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Chasing waterfalls

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.

One of the less-noticed stories of an eventful last 24 hours – it made hardly any impact on social media, although several papers did pick up on it – was a bombshell written submission to the inquiry from Police Scotland, in which the Deputy Chief Constable told the committee the Scottish Government had repeatedly ignored the police’s advice when drawing up the anti-harassment legislation used to go after Alex Salmond.

What that says is that the Scottish Government wasn’t interested in developing a generic procedure to cover all possible harassment situations. It was only interested in “wargaming” a specific set of “hypothetical” scenarios – in fact the ones that were being used to pursue Salmond.

Police Scotland said possible victims should be directed to “support and advocacy services” who could help them decide what to do and whether to involve the police, and it said that the Scottish Government was not qualified or trained to undertake investigations on its own.

The Scottish Government, of course, did the exact opposite of that. It conducted its own illegal and biased investigations and found Salmond guilty, and then when that illegality was about to be exposed it reported the complaints to the police AGAINST the express wishes of the complainers, and also against the rules it had itself written after taking the advice of the employees’ trade union.

Shamefully, the incriminating parts of the paragraph in question had been redacted by the Scottish Government in a Freedom Of Information response last July.

A whole new version had also suddenly appeared in August 2018 – seven months after the investigation began, but still dated “December 2017” – completely removing the line about not going to the police without the complainers’ consent, and merely pledging to “advise” and “support” them while their wishes were being trampled over with potentially catastrophic personal consequences.

It wasn’t the first time the Scottish Government had ignored advice about its illegal and unfair “procedure”, of course. It had already been warned in 2017 by the UK Cabinet Office that the focus on former ministers “feels very uncomfortable”, but it ignored that too, saying that Nicola Sturgeon and Leslie Evans were keen to hurry things along.

So we now know the illegal and unfair procedure was rushed into place by Evans, on Sturgeon’s instructions, with the apparent intent of targeting a single specific case rather than harassment in general, and despite the clear warnings and objections of:

(1) The UK Cabinet Office

(2) Police Scotland

(3) The civil service trade union

(4) The Scottish Government itself.

So, y’know, no big deal there. And that, readers, is one of the smaller stories in the whole mess that’s getting somewhat lost in the torrent of revelations.

But while we’re doing a round-up, you may as well see something else too, which isn’t related to the Salmond affair but is barely less disturbing.

Tom Arthur (pictured above shortly after graduating from the Oliver Hardy Academy Of Tie-Wearing) has been an SNP MSP for almost five years without anyone noticing. Though he was elected in Renfrewshire South in 2016 we’d never heard of him until yesterday, despite spending all of our time immersed in Scottish politics for a living.

He’d finally piped up, bizarrely, to attack some activists from All Under One Banner who were planning a protest (whose purpose we must admit escapes us, but it’s a free country) outside the UK government’s large new headquarters in Edinburgh.

But it was what happened after some Yes supporters took him to task on Twitter over the outburst that was interesting. Because Arthur then got drawn into a rather shaky defence of what we’ll generously call the SNP’s independence strategy.

In the interests of fairness we’ll show you the whole exchange.

So let’s analyse that. Arthur thinks – and it seems safe to say that as a Deputy Whip he’s giving the official party line here – that if a court rules that Scotland does in fact have the right to hold an independence referendum whenever it likes, Westminster will immediately pass legislation to overrule the court.

Okay, fair enough. That’s certainly something that’s technically within Westminster’s power, and while it would look absolutely dreadful to change the rules of the game just because a court found against you, we know that Boris Johnson doesn’t much care how anything looks.

But to THEN argue that the very same Boris Johnson – someone who he’s just told us is so desperate to stop Scotland having another indyref that he’d set the constitution on fire by trashing the rule of law to prevent it – is going to turn round and just hand us one anyway, so long as we get support high enough that he’d definitely lose it, is a truly breathtaking piece of reality denial.

It’s an insult to the intelligence of even the dimmest reader. To all the less dim ones, it starkly reveals the current SNP’s only true interest – staying in power by constantly dangling a referendum in front of Yes voters that it knows will never be delivered.

If the UK won’t concede a new indyref even when the highest court in the land tells it to, it’s sure as hell not going to do it just because we get a few more opinion polls – doubly so if they’re “overwhelming” ones all but guaranteeing a Yes win.

We’ve been telling everyone that for a long time now. But maybe when it comes straight from the mouth of a loyal SNP whip, even some of the more blindly diehard Plan A apologists might actually start to believe it.

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    257 to “Chasing waterfalls”

    1. Meg says:

      Part of me hopes the SNP do get an overwhelming majority at the election just to drive home to people the pack of lies they have been fed but the other part is absolutely terrified they get an overwhelming majority for fear of what they will be able to do unhindered

    2. Wee Chid says:

      I wish the diehards would believe it – but I won’t hold my breath. I’d never heard of Tom Arthur either but it’s pretty worrying that we have so many SNP MSPs who are so willing to just “keep hinging in there” until somebody, somewhere says “here’s yer indy ref”.

    3. Livionian says:

      On what planet do the plan a apologists live? Are there still any? They must exist (outside SNP elected reps and twitler youth activists) bit I have never met any.

      But the rest of us who have been saying this for who knows how long have had ample time to form a decent alternative party to fight the list in May’s election and it has been all talk, no action and the boat has sailed. I know people may write back saying what about ISP but that’s not realistically possible to take off before then.

      So many missed opportunities across all areas of the independence movement

    4. Highland Bill says:

      I listened to the Dangerfield interview last night, and thought it very accurate

    5. Tony O'Neill says:

      Tom and the snp havejust lost five voters from my house .

    6. X_Sticks says:

      Well, Stuart, didn’t you say a wee while ago that you were bored?

      I can barely keep up! Do recommend the Gordon Dangerfield interview – listened to it last night. Tommy is always a bit in yer face, but it doesn’t pull any punches.

    7. bob millar says:

      There may be another reason why LE is still in post. Namely – keep your friends close but keep your ( known ) enemies closer.

    8. Highland Bill says:

      What also caught my ear was when Gordon said that the stuff used to get Salmond will never b used again, it was designed as a one time only bit of legislation to get one person Alex Salmond, end of

    9. Tommy says:

      As I intimated back when Keatings case became a definite goer, Sturgeon will shit her frillies if the court finds in favour, she’s absolutely NOWHERE to hide should it do so.

    10. Helen Yates says:

      This clears up a few things for me, firstly that unless the May election is a plebiscite then voting for SNP in the hopes of getting independence is a wasted vote and secondly that it’s such a pity that the ISP didn’t put this party together at least two years ago.
      It would appear that we are indeed screwed.

    11. Socrates MacSporran says:

      I cannot remember where I read it, but it was on one of three platforms:

      1. Wings

      2. Grouse Beater

      3. Craig Murray.

      The piece I refer to was a report of Alex Salmond requiring to be signed into the Holyrood building on some piece of business. Since he was, at the time, no longer an MP or an MSP, he had to get someone to vouch for him and, the security guard who informed him of this was very-apologetic about asking Alex to get someone to vouch for him.

      Alex reportedly said: No problem, the First Minister’s office will vouch for me.”

      But, the FM’s office refused to sign him in. When I read that, I immediately realised, Nicola Sturgeon was out to get Alex Salmond.

      Everything else, to my mind, stems from that one fact.

    12. David says:

      There’s no shortage of people who try to paint you as some 77th brigade operator despite the wittering of Tom Arthur and his like.

      It’s depressing as f*ck seeing a party you were once part of turn into the old version of Scottish Labour with their noses firmly in the trough.

    13. Sandy W says:

      Tom Arthur is my local MSP. A committed gradualist and gravy train rider. Strongly believes that we can only become independent with Westminster’s agreement and denies all evidence of other mechanisms and other countries that have achieved independence without the agreement of the predecessor state.

      Finding it increasingly difficult to give my constituency vote to him, especially if the SNP manifesto does not contain a convincing, concrete proposal for gaining independence.

    14. Meg says:

      Socrates MacSporran

      i remember that, it was Robin McAlpine that was with him so may have been from him you heard it.

    15. Johnny Martin says:

      Re Arthur’s tweets:

      Yes, the thing that’s most galling, really, is that they campaign routinely on ‘you’ll get an indyref by voting us’ and then don’t want to be held accountable for failing to deliver it as promised.

      No amount of ‘we only said we’d WANT one in this term/2018/2019/the second half of 2020…’ or ‘we haven’t persuaded enough people yet’ gets you past that, sorry. You made these promises. And the attempts to re-cast what was said during the campaign(s) afterwards are, frankly, Vow-like.

      If you don’t want to deliver it, don’t promise it.

    16. Blind Squirrel says:

      “Boris Johnson – someone who he’s just told us is so desperate to stop Scotland having another indyref…” Boris is protecting us, because he cares so much about us, and doesn’t want us to make a democratic decision we will regret.

    17. If the only way to get independence is to convince the Tories and/or Labour of its merits, all pro-independence Scots should join one of those parties ASAP. They won’t listen to the SNP, but they’ll have to listen to their own members.

    18. Mark Young says:

      Toms answer looks like its a verbatim statement right from the book of Pete Wishsart

    19. Seumas McCue says:

      So the Westminster Government enacts a law to take away Scottish rights.
      Will the Scottish people be prepared to accept this? Is there not at least the “danger’ that some of the people of Scotland at least may take exception to this and engage in some kind of protest?
      Remember that the UK’s danger is Scotland’s opportunity.

    20. Giesabrek says:

      Interesting an thought-provoking but one thing doesn’t make sense regarding your conclusions – why are the SNP leadership actively opposed to the Martin Keatings case?

      Surely the sooner the court decrees the better for them? If the case is lost then no unilateral referendum but if it’s successful then all that is required is Westminster changes the Scotland Act to make a unilateral referendum illegal, and either outcome seems perfectly suited to the SNP leadership.

    21. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “But, the FM’s office refused to sign him in. When I read that, I immediately realised, Nicola Sturgeon was out to get Alex Salmond.”

      I think it was actually a story related by Robin McAlpine on Source.

    22. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Interesting an thought-provoking but one thing doesn’t make sense regarding your conclusions – why are the SNP leadership actively opposed to the Martin Keatings case?”

      For a whole raft of reasons. One obvious example is that if he wins, Yes supporters will quite reasonably say “Why didn’t YOU do this, with public money, the day after the Brexit referendum, giving us a chance to become independent before we were dragged out of the EU, rather than waiting for some random internet bloke to do it years later when it was too late? What did we elect you for, you useless shower of troughing arseholes?”

    23. Gerard Kelly says:

      The Oliver Hardy school if tie wearing…… That more than tickled me. Feckin belter.

    24. Steven says:

      This is what I paid for when I supported Martin Keatings court case.

      We win and WM legislate against = we’re a colony. We lose = we’re a colony.

      There are more alternatives outcomes obviously, but I paid to have it set in stone either way.

    25. Muscleguy says:

      This is two posts Stu, your site of course. Just saying the Arthur stuff could stand alone and looks tagged on.

      I am of course already convinced the whole process was conceived and constructed solely as a Get Salmond exercise since AS is apparently a huge threat just to Sturgeon’s ego. She must have the biggest case of Imposter Syndrome in Scotland. No wonder she doesn’t want to upgrade her job to FM of an indepdendent nation. No wonder she has offloaded the difficult task of writing legislation to TRA’s (S2 of the HCB) in favour of reading novels.

      I’m getting deeper and deeper into poltics and finding time to read novels is getting harder. Imagination finding time for it as a FM at the rate she seems to. If you are not up to it First Minister maybe you should step aside for someone who is.

      Just a thought.

    26. Calum says:

      Somebody should teach Arthur how to tie a tie properly.

    27. Terry says:

      The police advice was correct. Oh if only there had been an organisation that the govt could have turned to to support victims of sexual crimes instead of going straight to the police without their permission. You know, one that is funded and has links to the snp govt – oh, wait…

    28. Kenny says:

      Firstly, Tom Arthur is my MSP and he is absolutely dreadful. Asking around, everyone says that. Coincidentally, I went last night onto the SSP website to see if they were standing a candidate. Because last time not even a Green stood, just the three unionists and Tom. There is NO WAY I will give him my vote, never, but I would like an option other than spoiling the ballot paper and I do wish there were another pro-indy party standing. He is so dreadful that I would even consider voting for the Greens if they stood. But much better would be ISP, SSP, Solidarity…

      I am re-reading “1984” at the moment and it is interesting, I always think, how relevant it ALWAYS is to anything happening in the world. “He who controls the present controls the past”… this is VERY MUCH the world in which we are living right now with the Scottish Government.

      I have said it before and will say it again: we need to spend the first 10-15 years of independence as a “protectorate” of Norway. Introduce their legal system, democratic institutions, constitution (their royal family are close to ours anyway). Failing that, adopt a new legal system from scratch taken from the country with the best legal system. Personally, I like France. Germany has a good constitution, possibly the best in Europe.

    29. Kenny says:

      I also wanted to say: I only visit Wings so have no idea who the “alphabet women” are. While they appear to have committed perjury, where they not FORCED into it by the Scottish Government? Did they have independent lawyers when they were discussing these matters with the SG?

    30. Janelochleven says:

      Socrates MacSporran says:
      22 January, 2021 at 12:15 pm
      I cannot remember where I read it, but it was on one of three platforms:

      I think it was Craig Murray.

    31. Normski says:

      Except Nicola Sturgeon isn’t Leslie Evans’ boss – he resides in Whitehall.

      Nicola Sturgeon is more Leslie Evans’ line manager. If she is not happy with Leslie Evans’ performance she can report it to Whitehall for them to do something about it (she cannot legally sack Evans – only Whitehall can do that).

      And what would Whitehall likely do in that scenario? Simply present Nicola Sturgeon with yet another three poisoned chalices and ask her to choose one.

    32. McDuff says:

      I still can’ get my head around as to what is happening in Scotland, in Scotland for God’s sake, I feel as though I’m living in a different country it’s all so sinister. And I am angry white hot angry at the apparent corruption within the SG and beyond.
      If it wasn’t for this site we wouldn’t have a clue as to what was going on in the shadows, so a thousand thanks to Stu and the Wings team for your tenacity in keeping us all informed and I know the stress you endure on our behalf.

    33. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Kenny – we have the best legal system in Europe. Are you suggesting an alternative? that we let Humza loose to dispense his form of justice….surely not?

      Legal systems take hundreds of years to get right. Just leave ours alone and get our useless Holyrood parliamentarians to leave it alone too.

    34. robertknight says:

      Why not just call it the “Get Alex Salmond Policy” and be done with it. Seems fair, no?

      As for that other SNP clown, I thought Labour was the natural home for Low-flying Jimmies.

      Talking of “wargaming”, I think aforementioned Low-flying Jimmy just gave the game away…

      If Keatings wins, the SNP at Holyrood appear to have gifted the Tories at Westminster the solution to their joint problem… Amend the Scotland Act to specifically reserve all referenda, consultative or otherwise, to Westminster. Westminster then keeps hold of the reigns while the SNP shrug and say “told you so”, whole taking the applause from the useful idiots at home for “standing up for Scotland”. The Section 30 road becomes the ONLY road, which either Holyrood or Westminster can delay indefinitely. Sorted!

      That faint noise you hear, far off in the distance, that’s Boris and his pal Nicola, laughing at us.

      Anyone else planning to vote SNP in May? No? Thought not…

    35. 100%Yes says:

      If the Scotland act needs to be amended then the (SNP) SG has had competence all the time to hold a referendum.

    36. holymacmoses says:

      Mr Arthur is in it for the money: ‘a career politician’
      But with a Music Degree from Glasgow University what else are you equipped to do but hitch a ride on some trolley car or other?
      There’s an old saying ‘Them as can ‘do’ , them as can’t ‘teach’.
      I’ve always thought that ‘preach’ fitted in quite well as a substitute.

      And I’m now totally convinced of the adage:
      ‘Greedy gits that can, work in ‘stocks’; Greedy gits that can’t, become politicians.

      The police information is critical and as it’s in writing it is also very usable to get rid of Sturgeon and Evans; the former more readily than the latter. Even if she is found not to have lied to Parliament (:-)) it should be possible to raise a ‘no confidence’ against her and I doubt she could possibly win. Scotland is OK for Independence if we can just clear out enough people to move in some good people and elbow the rest of the scoundrels out – a few at the outer-edges may turn out to be saveable

    37. Highland Bill says:

      @muscleguy, I thought about standing for the ISP in the Highland list, but due to work have not been able to attend any of the zoom meetings which is needed to apply, I detest the SNP for the monster they have become, but if you are standing, good luck, but we need the ISP standing on the constituency vote next time around, I will gift the SNP and Kate Forbes my vote this time and this time only, because if it comes to another Holyrood election in 2025/26 then they have done nothing to further independence, apart from dangling the carrot in front of independence voters once again

    38. Neil Anderson says:

      Like Sandy W, Tom Arthur is my MSP. He went to school with my daughter who described him as “a pretty decent guy”. Well, that was when he was a boy of course. It seems he’s just another political opportunist like that other waste of space, my MP Kirstin Oswald.

      This leaves me with very little choice (if any) on who to vote for both at Holyrood and Westminster. I would appear to have been completely disenfranchised.

      Off topic, but of personal interest. I’ve been rather puzzled as to why the British Army have been drafted in to set up a large number of Covid vaccination and testing centres around Scotland. From reports and images on TV, it seems to me that all they have been engaged in is setting out a number of tables and chairs, and erecting screens between them. I would imagine that the janitorial staff at these venues would have been more than able to carry out these duties.

      Indeed, I have personally carried out these tasks in venues of a similar size. I’ve been able to complete these tasks single handed over a morning or an afternoon. Why, then, do we need Scots Guards with plummy English accents crawling around our country? Strange..

    39. Davie Oga says:

      Muscleguy says:
      22 January, 2021 at 12:32 pm

      “I’m getting deeper and deeper into poltics and finding time to read novels is getting harder. Imagination finding time for it as a FM at the rate she seems to. If you are not up to it First Minister maybe you should step aside for someone who is.

      Just a thought.”

      Have you considered the possibility that she doesn’t actually read the books and it’s just a PR exercise in promoting the
      “Nicola” brand?

    40. Kat says:

      Good gawd the cognitive dissonance & denial of a reality that others can clearly see is fast becoming a cognitive handicap for the SNP.

      Either that or they are a bunch of Machiavellian shysters who think we all button up the back. Desperate to hold on to power no matter the cost to the people they represent.

      Either way it does not bode well for a free Scotland or even for a Scotland that remains shackled to the Union. As risky as it may be I think the time has come to dismantle this one party state we’ve been conned into creating. Scotland, SNP voters & Indy supporters alike, are becoming wilfully blind to the levels of corruption you’d expect in other countries with less developed democracies (USA included).

    41. 100%Yes says:

      The only reason Mr Keatings has had to waste his time and efforts and the public have had to fund his good cause is because the SNP aren’t interested in a referendum but have been making out Westminster is the stumbling block to a referendum by Westminster refusing to grant a section 30 order and if truth be told the SNP are more than happy for the UK to alter the Scotland act.

    42. Career: Politician says:

      There is just one piece of the puzzle that I still can’t grasp in all of this:

      Why would the Crown Office seemingly trashing it’s own reputation to draw the heat from the (SNP) FM’s handling of this?

      The SNP will fully deserve the bloody nose (metaphorically speaking) that I’m convinced it will get in May… And there’s only so much longer the Labour Party can continue to be sound asleep. Think they might be stirring?

    43. Desimond says:

      Its the Shawshank Approach to Independence.

      Take a long long time.
      Chip chip chip away. Slowly, softly and with minimal impact.
      While you work your backside off for benefit of “The Man”
      Suffer pain, suffer shame, suffer embarrassment.
      Have the rare moment of enlightenment but then let it fade.
      Watch the old ones die off.
      End up your only exit is Crawling through sh**

    44. So we can pretty much rule out an MI5 plot and Sturgeon being a “plant” given the clear advice from the UK Cabinet Office.

      So what was the driving force? Why such utter hatred for someone who was her colleague and political mentor who’d obviously chosen her as the person to take Scotland on the next step of her journey?

      Did it start off as just an attempt to ensure he couldn’t make a comeback and then just get totally out of control like a snowball turning into an avalanche?

      I can’t for the life of me see the motivation for something so downright evil.

    45. NellG says:

      Has anyone noticed how Nicola’s young faces in the party all look, dress, sound and tweet like Unionists?

      On another note, I was very impressed with Gordon Dangerfield on that podcast. He seems like a real asset to the movement.

    46. Roddy Macdonald says:

      Excellent article, Stuart. One wee gripe: “anti-harassment legislation” in the last line of your 3rd paragraph. The amateurish, unlawful and grossly ultra vires, ‘procedure’ the SG ended up with is hardly legislation. And this spearheaded by a Perm Sec who had somehow managed to reach that heady height without ever having been a deciding officer in any grievance or disciplinary procedure according to her last oral evidence before the committee.

      In this case it’s worth remembering that until the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 (arguably since that act was definitively decided by the House of Lords to apply to the workplace in Majrowski v Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS Trust in 2006), sexual harassment was merely an unspecified detriment under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975. To bring a complaint, an employee had not only to prove the harassment, but to prove the harassment was on the grounds of sex and would NOT have happened to a person of the opposite sex.

      I’ve worked inter alia in personnel since the early 90s, have drawn up umpteen policies and procedures and have investigated and/or decided umpteen grievances or disciplinary procedures. I cannot imagine any circumstances where I’d even dream of taking and investigating a complaint against a former employee. Neither I or our employer has any power over the former employee to require them to participate in the investigation or to censure them if an investigation were to find the complaint well-founded. The best I could do, as the police appear to have been trying to advise in this case, would be to refer the complaining employee to the appropriate advocacy and support agencies and provide without prejudice support were they to bring a case through the police.

      Without the specifics of what “hypothetical” questions and “specific cases” were asked of the police, it’s hard to be definitive and I hope the committee will seek that evidence from the police. Leaving that issue as it stands leaves anyone to jump to the conclusion that it was the Salmond scenario that was the hypothetical and specific case and the whole amateurish, ludicrous, unlawful ‘procedure’ (not legislation or Holy Writ) was being drawn up specifically to get Salmond.

    47. Frank Gillougley says:

      What a succinct and wholly understandable verbal summary by Gordon Dangerfield of the initial retrospective prosecution against AS by SG. I am looking forward to hearing part 2. I for one will now be looking at his blog. Thanks rev for opening that door.

      Education is a wonderful, empowering ‘thing’ and especially that of political history, fresh before it gets re-written.

    48. Confused says:

      The Sun had a clear read on the cops “we told you not to do it” posted about half 11 last night.

      The thing that really kills us is the AMBIGUITY of colony/not-colony; in the real world we have the law of the excluded middle, so it is, or it isn’t

      – no colony = we can walk away (legally, at least)

      – colony = UN decolonisation comes in (and Alf Baird can give us all the technicals)

      Both are pretty terrible for the UK, especially the second as loads of english “colonists” would NOT get a vote in a referendum. But if you can play it both ways as you wish, it suits them; at times they suck up to us “equal partners”/”glorious shared history” and at others mostly its “get back in the kitchen”.

      – it’s reminiscent of the “unwritten constitution” which allows those with power to do as they please (- then claim “its in magna carta, honest”)

    49. Mia says:

      “now both look like being pushed back to February”

      I understand why Mr Salmond will not appear until February, as I read the damning letter his lawyers sent to Fabiani, but can I ask why has Sturgeon’s interview been set back as well? What reason can she possibly have? Please don’t tell me she is peddling again the Covid thing she has been hiding behind for close a year now.

      Is it because she cannot possibly appear before Salmond exposing the lies and half truths she might be planning to regurgitate in that interview to be eviscerated by Mr Salmond in his own interview?

      Is this what all this is about, SHE has to have the last word to keep an ounce of credibility?

      I think in all this the committee and Fabiani in particular appear to have forgotten that Mr Salmond is not the one on trial here. The one who is on trial is Sturgeon and her government. Mr Salmond is just a witness.

    50. Republicofscotland says:

      I really hope the folk of Renfrewshire South vote Tom Arthur out of office, the slim ball has just revealed that the donkey (that’s us) will never get the dangling carrot (that’s independence) as long as we play with Westminster rules, and that the SNP among the other parties at Holyrood are quite content that we remain part of this unfit for purpose union, basically we’ll never be allowed to leave.

      Sturgeon and her clique and the Lord Advocate and the COPFS are all part of the con, they’ll be no second indyref, and they know it and now we know it.

      We must stop playing by Westminster’s rules and take our own independence in which ever way possible in the future, but we must get Sturgeon out first, and replace her with a real independence minded leader, who doesn’t give a toss what Westminster thinks.

    51. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Mia – I think you’re right. She has to be given the final response.

      However, I think Alex’s may be playing the long game, expecting new revelations to come-out and public sentiment to come down on his side as a consequence. That’s happening already.

      I wish him the very best of luck.

    52. P says:

      Ohhh deary me
      Wishy has leapt to Arthur’s defence!
      They’re surely both on colonial guard duty –
      “ Some of the responses to Tom’s tweet are incredible. There are some people who actually believe that Scotland is a ‘colony’. We’ll never win if we peddle this nonsense. People do actually experience the reality of our arrangements. We need Indy but we need to take people with us”

    53. Sharny Dubs says:

      There must be a procedure for when something can be redacted? Surely the omission of “with the complainers consent’ line cannot meet that procedure.

      Basically the SG have used the redacting for their own political ends, which to me seems criminal.

    54. Roddy Macdonald says:

      Mia – Although this has come colloquially to be known as the Salmond Enquiry, it is officially the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints and it is Sturgeon who is fighting for her political life. She is the defendant and it is natural justice to allow her the final word in answering complaints against her and her government. Even if that natural justice was denied to Alec Salmond in the Scottish Government handling of the harassment complaint against him.

    55. Alan Of Neilston says:

      Tom Arthur is my M.S.P. I voted for him and also Kirsten Oswald my M.P. I have contacted them both in recent weeks to no avail! Both seem to ignore any criticism of current S.N.P Leadership and the goings on re the Alex Salmond Saga.
      I emailed Tom after I read the Robin McAlpine Piece on W.O.S.and asked for his response and this was his reply:-
      Hi “My priorities are serving my Constituents,holding Renfrewshire South for the S.N.P. with Nichola Sturgeon as First Minister,and helping take Scotland forward to Independence as we rebuild after the Pandemic.”
      I was very disappointed , but it shows what a majority of S.N.P. M.S.P’S are up to?
      I have contacted him further to ask what is their “Cunning Plan” to get us independence and still waiting a reply!!

    56. John Jones says:

      OT
      Just a stupid question,but,
      Could we swop first ministers with Wales?
      The “Labour” one in Wales seems to be be doing a really good job of handling things, even arranging for people flooded to be paid £1000 as a help out.
      Is this not what the opposition are supposed to be doing up here?

    57. AllyReid says:

      Power Corrupts – whether its Labour, Tory and now SNP every government has a shelf life

    58. paul says:

      She must have the biggest case of Imposter Syndrome in Scotland

      I’m not sure she has such a syndrome.
      She’s just an impostor.

    59. Cath says:

      Hold the front pages: the Daily Record is actually running with scandal and corruption and whitewashing around Nicola St…oh

      https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/nicola-sturgeons-official-residence-decorated-23363848

      “Painters carried out work in Nicola Sturgeon’s official ­residence despite the ban by her own Government. A whistleblower told how a squad was sent into Bute House in Edinburgh for several days last week…They needed a significant amount of paint to get the job done.”

      As you were.

    60. Albert Herring says:

      The Robin McAlpine/Alex Salmond story can indeed be found on Craig Murray’s blog.

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/03/13-events-no-witnesses-the-prosecution-concludes-the-case-against-alex-salmond/

    61. Republicofscotland says:

      We must when the time is right demonstrate outside Bute house and Holyrood, demanding that Sturgeon the Betrayer stands down, we’re ever going to get anywhere with her in charge, infact I think the AUOB are planning some sort of demo in the near future.

      Is it any wonder then that Sturgeon will come out and say that we’ll remain in this strict lockdown (with no gathering) until April 1st, Fools Day indeed that’s us Sturgeon the Betrayer has fooled us big time.

      I wonder what is the reward these days for selling out a whole country?

    62. robertknight says:

      @Cath

      Dear painters whitewashing Bute House…

      You missed a bit!

    63. robertknight says:

      RepublicofScotland

      Said it before…

      AUOB should be holding a demo outside Bute House for therein lies the problem.

      Not outside some pile built to house civil servants.

    64. Captain Yossarian says:

      @robertknight – You may remember when the Saudi journalist was strangled and dismembered inside the Saudi Embassy in Istanbul, the first thing the Saudis did was call in the cleaners and the painters. They were there for days. It takes ages to whitewash a crime and the Saudis are experts at it. Let’s wait and see if Sturgeon is an expert?

    65. robertknight says:

      @Captain

      “Experts” they may be, but competent experts?

      Would we be talking about it if they were?

      Happy to wait and see – popcorn at the ready.

      Tick followed tock followed tick followed tock…

    66. Muscleguy says:

      @Highland Bill

      As you might be aware the candidate process is still ongoing. Branch hustings still to go so still premature is all I can say.

      But thanks for the support, it means a lot. A pity they couldn’t accommodate you. The process hasn’t ended yet. Ask if you can be accommodated.

    67. Republicofscotland says:

      Captain Yossarian.

      I was going to say that the painters are actually MI5 operatives updating bugging equipment in Bute House, but then I realised that Sturgeon has already betrayed us, maybe Whitehall wants to keep a closer eye on the betrayer incase she betrays them as well.

      I can only hope that when all of Sturgeon the Betrayers vile deeds against Scotland are in the open, that we run her out of Scotland just like Farage was ran out.

    68. Lothianlad says:

      Brilluant again Stu and very well put regarding a comical SNP Mp. It is ridiculous just who desperate they are to hang on to their gravy train careers.

      Que the Midlothian MP, a completely unimpressive individual and no less commical in apoearance.

      He is a sturgeon loyalist who never mentions independence at all, far less fights for it.

      Spending the last 3 years following the stop brexit band wagon, he regularly tweets about rape crisis Scotland, whenever Alex Salmond is in the news.

      In other words, a gravy train politician with a gold plated pension (and also a dodgy tie), he is among the vast majority of our disgustingly careerist MPs amd MSPs who by their actions and omissions ARE helping the unionist cause.

      Do they care ? Do they fuck!

      Extra prawn sandwiches with a side of caviar on the menus in the westminster canteen again!

    69. Captain Yossarian says:

      @robertknight – We still live in a free country. Not one single Holyrood Minister is an expert and that is our problem.

      Folk like Gordon Dangerfield are experts though and that is Sturgeon’s problem.

      Swinney is going-on about Erasmus again this morning. Who in Scotland cares about Erasmus just now.

    70. David says:

      The Scottish Government’s new policy, from section 19 stated above, is “SG as employer will not refer specific cases to the police…”
      Is that why the SG referred the cases to the COPFS, and not to the police? To let SG say “see, we followed our policy: *we* didn’t tell the police, we told COPFS and then the COPFS told the police…”

    71. Ebok says:

      McDuff says:
      22 January, 2021 at 12:40 pm
      ‘I still can’ get my head around as to what is happening in Scotland, in Scotland for God’s sake’

      McDuff, what’s happening is nothing new.
      “It’s the system, stupid” It’s been going on forever.
      It is only more noticeable at this moment in time because the natives are restless again. Clearest example from history is 275 years ago, when in response to restless natives they build Europe’s largest military structure at Ardersier. Today, for similar reasons, they’ve built that bonnie, but less impressive structure in Edinburgh.

      robertknight says:
      22 January, 2021 at 12:45 pm
      Why not just call it the “Get Alex Salmond Policy”

      Robert Knight, the ‘get Salmond’ (at all cost} tactics were used 724 years ago when our feudal masters, at the direction of their London boss, ganged up on our greatest leader.

      But no need to look that far back, it happens all the time, less dramatically perhaps, just draconian enough to keep the natives at bay.

    72. Breeks says:


      Frank Gillougley says:
      22 January, 2021 at 1:06 pm

      What a succinct and wholly understandable verbal summary by Gordon Dangerfield of the initial retrospective prosecution against AS by SG…

      I agree with that completely Frank. Top marks to Tommy Sheridan and Gordon Dangerfield.

      I admit to feeling a wee bit deflated thinking Nicola Sturgeon was going to get away with this, but then listening to that Podcast, you suddenly remember she already hasn’t got away with it, and the questions now are whether this unfolding catastrophe was either grossly inept and incompetent, or grossly malicious and spitefully vindictive… or frequently a combination of both.

      And all those who are hitching their colours to the Nicola Sturgeon bandwagon are gonna catch shrapnel right between the eyes if they’re not careful, and for some, it’s already too late I think.

      As for Tommy and Gordon, I would love to see them doing justice to Scotland’s Constitutional arguments and compiling a succinct and wholly understandable case to dispute Scotland’s colonial subjugation which can then be taken to the UN and Council of Europe.

      We’d be Independent before the week was out.

    73. James Horace says:

      Will she answer Douglas Ross directly, now that he has called her out?

    74. deerhill says:

      Neil Anderson says:

      “Why, then, do we need Scots Guards with plummy English accents crawling around our country? Strange.”

      Not so strange. They are not Scots Guards, they are RSDG.
      Thats the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards (Greys and Carabineers),
      with their HQ at Edinburgh Castle.

      And they don’t have English accents!

    75. Captain Yossarian says:

      ‘To her utmost shame, the First Minister uses the women who were so badly let down by her government as a shield’.

      From Douglas Ross on Twitter. He goes-on about this over several postings, all published less than an hour ago.

      Answer or be damned (as they say)

      I think we need a new FM and very, very quickly.

    76. Christian Schmidt says:

      I think Tom Arthur ought to have a chat Joanna Cherry about the law and with, well most people here, about the politics?

      On the latter, even if he’s right that the UK parliament can just change the Scotland Act, politically it is a huge difference between the UK gov saying you can’t have a section 30 order and the issue of independence and the meaning of democracy discussed at length in the UK parliament.

      But more importantly, I think it is quite likely that *if* the court finds there is a right to a section 30 order, it will do so because it is of the view that there must be some way for Scotland to become independent (which I understand is just what Mr Keatings argues). In which case a simple amendment of the Scotland Act won’t do the job…

    77. Mac says:

      Really worthwhile listening to the podcast above with Gordon Dangerfield.

      When he stacks it all up from the very beginning the evidence is so overwhelming.

      Nicola clearly knew what was coming when she carefully removed herself from the disciplinary process just before it was specifically put in place with the sole intent of going after Alex. That is long, long before she claims to have first heard about the allegations.

      As Dangerfield said that was a particularly cowardly act by her. Removing herself from the process so she does not have to get her hands dirty while her staff go after her ‘mentor and best friend in politics’ in the most disgusting, unfair, dishonest manner imaginable.

      Old Nicola really is a piece of work.

    78. Black Joan says:

      DRoss’s 13-tweet demand for answers has him appearing to care about poor wronged women, and bad-mouthing AS, of course.

    79. The Oui Coupar says:

      There is a significant conflict between the office of First Minister which is a Division 2 job and the Leader of a political movement which aspires to be in Division 1. There appears no competent leadership in Division 1, it cannot be extrapolated from Division 2. The technicalities of managing the appearance of virus control is no substitute for the strategic machinations of Statecraft.

      That the machinations on view appear firmly in the Division 2 category does much to diminish and sideline the cause, and the ramifications for the Division 1 aspiration are dramatic if the single leader of both Divisions is torpedoed.

      Emergent leadership is required, strong unflinching leadership, continuing leadership of Division 1 quality, to hold up the purpose of the cause, to maintain belief in the cause, to hold the cause and its supporters up, so when Division 2 implodes, the support is not drawn into the pit, rummaging about in the smoky embers, gasping for a waft of the Phoenix whilst the Division 1 bulldozers arrive

      An “October revolution” is overdue.

    80. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Black Joan – Don’t allow yourself to go after personalities Joan. Someone is in breach of criminal law and it is not Douglas Ross.

      He is an opposition politician and he is doing his job. The tangle of information is beginning to straighten itself-out, isn’t it. There is just one culprit here and it is not Douglas Ross.

    81. kapelmeister says:

      Pete Wishart was agreeing with Tom Arthur on twitter about colonial status being nonsense. They do make a Laurel and Hardy style double act.

    82. Peter S says:

      Surely sometime they’re going to run out of road to keep kicking the can down? We can but hope!

    83. Morgatron says:

      Wheres Stan Laurel? Belter Stu. The man looks like a pun a shite. Who on gods green earth wears their tie like that?. As for his drivelling pish , who let him stand as an SNP MSP ? Care in the community has let us all down badly here.

    84. Hugh Jarse says:

      Dangerfield must be going through the promised killer post redacting any reference to she who can’t be mentioned.

    85. Mac says:

      There is something running through all of this that has a karma like quality.

      As malicious, mendacious, immoral and unethical as the conspirators are… they are also commensurately incompetent.

      None of them were selected for competence and it shines through in all their botched attempts to stitch Alex up from start to finish.

      They also left ample evidence of their crude conspiracy littered about everywhere it seems and now are only being protected by another gross abuse of power in the withholding of key documents, even from Alex’s defense during his criminal trial.

      Their rank incompetence would be laughable were their activities not so heinous. Evans in particular is a walking bin fire.

    86. Republicofscotland says:

      “V expensive Tory leaflet. 14 mentions of ‘referendum’, 11 of ‘independence. Thanks! But what’s this “ The only way…to stop another referendum.” is to vote Tory? I thought Boris was going to stop it? They know it’s coming. ”

      This bollocks from Keith (Now is not the time) Brown of the SNP, the man recently shotdown the possiblity of using May’s election as a plebiscite what a Janus faced b*stard Brown is.

      https://twitter.com/keithbrownsnp

    87. A Person says:

      Not somebody that I or (I’d assume) many on here will like: Mrs. Dominic Cummings, no less, writing in the Tory Bible. But I thought it was apt anyway:

      https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/how-cults-crumble

    88. McDuff says:

      Ebok
      Have you got a problem communicating with people that you have to insult them. DON’T call me stupid.
      We all know politics is a dirty game but no one expected this level of apparant corruption from an SNP government or the justice system, no one except you it seems .So tell us all when you first predicted this level of events?
      As for the rest of your inane ramblings of 742 years ago how is that relevant to now.
      Say goodnight Gracie.

    89. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      PeterV aka clyde or whatever stupid username you’re the day.

      You’re one thick bampot of a boy.You haven’t a fucking clue how the UK armed forces is set up. Scottish and English forces were amalgamated at start of Union, so it’s not the Scottish members fault ya fanny, we’re not independent.

      Who do you think is going to make up the bulk of a new Scottish Defence Force? A fucking thicko like you!? Geez god help us.

      I spent 20 years myself in military and I along with quite a few pals are pro indy. Shite talk from likes of you pisses us aff big time.If you want to alienate approx 150-200,000 current serving and x service voters (no idea exact numbers)you’re going the right way about it.

      Shut your bigoted mouth and learn some history.

    90. Pete says:

      A Person 3.29
      Just read it. Excellent article. Trouble is, no one recognises their own cultish tendencies.
      Time for us to all to do some self examination.

    91. Mia says:

      “it was designed as a one time only”

      Another thing that is emerging too, at least for me is that there appears to be a rather unhealthy crossing over in this matter between the SNP and the Scottish Government.

      Sometimes you have to read things for a second, third or fourth time to understand.

      Something I had not paid much attention before was that one of the complainants indicated under defence questioning during the criminal court case against Mr Salmond that she had contacted SNP officials on the 5th November 2017, the day after McDonald resigned as a Scottish Government minister telling staff they would be able to “guess” who the sexual misconduct allegations were about”.

      Bizarrely, in line with one of the submissions to the Parliamentary inquiry by a civil servant it is indicated that by the 7th November the Scottish government had ALREADY a draft titled “Handling of sexual harassment complaints against former
      ministers”

      That is just 2 days after this woman allegedly contacted the SNP. How did this complaint ended up in the Scottish government?

      In the part of the minutes of the meeting of 31 October 2017 that have not been redacted, there is no mention at all of the intention to include former ministers in the policy and it is not stated either in the parliamentary publication of the same day. There is not mention of anything of the sort either in the letter sent by Sturgeon to the Presiding officer on 30 October 2017. There is no mention of it either in the letter sent on the 3 November 2017 by Jeremy Heywood from the cabinet office.

      So what moved the transformation of an innocuous complaints procedure against current ministers into a weapon against former ministers, in the space of 3 days?

      The first mention of the inclusion of former ministers in the policy I can find is a timeline submitted by Nicola Richards to Mckinnon on the 6th November 2017. By that time, she was already submitting a draft, so this gives an idea of the speed at which this was being planned and redacted.

      My own perception is that NR’s timeline is attempting to fool us into believing the intention of including former ministers was already there by 2nd November. I find hard to believe this is the case, firstly because none of the documents above ever mentions it, but secondly because that timeline was allegedly updated in December 2017 as stated at the top of the document itself. I am of the opinion that the inclusion of “and former ministers” for the timeline entry of 2nd Nov may have been amended a posteriori.

      The reason why I think this, is the timeline has an entry on 5th November 2017, the same day lady H allegedly contacted SNP officials, that reads “NR/JMack meet Ms A” – Sought views on draft policy, whether this would have helped her at the time and how to put in place safeguards for the future”.

      If I am not mistaken, Ms A might have helped to redact the policy, so the idea that including former ministers was already their intention on the 2nd November only flies if they already knew on the 2nd that this complaint was going to be brought forward. The other alternative, which is that even before the policy was planned or drafted and even before people was informed of its existence, ex-gov employees as complainants were already queuing at the doors 48 hours after the thought of including former ministers had been formed but not even a draft of the policy itself had materialised, is even less credible.

      As I mentioned above, rather conveniently, that timeline indicates at the top “Updated 6 December 2017”. The cynical in me thinks the December bit might have been an “accidental” typo and should read instead “November”. If I was in the committee I would be demanding the very first timeline with the tracking of corrections.

      On NR’s submitted timeline, there is a convenient 1:1 scheduled between NR and Permanent Secretary on the 5th November 2017 (an awful lot appears to be happening on the 5th November 2017).

      For the 6th November 2017, the timeline says “revised policy agreed with legal and submitted to Perm Sec”. Hell, that is some fast pacing for legal methinks. Legal must have either got their titles on a car boot sale or didn’t even bother reading the document when, after reviewing the procedure, it ended up in a civil court as unlawful and tarnished with bias. And to top things up, just 10 days later after “legal” review the procedure, the people from the UK cabinet still considered it “uncomfortable”.

      So, my question is, did this Lady H contacted the SNP and the SNP asked her to go to the Sgov because they knew they were in the process of refurbishing the policy and it would be a good opportunity? Or did she go to the government first and then to the SNP? Or the person that spoke on that day with the government is a completely different one to the one who spoke to the SNP officials?

      I do not know if this Woman A in one procedure is the same as Woman H in the criminal case but if she is not, hell, Ms A in complaints procedure and Ms H in the criminal case must have some kind of telepathy thing going on to report their cases on the exact same day when the procedure had not even been drafted.

      Independently if they are the same or different women, why didn’t the SNP followed Ms H’s complaint that was reported by her to the SNP officials?

      Even more bizarrely from the submissions to the parliamentary inquiry, there is as far as I recall at least 2 civil servants mentioning something around that by 6 November 2017 civil servants were allegedly raising concerns about representatives of Mr Salmond contacting civil servants regarding the SKY news article about the airport!

      Goodness, the 5th and the 6th must have had more than 24 hours each judging by the enormous amount of things that got done on them.

      At the bottom of Ms Richards timeline there is another jewel:

      “What would we say if asked:
      – have you had any complaints about former ministers
      Yes

      – what did you do?
      Encouraged people to come forward…
      Limited options to pursue because no longer a minister, private citizen however raised the allegations to the individual and….
      Perm Sec informs FM as party leader
      FM may decide to meet with individuals / take action as party leader, etc”

      Right, if this was directed to ANY former minister, what made them assume the FM would be of the same political party than the former minister? This question in NR’s submission only makes sense if they knew at that point already that the former minister was SNP.

      And there is more:

      “Purpose of taking statements to former minister:
      To make him aware of allegations against him”

      It says Former Minister, not former ministers and it says “him”. This is the 21st century and this was written at a time when 3 party leaders were women: Sturgeon, Dugdale, Davidson, when the top civil servant in Scotland was a woman, the FM was a woman, there were women cabinet ministers and when the previous government cabinet had several women ministers, one of them being Nicola Sturgeon herself. All over the world there are plenty of women in high ranking positions who have taken advantage of their subordinates, male or females, so either this is an example of misandry, they were excluding women from the procedure to protect themselves by tailoring it to target men or they had a particular male minister in mind. My bet is on the last option.

      What is missing in the whole picture (or I cannot see it) is what prompted the lady/ies to contact the SNP and government with her/their complaint to do so at that precise time (the day after the resignation of a current minister) when the alleged “assault” took place years before and when at least one of them, the week before placing the complaint was so unconcerned that, according to the information submitted to the criminal court case, sent an email to Mr Salmond inviting him to a fundraiser.

      Was just the possibility of a resignation of McDonald of his seat and Mr Salmond taking the seat returning to Holyrood? Was any of those women concerned that if Mr Salmond somehow re-entered Holyrood as SNP he would compete with Sturgeon on decision making regarding indy policies or worse, would stand a chance of becoming leader again frustrating the ambitions of somebody else?

      Or was something else entirely, like Mr Salmond’s RT programme, and these people are just doing the dirty work of somebody else?

      Mr Salmond’s programme was announced on the 9th November 2017. This complaint/s arrived on the 5th November 2017. When was it known within the Scottish government circles, SNP and UK gov circles (MI5?) that Mr Salmond was going to start a programme with RT?

      The other thing that I am missing here is the connect. How a historical complain entering through the SNP/government on the 5th November ended up becoming on the 6th a brand new complaints procedure against former ministers, with this procedure becoming of even more relevance than a procedure against current ministers, when there is no precedent for this, nothing like that in other governments, when the UK government does not have anything of the sort, when the UK gov does not have anything like that even for former civil servants and when the Scottish government itself does not even have any similar procedure against former civil servants?

      The explanations and the waffle from the civil servants may attempt to obfuscate, but what they cannot escape from is the darn dates. When you put all these dates on a straight line, they tell a story of their own.

    92. Captain Yossarian says:

      Nicola Sturgeon and her Deputy, John Swinney, have been treating the Scottish public like shite for the past 6-years.

      Every day, a new newspaper is joining this investigation. They only have to read through the this website, plus contributions from Robin McAlpine and Gordon Dangerfield for example; the investigation has been done for them by some of the most incisive minds in the country.

      Figures in the Scottish Government are speaking to journalists and, when that happens, the tipping point is not far away.

      Let’s run that pair of greaseball rats out of Scotland.

    93. Mist001 says:

      Like I said, politicians aren’t any smarter than anyone else, it’s just that they have a different set of morals. They’ll lie, cheat and scheme to get where they are, that’s the only difference between you and them.

      This Tom Arthur, I’d never heard of him before and likely never will again but what I think has happened here is that just before or shortly after the 2014 referendum when emotions were running high and people weren’t really thinking straight, he spotted an opportunity to get in there and worked that opportunity. Let’s face it, at that time there weren’t any viable alternatives to anyone standing as an SNP candidate. I bet he won by a landslide.

      I’ve seen this happen with loads of people who got themselves into position to be elected and they’ve ended up with a salary that they could never have dreamt of before, a pension, an expense account(!), a private office in Westminster and a secretary.

      These are the people who make up the SNP and that’s the reason none of them will stick their necks above the parapet and speak out about this corruption but will be amongst the first to tell everyone that they’d heard whispers, a bit like Esther Rantzen did when she was asked about why she did nothing about Jimmy Saville.

      Scum, the whole lot of them and Tom Arthur is a prime example.

    94. Gordon Dangerfield: “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.

      i.e., the fish rots from the head.

    95. Black Joan says:

      Captain Y. I was just pointing out that the Not Guilty AS continues to have suggestions of guilt flung in his direction, even when it’s DRoss asking (entirely correct) questions about the murky doings of ScotGov and the FM, and such assertions should never go unchallenged.

    96. A Person says:

      -Pete-

      Thank you. It reminded me of many who claim to support independence but who really are devoted to a cult of Nicola. Stuart Mackay who regularly posts here said a few days ago that many of the Oor Nicola mob always want it to be Independence Eve, rather than having to cook the turkey on Independence Day, as it were, which I thought was very insightful.

    97. James Che. says:

      We have the wrong heads on, when we talk of colonisation,
      We are only in that position because we think it and act like it, this mind set is magnified by the actions of the snps stance in asking for a referendum, they go down the route of begging when this is utter nonsense,
      We are and always have been the other legal half of the treaty of the union, and that treaty is what Westminster parliament supposedly gains it status from,
      without Scotland there would be no uk or parliament of Great Britain,
      The parliament of England is not the successor of the treaty of the union between Scotland and England, and when David Cameron decided to bring in evil it broke the treaty of the union as did Westminster when it set up the devolved Scottish government, having live armies on Scottish ground in times of peace even if only for practice, also breaks the treaty, Maggie thatchers poll tax one year ahead of Englands as a experiment, closing down boat builders and fishermen’s employment and given the contracts to down south also broke the treaty, as these were meant to be equal, Brexit, internal market bill, and it goes on and on,
      If upholden the treaty of the union is so important to England and Westminster that the Scots should not break the law/acts or articles of the treaty, that the Scots have to go to courts and judges to make any alterations, while England does this willy nilly, it says to me the that treaty is no longer the original treaty as understood to to written in 1707.
      Westminster is implying that only one side has to follow of the 1707. The other side can bend and manipulate the treaty of the union at their will, and this has been very obvious to witness over the centuries,
      Our mindset here in Scotland is locked into the old habit of being subjugation, therefore we must beg for our equality and ask permission,
      This is not reality, reality is very different, we are the other half of a treaty that binds the uk together, and if we take that treaty as a serious piece of uk and Scottish constitution, that Westminster wants us to believe in, then it has to be said the politicians of the uk parliament have destroyed its original .text, that the uk parliament has altered beyond recognition the original implications of two joint kingdoms coming together in an agreement to rule as one kingdom for the benifit of of peace to the people and a common purpose of welfare between people of two kingdoms, the Barnet formula, does not do this, Brexit did not do this, employment did not do this, allocation of past EU funding did not do this, never mind evil and the changing of who the royal family can marry breaking the treaty of the union,
      It seems that the Scottish politicians are more respectful towards the treaty than their English counterparts and signatories,
      If we are to follow any route to our independence in full this is the obvious one as the English politicians and uk government have been exceedingly helpful over many years in enabling this treaty to be dismantled of their own volition,
      The Scottish devolved parliament is a concept Westminster, a conceived parliament with a very large majority of civil servants, and employed by Westminster themselves, the secretary of Scotland Scotland acts as overlord of Westminster parliament,,
      Nothing within that setup implies Scotland is running its own affairs.
      When we voted for a devolved government, I do not suppose anyone envisaged a smaller English Parliament sitting in Scotland,
      It is not only the useless snp, we have to be rid of, but also the Westminster parliament sitting in Scotland,
      Independence comes when we realise that we have the right to withdraw from a treaty that has been interfered with, beyond its recognised original status and purpose.
      The fact That it no longer benefits both the people of Scotland and England is obvious when Boris says NO, do as we in Westminster tell you to do. Shut up Scotland, we own the treaty.
      Even if we had a referendum and won it, we would inevitably end up in the same position,

    98. Liz says:

      The MSM may well have wanted to keep this quiet until nearer the May election but once a dam cracks, you can’t stop it from collapsing.

      Chris Musson has now pointed out that the FM gave an inflated figure over how many 80+ folk have been vaccinated.
      Thread, https://twitter.com/ChrisMusson/status/1352601273204416513?s=20

      It appears she tried to blame someone else when caught out.
      She herself said ,her only focus was Covid, this is where her approval ratings are mainly coming from.

      They smell blood

    99. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Did it start off as just an attempt to ensure he couldn’t make a comeback and then just get totally out of control like a snowball turning into an avalanche?”

      Pretty much.

    100. James Che. says:

      We have the wrong heads on, when we talk of colonisation,
      We are only in that position because we think it and act like it, this mind set is magnified by the actions of the snps stance in asking for a referendum, they go down the route of begging when this is utter nonsense,
      We are and always have been the other legal half of the treaty of the union, and that treaty is what Westminster parliament supposedly gains it status from,
      without Scotland there would be no uk or parliament of Great Britain,
      The parliament of England is not the successor of the treaty of the union between Scotland and England, and when David Cameron decided to bring in evil it broke the treaty of the union as did Westminster when it set up the devolved Scottish government, having live armies on Scottish ground in times of peace even if only for practice, also breaks the treaty, Maggie thatchers poll tax one year ahead of Englands as a experiment, closing down boat builders and fishermen’s employment and given the contracts to down south also broke the treaty, as these were meant to be equal, Brexit, internal market bill, and it goes on and on,
      If upholden the treaty of the union is so important to England and Westminster that the Scots should not break the law/acts or articles of the treaty, that the Scots have to go to courts and judges to make any alterations, while England does this willy nilly, it says to me the that treaty is no longer the original treaty as understood to to written in 1707.
      Westminster is implying that only one side has to follow of the 1707. The other side can bend and manipulate the treaty of the union at their will, and this has been very obvious to witness over the centuries,
      Our mindset here in Scotland is locked into the old habit of being subjugation, therefore we must beg for our equality and ask permission,
      This is not reality, reality is very different, we are the other half of a treaty that binds the uk together, and if we take that treaty as a serious piece of uk and Scottish constitution, that Westminster wants us to believe in, then it has to be said the politicians of the uk parliament have destroyed its original .text, that the uk parliament has altered beyond recognition the original implications of two joint kingdoms coming together in an agreement to rule as one kingdom for the benifit of of peace to the people and a common purpose of welfare between people of two kingdoms, the Barnet formula, does not do this, Brexit did not do this, employment did not do this, allocation of past EU funding did not do this, never mind evil and the changing of who the royal family can marry breaking the treaty of the union,
      It seems that the Scottish politicians are more respectful towards the treaty than their English counterparts and signatories,
      If we are to follow any route to our independence in full this is the obvious one as the English politicians and uk government have been exceedingly helpful over many years in enabling this treaty to be dismantled of their own volition,
      The Scottish devolved parliament is a concept Westminster, a conceived parliament with a very large majority of civil servants, and employed by Westminster themselves, the secretary of Scotland Scotland acts as overlord of Westminster parliament,,
      Nothing within that setup implies Scotland is running its own affairs.
      When we voted for a devolved government, I do not suppose anyone envisaged a smaller English Parliament sitting in Scotland,
      It is not only the useless snp, we have to be rid of, but also the Westminster parliament sitting in Scotland,
      Independence comes when we realise that we have the right to withdraw from a treaty that has been interfered with, beyond its recognised original status and purpose.
      The fact That it no longer benefits both the people of Scotland and England is obvious when Boris says NO, do as we in Westminster tell you to do. Shut up Scotland, we own the treaty.
      Even if we had a referendum and won it, we would inevitably end up in the same position.

    101. James Horace says:

      Has there been a day in January where #resignsturgeon hasn’t been trending on Twitter?

      Its now time for this to move beyond Twitter, the blogs and the private committee rooms.

      Stu, when can we expect all front pages up and down the country to have Saint Nicola’s face plastered on them for this?

      Is there a chance of any significant leaks/developments over the weekend?

    102. kapelmeister says:

      Regarding what Gordon Dangerfield and some Wingers have said about Sturgeon’s cowardice in carefully distancing herself from the process as she sent her staff after Salmond.

      It is reminiscent of the OAS ambush of President de Gaulle as his car drove through a Paris suburb in 1962. The leader of the ambush team was a young French Air Force colonel Jean Bastien-Thierry, angry at the President’s agreeing to Algerian independence.

      Instead of joining the OAS gunmen by the roadside where he would have been in some danger from any return fire by de Gaulle’s bodyguards, Bastian-Thierry stationed himself a hundred yards back down the road as the lookout. He waved a rolled up magazine when he saw the President’s car approaching.

      Miraculously de Gaulle and his people survived the hail of fire from the ambushers and his car sped through to safety. Bastien-Thierry was the only conspirator to eventually be executed. They say de Gaulle, the old soldier, was appalled that the Colonel hadn’t put himself in the firing line with his men, but had chosen instead to be the lookout safely back down the road. De Gaulle commuted the death sentences of the OAS gunmen who were convicted, but didn’t relent with Bastien-Thierry.

      Sturgeon, similarly, would appear to have put other conspirators against Salmond in the front line and herself tried to stay safely back.

    103. Breeks says:

      Mac says:
      22 January, 2021 at 3:24 pm

      Their rank incompetence would be laughable were their activities not so heinous. Evans in particular is a walking bin fire…

      Been thinking about it, and I think that incompetence and glaring strategic ineptitude is still running strong.

      This Parliamentary Inquiry should, I think, have been their opportunity to show some contrition, and say, look, we were wrong, we made some fundamental errors of judgement, and lacked safeguards and protocols which should have stopped this mess unfolding, and we profoundly apologise to Mr Salmond… And yes, more than one head should have rolled, (properly so)… but at least there would have been a line drawn under it.

      But they didn’t. Instead of contrition, we’ve been treated to an exhibition of petty minded vindictiveness, obnoxious hubris by the tipper load, thoroughly disgraceful attempts to manipulate and suppress evidence from the Committee, and worst of all, even more manure thrown on their dungheap of malicious smears and innuendo against Alex Salmond.

      Whatever this Committee concludes in it’s findings, I think some elements of this saga will become actionable in the Courts, and these Conspirators will yet find themselves in Court facing prosecution themselves. That isn’t actually this Committee’s job.

      But Scotland must now act with all possible speed to get these incompetent charlatans removed from their positions of control over Scotland’s affairs, and see what can be done to salvage ‘something’ from the years wasted and opportunities squandered by Sturgeon. That, I think, MUST be a state of Constitutional Emergency declared by a new National Convention or re-invented Holyrood, and a Plebiscite Election in May.

      And for those “Gradualists” like Pete Wishart, I would encourage them to consider Alex Salmond, who has conducted himself throughout this smear campaign and Criminal Conspiracy with extraordinary dignity and self restraint, and allowed the hurtful lies and this rancid Conspiracy to decay, fall apart, and destroy itself under it’s own malevolence.

      That’s “real” gradualism, executed by a Grandmaster strategist, building up slowly to a crushing and devastating conclusion. Just compare that with the last six years of stagnancy, incompetence and chronic failure under Sturgeon’s “gradualism”, masquerading as a strategy which had to kept secret. Shame on you Pete Wishart, Alyn Smith, and all the other nobodies who stood back and did nothing while Scotland burned and got dragged out of Europe.

    104. North chiel says:

      Spot on “ James Che @ 0401 pm . How on earth under the 1707 treaty can Westminster “ devolve “ a Parliament to Scotland ( with specified devolved powers) without the EXACT EQUIVALENT Parliament being devolved to England ? Perhaps the answer is that in essence The Westminster Parliament IS / HAS BECOME ( under EVEL) the Defacto English Parliament?. This surely brings the 1707 Treaty into question at the very least , and as you point out notwithstanding the other breaches of the treaty ( internal market Act etc etc ). We urgently require the Sovereignty of the ascot tosh People to be “Centre Stage” in our quest for independence. Constitutional legal action should be initiated ( whether there is a YES vote or Not ).

    105. Doug McGregor says:

      Barrhead Boys latest with Mark Hirst , very interesting stuff.

      https://www.barrheadboy.com/scottish-prism-22nd-jan-2021-mark-hirst/

    106. Doug McGregor says:

      Barrhead Boys latest with Mark Hirst , very interesting stuff.

      ttps://www.barrheadboy.com/scottish-prism-22nd-jan-2021-mark-hirst/

    107. Steve davison says:

      Maybe there’s a need to start to list how deep the rot is in the SNP until the true seekers of indie amongst them stand up and cry foul .Tom Arthur has done a number on himself as I would imagine many others will do by statement or by omissions if asked by their constituents.Highland bill in a reply to post I made yesterday commented on a senior SNP official he spoke to that said that protecting NS was a main priority .If the wheels can’t be put back on the SNP bus then an alternative needs to be found quickly .The issue is what will the non party voter do when the truth is out there in the mainstream and that I suppose depends on whose version of the truth is out there

    108. Republicofscotland says:

      The Tories and Labour have conjured up new plans to thwart independence the plans are to be launched just before May’s election more Vow shite.

      We really need May’s election to be a plebiscite.

      https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/other/boris-johnson-planning-independence-alternative-ahead-of-holyrood-elections/ar-BB1cZTZL?ocid=msedgntp

    109. Cath says:

      Great post Mia, and so many interesting questions. The committee should hire you.

      It honestly baffles me why so many men, even opposition ones but maybe even more so SNP ones, are wiling to go along with the smears because the precedence this sets is not good for any of them.

    110. Peter N says:

      Fresh email from Martin Keatings regarding the court case:

      ========================

      “Update on Peoples Action on Section 30

      Dear Backers,

      Well, that’s a wrap (for now). The hearings over the past two days have concluded. Lady Carmichael has signalled her intention to write and release her written opinion within days, not weeks. So we should know that this coming week.

      It is almost certain that this will now go onto appeal stages because if it goes against the UK they’ll likely appeal and if it goes against us then we are definitely going to appeal!

      For now, all we can do is wait for the opinion of Lady Carmichael.

      In the meantime, my team are already preparing for the next phases.

      It is vitally important that we now start hammering the fundraising, so I am asking everyone to jump on board with that.

      http://www.crowdjustice.com/pas30

      Until the court comes back to us I likely won’t have any updates. So have a great weekend folks!

      All the best

      Martin”

      ========================

      So to all the stalwarts on Wings: Donate folks, you know it makes sense. Get your friends to donate too!

    111. crazycat says:

      Re: Tom Arthur’s assertion that, should the court find in Martin Keatings’ favour, the UK government could just change the law, I saw this yesterday:

      https://twitter.com/bridgesforindy/status/1352224409751351296

      It would appear following the logic of #AidenONeill #PeoplesAS30 that if the court found for this case that Westminster could not just change the Scotland Act to change it because it wouldn’t have the power to. More about this later.

      I’ve not found the more, later, but TA should not be assumed to be right.

    112. Robert Louis says:

      Why, given what he has said, is Tom Arthur even in the SNP??? Oh, I remember, parliamentary gravy train. Careerists a-plenty. No wonder they aren’t even trying to push for independence.

      FFS, seriously, FFS.

      I want freaking independence, and I want it NOW. Not ‘next year’, not ‘mibbes soon’, or ‘hopefully’ by 2025.

      What an absolute waste of space the SNP have become. Just like ‘scottishy’ Labour did.

    113. DaveL says:

      The plotters against AS would’ve been better off just sticking a couple of pounds of nose chem in the boot of his car rather than the flyblown convoluted shitfest they’ve concocted for themselves. It would’ve stood a greater chance of working too.

      But then I suppose they’d get no ‘me too’ brownie points so if anyone actually suggested it they probably got sent on a ‘wake up to wokism’ course or some other such rubbish.

    114. X_Sticks says:

      @Doug McGregor

      “Barrhead Boys latest with Mark Hirst , very interesting stuff.”

      Will have a listen later, but just read the comment on that page which is very interesting also – worth a read.

    115. A Person says:

      -Liz at 4.06-

      Agreed. If there is one thing most people are agreed on atm it’s that we need to get that vaccine out and get this over with; people will not forgive slacking on that front. Combined with the sudden ratchet of pressure by the media (eg Andrew Neil promising to investigate Salmond trial, Sky story posted yesterday) she could be in trouble. If you look at the polls she is slipping and apparently the (usually more reliable) betting markets are picking this up too as I understand it (although I don’t gamble so just repeating what I’ve heard)

      -Kapelmeister at 4.19-

      De Gaulle was also furious that rather than simply try to shoot him, the OAS had shot at his car, thereby endangering his wife, his driver, and a family of passersby driving on the other side of the road, as well as the fact that the hit squad included citizens of Eastern Bloc countries, which could have triggered a diplomatic crisis. There’s an analogy in there somewhere!

    116. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      Davie Oga – you wonder if Nicola Sturgeon reads the books she says she does. I have no idea,but she clearly fancies herself as quite the sniffy bookreader aesthete, though I don’t know how good her taste is in poetry and literature.

      Here’s footage of Jackie Kay, Scotland’s Makar (who lives in England and who has a CBE; she also has absolutely no talent whatsoever, but that’s by-the-by), reading a love poem to the FM, and making doe eyes at her. It’s at 16 minutes in until just under 18 minutes in. The FM was saying, just before the poem is read, that reading it gave her the same feeling as reading Burns does, and specifically asked Kay to read it. Draw your own conclusions, no animals were harmed during the making of this post, etc.

      Fuck it.

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju0BaLIKDvM

    117. Ebok says:

      McDuff says:
      22 January, 2021 at 3:33 pm
      “Ebok
      Have you got a problem communicating with people that you have to insult them. DON’T call me stupid.”

      Nobody calling you stupid. Quote is in inverted commas and from previous post refering to ‘the system’ of governance. I don’t criticise anyone’s views on here, I leave that to Rev
      As for inane drivel from 724 years ago, that period was pretty important to indigenous Scots and my point of reference there is that NOTHING has changed since then, only degrees of manipulation and oppression of the poor.

    118. Sharny Dubs says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      22 January, 2021 at 4:09 pm
      “Did it start off as just an attempt to ensure he couldn’t make a comeback and then just get totally out of control like a snowball turning into an avalanche?”

      Pretty much.

      always remember up until the moment you declare war you have control. Thereafter you have little or no control.

      Also for those who embark on a campaign of revenge remember to always dig two graves before they start.

    119. Colin Alexander says:

      Stu Campbell
      Socrates MacSporran

      It was on: Craig Murray 16 March 2020:

      “Shortly after Alex Salmond left the Scottish parliament, Robin Mcalpine told me that he had been entering the parliament with Alex Salmond for a meeting. The security guard had been rather embarrassed to tell the former First Minister that he would require to be signed in as he was no longer a member. Salmond replied “of course, call the First Minister’s office”. The guard did so, and the First Minister’s office refused to sign him in. That was when I first knew something was badly wrong”.

    120. Measured by the heart says:

      Alex Salmond’s impeded entry to Holyrood was witnessed by Robin McAlpine and recounted by Craig Murray here:

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/03/13-events-no-witnesses-the-prosecution-concludes-the-case-against-alex-salmond/

    121. Stuart MacKay says:

      Republicofscotland

      Thanks for that link to the MSN article on the S30 hearing. The quotes from the David Johnston QC are pretty amazing:

      “The question is academic and the pursuer is not affected by the answer.”

      Eh, well, what about the crowd funder then? Seems to me that Keating is very much acting in the public interest. If the quotes are any guide to the hearing then the Advocate General and the Lord Advocate seem to be grasping at straws.

      We need a government that can tie it’s shoelaces instead of tripping over them all the time.

    122. Colin Alexander says:

      https://www.scottishlawreports.org.uk/headlines/keatings-v-advocate-general-the-referendum-powers-case/

      “The following is a summary of the oral submissions that were presented at the Hearing before Lady Carmichael in the Outer House of the Court of Session on Thursday 21 January 2021, prepared by a Reporter for Session Cases who was in attendance”.

    123. Sarah says:

      @ Breeks at 4.21: spot on analysis.

      A major problem, on top of the psychiatric condition of the FM, is the lack of calibre of the MSPs – not only moral fibre but intellectual. So far from showing themselves to be a competent government they are making a series of messes in their legislation. We need our best people in Holyrood – any fool will do to go to Westminster to be ignored there.

    124. Karen says:

      Stu,

      I understand that Alex has been set up and this has been a long process. What I don’t fully understand is the reasoning. Was Nicola just protecting her position or protecting the fact there was never goign to be an indy2 or was Alex coming back for another run at indy 2. I find it hard to believe that would be the reason There has to be an even worse reason for all this. Surely?

      thanks

    125. Mia says:

      Rev, I have found something quite amusing. There appears to be some element of randomness in the redaction of documents by the Scottish Government. Their timelines appear to be rather fluid too.

      Either that or there is no coordination at all in the redacting process so everybody is redacting things as they go along without thinking in what has been redacted already by somebody else and when.

      I am in particular referring to submission Phase1FN10. This is the one I was referring to also in my above comment when talking about the timeline.

      Within that submission, document Phase1FN10/XX047 is one of two versions of “the” timeline. This particular one was allegedly updated on 6 December 2017 if we are to believe what it says at the top of the document – but without tracking, I am not sure we can verify what part of the document was updated on that date.

      Well, in this document the entry for the 5th November is clear and unredacted. Thanks to that document we know that MrS A met JM/NR on the 5th November. Allegedly this timeline was updated on the 6th December and as that entry is for November, which had already happened at that time and was not changed, we have to assume this must have been the case.

      Interestingly, there is also an entry in this same timeline for 6 November (2017) – “Revised policy agreed with legal and submitted to Perm Sec”

      Now scroll down within Phase1FN10 and look at document Phase1FN10/XX058 within the same submission. It is the same timeline but this time allegedly updated on the 1st December 2017, so if we are to believe those dates are accurate, this must be an earlier version. Yet, there are differences for some of the November entries that you would not expect to have changed between the 1st and the 6 Dec if this timeline has been followed strictly and updated as needed. This is interesting and makes me wonder if those dates (1st and 6 December) are just random and no indication of which version is the oldest.

      The entry for 5th November which in the timeline updated on the 6th December was visible and relates to the meeting with Ms A,has been redacted in this, allegedly, previous version of the 1 December. This is odd, unless the version of the 6th is not really the latest version of the two and whoever redacted this part rushed to take it out from the last version, forgetting about the earliest version.

      Secondly, in this version of the 1 December there is no entry for 6th November regarding to legal at all. What does this mean? Does this mean that the entry for legal reviewing was added sometime between December 1 and December 6 to make the inquiry believe legal advice had been sought back early on in the process? Or does this mean that in November this was the plan but somehow it did not happen so it got erased from the timeline on the 1st December but left by mistake on the original version which was rebranded as “updated 6 December”?

      It is also interesting that in the version of the 6th December there is an entry for 7 November that has been redacted. That entry has completely disappeared from the version of the 1st December. If whatever it is that was expected to happen on the 7th November did not happen and therefore was not included in the timeline of the 1 December, why did it re-appear on the timeline of the 6th December?

      These are inconsistencies in the evidence and I am not sure how you can explain them. If there inconsistencies in something as fundamental as the timeline and a particular section is redacted in one version but not in the other, there is a strong chance that there will be similar inconsistence in some of the other ones.

      Looking just at these two versions of this timeline, it is clear to me that this redacting has not been done by a legal professional following a structured and methodical procedure (ie some kind of rules). It has been done on a rush.

    126. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Sarah – There will just never be enough high caliber people to fill Holyrood.

      The best we can hope for is a high caliber First Minister. When the politician at the top is useless, then everything is useless….you only have to look at Trump’s Washington to see an example of that.

      What high caliber candidates do we have to replace Sturgeon and Swinney?

      The only candidate I have in mind, and he could do both of their jobs comfortably, isn’t even a member of the party.

    127. Definition of Colony,

      `A country or area under the full or partial political control of another country and occupied by settlers from that country.`

    128. Measured by the heart says:

      Can’t help thinking that this whole conspiracy seems so damned amateurish. I’m not downplaying the devastating impact on Alex Salmond’s life (or on Craig’s or Mark’s) nor do I underestimate the clever work of the small group of intrepid journalists who risked jail to reveal it… but I can’t help thinking if this were done by a unionist cabal, we wouldn’t have found out nearly as much and the media would never, ever have reported on it.

    129. MaggieC says:

      Re Harassment and Complaints Committee ,

      Levy & McRae, acting on behalf of Alex Salmond wrote to the Convener on 21st January ,

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/20210121LevyMcRaetoConvener(1).pdf

      Following this letter, the Convener wrote again to Mr Salmond offering further dates for an oral evidence session ,

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/20210122ConvenertoAlexSalmond.pdf

      The Convener wrote again to the Deputy First Minister on 22nd January, again requesting access to the Scottish Government’s legal advice ,

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/20210122ConvenertoDFM.pdf

    130. Effijy says:

      DRoss on Twitter going mental about Scot Gov cover up.
      Second Handcarlaw joining in.
      Lord something denotes Holyrood the right size for a Cinema conversion.
      I’v awash with Unionist texts etc all on how corrupt we are?

      Pot/Kettle

    131. Effijy says:

      Update on Peoples Action on Section 30

      Dear Backers,
      Well, that’s a wrap (for now). The hearings over the past two days have concluded. Lady Carmichael has signalled her intention to write and release her written opinion within days, not weeks. So we should know that this coming week.
      It is almost certain that this will now go onto appeal stages because if it goes against the UK they’ll likely appeal and if it goes against us then we are definitely going to appeal!
      For now, all we can do is wait for the opinion of Lady Carmichael.
      In the meantime, my team are already preparing for the next phases.
      It is vitally important that we now start hammering the fundraising, so I am asking everyone to jump on board with that.
      http://www.crowdjustice.com/pas30
      Until the court comes back to us I likely won’t have any updates. So have a great weekend folks!

      All the best

      Martin

    132. Mike Robson says:

      Under Scott Finlayson’s definition of a colony, you do understand that with this specific definition there is therefore an argument that England is actually a Scottish colony?

    133. PeterV says:

      See what News our Scottish media run with tonight.

    134. 100%Yes says:

      @Republicofscotland 2021 at 4:36 pm
      This only show that the Tories along with the rest of the Unionist are hell bent on keeping Scotland part of England. While the Unionist are hard at working plotting our leader is hiding and doesn’t want to talk about Independence.

    135. PeterV says:

      England gave us Austerity and now they have given the World a new Covid Virus.

      It’s more contagious than anything the world has ever seen and will probably make the vaccines being put into people’s arms as good as useless.

      The mighty Englanders,,, don’t ye just love them. Or maybe not.

    136. John H. says:

      Hopefully Sturgeon will fall soon. But I’m concerned about who replaces her. Swinney? Robertson? The choice should be left to the membership, and if the rules don’t allow for that, then the rules should be changed immediately. We don’t want Sturgeonism continuing under another guise. There has to be a fresh start so that the party can get back on track and do what it is supposed to do, free Scotland from Westminster.

    137. Captain Yossarian says:

      @John H – I would say that Swinney may be considered as soiled goods at the end of all of this. Dishonest. Unaccountable. Not to be touched with a bargepole.

    138. Effijy says:

      BBC News just showed the extent of Covid cases in the Fatherland and Colonies.
      England 1 person in 55 has it
      Wales 1 in 70
      N Ireland 1 in 60
      Scotland only 1 in 100.
      Earlier Channel 4 News said numbers are very worrying in England and Scotland not fairing much better?

      What? Oh for a national media that could put facts before propaganda.

      Can anyone sent that to the Tory Tweeters where their beloved England is the
      worst affected in Europe with 100,000 Deaths all of their own.

    139. MaggieC says:

      Me @5.35 pm ,

      Further updates from the Harassment and Complaints Committee ,

      On 22 January 2021, the Clerk to the Parliament, on the instruction of the Committee, issued a notice to the Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) under Section 24 of the Scotland Act 1998 to provide documents to the Committee ,

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/20210122ClerkofParliamenttoCOPFS(1).pdf

      It looks the Committee are finally doing what they should have done at the very start of this inquiry into the Scottish Government and the Snp .

    140. Chris says:

      @Scot Finlayson

      So the Scots are colonisers of Caesar!.

      Invaders from Ireland who genocided the Picts and burned/destroyed their culture and records. They also appropriated the Pictish harp and claimed it as their own.

      History is a bummer, especially old history and is always complicated and bloody.

      How long does it take until settlers/invaders become native?
      How much of their blood do they have to water the soil with?

    141. Skip_NC says:

      PeterV, the fact that the English variant is possibly more deadly is not in any way connected to the efficacy of the current vaccines.

      Information from my wife, who is a Registered Nurse here in the USA – quite senior – and her job is to make sure that people (COVID and non-COVID) leave the hospital with appropriate IV medications. It is her job to know this stuff.

    142. Heaver says:

      Holy shit!

      BBC Radio 4 news just now.

    143. PeterV says:

      STV News tonight was about, Covid,, Covid and,,,,,, Covid.

      Re, The Alex Salmond inquiry,,,

      “Nothing to see here, move along please”.

    144. Chris says:

      Why did Caesar! change to Caesar?
      Very strange, my apologies for not proof checking.

    145. Chris says:

      Should be A L B A not caesar

    146. Effijy says:

      Nissan say the Brexit deal gives them a competitive advantage as there are no tariffs?

      When in the EU there were no tariffs so how does still having no tariffs give you a new advantage?

      Missin’ something from Nissan?

      Must be a new Boris backhander for propaganda?

    147. Liz says:

      @Mia it would be great if you could ask the Rev if you could do a guest post on all of these redactions and articles so we could try to make sense of it all.

      @Heaver we need more than that. I never listen to any BBC news. What’s happened?

    148. bipod says:

      O/T

      It has been a very bad day for those who were predicting that this would be the last lockdown, the vaccine will fix everything and we will all be back to normal by around april so just shut up and stop talking about lockdown.

      Nicola sturgeon said today that things will not be back to normal by summer and we will all be living with the society destroying restrictions for “some time to come”.

      I wonder how many people who have backed lockdown and restrictions really expected this to go on for years and quite potentially the rest of our lives. There is a very good chance now that the government will never drop certain restrictions afterall there isn’t anything more permanent than a temporary government policy.

    149. thomas says:

      @ chris

      What are you talking about scots invaders from ireland?

      The gaidheals were the original celtic colonisers of these islands.

      There are five river names in these islands , from surrey in the english south , to orkney , with the name “ouse” which drives from gaelic “uisge” for water.

      The gaels were the orignal celtic people of the entire islands before being pushed back north and west by suc
      essive invaders , starting with the p celtic people around 600 bc( ancestors of the welsh).

      Archaeologists looking at excavations of dal riada and western scotland from 500 ad , the time of the suposed arrival of the gael from ireland , show that there was no great change in culture………merely a continuance of what was already there.

      Further there has long been the argument the picts were gaels….and that at one point they were taken over by a p celtic elite , before being absorbed back into gaeldom under the dal riadic scots which eventaully formed the modern scotland we know.

    150. PeterV says:

      Effijy 6 32pm

      Yes, I wonder what Nissan have been offered to stay in england?

      Free fuel bills, all upgrades paid for by uk Government.

      There will be some incentive at the back of it.

    151. Dan says:

      @ Mia at 3.48pm

      As you mention Mark McDonald, this may be of interest as I don’t recall you posting much if at all back then.

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-trail-of-breadcrumbs/

    152. Cath says:

      I wonder how many people who have backed lockdown and restrictions really expected this to go on for years and quite potentially the rest of our lives.

      Many of us wanted a hard lockdown for a few weeks, then all the sensible stuff other countries who are now back to normal did – proper, working test and trace (rather than paying your pals 12 billion to do fuck all), looking after people who contracted it with healthcare, help to self isolate etc but also checking they were complying, closing borders for a time then instigating proper, thorough quarantines in hotels, again checked. Making sure once levels were low it was eliminated and stamped out whenever it occurred.

      Had that happened, we would – like many other countries – be back to virtually normal now for most people, with restrictions mostly around travel abroad. (Not to mention having tens of thousands less dead). The reason we are here – with no pubs and socialising for bloody months – is because people would not accept that tried, tested and known way to defeat a pandemic but instead wanted eat out to help out, summer holidays, travel all round the UK, parties etc. So here we are with a more transmissible, more deadly strain and in fucking endless lockdown. That is the fault of those who refused to deal with it last year. There are no “pro-lockdown” people – there are lockdown hard then deal with it to get it over with or…this. If you’re among those who chose this, then fuck you. You’re the problem.

      Apologies for the bad language but I’m beyond angry with those who’ve brought us here right now. For a few to have holidays, parties and eating out, those having to shield will have been totally isolated for over a year, and those are often the most vulnerable.

    153. James Barr Gardner says:

      SNP – Independence Party – Devolutionist – Party Gradualist Party – Appeasement Party – Defeatist Party ? Which one is it ? Which one will make Scotland and Scots prosper ?

    154. Captain Yossarian says:

      From The Scotsman, half an hour ago, the Fabiani Committee are invoking legal powers which they already have to compel the release of the full legal transcripts.

      This is beyond farcical now, isn’t? Had they done this 8-weeks ago, we would have had a resolution by now. Alex Salmond would have attended and Nicola Sturgeon too and it would all have been over.

    155. Saffron Robe says:

      Another excellent article Stuart, although I found the first part the most interesting. Unbelievable really that Nicola Sturgeon will not take advice from anyone, not even from the police regarding due process. She will heed no-one and is a law unto herself. Democracy is government by consent and Nicola Sturgeon is acting without consent or constraint – a loose cannon firing on her own people.

    156. Wee Chid says:

      Cath says:
      22 January, 2021 at 6:51 pm

      To be honest I, and the person I care for. thought at least 18 months – if not longer. What pisses me off is that governments had been well warned for years to expect this and should have had a contingency plan. I believe that the Tories have used it as an opportunity to reduce their welfare budget and to line their own and cronies’ pockets with taxpayers’ money through dodgy contracts. They aren’t incompetent – it has worked out exactly as they planned – a continuation of the planned poverty and the claw back of post war benefits from the lower classes. Theirs is the politics of revenge.

    157. Heaver says:

      Liz

      https://www.bbc.co.uk

      Link does not appear to be working, but go to bbcR4 news 6pm today. Starts at 18 minutes.

      Pincers closing.

    158. Chris says:

      @ Thomas

      Ah, absorbed by the gaels (I suspect you didn’t want to say Scots for some reason as they are the ones who arrived and did the “absorbing”). That’s ok then, not.

      If it is argued by some that means others argue otherwise, me for example.

      Historically I see Picts, known to the Romans and feared by them hence Antonines and Hadrian’s walls, slowly pushed north by Danes/Angles/Saxons etc. Then the Scoti appear in the land and the Picts disappear.

      My point for the post was that saying that you are colonised is silly, as is the definition going on about settlers and indigenous people with no clear definitions.

      We, Homo Homo Sapiens, are settlers everywhere and indigenous nowhere except for wherever in Africa our species first arose.

      So how much blood do our ancestors have to have water the land with before a settler becomes indigenous?

    159. The UK automotive industry is worth more than £78.9 billion turnover and adding £15.3 billion to the economy.

      180,000 people employed directly in manufacturing and in excess of 864,000 across the wider automotive industry, it accounts for 13% of total UK export of goods, worth £44 billion.

      30 manufacturers build in excess of 70 models of vehicle supported by 2,500 component providers.

      Over 1.3 million cars , 78,270 commercial vehicles and 2.5 million engines built in 2019.

      Eight out of 10 cars produced are exported overseas to 160 different markets worldwide.

      Scotland`s share of the UK motor industry is 1 plant,Alexander Dennis.

    160. Polly says:

      Yep, the police evidence is very clear and another road being closed off.

      I saw the Tom Arthur thing earlier and must admit to being taken aback at how unadroit he was in dealing with the responses, but I’ve had prior knowledge of him so I’m not sure why I was surprised. I think it might have something to do with Alf Baird though. Thanks Alf.

    161. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Here’s link to the Severin Carrell tweet concerning the latest action by the harassment committee:

      https://twitter.com/severincarrell/status/1352670002688778245

    162. Dan says:

      Effijy says: at 6:32 pm

      Nissan say the Brexit deal gives them a competitive advantage as there are no tariffs?

      When in the EU there were no tariffs so how does still having no tariffs give you a new advantage?

      Missin’ something from Nissan?

      Must be a new Boris backhander for propaganda?

      Possibly due to this from a couple of years back.

      https://archive.is/4tqlt

    163. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Here’s my own transcription of the Carrell piece in the Gaurdian:

      “…The Scottish parliament has ordered the country’s prosecution service to release key evidence in the Alex Salmond affair, in a dramatic escalation of a battle over the non-disclosure of legal papers…

      In an unprecedented move, Holyrood issued an enforcement notice on the Crown Office instructing it to release private messages from senior Scottish National party officials and documents about the leak of allegations that Salmond had sexually harassed two civil servants – allegations he denies…

      The notice, under section 23 of the Scotland Act 1998, follows months of stalemate involving the Scottish government, the Crown Office and Salmond himself and a special Holyrood committee set up to investigate the government’s botched handling of an internal inquiry into the allegations against him…

      The letter from Holyrood’s chief executive and clerk, David McGill, has given the Crown Office, headed by the lord advocate, James Wolffe, seven days to comply…

      Linda Fabiani, a Scottish National party MSP who chairs the committee, said: “This is a step that hasn’t been taken lightly, and is a first for this parliament, but which the committee felt was needed as it continues its vital work.”

      Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s acting leader, said: “At every turn, the SNP government has sought to hide vital material from the committee in a vain effort to leave it a toothless entity; a talking-shop without power. Enough is enough – the secrecy must end.”

      The documents cover WhatsApp messages sent or received by Sue Ruddick, the SNP’s chief operating officer, and ministers, officials and special advisers in the Scottish government between August 2018, when news of the government investigation into Salmond was leaked, and January 2019…

      That month Salmond won a judicial review ordering the government to quash the findings of its internal inquiry. However, he was then arrested and charged with 14 offences, chiefly involving alleged sexual assaults and attempted rapes. In March 2020, Salmond was acquitted of all charges, following a two-week jury trial…

      Leaks of messages sent by Peter Murrell, the SNP’s chief executive and Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, implied he wanted to put the police under pressure to pursue Salmond – an allegation Murrell has denied. Salmond alleges the messages involving Ruddick suggest collusion. Sturgeon has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing by the party or her officials…

      Salmond too has been accused by committee members of stalling. After refusing two successive requests to give evidence, citing health and legal concerns, the committee told him on Friday he must appear by 5 February…

      The committee has also again written to the Scottish government, asking it to finally release its legal advice on its prospects for winning the judicial review, after ministers and the lord advocate refused to comply with two Holyrood votes requesting the disclosure.

      Documents released to the committee disclose the government’s external counsel threatened to quit after senior civil servants suggested they would not admit defeat in the case. The government was later ordered to repay £516,000 worth of legal fees to Salmond, in addition to its own legal costs of some £60,000…

      Murdo Fraser, a Conservative MSP on the committee, said: “The committee has consistently been blocked from performing its remit by SNP ministers. The level of obstruction has been extraordinary.”

      The Crown Office said it would respond to the request “in early course” but that it had already told the committee there were potential legal constraints on releasing the material. Crown counsel “must consider whether producing [the] documents sought would be contrary to the public interest”, a spokesperson said.”

    164. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Cath @ 6.51 pm

      Quite correct. They wouldn’t listen and the virus took control instead of us controlling the virus.
      Bipod and his chums love all this death and misery and try and say that lockdowns/, mitigations don’t work. They don’t work if dumb asses like them don’t follow some simple health control measures.

      Wouldn’t it be great if Scotland was a little island country inbetween NZ and Australia? Dreams eh. Instead we’re stuck on a shit cold island attached to fucking lemons.

      Bawheids the lot of them.

    165. Hugh Jarse says:

      How to win friends and influence people. ^

    166. John Digsby says:

      Dan/Effjy

      It’s because Nissan already has battery manufacturing capacity in the UK, which it can now expand so that the rules of origin requirements for tariff free trade are met

      Other manufacturers still in a position if needing to build those factories, and currently import batteries from overseas (meaning in about 5 years, they won’t meet the rule of origin minimums). So Nissan ahead of the game

    167. Republicofscotland says:

      Andy Ellis.

      Thanks for the link, some good news for a change will the Lord Advocate resign first, I hope so, and lets hope Sturgeon’s machinations are outed as well.

      Step forward a new SNP leader who’ll use May’s election as a plebiscite.

    168. Liz says:

      If you follow Travelling Tabby, the Scottish % of deaths related to Covid is 0.1%.

      We should have closed the borders in March – May when we had the original surge. Now the virus is in the community.

      NS will have driven us all mad if she keeps us locked up till the summer. She’s loving every bit of this.

      We now need a different strategy. Protect the vulnerable and at risk, let the majority get on with their lives.

    169. BLMac says:

      France can’t over-ride Scottish legislation, neither can Ireland, the USA, or even Malta.

      But Westminster can. That make Scotland a colony. Why else is the a Governor General aka Scottish Secretary? Why else is there that large new building in Edinburgh?

      We’re an effing colony no matter what they may like to pretend we are. If it smells like a turd, it’s a turd, even if they claim it’s recycled food.

    170. Liz says:

      Ta @Heaver.

      Linda Fabiani growing a back bone eventually.
      Maybe she was stung by the letter from ASs lawyer and now sees the writing on the wall

    171. crazycat says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood at 7.33

      “Contrary to the public interest”, eh?
      Aye, right.

      Contrary to certain particular people‘s interests, no doubt.

    172. bipod says:

      @Cath

      What are those other more sensible countries that only locked down for a few weeks and are now back to normal now? Austrailia and New Zealand? Well it definitely hasn’t been only a weeks weeks there and they are certainly not back to normal. We are now doing a colossal amount of testing every single day, more than than Australia and new zealand combined and even more than germany or the asian countries that were held up as great success stories of the test and trace system. It hasn’t worked here beause maybe it isn’t possible to test your way out of a virus that is highly contagious, most carriers are asymptomatic or only have a very mild illness so they don’t even notice it and is already endemic everywhere.

      lockdown is not a quarantine, essential workers still need to go out and work, people still need to go to the shops to buy supplies, delivery men are still going to deliver things to peoples doors this all inevitably spreads the virus. The place where you are most likely to catch covid according to government statistics is in a hospital and they are places, staffed by professionals who are trained for this stuff, practicing a form of lockdown much closer to quarantine than the lockdown we are all living under.

      It is certainly not a tried, tested and known way of dealing with a pandemic, nowhere has this been tried on this scale in modern times. The WHO never recommended the restriction of healthy people only the quarantining of sick individuals.

      Would you seriously have me believe that because 1 in 20,000 people who visit tesco, or whatever number it is, is not wearing a face mask or because someone took their dog out for one to many walks that is what has caused the failure of the lockdown and the increase we have seen or the past month?. The papers like to focus constantly on the tiny minority of people who are breaking the restrictions, but dare I say it there is actually an extraordinary level of compliance in this country for the restrictions. For months I have barely seen anyone in the shops not wearing a face mask and the people I have seen without them are usually young children. As an aside I would also like to point out that if the lockdown policy requires 100% compliance for it to work then it is a stupid policy, especially after 10 months have past and people are fatigued of it.

      At the start of this it was understood that lockdown could not eliminate the virus, at best it would only be able to slow down the spread, flatten the curve, but even that is questionable as we have seen a rapid rise in the virus over the past few months despite the restrictions being made tighter every week and multiple lockdowns/”circuit breakers”. You can continue raging at a tiny minority for the failure of lockdown X but we can’t continue doing this long term something has to change.

    173. Andy Ellis says:

      @Republicofscotland

      Although I have little (or no?) confidence in the SNP as a movement having the balls to adopt Plan B/plebiscitary elections or to eject the gradualists and woke Wahhabis, it is nice to speculate that somewhere there may actually be smoke filled (even if virtual) room of grey suited apparatchiks preparing to go in to Sturgeon’s office and leave a metaphorical revolver on her desk.

    174. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @crazycat –

      It’s powerful stuff.

      My own stand-out favourite is this:

      ‘The letter from Holyrood’s chief executive and clerk, David McGill, has given the Crown Office, headed by the lord advocate, James Wolffe, seven days to comply…’

      Big Eck as Robocop…

      😉

    175. Captain Yossarian says:

      Severin Carrell is a pal of Jackie Baillie. That’s The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and Sky News all in the game now.

      Fabiani is under reprimand from Levy and McRae not to waste any more of Alex’s time. Hence this.

      That’s where we’ve got to, all in one week.

    176. Bob Mack says:

      So. It looks like Wolffe as well as hiding evidence which would condemn the SNP higher echelons as well as ghe civil service, has decided his own job might be on the line.

      Clearly he would have been involved in internal legal advice given the magnitude of the case. He and perhaps another senior. He has screwed up yet again a la Rangers administrators. That may explain some evidence being “not in the public interest.

      Everything coming apart at the seams.

    177. bipod says:

      @AYRSHIRE ROB

      Bipod and his chums love all this death and misery

      On the contrary I don’t like it at all, I just don’t think this policy works and is actually causing even more death and misery.

      The Scottish government must love gullible idiots like you who blame the continued failure of their policy on the public. Are you one of nicolas new spin doctors?

    178. MaggieC says:

      Me @ 5.35 pm and 6.20 pm ,

      Re Harassment and Complaints Committee ,

      From the written evidence page now , the permanent secretary wrote to the Convener following the evidence session on 12th January ,

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/20200121PermSectoConvener(1).pdf

      The Committee seems to be publishing all the links at different times rather than all at once because this link was not on the Committee pages at 6.20 pm when I posted the last link .

    179. Derek says:

      @thomas says:
      22 January, 2021 at 6:39 pm
      @ chris

      What are you talking about scots invaders from ireland?

      There’s a wee bit in Sellar & Yeatman’s “1066 And All That” that deals with it rather well…

    180. Mist001 says:

      The SNP should be disbanded, broken up, destroyed completely and I’ll tell you why I’m saying this:

      Despite everything that’s written here publicly, there is absolutely no doubt that this site is read by probably everyone in the SNP so they all know about this stitch up, this corruption, everything and yet, not one single one of them will stick their head above the parapet and announce publicly that this is wrong. They’re all fucking spineless cowards to a man (and woman).

      So supposing Mrs. Murrell goes, she’s fired, resigns, whatever, then where is the next leader of the SNP going to come from?

      As we can all see, they’re spineless, cowardly careerists and yet, one of these will become leader of the SNP.

      And people are prepared to put up with one of these idiots leading the party?

      Scotland needs a new party and a new leader because the SNP are damaged goods populated by self important careerists who have no intention of doing anything to rock the boat.

      It HAS to be disbanded.

    181. Beaker says:

      @bipod says:
      22 January, 2021 at 8:15 pm
      “The Scottish government must love gullible idiots like you”

      May I respectably suggest that you make an arrangement to meet some of the frontline health and care home workers, express your view, and then – assuming you are still capable of speech and/or movement – report back here.

    182. Derek says:

      Radio 4’s 6pm news today; it’s the wee bit at the end of the report that’s the most interesting, I think. 18 minutes in, just after a story about U.S. politics.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000rccr

    183. MaggieC says:

      Me @ 8.23 pm ,

      The previous link is not working correctly , try this instead .

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/20200121PermSectoConvener(1).pdf

    184. Hugh Jarse says:

      And what of freedom?
      What are me and mine ‘allowed ‘ to do this week?

      Hey Elon, any chance of a lift mate?

    185. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Don’t give me that pish Bipod. You and some others didn’t want any sort of restrictions right from the start.

      Actually the governments here are too bloody soft IMHO. NZ and AUS locked down borders and stopped people coming in ,the results are obvious, they have less transmission across the country.

      We kept borders open willy nilly, had wee holiday’s tae Magaluff and Ibiza both the young and the old, then pranced back in here like they never had a care in the world.

      South Korea warned us ,and other South Asian countries. They had experience
      and have a handle on this.We have stupid bloody strategies made up by quangos in WM.

      I’m certainly no NS cheerleader ya plonk far from it. She should have telt BJ and that wee runt ‘Galloway’ and the like and the rest o them tae fuck off. They should have leased Ships/ferries from Norway and used Prestwick and Edinburgh airport hubs for smaller imports supplies(meds etc) bypassing the dafties south. Bloody simple really. ‘Independence’ gained but now lost.

      But that’s bye de bye noo,we are where we are because we thought we could defeat a hidden contagion by treating it like flu.

      History will damm us, not for ‘liberty’ but for fucking stupidity!

      Radical bold moves will gain independence, not fucking pussy footing around.

      Those that don’t want to be part of it, move south- we’ll put buses on for yi, off to pop.

      How’s that for being a NS apologist- I think not, dumbass.

    186. Hamerdoon says:

      It appears to me that the Crown can refuse to release relevant documents?

      Scotland Act 1998 (s.23)

      23 Power to call for witnesses and documents.

      (1)The Parliament may require any person—

      (a)to attend its proceedings for the purpose of giving evidence, or

      (b)to produce documents in his custody or under his control,

      concerning any subject for which any member of the [F1Scottish Government] has general responsibility.
      (2)Subject to subsection (3), the Parliament may impose such a requirement on a person outside Scotland only in connection with the discharge by him of—

      (a)functions of the Scottish Administration, or

      (b)functions of a Scottish public authority or cross-border public authority, or Border rivers functions (within the meaning of section 111(4)), which concern a subject for which any member of the [F1Scottish Government] has general responsibility.

      (3)In relation to the exercise of functions of a Minister of the Crown, the Parliament may not impose such a requirement on—

      (a)him (whether or not he continues to be a Minister of the Crown), or

      (b)a person who is or has been in Crown employment, within the meaning of section 191(3) of the M1Employment Rights Act 1996,

      unless the exercise concerns a subject for which any member of the [F1Scottish Government] has general responsibility.
      (4)But the Parliament may not impose such a requirement in pursuance of subsection (3) in connection with the exercise of functions which are exercisable—

      (a)by the Scottish Ministers as well as by a Minister of the Crown, or

      (b)by a Minister of the Crown only with the agreement of, or after consultation with, the Scottish Ministers.

      (5)Subsection (4)(b) does not prevent the Parliament imposing such a requirement in connection with the exercise of functions which do not relate to reserved matters.

      (6)Where all the functions of a body relate to reserved matters, the Parliament may not impose such a requirement on any person in connection with the discharge by him of those functions.

      (7)The Parliament may not impose such a requirement on—

      (a)a judge of any court, or

      (b)a member of any tribunal in connection with the discharge by him of his functions as such.

      (8)Such a requirement may be imposed by a committee or sub-committee of the Parliament only if the committee or sub-committee is expressly authorised to do so (whether by standing orders or otherwise).

      (9)A person is not obliged under this section to answer any question or produce any document which he would be entitled to refuse to answer or produce in proceedings in a court in Scotland.

      (10)A procurator fiscal is not obliged under this section to answer any question or produce any document concerning the operation of the system of criminal prosecution in any particular case if the Lord Advocate—

      (a)considers that answering the question or producing the document might prejudice criminal proceedings in that case or would otherwise be contrary to the public interest, and

      (b)has authorised the procurator fiscal to decline to answer the question or produce the document on that ground.

    187. johnj says:

      “Gordon Dangerfield’s appearance yesterday on the Tommy Sheridan podcast, even though he said this non-trivial thing on it:”

      “On the Tommy Sheridan podcast”. All we need to know really.

    188. Dan says:

      @ AYRSHIRE ROB at 8.46pm

      You can’t just blame people for doing what they were allowed to do.
      Aye, certain behaviours were breaking rules and of course that didn’t help, but what was the point in us all being lockdown in our houses when millions were still flying into the UK and permeating out into communities with no testing or quarantine.
      Wearing masks wasn’t even a requirement in the early stages.
      Rubbish furlough schemes meant many fell through the cracks and got no support so they had to go out and work just to make ends meet.
      The whole thing has been an utter clusterfuck.

    189. Bob Mack says:

      @Hamerdoon,

      See also section 24 !!

    190. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Have you peeps been watching this LiveStream tonight?

      I thought Angus McNeil was throwing down a gauntlet. To someone…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjBt_dmzYMQ

    191. Hamerdoon says:

      Bob Mack

      s.24 is written with respect to s.23 (the method by which s.23 is implemented in practice). It is s.23 that provides the rules o the game?

    192. twathater says:

      Put this on previous post but is apt here

      twathater says:
      22 January, 2021 at 6:30 pm

      Many on here are still advocating we swallow our anger and integrity and vote for Sturgeon and the SNP BECAUSE they are the ONLY party set up to get us to independence, unfortunately even if that were true there are quite a few flaws in that argument

      1 We have had at least 4 years to capitalise on the breshit situation and Sturgeon has NOT moved an inch in fact she has IGNORED any and all pleas by her membership even senior members of the party

      2 Scotland was PROMISED a referendum in 2019 if we were DRAGGED out of the EU etc, guess what NOTHING

      3 Sturgeon WASTED 3 years in trying to FORCE england and Wales to change their minds , whilst TELLING May that Scotland would be happy to trade with the EU , something that she DIDN’T have a mandate to agree to and was still ignored , while STILL Scotland waited for the promised referendum

      4 The SNP NEC of which Sturgeon is leader did not discuss independence at all in at least 2 years, no planning for institutions needed , no planning for infrastructure needed ,no education to enlighten or convince no voters and don’t know voters of the benefits of independence , but still they had PLENTY of time to install their WOKE comrades in the NEC to ensure the safe passage of the GRA amendments and the HCB in case anyone dared to oppose the GRA

      5 For months I pleaded with SNP members on numerous blogs to take back control of their party and force Sturgeon to ditch the GRA and HCB to allow people to vote SNP with a clear conscience , the NEC was partially reformed but Sturgeon carried on relentless

      6 There is SO much more to say ,but I will finish by saying when Sturgeon is voted into power again with her woke agenda and her woke diciples who we will be electing for another 4 or 5 years HOW are we going to get her to do the things WE WANT when she HAS REFUSED to do ANYTHING we want since 2014, and TBQH I don’t feel like BETRAYING my wife , my daughter and ALL Scottish real females that I have respect for

    193. Alf Baird says:

      So Tom Arthur MSP thinks “Scotland is not a colony”, does he?

      What does he think independence is if it is not decolonization?

      What does he think the self-determination of a people is if it is not decolonization?

      Does he know nothing about the UN Special Committee on Decolonization – C24 and its purpose?

      Who are these intellectual voids we elected to deliver our national liberation and who sit in our parliament twiddling their thumbs and scheming against us?

      Fanon warned us about “the rise of a new ruling class who are content with mimicking the colonial masters”. Here we see them in aw thay’re mankit naitur.

    194. Black Joan says:

      All this stuff we keep being told is “not in the public interest” is being kept under lock and key because it’s not in the private interest of certain individuals to let the public (or even a semi-judicial Committee of Inquiry formed of elected representatives) anywhere near it.

      Who gets to define “public interest” anyway? In the People’s AS30 case both Advocate General and Lord Advocate reportedly tried to argue that it will cause chaos if the mere public try to get answers about the law. Not in the public interest of the 10,000+ who are seeking answers to have those answers supplied.

      When people in public life, whom we are required to pay, lie and cover things up, we’re told it’s not in our interest to know about it. Just shut up, eat your cereal and keep paying your taxes, plebs, because these handsomely rewarded superior beings know best. Like the colonial Indian Civil Service, they seem to regard themselves as “heaven born” and beyond reach.

    195. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      That’s my point Dan They shouldn’t have been flying in and out of the UK.

      My time in military did teach me the 3 basics of contact(situation) with an enemy, the virus being the enemy.
      The three big C’s ;Confirm,Contain,Control

      Most of Europe and America’s did first bit aye ,confirmed – we had a highly contagious virus that was killing people spreading around the globe.

      The contain and control we put our arse to the wind and hoped for the best. Add in a civilian population demanding their liberty, and well.
      Hasn’t worked and never will.

    196. Alan Of Neilston says:

      Oh or Gods sake how much more of this!!

    197. cynicalHighlander says:

      @ MaggieC says:
      22 January, 2021 at 8:44 pm

      Me @ 8.23 pm ,

      The previous link is not working correctly , try this instead .

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/20200121PermSectoConvener(1).pdf

      It’s the (.pdf) in black just copy link and add .pdf to the url works fine.

    198. Bob Mack says:

      Is the real situation therefore that the Committee is issuing the directive of the Scotland Act to be seen to be actually doing something, knowing all the while that the Lord Advocate can refuse on “public good” grounds.

      Oh dear.

    199. solarflare says:

      The National headline for tomorrow – “major indyref2 exclusive, the SNP’s route to indyref2 revealed”.

      Genuine, or dead cat distraction?
      Always the plan, or a realisation that stalling is no longer tenable?
      Welcome, or deeply questionable timing?

      etc.
      etc.

      ??

    200. A. Bruce says:

      @ Alf Baird 09:10pm

      Quite right Alf. Frantz Fanon should be essential reading for all Scots.

    201. Hamerdoon says:

      Bob Mack

      If this definition of the Lord Advocate is correct –

      “Her Majesty’s Advocate, known as the Lord Advocate (Scottish Gaelic: Morair Tagraidh, Scots: Laird Advocat), is the chief legal officer of the Scottish Government and the Crown in Scotland for both civil and criminal matters that fall within the devolved powers of the Scottish Parliament.”

      Then it appears to me that s.23 may not be enforceable on the Crown for a what appear to be a number of reasons the Lord Advocate can attempt to proffer. However, I’m no legal eagle and someone more versed would need to clarify my possibly incorrect interpretation.

    202. robertknight says:

      Splashed the post-trial ‘Alphabet (Smear Flavour) Soup’.

      Haven’t bought a copy since.

      Tomorrow’s front page….

      Don’t look over there – look over here!

      Ooooooohhhhhh…………..

      Shy-neeeeeee baubles!!!!

      Fanzine for the Dear Leader’s faithful followers. Rag…

    203. Alf Baird says:

      Black Joan @ 9.13

      “Like the colonial Indian Civil Service, they seem to regard themselves as “heaven born” and beyond reach.”

      Anglo Indians; Anglo Scots? We ken the score.

      What Rev Stu has uncovered is little more than a colonial justice system. Just like our colonial msm, colonial education, colonial economy, colonial politics, and a colonial society with its ‘Cultural Division of Labour’ (Hechter 1998).

      Fanon further notes that “the native is an alien in his own country under colonialism”.

    204. Kenny J says:

      Has this from Severin Carrel been posted upstream. @ 5.30 PM
      Parli demandind sight of papers, who leaked to the Record.

      https://twitter.com/severincarrell/status/1352680945825026051
      Another brick, if they don’t ignore it, comes rumlin doon.

    205. Mac says:

      The thing that is so amazing is that the podcast with Gordon Dangerfield is only 24 minutes long.

      And a good bit of that is ‘Tommy talking’.

      I want to hear what Gordon Dangerfield has to say in detail.

      Proper in depth interview or better.

    206. Hamerdoon says:

      Bob mack

      Sub-sections 9 and 10 cover the court cases, where the PF refuses to release documents (my understanding is that the Court itself had to give consent – has this already been done?).

      I must admit, I’m confused as to how to interpret sub-sections 3 and 4; sub-section 4 appears to be a redundant necessity given ss.3? There must be a set of circumstances to which ss.4 pertains. ss.4 appears to me to be an extra lock on serving notice on the Crown?

      (3)In relation to the exercise of functions of a Minister of the Crown, the Parliament may not impose such a requirement on—

      (a)him (whether or not he continues to be a Minister of the Crown), or

      (b)a person who is or has been in Crown employment, within the meaning of section 191(3) of the M1Employment Rights Act 1996, unless the exercise concerns a subject for which any member of the [F1Scottish Government] has general responsibility.

      (4)But the Parliament may not impose such a requirement in pursuance of subsection (3) in connection with the exercise of functions which are exercisable—

      (a)by the Scottish Ministers as well as by a Minister of the Crown, or

      (b)by a Minister of the Crown only with the agreement of, or after consultation with, the Scottish Ministers.

    207. Hamerdoon says:

      Bob Mack

      Ah – think I see it

      ss.3 – “………unless the exercise concerns a subject for which any member of the [F1Scottish Government] has general responsibility.”

      but then ss.4 rules that possibility out via 4(a) & (b), with s.5 having a part in that too (in relation to 4(b)).

      Too complicated by half. Overall, it appears to give the Crown an out. I could be wildly wrong!!

    208. Polly says:

      @ Alf

      Hi Alf, I just wanted to say I can see now why you believe Fanon is so important to us at present and that he will be going forward in our dealings with Westminster – perhaps I should just say England? I bought The Wretched of the Earth and a collection of his mostly unpublished works, Alienation and Freedom, and even dipping into the latter there’s many passages and insights jump out.

      I’ve also got on order, due to be delivered end Feb, the recently published World Literature for the Wretched of the Earth: Anticolonial Aesthetics, Postcolonial Politics by J Daniel Elam which looks very interesting. He discusses the increasingly violent repressive techniques used by colonials as it came together with the rise in fascism and that seems particularly apposite to us at present and his quote ‘anticolonialism is about “disavowing authority” ‘. See what you’ve started?!

      Thanks for bringing him to my attention. And the ‘colonial’ stuff is very obviously very relevant since even mentioning it creates the Tom Arthur vapours. I’m glad more people are using the word, especially since it seems more and more apt. Thanks once again.

    209. cirsium says:

      @Career Politician, 1.00

      Why would the Crown Office seemingly trashing it’s own reputation to draw the heat from the (SNP) FM’s handling of this?

      The Lord Advocate apologised in court last year for malicious prosecution so I think its reputation has already been trashed.

    210. Mac says:

      If someone could make a video of Gordon Dangerfield talking us through his views on all of this from the very start to present day, letting him take as much or as little time as he choses, and having it available on line (youtube or whatever) I think it would function as a ‘little blue book’ to getting the truth out there.

      Hearing someone with advocate level skills sum it up is very powerful.

      I could have listened to that podcast for several hours if they had gone deeper.

    211. Lochside says:

      Tom Arthur is only half right..Holyrood is powerless because it is DEVOLVED. That means folks, the power it pretends to have is limited by the Supreme body i.e. WESTMINSTER.

      The mistake that this cringing colonised moron makes is that he sucks up or pretends to, the current SNP moonshine that it all ends there when WESTMINSTER shuts down S30 pleas or court actions that will inevitable be struck down by the other Imperial fabrication: the ‘Supreme Court.

      Well this false consciousness is de facto colonial cowardice. De Facto Scotland has the power,the supreme sovereign power to dissolve the de jure reality of this colonial farce by dissolving the Act of Union , and that power lies IN WESTMINSTER ,via the MPS who represent our Sovereignty and coming home to assert the State of an independent Scotland.
      An act of Sovereign determination that the SNP and the rest of the world accepted up until 2000 was the accepted way to break England’s illegal and abusive stranglehold over us. The failed Devolved diversionary project is the cul de sac to oblivion unless we act.

    212. “Even as we must treat accusers with seriousness and dignity, we must hear out the accused fairly and respectfully, and recognize the potential lifetime consequences that such an allegation can bring. If believing the woman is the beginning and the end of a search for the truth, then we have left the realm of justice for religion.”

      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/brett-kavanaugh-and-problem-believesurvivors/572083/

      Apparently the alphabet women (can you spell ‘c-r-i-m-i-n-a-l’?) and their cabal mistress only got half a memo.

    213. PeterV says:

      AYRSHIRE NOB 9.19pm

      YAWNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!

      THE PUB BORE…

    214. Lochside says:

      By the way ‘false consciousness’ is the hallmark of a colonised mindset. The SNP have singularly failed to raise awareness or consciousness of our history; our constitutional rights i.e. our status via the Act of Union of Sovereign equality with England. Instead they have persisted with the ‘Devolved’ bullshit lie and the faux ‘Parliament’ something we should never have accepted…a symbol of inferiority and subserviance. A colonial symbol of a deluded and self deceiving would be nation.

      Every time I watched Sturgeon smugly clacking her way down the corridors of no power in Hollyrood, pretending to represent something other than an imitation of a leader of a glorified toon cooncil accounting unit it made me nauseous. Reminding me of all those mandates to posture and preen and stich up every Scottish patriot that dared to stick their head up above the parapet. nothing but empty assurances and abject surrender.

      Listening to Dangerfield and Sheridan and the forensic deconstruction of the great lie, the great conspiracy based on malice, entitlement and treachery makes me so sad and angry that the SNP collectively are responsible for suffocating the nascent Scottish movement on the cusp of its greatest opportunity to grasp the thistle and eject England from our lives. May history condemn them as the despicable cowards and knaves that they are.

    215. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      I see from the link you provided @ Kenny J says at 10:03 pm that George Galloway is using the comments of idiots BTL here to have a pop at Independence Supporters as anti English blood and soil types!

      https://mobile.twitter.com/georgegalloway/status/1352708705238847489

    216. Christopher Quinn says:

      “imagined past”

      Are you fuckin kidding me!?

    217. Alf Baird says:

      Polly @ 10.20

      Thanks for the added reference, much appreciated.

      As you may have noted before, Memmi’s postcolonial perspective is illuminating, as is Cesaire on colonialism, also within the Scottish context.

      As Fanon might say, Scotland is a nation in which the Anglophone (oppressor) mask is our colonial mask.

    218. Polly says:

      @ Alf

      ‘Memmi’s postcolonial perspective is illuminating, as is Cesaire on colonialism, also within the Scottish context.’

      I’ll look Into them next Alf. Though the word colonialism towards us didn’t make me cringe like Arthur, until you pointed me to researching about Fanon I wasn’t sure how much relevance that had in our present context – now I see it everywhere. Thanks again and good night.

    219. cirsium says:

      @Ian Brotherhood, 7.33

      Thanks for posting that excerpt. The committee is at last acting as public servants rather than career politicians. I noticed the reference to the committee saying Mr Salmond was stalling but no mention of the fact that Mr Salmond had been threatened with prosecution if he attended and referred to relevant evidence from the court case.

    220. alzyerpal says:

      I had already decided that, barring a miracle, I would not be giving the SNP my constituency vote. Now, since Tom Arthur is my MSP, I am doubling down on my decision. Honestly; why is the Party so infested with these clowns?

    221. L says:

      Is there any truth to the Robin McAlpine story about Salmond?

    222. L says:

      Is that the Geoff Aberdein evidence 100% dead now in relation to the committee? Surely someone can see through this cover up and challenge the blocking of his key evidence contribution? There is a lot of political capital up for grabs for unionist politicians to bring down Sturgeon and her inner circle.

    223. Alf Baird says:

      Lochside

      “By the way ‘false consciousness’ is the hallmark of a colonised mindset.”

      Thankfully more Scots are beginning to see our colonial reality, which is well demonstrated by ongoing events, particularly our enforced EU removal. But as you say the colonial mindset remains firm in many. As Fanon noted: “we colonized have a depersonalised self, a colonial self”.

      Devolution, as many Scots now know, is merely Scotland’s political elites making their own “accommodation with colonialism”. As is the SNP constantly delaying a referendum or taking any other action on independence.

      Scots need to be conscious of what independence means, and avoid it being merely another ‘accommodation with colonialism’ and which does little to lift the Scottish people from our ‘wretchedness’.

      You are right to stress the importance of (national) consciousness, which our friend Frantz Fanon told us was not nationalism, and that “a country under colonial domination requires liberating the mind”.

      Adam Price, the leader of Plaid has no hesitation in describing Wales as England’s colony, nor Sinn Fein in respect of N. Ireland. The SNP if they want to remain relevant must do likewise, understand why independence is essential, and cease pandering to the oppressor.

      Ultimately Scots need to better understand what independence is, and what it is not.

    224. Mac says:

      Good to know that Twat-in-the-Hat George Galloway reads the BTL comments here.

      Hiyaaaa George.

      Vanity is a terrible affliction, especially at your age.

    225. Andy Ellis says:

      @Alf Baird

      Adam Price also believes trans women are women, so…you know…there is that.

      This “Scotland as colony” narrative is not only misguided and disrespectful to the lived experience of “real” colonies, it’s a pointless distraction. The fact that there are elements of exploitation and post imperial domination in the relationship between Scotland and England/UK can’t disguise the fact that many Scots were willing participants in the imperial project, or that we all profited from it.

      The fact that there was an underclass in Scotland doesn’t allow us some kind of “get out of jail free” card.

      Mis-characterising Scotland as subject to colonial oppression in the same way as African and Asian colonies, or even Ireland come to that, just makes those doing it look like unreasoning zoomers.

      It’s also of a piece that many of those subject to promoting this unreasoned narrative are also enamoured with the “native Scots voted Yes, it was the furriners that stole indy from us in 2014” bollocks.

      Blood and soil nationalism and victim claiming. What a great foundation for the early days of a better nation. 🙁

    226. Lorna Campbell says:

      Listening to that made me tearful. How could the SNPG have stooped so low?

    227. Alf Baird says:

      Andy Ellis @ 11.19

      You do know that “a people can be totally brainwashed by colonialism”?

      Postcolonial literature readily explains why many of the colonized are “willing participants” and why they seek to be “an imitation of the colonizer”.

      But remember that colonialism involves two struggles, according to Cesaire: to overcome racism AND class inequality. Racism, as you may know, can also be ‘internalised’, as in ‘Appropriated Racial Oppression’. I assume you know what that is?

      Which brings us nicely to Hechter’s ‘Cultural Division of Labour’, the latter reflecting the dominant colonial social hierarchy in Scotland, as in other parts of the UK ‘Celtic Periphery’.

      See for example: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elitist-scotland

      An A thocht ye haed a PhD tae? Ye dinna ken ower much aboot colonialism tho, daes ye?

    228. Andy Ellis says:

      @Alf Baird 12.03pm

      Really? You want to go down the “top trumps” route of comparing academic qualifications Alf? Fill yer boots. Of course, while academic qualifications are nice to have, they’re not the be all and end all. It’s true that some of the stupidest people I know have doctorates: I wouldn’t trust them to run a whelk stall, however brilliant they are in their chosen field.

      My PhD isn’t in colonialism, no. It’s in International Relations. I don’t need to read extensively on colonialism as a subject to think you’re talking bollocks though: such is life. You asserting that Scotland is the subject of colonial oppression, and it being a valid position, are two very different things.

      You’re obviously not open to reason on the matter, and your intellectual insecurity obviously prompts you to take indefensible positions and assert them as *facts* and be snarky on line to people who point out your position is not just a considerable stretch academically, but actually morally repugnant.

    229. Alf Baird says:

      Andy, if you have a valid case for why Scotland is not treated as a colony, then fire away. And if you have any scientific evidence, even better. As you have a research degree you should have little difficulty finding something with which to make your case (e.g. for the existence of an equal ‘union’?), assuming you have one.

      I have written a book (‘Doun-Hauden’) on the subject of how and why Scotland is today an oppressed colony, and which contains a great deal of scientific evidence in theoretical framework form to demonstrate and back up that reality. Mine is not therefore an ‘indefensible position’ as you maintain; it is your position which remains to be justified, if you can.

    230. Andy Ellis says:

      @Alf Baird

      I’m no more obliged to accept your opinion that Scotland is treated as a colony than I am to dance to your tune and read up on a thesis I find without merit. You’re coming across a bit like Spameron Brodie to be honest, insisting that his hot takes have intrinsic value that mere mortals not as enlightened as you are just too thick to take on board. To be honest, I’m just not that interested in your thesis, nor do I feel the need to do detailed research on the matter. Like many other issues I’m only tangentially interested in, I’ll listen to what folk say and write to the extent I have time and make my mind up based on the evidence, and what I find the most compelling explanation.

      Of course we don’t live in an equal union. We never did and never will. That doesn’t make us a colony, however earnestly you believe it. Saying Scotland is oppressed is one thing. Making the cognitive leap to describing it as a colony is another. Perhaps the fact the work isn’t a best seller and has only two reviews on Amazon gives us some pointers about how seriously the central thesis is taken in general?

      I haven’t read your book. Perhaps I will sometime: to be quite honest I’d be loathe to give you the royalties. However, the fact you’ve written a book doesn’t render your thesis correct.

    231. Alf Baird says:

      Andy Ellis

      I would agree that colonialism is ‘morally repugnant’ by the way. The UN refers to colonialism as ‘a scourge’ which must be ended, and rightly so.

      FYI, here is a relatively straightforward definition of colonialism, which is:

      “the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.”

      Why don’t you have a wee bash at explaining how this definition does not fit Scotland, as you appear to maintain?

      You may wish to see my application of the same definition to Scotland’s current predicament: https://newsnet.scot/commentary/brexit-vote-underline-scotland-not-country-colony/

    232. Andy Ellis says:

      @Alf Baird

      OK: let’s deconstruct your three main theses supporting “Scotland as colony”:

      1) Colonial power exercises full or partial political control.
      No, it really doesn’t. Unless you’re a woo-woo tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist (yeah, I know there’s a lot of it about, but….). However jaundiced a view we have of Westminster, it has repeatedly said there is no selfish interest in maintaining the union against the wishes of the majority of Scots. That doesn’t mean they’re going to make it easy, or that there are no conditions. We know what we have to do: the fact remains we bottled it in 2014, and even now we’re only just edging into a majority despite the cluster bourach of brexit, Covid and the election Britain Trump. The failure to achieve independence isn’t because we’re oppressed, it’s because we’ve lacked the political balls and failed to make the case the opportunities outweigh the risks.

      2) Occupation by “Settlers”
      Blood and soil nationalism. Bonkers. Depressing. Regressive. The very antithesis of civic nationalism. If we are at the point we have to start excluding “non native” Scots, we might as well pack up now and give up on indy. Whole swathes of the movement will abandon indy if it ever tried to do this, myself included. In fact, I’d actively campaign against indy premised on any such mandate. How exactly are you planning to draft this nativist policy? Birth place? Length of residence? Do you include the 800,000 Scots in England? This kind of divisive sub “Seed of the Gael” ethno-nationalist bullshit would be suicidal electorally. If we can’t persuade enough new Scots of the positive case for indy, we don’t deserve to be independent.

      3) Economic Exploitation
      The willing participation of Scots in the imperial project doesn’t make us a colony. Comparing all Scots – whether now, or 100 years ago – to colonised peoples in actual colonies is facile.

      You asserted in your Newsnet piece:

      “Based on this analysis the answer to the initial question posed undoubtedly appears to be yes; that is, Scotland demonstrates the essential features of a colony. Scotland is clearly subject to full or partial political control by another country; Scotland has been and continues to be occupied by significant numbers of ‘settlers’, and; Scotland is exploited economically by the administering Power.”

      This is simply truthiness and assertion dressed up as *fact*. There is nothing undoubted about your thesis: it is in fact pretty threadbare. Scotland demonstrates some elements of an oppressed polity, and has real issues with equality, poverty, health, drugs etc. To caricature that as exhibiting the “essential features of a colony” isn’t just a stretch, it’s extending an already rather arguable comparison beyond breaking point.

      There’s a reason your argument hasn’t found favour generally Alf, and the blood and soil nationalism aspect – while it is the most egregious and distasteful – is only the most glaring part of why it has failed to reach escape velocity.

    233. Alf Baird says:

      Andy Ellis

      You appear to be heavily influenced by your own biases and beliefs determining your own perceptions on this matter, hence with little reflection on the evidence and the realities. I think the word I would be looking for here may be ‘denial’.

      This matter is really very straightforward in regard to the three elements of the definition insofar as Scotland is concerned:

      1. Political control – lies with Westminster and nearly 600MPs from other nations

      2. Occupation by settlers – well yes, check the census data if you do not believe it

      3. Economic exploitation – all main economic resources and sectors are massively exploited, examples given

      You appear to have a limited cultural understanding of Scotland or the Scottish people. Which raises the question of why you desire or believe Scotland should become an independent state if as you maintain the Scots are not an oppressed people/nation? Peoples never seek independence lightly, there has to be very good reason and it is more often than not due to unacceptable treatment and oppressions by another state/nation, much as we can see in recent and ongoing events.

    234. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Och Andy Ellis and Alf Baird.

      You’re both, apparently, on the same side – that of Scottish independence.

      What you seem to be doing is scoring points from each other, in some hypothetical debating competition.

      Doesn’t appeal to the average WOS reader…

      Jiss typin’, like…

    235. Alf Baird says:

      Brian Doonthetoon

      The question is, Brian, is Scotland a colony or not? This is not a hypothetical question. It is real, and I would argue it is the basis for any people/nation seeking independence.

      Tom Arthur and the SNP elite think not. And Andy Ellis agrees with Tom Arthur and the SNP elite. Lets also remember that the SNP elite are marshmallow soft on independence, and are also up to all sorts of dodgy things just now, as Rev Stu has repeatedly highlighted.

      So, what does the ‘average WOS reader’ think, Brian? Do they go with Tom Arthur, the SNP elite, and Andy Ellis? Or do they go with an academic who has studied colonialism in depth for a good number of years and has written a book on the subject in relation to Scotland? Tak yer time, nae hurry.

    236. Saffron Robe says:

      Alf,

      I have been thinking about something and I wondered if you have considered it in relation to colonial oppression. It occurred to me that in Scotland we have the additional difficulty of being unable to immediately identify the colonial oppressor. What I mean by that is the following – although let me say firstly that I accept there is no such thing as racial purity (I myself am of mixed race) and I am only using a hypothetical proposition as an example: Let us take someone who is 100% Scottish/Celtic and someone who is 100% English/Anglo-Saxon – there is no way of telling them apart. Of course the Scot has a preponderance towards red hair and freckles and the English person may have a preponderance towards blonde hair and blue eyes, but ostensibly they are indistinguishable as they are both “white”. And neither is accent/language any help. Someone may be born in London to Scottish parents and consider themselves every bit as Scottish as a Scot born and brought up in Glasgow, but they would speak with an English accent. However, in most colonised nations such as India and the African nations for instance the colonial oppressor was immediately recognisable as the “white man”. Of course there are those who assume the role of the oppressor – “Appropriated Racial Oppression” as you say – but even then they are recognisable as being different. In Indian parlance such people are called “coconuts” – brown on the outside and white on the inside. An example would be Priti Patel who is obviously of Indian heritage (brown on the outside) but has assumed the role of the oppressor (white on the inside). In Scotland though we can’t visually recognise the oppressor – we can’t immediately identify friend from foe – and we can only take people at their word. But when we find that someone’s word is worthless and they have assumed the role of the oppressor then we have a problem and I think this is reflected in Nicola Sturgeon. As a Scot and the leader of the SNP we assume that she has Scotland’s best interests at heart and believes whole-heartedly in independence. But for the reasons outlined above, we only have her word that this is so. And when we find out that her word is worthless what recourse do we have? This is the position we now find ourselves in. We have voted for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP in good faith only to find that our friend is actually our foe and we have all been duped.

      This is maybe something that even Frantz Fanon would not have been aware of as I suppose what we are talking about here is white masks on white skin and as such they are invisible!

      PS. I do agree with Brian Doonthetoon though. We shouldn’t fight amongst ourselves. We are all on the same side.

    237. Andy Ellis says:

      @Saffron Robe & BrianDoonthetoon

      Being “on the same side” doesn’t require us to be a hive mind and share the same views on every topic. I share the same ultimate goal of independence with many people whose “other” views and outlooks I find abhorrent, like the woke Wahhabis. Politically, I wouldn’t cross the road to piss on folk like them if they were on fire.

      Alf’s “appeal to authority” just doesn’t cut it, sorry. Nobody is ever going to convince me that calling new Scots “occupation by settlers” is a good – or even sane – idea. To that extent, I’m NOT on the same side as Alf Baird: indeed I think that anyone who shares his blood and soil outlook is a stain on the movement.

      Appealing for us all to have a group hug and stop arguing is just such a lame response, sorry. It’s exactly the kind of attitude that has brought us where we are now with the SNP: infiltrated by regressive a-scientific gender extremists and led by a bunch of regressive neo-liberal gradualists who are more focused on retaining power as big fish in a devolutionary pond than actually securing independence.

      If you’re really content to have independence in 2055, carry on.

    238. Alf Baird says:

      Andy Ellis

      You may wish to ponder that it is always unionists who talk about “blood and soil”. You appear to do it a lot.

      Let me know when/if you ever manage to develop a case to justify your argument (and that of the SNP elite) that Scotland is not a colony.

      Saffron Robe

      Fanon rather well explains the SNP elites’ approach when he states that a dominant National Party makes its own “accommodation with colonialism”.

      Cesaire refers to ‘white masks’ and the barbarism of colonialism (including not least, on a very large scale in Europe during WWII) and which is not averse to stuffing a few shillings into the pockets of some natives and giving them the means to oppress their own people. We might look here at Scotland’s meritocratic elite who have aye run the nation’s social institutions.

    239. Andy Ellis says:

      @Alf Baird

      I label your plan blood and soil nationalism, because that it what it is. As long as you keep punting such a squalid policy, I’ll keep calling you out for it. The label is less important than the intent: call it what you like – nativism, ethno-nationalism, Scottish particularism.

      The plain fact is, limiting participation to those you define as “native Scots” is the very antithesis of the civic nationalism the vast majority of the movement recognise. If you’re planning to limit participation to those born here, or who would qualify as citizens, logic dictates you’d have to enfranchise the diaspora outside Scotland who were born here, or whose parents or grandparents were born here. Good luck organising that Alf!

      I’m anything but part of the SNP elite, but on this issue you’re the outlier and the one punting a policy with negligible support. Tom Arthur is an obvious no-mark SNP trougher who appears to have risen without trace: no huge surprise there. It doesn’t make him wrong on this particular issue though. Making this laboured false equivalence between Scotland and “real” colonies who were subject to colonial rule and oppression does just make you, and those misguided enough to agree with you, look like fringe nutters.

      If we can’t win independence on the merits of the case, including all Scots old and new, then we don’t deserve independence in the first place.

    240. Ron Maclean says:

      @Andy Ellis 11:58am

      I won’t apologise for being a ‘fringe nutter’.

      ‘false equivalence between Scotland and “real” colonies who were subject to colonial rule and oppression’

      ‘No great mischief if they fall’.

    241. Saffron Robe says:

      Alf,

      I take your point regarding European (internal) colonialism especially during WWII, however I was perhaps just trying to make a simple point in a long-winded way. Surely it is easier for a black person to recognise the oppressor in a white person than it is for a white person to recognise the oppressor in another white person? That is what I was trying to say although I am not sure whether there is any significance to it. That is what I was asking.

      Andy,

      I agree with a lot of what you say too, such as your reference to “regressive neo-liberal gradualists”, and I respect your opinion. I just try to learn something from everyone whether I think their comments are good or bad.

    242. Alf Baird says:

      Andy Ellis

      Simply repeating ‘blood and soil’ whenever the word ‘colonialism’ is mentioned is not very constructive.

      I can only assume that you do not have a case to justify your contention that Scotland is not a colony. If you did have a case, you would have made it by now.

      Saffron Robe

      Cesaire was not referring to ‘internal’ colonisation in Europe with regard to WWII, but rather to European colonisation through the occupation and takeover/exploitation of numerous countries and peoples by Soviet Russia and Germany, including the many ‘barbaric’ atrocities committed. Whilst the German Empire collapsed in 1945, effective Soviet colonial control of numerous peoples/nations across Eastern Europe and further afield continued for many years afterwards, thus limiting their economic and cultural development. This permitted Cesaire to make the case that white European colonizers could be just as barbaric to other white Europeans they colonized as they were to peoples of other racial groups in other parts of the world.

      However, aside from the more barbaric aspects of colonialism, Albert Memmi stated that: “Colonization is, above all, economic and political exploitation”, much as we see in Scotland.

      It was Prof Michael Hechter who developed further the term ‘Internal Colonialism’ in his thesis on the social and industrial history of the UK and specifically its ‘Celtic Periphery’ – Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

    243. Andy Ellis says:

      @Alf Baird

      I made my case above. You haven’t proven your case, and I’d say a minority of the population give it any credence. The fact that some segments of the zoomer fringe agree with you doesn’t “prove” anything. The “blood and soil” epithet relates to your insistence that “settlers” should somehow be excluded from the Scottish demos.

      That’s not civic nationalism under any understanding of the term. I see you shy away from explaining how it would work, doubtless because you are at least minimally self aware enough to realise plans to exclude new Scots from any role in deciding the future of the country they call home would go down like a pint of sick with most of the movement.

      The onus is on you to prove your contention. So far you’re coming up empty.

      Doubtless if lots of folk and the movement as a whole thought your ideas had any merit the book would be a best seller and would be getting glowing reviews from major figures and the movers and shakers in the movement. How’s that going?

    244. Dan says:

      Are countries such as France and Germany routinely castigated for being blood and soil nationalists for only letting their citizens vote in national elections.
      Scotland’s situation is pretty unique in the scheme of things so discussion on voting rights is valid.
      As far as I can see the compromise between views is to have some sort of length of residency constraint on who can vote, which would eliminate short term transient visitors such as temporary contract workers, and students who are only here for the duration of their course, rather than to put down permanent roots.
      Not perfect of course, but another concept might be that “New Scots” apply for some kind of Scottish Citizenship which shows their commitment to Scotland where they have made the decision to move and live here.
      EU citizens need to apply for the pre and full settlement schemes. On that subject I wonder if voting rights will only be granted to EU folks that have applied for those schemes. I seem to recall take up was pretty slow last year.

    245. Confused says:

      Dan

      the civic v ethno nationalism thing is a false dichotomy; it’s quite easy to create, say a points based system, that reflects any reasonable definition of a “scot” (- and have some appeals process for the tricky edge cases.)

      As you say – other countries do exactly this, but for us its not allowed. Both civic and ethno nationalism, when taken to extremes, become ridiculous – “come one, come all” or “a dna test to check your matchup to some ancestral scot”??

      – I resisted making comment as the Andy-Alf show was quite entertaining. But Ellis civic nationalism seems to be of an extreme variety – where would you draw the line? Who would not qualify to just turn up and be a “new scot”?

    246. Andy Ellis says:

      @Dan

      Neither of those countries is trying to become independent last time I looked.

      Define citizen for us Dan? Is it anyone born in Scotland? Do we exclude those born in Scotland but currently outside Scotland, and if so…how do we organise that? How about those with Scottish parents or grandparents? they’d qualify under most countries citizenship laws, and under the 2014 White Paper proposals, but again…how do you organise that?

      It seems contrary to natural justice to allow folk to vote on independence after living here a few years, but exclude others in the diaspora. Then again should my Scottish born daughter get a vote when she’s never lived here, and may well never chose to do so?

      What about “new Scots” who weren’t born here are done’t have parents or grandparents who were? Is there a residency requirement? How do they prove that? Do they qualify automatically if they are married to a Scot, or have children who were born here? If not, why not? Does my English born wife qualify? How about my English brother-in-law who has lived in Aberdeen for 30 years and has 2 kids….do we send him back to Yorkshire?

      How long will all these schemes take?
      How much will they cost?
      Who will administer them?

      Or we could just do what we did last time, which seemed to work pretty well. If you’re living and working here you get to decide on the future of the country. Simples.

    247. Polly says:

      @ Andy

      You keep going on about ‘new scots’ as though ordinary individual folk moving up here are the problem. They might indeed be a problem with any future vote for independence, since they did vote as a group more for the union last time, but we don’t know that since opinions have changed for many. Also many who might come here since brexit might hopefully be fully invested in getting away from little England and unlikely to vote for a continuation with them. And anyway very few, despite the brexit limited franchise for their vote, would say we should limit it similarly ourselves to exclude them all. So if you want to convince anyone of your point you’re arguing the wrong tack. I agree with Dan though that most countries do have exclusions or have certain requirement before being allowed the privilege of voting – for it is a privilege and was on occasion abused last time.

      From all I can see the ‘colonial settlers’ thing happened long before the present few years that you try to make it mean. The settlers, whether from England originally, or Scots bred in the Anglo elite establishment, English public schools, military upper echelons, or ranks of aristocracy are all the very definition of colonialists or natives who worked for, and feel tied to, the colonial mother country. They are more English than a lot of the English. It was they who by their influence kept us uninformed of our own history for decades, who helped erode Gàidhlig or insisted Scots spoke ‘slang’ and everything else that has kept Scots down and made many ashamed to be Scottish. Thankfully, that is changing even from when I was younger. Even when Scottish for generations, they are removed from the body of the Scottish people by class, yes, but also by supporting that overlordship of tradition which comes from the elite of England and Westminster . All this was bred into Scotland long before any English folk you know, or your family or friends moved here. It’s not of them I would speak. It seems to me your instinctive fear to be likened to ‘blood and soil’ makes you overreact to Alf’s argument.

      And as usual I see you pepper any response with insults and arrogance. It makes me much less likely than Saffron to admire what you say.

    248. Dan says:

      Andy Ellis says: at 5:18 pm

      Neither of those countries is trying to become independent last time I looked.

      That’s why I qualified after mentioning French and German voter eligibility that… “Scotland’s position is pretty unique in the scheme of things”…

      Skipping the middle part of your post as no interest in getting sucked into a vortex of intellectual whataboutery over it as you seem to have predetermined where I was coming from.

      Or we could just do what we did last time, which seemed to work pretty well. If you’re living and working here you get to decide on the future of the country. Simples.

      Aye, pretty much this as it follows the no taxation without representation line, but with a minimum term residency to weed out second home owners and transients such as temporary workers and students.
      I speak to a lot of people and recall a conversation with a Romanian telecoms engineer who was only here to earn big money and send it back to Romania for when he returned. He had no intention of living in Scotland long term. Is he a new Scot that should have a say in Scotland’s long term future?

    249. Ron Maclean says:

      The ‘blood and soil’ jibe is often used by the ‘ayebut’ cringe. It is as meaningless as their use of crude insult to avoid scrutiny of their unsupported arguments and inability to offer a case for their precious union.

    250. cyril mitchell says:

      Gobsmacked. Where did they come from?Gavin Newlands MP tells me to delete a/c cos put TomCArthur MSp right about Scots history A man who compares Scotland’s stature on world stage to Kosovo ignorant of our contribution to society(Voltaire) our resources etc Does not know the definition of a colony Pehaps somthing in old adage about Tartan Tories, these two semm to fit bill

    251. Saffron Robe says:

      Alf,

      Many thanks for the clarification. I am in complete agreement with Aimé Césaire that “white European colonisers could be just as barbaric to other white Europeans they colonised as they were to peoples of other racial groups”. And also with Albert Memmi that “colonisation is, above all, economic and political exploitation”.
      All very pertinent to our situation in Scotland.

    252. Alf Baird says:

      Saffron Robe

      Yes, I don’t think many advocates of independence would dispute that colonialism in the Scotland/UK context is, “above all, economic and political exploitation”.

      However, it is primarily mention of the third dimension of colonialism – occupation by settlers – which seems to most upset unionists, as if an indy Scotland would be putting up the shutters, as our dominating neighbour nation and ‘administrative Power’ has already done on our behalf and against our democratic wishes: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families



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