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Wings Over Scotland


The resource drain

Posted on October 05, 2020 by

The SNP’s earth-shattering 2011 majority election victory, which paved the way for the 2014 independence referendum, dropped a bomb on Scottish politics.

What few people realised at the time was that it was also going to set up a series of massive paydays for one of Scotland’s wealthiest demographics: lawyers.

Since the beginning of the indyref campaign there’s been a string of high-profile court cases which have all funnelled mindbogglingly colossal sums into the pockets of Scotland’s legal elite – the Alistair Carmichael affair, our own defamation by Kezia Dugdale, the judicial inquiry and trial of Alex Salmond, and currently the Section 30 dispute being brought by Martin Keatings.

The SNP, too, is doing its fair share to enrich our learned friends. Or even rather more than. Because as far as we can establish, the party is currently employing the services of no fewer than THREE of Scotland’s top law firms all at once.

The party’s normal firm has for many years been Kennedys, to whom any members wishing to make complaints about matters like sexual harassment are directed (and whose claims will either be swiftly dealt with or vanish into the eternal ether depending on whether the alleged victims are people from the factions favoured by the party).

It’s also known that the SNP recently hired commercial law specialists Shepherd and Wedderburn – the largest law firm headquartered in Scotland, according to the Herald – to try to obstruct the committee inquiring into the Scottish Government’s handling of the Salmond affair and in particular shield Peter Murrell from some increasingly uncomfortable scrutiny over his involvement.

But we’ve also recently been informed by some very reliable sources in the Scottish media (if that’s not a contradiction in terms) that the party has employed Glasgow-based Livingstone Brown to lean on several newspapers, including the Daily Record and the Times, in an (unsuccessful) attempt to suppress the story of Peter Murrell’s leaked and potentially explosive WhatsApp messages, seemingly at the behest of the SNP’s chief operating officer Sue Ruddick.

(Ruddick, like Murrell, is someone who enjoys a position of great power in the party and a handsome but unspecified salary, yet has almost zero public profile. She joined the party as a humble research assistant in 2004 and became its Westminster chief of staff barely a year later. You’ll have a hard time even tracking down a picture of her – the one below is from three and a half years ago.)

Since these companies are working for the SNP rather than the Scottish Government, there’s no way of knowing how much they’re costing, but it’ll be a lot. And unlike the Carmichael and Dugdale and Keatings cases, SNP members were never asked if they wanted their money used for those purposes.

(Just as they weren’t asked if they wanted to pay for “counselling” for Derek Mackay, who continues to sit as an MSP and draw a salary and expenses despite not having shown up at Holyrood since February, even as the leadership publicly calls for the resignation of his ill colleague Margaret Ferrier for breaching coronavirus legislation.)

There is already considerable speculation as to the state of the party’s finances, and in particular the “ring-fenced” money for fighting a future referendum campaign, which won’t be resolved until the party’s much-delayed 2019 accounts are published by the Electoral Commission, and local branches and individual members are currently being subjected to near-daily pleas from head office to cough up more cash.

So we can’t imagine the news that the SNP is currently employing half of Scotland’s lawyers to try to hide even more of its business away in the shadows will come as a source of joy either to those members, or supporters of independence in general who might like to believe, against all the evidence, that the party has a plan to fight another referendum campaign any time in the forseeable future.

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    91 to “The resource drain”

    1. P says:

      Three law firms, counselling for the MacKay predator, top executives salaries x2.
      That ring fenced money must’ve been squeezed dry.
      Can a political party declare itself bankrupt as well as corrupt?

    2. cynicalHighlander says:

      So glad I am not a member anymore.

    3. Kenny says:

      Soon, there’ll be nothing left to campaign with or..
      Jeez.

    4. Desimond says:

      Its the never ending story of woe.
      Only Sadder aspect is the Yessers saying “How dare you spread such bad news!”…mental state of affairs.

      Ultimately someone will crack, they always do, that or a scapegoat will be found. Come Easter 2021..God only knows what situation we will find ourselves in.

      Another EX SNP “Slush\Legal Fund” Contributor

    5. mountain shadow says:

      This is what Ruddick says about herself on Linkedin. A lot of big words for sure.

      A pro-active and talented Communications Professional with extensive experience in corporate image development and business administration. Proven track record of successful design, implementation and management of innovative communication strategies leading to significant increases in efficiency and gains for the company. Qualified event organiser with a strong reputation for arranging highly popular media and corporate occasions. A flexible and creative thinker with the ability to use initiative to solve problems and take appropriate decisions as necessary. Outstanding interpersonal skills resulting in the formation of strong and effective working relations with colleagues and clients alike, and the ability to communicate clearly to a varied audience through a wide range of media. Committed to continuing professional development for self and team members resulting in maximisation of both individual and collective performance.

    6. kapelmeister says:

      Sue Ruddick in a white hat. Photies of this enigma must be really rare Stu!

    7. Ian Brotherhood says:

      The scapegoat du jour is Margaret Ferrier, who will be pilloried later in the HOC.

      And before the usual suspects start up with ‘she broke the rules’ etc, so did Sammy Wilson, the Red Face of Ulster. How did he know he wasn’t a carrier when he hopped on the London tube a couple of weeks back? Where was the outrage then, and has he paid the £200 fine which came into effect that same day?

      https://www.irishcentral.com/news/sammy-wilson-mask-london

    8. Big Jock says:

      You forgot about the other lawyers they employ to cover up the cover up!

      In fact there are so many cover ups going on , even Murrell can’t keep track. Oh what a tangled web we weave! The more lies you tell the harder it is to remember what the original lie was

      The downfall of most cover ups is the ripple effect. The dishonesty spreads out of the center like a whirlpool , and eventually sucks everyone in who gets close enough.

      For us on the outside , we can only watch in horror. This shit is coming down, and it aint going to smell of roses.

    9. Brian Allan says:

      Bypass the lot of them. Take back control via the Digital Scottish Covenant and the Digital Assembly. Three million signatures and we bin the Treaty of Union and tell the United Nations we are a free and sovereign people.

      Simples – is it not

    10. kapelmeister says:

      To misquote Groucho Marx;

      These are my lawyers, and if you don’t like them…well, I have others.

    11. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      That meteoric career trajectory is…quite fascinating. We also get no job description for her current job, though we get a lengthy one for her previous position. It’s truly odd.

    12. Robert Graham says:

      Oh well seems the remark “make him fight on many fronts” is about to come back and bite the one who made it on the Arse , and whats more the evidence is there for all to see who made it.

      Regarding the SNP accounts a comment on another site moans about Stu pressing the electoral commision to release these their excuse in the SNPs defence is most if not all the other political parties in Scotland haven’t published theirs ,so stop causing needless trouble ,

      As someone above said thank fk they were not contributing to the support of the Scottish Legal Profession , and by the looks of it someone somewhere has a lot of dirty washing to hide .

      Not a good look even for the most Loyal supporter , and defending a perilous position is probably going to end in disappointment it’s starting to make the ones who support unquestionably The SNP management look a bit stupid and gullible

    13. Dan says:

      @ mountain shadow at 2:06 pm

      I note this section: “Proven track record of successful design, implementation and management of innovative communication strategies…

      Does such a skill set include setting up leaky secret Whatsapp groups?

    14. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Have just been discussing Campbell Martin’s ‘Only Game In Town’ documentaries with a friend.

      If you haven’t seen them, they’re both on YT. Here’s a link to the second of them. (Both have been featured in past WOS posts.)

      Just as a teaser, have a swift gander at who turns up at 29m30s.

      Who knows how many connections there may between the content of those films and the current Murrell-related shadiness? Time will tell…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19kng8RjBXg&ab_channel=MacAulayGibson

    15. kapelmeister says:

      Ruddick is called, in pretentious aping of corporate job titles, Chief Operating Officer. Jeez…she’s got, at most, 18 subordinates at SNP HQ. She’s an office manager! (for Pete’s sake).

      Chief Operating Officer. It’s like a lift man calling himself a vertical pilot.

    16. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Rev – how about a competition, to re-write Mountain Shadow’s copy of Sue Ruddick’s Linked-in entry into plain English?

      You know, when I see all these examples of the SNP’s use of smoke and mirrors to hide what their high heid yins are up to – behaviour which mirrors how things happen at the SRU – I am starting to wonder: would we really be better-off having Scotland run by this bunch of chancers than we currently are with BoJo and the Toerags?

      God knows what they will try, post-independence, when all the power and levers are in their hands.

    17. JayR says:

      Wings over Scotland… never bites unionists anymore. Bath house jock.

    18. Effijy says:

      A man dies and his soul heads up to the Pearly Gates.
      As God is about to greet the new arrival the Devil comes
      along and snatches the soul and heads for hell.

      As God protests the Devil asks what he is going to do about it.

      God says he will take him to court.

      The Devil retorts “You hope to find a Lawyer in Heaven”?

    19. Breeks says:

      All that money sloshing around for lawyers, and not one making the Constitutional case against Scotland’s colonial subjugation at either the UN or Council of Europe….

      It would make you weep.

    20. Republicofscotland says:

      Its a cert that the so called ringfenced money for fighting independence is a goner, its flown over the hill never to be seen again.

      As for the SNP spending its members hard earned cash on covering up their corrupt machinations, and to allow Murrell to remain in his very highly paid job, I’m sure more than a few of them must be furious at the thought of topping up Murrells pension funds.

      The SNP government has according to Craig Murray cost the Scottish taxpayer around £10 million quid , on the Salmond fit up alone, what with 22 cops searching for 4 years for dirt on Salmond, add in the judicial review by civil servants, , lawyers costs, High court costs, Court of Sessions costs, plus a parliamentary inquiry plus Security services costs.

      Now the costs pile up with more lawyers fees to keep on hiding and blocking any attempt to find out the truth.

    21. Lorna Campbell says:

      What we actually need are constitutional lawyers. So much of the work has already been done on the Treaty, another viable route out of the Union, yet no takers. What Margaret Ferrier did was exceedingly stupid, but many others have done likewise. I know she is in the public eye, but there is nothing nice about public hounding. I think she should stand down, but there are no mechanisms to force her to do so, or to even suggest she should do so, or how, and the hypocrisy is astounding.

      The SNP seems to have turned itself into a party of hypocritical zealots, while, at the same time, it is doing good things, too – the old Scottish dichotomy highlighted by RLS and Burns. It is almost John Knoxian in its towering sense of Calvinist purity laced with a good dose of hypocrisy, more Holy Willie than Oor Wullie.

      All governments, even devolved ones, need good lawyers; they are one of life’s necessary evils. What they really need to be doing, though, is to advise the SNP higher echelons on the law. So much of the recent legislative offerings have been half-baked legal pies that actually breach existing legislation. They might also point out that the party’s core policy and its very raison d’être is to bring about independence as a legal requirement, or quit the field. Drawing large salaries and gold-plated pensions while treading water until your members and supporters have a communal memory loss, is not an option. Something is going to give very soon.

    22. Hatuey says:

      For ordinary people, including SNP members, the cost of all this goes well beyond lawyers and is growing every day.

      The money wasted on the TWO Salmond trials has cost the innocent tax payer millions. It would be interesting to come up with an exact figure on those trials and the investigations we paid for.

      Would the police have pursued the case against Salmond if, as the whatsapp leaks suggest, pressure wasn’t put on them? Bearing in mind we are talking about political pressure from on high.

      Now we find out that newspapers too are getting pressurised. What form is that sort of pressure going to take – carrot and stick? – and what will the consequences be for public information and the responsibility to tell people the truth?

      The biggest cost of all is that we are distracted by it when we should be focused on much more important things. Coronavirus seems to be out of control and with the polls showing that 55% of the people want independence, where’s the debate and discussion on indyref2?

      How many innocent lambs are the SNP, members and leaders, prepared to slaughter at this crooked altar? And for what?

    23. kapelmeister says:

      JayR @2:52

      Everybody in the whole cell block was dancing to the Bath house jock.

    24. Breeks says:

      JayR says:
      5 October, 2020 at 2:52 pm

      …. Bath house jock.

      Yeah, that might explain why smells a lot cleaner than the SNP.

    25. Dan says:

      Oi! Plebs, just remember that #LawyersLifestylesMatter

      Even when you are down to your last couple of coins in these times of economic hardship, it would be immoral to restrict the income stream of our superiors.

      Bow thee down and giveth Both Groats SNP…

    26. John Alexander Ferguson says:

      Kapelmeister, In the famous words of the late Frank Carson, “Its how you tell em”

    27. migdalehoarder says:

      will we ever know the full cost of these actions?

    28. James Che. says:

      It would be nice to hear what politicians are breaking lockdown rules south of the border, and who is not being fined.
      It would be nice to hear how we are still in a defence union with Eu, and the money be given, so good ole England/uk are not actually sovereign, (in name only) it would be nice to hear how Liberty and freedom are secretly being taken from the people of Britain as a whole, due to lockdown,
      It would be nice to know how pristi?Patel in trying to set up Alcatraz islands around uk.
      It would be nice to hear how the internal market bill effects Scotland,
      It would be nice to include what new uk laws are being passed in the dark rooms of Westminster without scrutiny,
      It is only right you call out the snp for any wrong doings,
      But there are just as many, if not more, going on also that affects our lives here in Scotland,
      And I for one miss you keeping us all in the picture on both sides of the border, you were the first place to turn to for facts of all kinds within the Scottish independence movement, and with no frills.

    29. Republicofscotland says:

      Murrells alleged WhatsApp messages must be very damaging to him, and possibly others when the SNP have hired lawyers to try and suppress the press from exposing them to the public.

      I never thought I’d say this but I hope the press lays it all out for the public to see, and hopefully in the process it removes Sturgeon and Murrell and several other undesirables from the party, so that we can then concentrate on independence.

    30. Republicofscotland says:

      James Che @3.29pm.

      Nothing else matters except removing Sturgeon and Murrell, don’t you get it yet? Without an independence minded leader at the helm of the SNP/Scottish government, we cannot become independent, everything else is secondary.

    31. CameronB Brodie says:

      Scots will never enjoy the benefits of democracy until we can sort our legal Establishment out, and force them to support the rule-of-law and democracy. We need new leadership for the SNP, but we also need a new judicial system, as the one we have has been deformed by standing under Westminster, which no longer feels constrained by the Common law. Though that apparently does not concern those charged as guardians of Scots law.

      If only the party of hope’s NEC wasn’t so incapable of supporting “just” law and defending the democratic principle, Scots might be able to stay in the EU.

      GENDER EQUALITY AND
      WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT:
      CONSTITUTIONAL
      JURISPRUDENCE

      https://www.idea.int/sites/default/files/publications/gender-equality-and-womens-empowerment-constitutional-jurisprudence.pdf
      https://edinburghuniversitypress.com/book-feminist-postcolonial-theory.html

    32. Yasmin says:

      Explains why as a lawyer I was never even invited for an interview for some legal positions applied for. Guess those who believe in independence are not welcome. I know why Salmond felt he had to step down but felt then it would not be the same party without him. Have left the party. Given the mistreatment meted out to Salmond, Scotland’s finest politician, sturgeon and co. can go to hell.

    33. Alf Baird says:

      Hatuey

      The cost of our perennial colonialism is incalculable. Half of Scotland’s population already displaced, and half today still living in or close to poverty, even more lacking in higher education. An under-developed people and nation deprived their own resources, national culture and language. A bountiful land and welcoming people and nation made subaltern and irrelevant internationally through continued Anglophone cultural and imperial domination.

      (There it is, the front page of the next SNP election manifesto!)

    34. Lothianlad says:

      Desperately trying to hide the truth!! The SNP have become the biggest obstacle to independence .

      Carlsberg doesnt do irony. …… but if they did?!

    35. Tony Little says:

      Does anyone remember “chirpy chirpy cheep cheep”?

      Where’s the money gone (where’s the money gone)
      All the monies gone (all the monies gone)
      Where’s the money gone (where’s the money gone)
      Far far away, far far away

      Last night heard a Lawyer singing this song
      “Oh, my, rolling in the dosh dosh”
      Last might another one was singing along
      “Me too, lovely lovely dosh dosh, lovely SNP dosh dosh”

      you know the chorus

      More seriously, why does legal “advice” cost so much? I’ve hired lawyers in the past, I’ve been in court – they don’t sound that clever to me. They are also without moral or scruples. What are we doing?

    36. holymacmoses says:

      Another day another stone Mr Wings. You show a mighty lot of patience and we have much to thank you for.

    37. holymacmoses says:

      BTW can any of the women ‘out’ themselves? Would that also be contempt? Because if so – then they’ve put themselves in a prison for the rest of their lives.

    38. Dogbiscuit says:

      It is noteworthy the SNP leadership are quick to go to Law in order to cover their tracks but won’t pursue any legal case for Independence

    39. Willie says:

      If one thinks the party has legal problems just now, I think these problems may become multifold in the not too distant future.

      And of course there has to be a huge question of who is actually engaging these law firms, to do exactly what, on whose behalf, and at what cost. Indeed, to use I believe a legal term, is counsel being instructed ultra vires.

      Does anyone know?

    40. Mist001 says:

      I said a few nights ago or even a week ago, that we have to look towards ‘The Speculative Society’ and The Law Society Of Scotland. These two organisations are where all the current troubles stem from.

    41. holymacmoses says:

      I wonder why Ms Ruddick is so worried about whats app messages? Maybe someone she knows has done a bit of risk assessment and decided that a lawyer could come in handy for her

    42. Iain Lawson says:

      That ring fenced money had better be in the accounts or else the current NEC and senior office bearers and staff are going to be in for a host of problems. They already stand accused of putting Independence on the back burner in favour of a woke agenda, several of the key figures are living on edge having been deeply involved in the fit up of the Former First Minister. Add to that list the abject failure of the Party finances and I can see no escape for any of them.

    43. holymacmoses says:

      BTW I assume that ALL Mr Salmond’s legal fees will have been covered by the court?

    44. Lothianlad says:

      Mr. Lawson Sir, you are so correct. A whirlwind of truth is coming their way.

      The storm Cometh !!

    45. holymacmoses says:

      Willie says:
      5 October, 2020 at 3:56 pm
      If one thinks the party has legal problems just now, I think these problems may become multifold in the not too distant future.

      And of course there has to be a huge question of who is actually engaging these law firms, to do exactly what, on whose behalf, and at what cost. Indeed, to use I believe a legal term, is counsel being instructed ultra vires.

      Does anyone know?

      ME

      Something I asked before the trial began Wullie – there has never been aa answer from anyone in spite of going to quite a few places and asking sub rosa rather than in public.

    46. Hatuey says:

      Of course, Alf, and we should be discussing that overarching problem instead of the SNP leadership’s improbity.

      That’s the most annoying and expensive part of this. We should talking excitedly about getting out of this union once and for all. The conditions are perfect.

      Instead we are dealing with this murky crap.

      We don’t want to look back in a few years and talk about the damage Nicola done to our chances and opportunities lost.

      Those of us who are calling them out today want to avoid that but we need to act, before it’s too late.

      Time is running out, the window closing…

      People have been speculating that “they” might have something on Nicola and that’s why she has been so timid on independence, etc. I’m not sure if I buy that, but if she continues after this they will definitely have something on her – she’s totally compromised by this.

    47. Beaker says:

      “Derek Mackay, who continues to sit as an MSP and draw a salary and expenses despite not having shown up at Holyrood since February, even as the leadership publicly calls for the resignation of his ill colleague Margaret Ferrier for breaching coronavirus legislation.)”

      Ooh, missed that bit. Has any journalist asked the FM why she has not publicly demanded that he resign?

      With all these lawyers, I’m regretting not studying harder at school.

    48. Bob Mack says:

      It was down to “Diminished Responsibility” M,lud. I can a!most hear the lawyers pleading his case.

      Irresponsible and guilty as f@£k is another description of course.

    49. Breastplate says:

      Ian B,
      I’m not surprised anymore, we’re getting to see the grubby underbelly of the Scottish department of the British Establishment,
      That these parasites all know each other is only to be expected and are now fighting to keep the truth coming to light so they can continue to feed off of us.

    50. Lothianlad says:

      So in 2014 the british state went All Out with Prohect fear.

      Since that fox has been shot, the british State, supported by their allies in the upper echelons of the SNP SG have now gone All Out for Project smear!

      Biding their time to unleash the corruption in the SNP, smear will be the bulk of their arsenal.

      Now that we know our enemies strategy, and where they are placed, we have time to Clean house before they fire.

      We need to clear out the the anti Independence inner circle at the heart of the SNP SG.

      Thanks to the Rev, Craig Murray, Mark Hirst, Ian Lawson and others for exposing the uncomfortable truth that the obstacles to freedom are the SNP leadership.

      It would be easy to go for the happy clappy ” I’m with Nicola” brigade, but that wont get us Independence.

      Time to clean house!

    51. Skip_NC says:

      Is this article broadly correct, as far as anyone knows: https://archive.is/tce0U#selection-1275.86-1317.114? If so, we do not need to wait for the 2019 accounts.

    52. Wee Chid says:

      Dan says:
      5 October, 2020 at 2:39 pm
      @ mountain shadow at 2:06 pm

      “I note this section: “Proven track record of successful design, implementation and management of innovative communication strategies…””

      That means she managed to put the office phone in a position where it could be answered by anyone within three rings.

    53. Andrew F says:

      Kapelmeister @ 2:47

      You have to admire someone who calls a “spade” a “manually operated personal excavation device” – apparently.

    54. Colin Dawson says:

      I received an email from my local SNP Branch today that caused me serious concern about democracy within the party. Here’s an extract;

      “Here is the amended Agenda for the SNP City of Dunfermline branch Zoom meeting Thursday 8 October, 2020 from 7.30pm to approx 8:45pm.

      The original Agenda missed Item 5: the creation of a new post of Minorities Officer. A member has expressed an interest in taking on this role, but further nominations are welcome. Nominations and election at the Branch Meeting.”

      My response was;

      “I object to the addition of agenda item 5 (the creation of a new post of Minorities Officer) at such short notice. Sufficient time should be allowed for alternative nominations to be proposed and seconded and for supporting statements from candidates to be evaluated by members before voting takes place.

      To give members such little notice of this new post, three days ahead of voting for a sole candidate, is wholly unacceptable and looks to me like an attempt to subvert democracy.”

      I have received an apology from the branch and an assurance that my concerns will be passed to the branch executive but, as at this time, the vote will still take place on Thursday.

      I therefore sent a further email to the branch;

      “Legislation requires that everyone, including branch officials, has to act at all times in a way that complies with all anti-discrimination legislation. 

      Can I suggest that the branch first needs to decide whether or not we need another official to represent minorities, what minorities they are intended to represent and why it is necessary for the branch to have another official specifically for this purpose. 

      There’s nothing to stop people from minorities standing for election for other branch roles. My expectation is that minorities and those who advocate minority rights are already well represented in the Branch Executive. Our MSP is a good example, given her advocacy of a range of subjects. Is further representation really needed and, if so, why?

      If the creation of this new role is an attempt to increase the representation on the Executive of those advocating the hugely unpopular gender recognition proposals that have already resulted in mass resignations from the party, members have a right to know. Giving three days notice to members of this new role and a single candidate to vote for, with no details of who they are and what their policy agenda is, strikes me as an attempt to subvert democracy. 

      The SNP should be an inclusive party and should not discriminate against any minorities but, equally, it should not act in a way that favours minorities at the expense of the majority. That is, I acknowledge, a difficult balance to strike but I and many others are concerned that the gender recognition proposals, as currently drafted, have taken this much too far. A better balance needs to be struck.

      Is the SNP still primarily a party whose primary purpose is to achieve Scottish independence or has it morphed into something else?”

      Has anything similar happened in other SNP branches? My concern is that branch officials are far more likely to be delegates at the next party conference and that the creation of additional officers in branches will be used to try to ensure that the inner circle of the party wins any votes, keeps control of the party and cannot be challenged.

    55. Bob Mack says:

      @wee Chid,

      Think she could access the accounts for us? That would be a good strategy to begin with.

    56. stonefree says:

      The SNP are an Unincorporated Association and as such has NOT the benefit of having a “Separate Legal Entitity” which a Limited Company would have automatically
      NOTE below the word They refers to Unincorporated Association

      • They have no capacity to enter into contracts. Contractual responsibilities must be undertaken by individual office-bearers or, possibly individual association members.
      • They cannot be held liable for wrongful acts committed by their representatives while acting on behalf of the association. Liability rests upon the individual personally responsible for the loss sustained, but it is not clear whether liability – possibly beyond the value of the association’s funds – also rests upon office-bearers or the whole association membership.
      • A member cannot sue for damages for injury sustained as a consequence of a wrongful act committed by an office-bearer or fellow member while acting on behalf of the association. This, it has repeatedly been asserted, would be tantamount to the injured member suing himself.
      • They cannot own property. Title must instead be taken in the name of individual members or office-bearers as trustees, necessitating further transfers when such members or office-bearers die or cease to participate in the association’s activities.

      If you bought a SNP pen and it burst, the Seller of the pen owns the liability for the damage to the suit, not the SNP but the person
      the article deals with contracts the same applies, person not SNP contracts are bit more complex
      It also deals with money Paid on behave of a member, the Member is liable for the “benefit in kind” tax
      Reading it quickly Murrell is liable as are the 42 members of the NEC if money has been mislaid
      To compound it more the Money Ring Fenced was for a certain purpose, Yes Scot became the PayMaster on receiving that money so yet again the Office bearers have a liability

    57. Bob Mack says:

      @Colin Dawson,

      In simple speak it’s called “loading the dice”

    58. stonefree says:

      @ Colin Dawson at 4:38 pm, from what I see, getting the minutes has become difficult But Yes .

    59. Allium says:

      I’m starting to feel sorry for Ferrier, it feels like extreme bullying. I hope to goodness she isn’t seriously ill. I don’t like her woke politics, but surely the pillorying can at least wait until she’s on the road to recovery.

    60. DonnyDarko says:

      I don’t really understand why they would use 3 different law firms. There’s the ANTI Salmond team I suppose, then the Circle the Waggons and protect Pete team, and delay publishing the accounts team ? No matter how bad it is, they’ll still have to publish , or do they have a team of professional punters down at Paddy Power ?

    61. Sarah says:

      @ Allium: me too and I am emailing Ian Blackford to tell him so. Being criticised by strangers is bad enough but your own friends and colleagues is awful – seriously mentally damaging.

    62. Republicofscotland says:

      If the ringfenced funds have not been spent, then why not prove it and allay fears that it has been. Unless of course they’ve already been used for something else. Then bluff and bluster are your best lines of defence.

      Almost half a million quid gone just like that, lets see the accounts please. even there the EC are dragging it out.

      https://www.thenational.scot/news/18203567.snp-deny-spending-independence-referendum-money/

    63. Sarah says:

      @ Colin Dawson: email your branch sec asking to be listed as a delegate to Conference. In my branch it is “1st come, 1st served” and I was first!

    64. CameronB Brodie says:

      Please folks, enabling men to penetrate the legal realm of womanhood is NOT WOKE! It is simply dogmatic and regressive legal practice, which seeks to force Scottish society to accept irrational and ideologically saturated legal reason that defies Natural law. That’s pretty much identical to British nationalist yoonery. So those who promote the ‘Spear agenda’ are simply hostile to the Common law and democracy, as well as Scotland’s best interests. So they are pretty much Tories. That’s very bad. Mkay?

      International Affairs, Volume 92, Issue 5, September 2016, Pages 1041–1060
      A gendered human rights analysis of Ebola and Zika: locating gender in global health emergencies

      https://academic.oup.com/ia/article/92/5/1041/2688120

    65. mike says:

      Really sad to see what’s happened to the SNP.
      Thanks Nicola.

    66. Sylvia says:

      Mist001 at 3:58 This article suggests Sir Angus Grossart,Chairman of Charlotte Street Partners is a member. Former SNP media chief Kevin Pringle is a director of Charlotte Street Partners. https://www.edinburghlive.co.uk/news/edinburgh-news/just-what-exactly-mysterious-speculative-18610657

    67. Daisy Walker says:

      @ stonefree,

      Now isn’t that interesting.

      Normally if a person is pursued for misappropriating funds, with a view to reclaiming the moneys lost, that person tends to transfer ownership of the house, and other large assets, into the spouses name…..

      Oh dearie me.

      Can I just suggest, that if there has been criminality, it would be good to get it sorted out sooner rather than later, and I would not be relying on the Electoral Commission, Police, or even the MSM to get the evidence out, and into the public domain. I do appreciate that it a difficult call to make.

    68. Wee Chid says:

      Tony Little says:
      5 October, 2020 at 3:51 pm
      “Does anyone remember “chirpy chirpy cheep cheep”?”

      Showin’ yer age there. Weren’t they “Middle of the Road” too?

    69. Dan says:

      @ stonefree

      In that case there’s got to be a Party Fears Two by The Associates gag to be made. 🙂

    70. Muscleguy says:

      Sturgeon doing what she can for the poor benighted QC’s she could not have become makes me boak.

    71. gus1940 says:

      O/T

      Anybody who has not read Craig Murray’s latest posting re the disgusting behaviour of the Met at the weekend’s pro Assange demo at Piccadilly Circus should read it now and also view the video footage.

      It is really scary together with Craig’s mystery midnight hotel visitor and shows frightening evidence that we are rapidly descending into a police state.

      Having perused most of the metropolitan blats it is even more shocking that reporting of the events above amounts to total zilch.

      It looks as if events not reported in the media don’t occur.

    72. deerhill says:

      “Does anyone know if a political party can go bankrupt?”
      Someone asked.

      No-one can get an answer as all the lawyers in Scotland have been retained by the SNP.

    73. James Che. says:

      Repulicofscotland , Let me retort back, just to set you straight,
      I am not a snp member, I have never ever been a snp member.
      So I don’t by a long shot think they are perfect.
      But don’t try sticking a tag on where it doesn’t belong because it may suit your ideology.
      There is something more important to me than sturgeon and murrell.
      It’s the people of Scotland.
      And how the MSM media are now in on the game, happy to shout from the rooftops how the independence movement is falling due to the snp and infighting.
      That matters to me an awful lot,
      It matters that some don’t think far enough past selfishness to bring Scotland’s people to a standstill.
      Or that hope is seriously depleted, that people just give up because there is no point in trying, or no direction to go.
      You are not just destroying the snp, you are self centredly destroying Scotland’s hopes and dreams,
      Before bridges are torn down you better have a dam good replacement or the Scots as a nation will probably turn their attention to wards those that helped destroy their dreams.

    74. A Person says:

      How disturbing, but also, it is particularly disturbing that this no longer surprises me. A level of corruption which would shock even Viscount Melville.

    75. Alasdair MacLean says:

      A lot of speculation Stuart this is cheap gossip actually it’s petty journalism
      and to the one that said he was an ex snp member when we are now at 55% makes me wonder if this person was ever a member

    76. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “A lot of speculation Stuart this is cheap gossip actually it’s petty journalism”

      No speculation or gossip whatsoever. Kennedys and Shepherd & Wedderburn are known facts, and my source on Livingstone Brown is impeccable (and backed up by other sources).

    77. Andy Ellis says:

      @ Alasdair MacLean

      I hear SNP loyalists come out with this all the time. Are you for real? There are many, many people who have left the party in disgust over the past few years.

      The fact polling puts the SNP at 55% is quite an achievement in many respects, only the congenitally naive would attribute all of the credit for that to the positive record of the party or its policies.

      Being on 55% rather than 65% in current circumstances is an indictment just as much as it is a vote of confidence. The SNP’s performance looks good because the opposition is so woefully bad.

      Like a few others, I actually posted a picture of my membership card cut in two when I left the party. Since we have no party accounts to figure out current membership numbers, perhaps Mr Murrell will tell us? He used give us regular updates. Funny that we haven’t seen any in quite a while, eh?

    78. twathater says:

      @ Ian B 2.45pm thanks Ian for that link to Campbell Martins *Only Game In Town* I watched both episodes, very enlightening, what Campbell said in the piece was that a formal complaint had been made to Police Scotland who undertook an investigation which lasted A WHOLE TWO WEEKS then informed COPFS there was NO CASE TO ANSWER, a POSSIBLE FRAUD running into HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF POUNDS investigated for a whole two weeks

      Contrast that with the AS investigation which had NUMEROUS POLICE OFFICERS ASSIGNED,LASTED TWO YEARS, and cost somewhere in the region of £10million pounds, with HUNDREDS of witnesses interviewed and resulted in AS being found innocent

      POOR Scotland and it’s citizens being r**ed and pillaged by a shower of amoral greed driven bastards who we trusted

    79. Skip_NC says:

      Iain Lawson, has anyone analyzed the accounts for the last several years? The starting point, as noted in my post at 4:32pm is in the amount raised that was supposed to be ring-fenced. So if the amount quoted in the National article is even broadly correct, we have a starting point. Bear in mind that I live on another continent. I may have missed something that changes my analysis and conclusions.

      The figure in the National is that (all numbers pounds sterling unless otherwise noted) 482,000 was raised. I believe that was over a short period in 2017. If I am wrong on that, more work needs to be done.

      If those funds went into the SNP central party accounts, we need to consider where they might be recorded. The Income & Expenditure Account is, eg, on p19 of the 2015 accounts.

      The income category contains about nine items, most of which are self-explanatory. A review of the various categories tends to indicate that the funds received were posted to either Donations (Note 3) or Miscellaneous (Note 7, except 2015 when it was note 8). A review of the latter note for each year reveals that it is made up of Levy on Accounting Units; Legacies; parliamentary Levy; Campaign Services. There is nowhere in that note that could account for 482,000 or so.

      So now we look at Note 3. Here I make an assumption that most of the donations to the ring-fenced fund were from small donations not reportable to the Electoral Commission. The amounts from the accounts were:
      2014 783,750 (referendum year)
      2015 456,832 (Westminster election year)
      2016 322,085 (Holyrood election year)
      2017 900,723 (Westminster election year)
      2018 323,936 (Nothing exciting, as far as I know)

      Reportable donations were
      2014 3,684,054
      2015 1,065,000
      2016 60,000
      2017 510,000
      2018 Zero

      Notice the increase in the small donations between 2015 & 2017. Granted, this is offset by the decrease in large donations. This may blow my theory out of the water, but someone entitled to ask the question might want to ask it. Where are the ring-fenced donations recorded?

      So, on the basis of “follow the money” we look at the Balance Sheet and see how much cash the SNP had on hand at the end of 2017. Only 7,906, per p20 of the 2017 accounts. On its face this does not look good.

      Perhaps the central party has set up a separate accounting unit and that they “owe” the money to that accounting unit. For that, we need to look at Creditors (usually note 23 and on p33 or so of the accounts). Amounts owed at the end of each year are:
      2014 341,014
      2015 514,534
      2016 626,430*
      2017 506,235
      2018 758,336

      *Three lines in the Creditors note were restated from 2016 accounts, but these appear to all relate to Accounting Unit, or similar, transactions. The restated amount, shown in the comparative in the 2017 accounts, was 557,424.

      So, if the ring-fenced income went through central party accounts as Donation Income where is the cash out? It certainly isn’t sitting in the central party bank account. There is nothing obvious in the Expenditure side of the Income & Expenditure Account.

      So we next look at the Statement of Cash Flows. The only number that seems to be worth looking at are the receipts from and payments on loans. It looks like the central party has a revolving line of credit, which it pays off within the year.

      So, the four questions that party members need answers to:

      Was the ring-fenced money recognized as income in central party accounts?

      If so, where is the money on the Balance Sheet?

      If not on the Balance Sheet, in which Accounting Unit does it sit? (I am not an expert on UK political party accounts but I should imagine it would have to be reported to the Electoral Commission).

      If the money came into the central party and went out to another Accounting Unit, where were those transactions posted?

      I have not been a SNP member for twenty-five years or so. I have no dog in this fight. I simply offer my analysis as someone with thirty years of experience in public accounting (mostly on the tax side, admittedly) so that those with a legitimate interest in this matter can ask the right questions. Good luck.

    80. CameronB Brodie says:

      The British Establishment, which the Scottish Establishment are most certainly a part of, have simply managed to convinces themselves and an unhealthily proportion of the public, that British nationalism is wholesome and that placing Parliament above the Common law is democratic.

      The methodological nationalism that has produced this pathological identity, is being tested as never before. The incompetent, dogmatic, and apparently corrupt judicial and political systems we are being asked to endure (so that we may deny ourselves the potential to enjoy an equitable political economy), is simply a symptom of how dysfunctional Brexitanian democratic process is. And the deep cultural colonisation of Scots minds.

      Scot will never enjoy the benefits of democracy while we allow our law officers to use the law against Scotland’s best interests. Simples.

      Harvard International Law Journal, Volume 58, Number 2, Spring 2017
      Sovereignty and Normative Conflict: International
      Legal Realism as a Theory of Uncertainty

      https://harvardilj.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/HLI204_crop.pdf

    81. M Girrie says:

      Wings are you run by the Conservative Party now? Talk about trying to implode Indy, your doing a great job. Jeez have a word.

    82. Rob says:

      at brian allen 2.16
      I thought we only needed 2. 2 million. Seems a no brainer to sign this, but try telling this to the nic brigade.

    83. CameronB Brodie says:

      M Girrie
      I think the sad truth is the SNP are morphing into the Tories. They certainly appear to support a very Tory approach to the law and social justice, as their gender agenda is pretty openly hostility to the Natural law and the legal principles of “universality” and “equality in law”. They need new legal advice ASAP, that respects and supports the principles of universals legal doctrine, rather than the culturally bound legal dogmatism enforced through the doctrine of Parliamentary sovereign.

      Integrating critical realist and feminist methodologies:
      ethical and analytical dilemmas

      https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/42539759.pdf

    84. cirsium says:

      OT – apologies if this has been posted before. I’ve just come across it

      https://gordondangerfield.com/2020/10/05/salmond-inquiry-more-diversionary-tactics-by-copfs/

    85. stonefree says:

      @ CameronB Brodie at 8:53 pm

      Might I correct you, the SNP evolved badly and are now the New Tories and Unionist Party(NTUP)

    86. CameronB Brodie says:

      Honest, I do actually know a bit about how to scientifically, ethically, and legally determine which ‘facts’ are true and which are simply cultural beliefs. I’m not going off on one, I’m simply getting closer to the ‘source code’. 🙂

      I do appreciate this stuff is rather highbrow, but it’s the science and technology of ethical government. So Ms. Spear can can get tae, as she is undermining the potential for justice in Scotland.

      Journal of Critical Realism Volume 17, 2018 – Issue 2
      Introduction to the special issue: applied critical realism in the social sciences

      https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14767430.2018.1468148

    87. CameronB Brodie says:

      Oops, wrong thread.

      stonefree
      You are possibly correct, but they’ve sure been sleekit about it.

    88. Livionian says:

      Remember that the counseling for Derek Mackay could have easily been paid for out the public purse in terms of short money. Or at the very least money that should be spent furthering the cause of independence. What a bargain eh…
      Just when I thought him claiming rent in Edinburgh for doing f all was a good deal

    89. tarisgal says:

      Is it possible this is why SNP don’t want Joanna Cherry in Holyrood? She might get wind of all these Solicitors Bills & start to question what they are all about?

      I’ve never really seen the wish to keep Cherry out of HR as a case of Nicola Sturgeon worried Joanna will take her job from her. In the normal scheme of things, I think Sturgeon is confident enough in her own position to know there is no need for her to hand over to Cherry or anyone else. I don’t think it’s that.

      I think it much more likely they don’t want Cherry’s intelligence & her QC skills up there. I don’t believe Cherry would agree to finagling the finances. She’s much too much a stickler for the law. I think it more likely she might ask one question too many about other financial… ‘irregularities’, shall we say? And I doubt she’d want to let go of it till she found out what it was all about. She’s much too good at putting pieces together & I don’t think they could count on Joanna keeping any ‘oddities’ to herself, if she did find anything out. That’s why they’ve done what they did & refused to rescind the motion by the NEC.

    90. indyfan says:

      @ Colin Dawson @ 4.38

      CA AGM 2 years ago. The invited chair,(I have no idea where he was a member at the time) on noting that there was no youth officer nominated in the office bearer elections, suggested himself for the role. He was duly elected without a vote. He is now standing as a potential candidate.

    91. Allan Stewart says:

      I don’t get ‘daily requests’. I have had two letters recently in the run up to my membership renewal, but nothing more troublesome than I get from other organisations. I don’t think the local branch is particularly active so can’t say I am overly inclinded to part with more cash for the time being. In general, I think SNP comms with members is very poor and there is little attempt to engage.



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