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The monstering

Posted on September 20, 2018 by

Chris McEleny is an SNP councillor. This is a personal opinion.

Three weeks into the Salmond saga and the MSM are getting increasingly desperate. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the breathless excitement of reportage of the Daily Record and their sister paper the Sunday Mail.

For three successive days last week they led on the “story” which meant it was the third week running where Salmond appeared on the front page of the Mail.

However, our friends down in Central Quay have a problem.

Over his 30 years in politics Salmond was at times the most examined politician in the country, and in particular during the three-year indyref campaign. His entire life story would have been minutely inspected by those who hate him and the prospect that Scotland might vote for self-determination. Yet in all of that time, little or nothing appeared which suggested a dark side – plenty of personal attacks, of course, but nothing of any substance.

That is not to say that Salmond does not have a temper. Virtually all successful politicians and leaders in general demand a great deal of their staff.

However, we’re now expected to believe that what had been overlooked was more substantial than that. A Daily Record “investigation” has alleged multiple complaints were made to anonymous trade union sources, and documents released under FOI were cited to demonstrate the true secret extent of Salmond’s villainy.

Indeed it was even implied that an entire new procedure was introduced in the civil service specifically in order to deal with an out-of-control First Minister.

It’s difficult, of course, to refute unnamed sources, other than perhaps to highlight that any trade union rep worth their salt wouldn’t wait ten minutes to defend a member from bullying, never mind ten years. But I’ve examined the previous FoI documentation in detail and not only does it NOT back up these claims, it actually paints exactly the opposite picture.

These documents, released as long ago as last February, are basically minutes of the Scottish Government “Partnership Board”, which met over an 18-month period to agree a new policy called Fairness at Work under which, among many other things, government ministers were included in a general staff conduct policy for the first time.

Hitherto, in all government departments, it had been thought that the statutory base of the Ministerial Code, under which the Prime Minister/First Minister solely determined the fate of any minister, would preclude such a development.

The person who specifically approved and endorsed this radical and progressive step was Alex Salmond himself, as shown in an email from 22nd February 2010 showing he was specifically consulted by the Permanent Secretary and was “content” with what was being proposed.

Thus we’re expected to believe that Salmond effectively introduced a policy designed to operate against himself.

The Partnership Board minutes of 23 November 2009 quote a trade union official explaining that the unions’ ambition to include ministers in the policy was provoked by a “history of alleged bad behaviour by ministers in the former Scottish Office/Scottish Executive and now Scottish Government”, rather than specifically Alex Salmond, who at that point had only been in Bute House for two and a half years.

(I seem to recall the formidable Wendy Alexander, as Enterprise Minister, was on the receiving end of such a complaint way back in 2001, for example.)

The clincher, however, as the Scottish Government has now repeatedly confirmed, is that there’s no record of any complaints made about Salmond, or indeed any other SNP Minister, during his term of office. There were no such complaints before Fairness at Work was introduced in June 2010, and there were none between then and his resignation in late 2014.

The inconvenient truth with which the Record and other MSM protagonists have had to grapple, then, is how to suggest a pattern of bad Salmond behaviour when there were no complaints at all during his seven years as FM?

Their solution is the classic dirty-tricks modus operandi: secret briefings, anonymous “sources” and reference to mysterious FoI documents, implying a sinister cover-up (although in fact they contain nothing).

But why should the civil service unions be apparently co-operating in this campaign to monster Salmond? This is a particular puzzle since my STUC sources (see, I can do it too) tell me that the civil service unions rated Salmond as the most pro-trade-union First Minister in their history, who even in the face of the recessionary financial squeeze gave them unprecedented influence and implemented progressive polices like ending compulsory redundancies and paying the living wage to all Scottish Government employees.

Perhaps the answer lies in a little-noted meeting reported in the Herald on 30 August this year, where the Permanent Secretary is reported as having met three of the civil-service unions to secure support for the new process of complaints which she herself had established.

The same Herald report cites some intemperate comments (“nasty, vindictive [Salmond is] undermining the civil service”) from David Penman, General Secretary of the First Division Association of civil servants. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the FDA is the mandarins’ union, and David represents the UK’s most elite – hence “First Division” – bureaucratic functionaries from his base in East Tilbury, Essex.

I’ve previously written of the clear and obvious problems with the apparent absence of natural justice in the new process established by the Permanent Secretary and first used against Salmond. Now that I have fully read the 2010 Fairness at Work policy the contrast between the two could could not be starker.

Fairness at Work was carefully crafted after 18 months of discussion, and balanced the rights of all concerned. The new policy was cobbled together in, at most, a few weeks at the end of 2017 and then – in a totally unprecedented way – applied to someone more than three years after he left office.

And so the MSM have been making hay at Salmond’s expense. But he shows not the slightest sign of bending to their wind, putting the Record on formal notice for defamation and saying only that “We’ll do our talking in court” after his more pressing business with the judicial review is concluded.

In the Daily Record headquarters on Central Quay, voices are no doubt starting to whisper “what if he wins?” and praying that isn’t the case.

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    1. 20 09 18 14:56

      The monstering | speymouth

    98 to “The monstering”

    1. Andrew Davidson says:

      Bravo Chris. Bravo.

    2. Corrado Mella says:

      The BritNazi Establishment is firing from all cannons because they are terrified of the consequences of Scottish Independence.

      Decades lying out of their own arse to millions of deluded English countryside dwellers, bending to rapacious capitalism, depriving the whole of the UK of the profits of Scotland’s riches, lining the pockets of their trousers – folded away in Panama, increasing the inequality gap, attacking and demeaning the poor, will eventually unravel when hit by the untold misery and poverty that will devastate their “Empire 2.0” demented, disturbed fantasy.

      Sociopaths, thieves, low-lifes, cancer of humanity.

      The end is near for them: smells of fear, pitchforks and rope.

    3. Fred says:

      Nice work!

    4. Dr Jim says:

      Wouldn’t it be lovely to see all the the other *newspapers* having to report the Daily Record had been taken to court and found guilty of untruths or whatever the legal definition of being a bunch of Tosser misrepresenting serial lying Bastirts is

      Tickell will know, but will he say it

    5. One_Scot says:

      ‘However, our friends down in Central Quay have a problem’

      To be honest, as long as the Yoon media can print and spread lies and smears about SNP MPs and its supporters with no consequence, then I think it is the SNP and Scottish Independence that has the biggest problem. 🙁

    6. Andy Anderson says:

      Very well written article Chris.
      When we he independence we must formulate a law making it compulsory for all news stories to name source material.

    7. Bob Mack says:

      Precisely Chris. Precisely.

    8. galamcennalath says:

      ” Permanent Secretary … new process of complaints which she herself had established … cobbled together in, at most, a few weeks at the end of 2017 “

      If that is the case, no wonder AS is going to court!

      I smell keech.

    9. Johnj says:

      Tom Gordon of the Herald is one of the MSM’s most prominent establishment attack dogs against the SNP. I’m still a subscriber to this rag but that’s hanging on a fraying thread. I had made up my mind that today’s headline on yesterday’s education debate would be the last straw if it was overly negative. I haven’t read it yet but the headline was OK so I’m still a subscriber, for the moment.

    10. Dave Albiston says:

      Indeed, a classic smear campaign. It will never reach a court (are any bookies giving odds?). The police will sit on it for months while the press rave on. Then it will be dropped and there will be allegations that ‘Salmond pulled strings’ or ‘the complainers withdrew because of death threats from independence activists’.

    11. Big Bill says:

      Get the cheque books ready when he wins, I hope he takes the media for as much as possible and ruins a few carreers in politics too, well deserved

    12. Vestas says:

      The “newspaper” mentioned is now owned by Reach (previously Trinity Mirror) who take the lions share of £100million for “Local Democracy Reporters” from the BBC.

      So money extracted via the threat of prison is given by the Britnat state propaganda agency to private media companies to “promote local democracy”.

      Call it what it is – state-funded propaganda on a scale FAR exceeding Russia or any other “enemy”.

    13. frogesque says:

      Go Eck! Go get the lying weasels.

      BTW, if you need more pennies for the fundraiser, just ask.

    14. Habib Steele says:

      I hope and pray that he does win!

    15. bobajock says:

      Soon to be consigned to the fish supper history. Sadly, its akin to every smear and attack on the SNP.

      I wouldn’t wipe my bum with any of these rags, its almost like their rabid editors are as clueless as their readers.

    16. Old Pete says:

      Superb, can’t wait for Alex to destroy the Daily Record in court.

    17. Les Wilson says:

      Dave Albiston says:

      I agree with that, and particularly “The Police will sit on it for months while the press rave on”

      So the equally important question would be, who instructs the Police to sit on it? For them to do so would seem unworthy of them, so who gives that instruction? and who are THEY taking their instructions from?

    18. Robert J. Sutherland says:

      It seems rather odd that a procedure intended to ensure fair treatment of staff introduced during Alex Salmond’s term as FM after the involvement of all interested parties should be summarily replaced in relatively short order by a procedure apparently devised by the Permanent Secretary alone and handed down to the civil service unions like Moses with his tablets of stone.

      One can readily understand, given that particular genesis, why Alex Salmond might feel that the new procedure might not necessarily be entirely “road tested”, and now wishes to challenge it by the only means now open to him.

      If he is mistaken in his feeling, what have the upper echelons of the British Civil Service to fear from his challenge? How can that be considered “undermining the civil service”? (Unless its representatives fear that some inadequacy will be revealed, that is.)

      The very strange retrospective application of this new procedure also raises a natural suspicion, rightly or wrongly, that it was specifically crafted in order to target him in some way.

      If there was indeed previous misbehaviour by ministers in the Scottish Office and/or the former “Scottish Executive” before the SNP were elected, are we now going to see a whole series of retrospective “bringing to book” of other alleged miscreants over the next while, all accompanied by synchronised “trial by media” in the gutter press?

      I hardly think so.

    19. Petra says:

      Another great piece of investigative journalism, Stu. You put them ALL to shame.

      As to Alex, he and his legal team will no doubt be taking note of every slur being made against him and when the time is right will strike (they’re not dealing with a Michelle Thompson type now). Drag the whole kit and caboodle through Court backed by thousands of his supporters. Supporters of truth and democracy. Good enough for them.

    20. Greannach says:

      Great to read a well-balanced, well-researched piece. If only we had newspapers and investigative journalism in Scotland.

    21. ronnie anderson says:

      As Alex has indicated he will cut a wide swathe when he wins the Judicial Review & I would ask that the Rev once again review doing the same after he wins his case against Kezia .

    22. Les Wilson says:

      I think if Alex wins against the Record other actions will be taken, and he could make another job just taking them to court in turn.
      Then of course if collusion of any political party found to be involved in some shady way, the sky is the limit for Alex.
      Go man go!.

    23. doug bryce says:

      Likely some one has tipped off Daily Record that no charges will ever be pressed… Otherwise they would in contempt of court for printing leaked witness statements.

      So : Who leaked the statements ?

    24. Street Andrew says:

      An unnamed source has leaked rumours of secret results of classified government scientific research which may show that the use of the Daily record and Sunday Mail as toilet paper can result in cancerous haemorrhoids.

    25. We can only hope that he sues the house off the elittle creep…
      The I would dance a jig.
      WE live in an occupied colony now.
      The Anglo Scottish Establishment controls our country for their English Relatives.
      Sue them, Alex.
      Great post, sir.
      Will there be an internal enquiry to wee out the Senior Civil Servant who ghae these so called allegations to David Clegg?
      A sacking offence, surely?
      There would be strictly limited access to complaints against the FM.
      Four maybe five of a TOTO list?
      Why not get the Polis into their Holy of Holies to investigate?
      Oh, God, I hope they get kicked to fuck over this smear.

    26. Angela says:

      Excellent article, I hope Alex takes every single last one of them to court and sues the ass off them. All those ppl that wrote on media sites to defame him.
      I also hope who ever is leaking this garbage is found and prosecuted, leaking information true or not during a court procedure is an offence, they need to be outed.
      I hope the court makes this disgusting rag name their source publicly.

    27. Fairliered says:

      Thanks Chris!
      Is it too much to hope that the costs and damages that the Record and Mail have to pay to Alex and Stu when the good guys win their cases against the Civil Service and Dugdale and then go after the aforementioned rags, will be enough to put them out of business?

    28. Davy says:

      Well done Chris, this is an article written to the standard that “Stu” produces for us. With well prepared investigations into the actual facts of the so-called incident.

      And the result is, the smell of shite fa unionist MSM is getting stronger. I reckon Alex must follow the smell right to its source, and tear them a new earse-hole.

    29. Capella says:

      Great work, Chris. I hope Alex Salmond takes them all to court so that a very bright light can be shone on this murky affair.

      There is no justice when the rich and powerful can ruin someone’s reputation through smear and innuendo. The gift of millions of pounds, laundered via the BBC, to prop up these sorry rags demonstrates how corrupt the UK state really is.

      But what they’re really doing is attacking the independence campaign and smearing all of us for supporting it. That just increases my resolve to keep on until we achieve the goal.

    30. J Galt says:

      Thanks for joining the dots – good work.

      I’ve always been suspicious – the FM signs off the new procedures, presumably in good faith, in December 2017 and next month up pop two complainants…..mmm

    31. manandboy says:

      Les Wilson says: “so who gives that instruction? and who are THEY taking their instructions from?

      Now your talking, Les. Alex Salmond is smeared by British State Propaganda in a lengthy and orchestrated campaign and nobody asks who gave the orders?
      What do we have a Scottish Government for. What do we have the SNP for, if not to expose the people who are masterminding the propaganda war which the English ruling classes are waging against Scotland.

      Is it someone in the Scottish Office, or at Pacific Quay or at No.10 Downing Street. Someone must know. Someone must know how to find out.

    32. Winifred McCartney's says:

      Well done Chris – I hope he sues every last penny from MSM it’s what they deserve.

      NS has to follow correct protocol too and has not put a foot wrong – though I’m sure she does not need this. It only proves for everyone to see how great she is and hpwuch we admire her.
      .

    33. manandboy says:

      “The same Herald report cites some intemperate comments (“nasty, vindictive [Salmond is] undermining the civil service”) from David Penman, General Secretary of the First Division Association of civil servants. For those of you unfamiliar with it, the FDA is the mandarins’ union, and David represents the UK’s most elite – hence “First Division” – bureaucratic functionaries from his base in East Tilbury, Essex.”

      And the slogan of the Mandarins Union? –

      ‘Committed to Equality for All’.

      What a shower.

    34. Les Wilson says:

      manandboy says:

      Yeah,we really need to get to the bottom of this,to expose those involved would be great for Indy too. Another nail in the Union coffin.

      O/T RT just reported that Theresa May’s solutions will not work.
      Oh really? who did not know that!

    35. findlay farquaharson says:

      this is why i donate to this site

    36. Vestas says:

      @manandboy 3:23pm :

      There was a quote recently, can’t remember who it was – maybe to do with Israel’s paid MPs smearing Corbyn?

      Anyway it basically said (I paraphrase) :

      “Everyone who matters knows the steps of the dance, no need for conspiracy or collusion because the steps were taught at school (Eton et al). Everyone knows what is expected of them for if they did not then they wouldn’t be there.”

      Is it just over 75% of all “journalists” in the UK who work for MSM titles were privately educated or maybe thats a bit high? 68% rings a bell? Anyway its up over 30% since the 1980s….

    37. manandboy says:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-politics-45586010

      “Theresa May’s proposed new economic partnership with the EU “will not work”, the head of the European Council has said.

      Donald Tusk said the plans risked undermining the EU’s single market.

      He was speaking at the end of an EU summit in Salzburg where leaders of the 27 remaining member states discussed Brexit.”

      In response Theresa May can only regurgitate the lines she has practiced for hours –

      “Mrs May said her proposals were the “only serious credible” way to avoid a hard border in the Northern Ireland.

      Responding to Mr Tusk’s remarks, she said: “Yes, concerns have been raised and I want to know what those concerns are.”

      There was “a lot of hard work to be done”, she said, but added that the UK was also preparing for having to leave without a deal.

      Mrs May reiterated that she would not accept the EU’s “backstop” plan to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland, and said the UK would shortly be bringing forward its own proposals.”

      And off she went, making her way back to London, where the man who gives her all her instructions is waiting.

      But who is he?

    38. One_Scot says:

      Lol, having just listened to Donald Tusk it looks like #ScotRef might be called sooner than I thought.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-45586010

    39. Tom Kane says:

      Thanks Chris… It’s all so debilitating. I have to admit I was appalled to see the leeway the civil service awarded itself in placing matters to the public domain that are in no way proven… Just that there are accusations seems to be enough for our civil service when it comes to AS. Frankly, that makes them look incapable, unethical and a little bit political…

      Particularly if there is a general election in the offing in the next couple of months and the Scottish civil service is seen to have inappropriately besmirched the reputation of someone who could be a parliamentary candidate in that election. And, on another level of particularity, particularly because of the collusion between parliamentary parties that hampered his chances of election last time.

      The investigation aside, I am pretty gutted that this is how our civil service operates.

    40. jfngw says:

      Imagine the Record could be defending two cases in the courts soon, if they lose both I wonder if they have the cash for the payouts plus costs. The Rev’s is fairly minor in compensation terms, amusingly it seems to have so far cost more than ten times what was initially asked for along with an apology.

      I can’t imagine a former First Minister would be looking at such a trifling amount, comparatively speaking.

      O/T
      Rennie once again going on about backing a second EU referendum but doesn’t want any safeguards for Scotland. Basically they think they can con us into agreeing another EU ref then claim we co-operated and must accept the result.

      No backing without without safeguards for the devolved Nations, that means all four must vote leave, the promises of 2014 must be fully implemented and the powers of the Scottish Parliament written into law that cannot be rescinded without the Scottish Parliaments agreement. Otherwise they can forget it. Plus I would want this done before any agreement as I suspect they would somehow not implement the promise, they do have a track record here.

      Obviously there is no time for this and the prospect of them agreeing is as near zero that it is not measurable, so no backing for second EU vote from me.

      To be honest I want independence, the current union is a sham, agreeing to another EU vote is effectively agreeing to remain a colony.

    41. manandboy says:

      Vestas, I’ve no doubt what you quote is true, and yet not all are bright enough to dance by themselves. Theresa May certainly isn’t.

      Nor does the orchestration part of propaganda occur by itself. No, someone is still pulling the strings and writing Theresa’s script, as well as concocting the Alex Salmond smear.

    42. Black Joan says:

      @Robert J. Sutherland says
      20 September, 2018 at 2:11 pm

      “It seems rather odd that a procedure intended to ensure fair treatment of staff introduced during Alex Salmond’s term as FM after the involvement of all interested parties should be summarily replaced in relatively short order by a procedure apparently devised by the Permanent Secretary alone and handed down to the civil service unions like Moses with his tablets of stone.”

      Odd indeed, and is it not likely that NS’s visible distress over this could be partly due to the fact that she was steered into approving the new procedure which so rapidly led to the pursuit of AS?

    43. I winifred McCartney and says:

      Thanks for that Chris well done. I hope AS sues them all for all they have they deserve it.

      NS has to follow procedures and has not put a foot wrong. Everyone can see and admire everything she does. I think the police should be investigating the leak and the daily record possibly even more than AS. More, much more to this than meets the eye.

    44. manandboy says:

      Should the Daily Record be ordered to pay damages to Alex Salmond only to find themselves short, I have no doubt the British Government will discreetly foot the bill, just to keep an important organ of State Propaganda working in the service of National Unity.

    45. Wullie B says:

      “TThe Partnership Board minutes of 23 November 2009 quote a trade union official explaining that the unions’ ambition to include ministers in the policy was provoked by a “history of alleged bad behaviour by ministers in the former Scottish Office/Scottish Executive and now Scottish Government”, rather than specifically Alex Salmond, who at that point had only been in Bute House for two and a half years.

      I said this the very first time I saw that quote regarding “history of alleged bad behaviour by ministers in the former Scottish Office/Scottish Executive and now Scottish Government” that nowhere was Mr almonds name mentioned, in fact I put it across all my social media that they were throwing tonnes of shit at the man hoping at least some would stick, or at least the smell of the shit would hang around long enough to keep him away from any snap election or indyref

    46. Bill McLean says:

      I hope Alex pursues these corruptions to the ends of the Earth! Maybe it’s time the SNP learned that you don’t beat bullies by being nice to them!!!!!

    47. Flower of Scotland says:

      Well said Chris! Great read.

      This is the very reason that so many folk read Wings. A great platform to show up the conniving BritNat media and State.

    48. orri says:

      The problem is if you take Salmond at his word then it’s not the new procedure that’s the problem it’s that it’s been on permanent hold at the bit between him getting told there’s allegations and being asked to assist with the opportunity to call for witnesses of his own.

      Or rather either there’s no time scale involved or it’s being used as a threat against him. Something along the lines of STFU or we’ll take this to the next level. Which would be a form of blackmail.

    49. Wullie B says:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-45588304

      Apparently the Scottish GOVERNMENT are going to contest the judicial revue, so which Scottish Government will we see, the SNP led ScottishGovernment, the Civil Service or the Scottish Office??????

    50. manandboy says:

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2018/09/20/brexit-eu-leaders-almost-unanimous-support-second-uk-referendum/

      This link includes a photograph in which Theresa May features and if ever a picture told a story, this is it.

    51. A Bruce says:

      O/T in a way.

      The National reporting that some retailers are cancelling their orders for the Sunday National despite having sold out in the first 2 weeks.

      Pretty sickened by that actually.

    52. Robert Peffers says:

      @Dave Albiston says: 20 September, 2018 at 1:42 pm:

      ” … The police will sit on it for months while the press rave on.”

      There is a fundamental error there, Dave. The police are the investigators and they only do the investigations.

      It is the Procurators Fiscal who decide, (upon that police evidence), if the matter goes to court. It is then the court, and only the court, that decides upon the verdict:-

      Those verdicts available under Scots law are:-

      “Verdicts:
      When all evidence from witnesses has been heard, the judge, sheriff, justice of the peace or jury must reach their verdict or make their decision.

      In a criminal court case the possible verdicts are:
      Guilty:
      This means the evidence has been enough to prove ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that the accused person committed the crime or part of the crime. The judge will consider the most appropriate sentence or punishment.

      Sometimes sentencing doesn’t happen immediately after a verdict, and will be delayed for background reports.
      If you’re a victim you may be advised if the offender is released on bail and if you’re eligible to make a victim statement.

      Not proven or not guilty:

      This means there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the case ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ or there were other reasons why the accused wasn’t found guilty.

      Both these verdicts have the same effect and mean the accused will be excused from the court – they will be free to leave immediately.

      So, under Scots law the verdicts are (a) – Guilty, (b) – not prover or not guilty and (c) – not guilty.

      So if it doesn’t go quickly to the Procurators Fiscal it means the investigations are still underway by the police.

    53. Gullane No4 says:

      Good post, gave me some information that I was not aware of.

      Nice to see posts other than those from Stu.
      Widens the knowledge net and gives him a bit of sorely needed rest [I would imagine.]

    54. Robert Peffers says:

      Today’s FMQs are on YouTube:-
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zvMqXkJQuE

    55. manandboy says:

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk

      This link should work, the last one was a bummer.

    56. Robert Peffers says:

      By The Way:

      The Scottish Government has their own Scottish Parliament Channel. Anyone can thus subscribe to that channel and get what is going on without a Toodleoothenoo preamble to tell you what you are expected to think.

      http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMfSH3HULOeoeEbxHkqF21A

    57. Wullie B says:

      Robert Peffers says:
      20 September, 2018 at 4:32 pm

      Not proven or not guilty:

      This means there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the case ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ or there were other reasons why the accused wasn’t found guilty.

      Both these verdicts have the same effect and mean the accused will be excused from the court – they will be free to leave immediately.

      So, under Scots law the verdicts are (a) – Guilty, (b) – not prover or not guilty and (c) – not guilty.

      So if it doesn’t go quickly to the Procurators Fiscal it means the investigations are still underway by the police.

      @Robert Peffers Not proven isnt the same as Not guilty, it only means that the case hasnt been made to find someone either guilty or not, and the smell of shite still hangs over the accused’s head.

      The Not Proven should be struck from Scots Law and I am pretty sure there was pressure for this to happen years ago, Not Proven means that the case can be retried in a court of law again if the Procurator Fiscal deems it so esp if “New Evidence” appears 20 years later where either Not Guilty or Guilty, the case cant be retried due to double jeopardy, as a jury has found the accused guitly of doing something or Not Guilty and innocent unanimously.

      Not Proven just means that I think it is at least 2 out of the 12 has gone the way of the majority thinking

    58. Shinty says:

      jfngw says at 3:54 pm

      “agreeing to another EU vote is effectively agreeing to remain a colony.”

      My thoughts exactly when I watched the little shit and the rest of the Britnats grovelling for their ‘People’s Vote’. Clearly one kick in the arse wasn’t enough for them.

      Will be interesting to see how many turn up in Stirling on Saturday, probably bus them up from England to get the numbers up.

    59. Daisy Walker says:

      I’ve contributed to AS fund and will do so again if/when needed. Very good article by Chris.

      Re Brexit latest…. The EU have just thrown Terrible May to the wolves haven’t they, and prevented the can being kicked further down the road.

      There is a chance now, of some form of clarity of what Brexit / No Deal will be in October, not November.

      Meanwhile the ‘Peoples Vote’.co.uk have put together a very slick party political broadcast.

      If the Tax Haven Legislation was the real motive for Brexit – which by its very nature means staying all the way clear of the European Court of Justice – and therefore no SM or CU… then TM’s job was to keep the ball in play and keep the discussions ongoing, but not clear, so that NS could never quite have a clear enough target to call Indy Ref 2.

      TM has dropped the ball. I think it will be leadership battle + GE soon, with the ‘Peoples Vote campaign at the same time. Which only offers a vote on the final say of Brexit, its not a chance to cancel the whole thing. Again keep the punters occupied, crash out with no deal in March, save the tax havens.

      Its as if the EU is looking ahead and rather likes the thought of a unified Ireland, with a bridge connecting to an Independent Scotland and all its energy, and is thinking, wow, how about if we help them out. Wouldn’t they be so much more sensible to deal with than the English.

      What is more likely to damage the SNP – a GE in the next 2 months, or a GE 6 months down the line with the People’s Vote highlighting what damage Brexit will do?

      My moneys on the next 2 months, but hey, who knows.

    60. Dan Huil says:

      Well said, Chris. The MSM in Scotland is an utter disgrace and deserves to be kicked where it hurts most.

      Get intae them, Alex.

      Boycott all britnat media.

    61. Clootie says:

      On Alex
      I’ve always believed the plan was simply to take Alex out of the campaign and in that aim I’m afraid they will be successful – they only need to keep the issue bubbling for 6 months

      On Brexit
      The Maybot must have a cunning plan to pull off a last minute Brexit victory. I refuse to believe anyone could genuinely follow the current plan and expect success…she is up to somethings!!!

    62. Lollysmum says:

      You can also get coverage of Scottish Parliaments sessions by going to http://www.trulyscottishtv.com

      Truly Scottish are the first independent broadcaster to be allowed to host a channel by Scottish Parliament. Go check out their site-I’m sure you will be surprised.

    63. One_Scot says:

      ‘she is up to somethings’

      Lol, eh, yeah, it’s called a ‘No Deal’.

    64. ScottishPsyche says:

      An interesting perspective looking at union involvement and the various factions involved. The truth seems to be the first casualty in all this.

      O/T I’m sure her BT chums will rally round for Kez and that would certainly make me dig deeper for another crowdfunder. Nice to see Susan Dalgety, late of the Labour Party, has learned nothing. Wasn’t she ridiculed in the Project Fear book for her sets of coloured pens and total ineptitude during the BT campaign? And wasn’t she the one who compared the SNP to the Omagh bombers?

      Aye, she is really worth listening to.

    65. Josef Ó Luain says:

      A fine piece, would, that The National produced such robust and informative journalism.

    66. HandandShrimp says:

      The Brexit types seem to be kicking off over May’s troubles at Salzburg.

      We do indeed live in interesting times.

    67. Robert Peffers says:

      @Robert Peffers” … Not proven isnt the same as Not guilty, it only means that the case hasnt been made to find someone either guilty or not, and the smell of shite still hangs over the accused’s head.”

      You’ll need to point out where I suggested otherwise.

      So just what was the point you attempted to make? I made no claims whatsoever but only stated the facts.

      Let’s put it this way, if there is a not proven verdict, and they are very rare, it means the case cannot be closed and, unlike English law, a guilty person cannot get away with it if later evidence comes to light.

      With modern science there have been several rape cases and child sexual abuse cases reopened when biological evidence has been able to be extracted from clothes or bedding held as evidence at the time but didn’t render any evidence under the science of the time.

      Which means the innocent victims who were discredited and often even accused in court of being the instigators of the sexual activity. They thus had that suspicion hanging over their heads for ever more unless the more modern science proved the innocent as innocent.

      Thus the Not Proven verdict is a two way thing. Why should it be, as you are suggesting, be stacked against the innocent victim and stacked in favour of the guilty person?

    68. Artyhetty says:

      Very good article, thanks Chris.

    69. yesindyref2 says:

      Yeah.

      As for the trade unions, Salmond was a star. I worked in Germany years ago and from what I saw union worked well with companies and government. Subjective admittedly but it was a fascinating concept for me, so I did ask around a bit, even in German.

      Perhaps the England based unions are jealous of Scotland and a better relationship between unions and the Scottish Government, jealousy is often at the heart of all mischief.

    70. Dan Huil says:

      It seems the EU has just told May where to get off.

      God bless Ireland and the EU.

    71. Daisy Walker says:

      re Brexit check out Kirsty Hughes twitter account

      First Minister concerned matters appear to be a choice between no deal and blind Brexit has asked for S50 to be extended.

      BBC interview appears heavily edited. Be interesting to see full transcript.

      Tweets thereafter heavily interested in the SNP getting behind the Peoples Vote.

    72. Weechid says:

      I think if I was a newsagent I’d refuse to sell this shite.

    73. Daisy Walker says:

      O/t re Brexit check out Kirsty Hughes twitter account

      First Minister concerned matters appear to be a choice between no deal and blind Brexit has asked for S50 to be extended.

      BBC interview appears heavily edited. Be interesting to see full transcript.

      Tweets thereafter heavily interested in the SNP getting behind the Peoples Vote.

    74. HandandShrimp says:

      The Record have invested hugely in this story. If the wheels come off this barely disguised political vendetta it could cost them dearly.

      We live in fantastically turbulent times and there is so much happening it is barely credible that the Record have run with this story so often and so prominently and still said nothing of substance. Severin in Guardian has followed suit but his articles, to be fair, are backwaters that few see much less read. I certainly haven’t bothered with the last half dozen or so of his.

    75. margaret downie says:

      I am 77 years old and for the first time in my life did not vote in the EU referendum.The tone from both sides reminded me of the no side during the Scottish referendum.
      Scotland voted to remain and should not vote again for the EU but if another vote is called we should make it a vote for independence.

    76. Maria F says:

      Wonderful article. I sincerely hope Mr Salmond wins his court case and then proceed to sue one by one all those rags that have been attempting to stain his reputation. I am looking forward to hear them wail in pain and the 3 britnat parties squirm in discomfort and fear.

      How long has it been since this confidential information of sensitive nature was leaked to the rag for political purposes from the guts of the Civil Service? I haven’t heard anything yet of the Civil Service enforcing a serious investigation to oust whatever civil servant double breached the code of practice by leaking confidential information and by breaching political impartiality leaking it to a newspaper to damage a politician’s reputation. And of course, if memogate is something to go by, things cannot stop at just finding the minion who actually leaked the info, but we must also hunt down the big wig who authorised the leak.

      So, who leaked the info? Who authorised the leak? What political tendencies do those individuals have? Where exactly did the idea of changing the current system emanated from, could it be the same office where the leak was authorised, perhaps?

      Lots of questions waiting for an answer.

      So, I wonder at what stage that investigation is. Has it taken off the ground yet? And who is going to lead that investigation? Is it going to be the big wig of the Civil Service in England as it was the case during Carmichael’s memogate?

      Or the UK government is going to try and brush it under the carpet as it is trying to do with the dark money and the breach of electoral rules by the Leave campaign?

    77. Vestas says:

      @ HandandShrimp says:
      20 September, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      “The Record have invested hugely in this story. If the wheels come off this barely disguised political vendetta it could cost them dearly.”

      How precisely?

      The Daily Record (Reach – ex Trinity Mirror) gets funded to the tune of somewhere £70million by the BBC. Nobody gets to see how the money gets spent but its not pro-rata population by a country mile!

      Way past time you all woke up & stopped expecting any fairness otherwise we’ll still be here in 40+ years listening to puerile “legal” arguments about a “Treaty” which nobody else in the world gives a fuck about!

    78. ahundredthidiot says:

      elderly relative living with me and i have to buy these rags every bloody day.

      enough to make me reach for the pillow

      joke alert.

    79. Fran says:

      Thanks for getting that out Chris. Information that I can easily link to show those who desperately want the allegations to be true.

    80. Vestas says:

      @ manandboy says:
      20 September, 2018 at 4:03 pm

      “Vestas, I’ve no doubt what you quote is true, and yet not all are bright enough to dance by themselves. Theresa May certainly isn’t.”

      Don’t be silly, what do you think the “party whip” is for?

      They (reporters) all know roughly where their money comes from. They have zero excuse.

    81. Cuilean says:

      Will happily donate generously to Salmond v. Daily Record defamation case.

      Should also seek punitive damages.

    82. Petra says:

      @ Bruce at 4:32pm. …. ” Some retailers are cancelling orders of the Sunday National – despite them selling out”

      The BritNat network at it again! Get out there folks and place an order for the National / Sunday National with your local newsagent. It’s something that takes little time and money to do. Don’t, don’t, don’t let them get away with this.

    83. K1 says:

      Alex is clearly a much bigger threat than they had realised, the private polling must be shocking leading up to the next GE, this has been a clear attempt to take him down. Thanks for this investigative piece that outlines the skulduggery at the heart of this obvious smear campaign.

      Evil, pure evil at play here.

    84. Petra says:

      Apologies to Chris as I see this is actually his article and not Stu’s. Outlined on the first line and I missed it, lol. Anyway well done Chris for carrying out such brilliant research. Fantastic article altogether.

      The Daily Record is now getting millions from the BBC …. our money. Did the Daily Record have to make a ‘VOW’ to get their claws on this massive amount of money?

    85. McDuff says:

      I don`t suppose there is any chance of the National publishing this most excellent and enlightening article.
      No thought not.

    86. hackalumpoff says:

      Whether the Salmond case goes to a Criminal Court or Civil and IMO, the latter looks probable.

      If Alex agrees to be questioned under oath by his defence some shrewd questions would open up on the whole Westminster cesspit.

      AFAIK there is no fear of slander or libel under oath, providing he is as clean as we think. It’s his call.

    87. mark Whittet says:

      Re ‘Dreary Record’ + Alex Salmond
      *The real clue to the mystery of ‘Salmond-gate’ is WHO LEAKED these files
      * and WHY?
      *Who had access to the file of alleged complaints?
      * Why are these complaints now being leaked – FIVE YEARS after they allegedly happened?
      *In whose interest is is that these complaints are now LEAKED
      *Why did the ‘victims’ wait FIVE YEARS before making these allegations?

    88. Cubby says:

      Why do Independence supporters still spend their money buying the lying Britnat propaganda pamphlets masquerading as newspapers.

      Why do you help your enemy. If you must have a bit of newsprint in your life then buy the National/Sunday national.

      Come on get a grip!!!!!!!!!!!

    89. Petra says:

      McDuff are you in any way related to the duffer, Mr Big Stone? The person, like yourself, who doesn’t like the SNP or the National. Two of the main ingredients to us acquiring our Independence.

    90. Rock says:

      “The new policy was cobbled together in, at most, a few weeks at the end of 2017 and then – in a totally unprecedented way – applied to someone more than three years after he left office.”

      Why did you forget to mention that the new policy was introduced with the full consent of Nicola who is on the record that the Scottish government is going to vigourously defend it?

      Is this scandalous accusation against Alex Salmond and the leaking of it a way for Nicola to find an excuse for not calling an independence referendum before Brexit has been completed?

    91. Rock says:

      McDuff says:
      20 September, 2018 at 9:22 pm

      “I don`t suppose there is any chance of the National publishing this most excellent and enlightening article.
      No thought not.”

      Apart from the most gullible 8,000 or so, the vast majority of independence supporters have long recognised that The National’s support for independence is completely fake.

    92. Cubby says:

      Rock = boring boring boring Britnat churning out the same crap night after night. Not got the brains/wit to come up with anything different. Just another Britnat diddy.

    93. remo says:

      Have I missed something? Where’s HYFUD? Some of the other tits are out.

      Is it very wrong of me to be enjoying Mrs. May’s Brexit/Chequers discomfiture as much as I am? Does this make me a bad person?

      Is all this political stuff really happening, or have I slipped into a parallel universe?

      Is the independence tide turning? I really, really hope so.

    94. Chris Kilby says:

      David Clegg looked like he’d seen a ghost on Newsnight the day Salmond resigned. Probably had a vision of his (and his rag’s) “future.” He was visibly shitting himself inside out.

      Can’t imagine why…

    95. Barry Haniford says:

      THE MASSACRE OF THE INNOCENTS
      I have been long acquainted with Alex, who I know, respect, admire and believe to be wholly innocent of the accusations against him. Until something substantive is offered I will accord these allegations no credence whatsoever.
      I am, however, deeply concerned about this smear and also the damage to our justice system wrought by the febrile attitude to such allegations whereby accusation is deemed evidence and innocence considered guilt until proven otherwise.
      This matter is becoming both a tragedy and a farce of Shakepearean proportions – the principle that you are innocent until proven guilty must be sacrosanct in law and in society. If we choose to abandon this, in favour of one whereby accusation is deemed evidence and innocence considered guilt until proven otherwise, the freedom of us all is under threat.
      Whilst recognising that ‘sexual misconduct’ is a serious and complex issue with gradations of culpability, telling an off-colour joke or making a careless comment are not acts of rape or molestation no matter how the gender extremists may bleat about them. Such conflation minimises the importance of genuine abuse. The particularly febrile atmosphere around unspecified accusations of ‘sexual misconduct’ is, itself, obscene. We need to get a grip of this before simply being a middle aged, white, heterosexual male becomes an offence as of itself. If the amended code can be so misused then our current FM needs to take another careful look at the legislation.
      Anyone can be accused of anything by parties seeking to smear reputations for their own ends and we must stand full-square against this. I consider our legal system to be currently on trial and sincerely hope that when Alex Salmond is exonerated it will be equally vigorous in pursuing those responsible for the smears against him.
      Whilst Westminster ‘mislays’ innumerable files of paedophile activity and the grievous sins of public figures are routinely ‘swept under the carpet, those who the British establishment deems ‘enemies of the state’ are castigated and flayed in the media on the basis of malicious accusations and no evidence at all.
      Whatever its good intentions, the current SNP leadership has not helped with its headlong rush to uncritically embrace the #MeToo movement nor its failure to support Michelle Thomson MP who was hounded from the Party without even being interviewed by the police, far less charged or convicted. Daily Mail/ Express/ Record headlines are not reasons to abandon good people or fundamental principles.
      Now is the time for Nicola to declare her support for the principle of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ and to state that the Party will stand by anyone accused until evidence has been produced to establish their guilt. We must hang together or we will surely be hanged separately!

    96. Repeating a reminder I know, but surely if a troll is answered, he/she’ll come back.
      Resist the urge, and totally ignore those you suspect, ‘cause you aren’t likely to convert them.

    97. McDuff says:

      Petra 10.48pm
      I have been a member of the SNP for 40 years so don`t lecture me on what I can say about the SNP , the National or anything else regarding independence, its a right I have been exercising for a long time and will continue to do so despite you stupid and childish post.
      And for your information I posted a similar comment to the one here regarding the National in the National itself and received an overwhelming thumbs up so you have many other posters to ridicule but of course you won`t.

    98. Eddie McGarrigle says:

      Great piece Chris, proud to have you as my one of my local councillors.

      This is simply the Dreary Record following the same pattern they used when trying to spoil the reputation of Michelle Thomson. If they had to write articles of a similar size when their monstering is shown to be outright lies and baseless speculation, it wouldn’t happen at all.

      If Eck is shown to have committed no crime then I hope he takes all of these red tops to task.



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