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Return Of The Phantoms

Posted on October 27, 2020 by

The Scottish Parliament’s inquiry into the disastrously botched investigation of false allegations against Alex Salmond, which has been paused for several weeks due to the Scottish Government’s repeated refusal to provide it with material it’s requested, resumes today and enters its final and critical phase.

In the next two months all the key players in the shambolic affair, including the current First Minister, her predecessor and both of their chiefs of staff, will give evidence. But today perhaps the most central figure of all will appear. Or rather, she won’t.

Judith Mackinnon, the civil servant whose prior involvement with the complainers in the case was central to the investigation collapsing on the grounds of illegality and bias, will speak to the committee remotely and in audio only, robbing them of the ability to see her face and body language – things highly critical to any interrogation.

The apparent reason for this, according to a recent report in the Times, is Mackinnon’s being “targeted on social media”. No further details of this “targeting” are given.

And there’s one rather big problem with that claim.

Because as far as this site has been able to ascertain since reading that story, Judith Mackinnon has no social media presence whatsoever.

She has no Twitter account that we or anyone else has been able to find. There is no identifiable public Facebook account in her name. We haven’t been able to locate a trace of her on LinkedIn.

Nor have searches, by ourselves and others, discovered any more-general abuse from people simply talking ABOUT her, rather than TO her. The ire of those angry about the fiasco has largely been directed at Nicola Sturgeon and the Permanent Secretary, Leslie Evans. Mackinnon has barely appeared on the radar, despite having a previous track record of being involved in incompetence and scandal.

In any event, we’re not sure why being “targeted on social media” – even if it HAD happened, which there’s not the slightest scrap of evidence for – would be an excuse for such an unacceptable arrangement for the inquiry to question arguably its most pivotal witness. Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond are both targeted and abused endlessly on social media, but they’ll still be appearing in person for the committee to assess their non-verbal signals as well as their words.

The non-appearing appearance also means that the committee won’t be able to tell whether Mackinnon is alone in the room, or whether someone is there directing her answers, or whether she’s just reading from prepared statements. The whole situation is utterly unsatisfactory, and the explanation for it woefully inadequate.

For what it’s worth, this site is submitting a Freedom Of Information request about the reasons for this decision, which we expect will be fobbed off like all the others about the investigation from ourselves and others have been.

But it’s becoming harder and harder to disagree with the growing calls, from all sides of the political spectrum, for an inquiry the Scottish Government has undermined and sabotaged from the word go – and in which the First Minister looks more and more complicit – to be replaced or followed by a proper judge-led one with the power to legally compel both the production of evidence and the appearance of witnesses.

Millions of pounds of public money have been wasted, an innocent man has been put through years of hell and almost bankrupted, in the most obviously suspicious of circumstances, and nobody has been held answerable for any of it. If we’re to build a new Scotland worth the candle, justice must be done, though the heavens fall.


[EDIT 10.25am: Hilariously, the audio feed to the inquiry in fact lasted less than ONE minute. Ms Mackinnon swore to tell “the truth, the whole truth and-“, at which point the audio cut out. As we write this the inquiry is broadcasting static. What a farce.]

[EDIT 11.41am: Mackinnon, readers will be astounded to hear, remembered almost nothing and barely gave a single direct answer. The most remarkable part came near the end, when Alex Cole-Hamilton asked her whether the Scottish Government and civil service were now clear on the rules about an Investigating Officer having prior contact with a complainer. Almost two years after the investigation collapsed mainly because of a “misinterpretation” of those rules, and despite a Court Of Session ruling, Mackinnon incredibly said that no, the correct interpretation of them was still not clear.]

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  1. 27 10 20 09:57

    Return Of The Phantoms | speymouth

214 to “Return Of The Phantoms”

  1. cynicalHighlander says:

    Totally agree.

  2. Dorothy Devine says:

    Last paragraph spot on – I want a Scotland answerable for mistakes , bad behaviour and responsibility taken for wrong/ crass /detrimental actions. No shirking or blame shifting.

  3. BuggerlePanda says:

    The whole farrago is beginning to smell like my “organic” wastebin after a week in the summer sun.

    Pretty sure that maggots will working away in there.

  4. 1971Thistle says:

    How queer.

    Do we know who sanctioned her non-appearance? Presumably she can’t just say “I don’t fancy it”?

  5. The Isolator says:

    Spot on Rev,Scotland and it’s people do not deserve this kind of subterfuge.This is the same self serving nonsense we are trying to rid ourselves from.Keep going at it, for this house of cards is surely about to fall.It’s all we’ve got left.

  6. Effijy says:

    She must be asked to provide extensive evidence of her being targeted
    on Social Media today or appear in person tomorrow.

    She is among the only group that I can see that would take part in illegal practices against
    the innocent.

    We also have the issue that is likely to arise if she lied about being targeted
    how could we believe a word she says at the enquiry.

    What can we do if she is a proven liar?
    Sack her, Fine Her, Imprison her?

    I’d go for all 3 if she was ready to ruin and imprison the innocent.

  7. Contrary says:

    Ah yes, I now remember who MacKinnon is – her past – I’ve been mostly ignoring her involvement because she isn’t in post any more, but in fact, she wasn’t fit for that post in the first place was she?

    Yes, a judge led inquiry sounds like a good idea, but the time it would take to set up and get results from it, is unlikely to be ideal – still, it might need to be done to get anywhere at all. The dribs and drabs of revelations are frustrating – and wasting everyone’s time and our money as witnesses need to reappear when a new bit of info if found – for any real justice to be done, it will need a more serious inquiry set up, with legal teeth. Could we trust the judge that might be appointed though?

  8. Archie Cameron says:

    I trust Kenny McAskill. Send him this article folks and ask him to intervene. He still carry a lot of clout and he’s one of the good guys.

  9. Astonished says:

    I can only think of a single reason for judith mackinnon demanding these conditions………


    Surely the crown office and procurator fiscal’s service must be looking at charging her and lesley evans and the other nine women with malfeasance in public office and conspiracy?

    Or are they too busy fitting up independanistas ?

  10. Habib Steele says:

    ” If we’re to build a new Scotland worth the candle, justice must be done, though the heavens fall.” AMEN! Accountability is the key.

  11. auld highlander says:

    I’m very suspicious of these people in high places who have no social media presence or scant details of their past. People like murrell and that evans woman jump to mind.

    Who are they and who do they really work for?

  12. Contrary says:

    Oh, and even though I know that many people look at unspoken language for cues – but it has been shown that it’s easier to tell lying etc through spoken-only evidence (too long ago I found this out so I have no references sorry). It’s why I prefer listening to the radio – you really focus on what people are saying and the intonation – not on distracting flickering of the eyes or flapping of the hands. Voice only will not be of benefit to her.

  13. Astonished says:

    I can only think of a single reason for judith mackinnon demanding these conditions………


    Surely the crown office and procurator fiscal’s service(COPFS) must be looking at charging her and lesley evans and the other nine women with malfeasance in public office and conspiracy?

    Or are COPFS too busy fitting up independanistas ?

  14. Whit a total fuck up.

  15. Sharny Dubs says:

    All animals are equal, except for pigs.

    I paraphrase

  16. Kerfuffle says:

    I’m sure she is being relentlessly abused on friends reunited.

  17. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    It amazes me what they are getting away with, one can only hope it all comes tumbling down.

    It would only take one person to find a spark of decency and come forward with the truth, then the fun would start.

    Definitely a smell of shite about just now.

  18. David Holden says:

    If her not appearing in person was to prevent her getting abuse on social media it is a spectacular own goal as now everyone will be digging looking for anything about the woman of mystery.

  19. Iain More says:

    To Quote:

    “Because as far as this site has been able to ascertain since reading that story, Judith Mackinnon has no social media presence whatsoever.

    She has no Twitter account that we or anyone else has been able to find. There is no identifiable public Facebook account in her name. We haven’t been able to locate a trace of her on LinkedIn.

    Nor have searches, by ourselves and others, discovered any more-general abuse from people simply talking ABOUT her, rather than TO her. The ire of those angry about the fiasco has largely been directed at Nicola Sturgeon and the Permanent Secretary, Leslie Evans. Mackinnon has barely appeared on the radar, despite having a previous track record of being involved in incompetence and scandal.”

    Does she even exist? Maybe she is on the roll of some Brit Nat spook agency?

  20. Ally says:

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard and that takes some doing.

    She won’t appear in person due to “online trolling”. LOL

  21. Colin Alexander says:

    We need: A government democratically elected by the sovereign people of Scotland, answerable to the sovereign people of Scotland.

    A government we can put into power and keep in power when it does a good job.

    A government we can kick out of power if it abuses that power or we would prefer another government.

    MSPs bend the knee to UK Parliament and Purrin Betty, not to the sovereign people of Scotland.

    But we should start as we mean to go on and hold Sturgeon’s govt to account and the civil servants, as much as possible in the Scotland colony.

    If civil servants are being questioned under oath they should be seen “answering” questions and telling the truth (haha) .

    Will Michael Spicer be doing his “man in the other room” feeding answers? (haha)

  22. John Thomson says:

    It will be good to have a judge led inquiry to which said McKinnon must appear and give evidence in person.

  23. Daisy Walker says:

    Making an apparent false statement in order to avoid official, legal scrutiny….


    That’s 3 times now in little over a week there have been 3 sets of circumstances with the SNP in charge and the description give reasonable cause to suspect the crimes of Fraud have been committed.

    A man pretending to be a woman to get access to vulnerable women and a job earmarked for women only. Fraud.

    Pretending to hold legitimate internal party elections in an acceptable, professional manner to appear credible, but unit inappropriately to allow yourselves the opportunity to promote your own candidates. Fraud.

    State you are the victim of online abuse, in order to avoid full, legal scrutiny of potential criminal wrongdoing. Fraud.

    And lets not remind ourselves of the lack of financial accounts for the ring fenced IndyRef2. The questions that come to mind there are is it Fraud, Embezzlement or simple Theft ?

    And lets not talk about employment discrimination… legal representation – but only for those and such as those.

    Criminal investigations now appear realistic.

  24. Lorna Campbell says:

    An independent Scotland where the rule of law does not run except by dint of patronage from Holyrood’s factions is not the way forward. The Scottish government is now routinely breaching even its own rules and breaking pre existing legislation that it is hard to keep up. This level of corruption is not accidental. The Alex Salmond affair was just the beginning, as we are now aware. How could we have descended into such a political maelstrom in such a short time?

  25. tartandiaspora says:

    what time does it start?

  26. Polly says:

    Wholeheartedly agree. Totally unsatisfactory. And when did the shouts of angry nameless people on any social media stop scrutiny of politics or of political functionaries – even worse when should that ever hamper any kind of enquiry? It never did when it was equally nameless, or at least unverifiable angry writers into newspaper columns in olden days. I always believed a judge led inquiry was the way to go – that was even when I fully believed in the Sturgeon leadership and expected exoneration – since I felt that however open and honest an internal Holyrood inquiry was, that there would be mud thrown to make it look biased and opaque – now however I believe it imperative to have the whole thing washed and rinsed in public by a judge and with full powers to disclose what he sees fit. Not that I trust judges more, but that he has more powers to command compliance and could overturn certain things Holyrood lacks power to do.

  27. Cuilean says:

    Why is the normally anti-SNP press silent on this ‘jiggery pokery’?

    Imagine if former First Minister Alex Salmond had requested this ‘snowflake’ or ‘kid gloves’ treatment? And what person has not been more outrageously attacked and vilified on ‘social’ media than this man?

    McKinnon is still on the public payroll, is she not? The audacity of Sturgeon and her minions to simply tear up the rules or invent new rules as Sturgeon & Murrell ‘decree’ fit, is incredible.

    Sturgeon’s SNP has morphed into the Scottish Labour Party at its height, in its cavalier attitude to the Scots public. Sturgeon is treating the party & the country like her personal fiefdom.

    She and her husband probably think, ‘Who else are the independence seekers going to vote for?’

    Look what happened to Scottish Labour. A seemingly unassailable fiefdom at Westminster, swept away overnight in the GE of 2015. That was just, incredibly, 5 years ago. Sturgeon needs tae tak tent.

  28. manandboy says:

    No praise too great for your efforts, Stu.

    The ‘Holyrood wheelie bin’ stinks to the highest heaven over this affair and it needs, as you rightly say, a judge-led enquiry.

    The Scottish government’s wheelie bin needs the lid lifted before being given the pressure hose treatment to give it a right good clean out. Washing just the outside, as is currently being done, is no use whatsoever.

    But it is clear that the First Minister intends to keep that lid tight shut.

    Independence under this regime is beginning to look a little shabby. Still preferable to English Colonial Rule mind you, but a Holyrood smelly bin is pretty much like any other, including Westminster’s.

    Maybe best to wait and see. For as they say, these decisions are above my pay grade.

    Ps. Thanks Stu. The statue is now a near certainty. Just not imminent.

  29. anonymoose says:

    Definite whiff coming off this steaming pile no matter from which direction it’s approached.

  30. tartandiaspora says:

    will it even be on parliament tv ? is there also a radion channel?

  31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “what time does it start?”

    Around half past ten, I believe.

  32. Effijy says:

    I’ve had a Eureka moment!

    Tell Bareass Moan and her Tory troughers to F off
    with their NHS Gown lottery win and give the contract
    To the Schools Home Economics classes and volunteers
    To make them and the profits can buy the hungry kids
    Breakfast, Lunch, Diner and Supper in a holiday resort of
    their choice.

    Why haven’t we heard a word from any SNP official about this disgraceful corruption?

  33. Ian McCubbin says:

    Just a witch hunt by weak people who now have all run into hiding.
    Well done for exposing the lies and corruption.
    The history of this hopefully will guide better treatment of people after Independence.
    I watch with interest.

  34. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @tartandiaspora –

    Kicks off at 10.15, here:

  35. G H Graham says:

    Here’s a gem from the Scottish Daily Mail (no laughing at the back)

    Government told to release notes about Sturgeon meetings with Alex Salmond

    NICOLA Sturgeon’s government has been ordered to hand over notes about meetings with Alex Salmond concerning harassment complaints against him.

    Scotland’s information tsar has ruled that the notes must be made public after the Scottish Government originally refused to release them.


  36. ronnie anderson says:

    Who’s pulling the strings of the justice committee for allowing this farce of a non personal appearance by one of the main characters who investigated Alex Salmond / the plot thickens .

  37. Big Jock says:

    The Tories are now threatening a vote in Holyrood , regarding the release of the documents. It will be non-binding. However if the SG lost the vote, it would not be a good look for them to ignore the results.

    The SG are really not helping themselves with their obfuscation.

  38. Willie B says:

    It kills me to say this, but the Scottish government are acting like a tinpot dictatorship, in actions they carry out, whether it be with this Covid outbreak, or how they handle themselves when under scrutiny regarding the likes of the GRA, Hate Crimes bill or the Salmond affair.
    The sooner Mrs and Mrs Marcos, I mean Murrell disappear into the sunset with her collection of books instead of shoes the better.
    Scotland has needed to go for independence since Brexit, but Mrs Murrell has been too scared to go against Westminster, or is it just plainly happily enough with the powers and wages her and her hubby have coming in.
    Why the media hasn’t made more of this is very telling

  39. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @ronnie anderson –

    Maybe there’s a really good reason why she can’t appear in person, like her nose actually grows longer when she tells porkies, or being under stress makes her start doing Tommy Cooper impersonations.

  40. Muscleguy says:

    @Lorna Campbell
    It all depends from the cult of personality around Oor Nicola. She has to be seen to be straight talking, honest to a fault, keen for Indy etc. etc.

    ANYTHING which might threaten to expose or weaken or especially give a hint of hypocrisy can be allowed to see the light of day. AS threatens all of that so he had to be fixed. NS has to be shielded from the Inquiry.

    Who is the architect of the cult of personality? Why Mr Sturgeon himself Peter Murrell. Who is in this up to his incompetent eyeballs. Robin McAlpine recounts when he was asked to give a talk to an SNP group. No wishing to diss the hosts he pulled his punches but a middle class matron stood up, said “Peter Murrell is a disgrace!” and was roundly applauded.

    If that is the view of an SNP branch he is in real trouble. But how to dislodge him? there seems to be no mechanism. The job is in the gift of the FM, oh.

    So, to get rid of Murrell we need to get rid of the FM. Looks like a plan to me.

  41. Tinto Chiel says:

    This is a disgraceful state of affairs. Why was this permitted by the inquiry chairperson?

    Sadly, Rev, I have little faith in a judge-led inquiry into the Salmond Affair either. The rot in our legal system seems to run deep and I fear AS would now be in prison if his trial had been heard only before a judge and not a jury.

    Remember that at the start of lockdown the SG proposed the suspension of jury trials (amongst other worrying suggestions like taped testimony without cross examination and no automtic right of appeal).

    Kafka comes to Embra, which is why people worry for Craig Murray too.

  42. Graeme Hampton says:

    Will the film be called “All the First Ministers Women (self-identifying and otherwise)” ?

  43. manandboy says:

    The Scottish Government’s refusal to give answers to the key questions about Judith MacKinnon is based on the judgment that ‘it is not in the public interest’.

    Now who could possibly have made that judgement?

  44. John H. says:

    Ian McCubbin says: 9.47am.

    You missed out unprincipled as well as weak, Ian.

  45. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @TC –

    It is disgraceful, and what kind of precedent is being set?

    Next we’ll have Murrell saying he’s happy to give evidence, but only if he can do it telepathically.

    It’ll be interesting to see what comments Linda Fabiani makes by way of introduction and whether any committee members object.

    We’ll soon find out…

  46. Cuilean says:

    Someone should have told Patricia Marwick that as far as jewellery is concerned; ‘less is more’.

  47. Big Jock says:

    Sturgeon caught in the headlights.

    She is focusing on Covid, focusing on Covid, focusing on Covid.

    Someone give her a nudge please.

  48. cynicalHighlander says:

    Trouble with sound echo

  49. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Utter shambles.

  50. Tinto Chiel says:

    Farcical: trouble with the audio link.

  51. R Ross says:

    Started at 10:15 on Scottish Parliament Tv. Can’t hear bugger all due to piss-poor audio!

  52. Cuilean says:

    Judith McKinnon is now being sworn in by audio only.

    This is a disgrace.

    Her oath was garbled and now the committee has been suspended, only because the Libdem guy intervened because the audio at Holyrood is inaudible.

    Marwick is clearly treating McKinnon like a fragile 5 yr old child!

    What a farce!

    Breweries & piss ups come to mind.

  53. ronnie anderson says:

    Noo who is interfering wie the video link I was phoning my Niece in Milton Keyes when i mentioned Alex Salmond’s name the phone went dead LoL

  54. Alf Baird says:

    Astonished @ 9.08

    “Surely the crown office and procurator fiscal’s service(COPFS) must be looking at charging her and lesley evans and the other nine women with malfeasance in public office and conspiracy?”

    Seems a not unreasonable question, given the mounting evidence of malfeasance and conspiracy to harm an individual. Though the inaction of legal authorities is hardly a surprise to those who understand how colonialism works. Hence the need for independence is to overcome oppression (Fanon 1968).

  55. Allium says:

    What a farce. They take us for idiots.

  56. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Linda Fabiani asked her if anyone is with her and she said ‘no’ but she’s just cautioned committee members that she may pause to take advice.

    So who is she taking it from?

  57. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Marwick is clearly treating McKinnon like a fragile 5 yr old child!”

    You mean Fabiani.

  58. Kenny says:

    Another cover-up. Another sham. Another reason not to vote for this New Tory Party.

    If all the gloating, idiotic, Sturgeon-defending Murrellites involved on social media are quite content to let justice be distorted in such a blatant, illegal manner then they’ll be poorer for their ignorance long-term. It doesn’t end with this instance. It’s just the tip of the dung-heap and the eventual loser is all of us. Nah. If I were Salmond, and his law team, I’d tell them where to go.

    If this is another Rollo Tomasi job then they’ll simply employ such tactics just whenever it pleases them, and any dissenters will be framed just as readily as Mr Salmond.
    No. That manoeuvre stinks.

    Let’s get a proper judge involved – or would that expose their duplicity and illegality too easily? My god, what crooks they are.

  59. Cuilean says:

    Oh God, sorry. Thankyou for pointing out my mistake. My apologies to Patricia Marwick.

  60. Hatuey says:

    Well, about 5 minutes in and we can see where it’s going.

    She’s just going to keep saying that, at the time, she didn’t think there was anything wrong with her involvement with the complainers and developing the procedure, and the investigation, etc., etc.

    This is why we need to see the legal advice. You can’t say you saw nothing wrong with what you were doing if your legal advisor isn’t telling you it was wrong.

  61. Hatuey says:

    Is telling*

  62. wull says:

    It becomes more and more evident that the current SNP leadership does not believe in the rule of law. Instead, it believes in gerrymandering all legal process in order to achieve its ends. This makes it unelectable.

    Both morally speaking, and even in simple political terms, it is imperative that, that we do NOT vote for the SNP, while that current and self-evidently corrupt leadership remains in office. Not under any circumstances, or even for whatever apparent good we hope it will in the end achieve. Not even in the (vain) hope that this current SNP leadership will achieve the independence that we all so much desire.

    The end (even when that end is the undoubted good of independence) does not justify the means.

    Even if the current SNP leadership did achieve some kind of independence for Scotland, it would not be the kind of independence – or the kind of Scotland – that the vast majority of us desire, and are looking forward to.

    A vote for the current SNP is a vote AGAINST human rights and human dignity; it is a vote FOR the abolition of the rule of law. A vote which will end in the annulment of all authentic notion of constitutional rights and freedoms, and which will govern in an ever-increasingly authoritarian and arbitrary manner. It will result not in a free Scotland, but in a Scotland shackled to a tyrannical ideology which knows no limits to its power, and which will impose itself by every means of force and manipulation it can muster.

    A vote for the current SNP is a vote for the continuation and exponential increase of the tyrannical attitudes and behaviour that are now surfacing, and becoming clear – and terrible – to behold. We cannot in conscience vote in favour of such hugely manipulative and essentially tyrannical behaviour, of which there are now so many obvious signs. We cannot collude with that and expect that afterwards – after we have handed them the power that they want – we will not be subjected to tyrannical rule.

    There were many good reasons for ordinary people in Germany to vote for Hitler in the 1930s, in the election that brought him to power (on a substantial number of votes, which made the Nazis the biggest Party, even if their vote share was still a minority of the overall number of voters). Everybody, naturally enough, wanted a volks-wagon! The economy did badly need sorting out, and in his early years in power did score considerable success in that regard. And, increasingly satisfied in that regard, people learned to turn a blind eye on … you know what, and all kinds of other things besides.

    We cannot allow anything similar to that to happen to us. And we cannot say that we have not been warned. The events of the last year plus, including the show trial, make it all plain. We too are culpable if we collude with this stuff.

    If the SNP do not change their leadership in the right direction before the May election – that is, if the ordinary members and sufficient number of the SNP’s MPs and MSPs whom we elected do not rise up in revolt against this highly dangerous nonsense, and oust the culprits – one of the smaller pro-independence Parties should stand against them not just in the List, but also for the constituency vote. This they should do in most, if not all areas. The only exceptions might be where there is an SNP candidate who clearly and explicitly opposes his or her own leadership; an unlikely one, who somehow scraped through the screening hurdles under the radar, and who at the election shows their real cards, being courageous enough to stand up and be counted.

    Will ISP or AfI, or someone, be willing to consider that, and act on it come April or May?

    Granted that it might be too soon to say, maybe Muscleguy, or someone else, might be able give us a clue? (But if he / they can’t, I can understand there might be reasons for staying quiet, just at the moment. If so, I will still hope …)

  63. MaggieC says:

    Re the Harassment and Complaints Committee meeting just now if for any reason the Scottish Parliament Tv channel crashes , its also on the BBC Tv Parliament channel as Westminster is in recess .

  64. JaMuR says:

    This is a total joke thats its audio only for something so important.

  65. Grey gull says:

    Thanks for that info, Maggie.

  66. Robert Graham says:

    This is farcical like talking and trying to listen to someone in a call centre , How does the panel know if she is acutely who she says she ,

    The momentary delays between questions and answers point to her being coached , as someone said previously how do we know there is not a full team round her prompting the answers

    If the committee are able to take evidence in private what’s the big problem with this one witness who has been identified as being central to the whole Sorry mess, totally unacceptable , and I hope someone draws attention to this farcical Pantomime of her being at the end of a phone line

  67. wull says:

    I forgot to say, on a previous post (currently in moderation), that the other pro-independence Party, or Parties, should make it part of their May manifesto that they will promote and support a genuinely independent inquiry into this whole fiasco. The way this is being dealt with has to become an election issue. The current leadership of the SNP should not be let off the hook.

  68. Cuilean says:

    Sylvia thanks for the link to Carlton Jock, above.

    Judith McKinnon has known that alleging social media attacks is a great way to avoid attending personally, as Carlton Jock’s articles states,

    “Judith MacKinnon, Head of People Advice for The Scottish Government, who spoke for the government at the tribunal, supported decisions taken by junior staff (who failed to attend the hearing to give evidence claiming they had been scared off because of the intense media interest) who had found insufficient evidence to back up DeeAnn’s suspicions about the unsolicited cards.”

  69. wull says:

    My previous post has now come out of moderation and made it into the daylight, for which thanks to the Moderator, whose judgement I fully respect. No one should complain about a post going into moderation. The owner of the site quite rightly has to defend himself against being the victim of any litigation that could be launched against him on account of some daft thing that one of us (even inadvertently) posts. The ‘moderation’ procedure – whatever it may be (I don’t need to know) – works extremely well, and I am sure utterly fairly, in that regard.

    Let’s all respect the rights of the owner of the site on that matter. I am sure all of us, or should have, full confidence in his consistently judicious and fair judgement in regard to such things. We are most grateful both for the information and the freedom of speech which WoS provides. Thank you.

  70. JaMuR says:

    Its a sad day when your rooting for Jackie Ballie .

    Whole thing reeks.

  71. Grey gull says:

    You’ve got to hand it to Jackie Baillie. She’s pretty good at digging away!

  72. Astonished says:

    Mackinnon is very evasive in her answers.

    Jackie Baillie is skewering her. Never thought I’d say this but well done jackie baillie.

  73. MaggieC says:

    Phillip Sim is also reporting the committee on his twitter feed ,

  74. John H. says:

    How did the Scottish Government manage to employ so many highly placed people with such dreadful memories ? How could they possibly function ?

  75. Doug says:

    These selfish, narrow-minded, britnat civil servants don’t give a damn about Scotland.

    The leader [whoever it is] who gets rid of them will gain even more support for Scotland’s independence.

  76. Hatuey says:

    Why would she delete text messages on her phone if she thought everything was fine and dandy?

  77. Benhope says:

    If a judge led inquiry was set up you can guarantee that several participants would take early retirement and slip away to enjoy their mega government pensions which we have all paid for !!!

  78. MaggieC says:

    Just a quick reminder before Barbara Allison appears again before the committee that these were her updated statements to the committee after first appearance before the committee on 15th September

  79. Ian Brotherhood says:

    No way should she have been allowed to go audio-only, but it was interesting to see the body language of the committee members as she hummed and hawed.

    The take-away moment, for me anyway, and one which amused Jackie Baillie no-end, was when Mackinnon confessed that the ‘policy’ still hasn’t been amended (paragraph 10) to eliminate possible misinterpretation regarding clear separation of responsibilities, meaning that the same £500,000 ‘mistake’ could, in theory at any rate, happen again.

    Quite incredible.

  80. Sylvia says:

    Barbara Allison now giving evidence is an ex Scottish Prison Service employee.

  81. MaggieC says:

    Hatuey @ 11.32 am

    I’ve read that anything on a phone or computer is never really deleted and in the hands of an expert , any information eg texts or emails can always be found .

  82. Alf Baird says:

    Interesting that the first two female senior civil servants giving evidence today previously worked for Scottish Prisons Service and Scottish Police Authority respectively.

  83. Flower of Scotland says:

    Barbara Allison. She’s the one who lied about texts to Evans!

  84. Sylvia says:

    Alf Baird @11:48 – my posts were deliberate – Thanks for picking up on them.

  85. Republicofscotland says:

    LBC news radio channel said it was airing the testimonies from the inquiry this morning, and sure enough it did, but it cut away from the formalities at the beginning.

    I had to go out so I missed what was said.

    As for Mackinnon being allowed to not appear on some flimsy excuse its outrageous and wrong, as you say she probably read from a prepared script, she could have also had advisors in the room and no body language is visible.

    Why has the inquiry allowed this?

  86. Flower of Scotland says:

    Google Scottish Parliament TV and you can watch it and also archived meetings. Much better than BBC.

  87. Robert Graham says:

    I wound back to the start of this mornings proceedings I was looking for any indication of why this Civil Servant wasn’t appearing in person ,

    Quote “It has been agreed by the committee this witness can give evidence by audio only ”

    Oh well that’s a full and complete explanation of this strange set up , I hope everyone is satisfied ! .

    Anyone confident after all the talk we will be any wiser ,
    Someone has previously noticed the combined memory lapse of all these Civil Servants who apparently are highly paid and the top of their game in short the best of the best

    After hours of questioning it’s becoming clear the standard of these peoples memories is equivalent to the accepted view of a Goldfish’s , thank god these Civil Servants are on the ball dealing with this pandemic the only drawback might be decisions made on Monday would be forgotten by Tuesday , that might be a bit of a problem , not for them but for us Joe Public .

    Eh What was the question again ? .

  88. MaggieC says:

    This is from the Daily Record on 10 th October ,

    “ A Scottish Government director who corrected her evidence to the Salmond Inquiry is retiring at the end of the year. Barbara Allison told colleagues she had “mixed emotions” about leaving but said there are “other things that I would like to do”.

    Is it a case of jump before your pushed ? .

  89. Stan Broadwood says:

    There was a report in Sky News last week about middle aged women’s symptoms when they are going through the menopause.

    And one that stood out was that women get “foggy brain” during the menopause. They start to become very forgetful.

    Could it be that these witnesses are going through the menopause???

  90. robertknight says:

    There’s as much chance of getting a satisfactory outcome to this, as there is of me setting off in 5 minutes to swim the length of the Forth & Clyde Canal, and being home in time for tea.

  91. Robert Graham says:

    I think everyone would agree we might get somewhere if these Government Employees simply told the Truth,
    This is down to how clever this questioners are at forming their questions and attempting to extract some of the Truth , A good Dentist on hand might be helpful because by Christ it’s like watching Teeth being drawn it’s painful watching the verbal somersaults and dodging round a question

    A strange situation where we are relying on Unionist politicians to do the work for us ,

  92. Know who else gets to submit evidence or testimony anonymously? Agents of the British State.

    Because there’s no more effective way to (attempt to) destroy a man – than tar him as a sex-pest & much worse, in order to destroy his livelihood, reputation, friends & family support networks, along with his life achievements and legacy.

    Hell, many men in such manufactured false accusation circumstances end up topping themselves. It’s uncomfortable but it’s true. And what’s more, it’s endemic…

    “The propagandist’s purpose is to make one set of people forget that certain other sets of people are human”. Aldous Huxley

    ‘The #MeToo Truth* of Nr5 #RampantSexism’ by #GaslightingGilligan;

    *And which is why, in part, #ToryAnalytica militarisation is *inevitable*.

  93. Hatuey says:

    Mrs Doubtfire isn’t giving an inch. I ask again, why would you go back and delete text messages on an Iphone? Judith MacKinnon was doing it too.

    Text messages are evidence.

  94. stonefree says:

    my thought this morning

    “The pantomime season has started early again”

  95. Garavelli Princip says:

    A key fact in this is that Judith McKinnon was “Head of HR” at the Scottish Police Authority.

    Quite apart from the disgrace that is the SPA – being a so-called “Human Resources” so called “professional” rings huge alarm bells.

    In my extensive experience HR operatives are among the most devious , dishonest, lying dissembling – and generally thick useless bastards that you ever have the misfortune to come across. They well deserve the HR moniker HR really stands for “Human Remains”

    They are paid liars – and their job is is to do down fellow workers on behalf of their psychopathic bosses. The generally enjoy doing this – they do it with relish.

    In over thirty years experience of dealing with such creatures I have come to recognise the type. Low-grade functionaries, with no scruples – usually brainless, but full of low cunning – too much for their own good. On a level playing field they would be easily overcome – but in a workplace where power resides almost entirely with employers and useless managers, they get away with murder.

    Of course, when their activities are examined outside of their protected sphere, particularly as in this case, a by clever lawyers in a court of law, their confections fall apart.

    Given all that has occurred in this sorry case, it is not at all surprising that lying behind the whole disgraceful episode is the hand of Human Remains!

  96. Stan Broadwood says:

    Also just hearing that all committee members have been issued with six feet feathers and have been instructed to beat the witnesses to within an inch of a snigger.

  97. Stan Broadwood says:

    All questions and answers wrote by Pete and Nicky Murrell.

  98. Re: previous comment – Not ‘anonymously’ in her case but shielded from public view…

  99. Stan Broadwood says:

    Every single person involved in this farce are taking us for mugs,,,and I include the Committee members.

  100. Grey Gull says:

    Maggie @12.05.
    Sounds more than likely. Missed some of the proceedings but some technical wizard somewhere will be able to retrieve deleted texts. Does it need a warrant or something similar and as the criminal proceedings are over with, maybe it can’t be done?

  101. SOG says:

    RG said…

    “A strange situation where we are relying on Unionist politicians to do the work for us”

    But they have the motivation to lever open these actions, and expose them for all to see. Others might find a cover-up, with one hapless individual thrown to the wolves, a preferable solution.

  102. Oneliner says:

    Hey it’s only Holyrood, the Tories can always close it down and concentrate on the power grab.

    We would probably take that on the chin – like we did with the McCrone report being buried, and Jack the Quack Cunningham’s tinkering plan for the first devolution vote.

  103. robert Hughes says:

    Ian Brotherhood says:
    27 October, 2020 at 10:16 am
    @TC –

    It is disgraceful, and what kind of precedent is being set?

    Next we’ll have Murrell saying he’s happy to give evidence, but only if he can do it telepathically.Maybe the Committee .Ha ha aye maybe the committee should start using a ouija board – ” is there anybody there ? ” and the tumbler starts spelling-out ” I can’t remember “

  104. JaMuR says:

    Barbara reluctant to say the name of Liz lloyd.

  105. lothianlad says:

    When it gets to the stage that I am willing on unionists to help expose an SNP FM lies and deciept, then the SNP have become worse than them!

    Strange times indeed.

  106. Nosy says:

    Surely Mackinnon wud have to have proof of bullying on SM to have been allowed to give evidence behind a door?? It’s one big cock up we don’t get to see her expressions. I’d say this whole trial should have to be re-sat and McKinnon made to appear in person

  107. Hatuey says:

    Garavelli, that comment of yours on the role of HR is a work of beautiful art. If this website had a hall of fame, I’d hang it prominently there in one of those golden frames.

    The whole premise of HR is as you describe. It’s an American idea, as I understand it, much like chlorinated chicken, intended to both replace and undermine the role once played by shop stewards and unions who generally represented workers’ interests.

    HR managers are there to screw the workforce on behalf of employers. It goes without saying that such a role requires a high degree of unscrupulousness and a low degree of intelligence.

  108. lothianlad says:

    Gaverelli Princip 12.24

    !00% Correct. HR are slimey bastards!! imho

  109. NodtoBob says:

    Bravo Garavelli Princip. The clue is in the job title: they talk about “Human Resources”; the rest of us deal with people. Sociopaths the f****** lot of them.

  110. tartandiaspora says:

    i dont believe in the conspiracy theories surrounding this enquiry.

    the msp’s and the civil servants involved dont strike me as being competent or clever enough to come up with conspiracies that complicated.

    the main finding as far as i can see is one of incompetence,
    it would appear all are guilty as charged

  111. Cenchos says:

    Look in a mirror and say ‘Liz Lloyd’ five times and your broadband will go down.

  112. Mac says:

    Well we know there must be a very compelling reason they desperately needed audio only and it obviously has sweet fanny adams to do with social media trolls.

    I think the suggestion she had people there coaching her and that she is using prepared scripts are both very probable.

    Maybe the audio problems are a clue here as well, maybe she was speaking via a relay from another room where someone could mute the mic and she could get advice without the risk of her cocking it up.

    Who knows but it is one very big coincidence that her testimony had to be audio only and then there is a problem with the audio… aye right, very fishy.

    Their arrogance to just pervert the course of justice… time after time after time is the most breathtaking thing for me. They really feel like they are above the law, that they can do whatever they want and get away with it. So far they are.

    Any outsiders looking in at the way the Scottish Government behave would conclude we are some tin pot country run by shady crooked politicians. And they would be right.

  113. James Che. says:

    These civil servants not only have memory loses, which indicates not fit for the job and the high pay they receive,
    Who sent us these civil servants, where did they come from, why do we have to have these civil servants in the roles they have.
    Do the civil servants answer to uk government,
    You certainly could ask if the infiltration of the snp by civil servants, that seem incapable of handling such a high office, screwing up and deleting messages on phones, or the inability to follow procedures, or running so scared when they have been discovered and hiding behind excuses to answer for their misdemeanours, would indicate excessive unwanted unwarranted baggage that is not necessary to our devolved government,
    We can make an .rse by ourselves in the devolved government, we don’t need more spokes to our wheels,
    I bet mackinnon did not give a d.m that AS had to put up with MSM and social media abuse and their were many well known reporters hanging him before a legal judgement was made, why should one of the instigators be shielded.

  114. PhilM says:

    Quick general note…offence of misfeasance in public office does not exist under Scots law, but it does exist in England and Wales.
    Next bit is me spitballing and I’m prepared to be completely wrong on this:

    Scotland Act 1998 has an interesting section on Maladministration (section 91) but warning – ‘beware of minefield’ – should be placed at the top.
    91 (3)(a) The Parliament may make provision for the investigation of complaints in respect of any action taken by or on behalf of an office-holder in the Scottish administration (‘action’ includes failure to act). I take this to mean that the Scottish Parliament, the legislature, has a potential jurisdictional power over the Scottish Govt, the executive, but it would have to pass an act (‘make provision’) to do so and I’m not sure how that would work exactly. The ‘complaint’ in section 91 (3)(a) could only come from a ‘member of the public who claims to have sustained injustice in consequence of maladministration’ (Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967). In relation to the ‘events’ currently before the Fabiani committee, the only member of the public who could claim to have sustained injustice in would be (gulp!) Alex Salmond…

  115. willie says:

    Too right Alf Baird it is high time that the procurator fiscal looked at prosecution for malfeasance in public office. But they won’t’

    The actions of this First Minister and that of the civil service mark out the country out to be nothing less that a rotten banana republic.

    It is more than clear that process of government is corrupt as is the rule of law that can facilitate prosecution for political ends. Salmond showed that – but it doesn’t end with Salmond.

    This, unless we are careful is the road to anarchy. If the law does not operate properly, or only selectively, and if rotten rotten and corrupt government continues, then we need jungle law.

    The Americans have guns in their constitution and they have them for for a reason. To use against a government that turns rotten, turns against them. It’s not exactly a rip roaring success in terms of the number of annual fatalities through ubiquitous gun availability – but if I had a gun would you try and stich me up. No I’m sure you wouldn’t – or at least you might think twice. But thankfully I don’t have a gun and neither do many others. But it reinforces exactly why we need fairness and a proper rule of law because without it there is only chaos.

    Indeed, only a few miles away from here and across the water in Ireland and in the delightful corner that they call Northern Ireland, the denial of fairness and the active application of bias through a partisan devolved government in Stormont together with a paramilitary police eventually gave rise to the bullet and the bomb. And what a rip roaring fun story that was with 30,000 troops trying to keep order and over 3,000 dead over twenty five years.

    Maybe wee Nicola has a long way to go before she gets to that stage but the handiwork of her government in pursuing Alex Salmond and in the pursuing of others shows what underlies her exterior. Her control of a now rotten party ruled by a partisan clique, shows precisely more of the same with both party and government corrupted.

    And so unless the SNP rids itself of Sturgeon, Murrell and all of the other nasties, it is crystal clear that another party will emerge. That is for sure.

    Independence is nearer than it has ever been. Brexit and Boris will see to that. We need to take back control. Get our movement back on track.

    Time she was gone.

  116. Sylvia says:

    Special advisers named at meetings by Allison were Liz Lloyd and Stuart Nicolson. Stuart Nicolson (with Callum McCaig) confronted Derek Mackay when the Sun contacted the SG to inform them they would be running a story about him that night. Stuart Nicolson has been with the SG for some time – he is a former Scottish political editor at the Scottish Daily Mail.

  117. Betty Boop says:

    Jings, I need to lie down after watching that and finding myself impressed by Jackie Baillie zero-ing in on the Mac and producing total silence.

  118. James Che. says:

    Sorry for spelling mistakes, this machine is trying to tell what am thinking and suggests other words and spelling, and when I tried manual correction it does not delete previous spelling errors. it often misses small words like, it , the, and, be, etc .
    My apologies,

  119. Tinto Chiel says:

    @Garavelli Princip 12.24: your characterisation of HR operatives certainly matched my experience of them in my profession.

    The ones I knew were duplicitous,unprincipled, nasty types who were generally too thick to do a real job, yet these same aerosols could destroy you if you couldn’t get good (and expensive) legal advice.

    What a pathetic farrago of “I don’t know/it wisnae me/sorry, I deleted it/ I don’t recall” this morning.

    I’m even angrier the committee allowed JM to give audio-only evidence: quite unforgivable and unjustifiable. Will this be the way the FM and CEO will testify, if they ever get them into the room?

    Very disappointed in Linda Fabiani. Or were any misgivings from her over-ruled?

  120. Hatuey says:

    Sticking to established metaphor, it’s important to remember that Salmond won the battle and the war. These people are fighting for their careers and lives today, not Salmond.

    And these civil servants are basically grunts, bad soldiers in a bad war. We shouldn’t forget who started the war and set all this in motion though. Whoever did that is responsible for all the ensuing atrocities, turmoil, and destruction.

    I believe Mr Salmond will throw some much needed light on this subject very soon.

    Remember that the official narrative hinges on the claim that the complainers came forward quite naturally, of their own accord. Everything will come to hinge on this and it is noteworthy that the civil servants get most agitated when asked to comment on their relationship with the complainers and the sequence of events leading to “their” decision to make formal complaints.

  121. James Che. says:

    Perhaps when we can wake up the rest of Scotland, and help them realise that We have the right, to choose whom governs us,[ albeit temporarily or long term] then we can rid ourselves of such rotten corrupt politics in our government,
    when the politicians are close enough to the end of our boots and answerable to the Scottish people directly. Then politics may be cleaned up,
    This corruption only reinstates my believe why a parliament must not be sovereign.
    The sovereignty must always remain with the people,

  122. MaggieC says:

    Re Harassment and Complaints Committee , there are updates on the Phase 3 Judicial Review page ,

    Letter from John Swinney to the convener ,

    Further timeline from the Scottish Government relating to the Judicial Review ,

  123. Andy M says:

    Bit of a farce about non-appearance since she was the central character. This is clearly an HR F*** Up. The standard of civil servants in leadership roles is appalling not to mention the special advisors who have no life experience other being girlfriend or boyfriend of someone connected to the party. I still think Salmond has some explaining to do.

  124. Astonished says:

    I’m glad we all agree about HR.

    One HR women strongly objected when I said it was a nazi term (it is) and I preferred personnel. I have never met one whom I thought intelligent or sympathetic.

    The longer this goes on the worse it looks for the Scottish Government’s personnel department.

    I think one of the lawyers will crack this wide open.

  125. robertknight says:

    I’m beginning to appreciate how frustrated the citizens of Paris must’ve felt, right before they stormed the Bastille.

  126. Betty Boop says:

    @Tinto Chiel, 1.31pm

    I don’t think it mattered that much that MacKinnon was on audio only. Hearing the obvious discomfiture in her voice, I could imagine the contortions of her facial muscles as she searched for a way to avoid answering. It didn’t work for her.

  127. Kenny says:

    This whole inquiry is little more than an utter sham, an extended cover-up to a cover-up. It’s as plain as the lying nose on their faces. All of Twitter’s seeing it, all of Twitter’s talking about it, all of Twitter’s incredulous over it. Holyrood Mandy Rhodes – hardly one for leaning in favour of one side – is barely constrained by the breathtaking audacity of it all.

    Sorry, but I’m wary of Fabiani. Why the hell did she permit ‘audio only’ evidence? This isn’t transparency? Nothing like transparency.

    No, I’m far from happy – who would be?
    Get a judge in, expose these crooks.

  128. kapelmeister says:

    Novelty. The first Human Resources person who is shy and sensitive.

  129. Republicofscotland says:

    The corruption isn’t going unnoticed.

    “A SERVING SNP councillor making a Holyrood 2021 bid has today dropped out of the race after having “completely lost faith” in the contest.”

  130. Mist001 says:

    Just out of interest, are the results of this enquiry allowed to be sealed for 100 years, as in the Dunblane enquiry and others?

  131. Robert Graham says:

    Kenny @ 2:12

    Aye a really impressive statement as to why a this audio link was alilowed “the Committee has decided ” oh well that’s ok then eh .

    By the way anyone notice the smug smirk on the face of the SNP chair when proceedings closed looked like Job done result ,

    What’s the chances that this Pantomime concludes before Boris and the Tory Mafia ends funding to Holyrood so that effectively ends this farcical inquiry ,

    I bet Ladbrokes will probably give odds on that one , even money looks a good bet .

  132. Hatuey says:

    MaggieC, The letters suggest the Scottish Government is continuing to withhold evidence, or standing in the way of its production at the inquiry, and continuing to attempt to divert the focus of the inquiry into the nitty-gritty details of allegations (misleading referred to as “matters of substance”).

    As Salmond’s lawyers put it;

    “The clear objective of the Scottish Government is to tarnish the reputation of our client and to seek to distract the
    Committee from the core remit of investigating the Scottish Government and First Minister.”

    In other words, tabloid tactics. And it shows how desperate they are. All matters of substance were concisely dealt with at the criminal trial. Salmond was cleared of all charges in a Criminal Court of Law.

    He is an innocent man, and a private citizen, and they are bent on destroying what’s left of his reputation and standing further, using all the powers and resources of Government and State, rather than allowing the truth to come out.

    Stronger for Gutters.

  133. Black Joan says:

    PhilM @1.05pm

    You suggest: “The ‘complaint’ in section 91 (3)(a) could only come from a ‘member of the public who claims to have sustained injustice in consequence of maladministration’ (Parliamentary Commissioner Act 1967). In relation to the ‘events’ currently before the Fabiani committee, the only member of the public who could claim to have sustained injustice in would be (gulp!) Alex Salmond…”

    Could tax-paying members of the public not argue that they have sustained the injustice of their money being wasted in this cavalier, maladministrative fashion, contrary to advice and offers of mediation and arbitration?

    And the squandering of such money will have meant that it was not available to be spent in other, proper ways, so the maladministration has deprived the public of goods and services to which they have a claim?

  134. Patsy Millar says:

    I think she’s just opened herself up for the criticism of her which will now appear all over Twitter. I don’t tweet much as I mostly reply to others, but she would have the same remedy as the rest of us if we suspect a troll or are offended by someone on Teitter, i.e. block them!

  135. Liz says:

    Re NS dealing with Covid 100%, she appears to be unaware of what’s happening under her watch.

  136. crazycat says:

    @ Oneliner at 12.38

    Jack the Quack Cunningham’s tinkering plan for the first devolution vote.

    Not that it really matters, but you are confusing George Cunningham (, an otherwise unremarkable individual, with:

    Dr Jack Cunningham (,_Baron_Cunningham_of_Felling), a much more powerful politician, one of the few MPs to have been a research scientist, and possessor of the weirdest accent ever invented.

  137. William Wallace says:

    Statement from Councillor Julie McKenzie.

    I wish to advise SNP members in Argyll and Bute that, with a great deal of sadness, I have written to the National Secretary today to inform him that I have taken the difficult decision to withdraw for the Argyll and Bute SNP selection contest for the Scottish Parliament election in 2021.

    Due to internal party issues in relation to governance procedure and impartiality I have completely lost faith in due process and the concept of a level playing field for all.

    Full Statement shared on twitter

    No prizes for guessing why. It’s getting harder and harder to remain a member of this party. I can’t see any other way at this stage than to leave the party and withdraw funding. The corruption is rank rotten. I feel tainted by association at this juncture.

  138. robertknight says:

    Must’ve been sat on the pan for the whole session – just in case the arse got jealous of all the shite coming out of the mouth and decided to join in.

  139. Breeks says:

    robertknight says:
    27 October, 2020 at 1:59 pm
    I’m beginning to appreciate how frustrated the citizens of Paris must’ve felt, right before they stormed the Bastille.

    Yeah, except we need some people put INTO the Bastille, rather than broken out. I’m feeling more in touch with my inner Torquemada rather than Robespierre.

    I’m thinking thumb screws and hot fire irons might help to loosen a few tongues and help speed up the Inquiry.

    Nobody expects the Scottish Inquisition…. lol.

  140. Margaret E says:

    Maggie C
    I can’t access/download any of the documents that you mention above. Just a message to say that they are archived. Is there anothe way to get hold of them?

  141. Republicofscotland says:

    Who else will be intentionally targeted by this, and how much more will it cost the Scottish taxpayer.

  142. Republicofscotland says:

    “A TOP mandarin who told MSPs under oath she did not receive a text which said “we may have lost the battle, but we will win the war” after Alex Salmond won his case against the Scottish Government has now admitted she did indeed get it.”

    Surely Barbara Allison perjured herself.

  143. Kenny says:

    What gets me is how the head of the SNP insists on everyone else being squeaky clean.

    Michelle Thomson anyone?

  144. Cenchos says:

    Republicofscotland @ 2.33 pm and William Wallace @ 3:04.

    Err, not exactly. This candidate’s past has caught up with her, regardless of what she says; in particular a sectarian social media post. She’s deflecting.

  145. MaggieC says:

    Margaret E @ 3.13 pm
    This happened once before when I posted links , I’ve had no trouble opening them ,

    Try it this way and see if it works , this is a link to the actual letters when i have then open

    I’ll put up the other links on another post .

    This is page where the documents are on ,

  146. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Err, not exactly. This candidate’s past has caught up with her, regardless of what she says; in particular a sectarian social media post. She’s deflecting.”

    Evidence please.

  147. Beaker says:

    @Breeks says:
    27 October, 2020 at 3:09 pm
    “I’m thinking thumb screws and hot fire irons might help to loosen a few tongues and help speed up the Inquiry.”

    Or the threat of sitting through the droning parliamentary speeches of certain SNP Westminster MPs?

  148. Robert Graham says:

    I am listening to a apparently a Scottish caller to LBC Radio the Topic is the US Election , this brainless bloody clown is sticking up for The Donald I honestly cant believe the shite this guy was spouting , To think this person is maybe walking about without adult supervision is chilling I could probably link to the Tory party in Scotland and their version of the world ,

  149. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Wondering if taking an ‘oath’ actually means anything or you’re just expected, as a pragmatic modern politico, to scoff at the very idea.

    Because it’s a dismal picture either way – either these characters are telling the truth and they really are as cack-handed, forgetful and plain stupid as they sound, or they’re lying under oath. In either case, they’re not the sort of people who should be in positions of power anywhere.

    If it transpires that they lied to this committee then they should all face prison. Pour encourager les autres an aw that…

  150. Cuphook says:

    Judith MacKinnon’s audio testimony from a secured location is indicative of a desperate Stasi-like operation in the SNP, but surely the most revealing moment today was the exchange between Jackie Baillie and Barbara Allison over the text messages; the poker moment.

    That the COPFS kept the two now public texts for legal reasons, but not the text which prompted their response, is incredulous. Can the committee ask who instructed the release of those two texts to Allison and all communication concerning the matter? Can they ask the COPFS for the text?

    Does Allison backup her phone to the iCloud? Has she tried to retrieve the missing text? Has she tried using third party software to retrieve it? If, as she believes, the text will be an affirmation of equality, then its recovery would be restorative.

    Does she not believe that democracy requires this small inconvenience to herself?

    As an HR professional does she not think democracy worthy of her pastoral care?

  151. Bob Mack says:

    I’m list for words really. This is not how to run a country, especially the one we all aspire to.

    Utterly corrupt from top to bottom. I pity those including myself who have to endure this for the same of Indy.

    We need someone ,somewhere, who can save the day.

  152. Strathy says:

    Willie made an excellent point at 1.07pm: –

    ‘…. the rule of law that can facilitate prosecution for political ends. Salmond showed that – but it doesn’t end with Salmond.’

    The European Commission is very concerned about similar conduct by some members of the EU27.

    Will it want to add to its problems?

    When she rings them: –

    Sturgeon: Hi, It’s Nicola. Do you remember when I came to see you during one of my pointless, self-serving, taxpayer-funded trips to Brussels? I asked about Scotland joining and you seemed quite keen. Can you send me an application form?

    EU Official: (after a long pause) Ah, oh, erm – I remember, I was busy with the usual amount of stuff that happens every day and I thought you came to see someone else. Also, my other job is Head of Coffee Machines and I thought you came to see me about them, so I didn’t make any notes. Anyway, I’m having audio problems and someone has told me that I don’t remember it. Good Bye.

  153. Graeme says:


    “The hun in my house has just commented that it’s amazing what happens with no Rangers in the league”

    Who was the hun in her house ?

  154. Republicofscotland says:

    Cenchos, thank you for the link, however that was six years ago, of which the main story from the Sun must surely have been seen by most as the menacing balaclava clad Rangers ultras.

    I think rather that Mackenzie is standing down due to what the consequences of what the Rev has uncovered and shown and not due to one offensive word, that I certainly don’t condone, that she used over six years ago.

  155. cynicalHighlander says:

    @Margaret E

    Remove the pdf on url then retype pdf

  156. Tinto Chiel says:

    Betty Boop: “I don’t think it mattered that much that MacKinnon was on audio only. Hearing the obvious discomfiture in her voice, I could imagine the contortions of her facial muscles as she searched for a way to avoid answering. It didn’t work for her.”

    She certainly came across very badly, as you say. I had a mental picture of her (at every one of those long pauses) of getting frantic sign language from other people in her room or wherever she was.

    I wouldn’t like this ridiculous arrangement to set a precedent for other witnesses later on, though.

  157. Triangular Ears says:

    “Hi Judith, this is Clem Fandago. Can you hear me?”

    “No, I can’t hear you Clem Fandago.”


  158. MaggieC says:

    cynicalhighlander @ 4.11pm
    Margaret E

    Thanks for that advice to Margaret E , I had forgotten above the * pdf * part at the end of the links .

  159. Balaaargh says:


    I think it’s the brackets in the filename which is confusing the browser when you post the link. Another way to do it is like this.

    The Rev’s site lets you do some basic tags like the one shown here:

  160. Flower of Scotland says:

    Julie McKenzie councillor who was wanting to stand for the SNP is woke. It’s the same constituency as Rhiannon Spear. Hope people support Breege Smyth!

  161. SilverDarling says:

    Julie McKenzie has claimed to be the subject of a campaign of harassment both in her personal life and in her professional life going back some years.

    As far as I know she has some woke credentials but is a lightning rod for the misogyny of the Argyll and Bute Yoons who target her frequently with online and offline abuse.

    As far as the current proceedings there is some discord that Breege Smyth may be capitalising on her Yes pedigree and that Ms Spear has the woke vote hence no room for anyone else.

    Also there seems to be a few noses out of joint over this:

  162. Skip_NC says:

    Totally O/T. Am I misreading something or were the SNP accounts published by the Electoral Commission on the 12th of this month, showing cash in hand of about $97,000?

  163. Margaret E says:

    Maggie C
    Thanks for the new links. They still don’t work, but the link to Scotgov does so I have been able to access the lawyers’ letters now.
    Thanks for taking so much trouble

  164. Johnny Martin says:


    There are certainly documents purporting to be statement of accounts for the central party and the WM Group and a host of other parties published on 13 October 2020.

    Whether this is exactly what was missing, I couldn’t say.

  165. Oneliner says:


    Thanks for the erratum heads up. My apologies are due to Cunningham the latter.

    As for the former (("Quizmaster" - Ed)) – ‘nough said.

  166. kapelmeister says:

    Triangular Ears @4:22

    Sturgeon is Toast.

  167. McHaggis69 says:

    I know this is not a popular opinion here –

    The FM – the buck stops with her, but for me I think she has relied upon what have transpired to be the incompetent and malicious machinations of a small cabal of women at the very highest levels of the civil service in Scotland.

    As ‘the boss’ you cannot have in depth knowledge of every single policy so you appoint or have appointed the best in the business to run things smoothly for you.

    When the shit hits the fan you can choose to either throw these people under the bus (assuming it is deserved) or you can back them and dig in for the long haul. The FM has chosen the latter. What a mistake.

  168. Oneliner says:

    Quizmaster? Not what I typed.

    Maybe the word I used is a profanity?


  169. Michael Laing says:

    Margaret E at 5.19pm: It occurred to me earlier that the problem with the links might be that you need to include the file extension when searching for them, rather than just clicking on them directly. I’ve just tried it and that’s proved to be the case.

  170. twathater says:

    With my tinfoil hat firmly in place , is it not credible that the unionist brigade have been TOLD to go easy (but not to easy) on the questioning of the diciples, as to do so may lead to the removal of their best assets Nicky and Peter who we all know the last thing they want is independence

    As far as I’ve seen the questioning has been mediocre and lacklustre with the answers proffered given some acceptance, and the risible acceptance of audio only being accommodated without evidence of abuse or threats being produced only highlights my suspicions

    Let’s face it we KNOW that the unionist parties reps are not the brightest lights, but do we not think that the chance and opportunity to deal a massive blow or even a FATAL blow to Sturgeon and the SNP would be WORTH numerous accolades from the mouth frothers and their financers so WHY are they NOT capitalising on this opportunity

  171. Hatuey says:

    McHaggis, with all dire respect, that’s utter crap. Nobody in the civil service could have decided to change the procedure and remove the FM from the new process. That of course also means that she consented to going after former ministers too since the new procedure would not have included that had she objected.

  172. Lochside says:

    This latest sham performance by an grossly overpaid and over promoted individual to the Holyrood Enquiry is so dispiriting to the point of despair for any true supporter of Independence. Collusion by the committee in the farcial ‘audio’ only evidence based on a blatant lie points yet again to SNP and SG corruption.

    The narrative which has become manifest is one of a malicious political imperative to skewer Salmond and any true supporter of our Liberty…Craig Murray; Manni Singh…and yes , Sean Clerkin amongst many others, including the corrupt farrago presently proceeding with NEC manipulation of MSP candidature.

    That these individuals, brass necked and full of entitlement can present themselves as ‘forgetful’ or ‘mistaken’ under oath stretches credibility to the outer limits. Scottish taxpayers have funded their malice and incompetence..e.g.Allison holidaying in the Maldives while Evans sends her gloating text..and no doubt we will be funding their future golden handshakes when they should be receiving steel handcuffs for committing malfeasance whilst in Public office.

    It would fair make ye greet that at this stage of our campaign for Freedom, that we find that those leading us are nothing but smalltime crooks and charlatans.. a rerun of the ‘parcel of rogues’ selling us down the river for their own personal vendettas and personal self aggrandisement…and like the scum that sold us out last time are scrabbling like rats in a sack to absolve themselves of the stink of their guilt and betrayal.

    God help Scotland..but we must do it ourselves. Unite and build a new party out of the destruction they have attempted of our movement and the terrible undermining of our hopes and aspirations by these despicable tra*tors.

  173. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Lochside (6.06) –

    Hear hear.

    I remain hopeful that Fabiani’s ‘gently gently’ approach may yet prove to be effective.

    You don’t have to be Desmond fekkin Morris to read the body language on display. The committee members know they’re being taken for a ride and they don’t like it. (I can’t see any obvious reason for them to collude but then again, it wasn’t so long ago I really didn’t believe there was anything much to this ‘Alphabet Ladies’ story.)

    It’s gone too far now for there to be a ‘whitewash’, no matter what the committee’s final report says. Too much has been revealed and we now have all the ‘edges’ of the jigsaw – what’s left is to flesh out the details. As that happens over the next few weeks, there will surely be Scooby-Doo moments, resignations and, who knows? perhaps Scotland’s Finest will have to get involved – we can all see that perjury has already been committed.

  174. McHaggis69 says:


    at no point have I said the FM played no part.
    What I do believe though is when your top civil servants come to to you – as they do every day with notes, policies, changes, news etc etc you cannot keep tabs on all of it 100%. Thats why there is a Scottish Government of thousands.
    Yes, in this case she certainly did have more input than normal due to ‘circumstances’ but theres no way she would have been up past her eyes in every single detail. She’s kinda busy doing other stuff too.

    Her mistake was to rely on these inept charlatans.
    Her second much bigger mistake was not to throw them under the bus for being inept charlatans when she had the chance.

  175. crazycat says:

    @ Oneliner

    “Quizmaster”, along with “tractor”, is an automatic substitution here for a couple of insults (though sometimes the filters seem not to catch the offending nouns). In 2015 the Green candidate in Mundell’s seat really was a quizmaster, according to his biography – I don’t think it was his only source of income.

    I wouldn’t waste too much sympathy on Dr Jack; in my opinion he has very few redeeming features (when I looked for the link, I was vaguely surprised that he’s still around, and not even 80 – he always seemed so sepulchral).

  176. Hatuey says:

    One of the things that’s kept me sane over the last few months (no laughing at the back) is the hope and expectation that Sturgeon will need to resign over this. With every new tranche of evidence, every new revelation, and every lie that unravels before my eyes, I have become more and more confident of that outcome.

    It’s been an interesting 3-year ride but Sturgeon will fall. Be glad that we will be free of a politician that has done nothing for us. She’s done nothing towards achieving independence and she never will.

    I wouldn’t say the journey is more important than the destination as far as independence is concerned but, with her gone, at least we will be back on our journey.

    More than anything, I look forward to all the poison being drained from the veins of the independence movement. Sturgeon’s one Machiavellian success was getting us all fighting with each other over absolute crap, distracting us in the process from her gaping failures as the supposed leader of Scotland’s Independence Party.

    Disappointed by this? No. I’m energised and inspired.

    All of you need to see this moment for what it is. We don’t need to Brexit. We don’t need to wait on a Section 30. The journey awaits us. The path ahead has never been clearer. We march at dawn, my friends. It’s gonna be one helluva ride.

  177. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Testing to see if this link can be sent – it was part of a lengthy comment I made about ten, maybe fifteen minutes ago. It never arrived…

    Anyway, it’s powerful stuff – Alex Salmond’s lawyers aren’t having a laugh.

  178. Grey Gull says:

    It doesn’t open straight away but it’s because the pdf part isn’t highlighted.

  179. SilverDarling says:

    Not everyone involved in this debacle will have wanted rid of Alex Salmond for the same reasons.

    Some may have preservation of the Union as their main aim, others preservation of their role in the party, some may be working to destroy the SNP and Holyrood. In working together they tried to give the impression they had women’s interests at the heart, however this is a sham as the ineptitude and collusion in trying to make the foot fit the shoe has been slowly revealed.

    It is clear though that everyone of them should be held to account for what they have done.

  180. Ian Brotherhood

    Link not showing up – it says message not in archive.

  181. Grey Gull says:

    Meg If you copy the link, paste it into your internet search engine then add .pdf you should get it ok.

  182. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Grey Gull/ meg merrilees –

    Sorry, that’s my fault.

    The original comment I posted had that link but also had a copy/paste from the end of the Levy & McRae letter, sent just yesterday, warning the committee that the SG is withholding requested evidence and, basically, telling them to stop fucking about with these characters.

  183. Grey Gull says:

    Ian B. No worries. Thanks to you and Maggie for keeping us up to speed with everything via these links. And anyone else I may have forgotten to mention!

  184. cynicalHighlander says:

    That pdf grrr.

    Copy the url within that archive link and paste it, works that way.

  185. North chiel says:

    “ Twathater@ 0557 p.m. “ Do we not think that the chance & opportunity to deal a massive or even fatal blow to Sturgeon and the SNP would be worth numerous accolades from the mouth frothers & their financiers . So why are they not capitalising on this opportunity”?
    Probably because “ now is not the time “ Sir , as the unionists are quite happy at the moment to “ allow” the SNP to think that they are “ home & dry” with an Independence majority in May 2021 ( Even suggesting that a pro independence Holyrood majority might lead to Westminster “ consenting” to a section 30 order. ?. Conversely, if the SNP fail to obtain a majority then without a shadow of a doubt WESTMINSTER will reiterate the “ once in a generation “ line . ).
    My thoughts are that let’s say 6 weeks ahead of the Holyrood vote is when the Unionist will “ turn their fire “ on NS and her government and a full television & newspaper “ propaganda blitz “ will be launched against her personally in an outright bid to force her resignation and plunge the SNP election campaign into complete disarray.
    The Westminster Unionist parties will control the timetable and will work in collusion on this , just as they did in the “ surprise attack “ 2015 GE .
    Meanwhile , they will continue to “ build up “ NS as and until it suits them to “ pull the rug” from under her feet .

  186. CameronB Brodie says:

    What a mess this appear to be turning into. That’s largely because Scotland’s political and justice systems have been corrupted and disabled through standing under the sovereignty of the Crown in Parliament, rather than the Moral law. Which means our law officers are institutionally incapable of reinspecting the “Naturalized Epistemology and the Law of Evidence”.

    So Scots will never enjoy the benefits of democracy, until we remove the institutional barriers that prevent our law officers from respecting the truth. That will take independence though, which our legal Establishment are ideologically opposed to.

  187. CameronB Brodie says:

    Does anyone know if the Church of Scotland is interested in defending the Natural law, or are they too institutionally narrow to support anything deemed tainted by Catholic theology? I only ask as a respect for the Natural law is kind of essential to “The Epistemology of Scientific Evidence”.

  188. Alf Baird says:

    I found the MSP’s questioning and approach to be especially weak and I suspect this relates to the lack of an expert or specialist advisor to the committee. We cannot rely on MSP’s to think up questions that would really probe deeply into such a matter. I say this as a former advisor appointed to select committee investigations at Westminster, Stormont and Tynwald, and where the advisor is tasked to help set detailed probing technical questions for members to ask, and the advisor also helps to structure and draft the report. At Holyrood the committee clerks appear to do much of the legwork themselves but they will not be expert in the specific matter under investigation. Does anyone know if this committee has appointed a Specialist Advisor? And if so, what the advisor’s area of expertise is?

  189. Hatuey says:

    So, time for my inquiry round-up. It was a good day for justice and truth.

    A recurring theme in all this is skullduggery involves the use of mobile phones. Today was no different.

    Not so long ago we had Murrell urging people to put pressure on the police through WhatsApp; “ the more fronts he is having to firefight on the better for all complainers.“

    And today we had HR Director Barbara Allison admitting that she was the recipient of the ‘conspiratorial’ text from Leslie Evans, head of the Civil Service – “battle maybe lost, but not the war” – after misleading the committee before on the matter by denying she was the recipient.

    But something else emerged today involving the use of mobile phones and I’m surprised nobody seems to talking about it. Two high ranking civil servants openly admitted under oath to the inquiry that they had been selectively deleting text messages, text messages that would otherwise have served as evidence in this inquiry. This is highly suspicious behaviour.

    A lot of the evidence supplied to the inquiry so far has been in the form of text messages. What does that tell us? It tells us that a lot of these people in the civil service and SNP are on very familiar terms with one another. It’s all very cosy, isn’t it?

    This is what Salmond was and still is up against. It’s absolutely rancid. You could see it on the faces of the inquiry team today – they’ve seen enough. It’s officially a rancid farce.

  190. holymacmoses says:

    McHaggis69 says:
    27 October, 2020 at 5:38 pm
    I know this is not a popular opinion here –


    I think it’s totally naive to consider that Ms Sturgeon wouldn’t be closely interested in a policy which was designed to ensure that her mentor was disgraced and jailed for years .

    Barbara Allison will need to be kept sweet by the rest of them or she’ll sink the lot.
    Judith McKinnon comes from Kilwinning and that village has a lot to answer for. In this case it’s simply the production of a total lying fool who has an IQ of 90 if she’s lucky.

  191. Sylvia says:

    holymacmoses @ 8:50 I am with you 100% including “Kilwinning”. “This” is the problem from the top-down – deceitful, vile, odious and corrupt.

  192. tartandiaspora says:

    pretty thin gruel for the ever decreasing sycophantic disciples of “Shallow Throat” on WOVS


    snigger 🙂

  193. McDuff says:

    Why are SNP MP/MSP`s so silent.
    Why are the unionist press not savaging Sturgeon and the SNP.
    Why is the committee behaving like this.

  194. Socrates MacSporran says:


    Judith McKinnon, from Kilwinning has an IQ of 90, you say.

    In that village, that makes her gifted.

  195. CameronB Brodie says:

    OK, I’ve given folks a peek at both existential and interpretive branches of phenomenology, so here’s another peek at how phenomenology fits into the processes of ethical government. This might help folk understand why a have very serious doubts as to the moral competence of the Lord Advocate’s legal practice, as he apparently has no respect for the Natural law.

    Scots will never enjoy the benefits of democracy, if we allow our legal establishment to deny Scots the benefits of legal methodology that respects the Natural law. We will only prevent them from achieving this, if we exert our national identity and our natural right to contribute the the eternal evolution of the Natural law. This will not be possible in Brexitania.

  196. Sylvia says:

    McDuff@ 9:53 I do believe the committee is aware skullduggery has taken place. They can’t behave like rottweilers, however, I feel the scrutiny today was good. I wonder if these witnesses think they’re coming across as honest and convincing. They all hold positions where “thinking on your feet” is crucial – along with that goes good memory recall. If you lacked memory recall you would make notes, However, this doesn’t appear to apply with this lot.

  197. CameronB Brodie says:

    My proof reading is crap but I do know enough about the law and legal methodology, to continue handing the Lord Advocate his arse in public. So here’s a peek at “An Economic Approach to the Law of Evidence”. If only our legal Establishment weren’t such a bunch of blue-nose BritNats, Scots might be able to enjoy justice and the benefits of democracy.

  198. McDuff says:


    If the committee is aware of `scullddugery` Sylvia why is it participating by allowing McKinnon to hide while being interviewed. They are aiding her evasion.

  199. cirsium says:

    What I cannot understand is why more use wasn’t made of modern technology. People are working from home and participating in meetings remotely through Zoom, Teams and other conference call software. Why was it not possible to set this up for the witness?

  200. Mac a ’Mhaoilein says:

    Judith MacKinnon used to have
    , at least, a LinkinIn account.
    I viewed it last year, at the time of the Court of Session hearing.
    I remember it well, as I communicated to Craig Murray that it was odd that she had, even then, removed any trace of her previous job as Head of HR at the Scottish Police Authority.

  201. Hatuey says:

    Socrates: “Judith McKinnon, from Kilwinning has an IQ of 90, you say. In that village, that makes her gifted.”

    🙂 hahahaha

  202. rob gray says:

    if you cant smell a total cover up + protection of what id call a criminal cabal of folk Who seem to be ABOVE the LAW then you need to blow your nose

  203. twathater says:

    @ North Chiel 7.47pm I concur with your assessment NC that they are holding fire until the artillery bombardment, but the meek acceptance is out of character for the likes of Bailey and Turdo, Turdo is also a lawyer so he should be well versed in sticking the boot in , it hasn’t stopped him in the past when he could smell blood same with Bailey

  204. Al-Stuart says:

    Fo reference, here is the “smoking email” from the putrid, over-promoted civil servant…

  205. Annie says:

    Wonder if any of the money went to Angus Robertson Think tank

  206. MaggieC says:

    The link to the video archive of yesterday’s Harassment and Complaints Committee meeting is now on-line for anyone who wants to listen/watch it again .

  207. Bobby McPherson says:

    Shameful conduct. Nae wonder she cannae show her face.

  208. johnny doric says:

    At this point there are too many strange goings on for me to put this down to the usual level of competence within the Scottish parliament and it’s associated functionaries. All I can say is this does start to look decidly “spooky” 😉

    Audio only testimony? Really? How can you be sure of the identity of the speaker?

    Also Nicola Sturgeon is either too useless to win Independence or something else…you decide.

  209. StuartM says:

    I would have thought that a Parliamentary Inquiry has the power to compel witnesses to appear in person before it on pain of being held in contempt of Parliament. So why is Judith McKinnon being given a free pass?

    Likewise in regard to the junior staff who declined to appear at the Police complaints inquiry into misconduct. You don’t get to decide whether you will appear or not, it’s a condition of your employment. Failure to comply is grounds for dismissal, so why weren’t those junior staff sacked for declining to give evidence? The whole thing stinks of a partial coverup by Police Scotland in damage control mode. And McKinnon was up to her ears in it.

  210. Andybhoy says:

    You say that calls are growing for a judge led inquiry. i think we are now at the stage where we need the Police to go in and start gathering evdience from all the key players in this fiasco. However, it can`t be Police Scotland that do the investigating at they are complicit in the fiasco. Who then? i don`t know. The RUC, Northumbria and Cumbria police are too close to be allowed near it. Stepehen House, formerly of Police Scotland is at The Met, so they can`t be considered. greater manchester or one of the Yorkshire fofeces perhaps?

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