Pension Pete and all other has-been must be swept away.

      Let reason and science back in power.

      Scotland is the birthplace of the Enlightenment. It’s time for another go at it.

    123. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Corrado Mella at 8:54 pm.

      You typed,
      “If I self-ID as disabled, with no medical proof, can I use a bathroom reserved to the disabled?”

      My take is that, under the equality laws, you can have gender-neutral, gents, ladies and disabled-friendly toilets. As I see it, the latter are not “reserved” for the disabled, rather they are gender-neutral toilets with extra facilities to make them “disabled-friendly”.

      As such, I can find myself needing a visit to the facilities at work and, if the (single-user) gents is occupied, I will use the next-door “disabled-friendly”, gender-neutral facility.

      I see no problem with this.

    124. Sharon says:

      David Duncan

      I think Nicola Sturgeon should offer her resignation to the sovereign people of Scotland.

    125. stonefree says:

      Watching Sturgeon today,
      I always questioned her Make up( No not that!!!) I thought she was a narcissistic sociopath,
      The performance today I believe would if analyses properly confirm it, She lacks empathy, she does seem to know she’s lying, she probably believes she isn’t
      The way she presented herself indirectly inferring Salmond,as the cause, and the women as, yet again, victims,
      and she was fighting for them,quite unaware she actually created all this following it with the Wendy Alexander type rhetoric
      There is something not right with her

      Cue Rowlf as Dr.Bob

    126. Boaby says:

      Brian doonthetoon, yes i dont think there’s hardly anyone who has’nt been caught short, that if another toilet is occupied, has’nt popped in to an empty disabled toilet.

    127. Paul Kelly says:

      Speaking personally as an ordinary man on the street Indy supporter.
      I could give a running f@#%. If Nicola Sturgeon set up a meeting with Keith Aberdein to bitch about Alex Salmond naked in a hot tub at a swingers party. It’s my personal belief that the polls are moving so steadily in our favour in a large part due to the way Nicola Sturgeon has conducted herself in public since taking office. I can’t see how this can be helpful on a site which is supposed to exist for the sole purpose of winning independence.
      Correct me if I’m wrong.

    128. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Paul Kelly.

      The mainstream media, like BBC Scotland and the prominent Scottish newspapers, are selective in what info they give out to us plebs.

      You have to look elsewhere for what is actually going on.
      Try these links…

      https://wingsoverscotland.com

      https://gordondangerfield.com

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk

      If you want an independent Scotland, with a corrupt government, then fair enough. But that’s not what I want of an independent Scotland.



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