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On no accounts

Posted on October 01, 2020 by

Having been privileged to serve as SNP National Treasurer, I’m aware of the duties that go with the post. Of course, it’s changed in some ways since then due to the scale of the party, the resources available and even technology. The days are long gone when Joan Knott, who has sadly since passed away, required to take a taxi down to my legal office to have cheques signed between court or clients.

But some things still remain fundamental, and in particular providing annual accounts for the party. That has been done for 2019, in the administrative sense, but what’s missing is their publication and provision either to the NEC or the party more widely.

For sure there’s been no conference but there are other bodies and other ways of making them available to party members. At NEC, conference and indeed anywhere else, members were entitled to see them and question me. It was their right to see them, and it remains so now. So why haven’t they seen them?

It’s not as if the financial year has just concluded, for the party accounts are set on the calendar year. As in my day the accountants need to prepare them and then discuss them with the National Treasurer. Moreover, lockdown and coronavirus may have moderately impeded matters, but most will be dealt with by an electric exchange of information and meetings can be virtual.

So with the financial year having ended on 31 December 2019, and as we’re now in October 2020, it’s maybe about time that they were available.

I’m led to believe that the National Treasurer has had them audited and concluded, even if there are aspects such as certain salaries that it appears he isn’t privy to. Now, the party may be of a far larger scale than in my day, but there is something strange when the person in such a critical post is denied such relevant information. But that’s a separate issue.

The accounts haven’t been shown to – let alone approved by – the NEC. They have, though, been submitted to the Electoral Commission, as rules required them into that body by early July. So, if they can have been lodged with a British state agency for months, why can’t members of the SNP have sight of them?

I’ve asked the Business Convener for a copy and that they be provided to the Westminster MP group. As appears to now be standard practice, I haven’t even had the courtesy of a reply. Members pay their dues, elected members contribute a levy, so why can’t we see what’s done with our money?

For many, though, the major interest will be funds that were contributed for the specific purpose of a referendum. Assurances were given that those funds would be ring-fenced. That may well be so, but it should still be confirmed and shown in the published accounts. Trust requires it, and as the political temperature heats up, party funds will be critical.

An indication that the party has been fundraising, even during these difficult times, and that resources to fight both an election and a referendum are available, is essential. If they aren’t then questions need asked about just what has been going on in HQ.

The indications coming from declarations made to the Electoral Commission are far from heartening. When support for the party and the cause of independence has never been greater, questions have to be asked about that. But to do so the information in the accounts is required.

There are, though, already causes for concern that can be gleaned from past accounts and where checking on the current situation will be imperative. Indeed, questioning of the accounts will be essential. Its estimated that the HQ wage bill will be around £1 million, understandable with a staff of just over 20.

But if a fifth to a quarter of that is going on the salaries of just two individuals that is less so. Clarification of salary brackets and the numbers of people in them must be provided, along with pension contributions.

The powers we face are well resourced and it’s why our cause must cherish every penny and maximize its use. Such questions go beyond the party, though, as the resources afforded by Westminster are huge. It’s reckoned that between SNP MPs’ contribution from their salaries (around £11,000 per head) and Short money paid by the UK government, the group’s budget this year will be north of £1.5 million.

It’s been slightly lower in some past years, given the loss of members in 2017. But a back of an envelope calculation leaves you with a figure of upwards of £7 million since 2015 for the Westminster group alone. Back then, members were told it would be a huge resource for the independence cause. Has it been?

I’m not criticizing staff but am questioning whether our cause is getting best use of what is after all its resource, both at HQ and in Westminster. Legitimate, normal and reasonable questions need to be answered, not blanked.

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  1. 01 10 20 10:57

    On no accounts | speymouth

  2. 01 10 20 14:22

    On no accounts –

386 to “On no accounts”

  1. Ruglonian says:

    Please continue to question Kenny. The support of the movement for your party depends on them being fit for purpose.

  2. Republicofscotland says:

    Another interesting post from you Mr MacAskill, it does sound as though the party’s dragging its heels on distributing the accounts figures for 2019.

    The question must be why, what is it that they don’t want the membership and Joe Public to see.

    As for huge salaries for a small number of individuals, surely this must be addressed in the future. A small fortune could be saved by dismissing Peter Murrell, when evidence surfaces over his (alleged) WhatsApp scandal. More cash could be saved by firing Leslie Evans her sheer incompetence has cost the Scottish taxpayer, (by the whole disgraceful fiasco is settled) millions.

    Then there’s the party leader the epicentre of all that’s going wrong within the party at the moment.

  3. John Jones says:

    How about I declare myself the president of Scotland, form an independent government, dismiss the SNP and freeze their funds?
    Guaranteed international recognition, seems to have worked in other countries with oil reserves.

  4. Alexander Wallace says:

    Kenny MacAskill says, upwards of £7 million since 2015 for the Westminster group alone. Back then, members were told it would be a huge resource for the independence cause. Has it been?

    I have been asking this question for 5 years.

  5. shiregirl says:

    Its estimated that the HQ wage bill will be around £1 million, understandable with a staff of just over 20.

    Wait. £50,000 per annum, approx per worker in SNP HQ?

    Am I reading that wrong?

  6. wull says:

    Agreed, Kenny. I don’t think anyone could argue against anything you are saying here. What you are suggesting is simply ‘normal practice’ for any organisation with finances, big or small, and common sense.

    I hope you, and everyone in the SNP and indeed the public at large, get satisfactory answers very soon.

    There may be a ‘new normal’ afoot, or even running amok in some quarters. But even so, whatever anyone thinks about it, if this new ‘normal’ wants to avoid criminality, it will have to look out.

    Surely the ‘new normal’ can’t be so abnormal as to jettison ‘normal’ accounting practices, or believe it can do so with everlasting impunity. Or so obtuse as to think it can indefinitely postpone its ‘normal’ duties of accountability toward its own membership and contributors, as well as to the general public. Or so lacking in sense that it can ditch common sense altogether, especially in the financial area, where ‘normal’ good practice is always of paramount importance.

    Thank you for posing the right questions, ones that currently need to be posed. The fact that such a need exists is already alarming. These are such normal matters that you would expect them all to have been taken care of long ago. Unfortunately, it seems clear that such has not been the case. I wish you much persistence, and success, in pursuing these and other pressing matters of a related nature.

  7. Republicofscotland says:

    I always thought of John Swinney as reasonable man, level headed and prudent. However Mr Swinney, or Deputy FM Swinney has been asked by the committee to come clean on the costs over the Salmond fit up, but has refuse to produce the figures.

    We know for sure that £118,000 was spent by the Scottish government on QC legal advice, over and above the £512,000 awarded to Salmond.

    Deputy FM Swinney did say it wasn’t possible to calculate the sums spent, due to the way Civil servants are paid.

  8. Stonky says:

    Following on from recent stooshies, and having tired of being told by her fans that “Nicola Sturgeon is one of the most highly-ranked politicians in the world”, I decided to bother my backside to do a bit of digging into the provenance of this claim.

    The only thing I could actually find was a “new study” by a “panel of experts” last July that ranked her “the fifth most eloquent world leader”. The study, from the Development Academy wing of a company called Acuity Training, succeeded in achieving massive coverage in the UK mainstream and alternative media, and further afield.

    So I decided to find out a bit more about this eminent and influential global think-tank that had been so complimentary about our leader.

    Acuity Training is a commercial training company based in Guildford. Most of their training courses are in Microsoft Office and other similar software. They are fairly modest in their claims:

    “We are a small training business based in Guildford… We don’t aspire to be the biggest training business in the UK…”

    And they’re clearly not exaggerating. The company is so big that their website contains no information at all about anybody who works for or is in any way involved in the business – no founder, no owner, no management team, no employees, no trainers, no experts… not one single name. Their “Development Academy wing” is of such overwhelming influence that it does not rate a mention on their website. Neither does their “panel of experts”, and neither does the “new study” they produced. A wider internet search did not produce a single link to even a copy of the press release about the study, far less to the study itself.

    The cynic in me is inclined to suspect that Acuity Training is a man and a dog operation with no Development Academy, no panel of experts, and no study. The man (or his dog) deserves a great deal of credit for carrying out a very successful PR exercise that got the company’s name into pretty much every UK mainstream media outlet.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the claim that Nicola Sturgeon is one of the most highly-ranked politicians in the world actually emanates from a publicity stunt carried out by some anonymous nonentity in a two-bob training outfit from a tumbleweed market town in the middle of nowhere.

  9. Lennie says:

    I’m sure the police investigated Natalie McGarry, for less with regards to little transparency of funds which didn’t belong to her. Those currently hoarding the cash if it’s still there should reflect on this.

  10. Tannadice Boy says:

    Kenny Mac Askill a proper MP. Experienced, balanced and knows the questions to answer. I feel the end game is upon us. I am reminded of metal fatigue. Tiny cracks emanating from the centre suddenly leading to catastrophic failure without warning. Chance for a new start coming up soon. I think the SNP and the wider Independence movement need it.

  11. Kenny says:

    Excellent contribution, Mr MacAskill. This is essential. We need answers, the Party needs to be accountable.

    Accountability: Strange days indeed, when the SNP’s self-congratulatory ‘longest-serving member of the house’ criticises the audacity of a fellow member for requiring accountability, transparency within the party. I’m sure Wishart will claim criticising of the vehicle being used, but that’s airy-fairy stuff, for no one else – not one other journalist – is prepared to ask the crucial questions being asked here. Mr MacAskill seems to be able to grasp this – why can’t others?

    If Wishart’s happy for his constituents to faff around for another 30 years, coughing-up to pay his salary, then somehow manage to defend a cloak of secrecy surrounding sums of money, and other irregularities, then the rot is so deep-rooted that the only solution is for someone prominent to ask questions – a bit like MacAskill’s doing here.

    Yes, there are undoubtedly many good people in the party, but it’s patently obvious there are those who would want MacAskill not to ask the essential questions. Why?

    Wishart: what the hell’s that poor guy gonna do when he can no longer stand up and address the House?

  12. wull says:

    That’s what I thought at first Shiregirl @ 9.30, but I think we are both reading it wrong.

    The article mentions two very highly paid individuals at SNP HQ. Some reports estimate that Peter Murrell might be getting 200,000 a year, or near-on.

    If the other highly paid individual gets anything like near enough the same, that leaves a lot less to be shared out among those further down the salary scale at SNP HQ. And even among these ‘others’ (excluding the 2 high-flyers Kenny alludes to), a small few will be doing quite nicely thank you (your 50,000 or so, and probably well above) while most will be on something far more modest and average.

    I wonder how much Murray Foot is getting. I don’t suppose the ‘VOW’ that made him famous was a ‘vow of poverty’ …

  13. susanXX says:

    Very reasonable article Mr MacAskill, answers are needed. The SNP are beginning to look like a cowboy outfit.

    Tannadice Boy@9:47. I agree.

  14. Papko says:

    “Unfortunately, it seems that the claim that Nicola Sturgeon is one of the most highly-ranked politicians in the world actually emanates from a publicity stunt carried out by some anonymous nonentity in a two-bob training outfit from a tumbleweed market town in the middle of nowhere.”

    Well researched.
    My heart goes out to all those vulnerable people in Scotland’s cities, with their low incomes and zero prospects, who actually bought into all this.

  15. Big Jock says:

    Nicola gave funding to the MSM! We know how much that was.

    Yet they can’t tell us what’s in that ring fenced indy fund? I have my suspicions.

  16. Dave Somerville says:

    Breaking news

    Eu to take legal action against uk government because of the withdrawal agreement.

    So the SNP are now sitting in Westminster with the rest of the international law breakers.

    Sturgeon should withdraw her MPs immediately.

  17. Mac says:

    I would have thought that the level of financial disclosure would be set very high for a political party.Much like it is for a PLC. Everything as transparent as possible.

    Certainly I would expect them to disclose the remuneration of the CEO and other top level executives. The other staff payroll information does not have be that specific but for the top brass, yes, full disclosure every year. The only reason I can think of for them trying so hard to keep it a secret from other SNP members is they know it will make them look bad. What else could it be.

    And what possible gain are they hoping for by delaying the release of the financials. The accounts will have to be released at some point so what are they up to by delaying it. I am trying to figure that one out. The election is too far away surely, no way they can delay until then or even close to it, right? They are acting suspiciously for sure but I am struggling to see what they are hoping to achieve by it. Unless something is imminent that we don’t know about but they do.

    The SNP are one shady outfit these days, it is on all fronts we are seeing it as well. Everywhere you bloody look…

  18. Andy Ellis says:

    In what universe is it acceptable for the party’s Business Convenor simply to refuse to reply to a query on such an important issue from an MP?

    It’s bad enough that complaints and requests from members are stonewalled and ignored….but from MPs? Really? Is that the kind of open and honest government we should expect?

    The SNP membership and branches need to urgently direct the party that a minimum response time be given for responses to complaints and requests.

  19. Big Jock says:

    I will say this again.

    The reason I suspect Nicola keeps delaying indi ref 2 . Is because some or all of the ring fenced money has been spent , when it shouldn’t have. So they don’t have a war fund to fight the referendum.

    They can’t do a crowd funder , because people don’t believe there will be a referendum, and because they will ask what happened to the ring fenced money.

    I believe this is the truth of the matter. One thing that should never be forgotten. Nicola told a journalist on live TV. That there would not be a referendum until the effects of Covid were over. She cannot take that back. That’s exactly what she has planned. Win Holyrood 2021 , then sit back and say the economics of Covid are too risky for a referendum.

    We have been in this movie before folks. So it’s either Nicola or independence. She cannot be allowed to get away with this con anymore.

  20. Liz says:

    Saying what possible reason for delay. After Dec 31st, we will be ruled by WM.
    How much hand ringing, speeches etc will be given but as per, no action.

    The accounts will disappear into the ether

  21. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Stonky/Papko –

    Yeah, this unthinking worship of NS reminds me of the deification of Carol Vorderman. People felt they knew her personally purely because they’d seen her on Countdown. She was ‘the lass who can do all the sums in her heid and did you know, she went to university when she was three’. It’s like they adopted her as the gifted daughter they never had.

    Now, Ms Vorderman sells life assurance plans to their grandchildren – just give them a call and she’ll work out the premiums in her heid.

  22. Hatuey says:

    Another example of very serious allegations made and access to critical information that could clarify matters being withheld – by the very people that the allegations seem to concern.

    Fiduciary obligations aside, accounts are generally considered a private matter and there’s lots of room for flexibility, “fuzzy math”, and being relaxed about things. There’s also millions of loopholes.

    The donations to the fundraiser are a different thing and if those donations have been directed to anything other than the stated cause, well, I’d be surprised if that sort of thing wasn’t covered very specifically in some law or another.

    It’s odd that people who are sticklers for rules and regulations when it comes to things like demonstrations in George Square, harassment in the workplace, and court proceedings, appear to be so casual on matters as serious as this.

  23. Republicofscotland says:

    Good comment Big Jock.

    Of course the SNP deny spending the ring fenced indy funds, the easiest way to dispel any untoward criticism would be to reveal where the funds are, but they haven’t, why?

    Of course the funds could be in a deep underground vault guarded by mute eunuchs.

  24. holymacmoses says:

    Stonky says:

    Hi Stonky – this might interest you re Acuity Training:-)
    Ms. Kahan has been far more active than that, however, as she is listed as the founding director of 25,802 companies in the United Kingdom, and is present on all of their documentation which is filed with Companies House

    The following from ‘Finance Feeds’ .

    Now, as a result of an investigation by FinanceFeeds and British news source The Times, it is now completely transparent as to what the link is between unregulated companies with a London address, and Israeli binary options scammers.

    2 Woodberry Grove London, N12 0DR – Innocuous middle class Finchley residence, or enabler of massive scams?

    So the Acuity Training Company had Barbara Kahan involved at one time:-)

    The Barbara Kahan whose name was on almost 26,000 companies from the one address

  25. The Dissident says:


    “Of course the funds could be in a deep underground vault guarded by mute eunuchs.”

    I so want that to be true!!!

  26. Polly says:

    £11,000 per head? If an employee were paying that from their salary to a company they worked for or through then they’d have every right to know how that money is spent. Regular members with far smaller subs obviously do too. Someone claiming to be Gerry Fisher here at the end of another article stated quite clearly the Treasurer who was an honourable man, which Mr MacAskill previously agreed with, should be able to share the accounts with any member who wishes that information. I rather wonder though why he hasn’t shared those details with Mr MacAskill if he can share them with the EC. If they’re been lodged with the EC since the summer then what or who is stopping him sharing them with Mr MacAskill?

  27. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Republicofscotland –

    ‘Of course the funds could be in a deep underground vault guarded by mute eunuchs.’


    Laughed so hard there I think I’ve done meself a mischief.


  28. Skip_NC says:

    Stonky, is this the study:

    Perhaps these are the experts who spent 100 hours analyzing world leaders to come up with a top ten and who decided Barack Obama was the best communicator amongst world leaders in the last ten years

  29. Mac says:

    I am going to guess that the CEO and COO combined are getting 300-350k per annum. Murrell getting on for 200k and the balance to the other useless one. So that would be more like 30-35% of the HQ payroll… on two people.

    IMO it is ridiculous that an organization this small, and financially speaking the SNP is very small, has both a big salary CEO and COO. They are not fucking Unilever.

  30. Polly says:

    holymacmoses says:
    1 October, 2020 at 10:33 am
    Stonky says:

    ‘The Barbara Kahan whose name was on almost 26,000 companies from the one address’

    25,802! Good lord, I’ve seen some dodgy addresses used for stuff before but that’s some number linked to one person. And just proves as Stonky implies, you should always read behind and about headlines and who is making claims and why before believing them.

  31. Derek Aitken says:

    As a former SNP branch treasurer I know exactly how hard and fast HQ would come down on you if the branch accounts were submitted late.
    Time to turn the tables.

  32. LeggyPeggy says:

    Mr McAskill ,
    Thank you once again for an excellent post ,

    “ I’m not criticizing staff but am questioning whether our cause is getting best use of what is after all its resource, both at HQ and in Westminster. Legitimate, normal and reasonable questions need to be answered, not blanked. “

    As you said this is not the staffs fault , The Snp HQ and NEC have become a * closed shop clique * environment and they show total disregarded for members in the way they are now working .

    Emails sent from members ignored and no answers sent , if this was a PLC working in this way with shareholders the board of directors would be shown the door at their AGM .

    It’s time that all the accounts should be open and transparent and they should be sent out to every member .

  33. Cuilean says:

    It is a national and pressing scandal that the Murrells have created a private, pecuniary fiefdom, where they are able to use party funds in complete secrecy.

    One feels the SNP has been turned into the Murrells’ private company ownership.

    What is most telling is that the rabid anti-SNP press is ignoring the biggest anti-SNP scandal, ever.

    Something is rotten in the state of Scotland

    Surely it is time for the SNP MPs, with the integrity of Tommy Shepherd etc. to realise that they are doing the party, their country & themselves, a disservice, by not demanding answers, and bringing the Murrells’ private, unaccountable fiefdom to an end asap.

  34. Desimond says:

    The silence from SNP HQ is now a deafening roar!

    Oliver Mundell of all people picks up the “Just where is the Salmond info First Minister” baton…whodathunkit!

  35. stonefree says:

    @ Big Jock 0 at 10:02 am

    You are not alone
    Mention it on some of the Blogs and the National , and watch the black balls arrive and the writer being jettisoned

  36. Sarah says:

    Why is it ONLY Kenny MacAskill and Joanna Cherry speaking up? Holyrood members are completely silent, so far as I know. Surely at least the 13 people leaving could summon up the nerve to start some action? Mike Russell, Linda Fabiani, Roseanne Cunningham?

  37. Republicofscotland says:

    George Kerevan, the SNP hasn’t campaigned for independence for several years now.

  38. Skip_NC says:

    Hatuey, it is true that “fuzzy math” can be employed in any accounting period to get to the numbers you want. However, In the longer term, it all comes back to one number- Cash at Bank and on Hand. This is especially so when we are talking about ring-fenced funds. If funds are truly ring-fenced, there is no hiding place. First, one needs to establish when funds were received by the organization and how much. Then it is simply a matter of looking at the accounts for any period after the funds were received and deducting the ring-fenced funds from cash balances to see what is left in reserve for other purposes. I suppose one could also include cash equivalents, but if there is too heavy a reliance on cash equivalents (ie, investments) I would question the prudence of those doing the investing.

    Just to be clear, we do not need the 2019 accounts for this. Any year-end after the money (or the bulk of it) was raised will do.

    It is worth mentioning that the ring-fenced money might be sitting in an accounting unit that does not have to be consolidated with central party accounts. I have no clue if this would be legal or not. I have lived in the USA for the past nineteen years. If that is where the funds are, the next question is “Where?” What is the accounting unit that holds the funds? I understand accounting but I know nothing on the specifics of political accounting in the U.K. I’d be surprised if it were not reportable by the other accounting unit.

  39. Ottomanboi says:

    The westminster system bequeathed to Scotland, in a quasi colonial manner, as a model of how to do democracy gives legitimacy only to political parties sitting in assemblies, all else is considered unorthodox.
    Do we actually need to kowtow to such a system? Surely a popular movement dedicated to independence and its direct promotion through adroit anti-Union propaganda among the populace would be more productive and a more efficient use of resources? Especially as technology now renders door to door ‘canvasing’, mail shots, tv politics etc obsolete.
    The SNP has had a good run. It fulfils its government brief as well as any political body is able but like such entities has become diverted by sectional interests, using social media, which are not germane to the founding principles.
    Maybe we need to narrow the field, deep focus and sharpen on independence first and leave the special interests to find another medium to travel on.

  40. Big Jock says:

    Desimond – Oliver Mundell – Even a stopped clock is right ….at least once.

    Murrell must be squirming. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in the Murrell’s house , when the Salmond verdict was read out.

    If there is indeed funny business with the funds , then this aint going to end well.

  41. Big Jock says:

    Skip – If the indy fund is in situ.

    Then why not dispel any rumours by declaring it!

  42. Skip_NC says:

    Big Jock, you’d think that would be the simple, straightforward answer to this. Seemingly, politicians dislike answering questions about finances. Now that my TV is fixed, my wife and I saw the “presidential” debate last night. Both candidates had a chance to put lingering financial questions to bed by simply answering the question. They both acted offended when the very even-handed moderator asked them. It was not a good look for them and the SNP leadership’s reticence in this matter is the same.

  43. Strathy says:

    It seems likely that: –

    (1) A big chunk of the indy fund has been spent.

    (2) Murrell is taking up to a third of the estimated £1m salary bill. Salary + generous pension contributions + benefits in kind (medical insurance etc).

    (3) The big reduction in private donations to the SNP means that it is dependent on Westminster Short Money and MPs’ contributions.

    Or perhaps they would like to publish the full details and prove otherwise.

  44. Ottomanboi says:

    The repressive régime currently operating to suppress Covid-19 disease began in a flood of sentimentality over the NHS, key workers, staying safe and doing your bit against the invisible enemy. It hasn’t worked so the pressure to eliminate normal human socializing, deemed the medium of transmission, is growing.
    Like sin, this thing needs to be fought and wiped from the face of planet, no matter the cost. At that point sentimentality ends.
    This has the smell of some quasi religious crusade. In Scotland, it is almost Knoxian in its earnestness.
    To paraphrase G K Chesterton, when people cease to believe in religion they open themselves to believing in anything. In non religious Scotland and UK we appear to be at that point.
    Praise whatever we have dedicated Covid-19 Finders General in Sturgeon and Johnson.
    Makes you feel truly safe, doesn’t it?

  45. willie says:

    The wage bill of Murrell and Ruddick who are CEO and COO respectively needs to be disclosed.

    Anecdotal comment is that these two are costing the party around a third of a million pounds a year in wages and pension contributions. Big salaries most certainly it takes a lot of members dues to meet bills like that.

    But who determined these levels of remuneration and in having determined them, is that why it is a secret. Time there was visibility, but you know what, unless and until we kick people like Murrell and his wife out, this type of thing will continue.

    Jeepers, the controlling coterie in the SNP is more vicious, more greedy than New Labour. New Labour on Steroids more like.

    Lets take our party back!

  46. Lochside says:

    What I find significant about all this is why now??

    Where the fuck have McAskill, Kereven et al been while this shitstorm has been brewing? The Rev and many others (including me) have been critical of the SNP leadership for years, but ‘big hitters’ within the party hierarchy have been silent until now…when it’s almost too late.

    The sound of silence for years, except for the rustling of fat salaries being deposited into MP/Msp bank accounts. Now the ‘old guard ‘ are all bailing out, whilst Sturgeon parachutes every signal virtualling airhead into their places.

    We are on the brink of disaster: political and economic emasculation and all we get is rats in a sack whining and pissing and pointing fingers. Salmond was nearly banged up first time round before the bleating belatedly began from these ‘insiders’.

    Reading Craig Murray’s frightening account of the public crucifixion of Julian Assange by trial points me to concluding that the whole SNP top cabal are and have been completely compromised for a very long time. They are grabbing their gold
    standard pension lifebelts and abandoning the ship, leaving the Scottish working people who have fought for their freedom abandoned and leaderless.

    I don’t see a natural leader….and all movements need one…all the previous best ones are kaput..but we must act now , collectively and find that ‘someone’ who will emerge and who is brave enough , in face of Deep State blackmail, to wipe the slate clean and start again. Indy ain’t happening with this lot!

  47. Black Joan says:

    As with the harassment inquiry, suppression of documents and of the truth leads people to draw their own conclusions.

    Rumours gather pace, conspiracy theories multiply.

    What can be so important to conceal, when the consequences of concealment are so damaging in themselves?

    It must be very, very bad and, with every day that passes, it’s getting worse.

  48. Intractable Potsherd says:

    shiregirl says:
    1 October, 2020 at 9:30 am
    Its estimated that the HQ wage bill will be around £1 million, understandable with a staff of just over 20.

    Wait. £50,000 per annum, approx per worker in SNP HQ?

    Am I reading that wrong?

    Whilst the figure puts the average salary quite high, it isn’t as high as it might initially seem. The wage bill will (should?) include employer contributions such as National Insurance and pension. That can easily add 60% to the top-line salary of an individual. However, I would expect the average to be closer to £40k, so there still seems to be something amiss (though note that we don’t know what the actual figure is, because we don’t know what ANY of the figures are!)

  49. Asklair says:

    I do not know why in the digital age political parties, charities etc accounts are not open and transparent in real time, with full disclosure of all bank, credit card accounts and cash being held daily.

  50. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “However, I would expect the average to be closer to £40k, so there still seems to be something amiss”

    AVERAGES, folks. If certain people were to be on very high salaries then with a workforce of only 20 it doesn’t take all that much to start dragging the averages up.

    If you have a total staff of five and a total wage bill of £250K, then the average is £50K. But if one of those people is on £150K, then the other four are only getting £25K each – just half of the “average”.

  51. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “What I find significant about all this is why now??

    Where the fuck have McAskill, Kereven et al been while this shitstorm has been brewing?”

    In fairness, Kerevan hasn’t been an MP for two and a half years and Kenny’s only been one for a few months.

  52. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Anecdotal comment is that these two are costing the party around a third of a million pounds a year in wages and pension contributions.”

    That’s certainly the sort of ballpark I’m hearing from well-placed sources.

  53. SOG says:

    Aside from the ring-fenced fund, presumably the accounts will indicate member numbers. Could that be another reason for reticence?

  54. Sarah says:

    @ Rev: as a matter of some significance, do you know of any agitation being done by SNP MSPs on the subjects you, and many of us, are so concerned about – SNP discipline, NEC manipulation, FM obstruction of the Parliamentary enquiry etc etc?

  55. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Aside from the ring-fenced fund, presumably the accounts will indicate member numbers.”

    They don’t include membership numbers but they do include membership revenue, from which one can make a reasonable extrapolation. In the 2018 accounts, the most recent available, membership revenue was 20% lower than the 2015 figure, which would suggest that by that time they were perhaps down from the 125,000 peak to something more like 100,000 members.

  56. J Galt says:


    “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities”

    If you seriously believe that putting a non medical mask on to walk twenty feet to a table, taking the mask off and sitting there for two hours, then donning the mask again to walk twenty feet back to the door is not an absurdity, then there is no hope!

    Roll on the atrocities….

    Back to topic.

    Mr MacAskill is conducting steady and measured campaign for openness at the top of the SNP, no doubt his legal background is important in his assessment in how far he can go and at what pace.

    I am also disappointed that he appears to be a lone figure at present – however that may not be the case privately.

    For those interested in Scotland’s future it makes grim but necessary watching.

  57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “do you know of any agitation being done by SNP MSPs on the subjects you, and many of us, are so concerned about – SNP discipline, NEC manipulation, FM obstruction of the Parliamentary enquiry etc etc?”

    I know of quite a few who’ve asked questions. I know of none who’ve had answers. The party hierarchy simply blanks any awkward enquiries.

  58. bipod says:

    @J Galt

    Personally in nicola sturgeons Scotland I don’t think the mask wearing mandate is just going to go away, soon it will be wear the mask you don’t want the flu to kill granny do you.

  59. Sarah says:

    @ Rev at 12.37: Well that is some encouragement. Perhaps they will tackle the individuals, or start party procedures of some kind.

    It would also be helpful to have the “less than principled” candidates identified so ordinary members know who not to vote for in selection campaigns. We know about Rhiannon Spear and Josh Mennie but there’s a lot of others to look out for.

  60. James says:

    Desimond @ 10:54 “The silence from SNP HQ is now a deafening roar!
    Oliver Mundell of all people picks up the “Just where is the Salmond info First Minister” baton…whodathunkit!”

    Whoa there! The Munnell? Carrying a baton? Hahahahahahaha!

    He deliberately got himself kicked out of the chamber to try and draw attention away from what his old man voted for the previous day IMHO.

  61. Andrew Morton says:

    I’m currently in Twitter jail after being ganged up on by the wokies for an innocuous tweet which I’m disputing with the Twitter police who are taking forever to adjudicate. So this is the only forum I have at the moment.

    I’ve just been watching First Minister’s Questions and Nicola Sturgeon’s answers to questions about Peter Mussell’s alleged Whats App messages were shifty in the extreme. I’ve never seen her look so nervous and flustered before. Her excuse for not answering was because there was an ongoing police investigation yet the investigation isn’t into the messages, but who leaked them. It’s patently obvious to me that the messages are genuine and that the wagons have been circled.

    This can’t go on for much longer, the whole Murrell, wokie, conspiracy circle is about to collapse and it’ll probably take Nicola Sturgeon with it.

  62. Tannadice Boy says:

    A very bruising encounter for the FM at FMQs. Because of an apparent oversight, her defence, she has simply not been invited to the Harassment Inquiry. A police investigation into her husband. Parliament in uproar. Simply an unsustainable approach. As Campbell Gunn said on Scotland Tonight. Get the bad news out and take the hit. The country needs to move on.

  63. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Andrew Morton –

    Thanks for being the first to say it –

    Ruth Davidson ‘won’ that FMQs.

    First time, ever.

    And that, in itself, speak volumes.

  64. Mike Fenwick says:

    In Craig Murray’s lateest report on Day 21 of the Assange trial, he includes evidence from Noam Chomsky … this is only one of the quotes he uses … “Power remains strong when it remains in the dark. Exposed to sunlight it begins to evaporate.”

    Apply that warning to your knowledge of documents NOT being exposed to sunlight in today’s Scotland.

  65. Polly says:

    Sarah says:
    1 October, 2020 at 11:09 am
    Why is it ONLY Kenny MacAskill and Joanna Cherry speaking up?

    Possibly Sarah others aren’t so keen on speaking out but have tried to keep it internal – as all things used to be done, and which is a good rule to follow normally. As for the ones leaving, again old timers with more discipline, perhaps they feel they must wait to speak out after that?

    Ottomanboi says:
    1 October, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Talking of GK Chesterton, he also said

    ‘The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of the Conservatives is to prevent the mistakes being corrected.’

  66. Ian Brotherhood says:

    ‘We have submitted over 1000 pages of evidence and given over 10 hours of oral testimony.’

    That has to be one of the limpest lines ever.

  67. The Dissident says:

    It should be made clear that the reason that Sturgeon has not been invited to give oral evidence to the committee yet is because the committee DOES NOT HAVE THE INFORMATION IT NEEDS to determine what questions to ask her.

    She damn well knows this yet she uses the fact that she hasn’t been invited as a defence when, in fact, it is a symptom of the stonewalling.

    She is truly disgusting at times.

  68. James says:

    Ottomanboi @ 11:49

    Yeah, let’s all get religion and start praying. ROTFLMFAO.

  69. G H Graham says:

    I suppose any advance towards the (SPSO) Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, currently Rosemary Agnew, would be a complete waste of time?

    The SPSO is responsible for dealing with complaints made about those providing public services including councils, the National Health Service, housing associations, the Scottish Government and its agencies and directorates, etc.

    By the way, does anyone else remember the good old honourable days when Alex Salmond often referred himself to the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner to determine whether he had broken the Ministerial Code?

    Funny how you never hear of Sturgeon doing that.

    Because I had forgotten about this Daily Record article describing how she was basically told ‘she must agree to standards probe over Salmond meetings or face parliamentary inquiry’

  70. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “It would also be helpful to have the “less than principled” candidates identified so ordinary members know who not to vote for in selection campaigns”

    That matter is in hand.

  71. Andrew Morton says:

    @Ian Brotherhood

    Yeah, it pains me to say it but Davidson had Sturgeon on the ropes and going down for a count of ten.

    I wonder how much of this is Sturgeon having to cover up for her husband’s behaviour and how much is down to her.

    Would it be paranoid to suggest that her support for the wokies is all down to having a loyal group of acolytes who’ll do whatever she and Murrell want without question?

  72. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I suppose any advance towards the (SPSO) Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, currently Rosemary Agnew, would be a complete waste of time?”

    Yeah, the SPSO is a purely advisory body, it has no actual power.

  73. Stu hutch says:

    Ok there is a problem with the accounts for 2019 the snp for some reason are holding question is IF there is a problem with finances in the snp it couldn’t have just happened in 2019.unless there were large payments made in 2019 to persons that the snp wish to keep secret.The accounts for 2018 and back have not created this amount of interest.unless iv been living under a rock il admit I know nothing of the workings of as a finance virgin are we saying a lot of money including the ringfenced money has been siphoned off last year or this is a historical thing that the treasurer of the snp has failed to inform the members for a number of years ? If it is the later could that be construed as fraud ?.or is all this to embarrass the snp hierarchy.Sad to say all this bad stuff is on one road and that leads to Mr Murrells door.

  74. Geordie says:

    Three or more years ago while I was still a member I asked Phillipa Whitford MP what SNP are doing with all the money pouring in from WM, the 100,000 plus members who had joined since 2014, and other appeals, to be fair she got back to me and said she had asked SNP HQ and they just ignored her, turns out it was not the first time she had been asked and gone on to ask HQ with the same result.

  75. Polly says:

    Andrew Morton says:
    1 October, 2020 at 12:51 pm
    I’m currently in Twitter jail after being ganged up on by the wokies for an innocuous tweet which I’m disputing with the Twitter police who are taking forever to adjudicate. So this is the only forum I have at the moment.

    Aw poor you. Pity no other platforms seem to work out so well, with the many voices lost there.

    Ian Brotherhood says:
    1 October, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Yes, she’s starting to crack, the Spear rant was proof of it. It’s now way beyond time she tried to save the party and step down. Things being allowed to drag on this way are tortuous for more than just the leadership, but it should be their job to steer a way out of bad situations. If she can’t or won’t even do that for herself how can she for the independence movement of the country?

  76. MaggieC says:

    I missed the start of FMQs and when I turned it on Ruth Davidson was getting tore into Nicola Sturgeon about the Harassment and Complaints Committee . Nicola said she submitted her written evidence two months ago and it’s not been published yet and she’s willing to go in front of the committee when called .

    If I remember correctly all the people and the Scottish Government who were contacted by the committee for evidence had to submit it by 4th August .

    I presume that as the committee are still waiting on Peter Murrell’s further evidence and the further evidence from the Scottish Government as they had to write to both again after the lack of evidence that they submitted in the first place wasn’t enough then the committee will be able to gather it all together and decide from there who to call next to give evidence .

    It will be interesting to read the written report from FMQS later on tonight when it’s published .

  77. Sarah says:

    @ Rev at 1.02: Many thanks! That list will be essential.

  78. Dave Somerville says:

    Rumours doing the rounds Johnson could be away before Christmas.

    Let’s make it a double and kick out our very own Unionist lapdog Sturgeon by the same time.

    You couldn’t ask for a better Xmas present, no Johnson and no Sturgeon,,, Heaven!!!

  79. Stoker says:

    The state of play in Scotland today. True story!

    “Part-time linesman Douglas Ross overruling trained solicitor Liam Kerr and law professor Adam Tomkins”

  80. Stoker says:

    Sarah says on 1 October, 2020 at 1:08 pm: “@ Rev at 1.02: Many thanks! That list will be essential.”

    I second that! Much appreciated!

  81. Confused says:

    “too wee, too poor” New Caledonia (- what a curious name?) is having another crack at independence, the vote on Sunday.

    – there is a (rather thin) piece on it in the Guardian (get it yourself)

    reading between the lines, the french seem to have “played it straight” about it all, but the cynic in me notices – its a small territory, with no real wealth of any strategic importance to the french, and it is a long, long, way away, and if it “kicked off” the cost of policing the territory would far outway any benefit; the natives can bleed the french and play the long game. So, there are parallels and also anti-parallels, to our case.

  82. Breeks says:

    Posted without comment… I didn’t see FMQ, but these comments don’t surprise me.

  83. Breastplate says:

    Mike Fenwick,
    It is a fucking disgrace what is happening to Julian Assange.
    The discovery channel good do a documentary about kangaroos in the Old Bailey.

  84. Tannadice Boy says:

    Well after the conclusion of FMQs I am reminded of a documentary about the SNP and Alex Salmonds meteoric rise. The current deputy first minister John Swinney regaled a tale of how the men in grey kilts approached and asked Alex Salmond to be leader. So my message to the deputy FM now, dawn your grey kilt again, another change of leadership is required. We need to end this farce promptly.

  85. Tinto Chiel says:

    I’m hoping Kenny’s article today and the poor preformance (by all accounts) of the FM this afternoon in Holyrood will simply increase the pressure until the dam bursts, but we are running out of time. It may well be that the disappeared money is one of the main reasons for the FM dragging her feet on independence.

    2021 could see the end of democracy in Scotland while our “leadership” is paralysed by adopting a secretive siege mentality.

    @Ian B 10.25: re the adored, supposed Calculating Machine that was C. Vorderman, she only got a third-class degree at Yooni but since it was from Cambridge, that was no impediment to a career.

  86. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Polly –

    NS looked like she knows the ball is well and truly on the slates.

    When it was Richard Leonard’s turn the camera showed NS sitting there – whatever she was thinking about, it wasn’t what Leonard was asking. She looks hunted.

  87. David R says:

    Haven’t really being keeping track of the timeline however was wondering if the missing funds and attacks on Salmond were around about the same time.

  88. A Person says:

    At the risk of sounding vindictive towards Nicola Sturgeon, which I truly don’t want to be, I feel that this is probably the first time she has come up against genuine political challenges and it seems she isn’t coping very well.

    On the one hand, an awful lot of people in her party and wider movement are raging over all this weird skulduggery. The penny is finally starting to drop.

    On the other hand, her most vociferous opponents among the general public have been Billy McHun and Hugo Innes-Kerr; not exactly people you encounter much of in the trendier parts of Scotland. However, the recent restrictions on students and the hospitality industry are causing real anger among towards “her” among young urban people.

  89. mike cassidy says:

    Is this Acuity Training’s One-Man Band?

    A materials science student at Cambridge

    A venture capitalist and investment banker

    I guess Nicola Sturgeon didn’t get the memo about being a servant leader

  90. Big Jock says:

    Covid- 19 fatigue is setting in with the youth demographic! That’s dangerous. They are 72% yes. Could be very damaging if they get so peed off they don’t bother voting at the next election.

    Nicola would do well to heed previous advice and let Freeman take over the briefings. I don’t listen to them anymore. I just read the snippets on the news.

    However I actually believe that Murrell will have to resign in a few weeks. He will go before something illegal might be uncovered.

  91. David Caledonia says:

    Took a little trip to ayrshire yesterday, went through Irvine, Nicola Sturgeon country, must say its hard to believe this Irvine lassie has turned out to be such a big disappointment to me
    She may get back to her roots eventually but it will not be as leader of the SNP
    Sorry Nicola its time for you to step aside and let democracy back to where it belongs, with the people who believed you where one of us, your husband by the way is nothing more than a money grabbing waste of space, why don’t you divorce that clown and get a real man of Scotland
    And no, I am spoken for, so you can look somewhere else lol

  92. Socrates MacSporran says:

    Baroness Colonel (T)Ruthless clearly won today’s FMQ exchanges.

    |That was significant in itself, but, for me, more-significant was the background chatter when Nicola Sturgeon was responding. At times it was almost as bad as when Blackford is on his feet at WEstminster.

    To me that is the first sign, Mrs Murrell is a “Dead Woman Walking<" she cannot survive long.

    When even an oxygen stealer like Jacqui Baillie can discomfort her, the Glorious Leader is in bother.

  93. J Galt says:

    Dave Somerville@1.12pm

    Be careful what you wish for – Gove is Johnson, but with brains.

  94. kapelmeister says:

    Who is going to be questioned first?

    Sturgeon, Murrell……or Prince Andrew?

  95. CameronB Brodie says:

    The accountability of public bodies and public servants has been under methodological attack since Thatcher, as the radical right seek to bring about a ‘new-normal’ that is openly hostile towards Common law reasoning and the justice of the Natural law tradition. Neo-liberalism is simply incompatible with ethical government, and the SNP are more than a tad Tory in their political and legal stance. That’s why we’ll need to beat the neo-liberalism out of them before we’ll ever enjoy the benefits of democracy.

    The Development of European Standards on Political Parties and their Regulation

  96. David Caledonia says:

    Never been on twitter, when that that king of the twits Stephen Fry endorses anything you know to keep clear of it

  97. David Caledonia says:

    Cameron, your correct it most of what you write, I don’t need to read your comments as I was allready one of the converted as I came across it all over the years and I did learn a lot about common law from a young guy on youtube, who is in Glasgow now, but originally from Greenock
    And he fights the scottish legal system all the way, even though they have tried numerous times to lock him up for standing up for himself, he is a guy that makes you proud to be scottish

  98. Big Jock says:

    BTW – The more I read those phone messages. The more angry I am. I think everyone should be.

  99. Big Jock says:

    Gove is far worse than Boris.

    He is an old fashioned English Nationalist. He is up there with the worst of them. Yes I do know he was born in Scotland, but he isn’t a Scot.

  100. CameronB Brodie says:

    David Caledonia
    I’m honestly not trying to hurt the party, I’m trying to help them and us. The British constitution is a Common law contract outlining the legal boundaries of a political agreement between two equal sovereign nation states. Westminster simply has us convinced the constitution is a source of obligatory legal authority, and that Westminster is not bound by the Common law. They are relying on the depth of our psychological conditioning to voluntarily disregard the Moral law, which would be inescapably undemocratic and unhealthy. So that should keep the Tories happy anyway. 🙁

    The Cambridge Companion to the Scottish Enlightenment
    11 – Legal Theory in the Scottish Enlightenment

  101. CameronB Brodie says:

    Scots Law only lost its’ respect for the Natural law through its’ subourdination to the English cultural principle of Parliamentary sovereignty. So Scots law and culture will never flourish under legal conditions that are hostile towards the Natural law, and the universal principle of equality in law.

    Philosophy, Rights and Natural Law
    Essays in Honour of Knud Haakonssen

  102. Bob Mack says:

    As an aside isn’t it a fact that some of the best communicators in the world turn out to be fleecing you at every turn. I think the term is con men.

  103. North chiel says:

    “ John Jones @0922 a.m.” . I was under the impression that Bojo was planning this for himself on Jan 1st 2021 ?

  104. Republicofscotland says:

    Just a reminder of the alleged Murrell texts.

    The pressures definitely building on Sturgeon, especially with her terse reply to a question on the alleged WhatsApp question, surrounding her husband Murrell.

    Meanwhile disgraced former SNP Finance minster Derek Mackay is taking the piss with the Scottish taxpayer.

  105. Beaker says:

    @Bob Mack says:
    1 October, 2020 at 2:51 pm
    “As an aside isn’t it a fact that some of the best communicators in the world turn out to be fleecing you at every turn. I think the term is con men.”

    I’ve trained people in public speaking. A fair proportion of good ones work in sales. Same as for politicians I suppose, convince you that night is day and charge you for the privilege.

    O/T – top tip for today – when wearing trackies at home make sure they are the right bloody way round…

  106. Republicofscotland says:

    Is it just me or has Sturgeon done something to her Twitter account. It just keeps saying try again no matter how many times you refresh it.

  107. Breastplate says:

    Bob, I’ve found people in general are either good with words or good with numbers, some few are good at both and some are good at neither.
    In my own experience, the people that are good with numbers tended to be the more reliable and trustworthy.

  108. Wee Chid says:

    Republicofscotland says:
    1 October, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    Just tried it and got the same. Is she away composing her resignation tweet?

  109. Republicofscotland says:

    “Just tried it and got the same. Is she away composing her resignation tweet?”

    Wee Chid, yeah somethings going on, she was really rattled today in the chamber, could be the walls are beginning to close in on her, and Murrell.

  110. Republicofscotland says:

    Wee Chid looks like its back up again, so no resignation letter I’m afraid.

  111. Wee Chid says:

    It’s working again – no resignation – yet!

  112. Andrew F says:

    Apparently Twitter is temporarily broken for everyone.

  113. Robert Graham says:

    As much as I would like to see the ones behind the vendetta against Alex being strung up from the nearest tree , Particularly anyone in the top management of the SNP .

    I feel a bit uncomfortable joining in along side anyone in the Scabby Tory party putting the boot in and sharing their Glee about Nicola Sturgeons discomfort just now ,

    Like it or not she has a role to play and appears to be widely known and accepted by a lot of the people in Scotland , chopping her head off at this time in my opinion ain’t a clever move , and with all due respect assisting any Unionist would be like kneeing ourselves in the Nuts ,

    Ok everyone wants justice and probably revenge , and as the saying goes on revenge ” a dish best served cold ” There will be time , right now there are more pressing matters to attend to , and a bit of sugar will get better results than a whole shovel full of Shit or a cupful of vitriol .

  114. Johnny Martin says:


    I gather that that Liam Fox has been put forward for the role of World Trade Organisation Director General.

    Is this a Westminster attempt to get in there and change all the rules in their favour? Whatever the case, I think this is something we should be hoping doesn’t come to pass because I highly doubt it can be anything but an attempt to direct WTO rules in this particular batch of Tories’ preferred direction.

  115. Johnny Martin says:

    Robert Graham @ 3:25pm:

    No. We either want clean politics for Scotland or we don’t.

    If something bad has gone on here, we cannot go ‘ah well, the Tories are having a go at her for it, so I don’t want it to be fixed because it must benefit them to do so’. That’s ‘politics is like football teams’ behaviour.

    This is no way to get to a ‘better politics’ for an independent Scotland; it is instead to build it on grubbiness and bad behaviour.

    If it’s right to do something, it’s right to do it. No matter whether some Tories, for their own reasons or not, are pushing in the same direction.

  116. Johnny Martin says:

    Republic of Scotland @ 3:05pm:

    There was something wrong generally; it was saying ‘Twitter is over capacity. Try again in a few seconds’.

  117. CameronB Brodie says:

    I’m find arithmetic a doddle but couldn’t get past ‘O’ grade maths, so what do you think that might suggest about me? 🙂

  118. Daisy Walker says:

    Very good article, proper questions that should never have been needed to be asked.

    Given the venue for the hard questions put to NS – it will be interesting to see if the MSM pile in – it could just have been a ‘shot across the bows’ to keep her on track.

    If the MSM go full Tonto on her – then the games afoot.

    If Boris goes Dec/January time – does that instigate another GE? Anyone know.

    Polling – the 2 q’s I want answers to just now are:

    How aware are the Scottish Electorate about the destruction of Devolution currently underway

    How would they feel about S30 order procedures being binned and a Hoyrood Plebiscite election on some process of Indy being put on the manifesto.

  119. A C Bruce says:

    Re upthread comments on FMQs.

    There is no way that Davidson “won” the exchange with the FM. That is just laughable.

    There is evidence which can’t be provided for legal reasons. The FM made it clear that the Scottish Government had instigated legal proceedings asking the Court to allow the Government to provide that material to the Committee. The Convenor of the Committee has since also written to the Court to obtain that evidence.

    The FM also provided substantial written evidence to the Committee 2 months ago within the deadline requested. Further information requested by the Committee was also provided by her timeously (although the committee had not set a deadline for receipt of that information). None of this has been published, as the Committee are the only ones that can publish it.

    She said she stands ready to give oral evidence any day and offered to give evidence today if the Committee would ask her – so far they haven’t.

    She was very composed, if a bit frustrated, and looked her normal self. Davidson looked out of her depth, also normal for her.

    Someone also said upthread that the FM wouldn’t refer herself to standards committee – she did in the middle of January 2019 regarding the Salmond case. This was widely reported in the media and is still available if those interested want to google it.

  120. Daisy Walker says:

    And another thing – for those who use the phrase ‘I never left Labour, Labour left me’ – has there been any analysis done re that as to where, when, who and how it left – and the part the supporters played (unwillingly) in facilitating its demise.

    To me, from the outside, it looked like the staunch blind loyalty was weaponised and used against itself.

    Perhaps there is some literature that evidences it? Anyone know.

  121. Johnny Martin says:

    AC Bruce @ 3:36pm:

    How do you know if the written evidence was ‘substantial’? Have you seen it?

    Even if there are a lot of pages (?), it might be waffle. Perhaps the Committee has reason to believe there are significant omissions?

    I will say that I am only raising possibilities because I don’t know. But I don’t think you do, either.

  122. Mike Fenwick says:

    Rule it IN maybe not … but given all that is happening don’t also rule it out if you want an election this side of January.

    There is no term of office for a First Minister; he or she holds office “at Her Majesty’s pleasure”.

    In practice, however, a First Minister cannot remain in office against the will of the Scottish Parliament;

    indeed, the Scotland Act explicitly requires the First Minister to either resign or seek a parliamentary dissolution (and with it, new elections) if his or her government “no longer enjoys the confidence of the Parliament.”

  123. A C Bruce says:

    “How do you know if the written evidence was ‘substantial’? Have you seen it?

    Even if there are a lot of pages (?), it might be waffle. Perhaps the Committee has reason to believe there are significant omissions?

    I will say that I am only raising possibilities because I don’t know. But I don’t think you do, either.”

    Her words.

  124. Johnny Martin says:

    AC Bruce @ 3:37pm:

    So she’s says it ‘substantial’ so you accept it is, with no other evidence to support that?


  125. Sharny Dubs says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if, and it’s a big “if”, we do get a resignation letter (or tweet) it does not begin

    “We, and by that I mean my husband and I…… “

  126. A C Bruce says:

    “So she’s says it ‘substantial’ so you accept it is, with no other evidence to support that?


    Aye FFS is right!

    My original post made it clear that none of her written evidence has, as yet, been published by the Committee. It might be “waffle” or it might be “substantial”. Without being able to read it no one can say. Only the Committee can publish evidence.

  127. Lenny Hartley says:

    AC Bruce, i disagree for the first time ever The Tank Commander got the better of the exchange.
    Sturgeon was flustered and even looked red in the face at one point. She only got back to her normal self once she started talking about something she is comfortable with -Covid.
    The question has to be asked, Several months ago after Sturgeon stood up in Parliament and promised full disclosure of all documents and information relating to the failed conspiracy to fit up Alec Salmond , why did they not then start the legal process asking to share evidence with the enquiry?
    Surely amongst the highly paid employee’s of the SNP or the Government Someone would have realised that there would be a legal impediment to their release?
    Mind you planning for the future does not seem to be the strong point of those currently leading the SNP!

  128. Wee Chid says:

    CameronB Brodie says:
    1 October, 2020 at 3:33 pm
    “I’m find arithmetic a doddle but couldn’t get past ‘O’ grade maths, so what do you think that might suggest about me? ?”

    Me too – it was algebra and trigonometry that flummoxed me. I don’t even know if Arithmetic and maths are treated as separate subjects any more – or if it is all just “numeracy”.

  129. robertknight says:

    R Graham @3:25

    “Chopping her head off at this time in my opinion ain’t a clever move , and with all due respect assisting any Unionist would be like kneeing ourselves in the Nuts”.


    Is it the SNP footsoldier?

    Is it your average Yes supporter?

    Is it sites like WoS who report and opine about the facts as they stand, with supporting evidence?

    Is it the frustrated Indy supporter who, in increasing numbers, express frustration at the direction, priorities and (mis)management of the principal pro-Indy party in Scotland?


    Whose actions Robert? Whose???

  130. A C Bruce says:

    “…why did they not then start the legal process asking to share evidence with the enquiry?”

    The Committee would have to set out what evidence it required before a request can be made to the Court for permission to release it to the Inquiry, is probably the answer to that.

    As for her being flustered, no way and no way is she going to be tendering her resignation soon – if at all – certainly not based on what has become public so far or her performance this afternoon at FMQs.

    There is, however, still the possibility that other stuff enters the public domain which may change that (or maybe not).

  131. Johnny Martin says:

    AC Bruce @ 3:52pm:

    But you’ve argued that, off the basis of her words, this means she has ‘won’ the debate and perhaps she has won the battle of rhetoric (this is usually a matter of opinion).

    However, since you agree that we cannot actually know whether the evidence is ‘substantial’ or whether any of the other evidence answers all questions fully or not, then we are in no position to determine whether we really ought to be impressed by what she said at all and that’s the actual substance of the matter not who’s better at speaking.

  132. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “There is evidence which can’t be provided for legal reasons. The FM made it clear that the Scottish Government had instigated legal proceedings asking the Court to allow the Government to provide that material to the Committee. The Convenor of the Committee has since also written to the Court to obtain that evidence.

    The FM also provided substantial written evidence to the Committee 2 months ago within the deadline requested. Further information requested by the Committee was also provided by her timeously (although the committee had not set a deadline for receipt of that information). None of this has been published, as the Committee are the only ones that can publish it.

    She said she stands ready to give oral evidence any day and offered to give evidence today if the Committee would ask her – so far they haven’t.”

    I’m sorry, this is complete shite.

    (1) There are absolutely no legal issues preventing the SG from disclosing its legal advice about the Salmond allegations to the committee. That is purely a matter of choice. The general convention is that it remains confidential but the SG has revealed such advice on many prior occasions and is perfectly legally able to do so again if it wishes to. It does not wish to, despite having promised to give the inquiry anything it asked for.

    (2) The same applies to all the other documents that have been refused. The only evidence subject to legal restrictions is the original investigation report which was struck down by Lord Pentland for being unlawful and biased. The committee HAS NOT ASKED for this report, but the SG is trying to submit it anyway because they think it’ll reflect badly on Salmond when it gets into the media (because it’s unlawful and biased).

    (3) Sturgeon has not been asked to appear before the committee yet because they do not have the documents necessary to question her, because the SG is refusing to produce them.

  133. Hatuey says:

    The Salmond stuff is disgraceful, the disappearance of the indyref money despicable, the targeting of people like Murray and Manny disturbing, etc., etc., but the thing that sticks in my craw most was her decision from the start to shun the Yes movement and grassroots.

    Think of all those millions of ordinary people who invested so much hope in her, only to be shunned and now it seems fleeced. There was never a chance in hell that she was going to fight for independence either.

    Those people have been totally violated. It’s truly shameful.

    In the next few days you’re going to see her lampooned from all angles, if she doesn’t resign first. There’s much more to come, on a variety of subjects.

    The choice for her is simple: go now and give people a chance to fix things before the election or destroy everything. There’s no third way here.

    She will, of course, choose to go. Not to give us a chance or help, but because it’s the least painful and easiest way out.

    And that’s all why it’s time for us to prepare for her imminent departure and get ready to fight like our lives depend on it for independence, with a new SNP leadership team in place and a whole new way of dealing with Westminster.

    If you’re involved at an organisational level, get planning and get ready. This could be the last chance Scotland ever gets to be independent. We need to throw all our energy and support behind whoever replaces Sturgeon and prepare to fight.

    The hand of history is raised and reaching for Scotland’s shoulder.

  134. holymacmoses says:

    It matters not how much written evidence Ms Sturgeon has given because it is clear that it is not substantial enough for the committee to draw any conclusions. Ms Sturgeon answered the question in Parliament in the first person. People who have already attended the committee have all affirmed that they are giving evidence on behalf of ministers and not in a personal capacity and so I assume the Ms Sturgeon is bound by the same obligation. This means the any obstruction in presenting papers to the committee on behalf of the Government is in the hands of Nicola Sturgeon and no one else. At the very least, she is being tight-lipped with the truth

  135. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The Committee would have to set out what evidence it required before a request can be made to the Court for permission to release it to the Inquiry, is probably the answer to that.”

    The committee has not asked for the material in question. It doesn’t want it.

  136. A C Bruce says:

    Johnny Martin @ 4.03 pm

    It wasn’t about “who’s better at speaking”. It is about the substance of what she said:

    She has provided written evidence to Committee when requested.
    She is ready to provide oral evidence but has not been asked by Committee to appear yet but she offered give the evidence this very day.
    Her Govt officials have also provided 1,000 pages of evidence presumably material asked for by the Committee and provided 10 hours of oral evidence so far.
    Her Govt has also asked the Court for permission to provide evidence that the Court has not – so far – given permission to be released.

    This is not someone ‘obstructing’ the Committee.

  137. North chiel says:

    “ Daisy Walker@ 0335” . I doubt very much any possibility of GE when/if Bojo goes early next year . The Tories will have their usual “ mini coup” ( as per May when she “ emerged”). The “ mission” given to Bojo by his political & financial masters was “ get us out of the EU at ANY cost ) . May was given the same instruction ( she failed) . Boris will have achieved “ his mission” on Jan 1st and I doubt very much if he will have “ much enthusiasm “ or inclination to remain . His reward will be the usual “ Title” & House of Lords “ retirement home” for unionists. Thereafter , further down the line perhaps the Tories ( and their usual propaganda outlets) will “ decide “ that “ Sir Keir and his reserve 2nd eleven unionist cabal can Start “ clearing up the “ Brexit / Covid mess” and the inevitable “ broken economy” . Possibly time for the Tories to take a “ back seat and go on holiday “ . I am sure this would suit Bojo and the Eton cabal eminently? Job done . Out of the EU .

  138. A C Bruce says:

    Ok Stuart. Noted.

  139. Tannadice Boy says:

    I agree with your comments. I wanted to draw the analogy with the current FM position and that of Alex Salmond. He resigned and I for one was shocked at the time. Straight after the Referendum. A courageous, admirable resignation. Nobody likes to see the demise of a political career. I hope the current FM realises the ba is burst and no one player is greater than the team. I would rather she resigned with grace and wasn’t forced out in. She needs the advice of her real friends just now.

  140. ScottieDog says:

    The tories will love this being dragged out for as long as possible so it detracts from the ongoing colonisation. The media will oblige.

  141. A C Bruce says:

    So what info has the Convenor written to the Court about?

    Davidson said the Convenor had done so.

  142. A C Bruce says:

    Oh and it’s not “my shite”

    I watched FMQs. If it’s shite, it’s the FMs!

  143. Socrates MacSporran says:

    AC Bruce:

    You must be a Celtic supporter, to have so-little recognition of reality.

    OK, it may well be a first, but, The Baroness handed Mrs Murrell her erse on a platter today.

    The FM was flustered, red-faced, on the back foot throughout and clearly floundering.

    If the SCALP were capable of mounting a united front, and had capable front-line troops, the SNP would be in real bother over the SAlmond fit-up.

    However, the poor qualify of the opposition just might help them survive.

    However, I believe Mrs Murrell is damaged goods and urgent replacement is required by the SNP; to give the new leader time to bed-in before the 2021 Holyrood Election and, hopefully, the accompanying Referendum.

  144. G H Graham says:

    Watch Sturgeon’s body language & listen to the high pitch of her voice – a sure sign of stress – she can’t bare to look at Davidson in the eye. Instead looks to the presiding officer for moral/emotional support. Very revealing.

    Ruth Davidson challenges the First Minister over leaked messages purportedly from her husband and SNP chief Peter Murrell which suggest pressurising police over the Alex Salmond case: 'Are they genuine or not?'— STV News (@STVNews) October 1, 2020

  145. The Dissident says:


    I hope I am wrong but I am afraid that she (and he) will have to be dragged out of office kicking and screaming.

    For I suspect that they have been trying to find an exit strategy for 18 – 24 months but have been unable to identify one that leaves them in the clear.

    This regime is so secretive and controlling that it is surely beyond reason to think that the very little that is emerging now is the end of it.

    Corruption is insidious. It hardly ever exists as a one-off occurrence.

  146. Ottomanboi says:

    There will be sweeping high street bank closures and job losses by the Scotland based, but Spanish owned, TSB. The supposedly ‘nationalist’ National online being preoccupied with Sturgeon’s pet virus stats, that is seemingly not of concern.
    Time attention was focused on Scotland’s shrinking economy.
    Or is that of no concern either?
    What kind of Scotland are ‘our leaders’ offering to young Scots?

  147. CameronB Brodie says:

    Wee Chid
    Same here, algebra, trigonometry and calculus were all totally Greek to me. Where as they are actually Persian, Mesopotamian/Indian, and Italian/English, I think. 😉

  148. Beaker says:

    @Andrew F says:
    1 October, 2020 at 3:17 pm
    “Apparently Twitter is temporarily broken for everyone.”

    Virgin Media has had network issues today, so that may have caused a few problems.

  149. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @A C Bruce –

    The FM’s offer to appear before the committee next week, today, or whenever else is sheer bluster, and mischievous at that.

    It’s for the committee to decide who they want to call, and when, and they should not be deflected by anyone trying to grandstand or select a time most beneficial for themselves.

    Can you genuinely not see why it would be advantageous for NS to appear before the committee in person *before* they’ve received the evidence they asked her husband to provide (on Sept 9th?!)

    Under no circumstances should Linda Fabiani let her bluff be called on this – Peter ‘MIA’ Murrell has to be dealt with first, preferably in person.

  150. A C Bruce says:

    “OK, it may well be a first, but, The Baroness handed Mrs Murrell her erse on a platter today.

    The FM was flustered, red-faced, on the back foot throughout and clearly floundering.”

    I don’t agree.

    What is “Celtic”?

  151. Beaker says:

    @Tannadice Boy says:
    1 October, 2020 at 4:15 pm
    “I would rather she resigned with grace and wasn’t forced out in. She needs the advice of her real friends just now.”

    Problem is, Swinney would have to assume the role of the First Minister, much good that will do.

    No, she’s here to stay I’m afraid.

  152. Skip_NC says:

    Socrates, I agree with you, but what sword is there for her to fall on that the general public will understand?

  153. Andrew Morton says:

    @Skip_NC 4:33

    The only way out which will give a ‘good’ outcome is for all concerned to agree that Peter Murrell. must step down, taking the blame for the whole Salmond fiasco. In addition she must agree to the wholesale cleansing and reformation of the NEC and the ejection of the toxic woke brigade. She can do a token ‘mea culpa’ and stay on until a discreet transfer of power can take place with a suitable candidate like Joanna Cherry.

  154. Tannadice Boy says:

    I think Swinney will do as an interim leader until a leadership contest is arranged. There are plenty of SNP MPs in WM that will refresh the leadership page and restore confidence. After all if it is good enough for Douglas Ross. The NEC will need to change the rules so an MP can stand in May. Any leader that has to deal with Covid has had a punishing time. And there is your sword. Retiring to spend more time with Peter.

  155. A C Bruce says:

    “The FM’s offer to appear before the committee next week, today, or whenever else …”

    She said she was ready to give oral evidence when the Committee was ready to ask her for it. That was her answer to baiting from Davidson – apparently, signalling to her that she has nothing to hide. Whether she has, or not, I haven’t got the foggiest as I don’t have any inside information. None of these characters are known to me. I’m probably like the vast majority of people who are taking an interest in this scandal, trying to make sense of what I see and hear. She looked as if she was telling the truth.

    It didn’t look like mischief making.

    She can also be recalled by the Committee if needed to answer further questions if more evidence comes to light, surely? Her appearance before the Committee won’t necessarily be a one-time gig.

  156. Tony Little says:

    Call me a cynic, but I doubt that the accounts will be produced before the virtual conference and the voting in of NEC members etc.

  157. Breastplate says:

    Having met you, I’m quite sure I could trust you with password to my piggy bank and not because it is empty you understand 😉

  158. Hatuey says:

    It’s funny seeing people grapple needlessly with the question of ‘will she or won’t she go?’

    And startling to see some apparently intelligent people suggest she might cling on and weather this storm…

    Take my word for it, there is no question or any chance for her. All is lost.

    You are thinking too much if you think this is survivable.

    My advice is to go and have a cup of tea and think about the seriousness of the allegations that Sturgeon faces right now. They aren’t going away. Ignoring them just makes everything worse.

    If only Machiavelli included a chapter on what Princes and Princesses might do when the people find out what sort of bastards they have been.

  159. susanXX says:

    We’re all laughing now but it is serious: is NS involved, and if so what to do?

  160. CameronB Brodie says:

    Breastplate 🙂

  161. Big Jock says:

    Nicola sounded like guilty person flapping.

    Liars will say whatever they can when cornered. Her body language was defensive throughout.

  162. Breeks says:

    A C Bruce says:
    1 October, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    “….She looked as if she was telling the truth.

    That wasn’t the impression I got. I thought she looked guilty as sin, ducking a question which was quite straight forward to answer. Were the leaked comments genuine?

    She’ll answer any question, … but that one’s under investigation. (The leak is, but the authenticity of the texts isn’t).
    She’ll answer any question, … except that particular one.
    She’ll answer any question, … if the Committee asks her, (Holyrood asking questions can go whistle).
    She’ll answer any question, … but the Committee hasn’t asked.
    She’ll answer any question, … but there’s no need because she’s already supplied 1000 pages of “stuff”.
    She’ll answer any question, … except questions she’d rather Peter Murrell was asked himself.

    Maybe I grew up watching too many cop dramas, but frankly, I think she’s bluffing. Sturgeon is dreading going before the Committee, because she has a guilty conscience that will be very difficult to hide under scrutiny. Today she was only asked whether the texts were genuine, and she looked thoroughly rattled and forced into in full defence mode by the innocuous opening question.

    But hey… who knows? People will see different things.

  163. stuart mctavish says:

    Guessing I’m a bigger idiot today than yesterday or the day before but on no account could our unelected Baroness elect be said to have won FM Qs this afternoon since, after a good opening defence of Ollie Mundell’s observation that the Scottish government’s obfuscation had made lies of the FMs honest intent, she managed to veer way, way, off piste, and instead of following up the erroneous legal privilege defence, threw up an easy, albeit entirely inappropriate question (which the speaker might better have taken issue with than yesterday’s mini drama).

    Also odd is the revelation that the harassment committee want, on no account, to see the report that led to collapse of the judicial enquiry and, stranger yet, that it needs to apply to the court to have sight of documents – when it is specifically the procedures of the court and the civil service that are supposed to be being investigated!

    In that regard, and given revelations elsewhere, perhaps its time the members take a moment of reflection to redefine its objectives and ensure the committee has not been contaminated by contempt of the type Mr Tomkins is reported to have associated himself with (when conducting due diligence for the Hate Crime bill committee), vis:
    “Let’s make the Nats look unreasonable and dogmatic “

  164. Big Jock says:

    Also your husband is accused of sending a whatsapp message. What wife doesn’t ask her husband whether he sent it.

    Simple answer. No I asked Peter and he said absolutely not. Instead we get deflection about who released it.

    This is the woman who phoned Mckay at 3am to ask about his Facebook messages, then sacked him at 9.30 am.

    Yet her husband is accused of worse, and she has never asked him.

  165. CameronB Brodie says:

    re. Prof. Tomkins. Scotland’s democracy and judicial system is beset by slimy and unprincipled individuals.

    The Social Consequences of Common Law Rules

  166. Bob says:

    This has the potential to be disempowering if allowed to run its course.

    In the words of Noam Chomsky…

    “One device to control the population is to operate in secret so that the ingnorant and meddlesome outsideers will stay in their place, remote from the levers of power which are none of their business.”

  167. A C Bruce says:

    Breeks @ 5.52 pm

    I would be pretty damned angry if Davidson asked me to account for something allegedly written by my partner. The FM was quite right to point out that any questions on whether or not he wrote them should be directed to him. That’s not guilt and it’s not evading questions. He would, for example, be expected to answer on his own behalf in a Court of law – not to answer via a proxy.

    They might be married to each other but they’re not conjoined twins and presumably – but who knows for sure in close relationships – she doesn’t snoop into his mobile!

    She’s a lawyer. Anything that involves a Police investigation gets a non committal reply. Quite rightly, in my view. No one should be interfering in ongoing Police investigations.

  168. Socrates MacSporran says:


    You asked: “but what sword is there for her to fall on that the general public will understand?”

    There is always the Lord Carrington option. This is widely held to have been the last honourable resignation in UK politics, when, after the Argentinians had invaded South Georgia and The Falklands Lord Carrington, as Foreign Secretary, resigned – because it happened on his watch and he felt the buck stopped with him.

    The buck stops with Nicola Sturgeon in the current situation, therefore, if she does the honourable thing and resigns as FM and Leader of the Party, she goes with some credit/honour.

    I do not, somehow, think she will do this.

  169. Bob Mack says:

    @Stuart McTavish,

    The Committee chair who can control that agenda is SNP.She too is unhappy about the obsfucation.

  170. dakk says:

    Watched the FM clip.

    NS didn’t look guilty so much as angry to me.

    Unlike in the Wark interview.

    Sounded like NS was saying Mr Murrell is a big boy and should answer for himself.

    Which I would imagine he will have to.

  171. Bob Mack says:

    @A.C. Bruce,

    You can indeed be asked if you had acknowledge of your partner’s actions in court of law. It is admissible evidence.

  172. Skip_NC says:

    Agreed about Lord Carington. However, that was a pretty clear case and something the non-political classes could grasp. Now, I’m writing this from 3,000 miles away, but I just don’t see what good reason could be given for her resignation, other than Tannadice Boy’s thought at 4:50pm.

    To be clear, I agree she needs to go, but if she is popular (is she?) because of her COVID-19 response, does that create a problem for the next leader?

  173. A C Bruce says:

    Bob Mack @ 6.10 pm

    Yes, I’m sure that is the case. Someone could be asked about their partner’s actions. However, in the first instance her husband would be required to answer on his own behalf as to whether he wrote the messages or not; the wife would not be allowed to answer ‘for’ him – that is what I meant but perhaps I was not clear enough.

  174. Big Jock says:

    C’mon defenders of Sturgeon.

    Murrell is the head boy of the SNP. This is not the FMs husband who works in a bank.

    They are number 1 and number 2 in the SNP. Your damn right they need to know what each other is doing.

    Does anyone seriously think they didn’t talk about the messages.

    Enough of The Little House on The Prairie shit.

  175. A C Bruce says:

    “Does anyone seriously think they didn’t talk about the messages.”

    Do the messages exist? Has it been categorically proved that Murrell wrote them?

  176. Mist001 says:

    All well and good, but…

    What happens now? What’s anybody going to do about it?

    All the Murrells have to do, is do and say nothing.

    I’d bet that 90% of the SNP membership have no idea about Wings or what is discussed here, so there’s next to no chance of a party rebellion or a mass resignation of party membership.

  177. Bob Mack says:

    @A.C. Bruce,

    Your beginning to sound a tad desperate.

  178. Big Jock says:

    If they don’t exist. Why does Sturgeon not just say it. It was all over the press. She knows the details of the messages.

    Wait are you telling me that if a newspaper wrote about my texts in a criminal investigation. That my wife wouldn’t want to know about them?

    Am I living in a parallel universe. Has reason completely left some people.

  179. Bob Mack says:


    That depends on how many MPs turn on her.

  180. Monsieur le Roi Grenoulleverteetprofonde says:

    I realise that there is a lot of NS antipathy, which I understand but at the same time I am aware that the divisiveness is also troubling.A crumbling movement is not likely to succeed in its objective.
    So huge, detailed preparation and planning is necessary.
    I know there are many ongoing discussion about what it would mean to achieve independence(currency/the political levers of an economy linked to financial institutions, government structure, civil institutions and organisations ready for the demands of a functioning country,, realistic policy objectives and plans to achieve some of these things,the creation of a constitution within the context of a functioning democracy, but these are largely in the domain of, admittedly, well informed and often very able amateurs at some remove from the heart of potential power.
    What struck me as I contemplated this kind of stuff is that NS is essentially a lightweight. OK she can be a talented operator but she has adopted the role of P.A/functionary. to someone else who doesn’t actually exist. Someone with the intellectual heft and strength of character to carry this big visionary task to completion.If NS was serious she would have declared the need for a wide ranging public discourse, energising across the entire country.She is certainly a beezer of a PA, in control of the diary, and able to exerts SOME modest authority but mostly over a group of sycophantic careerists.She really does not exude the kind of confidence required for a national leader.She is timid and risk averse. Covid has been a task that a deputy should have carried out. She is like a bird engaged in a displacement acivity, Peckin obsessively at where there was once some grain.She has behaved like a deputy- a busybody-a gossip-a wheedler. Organisations need that kind of ‘organisational’ flair but NS lacks strategic acumen and drive. The way matters regarding the accounts and the AS affair indicate a lot about her.No serious leader of a country would I suspect it is more to do with her being in effect, appointed to her role (a mistake) and not having gone through a bruising test of her political mettle.AS had some of that stuff but one senses that he has been broken by the 2014 disappointment and the crazy vindictive plotting regarding the court case.

  181. Bob Mack says:

    @Big Jock.

    Not just his wife but his boss as well.!!

  182. Mac says:

    So what is the latest count…
    Nicola’s inner circle
    Nicola’s right hand woman
    Nicola’ right hand civil servant
    Nicola’s husband and CEO of the SNP…

    But STILL some of you clowns are still arguing she is not involved.

    Ooooh man stop, ma sides…

  183. Big Jock says:

    I think Salmond was poised to come back until 2017, when Sturgeon fucked up the election. That’s why they wanted rid of him.

    He saw that she wasn’t going to deliver. So he would have forced her to act or step aside. Trust me that Murrell is a nasty piece of work.

  184. Monsieur le Roi Grenoulleverteetprofonde says:

    Pleaseexcuse typos and deleted bits above.On my laptop the comment box is tiny with teeny weeny letters/font size, making it difficult to spot editing errors and easy to miss errors

  185. twathater says:

    TBH I don’t give a rats arse whether she goes with dignity (hopefully not) she has and is by her misadventures destroying the dreams and beliefs of thousands of Scottish citizens, SO much for a fairer, honest more socially caring and empathetic government, SHE and her coterie by their selfish aggrandising fake attempts at being world leaders in progressiveness have stalled and undermined our NECESSITY to be an independent country

    ALL the people talking about whether or not to vote SNP at May 2021 HR elections, WHAT HR elections,the EU spokesperson at her announcement that the EU were taking the uk to court mentioned that the IMB was breaching the treaty agreed to protect the GFA and that was being challenged as an unlawful act against international treaties

    Joanna Cherry stated categorically in the HOC that the IMB breached the TOU and others have confirmed that that is indeed the case , SO if that is indeed the case WTAF are NS and the SG doing about it, WHY are we even HESITATING on this, why are we listening to WM , the SG have the ability to RENDER the union dissolved

    WE MUST FORCE this issue we must FORCE the SG to PROTECT SCOTLAND, FUCK the HR election make WM challenge us in the international court

  186. Mike Fenwick says:

    One wonders what the recipient(s?) of the e-mail might be thinking as this unfolds? Particularly if the police come knocking to see where the leak came from?

  187. A C Bruce says:

    “Your beginning to sound a tad desperate”.

    No, I don’t. Desperation is not in my nature certainly not on behalf of someone unconnected to me. What is very strongly in my nature is a hearty respect for proof and evidence.

    I’m waiting for that, I guess. That’s not desperation – that’s just waiting to see what evidence turns up. You know, like if I was on a jury. I’d wait until I got all the evidence before making my mind up as to guilt!

  188. Muscleguy says:

    New Caledonia is very heavily white settled with redneck French farmers occupying land the native Kanaks say was stolen from them. Get the idea?

    The referenda are the French Govt’s way of letting the Kanak desire for independence let off steam while looking all democratic about it. The vast majority of non Kanaks are not going ot cast off Mother France any time soon.

    So it’s more like Cameron looking all magnanimous and statesmanlike while assured he will win it handsomely than the current situation here.

    I grew up in NZ when the Kanaks rebelled in the ’80s and have followed things since. You wouldn’t get me going there as a tourist any time soon.

  189. A Person says:

    Big Jock is right. If Ruth Davidson asked questions about the First Minister’s husband, that would be a low blow if he was just an average guy who happened to be married to a politician- attacking a civilian as it were. It is perfectly legitimate to question his conduct when he is the operational boss of the party in power.

  190. Socrates MacSporran says:

    It is received wisdom around car crashes, that only rarely does one individual thing cause them. Most crashes are caused by a series of small, seemingly unconnected things.

    That is worrying about the present situation in which the SNP finds itself, so close to final Brexit and the Holyrood election.

    “Scotland will not be dragged out of Europe against its will”

    Shown to be a lot of hot air.

    The Salmond investigation

    Blows up in the face of the Scottish Government – at considerable cost.

    The Salmond Trial stitch-up

    Found Not Guilty

    The Holyrood committee enquiry into the Salmond Affair

    Blows up in the FM’s face.

    The Beale Hanvey de-selection debacle.

    Hanvey wins his seat and is re-admitted to the party.

    The Edinburgh Central candidate selection stitch-up.

    Embarrassment all round as Joanne Cherry’s candidacy is blocked by “head office.”

    A sudden spate of senior MSPs standing down.

    Why? When independence has never been more popular and the Tories are under the worst Prime Minister in generationds.

    The party’s support for unpopular measures – the GRA and the Hate Speech Bill.

    Pig-headed concentration on issues shown to be unpopular among the electorate.

    The Rhiannon Spear twitter storm.

    More unnecessary bad press for the party and the FM.

    Independence on the back burner till Covid is controlled

    Taking their eye off the ball, when the goal has never been closer – it’s a Van Vossen Moment.

    That’s ten examples of where a party, once a by-word for unity and togetherness has been caught-up in needless internal bickering, which could cost it votes.

    And all the time, a hostile media backs off and refuses to attack. Why not? What are they waiting for?

    This does not look good for the SNP and for the wider Independence movement. I am starting to feel a wee bit like Private Fraser.

  191. Bob Mack says:

    @A.C. Bruce,

    Evidence is turning up all the time. Except to the Inquiry that is. Maybe Nicola will have a change of heart though.

    Based on what I know so far, Murrell guilty as sin, Sturgeon complicit.

    It would be easier to let Blackbeard claim innocence.

  192. Freshmint says:

    @Socrates MacSporran

    You can add another to the list: Margaret Ferrier travelling from London to Scotland on the train while knowing she was COVID positive…

  193. Jack says:

    Who said this ? I’ll give you three guesses .”Dominic Cummings’ actions have undermined the sacrifices that we have all been making in lockdown to protect each other from coronavirus. His position is untenable and he must be removed from his post now.
    “The fact that Boris Johnson and senior Tories have backed Dominic Cummings, in the face of widespread and understandable public anger, demonstrates a total failure of leadership at a time of national crisis.
    “The public health advice is crystal clear. For the safety of others, anyone with coronavirus symptoms must self-isolate, in line with government guidance. They should not leave the house for any reason.
    “Anyone who needs help during periods of self-isolation should make use of the support offered through local authorities, which is open to anyone who needs it.”

  194. holymacmoses says:

    The idea about backdating complaints when Mr Salmond had been left for years had to be illegal and the Government HAD to get those women to go to court. From that moment on the Murrells have been running and trying hide their tracks as they go. She’s had a lot of help BUT I think there’s only so far that people will go and I suspect that the tether has reached its end.
    Sturgeons a hard nosed politician but I think she’s got a lot of competition with her husband and I don’t see him doing anything much to help her.
    BTW I like to dream alternatives and I would love to be totally wrong about Sturgeon.

  195. John D says:

    Someone mentioned visionarys.

    The journey to independence is a vision and this century has seen a tangible quickening toward that .
    I had always perceived the SNP political party as a major vehicle in that direction but never the goal . Something totally expendable on referendum victory day , with the caveat that it performs it’s duty as transitional regime until the first free Scotland election is held. Obviously human failings and one might dare say the deliberate meddling from naturally deceitful quarters are expected.

    Only the people of Scotland can carry the vision, not people failing for whatever reason .

    Without overstating the circumstances it is imo that the independence of Scotland from Westminster rule is unique disproportionate game in the level of impact it will have on the actual wider world . A possible curse or blessing that time will soon tell .

    In the meantime the robbers are squirrelling away as much as poss.

  196. Tannadice Boy says:

    First guess Margaret Ferrier

  197. Iain Lawson says:

    I was in the past The Vice Convener in Charge of the SNP entire administration and fundraising and I think the questions that are being asked and worthy of an open reply.

    Again, as soon often these days I ask what is to be gained by delaying publication? Who benefits?

  198. Allium says:

    I wonder if Nicola could dump everything on Murrell and walk away with clean hands. Could she be that ruthless?

  199. Effijy says:

    Margaret Ferrier took Covid into Westminster.’
    How many Tories attended with Covid?
    Boris, Handcock, Cummings, etc.

  200. Oneliner says:

    Nicola Sturgeon has submitted written evidence to the Salmond Enquiry.

    Weeks later, the Enquiry Committee has not received Nicola Sturgeon’s written evidence.

    CSS – Covert Sabotage Scotland. Stinks of Westmister.

    Whatever anger I have against NS is as nothing to the contempt I have for these lawbreaking bastards.

  201. NotAllium says:

    Being self indulgent with members’ money is an amateur’s move because it will always come out in the wash. Forensic accountants look at a transaction and see straight away it was made by a left handed harpsichordist with a stammer. Accounts can generalise and consolidate many items but cash can always be reconciled against bank statements. I’d be surprised if professional managers had fallen for that one. The mistake they’ve made is the delay in publishing looks dodgy even if it isn’t. When to comes to members’ money the only safe policy is whiter than white, publish it openly, verifiably, regularly and never use a single penny wrongly. If you’ve nothing to hide, don’t hide it.

  202. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’d bet that 90% of the SNP membership have no idea about Wings or what is discussed here, so there’s next to no chance of a party rebellion or a mass resignation of party membership.”

    It is an incontrovertible fact that she lied to Parliament, and it would be absolutely unprecedented for a First Minister to survive that once it was formally established.

    Also: the point, which Davidson made clear, is not that she was being asked to answer for her husband. She was being asked to answer for the Chief Executive of the party she’s the leader of.

  203. stuart mctavish says:

    Bob Mack @ 6,08
    Probably a moot point when police are reported to be cautioning school children for failure to wear surgical masks but its difficult to imagine the committee being able to do the job entrusted to it with out knowing who the accusers were and when they made their accusations so, whilst redactions are appropriate in the public domain, it makes more sense to me that the civil service would need to go to court to justify keeping information from the committee rather than to be able to release it – particularly after having received an instruction from the current First Minister to do exactly that.

    Similarly legal privilege belongs to the client, not the lawyer, so if FM demands transparency the civil service should be able to comply – unless and to extent it is working for a different master..

  204. Beaker says:

    @Effijy says:
    1 October, 2020 at 7:56 pm
    “Margaret Ferrier took Covid into Westminster.’
    How many Tories attended with Covid?
    Boris, Handcock, Cummings, etc.”

    That doesn’t matter. She deliberately flouted government instructions. FFS she was one of the loudest voices demanding Cummings resignation for precisely the same reasons.

    She’s my bloody MP as well. Lanarkshire has been put under more restrictions which most of us are observing. It’s one thing to travel when you have symptoms, but fucking reckless if you have been given a positive test. And on a bloody train as well.

    Are the SNP in self-destruct mode this week?

  205. george wood says:

    Ah well, we will soon know what side of the fence Margaret Ferrier is regarding the Trans debate. I don’t know anything about her (can we call anybody her these days or do we have to check with them first for their preferred pronouns?).

    If she supports women’s rights she will be chucked out quite quickly. If she is woke, then she will be suspended for a time at worst.

  206. Big Jock says:

    Derek Mackays Facebook entries were subject to a police enquiry. Yet Nicola asked Derek about them, then sacked him when he admitted to them.

    Yet she hasn’t asked the CEO about messages that are subject to a police enquiry? FFS.

  207. Beaker says:

    Guess who is top trending on Twitter?

    Oh well, makes a change from either football or the latest attack on JKR 🙂

  208. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @A C Bruce (6.42) –

    I’ve no reason to question your sincerity, but when you write:

    ‘What is very strongly in my nature is a hearty respect for proof and evidence.’

    I hope you also have respect for ‘due process’.

    Some people regard this so-called ‘Salmond’ committee as a charade. For those of us old enough to have witnessed umpteen ‘inquiries’ spanning a vast range of issues, that’s understandable, because justice is seldom ‘seen to be done’. But that doesn’t mean we can or should just turn a blind eye to abuse of the processes in place.

    No-one can pick and choose when to submit evidence or appear personally – that is the job of the committee.

  209. OldPete says:

    Margaret Ferrier has no choice but to resign as an MP and she should do it now!
    Would never have believed people on here would ally themselves with Baroness Davidson, but they surely have.
    Divide and rule it’s the Tory way.

  210. Achnababan says:

    Just been on WGD… it is very cultish with former wingers complimenting each other for being so nice and trusting, and who think the world of wee nippy.

    ‘Dr’ Jim, Petra and Capella spring out and seem to be having their own conversation and are obviously converts to the cult of WGD. Sadly I see Macart on there who I always thought was a good solid WoS man (or woman?)

  211. Republicofscotland says:

    If ex-FM Henry McLeish had to stand down due to a financial scandal, then when Sturgeon is shown to have lied to parliament, she too will have to stand aside, and take Murrell with her.

  212. Beaker says:

    @OldPete says:
    1 October, 2020 at 8:20 pm
    “Margaret Ferrier has no choice but to resign as an MP and she should do it now!
    Would never have believed people on here would ally themselves with Baroness Davidson, but they surely have.”

    It’s got fuck all to do with teaming up with Ruthie.

    She knew the rules.
    She chose to blatantly break them – twice.
    Latest info coming out is that she lied to her own colleagues about why she was travelling home. If that is true then she’s toast.

    I made the same criticisms about Cummings. That does NOT excuse her actions one bit.

    FFS I voted for her last election. She can gtf if that is her attitude to the COVID restrictions and rules. Get someone else in from the party.

    I never would have believed some people are trying to defend her.

  213. Hatuey says:

    “I wonder if Nicola could dump everything on Murrell and walk away with clean hands. Could she be that ruthless?”

    That wouldn’t be a ruthless thing to try, it would be an extremely stupid thing to try. That’s not to say she won’t try it.

    There’s one big problem, though. Someone seems to have access to certain materials and we have no reason to assume there won’t be more – possibly even more damning – revelations or leaks to come from that someone. We can guess that it’s someone with an axe to grind.

    That being the case, it might be very unwise of Sturgeon to rest everything on an argument that may turn out to be verifiably false and directly contradicted in future leaks.

    Maybe there was an assumption in the earlier stages of all this that Salmond wouldn’t be here, that he’d be in prison for the rest of his life, and a degree of carelessness crept into things.

    But Salmond is here.

    He’s a very clever man, Alex Salmond. People don’t give him the credit he deserves for his intelligence. I watched an interview with him recently and he was quoting hard facts and economic data from decades ago.

    Nicola Sturgeon knows all this and more. She’s a political and intellectual lightweight by comparison.

    There’s a dialogue of sorts in the sequencing and rhythm of events right now. It’s almost as if she’s being told to resign or face more painful revelations. I’m guessing, but that’s what I sense, and I think it’s going to escalate and get really dark and ugly in the next few days.

    Assuming I’m right, which I tend to, it’s really better for everybody that she goes sooner rather than later. This has the potential to close the whole Parliament and Scottish Government down, much like the ‘Cash for Ash’ scandal did in Northern Ireland.

    For the good of the SNP, the people of Scotland, the independence cause, Holyrood, the Scottish government, and the judicial system, not to mention her herself, I think she’s got to go and soon.

  214. Ian Brotherhood says:

    It doesn’t matter a jot that Ruth was the one who asked the questions.

    All that matters right now is that those questions be answered.

    ‘It’s better out than in!’


  215. CameronB Brodie says:

    “If she supports women’s rights she will be chucked out quite quickly. If she is woke, then she will be suspended for a time at worst.”

    WOKE theory and practice was designed to counter neo-liberalism by empowering natal women, ethnic minorities, and those politically marginalised through the intersectionality of their social position and disadvantages. So the SNP are more Tory than WOKE.

    Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence Against Women of Color

  216. JayR says:

    Margaret Ferrier must resign. Can’t obviously can’t hold a by-election at the moment, but that can wait. Rutherglen is better off not being represented in Westminster for a while than being represented by a selfish, hypocritical @rshole who knowingly puts people lives in danger. Good the SNP have condemned and suspended her, but get rid of her.

  217. A Person says:


    The closure of Stormont was due to the fact that the legislation establishing it requires the NI government to be formed by a unionist and a nationalist party. The nationalist party, Sinn Fein, withdrew from the government, ostensibly due to Cash for Ash, but really just using that as an excuse, and this meant Stormont had to be closed down. So this would not, in the first instance, apply to our situation.

    That is not, of course, to say that the unfolding mess here will not be used and manipulated by the Tories to their own ends.

  218. Big Jock says:

    We are only living through this hell. Because Nicola and Murrell tried to do away with an innocent man.

    Even just a year ago most believed it was the Uk civil servants, not the SG. It took me a while of soul searching to have to admit that Sturgeon was part of this.

    Now I am 100% certain.

  219. LeggyPeggy says:

    Here’s the written report from FMQs today for anyone who didn’t see it , after R Davidson’s questions you have to go down to page 28 for Jackie Baillie’s question .

  220. Mist001 says:

    @ Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Wings has a reputation for being widely read but as you know and I know, it’s only a small handful of regulars who contribute on here.

    For example, Doris up the road might be a member of the SNP, but she has no idea what’s going on with the Murrells or whatever. Same with John in Lanarkshire, Henry over in Fife and so on.

    My point being that the very people who could affect change in the leadership by mass resignation of their memberships or whatever, have no idea that all this stuff is happening. Even if they did know about it, they probably wouldn’t care because all they’re interested in is independence without having to think about it.

    So the Murrells et al can just sit tight because at the moment, it’s a minor party squabble which will blow over soon enough and not enough people know about it to force their hand.

  221. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Big Jock –

    The targeting of Alex Salmond should always be kept at the heart of any discussion over this intolerable, interminable shitery.

    Let’s not forget that, ever – Wark, Smith, Evans and heaven knows how many others in the BTUKOKocracy would still be clinking glasses every week-end, celebrating his incarceration and premature death.

    Horrific to contemplate – no wonder that some simply cannot process it, preferring the comfort of denial.

  222. Kelpie says:

    george wood says:
    1 October, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    Ah well, we will soon know what side of the fence Margaret Ferrier is regarding the Trans debate.

    Margaret came to my door canvassing in December and I chinned her about this very issue, in fact subsequently I even had a meeting with both her and Christina McKelvie about it.

    She is in the woke camp, although I think more because the heid yins in the party are on that side (she told me somewhat defensively that it goes all the way up to Nicola) than due to a personal conviction.

    I asked her if she’d signed the SNP women’s pledge and from what she had to say it was clear she hadn’t even read it but had been told not to sign and some demonstrably untrue guff about why she should not. I was less than impressed with her for just doing as she was told without checking for herself.

  223. Tannadice Boy says:

    The developing situation has been widely covered by the MSM, Twitter and Facebook. I have just watched the Nine. The entire first half of the programme was devoted to problems challenging the SNP including the Salmond Enquiry. I am predicting the Murrells will be gone by the end of this month as they are reportedly indivisible. They will both go the same day. We need to get our Parliament back.

  224. Al-Stuart says:

    Mr MacAskill,

    Thankyou from the heart to your good self for contributing your illuminating articles on this Wings Over Scotland website.

    Kenny, I am wondering whether you may be a white knight coming to the rescue sir?

    You are absolutely staking your colours to the mast. You have impressive credentials and very good bona fides to lead the SNP out what The Queen might term an Annus Excremterriblis!

    After IndyRef1 I and many here saw that wretched hack photo of Alex Salmond being driven in the FM car and he looked utterly exhausted. Like death warmed up.

    During the Strurgeon/McWokeist/Murrell perversion of the course of justice to impugn, stitch-up and imprison the best First Minister Scotland ever had, Alex Salmond looked awful. During that disgusting attempt to ruin him Alex looked as if he had aged 15 years,

    Now, whilst watching Alex on his RT hosted programme he looks back to his good old self. Indeed he appears very, very happy and in rude health having a brilliant time discussing matters of gravitas with some very smart and interesting people. He isn’t roasted at FMQ every week by a list of ever diminished party leaders leading ever diminishing parties.

    This evening, whilst watching Alex at his best and happiest, hosting his TV programme, the distressing thought hit me that Alex may simply NOT want to come back to front line politics. Goodness knows he has done his bit for Scottish Independence. In fact, Alex Salmond has been Herculean in his efforts.

    Being betrayed by the apprentice he helped so much, that Dreghorn Dissembler must have hurt Alex profoundly.

    So if as appears to be say 30% of the odds that Alex is exactly what he described himself on the recent court papers as… “Occupation: Retired Politician” and Alex is keeping his blood pressure down and his health good by steering clear of the current Mr & Mrs Sturgeon Shitfest, then…

    Kenny, might it be impertinent of me to ask whether you may be persuaded to stand for new leader of the SNP?

    Up until now, with the few remaining Sturgeon apologists on Wings Over Scotland saying I and others of my ilk should hold our nose and vote SNP in May 2021, my answer is NO I WILL NOT VOTE FOR THE SNP WHEN THEY ARE PASSING THE 1984 ORWELLIAN HATE CRIME BILL THAT WILL KILL OFF SITES SUCH AS WINGS OVER SCOTLAND WHEN THE SNP MCWOKEISTS COMPLETE THEIR POWER GRAB.

    But, I would return and vote SNP if Alex Salmond or Joanna Cherry were leader.

    As of today, and this, your most recent article on WOS, I would be minded to vote SNP in May 2021 if YOU were leading the SNP.

    Kenny, please keep up the good work. Please keep writing for Wings Over Scotland.

    Stuart Campbell does a great job and it is nice to see him getting some top-flight contributors to ease the stress of getting the SNP McWokeist cabal cleared out and setting us safely back on the path to Independence.

  225. stuart mctavish says:

    One upside of Margaret Ferrier’s adventures (over and above her remarkably speedy recovery compared with the Conservative cabinet back in the day) is that, being a reasonably high profile figure, her experience could make an interesting case study to provide feedback on the efficiency of the current surveillance system:

    Was her positive test counted as one of the 714 on Saturday, the 222 on Monday or the 806 on Tuesday
    Were the people she came into contact with on Saturday and Sunday included in the 13 360 traced and tracked to week ending 27 October,
    Did tracking continue when she crossed the border,
    Given that she had recovered on Sunday (but did not receive her positive result until Monday) were the people she met on the way home tracked down and tested
    If so, what did they test,
    If she took another test now would it still be positive (despite having recovered last Sunday), etc

  226. A Person says:


    If you are an SNP member you are likely to be well-engaged with Scottish politics and to be aware, through your friends made in the party, of the rumblings of discontent. Granted, at the moment your average punter doesn’t know this and a distressingly large number of people think “Nicola” is great just because she can put on a pensive face at her news conferences. However this can change rapidly; look at how unpopular “Boris” has become.


    Can you IMAGINE the reaction some people would have had if Boris Johnson had tried to put Theresa May in prison? Even after all the crazy stuff that has happened in politics in the last few years it is simply inconceivable. Yet we tell ourselves we are progressive and democratic here!

  227. Ian Brotherhood says:

    For those who may want to catch up on what Craig Murray has been doing…

  228. Effijy says:

    We are very noble here trying to sack Margaret Ferrier.

    She raised more issues at Westminster in her first years as an MP than the
    Previous Labour MP did in 5 years.

    He was an English golden boy sent up here to a safe seat.

    She fought hard to save the Steel Jobs here in Cambuslang.

    She has been stupid in this matter but is it more stupid than Cummings,
    More stupid than Boris shaking hands with everybody in the Covid ward,
    More Stupid than Grayling and the Millions paid out to a shipping company
    that has never had a ship, more stupid than Gove backing up Cummings by
    saying he too goes driving when he wants to test his eye sight and then
    Demanding a Covid test for his daughter while front line doctors could get one
    even when colleagues were dying, Baroness Davidson taking £20,000 of Russian

    I’m not so keen that there are no second chances for independence supporters
    while the Unionist misdemeanours get overlooked and forgotten.

    Did Bojo’s Dad get fined for illegally travelling to Greece via Bulgaria
    or refusing to wear a mask while shopping or Corbyn’s dinner party?

    Equal rights for everyone is always a priority.

  229. A Person says:


    I should have added to the above post, that the stories which readers of this site have been following for months are now seeping into the mainstream media. I too used to like and admire Nicola Sturgeon, although I never adored her as some did, but an objective look at the facts leads you to obvious conclusions.

  230. OldPete says:

    Margaret Ferrier needs to resign now, right now!

    Sorry Beaker if you misinterpreted my remarks. My comment on the Baroness was for posters using her as an ally to support their attacks on the SNP and its leadership. Not on matters relating to the disgraceful MP for Rutherglen, who has to go.

    Never thought I would see the day when folk on here would use comments and remarks by Baroness Davidson to support their opinions. Divide and rule it’s the Tory way.

  231. holymacmoses says:

    Here’s Ms Sturgeon’s response to Margaret Ferrier. I think the FM will attempt to destroy anyone who gets in the way of her ambitions (whatever they may be)
    Nicola Sturgeon
    This is utterly indefensible. It’s hard to express just how angry I feel on behalf of people across the country making hard sacrifices every day to help beat COVID. The rules apply to everyone and they’re in place to keep people safe.
    is right to suspend the whip

  232. Wee Chid says:

    bipod says:
    1 October, 2020 at 12:44 pm
    @J Galt

    “Personally in nicola sturgeons Scotland I don’t think the mask wearing mandate is just going to go away, soon it will be wear the mask you don’t want the flu to kill granny do you.”

    The flu nearly killed my asthmatic partner at 51. The induced coma he had to endure changed his life and left him with additional health problems. Flu isn’t an insignificant illness for some – and the R number for Covid has been worse. We have more or less self isolated for 7 months.

  233. Rick H Johnston says:

    The NATO exercise in the Gairloch cannot go ahead while the whales are in the way.
    They could interfere with the naval sonar.
    If its the welfare of the whales or a military exercise, I wonder which way it’ll go.
    I’m with the whales. They’ve every right to be there.

  234. A Person says:


    Sorry but that’s not good enough. She broke a law in a very blatant, reckless and foolish way. I’m no lockdown enthusiast but if I knew I had the virus I would not be crossing the door of my house.

    She may have been a good constituency MP but so are others who obeyed the rules.

    We should not stoop to the level of Stanley Johnson (who is not an elected MP anyway) or Psycho Cummings.

  235. Republicofscotland says:

    Ferrier now suspended by the party.

    Sturgeon says Ferrier’s England jaunt, “utterly indefensible”

    Sturgeon and Murrells positions is are also utterly indefensible. As is Leslie Evans.

  236. OldPete says:

    Sorry Effijy but Margaret Ferrier has to resign and quickly. Their is no exception or excuse that she can use, if she has any honour she would resign right now.

  237. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Rick H Johnston (9.40) –

    ‘Mon the whales!


  238. Tannadice Boy says:

    @ A Person,
    That’s my reading of the penetration of this story. Definitely broken through to the public. I hope NS resigns because I do not want a hunt on. An unedifying spectacle that will damage the Parliament. Somebody has to sit her down and smell the coffee. Mine you the Murrells did say they would bring the house down. I hope they reflect on that and go gracefully.

  239. Mist001 says:

    Ferrier has to go, though I’m not surprised she hasn’t done so yet.

    Remember the first Scottish CMO who was caught breaking COVID guidelines? She eventually had to go even though Mrs. Murrell refused to accept her resignation at first.

  240. CameronB Brodie says:

    Please don’t think I’m being picky for the sake of it, as good language hygiene is essential in the process of de-colonisation and social emancipation. The SNP’s ‘progressive’ wing are simply poorly trained in WOKE theory, or else they would not be seeking to enable men to colonise the legal domain of womanhood. So please stop referring to the SNP’s gender agenda as WOKE. The ‘Spear agenda’ is simply regressive, authoritarian, neo-liberalism not to dissimilar to traditional Torydum, so it is intensely misogynistic in nature, ergo, it ain’t WOKE.

    International Human Rights Law and
    Intersectional Discrimination

  241. Craig Murray says:

    There appears a very nasty lack of kindness in public life. I see no reason Ms Ferrier should lose her job. As far as I can tell, she has unreservedly apologised. All humans make mistakes; hers seems to have been motivated by a desire to keep doing her job.

    Cummings refused to apologise and is a different case. Ms Ferrier should do a few months of quiet constituency work then get the SNP whip back. Let’s not write off people for not being perfect.

  242. Mist001 says:

    Ferrier knew the rules as well as anybody here does so she’s either incredibly dense or incredibly arrogant but either way, she knowingly broke the rules that Murrell preaches to everyone about on a daily basis.

    Ferrier has to go.

  243. Big Jock says:

    Ferriers behaviour will result in even less respect for the Covid broadcasts.

    I think it might be the start of the scandals under Nicola’s leadership. Be afraid, be very afraid.

  244. Hatuey says:

    A Person,

    Two things;

    1) I think your assessment of events leading to the closure of Stormont is incorrect and possibly reflects some sort of bias that you might hold. I wouldn’t let that worry since most bias of that kind goes quite unnoticed by those who suffer it.

    2) I didn’t say the situation in Northern Ireland was identical. I said the situation here could potentially develop in a similar way, resulting ultimately in Scotland’s parliament and government being closed down.

    The thing about what’s happened here which makes it quite shocking, and much more serious than some mere crisis of confidence in Sturgeon (a small fish in some small backwater pond), is that it seems to have very negative implications for the judiciary, courts, and policing in this country.

  245. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Craig Murray –

    ‘Let’s not write off people for not being perfect.’

    Nice one.


  246. Sarah says:

    @ Al-Stuart at 9.33: Agreed we need all the strong characters we have available to get the SNP clean and clearly working for regaining independence on all fronts.

    So Mr MacAskill, Joanna Cherry, Philippa Whitford, Mike Russell and others should all be involved in a visible way on driving things forward.

    If Nicola could also be kept on board in a supporting role then that would help in keeping some of the newer admirers likely to vote Yes but she should no longer be the sole arbiter of what happens.

  247. Daisy Walker says:

    OT – been reading/following Craig Murray’s reporting of Julian Assange’s ‘trial’.

    Deeply concerning the judicial bias, blatant and in full view.

    What an incredible job Craig has been doing. At no small cost to his own wellbeing.

    For all Yessers, todays testimony is worth ready, with regards the lengths the Establishment (American on this instance) were prepared to go, particularly with regards using technology.

    This is what they are doing to a reporter who told the world (what it already knew) that the War in Iraq and Afghanistan was immoral and war crimes a common feature. That, potentially threatened the positions of some in power.

    Consider what Scottish independence threatens for the Establishment in the UK… and potentially power players in the US involved in the Oil and Gas industry,

    The wealth that Scotland provides and has the potential to provide really is what the whole of the UK financial infrastructure is built upon. And will be even more important in order to bankroll a no deal Brexit.

    From an English – sorry British – Nationalist point of view – Scottish Independence is the number one threat to national security – threatening, or buying a few SNP politicians should be the least of what they are up to.

    You take care Craig if your reading this, and keep us posted re your own trial.

  248. No party can sack an MP,

    an MP represents the constituency not the party,

    you cannot resign as an MP either.

  249. Hatuey says:

    Mist: “So the Murrells et al can just sit tight because at the moment, it’s a minor party squabble which will blow over soon enough and not enough people know about it to force their hand.”

    That may or may not be true AT THE MOMENT. You should assume that there are more new difficulties to come for them and things are likely to develop.

    “Once the strategic Schwerpunkt had been identified, the attack could commence, using the concept of Kesselschlacht (“cauldron battle”). A frontal attack would immobilize the enemy while forces on the flanks would execute a double envelopment, forming a pocket called a Kessel (“cauldron”) around the enemy. Once surrounded, the opposing army, demoralized and with no chance of escape, would face the choice of annihilation or surrender.”

  250. Big Jock says:

    I believe we are at the stage where there is going to be some pain.

    In order to move forward,we need to clear out stench from the SNP.If we leave things as they are, resentment will just grow and grow. You can’t have a leader you don’t trust. That’s a very basic rule.

    On so many levels we don’t trust her. In football terms she has lost the dressing room!

    We are not with her anymore, so it follows we must be against her.

  251. Republicofscotland says:

    “There appears a very nasty lack of kindness in public life. I see no reason Ms Ferrier should lose her job. As far as I can tell, she has unreservedly apologised.”

    Tell that to the countless folk that she might have infected that could lead to deaths.

    AS far as I’m aware she took the test but failed to wait for the result before travelling.

  252. A Person says:

    Regarding NI my only bias is a contempt for the knuckle-draggers who make up their politicians on both sides (added to an affection for the people- I am married to one). I was just saying that the scandal was used by SF as a way of getting out of a coalition they disliked.

  253. Republicofscotland says:

    “you cannot resign as an MP either.”

    Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness resigned.

  254. stonefree says:

    @ Hatuey at 4:06 pm

    re the Yes Movement, the Yes movement has been shunned since about october 2014, but it escalated quite dramatically around May 2015 prior to the election,After the MP was elected it was very uncomfortable, that was after the Sturgeon takeover.
    That is,of course only my opinion

  255. Gfaetheblock says:

    Craig Murray

    You serious believe that an MP should not lose her on for wilfully breaking the law and endangering members of the public? Bonkers, she has no credibility as a member of parliament.

  256. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Gfaetheblock (10.44) –

    Hand-on-heart, can you tell us, right now, what the ‘rules’ are?

  257. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Big Jock ‘You can’t have a leader you don’t trust. That’s a very basic rule.’

    While I agree with you, in view of what we are up against (the British Establishment), the Independence movement needs to get a lot more Independent and stop waiting to be lead,

    A leader will shout go, and we will campaign.

    Right just now, we need to campaign and recruit a new ‘leader’ from that testing ground.

    Its ground that needs covered anyway.

    We really need to be a lot more savvy about the Brit Nat tactics and our own vulnerabilities to same.

  258. A Person says:

    You technically can’t resign as an MP, instead you must be appointed to one of two offices, Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds or Steward of the Manor of Northstead, or made a peer.

    What a ludicrous rule!

  259. James says:

    Are we really, really, trying to throw the 2021 Holyrood elections between fcuckwit MP’s and bile on here? Just asking like.

    O/T – Hilarious;
    “Train drivers’ union Aslef said: “We’ve worked day in, day out to keep our railway as safe as possible for passengers and staff. For an MP to get on a train knowing she has COVID-19 is both dangerous and disgraceful.”

    That would be the right wing, Tory elitist ‘trade union’ that has no contact with actual passengers?

    Ferrier should resign when Cummings does?

  260. J Galt says:

    Craig Murray is correct.

    What a pack of snarling hyenas.

    They have 80% believing in the absurdities, now come the atrocities.

  261. CameronB Brodie says:

    I’m far from perfect though I do serve a useful purpose, I think. So I hope folk try to remember the multidimensional nature of reality when judging the poor judgement of others.

    re. getting ourselves out of this pickle. I think remembering that British constitutional practice does not define the legal universe might help. At least in the development of an effective strategy to defend our human rights from expansionist English nationalism. I think we also need to remember that placing politics above the law is a direct route to a state of totalitarianism.

    Annual Survey of International & Comparative Law, Volume 15, Issue 1 Article 3, 2009
    The Relationship Between Law and Politics

  262. Daisy Walker says:

    For folks info that is about 3 weeks now, Craig Murray has been reporting on Julian Assange’s trial. He did so today, having taken unwell (and he has some long term medical conditions that make him vulnerable).

    It is a credit to the guy that on hearing of the gross misconduct of an MP he is showing compassion and kindness and asking for it to be shown too.

    I think the MP in question should show some belated integrity and professionalism – and resign. Her journey down to London when she didn’t know was well intentioned, her journey back to Scotland when she knew she was positive makes it untenable for her to stay in post.

    And I’m deeply sorry about that. Some actions, as regrettable as they are in hindsight, are just there to be measured.

  263. Gfaetheblock says:

    Ian b

    If you have COVID, self isolate for 14 days. ( think)

    Also, if I had a test (lucky enough not to have had to) I would be checking the guidance. If i got a positive test, I would be checking again. If she doesn’t have the wit to do that, she is not fit to do the job.

  264. Alf Baird says:

    My wife usually kens what I’ve done, and long before I’ve done it, not least because we’ve most likely discussed it at some point previously, and even more especially if its concerning a rather ‘big’ issue on a subject we are both equally passionate about. I expect the Murrells are no different. So if one goes they both should go for they are more than likely acting as one in the matter.

    Al-Stuart @ 9.33
    Not a bad idea asking Kenny MacAskill to consider leading and delivering Scotland’s national liberation. I cannot think of anyone more suited to the task. Kenny tells it like it is, as everybody here can see with his contributions to Wings and to the cause. Its time for Scotland to play hardball and for that Scotland needs to bring in the big hitters.

  265. Daisy Walker says:

    @ James ‘O/T – Hilarious;
    “Train drivers’ union Aslef said: “We’ve worked day in, day out to keep our railway as safe as possible for passengers and staff. For an MP to get on a train knowing she has COVID-19 is both dangerous and disgraceful.’

    I’m sorry James – but Aslef’s statement is correct.

    I found Cummings behaviour disgraceful, Ferrier’s behaviour is just as bad – although I do not doubt for a minute that she is genuinely sorry for it, unlike Cummings who doesn’t have it in him to care about anyone.

    She’s let the side down.

  266. Liz says:

    It’s been said on twitter NS knew about Margaret Ferrier on Wednesday but kept in till today to deflect attention from FMQs.

    That’s how little some trust her

    It’s not so much that she made a mistake but why travel back to Scotland when she knew she tested positive, crazy.

    Also if she agreed with GRA just to keep on NSs good side, that’s not good. We need strong people not scared to stand up to be counted, like Kenny, Joanna, Chris McEleney, Angus Mac Neil.

  267. Macart says:

    @ Achnababan

    Sadly? Cult of WGD?

    I know I’ve missed a lot this summer, but what’s gotten into folk? I read a lot of authors posts on many a site and comment on only a few. Less and less these days though tbf and for purely personal reasons. Nothing to do with politics.

    Probably worth a thought, but it wasn’t so long ago that independistas were considered a cult.

  268. red sunset says:

    Thank you Craig Murray and others for some levelheadedness.

    It’s known that Covid 19 causes many effects, including a sort of brain fogging. Leaving a person without the full capacity to make important decisions.

    One thing that has troubled me for a few years. The SNP has a good number of people down in London, hundreds of miles from home, in a very stressful situation. But they (the employers) provide no welfare facilities of any kind. There’s no human resources person to share worries. Even the army has a padre.
    My point is there ought to be a duty of care, even for MPs.

  269. Hatuey says:

    stonefree, yes, that’s correct. Clearly Sturgeon decided very early on that 1) she would not be pursuing independence, and 2) she’d keep the independence movement and grassroots at a distance.

    Those things go hand in hand, of course. I think you could go a bit further and argue that she basically declared war on the independence movement but it’d be a fruitless thing to do.

    The writing was on the wall from the start. Look at the way they surrendered on just about everything with the Smith Commission.

    The record number of MPs sent to Westminster in 2015 achieved less than nothing.

    The only thing they got right was that little facet in the manifesto that talked of a material change in circumstances leading to another referendum.

    I’d expect that nobody more than Sturgeon regrets that line being in there on page two million and twenty two, or wherever it was…

    I guess she wanted to be the people’s princess or something, rather than just a figurehead of the independence movement.

    I’ve heard sensible people speculate that Sturgeon could be some sort of British plant. I disagree. If she was a British plant, they’d have been concerned about her cover being blown and we would have gotten much more out of her.

  270. Sarah says:

    @ red sunset: agreed. I have often thought how hard it must have been for the very young Charles Kennedy to be alone with only a handful of fellow Liberal MPs for company at work. He came from a very different social and cultural background and must have felt terribly lonely. There is a Westminster chaplain I think but the party should have their own support system there.

  271. Hatuey says:

    A Person, I’m not convinced that you aren’t biased, especially when you say things like “the scandal was used by SF as a way of getting out of a coalition they disliked” but let’s not pretend you might care what I might think.

    For the avoidance of doubt, the scandal can be attributed directly to corruption on the Unionist side. That isn’t in the least bit a controversial thing to say.

    You might consider, therefore, that SF had every right not to like the coalition you refer to, although I’ll concede they most certainly had many other reasons not to like it too.

  272. Clapper57 says:

    @ Macart @ 11.11pm

    Hi Macart….I just popped on to say hello to you…just saw your comment…..give my regards to Dr Jim on t’other site.

    Take Care

  273. ElGordo says:

    It’s all gone very homeland season 7 on here.

    Is it all so black and white these days, instead of shades of grey.

    Does everybody that posts always need to be really extremely annoyed or extremely happy (mostly the former) or is it still ok to be mildly so, not feeling the need to grin, gurn or gripe.

    Or do public displays of opinion always need to be so extreme in the hope of any impact at all.

    Look at me ! 🙂

  274. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hey David Caledonia at 2:05 pm.

    You typed,
    “Never been on twitter, when that that king of the twits Stephen Fry endorses anything you know to keep clear of it”

    You dissin’ Dundee, dude?

    A quote from the link below…

    “The broadcaster and author Stephen Fry – who is of course extremely well-travelled – even had this to say about Dundee:
    “Its setting is probably more extraordinary than any other city in the UK. It is about as ideal – ludicrously ideal – as any setting could be.””

  275. stuart mctavish says:

    Once upon a time if a colleague caught a particularly nasty illness first thoughts were to organise a whip round for logistical support and a get well soon card. From the reaction to Margaret Ferrier’s predicament, covid-19 is no longer considered dangerous to the person who has it, only to those who do not.

  276. bipod says:

    @Wee Chid

    Absolutely the flu can be a nasty illness, arguably as lethal as covid, and it kills many people every year particularly in the winter months. But we don’t have anywhere near the level of hysteria for that or daily death counts. In normal times it would have been considered outrageous and people would have scoffed at the suggestion that draconian restrictions should be put in place to curb it as catching it is just a fact of life and a risk that people accepted for going about a normal life. In nicolas post covid Scotland I fear that won’t be the case.

  277. CameronB Brodie says:

    re. getting ourselves out of this pickle. We need to convince more SNP members that Scotland’s democracy is threatened by a two-pronged assault on the Common law. Not only are we threatened by our traditional oppressor, i.e. English Torydum, we now have the threat of the ‘Spear agenda’ to defend ourselves against.

    Remember, the Tories are desperate to separate Scots from global health law and public health ethics. As is the ‘Spear agenda’.

    Relational ethical approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic

  278. Kelpie says:

    Liz says:
    1 October, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    Also if she agreed with GRA just to keep on NSs good side, that’s not good. We need strong people not scared to stand up to be counted

    Liz, I don’t believe she is scared and just wanting to stay on the good side of NS. I think she simply had not looked into the arguments against GRA reform at all and was choosing to accept the word of people she trusts.

    I can understand that she will have a lot of ground to cover but to just take things on trust and try to defend it with nonsense (and I told her bluntly that she was repeating illogical nonsense) annoyed me greatly.

    It left me with a distinct impression that she tries to please people but is not the sharpest spoon in the drawer.

  279. Terry says:

    King Kenny – he shoots, he scores. (And I don’t mean Dalglish.)

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought Kenny retired from politics in 2016 and wondered at the time why he returned in 2019 – to Westminster. It’s becoming apparent that it’s to fight the good fight of independence. Standing up for Alex and against the corruption that is going on in the hierarchy is inextricably linked to this.

    We owe him one. Slainte!

  280. Fireproofjim says:

    The whole point about Margaret Ferrier’s trip was that it was so stupid. It obviously was going to reflect very badly on the SNP and throw a spanner into the carefully constructed image of competence on the Coronovirus crisis. Manna for the Unionists at the next PMQs.
    Did she think she could get away with it? In that case she is deliberately devious. Otherwise she appears to be selfish and thoughtless and certainly not MP or MSP material.

  281. MaggieC says:

    Part of statement from Commons Press Office on Twitter ,

    “ Margaret Ferrier informed the SNP Whip that she was COVID 19 positive on Wednesday afternoon, the Speaker was informed and the House authorities immediately took all necessary steps in line with their legal obligations and PHE Guidance. “

    Link to Twitter thread ,

    So she and the Snp knew yesterday so her statement should have been made then and not held back till today .

  282. Hatuey says:

    “It’s all gone very homeland season 7 on here.”

    lol. I think that’s the final season which I haven’t watched yet. I overdosed on it during lock down and couldn’t face any more.

  283. Daisy Walker says:

    One of the reasons Ms Ferrier likely made this serious error of judgement is in her own words, she felt better, or fine. I’m sure if she’d been feeling awful, she’d have realised how ill she was and acted appropriately.

    But given its 10 months into Covid restrictions, well known that asymptomatic patients can and do spread the disease – hence the reasons for historic levels of lockdown.

    And she sits in one of the institutes that drafts that emergency legislation.


    Even if, having been tested positive, she had got in her car and driven home without contact with others, it would be forgivable, but to get on the train.


    I have all the sympathy in the world for her. She’s been really really stupid. And I for one can relate to that. But it has consequences.

    It just does. She has let everyone down. Potentially she has put members of the public at risk, she has broken all the guidelines drafted to date with regards self isolating.

    There is no way round this. Her position as MP is untenable and she will bring the SNP into disrepute the longer she stays.

    If this was Boris, or Charles, or Dom would you condone this behaviour – in any way? No you would not.

  284. ElGordo says:


    At the risk of being a bit cheeky, but also providing you with the opportunity to once again soar above Scottish politics, considering the current climate and the mud being thrown around.

    Would it be possible to have some transparency on any ring fenced cash for the indyref2 campaign, for the one million Wee Blue Book’s 2?

  285. Daisy Walker says:

    Another wee thought before I call it a night.

    If we go into full or partial lockdown again – and then into a Referendum, a GE and or a Holyrood Elections.

    And lets just say for arguments sake, we make it about Indy, in order to save our country.

    Are the restrictions going to make getting the printing done, in the numbers and timescales necessary, impossible, or severely reduced?

  286. Lizg says:

    Macart @ 11.11
    Hi over here 🙂
    Yes it’s all a bit strange even to those of us who haven’t been away.
    But the advice you gave to me very early on when I was first disrespected here over getting way way way off topic with smallaxe at stupid o’clock still holds my friend.
    Just mostly chat to those who are friendly and if you have a point to make make it and move on.
    In that respect nothing’s really changed we’re all still here, all still as opinionated as ever and still giving our brave bloggers no end of headaches.
    What ever did we do before 🙂
    My return advice is , don’t limit yer information by choosing….. enjoy the full range of the online Indy service and count yerself lucky to have it.
    When it comes to a full menu to educate and inform …. the BBCs got nothing on us 🙂

  287. Beaker says:

    @OldPete says:
    1 October, 2020 at 9:38 pm
    “Sorry Beaker if you misinterpreted my remarks.”

    No problemo. I’d hate to be considered as a Ruthie fan.

    With apologies to WH Auden:

    This is the MP crossing the Border,
    Bringing the COVID and ignoring the order,

    One rule for the rich, another for the poor,
    The speech is ready, she goes through the door.

    Pulling up Tories, a steady climb:
    The commons against her, but it’s her time.

    Warming to her theme, she’s getting bolder
    Ignoring what’s just over her shoulder

    Snorting noisily as she doesn’t pass
    If this gets out her ass is grass.

  288. Dave Somerville says:

    Margeret Ferrier should have took one for the team and stayed in London, Infecting as many bastard inhabitants of London as possible.

    Then returned home to Glasgow as an all conquering warrior.

    Go Maggie!!!

  289. CameronB Brodie says:

    re. getting ourselves out of this pickle. We need to remember that our health service’s capacity to cope with covid-19, and that of wider civic society, has been systematically undermined and hollowed-out since Thatcher, so adding more neo-liberalism to the equation is certainly not going to provide the correct answer to the problem.

    So the ‘Spear agenda’ and all how support it must go. And we must use our existing legal protection of our human rights better. That means direct petition to the international community, if the party of hope is not prepared to defend the Common law.

    Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, Volume34, Issue2, April 2010
    Law, ethics and pandemic preparedness: the importance of cross-jurisdictional and cross-cultural perspectives

  290. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi Beaker.

    For those who don’t get the context…
    It’s from 20m20s in this classic 24m fillum…

  291. Lizg says:

    Dave Somerville @ 1.00am
    Whit is it yer no “meaning” tae be this time Dave ?
    Virus o phobic or just plain ole illiterate?

  292. Confused says:

    – thanks muscleguy re : new caledonia

    the guardian article had a few details – natives 40%, then a mix of “loyalists”/settlers and other pacific migrants – but not much depth.

    I just found it an odd coincidence, “second referendums” and all that (“caledonia!”). The article seemed to suggest it could happen; the closeness of the previous result about 45-55 a shocker. Analogies have their limits. They were not asking for a section 30 tho.

    On a deep level, France seems scarred by its colonial pullback, esp. Algeria.

  293. A Person says:

    To those who are saying that we should not be so hard on Margaret Ferrier, I would say, people are not being personal. She has made a mistake and shouldn’t be burned at the stake for it, but it was a really, really foolish and unwise thing to do.


    I am honestly not sure of what you are trying to get at? I do not sympathise with Ulster unionists, and am well aware that they were at fault in that scandal. I am simply noting that SF exploited this scandal so as to have a reason for ending the coalition; I make no judgement on their decision to do so. With respect, I would remind you that my support for Scottish independence, and my support for Irish reunification, does not require me to support the bleak, violent sectarian politics of NOrthern Ireland, as practised by Sinn Fein on the republican side. As I said, I know from my wife how grim that is for everyone concerned.

  294. Dave Somerville says:


    You talkin to me? ya wee Lanarkshire alcoholic, who talks utter fuckin bullshit.

    Away back to the Wee Gingerbread Man

  295. Stan Broadwood says:

    Howz everyone?

    Hope you are all chillin?

  296. Stan Broadwood says:

    Hi CamB

    You still educating the World?

    Always found your posts interesting, even although slightly on the long side.

    Keep on doing what you do Cam.

    Knowledge is Power mate.

    Unity is Strength.

  297. GlenIslay says:

    The conversation here reminds me of an encounter I had with one of the Wokey policy guys for the SNP.

    He outright stated that “honorable” SNP members are leaving the party because they disagree with the party’s “main aims” and those who stay, but criticize it are the true enemy and should be expunged for being “dishonorable”.

    When I accused him of acting exactly like Boris and Dom (because they did the exact same thing with europhile Tories), he flew into a blind rage and starting criticising…my university of all places. What a weird ass loser, but I digress.

    It’s not difficult to see what he was inferring though. The old guard are being forced out so the likes of him can take over and find their own place at the trough.

  298. Lizg says:

    Davie Somerville @ 1.16
    Christ that’s a bit of a record outing yer new name even fur you Dave…
    I’m not talkin I’m typing fool…..but not to you any more … cause you dumb,really, really, dumb.

  299. CameronB Brodie says:

    Stan Broadwood
    Always happy to oblige, as that’s how servant leadership works. 😉

    Human Rights Law Review, Volume 10, Issue 4, December 2010, Pages 639–660
    Could Human Rights Supersede Bioethics?


    Bioethics and human rights are now well-established sets of norms, practices, institutions and methods for regulating the life sciences and medicine in the public sphere. Recent scholarship, and to some extent states’ practice, in the governance of the life sciences and medicine have suggested that the field of bioethics may become subsumed into human rights law and practice.

    In this article, I discuss the current relationship between bioethics and human rights as public discourses and practices of governance of the life sciences and medicine, focussing particularly on human biomedicine. I analyse the thesis, notably associated with Australian health lawyer Thomas Faunce, that international human rights law will subsume bioethics.

    I argue that there are various theoretical and practical difficulties in the way of this thesis, but that these may be overcome. My claim is that if they are overcome, it will not be due to intellectual necessity, but to do with historical and political contingencies. Both bioethics and human rights must be understood as messy practices emerging from the interplay of doctrine, intellectual debate, institutional form, political interests and the actions of interested parties. The question will be not, could human rights supersede bioethics, but rather, which interests would be served by such a convergence?

  300. Polly says:

    ‘I watched FMQs. If it’s shite, it’s the FMs!‘

    🙂 way to pass the buck.

    holymacmoses says:
    1 October, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    ‘Sturgeons a hard nosed politician but I think she’s got a lot of competition with her husband and I don’t see him doing anything much to help her.
    BTW I like to dream alternatives and I would love to be totally wrong about Sturgeon.’

    No, going by his letter to the inquiry seems he’s all too happy to put the blame on her. There’s a few things about Sturgeon that still niggle at me. If she was involved in the conspiracy, why did she agree to have at least two meetings and a phone call with Salmond when she knew he was under investigation and knew that would be used against her? For someone cold enough to have conspired against him, who we’re told failed to buzz him into Holyrood and left him waiting outside, and especially when she is notoriously cautious and careful – why agree to have meetings with him? It doesn’t fit in with a cold conspiracist or the ultra cautious person we’ve seen these last six years.

    @ ElGordo 12.13am

    ‘Would it be possible to have some transparency on any ring fenced cash for the indyref2 campaign, for the one million Wee Blue Book’s 2?’

    I’m sure as soon as your SNP fire the starting pistol everything will be activated from both sides. If there’s any shortage that needs to be made up I know which I’d be more willing to trust in giving to to get value for money.

  301. LeggyPeggy says:

    Liz @ 11.10 pm
    Kelpie @ 11.54 pm

    Re Margaret Ferrier and the Gra , the SNP HQ sent mailers to the General Election Candidates telling them not to sign the women’s pledge . I have a copy of the tweet that said about the candidates not to sign the women’s pledge but would need to look for it .

    The women’s pledge was set up by Snp members as they are concerned about the loss of women’s rights under the Gra reforms that the Scottish Government want to bring in .

    Link to their twitter page ,

    And part of the group’s pledge,

    “ Women have the right to maintain their sex based protections as set out in the Equality Act 2010. “

    And link to the women’s pledge where you can sign it if you haven’t already done so ,

    Joanna Cherry and Joan McAlpine both support the Women’s pledge so that’s why they’ve been attacked by the * woke * within the party .

  302. Socrates MacSporran says:

    OK, with the benefit of hindsight, which as we all know is a wonderful thing – Margaret Ferrier should, ideally, have contacted the SNP’s version of Winston Wolfe while down in London. But, she didn’t.

    Apparently, she has had the whip removed and been suspended by the Party – which is the very least they could do as damage limitation.

    She made a mistake, and will pay dearly for it, because, the hypocrites int he Unionist parties will be all over this like a rash, conveniently ignoring the every bit as bad crimes of Cummings & Co.

    The SNP has to be whiter than white. It has to be seen to be whiter than white. That’s unfair, but, it’s politics in the UK today.

    The SNP is the biggest threat to the status quo, so, they get no leeway.

  303. Lizg says:

    Fireproofjim @ 12.00 am
    That’s a good point,but I’d be very wary of attributing any explanation to the Woman right now.
    Somebody fucking up needs addressed … of course it does nae arguments there!
    But we wear a Yes hat here (apparently hat change is a thing and unlike sex can actually be done )
    So, I’d say we have to be very aware of a few things first

    The timing of these announcements needs looking at.
    If we are being manipulated here we need to temper our response with that in mind !

    The strength and length of the current resignation calls should be viewed in the round ….

    Firstly … In comparison to all the others who have disgraced themselves, because as we know one of our own ( and she is one of our own of that there’s little doubt) never ever gets a fair shake and we shouldn’t give that particular troupe any further assistance.
    But mainly from our point of view here how risky is that seat ?
    This IMHP is actually forgivable especially if it is in the interests of Scotland to do so.
    And here’s why

    …. She Messed up Yes…but she Fessed up and I’d be very wary of setting the precedent that to lie and front it out like all the others keeps yer job but to own up and apologise means ye are punished.
    That’s arse backwards…. and very British as far as I can see.

    The Woman didn’t claim bad eyesight here or anything like it ,while , no excuse ,the virus and the thought of the death sentence it could be may have affected her judgment and on that I’ll not be judging her either .
    Because, I know I’d not want a London hospital to be my last I’d want to head home, maybe even to the exclusion of all other thought ….. there but for the grace of fate or deity go any one of us… Aye ?
    We need to look at this with cool heads and thinking of actually taking the test and not really believing it could happen to you and the reaction of getting a positive result ….. would we do differently could we do differently….. I wish I knew for sure!!!

  304. CameronB Brodie says:

    re. getting ourselves out of this pickle. Limiting the public realm of women and children is definitely not the way to support open and sustainable democracy. But that is what these GRA amendments will do, as they will drive a combined-harvester through the legal protections established in the framework of existing legal doctrine aimed against sexism and gender-based violence. Subsequently, these amendments are intensely regressive and illiberal in nature, as well as being harmful to the fabric of law and order. So are party members still prepared to defend the ‘Spear agenda’?

    Nordic Journal of Migration Research, Special Issue Article • DOI: 10.2478/njmr-2013-0015 NJMR • 3(4) • 2013 • 225-232
    Political antagonisms in radical right-wing populist
    and anti-immigration rhetoric in Finland

  305. twathater says:

    @ Mike Fenwick 1st Oct 2020 6.25pm thank you again for that link Mike , I have just watched the video on vimeo , I will try again with all the relevant info

  306. LeggyPeggy says:

    Socrates MacSporran @ 2.32 am
    Lizg @ 2.37 am

    The Snp chief whip knew about it on Wednesday but no announcement was given by Margaret Ferrier or the Snp till Thursday as MaggieC @ 12.01 am posted about the Commons Press Office statement .

    Did they keep quiet to deflect the news headlines away from Nicola Sturgeon at Fmqs possibly knowing that an Msp would ask about the obstructions shown to the Harassment and Complaints Committee .

  307. Lizg says:

    LeggyPeggy @ 3.25
    It looks like it and that’s what I mean about us being a bit canny over it all.
    While being heartily sick of these games at the moment that’s the system we are in.
    It’s shit isn’t it?

  308. CameronB Brodie says:

    re. getting ourselves out of this pickle. We’ll need to box cleaver, so let’s not judge events and the intentions of other on the basis of insufficient knowledge and open disclosure of all the evidence. Though there doesn’t appear to be any excuse to justify MF’s flouting of health guidance and law, there may well be explanatory, though unlikely to be adequate, justification for her actions. I’m not her judge though. Saying that, she may just have experienced a moment is extreme dumbness, which happens to us all from time to time, and the threat of covid is likely to heighten fear, which undermines rationality. Night, night. 😉

    Administrative Law in Common Law Countries

  309. Wee Chid says:

    bipod says:
    1 October, 2020 at 11:49 pm
    @Wee Chid

    “Absolutely the flu can be a nasty illness, arguably as lethal as covid, and it kills many people every year particularly in the winter months. But we don’t have anywhere near the level of hysteria for that or daily death counts. In normal times it would have been considered outrageous and people would have scoffed at the suggestion that draconian restrictions should be put in place to curb it as catching it is just a fact of life and a risk that people accepted for going about a normal life. In nicolas post covid Scotland I fear that won’t be the case.”

    I think it’s more of the case that people are not aware that flu is life threatening. The majority think it’s like a heavy cold – the fact that they even refer to a heavy cold in males as “man flu” shows just how ill informed they are. Flu vaccines are offered every year – once they have a Covid vaccine, I’ll feel a bit more relaxed about it. Meantime Ill continue wearing my mask and remain the anti social bugger I’ve always been anyway – not because any govt tells me to do so ( I go way beyond their advice) but because it makes me feel that I’m less likely to be a risk to others who are more susceptible than I am.

  310. ,,newburghgowfer says:

    Well if disgruntled Mps & Msp’s cant get answers from the ruling junta at the Scottish North Korea Party & the members are met with the same wall its time that they formed their own Party to take on the SNP. The ISP would get an immediate Boost if they joined as sitting Mps or Msp’s prior to next years election.

    The Labour Party coildnt be changed ftom within and thats why its a shzmbles, why would people think the SNP cojld be won over again. Thd problems within are too far deep rooted and its a lost cause infiltrated by Gravy Train supporters.

  311. Achnababan says:

    Margaret Ferrier should only resign if Dominic Cummings resigns and Prince Charles renounces his Royal Status and claim to the thrones of England and Scotland (like his adopted son)

  312. Big Jock says:

    I think what makes Ferrier worse than Cummings is that she tested positive and then travelled on public transport!

    Had she simply driven home without stopping it might not have been so bad. She mixed with people on the train, at the station, on the way to the Commons, in the Commons. Then repeated the mistake on the way home.

    She is bang to rights I am afraid.

  313. Achnababan says:

    Regarding the Alex Salmond stooshie….. I have been thinking about why things got out of hand so quickly and easily with Scot Gov going to a civil and criminal court.

    No politician in their right mind (NS I am referring to) would want that because things can take unexpected turns and the power lies with a jury which she cannot control in the case of the latter .

    So my thinking is simple – going to court was the only to keep the conspiracy secret – as her ‘friends’ in the PFO etc would have advised. Hence the big push to silence the likes of Craig Murray and Mark Hirst. Of course this strategy was probably suggested and championed by the Mole(s) ….

    Now its time for my morning coffee and pain chocolate

  314. Oneliner says:

    HRH The Prince of Wales travelled to Scotland while carrying the Covid19 virus.

    He came on a private plane and by doing so, was able to avoid any opprobrium which might have come his way. He then got tested on the NHS while protocols indicated that there was a waiting list. Oh, and the media didn’t seem to think it was particularly newsworthy. Catherine Calderwood similarly broke a rule and got hammered.

    A bit like his old dad, Phil The Greek, brother-in-law to SS officers, who ran his Range Rover into oncoming traffic. Police weren’t interested in prosecuting. ‘Not in the public interest’ they said.

    Margaret Ferrier made a big mistake – can you see the media or the police not being ‘interested’?

  315. Big Jock says:

    Remember what Sturgeon Martini – Anytime , anywhere said yesterday!

    Nothing to hide folks!

  316. Ottomanboi says:

    Margaret Ferrier seems to have brought out the very worst in certain people. That curtain twitching, pursed lip, judgmental moralizing mode the first signs of sanctimony and hypocrisy. Someone rather famous talked of ‘throwing the first stone’ in such circumstances.
    The true symptoms of Covid-19 seem to be increased blood lust.
    Small wonder the Nazis were amazed at the rate of public compliance with their vile régime.

  317. Lizg says:

    Big Jock @ 7.59
    She , I would assume, have travelled first class….while no real excuse , ”tis slightly” better than the normal experience of the London Train.
    All I’m saying is….. If ye don’t feel well and are worried about Covid , get a test and then think yer feeling better ….it must be devistating to get a positive result….
    What would we do?
    How many of us have our affairs in order?
    How many of us would think straight?
    How many of us would say we can’t do that because of our job ?

    This is the problem with this virus it tests our instincts ….E.G. If my kids were in uni and tested positive…I wouldn’t give a flying fuck what the government said they’d be home…. now do you see ???

  318. Trump and Melania test positive.

  319. Mist001 says:

    Well, it’s the next day and Ferrier still hasn’t resigned. It’s the weekend, so it’ll all have been forgotten about come Monday.


  320. Big Jock says:

    Liz – Here’s the thing.

    From a personal point of view. If I was in the public eye and my job security depended on my behaviour. Would I risk losing my career on something that could easily have been avoided.

    She is an MP and she knows the rules inside out. At the very least she could have done her 14 days isolation in London. That’s the really stupid part. She travelled while positive. It’s just stupid on stilts.

    I don’t agree a good MP should lose her job. I wouldn’t expect her to. But unfortunately the media and the government have to be seen to act when things like this happen. We all know that any SNP mp will get torn apart by the media and Sturgeon.

    Remember that Sturgeon is as ruthless as the media. She doesn’t haven any loyalty to anyone except toxic Murrell.

  321. Ottomanboi says:

    Donald & Melania Trump test positive for what? As there is no reliable test for ‘Covid-19’ in existence, and probably never likely to be, testing will be based on symptoms.
    In the meantime the US moves inexorably towards totalitarianism and there is a reliable test for that, 20th century history.

  322. Republicofscotland says:

    I think this is an important outcome for the yes movement, if business is comfortable with independence, it should make the transition ( when we become independent) easier I think.

  323. Effijy says:

    Some posts are talking about honour in resigning.

    Do you really think Westminster has any honour?

    That institution was there when a million died needlessly in Ireland,
    when the Highland clearances drive thousands into the sea with
    countless deaths.

    Westminster has killed over 10 million people across the globe in
    Search of more wealth for the wealthy.

    They have used their secret services and supporting paramilitary forces to kill

    They have managed a sequence of 57 years were the gap between the richest and
    The average worker has continued to grow.

    They allowed Casino banking that gave the tax payer an £80 bill.
    They have stolen Scotland’s oil for 50 years assuring us that it will run out every decade.
    We have Brexit funded by the rich to keep the tax loopholes money laundering doors open.
    We see billions handed out to Tory supporters in Covid none disclosure contracts.
    We see the convenience of losing the paedo documents identifying their own conveniently lost.
    We see the Dunblane massacre files made top secret as it links the killer to MP friends.

    Margaret Ferrier let us down all right and had the decency that escapes people like Cummings to
    sincerely apologise and learn a lesson.

    I don’t buy the unionist don’t resign but we do.

    Margaret will be punished but that is for us to decide not Westminster.

    Don’t use the honour word in relation to London’s house of Evil and EVEL.

  324. Ottomanboi says:

    A regional conflict with the potential of going global.
    Recepbey, Syrian Islamists, Russia and the religion of peace….
    Syrian Islamists

  325. Big Jock says:

    Just a thought.

    How many people have travelled and visited public places while Covid positive? I would suggest probably handfuls everyday in Scotland.

    Margaret is no worse than any of these people, but she knows that she is a public figure and that’s the difference.

  326. Dan says:

    @Big Jock

    Aye, how is one meant to get home from a testing centre after testing positive. Not everyone has a car or lives within walking distance of a testing centre.
    I must have missed the bit where we developed a working Star Trek teleport system…

  327. holymacmoses says:

    Achnababan says:
    2 October, 2020 at 8:00 am
    Regarding the Alex Salmond stooshie….. I have been thinking about why things got out of hand so quickly and easily with Scot Gov going to a civil and criminal court.

    No politician in their right mind (NS I am referring to) would want that because things can take unexpected turns and the power lies with a jury which she cannot control in the case of the latter .

    So my thinking is simple – going to court was the only to keep the conspiracy secret

    Maybe Achnababan

    But I think it’s even simpler. Once the Government had been ‘discovered’ then it was obvious that what they were doing was conspiratorial AND ALSO illegal. It is not in the remit of any company to ‘research’ the sexually illegal misconduct of a previous employee – that is a police concern. The women concerned HAD to prosecute or face being sued individually by Mr Salmond. The gang stupidly thought that a good jury wouldn’t see through the whole shambolic mess. At least five of the people (four named/one not named) deserve to be totally ruined for this behaviour and I hope they are. The betrayal of Mr Salmon is the betrayal of Scotland and it should not be countenanced by anyone working for the country. I wouldn’t mind seeing a journalist or two going down the tubes with them either:-)
    All that said, what SORT of people think it’s OK to put a man in jail for life and destroy his hard earned reputation and his family and friends into the bargain just further your ambitions and/or save your own skin? Scotland and the SNP will not be damaged by their demise, it will be strengthened.

  328. Breeks says:

    Sturgeon leads a charmed life.

    One minute under sustained pressure, ducking and diving to avoid awkward questions about her roll in the ever-more-grubby looking Salmond conspiracy…

    Next breath everybody is talking about Ferrier.

    I wonder if Sturgeon and Evans are running neck and neck in the Teflon Sweepstake; who can escape scrutiny for their actions for the longest….

  329. Famous15 says:

    No excuses,Margaret Ferrier acted outrageously putting lives at risk.

    She must resign.

    To be on the moral high ground requires morality.

  330. Colin Alexander says:

    “Shepherd and Wedderburn has been named Regional/Offshore Firm of the Year at the 23rd Legal Business Awards run by Legal Business magazine”.

    So what? , you might be asking.

    Well, that’s who the SNP have hired to write to the Parliamentary inquiry, regarding the information being sought from Peter Murrell, according to the Herald.

    So, Peter Murrell is trying to hide behind the SNP’s lawyers.

    So, at least we know where some of the SNP money is going and what it is being used for – to try and protect WhatsApp Murrell from scrutiny.

    So much for Sturgeon’s promises of full co-operation. Nae wunner she had a big riddy at FM’s Questions.

  331. Shug says:

    I do hope she took time to shake hands with the jeering Conservatives, virus deniers and supporters of herd immunity

  332. Joe says:


    Im still to understand the hysterics of people who talk of the US ‘moving towards totalitarianism’.

    I just don’t get it.

    That’s not to suggest that anything about the current administration is great, but there is a severe amount of hysterical exaggeration going on. If it was there under the last few administrations I wouldn’t be confused as there would be some consistency.

    The reason this is a problem in my view is that the people who jump on this bandwagon are quite clearly divorced from reality. Their ability to actually balance facts from media spin is obviously totally compromised.

    A conversation I had a year ago or so with someone calling Trump ‘the worst president in history’ ended when I asked what new wars Trump had started. Answer ‘ah but he WILL start a war’.

    Trump is an arsehole. Im not much of a fan.

    But the truth is – the current political left, almost to a man or woman of those who still identify as such, are utterly and dangerously divorced from reality.

    I can’t imagine the mental explosions that will happen if there is ever a leader that demands racial and religious equality and makes free speech a human right. That’s right, read that sentence again. We currently don’t have any of those things and to have this would tilt the conversation in favor of Western peoples and whats left of their countries and civilization.

    What other models should Westerners use for running a country? Shall we look East? What about further South?

    Is Trump a problem because he is not actively dismantling Western culture by embracing the same ideas as his predecessors? Of course nowadays that amounts to ‘white supremacy’.

    The biggest problem the US has had and still has is that they act as the large, powerful bitch of the Zionist lobby. Hence the middle eastern wars.

  333. holymacmoses says:

    Colin Alexander says:
    2 October, 2020 at 9:25 am
    “Shepherd and Wedderburn has been named Regional/Offshore Firm of the Year at the 23rd Legal Business Awards run by Legal Business magazine”.

    So Colin, they’ll be keeping the accounts secret so that no-one knows how much it is costing to defend the indefensible. They’re beginning to look more stupid by the minute. The Murrells are behaving as if they have the same power and Johnson or Trump:-)
    As I said before – I keep seeing the image of Imelda Marcos’ shoes .

  334. Trump and Melania test positive for the symptoms of Covid.

  335. holymacmoses says:

    Here’s an interesting review of Shepherd and Wedderburn:

    2 reviews
    3 years ago
    Taking part in the bullying of a small business who chose to sell a product with a Scottish area name.

    I would avoid this company as much as possible as they take part in what can only be called a campaign of fear against a small business.

    In my opinion this is Shameful and Disgusting.

  336. Big Jock says:

    Colin – Exactly. They need a good offshore Lawyer to take the payments from an account in the channel islands.

    Sturgeon was remaining tight lipped because her lawyers advised her to keep her gob shut. The mock indignation was all part of the show. The Anytime anywhere stuff was bravado. A technique often employed by liars.

    The lawyers must be shaking their heads regarding the Whatsapp messages. Not sure how they .can undo them , if they are genuine.

    So as you say. Are the SNP using our war chest to pay legal fees of £200 per hour.

  337. Gary45% says:

    Totally agree 100% with your post.
    I had a long hard discussion with my wife over this, she rightly said,
    ” She got back on the train knowing she had Covid-19.”
    That for me is the “hitting the fan” moment.(” whether that’s true? that’s the narrative of the gutter media, and boy will they milk it.)
    Yes I am totally “scunnered” at yet another decent politician having to stand down, when its clear for all to see the Yoon parties getting away with murder and corruption.
    I just saw a yoon that I know from my home town, He has never worn a mask during the crisis. I saw him this morning in a local store, no mask on then said he was running for a train. NO MASK.(Unless the train companies are strict), even then he will spout some bollocks.
    I will guarantee he will be jumping for joy at the SNP crisis.
    The rules only apply to some. We know that, they know that.

  338. Dan says:

    @ Scot Finlayson

    A lot of people in positions of power and influence test positive for symptoms of being dangerous psychopaths, but unfortunately there are no rules in place forcing them to self-isolate as to restrict and limit the death and devastation they continue to cause.

  339. Stan Broadwood says:

    Will it really matter if this SNP MP resigns?

    They are all useless bastards down there anyway.

    Even if the Tories won the by-election, would it change anything?

    Will the SNP put forward a GRA supporting candidate?

    If so, it will be our chance to show Sturgeon that we will not be supporting any such a candidate.

    Does it matter if the SNP have 50 MPs or 5 MPs, does it matter a jot?

    And if you are going to resign, then do it on the day the President of the United States catches Covid19.

  340. Shug says:

    Just heard the Jeremy vine show say she might be part of an snp conspiracy, clearly to spread the virus!!!!

    Talks about all the public figures that have broken the rules but not Prince Charles??
    Funny that

  341. Big Jock says:

    Strangely the Murrell lawyers seem to be involved in corporate law and tax. No mention of criminal cases or potential criminal cases. Odd choice.

  342. Big Jock says:

    Stan – We would be as well sending sock puppets to WM.

    We make no difference. The MP’s can’t really help their constituents if they have no influence at WM level.

  343. Lizg says:

    Big Jock @ 8.50
    There’s not a part of me that disagrees with ye there.
    They are paid and paid well to be public servants..
    All I’m actually saying is that her account seems credible ..

    If any of us felt a bit poorly and went and got a test like the government said we should, while not really believing we had it, and then felt better ( as ye do , and we all do ) would we no think that the Covid thing hadn’t happened to us?
    Then when getting a positive result……and knowing it was potentially fatal….. and any MP should or would know exactly how fatal !
    Would they no just react ?
    React like a human being?
    This is no being caught like “the wee da of Johnston ” or “the useless da that’s Cummings” just doing their thing, or the Prince of Wales doing what he wanted as he always has,this is a Woman a very frightened woman that just headed home,and admitted it.
    She bolted, and her journey must have been horrendous.
    Nae posh garden fur her to speak in…. not that it matters !
    She came home
    What I’m saying is that, I’m not all that sure I wouldn’t have done the same thing, and I don’t think there’s a one of us who could claim they wouldn’t have either!!!

  344. Balaaargh says:

    I had heard Ferrier was a good worker but there isn’t any excuse for travelling to London before the results of her test were known. By being on the record calling for Cummings to resign 6 months ago, if she can’t practice what she preaches she makes herself out to be worse.

    Being no worse than the opposition is an insult to the voters, especially when the bar is already so low.

    For Big Jock & Dan,

    “If you’ve developed symptoms (however mild), stay at home for 10 days from the start of your symptoms and arrange to be tested. Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital.

    You should remain at home until you get the result of the test, and then follow the advice you will be given based on the result. “

    Tests can be ordered online so you don’t need to turn up at a walk-through centre, and if you do “You must not travel to walk-through test centres by taxi or public transport.” Results are supposed to be back within 48 hours but you would probably be kicked out if you hung around the test centre for that long!

  345. Balaaargh says:

    Stan Broadwood @9:47,

    “And if you are going to resign, then do it on the day the President of the United States catches Covid19.”

    He’s got a point. 24 hour news cycle and all that.

  346. Stonky says:

    For those who picked up on my post about Nicola Sturgeon, “one of the highest-ranked politicians in the world”:

    @holymacmoses: That’s jaw-dropping stuff about Kahan, but a whole different can of worms…
    @Skip_NC and Mike Cassidy: Good sleuthing! That is in fact Development Academy. So although it’s not mentioned on Acuity’s website, it does exist. And its website is identical in design to the Acuity site. And it’s very obviously a one-man band, who I suspect is all of Acuity as well.

    I wrote to him and asked him if I could have a copy of the original study. To be fair to him he answered me very quickly. He remained rather vague about the panel of experts and the methodology, but on the study (and I quote) “This was something that we did internally… As a result, I’m afraid we haven’t published a formal study.”

    So with a hat tip to Ben – who did mount a massively successful PR coup that got his tiny company’s name into every major MSM in the country – my surmise was correct.

    The Sturgeon acolytes’ claim that we should all be trusting and supporting her because she’s one of the most highly-ranked politicians in the world, actually results from a publicity stunt carried out by some anonymous nonentity in a two-bob training outfit from a tumbleweed market town in the middle of nowhere.

  347. FrankieB says:

    Margaret Ferrier reminds me of the old Hector Nicol joke. Jesus is walking along the road with his mother when they see a gang about to stone a prostitute to death. Jesus raises his hands and says “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” and a big rock whacks the prostitute right on the heid. Jesus turns to Mary and says “See you maw sometimes you get right on my wick!”

  348. Did Cummings resign did prince Charles resign she should say she will resign when they do and remember Charles took 70staff with him as well

  349. Dave Somerville says:

    Good point made up thread,,,how did Charlie, Prince of the Scroungers, get from London to Balmoral,,, broomstick???

    And why are no comparisons being made???

    Or Cummings driving around the English countryside,,, again no comparisons being made.

    The establishment media thought they could run with a Scottish MP Bad story all day,,,then along came Trump to save the day.

    Good old Donald,,,the one thing I liked about him was from day one, he called out the BBC as spreaders of Fake News,,,they have been on his case ever since.

  350. Bob Mack says:

    Ferrier has to go.

    Ask yourse!f a simple question. Would you board a train not knowing who was on board ,age ,illness etc. suspecting you had Covid? Some on here might but I think by far the majority would not.

  351. Big Jock says:

    Bob – Absolutely not.

    I would fear for my own job if my boss found out I was travelling with Covid.

  352. Stan Broadwood says:

    If the SNP put forward a new candidate for this seat, will you campaign for that candidate if they are a supporter of the GRA/Hate Crime Bill and another Sturgeon Stooge.

    If it was me, I would not support such a candidate and just put the seat down as a dead loss and let some Unionist take it.

    It would show the little crook Sturgeon we do not support her or her way forward regarding indyRef2.

  353. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Lizg ‘She came home
    What I’m saying is that, I’m not all that sure I wouldn’t have done the same thing, and I don’t think there’s a one of us who could claim they wouldn’t have either!!!’

    Sadly, when she bolted for the comfort of home, she used public transport and potentially put others at risk.

    From your postings, I don’t believe for one minute that had you been in the same position – tempted to run for home, scared and confused, you would have lost sight of the common human decency NOT TO PUT OTHERS AT RISK, not to abide by the rules your government has been imposing, not to be an irresponsible idiot.

    She never meant to screw up, I’m sure she regrets it, but there are consequences. There just are.

  354. Willie says:

    Just read a piece in Wednesday’s National that I’d some how missed in which the career lush Alan Smith declared that he was Convener of Policy has been visiting branches the length and bread of the country.

    And guess what, they’re all working hard totally focussed on the job in hand. Don’t know but to suggest that the membership is all singing off the same song sheet totally focussed is nothing shy of absolute fake news, and I don’t know to what audience he was giving this out.

    Certainly not the members and branches who in their droves declined his round the houses invitation for him to visit.

    Convener of Policy.? Don’t think so. The guys a woke, or should I say joke.

  355. Graeme says:

    holymacmoses says:
    2 October, 2020 at 9:40 am

    Here’s an interesting review of Shepherd and Wedderburn:

    2 reviews
    3 years ago
    Taking part in the bullying of a small business who chose to sell a product with a Scottish area name.

    I would avoid this company as much as possible as they take part in what can only be called a campaign of fear against a small business.

    In my opinion this is Shameful and Disgusting.


    In 2006 I had 2 court cases against me by the HMRC, they were represented by Sheppard & Wedderburn, I represented myself as I didn’t have the funds to pay for legal representation, I had no legal training and I wouldn’t class myself as particularly smart, as it turned out their court lawyers were utterly incompetent, they didn’t do their homework and I wiped the floor with them and won both cases, and as an aside they’re not above dirty tactics either

  356. Astonished says:

    Ferrier is being thrown under the bus. Unlike the dishonest rhiannon spears who is being protected. I assume ferrier isn’t woke enough.

    I wonder if ferrier regrets not signing the women’s pledge now?

    Will she change sides ?

  357. Beaker says:

    @LeggyPeggy says:
    2 October, 2020 at 3:25 am
    “Did they keep quiet to deflect the news headlines away from Nicola Sturgeon at Fmqs possibly knowing that an Msp would ask about the obstructions shown to the Harassment and Complaints Committee .”

    There was a shitload of that on the Internet yesterday evening, but I wanted to see if anyone else picked it up.

    How the fuck can you ever justify retaining essential public health information for political reasons?

    If the case is that the SNP deliberately withheld the information that she had been tested positive, then the shit is really going to hit the fan.

    I am getting a horrible feeling that something else even worse is about to be exposed, and I’m not talking about Tory Male MP Playmate of the Month (that’s buggered up everyone’s lunch 🙂 )

  358. James Barr Gardner says:

    Silas Marner and his fellow Calvinist Scrooge McDuck have happy endings, I very much doubt they’ll be one for the Hierarchy for the SNP !

  359. Lizg says:

    Daisy Walker @ 10.32
    I would love to think so Daisy and I thank you that you do think it of me.
    But while I can see how some could indeed make better choices I can also understand why some wouldn’t, either deliberately or in a panic.
    Mainly because I do know that had one of mine been at university in this year and tested positive I would not care what any rules were they would be coming home.
    Fine me,jail me whatever…. it’s non negotiable… my children wouldn’t ever face this away from home… so I can’t in good conscience judge any one else for returning home !

  360. Willie says:

    The SNP have apparently hired top law firm Sheppered and Wedderburn to defend and protect Nicola Sturgeon and her husband Peter Murrell in the Salmond shambles.

    That certainly tells you something.

    But who is paying for this advice. Where is the SNP getting the money to spend maybe upwards to a million pounds. Do the members agree. Is it in fact permissible and or legal.

    The questions about these two just get bigger and bigger and bigger.

  361. Bob Mack says:

    Nicola Sturgeon has acted on Ferried at least. She has not acted in the cse of her husband conspiring with others to put Alex on trial for his freedom. She either knows all this happened or she is the most out of touch leader in the history of the world. Either way she is guilty.

    The party are imploding, and I hope the main casualties are those that support the hierarchy. We need to remove their roadblocks on the road to Independence.

  362. Robert Graham says:

    Blackford being interviewed this morning and saying the MP in question should reflect on her position ,

    That’s fine you shouldn’t attempt to defend her stupidity ,

    But as a political leader he should have made sure he made the point every single person in the political arena should follow the same rule of Law , and she should offer her resignation at the same time as one Mr Cummings , if it’s good for one it’s good for all,

    A missed opportunity by a second rate politician , every open goal he misses its politics yah dummy , make a bloody point and bring as many Tory casualties down with her , because let’s face it she’s Toast , but it’s reasonable to get people to remember all the in digressions that others are guilty of including Johnstons dad traveled through Europe while he wasn’t supposed to ,

  363. Tartanpigsy says:

    Willie says:
    2 October, 2020 at 10:59 am

    The SNP have apparently hired top law firm Sheppered and Wedderburn to defend and protect Nicola Sturgeon and her husband Peter Murrell in the Salmond shambles.

    Can anyone confirm this?

    And who’s paying?

  364. Graeme says:

    Willie says:
    2 October, 2020 at 10:59 am

    The SNP have apparently hired top law firm Sheppered and Wedderburn to defend and protect Nicola Sturgeon and her husband Peter Murrell in the Salmond shambles.


    The worm is slowly turning

  365. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Have just watched FMQs. Listened to it yesterday but seeing it is a different thing altogether.

    NS looks like a wee wifie at the Returns queue in M&S, trying to get her money back for the smart wee suit she got for a cousin’s wedding.

    ‘But I only wore it the wance!’

  366. Robert Graham says:

    I expected Davidson to be all over the media this morning , but here comes the Shop Steward attempting to boost his Profile and deflect any attention from the Tory party ,

    On a lighter note maybe she served a purpose and possibly brushed up against some Tory MPs , every cloud has a silver lining , distasteful ! , well given the state of politics in this country it’s probably normal at this time, so no apologies , they are all scum and Barefaced Liars .

  367. MaggieC says:

    Re The Snp have hired top lawyers , check out Rev Stuart’s new post and the article is from the Herald ,

  368. stonefree says:

    @ Big Jock at 9:49 am

    “corporate law and tax” My Oh My, odd that Chief Woke Smith worked with Clifford Chance LLP as a Lawyer in that medium.
    Now If per chance a “dipping of the till” may have occurred due to a possible accounting error, I am quite sure that is not the case
    I worry that the SNP members will have to stump up!!!
    Then again
    Why should they? It is not down to them.
    Where will the money come from?
    I suggest the answer lies with John Prescott, being told Labour overdraft liability lay with the NEC
    and as Corporal Jones would say “Don’t panic!”, “Permission to speak, sir?” and “They don’t like it up ’em!
    All in all this is a crock of shit, and will drag this charade on for another year or so

  369. Hatuey says:

    The Ferrier case is trivial and serves as nothing more than a useful distraction for those that want to distract you.

  370. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Lizg ‘But while I can see how some could indeed make better choices I can also understand why some wouldn’t, either deliberately or in a panic.’

    I get you Lizg, but the people who don’t or can’t make the better choices in testing times… prove by their actions that they are not up to the job of being an elected representative, in these circumstances.

    She was not a young adult, at uni, first time away from home, she’s an adult, in a high profile, high powered job, in one of the leading institutes, where she and her colleagues are reponsible to MAKE THE LAWS she then went onto to flaunt.

    How would you feel if it was your son or daughter that served her – in one form or another – on that long trip, and if they or their relatives are vulnerable?

    It was a mistake, that’s a given, but she cannot continue in her current roll because of it.

    On another subject – legal representation for the Murrell’s in the Alex Salmond case – where was the legal protection availability for Michelle Thompson when she was being slandered out of the job? No group legal insurance scheme protection for her as I recall.

    Something else which will be unaccounted for.

    I wonder which body within the SNP hierarchy scrutinised this, put it to the vote, agreed it met some form of criterior. Be amazed if SNP standing orders agree to provide legal cover to its members for actions they are responsible which may amount to criminality.

    And another thing – have paid a visit – in view of the EU starting legal procedings agains Boris and co for breaching the Withdrawl Agreement – over at

    His latest essay is very interesting, and I’m beginning to think Joanna Cherry’s stand at WM pointing out the Internal Market Bill breaches the International Treaty – i.e. The Treaty of Union – is even more important.

    An appeal with regards the breach of the Withdrawl Agreement – is heard under European Court rules, and if the complaint is registered before 31/12/20 – has 4 years to be heard and adjudicated upon. A qualified lawyer – from the EU and UK, can initiate the complaint.

    I haven’t gone into it in great detail, but the initial parts of the WA – make big deal of acting in good faith, and (and this part I’ll need to research) in accordance with international treaties some of which it lists.

    The Internal Market Bill breaches fundamental core parts of the Treaty of Union with Scotland, how then can they negotiate in ‘good faith’, or indeed with any legal authority, with the EU with regards Scotland’s assets.

    I throw it open to the floor.

  371. Big Jock says:

    It could be that the law firm is one being utilised by Murrell for other purposes i.e tax or corporate irregularities.

    He may have then utilised them in the WhatsApp enquiry as well.

    Anyway as the Rev has pointed out. Why do you need a lawyer if you are open and honest and have nothing to hide. It stinks. Sturgeon we are watching every bit of this , don’t take us for fools.

  372. Effijy says:

    Ferrier is being asked by SNP colleagues to resign and
    Yet Ian Carmichael- Fib Den started French Gate and wasted
    £1 million on an enquiry before confessing it to be a made up lie
    was asked to consider his position?

    That lying clown was also cleared by Westminster’s parliamentary standards?

    We should do nothing for Westminster at any time and our lot don’t resign just like your lot.

    We can deal with such matters our own way as an independent nation.

  373. Colin Alexander says:

    £200 per hour is the starting price for a number of bog standard solicitors for private clients.

    I presume top ranked solicitors charge a LOT more.

  374. CameronB Brodie says:

    “Is Trump a problem because he is not actively dismantling Western culture by embracing the same ideas as his predecessors? Of course nowadays that amounts to ‘white supremacy’.

    Trump is a problem as he is a racist, sexist, narcissistic, authoritarian, parochial, gangster, i.e. a bit of a Nazi. Though there are plenty btl on WOS who’ll try to convince you differently. Such is the want of the radical right.

  375. Big Jock says:

    You know if I was Ferrier.

    I would refuse to give up my seat and point to Cummings as the example. Might upset Nicola as well , which is always a bonus these days!

  376. Alf Baird says:

    Daisy Walker @ 1231

    Several contributors, including me, have previously pointed out that the NI backstop would breach the ToU regarding trade etc. (Art VI). This, plus the fact the sovereign people of Scotland have rejected brexit, surely makes Scotland’s enforced withdrawal (by Rest-UK) from the EU unlawful. When Scotland’s sovereign representatives ever get around to testing this in a court they might also seek confirmation that 81% of Scotland’s national elected representatives may lawfully undo what 61% did back in 1706-7, and thereby save us all any further grief, uncertainty and subterfuge.

  377. stonefree says:

    @ Colin Alexander at 1:06 pm

    I believe Ms Cherry would be on £500 per hour when she was at Broadies, that said she is a QC

  378. stonefree says:

    Graeme at 10:34 am

    I too
    legal books from Amazon …..£65
    Look on Barristers face…….Priceless

  379. Col.Blimp IV says:

    shiregirl says:
    1 October, 2020 at 9:30 am

    “Wait. £50,000 per annum, approx per worker in SNP HQ?”

    …More Chiefs than Indians perhaps ?

  380. Dan says:

    @ Alf Baird at 1.53pm

    Re. Breaches of ToU highlighting internal constitutional issues within a State leaving the EU.
    Have you any thoughts or input on the aspects of Article 50, 49, but mainly 48 as briefly discussed in several comments after this post?

    It always seemed strange to me that more wasn’t made of this matter.

  381. Big Jock says:

    Well, well, well folks. The article below is the answer to why Murrell went after Salmond.

    It absolutely makes sense now. Salmond advised Sturgeon there was a conflict of interest with the CEO married to the leader.

    Sturgeon goes in the huff and Murrell goes for Salmond.

    Everything that’s happened makes perfect sense now.

  382. SOG says:

    Graham @ 1115 / 2nd

    S & W acted for the NTS here, below. The publicity damaged the NTS, making me wonder whether to continue as a member. Neil O’s later comment finished my support for them.

    I guess S & W were following instructions from the NTS.

    Anecdotally the company benefitted from the uproar engendered amongst outdoorsy types. I learned of them through all this and subsequently spent there, being well pleased with the purchases. And, anecdotally, the NTS backed down.

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