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Plough on regardless

Posted on March 05, 2021 by

Like an old man getting up for the fourth time in the middle of the night, the Scottish Government has squeezed out another little dribble of its legal advice in respect of the conduct of its shambolic investigation into false allegations against Alex Salmond.

And to push that gross analogy to its outermost limit, it must have found releasing one of the documents in particular as painful as passing a rather large kidney stone.

(Click pics to enlarge.)

“Anxious consideration” translates from lawyerspeak to “Jesus Christ look at the total f*cking mess you’ve made, you incompetent shower of chimp-shagging morons”.

Lawyerspeak translation: “You’ve dropped us right in it here, you cretins.”

Translation: “No way are we trying to sell this blind crippled pony to the court.”

Translation: “You absolute dicks.”

Translation: “The Permanent Secretary has been lying to us about what she knew.”

Translation: “If you go ahead with this case, you will definitely lose.”

Translation: “Seriously, you are absolutely screwed. Concede now, you idiots.”

Translation: “We want to make absolutely certain that the First Minister herself, in person, is aware of how absolutely hopeless this case is before we take instructions to carry on to the bitter and hopeless end.”

But counsel’s advice was ignored. At humungous expense to the Scottish taxpayer, the Commission And Diligence process went ahead (it started on the 19th, with witnesses and multiple lawyers for both sides in attendance, all on Christmas-holidays rates – we would be very surprised if the cost was under £50,000 a day), at which counsel was repeatedly forced to humiliatingly apologise to Lord Pentland after solemnly promising him that all relevant documents had been provided, only to then discover, again and again, that they had not. We can scarcely imagine their fury.

Three more weeks would pass before the Scottish Government finally conceded the case, even though they’d been told just five days after the above letter that the case had finally reached the point where counsel considered it unstatable.

(What this means, of course, is that if the Scottish Government hadn’t been hiding key evidence from its own counsel for months the whole thing would have collapsed much earlier. The case had in fact ALWAYS been unstatable, but the government’s lawyers had had the information they needed to know that concealed from them.)

So just to recap on counsel’s advice to its client:

31 OCTOBER (quote): “It makes little sense to continue to defend the indefensible”

17 DECEMBER (translated): “Your case is now so bad that we would be entitled to walk away, and we cannot see any possible benefit to you carrying on that outweighs the disastrous repercussions of doing so, but if you really insist then we’ll reluctantly continue because it hasn’t yet quite reached the point where it would be a serious breach of professional conduct on our part to keep taking your money.”

22 DECEMBER (translated): “Your case has finally moved from nearly-unstatable to actually unstatable. If we were to carry on representing you we would be tarred and feathered and chased out of town by an angry mob of other lawyers and judges. Concede now before you ruin our careers, you absolute tools.”

28 DECEMBER (translated): “What f*cking part of f*cking ‘concede now or we quit’ didn’t you f*cking understand, you f*cking arseholes?”

We think it’s fair to say, readers, that we can see why the Scottish Government has fought tooth and nail for many months to stop this legal advice being made public, and why it especially didn’t want it made public before Nicola Sturgeon gave evidence to the inquiry. We’ll leave you to ponder on its possible impact.

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    164 to “Plough on regardless”

    1. Clavie Cheil says:

      Be prepared to face another torrent of abuse from the Sturgeon Cultists Rev.

    2. PeterB says:

      So disclosure is delayed to prevent proper scrutiny in a public inquiry, aside from the damning contents this sort of cynical behaviour seems have become common place within this administration.

      It’s not acceptable

    3. Clavie Cheil says:

      I forgot to add that will be another 7,500 new members for the SNP by the looks of it.

    4. Alistair says:

      Jesus wept!

    5. This sort of behaviour in public office ought to not only end careers, but result in criminal prosecution.

    6. Big Jock says:

      The question is. Who is the chief strategist, deciding what and when it’s released.

    7. Patsy Millar says:

      Your ‘translations’ are a work of art.

    8. Mags says:

      They should recall her

    9. Perry Mason says:

      someone needs to be recalled to give a little more evidence.

    10. Mags says:

      PerSIST, PerSIST, PerSIST

    11. AdamH says:

      11.
      ….. We were (and remain) concerned that it will add fuel to the fire of the petitioner’s ‘conspiracy theory’.

      You’re not wrong there, Roddy.

    12. Adam says:

      Big Jock says:
      5 March, 2021 at 4:30 pm
      The question is. Who is the chief strategist, deciding what and when it’s released.

      Either it’s NS, in which case she broke the MC and should therefore resign

      or she has no handle on what’s happening within the SG, particularly concerning such a controversial and high profile issue, and should therefore resign

    13. Alice Timmons says:

      This, to me, is THE “Boom!” document. Absolutely proves it was a massive, unprofessional, malicious fuck up. NS (can’t even bear to say her name now) knew all about it and she and those about her have lied, and lied, and lied. But you just know social media will still be full of heads-up-arses, “eye on the prize” fuckwits, fingers in their ears, la-la-la-ing to oblivion..

    14. James Horace says:

      Are pieces of evidence still missing from November?

    15. Effigy says:

      The names of the complainers seem insignificant now.

      We do need to identify all those behind this vicious and prolonged
      attack on a man who was long expected to be innocent of any crime.

      Criminal proceedings must follow this matter when concluded.

    16. Wullie B says:

      Surely the Committee can recall the Head of the Witches Coven to ask her about this and other questions raised since Wednesday

    17. Rose Ford says:

      How can this be allowed? Not releasing this before she appeared at the Committee on Wednesday. Surely they need to tell her to come back?

    18. BoredHousewife says:

      The part that actually caught my eye wasn’t the highlighted parts, but the lines that ‘this would protect those that otherwise would be harmed by the vigorous nature of the challenge to be mounted’. If I’m reading this correctly, they advised the SG to concede, partly because the case was unstateable, but also to prevent the other issues being made public? If so, then this truly is shocking stuff indeed!

    19. crisiscult says:

      Do we know what the various grounds of challenge Alex Salmond had (setting aside the Judith McKinnon role I mean)? The lawyers seemed to think the case was somewhere between very weak and hopeless from early Autumn as I understand.

    20. Name (required) says:

      on a friday night at close of play too.
      how competent this government are – no wait, the other thing.

      but at least i know there is no (other) evidence as the ‘dear leader’ said so.

      phew

      back to whesting

    21. Christopher Quinn says:

      They were given the easy out of conceding that the appointment of JM, as investigating officer, was a technical error, which “could not sensibly be criticised”, and they still went full tilt. Nuts.

    22. Michael B says:

      Didn’t someone say recently – it may even have been Nicola Sturgeon – that she had never read a Counsel’s Opinion that couldn’t be interpreted as giving support to both sides of an argument? Well, if true, there’s a first time for everything and here it is.

      ‘We understand that this is well understood by those “in the crosshairs” – most obviously the Permanent Secretary and the First Minister.’

      ‘It would be possible simply to accept (as is our genuine advice as a matter of law) that the appointment of JM as Investigating Officer was, whilst made in bona fide, on reflection indefensible. That would render nugatory all of the other, potentially more harmful, aspects to the challenge.’

      Phew! Try to pick something supportive out of that. No wonder Nicola Sturgeon didn’t want this released before she testified to the Harassment Committee or answered FMQs yesterday. There appears to be a strong argument now that she lied on both occasions.

    23. Fireproofjim says:

      It is quite clear from the above that the sticky fingers of Leslie Evans (Permanent Secretary) are all over this from the very beginning. Her stupidity or malice or incompetence are obvious throughout.
      How she is still in post after her utterly disastrous performance beggars belief.

    24. Runner 118 says:

      Sturgeon should be recalled and the VONC in Swinney brought to parliament at the earliest opportunity.
      Furthermore, this should now be a police enquiry into the attempts to pervert the course of justice that have been going on.
      Btw, there are still huge gaps in this correspondence.

    25. J Galt says:

      Roddy’s cheery wee festive message was particularly entertaining.

      Taking the piss with style.

    26. Strathy says:

      ‘The case had in fact ALWAYS been unstatable, but the government’s lawyers didn’t have all the information they needed to know that.)’

      All concerned have broken their respective codes of conduct.

      They should be removed from office and investigated.

    27. AnneDon says:

      How are any of them still in a job? You wouldn’t get away with this level of incompetence and hiding of awkward facts if your job was issuing parking tickets – they’re getting away with it when they’re supposed to be running our country!

    28. unsigned says:

      Mags says:
      5 March, 2021 at 4:35 pm

      They should recall her
      **********************
      +1 and ask if the 17 December 2018 Joint Note had been withheld from her and, if so, by whom and until when?

    29. 100%Yes says:

      I’ve heard this somewhere before, “Ian Blackford says, vote could be held this year” for Independence. Do you know what, I’m going to vote to protect Scotland’s interests and I’m not going to vote for the SNP either. I reckon I’d be doing my country the biggest favour not voting SNP, but, and I do mean but, if the SNP do have a referendum I’ll not only be shocked I’ll be totally surprised and I make sure I do my bit to remove Scotland from the Union, but some how I reckon this “could be” talk of a referendum is all and only because there is an election in May 2021.

      When someone lies to you, it’s because they don’t respect you enough to be honest, and they think you’re too stupid to not know the difference.

    30. John Mytton says:

      https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/correspondence/2021/02/legal-advice-related-to-the-parliamentary-inquiry-into-the-scottish-governments-handling-of-harassment-complaints-sghhc/documents/29-december-2018/29-december-2018/govscot%3Adocument/LPP%2B-%2Blegal%2Badvice%2B-%2BMinute%2Bof%2B29%2BDecember%2B2018%2B-%2B21%2BDecember%2B2020%2B4.pdf

      Page 8 of this document – the scottish government denied that they only conceeded the case after counsel threatened to resign.

      This seems to disprove that, counsel threatened to resign on the 28th of December – funnily enough this note hasn’t been published with the rest of them.

    31. holymacmoses says:

      What drove these people and for what purpose?

    32. Cudneycareless says:

      You have to forgive her she spent 8 hours (not) answering questions on Wednesday and you can not expect the leader of the government to be held to account for the actions of a few people .

      Where are the “men in grey suits” to take her away.

    33. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      Dear god the breathtaking incompetence and criminality, for that is what it appears to be, is difficult to believe.

      I am aware that generally most politicians are just nasty dishonest Alpha types not the most clever sorts.

      However when in senior political post you have the luxury of well paid advisors and legal types.

      There is no excuse for such conduct.

    34. unsigned says:

      PRIVILEGED AND CONFIDENTIAL LEGAL ADVICE – NOT FOR PUBLICATION
      JOINT NOTE BY SENIOR AND JUNIOR COUNSEL
      for the Respondents in the Petition of Alex Salmond, Petitioner, for Judicial Review

      1 We have drafted this note for the eyes of the Lord Advocate and Paul Cackette only.

    35. JSC says:

      Leslie Evans is up to her neck in this. She is clearly out of her depth and not smart enough for this role.

      Serious consequences will follow

      Probably another raise and contract extension

    36. James Carroll says:

      What an embarrassment. This is next level incompetence.

    37. Monica Worley says:

      Does 31 say also that they would have had serious trouble with the case even without the problems of the IO? The part about ‘potentially more harmful, aspects to the challenge’? My legalese isn’t that good but that’s what I’m picking up. Anyone?

    38. ahundredthidiot says:

      Theory of conspiracy is not the same as conspiracy theory.

    39. Republicofscotland says:

      Rev.

      Mike Russell says you’re talking nonsense.

      “A CONTROVERSIAL pro-independence blog has come under fire for making “nonsense” claims about a leaked SNP manifesto.

      Wings Over Scotland said it had a copy of “a draft SNP manifesto introduction” written by Michael Russell, Scotland’s Constitutional Secretary.”

      https://www.thenational.scot/news/19139908.wings-scotland-blogger-fire-nonsense-claims-snp-manifesto/

    40. Bob Leslie says:

      Ever since Blair just ignored calls to do the traditional thing and resign, the public has become accustomed to politicians ignoring convention – to the point that it is no longer convention.
      This would indeed be earthshaking in a pre-90s context, but not now. The majority of the public, outside of our little bubble here, simply do not care about legal quibbles – particularly if those quibbles require them to think. Appearance has triumphed over content. “That nice lassie who got us through the pandemic” is untouchable to them.
      She skated through the hearing, enveloping anything serious in “I don’t remember”-type fluff and projecting herself as “confident but vulnerable” (aka laughing out the side of her face at the quality of interrogation).
      I sat through the lot. Nerds such as I saw a parade of falsehood and showmanship. Most folk will hear about it from others or will, at most, have seen 5-minute excerpts. As such, they will miss all the deflection and refusal to address. All they know is that nice, concerned woman who turns up on their COVID briefings – and they like HER. They certainly are not concerned in the slightest as to who knew what and when.
      The media are also going pretty easy on her – the Record was surprisingly anodyne. There may be a reason behind that, who knows?
      Barring something HUGE and unignorable coming from the Hamilton investigation, she’s skated and will be leading her party into the May election without a mark on her.

    41. Molly's Mum says:

      There is something else the Incompetence Posse have been allowed to drip feed into the public consciousness, and I am sure I picked it up on Wednesday, although it’s hard to remember everything when you are slamming your head off the kitchen table and swearing a lot

      The drip feed is that the Judicial Review was ONLY lost on the “unfortunate” mistake of allowing Judith McKinnon to be the Investigating Officer, so when the FM or anyone else involved talks about the JR they want us to believe that everything else was just fine and dandy with their case against Alex Salmond.

      The truth of course is that there were errors galore in their hastily put together trap, sorry, procedure but the moment they conceded the case then the Court indicated that everything else was disregarded because the case was not going ahead. They are moot points.

      There were flaws a-plenty in the whole shebang but the way the Cabal tell the tale, it was just one teensy-weensy mistake in asking Judith McK to be I.O., and if they’d only asked Teenie fae Troon who does the Teas on a Tuesday that would have been fine and Alex would be in the jail by now.

      I used to worship this party, now the more I learn, the more they make me want to throw up

    42. Dinny Vote SNP says:

      Like many, I keep wondering why and how do they do these things, all the NEC shenanigans, List rigging, hated policies – GRA/HCB etc, the disappearance of the ring fenced money, the loss of so many members (even with 5k+ new ones overnight – if you believe it), the centralisation of power and disenfranchisement of ordinary members and branches, never mind this whole AS Conspiracy, and the truth shines out quite clearly. The obvious conclusion has to be – they are simply not interested in Independence, only on retaining power for another 5 years. That crosses all the t’s and dots all the i’s, doesn’t it.

    43. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Oh FFS, how much more of this shite!?!

      When will we see a wee bit of ‘justice’?

      How long do we have to wait?!

      And you wheeshters – we know you’re reading – when will youse get a fuckin grip? Aside from anything else, the sheer scale of your persistent ignorance is making our entire movement look ridiculous. Get the fuck over yourselves and accept the hairy-arsed facts staring you in the face.

      So sick of it all now.

      🙁 🙁 🙁

    44. stonefree says:

      @ Clavie Cheil at 4:23 pm

      If the 7,500 new members each give £100 , then that the ringfenced money back in the kitty, I suppose if they chuck in another £50 or so that’ll pay the Smith and Murrell legal cost ,so far

    45. Astonished says:

      Apparently the murrells are great at spending other people’s money.

      Think what could have been done to ameliorate the abject poverty in Scotland with this money spaffed against a wall to bolster NS’s ego.

    46. Republicofscotland says:

      On the subject above John Swinney has the audacity to say the traunch of document released over the Alex Salmond inquiry “comprehensively disproves” claims that they had continued the case despite it, according to the Deputy First Minister.

      To think I used to have a bit of respect for Swinney, not anymore.

    47. Mr Bonobo says:

      How can they not recall Sturgeon after that? How can they justify a 48 hour delay releasing this bit of advice?

    48. Liz says:

      @clavie cheil we should all vote as we please.
      Just saying the list vote in H&I is particularly problematic.
      It will be filled by a self ID disabled candidate – that in itself is abominable.

      You could end up with Spears if SNP fail in the constituency.
      She is one serious trouble maker.

      We have waited FOUR days, the list choices are still not available, despite being counted electronically.
      That, in itself, is a worry

    49. Geoff Anderson says:

      If this is what is being reluctantly released under pressure I can only imagine what was passed through the shredders, been burnt, wiped from discs/memory files and of course “forgotten” about.

      Have these fools no understanding of history regarding such cases?
      Someone will crack. A forgotten document will turn up. A recorded phone call will appear.

      To those hiding information – You are just as guilty as the leader. This type of organised cover up just attracts more and more scrutiny.

    50. Willie says:

      Agree with Mags – Sturgeon should be recalled. I was surprised that when FM was boldly telling us that their legal advice was actually very positive there wasn’t more made of the fact that that was because it was being given on the back of carefully selected and redacted information deliberately designed to hide the true facts from their own legal advisors. These were not “mistakes” – they were clear attempts to pervert the course of justice!

    51. Geoff Anderson says:

      Liz

      I agree regarding H&I. If I don’t vote for SNP, First vote, I increase the the Woke list candidate chances ( loss of a constituency reduces the list divisor).

      I think we have to do it on a case by case basis. Which SNP candidate in the constituency can you accept. I think some like Jenny Minto in Argyll deserve it on a personal level.
      I can think of some it would be hard to support.

    52. Jimmy Hutton says:

      Them sad West Wing fans in St. Andrews House do love to stck to type on ‘take out the trash day’……perhaps we’ll get a big blick of cheese fae Betty Lloyd next week ??

    53. Garrion says:

      At this point there have been so many “BOOOOM!” moments that it’s pretty much another Tuesday (I know it’s Friday).

      There are two parallel realities here, and I’ll leave you to determine which one is ascendant.

      There is the legal reality that the FM, and a whole bunch of senior staff and civil servants broke the shit out of the law repeatedly and comically.

      This might end in a legal judgement, if there were anyone willing to prosecute, but at the moment it seems like asking the dude who’s stealing your car to call the police.

      There is the political reality. Thanks to a terrifying alignment of media, pliant political opposition, some SERIOUS social media manipulation (not the SNP balloons, they’re amateur hour)and a relatively uninformed or Covid inconvenienced public.

      She is gonna walk, I’ll bet a tenner on it. So, what’s plan C?

    54. My latest article on Sturgeon’s answers:

      37 times Nicola Sturgeon ‘forgot’

    55. Big Jock says:

      Swinney saying it proves no conspiracy. How in God’s name does it. This is like some kind of communist state propaganda.

      BBC saying it blows out Salmonds conspiracy theory. FFS

    56. Derek M Morison says:

      Intriguing detail in para.12 that redacted addressee was ‘outside of Scot. Gov. and identified in para.7 as ‘a former colleague of’ ‘REDACTED’ who sent the email?

    57. Bob Leslie says:

      Outside of our small politically-minded bubble, she’s skated it. Most will be seeing stuff like this from the BBC:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-56281854

      They won’t be watching 8 hours of slick, slippery avoidance.
      Sorry, but everyone who isn’t a politics nerd I’ve talked to thinks she’s won, and the media are going FAR more easy on her than she deserves – which arouses my suspicions regarding any real intent on her part to seek Independence.

    58. Studhog says:

      Never forget, in her original submission to the enquiry, LE stated that she informed NS in November then subsequently changed her mind to late March/early April. I believe her first statement.
      Questions around which date, with four days in-between is a giant Magpie flying over Edinburgh, hauling a rainbow flag with the word ‘REDACTED’ on it.

      Why are names redacted from these and previous documents unless the recipient is a complainer, being protected or both?

    59. Clavie Cheil says:

      ” Liz says:
      5 March, 2021 at 5:26 pm

      @clavie cheil we should all vote as we please.
      Just saying the list vote in H&I is particularly problematic.
      It will be filled by a self ID disabled candidate – that in itself is abominable.

      You could end up with Spears if SNP fail in the constituency.
      She is one serious trouble maker.

      We have waited FOUR days, the list choices are still not available, despite being counted electronically.
      That, in itself, is a worry”

      —————————————————-

      Aye 4 days according to a friend who is still in the Party and still no results despite it being done electronically allegedly. Richard Lochhead hasn’t covered himself in glory the last few days either and he is my MSP. He has been displaying signs of Sturgeonitis and claiming lots of new members joining up. The idea of voting for even him makes me retch. It is like something out of the Stepford Wives.

    60. Mia says:

      This bit made my blood boil:

      “The decision to proceed has been taken by very experienced legal and political minds, who are entitled to proceed as they wish”

      Who are those experienced political and legal minds?
      Can we have names, please?

      And no, when it is taxpayers’ money what they are haemorrhaging, they are not “entitled” to proceed as they wish. They would be entitled to proceed as they wish if they were paying their enormous fckng mistakes with their own money, not with ours.

      I am raging.

    61. Hamish Kirk says:

      Support for NS and her cabal may be on the increase. Most punters out there do not have the inclination or the ability to follow all this. They are busy with The Gowks’ Kist in the corner of the room. NS and her cult will win in May and lead us onward to their Wokeroko Lunacies.

    62. Artur sweet says:

      No wait everyone, you have forgotten about those poor women, whom I actual don’t know, and this was hard for me too (lower lip begins to tremble). I should just stop there…..

    63. robertknight says:

      Wouldn’t have made any difference if the documents had been released before NS was ever so gently quizzed.

      She’d still have given it the “I don’t know” treatment.

      I’m surprised she can even remember her home address, let alone anything else.

    64. Mia says:

      It is hard to believe there is no communications at all for November. I take that Swinney is still sitting on them?

    65. robertknight says:

      Mia @5:54

      “This bit made my blood boil”

      Don’t get mad – get even…

      #NoVotesSNP

    66. Gary Dollard says:

      This shows that those involved learnt nothing from the collapse of the court case for withholding information, and simply carry on doing the same.

      It is scandalous that this was not released before Sturgeon’s appearance, and that allowed her to lie about what she knew and the strength of the case.

      Just when you think this shit shower has plumbed the depths, along comes someone with a bigger shovel…..

    67. Beaker says:

      @Clavie Cheil says:
      5 March, 2021 at 4:23 pm
      “I forgot to add that will be another 7,500 new members for the SNP by the looks of it.”

      More like 7,500 existing members who have posted on FB and Twitter that they have now joined.

    68. Mia says:

      “The lawyers seemed to think the case was somewhere between very weak and hopeless from early Autumn as I understand”

      I would not be surprised if by that time Mr Salmond’s lawyers had more information on the case than the government counsel themselves.

    69. Dulwich says:

      FFS …. I worked in a Civil Service department undertaking internal serious formal grievance complaints for 3 years. Rule Number 1. If you knew or had any previous contact with either the complainant or the subject of the complaint you recused yourself. IMMEDIATELY.

      This goes beyond shambolic.

    70. Andrea says:

      @Mia, it seems clear to me that it was the LA, whose role is becoming more and more shady as time goes by.
      OK, she broke the ministerial code, big deal! The cover up is the worrying bit, the lack of separation of powers is even a bigger deal and the unaccountability of the government – that you get as a consequence – is the biggest deal if all.

    71. Have they not just done the same thing with the highly illegal `positive discrimination` on the regional list,

      lawyer says `no` Scot Gov interprets that as lawyer says `yes`,

      they have thrown science and logic out the window for feelings and rainbows,

      2+2=5.

    72. Name (required) says:

      i dont know about yous but i think i shall join the SNP – he lied smoothly – i think i might go far.

    73. Baxter says:

      @ Bob Leslie

      I think there are a lot more people who are paying attention to what is going on than you realise, over the last few day people particularly women who I have spoken with are disgusted with Sturgeon and Co.
      I was totally shocked today when a rather polite, well educated wife of a friend described Sturgeon as a “lying c**t, I have never heard her swear before and her husband said she absolutely hates that the use of that word!

    74. John Cleary says:

      It’s almost as though somebody is operating a protection racket to shelter all these conspirators, isn’t it?

    75. iain mhor says:

      ‘Interpreting for the neds’ – on point.
      Rev McGlinchie 😀

    76. zebedee says:

      Para 31 is a cracker:

      We are told that there are
      other aspects to the case which justify the running of the defence and that, accordingly, there is no prospect of the petition being conceded.
      That decision is not for us to take and as long as informed consent is given the decision to proceed is one which we must obey. We are, however, entirely unconvinced as to what benefit that might arise from the hearing in January that might outweigh the potentially disastrous repercussions thereof. Leaving aside the large expenses bill that would inevitably arise, the personal and political fallout of an adverse decision – especially if, as may be the case, it is attended by judicial criticism – seems to us to be something which eclipses by some way the possibility of helpful judicial comments. That being so, and recognising as we do that the wider political picture is something that others are far better than are we to comment upon, we cannot let pass uncritically the suggestion that the petition cannot be conceded.

      That was the LA’s decision on Dec 11 to press on regardless, because it would be fun to have a judgement on whether a procedure was appropriate, and _this_ procedure in particular.

      Having ignored all advice to that point, rushed the policy into effect, ignored all arguments from Salmond’s lawyers, ignored the fact they are being sued, now the LA thinks it would be most illuminating to get a legal opinion on the procedure…

    77. Stephen P says:

      Mia says:
      5 March, 2021 at 6:03 pm
      “It is hard to believe there is no communications at all for November. I take that Swinney is still sitting on them?”

      There was a meeting between FM, perm sec and external counsel on Nov 13th. According to Swinney no minutes were taken…

      Extraordinary. Highly irregular. Nothing to see here.

    78. Edward MacD says:

      The problem with secrets is they’re like a spider. Fist it becomes a mass, grows legs, begins spinning webs, and webs, and webs, and webs, and webs… an so on until the wee beastie dies and becomes the nothingness that has always been.

    79. twathater says:

      It is NOW URGENT that the HR elections HAVE to be postponed to allow the committee and James Hamilton to take on board the disgraceful DRIBBLE and DELIBERATE timing of their releases, also would it not be acceptable and prudent for Alex and his solicitors to DEMAND an investigation take place by an uncontaminated source to decide if a contempt of court order has taken place and a search warrant issued by the court has been ignored and frustrated
      Surely the judiciary are not happy that their orders have been flippantly abused

    80. Ian Spruce says:

      @StephenP @ 6.17

      That was clearly government business so notes should have been taken and, if they weren’t, isn’t that a breach of the ministerial code?

    81. Mia says:

      Am I the only one concerned about the explanation they are giving for certain name from outwith the Sgov to be included in the email to justify the over-redaction?

      Am I the only one whose jaw dropped to the floor at the thought that they can be so blasé about including third parties in what should be at this point confidential communication that should have never left the Sgov?

      This is as bizarre as it is incredible. I don’t believe for a second including that person in the email was “a mistake”. That was no mistake. What would be a mistake is to reveal their identity to the public. Why?

      This is an event where the redactions recommended and made by their counsel were overruled by civil servants who went beyond their way to protect their own arses from their own “incompetence”.

      One has to wonder, how many instances and how many other documents have been subjected to the same kind of legally unjustifiable double redaction?

      This is ridiculous.

    82. Dulwich says:

      What bit of yer case is fucked didn’t the LA, the Perm.Sec & the FM understand. All 3 need to be sacked, prosecuted & their fat pensions lost.

    83. Mike Robson says:

      I believe that I have discovered and can reveal to Scotland the reason for ‘Wee Blinkies’ rapid eye movements.
      In Ken Burns superb ‘Vietnam War’ documentary, a USAF Colonel shot down over North Vietnam and imprisoned in the notorious jail, the ‘Hanoi Hilton’ was paraded in front of the worlds media for a stage managed ‘confession’.
      While ‘confessing’ in front of his captors and the tv crews he blinked out the words in Morse Code – T.O.R.T.U.R.E’
      I have slowed down a replay of the FM’s testimony to the Holyrood Committee and discovered that she is quite clearly blinking in Morse Code the following words, presumably to her MI5 handler – ‘I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.EN.C.E S.C.R.E.W.E.D. M.I.S.S.I.O.N. C.O.M.P.L.E.T.E.’

    84. zebedee says:

      Also in para 31

      That being so, and recognising as we do that the wider political picture is something that others are far better than are we to comment upon, we cannot let pass uncritically the suggestion that the petition cannot be conceded.

      Wider political picture? Yes Roddy, we read you loud and clear on that. Translation: FM insists we keep going. This is not about winning the JR.

    85. Menstruator says:

      I haven’t checked the transcript but wasn’t NS asked in terms whether the legal team had threatened to resign and wriggled out of giving an answer?

    86. Republicofscotland says:

      Ian Blackford misleading the Scottish public yet again by saying that an indyref could be held at the end of this year, but dealing with Covid-19 and the recovery from it comes first.

      Blackford added that the “key” would be putting in place circumstances which would allow for an independence vote to be held.

      https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/uk-news/indyref2-snps-ian-blackford-says-scottish-voters-could-face-independence-referendum-in-late-2021-3155331

    87. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Sturgeon will barely be bothered by this.

      She will continue to be protected until teh election campaign starts – then whe will be drowned by a tsunami of the stuff the Rev has been posting for months.

      Then, the soft SNP support will vanish, while the more-sensible of the faithful will withdraw support.

      Bang goes Independence for a decade.

      Thanks Sturgeonistas.

    88. AnneMarie D says:

      I agree with Alice Timmons@4.41pm and Zebedee@6.15pm
      This is a Boom because it states that you might have other reasons and want to argue them but there is a massive elephant in the room overshadowing all of that. It basically no longer matters.

      I am also impressed at the professionalism and courtesy shown to other lawyers, why would they want to tarnish their own reputation. At least they respect the law and not just the dosh.

      I am most disturbed about all this “search” for documents pish. I am an Administrator in a large institution and the only way to manage emails and documents is by creating lots of folders that clearly explain what is held within. Are they seriously saying that highly paid Civil Servants don’t understand the basics of information management.

      Ms A would be a folder and Ms B would be a folder for all of them, especially Judith Mckinnon FFS. The whole thing would be a Project Folder for want of a better description. Meetings with Legal is a Folder. Many sub-folders depending on how much you like splitting things up.

      My point is these people do not have an Inbox with trillions of email unsorted. They are professional administrators and know how to manage information. I could find entire email correspondence with a person because I know which folder it is in. Are we seriously saying JM didn’t know where to find correspondence with Ms A and B without a Court appointed Commissioner standing over her. It is just not believable.

    89. Stephen P says:

      Ian Spruce says:
      5 March, 2021 at 6:23 pm
      @StephenP @ 6.17

      “That was clearly government business so notes should have been taken and, if they weren’t, isn’t that a breach of the ministerial code?”

      Clearly a breach of civil service code for sure. Swinney might just be forced to find them down the back of the sofa in which case he has broken the ministerial code.

      This meeting is thought to be where counsel tells FM the game’s a bogey.

    90. Bob Mack says:

      @Monica Worley,

      Your right. Though Nicola stated is was all about one person McKinnon, actually the QC makes the point Alex had potential grounds involving aspects of the case which could be more damaging.

    91. Jockanese Wind Talker says:

      I’m assuming it is Leslie Evans who is currently responsible for what evidence is released and when that evidence is released to the Fabiani Enquiry?

      I wonder if James Hamilton is getting fucked about to the same extent?

      Otherwise WTAF!

    92. Robert Graham says:

      Going on the assumption Team Sturgeon are able to read.

      What is your opinion of the exchanges between the SNP Government and their legal representatives the legal advice you are paying for , money well spent ?

      A cause worth pursuing , added to this is hundreds of police hours over more than a year , almost 400 people interviewed with the result , hee haw , fk all , nada ,and a bill possibly running into the Millions , good governance and a healthy respect for democracy,

      Or just pure vindictive spiteful behaviour intended to Jail one man who posed a threat .

      In your own time the excuses should be interesting.

    93. Al-Stuart says:

      .
      Stuart,

      Your stalker, Pete WetFart keeps crowing that you are finished and there is nothing to see here. That Wings has been neutered and the Sturgeon Government has effectively finished you off.

      Pete WishFux is wrong, wrong and wrong again,

      As a former law officer I provide you with three pieces of advice. No charge. Free. Gratis. Pro bono….

      1). Please will someone here consider lodging a formal complaint of Malfeasance in Public Office. The cost of that is rightly to Police Scotland. If chief constable Iain Livingstone waffles on trying to avoid working to earn his grand salary saying “not a police matter”, then register a formal complaint against Mr Livingstone of Neglect of Duty?

      2). Please will someone here seek to have the avoidable legal costs as EVIDENCED by the missives above and cited in this article INVESTIGATED and ASSESSED by the Auditor General of Scotland and those “avoidable costs” SURCHARGED TO THE PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF NICOLA FERGUSON STURGEON?

      3). As a matter of urgency before evidence is tampered with, PLEASE will someone on here request Police Scotland investigate the whereabouts of the “woven” stolen/embezzled £600,000 YES campaign money?

      The most appropriate allegation against whomsoever has/had custody of that money is THEFT BY CLANDESTINE POSSESSION.

      In other words now they have been found out of stealing £600,000, the miscreants are attempting to PERVERT THE COURSE OF JUSTICE and put the money back, then through false accounting, state that it has been spent on the wages of Marco Biagi and others being inveigled into a toxic, criminal enterprise.

      The fairly rare Scots Law crime/offence of THEFT BY CLANDESTINE POSSESSION may be clarified with this analogy…

      Iif you steel ten bottles of whiskey out of the Victoria Wine Off Licence, then on your way home you spot two burly Polis outside your front door clutching a big CCTV tape marked “Vicky Wine Shop CCTV”, the thief then realises they have been found out and are about to get lifted for a sojourn in the pokey (jail). To cover their illegal activities, the Ned sneaks back into Victoria Wine and puts the ten bottles of whiskey back on the shelves. That does not make them innocent.

      You cannae get a little bit pregnant.

      It’s well overdue for some proper police work into Sturgeon and her bent politicians. They are not above the law.

      I would do this, but my lifespan is significantly reduced and someone needs to be fit, able and last long enough for the inevitable court case.

      Thank you.

    94. Toby says:

      This release of the legal advice to the Scottish Gov. just got about 30 secs. of a mention on BBC Scotland. Saw nothing on STV news. Nothing to see. Move on.

    95. Al says:

      Mike Robson says: 6:27 pm
      Nice one, it was Commander Jeremiah Denton who late became a Republican Senator in Alabama. Maybe that is what is lacking in politicians these days, they needs to be shot down and survive eight years of torture to sort their morals and priorities out.

    96. Monica Worley says:

      Thanks, Bob. So Nicola’s insistence that the case would have been fine except for the IO bit was another lie. SHe knew differently from this advice. #SturgeonLies

    97. Mosstrooper says:

      People have bought the “I’m but a poor put upon woman” tale.They are conflating Sturgeon “the hero of Covid” with Scotland and Independence. I had one zoomer pracically call me unfeeling because I have no pity for Nicola who had her best friend disclose his disgusting behaviour to her and broke her heart.
      There is no reasoning with such as these.

    98. Unlimiter says:

      Big Jock says:
      5 March, 2021 at 5:42 pm
      “Swinney saying it proves no conspiracy.”

      Swinney is clearly gaslighting here as a last line of defence, I assume.

    99. Kane McKenzie says:

      Is this a Tory website? Genuinely don’t know anymore?

    100. Betsy says:

      Results in for the SNP lists!

      Spear in 8th place and the Ladies Loo Lurker Josh Mennie came last. Old Ma Mennie will be raging.

      https://twitter.com/ComeToGhana/status/1367905318815039488

    101. A Person says:

      Good news on the lists.

      Interesting that NS only got second place on hers…

    102. Bob Mack says:

      @Kane McKenzie,

      No. You really ,really don’t know much do you?

    103. Al says:

      Kane McKenzie says:
      5 March, 2021 at 7:06 pm

      Is this a Tory website? Genuinely don’t know anymore?
      No Kane, this is where intelligent, adults with life experience and a working brain discuss the failings and corruption of our Government/Political parties with the view to making the future better, interspersed with sarchasm and non PC humour.

    104. Breeks says:

      Anybody who was awake back in 2014 and watching the rotten media slagging off Scottish Independence at every opportunity, (remember London Calling, BBC bias in 2014?), cannot be feeling comfortable at the same BritNat Propagandists lining up to gloss over Sturgeon’s grubby conspiracy.

      WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU???

      Sturgeon was the toast of Tory Downing St in 2016, when she gifted Theresa May years of trouble free Brexit Negotiations without any disruption or constitutional complications from Scotland, she was the toast of Tory Downing St when she abdicated Scotland’s Constitutional Sovereignty, and she’ll be the toast of Tory Downing St again when she finally wrecks the Scottish Independence movement.

    105. Ron Maclean says:

      Once again Nicola Sturgeon and her tamed natives demonstrate that they’re not fit and proper people to lead a regional office let alone an independent state. It doesn’t look as if they’ll ever tire of keeping Scotland in disrepute.

      Someday, somewhere there might be a tough, ruthless character who’s just about had enough of Sturgeon’s unconstitutional crap and who has the qualities necessary to lead us to the promised land.

      If you’re out there, what are you waiting for?

    106. Mia says:

      “By email around noon on Thursday we received a note concerning the Permanent Secretary’s position. It was not a precognition: it comprises 4 short paragraphs and it is not clear to us that it is in the Permanent Secretary’s own words”

      ehh????

      Does it mean the Permanent Secretary was not writing her own emails to counsel and somebody else was writing them on her behalf? Who was that?

      This JR is quite possibly the stickier situation Lesley Evans had ever seen herself as Permanent Secretary at the time. And it is very clear counsel was asking for a precognition to know their grounds and how to best proceed.

      What can possibly be more serious and concerning for the permanent secretary at that time than the JR initiated around her own procedure?

      And yet she is leaving the communications with counsel on her behalf to be written by somebody else? Is this for real?

      I can only see two possibilities here:

      1. She has been promoted beyond her abilities and cannot formally communicate coherently with lawyers so she has some minion to write the letters on her behalf to look moderately competent. Or

      2. Because of the JR and the political implications, somebody above LE took over completely the course of the Sgov response to the judicial review and communications with senior counsel casting Evans (and perhaps others) totally aside as if they were only puppets. Who? The LA? The Crown Agent? Somebody else?

      There is another important matter here: In that letter counsel clearly states that in the meeting they had on the 10 November 2018 they clearly instructed those present on behalf of the Sgov to prepare an statement on behalf of the Permanent Secretary with a precognition. The instruction was to take the PS through all the documents to state what she had knowledge of. They needed this to mount the defence. They gave them a deadline 13 December. That is over a month. Yet, reached that deadline, they send a meagre email that included not precognition.

      why wouldn’t Evans respond as soon as possibly giving to counsel what they wanted? Why jeopardising their own defence?

      a) Did she chose to do this herself or somebody else advised her to not do the precognition?

      b) she was not at the meeting of hte 10th November. Was she ever instructed by those present to conduct the precognition?

      So who made the decision of not conducting the precognition? Who made the decision of taking until the last possible minute to send a communication that was not what counsel asked for when they were given a whole month to produce it?

      Had they produced that precognition in November and perhaps counsel would have instructed them to concede the case sooner. In other words, that move alone may have prolonged the JR for a month. It seems that there is a clear intent to run down the clock here and prolong the judicial review for as long as possible.

      What interest could they have in prolonging the JR making it progressively more expensive for the taxpayer?

      Would it be to ensure they did not concede before the police investigation against Mr Salmond had reached momentum and there was enough material to bring the criminal case forward leaving no gaps in between the JR and the criminal case giving Mr Salmond the opportunity to return to the SNP or, heaven forbid, coming back to politics and accelerating independence?

      Am I the only one that is starting to feel there has been a third party driving this JR well beyond the point it was reasonable to drop it? What would be the intention of this, to discredit the SGov and Sturgeon or was it to stop Evans conceding the judicial review before Mr Salmond was tied with the criminal case?

    107. Betsy says:

      @APerson

      Sturgeon was probably top in terms of votes but first place is reserved for a BAME candidate.

    108. merganser says:

      The Salmond Affair. Bigger than a Shakespearean Tragedy?

      When, not if, the full facts come out (as they always do in cases like this) and the truth becomes known, the people of Scotland will know the level of contempt with which they have been treated by those who knew the truth all along, but pretended they didn’t. This includes:
      the First Minister; the Scottish Government; a large section of the Scottish Parliament; the Scottish press; the BBC.

      Shakespearean tragedies were invariably based on individual characters. This is a tragedy of the treatment of a nation.

    109. Clavie Cheil says:

      Kane McKenzie says:
      5 March, 2021 at 7:06 pm

      “Is this a Tory website? Genuinely don’t know anymore?”
      ——————————————————–

      The Yoon Sturgeon Cult is scraping the barrel tonight.

    110. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Mia (7.21) –

      re #2 –

      David Harvie?

    111. Angus F MacLeod says:

      merganser says:
      5 March, 2021 at 7:23 pm
      The Salmond Affair. Bigger than a Shakespearean Tragedy?

      True!

      One expects the tories in the south to be corrupt, sharing the money with their cronies and telling lie after blatant lie but very sad to say it’s no better in Scotland. When the First Minister and others in positions of power can arrogantly lie with impunity, newspapers ignore or gloss over such matters and the BBC just live in their own ivory tower it’s time for a major rethink on who we vote for. Time also for people of integrity to take us forward to a new dawn. Where are you?

    112. Kcor says:

      Despite all these revelations, are the corrupt criminals responsible for not only wasting enormous amounts of public funds, but also for the massive conspiracy to put an innocent man in jail going to get away with it?

      Very much looks like it. I am 99.9% sure that Hamilton will whitewash the main culprit.

      There are Scots living all around the world.

      It is high time that someone from outside Scotland published the full details of the conspiracy.

    113. Ian Spruce says:

      @Mia(7.21)

      A Precognition is a signed formal statement for submission to the Court.

      An e-mail would probably not suffice given Counsels comments

    114. Al says:

      Paragraph 25: “It was not a precognition (before aquiring knowledge): it comprised 4 short paragraphs and it is not clear to us that it is in the Permanent Secretary’s own words.”
      Could this mean that a person with Legal knowledge dictated the reply and has been rumbled ?

    115. Sharny Dubs says:

      Breeks@7:14

      Yeah I have serious doubt’s about the SNP split “down the middle” or the indy movement being in the decline, it just may be that we are still well in the majority, just as we were in 14′ only the machine is once again busy in the background.

    116. Kcor says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell, just a couple of days ago you were writing about the coming spring, not only in climate terms, and hope.

      Are we going back into the dark winter?

      Are the “sovereign” people of Scotland completely powerless to bring these corrupt criminals to justice?

      The vast majority are extremely gullible, but surely there must be a handful who can bring down this cabal, once and for all?

    117. Mia says:

      @Ian Spruce.

      Shouldn’t the government internal legal advisers know that an email would not suffice and that a formal signed statement was required as a precognition?

      You would think so as that letter clearly says what counsel asked for on th 10th November: for LE to go through all documents and produce an statement.

      Are we to understand that those present representing the Sgov at the consultation on the 10 November 2018 had some legal background? Because if they did, surely they knew what a precognition meant.

      So was the Permanent Secretary ever instructed by anybody in the Sgov or those people attending the consultation to produce the signed statement? If not, why not?

      If the PS was instructed to produce the statement, why didn’t she produce it? Was that her decision or somebody else’s “advice” not to produce it?

      It is very difficult to believe that nobody in the SGov knew what a precognition was so one can only interpret the submission of an email instead on the deadline as an attempt, at best, to run down the clock to force the JR to continue and at worse, to jeopardise even more the Sgov defence in the case.

      Which option should we go for?

    118. Damien says:

      If you believe what Sturgeon said under oath this week, Salmond confirmed one of the incidents had occurred at the meeting of 2nd Apr.

      She chose to keep the meeting a secret and not to report Salmond’s confirmation of this to the investigation officer – she surely had an unavoidable obligation to do so?

      As she was apparently shut out of the investigation, consequently she can’t have known whether Salmond would deny the incident ever happened to the investigation officer (in most cases in a he said / she said without witnesses a “never happened” raises sufficient doubt).

      Yet, in possession of this powerful corroboration that the events occurred, she elected to do nothing. For months. To let the investigation run its course and leave the “nothing happened” defence open to Salmond. To leave the women at risk of not receiving justice.

      If Salmond confirmed the incident, she surely had a strict obligation as head of government to report it to the investigating officer. Nobody on the committee questioned this unavoidable issue. There is simply no balance of judgment to be drawn by her. I think she is hoist by this petard – if only the committee raise it with her.

    119. Kcor says:

      Big Jock says,

      “The question is. Who is the chief strategist, deciding what and when it’s released.”

      Big Jock, I will not hesitate to tell you that IMHO, the current leader of the SNP is and has been the main culprit responsible for everything that has happened, from the day she issued instructions for a new complaints policy aimed specifically AGAINST (her own word) Alex Salmond.

    120. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Nothing about the FM’s performance, or comments from committee members, suggested that she may have to reappear.

      I know time is running out but, technically, can she be recalled in the light of these releases?

      Could they call Swinney?

    121. Netflix commissioner says:

      Michael B
      How damning
      And didn’t that nice Maureen Watt say it was just on one point it failed
      Report saying…That would render nugatory all of the others,potentially more harmful,aspects to the challenge

      Recall Maureen Watt oh you can’t but but can you ask a committee member to give evidence for misleading questions and ask was it written for you
      Or maybe she’s a mole as Alex then went on to explain they were never tested but this evidence
      says potentially more harmful……..need to release the other aspects
      His witness testimony has gone up a few more notches

    122. disillusioned half Scot says:

      Stephen P says:
      5 March, 2021 at 6:17 pm

      “There was a meeting between FM, perm sec and external counsel on Nov 13th. According to Swinney no minutes were taken…” Surely Counsel would have taken a note of that meeting? Roddy Doyle & junior must be rueing the day they accepted this brief. Counsel’s duty is to the Court, not the client, and they have sailed pretty close to the wind here as a result of SG’s appalling approach to this litigation. It is almost unheard of for Counsel to threaten to resign….based on 30 years involvement in litigation from a defenders point of view…and if the written advice is is so strong, I agree with Stuart’s ‘translations’ that the cons must have been along the lines of…”WTF are you doing?” Police must get in to Holyrood & seize all the computers.

    123. Kcor says:

      Effigy says,

      “The names of the complainers seem insignificant now.

      We do need to identify all those behind this vicious and prolonged
      attack on a man who was long expected to be innocent of any crime.

      Criminal proceedings must follow this matter when concluded.”

      Agree with your second and third sentences but not the first.

      The names of the complainers are extremely significant. As Craig Murray has said, all apart from one are within Sturgeon’s close inner circle. They were all proven to be liars.

      The Liar in Chief, Sturgeon, has claimed under oath that she doesn’t know who all of them are.

      Sturgeon worked very closely under Alex Salmond for 30 years.

      Did she ever notice any behaviour of his which could be considered a sexual offence?

      What did she do about it?

      Did she keep quiet about it because the only thing that mattered to her was power?

      For such an astute person like Alex Salmond not to have noticed her very dark side for 30 years proves what a master fraud she is.

    124. Robert Graham says:

      Sincerest apologies to Mr John Swindler , I mistakenly said he was still confident of wining the Judicial review , his exchange with Murdo Fraser in the chamber 2nd of March does not indeed make reference to a winnable case , my sincere apologies .

      Very slick and selective use of words being used in this whole fk up £500.000 and counting has been spent exactly what has the Scottish Taxpayers had in return for their half a million quid ? .

      Was this money spent wisely or used to pursue a vendetta against one man using public funds and resources in order to cover the mismanagement of a spiteful prosecution that went tits up ?

    125. Ian Mac says:

      So what more proof is required that Sturgeon lied to the public, parliament and the committee. The timing of this and its contents speak volumes about the chicanery of Sturgeon and her circle. It is impossible not to conclude that in a functioning democracy which can call the executive to account, that she would have to resign. And this is only what we have reluctantly been allowed to see. We know that there is a lot more evidence being held under lock and key.
      The killer sentence for me is in that last document:
      “Continuing to rest on pleadings that we know to be untrue is liable to result in severe judicial criticism.”
      Or: lying is not likely to be a good strategy, and will bring us and you into disrepute.
      And yet Alex Salmond tried to get Sturgeon off the hook by informing her of her mistaken stupid pursuit of him, which fleeced the public of millions. He has been vindicated. She is exposed as morally bankrupt vindictive person pursuing a personal vendetta to the detriment of Scottish governance. It is grotesque that anyone can remain in the position of most powerful person in the country when she has demonstrated such an appalling lack of judgement and any of the neutrality required of her position. Seeking to keep the vendetta going by ignoring the court, the jury and the evidence just underlines her utter unsuitability for the office she holds. And that makes it wholly impossible for her to be the standard bearer for independence.
      Ineptitude, inadequacy and dishonesty should of course rule out anybody who claims to represent Scottish people and values. If she cannot possibly be trusted on basic norms of governance, she cannot possibly be trusted on something as complex and monumental as independence.

    126. Kcor says:

      Fireproofjim says,

      “It is quite clear from the above that the sticky fingers of Leslie Evans (Permanent Secretary) are all over this from the very beginning.”

      Even more clear is that Sturgeon gave the instructions to Leslie Evans.

      Sturgeon’s even more sticky fingers are all over this from the very beginning.

    127. Al says:

      There was a meeting between FM, perm sec and external counsel on Nov 13th. According to Swinney no minutes were taken…. What sort of Mickey Mouse operation is this ? Any Private Sector Company, this would have been minuted and recorded, it relates to guidance from external Council FFS! Share holders would want to know why decisions were taken, the Scottish people are the shareholders in this instance.

    128. Saffron Robe says:

      So they were warned that the proceedings would be tainted with apparent bias at immeasurable cost to the taxpayer, tantamount to conspiracy, and that the detriments of the case far outweighed any perceived benefits. All of which came to pass and yet Nicola Sturgeon ignored the advice and decided to plough on regardless.

      All of which she denied under oath. She is clearly not fit to hold office.

    129. lumilumi says:

      What a fucking shambles!

      The most damage being to Scotland itself, not AS/NS, not SNP/other independence supporters, not independence supporters/union supporters.

      No. The very country of Scotland and all its age-old state institutions (parliament, government, judiciary) brought into disrepute.

      For what?

      A woman suffering – by her own description – from the “impostor syndrome” realised she is, indeed, an impostor. But wants to keep going, to keep up her fragile ego. Needs unquestioning acolytes and their adoration to keep reality at bay.

      Well, judging by the unquestioning adoration and repeating of agreed soundbites, she got away with conspiring and lying by just refusing to answer questions. I don’t recall/I don’t know/I can’t remember/I wasn’t aware/I think/I feel… and so on and so forth.

      I’ve watched both the Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon sessions in full (strange, I know, for a person who doesn’t even live in Scotland at the moment 😀 )

      The Alex Salmond session was such riveting viewing that I didn’t get my chores done, got stuck to watching the screen and learned new things. Such dignity, such gravitas. Such statemanship. Keeping to the point, the remit of the committee (apart from a couple of instances, in response to questions from opposition MSPs, then convener Linda Fabiani intervened.)

      Contrast that with the Nicola Sturgeoon session. It was even longer – because NS could’t say anything with a world when 10 could do. Lots of uhms, ahms, stock phrases… running down the clock. (It seems a tactic of her administration.)

      I think Ms Sturgeon’s evidence session produced far less evidence or clarity or knowledge than Mr Salmond’s. It produced more obfuscation, muddying the waters, whatever is the opposite of clarity and transparency.

      It was all about “poor Nikla”, how she feels, how she felt, oh, and think of the poor women (that her government forced into a criminal trial against their will), oh, and metoo, metoo, metoo.

      But Nicola Sturgeon didn’t know anything about anything, oh no! Ms Sturgeon went on and on, waffled and obfuscated. “to the best of my recollection/I can’t remember/I can’t recollect/I don’t know/etc. etc.

      Alex Salmond gave pretty straight answers to every question, backed up by documentary evidence. He conducted himself with gravitas and dignity. Also spoke in a measured, quite slow way. Very easy for a foreigner to understand.

      The less confident will speak very quickly, gab, talk even more, even faster, to cover up the gaps in the substance of their speech.

      More talk, more hours at the Committee Inquiry is not a good look if you’ve wasted everybody’s time with, say, two hours’ worth of “I can’t recall/I don’t know/I can’t remember” and waffle about section this or that and more waffle about how hard it’s been on HER. (Her. Not the complainers or Alex Salmond, but HER.)

      Nicola Sturgeon just proved she’s just like Tony Blair. Any obfuscation, any lie (under oath, may I remind you), just as long as she survives politically.

      There’s no cause left. The only thing that matters is her personal popularity and being adored.

      Elections? If they go badly? If anything goes bad, must be somebody else’s fault. Like the vile WoS readers, or Joanna Cherry, or Kenny MacAskill or Brendan O’Neill or that terf Joan MacAlpine.

      Nicola Sturgeon gave an evidence-free emotive “poor me” performance, and the fanboys/girls/non-binaries are lapping it up. She was so “emphatic” – so she must be right!

      Is this how we want our countries, an independent Scotland, or politics, our legislation to be? Not about real, material world facts, but about “feelings”?

      Whose feelings are important? Just yours? Or others who feel about the same as you? What about people who feel (or actually THINK) different from you? Why are their feelings less valid/less important than yours? And so on and so forth.

      Sorry, it’s been a long rant. I’m finally getting to the point.

      Do you conduct societies and public life based on scientific facts, evidence, statistics, try to understand the underlying economic and social structures and try to make them better. It’s hard graft. Social media hastags and outrages are easy but won’t help the underlying causes.

      Or do you want to surrender democracy to “feelz” and SM popularity and puerile “wars”.

      The interwebs bubble isn’t the real world.

      Scotland isn’t my problem. For some years, living in Scotland, I thought it was. I loved every minute of those years, and the Scots I got to know. The banter, the mountains, the seas… the seafood, the whisky. Gods, I love Scotland so much!

      So… Scotland, sort yourselves out!

      Get rid of the establishment, Nicola Sturgeon’s colonial administration. (Manifesto: “We’ll hold an independence referendum when it is safe to do so.” Safe?! Safe for whom?!? Your fat arses on MP/MSP seats?!)

      The SNP is unsalvagable, and Scottish indidendence is futher away than it was in 2016. Thank you, Nicola. /s

      Imagine me trying to explain this all to my family and friends, who are very sympathetic to Scottish independence. They don’t know much but one of them got very exasperated in late 2016. “They got the Brexit courtesy of the English… Why won’t they just leave now?”

      The longer it takes, the less the international community believes the Scots are somehow different from the English/UK.

      Thank you, Nicola. /sarcasm

      No woman has ever done more to split the Scottish indepence movement and move it backwards than Nicola Sturgeon.

      What a legacy!

      (The fans will continue to stick fingers into their ears and go lalalala. Also, eyes closed.)

    130. Kcor says:

      lumilumi, Finland is outside Scottish juridiction.

      Just saying.

      Cheers.

    131. disillusioned half Scot says:

      “I’ve watched both the Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon sessions in full (strange, I know, for a person who doesn’t even live in Scotland at the moment ? )” So did I, & I currently don’t live in Scotland, although I have, & have been involved in it’s interesting legal system through work for many years. Salmond presented well, Sturgeon didn’t. On the documents alone, Sturgeon hasn’t a prayer. The worrying thing for me is, knowing that the legal fraternity in Scotland are a very close-knit bunch, there are many out there who know all the inconvenient truths about all manner of things who are not saying anything publicly. It all stinks of fush.

    132. Mia says:

      “OK, she broke the ministerial code, big deal!”

      Yes, actually. It is a very big deal. What that letter above says is that Sturgeon’s government proceeded with the judicial review beyond the point it was reasonable to do so. In other words, they deliberately inflicted extra cost to the taxpayers.

      Not just that, it very much looks like the only reason why they managed to engage this external counsel for their defence is because their external counsel were kept in the dark of what was the full picture. In other words they might have been using them to pretend in the eyes of the public that they ever had a valid case.

      In fact, that refusal to hand over to their counsel the Permanent Secretary’s precognition is a sign of this and that even at that late point they were still deliberately keeping information away from the external counsel, completely jeopardising their ability to mount a reasonable defence. Either those civil servants and internal legal advisers were complete incompetent idiots or they had a very good reason to hide that evidence from the external counsel, a political one rather than a legal one.

      Had external counsel been given the full picture, quite possibly they would have indicated the case was unstateable much sooner, perhaps when they were asked for first time. In other words, if moderately competent, the internal legal counsel must have known they procedure was unlawful but it was implemented it anyway. They must have known their case in the JR was unstateable and yet, somebody, somewhere still pushed for it to continue. The key point here is to find out who was responsible for the suppression of evidence from the external counsel and for the delay in providing them with the information they were requesting.

      You may consider a small deal that Sturgeon’s government and their internal legal advisors are rogues with no integrity that feel they can pursue unlawful policies and procedures for purely political purposes and then use taxpayers’ money to cover their own corrupt arses, but I most certainly do not.

      I consider the breaches of the ministerial code a huge deal and if we had a functional opposition rather than nodding donkeys all part of a one-party state, she would have been shown the door back in January 2019 and each and every one of those internal legal advisors and SPADS and civil servants involved in the process, properly scrutinised for breaches of the civil service code of conduct.

      The reason for those ministerial code breaches needs to be investigated in detail. And I don’t mean the breaches regarding lying to parliament or the lack of minutes. I mean the fact that contrary to the ministerial code an unlawful procedure was allowed to continue, a JR was allowed to continue beyond the point it was reasonable to do so and that senior counsel was hired at taxpayers’ cost and expected to mount a defence being deprived from fundamental evidence to competently do so. Sturgeon may have to resign as it is her government after all, but what needs to be investigated here is if when she made the decision to continue with the complaints procedure and with the judicial review she was given by the internal legal advisors the full picture or if she was used, like the external counsel, as a scapegoat. Somebody made the decision to suppress the information from external counsel and if they did so there is a strong possibility that this was becasue they knew the case would not stand up in court. So who made that decision? Was that Nicola Sturgeon, the internal legal advisors or somebody else?

      If they knew the case was unstateable and that is why they suppressed the evidence, then it is reasonable to expect they knew too the procedure was unlawful. So who advised the Sgov to implement the procedure?

      External counsel’s legal advice is very much welcome. Now we need the internal legal advice too. Taxpayers’ know if incompetents or negligent bampots are being hired to give legal advice to our elected government against its and our interests.

      “The cover up is the worrying bit”
      Actually no. The fact that they considered necessary to effect a gargantuan cover up like this involving elected ministers, civil servants, spads, the copfs, crown agents, the MSM and broadcasters, a parliamentary committee by the look of it and the sNP itself is the most worrying bit.

    133. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      This is utterly unsurprising. And totally disgusting. Of course, it’ll not be Sturgeon and the alphabet cabal who take the blame for this easily-predicted filth, though it’s fairly and squarely on their stooped shoulders.

      https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/mar/05/salmond-inquiry-having-chilling-effect-on-women-say-experts

    134. Andrea says:

      Mia, I hear you. But most likely people won’t care about the date cock up. It was years ago… Why does it matter now? I am sure that NS would like this kind of questioning too.
      As I said, the need to keep covering it up in a more and more outlandish fashion (basically because they can, as they are not accountable) is the real shocker to me – along with Lord Sauron-Wolffe pulling all the strings unseen.

    135. FrankM says:

      No votes SNP.

    136. lumilumi says:

      Kcor says:
      5 March, 2021 at 8:30 pm

      lumilumi, Finland is outside Scottish juridiction.

      Just saying.

      Cheers.

      Well, if Nicola Sturgeon’s administration’s cunning plan for independence is to repeatedly beg for a sec 30, repeatedly being denied, and then somehow appeal to the “international community”…

      Are you saying a foreigner, who actually knows a LOT about Scottish politics, an international friend, supporter of Scottish independence, should just shut the fuck up…

      Way to engage with the “international community” Nicola Sturgeon’s apparent plan depends on.

      Just saying.

    137. Louise Hogg says:

      Now there is a fair bit of legal evidence is coming out, and there are public videos of NS and others telling direct lies. Yet as others have pointed out, the vast majority of the public are oblivious due to media. Or only deal in superficial appearance gullibly.

      Would it be possible for some reasonably professional film outfit to make an accurate, compelling and not too high-brow documentary film of this, soon?

      I’m thinking something with ZERO ‘inference’ as that could be spun by the cabal. And with a prominent explicit challenge to ANY objector to call out ANY falsehoods contained in it.

      It would include, for example, the clip where NS insists she’s never seen a one sided legal advice, cutting to the relevant section of legal documents above, being thought aloud by Roddy Dunlop as he types it. Another moment might be her insistence that sisting was never strategically planned, spliced with the documents showing it certainly WAS.

      To make such a complex structure easier to follow, there could be a timeline visible along the bottom of the screen, with a lit up bit showing when the CURRENT scene happened. Then fading slowly as the next one happens. This would highlight that things were known MUCH earlier than folk have claimed.

      Possibly also indicate on screen WHICH location or people are present. I suggest this because I know many people struggle to follow complex plot-lines in video format, as they miss visual ques and can’t check back as easily as with a book.

      Obviously with so much still coming out it will need altered and added to. But if this was to come out online, well before the election, there would be time for a LOT of viral/trending type sharing to get past the MSM narrative.

      If it couldn’t be freely shared, due to production cost, perhaps there would be a way for individuals not only to ‘subscribe’ to watch, but buy say 10 copies to distribute to friends.

      Any items that WERE inferred, eg the suggestions above about LE’s 4 para email or about someone behind Scot Gov pushing extended delays to the JR, could be clearly indicated by any such shadowy figure wearing a large ‘?’ As evidence comes out these ‘?’s can be removed by editing, at this rate.

      My nightmare NOW, is that the public sleepwalk into this election like an English/Welsh brexit.

      We need this to breakthrough into a public consciousness inured to corrupt politicians and brainwashed by ‘image’ and emotionalism over substance.

      AND during restrictions on social interaction.

      To attract and keep the attention of the ‘general’ public, a comedy or light-hearted or parody/allegory narrative might need added. With clear indication it was fiction. Eg the love-life of a pair of magpies in the background or the gradual collapse of the But House ceilings. The same way that Wings uses humour to keep our intention or recapped with the ‘Hands up if you’re totally corrupt’ piece.

      I feel so helpless. And it isn’t AS scorching the earth of my country, but those in power.

    138. Arka says:

      Mia, what I meant to say is that it is all the cover up getting bigger and bigger. I suppose they thought (they as in Sauron-Wolffe) that, thanks to the fact that money was no object, they tried to drag and drag the JR in the hope it would be taken over by the trial in the hope that AS would be found guilty on AT LEAST one count.
      That stemmed from the fact that they cocked the procedure up to start with, but they felt they could get away with it.
      So, to me it is all a chain of events that is possible only because the government can do as they please as they are accountable to no-one. And they may still get away with it, especially if the Fabiani tea-party votes along party lines. What you are then left is Hamilton and the inquest on the ministerial code, and she may just shrug it as it was just “an immaterial and totally innocent cock up”.

    139. Big Jock says:

      Lumili- you misinterpreted.

      They meant it’s outside the jurisdiction regarding Sturgeon’s private life story reporting. To do with the injunction.

    140. Dan says:

      @ lumilumi at 9.24pm

      I suspect you have misunderstood the “outside Scottish jurisdiction” point.

      It most likely relates to publishing certain information that is restricted here.

    141. cirsium says:

      @Kcor, 8.30

      Are you aware that lumilumi has been commenting here since the run-up to the Indy referendum? She knows Scotland having lived here and she can also give us insights about living, working and being a citizen of a small (population wise) independent country. She is a valued contributor to btl on Wings. I just wish we had some of the Finnish sisu.

    142. Dan says:

      Snap! Big Jock beat me because I took the time to check I had spelled your name right! 😉

    143. Graham MacQueen says:

      Seems Nicola has learnt, adopted and perfected the art of projecting behaviour, no?

    144. Kcor says:

      lumilumi says,

      “Are you saying a foreigner, who actually knows a LOT about Scottish politics, an international friend, supporter of Scottish independence, should just shut the fuck up…”

      Sorry, you got me completely wrong.

      What I meant was, being in Finland you are completely free to publish whatever has been banned from being published in Scotland.

      International friends, Scotland badly needs you now.

    145. Kcor says:

      As Big Jock and Dan have clarified.

      Sorry for any misunderstanding.

    146. BLMac says:

      Now that the precedent has been set that retrospective rules can be applied to punish a past FM, wouldn’t it be an irony if that was done to Sturgeon?

    147. holymacmoses says:

      From the Guardian:
      https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/mar/05/salmond-inquiry-having-chilling-effect-on-women-say-experts

      “Sturgeon was asked on Wednesday about Salmond’s claim that the Scottish government conceded the case only when counsel threatened to resign, but replied, “That is not my understanding of the position”.

      Like Ms Findlay said in her excellent piece, Nicola sturgeon could not brook failure. So one suspects that NS didn’t consider that they would resign because she’d arrange to have them sacked first.
      The lawyers are doing lawyers speak to each other so I am taking the ‘crosshairs’ remark of Mr McDowall in the same spirit as a divorce lawyer might argue in a fraught case.

    148. ben madigan says:

      the retrospective process was judged unlawful, tainted with bias etc, so Mr Salmond will be the only person to have the privilege of being tried under it.

    149. disillusioned half Scot says:

      Daily Telegraph comments singing the praises of this excellent site 🙂

    150. AWhiteLife says:

      Surely to ch1st there must be criminal charges to follow?.

    151. lumilumi says:

      Big Jock says:
      5 March, 2021 at 9:40 pm

      Lumili- you misinterpreted.

      They meant it’s outside the jurisdiction regarding Sturgeon’s private life story reporting. To do with the injunction.

      Dan says:
      5 March, 2021 at 9:42 pm

      @ lumilumi at 9.24pm

      I suspect you have misunderstood the “outside Scottish jurisdiction” point.

      It most likely relates to publishing certain information that is restricted here.

      Aah, thanks for the explanation. Being a foreigner, and not having lived in Scotland for a while, I’m a bit out of the loop on some phrases and idioms.

      So, there’s the inderdicted thing about Sturgeon. I think I have a fairly good idea. I don’t care about that. Each to their own. Private life, not my business.

      What I care about is the apparent malicious plan to “get Alex Salmond” one way or another (because of metoo, metoo, and political ambitions of metooers).

      Someone used, abused the powers of the state to that end. Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister, she says, no, she cannot recollect, she doesn’t remember, she didn’t know anything about it, she wasn’t involved, she doesn’t know anything about it. Big boy did it and ran awa. It wizznae me.

      Nicola Sturgeon is quite Stalinisque. Though dissenters are only “cancelled”, not actually executed. But the idea is the same. Adoration of the great leader, no dissention allowed.

    152. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      Just randonly read this in Dennis Nilsen’s creepy, disturbing, recently-published autobio History of a DrowningBoy, and it seems sadly and oddly apropos. When a homosexual necrophile serial killer has a better grasp on reality than you do, it’s best not to try and go trumping up charges against somebody in a case:

      “One needs to view, with serious scepticism, the validity of Crown expert evidence, furnished for people proving the Crown’s case by Crown employees. The more those people talked about their ‘honour’ and ‘high ethical codes,’ the more I felt inclined to lock away the family silver. He who pays the piper always calls the tune.”

      Sounds aboot right.

    153. Lisbon67 says:

      Ma heid is bursting. It’s like one of these former soviet republic regimes.what’s happened to my country..?

    154. I have followed these matters through various independent media in detail, but even so THESE documents were startling. Out at last.

      Funny, that, how they didn’t get published till AFTER NS had her wee ‘relished, long awaited’ opportunity before the cameras to play her audience of gullibles, with ther questioners not in possession of these key revelations.

      But what’s still hidden?

    155. Donny says:

      @Fireproof Jim, 4:25pm
      https://wingsoverscotland.com/plough-on-regardless/#comment-2625625

      Undoubtedly so. This is the Machiavellian figure in the whole drama.

    156. Donny says:

      Apols, 4:54pm

    157. James Horace says:

      Roddy Dunlop QC and his team will of course have records for the November meeting, even if the Scottish Government have burnt theirs.

      Will these records ever be released?

      Will they even be called for?

    158. McDuff says:

      If the committee doesn’t recall Sturgeon and demand to know why these revealing documents were not released prior to her appearance then it is as bent as she is.
      Her attitude to the committee and indeed to the law is outrageous.

    159. PaulaJ says:

      holymacmoses at 5.03pm on the 5th asks:

      “What drove these people?”

      I think Bill Shakespeare had it covered in (strangely enough) the Scottish Play:

      “I am in blood stepped in so far that, should I wade no more, returning were as tedious as go o’er.”

    160. Stuart Campbell says:

      Sturgeon must be recalled to the committee, surely she has given false testimony to the them.

    161. Mac says:

      I very much like the translations of the legal advice. If you could turn that into an App you’d make millions (probably).



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