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The appearance of justice

Posted on May 12, 2020 by

It’s now more than a month since this site revealed the widespread breach by a number of Scottish journalists/newspapers – the most prominent being Dani Garavelli of Scotland On Sunday and Tortoise Media – of the legally-protected anonymity of one of the accusers in the Alex Salmond trial.

Until last week we’d had no response from the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS) beyond an initial acknowledgement, and no action of any kind had apparently been taken against any of the perpetrators, even though the pro-Salmond blogger Craig Murray has been cited for prosecution for allegedly similar breaches.

Alarmingly, all of the information identifying the woman was (and at the time of writing this article is) still publicly available in their articles, exposing her to possible danger. So last week we got in touch with the COPFS to seek clarification.

We rang their office and were directed to the email address of the Media Relations department for a response. We sent them the letter below on Monday 4 May, which we have redacted in certain areas to avoid identifying the accuser.

Hello. I’m Stuart Campbell, a Scottish political journalist attempting to cover matters relating to the Alex Salmond case without falling foul of contempt law. There are a number of matters I would like a named official with authority to speak for COPFS to clarify for me on the record.

(Naturally any information enabling identification of witnesses would not be published.)

One month ago, on 5 April 2020, I reported to COPFS and to Police Scotland a number of instances where Scottish newspapers and their websites had published a piece of information which very clearly enabled the jigsaw identification of one of the complainers in the above-named case, specifically [REDACTED].

(1) Firstly, can you tell me what progress has been made on this report? Have any of the six journalists identified been investigated or petitions issued to prosecute them? Have any of them been spoken to officially? The case of Craig Murray demonstrates that the COPFS is still operating despite the restrictions of the COVID-19 crisis, so it seems extraordinary that such blatant breaches would have gone entirely unpursued.

(2) I am at this stage assuming the answer to question (1) is no, for reasons outlined at (4) below. If that is the case, can the COPFS state for the record that it does NOT consider the information published by those journalists to amount to contempt via jigsaw identification?

For clarity, I refer to, for example, the following paragraph published by both Tortoise Media (online) and Scotland On Sunday (print and online), written by Dani Garavelli:

[PARAGRAPH REDACTED]

This piece of information enables anyone to identify the complainer as [REDACTED]

(3) If the COPFS does not consider this information to amount to contempt by identification, can it explain how on Earth this can be the case? [REDACTED] This is a two-piece “jigsaw” a child could complete. 

It was not possible to identify [REDACTED] before the articles by Garavelli and the five others, because the fact that she was a complainer in the Salmond case had not been revealed, only that she was [REDACTED].

(4) If the COPFS does consider the articles to contain identifying information – which they obviously do – then (a) why have the authors not been acted against, and (b) why at a bare minimum has COPFS not required the publications involved to edit the articles in question to remove this information? 

(It is still included in all of them at the time of writing this email, and still enables even a casual observer to very easily identify [REDACTED]. Does the COPFS not care at all about protecting her anonymity as ordered by Lady Dorrian?)

(5) If the COPFS does not consider the information to amount to identification, can it clearly state for the record that it would be acceptable for me to reproduce the paragraph quoted above (and the similar paragraphs in the other articles) in coverage of the case, even though I consider it to enable jigsaw identification? 

I have not done so until now, but if it is the stated position of COPFS that this information is suitable for the public domain I shall be happy to do so in clear conscience. If that is NOT the position of COPFS, I refer you again to question (4).

(6) It appears to be the case that the COPFS has selectively limited its enforcement of contempt law to those people broadly supportive of Alex Salmond, such as Craig Murray and Mark Hirst, who have been pursued despite perpetrating – at the very worst – demonstrably lesser levels of identification than those who are broadly antagonistic towards Mr Salmond.

In addition to the six cases reported by myself on 5 April, the court reporter [REDACTED] actually tweeted the name of one of the complainers directly to tens of thousands of Twitter followers, but to the best of my knowledge he has not been cited for prosecution.  

Can COPFS clarify whether it is official policy to only pursue supporters of Mr Salmond? Or if not that, is there an exemption for “professional” journalists employed on mainstream publications which is not available to other members of the public? If neither of those, what ARE the criteria by which certain people have been allowed to identify witnesses, and to continue doing so without consequence while others are prosecuted? 

I believe that the complainers, and those who HAVE been subject to action, and the wider Scottish public, are all entitled to answers to these questions, and as such I look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Stuart Campbell

The email wasn’t acknowledged at all for two days, but last Wednesday night we received the following brief and rather snippy reply:

Dear Mr Campbell

Your enquiry relates to a personal communication you have sent to COPFS and the media relations department do not assist on such matters.

Information on providing comments and complaints about the work of COPFS is available on our website.

This is our media position in relation to contempt of court.

A spokesperson for the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said:

“The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service takes seriously any potential contraventions of the Contempt of Court Act 1981.

“If the Crown becomes aware of press coverage or social media postings that may give rise to a potential contempt, careful consideration will be given to whether any further procedure is required.”?

Regards

Graham Shields
Head of Strategic Communications and Engagement
Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service

This is clearly a completely unacceptable fob-off. The COPFS is a department of the UK government and as such it is answerable both to taxpayers and to accredited journalists. It is a fair and reasonable enquiry to ask why it is not taking action over a matter which the police apparently consider as sufficiently grave to issue alarms to people, and we replied immediately, reiterating our questions and asking once again that they be directed to someone with the authority to answer them.

A week later there’s been no further response from Mr Shields, who as it happens is the same Graham Shields who used to be the editor of the Evening Times. It seems reasonable to imagine that in that capacity he’d have been close friends with the then-editor of its sister paper The Herald, one Graeme Smith. By a remarkable coincidence, Mr Smith is the husband of none other than… Dani Garavelli.

We are certain that the COPFS would not wish to create the impression that it was either totally incompetent and cavalier with the safety of witnesses, or complicit in an attempt to selectively silence alleged criminals on the basis of their political beliefs while allowing others to break the same laws without consequence, regarding a case which has already attracted considerable suspicion of criminal conspiracy at the highest levels, including from a recent former Justice Secretary.

We make no such allegations, and we hope that to allay any such fears the COPFS will issue a proper response very soon.

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    1. 13 05 20 12:57

      The appearance of justice | speymouth

    2. 14 05 20 21:25

      Defend Mark Hirst - Craig Murray

    228 to “The appearance of justice”

    1. Bugger le Panda says:

      And answer came there none.

      Can the COPFS prosecute themselves?

    2. Republicofscotland says:

      “We make no such allegations, and we hope that to allay any such fears the COPFS will issue a proper response very soon.”

      I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you on seeing the union friendly hacks finding themselves in the dock any time soon.

      The British government and its colonial Scottish one the SNP, have both been trying to shut up Craig Murray for years, like Assange and the Chagossians, the UK government and its compliant Scottish equivalent have no qualms about singling out when it comes to dealing out their corrupt and deceitful forms of justice, and democracy for that matter.

    3. Sarah says:

      This is shocking – well, if it would be if it weren’t entirely in keeping with every other “official” body. I was thinking just this morning about the Treasury officials delight at being allowed to behave politically in 2014. Dreadful.

    4. JOML says:

      Good stuff – the treatment of Craig Murray is truly a scandal. If the state can stoop so low, watch your back!

    5. Muscleguy says:

      Thankyou for your dogged pursuit of this issue. Your questions are perfectly reasonable and journalistic and require a response. Is a complaint to the Scottish Information Commissioner about the lack of appropriate response possible?

      I would hope that your letter detailing the malfeasance of others will result in their investigation and prosecution. If it is right to prosecute Craig Murray, why not them? Are some above the law and who deemed this to be?

      Dani Garavelli said here piece had been heavily lawyered. Again were the lawyers incompetent or do they know something we don’t about who is and is not above the law?

    6. Frank Waring says:

      You never cease to amaze me!

    7. susan says:

      There is something rotten about the state of Scottish justice. What a crap reply to your rather incisive email.

    8. CameronB Brodie says:

      Access to justice is a human right. Contemporary British constitutionalism is incompatible with the universal and impartial rule-of-law. Scotland’s judiciary appear to be a bunch of misogynistic Tories who support (white) British nationalism. Don’t expect to access justice in Scotland if you oppose the union. British justice only serves the interests of British nationalism.

    9. Graham Shields,

      20 years at The Herald mostly in sports scrbblings,

      jeezo,

      a fricken hack that scibbled about inane fitba is now,

      `Head of Strategic Communications and Engagement
      Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service`

      jeezo, jeez fricken o.

      `

    10. Ian McCubbin says:

      Mm not sure what this means other than the British state have again intervined to close down any open reporting.
      Has Craig Murray upset any key hierarchy in SNP re Holyrood candidate selections.
      Just looking at this from another political angle ????

    11. Ottomanboi says:

      They fuck you up your mum and dad, politicians, experts, authority…
      https://www.spiked-online.com/2020/05/05/dont-socially-distance-young-people/
      Just say NO to them.

    12. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Graham Shields,

      20 years at The Herald mostly in sports scrbblings,”

      I think you’re mixing him up with the sports writer Graham Spiers…

    13. CameronB Brodie says:

      Ottomanboi
      Scotland does not need more right wing shite. Kindly desist in pushing right-wing populism.

    14. Merkin Scot says:

      Excellent work. Mind you, I doubt that either Johnston or Trump could complete a 2-piece jigsaw without help from an alphabet of advisors. So, that was no help.

    15. liz says:

      This is brilliant, clear, precise and to the point.

      They will make themselves look really bad unless they can come up with a reply that makes sense

    16. @Stu,

      this dude,

      https://uk.linkedin.com/in/graham-shields-27062127

      `Sub-editor, Sports Production Editor, Deputy Sports Editor
      Jun 1998 – Jun 2008 10 years 1 month`

    17. John Higahm says:

      Watched a movie last night – Hors-La-Loi – about Algeria’s struggle and fight with France for Independence.

      France created a small unit referred to in the movie as Red Hand which operated outside the law as a clandestine force to bring them down.

      Just seems totally relevant in this case – made me see how far a governing body will go to bring down people and organisations it doesn’t like.

    18. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “@Stu,

      this dude,”

      I stand humbly corrected.

    19. Sarah says:

      @ Scot Finlayson: assuming you have identified this Graham Shields correctly then he is not the official who should be dealing with the Rev’s letter. Surely it should be a proper civil servant/legal person who decides who gets prosecuted or not?

      Jeez – it gets worse.

    20. defo says:

      Did you cc in their boss Stu?
      Humza can fix it.
      😉

    21. defo says:

      Only a thought, but if the justice secretary was made aware, via a public platform/s such as your friends at Twitter, by a large number of people, then we might see some movement.

      The PF is accountable to HY, HY is accountable to NS and the electorate.

    22. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      I definitely smell shite.

      It is coming from the general direction of the Crown Office.

      I would opine that the learned ladies and gentlemen of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service will experience some discomfort in concocting a response to your polite enquiry.

      The problem for them is it only takes one decent person to break ranks and tell the true story then the sky will fall upon them.

    23. Habib Steele says:

      Thanks for pursuing this. But watch out! They’ll be after you. Stuart!

    24. Craig Watson says:

      Presumably if COPFS are clearly operating double-standards, they could be subject to judicial review? Expensive and never guaranteed to succeed but a possibility, nevertheless?

    25. defo says:

      SilverDarling

      Wow
      The reek’s getting worse.

    26. SilverDarling says:

      https://twitter.com/euanmccolm/status/1142869591938469896

      The murky world of Scottish MSM and politics (Graeme is now in Council Comms)

    27. Tom Halliday says:

      Are we at the point where we need to crowd fund a private prosecution of the COPFS. We cant allow this to go unchallenged.

    28. Iain mhor says:

      @John Higahm 12:56pm

      Ghana too and many other ex_French colonies
      Not for nothing, were Great Britain & France historically called the Imperial war-mongering nations of the globe. It’s a hard habit to break – certainly not unique nowadays.

      I also raised an eyebrow at the news of the ‘Military Strategic Effects’ unit operating social media propaganda in Syria. Not allowed to propogate war with hardware – do it with sofyware while you’re bored.

      I await for their acronym to be appended to the various ’77th’ etc. opprobriums directed at posters on here shortly. *Sigh

      https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-british-propaganda-syria-war-opposition-illegal-internal-review

    29. Daisy Walker says:

      Once again a forensic, point by point, article.

      And actually, there really does need to be clarification, what can and cannot be printed, or who can and who cannot print it. Is there a list of acceptable ‘reporters’ who can, and common pleb types who cannot.

      I think a FOI question needs to be asked of the COPFS with regards AS trial and CM being locked out initially – who decided which MSM journalists were to be allowed entry, and on what criteria?

      OT but on the subject of law – a question – since the home nations are no longer in lockstep, if a car of holidaymakers from England, drive from there, into Wales or into Scotland, for leisure purposes, and in defiance of the Covid lock down rules in these countries, is their vehicle insurance valid?

    30. Gregor says:

      This is extremely disturbing and totally unacceptable.

      ROTTEN, shady, evasive COPFS is duty bound to provide coherent and legitimate answers over its own actions.

      Public demand COPFS transparency and accountability.

    31. TJenny says:

      I know we’re all waiting with bated breath for AS to publish his book, but will he be able to name the names of the alphabet women without being in contempt of court?

    32. JGedd says:

      I voted Yes in 2014 in the increasingly forlorn hope that Scotland, separated from the corrupt UK state, might achieve a decent democracy of its own when independent, but as time went on, that became an increasingly vanishing ambition.

      Evidently, and crushingly obvious with the Salmond trial, it appears that the Scottish body politic is so infected by the Transatlanticists that it seems beyond redemption. I can’t see how anything can be salvaged from those hopeful times of 2014. Everything seems so polluted by the entrenched incumbents of the Scottish establishmnent.

      Much of this would have been decried as the typical seedy tactics of a tinpot little tyranny in another more innocent time. Where is the so-called Scottish left on this? It appears that their own personal group loyalties preclude them from expressing unease at this state of affairs. It should not matter how you feel about Stuart Campbell or Craig Murray. They appear to be the only public figures ready to express the injustice of this.

    33. Effijy says:

      We are drenched in political corruption in its many manifestations.

      Do you fill in another form, do we send this to our MP’s Unionist or not,
      Do we ask the National to print this, can we crowd fund a prosecution
      Against the Crown for political bias?

      This must be driven on and on and highlighted everywhere possible
      As this is irrefutable proof of dark forces working against those who
      Support Scottish Independence.

      Well Done Rev. Wonderful work!

      My mind goes back Rev to your meeting with the BBC.
      They invited you to contact them with any signs of bias.
      I look forward to their pending documentary about all this.

    34. TJenny says:

      Also, I think you need to send your query as an FoI.

    35. H Scott says:

      Surely COPFS is a Scottish government ‘department’ rather than a British one?

    36. Effijy says:

      I notice today that Germany, population 82 million.
      Have reported only 37 Covid Deaths today taking
      Their total up to 7,750.

      UK with 15 million fewer are at 32,000 Covid deaths in total.

      The Germans were able to have their emergency stockpiles in place
      And deliver them, Lockdown early, set up 100,000 tests per day,
      That’s actual test not send stuff out in the post one day to mask UK
      Incompetence.

      Why Boris are the fools you wish to leave in the EU 4 times plus
      Better than your bumbling, rambling clowns of a givernment?

      Boris promises all these wonderful trade deals awaiting Brexit.
      Well Bojo your Brexit negotiations have been a complete farce
      And your attempts at procuring PPE Kit from non EU countries
      Were defeated by EU countries.

      The EU even offered you help but you didn’t know if you wanted their
      Help to save lives.

    37. Joan Edington says:

      When your first article appeared I was stumped on who the complainant was. However, taking a second look, I can’t believe that I missed it. So obvious. Should be to the COPFS as well, unless they are as slow as I was.

    38. Fireproofjim says:

      Great letter, Stu.
      Covers all the bases. Keep up the pressure. What is the best way, in your opinion, that we can add to it by a letter writing campaign? And to whom?

    39. Dave Robb says:

      Excellent article!

      Silence from COPFS will speak volumes.

      Silver Darling’s comment is shocking.

    40. If Craig Murray is ever found guilty it’ll be a total miscarriage of justice, but I’m only stating the obvious.

    41. Paul Snowdon says:

      No wait, so Graham Shields is a former senior colleague of Graeme Smith at Newsquest Scotland.
      Graeme Smith is Dani Garavelli husband…very cosy.

    42. lothianlad says:

      Excellent Stuart.
      The courts and the media are part of the brit establishment and are determined to defend the brit state at all costs.
      The truth will not be silenced!

    43. Willie says:

      The more attention the Police and the COPFS get with regard to their being used as a weapon to destroy political opponents the more ordinary people will come to nderstand that there is no rule of law.

      The bomb, the bulletin, the batten, the boot is the rule of law every bit as much as a corrupt and rotten police and prosecution. But of course many of us actually do know that. Britain did not take its empire by sweet talk.

      Keep going st the bastards Rev Stu. Either democracy will prevail or we will go down another route.

      These prosecutions by the state against political opponents, like the media control are straight out of the military strategist Brig General Sir Frank Kitson handbook, where he sets out covert military strategies to be used all the way up to symmetrical warfare.

      Two books worth a read. Previously redacted for decades they are now available as reprints and are 1) Low Intensity Operations 2) The Bunch of Five. ( originally by Faber and Fabre – and now Faber Finds )

      Kitson in the latter of the two books recounted his recollections of operations in countering independence campaigns in Kenya 1953 to 1955, Malaya 1957, Muscat and Oman 1958, Cyprus 1963 to 1964 and again 1967 to 1968.

      He also wanted to write about a Northern Ireland but that was deemed to sensitive.

      His insights back then are as relevant today save that technology for surveillance has become much more extensive.

    44. robertknight says:

      One set of rules for ‘them’ and another set of rules for ‘us’?

      Shurely shum mishtake!

    45. Doug says:

      Boycott all anti-Scottish media. Do all we can to end the scummy life of rags like the Herald and Scotsman. And the bbc.

    46. jfngw says:

      It’s all starting to feel a bit like 1970’s, Operation Countryman. Possibly ours will be called Operation Orangeman.

    47. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Graham Shields is a former senior colleague of Graeme Smith at Newsquest Scotland. Graeme Smith is Dani Garavelli husband…very cosy.”

      This really is starting to stink. Edited in.

    48. Effijy says:

      YES MINISTER..
      Government guidelines explained ???

      I think I’ve worked it out…

      * 5 year-olds can go to school but university students who have paid for the tuition they haven’t had and the accommodation they aren’t living in, can’t go to university.

      * A teacher can go to school with many 5 year-olds that they are not related to but they can’t see one 5 year old that they are related to but don’t live with.

      * You can sit in a park, but not tomorrow or Tuesday but by Wednesday that’ll be fine.

      * You can meet one person from another household for a chat or sunbathe but not two people. Hopefully, But as I can’t go closer than 2m to the one you choose any way you wouldn’t think to have the other one sat next to them would matter – unless two people would restrict your eyeline too much and prevent you from being alert.

      * You can work all day with your colleagues but you can’t sit in their garden for a chat after work.

      * You can drive to other destinations although which destinations is unclear.

      * The buses are still running past your house but you shouldn’t get on one. We should just let empty buses drive around so bus drivers aren’t doing nothing.

      * It will soon be time to quarantine people coming into the country by air… but not yet. It’s too soon.

      * Our youngest children go back to school first because… they are notoriously good at not touching things they shouldn’t, maintain personal space at all times and never randomly lick things.

      * We are somewhere in between 3.5 and 4.5 on a five-point scale where 5 is all of the virus and 1 is none of the virus but 2,3 and 4 can be anything you’d like it to be really. Some of the virus? A bit of the virus? Just enough virus to see off those over 70s who were told to self-isolate but now we’ve realised that they’ve done that a bit too well despite us offloading coronavirus patients into care homes and now we are claiming that was never said in the first place, even though it’s in writing in the stay at home guidance.

      * The slogan isn’t stay at home any more. So we don’t have to say at home. Except we do. Unless we can’t. In which case we should go out. But there will be fines if we break the rules. So don’t do that.

      Don’t forget…

      Stay alert… which Robert Jenrick has explained actually means Stay home as much as possible. Obviously.

      Control the virus. Well, I can’t even control my dogs and I can actually see Covid. Plus I know a bit about dogs and very little about controlling viruses.

      Save lives. Always preferable to not saving lives, I’d say, so I’ll try my best with that
      one, although hopefully, I don’t need telling to do that. I know I’m bragging now but not NOT saving lives is something I do every day.

      So there you are. If you’re the weirdo wanting unlimited exercise then enjoy. But not until Wednesday. Obviously.

    49. schrodingers cat says:

      In truth, we could never challenge the printed media, it takes years to build up a dead tree following of any consequence.

      but, that format is now dead in the water thanks to covid. the traditional MsM now has no choice but to compete online with the yes bloggers like wos, wgd and craig murray.

      this is a competition they cant win, already they bemoan the ability of yes bloggers to crowd fund sums of money they cant even dream of.

      that is why they are taking them down.

      game on

    50. SilverDarling says:

      I think the need to protect their own is so strong with Scottish MSM that they cannot see how compromised they are. Everywhere you look they are embedded in politics and comms of every colour. They come to these roles with all the baggage of their previous roles.

      No one is neutral. Everyone has a personal view. The problem is our view of these ex MSM editors is coloured by the stance they took and promoted during the referendum. How are we supposed to perceive them in any supposedly neutral role they may now have in public office?

    51. vagabondo says:

      Nit pick:
      Isn’t the COPFS a department of the Scottish Government, and not the UK?

    52. Doug says:

      Journalistic incest, like consanguineous incest, can have some very ugly results.

    53. Breeks says:

      Just imagine if Scotland had a permanent anti-Corruption Organisation, and in situations like this, it could take up Rev Stu’s enquiry, and write to the COPFS, just to ‘politely’ inform them it was monitoring the goings on, and taking an active interest in hearing their reply… Aye, somebody with a bit of clout making sure you got a diligent answer. Wouldn’t that be a novelty?

      I’d like to say I was hopeful Rev Stu, but your well crafted letter with it’s impeccable logic and reasoned argument reminds me of my own trials and tribulations trying to get justice. Trials and tribulations to which the SNP contributed I might add, (hence my lasting antipathy and distrust of all things SNP).

      In my experience, when challenging any “establishment” organisation, whether that’s a Bank, an Ombudsman, a Local Authority, or even Quango, you can pretty much park logic and reason at the entrance as you walk in. Justice? Don’t make me laugh. What thoroughly deserves an answer, and what actually gets one, was a truly perplexing revelation to me. What’s even worse is the closing of ranks, mutual covering of each other’s backs, so actually getting to the truth is met with an impenetrable thicket of sophistry and disingenuous misdirection.

      For example, they will answer one question, typically something trifling and peripheral, but ignore the real substance of your grievance. But when you say you are unhappy with this evasive response, and demand answers specific to the substance of your grievance, they will simply evade responding by saying they have nothing to add to the reply you’ve already been given, and repeat the same line over and over.

      This is how Scottish “Public” affairs are routinely conducted. It’s a disgrace, and it creates a merry playground for rogues, liars, cheats, charlatans and corruption all to thrive and prosper with absolute impunity, while little guys who just want a modicum of justice are routinely treated like dirt.

      Hope you’re reading this John Swinney, Fergus Ewing and Paul Wheelhouse. Shame on you all. It’s not just the wokist limb of the tree that’s rotten.

    54. Proud Cybernat says:

      Now we see what we are up against.

    55. ALANM says:

      A freedom of information request to Police Scotland demanding full details about “The Alex Salmond Team” might be worth considering. I for one would be very interested to know exactly what their remit is now given that the Salmond trial was concluded back in March. Also, how many officers are still deployed on this team and how much is all this police activity costing the taxpayer?

    56. Sharny Dubs says:

      So it is plain we are playing from a stacked deck where the dealer is making up the rules as they go along.

      Busted, disgusted, agents can’t be trusted!

      And our very own government are in it up to their greasy, expense accounts, powdered wig, woke necks.

      So what’s next?
      Civil disobedience? Non-cooperation?
      Stop paying your council tax, parking fines, electricity and gas payments etc.

      We don’t have to play by their rules.

      Maybe time?

    57. Patrick Roden says:

      @ Rev:

      Your response email said:

      Your enquiry relates to a personal communication you have sent to COPFS and the media relations department do not assist on such matters.


      This is our media position in relation to contempt of court.

      Your original correspondence is asking for the legal position, not the media position so it not that the response is useless, it’s that it has been handled by the wrong people. (as you know)

      They have shown themselves not competent to deal properly with your concerns, or request for legal clarification, so the next logical step is to go upstairs.

      These types of people hate when you do that because it means that the higher up ones become accountable for the failures in their processes.

      If the Scottish Government is responsible, write to one of Humza’s underlings and if anyone in Scotland has concerns they should also write to Humza’s people (but not him at this stage) and copy the correspondence to their local SNP MP, MSP.

      We must not be fobbed off by this crap and we must start to make life very difficult for the powers that be who ignore us.

      We must ask why this cosy little relationship at the heart of this organisation came about and what qualifications a sports journalist has to allow him to be head of strategic communications.

      It all stinks to high heaven

    58. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Anyone remember the Pete Frame ‘trees’ published in the NME?

      Here’s hoping AS’s book helps us fill in loads of connections – as it is we have a lot of pieces and the overall picture is nauseating.

      https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/163255555215192828/

    59. CameronB Brodie says:

      Brexitania was created by a rejection of the natural law, so it is unlikely a Brexitanian interpretation of the law will apply natural law principles to common law judgements. Simples.

      Access to justice, the common law and human rights

      In the second of her series of articles, Angela Patrick looks at how the common law protects the fundamental right of access to justice.
      https://www.lag.org.uk/article/201772/access-to-justice–the-common-law-and-human-rights

    60. callmedave says:

      Jings! Sturgeon V Sturgeon in Holyrood FMQs

      Carlaw and that Ricky Leopard quick to try and pin care home deaths on the SGov.
      Even got a BBC interviewee called Sturgeon care worker not happy not getting tested etc etc.

      FM Sturgeon says any mention of corona virus on the death certificate counts as a corona virus death even if not actually tested. So SGov figure are sound

      But not good enough for the two Uriah Heep leaders.

      What a coincidence ‘not’ FGS Auntie wie a kilt, (checking as I write for any buttons on the back of head).
      Two Sturgeons BBC 🙂

      Meanwhile darn Sarf and following on from big Aunties news yesterday > 10,000 unaccounted care home deaths in England are the subject of PMQs.

      Dodgy figures, miscounting deaths related to or mentioned on the death certificate in England ‘don’t count’only through an actual virus test can it be counted. (we already knew this of course)

      Boris’ statement withdrawn as the dates and numbers don’t add up some mistake and he’s asked to clarify.

      As I write this BBC and the SUN have not disclosed England only figures and again they will not be mentioned in the daily update this afternoon.

      Only UK figures are given.
      BBC and WM hand in glove puppets.

      It may appear on the BBC red scrolling tape, but you need to be quick to see it. 🙁

      PS:
      MPs ask why that graph is not now being show that compares the other world countries against the UK.

      It was dropped a few days ago and I mentioned it at the time.

      Carlaw and Leopard boy might have egg on their face soon enough as usual.

      Anyhoo!

      Scotland …….today……61……Total….1973..BBC
      Wales………..today……22……Total….1154..BBC
      N. Ireland……today……04……Total…..449..BBC
      England………today..no data…..Total…no data
      ======================================================
      UK…………..today….*494……Total…*33186..SUN

    61. Patrick Roden says:

      So, I joined Twitter the other day with the intention of supporting the new ISP party.

      I got a request just now asking me to confirm that I am not a robot in order to continue.

      with no option of confirming or denying I am a robot!

      So That’s me already locked out of twitter!

    62. Bob Mack says:

      Seems to have become very much a “We” and “Them” scenario going on here. Them ,are people just like us,who dutifully elect the We took every few years.

      Now anyone who thinks that the higher echelons of our Government will make a better country, should really think again. Power is a heady brew.

      I’m afraid power does corrupt and absolute power does corrupt absolutely.

      If only we had an alternative Indy party we could avoid some of the pitfalls exclusivity brings.

    63. Andrew Morton says:

      I posted this on Twitter:

      ‘@HumzaYousaf Would you care to comment on the substance of this article?‘

      No response received as yet.

    64. Jessie says:

      Stewart isn’t this reply from Graham Shields who was the Editor of the Evening Times? He took up a job as Strategic Comms for the Scottish Government, not the Procurator Fiscal’s office specifically.

      https://www.linkedin.com/in/graham-shields-27062127/

    65. euan0709 says:

      Once agin, Stuart Campbell doing what he does best.
      Holding the establishment to account !

    66. Gregor says:

      @Jessie

      Interesting (re. Graham Shields/potential WHOPPING conflict of interest).

      https://www.copfs.gov.uk/media-site/media-cat

    67. SilverDarling says:

      @Jessie

      If it isn’t the same Graham Shields then it does seem coincidental but not impossible that there are two such senior people with a background in media.

      Is the PFs Office a Scottish Govt department – they have civil service annotations at the bottom of the letter?

    68. Mac says:

      The revolving door of journalists turning into comms directors and back again..

    69. jfngw says:

      Labour leader in London asks why the care home deaths in England are low and why there is so many unexplained deaths. Meanwhile Labour branch managers asks FM why care home deaths are so high and unexplained deaths so low. Thank goodness they are not playing politics during an emergency.

      Anyone looking at the figures can see that care home deaths in Scotland and England are running about the same level per capita (even with the book cooking of London). This then leaves the question why are deaths in England outside of care homes so high.

      Gordon Brewer asks Kate Forbes on, then proceeds to ask next to no questions on finance. If he wanted to talk about health and employment law surely it would have been better to invite the proper person.

      Then some Tory MSP, Golden I think his name was, thick as two planks, just wanted to make political scoring points. Even Brewer spotted he was talking shite.

    70. jfngw says:

      They are not going to prosecute Garavelli, the Scottish establishment have her back. When she said it had been legalled more than once, who do we think they were?

    71. jfngw says:

      When it comes to covid deaths per million Boris Johnson will soon be saying ‘there’s always San Marino’.

    72. Liz g says:

      Frustrating….but not surprising in the slightest..
      Mibbi it’s jist as well we didn’t win in 2014….
      Stay with me here.. 🙂
      These people are “so called” Civil Scotland,these are the very people who would have been instrumental is shaping Scotland’s future.While we plebs all partied and thought “job done “!!
      They will look to preserve their privilege and positions,always.
      They will, if not checked, organise Scotland into a mini me Westminster system,because that’s the system that serves them well.
      This is why I support us putting people from the Yes movement into Hoyrood.My first choice being the Rev,but failing that MSPs who really need the support of the Yes Movement,and not politicians who will breeze their way in as part of a party machine.
      If we wonder why the Justice system here is working to stymie the voices of the Yes Movement,the answer is no rocket science…
      They do not want anyone who would change the system gaining the power to actually do so.
      They do not want us to look very closely at how Judges got to be Judges.
      They certainly don’t want us thinking we could have any say in how it happens.
      Or what checks and balances we can insist on!
      (The same is true for the Media,Business and the Religions)

      They probably know by now that we (the voters) are going to end the Union but, they need to slow us down to get all their “ducks” in a row…. and they certainly don’t want anyone who is not with the programme,having a part in the change over of the levers of power into Holyrood.
      Right now The Rev,Craig Murry and some others are challenging the system we have,and it seems there is very little we can do to support them!
      But it is exposing that system,and for what it’s worth they have my thanks.

      The irony is… it would probably have been better for the Scottish Establishment had we won in 2014.
      We would have been stitched nicely into Constitution written by them and for them!
      The SNPs Interim Constitution in 2014 showed clearly there was no real intention to change the Judiciary,or the Holyrood system, and the current most popular draught one doing the rounds is pretty much the same…and no bugger is asking us if that was OK….
      Hopefully, now, at the other side of the Yes vote,we’ll be a good bit wiser!!

    73. Harry mcaye says:

      Stu, you’d better hope Aberdeen don’t sign Accies’ Lewis Smith ( I’ve heard they’re sniffing around). Guess who his parents are?

    74. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Ian B, this is slightly dated but it gives some hint at the revolving doors. As you say, it would be most illuminating to have an up to date “family” tree done

      https://lenathehyena.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/oh-what-a-tangled-web-we-weave-when-first-we-practice-to-deceive-bbc-scotland-and-the-labour-party/

    75. CameronB Brodie says:

      Scotland can only expect more of this sort of thing, if we allow the Tories to defile Treaty law and drag Scotland out of the EU. If the justice system lacks concern for natural law, it also lacks concern for justice and is unlikely be impartial.

      Impact of the COVID-19 virus on the justice field

      The coronavirus has brought forth a crisis, which does not stop at borders and affects all areas of our life. European justice is not an exception in this regard.

      This page aims to provide an overview of the measures taken within the European Union in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, which affect the judiciary, national authorities and legal practitioners, but also businesses and citizens.

      As the situation is changing rapidly and information on this topic is still evolving, this page will be updated regularly to reflect new developments.

      The Council of Europe has also created a webpage on national measures in the justice area in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. You can consult the page here.

      https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_impact_of_the_covid19_virus_on_the_justice_field-37147-en.do

    76. CameronB Brodie says:

      This might be of interest to the justice minister, who appears to want to criminalise a legal respect for the human genome.

      Ensuring justice for hate crime victims: professional perspectives
      https://fra.europa.eu/en/publication/2016/ensuring-justice-hate-crime-victims-professional-perspectives

    77. Camz says:

      The plot thickens. At this rate, we’ll need an FBI style mafia pin board with faces, names and connections.

    78. Andy Ellis says:

      Their response appears entirely unsatisfactory. Perhaps you need to complain to the ombudsman?

      https://www.copfs.gov.uk/about-us/comments-complaints

    79. Robert Louis says:

      This stinks. It really, really stinks to high heaven. It reeks so much, they can smell the bulsh*t from the international space station.

      I also want to add, this is a superb piece of thorough investigative journalism by RevSTU. This is why, despite the SNP no longer being interested in pursuing independence, his output is still very much needed in Scotland.

      All the so-called ‘scottishy’ ‘journalists’ of the mainstream ‘media’ and the lying, Scotland-hating BBC, should hang their heads in shame – that is if they can extract their tongues from Johnson’s backside for long enough.

    80. SilverDarling says:

      @Liz g

      I think what you say highlights why we all have to keep challenging the narrative that is fed to us daily from every pillar of the establishment.

      Undoubtedly there are soft Indy supporters who are a bit bothered that we challenge the way things are being done or not done. They do not want to rock the boat and would like nothing better than to seamlessly glide into Independence with almost everything the same as it is now. That is what we see from Garavelli and co. They like the SNP as it is now, familiar and comfortable. They do not like the idea of a new nation mewling and puking as it navigates through its early life.

      A new nation will be messy though even and I for one relish the thought of change from top to bottom.

    81. Julia Gibb says:

      It isn’t just journalists who are “rewarded” for loyalty to the State. Every organisation in Scotland has appointees to head those organisations with proven loyalty to the BritNat dog whistle.
      The rewards cascade down to other proven supporters of the Union.

      We keep playing to the Union rule book. Independence will never be achieved when we accept a rigged game from the start. The formation of the latest”Scottish Committee” at Westminster proves my point.

      We are little better than any of the old colonial states of the Empire. A few loyal Empire civil servants ( in comparison to the population) ran India with an army of sycophants. It only changed when India stopped playing to their rules. Even when defeated the BritNats poisoned the well as they left.

    82. MaggieC says:

      Stuart ,

      I don’t know if you’ve seen this from the National , the man thrown off the jury of Alex’s trial will not be charged with discussing the case outside of the court .

      One rule for some and not for others .

      http://archive.vn/IWnsj

    83. jfngw says:

      I see someone called Mark Hirst has been arrested regarding the Salmond case. Looks like they are taking out Salmond supporters one by one.

      I’m not aware who he is actually as I’ve not followed his output but it is concerning what is happening in Scotland.

    84. jfngw says:

      BBC running stories that people in the Borders are too stupid to understand which country they live in and what rules to follow.

      Mind you when you see the politicians they return there may be some mileage in this story.

    85. Beaker says:

      @Merkin Scot says:
      13 May, 2020 at 12:38 pm
      Excellent work. Mind you, I doubt that either Johnston or Trump could complete a 2-piece jigsaw…

      I think Level 1 is more appropriate – i.e 1 piece that has to be turned the correct way up.

      (Think of Mr Bean at the dentist with his X-ray)

    86. susan says:

      Well said Lizg, and just imagine the fun and games they could have with the imbecilic new hate crime bill. Scary.

    87. MaggieC says:

      Stuart , jfngw , Graeme .

      Mark Hirst released a short video after Alex’s trial but did not name any of the women in it .

      Here is the link to Mark Hirst’s twitter

      https://mobile.twitter.com/documark2/status/1260583348969275397

      And his link to the video explaining what has happened

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rB3qpvH4AW8&feature=youtu.be

      And the link to his crowdfunding

      https://civillibertyscotland.com/

      The whole thing stinks to high heavens

    88. Golfnut says:

      @ Liz g.

      I’ve commented many times that indyref 2014 was the last chance for the establishment to get out of the union unscathed, that applies to the establishment both sides of the England/ Scotland frontier.

      You hit an awful lot of nails on the head with your comment at 4:01.

    89. twathater says:

      @ Liz g 4.01pm I agree with every word you have written , especially the part about 2014 and us plebs celebrating whilst the SCUM go about manipulating and entrenching their positions , even worse we would have been overcome with such emulsion ( joke ) we would have been blindsided

      I have stated many times my distrust of politicians and this has currently increased due to our present situation but what to do about it is the quandary

      I have said repeatedly that I think the 5 year term allows these wolves to do too much damage before they can be ousted and we MUST have a strict recall law answerable to the voters

      TBH the establishment is rotten to the core which is exemplified by this cursory dismissal to the Rev’s and our concerns , they the establishment guardians hold the plebs in contempt

      Again TBH I wish the Rev would get his arse into gear (sorry rev ) and get together with Alex , Craig Murray and others to form a party and give us some sunlight to look forward to

      Liz g I have always liked your NO nonsense speak and honestly as I have asked you before , grab Breeks and speak with Stu and get US out of this fucking lunatic asylum

    90. dakk says:

      Some form of North britain’s own Mcarthyism looks to be being played out here.

    91. Julia Gibb says:

      The State has used the carrot to reward several loyal Unionist TV personalities. Their careers assured once they condemn those vile Sepratists.
      They are now going for the Stick. Any vile Salmond Trial commentator who dare question the proceedings will be charged and prosecuted (no jury or appeal for them). The message is crystal clear and the threat very obvious.

      Any moment now the NUJ will issue a statement about journalistic freedom….any moment now…I’m sure it will come…give it time. Silly me. This is Scotland. Journalism has a different meaning here. In Scotland they are a part of the stick.

    92. Breastplate says:

      Sleaze,corruption and politics. Was it too much to ask the SNP to clean the place up?
      It seems it was and now they’re part of the problem.

    93. Pete says:

      jfngw
      What will Sturgeon be saying?
      SG responsible for health.
      You always seem to forget this!

    94. robertknight says:

      Liz g @ 4;01

      Always thought that this was a potential issue in an Indy Scotland, and the way in which the current SNP leadership are behaving…

      Meet the new boss, same as the old boss!

    95. dakk says:

      Not like the English government to be lieing about the true covid death rate in care homes whilst their excess death rates are the world’s highest.

      Seems you are twice as safe in an English care home than anywhere else in the world.

      Yeah right.

      I’m sure if there was an English party governing Scotland’s health, our ‘reported’ care home deaths would be in line with England’s.

      Shameless liars, even in the death of their own.

    96. jfngw says:

      @Pete

      The health secretary is responsible for health, not the finance secretary.

      If you want to know what ‘Sturgeon’ says, email her, how would I know

      You are not good at this trolling lark are you.

    97. Tinto Chiel says:

      I doubt Mr Shields would even fully understand your articulate and well-drafted letter, Rev. and the reply was off-hand and contemptuous.

      Quite a thread for revelations from Alert Readers but what a sharny sheugh the Establishment inhabits.

      And not one MSM journalist will investigate this disgraceful state of affairs.

      No wonder they hate you and Craig Murray.

    98. tarisgal says:

      Thank you so much for pursuing this, Stuart. What I really hated was the way the COPFS were making the rules up as they went along, thinking they couldn’t be touched – not with word, not with deed. They thought they had played their little game & got away with it. And it may be they do. But thanks to your persistence, they will sweat a little (hopefully A LOT!) before they do. And they will know, thanks to articles like this one, that Scotland KNOWS what they are doing & what they are, for the moment, getting away with. Scotland will be watching & reporting EVERY SINGLE TIME THEY STEP OUT OF LINE. Every little thing they do that seems wrong, will be questioned now, people will want answers, PROPER answers & won’t be satisfied till they get them.

      I’m sorry you have to put yourself on the line. I wish I could analyse the way you do & wish I could set my facts etc. down with such precision. If I could do that, I’d be adding my tuppence by writing them and demanding the same answers that you are seeking. I can’t do that. I’d end up saying all the things I shouldn’t. So all I can say is thank you for sticking with this! Its apparent that they have to be tackled & you are doing it in your usual magnificent way.

    99. Graeme says:

      Recent events such as the Alex Salmond conspiracy, arrest of Craig Murray and now Mark Hirst, rabid corruption at the highest levels in government and our legal institutions, laws inhibiting free speech the array of unionist fuckwits we have infesting our parliament, journalists bringing Scotland down at every opportunity is making us look like a tin pot banana republic and an international embarrassment, maybe this is the unionist game plan all along

    100. SilverDarling says:

      The things is none of this will cause the players in question any consternation. They will probably be chuckling that we are shocked by their incestuous work-life relationships. We see ad nauseum in the press, Yoon social media ( and here) allusions about Mrs Murrell and the power couples in the SNP and SLab but the MSM appears to see itself as above all that and yet is probably the worst out the lot.

      They determine the narrative for the rolling 24 hour news and what is deemed important in Scottish Civil life. They are utterly poisonous. They reward each other with approbation and amplify each others messages. And Pete Wishart and those who have sold their souls for power lap it up and buy into wholesale.

    101. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Anyone trying to contribute to the Mark Hirst crowdfunder via PayPal and getting the message that you are paying yourself…

      Try this link – it worked for me.

      paypal.me/civillibertyscotland

    102. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Sorry, here’s the full link:-

      http://paypal.me/civillibertyscotland

    103. mogabee says:

      Panda

      They damn well should!!

    104. Mist001 says:

      If Mrs. Murrell is smart (And I don’t think she particularly is), then she’ll placate Scotland and keep this lockdown going for just a couple of weeks longer because as it stands at this very minute, English people are essentially banned from entering Scotland.

      How much longer does anyone think they’ll tolerate that?

      A couple of weeks is enough time to bring independence to the boil and once again, she has a golden opportunity to actually pull it off.

      But I refer you to my opening paragraph.

    105. liz says:

      Is Leslie Evans getting her revenge and taking everyone out after losing both the battle and the war and is this why she has had her contract extended by two years?

      This stinks to high heaven, the Scot Gov are really worrying me.

    106. Sinky says:

      Tory and Labour polticising of Care home deaths in Scotland aided by the MSM / BBC/ STV / Channel 4 / Sky should be called out.

      Everyone Knows the English death figures are underestimated by up to a half. Even the Financial Times uses more reliable figures.

      Follow talking up Scotland seems to be the only person challenging the MSM narrative

      https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2020/05/13/shocking-1-in-5-covid-19-cases-die-in-hc-ones-scottish-care-homes/

      Also Union Jacket Ian Murray and Labour might be interested in the dire Care Homes situation in Wales.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52380643

    107. Keith says:

      Well written letter citing legitimate dissatisfaction with COPFS service and questioning policy / strategy. But what were you expecting looking for the media department to be your conduit to decision makers? Media department have correctly issue a position while referring you to how to make a complaint where issues of quality of service can be raised. Submit your complaint and be contacted in 5 days for Front Line Resolution (first stage).

    108. gus1940 says:

      It can’t be long till we are facing ‘Are you or have you ever been a supporter of Scottish Independence?’ (copyright McCarthy).

    109. Lothianlad says:

      Tried donating to craig and mark hirst with debit Visa card.. each time it says something went wrong!! WTF!!!!! double checked the details so I’m fucking raging with technology..
      Or is their a more sinister block on donating??
      AAGGHHHHH

    110. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Aw c’Mon, read everything!

      https://www.paypal.me/civillibertyscotland

      I provided the link yonks ago.

    111. Karmanaut says:

      FFS. That really stinks. It looks like tinpot dictator level of corruption.
      Good work.
      You can see why they want Craig Murray to shut up.

    112. terence callachan says:

      The COPFS are being guided by their leader , perhaps you should contact him direct James Wolffe or contact their chief executive first David Harvie.

      If neither respond complain to the victim information and advice service a part of COPFS that is supposed to have the welfare of victims prioritised

      Clearly Alex Salmond has been victimised and so had Craig Murray and it looks possible that you have too.

    113. Liz g says:

      Thanks to those who replied to my comment @ 4.01
      You guys give me hope that enough of us who care see the problems 🙂
      And Twathater….I know my limitations…LOL
      Anyhoo…if I became a politician,then you wouldnt trust me either….and I won’t have that… 🙂

    114. robbo says:

      gus1940 says:
      13 May, 2020 at 7:22 pm
      It can’t be long till we are facing ‘Are you or have you ever been a supporter of Scottish Independence?’ (copyright McCarthy).

      Be really scared if you know someone called ANNE !

      LOL

    115. terence callachan says:

      gus1940….You could be right gus , the way things are going and the thing is we know to being operated from another country , our neighbour , England

    116. Gregor says:

      COPFS has no intention of addressing such fair and reasonable questions.

      COPFS does not recognise ethics, standards, shared values, and rule of law while engaged in the systematic targeted destruction of anyone/anything that delves too deep into questionable machinations of State, and with this in mind has corruptly considered that COPFS and exclusive UK mainstream gutter press (world leading purveyor of Fake News) is exempt from such scrutiny and rulings of law.

      How dare society have the audacity to seek any notion of State transparency and public accountability.

      SCREW YOU (ALL).

    117. dakk says:

      @Gus
      Are you or have you ever been a supporter of Scottish Independence?’

      I admit it, yes, all my life till now.

      However, the british government’s world besting death rates for Covid appeal to the goth in me.

      All hail the great british grim reaper.

    118. Bill McLean says:

      Donated to Mark’s defence fund! Do so if you can afford to folks. We are in dire trouble if we let them away with this without some sort of protest. I fully support Scotland’s independence too!

    119. robertknight says:

      dakk @ 8:28

      “All hail the great british grim reaper.”

      That’ll be the one that wears a three-piece business suit, a bowler hat and holds a brolly instead of a scythe.

      Let’s face it, the only reason Baw-Jaws is tinkering with lockdown in England is because all the Tory donors are losing money hand over fist, so they’re turning the screws on the UK Govt. to get the economy moving and to hell with the R number.

      After all, he who pays the Piper…

    120. Bob Mack says:

      Just donated to Mark Hirst. It’s essential we take on the corruption which guides our daily lives under the false flag of democracy. Please donate if you can.

    121. callmedave says:

      Like others here and elsewhere.

      I have just donated to Mark Hirst.

    122. Breeks says:


      Liz g says:
      13 May, 2020 at 4:01 pm.

      ….Hopefully, now, at the other side of the Yes vote,we’ll be a good bit wiser!!

      There can be no clearer illustration of where the SNP stands than their unequivocal capitulation over Brexit, where they abandoned both the constitutional sovereignty of Scotland, and the democratic will of the sovereign Scottish people. They weren’t backed into a corner or forced into it. They, the SNP, under their own steam, couldn’t bury either concept fast enough!!

      Wull called it spot on. Where Brexit was concerned, Theresa May was following the Scottish constitutional doctrine when asserting Brexit had to be respected because the people were sovereign, when no, in fact it was Westminster who held Parliamentary Sovereignty. Yet here in Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon was busy observing the English constitutional doctrine, whereby the Holyrood Parliament was sovereign, and her Holyrood government was free to overrule the will of the Scottish people. That was NOT lawful Scotland!!! That little act, right there, right then, was you being mugged out of your constitutional birthright by Scotland’s own Nicola Sturgeon!!

      I said it at the time, and I’ve pretty much said it every day since. Brexit, and Scotland’s unconstitutional subjugation properly and completely destroys the fallacy of the UK Union, and the blame for the fact Scotland is not, right now, an independent Nation staying in Europe lies full square on Holyrood’s shoulders.

      Constitutional victory was right there, in our grasp, in 2016, and yet abracadabra, Nicola Sturgeon immediately looks away in the opposite direction. Disgraceful!!!

      Instead of seizing constitutional Independence in 2016, she wouldn’t touch constitutional sovereignty with a barge pole, and as quickly as she could, she repositioned Scotland to find itself standing at the end of the priority queue, behind a EuroRef people’s vote which was never going to happen, and behind a second IndyRef which was years away and suddenly required Westminster approving a Section 30 Agreement. It wasn’t Westminster stalling and playing for time. It was Bute House!!

      Nicola Sturgeon has played us all for fools. From the moment she took over from Alex Salmond, Scottish Independence has been thrown into reverse gear, and every golden opportunity to kill off the Union has been squandered or thrown under a bus, with nothing, nothing whatsoever, delivered.

      Just take a moment to put yourself in Nicola Sturgeon’s shoes, right now, with Wokists and Conspirators crawling out the woodwork, indulging in criminal conspiracy, bureaucratic incompetence, abusing anonymity to perpetuate false accusations. No sackings, no suspensions, no enquiry, no investigations, no preservation of crime scenes nor devices seized as potentially criminal evidence. All this going on for weeks, months, and yet you do nothing to quench the flames or slake the frustration??? Let me guess, you’re reading book…

      Nicola Sturgeon is burning the SNP’s house to the ground from the inside out, and with it, she hopes, the dreams we all have for Scotland to be free of this dreadful, dreadful, all pervading parasite of a Union.

      Damn it Scotland. WAKEN UP. Screw Section 30. Screw Holyrood elections which simply serve to further entrench the colonial legislation of the Scotland Act. If Holyrood won’t break itself free from the imposed bonds of the 1998 Scotland Act, then Scotland needs to break itself free from the bonds of the 1998 Colonial Puppet Government in Holyrood. It’s not ’our’ government, it is ’theirs’.

      Instead, let us get this orchestrated and wilfully unconstitutional bourach OUT of the hands of craven, worm-tongue politicians, and instead submit Scotland’s undemocratic, unconstitutional, and unlawful subjugation for scrutiny before the International Court of Justice at the UN.

      Enough of this garbage. Enough of these interminable games. We KNOW what needs to be done. Scotland’s EXISTING Constitutional Sovereignty needs to be resurrected and re-secure the International Recognition which Scotland enjoyed for centuries before the perfidious Union of 1707.

      If, let me repeat the word, IF, the UN decrees Scottish Independence requires a specific referendum as the price of securing International Recognition, then fine, but let the UN tell us so. Ditto the EU and Council of Europe. Let them make the decision. Let us not wait forever, for a “constitutionally illiterate’ and curiously preoccupied Nicola Sturgeon to get around to it.

      And fascinating though it will undoubtedly be, we don’t actually need a book from Alex Salmond to light the blue touch paper either. We know well enough what it’s going to say. It’s a different literary work, one that’s dated 1320, which is going to deliver us.

    123. jfngw says:

      @gus1940

      I think, ‘Are you or have you ever been a supporter of Alex Salmond?’ looks to be closer.

      You can still support independence as long as it remains in the abstract.

    124. The establishment must be calling in a lot of favours over the whole Salmond injustice,

      from politics,police,press,

      looks like it is Graham Shields time to pay for his job,

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x50KRCdjZX0

    125. velofello says:

      I can recognise the argument for trial without a jury for fraud or theft cases where there is hard material evidence of a complaint of wrongdoing. Contempt of Court seems a much more subjective issue such that arguably the public should have the opportunity to express their judgement via a jury.The Assange trial horror show unfolding in England, presided over by it appears an unfeeling, uncaring judge, should caution us all against unquestioning acceptance of the judicial process.

      I don’t spend my time reading up, or sitting in court listening to trials, but aren’t there court cases on assault and theft, some not particularly serious, that are heard by jury? and so by what criteria was Alex Salmond afforded a (protection?) a jury trial yet Craig Murray, faced with a possible jail sentence is denied a jury trial?

    126. Capella says:

      @ BDTT – thx for link. Donation made.
      What a small and intimate cesspit the Scottish media hacks inhabit. Is Brian Spanner involved?

    127. Beaker says:

      Lothianlad says:
      13 May, 2020 at 7:25 pm
      Tried donating to craig and mark hirst with debit Visa card.. each time it says something went wrong!!

      It might be the banks. I had a problem when I bought a desk at 11pm the other night. I had to reply to a text from the bank confirming it was me.

      Might be a similar issue. Either that or they know who you are :p

    128. Stephen McKenzie says:

      Brilliant Stu!

      If only we had more proper Scottish Journalists to also help uncover this stuff instead of the Patsy’s that we seem to have foisted on us.

    129. McDuff says:

      Great letter Stu good on you.
      This whole affair is both sinister and disturbing and needs to be exposed outside the UK.
      Could the UN commission on human rights not be informed as clearly the UK state is persecuting Craig Murray for political reasons and using the justice system to destroy the democratic rights of citizens.

    130. dakk says:

      @Robert Knight 8.45

      ‘Let’s face it, the only reason Baw-Jaws is tinkering with lockdown in England is because all the Tory donors are losing money’

      True.

      They will also be badly missing being indulged.

      Lunch at the Ivy, snorting cocaine off a sex worker’s belly button,and that’s just for starters.

    131. defo says:

      BJ on the ropes
      The finest minds at his disposal didn’t see the potential for carnage in the care homes earlier.
      Pull the other one.

      On this issue alone, I cannot think of a way they handled this that could have been worse.
      Discharged patients from covid ravaged hospital to the last place they should have been put.
      PP schmee.
      No plan at all.

    132. @Brian Doonthetoon

      Avoid PayPal as they want to start charging me for using them.

    133. @ Liz

      13 May, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      Luv it and so true.

    134. Sinky says:

      O/T

      For first time in years Sky paper review features Scotsman so that they can have a go at the SNP.

      The Panel Base poll showing 53% support for SNP must be getting to the London Establishment.

      Meanwhile Ian Murray going for cheap political stunt writing to Nicola Sturgeon on alleged cover up , the timeline of which was clearly detailed to Scottish Parliament this afternoon.

    135. call me dave says:

      BBC says just now a new antibody test is promising Dept Health England in discussions with Pharmaceuticals – Roche.

      Going on past initiatives with the WM Gov don’t hold your breathe.

    136. Iain More says:

      To Sinky and any others. Off topic. Re the Quisling Hootsman headline.

      Hootsman headline is a lie. Proving yet again that they are ("Tractor" - Ed)ous scum.

      The Tory Plague got loose in care homes because the greedy bosses of ten care home ignored SG guidelines.

      I have a niece who works in a care home and they have had no cases of the Tory plague because they followed SG guidelines from day one.

    137. @call me dave,

      what does an antibody test tell you,

      if you have the virus ?

      or if you have had the virus ?

    138. Fireproofjim says:

      Scot Finlayson
      The antibody test would show both whether you have had the current Coronavirus and still have it.
      So far it is not clear whether you have a permanent immunity if you have had it and developed antibodies.
      The common cold is also a Corona virus but it mutates so fast that it always overcomes the antibodies so you can get it several times.

    139. Morgatron says:

      Fantastic journalism Stu. I wish there was more balance out there but I also wish pigs could fly. Thanks to you and Craig for shining the spotlight on this issue of cronyism, injustice and apparent unlawful behaviour and cover up.

    140. Shug says:

      Conflict of interest here I think
      Who did what with who’s authority

    141. call me dave says:

      @Scot Finlayson

      Well this one tells if you’ve had the virus. If I heard right.

      I was busy there for a wee while starting to watch all the ‘Deadwood’ box set again.

      Got the single DVD issued last year that brought all the loose ends together and completed the box set story. That’s me set for a while.
      🙂

    142. chicmac says:

      The new accurate antibody test has been developed by Scottish and Swiss scientists. It is 100% for detect-ability and 99.8% for specificity. It received CE approval on Friday and is ready to go.

      e.g.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2Csw04BxJ4&feature=youtu.be&t=7553&fbclid=IwAR0PyXngg_qjxdvTmN-T_mXXVvLA1m_el9zAKykGjthSuc2R4NmA-gDE2eA

    143. call me dave says:

      @chicmac

      Good catch! I posted about this nearly 2-weeks ago as it appeared as a story in ‘The National’

      The next day Raab mentioned this same test produced by ‘the Swiss’ in his daily update but not the Scottish connection. As they do! 🙂

    144. robbo says:

      chicmac says:
      14 May, 2020 at 12:36 am

      Re antibody test.

      Usual shit from Englandshire. Now getting widely reported Public Health England have approved the test for use . Only the Swiss connection mentioned on all UK channels and SKY.No mention of the Edinburgh lab!

      No shocks there is there folks. Same auld shite, la de da de da.

    145. robbo says:

      Same will happen if they ever discover a vaccine in Scotland. It will be UK la de da de da

    146. Golfnut says:

      I guess Pete and a few others will be going to these.
      Protest mass gatherings in Glasgow and Edinburgh, advertised apparently by STV. Dr Whiteford not pleased.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/215556435841901/permalink/646769816053892/

    147. Golfnut says:

      I guess the above is exactly the kind of civil disobedience the Scotland office were looking for. They removed the ‘ stay home ‘ logo and replaced it with the English( and it is an England only logo) ‘ stay alert ‘.

      I sincerely hope that Police Scotland and the SG deal with this robustly.

    148. Breeks says:

      Why is Mark Hirst actually being taken to court? I saw his video, and it surely can’t be for contempt. What is the actual charge he’s facing?

      As I recall, he came across very well, with strong faith that the party would get on top of this conspiracy.

      I wonder if he still has that same faith in the Party now.

    149. Alan Mackintosh says:

      There is growing evidence that Vitamin D deficiency is having a severe effect on the mortality rates. That indicates the importance of getting some sun and/or eating some oily fish.

      A preprint research paper from Indonesia on Covid mortality and Vitamin D status. Cohort of 780 cases

      179 cases were Vitamin D deficient (30 ng/ml)

      4.1% of them died.

      https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3585561&fbclid=IwAR3cy0ZPCJ4ZbZbjm7LYvmOM7LiUdL7lZzMQORUQngJePJzI05XCk4AaEyQ

    150. Rm says:

      The more you look at the english establishment the more Scotland needs to get away from it’s corrupt, uncaring way of doing anything, the Scottish Government are going their own way now they have to keep it going and go our own way for keeps, nae easy when you have the likes of wee willie Winnie rennie and jack ass car law what a couple o – – – – ks how can these people call themselves Scottish.

    151. Alan Mackintosh says:

      re my post above, post wasnt complete, the summary is below

      179 cases were Vitamin D deficient (30 ng/ml)

      4.1% of them died.

    152. Capella says:

      @ chicmac – wow – what a great interview re the antibody test. Something you’d never hear on the BBC. I checked the BBC website. They mention the Swiss Co and PH England are negotiating to get the test but can’t say anything else because of “sensitivity”.
      They certainly are sensitive. It’ll be the lab in Penicuik where Dolly the Sheep was born.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2Csw04BxJ4&feature=youtu.be&t=7553&fbclid=IwAR0PyXngg_qjxdvTmN-T_mXXVvLA1m_el9zAKykGjthSuc2R4NmA-gDE2eA

    153. Graeme says:

      Breeks says:
      14 May, 2020 at 7:52 am

      Why is Mark Hirst actually being taken to court? I saw his video, and it surely can’t be for contempt. What is the actual charge he’s facing?

      As I recall, he came across very well, with strong faith that the party would get on top of this conspiracy.

      I wonder if he still has that same faith in the Party now.

      ———————————————————–
      I’d like to know that as well
      Is it possible that simply suggesting there was a conspiracy is considered contempt of court ?

    154. schrodingers cat says:

      I’m unsure what hurst is crowd funding for?

      is it to mount a defence or attack at the unionist establishment or the scottish government.

      no money until some clarity

    155. Joe says:

      For those who are stupid (selfish)enough to think longer term lockdown is a good thing (when there are countries who havent)https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-05-11/more-than-a-billion-people-escaped-poverty-in-the-last-20-years-the-coronavirus-could-erase-those-gains?

    156. Alan Mackintosh says:

      hmm, somethings not working here, I cant seem to type out the summary of cases, the text box just discards the text and crops it between first line and last line. Strange

      179 cases were Vit D deficient; less than 20ng/ml- 98.9% died

      213 cases were Vit D insufficient; 20-30ng/ml- 87.8% died

      388 cases were Vit D “normal” -more than 30ng/ml – 4.1% died

      Aha, sorted it, there were brackets and less than /more than signs in my text.

      This Vit D link also explains the high death rate in the the BAME population. Not enough sun here for us whiteys let alone POC at this time of year.

    157. @Fireproofjim,

      just been looking more into the antibody test and it seems to be only to reveal if you have had the virus not if you have it,

      `The test is designed to help determine if a patient has had COVID-19 and whether they have developed antibodies against it.`

      ” “This is a very positive development because such a highly specific antibody test is a very reliable marker of past infection.”

      this test does not tell you if you have the virus only that you have had the virus,

      you need an antigen test to tell if you have the virus,

      the antibody test seems to be for gathering information of how the virus spreads which is good for some reason.

    158. Golfnut says:

      @ Joe.

      Which freedom protest will you be going to Joe.
      With 5 million children in the UK living in poverty before lockdown, I’m not sure that lockdown can be blamed for poverty, more likely the current system.
      As far as lockdown goes, it’s the only game in down until appropriate levels of trained personnel, equipment and tests are available. Test, track and isolate is the way forward, the Scottish Gov are I think heading in that direction, but how ready do you think England’s gov are, going by past experience.

    159. Bob Mack says:

      @Schrdingers Cat,

      Mark Hurst has been arrested and charged for making a video which stated the Salmond accusers would deal the whirlwind after Covid19 is cleared.

      Initially two of the accusers complained about his video, which could be in the eyes of the law seen as” contempt of court”.

      He has now been charged for making a threatening communication. He will need a lawyer.

    160. Golfnut says:

      @ Alan Mackintosh.

      I read about the Vit D advice early on, not something I should have been short off playing golf 4 times a week but obviously that’s no longer an option. I have been taking this now for about 5 weeks because it would appear to be vital to your immune system. Interesting stats. Thanks.

    161. jfngw says:

      @Joe

      I can’t think of anyone that thinks lockdown is a good thing, I’m getting next to no exercise now, I’ve not seen my family for over 8 weeks. There is a difference between good and necessary, and yes some don’t believe it is necessary but currently they are I believe the minority.

      There does have to be some progress soon or the effectiveness of the lockdown will begin to lose support, the number of cases needs to start dropping. This could be happening outside care homes, difficult to tell but the number of deaths outsode care homes has halved in the last few weeks.

    162. jfngw says:

      @schrodingers cat

      Just noticed you use a picture of a cat that is obviously alive, if somewhat shocked, did you open the box?

    163. Liesel says:

      Am I reading this correctly? You send a detailed enquiry to the COPFS, which they are required to answer by their own rules and their response is to direct you to make a complaint that they have not responded (and followed their own rules)?

      Wow.

      I so want a job in that enquiries office. Literally getting paid for not doing anything. Makes you glad you pay taxes, eh?

    164. Famous15 says:

      Jfngw and Joe bring to mind the little world of Don Camillo and other stories.

      Who is the little red devil on everyones’ shoulder?

      Go on Google it Joe,you little mischief maker you !

    165. Kenneth G Coutts says:

      Way to go Stuart.
      Can you point me in the direction of the rags article
      And day printed.
      Surely if everyone copied the article and posted said article
      Under the guise of, ” we are Spartans ”
      What a sleazy shower of cretinous dog’s.
      Lol??

    166. lothianlad says:

      The Alphabet women must now be bricking it big time as they are getting the establishment to go after anyone who stands up for Alex.

      This is where we need to stand together against those who would distort the truth and go after those who speak up for truth and justice.

      regarding the jigsaw of identification…. after reading Stu’s post, I was able in the matter of minutes piece together the identity of Woman K simply by reading Garavelli’s posts.

      If anyone should be in contempt of court, then surely she should!

      However, we seem to be living in an age where the establishment is acting like a dictatorship and the SNP Scottish Government is complicit.

      I never ever thought a Scottish Government led by the SNP would do this.

      Sturgeon must go!!

    167. Capella says:

      @ Scot Finlayson – if you listen to the interview posted above by chicmac, the Swiss CEO of Quotien explains very clearly what the antigen test is and what it does.

      It tells you if you have antibodies in your blood to the virus. It can do so immediately you become infected and also 15 days after infection. Immunity is highly likely, in case of SARS still immune after 12 years.

      Also, you need the test to develop a vaccine.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2Csw04BxJ4&feature=youtu.be&t=7553&fbclid=IwAR0PyXngg_qjxdvTmN-T_mXXVvLA1m_el9zAKykGjthSuc2R4NmA-gDE2eA

    168. Robert Graham says:

      o/t
      it seems the English government and media are adverse to mentioning anything good about Scotland , example this Antibody test developed in a joint effort between Edinburgh & Switzerland , Quotient a subsidiary of Roche , Scotland never mentioned just Switzerland I wonder why , as was trials of a Vaccine started weeks ago by a Scottish University but the only mention has been a English University trial ,
      Aye we’re all bloody just moaners and Paranoid with good reason its becoming bloody farcical the pettiness of it .

    169. robertknight says:

      Golfnut @ 7:43

      I do wish people would get it right…

      It’s neither “Scottish Office” nor “Scotland Office”.

      It’s “Scotland’s Broom Cupboard”.

      Head of Janitorial Services being some House Jock called Alister (Union) Jack; often seen wandering aimlessly around the corridors of Westminster with a broomstick up his backside, desperately looking for something to do.

    170. Colin Alexander says:

      I warned people years ago but nobody believed me:

      30/07/2017 Wingsoverscotland Colin Alexander said:

      “… In Scotland, SNP or No SNP, the Scottish criminal justice system is rotten to the core. Run by the a rich powerful clique for the benefit of a rich powerful clique. And the financial Establishment are part of that clique, so are the politicians.

      The Sheridans were not part of that clique. They attacked that clique. They spoke about the two worlds that still exist in Scotland whether it’s Labour or the SNP: The haves and the have nots, so the SCOTTISH Establishment set out to destroy them. Silence them.

      In Iceland they punish their corrupt elite. In Scotland they are protected. It’s only the poor and anti-Establishment people that face jail in Scotland”.

    171. G H Graham says:

      This is a fabulous example of a journalist’s investigative work.

      On the evidence presented here, any reasonable person might allege that the COPFS willfully chose not to prosecute Dani Garavelli among others, because her husband, Graeme Smith was previously a close work buddy of Graham Shields, the very same person who is Head of Strategic Communications & Engagement at the COPFS.

      If the implications of this possible structural corruption were not so profound, I should laugh.

      But here is a supposed establishment pillar of the Scottish legal system, its integrity & honesty beyond question one should be able to casually assume, employing a newspaper hack as its gatekeeper, selectively prosecuting people based upon their political beliefs.

      This should stun & terrify us all. This is one of many behaviours we associate with dictators, theocracies, totalitarian states & banana republics.

      But it’s worse than that because I confidently predict that the mainstream print media & the broadcast TV channels (BBC, ITV) will simply ignore it. You are watching the insidious Union at work & the British media will do what it always does to protect it & maintain the status quo.

      Next time FM Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Justice Humza Yusaf or indeed anyone inside the Scottish Government puffs about their ambition for a secular, left of centre, democracy that puts equality & egality at the very heart of its governance, be sure to read this explosive article back to yourself while reaching for the sick bag.

      It is difficult to express in words here, the depth of disgust I have for my country’s government this morning.

    172. Capella says:

      Also it is almost 100% sensitivity and 99.8% for specificity ie it identifies covid-19 accurately so no problem with false positives.

      People who have the antibodies should be immune and non-infectious can go back in circulation. In theory.

    173. Luigi says:

      Alan Mackintosh says:
      14 May, 2020 at 8:51 am

      This Vit D link also explains the high death rate in the the BAME population. Not enough sun here for us whiteys let alone POC at this time of year.

      Alan, it could well be – the only thing, repeat the only thing linking the many different ethinic groups in BAME is a dark skin colour. The darker the skin the less efficient at producing vit D in poor sunlight at northern latitudes.

      Still tbc, but if it turns out to be Vit D deficiency related, then locking us all indoors during the pandemic was the worst possible advice.

    174. The Isolator says:

      Nicola Sturgeon is now clearly under immense pressure having fallen into the Westminster trap,”slowly, slowly, catchy monkey”.Her veneer during the daily press briefings is slipping,she is being shot by both sides and it’s all falling to pieces ,a bit like parts dropping off the plane.It’s what emerges from the wreckage that really matters now.

    175. Mike d says:

      I’m surprised some mysterious banksy like figure has’nt written the alphabet sisters names on bridges and walls in prominent places all over scotland. That would be a slap in their unionist judicial scottish faces/faeces.

    176. Ron Maclean says:

      Thank you RevStu

      The reasons behind the SNP’s mismatch between its aims and practices seem to be becoming clearer.

      The gravy train might not run quite so smoothly in a newly independent Scotland.

    177. Capella says:

      The indictment sent to Craig Murray was sent on behalf of the Lord Advocate, who is James Wolffe. But the person pursuing it was A Prentice QC, the same who prosecuted Alex Salmond and also IIRC Tommy Sheridan. Lord Bracadale, of the Hate Crime Bill, was involved and also with the Lockerbie trial.

      It’s a small world in the Scottish Establishment.

    178. SOG says:

      @ golfnut – with the Vitamin D news, will the courses now accept players wearing T-shirts?

    179. Graeme says:

      I agree with lothianlad, I get the feeling this a rearguard action by the establishment, their dirty little plot to silence Alex Salmond failed miserably and they know Alex is gonna come after them and they’ve got nothing left, so they’re now trying to silence anyone who supports him, this is desperate stuff

    180. Ron Maclean says:

      I’ve often felt ashamed of being British. Over the years I put my head in the sand when Scottish behaviour was criticised. I’ve voted unthinkingly for the SNP for more years than I care to remember. This morning I’m ashamed of being Scottish. I feel stupid and betrayed.

    181. Capella says:

      Was it not always thus? A brief glance at Tom Johnston’s excellent “History of the Working Class in Scotland” tells us that the “Establishment” has always persecuted, through the courts, anyone who threatens their wealth and power. They have very delicate noses indeed for the smell of sedition.

      Of course, it is difficult to find on Amazon. A search in the site didn’t return it. But a search on Google shows that Amazon do indeed have it. But a copy will cost £41.40. A good investment IMO.

      There’s only one review and it quotes the preamble:

      “The history of a country is the history of the masses of its people, not the history, legendary or otherwise, of a few selected stocks; and if the indictment in the following pages be substantially accurate – if the slaveries, murders, class cruelties, and oppressions be proven, as I submit they are proven – then the greater part of the drum and trumpet history and ruling caste ancestor worship with which our children, generation after generation, are primed would appear to be more than ever ridiculous and irrelevant…”

      You can’t be hung, drawn and quartered or transported to Australia nowadays. But you can be character assassinated through the courts and media.

      https://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Working-Classes-Scotland-Johnston/dp/0854099611

    182. Capella says:

      @ Alan Mackintosh – interesting results on Vit D. Lack of D would also explain the high death rate among older people. The older you are the harder it is to manufacture Vit D through the skin. People in care homes probably don’t get enough sunshine and others who do are advised to lather themselves in sunscreen.

      I’ve been taking D supplements for a long time. Fingers crossed.

    183. Spikethedee says:

      Not surprised by the seeming double standards here.

      Just a small correction – the COPFS is part of the Scottish Government, not the UK one…

    184. Frank Gillougley says:

      Over the past few months I’ve just morphed into father Jack with Tourette’s syndrome, completely unable to express my complete contempt for all those in authority.

    185. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Folks – leave Graham Shields alone. By sticking his head above the ramparts and replying to the Rev, he has surely gone a long way towards earning his MBE or maybe OBE.

      He is simply the messenger, the guy delivering the decision of the anonymous high heid yins inside the COPFS who actually make the big decisions as to who to leave alone and who to go after.

      I mean, he went to Hunter High School, East Kilbride, then to Strathclyde Uni. – hardly the education route taken by The Establishment or even The Hidden Establishment in Edinburgh.

      I don’t see him being admitted to the New Club, far less Muirfield or the R&A, definitely office boy level in this instance.

      The guys who are really after the Rev will not show themselves, they will get patsies like Shields to do their dirty work for them. ‘Twas ever thus.

    186. Golfnut says:

      @ SOG.

      South Ayrshire Council courses already do and have done for several years.

    187. CameronB Brodie says:

      Westminster considers itself impervious to international law, and the English/British psyche tends to think of Brexitania as the center of the world. This cultural narcissism encourages Westminster to believe that it owns Scotland and can disregard Treaty law without severely damaging the fabric of international law.

      By undermining the international rule of law, Brexit can be expected to significantly harm the global poor.

      Covid-19 is a global problem that requires joint up thinking and action on an international level. Something the Tories tend to be bio-neurologically and ideologically incapable of.

      Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in complex humanitarian crises
      https://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-020-01162-y

    188. Marlelc says:

      Alan Mackintosh @ 8:17 am

      This Dr is saying similar re vit D.

      https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2020/04/28/covid-update-focus-on-vitamin-d/

    189. There is an ineluctability to Scottish independence and it seems that Westminster is a poor loser. Salmond was indeed a target (77th Bde? GCHQ?) False rape accusers can of course be named abroad, cyber space has no primary jurisdiction. Hail Caesar!.

    190. CameronB Brodie says:

      Of course, if the SNP wishes to claim they are better than the Tories, then they will need to improve their understand and respect for the rule-of-law.

      The Evolution of Human Rights in the Age of Biotechnology
      http://www.socialstudies.org/sites/default/files/publications/se/6305/630505.html

    191. Dog biscuit says:

      Golfnut and Robbo dangerous fascist lunatics who think nothing of locking up their fellow Scots. You all just a bunch o House niggers.

    192. admiral says:

      https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/14/uk/united-kingdom-divided-approach-coronavirus-intl-gbr/index.html

      An interesting take on things.

      As an aside, even Johnson thinks the stay alert message is confusing! 🙂

    193. Dog biscuit says:

      Capella,people in care homes have generally run out of time.Did no one die in this country until covid19?Youre like village idiots.

    194. Ron Maclean says:

      @CameronB Brodie 11:02am

      ‘This cultural narcissism encourages Westminster to believe that it owns Scotland and can disregard Treaty law without severely damaging the fabric of international law.’

      We’ve joined the club and made it easy for them. Low flying Pete and his cronies will try to make sure it stays that way.

    195. Dog biscuit says:

      You buy spin and propaganda from the same media you despise. Fucking crazy.

    196. Marlelc says:

      I don’t suppose you need me to tell you this, but I worked in the SG and was actually responsible for a communication function amongst many other things. Before a response is given to any journalist it goes through various processes and procedures and if it affects other departments they see the response too. Eventually, the response is sent but it is rarely a response written by the person who sends it.

    197. SilverDarling says:

      @Socrates MacSporran

      I don’t think anyone is going after him as such here. It is interesting though seeing all the connections and how the same people appear to be the ones setting the tone no matter where they work.

      Whoever he is, or was in his previous work life, he is now the messenger for COPFS. The message was dismissive and snippy and came over as a tad patronising too. Is that is how they want to come across?

      Maybe that is his particular talent!

    198. Bob W says:

      I’ve worked out the jigsaw puzzle! Dog’s bollocks is a K****n H***e sock puppet!

    199. robbo says:

      Dog biscuit says:
      14 May, 2020 at 11:18 am
      Golfnut and Robbo dangerous fascist lunatics who think nothing of locking up their fellow Scots. You all just a bunch o House niggers.

      Who let the dug oot? Away ya dafty ,back in yir yoon box.

    200. Breeks says:

      Graeme says:
      14 May, 2020 at 10:29 am
      I agree with lothianlad, I get the feeling this a rearguard action by the establishment, their dirty little plot to silence Alex Salmond failed miserably and they know Alex is gonna come after them and they’ve got nothing left, so they’re now trying to silence anyone who supports him, this is desperate stuff…

      I mostly agree, but I don’t agree that they are on the back heel or on the defensive.

      There isn’t any action pending upon them apart from Alex Salmond’s book, which if it wants to release anything “juicy” might itself have to run the same gauntlet of Contempt Actions in Court which other commentators have been threatened with.

      The people in position to regulate the Establishment’s misconduct in Scotland are of the Establishment, and prospects of ordinary people making any progress to overthrow the Establishment will not achieve that ambition by tackling the problem incrementally.

      Just look at the untouchable arrogance of SNP Wokists openly celebrating their success in orchestrating the closer of Twitter Accounts they disapproved of. Is that the action of people afraid to lose their jobs and privilege? Or the indifferent complacency of subversive elements achieving a measure of success in their disruptive sedition?

      The only things currently imperilled by these developments are those pro Indy activists having their liberty and reputation attacked, and the other thing in great danger is wider public confidence in the whole rotten system.

      As for the Conspirators and orchestrated plot to wreck Scottish Independence, they remain dug in like ticks.

      I feel sorry for those people who still have faith in Nicola Sturgeon sorting this mess out. The mess is largely her own making.

      I do not know whether the UN is truly neutral, or can be bent to the will of the UK Establishment and International Cronyism, but Scotland needs to place it’s ancient Sovereign Constitution in the hands of the International family of Nations, and trust International Justice can be fairer to Scotland’s National Interests than the rotten instruments of Westminster and it’s corrupting influence.

      Scotland is fighting for its life, and we are casually allowing ourselves to be isolated from our friends in Europe. Hell’s teeth, the UK monster even tries to disrupt the supply of PPE equipment coming to Scotland during a pandemic.

      We must see this, recognise our Nation’s existential peril, and confound these evil intentions to subjugate Scotland’s interests by getting the International Community involved, and the UN setting down resolutions that protect Scotland’s sovereign interests from this unchecked colonial usurpation of Scottish resource, liberty and sovereign integrity.

      Sturgeon won’t do it.
      Holyrood won’t do it.
      The SNP Gradualists and softly softly brigade won’t do it.
      A shiny List Party securing List Seats in the colonial assembly of Holyrood won’t do it.
      The Scottish Legal Establishment have had over 300 years to do it, so won’t do it by themselves.

      Joanna Cherry at least has the guts and backbone to stand in open defiance of the UK Establishment, and take those legal interests that are blunted under UK Legislation, but emerge victorious and binding under International European interests. This, in my opinion is the precedent we much follow. We NEED to get Scotland’s Sovereign Constitutional Interests OUT the hands of the rotten UK Establishment, and INTO the hands of the International Community of Nations.

      We need it now. Before the financial hit of Brexit and tsunami of UK deregulation that will present Scotland with a mountain to climb if it wants to maintain EU Convergence criteria.

      It’s not a Referendum next year, it’s not a fresh round of assembly elections for Holyrood, it’s not a restructuring of the SNP, a vote of no confidence, or a civil war between the factions, or impeachment proceedings. We Scots need our whole sorry predicament set out in intimate detail before the International Community, and under their hopefully impartial and rigorous scrutiny.

      THAT is the emergency response which Scotland desperately needs to implement, and implement now! We formally dispute UK Sovereignty, declare the Articles of Union have been breached, and the UK’s unwritten convention on Parliamentary Sovereignty to be both a fraud, and fraud itself undone, by Westminster’s unconstitutional subjugation of it’s constitutional ”equal”.

      The UK Union is dead, and we petition the UN to recognise the separate and distinct sovereign Kingdoms of Scotland and England, no longer bound by the defunct Treaty of Union.

    201. lothianlad says:

      Thanks Graeme, yep it sure does seem that they are now in panic mode as folk like Stu, Craig Murray, Mark Hirst etc… are calling out the establishments lies and hypocrisy.
      This is where the people need to step up and challenge and support those brave folk who speak the truth.

      I’m no organiser, but if 200,000 people can march through Edinburgh for Independence, surely we could somehow organise to expose the corrupt establishment to the wider population.
      that would certainly make the establishment panic!!

    202. lothianlad says:

      I agree with you completely Colin Alexander @ 10.08.
      If Scotland aspires to be a just fair society, post Independence we need to clear out the corrupt establishment.

      Lets not forget, the Scottish judicial, media and political establishment all colluded to … some would say… cover up dunblaine.

      IMHO if you want to be a ‘successful’ politician you have to have dirt on you and be easily bribed. that way the real unseen establishment can own you.

      That’s why Alex, Craig and others are seen as a real threat to their power.

    203. CameronB Brodie says:

      Ron Maclean
      It is clear that a number of prominent members of the SNP, are only involved in politics for what they can gain personally. If that means destroying Scotland’s justice system and democracy, so be it. I not sure if all of them are necessarily evil though, perhaps simply ignorant of their profound ignorance.

      Humans and Other Animals: A Biological and
      Ethical Perspective

      https://animalstudiesrepository.org/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=acwp_sata

    204. CameronB Brodie says:

      SilverDarling
      As Marlelc suggest, this is more likely to be an institutional response, rather than the responsibility and product of one media bod.

    205. lothianlad says:

      Breeks @ 11.31

      There isn’t any action pending upon them apart from Alex Salmond’s book, which if it wants to release anything “juicy” might itself have to run the same gauntlet of Contempt Actions in Court which other commentators have been threatened with.

      That’s true Breeks. However, what liars fear the most, is being exposed!
      Sure they wont, or probably wont face the nightmare that Alex endured, but don’t forget , these are very high profile people who were revered by the independence movement and who love to fly on their status.

      They, and Sturgeon will totally loose their credibility and the public will be allowed to find out the truth, thanks to the actions of Stu, Craig, Mark and Alex. Not forgetting the good folk like yourself on blogs lije this one.

      It might just be the case that Alex, who the establishment fear the most, could be the catalyst that helps bring down the corrupt rotten establishment in Scotland.

      Stranger things have happened…. look how the UK status and existence has declined in the last few decades.

      I honestly believe the truth will come out.

    206. CameronB Brodie says:

      The SNP is currently so out-of-step with moral reason, they are unlikely to be able to find a way to defend Scotland from Brexit. I suppose this is what happens when you expect too much from solicitors who support anti-foundational beliefs.

      The Biology of Ethics: Genetics, Evolution and Moral Behavior
      https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/biology-ethics-genetics-evolution-and-moral-behavior/2000-07

    207. Breeks says:

      Aye, the truth will come out, but somehow that truth needs transformed into something that actually delivers Independence.

      We need the “Game Over” event of actual Independence, actual meaningful change delivered, not just another level cleared and onto the next level…

      The truth coming out should not be the precursor to taking Scotland’s predicament to the UN.

    208. Bill Craig says:

      I think it’s bizarre that they have, in such a serious situation, tried to fob you off with an answer about the COPFS “media position”.

      On the question of political responsibility, I don’t understand the idea that COPFS is a branch of the UK Government. It is a ministerial department of the Scottish Government, and is therefore in the portfolio of Humza Yousaf MSP, as Cabinet Secretary for Justice.

    209. robertknight says:

      I recon that the legal action against prominent individuals is a shot across Salmond’s bows on the part of the Establishment, ensuring he thinks long and hard before publishing anything.

      They’re trying to muzzle him, basically.

    210. Tnuc says:

      @robbo
      I’ve noticed, over the past couple of weeks, remarkable delays and faults loading pages on certain matters Scottish, delays and faults which disappear when I use a VPN, the page you pointed to: blank in normal tab when using Opera on my mobile, fine on the VPN tab.

      As to the point of the article, worked down there for two decades, so am well acquainted with that unsurprising fact therein disclosed. The little amusement I derive from it is that they also think exactly the same about our Unionist cohort, but those tumshies are too thick to see it…

    211. CameronB Brodie says:

      Scotland’s justice system is being attacked by Scotland’s government and judiciary, who are creating a legal environment that is hostile to “universality” and supportive of “totalitarianism”.

      Is there any way we can stop this?

      The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Constitutional Law
      Bioethics and Basic Rights: Persons, Humans, and Boundaries of Life

      https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199578610.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199578610-e-57

    212. lothianlad says:

      Nobody said the truth coming out should be the precursor for Scotland taking its predicament to the UN.

      like you I believe that is a route we should be taking.

      However, the truth about the behaviour of certain high profile MSPs and establishment figures will convince others, hopefully, to see that the current stance of the SNP is no longer acceptable and that UN involvement is the way forward.

    213. Hugh Mckee says:

      Good stuff. A bit broad in scope and complicated though. Too many questions.

      I presume someone reported Craig Murray, alleging contempt of court. So to get a like-for-like case, it is surely best to just report someone else who has done the same or more and see if the outcome is the same.

      Narrow the issue down as specifically as possible I would say. Just my opinion, hopefully Craig’s legal council can advise.

    214. Prasad says:

      I wrote to my MSP Michael Russell.
      Here is my e-mail and his reply in full. I find it astonishing. I asked about legal justice and i got an answer about ‘work together, not cast aspersions on others.’ which was totally irrelevant to the topic i raised.

      Date: 14/05/2020 14:16
      From: Michael [dot] Russell [dot] msp1 [at] parliament [dot] scot
      Subject: Re: Too serious to let slide
      To: “Anand Prasad”

      [no introduction]
      I do not accept that any of this shows “without a doubt” that there is an almighty stink.

      If we want independence we have to work together, not cast aspersions on others and I would give that advice to anyone who asked me.

      I am also not willing to enter into a correspondence about this given the severe crisis we are all trying to address. I am trying to save businesses, communities and indeed lives at present.

      Michael

      ?On 14/05/2020, 10:20, “Anand Prasad” wrote:

      Hello Michael,
      I believe you are still my MSP and i hope you are aware of this article
      https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-appearance-of-justice/
      Whatever you opinion is of this matter in general, and to be honest i don’t think there should be an opinion without an enquiry, it is not possible to avoid some of the questions this article brings up.
      The question by Stuart Campbell about whether he can now publish the pieces he claim are contempt of law is a problem.
      COPFS will not answer whether the newspaper articles he quotes are contempt of law.
      What other conclusion can be drawn other than they aren’t going to pursue charges.
      But if Stuart Campbell now re-published those same articles is he free to do so.
      There appears to be some very serious double standards at play.
      It is a logical conundrum which to me shows without a doubt that there is an almighty stink and the public have a right to know its source.
      We need clarity if this isn’t going to wreck the SNP.

      prasad

    215. Breastplate says:

      Prasad,
      They’re circling the wagons.

    216. Prasad says:

      The exchange continued:

      Subject: Re: Too serious to let slide
      Date: Thu, 14 May 2020 19:38:54 +0100
      From: Anand Prasad
      To: Private – Russell MW (Michael), MSP

      On 14/05/2020 15:49, Private – Russell MW (Michael), MSP wrote:
      >
      > So don’t presume you can lightly accuse me of totalitarianism. Nor of trying to supress free speech.

      > End of

      I didn’t. But you haven’t answered any of my questions just got defensive. It isn’t about you.
      I wrote about the Fiscal treating independence journalists differently to unionists and your answer was
      ‘If we want independence we have to work together, not cast aspersions on others’.

      prasad

      Subject: Re: Too serious to let slide
      Date: Thu, 14 May 2020 14:49:27 +0000
      From: Private – Russell MW (Michael), MSP
      To: Anand Prasad

      I have spent my entire career working for independence. I am a “pro independence activist” and was when many others weren’t.

      Much of that took place when it seemed an impossible task. But I stuck at it and also learnt how to play in a team so we complemented each other.

      Then when elected I have worked tirelessly for my constituents as well as for the cause. I still do.

      So don’t presume you can lightly accuse me of totalitarianism. Nor of trying to supress free speech.

      End of

      From: Anand Prasad
      Date: Thursday, 14 May 2020 at 15:07
      To: “Private – Russell MW (Michael), MSP”
      Subject: Re: Too serious to let slide

      ‘If we want independence we have to work together’

      Agreed. How does shutting down pro-independence journalist fulfil that
      How does the COPFS treating unionists and independent journalists differently achieve that?
      .

      ‘not cast aspersions on others’

      Even if, hypothetically speaking, those people are working against independence? We don’t know, we will have to have an enquiry when this virus is contained. But websites are being shut down and people being charged with Contempt of Court which could result in 2 years imprisonment, right now, i repeat right now, whilst MSM doing exactly the same thing are getting off scot-free. How is that working together?
      Obviously you have decided so we will wait and see what history tells us i am not sure closing down free speech is going to work well for unity.
      Since you have the moral high ground which also closes discussion i bid you farewell.
      I now know where you stand. It would have been nice to hear how the silencing of pro Independence activists is OK but not that of the MSM who also must, by any logic, have been also in Contempt of Court.
      Being critical is not decisive if the criticism is valid. To think otherwise is a step towards totalitarianism.

      Save those lives,
      prasad

      P.S
      You imply there is an enemy within.
      I agree but for me it is the unionists.
      https://wingsoverscotland.com/our-enemies-among-us/

    217. Robert says:

      This is, I agree, a MSP issue. It would be be good if others were to contact their MSPs – mine never answers anything, even easy stuff, so won’t answer difficult ones like this.

      Wouldn’t even need to be a SNP MSP.

    218. Bill Craig says:

      On my first glance at the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill, I note that it makes specific reference to sex and to religion, but not to freedom of expression in politics, i.e.
      11. Protection of freedom of expression: religion
      12. Protection of freedom of expression: sexual orientation.

      I’ll be writing to MSP about that apparently deliberate omission.

    219. So.The Spanner used to work for the Record.
      I know, I’m slow. The brain is wearing out with the rest of me.

      You’ll like this…

      Lots of people discussed today…
      Police State Scotland.. Salmond Team
      @AlexSalmond

      @Jackson_Carlaw

      @Common_Weal

      @wikileaks

      @HC_one

      @documark2

      @CraigMurrayOrg

      @MGoldenMSP

      @PeteWishart

      @DeidreBrock

      https://ayerightradio.wordpress.com/2020/05/15/aye-right-radio-videocast-49-podcast-109/

    220. Joe Mellon says:

      What Craig is really being charged with is not “Contempt of Court”, but – a novum in Scots Law – “Contempt of Prosecution”.
      Alex Prentice brought a ridiculous case to court. It had no ‘legs’ and fell over in court. Deeply embarrassing for the Deputy Advocate General himself and the CSP.
      Rationally not only must his career be over, but the perjurers and those who organized their testimony must be charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. It is incredible that experienced lawyers and policemen would not notice the flaws and inconsistencies in their case: but I think we are dealing with simple arrogance and incompetence and not malfeasance. The DAG alas has decided to double down on his errors.
      This can only go one of two ways:
      – the case is quietly dropped, some technical excuse is given, and Alex Prentice decides to ‘spend more time with his family’ after a decent interval
      – the case goes to court much to the embarrasment of the Scottish justice system and the police, and even worse in the case of a positive judgement for the DAG, it then goes to the Supreme Court and/or the European Court dragging not just Prentice but the entire Scottish legal system through the mire for perhaps years to come.
      I hope the DAG knows where his duty lies.
      And once again – the base issue is: “Contempt of Prosecution” – especially where that prosecution has been clearly decided in court – is not a known offence in Scots Law.Indeed it is Prentice who is displaying “Contempt of Court”.

    221. Mike d says:

      I’m surprised no one’s printed their names on a bunch of flyers/stickers and leave them lying about in public places.that would have steam coming out their ears.



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