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Wings Over Scotland


And so far yet to go

Posted on April 18, 2023 by

Almost every day is now a new crisis for the SNP.

But it better get used to it.

Because while Wings makes no comment on either Colin Beattie’s or Peter Murrell’s innocence or guilt, it is extremely difficult to credibly imagine how the ongoing criminal investigation into the party’s finances can possibly unfold without several other figures being invited to assist the police with their enquiries.

If only there was some sort of largish vehicle they could be conveniently transported in.

Most obviously, when the party’s CEO and treasurer have been arrested, it defies all rational assessment that the party’s then leader – also the CEO’s then and current wife – could conceivably avoid being asked to explain what she knew, in a manner rather harder to evade than a press conference.

And if one was going to interview the former First Minister, it would appear only logical to also interview her self-described “right hand”.

Liz Lloyd is a fairly well-kent face to followers of Scottish politics, for let’s just say “a number of reasons” and leave it at that.

And also hard to miss, for other reasons, is the party’s Business Convener, who is effectively Sturgeon’s enforcer at the NEC, ensuring that matters the leader does not want discussed – such as awkward questions about the finances – are not discussed.

Admittedly she’s well designed for blocking. But a reasonable investigator would almost certainly want to know who told her to do what and why.

But beyond Sturgeon and Lloyd and Oswald you enter a stratum of people who – like Beattie and Murrell – are much less known, with barely any public profile at all, but who exercise far more power over the SNP than its membership does.

Most large organisations have a Compliance Officer. In the case of the SNP it’s a chap called Ian McCann, who has almost no online footprint – so much so that even his extremely minimalist LinkedIn account has vanished in the last few days. This shot from 2015 is almost the only photograph of him we can find:

Although he did enigmatically add this rather fuzzy and ironic one to his extremely sparse Facebook page (it contains nothing but very occasional changes of profile pic) on the day Sturgeon resigned:

McCann’s main appearance in the public eye was two years ago over the allegations against Alex Salmond, when he was reported to have been very eager to assemble a list of complainers with accusations that turned out to be false.

If you suspect an organisation may have broken the law, how can you possibly not question the person whose specific job it is to ensure it complies with the law?

And if you think there may have been something dodgy about its operations, it would seem a minimum necessity to speak with its Chief Operating Officer, especially if they’ve also just taken over as acting CEO.

Ruddick – the only Chief Operating Officer the SNP has ever had, the job having seemingly been created specifically for her and carrying a salary higher than that of a cabinet minister – is also extremely camera-shy. This snap of her (funnily enough also featuring Ian McCann) is six years old:

And very few others exist, although there’s this from a few years back:

And most reclusive of all is the SNP’s solicitor:

This is the only pic of him in existence that we know of:

And the only time he’s made the press seems to be this:

Scott Martin is in charge of Yes Scotland, the still-extant company which fronted the SNP’s 2019 “indyref” fundraiser – one of the two at the heart of the investigation.

So a passing observer would imagine he’d also be, at a minimum, a person able to offer some insight to Police Scotland in terms of the SNP’s financial affairs, and in particular the missing “ring-fenced” £600,000.

So for all the people asking us who’s most likely to have their collar felt with regard to Operation Branchform, we’d suggest that readers might want to pop a couple of quid on the runners and riders above.

We make no allegation that any of them are guilty of any wrongdoing, of course. That’s a matter for the police, and potentially a judge and jury. But purely as people who might be asked some questions, they’re the names we’d be looking out for in the headlines in the coming days and weeks.

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  1. 19 04 23 17:48

    The desperate need to get a grip – and how to do it | RobinMcAlpine.org
    Ignored

0 to “And so far yet to go”

  1. Ian McCubbin
    Ignored
    says:

    Again Stu, thanks for your excellent investigative work.
    I am sure the unfolding of your predictions will further enlighten us and hopefully lead to a conclusion which vindicates all of us who have suffered by association with that terrible organisation.

  2. Ian Brotherhood
    Ignored
    says:

    Liz Lloyd reckons one of her top skills is ‘reputation management’?

    Aye okay hen, whatever…

    Manage away.

  3. Giesabrek
    Ignored
    says:

    Great article Stu but let down by the fat-shaming sentence “Admittedly she’s well designed for blocking”

    There’s no need to criticise someone’s weight, especially when their actions have been extremely dubious… allegedly!

  4. wulls
    Ignored
    says:

    Personally I’d be watching this carefully if my name was Gordon Jackson…….

  5. Scozzie
    Ignored
    says:

    Wonder if the 50 odd grand they ‘allegedly’ spent on coaching for the AS inquiry extended to coaching for police interviews! If not, don’t suppose they’ve got another 50 grand to spaff up the wall this time.

  6. panda paws
    Ignored
    says:

    “Operation Branchfoot”

    Operation Branchform surely…

    Thanks for the tips.

  7. Graham+Adamson
    Ignored
    says:

    A great article Stu, thank you. I suspect it will educate Police Scotland as well as the rest of us. Brilliant!

  8. Rogerborg
    Ignored
    says:

    It seems like nobody has rolled on Chief Mammy yet, but if they all stick to “Ah wiz only followin’ orders!” then the fingers are only going to point one way.

    Aside, I see that Blackford has yet to realise the error he made in bloviating and blustering – apparently as a matter of fact and personal knowledge – about the finances being solid.

    I imagine we’re going to see some puffy, huffy backpeddling and “Well, Ah wiz only telling ye whit Ah’d been telt mahsel” when he realises the depth of the self-dug elephant trap that he’s just blundered into.

  9. Maureen
    Ignored
    says:

    Wonder if Mr Beattie thinks it was a good idea to re-take his old job, in the midst of this train wreck that used to be a decent political party.

  10. shug
    Ignored
    says:

    run a book on it

  11. Confused
    Ignored
    says:

    patsy
    judas goat
    prisoners dilemma
    plea deal

    bake your own cake

  12. Nairns Bairn
    Ignored
    says:

    I agree with Giesabrek above – no need to refer to a person’s weight when they’re already likely weighed down with 9 years of cover-ups and the possibility of imminent arrest.

    Good call on the Compliance Officer, Solicitor and COO by the way. These guys will already be edging towards the back door hoping nobody’s noticed them.

  13. Ottomanboi
    Ignored
    says:

    A certain resemblance to a character in East Enders.
    71? Couldn’t they get anyone younger?

  14. Liz
    Ignored
    says:

    Id like to know more about Ian Mcann.

    When I was a branch member, several of us officers sent a detailed complaint via him about a person who wanted to stand for election as an SNP MSP.

    Our complaint could have been thrown out for reasons of being not proven but the fact is we heard nothing from Ian Mccann.
    None of the concerns raised were answered.

    After several attempts by the branch’s convenor, some of the complainers, not me, got a cheeky email from Patrick Grady, then NEC convenor.
    Basically telling us to grow up and get out and campaign for the person we had raised concerns about.

    I resigned as officer and member of that branch since I decided until the concerns were addressed, I could not campaign for the chosen candidate.

    Later of course, it came out during the Alex S stitch up, Mcann sat on complaints in case they needed to be used in future for….. reasons

  15. Nairns Bairn
    Ignored
    says:

    On Colin Beattie’s arrest, it is of note that he came out in support of Kate Forbes during the leadership election. Accordingly he may not be entirely signed up to the Sturgeon-Murrell party line, and one hopes that this translates to being forthcoming and transparent under Police Scotland’s questioning today.

  16. ClanDonald
    Ignored
    says:

    Is there a “next SNP figure to be arrested” category on Paddy Power yet? That would be fun.

  17. robbo
    Ignored
    says:

    You forgot Stewart Hosie. The cops are waiting outside the Politics Live studio.

    They want to interview him for embarrassing the Scottish public on a Unionist tv.

    Does he think we’re fucking fools? Well obviously he does- fucking clown!

  18. Tam Norrie
    Ignored
    says:

    ” Giesabrek says:
    18 April, 2023 at 12:34 pm

    Great article Stu but let down by the fat-shaming sentence “Admittedly she’s well designed for blocking”

    There’s no need to criticise someone’s weight, especially when their actions have been extremely dubious… allegedly!”

    I used to be a fat bastard. I got fat by eating too much. Nobody else made me fat. I did. If someone is fat then they have inflicted it on themselves.

  19. wull
    Ignored
    says:

    Is that second picture in the article what we will now have to call a ‘White Mariah’…?

    That’s exactly what’s wrong with Scotland.

    Just as our current First Minister pointed out: Everything’s White!

    It’s a disgrace!

  20. Ladybirdonfire
    Ignored
    says:

    Erm, Susan Riddick was a life guard and swim teacher for 7 years then transformed into a parliamentary press and research assistant? How does being a lifeguard fir so long make you qualified? Also, Scott Martin was a campaigner for 3 years? What, like he got paid to leaflet doors and chat to folk? These CVs are like a twilight zone of foggy half truths and fluff. Good luck Police Scotland with that shower.

  21. Holymacmoses
    Ignored
    says:

    Great work Mr Wings, as per usual. I’m probably going to be o here more because I’ve been thrown off Twitter for lord alone knows what reason.

  22. Lou
    Ignored
    says:

    “but who exercise more far power over the SNP than its membership does.”

    “far more” would sound better.

  23. Bumsrush
    Ignored
    says:

    The National today reveals Colin Beattie’s working career. In particular ‘he spent 23 years in the Middle and Far East working in international banking’.
    23 years in that baksheesh financial environment would have been the perfect apprenticeship for creating the SNP Accounts.

  24. John_Boyd71
    Ignored
    says:

    Ooft. The risk of an extinction level event fornthe party must now be quite high.

    It seems very likely that external auditors will be appointed by the Electoral Commission very soon.

    Robin McAlpine has made an interesting point on his blog (highly recommended) about whether the party can contest a UK GE *at all* next year if it doesn’t have audited accounts.

    I wonder whether that also might apply to any by-election to replace Margaret Ferrier? Is anyone here expert enough to determine that?

  25. Graeme Hampton
    Ignored
    says:

    Liz Lloyd Top Skill: Reputation Management.

    Well thats going to get tested.

  26. Astonished
    Ignored
    says:

    Karma.

    What I want to know is who finally gave the go-ahead for the investigation ?

    And why still no action on the daily redcoat leaks ?

    And who do you think will sing first ?

  27. Ian Brotherhood
    Ignored
    says:

    Heaven only knows what they did to Beattie to get him back in the harness after he’d resigned.

    It’s like the ageing Michael Corleone in in Godfather 3: ‘Just when I was thought I was out…’

    🙁

  28. Frank Gillougley
    Ignored
    says:

    Surely, just a matter now of collecting all the evidence from these well-heeled lieutenants and then with a fair wind, le grand fromage, is for a knock on her door.

    Couldn’t happen to nicer folk.

  29. DavidT
    Ignored
    says:

    Chief Mammy to Ma Baker.

  30. Beauvais
    Ignored
    says:

    Stu, like your choice of pic with Sturgeon and Oswald and the wool. Getting it ready to pull over gullible folks’ eyes.

  31. Dave Llewellyn
    Ignored
    says:

    There is no truth in the rumour that the SNP in conjunction with the Balmoral Hotel have offered to sponsor
    B Hall in Saughton Prison for a period of 3 years .

  32. Kommando
    Ignored
    says:

    Can’t see Liz Lloyd being interviewed unless this inquiry moves beyond just the SNP and moves into the Scot Gov. If it does then there is a lot more going to be added to the list.

  33. Graeme Hampton
    Ignored
    says:

    I suppose if Peter Murrell were the first to be arrested and Nicola the last there would be a pleasing circularity to it.

  34. Anonymoose
    Ignored
    says:

    I stated in the comments weeks ago when Murrell was lifted that Beattie should also be high-up on the police’s list of those to arrest and question, it is nice to see them finally pull in the person who has sat as SNP treasurer for the duration of this debacle.

    I do not count Douglas Chapman as being properly in-post within this time period as he did the only right and honourable action he could by publicly resigning when Murrell & Oswald refused to hand over the books to him as the then treasurer, a very alarming event in itself that should have sent alarm-bells ringing throughout the NEC.

    Re: Sturgeon & Murrell;

    If and when this makes it to court, given Murrell and Sturgeon are married, then either of them could decline to give evidence to the prosecution if either of them is being prosecuted, as stated under the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010, Section 86, 416-417 [ https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2010/13/notes/division/2/4 ].

    No doubts their respective lawyers are alert to this fact, also as I presume the prosecution service will be alert to this and I also hope that Police Scotland are alert to this fact and are amassing enough evidence to make it a non-issue if and when they hand the results of their investigation over to COPFS, where it goes after COPFS have it is anyones guess as it’s patently obvious to anyone alert to COPFS’s own malicious prosecutions and their recent political prosecutions that there is a very low-bar for them doing the right thing.

  35. Between block and follow
    Ignored
    says:

    If you were the Tories, would you be tempted to call a snap General Election?

    Labour dipping again, and you could crush the SNP for the foreseeable.

    Provisional on how Rishi Sunak handles the vested interest charges, perhaps.

  36. John
    Ignored
    says:

    How many of these characters were involved in the Salmond Stich up ? All of them I suspect.

  37. Republicofscotland
    Ignored
    says:

    Will Police Scotland take your advice and haul this shady bunch of characters in for questioning I certainly hope so, it would be a dereliction of duty for them not to.

    The SNP is now cesspit of lies, deceit and corruption with its own agenda which doesn’t include independence. The SNP’s reputation and brand has been fatally damaged it is in my opinion unrecoverable, Sturgeon/Murrell and their vile clique burned the SNP house down.

    The SNP’s demise should now be looked upon as a cautionary tale of what happens when the membership fails to steer the party in the right direction.

    Vote Alba, Join Alba, lets make sure the Alba membership steers the party in the right direction.

  38. John C
    Ignored
    says:

    The more this goes on the more I think that there’s more being investigated than the missing £600k but we’ll see in the weeks ahead. One does have to wonder when Sturgeon herself is going to be nicked?

    I’m also tired of the hardcore SNP supporters doing anything they can to deflect from this growing scandal. Yes, Boris Johnson and a number of Tories should be actually in prison but at the same time any politician trying to defraud the public should face police action, regardless of the amount. Also it’s clear now the SNP have no intention of pushing for independence so they’re no longer worth a vote as this and the increasing push towards a Nu Labour set of policies should ensure progressives avoid them but people will vote for them regardless.

  39. Beauvais
    Ignored
    says:

    The SNP seems to have had a lot of people exercising power in the shadows, their names not known to the public. Martin Bormann would have been full of admiration. He only became widely known about after the war.

  40. Michael Laing
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Giesabrek at 12.34pm:

    “Great article Stu but let down by the fat-shaming sentence ‘Admittedly she’s well designed for blocking'”

    This is a fine example of the nonsense that is political correctness. What on earth is wrong with describing a person as they actually are? The whole idea of euphemism or glossing over patently obvious facts is stupid. Not referring to someone’s fatness doesn’t change the fact that they’re fat. If they are offended by being described as they actually are, that’s their problem. Offence is not an objective fact: anyone can claim to be offended by anything. If we take political correctness to its logical conclusion, it will be impossible to describe anyone because they might be offended by any reference to their tallness, shortness, the colour of their hair or any other physical feature they might possess.

  41. Gordon Bain
    Ignored
    says:

    Giesabrek says:
    18 April, 2023 at 12:34 pm
    “Great article Stu but let down by the fat-shaming sentence “Admittedly she’s well designed for blocking”

    There’s no need to criticise someone’s weight, especially when their actions have been extremely dubious… allegedly!”.

    Are you sure that’s Stu’s point? Oswald has a fine reputation for blocking people on Twatter.

  42. PhilM
    Ignored
    says:

    For someone who was Sturgeotti’s right-hand during all this time, there are some curious gaps in LL’s CV.
    2000-2002, two years of doing nothing apparently.
    No wandering minstrelsy, no kibbutz, no Butlins gig, no Club 18-30 political apprenticeship, no cruise-ship entertaining, nothing…
    Another shorter gap exists between the end of her masters and taking a position with the SNP. Plus, I see nothing – really absolutely nothing – that would allow her to offer any advice on finance to the SNP…unless that’s actually been part of the problem with this soon to be defunct party.
    If only we’d all known…I would’ve quite fancied taking charge of the Health or Justice portfolios but ideally I would do them both at the same time because apparently governing is really easy in Scotland as, like the Police Scotland recruitment ads, you don’t need any qualifications for these high-powered jobs.
    Offer’s still open Humza, if you’re reading this…

  43. Dubh
    Ignored
    says:

    Beatie is 71. SEVENTY ONE!! The money must be *really good for him to continue working into his 70’s ffs.

    And does the nuSNP have the largest percentage of baw faced slap heids on the payroll..? He looks like Patrick Grady & Murrell’s long lost brother.

  44. robertkknight
    Ignored
    says:

    As for that mocked-up pic of the meat-wagon, to paraphrase Chief Brody…

    “You’re gonna need a bigger bus”

  45. Luigi
    Ignored
    says:

    Ian Brotherhood says:
    18 April, 2023 at 1:13 pm
    Heaven only knows what they did to Beattie to get him back in the harness after he’d resigned.

    I remember at the time, when Douglas Chapman resigned due to a “lack of information” that something fishy was going on. It got even stranger when Colin Beattie returned – did he have a choice? Perhaps there was a great big nasty lid that needed to be sat on.

    Frank Gillougley says:
    18 April, 2023 at 1:16 pm
    Surely, just a matter now of collecting all the evidence from these well-heeled lieutenants and then with a fair wind, le grand fromage, is for a knock on her door.

    Quite a few of those “well-heeled lieutenants” (I like the reference to heels lol) will already be in full panic mode, and spilling the beans all over the place, I imagine.

    Folks, we have just entered the twilight zone – it’s now every man, woman (and whatever) for him/herself. Effectively, a circular firing squad. That’s the thing about selfish, self-centered individuals: When push comes to shove, they won’t hesitate to throw their granny under the bus in order to protect themselves.

  46. Colin Dawson
    Ignored
    says:

    Ian Brotherhood says:
    18 April, 2023 at 12:32 pm
    Liz Lloyd reckons one of her top skills is ‘reputation management’?

    Maybe that involves managing the reputation of people outside of the SNP and Scottish Government?

  47. Colin Dawson
    Ignored
    says:

    I would be surprised if the police are not also investigating some much more serious matters than the allegedly missing £600K.

  48. Ian
    Ignored
    says:

    The infuriating thing about a lot of these people is their utter inadequacy for the jobs they purport to hold. Clearly they don’t get six figure salaries and benefits for their skills, their track record or their experience. Merely for being loyal acolytes of the Blessed Leadership, and having an uncanny ability to hold their tongues, disappearing off the radar, despite their positions in public life.
    Add in the proliferation of spads, researchers and press officers you have an empire of people who have no known accomplishments in furthering independence, or even good governance (especially not). All, of course, dependent on the largesse of the party machine for their luxury lifestyles, travel, expenses etc. So a massive incentive not to rock any boats, or indeed take the high risk of actually putting independence at the top of the agenda, and their sole focus, as you might think the job requirement entails.
    Sadly, a lot of this isn’t actually illegal, merely a well-worn route of political chicanery and preferment.
    But there is no doubt they do deserve the wrath of the public, particularly independence supporters, for the squandering not only of public money, but of hope and faith in the supposed aims of the party.
    By any measure, the SNP has failed completely in its stated purpose, its entire reason for existing, at the most propitious time for achieving its goal. And has now set back the independence cause for years, if not decades. What reason is there left for them to exist? In what possible world can they clear out the party and expect to just carry on, as if this was a temporary obstacle? They have betrayed everything they claimed to stand for.

  49. Matt Quinn
    Ignored
    says:

    It may surprise many people to know that a great many legitimate professional people have learned to stay-the-flock OFF platforms such as LinkedIn, FaceBook etc. etc. etc. – largely because they serve no legitimate purpose (unless your target audience actually are Candy-Crushed Morons) and very-often they can pose a danger…

    Here’s an ‘infographic’ which summarises some of the issues with just one common platform.

    https://imgur.com/a/s6NoODZ?

    Others have similar issues; not the least of which being how heavily censored and manipulated they are. Fact is ‘social media'(for those in the know) is so 1990; and if you’re still digitally transforming well, welcome to the 20th century!

    The self-serving, self aggrandising, delusional dishonest and downright thick-as-mince are of course very keen on these things …and as much as I agree with the general thrust of this article; that fact that ye canny find folk all over Fannybook or Twat-er really rather serves to bolster their reputation rather than undermine it!

    And yes… they’re probably still cnuts, I know.

  50. Stephen
    Ignored
    says:

    I wonder if certain court orders may be removed if these people are convicted so that their lies can be exposed to the public. Now that would be nice!

  51. Between block and follow
    Ignored
    says:

    I feel a bit travelsick at just how fast this is moving now.

    I was one of the people taken in by SNP and my worldview has had to shift 180°. NS had one of the highest offices in the land and what did she do? Petty pilfering.
    Wings has described how people were manoeuvred into seats, and then into ministerial posts, so it’s very worrying that the Scottish National Investment Bank is unregulated, and owned by the State, when that State is a self-selecting cabal, rapidly being uncovered as secretive and dishonest.

    But be it SNIB, or whatever it is around Gupta, I kind of just want to fast forward through it all now. Wipe the slate clean, pick up the pieces, and move on.

    But I suspect a lot of ordinary people (like me) are going to be really shocked at the betrayal. It’s like when you’ve been scammed – you feel violated.

    And then there’s also the massive cognitive dissonance that things are *even worse* in the Conservative Party down south.

    I’m switching off this story now! But thanks to WoS for his tenacity and pugnacious scrutiny, because no one else was offering that.

  52. Garrion
    Ignored
    says:

    Watch LL quietly teflon their way out of all of these shenanigans.

    You don’t do what she did without some very clear understandings on protection and immunity.

  53. Den
    Ignored
    says:

    Colin from accounts, could be in a spot of bother. The longer it drags out the better for the rest of the political estate.

  54. LantonParky
    Ignored
    says:

    Here’s a thought. Do the Greens have enough cash to come to the SNP’s rescue? After all, their unwelcome policy set off this downward spiral of political suicide, and will they be the last men-, women-, and innumerable other genders-, standing?

  55. swanand
    Ignored
    says:

    Isn’t that Ian McCann to the right of Sue Ruddick? Very similar.

  56. Iain mhor
    Ignored
    says:

    All for want of 600 grand as well. Dirty deeds done dirt cheap, right enough.

    Still, if anything it gives hope for some sunny, future uplands: Should we ever have “.. a king, and a chancellor, and parliament-men o’ our ain, we could aye peeble them wi’ stanes when they werena gude bairns..”

  57. ABruce
    Ignored
    says:

    Well if that piece of shit Ruddick was a swimming teacher lets see how well she manages to keep afloat.

  58. ABruce
    Ignored
    says:

    Well if that piece of shit Ruddick was a swimming teacher lets see how well she manages to keep afloat.

  59. robertkknight
    Ignored
    says:

    LantonParky

    “Do the Greens have enough cash to come to the SNP’s rescue?”

    The Electoral Commission figures from 2021 showing Sturgeon’s rancid SNP in the hole to over 3/4 of a Million £, also show the Scottish Greens in the same hole to over £40k, so I doubt they’re any help, in any event!

  60. maxxmacc
    Ignored
    says:

    I can’t upload a youtube link on here.

    But search for John Belushi in the Rutles. It’s the second video down, only about a minute. Well worth watching, as it sums up the entire SNP debacle perfectly!

  61. London Scott
    Ignored
    says:

    Between block and follow says:
    18 April, 2023 at 1:29 pm
    If you were the Tories, would you be tempted to call a snap General Election?

    If I were the PM I would announce IndyRe2 coming asap!!!Give Nicola her October Referendum. (Careful what you wish for.)

  62. Scot
    Ignored
    says:

    “Let’s be honest” says Yusaf.

    I wish he would.

  63. Antoine Roquentin
    Ignored
    says:

    Exemplary work as always, Stu.

  64. robbo
    Ignored
    says:

    Shauny boy. Get this buy to assist you. Wid be ace. Not sure if he’s Indy minded though?

    https://twitter.com/Iainmackay8/status/1648072303425486851

  65. Ian Smith
    Ignored
    says:

    Iain mhor says:
    18 April, 2023 at 2:31 pm
    All for want of 600 grand as well.

    The 600k complaints may have opened access to info trails involving serious amounts of public money.

  66. jockmcx
    Ignored
    says:

    maxxmacc says…2.39pm
    John Belushi in the Rutles
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6PQvMtNnmWY

    good one

  67. Chancer
    Ignored
    says:

    Scott Martis is a dead ringer for the now-deceased Italian splatter film maestro Lucio Fulci. As for Sue Ruddick, as Rudy Ray Moore put it, she’s “ugly enough to frighten the wrinkles put of a mule’s ass!” What an aesthetically challenged pack of never-gonnabe halfwits, inbreds, losers, chancers, cankers and bedwetters to have trashed the SNP. Incredible. Politics is showbiz for ugly people, indeed.

  68. Ted
    Ignored
    says:

    The Nasty Party had a golden opportunity to elect as Leader the one possible threat to the Union. That was Kate Forbes, a dangerously likeable and comparatively honest politician whose views chime in large part with Scottish and English voters. Despite having been part of this shameful Scottish “government” she was obviously too big a threat to be given the keys. It’s way too late now. Labour will mop up Scottish seats and Tories will retain their existing. Is Salmond simply biding his time, not getting in the way while his enemy destroys itself, or are his goods so damaged that he cannot seize the initiative?

  69. Stuart MacKay
    Ignored
    says:

    robertkknight @2:39pm

    But I bet the Greens know a few philanthropists from the USA with a fluid idea of gender who’d be more than happy to help out a friend in need, in return for moving a cause or two up the priority ladder.

  70. Doug
    Ignored
    says:

    “Ash Regan backs SNP suspension for Nicola Sturgeon amid police probe” says The National.

    Ah kain many on here have rightly expressed serious doubts about letting SNP sinking-ship rodents jump aboard Alba but I think Regan could be an exception.

  71. PhilM
    Ignored
    says:

    Not sure why somebody would link to an Effie Deans blogpost…it’s got almost no content and is long on meandering rhetoric. So typical ED.
    One thing ‘she’ is right about, quite by accident, is Scotland and secrecy. It’s unfortunate but even compared to our southern neighbour, in Scotland oversight and accountability are almost completely absent. Without these essential brakes on corruption, secrecy and cover-ups just go on and on, year after year.
    SNP’s current CEO?…I mean…FFS…

  72. Doug
    Ignored
    says:

    Never forget the Thrawn Factor in Scotland’s politics.

  73. Ottomanboi
    Ignored
    says:

    It would be wonderful if this sleaze quest were to spread to the British establishment itself, the Crown, Westminster, the City and other centres of «flexible» attitudes.

    https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/sleaze-mps-second-jobs-parliament_uk_618d0e1ce4b0ab5f28460b65

    Something really worth celebrating.
    Alas!

  74. Republicofscotland
    Ignored
    says:

    “The Nasty Party had a golden opportunity to elect as Leader the one possible threat to the Union. That was Kate Forbes”

    Ted.

    I do hope the above is satire, for everyone and their dug knows Forbes along with her buddy Yousless had/has no plan for Scottish independence. Forbes is about as much a threat to the union as Murdo Fraser is, zero, zilch, nadir.

  75. Garavelli Princip
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m hoping Nikkla will have reason to give thanks to those who got male sex offenders out of Cornton Vale.

  76. KLF
    Ignored
    says:

    AH doot theres no way back for the nats, clean fucked eh ! aye but maybe its agents of the british state / mi5 who have gained entry into SNP and caused this clusterfuck……and theres idjits oot there ( papa sturgeon for 1 ) who really believe that shite eh …….well ever had the feeling youve been cheated……….

  77. Tom Halliday
    Ignored
    says:

    Stuart Munro (Lawyer) is going to be a very busy boy, anyone have a guesstimate of how much Livingstone Brown charge per hour? It would be interesting to find out just how many hours the party finances can cover before they have to call on the supporters to start chipping in, especially so if their short money from Westminster isn’t forthcoming due to the lack of audited accounts.

  78. boris
    Ignored
    says:

    David Clegg revealed his political leaning at the beginning of 2014 and it was Unionist. The Orangeman man from Ulster antagonised Scottish independence supporters through his relentless attacks on the SNP (mainly Alex Salmond) supported by the political and legal protection of the Unionist political mouthpiece the “Daily Record”and Sturgeon, who was supposed to be leading the SNP campaign for freedom, raised many eyebrows when she defended Clegg’s right to free speech in a “twitter” post in which he criticised supporters of independence of being “cybernats” . Her intervention might have been better received if she had criticised both sides but she didn’t. Why would be revealed after Alex retired at the end of 2014.

    https://caltonjock.com/2023/03/29/the-politically-motivated-persecution-of-alex-salmond-the-finger-of-accusation-points-at-former-mi5-spy-crown-agent-david-harvie/

    https://caltonjock.com/2021/11/17/david-clegg-saved-the-union-in-2014-and-scuppered-alex-salmond-in-2017-not-bad-for-a-wee-irishman-from-ulster/

  79. Graf Midgehunter
    Ignored
    says:

    Most of the SNP HQ folk, SPADs and certainly all of the above, prefer to do their dirty work in the dark, behind closed curtains, no scrutiny.

    So the Rev is doing what everyone should be doing and that means shining the biggest spotlight that you’ve got right on their guilty faces, expose the tricks and games and get them on the run.

    They all need to be up in front of a judge and jury.

  80. boris
    Ignored
    says:

    David Clegg revealed his political leaning at the beginning of 2014 and it was Unionist. The Orangeman man from Ulster antagonised Scottish independence supporters through his relentless attacks on the SNP (mainly Alex Salmond) supported by the political and legal protection of the Unionist political mouthpiece the “Daily Record”and Sturgeon, who was supposed to be leading the SNP campaign for freedom, raised many eyebrows when she defended Clegg’s right to free speech in a “twitter” post in which he criticised supporters of independence of being “cybernats” . Her intervention might have been better received if she had criticised both sides but she didn’t. Why would be revealed after Alex retired at the end of 2014.

    https://caltonjock.com/2021/11/17/david-clegg-saved-the-union-in-2014-and-scuppered-alex-salmond-in-2017-not-bad-for-a-wee-irishman-from-ulster/

  81. boris
    Ignored
    says:

    Sturgeon, who was supposed to be leading the SNP campaign for freedom, raised many eyebrows when she defended Clegg’s right to free speech in a “twitter” post in which he criticised supporters of independence of being “cybernats” . Her intervention might have been better received if she had criticised both sides but she didn’t. Why would be revealed after Alex retired at the end of 2014.

    https://caltonjock.com/2021/11/17/david-clegg-saved-the-union-in-2014-and-scuppered-alex-salmond-in-2017-not-bad-for-a-wee-irishman-from-ulster/

  82. Vestas
    Ignored
    says:

    The other officer of Yes Scotland seems to still be active, which seems rather strange?

    Why would he still be involved after all these years of inactivity/invisibility?

  83. CHARLES E. MACKAY
    Ignored
    says:

    Guess what I saw in Govan today about 12?-it was on a low loader near PC MacPlods HQ-yes the SNP Battle bus and it had its regi taped over. Really good looking and oozing money

  84. President Xiden
    Ignored
    says:

    ‘Reputation management’ is the posh version of what Max Clifford did to coverup the sins of the rich and famous. Despite the title, these people are simply involved with organising cover ups. They quite frankly disgust me.

  85. David Hannah
    Ignored
    says:

    SNP. Stronger for criminals.

  86. David Hannah
    Ignored
    says:

    The Sturgeon loyalists are blaming MI5 and 77th brigade.

    Claiming the missing 600K isn’t missing.

    And that everyone should stick with the SNP.

    In a matter of weeks. The party will cease to exist.

  87. David Hannah
    Ignored
    says:

    The Alba Party wouldn’t exist were it not for Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to listen to anyone’s ideas apart from herself.

    As with other Independence parties.

    One party won’t exist however because of Nicola Sturgeon’s refusal to listen to ideas apart from herself.

    The SNP.

    Cough up the dough Nicola. It’s over.

  88. David Hannah
    Ignored
    says:

    The only person that should be ring fenced is Nicola Sturgeon. Where’s the missing money Nicola?

  89. Gordon Hastie
    Ignored
    says:

    Beattie’s “our” MSP and brushed me off when I complained about the SNP somehow believing I could come up with four hundred quid just like that for interlinked smoke alarms, even though I have perfectly adequate smoke alarms. He also “chairs” a talking shop that’s supposed to be looking at how the River Esk could be improved, while if anything it’s got worse. So you’d need a heart of stone not to chortle.

  90. deerhill
    Ignored
    says:

    The glacialy slow pace Police Scotland are conducting this investigation seems to indicate that they have either been told from above to go slow so that interviewees can have time to get their stories straigh or, they are hopeing someones nerve breaks and him/her/they make a dash for an international flight to Panama.

  91. Ron Clark
    Ignored
    says:

    Here’s a thought.

    Wouldn’t it be so ironic if Sturgeon gets five years in Corton Vale, and she had to share a cell with the Chic with the Dick, Isla Bryson.

    That would be payback time on an enormous scale, lol.

    Please God, let that happen.

  92. Muscleguy
    Ignored
    says:

    If the SNP are barred from standing int he GE I cannot see a problem. The ISP do not contest WM elections seeing them as a pointless sideshow so that leaves the field wide open for Alba to step into the breach.

    Though they should publicly pledge to be open to a recall if a decent proportion think they are settling down rather than settling up. We should have done that with the 2016 intake.

  93. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Isn’t that Ian McCann to the right of Sue Ruddick?”

    Apparently it is. I’m annoyed I can’t find the unredacted version now.

  94. Jobtoscots21
    Ignored
    says:

    Garavelli Princip says:
    18 April, 2023 at 3:38 pm
    I’m hoping Nikkla will have reason to give thanks to those who got male sex offenders out of Cornton Vale.

    Superb??

  95. twathater
    Ignored
    says:

    Hey Stuart picture number 2 is that the NEW sturgeon GRAVY bus, how many of the fuckers will be fightin tae get AFF IT

    Come on polis Scotland expand your search maybe there’s magpies involved

  96. Charles Hamilton
    Ignored
    says:

    I suppose there is a reason why some in the SNP thought it was a good idea to thoroughly hack off a journalist with a forensic grasp of facts, and a dog after a bone approach to a hot story.

    Personally I think it isn’t quite working out for them. But what do I know?

  97. Dan
    Ignored
    says:

    To be fair, it was a fairly prescient move to employ former lifeguard Sue Ruddick, coz if you’re going to scuttle and go down in the once decent ship that was the SNP, then who better to have next to you than someone sporting a Bronze Medallion to stop you swimming with the fishes.
    I’m eagerly awaiting to see how good her reputational management skillz are… but will they be focused on self-preservation or being a team player…

  98. Anne
    Ignored
    says:

    good

  99. robbo
    Ignored
    says:

    McCann pic here in story about Glasgow council bigotry

    Apparently nothing was done with complaint when he was compliance officer.????

    https://archive.is/f5BYl

  100. Shug
    Ignored
    says:

    Well I hope all the people working at SNP HQ are working on their CV’S as the SNP will run out of money and their salaries will stop.

    Police Scotland must be the most inept force in Europe. 2 years and they are only interviewing the treasurer now

  101. Geoff Anderson
    Ignored
    says:

    For fucks sake put somebody in jail!

    I need some hard revenge.,

  102. James Jones
    Ignored
    says:

    Michael Laing says:
    18 April, 2023 at 1:38 pm
    @ Giesabrek at 12.34pm:

    “Great article Stu but let down by the fat-shaming sentence ‘Admittedly she’s well designed for blocking’”

    This is a fine example of the nonsense that is political correctness. What on earth is wrong with describing a person as they actually are? The whole idea of euphemism or glossing over patently obvious…

    Oh come on! That line stood out for me too. It was entirely irrelevant to the current issue and was just plain nasty. It’s a short step from there to throwing around the C-word.

  103. Robert Louis
    Ignored
    says:

    And so, as each day passes, the SNP slowly dies.

    Honestly, a whole netflix mega series could be made of this, and how the goodwill and multiple votes of the Scottish people were taken by those in charge of the SNP to do whatsoever they wished.

    And then their is the attempted fit up of Alex Salmond – and mibbes some of the truth behind that will also come out. Given the apparent nature of corrupt people, when the cops come a knocking, somebody is bound to squeal.

    The question is, who will squeal first, so they don’t end up in the clink?

  104. Chas
    Ignored
    says:

    Rev Stu

    Thank you for your ongoing work in exposing a small part of the ‘workings’ of the soon to be defunct SNP.

    A word of caution-Watch your back. There are a few desperate nutters out there.

  105. Ewan Inist
    Ignored
    says:

    The question that no-one seems to be asking is where did the Syrian refugees go when the Police visited the Sturgeon-Murrell house?

    I know she was very keen to house them back in 2015 – https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/nicola-sturgeon-happy-give-refugees-home-1495960

    But I can’t see any mention of them in the press

  106. Iain mhor
    Ignored
    says:

    @Ian Smith 2:59pm

    Aye, it did that, kinda my point really.
    If there was serious money involved in other fraud, nobody peeled off a few notes to hide the glaring 600k.
    If there wasn’t serious money involved in other fraud, then 600k was a piddling pochle to bring down a party.
    Either way – done dirt cheap.

  107. Bumsrush
    Ignored
    says:

    Still being questioned?

  108. Holymacmoses
    Ignored
    says:

    I hope I’m not repeating something you’ve already posted Wings and I’m sure you will have read this but others may not unless you have posted it elsewhere. I find this SNP Annual Review from 2013/2014 – (note page 12) interesting , in that it exemplifies changes in attitude in the SNP over Sturgeon’s time
    https://search.electoralcommission.org.uk//Api/Accounts/Documents/15403

    Sorry if it’s old news

  109. Kcor
    Ignored
    says:

    “If only there was some sort of largish vehicle they could be conveniently transported in.”

    Excellent idea.

    Get all the corrupt criminals jailed as soon as possible.

  110. Kcor
    Ignored
    says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell, that is very kind of you to prepare a handy list of persons the police should be questioning.

  111. Veritas
    Ignored
    says:

    Am I wrong in thinking Alex Salmond has been very quiet about the corrupt actings of his former protégés?
    Can anyone point me to any recent comments?, I can’t seem to find anything outwith the membership numbers.

  112. Chris Darroch
    Ignored
    says:

    Nicola’s knee jerk political escape route, when questioned about something legally awkward…..is much like Manuel from Fawlty Towers…..

    I know nuffing

    She passes the buck and often argues that is someone else’s responsibility.

  113. Robert McAllan
    Ignored
    says:

    Republicofscotland @3:36pm; you would hope possibly that it was a try at satire. Unfortunately there are a lot of naive souls who take as gospel whatever the mainstream media outlets deliver to them. Any switched on individual could see and hear that Forbes avoided any reference and priority to Independence. There are still a lot of sad souls out there who have yet to see the light.

  114. Merganser
    Ignored
    says:

    Holymacmoses @ 7.23.

    An interesting read, particularly the first entry under fundraising and the reference to the amounts raised being ringfenced for campaigning. Was it necessary to do any weaving at that time, or was that skill only necessary in more recent years?

  115. Bob Mack
    Ignored
    says:

    Beattie released pending further investigation. Like you know who

  116. Galloway Lass
    Ignored
    says:

    I wonder what the two Murrells are going to do to earn a living until they reach pension age? Peter has already resigned and, somehow, I can’t see her continuing as a backbench MSP (her ego wouldn’t allow it and also her constituents must be really pissed off by now, so she can’t assume she’d be retained). I think that her wishes to become an International figure on the world stage are now well and truly scuppered! Everyone knows that she was a useless lawyer! I tuned into BBC World News early this afternoon to see what they were reporting on the events in Sudan, and suddenly the BBC announced that they were taking us to Holyrood!! I feel sorry for the Scots abroad, who were expecting to hear a rousing speech from the new First Minister of Scotland! Yousaf’s speech was hardly the kind of speech which would have made you get to your feet and clap! Same old promises, but nothing to make you think that he will be any different to Sturgeon. I despair! I am now 76 and hoped to see Independence in my life time. However, I feel that Sturgeon has set us back for years.

  117. Gordon Bain
    Ignored
    says:

    This “investigation” is a sham, right?

  118. Lothianlad
    Ignored
    says:

    Colin besttie is my msp. I am convinced he wielded influence way beyond what he appears to have done.

    Please also look closely at owen thompson MP for midlothian and his partner kelly parry,. Gravy train sturgeon loyalists who are so driven by ambition and the comfortable lifestyle they sabotaged the cause of independence.
    It was true independence supporters that’s campaigned for them and voted for them and they broke the trust.
    A close look at their activities would be very revealing.

  119. Livionian
    Ignored
    says:

    Scotland really needs your outstanding journalism now more than ever Stu, thank you sincerely

  120. Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    I am already noticing that the biggest Sturgeon heads are quietly drifting off like they think they won’t be noticed.

    Scumbags then scumbags now.

  121. Big Jock
    Ignored
    says:

    Why are the police arresting people, and then releasing. Surely if you only want to question someone you just call them in.

    They have had 2 years to follow this trail. So surely they have enough evidence to actually charge some of those arrested. There is something very odd about these methods.

  122. George Ferguson
    Ignored
    says:

    We have lost our Institutions over the last few years. My hope was Police Scotland would be the first Institution we would get back. A second arrest is encouraging and I say that from the viewpoint of policing is for the whole of Scotland. Any shenanigans will be seen by the Scottish Public. We are not as stupid as the SNP think we are. It is inevitable Nicola Sturgeon is arrested.

  123. Derek
    Ignored
    says:

    “…pending further investigation…” does at least allow for the tiniest bit of optimism, doesn’t it? It was the little details that got Al Capone (guns don’t argue) the jail in the end.

  124. Kcor
    Ignored
    says:

    Gordon Bain says:
    18 April, 2023 at 8:40 pm

    “This “investigation” is a sham, right?”

    IMHO, it is a coverup not an investigation.

  125. Merganser
    Ignored
    says:

    George Ferguson @ 9.34.

    You could be right as her name was on the accounts. But she will wriggle out of it, by saying she was told by others that everything was in order so she accepted what they said. Not her doing. She was far too busy running the country to go through the accounts in detail – she had minions to do that. Unless there is some documentation….

  126. Gordon Bain
    Ignored
    says:

    Big Jock. That’s what I don’t understand. In order to arrest someone you need reasonable, articulable suspicion of a crime. This is a smokescreen. You generally don’t end up releasing them. Nothing will happen.

  127. Kcor
    Ignored
    says:

    It takes maximum one month to find out where £600,000 came from and where it went to.

    What sort of police take 18 months to question the most likely culprits and then to release them without charge?

    Have the police been digging Beattie’s garden too.

    The police of Scotland are a sick joke.

  128. Effijy
    Ignored
    says:

    Can anyone loan Police Scotland a tent on wheels?

    Surely you need a forensic accountant to look through the books and all
    The answers are in there.

    Why 18 months and 100 officers and shovels 12 hour interviews.

  129. sadscot
    Ignored
    says:

    @George Ferguson 9.34
    There’s the video now tho’ where she’s having a go at people who are airing concerns about the finances and she’s telling them to be quiet, that there’s nothing wrong and “we need donors to donate”. That’s evidence that people were trying to do something and she didn’t want to know.

  130. Achnababan
    Ignored
    says:

    An excellent article that unfortunately adds to our despondent mood.

    I met Murrell a couple of times back in the day and he was almost contemptuous of anyone who was sincere in their desire to see scotland independent. But he was not alone. Mike Russell, Richard Lockhead, Andrew Wilson, and even the great man himself Mr Salmond also gave me that impression. Morrell originally was AS’s office manager.

    To cut to the chase….Alex Salmond’s main political ambition was to oust and replace the Scottish Labour Party.

    Alba under Alex Salmond will not be an insurgent political force for independence, unfortunately. It is not in his political DNA. He plays political games. Remember his weak performance against Darling in the 2014 debate?

    We need a multi party alliance to fight the forthcoming elections. Salmond can add considerable weight to this but I would like to see Ash Regan and Kate Forbes up there in front.

  131. I. Despair
    Ignored
    says:

    So glad to see Colin is free to walk the streets again. I was worried that somewhere a garden centre was missing its gnome. (Maybe even one of the gnomes of Zurich.)

  132. George Ferguson
    Ignored
    says:

    @Merganser 10:04pm
    Police Scotland’s chance to redeem themselves. As an Institution Police Scotland’s reputation is on the line. A very basic or cursory examination of the facts leads me to say that. But we can’t comment on an active investigation etc. But we can comment on the Police Scotland outcomes. They have to the right thing, standby.

  133. Shug
    Ignored
    says:

    Which one will be the first to turn kings evidence to get the “get out of jail card”

  134. Beauvais
    Ignored
    says:

    Colin Beattie is weaving the police station.

    Sorry, couldn’t resist it.

  135. Anton Decadent
    Ignored
    says:

    @Galloway Lass 8.39pm

    Re “also her constituents must be really pissed off by now.” The only people in the area I know of who have a good word to say about her are people who moved to in some cases Glasgow and in others Scotland between the last five and ten years with their sights set firmly on the trough via the charity sector. Others moved out of the area to leafier parts twenty and more years ago and are, again, slurping at the trough via the charity sector. Anyone not on message has been personally smeared and had their accounts on the likes of YT closed down.

  136. Between block and follow
    Ignored
    says:

    Honestly, the chasm between the standards applied to ScotGov and those applied to Westminster is depressing me.

    Neither Richard Sharp nor Boris Johnson faced any consequences whatsoever for the £800k-loan-for-a-chairmanship deal. And that’s just one example.

  137. Craig
    Ignored
    says:

    The people I feel sorry for the most in all this are the hard working SNP activists that walked the streets, knocked on the doors for all those years, must be feeling utterly betrayed at the years of hard work being destroyed by Nicola’s cabal, they didn’t deserve to see this even though the vast majority of them left, it must still hurt to know, it was their work that got these parasites into the “building” and they’ve set the whole party in flames.

  138. Cactus
    Ignored
    says:

    There are many names YET to unfold and be seen to.

    And so far yet to go for justice!

    It all began a long long time ago (Replay):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oeH4Per63Hk

  139. Achnababan
    Ignored
    says:

    I will only support a party that develops policies that will reshape and renew scottish institutions, culture and economy.

    No political party has done so…they seem to be in awe of the international capitalism model promoted so strongly by Alex Salmond and another of his dodgy
    side kicks Andrew Wilson.

    I want to feel I live in Scotland not Scotlandshire. …the land created by the BBC and sadly all the political parties in Scotland.

  140. PhilM
    Ignored
    says:

    Bloody hell…we’ve all seen the cop shows and read the papers of how crimes get solved, can folk stop being paranoid about the motivation of the polis?
    At a time like this…just remember every single person no longer in a position of power, all those faces that were beyond smug as if they’d been born to rule, the property searches which were unimaginable three months ago, the reputational damage to a clearly corrupt party that may be on its last legs, the daily media interest, the constant stream of revelations…is this not enough to be going on with?
    For all we know, every single person interviewed may have said absolutely nothing, which is everybody’s common law right against which nothing can be inferred. Nothing.
    This is not a comment on this case but every case.
    We just don’t know enough yet and all this paranoid speculation might trip somebody up into saying something they’ll later really regret.
    As for the Salmond comments…doesn’t really want independence…what planet are you on? Your evidence is a poor first performance against Alistair Darling…is that line of thought not contradicted by his second accomplished performance three weeks later where opinion research showed he trounced Darling?
    Politics has noticeably speeded up in Scotland and when this happens history tells us to expect the unexpected.
    Just let this thing unfold at its own pace…

  141. Kenny
    Ignored
    says:

    Ted says:
    18 April, 2023 at 3:20 pm

    “The Nasty Party had a golden opportunity to elect as Leader the one possible threat to the Union. That was Kate Forbes, a dangerously likeable and comparatively honest politician whose views chime in large part with Scottish and English voters”..

    Kate Forbes isn’t a suitable leader for Scottish independence; you probably already know that.

    Excellent work, Rev Stu.

    Also;
    “Is Salmond simply biding his time, not getting in the way while his enemy destroys itself, or are his goods so damaged that he cannot seize the initiative?”
    That’s a strange statement to make?
    On the site that first exposed the details behind the conspiracy to jail the former First Minister, we tend not to see comments criticising Salmond. Your comment sticks out somewhat, like a sore thumb.

  142. Achnababan
    Ignored
    says:

    For those who love Salmond I do understand why you think he is the messiah..but under his leadership Swinney, Sturgeon, Murrell and Russell thrived! Was he a bad judge of character or simply one of them? Their devo max, scotlandshire leader in fact?

    What major powers did he deliver under his tenure?

    And remember …. the referendum was a conference commitment he had to respect even though he did not think he could win it. The campaign was poor from the word go… the only politicians who actually seemed genuine were Canavan and Sheridan.

  143. A Scot Abroad
    Ignored
    says:

    Some above are taking a degree of comfort from the fact that no charges have followed Murrell’s and Beattie’s arrests, and subsequent release under investigation. That’s false comfort.

    The purpose of an arrest for questioning is to obtain evidence from suspects who have been formally warned that anything they say can be used in a court of law. Having worked with a number of police forces in the UK, the common pattern in fraud investigations is to arrest those one remove away from the chief suspects as a penultimate step in the investigation. That’s what is taught on ACPO courses.

  144. Big Jock
    Ignored
    says:

    Phil. That wasn’t the point I was making.

    Police Scotland can’t just arrest people to question them. There has to be a suspicion of involvement in a crime to get arrested. If the accused says nothing , they can still charge them if they believe there is strong evidence.

    So it appears in these cases there may not be enough evidence to charge. So why the drama of the arrest. Why not ask them to just come in for voluntary questioning?

    It just seems a bit odd.

  145. Stephen O'Brien
    Ignored
    says:

    @Achnababan 11.41

    The only way to Independence, is via the actions of ordinary people.

    I’ve said all along, there’s more chance of success by voting ‘Joe Bloggs’ to end the Union.

    Ordinary citizens, to contest every constituency, for a mandate to end the Union.

    I will never trust another, so called ‘party of independence’.

    The Claim of Right, as standard, in an independent Scotland, policing those elected to office.

  146. Michael Laing
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Achnababan at 11.41pm:

    “The campaign was poor from the word go… the only politicians who actually seemed genuine were Canavan and Sheridan.”

    What utter tripe. The Yes campaign ran rings around the No campaign. It had mass grassroots support and involvement in terms of marches and public meetings, unlike No, which was an astroturf campaign promoted by politicians with no evident public enthusiasm. The Yes campaign raised support for independence from 25 to 45%, if you’re willing to believe the official result. We didn’t get independence and mistakes were undoubtedly made, but the Yes campaign was clearly the most effective.

  147. Achnababan
    Ignored
    says:

    Big Jock…having never been arrested not sure about this question of arrest.

    But perhaps I am thinking if you are under arrest you answers may be used as evidence ..whereas with voluntary questioning they cannot be used?

    It does seems very theatrical though…lots of drums and cymbals…perhaps to create an impression of going after them but not really.

    I won’t celebrate until someone’s is charged.

  148. Jockmcx
    Ignored
    says:

    Dear Scottish msp’s And Scottish mp’s
    Why not be a person who is worthy of
    The respect of the Scottish nation?

    What on earth are you thinking,life is very very
    Short,pretty soon u will not be the slightest bit
    Worried about money and position!

    U really want to be remembered,if your
    Remembered at all as greedy grasping useless
    Carpetbagging c*nts!

    Come on it’s gone too far already,6
    Stand up and be counted!

  149. David Hannah
    Ignored
    says:

    Colin Mackay said Yousaf didn’t mention Independence once in his speech today.

    The green poll tax and the GRR is all he cares about. He’s not got the spine to be his own man. The continuity candidate won’t cut it.

  150. Iain mhor
    Ignored
    says:

    @Gordon Hastie 5:29pm (re: Alarms)

    He probably rubbered you because the “Interconnected smoke alarms are the law” was another lot of nonsense peddling – even the BBC repeated the lie *cough misinformation.
    Mind you, so did just about everybody, and their dug; because ‘Journalism’ nowadays just means repeating what yer telt, instead of reading two very short paragraphs*

    As peddled (interconnected alarms etc) it wasn’t law, and was never law – there is not, nor ever was such a law, and I went old and grey trying to tell concerned people that.

    I think I might have done a piece on that before. It’s OT, so apologies to the thread, but I may as well go over it as simply as I can.

    The idea was laudable enough; prior to the ScotGov amemdment, the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 made no provision for private households to be fitted with any Fire/Smoke alarm at all – so no argument from me that the inclusion was needed.

    However, the ScotGov amendment to the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 – 86(1) includes only two parts:

    *(j) has satisfactory equipment installed for detecting, and for giving warning of, fire or suspected fire;

    (k) has satisfactory equipment installed for detecting, and for giving warning of, carbon monoxide present in a concentration that is hazardous to health,”

    (tinyurl.com/y36ovztb)

    That’s it, that’s the full extent of the “Law” – no Interconnected Bluetooth 5G alarms with quadrophonic sound.

    The definitions of ‘satisfactory’ etc are beyond the scope of the Housing Act 1987 itself – which states only that there should be provision for such things to a ‘tolerable standard’ (refer Part IV)

    It really comes down to defining “Tolerable Standard” – as the Act states:

    “In construing any such reference, regard shall be had to any guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers”

    The interconnected detectors and all that, were ScotGov ‘Guidance’. Those guidlines can ‘inform the law’ certainly, but it’s not “The Law” – only the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 is law.

    The ScotGov guidlines state what they would like ‘Satisfactory’ to mean – a wishlist basically, and are full of more caveats than you can count.

    Where are the Guidelines then? Buried deeper – here:(Pdf, not very long)

    (tinyurl.com/24uuxf7s)

    Again, those ScotGov guidlines regarding interconnected alarms, can certainly ‘inform the law’, and considerable weight would be given to considering (regarding) them when interpreting the Act (Law)

    Of course, that would have to include all their many ambiguities, and caveats…
    Hey, I’m a competent person!

  151. David Hannah
    Ignored
    says:

    Kate Forbes now coming out with the line Continuity won’t cut it.

    The opposition are saying it. His own party are saying it.

    Aren’t you going to do something Humza?

  152. Stoker
    Ignored
    says:

    Stuart wrote:

    “We make no allegation that any of them are guilty of any wrongdoing, of course. That’s a matter for the police, and potentially a judge and jury. But purely as people who might be asked some questions, they’re the names we’d be looking out for in the headlines in the coming days and weeks.”

    One has to wonder at the seemingly slow pace of arrests being made, and possibly the order in which they’re being made. One can only speculate that it’s possibly being done in such a manner as to forewarn/prepare those “runners” suggested in the article above of what’s being asked etc. Don’t know about anyone else but i’m finding proceedings to be very suspect.

    Mind you, there is the possibility the UK handlers are now finishing the job they started with Salmond, where they failed but mud sticks, and are now turning on Murrell, Sturgeon & Co. Whether it results in any convictions is immaterial to them, by the time they’re finished the whole idea of independence will be sufficiently ruined in the public eye to set us back decades. Job done!

    Also, there most certainly has to be questions asked and suspicions raised of Humza Yousaf not suspending Murrell & Sturgeon until all criminal investigations are complete. Keeping them onboard and within Party operations allows them to hinder said investigations. Temporarily suspending someone is no indicator of guilt, it has been the accepted norm in politics for as long as anyone can remember.

    One gets a sweeter fragrance from a barrel of rotting fish. Sincerest apologies to all fish for the comparison.

  153. Jlm
    Ignored
    says:

    Three years ago, without a whimper, we let WM (and Holyrood) put us under Emergency Powers Martial Law.
    These powers are still on the books and ready to go again to provide ‘Continuity of Government’.
    Hell ! There are even Indy websites who think lockdowns are ok.

  154. Skip_NC
    Ignored
    says:

    I haven’t been able to get “The Welly Boot Song” out of my head all day. Do you think Billy Connolly could be tempted out of retirement to update it to something more topical?

  155. Urnsey Bay
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Big Jock 9.28pm

    They used to “detain” when there was uncorroborated evidence and arrest when there was enough evidence to charge someone. It changed a couple of years ago to follow English method of “arrest on suspicion”. Media drop the “on suspicion” for their headlines because, you know, hard-hittingness.
    They could also be properly arrested, charged and released to appear at court at a later date… maybe one of the rascals will get that treatment soon enough.
    It’s a shame because every time is see “SNP BANDIT ARRESTED”, I think FUCK AYE. So far, no luck.

  156. sydthesnake
    Ignored
    says:

    Stoker wrote:
    Also, there most certainly has to be questions asked and suspicions raised of Humza Yousaf not suspending Murrell & Sturgeon until all criminal investigations are complete. Keeping them onboard and within Party operations allows them to hinder said investigations. Temporarily suspending someone is no indicator of guilt, it has been the accepted norm in politics for as long as anyone can remember.

    Maybe he’s had a tip HE might be questioned, and by NOT suspending them, he’s got a legitimate reason for himself NOT being suspended.
    I like to see a list of ALL SNP politician rated good guy/wank
    ala Cheewin the Fat.

  157. AndyH
    Ignored
    says:

    It’s always interesting in the mornings to see that the creepy, insidious loon yoons mostly seem to come out at night.

    Must take them all day to put their lame attempts of subterfuge together.

  158. Shug
    Ignored
    says:

    Just caught another interview on radio Scotland and another regular car crash, think it was Shona Robertson,

    Have auditors been appointed
    Work is ongoing
    Have auditors been appointed
    Humsa is taking us forward
    Have auditors been appointed
    Hmmmm hawwwww bullshit
    Am confident

    My god where did the SNP get these Muppets. It is embarrasing

  159. Shug
    Ignored
    says:

    What gets me is how bad and how weak they present any case.

    You would think they are trying to make it worse.

    One of the Vietnam group will be singing like a canary before long

    Which one though

    Nicola’s not getting a job at the UN now so there will be no kick backs for them.

    Humza is getting what he deserves for being their continuity puppet

    What a car crash

  160. Frank Gillougley
    Ignored
    says:

    Years and years ago, folk on WoS used to finish their contribution with the few words, ‘tick tock’ alluding to the imminent end of the union due to the apparent momentum, at the time, of the SNP. However, as with all portentous symbols, it is really not within our gift to assign their purpose.

    This tick tock, tick tock of the clock is surely intended by the Gods, for only one other.

  161. Bob Mack
    Ignored
    says:

    I can’t imagine ANY auditors taking on the accounts of a company under active police investigation for fraud.

    Reputation and all that.

  162. Mac
    Ignored
    says:

    Sturgeon being warned by the top cop in Police Scotland that it was inevitable that she would be arrested along with Murrell as part of the police investigation would I guess be real reason for her sudden resignation.

    That would certainly do it. There is no way she could be arrested as FM, she had to quit at that point and in a hurry, no choice, allegedly.

    Said it before, Sturgeon was speaking that day like someone who was almost as surprised as we were that she was suddenly resigning.

  163. Luigi
    Ignored
    says:

    If Humza Yousaf won’t or cannot suspend those SNP members currently under criminal investigation, who the hell is in charge?

  164. Geoff Anderson
    Ignored
    says:

    Sturgeon arrest imminent

    Times article archived and paywall removed

    https://archive.ph/EUTmK

  165. Achnababan
    Ignored
    says:

    Michael Laing… yes I take your point about the campaign but much of what was achieved was achieved by Yessers not the SNP. It was the SNPs contribution which was disappointing.

    The SNP have been a devo max party for bang on 30 years. Alex Salmond was the main proponent of this.

    I believe Salmond believes in Independence personally but politically he thinks devomax is achievable and the SNP was organised to achieve this. He was incredibly successful.

    What I am suggesting is that independence will only come if there is a second party that promotes it with every fibre. ALBA could be that party but is Salmond really the guy to galvanise those of us who do not want devomax or to live in Scotlandshire?

    Salmond is Scotland’s greatest ever politician and I think he is still amajor player with lots to offer. BUT I would prefer a younger,fresher leader of ALBA who explicitly rejects the devomax solution and levers the SNP away from it.

  166. Gobanian
    Ignored
    says:

    Police say that these people have been arrested as suspects. Does anyone know what specific crime or potential crime is being investigated? Would lying about the status of the £600k be a criminal offence?
    On on a separate question does a spouse’s right not to testify survive divorce?

  167. robertkknight
    Ignored
    says:

    Luigi @8:57

    “If Humza Yousaf won’t or cannot suspend those SNP members currently under criminal investigation, who the hell is in charge?”

    You need to ask?

  168. Pete Short
    Ignored
    says:

    An Interesting shift by Blackford who is being interviewed about SNP finances. When asked about the appointment of auditors and the 31 May deadline for submitting accounts, he shifts to talking about the parliamentary group accounts…

  169. Breeks
    Ignored
    says:

    Dear God man… trawling around Twitter, the nuSNP are some seriously disturbed or deranged people, incandescant with rage because Alex Salmond was on TV.

    How low an intellect do these people actually have?

    I’m assuming they are people, not bots, but how can they survive day to day without the ability for rational thought and reasoning?

  170. Stephen O'Brien
    Ignored
    says:

    Is the general opinion, all hope now rests with Alex Salmond?

    If so and no slight on Alex as a leader but in a broader sense, what does that say about Scotland’s pool of politicians?

    Leo Sayer’s, ‘I’m a One Man Band’, comes to mind. A severe lack of competition, so it would appear.

    It seems the weight of the hopes of Scotland, now shifts from one person to another, while bear baiting from all quarters.

    Observing both Holyrood and Westminster governments, now a form of self torture, all in the name of democracy.

  171. Big Jock
    Ignored
    says:

    Well there were 3 main people at the top of the police list for questioning. Guess who is number 3? Tick Tock as they say.

  172. Bob Mack
    Ignored
    says:

    @Breeks,

    Hence the state of the party.

  173. Ian Brotherhood
    Ignored
    says:

    Theresa May had a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon in a Glasgow hotel at the end of March 2017.

    Ostensibly, about Brexit, Article 50 etc.

    Did we ever discover why the meeting was in a hotel and not Holyrood or Bute House?

    Just wondering.

    It’s bugging me.

  174. Gordon
    Ignored
    says:

    Achnababan, you sure have a downer on Alex Salmond. On the basis of what, exactly, do you think he’s a devolutionist, it’s never even been mentioned anywhere by any of the candidates.

    Try watching any number of YouTube videos of his tour around the country and find us some evidence. His desire for independence shines through everything he says.

  175. Big Jock
    Ignored
    says:

    Breeks . The SNP was ruined after Indy Ref 1. Before that the party was full of life long indi supporters. Suddenly that membership increased by 500%. The people that joined were ex Labour members, the youth wing and some who thought independence was a trendy thing to be part of.

    Don’t get me wrong , there were some good genuine people. But look at Mhairi Black. She represents everything that is wrong with the SNP. She is the new SNP , and it’s pretty ugly and frightning.

  176. Luigi
    Ignored
    says:

    Sigh. What a pathetic state the nuSNP have gotten themselves into. They are now running around like headless chickens, frantically rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. Captain Yousaf seems to be frozen with fear. If you don’t become assertive and act decisively now (for once in your life), you will go down with the ship, Skipper.

  177. Colin Alexander
    Ignored
    says:

    Achnababan @ 9.21am. Excellent comment about the past but currently Alex has proclaimed KCIII as sovereign. He continues to serve as UK Privy counsellor. That is unacceptable for a pro-indy, pro Scottish sovereignty party leader. Nobody has the gumption to challenge the hypocrisy and undermining of Scottish sovereignty because it’s Alex Salmond. Nobody else will recognise Alex’s Indyref devolution policy has brought us to where we are now, the SNP colonial administrators and enemies of independence.

  178. John H.
    Ignored
    says:

    Ian Brotherhood 9.51.

    No cameras or microphones?

  179. Den
    Ignored
    says:

    It gets right on ma tits seeing all these careerist SNP ministers now coming out and retrospectively shouting about getting the house in order and being more transparent. Absolute imposters every last one of them.

  180. Lenny Hartley
    Ignored
    says:

    Mac, i read a report yesterday about Tony Blair being voluntary questioned three of four times re the cash for honours scandal.
    It said the Polis wanted to question him under caution but he would have to resign as PM if that was the case so they agreed to question him without arresting him . This could be a lot more serious than something that goes on 24/7 at Westminster. So your probably right about Sturgeon if she was FM and questioned under caution , then if like Westminster and Holyrood is set up procedurally wise like Westminster then perhaps she would have to resign as FM.

  181. Daisy Walker
    Ignored
    says:

    @, ‘Big Jock says:
    19 April, 2023 at 12:04 am

    Phil. That wasn’t the point I was making.

    Police Scotland can’t just arrest people to question them. There has to be a suspicion of involvement in a crime to get arrested. If the accused says nothing , they can still charge them if they believe there is strong evidence.

    So it appears in these cases there may not be enough evidence to charge. So why the drama of the arrest. Why not ask them to just come in for voluntary questioning?

    It just seems a bit odd.’

    Hello Big Jock, 2019? (roughly) Scots Criminal Law was changed from the 1995 law, where if you had reasonable cause to suspect a person had committed a crime, punishable by imprisonment, they could be lawfully detained for up to 6 hours, for the purposes of being interviewed, having fingerprints, dna, photos, etc taken, and also out the way, so that officers could interview witnesses at the locus.

    The law was changed in 2019? to a similar procedure (ie you needed enough reasonable cause to suspect a crime had been committed and your person was a suspect), however the new term used, is Arrested on Suspicion – and can be held for 12 hours to enable enquiries.

    In both cases the procedure is a half way house, and a stage in the enquiry, not the final outcome. With Fraud enquiries, where much evidence is likely to be held on computers, analysis/recovery of this takes time.

    Quite often a suspect will make a no comment interview, Police can, if they have enough evidence at this stage, charge and arrest, and this often happens. Equally, there is often forensic evidence at the lab, and it is better to wait for the outcome before charging with the offence.

    Police can, with a willing suspect, ask them to attend for interview, on a voluntary basis. In view of the seriousness of the alleged crime, it’s aggravated nature due to the suspects being in Government, this is one time when dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s is fully appropriate.

    So, to re-itterate, Police have reasonable cause to suspect a crime has been committed, they have reasonable cause to suspect several people of committing that crime and are making enquiry into it, but at this stage the enquiry is not complete, and no-one has been charged with the offence, pending further enquiry.

    I very much miss the laugauge of the older law, ‘detention’ was much fairer and accurate a description. Hey ho.

  182. Colin Alexander
    Ignored
    says:

    I have great respect for the work Alex has put in for indy over decades. He is a brilliant orator and I believe he does want indy for Scotland, not just devolution.

    However, it also has to be recognised his past strategies have till now failed to achieve indy and the SNP has been brought to its knees by the SNP leadership that was endorsed by Alex Salmond.

    He has made mistakes politically and we shouldn’t just accept any politicians policies without debate and criticisms.

    And no politician should be above objective criticism. Even Alex Salmond.

  183. Daisy Walker
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood says:
    19 April, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Theresa May had a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon in a Glasgow hotel at the end of March 2017.

    Ostensibly, about Brexit, Article 50 etc.

    Did we ever discover why the meeting was in a hotel and not Holyrood or Bute House?

    Just wondering.

    It’s bugging me.’

    First reason is that soon before, she had held an event (possibly a press conference) at Bute House, and had the Saltires on both sides. It made her look presidential, and that she had the state buildings to back her up.

    Second reason, unlike an official ministerial building, where for security, every person within has been signed in and out (very useful for disproving malicious allegations of crimes) – and can thereafter be sought after information via FOI requests, the hotel can have different wings and different levels of security. Meetings can be held very easily with people not on the rota.

  184. Ian Brotherhood
    Ignored
    says:

    @John H & Daisy Walker –

    Thanks for the responses.

    I’m maybe just showing how cynical I’ve become.

    My suspicion is this: NS knew, just as TM did, that Holyrood and Bute House are riddled with bugs. Truly private discussion would not be possible.

    I’m wondering if the main topic of conversation was indeed Brexit?

    Could it have been the point at which NS was told, via TM, that the time had come to ‘get Salmond’?

  185. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “The only way to Independence, is via the actions of ordinary people.
    I’ve said all along, there’s more chance of success by voting ‘Joe Bloggs’ to end the Union.
    Ordinary citizens, to contest every constituency, for a mandate to end the Union.”

    There is not even the tiniest chance of that ever working.

  186. Stephen O'Brien
    Ignored
    says:

    “The only way to Independence, is via the actions of ordinary people.
    I’ve said all along, there’s more chance of success by voting ‘Joe Bloggs’ to end the Union.
    Ordinary citizens, to contest every constituency, for a mandate to end the Union.”

    Why is there “not even the tiniest chance of that ever working”?

    Where do you see the particular problem?

    Is it funding?

    The question of ending the Union, begs to be asked, what does it matter, whoever puts the question to the test, the campaign itself, holds the key to the outcome.

  187. Towbar Sullivan
    Ignored
    says:

    Stu is shining a light into all the dark corners and watching the rats scurry about…

    I look forward to the day when “ABC Perjury” will be the headline.

  188. Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    As I understand it, suspects are invited to attend a police station to be interviewed under caution. If the suspect refuses to cooperate and the police want the suspect in the station, then their only option is to arrest the suspect. If two suspects have been released without charge, but there is nonetheless clear evidence of a crime having been committed by somebody, then it is likely that two things have happened. Firstly, there is currently insufficient evidence to proceed with a charge and secondly, it is likely that the arrested person is still not cooperating. My bet is that there will be a lot of “no comment” responses

  189. Stoker
    Ignored
    says:

    sydthesnake says wrote on 19 April 2023 at 7:03 am:
    I’d like to see a list of ALL SNP politicians rated good guy/wank
    ala Chewing the Fat.

    FFS, Syd, it’d be an awfy long wank…………list. 😉 LOL!

  190. James Barr Gardner
    Ignored
    says:

    For Continuity read Cover Up !

  191. John McGregor
    Ignored
    says:

    What about Honest John Swine eh was he no in the loop aswell ???

  192. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Where do you see the particular problem?”

    Humans.

  193. Stephen O'Brien
    Ignored
    says:

    Your answer “humans”, is either flippant or fatally realistic to the pursuit of independence.

    On alternate days, each descriptions could apply.

    Which of the two, is it today?

  194. Casper1066
    Ignored
    says:

    Good piece Stu..

    Who would have thunk it 8 years on eh.



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