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For process, read rights

Posted on September 07, 2018 by

Chris McEleny is an SNP councillor. This is a personal opinion.

The open sewer of some newspapers has been in full torrent this week. However it surged over the overflow pipe with the hysteria in last weekend’s Sunday Mail.

In a deranged editorial it actually argued that Alex Salmond should stay out of the SNP “whatever happens with his legal challenge and the subsequent police investigation”.

In other words, “regardless of innocence or guilt, regardless of whether the procedures are judged just or unjust we just don’t like him”.

Actually it’s not what they like or don’t like. It’s fear that motivates much of the mainstream media against Salmond.

So let us get this right. Salmond is absolutely entitled to legally challenge the process by which complaints have been made against him, as indeed are people to support that challenge financially. And who with any interest in justice can object to that challenge being in the Court of Session, the highest court in the land?

Process is important. The process of justice is what establishes rights. We would not accept a position, for example, where an individual’s European Convention rights were being jeopardised. Now I don’t know enough about the Scottish Government’s new process for complaints against former Ministers to be sure it does that, although I did read a complete demolition of it from Gregg Brain, an expert in this field. However, I am content to let the Court of Session decide.

In my own recent experiences with the MOD I was far from assured of my rights by my employer. I am glad to have the opportunity to assert them in front of an independent Scottish tribunal – process, perhaps, but crucial in asserting my rights.

And if it is vital for Salmond to secure a fair hearing is it not also greatly in the interests of the complainants. Who wants to have their complaints heard by a defective procedure? What use would such a procedure or its results be to anyone?

And then there’s what the press call the “police probe”. That is what they term something when they don’t even know there is an actual complaint and therefore an investigation. However, if the Sunday Mail’s worst fears are realised and Salmond is cleared a la Cliff Richard, what then for the Scottish press? Based on what I have seen reported they’ll be running for safe cover as fast as their wee legs can carry them.

In the stramash about a civil war in the SNP one key element has been on the back burner over the last few days. Less than two weeks ago someone with malice aforethought placed confidential information in the hands of a Scottish newspaper. Whatever their motivation was we can be certain it was not in the interests of justice.

If there is one thing more sure to undermine confidence in harassment procedures, it is breach of confidentiality. And if there’s one thing more certain to deter future complainants it’s the idea that their complaints will be splashed over the front pages. And yet we have hardly heard a peep from the great Scottish press corps about finding the leak and the leaker.

Find that leak and you will find the source of the sewage. Deal with that and we can then start the clean-up operation.

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  1. 07 09 18 08:56

    For process, read rights | speymouth

77 to “For process, read rights”

  1. Former vegan god says:

    Nicely put.

  2. Merkin Scot says:

    Who leaked to the press?
    When will we find out?
    What action will be taken by police Scotland to clarify, I wonder.

  3. Jim Clark says:

    Just brilliant!

  4. Ken500 says:

    Alex Salmond has been treated extremely badly. Appalling. No one with any sense believes a word of it. Can’t wait for the Lawsuits. Especially against the Press. Not the two line apology.

    The way Mark MacDonald was treated was disgraceful. Colin MacKay should be given diversity training and apologise. Or get the sack.

    The nasty unionist Press hacks. McWhirter was quoting the wrong ‘satisfaction’ statistics again, yesterday. Egged on by Taylor. More misinformation. He should have checked with Wings.

    Some people in Fife do not seem to care about healthcare or education. Or Brexit like Lemmings going over a cliff. The Oil resources were all taken and they had Thatcher. Yet they still go out and vote Tory. To make themselves poorer. Just as well they are in a minority.

  5. Helena Brown says:

    I am sure that I am not alone here who are utterly fed up with the gutter press. I know also that I will be called a conspiracy theorists but I smell the British Government behind all of this.
    Where is the innocent until proven guilty. I know why women felt they had to come out to the press against powerful men, they put their names voluntarily into the press. Here we have unknown people making allegations and I do not like this, as woman we have to be able to take what we dish out that is what equality is all about and if we can’t we have to shut up.
    Alex is entitled to look for justice and here’s hoping he can find it.
    I want to see some prosecutions of newspapers who cross the line. We have seen these witch hunts in England, we need to stop them dead up here.

  6. Gail Porte says:

    Excellent piece Chris and perfectly articulates what lots of us are thinking hence the hillarious #SNPCivilWar last weekend or the civil war that didn’t happen.

  7. Ken Burnett says:

    It’s difficult to get a grip on this living in England. However, I caught a phone-in on the Jeremy Vine show when the crowdfunding started. Within two minutes, it turned into a row about independence.
    Like the anti-semitism nonsense in the LP, even at this distance it’s clear that much of this is a proxy war with independence at its core

  8. ronnie anderson says:

    Your asking the impossible Stu for the purveyors of printed sewage to actually print the truth , they aren’t interested in the Leakers , they know that will lead back to the main sewer ( Scottish Office/Westminster ) . You/We have to keep exposing them on Social Media .

  9. Dr Jim says:

    I think we all know the press *just don’t like him*
    and as Alex Massie says *and rightly so*

    Ghandi, Mandela da da da da da da…

    Alex will be much loved after if they can kill his name first
    then he’ll have been *much misunderstood* when they report in the future of a *William Wallace of his time* or comparisons to a modern *Robert the Bruce* and if only the people could have seen it then

    It’s the great British way of doing things to pretend someone is terribly bad but they just didn’t know it wasn’t true at the time

  10. Astonished says:

    Well said, Chris.

    Is toodle-oo-the liar still going on about the snp civil war? And why aren’t the police probing Alex Rowley ?

    We are very ill served by the media, happily more and more folk are noticing.

    Hopefully the person who leaked the information will spend the rest of their life worrying about being exposed. I’m putting my money on Karma.

  11. Clootie says:

    The general issue will be resolved by established legal procedures.

    What will not be resolved by the above is how the details of a complaint were supplied to the Daily Record.

    If an individual is cleared in law should the Daily Record be entitled to campaign that THEY should decide his future.

  12. Macart says:

    Neatly done and well said.

  13. Capella says:

    Well said, Chris. Challenging a bully takes a lot of courage and you and Alex and Stu have that in spades. I am looking forward to the day when the propagandists in the Scottish media are sued for the damage they have inflicted on our political leaders. All of them.

    Meantime, we lampoon them with all the ridicule they deserve.
    #SNPCivilWar #dissolvetheunion

  14. Abulhaq says:

    Associate with with anything Russian and by every foul means in the secret service manual ‘they’ will get you.
    The so called Scottish press is a foetid sewer of BritNatism….to put it mildly.

  15. doug bryce says:

    Trial by tabloid.

    My guess is this investigation was leaked specifically because someone realised no charges would be pressed. By printing official witness statements the Daily Record risked contempt of court / prejudicing future trial.

    If we get a snap election in autumn, which Alex Salmond cant stand in, then timing is even more suspect.

  16. HandandShrimp says:

    There will be cabals of journalists lighting black candles and sacrificing chickens in earnest prayer to the press dark lords that Salmond is found guilty of all charges and many more besides … including starting WWII.

    If exonerated they will wail in outer darkness for a week and then start over again with a fresh batch of lies disinformation and distortion in order to attack the SNP.

  17. James Mills says:

    Deafening silence from MSM on the leaking of confidential info. That tells you all you need to know about the source of this vendetta !

  18. frogesque says:

    Ek’s membership of the SNP is a matter for him and the SNP. It is bugger all to do with with a press that used to be used as bog paper but is now printed on used bog paper.

    It is toxic.

    As for the process, let the courts decide.

    Time also for the police to investigate the leaks.

  19. Yerkitbreeks says:

    We had over 200 in Selkirk this week to get an update from Mike Russell, Cabinet Minister, on how Brexit will affect us here in the Borders.

    I suspect almost all were SNP people – couldn’t detect a whiff of divisiveness.

  20. orri says:

    Are we even sure the “leak” is a leak?

    One thing clear in this is that if the process is meant to be the one detailed here then the Permanent Secretary hasn’t followed it.

    10. In the event that a formal complaint of harassment is received against a former Minister, the Director of People will designate a senior civil servant as the Investigating Officer to deal with the complaint. That person will have had no prior involvement with any aspect of the matter being raised. The role of the Investigating Officer will be to undertake an impartial collection of facts, from, the member of staff and any witnesses, and to prepare a report for the Permanent Secretary. The report will also be shared with the staff member.

    11. If the Permanent Secretary considers that the report gives cause for concern over the former Minister’s behaviour towards current or former civil servants the former Minister should be provided with details of the complaint and given an opportunity to respond. The former Minister will be invited to provide a statement setting out their recollection of events to add to the record. They may also request that statements are taken from other witnesses.

    If Salmond is to be believed then he hasn’t even been given the details of the complaint. Things like what, when, where and with whom. The press’s eagerness to pin some of this on Sturgeon as it’s a procedure she agreed ignores the salient point that it’s not the procedure being used in this case.

  21. galamcennalath says:

    Infesting the deepest gutters in the land and wading neck deep in the foulest sewage – the UK fake news and propaganda industry. And there are still apologists out there.

    When a formal investigation of serious accusations Is ongoing, no decent media should have touched the leak with a barge pole. Reporting before the outcome was know is immoral. Doing so cannot be claimed to be in the public interest because justice and preservation of presumed innocence is in everyone’s interests. The leak and the reporting was very nasty politicking.

    I fear, when the time best suits the schemers, that the next stage in this debacle will be to leak the identities of the complainants. The object will be to generate more gutter journalism as propaganda.

  22. Patrick Roden says:

    Torcuil Crichton let it slip, that one of the complainants works for the British Civil Service, but has since left.

    I would bet my last penny,that the other claimant just so happens to work for the same British Civil Service.

    I think I can work out how the alleged incidents unfolded:

    Alex, knowing that those working for the UK Civil Service, would never do or say anything that may damage his personal reputation, or cause divisions within the SNP, or might even harm the cause of the wider YES movement, decided to give both women’s arses a good squeeze.

    These UK Civil Servants, who knew that it would do harm to the leader of the SNP and a leading figure in the Yes movement, felt it was only fair to keep quiet about these ‘incidents’, as reporting it straight away, would not only harm Alex Salmond’s reputation, but at the time of the reported ‘incident’s’ would have did great harm to the Independence campaign who at that exact time, were campaigning for the break up of the UK, who they worked for (wow there’s a coincidence! )

    There’s certainly nothing suspicious about this!

    The fact that details of the complaints were leaked to the Daily Redcoat, the paper of the ‘Vow’ should not cause anyone to suspect that this publication is known withing Westminster, as the media outlet that will print anything it is asked, even if it harms Scotland.
    AND, we should not think of that paper as anything other than the ‘Scotland’s Champion’ it claims itself to be.

    Oh no!

  23. robert alexander harrison says:

    Yet when big eck left the SNP they still wasn’t happy they like spoilt little brats who got what they asked for yet thought it’s not good enough no shame by these Westminster lovers then again they always like this the press the was no different with Michelle Thompson calling her a criminal right up till the judge ruled innocent as well.

  24. heraldnomore says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised to find that person responsible for the leak was ‘compensated’ by those responsible for publicising it. The whole thing is rancid.

  25. Robin Barclay says:

    I notice a number of you saying that you hope they uncover the ‘whistleblower’ and that they are rightfully punished for leaking the info to the red top rags.

    I can’t help but feel that whoever this person is, nothing will happen other than removal of the office they work in, only to be provided with a cushy number back in London for some Red/Blue/Yellow Tory think tank.

    That person will likely be welcomed with open arms on a red carpet and no amount of feet stamping by ourselves will make the slightest bit of difference.

    “Its a shit state of affairs Tommy and no amount of fresh air is gonna make the slightest bit of f*****g difference!!!”

  26. Old Pete says:

    When Alex wins his case he should sue the lot of them with the Daily Record editor first in the very long anti-SNP queue.

  27. Bob Mack says:

    There are very few possible sources for this leak as these types of investigations are kept strictly under wraps ,on a need to know basis. There are however two very strong contenders.
    1. The complainants themselves.
    2.The Union officials involved.

    I submit the most likely is the Union involved.It is a tried and tested tactic to force your case.

  28. Sharny Dubs says:

    I’m still of the opinion that the whole Salmond thing is the surest sign of a snap election.

  29. orri says:

    They didn’t get what they wanted. What they wanted was the SNP to eject Salmond. What they got was him making sure that didn’t happen. Same as Thomson resigning the whip meant her expulsion was automatic rather than the party caving in to pressure from allegations against her. It’s an old fashioned mix of loyalty and honour that used to be the norm.

  30. Jimmy The Pict says:

    The press should not wish for Alex to be outwith the SNP. If he was to stand as a regional candidate in any region at a Holyrood Election I am sure he would get elected (see Margo McD).

    Not a bad strategy as the number of seats difference between Scottish and British Nationalist candidates will be tight. A number of indenpdent indepence candidates along with Greens could just swing it.

    However, it is almost completely impossible to predict the outcome of the hybrid First Past The Post and Addition Member system of voting at Holyrood. Just an amusing thought.

  31. Ian Foulds says:

    Great article.

    Slightly off-topic – but, of late, I believe the newspaper stands in supermarkets should be renamed – UTP and not be part of MSM description.

    UTP is short for Used Toilet Paper, as it is not only dirty but smells.

  32. Calum McKay says:

    Well said!

  33. gordoz says:

    Clegg knows who gave him the info. The Civil Service Perm Secretary to Scot Gov knows how info got out.

  34. Clydebuilt says:

    O/T Karen Bradley suspends Further Elections for N. I. Devolved Parliament

    The N.I. Secretsry of State has banned elections to Stormont, for the forseeable future due to the political instability caused by Brexit.

    This was the main topic on last nights Newsnight. A Google search on this produces no results. However BBC2’s Newsnight have posted it on YouTube

  35. Shinty says:

    For those of you who may have skipped the link above under the heading (complete demolition)
    I urge you to read it.

  36. David Gray says:

    I do not believe the story was leaked. The Permanent Secretary was going to issue a statement to the Press but was thwarted by AS taking out an injunction. My belief would be that the Press Release was already issued and acted on by the papers. When the official statement was then not forthcoming, it was too late for the papers to change their layout and they just ran anyway. Publish and be damned.

  37. Terence callachan says:

    The EVIDENCE The EVIDENCE , its all about the evidence.
    What evidence is there ?
    We do not know
    The press do not know
    Alex Salmond does not know
    Nicola Sturgeon does not know
    The BBC does not know
    Once we know the evidence we can make a judgement ,the court will make a judgement
    The evidence might not be sufficient or unacceptable , if it were proof and acceptable there would have been no leak and we would not know about the case at this time.
    Unfortunately the law in this area is flimsy, women get to name men and keep their own identity secret , how can that ever be acceptable ? It cannot, it makes no difference in life if you are a man or a woman that has been wronged you deserve justice in equal measures with equal and identical procedures.
    I’m certain there are men who have been wronged by women in the same way that Alex Salmond is accused.
    Where sex is involved the law in UK performs poorly, the most well known example being women prostitutes don’t get arrested for selling sex but men purchasing the sex get arrested ? If you want to deal with the matter by prosecuting people both parties should be arrested, the seller and the purchaser and not just the purchaser, as is done in the battle against illegal drugs etc.

  38. john a ferguson says:

    The press must be safe in the knowledge that they will be protected no matter what they print. We must expose the ringmaster, those of the black arts. There can be no doubt there is a conspiracy. When you consider what WM stand to lose, any means to keep hold of the golden goose is fair to them. A ridicule of their mouthpieces would be a start to expose the lies.

  39. Ken500 says:

    Chris McEleny impressive.

    Boris Johnston to divorce. Trying to clean out the skeletons before the leadership bid. It will not work. There are too many in the cupboard.. He would not last a month. Warmongering psycho bastard. Sanctioning and starving people. A disgrace.

  40. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    What has really angered our opponents is that Nicola Sturgeon did and is doing exactly the right thing,very difficult though that might have been,and Alex Salmond has also done the right thing.

    While other parties vacillate,deceive and try to defend party members and officials from often serious accusation the SNP insists on due process in all occasions.

    Nicola has made it almost impossible for the MSM to attack the SNP in this case and in prominent others. Hard decisions are sometimes very necessary.

  41. ronnie anderson says:

    Clydebuilt It was always on the cards by Westminster Tory Gov NI should have had elections within 6 month’s of the collapse of Stormont they didn’t , the elected members are on half pay from Nov lol , they all should have all payments withdrawn but no doubt Dark Money will find its way to the DUP members .

  42. Ken500 says:

    Alex Salmond did not issue an injunction. He said he would take legal action because he had not been given any details of the accusation or a chance to defend himself. This could have easily been rectified without going to Court. If he had been given the opportunity. With counter witnesses etc. It is the same as withholding evidence from the Defence. The civil servants are not officers of the Law. They are supposed to be subject to the Law just like everyone else.

    The accusations were illegally leaked by the Press in any case. They are supposed to subject to the Law like everyone else.

    Just more unionist waste of money. Civil service charged to Scottish funds. Pay more than the elected FM. Mundell empire building.

  43. Bob Mack says:

    During the actual time span of the complaint, I think you have to agree that nothing was leaked at all. Nobody had a clue for nearly three years that this was happening with Alex.

    Somebody involved with the investigation, when the outcome was known, felt empowered enough to give confidential information to the press, because they felt it was all done and dusted.
    The permanent secretary only gave the bare bones, but somebody else who had access to very confidential papers gave copies to the press.

    Alex put a cat among those particular pigeons.

    Suspects remain complainer or Union.

  44. Daisy Walker says:

    I’ve been a bit busy, so only managing to skim read Nana’s wonderful links (big thanks for that as always Nana).

    I was a child of the 70’s, and I grew up in the east of Scotland. On the one hand the Troubles of NI were far far away, and on the other they were a constant background, every night on the news, the family doon the road (my pals) who had left NI because of it. And the bombs.

    I realise these bastards in Westminster are utterly without decency, but the sheer, fully on display, ineptitude – it takes my breath away.

    The polls in NI must be quite clearly for reunification due to Brexit, if they are prepared to postpone an election… and all to keep the DUP in situ and themselves propped up, and to hell with the peace. Utter, utter Bastards.

  45. winifred mccartney says:

    Just watched reporting scotland and was surprised the bbc showed film of victims families going into parliament to go into the public gallery and yet if my memory serves me NS said she was unaware or only just aware during FMQ’s that the families were in the gallery. I would have thought it would have been good manners to inform the FM if families connected to questions were present. It would not of course make any difference to the answer but she would have said a word to them at the outset. Was this a set up by the bbc and RD. Please tell me I am wrong.

    As for NS and the AS allegations both have acted very properly and we have complete faith in them both. I cannot say that for the msm reporting or the civil service enquiry. Too near the Scotland office for my liking.

  46. Derick fae Yell says:

    Well said Chris,

    While making no comment on the substance of the allegations, I’d observe the following of the complaint procedure (link posted by Orri) above.

    It’s gender neutral, as it should be

    There is no presumption of innocence for the person about whom a complaint is raised

    There is no statement of confidentiality, for both the complainer and complained about. In the light of GDPR that omission is quite extraordinary

    The procedure is utterly silent regarding press statements, so it offers no guidance to the Permanent Secretary or anyone else.

    The person complained about can request documents, but has no absolute right to get them (unsurprising as much information is routinely discarded via data retention/disposal policies).

    There is no statute of limitations, or statement of a date from which the procedure applies. Therefore as drafted it could be retrospectively applied to any Minister right back to 1999.
    Given the point about routine data disposal and the lack of a right to see documents, that means any accused Minister (from any party) must rely on memory alone. Do you know what you were doing on any date in 2013, or 1999? I don’t.

    There is no sanction for malicious complaints found to be so. It’s a smearers’ charter

    It’s absolutely correct that, arising from ‘MeToo’ the sort of allegations that were previously brushed under the carpet be investigated, however high profile the person accused – even former First Ministers.

    However, it’s not clear that this procedure is the appropriate or effective way to do that. It reads like something drafted in haste which would have benefited from lawyerly input before going live.

  47. Giving Goose says:

    In my opinion this smacks of a deliberate attempt to “get” Salmond (and by extension the Yes movement) by the BritNat establishment. Of course it is a definite conspiracy.

    The obvious question is what else are the BritNats prepared to try?

    Well, I believe that the revelations around Operation Yellowhammer give us a big clue.

    By involving the Civil Contingencies Secretariat the UK Government is preparing to manage Brexit as an emergency.
    A next step in an emergency is to enact the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, which will provide the UK Government with various powers to deal with the outcomes of emergencies.

    It doesn’t take a great leap of imagination to see where this might lead the UK Government with regards to Scotland.

    Wouldn’t you just love to know the contingency planning currently taking place for managing Scotland in the event of emergency powers of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 being enacted?

    We should be very concerned and afraid.

  48. Dr Jim says:

    My neighbour thinks *reserved matters* are when Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t want to talk about something *reservations*

    Those are the people the Daily Record talks to and if the Daily Record says you mustn’t like Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon then they’ll….


  49. Did we ever find out by whom Liar Carmichael got the false memo of the Nicola/French consul private talks,

    someone in Scotland Office must have contacted him or his assistant,Euan Roddin, in the first place,

    has the leaker from the Scotland Office been named and does he/she still work there.

  50. Andy-B says:

    Can the press be brought to court to reveal the leaker/s? Afterall, it’s in the interests of fairness and justice to weed out such people.

  51. Capella says:

    BBC campaign to create “splits” in the SNP continues. This time featuring Angus B MacNeil who “will continue to appear on RT” in spite of the BBC telling him that RT is a Kremlin backed Putin stooges refuge.

    Also, Ian Blackford and Stewart McDonald believe what the Government tells them about Putin’s Russian assassins, does Angus?

    Furthermore, Stewart McDonald disapproves of Tommy Sheridan having a slot on Sputnik.

    Full marks for trying BBC. I didn’t hear the GMS item this morning but Angus would appear to have stood up to their tactics very well.
    #SNPCivilWar #InnocentTillProvenGuilty (in a court of law, not in a tabloid)

  52. Catherine Julie Kerr says:

    Hi Ken 500, I read today that the Fife election is being investigated as there was a 50% postal vote. We need to get the voting system sorted. Blockchain sounds good

  53. Bob Mack says:

    @Giving Goose,

    You are right to worry.

    The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 gives the Westminster government unbelievable power. If a no deal Brexit goes ahead, Westminster will undoubtedly initiate this Act, which gives power to centralise government to Westminster only and suspend devolved authorities.

    It also gives the power to suspend ALL social media,whilst making the BBC or selected news outlets the preference for updates.

    Peter Hitchin stated ” If the Government could find a valid reason to enact this legislation,it would turn the UK into a dictatorship overnight” Brexit is that excuse.

    Perhaps this is why the Tories are preferring a No deal scenario. In one fell swoop they could derail indy hopes for the foreseeable future

  54. slightly O/T

    but Outlaw King sounds fricken amazin.

  55. Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t David Clegg say that he ‘was shown’ a copy of the complaint.
    Therefore David Clegg knows who the source of the leak is.
    It can’t be difficult to pin down the source. Either it was the complainants themselves, (which is Salmond’s point, Clegg gets to see the complaint but Salmond isn’t) or more disturbingly a senior Civil Servant in HR or the complainants’ Line Managers showed a reporter the documents.
    This in itself should be a sacking offence.
    In such a serious allegation, the circulation of the documents relating to the charge would be very restricted indeed.
    The upshot is that Clegg now has a ‘mole’ in the Scottish Civil Service who will continue to feed him titbits, if only for fear of Clegg ‘exposing’ them as the source, probably via one of his mates in the Dead Tree Scrolls.
    So much for Hutton. Are the Dead Tree Scrolls still manipulating and ‘blackmailing’ Senior Government Officials?
    This is conjecture on my part, not an accusation, before the Dead Tree Scrolls set an island of lawyers on me.
    I only ask.

  56. yesindyref2 says:

    Well said Chris.

    Trial by media has no legal status in Scotland, nor should it.

  57. Giving Goose says:

    Re Bob Mack

    My thoughts as well.

    Is it an idea for the Yes movement to start thinkng about it’s own contingencies in the even of a clampdown on civil liberties in Scotland, e.g. alternative access to social media and ensuring communications?

  58. orri says:

    I really wish people would get of the whole multiple independent candidates for the regional seats kick.

    It doesn’t work. It might possibly work if that ballot was STV but as it isn’t then it doesn’t.

    The reason it doesn’t work is that D’Hondt favours parties rather than individuals.

    It does so because except in cases where the FTP result is overwhelming the result is simply a recursive method of finding a number such that every party gets a seat for every whole number of votes equal to that.

    That means that most parties except the last “elected” have excess votes. In extreme cases that could be just one less than enough for a seat. If we define party as one of more candidates that means that if 3 people stood individually and just missed out they’d none of the get a seat. If they stood on the same platform then between them they’d have enough for 2 out of 3 possible seats.

  59. Gfaetheblock says:

    Chris or shinty

    Do we know what Greg brain’s qualification in this area is, other than the vague self certification? Slightly hard to take as a credible source when the third person commenting is Sean Clerkin.

    Has there been any other reviews of the policy and it’s merits and defects, other than the internal civil service and SNP leadership sign off?

  60. Dan Huil says:

    Good post, Chris. There is one certainty at least: the britnat media in Scotland is guilty of abuse.

  61. grafter says:

    There’s a storm a coming…….
    Check out the BBC interviewer saying ” there was no interest in Scottish Independence until Salmond came along “.

  62. Shinty says:

    Gfaetheblock says:
    7 September, 2018 at 12:41 pm
    Chris or shinty

    Do we know what Greg brain’s qualification in this area is, other than the vague self certification?

    Chris clearly states in his article that “Gregg Brain is an expert in this field”. I doubt very much he would say that if Mr Brain was just some random guy on facebook.

  63. Well if they stop us getting our freedom although we are trying to get it. By democratic means,but by their lies etc., they are trying to stop us achieving it well we will be forced to use other means !!!?

  64. Gfaetheblock says:


    Looking at his LinkedIn profile, he has worked in health and safety, a decade ago, in
    Australia, which will have different legislation in place.

    So no current experianace in sexual harassment in the workplace legislation, an area that is going through a cultural change over the last 2 years as part of the #metoo movement, nor legal training.

    Suppose the court case will tell is if it was legal, but would be interest8ng to hear from an expert on if this process is best practise or not.

  65. Suzanne says:

    “Find that leak and you will find the source of the sewage. Deal with that and we can then start the clean-up operation.”


    Nothing at all in the media about the lowlife who leaked everything, but plenty of dross being aimed at Alex, in the hope that no-one will question who leaked and why, and how.

  66. Clapper57 says:

    Have the media learnt nothing.Yes I know this is rhetorical . I know the answer.

    Remember the case of Christopher Jeffries in respect to the Joanna Yeates murder.

    Below is both quotes by him and the resulting outcome of the unhelpful interference by the press which I have copied onto here to exemplify the damage the press can perpetrate irrespective of the nature of the case.

    I have done this purely as an example to how toxic public exposure is via the press minus the actual truth being investigated and known by the appropriate authorities. Where the press assumes we conclude , via their reporting, one conclusion and one conclusion only…GUILTY.

    “The nature of press reporting on aspects of the case led to legal proceedings against several UK newspapers. Libel action was brought by Jefferies against eight publications over their coverage of his arrest, resulting in the payment to him of substantial damages. The Daily Mirror and The Sun were found guilty of contempt of court for reporting information that could prejudice a trial”.

    Jefferies gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry :

    “Jefferies told the inquiry that reporters had “besieged” him after he was questioned by the police; he said: “It was clear that the tabloid press had decided that I was guilty of Miss Yeates’ murder and seemed determined to persuade the public of my guilt”.

    “They embarked on a frenzied campaign to blacken my character by publishing a series of very serious allegations about me which were completely untrue.” Appearing before the same inquiry on 16 January 2012, the Daily Mirror editor, Richard Wallace, described the newspaper’s coverage of Jefferies’ arrest as a “black mark” on his editing record”.


    Obviously circumstances TOTALLY different in above person and Salmond’s situation, mainly the differing accusations themselves but also one is a private citizen and the other well known person, but a parallel can be drawn in the method the media uses in the treatment of both parties in trying to influence public opinion and condemning the accused via , at this point, unsubstantiated and unsolicited supposition BEFORE due process via investigation has been fully implemented and purely on the basis of a leaked source .

    This in itself hinders any sense of impartiality in those who buy into the accused having some semblance of guilt.

    Trial be media where speculation and suggestion causes potential irreparable damage on someone’s reputation is , in my opinion, an offence that should not go unpunished. In the Salmond case it is abundantly clear what the REAL objective of this mass exposure is and that is unforgivable. This I quantify via the press’s previous behaviour and attitude towards Mr Salmond.

    The measured response of WGD on this matter was more appropriate but that is not the way the media will ever choose to conduct itself. The fact that members from opposing political parties also chose to participate in this glorified witch hunt says more about their lack of judgement and decency.

    News DOES have to reported but the DR has exploited this particular news story in order to generate a smear campaign that it hopes will impact a particular political party…guilt by association as opposed to the media’s actual shocking grandstanding as the voice of reason and truth .

    The press love to present themselves as bastions of justice however in some cases they may actually contribute to miscarriages of justice via their unrelenting bombardment of snide personal inference that the so called ‘culprit’ is somehow instrumental in their own downfall because of tittle tattle speculation by unnamed sources whose motives are questionable and dubious .

    The point of being innocent before being found guilty is that it gives the accused a fair hearing without prejudice however with the media printing , or rather supposedly leaking, opinion pieces combined with supposed details of the case then that in itself results in the contrary happening i.e. guilty before having the opportunity to prove one’s innocence with no real recourse offered to compensate for the eternal reputational damage done…. i.e. mud sticks which is ultimate objective in the salmond case.

    I hope this deliberate over exposure of this story via the press does not deter this case proceeding in order that those accused and the alleged accusers can have their day in court where the truth will out…as opposed to a decision of not proceeding due to the unhelpful prejudice promoted by the press ( not a legal expert so in this case unsure if this could actually be feasible).

    This will indeed be a travesty of justice as it will hang over Mr Salmond and be used eternally as a stick with which to beat him ,and this we all know the press and opposing political parties will be only too happy to use to promote their arguments against both him , Independence and the SNP.

    As to the alleged victims…well they are, as far as the press is concerned, incidental and never really considered in the quest for a GOOD story to be published coupled with having an axe to grind against an influential and respected individual whose political beliefs is the opposite to that of which your newspaper supports.

  67. Shinty says:

    O/T Can anyone tell me why Stewart McDonald MP is publicly criticising Tommy Sheridan for having a new show on Sputnik TV?

    Whether you like or dislike TS, he’s an intelligent guy and knows his stuff. I’m sure his show, just like Alex Salmond’s will be a great success. If more people from Scotland tuned into these channels they’d be a damned sight more informed than anything the BBC has to offer.

  68. r esquierdo says:

    The medias ring pieces must be nippy nippy with the amount of jobby they excrete and write about

  69. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    Nice one Chris.

    When Mr Salmond is cleared, and I am sure he will be what will the MSM Tories and Labour do then?

    Who is next for a wee surprise?

    Thankfully we are, slowly, coming to independence.

    Following independence there has to be consequences for the non patriot types in the MSM and the English parties in Scotland.

  70. ALANM says:

    First and foremost, full marks to Chris McEleny for having the guts to say what he’s said – especially on Wings!

    The events which he describes are the result of changes to our legal procedures which may have been well-intentioned but which have proved to be a complete disaster not just for Alex Salmond but for all male politicians. Let’s be clear, the door is now wide open for any disgruntled employee to wreck the career of any male politician without anyone having their day in court.

    There’s no way back from this. Proving you’re innocent is an impossible task; once allegations have been made and splashed all over the newspapers and tv that’s it. You’re convicted in the court of public opinion and your career in politics is over.

  71. Rock says:

    The Scottish justice system is rotten to the core and the vast majority of lawyers, especially judges, are the lowest of the low.

  72. Cubby says:

    Rock = boring boring British Nationalist troll. The British Justice system is of course much better isn’t it Mr Rock?

    Oh sorry I forgot there is no British justice system is there. No British law either. No British country at all.

    The lowest of the low are the British Nationalist media and politicians in Scotland who peddle propaganda to keep Scotland trapped in a corrupt union. Now that’s low – very low.

  73. Gary says:

    As those of us who are watching carefully have come to realise, the Scottish Press does not report news. It starts with what it wants us to believe and then builds a tissue of thinly veiled lies around it.

    Being fair to them though if ANY former First Minister or well known politician was in this position and they were handed the story on a plate, they’d have run the story. BUT, whereas the story COULD have been run in a way that would have seen them retain the moral high ground yet again they have failed in the simplest journalistic principles and their story simply doesn’t stack up as a piece of journalism. It’s poor and it’s lazy and it panders to their own hatred of anything connected to SNP.

    As an aside I know Chris McEleny suffered from victimisation of the kind that you would only have expected in Soviet-era Russia. His treatment due to his political views were atrocious and although they DID make at least ONE newspaper SHOULD have been headline news on every channel. Our own government is grubby and vindictive and wishes to oppress opinion, thought and free speech. That might sound ‘over the top’ to you but read up on what happened to him and you’ll understand…

  74. Auld Rock says:

    “Find that leak and you will find the source of the sewage. Deal with that and we can then start the clean-up operation.”

    This final sentence says it all but will we ever find out?

  75. Ben Jones says:

    Slightly off topic, few have pointed out how IMO Scottish history is now mirroring the history of Ireland, with the great Nationalist leader “Charles Stewart Parnell”. The British state tried to bring him down and with him the nationalist cause, the only thing that worked was a sexual scandal.
    In Parnell’s case it was his adulterous affair and the huge public scandal, in Alex Salmond’s case it’s the acquisition of a sexual offence and the release of that information of a possible offence in to the public domain.
    When it’s Back’s is to the wall, the “British state” and it’s cronies will sink to unfathomable depths.

  76. Shinty says:

    Ben Jones says @11.51am
    “When it’s Back’s is to the wall, the “British state” and it’s cronies will sink to unfathomable depths”

    Lower than a worms belly I’d say. (the British Establishment are an extremely UGLY & POWERFUL beast) – never underestimate the power and control they hold.

    o/t Patrick Harvie, fillets ‘ehhhhh hum Fluffy’
    (I do worry sometimes about Patrick at FMQ’s however, he is good when it really matters)

    at 14.36

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