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The Lion’s Den

Posted on February 26, 2021 by

Just a couple of hours now.

From 12.30 this afternoon, Alex Salmond will attempt to tell the people of Scotland the truth about what happened to him in the last two years – a grave injustice which saw an innocent man have his reputation dragged through the gutter, be placed under incredible personal stress, be left greatly impoverished by proving his innocence, and then have the jury’s verdict endlessly traduced by the media and a gang of criminal conspirators protected from the consequences of their lies by lifelong anonymity.

His job will be a difficult one. Every single person in the room will be bitterly hostile to him – the four Unionist committee members because he’s Alex Salmond, and the others because he represents a deadly threat to the First Minister.

The inquiry’s convener – a woman sacked by Salmond years ago – will attempt to prevent him from presenting large swathes of evidence, despite having made him swear to tell “the whole truth”. The SNP members will try to run down the four-hour session with questions designed to only deflect from the real issue – the actions and behaviour of the Scottish Government. Andy Wightman will probably just cry.

We’ll be extremely surprised if there aren’t some attempts to slyly re-try Mr Salmond and paint him as a guilty man who cheated justice, and to drag up salacious details of the allegations in an effort to smear him in front of the cameras.

We believe Alex Salmond will be more than equal to the task.

You can watch the evidence session in a variety of ways:

– streamed live on Scottish Parliament TV

– broadcast and streamed on BBC Parliament (Freeview channel 232, Sky 504)

– broadcast and streamed on Sky News (Freeview channel 233, Sky 501)
(we would be surprised if this coverage was uninterrupted)

– on Scotland Speaks

Let justice be done. It is long overdue.

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    547 to “The Lion’s Den”

    1. mike cassidy says:

      Bath might run out of flavoured gin tonight

    2. Republicofscotland says:

      Has the committee taken Alex Salmond’s advice? Lets hope so.

      “The committee have asked the Crown to produce these messages by midday next Tuesday – so the day before they take evidence from Nicola Sturgeon”

      https://twitter.com/BBCPhilipSim/status/1365359070618779653

    3. Robert G says:

      Yes – if Alex had been First Minister over the last few years, we would more than likely be independent by now. That is why he had to be taken down by the Westminster appointed civil servants and the MI5 agent in the Crown Office. They also know that Nicola is no threat to the Union, hence the lengths they have gone to in trying to protect her.

    4. Unlimiter says:

      X_Sticks says:
      “Damned if they do and damned if the don’t”.

      Only “damned if they don’t” as far as I can see.

    5. Meg merrilees says:

      Endie@7.12
      I think the attitude of most of the panel was fair and respectful with a few notable exclusions. The attitude of the first two changed as the day progressed and I think most people could see that Alex was being fair and honest with his answers.
      I think the last two hours are the most valuable. It was noticeable that he talked freely throughout unlike some of the previous people who have appeared before the committee.

    6. David Holden says:

      As the SNP seem to be big on paying a lot of members cash on coaching people on how to appear before this panel can I suggest they hire whoever coached Alex Salmond for the first minister next week unless of course he was not coached. Oooopps.

    7. Effijy says:

      I’m running a sweepstake on how many lawyers
      hired by the Murrells where watching today’s events.

      I’ve got 16 after all they are all paid for by SNP members.

      Can a lawyer advise you to go on the run?

      PS I thought the 3 SNP members were quite pathetic.
      We couldn’t get into Penzance with that lot never mind independence!

    8. Robert Louis says:

      Big Jock at 0631pm,

      Exactly. I really thought that was the very best ‘final comment’ ever made. ‘oh, by the way, if you really want all the documents my solicitors will be able to provide them, if you use the Scotland act to do so – and you could have them by Monday morning, in time for your further questions for the Lord advocate and others’.

      BOOM! the Lord advocate may well have just had a heart attack, and ditto NS and Peter Mureell.

      Oh, Mr Salmond, what a star, what a gentleman.

      So, if the committee REALLY actually do want those documents, they now can do so. But only if they want.

      I though of all of it, the most telling point was when he described how upsetting it was the day he read the messages regarding trying to push the criminal case forward to prevent the judicial review. he looked genuinely and visibly upset when he spoke of it.

      I do hope he returns to politics, Scotland, the indy movement and the SNP really needs him, rather than the amateurs and charlatans we have now.

    9. Ruby says:

      Endie says:
      26 February, 2021 at 7:12 pm

      The sad fact is that he probably checked his reviews on Twitter and changed line for klout.

      I notice Cole-Hamilton put on his mask and snuck out at one point.

    10. Not for me to say says:

      Last comment. This is easy for NS to refute. She can just say to the committee next week, I will release all documents to the committee, except those that identifym the complainants. Job done and we can all go home.

    11. Rab says:

      What a masterful and consummate performance by Alex Salmond.

      He is such a huge loss to political life in Scotland.

      Very interesting how he finished off suggesting that the Committee could order, under the terms of the Scotland Act, Levy & Macrae to release documents.

    12. Big Jock says:

      Frank- Remember Alyn Smith is Sturgeons gimp boy. She paid his legal fees and fine. He will say whatever he can to protect his slave master.

    13. Republicofscotland says:

      This is a very telling point.

      A woman pivotal in SNP backroom operations at Westminster for 15years, Anne Harvey, at the time(2018), decribed the email trawl by SNP HQ for complaints against Alex Salmond as a “witch hunt.”

      https://twitter.com/AngusMacNeilSNP/status/1365354127946092546

    14. zebedee says:

      Very impressive. Appreciated that he stressed he has only made claims for which there is evidence. He went easy on Sturgeon when asked the ‘why’ question at the end: he would have been justified in pointing out Sturgeon was deeply involved from the start, otherwise why did she suddenly recuse herself in Dec 2017? Maybe he is hoping the SNP can get through this without destroying itself.

    15. Patrick Roden says:

      Maurie Watt is an SNP MSP?

      You have got to be kidding me! I assumed she was from the Labour Party and another one of the dafties that ruined them.

      SNP is definitely turning into Labour

    16. John H. says:

      Apart from all the emotional stress that Alex Salmond and his wife have been put through, they have been brought near to ruin financially by all of this. I know he is too proud to ask for anything, but surely there must be some way in which we can ease their situation.

    17. Tommo says:

      An impressive and amazingly dignified performance from a man for whom I had little time when he was in office-but there again I am for the Union
      What I find truly saddening are the repeated attempts from contributors- by tortuous ‘logic’- to lay this at the door of Westminster
      No
      Sort it out yourselves and I think the cause will benefit in the eyes of the world

    18. Unlimiter says:

      Endie says:
      “The sad fact is that he probably checked his reviews on Twitter and changed line for klout”.

      Probably explains why he kept getting up and walking out. I’d presumed a weak bladder

    19. Sir Francis Drake says:

      As an Englishman my wish is for Scotland to remain in the Union, great country and great people.
      I watched Mr Salmond today and I am reminded how he got an indy referendum in 2014, sheer political genius, he is a true statesman, and today he had the truth behind him. Resignations must surely follow, to think they (dodgy characters) would orchestrate for an innocent man to be put through all those false accusations via a concerted malicious agenda should shame every democrat worldwide!

    20. Al voice of reason says:

      Watched the whole thing. Most impressed watching Alex Salmond, a true statesman at work but sadly a quality missing in today’s snowflake/woke politicians. Some of the questioning was like watching primary school kids ask questions on a subject they new SFA about, they totally humiliated themselves.

    21. Breastplate says:

      Imagine that, a witness at this enquiry who isn’t squirming, constantly forgetting their own personal events or unsure of what time of day it is.
      Simply answering questions that are asked, it’s simply,e really.
      Alex was majestic, maybe this is the return of the King.

    22. wull says:

      Am I right in thinking that towards the end of the hearing Maureen Watt SNP asked him why he had divulged the names of the accusers in the case (the alphabet women) to the committee, when he should never have done that? That sounded like, if in the circumstances it’s not too inappropriate an analogy, the old ‘Why do you bxxt your wife?’ question.

      The question has a presumption in it which simply isn’t true. It is aimed not only to confuse the respondent, but to throw some mud on him in the process. No chance with that one, lady – not against AS.

      AS very politely gave her short shrift. It is such a childish and amateur tactic that is so easily seen through, it really beggars belief that this is the quality of people representing the SNP in Holyrood. AS had no difficulty in brushing it away.

      It was quite clear from the answer he gave, and from previous answers he had already given, that he had always been very diligent to maintain the anonymity of his accusers. The fact that he supports and has always sought to ensure their ongoing anonymity was abundantly clear.

      That is what gives him such stature – he rises above all the nasty, ad hominem mud-slinging nonsense that lesser politicians so frequently indulge in. No revenge, no resentment, it is not all about personalities – it’s about policies, and seeking the common good, for the whole of Scotland.

      He has acted extremely correctly and honourably in the whole matter. That was obvious today. Even if his very deep understandable hurt about what some people had so unjustly done to him came through occasionally, he never let it dominate. It is about very real issues; he was not attacking persons, even when he was pointing out that some of their actions had been not just mistaken and wrong, but also malicious.

      To return to that final question of Maureen W, I found it disgraceful for an SNP MSP, (as I would do for any other MSPs for that matter, or journalists or anyone at all) to otherwise. All the Unionist politicians in that committee, with the obvious exception of Cole-Hamilton (who disgraced himself as usual), and even Andy Wightman, enhanced their reputations this afternoon. And I don’t think that can be said for any of those from the SNP.

      When AS finished answering Maureen Watt, the camera caught her expression. Her face said it all: she knew she had been fibbing, and attempting a wee smear, and that she had been found out. At least, going by her facial expression, she still had the grace to feel some tinge of shame at her underhand (and also entirely feeble) attempt. Or, maybe she was only ashamed at being found out. Maybe she was just planting a question she had been told to plant: ping this one on him! And she did it, but maybe did not really mean it. In which case, she must have been ashamed for having been so feeble, and given in to orders she whould have resisted.

      As for Alasdair Allan – who I believe early on in his career worked for Ale Salmond – that looks like one nasty piece of work in the making. He was well telt, and he did not like it one minute. That, at least, was my impression.

      Funnily enough, Wightman was not bad at all. All the same, I suppose he was working towards an agenda of his own. Murdo Fraser was even rather good. Maybe I am wrong – and of course all politicians do have agenda they are working towards, which are not always up front – but I did kind of feel he had a certain sympathy for AS, and what had happened to him. In other words, although obviously a political opponent, Fraser might really be seeing the injustice that was done to AS.

      Perhaps I am deluding myself. Nevertheless, in the midst of all the game-playing, we do have to hope that most politicians retain some basic human feeling. Without that, we might as well give up.

      AS is bound to be a saddened man, and if maybe he looked older and less bouyant from what he was only a few years ago, I felt him to be deeper and wiser than ever, and every bit as intelligent and clear as always. He was hugely impressive.

      No doubt about it. Hugely.

      Given the circumstances, and the ongoing unjust campaign against him, this demonstrated the depth of his quality. Definitely a real Scot, with real Scottish values, and there is not a politician in these islands able to match him.

    23. Betsy says:

      No great insights to offer but I watched most of today’s session (missed the first 45 minutes due to work) and was blown away by how calm and on top of the facts Salmond was. Will be wasted on the “he’s a man so he must be guilty” brigade but I think anyone watching with an open mind would have thought he came across well. I won’t get my hopes up but the committee really should do as he suggests regarding obtaining the rest of the evidence from his lawyers.

      The rate of blinking in the Sturgeon household this evening will be quite something.

    24. Marie Clark says:

      Isn’t it interesting, while Alex Salmond is giving evidence in a clear concise manner, totally unflustered, that the wee acolytes and wokerati are all over twitter, TV studios etc, trying to denounce the man. Oh he said, she said, no evidence to back it up.

      Well Alex provided a masterclass this afternoon. Very calm, answered all questions put to him with grace. It strikes me as odd the way these others are out there decrying everything that he has said. If the FM is so sure of her case and facts, why don’t her followers do the correct thing and hold their fire until she puts her side of things, then let folk judge for themselves.

      The louder they shout, the more I think that they must have a helluva lot to worry about. Good, the sooner the go from the SNP the better, leave the rest of us in peace to pursue indpendence, Which I believe is supposed to be the reason d,etre of the SNP.

    25. Republicofscotland says:

      No accountability, no shame, no honour.

      “In response to the Salmond session, a ScotGov spokesman says Leslie Evans will not be resigning – says civil servants “have acted professionally throughout on behalf of ministers” and in line with codes, & that Perm Sec has “addressed the issues raised today on several occasions”

      https://twitter.com/BBCPhilipSim/status/1365377090883878912

    26. rob says:

      Now will the inquriy committee take up Alex’s offer and use the Scotland Act to ask his Lawyers for the info that the LA refuses to give.

      Failure of them to act on this offer will prove they have been bought and sold.

    27. Elmac says:

      Robert Graham @ 7.13pm

      Had a look on WGD myself being curious. Just as you say, studious avoidance of the AS session or strange claims that there was no evidence to support what he said. I recognise a few of the people who have attached themselves to his blog as previous contributors on here. In a few instances I used to respect and read what they had to say but there seems to be some collective blindness and obduracy at play.

      I like Paul Kavanagh and appreciate his efforts for Scottish Independence over the years. He is a cup half full type of guy which is often something we need when we are feeling down. Unfortunately he seems to have accumulated a btl contingent incapable of reason who chase anyone who does not think Sturgeon walks on water off his site with insults and offensive language. They have succeeded only too well and his btl is now a desert for informed comment and debate. If you are reading this Paul I realise that you are only just beginning to get back into circulation, but I suggest you take some of the worst offenders to task before it is too late otherwise your blog will die.

      Whilst we are on the subject, and remembering that people in glass houses should not throw stones, if there ever was a time when the independence movement should pull together then this is it. The Salmond/Sturgron debacle will resolve itself soon one way or the other. In the meantime it would be good to remember we all want the same end result and we are more likely to achieve that if we can agree to disagree on some aspects, even the current elephant in the room, without resorting to vile abuse.

    28. Republicofscotland says:

      As Angus B. MacNeil says, this is a jaw dropper.

      Documents were NOT disclosed to the judicial review under “duty of candour” and neither complying to a “search warrant” in the criminal case.
      Alex Salmond calls that an “Obstruction of Justice”.

      https://twitter.com/AngusMacNeilSNP/status/1365333603983499268

    29. zebedee says:

      Wull 7.39pm good comment. I would just critique one thing: “Definitely a real Scot, with real Scottish values”. We also have other actors in this farce who are just as Scottish as Salmond but who have very different values. Scotland has heroes and rogues, same as every other nation. And we will see in May what the values are which Scots consider important.

    30. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Tommo (7.35) –

      That’s a gracious and welcome comment.

      I hope you haven’t experienced too much of the ‘Inglish Bad’ mentality here. Of course it does happen from time to time but we tend to self-police such shitery and Rev Stu rarely has to step in.

    31. Elmac says:

      The SNP contingent on the enquiry panel today were a disgrace. They were primed to ignore the enquiry remit and try to further smear AS. Their discomfort at being told the truth was very apparent. If I were constituents of any of them, and had watched that, I would have severe doubts about voting for them again, particularly that repulsive garden gnome Maureen Watt and slimy Alistair Allan. How on earth can anyone vote for that!

    32. Stuart says:

      Murrell won’t need to buy enemas anytime soon.

    33. Stuart says:

      The SNP MSP’s on the committee would have been as well letting the LA read out his/their questions today.

    34. Glortard says:

      What a loss you are Alex and it shows how we have morphed into new labour….pointless PC policies and poor career politicians desperate to get on the gravy train and not to actually advance ourselves as country.

    35. Bob Mack says:

      Leslie Evans not resigning states “Acted prfessionally throughout on behalf of Ministers”

      Which Minister though ?. Sturgeon said she knew nothing about the policy, so which Minister was Evans acting for?

    36. Dounie says:

      Absolutely brilliant Alex. You are now, on a par with Wallace and Bruce. They had to go down a violent route, but you sir, have made the case in an eloquent and principled way inc. the Declaration of Human Rights.

    37. Elmac says:

      Bob Mack @ 8.52pm

      Could be Rev I M Jolly after his first bottle of gin.

    38. JB says:

      For the folks asking why AS attended today, despite being gagged – I’d suggest his answer to the final ‘have you anything else to add” question is apt.

      Him stating that he has all the evidence, and if the committee wishes to see it, all they have to do is exercise the Scotland Act powers to compel his lawyers to provide that evidence, and unlike the SG and CO, they will comply.

      Very much calling their bluff, and if the committee now do not take him up on it, or even take it up in a poor request (like they did for some other demands), then they will show themselves up as a whitewash.

      They’re now caught in a bit of a cleft stick.

    39. covidhoax says:

      It’s all a panto to distract folk from the covid hoax and criminal lockdown imposed on us.

    40. Bob Mack says:

      Evans NOT resigning.Philip Sim twitter

    41. Donibristle says:

      Watched it all this afternoon, and what shone through most of all was Alex Salmond’s honesty.
      Despite the agro attempt to turn the committee into another trial, he was gracious in his refusal to be drawn in.
      Fabiani letting all accusations through until she said,”not in our remit”.
      Alex did seem to wilt in the middle, but then wouldn’t we all ?
      Icing on the cake was , I can totally illuminate y’all by Monday… and bypass the Lord Advocate if you will allow….Have ye got a pair ?
      Will the committee jump at the chance ??
      Probably not.
      But Alex won the day.

    42. Hugh Jarse says:

      In a word, Dignity.

      Numb!
      Worked away the afternoon listening in, enthralled.

    43. Tommo says:

      Ian Brotherhood @8.02 pm
      Thanks for that
      We should all have our opinion respected
      Nice to hear from you
      Tommo

    44. Annie 621 says:

      Hugh Jarse,

      Yes Dignity is the word.
      AleX.

    45. andyk says:

      Salmond is formidable. I’m so glad justice was done in the criminal case. If only he could drop his obession with independence he could be a great leader for a devolved Scotland. I’m not a long term reader of this site but am grateful of your coverage of this, along with others like George Galloway and Andrew Neil.

    46. Iain More says:

      On reflection the only Lion was Alex Salmond. Are Watt, Allan and Macmillan even Scottish Nationalists? Those three made Murdo Fraser look like a genius and honest broker. That is an almost impossible task yet they achieved it. I pity the poor sods that have those three for MSPs.



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