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Brass rubbing

Posted on November 06, 2020 by

We have to admit the line below takes some chutzpah to even attempt. It’s a little bit like Harold Shipman refusing to admit to all the murders he committed on the grounds that revealing the victim/patients’ personal data would break the Hippocratic Oath.

We know, for an absolute and uncontested fact, by the Scottish Government’s own admission, that the First Minister has already committed the most serious breach of the Ministerial Code possible – lying to Parliament (section 1.3c). She lied about the date she first knew of the allegations against Salmond.

From the First Minister’s own personal written testimony, we know that the reason she lied to Parliament was that she had definitely also committed another breach of the Code, either by using Scottish Parliament premises for party matters (section 1.3i) or by failing to record government business discussed therein (sections 4.22, 4.23).

So it seems a bit late to be getting all bashful about the Code now.

The article notes:

As a general statement of fact, the first paragraph is true. The Code does contain a section about not divulging legal advice:

But there’s a key detail there that the First Minister is purposely misrepresenting. The Code prohibits, in normal circumstances, the disclosing of any legal advice given to Ministers or to the Scottish Government.

But we’ve been told endlessly by the First Minister that she and her ministers took no part whatsoever in the investigation into the false allegations against Alex Salmond, because her/their involvement would have been improper. We’ve been told that the entire matter was under the sole control of Leslie Evans, the Permanent Secretary, who is neither a Minister nor a member of the Scottish Government. She works for and is answerable to the UK Civil Service, and as such the Ministerial Code does not apply to her.

(Civil servants have their own code, which contains no provisions or prohibitions at all relating to the disclosure or otherwise of legal advice.)

So disclosing advice which would have been given in the first instance to Leslie Evans does NOT risk breaching the Ministerial Code. The First Minister is lying.

But even if that were not the case, the Code explicitly provides for such advice to be released “in exceptional circumstances”, and if the circumstances of this case – which we’re not going to list again here or this article would be 10,000 words long – aren’t exceptional then we cannot imagine which circumstances could ever qualify.

The First Minister also insists that “compelling reasons” would be required to invoke the exception. But since she herself promised, without any qualifiers or exclusions, to give the inquiry committee “whatever material they request”, and the committee has been requesting for several months to see the legal advice, and the entire Parliament has now voted to support that request, then unless her promise was yet another lie to Parliament (because she had no intention of keeping it) and therefore yet another breach of the Ministerial Code, the First Minister is indeed now compelled to honour it.

Because the Scottish Parliament is the physical embodiment of Scottish democracy and the elected voice of the Scottish people, and we read somewhere recently that those who rage against democracy don’t prevail.

We keenly await the results of the Scottish Government’s deliberations.

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  1. 06 11 20 11:55

    Brass rubbing | The New York Press News Agency

  2. 06 11 20 11:56

    Brass rubbing | speymouth

77 to “Brass rubbing”

  1. Muscleguy

    And the committee has gone to the Court of Session to get a ruling on the matter as well. Scotgov will have absolutely nowhere to hide and could find themselves in contempt of court, again.

    This could all end at the UK Supreme Court or the Monarch could be asked to order Scotgov to release the papers. How would that look? The Loyalists would be cock a hoop. over it.

  2. Intractable Potsherd

    It’s starting to look like ScotGov thought they (would have had control over the inquiry, but have repeatedly been shown that they haven’t. Clearly “independent inquiry” meant something different in their heads – I wonder why?

  3. Kat

    Why in the name of the wee man is she still digging?

    Does she really think no one is paying close enough attention to spot all these lies? (Thanks Stu et al.)

    The shit has already hit the fan, the horse has bolted, the milk is spilled…for gawds sake get a grip already and just come clean!

  4. newburghgowfer

    The Demagogue in the Scots Gov cant be serious about this.
    Wee Pishart will be raging with you Rev after consulting with Bernie Saunders on who can use the word Demagogue first ?

  5. aulbea1

    Looking like a messy end to the Murrells.

  6. Astonished

    The murrells have got to go. The longer the delay the worse it will be for the SNP and for them.

    Everyone knows she is hiding the advice because it would reveal something mrs murrell wants kept hidden. We can speculate.

    The Alex Salmond stitch-up will be mrs murrell’s undoing and ,hopefully, Scotland’s salvation.

  7. lothianlad

    Careful Stu, Wee Pishart ( brilliant Newburghgowfer 🙂 ) will be up in arms that his beloved SNP is being compared to Harold Shipman.

    Brilliant comparrison though.

  8. Ottomanboi

    CHUTZPAH amounts to a total denial of personal responsibility, which renders others speechless and incredulous. You can’t quite believe that another person totally lacks common human traits like remorse, regret, guilt, sympathy and insight. The implication is at least some degree of psychopathy in the subject as well as the awestruck amazement of the observer at the display.

    Nicola ‘I so love the people’ Sturgeon has in truck loads. Altogether now…don’t cry for me Caledonia.

  9. fraser reid

    Thats enough with all the FM bashing please ! Maybe she just “forgot” that this was taken care of by Leslie Evans. I mean everyone forgets things once in a while – like meetings…..oh wait ! Groundhog day ?

  10. Daisy Walker

    ‘Why is she still digging?’

    Because it buys her time.

    She needs to stay in power until Brexit No Deal is delivered. After that if too much evidence comes to light, whereby the media can no longer protect her, she will retire gracefully to a reward outwith Scotland (probably the UN).

    If she can stay in power and get past the SNP November Conference – keep S30 Wheesht for Indy/Yet Another Mandate on the books with no chance of a Plan B, ensure enough Wokists remain in key positions within the SNP to make them ‘damaged below the hull’, then her work is done.

    If she can get past January 2021 still in power, she prevents the SNP/Scot gov from demanding a reply to S30 request, and using that answer (it will be No) as leverage within a plebiscite Holyrood Election aka Bath Charter.

    Come April 2021 the media will unleash the dogs on all the shenanigans (1/2 million £ embezzled ?), including bonkers GRA and Hate Crime Bill. All those positive polls for SNP will take a severe dent. And remember exactly how hard it is to win an outright majority at Holyrood.

    They won’t win, and all that blind faith in the S30 policy will be for nothing.
    The SNP will be an unelectable mess, with serious internal issues.

    The only way I see of this changing, is for the campaign for the Bath Charter to start now, including fundraising and identifying credible local candidates.

    And for sufficient evidence to be leaked to the public of criminal behaviour to defraud contributors of 1/2 million £, to conspire to pervert the course of justice with false allegations against AS.

    The result of the above 2 actions would lead to a night of long knives within the SNP – and it that, and that alone, which is going to remove NS.

  11. Johnny Martin

    The ‘I forgot’ stuff is interesting because that’s supposed to be the whole point of taking, and retaining for lengthy periods of time in case they are needed for situations such as this, of notes, records and minutes. It’s generally accepted indeed that people won’t remember everything; that’s why you keep this stuff.

    In short, if they didn’t have a procedure in place demanding that these things be retained for a set period of years, they ought to have put that in place first before the procedure that’s caused all this trouble.

  12. Craig P

    There is an awful lot of hair-splitting going on.

    It comes from a culture of routine cover-up – the process that makes most awkward questions go away.

    This is normal. I doubt the Scottish Government are any worse than other organisation or civil service in this regard.

    The thing they need to understand, is the point to come clean has passed. Do they want to drop the leaders of this affair in it now, when something can be done about it, or four weeks before the next election, when they will be at the mercy of the mainstream press?

    Btw, the legal advice is likely to be the same as the advice from the UK civil service, that their harassment process was flawed from the start.

  13. Effijy

    Dear God this is unbelievable.

    Can we e-Mail the above facts to Nicola, SNP HQ, to the enquiry board members
    to the Courts.

    There is no need for courts or further delays.
    It is obvious that these documents must be made available so get on with it.

    Shame that SNP can only work on Covid and nothing else but
    somehow an incredible amount of time and money is being spent on cover up and delay.

    Stop this nonsense and it will free up a resource for Independence, Brexit and the Tory Internal market’s power grab.

    Unacceptable disgrace but another aspect that troubles me is why the Unionists and all their
    Media might are not going stir crazy about all this?

    It looks like they want her to stay and work with their anti independence agenda.

    This is a drop in the ocean compared to Frenchgate that they milked to death on a daily basis
    even after it was proved to be completely unfounded.

    Something stinks in the state of Murrellmark!

  14. ahundredthidiot

    NS wont go anywhere without her handlers permission.

    She doesn’t work for us – she works for them……and they will bleed her until every last drop has been squeezed and then, if she’s lucky and loyal enough, will get a nice wee cushy number – highly paid to keep her shut – at fuckin NATO or the UN or worse………..the BBC!

  15. Hatuey

    I guess Rev Stu managed to work out what the gobbledygook below means, re. 2.41, so that views given by Law Officers in their Ministerial capacity means in their capacity as civil servants?

    Basically, no matter how you cut it, there’s nothing to stop them releasing the legal advice.

    And as far as I know the Law Officers appeared in front of the inquiry this week and there was no suggestion that they were reluctant to or unable discuss the legal advice.

    Scottish Ministerial Code


    “Views given by the Law Officers in their Ministerial capacity, as opposed to legal advice provided by them in their capacity as legal advisers, are also not covered by the provision in paragraph 2.38.”

  16. MaggieC

    The latest post from Gordon Dangerfield ,


    “ In an encouraging display of backbone, the Convenor of the Salmond inquiry has written to the Lord Advocate pointing out that if Barbara Allison and the Scottish Government can use COPFS as their own private data store, then maybe it’s time the Lord Advocate provided the same service for the inquiry “

    And the convenor’s letter ,

  17. 1971Thistle

    I’m guessing a vote by Parliament isn’t a compelling enough reason?

  18. stuart mctavish

    Setting aside the intriguing method(s) by which power might ever belong to people unable to leave their dwelling for fear of catching a criminal record, legal privilege belongs to the client (not the lawyer) so the apparently spurious argument may in fact be that the civil service law officers cannot be directed by the Scottish Parliament – in which case the Conservatives could easily remedy the impasse by instructing release of the advice through Westminster.

    To be fair to the legal bodies that provided the advice, the committee might want to also request sight and/or publication of the brief that they were asked to advise upon.

  19. Kenny

    Oh, she’s cute, isn’t she? Pretty damn blatant with it, too? I mean, it’s plain she’s lying through her teeth, and that when the mud starts to slime there’ll be a few who’ll fall on their sword: so why is Holyrood tolerating it?

    I’m wondering at what point, during her continued babbling, MSPs start to murmur this stuff (below)? Oh, I get it? – as long as she’s in power, and they hold this over her, there can never be a Scottish Referendum, which means not only has she no intention of holding one, but she’s selfishly denying Scotland independence to both save her own skin and to keep the cozy wee job for her and that Murrell guy. What an utter shite that couple are?

    Scottish Parliament site.
    Chapter 8: Motions and Points of Order

    Rule 8.12 Motions of no confidence
    1. Any member may give notice of a motion that the Scottish Government or a member of the Scottish Government or a junior Scottish Minister no longer enjoys the confidence of the Parliament (“a motion of no confidence”).

    2. If notice of a motion of no confidence is supported by at least 25 members, it shall be included in a proposed business programme.

    3. Members shall normally be given at least 2 sitting days’ notice of a motion of no confidence. Exceptionally, members may be given a shorter period of notice if in the opinion of the Parliamentary Bureau a shorter period is appropriate.

  20. Kenny

    MaggieC says:
    6 November, 2020 at 12:42 pm
    The latest post from Gordon Dangerfield ,


    “ In an encouraging display of backbone, the Convenor of the Salmond inquiry has written….

    I know it’s nit-picking (not, actually) but seeing as everyone knows who’s lying their arse off to Scots, let’s be clear; there is no ‘Salmond inquiry’, there is however an ongoing Sturgeon inquiry – and, boy, is she in big trouble?

  21. G H Graham

    I admit to salivating when you used to use the old headline technique which accused a person directly, e.g. ” XYZ Is A Liar”.

    It saved me from having to read the entire article only to reach the same conclusion anyway.

    But in this instance, Sturgeon’s persistence at attempting to cover up her sordid involvement in the plot to incarcerate a former colleague is deeply disturbing & simultaneously fascinating.

    It reveals much about her “special” working relationships with a mostly female inner circle & suggests that extreme feminism, when used to attempt to address historically unbalanced & biased paternalistic structures & cultural norms, is equally destructive, inherently unfair & on this occasion highly dangerous.

    The bizarre, kinky, nanny state, group think that the SNP executive & the NEC have adopted in order to influence public policy & imagine deeply intrusive legislation, rests entirely on her own shoulders.

    She really is a nasty piece of work.

  22. Hatuey

    Stuart: “ Conservatives could easily remedy the impasse by instructing release of the advice through Westminster.”

    That would be hilarious. Maybe the Queen will intervene since they’re all her little soldiers and the privilege is rightfully hers…

  23. Jim Bo

    Daisy Walker, I do love your posts! (Rev’s too obvs)

  24. MaggieC

    Me 12.42 pm

    Re the Harassment and Complaints Committee ,
    From the Phase 3 Judicial Review page today ,

    The Convener wrote to the Deputy First Minister on 6 November 2020 regarding the evidence submitted by the Scottish Government and the assertion of legal processional privilege. (This letter has also been published on the correspondence page of this site as it relates also to another phase of the Committee’s inquiry):

    The Convener wrote to Legal Firm Levy & McRae, who represent former First Minister Alex Salmond, on 6 November 2020 in response to their letters of 21, 22 and 26 October regarding evidence relating to the Judicial Review phase of the Committee’s inquiry. (This letter has also been published on the correspondence page of this site as it relates also to the inquiry in general):

  25. Breeks

    Kenny says:
    6 November, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    … let’s be clear; there is no ‘Salmond inquiry’, there is however an ongoing Sturgeon inquiry…

    I get the point, but I don’t mind reference to the Salmond Inquiry, because I think the conclusion of the Inquiry will do much to exonerate Mr Salmond yet further.

    It might also avoid future confusion with the “Sturgeon Trails” which might yet be on the horizon… And there might be more than one of those…

    And just a wee word of thanks to, to MaggieC… I very much appreciate you keeping an eye on events and flagging up good information.

  26. Willie

    Guilty, guilty, guilty is what is emerging as the wee Nicola drown in her own filth pit.

    She doesn’t want to have the legal advice released because she knows that it will expose her and her government showing how every attempt was made to destroy an innocent man. A proven liar to Parliament who said she had no meetings only for that to be later exposed as a lie the stench of criminality becomes worse by the day.

    This has to end with criminal prosecutions. Criminality at the heart of government cannot be allowed to remain. The sty needs cleaned out and disinfected. Who would want an independent, or devolved Scotland with people like this in control.

    The criminal Sturgeon – Murrell thug cartel must go.

  27. Republicofscotland

    Its patently obvious that Sturgeon is (by saying she’ll provide whatever evidence the committee wants) grandstanding to the public, in private she has no intentions of providing whatever evidence is required, and she won’t the vote the other day wasn’t binding.

    Even John Swinney’s touching comment after the result of the vote, of the government would respect the decision taken by parliament, and that he would consider the implications of the motion, were more of a stalling tactic than an acknowledgement of any wrong doing.

    Sturgeon said that consent to release legal advice will only be given if there are compelling reasons, well, the chamber certainly by voting for this, and to clear the matter up, and to show that Sturgeon hasn’t brought the parliament into disrepute certainly thinks that along with exceptional circumstances, there is compelling reasons to provide the evidence.

    I for one don’t believe Sturgeon will willingly provide the necessary documentation asked for by the committee, she’ll use the cover of Covid to stall until next year, and promise yet again to provide the info until campaigning mode takes over.

  28. Daisy Walker

    The latest Dangermouse article is a belter.

    I see from over on the last thread the announcement of who has been selected to stand for MSP will not happen until after 1600 hrs today, and also there is no independent 3rd party overseeing the count.

  29. Big Jock

    “Power belongs to the people”

    Did she really say that. FFS the people are telling her they want independence, they want it now and she is stopping it happening.

  30. James Che.

    I have to admit to being more than a little bit confused over the blending of who is the Scottish government, there seems to be two, some times acting as two, at other times acting as three,
    The snp, the civil servants, the Scottish government,
    These things seem to over lap where and when it is appropriate for whom ever holds the cards/ winning hand.
    This is where I become confused, Lesley evens is a civil servent along with most of those whom set up AS.
    Civil servants are employed and sackable by uk government as I understand it, Nicola sturgeon cannot sack civil servants, she is allowed to chose from civil servants presented to her,
    Civil servants come from the same source of Westminster government as alistair jack, David mundell etc ( england )over three thousand civil servants are in Scotland, helping to run Scotland,
    What makes us think that if these civil servants are on our side, they have gone to extremes in as far as a serious attempt to set up AS, what makes us think that they would not attempt to set up NS,
    It leaves room for doubt for many reasons, mostly that it is the British civil servants doing most of the organisation of paper work, the media leaks, the Hang A .S . before a trial mantra, and the revellers in the NS story are of corse the same people that revelled in the AS story,
    Tories, labour and Lib Dem’s, MSM, and a good proportion of the others have connections to England through previous employment, some will do anything for ermine and honours with titles, it reminds me of Danial de foe, who pretended to be on the side of Scotland while all the time working against Scotland, and Scotland was fooled then, because he sounded sincere.
    Do I think NS has been stupid in letting her guard down, in supposing the female side of the enemy
    was a friend, Yes,
    Do I think that NS has been stupid in trusting the woke advisors, Yes.
    Do I think that she has been stupid in listening to labourite SNPs, Yes.
    Do I think she should be the perfect human being with the knowledge and wisdom of a sage, No.
    Do I think she has messed up because of that .Yes.
    Do I think she should be listening to her husband who seems to be overly controlling in the SNP. No.
    Do I think it’s black and white, a cut and dry scenario as the tories, labour and mainstream media want us to think, do we hang her first.
    Perhaps civil servants and others in the mix, realised that they would get one or the other of the two main Scottish independence leaders, set one against the other, divide and rule, either way they would be able to bring the independence movement to a grinding halt, by tarnishing the reputation of one or both of them, get one out of the way then sit back and watch the destruction of the Independence movement from within, all they had to do is insert a few key players to set doubt among us,
    I marvel at the pararells of the AS case of sex charges here in Scotland to the charges against Kavenagh in America, he was not allowed to know the full details of who was accusing him, he to was not going to be allowed the right to a fair trial, and he to might have been imprisoned if they had succeeded, and the accusers had protection,
    In my opinion it is all to easy to smear and accuse someone, and hang them. If the organisation is experienced enough with years of background knowledge in this area.
    It reminds me of the police that went as far as marrying and having children with women so they could access information, no morals in whom they hurt, no loyalty, their aim, their goal, their believe was more important than the innocents whom they harmed, they had a bigger agenda to follow.
    Both Alex and Nicola knocked of the independence political stage within a short time period of each other through accusations and smear before trial or court hearings,
    Many other SNPs taken sudden retirement or suddenly deciding to be at home with their families,
    To me this sucks, something is not sitting comfortable, my instincts are suggesting a set up. And alarm bells are beginning to ring.

  31. Daisy Walker

    I wonder on what date legal advice was saught?

    I wonder who requested it, and/ or authorised it?

    I wonder if on first receipt, clarity on certain aspects was requested, and if so, by whom?

    I wonder if their official signature is all over it?

    I wonder if within all the Legal Advice Correspondence, there are not one or two letters from Leslie Evans, containing sentences similar to, ‘I’ve shown the above to NS, with regards paragraph x, she seeks clarification regarding such and such’?

    I wonder if, the legal advice, in and of itself, is not really the smoking gun. Rather the dates, and fingerprints all over it.

    Just a thought.

  32. Republicofscotland

    I was wondering if Sturgeon had could be forced on providing the committee with the necessary documentation. What I mean by that is that Sturgeon has openly stated that she’ll provide the information if required, but then states that in doing she would break the ministerial Code.

    However Sturgeon said that in order to release the documentation, she would require prior consent from Law officers. Isn’t there a process to prompt these Law officers into saying to Sturgeon that its okay to hand over the documentation to the committee, for its most unlikely Sturgeon will consult them first.

  33. Robert Black

    The First Minister has said that if the Scottish Government were minded to allow publication of the legal advice that it received in connection with Alex Salmond’s judicial review application, it would require first to obtain the consent of the law officers. This is completely wrong. The right to confidentiality that legal professional privilege protects is the right of the recipient of that advice — the client — not that of the lawyer who gives the advice. The client may waive the right to confidentiality, and the lawyer has no legal right or entitlement to block this or to be consulted on the matter.

  34. Willie

    Yes Daisy Walker. Candidates it appears will be told of their results around 4.00 pm with the party issuing a press statement sometime after.

    With Cunninghame North held over it will be most interesting how these selections will play out as branches and members digest the results.

  35. Hatuey

    James Che, this sort of argument – blaming the Civil Service instead of Sturgeon – comes up a lot in this case.

    In this particular case, it’s flagrantly and pointedly ridiculous to suggest that the Civil Service in Scotland in some way instigated the plot against Salmond. There’s no evidence of them doing anything other than what was asked of them.

    In actual fact, The British Government expressed (through Evans, their representative in Scotland) serious misgivings about the change to the Procedure that allowed the pursuit of former ministers.

    Nobody anywhere disputes that the decision to change the Procedure in that key area came from the First Minister’s office, the only place a decision like that could have come from.

    Straightforwardly, then, at this key stage in the Salmond affair, a stage that everything that followed depended upon in sequential terms, the Civil Service were and could only have been doing what they were instructed to do by the FM.

    There’s a good deal of other evidence too but we can stop right there. The discussion is over and the confusion resolved.

  36. Strathy

    The other democratic decision of the Scottish Parliament was that there should be an inquiry into Covid in Scottish care homes, but she has decided that this should not happen either.

    Instead of the inquiry requested by the Scottish people through their Parliament into their care homes, she has decided that there should be a single inquiry for the whole of the United Kingdom, because (of course) Scotland is a member of the United Kingdom.

    Leaving aside the implications of this, responsibility for NHS Scotland is devolved to the Scottish Government so she was in sole control of what happened.

    ‘Power doesn’t belong to politicians – it belongs to the people’

  37. Robert

    Instruction might have been: “Do what you think is right, but keep me out of it. I’m too personally involved to be able to intervene reasonably.”

    With the unforseen result that when it all went wrong, the relevant people couldn’t be sacked because they had followed instructions.

  38. The Dissident

    @James Che

    Following on from what @Hatuey has said, bear in mind that, following the collapse of the Judicial Review, the FM expressed complete confidence in all the senior officials involved.

    We might question her motives for doing so but, one way or another, she has bound her fate to these revolting people.

  39. WhoRattledYourCage

    Nut, lit’s face it noo, the strategy Sturgeon is follaying is the correct yin – fir her. She’s nicked a page or twae ootay the Tory n Republican rulebook. They jist say n dae the maist outrageous shite, then brazen it oot, sticking thegither nae maitter whit, saying n daeing whit they want.

    Eventually folk jist get tired ay carping oan aboot whitivir recent atrocity thir gaun on aboot n either forget or get caught up in the nixt political stairheid rammy. She’s like Trump hus been fir four year noo, daeing n saying whit she n her wee (male and female) bitch cabal want, sticking tae her lying scum guns, ignoring aw naysayers n laughing aw the wey tae the denial bank.

    N ye ken whit? She’ll continue tae git awa wi it fir a while yit. The vast majority ay the general public disnae gie a fuck aboot hardcore politics, movers n shakers, wankers n merchant bankers, party rankers. We huv been so conditioned oan this tragic wee centuries-rich-dominatit abortion ay an island tae accept, overtly or covertly, consciously or unconsciously, domination, thit we jist mutter mumble gripe grumble caw them aw cunts, say thir’s fuck aw thit kin be done aboot it aw, curse the grey dreich sky, down anither pint, n commit slow suicide.

    Is it eywis gonnae be that wey? Fuck knows, you tell me. Bit Machiavellian SNP scum whining n whimpering in Westminster aboot the eternal oppression situation is gonnae dae fuck aw, n is jist a disgusting n disgraceful embarrassment. Ah dinnae even huv the enbergy tae get angry aboot it aw onymair. Ma blood pressure cannae handle it.

    Fuck it.

  40. Republicofscotland

    For once Pete Wishart speaks the truth.

    “The only people who can beat us now are ourselves. That’s what the Tories are counting on’.”

    Though Wishart isn’t referring to Sturgeon and Co.

  41. Saffron Robe

    Surely if you are not prepared to provide the evidence that proves your innocence, then you must be presumed guilty?

  42. Republicofscotland

    Christ the hypocrisy from Sturgeon here is breathtaking.

    “As we’re seeing across the Atlantic just now, politicians who rage against democracy don’t prevail. Let’s not dignify this rubbish. Instead let’s keep making and winning the case for independence. Power doesn’t belong to politicians – it belongs to the people. ”

  43. boris

    But when asked what the lowest point of her career was, she said it was her time as Principal Private Secretary to Alex Salmond. She then said she would need to be extra careful about what she said next and paused for a bit before saying:

    “There were times when I was working as Principal Private Secretary to the former First Minister Alex Salmond which were challenging,” (with a heavy emphasis on the word challenge.) I would find myself at Bute House at midnight in front of my computer thinking oh s**t, how am going to resolve this by 8am? Long hours. Challenging issues.”

  44. Kenny J

    There is only one question to answer in this whole two trials saga. Of which the criminal trial was the backup, in the event of the first attempt failing, or perhaps not being decisive enough, a Plan B, you might call it.
    WHO benefits, in these persons view, if Mr Salmond is out of the political picture.
    And it’s not some civil servants. Win, lose or draw, they get their salaries paid and pensions at the end.
    So confident were they, that they did not even try to bother to get rid of the paper trail showing their guilt.

  45. Tannadice Boy

    If the FM decides to face down the Parliament and refuse to release the legal advice. What can be done? A vote of no confidence is not legally binding even if the Parliamentary arithmetic was there. So she could just ignore a vote of no confidence as well whatever the outcome. It is looking increasingly likely the Court of Session is the way ahead. But if they say No. What’s left? Not a lot. There is no route through the Presiding Officer either. The fundamental limitations of the Parliament have been revealed. This is what bringing the house down looks like.

  46. WhoRattledYourCage

    Ken, ah jist hud a wee thought. The National is a crap paper, fu ay nuhhin bit Sturgeon/SNP cheerleading stories. It ostensibly exists tae gie the angry, despairing, indy-supporting side a wee voice in the Scottish media. It’s fu ay ‘outraged’ stories aboot whit some Tory no-mark in Holyrood or Westminster his just said aboot the SNP/Scotland, n hus the readers constantly up-in-airms aboot some insulting pish or ither.

    Yit we expect nuhhin else fae the Tories n Westminster, so how dis this sortay constant negativity, impotently raging it colonialist mockery, help us at aw? It actually kinnay fosters the reverse, a feeling ay angry helplissniss aboot us getting bootit tae fuck iviry insulting day ay the week by Westminster, bit thank god we’ve goat oor valiant gobshite well-paid SNP heroes and heroines tae stand up fir us n take offence it some random tedious shite!

    Tae me the hail fucking paper is like yin big troll in auld media form, telling us we kin nivir escape this pish, pissing aw oor us n subconsciously telling us we kin nivir be guid enough or big enough or strong enough or wise enough tae escape fae the inbredneck southern parasites running us into the grund n ruining us. It’s like the fucking comments section ay a net story in paper form, peddling clickbait shite, impotent teethgrinder outrage…n serving a negative, sneering agenda is it dis sae.

    Mind you, it is owned by the same company is the Herald.

    N the SNP clowns it punts, like Mhairi Black, or thir extremist student politics-pimping misandristic columinists (which dis echo current SNP political extremistarseholery, mind ye) wid make ye despair wi how utterly embarrassing n pathetic n stupit n American thir anti-intellectual ‘thought’ processes n writing ‘skills’ ur. Anither wey tae spit oan Scotland. Tae me, that is.

    Jist a thought.

  47. Breeks

    Tannadice Boy says:
    6 November, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    If the FM decides to face down the Parliament and refuse to release the legal advice. What can be done?

    I think the Parliamentary Inquiry would evolve into a police inquiry, which is probably what should have happened in the first place, and without the Alphabet Conspirators being left free to cover their tracks these past few months. Bute House should have been treated like a crime scene, and mobile devices seized as potential evidence.

    Too late now of course, but maybe there’s enough that is known to warrant prosecution. But if Police Scotland are implicated in the Conspiracy too, and the Justice System right up to the Lord Advocate, then I don’t know what we do. (Well I know some of the options, but a French style popular revolution with summary executions would be very messy, and might be frowned upon).

  48. Breeks

    Another option is of course to impeach Holyrood and Sturgeon’s “Government”, and cite her odious Conspiracy and unconstitutional Brexit capitulation as due cause to set up a Constitutional Convention to circumvent an impeached Holyrood, and defend Scotland’s Sovereign Constitution and Popular Sovereignty of the People.

  49. Tannadice Boy

    I have often thought the reticence of the FM to release the legal advice is because she is aware criminal charges may result when the dominoes start to fall. Why else fight like it’s Stalingrad?.
    That’s an interesting FOI by Stu. I guess we keep chipping away but it shouldn’t be this difficult to get people to do the right thing.

  50. Alec Lomax

    Scottish Libertarian Party candidate won 16 votes in yesterday’s local election in Aberdeen.
    I’m sure that they worked their socks off for every vote.

  51. Ingwe

    Sturgeon is, I understand, a solicitor as well as FM. As a solicitor, giving an undertaking is a very serious matter and breach of an undertaking is a preofessional offence. She is explicit that her undertaking is personal. “…I Undertake today that we will……”

    This is quite clear; she personally undertakes that she will procure her government to provide all the information required.

    Failure to honour this will amount to abreach of an undertaking and should be a matter for the Scottish Law Society.

  52. Alec Lomax

    Breeks – who is going to appoint a Constitutional Convention ? Does the electorate have any say on the matter?

  53. Hatuey

    “A vote of no confidence is not legally binding even if the Parliamentary arithmetic was there”

    It’s inconceivable that Sturgeon could continue in her job if a motion of no confidence in her as FM — not her government — was passed in Holyrood.

    The big question is ‘who would table that motion of no confidence and why?’

    The lying to Parliament issue has potential, according to the ministerial code if she is deemed to have done that then she should automatically go. But she won’t and it’s at the moment we need to wonder who would take it further with a confidence motion.

    The Tories? I’m not so sure. When you think about their strategy of the last few years it has been to argue that SNP victories amount to nothing because she has never achieved what’s called a “popular mandate” for independence, i.e. 50%+ of the votes.

    If you assume it’s their goal to continue with that strategy, it’s worked for them so far (as they see it), and they have little prospect of realistically hoping for much else, it follows that they’d settle for weakening Sturgeon and preventing her from achieving that popular mandate.

    That’s their real fear and, in relation to that real fear, that’s their realistic goal.

    They must also be worried about who would replace Sturgeon and what that person’s stance would be on the Section 30. Could they be so sure, for example, that Joanna Cherry would be content to play with the rigged deck and pin all hope on a Section 30?

    There’s a good chance we are fucked.

  54. Tannadice Boy

    There is no legal imperative for Sturgeon to resign if a vote of no confidence is won against her or her Government. I know I was surprised by that as well. She ignores it. Same as a breach of the ministerial code. It’s by convention she should go but there is no legal imperative for her to do so. She apologises profusely and without reservation etc. The Parliament members and mainly the SNP MSPs will have to decide what to do next. The onus will be on the SNP members especially if they are hoping for re election in May. The voting public will not take to this scenario very well.

  55. Annie 621

    Analogous with Shipman..
    given the Care Home Crime,
    perfect, and prescient.

  56. twathater

    Another thing that rips my knitting is when they say these things can only be exposed when it is in the publics interest, who the fuck decides when it is in the publics interest, (THEM THE ESTABLISHMENT)

    Well I am a member of the public and I pay my taxes to support these arsewipes and if there has been illegality or something unlawful taken place which resulted in a waste of my money as a taxpayer then I am ENTITLED to see the EVIDENCE

    Robert Black thank you for your explanation re the interpretation of confidentiality, that it resides with the client, that indicates that NS is lying again , or is skewing the reality, may I ask if there’s a way that the public can insist that the information held IS in the public interest and therefore MUST be released, would a petition suffice or would it require a costly legal court case

  57. Lochside

    boris says:
    6 November, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Oswowska..yes another native from South of the Border at the heart of the ‘Scottish’ Civil Service. Like most of the individuals who have been implicated in the ‘Circle of Amnesia’, with the exception of the half wit from Orange County.

    Yet there are still folk that think the whole Salmond set up was NOT born in Westminster and colluded with by the ‘sleepers’ running the SNP? That’s why all the conspirators were so smug. They thought that with the entire Procurator/Police establishment supporting them every step of the way that they were bullet proof.

    But they never expected a Scottish Jury dominated with women would find Salmond innocent.

  58. Breeks

    Alec Lomax says:
    6 November, 2020 at 4:49 pm
    Breeks – who is going to appoint a Constitutional Convention ? Does the electorate have any say on the matter?

    Well, doing it the easy way, it would be set up by our elected MP’s and MSP’s sitting together as a Scottish Parliament outside the jurisdiction of Holyrood and Westminster, and swearing fealty and allegiance to Scotland’s Constitution and sovereignty of the people.

    However, with SNP as it is, the “easy” way is unlikely to be viable.

    The ‘middle’ way, would be to form a Convention without the SNP on board. A suggestion I’ve made before is to take the Declaration of Arbroath at it’s literal word and have “100 of us left alive” standing as members of the Convention. The obvious flaw in this middle way is having no democratic accountability… which needn’t be fatal as a response during a state of constitutional emergency, but obviously does create problems.

    Doing it the hard way is the other option, where the “Interim Constitutional Convention” doesn’t even try to be democratic, but instead pursues a a much narrower and strictly legal interpretation of the Scottish Constitution, and seeks to have Westminster’s colonial aggression defeated and undone by the strict letter of the law, where Scotland’s unconstitutional subjugation through Brexit is defeated as unlawful… in which case Scotland’s “Constitutional Convention“ might actually be single person; a Martin Keating / Joanna Cherry / or Gina Millar type legal challenge to Westminster’s actions.

    I’m calling this the hard way, because so many people get nervous when democracy is set to one side, and in my opinion, mistakenly believe this invalidates the constitutional challenge of Westminster’s sovereignty.

    However it is my firm belief that a formal challenge to dispute Westminster’s faux ‘convention of sovereignty’ does not in fact require any democratic component at all. Westminster’s actions have flouted and breached the Articles of the Treaty of Union, and that breach of the treaty can be established and be legally binding in law.

    It is a fallacy to believe that Scotland’s Constitutional rights and entitlements can be overridden by a colonial aggressor, yet Scotland somehow requires a democratic mandate before it can properly dispute that colonial aggression. That simply isn’t correct.

    A legal intervention should be adequate to put the Union Treaty into all kinds of trouble, and the necessary democratic component can be Scotland’s democratic rejection of Brexit which was subsequently ignored as Scotland’s will was subjugated, or, it might be an interim Constitutional Convention which promises to hold a ratification plebiscite or Scottish Election.

    What also makes good reading is Craig Murray’s notion of Constitutional Convention too… I’ll need to root around and see if I can find the link…

  59. Gregor

    Or ROTTEN ScotGov could do the morally and ethically correct thing…

  60. Hatuey

    I can’t agree, tannadice. If the inquiry rules that she lied to parliament AND there’s also a motion of no confidence, not even Sturgeon can survive that, regardless of what her neck is made of.

    She’s not half as strong and smart as she, or some others, think she is.

  61. Facundo Savala

    Great article, and great scrutiny as per.

    But she’s going to get away with it all, isnt she?

  62. Tannadice Boy

    Perhaps we will need to keep an eye on developments. I was coming at the problem from her psychological disposition rather than her intelligence. If as I suspect there be a prima facie case to he answered and subsequent criminal charges. Wouldn’t it be ironic if she ends up in jail and Alex Salmond is free. Anyway back to watching the fitba.

  63. Saffron Robe

    Breeks, everything you have written at 7:38 pm is excellent, only I would favour a constitutional convention of 108 people, slightly over quorum, but a powerful number!

    I also think a challenge over Brexit and the Treaty of Union does contain a democratic mandate, in that our democratic wishes to remain in the EU are being overridden. (I think it is interesting that the EU referendum showed much more democratic unity in Scotland than England.) The constitutional convention could therefore be seen to be protecting that mandate, and thus the sovereignty of Scotland.

    Secondly, I think there has to be a challenge to Westminster’s authority over Scotland. By what authority are they acting? They certainly have no democratic mandate to rule over Scotland. If they do not have a democratic mandate to rule, then the only other authority they can claim is via the Treaty of Union, a treaty which they themselves have broken!

  64. Hatuey

    If what Dangerfield says in his latest article is true, and I don’t doubt it for a second, more than Sturgeon should be facing a criminal trial.

  65. James Che.

    Interesting perspective here when some jump to protect the Westminster employed civil servants, and attempt to redirect us to hang the FM without trial.
    Personally I don’t have a predisposition to hang anyone before all evidence is on the table,
    I am no cowboy posse willing to throw a rope over the nearest tree branch, before a trial, court case or an open public hearing, and no amount of pressure directed at me from others will persuade me that I should become one of the mob, wether it was over Nicola sturgeon or Alex Salmond,
    I respectfully will hang on to my morals and common decency.
    One fascinating possibility that occurred to me late on today is that perhaps some civil servants may be infiltrating wings, being protective of their own. While dismantling independence leaders,
    I still hear alarm bells,

  66. rob

    Another brilliant piece of work Stu . Your investigation skills show why you have the most popular blog.

    Meanwhile over in the (IN D CAR WITH GORDON ROSS) 06/11/20.

    He is telling his audience the British state is reducing all other bloggers audiences who are in favour of SNP.

    And allowing WOS to flourish because criticise the SNP.

  67. Mensa

    Is chutzpah another word for the brown stuff that is expelled from the waste expulsion pipe

  68. David Ferguson

    James Che. says:
    7 November, 2020 at 2:46 am

    Interesting perspective here when some jump to protect the Westminster employed civil servants, and attempt to redirect us to hang the FM without trial…

    “Hey everybody! Let’s protect the Westminster employed civil servants!”

    Said nobody. Ever.

  69. David Ferguson

    Robert says:
    6 November, 2020 at 2:31 pm

    Instruction might have been: “Do what you think is right, but keep me out of it. I’m too personally involved to be able to intervene reasonably.”

    Think things through Robert. She could only have issued that instruction if she had known what “it” was.

    And her whole lying shitsack schtick from the very beginning is that she knew absolutely nothing about “it” until 2 April 2018 (later amended under the “oh sorry I forgot that I later remembered that I forgot” protocol to 29 March 2018.

    It is no longer tenable that she didn’t know by at latest 29 November 2017 – a full four months earlier than she has claimed.

  70. StuartM

    @James Che
    Enough with all the conspiracy theories about English civil servants, MI5 and Uncle Tom Cobbley and all. The answer lies in the old question Cui Bono?

    Who benefits from preventing Alex Salmond returning to Holyrood? Who benefits from destroying his reputation, even putting him in gaol in order to prevent that return?

    The most obvious person to benefit is Nicola Sturgeon, since those critical of the SNP’s lack of action on independence would see Alex as an alternative to NS. Probably Alex would agitate for more action on independence. Much better for Nicola if she can take Alex out of the equation permanently.

    Secondly there are those SNP staffers who think they are entitled to a safe Holyrood seat solely due to their possession of two X chromosomes and a vagina. They know that if they have to compete with Alex for SNP preselection they’ll inevitably lose. Hence the motive for joining in the conspiracy, particularly if it’ll gain them brownie points with Nicola and Peter Murrell.

    Thirdly we have those eager to pay off grudges over real or imaginary slights they think they suffered from Alex when he was First Minister. Such as the Alphabet Sister who described herself as a “lukewarm supporter of independence”* and who was rebuffed when she asked Alex to endorse her for SNP preselection. He explained to her that he couldn’t endorse her over a much stronger local candidate for the seat who’d done all the legwork to build support for the SNP. Clearly she thought she should be parachuted into the seat by Head Office – sense of entitlement, much?
    (* You’d think that support for independence would be a basic requirement for a role in the SNP, much as a priest should believe in God. But apparently not under Queen Nicola.)

    Alex has been described as a “demanding boss”. That sounds to me that he required high standards from his staff, expected the same dedication he himself put in, and didn’t suffer fools gladly or accept slipshod work from either SNP officials or civil servants. Exactly what he should have done as Head of Government, hold the staff to high standards. I suspect that some of these delicate souls found being upbraided for sloppy work as “bullying” and were more than happy to take revenge on Alex.

    We have it on the authority of Craig Murray that the Alphabet women are all part of Sturgeon’s inner circle. Even the civil servants owe their positions to NS. Forget about orders from Westminster – they take their orders from Nicola. Leslie Evans and Judith McKinnon owe their appointments to Sturgeon and on the evidence of their previous debacles at Edinburgh Council and Police Scotland respectively they could hardly have been the best candidates for the job. They’re mediocrities and they know it and the only way to hold on to their highly-paid jobs is to retain Nicola’s good graces by doing whatever she asks, integrity be damned.

    Make no mistake – the conspiracy to fit up Alex was hatched at the very highest levels of the SNP and Nicola was up to her ears in it. Probably Pete Murrell too. That’s why the Scottish Government is being so obstructive to the Parliamentary Inquiry.

  71. James Che.

    And who benefits to get rid of AS, NS, the SNP and the independence movement all in one go?

  72. James Che.

    and who is the winner. If you make sure that AS, NS, SNP, and the people’s independence movement loses direction and any democrat way forward?

  73. Daisy Walker

    Has a full list been produced as to which areas selected woke candidates yet.

    I see it was not plain sailing for either side.

    Angus Robertson got in.

    And did his wife also? Not sure.

    Better news – Jim Fairley got the Perthshire candidacy.

    I see also, that Michelle Thomson was selected.

    How did those related or married to Yousaf get on? snyone know.

    And how went Big Daddies Stirling area?

  74. Lennie

    Interesting that all the anti Salmond SNP clique all seem to be congratulating the Vice President for the first time ever.

    There’s a pattern here.

  75. Sara Salyers

    The invovlement of Murrell, and therefore Sturgeon, was no longer in question once those messages emerged. It had not been in question if you had been following Craig Murray. I worked with and for Alex Salmond over a two year period in the late nineties. When you f*ck up he is an absolute nightmare. But you knew you had messed up and you got the chance to put it right and there was never any bad feeling or even any reference to it once you had sorted it. It wasn’t that Alex held you to his own standards he just expected you to meet the standards set by your own brief. he was also among the least predatory man I ever worked alongside and absolutely the least likely to make inappropriate advances to any woman. I knew for a certainty that he was innocent of the charges, however many were cobbled together but not that he would be able to prove it. I also knew that Sturgeon had to be more aware than I was that sexually predatory advances were the last thing this man could ever be accuse of. And that makes what she has done as unforgivable as it is wicked.
    The lies are mounting up now and my own interpretation of events is that Sturgeon put all her eggs in the assassination basket; had he gone down, there would have been no minute examination of the way the conspiracy (a legal term applicable in this case) was constructed. And with that much perjury against him Salmond shouldn’t have stood a chance. There was no plan ‘B’. (Sorry couldn’t help it.) So now, the writhing and obfuscation to avoid revealing the stark evil of the plan and the utter trustworthiness of those involved, including Sturgeon, is under way. It will come to naught, I fancy. Ify ou stab Salmondin the back you had better make sure the blow is fatal. Because if he gets back up you are done for. I believe that Sturgeon is done for. I hope so.

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