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Counting all the days

Posted on December 04, 2020 by

We got this email last night.

And, y’know, that’s really not good enough, folks.

Because here’s what it says at that link:

“Response” there means an actual answer to your query, not just an acknowledgement of your email. You should (obviously) get the latter instantly, because an algorithm can do that without any human intervention.

But 37 working days – almost twice the time it’s supposed to take for the request to be answered – have passed between our email and the mere acknowledgement of it.

COVID-19 isn’t an excuse. A person sat at a computer logging into a database is the same whether that computer is in an office or in their socially-distanced home. There’s no legitimate reason that FOI requests should take any longer because of the virus.

As ridiculously implausible as it seems, it’s beginning to look as though the Scottish Government actually thinks it can stall and delay the Salmond inquiry all the way up to next year’s election. The two-week Christmas break at Holyrood isn’t far off now, and the dissolution of Parliament before an election is usually in the last week of March, six weeks before the vote, because Parliament can’t sit during a campaign.

[EDIT 1.50pm: last month’s General Election Bill delayed the formal dissolution of Parliament from 25 March to 5 May, the day before the election. However it’s not at all clear if this means “business as usual” right up until a few hours before polling stations open, or if it’s just a technical mechanism to enable the passing of any emergency COVID legislation that might be required during the campaign period.]

So while the election is still five months away, there are in fact only about three months of Parliamentary time in that period, and the inquiry is still facing court battles to get hold of the information it wants, and still hasn’t interviewed Geoff Aberdein, Liz Lloyd, Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond (although Peter Murrell is up next week, which ought to be interesting). John Swinney has now been blocking two votes of Parliament to release the government’s legal advice for a fortnight and counting.

It’s almost as if the First Minister wants to prevent the inquiry from being able to deliver a verdict before the election, in the hope she’ll win a majority that would enable her to survive a vote of no confidence and simply brazen out anything the inquiry found.

If you’d asked us at the start of the inquiry in mid-August whether it would have been possible to stall it all the way up to an election almost nine months later, we’d have snorted. The idea seemed totally ludicrous. But it seems the First Minister is absolutely determined to evade justice and accountability, and might even succeed.

And if she does, readers, you can kiss goodbye to independence.

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  1. 04 12 20 11:56

    Counting all the days | speymouth

  2. 05 01 21 13:40

    The mannie who cannae - DeasileX

  3. 05 01 21 21:01

    The mannie who cannae –

102 to “Counting all the days”

  1. ScottieDog says:

    She’ll have brexit on her side too. Funnily enough, that will be a monstrous distraction with more ‘stateswoman’ style addresses given to the press.

  2. Alexander Wallace says:

    It’s been obvious for some time that stalling is taken place. As you say it is starting to look like the SG are going to succeed.

  3. Sharny Dubs says:

    The pigs have taken over the farm.

  4. Dave Llewellyn says:

    I can’t see Murrell getting through Tuesday without getting caught lying especially as he had to change his statement on the WhatsApp messages and there are loads more which make his second written statement look ridiculous. Nicolas already lost her power base in the NEC. Swinney hanging in the wind as her wingman and facing a no confidence vote as is her Lord Advocate and now her husband about to get caught committing perjury. Popcorn time.

  5. June Maxwell says:

    And we ‘tut’ at Trump’s antics!

  6. Alex says:

    And the difference in respect for the law and parliamentary procedure between the current ScotGov and WM is…?

  7. Thomas Potter says:

    Nicola Sturgeon has been stalling this since the first case against Alex Salmond got thrown out for
    being unlawful. That was YEARS ago.
    She has to be removed or Indy is dead in the water.

  8. YesTVdotScot says:

    “And if she does, readers, you can kiss goodbye to independence.”

    The history books will note:

    The UK Parties alone could never have prevented the Yes movement from achieving independence for Scotland.

    The SNP were the only ones powerful enough to hold the Yessers down, and keep them still, whilst the Union bound and gagged them.

  9. Denise says:

    Nicola isn’t actually very popular with either the party or the wider Yes movement
    She basically told people not to vote for Neale Hanvey – he won
    She basically told people to vote for Rhiannon Spear in the MSP selection – she lost
    She had to nobble Joanna Cherry to get Angus R the selection
    Delegates who you’d expect to be most loyal turfed out her favourites from the NEC

    Someone will challenge her next year if the enquiry reports negatively and we are no further forward with independence.

    It’s disappointing how weak the snp MSPs in particular are, it’s like they are terrified of her.
    But, I am sure Alex Salmond isn’t thinking let bygones be bygones. I’m hoping he is plotting his revenge as soon as he makes his move I am right behind him.

    My Mum has wanted independence all her life, Nicola is the biggest barrier to her living to see it.

  10. Wulls says:

    9 months ago I was anticipating a clear out of Lloyd, McKinnon, Laird, et all and Dani Garaveli in the dock for contempt.
    9 months ago I hoped the system would work.

  11. stonefree says:

    Data disclosure request are remarkable bad, some people I believe are waiting with no response , over 6 month, in clear breach of the rules
    It also is quite apparent that , members addressing complaints are submitting them to people who are the cause and possibly the person the complaint is about
    I said to myself I wasn’t going to look here yesterday(not incidentally about the Blog, but the shear uselessness of the SNP management), and that next week Murrel (arse hole in chief) is going to rack up a bigger bill for the members to pay
    I’m surprised I said that calmly

  12. Ian says:

    Looks like this be the first real test for the revamped NEC, if they even have the authority within the SNP to force issues such as this. If not them then who? Ultimately those who would vote SNP in May.

    Clarification of the financial jiggerypokery that’s been highlighted may be another strand to prompt seriously stopping the nonsense in the SNP before they create a real mess for everyone except the unionists.

  13. At least we won’t have to wait long until the “I need to wait until the economic impact of Brexit is dealt with” excuse is trotted out.

  14. Johnny Martin says:

    Room for polling questions asking whether stalling to get to the election is a disgrace and/or what folk think of ignoring parliamentary votes saying to produce evidence?

  15. stonefree says:

    @ Denise at 11:56 am
    “She basically told people not to vote for Neale Hanvey – he won”
    To me Hanvey lost any credibility when he went back clutching his forelock in quick time,
    He could have been the Margo MacDonald, but No

  16. Bob Mack says:

    They remain powerful people and it’s difficult to remove them without hard evidence. By using every tactic under the book including amnaesia ,they have stalled the Inquiry. Full stop.

    We are all smart enough to work it out for ourselves, but that is not proof. I hope the upcoming sessions deliver on that score. Circumstantial evidence is good. Sound proof is better.

    It only takes one of them to break ranks.

  17. shug says:

    I hope you have sent the question you want put to Murrell to the Labour and Conservative members.

    It will be interesting to see if they use them and open him up or if they protect him.

    In any case 4 months out I would let it develop. Once we are independent they and the alphabet list can expect an enquiry followed by jail.

  18. Black Joan says:

    Discussion BTL here suggests that the same tactics were at work regarding the very matter the Harassment Inquiry is supposed to be illuminating — by pursuing the judicial review, apparently long after legal advice said STOP IT, they hoped AS would get charged (the “war”) and any procedural irregularities (in the way the “battle” was fought) would conveniently disappear under the carpet.

  19. Denise says:

    He’s on the conduct committee now along with a majority of His allies, there is more than one way to get revenge.

  20. Tannadice Boy says:

    Stu I am more hopeful than you. 3 working months in Politics is a long time. The Inquiry will reject Swinney’s overture and go for full disclosure. He will lose a VONC if he continues to stall. If he still refuses to release the legal advice then I think the Parliament will go for a VONC in the SG and precipitate an early election. Wightman (Greens) has performed well on the Inquiry team so I don’t see the Greens backing down. There is many a slip between the cup and lip but I still maintain the FM won’t be able to walk away from these events unscathed. If you are doing another poll yourself can you consider including the question– Are Unionists polling for Sturgeon’s SNP?. Otherwise I can’t understand the latest polling. Just about everybody I speak to will not be voting SNP at the next election. Perhaps it is just my circle of influence, ‘Yes City’ with traditional SNP voters in the main.

  21. Ron Maclean says:

    @Denise 11:56am

    “It’s disappointing how weak the snp MSPs in particular are, it’s like they are terrified of her.”

    If you add the MPs that would give Scotland the most useless flock of ‘revolutionaries’ in history.

    What do we want? Our salaries, our expenses, our free lunches and perks.

    When do we want them? Every day.

    What about independence like it says in your constitution? Now, as in now is not the time.

  22. Frazerio says:

    Suggestion for the Rev. Could you embed counters somewhere on the site showing any outstanding FOI requests & ‘days since submission’? Just makes the FOI requests that little bit more public and harder to ignore as each day the counter ticks up, so will the embarassment.

  23. Ellie says:

    Agree re Neale Hanvey, there’s no way I would have accepted the treatment he got. It is unlikely he would have been reinstated had he not won the seat.

  24. Ellie says:

    I did cheer when he got elected to the conduct committee but still think if it had been me I would have taken my chances remaining as an independent MP.

  25. Ross says:

    what’s your view on releasing legal advice? Notwithstanding the subject should the Scottish Govt release legal advice due to the precedent it would set?

    you’re quite correct to hold their feet to the fire but I haven’t heard a good argument for releasing Government legal advice that doesn’t create untold consequences.

    Salmond used the same argument for not releasing advice previously. It’s a sound argument from what I can see but willing to be convinced.

  26. Helen Yates says:

    Well the feeling of elating didn’t last long, christ where will it end, what does worry me is the fact she looks as confident today as she did when the enquiry started which doesn’t fill me with confidence that justice will be served, we can but hope that when Alex Salmond gets to talk that things take a major turn for the better, in the meantime all we can do is keep the pressure on the party hierarchy in the hopes that the house of cards collapses.

  27. Polly says:

    ‘Nicola Sturgeon has been stalling this since the first case against Alex Salmond got thrown out for being unlawful.‘

    Agree, her modus in everything seems always to be to dither and wait. In this case it’s her only lifeline and, if she knows her time is almost up, waiting til the election, and to get Robertson elected to carry on her party legacy, is her only option. She’s beset on all sides and it shows in her face and voice now. The fact the papers haven’t yet gone for the jugular is all that’s kept the wheels in motion.

    The recent reports of the Keira Bell judgement not necessarily being in effect for Scotland could well be the plan unionist press will try to exploit come the run up to the Holyrood election and will sway voters if it contrasts such a sensible thing in England against Sturgeons opposition to it here. Or at least her support for all that surrounds the medicalisation of children – after all she spoke at UN about it didn’t she, dismissing a man’s concern? They’ll point out that that’s the kind of country she wants to encourage and might succeed in with her existing policies and devolution, so what horror could independence bring.

    The fact she couldn’t bring herself to condemn the abuse of Joanna Cherry recently has been widely noted by people not following the trans stuff and together with more publicity of the problems caused in schools and prisons (by excellent MBM group and Rhona Hotchkiss) and further articles about Bell’s case will shine a stadium search light on what is happening up here which is different to England. With people like a certain rape crisis manager and a certain MP’s vicious toyboy on her side, not to mention a few of her favoured employees, it does not make a pleasant tableau vivant for when the lights come fully on. No wonder she’s stalling.

  28. Willie says:

    So the Wings enquiry was the 28th march 2020 and still no response.

    Tells you simply that this is non functioning government. Facist at its core this is a Junta who can disregard the law at will.

    Maybe we should all get a Henry for Christmas because that’s why the American Constitution is the way that it is..Rotten, corrupt government always ends in tears. Ask Mussolini who ended up adorning a lamp post.

  29. Gordon Gekko says:

    This is an absolute superb example of where the SNP are taken us.

    This is exactly what wings will be doing in 20 years time If we allow the SNP to drag Scotland into the ” heart of europe”

    Look at it and listen this is our future if we are not careful

    It’s brilliant and what wings will be spending all its time doing in the future… Pleading for help and Selling yellow jackets..

  30. Astonished says:

    I agree with Denise.

    Hopefully heads will roll and very soon.

    I remember Alex Salmond saying that the people of Scotland would no longer accept “NO” for an answer. I think that time is fast approaching.

    Write to your MSP and MP and explain if they don’t do something to get all the material released then they will lose your vote.


    If the murrell’s cabal remain in charge then we will have three main proposals to promote before the May election :

    Humza’s Hate crime (vote for the woke stasi) bill

    Genderwoowoo. Men in ladies changing rooms …regularly.

    And the third thing begins with an “I”. Most of the wokeratti have forget this one.

    As someone said previously ” I’m sure they will only be able to deliver on two of the three – guess which two ?”. So a large proportion of SNP supporters will be unable to vote anything but the ISP.


  31. Bob W says:


    I could understand not releasing legal advice during an active case, but that case has concluded and release of the advice will only have a detrimental affect on the Scottish Government if it shows that the case was continued contrary to that legal advice.

    For an administration which purports to being open and wishes to provide all relevant information to to the enquiry, there refusal/ obfuscation/ delaying do not paint an edifying picture.

    They are our servants, they may have procured that advice but we as tax payers paid for it and in a totally open and honest system we as the funders of that system deserve to have access to any advice procured, good or bad.

  32. george wood says:

    @Ross 12.53

    The whole point of this inquiry is to find out what went wrong and how they ended up losing spectacularly in court. You can’t do that by blocking the release of the legal advice.

    Blocking the release is because they have something to hide.

  33. Stuart MacKay says:

    Sigh, we got Cam to finally behave himself and up pops his twin brother, Gordon, who majored in economics. Well I guess we should be grateful it wasn’t phenomenology.

  34. Graeme Hampton says:

    The cowards reply, hit send at 17:02 and piss off out the door.

    It is all desperate and tawdry stuff just serving to make Swinney, Sturgeon and the rest look like an untrustworthy cabal.

  35. Contrary says:

    Stuart MacKay,

    In a way it’s good, and that I spotted some of the many comments, AND that they disappeared 😉 , it says to me that the path that Tim Rideout et al are on re currency and economicsis the right one, and a very powerful one. It is a good indicator anyway, that the commenter is making such a concerted effort at excessive mince-generation, and so obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time, kind of sticks out. Sigh, I do love confirmation of efficacy.

  36. James Che. says:

    In all honesty there seems to be one heck of a lot of civil servants in our midst, with fingers in every pie,
    it seems they are the ones actually running the Scottish government, and those we elected are now in second place.

  37. Kenny says:

    shug says:
    4 December, 2020 at 12:14 pm
    I hope you have sent the question you want put to Murrell to the Labour and Conservative members.

    The one problem with that is that Murrell seems to be a unionist as well…

  38. Marshall Adair says:

    Graeme … not wishing to ruin your thunder but you can’t conclude anything from the time that an e-mail was sent. The vast majority of office-based civil and public servants have been working on a flexi-time basis for over a decade now, and hardly anyone will be working 9 to 5 in the way you suggest.

  39. stonefree says:

    @ Denise at 12:18 pm

    I saw that, BUT the simple fact he went back so readily and quickly………Says it all
    Had he waited a couple of years, which he could easily have done given the term …….I would certainly though a lot better of him

  40. robertknight says:

    Next time Sturgeon exits the front door at Bute House I’m praying for a strong gust of wind and a press photographer with impeccable timing.

    We’d then get proof that Union Jack nickers are being worn beneath that tartan face mask exterior.

  41. Contrary says:


    The only argument the government is putting forward against releasing legal advice is that it would set a precedent. This doesn’t make sense, because they have already set that precedent several times, by releasing legal adice – they have already done it on several occasions, very publicly too, because it was in the public interest.

    Now the public is very very interested in the legal advice given here, so why not release it. Where and what would be the untold consequences? The ministers either agreed with or went against the legal advice – and we can’t determine if that advice was good or bad or indifferent or if the ministers’ choice was the right one without knowing what it was, and where it came from.

    The precedent is already set, and it’s in the public interest to know – what risks are there? Don’t get mixed up between civil and criminal courts though – totally different – and this is only to do with the civil case, the judicial review, and the advice on civil procedure.

  42. Saffron Robe says:

    Excellent analysis Stuart, and I agree wholeheartedly with your conclusion. That someone so corrupt, contemptible and incompetent should remain in place and be able to evade justice can only be explained by the powerful force that is holding her in place. I would suggest that such a power is in fact the English Crown and to that extent Nicola Sturgeon is, without doubt, a ‘tractor’.

  43. Graeme Hampton says:

    Marshall after 37 days it just happened to be sent that late in the day? You might be right.

    Its not the important thing. The fact that every morsel of evidence has to be dragged forcefully out of this government is the issue.

  44. Pat says:

    I’m sure there is more to come altho that will ultimately depend on how successful your SNP are at covering things up and denying access to evidence but I think there is enough in view already to bring down your government.

    This Inquiry is focusing on the internal Judicial Review process but now they have confirmed it was the Government that initiated the police Inquiry shouldn’t someone be looking into the conduct and basis of all that too?!

    After all it’s the same people, at least some of the same complainers, presumably with the same motives, the same everything at the heart of both. If one investigation was corrupt and tainted with bias would it not follow that the other probably was too? Salmond won but the questions one might raise about this whole affair go beyond all that and could form the basis of a whole new investigation and trial.

    This looks really bad. I’d be very worried about all this if I was in Scotland. You should be fighting for your independence instead of dealing with this. Good luck.

  45. Doug says:

    Senior civil servants in Holyrood are appointed by britnat Westminster. Presumably they report back to their bosses in Westminster on a regular basis – officially or unofficially. They cannot be removed from their positions in Holyrood unless Westminster says so.

    How close is the current SNP leadership to these britnat civil servants? Is Nicola Sturgeon beholden to them? If so, how has this come about?

  46. Kenny J says:

    I’ve been thinking for a while they are trying to kick it down the road, until they say, to late. We’vve an election coming up.
    A pity a stalking horse, a la the Toraigh,to see if any others might come forward, to try to unseat her.
    The enquiry, who is this mysterious third party in the meetings, who can’t be named.I wonder.

  47. Stuart MacKay says:


    I read some of the articles and yes, I read some of Cam’s too. At the end of the day it’s all just opinions though. I can agree with a lot of what is said but I’m left with the question “So what?”

    Nothing exists in a vacuum and while I’m sympathetic to a lot of the points I think the chances of creating a socialist nirvana (‘progressive’ is crossed out of my vocabulary) in an independent Scotland are exactly zero. Not that I want to see one but I do want to see all the problems that are typically championed by the left solved, permanently.

    So Gordon can wax lyrical about the evils of the EU but short of floating the country down the Atlantic and mooring it of Uruguay there’s not a lot we can do about it. An economic bloc that size has a gravity all by itself- so unless we become Democratic People’s Republic of Scotland we’re going to have to engage with it.

    The major plus point is that we have a lot to offer: energy, geography, a handy land border with England which will make invasion a lot easier, etc. etc. so our relationship with the EU as member or partner need not be servile or submissive. The only problem is finding politicians who can rub two balls together and make it clear how things are going to be.

  48. Ian Brotherhood says:

    What if Murrell breaks down and starts fingering people?

  49. Stuart MacKay says:

    Ian Brotherhood

    Give us a warning next time you plan on saying something like that – I decorated half the room with coffee.

  50. stonefree says:

    @ Tannadice Boy at 12:20 pm

    I agree on all your points, but 50:50 on hand the document over, Swinney I feel will be ordered to take the fall for Team Sturgeon
    Wightman doesn’t seem to get much credit, I think a little unjustly.
    I never thought I would say Baillie is doing a decent job.
    I have in the past week, moved from Sturgeon/Murrell just go to , I’d like to see them jailed along with the others involved. for three reason
    Salmond alleged set-up
    The alleged missing money
    Lying to the people
    And finally,
    Milking Covid for all it’s worth
    I too don’t believe the poll figure I think overly optimistic

  51. Ian Brotherhood says:

    How much of a surprise would it be, a decade or two hence, to discover that all of these roasters blocking the inquiry are MI5?

    I mean, seriously – what is they do all day apart from invent job titles for pals, dress up in designer clobber, have long lunches, go on exotic holidays and plot the false imprisonment of innocent people?

  52. Sharny Dubs says:

    Sure the EU is not perfect, the Euro a disaster bla bla but we live in very strange times, COVID, financial meltdown etc.
    The devil is in the details, you simply cannot ignore such a large block. If you want to try and influence or exert any pressure on the likes of China, India, Russia or the US you ain’t got a hope in hell as a single “small” country, better to try and steer a path to sanity through a larger more influential body.
    We have plentiful resources that the EU need, we can make our own deal to the benefit of all.

  53. Denise says:

    The problem for kicking into the long grass is, if the unionists have any sense they can use this next spring. The problem with all the Nicola promotion and adoration, is if she is what the SNP majority is going to rely on, knock her down and there goes the majority.

    If people begin to suspect that she is a liar and untrustworthy, if the unionists get that out there and it sticks, what has the SNP got to fall back on, certainly not independence with their fantasy s30 plan.

    I remember 5 years ago the polls being roughly where they are now, but during the campaign the unionists made a few things stick…. educational incompetence, this time they are bound to use care home deaths and the unpopular ‘named person’ policy this time they have GRA, Hate Crimes and RSE in schools. Add to that questions of Nicola’s character an SNP majority is not a shoo in.

  54. JGedd says:

    Oh, IanB @ 2.45pm., you are awful….but I like it.

  55. Black Joan says:

    Ian Brotherhood at 2.54pm
    Very good question. There appear to be legions of them, all endowed with a huge sense of self-importance (because the titles, salaries and perks tell them they’re SO worth it.)

    Were previous FMs so thoroughly shored up by such an entourage? Pity there’s no staff position for someone charged with the job of telling an FM they are not a god, Roman Triumph-style.

    Can anyone challenge the vast cost of so many bureaucrats and SPADS? Can an Independent Scotland please have a leaner, more efficient and cost-effective management structure?

  56. Republicofscotland says:

    It would appear that the FoI section of the Scottish government has taken a leaf out of John Swinney’s book, by saying one thing and doing another.

    Don’t they realise the longer they take to comply with the law (Your FoI) and the inquiry, the less trust we have in them and the more eager we become to remove SNP hierarchy.

    Has the SNP NEC any powers that could move independence or the inquiry forward before the parliament goes into recess.

  57. Grey Gull says:

    Apologies if someone has used this phrase before but when Murrell appears on Tuesday it would be great if someone could get the phrase in “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”

  58. The Oui Coupar says:

    Black Joan
    A Dependent Scotland under WG would save a packet.
    I’m sure the Rees Mogg prick is quite right about that.

  59. Andy Ellis says:

    @Ian B, Black Joan, others…

    It’s pretty obvious by now that the SNP has been parasitised by Nu Labour rejects, has beens and never weres…? Generations of Labour entitlement didn’t just disapparate when the SNP gained power: when it became obvious the days of weighing Labour votes rather than counting them, of easy and assured sinecures after years of doing SFA for Scotland before retiring to the House of Lords or some quango or company board, they simply looked for a new host.

    Sadly for the SNP far too many former Labour troughers, and a new generation of sophomoric activists and TRA extremists who are totally in thrall to an unrepresentative, regressive and deeply misogynistic world view, have managed to hi-jack the SNP to advance their own agendas rather than prioritise achieving independence.

    The St Andrew’s Day Massacre earlier this week was a start, but we’ve won a battle not the war. The pressure has to be maintained to ensure the likes of Alyn Smith, John Nicholson, Mairi Black, Kirsty Blackman and their like are disciplined and hopefully ejected from the party. Theirs isn’t the kind of Scotland I want to see, and I’m not letting the fact that we may all share a belief in Scottish independence stop me calling them out for their misogyny, bigotry and abuse.

    It is earnestly to be hoped that the new NEC and groups like Common Weal can reclaim the party and restore its progressive, fundamentally pro-independence values. Both the Woko Haram extremists and the crypto devo-max gradualists infesting the party should be told to get with the programme, or sling their hooks: they already have a ready bolt hole in the form of the deeply regressive, misogynistic Scottish Green party.

    I’m no longer prepared to support a party which will not take action against the likes of Blackman and Smith, or the many others who signed the despicable letter last weekend.

  60. Tannadice Boy says:

    Cheers I thought it was me that was thinking like that. But I was sure on the 18 September 2014 we had won. That’s what happens when you are surrounded by like minded people. I just want the Murrells to go. They are damaging the movement and the credibility of the Parliament. I still don’t know who I am voting for. If the Murrells go and the SNP campaign minus GRA, Hate bill etc then I would be back to the SNP. If the titan of a politician Alex Salmond returns to the fray. He will get all of my resource and good wishes.

  61. Republicofscotland says:

    SLAB never learn their latest escapade is to have a London based House of Lords Baroness stand at next years Scottish elections.

    Katy Clarke is known as Baroness Clark of Kilwinning, she’s after the SNP’s Kenney Gibson’s seat of Cunninghame North.

  62. JGedd says:

    In his rant, Alyn Smith made it clear that he thought the changes on the NEC have advanced the left which displeased him greatly.

    As a leader of the woke activists, the faction which also lost ground on the NEC, it seems that Smith is aware that there is nothing ‘left’ about those supporters of GRA legislation. I have always asserted that there is nothing left-wing about these entryists despite some on here referring to their movement as such.

    Just like Rhiannon Spear, Smith is a typical Blairite neoliberal willing to use the votes of the working class but at times like these, barely able to conceal their contempt for ordinary voters. And while I remember, wasn’t he part of a clique of SNP youth members which also included one Nicola Sturgeon? How similar have their politics been right from the beginning? It appears to have been a neoliberal project right at the heart of the SNP aiming to take over the movement eventually just as Blair and his acolytes did.

    A No vote in the referendum certainly didn’t hinder their own personal ambitions.

  63. Wee Chid says:

    JGedd says:
    4 December, 2020 at 3:49 pm
    Agree completely. The woke brigade are a very middle class type of “left”. The one’s who think they know what is best for us real working class plebs.

  64. A Person says:

    -Iain at 2.54 and Denise at 2.59-

    You are both very right.

    Sometimes I read this site and feel like I’ve found an oasis of sanity and willingness to see what is actually going on.

  65. Wee Chid says:

    Ian Brotherhood says:
    4 December, 2020 at 2:54 pm
    “How much of a surprise would it be, a decade or two hence, to discover that all of these roasters blocking the inquiry are MI5?”

    No surprise at all. I’d be more surprises if at least some of them turn out not to be.

  66. MaggieC says:

    Joanna Cherry’s article in the National today ,

    “ It’s time to unify and focus on how we win independence “

  67. Republicofscotland says:

    Cosyfeetpete at it again, this time it reads like he’s reinforcing the need for Johnson’s permission. It sounds like Cosyfeetpete is now totally ingratiated into the Westminster system, and for Scots to even think about independence without Johnson’s approval is blasphemous.

  68. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “what’s your view on releasing legal advice? Notwithstanding the subject should the Scottish Govt release legal advice due to the precedent it would set?”

    That “precedent” has been set numerous times in the past. There are at least three high-profile examples of the convention against releasing the advice being bypassed. The fact that Parliament has twice demanded the release by a majority vote clearly fulfils the “exceptional circumstances” criterion, the FM in any event promised the inquiry would have ANYTHING it asked for, and the inquiry simply can’t do its job properly without it.

    There isn’t a single valid argument against releasing the advice.

  69. susanXX says:

    The whole genderwoowoo thing makes my skin crawl. Why would anyone want to get involved with someone so fucked up? And why would anyone listen to someone so fucked up?

    I’m a lesbian and would I get involved with someone like that? Hell no! Life’s too short to carry that kind of problem.

  70. MaggieC says:

    Me @ 4.17 pm

    Sorry , I posted the wrong link to Joanna Cherry’s article .

  71. indyfan says:

    Remember the Scot gov wanted to halt ALL FOI because of covid. Sturgeon will be looking to hinder the enquiry until at least the new year when Brexit becomes the main topic of conversation esp with covid still present and the logistics of vaccinating the population as well. Internal market bill and WM removing powers from Scotland will push everythnig else into the long grass until after
    the elections – or so they hope.

  72. Tannadice Boy says:

    I like the cut of Joanna’s jib unfortunately she is in the wrong Parliament as are most of the talent the SNP have got. It’s Holyrood where change can be significant. And we definitely need some talent, even a modicum of talent, on the SNP benches at Holyrood. Scared rabbits caught in the headlights at the moment in Holyrood.

  73. cirsium says:

    @JGedd, 3.49

    It appears to have been a neoliberal project right at the heart of the SNP aiming to take over the movement eventually just as Blair and his acolytes did.

    Bull’s eye.

    And if she does, readers, you can kiss goodbye to independence. It’s not just independence we’ll be kissing goodbye, Rev, it’s also democracy.

  74. Alf Baird says:

    Scotland’s entire colonialist administrative system is more than “tainted with bias”; it is totally biased, and culturally opposed to independence.

    “In this colonialist context there is no truthful behaviour: and the good is quite simply that which is evil for ‘them’.” (Fanon 1967)

    The defeat of colonialist rule is the real and ultimate aim of any independence struggle. Someone just needs to remind this to the SNP’s pampered middle-class MP’s and MSP’s who appear to have ‘reached an accommodation with colonialism’.

    The good news, which Rev Stu seeks, is noted here: “Truth is that which hurries on the break-up of the colonialist regime: it is that which promotes the emergence of the nation; it is all that protects the natives, and ruins the foreigners” (Fanon 1967).

  75. Colin Alexander says:

    Katy Clark, ex-Scottish Labour MP, had an excellent voting record as a Socialist, voting against Trident etc. She was one Labour person in Scotland I had respect for in a party of Red Tories and careerists.

    I’m really surprised and very disappointed she accepted a peerage.
    No, I’m disgusted about that. A socialist accepting a peerage?

    I guess that’s what happens when you start hanging around with the metropolitan London champagne socialists. You become part of the British Establishment.

    Just look at the SNP MPs as another example of that.

  76. Tannadice Boy says:

    @Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Spot on again Stu. I am someone that is proud of the early achievements. The establishment of the Parliament, maturing over time, compromises over policy/budgets and so on. I think we are setting the Parliament back years. The only reason the legal advice is not being released must be sinister. What other conclusion can you come to?

  77. holymacmoses says:

    I suppose if left wing factions didn’t accept peerages then you’d quickly end up with a facist House of Lords – and we couldn’t have that – could we:-)

  78. stonefree says:

    More an aside than O/T
    What do the SNP if the MP don’t take their seat?
    Second paragraph down

  79. Patricia Spencer says:

    The inquiry, thus far, has had ample opportunity to robustly ‘inquire’ which at the moment seems ad hoc and toothless. Everybody and their dug knows that the FM lied to Parliament and that is a supposed ‘instant’ resignation matter.

  80. Kenny says:

    I do agree with Saffron that it is unthinkable that a “separatist” heading a devolved assembly, up to her ears in lies and corruption, opposed by the parties supporting the UK state, who are in a minority, would be allowed to cling on for so long without attacks in the press, other media, Westminster parliament, UK government, Scottish Office…

    O/T If Westminster is so “pointless” for the SNP, why do they not revolve who gets to ask their two questions at PMQ? Can you imagine if Cherry were allowed to take the floor? Or McNeill? Or Whitford?

    Why have IB bleating “Scotland will not allow itself to be dragged out of the EU” ad infinitum? Or is that to ram home that, if Scotland WERE to be dragged out of the EU, it is somehow not the fault of the SNP? Oh no, not us, we warned and warned every Wednesday for two years…

  81. Tannadice Boy says:

    I don’t know many people that would disagree with you on Genderwoowoo. Which makes it more difficult to understand the SNPs position. What is the SNP leadership motivation? It’s definitely not electoral advantage. Time is running out to stop this nonsense but we do have other avenues . We go to our local theatre and before lockdown they introduced a policy of you can access whatever toilet you feel most comfortable in. My wife and I decided independently to immediately bin this theatre. We won’t be going back. What’s the expression Go Woke Go Broke.

  82. shug says:

    That’s what I mean, if you give them good questions and the miss the target then we know who is compromised. It will not be an accident. Having said that the unionists will want to spin it out to the election.

    I just don’t see an alternative to letting Nicola take us to the election and referendum given the ratings.

    In any case a review of the conspiracy is required, but I do see Nicola standing back and letting all investigations take their course. She simply cant step in to stop or direct any investigation into the allegations

  83. shug says:

    I do hope everyone is visiting their local unionist sites to mention the N Ireland is now outside the UK and in the EU and that their precious union is now broken (without a vote by the people in Northern Ireland.)

  84. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Andy Ellis (3.42) –

    Hear hear.

    There’s something really sinister about this bunch.

    Remember when New Labour got in? Someone, forget who, noted that in the couple of years before Blair won, down at Millbank, all the bright young things were cutting about the place with their copies of ‘The Prince’, preparing for power. They happened to be Labour members, aye, but that’s almost by the by.

    Hard to imagine that any of this crowd, who emerged from that same generation of aspiring politicos – be they SNP or mandarins – give a tuppeny toss about good governance or party-political ideals of any kind. The arrogance they’ve shown to the committee, the brazenness of the lying, the cocksurness of them all even when they know the committee knows what happened? It’s almost unnatural, how pure gallus they are.

    And why has there been no whistle-blowing (apart from the Whatsapp leak to Kenny MacAskill)? Looks like they know that they’ll have to hang together or, most assuredly, they will all hang separately.

    Unless Murrell calculates that he can cut a deal and save his own arse?

    Who’s to say he’s not capable of it? Someone capable of plotting as he did (allegedly!) must surely be capable of anything.

  85. stonefree says:

    @ Colin Alexander at 5:00 pm

    Katy Clark she is far from any kind of socialist, she lost her seat To P.Gibson in may 2015, in july 2015 she was promoted by Corbyn I may have this in the wrong order, for a seat in Wales where the sitting decided to leave, the locals kick up a hell of row because the leaver and constituency wanted someone else,
    She stood in a London Burgh and failed then in somewhere in the NE, and failed,
    in the meantime I believe she has a well paying job in the Labour NEC, She beat Baxter who is nearly local, and had stood against P.Gibson in 2015.
    Clark did her best to avoid any school campaigns as she sent her child or children to a private school and if I my reconciliation is correct she didn’t want to stay in North Ayrshire ( starting a trend for the SNP )
    To sum her up , “A Fabricated Socialist”

  86. Hatuey says:

    Tannadice: “The only reason the legal advice is not being released must be sinister. What other conclusion can you come to?”

    From what I read here and there, there’s some misunderstanding about the legal advice and the refusal to release it. It’s complicated.

    We can guess that the legal advice would reveal that the Government knew its case was quite hopeless. I’ve read a few references to one of the Legal Advisors suggesting that they would certainly lose. Some questions naturally follow;

    Why, then, did they continue with the case when they were told in advance they’d lose? Why waste all that taxpayers money? Why collapse the case when they did, in line with expectations that they’d certainly lose? Etc.

    Evans referred to this as the loss of a battle. That being the case, what did she mean by the war?

    It’s speculated that they went ahead with the CoS/JR case in order to waste or – depending on how you look at it – buy time.

    In the background the police investigation was developing – it hadn’t officially been announced but those involved must have know that it would be imminently. There was also something else underway that gets scant mention, hearings under the remit of “Commission and Diligence”;

    “We have no way of knowing what came out of these hearings except that top civil servants were compelled to appear under oath and be questioned. I do know that Evans appeared before the Commission as did Investigating Officer Judith Mackinnon. I also know that Nicola Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff, a Ms Elizabeth Lloyd, was due to appear when the Scottish Government suddenly decided to collapse the case on January 3rd 2019”

    Just as the Court of Session was about to start looking closely at the genesis of the Government case against Salmond, and those involved, they pulled it, in other words.

    It’s speculated that Government was simply going through the motions of the CoS case in order to kill time until the real war was declared with the announcement that Salmond was to be charged by the police.

    I’m not 100% certain what would have happened had the police announced their charges against Salmond 2 or 3 weeks earlier, but it has been suggested that it would have effectively drawn a line under the Cos/JR process and shifted attention. You will appreciate that certain laws kick in when the police announce a formal investigation, preventing people from discussing certain things, etc.

    So, there you have it. Most of us are thinking they don’t want to reveal the legal advice because it would show that they were walking into a battle they were certain to lose, like the famous Light Brigade. And that’s true on a basic level. But in the bigger picture it is argued that they were stalling for time, desperately waiting for the Police to announce charges against Salmond, presumably so that they could stymie investigations into their own involvement.

    We have a whole new slant on the loss of that initial “battle” now. It reminds me of Stalin’s strategy against the Germans, sacrificing land (and people) for time.

    It’s only with hindsight we can say that their strategy failed since Salmond won both cases; had he lost in the criminal trial, though, as most probably expected, I think it’s likely that we wouldn’t be discussing this today.

    For more on this see the BTL comments on Dangerfield’s latest blog;

  87. Tannadice Boy says:

    I have been following the Dangerfield blog and others besides. And they all concur with the basis of your argument. It’s rotten and Police Sturgeon and the COPFS are in the pocket. So damage to Scottish Institutions as well as Parliament. New thread I am away to have a look!

  88. CameronB Brodie says:

    Stuart MacKay
    I don’t know who you think you are, but it’s clear you think you are in a position to talk down to me. I’ve seen no evidence suggesting that is the case. So kindly get over yourself and stop dissing others.

  89. Saffron Robe says:

    Nicola Sturgeon is Scotland’s Sabbatai Zevi.

  90. Andy Ellis says:

    @Saffron Robe

    Interesting you said that – I’ve been reading Simon Schama’s “Belonging – The Story of the Jews” and the parallel struck me too. I wonder how many of those hailing Sturgeon now will subsequently be as embarrassed as some of Sabbatai’s followers were?

    Who knows – perhaps hundreds of years from know, there will still be a weird wee cult based in Govan who insist Sturgeon really was the messiah: the Scottish Dönmeh? 🙂

  91. Contrary says:


    I’ve only caught on properly to what the war and battle references really mean just now (Gordon has explained it before, but sometimes things take a while to click).

    Remember that the Judicial Review action was brought by Alex Salmond, he warned them prior to this and offered all sorts of solutions to resolve it, because going to court would be making everything public. Alex Salmond showed NS his legal advice telling them they’d lose any court case. The decision to allow it to go to Judicial Review had the sole purpose of making the complaints public. This was Evan’s Battle – the one she stubbornly ensured would happen, because the whole thing would be dealt with quietly otherwise. Nicola Sturgeon pretended it didn’t have anything to do with her.

    So if the legal advice shows she had already been told it wasn’t a battle she could win – why did she carry on with it? She wanted the publicity, to shame Salmond. At the same time she referred the complaints to the police – against the wishes if the complainants – and must have done this with the sole intention of getting a criminal case to crash the civil case.

    So, she didn’t want to win the Judicial Review, or even think she could win it (or do it at all probably, a nice wee press release of her findings would have satisfied her I think) – she just needed to keep the case running long enough for the police to charge Salmond, and then the Judicial Review could be swept under the rug with no conclusions.

    Whatever happened – and I suspect her own legal team had started getting vociferous and demanding information, and when they got it, late in December 2018, – this was after the court realised the government wasn’t, after all, going to be open/transparent and produce all the documents asked for, so had started forcing the issue – they told her at the end of December to concede. Evans informed the cabinet of the decision to concede on 2nd January.

    Too early: it was weeks before Salmond was charged after this, and she lost the case very publicly and to great cost – her proposed war (the criminal case) didn’t save her battle (the no-hope lost cause Judicial Review). I think we can assume the police investigation was dragged out as long as possible so that this current committee and other inquiries couldn’t sit, as well.

    Why all the delays though, constant unending delays to everything – that’s all this government does is delay delay delay: What are they waiting or hoping for?

  92. Andy Ellis says:


    Being upbraided for you disruptive influence isn’t talking down to you, it’s a necessary corrective to your baleful influence on the BTL comments in here, at least until Rev Stu gets sick enough of you to slap you down again or (hopefully?) just ban you for good.

    People aren’t attacking you because you’re stupid, or because they think they are better than you, they’re just sick of your tactics, your lack of original thinking and your manner when called out for your behaviour.

    Doubtless you have a few fans, but the vast majority just find you personally tiresome and feel your contributions are both misplaced and indigestible.

    This place was a hell of a lot better when Stu did stop your flow for a while. Pity you haven’t learned that lesson.

  93. CameronB Brodie says:

    Andy Ellis
    So sharing relevant knowledge is disruptive behaviour, and yourself and MacKay don’t assume I’m an errant inferior who lacks self control? If you weren’t so far up yourself, you might appreciate your reasoning is lame and self-serving.

  94. Hatuey says:

    Contrary: “ The decision to allow it to go to Judicial Review had the sole purpose of making the complaints public.“

    Actually, I think the Daily Record leaked the fact of an internal investigation being in progress in August 2018 (from memory). I vaguely remember reading them gloating about it.

    I’m not sure they ever hoped to save the judicial review “battle”. I think they hoped it would be superseded and forgotten when the criminal investigation and wider “war” commenced.

    I’m not sure what would have happened to the JR if the police announced earlier and they overlapped. Dangerfield talks about that two week period after they collapsed their case being important.

  95. Hatuey says:

    “Remember that the Judicial Review action was brought by Alex Salmond”

    Ah. I wasn’t thinking about that. It was a battle they didn’t want in the first place. They were more interested in the war as a whole. In an ideal scenario, from the government perspective, there would have been no judicial review, there’d have been JM’s investigation, he’d have been reprimanded and the cops would have followed up and finished him off.

  96. Andy Ellis says:


    Regurgitating screeds of secondary sources isn’t sharing, it’s spamming someone else’s blog with lots of extraneous – frequently off the point – products of your google mining. No original thought. No consideration for diverting threads. No self awareness that despite being asked by Rev Stu NOT to post links and extracts you simply can’t resist doing so, presumably hoping he won’t notice.

    Give it a rest and get your own blog: see how much traffic you output generates and how many enjoy your sharing.

  97. CameronB Brodie says:

    Andy Ellis
    You’ve been consistently hostile to my efforts to inform the debate with practical knowledge, and appear to think you’re the arbiter of opinion. You also appear to imagine yourself competent to judge the quality of my contribution. I think otherwise. My argument is coherent and compatible with international human rights law. Yours, not so much.

  98. Saffron Robe says:

    Andy Ellis at 7:27 pm:

    I like it, Andy, the Scottish Dönmeh!

    For further strange parallels between Nicola Sturgeon and Sabbatai Zevi, I would highly recommend Isaac Bashevis Singer’s novel “Satan in Goray”. It is extraordinary, particularly the parallels with the independence movement and being taken in by a false messiah!

  99. Andy Ellis says:


    Thanks for the recommendation: I’ll look that one up!

  100. Al-Stuart says:

    Hi Andy,

    Thank you for posting and just to show some solidarity with your penultimate sentence, may I endorse your view?

    I thoroughly enjoy Stu., Campbell’s articles. He can have a difficult job with BTL.

    But @CamSpam spaffing every thread again withup to 25% of all posts being regurgitated doctrine feels like some psuedowank GRA McWokeist TELLING everyone to look at…

    McWokeists, McWankists and McCamSpam…


    The McWokeist can be spotted by that narcissistic trait, and so can @CamSpam.

    I KNOW how the mantra goes… ignore the spammers.

    But it is like the “kill you with hammers” formatting thing that Stu references.

    When you get really into some interesting BTL thread and/or line or reasoning, up pops whack-a-mole CamSpam spaffing his literary ectoplasm all over the thread. Again and again and again.

    Even when the big man gave some gentle advice, CamSpam bugggered off for a few days (oh bliss), then he is back. FULL TIME. Spam, spam, spam. I think there is a song about that somewhere.

    Anyways Andy. I agree with your words on this. IMHO.


    Andy Ellis says:
    4 December, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Regurgitating screeds of secondary sources isn’t sharing, it’s spamming someone else’s blog with lots of extraneous – frequently off the point – products of your google mining. No original thought. No consideration for diverting threads. No self awareness that despite being asked by Rev Stu NOT to post links and extracts you simply can’t resist doing so, presumably hoping he won’t notice.

    Give it a rest and get your own blog: see how much traffic you output generates and how many enjoy your sharing.

  101. Anagach says:

    Dont see that if the results are delayed beyond the election that its the end of the road for Independence. It seems something of a reach.

    As for justice denied or whatever, it would be a hard act to get anywhere near the injustice of Westminster – for instance the Pat Finucane inquiry, the start of the inquiry is already delayed 31 years, which makes reporting 9 months late seem amateur.

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