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The law of diminishing returns

Posted on February 12, 2021 by

It’s our sad duty to report this fact to you, readers: our experience of sending Freedom Of Information requests to the Scottish Government is basically that the more answers you get from them, the less information you end up having.

See below for a case in point.

(Click to enlarge.)

As tempting as it is to simply throw our hands in the air and give up on even trying to decode the above labyrinth of waffle, obfuscation, evasion and pin-dancing into English for you, let’s just try to focus on the key point.

The definition of “a record” used by the Scottish Government for FOI purposes is clearly not one which would be recognised by a normal human being. To most of us it simply means “a fact that we’ve written down or otherwise recorded somewhere”.

And unless the Scottish Government employs someone whose job is to sit around keeping certain information in their head without actually “recording” it anywhere, then it clearly DOES have what any normal human would describe as “a record” of the 29 March 2018 meeting between the First Minister and Geoff Aberdein.

SOMEWHERE it has recorded the fact that that meeting took place, and presumably the key details of it, because otherwise John Swinney wouldn’t have been able to put it in his instructions to James Hamilton QC. He didn’t tell Mr Hamilton to investigate whether the meeting had taken place. He told him that it had taken place, because he knows it took place. It is a fact. It is recorded.

John Swinney must know what happened at that meeting and who was there, because otherwise he wouldn’t be able to brief Mr Hamilton about it so that Mr Hamilton could do his job – or indeed whether it was relevant to Mr Hamilton’s task at all.

The entire purpose of FOI is supposed to be that if the Deputy First Minister knows something that’s Scottish Government business – and an investigation into possible breaches of the Ministerial Code by the First Minister cannot possibly be anything BUT government business – then the people of Scotland are entitled to know it too, unless there are very specific and very limited reasons why they can’t. Mr Swinney is the public’s employee. He is directly answerable to them.

That also means that this is simply not acceptable:

the answer to your question is that the Scottish Government does not hold recorded information as this was not a government meeting

Because if that’s true then the Ministerial Code has DEFINITELY been broken, and the public is entitled to know about it:

Astonishingly, the response attempts to flatly deny that fact:

Also, outwith FOISA, in relation to your assertion that meetings in parliamentary offices not on government business are not permitted, we are not aware of such a rule.

But it’s right there on page 1, paragraph 1.3(i). The premises of the Scottish Parliament are plainly a “public resource” and so must not be used to conduct party business. So all of these FOI responses are in fact explicit statements that the First Minister DID breach the Code, by conducting party business on government premises. 

Which of course makes her repeated statements at FMQs this week that she HASN’T broken the Code also deliberate lies to Parliament. Which in themselves are further and even more serious breaches of the Code, which require her to resign.

But beyond that, the whole saga of our months-long attempt to simply get the Scottish Government to tell us who the First Minister met on 29 March 2018 is a microcosm of the entire Alex Salmond affair: an original misdeed (the attempt to smear him just enough to keep him out of politics) being magnified and amplified to many times its original size and volume by the panicked, ever-spiralling attempts to cover it up.

And the moral? When the only tool you have is a shovel, better not fall into a hole.

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    173 to “The law of diminishing returns”

    1. Calum says:

      This is getting beyond parody now. When is the house of cards going to topple?!

    2. BuggerlePanda says:

      Professional sophistry in spades

    3. Astonished says:

      The more they write the more you have on them once the truth comes out.

      If I wanted to keep my job I wouldn’t be writing this guff.

    4. Ruglonian says:

      A seemingly endless list of insults to the intelligence of the electorate.

      So much for the words carved into the side of our Parliament’s wall “Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation”

    5. Captain Yossarian says:

      “I and other journalists are banned from telling you a lot of the truth which, believe me, is utterly shocking and which some very senior people in the Government and the party will continue to do everything they can to prevent the people from knowing that truth.”

      Martin Hannan

    6. Kenny says:

      Fast getting to the strange paradox where Jackie Baillie will be on the side of independence by being the only person willing to(?), or indeed capable of, asking the correct questions of the corrupt First Minister this Tuesday.
      As a deflated and very disgusted movement, our question therefore has to be; is Jackie Baillie willing to do the right thing for our movement and shoot against a glaring open goal?
      Let’s see what Ms Baillie is made of.

    7. Graham says:

      Sir Humphrey is alive and well and obviously working for the Scottish Government.

    8. Desimond says:

      “ we are not aware of such a rule”

      Thats the catch-all fallback we shall hear variations on for next few weeks/months

    9. Captain Yossarian says:

      I read somewhere that Email communication between the conspiritors took place on SNP party servers and not Scotgov servers so that no record exists of these communications.

      All Kenny MacAskill has are paper copies of WhatsApp communications between them.

      It just shows us what a shithole joint Scotland has become under Sturgeon, Swinney, Murrell and Wolffe, doesn’t it.

      James Hamiltons findings will be fascinating. Does he have his head buried deep inside the same hole as BBC Scotland? Surely not.
      It this had happened in the US, they would all be bagged for it.

    10. Frank Gillougley says:

      you can just fuck off to the back of the bus and eat your cereal.

    11. Captain Yossarian says:

      These responses are written by young, vapid tools of the Junta back at Victoria Quay. I’ve met one of them. He was embarrassed to have to talk the amount of shite he was talking, but he had to do it.

      Holyrood’s dead…..surely. This cannot go-on.

    12. Kate says:

      Ministerial offices didn’t keep their own filing when I was in the SG. It was passed on to the relevant Divisions to file with their stuff, whether electronic or paper. This allows for some degree of ‘loss’ of stuff that’s supposed to be kept. Their dismmissal of points 3 and 4 are not quite accurate, as you don’t ask for an ‘opinion’- they could have been answered with a ‘yes’ and a feeble ‘the Minister declines to respond’. However, pursuing it runs the risk of you being labelled a ‘vexatious correspondent’at which point they can refuse to engage with you at all. I do wonder who the random member of the public who got a ‘meet and greet’ was? Or if they even exist!

    13. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Frank Gillougley – Aye Frank, the Fabiani Committee met in emergency session this afternoon to discuss what submissions Alex can make to the Inquiry. Are you interested in any of that?

      Old Linda Fabiani and Andy Wightman have, of course, the ethical standards of a pimp and drug dealer rolled-up into one and so anything can happen there.

      Not predictable at-all, is it. I’m not betting on anything. Not like John Swinney’s FOI responses which are predicatbly shite…..every last one of them.

    14. Ian McCubbin says:

      Spin of words to deny a spin of words.
      Seems we all know NS broke minestreial code now.
      This coded flat denial of any knowledge of anything said by NS is now just a charade of what must come out.
      Look forwards to what she actually says at the inquiry.

    15. Anonymoose says:

      O/T from Glenn Campbell / BBC

      FM @NicolaSturgeon will NOT give evidence on Tuesday to Holyrood committee investigating @scotgov mishandling of harassment complaints against her predecessor

      The committee has postponed her appearance to see if it might still be possible to hear, in person, from @AlexSalmond

      https://twitter.com/GlennBBC/status/1360251672472080390

    16. Donibristle says:

      That comes as no surprise. The witness coach wouldn’t be able to weave his magic if Nicola spoke first.
      Much easier when you have a script to adapt to.

    17. Republicofscotland says:

      I think that there’s no accountability surrounding the Scottish government FOI’s included, no one has or will be sacked or removed from their positions, those involved won’t rock the boat so long as the pay packet keeps on coming.

      Too much has been invested by too many to reveal the truth about Sturgeon’s machinations or the corruption in the COPFS. Its a similar case in England, no matter how many folk die from Covid or how many failures the Tory government stumble through, the Tory MP’s and MSP’s will never admit that the emperor has no clothes on.

    18. PhilM says:

      In PhilM’s new Dictionary of Phrase and Fable…the phrase ‘it’s not over til the fat lady sings’ is no longer in use, instead substitute ‘it’s not over til the First Minister gets the last word’ (optional: ‘on everything’)

    19. Hatuey says:

      Murdo Fraser
      @murdo_fraser
      ·
      1m
      I am pleased that today’s emergency Committee meeting has agreed this course of action, and that we should now hear from
      @AlexSalmond
      with what is vital evidence to our Inquiry.
      Quote Tweet

      Conor Matchett
      @conor_matchett
      · 12m
      BREAKING: Path cleared for Alex Salmond to give evidence as committee delays Nicola Sturgeon’s evidence session

      Understand this – assuming his evidence is published – wi

    20. Hatuey says:

      “ BREAKING: Path cleared for Alex Salmond to give evidence as committee delays Nicola Sturgeon’s evidence session

      Understand this – assuming his evidence is published – will see the former first minister give evidence most likely in the last week of Feb”

    21. Frank Gillougley says:

      captain Yossarian 3.40

      Hahaha! That was not directed at you captain. I was only paraphrasing the mail Stuart had received from the good ship scotgov.

      Mibbe I should apply for a job there? Save them a ton of money, but then again money is no object, ok so mibbe save them needlessly wasted lives churning out this bollocks of cupboard fodder.

    22. Bob Mack says:

      Is Salmond and Aberdein statement admissable? If not he won’t appear.

    23. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Frank Gillougley – That all-right Frank. I didn’t have you down as an expert disassembler anyway. John Swinney’s army of SPADS and school-leavers do that.

      We can both look forward to old Alex returning to Holyrood and disassembling the whole fecking lot of them. That will happen sometime before the end of Feb.

      It will be the best day Holyrood has seen for 20-years.

    24. Liz says:

      The Circumlocution dept

    25. ‘This is getting beyond parody now. When is the house of cards going to topple?!’

      Maybe never, unless there is some whistleblower with a modicum of courage, or a scintilla of concern for probity in public life. I fear there are none such within the ranks of MSPs currently stealing a salary at public expense.

      Certainly not within the SNP.

    26. Daisy Walker says:

      OT, below is from Craig Murray’s twitter

      ‘Unless something happens this afternoon, that’s another week gone by with no judgement in my contempt of court case.
      The hearing lasted just 90mins. By Monday it will be 19 days ago.
      Shadow of possible jail sentence, so delay in judgement is beginning to affect my mental health.’

      For what its worth Craig, completely understand your concerns. It must be increadibly stressful for you and your family.

      My best guess is that Lady D is not in a position to joey the result, but by delaying the verdict as long as possible, she is going some way to assisting the Britnats, without it being something that can be pinned upon her.

      Best wishes to you, and know that folk are watching and have your back.

    27. Skip_NC says:

      “Captain Yossarian says:
      We can both look forward to old Alex returning to Holyrood”

      That’s assuming someone signs him in. There’s a certain someone with previous who would be quite happy for him not to give evidence.

    28. Boaby says:

      Scottish judges and lawyers will always “assist” the britnats, its in their DNA.

    29. Bill Gardner says:

      Dear Stu

      You have the patience of a saint and the doggedness of a ratting terrier.

      Can you not ask Mr Aberdein what building he entered and thru what door he went and then
      request CCTV of that area of the building etc?

      Perhaps I’ve been watching too much Wycliffe ?

      Bill G

    30. Kevin Cargill says:

      If we as a country tolerate this level of corruption in government and our legal services then I’m beginning to think we don’t deserve Independence. Independence has been fought for and won by countries attempting to get away from corrupt regimes, not bring the fuckers along with them saying “shhh maybe naebody will notice ye”!

    31. Graham A Fordyce says:

      I googled Daniel Couldrdge and found his name here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/draft-strategic-police-priorities-scotland/pages/8/
      His connection to Police Scotland might come in handy.

    32. Ian Brotherhood says:

      David Mac Dougall
      @davidmacdougall
      · 23h
      ‘Stop leaking to the @pressjournal’ SNP MP @PeteWishart reportedly told committee members in Westminster today, in comments that were promptly leaked to the P&J and reported by @MrDanDonoghue https://pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/politics/uk-politics/2894926/pete-wishart-committee/

    33. David Innes says:

      It’s struck me that SQA’s Principal Examiner in English will have a rich source of material for future interpretation exam questions right here

    34. Robert graham says:

      Message to the Scottish Government

      Cut the Crap stop treating the electorate as fkn idiots

      Don’t forget this stupid electorate pays for your lifestyle ,we the electorate employ you high and mighty bloody shite shifters all I want is clean streets and the lights working all the little stuff you lot are in trusted with,

      You want to play games fk off and pay for the privilege yourselves don’t expect me to cover the cost

      Signed A Voter or if you want to be strictly correct “your employer “

    35. Craig Jones says:

      AYRSHIRE ROB 12.51pm previous thread.

      “Forsyth on QT was he, eh .Where did they find that auld git, in the same crypt as Gordon Brown.

      Pair o fannies.”

      So ROB, if those two “Pair o fannies” call for the corrupt wee bastard from Dreghorn to resign, and the fat “Laird o Skye” Blackford says “No, she must stay”, who are you going to side with?.

      In your demented rant at me in the previous thread,,, you forgot to answer my above question.

      And you being an ex english army sojur,I thought you would have sided with the knights of the realm, but that would mean you going against your beloved Nikla.

      Kinda puts you in a sticky position, doesn’t it?

      And who is Samuel.

      You seem a bit confused Me Rob.

      Let the staff at the care home you are in know.

    36. Monsieur le Roi Grenouilleverteetprofonde says:

      Seems to me that holding non government meetings, due to time pressures, in government office will be deemed an unfortunate mishap and not a resigning matter. A brief knuckle rap and a short apology will do the trick.
      I am picking up more and more that the FM will shimmy her way around the HR playing field like the late Jimmy Johnson in his heyday, and emerge untouched by any of those ‘doughty defenders’ of public trust and transparency on the Fandabbydozy committee.

    37. Hugh Jarse says:

      Crosse & Blackwell are to put on an extra shift, to deal with a recent surge in demand.

    38. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Boaby – ‘Scottish judges and lawyers will always “assist” the britnats, its in their DNA’.

      I cannot speak for judges, Boaby. But, let me say that Scottish lawyers lifted John Swinney’s SNP coin years ago.

      There are a few honest lawyers left. Alex Salmond as one, for example. Most of them will rip you off and be protected in so-doing by John Swinney.

      All the bent lawyers in Scotland will not be able to help John Swinney soon.

    39. Cuphook says:

      In your next attempt, specifically ask if Geoff Aberdein signed into the building and whom he was there to meet.

    40. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Monsieur Le Roi – I was born in a tenement and I bet you were too. You’re a Tenement-Tom pretending to be a Bungalow-Bill. That’s most dishonest.

      Anyway, in answer to your mallaise of pessimism, let me refer you thus:

      “I and other journalists are banned from telling you a lot of the truth which, believe me, is utterly shocking and which some very senior people in the Government and the party will continue to do everything they can to prevent the people from knowing that truth.”

      Martin Hannan

    41. Republicofscotland says:

      “Boaby says:
      12 February, 2021 at 4:40 pm
      Scottish judges and lawyers will always “assist” the britnats, its in their DNA.”

      Aye Boaby, we haven’t even begun to see the corruption on the scale that it occurs on, and for how many years, we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg so to speak.

      https://petercherbi.blogspot.com/2018/01/wolffe-court-lord-advocate-james-wolffe.html

    42. Hugh Jarse says:

      NS pulling out for Tuesday in light of yesterday’s court hearing.

      True to form.

      The game might be up!

    43. Republicofscotland says:

      Boaby, you might find this interesting as well.

      https://petercherbi.blogspot.com/2012/02/career-crooked-investigation-reveals.html

    44. Andy Ellis says:

      @Hugh Jarse 5.42pm

      Link or just speculation on your part….?

    45. Helen Yates says:

      It’s a never ending saga, now Sturgeon isn’t going to appear on Tuesday as the comittee have delayed as they now hope to hear from Alex Salmond, she’s determined to have the last word.
      She’s got everything sewn up in her favour and I can see her walking away from this.
      If Mays election is not a plebiscite I have decided not to bother voting at all and I may just never vote again.
      And if I were you Stu I’d give up the ghost after May if it’s not a plebiscite because we know that’s the end of indy.

    46. thomas says:

      Jesus christ check out the labour muppets in the latest survation poll…..

      NEW Survation Poll – Westminster Voting Intention:

      CON 39% (-1)
      LAB 33% (-5)
      LD 9% (+2)
      GRN 7% (+2)
      SNP 5% (+1)
      OTH 6% (-)

      https://survation.com/survation-uk-voting-intention-poll-22-december-2020/

      1,003 respondents, fieldwork 5-6 Feb. Changes w/ 12-13 Jan.

    47. thomas says:

      …and sir keir knight of the realm working class starmer…

      NEW Survation Poll – Best Prime Minister:

      Boris Johnson 40% (+1)
      Keir Starmer 34% (-3)
      Don’t know 26% (+1)

      978 respondents, fieldwork 5-6 Feb 2021. Changes w/ 12-13 Jan

    48. Wee Chid says:

      Andy Ellis says:
      12 February, 2021 at 5:45 pm
      @Hugh Jarse 5.42pm

      Link or just speculation on your part….?
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scotland

    49. Hugh Jarse says:

      Cheers chid

      Less than relish then, more a pickle.

    50. Stuart MacKay says:

      Andy Ellis,

      Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance at Alex Salmond inquiry postponed

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-56045653

    51. Craig Jones says:

      Hugh Jarse 5.42

      If only that were true.

      A Nicola Sturgeon resignation is up there with Scotland winning the World Cup.

      And just short of Scottish Independence itself.

    52. Republicofscotland says:

      Thomas.

      I think Johnson is still flying high due to Brexit, it certainly can’t be due to his awful handling of the pandemic which sees the UK with the highest deaths (in countries with a population of 20 million or over) in the world, and the UK has seen its slowest economic growth since the 17th century.

      Johnson is relying heavily on patriotism to woo the public and take their minds off his terrible record in government, and it seems to be working, it must be down to the amount of Union Jacks he has put behind him during his briefings.

    53. Craig Jones says:

      Bored to fuckin tears hearing about Covid on the News.

      Covid is used as a “Squirrel” for that horrible wee bastard from Dreghorn to hide behind.

    54. Kate says:

      @ Anonymoose says:
      “ The committee has postponed her appearance to see if it might still be possible to hear, in person, from @AlexSalmond“

      So she will not appear unless she gets the last word. So that when’s she lies through her back teeth, front teeth, fucking nose, & every other orifice on her lying body. It will be HER having the final say & where with the final word, she can & will use her lies, To do her best to destroy AGAIN her once BEST friend.. What a LOVELY person she is…NOT!!

    55. Craig Jones says:

      STV News twisting the Salmond story to sound like he us reluctant to appear at the hearing and will only do so if he is really really forced to.

      STV and BBC Scotland can NEVER tell it as it actually is.

    56. Hugh Jarse says:

      Chill Helen, they thought they had it sewn up, until Lady D burst their bag yesterday.
      Last word won’t be any use now.

      I’m cutting my price on non appearance from evens to 4/5 on.

    57. Milady says:

      Working for Scot Gov comms must be like working in Fawlty Towers.

      Basil: “Manuel, you know nothing”
      Manuel: “You always say Mr Fawlty but I learn”
      Basil: “What?”
      Manuel: “I learn, I learn, I get better”
      Basil: “No, no, no, you don’t understand. Shhhhh, you know nothing about the horse”
      Manuel:”Ah I know nothing about the horse. …… Which horse?”

    58. Big Jock says:

      I don’t listen to the Covid briefings anymore. I remember I used to pour over the daily deaths, infections etc. However like all things bad, you just end up treating it as if you would any other bad news.

      It might explain the slight drop in the Indy support. People aren’glistening to Sturgeon now.

    59. Big Jock says:

      Listening!! Glistening?? Well you can’t polish a turd.

    60. thomas says:

      @ Republic of scotland

      You say that pal , and i dont disagree with you , but its working for johnson isnt it?

      Blairite starmer is clueless and bereft of vision , like his party , and has nothing to offer but to jump on the back of manufactured grievance.

      Whats wrong with patriotism? Im patriotic about my country scotland , same as most people are with their own countries on this earth including the english.

      Labour are patriotic about their country….the UK.

      The bottom line is labour are now the party of the south east english middle class champagne socialists , more interested in black lives matters and woke virtue signalling politics than ordinary people in england and scotland.

      They have no idea how to combat brexit , never mind scottish indy , and starmers election with the regurgitation of blairite politics is a symptom , not a solution to their problems.

      Covid 19 was never going to damage johnson the way labour and others thought it would. The voter cut him some slack , as most recognised the vast majority of countires were suffering more or less in the same way.

      Covid 19 is boring the voter like brexit did , and its only a matter of time before peoples patience snaps like it did with brexit in 2019.

      The labour party are a feckin joke , and as i said before it will be a cold fire in hell before i even think of voting for those muppets again , never mind blairite clowns like starmer and co.

    61. Hatuey says:

      “A Scottish Parliament spokesperson said: “Given the impact of the recent court judgement is not yet known, the committee has agreed that it must have the time to reflect on the impact on its work once the full written judgment is published early next week.””

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-56045653

      I guess she needs to know what pack of lies to bring.

    62. Dan says:

      Ruglonian says: at 3:16 pm

      A seemingly endless list of insults to the intelligence of the electorate.

      So much for the words carved into the side of our Parliament’s wall “Work as if you live in the early days of a better nation”

      To be fair that stonemason’s work doesn’t specify which nation or a particular point in time. The words were always in the stone, it just took him chipping away the surrounding material to reveal them.
      Unfortunately for Scotland and the reality we find ourselves in; It appears the era relates to when slippery eel-like lifeforms first developed fins and crawled out the water…

      #PondLifePoliticians

    63. Socrates MacSporran says:

      OK – Sturgeon met Geoff Aberdein in her office at Holyrood.

      She says it was an SNP party matter – therefore, by holding the meeting inside Holyrood, she breached the Ministerial Code.

      However, if she says it was a Scottish Government matter, and wasn’t minuted -it’s a breech of the Ministerial Code.

      Am I the only one who thinks it’s that simple – one or other. All that remains to be decided is, is this a resigning matter? If not, why not?

      And if Mr Hamilton finds she interfered in the Salmond stitch-up, that’s a second strike-out.

      Trying to remain in office after that would be a major feat of chutzpah. If the SNP lets her away with it – they’re toast, as well as her.

    64. Sylvia says:

      Socrates MacSporran @6.38

      Sturgeon is trying to claim it was a “Pop in” moment – like how Sleazy Pete said he thought AS popped into his house on 2nd April

    65. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Sylvia

      Still a meeting. She’s got to answer.

    66. Beaker says:

      The plots in Yes Minister are like a Playschool story compared to what is going on.

      West Wing eat your heart out…

    67. Carol Neill says:

      I’ve been a lurker for a wee while ,and posted once or twice but it’s sad/funny to see some of the pish that’s been spouted here today

    68. Republicofscotland says:

      Thomas @6.20pm.

      Ys its working for Johnson, it deflecting away from his bad governance they say that patriotism is the last bastion for a rogue, in Johnson case that must surely be true.

    69. Republicofscotland says:

      With all the postponements surrounding the committee, and with sturgeon and Salmond still to appear, one wonders if the committee will actually have enough time left to come to a decision, and hold a vote in the chamber.

      Still Mr Hamilton’s report, possible more important, will surely have enough time to conclude, at least I hope it will.

    70. Eileen Carson says:

      Trouble with having principles is that sometimes they work against you.

      I’m the type that believes private means confidential i.e. not to be disclosed even if the message was deeply disturbing to me.

      Hence I have ‘sat on’ an early attempt by a member of the wokerati to ‘fit someone up’ for a couple of years because it was a private communication …. not any more! Today I declared war on the woke – so beware the anger of a principled woman.

    71. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Carol Neill @ ye sound like yur a wee lurker fae Dreghorn, Carol. No another wan.

    72. zebedee says:

      Carol Neill says:
      12 February, 2021 at 7:04 pm
      I’ve been a lurker for a wee while ,and posted once or twice but it’s sad/funny to see some of the pish that’s been spouted here today

      Looks like you’ve added something solid to the discussion.

    73. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      Building up prison walls around them.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YR5ApYxkU-U

    74. Dan says:

      @ Carol Neill

      Please elucidate as to what particular aspect of commentary you feel the need to critique.

    75. laukat says:

      I think Sturgeon will claim that Aberdein was in the building on the 29th to attend a meeting with someone else. The key part will be what evidence Aberdein can provide of who arranged the meeting, what the agenda was and who was on the meeting invite.

      If Aberdein’s evidence is just his word that he was invited to a meeting but no document showing who was meant to attend and for what purpose then it gives Sturgeon the wiggle room to say she wasn’t meant to be at the meeting and only discussed the Salmond allegations in passing after the original meeting ended.

      It also means it doesn’t have to be her diary or that she was conducting party business on government property and fits with her statement to parliament. So everything hinges on what evidence Aberdein can provide.

      Much has been made about Salmond’s evidence to the enquiry being published but the key evidence that needs published is Aberdein’s.

    76. What intrigues me is how this government, who’ve fell hook line & sinker for the forked-tongue of Stonewall, and allowed trans activists to take over party policy,
      think they have the nounce to pull-off a conspiracy of this magnitude.

    77. Mark Russell says:

      Salmond and Sturgeon should give their evidence on the same day – one in the morning – the other in the afternoon, exclusive of each other. There should be no restrictions on evidence, not now – not that there ever should be.

      That will be the fairest and most productive format. And the quickest to conclude.

    78. Sylvia says:

      Dan @ 7:18 pm – I was going to extend the same invitation to @ Carol Neill

    79. Alf Baird says:

      Boaby @ 4:40

      “Scottish judges and lawyers will always “assist” the britnats, its in their DNA.”

      It is also within the Treaty of Union where the Scottish legal establishment managed to enshrine its own specific protections and privileges from which it has benefitted ever since.

      It also appears the case that Scotland’s judges mostly still come from privileged backgrounds, private schools and elite universities, hence are not very representative of wider society (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/elitist-scotland). So, no, I don’t think we would see very many of them on a AUOB march hauling a saltire.

      “XIX. ‘That the Court of Session, or College of Justice, do, after the Union, and notwithstanding thereof, remain, in all time coming, within Scotland, as it is now constituted by the Laws of that Kingdom, and with the same Authority and privileges, as before the Union, ….”

    80. MaggieC says:

      They should just rename that department ,
      .
      From “ FOI “ ( Scotland ) meaning – Freedom of Information
      Scotland ,
      .
      To “ FO “ ( Scotland ) meaning – F*ck off Scotland ,
      .
      As that’s basically what they are saying in their replies to Rev Stuart and all of us .

    81. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Mark Russell (7.21) –

      I’m trying to think ‘out of the box’ here…

      What if Sturgeon and Salmond both appeared at the same time? (2m apart, obvs…)

    82. ahundredthidiot says:

      Craig Jones @6:06

      …..and it’s about to get really shite.

      Literally.

      They’re going to start looking for it in your shite.

      Without your permission of course, once it’s in the sewer, hey presto, state owned shite. And in that little darling, will we find the wee beastie to keep us all under house arrest.

    83. Tinto Chiel says:

      @Dan and Ruglonian: re Alasdair (James) Gray’s quotation about working “as if you live in the early days of a better nation”, if I remember correctly from my last visit there on HOOP duty, his name is wrongly spelled on the inscription on Holyrood’s wall.

      Latterly, AG seemed to turn back disappointingly towards the Labour Party. Before I get too critical, I turn to survey the state of the SNP at the moment.

      And thus the last lines of Animal Farm always spring to mind….

    84. Margaret E says:

      Juast had a Zoom meeting with a very old friend (unionist) who announcedm that another mutual friend now in her 80s. announced to their group meeting “I have a life-changing announcement to make today!” The group listened very attentively because they thought it must have something to do with Covid.
      Not a bit of it. “My life-changing announcement? I am no longer going to vote for the SNP!”
      Group bursts out laughing not only because no one had known that she had ever voted for the SNP, but also because she thought that this was a life-changing decision.
      I think that this can be multiplied many times over.
      But the SNP don’t care and don’t listen.

    85. Elmac says:

      Helen Yates @ 5.50 pm

      The May election will not be run as a plebiscite by the SNP and there will be no independence for at least another 5 years, either because Sturgeon prevails or because there is a unionist majority at Holyrood. I think we should all accept that these are now the facts unless the farce that is the Holyrood enquiry does its job properly, but I would not hold my breath.

      Either prospect is pretty bad but I think the worst case scenario would be if the Sturgeon cabal remains in power after May. Given the level of corruption that exists in our public life it is entirely possible that they could cling to power for many more years to come, all the more so if decent people like yourself throw in the towel.

      We can never give up on freeing our nation from tyranny, whether at the hands of the British Empire or the home grown variety. We need to start again with a new independence party whose sole reason for being is to achieve Scottish independence. It will take time and we need some of the decent SNP big hitters to cross the floor, but it is already beginning to happen. In the meantime the fastest route to that goal is for Sturgeon and co. to be ousted. If her own party will not do it then we need to make sure that her party loses power and the only way to do that is to vote and campaign against them. We can vote ISP or other new pro Indy parties on the list but we do not have a home for our constituency votes. I will vote for whoever has the best chance of defeating the SNP but I can understand why many of us will find it a bridge to far to vote for a unionist candidate. In that case vote for a decent independent or simply abstain.

      Do not lose faith. We have waited many years and can wait a few more. We are in debt to many such as Craig Murray and our own Stuart Campbell. We need them now more than ever.

    86. Heaver says:

      So the msm media asks, what happened to the snp?d

    87. Dan says:

      @ WRYC

      Aye, but she’s so popular, she’s so popular… but will their Games Without Frontiers end well..

      …or might we see a film with a load more bricks featuring Nicola’s Cage…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95SWMqzM_Sg

      @ Sylvia

      I do hope Carol will be back, her post has left me intrigued and a rattlin’ for more detail. It’s akin to stating nine out of ten cats prefer…

      @ Tinto

      I know one of the stonemasons that did the rock chippin’ so will endevour to track them doon and poynt oot theyr speeling erorr. 😉

    88. Mia says:

      “She says it was an SNP party matter”

      Was Mr Aberdein an SNP member on the 29th March 2018?
      Was any of the other people in attendance at the meeting not an SNP member?
      If they were not, how can you consider such meeting, taking part in government premises, a party matter?
      Was there any Scottish government civil servant present at the meeting? If there was, a party matter is no place for a civil servant.

      Does anybody know where we can find an official job description for Scottish government FM chief of staff?

    89. Derek says:

      I’d say that questions 3 and 4 are legitimate enough; they don’t ask for an opinion, rather a reason or an explanation (in my view).

    90. Mark Russell says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:
      12 February, 2021 at 7:32 pm
      @Mark Russell (7.21) –

      I’m trying to think ‘out of the box’ here…

      What if Sturgeon and Salmond both appeared at the same time? (2m apart, obvs…)

      Ian – witnesses is a criminal trial are not permitted to hear other witnesses evidence before offering their own. Given the circumstances, that would be the only fair way to proceed.

      You’d need to stock up with popcorn, red wine and solpadine though. Ali -v- Frazier all over again. If it’s inconclusive, pistols on Glasgow Green.

    91. Mac says:

      Here is another thing that has dawned on me.

      The plotters clearly knew that by becoming accusers they would be given blanket anonymity and their roles as plotter and accuser would consequently both be obscured by the Crown Office.

      But according to Lady Dorrian (forgive spelling) we now know many, many months later that was an ‘absurd’ interpretation of her original order.

      Being an accuser does NOT give you anonymity as a plotter. It was never intended to by Lady Dorrian.

      But that very conveniently is what the Crown Office chose to believe.

      But what what is blowing mind is…

      …how did the plotters know that the Crown Office and the Lord Advocate were going to make such an ‘absurd’ interpretation so far in advance.

      How did they know their role as plotter was going to be ‘absurdly’ made secret under their role as accuser.

      It is almost like they could read the Lord Advocate’s mind.

    92. Alf Baird says:

      Elmac @ 7:43

      “The May election will not be run as a plebiscite by the SNP and there will be no independence for at least another 5 years”

      There are now 6 pro-indy parties to choose from. One of these, Solidarity, is proposing May’s election be used as a plebiscite on independence, and if there is a majority vote for independence then that result should lead to a declaration of independence which would then be taken to the UN for recognition.

      If the SNP continue to prevaricate on independence, I would suggest other pro-indy parties use the total regional List vote as a national plebiscite on independence and state that in their manifestos.

    93. Carol Neill says:

      O without meaning to in the slightest I seem to have rattled cages , I will know withdraw from here , apologies to anyone I’ve offended

    94. Dan says:

      Mac says: at 8:10 pm

      The plotters clearly knew that by becoming accusers they would be given blanket anonymity and their roles as plotter and accuser would consequently both be obscured by the Crown Office.

      Not necessarily all of them. Some may have simply trusted Ms H when she stated “I Have a Plan So That We Can Remain Anonymous But Have Maximum Effect”.

      Which raises the question of how Ms H came to hold that particular belief with such confidence, and whether she had engaged in prior communications with persons who had more legal nous and procedural knowledge to ascertain that such a process was possible.

      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/04/i-have-a-plan-so-that-we-can-remain-anonymous-but-have-maximum-effect/

    95. Mia says:

      “The plotters clearly knew that by becoming accusers they would be given blanket anonymity and their roles as plotter and accuser would consequently both be obscured by the Crown Office”

      I am beginning to think it might have actually been even murkier and more twisted than that.

      If you were expecting Lady Dorrian’s first ruling and always intending to “misinterpret” its scope to bite time, then the only thing you would need to do in order to suppress the most crucial evidence and stopping it reaching the public and the inquiry, it would be to ensure somebody involved directly or indirectly in the procedure, particularly the most controversial parts of it was also an accuser.

      If they had done that, they could have at all practical effects managed successfully to suppress some of the most crucial evidence from reaching both the public and the inquiry for long enough to make that inquiry completely worthless.

      So here is the one million pound question: is that what they did?

      Now one has to wonder how much of the excessively redacted evidence submitted to the inquiry has been overly redacted not because it adds to jigsaw identification but rather because it has the name of one of the accusers. In line with the new ruling, all that evidence should now be reviewed and any redactions conducted to simply cover names and potential involvement of accusers rather than to protect them from jigsaw identification, should be eliminated.

      But will that happen or is already too late for that because the committee has pretty much exhausted the available time?

      The question for me has always been “what was the main objective of bringing up the criminal court case, a damage limitation to hide and ergo protect the identity of the plotters or rather a damage limitation exercise based on a way to suppress the evidence by design?

      If the objective was only to protect the plotters, then we should start seeing Fabiani demanding more evidence coming from the guts of the government in the next few days and we should see some of the evidence already submitted by the government, re-submitted with less redactions.

      If it was to suppress the evidence, then what we should be expecting is even more convoluted excuses from Fabiani to run down the clock and from the government and COPFS to supress that evidence. In other words, we should expect a lot of different actors to start circling the wagons around that evidence.

    96. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Elmac (7.43) –

      Hear hear.

      If we say, just for argument’s sake, that the SNP as-is will not make a move to deliver independence, and if we also accept that there is no appetite for ‘taking up arms’, then we’re left with civil disobedience.

      It’s a legitimate, peaceful, and honourable method of asserting our rights and forcing the change we have repeatedly voted for. And there’s no reason at all why we couldn’t execute it perfectly. Consider the following:

      * ‘Now Scotland’ has got off to a great start and promises to be a much more savvy and light-footed effort than Yes Scotland ever was.

      * Independent media have had almost a decade to hone their skills.

      * The sheer scale of the indy ‘network’ is an unknowable, but we do know it is far more extensive than any msm discussion ever even alludes to let alone acknowledges.

      * We know that crowdfunding is effective.

      So, we build a war chest, just as Rev Stu has done. We keep that dosh for the inevitable legal shenanigans and emergencies that beset any movement. And we make no secret of it – we let the yoons, and the SNP, know how much we’ve got. And what’s more, we let them know what we’re going to do with it…

      Lay out the process of civil disobedience, without dates. Let them know what complete gridlock looks like, and the effects on the economy, on daily life. It’ll make lockdown look like a holiday.

      There’s a reason why ‘General Strike’ was such an important term in the 20th century. Now, folk generally don’t understand what it means in real terms, for their day-to-day lives.

      Well, we can remind them.

      Which isn’t to say that it would ever have to happen. We can speak our truth quietly, but carry a big stick all the same. (Kind of opposite to what the SNP has been doing…)

      Remember the Steinbeck quote which Tinto Chiel posted here years ago? ‘Scotland is not a lost cause. It is an unwon cause.’

      Perhaps it’s good that so many of the institutions we were brought-up to respect and obey are decomposing before our eyes – makes it all the more obvious that they will not and can not help us. If we really want independence then we have to take it – no-one is ever going to give it to us. That much must surely now be plain to everyone concerned.

      We have all the best bargaining chips: oil, gas, fish, water, and space for the upper classes to shoot stuff. It’s become clear that The Establishment doesn’t have a great deal to fear from Nicola’s SNP. But they fear us, and always have.

      Know what I’m on about, or am I just havering?

      In any case, slainte all.

      😉

    97. Daisy Walker says:

      The FOI questions are too vague.

      Try,

      On 29th March 2018 which staff member (its appreciated their name may be redacted, but the job title will suffice) was supposed to be responsible for the correct recording of all meetings the First Minister held in her office at Holyrood.

      Since the First Minister has publically, while answering in chamber at FMQT, confirmed a meeting with Geoff Aberdein took place (however fleeting) in her office, and that she forgot about it.

      What, instructions have been issued from the First Minister to any and all staff with duties for the correct record keeping of meetings – in view of the fact that this error in record keeping has still not been rectified.

      Some form of Formal Instruction must have been issued, or indeed saught (including from Civil Service Union) with regards this matter.

      If not then the buck stops once again with the FM, and is, once again a Breach of the Ministerial Code.

      I’ve been reading up on the whole shebang once more.

      Can anyone advise when the Police investigation began?

      From re-reading stuff, it is apparent that the Judicial Review was in relation to 2 allegations.

      The offical present at the initial meetings, and part of the investigation team, was not one of them. She became a complainer at a later date.

      However, anonymity was afforded the complainers for the civil harassment complaints – right from the start (which is utterly bonkers, as I’ve said before).

      There are 2 options, and understanding which was taken, will also determine how or if evidence was recorded, or removed and indeed the extent to which this was all predetermined.

      The official who set up the meeting with GA and NS on 29/3/18 did so on 7/3/18.

      There should be a record of that. Just like there should be a record of the 29/3/18 meeting.

      At that time, she was not one of the complainers, but became so, when the whole thing became a criminal complaint.

      I suspect that the trigger for making the whole thing go ‘criminal’ was AS refusing to admit the offences and insisting on a Judicial Review – because that would be a convenient time line.

      If that version is correct, then the likelyhood is the records of the meetings – were removed after the event. Perhaps even as long as 6 months after the event.

      If on the other hand, the entire episode was always intended to be a 2 pronged attack – civil + criminal, those meetings will never have been recorded, even down to GA signing into the building, and CCTV being switched off or not working that day.

      Are persons intending to visit the First Minister signed into the building, and into her office area.

      GA has testified under oath and DFM confirmed, that he attended at the FM’s office on 29/3/18 – there MUST be a record of him signing into the building for that purpose.

      Obviously a building such as Holyrood will operate CCTV covering the reception area – was any footage of persons – specifically GA – signing into the building to see FM or her staff downloaded and if so by whom, and for what purpose. (This has to be recorded for Data Protection reasons). The original footage will not have survived after about a month as the system will self record over.

      Can they confirm CCTV was in operation that day.

    98. willie says:

      Ach Stu, when you ask for an FOI they Scot Gov effectively spit in your face and then crap all over you in resisting giving the information reasonably requested.

      The state is our enemy. It is hostile and obstructive. Decency from the scum that inhabit our government and their apparatchiks is hard to come by. Simple question, piss off answer.

      Remember that as we strive to create a better Scotland. Remember that from the scum who are our government. Get that in your head and life will be a bit more understandable.

      And watch your step, because these people will brutalise you if you impede their regime. Fit up, unjustified prosecution, dawn police raids, its all part of modern Scotland.

      No wonder the Police are now tooled up like a para military force no longer part of the community. They have their allegiance, their instructions, from elsewhere.

      RUC or Scottish Unionist Constabulary – they’re both of the same ilk. In fact just look at the complexion of the senior management of Police Scotland, ex military intelligence, ex UK national Crime Agency, ex military reservist, ex naval fleet air arm, ex Met serious crime and terrorism, and ex Royal Ulster Constabulary.

      Just the team needed to set up a Scottish equivalent of the Ulster ” B ” specials.

      But we know that Salmond, Murray, Hirst, Ferrier, Thompson et al tell you how the Police select those needing a good going over.

    99. Margaret Tees says:

      Nicola seems very confident that Mr Hamilton’s report will exonerate her

    100. willie says:

      Oh and news just out Sturgeon is not now going to give evidence. Need to consider legal advice.

      Fuck off folks, just fuck off.

    101. Tinto Chiel says:

      @Dan 7.47: a skeilful chiel maun wark til his draucht, mon vieux haricot. Problem is AG’s first name is spelled/spelt so may different ways now.

      I have to say The Great Man impressed me a few years ago when I saw him quietly slip a large note into a poor soul’s bunnet in Byres Road.

    102. Daisy Walker says:

      Come back Carol Neill. Posting is difficult at first, and forgive us if we’ve jumped down your throat, times are tense.

      Your post is unclear as to what or who you disagreed with.

      laukat says:
      12 February, 2021 at 7:18 pm

      I think Sturgeon will claim that Aberdein was in the building on the 29th to attend a meeting with someone else.

      She has already done so at FMQ’s she stated he was in the building to see a former colleague and popped his head round the door. Hence the reason she ‘forgot’. It was also a really clever way of not naming exactly who was at the meeting, since the possibility exists that the former colleague, was part of the investigation team and then went on to become a complainer in the criminal allegations.

    103. Mac a ’Mhaoilein says:

      (I post this in the wrong discussion, earlier – it should have been here)

      Another aspect of this that doesn’t seem to have been focused on.

      The involvement of the FM’s Chief of Staff in the meeting with Geoff Aberdein.

      The Scottish Government’s Code of Conduct for Special Advisors 2017, states:

      Section 16:
      “Where a special adviser wishes to undertake work for a political party which does not arise out of government business they may do this either in their own time, outside office hours, or under a separate contract with the Party, working part-time for the Scottish Government. They may not use annual or unpaid leave for this purpose.”

      Section 9:
      “… It is also the First Minister’s responsibility to ensure that their special adviser(s) adhere to this Code of Conduct. …”

      With the involvement of the First Minister’s Chief of Staff, who identifies herself on LinkedIn as “Special Adviser and Deputy Spokesperson for the First Minister”, she is bound by the Special Advisors’ Code of Conduct, and the First Minister is duty bound to ensure she adheres to this code of conduct.

      It would appear, from Section 16, there would need to be a separate contract with the Scottish Government to specify when and how she can engage in party business outside office hours.

      Otherwise, her presence in this meeting is either a breach of her own code of conduct, with the collusion of the First Minister, or it is automatically Government business.

      https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/agreement/2017/04/special-advisers-code-of-conduct-and-model-contract/documents/code-conduct-special-advisers-pdf/code-conduct-special-advisers-pdf/govscot:document/Code%20of%20conduct%20for%20special%20advisers.pdf#:~:text=Code%20of%20Conduct%20for%20Special%20Advisers%20working%20in,Civil%20Service%20by%20distinguishing%20the%20source%20of%20political

    104. Daisy Walker says:

      The likelier it becomes that May election will have the option for Plebiscite Indy on the ballot, the more likley it becomes that the media will find their pencils and expose the entire corruption, which will lead to the potential closure of Holyrood.

      NS is their useful tool.

      If you think about it, we are waiting for the Inquiry to expose the truth, so that Yessers who continue to believe in St Nicla will have their eyes opened. And in effect induce a clear out at the top of the SNP and a change in policy.

      But what if, those other Yessers, don’t want a change in policy, and are using NS as much as the britnats, but for different reasons. She gives them premission to keep hoping, but never have to find the courage to deliver.

      However, if we get to vote in May, we might not get the chance to vote for Plebiscite Indy, that rests with the new parties – but we really have to clean out the SNP stables, that is now essential.

    105. cirsium says:

      @Mac, 8.10

      It is almost like they could read the Lord Advocate’s mind.

      Should that to be the Crown Agent’s mind?

    106. Aquarius says:

      The headline in the BBC link referred to at 6.23 by Hautey is “Alex Salmond inquiry”, it does refer in the text to “the committee investigating [Nicola Sturgeon’s] government’s handling of compaints against Alex Salmond” and it states that Alex had refused to appear before the inquiry because he had set conditions they “simply could never meet”.

      Radio Scotland, however, called it “the Salmond Enquiry” and said that NS evidence has been postponed to see if Alex Salmond is “willing” to give evidence, which is hardly an accurate summary.

      I expect that far more people listen to Radio Scotland than read the BBC news website (which itself refers to the Alex Salmond inquiry).

      Is this really unbiased reporting, I wonder…

    107. cirsium says:

      correction to post at 9:08. Should that not be the Crown Agent’s mind?

    108. INDEPENDENT says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:
      12 February, 2021 at 7:32 pm
      @Mark Russell (7.21) –

      Even better why not together???

      Everything else is done by ZOOM Meetings, Cos of Covid. You know why not???

    109. Mac says:

      Exactly…

      “I Have a Plan So That We Can Remain Anonymous But Have Maximum Effect”.

      How did the plotter and (soon to be) accuser sending that message above to another plotter (and soon to be accuser) know that the Lord Advocate was going to go to such ‘absurd’ lengths to bend his interpretation of the law to keep her (and her plotter cohorts) anonymous…

    110. ahundredthidiot says:

      A lot of good people in Falkirk.

      Embarrassed today – for sure.

    111. Don says:

      @ Boaby 12 February, 2021 at 4:40 pm

      “Scottish judges and lawyers will always “assist” the britnats, its in their DNA”

      Haven’t you been paying ANY attention ? It NOT the “Britnats” the Scottish Legal System is protecting at Holyrood. ps in case you also haven’t noticed Leslie Evans is the Sturgeonators bestie https://www.civilserviceworld.com/professions/article/nicola-sturgeon-appoints-leslie-evans-as-new-scottish-government-permanent-secretary

    112. Dan – Nicola’s Cage. Good one. Made me chuckle.

    113. Contrary says:

      Daisy Walker,

      The police investigation began when the crown office handed it to the police on the 21st Aug 2018. The police asked for confidentiality for their part. Leslie Evans must have handed her Decision Report to the Crown Agent before this but I don’t know when.

      Leslie Evans sent the Decision Report to Alex Salmond on the 22nd Aug 2018. The next day on 23rd Aug, Alex Salmond notifies Evans of his intention to petition for the JR, then we have the SG threatening to release a statement about it, Alex Salmond said they were seeking an interim inderdict from the courts, which meant the SG had to stay silent, but they didn’t get one before the end of the day & told the SG – a couple of hours later, David Clegg phones Alex Salmond saying there had been a leak & he was going to publish at 10pm (about 2hours notice for AS).

      Current thinking – Gordon Dangerfield and Craig Murray – is that the criminal investigation wasn’t planned, they were just reacting to events as they came along. The intention was to make the allegations and Alex’s name public. The procedure says the decision by Evans would ‘be recorded’ in the SG. (Not sure why Alex would be that bothered by this with their recording skills being so crap, see above)(that was a joke btw). The judicial Review could have silenced them – and I suspect they didn’t expect to win right from the start – so they gave it to the police hoping charges against AS would put the Judicial Review on hold, and make the matter public. Unfortunately for Evans, the police charges didn’t come in time (later in January 2019) to stop her resounding defeat and embarrassment in the JR (that was conceded 2nd Jan 2019).

      Interestingly, there were three people making allegations – an email to one complainer on the 14th December 2017 from Nicola Richards said ‘two others are considering their position’ (re: whether to make their complaint formal). But it would appear that only two made formal complaints. We don’t get to hear anything about the third person, and I suspect a lot is redacted do we don’t. Then the SG summary of events said that three incidents were reported to the police (Crown Office) – but that’s not necessarily 3 people.

      The complainers were asked if they wanted anonymity or not for the SG process & they must have chosen it.

      Leslie Evans throughout the investigation process – from the day she notified AS on the 7th March 2018 – knew there was a possibility of a Judicial Review because Alex Salmond’s lawyers immediately questioned the lawfulness and fairness of the process and reserved the right to go to judicial review – they also had to make repeated requests for assurance of confidentiality (Evans saying ‘yes yes, of course, as long as I don’t get and FOI or something else comes up’). Evans refused to resolve their dispute re lawfulness by arbitration – which would have kept everything confidential and low-key.

      Boring detail! And I don’t know if it helps with context for what you are looking at.

    114. Don says:

      Another complaint to the Information Commissioner worth the while ? Seems to be less of a bad habit, more of an designed Industry.

      https://theferret.scot/scottish-government-foi-commissioner/

    115. kapelmeister says:

      It’s always a recipe for trouble when an egotistical person of average ability takes over a position vacated by a star.

    116. crazycat says:

      @ Tinto Chiel at 8.45

      AG also had the world’s most amazing laugh. I was at some function in the City Chambers nearly 20 years, and didn’t realize he had come in behind me till something amused him.

    117. cynicalHighlander says:

      Chris Cairns has his work cut out for tomorrows cartoon.

      https://twitter.com/mortenmorland/status/1359040246743248896

    118. Puzzled says:

      Who is AG?

    119. wee monkey says:

      Elmac says:
      12 February, 2021 at 7:43 pm
      Helen Yates @ 5.50 pm

      Quote:-

      “The May election will not be run as a plebiscite by the SNP and there will be no independence for at least another 5 years, either because Sturgeon prevails or because there is a unionist majority at Holyrood. I think we should all accept that these are now the facts unless the farce that is the Holyrood enquiry does its job properly, but I would not hold my breath.

      Either prospect is pretty bad but I think the worst case scenario would be if the Sturgeon cabal remains in power after May. Given the level of corruption that exists in our public life it is entirely possible that they could cling to power for many more years to come, all the more so if decent people like yourself throw in the towel.

      We can never give up on freeing our nation from tyranny, whether at the hands of the British Empire or the home grown variety. We need to start again with a new independence party whose sole reason for being is to achieve Scottish independence. It will take time and we need some of the decent SNP big hitters to cross the floor, but it is already beginning to happen. In the meantime the fastest route to that goal is for Sturgeon and co. to be ousted. If her own party will not do it then we need to make sure that her party loses power and the only way to do that is to vote and campaign against them. We can vote ISP or other new pro Indy parties on the list but we do not have a home for our constituency votes. I will vote for whoever has the best chance of defeating the SNP but I can understand why many of us will find it a bridge to far to vote for a unionist candidate. In that case vote for a decent independent or simply abstain.

      Do not lose faith. We have waited many years and can wait a few more. We are in debt to many such as Craig Murray and our own Stuart Campbell. We need them now more than ever.”

      One thing [or rather two] that any new “party” must have at it’s CORE is the REALISM to confront the issues that stand in the way of a MAJORITY and the second is to never again allow itself to develop into the fascism that we see today in the SNP…

    120. kapelmeister says:

      Puzzled

      Antonio Gramsci.

    121. Puzzled says:

      Thank you. Yes, I see what you mean.

    122. crazycat says:

      @ Puzzled

      Alasdair Gray (don’t listen to the pun-meister!!).

    123. David Caledonia says:

      I am curious, does anybody read all these long winded comments about stuff we all know about.
      There you are, short and to the point, I’m off to see the wizard the wonderful wizard of oz, la, la la, la la la, la, la , la la, la , la lol

    124. Willie Jay says:

      I believe that there are not many of “them” here in the comments, though many, many of them are probably reading WoS to simply find out just what is going on day by day. (And they could not find a much better source of up to date information *anywhere* at all.)

      I am referring to the “Wheesht for Indy Brigade” who are *STILL* going strong in many quarters.

      What is truly exasperating is to visit MSM alleged Scottish “newspaper” sites and read the comments BTL there. Any paper at all, whether allegedly pro or anti-Indy.

      My personal opinion is now veering towards this view:

      The number of Scottish People who are simply willing to accept, without any questions asked whatsoever, concerning the conduct and behaviour of the whole Scottish Government and their followers, from the absolute High Heid Yins who keep professing, “We did no wrong”, right away down to the very grassroots followers who seem to not only accept that claim, but to actually virulently enforce it against anyone with an opposing view, well, it is *SIMPLY AND HONESTLY* not a Scotland that I want to be a part of.

      We have all heard the tale of “Fish rots from the heid”, but my word, this whole rotten fish of the current SNP, and I *mean* the absolute *WHOLE PARTY* WITH SO MANY FOLLOWERS WISHING, DESIRING, HOPING TO FOLLOW AND VOTE FOR SUCH MASSIVE CORRUPTION, is a very bad sign of what might follow should the SNP win a huge majority in the next election.

      I *cannot* support the current set-up of the SNP with any vote whatsoever in the forthcoming election.

    125. Daisy Walker says:

      @ Contrary says:
      12 February, 2021 at 9:53 pm

      Daisy Walker,

      The police investigation began when the crown office handed it to the police on the 21st Aug 2018. The police asked for confidentiality for their part. Leslie Evans must have handed her Decision Report to the Crown Agent before this but I don’t know when.’

      Alex Salmond said at his criminal trial that the Police had been investigating him for 18 months. Does that fit? timing wise?

    126. Scotland The Grave, Part One: Origins.

      Some non-standard, hopefully amusing musings on where this sexual minority infighting madness started, and its evolution. Part Two will be a few thoughts on where it’s going.

      https://whorattledyourcage.blogspot.com/2021/02/scotland-grave-part-one-origins.html

    127. shug says:

      Does anyone know why Nicola (allegedly) allowed the move against Alex??

      The scale of nastiness here is quite astonishing.

    128. John says:

      Mia 8:36pm

      I can’t answer your question directly, but I can inform your enquiry.

      Yes. In principle this is exactly the same as they did to Anglia Television plc.

      The role played here by Ms Sturgeon’s special advisor/chief of staff is identical to the role played there by the Managing Director.

      There, they installed a new Managing Director who was a phony, who’d never been appointed by the Board.

      He did all of the “butcher and bolt” that was required.

      THEN they appointed him legally, after all the dirty work had got done, and made him a Director.

      That way the Board of Directors was not responsible in law for what the phony director had done PRIOR to the appointment.

      BUT surely his acts are not valid, and so can be reversed by law? you say.

      Then you don’t know about the Companies Act 1985

      285. Validity of acts of directors. The acts of a director or manager are valid notwithstanding any defect that may afterwards be discovered in his appointment or qualification; and this provision is not excluded by section 292(2) (void resolution to appoint).

      Bingo! They Butchered us and bolted, and the people that opened the gate, and accepted legally binding commitments on our behalves, were not legally responsible for any of it. Trebles all round!

      Except they got caught.

      Queens Bench 1994-c-2024
      J P Cleary v Anglia Television

      The phony director was Malcolm Wall. I was dismissed by Mr Wall on 24 May 1994

      He was appointed at the Board meeting on 22 July 1994.

      On that Board were Their Wonderfulnesses Lord Hollick and Lady Archer.

      Seems like John Smith didn’t go along with it.

    129. Sylvia says:

      Daisy Walker/ Contrary

      Police Scotland was contacted in the first instance on 5th December 2017.
      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/20210120PoliceScotlandtoConvener(1).pdf

    130. ‘Union army.’ ‘Drafted.’ ‘Combat.’ Very warlike, interesting language.

      http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/politics/uk-politics/2898007/uk-government-union/

    131. Sylvia says:

      WhoRattledYourCage

      I have noticed the media using militaristic language more and more recently, even when it’s not relevant to the topic they’re reporting on.

    132. Grendel says:

      Dig up!

    133. Craig Jones says:

      Was thinking about the last time Sturgeon actually made a rousing speech regarding Scottish Independence.

      Apart from the shindig in the Hydro in November 2014 and a couple of Gay Pride Rallies and finally a Stop Brexit rally in England, that’s about it.

      The rest of her time seems to have been taken up fighting for Transexuals and then saving the world from Covid19.

      So, not a lot on the Indy front.

      And you have to ask yourself, why the fuck did she take on the job of the leader of the Independence Party in Scotland, when she knew all along she didn’t have the bottle or the inclination to lead us there in the first place.

      If you are in the mood for some good old fashioned cringe, then have a look at the link to the Hydro and some of the statements that were made that night.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30157986

    134. L.U.T.B. says:

      My only FOI request followed the death of my 18 year-old son in Dececember 2018. He had severe mental health problems which had required admission to hospital. But there were no beds in Lothian so he went to a Glasgow hospital. Sadly his notes didn’t go with him and because they didn’t know what they were dealing with, 3 days later he was dead.
      Various sources, reliable ones, I’m a retired consultant psychiatrist, had told us that the problem of patients being tranferred out of area was a growing one.
      We made a FOI request as to how many many patients had been transferred out of lothian to other health boards over a several month period and got back the reply that none had. Even though we knew our dead son had.
      This is a bad dishonest government and the sooner they are held to account the better!

    135. Alan Mackintosh says:

      Craig, the best thing about the Hydro was right at the end when Alex came onto the stage. The place erupted…!

      For my own part, I had me saltire and 5m pole with me and started flying it at the end, I was right at the front.(I was told off earlier on and took it down). At the end when they were all standing on stage, and the flag was slowly moving left to right, I was watching Alex, he couldn’t take his eyes of it. I was watching him watching the saltire. He then had and still has the power.

    136. Craig Jones says:

      LUTB 12.24am

      Sorry to hear about the loss of your son in such a crewl way.

    137. Craig Jones says:

      Alan Mackintosh. 12.26am

      If only Alex had stayed on as leader.

      Instead, we got this thing from Dreghorn, and frankly I haven’t got a clue what she is meant to be doing.

    138. Sylvia, have a read at that whole article, it’s beyond incredible. Quote from it:

      “One senior government source likened the team’s challenge to that faced by US generals in Vietnam.

      Using inflammatory language, they said: “The strategy has been a bit like the US dealing with the Viet Cong.

      The generals there were playing chess, trying to land that killer blow, but the game they should have been playing was Go, where you surround the opposing side.”

      What actually makes that appalling drivel hilarious is the fact that the Vietcong were actually the GOOD GUYS in the Vietnam War, merely defending their country from the invading American aggressors, AND THE VIETCONG WON. Shows you how intelligent the Westminster inbrednecks are. Hilarious Seen too many Hollywood Nam films, where the Americans are the misunderstood good guys, napalming villagers back to the Stone Age for their own good. Now where did I put those punji sticks and where are my black pyjamas? NO CHIEU HOI ya bas! 🙂

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_ExP4JpLvM

    139. Al-Stuart says:

      .
      Reverend Stuart Sonic Campbell,

      You inspired me with your this article. If we disagree with the Law of Diminishing Retuns, we have power to change this law. FIVE WONDERFUL WORDS…

      THE LAW SURCHARGING PUBLIC OFFICIALS.

      For those disgusting liars, thieves, cheats at Holyrood and currently (squatting) in Bute House, whether they are elected or suckling at the taxpayer’s teat, we go after their personal assets.

      Whoever has been obstructing these FOISA requests, we go after their personal assets.

      Dodgy MPs? We go after their personal assets. Actually the assets in their possession were perloined aboard the Holyrood Gravy Train, so that money belongs to the taxpayer. Time to seek it’s return? Yes? No?

      Imagine Pension Pete Wetfart without his pension nor the corpulent expenses he has milked from his best pals at the Unionist government during his 20 year sinecure at the best and most expensive private club in London. Sir Pete will change his tune when the taxpayer asks for their money back. Imagine the look on Cosy Feet, Lord Pete of Bleat Tweet’s face?

      As for the Murrells, we follow the money. The £700,000 that smug, fat bald little creep of a “beard” Peter Murrell and Mrs Referenda Promisia-Sturgeonista de Blinka are safeguarding and promised us was ringed fence? If it turns out those two duplicitous dissemblers have “woven” the cash into their own knitted cardigans or Totty Rocks outfits and places the cash was not supposed to weave whilst in their safe hands and on their secure watch! Then it is time for STURGEON TO BE SURCHARGED. Penfold is a civilan and falls under standard law; so it’s an interview under police caution or the chief superintendent gets charged for neglect of duty and his double luxurious superannuated pension is SURCHARGED for failing to do his duty and investigate Penfold Murrell properly.

      NO MORE DODGY SHIT FROM THIS ORWELLIAN PARCEL O’ ROGUES.

      As for Nicola Cruella de la Blinka? Lock up your puppies and SURCHARGE her.

      Nicola is already morally bankrupt. A SURCHARGE and a confiscation order should land her a job she is almost qualified for: cleaning lavvies in Corton Vale. No disrespect intended to janitors as we’d be far far better with a Janny as First Minister.

      If you think this cannot happen, just see what happened to Westminster Council Tory darling, the whiffy stench laden Dame Shitely Porter.

      She was SURCHARGED £31,600,000

      Shite-arsed Shirley Porter tried to hide £70 million of her assets from the legal Court ordered SURCHARGE. In between selling the bodies of dead people interred in cemeteries that her council sold off to friendly necrophiliac property developers, the midden that Shitely Porter once presided over, Westminster Council mirrors Holyrood in so many ways.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Porter

      Stuart, rather than waste YOUR valuable time with these FOISA skid marks, just think about Declan de la Dope. The reverse-Midas man who turns £350 into £50.

      Whilst Dexter boasted lies to credit-steal about how clever he was getting £50 from you, you did do magic. You turned Declan the Dipshit Dweeb’s £50 into £10,000.

      STUART YOUR TURNING £50 INTO £10,000 PISSES OFF ALL THE RIGHT PEOPLE.

      Fuck this Fabiani whitewash show trial. Fuck Andy NaeSpine Whitewash. Fuck all the bent politicians.

      How?

      SURCHARGE THE FUCKERS. EVERY LAST ONE OF THOSE BENT, CORRUPT, GERRYMANDERING CESSPIT FULL.

      Let all this crapfest they put Alex Salmond, Craig Murray, Martin Hurst and especially yourself through over the years count for something.

      With gerrymandered and compromised law officers, surely we can think laterally and find the most efficient way to PERSONALLY SURCHARGE these miscreants.

      We have a duty to do this. If we don’t, then the bent creeps at Holyrood will keep on doing same shit, different day.

      Time to Shirleygate the lot of them…

      https://archive.is/wip/r8XcK

    140. Daisy Walker says:

      Sylvia says:
      12 February, 2021 at 11:50 pm

      Daisy Walker/ Contrary

      Police Scotland was contacted in the first instance on 5th December 2017.
      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/20210120PoliceScotlandtoConvener(1).pdf.

      WOW. What that means is, even before they have informed AS about the civil harassment complaints x 2 (and not involving the person who was an official in the investigation and later became a complainer), they have instigated a criminal complaints procedure.

      And AS is 3 months away from being informed of the civil complaints.

      Suddenly the pre-planning on this is getting clearer.

      And if you look at what information was not sucessfully concealed ie whatsapp messages – and who they tarnish – it is not the britnat state is it.

      Nicola Sturgeon is up to her roots in this, but a cleverer machine started the ball rolling long before, and they will have her as the fall guy, its in their interests.

      The above information makes it very unlikely that the meet with GA was ever recorded, in any proper way, up to and including CCTV of him entering the building. It is highly unlikely to be a case of they held the meeting and then removed the records of same anymore.

      Scotland is so screwed. All the way.

      If the SNP get back in in May under Sturgeon or her ilk, the likes of Wings will never get to publish again.

      The Hate Crime Bill and the GRA are unlikely to have been designed to accidentally mute such voices.

      We have – under lockdown – 3 months to introduce to our electorate the absolute need for Plebiscite Indy and to give them a chance for them to vote for it.

      It cannot win, in such a short time frame. But if it were to win all the Yes votes, as a matter of principle on the list, and take say 20 – 40 seats on the list, it would be an earth quake.

      And in 4 years time, with Brexshit at its maximum impact, maximum attributable blame on boris – GE is when we get free.

      But in the mean time, JC a person who might, or might not have been best choice for new leader (but is certainly up there), has absolutely blazed a trail in terms of integrity and quality of work, got royally shafted by the SNP and is now getting lauded and applauded by WM – do you think that is by accident?

      They have shat on every promising Scot that ever went down there, for very good britnat reasons, but now that members of the SNP!!! are being arrested for threatening to rape her, its the torys and labourtory’s from Englandshire who are rallying round her, and electing her to committees where they know her expertise will be useful.

      In my auld job they would call that, ‘blawin stour up yir arse tae keep ye sweet’.

      Joanna Cherry would have every right to stand down from politics, or she can return to QC duties, or she can continue to work in the field of human rights and legal formation of laws as an MP – and in the doing of all or any of these things not once would she be letting Scotland down, or compromising her Indy credentials.

      Who could blame her. She went down to London to fight Scotland corner and the Sturgeons Nepotist Party didn’t (and stil don;t) have have her back.

      People judge Westminster by Boris, and in that way Boris is genius and serves them and himself very well. But when it comes to keeping Scotland as an English possession, very able people have been moving the pieces on the chess board from about the time of the first poll showing yes in the lead just before 18/9/14.

      Alex is not going to get any kind of justice from the Scot Gov enquiry or the British Media, and probably not the outwith media either.

      If he wants justice, he’s going to have to get re-elected to Holyrood and use parliamentary powers to clean the house and put the wheels back on.

    141. Daisy Walker says:

      @ L.U.T.B. says:

      Deeply sorry to hear about your son LUTB.

      I do not believe it is unconnected, or unpracticed.

      Don’t think any of us are immune either.

    142. Contrary says:

      Daisy Walker,

      Yes, 18 months sounds about right.

      Daisy and Sylvia,

      The 5th Dec 2017 (and others) contact of Police Scotland by Judith Mackinnon was for advice on sexual harassment cases – the SG at no point ever, took any complaint direct to the police. Which is a scandal in itself, because the Procedure tells them they should take it to the police, and if LE was following the procedure ‘to the letter’ like she says, she’d have taken if to the police – she didn’t though – because, ‘legal advice’. Oh – so was it the legal advice on the procedure that was wrong, or her later legal advice? The Lord Advocate gave two pages of non-answer waffle when questioned on it. And we aren’t allowed to know the hallowed ‘legal advice’ of course, just because.

      What Police Scotland said on the 6th Dec 2017 and in subsequent contacts, was that SG staff were in no way trained to deal with potential victims and should not investigate claims themselves, and gave them good-practice advice (potential victim should call support or advocacy services). The SG then went ahead, signed off the procedure, and proceded to investigate. Not once mentioning they already had complaints of that nature to police Scotland. And completely ignoring their advice.

      If this was ‘best practice’ and following a victim-led approach blah blah, I don’t want to see them do things badly! Thing is, they seemed to be doing lots of good other work on the policy reviews, all other policies got proper trade union input and a full range of discussions and such like.

    143. James Barr Gardner says:

      ‘All societies we know of are governed by the selfish interests of the ruling class or classes.’ Plato.

      Not much has changed ……..

    144. Sylvia says:

      Contrary/Daisy Walker

      “Jul 2017: Mackinnon left her post in July 2017 to take up employment in the newly created post as Head of People Advice for The Scottish Government. The Alex Salmond debacle occurred within 6 months of her appointment”.

      https://caltonjock.com/2019/01/16/a-wee-peek-at-the-employment-history-of-judith-mackinnon-head-of-people-advice-for-the-scottish-government-enlightening-indeed/

    145. Old Fogey says:

      I am an avid follower of this site but I have never commented on it before. Before making my point, I should declare an interest. I am a retired diplomat and someone who is proud to think of themselves as a “Salmondite”. I know Mr Salmond and have worked with him and I believe that what “they” (whoever “they” are) have done to him is evil. I also fervently hope that they are called to account for their misdeeds at some point.

      But, having said all that, there is a flaw in the logic being applied here to the interpretation of paragraph 1.3(i) of the Ministerial Code. Rev Stu is right in asserting that the Scottish Parliament is a public resource. The key point however is that it isn’t a Ministerial one.

      The Code applies to Ministers and sets conditions on what they, as members of the Government, can and cannot do with those public resources which come under their stewardship or directly under their control. So, for example, they cannot use a government car to take them to a party function. They cannot use any buildings in the government estate to hold party political meetings and so on. The restrictions apply to those things with which they are entrusted. Just because something is a public resource does not mean that it falls within the ambit of the Code.

      Scottish Ministers have no role in how the Parliament is run or in the day to day decisions it takes regarding its operations. It is not one of the public resources for which they are responsible. Responsibility lies with the Parliament’s Corporate Body which is comprised of representatives from each political party in the Parliament, chaired by the Presiding Officer.

      The Parliament is a democratic institution but it is also a party political one, how could it be otherwise? Pre-Covid days, 100s of political meetings would take place in the Parliament every week. That is how all Parliaments work. It’s how they function. So there are no restrictions placed on any Member discussing party political matters in the Parliamentary estate, be they in government or not.

    146. Contrary says:

      Silvia, I have it as June 2017 that Judith Mackinnon started working for the SG, but I don’t suppose it really matters – I’ve been told it’s unlikely Judith was employed for that sole purpose,,, but I still hold my very strong suspicions. I doubt we’ll ever really get to know that much. They all have far too much to lose, and the cover up has been so extensive now, not one of them will crack and spill the beans & that would be the only way to get that level of detail I reckon.

      If we manage to get the leaders of the cabal whisked away (SNP and Leslie Evans et al) – that’s going to be the biggest stumbling block out of the way & might be the most we can hope for.

      (P.s. I don’t find Caltonjock’s timings particularly reliable, or his version of events in some cases, so I don’t use it for any references)

    147. Lulu Bells says:

      What a pile of woffle this FOI response is, they will have very much enjoyed throwing the rules in.

      I see some suggestions on FOI requests up there.

      I agree that very specific, and would add short, questions are the way forwards. Whilst it is enjoyable to let them know you have caught them out completely it just gives them too much wriggle room.

      Also, if anyone is considering an FOI on who was signed in and out of Holyrood and CCTV etc. as suggested above then that FOI needs to go to Holyrood not the SG.

      We need to remember that Holyrood and Scottish Government are 2 different things and SG will not hold information on Holyrood and vice versa. The staff employed in each organisation are employed under different and separate policies and procedures.

    148. Contrary says:

      (Pps. Not that I find the SG timelines particularly trustworthy, but they do stick to having to have some evidence to back it up, and I’m not promising all my timings are always accurate either! It ran over such a long timescale it’s easy to make typos on month or year, but I try to pay attention when writing it down. Query anything that doesn’t look right & I’ll double check it).

      (Huh. I have written down that there was a leak to David Clegg on the 31st Oct 2017 – that I’ve written down from some source I haven’t referenced – and realised that can’t be right and noted ‘must be 2018’ – and now wish I could check the source again, I may remember it in fact,,,)

    149. Contrary says:

      Lulu Bells,

      The slow realisation throughout this whole inquiry thing that the Parliament and the Government are more separate than the the SG/Crown Office relationship, has been quite an eye-opener!

    150. Kiwilassie says:

      Daisy, also it stands to reason that L.L. being in the same position with Nicola, as G.E. was with Alex when he was First Minister, would be the best person to call in to tell him of accusations towards Alex & to set up an appointment.
      I believe G.E. had actually moved on to another job at this time. Calling him in to tell Alex of the allegations & set up a meeting for Alex to meet Nicola.
      If Alex didn’t know what the meeting was about, why would he take QC Hamilton along to it?
      Why has Liz Lloyd never been called up to give evidence?

    151. Sylvia says:

      Contrary – Judith Mackinnon

      It would appear on this occasion Calton Jock was correct, as Judith Mackinnon commenced employment in August 2017 with the SG.

      The below is taken from the minutes when she gave evidence to the committee on 27 October 2020

      https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12898&mode=pdf

      Judith Mackinnon: Thank you, convener.
      The—[Inaudible.]—context about my role—
      [Inaudible.]—director of people advice in the
      Scottish Government’s people directorate. I have
      been head of people advice since August 2017,
      when I joined the Scottish Government. My—
      [Inaudible.]—re

    152. Eileen Carson says:

      Contrary

      We need to find out if Judith Mackinnon’s post existed before her employment or not. That would be a good indicator [but not conclusive] of whether she was solely employed to fit up Alex.

    153. Mia says:

      @ Contrary
      Re “leak to David Clegg on the 31st Oct 2017’”

      If you are referring to the leak to the Daily Record about the police investigation, this must have happen on the 23 August 2018 or earlier. You can read that from Mr Salmond’s submission to the judicial review (https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/Alex_Salmond_Submission_(Judicial_Review).pdf

      In the above document you also find attached a letter from the ICO stating:

      “The data was contained within a report relating to the outcome of an internal misconduct investigation, which was leaked to the press on the 23 August 2018 and published in the Daily Record on 23 and 25 August 2018”

      To put all this in context, Mr Salmond’s submissions reads:

      “on Thursday 23rd August my legal team was informed that the Scottish Government intended to release a public statement on the fact of the investigation at 5pm that day. That, despite the firm assurances of confidentiality which had been
      made throughout. We replied that such a decision to publicise left no option but to seek an interim interdict against the government that evening preventing publication.

      That action became the petition for Judicial Review. The Scottish Government agreed to withdraw their proposed public statement pending resolution of the interim interdict application by the Court of Session.

      By late afternoon the Government claimed that they had been contacted by the press but had confirmed nothing. At 6.34pm we informed the Government that an interim interdict would not be heard that evening. We had by that stage had no contact from
      any news outlet. Shortly after 8pm I was phoned by David Clegg, political editor of the Daily Record who then emailed me at 20.16 informing me that they now had been given confirmation that a police complaint had been made against me and were
      publishing their story at 10pm”

    154. Lulu Bells says:

      Eileen,

      I don’t think MacKinnon was recruited with the sole purpose of fitting up Alex Salmond. Her post always existed in one form or another, and frankly, she is not smart enough or senior enough and, as her actions exposed, able to play the game properly. Like some of the other women involved she was a pawn in the game…but should have known better. I expect her police connections helped her get the role though.

    155. Sylvia says:

      Contrary/Mis – The article you’re referring to was published by the DR 00:58, 25 AUG 2018 https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/alex-salmond-accused-touching-womans-13134675

    156. frogesque says:

      If all the FoI replies were put though a shredder and reconstituted you could probably come up with a ‘lost’ Shakesperian sonnet.

      At least it would make more sense and be mildly interesting.

    157. Sylvia says:

      Lulu Bells/Eileen

      Lulu Bells I agree with you on several points, however, in this scandal- I don’t feel it is possible to estimate the “value” (to the conspirators) a person has by the position they hold.

    158. Sylvia says:

      FAO of Rev Stu

      “I wonder if Wings got a reply to their open letter to Douglas Chapman? I ask because he didn’t reply to my 2 polite & reasonable letters re office expenses & @britishmuseum artefacts”.

      “Following Murrell’s antics I hope he is on the case”?

      ://twitter.com/MinogueTom/status/1360532887787962370

    159. Alf Baird says:

      WhoRattledYourCage

      Looks like a strategy:

      “One senior government source likened the (union) team’s challenge to that faced by US generals in Vietnam. Using inflammatory language, they said: “The strategy has been a bit like the US dealing with the Viet Cong. “The generals there were playing chess, trying to land that killer blow, but the game they should have been playing was Go, where you surround the opposing side.”
      https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/politics/uk-politics/2898007/uk-government-union/

      ‘Vietnam’? And us Scots are the ‘Viet Cong’? Where have we heard that before? So it looks like we are being ‘surrounded’, or is this what they call ‘love bombed’?

      Its as if Scotland was a wee daeless colony being fought over by imperial interests. Aint that the truth.

    160. TNS2019 says:

      If you can demonstrate that the information you require will be part of future court proceedings (you don’t need to go ahead and lodge the case), you can apply for court orders: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1972/59/section/1

      As we will be doing shortly:
      https://www.tns2019.org/new-blog-1/2021/2/11/all-in-all-a-good-day

      So you need to think of a potential civil action to bring.

    161. TNS2019 says:

      Tricky though in the cases you have referenced.

    162. TNS2019 says:

      Unless it is for a charge of misefeasance in public office.

    163. Contrary says:

      Lulu Bells/Sylvia/Mia

      On Judith Mackinnon’s appointment – it could have been June July or August, and it possibly says all three in lots of different places – such is the way with much of the evidence, the exact dates of anything seem to change all the time. That is, I’ll have written down June at the start, probably from SG timeline, and not bothered to try and verify, because the evidence really starts on the 31st Oct. I agree with Lulu Bells – and the variety of titles and positions within the SG makes looking for anything like a newly invented title really difficult. I also agree she doesn’t seem to be terribly bright.

      Sorry I’ve just caused more confusion with my mention of the leak to David Clegg – my point was: did I write it down against the wrong date? Or did someone else write it down wrong and I copied it exactly? Unless I find the source again, I won’t be able to say (it was only written down for context, from my point of view, anyway). I’ve got all the times of the leak to David Clegg on the 23rd then the 25th of August 2018. But that one is an anomaly that I haven’t been able to find the source of again (hm, possibly now redacted?!).

    164. Sylvia says:

      Contrary – Judith Mackinnon confirmed in her opening statement to the inquiry she joined SG in August 2017

      https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=12898&mode=pdf

    165. Daisy Walker says:

      A wee favour.

      I did a timeline a wee while ago, and since then I’ve had to get a new computer…

      I know Craig Murray was looking for it to assist with his trial, and I’m looking to update it in view of all that has come out since then.

      Is anyone here able to check comments and find it again.

      I’m going to try and pull all the info re AS, Harassment Procedures/JR, Criminal Investigation and subsequent Inquiry into something sequential. The problem is not a lack of facts or evidence, the problem is it is overwhelming.

      Short version, Nicla’s in it up to her oxters, as are the Britnats, and Alex was stitched up to keep him from taking over the Scotsman and pushing for Indy.

    166. Don says:

      @ Ian Brotherhood 12 February, 2021 at 8:40 pm

      “We have all the best bargaining chips: oil, gas, fish, water, and space for the upper classes to shoot stuff.
      or am I just havering?”

      Havering is pretty much it. Oil and Gas going pretty much down the toilet by 2035 due to Global Green initatives. Scottish Oil industry is in long term terminal rundown and the SNP already know that well. https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/politics/725444/snp-mp-admits-an-independent-scotland-would-not-receive-a-huge-income-from-oil/

      Water ? FFS Scotland doesn’t sell any water to England, where on earth did this mental Lie arise from ? There might well be some water goes to England just across the Border due to local reservoir situation but other border areas of Scotland are likely to be served from English ones and of small consequence financially. Haven’t you noticed that the Lake District is Geographically placed much nearer to large areas of English population than Scotland is yet ? https://www.robedwards.com/2012/03/selling-water-to-england-is-a-pipe-dream-say-experts.html#:~:text=Alex%20Salmond%27s%20plan%20to%20sell,impractical%2C%20polluting%20and%20horrendously%20expensive.

      Fish ..Can you say what actual taxes are collected from any fishing company profits we get from Fish rather than just the wholesale Sales Value of Fishing ? It will be on the Scot Gov website somewhere. Surprised if it even makes enough to pay for over our 60’s bus passes.

    167. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “They cannot use any buildings in the government estate to hold party political meetings and so on.”

      Which is precisely what was done – the First Minister’s office being used for what we’re told was party business, not government business.

    168. Don says:

      @Daisy Walker 13 February, 2021 at 12:38 pm

      “Nicla’s in it up to her oxters” TRUE

      “as are the Britnats” Who though ? Leslie Evans worked for Sturgeon before she took on Her current role and Her Husband is an SNP Activist , Evans was Sturgeons own choice. https://twitter.com/htscotpol/status/1034369196459732992
      https://www.civilserviceworld.com/professions/article/nicola-sturgeon-appoints-leslie-evans-as-new-scottish-government-permanent-secretary

      ” and Alex was stitched up to keep him from taking over the Scotsman and pushing for Indy”
      Stitched up likely but where would Salmond have got the £10mn required to buy the Scotsman ? Why would he even need to do that when the National already is available for nowt ? I haven’t yet seen Kenny MacAskill for instance blaming anyone other than SNP or other people who work for them and do their bidding.

    169. Sylvia says:

      Daisy Walker

      I think this might be what you’re looking for – If not, let me know and I will try again.

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/our-number-one-fan/#comment-2579149

    170. Old Fogey says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      13 February, 2021 at 1:09 pm
      “They cannot use any buildings in the government estate to hold party political meetings and so on.”

      “Which is precisely what was done – the First Minister’s office being used for what we’re told was party business, not government business”

      If the meeting took place on the Parliamentary estate then that isn’t a problem because Ministers are not responsible for the Parliament. They are accountable to it but not for it. The Parliament does not form part of the government estate so it doesn’t fall within the definition of a public resource belonging to the Scottish Ministers. It has to be that way in order to ensure a complete separation of powers between the Executive (Government) and the Legislature (Parliament).

    171. Daisy Walker says:

      Many thanks Sylvia – that was the one.

    172. Daisy Walker says:

      Don, as I understand it the finance/ownership was going to be some Norweigian person and Alex was going in to do the running of it.



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