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Wings Over Scotland


The dodgy dozen

Posted on September 21, 2020 by

Following up this morning’s article, we’ve been trawling through the Publications/FOI section of the Scottish Government website to see which other articles might be being hidden from its search function. We found quite a few, and you’re never going to guess what the common factor in all of them is.

We’ve given you a wee clue with that picture, though.

We’ve located 14 FOI responses so far on the site that are mysteriously completely invisible to the search function if you search for their text. Out of that 14, the number which are related to the Salmond inquiry is… 14.

In each case we tracked down a response (by a variety of methods), and then went back and searched for what we thought would be a relatively distinctive piece of text from its first couple of paragraphs. In every case there were either no results returned at all, or the page we’d just read was not one of the results we were given.

In addition to the two examples in the earlier piece (both involving Geoff Aberdein), we’ve found these 12 new ones. In each case click on the first image for the response and the second image for the search result.

It’s not about the search syntax, because we searched both single words and phrases, with and without quotemarks, with and without specifying FOI releases, case-sensitive and non-sensitive. It made no difference.

And it’s an issue that ONLY seems to affect documents related to the Salmond inquiry. We tested a bunch of others at random, and in every case the distinctive word or phrase we searched for immediately and quite properly brought up the document we’d taken it from, as in the examples below.

These results – a 100% search failure rate for Salmond-related documents and a 0% rate for any other kind – are light-years past any coincidence. They clearly represent a deliberate attempt to bury documents relating to the Salmond inquiry amongst five and a half thousand FOI responses and almost 17,000 documents in total, in order to as far as possible prevent people from reading them while still having technically fulfilled the legal obligation to publish them.

(Though we’re not entirely sure why they’d go to so much trouble, as nearly all of the responses refuse to actually answer any of the questions anyway.)

We’ve sent in another FOI request asking for an explanation. We do hope that when it’s answered we’ll be able to find it.

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    1. 21 09 20 22:55

      The dodgy dozen – News of the world

    130 to “The dodgy dozen”

    1. v1cr says:

      Sterling work, Stu. You seem to have caught them bang to rights.

    2. John Jones says:

      Answer to all your foi,
      Why don’t you just Foff cos yer no gettin felt.
      Yours faithfully somebody.

    3. Tannadice Boy says:

      Well done Stu an another wee push. The edifice is coming down. Keep going. Brilliant!

    4. Cuilean says:

      wow. just wow.

      This level of select concealment, I can only compare to the RUC, the UDR (a regiment of the British Army) and Mi5’s ‘Dirty War’in N Ireland, with the level of impunity on display.

      Certain people in Scotland think the law does not apply to them. And reality appears to be bearing that out.

      We live in dangerous times.

    5. James says:

      Should everyone who reads and supports this website not join the SNP immediately and effect change from within? Otherwise nothing will change other than maybe a yoon party gaining seats?

    6. maureen says:

      I know they wiped Alex Salmond from snp history but this is getting ridiculous…

    7. Tannadice Boy says:

      @Cuilean
      I served in Northern Ireland in the seventies. I do not recognise your narrative. This situation is much more simpler. It’s about people in power abusing their power. No comparison between between the two IMHO. And it is mischievous to suggest so.

    8. Astonished says:

      This cannot continue.

      I am raging.
      What can we do ?

      I think a start would be a list of all the woke candidates. Especially those that have no opponents.

    9. Kenny says:

      But you must be wrong Stu! Nicola Sturgeon said that she was going to be “the most transparent first minister ever”…

      [I still don’t get why people are still asking when “Nicola” will call an indyref. It is up to the people not some person in an executive position. Incidentally, the position of “first minister” needs to be sorted out. If the FM cannot be removed by the people, then it is against the Declaration of Arbroath… wonder if that is why we never got to celebrate 1320?]

      Keep up the good work, Stu, well done.

    10. robertknight says:

      Is this the same sort of sh1t we could expect from an SNP Govt. in an Indy Scotland?

      What next?

      Try to get rid of the Dear Leader(s) and we end up like Belorussia?

      It seems apparent from recent events that the judiciary (COPFS and Police Scotland) are in somebody’s pocket, so take to the streets and guess what’ll happen.

      Lord wake me up I must be dreamin’!

    11. AndSpouse says:

      Hey Stu, so you are a wee bit of a fertiliser agitator, but we love you for it?
      Are you aware of a blogger doing similar with Westminster? Or is that a little more dangerous?

    12. Athanasius says:

      Burying the relevant document in a mountain of paperwork is a very old legal trick. This is just the high tech variant.

    13. Beaker says:

      Two possibilities:

      1. Documents have been removed from the server. Very naughty as it removes an audit trail, although I’m not sure if there is a legal requirement to post FOI requests online.

      2. Documents are there but have either had their attributes changed so only an admin or authorised people can access them, or they are located in a restricted folder.

      One other thing – emergency legislation was applied to the FOI (Scotland) due to COVID. There’s a lot to take in but the legal eagles here could confirm if this is the issue. They are due to expire at the end of this month but obviously may be extended.

    14. Tannadice Boy says:

      @robertknight
      Dreaming?. Surely a nightmare?. But I am optimistic things are changing. Realisation is a great force for good thanks to the posters on this site. And to those that wonder why I served in the British Army in the seventies and support Indy. You never grew up in an 1970s housing scheme in Dundee. I was safer in Belfast!

    15. Confused says:

      Google used to sell a 1U rack server with their search engine on it to corporate clients.

      – you plugged it into the corporate intranet and it indexed everything, using the famed Google algorithms.

      They also did a desktop search engine to index your hard drives; no one seems interested in these technologies, wonder why? – copernic might still be in the game.

      Cross-cut shredders remain popular.

      The scottish records archive better have fire insurance.

    16. Breeks says:


      Kenny says:
      21 September, 2020 at 6:33 pm
      But you must be wrong Stu! Nicola Sturgeon said that she was going to be “the most transparent first minister ever”…

      In fairness, I can see right through her…. 😉

    17. Beaker says:

      @Tannadice Boy says:
      21 September, 2020 at 7:03 pm
      “You never grew up in an 1970s housing scheme in Dundee. I was safer in Belfast!”

      That explains why when driving to Aberdeen the A90 gets you through as quick as possible 🙂

    18. Josef Ó Luain says:

      Background information on the SNP’s c.e.o. shouldn’t be difficult-to-impossible to find, but it is. I genuinely want to know about the man: when he was appointed and by whom, for example.

    19. Cuphook says:

      If these files are innocent perhaps the idea is to hide another one that isn’t. I hope your FOI requested all files made inaccessible by this ‘glitch’.

      The SNP have a lot of competent members: It’s time to reclaim your party member by member and branch by branch. Pester your officials, your elected representatives, and challenge any shite from the usual suspects.

      You are not alone. Raise your voice.

      Let us have integrity and independence.

    20. John Moss says:

      Somebody disnae want their chuckies botted I think. That’s why the evidence is disappearing.

    21. Sharny Dubs says:

      Hell mend them.

      Many thanks Stu, cracking job as usual.

      What can we do? We must combat this.

    22. Tannadice Boy says:

      @Beaker
      I am saying nothing because Stu is in a life time ban mode. Don’t mention Aberdeen I did once, I think I got away with it. It’s true a lot of the guys I knew ended up in prison or worse. I wouldn’t join the local gang so was targeted. A wee incident in Anderstown paled into comparison. What do you do when you are 18?. The old Scotland seemed a less dangerous place.

    23. Breeks says:

      https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2020/09/21/facing-the-truth-2/

      Decent summation of events… Apologies if it’s already been posted.

      My only quibble, or not really a quibble is the chronology. If Mark MacDonald’s seat becoming available was the spark to all this, I’m curious of the extent to which the contrived accusations against Salmond pre-date this.

      I’m not word perfect on the actual words, but wasn’t there a WhatsApp comment at the trial of evidence being kept on file for future use to use against Alex Salmond’s future vetting? To me this seems clear evidence of premeditation of the subsequent conspiracy, rather than a spontaneous reaction to the possibility of Alex Salmond re-entering politics. But I say that while I put my hands up and freely admit I remain unclear about the detailed chronology of events.

      Nevertheless, I understand the complaints relate to accusations from Alex Salmond’s time in office, and even though fabricated, the existence of accusations still features in the chronology. The Mark MacDonald incident was surely much later than this, and the conspiracy to smear Alex Salmond was already up and running.

    24. Intractable Potsherd says:

      How many people would need to be involved to pull off this “mislaying” of data? Who has the power to order it done, who has the power to actually execute the order, from the manager down to the techie that alters the documents’ attributes (or whatever has been done here?) Getting some idea of this list would be… enlightening.

    25. mike cassidy says:

      Those rightwingers who think the BBC is far too leftwing

      (I know)

      are salivating over the prospect of

      Old Etonian, pro-hunting, rightwing journalisting, climate-denying, licence-fee abolishing Charles Moore

      being appointed BBC Chairman

      They’re imagining a serious shakeup from a man with the correct priorities

      If it happens

      I suspect it will be a classic “Except for viewers in Scotland” experience

      https://archive.is/G4ok8

    26. Balaaargh says:

      I would love to get my hands on the Scot Gov eDiscovery platform. Failing that, storming the data centre with a trolley of disk imagers and a stack of blank disks.

    27. Beaker says:

      @Tannadice Boy says:
      21 September, 2020 at 7:32 pm
      “I am saying nothing because Stu is in a life time ban mode. Don’t mention Aberdeen”

      I was born in Aberdeen so I share the pain…

    28. CraigH says:

      How very sad it has come to this. I expect so much better from the SG. Wings never sleeps.

    29. Lukas Scholts says:

      Andspouse: “ Are you aware of a blogger doing similar with Westminster? Or is that a little more dangerous?”

      This involves Westminster and the whole establishment. The silence of opposition parties and the press on this implicates all of them, the whole establishment, and suggests they’re in cahoots.

      Note that this is a Scottish government website that the Rev. is scrutinising, as in supposed to be neutral, honest, impartial, and beyond the manipulation of individual parties or politicians.

    30. Justin Fayre says:

      https://www.scottishlegal.com/article/women-who-accused-former-chief-constable-of-bullying-given-1m

      Surely I’m not alone in believing that this was only settled out of court to use as precedent in enabling similar actions to be taken against Alex Salmond in the future.

    31. Janelochleven says:

      Great work Stu. Your analysis and forensic attention to detail is truly opening a can of worms. This has to be done it cannot be ignored. It is a great pity that there are so few journalists with your integrity. Keep going.

    32. Robert Graham says:

      aye as someone else said yer no fn getting any information so fk off stu

      FOS in short

      Christ these people dont half generate a right load of pish it seems to take ten words when one will do , a simple phone call must last for bloody ever , a whole new language appears to have been invented to discourage any sane person and wear them down

      All this ending up with the FOS answer , dont you just want to grab these fkrs by the nuts and shake the truth out of their twisted bloody heads , by the way nuts is probably the correct term with this GRA pish going around who knows now its a bloody mine field , and dont forget the hated hate crime piss that will catch you if the GRA misses you

    33. Tannadice Boy says:

      @Beaker
      Ah for the good old days. The new firm. Heggie and Narey at the back. Versus Miller and McLeish at the back. No contest Heggie and Narey! That was when the rest of Scotland mattered. Now SNP constituencies only. Still I am optimistic.

    34. Mist001 says:

      I suspect the hand of someone else in this. I simply don’t believe the SNP are competent enough to do this by themselves. Someone has shown them, or is showing them how to hide these documents.

      Seriously. Ask yourselves the question, who do you think is clever enough and smart enough within the SNP to even have thought of this, let alone competent enough to put it into practice?

      I can think of no one.

    35. Robert Graham says:

      Justin Fayre @ 8:13

      Agreed its like bleedn Whack a Mole it seems some folk have a full time job , maybe even a full Department who knows because a FOI will result in a FOS answer ,

      Makes you feel safe and warm in yer bed all these people beavering away day in day out on our behalf

      Jesus what a bloody cesspit is there no end to it and we mugs are paying for this pish , its only because these arswipes operate in the dark this crap happens it must have taken years to build this labyrinth of bloody crap

    36. TJenny says:

      Stu – you really are the best, and spoiling us with all these artices FOR FREE. Methinks we need another crowdfunder for you. Good quality journalists can’t live on air, they need sweeties too. 😉 (Although maybe that’s why the MSM lot are so rubbish, it’s the mortgage stupid)

    37. Sweep says:

      @Athanasius 7.02 pm

      “Burying the relevant document in a mountain of paperwork is a very old legal trick. This is just the high tech variant.”

      Absolutely spot on. To lighten the mood a bit, here’s another example of ‘hiding in plain sight’

      I recall an episode of ‘Hot Metal’ (a forerunner of ‘Drop the Dead Donkey’) when the tabloid went after a vicar, printing ever more lurid stories about him, culminating in a front page splash that he was a werewolf. This caused public outrage and the paper was ordered to print a retraction however, when the next edition rolled off the press, no-one in the press room could locate it. Finally one eagle eyed hack spotted it… in the Cryptic Crossword. “2 Down: He isn’t one.”

    38. Heaver says:

      “NO! I am Wings Over Scotland !”

      Rev Stu, I don’t really know how to properly archive things. Even screenies onfuse me. But I know Scotland should be a small, unremarkble nation, high up in the scales of health/wealth/happiness by virtue kof the benificence of our beautiful planet, our calm sun. All places on this Earth are paradise with proper governance.

      We are not the nation we should be. The shame of it.

      Archive the cheaters folks: When they are squashed into the dirt life is enriched.

    39. Mac says:

      Everything about this current SNP regime screams ‘Abuse of Power’. This being just the latest example.

      They had BREXIT handed to them and they put it to one side and instead completely out of their own plotting created the Alex Salmond accusations and stich up.

      That is what the SNP chose to do instead of exploiting the huge opportunity of BREXIT. Instead of that they decided to fit up the icon if the 2014 event as a rapist. On bullshit charges they knew were bullshit. They are either pyschos or rats or both. It does not really matter. It needs to be sorted out before we can go forward.

      Why are we even talking about this anymore. It is obvious.

    40. Robert Graham says:

      MistOOI

      yep I dont think this anyone in the SNP having listened and seen most MSPs and MPs they dont strike me as having the knowledge or the brains for the long term Machiavellian tendency this one covers this is deep stuff ,Civil Service well who knows what that lot are involved in after all MI5 and MI6 are Civil Servants and beyond most if not all of the run of the mill SNP bods .

      well spotted by the way .MistOOI

      Most folk just want their bins emptied ,streets cleaned ,water running ok councils handle most of that stuff , this whole different level Government of intrigue and deception is beyond most folks perception its like a whole different world and they haven’t been invited to see or even take part in , its like a sickness .

    41. Andy says:

      Some explaining needing done over why those releases aren’t showing up when the content is searched for. However, I’m not totally convinced it’s just about the Salmond case. I tried searching for phrases taken from recent FOI releases on forestry, appointment of chief dental officer and others. No results for those phrases. Searching for a word from the title always seemed to work though.

    42. susanXX says:

      I want an uncomplicated country that is well run as Robert Graham says: not one that wants to be the wokest of the woke, making a splash in the world and interfering with others.

    43. kapelmeister says:

      Sturgeon and her crew think they are above us and can withold any info they choose. We are just the FOI poloi.

    44. Stu ,being a bit melodramatic,

      but just for a matter of record,

      how is your health, physical and mental.

    45. Tannadice Boy says:

      @Scot Finlayson

      I can’t let that comment go. Ok let’s talk about mental health? The worst it’s ever been in my experience in Scotland. And that’s more experience than you. A fire and forget comment from you. You are doing more damage than anybody. A Sturgeon acolyte no doubt. I would rather speak to your children or grandchildren to confirm. But I know with you don’t have any or else you wouldn’t have made that comment.

    46. Garavelli Princip says:

      I think this is a matter of which the Scottish Information Commissioner needs to be made aware.

      He will be able to act firmly and immediately and give the Scottish Government a toothless bite with his toothless gums and a very big finger wag for the naughty civil service persons responsible for this contempt of the Scottish public.

    47. robertknight says:

      @Scot Finlayson

      Four is three, three is two, two is one, and we’re back in the room….

    48. Garavelli Princip says:

      Mist001 says:
      21 September, 2020 at 8:26 pm
      “I suspect the hand of someone else in this. I simply don’t believe the SNP are competent enough to do this by themselves.”

      This is clearly being orchestrated by the ‘Scottish” civil service – and is being directed at the highest (Westminster/Whitehall) levels – as was the conspiracy to jail the most dangerous man in Scotland (from the BritNat civil service/security services point of view). It is all part of the ongoing campaign to prevent independence (do not imagine that this has not begun and is ramping up). Clearly the spooks are involved too.

      What is truly disturbing is the involvement in this of the SNP at the very highest institutional and political levels.

      It has to be concluded that the SNP has been penetrated right to the very top of the party. It may be necessary for true pursuers of independence either to red oot the whole stinking band – or if that is not possible, to disband and start a new party dedicated to the vital end of Scottish freedom from this stinking union.

    49. CameronB Brodie says:

      That’s certainly alarming.

      Legal Theory, 19 (2013), 1-43.
      COHERENCE, EVIDENCE, AND LEGAL PROOF

      https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/06cb/2c933f9ef8b0a8382d237112430378d971df.pdf

    50. Oneliner says:

      Excellent work.

      Forgive my daftboayness, but is it possible to apply the same procedure in England to find out more on the ‘Westminster’ ‘complaints’ against AS?

    51. Mist001 says:

      In politics usually, the way to blackmail or ‘bring people into line’ is with allegations of a sexual nature. This is what happened with Alex Salmond.

      I’ve stated my belief on here many times that the Murrell marriage is simply one of convenience, a public deception and their private lives are very different from the one they display in public.

      I’ve also stated my belief on here many times that Scottish politics is run by a ‘gay mafia’. The previous leaders of the opposition parties made no secret of their sexual orientation but that’s by the by and now we see the rise of the ‘woke’ brigade.

      I’m beginning to formulate a new personal opinion, in that Peter Murrell makes the bullets and gets Mrs. Murrell to fire them. I further postulate to myself that Mr. Murrell is subject to blackmail of a sexual nature.

      I did a search on Peter Murrell earlier and got his brief Wiki page. I was honestly shocked at how insidious the higher echelons of the SNP are. It is truly shocking, at least to me.

      I’m aware of the fate that befell the journalist Danny Casolaro, so I’m not going any further with this but if I was The Rev, I’d be taking my self preservation seriously. He’s dancing with the big boys now.

    52. CameronB Brodie says:

      I hope this will be a mahoosive grass-roots effort to get our law officers telt, and stop Scotland being subjugated through constitutional pseudo-science and legal sharp practice. We do have ESC, biological, and environmental rights, even if our Establishment wish to deny us our legal due.

      Proof on the balance of probabilities: what this means in practice

      An article on the burden of proof in civil litigation, which refers to judicial decision-making.
      https://uk.practicallaw.thomsonreuters.com/2-500-6576?transitionType=Default&contextData=(sc.Default)&firstPage=true

    53. Asklair says:

      Will be very interesting if WoS does another fundraiser, never had and never will pay for the BBC TV propaganda tax, dipped into my pocket many times for WoS, don’t need to like the guy but I do recognise value for money and respect the digging for truth, cheers. Dig for Victory.

    54. CameronB Brodie says:

      sorry….I hope there will be….

      Law of Negligence Review
      7. Foreseeability, Standard of Care, Causation
      and Remoteness of Damage

      https://treasury.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-03/R2002-001_Foreseeability.pdf

    55. Alf Baird says:

      Let’s not ignore the fact that the ‘devolved’ Scot Gov is still more or less a spending department of the UK Gov and run by the same civil service. The FM’s 12 person cabinet may think they run Scotland but they dinnae really. Scotland’s £30bn+ a year institutions are run by a 10,000+ strong Anglophone unionist elite in true colonial style.

    56. Tannadice Boy says:

      Mist001
      What you are really saying is that devolution has failed. I get proportionality and if you look at the NHS figures on LGBT we are over represented in this Parliament. But I am optimistic the Scottish people will get it right. This particular regime will change.

    57. MaggieC says:

      Breeks @ 7.33 pm

      Remember that Rev Stuart did this post re Mark McDonald and the time line . been ages trying to find it in the archives because I started reading a lot of the previous posts again .

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-trail-of-breadcrumbs

      Also interesting comments on Mark Hirst’s twitter today re Iain Lawsons blog post ,

      https://twitter.com/Documark/status/1308076624584335363?s=20

    58. Duncan Macniven says:

      Is it not the case that Nicola has recused herself from these proceeding?
      That being so, these FOIs must be dealt with by the CIVIL SERVANT BRIGADE in St Andrews House.
      That brigade are simply an arm of the Westminster cabal, installed to report back to London.
      The poo has not yet arrived at the fan. That event is imminent as Eck waits for his chance. Then it begins.

    59. MaggieC says:

      Duncan Macniven @ 11.11 pm

      Nicola recused herself from the Alex’s trial as she was dealing with the covid crisis at the time , This was the letter written to her by the Harassment and Complaints committee in July asking for written evidence from her . No reply from Nicola published yet .

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/20200707LettertoNicolaSturgeonWrittenEvidence.pdf

    60. Mist001 says:

      Not to take anything away from the gravity of this discussion but on a lighter note, does Alex Salmond only own one tie?

      I was Googling Liz Lloyd earlier and went to images. The page includes numerous pictures of Alex Salmond at multiple events in different places and at differend times, but he’s always wearing the same tie!

      Have a look:

      https://www.google.com/search?q=liz+lloyd+SNP&client=opera&hs=eQq&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiL1IOTifvrAhUjyYUKHQ3RD2cQ_AUoAnoECBYQBA&biw=1880&bih=980

    61. Daisy Walker says:

      To what degree is this being done to spike Craig Murray’s defence at his trial. Especially while he is doing essential work with the Julian Assange trial in London at this time.

      ie – his defence is the articles written by MSM journalist + google search check (including FOI results then published) easily lead to jigsaw ID of alphabet conspirators.

      Remove the FOI results on which other MSM articles were written and you remove their evidential foundations. And if they are doing this, they are probably removing quite a lot of the MSM articles also.

      And as a circular type of argument – if jigsaw ID could be made from the MSM articles, based on the info in FOI results, they would argue removing the FOI results is justified.

      WOS articles on the subject now become ‘hearsay’ evidence and the publishing of such – now begin to stray into territory which could quickly become legally ‘tricky’ – which is not to say the same thing as legally sound.

    62. MaggieC says:

      Misti001 @ 11.23 pm

      The tie Alex Salmond wears is the blue one and it’s Saltires on his tie and he has many of the same ties .
      This article is from November 2014 when he auctioned off the gifts for charity that he’d received when First Minister ,

      https://archive.vn/mTWo5

    63. CameronB Brodie says:

      I can understand why some might not want this stuff investigated, but if that’s your take on things, we might as well give up on any hope of ever enjoying the benefits of democracy.

      PREPONDERANCE, PROBABILITY AND
      WARRANTED FACTFINDING

      http://scholarlycommons.law.hofstra.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1549&context=faculty_scholarship

    64. James Barr Gardner says:

      maureen says:
      21 September, 2020 at 6:17 pm
      I know they wiped Alex Salmond from snp history but this is getting ridiculous…

      They wiped Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham (24 May 1852 – 20 March 1936) was a Scottish … president, of the Scottish Labour Party; a founder of the National Party of Scotland in 1928; and the first president of the Scottish National Party in 1934, as well !

      Stand outside the next SNP Conference with a picture of Don Roberto and wait until some says The Founder ! You’ll be there all day, strange ?

    65. GeeH says:

      Surely there’s an opposition MSP willing to ask a question in parliament regarding this? Aren’t they What about Labour’s Neil Findlay? Hasn’t he campaigned about the Scottish Government’s record on FOIs?

    66. TJenny says:

      Could an FOI requesting the SNP give the electorate assurance that NONE of the alphabet women will be standing for HE. It would be an abomination if any of them were allowed to, and God forbid, be successful. There are a those who know who they are but are not allowed to say, however, I wonder how widespread that knowledge is in the wider electorate.

      Maybe we should ask Angus Brendan McN to use parliamentary privilege and just shout out their names in Westminster, every so often.

    67. Beaker says:

      There are a few Internet commentators with red faces at the moment. Apparently Boris hadn’t buggered off to Italy but was in fact at his son’s christening.

      That’s what happens when you make assumptions.

    68. A Person says:

      -Tannadice Boy-

      I do wish I could share your optimism. Many people hear Oor Nicola say “we have to be serious about this virus” and swoon. You can actually fool virtually all of the people virtually all of the time. Look at how long Scotland voted for Labour grifters.

      -Beaker-

      But was he with Ms. Symonds?

    69. Ray Vison says:

      Why has Nicola gone so far in the case against him? Do you think she was set up, persuaded or paid? Or just following her own personal misplaced power models. Has Salmond ever expressed any anti-Nato or anti-Israel opinions? Why would she conspire with quite a big group, to get an innocent person put in jail? All a bit worrying for the SNP but good for the government to see Nationalists fighting each other.

    70. leither says:

      pretty thin gruel…..

    71. Willie says:

      Good investigatory stuff Stu.

      The more you dig the more you realise how deep, how premeditated the decision to destroy Alex Salmond was.

      In an earlier BTL comment Breeks recalls reports of texts from one of the alphabet women saying words to the effect that they would hold allegations for use should Sakmond attempt a comeback.

      Clearly, that may have been part of the early gestation of the plan against Salmond. But Salmond was a marked man after 2014. There is no way the establishment could allow this man to return and they would at that time have had their outline plans, even then, indeed maybe even before.

      As for Murrell and the coterie they are just ("Quizmaster" - Ed) scum.

    72. Willie says:

      And yes, in relation to Murrell it is a very real possibility that the Mi5 or Mi6 have something on him or his wife.

      A like of small boys, gay relationships away from Nicola, or Nicola herself. Blackmail is the security services stock in trade. That and supporting counter gangs, counter groups and placing placement and women in these groups.

      A SNP emasculated at the top going nowhere – job done

    73. Random Onlooker says:

      ”Mist001 says:
      21 September, 2020 at 10:47 pm

      I’ve stated my belief on here many times that the Murrell marriage is simply one of convenience, a public deception and their private lives are very different from the one they display in public.’

      I agree 100% with every single word you wrote in that post. It’s the only logical explanation for the rise of the sexual minority obsession in this country over the last few years, having it rubbed in our faces at every turn. Hearing the same rumours from different people in very different walks of life, from political bloggers to taxi drivers, with very specific details, and the evidence of our own eyes online…does not bode well for the future of the SNP and, by extension, this country. Sturgeon and Murrell need to go. NOW.

    74. Achnababan says:

      If anyone has watched ‘Occupied’ on Netflix you will have learned that politicians main instruments of influence are actually blackmail or bribery.

      Fancy words and noble pronouncements are merely to keep the hoi polloi in the dark.

      As the Scot Gov has demonstrated I guess fact can be just as scary as fiction

    75. Achnababan says:

      Murrell’s protector on the NEC, Hannah Bardell is a graduate of Stirling University … who would have guessed?

    76. Rm says:

      All the Independence hubs have to join together for the list vote, once we end the union then everyone and every group can keep working together for Scotland’s future, we need real people in charge get rid of the career politicians their only interested in what they achieve and make for themselves. And if the SNP don’t get going the way people want we’ll have another group to lead the way.

    77. Ian Brotherhood says:

      The harassment committee meets today but it’s a private session.

      Ach well…

      🙁

    78. Tackety Beets says:

      No longer on here reading every BTL post.
      You still have my support Rev.

      I have not noticed any mention of NS “relationship” with a French Ambassador?
      Is it tittle tattle or a possibility?

    79. Mist001 says:

      The two things you don’t find on Wikileaks are leaks about UFOs and leaks from the SNP which in the second case, I’ve always found a bit strange because these people must have a social life of some kind, they can’t just sit in ra hoose all the time, they have to let off steam somehow.

      So, there are never any reports about them being out, never any Paparazzi photos of Mrs. Murrell painting the town red for example, there doesn’t appear to be any gossipy tales about any of them but they must be mixing somewhere.

      This has always been a puzzle for me, why is there nothing in the public domain about them or their social lives? Scotland’s a small country, they can’t hide, so where are they?

    80. kapelmeister says:

      Achnabachan @7:16 am

      I remember Bardell being on Question Time, it would be I think 2016. Dimbleby and the rest of the panel were all having a go at Salmond for appointing Trump to GlobalScot. Instead of correcting them and telling them that it was Jack McConnell who appointed Trump to that role, Bardell just sat there saying nothing.

    81. Grey Gull says:

      IanB @7:58
      Thanks for the info. Was wondering if there was a session today.

    82. Ottomanboi says:

      And on the theme of dodgy, kicking the Covid can down the road and the virus that just loves lockdown.
      https://spectator.org/covid-19-media-fear-mongering/
      The song without end…’Stay Safe’.

    83. @Tannadice Boy,

      WTF are you talking about,

      if something nefarious should happen to Stu ,God forbid,it would be good to have `as a matter of record` in his own words that he is physically and mentally strong,

      he is pushing some big buttons that have a sign saying `warning don`t push`,

      am i being paranoid ?

    84. Breastplate says:

      Leither,

      There seems to be a constant leakage of “pretty thin gruel”. When do you say enough is enough?
      Is there a limit for you?

    85. Willie says:

      You are absolutely right Achnababan when you refer to blackmail and bribery.

      And blackmail does not even need to be based upon fact. Set up a story about a like for small boys, or fun away from home. It’s all in the playbook of the spooks.

      Or what of the honey trap. That’s in the playbook too.

      A Vichy Government in Scotland. Devolution was only a means to keep control until Alex Salmond came along and now the gloves are off.

    86. Angie Mac says:

      These WhatsApp messages show that Murrell was content to throw Salmond to not only Police Scotland but also the Met which in essence, is the Britsh police. As an SNP member myself, I am alarmed the Party would throw a former First Minister and committed Yesser under a bus in this way. Clearly the precious union is working for the Murrells. They wanted pressure applied from police working on both sides of the border. Sinister.

    87. Mike d says:

      Alf baird 10.57pm. Absolutely, the SG are a vichy puppet government run by british civil servants ie,colonial administrators.

    88. kapelmeister says:

      Starmer doing his set piece speech on telly. He does come over as a real cold fish.

    89. Achnababan says:

      Alf Baird 10.57pm has nailed it….that is the heart of the matter! I have always been perplexed why Scottish Institutions have not changed since the SP was set up….. but Alf’s comment really hits home. The Scottish Government is simply a spending department of the Mother Parliament in England….. is Sturgeon oor ain Marshall Petain

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippe_P%C3%A9tain

    90. Ottomanboi says:

      On this, if nothing else, I agree 100% with Oliver.
      https://www.thenational.scot/news/18735618.neil-oliver-pens-bizarre-anti-mask-article-saying-is-like-communism/
      Authoritarianism advances on the shoulders of fear induced conformity and compliance.
      https://thewallwillfall.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/policestateuk.jpg
      Sturgeonists are out and proud, ready and prepared for action.

    91. Robert Graham says:

      o/t
      Anyone who listens to LBC London radio station
      Will have noticed in the last few weeks a distinct anti SNP tendency firstly Ruthless gets a Sunday night spot , she represents a party that Scots haven’t voted in a numbers for since 1959 and and has the support of less than one fifth of the voting public, so who is she speaking to ? , it certainly isn’t Scots .
      This morning on Nick Ferraris show that’s 3 calls now questioning the Scottish governments handling of the current pandemic , a coincidence I don’t fn think so , LBC is being targeted just as it was when Corbyn was being in the run up to the last election , every day for weeks LBC was a magnet for what looked like every Jew in the London and south east area , as usual with this Tory party they have a tendency to over egg it subtly is not their way , Just a little warning if you tune in

    92. Breeks says:

      leither says:
      22 September, 2020 at 2:08 am
      pretty thin gruel…..

      Perhaps, but when it’s uncommonly difficult to locate documentation you know is there to be found, then aren’t you concerned about what other information is being similarly suppressed?

      Why is this particular information apparently losing it’s traceability?

      Perhaps the meat for the gruel is hidden in it’s detail, and it’s no accident but a policy of deliberate suppression which prevents search mechanisms finding it.

      Furthermore, the Salmond Inquiry has condemned the Scottish Government for reluctance to provide information that has been requested, and even the documents provided are peppered with redacted comments. Wouldn’t you agree this Conduct and attitude is symptomatic of a Government which knows it has something to hide?

    93. Robert Graham says:

      o/t again

      Noticed a few comments about Alf Baird posting

      Is that the Alf who used to post regularly on many sites , his background I believe was Ports and the state of in Scotland , if it is welcome back I learned some interesting stuff about the ownership and capacity of our ability to export through our east and west coast ports .

    94. Frank Waring says:

      I can think of a reason why this might have been done: some of the FOI requests make what is presumably pointed reference to particular individuals. I’m not privy to gossip swirling around the Holyrood bars and tearooms — so if I wanted to know just who was named in the rumours and gossip, I might try collecting together all the relevant FOI requests, and seeing who is named in them. So some senior ‘insider’ might well think it was worth disabling this particular search capacity. If I’ve thought of this technique of mining for information, it’s probably covered in the first five minutes of Day 1, Lecture 1 for new inductees to MI5.
      As for how it was done — probably not hard:- the ‘indexing’ algorithm must have a list of terms that are too non-specific to be of any practical value for searches, and it would be elementarily stupid to hard-wire this list into the program. So just add ‘Salmond’ to this list. The ‘index’ is probably not a static object, nowadays…….

    95. Big Jock says:

      I think what is going to happen regarding Covid-19. Is that the SG will tinker with closing pubs, stopping household mixing and travel of more than 30 miles. This will not work and the numbers will continue to grow.

      So we are essentially delaying the inevitable full lockdown in November. The Lockdown will be followed by Sturgeon saying the indi ref 2 legislation will have to be delayed again.

      Mark my words, we have been here before.

    96. Polly says:

      Good article. Of course after the inquiry chair Linda Fabiani, while reminding members about having to be careful not to disclose information in their questions, went on to say that even the governments own FOI replies hadn’t been careful enough – or words to that effect – then presumably the Scottish Government decided safest thing was to make the search harder since FOI was already out there and couldn’t be taken down completely? I can’t find at the moment the day of the inquiry where I remember hearing her say it. No doubt though they’d start to worry they might be in the dock after Craig Murray and Mark Hirst.

    97. Bob Mack says:

      Pretty thin gruel ?

      Alex nearly in jail for life . Murrell posts stating they were going to attack him on several fronts. Joanna Cherry a highly effective MP facing deseldction. The machinations of the NEC. Hate Crime Bill .

      Redacted and refused evidence to the Salmond Inquiry.
      This gruel is so thick you will soon need a knife rather than a spoon.

    98. Lukas Scholts says:

      Robert Graham, a lot of people think Sturgeon has handled the Coronavirus crisis as badly as Boris has. I’m one of them.

      If there’s any unfairness in that assessment, it’s because Sturgeon’s strategy has been no different. Worth bearing in mind that Sturgeon and Leach even signed up for the herd immunity strategy and put a lot of effort in selling it to us. This was as they told us face masks we’re useless.

      The big lie today is that the current surge has nothing to do with schools going back — it’s all down to what they call “community” transmission. That’s totally absurd, of course, and, by any definition of the word, it makes no sense to differentiate between schools and the community.

      It’s been one blatant lie after the other and thousands are dead. As with Brexit, it could have been a huge boon to the case for independence. And like Brexit it was harnessed instead to bolster Sturgeon’s personal approval ratings which has been the objective since day one.

      The “I’m With Nicola” campaign told us everything we needed to know about Sturgeon back in 2015.

    99. kapelmeister says:

      leither @2:08 am

      “pretty thin gruel…”

      Exceedingly beefy gruel to most of us here leither. It’s your “some of my best friends” running gag that’s pretty thin.

    100. Breastplate says:

      Big Jock,
      I believe it is highly unlikely there will be another full lockdown not only because we now have proof that our earlier total lockdown did not stop the virus but because the politicians know how much damage that lockdown has done financially and are now awaiting the consequences.
      I won’t mention the physical, psychological and social ramifications of a full lockdown because our politicians simply don’t see any value in these so are not part of the equation.

      Scotland alone will definitely not have a lockdown because Westminster hold the purse strings.

    101. The Labour leaders speech today appears to reject the four nation devolution settlement to a new ONE nation BRITISH policy.The labour party over the past 60 years have gone a circular route on devolution and home rule.Warm and cold.They have never really believed in an proper scottish parliament.From the 1979 Assembly to Blairs Parish council.
      One of the strangest thing that Darling said was “We dont need to have Independence”.Reflect on that comment,that is just we required.Total chaos has been the result over the past 6 years.

    102. Mac says:

      Completely agree that the SNP are getting some serious ‘help’ from outside. It is not just the sneaky tech stuff. The current leadership has been systematically dismantling the pre 2014 SNP and rebuilding a new post 2014 SNP. A totally fucked one.

      I think they have been steered strategically in this regard and obviously well away from Independence. It has all been done very slyly and cleverly. That plan is coming from outside in my view. NS and helpers are just not smart enough to be doing this themselves. (Anything they try themselves they usually fuck up spectacularly.)

      Just the way the courts have been used to go after Salmond and his supporters alone strongly indicates the current SNP leadership are getting some serious help from those who should not be helping them.

      Not to harp on about it but again, they had BREXIT fall into their lap, a lifeline for Independence after 2014, and instead of exploiting it effectively they instead, and entirely of their own making, conjured up a salacious r*p* trial of the very man who got us an first indyref (in 300 odd years) and scared the absolute shit out the UK establishment by very nearly winning it. And I believe we would have won it without all the outrageous shenanigans.

      So once BREXIT happened Salmond had to be taken out and that is exactly what we saw.

      And who organized his character assassination attempt. The very people he made, and left in charge, the current leadership of the SNP. Let’s also not forget that is was NS’s ‘missteps’ that cost AS his seat as well in 2017. And then immediately followed that colossal ‘misstep’ up with all the conjured up accusations and the you now what trial… When you start looking all of this again, knowing what we know now, it all starts to look very different, like a plan being gradually enacted, one step at a time.

      The level of personal and political betrayal here is astonishing, it takes your breath away. Go read Peter Murrell’s wiki page as someone above someone suggests and see where he and NS got started… It is a sickening betrayal, Salmond must find it hard to believe at times. I know I do and I am a complete outsider. So I would say Alex must know there is something very sinister at work here. I would be a little frightened if I were him (or the Rev).

      Apart from the scandal of doing all that to an innocent man it also makes us look totally unfit to lead our own country. Not because of anything Alex ever did but by the behaviour of the SNP post 2014 and up to today. In just 6 years of political monopoly in Scotland and they have been astonishingly corrupted. That was way to fast and way too easy. But it is way beyond just ‘ordinary’ corruption and/or bad management. It is very deliberate, very artful bad management.

      Also look at the way the press are so disinterested in the real scandal here. I suspect Nicola is an asset to someone and consequently the want to keep her in place. She is worth a lot more where she is than throwing her to the dogs as a way to split the SNP. That is too risky and they could lose control of the situation in the ensuing chaos. So they are protecting her (at least for now).

      Personally I suspect something changed as a result of 2014 and within the “security’ services the SNP was classed as a serious threat to national security or the like. Once that happens every dirty trick and action is on the table. It green lights all sort of attacks that previously would not be considered. Blackmail is a big way they gain control over people amongst many others.

      We have a huge problem to deal with here before we can even think about independence but I really don’t what the solutions are. Things are not looking too good.

    103. Robert Graham says:

      Eh Lukas

      I would agree with you now here is the BUT unless The Scottish Government headed by Nicola Sturgeon , note headed by not solely as in a presidential constitutional situation ,

      Unless and until they are able to operate independently from Westminster any attempt to vary from what Westminster does is pointless as we don’t have control over the likes of Ports, airports, the movement of people or who enters the country .

      And more importantly the Media so your what looks like a unionist standpoint by you is noted for future reference , nice try but no cigar pal , yer rumbled

    104. The Dissident says:

      @Lukas Scholts

      100% agree.

      My information is that keeping schools open is the driver behind every decision the Scottish Government makes.

      The decision for schools to return full-time was Sturgeon’s knee-jerk reaction to quell the howls of middle-class parents after her Education Secretary announced plans for a return to mixed learning after the summer.

      No basis in science or public health – just pure politics. And now every other decision has to cover up this gigantic mistake.

      The rate of infection started to increase in Scotland about 2-3 weeks after schools returned, precisely the timeline you would expect for a child to become infected then pass it onto their family.

      Indeed, I recall during the “halcyon days” of the herd-immunity strategy that schools returning was being discussed as a valve to deliberately increase the rate of infection in a “controlled” manner.

    105. Desimond says:

      Someone above mentioning Neil Findlay and asking about FOIs…what about the BBC..they love a FOI….why ISNT this news, especially to them?

      The whole thing stinks to high heaven and the thread of deceit is long and seems theres a lot with a lot at stake with plenty to hide…that or one or two have something to hide and others profiteering nicely from being in the know.

      Hopefully truth will out one way or another but I wont hold my breath.

    106. Allium says:

      I expect NS would like another full lockdown very much. Or as close as she can get to one as possible. The longer Covid is the only story, the better, from an SNP perspective.

      The only risk is that people become more non-compliant with the rules and she looks hapless. What she announces today should be an indication of how secure she feels in her leadership.

    107. Allium says:

      Liz Truss giving a statement today that confirms Self-ID is off the table in England.

    108. Big Jock says:

      The lockdown would only happen if England also goes in lockdown , due to the Furlough scheme payments. The concern the last time was the NHS being overwhelmed. This will be the concern again. Not necessarily trying to stop the virus.

    109. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Mac (10.33) –

      Well said.

      It’s a tonic to see someone admit that they don’t know what is going on.

      I’d much rather read that than some cocksure platitudinous shitery from supposed fellow travellers who should be kicking up fuck instead of painting WOS as ‘the problem’.

      They know who they are – the smarter of them should take a long hard look at themselves.

    110. Polly says:

      ‘The Convener: Perhaps the permanent secretary might like to respond to that last point, bearing in mind that this committee has been extremely careful with what is published in terms of redactions, and has in fact been more stringent in its redactions in publication than the Government has been in the publication of its freedom of information requests.’

      From the inquiry, Linda Fabiani responding to both Wolffe and Evans. This is perhaps the reason things have been harder to find if the change was after this date.

      http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12800&mode=pdf

    111. Polly says:

      ‘supposed fellow travellers who should be kicking up fuck instead of painting WOS as ‘the problem’

      I agree very much with this. To criticise any person who makes statements is fine only if you really can dismiss or at least argue a fairly rational alternative explanation. To not even attempt to provide a different interpretation while excoriating the person bringing up the facts, facts which can no longer be ignored, really is head in the sand and throw dirt on the one who sees clearly trying to make him blind as well, or make him untouchable so his truth won’t be believed.

      As someone said ‘facts a chiels that winna ding’ I hope they remember and still believe that.

    112. Alf Baird says:

      Robert Graham @ 9.45

      I’ve been busy writing a book on the real reasons for (and barriers against) Scottish independence (‘Doun-Hauden: The Socio-Political Determinants of Scottish Independence’, available from Amazon).

      The SNP should have learned from what Lang, Forsyth & Rifkind etc did back in the 1980’s when they put a Tory in charge of every single public body and quango in Scotland. The SNP leadership has allowed the colonial civil service to continue to dominate Scotland’s institutions in the same way. Hence the mismatch in democratic governance we see, resulting in plentiful opportunity for Scotland’s Anglophone/unionist establishment to undermine Scotland’s independence cause from within.

      Scotlan haes a gey muckle slump tae sook oot.

    113. Breeks says:

      https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/dd545405-2947-49ba-ab18-f9cbe718a153?in=19:26:58&out=19:41:09

      Class.

      Just imagine where we’d be if Joanna Cherry had been in charge, to champion the concept of Scotland’s separate Constitution and Institutions back in 2016, and to use such levers to create a Scottish Backstop, in the form of an ultimatum to Westminster.

      If Brexit went ahead, the Union would be deemed breached by Scotland’s unconstitutional subjugation, or, in the event Westminster recognised the ramifications of Scotland’s Brexit subjugation, then Brexit would be abandoned as a direct consequence of Scottish Constitutional Sovereignty being recognised, and conceded as the superior to Westminster’s Parliamentary Sovereignty. The Union would be untenable, irredeemable, and in it’s death throes.

      Take a minute to think about that, as you listen to Joanna Cherry’s excellent speech making the same arguments about the Court of Session’s authority being defended, whereas I would have seen Scotland’s popular Sovereignty defended, and then remember that Sturgeon swept aside the concept of Scottish popular sovereignty, adopted the English doctrine of Parliamentary Sovereignty to overrule Scotland’s sovereign and democratic rejection of Brexit.

      Sturgeon arbitrarily abandoned Scotland’s Constitutional redoubt, went skiing off piste, and unforced by anyone, forfeited Scotland’s Constitutional defence to pursue an alternative policy whereby Scotland would accept a soft Brexit if access to the Single Market was maintained.

      Do you see it yet??? Scotland’s Constitutional interests were sold out in 2016! There should have been hell to pay, and heads rolling, and perhaps even impeachment of Sturgeons “Government”.

      For goodness sake, get the Constitutionally illiterate Sturgeon OUT the driving seat, and install Joanna Cherry in her place as our leader, in charge of an emergency Constitutional denunciation of Brexit, Scottish subjugation, and Westminster’s unwritten and deeply flawed convention of Parliamentary Sovereignty.

      We can yet pull Scotland, and Scottish Independence out of the fire, and save our Nation from anymore witless and gutless capitulations, and indefensible forfeiture of Scotland’s Constitutional integrity.

    114. Sharny Dubs says:

      Breeks @11:42

      Absolutely agree in every way, however has anyone asked Johanna if she is willing to lead us?

      I have no idea how these things are done, but done they should be.

    115. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I tried searching for phrases taken from recent FOI releases on forestry, appointment of chief dental officer and others. No results for those phrases.”

      Got links?

    116. Mac says:

      The other sure sign that there is something really wrong here.

      The three people I would say I fully trust in the Independence movement right now, based on their actions over many years are Alex Salmond (obviously), Wings and Craig Murray.

      Alex they just finished try to jail and Craig they are currently trying to jail. Wings is too slippery for them by far but by God I am certain they will have pored over every word posted hoping for a mistake to pounce upon.

      It is pretty fucked up that a shortcut to knowing who to trust the most in the Independence movement these days is to look who the SNP hates the most.

    117. Alf Baird says:

      Mac @ 12.17

      Fanon’s postcolonial perspectives (‘The Wretched of the Earth’) may help explain what is happening, more or less, viz:

      – the national party elite, pampered and bourgeoisie, reaches an accommodation with colonialism
      – the national party offers no strategy to secure independence
      – elements in the national party dissatisfied at the lack of progress are deemed ‘radical’, excluded from the national party, and subject to police action and persecution
      – the justice system is still colonial and oppressive (as Wings found ‘Scottish justice’ is administered by Whitehall, as is the SG)
      – new national parties are created with focus on independence
      – there is more, given that history tends to repeat itself…..

    118. Muscleguy says:

      Well done Stu, this is the sort of thing which could only happen when politicians and civil servants collude together to save both their blushes.

      If only we had ISP MSP’s to raise such things on the floor of the House and embarrass Scotgov. Will the Greens do it? hah!

    119. Andy says:

      “Got links?”

      ok – so I filtered by FOI/EIR release then picked a FOI with no obvious connection:

      Total area of commercial forestry felled in Strathoykel and catchment area: EIR release (Date responded: 24 Aug 2020)
      https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-202000077926/

      It’s got the term “Langwell Farm” in it

      search term: found the report?
      Langwell Farm: No
      Strathoykel: Yes

      Chief Dental Officer job description and vacancy: FOI release (Date responded: 11 Jun 2020)
      https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-202000035522/

      search term: found the report?
      Chief Dental officer: Yes
      dental: Yes
      dental committees: No
      scientific/technical/dental: No
      current Chief Dental: No

      so… for these recent FOI – searching for text from the body of the response doesn’t seem to work, but searching text in the headline does.

      For balance, an older report:
      Spend and continued support re community purchased land: FOI release (Date responded: 2 August 2018)
      https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-18-01983/

      take your pick of text in the response, 100% success rate at finding it… conclusive? No. Puzzling? Yes

    120. Hatuey says:

      Robert Graham “Unless and until they are able to operate independently from Westminster any attempt to vary from what Westminster does is pointless as we don’t have control over the likes of Ports, airports, the movement of people or who enters the country .

      And more importantly the Media so your what looks like a unionist standpoint by you is noted for future reference , nice try but no cigar pal , yer rumbled”

      What a bizarre response. It does have some familiar elements though which we can dispense with immediately…

      The idea that Nicola couldn’t do anything but follow the Westminster strategy and line (because she didn’t have the powers to do so) is of course 100% correct. But Nicola didn’t say that. Instead she has done everything possible to give the impression that she is in full control and does have the power to make decisions on coronavirus.

      “Good afternoon, everybody, it’s the Nicola show…”

      It really doesn’t take much intelligence to work out that had she decided to be honest about the situation, she would have said exactly what is being suggested here; thus, she could have said Westminster is handling this really badly, thousands will die if we follow them into the abysss of herd immunity, etc., and I (as First Minister) don’t have the power to stop it.

      But she didn’t. Instead she put her shoulder behind herd immunity, jumped in front of the camera, and followed Westminster’s strategy to the letter, with the only difference found in the timing; the recurring theme was to pretend it was her strategy all along.

      People have died as a consequence and, by not telling us the truth she has made herself vulnerable to attacks such as mine here and indeed complicit in the scandal.

      When Jason Leach was on TV with his animations making the case for herd immunity back in March, everyone with a brain knew it was essentially a mass suicide pact.

      When they told us masks were useless, everyone knew it was crap. Why do you think medical practitioners have insisted on them for over 100 years? (to protect their patients?)

      The delay in going into lock down absolutely cost us lives and we knew it would at the time. It also meant we had to stay in lock down longer than we might have, had we done so earlier – all discussed and pointed out at the time, don’t forget that fact.

      And the facts speak for themselves. Scotland has suffered as much as England in terms of infections, misery, and deaths, if you factor in population density. Analysis indicates that certain areas and sectors have actually been hit harder in Scotland than in England (care homes for the elderly, for example).

      People often say that the last refuge of the scoundrel is patriotism and Sturgeon definitely seems to be patriotic, I’ll grant that. Often in history, though, particularly with the more serious and destructive policies, we see that the last refuge of the scoundrel is actually to pretend it was a blunder or mistake and that they didn’t know any better — “hindsight is a wonderful thing”, etc.

      Everything I have said was said at the time though, and more, on herd immunity, the timing of lock down, Westminster’s farcical response (which arguably makes it the most culpable country in the world in terms of mishandling), face masks, schools, and much more.

      The irony of it all is that they think are motivated by economics; that’s what is at the root of everything Westminster has done so far in terms of coronavirus, and that continues. The UK economy is flat-lining though as most other similar economies are surging back to life. The strategy has done much more harm to the economy than was necessary.

      And according to you all that make me a Unionist.

    121. Alf Baird says:

      Hatuey @ 1.52
      “we don’t have control over the likes of Ports, airports,”

      There are actually a number of strategies SG could readily employ to further develop Scotland, perhaps moreso with ports, all of which I have suggested to them, including:

      – offer international concessions to build/develop new strategic port capacity (to allow for competition against the current offshore private equity monopolies sitting on obsolete port infras and develop advanced infras)
      – offer international concessions for firms to operate strategic transport services (e.g. Motorways of the Sea)
      – use CPO powers to acquire and properly develop derelict port land in public interest, e.g in city-ports
      – etc etc etc

      The SNP elite are too focused on drivel policies and political deceit and have no conception of what makes an economy tick, ie trade.

    122. Lochside says:

      Great to see Alf Baird posting on here. I thoroughly recommend his book for anybody wanting a comprehensive and erudite insight into Scotland’s situation, but with solutions which are based on his great academic and international economic skill set.

      Someone a few months back linked to the televised Holyrood Committee on the Ferries fiasco (Rural Economy and Connectivity). I commented on here about how tenth rate the committee’s response was in the face of Alf’s and Roy Pederson’s clear and evidential expertise. The SNP caucus in particular were woeful and hostile, hellbent on compounding the failed hybrid fiasco at Ferguson’s Shipyard. Maureen Watt, Stewart Stevenson, were extremely hostile;Richard Lyal was cringeworthy in his encouragement to these two experts on Ferries to watch a ferry ‘Youtube video ‘ on how to construct these ships; and Emma Harper who was fatuous in her questioning.

      Stevenson’s presence there was a complete mystery considering his resignation over his complete ineptitude as Minister for Transport in his handling of the 2010 snowstorm that halted the M8 for hours on end. During this meeting he demonstrated his lack of understanding about basic tendering rules and protocols.

      I watched this and thought of all the great experts with real proven skills and knowledge, like Craig Murray, Lesley Riddoch etc. who are shut out and left on the sidelines by a party run by virtue signalling myopic intellectual pygmies. The Snp values political representatives based on their sexual preferences ( non-hetero and gender ( female) above all else. Allegiance to minority ‘positive discrimination’ ( an oxymoron) above equality and fairness before the law. Allegiance to Scotland and its indigenous population comes way down the list of ‘qualities desired by the Sturgeon leadership.

      The SNP have failed to change anything in Scotland politically. As Alf Baird points out they are basically a UK government department, in a ‘parliament’ doing the job that the Secretary of State for Scotland used to do. They are Colonial ‘Uncle Toms’ masquerading as revolutionaries. We need to disown them and call them out for the imposters that they truly are.

      They are overseeing Scottish patriots like Salmond, Murray, Hirst..yes and Mani Singh and poor old Sean Clerkin, being crucified by the Hollow glove puppet of ‘Scottish’ law being manipulated by Westminster. They are compromised and rotten and are nothing but a Trojan horse for England’s continued ANDand relentless domination over us.

    123. Breastplate says:

      Big Jock,
      Agreed about the concern over the NHS being overwhelmed. We left the containment phase in the middle of March, I think it was, and we have supposedly been in the delay phase ever since. This was precisely to stop the NHS being overwhelmed.
      I say supposedly because there has been a fixation about getting the infection rate as low as possible. The goalposts keep being moved.

      Are we in the containment phase or the delay phase or is there another phase we haven’t been told about?

      Again, there won’t be any repeat of the lockdown we had because that lockdown was initially supposed to contain the virus but it didn’t work so they kept it going to stop the NHS being overrun.
      The NHS wasn’t overrun but they made tighter restrictions decreasing the speed even further leaving hospitals with less to do than they normally would have had without a virus.
      Surely it wasn’t a surprise to see a spike in the virus with kids back at school?

      We should really make use of the information we have to make informed decisions about what we should do to tackle SARS CoV 2.

      One piece of information that was available very early on is that more people will die from the flu than under 50s will die from this virus.

      Mortality rate of flu 0.1%
      Mortality rate of under 50s from SARS CoV2 approximately 0.02%

    124. Sarah says:

      @Breeks and Sharny Dubs at 11.53: I emailed Joanna Cherry on her parliament email yesterday asking her to stand for FM [amongst other matters]. Probably the wrong way to approach her but it is the only way I could find quickly.

      All SNP members reading Wings could raise these matters with their branch.

    125. CameronB Brodie says:

      “No apologies for banging this drum.”

      Ah, the same old right-wing shite tarted up to look like a concern for equality and civil liberties. Your man punting this is not your friend, he’s a fan of philosophers who deny the significance of biology, and insist humanity is not a part of nature, but separate from it and above it. That’s simply an old skool Tory.

    126. gus1940 says:

      You have to hand it to the EBC.

      Reporting on the fact that Ken McIntosh is standing down at next year’s election they have a wonderful way of not saying that he lost his Eastwood constituency seat.

      They say that he sat at Holyrood for the Eastwood constituency from 1999 to 2016 and subsequently as a West Of Scotland List Member.

    127. Hatuey says:

      Alf Baird says:
      22 September, 2020 at 2:29 pm
      Hatuey @ 1.52
      “we don’t have control over the likes of Ports, airports,”

      I didn’t say that. Someone said it to me.

      Scotland has control over all these things though, and more. It’s a sort of political hypnosis that has tricked people into thinking otherwise. But you can’t be hypnotised against your will.

    128. Cod says:

      OK, well, I have only checked the first one, but if you type “various questions on case against Former First Minister” into the keywords box it pops right up as the very first result.

      So it seems less like an attempt to hide the documents and more like a search function failure somewhere.

      in fact, that can be verified by the fact that using phrases to search for other FOI requests doesn’t bring them up – for example:

      FOI/202000035522 – Chief Dental Officer job description and vacancy: FOI release

      Searching for the phrase “2) What scientific/technical/dental committees or groups supply advice or guidance to the Chief Dental Officer?” brings up zero responses

      Actual FOI: https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-202000035522/

      Search result: https://www.gov.scot/publications/?term=1)%20I%20would%20like%20to%20know%20the%20job%20description%20for%20the%20Chief%20Dental%20Officer.&cat=filter&publicationTypes=foi-eir-release&page=1

      2nd example:

      FOI/202000047987 Building Scotland Fund: FOI release

      Search for the phrase “1. Please provide the criteria or scorecarding approach which was/is used to screen the clients and/or projects financed by the Building Scotland Fund.”

      Brings up zero results.

      Actual FOI: https://www.gov.scot/publications/foi-202000047987/

      Search results: https://www.gov.scot/publications/?term=1.%20Please%20provide%20the%20criteria%20or%20scorecarding%20approach%20which%20was/is%20used%20to%20screen%20the%20clients%20and/or%20projects%20financed%20by%20the%20Building%20Scotland%20Fund&cat=filter&publicationTypes=foi-eir-release&page=1

    129. Cod says:

      PS: Sorry about the horrible links but I wanted to give you the raw search result rather than a shortened or cleaned up URL. Also, for some reason the first search result link broke when I posted it so you need to copy the whole thing and paste it into another window.

      But definitely seems less conspiracy, more incompetence to be honest



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