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Wings Over Scotland

Archive for the ‘disturbing’

Everything Falls Apart 151

Posted on January 14, 2021 by

We’re sure you all read this story last night.

Via another source we’d known it was coming for a few hours and were all set to follow it up, but in fact Daniel Sanderson of the Telegraph did a pretty thorough job on it in a comprehensive piece, even listing all the times the “prepared” civil servants had had to go back and “clarify” “errors” in their evidence even after dozens of hours of practice and £55,000 worth of “training” in how to not quite tell the truth under pressure.

It was hard not to wonder how abysmal their performances would have been if they’d only had – say – £30,000 worth of coaching at your expense.

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The whole truth 157

Posted on January 13, 2021 by

On pain of a grisly death, we’re not allowed to tell our splendid cartoonist Chris Cairns what to draw cartoons about. Artists are funny that way. And it’s a shame, because if we were we’d have a great idea for this weekend’s toon.

Because what’s being demanded of Alex Salmond right now is extraordinary.

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A duty of candour 281

Posted on January 12, 2021 by

During today’s session of the Holyrood inquiry into the botched conspiracy against Alex Salmond, committee MSP Jackie Baillie gave the Permanent Secretary, Leslie Evans, an especially uncomfortable time with some persistent and forensic questions about the Scottish Government’s failure to uphold its legal “duty of candour” in respect of the disclosure of relevant documents to Lord Pentland’s judicial inquiry.

(A report publicly released on Christmas Eve noted that on 2 November 2018 external counsel had stressed to government lawyers the importance of that duty of candour, and that on 6 November 2018 in the Court of Session, Lord Pentland had directed that he expected full candour and disclosure from the Government.)

A flustered Evans simply swerved most of them. And we’re going to show you why.

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Two liars 111

Posted on January 12, 2021 by

So we have our answer. According to press reports today (although we haven’t seen an actual official reply), John Swinney has refused to formally tell James Hamilton that his inquiry into possible breaches of the Ministerial Code by the First Minister over the Alex Salmond investigation ought to include the matter of whether she repeatedly lied to Parliament about what she knew and when.

Wave goodbye to justice, readers.

Because the First Minister and her deputy are now proven liars and cowards.

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Listen, the snow is falling 169

Posted on January 12, 2021 by

We know we’ve given you quite a lot to digest already this year, readers. But spare a thought for us – trying to keep on top of all the fast-moving developments in Scottish politics in the first 11 days of 2021 has been rather like trying to tunnel our way out of an avalanche while it was still happening.

We’ve had a bit of job even finding a spare moment to squeeze the cartoons in. But today’s task looked like one of the most challenging of all.

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Jethart Justice 222

Posted on January 11, 2021 by

The freelance journalist, broadcaster and former SNP staffer Mark Hirst was last week acquitted at Jedburgh Sheriff Court, after a very short trial, of a charge of threatening behaviour against the anonymous complainers who made false allegations of sexual misconduct against the former First Minister, Alex Salmond.

Many hundreds of years ago a very different type of law used to operate in Jedburgh, or Jethart as it’s known locally. “Jethart Justice” was once meted out to the Reivers – the lawless cattle stealers and highwaymen who used to range freely in that part of the Borders – which was that the local prosecutors would hang suspects first, then try the dead men afterwards. Some believe it’s where the concept of lynching originated.

Anyone who thinks those days are over doesn’t know the Scottish media.

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A moment of truth 136

Posted on January 10, 2021 by

This is a significant development. (Click to enlarge.)

Weirdly, we’re not actually sure how many members are on the Holyrood inquiry committee at the moment. There are normally nine – four SNP and five opposition – but with Andy Wightman having recently resigned from the Greens we don’t know if he’s still on the committee or not, since he was originally there as a Green nominee. If not, we don’t know whether, when or by who he’ll be replaced.

But the other four non-SNP members have tonight issued a formal request that James Hamilton, who’s conducting the other inquiry into Nicola Sturgeon’s actions relating to the Alex Salmond affair, be instructed officially to investigate the matter of whether she lied to Parliament.

This, of course, is a subject Wings has been covering for some time.

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The slinging of mud 140

Posted on January 09, 2021 by

There are two articles on the Spectator website today relating to last night’s breaking story about Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. One of them readers of this site have seen already, because the Spectator has literally just cut and pasted it in its entirety from Wings (without any attribution or acknowledgement).

It’s the text of Salmond’s submission to the Hamilton inquiry, and we know they copied it from us (rather than having been leaked it independently) because of this paragraph:

As we told readers last night, that redaction was made by us – not by Salmond – as an extra precaution to prevent the possibility of one of the complainers in the criminal trial from being identified. It didn’t appear in Salmond’s actual submission, and so Wings is the only possible source for it being in the Spectator.

Stealing our story lock, stock and barrel without a credit is rather poor form from the magazine, but it’s the other piece we’re more concerned about.

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The Howling 116

Posted on January 09, 2021 by

You know everything’s definitely going swimmingly for Nicola Sturgeon when the white knight riding heroically to her defence is… [checks notes twice] Duncan Hothersall.

We’re very excited to find out what our secret plan is.

(We must apologise to readers at this point for the late arrival of this week’s typically splendid Chris Cairns cartoon, which in fact arrived entirely on time from our hard-working crayonist but which we’ve put on hold for a bit while we cover last night’s major breaking story and its immediate aftermath. Now on with the show.)

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Hiroshima Non Amour 302

Posted on January 08, 2021 by

Alert readers will undoubtedly have noticed a number of, to put it mildly, explosive-sounding developments this evening regarding the ongoing inquiries into the Scottish Government’s misconduct over false allegations against Alex Salmond.

Several reports have quoted extracts from the former First Minister’s submission to James Hamilton, who’s investigating the current First Minister over possible breaches of the Ministerial Code relating to the investigation of the allegations.

The submission – delivered on Mr Salmond’s birthday – has been widely leaked to the media but only selectively reported, and like others Wings has obtained a full copy.

We are advised that its contents do not contain anything which breaches or potentially breaches Lady Dorrian’s court order protecting the identities of the complainers against Mr Salmond, and as such there are no barriers to us publishing the entire document in the public interest, because its contents make some extremely grave and disturbing allegations against the current First Minister.

We therefore do so below.

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An open letter to Douglas Chapman 105

Posted on January 08, 2021 by

TO: Douglas Chapman MP, National Treasurer, SNP
DATE: 8 January 2021
Also sent by email

Dear Douglas,

Congratulations on your recent election as the SNP’s treasurer. You may or may not be aware that in October 2020 this site asked your predecessor in the role, Colin Beattie, some questions on the subject of the supposedly “ring-fenced” indyref fighting fund that was created by donations to two separate fundraisers in previous years – referred to collectively by the party as the Referendum Appeal Fund or RAF.

We did so on behalf of numerous SNP members and non-members who had donated to the two appeals and were concerned as to the whereabouts of the monies.

No meaningful reply was received either by Wings or several individual donors who also contacted Mr Beattie asking the same questions, and a number of those people (as well as some of your elected colleagues) have asked us to put the same questions to you publicly, now that you’ve had a few weeks to settle into your new position and are understood to be interested in finding the answers.

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The time traveller 150

Posted on January 04, 2021 by

The former SNP, and now independent, MP Margaret Ferrier was today arrested and charged with culpable and reckless conduct, a crime carrying a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, for making a return train journey between Glasgow and London in September last year, two days after taking a coronavirus test.

This site has no comment to make on the charges, as it’s a live criminal matter, but a couple of troubling questions do arise from their existence.

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