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Wings Over Scotland

Everything Falls Apart

Posted on January 14, 2021 by

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

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

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

The Unionist members of the inquiry committee quite understandably couldn’t contain their glee when the story broke.

When you’ve made such a colossally incompetent giant arse of everything that you’ve been reduced to a laughing stock for the likes of Baillie, Fraser and Cole-Hamilton, it’s probably time to take a long hard look at whether you’re still fit for your job.

But there was a serious side too.

Joanna Cherry is of course quite right. The Law Society of Scotland makes very clear on its website that coaching of witnesses is not allowed, and there are strict rules on who can help prepare a witness to give evidence.

Readers will of course be astounded to hear that the Scottish Government refused to disclose who had been paid the £55,000 to “help” with the evidence, so we have no way of knowing whether those rules were adhered to or not.

But it may be a moot point in any case, after another development of the evening.

Because in a sudden unexpected reversal, James Hamilton – the man conducting the other current inquiry into the Scottish Government’s actions around the Alex Salmond investigation – issued a rare public statement to confirm that he WILL after all now be directly looking into whether Nicola Sturgeon repeatedly misled Parliament about what she knew (which we already know she did).

The fact that Mr Hamilton has only just made this decision does still prove that Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney were both lying about it previously. But more to the point, it makes it almost beyond the bounds of human credibility, given the evidence already published, that Hamilton won’t now find that the First Minister misled Parliament, which is an unequivocal resignation offence under the Ministerial Code.

But fret ye not, readers. The under-fire First Minister might seem to be in a whole heap of trouble, but a great groundswell of gallant and definitely totally genuine grassroots support has rushed to her defence on social media. People like this:

And like this:

And like Tom here:

And like this:

And like definitely-real Russ:

And like this guy:

And this guy:

And like this:

And this:

And this:

We could go on, but it gets too embarrassing after a while. It looks like everything’s fine. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to see here. Go back to your homes and remain indoors, readers. Wait for The Quiz Broadcast, showing every Tuesday morning for a couple more months. Another indyref is coming, honest. Independence is inevitable.

Nicola’s got this. Trust her.

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151 to “Everything Falls Apart”

  1. Giesabrek says:

    If you ask me, it looks like all of those Twitter accounts are fake except the Steve Tate one which I’d guess controls the fske ones, given the Twitter handles.

  2. Morgatron says:

    Thats whats twists my melons, unionist laughing and gloating at us . We held the moral high ground once and to see what we have all worked and supported evaporate with this whole and other embarrassing, unlawful escapades makes me very angry and sad.

  3. Giesabrek says:


  4. Tony Little says:

    Great work once again Stu. I don’t know how you find the time and energy to keep on this catastrophe. It goes from bad to worse. Keep yourself safe.

  5. Jim Tadgercock says:

    Nothing on the radio news this morning just move on and eat yer porridge.

  6. Sharny Dubs says:

    Keep on keeping on Stu!!

    How you like your caviar?

    Always served cold.

  7. Derick fae Yell says:

    It used to be the unionists (and Trumpites) that resorted to bots to fake support.

    This makes me intensely sad. How far we have fallen

  8. Bob Costello says:

    Sturgeon really puts Trump into perspective

  9. wulls says:

    Great point about all the Bots jumping to Nicola Sturgeons defence….
    This one was particularly funny….
    Tom Ellis better known as
    Following no-one……
    One follower…….
    whose bio is all about the SNP destroying glasgow and Scotland.

    It’s a funny old world.

  10. Effijy says:

    Let’s break the law to get Salmond.
    Then break the law to cover up we went for Salmond

    Heart broken to see such corruption at the Holyrood.

    Today we will hear the question about is this where the money
    went that cess supposed to aid small business’ and the self employed.

    There is going to be a Big Bang and Westminster will be adding fuel to it.

  11. Astonished says:

    The SNP leadership is now a cesspit.

    I am sick of it. I will ask my MSP to stand up and do something about it. Or I will tar him with the same brush. I suggest other SNP members do likewise.

    They need to go.

  12. Hugh Jarse says:

    I heard the surviving Chuckle brother has taken up coaching…

    Our Unionist friends on the committee look scunnered by it all.

  13. Black Joan says:

    Are taxpayers also funding that embarrassing ScotGov bot farm?

    And the next Questions for an FoI inquiry =
    1. Were the Alphabet women given courtroom training prior to appearing in court?
    2. If so, did ScotGov (i.e. taxpayers) fund it?
    3. If so, how much did it cost?
    4. If so, do the costs represent training individually, or jointly?

  14. Heaver says:

    Most quotable ever

    Effijy says:
    14 January, 2021 at 7:54 am
    Let’s break the law to get Salmond.
    Then break the law to cover up we went for Salmond

  15. Contrary says:

    Quite. (To the first part) And interesting how pertinent it is who gives you coaching on your witness accounts,,, sorry ‘advice’ on your witness account. We have been having a jolly old wheeze over on the Dangerfield Files at times on exactly how many similar phrases are used by witnesses to wriggle out of answering (and, strangely, how those change over time after one is rumbled).

    Hah, did I not say it would be a very brave James Hamilton that didn’t expand the the remit of the ministerial code inquiry! He’s obviously keen on keeping his career and reputation intact. (To the second part) Good to hear it though, and a big relief – I hate the tension of waiting for the right things to happen. Thanks for keeping us up to date Stu.

    And yes, of course, the whole ‘believe everything NS says despite the evidence before your eyes and reeking stink coming from it under your nose’ brigade is whipped up by the bot- and security services-generated narrative. I thought it was obvious,,, how many breaking stories about Cambridge Analytica and the integrity initiative do people need before they catch on?? Any frothing at the mouth bandwagon storm of exactly the same opinion is generated there – normal people have a range of opinions on everything. No idea why they’d think ‘don’t make a woman responsible for a mans actions’ would be a winner meme though, promoting the FM as the eternal victim is really not a vote winner, and it’s the normal people with a range of opinions that get to vote. The FM really needs to take a serious look at her political advisors & the image they are generating for her. (Or, better yet, how about the FM and all her advisers just clear off. Total vote-losing idiots).

  16. Robert Hughes says:

    ” …..Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.”

    Is some ” rough beast ” , it’s hour come at last, slouching towards Holyrood . To die ?

  17. steelewires says:

    Sturgeon should resign right away to give her successor time to prepare for the May election. She will is she has Scotland’s independence at heart. She won’t if all she cares about is her own power and popularity.

  18. Stuart MacKay says:

    Good grief. What’s next? No, let me guess. The funds ring-fenced for indyref2 were used in personal loans to the Lord Advocate and the Chief of Police Scotland.

    I can’t decide what’s worse. The illegality of it all or the incompetence. It’s not just the cabal but this also applies to the rest of the government and the SNP. They are utterly boxed in by bad judgement, limited thinking and a deficit of imagination. Rot and decay on this level is never going to lead to independence or even a functioning state. The stables not only need cleaning, but disinfecting and remodeling as well.

  19. Bugger le Panda says:

    Could the boiler plate tweets not be a false flag operation?

    Devious bastird thinking helps

  20. David Holden says:

    I find myself wondering if this is what they pay that reptile that published the vow for.

  21. Breeks says:

    That’s possibly the most terrifyingly lawyer-like thing I’ve ever heard coming from Joanna Cherry.

    “I think there must be a misunderstanding here…”, said Joanna Cherry QC, as she reached above the mantelpiece for her trusty laser assault rifle.

  22. Andrew Morton says:

    I presume that the money came out of the civil service budget and was authorised by Lesley Evans. I’m a big critic of Sturgeon over a number of issues from her hostility to Alex Salmond through to GRA as anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, but I wonder to what extent Sturgeon allowed herself to be drawn into this mess as a result of her enthusiasm for women’s issues and desire to be seen as a ‘right on’ FM. Of course, now we tend to see her as the master hand behind everything that happens including this.

    On the other hand of course, she may be.

  23. Robert Hughes says:

    What’s truly appalling about all this SNPG self-directed profligacy – not only the vast amounts spent on covering-up a mess of it’s own making , but the large sums given to minority interest groups – is the reality of children in our country going hungry from lack of sufficient aid from those whose duty it is to prevent such a shameful situation .

    They can blame the Tories as much as they like – indeed they are deserving of our contempt – but the fact is when people in straitened circumstances become aware of the financial solipsism going on around them they will have every justification for directing their anger at the SNPG .

    Another inexcusable up-fuck by our Lords of Misrule

  24. Fishy Wullie says:

    Nicola & Pete at the breakfast table this morning

    Peter: Good morning luv did you sleep well ?

    Nicola: Like a log did you ?

    Peter: Yes I did thank you, so what’s that bastard Campbell been posting on his blog this morning ?

    Nicola: He’s got wind we blew 55 grand of taxpayers money coaching Leslie & Judith and the others, apparently it’s illegal

    Peter: Is it ?

    Nicola : Yes and to make things worse, that Hamilton bastard is expanding his remit in spite of what John told him

    silent pause

    Peter: Bugger

  25. Robert Hughes says:

    Fishy Wullie @ 8.48

    Nicola – Have you packed the suitcases ?

  26. Helen Yates says:

    Dear god, just when you thought things couldn’t get worse with this farce, someone high up should have told them to stop digging a long time ago.
    Hell bloody mend them.

  27. Hugh Jarse says:

    Finding the coach would be fantastic, and finding out where the session’s were held might be awkward, and difficult to justify.

    Weekend at Stobo for LE & co. ?

    They’re not going 3 star, for sure.

  28. David Wardrope says:

    To be honest I’m feeling mightily disillusioned at the party and movement I’ve supported all my voting life. Really disillusioned at Scottish and UK politics as a whole, seeing the SNP looking like they’re no better than the others with their tactics is a gut punch.

  29. Fionan says:

    Wow the revelations are coming fast and furious now. What strikes me is that similarities of rehearsed speech and prepared phrases was also heard from the alphabet women, both from descriptions of their trial evidence and also in news reports and that famous ‘documentary’. I had always thought that these women had been coached, especially with the emotive stuff.

  30. David says:

    Why can’t these idiots see it’s nothing to do with her “then male superior”, and everything to do with her lying in parliament.

    Which was entirely done of her own volition.

  31. Muscleguy says:

    The other thing Scotgov might want their money back on is their press officer one Murray ‘Infamous Vow’ Foote.

    A bunch of hurriedly and obviously newly created bot accounts on twitter don’t look like a very effective press strategy to me. Especially when the words are identical.

  32. wulls says:

    Giesabrek says:
    14 January, 2021 at 7:19 am
    If you ask me, it looks like all of those Twitter accounts are fake except the Steve Tate one which I’d guess controls the fake ones, given the Twitter handles.

    That was exactly my thoughts…..So I started cross referencing them when I came across the Tim Ellis anomaly.

    That would be an excellent project…..tracking down root source of them……

  33. Mac says:

    Well this throws the special conditions allowed to Judith McKinnon when testifying to the inquiry into a whole different light.

    You have to now think that she had people in the room with her coaching her as she went along. That is why they demanded no camera. It is obvious.

    Absolutely disgraceful that was ever allowed to happen. If JM appears again all of that should be stripped away.

    And you know that they will have been coaching the ‘accusers’. This is clearly how they roll. Totally bent.

  34. Mac says:

    Why does anyone need ‘advice’ on telling ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ anyway?

  35. Bob Mack says:

    Were very close now for that famous line.

    “Taxi for Sturgeon”

    Wbat could have been?

  36. Christian Schmidt says:

    I am absolutely sure that the job description of all these coached witnesses state something like ‘must be able to communicate effectively at the highest level’ or so. And while I am all in favour of staff training, surely this raises questions whether they are fit for their job?

  37. Bob Mack says:

    Surely Evans must go now as well? I would imagine she paid for the coaching from our taxpayer money. If she is true to form you can bet it was to lawyers already involved with the case. She strikes me as the kind of person who would keep involvement in this business as narrow as possible.

    She would not risk bringing in outsiders.

  38. Debra says:

    Was a tender advertised for this training ? If not why not ?

  39. Dorothy Devine says:

    Mac, my thoughts precisely. Then I remembered that that simple phrase which we all know from film and TV productions , if not personally, was a major stumbling block for Lesley Evans – not a good look and obviously the tutoring for court missed a vital part.

    This all depresses me so much.

  40. Lennie says:

    I wonder who prepared the bots statement. A few usual suspects spring to mind.

  41. Tommy says:

    Derrek Fae Yell sums it up completely.

    “This makes me intensely sad. How far we have fallen”.

    Fvucking heartbreaking.

  42. Paul Brown says:


    Poor Steve Tait (in the tweets there). Looks like a real person copying a load of autogenerated bots.

    I think it’s time for Steve to re-evaluate his life choices.

    Those tweets (looking at the @names)… Could it be any more obvious?

    Twitter bans a person for ‘abuse’, but allows that shit?

    Bit of a joke really.

  43. Mac says:

    Just my impression but during the Alex Salmond trial I distinctly recall thinking that a few of the alphabet accusers sounded like they had been rehearsed.

    And by the same person or persons. It was like there was a common but hidden ‘authour’ behind parts of their testimonies. Not as blatant as the tweets above but it was there I felt.

    The line about ‘wanting Salmond to have been a better man’ (or whatever it was) especially sounded very scripted and designed for the newspapers etc to jump on. There were a few moments like that that sounded phony, scripted, rehearsed.

    This so fits the modus operandi of the SNPG you really have to assume they did it at this point.

    I think it would be very interesting to pursue exactly what ‘advice’ was given to the accusers.

  44. Captain Yossarian says:

    Remember when Lesley Evans said ‘fairness is in my DNA’? It was during inquiry meeting number-one. Straight out of a liar’s training manual.

    I recall a meeting with Scotland’s old Head of Building Standards a few years ago when he said the same thing. He has now taken early retirement.

    We need to start again. Holyrood’s not working for anyone except the old troughers who haunt the place.

    If Jackie Baillie, Murdo Frazer and Alec Cole-Hamilton are the best we’ve got (and maybe they are) then we’d be best closing the joint.

  45. Graeme says:

    Wulls – it’s already been done – by me … and source data for that can be viewed at

    wulls says:
    14 January, 2021 at 9:17 am
    Giesabrek says:
    14 January, 2021 at 7:19 am
    If you ask me, it looks like all of those Twitter accounts are fake except the Steve Tate one which I’d guess controls the fake ones, given the Twitter handles.

    That was exactly my thoughts…..So I started cross referencing them when I came across the Tim Ellis anomaly.

    That would be an excellent project…..tracking down root source of them……

  46. So who’s been coaching them? K from Men in Black with the Neuralyzer?

  47. Desimond says:

    But more to the point, it makes it almost beyond the bounds of human credibility, given the evidence already published, that Hamilton won’t now find that the First Minister misled Parliament, which is an unequivocal resignation offence under the Ministerial Code.

    Sadly we know that being caught, being found guilty and then actually being punished are separate things entirely. Its a slap on the wrist and a “We know your under pressure but try and keep between the line please First Minister!” soft rebuke whilst Unionist Committee Memebers get 5 mins on telly heralding how they sought truth and justice through to the very end!

    Like Joanna Cherrys input though, thats the one source of comfort we all hope comes good in the end.

    Oh look another super Indy Poll grabs headlines…whodathunkit?

  48. Cath says:

    I’ve been reading “The Cult of Trump” and two things have really struck me.

    The first is how cult-like a lot of politics in the US and UK has become. The trans ideology in particular reeks of a cult and ticks so many of the academic boxes for one it’s scary (cults are very much rooted in identity and removing someone’s real one, ridding them of their old friends, family, hobbies etc to become a new cult identity. They also restrict information to their members by instilling fear of anyone outside the “community”, demanding certain information sources are beyond the pale hateful, bigoted etc and must never be read, for the member’s own safety. They also create new language and instil repetition of meaningless or contradictory slogans. Those are just some of many other boxes ticked). As we know, that particular cult is strong in various political parties, but not least the SNP. One well known tactic of cults is using the law against anyone who leaves them, crosses them or they want rid of.

    Second, the book looks at Trump and his pathological desire for revenge to anyone who crosses him, or for any perceived slight. He takes great joy in destroying people, as can be seen from so many high ranking people in the US he’s done it to. Trump is probably the guy who most famously despises Salmond, and Salmond called him a loser. All of this started after Trump took power. Obviously can’t make any conclusions from that, it could be entirely coincidental. Just two thoughts that have struck me reading this book.

  49. I believed that Scotland and Holyrood would be a beacon of democracy and honesty. In the past what those in Westminster got away with, they wouldn’t get away with it here. I remember the likes of McLetchie, McLeish, Alexander having to resign, and they did to be fair to them. It was just unacceptable here.

    But we now have Sturgeonand her cabal who has destroyed the trust of people (genuine people) done her best to delay and probably destroy independence. I started saying this around 2017, not really believing it, but now I am more than convinced, Sturgeon is an Establishment (British State) agent, recruited from university and placed in the SNP as a sleeper. Now with independence a real threat to them Sturgeon does her work.

    What truly independence supporter and SNP FM would appoint unionist types like Wolfe as Lord Advocate, Evan’s as head of the Civil Service in Scotland (I know Evans was WM’s choice but surely Sturgeon could have objected).

    Sturgeon needs to go and quick and that is why she may hang on and on keeping this rumbling on and on. After all that would be in the interests of the Establishment she serves.

  50. Alison Whiteford says:

    After all this time Keith Brown’s SNP rebuttal team springs into action. Brigade 7 and a half.

  51. Black Joan says:

    Of course we must remember that it was in no way whatsoever “coaching”.

    It will have been (not illegal) “Courtroom Skills Training”, or “Presentation Skills”, or ” what to expect under cross-examination”.

    In the course of such training, it might just emerge that one or more participants were likely to prove a liability.

    In which case, it could be deemed advisable to protect any such potentially weak performer (despite high-flying status, salary, perks, etc), perhaps by declaring that they must not appear before the Committee at all,(because reasons) or must do so via audio link only.

    And if the criminal case prosecution witnesses also benefited from such “training” it is more than possible that taxpayers funded it, and to the tune of rather more than £55,000.

  52. NotMac says:

    The FM may still have an outshot. She may run a strategy that what she told Parliament was true to the best of her knowledge and belief at the time. Parliament was thus accidentally misinformed but not deliberately misled. The report would then pivot on the committee’s assessment of the credibility and reliability of her evidence. The FM is a pathological persuader. It might fly.

  53. Ross says:

    Genuine question about the code?

    Is every factually wrong utterance in parliament equal to misleading?

    I would have thought there would have to be some material gain proven from the fact in question for the beneift of the speaker which has been created by the factually wrong information leading Parliament.

    I.e. saying something in Parliament that isn’t correct could be all separately


    Or Misleading

    Or just wrong..

    They don’t have to be all three outside parliament. Do they have to be for the code?

  54. mike cassidy says:

    Andrew Morton 8.39

    Given the speed with which Evans had her employment contract renewed after the judicial review

    Its hard to imagine Nicola Sturgeon as not being directly involved in this

    “Master Hand” might be a bit of an exaggeration given how easily the whole Salmondgate affair has unravelled

    They gambled everything on the jury finding him guilty

    And now find themselves the butt of jokes by nonentities like Murdo Fraser

    “Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

  55. sassenach says:

    Been away for a while, but cannot believe the change in this site!
    Kezia really spooked it, I suppose.

  56. Gregor says:

    Scotland’s banana version of ‘They Live’.

  57. Bob Mack says:


    Civil servants prepare every Minister for that eventuality. The favourite phrase is “As far as we know at this time”

    There should always be a proviso on uncertainty for something outwith your control.

    Nicola told parliament no such meeting occured: period.

    It transpires it did occur and with witnesses.

  58. Frank Gillougley says:

    Mac 9.45
    Yes, even a dullard like me, commented at the time, that on close reading, the statements were all of the one voice and not those of disparate indoviduals.

  59. Andy Ellis says:

    It’s increasingly apparent that Sturgeonistas are to all intents an purposes indistinguishable from supporters of Donald Trump in terms of their level of self denial and inability to distinguish right from wrong.

    There’s a reason Voltaire’s aphorism “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities” is so popular. Note that I’m not saying Sturgeonistas are about to overthrow the government or that they share a political outlook, but in their “Nicola/party right or wrong” approach they are a clear and present danger to the prospect of achieving independence.

    Their insistence that “Nicola’s got this” is of course a faith based position, just like TWAW or “there is no debate” or “Boris will give us a legal referendum if only we ask nicely enough”.

    You don’t compromise with faith based extremists, you face them down.

    If the grown ups in the party don’t make their move soon, we are entitled to draw our own conclusions. The SNP is in its own way just as much in thrall to a minority group of ideological extremists as the Republican Party in the USA.

  60. Bob Mack says:


    Can you also not believe the change in the SNP ? Or is that acceptable to you?

  61. Breeks says:

    Whatever the breadth and depth of any Inquiry, I now don’t think we’d even get the full truth from Nicola Sturgeon or her cohorts, even supposing they were stood in the dock in handcuffs and facing custodial sentences.

    This shouldn’t be a Holyrood inquiry, it needs the investigative rigour of an actual police Inquiry, seizure of their electronic devices and computers and forensic examination of communications and deleted information… and I mean forensic in a literal sense.

    We surely cannot rely on the testimony of individuals already exposed as conspirators, where some of those heavily implicated in wrongdoing are left to preside over the production of evidence and testimony, and as we are now just learning in foreign media, are coaching witnesses about what to say.

  62. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Ross, you’re at it…

    You keep coming back and drip… drip it was only a mistake, not a big lie… shouldn’t mean it breaks the code…

    She lied about the dates, because the meetings were arranged by Liz Lloyd, they weren’t an accident because Geoff Aberdein “popped his head in to say hello”, it was pre-arranged party business on government premises, it was unrecorded in the diary, the list goes on and on…

  63. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Is every factually wrong utterance in parliament equal to misleading?”

    If they’re intentional.

  64. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Off-Topic – and maybe a wee bit of wishful thnking.

    But, might it be a portent of better news to come for the cause of Scottish Independence, that The Standard has reported the Queen Raven at the Tower of London is missing, presumed dead.

    One down, six more to go, and then, with no ravens left at the Tower, the (United) Kingdom will fall.

    Maybe, Merlina, as the raven is known, has looked at Baw Jaws & Co and decided: “I’m outa here.”

  65. kapelmeister says:

    Will the coach be telling Sturgeon off about her blinking as she gets ready to appear at the inquiry?

  66. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

    As some commented yesterday they felt sure that The Lord Advocate was in the room with Evans during her latest appearance before the Inquiry it isn’t inconceivable that he provided this ‘coaching’.

    The only thing making me doubt he did was that it apparently only cost us taxpayers £55K

  67. Gregor says:

    @Andy Ellis

    The public was told that Trump colluded with Russia: The facts and evidence show that he didn’t, in fact, the evidence shows that ‘Trump/Russia’ was a US Dem funded/MSM/rogue deep-state ploy:

  68. Ross says:

    What would be the point in Sturgeon intentially saying what she has said and to what benefit? Is it provable it was done intentionally?

    Genuinely curious.

    It’s the bit that I’m sure may will wonder about if it’s proven what she said isn’t true.

  69. Hatuey says:

    On a more positive note, thank god she stopped Brexit. It’s absolute carnage. Imagine she had wasted all her time and energy on indyref2 instead, we’d be really screwed right now…

  70. Kenny says:

    Having promised myself to wean myself off Twitter, and lasting around 36 hours on this occasion, I justified going there again to check up on the sheer outrage and demand for Sturgeon’s position on my TL.
    What a meek, shower of hopeless school dunces are my followers.
    Save from the usual lot, who’ve been informing the meek for 2 years now, it’s business as usual for the “Nicola is fab!” crew.
    I despair. I think it was ALL OF THEM who posted the dafty tweets in Stuart’s article above.

    Where’s the dissent from the MPs and MSPs, btw? Are they happy to be associated with crooks? They’d better start speaking out or I’ll be firing-off some serious letters demanding answers from my people.

  71. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “What would be the point in Sturgeon intentially saying what she has said and to what benefit? Is it provable it was done intentionally?”

    Oh for god’s sake. I’ve explained it in words of one syllable in at least six bloody articles.

  72. Gav says:

    On a side note the thickos list hasn’t had a new champ since 2019. Surely there must have been some contenders since then Stuart?

  73. Ross says:

    @ Alan mackintosh.

    Because it’s my view that I haven’t heard anything materially bad from Sturgeon.

    Could you continue with that list on Sturgeons actions? Nothing in your list so far is bad enough to lead me to dismiss Sturgeon over but happy to convinced.

  74. Gav says:

    Wow, just WOW. I’ve lurked here for the best part of 5 years now – it’s been a real political education.

    There must be many more like me who simply digest all this stuff internally. Credit to everyone, site owners and commentators with their selfless insight (and indeed foresight).

    It’s now at the point where it all makes sense having followed everything from the minutiae to the glaringly obvious – the difference being that now, the minutiae IS the glaringly obvious.

    An ever expanding forensic jigsaw puzzle. I say it again – wow.

  75. Liz says:

    OMG i can’t believe how far they have fallen since the heady days of 2014.
    She has to go and she has to go now.

    Either LEvans has stitched her up like a kipper or she believed the shero worship.

    This is worse than worse.
    All those bleating about soft Nos, Jesus you think anyone could vote for this bunch?

  76. Gav says:

    ps. i am a different Gav to the one above me at 10:44 am!

  77. willie says:

    Based on all these twitter comments being worded exactly the same to the very letter, it is difficult NOT to believe that a horde of monkeys with typewriters could come up with the works of Shakespeare.

    Well if you’re daft or you believe that one in a trillion trillion coincidences occur right here in Bonnie Scotland, you’ll conclude that these twitter tweets are real. The real McCoy. Straight up!

    Thanks for culling the tweets Rev and lining them up so that we can see how magic synchronicity works.

    Aye, wee Sturgeon’s the gal. Full of shit. A veritable virus slayer too.

  78. Derick fae Yell says:

    Cath says:
    14 January, 2021 at 9:54 am
    “The first is how cult-like a lot of politics in the US and UK has become.”

    Never a truer word.

  79. Ross says:

    Stuart, im just asking. I’m bright enough to form a view and it’s been unconvincing so far on her reasons although I respect your analysis; big paragraphs or picture book style. From what I have read it’s about how a business might have been recorded but that’s not doing enough for me. If she was so bothered about that she’s tied herself up in a molehill over such a stupid technicality it’s unreal.

  80. Ross says:

    Coaching respondents is also bad news and deserves a grilling. Money suggests a fairly minor but serious coaching excercise.

  81. holymacmoses says:

    Well spotted Mr Wings. Ms Cherry becomes more and more credible as representative of a new and open Scotland.
    AND you become more credible as one of the finest political journalists on the internet. You’ve got great wit and you’re loyal, honest, stubborn; you read accurately and carefully and write clearly and often with humour. And I’m being patronising to write these things – except that I’m not 🙂
    I hope you’re eating properly. AND staying safe from all harm.
    Sturgeon, Murrell. Robertson, Evans and Swinney and a few others, are only important to Scotland insofar as they need to be got rid of. There is absolutely no need for this debacle to destroy the path to Independence, In fact, it’s the very unearthing of the truth and the clearing out of the stables which should set the minds of those who want independence at rest. We have plenty of good people able to take the country forward – this is a handful of people, they should not have the notion of ‘indispensability’ given to them as an accolade

  82. Did Kezia not get away with lying about you in Parliament,

    when even three judges ruled that what she said was not the truth but her `honest opinion/fair comment` as stupid as that opinion was,

    would this `honest opinion/fair comment at the time` not get a lot of lies rebranded as honest opinon/fair comment,

    can they prove beyond dout that a lie was malicious or deliberate.

  83. Ross says:


    Civil servants prepare every Minister for that eventuality. The favourite phrase is “As far as we know at this time”

    So if she’d just prefaced her statement with the above would this crisis have been averted? If not, why?

  84. Livionian says:

    I’m embarrassed to have Sturgeon in charge of the country I love

  85. James Horace says:

    Rev, it’s very clear that you believe that Sturgeon’s days are numbered.

    If you were a betting man, and had to pick a month most likely to be her resignation month, which month would you pick?

  86. Stuart Insh says:

    Stu, more great work … apologies if this has been asked this before, but – if not – are you in a position to discuss why you know for sure that all roads lead back to Sturgeon as instigator of the whole mess … and that she has not been ‘played’ into a deeper British State plot?

  87. willie says:

    So we have good cause to believe that the Scottish Government shelled out £55,000 to illegally coach witness testimony.

    Nothing strange in that. The SG must have spent £3m to £4m investigating Alex Salmond. They COPFS must have spent another £1 to £2m preparing and developing a prosecution strategy. Lord knows how much civil service time was devoted to setting up the trap – another couple of million maybe. And then there was the court case itself – where if Alex Salmond recovered over half a million then the prosecution must have sustained the same if not more – let us say another £1m.

    So that’s an overall public purse cost of maybe £10m.

    Strange ain’t it how the Scottish Government at a time of Austerity can be so flush with the lush.

    And oh how the little people laughed at the Sturgeonista – virus slayer extraordinaire!

  88. Davie Oga says:

    kapelmeister says:
    14 January, 2021 at 10:31 am
    Will the coach be telling Sturgeon off about her blinking as she gets ready to appear at the inquiry?

    When she’s getting ready to lie, she starts to get a slight twitch/palsey around the mouth. At the moment of the lie, she generally has a quick look down.

    The blinking is probably a result of coaching to iron out her natural reaction to lying. Look them eyes, look straight at the camera etc.

  89. Craig P says:

    I’d like clarification on Joanna Cherry’s comment. Obviously she knows far more about the law than I ever will, but a Holyrood inquiry isn’t a court of law, so do the same standards against coaching witnesses apply?

  90. Astonished says:

    Ross – What we do know is that a lot of time, effort and public funds were used to “fit-up” Alex Salmond. Who was innocent of any crime. More than two years were spent examining his life with a fine tooth comb. He was innocent of all the trumped-up charges. How many of us could endure a two year investigation ?

    The accusers, the civil service investigators and members of the Scottish Government and the SNP discussed the case extensively. To facilitate a conviction. Nicola Sturgeon knew all about this and lied to cover it up.

    So far not one of the collaborators has suffered any consequences for their actions. Hopefully that will soon change.

    If you don’t believe Nicola was involved then you probably believe Hitler knew nothing about the wannsee conference.

  91. Bob Mack says:


    Firstly I understand your desire to prove her innocent.

    However we have to follow the evidence trail. What we do know for certain is that those meetings actually took place, even though Nicola denied it.

    Secondly, some time after those meetings Nicola asked Ms Evans to create a policy that would allow disciplinary actions on former Ministers. She knew by then that would involve Alex.

    She then tried to distance herself by saying she gave the remit to Ms Evans and had no knowledge of who or how it affected Anybody including Alex. No matter she had to approve it and presumably read it before signing it off.

    Its lies and confabulation.

    In the event the whole policy was a mess and blasted out of court on judicial review. Nicola has on two subsequent occasions since the Salmond trial still press the line Salmond was the creator of his own misfortune in spite of him being found not guilty. She appears to be unable to accept the verdict of the jury. That tells you she has a vested interest and a mind that is made up towards guilt.

    For somebody who wanted to remain at arms length from the policy creation she sure does seem partial to one view.

  92. Mc Duff says:

    At the risk of repeating myself I still don`t understand what is going on with Sturgeon and the SG.
    I can`t believe the FM &co was prepared to send AS to prison for possibility the rest of his life just to hold on to power alone, this was an evil act.
    And when you take the obsession with woke and the police and CPS openly and confidently targeting AS supporters alarm bells start.
    But when you add Surgeon`s not so subtle anti independence stance the whole thing suggests something else is going on in the background.

  93. Ruby says:

    Is Evans black & white jacket made out of Dalmatians?

  94. Liz says:

    I had a friend who voted No in the 2014 ref. She said, having read the White Paper that she couldn’t see the point of voting for ‘more of the same’. An independent Scotland basically run on the same lines as WM. Seems she had a better view of it than I did who genuinely thought the SNP were different to the UK parties. Having campaigned for them, spent hours(often in the freezing cold) delivering leaflets and canvassing door to door I feel I was a gullible fool who wasted a good deal of my time for nothing. Scunnered with what they are doing.

  95. Alan Mackintosh says:

    Ross, the thing is, you are not in a position to dismiss, or not, La Sturgeon. It is the Ministerial Code that oversees her, and “thems the rules”.

    Just because you personally don’t think its serious doesn’t mean it isn’t. And Rev Stu has told you that repeatedly.

  96. Bob Mack says:

    @Alan MakIntosh,

    Agreed. As Alex was expected to accept the rules created for him so should Nicola expect to be bound by those created for her post.

  97. The Dissident says:


    She lied that she first heard about the allegations at the meeting with Salmond at her home.

    When she was rumbled, she then said she had had a meeting with Aberdein in Edinburgh a few days earlier but lied that it was a chance, fleeting meeting that happened only because he was in the building on other business. That was also a lie, because it had been pre-arranged by her Chief of Staff and there are several witnesses to that effect.

    What is being covered up here is when she really knew about the allegations. She wants you to think she only knew about them around about that time. The truth is more likely to be that she knew about them before the new procedure was in place and that that procedure was ordered by her knowing that these allegations would be fed into it.

    We KNOW that at least two but probably all three of her direct reports (Perm Sec, Private Sec, Chief of Staff) knew about the allegations before the procedure was in place. Are we really to believe that none of these people told the FM about them, even though the ‘best fit’ procedures that WERE in place at the time specifically state that the FM should be involved?

    But don’t take my word for it. Go and read Gordon Dangerfield’s blog who has been putting his long experience of practising law to good use by forensically examining the evidence put before the inquiry.

  98. Mac says:

    This is now starting to really take its toll I think. Those tweets above from Cole-Hamilton, Fraser and Jackie Baillie and Cherry are a sea change away from where we were just a few weeks ago.

    I sense this is all now reaching critical mass and something is going to have to give.

    I think there is actually now a real chance Nicola will resign. It is not going to take much more. And wings and Craig Murray have said there is a lot more worse stuff to come.

    These endless revelations are hammer blows to the SNPG’s credibility and Nicola personally. The last few weeks especially I think have done immense damage.

    It is almost palpable. The tide is turning and turning fast. And they know it hence the increasing viciousness and desperation.

    This site (and others) are the political equivalent of a Dragon Slayer but in this case it will be a First Minister Slayer.

    David with his trusty blog will have brought down Goliath.

  99. Ian says:

    Not sure why they would need coaching if they can, at a later date, simply ‘correct’ what they previously said, ie say the opposite. Also since I believe that they are all under oath, how can changing their responses at a later date be allowed if the original responses were given under oath. The coaching would imply a strong desire to make sure that the original responses were as desired since they would be binding under the oath? Trying to nail down legal matters is like herding kittens.

    I just hope that the outcome doesn’t revolve around the word ‘intentional’, as in – didn’t intentionally lie.

  100. Lulu Bells says:

    I wish they would drop down a level and start interviewing some of the staff below SCS, especially the SG HR who were the actual people (very few of whom are ‘experts’ as Leslie Evans called them, or even have HR qualifications and are homegrown) who drafted the policy/process (the orphaned one). The SCS and Ministers are not protecting their poor wee workers from the nasty media and inquiry, they are hoping like fk their staff are never interviewed about this whole affair as it would unravel a whole lot quicker than it is doing.

  101. Graf Midgehunter says:

    kapelmeister says:

    “Will the coach be telling Sturgeon off about her blinking as she gets ready to appear at the inquiry?”

    Are we heading for the “Clockwork Orange” treatment, clamps an’ all.. 🙂

  102. Hugh Jarse says:

    If it does happen that the advisors/coaches were from the legal sector, and not the presentation or PR world …
    Substance over style.

  103. gus1940 says:


    RE the disastrous hold-ups regarding the export of Scottish fish – if the Rosyth-Zeebrugge daily service were to be re-instated all the form filling, inspections and other associated bureaucracies could be taken care of overnight during the voyage.

  104. Garavelli Princip says:

    Mac says:
    14 January, 2021 at 9:24 am
    Why does anyone need ‘advice’ on telling ‘the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth’ anyway?

    Precisely the point. They don’t.

    IF they are telling the truth!

  105. stonefree says:

    @ Paul Brown at 9:45 am

    If it was Steve Tait who did it
    He is really useless at disguising plagiarism
    I’ll bet he’s got an ology in “some division of Computer Geekery” from a rice crispy box

    @ willie at 11:03 am

    It seems to me, Sturgeon seems to think the UK government has a bottomless pit of money to fund the Scottish Administration in this debacle( I know I said the UK but it does in part effect ordinary people top to bottom of the UK) If it is Scottish money then the effect is far higher,
    And then there is the member money???

    The subject Solicitor and law ? that would be a question for the law society, a serious question as it effects the whole society and the structure of law in Scotland AND law in the UK
    On the face of it, it’s a(nother) Sturgeon major screw up BUT there is the question arises Does it only reflect on the SG AND include the SNP party (the solicitors within that organisation)

    If I were a legal beagle and member of the SNP I would be having a serious think

  106. Breeks says:

    Ross says:
    14 January, 2021 at 10:54 am
    Stuart, im just asking.

    Would it be too glib of me to cite the Moorov Doctrine? Sorry. I’ll get ma coat…

  107. 1971Thistle says:

    FWIW, assuming 80 hours of training (back of an envelope from figures provided), that’s around 700 per hour. Lets assume some prep – say 20 hours; we’re at 550 per hour.

    That would get you two media trainers from a decent PR company.

    From the detailed figures quoted, I suspect Telegraph has seen the timesheets from the trainers’ agency.

  108. Al-Stuart says:

    Stop worrying about the £55,000 spent coaching Leslie Evans-Almighty and her Minions.

    The tax payer didn’t have to cough up this massive amount of money.

    It was all paid form the wonderful munificent Sturgeonite Weaver Tree.

    Surely you have heard of it? Where money is “woven” into the soil and mixed into a big yellow river called the Pishart. The resultant brown slurry is used by the McWoke gardening gnomes. They call it: Fruits of the Yesser’s Cash Compost Heap.As well as being obsessed with trying to bring down our First Minister and ruin our best chance of securing independence the #SNPbad bloggers are obsessed with me, my pension and my slippers. Bizarre, and they’re so upset no one is paying any attention.

    That delicious fruit has the horticultural Latin name of “envelopium brownicus bungiterium”.

    This financial harvest is collected by big Brenda McShlong, Senga McTadger, Richard Wadd and Bid Daddy Alan McCreepy

    Then they all wake up and go to the fairytale castle called Corton Vale where lovely ladies play stitch-em-up fake-rape-alleged. All just for fun.

    Jeezo, back in the REAL world, who was it on here 7 years ago who said getting Scottish Independence would be hard and the opposition truly evil.

    I knew our opponents would be clever about killing off the dream that shall never die. But had no idea how hard it would be and what a universal Bourach the opponents would make of our country, our legal system and our politics.

    Oh for the heady decent days of 2014 when Alex Salmond was our First Minister and his word was kept.

  109. Captain Yossarian says:

    Remember the early days of Holyrood when Wendy Alexander and Henry McLeish resigned due to expenses scandals an Jack McConnell due to an extra-marital affair.

    You’ll agree, all relatively small-potatoes stuff in comparison to what we are seeing now and I’m surprised that Jackie Baillie hasn’t made something of this.

    That was in the days when Holyrood saw itself as exceptional in terms of probity.

    Look at what we are seeing now….and why has no-one resigned yet?

    That dollop of dishonesty, John Swinney, spent all ay yesterday vexing on Twitter about the price of fish and the difficulties our exporters are having post Brexit. I see he’s at it again this morning.

    Something tells me that Holyrood has become detached and needs to close for a while to re-set its targets.

  110. mr laing b. french says:

    Is there actually a point reached yet where the accountant says we’re running out of money, your wasting it on false defence, litigation and pissing it up the wall. The lawyers don’t want your money the QC doesn’t want your money but there you are quite insanely using it up like a night in Monte Carlo. Knowing your going to lose it all on the roulette table. Is there any common sense in her team? When it’s time to quit……. QUIT!

  111. Bob Mack says:

    @Mr Laing B French,

    Add to that the money the Indy supporters have had to use to defend our rights against the government.

  112. Republicofscotland says:

    So another £55 grand wasted by the lying FM and her clique, to illegally coach witnesses in how to evade telling the truth. How much is that now that Sturgeon and her vile entourage has cost the Scottish taxpayer in attempt to cover up the truth, what a vile disgusting creature Sturgeon has become, she and her corrupt clique are not fit to work in the Cleansing department never mind remain in government.

    On the upside Mr Hamilton has now a clear run to ultimately show that Sturgeon did break the Ministerial Code and that she must resign, a clear out of the offending detritus, such as Evans, MacKinnon etc must then follow suit if we the public are to regain our confidence in the party.

    As for the Sturgeon faithful, surely some of them must be the 77th Brigade/BritNats acting as concerned trolls, others of course are fatally flawed in their unending support for Sturgeon, fawning on her every word, its time these real indy supporters took a long hard look at the evidence, and then looked in the mirror.

  113. Republicofscotland says:

    Incidentally on the Telegraph newspaper one the brothers that owns it Sir David Barclay, has died aged 86.

  114. WhoRattledYourCage says:

    ‘Don’t try to make a woman responsible for a man’s actions.’ Cheeky c…eh…cretins just had to squeeze a wee bit more manhating in, eh? Scotland needs Sturgeon and her halfwit alphabet cur cabal like a fish needs a bicycle, to paraphrase the old feminist manhater adage.

    Thank Christ, though, that these parochial anti-intellects are incredibly bad at covering up their amateur hour womens-coffee-morning shady conspiracies. Imagine how much worse, and more difficult, things would have been had they been sleek, sleekit operators. I shudder to think. Back to the pandemic dole queue with the lot of you, manhating ladies, and GOOD…FUCKING…RIDDANCE. No womansplaining your way out of this one!

  115. Joe M says:

    @Stuart Insh @11:03

    The British state could have tried to take AS out at any time when he was an active politician and SNP leader, they didn’t. They are as informed as we are on Sun Tsu’s “never interrupt your enemy when they are making a Mistake” and they can see that Sturgeon is going to destroy herself. The only ways that they have to involve themselves are to advise their Civil Servants when required, and to get their media to hold fire until the right moment to take down Sturgeon and her party.

    Although all of this is happening within the political environment, it is not a political plot, this is the result of personal grudges. Salmond’s only crime was he didn’t die or become a hermit, he remained in the headlines, and he pursued a career as a TV presenter. The new head girl couldn’t stand the old head boy taking some of the focus from her.

    She couldn’t have done it alone though, she needed to have someone close and personal to scheme with. It is not difficult to work out who that was.

  116. Rob says:

    Have spoken to a neighbour of mine, a paramedic of 35 yrs. He tells me he has attended court many times to give evidence of murder, serious assault and liable cases, he has attended in the course of his duties. Not once has he been offered help or advice, of any type from his employer, on how to answer questions in court. The same applies to all of his colleagues. So the question must be asked why was £55000 spent on tutoring these witnesses facing a committee that has no legal powers to charge them with perjury or giving misleading evidence, yet people like the paramedic above has to fend for himself.

  117. Joe M says:

    “Will the coach be telling Sturgeon off about her blinking as she gets ready to appear at the inquiry?”

    No. She’s going to wear very dark glasses and claim she’s a victim of DV.

  118. Bob Mack says:


    I saw a post on WGD from Capella formerly of this parish re Alex. I tried to correct her but found that Paul Kavangh now deletes most of my comments even though they are inoffensive.

    He has become as bad or worse than his contributors. Im sad about that because I contributed his rehab programme.

    I suppose he has to look to the future and that means satisfying his paying audience rather than deal with honesty as Stu does. Shame rsally.

  119. holymacmoses says:

    It’s clear that ‘preparation’ of witnesses is allowed – and I suppose that given that almost all the ‘witnesses’ are there on behalf of the Governemt then it follows that it’s perfectly within the rights of the government to ‘prepare’ them for their questioning.
    I suspect oaths are only as binding as the beliefs of the witness.
    From what I understand , the hearing does have Parliamentary privilege and therefore anyone is entitled to say stuff as if they were in the chamber.
    The Government doesn’t have to take a jot or a tittle of notice of what is said and therefore it becomes even more important for the people to scrutinise the procedure with great care .

  120. Kate says:

    As pleased as I am that the truth is coming out bit by bit, Yet today I actually feel a little deflated that so much damage has been done now to our Indy movement. And like the USA there is a huge split in this country only NOT between different parties, but between INDY voters..

    The FM has such a huge cult like following, & we know that has been why she has been so confident over the past few years, Now she is regarded as the saver of COVID, with her very long, “I stand her everyday answering all your questions, & being TRANSPARENT with her update s***e”That has won her not just more followers in the Nicola Cult, but has given her international coverage, to where she has been hailed by many countries as one of the finest political leaders in the world today..

    And to listen to her, you can’t blame them for thinking that.. She does sound credible.

    Yet all I see when I look at her is a devious woman who knew that Alex Salmond may have lost his seat in 2017 thanks to the Tory/Labour collusion. But he was still OUT there, still watching her, & the party & the movement. That she along with the wee creep she married wanted nobody around that could criticise or interfere in her leadership they wanted full control of the party, the Indy movement, & the Country. And She got all of that, by Hook but mostly by CROOK..

    But the fact it has taken YOONS to get HAMILTON 2 change his mind, is for me disgraceful that the SNP MSPS/MPS have all stayed quiet, cared more for their careers than either the PARTY or the country.. Leaves you wondering has she finally destroyed the Party as well as her own career, cause I don’t think I could trust anymore than a handful of SNP Politicians today..

  121. Soda says:

    Would it be fair to surmise that this is where the “ring-fenced and intricately woven yet entirely unaccounted for” monies raised to fight indy have gone?

    If so, would that be called embezzlement or theft?

  122. shug says:

    BBC is now on a war footing against the SNP government!
    The Covid figures reported now focus on the totals to date rather than the daily figures. Clearly because the total to date for Scotland don’t make the UK figures look so bad.
    For clarity the 7 day average:
    Scottish daily Infection 2056
    Scottish daily death 55
    UK daily infection 55653
    UK daily death 985
    NB: the UK rate should be approximately 10 times the Scottish rate
    The UK infection rate is accelerating away. The death rate will catch up with the infection rate in due course
    Stay away from the BBC stay safe!

  123. robertknight says:

    £55K the going rate for a cover-up these days, or can they be sourced more cheaply elsewhere?

    Asking for a friend…

  124. Lorna Campbell says:

    The closer we get to May, the more insane it would be to try and topple the FM. That is just hard, pragmatic fact. She might resign, but I doubt it.

    Ergo, FM: do the only thing left to you and make that election in May a partially-plebiscitary one which, if won (by seats, not votes, that is not part of our democracy) we go straight to negotiations, or, at least, offer Westminster the choice. In the meantime, co-opt our best constitutional and international legal minds and prepare a case, based on the breaching of the Treaty, on the UN Charter’s Chapters on colonialism, self-determination and human rights, and approach the UN General Assembly for a right of Address. We will need friends in the international community to press our case.

    This is now the only way you can salvage something and retain some respect because, at this rate, if you hang on with the vague promise of yet another mandate for yet another S30 Order, or, indeed, any kind of referendum that we can lose again, you will leave in ignominy, and, you know something, I think Alex Salmond will return to front-line politics. He might well, anyway, if the independence movement splits. That is what you/your advisers should have realized long ago. He is still very popular with many. I dare say, you know that now.

    I have not the slightest doubt that you believe in independence in some perfect utopian circumstances. It ain’t going to happen, FM, not now, not ever. I also have no doubt that you have meant your role at the head of the Scottish government to be one of progress and decency, but all that has gone in a swirl of hubris, largely brought about by the inability to see/acknowledge that independence was absolutely essential after 2016. That you have been an excellent FM in so many ways is beyond doubt, but no one is indispensable. No one.

    Yes, you are on the peak of a wave of support because you have been seen to handle the pandemic better than Johnson, and because Brexit terrifies people, as it should, but it won’t last in either case: the pandemic will end; many people will commodity Brexit. You must know that.

    Please, FM, do the one thing you know that Scotland wants above all else – no matter how you feel personally about it – and institute a partially-plebiscitary election where your main – but not only – policy is immediate independence after a win. You might ride out this mess because you are, in your own way, as consummate a politician as Salmond, and because no one wants to rock the boat at this juncture, but it won’t last

    Rise above the caution and the pandering to minorities, and take the reins. Tell people in the campaign that independence is not going to be easy – far from it – but that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. There will be no light for Scotland at the end of the Brexit tunnel. None. When you think about it, there cannot be.

  125. WhoRattledYourCage says:

    Kate, you say that the FM ‘has such a huge cult-like following.’ I would never forget just how very small a portion of the Scottish public actual SNP members are, though she is held in “She’s doing a better job than Johnson” esteem by some of the general public in passing. And she is loathed in equal measure. The venom and vitriol you can get just for mentioning her name to people,including non-unionists – is quite stunning. She’s not a universally respected or admired character by any means.

  126. The Unicorn says:

    Maybe we should be asking for a detailed breakdown of all legal fees spent by the SNP and Scot Gov over the pass three + years to see what other bodies they may have been buried. ?

  127. Breeks says:

    Lorna Campbell says:
    14 January, 2021 at 12:42 pm
    The closer we get to May, the more insane it would be to try and topple the FM. That is just hard, pragmatic fact. She might resign, but I doubt it….

    I agree, but with a twist. I don’t think being rid of Nicola would make a serious dent in proceedings, but my concern is that it wouldn’t just be Nicola. After we fill a couple of minibuses with fallout departures, I think we can expect a real can of worms / Pandora’s Box opening up, and the whole SNP line up would scarcely be recognisable.

    It wouldn’t stop with the customary musical chairs either, because I think a number of dubious protocols and procedures would lose their sponsors, and even Candidate selection might come under review given the number of candidates still in the mix who were vetted by the previous McWoke NEC.

    Any manifesto commitments would be obsolete if the SNP suddenly switched strategy just before the Election too.

    It prompts me to say, the only thing worse than changing your leader in the run up to an Election might be not changing your leader in the run up to an Election.

  128. cirsium says:

    @Rob, 12.16

    the question must be asked why was £55000 spent on tutoring these witnesses facing a committee that has no legal powers to charge them with perjury or giving misleading evidence,

    The goal was to maintain the narrative. It was, therefore, important to learn and rehearse the key words or phrases to be used to elicit a response from committee members

  129. Joe M says:

    A technical question for any anoraks in the room.

    Could parliament rise(or whatever) for an election if there is no first minister in position?

  130. robertknight says:

    Kate @ 12:34

    “The FM has such a huge cult like following”

    Ask yourself why it is that the woman who should be the biggest threat to the Union has been permitted to develop “a huge cult like following”.

    In a country where the entire Mainstream Media, (with the sole exception of the SNP in-house circular “The National”), is either openly hostile to Indy or at the most luke-warm towards the status-quo, how is that possible?

    Ask yourself how all the facts supported by direct and attributable sources which Stu has placed on this site aren’t being exposed to the forensic examination and reporting in the MSM which we would normally expect?

    Why do rags like the Daily Retard go around inventing SNP-Bad when there is a goldmine of SNP-Bad, (all of which the SNP’s own doing), to be found on this site, yet they won’t touch any of it? Instead you get “Oh, look! A Twitter!”

    To paraphrase Arthur Conan Doyle… When you have excluded all other possibilities, whatever remains, no matter how improbable it may appear, must be the truth.

    The truth is, Sturgeon, and under her leadership the SNP, are no threat to the Union.

  131. deerhill says:

    Can anyone put a number on the SNP people involved in framing Alex Salmond?

    I don’t mean civil servants, they obviously had their own agenda, but honest(?) to goodnes Snp supporters.
    If there were more than four or five involved, I am troubled that none of them said “This is bad idea and I want nothing to do with it”

    I stopped voting Labour when it dawned on me that neither Blair or the Labour Party were socialist any more but coniving and cheating to stay in power.

    Have we reached the same impasse with the SNP?

  132. Chris says:

    Perhaps Edinburgh Coaching Academy assisted.

    McKinnon is part of their team so a discount might have been arranged and she has coached public employees in the past.

    One person to coach them all and in the responses train them.

  133. alasdair galloway says:

    Mr Campbell, how many people – for instance, the woman on the top deck of the Easterhouse bus – care whether the FM misled Parliament in the manner that you have set out so comprehensively, even assuming that she fesses up and says “yes it was my hand in the cookie jar”? This is the sort of “technical issue” beloved of folk like us that has limited cutting ability among folk with little interest in politics. Or, who havent started from the conclusion – let’s get the FM out – and then worked back to the means – she lied to Parliament.
    There will be a great deal of heat generated when the reports come out. How much light? Not a lot is my guess.
    One other thing, you are very confident that the Ministerial Code requires the FM to resign if the reports conclude she did what you allege. I’m sorry, but this isnt my reading. The relevant section is section 1.6. Just for the avoidance of doubt, this is it in its full glory
    “1.6. Ministers are personally responsible for deciding how to act and conduct themselves in the light of the Ministerial Code and for justifying their actions to Parliament and the public. The First Minister is, however, the ultimate judge of the standards of behaviour expected of a Minister and of the appropriate consequences of a breach of those standards. Although the First Minister will not expect to comment on every matter which could conceivably be brought to his or her attention, Ministers can only remain in office for so long as they retain the First Minister’s confidence.”
    Now, there are two things that I think could put a fair sized hole in your argument.
    1. Dismissal – or leaving office, which is how it’s expressed in the Code – is at the discretion of the FM. If say, Swinney was the subject of a vote of no confidence, Sturgeon could say “no, I’m standing by my boy”. Sure there would be outrage, which in the case of such as Baillie and Cole-Hamilton might lead them to exploding (so it wouldnt all be bad!). But the important point is, sir, leaving office is not inevitable, or at least not in terms of the Code.
    2. The person whose decision is critical is explicitly that of the FM. I can find nothing in the Code which would, or even could, demand that FM resign for any reason. This would only be a political decision. Now I am quite happy to concede that the SNP lack a majority, and a motion could be passed requiring her to resign, but even that would not be determining. As far as I can see, the only way they could bring her down would be a vote of no confidence, which would lead to an election ………….. is that really what they want? It would be less turkeys voting for the early Christmas as sharpening up the knives as well beforehand, particularly given the approval ratings that Sturgeon enjoys (most recently publicised in Scotsman).
    In short the inevitable and mechanical downfall of the FM from any report is neither inevitable or mechanical.

  134. Ross says:

    @ Bob and the Dissident

    Firstly I don’t have a desire to find her innocent. Far from it, I want the facts. Secondly, I respect that you’ve taken the time to respond to my query in a fair way.

    I don’t sway from the events you have described necessarily. I query your interpretation of them.

    Should old complaints be covered by the new policy? It’s not a black and white answer. You seem to think, definitely not. I think maybe. The perceived wisdom in 2018 was that complaints by authorities weren’t dealt with as they should have been in the past. It’s plausible the Scottish Govt may take that view and that policies would be drawn up accordingly to deal with past events if merited.

    The fact Salmond would fall into that category is because complaints were received.

    Is the policy itself a bad thing? I’m not sure what grounds the JR fell down on but I doubt it was on this specific basis. Even if it was, it’s a least a debatable point. Overall, it was found to be unfair and I donated to Salmond to have that tested.

    I’d be raging if I was Salmond that old complaints caused a fishing excercise but it’s not Nicola Sturgeon that decides that. She might have authorised a policy to be created, knowing his old complaints would put him in that category, but is that actually a bad thing? Would it be wrong to block a policy like this to stop it just because you know someone? That seems to be the main beef here. Notwhistanding, it’s others who investigate and consider whether there is a case. Not Sturgeon.

  135. Saffron Robe says:

    Never have the words “unfit for office” had more meaning. And when was breaking the law ever a hindrance to her aspirations, especially when she can change it with impunity? No wonder there is a refusal to disclose who was paid for witness coaching – “discloser…proves the guilt of the defendant without any other evidence”. Widen the net and tighten the noose! Let justice finally be served.

  136. Republicofscotland says:

    Bob Mack @12.31pm.

    Yeah Bob I got booted off WGD myself for exposing Sturgeon’s machinations, I took a lot of stick just for calling Saint Nicola Sturgeon, instead of Nicola Sturgeon.

    I got the feeling that many commenters on WGD are in denial.

  137. Shug says:

    Any sensible employer would train staff on what’s ahead. Not to train would result in u reasonable stress. Every employment case I was involved in was preceeded by a session with the lawyers to let us know the procedure and the evidence being discussed

    This is a non issue

  138. Kate says:

    @ robertknight says..

    Kate @ 12:34

    “The FM has such a huge cult like following”

    Ask yourself why it is that the woman who should be the biggest threat to the Union has been permitted to develop “a huge cult like following”.
    It don’t NEED to ask myself why, I know why, that is why I left the party after 53yrs because of the CULT following. I hate the MSM, & I hate the fact that the SNP has been damaged hugely by the CULT followers of STURGEON..

  139. There are links here to Leslie Evans and the type of person she is.

  140. Bob Mack says:

    @Alisdair Galloway,

    Nicola may have a degree of autonomy in some aspects. Sh however if found to have broken the Ministerial code will have to face as set out in the Scotland Act a vote of no confidence. It’s not debatable. Only the outcome might be .

  141. Gregor says:

    @James Caithness

    Leslie Evans’s claimed values on equality and inclusion feel like a slap in the public face (God knows what primary Witch Hunt victim Alex Salmond must think of them).

  142. Gregor says:

    Leslie Evans, quote:

    “If someone in a position of authority is determined to smear you, it is very difficult to recover. Mud sticks”:

    Tell that to your prey: Alex Salmond.

  143. Derick fae Yell says:

    ” Joe M says:
    14 January, 2021 at 1:09 pm
    A technical question for any anoraks in the room.
    Could parliament rise(or whatever) for an election if there is no first minister in position?”

    An Extraordinary Scottish General Election must be called if there is no First Minister for a period of 28 days

    Scotland Act 1998, Section 3

    3 Extraordinary general elections.

    (1)The Presiding Officer shall propose a day for the holding of a poll if—

    (a)the Parliament resolves that it should be dissolved and, if the resolution is passed on a division, the number of members voting in favour of it is not less than two-thirds of the total number of seats for members of the Parliament, or

    (b)any period during which the Parliament is required under section 46 [28 days] to nominate one of its members for appointment as First Minister ends without such a nomination being made.

  144. Joe M says:

    Derick fae Yell

    Thanks for answering my question. I had wondered if the unionist parties could use the lack of a first minister to prevent parliament from being dissolved, so pushing us into an October election. Early October would be a disastrous time to have an election as the ScotGov are legally obliged to publish the GERS figures in the last week of August(Aug26 IIRC), and if parliament was then dissolved GERS would dominate the election campaigns giving a large boost to the union parties.

    That is why the unionists are currently vocal about using covid to delay the election.

  145. twathater says:

    @ Lorna Campbell 12.42pm All very laudable Lorna but as we have ALL been pointing out the MSM have been ever so quiet during this prolonged debacle apart from the occasional outing by individual papers , just think of the feasting on the body of independence if Sturgeon were to mention NOW a single plebicitery mandate for the HR election (which is my preference), the avalanche of accusations of illegality , the refusal to publish legal papers , the £55,000 coaching uncivil servants while kids are starving , the PROMISE to keep us in the EU , and many , many other broken promises they would conjure up

    As many people say it is mostly anoraks like us who are on top of this clusterfcuk , but just picture Joe and Jane McBlog being assaulted with this EVERY day for months by the broadcasters and MSM and you know they will , what then for independence , Sturgeon has f**ked our chances with her vileness

  146. Gary says:

    To me this seems to revolve almost entirely around Leslie Evans. She sought permission to create a new process, she sought the witnesses, she coached them, she promised them it would not result in police action. She has engineered this.

    If Sturgeon had engineered this then I believe it would’ve worked, she is simply more competent. Remember, the idea was to push Salmond out of politics with the minimum of fuss. The Civil Case and Criminal Case were unwanted. The only beneficiary of this has been unionism. It was a win-win for them. It didn’t matter who won the court cases, merely that they took place and someone lost. In fact THIS outcome has probably got them in paroxysms of joy.

    As a former Civil Servant I know just how seriously the Civil Service Code is taken by Civil Servants and how much this and the Ministerial Code are ignored in Westminster. The Scottish Parliament has been an example to Westminster of how it CAN be done. However, the one person at the centre of this who has broken every single code, rule and law I can think of is Leslie Evans. No one rises to that level without being highly intelligent and able to coordinate complex interactions between opposing groups without ‘upsetting the apple cart’ and still getting the job done. Sure, mistakes happen but this is NOT a mistake, this was done deliberately from the outset by Evans.

    If you were someone prone to conspiracy theories you may begin to suspect that Evans was actively working against the very thought of independence. It’s difficult to come up with any other reason she acted in the way she did. Her behaviour certainly meets the bar for gross misconduct and almost certainly is criminal.

  147. Brian says:

    So that fucker can be on Twitter can have multiple accounts on Twitter telling lies and I get booted off for telling the truth. (That Tory is a c*nt)

    I know it’s not the point of the article but the whole thing is just depressing.

  148. Pixywine says:

    Ross? Are you sure you’re not sneaky Petey?

  149. Alan Murphy says:

    Alex. Fire the starting gun. I’m too old to watch this play out…

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