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The star witness

Posted on February 27, 2021 by

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155 to “The star witness”

  1. Eileen Carson says:

    Hit the nail on the head Chris!

  2. Robert Louis says:

    Excellent. So, very, very true.

    The man was found innocent by a mainly female jury under a female judge in Scotland’s highest criminal court. Yet he has been treated in the most shocking and appalling fashion by some within the SNP and Scottish government. Still, even yesterday, they try to smear him with innuendo. He is a class act, they just look like the snidey, bitter, corrupt diddies they are.

    Alex Salmond, king of Scots.

  3. Auld Glass says:

    This cartoon captures the pantomime perfectly.

  4. Grendel says:

    Did anyone manage to record last night’s disgusting Sky News vox pop from Linlithgow, where the woman said “I’ve always thought he was a slimy scumbag”?
    Gutter level broadcasting.

  5. Bob Mack says:

    Star his instance may be very correct on two different levels.Salmond is a star who yesterday shone like a beacon. He shone a light on those who would turn our Scotland into a country devoid of morality in the name of a political party. Secretive, conspiring and corrupt. Perhaps yeserday was the finest illustration of why the small people charged with leading us to freedom fear his presence even today Chris.I tip my hat to you yet again.

  6. Marie Clark says:

    Aye that’s how some would like to see him. After yesterdays meeting of the inquiry committee it makes you realise just how short we are of a real politician.

  7. wee monkey says:

    Marie Clark says:
    27 February, 2021 at 7:47 am
    Aye that’s how some would like to see him. After yesterdays meeting of the inquiry committee it makes you realise just how short we are of a real SNP politician..EFA.

  8. Margaret E says:

    Comments in today’s National show just how skewed that newspaper has become. And I have been a subscriber literally since Day 2 of its first publication, which Richard Walker did not expect to last for more than a week.
    This is a very perceptive cartoon – shades of Guantanamo! Is Craig `Murray now to undergo the same illegal treatment? What do they have in store for Mr Campbell?
    Many interesting facts emerged during the 6 hour hearing, not least about the SG attitude towards the case for anonymity for the first two women. Completely ignored so far by the so-called journalists. And lying by the BBC. Sara Smith – shame on her! Glenn Campbell likewise.
    And Alyn Smith – move on, very little evidence here!!

  9. Captain Yossarian says:

    It’s how they deal with James Wolffe that fascinates me. Alex said yesterday: ‘If the Inquiry needs documents which have been redacted or removed entirely by the Crown Office, then just contact Levy and McRae and they will be delivered to you by Monday.’

    That tells me that the Crown Office aren’t afraid of bullying small guys like Craig Murray but, after yesterday, they will no longer be trying to bully Alex Salmond….is that fair?

    I’ll bet that scruffy old bastard James Wolffe didn’t get any sleep last night.

  10. 100%Yes says:

    Mr salmond hands are still bound but for how long, sooner or later all this will come to light and when it does then just watch the mud fly and I know who’s direct it will flying, the question is how low can the Murrell’s duck.

  11. TNS2019 says:

    I got a sense yesterday that the committee warmed to AS as the meeting proceeded.
    He treated them with respect but was also very confident in his answers and clever in exposing their own weaknesses.
    Maureen Watt did herself no favours and nor did AC-H.
    The truth is that AS is in a different class and his departure from Scottish politics has exposed a huge void that none of the current generation of MSPs appears capable of filling.
    Despite her good presetntation skills, it is clear that NS is incapable of running a government, and her one big mistake is surround herself with “yes-men” (or “women” or “trans”) rather than talent.
    Perhaps that talent does not exist.
    The take-home message from yesterday is that ScotGov is in a mess and lacks good leadership, and that ordinary people are unsafe from “arbitrary authority”.
    A frightening verdict.

  12. The Isolator says:

    Oooooooft…back o the net Chris!!

  13. Dave M says:

    @TNS I watched the Sky coverage (which didn’t seem to have included the last part of the session) and it was clear that the committee seemed to want to get to the heart of the matter overall. That is, of course, with the exception of the SNP members and Cole-Hamilton (who, to be fair, had a much better second set of questions).

    Alex was as impressive as I would have expected him to have been. He knew what he was talking about, and I suspect his successor won’t be quite as assured next week.

    Similar to other readers, I noted the stark contrast between Alex and the majority of the numpties who sit in our Parliament. Although I was impressed by Jackie Baillie and Murdo Fraser,and Andy Whightman acquitted himself well. Strange days.

  14. ScottieDog says:

    To be honest I think AS is one of the best politicians the U.K. has ever had. Tough act for anyone to follow, however it is always much easier if you’re standing there telling the truth.

  15. Effijy says:

    Still smiling at Alex Salmond’s statesman like performance that put all
    other U.K. politicians in the shade.

    The other politicians on screen yesterday I wouldn’t let run a youth club.
    They struggled to put a coherent question together and attempted to appear
    pedantic which came out as pathetic.

    I really don’t know if that group are capable of eating off the plate that Alex
    laid out for them?

    Lesley Evans fully deserves a prison sentence but please try to isolate her from
    any petty criminals.

    The Lord Advocate’s performance has been worse than disastrous and a full investigation
    must be undertaken after his dismissal to establish why he went so far off the rails.

    The Crown Prosecutor has been part and parcel of this serial persecution against Alex and
    doing all they can to stop justice from prevailing.

    I also want to know who set up a team of 22 who spent 2 years trying to lead females into
    making a complaint against him.

    Every resource that Westminster can muster will now be put into gear to cover up their part
    within all this and to put the blame on the Scots while driving the wedges of their divide and
    conquer into the heart of Holyrood politics.

    Much of what I see in SNP disgusts me but I will vote and I will never ever vote for a London
    Unionist party nor leave any doors open for them.

    We must unite the smaller but true independence parties to maximise our 2nd votes with them.
    The SNP wasters can be ejected as soon as independence is achieved.

    You have had a long look now at people like Annie Wells and Cole-Hamilton.
    They don’t have enough intellect between them to build Lego let alone a country.

    The bottom line for those ready to action that would aid the Unionists, do you want to
    continue with another 9 years of Scot hating buffoon Boris or see Alex Salmond free
    to assist us build a world leading nation?

  16. Dorothy Devine says:


    I often wonder what the boys, now men ,of Guantanamo feel about the west and what they would do were they free.

    I watched yesterday and saw a man in total control of the truth and I saw several lesser beings incapable of even reading prepared questions – I am assuming they were prepared.

    I watched a detestable wee man attempt to keep smearing a far greater man and wondered who voted for the detestable wee man.

    Indeed , I wondered who voted for any of the questioners as they were totally out classed – with two honourable exceptions, neither of whom were SNP.

  17. Cudneycareless says:

    @tns2019 I believe there is the talent . What is lacking is the plan and the leadership to choose the right people to implement the plan.
    The aim should be the best for the people of Scotland.
    The current constraints are Scotland is part of the United Kingdom outwith the European Union.
    If the belief is that “the best for the people of Scotland” is independence then all the efforts should be on how to achieve that goal.
    It is sad to see the once great institutions being used to resolve personal vendettas.
    Independence can be achieved in the same way that the UK achieved the independence from the EU but hopefully with a better case and a better plan for what is done when that aim is achieved.
    I’m a reminded of a poem by Roger Mcgough
    The Leasder
    I wanna be the leader
    I wanna be the leader
    Can I be the leader?
    Can I? I can?
    Promise? Promise?
    Yippee I’m the leader
    I’m the leader

    OK what shall we do?
    Roger McGough

    Sorry that this is so long.

  18. David Earl says:

    Maureen Watt was the judge, jury and executioner yesterday. She had a collection of daggers lined up yesterday which she threw during her mumbled, accusatory statememts, but each time Alex Salmond hurled them back. A few others (SNP members) also required hospital treatment after the session. Totally self defeating and just showed the sheer scale of both moral vacuum and standard of MSP at the parliament compared to Alex. I wouldn’t give Maureen Watt a receptionist job at a car dealership or even counter staff at a fast food restaurant. A thoroughly nasty woman. When Alex Salmond speaks, people listen and by god did they listen yesterday

  19. Meg merrilees says:


    Alex says that Scotland’s leadership is at fault.

    What is missing?

    Values – integrity, honesty, authenticity, trust, respect,due process and more.

    We have a culture where the end justifies the means – doesn’t matter how we arrive at the objective, getting there is the most important thing.(Except for Independence)

    If people object to the GRA – just remove them from office, silence their views – job done. GRA in place.

    Trans-women are not women? Tell people that from 9.00 am next Tuesday they will be women and it will be done. Anyone who objects must have their views silenced, be removed from office..etc

    Democracy is missing and a big problem is that the de facto Leader does not have total control anymore.

    People may say that Alex was demanding, I say he has standards and that was obvious yesterday.
    What an example he set – calm, non-judgemental, succinct, professional, in control of the facts – in fact I would go so far as to say that he managed to take control of the meeting.

    He definitely won over most of the committee with his honest, measured attitude.

    If he does return to politics he will get my vote. We need a leader of the calibre of Alex Salmond.

    Nicola does empathy – but where is her empathy for Joanna Cherry?
    Nicola would not have turned up at a meeting at Alex’s house to discuss a new gov. policy and find that he didn’t seem to be familiar with it!
    To be a good leader you have to have the facts at your fingertips but to be an extraordinary leader you have to be better than everyone else,know your weaknesses and your strengths, admit your failures and acknowledge everyone else’s role in the group success, take blame for what has gone wrong and have a vision for the long term future.

    Nicola does not have these qualities to the same level that Alex has and her leadership is lacking.

    We change managers in football teams maybe time to change mangers in political teams as well.

  20. kapelmeister says:

    Me Too Maureen, Alex Cruel-Hamilton and the Weed from Western Isles, we see through you all.

  21. Muscleguy says:

    They are absolutely and utterly scared out of their wits by the prospect of the return of Mr Salmond. Hence the continued attempts to smear him. It’s the old fling a lot of mud and hope some of it sticks.

    A court has ruled he is made of teflon but still they try. Anyone doing that outs themselves as outside the law and who holds the court, the judge and that female majority juriy in contempt.

  22. Sharon says:

    How dare they treat our former FM this way! These inferiors are insulting Mr Salmond AND the Scottish people who freely and democratically elected him to lead our government. They’ve picked on the wrong man because they’re stupid and small while he is highly capable and great and I hope they’re all going to jail soon.

  23. Frozone says:

    How likely is a VONC in James Wolfe? And does anyone know the likely maths if there was a vote? (i.e. how many SNP/Greens would need to do the right thing?)

  24. Eileen Carson says:

    It’s very easy for a government to condemn a man in the midst of global hysteria about sexual harassment, when you have at least two complainants hell bent on revenge and the captive ear of LA/COPFS. That’s why it’s essential these powers need to be totally separate.

  25. Socrates MacSporran says:


    I feel Wolfe will have to be sacked, and that is unlikely under the current leadership.

    He’s a Tory, so the Tories will be reluctant to vote for his removal – they tend to protect their own.

    Sturgeon and her coven will not vote for this – he’s in too-deep with their plans to silence Alex.

    Maybe if the Faculty of Advocates get together and tell him: “You’re an embarrassment – you have to retire from the bar,” he might go. Otherwise, I think he’s safe.

  26. Ottomanboi says:

    Has the prisoner been shown the instruments Master Torturer?

  27. Liz says:

    Effijy @8.26
    You have had a long look now at people like Annie Wells and Cole-Hamilton.
    They don’t have enough intellect between them to build Lego let alone a country.

    My problem is, many on the SNP benches are equally devoid of intellect (and integrity)- Maureen Watt to name one. As are some who are looking to park their bums on seats for the first time, this time around.

  28. Liz says:

    Apologies – that should read Margaret Watt.

  29. Colin Alexander says:

    Despite Maureen Watt and Alex Cole Hamilton, in particular, repeatedly using irrelevant loaded questions, that Linda Fabiani ( to her credit, was strongly critical of) Mr Salmond did not rise to the bait.

    He did not display any anger or annoyance which he would have been fully entitled to do( when the antics of the above two in particular would have tried the patience of a saint). He did not walk into the verbal traps set for him.

    Six hours of speaking, and answering questions, must have been very tiring, especially when he has a chest infection.

    Yet, his composure, eloquence and candour was very impressive. He carefully, patiently and politely dealt with each and every question or snidey dig.

    It was a master class; a tour de force in giving a witness testimony to sometimes very hostile questioning. Even Mr Salmond’s enemies must have been fearfully impressed.

    And he reminded the committee, and everyone watching, of his lifelong and continuing desire for Scotland to become independent.

  30. MaggieC says:

    Re Harassment and Complaints Committee ,

    Written report of yesterday’s session ,

    Chris , Excellent work once again .

  31. Josef Ó Luain says:

    Salmond, for me, represents a completely other Scottish nation, that is: the anti-establishment one that we caught a brief glimpse of in 2014. As he explained yesterday: there is nothing fundamentally wrong with our institutions, our problem lies with those who govern our institutions.

    What has the SNP leadership become post 2014, but yet another part of the insidious and all pervasive Scottish establishment. Those who imagine that the SNP is somehow outside the thrall of the establishment are, in my view, far mistaken. Those of us who wish to see Scottish independence must widen our political reckoning and perspective and look anew at the question of: who actually runs Scotland?

    The short answer is: a relatively small group of people with a pro-union agenda, who are kept sweet by means of Westminster’s patronage. The tragic effect of this has always been: no matter how you might vote, the establishment always remains in place as the real-power-in-the-land.

  32. Breeks says:

    Marie Clark says:
    27 February, 2021 at 7:47 am

    …After yesterdays meeting of the inquiry committee it makes you realise just how short we are of a real politician.

    True, but then again, how can we know? Advancement under Sturgeon’s regime depends on being a deluded Wokist with fewer brain cells than vertebrae. As long as you can fawn over Sturgeon as the ‘best leader we’ve ever had’ – you’re in.

    Who knows who’d be busting onto the scene if we didn’t have the Wokeratti gerrymandering the vetting of candidates and jockeying for their own advancement? There might even be somebody pro-independence manage to get a security clearance.

    I see two sides to this problem, the desperate need for Scottish politicians of much higher caliber and greater integrity, and the expulsion from politics of all the back stabbing charlatans, carpetbaggers and rogues who’d be more suited to cold calling customers and trying to punt double glazing, not to mention the hardcore few sewing mail bags behind bars.

    Said it before, I want Alex Salmond back in the driving seat, working with Joanna Cherry and a support staff and membership which wants to see Scottish Independence delivered. I’d be overjoyed simply never to set eyes or earlobes on Sturgeon or any of her lousy crew ever again. She’s the best Leader we’ve ever had don’t you know? Fkn laughable.

    Top marks as ever to Mr Cairns. I really don’t know how he does it. Every ‘toon as cutting as the previous.

  33. TNS2019 says:

    Cudneycareless says:
    27 February, 2021 at 8:30 am

    @tns2019 I believe there is the talent

    You could be right. Having worked in a number of organisations I know that poor leadership suppresses talent and this appears to be the case with the SNP. Perhaps there is hidden talent. A reservoir of strong MSPs just biding their time and waiting for the call from a decent FM.
    On the other hand….
    Maureen Watt

  34. I though Obama closed down Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

    Agree with other posters that Nicola is reaping the downside of `positive discrimination`,

    she has surrounded herself with a menagerie of incompetents instead of capable and qualified individuals,

    all under the alter of being seen to be `Woke`,

    it`s not for the benefit of the incompetent it`s all about being seen to be `Woke`.

  35. ScottieDog says:

    We are around 3 years away (unless there’s an intervention from WM) from the run-in to a general election. 36 months, it’s nothing. It will be here before you know it.

    Is there strength in the movement to (if necessary) bypass the SNP and launch a political party which could stand at WM for a plebiscite on independence?

  36. TNS2019 says:

    Meg merrilees says:
    27 February, 2021 at 8:39 am


    Alex says that Scotland’s leadership is at fault.

    That was the most reassurring thing about his statement. Not that the system is flawed per se, but that it has been crippled by weak leadership.

    Provides a bit of hope for the future.

    Just get rid of the current leadership and the ship will right itself.

  37. Tenruh says:

    I cannot wait to see the demeanour of the SNP members of the inquiry this coming week, bet there’s a different tone then….ASSLICKING FULL THROTTLE

  38. Astonished says:

    Great cartoon.

    Is she gone yet ?

    I’m pinning my hopes on the lack of £600,000 .

  39. Frank Gillougley says:

    What truly appalled me yesterday (among everything) was the sheer arrogance of the SNP inquisitors yesterday and their demeaning tone. Slugs have more backbone, never mind shit for brains.

    Spot on Robert Louis – Alex Salmond, King of Scotland.

  40. Cuilean says:

    Well done, Chris.

    Mind ye dinny get yer collar felt fae ‘disturbing the polis’.

    Our need for a person of substance was writ large yesterday.

  41. christine says:

    A shocking image which reflects how it must have felt for Alex, a heart-draining sense of abandonment. He described it as the “ worst day of his life “ when he found out about the criminal charges he faced…the “ silent evidence “ no one else is allowed to see. Because it’s a damning indictment and proof of how those at the top of the political establishment conspired to stitch him up.

    We are hardwired to be most fearful of harm when it threatens to occur maliciously, at the hands of our fellow human beings and this special variety of fear is the most contagious of all. I am still buzzing from Alex’s appearance. I wish him well and hope that he and his family can start to heal from the harm and suffering he has had to endure. I would contribute to any fundraiser in a heartbeat.

    The integrity and soul of the SNP and the Scottish Parliament are now on trial and the people of Scotland have a chance to deliver their verdict at the election.

  42. Cudneycareless says:

    @tns2019 without mentioning any names “this woman is depriving a village somewhere of its idiot”

  43. Tom says:

    Grendel says, 27 February, 2021 at 7:24 am:

    “.. the Sky News vox pop from Linlithgow, where the woman said “I’ve always thought (Salmond) was a slimy scumbag”? Gutter level broadcasting.”

    True, but the woman did say it and, to be fair to Sky, their reports have been the most balanced recently, and especially all day yesterday.

    Unfortunately there was (shall we say?) ‘a slimy scumbag’ of a journo on the late Sky review of the papers last night, on full-frontal Salmond attack, lambasting him for his ‘attacks’ on the two original harassment complainers.

    Ffs ..

  44. Famous15 says:

    James Cook was rewarded by the BBC for his “accurate”coverage of the 2014 referendum by a plum job in the USA.Now he is back.

    I wonder what his reward will be for his Twitters on the Alex Salmond trial,sorry, appearance before the committee?

    He distorted the “only the leadership failed” comment as badly as the daily Express and brought in “conspiracy” as if that was Alex Salmond view but was merely a respnse to others questions.

    We all watched Mr Cook and you missed an “R” in your name.

  45. Robert graham says:

    I guess after all this time you get a bit jaded , I have heard all the arguments it’s all just repetition now I believe I have a basic grasp of what should be being done , then I look at second rate town councillors posing as MPs and MSPs most of them need a script and guidance in order to walk.

    Yesterday was a revelation ,the SNP reps were a disgusting disgrace the point of the inquiry totally eluded them they had instructions and it wasn’t to follow the Inquiry remit and get to the truth of who was responsible for the biggest fk uk in recent history they had a rehearsed agenda just like their leader get Alex and in whatever way possible ,

    The three of them looked petty and vindictive attempting to score little Snide points that had nothing to do with what they were there for they took the gloves off and Alex politely booted them in the balls aye that included that poison dwarf who looked like she was chewing a wasp and the wasp was winning A Human Resources professional fk me as close to human garbage as you can get

    Anyway the point of this rant is I probably like others was taken in and assumed anyone with a SNP badge on was one of the good ones the ones on our side we were all in the boat , I was willing to overlook some of the amateurish presentational hiccups and lack of a basic grasp on some subjects because they were on our side, after yesterday’s outing of what our side really looked like I decided I don’t want to support this team anymore , I refuse to give them one more chance , I have nothing to lose I want independence they don’t it’s that stark that black and white .

  46. oneliner says:

    With my advancing years, I sincerely hope that I am spared dementia. Yesterday’s performance by Alex Salmond was epic – different class. I hope it never escapes my memory banks.

    However, an extended metaphor if I may.

    Man who creates swamp returns to drain it.
    Crocodiles still in evidence.
    Those who feed them remain concealed.

    I will not make the mistake of mentioning an agricultural implement, but the undergrowth needs urgent attention.

  47. British Unionist and Labour Party announcing their choice of pet Jock today.

  48. Tackety Beets says:

    As always Mr Cairns 10/10

    As per my previous post.

    True Statesman yesterday.

    Watt……the brightest light on the tree.

    I’m reflecting from an employer position. I employed up to 15 staff at times over 40 ish years in business.

    There is often someone who constantly tries to undermine your leadership with little gentle “tittle-tattle” which often comes to light when another employee reports something back to you.

    That said, I have former employees who are now good friends, some contact me to join them on nights out when they are in the area etc One particular guy who was a typical “dogdy” youngster & now more mature always ends up apologising for being such a twat etc etc

    I have to take this opportunity to THANK those very courageous people who imparted crucial information to Mr Salmond & in the case of Ann Harvey actually permitted her name & documentation etc to be released to the public.

    These people have played a very significant part in verifying/exposing some of the facts on the goings on both within the Party & the “Grey suits” (Scot Gvt)

    It’s was clear as soon as Mr Salmond became FM, he began his real work.

    Show the people of Scotland that a Scot Gvt can operate as “Good Gvt” for the benefit of the people.
    IMHO, this is crucial to open people’s eyes to the possibility on iScotland.
    Since his resignation………….well FFS!
    His statement about leadership, sadly seamed to cover it.

  49. Kenny says:

    That cartoon actually describes the events of the past 2 years – and perfectly condenses them – so much more than a thousand bitter words from a hateful, crooked rag ever could. Well done, Chris – and a gold star for that work.

  50. AndyH says:

    I think Alex Salmond did a fantastic job yesterday.

    He spoke well and got the message out to the people that matter, namely anyone with a shred of human decency and fair mindedness. I’m very glad to have had the chance to hear him speak again.

    Sturgeon and that grey sweating thing she lives with will cling on desperately until this next election. Their time is up though.

    We are now going to be forced to listen to the utterly bizzare arguments about the lack of evidence. Evidence everyone now knows exists but is being withheld by the very people denying it’s existence.

    Any half decent Journalist would call them out on that.

    Sturgeon will need to take a few breaks on Wednesday to rest her eyelids. Expect lots of head bobbing and blinking.

  51. Bob Mack says:

    I hope the Committee members read this because the one question especially they need to ask Nicola is this.

    When Alex “popped in” to your house from two hundred miles away not knowing if you were at home, and accompanied by his solicitor and Chief of Staff you stated that you knew nothing of allegations, but thought he was going to resign. Before you knew of allegations.

    What reason did you have for thinking that? What other event apart from something you say you didn’t know, put that thought in your head?

  52. Tackety Beets says:

    I recall way back in the 80s discussing politics with my dad.

    I asked “Why do so many people/politicions despise Alex Salmond?”

    Dad replied “Ach, he is fit for ’em”

    Yesterday, nearly 40 years later, my dear departed dad missed him showing “he was still fit for ’em

  53. #resignsarahsmith , trending on twitter,

    seems she has been misquoting Alex on BBC.

  54. Scott says:

    Committee member ACH tweeting using “Salmond inquiry” hashtag.

    And telling the world what should happen if NS is found to have breached the MInisterial code.

    “Tainted by apparent bias”

  55. Kenny says:

    Nice to see so many new accounts visiting these pages now, newbies making the transition from “I don’t believe it?” to “She’s a disgrace and a liability”.
    Truth be told, I’m a sort-of newbie on this site myself, or at least a lost but now am found re-visitor. I confess, I fell-out with Stuart, both on Twitter and on his blog, around late 2017/early2018 and stopped visiting him. I’m very happy I saw the truth – as these new accounts have also seen the truth – around late 2018.

    Also on Twitter, there’s a rampant ‘I’m with Nicola’ account I still follow (why? because she’s my weather vane) and she following me; just yesterday, she confirmed her vows (what, really, is her problem?) but instead of the usual barrage of support in the way of likes etc, it was, relatively speaking, paltry. I wager, many of her followers are now visiting Wings over Scotland?

    Thanks for your work, Stuart and Chris, you are both genuine History Men.

  56. Kenny says:

    Tackety Beets at 10:03 am:

    That’s a lovely memory, thanks for sharing that.

  57. Daisy Walker says:

    Excellent cartoon Mr Cairns. Nail on head as always.

    Re the noises coming out of WM about closing/proroguing Holyrood… if they manage to do this before an election… that will be nearly all of the Tories in Scotland out of power, and the remainder of Labour and the LibDems.

    Now, I don’t exactly rate any of them, however, ‘divide and conquor’ should not just be reserved as a tool for the other side, and since they have a very great liking for the gravy train and not much talent to earn the same in the real world… is it possible there might be support for Scotland’s Parliament coming from unexpected corners.

  58. laukat says:

    Sturgeon’s session should be interesting. The way I see it she has not only to tell how she didn’t break the ministerial code, she also has to defend the behavior of her husband and SNP CEO, her COO, her SPAD, the permanent secretary, the Lord Advocate, how the policy was developed, why they ignored legal advice and many other things.

    I actually think that even as late as yesterday Salmond offered her a way out. By not sayin she should resign and saying he has no evidence linking her to the plot against him, he gave her the possibility of coming to the comittee saying she had no idea of what had gone on, accept that the behaviour of all those Salmond named as unacceptable and offer an apology for not having got involved earlier or ensured that corrcet process was followed.

    If she did that she could probably explain her failure to record the meetings with Aberdein and actions on the 2nd April as the actions of a conflicted soul who subsequently found out that one of the complianers was in those meetings so putting the meetings in the government diary may have impacted their anonymity. A skilled politician would do this alongside trying to bring Salmond back into the SNP fold to boost her electoral chances.

    In that cicumstances it probably enough to mean apologising to parliament but perhaps not a resignation.

    However if Sturgeon comes out defending all her subordinates, her actions, Alex Salmond and offering no contrition she makes it a resignation matter.

    One daft thought did run throught my head. If we assume that the comittee reports in a few weeks along with Hamilton’s report and both say the minesterial code is broken, Sturgeon could offer her resign on 25th March as Parliament disolves. However what is to stop her standing for re-election as First Minister in May and being back in the post on 6th May?

  59. Cenchos says:

    Breaking News.

    The committee to question the FM on Wednesday have disclosed that Little Ted and Poppy will be unable to attend. Hamble is still recovering from the injuries suffered at the hands of Chloe Ashcroft and will not attend either. The committee will, of course, be chaired by Jemima.

  60. Captain Yossarian says:

    I often wonder why it is that the current Justice Minister Humza Yousaf has nothing to say.

    The old Justice Minister has plenty to say and people are listening and want to hear more.

    But, still nothing from Humza.

    Could it be that the gulf in talent, intellect, honesty and accountability which is in evidence between the former FM and the current FM is there too between the former Justice Minister and the current Justice Minister?

    That’s what I reckon anyway.

  61. Cath says:

    Six hours of speaking, and answering questions, must have been very tiring, especially when he has a chest infection.

    That’s one thing I find disconcerting about the committee system. You’d never organise a 6 hour work meeting for 12:30-6:30 with just a 20 minute break in the middle (or even for 10-4 with just a 20 minute break). No one would turn up. So why are committees run that way?

    This is one witness being asked questions under oath (in this case on pain of prosecution if he accidentally slips up and mentions one of many redactions). It’s high profile, being live screened and watched by huge numbers. However good you are, and even if you were 100% fit and well, that’s going to be stressful and exhausting.

    It almost gives the sense that the committee system itself has been designed to wear down participants, with the first hour or two spent on repetitive questions which don’t get to the point, in the hope that by 4 or 5 hours in, most witnesses will be flagging, just wanting it over, losing their voice and/or losing focus and giving less coherent answers than they otherwise would to the more important questions. You’re never going to get the best out of either the witness or the questioners, who will also be flagging and losing concentration, after 5 or 6 straight hours.

    That’s one thing I’d suggest urgently needs looked at. If six hours is to be allowed for questioning a witness in a committee, a civilised country would run that as 3 hours in the morning, three in the afternoon, an hour for lunch and 2 fifteen minute refreshment breaks: the way you’d run any other work meeting. Or over two separate days.

  62. Liz says:

    It’s heartbreaking.

    The last few days have shown Scotland at its worse.

    Those brown nose sycophants in the SNP looking down on the best politician Scotland ever had.

    The SNP are now where labour were, picking the weakest to represent them.
    All of those on the committee should be removed in May if we have an election.

    What could have been.

    I hope Alex and his family rest and recover. I wouldn’t blame him if he turned his back on politics.

  63. David of Caledonia says:

    Alex Salmond would never have gone to prison for anything, there is not a court in the land that can convict you for revealing the truth, injunctions mean nothing if they are based on lies and cover ups, I would have ignored them and challenged the LA to do his worse, the threat of prison does not scare people like me, in fact its a challenge to be taken up at every opportunity as far as I am concerned, tell the truth and shame the devil, or devils in this case.
    Around about 1970 there was a charge called drunk and incapable, just an excuse for the police to arrest law abiding citizens, which I was one of, I was taken to greenock police office and charged with this nonesense and put in a cell overnight and taken to court the following day, which was a saturday, courts where held on a saturday in those days because they did not want to keep us locked up till the monday.
    I was given a £5 fine which I did not have on me, in those days you could 8 pints of beer for a pound, so at about £3 today that would equate to about a £120 fine, my wage was about £16 a week.
    So i was sent to Barlinnie and got out on the tuesday when my uncle paid the fine for me.
    And that happened every weekend to people who where just out having a little refreshment.
    This crazy charge would have meant the police could wait outside any establishment and arrest most of the people coming out when it closed, ofc they did not have enough cells to lock hundreds maybe thousands of people up.
    They got their quota for the night and then the rest could go home to their beds till the next weekends debacle.
    My father was arrested about 5 hundred yards from his house, walking home, and the charge, drunk and incapable, and to this day be very aware, the police have quotas to fill, after all there is a lot of crime out there, so please do not be caught pissing in the street, or you will be classed as a criminal and locked up, better to do a few burglaries or something, they never catch you doing that

  64. TNS2019 says:

    Liz says:
    27 February, 2021 at 10:32 am

    It’s heartbreaking.

    The last few days have shown Scotland at its worse.

    It has looked bad. Very bad. But AS demonstrated that it need not be the case. He spoke with authority and clearly explained how things SHOULD have been done.
    AS was a great advert for Scotland.
    He is the brand image we want, not the one we currently have.

  65. Republicofscotland says:

    Good point Chris, though I don’t think everyone on the committee didn’t want the evidence outed.

    The Crown Office stopped Alex Salmond from divulging more at yesterday’s meeting, though Alex being the shrew operator that he is managed to show that the Crown Office by its unproven actions was actually hindering the committee in doing its job to the best of its ability. In saying that some on the committee, appeared to be quite happy with that.

  66. Mia says:

    Yesterday during the questioning session Mr Salmond suggested the reason to rush and bring the criminal case forward was a damage limitation exercise to cover the calamitous position the UK civil service under Evans put Sturgeon’s government before the court.

    I think he was being far too generous.

    The criminal case did not come out of nowhere. The judicial review did not come out of nowhere. The unlawful, rushed through complaints procedure did not come out of nowhere. Who started it and why?

    THAT is the real motive we need to find out.

    There are two plausible motives for me here:

    1. Brexit – From then on, things would start to get bumpy and Mr Salmond might have created a real fuss. For instance, December 2017 is when May agreed with the EU the backstop for NI. Whoever was behind this might have feared Mr Salmond somewhat using this backstop (breach of the Treaty of Union) to push for independence. Let’s not forget about the theft of powers, the constitutional subjugation of Scotland by forcing brexit on us and the surrendering of our popular sovereignty by Sturgeon allowing the withdrawal bill to be passed without meaningful resistance. I am of the opinion none of this would have gone as smoothly if Mr Salmond was still in the SNP.

    2. They needed to derail the SNP as a pro independence vehicle for the election in May 2021 and they could not have effected this with Mr Salmond in it. The most damaging changes to the SNP have occurred AFTER Mr Salmond left the SNP.

    It is therefore my personal opinion that besides trying to cover up for the judicial review, these conspirators were finding themselves another way to continue keeping Mr Salmond out of the SnP, out of politics and more importantly, out of any election, particularly May21 election. Exactly as they are doing just now by delaying and prolonging the existence of this farcical committee, no doubt to reach the end of April if possible.

    Had Fabiani sought proper advice and had she any intention to actually bring to the committee ALL the evidence they required to make an informed decision, at the beginning of the process when it was proper to do so, and this farce could have been settled very long time ago. But there was no appetite for that because that would mean either to readmit Mr Salmond to the SNP or giving him time to organise another party.

    It is my opinion that all these conspirators, including the crown agent and the interests he really represents are shitting themselves at the prospect of Mr Salmond leading any of the small pro indy parties and transforming that election into a plebiscite.

    There is therefore a fundamental question that remains to be answered:

    What brought the complaints procedure in the first place? And what made it such an urgent matter?

    I am sure I am not the only one who does not fall for the smokescreen crap of the metoo nonsense.

    At the time any of those 2 complainants experienced the “events”, there was already a procedure in place for them to use. So why didn’t they? Why did they chose to wait 8 or more years for a experimental, unlawful procedure against former ministers to be brought forward? And I say experimental because it had never been tested before.

    October and November 2017 were funny months. There are lots of UK politicians who were subject to a witch hunt around that month in the name of the metoo crap. 2 men lost their lives because of this disgraceful witch hunt and still those responsible have not been brought forward, nor they ever will be.

    Looking a bit on the case of Mr Sargent in Wales, I see parallelisms with the case of Mr Salmond. Mr Sargent was accused of harassment that came out of nowhere and he was kept on the dark, just as Mr Salmond was. Mr Sargent was not allowed to know the identity of the alleged complainants, nor even the complaints themselves. Before he was given a chance to defend himself, the matter was plastered all over the press. Just like with Mr Salmond. It is almost like the main objective of the whole thing was simply tarnishing the man rather than accountability or any interest in conducting a proper investigation. Just like with Mr Salmond.

    The family of this man brought forward what looked like a judicial review of the procedure followed to suspend and accuse Mr Sargent because it appeared to have many irregularities ie it looked unlawful, just like the procedure used for Mr Salmond.

    The review that the family asked for was conveniently stopped and an “agreement” that involved paying the family a substantial sum was reached. All conveniently brushed under the carpet.

    Coincidence? I doubt it.

    Mr Sargent was removed from his Cabinet position and suspended from Welsh Labour on 3 November 2017. He took on his life just 4 days later.

    I think looking at the case of Mr Salmond as an isolated event and something that simply happened in Scotland because of a disloyal and corrupt SNP leader and a corrupt Permanent Secretary and Lord Advocate is a big mistake. We are missing a big part of the picture.

    I don’t know what exact reasons prompted this witch hunt or who was behind, but that there was one UK wide seems quite obvious and that brexit might have been at the heart of it, seems obvious too. The threat of Mr Salmond gaining editorial powers in the Scotsman and his programme in RT made him a double target.

    This, particularly the dates, is revealing:

    The rumblings about the complaints procedure in Scotland started precisely at that time.

    Coincidence? I think not.

  67. Strathy says:

    Absolutely right, Cap’n (at 10.21am.)

    To comment on matters of law, Humza would need the relevant expertise.

    Like all of Sturgeon’s appointees he was selected for absolute obedience, not talent or knowledge.

  68. Republicofscotland says:

    Can Salmond’s lawyers release the info to the committee if prompted by them, this seems to dismiss that, even though Salmond isn’t the accused, or is it because at one point he was the accused.

    “Section 162(4) of the 2010 Act makes is eminently clear that an accused person’s lawyers are subject to the same restrictions on disclosure or use as the accused person was.”

  69. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Mia, How stood Mr Sargent on the Middle East?

    I’m hopelessly ignorant of his circumstances, but that the Brit Nat state has a formula book of tricks that it dusts off and uses is a given.

    With regards Motive? I don’t think we will ever get a definitive answer on that, very difficult to prove.

    It is actually quite strange the times we live in, this emphasis on Motive.

    For example, I was ‘stitched up’ at work to prevent me getting a promotion. Was is sex discrimination, or a personality clash between me and the boss? The motive didn’t really matter, the ‘actions’ mattered rather a lot.

    The one thing motive would facilitate is making it ‘easier’ for the ‘I’m with Nicla’ brigade to start to understand just how badly she has behaved.

    Some never will.

    Meanwhile, we need Plegiscite Indy on the ballot paper and reputable candidates to vote for.

  70. Sarah says:

    @ Republic of Scotland: Alex told the committee that they have powers under the Scotland Act to call for the evidence he holds. Not this s162 – this is a different Act.

  71. kapelmeister says:

    Sarwar wins. He knows if he doesn’t do well in the post he can always go to the Punjab and get a job from his dad the Governor.

  72. Cenchos says:

    Maybe the motive was more politically mundane.

    Perhaps, in pursuing a New Labour-ish template, Sturgeon did not want to repeat Blair’s big mistake, which was not getting rid of Gordon Brown.

  73. robertknight says:

    Mia @10:52

    I tend to agree with your categorising Salmond’s reason for the motive to get him as being “generous”. TBH it was the one part where I think he said what he felt he should say, and not what he wanted to say.

    The true motive no doubt can be found in the documentation which he had in front of him, and which he invited the Committee to request directly from his solicitors using powers under the Scotland Act, thereby effectively bypassing the COPFS.

    My fear is that the Committee don’t have a strong enough stomach to handle the truth and will want to avoid giving NS a hard time next week. Time will tell.

  74. Astonished says:

    kapelmeister : It always amused me greatly that Rosie Kane caused a great stooshie by refusing the oath of allegiance. And sarwar senior took the oath without demur, then subsequently went on to be a governor of a pakistani province. (Pakistan is a republic).

    From our media – not a word regarding his morals (or lack of).

    At least sarwar junior hasn’t spouted forth about ‘white privilege’ unlike a kindred privately-educated millionaire humza useless.

  75. Robert graham says:

    I knew I forgot something in my long boring rant previously posted

    Independence I heard more references to Independence from Alex yesterday than I have heard from Princess Sturgeon in the last year , she’s way too busy organising and personally implementing the Plague restrictions mostly following Westminsters instructions and occasionally jumping in front to give the impression she is in charge and competent ,

    Well here’s some news sweetie it’s a very low bar dear, Bawjaws is a clown and he leads a cabinet comprised of gangsters and criminals that would shame even the Mafia so even a dumb ass with the mental ability of a child could probably match your efforts , you have NHS staff with a better understanding of what works and what is actually possible , delegation is a management skill.

    But that would deprive the Princess of the adulation and the daily in your face presentation of I am Nicola and I am in total control I make all the decisions and I accept all the Applause . Me me me .

  76. Daisy Walker says:

    @ Mia re Calr Sargeant.

    A quick look at his history seems to show him to have been a very capable person – one who got things done. He voted for more powers for Wales, and he held office as the Whip for labour in Wales.

    It seems Carwyn Jones wanted him replaced with more ‘new labour types’ – which might have been difficult if he knew where the bodies were buried.

    One common denominator that should not be overlooked when considering Brit Nat tactics – is the hollowing out principle.

    Once key players are in position, they select people with the following qualifications – deeply loyal to those who select them, not at all competent or good at getting stuff done (which is a double plus for them, because they become addicted to the gravy train).

    And all of this can be hidden in plain sight.

    This is what they did to Labour, and what they have done to the SNP – the only thing new about them doing it to the SNP is the speed and urgency with which they’ve had to deploy it. Normally they don’t like people to see the strings.

  77. kapelmeister says:

    Astonished @11:22

    Humza and Anas both attended Hutchesons’ Grammar in Glasgow at the same time, although Anas must have been in the year above, or two years above.

    Curiously, Mohammad Sarwar’s wikipedia page says he supports Celtic & Rangers. Really? He must be the world’s only Celtic & Rangers fan.

  78. dakk says:

    Missed the nail, wood and dropped the hammer this time Chris.

    It is obviously Nicola Sturgeon who is now on trial, by the media/social media.

    She is the star witness whose testimony the public now await.

    Not that you fly political cowboys will want to hear it.

  79. Captain Yossarian says:

    @robertknight – My reading of the exchange with Margaret Mitchel was that if she requested all the information from Levy and McRae, a lot of which was not available to the Inquiry or available only in redacted version, then the Inquiry would have all the information it needed to prove Peter Murrell (and perhaps others) lied under oath.

  80. winifred mccartney says:

    Anas Sarwar – the man who was not paying the minimum wage at his wardhouse and thinks if you put the shares in his wife and sons name everything if OK. Great labour man NOT cut from the same jib as Sir Starmer.

  81. McDuff says:

    Sturgeon and her team now have a few days to go over AS testimony and prepare her answers, add to this some very soft questions and a sympathetic committee and this cow might just get away with it.
    It will take a lot to make me watch her after AS stunning performance.

  82. Beaker says:

    @Robert graham says:
    27 February, 2021 at 9:38 am
    “then I look at second rate town councillors posing as MPs and MSPs most of them need a script and guidance in order to walk.”

    They need to learn to read first…

  83. Grouse Beater says:

    Hi Chris.

    Yes, when even our side refuse to believe Salmond was framed by the classic sex smear, you question the gap in the intellectual capacity of some Scots.

    I composed these few words from my hospital bed:

    ‘I Am A Man’:

  84. Hatuey says:

    Can we expect to see more of Salmond now that he has delivered his evidence? I think so. I hope so.

    Maybe he could do a few interviews in the days before Sturgeon’s appearance. Why not? It’s not like he would need to sideline Scottish public health by walking out of a SAGE meeting or anything to do so.

  85. kapelmeister says:

    Aye, Mohammad Sarwar, a politician in both of his two countries. One of them is of course notorious for corruption in public life…..and the other one is called Pakistan.

  86. Republicofscotland says:

    As some have already stated Anas Sarwar is the new Labour branch office manager in Scotland, they’ll never learn, or maybe London Labour actually picked Rickety Lenspittals successor.

    No matter, today Labour HQ at Westminster officially backed the the hundreds of billions of pounds renewal of Trident in Scotland.

    another fantastic reason to dissolve this repugnant union for good.

  87. Jack Murphy says:

    The Scottish Parliament has a YouTube Channel and the full proceedings of yesterday’s Committee meeting may be accessed here for future reference. Thankyou:

  88. Republicofscotland says:

    Sarah @11.10am.


    I sincerely hope that you are correct.

  89. Effijy says:

    Liz says 9.03.

    Yes Liz we are certainly short of intellect, vision, drive
    and sincerity within the SNP representatives.

    We must still put in candidates of this calibre or the Unionist parties
    put in Cole-Hamilton and Annie Wells of this world.

    Independence by any means and then the dross can be cleaned out
    before we start building.

    I demand Lesley Evans is first on the Committee’s list to be sacked pending
    Criminal prosecution. She reports to her boss in Westminster and I’d be astonished
    if they were not working her from behind.

    The Lord Advocate and COPS will be sacked soon after and
    and only a criminal prosecution will do thereafter.

    I also need to know which police authority signed off the work of
    22 officers for a period of 2 years and who deliberately lead those interviewed.

    By all means cover the names of the alphabet liars but every related document must
    Be published by the committee.
    Everyone with any interest already knows who they are and nothing other than their credibility
    has been damaged.

    I still maintain that there names should not be protected after being proven to have lied.
    It encourages woman to defame innocent men at no cost to them regardless of how bizarre
    their claims turn out to be.
    I don’t want to pay for police, lawyers or courts for all passing fantasists.

  90. A Person says:

    Nobody laugh, but in my opinion choosing Sarwar was an alarmingly sensible decision by the branch office. He has some presence which is the first time a Scottish Labour leader has had that since I can remember, and to my mind he’s substantially less rancid than Ross, who is a bigger liability for the Tories than was Carlaw IMO. Only fools make predictions and I’m a fucking moron, so I’ll predict now that Labour will overtake the Tories in this election. If I’m wrong I’ll buy someone a pint in whichever pub might be open on that date.

  91. Breeks says:

    One of the best articles I’ve read on Barrheadboy.

  92. Effijy says:

    I doubt North North Labour will embarrass themselves with it
    But does anyone know how many members voted in their
    Leadership contest?

    I’d estimate Sarwar’s 57% of the vote might be as low as 5,000 votes
    from a nation with 5.5 Million in it.

    Imagine him on a head to head with Alex Salmond. Lol

  93. A Person says:

    -Robert Graham-

    Come on now! That is unfair on the Mafia! Lord McCluskey (Lord Advocate in the 70s) said that if Arthur “the Godfather” Thomson had gone to Fettes he would have become prime minister, he was the most intelligent man McCluskey had ever met. Nobody could say that about the current Tory cabinet!

  94. iain mhor says:

    @Cath 10:25am

    Now that’s a good company to work for.
    Currently, no-one is entitled to a break (lunch or otherwise) until they’ve put in a 6 hour shift. Nor are you entitled to be paid for that break.

    Certainly, many companies do have lunch breaks after a few hours, at their discretion. Lunch breaks at midday are a convention – tea breaks more so and paid is genuine philanthropy!

    I agree, their time management wasn’t good though

  95. Mia says:

    “My fear is that the Committee don’t have a strong enough stomach to handle the truth”

    You are being generous too. In my personal opinion that committee was never designed to ever get to the truth, otherwise you would not have an SNP MSP as the chairperson and half of the seats taken by the SnP, the party at scrutiny here. The conflict of interests is huge and the suggestion that there was ever any impartiality is utterly ridiculous.

    Watching in disgust the embarrassing and undignifying way the SnP MSPs in that committee conducted themselves yesterday, it became crystal clear what they were there for, to stop the truth coming out and to continue smearing Mr Salmond. The pathetic performance of Watt reading verbatim from her notes suggested to me that she was told by somebody else what to ask.

    As I said above, if there ever was any intention to actually uncover the truth, Fabiani would have never allowed a parliamentary committee to be gerrymandering or bullied by either the crown office, the government or the lord advocate, particularly when the lord advocate and the crown agent are right at the centre of this fiasco so they are not impartial.

    The questions asked by Mr Fraser to Mr Salmond were quite pertinent to the current farcical situation (I paraphrase): “would the crown office in England ever attempt to suppress evidence from a House of Commons committee? Would the House of Commons ever allow the crown office to interfere in its remit and suppress evidence? The answer to both was no. So why is Fabiani allowing it to be done to the committee she chairs?

    If that committee was really interested in seeking the truth of what happened in the meetings in March and April 2018, they would have dragged to the questioning seat each and all the individuals present or allegedly present in those meetings and demand from them to answer under oath the questions with the cautioning that should they lie and be proven to have done so, there would be repercussions.

    How can it ever be justified that one of the most important individuals right at the heart of this plot and allegedly present in those meetings has been allowed to simply send a flimsy statement and excused from appear in the committee? How is it can possibly be acceptable to simply let it pass that the main piece of evidence regarding those meetings is being silenced by the crown office and Linda Fabiani does not seek to get the people present in those meetings on the questioning seat to extract the truth from them under oath?

    How it could have possibly been acceptable for this committee to watch Sturgeon abusing her time in Parliament to defy Mr Salmond to “present the evidence” by attending the questioning while senior members of her own team, have been allowed to not appear and therefore leaving the committee without the evidence it needs? This really stinks, as it also stinks the way they allowed that other woman to answer the questions by phone.

    Everything will be brushed under the carpet because that is how the British state operates. Damage limitation above all. This will be no exception. The goal is now to stop May election to become a plebiscite and to stop Mr Salmond leading or joining a party and pushing the wagon without wheels that has become the SNP under Sturgeon out of their current pool position as (fake) pro -independence party.

    They powers that be are far too close to achieve their objective and I expect they will not let anything or anybody stand in the way. So expect more dark and dirty twists and turns on this. Evans is not allowed to resign because where are they going to find another patsy to take the poisoned chalice she is leaving behind? Sturgeon is not going to be allowed to resign until the next British state puppet in a position to take over the SNP carcass.

  96. Sylvia says:

    The First Minister has responded to Jim Sillars’ letter claiming she breached the Ministerial Code by criticising Alex Salmond at her covid briefing.

    She denied a breach and said it was “entirely wrong” to suggest she was casting doubt on the outcome of Salmond’s trial

  97. Socrates MacSporran says:

    One or two posters commenting on how poor Alex Cole-Scuttle was yesterday.

    Someone should remind him – those few Lib-Dems who still exist in Scotland prefer to be led by Willie Rennie, than by Alex Cole-Scuttle.

  98. Alf Baird says:

    Aye, oors is an oppressive colonial justice system, well spotted Chris.

    There is a reason why Scotland has the largest prison population per head in Western Europe and the highest proportion of probationers under supervision. This represents nothing less than an oppressive colonial legacy.

    Thankfully Alex had access to sufficient resources to fight back and to highlight the rottenness, as did Mark Hirst, and hopefully Craig Murray too, and as reflected in the Rangers case; tho we should remember that maist ordinar Scots fowk dinnae.

    According to Cesaire, independence is necessary to rid the people of their oppressors: “..false objectivity, their chauvinism, their sly racism, their depraved passion,.. their rigged investigations, their self-serving generalizations,…and the evil work they perform as watchdogs of colonialism.”

  99. Tom says:

    .. a very moving few words from Grouse Beater:

    Be sure not to skip by ..

  100. TNS2019 says:

    It will be interesting to compare what we witnessed yesterday with what comes next week when Rosa Klebb goes before the committee.
    Could someone do a blink-rate contrast?
    (Wondering what shoes she will be wearing).

  101. SilverDarling says:

    It worked against Parnell so why not AS?

    I have sons for whom I fear in this climate. They are decent well brought up young men who care deeply about how they present and behave around women. One spoke of helping a drunken female friend home and his anxiety until he could give her over into the care of female friends ASAP.

    Why would anyone want to be alone with women in a room now when stuff from 10 years ago that is open to interpretation can be raked over to fit a narrative?

    Still, there is stuff on the internet ‘but he groped her’ ‘sleepy cuddle’ ‘he should have kept his hands to himself.’

    It will never end and if that was the aim, those who sought to destroy him have won.

  102. Douglas MacMillan says:

    A braw synopsis of yesterday.

    Alex Salmond was fantastic – in some ways his finest hour.

    Alasdair Allan and the other SNP baggage handlers had obviously been given complex questions (from someone with deep knowledge of the affair), to simply read out! They were designed to trip up Mr Salmond but he saw them all coming and of course they had no response to his answers because that could nae be scritped!

    How embarrassing is it as an MSP to be told to read out somebody else’s questions. Pathetic!

    Personally, I think Fabiani should pass over Chairing duties to her Deputy for Sturgeon’s meeting next week- NS is, after all, Fabiani’s boss!! Of course she wont…..

  103. sarah smith twitter
    · 15h
    1. `On the 6 o’clock news headline tonight I said that Alex Salmond had claimed the First Minister had ‘broken the ministerial code and that he thinks she should resign’. I would like to clarify that Mr Salmond did not say that the First Minister should resign.`

    A lie gets halfway around the world before truth puts on its boots.

  104. Republicofscotland says:

    We await Mr Hamilton QC’s report on Sturgeon and the Ministerial Code. Alex Salmond stated yesterday that although he’s never met the man, he has no reason to doubt his integrity.

    If that all goes true to form, then, Mr Hamilton QC will surely report in his findings that Sturgeon did break the Ministerial Code.

  105. Mac says:

    I have changed my opinion on the labour politician on the inquiry with the initials JB (trying to avoid moderation here by not spelling her name out in full).

    I have misjudged her and underestimated her as well. Watching this has been a real eye opener in this regard. I like JB from what I have seen of her in the Inquiry. They should have made her leader. I also get the feeling that despite their differences she has a lot of respect for Alex Salmond (and vice versa).

    Murdo Fraser as well came across as decent to me.

    The SNP MSPs and ACH especially came across as utter w@nks.

    Wightman was not much better.

    The SNP are a disgraceful mess of a party now. Other than a select few worth saving (e.g. KM and JC) you are off your rocker voting for them.

  106. Molly's Mum says:

    Humza Yousaf has congratulated Anas Sarwar, tweeting

    “….this makes him first Muslim & Person of Colour leading a political party in UK”

    How long have we being sending the message that the “Scottish” conservatives and “Scottish” labour are NOT separate parties, merely branches of the UK parties and therefore representative of the unionists in Westminster, yet here we have the SNP Justice Minister continuing the lie ?

    Anas Sarwar is Keir Starmer’s man in Scotland – he implements labour’s unionist message in Scotland and the SNP should be reminding voters of this.

    By all means congratulate Anas on his win Humza, but don’t perpetuate this myth that labour have any interest in what the Scottish electorate, including the 40% of labour supporters who are Yes, want.

  107. Socrates MacSporran says:

    We should, in the intereests of fairness, congratulate Anas Sarwar in finally getting the job he has always wanted.

    Sadly, for as long as the dwindling Labour support in Scotland want us to be owned by England, it’s not a job any one with an ounce of sense would wish to have.

    The question now is – how long will he last?

    Including interim leaders (Cathy Jamieson, Alex Rowley, Jasckie Baillie etc.) the leader of Scottish Labour has had, since Holyrood opened, an average of 17 months in the job. Since 2014, this average length of tenure has fallen to 9 months. He’s got a tough job ahead.

    I fear, “Scottish Labour” is a burst baw – until we are independent. Even after Independence, I feel the days of the “broad church” big parties in Scotland will be over.

  108. Republicofscotland says:


    “Alex Salmond: Scotland not fit to be independent”

    Of which he NEVER said.

    From this little lying shit, who works for a sleazy very low quality “news” rag.

  109. Bob Mack says:


    Stay as strong as you can, for as long as you can.

    Wordsmiths are a precious commodity.

  110. Republicofscotland says:

    Nevermind what the second rate politicians, such as O’Hara, Hendry, Wishart, etc thought of Alex Salmond’s six hour appearance at Holyrood yesterday.

    Legal minds thought otherwise, even those opposed to Scottish independence and the SNP.

    “Just spent 3 hours watching
    giving evidence. I’m a lawyer and I do not support the
    . I’ve still got 90 minutes to go. So far I’ve seen a honest man speaking about appalling and manifestly illegal treatment by the Scottish government. #scary”

  111. Captain Yossarian says:

    It’s been said many times over the past 16-18 hours of course but Salmond’s performance yesterday was statesmanlike.

    He was measured, he didn’t exaggerate and he could prove everything that he said.

    Sturgeon’s retort will be to cast around, Donald Trump style. He said, she said, nothing adds up.

    Thank God for Jackie Baillie, Murdo Fraser and Margaret Mitchel. They are quiet thinkers who already know what questions to ask.

    I just wonder if the Committee will take Salmond up on the offer of providing all the missing/redacted statements, WhatsApp records etc.

    I have the feeling that this information would sink a few folk. Lying under oath is fairly serious. You don’t usually get away with it….even in Scotland.

  112. Captain Yossarian says:

    It’s been said many times over the past 16-18 hours of course but Salmond’s performance yesterday was statesmanlike.

    He was measured, he didn’t exaggerate and he could prove everything that he said.

    Sturgeon’s retort will be to cast around, Donald Trump style. He said, she said, nothing adds up.

    Thank God for the non-SNP members of the Committee. They are quiet thinkers who already know what questions to ask.

    I just wonder if the Committee will take Salmond up on the offer of providing all the missing/redacted statements, WhatsApp records etc.

    I have the feeling that this information would sink a few folk. Lying under oath is fairly serious. You don’t usually get away with it….even in Scotland.

  113. Ottomanboi says:

    Mohammad Sarwar…
    Skotistan Zindabad!
    You’ll know soon enough in your dealings with the Ingrizi that independence makes sense.

  114. katherine hamilton says:

    We are now in the hands of the committee. Six hours testimony, some of which almost had me in tears watching the pain in the man over the treachery he experienced, at the final moments he tells them how to save Scotland. Use your powers as MSP’s under the Scotland Act. If you want all the hidden information, I have it all in front of me. Here.
    Contact my solicitors (read as QC’s) and they will be here with it on Monday morning. Interview them as witnesses. Laid on a plate.
    The Faculty of Advocates intervention on Thursday cannot have been a coincidence. Rule of law must be upheld. Juries cannot be second guessed. Previously Lady Dorian described the Government’s interpretation of her anonymity ruling as absurd.

    I think Mr. Salmond’s QC’s are empowered to take on the Lord Advocate and challenge his rulings, not in some intellectual or esoteric debate but in real time; in a real life and legally constituted forum. The committee. Parliament under the Scotland Act is the highest authority in Scotland, not the Crown office. That is what Mr. Salmond was telling them.

    A chance to save Scotland? A bit dramatic. But true. Sturgeon’s appearance on Wednesday will be a skoosh case unless they get this evidence. Their new defence this weekend seems to be “there is no new evidence”. OK, well go and get it on Monday. If they don’t, we know they are bought and sold. Parliament will have, through this committee, conceded it is not Scotland’s highest authority.

    That’s when Scotland dies.

  115. Dorothy Devine says:

    Socrates , you just made me laugh , ta!

  116. Republicofscotland says:

    Imagine the scenario, of which it is very possible, with a Leslie Evans spokesperson saying just a hour or so after Alex Salmond’s masterly performance yesterday, that the Permanent Secretary of the Civil Service in Scotland won’t resign.

    That after all the evidences given, albeit, the committee does or doesn’t follow up on Mr Salmond’s advice, that nothing at all comes of the hearing no resignations from anyone in the Scottish government, nor any changes at the Crown Office, what would that say not only to Scots, but to other nations around the globe watching with interests what the outcome will be.

    We often look at Eastern European nations, and corruption surrounding their governments and think to ourselves that thankfully this couldn’t happen in Scotland, well its happening now, the thing is will it continue to happen or will justice prevail.

  117. Willie says:

    What’s missing from the cartoon Chris if I may opine is a gold star on the prisoners jump suit.

    The Nazis in the 1930’s used to use stars to indicate the class of prisoner. But maybe the SG have moved on to more modern methods.

    Whatever though, the cartoon reflects the Scottish Government and how it operates. Frightening stuff. People must truly take note for it could be them next.

    And yes, on Wednesday, one Clive Thompson from Fife was made an example of and got six months jail for tweeting from abroad last August five individuals who he believed were alphabet women

  118. Mac says:

    Peter Murrell is the weakest one. He is the gazelle in the herd that has a bit of a limp. The hyenas will probably eat him alive first.

    Murrell is lazy and flabby (mentally) and has been mostly sheltered his whole life. He is not a professional politician / civil servant and he can’t think on his feet to any great extent. He will wither under intense hostile scrutiny if subjected to it. Especially if they make him go off-piste in his answers. He will make mistakes.

    I think Sturgeon has made a huge error if it was down to her to go last. After yesterday Alex Salmond is now a near impossible act to follow. Even if she has her best day imaginable she is still going to come across as very wooden, impersonal, shrill, harsh and I suspect increasingly dislikeable.

    The Sturgeon act (and it is an act) is wearing so thin now that I think we will get more and more glimpses of what really lies beneath, especially when needled, and it is not nice.

    Once the Sturgeon spell is broken and you know what she really is like then suddenly she becomes more and more dislikeable every time you see her.

  119. ` Lying under oath is fairly serious. You don’t usually get away with it….even in Scotland.`

    `The offence of perjury involves making a false statement, which is material in proceedings.`

    the judge must rule if she/he sees the perjury `material to the proceedings`,

    English journalist and editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson comitted perjury but was freed,

    Lord Burns said that for Coulson to be found guilty it was necessary for the Crown to prove that the allegedly untrue evidence he had given at the 2010 Sheridan trial had been relevant to the issues in it.

  120. dan macaulay says:

    Alex the Great


  121. oneliner says:


    What is your evidence for including Drew Hendry in your list of second rate politicians?

    His action with the HOC mace was theatrical but at least it went on record.

  122. Cath says:

    Parliament will have, through this committee, conceded it is not Scotland’s highest authority. That’s when Scotland dies.

    Or maybe when it wakes up?

    Now that’s a good company to work for.
    Currently, no-one is entitled to a break (lunch or otherwise) until they’ve put in a 6 hour shift. Nor are you entitled to be paid for that break.

    Iain, not talking about a normal working day but those ‘all day’ work meetings. You don’t run them for 6 hours with only one scheduled 20 minute break. People’s concentration span just isn’t that long. And you certainly shouldn’t be interviewing witnesses live on TV for that long in one sitting. Not if you want the best evidence with fresh committee members and witnesses.Of course, if that’s not what you want…

  123. Mac says:

    I did not know until yesterday just how heavily involved Sue Ruddick was in the plot to stitch-up Salmond. She is right in there with Evans, Lloyd, MacKinnon, MacCann and Murrell. John Somers as well now starting to look very fishy.

    Disgusting as well that the Police are still investigating the leaks of Murrell’s disgraceful message to Kenny MacAskill but were and are totally indifferent to the far graver leak to the Daily Record. Their and COPFS glaring double standards are so repellant at this point they make you want to spit.

    I am going to have to watch the whole thing again.

  124. oneliner says:


    Maybe you should quiz JB on how many Scottish jobs are actually dependent upon Faslane. Her grasp of arithmetic is in the Diane Abbott category

  125. kapelmeister says:

    Wednesday is Pancake Day.

    Sturgeon will have a lot of sweat to conceal.

  126. Jack Murphy says:

    Thankyou MaggieC for giving us at 9:14am the pdf printed copy of yesterday’s meeting of the Harassment and Complaints Committee.
    Sometimes it’s easier reading rather than viewing proceedings!

    The pdf concludes at pages 57-60:

    “…The Convener: Thank you. Do you wish to
    make any final comments, Mr Salmond?
    Alex Salmond:…….”

    It’s all there in black and white for all to read! Thanks a lot MaggieC

  127. Sharny Dubs says:

    I remember back un the day a newspaper reported a man found guilty of murder when in fact he was found guilty of man slaughter.

    It cost them £60K in damages.

    Why do we not see the same standards upheld today.

  128. James Barr Gardner says:

    When Scotland becomes Independent who would you rather have negotiating the dismantling of the Treaty of Union and the assets ?

    Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney or Alex Salmond and Joanna Cherry.

    Now think on this who would Westminster rather have ?

    Also remember that when the treaty is dissolved there is no going back to the table and saying Scotland wants more because it was cheated !

  129. Alf Baird says:

    Republicofscotland @ 1:18 pm

    “that nothing at all comes of the hearing no resignations from anyone in the Scottish government, nor any changes at the Crown Office, what would that say not only to Scots, but to other nations around the globe watching with interests what the outcome will be.”

    This is what happened with the Holyrood RECC investigation into the £300m and still no ferries “catastrophic failure” with all the public sector bods responsible simply carrying on as before and now looking to order more questionable ferries as a pre-election ‘gift’ for Ministers to wave at the electorate. Meanwhile the global ferry industry looks on, knowing what the outcome will be.

  130. ScottieDog says:

    “ When Scotland becomes Independent who would you rather have negotiating the dismantling of the Treaty of Union and the assets ?”

    Nicola seems to have handed that over to Andrew Wilson. Quite terrifying.

  131. Mungo Armstrong says:

    Hi Rev, sorry if this is a little off topic but I’ve just read in today’s The Scotsman’s editorial which includes the paragraph

    “ Given what we know about Salmond’s admitted behaviour, his reputation will be forever tarnished and so he should not be regarded the most upstanding of citizens.”

    Can you or anyone direct me to where I can find what his so called “admitted behaviour” was? I can’t seem to find it anywhere. I do think I remember an article which you wrote on this subject but I can’t find it. Thanks

  132. AdamH says:

    Anas Sarwar is the new SLAB boss.

    BBC says 5 times in 2 articles that he is the first ethnic minority leader of a major UK political party.

    No, he isn’t. Keir Starmer is the Labour party leader.
    Anas Sarwar is just the latest caretaker of the Northern broom cupboard.

  133. J Galt says:

    Alf Baird@1.54pm

    And they are absolutely determined to carry on with that particular fiasco, throwing good money after bad.

    When you see their undeniable incompetence because it involves a sector you know about, it makes you wonder about all the other things they have responsibility for.

  134. Menstruator says:

    Mungo – not sure if it is Ok to link to other blogs but Grousebeater covers the defence in some detail here

    The lie that Salmond admitted the behaviour but it fell short of criminality seems to be gaining acceptance.

    By my reading he denies outright about half of the allegations. He acknowledges hair-pinging, touching a woman’s face to wake her, and the Ae Fond Kiss incident, but says they were not sexual in motivation.

  135. Sarissa says:

    Mia, your comments re the Carl Sargent case are interesting.

    Could the adverse reaction and calls for an independent judicial inquiry into the actions of Carwyn Jones, Welsh First Minister and his officials been a factor in the removal of Sturgeon from the role of Deciding Officer? It certainly happened about that time or shortly after.

  136. Mungo Armstrong says:

    Thanks Menstruator, appreciated.

  137. robbo says:

    ack Murphy says:
    27 February, 2021 at 1:50 pm
    Thankyou MaggieC for giving us at 9:14am the pdf printed copy of yesterday’s meeting of the Harassment and Complaints Committee.
    Sometimes it’s easier reading rather than viewing proceedings!

    The pdf concludes at pages 57-60:

    “…The Convener: Thank you. Do you wish to
    make any final comments, Mr Salmond?
    Alex Salmond:…….”

    It’s all there in black and white for all to read! Thanks a lot MaggieC

    Best we all download before certain redactions start appearing eh?/

  138. dropthevipers says:

    A few questions. Are the committee obliged to look at the evidence Salmond volunteered? Can anything prevent this? Can this evidence (if confirming Salmond’s position) be used to put Sturgeon on the spot?

  139. Alf Baird says:

    J Galt @ 2:15 pm

    “it makes you wonder about all the other things they have responsibility for.”

    Sure does, and looks like numerous policy areas in Scotland have been messed up thanks to Whitehall’s finest who aye ‘run’ what folks may call the ‘Scottish Government’ but which is really still just a UK Gov spending department administered by the UK civil service ostensibly ‘overseen’ by a daeless SNP ‘cabinet’ and MSP’s.

    On ferries, a Scots expat world leading designer is currently replacing 30+ ferries in Philippines in rather seamless fashion. And Norway has replaced over 150 ferries in last 20 years with 50 more on order. ScotGov ferries ‘policy’ is a total failure by comparison or as Holyrood’s RECC concluded a “catastrophic failure”.

    Anyone looking in from the outside might reasonably conclude such ScotGov/institutional failure to be intentional, not an accident. Scotland is being made to look like a basket case, reflected now in Andrew Neil and others jumping up and down calling now for a Boris takeover of its own creation failed by the ‘inept Jocks’ (or rather UK civil servants).

  140. Stuart MacKay says:

    I’ve not read all the comments or re-watched the session but perhaps someone can answer the following:

    1. In response to a question Alex responded “We can deal with it now or leave it for the judicial review”. This was around 2pm and it seemed to indicate that this is not going to end with this committee. Did I hear correctly?

    2. Also there was a reference to legislation coming up which will be debated next week, by Allan I think, that is going to be the basis of a new harassment policy which WILL be backdated to the start of Holyrood. Again, did I hear correctly?

    Also just want to say what an outstanding performance that was. Sadly Chris’ cartoon is an image I think we’ll have to live with for a while. There is one way out of it which is to go aggressively on the offensive – don’t give the mud-slingers a chance and throw as much mud in their direction at the same time. A new party which sucked all the talent out of the SNP would be my choice.

    Raise the standard and go to battle.

  141. Lynne says:

    David of Caledonia says:
    27 February, 2021 at 10:33 am
    Alex Salmond would never have gone to prison for anything, there is not a court in the land that can convict you for revealing the truth,[…]

    Tell that to Clive Thomson.

  142. Tenruh says:

    How does the inquiry conclude, do thy just submit a summary or is it a decision by a vote , or something else?

    I know Andy Wightman has taken a fair amount of criticism on here but I have a wee feeling if it does go to a vote he may surprise us.

  143. Meg merrilees says:

    Stuart MacKay

    I believe that the ‘hearing yesterday focussed on specific issues, one section at a time e.g. the Fairness at work Policy, the Peter Murrell text messages etc… so when Alex said ‘ We can deal with it now or leave it for the judicial review’ I think he was implying that he could answer it right then or leave it until they were dealing with the section about the Judicial Review.

    also, Allan did say that they are working on a new policy which will include all MSP’s backdating to 1999, not just Ministers. ( if I remember correctly)

  144. Menstruator says:

    Apologies if this has already been covered – I was watching on the BBC Parliament channel and at one point a brief snatch of music blotted out part of a question. Was this a glitch, or some sort of aural redaction?

  145. Stuart MacKay says:

    Meg merrilees – thanks.

    From your second answer it seems that the party and government will soon be purged of undesirables, i.e. everybody except the mediocre, the incompetents and the sycophants.

  146. Alf Baird says:

    Lynne @ 3:58 pm

    Aye, not much it seems in the way of mercy shown to Clive Thomson, as with Manny Singh. Is he really a danger to society that he has to be locked up for 6 months? Was there no alternative to prison considered? A carer, and looks like he may now lose his job, and more.

    Seems to reflect ‘a culture’ in which Scotland has the highest prison population per head in Western Europe. Does nobody question these things?

  147. holymacmoses says:

    Perfect. Hope you’re well. You’ll be missing your holidays:-)

  148. Republicofscotland says:

    Oneliner @1.29pm.

    Maybe its Hendry posting a new piccy of him and his beloved Sturgeon, on the same day as Alex Committee session, it speak volumes to me.

  149. Republicofscotland says:

    Alf @1.54pm.

    Indeed Alf, there appears to be no accountability on a number of things under Sturgeon’s watch.

  150. David R says:

    Surprised you didn’t go with “Wheel in the guilty b@st@rd!!” Chris

  151. maxxmacc says:

    Alex was clearly the victim of a political hit. The fact that the leadership of the Scottish Govt were happy to participate in the supposed ‘stitch-up’ speaks volumes about who runs this country these days.

    However, upon reflection, it was obvious that Alex would have to pay a price for supporting the Russians via his tv show on RT. Anyone who thinks the Cold War is over is sadly misinformed. No one with such a prominent profile as Alex should have considered working for a Russian channel, and to then expect no consequences.

    People may say that he was targeted because he wanted to return to front-line politics, but this case goes deeper than that, and his involvement with the Russians was a faux-pas which has cost him so much.

  152. LM says:

    Does Salmond still have a chauffeur? Heard he doesn’t drive. Wonder if SNP still funds a chauffeur for him.

  153. Clavie Cheil says:

    maxxmacc says:
    27 February, 2021 at 7:58 pm

    Alex was clearly the victim of a political hit. The fact that the leadership of the Scottish Govt were happy to participate in the supposed ‘stitch-up’ speaks volumes about who runs this country these days.

    However, upon reflection, it was obvious that Alex would have to pay a price for supporting the Russians via his tv show on RT. Anyone who thinks the Cold War is over is sadly misinformed. No one with such a prominent profile as Alex should have considered working for a Russian channel, and to then expect no consequences.

    People may say that he was targeted because he wanted to return to front-line politics, but this case goes deeper than that, and his involvement with the Russians was a faux-pas which has cost him so much.

    It has nothing to do with him working for RT you numpty. It wouldn’t matter who he worked for as the Brit State and its flunkies were always going to go for him. Besides Boris Johnson and the Brit Tories are in Putin’s back pocket yah neep.

  154. Brian Doonthetoon says:

    Hi maxxmacc.

    According to Tommy Sheridan, RT bought AS’s chat show, which is produced by his own production company – because none of the UK TV companies wanted it.

    “This is the essential political context to what happened to Alex Salmond. After negotiating a deal to produce and present a TV talk show which Russia Today purchased Sturgeon feared Salmond would use the new public platform to launch a return to Scottish politics. That was not Salmond’s intention.
    However, Sturgeon publicly rebuked Salmond for his decision to appear on RT and within the cabal at the centre of government wheels were set in motion to ensure Salmond’s reputation was sullied and his return to public life was blocked.”–conspirators-fear-the-truth/

  155. Clavie Cheil says:

    ” LM says:
    27 February, 2021 at 9:42 pm

    Does Salmond still have a chauffeur? Heard he doesn’t drive. Wonder if SNP still funds a chauffeur for him.”

    If you were him would you drive on your own. I have been to Willie McRaes monument.

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