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The slinging of mud

Posted on January 09, 2021 by

There are two articles on the Spectator website today relating to last night’s breaking story about Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. One of them readers of this site have seen already, because the Spectator has literally just cut and pasted it in its entirety from Wings (without any attribution or acknowledgement).

It’s the text of Salmond’s submission to the Hamilton inquiry, and we know they copied it from us (rather than having been leaked it independently) because of this paragraph:

As we told readers last night, that redaction was made by us – not by Salmond – as an extra precaution to prevent the possibility of one of the complainers in the criminal trial from being identified. It didn’t appear in Salmond’s actual submission, and so Wings is the only possible source for it being in the Spectator.

Stealing our story lock, stock and barrel without a credit is rather poor form from the magazine, but it’s the other piece we’re more concerned about.

It’s a very long article – over 3700 words – and it sets out to very broadly tell the whole story from its earliest beginnings up to now. Much of it is factual and unobjectionable. But Massie, who has made no secret for many years of his distaste for Salmond, just can’t help bending and twisting the truth to turn it into a sleazy smear piece.

The first 14 paragraphs are played straight, but then Massie starts to stretch and mould reality into shapes he finds more pleasing.

The line about “the breadth, depth and seriousness of the charges” is simply a nonsense. Of the 14 (of which 13 got to court), there were just two serious charges – one of attempted rape and one of assault with intent to rape.

The other dozen were almost comically trivial (an alleged pat on the bum, an alleged ping of a lock of hair) transparently filed only in an effort to support the serious ones via the so-called “Moorov Doctrine” – a unique Scottish legal principle whereby minor incidents are used to try to prove that a suspect is “the sort of person” who would be likely to commit other crimes for which there is little or no other evidence.

(This is because of Scots law’s requirement for corroboration, ie supporting evidence. It’s particularly relevant in cases of alleged sexual assault because such crimes tend not to be witnessed by anyone other than the suspect and the victim, so they’re harder to prove than other crimes. Moorov basically says “if this person is the sort of person who’d touch someone’s bum in public, they’re probably a rapist as well”.)

The next paragraph is questionable too.

Really? While we’ve spoken to Alex Salmond on a number of occasions and met him personally twice, this site would not count itself by any means part of his “immediate circle”, but we know a very large number of people, ourselves included, who were not at all surprised by the innocent verdicts.

(Other than in the sense of perhaps being surprised that a conspiracy against Salmond on such a massive scale would not have ensured it controlled the verdict too.)

Even without any insider knowledge, the number of Moorov charges was a clear indication that the prosecution didn’t feel it had a very compelling case to present on the serious ones, as was proved in the event. And quiet inquiries we made among political figures who’d known Salmond for a long time – without by any means being counted among his friends – uniformly came back with the view that this was a man who whatever his flaws was certainly no would-be rapist.

Still, we’re sure Alex Massie mixes in very different circles to us in every possible way (thank goodness), and is – let’s say – likely to know more people willing to take a low opinion of Alex Salmond than we are, so we’ll let that one go.

It would, undoubtedly, explain the next paragraph.

Is it? “Trashed”? By acquittal on all charges? We would submit that that rather depends on your perspective. People already holding a low opinion would certainly be likely to come away from the trial inclined to believe the prosecution’s claims, even after they were rejected by the jury.

To others, though – including however few Scots might not have had preconceptions of Salmond’s character one way or the other – an innocent man was vindicated after the fullest possible scrutiny and walked free without a stain on his name.

So let’s put that one, too, down to differing perspectives. The next paragraph, however, is nothing more than an objectively disgraceful lie.

At the trial, Salmond admitted that only ONE of the charges had any sort of basis in truth – the claim of Woman F. It was agreed that Salmond and the woman had both had a little too much to drink while working late one night and engaged in a fully clothed and entirely consensual interaction described as a “cuddle”, but still one which shouldn’t really have been allowed to happen in the name of governmental propriety.

As the senior person present and therefore with more responsibility to have prevented it, Salmond subsequently apologised and the woman accepted the apology. Offered the chance to move to an alternative job of the same status and salary, she declined and continued to work with Salmond. She had repeatedly made clear to the initial Scottish Government investigation that she did NOT want the police to become involved over the incident, but the story grew arms and legs during the investigation and became something very different to her original account.

In every other case, Salmond’s defence was that the alleged incidents simply hadn’t happened at all. Most of the claims – such as those involving Women A, D, G, J and K –  had supposedly happened in public places with numerous other people present, and yet no witnesses were produced who had seen anything untoward in any of them. The prosecution also dropped the charge involving Woman E before the trial began.

In the case of Woman H, the alleged attempted rape, a witness who knew Woman H well and was her friend asserted unequivocally that Woman H wasn’t even in the building on the night she claimed Salmond had attempted to rape her.

In the case of Woman C, the only witness called – the driver of a ministerial car – said on oath that it would have been physically impossible, due to the layout of the car, for Salmond to have committed the alleged offence without his having seen it.

The above accounts for every charge except that involving Woman B, which Salmond also categorically denied. And in every case the jury believed Salmond’s accounts – and perhaps more pertinently those of the seven female defence witnesses, who gave their evidence in full public view under their real names, not hidden behind a draconian anonymity order – rather than those of his accusers.

So contrary to Massie’s claim, the case of Woman F was the only one in which it was admitted that anything even slightly improper had happened at all. There were no “multiple counts” of Salmond “admitting the essential details” but denying they reached the threshold of criminality.

The closest thing was his accepting having once lightly touched the cheek of Woman D to wake her up when she’d fallen asleep in a car during a foreign trip, and also to occasionally “pinging” her very curly hair, as many of her other work colleagues did and to which she’d never indicated any sort of objection.

If that, as Massie then claims, is sufficient basis to make someone a “creep” then we fear there isn’t an adult man alive in the UK who could dodge such a label. Goodness knows what sort of term would be appropriate for the country’s Prime Minister, who refuses to even reveal how many children he has from an untold number of wives, girlfriends and mistresses.

(One of the dodgiest aspects of the case, referenced by Massie above, was the covert recording of Salmond’s QC on a train by an unknown person. The muffled, edited clips, in which viewers were not permitted the beginnings or contexts of sentences, was grotesquely misrepresented as Jackson offering his own personal view when he was clearly in fact speculating as to the opinions that might theoretically be held by an observer of the case.)

From this point the piece descends into full-on malicious innuendo.

The paragraph above discusses things which exist only in Alex Massie’s imagination. Of what “poor behaviour” are we talking here, exactly?

Alex Salmond, let us remember, has been found guilty of NO crime whatsoever, and been acquitted of even extremely minor alleged misdemeanours, despite the police having conducted a massive trawl over many months, interviewing literally hundreds of women who had made no complaints about him at all, going back for many years desperately trying to find something, anything they could bring to court to prop up their hopelessly weak case.

So what actually was there for people in the SNP to have an “inkling” about? What are these unspecified “whispers” which Massie alleges unnamed people to have “heard”, and even if they existed what possible reason was there to believe any of them rather than dismissing them as the sort of spiteful and wholly invented scuttlebutt that abounds in the sewer that is politics?

Over and over again Massie repeats these phantom claims, asserting without even a hint of evidence or detail that Salmond’s reputation was in some way tarnished.

And then he decides to turn up the heat.

Yet this supposed incident is not sufficiently “famous” for any details of it to have leaked into the public sphere in 12 years, was not sufficiently “horrific” to have resulted in any sort of action at the time, and was too feeble an allegation even to make it into a case in which a man stood to lose his liberty over supposedly touching someone’s leg for five seconds in the back of a car.

Massie nevertheless presents as a straight uncontested fact that Salmond “behave[d] appallingly” in the alleged incident. The only story we’ve heard in relation to the airport was of Salmond making a joke about a staff member wearing “killer heels” when a security scanner had gone off as they walked through it. If Massie knows of anything worse, he doesn’t choose to share it with his readers.

It would be easy to give a very broad outline while emphasising for legal reasons that no charges had been brought and that there was no reason to believe the allegation was true. But instead he just dangles the salacious word “horrific” from an unnamed source and invites the readers to imagine the worst for themselves, while also implying that it’s definitely true and indicative of “appalling” behaviour. It’s a repulsive piece of cheap, nasty cowardice.

Once again: Massie’s constant insistence that Salmond had some sort of track record of inappropriate conduct before the trial, about which the SNP should have known, is presented entirely without any sort of basis in fact.

Not a single actual incident is cited. We’re told only of vague unspecified “whispers” from unidentified mouths about unnamed acts on unspecified dates. Even to call it “fabrication” would be to hugely over-dignify it by suggesting that there was anything in it from which one could weave fabric.

These are simply the worst kind of baseless, spurious gutter smears against a man who was scrutinised relentlessly and forensically for decades by a Scottish media desperate to find any kind of dirt on him, and yet who always came up blank.

It is a shameful thing for any media outlet to have published. On reflection we’re glad that The Spectator didn’t credit us for the story it stole, because we would have felt unclean simply to see our name on its pages.

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    1. 09 01 21 21:28

      The slinging of mud – politics-99.com

    139 to “The slinging of mud”

    1. “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past”. Orwell

      ‘And as Alex Salmond has always been a thorn in the side of the UK elite estate, indeed an ‘enemy’ of the British State which has provided its own accusers from within its own Civil Service, this is their payback from which there’s meant to be no way back. Not only to utterly destroy him and his legacy but to serve as advanced warning to other men who might follow him, with his fate being the very public price for challenging the established order. However his predicament is a microcosm case in an infinitely larger propaganda picture’.

      ‘False Accusations – Alex Salmond & Gaslight State ‘Domestic Abuse’ (2018) by #GaslightingGilligan https://wp.me/p94Aj4-Fo

    2. Astonished says:

      Stu – you haven’t had a fundraiser for a while (and with brexit I have a lot less to waste my money on) -so if you want to sue the vile spectator for copyright then I’m willing to give you a few bob rather than a thursday clap.

      At least get them to acknowledge their theft.

      Mr Salmond regarding massie – the same offer.

      P.S. Hope Mr Salmond starts a fundraiser.

    3. Achnababan says:

      Massie is a pri*K – simples

    4. Helen Yates says:

      This boils my blood, a man who has been acquitted in a court of law is being continually re-tried by these vipers in the media and by some of the people who are where they are today only because of him. that he trusted these people makes this all the harder to bear.

      I pray that we see the day when everyone of these vile, sleekit, self serving toads are brought before a judge.
      The whole thing is sickening and makes me even more determined to see each and every one removed from office. while even one remains there is nothing could make me vote for this party ever again.

    5. David Rodgers says:

      The Spectator obviously regards your website as important enough to read and in this case plagiarise!

    6. Brian says:

      Love this site but at times you do get it wrong. Your ex pjs nation of Moorov is incorrect and misleading sadly. Otherwise enjoyed the article ?

    7. Bob Mack says:

      Is Alex Massies pen name Jilly Cooper. He writes with the same breathless eroticism. Bodice ripping yarns and women subject to the salacious whims of the Lord of the Manor.

      Oh Mr Massie please dont sir.

      I think he has found a new career. Fiction .

    8. aulbea1 says:

      Thanks again, Stu.

    9. Effijy says:

      It’s a Spectator sport watching journalists hard work and then stealing it.
      Propaganda on the cheap.

      Massie never has let the truth interfere with his own Unionist agenda.

      The only jobs with rags like these is to manufacture Scotland bad U.K. great stories.

      How embarrassing to be caught thieving and lying to make some kind of living.

    10. Bob Mack says:

      Moorov is extrapolation that separate incidents if similar and within time frame and circumstance can be used to corroborate the accusation. Yes?

    11. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      ‘Alex Massie’is not an anagram of ‘Aimless Axe’ (or, eh…’Malaise Sex’) for nothing.

    12. Hugh Wallace says:

      @Brian

      Care to enlighten us then?

    13. Davie Oga says:

      Blackford on Radio 4

      “I believe that the first minister has acted in an honourable way; she’s someone that I’ve every faith and trust in.”

      “I can tell you that the approval ratings for the first minister, the respect that she has right up and down the country of Scotland, is enormous and this is something that will pass – when she appears in front of the committee, these matters will be dealt with.”

    14. Sarah says:

      If I didn’t have some inkling of how totally exhausting and miserable it is to have take legal action and/or confront personal, unjustified, attacks, I would be urging Mr Salmond to take every single one of these individuals and newspapers to court. A fundraiser would get my support too.

      These critics are desperately cruel. Have any of them any experience of what it feels like to be exposed to this kind of thing? I doubt it. What unpleasant characters they are.

    15. Alistair says:

      It’s great to have you back doing what you’re best at.

    16. Colin Alexander says:

      Disgusting ad hominem poison pretending to be political journalism.

      It’s clear the British Imperial Establishment and their Scottish colonial servants ( such as Sturgeon’s Govt) fear Mr Salmond.

      They also fear if Sturgeon falls from power, the most effective barrier to Scottish independence will be removed.

    17. Gerard McGhee says:

      till now I have respectfully disagreed with the “weesht for indy” advocates on the grounds that their position was, in my opinion, strategically wrong-headed and would be counter productive. This new brand of Nicola Sturgeon hagiography is somewhat different; altogether more pernicious. This type of ‘expediency over fairheadedness’ is something I would associate more with the British Establishment and its legion miscarriages of justice. Frankly if that attitude has a significant presence in the yes movement then the whole movement can go and do one…

    18. Bob Mack says:

      I used to trust Ian Blackford when he said we would not be dragged out of Europe against our will.

      Trust is often misplaced. Like he trusts Nicola

    19. Fairliered says:

      There’s going to be a lot of egg on a lot of faces when Alex Salmond is vindicated and Sturgeon and her cohorts are filling the cells of Cornton Vale.

    20. Davie Oga says:

      Blackford, sometime in 2000

      Mr Blackford said at the time: “We must be able to be worthy of the trust of the voters and there is no better place to earn that trust than in our internal democracy and financial dealings.”

      He also said he was being unjustly accused of being responsible for a deficit of approximately £400,000, and he said his suspension – following a vote by the national executive – was a violation of natural justice and that it was the fault of others’ rather than his own.

    21. Mchaggis69 says:

      I wish I could recall the source, but I read what appeared to be an authoritative account of the airport incident –

      Security screening Edinburgh Airport. Mr Salmond is waiting to go through the body scanner and a cabin crew member in front of him is asked to remove her shoes before going through.

      Mr Salmond quipped – ‘They must be killer heels’.

      Its a dad joke. Its actually quite funny. To me anyway. As a dad. Who tells shit jokes.

      Anyway. The joke was overheard and apparently the cabin crew member questioned and the ‘incident’ reported to someone ( I can’t recall if it was to the SNP or to the Scottish Parliament.

      Yup. A truly ‘horrific’ incident which must have left all concerned traumatised and seeking counselling all round.
      What. A. Pile. Of. Pish.

    22. Lollysmum says:

      It would seem that the Spectator has now decided to take the place of Murdoch’s closed News of the World which had a reputation for ‘fitting up’ innocent people with made up stories. That reputation stretched back for years & ruined many people’s lives but a good few sued the NOTW for a lot of money.

      The Spectator, Alex Massie & Fraser Nelson must be really proud of themselves that they’ve replaced NOTW in the most disgraceful way possible in emulating NOTW’s modus operandi that we’ve thankfully not seen since NOTW was shut down.

      It would seem that the Spectator would have fitted in very well with the company of Tony Bliar & the sexed up dossier fix in 2003. Hope they are proud of themselves-any integrity they may have claimed has this weekend been shot to pieces. I find their behaviour reprehensible & indefensible just as I did the News of the World.

      I will certainly not be reading another Spectator article since it has now turned to publishing trash. I don’t see Alex Massie as a a journalist anyway-he tends to write trashy gossipy rubbish very short on truth & is not a patch on his father Alan who is sorely missed. Now, he had integrity shame Alex missed out there & he could’ve been a better man than he became.

    23. Bob Mack says:

      @Davie Oga,

      Glad you posted that David. Sometimes you forget. This was when Blackford was treasurer and overspent on the election campaign. Alex Salmond suspended him and Blackford threatened to sue Alex for defamation.

      He is completely impartial of course.

    24. Annie 621 says:

      Colin Alexander ??

    25. Kenny says:

      Gives you an idea the type of concocted and sensationalistic crap Scotland’s had to endure for generations from the Press and their whores doing their filthy work for them – when we had zero right of reply, no champion to give us the truth.

      Massie and his gang; the lowest of the low, those who’d tap the mobile phones of the deceased, those ghouls who’d present the saddest news of recently departed to their good friends – just to get the pictures of that friend’s weeping heartbreak (Michael Mols being informed of Fernando Ricksen’s passing), the same gutter-trash who stalk pathetic ex-footballers who’ve found hard times, and photograph that unfortunate soul, the same shit-rags who’ll pass bottles of cheap wine to 14 year-olds, and make a story of it. Yes, the very worst of our society – thugs and misfits of which Massie confirms he’s more than comfortable being part of.

      We don’t read hoodlum-Press, we have Wings over Scotland.

      Thanks for your good, upright work, Stu, and thanks for speaking-out, for all of us.

    26. Polly says:

      Well written and the anger and outrage is palpable. There’s much to be outraged about.

      ‘Alistair says:
      9 January, 2021 at 10:05 pm
      It’s great to have you back doing what you’re best at.’

      He hasn’t been away anywhere, he’s written with exactly the same verve, passion and insight on every other topic covered these last months. What he’s best at is disecting lies, humbug and falshood and he always does that. Perhaps you mean you’d just like him to be more selective/restrictive in what he chooses to cover.

    27. Kenny says:

      Davie Oga – jeez, it’s all falling into place. What a sleazy little shit Blackford’s turning out? Little guy with a big mouth and f*ck-all to say.

    28. Strathy says:

      Massie’s article was published at 6.21pm today.

      By 10pm it had been forensically analysed, shredded and binned.

      The Spectator might be looking for it’s money back.

    29. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Strathy (10.27) –

      Good point there.

      Doesn’t any editor of any publication have a duty to pull-up staff (or freelancers) who plagiarize?

    30. ScottieDog says:

      Alex massiie of Charlotte street partners. A fine outfit also including the bampot banker of the growth commission.

    31. ScottieDog says:

      Bella now tweeting massie. Ffs

    32. Muscleguy says:

      I bet the Spectator’s justification if all they did was copy the Salmond tex and not your commentary that the stuff was freely available. I suppse you could charge them an editing fee for the Redaction Rev. Try that one.

      As for Massie, waht a massive creep he is. The rost of person who projects, puts his own base desires onto others thinking everyone is like himself. All that does not speak well of Mr Massie in that piece then.

    33. Josef Ó Luain says:

      Massie couldn’t tie Salmond’s laces. At best, he’s a calculating Jock-on-the-make who knows what sells and hacks it out accordingly.

    34. Joan Savage says:

      Time that Alex sued Massie. Happy to contribute (again) to a crowdfunder.

      Thinking of something that N Sturgeon said: that the allegations against someone who had been closer to her than anyone except her family for most of her adult life, came as a great shock.

      Well there you are. In 30 odd years she hadn’t personally seen or heard of any untoward action by Alex Salmond. Until of course his heinous crime against political correctness many years ago when he quipped that it was a woman’s ‘killer heels’ that had set off the airport security alarm. Well, lock me up right now!! Set off the Me Too# siren! Sense of humour = penal servitude.

    35. Mia says:

      It is clear as day that since 2017 there has been an ongoing agenda to smear Mr Salmond.

      It is like an oversized octopus with arms everywhere: the Scottish government and parliament, the SNP parliamentary party, the press, the copfs, the police, everywhere.

      They attempted it with the complaints procedure and they failed. They attempted it with the criminal prosecution and they failed. Since the day he was acquitted they have continued to smear him relentlessly to this day.

      It seems to me that those tweets from Blackman, Wishart and others may well be part of the same octopus strategy.

      This is a multidisciplinary strategy. It is beginning to become apparent that the establishment (and I include Sturgeon and her Pretorian guards in it) is so petrified of his return that they are throwing the kitchen sink at him.

    36. Colin Alexander says:

      Just remember: when the British Imperials aren’t attacking Alex Salmond, they are attacking you and me; telling us: we are too wee, too poor, too stupid.

      The real test for stupidity is whether you believe Boris Johnson’s WM Tories can run Scotland better than the people of Scotland.

    37. Davy Smith says:

      Alex Massie is a liar.

    38. Hugh Jarse says:

      Well, if you were in any doubt, now you know what Massie jr is, and who he’s speaking for.

      Chip off the old block shocker!

      Both the products of Glenalmond college.

      Buggery at boarding school maketh the man.

    39. kapelmeister says:

      Shame on Massie. To do that to a fellow Jambo too.

    40. Hatuey says:

      It’s to be expected that the British MSM will wade in and try to protect Sturgeon, the sort of leader of the SNP that they could only have dreamed about until she appeared.

      The smart pundits and journalists don’t need to be told to support Sturgeon. It’s self-evident that if she were ever replaced, the likelihood is that she’d be replaced by someone who was more serious about achieving independence.

      Salmond must consider making an example of one of these slugs.

    41. Iain More says:

      I cuddled a female friend some 20 years ago whilst sober. Well that is me fucked then. It was a female and no buggery took place. Well we didn’t go to the right Brit Nat schools for practice at buggery.

    42. Aunty Flo says:

      Colin Alexander says:

      “It’s clear the British Imperial Establishment and their Scottish colonial servants (such as Sturgeon’s Govt) fear Mr Salmond.”

      Why is that, I wonder? What kind of threat could he possibly pose to these establishment interests, that they would mount such a well-planned, outrageous attempted stitch-up on an innocent man, involving high level government figures, the judiciary and the media, all in concert with each other?

      And, even after he has been acquitted, the lies and ad hominem attacks do not let up!

      In all the coverage which I have read to date, I have not yet seen anyone attempt to explain the nature of the threat he represents.

      Anybody know?

    43. katherine hamilton says:

      Bloody hell Rev, you must be knackered. What a tour de force from you today. Don’t have too much laughing juice tonight. God help us all. Sunday shite rags tomorrow.

      Stay strong. You have such fortitude as rarely seen.

      Thanks

    44. robertknight says:

      Who is considered to be a threat to the Union?

      Who is considered NOT to be a threat to the Union?

      Who are Unionists seeking to monster?

      Who are Unionists seeking to prop up?

      Why are Unionists suddenly voicing support, directly or indirectly, for Sturgeon’s regime in the face of such a clear and present danger to her continuation in the post of FM?

      Who is Sturgeon actually serving?

    45. TruthForDummies says:

      Thanks Stu for your bravery in exposing all this. And thanks for standing up for justice and truth.

      The #IStandWithFM hashtag is doing very poorly on Twitter #MarkHirstIsInnocent a couple of days ago did a lot better.

      If I Understand the story correctly ….

      Ms H Is thwarted in her attempt to be selected as an MSP candidate.

    46. TruthForDummies says:

      Thanks Stu for your bravery in exposing all this. And thanks for standing up for justice and truth.

      The #IStandWithFM hashtag is doing very poorly on Twitter #MarkHirstIsInnocent a couple of days ago did a lot better.

      If I Understand the story correctly ….

      Ms H Is thwarted in her attempt to be selected as an MSP candidate.
      Salmond did not support her so she is annoyed with him
      Ms H approaches McCann with her story which turned out to be made up
      McCann says thanks a lot we will keep this to be deployed later

      LATER happens
      Why? Is supposition the story is a bit light on motive here
      Salmond at RT, Salmond backing someone to challenge FM ???

      McCann has told Murrell his boss about the allegation
      So they start a retrospective complaints process so they can use the allegation to knobble Salmond
      They get the civil service to create this process under instruction of NS
      NS hands over accountablity for dealing with harassment breaches of ministerial code to Lesley Evans. So NS can have deniability and tell everyone she wasn’t involved

      They then ‘deploy’ Ms H’s allegation
      Some years b4 a civil servant reported an incident with Salmond which the civil service dealt with satisfactorily at the time. The conspirators include this case.

      Salmond is informed of the allegations and organises a meeting for Aberdein with NS and NS’s chief of staff in Holyrood 29th March to set up a face to face for Salmond and NS.

      At the 29th March meeting it is arranged that NS and Salmond will meet at NS’s home
      This 2nd April meeting took place Included at the meeting was Salmond, Aberdein, NS and NS’s chief of staff.

      *****Why were these meetings Not minuted they were clearly government business as a civil servant was present ***** Breech 1 and 2

      Someone from NS office leaks the details of the allegations to the Record. As previously reported NS chief of staff Liz Lloyd and Davie Clegg are close. Breech 3

      They panic and realise that they haven’t followed proper procedure, by not recording and minuting the March/April meetings, so they try to cover up the first meeting because if the meeting at the house 2nd April was arranged by NS’s chief of staff then that meeting 2nd April was clearly government business. So they try to remove the 29th March meeting from diaries etc and NS lies to parliament Breech 4

      The government are advised they’ll lose the review case but they continue playing for time
      The new plan is to get Salmond charged b4 the review case collapses. If he’s charged then the review won’t happen.

      Motive : They want Salmond charged to prevent losing the judicial review. Bizarrely this is probably the motive jail an innocent man because you bungled an investigative process.

      Both allegations had been known about for years and no one thought them worth going to the police about…till now….

      The conspirators** and Ms H* rustle up more women so the Moorov doctrine will kick in. And no doubt pressure is exerted on the police.

      But the police are too slow so under pressure from their lawyers they have to abandon their case and pay Salmond 500k

      Lesley Evans knows about the police investigation hence the ‘win the war’ text message

      Salmond is Aquitted

      Smears continue calling in favours from government funded orgs such as rape crises.

      And here we are ….

      So

      1. What was the original motive ?
      2. Why weren’t either meeting recorded as government business? If NS had recorded them as government business she might well be home free.
      3. Who are the conspirators ?

      * Text message read out in court regarding remaining annonymous
      ** (Murrell, Roddick WhatsApp about pressurizing the police)

    47. Bill says:

      Maybe Massie and/or the Spectator is hoping to provoke a libel lawsuit. If so, they won’t succeed.

    48. Alf Baird says:

      Sounds as if Massie’s lengthy anti-Salmond rant may have been ‘written to order’ by somebody external to the publisher.

      This reminds me of Craig Murray’s article on ‘Who paid Dani Garavelli’?
      https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2020/04/who-paid-dani-garavelli/

    49. Astonished says:

      I have just heard that the FM’s unshakeable, although obviously idiotic, defence of ” a transwoman is a woman” mantra has directly led to her downfall.

      MSPs are not as daft as we first thought. Smiley face thing.

    50. Fillofficer says:

      Rev Stu
      Thank you
      Honesty
      Integrity
      Brutality
      Just what we demand
      Its been quite the ride, innit

    51. Alf Baird says:

      As Craig said in his Garavelli article:

      “Why would a magazine nobody reads pay so very much for a completely one-sided hit-job on Alex Salmond?”

    52. Nell G says:

      I think the last 48hrs was the turning point. Sturgeon’s rotten woke sycophants know the game is up so are now throwing the kitchen sink, playing the misogyny card and smearing Alex one more time before the house comes crashing down. It is becoming clearer every day this rot is more than just Nicola being a terrible human being and that disease spreading to the rest of the SNP. We should all be prepared for an onslaught from the Unionist press, the aim being to protect Nicola and discredit Alex at every opportunity and we must fight fire with fire. If they don’t report on Nicola’s precarious position you can bet she’s one of them. The Union is more fragile now than ever.

      I’ve always believed Alex’s fate was to free Scotland and I maintain this, Today I am more optimistic than I have been for a long time despite the negativity from some quarters.

    53. It’s inconceivable that the establishment or media have at no time attempted to honeytrap and thus destroy the main threat to the state’s continued existence. And yet, all these years living during the week in London – no stories, no rumours, absolutely nothing. The most damning thing I’ve ever seen was “He likes a punt!”

      The airport story is just pathetic. FFS most of the guys I’ve ever worked with will be waiting for a chap on the door from the rozzers if that’s all it takes. Most of the women too come to that.

    54. holymacmoses says:

      So many greedy a**holes with big mortgages, expensive taste and a desire to create a huge pension pot just like Johnson, Rees-Mogg and Cummings only with a different accent

    55. Tannadice Boy says:

      Stu you are being magnanimous in your attitude toward plagiarism by the Spectator. A serious ethical offence in academia and industry. Concerning the second article by Massie, I have noticed many comments on social media along a similar vein. Playing the man in football parlance. I was hoping for a short albeit inevitable painful disruption to the movement. I think the Parliament needs to take a hand next week and end this clear cut breach of the ministerial code by the FM. Their reputation as a functioning Parliament is at stake.

    56. Desimond says:

      Interesting how Massie notes Tory and Labour looking on like curious crows not knowing if they dare take a peck

      As Rev has noted many times, this will show exactly who stands where.. so far we have Bella standing aside the Spectator berating one mans ego and celebrating ‘opinion polls’ as if thats all that matters.

      Will Jacquie Baillie get the nod to back off and a trip to the Lords soon?
      Will Linda Evans claim the 5th or call in long term sick with stress?
      Will The Establishment dare allow Salmond to testify not knowing exactly what he has at his disposal?
      Regardless of Nicola..Just how scared is John Swinney (And others?) given his desire to clamp this down

      While the public may indeed forgive this..whats the NEC thinking…

    57. Paul says:

      On Moorov.

      “The Moorov doctrine is a rule that holds that the evidence of one witness can corroborate the evidence of another in certain situations if the Crown can prove that the accused’s offending was part of a course of conduct, systematically pursued.”

      From scottishlegal.com

      Seems fairly succinct and in line with Stuart’s account of it.

      I’m fed up with the continual blackening of Salmond’s name. I feel certain if Sturgeon was the one being maligned, this site would be reporting the facts without fear or favour.

      Also fed up with people commenting (usually on Twitter it must be said), and just getting it wrong through a catastrophic lack of nuance and depth of understanding.

      Have an opinion, but if it’s so obviously tainted by pre-existing bias, be prepared for pelters.

      I just wish none of this was happening. It’s an utter bin fire – which is not Stuart Campbell’s, or Alex Salmond’s fault, or the fault of anyone that might question the ‘official’ narrative.

      Anyone else remember when we used to be *so* cynical of the ‘establishment’?

      Still voting Yes, still voting for the SNP. Neither thing is just one person.

    58. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Paul (11.57) –

      It’s a fuckin proper five big-wheelie-bin fire, aye.

      Horrible thing to witness, but we don’t have to watch it – we’ve all got better stuff to do.

      We should take the time to just savour what’s happening – this is history being written right in front of us and we actually have a stake in it.

      Let’s see what the ‘Sundays’ say to it all, eh?

      😉

    59. Willie Hogg says:

      Paul on moorof

      As far as I understand this doctrine was not advanced in the trial as there was too much coordination of prosecution testimonies, due to the accusers discussion their cases on social media, which resulted in them not being independent corroboration of each other. If the prosecution had applied the doctrine the judge would have had to allow the defence to present the social media evidence of collusion.

    60. Shug says:

      BBC is being very light on the salmond story
      Wonder what they have up their sleeve

    61. Davie Oga says:

      Aunty Flo says:

      “In all the coverage which I have read to date, I have not yet seen anyone attempt to explain the nature of the threat he represents.

      Anybody know?”

      ‘Scotland will become an independent nation. Give Scots the power we demand, or Scotland will vote to take it’

      -Alex Salmond

      +

      An independent Scotland could abandon sterling union – Salmond tells FT

      https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-scotland-currency-idUKKBN16O0OG?edition-redirect=uk

      = Get Salmond

      The British could probably have grudgingly accepted the white paper version of independence.

      They cannot afford to accept real independence.

      If you take Scottish resources and balance of payments away from the value of sterling, it is likely that the pound would trade at around 70-80 pence per dollar, instantly wiping 30-40 % off of our Atlanticist establishment’s personal wealth. Given England’s dependence on imports for all essentials – Food, Oil, Electricity, Water, a devaluation as a result of a seperate currency, would lead to heavy inflation, and the vicious circle of having to increase the supply of sterling in order to pay for imports, while at the same time, further devaluing the pound due to the increased supply.

      Alex had to go because he started talking about a separate currency and a separate Scottish currency represents the end of the world as they know it.

      Charlotte Street SNP are for independence, but not if it’s hard work or threatens the wealth of our bettors.

    62. steelewires says:

      I hope Alex Salmond sues the Spectator and Massie!

    63. Contrary says:

      Astonishing. The spectator published this? I think Alf Baird might be correct in his comments – this is a commissioned piece to smear Alex Salmond for a purpose, a unionist purpose. The incredible unionist backlash in support of NS, in response to Salmond giving evidence he was asked for, is ,,, remarkable. Massie is a total arsehole with his inane witterings.

      As an aside, radio Scotland had a little piece, on early morning this last week or two sometime, interesting that they should mention it, on the Moorov Doctrine – it was first used in the days gone by, before workers rights and things like unfair dismissal and tribunals, to criminally charge an unpleasant employer, Moorov, who had a tendency to insist his female employees submit to his sexual fumbling or they’d lose their job. The allegations of his actual actions weren’t serious enough for criminal charges but there was no other way to stop him, so it was the number of similar charges that was used to convict him. I think he only got a year or something.

      In this day and age, we have lots of work place procedures to deal with sexual harassment, and normally it would never go to court – because sexual harassment isn’t a criminal matter – and so there is no need to use the Moorov doctrine for a work-place incident. You can now claim unfair dismissal. A work-place procedure might choose to use something similar of course, but it’s not criminal.

      What the radio article didn’t at any time mention was the Alex Salmond case while giving modern day examples of how the Moorov Doctrine is used. Fascinating piece of history, though.

      They also did a bit of an attack on corroboration as though it’s a great evil – but apparently it wasn’t a problem in sexual abuse cases (mostly domestic) until Scotland was forced to adopt a limit on the number of hours an accused could be held without charge – apparently most abusers (being family members) feel guilty and confess after a day or two to consider the seriousness of the charge while being held in custody, and a confession works as corroboration – by ECHR human rights requirements (there is no difference if we are in or out of the EU). Other types of corroboration (in addition to the charge or accusation) can come in many forms including forensic evidence, so serious assault would have corroborating evidence. Why the Scottish government didn’t get a special waiver in the case of sexual/domestic abuse to hold the accused for several days ‘cooling off’ period with no charge I still don’t know – if the statistics show it works and causes no harm, it should be used.

      Sexual harassment should never happen, but it’s not a criminal matter. Alex Salmond should never have been charged, but since he was, and then exonerated on all counts, every single one of these bampots that thinks it’s okay to throw the same unfounded accusations at him should be prosecuted. Alex Salmond is still being persecuted by the State, and it needs to stop.

    64. Kenny says:

      My question has always been that if Salmond’s behaviour was so terrible throughout his time as FM and subsequently while an MP, to the point were it was an “open secret” and there was a “famously horrific” incident at Edinburgh Airport, why did no journalist ever even hint at it during the efforts to demonise him in 2014 and beyond? We all know journalists have ways of suggesting things without saying anything that will land them in court (“tired and emotional” to mean “drunk as a lord,” for example.) Yet none of these journalists – someone like Alan Cochrane, for example, who openly said he didn’t care about “good journalism” during the 2014 campaign – ever thought to drop hints any kind of sexual impropriety. Obviously, it’s not proof of anything, but it does make you wonder about what various people thought they really knew.

      It’s also pretty wacky that nobody’s ever dug into the story that came out at the trial about journalists engaging in a sex act IN BUTE HOUSE during Salmond’s tenure as FM. I’m pretty bloody curious about that.

    65. ian murray says:

      Alex Salmond is the victim here !!!!
      Organizations in Scotland and England attempted to remove him from every day life by putting him in jail.
      The charges brought against him were as weak as dishwater yet still the Scottish government pursued him. They were desperate to get him. They rejected legal advice not to proceed because they had gone after “the King”
      I hope those responsible have their freedom taken away

    66. Jim Kennedy says:

      They are shitting themselves in case Alec Salmond gets involved in the upcoming election.

    67. Toby says:

      Paul says :-
      On Moorov (definition)
      “Seems fairly succinct and in line with Stuart’s account of it”
      While the legal definition is succinct, Stuart’s representation of Moorov is not.
      Stuart has written that the Moorov Doctrine basically says that, if this is the type of person who touches somebodies bum in public they’re probably a rapist too.
      I appreciate this is how it has been maliciously misapplied in the prosecution of Alex Salmond.
      But it is supposed to be applied in circumstances where there are close similarities in time and circumstance and where the evidence of one witness is so similar to that of another that they tend to corroborate one another. It is much more complicated than just a number of allegations of different offences being libelled against the same person.
      It was originally intended for crimes of indecency or a series of sexual crimes where there was a lack of corroborative forensic evidence but it has been translated into other common law crimes, like fraud.
      My experience has been that it was often difficult to convince procurators fiscal of the merits of the doctrine, even when it’s use was entirely justifiable .
      It is a very useful tool in the prosecution of e.g. ‘ indecent assault’, ‘serial flashers’, ‘bogus workmen‘, ‘invisible goods fraudsters’ and other serial offenders where the victim is the only witness.
      The Moorov Doctrine should never have been applied in the prosecution of Alex Salmond , because the individual circumstances of each allegation did not merit it.
      But don’t misrepresent the principle of the ‘Moorov Doctrine’

    68. Saffron Robe says:

      Plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery!

      Alphabet soup with the secret ingredients that leaves a bad taste in your mouth…

      Continuing to throw mud at someone found innocent beyond all doubt can only make you guilty of defamation and your hands dirty me thinks.

    69. twathater says:

      Massie is just a presstitute and a very bad one at that , to plagiarise another journalists work without attribution used to be heresy when there were press standards and real investigative reporters , but no wonder paper media is read less than toilet paper when all you have is copy and pasters

    70. twathater says:

      I posted this on Grumpy Scottish Man yesterday

      TBH I am beyond angry , that this shower of incompetents and science deniers has the bare faced chutzpah to attempt to minimise and divert attention from the verifiable evidence from Alex Salmond by once again TRYING to insinuate wrongdoing on his part . It just shows the desperation of people who have no morals or integrity and it is even more worrying in just how far these people are willing to go to retain the power that we have entrusted them with

      I sincerely hope that this blatant misuse of the law which has cost taxpayers millions will necessitate a judge led inquiry that will hold all those involved to account , and I hope that prison sentences will be part of their punishment

      In the interim all senior persons involved Evans , Allison , Lloyd , Sturgeon , Comer , Richards and all the others , if their intention is to leave to possibly avoid recriminations their pensions should be frozen and ONLY become payable IF they are innocent of participation in wrongdoing , or if they agree to name names , they cannot be allowed to profit from this misuse of power

      I have also posted on other sites that the COMMITTEE should call a press conference and announce that unless the SG produce the legal docs requested and insisted upon by the Scottish Parliament on two occasions within 5 days , the committee will resign en masse and will insist that the presiding officer will conduct a vote of no confidence in the SG due to their DELIBERATE refusal to comply with the Parliaments demands and their deliberate attempts to hinder the inquiry

    71. Breeks says:

      OT
      https://archive.is/8lzqV

      Well done to Kenny MacAskill and Angus MacNeil, but two of them? TWO OF THEM??? What about the rest of them?

      https://archive.is/doDdF

      Oh… After capitulating to Scotland’s subjugation and Brexit, we’re now apparently whining about compensation – almost as if Scotland was a subsidy junky dependent on Westminster’s charitable generosity without the means to stand on its own two feet or bottle to defend itself. I wonder what on Earth created that impression…

      I trying hard not to detest the SNP these days, but gotta admit it’s a struggle.

    72. Willie says:

      Vile malicious unfounded defamation.

      But those who live by that particular sword die by that sword. And that old saw is a true today as it was the day someone first uttered it.

      But old dicta aside, Nicola Sturgeon has been found out. And she will be repaid. Her tenure is coming to an end. That is for absolute certain and it will be quicker than most think.

    73. Lothianlad says:

      Massie and his ilk are shitting it, really shitting it. They know their corrupt establishment and union is coming to an end.

      What is also sickening is, massie is well aware of the corruption and sexual scandal at the heart of the brit establishment, and how its media cover it up.

      He even openly stated the bbc were biased against independence and that they were right to be as in his words, it was their job.

      Massie is loathsome.

    74. Kevin Evans says:

      An unknown source told me “Massie likes to engage in horrific acts with different genders”.

      Wow it’s easy isn’t it.

    75. Robert Louis says:

      Smear, smear, smearity, smear. Gutter so-called ‘journalism’ from what some might say, is a literary guttersnipe.

      They areally are terrified of Alex Salmond. I mean, really, really feart – and that includes the murrells. His return to Scottish political life cannot come soon enough.

      slightly O/T, since the present FM of Scotland has repeatedly broken the ministerial code, when should we expect her resignation??

    76. robertknight says:

      Shug @ 12:16

      “BBC is being very light on the salmond story
      Wonder what they have up their sleeve”

      What the British Establishment have, and have always had, up their sleeve is Nicola Sturgeon.

      It just took a while for them to give the game away and for us to catch on…

    77. Margaret Lindsay says:

      These slanderers are so afraid of Alex Salmond, ( who as we know was found innocent of all charges), they seem to have forgotten (they may have the same selective amnesia as the Murrells) that Alex Salmond was TOLD to make his submssion to the Sturgeon inquiry, which he has done.
      Why are they protecting Sturgeon? Do they realise she is just as comfortable with devolution as they are?
      As you have stated before, there’s way more to this protective behaviour of the msm. They fear Salmond, but in Sturgeon I feel they’ve come to realise there is nothing to fear. I hope he sues them into bankruptcy.
      I’d also like to see you take them to task for plagiarism, but we all know by now, the wheesht for Indy crowd wouldn’t contribute, and will probably be circulating the Massie piece as gospel by now.
      Keep up the great work Stu.

    78. Val says:

      When Parnell was making inroads for Irish independence, a sex scandal ‘suddenly’ appeared.

      Kitty O’Shea and Parnell had lived together for a number of years and had three children together. It was an open secret. As Parnell’s pro-independence campaign gained traction to the chagrin of the British government, O’Shea’s husband, Captain William O’Shea MP, ‘suddenly’ decided to sue for divorce causing a huge scandal at the time, damaging Parnell’s reputation and putting the cause back by years.

      Are we seeing any parallels, folks?

    79. 100%Yes says:

      Its got to the point where the SNP and its band of Sturgeonites are grasping for air and the air around them is foul.

    80. Reread Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S Thompson last night. Had not revisited that stunning book in years. Long overdue. Reading it, a quote from near the end resonated, re Mr. Massie and his vagitprop scumslinger kind:

      “Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits – a false doorway to the backside of life, a filthy piss-ridden little hole nailed off by the building inspector, but just deep enough for a wino to curl up from the sidewalk and masturbate like a chimp in a zoo-cage.”

      Says it all, really.

    81. Mighty S says:

      Consider writing a ‘banana’ article.

      When memo’s were all the rage, dept managers would send a memo calling a meeting to discus ‘A, B & C’. Often folk would turn up unprepared having obviously not read the memo. So, one manager left a single instruction at the bottom of a memo to ‘bring a banana with you’.

      So, your instruction could be a daft word or an anagram perhaps.

      This mud slinging between the two camps is relentless. But not insurmountable.

    82. Jan Cowan says:

      Thank you, Stuart Campbell, for your supreme support for Alex Salmond, one of our most important Scottish Independence figures.

    83. Douglas MacMillan says:

      David oga at 10.02pm…..
      Blackford hates Alex salmond. The enmity goes way back.

    84. panda paws says:

      “Alf Baird says:

      9 January, 2021 at 11:28 pm
      Sounds as if Massie’s lengthy anti-Salmond rant may have been ‘written to order’ by somebody external to the publisher.”

      Well I’ve no idea about that, Alf.

      The Spectator is a longstanding publication whose current political editor is James Forsyth. James is married to Allegra Stratton who was recently appointed to the post of Prime Minister’s spokesperson. Boris Johnson was the editor of the Spectator until 2005.

      But as I say I’ve no idea whether it was written to order or by whom.

    85. Gill says:

      Massie has always sounded to me like random engine parts rattling in a washing machine. Spurious, wishful, hopeless and on constant spin. This article’s accurate appraisal of his latest bad faith effort to smear is welcome, and reminds us how important Stu & WoS are to counter the insidious establishment efforts against a fairer, more democratic, independent Scotland

    86. TruthForDummies says:

      There are very clear breeches of the code
      1. Two government meetings that were not minuted or recorded
      2. The lies NS told parliament 1. When she first knew of the allegations 2. Regarding the March 29th meeting pretending it was not a pre-arranged meeting but ad-hoc, step into an office etc that who transcripts to parliament was lies 3. The fact she had nothing to do with the process when she clearly was involved in deciding whether to continue contesting the judicial review and the decision not to go to arbitration.
      3. The leaking of the allegations to the MSM

      All this has been in the public domain for months but the press are by and large ignoring it.
      Other FMs have been brought down by far less. My worry is the press intend to give her a pass and she will survive then the cause of independence really is over for a generation

    87. ScottieDog says:

      What I can’t understand is (whatever their view of the truth) that people think this can alll be buried.
      The YES movement can drink the horrible medicine now or desperately try to kick the can down the road, which will be perfect for unionists in May. So do we want this now or in the run up to and election? Perhaps once folk have calmed down they’ll realise they have no choice.

      I haven’t seen many MPs tweet in support of the FM so perhaps they share that view.

    88. Black Joan says:

      re Craig Murray’s question “Who paid Dani Garavelli?”.

      Whatever the answer, it was enough for that April 2020 article still to be pinned at the top of her Twitter account.

    89. Sara says:

      So the worms within your midst show their hand – or some of them do. Ian Blackford, Kirsty Blackman, Mhairi Black, Stewart McDonald, Alyn Smith, Kirsten Oswald, – I wonder what they have in common?! Been harping on about these ppl esp first 4 for some time. The problem is that political correctness makes you blind.
      was surprised by some..Christine McElvie (who seems trans nutty), Hosie (I thought he was OK in the Salmond years), Swinney etc – I do think they’re Scottish
      And then you’ll have others within your midst who may stay quiet ..for now..but I wouldn’t trust them. John Nicolson, tommy sheppard, hannah bardell, douglas chapman
      But let’s see how events unfold. And I’m just not sure that Cherry is right for FM however much you all sing her praises…she was all OK with chasing stop brexit when it was stupid to do so. lots of ambition, zero strategy. no -go for a genuine Scot….

    90. Socrates MacSporran says:

      The Leader of the political party which represents the greatest threat to the integrity of a unitary United Kingdom is accused – by her predecessor – of lying to one of the devolved parliaments.

      Her political opponents within that parliament say nothing.
      The central leadership of these opponents, in London, say nothing.

      The mainstream media, both print and broadcast largely ignore the issue.

      Why?

      If, for instance, the main protagonists had been Jeremy Corbyn and Sir Keir Starmer, the media would have been all over it.

      The media’s silence in this tells you all you want to know – the Union and its establishment is clearly protecting Sturgeon.

    91. Colin Alexander says:

      SNP MPs Kenny MacAskill and Angus MacNeil have given Affidavits in support of the Forward As One / Martin Keatings case.

      https://twitter.com/PeoplesAS30/status/1347996566297006080/photo/1

      https://twitter.com/PeoplesAS30/status/1347996568012537857/photo/2

      These gentlemen along with Martin Keatings deserve praise for taking practical steps, unlike Sturgeon and Blackford who are all talk and no action.

    92. Ottomanboi says:

      Unsubstantiated rumours of rambunctious all nighters in the general area of Lord North street involving it is believed several drag queens, a French pasty chef, a cement mixer, Silvio Berlusconi, a bucket of anchovy paste, a baboon suited youth called Roger and several prominent cabinet members has come to our ears.
      What ho! What ho!
      Wotsa goin on ´ere, reported the Weekly Snitcher…
      ….and why were we not invited!.
      The Daily Sniffer aka The Graun is whispered to have sent the ever young Owen Jones and the venerable George Monbiot round to investigate diversity issues and the eco-sustainability of the fish paste.
      Remaniement ministériel à Londres.
      L’affaire « tapenade », Ça macule!
      Quel « carry on » rejoiced the Oh la la French press.
      Anglophobia! screeched the Daily Bile.
      Sturgeon threatens even more bondage…approved the National.

    93. Breeks says:

      Curious and uncomfortable parallels between the Sturgeonistas’ total direspect for the due process and verdict of a legal jury trial, and the SNP’s similar disrespect for the legal aspects of Scotland’s Constitutional sovereignty. Strange coincidence eh?

      Add in the rampant hypocrisy on stilts for Sturgeon to proclaim her devotion to the unique “legality” of her own Section 30 Cul-de-sac, and next time somebody tells you she’s a lawyer, perhaps you’d better ask to see the proof.

      It’s beyond hope to speculate we might be entering the end-game scenario of this Conspiracy farce, because it’s going to cast a long shadow for years to come, but I hope we might now be living through the end game scenario of Sturgeon’s tenure as First Minister, so that we can finally adopt something resembling a cohesive strategy to get Scottish Independence back on track and actually delivered.

      It looks like the demise of Sturgeon’s cabal is going to be messy and acrimonious, and I’m not enthusiastic about Angus Robertson replacing Sturgeon either, because I fear that would just give us more of the same.

      It’s pipe dream stuff I fear, but wouldn’t it be terrific if a reformed SNP under new Leadership got co-ordinated with it’s London and Holyrood MP’s, and together with the various List parties, YES groups and new Scottish media, and brought the whole YES family together, unhindered by all the prevarication, wokist infiltration and pitiful lack of strategy which had squandered Scotland’s greatest opportunity for Independence in over 300 years….

      Just imagine everybody coming together to create a Scottish National Assembly, which pledges it’s allegiance and fealty to Scotland’s National Constitution and Popular Sovereignty of the Scottish People, and then formally disputes the established convention of UK Parliamentary Sovereignty… A dispute which traps the forlorn convention of UK Parliamentary Sovereignty in a pincer movement, caught between the ancient and irreconcilable Constitutional anomalies which should properly have prevented such a Union ever happening in the first place, and closing in from the opposite direction, the modern factors, such as Scotland’s Brexit Subjugation, where subjugation rides roughshod over the Articles of Union, breaching the Treaty, even supposing the Union had constitutional legitimacy to begin with.

      The National Assembly would simply circumvent Holyrood completely, and take Scotland’s plight directly to the International Community, the UN, and the Council of Europe. It seems to me, we have too much of ourselves invested in the SNP, and we need to dilute the capacity of a failing SNP to undermine the greater YES movement. Right now the Scottish people need the benefit of their sovereign voice, not some tepid, mealy mouthed transcript produced by Holyrood Inc.

      Suppose too that Alex Salmond was to be the delegated chairman or speaker, or simply the initial figurehead for getting Scotland’s National Assembly up and running, and setting the wheels in motion to contest the fidelity of UK Union on the high seas of International Law and Recognition as a Nation, not trussed up, crippled and denied a voice by the impenetrable sophistry of domestic UK law, including the Scotland Act, which treats Scotland a Region with benefits.

      There you go Boris Johnson / Nicola Sturgeon… try shutting down Sovereign Scotland’s National Assembly with your Mickey Mouse colonial Scotland Act and it’s infamous Section 30… Neither of you have the power to contain our sovereign Nation.

    94. Mac says:

      The seethe on certain forums is hilarious.

      Watching them all come unglued has made it a very enjoyable day or two.

      Shocking how ignorant, lazy and dumb many SNP supporters are. They make no effort to really find out what has been going on or even why Salmond sent that letter.

      They live in their little bubble of bullshite and all of this is going to come as a very rude awakening.

      True to character they will blame the messenger and go through all five stages of grief as they slowly realize that not only have they been made into a utter mug, a laughable rube, they have actually been batting on the side of evil.

      What they tried to do to Salmond and what they are still doing now is truly disgusting. I look at them all now and I genuinely feel the need to spit.

      I think I despise these doe eyed ‘useful idiots’ as much I do the actual ring leaders. Watch them melt as the truth of what has been done forces its way into their very limited consciousness.

    95. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It looks like the demise of Sturgeon’s cabal is going to be messy and acrimonious, and I’m not enthusiastic about Angus Robertson replacing Sturgeon either, because I fear that would just give us more of the same.”

      As I’ve said before – and I’m happy to be contradicted on this by a better-informed SNP member – as far as I understand it if Sturgeon went before the election Robertson wouldn’t be eligible to stand as leader, because he’s not an MP or MSP. And I don’t think there’s anyone else who would unite the Sturgeonista camp nearly as well and also be popular with the rank-and-file.

    96. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Are we seeing any parallels, folks?”

      Seriously: the Unionists didn’t do this. Unless Sturgeon is one of them.

    97. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I bet the Spectator’s justification if all they did was copy the Salmond tex and not your commentary that the stuff was freely available”

      But it wasn’t. If it was they’d have had their own copy without my redaction in it.

    98. TruthForDummies says:

      @Stu
      Any member can stand for leader or deputy leader and it’s time someone challenged the useless Keith Brown.

    99. Strathy says:

      Donny at 7.50am.

      Sorry.

      I meant that the Rev’s analysis showed that the article was (putting it nicely) rubbish.

    100. shug says:

      Alex Marr show today

      I know why waste ones time!!

      Noticed he said the Scottish Government is considering a 6 month delay to the Scottish election

      There will be no fishing industry left by the time Sturgeon gets started. While they get what they deserve I would like it to survive!

    101. Tannadice Boy says:

      Right on cue Swinney tells Politics Scotland an Independence Referendum is needed as a response to Covid. Took the opportunity to play the man as well. There is a world of difference between inappropriate behaviour and criminality leading to a long prison sentence. Your intervention has been noted John. Who is next up for an inappropriate charge John? I wonder?

    102. Bob Mack says:

      @Mac,

      When you communicate with a fanatic always remember they are like that because they are hiding serious doubts.

      Jung.

    103. Mac says:

      At this point I think the chances are that Sturgeon is working for someone else.

      What tilts it for me is that all the areas that were/ are tripping over themselves to destroy Alex Salmond in the most vicious ways they can think of are actively ‘carrying water’ for Nicola Sturgeon.

      The unionist political parties, the mainstream media, the Crown Office, Police Scotland, the Civil Service…

      Nicola is getting a huge amount of help from places she shouldn’t be if she was a real threat to the union. It is obvious who the real threat to the union was / is, that is clearly Alex Salmond.

      IMHO Nicola is a wrong’un.

      They had to destroy Salmond as he would have come back and ousted her by now.

    104. shug says:

      sorry Andrew Marr

    105. Thomas Potter says:

      The sinister part of this previously absent support for St. Nicola by BritNat slaverers like Massie is surely a sign of how much faith they put in her never getting Independence done.

      Calling a man in a frock a woman is much more important than gaining Independence?

      How cringingly naive is it for Sturgeon to believe that maintaining Alex Salmond was guilty , though he somehow managed to convince judge , jury and court he was innocent , is her position in this whole shitshow is astonishing.

    106. Andy Ellis says:

      @Rev Stu

      “As I’ve said before – and I’m happy to be contradicted on this by a better-informed SNP member – as far as I understand it if Sturgeon went before the election Robertson wouldn’t be eligible to stand as leader, because he’s not an MP or MSP. And I don’t think there’s anyone else who would unite the Sturgeonista camp nearly as well and also be popular with the rank-and-file.”

      Though it is unquestionably a big ask, time is running out for Alex Salmond or Joanna Cherry to “make their move” I think? Given the attempted fit up of AS and the monstering JC has received over the past few years from the woke Wahhabis I can quite understand why neither find the prospect of being first over the top an enticing prospect.

      It doesn’t seem those opposed to the gradualists (Cherry, MacAskill, Angus MacNeil et al) really have enough momentum to oust the gradualists, though they may be able to strp in if and when Sturgeon crashes and burns or is no confidenced as a result of the enquiry. Cherry is the obvious candidate to take over and “renew” the SNP, (except with Sturgeonista diehards & the Twitler Youth) but the only circumstance that’s likely is if Sturgeon falls: I’m still not prepared to bet the farm on that before Holyrood 2021.

      I’m still not convinced the SNP can – or is worth – saving? Wouldn’t it just be better to plan for a couple of years of campaigning to build a new party which actually wants independence ASAP?

    107. ahundredthidiot says:

      Morning Alex!

      Fuck Off Alex!

    108. Liz says:

      Twitter is a sewer tiday.
      People gleefully defaming Alex with all the usual allegations.

      He can’t affird to sue them all.
      I am disgusted. I believe many are plants, staffers, Sturgeonistas. I haven’t blocked so many people for a while.

      Alex must be made of strong stuff, this would have floored most people.

      As far Blackford, what a turd that man is.Cap in hand, lied daily about Scotland not getting oulled out the EU
      Blackman is a vindictive, viscious b*tch.

      What have we done to deserve such awful politicians. We trusted them too much.

    109. Sarah says:

      O/T: the crowdjustice target for the For Women Scotland’s case “Stop the Scottish Government redefining “women” to include men” has had to be increased to £150,000.

      The hearing took two full days, 7th and 8th January, with the ruling to come in 3 months. They have to pay the costs when the ruling is received.

      The fundraiser stands at £90,255 at the moment.

      What a way to run a “justice” system.

    110. shug says:

      Andy Ellis

      I don’t think Alex Salmond can return. His time is over. Having him in the back room stratagising is what you want. My money is with Cherry.

      Re another party starting with a list party sounds right but it may be to late now. To be clear I will not be voting for the loony leftie socialist worker types. They have betrayed Scotland as often as the Tories. At least the Tories were clear in their contempt.

    111. Stuart MacKay says:

      Aunty Flo

      The game of whack-a-mole with the Spirit of Alex Salmond serves three purposes:

      1. Regardless of the outcome of the court case people only remember the headlines. Repeating the accusations, though you’ll note they are only vague serves to resurrect the whole “controversy”. The aim is clearly to damage his reputation and prevent him leading a new push for independence.

      2. Destroy the fundamentalist wing of the Yes movement. Currently Salmond is an energising force so as far as the Unionists are concerned cutting off the monster’s head will kill the monster. On a more minor note it’s fair to say that Wings is a fundamentalist site so the hoped for side-effect of all this is that it neuteralizes opposition to gradualism also.

      3. It sends a strong message to anyone who would lead the independence movement in future. Anyone looking to follow in Salmond’s footsteps will need to be tough.

      So the attacks serve several interests on multiple fronts. The primary aim is to keep the gradualists in charge. They move much more slowly than current events and so are trivial to manage.

      Right now it’s just a war of stamina and the defenders of gradualism don’t seem up to the job. Already the statements are bland and half-hearted. A lot of them are already moving to sit on the fence. It’s not going to save them though. The very act of fence-sitting shows they need to be removed and replaced by people with a spine and determination.

      To succeed all that is needed is to keep up the pressure. That will go a long way to solve #3. With a determined movement behind them the work of being a leader gets a lot more bearable.

    112. G H Graham says:

      For journalistic balance, Massie ought to remind readers what sort of inconsequential periodical he represents.

      During Boris Johnson’s time as Editor at The Spectator, it was colloquially referred to the ‘Sextator’ because of the number of sex scandals among its staff.

      Johnson had an affair with columnist Petronella Wyatt while columnist Rod Liddle had a fling with the magazine’s receptionist.

      Meanwhile, the magazine’s publisher Kimberly Quinn was having a secret fling with David Blunkett, the Home Secretary. Between knee tremblers, he secured for her a fast-track visa application.

      In 2004, Johnson denied the affair but was sacked from the position as vice-chairman & shadow arts minister by Michael Howard after Johnson refused to resign, even after the truth came out.

      Finally, perhaps Massie could confirm The Spectator’s impact on Scotland’s political consciousness with its readership numbers barely penetrating 0.1% of the population?

    113. Ebok says:

      Breeks says
      ‘I trying hard not to detest the SNP these days, but gotta admit it’s a struggle’
      ‘It seems to me, we have too much of ourselves invested in the SNP’

      You must separate SNP and Indy. They are not the same anymore. Party politics is the problem. To paraphrase Clinton: ‘It’s the system, stupid’.

      The establishment love democracy, so long as voters produce the ‘correct’ result. Normally, an election result won’t matter, because all political parties are run by, or come to be run by, vested interests, and whoever wins will be manageable.
      Whenever the status quo is threatened, MSM and placemen are ready and willing to muddy the waters. So, of course the bad guy’s infiltrate! Some think it has happened to SNP. Who knows?
      At some point ‘It’s the system, stupid’ becomes ‘Stupid, you are the system’.

      SNP should never (IMO) have been anything other than a single issue ‘party’. Everything else blurs our raison d’être. Indy MSP’s should have had free votes in Holyrood and concentrated on day-to-day issues like poverty, drugs and improving Scottish wellbeing. Contentious and divisive issues should have been left well alone and addressed only after Indy. WM should have been forsaken.

      All ‘the party’ has managed to do is botch every single important decision it has taken at home and become an embarrassment at WM and abroad.

    114. Andy Ellis says:

      @shug

      You may be right WRT Salmond: you could hardly blame him if he just wanted to walk away. I’d like to see him call the party’s bluff and stand in a constituency seat for HR2021 just to spite them. 🙂

      I’ll vote for ISP on the list. I won’t vote for Angus Robertson, nor will I vote Green if they stand in Edinburgh Central. I’ll probably spoil my constituency ballot.

      Perhaps the ISP will up its game going forward. It’s been pretty “amateur hour” so far, in admittedly difficult circumstances with Covid-19. It lacks “big hitters” though, and I suspect those will only come from the SNP if it can’t be wrested from the control of the gradualists and Woko Haram.

      As I said, the more I see of pieces of work like Blackman, Nicholson, Black, those evicted from the NEC in November and the cabal protecting Sturgeon, the less inclined I am to think the SNP is even worth trying to save.

      Politically, I wouldn’t cross the road to piss on these people if they were on fire, let alone campaign shoulder to shoulder with them or vote for them.

    115. Ruby says:

      Apologies if this has been posted already.

      https://archive.is/Ch3qv
      Full programme on BBC Scotland
      check schedule on 10 Dec 2019
      “Denise Mina’s Case Histories
      The Moorov Doctrine”

      Ended by saying how brave the Moorov women were. Very different from the ‘Alphabet Women’.

      Let me know if it’s OK to post link to radio programme.

    116. Alf Baird says:

      Sara @ 10.06

      Independence leadership really needs a ‘native’ who knows and understands colonial oppression in all its mankit forms, who has seen it, and suffered it, its segregation, its privilege, its ‘Cultural Division of Labour’, who has lived it, who detests it, and who knows that the oppression of a people and their culture by another culture is the real reason for their independence; and who knows also that in any independence negotiations the colonial oppressor is sitting opposite you, and according to Fanon “he hates you” and he considers you as “inferior”.

      Scotland’s ideal independence leader is probably not therefore ‘a product of colonialism’ from a privileged or posh private school and ‘Anglophone’ background, and neither is it the present FM or any of her pampered elite and bourgeoisie ‘associates’ who clearly have little concept or understanding of Scots as being an oppressed colonial people and appear to be more than ready to cave in to a semi-colonial ‘solution’, thus giving the Scots the worst outcome, i.e. two layers of colonial oppression to contend with.

      If Scotland’s independence leader is not Alex Salmond then I don’t know who it is; and all the evidence suggests that he is who the unionists fear most.

    117. Ruby says:

      I’ll take a chance and try this.

      Just add usual stuff to beginning of link:

      bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000c3rv

    118. Hatuey says:

      Alf, I’d love to see Salmond back. Not for the reasons you suggest, quite the opposite – he’s confident and positive, not a moaner and complainer as you seem to want.

      But I’d rather see Cherry leading with Salmond in a highly respected role that befits his standing. If a partnership at the top was possible, it’d be ideal.

      All this talk of colonial oppression, and I’m not saying I disagree with that analysis, isn’t likely to go down well on the doorsteps. It’d need to be updated and expressed in a way people could relate to – no, I don’t mean Doric.

      And when we go for it, I hope they keep it ultra simple, i.e. “plague-ridden Brexit Britain or a bright prosperous future”.

    119. Andy Ellis says:

      @Hatuey

      Cherry would be a far better bet than Salmond at this point. She’d hoover up a lot of Soft No/Remainers and is probably less “marmite” than AS, except with the woke Stasi many of whom will with any luck have fucked off to the misogynistic sewer that is the Scottish Green party.

      The colonial line punted by Alf and other unreasoning folk gets no more convincing for its constant repetition. Not only is it insulting and demeaning to those who suffered under real colonialism, it will go down like a lead balloon on the doorstep. It’s all a bit “blood and soil”: we should be very wary of giving such nonsense the oxygen of publicity.

      We need to learn the lessons of #indyref1:

      – don’t fight with 1 hand tied behind our back

      – don’t be afraid to use negative as well as positive messaging (it worked for Project Fear)

      – concentrate relentlessly on the democratic deficit, being wrenched out of the EU, brexit being an economic nightmare, Covid-19 deaths die to British nationalist incompetence.

    120. J Morrow says:

      Alex Massie can’t even write English correctly. His hatchet job repeatedly uses the present tense when disussing events that have happened. For instance, But few people outside Salmond’s immediate circle anticipate what actually happens. That should have been written in the past tense: anticipated, not anticipate.

    121. Ron Maclean says:

      @Andy Ellis 12:53pm

      ‘– don’t fight with 1 hand tied behind our back’

      Alf Baird, Grousebeater, Alasdair Gray and others have discussed colonialism and pointed out its relevance to Scotland.

      If their arguments help the case for independence then they must be used.

    122. Alf Baird says:

      Andy Ellis

      I am curious to discover what you see in the British state’s (and its Scottish ‘department’) ongoing mis-treatment of Scots that is not colonial?

      The SG and msm mis-treatment of Alex Salmond and independence in general, the undemocratic enforced Brexit on Scots and the refusal to sanction a mandated S.30 referendum – these are all colonial acts of oppression by a colonial power. As is the imposition of its culture and language, the resulting ‘Cultural Division of Labour’ (Hechter 1998) and resulting inequalities, in addition to the endless plundering of our nation’s resources.

      Remember also that the Scots are an ethnic minority people in the UK multinational context. We cannot help being an ethnic minority people, can we? Do you want us to apologise for being an ethnic minority? To apologies for the inconvenient fact that our culture and languages help form our national identity? Do you really think our colonial oppression is deserved and we should just shut up about that?

      If Adam Price can openly call Wales a colony, and Connolly (and the UN) describe Ireland as a (former) colony, why can’t I call Scotland a colony, given it is treated as such?

    123. Hatuey says:

      Alf, there’s a big problem with framing Scotland as a colony, as you know. A good number of Scots were willing and enthusiastic partners in British imperialism. Some still are.

      On a related note, there’s a big problem with framing the Scottish people as colonial victims who lost their Scottish culture as a consequence of being in the Union. A good number of Scottish people are immigrants or descendants of immigrants and never had a Scottish culture and language to lose in the first place.

      You could probably safely estimate that about 20% of Scotland’s population has Irish origins, for example. In Glasgow that number would be much higher. Your emphasis on Scottish culture doesn’t do them any favours.

      This is the problem with culture. For every person it invites to the party, it alienates ten times more.

      And it’s the same with your language argument. People don’t want to be told that the language they depend on is some sort of bastardised consequence of an abusive relationship, that how they speak is inferior or problematic, that they’re ("Tractor" - Ed)s to a cultural cause, etc.

      None of this stuff helps.

    124. Lorna Campbell says:

      This has to stop. It is an appalling misuse of the facts. The one thing that sticks in my mind about the 2014 referendum campaign, and even the 2007 and 2011 elections, was the doorstep claims of some people that they “hated that Salmond”. When you asked why, it was usually a spiteful and blatantly pro Unionist, biased refrain of… “well, there’s just something about him… ” Yes, there was: he was their Nemesis.

      He is not an easy man, but there is a kindness in him which those who detest his politics – and, yes, let’s be frank, his success – do not acknowledge. If he gave you his word, he kept it; if he said he would achieve something, he moved heaven and earth to achieve it,; and if you asked him for help, he gave it. Once only, I doubted his ability to pull something off. He did pull it off, and I never doubted him again. Never doubted his intention or his ability to take us to independence. He did not quite make it, and, true to his word, he stepped down, although he brought us closer to the end of the road than we had any right to expect at that time.

      By any definition, a person who has that kind of drive and ambition is going to be a difficult person, expecting the same of his staff and colleagues that he was willing to give. It is the mark of a leader. Few leaders are sweethearts. Yes, he was touchy-feely. Since I wasn’t there, I would not deign to claim that I know what he did or did not do, but I can say that he was found not guilty of all charges against him, and we do our legal system no favours if we continue, through innuendo, rumour and speculation, to condemn a man who has been acquitted. That is how the system works: a trial with a judge and jury.

      I have some respect for Alex Massie as a journalist and writer, but none for this kind of twisting of the facts to suit a pre determined narrative. The Moorov Doctrine is a perfectly respectable and useful tool to bring a miscreant to justice; it is not some trap to make light of genuine concerns for justice for victims who might not be able to speak for themselves – because they have been silenced. It is simply a method of showing that a propensity to act in a certain way is a fairly reliable indicator that someone HAS acted in that way, but it cannot be proven except through a link to previous behaviour patterns. It is not meant to be used to try and shore up a weak case, and that is why it failed miserably in the Salmond case.

      The sexual boundaries between males and females will always be fraught with danger, nuance and double standards, but we should all condemn this persecution of someone who has been cleared. If there is a war between Mr Salmond and Ms Sturgeon, perhaps it is because we have not yet got to the bottom of the fundamental reasons that led to the use of a flawed and illegal, not to mention, retrospective, procedure even after it was shown to be all of those things, then to a criminal court case that was deemed by a jury to be without solid foundation, when, yet again, the lack of tangible evidence had been made crystal clear. If we apply the Moorov Doctrine here, it is possible to see a pattern of behaviour in the higher echelons of the Scottish government where due diligence is not done when it patently should be. Whether the FM is responsible for that or the civil servants remains to be seen.

    125. David Caledonia says:

      I am amazed then anyone still reads newspapers, the last one I bought informed me that some actress was sick of people asking her why she did not have a child at 33 years of age, that got her into the paper, and I thought to myself, I wonder if my own mother was ever asked that question, and of course the answer would be no.
      And this so called newspaper went on like this page after page, all about so called celebrities, 99% of who I had never heard of and could not give a monkeys fart about anyway.
      I have never read the Spectator, it could be something to do with glasses for all I know, I remember it as being glossy, but not much else, I don’t think old Albert or Harold would have had much use for it, to slippery on the bum I think for those two lol

    126. Stuart MacKay says:

      Understanding colonialism helps you understand what position you are in, how you got there and to a certain extent what you should do about it. It’s the same story as with sovereignty. It’s absolutely not a message for political parties, campaigns or the doorstep for the simple reason it’s hard to see on a day-to-day basis.

      The exception is bias in the media which is good to point out, easily understandable to most and has a clear course of action. For example, watching Sky News this week there were several reports from their Edinburgh correspondent. Every interview he conducted with the locals was somebody with a clear English accent. My guess is that’s pretty hard to do by chance.

      So it’s important, can be useful to inform and guide your thinking and your actions but it not much use as an overt tool in the struggle. You should be countering it off-stage wherever possible. Now if the prisons were full of political prisoners then that would change but we’re not at that point yet.

    127. Donda says:

      Massie a stumbling drunk at conference with a lecherous look on his sweaty pickled face. Wonder how he has behaved over the years…

    128. Andy Ellis says:

      @Alf Baird

      We’ve discussed it before. Others have also kicked this concept around – not to say to death. It’s one thing to say there are elements of the colonial mindset or application of policy to Scotland, and quite another to make a false equivalence between Scotland and actual colonies.

      Again, as has pointed out by others before – and never satisfactorily answered by those punting the false narrative of “Scotland as a colony” – the correct analogy is to point out the views of people like Frederick Douglass in the 19th century who, while appreciative of the support of the poor in Ireland and Scotland, and aware of their plight, bristled at people making an equivalence of the plight of the poor here and slaves in the colonies.

      Adam Price calling Wales a colony isn’t the support I’d be crowing about if I was you: he is also convinced transwomen are women.

      The answers to your list of (I assume?) rhetorical questions is that, unlike actual colonies, Scotland has an easy way out: it’s just that so far our people have lacked the political balls to exercise their rights. Scotland isn’t an African or Asian colony, nor is it even in the same situation as Ireland in the 800 years it was occupied.

      There may be quasi-colonial aspects to the experience of some Scots in the union and in some policies in certain areas, but for centuries many Scots here and abroad were enthusiastic participants in and benefitted from the imperial project.

      Couching the present struggle for independence and the civic nationalism which drives it as an anti-colonial movement is both a politically retrograde step and deeply a-historical.

    129. Alf Baird says:

      Andy Ellis

      The definition of colonialism is quite clear:

      – external political control
      – economic exploitation
      – settlers mainly from the ‘administrative power’

    130. Lorna Campbell says:

      Andy: I think you may be right that we are not officially a colony – although I do not believe you have to be a slave to be a member of a colony, but you have to be exploited by an outside power. Alf is correct in his definition, and it is consistent with the UN’s own definition when a bid for independence is being made. He should also have added the fourth requirement where the middle layer of managerial positions (in all cultural, academic and natural environment areas) is occupied principally by the external power’s representatives.

      However, again, our position is tempered by the Treaty which Westminster chooses to ignore and we are too feeble to do anything about, apparently, except acquiesce in Westminster’s stance – like a colony, you might say. It is also possible to be both a colonizing and a colonized group. The source for that is the Roman army and officialdom, which both used colonized peoples in other colonized parts as part of the Roman colonizing force. Indeed, it was/is commonplace.

      Where a proportion of the people voting in a PRE independence referendum come from outwith the area seeking independence, and mainly from the area imposing its power on the area seeking independence, that, by definition, has a colonial effect.

      The New Caledonian pre independence referendum was lost thanks to an alliance between indigenous (and I am using the UN’s own definitions here) NO voters and the French settlers, and the UN rebuked the settlers for their colonial input into a referendum in which they should have had no input: in other words, they should have abstained, as the only honourable course open to them, even though they had been extended the privilege of voting, mainly because they are tax payers, as are rUK voters in Scotland. I don’t hold at all with taking away anyone’s right to vote or with any limitations on their human or civil rights, but I would make it known to them that their rights and privileges in their new home also bring responsibilities, and that there exists no ‘open-door’ policy of self-interest at all costs, regardless of outcomes for the indigenous population.

      It could be argued – and I would argue it – that the NO vote of 2014, an alliance of Unionist Scots, rUK voters and EU voters stymied independence. Not only that, but it led directly to Brexit and all the other ills the are befalling us, arguably even the worst aspects of the pandemic because we are not in a position to make our own decisions, absolutely, about its control. Worth giving thought to, I think. As a woman, I may add, I view the demand by trans women to be recognized as women in law, to the extent that, even with male bodies, they have access to female spaces and rights, as an attempt at at sexual colonization – colonizing the sex you are not and trying to stamp your own culture, mores and authority upon it, using its resources for your own benefit, etc.

    131. Alf Baird says:

      Lorna, thanks again for a concise and considered synopsis.

      The subject of colonialism is still not well understood in the case of Scotland, though I suppose it depends to some extent on which side of the cultural/identity divide one falls.

      On Andy’s remark re ‘civic nationalism’ (i.e. sense of belonging) and the residence-based franchise, which as you imply is a very poorly understood concept that undermined the self-determination process, I am reminded of post-referendum research which stated that:

      “..the application of residence…is popularly considered to be a relatively weak marker that may be put forward as the basis for a Scottish identity. Claiming to ‘belong’ to Scotland based largely on residing in Scotland – even when that residence may be enduring and coupled with a firm commitment to remain in Scotland – is often seen as difficult both by migrants themselves and those who are born in Scotland” (Bond 2015).

    132. Ron Maclean says:

      I don’t think those suggesting that colonialism exists in Scotland and its consequences could be used to promote the cause of independence are saying we should accuse the British government of smearing the cartridges of our Enfield rifles with animal fat.

      The colonisation argument was avoided during indyref1 and since. Perhaps because it’s too embarrassing for our insipid élite representatives to admit publicly that they are part of a long line who have accepted vassal status on our behalf for over three hundred years. They seem happy to be allowed comfortable lifestyles in exchange for daily humiliation and silence.

      Sovereignty, a much cherished belief in Scotland, cannot exist in a colonised nation. Holyrood, the seat of devolved government in Scotland, is not sovereign – proscribed through the Scotland Act. That is accepted by the Scottish government who, for example, won’t hold an independence referendum without the agreement and permission of Westminster. The Brexit referendum result in Scotland was not admitted by Westminster. It is difficult to find an example of significant Scottish sovereignty other than the ‘useful’ 2014 referendum which is being used in an attempt to put future claims of Scottish sovereignty on hold for at least a generation. The 2014 majority in favour of staying in the UK was achieved through the votes and influence of settlers, colonists and tamed natives. ‘The game is rigged’.

    133. Saffron Robe says:

      To achieve independence we need to use every tool in the toolbox – and any (non-violent) means necessary.

    134. shugsrug says:

      Little doubt that Massie is in the pay of someone. No interest in the facts or truth is always suspicious.

    135. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Little doubt that Massie is in the pay of someone.”

      Well, yes. He isn’t writing for the Spectator for free…

    136. Lorraine says:

      He seems to have deleted it now, you must have hit a nerve.

    137. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “He seems to have deleted it now, you must have hit a nerve.”

      Who’s deleted what?

    138. Lorraine says:

      Sorry, Alex Maissie has removed his smear piece from his twitter feed



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