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The people in the room

Posted on September 19, 2020 by

Whichever side you’re on, it’s simply observably true that the Scottish Government is doing everything in its power to obstruct, delay and derail the Parliamentary inquiry into its ruinously botched investigation of false allegations against Alex Salmond.

Any investigative journalist attempting to get to the bottom of the subject and find out what really happened is met with a wall of secrecy and misinformation while trying to navigate their way through the publicly-available information, and just to give you some idea of what it’s like, we’d like to offer you one tiny but typical example.

It’s an undisputed matter of agreed fact that a meeting took place on 2 April 2018 at the private home of Nicola Sturgeon in order to discuss the allegations about Mr Salmond. Unfortunately, that’s where the undisputed facts run out.

Because we don’t even know who was in the room at that meeting, far less any details of what was said. From various public accounts we’re told completely contradictory things that cannot be reconciled with each other. Let’s go through some of them.

According to Alex Salmond’s friend and former chief of staff Geoff Aberdein, the only people in the room were Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond. He told us this very explicitly and unmistakably in a statement he issued on 15 January 2019:

That’s a pretty unambiguous statement. However, it’s contradicted by a report in the Telegraph from the same day, which claims that Nicola Sturgeon’s chief of staff Liz Lloyd was also in the room along with Salmond and Sturgeon:

This account is unattributed, so must be regarded with some suspicion. And the First Minister herself had given Parliament yet another different account of the inhabitants of the room five days earlier:

This representative could have been either Mr Aberdein or Mr Hamilton, who is a lawyer. It could also be the case that it was both of them, since neither a singular nor a plural is used to describe whoever was doing the representing.

But Mr Aberdein was very clear that neither of them were, creating the possibility of another unknown person who was acting as a representative of Mr Salmond while Mr Aberdein and Mr Hamilton waited in another room, either with or without Liz Lloyd.

(The Scottish Government has already refused two separate Freedom Of Information requests for Lloyd’s business diary details on 2 April 2018. All we’ve been allowed to know for sure about her day is that she spent £9.30 on newspapers at Tesco.)

So remarkably, we have SEVEN different possibilities for who was present at the meeting, none of which can be definitely ruled out:

(1) Only Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond.
(According to Geoff Aberdein.)

(2) Sturgeon, Salmond and Liz Lloyd.
(According to the Telegraph, contradicting Geoff Aberdein’s statement.)

(3) Sturgeon, Salmond, Lloyd and Geoff Aberdein.
(According to one interpretation of Nicola Sturgeon’s statement to Parliament, but contradicting Geoff Aberdein’s statement.)

(4) Sturgeon, Salmond, Lloyd and Duncan Hamilton.
(According to another interpretation of Nicola Sturgeon’s statement, but again contradicting Geoff Aberdein’s statement.)

(5) Sturgeon, Salmond, Lloyd, Aberdein and Hamilton.
(According to yet another interpretation of Nicola Sturgeon’s statement, but still contradicting Geoff Aberdein’s statement.)

(6) Sturgeon, Salmond, Lloyd and an unnamed person representing Salmond who was neither Aberdein nor Hamilton.
(According to still another interpretation of Nicola Sturgeon’s statement, but again contradicting Geoff Aberdein’s statement.)

(7) Sturgeon, Salmond and the unnamed person representing Salmond.
(This would partly conflict with Nicola Sturgeon’s statement – by excluding Liz Lloyd – but not with Geoff Aberdein’s, although it’s an explanation nobody has actually put forward until we did it just now.)

But any one of the seven does inescapably mean that either Nicola Sturgeon or Geoff Aberdein isn’t telling the truth. Their accounts cannot both be true. Liz Lloyd was either in the room when Sturgeon was told about the allegations (Sturgeon) or she wasn’t (Aberdein). Since she isn’t Schrödinger’s Chief Of Staff, she can’t have been both there and not there at the same time.

(Although it would admittedly be quite appropriate if she was, because this was already Schrödinger’s Meeting – it was both a government one and a party one, depending on whether you ask Nicola Sturgeon or her husband.)

Frankly, we know who we believe. But the killer fact is that who exactly was at this meeting other than Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond is a completely trivial detail. It really doesn’t make any difference to anything whether Aberdein, Hamilton or Lloyd were in the room or not, or whether it was a government meeting or a party one (which technically means there are actually FOURTEEN different accounts of it, not seven).

The only significance of the 2 April meeting is whether Sturgeon lied to Parliament about it being the first time she’d heard of the allegations, because we know she had a meeting with Aberdein and one of the accusers four days earlier, and we must presume it wasn’t to chat about the weather or the state of the Hibs midfield.

(Several FOI responses have made absolutely clear that Sturgeon claims not to have known about the allegations before 2 April, and the Scottish Government claimed as recently as last month to have no official record of her meeting Geoff Aberdein on 29 March, but has subsequently admitted that she did, while, er, somewhat implausibly denying that the Salmond affair was discussed. Even though the meeting took place in her Holyrood office, it does not appear in her official diary, which all meetings on Scottish Government premises are supposed to.)

But in respect of her lying to Parliament (which is far beyond any credible doubt), it makes no odds whether Aberdein, Hamilton or Lloyd were present on 2 April or not, or indeed whether it was a government meeting or a party one. The only relevant aspect is that Salmond was there and that he told Sturgeon about the allegations (whether she already knew about them or not), and nobody disputes either of those things.

So what we have is a situation where even a fact that’s of no material importance whatsoever to anything is completely mired in a web of mystery and deceit. We wish the committee the very best of luck in finding out about the stuff that actually matters.

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    1. 19 09 20 14:56

      The people in the room | speymouth

    159 to “The people in the room”

    1. Balaaargh says:

      So where’s Murrell in all this?

    2. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Murrell was concealed behind a sliding panel in the living-room wall.

    3. Robert Grant says:

      I sincerely hope it wasnt option 2 above.

    4. John Jones says:

      Ian brotherhood,
      I thought he was in the closet

    5. Republicofscotland says:

      Sounds like an attempt by the Scottish government to muddy the waters on this issue. Since we know for sure Alex Salmond was there, and we now know Alex Salmond is the victim in this debacle, shouldn’t we believe Salmond’s version of events above all others.

    6. A C Bruce says:

      It’s a riddle so it is.

      “As I was going to St. Ives,
      I met a man with seven wives,
      Each wife had seven sacks,
      Each sack had seven cats,
      Each cat had seven kits:
      Kits, cats, sacks, and wives,
      How many were there going to St. Ives?”

      Were you watching Die Hard last night, Stuart?

    7. Polly says:

      ‘Murrell was concealed behind a sliding panel in the living-room wall.’

      Probably behind the piles of books.

      Yes the man who went to St Ives. I’m guessing this post is it rewritten. It’s a tricky subject to write about and I’ve always thought Geoff Aberdein would have trouble with his testimony since ‘the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, that two complaints had been lodged against Salmond. However he said there was never “the slightest hint” the woman herself was going to make a formal complaint against the former leader’. That means his testimony will be hampered by things having to be private or redacted.

    8. Ian says:

      At 1.36 – “I’ve been very frank all along” – No 7 ?

      From 8.23 – No 2 ?

      Maybe it’s just a coincidence.

    9. Republicofscotland says:

      RE my 2.45pm comment.

      Logically the Scottish government, will make it difficult for the committee to obtain even the smallest details, even though like this one we know some of it. Its only natural for a government that’s carried out duplicitous actions, to make it hard for those actions to be found out, to rigourously defend its position, and protect its base of power.

    10. Frank Waring says:

      The words ‘tangled web’ seem to be forming unbidden in my mind’s eye, like clouds upon a distant horizon…..

    11. Bryan says:

      OK let’s crucify Nicola Sturgeon and her husband while we’re at it let’s fuck Pete Wishart, cos he is just not Indy enough.Next MarieBlack cos of her article in the National today.
      McKays gone so we can ignore him.
      We can up our criticism of Robertson it’s been awhile since we had a go at him and his missus.
      Next we need to focus on Shepherd and Blackford they must have done something.

      We keep this up we will have a party we want ( not that we are members or campaign or participate)
      It’ll fuck any chance of Indy but all scores will be settled.

    12. For me Sturgeon’s body language in the video shows she is very uncomfortable.

      I don’t believe her.

    13. Skip_NC says:

      Bryan, as Scotland has no party, at least in parliament, that believes in independence, I do not see how criticism of those at the top of the SNP can deny the chances of independence.

    14. Skip_NC says:

      Deny = dent.

    15. Woodside Wullie says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:
      Murrell was concealed behind a sliding panel in the living-room wall.

      Aye, Mr & Mrs Murrell were obviously socially distancing throughout the whole episode, so we’re led to believe.

    16. kapelmeister says:

      The FM’s diary for that 29th March. Leaving aside the question of whether she met Geoff Aberdein.

      An ENTIRE morning devoted to FMQ prep. An afternoon of two meet and greets, an hour of mentoring someone as part of a scheme, a radio interview, and a no doubt fairly pointless meeting with some guy from the British Council. Then since it doesn’t list any evening engagements it would be hame to read some duff novel.

      Does she actually do any work? Apart from conspiring against rivals like Salmond and Cherry, that is.

    17. Woodside Wullie says:


      Ian Brotherhood did not say “Aye, Mr & Mrs were obviously socially distancing throughout the whole episode, so we’re led to believe.”

      That was me.

    18. Jock McDonnell says:

      Seems to me she perhaps answered a different question.

    19. robertknight says:

      Nothing to see here – move along…

      Aye, right!

    20. Dislogical says:

      It doesn’t seem all that murky (this specific point that is, not the whole business.)

      All sources appear to be in agreement that Sturgeon, Salmond, Aberdein, Lloyd, and Hamilton were in the building. There is some disagreement over who was party to a conversation between Salmond and Sturgeon.

      Sturgeon’s reply to Carlaw doesn’t read as a contradiction to me since the personages she mentions are already accounted for. Regardless of who was listening to the conversation Sturgeon’s chief of staff amd Salmond’s representation were on hand if necessary.

    21. Beaker says:

      I think we should create a board game from this:

      Cluedo on Steroids.

    22. Andrew F says:

      Sturgeon can be quite “artful”.

      It’s possible for both (2) & (6) to be true.

      A person can be “self-represented” in legal proceedings. So, it is plausible that Salmond was “represented” by himself.

      How to explain Aberdein’s version that everyone else was in another room? He could be asked whether Lloyd was there the entire time, or maybe “popped out for a little while to attend to things…”.

    23. CameronB Brodie says:

      A ‘tangled web’ indeed. Scotland is cursed by narrow-minded and parochial authoritarians who consider their judgement to be superior to the jurisprudence of international law. Neither the PM or the FM can be considered supporters of the legal principle of “universality”, and this is largely due to the principle of Parliamentary sovereignty, which separates those living in Britain from international law and order. This gives our law officers all the scope they need to simply make shit up, in a manner that is harmful to our health and social fabric.

      Coaching for Emancipation: A framework for coaching in oppressive environments

    24. susanXX says:

      I’m so sad and disappointed by all this. The SNP ate corrupt / corrupted.

    25. Breeks says:

      Ian says:
      19 September, 2020 at 2:56 pm

      At 1.36 – “I’ve been very frank all along” – No 7 ?

      From 8.23 – No 2 ?

      Maybe it’s just a coincidence.

      When Wark put it to Sturgeon that people close to her were conspiring against Salmond, her answer was “There was no conspiracy. That’s a heap of nonsense”.

      Given the revelation of Murrell’s WhatsApp comments, that assertion quite clearly isn’t true.

      I don’t trust body language as a yardstick for people lying. Yes, there is substance to it, quite definitely, but just like some people can beat a polygraph test, Politicians are coached in such things, they are ‘performers’, which invalidates the spontaneity of the reaction… I think.

      What I did think was more suspicious was her eagerness to change the subject. She was clearly very uncomfortable speaking about it. That was screaming ‘guilty conscience‘ to me more than the body language.

    26. James Che. says:

      It seems to me that the only two people that know for sure are Alex Salmond and Nicola sturgeon,

    27. Lukas Scholts says:

      With the greatest respect, Rev, we can say that these details must – and do – matter, if Sturgeon and her team are dedicated to creating confusion on them, are prepared to “contradict” themselves, and want to stop us developing a true understanding of events.

      I don’t say that as some moot pseudo-philosophical point either.

      We need to remember that Sturgeon has many hats or faces. She seems to want to tell one “story” to one audience and another “story” to others. For her it’s about where to put the emphasis which will vary depending on the audience.

      So, when talking to the Unionist media she naturally wants to distance herself from Salmond and say things like Salmond was “represented” instead of saying Salmond was there. And she’s naturally very cautious about appearing too close to Salmond. At the time this story broke, a lot of people (especially on the Unionist side) assumed the SNP would protect Salmond, cover for him, feed him information, or whitewash it on his behalf.

      When talking to people in the SNP at the time she puts on her disappointed hat and gives the impression of being saddened by the news of the investigation, alludes to how close they once were, etc.

      When talking to Salmond himself, we can guess the emphasis is on her role as the first minister, must stay impartial, etc.

      The one piece of information not divulged in the examples above, the deception common to all three, despite the different tone and emphasis, which we know now to be true, is that Sturgeon and her husband were up to their eyeballs in it. Many are speculating that they may have even instigated it.

      Maybe that explains the seemingly pointless lying. Maybe by bogging is all down in arguments about small details, they hope to prevent us seeing the big overarching detail, that they themselves hatched, managed, and manipulated the whole thing.

    28. Athanasius says:

      You know, the guy DID ask people to subscribe for notifications of new posts via their emails…

    29. Wee Chid says:

      Was just talking to a friend about this who would not accept that there could be MI5 sleepers in the SNP. When I pointed out that they become involved with the IRA I was told “That’s different, the IRA were enemies of Britain”. This “Oh they wouldn’t do that” attitude is astounding to me. The same person is also convinced that the UK govt will “have to cave in and give permission for a S30 if the SNP get a majority in May – because “world pressure”. Aye right. They are prepared to rip up the Good Friday agreement why the hell would they care about pressure from anyone over Scotland.

    30. Robert Graham says:

      Oh you silly people

      It’s perfectly clear it was the butler, in the drawing room using the lead pipe , then following up with the Dagger for good measure ,

      All this happened while the footman was giving the maid French lessons in the pantry,

      The butler denied all knowledge of the French lessons as he was busy in the garden putting out a fire started by the , Now that’s the question who or what started the flood in dining room solving this gets to the very root of the roof collapsing in the conservatory

      Now Cluso or is it in fact Holmes in disguise that’s another conundrum this may be a Clue then again it might just be the red herring the baker is looking for , ah the plot thickens , who really stole the chicken because the maid was getting not French lessons but German .

      Aye more twisted than a Arch Bishops Crook or is a Corkscrew maybe two corkscrews were they twins ,

      Bob the nurse wants to see you and put down that bloody Lap Top it’s time for your Pills ,
      Night All I hope you catch the murderrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    31. holymacmoses says:

      CameronB Brodie says:
      19 September, 2020 at 4:01 pm
      A ‘tangled web’ indeed. Scotland is cursed by narrow-minded and parochial authoritarians who consider their judgement to be superior to the jurisprudence of international law. ….

      That was a really good post Mr Brodie, thank you

    32. Republicofscotland says:


      I think we would be wise to take this with a large pinch of salt.

    33. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “A person can be “self-represented” in legal proceedings. So, it is plausible that Salmond was “represented” by himself.”

      I thought about that, but she says he was “also” represented as well as admitting that he was there in person.

    34. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “All sources appear to be in agreement that Sturgeon, Salmond, Aberdein, Lloyd, and Hamilton were in the building. There is some disagreement over who was party to a conversation between Salmond and Sturgeon.”

      Disagreement over who was present at a given place at a given time was probably the difference between Alex Salmond being found not guilty of attempted rape and going to prison for the rest of his days. It’s no small matter to say a person was in a place when they weren’t, or vice versa.

    35. holymacmoses says:

      “Bryan says:
      19 September, 2020 at 3:00 pm
      OK let’s crucify Nicola Sturgeon and her husband while we’re at it let’s fuck Pete Wishart, cos he is just not Indy enough.”


      What do you think Mr Murrell’s message to Sue Ruddick means?

      Do you think it matters that Ms Sturgeon lied at Holyrood?

      Do you think still that Mr Salmond was guilty of sexual misconduct?

      Are you devastated because you think Mr Campbell et al are trying to shatter all your dreams of Independence?

      Do you believe that Boris Johnson will willingly give the go-ahead for a referendum?

      Don’t you trust the Scottish people to separate the two ideas:

      1) a desire for Independence

      2) the betrayal of Mr Salmond and Scotland as a whole, by the FM
      and a few of her cronies?

      Perhaps you should trust your countrymen more and your leaders less

    36. holymacmoses says:

      From Stuart Campbell:
      Disagreement over who was present at a given place at a given time was probably the difference between Alex Salmond being found not guilty of attempted rape and going to prison for the rest of his days. It’s no small matter to say a person was in a place when they weren’t, or vice versa.

      I was going to point out that, in this game of Cluedo you’re having to play here, the question of who was where doing what with whom is a major headache. It comes up quite a lot in the ‘inquiry’. Mostly people ‘can’t remember’ or ‘they just left the room’ or it wouldn’t have been typical for people to be or not to have been present

    37. CameronB Brodie says:

      Thanks, that suggests I’m not too far off the mark in conveying the gravity of our situation, without overdoing things. That gives me hope I might actually be able to help folk to do better. 🙂

      Terence Etherton Sir. Israel Law Review; Jerusalem Vol. 51, Iss. 3, (Nov 2018): 469-483.
      The Universality of the Rule of Law as an International Standard: Lionel Cohen Lecture 2018, Jerusalem, 9 April 2018

    38. SOG says:

      Bryan – I fear that if these issues aren’t raised and dealt with soon, the MSM will run them daily right before the next election.

    39. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Jock McDonnell @ 3.26pm

      She was maybe doing the old Morecambe and Wise/Two Ronnies trick and answering the question before last.

    40. Ross says:

      It’s neither important or mired in deceit. Newspapers get the attendees more or less correct whilst being a bit woolly over who was actually in a room or not is not watergate ffs

      Are we going to get some real signs of deceit here because this is manufactured.

      I’m more than willing to be convinced but this is weak

    41. Ross says:

      Kapellmeister .. that diary is probably more work than you’ve done in a year. You think prepping for FMqs is a ten minute

    42. Lukas Scholts says:

      SOG says:
      19 September, 2020 at 5:40 pm
      Bryan – I fear that if these issues aren’t raised and dealt with soon, the MSM will run them daily right before the next election.

      Is this (another) argument for shutting up?

      One of the big reasons the last few years have been so painful is down to the cowardice some people have shown with regards to the media. That’s particularly true of Sturgeon.

      Get out the trenches and man up ffs.

    43. CameronB Brodie says:

      Getting back to helping folk to do doing better. 🙂

      European Journal of International Law, Volume 20, Issue 2, April 2009, Pages 265–297
      Universality of International Law from the Perspective of a Practitioner


      The ESIL Conference at which this article was originally presented as the Keynote Speech was devoted to the topic of “International Law in a Heterogeneous World”. The article attempts to demonstrate that heterogeneity does not exclude the universality of international law, as long as the law retains – and further develops – its capacity to accommodate an ever larger measure of such heterogeneity.

      After developing three different conceptions, or levels, of what the term ‘universality’ of international law is intended to capture, the article focuses on international rules, (particularly judicial) mechanisms, and international institutions which serve the purpose of reconciling heterogeneous values and expectations by means of international law.

      The article links a critical evaluation of these ways and means with the different notions of universality by inquiring how they cope with the principal challenges faced by these notions. In so doing, it engages a number of topics which have become immensely popular in contemporary international legal writing, here conceived as challenges to universality: the so-called ‘fragmentation’ of international law; in close connection with this first buzzword the challenges posed by what is called the ‘proliferation’ of international courts and tribunals; and, finally, certain recent problems faced by individuals who find themselves at the fault lines of emerging multi-level international governance.

      The article concludes that these challenges have not prevented international law from forming a (by and large coherent) legal system. Most concerns about the dangers of fragmentation appear overstated. As for the ‘proliferation’ of international judicial institutions, the debate on fragmentation has made international judges even more aware of the responsibility they bear for a coherent construction of international law. They have managed to develop a set of tools for coping with the undesirable results of both phenomena.

      Despite some evidence of competition among international courts for ‘institutional hegemony’, such competition has hitherto been marked by a sense of responsibility on the part of all concerned. Thus, from the viewpoint of a practitioner, the universality of international law is alive and well; there is no need to force the law into the Procrustean bed of ‘constitutionalization’.

    44. Muscleguy says:

      I’m a Bioscientist by training and experience, published in Nature even. So I’m used to handling highly complex situations.

      I did some work with PDK1 which is like a telephone exchange in the middle of signals coming to the surface and being ultimately sent to their final destination/effector such as the cell nucleus. Lots of signals converge on it and then go this way, that way, the other etc. All controlled by the addition or removal of phosphate molecules from specific sites. PDK1 has multiple such sites and it works depending on the total state of it at any one time.

      That is easier to understand than this tangled web.

      BTW if you knock PDK1 out it is mid embryonic lethal. If you look you find all the cells are tiny. The nucleus is the normal size but there is almost no cytoplasm as though the cell cannot tell how big to be without PDK1. It gets murkier than that though, there are other possible influences there and they may all add together.

      The point is it all ultimately algorithmic and explicable. This though? It seems as if both parties are hiding something. Surely not that?

    45. SOG says:

      Lukas – it wasn’t intended as an argument for shutting up.

    46. Brian Lucey says:

      Whatever the rights, wrongs or otherwise of the case, and being form outside scotland I didn’t follow it too closely….does this post here advance or not the cause of scottish independence? I dont mean how such a country should be run – but its existence.

    47. Andy Ellis says:

      @ Brian Lucey

      The post exposes something rotten about the Scottish Government, and more particularly the SNP leadership, with respect to its role in “l’affaire Salmond”. Ensuring it is publicised and dealt with is important, as it would be (and should be) for any polity which values justice.

      We’re meant to be working as though we live in the early days of a better nation. The SNP make me feel like a live in a banana republic.

    48. CameronB Brodie says:

      Brian Lucey
      I wouldn’t like to say, but self-realisation requires self-awareness, which is a difficult state to achieve, faced with the mental barriers we erect in defense of our values judgements, which we like to think are rational and not largely grounded in emotions and colonised by culture.

      Information—Consciousness—Reality pp 515-595, First Online: 11 April 2019
      The Consciousness of Reality

    49. dakk says:

      I wouldn’t like to say, but self-realisation requires self-awareness, which is a difficult state to achieve, faced with the mental barriers we erect in defense of our values judgements, which we like to think are rational and not largely grounded in emotions and colonised by culture.’

      Nice one Cam.

    50. CameronB Brodie says:

      I think I’m in the groove today. 🙂

      MOJ Yoga & Physical Therapy, Volume 3 Issue 4 – 2018


      Life invites people to wake up to their true nature. Either they turn to outside, psychological help or there is an inward path, relying on oneself, to discover the true Self. The disintegration of a person’s identity makes way for transformation and the possible recognition that wholeness as a human being is achievable.

      This paper utilises a qualitative or autoethnographic approach to examine the process. Elements of this personal journey are recounted and discussed as a guide to others seeking realisation of their true nature. Fundamental differences between eastern and western approaches to psychology are also discussed. The call to awake can come at any stage, or age, in a person’s life. If it is heeded, a higher state of consciousness can emerge and the nature of reality be realised.

      consciousness, spirituality, transpersonal psychology

    51. Alf Baird says:

      Brian Lucey

      I would humbly suggest the answers to your question are in my recent book, entitled: ‘Doun-Hauden: The Socio-Political Determinants of Scottish Independence’, available from Amazon. ‘Doun-hauden’ is Scots for ‘oppression’.

      Happy to send Rev Stu a copy, if I had an address to send it to…

    52. CameronB Brodie says:


      A journey of awakening: the emergence of consciousness

    53. cynicalHighlander says:

      @Alf Baird

      He has a contact link.

    54. Alf Baird says:


      Thanks, but cannot see a physical address on the link?

    55. Somerled says:

      It seems to me the Telegraph made a mistake and the most likely situation was what Mr Aberdein says as he has no reason to lie (although could still be mistaken) but I wonder why Sturgeon & Salmond met without their advisors? If it was two friends, it wouldnt be necessary but with these serious allegations, it would make sense to have others present imo. Also both Sturgeon and Salmond are trained lawyers & should know to put everything in writing, especially anything verbal. If i had been Salmond I would have recorded the conversation for my own protection.

      Another thought, I don’t know who accusers are (honestly) but say one was Liz Lloyd herself then it would be very poor handling of the accusation to have her in the room with Salmond ie accuser and accused together discussing the matter or being present ?

    56. Doug McGregor says:

      Is this all down to Alex Salmond’s comment ” ye’ve no seen the the last o’ ma bunnet and me” ?

      Was Nicola Sturgeon just meant to keep the seat warm until Alex returned ?

      Has Murrell done a Lady Macbeth ?

      We are certainly no closer to an independent Scotland than we were in 2014.

    57. CameronB Brodie says:

      Alf Baird
      Drop him a line and work something out. I’d be keen to hear what you have to say though.

      THEORY OF Self-realization
      Session 8

      Self-realization is an expression used in psychology, spirituality, and Eastern religions. It is defined as the “fulfillment by oneself of the possibilities of one’s character or personality.

    58. vlad (not that one) says:

      I am afraid the life is too short to allow me to comprehend all those who-said-what and who-was-where convolutions, so
      (a) I am grateful to Rev for doing the hard forensic work at this, and
      (b) enough farting about. Let’s do it. Declare independence at midnight, 31st December 2020.

    59. cynicalHighlander says:

      @Alf Baird

      I think he might be classed as daft if he did. Ask him for it via contact page with reason for doing so as he is/has been a target of the establishment in the past and I suspect well into the future unless we get Indy first.

    60. Fionan says:

      Somerled, Salmond isnt a lawyer, he is an economist. He got a 1st from St Andrews and later worked for Royal Bank of Scotland. But I agree, he should have known to have everything written and signed off at the time – I guess he didnt expect Nicola of all people to betray him and feed him to the wolves.

    61. CameronB Brodie says:

      Scotland’s democracy faces extinction, as we are being further removed from international law and order, while our law officers ensure Scots law is no longer a practical vehicle for supporting justice and a legal respect for “universality” in Scotland.

      It is imperative we do not allow Westminster to irrecoverably remove us from the EU’s legal jurisdiction, or allow Scotland’s judicial system to become even more a tool of oppression. So the current party is not a party to follow, though they may be a party capable of being rescued and put to good use.

      Journal of Transformative Education, First Published October 2, 2016
      Midlife Awakening: An Emergent Transformation of the Self


      This article explores women’s midlife learning as an awakening of the self in the process of being in the world and interacting with others and uses the author’s personal experience of transformation as a developmental change with the emergence of personal growth and self-realization of a more complete, balanced, and fulfilled self.

      In the process, the women developed new identities and flourished with the realization of their potential. The women learned implicitly and incidentally from experience and through their bodily senses and emotions from being in the lived world and engaging with others. They appeared to practice mindfulness intuitively and used their inner resources, imaginations, and creativity to adapt to change and find new challenges and opportunities to take them into the next stage of life.

      The author uses personal construct theory to theorize how the women were able to initiate their own change and growth with minimal outside intervention.

      personal transformation, experiential learning, imaginal method

    62. Somerled says:

      Thanks Fionan, You are right, my mistake. Too many lawyers in politics anyway 🙂

    63. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      I’ve done a lot of reading ‘on tinterweb’ today.

      I read something that piqued my interest so, later on, I did a wee bit of ‘a-Googing’.

      This isn’t the original that I read but contains the same pertinent info. Here are some quotes…

      An SNP politician told a senior party executive Alex Salmond was intent on “bringing down” Nicola Sturgeon on the way to clearing his name, it can now be revealed.
      The text message was sent by the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to the SNP’s chief operating officer Sue Ruddick long before the trial began.
      It was obtained by Mr Salmond’s defence team from Ms Ruddick’s mobile phone, which they said contained thousands of text messages relevant to the case.

      He said Scotland’s top civil servant, who was in charge of the investigation, had sent a text message to an unnamed person which read: “We may lose the battle but we will win the war.”
      Mr Jackson claimed the message, sent by Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, suggested that the criminal charges against Mr Salmond had been whipped up to discredit him.
      He also told the court that one of the women accusing Mr Salmond of sexual assault was a “prime mover” in this campaign, who was “doing her bit to beef up the criminal charges”ß.

      “He read out a text from another of Mr Salmond’s accusers about the woman, which said: “Jeez, think [she] is in trouble. S isn’t going to stop until he gets her and he’s bringing down Nicola on the way.”

      These quotes are from iNews.

      I think they show that there was a conspiracy to get Alex Salmond jailed on trumped up charges. This conspiracy appears to have included all those involved in the “WhatsApp group”, including, Evans, Murrell, Ruddick and the ‘alphabet women’.

      I’m gonna stick with my £12 a year SNP membership, because, at some point, I may be able to make a point, through my local branch. Can’t but hope…

    64. kapelmeister says:

      Doug McGregor @8:38 pm

      “Has Murrell done a Lady Macbeth?”

      There’s a good name for him.

      Laddie Macbeth.

    65. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Alf Baird at 8:14 pm.

      You typed,
      “Happy to send Rev Stu a copy, if I had an address to send it to…”

      If you contact Lindsay Bruce at AyeMail, he could probably provide you with a snailmail address.

      By email at orders [at] ayemail [dot] scot
      By telephone at 0131 618 7706

      I do have a snailmail address for Bath but don’t feel free to share it publicly.

    66. McHaggis69 says:

      Great piece.
      It really is like a jigsaw…

    67. crazycat says:

      @ kapelmeister

      I rather like this suggestion:

    68. yesbot says:

      Bryan says:
      19 September, 2020 at 3:00 pm
      McKays gone so we can ignore him.

      Has McKay really gone? I hadn’t heard that at all. Can you share?

    69. kapelmeister says:

      @ crazycat

      macalphabeths. Like it.

    70. C Griffiths says:

      Nobody cares about any of this Stu, the most important thing is to win indy for Scotland, so Scotland can rejoin the EU as soon as possible. This is what you and everyone else that loves Scotland should focus on.

    71. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      I’ll focus on whatever the fuck I like, thanks.

    72. twathater says:

      @ BDTT thanks for the link Brian but there’s more

      Mr Jackson claimed the same woman had been trying to “divert” public attention away from this and said she had “encouraged others to make false complaints” to the police.

      Describing it as a “complete distraction” by the defence, Mr Prentice added: “There’s nothing wrong with encouraging complainers to go to the police.”

      Yet without the texts being admitted to evidence for the jury to decide the relevance of the texts to the charges IE whether she had “encouraged others to make false complaints” to the police. 2 judges decided that the written texts had no bearing on the outcome of the trial

      As others have said THANK YOU to the jury for exonerating AS even in the face of being DENIED evidence which may have ALLOWED you to reach your decision sooner

    73. kapelmeister says:

      C Griffiths

      “Nobody cares about any of this Stu”

      I nominate that for the most stupid comment on Wings this year.

    74. Fergus Denoon says:

      Could “Mr Salmond was represented” possibly be that he represented himself?

    75. Alf Baird says:

      @Brian Doonthetoon 9.27

      Cheers Brian, appreciate that, I’ll send a wee note to Lindsay.

    76. Alf Baird says:

      CameronB Brodie @ 8.38

      Thanks, appreciate your comments and references. Happy to send you a copy of the book.

    77. holymacmoses says:

      C Griffiths says:
      19 September, 2020 at 9:55 pm
      Nobody cares about any of this Stu

      I don’t think you can speak for anyone else M.Griffith.
      However I do find it astonishing that you don’t care. It’s quite disturbing to think that I’m fighting alongside someone who doesn’t give a tosh
      what happens to the brightest and best in Scotland,
      whether the lawmakers tell downright lies,
      whether the politicians are duplicitous , greedy, conniving toss-pots
      just as long as the hoi polloi have someone leading them by the nose to that little old Independence in the Sky

    78. Colin Alexander says:

      What hat is a person wearing at the time? Minister, Party member or private individual?

      Eg The Vow. David Cameron and the Vow. Party leaders Cameron, Clegg and Miliband signed the Vow. Cameron was PM at the time. But seemingly he didn’t agree to it as PM or UK Govt minister but one leader of one political Party, so the same status as Clegg and Miliband. It was bullshit kidology.

      Comparable to Sturgeon is / isn’t doing Govt business; is / isn’t doing party business; is / isn’t meeting as a private person.

    79. Astonished says:

      “kapelmeister says:
      19 September, 2020 at 10:08 pm
      C Griffiths

      “Nobody cares about any of this Stu”

      I nominate that for the most stupid comment on Wings this year.”

      May I second that.

      I assume C.Griffiths is woke. They appear to be the only defenders of the appalling people who stitched up Mr Salmond.

      I have been paying a tiny proportion of Mr murrell’s enormous salary for some time (being a SNP member of some years).Not only am I very interested but I’d like my money back.

      Finally, apart from resigning, the only way this is going to stop is if Mrs murrell calls indyref2 before 31rst december 2020.

    80. CameronB Brodie says:

      Alf Baird
      Much appreciated but I’m kind of busy with trying to support the rule-of-law, and the potential for Scots to enjoy the benefits of democracy and an equitable political economy. I’m only just finding my feet in terms of re-connecting with theory and practice, and connecting both within and between policy fields, so it would probably be better appreciated elsewhere. At least for the time-being, though tbh, I’m only doing this stuff out of necessity. Thanks again though and I hope you’ll share your perspective with us, when appropriate. 😉

      Journal of Social and Political Psychology, Vol 8, No 2 (2020)
      The Interactive Effects of Ambivalence and Certainty on Political Opinion Stability


      Some political attitudes and opinions shift and fluctuate over time whereas others remain fairly stable. Prior research on attitude strength has documented several features of attitudes that predict their temporal stability. The present analysis focuses on two of them: attitudinal ambivalence and certainty. Each of these variables has received mixed support for its relationship with attitude stability.

      A recent set of studies, however, has addressed this link by showing that ambivalence and certainty interact to predict stability. Because those studies relied exclusively on college student samples and considered issues that may have been especially likely to evince change over time, the present analysis aimed to replicate the original findings in a sample of registered Florida voters with an important politically relevant issue: abortion.

      Results of these analyses replicated the previous findings and support the generalizability of the ambivalence × certainty interaction on attitude stability to a sample of registered voters reporting their attitudes toward abortion. Implications for public opinion and the psychology of political attitudes are discussed.

      attitude stability; certainty; ambivalence; attitude strength; public opinion

    81. JG says:

      I’m bored of these articles now. I wouldn’t mind but there is non stop Tory fuckups and all this site does now is constantly attack SNP. The bottom line is SNP is the brand we have to vote for, whether you are for or against Sturgeon…anything else and independence is never going to happen. I’ve read this site for many years and now I just think the articles have lost the plot and the non stop attack on the only brand that can deliver independence is a total bore. I couldn’t give a flying fuck about Salmond or Sturgeon but I do care about getting independence and without the SNP brand it’ll be a lot longer than a bloody generation

      And with that I’m out… this site no longer represents an independence site. I’ll leave you to it wasting time and effort on things that mean fuck all if we are ever able to achieve the goal

    82. MaggieC says:

      Rev Stuart

      Just to let you know that I’ve tried twice in the last twenty minutes to post a comment and it’s not appearing in the comments .

    83. Morgatron says:

      Wire classic- Two People In A Room.

    84. stonefree says:

      @ Astonished at 10:49 pm
      I have been paying a tiny proportion of Mr murrell’s enormous salary for some time (being a SNP member of some years).Not only am I very interested but I’d like my money back.

      It is something I have an interest in,
      You have paid the SNP for a membership and a service, delivering independence, which they have failed to do,they have not even tried
      It appears the money has gone, If members made small claims under The sale of goods and services act 1982 that would set the cat among the pigeons, It would also bugger up the NEC and the wokies.
      Confession time I haven’t read the act for about 8 years ,
      But that would. I believe the place to start
      Later acts were more to do with consumer rights,
      It an excellent and valid theory

    85. cynicalHighlander says:


      And we are tired of whiners like yourself who would of liked an innocent man locked up for sex crimes to get what we all want but will never get because of this stitch up.

    86. James Barr Gardner says:

      Whit wans wur MI5 noo thats the real question !

    87. kapelmeister says:

      JG @11:07 pm

      “I’m bored of these articles now.”

      Well no one is under an obligation to read them.

    88. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Wouldn’t we normally, at this time on a Saturday, be getting some idea of what the Sunday papers have got lined up?

      If Peter Murrell doesn’t figure prominently in the Scottish editions then we’ll have a clearer idea of just how untouchable he is.

    89. Breeks says:

      C Griffiths says:
      19 September, 2020 at 9:55 pm
      Nobody cares about any of this Stu, the most important thing is to win indy for Scotland, so Scotland can rejoin the EU as soon as possible. This is what you and everyone else that loves Scotland should focus on.

      You bloody well should care about this C Griffiths, because the Scottish Independence we ALL want to see is being jeopardised by these Conspirators.

      Back in 2015, Scotland had tremendous momentum for Independence, the notorious Vow was already falling apart, 56 out of 59 Westminster MP’s were SNP and SNP membership was going through the roof. And just about as perfect a delivery as we could hope to expect, out of the blue came the Brexit referendum, and the spectacular result that one sovereign part of the United Kingdom voted for Brexit while the other sovereign part of the United Kingdom voted against it, delivering Scotland with a Constitutional ticket to end the Union.

      We were there! Independence was within our grasp! Scotland had a sovereign mandate which plunged the UK Union into an existential Constitutional crisis.

      And then what happened? Nicola Sturgeon threw it all away. She arbitrarily overruled Scotland’s Sovereign rejection of Brexit, and without even being forced into it, she declared a soft Brexit would be acceptable if Scotland could stay in the Single Market. She burned Scotland’s golden ticket to escape the UK Union!!!

      Scottish Independence has been bogged to axles since the moment Nicola Sturgeon took over the Leadership and ALL forward momentum, windows of opportunity, and common purpose of YES voters has been squandered through five barren years of inept negotiations, unforced capitulations, and abject failure to deliver ANY progress towards Independence.

      And now, chilling revelations are coming to light about a conspiracy to stitch up Alex Salmond with trumped up sex charges and a police investigation which seems at least in part to be orchestrated by Murrell and Sturgeon. What in God’s name were they playing at???

      This is on top of SNP strategy which has blown ice cold on Independence, to the extent it could barely bring itself to mention the word ‘independence’, but yet while nothing was happening on the Independence front, a concerted effort was ongoing to have the Wokerati embed themselves and their Science denying radical misogyny into key responsibilities in the SNP hierarchy and NEC, not to further Independence, but to advance their own sworded agenda, and abuse their positions to orchestrate trouble for key Independence players and feminists like Joanna Cherry. All on Sturgeon’s watch!

      When you stand back and take a holistic view of the past five years, it seems utterly delusional for rational people to still believe Scottish Independence is in safe hands under Nicola Sturgeon’s tenure as leader. She has been a DISASTER for Scottish Independence from the moment she took over.

      People are kidding themselves, yes, KIDDING themselves, that progress in the polls has anything whatsoever to do with five years Nicola Sturgeon’s moribund inaction, when the commentary from virtually every new convert to Independence cites the obnoxious malevolence and sheer stupidity of the Tory Brexiteers as the primary reason they have rethought their position on Independence.

      With every fibre of my being C Griffiths, it is my considered belief that it is now crucial that Nicola Sturgeon is removed from the office of First Minister to be replaced with someone, anyone, more capable, and determined to deliver Scottish Independence, where she has spectacularly failed.

      Nicola’s much vaunted “Plan A” has no answer to the Section 30 dead end, which is itself only a problem which Sturgeons constitutional illiteracy has created, and even if it was to succeed, and the SNP be emphatically returned to office in 2021, (which I cannot see happening on current trajectory), all it will have achieved is comparable status to that enjoyed in 2015, but that was a position from which the SNP despite massive electoral success couldn’t capitalise upon and convert into actual Independence delivered. There is no substance to their strategy, no plan, no clarity, no objective.

      All 2021 is going to deliver is another 8 or 9 months of wasted time and squandered opportunities. We need a radical change, and we need it now, and we need a leadership with clear ideals which we can trust. Nicola Sturgeon is a dud, and the only leadership she has contributed is leading the SNP into some dark and shady places.

    90. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Breeks –

      Hear hear.

    91. Polly says:

      @ twathater

      ‘As others have said THANK YOU to the jury for exonerating AS even in the face of being DENIED evidence which may have ALLOWED you to reach your decision sooner’

      I’m not sure since didn’t they reach their verdict in only about five hours? Was that correct or did I misremember? That’s pretty quick I’d say so seemed even with what they were alllowed to hear they could tell what they thought. Would be interesting to know more about the ones thrown off the.jury though and why exactly. But I agree, very well done that jury.

    92. robertknight says:


      Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out!

      The current SNP will deliver nothing but the cult of Nicola and a WOKE-driven agenda whereby Indy is kicked down the road indefinitely.

      If you’re too blind or too stupid to realise it then take comfort from the fact that you’re just another ‘Useful Idiot’ to a “leadership” who couldn’t give a f**k about Scotland’s future and instead prefer to play politics with their own minority special interest groups and personal career advancement.

      Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?

    93. kapelmeister says:


      You hit it clear out the ballpark man!

    94. MaggieC says:

      Ian Brotherhood @ 11.30 pm

      Sorry I didn’t get back to you after I’d posted about the committee meeting in private this Tuesday and you’d replied to it . I would guess they’ll definitely be discussing the papers that Kenny McAskill has given to them .

      I think we’d all like to be a fly on the wall listening in at that meeting . LOL

    95. crazycat says:

      @ Polly

      Two jurors left.

      As far as I can recall, only one of those was “thrown off”, and the reason was something like discussing the case with someone outside the jury – I don’t remember the (scant) details.

      The other departed for personal reasons of some kind.

      But, yes, they don’t seem to have been in much doubt. (The verdicts were not unanimous, but no-one, not even the judge, is allowed to know what the split was, or which verdict the minority preferred.)

    96. MaggieC says:

      Breaks @ 11.30 pm

      You’ve just summed up exactly how a lot of people feel just now .

    97. Iain says:

      Has Nicola Sturgeon been censured for lying to Parliament? If no complaint has yet been made can anyone make a formal complaint? If anyone can make such a complaint please give me a heads up on the process and I shall get right on it.

    98. Polly says:

      @ Breeks

      Very well said and I agree with almost all of it. But I still want to wait for Salmond or Cherry to make their move, speak out, first. They’re holding on for a reason, they’ve not left the party and are not yet damaging it. I would want to hold fire to see what they do for I cannot believe Alex Salmond would be sitting doing nothing about all this. He’s been the one most injured by it all, he’ll have his say and a strategy I’ve no doubt even if from behind the scenes. He will never give up and I want to know what he plans.

    99. Polly says:

      @ crazycat

      Thanks. I knew it was two but had thought both were dismissed. Yes I guessed it would be discussing the case but I rather meant to whom, how was that discovered and has that, or will it, prove relevant.

      For the percentages what does it matter so long as it came out right in the end.

    100. cynicalHighlander says:


      Salmond resigned from the party when he was first accused to save sullying its name, bit ironic now.

    101. MaggieC says:

      Polly @ 11.48 pm

      Alex Salmond will know exactly what he’s going to do in all of this and the fact he’s not said anything yet will be more worrying for all the other people involved in the failed stitch up against him .

      I’m sure Alex will have plenty to say at the committee when it’s his time to give his evidence to them .

    102. James Barr Gardner says:

      Is one of the alphabet women standing for election in 2021 ?

    103. Robert graham says:


      Aye well accept anything ?

      Turn a blind eye to everthing ?

      What’s it like in that wee bubble ?

      The tory government get it in the neck constantly here. When our government are not doing anything to progress independence are we expected to look away ? FFS waken up

    104. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @MaggieC –

      Nowt to apologise for!

      It’s good that as many of us as possible are paying attention as and when we can. I just find it extremely suspicious that the folk who are paid to pay attention to such material (i.e. ‘journalists’) don’t appear to be doing so, or are, at best, waiting for a tipping-point which isn’t obvious to the rest of us.

      Some have been calling for Murrell to step down or, at the very least, to be suspended while his behaviour is investigated. But they are just ‘normal’ folk, like ourselves. I haven’t seen any big names sticking their heads up.

      And that isn’t a sustainable position.

      Feels like the dam is about to burst.

    105. robertknight says:


      Well, I think it’s fair to say that you didn’t miss and hit the wall with your last effort.

    106. crazycat says:

      @ Polly at 11.58

      I think I’m right about the jurors’ departures – but I might not be. For the one who was dismissed, I think there was a little bit of information about whom he had told, and maybe even about what kind of facts were revealed.

      As for the percentages – no, they don’t matter, but they must have decided to just return their verdicts and not try to change each other’s minds – not necessary of course in our system where majority verdicts are always acceptable, not just when unanimity cannot be achieved after lengthy debate.

    107. yesbot says:

      Another totally awesome post Breeks:

      Breeks says@19 September, 2020 at 11:30 pm

      “it is my considered belief that it is now crucial that Nicola Sturgeon is removed from the office of First Minister”

      Yes. long overdue – but how the hell can this be achieved?

      Can any SNP constitutional experts help urgently?

    108. Robert graham says:

      Eye Watering fines being proposed in England for braking .Well you name it you can’t do it .A tory government tosspot can do what the fk they like and get a test immediately.
      All over the world there are demonstrations about this bloody house arrest yet we don’t see it on the News
      This isn’t about protecting people it is about fkn controlling them every civil liberty is being systematically removed and if you believe its temporary you are deluded

    109. MaggieC says:

      Ian Brotherhood @ 12.07 am

      I suspect that the so called ‘ journalists ‘ will be waiting on Alex giving his evidence and then they’ll appear out of the woodwork to report it and we can already guess that they’ll take “ delight “ in how they report it .

      At least we’ve got Rev Stuart to thank for reporting it as it should be done to get to the truth .

    110. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Scotland on Sunday front page:

    111. boris says:

      There is a growing disquiet among members, supporters and independence activists that the Party has lost its way under the leadership of Nicola Sturgeon in the years since the 2014 referendum. And it is no longer the Party of independence having morphed into the Party of Government in Scotland. A role to which the Party founders never aspired.

    112. CameronB Brodie says:

      From a perspective that tries to remain a-political, my objection to the FM is far more practical and legally grounded. Brexit removes Scotland from the EU’s legal jurisdiction protecting our biological and environmental rights. Our removal from the EU will seriously jeopardizes our potential to ever access our Right to Health, which can’t be separated from a meaningful and functional democracy. So we have a source of effective action, though that would require kicking British constitutional convention into touch.

      Journal of Health Care Law and Policy, Volume 10 | Issue 1 Article 5
      Public Health Law as Administrative Law: Example Lessons

    113. Sorry rev… out of topic, I have been looking for an inlet on a comment I feel needs a little thought that has been bugging me, the quote is this:

      The top medical Advisor for the government over searing the corona virus covid 19 is Niel Fergusan (epidemiologist) and professor of mathematical biology. A pseudoscientist ?

      Also important is this:

      Kary Mullins, the inventor of the PCR test that we are all supposed to take to prove we have covid virus had this to say; “These tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all. The tests can detect genetic sequences of viruses , but not viruses themselves.”

      He died in in August 2019.

    114. Lukas Scholts says:

      Odd to see resistance to all this from the ranks. For the first time since 2014, I feel like I have a dog in the race.

      Even without all this, Sturgeon has been a soul-destroying failure.

      These are the early days of a better approach. I’m sure about that because I know things couldn’t get any worse.

    115. holymacmoses says:


      Thanks for that – I feel a bit better now

    116. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Views from across the movement”? Our email must have gotten lost again.

    117. Ronald Fraser says:

      Excellent comment from earlier on,,,tell the SNP we want to claim back all the money we paid into the Party over the last six years on the false pretense that they would fight for Scottish Independence on our behalf.

      False advertising.

      So wherz ma money Nikla?

      I paid into the indyRef2 fund until I had enough of her bullshitting.

      I wonder what would happen if someone tried a test case against them?

    118. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “And with that I’m out… this site no longer represents an independence site.”

      Enjoy Wee Ginger Dug. I’m sure the challenging news that the Tories are bad will be more to your liking every day, and you need never be troubled with hearing about the people who are actually blowing our best chance of independence.

    119. Lukas Scholts says:

      Quote of the day: “Nicola Sturgeon is a dud, and the only leadership she has contributed is leading the SNP into some dark and shady places.” (Breeks)

    120. Polly says:

      @ cynicalHighlander

      Yes I know. But as we know by his silence still he doesn’t want to damage it any more than others are doing.

      @ MaggieC

      Yes I’m sure of that too Maggie, worried only we might never hear it because of private sessions or court redactions. But I’m pretty sure he will let us know how he feels things should be played after that as far as the party, parties or candidates are concerned. That’s what I’m waiting for to know how he sees things going forward.

      @ crazycat

      Thanks for that tip. I’ll have a dig back through old reports tomorrow. With everything else in this case to try to make sense of it’s easy to miss stuff. And of course new details cropping up make you see older info with new eyes. Reappraisal is always valuable but it’s coming quicker than expected in this case, and the time between each new appraisal seems to be getting shorter.

      As to the quickness of the verdicts perhaps, though not unanimous, it might imply there was a definite weight in one direction or it could be both sides were firmly entrenched, since Mr Salmond is a bit like our dear host here, a marmite man. My god, think if it had gone the other way and that WhatsApp stuff had come out with him in prison, or perhaps it mightn’t have come out at all then. Like many others I’m just glad they reached the verdict they did. Good night.

    121. CameronB Brodie says:

      I thought this might be of interest, as our Right to Health appears to have been sacrificed to the needs of local political expediency, and Anglo-American corporate greed. ;(

      Congressional Research Service, April 5, 2010
      Health Care: Constitutional Rights and Legislative Powers
      Congressional Research Service


      The health care reform debate raises many complex issues including those of coverage, accessibility, cost, accountability, and quality of health care. Underlying these policy considerations are issues regarding the status of health care as a constitutional or legal right. This report analyzes constitutional and legal issues pertaining to a right to health care, as well as the power of Congress to enact and fund health care programs.

      Following the recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, P.L. 111-148, legal issues have been raised regarding the power of Congress to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance, and the ability of
      states to “nullify” or “opt out” of such a requirement. These issues are also discussed.

    122. CameronB Brodie says:

      Does it not terriy you that in the background to this skullduggery, our government is making a respect for the biological differences between the sexes, a hate crime? Though as Scots law hasn’t actually gotten around to codifying protection for our ESCR, we don’t actually have any legal protection of our right to biological integrity. Certainly none guaranteed by the British constitution, apparently (see Brexit).

      Health and Human Rights 2014, 16/2
      Litigating the Right to Health: What Can We Learn from a Comparative Law and Health Care Systems Approach?

    123. Beaker says:

      @Robert graham says:
      20 September, 2020 at 12:31 am
      “This isn’t about protecting people it is about fkn controlling them every civil liberty is being systematically removed and if you believe its temporary you are deluded”

      Did you read the comment posted very recently by someone who is a nurse?

      Every civil liberty is not being removed. What is happening is that a bunch of fuckwits are taking liberties by having parties, protesting about wearing a fucking mask and putting vulnerable people at risk.

      Yes, the various governments have fucked up with testing (or lack of), NIKE conferences, mobile eye tests and multiple home visits, but we are stuck with where we are and have to deal with it. Unless you have a medical condition, how much trouble is it to wear a mask? What’s wrong with leaving a bit of space?

      If anyone is deluded it is you.

    124. Beaker says:

      @Ian Brotherhood says:
      20 September, 2020 at 12:07 am
      “Feels like the dam is about to burst.”

      Re Murrell, Twitter is starting to gather a head of steam.
      Like you, I think something is about to explode, and it’s not going to be pretty.

      I don’t think any political party in the UK has ever had a husband and wife team in charge. Closest thing has been Milliband brothers and Cameron’s Eton chums. The last thing needed is US style political dynasties in Scotland.

    125. CameronB Brodie says:

      sorry….my objection to the FM is far more also of universal concern, backed by practical science, and legally grounded….

      The legal determinants of health: harnessing the power of
      law for global health and sustainable development

    126. twathater says:

      @ Polly 11.36pm Yes Polly the verdict was delivered quickly and correctly afaic the point I was making (badly)obviously was that in my opinion the text messages were RELEVANT if they showed that one of the women had indeed ” encouraged others to make FALSE COMPLAINTS” , and SURELY these accusations would have warranted an investigation to assess if there had been any illegality or coercion taking place

      @ Breeks 11.30pm VERY well said and I agree with every word , I just wish people would open their eyes and REALISE how BADLY NS HAS UNDERMINED and betrayed the cause
      Ian Brotherhood YES it is all so suspicious why the beeb and the rest of the MSM aren’t making MAHOOSIVE headlines about agent Murrell, but there again would the security services NOT protect an asset

    127. Hatuey says:

      “I think something is about to explode, and it’s not going to be pretty.”

      You can count on it.

      It’s just a matter of time before journalists across the UK and wider world latch on to this story and race to break it.

      One thing we can count on is Sturgeon and Co not throwing in the towel for the good of the party or anything else.

      The coronavirus is confusing matters to an extent but even there I think there’s a lot of scope for a new SNP leader to do things differently and better.

      The SNP’s strategy on covid-19 is indistinguishable from Boris’s strategy and in truth is nothing more than a PR exercise. Angus Robertson recently admitted as much and seemed to say that the PR and perceptions are all that really matter.

      Nobody could answer my question – ‘how do you meaningfully distinguish between the community and schools?’ – and it looks like we are all going back into lockdown.

      Oh well.

    128. holymacmoses says:

      They’re being very effective at drowning the Murrell business on Google search. I think the problem is that quite a few Legal, Parliamentary and Journalistic eagles have more than a little to lose. I wonder if the team at the inquiry have any clout?

    129. Robert says:

      If I read right, there’s to be a police enquiry into the leaking of the Murrell message to Roddick, but no police enquiry into the leaking of Salmond’s lawyer’s letter to the SG.

      Doubvle standards again?

    130. Big Jock says:

      Someone observed that Nicola was only ever supposed to be keeping the seat warm for Salmond.

      I suspect he was to make a comeback. Murrell knew that,so made sure he couldn’t. It didn’t help when Sturgeon lost 20mps in 2017. Salmond was one of them. He must have been fuming at her.

      They lost those seats because Sturgeon didn’t focus on independence. Our vote stayed at home.

      Salmond had to be removed, but he wasn’t supposed to win his case. That blew Murrells plans. If Salmond was doing stir then the Macbethian plot would never have been exposed.

      Never underestimate Salmond! He could expose the plot, discredit the Murrells. Then lead the party again to independence.

      I could see him being Lazarus here.

    131. The Isolator says:

      Big Jock@ 7.58

      Excellent summary of events although the shifting of John Swinney to education was always part of the overall Sturgeon strategy.He was and still is “his”man in the cabinet.She then threw him under the bus during the exam fiasco but he somehow survived.I now understand how and why.Shifting sands and interesting times lie ahead.One thing for sure , she will not be leading us into next years election.

    132. CameronB Brodie says:

      I’ve said it before but the party is clearly getting terrible legal advice, as they now appear as hostile towards the Common law as the Tories. So the ‘party of independence’ is no longer a party to follow, it is now a party to fear.

    133. Effijy says:

      I’d like to see Alex Salmond meet the Murrells privately.
      Spill out all he knows about them and if they don’t step
      Down for health reasons he takes out a private prosecution.

      Alex steps in as we need someone to come to the rescue.
      I’d hope then that knowing the disgrace the senior civil service
      And the justice system is, remove them from power.

      If Berlisconi can come back more than Frank Sinatra then
      I’m sure Alex can.

      He has given so much and must be very tired but hopefully within
      The year we would be independent.

    134. Andy Ellis says:


      I’m not sure Alex would thank you for being mentioned in the same breath as Berlusconi to be honest.

      I don’t want Sturgeon and her other half eased out having been offered a cosy deal: I want a proper investigation. I want the truth and demand that where wrong doing is demonstrated, those responsible are held to account.

      The kind of Scotland we want after independence needs to be built with that in mind.

    135. Big Jock says:

      People think Salmond is damaged goods. That’s only because the media made that so.

      The lies of Sturgeon, Murrell and the press are about to come crashing down.

      Salmond has great support amongst the dedicated 45%. I see no reason why he can’t be seen as great leader for the wavered as well.

    136. Polly says:

      @ twathater

      No I don’t think you made your point badly, any fault was possibly mine since it was late and I was tired having been up from very early. Your point is very valid. I would like there to be a judge led inquiry which covers the initial complaints, how they were handled, the judicial review and the trial – since it’s all irredeemably intertwined – all the timings, all the secret messages and all the leaks from the one just before the judicial review right through to the one last weekend which tried to smear him. And judge led obviously so they could command documents and they’d be in a position to see all, or I’m not sure now, but certainly far more of the evidence from the trial than MSPs and make a better overall judgement of the whole thing. Even if the judge couldn’t tell us all the evidence – and who knows, if it could be proved conspiracy, then they might name indivuals or bring charges against them, but the judgement at the end would show far more and have more weight.

      I do still believe though an important thing from trial is the obvious paucity of evidence of what he was accused and lack of believability of witnesses on the prosecution side, even without evidence of conspiracy. Without Craig Murray we’d be in the dark about the defence witnesses and the fact the jury obviously gave their testimony more credence would have shocked us as much as it appears to have done with nearly all journalists.

    137. Achnababan says:

      Personally while I would be happy to see the lot of them thrown out (and some even prosecuted for the Salmond stitch up) but I think the best way forward would be as follows (but not necessarily is this order):

      1. Murrell (Mr) resigns
      2. Lesley Evans goes /retires/ sent to Falklands on special duties
      3. Ms Sturgeon and Mr Salmond bury the hatchet and if the former agrees to go for a referendum next year if there is a majority in SP, with or without Section 30.

    138. Beaker says:

      I see the National has turned into the msm.

      Yesterday they posted a tweet effectively celebrating the fact that over 55s were dying in their thousands, which is a good thing because most of them are No voters, and that they were being replaced by the younger generation who are Yes voters.

      Has the National been infiltrated as well?

      The Tweet has been replaced btw, but there are plenty of retweets so it is here to stay.

    139. Black Joan says:

      Not A SINGLE WORD about Murrell etc on the GMS paper review (Leask and Taylor, so it should have been great Yoon food) but Pennie Taylor did tell us about the wonderfully exceptionally brilliant Garavelli’s simply splendid piece about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

    140. Ronald Fraser says:

      IMO,,,I think Alex Salmond would give the leadership post a miss.

      I think he would be a mentor to someone like Joanna Cherry.

      He knows the BritNat Establishment media would hound him to death.

      He also knows every single interview, every speech would be preceded by a huge reminder of his past court case,,,and they wouldn’t hold back on what that court case was about, including allegations of attempted r*pe.

      Anyone who thinks the Unionist media are going to simply ignore his past are in need of a serious reality check.

      I am as desperate as the next guy to kick that evil little bastard Sturgeon out of office,,,but I just can’t see Alex Salmond being her replacement.

      We need a clean sheet, a blank canvas, and I would prefer Joanna Cherry over Alex Salmond.

      But what a great man to have in your team as a major advisor.

    141. Thomas says:


      The scottish governments own figures show up till the end of august , 77% of covid deaths ( and i use that terms loosely) were over 75 with underlying health problems.

      So where does the “over 55s ” come from mate?

    142. Polly says:

      @ Andy Ellis and Effijy

      Yes Andy, I too want a judge led proper inquiry as I was writing before I saw your post had appeared. But Effijy‘s post makes more sense politically. If something along those lines happened I live in hope people will still vote in strong numbers for the party at the next election and if the leaders could be forced to stand down before they do more damage and someone else is moved in to lead, then any future inquiry wouldn’t have the same toxins for our movement. Anything that happens to them after they step down or after winning the next election and I don’t care. I want the truth out and all guilty of things dealt with but I don’t want this election lost or the SNP not to have strong support. If the heads roll then we have after that to deal with everything else though with the head gone I believe it will wither the worst ‘wokes’.

    143. Polly says:

      @ Beaker

      I think the National was always dodgy but all we had and remember Paton. But remember who said the thing about the older voters, just like who was quoted on ‘dead wood’ clearing. They’re no friends to the party now, if they ever were. What also bothers me is Murray Foote and where is he in all this and which side is he fighting. He was brought in early this year if I remember correctly just at the time most needed yet here’s been worse press than before and more leaks.

    144. Oneliner says:

      @Big Jock

      Salmond’s perceived allegiance to the Russian state (Russia Today) will always be seized upon – no matter that he apparently found no takers for the programme format amongst the ‘established’ UK producers.

      And to think his hair is less contentious than Andrew Neil’s hommage à la noix de coco.

    145. Terry says:

      @breeks 11.30. Excellent as always.

      Hardly any mention of murrell at all in papers. Funny that. Remember when the MSM would bang on about snp civil war over nothing? Now they’’ve a conspiracy that would make Brutus blush and it’s overlooked. What does that tell you? They are being protected.

      Kenny macaskill said serious questions should be asked of the crown prosecution service as to why they took such a flimsy case to court in the first place. But think on this – it has effectively kept Alex out of the political spectrum for over two years – two vital years that the exact circumstance of The mandate honoured brexit – have existed. Take him out of the picture, and attempt to do same to joanna cherry over fake bullying charges or deselect her from holyrood. Remove the two big hitters on your side for independence – smell the coffee folks. We are being shafted.

      This tells you that while snp may not want brexit they want independence even less. They’re on a murky game with the British state. 31 dec will see a change in tune from rule Britannia though. Expect Nicola and the rest to be crucified on GRA, Salmond stitch up etc.

    146. Martin says:

      I think there’s every chance more than one conversation took place, with different people present and that may explain this bit. I don’t find this too worrying, especially because (as you say) who was present was pretty immaterial. Your wider point is well founded though. A veil of secrecy is covering all of this. I’ve never known so many FOIs refused or evidence deemed inadmisible to court. Something about this whole thing reeks.

      The worst of it would be if Alex had absolutely no intention of returning to politics and this whole witch hunt was to prevent an imagined coup. Dragging a man and his wife through that to.prevwnt something that was never going to happen. I have lost all respect for a large number of SNP M(S)Ps.

    147. CameronB Brodie says:

      re. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. A woman who helped to change the world for the better, where as….

      Law, History, and Feminism

    148. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Sir Keir Starmer, about a minute ago, on Marr. No to a referendum.

      New leader, same old Labour – London rules OK.

      They will never learn.

    149. Lennie says:

      I think the Hibs midfield will take care of the Rangers today.

    150. CameronB Brodie says:

      Sir Keir Starme should learn how to respect the rule-of-law, so as not to display his naked nationalism to the public.

      The Human Right to a Healthy Environment (John Knox and Ramin Pejan, eds. 2018)
      Reasoning Up to Human Rights: Environmental Rights as Customary International Law

    151. Andy Ellis says:


      This election isn’t going to be lost unless the SNP are spectacularly stupid or there is some political earthquake in the next 8 months. It’s vanishingly unlikely IMHO. the smart money is on them winning an absolute majority. To be frank, I’d prefer their majority to depend on a new list party, whether ISP or Salmond/Cherry or WoS. I fear it may already be too late for that however.

      I’d love to be proven wrong and have to eat my words, but it’s much more likely that the SNP will win, Sturgeon and/or her acolytes will remain entrenched, and in the next 5 years they will do exactly what they’ve done to advance independence as they have in the last 5 years: SFA.

      That being the case, those of us who support independence but are opposed to the SNP as currently constituted have a choice: hope against hope that the party is changed from within, or stand something new up in its stead. I’ve seen zero evidence of any willingness for change in the party, and little or no evidence of anyone inside the party who could make a difference pushing for change.

      I’m beyond tired of folk advocating a “wait and see” policy, or pleading for those horrified at the drift of the SNP to stick with them.

      If we do what we’ve always done, we’ll get what we’ve always got.

      If there isn’t a dramatic intervention like Joanna Cherry and/or Alex Salmond announcing a new party, or a list party which looks like it has a bit more behind it that the ISP, we might as well start planning for a “full fat” pro-indy opposition to the SNP, because all the evidence is that the SNPs gradualism condemns us to remaining part of the UK until the late 2020’s at the earliest.

    152. john rose says:

      There is of course another possibility: there was a meeting where all attended and some private discussions off the side where salmond and sturgeon talked privately.

    153. john rose says:

      If I am absolutely honest, all this infighting depresses me as the snp are still the best vehicle for getting independence, and that is my priority.
      Having said that, it is better that a light is shed on the machinations so that any spoilers can be removed. That is starting to work with the woke brigade, as I think there will be/is currently a backlash against them from grassroots members.

    154. CameronB Brodie says:

      Sorry for the OT but Sir Keir Starme KCB QC MP, is a prime example of British cultural exceptionalism, as he appears determined to place British nationalism and narrow cultural determinism above the rule-of-law. How very Brexit.

      International Encyclopedia of Public Health. 2017 : 268–281. Published online 2016 Oct 24.
      Global Health Law: International Law and Public Health Policy

    155. Wee Chid says:

      john rose says:
      20 September, 2020 at 10:53 am

      “If I am absolutely honest, all this infighting depresses me as the snp are still the best vehicle for getting independence, and that is my priority.”

      Not if they insist the only way is a S30.

    156. stonefree says:

      @john rose at 10:53 am

      “If I am absolutely honest, all this infighting depresses me as the snp are still the best vehicle for getting independence, and that is my priority”
      It’s bugger all use if it’s on the hard shoulder with the con rod sticking out of the engine and 4 slashed tyres
      As for the Smith lot
      They need telt,and gone…. Neither Sturgeon or the close circle are going to do it.
      They’re afraid as with the general members, MP,MSP Councillors .
      Personally I await the local MSP getting kicked out by a wokie ,given they have done or said nothing to prevent this from happening…….It’s simple a case of Hell Mend Them
      It’s not for anyone that is outside the party.
      It’s for the members to say Enough

    157. Contrary says:

      Heh, excellent use of Dirac notation there.


      Why keep delaying? To what purpose? What might happen in the future that might overtake the revelations… Or ‘timing is all’ – is the timing really being designed to have the worst impact possible on the Yes Movement? I can only see one or the other as a reason. If there is any reason,,, it may be a case of ‘keep denying and keep burying and it might go away’. If you have backing of the security services, ‘news’ can effectively disappear in obscurity. And I note that the SNP in Westminster have been very very supporting of security services funding and powers of late.

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