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Heavy Is The Crown

Posted on February 25, 2021 by

Is the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service of Scotland institutionally corrupt? I don’t believe so, but it’s certainly a troubled organisation.

The cost and reputational damage to it from the Rangers FC case are of a magnitude never seen before, and the actions in the Alex Salmond case and related actions by the Lord Advocate and Crown Agent have called its independence into question.

There must be structural change and individuals must be held to account.

Very many have served in the COPFS, whether in its current or previous incarnations. They’ve done so in a variety of forms from modest clerical positions through to the roles of government Law Officers, as the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General are decribed. They’ve invariably done so from a sense of public duty and with an intention of upholding the integrity of the post.

They were good and principled people, as are the overwhelming majority of those currently serving. Good work is done by the organisation not just in prosecuting in the public interest but in a variety of civil matters, from investigating sudden deaths through major public inquiries to monitoring charities.

It’s the actions of the Lord Advocate and a coterie surrounding him that are tarnishing the entire institution. Judgement, competence and even the role itself are now called into question.

The organisation has come a long way since the 18th century when the post was not simply that of Law Officer, but the power in the land. Long before the post of Secretary of State for Scotland was established it was the Lord Advocate who held sway.

The despotic Henry Dundas, for example, whose statue in St Andrew’s Square is the subject of current debate and who was succeded in office when he headed south by his nephew Robert Dundas. They instigated severe repression at a time when the law and the church were both arms of the state, resulting in Thomas Muir and his fellow political martyrs being transported to Botany Bay.

Thankfully those times passed and the role changed, becoming legal rather than political, although Cabinet positions remained for Law Officers. Most recently the first SNP administration saw regular Cabinet attendance reduced to simply being present when legal advice or a report on actions was being tendered. (No doubt a relief to busy law officers with the institution to manage.)

However, the dual role of being both the principal legal advisor to government and the country’s senior prosecutor remained. Those serving in those senior posts over recent generations, pre- or post-devolution and irrespective of the political complexion of government, have sought to uphold the principles of public service and impartiality.

And that’s why recent actions have caused such concern. A malicious prosecution is unprecedented in recent times. It has always been the ethos to only initiate actions on probable cause and to cease doing so if evidence or behaviour were found wanting. The zealous US District Attorney seeking a conviction by any means has never been replicated and has always been disdained in Scotland.

As well as public and judicial concern, the Lord Advocate’s actions have caused great consternation within the service itself and also in the upper ranks of the police. The cost to the public purse has been breathtaking, perhaps amounting to three-quarters of COPFS’s entire annual budget of £134m.

It cannot pay that out of its own resources so hard-pressed government funds that could better have been spent on schools and hospitals will be used to bail it out. But whatever the final financial loss, it’s but a fraction of the reputational cost. That cannot be borrowed from elsewhere but will need to be won back.

That debacle is bad enough but the Alex Salmond trial, and cases relating to it, have even more profound consequences for the institution. Leaving aside a prosecution on allegations that would never normally see the light of day, let alone an indictment in the High Court, along with deployment of a level of resources normally reserved for the most serious of cases, there are even graver issues arising.

In any democracy the separation of powers is essential. Executive, Parliament and judiciary must be independent and a prosecution service must work in the public interest, not that of a government. Current structures are inadequate to ensure that, and many of the actions before and since by the Lord Advocate (or those acting on his behalf when he has recused himself) have called it into question. That’s as serious a situation as can arise within civic Scotland.

Issues of who was doing what and when and in what role arise before and during the Salmond prosecution. Those are bad enough but actions since have given even greater cause for concern. A scattergun approach of harassment and prosecutions has ensued. The anonymity of witnesses has been used as a ruse to block legitimate Parliamentary requests and hide information from press and public.

Those actions are as unprecedented in recent times as malicious prosecutions. Yet they’ve still happened, and wittering replies to parliamentary questions and continued obfuscation are failing to provide answers or the accountability on which accountability and trust depend.

Change there must be. The current Lord Advocate has all but ensured he’ll be the last in such a dual role, and a separation of responsibilities will happen. But much more needs explained as to what was done, by whom and why, and just as importantly some removals from office are long overdue.

The integrity of the service and our democracy demand it.

.

Kenny MacAskill is an SNP MP and former Cabinet Secretary for Justice.

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    123 to “Heavy Is The Crown”

    1. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      I would second that much clearing out needed.

      Disgraceful situation.

    2. McLaurin says:

      Braw Kenny.

      Thomas Muir anaw. Amazing gadge, hard as girders that yin.

    3. Den Cairns says:

      As always, wise words Mr MacA.

    4. Marie Clark says:

      Well said Mr MacAskill. Spot on. Heads definitely need to roll now and the sooner the better.

    5. MITHC says:

      Very good read… hopefully the clearing out will come!

    6. Keith Talbot says:

      The reason that these (very) senior post holders have (very) large salaries well above the ordinary worker’s within their departments,is to be held accountable.
      In the private sectors such egregious behaviour would’ve reduced the share price and they would be gone,sacked ,dismissed away.
      The high salaries are paid to reflect control and therefore responsibility.
      Anyone of integrity,would have resigned.
      These freeloading “ public servants “ have to be dismissed! £100 Million lost to the public purse must and should have accountability.

    7. Something stinks in Holyrood says:

      No wonder the SNP current government want to distract us with political correctness and identity politics when this is all happening in the background. The public will once again pick up the bill.

    8. Captain Yossarian says:

      An excellent contribution from Kenny MacAskill and just what is needed just now. We should be asking why this reported in an on-line blog and not in The Scotsman or Herald.

      That other respected pillar of Nationalism, Jim Sillars, reckons it is because the toxic tentacles of the SNP have polluted many if not all of our public bodies. I would add to that also the free press in Scotland.

    9. Alf Baird says:

      Whilst Kenny hits the right notes, there is inevitably a deeper malaise at the root of this matter which is directly linked to Scotland’s cause of independence.

      First, is there perhaps a relationship between a country having the highest prison population per head in Western Europe, and the incidence of malicious prosecutions?

      https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/scotland-has-highest-prison-population-rate-per-head-in-western-europe

      Second, and taking account of Scotland’s colonial status, post colonial literature tells us that colonial rule, malicious prosecutions and higher prison populations go hand in hand.

      As Patrick Gathara writes: “Prisons were among the first buildings the British built whenever they went into a future colony. They were an extension of the colonisation project, a punitive device to ensure compliance with the racist colonial order.”

      https://www.theelephant.info/culture/2020/08/27/settler-colonialism-the-root-of-kenyas-brutal-penal-system/
      The Elephant – Speaking truth to power.

    10. Giesabrek says:

      Well done Kenny! Given how few of the SNP politicians are objecting to recent events (I can only name yourself Angus MacNeil and Christopher McEleny) your efforts are recognised and well respected. I hope you have a senior position in the next SNP cabinet if you give up the HoC.

    11. Anonymoose says:

      Well said Kenny, I could not agree more with your sentiments.

      The Judiciary needs to be wholly independent of the executive and parliament to function properly and without political influence.

      Just about everyone who reads this site and the other popular pro-independence blogs can see there’s a stench surrounding the Lord Advocate, Crown Agent and those close to them within the COPFS.

      I cannot see the staus quo changing under the current SNPG, it needs a clearing out and to be rebuilt with educated minds who are more than willing to stick their heads above the parapet in order to mount such a long needed change to the structure that has been erected linking the government with the judiciary.

    12. Captain Yossarian says:

      COPFS Heads didn’t roll after the Rangers FC debacle and so a debt has to be re-paid to Scotgov. That debt is now being re-paid.

      That’s the way it works.

    13. Lindy says:

      Kenny would make a great FM. He has all the right qualities. Intelligence, integrity and a level head.

    14. Frazerio says:

      She’s in Holyrood today calling it a conspiracy theory.

      Conspiracy; a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
      Theory; an idea or set of ideas that is intended to explain something.

      Crikey, she’s mistakenly told the truth.

    15. Slop says:

      I must be slow, but I only just saw that the LA backed up L. Evans’ view that there was “no role for special advisors” in the JR process, clearly inviting the inference that none were present for JR meetings. Skimming his later submissions, I don’t see a correction.

      https://twitter.com/PeterCherbi/status/1321500237538729989

      At least the LA has the luxury of choosing between many different reasons to resign.

    16. David McLeod says:

      Very well said. As a retired solicitor myself, I am appalled by all this. Our “Justice Minister” Humza Yousaf has been conspicuous by his silence.He is responsible generally for law and order within Scotland but, with no legal background, he probably has little understanding of how serious this is. The shortcomings of the parliamentary committee of inquiry have been obvious for months. It has no chance of reaching a satisfactory conclusion and needs to be replaced by a judicial inquiry with a similar inquiry for the malicious prosecution scandal. While I do not doubt the independence of Scottish judges for a minute, with the reputational damage which has been done, both judges should be from a different jurisdiction.

    17. PhilM says:

      One major problem is the sheer quantity of everyday corruption that the Procurators Fiscal never get to see.
      If health boards, councils, local police, universities, charities cannot be made accountable and the quality of oversight is zilch, then these organisations can quite happily continue to damage thousands of people every year: they can forge any number of documents to cover up criminal behaviour, can string people along for years denying them access to their own data, gaslight endlessly to the point where even the strongest of wills begin to doubt themselves…the system isn’t working.
      A few people sometimes mention on this site the subject of private prosecutions…there’s only been ONE successful private criminal prosecution in over a century. In England, the process is simple and happens all the time. Until you’re in the maelstrom of public-sector corruption here in Scotland, you can live out your days thinking all is well but as we are seeing with our political system, that it is badly broken, the same goes for the public sector.
      So reform and restructure COPFS by all means, but there is so much more to do.

    18. Bill Craig says:

      Yes, well said Kenny McAskill.

      Arrogance and entitlement seem to be the motto of the Crown Office. I could imagine that attitude arising from its very long history, stretching back to before democracy, but it now needs a severe shake-up.

      I thought it ironic that the Lord Advocate, Mr Wolffe, spoke of the professionalism of his public prosecutors. Perhaps he really meant the professionalism of a gangster’s hit-man.

    19. velofello says:

      Behaviour termed as malicious prosecutions should have triggered dismissals and resignations – Strike 1

      Prosecution on allegations that would never normally see the light of day – Strike 2

      Blocking evidence by redacting data (58 instances?) – Strike 3

      A First Minister, delegated to uphold and protect justice and civility in society declares – A not guilty verdict, determined by a jury of your peers doesn’t mean the complaints didn’t occur – Strike 4.

      Three strikes and your out.

    20. Halbkrass says:

      In the Greshornish House Accord of 16 September 2008, Professors Hans Köchler and Robert Black said:

      “It is inappropriate that the Chief Legal Adviser to the Government is also head of all criminal prosecutions. Whilst the Lord Advocate and Solicitor General continue as public prosecutors the principle of separation of powers seems compromised. The potential for a conflict of interest always exists. Resolution of these circumstances would entail an amendment of the provisions contained within the Scotland Act 1998.”

      The judges of Scotland’s highest court came to share this view. In a submission to the commission set up to consider how the devolution settlement between Scotland and the United Kingdom could be improved, the judges recommended that the Lord Advocate should cease to be the head of the public prosecution system and should act only as the Scottish Government’s chief legal adviser.

      In the light of this, the new First Minister Alex Salmond decided after his election 2007 that the Lord Advocate would no longer attend the Scottish Cabinet, stating he wished to “de-politicise” the post. Has anyone in the squad of the current SNP government ever revisited this unworthy weak point in the legislature? Or were they so overly power-hungry when they realized that they, at the levers of power, could use it for their own opaque power games?

    21. Astonished says:

      Immediate resignations are necessary. In copfs and the snp.

      If I was involved in any way with the Salmond stitch up, I would start having porridge for breakfast to get acclimatized.

    22. Bob Mack says:

      Nicola stated today that her memory failed to recollect Mr Aderdein being told the name of a complainer in her office.

      Yet it is for that very reason Mr Aberdeins evidence has been excluded by the COPS, because a complainer is named.

      This doesn’t add up at all no matter how you look at it.

      Is Geoff Aberdein going to be charged over perjury if Nicola is correct?

      What about it COPS the First Minister has just told you Mr Aberdein is a perjuror. Act now.

    23. Jack Murphy says:

      Thankyou Mr MacAskill for saying what needed to be said.
      More power to yer elbow!
      A big Thanks and best wishes.

    24. Vestas says:

      Salmond “de-politicised” the role of Lord Advocate when Elish Angiolini was in post.

      Sturgeon “re-politicised” the role for the current incumbent.

      We now know why.

    25. LaingB French says:

      I wonder if BUTTERSTONE SCHOOL will be next on the list and will it be the present lord advocate that will foolishly defend the disgusting actions and behavior of the inspectorate, board of governors, education office, Perth and Kinross council and JOHN SWINNEY and his co conspirator Nicola McSturgoen and her sturgeonites? Must be plenty of tax payers money to waste on that?

    26. Breastplate says:

      Well said Kenny,
      It would be correct and proper to do as you say in this matter, we need others to add weight too.

    27. Orlando Quarmby says:

      The BritNat ‘Captain Yossarian’: “Jim Sillars, reckons it is because the toxic tentacles of the SNP have polluted many if not all of our public bodies. I would add to that also the free press in Scotland.”

      What ‘free press in Scotland is that, ye eejit? The Hootsmon? The Herald? Both demonstrable pillars of the ‘Union’ in Scotland. If they’re shielding the Sturgeon administration then it’s not because they’ve been nobbled by the SNP, but because they see the current SNP leadership cabal staying in office as no bloody threat to the ‘Union’.

    28. Baxter says:

      Very well written Mr MacAskill.

    29. Robert says:

      On a positive note, this separation of powers might be easier to organise in a newly-independent Scotland than in the present one. I understand that the position of the Lord Advocate is a constitutional one, and therefore reserved to Westminster.

    30. James Carroll says:

      I have a great deal of respect for Kenny MacAskill. This is another great interjection and if only we had more politicians like him, Scotland would be a much better place.

    31. Davie says:

      Can anyone explain why the sums in the Duff and Phelps mess are so vast? Just don’t get it, you could be jailed for 20 years when innocent and receive barely a fraction in compensation. I recognise there is a ‘malicious’ element to contend which but where is the money going?

    32. Career Politician says:

      It starts with a husband and wife team having control over the SNP, and then within 6 years we have what we have – and who knows what comes next.

      It’s not hyperbole to call this what it is – a Coup d’Etat.

      Independence?? Forget it. Not on the menu. That would mean a shift in the status quo, and ironically, a loss of power for the SNP Elite.

    33. Republicofscotland says:

      “Is the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service of Scotland institutionally corrupt?”

      Good question, Sheku Bayou, Allan Brant, and Abdul al Megrahi, to name but a few over the years.

    34. Sharon says:

      No wonder they’re all so feart of Joanna Cherry..

    35. Ian Mac says:

      You wouldn’t have thought this a short time ago, but it is becoming clear how similar the Boris Johnson government is to this one in Holyrood. That is the practice of populating committees, positions of power, and institutions with people who are loyal to your cause, and not because they are qualified for the job and have a track record of integrity. Just look at the inept nonentities at Westminster who are senior officials, from the now gone Cummings to Hancock, Raab, Truss, Patel, Williams etc. The consequences in policy and decision-making has been disastrous, but they are not there for their skills, knowledge or public service integrity, just for craven, obsequious loyalty to Johnson and his opaque funders.
      The same pattern in Holyrood – stuff the administration with Sturgeon loyalists, like Yousaf, with no legal experience, and civil servants like Evans and Lloyd and you get maladministration, focussed on loyalty to the boss, who gives you cover for your ineptitude and potential malfeasance. It is a mutual protection racket. And it is has grave consequences not just for the administration of justice, education, finance etc, but for the basic tenets of accountability. It also destroys the walls between departments and institutions, the very necessary requirements for the functioning of democratic checks and balances on executive power.
      It has brought Scotland civic government into disrepute, not to mention the economic cost of hugely expensive malfeasance at the highest levels, money that taxpayers could have had put into health and education, instead of wasted on vindictive campaigns against opponents. The complainers, far from being protected by law, have been used as pawns in a political chess game without being asked about it, and the crocodile tears over their position is nauseating coming from the people who put them there in the first place, and proven wrong in court.
      How they can pretend everything is fine and carry on is beyond me. This isn’t about the Salmond case, much as they continue to pretend it is. It goes far wider than that into the basic functions of the Scottish government and its institutions. Salmond has merely lifted the curtain on it and exposed it, which is why they are fighting so hard to close it once again, using their pawns to hide behind.
      It’s impossible to see this ending any other way than badly. And that is directly their doing, nobody else’s. Salmond even advised them of the futility of their case, and offered them ways out. That is how arrogant and empowered they think they are. It is unsustainable, especially if we want an open, transparent democracy which is the whole point of independence. They view independence as nothing more than opportunity for them and their absolutist views. it is time to disabuse them of that selfish, destructive abuse of power.

    36. wullie says:

      Why do we the public have to bail out the Crown Office. To hell with that. I cannot afford to bail out these extremely highly paid persons.

      NO. Strip them of all their wealth and future pensions.

      No wandering off to the sunlit uplands on their giant pensions while we have a fifth of the Scottish population living in poverty who desperately need the money.

    37. tartanfever says:

      ‘They were good and principled people, as are the overwhelming majority of those currently serving.’

      Sorry Kenny, but thats clearly not true. Not one has stepped forward from within that institution as a whistleblower when there is clearly a public need for the curtains to be opened.

      We can assume that no-one there sees public service nor reputation above the self interest of a pay packet.

    38. Geoff Anderson says:

      An opinion prompted by Kenny’s piece.

      I have a slight concern that Nicola and team are taking us down the conspiracy argument deliberately.

      Her hope will be that the attacks by Unionist will lead to voters backing the “Independence Party”.

      For me the primary issues are:
      A failure of democracy within the Party.
      A failure to actively pursue Independence.

      If we still had democracy in the Party issues such as GRA, Hate Bill, affiliations to the NEC etc, etc could have been addressed.

      She is selecting the Battle terrain. She will be happy to focus on conspiracy theories. It was obvious today that the pretend indignation was for the SNP voters.

      Keeping the voters gets her another 5years.

      We should keep highlighting the rule changes, the Wokerati, the missing money.

      She is going to play the victim card due to those Unionist bullies.

      Do not underestimate how this is being switched.

      For the avoidance of doubt I am certain an organised attack on Alex took place. However she will cloud that issue. I stress that the battlefield of the committee is her best option to keep power. We watch FMQ’s with knowledge. Try to see how voters would. An organised attack by those nasty Unionists.

    39. Molesworth says:

      I thank the Lord for allowing Mr Murrell to marry Mrs Murrell, thereby making two people unhappy instead of four.

    40. Republicofscotland says:

      TartanFever.

      Not to mention all the nodding dogs (SNP MSP’s) sitting behind Sturgeon at FMQ’s today, clapping like seals every time Sturgeon opened her mouth.

    41. Vestas says:

      Davie says:
      25 February, 2021 at 2:30 pm

      “Can anyone explain why the sums in the Duff and Phelps mess are so vast? Just don’t get it, you could be jailed for 20 years when innocent and receive barely a fraction in compensation.”

      Corporate reputational damages incurring lost business. Money talks although to be fair I have no doubt it did cost them a lot of money.

      When you’re jailed wrongly and the sentence is quashed you (used to anyway) are offered average wage MINUS the cost of your “accommodation” as compensation. Note that’s average wage in each of the years of imprisonment. The “argument” went that you couldn’t prove you would have earned more than that for the duration of your incarceration. Should you disagree you were at liberty to start a court case for compensation….

      Don’t expect justice when injustice has already taken place. Not in the UK – and even more so in Scotland.

    42. James Che. says:

      The rangers FC case and AS verses NS case both involved lord advocate, both are very dividing issue that could cause great concern to people of Scotland. Maybe it was meant to,
      Why would the opposition not try divide football fans and perhaps further on religion to break independence.and perhaps make the lord advocates position look bad in Scotland.
      Why not set one political Scottish leader against the other, to cause a massive divide in the independence movement. And make the lord advocates position look bad in Scotland.
      Why not cause a gigantic rift in the people of Scotland if at the same time the opposition could take the teeth out of the Scottish legal system,
      It would stop some of the challenges of legal cases from Joanna Cherry and others and it worries the hell out of those that are unionist, that in 1707 they made a big mistake letting Scotland retain Scots law, the bloody Scots have started using it against them now.
      It must be destroyed from the top down. It must not have any teeth,
      All that is needed is to plant one unionist lord advocate, unionist civil servants in the thousands sent up to Scotland, a few willing ("Tractor" - Ed)ous Scots as false snps,
      Not so far fetched when you consider that all of these are in place at the moment in Scotland.
      Unionist cannot have Scottish politicians and people having their own law,
      The cruelty of using people and wrecking their life’s, false imprisonments, and infiltration is not a new scenario In British history.
      .

    43. ian foulds says:

      well said Mr. MacAskill and commenters

    44. James Che. says:

      The rangers FC case and AS verses NS case both involved lord advocate, both are very dividing issue that could cause great concern to people of Scotland. Maybe it was meant to,
      Why would the opposition not try divide football fans and perhaps further on religion to break independence.and perhaps make the lord advocates position look bad in Scotland.
      Why not set one political Scottish leader against the other, to cause a massive divide in the independence movement. And make the lord advocates position look bad in Scotland.
      Why not cause a gigantic rift in the people of Scotland if at the same time the opposition could take the teeth out of the Scottish legal system,
      It would stop some of the challenges of legal cases from Joanna Cherry and others and it worries the hell out of those that are unionist, that in 1707 they made a big mistake letting Scotland retain Scots law, the bloody Scots have started using it against them now.
      It must be destroyed from the top down. It must not have any teeth,
      All that is needed is to plant one unionist lord advocate, unionist civil servants in the thousands sent up to Scotland, a few willing ("Tractor" - Ed)ous Scots as false snps,
      Not so far fetched when you consider that all of these are in place at the moment in Scotland.
      Unionist cannot have Scottish politicians and people having their own law,
      The cruelty of using people and wrecking their life’s, false imprisonments, and infiltration is not a new scenario In British history.
      .if I go missing or I get a visit from certain people you will know I was correct and hit the nail on the head, keep a look out for me in the future.

    45. Claire says:

      I welcome the statement from the Faculty of Advocates although I have corrected them on the title of the Committee as it is incorrect .

      The importance of independent role of the Lord Advocate is what the public are entitled to question given the farcical going on regarding the amendment by Lady Dorian to the original Court order.

      They mention the increasing focus on the Courts and the Crown office … surely this is a reaction to the very seemingly blurred lines in respect of the Rule of Law & Separation of powers .

    46. Cenchos says:

      Someone should take the Lord’s advocaat away until he sobers up.

    47. Lost says:

      If we are to believe the statements of the FM that she didn’t know about the allegations against Salmond until March 2018, (but her Chief-of-Staff knew before that) and the Lord Advocate was kept ‘out of the loop’ by his staff, then their staff need to go based on bad judgement and withholding important information. But they must think we’re all daft if we do believe this.

      But from experience of working in the public sector I can hazard a guess it went something like this for COPFS:

      Over the years experienced, skilled and knowledgeable staff have left through retirement and resignation. Remaining staff have had their posts made redundant and applied for new jobs and shoehorned into these posts under ‘skill-set’, but don’t have experience in the job or qualified. Jobs have been merged which means previously a job done by two people now done by one. These people are over-worked battling with the day-to-day of their own jobs, but now dealing with an avalanche of new criminal laws brought in, dealing with COVID AND planning for pet projects of the SNP like trans-rights.

      So they look to the people above for help to be met with silence, viewing the man at the top as working for both COPFS and the Scottish Government so thinking they do to. No clarity, nothing.

      There will be a many good people working at COPFS too scared to speak out, being managed by people who shouldn’t be there, put there because of the small network in Scottish Politics, but ultimately it will be the worker who will be hung out to dry.

      This whole debacle just shows how state organisations have been influenced by the government of the day. There needs to a separation now. We need one organisation who will apply laws as they stand, not on the wishes of a select few.

    48. JohnBoy says:

      Appearance is everything. And it is the appearance that there seems to be a very unhealthy relationship between elected officials, senior civil servants, the prosecuting authorities, the police and the publicly funded broadcaster, that is at the heart of this. Even if it is the case there genuinely is nothing to see, and we should all desperately hope that is the case, the fact we are suspicious says a lot about the state of Scottish politics.

    49. Jonathan Marshall says:

      Excellent article Mr. Macskill I agree with the sentiments entirely.

      On another note ‘Gadge’ real nice McLaurin!

    50. Republicofscotland says:

      John cleary @3.02pm.

      Sounds about right, however a Guinea pig was needed to see if the legislation worked okay, enter Mark McDonald, who was fitted up first.

    51. john mckay says:

      I have devoted myself to the cause of The People.
      It is a good cause.
      It shall ultimately prevail.
      It shall finally triumph.

      Thomas Muir.

      Scotland needs people with the integrity of Muir at the top.

    52. Mia says:

      Kenny, I apply to your knowledge in the field and hope you don’t mind me asking some questions.

      I write as a concerned citizen of Scotland that fears for Scotland’s future and that fears all this is part of a plan whose main goal is and always has been to close Holyrood and impose direct rule from London for the sake of England keeping control of Scotland’s assets.

      I write as an appalled working class taxpayer that is enraged at how our hard earned taxpayers money, that should be used to maintain and improve our public services, is being misused by unbelievable corrupt individuals who think themselves above the law and treat it as if it was theirs to enact political vendettas or malicious prosecutions against inconvenient individuals. I do not see how anybody from COPFS can today stand up in parliament and claim they work in the public interest when wasting hundreds of millions of pounds in malicious prosecutions is clearly against the public interest.

      I write as a voter that is enraged for being forced to cast her vote blindly in the next election because we are being deprived of the evidence that would allow us to make an informed decision of what is best for us.

      We are deprived of the evidence to cast an informed vote thanks to the collusion between the COPFS, the parliamentary inquiry, the UK civil Servants, Sturgeon’s corrupt government, judges and the SNP executive.

      I do not know if any of the SNP candidates in my constituency are any of the liars who plotted against or who stood in that criminal court and made false accusations with the aim of sending an innocent man to prison.

      Somebody who goes to the lengths of lying under oath in court to help a corrupt coterie of vindictive plotters to blow a hole in the taxpayers’ funds in order to conspire and pervert the course of justice should not be anywhere near a parliamentary seat nor our taxpayers’ funds.

      We elect parliamentarians on the basis they are honest, not crooks who have no respect for the rule of law nor sense of duty, nor sense of right and wrong. I do not know what mental acrobatics a judge or the crown office has to go through to ever claim that it is in the public interest to deny us the information to cast an informed vote. I do not know what kind of standards a judge or prosecutor must have to decide that it is more important to protect the identity of an individual that lied in court and helped others to pervert the court of justice, than the wellbeing and right of voters of an entire constituency by denying them of the right to cast an informed vote, so I can vote for what I think is best for me. It is like we are being forced here to vote for what is not best for us.

      Who is any judge to decide that it is best for anybody in Scotland to vote for a liar, with no sense of right or wrong, somebody who has such disrespect for court proceedings and for the life of a fellow countryman that for political reasons thought it was acceptable to have a go at trying to send an innocent man to prison?

      I find the idea that any judge or person from the crown office is forcing us to vote blind and in doing so potentially voting against our own interests, not just wanting but going directly against democracy. To say that such person is more important than an entire constituency, including its children, frankly is something I will never accept. The day the protection of the identity of potential perjurers was given priority over the rest of the citizens of Scotland, I lost my trust in those judges.

      who prosecutes the prosecutor?
      That is a question that need to be asked: Who disciplines the crown office for its excesses? What is the punishment the crown office is going to receive for haemorrhaging close to 100 million pounds of taxpayers’ money? How are they going to give that money back to taxpayers?

      A few years back under this same government the NHS was forced to take very drastic measures, including the sacking of board members and letting go an awful lot of people, with the aim to adjust to their very tight budgets and reduce excesses. it would be disgusting now if the NHS, after all that painful effort, is to see its budgets constrained even further because the arrogance of someone within the crown office does no longer allow that crown office to recognise the difference between what is right and what is wrong and if they do not longer have the moral constraints that stop them feeling taxpayers’ funds can be thrown in the wind in the form of malicious prosecutions.

      Are those 100 million pounds blown in malicious prosecutions just going to be brushed under the carpet and is business as usual for the crown office or are we going to see something of far more substance than a “I hereby tender my apology”?

      Are we going to see like we did for the NHS the higher echelons of the crown office, including those crown agents, walking the plank of sudden unemployment and a serious constraint of the crown office budget to pay back what they wasted from taxpayers?

      Are measures going to be put in place to stop the crown office overstepping its mark again?

      2. Who ensures the crown office does not overstep its boundaries and abuses power as it appears to be happening here? Is that the crown agent?

      3.Who determines what the crown office boundaries are?
      Is that somebody here in Scotland or is it somebody in London? Do the people of Scotland have any say on that or is only the crown or the people in England via their parliamentary representatives who get to decide where those boundaries are?

      4. What exactly is the role “crown agent”? The name as a colonial tinge to it. Why is it necessary? What does this individual do? Who does this role report to? How far up the hierarchy of the chain of command is this person? Is this crown agent a UK civil servant?

      5. What is the relation between crown office and parliament, who is above who and who decided that was the case? I don’t remember the people of Scotland ever been asked.

      If it is the parliament of Scotland who can issue a VONC against the Lord Advocate, how is it possible that the crown office is holding the parliamentary committee to ransom by obstructing its actions? Is the crown office abusing power or is it a case that Fabiani is using the crown office and the Lord Advocate as an shield to hide behind to protect Sturgeon’s government and the UK civil servants behind this? Is there a third party moving the strings of the parliamentary committee or the crown office?

      Thank you.

      The following is directed to the England parties in Scotland: Labour, Tories, LibDems and whatever concoction under whichever name the Faragists currently have in Scotland:

      The NHS has been scrutinised to painful levels by you all. You have been constantly using it as a political football since devolution started. You are smashing it and undermining the motivation and hard work of its employees at every opportunity just to gain political points and with no consideration of how much the NHS staff invest of their lives in making it work.

      So what is happening now? Now that it is not the NHS who is in the eye of the hurricane, has the cat eaten your tongue? Why are you looking the other way now? Why don’t I hear you vociferously complaining and demanding immediate full transparency, accountability and disclosure of what is happening within the guts of the crown office and under whose authority and instruction this is happening?

      Isn’t it time, after wasting what can be 100 million pounds of our money, that taxpayers know exactly what on earth this crown office is, who is controlling it and what it is what it does and for the benefit of whom? Or are you supporting the idea that because it is the crown who sponsors this entity, all is good and the waste of 100 million pounds of taxpayers’ funds that could have gone to our public services can be brushed under the UK carpet?

      I am not just interested in the sacking of the lord advocate, the crown agent or whoever is the scapegoat that will be fed to the masses to placate them. They are just the tip of the iceberg. What we need to know is who, what is controlling the crown office and how is it being done and where do the orders come from, is that from Scotland or is that from London?

    53. Republicofscotland says:

      The BritNats mobilising Twitter, as umpteen accounts of folk who criticise Sturgeon are banned, and claimed to be accounts from Russia and Iran.

      https://twitter.com/rosscolquhoun/status/1364888011444539395/photo/1

    54. JB says:

      @ Slop: 25 February, 2021 at 1:58 pm

      I suspect that “no role for special advisors” is supposed to be interpreted as “no proper role for special advisors”, one is simply expected to infer the proper.

      Now that we have, what do we do about the implicit improper role?

    55. CalumCarr says:

      Only 24 accounts were banned for their Scottish content from hundreds of Russian and Iranian accounts studied – https://twitter.com/calumcarr/status/1364933048626794500

    56. Republicofscotland says:

      Leasky Boy, now virtually claiming that Craig Murray is an Iranian secret agent, because he’s a critic of Sturgeon.

      https://twitter.com/CraigMurrayOrg/status/1364938943926575113/photo/1

    57. Captain Yossarian says:

      Does Kenny MacAskill have any idea what the Scottish Government’s policy is on WHISTLE-BLOWERS?

      Surely some proper protection for whistle-blowers, as exists elsewhere in the modern world, would have ended this farago many, many months ago?

      Is the problem that our Justice Minister knows and understands very little to do with modern democracies?

      Any whistleblower in Scotland at the moment would be subjected to the full venom of Sturgeon and who wants that?

    58. Gordon Keane says:

      I see a guy got jailed for naming some of the Alex Salmond accusers.
      But what of the journalists who ore or less did the same, or at least make it clearly possible to do so?

    59. Gordon Keane says:

      Actually, the person has been sentenced to jail, but has now got to turn himself in to the Police!

    60. Al voice of reason says:

      A few things bothering me at the moment:
      Rangers trial: criminal charges against both Mr Whitehouse and Mr Clark were dismissed following a hearing at the High Court in Glasgow on 3rd June 2016, the current Lord Advocate took up the post on 1st June 2016 from Lord Mullholland- did he inherit a shambles and has he been getting his house in order behind the scenes.

      Only reason I can see for the redaction by the Crown Office is if legal proceedings are being progressed, as we speak, against the main players in the redacted sections. It would explain why the current Lord Advocate was flustered on Wednesday.
      Here’s hopping.

    61. Ken MacIntyre says:

      See also former sheriff Kevin Drummond QC at scottishlegal.com

      ‘Sheriff Drummond questioned the purpose and competence of unpublishing the material. He said: “Presumably it was redacted because of fear of contempt or identification. Once it’s already in the public domain you cannot unpublish it.

      “It seems to me that the exclusive consequence of that redaction was purely to deprive that witness of being able to refer to that part of the evidence. I don’t see what other result can flow from that sequence of events.”

      “We now have a national police force which is yet another arm of political control and a Parliament which the ruling party is effectively demonstrating is incapable of controlling the executive arm of government.

      “Serious questions are entitled to be asked as to whether or not the rule of law is actually operating in Scotland at the present time.”’

      https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/salmond-inquiry-former-sheriff-questions-whether-rule-of-law-still-holds-in-scotland

    62. Jack Murphy says:

      Holyrood tomorrow.

      Handling of Harassment Complaints.
      The Committee will meet on Friday 26 February at 12:30pm in the Robert Burns Room when it will take evidence from Alex Salmond.

      I don’t know if it will be shown on the Scottish Parliament TV.

    63. Steve Davison says:

      Ipsos MORI Over a third of Scots (36%) say the Holyrood inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of the accusations against Alex Salmond has made them less favourable towards the SNP, although most (58%) say it has made no difference to their view of the party. Nicola Sturgeon remains the highest rated party leader among the Scottish public, with a ‘net’ satisfaction rating of +32 –
      This is Scottish main stream (SNP bought and paid for) media effect of not reporting/calling it a salmond /Sturgeon feud
      The truth is that whilst the mass resignation from the SNP by its member’s vital step in damaging the party’s coffers and credibility without media coverage message is hidden to the non politicos set the Yoon media and its acolytes may in fact bolster support for the SNP by way of push back reaction to their version of events
      SNP MP /MSP GET OUT OF THE TROUGH IF YOUR TRUE TO INDIE AND SPEAK UP

    64. Republicofscotland says:

      Sturgeon’s number one lackey Tom Arthur also trumpeting the bollock of the Russian’s did it with regards to criticism of Sturgeon.

      No doubt this is a leaf out of Sturgeon’s heroine’s book Hillary Clinton, and her identity politics.

      We’re all Russian disinformation agents when it comes to criticising Sturgeon.

      https://twitter.com/ThomasCArthur/status/1364892155043606528

    65. Cenchos says:

      Big baldy bare-backed squirrel on a horsey.

    66. Nally Anders says:

      John Cleary @3.02
      (The women) “Must be terrified”.
      Yes in case they are accused of perjury.
      The fact is these women gave evidence in court, one of whom accused AS of attempted rape and was found not even to have been in the building on the day in question.
      Whether you like it or not the jury did not believe their version of events.
      Someone was lying and it was’nt AS.
      BUT yes, they were let down, Leslie Evans took a political decision and took their complaints to the COPFS against their wishes.
      When you know who these women are and how very close they are to Nicola, you might not be so sympathetic.

    67. Republicofscotland says:

      The Faculty of Advocates breaks cover to comment on the handling of the of Harassment Complaints.

      http://www.advocates.org.uk/news-and-responses/news/2021/feb/importance-of-maintaining-confidence-in-judicial-system-and-rule-of-law

    68. Sylvia says:

      I am out of the loop today-so don’t know if this has been posted.

      JIM SILLARS LODGES FORMAL COMPLAINT AGAINST THE FIRST MINISTER

      https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2021/02/25/jim-sillars-lodges-formal-complaint-against-the-first-minister/

    69. Jack Murphy says:

      TODAY.
      The Faculty of Advocates has placed this on their Blog today:

      “Importance of maintaining confidence in judicial system and rule of law”.

      My random Copy and Paste:
      “…The Faculty wishes to remind all concerned of the importance of maintaining confidence in the judicial system and in the rule of law. Maintaining that confidence requires, amongst other things, recognition of the importance of the independent role of the Lord Advocate, the independent role of the courts and, perhaps most importantly, the vital place of the verdicts of impartial juries in criminal proceedings….”

      https://tinyurl.com/5fujw8tb

    70. Garavelli Princip says:

      Jim Sillars has issued a formal complaint accusing Nicola Sturgeon of specific breaches of the Ministerial Code

      https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2021/02/25/jim-sillars-lodges-formal-complaint-against-the-first-minister/

      OVERDUE

    71. A Person says:

      Hmmm. The Faculty of Advocates is quite a force to be reckoned with in “civic Scotland”. If they’re coming out like that it’s an interesting sign…

    72. Socrates MacSporran says:

      I have just read Jim Sillars’ complaint regarding Sturgeon.

      He has not missed her and hit the wall – and I think a lot of those involved might be starting to question, if they should hang with Sturgeon and Murrell, or break ranks now and still perhaps, be employable – and out of prison.

    73. MorvenM says:

      Last day of ISP crowdfunder, if anybody wants to chip in.

      https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/isp-scottish-elections-may-2021-campaign-fund

    74. kapelmeister says:

      The Faculty of Advocates statement, and in particular the bit about “the vital place of the verdicts of impartial juries in criminal proceedings..” has to be aimed at Sturgeon.

    75. Republicofscotland says:

      Indeed Kapelmeister Salmond was found innocent, yet the complainers have used their anonymity as a staged in which to further attack an innocent man, as have the media, and certain MP’s and MSP’s.

    76. Andy Ellis says:

      @Socrates 4.29pm

      It is indeed passing strange that most of the MPs, MSPs and councillors who aren’t already readily identifiable as the “Sturgeonista Loyal” are staying very quiet. I suspect when it all hits the fan, she’ll suddenly find herself abandoned by all but the tub-thumping zealots who are publicly defending her now.

      With luck, the party will kick her and her unsavoury cabal out, but even if they do the SNP “brand” is tarnished beyond the ability of all the Brasso in the world to remedy. Only a new party can save us now, and that may mean preparing for 2026: So be it.

      If there is something big on the horizon (per @jeggit hints last night), we may not have long to wait given Alex’s appearance tomorrow and Sturgeon’s on Monday.

    77. kapelmeister says:

      The Sturgeon cabal call their foes conspiracy theorists. I say conspiracy provers is the correct term.

    78. Robert graham says:

      I hope Alex has FMQs on a loop before he returns Fire Tomorrow.

      I saw a side of Nicola Sturgeon today that I have never noticed before and I am not impressed , the total hatred directed at a once friend and Mentor was very interesting , Jackie Ballie hit a nerve when she asked if Alex Salmond was so bad , so out of control , so dangerous to every woman near him , Why , Why so many meetings and Why so many meetings unrecorded , did Alex Change into Attila the Hun or was he always prone to searching the rooms and hallways of Bute House in search of fresh prey , or was it when his Show was Aired on RT , I remember that move causing convulsions with that fat fkr Blackford yeah the we won’t be dragged out of Europe Blackford who looks like he hasn’t missed a dinner in his life it takes some serious eating to get to that girth.
      Anyway best of luck tomorrow Alex I know you are betting man but don’t risk it by going off Script and Daring the Pollis to arrest you for retaliation I know the chances of them making a total arse of themselves by being seen and filmed in full public view of you being dragged away are pretty slim but don’t push it .
      A measured response to the venom espoused by your ungrateful protege can wait until it really hurts and stings and above all causes lasting damage now that’s Karma a fine delicacy.

    79. Strathy says:

      Archived version of The Faculty of Advocates’ statement –

      ‘Importance of maintaining confidence in judicial system and rule of law.’

      https://archive.is/0mW2s

      Agreed, kapelmeister (at 4.34pm.)

      … together with Sandy Brindley of Rape Crisis Scotland.

    80. Jontoscots20 says:

      Well said Kenny. Watching Wolfe squirm and shift under basic questioning of his role in the Salmond case makes me think of something else. How many low wattage toffs with the right connections are in positions of power in Scotland? . Most cannot run things properly are serially incompetent and won’t say a peep to power. Of course Sturgeon and her clique would probably like to replace them with the low wattage woke like Evans And Richards rather than competent and challenging professionals with integrity and competence.

    81. Republicofscotland says:

      Andy Ellis @4.40pm.

      I’m with Craig Murray on that one, that even though the SNP is now a tarnished brand, if the main culprits are removed and the right folk installed the party can and ergo independence, be set on the right track again, but it must happen sooner than later.

      I refuse to believe that all the SNP MSP’s sitting behind Sturgeon are with her 100%.

    82. Mac says:

      It is very funny and telling that of all the people the COPFS and the dodgy Lord Advocate decided to maliciously prosecute other than Alex Salmond and his allies were the people perceived to have ‘hurt’ Rangers Football Club.

      Their fans are known to be not that keen on Alex Salmond either.

      It does sort of suggest that the COPFS and Police Scotland are stuffed with staunch bluenoses.

      So that is another 100 million quid that RFC indirectly has cost the tax payer. Incredible.

      Someone on here commented that one of the Duff & Phelps guys was waiting to be interviewed when a policeman came into his room and subjected him to a rendition of the Billy Boys.

      It would explain a hell of a lot about the behaviour of the COPFS and Police Scotland.

    83. McDuff says:

      I agree with Kenny but only a wee bit.
      There was deliberate malicious intent in going after Salmond then the targeting of his supporters Murray and Hirst. These actions which must border on criminal have been observed by the entire legal establishment yet all have remained silent.
      I believe there should eventually be criminal prosecutions brought against those involved as an example that corruption of the law for political purposes will not be tolerated.

    84. cirsium says:

      It is significant that Ms Sturgeon has started to use the phrase “conspiracy theory”. In 1967, the CIA started to use this phrase in its campaign to deflect the public’s questions regarding the findings of the Warren Commission.

      “The fact is that the propaganda drive that began in 1967 has continued to roll on and has been brilliantly effective. It is a way to control public discussion. It is a way to freeze intellectual, congressional and journalistic inquiry.” This is a quote from Dr Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Media Studies at New York University, who has researched the history of this phrase.

      For more on the use of this phrase in propaganda see the article and interview from 2017 – https://renegadeinc.com/conspiracy-theories/. It makes for educational reading and viewing.

    85. Republicofscotland says:

      Go on Alex.

      “Alex Salmond wins complaint against Scotland on Sunday over front page headline “’This is not over. Not by a long shot’” after his sex offence acquittal. IPSO said the paper had “gone too far” in abridging his statement, making it sound “more sinister”

      https://twitter.com/pressgazette/status/1364953488476803079

    86. Ron Maclean says:

      ‘Regardless of the public attention which a case may excite, prosecutors must not be influenced in their decision making, whether in relation to the investigation or the prosecution of crime, by extraneous and irrelevant considerations. Like judges, prosecutors must decide without fear or favour, affection or ill-will – objectively and professionally, on the basis of an assessment of the available evidence; and it is one of my constitutional responsibilities to promote the integrity and independence of prosecutorial decision making.’
      The Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC on 5 September 2017.

    87. tartanfever says:

      ‘I refuse to believe that all the SNP MSP’s sitting behind Sturgeon are with her 100%.’

      They are, not one of them has spoken out. This is the worst criminal conspiracy possibly in the history of Scottish politics – to keep silent is an abject failure of any pretence of justice.

    88. iain mhor says:

      After the RFC affair (and there are others) for the LA, the honourable thing would have been to resign, not issue an abject apology.
      I must conclude he is a dishonourable man.

      Of course, not all issues and ‘errors’ are a resigning matter, not all actions dishonourable. There should, rightly, be some benchmark, some bar – in this instance the bar has been set stratospherically high.

      I absolutely, categorically, now know what is not a resigning matter and (most importantly of all) what is not considered a resigning matter for every Office and Faculty to which he belongs.

      None have encouraged him to ‘consider his position’ and the bar is set – bringing Scots Law to a state of disrepute is not a resigning matter, bringing the Nation of Scotland to a state of disrepute is not dishonourable.

      I speak for none but myself, but I say otherwise.

      Can I reconcile this behaviour in any way, is the LA indeed an innocent, do I miscall him – has he ‘been let down by his generals’- compromised then and compromised now?

      Even so, he holds a position unique and exalted enough to say so, yet chooses to remain silent. Is it from some misplaced sense of whatever shred of honour he clings to – the honour of thieves perhaps? For Scotland was certainly robbed – not only of considerable sums of money, but of her reputation.

      As for the current matter at hand; the only thing he chose to utter before the Committee was: “Roma locuta est, causa finita”

      I may now add Arrogance to the charge of Dishonourable – but then, as I well note, he is in good company.

    89. cirsium says:

      A1 voice of reason, 3.42
      This is a quote from the newspaper article which covered the conclusion of the civil trial

      “… while the court heard this morning that the current Lord Advocate continued to fight the current case even after documentary evidence showed that the prosecution was wrong.”

      Does this sound like getting the house in order?

    90. Al voice of reason says:

      Naw, your right there wishful thinking on my part. I was hoping for light at the end of the tunnel….just a train bringing more shit sandwiches.

    91. Cath says:

      A horrible thing dawned on me today that, after everything they’ve put Alex through, four years of hell: smears, a trial, the media coverage etc, the likely reason they’re drawing this latest re-trial (supposed committee) out so long, so close to the election is that they can then blame him for “damaging independence and SNP”. At every stage they’ve just wanted him to shut up and go away. And this is the latest: ‘weesht for indy as it’s so close to the election now. Stop telling the truth or trying to clear your name and just go away.’ That’s seems to be the latest tactic now – blacken his name for bringing the party into disrepute when they’re the ones who have done that.

      Best thing that can happen for the SNP, however close it gets to the election, is for the truth to come out. A party that stitches up Salmond is not a party of independence.

    92. dramfineday says:

      Like many of the other posters above, I too welcome the statement from the Faculty of Advocates. Now let’s take their pointed comments and see if we can reinforce the law. The “sanctity” of the jury is, to me, under threat from brazen individuals who do know better, but do not care. Time to make contempt of the jury and it’s outcomes, the equivalent of contempt of court.

    93. Mia says:

      “the likely reason they’re drawing this latest re-trial (supposed committee) out so long, so close to the election is that they can then blame him for “damaging independence and SNP”

      You may well be right. However I think it is far more likely that the reason why this farce has been delayed beyond the point of reason is three if not four prone:

      a) to keep Sturgeon in power to avoid other real pro indy individual to take the reigns of the SNP and declare a plebiscite in May

      b) to ensure the booby price takes over from Sturgeon to protect that evidence and to ensure independence does not happen in the next 5 years

      c) they are absolutely terrified of Mr Salmond entering the political game again and fronting another political party, directly opposing the now British state compliant SNP and leading Scotland to independence by ejecting many of those gradualist SNP MSPs from their seats.

      d) the potential possibility that all this has been engineered by minions of the British state with one aim in mind: to portray Scotland’s democratic and legal structures as a complete failure in the eyes of the electorate so the England MPs can move, close Holyrood and impose direct rule from London as the ultimate way to take control over our NHS and other assets and to take over our body of law.

      This could perfectly explain why there is an apparent collusion on all structures in colonial Scotland including the government, parliamentary structures, COPFS, police, colonial political parties and the MSM in both, continue to delay this farce and protecting and offering a propaganda mouthpiece for Sturgeon and the plotters to smear Mr Salmond non stop.

    94. Anonymoose says:

      Cath says:
      25 February, 2021 at 5:25 pm

      …the likely reason they’re drawing this latest re-trial (supposed committee) out so long, so close to the election is that they can then blame him for “damaging independence and SNP”. At every stage they’ve just wanted him to shut up and go away. And this is the latest: ‘weesht for indy as it’s so close to the election now. Stop telling the truth or trying to clear your name and just go away.’ That’s seems to be the latest tactic now – blacken his name for bringing the party into disrepute when they’re the ones who have done that.

      Best thing that can happen for the SNP, however close it gets to the election, is for the truth to come out. A party that stitches up Salmond is not a party of independence.
      —-

      They might try and blame him for damaging the SNP, the minority virtue signalling woke brigade would no doubt testify to that.

      However, the only people who are damaging the SNP are the Murrel’s, Ruddick, McCann, those higher ups within the party who are ignoring the memberships calls for a spring conference – something which should have happened long before the run up to this election, the sheep who would blindly follow them all off of a cliff and the science denying, HCB and GRA supporting woke-brigade faction.

      There are so many really bad mis-steps by the party leaders which have been done up til now that they can hardly pin it on Alex Salmond, he’s not been a member for a few years now.

      Nope, all of this has happened on the Murrel’s watch, just like the only policies the SNP have pushed for outside of science denying gender woowoo virtue signalling is the baby-boxes and free tampons, independence got locked in the boot of car so they could settle-in and destroy the human rights of the Scottish people.

      The SNP leaders have not implemented a single policy to drive independence forward since Alex resigned as FM and party leader and subsequently left front-line politics, they have abandoned the principle of independence, settling-in for more devolution instead of pushing Scotland forward into its freedom form the shackles of being an English colony.

    95. Republicofscotland says:

      TartanFever @5.14pm.

      Not speaking out doesn’t necessarily mean that they are with her, some might be waiting or willing to speak out once Sturgeon’s tenure as FM, finally becomes untenable.

      Prior to that I’d imagine they are afraid to lose their jobs, of which they surely would.

    96. HeehawBaws says:

      Why is the last of these dual role types still in the job?

    97. John Martini says:

      The wokerati should be called the projectionists. They are guilty of all the things they project onto others. Reflect back like a mirror.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

    98. Daisy Walker says:

      @ Mia, I agree with your reasoning and would add one further 5th element.

      The middle east. AS has been resolute in his moral stance against the neo con activities in the middle east.

      If you think about it – he’s the last statesman standing – who stood up and declared the decision to invade Iraq was illegal. Cook gone, Kennedy gone.

      Once NS took over, and with Alex out, the SNP no longer held that moral high ground.

    99. Cenchos says:

      John Martini

      The handy thing about projectionists is that you always know what they’ve been up to in secret because they’ll be calling someone else out for doing the same.

    100. Mia says:

      Very good point Daisy. That would explain the urgency of bringing him down when he started his programme in RT.

    101. Andy Ellis says:

      @Republicofscotland 4.57pm

      I don’t share your faith that the party can be salvaged I’m afraid, or indeed that it would be something I’d want to vote for, still less join, even if it was somehow “re-directed”.

      If the “right folk” are still there, what the fuck have they been doing for the past 6 years? Perhaps if those who don’t agree with the Sturgeonistas, with the gradualism and the gender woo-woo had shown even the slightest inclination to do something, there might be some light at the end of the tunnel.

      How anyone can think that is remotely feasible – particularly in the next few months – just beggars belief, I’m sorry. I’m sure you’re right that not all of the MSPs sitting behind Sturgeon are with her 100%, but “by their actions shall ye know them”. Collectively (with a few laudable exceptions) they’re a shiver looking for a spine to crawl up.

      Anyone who still thinks the SNP are the answer is asking the wrong question. The best strategy to ensure we have a party fir for purpose isn’t trying to make a silk purse out of the SNP sow’s ear, it’s to replace the SNP with a “real” independence party.

    102. John Martini says:

      @cenchos

      By their deeds shall ye know them

    103. Corrado Mella says:

      Does the cabal shielding that busted flush of inept “First Minister” know that 85% of all exposés that were branded “conspiracy theories” by the accused have been found to be the true state of facts and sequence of events, described punctually as they really happened?

      To brand a precise, Occams’ Razor proof, verifiable description of events and their outcome a “conspiracy theory” is the most idiotic move that a desperate gaggle of cretins can make.

      There’s no time to lose, before the BritNazi Establishment decides that their compliant and complicit feartie is a goner and pulls the trigger.

      Depose her and the cohort of sycophants, bundle them in a bus and exile the lot to a croft in the Shetlands.

      We have work to do.
      A nation to build.

    104. James Barr Gardner says:

      Proverbs 10:9
      The man of integrity walks securely, but he who takes crooked paths will be found out.

      I’ll jist go an’ git ma coat….

    105. holymacmoses says:

      If this is found to be a conspiracy, would the all women in the trial have to face prosecution and would they maintain their position of anonymity before, during and after a trial? And if they were to be found guilty, would they still be able to claim anonymity?

    106. Republicofscotland says:

      Andy Ellis @ 6.07pm.

      Andy.

      There are good folk in the wings (no pun intended) such as Angus B. MacNeil, Chris McEleney, Joanna Cherry and even Kenny MacAskill who could get the party on track if they could just get into the position to do so.

      I’m trying to be positive we know the negatives, we don’t have years to sort things out with a new party, the HUB in Edinburgh is already syphoning powers away from Holyrood by allocating cash that Holyrood should allocating around Scotland.

      Do you actually have anything remotely positive to say that doesn’t result in waiting years for another indyref.

    107. James Che. says:

      So here we are being accused of conspiracy theory’s that involve the word Russia,
      As soon as you hear that being used as a argument to shut you up, it gives the game away as to who is behind all this.
      Just look which two governments has used Russia this and Russia that mantra for the last five or six years, next it will be a conspiracy of Chinese whispers.
      Didn’t they try the Russia connection to rt and AS already and everyone saw through this as propaganda, they didn’t achieve in getting us to fall for that,
      Dumb and dumber comes to mind,
      So they have tried the honey trap,
      AS had a court trial, and he won in court, dumb and dumber, because now they are trying to ensnare him in the committee that is supposed to be looking into what the Scottish government did wrong, not AS, he is not, or should not be the target,
      And that is where they become dumb and dumber,
      It is looking so obvious that a conspiracy is to be spoken about in Scotland, Only everyone attention in Scotland is looking at the set up of the crown, lord advocate, civil servants, and pseudo actors within the SNP,
      Between all the lines of propaganda and organisations of all involved we can only come to one conclusion,
      That the purpose was to take down the SCOTTISH LEGAL SYSTEM (Scots law) within the Scottish devolved parliament, and to remove one of Scotland’s best independence leaders.
      And to cause rot in the grassroots of the independence movement as a deliberate default before Scottish elections.
      And they are still trying by hook or by crook.

    108. James Che. says:

      So here we are being accused of conspiracy theory’s that involve the word Russia,
      As soon as you hear that being used as a argument to shut you up, it gives the game away as to who is behind all this.
      Just look which two governments has used Russia this and Russia that mantra for the last five or six years, next it will be a conspiracy of Chinese whispers.
      Didn’t they try the Russia connection to rt and AS already and everyone saw through this as propaganda, they didn’t achieve in getting us to fall for that,
      Dumb and dumber comes to mind,
      So they have tried the honey trap,
      AS had a court trial, and he won in court, dumb and dumber, because now they are trying to ensnare him in the committee that is supposed to be looking into what the Scottish government did wrong, not AS, he is not, or should not be the target,
      And that is where they become dumb and dumber,
      It is looking so obvious that a conspiracy is to be spoken about in Scotland, Only everyone attention in Scotland is looking at the set up of the crown, lord advocate, civil servants, and pseudo actors within the SNP,
      Between all the lines of propaganda and organisations of all involved we can only come to one conclusion,
      That the purpose was to take down the SCOTTISH LEGAL SYSTEM (Scots law) within the Scottish devolved parliament, and to remove one of Scotland’s best independence leaders.
      And to cause rot in the grassroots of the independence movement as a deliberate default before Scottish elections.
      And they are still trying by hook or by crook.
      I will emphasis the word crook

    109. James Che. says:

      So here we are being accused of conspiracy theory’s that involve the word Russia,
      As soon as you hear that being used as a argument to shut you up, it gives the game away as to who is behind all this.
      Just look which two governments has used Russia this and Russia that mantra for the last five or six years, next it will be a conspiracy of Chinese whispers.
      Didn’t they try the Russia connection to rt and AS already and everyone saw through this as propaganda, they didn’t achieve in getting us to fall for that,
      Dumb and dumber comes to mind,
      So they have tried the honey trap,
      AS had a court trial, and he won in court, dumb and dumber, because now they are trying to ensnare him in the committee that is supposed to be looking into what the Scottish government did wrong, not AS, he is not, or should not be the target,
      And that is where they become dumb and dumber,
      It is looking so obvious that a conspiracy is to be spoken about in Scotland, Only everyone attention in Scotland is looking at the set up of the crown, lord advocate, civil servants, and pseudo actors within the SNP,
      Between all the lines of propaganda and organisations of all involved we can only come to one conclusion,
      That the purpose was to take down the SCOTTISH LEGAL SYSTEM (Scots law) within the Scottish devolved parliament, and to remove one of Scotland’s best independence leaders.
      And to cause rot in the grassroots of the independence movement as a deliberate default before Scottish elections.
      And they are still trying by hook or by crook.
      I will emphasis the word crook, just because it has taken me three post submissions to get this posted.

    110. President Xiden says:

      25 February, 2021 at 2:30 pm
      Davie says
      Can anyone explain why the sums in the Duff and Phelps mess are so vast?

      Indeed, as I pointed out recently there have been several high profile miscarriages of Justice in Scotland over the years where people were wrongly imprisoned for years yet we’re never given anything near this in compensation. Something is not right here.

    111. Andy Ellis says:

      @Republicscotland 6.07pm

      Don’t pull the old “waaah….you’re being too negative” crapola with me. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Nobody (least of all me as a former member) said there were no good people in the party. The problem is why those people have been unwilling and/or unable to make ANY impact on the party’s decline in to this madness?

      The handful of people you mention – however influential, charismatic and able – are still going to have an uphill struggle mucking out the Augean stable that is the current SNP.

      Happy clappy positivity isn’t going to help us achieve independence. I’d sooner put my money on establishing a new party than hoping against hope that the SNP can somehow be cleansed of the nutters who have driven it off a cliff.

      I don’t want to wait years for indy. Like Stu and some others I’ve been warning about the dangers of our current situation for years: since I left the party in November 2018 in protest at Gareth Wardell’s treatment in fact. I could see then there was something rotten at the heart of the SNP, but few people listened.

      I’d love to think there will be a political earthquake in the next few months. If the SNP is somehow “reborn” I’ll be relieved and eat my words. Perhaps you think that I’m overy negative, I just see it as realism and the most probable outcome. We have a VERY limited window of opportunity to

    112. Andy Ellis says:

      < (apologies, hit enter too quickly!) make May 2021 a plebiscitary election, so I'm all ears for you plan of how we do something to bring about a referendum before 2026?

      I'd sooner participate with like minded people in a new organisation than stand shoulder to shoulder with some of the pieces of work in the current SNP.

    113. Republicofscotland says:

      Andy you’ve went happy clappy, to I might be too negative, if nothing else you definitely cover the board in one comment.

      In my opinion we need to save the SNP, simply because time isn’t on our side. That’s it, however if you think we’ve got years to create and push a new indy party (unless Salmond comes out soon and runs at the head of a indy party) with Westminster already rolling back devolution then good luck with that plan.

    114. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      James Che – just HOW do you manage to duplicate and, in this case, triplicate your comments?

      After you’ve hit the “Submit Comment” button, let the appearing page settle down.

      If you don’t see your comment, click on your web browser’s “Back” button. then refresh/reload the tab/page.

      You should then see your ‘single’ comment.

      Works for me.

    115. Andy Ellis says:

      @Republicscotland 7.50pm

      I wish you luck saving the SNP. Go do! Like I said, I’d love there to be progress soon, I just feel it’s unlikely. You and others who share your opinion say we don’t have years, but when challenged to explain your plans if and when nothing happens it’s just……tumbleweed.

      If you don’t have a plan, it’s just Wishartry isn’t it? Pious hopes that *something* will happen. When that doesn’t work, we need to have an alternative. A “real” independence party seems the best option.

      I guess we’ll know what needs to be done in June, huh?

    116. Saffron Robe says:

      There can be no equality of justice as long as there is no equality of people. As long as one person is considered legally superior to all others, injustice will prevail and persist. The Crown Office should be removed from the Procurator Fiscal Service by removing the (English) Crown from Scotland. Only as a republic can justice, equality and liberty flourish.

    117. Caledonia says:

      Excellent article Kenny

      Something has to give as this is not an odd few it seems a lot of people are involved.

    118. James Che. says:

      Brian doonthetoon, not sleeping well tonight so excuse late reply. Submitting comments and waiting sounds easy, but it’s not, Sometimes I have waited this long for comments to go through that I have managed to walk my dog for the length of two good sized fields, come home to find it still not gone through, try again, wait and watch it do the twirling, for ever and ever, so make my supper or breakfast, do some gardening or pruning trees, still twirling away, eat my breakfast or supper, get absolutely frustrated as not having any other problems with other Sites, or Facebook, Amazon, etc do not have to wait or continue to try re posting or re submitting elsewhere,
      The only and totally strange thing about it going through eventually is if I add a few words to original message and re submit, then all my posts on the same subject appear one after the other,
      This time I didn’t have to wait to long, but sometimes I have to wait so long in hours the topic has been discussed out and stu is on to next topic,
      I could blame my computer/ iPad, or the signal/ or broadband except everything else works with no delays day after day,
      If you can come up with a solution I be more than happy to try it,

    119. Iain More says:

      To quote the first question.

      “Is the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service of Scotland institutionally corrupt?”

      Aye its corrupt and beyond salvage at present. Actions speak louder than words and they have been screaming that they are rotten to the core for years. Nobody ever went to jail over the little boys and Thailand sojourn scandal. If you are high enough up the food chain you can get away with anything.

    120. Rose Ford says:

      @Corrada Mella

      It’s ‘Shetland’ not ‘the Shetland’s’ and we don’t want them here, by any mode of transport.

      What have Shetlanders ever done to you, that you would wish to inflict this shower of corrupt, incompetent fuckwits on them?

      #IStandWithAlexSalmomd

    121. Cudneycareless says:

      James Che. says:

      You could always make your posts pithy

    122. Simpson says:

      Those responsible for the malicious prosecutions should pay that £100 million. Once we have stripped them of all assets they then should be prosecuted. Isn’t it a crime to pervert the course of justice?



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