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Archive for the ‘corruption’

Rotting from the head 12

Posted on January 23, 2021 by

Chasing waterfalls 227

Posted on January 22, 2021 by

It’s hard to keep up with developments in Scottish politics these days, readers. We told you January 2021 was going to be a pivotal and explosive month but there’s been more going on than even we expected, and that’s despite the fact that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon’s appearances before the Fabiani committee now both look like being pushed back to February.

So our apologies if we have to give some things rather more cursory coverage than they might ordinarily merit, or cram several stories into one post. For example, we’re just going to link you to solicitor advocate Gordon Dangerfield’s appearance yesterday on the Tommy Sheridan podcast, even though he said this non-trivial thing on it:

“There’s a very simple answer to [why Leslie Evans is still in a job]. She says it herself constantly to the inquiry – civil servants only represent ministers. They have no status other than as the servants of the government.

Who is Leslie Evans’ boss? Leslie Evans’ boss is Nicola Sturgeon. Nicola Sturgeon was behind this from the outset. Leslie Evans was carrying out Nicola Sturgeon’s instructions. And that’s why she’s still in a job. Because if she wasn’t still in a job, neither would Nicola Sturgeon be.”

The whole interview is pretty unmissable, so if you can find 24 spare minutes in your day try to give it a listen. But there’s more.

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The great unknowns 220

Posted on January 21, 2021 by

Sky News had a breaking report tonight about a person they couldn’t name.

Was it The Woman Whose Name You Can’t Say? We couldn’t tell you even if we knew, readers. And we can’t tell you whether we do or not. Sky carefully avoided even saying what sex the person was, and you’d have to be quite an alert viewer to notice any of the hints they dropped in the piece. We’ve said enough. You’re on your own now.

As ever, please do not commit contempt of court in the comments.

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The Need For Speed 113

Posted on January 21, 2021 by

You can say what you want about the Scottish Government, the Crown Office and the civil service [IMPORTANT LAWYER’S NOTE: NO YOU MOST DEFINITELY CAN’T], but there’s certainly no faulting their reaction time.

That was less than eight hours, for example. Great work, team.

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The Woman Who Doesn’t Exist 211

Posted on January 21, 2021 by

There’s a woman in Scotland whose name you’re not allowed to say.

You pay her wages and she theoretically works for you. But you can’t say her name.

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Song For Linda Fabiani 171

Posted on January 21, 2021 by

Nothing for you to see here 150

Posted on January 20, 2021 by

This is definitely fine and not at all suspicious.

Geoff Aberdein is the man whose evidence could destroy the First Minister. We know he’s already told the High Court under oath that he had a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon on 29 March 2018 to discuss the Salmond affair.

Sturgeon claims otherwise, saying he just popped in for a friendly hello while seeing someone else, and that the meeting – which the Scottish Government had repeatedly denied ever happened at all, until it suddenly changed its mind and admitted it last August – was so inconsequential that she forgot about it entirely for almost a year, which is why she’d told Parliament in January 2019 that it didn’t exist.

Which of those accounts is correct will determine whether the First Minister was lying to Parliament deliberately and whether she has to resign under the Ministerial Code.

But now, not only will Aberdein – the single most important figure in the entire inquiry – NOT be called as a witness, but the public will not be allowed to see even a redacted version of his written testimony so that they can judge who’s telling the truth.

What conceivable reason could there be for that? How could either “The meeting was arranged in advance and we talked about the allegations” or “I was in visiting someone else and just popped my head round the door briefly to say hi” ever need to be a state secret the Scottish public mustn’t know? And yet it is.

No cover-up here, folks. All open and transparent and above board. There’s definitely nothing going on that the Scottish Government desperately wants to hide from you. It’s all fine. Ssssshhhh, now. Sssshhhh for Nicola like good little boys and girls. Write another of your nice wee blogs about how Boris Johnson will just give in for no reason and independence is inevitable. But no questions. Definitely no questions.

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Code Red 163

Posted on January 20, 2021 by

In addition to the Survation poll that was in the field last week and which we’ve been reporting on, there was also a Panelbase one going round at the same time.

(It’s as yet unpublished, and having been sent a few of the… interesting questions in it by some people who took the poll we’re very excited to find out who commissioned it. Our money is on either George Galloway’s furious new list party – which incidentally just had its registration refused again by the Electoral Commission – or the collection of anonymous hyper-Unionist nutters ironically calling themselves “The Majority”.)

But as the opportunity was there we slipped a couple of questions of our own in too, and the findings from one of them were pretty dramatic.

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Trigger happy 152

Posted on January 19, 2021 by

Tonight’s poll data from Survation is really quite remarkable.

We can’t wait to hear what “Pension Pete” Wishart makes of it.

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Contrary to the facts 82

Posted on January 18, 2021 by

After something of a quiet spell (we gather for personal reasons), we’re delighted to note that the excellent Gordon Dangerfield – a highly experienced Scottish solicitor advocate – is back blogging, in particular with regard to the Fabiani inquiry.

His piece today, of which the above is but a tiny snippet, is a must-read.

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The injured party 199

Posted on January 15, 2021 by

Extraordinary events are now unfolding on a daily basis (or even more frequently than that) in the vexed matter of the two ongoing inquiries into serious misconduct by the Scottish Government regarding false allegations made against Alex Salmond.

Mr Salmond, who was found innocent of any wrongdoing, has been endeavouring – at a significant personal cost in both time and money – to assist both inquiries with their investigations, and has received remarkably little in the way of gratitude for his efforts. Indeed, he has instead been both publicly attacked and repeatedly threatened with prosecution for attempting to tell the truth.

This evening his lawyers sent the letter below to the Convener of the Holyrood inquiry. It’s a powerful microcosm of events to date, and we think you should see all of it.

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The integrity of a nation 368

Posted on January 14, 2021 by

This time almost exactly two years ago I sat in a cafe close to Holyrood in a state of what I can only call shock. The enormity of what I’d just heard was sinking in; over the preceding nearly three hours I’d been introduced to all the gory detail of the plot against Alex Salmond. The last two years has at times been surreal for me as a result.

To explain what I am going to write next I need to tell you something about my fundamental beliefs. I have worked close to the power of government my whole life. I have studied and read widely on power. I am also a strong believer in social change.

Everything I have seen has driven me to the same conclusion: that nothing is more important than integrity in public life. That may seem anachronistic to some (given modern political culture) and not particularly left-wing. But the positive change I want cannot be built on anything but the firmest of foundations; when corruption or misuse of power creeps into those foundations, nothing good can be built on them.

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