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Soapbox: The invisible woman

Posted on October 25, 2020 by

The dead hand running the show at SNP HQ is no better illustrated than by the career path of Shirley-Anne Somerville.

For despite her failure to succeed in role after role, election after election, her star continues to ascend through the patronage of the SNP’s inner sanctum and to the bemusement of ordinary members and parliamentarians.

Ms Somerville was famously ‘elected’ to the Scottish Parliament in 2007 by accident, after Stefan Tymkewycz – the last SNP member elected from the Lothian regional list – resigned his seat to concentrate on his role at Edinburgh City Council.

It was as surprising as it was undeserved. Although on paper Edinburgh Central was the most likely Edinburgh seat to fall to the SNP, with a Labour majority of less than 2700, in the election Ms Somerville had disappointingly trailed in third behind Labour and the Lib Dems (curiously in an all-female contest).

Luckily for the party, victories in Edinburgh East and, more unexpectedly, in Livingston diverted attention away from this failure.

As the parliament progressed towards the 2011 election, it became apparent that Ms Somerville would be the only SNP list MSP contesting an Edinburgh seat; Fiona Hyslop would be contesting her home constituency in West Lothian and Ian McKee was retiring. Consequently, Ms Somerville had her pick of the Edinburgh seats outside Edinburgh East, where Kenny MacAskill was the sitting member.

To the surprise of many, she abandoned her old constituency of Edinburgh Central and plumped for Edinburgh North and Leith. Perhaps persistent rumours that the long-time parliamentarian and Labour incumbent Malcolm Chisholm was standing down made the seat look a shoo-in for an SNP candidate.

Unfortunately, Ms Somerville did not use her time in parliament to good effect. It is believed that she didn’t hold a single constituency surgery in all her time at Holyrood and therefore missed a golden opportunity to build a personal vote through directly assisting constituents in her chosen seat. A deserved reputation for laziness and poor political judgement was already growing amongst her colleagues.

On election night in 2011, Ms Somerville suffered the humiliation of being the only SNP candidate in the Lothians to fail to win their seat, as Chisholm not only didn’t stand down but increased both his vote and his vote share on the night of an SNP landslide.

(The ultimate irony being that a young SNP parliamentary staffer, Marco Biagi, did win the Edinburgh Central constituency she had abandoned, the seat he’s now competing against Angus Robertson in after the SNP NEC changed the rules to prevent Joanna Cherry contesting it.)

If only she’d been prepared to put in the hard miles working for her constituents, that Labour majority of 500 would probably have been overcome. But having been rescued by the mysterious resignation of Mr Tymkewycz in 2007, the same trick could not be applied in 2011 as the scale of the SNP’s victory meant they had no list seats in the Lothians to play with.

So with Somerville now unemployed, the SNP safety net was rolled out.

Firstly, Bruce Crawford touted her name round ministerial colleagues as a potential special advisor, but got no takers. So the party invented a new HQ job – Campaigns Director. Nobody remembers the role being advertised to the membership.

Somerville’s seven-year occupancy of the post existed without a trace. Such was the total lack of impact on Scottish political life of whatever she did that in that time that if you Google for “shirley-anne somerville campaigns director”, the only results are for the cabinet reshuffle of 2018 where she was replaced in the role by Keith Brown.

In 2012, once Yes Scotland had been set up and the wheels of the referendum put in motion, Somerville was appointed as its Director of Communities. (To be fair, there was at least an appearance of due process around the appointment of the directors, although many suspected most of the names were in the frame from the outset.)

The year that followed was nothing short of calamitous and the lack of any momentum generated between autumn 2012 and autumn 2013 was probably one of the major contributors to the Yes campaign’s eventual failure. It was duly decided that the failing directors would have to be removed, but of course they had to go one by one and in such a way as to not scare the horses.

For Somerville, the solution was the Dunfermline by-election, caused by the jailing of SNP incumbent Bill Walker. The only problem was that leaving a well-paid post to contest a by-election in these circumstances was not an attractive option to her. A deal was therefore done that would see Ms Somerville land a plum job with the SNP should she, as expected, lose the seat to Labour.

[EDIT 9.26pm: A reader has been in touch to tell us that the above isn’t quite correct, or at least is incomplete. We’ll just give you their account as it came to us.

“It was at the Stirling SNP Woman’s group meeting on a Saturday morning at the Stirling Tolbooth event in early September that unbeknown to other staff at Yes Scotland, Shirley-Anne Somerville’s nomination was announced for the forthcoming by-election.

Later that day she sent an email to all staff at Yes Scotland stating that whilst she was taking a break from Yes Scotland the Director of Marketing Ian Dommet was to act in her stead as Director of Communities (ignoring the fact that Stan Blackley, the Deputy Director of Communities, was still employed at Yes Scotland at the time and in good standing)

This action taken by Ms Somerville to seek the nomination without consultation or advance notice to Yes Scotland, and the subsequent email informing the team that the Deputy Director of Communities was to be overlooked in responsibility of that area, led to emergency talks being held by senior stakeholders that Monday morning.

Due to her actions it was decided that her position would be terminated immediately on the grounds of unauthorised annual leave, which constituted a disciplinary offence and in breach of contract.”]

History shows that she did lose the seat, and she did get the job. Again, without any advertisement of the role, she was quietly appointed SNP Deputy Chief Executive, a post which has never existed before or since. The only Deputy Chief Executive the SNP has ever had in its 86-year history is Shirley-Anne Somerville.

She had effectively been promoted from Campaigns Director 18 months previously to the exalted heights of Deputy Chief Executive for her failure to perform at Yes Scotland and her failure to win yet another election.

Many SNP members remain incandescent at what they saw as an outrageous abuse of executive power, which seems to have been exercised to reward to a member of mediocre capability with nothing but serial failure under her belt.

From her position of being on the party payroll, Ms Somerville proceeded to put herself forward for selection as a candidate for Dunfermline at the 2016 Holyrood election. Others seeking the nomination were believed to think it gravely unfair that the Deputy Chief Executive of the party was allowed to contest it.

The implicit patronage is immediately obvious. How could it possibly be fair for a party executive with access to membership lists, and who works side by side with colleagues overseeing the selection process, to be allowed to contest these positions? How much of her time campaigning to become the candidate, competing against other members, was actually paid for by the party? There were conflicts of interest everywhere, yet the party seemingly considered it appropriate.

Having had the luxury of being paid by the party while securing the nomination and throughout her candidature, Ms Somerville was finally elected to Holyrood at the fourth time of asking on a modest 6% swing, due largely to Labour’s catastrophic implosion across the central belt which saw it finish behind Tories for the first time in history.

Within hours of her election, journalists were touting her as a certainty for ministerial appointment in Nicola Sturgeon’s new government. And despite lacking any relevant experience in her previous outing as an MSP, the appointment as junior education minister duly came to pass.

Two years on, following a largely unremarkable (but gaffe-free) tenure, Ms Somerville found herself elevated to Cabinet to preside over Social Security – a portfolio that had, up until that point, been deemed to be only a junior ministerial brief and for which, arguably, all the heavy lifting had already been done.

The main news story concerning Somerville’s department since her appointment has been its repeated failure to take over welfare responsibilites from the UK Department of Work and Pensions on schedule (originally due to be next year).

The other part of her brief has been as Cabinet Secretary for Older People. While in charge Somerville oversaw the disastrous policy of shunting elderly hospital patients into care homes en masse without conducting adequate levels of COVID-19 testing on either patients or staff, leading to a large proportion of Scotland’s deaths. Dozens were even transferred despite having already tested positive for the virus.

While that decision was in the first instance the responsibility of the health secretary, it was Somerville’s job to speak up for them. Her legacy as the inept cabinet voice of Scotland’s old folk will be the premature and avoidable deaths of thousands of them.

(None of the other UK nations have had such a large share of their deaths from care homes. Figures to the end of August showed 47% of deaths in Scotland were from the sector, compared to 42% in Northern Ireland, 30% in England and just 28% in Wales.)

Finally, Somerville has been one of the driving forces behind the massively unpopular proposals to introduce gender self-ID, promising to implement the legislation even as a consultation supposedly canvassed public opinion on whether it should go ahead.

While this policy too has ostensibly been delayed, very few of the people opposed to self-ID (ie the huge majority of Scottish voters) believe that it won’t be an SNP priority if they should secure a majority in 2021. Perhaps the only/most encouraging prospect of it NOT becoming law is that Somerville is in charge of it.

With a proven history of laziness in terms of constituency work and of being rewarded for (to express it charitably) achieving little, it’s not very surprising that Somerville finds herself facing opposition for the SNP candidature for Dunfermline in 2021.

But still the favouritism persists. On 20 October – a full two months before the package will come onstream – she was suddenly allowed to share the stage for the daily televised coronavirus briefing with the FM to announce the school meal programme for the remainder of the 2020/21 session holidays.

Despite a majority of more than 4500 and with Scottish Labour scrabbling desperately to even find candidates to run in Fife, Somerville now has a credible challenger for the nomination in the shape of her own former election agent, Rob Thompson. (A man who’s clearly capable of pulling off difficult tasks, as he managed to get her elected.)

Perhaps SNP members in Dunfermline have looked at her track record and decided that if anyone can lose a safe-looking seat against all the odds, it’s Shirley-Anne Somerville. If they should decline to reselect her, it’ll be interesting to see what new job gets created this time to keep her in the lifestyle to which she’s become accustomed.




Fails to win Edinburgh Central, coming a disappointing 3rd.

Fails to be elected from the SNP’s Lothian list.

Sworn in as a replacement MSP when Stefan Tymkewycz resigns from parliament, supposedly to concentrate on being a councillor. The real reason for this resignation is still a mystery. Tymkewycz served one more term and stepped down at the 2017 council election.


Selected to contest Edinburgh North and Leith, abandoning the constituency she contested in 2007.


Becomes the only SNP candidate not to win their seat in Lothian.

Fails to be elected from SNP’s Lothian list.

Employed by SNP HQ as Campaigns Director.


Employed by Yes Scotland as Director of Communities.


After a disastrous tenure, removed from Yes Scotland under cover of contesting Dunfermline by-election.

Loses Dunfermline by-election to Labour, suffering a 7% swing against.

Immediately appointed Deputy Chief Executive of the SNP.


While employed by the SNP, contests and secures the nomination as SNP candidate for Dunfermline.


Elected at the fourth time of asking for the Dunfermline constituency on the back of Labour collapse across central Scotland.

Immediately appointed junior minister by Nicola Sturgeon.


Promoted to Cabinet with a portfolio previously considered a junior ministerial brief, and after the bulk of the work setting up the new social security system had been completed. Nevertheless, plans to devolve most welfare benefits promptly collapse and are postponed until at least 2024, and in some cases indefinitely.


As Cabinet Secretary for Older People, fails to intervene to prevent large numbers of the elderly being transferred from hospital to care homes without adequate COVID-19 testing, leading to thousands of deaths.


Soapbox is a weekend column designed to provoke debate on (usually) non-party-political issues. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Wings Over Scotland, except when we write them ourselves, obviously. And this time.

If you’d like to contribute a Soapbox piece (ideally 800-1500 words), send it to us via our Contact page, INCLUDING THE WORD ‘SOAPBOX’ IN THE SUBJECT LINE.

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  1. 25 10 20 09:56

    Soapbox: The invisible woman | speymouth

244 to “Soapbox: The invisible woman”

  1. Jim Arnott says:

    My only comment is:

    Why? Why? Why?


    Ditto appointment of Shona Robison as Health Secretary in Nov 2014

    I despair

  2. Kevin Cargill says:

    Funnily enough I saw her standing next to NS at the briefing last week and my exact words to my wife were “what the fuck is she doing there”? Clearly yet another protected member of the cabal.

  3. susanXX says:

    Looks like the cronyism and corruption of the SNP goes further back than I thought.

  4. Giesabrek says:

    The depressing aspect of this is that it shows the SNP has been almost as corrupt as Labour for a long time now, not just recently with the woke faction. If Somerville stands for the Fife seat and if I lived in Fife, I’d seriously consider not voting for her – the only way the SNP leadership will mend their corrupt ways if they see the negative impact of their own actions and lose the seat.

    As for Somerville, she should be charged with the unnecessary deaths she clearly caused in the elderly population.

  5. Bob Mack says:

    There are only two reasons.

    I’m sure we all know from our work experience that the most common way to obliquely deal with a useless worker is to promote them to another Dept.

    The second reason is a little more incestuous so to speak.

    Could this lady be “involved” with someone at the head of the party? I have seen this before where an associate was promoted far beyond their ability because she was girlfriend of the Company Director and yet everybody had to repair her decisions. It was never revealed in public but everybody knew about their relationship.

  6. Fionan says:

    From that timeline, it would seem that many of Somerville’s unjustified steps up the ladder and into SNP sinecures happened under Alex Salmond. I find that a bit disturbing. Did he really not see through her? Or was nepotism involved? IIRC SAS is the niece of Tricia Marwick.

    SAS was not the only useless and lazy lump at the top of Yes Scotland, Blair Jenkins was dire as well, never spoke up on tv or in the media against the Project Fear lies at all. Alex must have appointed both of them – how could he have failed to see through them?

  7. BuggerlePanda says:

    I despair.

    The SNP has turned into a meal ticket organisation and appears to favour meal ticket groupies to real committed members for indie.

  8. Astonished says:

    Hopefully she will be toast soon.

    I doubt the membership want her in any capacity working for the party. I certainly don’t.

  9. Abalha says:

    In reoly to Fionan at 0843

    Wasn’t aware SAS was Marwick’s neice of course didn’t do anything to help Natalie McGarry,regardless of what she may not have done, NO ONE deserves to be being trashed the way she was and that’s when Marwick was still PO.

  10. Dave M says:

    Interesting. Very interesting. I would have voted for her in 2011 rather than Chisholm (who, ironically, is the only elected member to have ever come to my front door, and did so outwith an election campaign); but had I known then what I know now Malcolm would have had my vote.

    She doesn’t come across as very bright in that short clip regarding the GRA and I’ve never heard her say anything in Parliament to fill me with confidence.

    It’s beyond time for SNP members to take back their party from the science-denying Sturgeon cabal.

  11. Colin Alexander says:

    No despair from me about the SNP.

    2014 was the final flourish glorious failure of Salmond’s flawed gradualism policy.

    The mess that is the SNP is 21 years in the making. The poisoned fruits of embracing colonial administration.

    I wouldn’t lift my pinky to save the SNP. They sold out Scotland’s sovereignty for a seat at their Imperial Master’s pretendy parliament.

    The SNP are just a change of faces at the top. Almost NOTHING has changed for the better under the SNP. It’s still the same British system. Except now we are expected to support it because SNP careerists are on the payroll.

    Well, to hell with that. To hell with the SNP.

    If indy-minded SNP people cannot even break a corrupt colonial-administration SNP party, how are these same people going to find the balls to break the corrupt Union? Pathetic and also quite funny to think anyone believes these are the people that will break the British Empire.

  12. JohnMcDonaldish says:

    Ms Somerville may well be deserving of criticism but this is quite the hatchet job. Stuart, surprised you let this onto your site. Care home deaths, really?

  13. Effijy says:

    Looks like SNP will need to –

    1, Create another new post that never existed at HQ.
    2, Hire the one remaining legal practice not already on the SNP books to sue the Rev.
    3, Get Pete Wishywashy to bad mouth Wings over Scotland.

    Bob’s your Uncle Shirley-Anne!

  14. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Care home deaths, really?”

    The facts are the facts.

  15. A Plant says:

    Did she ever comment on the Dolatowski case?

    For those who don’t know, Dolatowski is a male who assaulted two girls in two separate attacks in Fife supermarket toilets.

    Claimed to be a trans woman, though there was no GRC for this person. Those who know Dolatowski are less than convinced by their trans identity. Was convicted but released with a tag – to a women’s hostel – and was only moved after residents contacted the media.

    One of the attacks took place in Dunfermline, and Fife social work department made the decision to place Dolatowski in a women’s hostel, so I thought that Ms Somerville might have shown an interest in the case?

    I live in Fife and I’ve not heard anything.

  16. Ian Foulds says:

    Thank you Ms. Donaldson for this most enlightening article.

    It is sad to see confirmed my suspicions of the Party I had hoped could bring Scotland its Independence with honour and moral rectitude has so let me down (as a voter).

  17. Liz says:

    Jesus wept. I knew she was useless but didn’t realise how much.
    She earns in the region of £100k. WTAF is going on?

    Who the hell is she?
    The Care Home situation is a National scandal which so far has not hit the fan.

  18. Frank anderson says:

    You have put into words more succinctly than I have ever. I have used this individual as an example on a number of occasions when describing the careerists that have joined(infiltrated) our Party. For want of a better description, she has had a ‘charmed’ life within the Party.
    Jobs just seemed to be created around her failures, with opportune timing! The first you heard of them was after she was in them.


    Thank you, thank you, thank you. For this Sarah Jane. This woman is the reason I won’t be voting SNP for the first time in my life come May, if she’s selected. The reasons? You’ve articulated them very well. Thanks again you’ve made my day.

  20. Andy Ellis says:

    I’m surprised people are surprised by this. Where do you think a lot of SNP apparatchiks and seat warmers came from? Even if they aren’t directly ex-Labour folks and/or new to politics, they (we) all come from and were brought up under a political milieu dominated by Scottish Labour, a party so deeply dysfunctional and regressive it would have made the leadership of a banana republic envious.

    Our mistake was in thinking the SNP was different, and in believing the progressive, Scandinavian social-democracy stall the SNP laid out.

  21. Colin Alexander says:

    There HAS been an avoidable number of deaths of elderly people as a result of the Scottish NHS shuffling older people around like cattle with little or no thought of infection control.

    Mixing infected with un-infected, so spreading infection. Shifting un-infected elderly into care homes and wards riddled with Covid. Putting infected patients into areas not previously infected.

    If it were Health Boards under the Tories or Labour that had done this, there would be an outcry of culpable homicide from the indy-movement but, because Health Boards were allowed to do this under a colonial SNP administration, barely a whimper of complaint from anyone cos it happened under the SNP.

    Absolutely disgusting.


    We already saw this disgusting partisan attitude to the deaths of weans at Queen Betty’s.

    Parents fighting for justice and truth about how their weans died of infection at Glasgow’s Queen Betty’s slagged off as “SNP-bad” stories cos the Jerry-built Queen Betty’s and subsequent Health Board cover-up happened under SNP administrations.

  22. JohnMcDonaldish says:

    “Care home deaths, really?”

    “The facts are the facts”

    The ugly implication intended to be drawn from two not necessarily connected facts are, in this instance, unjustifiable and, in my humble opinion, unworthy of space on your site.

  23. Andy Mak says:

    Voted for her when she promised she would investigate what was available to help childminders in Dunfermline, surprised to say nothing came back and have never seen her for years out and about in the constituency. I have now resigned my member ship due to the silly policies that she and her cabal are promoting, I hope Rob goes for it otherwise I have no one to vote for independence.

  24. Liz says:

    Just seen John Swinney is supporting SAS for selection.
    Are there no decent politicians lef?

  25. G H Graham says:

    About time you put the boot into Sommerville, Stuart. I have direct (or rather indirect) dealings with her as my “representative”.

    As a business owner in her constituency, she has a commendable track record of never showing up to any meetings on invitation from an associated group of business owners in west Fife.

    She is invariably “busy”. Although, why someone, who can’t even be arsed to hold an occasional surgery, can’t find the time to make a half hour appearance among her own voters remains a mystery.

    Perhaps she, like many inside the inner sanctum of Sturgeon’s kinky cabinet, enjoys a “personal” or “special” relationship we are not privy too but which might explain the long term favouritism awarded to yet another woman close to her who has a long track record of dismal underachievement.

    A quick review of her LinkedIn page reveals a careerist with not a single proper job to her name & a couple of Mickey Mouse degrees which seems to have been the catalyst to achieve entryism into deep, gender woo-woo territory, cronyism & disproportionate rewards.

    Dunfermline & West Fife will surely be better off when this serial chancer gets booted our of office.

  26. I am in total despair of the SNP under Sturgeon.

    I now believe I will never see independence in my time.

  27. Scozzie says:

    I don’t believe for a moment there are not sharp, industrious and innovative minds in Scotland – they just don’t seem to inhabit the SNP. What a cesspit of below mediocre, power grabbing runts this party has become. Shameful. Scotland deserves better than this.

  28. Sharny Dubs says:

    Ah can dae that!

    Gees a job?

    I visited my local branch recently and told them for the first time in my life I will not vote SNP in May.

    I was told “good luck”

  29. Contrary says:

    Ah well that explains why the social security reforms have not happened.

    I wonder why the land reforms have ground to a halt? Does anyone know who is in charge of that? Now I have read about this woman’s illustrious career, I am suspicious of there being plenty other dead wood up there at the top not doing their job.

    She can’t be given full responsibility for care home deaths, I feel that’s a bit extreme – a hand in it through her inaction, but not all deaths on her head. Older people, and their representatives, should be up in arms against her for sure – she hasn’t done her job, and that has had serious consequences for the part she played; she shouldn’t be in that post. But then, I think the whole ‘handling’ by the ScotGov has been weak apart from in a few aspects. Using the daily briefings as a political platform became old for me quickly and I haven’t listened in for a long while now – that NS has resolutely stuck to making it political has put all our lives at risk (BBC threatening to stop broadcasting, the briefings don’t tell us what we need to know from a public health & medical view, etc). Using it as a platform to politically promote her crony is just taking the piss.

    I do believe Alex Salmond is to blame for the revision of party structures that have led to this disaster – though he brought about success to get a majority for the SNP in Holyrood and I doubt the party was ever an ‘ideal’ before then – there should never have been any absolute power given to those at the top. That doesn’t take away from the fact I believe Alex Salmond is the best person (along with a decent team of course) to see us through independence – just that he, as with anyone, should not be give absolute and unquestioning power in the process.

    The party could do with strict regulations governing how they operate, with only a full membership vote on any changes to those regulations. Too late now? Maybe – that’s for the SNP to sort out.

    Somerville, on a personal level, gives me the creeps – she reminds me of all those older ladies that thought going to church every week gave them leave to act like nasty, gossiping, self-righteous, judgemental, hypocritical witches the rest of the week. (My own gold-standard of how NOT to behave from my early years).

  30. Helen Yates says:

    Liz says:
    25 October, 2020 at 9:21 am
    Just seen John Swinney is supporting SAS for selection.
    Are there no decent politicians lef?

    Very few sadly.

  31. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The ugly implication intended to be drawn from two not necessarily connected facts are, in this instance, unjustifiable and, in my humble opinion, unworthy of space on your site.”

    “Not necessarily connected”? Dear me.

  32. HenryBrubakker says:

    She’s been best mates with NS since they were in the SNP youth wing together. Due to her limited ability she owes her entire career to NS/PM which makes her dependent and fiercely loyal to her masters – while posing absolutely no threat. Perfect.

    I’ve met her. She is underwhelming in the extreme.

  33. Alison says:

    Careerism, cronyism & corruption any other Cs the SNP is full of? Um, cu…

  34. “Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Every one sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are”. Machiavelli

    The mysterious resignation of Stefan Tymkewycz could make sense if he was instructed or incentivised to do so from on high, in order to clear a path for the mediocre Somerville whose role was to *infiltrate* the SNP on behalf of ‘Whitehall’.

    And aided by her inexplicable meteoric rise, be in an influential position to agitate from within in preparation to *exacerbate* the contemporary version of the *precedented* #GenderAgenda divide and rule propaganda campaign we are ALL currently being bombarded by…

    ‘And it’s notably and unwittingly that heterosexual Trans-rights advocates of Trans ‘Self-ID’ legislation – many of whom genuinely believe they’re doing the right thing – are in fact themselves dividing their female demographic support…’

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

    And #ToryAnalytica militarisation is still *inevitable*.

  35. Dave Albiston says:

    She was also invisible when there was an AUOB march in her own constituency. Says it all.

  36. Mary Murphy says:

    All of what you air on this matter may be true or untrue. However I still maintain that there is only one Devine, almost, consideration and that is Independence. Nothing matters but that. Cronyism etc small fry and cleeks are everywhere and sadly the norm.Tories win all the time because they run a tight ship. If SNP keep being attacked by dissenters from other independence groups then your doing the tories a favour- keeping them in power. Never forget that the tories are solid, admit to nothing and so can keep their party strong. I do believe what you say is a genuine grievance and even if it is true that Miss Somerville is not a hardworking candidate,now at this moment in time you are wrong to focus on the failings of one person. This may be the pin prick in our great progress bubble. We are almost there and it seems to me that enemies inside our parties are promoting a suicidal paths. I still cant understand why they keep on and on in public and on the internet decrying the one route we have towards certain victory and soon. Please for heavens sake keep your pwder dry till after the election. THE BBC eyes are on the ball and they will give us oodles of air time to tear ourselves apart on screen. dont swallow the bait and allow tardiness of one person be the downfall of the whole united front that the first minister has achieved day after day to the envy of all the UK parties. Weve got the ball so we must run with it and ignore everything else as petty because no one will forgive an SNP defeat because of squabbles no matter how serious they might seem to people inside the party. I have not even heard of her. So she could be got rid of by neglect.

  37. Dan says:

    Sigh… Cheers Sarah-Jane, waking up and reading this has immediately nullified the benefit of that extra hour of snoozing I had through the nicht… 🙁

  38. Patricia Spencer says:

    I’m wondering how many bodies she knows are buried and the exact locations if where they are buried?

  39. Andy Ellis says:

    “Toute nation a le gouvernement qu’elle mérite.” Joseph de Maistre

    (Correspondance diplomatique, tome 2. Paris : Michel Lévy frères libraires éditeurs, 1860, p.196.)

    We’re screwed, huh? 🙁

  40. Alexander Wallace says:

    Regarding SAS job in yes Scotland, don’t forget NS was in charge of the Independence campaign. So there is History connecting NS & SAS

  41. Abalha says:

    SAS in Times article yesterday on the selection contests

    ”In Dunfermline, Shirley-Anne Somerville, the Scottish government social security secretary, faces a challenge from her former campaign manager. Multiple senior SNP sources have said Ms Somerville is “panicking” about being ousted by Rob Thompson, a retired naval officer”

  42. Scozzie says:

    Alison @ 9.57am
    …nts, collusion, complicit, chaotic, complacent, condescending, contaminated, crooks, contempt….just a few more to add to your list.

  43. Abalha says:

    I had one dealing with her in 2014 when I was on the Yes Scotland media desk. I was responsible for all the broadcast bids, the two auld fleet st guys HATED dealing with them, (one of them btw, turned out be a No voter, aye well). Anyway about 2/3 weeks out from vote I was being contacted by main players Sky/BBC/ITV and of course multiple teams from BBC and ITV asking me where the ‘Yes’ after voting closed do was going to be. As you can imagine a lot broadcast is mechanics of getting sat trucks in place, requesting any reqd parking restrictions etc. They knew where the BT one was 4 weeks out.

    Anyway all my requests to the top Yes/SNP bods fell on deaf ears, then one day this funny looking man came waddling into Hope St and plonked down opposite me to speak to Kevin Pringle, Kevin was on the phone, so I asked him who he was, turns out was the shadowy SNP lawyer and best buddy of the Sturrels, Scott Martin.

    Now he foolishly assumed I was in the SNP inner sanctum as it was clear I’d a good relationship with Kevin P, that was merely based on mutual professional respect. Anyway I asked him where the do was to be he told me, Dynamic Earth but that SAS was in charge and to contact her. Now I’d been appraised in the preceding weeks just what an idiotic horror she was so I played safe. Emailed to say I’d been told where the do was BUT not by whom, I asked her if she was happy for me to put out a media calling notice with the details or did SNP HQ want to?

    Well, I got back a rocket;”Who told you that, none of your business, nothing has been decided you’ll be told if and when we decide to tell you” etc.

    I emailed back one line;’SNP Lawyer Scott Martin told me’, aye never heard anymore from her!!

  44. Abalha says:

    In reply to Alexander Wallace. SAS didn’t have a job at Yes Scotland past being a Director between 2012/2013, no she was based at SNP HQ in 2014. And no longer on the Yes Scotland board.

  45. kapelmeister says:

    A similar story is that of the hopelessly inept Marshal Buddeny of the Red Army. Buddeny, a barely literate soldier, only earned his exalted rank by way of an old friendship with Stalin. Eventually his utterly disastrous performance against the Germans around Kiev in 1941 forced Stalin to appoint Buddeny to some meaningless military job away from the combat zones.

    Somerville is Sturgeon’s buddy and the SNP’s Buddeny.

  46. Ad Astra says:

    Are we permitted to know who Sarah-Jane Donaldson is and what her bona fides are?

  47. Cod says:

    If you want to know the reason for her continued existene within the party, you only need look as far as her relationship to Nicola Sturgeon. While, under normal circumstanes, I applaud loyalty, the number of people who are still in place in Scotland who owe their continued employment against all the odds to the personal patronage of Sturgeon is alarming – I wouldn’t mind so much if they were actually competent, but people like Somerville are completely and utterly useless.

    “Her intonation is spookily similar to that of Nicola Sturgeon, her long-time friend. The two have known each other since they were teenage members of Young Scots for Independence in the early 1990s”

  48. Cod says:

    @A Plant

    “so I thought that Ms Somerville might have shown an interest in the case?”

    She never showed any interest in her own constituents, what makes you think she would show interest in this case?

  49. Hatuey says:

    It’s sad to think of all the good independence supporting people who have been kept out of jobs and opportunities by the Murrells. Think of all the great people that the Yes movement produced. They’ve all been shunned by the people they put their hope and trust in – used and dumped. We have all been deceived and let down badly by these people.

    And that’s a familiar painful theme for me in all this. We are so distracted by the reality of what Nicola chose to do and the terrible decisions she has made. None of see what could have been.

    Imagine she embraced the Yes movement. Imagine she put real thought and effort into independence, instead of destroying the fabric of society with this gender nonsense. Imagine, instead of stitching up Salmond, she welcomed his involvement towards the goal that matters most to us all. Imagine she wasn’t just in politics for her own personal aggrandisement and vanity.

    If you can imagine all that, as I’ve been imagining for over 3 years, maybe you can imagine why I hope they all rot in hell. What they’ve done is criminal. We shouldn’t be fighting amongst ourselves – they caused all that too.

  50. Cringe says:

    Who is the author Sarah-Jane Donaldson?

  51. Breastplate says:

    Stu notes that the decision to send infected old people to care homes was the responsibility of the Health minister and that Somerville was supposed to speak up for them. She didn’t though.
    A genuine attempt to stop that happening would have absolved her of any blame. It doesn’t appear that happened either.

  52. Cod says:

    @ Johhny McNeill:

    “…in order to clear a path for the mediocre Somerville whose role was to *infiltrate* the SNP on behalf of ‘Whitehall’.

    And aided by her inexplicable meteoric rise,”…

    No conspiracy theories are required to explain her meteoric rise, only an understanding that she has been best friends with Sturgeon for 28 years. Occam’s Razor would indicate that the explanation with the smallest number of assumptions is correct, and in this case no assumptions at all are required to come to the understanding that Sturgeon has stuck by her friend, even when it should have become abundantly clear a long time ago she was useless.

    The more people pull conspiracy theories out of their backsides while ignoring the obvious truth, the easier it is for complaints to be brushed aside.

  53. John McGuire says:

    This is just a personal hatchet job.

    ‘It is believed that she didn’t hold a single constituency surgery in all her time at Holyrood’


  54. Bob Costello says:

    All the more puzzling when she has just had an enormous rise in salary. One might just wonder what services were given for that

  55. Margaret Lindsay says:

    S. A. Somerville. As much use as a fart in a wind tunnel! I wondered what has happened to the super duper benefits that Jeane Freeman was supposed to have all but finished, and how many disabled folk will suffer waiting for them. I
    Also I had no idea she was partly responsible for the Yes Campaign, if I had, I’d have given up around 2013. It wasn’t politicians or their cronies that boosted the vote to 45%, it was ordinary folk who made it a such a great campaign in the streets.

  56. Al-Stuart says:

    Sarah-Jane Donaldson,

    Excellently researched article. Are you looking to put Stuart Campbell into early retirement? Or maybe the Rev., is getting a wee bit of well deserved time off with holiday-boy, Mr Chris Cairns?

    Meanwhile, I see you’ve inspired headlines elsewhere in the U.K. blog…

    Not sure if they have everything right, but I do know that website has been mentioned in the U.K. Parliament with a reasonable wide readership. The sooner Sturgeon is rumbled AND ordinary decent members’ of the SNP wake up to the fact Nicola Sturgeon is a Dud, a plant, a mole, a fraud etc., the sooner we can repair the damage caused by Queen Nik’s Reign of Error.

  57. Allium says:

    I’ve always thought she was about the worst senior politician in the SNP (she makes most Labour ex-cabinet members look ok) but seeing it spelled out like this puts her abilities into even sharper focus. Awful.

  58. robertknight says:

    A common trend among ‘management types’, should they know themselves that they lack the wherewithal to be truly competent in their role, is to avoid appointing someone below them who exceeds their own level of competence, thereby exposing their own ineptitude for all to see and risking their position by appointing a potential usurper.

    You then have a senior manager who on the face of it can talk-the-talk, but in reality can’t walk-the-walk, and who surrounds themselves by the equally untalented; spending their time telling each other what a marvelous job they’re doing and how they’re worth every penny of their inflated salaries.

    They also ensure a degree of control through a toxic work atmosphere, where threats to their position are brought into the inner circle – the logic being that it is better for such threats to be on the inside of the ‘senior tent’ pissing out, than on the outside pissing in. The ‘threats’ are rewarded for their loyalty by appointments to positions of seniority, but are continually moved sideways so as to ensure that they can’t set about building their own mini-empires.

    This leaves others in the company shaking their heads as they see the talentless and the incompetent progressing up through the ranks.

    Ultimately, should the ‘management team’ remain unchanged, the company will flounder, sales will plummet and the talented staff and customers will simply go elsewhere.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Sturgeon & Murrell’s SNP.

  59. Cenchos says:

    Also, it’s always handy to have someone expendable close to you at the top of the pyramid who you can throw to the wolverines when the fish hits the pan.

  60. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Mind-boggling to contemplate how much public money these evil troughers have trousered since Sep 2014.

    We’re not one iota closer to independence – they must’ve shared a right good laugh at us behind closed doors, for years, and no wonder.

    We’ve been had, big-time.


  61. Grouse Beater says:

    At the pace the SNP promotes the mediocre who have long-lost sight of what the SNP was formed to achieve, English are becoming more homogenised as a single nation.

    England looks likely to deliver Scotland’s freedom by seeking their own, quicker than the current myopic hierarchy of the SNP will achieve a referendum.

    England has a right to their own nation living peaceably with others, as much as Scotland deserves its own identity protected.

  62. Republicofscotland says:

    Thank you Sarah for that very interesting article, the deeper we go into the Sturgeon et al rabbit hole the further independence seems to get.

    We need a coup within the party to bring down Sturgeon, Murrell, and the Somervilles.

    Or when Sturgeon and Murrell realise their number up due to the inquiry we’ll a need strong minded (independence driven) candidate for leader who’ll remove the rotten apples from the barrel such as Somerville.

  63. Daisy Walker says:

    @ James Caithness ‘I am in total despair of the SNP under Sturgeon.

    I now believe I will never see independence in my time.’


    Dear James, do not despair.

    There are some rather good things happening.

    Some very good and electable candidates are coming to the fore, with clear credentials for Indy. And we have a Holyrood Election coming up.

    People are waking up (just in time to be sure) to the double danger –

    Brexit/Holyrood closure – and

    Poison in the SNP management camp.

    We have a plan – The Bath Covenant.

    We have the most mobile, inventive, street savvy and politically aware campaigners going. The opposition have to pay companies for it.

    The 2 vote Holyrood system – is not like a WM GE – its like a half way house between that and a council election (at least in terms of feeling) and the 2 votes enables people to ‘hold their noses’ for the first vote and vote for a back up on the second.

    We can do so much better than Boris.

    And do you know what, if its not going to be in our lifetime, then lets make damned sure we do the groundwork so that it is for the next generation, and also show them how to do it, that we do not give up.

  64. Lorna Campbell says:

    Nepotism is a grossly unfair advantage. To be fair, it happens in all parties, but, also, in all walks of life. You know the saying: his/her face fits. If you are a plodding donkey (and I mean no disrespect to real donkeys, lovely creatures), do the bare minimum, create no waves, you will go far. It’s just how it works. We have a saying here that goes: if ye ken mair n the wee man, ye kin forget getting onywey. Another is: the biggest sook wields the biggest hook.

    I think what has happened in the SNP is that most of these people were the young generation of student politicians in their day and have risen through knowing everyone else, having similar opinions, sharing social and political viewpoints, similar lifestyles, and an older generation, dotingly, spoiled them or pulled their strings, however you want to see it. Now, they, in their turn, are fostering another generation of ambitious, young people with little experience of anything outside their student politics bubble or, perhaps, that should be, even less experience of anything outside their student politics bubble.

    In politics, as in many other areas, you need the brightest and best, but the worst of human nature tends to work against that, at least in the UK, as a rule. I await the day when a trans woman is promoted on the basis of how flamboyant she is, how close her name can be to that of a pole dancing stripper, and how utterly devoid of any empathy with actual women. Perhaps they will become pre requisites for selection? Oh, wait a minute… Is it just me, or do few trans women dress like middle-aged wummin with sagging boobs and bottoms and call themselves Ethel or Mabel?

  65. Robert G says:

    Robert Knight @ 11.18 – I could not agree more with your comment. That is exactly what has happened to the SNP under the control of Nicola Sturgeon and her husband.

  66. Mist001 says:

    My comment which simply said ‘The gay cabal strikes again’ was removed.


    Has corruption infiltrated this site too?

  67. Contrary says:


    Aye, I realise that – and the article only implies a direct responsibility – but the care homes fiasco is a complex issue, and you could say that hundreds of people ‘failed’ to inform or ‘do the right thing’; speak out; understand the implications. Yes she failed in her role; but many others did too. No one in the hospitals – those people that actually know about infection control – spoke out? The media, so quick to blame after the fact, didn’t consider the implications of the policies before or during. The gov’t didn’t ask public health experts or infectious & contagious diseases experts regarding what actions to take. Care homes didn’t speak out (they did, but no one listened I think – which is a direct responsibility of SAS maybe) – let’s say loud enough. There are so many at fault there, and you could include us for not realising early enough what was happening, and for ‘trusting’ in our government.

    All those people that won’t hear a bad word said about NS whatever actions she takes – shame on them, shame on them all, they are also very much responsible for people’s deaths. All governments should be held to account. You can’t know the deep sorrow I feel here, and the bitterness I feel towards those that insist on never criticising the SNP (because NS has told them not to), where poor policy decisions have had serious consequences.

    The blame on SAS needs to be more specific to her role – what is her role here? What exactly is she in charge of? And where did she fail? The rest of the article puts everything in context, I think this should apply here too.

  68. Andy Ellis says:


    No, a much more plausible explanation is that Stu removed it because it’s utter bollocks. With luck he’ll do the same with your your other unwelcome contributions BTL.

    We don’t need tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists on here downloading their unwelcome brain farts about gay cabals: it’s about as welcome and as well founded as roasters who posit jewish-bolshevik conspiracies.

    Happy to help.

  69. Liz says:

    @contrary. The point IMO about SAS and older people is that not only has she never, to my knowledge, done anything to help older people, she has also never mentioned them in any speech.

    Her inclusion in the Covid briefing could have been justified, if she had said anything about isolated elders & what the SG were going to do to help.
    Instead it was about funding for children/school meals

    She gets paid from the public purse to fulfil her portfolio.

  70. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “This is just a personal hatchet job.

    ‘It is believed that she didn’t hold a single constituency surgery in all her time at Holyrood’”

    It’s a Soapbox piece, ie it’s EXPRESSLY personal commentary and clearly billed as such in both the headline and a disclaimer at the end. Nevertheless I do tend to check up on statements like that before letting them through and I could certainly find no evidence of her ever conducting one in that Parliament. (And indeed precious few since.) If you know different, then by all means furnish us with the information. Otherwise you’re just objecting for the sake of objection and I really can’t be arsed with that.

  71. kapelmeister says:

    That photie of Somerville & Sturgeon walking down a high street in their trendy coats. I’ve just noticed they’re going past a Specsavers ad that says “Sometimes you need a change”. There’s also a stop sign. And right above Sturgeon’s heid there’s a Pandora sign. Sadly apt. What a Pandora’s box Sturgeon’s leadership has been for the SNP.

    I hadn’t noticed all that earlier but something made me go back to the pic. Rev Stu, with these subliminal messages you are really spoiling us.

  72. Ottomanboi says:

    Truly, can the centre now hold?
    “Politics is opposed to morality, as philosophy to naïveté.”
    [Emmanuel Levinas]
    “Au moment même où tout est perdu, tout est possible”
    [Emmanuel Lévinas]
    The Sturgeonist phalanx ought to prove easy prey to guerrilla tacticians.
    The ‘psychological moment’ has surely arrived.

  73. Breeks says:

    Daisy Walker says:
    25 October, 2020 at 11:32 am

    ….We have the most mobile, inventive, street savvy and politically aware campaigners going. The opposition have to pay companies for it.

    We do? Then we need to start seeing it.

    Not only do we see more charlatanism, conniving, gerrymandering, and nepotism at every turn, with one GRA infiltration emerging after another, and utterly, utterly dismal and feckless failure to manage Brexit or Scotland’s colonial subjugation, but spanning these last five years under Sturgeon’s tenure, I cannot recall ANY pro Independence initiative… none whatsoever. Not one. They are playing us for fools.

    It’s as if the SNP evaporated into the ether, and left behind when all the hope was boiled off, was this useless cabal of grasping desperados, hijacking Scottish Independence for their own ends, ejecting pro Independence stalwarts like a cuckoo expels the forlorn chicks in it’s nest, and expecting to see their toxic and unwinnable GRA reforms ‘winning’ a mandate by riding piggyback on a popular and ascendant mandate for Scottish Independence. Call it what it is, blackmail.

    By what authority have these interlopers been given the right and opportunity to subvert OUR cause and cripple it to suit their despicable ends? They have some brass neck to use our desire for Independence as the means to blackmail Scotland into voting through their cretinous GRA mandate which people don’t want, as the price to be paid for the Independence mandate which we do.

    This ‘Government’ is a fraud and the people are criminals. Impeachment is too good for it.

    If we do have some street savvy political campaigners, the clock is already at a minute to midnight, and we urgently need them speaking to a Constitutional Lawyer and bringing this rotten circus of charlatans down.

  74. Contrary says:



    I think the main issue is we don’t know what a ‘Cabinet Secretary for Older People’ actually does – or doesn’t do, in this case. It’s much harder to fill the blank spaces – and I can’t think of any Older People policies or actions by this government either,,, – when it’s inaction that’s the fault, rather than a more easily attributable action that can be blamed. I suppose that’s been her whole career really – ‘do nothing, then I can’t be blamed for anything’…

    She’s certainly someone promoted well above her abilities, whatever the detail of each of her failures.

  75. James says:

    Andy Ellis @ 11:50 – Well said, sir!

  76. florian albert says:

    Working as a postman in Edinburgh about 2008, my job involved delivering what we called ‘door to doors’; free leaflets.
    Mostly these were adverts for pizza restaurants and the like.
    Occasionally, there were political leaflets. One week I had to deliver a leaflet for a politician I had never heard of; one Shirley-Anne Sommerville.
    The leaflets were red, white and blue and I assumed she was a Tory. A more detailed look at the leaflets – I had about 600 of them to distribute – showed that the politicians’ party allegiance was not clear at all. I pointed this out, at the time, to a fellow postie. I remember thinking that this was sharp practice and that Ms Sommerville needed watching.

  77. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “That photie of Somerville & Sturgeon walking down a high street in their trendy coats. I’ve just noticed they’re going past a Specsavers ad that says “Sometimes you need a change”. There’s also a stop sign. And right above Sturgeon’s heid there’s a Pandora sign. Sadly apt. What a Pandora’s box Sturgeon’s leadership has been for the SNP.”

    I don’t just THROW this shit together, you know 😀

  78. Effijy says:

    Now if I were in the SNP leadership, I would keep a close eye
    On the World’s most read political blog.

    With that accolade, I’d listen to what so many people are saying.
    If topics were inaccurate or taken out of context, I’d set up some
    staff members at HQ to post corrections under false names if necessary?

    I can’t see any indication of corrections or disputes about what has been said
    so I’d anticipate that they cannot refute these facts?

    If the Tories have their 77th Brigade section based here, it would only be
    expected that the SNP would have a presence.

    Looks like the Brigade can go on furlough with SNP doing all they can to
    disenfranchise themselves with the majority of independence supporters.

    I used to laugh at how Scottish Labour and Tories his or lied about their membership
    Numbers while SNP were proud and upfront.
    I enquired about current membership numbers with HQ while still a member but they would not answer?

    They seem to be adopting all the bad practices of the parties we could never vote for!

  79. Awizgonny says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    25 October, 2020 at 9:01 am
    “Care home deaths, really?”

    The facts are the facts.

    Not neccessarily. The Covid mortality rate for Scotland was actually less than the average for the UK, and the hospital mortality was also less, making the percentage of mortality in Care Homes higher, when in fact the death rate in Scottish care homes was equivalent to the rest of the UK. Using the percentages in this is is like holding up your thumb and deeming trees to be really small.

  80. Ottomanboi says:

    “In March, it was just a three-week lockdown, to flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm the NHS. The narrative has quickly evolved. It has progressed from what seemed a reasonable idea of keeping NHS bed space free based on the completely false Neil Fergusson prediction that hospitals would be overwhelmed by patients suffering from COVID19.
    This never happened…..”
    Scotland (and Ireland) may become the front line against Covid-19 covert neo-fascism the thing itself having advanced so far along the scale in both countries.
    I personally do not agree with the superficial Islamic parallels but in the Western cultural context the negation of the ‘natural right’ to freedom (freedom is not gifted by institutions or politicians and neither have they the ‘right’ to take it away) is nevertheless explicit.

  81. Beaker says:

    For some reason a tartan version of Chris Grayling springs to mind, absolutely no idea why…

  82. Ron Maclean says:

    For over three hundred years our rulers have been enthusiastic participants in the Westminster system. There are 650 MPs at Westminster, 59 from Scotland of whom, an optimist might believe, 48 have Scotland’s best interests at heart. Holyrood is a subsidiary of Westminster so numbers aren’t relevant from an independence point of view but, perhaps because of its impotence, there’s a noticeable eagerness to obtain a seat there too. Yet again we see the unseemly battle to board the gravy train. Why would they ever want to leave?

    I could be wrong of course and the SNP’s keenness to join the British system is only because of a commendable desire to separate from it as soon as possible and meet the main aim of the its constitution. That being the case it’s hard to explain the inaction of the last six years and the lack of any progress towards independence.

    What has been done at Westminster or Holyrood in the last six years to bring us closer to independence? Nothing. Before we worry about international acceptance, UK acceptance or even independence itself we should ensure SNP acceptance of the right of the Scottish people to self-determination, independence if that’s their choice, and the party’s intention always to act accordingly.

    The SNP, even when breaking down, currently provides our only realistic route to independence. We could help put it back on track by supplying all its MPs, MSPs and aspirants with a copy each of ‘Doun-Hauden’ and the SNP constitution. Those who can’t quote both verbatim by 30 November to be immediately deselected.

  83. James Barr Gardner says:

    Scorned Alphabet ?

  84. Brunswicker says:

    The biggest shock is it apparently comes as a surprise to so many readers. When you allow your party to become tartan New Labour, what do you expect? Now apparently dominated by identity politics obsessives, careerists, incompetents, placemen, dead wood yessirs, troughers and apparatchiks, sadly the SNP ain’t fit for purpose.

  85. Livionian says:

    I was going to write ‘Shirley-Anne Somerville for leader 2026’ as a joke but with the current SNP hierarchy you never know! Great soapbox this week

  86. Mac says:

    (Apologies I posted this by mistake to the previous article. Meant it for here.)

    Susan Ruddick’s CV is similarly a joke. One cushy job after another. Started working for the SNP after working as a Swimming teacher I read…So I doubt she came out of school as high flyer.

    All of these people around Sturgeon are the same. Promoted way beyond their abilities, nearly all female, man hating, woke nutters who all tell Nicola what she wants to hear.

    Sturgeon must feel like Albert Einstein surrounded by these borderline morons, maybe that is the point as well.

    Listening to the odious Leslie Evans for just a short time made me want to stick my foot through the screen.

    Dreadful people. They say a man is known by the company he keeps. Well it certainly speaks volumes about Sturgeon seeing the people she has surrounded herself with. Toxic, low intelligence lackeys and hangers on prepared to do anything at any cost to keep their falsely held positions.

    I can’t believe just how awful and vile Sturgeon and Murrell have turned out. It is shocking.

  87. Ian McCubbin says:

    The more you uncover the more I see SNP like old Labour but headed up with positive discrimination for women.
    Where is equanimity now in the SNP?

  88. Ronald Fraser says:

    I don’t care who Sturgeon beds, but when it holds up Scottish Independence then it becomes my business.

    Sturgeon and somerville are more concerned with LGBT and Trans Rights than Scottish Independence.

    Their “special relationship” is there for all to see.

    They are not even trying to hide it anymore.

  89. Ronald Fraser says:

    If only Somerville put in the dedication to Scottish Independence that she does to other issues that she is more concerned with.

    19/04/17 17:05

    LGBTI inclusive education
    Part of:
    Education Equality and Rights Equality
    Working group to improve experiences.

    Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex (LGBTI) equality in schools is to be reviewed.

    A working group is being established to examine how the education experience for LGBTI young people in Scotland can be improved.

    It will be chaired by the Association of Directors of Education (ADES) and will include education leaders, equalities experts and young people, as well as representatives of the Time for Inclusive Education (TIE) campaign.

    Minister for Higher and Further Education Shirley-Anne Somerville made the announcement during a Scottish Parliament debate. She said:

    “Our education system must support all Scotland’s young people to reach their full potential and we have listened carefully to concerns about the difficulties being faced by some young people in schools.

    “While local authorities and schools are best-placed to decide how to deliver the curriculum based on local needs and circumstances, there may be more that can done to improve the education experience for LGBTI young people. That is what this working group will consider and we look forward to receiving its recommendations in due course.”

    Jordan Daly, co-founder of Time for Inclusive Education (TIE), said:

    “For the last two years we have campaigned from a grassroots level for LGBTI-inclusive education in all Scottish schools, and so the launch of this working group marks a significant step forward – not only for this movement, but for all LGBTI young people across the country.

    “As such, we welcome this news, and now look forward to working alongside the Scottish Government and other organisations including LGBT Youth Scotland and Stonewall Scotland in order to ensure that the support which exists for our campaign translates into real change at a national level.”

    Ahead of the debate, Ms Somerville and Deputy First Minister John Swinney met TIE campaigners and representatives of Stonewall Scotland and LGBT Youth Scotland, which currently supports school staff and teachers to meet the needs of LGBTI young people.

    LGBT Youth Scotland Chief Executive Fergus McMillan, added:

    “We welcome the establishment of a working group on LGBTI inclusive education and hope that it will be purposeful and focused on action that improves things directly for young people in all schools across Scotland.”

    The detailed remit of the LGBTI Inclusive Education Working Group will be agreed at its first meeting. Its membership includes representatives of:

    Association of Directors of Education (ADES)
    Education Scotland
    Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
    Equality & Human Rights Commission
    LGBT Youth Scotland
    National Parent Forum Scotland
    School Leaders Scotland
    Scottish Catholic Education Service
    Scottish Youth Parliament
    Stonewall Scotland

  90. Craig P says:

    Albaha at 10:19am.
    That article about SNP selection battles is interesting, because it sounds just like Labour in the 80s and 90s. The real battle for election then wasnt an honest contest in front of the electorate, because Labour were almost guaranteed to win, but a nasty, back-stabbing maneuvering in ‘smoke filled rooms’ for the Labour nomination.

    It must be great for the SNP to be as sure of election as Labour were, but Labour lost the way and got replaced. The SNP, if they take the electorate for granted, may be just one or two elections away from suffering the same fate.

  91. Morag says:

    From that timeline, it would seem that many of Somerville’s unjustified steps up the ladder and into SNP sinecures happened under Alex Salmond. I find that a bit disturbing. Did he really not see through her?

    I expect he’s seen through her now.

  92. somerled says:

    Just watched 10 min video of Hunter Biden getting a naked footjob of a Chinese woman believed to be actress from movie Mulan (in his penis is pixelated badly) released by Chinese opposed to CCP on Many more to come including photos & videos involving kids. Joe Biden completely corrupt & compromised like many other Democrats & Republicans especially GeorgeBush, Hillary & Obama.

    Could this happen to Nicola, Alyn, Boris or anyone else in UK? Of course it could. If you believe British Intelligence have dirty tricks then so can others.

    Watch BrandNewTube especially Truth investigators like Ryan Dawson, Albert Bishai, Know More News Adam Green and learn who runs our Governments and why and its all based on documents, FOI and videos.


  93. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “From that timeline, it would seem that many of Somerville’s unjustified steps up the ladder and into SNP sinecures happened under Alex Salmond. I find that a bit disturbing. Did he really not see through her?”

    The same thought occurred to me and I mentioned it to a well-placed SNP insider, who told me this:

    “Alex had little control over HQ as leader, he hated Peter. It was all very odd.”

  94. Robert Graham says:

    Some folk are simply just not suited for the positions they find themselves in work wise , it doesn’t mean they are bad people or have bad intentions it’s the ones who allow them to get into positions of trust and responsibility indeed let them continue they are primarily at fault not the poor sucker who mistakenly believes they are lucky and doing their best in what for them is a trying and difficult roll ,
    I can’t believe she is intentionally causing harm it’s just she is not suitable for the positions she has been elevated to by again poor management.
    Back to good competent leadership and management , we probably all have come across individuals who are really nice but totally bloody useless doing their job most get away with it for years even a lifetime if they don’t raise to much suspicion but they are as Dumb as the Day they we born and tend to lean on more able workmates it happens everywhere, so rather than make a bad situation worse by drawing attention to their failings show a bit more compassion and understanding for by Christ there is little of it going about just now because of this psychotic Tory government whose whole aim seems to want to make everyone who isn’t one of them , make people’s life’s a little worse than the day before it’s what they seem to take pride in .

  95. Robert Louis says:

    This is what destroyed Labour. Nepotism and croneyism in the extreme.

    It goes all the way to the top. Tacet approval of abuse against non-woke candidates, is just a small part of it.

  96. Robert Louis says:

    Rev Stu at 204pm,

    That quote and its context are very revealing, very revealing indeed. Does Mr Murrell see the SNP as HIS personal possession and plaything?? Is that part of the problem?

    If only I had known when I supported Nicola Sturgeon (Peter Murrell’s wife) for SNP leader.

  97. MaggieC says:

    I posted this on a previous thread yesterday and it was in a reply to this article from the Times where Shirley Anne Somerville is fighting for her seat ,

    This is from the Daily Record three weeks ago about Christina Mckelvie and Shirley Anne Somerville .

    Two Scots ministers for elderly rights are ‘missing in action’ as coronavirus killed thousands in care homes . Activists’ outrage at inaction of fat-cat MSPs in charge of older people’s rights.

    Shirley-Anne Somerville, meanwhile, rakes in an additional £48,449 as Cabinet Secretary for Social Security and Older People – a total pay packet of £112,919.

    That’s the same Shirley Anne Somerville who is determined to push through the controversial Gra reforms and she won’t stand up for women’s rights. Hardly surprising that she’s suddenly appeared on the daily briefings along side Nicola Sturgeon.

    Update today ,

    And I now see from their twitter page that Christina Mckelvie has the time to chair the the Agm for the Out for Indy group ,

    Out for Independence

    After a successful year, Out for Independence are proud to host our first AGM since our 2019 relaunch!

    The meeting will be chaired by @ChristinaSNP where we will elect an executive to take us forward for the year ahead.

  98. Saffron Robe says:

    It seems that the more kinks you have in your character, the more you will find favour with the duplicitous dyad and gain promotion to the kinky kabinett of horrors!

  99. Ronald Fraser says:

    And you wonder what Sturgeon and Somerville putting all their energy in to?

    “However, other leading party members, and those in the affiliated LBGT groups, have been publicly supportive of the changes to the GRA, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Somerville, who recently told a Dundee Pride event “let me be absolutely clear that the Scottish Government will legislate for gender recognition to international best practice”.

  100. John H. says:

    Even if She is defeated, it looks likely that Somerville will still be given a highly paid job. As long as the Murrells are in position she and the other troughers will cling on shamelessly at a terrible cost to Scotland and her people. I put all my faith in the SNP as did so many others. We have been betrayed by those claiming to be our own,

  101. Ronald Fraser says:

    I don’t have any kind of “phobia” about what people get up to in their private lives.

    BUT, when it completely dwarfs the SNP and it affects our drive for Scottish Independence, then I also have a right to speak out against these minority groups.

    Independence should have been the priority, with all other issues put aside until AFTER we won our freedom.

    As someone up thread asked, who are the Murrells, what are they all about?

    The top of the SNP and their close inner circle are as secretive now as any you will find within any UK government organisation.

    Someone or some group need to make it their mission to uncover the secretive world that now exists at the top of Scottish Politics.

  102. Stoker says:

    Folks, some help with currency arguments:

  103. Lochside says:

    Robert Graham@ 2.13
    To characterise SAS as just crap at her job and that these things happen is incredibly naive. Just take a swatch at the photo dated June 2018 of the ‘Radical Reshuffle’ of the Sturgeon ‘Top Team’ which was supposed (within the next 6 x months) to take on the ‘Not taking us out of Europe’ trope.:.Mackay; Somerville; Yusef;Swinney; Hislop; Mathieson..all totally useless and cronies of ‘Nicola’; Ewing, best friend of tory landowners; and Russell, Cunningham and Freeman all soon to be retired. Campbell, also sensibly making excuses to get out.

    Some lineup for a ‘great leap’ for Scotland into Independence!
    Sturgeon is a low level municipal class politician and has surrounded herself with people of the same or less abilities.

    Full time politicians with no experience of life or economic realities. Fiercely ambitious greedy troughers latching on to the zeitgeist of ‘Scottish Nationalism’ as a vehicle for their petty obsessions with their warped views of life. They have been compromised, entrapped and enabled by the British State Anglo Saxon civil service into enacting those warped views and petty hatreds in such a manner to allow the immolation of the party from within.

    Like latter day kamikaze pilots they continue unabated on dive-bombing their own fleet in the face of the enemy. Stupid, blind and manipulated by our oldest and most dangerous foes.

  104. Stuart MacKay says:

    There have been several comments on how the rot in the SNP set in before Sturgeon took over. That may well be the case.

    Disasters are typically the result of several bad decisions, each in itself not sufficient to cause a problem but they all add up. It’s probably the same when any organisation loses it’s way or ability to function. Decisions by the Salmond administration may well have paved the way to the hell we are in now but it would have been impossible to see at the time where it was all going.

    Having said that the influx of equality refugees from Labour should have been a huge red flag, but in their haste and hubris to build an equal Scotland they did not see the danger. I doubt they chose to ignore as I simply don’t think they are that smart.

    If the SNP ever get out of this then there’s a lot of work to restore or rebuild organisation that is built on transparency and accountability – (un)fortunately, there’s plenty of material to work from.

  105. Ronald Fraser says:

    I wonder if Somerville will turn up at the AUOB Rally in Dundee on Sat 31st October?

    Or is she just just going to jump all over Scotland attending Gay Pride Rallies.

    “Newly-appointed cabinet minister Shirley-Anne Somerville described it as an “absolute honour” to speak at Fife Pride in her hometown.”

    Her and Sturgeon’s priorities are definitely not based on Scottish Independence.

  106. A Person says:

    To those calling this a hatchet job-

    It’s holding somebody who is not very at their rather important job to account. Somebody correctly said, Scotland’s answer to Chris Grayling.

    If you or I were this bad at our job we’d be sacked.

    Unless your boss was for some reason inclined to look after you.

  107. Republicofscotland says:

    Gove and the English government are setting up a team to destroy Scottish independence. If only Gove knew Sturgeon, Murrell and their clique are in the process of doing the exact same thing.

  108. Republicofscotland says:

    Sturgeon and her cliques betrayal is even more of a tragedy, now that the EU’s biggest hitter Germany backs an independent Scotland joining the EU.

    So close yet so far away, as several songs say.

  109. This nepotism and cronyism coupled up with the boys with the clammy claws has been the way it goes in Angus for decades.
    At one time we he’d no less than five married couples on Angus Council,it was known locally as the Mr and Mrs Council. Getting a job in Angus Council was gifted through the SNP party. The thing about nepotism and cronyism is that if you are employed through who you know and not what you know the problem actually worsens as time goes by. Now through this Angus Council lurches from crisis to crisis to crisis through lack of competent heads of department.
    The nepotism by the SNP reached its head when a Montrose Common Good Asset was sold too a sitting SNP. Councillors family in a secret meeting of Angus Council for only £34k
    This sale included the public and disabled toilets on the beech front and did real damage to the tourist trade in Montrose. Despite that marvellous long needed piece of legislation the Community Empowerment Act 2015 they ignored it and greased the sale through. .
    We have two careerist MSPs Dey and Gougeons who find nothing wrong with the situation where they sit in Holyrood making law thats is ignored by Angus branch SNP.
    Angus Council has been in a judgment from the Court of Session criticised for ignoring the Community Empowement Act in in selling Community Assets so there is now some hope of protecting the Common good from the asset stripping Angus SNP.

  110. Ottomanboi says:

    Ding it aa doun lassie!
    John Knox would be so proud of you.
    Slàinte mhath….No, no, no, not on my watch you wont!
    This year’s SNP greetings card. (CAUTION, XXXX GRUESOME)

  111. Q says:

    A crackin’ read. You normally tell us a little something about your guest article writers. Just out of interest, who is SJD..?

  112. somerled says:

    I stopped supporting Independence last year after realising that the SNP are corrupt, incompetent full of nepotism and entirely focused on LGBTQ trans and disgusting sex ed with no concern for women or children. Thats not the Scotland i want to live in. While i admired Alex Salmond and think he has been treated despicably by the Murrells, in his own words he was inappropriate with young employees, add to the other sex scandals such as Derek Mackay and the party is a joke. They are ALL interested only in their careers, salaries, pensions & expenses including the decent ones like Cherry & Macaskill. Very few MPs, MSPs and Councillors in the party have spoken out about the NEC so they are almost as bad as those at the helm.

    Being in the Union isnt perfect but it has existed for three hundred years and Scots played their part in the Empire and survived okay. I can’t see an Independent Scotland surviving now after Covid. People say they want to see Independence in their own lifetime but dont have answers to economy, currency, defence etc but all i want is a succesful Scotland whether controlled in London or Edinburgh doesnt really matter. The SNP dont care more for Scotland than Scottish tories, labour or Lib dems, thst is clear by the current problems in health, education, poverty, economy.

    All the current SNP politicians need to be gone before i will support Indyref2 and that wont happen for at least another 20 years. We have all been taken for fools too long. The current lot are supposedly the best but are completely useless and i see no other Indy people with skills to run the country.Lets fix our problems in education and health and come back to the indy question when we have competent politicians. After all its the future of the country that matters, for future generations not peoples own ambition to see it, that really matters.

  113. Contrary says:

    Rev Stu says:

    ““From that timeline, it would seem that many of Somerville’s unjustified steps up the ladder and into SNP sinecures happened under Alex Salmond. I find that a bit disturbing. Did he really not see through her?”

    The same thought occurred to me and I mentioned it to a well-placed SNP insider, who told me this:

    “Alex had little control over HQ as leader, he hated Peter. It was all very odd.””

    Well well, that sounds very much like Peter Murrell has been manipulating things for a long time behind the scenes – is this a monster of his creation? Was this his end goal, his life-long ambition? How much control does Nicola Sturgeon actually have over her life and events – is she just fully compliant? It would be a bit,,, ironic,,, that it was the Scottish government under her watch that finalised the legislation that makes psychological abuse a crime – that’s one piece of legislation I very much agree with. I assume NS is of like mind with Peter Murrell, but there is room for some doubt. The more that’s revealed, the more the whole thing creeps me out.

    So, could we assume that changes made in the way the SNP worked during Alex’s tenure as leader were not necessarily something he would have influenced? I was assuming he would have had the same kind of control that NS seemingly has now – seemingly, but not actually, it looks like.

    Don’t you just love unelected, unaccountable, overpaid, officials behind the scenes controlling everything?

  114. SilverDarling says:

    Some of the present enmity may go back to when NS was basically thwarted in her ambition so that Alex could come back after Swinney’s disastrous spell at the helm. She was given the apprenticeship of learning how to be a leader by being Alex’s deputy.

    How she could have imagined she would take the SNP forward knowing what we know now about her management style of leadership is incredible. Also didn’t Peter Murrell work at Alex’s office in Banff and Buchan way back? So each man knows the other well.

    There are a few photos of the SNP youth crowd from the 80s, Alyn Smith, NS, Angus Robertson, John Swinney – maybe that is part of the connection. Do they all harbour a simmering resentment for Alex’s relative success when they have failed to make any inroads towards Independence no matter how many opportunities they have been given? Is their loyalty to each other stronger than the drive for independence?

    SA Somerville is that strange creature that moves through the hierarchy of an organisation with no obvious skill set but is ‘friends’ with everyone who matters. Maybe that is her strength, she can be relied upon to support the side who put her where she is – no matter what is asked of her – and she expects to be rewarded. Who knows what might come out if she fails this time…

  115. David Holden says:

    I suspect the author is using a made up name as if you shorten her name at either end you get Jane Do.

  116. john rose says:

    Was sas not the campaign director in 2011? I seem to remember that her efforts on that front were the excuse for her not being able to spend the time campaigning. At the time I was disappointed that she lost, and grateful for her efforts in directing a very successful campaign.It does however seem that she was protected, and since then she has lost any goodwill by promoting gra.

  117. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “in his own words he was inappropriate with young employees”

    He has said no such thing.

  118. Phydaux says:

    Shirley-Anne Somerville, a.k.a. The Invisible Woman, may believe she can’t be seen, like a toddler who covers their eyes and shouts: “ You can’t see me. “

    Mind you, her constituents literally can’t see her because? She can’t be arsed? She can’t cope with real people with real problems? She is unable to deal with those who have serious and legitimate concerns about GRA? The consultation regarding GRA reforms was a global one…8000 responses from the rest of the world and 7000 from Scotland. Never happened before apparently.

    All those women’s groups/ parents groups and those representing children literally can’t see Miss Somerville because she point blank refused to meet any of them. Not so the lobbyists, Stonewall etc who seem able to see her anytime they want, over 200 meetings apparently. Lots of time and lots of public money with which to do so.

    I can’t see any research or surveys to validate her claim of “ high suicide rates within the trans community. “ This is lobbyist speak, pure and simple, from her “ colleagues “ as she described them in correspondence.

    You are increasingly highly visible Miss Somerville and I can see you much more clearly now. If you can’t be arsed to do the day job for which you are handsomely paid and are neither transparent nor accountable, I hope that the good people of Dunfermline in the Kingdom of Fife can’t be arsed voting for you.

  119. Alf Baird says:

    That picture of a happy ‘Scottish Cabinet’.

    National liberators or colonial administrators?

  120. Livionian says:

    Somerfed at 4.51;

    The independence of Scotland is an idea that is much bigger than the current policies of the party of government in Scotland. It transcends the narrow agendas of the current party political climate. It is about whether a people and a nation should be able to determine their own political, economic and cultural destiny. Independence is much more than the SNP.

    We urge you to think about the bigger picture. In a hypothetical scenario where Scotland was made independent today, come 20-30 years time nobody remembers the social policies of the Sturgeon administration. That time has long since ceased to be relevant, we have had several different governments since then. Some were good, some were bad. Some were liberal, some were conservative. Some enacted free market economic strategies, some were interventionist. And so forth. This is inevitable in an independent Scotland and all of these are inevitable in a United Kingdom, just as they are in Italy, Belgium, South Africa, any democracy.

    I hate the current woke policies of the SNP. That has nothing to do with the moral argument for an independent Scotland. The left will try and enact trans lobby agendas and nanny state initiatives no matter what their views are on the constitution and no matter what country they are in. Do you not think the same agenda will happen when Labour eventually regain power in the UK? It’s shit but it’s a reality about modern ‘social’ democracy. Rejecting independence because you don’t like the SNP woke brigade doesn’t shelter you from the consequences of wokeism.

    Support independence if you believe our nation and our people should have our own state and determine our own destiny. Separate this fundamental from current politics. Don’t like the SNP? Don’t vote for them. Don’t like transgender politics? Speak out. But independence is so much bigger than this.

    Don’t leave us. We need you

  121. twathater says:

    @ Sarah Jane thank you for this dissection which highlights the corruption and incompetence THROUGHOUT the SNP

    Yes WE all felt so SMUG and superior when we were criticising and denigrating the unionist parties for THEIR failings , WE were all emphasising the DESPERATE NEED for our country to gain independence to enable a MORE responsible , caring , considerate , empathetic, open and transparent government of our choosing to take us into the future

    What WE have allowed and permitted is a niche cabal of self serving incompetent science deniers lead by a narssistic despot who favours only those who agree with her delusions

    We have all witnessed and suffered and are STILL suffering the jibes and ridicule from unionist supporters, when they point out the determined reluctance of the SG to TAKE ON the responsibility for Social Security , we have tried to defend that reluctance by repeated excuses , but it is a stinging rebuke and is repeated by the enemy interminably

    YET SAS and NS are NOT prioritising the DESPERATE NEED to protect and SAVE the disabled , the vulnerable , the unemployed , the homeless , starving families with children.

    NO their PRIORITIES are firmly concentrated in another direction , that of ENSURING men who SAY they are females CAN and WILL be permitted access to female only safe spaces ,the GRA , and they have PRIORITISED putting through laws, the HCB to PENALISE ANYONE who disagrees with the lunatic proposals

    There is NO requirement for independence when the NEW BOSS is going to be as CORRUPT as the OLD BOSS

  122. dakk says:

    . “The SNP dont care more for Scotland than Scottish tories, labour or Lib dems, thst is clear by the current problems in health, education, poverty, economy.”

    You have a very short memory.

  123. CameronB Brodie says:

    Nepotism and cronyism are characteristic symptoms of dysfunctional politics and government. It is the NEC that is responsible for rewarding those who’s lack of competence endangers public health and democracy in Scotland. So here’s a peek at the “Ethics of Care”, which appears to be hidden knowledge to those in control of the Scottish government. And that’s not the SNP membership btw, or the Scottish electorate.

  124. Neil MacTavish says:

    Reading this article and indeed several from Wings recently makes me sad, it reminds me of the lyrics written by Davy Steel in his lovely song “Scotland yet.” Can I point out….the enemy is over there!

    ‘While we still seek to blame oor woes and pains on someone else
    We’ll never have the strength tae solve oor problems for oorselves
    In truth we fought each other mair, learn this from oor past
    Then together we can choose fur oorsells at last.
    The choice will be upon us soon, tae set oor destiny
    I’ll drink a toast tae Scotland yet, whatever yet may be.‘

  125. Effijy says:


    You are totally wrong about Independence!

    How would Scotland survive after Covid?
    Exactly the same way over 200 other nations will.

    You think it best for our votes and priorities to go for nothing?
    To be second class citizens to be robbed and abused as Westminster wishes?

    We are not doing well with an overly large share of £2 Trillion on English made debt,
    with a Bungling Buffon of a PM who declared his hate of Scots, a racist, an adulterer,
    a totally immoral man happy to see children go hungry.

    If we are equal partners why would the United Kingdom’s bank only belong to England,
    Why would PPE manufacturers be instructed by Westminster not to sell to Scotland,
    Why would Scotland’s government have no say in Brexit negotiations, why is Scotland the only
    Part of England’s Empire that wanted a special EU deal not permitted one, why if Scotland had voted for Independence would we be out of the EU and England in but if England wants out the EU
    why would Scotland not be still in the EU.

    No matter what I want independence!
    No matter what I want to be totally detached from Westminster corruption.
    No matter what I am European.
    No matter what my children’s vote and priorities will not be negated by another immoral nation.
    No matter what I will never accept rule by another nation’s red or blue Tories.

    I will see Independence in my lifetime and nothing will stop it!

  126. Iain Lawson says:

    Fionan has already apologised elsewhere for wrong information on her post. SOS IS NOT RELATED IN ANYWAY TO TRICIA MARWICK.

  127. robertknight says:

    Twathater @ 5:42

    “a niche cabal of self serving incompetent science deniers lead by a narssistic despot who favours only those who agree with her delusions”

    I have an urge to get that printed on a t-shirt with REFORM THE SNP! underneath.

  128. robert Hughes says:

    Well said Effijy

  129. Graeme says:

    Ronald Fraser says:
    25 October, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    I don’t have any kind of “phobia” about what people get up to in their private lives.

    Ronald if you’re not anti something or something phobic you’re not alive mate, I’m all of these things according to somebody

    They’re only labels stuck on you by people who can’t argue their case in an articulate manner, wear it as a badge of honour

  130. Lothianlad says:

    STU, this is again a fantastic article highlighting and exposing the corrupt working gs of the SNP under sturgeon.

    SAS probably couldn’t hold down a responsible job in the world of work and it’s pretty clear she has benefitted fro. SnP members money. Much like murrel and the others linked to the inner circle.

    What I hate to see is how they have managed to line their pockets whilst advancing independence not one centimetre.
    Much like the careerists in Midlothian!

    What I Love to see is how they are being exposed by STU, Ian lawson, craig Murray, mark hirst and others who are calling them and their shameful action out.

    We need to keep the pressure up on them, their reign is coming to an end.

    Only then will we get our Independence.

  131. Quinie frae Angus says:

    First post in a while from me, and as usual there are so many thoroughly absorbing articles and comments BTL that I’d be here all day replying to them all.

    However, I just had to say that I think Lorna Campbell at 11.32 a.m.’s analysis is spot on. Especially this paragraph:

    “I think what has happened in the SNP is that most of these people were the young generation of student politicians in their day and have risen through knowing everyone else, having similar opinions, sharing social and political viewpoints, similar lifestyles, and an older generation, dotingly, spoiled them or pulled their strings, however you want to see it. Now, they, in their turn, are fostering another generation of ambitious, young people with little experience of anything outside their student politics bubble or, perhaps, that should be, even less experience of anything outside their student politics bubble.”

    I agree fully with this assessment. I was one of those original students and knew the key players back then in the 1980s/1990s.

    And I think that some within the echelons close to the leadership are now alarmed at what is happening on their watch: i.e the monster that the TRA youth wing has become; and are indeed alarmed at the increasing untrammelled power of the entryist careerists that seem to think they’re on a shoo-in to, a great salary and a bit of importance in life, without ever having to do a day’s graft for it either for independence or for any constituent out there struggling to get by.

    I’m hoping against hope that into the New Year – or earlier – some of the common sense heads within the SNP parliamentary group start putting their heads above the parapet, and publicly back the likes of Kenny McAskill, Angus B McNeil and Joanna Cherry who have had the balls to cast a few shots above the bows, and open up the cracks that Stu and others have been shining daylight on for many months.

    However, when I see former folk I admired so much, like John Swinney, seemingly doubling down on the Sturrells’ agenda (e.g. bowing down to Rhiannon S’s disgraceful porn-addled sex-ed agenda in schools; backing SAS against other clearly better candidates), it does induce nothing but despair. Why, John? WTF is going on?

    So sad, what’s happened to the SNP. It really keep me awake at night, to be honest. It’s gutting to the core.

    The only thing we can do in the immediate term is genuinely and publicly examine all candidates so that party members understand exactly who they’re voting for and then at least there’s a fighting chance of clearing out some of the frenzied ambition-fuelled chancers before they get fully-embedded in May. Despite the NEC and CEO corruption there are still ways and means of us getting the truth out there.

    I don’t post often these days, but I read often, and continue to support this lifeline of a site which does so much to drill down on the FOIs and dissect the goings-on, to get to the truth.

    The independent Scotland that we must and will become, deserves nothing less.

  132. tricia young says:

    Goodbye independence, it was a hopeful flirtation that has come to the end for me. Man, I so believed and ached for it – felt and tasted it on all the marches and at the meetings. Hope is an incredible gift to give and receive and Sturgeon and her ilk have destroyed it for me. I could weep. I will never forgive them.

  133. Ron Maclean says:

    I have long been of the view that all that is necessary for independence to become the primary priority again is for the right person to take over the leadership of the SNP. I remain of that opinion but It appears now that either corruption is endemic within the SNP, or there is no-one of sufficient integrity capable of mounting a leadership challenge, or both.

    No-one in the SNP has spoken out. Silence is consent.

  134. Quinie frae Angus says:

    I should add that for just about the whole of 2019 I was one of those that couldn’t believe the worst about NS, and I went through a spell of being mighty pissed off at Stu. I felt that we should “wheesht for Indy” to some extent, as although I was against the gender woo-woo crowd and their apparent rising power, I gingerly felt that all we needed to do was just wait till NS called the Indy Ref and get Indy. Then vote for a new common sense party once we were independent. (I.e. thank NS for her service and quickly nudge her on to the UN or equivalent stateswoman job she clearly covets.)

    I genuinely still believed for a long time that NS was generally a good egg who had just lost her way a wee bit, and had been browbeaten by the post 2014 influx of new people, and had lost control of the extremists, and just needed to be railroaded democratically into getting back on the right path – the Indy path. My spectacles were rose-coloured.

    And I was really annoyed that Stu was being so critical; criticism I felt was OTT and in danger of losing us support for the Indy cause as a whole, through maligning the SNP with such apparent vigour.

    Then came the Alex Salmond case. And all that ensued.

    That was the real, painful turning point for me. (That along with a few deep and lengthy conversations with close pals who had genuine first-hand insight into the “cabal”).

    The curtains could remain closed no longer. The sunlight was now beaming in.

    I still feel heart-sorry that we’re having to tear the SNP apart like this but seriously, there comes a point when you have to just bite the bullet and admit the truth that is slowly but surely staring you in the face. At the end of the day, what price your own integrity? What price your own soul?

    The corruption and the poisonous agendas so embarrassingly evident now, require all of us who care about the good health and emotionally-intelligent robustness of our country to call out the charlatans, whaurever they bide.

    I am just sickened and f****** beyond furious that it’s all in amongst our own tent, so to speak, and to have to face the reality that we have been suckered by the enemy within. The party I have supported all my adult life with my heart, with my soul and with my cash.

    But we gain nothing by trying to sweep any of this under the carpet; it’s gone so far beyond that and we have a duty to our family, friends and fellow citizens to keep our government honest. That was always one of the key arguments for Indy in the first place – that we would now be able to do this, on our own doorstep.

    Like Robert Bruce’s spider, I’m keeping goin’. But it’s hard.

    And the Sturrells really must go as soon as possible so that we can effect (that word again!) an emergency clear-out before May.

  135. Outside favouritism, tokenism, cronyism and nepotism is there anyone in the Scottish parliament there on merit.

    Scottish parliament in Edinburgh looking more like Tammany Hall than The Athens of The North.

  136. susanXX says:

    Quinie frae Angus; I feel exactly as you do.

  137. Contrary says:

    For those people saying things along the lines of ‘NS is shit so I want to stay in the union’, I wrote this in answer to a similar comment on another blog:

    “Well, for a start (and finish!) it would be OUR OWN institution full of backstabbers and corruption – so there is *always* a reason for independence in any circumstances.

    The problem is, the actual process for us reaching independence can’t be achieved with a mini-Westminster style corrupt Holyrood whose government has no intention of bringing about independence.

    It is the journey that can’t be achieved, the transition; under these circumstances.

    There is *always* a point to *being* independent – for a start: if Holyrood was full of corrupt backstabbers when we were independent, our votes matter – we can change it. We have no such influence over Westminster under the current regime. And we are stuck with voting for just one party – in whatever form they choose to take – in Holyrood, to supposedly bring about independence, under the current regime. We are stuck between a rock and a hard place, there is nothing we can vote for at the moment to move us towards independence. The SNP has created this situation.

    Independence gives Scotland choices, power over its own destiny, a say in its own policies and its own institutions. Independence doesn’t automatically make everyone suddenly nice, or morally superior, or law abiding.”

    And I add: the only way to sort out education etc etc, anything, in Scotland is for us to be independent.

    We have been failed by many people, over the centuries, over these decades – and we often fail ourselves – so,,, quit whining – it’s just yet another fucker that screwed us over – and the law of averages says if we keep trying we’ll hit pay dirt either by accident or design one of those times. So we keep trying. No good has ever come out of the union or Westminster.

  138. Donald Raymond says:

    Was there a piece on Alex Salmond? I was about to read it and it vanished. Or I imagined it?

  139. Tom says:

    From Craig Murray’s most recent blog posting:

    “… what really worried me was the Scottish government’s new five tier system with restrictions nominated not 1 to 5, but 0 to 4. Zero level restrictions includes gatherings being limited to 8 people indoors or 15 people outdoors – which of course would preclude much political activity. When Julian Assange’s father John was visiting us this week I wished to organise a small vigil for Julian in Glasgow, but was unable to do so because of Covid restrictions. Even at zero level under the Scottish government’s new plans, freedom of assembly – an absolutely fundamental right – will still be abolished and much political activity banned. I cannot see any route to normality here; the truth is, of course, that it is very easy to convince most of the population inspired by fear to turn against those interested in political freedom.

    What is in a number? When I tweeted about this, a few government loyalists argued against me that numbering 0 to 4 means nothing and the levels of restriction might equally have been numbered 1 to 5. To which I say, that numbering the tiers of restriction 1 to 5 would have been the natural choice, whereas numbering them 0 to 4 is a highly unusual choice. It can only have been chosen to indicate that 0 is the “normal” level and that normality is henceforth not “No restrictions” but normal is “no public gathering”. When the threat of Covid 19 is deemed to be sufficiently receding we will drop to level zero. If it was intended that after level 1, restrictions would be simply set aside, there would be no level zero. The signal being sent is that level zero is the “new normal” and normal is not no restrictions. It is both sinister and unnecessary.”

    Sinister indeed. AUOB: take note ..

  140. Willie says:

    Quince frame Angus. Like so many you have now seen and experienced the coterie of scum that sits at the heart of our party.

    Nothing is too malign for them in their pursuit of control. But why, and this is a big why, has Nicola Sturgeon gone soft on Independence. What has caused that.

    Usually, such transformations arise for a reason. Do the security services know something about her, or her husband’s sexual predilections. Knowledge of such things can oft be a powerful tool and let us not underestimate that.

    Sir Jimmy Savile was protected for many a long years yet his depravity was deep,He was well known to the security services, and yet he and the Thatcher government remained protected.

    Could therefore, subject to a price to be paid, could Nicola Sturgeon be Indy lite because she has been bblackmailed about indiscretions by her or husband Peter.

    Given her recent actions, it a question that needs to be explored.

  141. Achnababan says:

    To anyone who understands how the SNP works, how can the party get rid of its Chief Executive? What is the process?

  142. Dan says:

    @ Tom

    Re. Tier numbers.
    At the other end of the scale: I was listening to the news on the radio whilst driving on Friday and heard it said that Tier 5 was still below full lockdown measures… which immediately made my ears prick up and think well wtf is the point of having a Tier system in place that doesn’t include the full range.

  143. Hatuey says:

    “it is very easy to convince most of the population inspired by fear to turn against those interested in political freedom.”

    By the same token, it’s very difficult to convince dead people of merits of political freedom.

  144. Pete says:

    You do realise that around 150 people die in Scotland every day from a variety of conditions.
    How many die from Covid?

  145. Strathy says:

    More excellent work by Gordon Dangerfield: –


  146. Saffron Robe says:

    If we are compelled to call an apple an orange, even when we know it to be an apple, surely we are being forced by law to deny reality, to accept that which we know to be false as the truth? If so, then there can no longer be any clear distinction in law between truth and lies, right and wrong.

    However, if Westminster is successful in their attempt to legalise criminality, then we will all become criminals whether we obey the law or not, except of course for the political elite who make the laws and have conveniently made themselves immune from them!

    If we remove the underpinnings of civilisation (truth and justice), then surely civilisation itself will collapse? Is this not what we are witnessing all around us at the present time? We are not so much circling the behavioural sink as in danger of going down the plughole altogether.

    What we are experiencing in Scotland, the crisis within the ruling class of their inability to govern honestly, transparently and competently, is reflected worldwide. To me, Scottish independence is an objective truth, not a subjective one, and as such it is eternal. Yes we are in a dark place as a nation just now (as is much of the world) but the moral of Robert the Bruce and the spider is that no matter how bad things may look, no matter how insurmountable the obstacle, we have to keep trying.

  147. shug says:

    It is interesting that under Nicola the polling gender gap is disappearing.

  148. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    My comment which simply said ‘The gay cabal strikes again’ was removed.


    Has corruption infiltrated this site too?”

    Because it had a nasty ring to it and wasn’t relevant to anything.

  149. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “To anyone who understands how the SNP works, how can the party get rid of its Chief Executive? What is the process?”

    There isn’t one AFAIK.

  150. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Was there a piece on Alex Salmond? I was about to read it and it vanished. Or I imagined it?”

    There are no pending articles, I have no idea what you saw.

  151. Famous15 says:

    “Dear Transphobes

    We have a phobia of your hatred”

    See me,see that gem,ah get paid a pile for that pish. God knows what it means but it sounds a belter.

    See any oh yous who calls me a dick or no a dick ahll have yeus.

    THIS WAS A PUBIC INFORMATION ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE SG. My name is ######## and I support this message.

  152. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The Covid mortality rate for Scotland was actually less than the average for the UK, and the hospital mortality was also less, making the percentage of mortality in Care Homes higher, when in fact the death rate in Scottish care homes was equivalent to the rest of the UK.”

    I’m sure the families will find that whataboutery massively comforting, and that the police investigation now going on into the matter will find everything was hunky-dory.

  153. Famous15 says:

    Sorry I forgot.

    Independence is normal.

    Control freakkery isnnae. BTW when was Murrel first appointed and who appointed him. It all comes back to him.Get HIM out and I will rejoin the SNP. Simples.

  154. Hatuey says:

    Thanks Strathy. Based on what Dangerfield explains in that latest article, Sturgeon’s explanation of events has gone from the absurd to the impossible.

  155. Hatuey says:

    “The Covid mortality rate for Scotland was actually less than the average for the UK”

    When we need to compare ourselves with the UK to look good, there’s something seriously wrong. The UK has one of the worst coronavirus death tolls in the world – Johns Hopkins has the UK down as the fifth worst in the world.

    What’s next, comparing our human rights record with Pol Pot’s Cambodia?

    The Scottish numbers are ever-so-slightly not as bad as the UK numbers. That’s despite having a much more widely dispersed population.

    If you look at areas in Scotland with a high population density, like Glasgow, we actually do worse than the UK as a whole. And that’s a much fairer comparison to make since you are comparing like with like.

  156. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Quinee fae Angus

    ‘I still feel heart-sorry that we’re having to tear the SNP apart like this but seriously, there comes a point when you have to just bite the bullet and admit the truth that is slowly but surely staring you in the face… suckered by the enemy within’


    We have time, we have knowledge of what they’re up to, we have a plan, and we have you.

    One of the things I kept trying to get people to look at, once I’d figured out Brexit, was that they were always going to do this. If not with bribes, or scandal, then plain old threatening of loved ones.

    And the litmus test for all the Yes campaign was to make sure the ground (making the case for Indy, and ensuring a means to vote to secure same) was being covered. As soon as it stops being covered, by those most responsible for getting it done… alarm bells should go off.

    The other thing I kept trying folk to see, was the need to ignore it, trying to prove the corruption or nobbling, would use up valuable time, that could be spent campaigning. Go round it, be unstoppable.

    kind regards

  157. Davie Oga says:

    Sturgeon’s fantastic Covid performance is another myth that seems to have traction. Global top 10 for death rate and hundreds of unnecessarily dead grannies. Shocking that this is held up as Sturgeon’s finest hour.

  158. ben madigan says:

    @Famous Five who asked “when was Murrel first appointed and who appointed him”.

    Wikipedia says “Murrell has been Chief Executive Officer of the Scottish National Party (SNP) since 1999”

    and that

    “Murrell was formerly the Company Secretary of Independence Merchandising Limited”

    A little time discrepancy emerged as

    Mr Murrell was appointed Company Secretary at Independence Merchandising Ltd on 16 Sep 2003
    The Company appears to have been started on 21 Jan 2000 as that’s when its 3 Directors,
    were nominated.

    Bear in mind one of the Rev Stu’s sources told him

    “Alex had little control over HQ as leader, he hated Peter. It was all very odd.”

  159. crazycat says:

    @ ben madigan at 10.45

    I don’t interpret “was formerly the Company Secretary…” as meaning prior to becoming Chief Executive.

    Rather, the company has been dissolved, so he was secretary at some point during its existence, prior to its demise.

    The passage is badly written, but there need not be any discrepancy.

  160. Beaker says:

    In some stores in Wales baby clothes are non-essential, but vodka is.

    And I thought things were confusing up here…

  161. maxxmacc says:

    I knew SAS from student politics in her early days, circa early 90’s. She was an acolyte of NS then. File under ‘oxygen thief’.

  162. Robert Graham says:

    Question Beb Madigan
    Is this Pete the SNP MP because the birth dates are the same ?

    Further to that and assuming it is the MP according to comments attributed to him a 2nd referendum vote should not be called before 2021 good to see Pete really pushing for this eh , I seem to remember Pete was or is going to retire at the end of the present parliament , so Off into the Sunset with his Generous Pension goes our Pete , Apologies for any mistakes in the description of Petes circumstances or even future intentions and I am open to correction

  163. ElGordo says:

    If they managed to corrupt the CEO of the NUM in 1984, the CEO of the SNP 30 years on would be simple enough.

    Not that I have heard him, ever, to guauge his integrity and resolve.

    Tho, actions speak louder.

  164. ben madigan says:

    @crazycat – the company doesn’t appear to have been set up until 2000 and Mr Murrel became Company Secretary in 2003

    The period does overlap with Alex Salmond’s first resignation in July 2000 because “He has faced internal criticism about his leadership style and suffered a series of high profile fall-outs with party members”.

  165. Old Pete says:

    “The Covid mortality rate for Scotland was actually less than the average for the UK, and the hospital mortality was also less, making the percentage of mortality in Care Homes higher, when in fact the death rate in Scottish care homes was equivalent to the rest of the UK” A totally accurate comment, don’t think many countries in the northern hemisphere have done any better.
    The higher support for Independence seems to be reaching in the polls of Scottish voters, the greater the strength of hate shown here for almost anything and anyone to do with the SNP.
    British Nationalists seem to be really, really liking this site these days, why would that be I wonder ?

  166. DonnyDarko says:

    Ben Madigan says
    “Alex had little control over HQ as leader, he hated Peter. It was all very odd.”

    This is the bit I don’t quite understand. Alex Salmond was definitely not blind and stupid, and yet NS fooled him while the Party machinery took over.Did he finally realise when NS refused to drop the case even when it was clear they would lose ?

  167. Ronald Fraser says:

    Famous15 9.54pm

    “Get HIM out and I will rejoin the SNP. Simples.”

    So as long as they get rid of Murrell you will rejoin the SNP?

    Have you been reading nothing over the last year or so?

    Sturgeon is as bad, if not worse than “HIM”.

    Jesus fuckin God.

    No wonder Sturgeon is proving so difficult to move on, halfwits like Famous15 don’t see any problems with “HER” staying in her post

  168. Effijy says:

    Congratulations to Bojo, the Tory Party and Westminster as the UK are just about
    To become the third Nation to suffer one Covid death per one thousand of population.

    First it was England, then Peru and now its UK wide.
    Gold and Bronze medals for world class mismanagement of a nation’s Covid prevention!
    Overall death toll could be more than 65,000

    When looking at the overall death toll from coronavirus, official figures count deaths in three different ways.

    Government figures count people who tested positive for coronavirus and died within 28 days.

    But there are two other measures.

    The first includes all deaths where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate, even if the person had not been tested for the virus. The most recent figures suggest there had been more than 58,000 deaths by 9 October.

    Chart shows three different ways to measures UK deaths – total is 44,896 according to government stats, ONS total of 58,164 includes everyone where coronavirus was mentioned on the death certificate and the excess deaths figures is 65,868

  169. Famous15 says:

    Win friends ,just call them halfwits.

    Murrel is the one behind the curtain. Yellow brick road is a no brainer.

  170. cynicalHighlander says:


    Thanks for heads up look forward to Tuesday

  171. crazycat says:

    @ ben madigan at 11.15

    So are you saying there’s a discrepancy because he did not become secretary immediately after it was set up?

    I’m thinking the timeline is:

    1999 : PM becomes SNP CEO
    2000 : Merchandising company is set up in January; AS resigns as leader in July
    2003 : PM becomes secretary of the company (muliti-tasking with his other job as CEO)
    some time later : company is dissolved, leaving PM to concentrate on the day job

    I thought you might be reading Wikipedia as stating that PM was already an ex-secretary of the company when he became CEO. I’d say that would be the reading if the two statements had been in the same paragraph, but in separate paragraphs, they are stand-alone statements unconnected to each other. That’s why I think the article could have been better expressed, to make that absolutely clear.

  172. DonnyDarko says:

    If there’s one thing consistent in deaths , it’s pneumonia. No matter what your ailment… good chance it’s pneumonia takes you out in the end…a natural born killer….until Covid 19 that is. And then there’s the annual Flu… as regular as January gales… and suddenly a 98% drop during Covid 19. Great that we are making inroads into cutting down deaths with those two killers…. but how come only in 2020 ??
    Govt. response makes you think, what are they not telling us…and the wife in the NHS keeps telling me about empty beds… someone’s no telling the truth, and I wont accuse the wife..

  173. Ronald Fraser says:


    I’m not saying you are about a year behind the times, but…

    And I’m not saying you’re slow either, but a snail has just accused you of blocking the road.

    So as far as you can work out, Sturgeon has done no wrong?

    It was a big bad boy that done it and ran away.

    Jeez oh man!!!

  174. ben madigan says:

    That citation came from the Rev Stu (see above).

  175. Hatuey says:

    Pete says:
    25 October, 2020 at 8:49 pm
    You do realise that around 150 people die in Scotland every day from a variety of conditions.
    How many die from Covid?


    Dying of old age, of some chronic condition, or in an accident, isn’t the same as dying of something that’s easily preventable like Covid-19.

    Now, before you start hammering on about smoking and drugs-related deaths being preventable, consider that in those cases there’s a degree of personal choice involved. That’s important.

    To get back to your question, how many? Well, as you know, it’s changing all the time. At one time we were losing over 100 people per day to Covid-19.

    With a different strategy, we could have had no covid-19 deaths at all. The damage was done in March when it was allowed to run freely through the population. They knew in February that the disease was spreading and ultra-infectious, yet they did nothing.

    But that’s okay, there was “No cover-up’ after coronavirus linked to Nike conference”. Nothing to see here.

  176. Colin alexander says:

    Re Murrell and Wishart and the merchandising company. It was a failed SNP fundraising project.

  177. ben madigan says:

    @ Colin Alexander

    that makes sense. Here’s something more about the “money fights” that were ongoing at the time

  178. twathater says:

    @ Phydaux says 5.35pm
    The consultation regarding GRA reforms was a global one…8000 responses from the rest of the world and 7000 from Scotland
    A very interesting point which was highlighted many times but back came NO adequate response, WHY are we the people in Scotland being subjected to views and opinions from the rest of the world especially from people and organisations with a vested interest, do WE get to comment on policies decided by other nations for THEIR citizens
    Also Phydaux said
    I can’t see any research or surveys to validate her claim of “ high suicide rates within the trans community. “
    Have they done ANY surveys to gauge the suicide rate or death rate of Social Security claimants who have had to endure the WM rules on SS, whilst the SG have refused to take Social Security onboard, I think that might be NAW

    Also Phydaux correct me if i’m wrong and I apologise if I am , but I really enjoyed your Scottish Prism on Barrheadboy it was truly revealing and explosive , I thank you for that

  179. Stan Broadwood says:

    Love all the detective work that is going on by all Wingers.

    Piece by piece we will get to the bottom of this.

  180. Breeks says:

    Famous15 says:
    25 October, 2020 at 11:29 pm
    Win friends ,just call them halfwits.

    Murrel is the one behind the curtain. Yellow brick road is a no brainer…

    I don’t think that matters. This was an orchestrated conspiracy with an orchestra of sleekit conspirators, and all bear collective responsibility. None of them are fit for office, and all of them should be removed from office. Surely that has to be the top priority.

    That the conspirators are still not in fact suspended, indeed are still in their posts, and quite unbelievably left in charge of handling the evidence is too farcical to be called a scandal. Rumour has it one of the Alphabet Conspirators has the brass neck to seek candidacy to become an MSP. What a joke. Where else in the World would you see that? Maybe Colonial India perhaps under British Imperialism.

    That the accusations against Alex Salmond kept coming after we was proved innocent by the jury, even with innuendo broadcast on national media from the First Minister herself, seems to me to be every inch as unprofessional, sleazy and inept as the Heath-Robinson, cobbled together Complaint process devised by Evans which cost the Scottish taxpayer £500k. They just can’t get anything right.

    Far from being the slick, highly adroit and efficient Operation which Scotland will need to escape this cursed Union, it seems we have put the Duffers United team in charge, and their strategy comes straight from the Local Authorities Handbook of Sleazy Corruption, Sophistry and Amateurism…. (there’s a whole chapter on PFI).

    I think it is right and proper that the Inquiry should be seeking to establish the extent on the conspiracy and which actors were involved, and establishing who was the actual conductor can come later… Let’s leave that to the criminal Inquiry when we eventually get around to having one.

    The picture which I see emerging lacks a lot of detail, but the matrix is beginning to take shape, and yes, point taken, maybe that’s a dangerous mix from which to be jumping to conclusions.

    However if the Salmond Conspiracy was a top drawer hatchet job conducted by hapless cretins and Krypton Factor rejects dumb enough to write it all down on WhatsApp, and then try to deny everything, then suddenly the mystery of Scotland’s dismally inept Independence strategy and unconstitutional capitulation to Brexit subjugation begins to make more sense.

    The current SNP hierarchy is proving itself no more adept at orchestrating a conspiracy than it is at securing Scottish Independence or saving Scotland from Brexit. The perception of Nicola Sturgeon as a leader of great stature and acumen is proving to be a cheap facade that has been ‘fund oot’.

    Better late than never eh? Not really, because our EU Citizenship is gone, and our Sovereign Constitution has been very badly damaged, and some unholy precedents have been set regarding Scotland’s ‘sovereign’ democracy which we will somehow need to reverse while simultaneously holding back the Wokist invasion of the body snatchers. Thanks Nicola… Sterling effort some might say.

  181. Phydaux says:

    twathater 1:30am

    Hi twathater….the post on Barrhead boy was by Eileen Spence, a brilliant expose and much of the information I posted is credited to Eileen. I would urge everyone to listen to it, posted on 5/9.

  182. Stuart MacKay says:

    “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”

    Hanlon’s Razor,

    All that talk about MI5 operatives, subterfuge by the deep state was just denial of the basic fact that the governments north and south of the border are filled with cretins.

  183. Tartanpigsy says:

    Is SJD a pseudonym for someone?

  184. Abalha says:

    Front page story in today’s Sturrell Medieval Court’s favourite pet news comic,hails fucking Pete bloody Wishart, as a ‘leading Yes campaigner’.Aye and wish he’d piss off to ”another planet entirely”Titanium plated tosser.

    ”Boris Johnson has said he’ll stand firm against granting the Section 30 Order needed to put a second indyref on a legal footing.

    ”But many Scottish politicians and commentators say that position is becoming increasingly untenable in the face of growing Yes support.

    ”Now leading Yes campaigners have told The National that Gove’s plan will backfire – and benefit the independence movement.

    ”Pete Wishart MP commented: “If Michael Gove seriously thinks people in Scotland want to see even more of our taxes wasted on hiring Tory spin doctors to lecture us about the so-called benefits of Westminster then he must be living on another planet entirely”

  185. A. Bruce says:

    @ Republicofscotland 3.53 pm

    The article in the National about the EU’s biggest hitter Germany backing an independent Scotland referred to the support of Terri Reintke from the Green Group, who happens to be also a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on LGBT rights, so maybe independence plays a secondary role to her LGBT interests which she shares with AS and SAS.
    This whole Sturrell affair with the GRA nonsense, the Salmond attack etc. etc. etc has so sickened me that I have left the party, but the most sickening thing is, is that there is no alternative to voting for them. But there’s going to be a hell of a clear out in this stinking stable if and when we get independence.

  186. susanXX says:

    Fighting talk but no substance, Pete Wishart is just a waste of skin Abalha.

  187. McDuff says:

    “The election of a transwomen would be a huge victory for the SNP”.
    This is an article by Stephen Paton in today’s National.

  188. Quinie frae Angus says:

    Hi Tartanpigsy

    SJD stands for the writer of this article. Sarah-Jane Donaldson.

  189. Abalha says:

    In reply to susanxx yes BUT he seriously gets in the way, I’ve said before were I still living in that area I MAY be tempted to hold my nose and vote Tory, he does more harm to the cause of independence than a Perthshire Tory type would, and of course in 2017 he only held on by 21 votes, so he was nearly ejected, he is an utterly loathsome, unprincipled individual who should have done us all a favour and continued to play in shite bands. Never forget he’s been an MP for pretty much 20 years, as if he wants to give that up.

  190. Abalha says:

    In reply to McDuff, no surprise there, Paton himself is trans/gender fluid, since 2014/15.

  191. susanXX says:

    The election of a trans identifying man would be a joke, lowering the respect of Holyrood even further, especially if he got in from an AWS.

  192. Fionan says:

    Iain Lawson 6.06 re SAS, I did say IIRC. I am happy to stand corrected. Through health reasons and the meds I have to take, my memory is far from infallible. I believed that SAS was niece of Tricia Marwick and I do recall reading that somewhere and thinking how unalike they were as Marwick was an excellent PO who was extremely fair, unlike the present PO.

  193. Fionan says:

    Ian Lawson I am puzzled by your comment that I apologised elsewhere on the post about ‘giving wrong information’. I have no hesitation in accepting any comment where I am told my info is wrong, I would much prefer to stand corrected than allow incorrect info to stand. But your inference that I am deliberately spreading wrong info is a nasty little slight which is totally unnecessary.

  194. Mac says:

    Surely to fuck there are not some people still clinging to the ridiculous hope that Nicola Sturgeon is not at the heart of this (along with Murrell) and instead it was and is all her evil husband who is doing it all behind her back…

    Come on. Name one person in her inner circle who has not already been proven to be a prime player in the stitch up of AS. It is literally everybody INCLUDING HER FUCKING HUSBAND!

    But still you think NS is good’un… wow.

    I can honestly say hand on heart I would find it easier to believe Rose West did not know what Fred was up to than that Nicola was not involved in literally what every one of her inner circle and own husband were doing (on her behalf I might add).

    I think it demonstrates just how difficult it is going to be for some people to take this in. The magnitude of the betrayal by Sturgeon and Murrell is so vast, so staggering, it makes it almost impossible for some to realize. Like standing next to something so huge your eye cannot take it in the entirety of it.

    It is causing cognitive dissonance on a national scale.

  195. McDuff says:

    My ???? was about the National as it seems to be backing Sturgeon`s woke agenda.

  196. Fionan says:

    Quinie fae Angus 7.12 I agree with all you say – it was very painful to face the reality of the New SNP and to see that we had been duped so successfully by the Sturrels. I also had admired Swinney and one or two others – even Robertson, dare I say, who I thought was a true gentleman and great MP – and I still some days find it hard to believe all this is real.

    By the way, glad to see the correct use of effect as a verb. 🙂

  197. Effijy says:

    I think this would make a great pay per view event
    If Bojo and Douglas Ross were to go head to head
    on who is the greatest compulsive liar.

    They really do fit the bill that if their lips are moving they are lying.

    It looks like Ross at least found a job as a football linesman
    where he doesn’t speak, he just waves a wee flag.

  198. Willie says:

    When we look around us with our eyes open the extent of Nicola Sturgeon’s treachery becomes crystal clear.

    No longer a leader for the people her government are advised by the corporate super wealthy. People like ex banker Benny Higgins now factor to the the Duke of Becleugh and his huge Scottish Estate.

    Or the bankers inserted into Scottish Water in preparation for a post Brexit privatisation. Or what of our universities. Who has Tsar Nicola placed to ensure they continue on their way towards American style privatisation.

    No surprise therefore that Nicola Sturgeon has been working hard to destroy political opponents such as Sturgeon and Cherry whilst concomitantly emasculating the rank and file party membership whilst she installs a slew of independent lite political pygmies whose focus is little more than trans rights and other similar weighty matters.

    Bought and sold……….we know the rest. Time we took back control. And to quote a phrase. The time is now.

  199. Tinto Chiel says:

    @Effigy: unfortunately, Ross does speak. He was heard to enthusiastically advise “Red card! Red card!” to the referee after a tackle on a Rangers player 🙂 .

  200. Stan Broadwood says:

    Mac 8.49am

    Bang on Mac.

    Sturgeon is up to her evil little neck in this, along with her (unused) husband.

    She could get her money back on that husband of hers. Still in the wrapper, never used. (Know what I mean).

    Murrell and Sturgeon
    Bonnie and Clyde
    Rose and Fred West
    Hindley and Brady

  201. WhoRattledYourCage says:

    Willie: what do you mean by American-style privatisation of universities? Has somebody credible said something aboot that somewhere?

  202. Abalha says:

    Eh McDuff where have you been the news comic supports the Sturrell regime slavishly, has done for as long as I can remember, so no surprise to me.

  203. Abalha says:

    susanxx it won’t happen and Paton knows that, it’s clear ‘LOOK AT ME’ stuff as usual.

  204. Colin Alexander says:

    Well worth a read and to remind ourselves of what Scotland lost with the passing of Margo MacDonald; and it seems she had views that are maybe more relevant than ever:

    “…believed the SNP was infiltrated during the 1970s by MI5 agents worried booming North Sea oil revenues could lead to independence”.

    “2014, MacDonald asked the UK’s Security Service for assurances they would not interfere in the referendum process, suggesting that the security services “have people in the SNP”.”

    See also:

    “Asked if she believed the SNP and the wider Yes movement was currently infiltrated, she said: “Of course the security services have people in the SNP.” “

  205. Stan Broadwood says:

    Alex Salmond could have died in a prison cell if Murrell and Sturgeon had their evil way.

    They would have sat in Bute House living the high life, while Salmond rotted in a stinkin prison cell.

    Would they have had any remorse?

    No chance.

    For that reason alone we need to fight back against this evil pair.

    Get rid of them and Independence will follow,,,like night follows day.

    It really is that simple.

  206. Abalha says:

    In reply to Colin Alexander, thanks for posting the inimitable Margo McDonald’s views. I am far from someone who would believe it, I’m a classic super cyncial, suspicious journalist BUT in the last 2 weeks I have finally come to the conclusion that is indeed the case.

    As to who’s running who, from where, that’s more difficult obviously to ascertain but there are undoubtedly what you’d call double agents.I’m digging, trying to see patterns of behaviour, who’s pals with who, who seems to get away with blue murder compared to others etc in all aspects of Scottish; law, media, politics.

  207. Ian Brotherhood says:

    As previously posted by MaggieC, a reminder that the harassment committee resumes tomorrow. It’s moving into the ‘Judicial Review’ phase.

    The running order is below. Please note early kick-off (10.15).

  208. Big Jock says:

    Stan – That’s why we can never move on from what Sturgeon has done. No good person would ever do such a thing to a former friend and colleague.

    I will have to vote SNP on my first vote. Anything else is giving the unionists an excuse to deny our democracy. I will not be voting for Sturgeon if she is still there. I will be voting for Scotland and what’s best for Scotland.

    Remember everyone. You sometimes have to sup with the devil to stop the whole world turning to hell.

  209. Stan Broadwood says:

    Bug Jock

    We will have to confront the ultimate catch-22 next May.

    Are we voting for Scottish Independence or voting for Sturgeon and her policies?

    Either way, it looks like it will be SNP 1 and hopefully Indy list Parties 2.

    The Evil One has us by the short and curlies.

    We need a fight back from within.

    Are you listening SNP MPs and MSPs???

  210. Kenny says:

    What concerns me most of all is that the SNP seems to despise the majority of people in Scotland.

  211. Big Jock says:

    Stan – If I was a betting man.

    I think Sturgeon and Boris will be gone by next May! If she isn’t then the dilemma is that she has high approval ratings, but has done hee haw about independence.

    Are we being sold another con about indy ref 2? If Sturgeon is in charge….probably. However it’s between the devil and the deep blue sea for all of us.

    Hard times!

  212. Awizgonny says:

    “I’m sure the families will find that whataboutery massively comforting”

    Whataboutery my arse. I was simply pointing out that the article was using percentages to make the death rate in care homes in Scotland worse than elsewhere in the UK when in fact it is not. That’s not whataboutery, that’s accuracy. Not my problem if you don’t like it.

  213. Big Jock says:

    Kenny -They seem to despise the real Scottish nationalists. The ones like me who don’t give a fig about money or economics. I want my country back because I am Scottish. I was born feeling this way.

    I know it’s not trendy to be all William Wallace. We have to be civic nationalists and not talk about identity. However why can’t we be both. I would argue that all nations start with identity. Whether you are black, white, muslim, catholic , protestant. We all feel Scottish to some degree, and that’s what drives us. Not what banknotes we have or the price of fecking oil.

    Like it or not Sturgeon thinks she owns us. So that’s why they are concentrating on the faint hearts , who run to mummy if their mortgage rates go up. We are instinctive nationalists. The ones who think their nationality depends on the their bank balance can feck off as far as I am concerned.

  214. WhoRattledYourCage says:

    Kenny – we are not of the same sexuality as the top brass, and are thus of no use to them whatsoever. It really is as simple as that. They’re not big fans of hetero people.

  215. Hatuey says:

    “not big fans of hetero people“

    There is that perception. But not only do they have “hetero people” to thank for their existence, but they need the hetero vote if they’re ever going to bring in their new anti-hetero agenda.

    It’s one of those dilemma things. And it’ll be resolved in the usual way with a big slogan that conveys the very opposite of what they really intend.

    “Stronger for Heterosexuals”

  216. WhoRattledYourCage says:

    Aye, our troublesome breeders ways are just an inconvenience they will have to hold their noses and put up with, until they usher in rainbow utopia and crash the country completely. Wee shame for them, but sometimes you just have to deal with questionable people you despise to get things done. The democratic conundrum in a nutshell.

    The sad thing is, they don’t even seem to know or notice they’re breeding a lot of anger and hatred towards minorities by constantly sticking extremist PC anti-intellectual dross in our faces all the time, which shows the intelligence level we are dealing with here.

  217. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “That’s not whataboutery, that’s accuracy”

    It’s literally the definition of whataboutery.

    “Look, bummer that Scottish Government incompetence killed your granny, but she’d have been nearly as likely to die if she lived in Leicester, so that should make you feel better.”

  218. Hatuey says:

    politics would be a lot more interesting if their slogans were honest, that’s for sure…

    “Jail Salmond”

    “Stronger for Men who want to infiltrate womens’s toilets”

    “Destroying Scotland’s Yes Movement”

    “I’m with Satan”

    “Stop Independence”

  219. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “In reply to Colin Alexander, thanks for posting the inimitable Margo McDonald’s views. I am far from someone who would believe it, I’m a classic super cyncial, suspicious journalist BUT in the last 2 weeks I have finally come to the conclusion that is indeed the case.”

    It would be a ridiculous dereliction of their duty if they didn’t. It’s literally their job. The only question is who the agents are and how high up they’ve reached.

  220. JGedd says:

    I sympathise with those who find themselves in a world seemingly turned upside down. I experience the same feelings of disorientation when I look back to 2014 & contemplate the slow earthquake of the years since in the SNP. It’s often like waking up in the debris of a world that once existed.

    The novella ‘Flatland’ came to mind as a satire from 1884 which, in many intriguing ways, resonates today. For those who haven’t read it, or don’t have the time to find it, this Wikipedia link has a pretty thorough synopsis of the story. You might find it interesting.

  221. Abalha says:

    In reply to RevStu, yes agreed re their identification ,
    hence my attempting to jigsaw identify, as it were.

    On your more substantive point,of course I was aware there were string pullers above, the invisible hand but I didn’t believe there was actual double agent infiltration on a hands on day to day basis level, until now, maybe that’s naive, so be it.

  222. Hatuey says:

    If the intelligence services infiltrated the SNP, their goal wouldn’t be to steer the ship towards the rocks. It doesn’t work like that.

    The goal would be to supply intelligence that could be used by political masters as leverage.

    Intelligence operatives aren’t trained to control ships so it makes sense to get your enemy to steer his or her own ship towards the rocks.

    It is what it is. We all have our theories. All I know is this; after around January 2017, everything changed. Compare before and after videos and it’s like you’re watching different people.

    Theresa May, former Home Secretary, was PM back then.

  223. Awizgonny says:

    “Look, bummer that Scottish Government incompetence killed your granny, but she’d have been nearly as likely to die if she lived in Leicester, so that should make you feel better.”

    Bollocks. That’s not what I meant and you know it. And as someone in a high-risk category for this bastard thing, living in a residence where half of us will die if it gets in here, I’m really not going to take this from you nor anybody just because I pointed out the facts.

    In fact I believe that the Scottish Government has made as much of a dog’s dinner of this as anybody in the UK, it’s become a PR exercise to them at best, and they should be held to account for care homes deaths along with all the other administrations across the UK. They’ve all been shit. False figures do not help in the prosecution of that – they undermine it, which is why I called it out.

  224. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “False figures do not help in the prosecution of that – they undermine it, which is why I called it out.”

    There’s nothing false about them. They’re entirely accurate. And I’m not responsible for what you might have MEANT, I responded to what you actually SAID.

  225. Awizgonny says:

    “There’s nothing false about them. They’re entirely accurate. And I’m not responsible for what you might have MEANT, I responded to what you actually SAID.”

    Really? Where did I mention Leicester or anybody’s granny, or that people should feel better about a relative’s death because of figures? Fuck off.

    You are now Scot Goes Pop.


  226. CameronB Brodie says:

    Big Jock
    If you are not able to defend you legal identity, you are unable to defend your legal rights. This is a situation Scotland could have avoided if our future was not left in the hands of such low-flying and parochially minded authoritarians. Who are clearly hostile towards international human right law, and appear incapable of supporting democracy.

  227. WhoRattledYourCage says:

    Ms. Somerville’s personal information section is quite extensive.

  228. Daisy Walker says:

    @ ‘Hatuey says:
    26 October, 2020 at 12:05 pm
    If the intelligence services infiltrated the SNP, their goal wouldn’t be to steer the ship towards the rocks. It doesn’t work like that.

    The goal would be to supply intelligence that could be used by political masters as leverage.

    Intelligence operatives aren’t trained to control ships so it makes sense to get your enemy to steer his or her own ship towards the rocks.

    It is what it is. We all have our theories. All I know is this; after around January 2017, everything changed. Compare before and after videos and it’s like you’re watching different people.’


    March 2017 Terrible May knocked back S30 order – ‘Now is not the time’
    June 2017 GE – SNP lost their 56 MP seats down to 48.
    NS takes IndyRef2 off the table, not until the terms of Brexit are known.

    ‘it makes sense to get those you control to steer their own ship onto the rocks’

    Aye, and if you pretend you are keeping your powder dry, when actually you are pulling your punches – what better way to keep everyone unsure and guessing and promote distrust within a party/movement.

    People look to Boris and see a bumbling fool – but he is (and is meant to be) a distraction. What is and has happening on the ground and in the background is extremely effective and clever.

  229. WhoRattledYourCage says:

    More relevant than ever.

  230. Balaaargh says:

    SAS is definitely no relation to Tricia Marwick. This might come as a surprise to some but we Fifers aren’t all related to each other! ?

    She is a careerocrat and always has been. She and NS go back to YSN days in the early 90s.

  231. Big Jock says:

    Daisy -What is even more baffling when talking about Boris.

    He would get destroyed in a referendum campaign on Scottish independence. He is terminally thick , and ill informed. Can you imagine him in a leaders debate with Sturgeon. It’s an open goal. So Why is she so timid and scared of taking him on?

    The answer can only be that she has no intention of leading an independence campaign.

    That can mean a few things. She plans to leave before the next campaign. She wants to stay and have another 4 years of devolution. Or she is simply so inept that she doesn’t know how to get a referendum.

    Maybe it’s a combination of all of those things. However whatever the reason. She is looking a gift horse in the mouth. It’s the perfect storm.

    Boris, Brexit and the toxic Tory policies.

  232. David says:

    I know this blog is not about this but can everyone contact their local MSP of whatever party to ask the Scottish Government to write to every house in Scotland explaining the new tier system .
    Today Monday 26 October everyone who was on shielding or at risk of the virus got a 6 page letter from the chief medical officer detailing the new system and how to get vitamin D from December supplied by the Scottish Gov .
    I think this kind of information should go to every house including what tier we are in.

  233. Dennis says:

    Malcolm Chisholm did not increase his vote share in 2011; it fell from 41.6 to 34.8%. The SNP cut his majority to under 600, a good result. I dislike Somerville too but let’s be honest.

  234. Hatuey says:

    Daisy: “June 2017 GE – SNP lost their 56 MP seats down to 48.
    NS takes IndyRef2 off the table, not until the terms of Brexit are known.”

    The “now is not the time” moment was the turning point. For ages I couldn’t believe May actually said that. That’s very undiplomatic language. It’s kindergarten language. And the response was even stranger – nothing.

  235. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Malcolm Chisholm did not increase his vote share in 2011; it fell from 41.6 to 34.8%.”

    Maybe try reading the picture the right way up.

  236. David says:

    Angela Raynor should not have said what she said and has apologized .
    So can every tory MP who voted against free school meals and the entire tory party now apologize for that and for the wilful destruction caused to whole communities by Maggie John Major and now Boris .How about apologizing for creating the conditions that led to Brexit.
    And David Cameron how about apologizing for buying of UKIP and your own tory MPS by giving them what they wanted a Brexit vote.

  237. Al-Stuart says:



    In these dark times, your dry sense of humour cheered me up, albeit in a bizarre way with your idea for POLITICIANS TO TELL THE TRUTH and adapt their election slogans accordingly….

    Hatuey says…

    “Politics would be a lot more interesting if their slogans were honest, that’s for sure…

    “Jail Salmond”

    “Stronger for Men who want to infiltrate womens’s toilets”

    “Destroying Scotland’s Yes Movement”

    “I’m with Satan”

    “Stop Independence”

  238. DAVID COUTTS says:

    The article is a clear indication of “jobs for the girls”.

    It would take a brave man to dig up someone who has been such a complete disaster when representing the SNP.

    The last time i saw Shirley Anne Somerville was at Alex Salmond’s trial and she looked very forlorn and upset that day.Maybe that day is coming again when hopefully her Election agent can give the good people of Dunfermline a decent bit of representation.

    It maybe a case of crawling back with hands on knees who knows!!
    For the next job i mean.

  239. Henry McMillan says:

    Deary me, what the feck has happened to this site since I last visited? It’s turned into a bit of a festering sore of damaged attitudes. I remember when it was a thorn in the UK’s side instead of the toxic, anti-SNP output.

  240. Michael Laing says:

    @ Henry McMillan at 12.12am: Unfortunately, it’s the SNP, or rather its leadership, that is toxic. The party is drowning in a cesspit of gerrymandering, control-freakery and corruption which has caused thousands of people to cancel their memberships and last the SNP their votes. And what progress, exactly, do you believe has been made towards Scotland’s independence since Nicola Sturgeon became leader? I can tell you: precisely none. She barely even mentions the word. Enough is enough.

  241. Jack says:

    Sounds like she maybe guilty of culpable homicide.

  242. Neil Anderson says:

    Isn’t it such a comfort that the accusers in the Alex Salmond criminal trial can all still be anonymous? I’m so happy that I live in such a progressive society.

  243. Mark Young says:

    I canny wait till Alex Salmonds Evidence he wasn’t allowed to produce from his Trial Sees the Light of Day.

  244. Anne Johnston says:

    Surely An’ Some Are Vile.

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