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Wings Over Scotland

Archive for the ‘corruption’

Forgetting to remember to forget 476

Posted on October 08, 2020 by

In the light of yesterday’s revelations, we’ve sent the following Freedom Of Information request to the Central Enquiry Unit (CEU) of the Scottish Government.

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Here comes the flood 456

Posted on October 07, 2020 by

Back in the 1980s there was a hit game for the ZX Spectrum home computer called Worse Things Happen At Sea. In it you play a robot whose job is to get a heavily-laden cargo ship safely to port, except that more and more disasters keep befalling it.

It springs leaks, it veers off course, the engine overheats and the robot’s power runs down, until eventually the catalogue of catastrophes overwhelms the harassed metallic custodian and the boat slides down into the murky depths.

We wonder if that feels familiar to anyone at the moment.

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A matter above party 96

Posted on October 07, 2020 by

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

Today I am repeating my call for such an inquiry.

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Burn Before Reading 347

Posted on October 06, 2020 by

There’s an especially interesting post on the blog of Scottish solicitor-advocate Gordon Dangerfield at the moment, pointing out that there are no legal reasons whatever for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) to be withholding documents relating to the allegations against Alex Salmond, and indeed issuing dire threats of prosecution against him or anyone who might put them into the public domain.

(All of the blog’s coverage of the inquiry in general has been expert and revealing, and should be the first stop for readers seeking to understand proceedings.)

The items in question include the infamous WhatsApp messages exchanged by the group of people attempting to have Salmond imprisoned for crimes he didn’t commit, among them SNP chief executive Peter Murrell.

When two of Murrell’s messages were leaked recently it was front-page news in the Scottish press, and generated a huge amount of subsequent coverage. Commentators as diverse as Mandy Rhodes of Holyrood magazine and Alex Massie of the Times and Spectator have noted that while they’d initially disbelieved talk of a conspiracy, the Scottish Government’s actions have given them the opposite impression.

The message log is absolutely central to Salmond’s claim of a conspiracy against him, so the last thing that either COPFS or the leadership of the SNP wants is for it to become public knowledge. Indeed, COPFS has denied that the messages exist at all, which makes it a bit weird that the police are currently conducting a serious criminal investigation into who leaked some apparently entirely imaginary documents.

So it would be quite astonishing if they suddenly disappeared, wouldn’t it?

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Services rendered 129

Posted on October 05, 2020 by

Readers, we can’t tell you how much we want to get back to just dissecting Scotland’s hopeless Unionist media for a living. It’s a lot more fun than what the current political circumstances are obliging us to do, so you can hardly imagine our excitement when we spotted what looked like an open goal in yesterday’s Mail On Sunday.

Our ears pricked up immediately at the sight of the words “up to”, which is invariably a sign of dodgy doings on the way, and so it proved. The article contained no solid data at all about the size of Scottish Government special advisers’ pay rises, only how many SpAds there were and which general pay bands they were in, each of which spans a wide range of between £14,000 and £23,000.

But while the Mail had spooned the sitter six feet over the crossbar – because the crude spin they’d put on it was total rubbish – there was still a loose ball just waiting to be knocked into the back of the net.

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The resource drain 91

Posted on October 05, 2020 by

The SNP’s earth-shattering 2011 majority election victory, which paved the way for the 2014 independence referendum, dropped a bomb on Scottish politics.

What few people realised at the time was that it was also going to set up a series of massive paydays for one of Scotland’s wealthiest demographics: lawyers.

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Parking the buses 273

Posted on October 02, 2020 by

We’re very busy today writing more FOI requests and the like, so we’ll just take a brief moment here to note that hiring super-expensive lawyers to object to the questions you’re being asked DEFINITELY sounds like the behaviour of people who are keen to co-operate fully and in the most transparent way possible with an inquiry:

See you later, gang.

The Run-Aways 106

Posted on September 30, 2020 by

Incredible, really. Just one day after we accuse the SNP of trying to dodge its problems by hiding from them and censoring anyone who brings them up, this happens:

Plenty of SNP members, including the party’s former Trade And Industry spokesman, know this approach is untenable. It really is time the SNP started listening to them. A party that scurries away bleating in terror every time it’s threatened with the slightest scrutiny is plainly not capable of winning the hard fight for independence.

A government in hiding 197

Posted on September 29, 2020 by

Here’s one more for the list.

The comments from committee convener and SNP MP Linda Fabiani (we guess she must be another of those MI5 plants/secret Unionists) are really quite extraordinary. In terms of Parliamentary language they’re only a hair’s-breadth short of an invitation to step outside and settle things with an old-school dust-up in the car park.

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What’s going on 365

Posted on September 28, 2020 by

The weekend just past saw a convulsion as big as any we can ever recall witnessing on Yes social media, triggered by a series of tweets by Nicola Sturgeon which caused an extraordinary negative reaction out of all proportion to their ostensible content.

The reason was that the First Minister – who had remained silent about countless episodes of hideous misogynistic abuse aimed from her own side at MPs and MSPs like Joan McAlpine and Joanna Cherry – had chosen to suddenly leap into action in defence of the toxically divisive horror that is Glasgow councillor Rhiannon Spear after Spear had been widely criticised for making blatantly false claims in a video promoting her attempt to be selected as the candidate for Argyll & Bute.

(Sturgeon had no such public condemnation for the torrents of abuse the SNP Twitler Youth then unleased on Kirsten Thornton, the female SNP activist and Generation Yes founder who’d pointed out Spear’s untruths.)

The move sent the party’s woke and sane factions into a frenzy of bloodletting which in itself will have little if any impact on the wider electorate, but nonetheless threw into sharp relief the life-and-death battle currently going on for the SNP’s soul.

And since that’s related to what we’ve been writing about on Wings for the bulk of this year, it seemed worthwhile to get some things down on the record once and for all.

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Slip slidin’ away 162

Posted on September 25, 2020 by

Just two days ago the Electoral Commission gave us a fourth supposed date for the publication of the SNP’s 2019 accounts: having first been due out in early August, they then told us to expect them in early September, and then last week, and then in “the next three weeks”, ie the middle of October.

But someone gave us a tipoff that we might be able to request them via Freedom Of Information, since ostensibly the only holdup was that the EC wanted to wait until ALL of the main parties’ accounts were ready and publish them all at once for tidiness.

So we sent one in, and we just got a very quick reply.

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The None Of Your Business Convener 228

Posted on September 23, 2020 by

The SNP have historically been swift to suspend any party members when there’s any hint of inappropriate conduct, never mind even a whiff of illegality. It’s been that way since 2015, with the axe falling on elected members as well as candidates in target seats and critical elections, and ordinary activists.

Not even a by-your-leave, let alone an explanation, is afforded – just suspension with immediate effect. And that’s all well and good, some might say. No hint of impropriety should attach to the party and making a virtue of acting swiftly can be both necessary and appropriate.

So why then no action against the Chief Executive?

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