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The whole truth

Posted on January 13, 2021 by

On pain of a grisly death, we’re not allowed to tell our splendid cartoonist Chris Cairns what to draw cartoons about. Artists are funny that way. And it’s a shame, because if we were we’d have a great idea for this weekend’s toon.

Because what’s being demanded of Alex Salmond right now is extraordinary.

Two separate inquiries are currently being conducted into the actions of the Scottish Government. Depending on the outcomes of those inquiries, the government could fall and its ministers and officers could face prosecution. It is the gravest of matters.

Mr Salmond has been ordered to give evidence to the inquiries, under a sworn oath to Almighty God that he will tell “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth”.

And yet at the same time, a minister of that same Scottish Government, answerable to Nicola Sturgeon – for that’s what the Lord Advocate, who is also head of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, is – is crouching in plain sight behind Salmond in the committee room, with a gun pressed into his spine, whispering menacingly in his ear “If you tell the whole truth I’m putting you in jail”.

This site suggests a compromise to break the impasse – hand Mr Salmond a bible and a piece of card with the following on it:

“I swear by Almighty God to tell the truth, but only those bits of the truth that aren’t inconvenient, embarrassing or incriminating to the Scottish Government.”

Because otherwise, the Scottish Government is very rapidly running out of excuses and distractions. Leslie Evans’ union leader Dave Penman was wheeled out yesterday to issue a “defence” of her that carefully avoided any specifics and sounded like it was being read out in a hostage video:

Today’s Daily Record, meanwhile, contains yet another anonymous statement from Mr Salmond’s accusers presented by Scottish Government mouthpiece quango Rape Crisis Scotland. Although on this occasion, we at least agree with the headline:

It’s a quite remarkable piece of hypocrisy from the Record. The only reason the case ever became public in the first place was because someone (almost certainly from within the Scottish Government) leaked it to the Record in order to enable a months-long smear campaign against Salmond ahead of the trial.

(The Scottish public, we should recall, overwhelmingly believes that people accused of rape, as well as the alleged victims, should have their identities protected until the trial is over and only revealed if they’re found guilty, so that innocent people don’t have to endure having their reputations destroyed over false allegations.)

But anonymity doesn’t sell papers or generate clicks.

The article itself – which is about a letter Brindley sent to the inquiry committee back in November but only appearing in the Record now, as a convenient distraction just as a bunch of revelations from Salmond rock the case – is a deeply strange one.

Having watched almost all of the inquiry hearings, we cannot for the life of us think of any such “aspersions”. The committee members have always acted with the utmost sensitivity when talking about the accusers – some might even think excessively so, since all their accusations were found to be false – and we can’t even think of any occasions when the committee members have actually been critical of the witnesses appearing in front of them, because everything is framed very politely as questions.

Sandy Brindley of Rape Crisis Scotland is never one to let a total lack of substance get in the way of a deranged ideological rant, though.

And the basic premise of the whole thing is weird. You might think the accusers, of all people, would want the inquiry to get to the bottom of why their complaints were so catastrophically badly handled by the Scottish Government, and why complaints which they’d insisted they didn’t want taken to the police were taken to the police anyway by Leslie Evans without their permission.

Yet according to Sandy Brindley they’re furious NOT at Leslie Evans – who rode roughshod over their wishes and exposed them to a trial at which their claims were rejected by the jury, leading to a widespread public view that they were malicious liars – but at the inquiry investigating Leslie Evans’ conduct. How very peculiar. Wouldn’t a reasonable person expect Rape Crisis Scotland to be angry that the feelings of supposed sexual assault victims were ignored?

The sole example offered by Brindley to justify the article is comically feeble:

Because Fraser’s tweet, and the Herald article it linked to, clearly cast aspersion on the actions of Nicola Sturgeon, Leslie Evans and the Scottish Government, not the accusers. Neither contain even the slightest implication of criticism of the accusers.

Something the Scottish Tories made very plain:

But the net is closing so tightly around the Scottish Government and the First Minister now that they have to flail around blindly with even the flimsiest of weapons in an attempt to distract attention from their own misdeeds.

Brindley saved the best for last, though.

Because the only people who have made things more difficult for abused women to get a fair hearing for their complaints in future are Nicola Sturgeon, Leslie Evans, Judith Mackinnon, the Lord Advocate and Sandy Brindley.

In forcing a ludicrously weak case to court in the most public way possible, and then screaming that the verdict of the mostly-female jury was somehow crooked, they’ve drawn disproportionate attention to the extremely rare phenomenon of false rape claims AND implied that women who do get assaulted won’t get justice – even if they get to court with the support of an absolutely massive police evidence-fishing operation far more extensive than any normal victim can expect.

They, not the inquiry into their actions, have brought the integrity and honesty of both accusers and the investigative process into question. And they, not the committee or Alex Salmond, are the ones now massively bolstering the impression of conspiracy by trying to suppress all the evidence and threatening an innocent man with prison if he tells the truth about it.

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    1. 13 01 21 13:57

      The whole truth | speymouth

    156 to “The whole truth”

    1. There's a Stormski Coming says:

      If only YES Minister was still in production!

    2. Sarah says:

      I can’t wait for all this to come to an end – which will only happen when the current “leadership” and their devious friends in “high” places are cleared out.

      At the moment there is little sign of that being about to happen, sadly, as all involved have rhinoceros hides [no disrespect to rhinoceri] and the MSPs/MPs are complicit. I can’t think why the 15 retiring MSPs aren’t trying to put things right.

    3. kapelmeister says:

      Where Evans is concerned us real nationalists are trying to undermine a public servant to further political ends.

      Undermining a crooked public servant to further salutary political ends.

    4. David Ferguson says:

      Stu with reference to the previous article I am planning to lodge an FOI request:
      With regard to the redaction of Alex Salmond’s statement to the Enquiry:
      1. On whose authority did the parliamentary clerks make the redactions to the document?
      2. What is the legal basis for such redactions?
      3. What were the criteria for redaction?
      4. Who defined the criteria and when?
      5. Where can they be viewed by the public?

      If you would rather do this yourself and keep it synched with your other FOI requests let me know. Otherwise I will go ahead and keep your readers posted.

      If anyone can think of other relevant questions let me know.

    5. Alex Stone says:

      So what’s the answer to this? Alex simply gives up and is left forever with a ScotGov cabal edicted stain on his name?

      The circled you speak of Stu is closing in on itself and all parties will have each others backs, because if they don’t, all of them are fucked.
      They are going to get away with this, unless something truly profound happens, os someone breaks ranks. (Unlikely.)

      And we’re expected to trust these corrupt and amoral reptiles with the future of Scotland.

    6. wulls says:

      It’s an utter shambles…….
      However a few good points have come out of it.
      Leslie Evans has stated to the inquiry it was she who reported it and the FM had no knowledge of it.
      That may be her “thank you” to NS for extending her contract, we will never know.
      What is blindingly obvious is there was, and still is, ongoing contempt of court. That alone should guarantee the removal of Leslie evans as permanent Secretary or at least her suspension until the matter is investigated and settled. As a minimum she is looking at a breach of the Civil service code.
      Either should guarantee her demise but I won’t hold my breath……..

    7. Captain Yossarian says:

      In crooked wee countries the world over, they call-in the Metropolitan Police to carry-out such inquiries.

      We muddle-along with James Wolffe and his cohort of crooked lawyers, civil-servants and police.

      James Hamilton should withdraw from this farce, along with Alex Salmond. Both have too much to lose and practically nothing to gain.

    8. orri says:

      This is easily addressed by in-camera sessions or other means to ensure indicted material stays out of the public domain. Every MSP on that committee are in a position where, unlikely as it may seem, they could be in government and have access to the very information the current one is trying desperately to keep out of their hands. If they can’t be trusted now they can’t be trusted then.

    9. Effijy says:

      Double speak is here!

      We are to believe we don’t understand the meanings of words,
      the truth or morality.

      How in Gods name are these people still in position?

      It’s corrupt, it’s evil, it’s incompetent, it’s incomprehensible.

      They should be suspended from their roles today pending criminal proceedings.

    10. Lulu Bells says:

      Did anyone else notice yesterday that the only time Leslie Evans looked away from the screen was when she was making notes, except for one other time when the Lord Advocate was mentioned when she quite clearly looked across the room to someone?

    11. PhilM says:

      You can tell the #metoo movement has matured politically when you get the creeping sense that for some it’s not about the ‘too’ but more about the ‘me’.

    12. Scots Wumman says:

      Evans told the enquiry yesterday that there had been NO other complaints under this procedure. I am not surprised. I for one would never go to HR with a confidential complaint knowing that they would take the matter straight to the police, against my wishes.
      Incidentally the ACAS procedure which Evans referenced to justify going to the police states that in serious cases “you might need to report to police”, NOT “you must report”.
      It also recommends many other steps, including informal discussions, dispute resolution, grievance procedure, mediation. Further it emphasises that any procedure must always be fair and transparent to all parties (including the person being complained about). The whole catastrophe was unfair to all parties. Bad work, Scottish Government, very bad.

    13. Alibi says:

      If I’m understanding things correctly, it looks as if the main driver of the Salmond stitch-up is Lesley Evans. She is actually a WM civil servant working in Scotland, and it’s pretty obvious why she might be doing underhand things – wouldn’t trust her an inch. Quite why Nicola Sturgeon would contemplate involvement in such a plot is beyond me. Did she honestly think Salmond was likely to attempt a comeback? I doubt he could now anyway, so if she was actively involved, what on earth was she thinking about? The real question is who was really behind the Salmond stitch up. I smell fish.

      The business of exactly when the FM knew about things (a matter of a few days) seems to me to be a fairly trivial matter even if it may technically be a resigning offence if she lied to parliament – if she made a genuine error an apology and retraction would be in order, but for such a trivial matter, it’s hardly in the same league as a lot of the lies that are heard from the Tory government every other day without anyone resigning. I find it har to believe the fM would deliberately lie over something as trivial, knowing the consequences if she were to be found out. What on earth would her motive be for doing such a thing?

    14. Frazerio says:

      Truly excellent summation.

    15. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Lulu Bells at 12:21 pm.

      You typed,
      “Did anyone else notice yesterday that the only time Leslie Evans looked away from the screen was when she was making notes, except for one other time when the Lord Advocate was mentioned when she quite clearly looked across the room to someone?”

      Yes, noticed that. Said to myself, “The Lord Advocate is in the room…”

    16. McHaggis69 says:

      Interesting that ‘Rape Crisis’ make this press release when [checks notes]… no-one was raped…

    17. Desimond says:

      So strange when you see the Daily Record doing all the Scottish Governments work…YET…no other Paper or TV Channel seem remotely interested in pursuing or giving coverage to the counter arguments, such as Stu has so finely outlined above.

      Wheres Channel 4 News Ciaran for instance?
      Why isnt someone like The Herald or The Scotsman going after this choice tale?

      With the 4 signatures knowing Swinney was going to say No to an extended remit and Media ignoring the many sharks within blood stained waters, its clear its a case of “lesser of 2 evils” being deemed the selected choice by The Establishment and we are all being played a straightforward facade of Justice being pursued.

      The outcome will be a telling off for Nicola for getting understandably distracted and a request for Diaries to be kept up to date. Case closed and refill the Trough of mutual benefit for all bar The Scottish Public and more importantly anyone sadly involved in this case.

    18. Frazerio says:

      Message to all ‘real’ journos, if this was on the front pages of your papers, as it should be, as its about corruption and malfeasance at the very top and heads are about to roll, I’d be buying your paper. If ever there was a more stark single example of the decline of the dead tree press, its this article.

    19. Andrew F says:

      Hi, me again.

      I’m an Australian lawyer, but our systems are so similar I’d be surprised if there was a substantial difference in the position at law. I haven’t looked into the details of your system, but it would seem to me that the usual stand would be that a person giving evidence on oath to a parliamentary committee has “parliamentary privilege” against prosecution for what they say.

      Extract from the Australian government website on this point:

      “Giving evidence to a parliamentary committee is privileged under the Parliamentary Privileges Act 1987. This means that no legal action can be taken against witnesses in relation to the evidence given during a hearing. This immunity does not apply if, after the hearing, the person repeats statements made in evidence. Anyone who attempts to intimidate or threaten a witness may be liable to prosecution. Further, as discussed above, any false testimony or related attempt to mislead the committee may potentially constitute a contempt of Parliament.. ”

      I’d guess the same should apply there.

      PS – As many others have said, brilliant work by Rev lately and also for a long long time before. Massive kudos.

    20. Mike Fenwick says:

      @David Ferguson 12.04

      Why were any redactions wholly misleadingly attributed to the Parliament as a whole?

      “Note from the Clerk – redactions have been made by the Parliament.”

    21. Frank Waring says:

      If Scotland became independent tomorrow morning, would you be happy to live under this government and judicial system?

      If not, how do you realistically believe it would be reformed?

    22. Flower of Scotland says:

      Goodness you’re working overtime on this Stu, but thanks for doing it!

      The ardent Nicola fans don’t want to know and now that Fraser and Cole Hamilton are complaining about redaction and non appearance of papers, they say it’s a Unionist plot and quite happily continue their adoration of the “Dear Leader”

      After joining the SNP in the sixties and being an activist all these years, I’m furious and heartbroken at the state the SNP have got themselves into.

      I’ve put up with tame leaders like the very boring Gordon Wilson and John Swinney but doggedly supported them. Then Alex Salmond came along! Fired everyone up and gave Scotland it’s confidence. That this leader has seemingly done everything to throw Salmond into prison to keep him out of politics is something I believe has happened. I’ve known about it since 2018, but to some in the SNP this has come as a real shock….And there’s more to come, lots more.

      We might have to give the majority of SNP members a bit of time to take this in, but we don’t have a lot of time. I can’t express how I feel about this hierarchy in the SNP. It’s so dreadful!

    23. Republicofscotland says:

      Mr Salmond should in my opinion tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and to hell with the Lord Advocate’s vile threats, its the only way we’re going to get to the bottom of this, of this bucket of sewage.

      Of course if Salmond tells the truth, wouldn’t that also reveal the corrupt Lord Advocate as well, exposing what he really is a charlatan.

      As for the Daily Rectum, it sealed its fate in Scotland when it backed the Vow.

      The inquiry needs to get its skates on before purdah kicks, and Sturgeon squirms off the hook.

    24. Captain Yossarian says:

      James Hamilton and Alex Salmond should withdraw from this farce now.

      I doubt if such a legal and political farce would be allowed to exist in any other country in the world.

      Perthshire hood John Swinney is on Twitter bemoaning the price of fish. He obviously doesn’t feel at-all threatened by what’s going-on.

    25. Cath says:

      Yet according to Sandy Brindley they’re furious NOT at Leslie Evans – who rode roughshod over their wishes and exposed them to a trial at which their claims were rejected by the jury, leading to a widespread public view that they were malicious liars – but at the inquiry investigating Leslie Evans’ conduct. How very peculiar.

      Is seems that there are two main players driving this, going to the media and linked in with RCS. Might be quite interesting to hear from the others. Will they ever be given a chance to put their side anonymously to the committee?

    26. robertknight says:

      A classic case of ‘heads I win, tails you loose’ for AS.

      This isn’t the country I’ve spent nearly four decades campaigning for.

      This is just, frankly, shit! No other word to describe it.

    27. Breeks says:

      Doesn’t this Kafkaesque absurdity make the Scottish Legal system a laughing stock, and for that reason alone, the presiding Lord Advocate, himself being implicated directly no less, should be clearing out his desk after bringing the whole Legal process of Scotland into disrepute?

      What place have we to condemn the Spanish Courts for their vexatious imprisonment of Catalonian politicians, when right here in Scotland, an illustrious statesman and former First Minister of Scotland is gagged, denied the means to defend himself, and presented with the double jeopardy of going to jail if he talks, or going to jail if he stays silent?

      I can’t quite believe I’m saying it, but is this the point in proceedings where we take to hiding Alex Salmond, smuggling him out the country to a land which has no extradition treaty with the UK, and support him in exile while we negotiate our liberation from the colonial oppression of our Occupiers?

      Are you proud of yourself Mr Right Honourable James Wolffe QC?

    28. Johnny Martin says:

      Alibi:

      Whataboutery.

      We are supposed to be trying to be better than the Westminster cesspit not going around deciding that some breaches can be ignored because ‘they aren’t as bad as what that lot down south get up to!’.

      I quite accept that the Westminster tendency whereby no-one ever resigns for anything is bad news but that’s only a reason not to let it take hold here.

      So you think ‘this isn’t that bad, really’ and then the only question is ‘where do you draw the line? what else am I willing to ignore?’ once a bad precedent has been set.

      I’ll reiterate, we want to be leagues better than Westminster not ‘slightly better’; ‘earlier days of a better nation’ etc etc.

      Another point you make is rather contradictory. While I don’t know what has been lied about or not, and wouldn’t claim to as I wasn’t there, how can something be ‘trivial’ and have (serious, as you imply) consequences at the same time?

    29. Lulu Bells says:

      Brian Doonthetoon @12:36

      That’s exactly what I thought!

    30. Jason Smoothpiece says:

      I find it difficult to believe what I am reading.

      The smell of sulphur is strong over Edinburgh.

      If those involved in this outrage do not face arrest I would be very concerned.

      It is clearly time for action by the Police, failure to act will appear to confirm their involvement in the scandal.

    31. Graeme Hampton says:

      Again a first class article Stu. The year is young but if they are handing out journalism awards this year you should surely be in the running. Hit after hit this week.

      On another tack it is slightly disappointing that Alex wants to delay his appearance at the inquiry but understandable given his health status. I hope when it does come it will have the impact it deserves.

    32. Famous15 says:

      I have just listened to Boris Johnson at PM questions insult Scotland, its peoples and its fishery workers.

      He ranted about Scots spending money on Indyref2 in the middle of a pandemic.

      Much as I wish the subject of this article resolved I wish more than anything on this earth that Scotland becomes independent so that my blood pressure is reduced and my dignity restored.

      I am an unprincipled bastard but I recognise the harm to our mental health of remaining in bondage in a bonkers union. Any pro indy articles would be welcome.

    33. Johnny Martin says:

      Famous15 @ 1:03:pm:

      As do we all, but our political representatives seem to want to give the man offering up all these insults a veto over ‘remaining in bondage in a broken union’. You might say they are unwilling to break those bonds.

      Until they ‘go round’ Boris via some means, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    34. Liz says:

      That RCC article in the DR, is abhorrent.
      Those lying bi*ches can’t keep their mouths shut.

      They are terrified of being outed because they hounded two innocent men, if they were named, it woukd make everything a lot clearer.
      Typical L Fabiani, running to the defence of these poor liars.
      I despair.
      They are evil

    35. Ian Mac says:

      I fully expect when it comes down to it, Evans will resign (with a huge payoff and an NDA), Nicola will imply it was nothing to do with her and the resignation closes the matter. She’ll be the conveninet fall girl. They are relying on the public not being interested in the minutiae of these proceedings, along with the strange disinterest of the MSM. And when there is doubt, they can get the muckspreader out and aim it at Salmond, as they have always done. It is sorry sight, and a terrible harbinger of what an independent state would be like under these charlatans. The whole lot of them need to be swept away, so we can have some serious and honorable people we can trust at the top.

    36. Margaret Lindsay says:

      Will this be the brave new independent Scotland? Shudder at the thought! It’s more like “The Godfather” every hour that passes. This will be a complete whitewash, where the guilty get off scot free and the innocent tarnished for ever more. Surely Scotland is better than this, it’s like the 17th century witch trials ( men were executed too). Float and you’re in league with the devil, drown and who cares?
      Brilliant but utterly depressing work Rev.

    37. kapelmeister says:

      Shady Brindley ought to devote her time to more worthwhile things, such as helping rape victims.

    38. Captain Yossarian says:

      Leslie Evans is not someone with a planet sized brain and intellect. She was relatively mid-ranking, but always a big-mouth, when Nicola Sturgeon promoted her all these years ago.

      I think Leslie Evans, together with Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, both need to be clearing their desks right now. Scots folk will not put-up with this shit any longer.

      Believe me, a proper police-led investigation such as the Grenfell Inquiry, would finger these two miscreants in short order.

      Why can we not do a proper inquiry in Scotland any longer?

    39. Bob Mack says:

      Independence in a country whose government and legal services do such acts is no independence at all.

      We must get to the bottom of this before we win independence
      Why? Simply because we could have a new hate crime bill coming our way very soon which would have the potential to silence this blog and others as well as that of the contributors.

      This corruption must be outed and eradicated.

    40. Black Joan says:

      Lulu Bells @12.21pm and Brian Doonthetoon @12.36pm

      Yes. I noticed that too and also thought “Is he (or some other minder) actually in the room with her?”

      It was conspicuously the ony time she looked in that direction when I was watching.

      Andrew F @12.44pm. If only. Here’s hoping.

    41. Albert Herring says:

      @Andrew F

      In Scotland privilege only applies to defamation. https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/24414.aspx

    42. Astonished says:

      Alibi please stop trying to make excuses for the FM. She is in this up to her neck.

      Sadly so is john Swinney, a man I used to admire.

      When Alex Salmond was found not guilty on all charges, he should have been welcomed back into the party and congratulated. However this would have given SNP members a formidable person to rally round to remove humza useless and his hate crime, stop the genderwoowoo nutters and promote ways of obtaining independence.

      Lord woolff should be called to the enquiry to explain himself. Then he should resign. And police scotland should investigate the matter.

      Evans should be in jail. Justice delayed is justice denied.

    43. kapelmeister says:

      A hundred years from now the term most used in Scotland when referring to an almighty cataclysmic debacle will be a Sturgeon.

    44. Astonished says:

      Frazerio says:
      13 January, 2021 at 12:38 pm
      Message to all ‘real’ journos, if this was on the front pages of your papers, as it should be, as its about corruption and malfeasance at the very top and heads are about to roll, I’d be buying your paper. If ever there was a more stark single example of the decline of the dead tree press, its this article.

      Well said Sir.

    45. Captain Yossarian says:

      The very same Scottish civil-service and legal profession (a private for profit law firm, but a ‘partner of the SG) are presently keeping an unsafe Scottish school open. Did you know that?

      According to them, there is nothing wrong. According to the professionals (very many of them, I understand) there is something very wrong.

      How does no-one know about this…..funny that.

    46. Gregor says:

      It would seem that rotten Scot Gov is hell-bent on engineering a socio-economic collapse (in record time)…

    47. Mia says:

      The whole thing is beginning to look like a disproportionate farce. This is completely unacceptable for Mr Salmond who is being put through even more unnecessary stress and grief, for the Committee that seemingly has been set to fail by the government from day one and for the public at large, who appear to be treated as by this governments as fools who should not be concerned about this or being happy with the scraps of information they are drip feeding us with.

      The position Mr Salmond is being put in is inmoral and disgusting and frankly I am utterly shocked that Parliament is allowing this farce to continue and that it is allowing elements of the government to use Mr Salmond continuously as a punch bag and the electorate as idiots. I wonder until want point the situation he has been put in by the government is breaching his human rights.

      There needs to be a balance here. We cannot have a situation where the accusers are given all the privileges and Mr Salmond is denied even of the basic ones. This is not justice, this is appalling abuse of power.

      I can see from an article published yesterday in the national (“Alex Salmond could appear in front of MSPs next week to discuss harassment probe” by Andrew Learmonth), that Evans refused to answer the fundamental question put to her by Jackie Baillie regarding legal advice. I quote from the article:

      “Asked three times by Scottish Labour’s Jackie Baillie when senior external counsel first advised that the government was unlikely to win the case, Evans refused to say, citing legal privilege”

      That Evans and the government in general are allowed to get away with withholding evidence like this makes me lose trust in the inquiry and feel the committee has been set up to fail from the beginning and being used as a vehicle to let the whole thing run through until May. That is an insult to committee and to the electorate.

      This information Ms Bailie was asking for is crucial to establish the lawfulness and the motives of the complaints procedure and therefore fundamental for both Mr Hamilton and the Committee to do their job. They MUST be given access to it. If it is via the courts, so be it. And this is just an example of the information that is not forthcoming.

      If the government were aware that they might lose the judicial review because of lack of confidence in the process being lawful, at any time before August 2018, then they should have never proceeded with the case and my understanding is that doing so might amount to a breach of the ministerial code. That needs to be established, and it does not matter if it is “legal privilege”. Without that information, the whole inquiry becomes a farce.

      From the submission of Ms Sturgeon to the committee, it seems like she was fully aware of the prospect of a judicial review well before August 2018 and in fact she let the Permanent Secretary know:

      “Mr Salmond sent me a further message on 3 June 2018.
      Both the tone and content of this message led me to conclude that legal action by Mr Salmond against the Scottish Government was a serious prospect.
      I decided that I should make the Permanent Secretary aware of this, and I wrote to her on 6th June 2018”

      So there is no excuse for not seeking legal advice then. At this point, if she did not do it before, Ms Evans should have stopped the process and requested immediate legal advice. It is my understanding on reading the section of “legal advice” within the ministerial code that Ms Sturgeon should have ensured this legal advice was sought and acted accordingly and the procedure was thereafter compliant with the law. In my personal view, not doing this is a dereliction of duty and could be a breach of the ministerial code.

      So did Evans requested legal advice at this point, yes or no?
      Did she requested advice before then?
      What did the advice say?
      Were the actions of the permanent secretary and the others involved in the process compliant with the advice thereafter?
      If not, why not?

      This information is fundamental for the committee and Mr Hamilton to complete the task they were given and denying it is at all effects stopping them doing their work. So what is the point of the inquiry?

      In one of the submissions sent by Mr Salmond it reads:

      ” On 3rd June 2018 I sent her (the FM) a message on the implications for the Government in losing a Judicial Review and pointing to her obligation (under the Ministerial Code) to ensure that her administration was acting lawfully and (under the Scotland Act) to ensure that their actions were compliant with the European Convention. The First Minister and I met in Aberdeen on 7th June 2018 when I asked her to look at the draft Judicial Review Petition. She did briefly but made it clear she was now disinclined to make any intervention”

      In line with the Ministerial code, my understanding is that the FM had to make sure the process remained lawful, so “being disinclined to not make any intervention” simply does not wash.

      I am beginning to wonder if they might have suspected from early on that the process might have been unlawful but they never actually bothered asking for official legal advice until the Judicial Review was in full swing. I wonder if this might be the reason why this liar is constantly hiding behind the “legal privilege” excuse to close questioning in that area. This will help to avoid having to admit publicly that the advice was not sought when it should have been. She has other instances when she has been proven insincere to put it mildly.

      This part from the FM’s submission is interesting:

      “I reiterated to her that she must reach whatever decisions she considered appropriate and I did not seek to influence her in any way”

      She is clearly dumping all responsibility for seeking legal advice on Evans and that is fair enough, but in line with the code and if I am not mistaken, it is still the obligation of the FM to ensure that processes followed by government are lawful at all times. How can that be achieved by giving a civil servant full range to make any decisions she considered fit? The FM should have been supervising the process at all times.

      There is something worrying in the submission of the FM:

      “I have excluded from this letter any information that, as
      far as I am aware, might disclose the identity of any of the complainers in HMA v AEA Salmond”

      Here is my problem. I am not quite sure I have ever understood why, if the anonymity is working in the way it should, the names of the accusers in a criminal case have to be redacted from the documentation that pertains to a completely DIFFERENT case and that is independent from the police investigation that resulted in Mr Salmond being arrested and they gaining anonymity with regards to that criminal case.

      I am having the suspicion that the mere presence of the name of one of the alphabet sisters in any document/ meeting etc directly or indirectly related to this complaints procedure is being used as a convenient excuse to not disclose compromising information.

      I personally think this is taking the excuse of anonymity an step too far. The position of those working on behalf of the Lord Advocate in relation to the article above about the impossible position Mr Salmond has been put in, only helps to reinforce that feeling.

      If my understanding is correct, the idea behind anonymity is to stop any linking of those accusers with the criminal case so they can go on with their lives. Anonymity is a protection of their identities with regards to THAT case and that is fair enough.

      But this is a different case. This is about a complaints procedure that predated the criminal case and as far as we know, complainers A and B for the complaints procedure could be different people to the accusers in the criminal trial.

      If the anonymity of the accusers in the criminal trial is working as it should, none of us should have a clue if the accusers A and B in the complaints procedure were ever in the criminal case at all. Well, I certainly don’t.

      But that is besides the point, because if that anonymity is working as it should, we should not have a clue if any of the direct or indirect participants in any aspect of the production of the complaints procedure and that may be at fault here was ever one of the criminal case accusers (again, I certainly do not know). This means that no document related to the complaints procedure should give anybody any reason to suspect those involved in their production were also linked to the criminal case. Why should it?

      So why should any document that contains the name of one of the accusers from the criminal trial be stopped as evidence for what is a totally different case and if the public do not know and cannot know who the accusers are? What is this overkill about?

      I apologise for my stupidity, but I do not quite understand the logic behind this. In my view the only names that should have been redacted from those documents submitted to the committee investigating the harassment complaints procedure, and for obvious reasons, are those of complainants A and B who used the complaints procedure. Are we and the committee being sold a pup on this because the presence of the name of any of those accusers from the criminal case in any document/procedure etc is being used as a convenient excuse to stop evidence being released?

      How is that lawful?

      And duelling in my stupidity and thickness, may I ask, how is redacting the names of the accusers from documents related to a completely different case helping to respect their anonymity?

      If you did not know that a particular person was one of the accusers in the criminal case or had any reason to suspect they were, isn’t purposely redacting their name from a meeting/document or refusing to produce that document because their name is in it, in fact a way of aiding with the jigsaw identification from the point of view of all those who work with them and those who are familiar with the existence of such documents/meetings, and their content?

      I do not understand this.

      Anonymity as I understand it is so they can go on with their lives normally without further reference to the criminal case. But the anonymity in one court case cannot be understood as a mechanism to exonerate them for the rest of their lives of any potential misconduct or unlawful action they did previously or will do afterwards. I do not think that is the purpose of the legal anonymity, but hey, I am an ignoramus and may be wrong.

      What all this over-redacting is doing is seeding doubts in the mind of the public of the motives of all this and helping the idea that a reason for the criminal case might have been to secure a credible excuse to withhold evidence crucial for the parliamentary inquiry and derail the process, to gain traction.

      Standing from the disinterested perspective of somebody who is a mere passive observer, who has or had ever nothing to do with the process, who has not a clue who those accusers are nor has interest in finding out who they are, if the excuse we are constantly being given for the withholding of particular documents/meetings etc related to the complaints procedure is being based in that they will allow the identification of the accusers from the criminal case, isn’t that indirectly telling us loud and clear that the criminal case accusers might have been in fact involved directly or indirectly in the complaints procedure itself and therefore making that jigsaw identification easier?

      It would have never crossed my mind that any of the accusers in the criminal case had anything to do with the production of the complains procedure until we were told that the excuse given to withhold evidence or the redactions included in the documents released to the inquiry was that they would add to the identification of the accusers from the criminal case. If those documents had not been redacted, I would remain none the wiser thinking that the accusers from the criminal case were individuals who had nothing to do with the complaints procedure. How can you say that the government is respecting their anonymity then?

      From this, the following questions emerge:

      Who within the government is then authorised to know the identities of the accusers and is therefore tasked with doing the redacting? Is that the office of the lord Advocate himself?

      Is Ms Evans authorised to know the identities of any accuser beyond the two first complainants that used the complaints procedure and for which it is established she contacted the police? I am not questioning it, by the way, I am just asking because I have no idea if she should or not.

      I mean, all the other women emerged as the result of a police investigation in which Ms Evans had no intervention at all, was it not? It was well beyond the scope of the government’s complaints procedure, so in all honesty, my thick brain cannot quite see why she should know their identities.

      What about Mr Sweeney, is he authorised to know the identities of any accuser at all? If he is not, how can he ensure the right documents and the right sections have been redacted when released to the committee? How can he ensure the committee, parliament and the public that an over-redaction has not taken place?

      Who is actually releasing the documents to the committee? Are they sent electronically? Do the people who send these documents have access to the original, unredacted versions as well? Are they authorised to know the identity of the accusers?

      The more the government drags its heels on the evidence, the more they use the excuse of the criminal case accusers anonymity to withhold evidence and the more Mr Salmond is threatened with another court case, the more and more questions start to emerge in the minds of the public as to how legitimate the government’s position and reasons are.

    48. Dave Hansell says:

      It has clearly been established in public testimony and other evidence that the decision to launch the Court Case against the former SFM was made against the wishes of, at least, some of the complainants.

      The question now arises as to whether or not the current above detailed actions of the Lord Advocate, Rape Crisis Scotland and at least some part or parts of the media also has the support or not of the anonymous complainers?

      If not it is clear to a blind man on a galloping horse that they are once again being used in a political campaign to protect the backs of corrupt and criminal politicians, civil servants, and lawyers all the way up the respective hierarchies to the most senior position.

      Anyone who wishes to put forward any serious claim to want Independence for any Country cannot stick their head in the sand by failing to put this issue being swiftly and ruthlessly dealt with at the top of the Agenda as THE necessary first step to Independence. The whole point of Independence is to get away from such corruption and do things differently.

      Those who pretend to support Independence are doing the cause no good whatsoever by continuing to support a Regime which is acting against what they claim to be for.

    49. Effijy says:

      He, Boris, ranted about Scots spending money on Indyref2 in the middle of a pandemic.

      I see, so did he spend Billions on the Brexit Scotland doesn’t want during the pandemic?

      Did he spend billions filtering in Tory donors to get PPE contracts they know nothing about?

      Did he spend and money coordinating the redrawing of constituency boundaries to cheat the system
      in the Tories favour- During a pandemic!

      I would like to hear an SNP Leader make these points in parliament and on TV?
      What are the chances of them actually attacking our abusers?

    50. MaggieC says:

      Oh Oliver Mundell straight in with question about Committee inquiry .

    51. Hatuey says:

      They just announced Salmond wouldn’t be appearing at the inquiry. I didn’t expect him to appear. And he doesn’t need to… this website is the real inquiry.

      Are there contingency plans in place should they decide to close Wings down? I guess there are, Thunder Child seems to have everything else covered…

      We have just moved from DEFCON 3 to DEFCON 2.

      This is not a drill.

      Confidence is high.

    52. Sheepshagger says:

      If the dilemma facing A.S. prevents him giving a full truthful account the government might be able to run down the clock on the enquiry and the time it has available before the May elections to submit its findings.

    53. Lorna Campbell says:

      “… Because the only people who have made things more difficult for abused women to get a fair hearing for their complaints in future are Nicola Sturgeon, Leslie Evans, Judith Mackinnon, the Lord Advocate and Sandy Brindley… ”

      Yes, I’m afraid that is the truth of it. When it was pointed out by Mr Salmond that the procedure was flawed, that should immediately have led to the arbitration that was suggested by him and his representatives, with anything else being dropped immediately. There was absolutely no point in going further in his case, except to cause him maximum discomfort? They should have returned to the drawing board and drawn up another procedure that was watertight, for future use, but to carry on as they did just looks like spiteful and venomous pound of flesh. Then, to compound matters by making it retrospective, was the stupidest thing. All that did was cement the idea in people’s heads that it was a fishing expedition meant to catch a Salmon(d). A ridiculous mess that grew arms and legs and ran away from everyone. Every time anyone brings up the criminal case, in which Mr Salmond was acquitted, they only bring our legal system into disrepute by suggestion and innuendo, and the effect on Mr Salmond himself can only be guessed at. Nobody has won here. Nobody.

      If the whole project was intended to help the women (and I’m not at all sure it was, but let’s be magnanimous), it has actually done the exact opposite. They are routinely referred to as ‘the alphabet women’ and few believe them – and, by extension, any woman. On the same lines, the so-called intention to help “all women”, including those who are actually men, has resulted in natal women having to crowdfund to raise money to fight for the very existence of their sex definition in law, in a law court. The road to Perdition is paved with good intentions – or, perhaps, not so very good intentions in either case, and certainly very misguided ones.

      What is consistent is the manner in which the SNPG has approached almost every issue: my way or the highway. Independence is no exception, as indeed, was Brexit, a second referendum or any future referendum (wholly unnecessary, but oh-so-smelling-of-martyrdom). On the one hand, we have a torn-faced, Calvinist Presbyterian approach to almost every issue and, on the other, we have a Catholic predilection for suffering the torments of hellish martyrdom. How very Scottish. How very cul-de-sac. How very pointlessly, needlessly, endlessly nihilistic with a large dose of purgative totalitarianism thrown in for good measure. Holy Willie’s Prayer and a Papal Bull mixed together to bake a cake which is inedible. The moral is, SNPG: if you are on the path to nowhere, turn back to the crossroads and find the right one, even if it is distinctly bumpier and you lose a wee bit of face.

    54. gerry mcghee says:

      Bless you Stu. For you integrity, your rigour, your adherence to the actuality – ( an excellent armoury of qualities for defeating the dragon!. And don’t they know it…) oh and your indefatigability! oops sorry, your tirelessness!

    55. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @MaggieC –

      Missed Mundell’s question – what did he ask?

    56. Annie 621 says:

      Leslie E wasn’t in the room, nor should Alex physically make his way there..in this climate. His health.
      ..Make sure he has a Bible by his hand for all to see.

      This Scum.

    57. Hugh Jarse says:

      Great comment Lorna Campbell.

    58. Patsy Millar says:

      @Lulu Bells, I noticed that too.

    59. Socrates MacSporran says:

      I noticed at FMQs, the only MSP to raise the issue of the Salmond stitch-up was the Tories’ Big Daft Boay – Oliver Mundell.

      His question saw the FM’s blink rate rise rapidly, before she swatted away the question, to a round of applause from her SNP members.

      I don’t think we will see too-many sitting SNP MSP’s breaking ranks and turning on the FM.

      I fear, unless the committee grows a pair and finds her guilty of breaching the Ministerial Code, she will survive, but bring about an even bigger moger, when, during the election run-up, the full power of the British State, via its right-wing media attack dogs, is turned on her.

      I smell shite – loads of it.

    60. Breeks says:

      Can I make a wee suggestion? It might offend some folks, which I would respect and be sorry about, but I’m feeling we are witnessing the ‘quickening’ as in the Highlander movie, things are in motion, and before this train wreck finally screams into the buffers, do you think it would be possible for us all to have a wee bit of a think about having an amnesty between ourselves and the Sturgeon loyalists whom we all know have been very critical of us, Wings, and Rev Stu in particular?

      It’s not that I feel magnanimous or forgiving, and nor have seen much sign of contrition ‘over there’, but when this sordid and grubby episode is finally laid to rest, all of us, right across the spectrum of Scottish Independence, if we want to save Scotland from disaster, will need to hit the ground running and be ready to move fast and act decisively, and hopefully as one.

      We need to stop seeing the WGDuggers and ScotGoesPoppers as the enemy, and all of us need to be ready to man the same barricades, and fly the one saltire above us all.

      I know, I know, it’s early in proceedings which still might yet spiral to our disadvantage, and some nasty and unjustified things have been said, but I feel in my bones that we’ve turned a corner, and the winners left standing at the end of this will not be team Sturgeon. But before it happens, it’s us, the ‘little’ people who are the YES movement, who need to be building our bridges and strengthening our fragile and fractious clan alliance now, before anybody on either side of our ‘divide’ succumbs to triumphalism, scathing ridicule, or acrimonious recriminations which cements our division rather than alleviating it.

      I’m not saying forgive and forget, and I’m not saying we all kiss and make up, but what I’m suggesting is that we should all be finding somewhere to park up the animosity some of us feel, where you can come back and get it later if it suits you, but be ready to set our differences aside and join ranks together as comrades who ultimately want the same thing, Independence for Scotland where we turn back the clock, and “us and them” means YESSERS and Yoons.

    61. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Stu with reference to the previous article I am planning to lodge an FOI request:
      With regard to the redaction of Alex Salmond’s statement to the Enquiry:
      1. On whose authority did the parliamentary clerks make the redactions to the document?
      2. What is the legal basis for such redactions?
      3. What were the criteria for redaction?
      4. Who defined the criteria and when?
      5. Where can they be viewed by the public?”

      Good shout. I can’t keep track of all my own as it is…

    62. Grey Gull says:

      Lorna @ 1.42
      Well said.

    63. Grey Gull says:

      Breeks @2.05
      Also well said.

    64. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The business of exactly when the FM knew about things (a matter of a few days) seems to me to be a fairly trivial matter even if it may technically be a resigning offence if she lied to parliament”

      Given how many times I’ve patiently and in detail explained why it’s NOT a trivial matter, this sounds suspiciously like trolling. Watch your step.

    65. James Che. says:

      Legalities of the This kangaroo court hidden behind closed doors and redactions from the public, the lack of transparency, the fact that Alex Salmond should now be a legally free man, the fact that the accusers did not want to go to the police with this, the fact that they themselves should now be under investigation, the fact that the rape did not take place according to the outcome of judicial court, the fact that they should now be charged with false accusations. The fact that someone has been steadily leaking information to a particular news paper that acted on behalf of Labour, Tories and Libdems in the past with vow promises, the fact that tories and civil servants are deeply involved in this, and that if JB gets past LE to bring down NS sturgeon seems a totally co-ordination between parties to bring down two of past leading lights of Scottish independence.
      Corner one to catch the other comes to mind. Two birds with one stone,. It certainly seems to be a co-ordination between many,

    66. Pixywine says:

      I must say it’s very encouraging to hear First Ministers latest dictates from on high. That should ruin the economy and by doing so we will defeat Corone. Rejoice rejoice the more pressure applied by Salmond the more pressure FM puts on the public. Absolutely suicidal decision making. What a fucktard.

    67. Johnny Martin says:

      James Che @ 2:22pm:

      Without saying anyone HAS done anything wrong, since I am not privy to all the information, how can you ‘kill any birds’ if there is no (provable) wrongdoing? Or, in other words, IF someone is out to ‘kill birds’ do you have to become ensnared and at what point is it your fault that you did?

    68. Big Jock says:

      One things is abundantly clear to me.

      If we want independence, we must remove Sturgeon. If somehow she clings on to power, then the dream will indeed die.

      It’s now essential to remove her.

    69. Iain More says:

      Re Breeks.

      “We need to stop seeing the WGDuggers and ScotGoesPoppers as the enemy, and all of us need to be ready to man the same barricades, and fly the one saltire above us all.”

      I think that is impossible right now. You cant visit those sites without being abused or censored. The Sturgeon Cult has a dangerous grip on too many. They dislike any kind of criticism, even constructive criticism.

      Oh and I should have had my flu jag back in early December but there is an utter shambles in NHS Grampian right the now. That shambles rests with SNP and Sturgeon Cult and nobody else.

      Thousands more Scots will die during those pandemic because the Sturgeon Cult and the SNP wont stand up for Scotland. Sturgeon is following that psychopathic clown Boris off the cliff. It is not enough to be doing better than Boris.

      I will have no tuck with a Cult that has basically murdered thousands of Scots and will murder thousands more in the coming months. I have lost friends to Covid 19. Forgive the Sturgeon Cult – forget it Breeks.

    70. Big Jock says:

      Oh aye and Sturgeon’s eyes will be blinking more rapidly than an air vent in a tornado!

    71. Strathy says:

      Andrew F at 12:44pm.

      Very interesting to hear the position in Australia.

      On a search for the position in Scotland, a speech about Parliamentary Priviledge by the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales to the Commonwealth Law Conference on 9 April 2019, came up.

      The following are extracts: –

      ‘The importance of this privilege, and particularly the part which protects freedom of speech in Parliament, cannot be overstated. It is essential that legislators are able to carry out their role without fear of arrest or fear that what they say in Parliament may be subject to executive action or proceedings in the courts.’

      ‘The privilege extends to those who give evidence to Parliament through its committees.’

      ‘Parliamentary privilege has rightly been described as a fundamental liberty and as a principle of the highest constitutional importance.’

      Unfortunately, as the Lord Chief Justice’s title makes clear, his opinion applies to England and Wales only.

    72. kapelmeister says:

      Breeks @2:05

      I usually agree with and feel refreshed by what you post, and there is something in what you say, but, once Sturgeon goes, those of her hardcore admirers who go in the huff and refuse to support Yes are people who never were for independence. While genuinely pro-indy Sturgeon fans will tag along with us, with varying degrees of surliness, but tag along they will.

      Most of the Scottish people are not devoted to NS, and will be appalled at her as more and more of the truth comes out. If the Yes movement wants to keep indy support high in the future we must oppose Sturgeon’s crew fully now, as I’m sure you’ll agree Breeks.

      Devoting time now or later to fence-mending would be wasteful. As I said, those Sturgeon supporters who are genuine indy people will come with us regardless. We don’t have to cosset them.

    73. Big Jock says:

      Sooner or later Scots will wake up to the fact that Sturgeon has truly screwed up the Covid response. The only thing that is saving her is perception. She is good at PR and can spin 10 plates with shit on top of them.

      But sooner or later that shit will come crashing down and people will realise they have been conned.

    74. Sue Varley says:

      I remember your last cartoon with fondness Stu, would you consider brightening our week and doing it yourself? (On the other hand, we do know how overworked you are at the moment, so maybe not?)

      Along with most other regular readers, I would like to record my vote of thanks for everything you do to keep us informed, never more so than at this particular moment.

    75. Effijy says:

      Big Jock,

      I’m disgusted by her actions in the Salmond case but with
      regard to managing Covid, it has been superior to how it has
      been handled in Tory England and in Labour Wales.

      We don’t have the fiscal levers that Tory England has not have
      we privatised 8% of our NHS like the Tories but it’s a good showing
      in corrupt U.K.

      Our Covid stats are horrific compared to Norway, but they got to keep their oil money.

    76. Muscleguy says:

      I think they are desperately hanging on for the May election. If the SNP get a slim majority from the constituencies they can kill the inquiry if it doesn’t complete in time which was forced on them by the parliamentary majority.

    77. Stuart MacKay says:

      Breeks,

      I wouldn’t say there is much in the way of animosity here. Sure there are few folks that don’t get along but there’s no general conflict except perhaps with the fans of Nicola who are soft on independence. Other than that everybody wants the same thing it’s just a difference in opinion on how to get it and how fast it can be got.

      I’m certainly guilty of mocking the optimists but it’s more out of bemusement and bewilderment. I’ve certainly got nothing but respect for the other bloggers. They’ve all got their niche and the audience they’re targeting. Everyone is pulling their weight and dealing with the deluge of negativity and propaganda from the MSM.

      Once this mess is cleaned up and a referendum or plebiscite election is declared I’m sure we can all happily work together on focus on the single goal that everybody wants.

    78. dakk says:

      Breeks 2.05

      Well said.

      It’s been sad to see how easily some continue to be divided.

      Divide and rule.

      Further to your post @11.16 on the previous thread,it would be naive in extreme to think that the british state would not know of the goings on in Bute House with AS, and not seek to use that knowledge as leverage on AS.

      AS was vulnerable to manipulation of the old honey trap type,hence bbc british placeman Blair Jenkins ended up heading the Yes campaign.

      I mean Ffs,would AS have chosen that tosser to fight the campaign for Scotland’s independence?

      Would any true yesser?

      No!

    79. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      On /aff topic

      Regarding this bloody election in may.

      When will we know the candidates for the ISP on the list?

      Or is it too early to ask, seems pretty close to me.

    80. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “We need to stop seeing the WGDuggers and ScotGoesPoppers as the enemy, and all of us need to be ready to man the same barricades, and fly the one saltire above us all.”

      The vast majority of us are already showing enormous restraint in the face of a constant barrage of unprovoked attacks, and intend to continue doing so.

    81. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      ” If the SNP get a slim majority from the constituencies they can kill the inquiry if it doesn’t complete in time”

      The inquiry is duty-bound to report before Parliament dissolves in March, on the basis of whatever information it has been able to gather, even if incomplete. I’m sure in such circumstances it would make plain that its report was unsatisfactory and who it held responsible.

    82. Pixywine says:

      We all are witnessing and experiencing the actions of politicians I never thought would happen in my lifetime.

    83. Hugh Jarse says:

      Re Eck’s postponement.

      Maybe it’s as said, and/or maybe it’s to let NS face the music first, lies a gogo no doubt.
      More ammunition to skewer her and the cabal with.

      Get Roddy Dunlop to spill, and it’s all over imho.

    84. Fiona says:

      Forgive me if this has been explained, but I am still confused. I gather from this thread that Mr S is threatened with criminal prosecution if he discloses information ruled inadmissible in a criminal case which has been concluded.
      I am not sure of the status of a judicial review, but I had thought it was very different from a criminal case: perhaps more akin to a civil matter
      If that is so, and I honestly don’t know, then is there not a different standard of proof: criminal has to be “beyond reasonable doubt” and non criminal is the lower “balance of probability”.
      If any of that is correct, it seems to me likely that the standard of admissibility of evidence would also be different, quite reasonably. And since the criminal case is over and Mr S is innocent of all charges, evidence not admitted in the criminal case can do no damage to the standing of any court at this stage.
      I do not understand why disclosure of material relevant to the aims of the committee should be under the control of one who represents one side of any dispute, in any circumstances. If the committee cannot be trusted to give any such evidence the weight it is due then it is not fit for task,surely? In which case it should be disbanded and a judge led inquiry should replace it.
      Can anyone explain the rationale behind this absurd situation, which is made worse by the fact that subsequent disclosures have made it at least possible that the evidence would have been admissible in the criminal trial had the court been aware of the content belatedly supplied?

    85. Ian says:

      Very well presented Stuart. U always manage to pick holes in all of the liars’ stories so succinctly. Keep it up and keep thickening yir skin. ?

    86. kapelmeister says:

      Not divide and rule again! It’s not some iron law of history. We aren’t going to get indy by being in step all the way with Pete Wishart & Co.

    87. Saffron Robe says:

      The whole charade is now sickening beyond belief to any right-minded person.

      I don’t know how you are able to wash away the stench after digging about in the cesspool that passes for our government Stuart. And goodness only knows how Alex is feeling. It is like being asked to tell the truth before G-d with a firing squad at your back, ready to fire at the drop of a hat. He would do well to keep away from the nest of vipers.

      Is there no antidote to the malfeasance and omnimalevolence at the heart of our government?

    88. Colin Alexander says:

      Andrew F

      Parliamentary privilege

      That was an interesting point about parliamentary privilege. So, I looked it up: “4.48. It is also important to note that the protection provided by section 41 relates only to the law of defamation. It does not shield members from the operation of the law in relation to other matters, for example incitement to racial hatred”. *

      See also: https://archive.parliament.scot/business/businessBulletin/bb-99/bb-06-08an.htm

      “The proceedings of the (Scottish) Parliament, unlike those at Westminster, are subject to the law of contempt of court. Rule 7.3.2 of the standing orders (Order in the Chamber) includes a requirement that members shall not conduct themselves in a manner which would constitute a contempt of court (or indeed which would constitute a criminal offence)”.

      I guess that’s because we don’t have a real parliament, just a devolution colonial parliament.

      https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/24414.aspx *

    89. Hugh Jarse says:

      Yes Saffron. There is.

      The law, properly dispensed.

      With the ambiguity surrounding the Lord advocates role & responsibilities, the separation of the powers has narrowed, to the point of a joke.

    90. dramfineday says:

      Frank Waring at 12.47

      Hi Frank, following your request, please note I’m not involved in the legal profession but from reading a few articles I’d like to see:

      a) A coroner type court for all unexpected / unexplained deaths, I have the feeling that the Sheriff Court style enquiries appear hit and miss in that respect.

      b) A clear chain of command / appeal & correction process in respect of COPFS work – this from several articles Stuart has produced where it appears jelly nailing is the current preferred option of control & appeal.

      c) An overhaul of the costs of running courts / the decision process – as a complete lay person I’ve staggered at the cost of cases such as the AS one. I would have thought that issues of law were in the public interest and as such should be commonly funded from Gvt
      coffers.

      d) maybe an amendment to the anonymity rules to the effect that once granted it requires a degree of silence from the benefactor. I’m sure some clever caveats / constraints could be written into it that would cover allowing comment under specific circumstances but the driver would be assumed silence.

      e) Land and it’s usage / ownership needs a hard look too.

      Remember – this is just me!

      Best regards

    91. dakk says:

      kapelmeister says:
      13 January, 2021 at 3:01 pm
      Not divide and rule again! It’s not some iron law of history.

      Well it pretty much is regarding British colonial rule.

      Not that we can ever expect to agree on everything, or we shouldn’t question the real motives of some who are ostensibly on the side of independence for Scotland,be it in the SNP or Wings Over Scotland or anywhere else for that matter.

    92. Andy Ellis says:

      @ Rev Stu 2.52 pm

      Exactly. The notion that we should all just bite our lips, have a group hug and raise our eyes to the sunny uplands of the future Scottish republic is for the birds, sorry!

      As the Republicans in the USA are discovering, sometimes you have to make a stand against the enemy within.

      I have no more intention of standing shoulder to shoulder with Sturgeonista loyalists than I do supporting the Woke Wahhabis infesting the SNP. Both these groups are as much of a clear and present danger to the ultimate achievement of independence as the Scots MSM or the British nationalist parties in Scotland.

      If we achieve a referendum or plebiscitary election anytime soon it will no in spite of these people, not because of them. Just because they share the same goal, does not make them our friends nor does it mean we should pretend there are no differences. Doing so would in fact be a huge mistake, on the same scale as “mainstream” Republicans in the USA not taking the opportunity they have now to stake Trumpism through its black, principle free heart.

      Others may be content to campaign along side muppets like Wishart, Blackman, Nicholson, Spiers, Cameron Archibald, the WGD Loyal, but count me out! The SNP is no longer fit for purpose, nor can it be rendered so.

    93. Roddy Macdonald says:

      David Ferguson says:
      13 January, 2021 at 12:04 pm
      Stu with reference to the previous article I am planning to lodge an FOI request:
      With regard to the redaction of Alex Salmond’s statement to the Enquiry:
      1. On whose authority did the parliamentary clerks make the redactions to the document?
      2. What is the legal basis for such redactions?
      3. What were the criteria for redaction?
      4. Who defined the criteria and when?
      5. Where can they be viewed by the public?

      The answer to all your questions is at paragraph 8 of

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/Dataprocessingstatement.pdf

      The clerks have redacted Alec Salmond’s submission to remove all reference to the criminal trial. There are 2 things to remember about Committees of Inquiry. First they are there to kick issues into the long grass and, if even that grass isn’t long enough, their terms of reference are drawn so tightly that they are highly unlikely to uncover anything that the person convening the inquiry would rather not see uncovered.

      Given that 3 of the main planks (and I use that term advisedly) of the inquiry are Baillie, Cole-Hamilton and Fraser, I wouldn’t hold my breath for answers or particularly searching questions. The terms of reference of both enquiries are drawn up such that the most worrying aspects to the whole affair will never even be examined: The actions of the SG and Crown Office in the frenzied #MeToo Salem-style witch-hunt against Alec Salmond and the shocking prosecutions by the Crown Office of anyone with a public profile who appeared not to be ready to hang AS, i.e. Mark Hirst and Craig Murray.

    94. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “If the dilemma facing A.S. prevents him giving a full truthful account the government might be able to run down the clock on the enquiry and the time it has available before the May elections to submit its findings.”

      The inquiry is obliged to deliver a report before the dissolution of Parliament, come what may.

    95. skyeskip says:

      Dude, you are on fire with this one. I live in Alaska, and I’m a daily visitor since 2013. If we had writers with your insight here, I daresay we’d be a better informed electorate. The righteous anger in this particular piece is plain to see. How anyone could accuse you of trying to tear down the case for Scottish independence is mystifying. I marched with Democracy For Scotland in the early 90s, and what I’ve seen lately turns my stomach. Please keep doing what you do. And I’m sorry I called you “dude”…

    96. Ron Maclean says:

      PROSECUTION IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

      Extracts from The Apex Scotland Annual Lecture by the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC on 5 September 2017.

      ‘My starting point is that the effective, rigorous, fair and independent investigation and prosecution of crime satisfies some of the basic responsibilities of the state.’

      ‘…it provides assurance that prosecutorial action will be taken only where there is a proper basis for doing so.’

      ‘ “In the Scottish system of criminal investigation, the procurator fiscal directs the investigation and not the police. In the early stages of an investigation, the police almost always act on their own initiative; but it is their duty to report on their investigation to the procurator fiscal and to act upon his further instructions.” ‘ (Quoting Lord Gill)

      ‘The importance of the principle of prosecutorial independence goes, I hope, without saying. Few things are more serious for the individual than to be charged by the state with a crime; and few things more important to society than the effective enforcement of the criminal law. As the Appeal Court has recently observed, it is important, in the public interest, “that prosecutors exercise their judgment independently, robustly, forensically and objectively on the whole evidence available’

      ‘Regardless of the public attention which a case may excite, prosecutors must not be influenced in their decisionmaking, whether in relation to the investigation or the prosecution of crime, by extraneous and irrelevant considerations. Like judges, prosecutors must decide without fear or favour, affection or ill-will – objectively and professionally, on the basis of an assessment of the available evidence; and it is one of my constitutional responsibilities to promote the integrity and independence of prosecutorial decisionmaking.’

      ‘Every decision to prosecute is tested in court; and the conduct of prosecutors in court is subject to judicial and public scrutiny.’

      ‘… there is a limit to the support which the Service can, as prosecutors, provide for victims of crime; …’

      ‘I return to my starting point – the significance, to a just and successful society, of the effective, rigorous, fair prosecution of crime by a prosecutor acting independently in the public interest. That is not an end in itself. But it is one of the key means for promoting the safety of individuals and communities and for securing justice. In a society governed by the rule of law, it underpins our freedom and security.’

    97. Luke says:

      Do you want to know exactly another organisation which is run the way the SNP Government are running – The NHS. They’re literally running the country the way the NHS is run now. Like a gulag.

    98. 1971Thistle says:

      @Rev Stu :14h53

      “The inquiry is duty-bound to report before Parliament dissolves in March, on the basis of whatever information it has been able to gather, even if incomplete. I’m sure in such circumstances it would make plain that its report was unsatisfactory and who it held responsible.”

      Would the Scottish government live with that outcome, under the circumstances? Arguably, it remains tribal that way, and doesn’t too much undermine election efforts…

    99. Gregor says:

      Do not forget public…

      State/mainstream media/Big Tech MONSTER, seek to BAN! ‘conspiracy theory’ (FACT):

      https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/jimmy-savile-report-culture-of-fear-at-bbc-led-to-decades-of-djs-vile-abuse-a3188771.html

    100. Polly says:

      ‘would be naive in extreme to think that the british state would not know of the goings on in Bute House with AS, and not seek to use that knowledge as leverage on AS.
      AS was vulnerable to manipulation of the old honey trap type’

      This is aberrant nonsense. No doubt the British state would have tried to do as suggested but the fact they found nothing in all his career until this very late stage, and at this late stage could only come up with these feeble, insignificant charges to bring retrospectively means there was no honey trap, no skeleton in the cupboard, no dirty laundry you are too obviously anxious to claim. The fact these charges and the damage to his reputation so many people – including you obviously – want to see continue being aired and given credence have all come out of Holyrood and from those within the government he led such a short time before and led by the woman he coached and promoted is all one needs to know that there was no honey trap but a stab in the back from someone he trusted to turn his back on.

      If you feel his behaviour led to him being manipulated – what must that say about Nicola’s skeletons and behaviour these last years for she must be deep in something to go along with everything that’s happened since.

    101. kapelmeister says:

      dakk @3:21

      Ireland managed to get free of the British colonial yolk and yet its independence movement was very far from being united.

      Sorry though if I gave you an impression of questioning your motives, if that is what you’re meaning. I was not.

    102. Lothianlad says:

      Luke,

      100% agree! As someone who has whistkeblown about patient care on two occasions with serious breaches in care, the NHS covers it up and discredits the whistleblowers.

      It is a scandal, and the SNP SG are just as bad.

      As for Alex, the truth will come out.
      How ironic that it’s an SNP government doing all this.

    103. George Rutherford says:

      It wasn’t that long ago the SNP were finishing in 3rd or 4th place in the Holyrood elections.

      And sending three or four MPs to Westminster.

      Oh they were the good old days.

      So let’s return to those happy days. Get another credible Indy Party up an running and clear these reptiles out of the way.

      Sick to the back teeth of every one of the bastards.

    104. Saffron Robe says:

      Hugh Jarse,

      You are quite right, “the law, properly dispensed”.

      Unfortunately the rule of law has been debased beyond all recognition by the crooks in charge. We are now living under the misrule of law! The lawbreakers have become the lawmakers and the dispensers of injustice!

      I just wish they’d all get tae…

    105. Stuart MacKay says:

      Andy Ellis

      Breeks was referring to the commenters on the other blogs, specifically WGD and ScotGoesPop. The Sturgeonista loyalists in that case number no more than a handful. Almost all were active on here before they left in a huff or got booted out. It’s not really surprising that they are vocal in their condemnation of WOS – axes to grind and hurt feelings to soothe. As for the wider readership I don’t think anybody has a quarrel with them other than wondering on their silence.

      The party apparatus is altogether another matter. Once the conspirators are facing prosecution, the sound of the rest running away to save their skins will be deafening. The few that remain can easily be put aside with no consequence.

    106. MaggieC says:

      Ian Brotherhood @ 1.48 pm

      Mundell jnr basically asked if they would publish all the evidence ? . Unfortunately my phone rang and I didn’t get the full answer as N S replied and it was something about John Swinney writing to James Hamilton re disclosure of evidence under J H’s remit into Ministerial Code .

      Also see Socrates MacSporrans post @ 1.59 pm .

      I’ll check the written report later on for the full question and answer .

    107. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      These anonymous scum need to stop having their smearing, sick, worthless anti-Salmond propaganda promoted on behalf of the government. It’s cowardly, sick, wrong, and should be fucking illegal. Horrible, horrible bitches.

    108. Caledonia says:

      Would Love to see some page views data from this site today.

    109. Polly says:

      ‘The vast majority of us are already showing enormous restraint in the face of a constant barrage of unprovoked attacks, and intend to continue doing so.’

      Quite frankly I think more restraint needs shown by all sides and all levels of independence supporters. I would say to all sides and everyone here that the fact is estrangements between leading figures allows and encourages bad actors, or those with petty prejudices, to increase division and foment more hardened attitudes which causes more problems, more arguments, and further rifts to develop. There should obviously be, and is, enough room for everyone to plough their own furrow without disturbing anyone else in their work. Divisions are always exploited to the maximum by the other side. Though divisions are unavoidable they should never be allowed to become gaping chasms incapable of ever being bridged afterwards since we are on the same side. I personally feel even such deep divisions with Scots tories should be avoided where possible for similar reason – after independence we need to work with them and we’re all Scots.

    110. Andrew F says:

      Albert, Strathy and Colin,

      Thanks for looking into that.

      I’m surprised that privilege seems to be restricted to just defamation in these circumstances, but I can’t argue with what you’ve quoted.

      I’ll have to give this more thought, but it has an obviously impossible contradiction, which is the whole point of the post – how could someone be both compelled to tell the truth and criminally prosecuted for telling that exact same truth??

      Catch-22

    111. Andrew F says:

      I’m thinking maybe there would be available a strong, if not absolute, defence to any such criminal charges based on the fact that the accused was giving sworn testimony in formal proceedings – under penalty if refusing to answer – when the alleged “crime” was perpetrated.

      Not a criminal lawyer, so that comes with a lump of salt, but at the very least it would be a PR nightmare if this scenario played out and got any decent media coverage….oh, I see a problem.

    112. George Rutherford says:

      Nicola’s Covid advice from today’s sermon was that we should all get out in the fresh air and get some excercising done.

      No mention of the force 10 gales whipping around or the -10 degrees temperatures or the endless snow and rain storms.

      Cannae wait for tomorrow’s Sermon, delivered by Scotland’s very own High Priestess.

    113. Gregor says:

      Which is worse (re. the greatest public threat):

      A rampant serial sexual predator.

      Perverted systematic collusion, unmitigated subversion, and targeted political assassination, seeking to utterly destroy the innocent as a rampant serial sexual predator.

    114. Andy Ellis says:

      @ Stuart MacKay 3.56pm

      I don’t think it really matters whether they’re disillusioned ex Wingers banging the Lambeg drum of Sturgeonista loyalism over at WGD &/or Scot Goes Fut, po faced tone police on here advocating a few choruses of Kumbaya, actual party apparatchiks or just fellow voters, if they share the same outlook and MO they are not friends and allies.

      It is possible that I’ve got more in common with some Britnats in some policy areas – OTHER than indy of course – but I’m not going to be their best buddies. Similarly, I’d go out of my way to avoid many individuals in the indy movement, whether gradualist ultras, Twitler Youth, Tories for indy or Orangemen for Indy!

      As someone else pointed out, we don’t have to be a hive mind. It’s increasingly evident that the SNP is going to have to be forced into actually delivering its prime function, whether by a palace coup from rank and file members, or by the creation of an alternative “real” Independence Party to actually hold their feet to the fire. We may have to cooperate with the current SNP to an extent, but we aren’t obliged to like them or not point out that it is not fit for purpose.

    115. Alf Baird says:

      Luke and Lothianlad

      Ferries is another area of diabolical decision making wasting hundreds of £millions on over-specified boats and piers and letting island users down, by officials who don’t appear to know their bow from their aft end, as the recent REC Committee investigation found. Although a ‘catastrophic failure’ was the conclusion of the Holyrood committee, no civil servants and officials need fall on their swords and it is ‘business as usual’ from next day onwards.

    116. kapelmeister says:

      Polly @4:07

      “There should obviously be, and is, enough room for everyone to plough their own furrow…”

      A battle is on for the soul of Scotland. We, the real nationalists, had better win that battle for the stakes are high. I don’t want to allow Sturgeonistas room to plough, I want to break their ploughs.

      Stop being quite so nice Polly. Reconciliation is for when after you’ve won.

    117. Alf Baird says:

      “There is a story…about the Scottish M.P. who complained that the government ought to have appointed a tall man as lord advocate, when Scottish M.P.s did not know how they were expected to vote, they looked to see how the lord advocate voted, and if he was so short that they could not watch him, they were bewildered. By methods such as these, Scotland was managed for the government by one politician after another….above all Henry Dundas.”

      (Richard Pares (1954) ‘A quarter of a millenium of Anglo-Scottish union,’ History, new ser., 39, 2 (1954), p. 234. As quoted in Hechter, M. (1998) Internal Colonialism.)

      Not much change toady then, given who appears to manage and constrain Scottish sovereign power in the interest of our colonial oppressor.

    118. Hatuey says:

      I don’t know why so many here are concerned about what is being said btl on other blogs…

      Sounds like a bunch of hen-house shit to me.

    119. David R says:

      The only way that this can stop is if they’re kicked out of government. The party can then clean out the careerist poison and come back with a clear message to benefit everyone not just a small vocal group of identity politics cultists.

    120. Colin Alexander says:

      The Scottish Parliament rules previously quoted also seem to be aimed at members of the Scottish Parliament and, of course, Alex Salmond is not a member of the Scottish Parliament; he’s a private citizen.

      I assume that’s why Alex Salmond’s lawyers are trying to obtain assurances that he would not face prosecution from the Crown, if he told the *whole* truth:

      “Additionally, we await confirmation that our client will be able to speak to documentation and give evidence under oath without fear of prosecution by the Crown Office”. *

      * https://archive.is/dWhpO

    121. katherine hamilton says:

      To go back the the comment in the wee box at the start of the article. I should have thought “untenable” to be the understatement of this or any other year.
      If Mr Salmond tells the whole truth, he ends up in court because of conditions, inter alia, set by the High Court.
      If Mr. Salmond appears before the inquiry, swears to tell the whole truth but doesn’t, he is in contempt of a Parliamentary Committee and what? Ends up in court? Charged with what?

      Many on here have been agog (alright me) about the obscene amount of money the Yes community (for it is us) have had to raise to support the Rev, Mr. Salmond, Mark Hirst, Craig Murray, the Orkney case and maybe more I can’t think of off the top of my head.

      Well I say to McKie and co, now earn your money, resolve the dilemma faced by Mr. Salmond get him out of this malignant maze.

    122. Sarah says:

      @ Hatuey: hen house manure is extremely useful so I think you must be mistaken 🙂

    123. twathater says:

      @ Breeks and Ian Brotherhood , Ian you posted yesterday a similar entreat as breeks to damp down animosity between supporters of indy , in that spirit I looked in on WGD last night which I hadn’t done for months and quite honestly I would say the vitriol against Wings and the readership surpassed by a large margin anything that has been posted on here , and as you would expect the few that the Rev banned were the MOST vociferous

      There was even one who threatened another WGD regular poster who was trying to be even handed about Stu that the gang would take exception to his even handedness and would exclude him , I also noticed that Robert Hughes got rounded on for using his other nom de plume when he posted something the kirk didn’t agree with

      A few liked to comment that they made regular visits to Wings to see what the Nicla hating loonies were frothing at the mouth about and they were delighted at the bathistan comments

      So it is with regret that I agree with Andy Ellis that although our desire for independence may be the goal their supplication and adoration to the vile amoral person who is thwarting that goal and causing IMMENSE GRIEF to Alex Salmond and his loved ones I cannot condone or accept

    124. Dan says:

      @ Sarah at 5:50 pm

      I’ve come to the dawning realisation that Scotland is only capable of growing so much produce because oor land is perpetually covered in an excess amount of Hen / Bull / Cow / Horse shit produced by some of its inhabitants…

      I’m still eating pumpkins I grew last year. Only another 4 big uns left noo 🙂

    125. twathater says:

      I posted on the thread yesterday that the two judges Lord Pentland and Lady Dorrian must be outraged and inflamed that they were hoodwinked and sold a parcel of lies when the court was presented with this contemptible parody of justice , surely THEY must recognise that the SG has committed contempt of court when they have deliberately and willfully ignored and failed to comply with a court ORDER to produce ALL documentation required by the defence to form that defence

      It is reprehensible and unbelievable that Alex Salmond’s defence solicitors have NOT PREVIOUSLY seen 46 documents out of 400 belatedly supplied in December 2019 despite having been ORDERED BY A JUDGE

      So I ask again Lord Pentland and Lady Dorrian, do you consider you have been duped , do you consider this is fair and proper justice , is this debacle and travesty what you consider a Scottish Justiciary should be PROUD OF

    126. Alain Mack says:

      Happy to join the campaign Rev Stu

    127. Captain Yossarian says:

      With you all the way twathater…..the biggest loser here is the Scottish legal profession. They have lifted the SNP coin. £300/hour for a Scottish lawyer? You’ll get a more unbiased legal opinion from any bricklayer or scaffolder.

      James Wolffe just looks like some cheap mafia figure who tries and fails to scare folk. The vapid old bastard should be sacked.

    128. Republicofscotland says:

      It would be a travesty if the inquiry didn’t manage to complete its remit on time.

      Alex Salmond has declined an invitation to give evidence next week to MSPs investigating the government’s botched handling of harassment complaints against him.

      The inquiry committee wants Mr Salmond to come to Holyrood on 19 January.

      But the former first minister’s lawyer said he could not accept the invitation – although he would be willing to appear on 16 February instead.

      The committee has not yet responded to the request for the delay.

      “In a letter to committee convener Linda Fabiani, lawyer Davie McKie said the parliament’s presiding officer had advised against all in-person committee meetings because of Covid.

      He said: “Our client feels very strongly that it would send a very bad message to the rest of the country if he were to flout that, particularly at a time when the present first minister is set to further tighten restrictions on everyone else”.”

      https://archive.is/PNzsu

    129. Alf Baird says:

      Andrew F @ 4:18
      “giving sworn testimony in formal proceedings”

      “section 41 (Defamatory statements) of the Scotland Act 1998
      provides that, for the purposes of the law of defamation, any statement made in proceedings of the Parliament (which includes a committee of the Parliament) is absolutely privileged. Section 41 serves therefore to protect statements made in such proceedings against proceedings for defamation.”

      An MSP chair of a Holyrood committee has previously rebuked a senior civil servant/public body for threatening legal action against a private individual for comments made when giving evidence to a parliamentary committee, see:

      https://www.parliament.scot/S5_Rural/General%20Documents/20200617_EM_Letter_to_CMAL.pdf

    130. NellG says:

      I’m not sure the movement can be united at this stage. In all honesty I consider Sturgeon and her man hating wokeist cartel a great scourge and threat to the fabric of society. Their band of happy clappy simpletons are just as complicit as the wretched media in facilitating this takeover without any scrutiny. At this stage they are just an obstacle that needs to be crushed before their re-education. You cannot reason with pure stupidity and blind loyalty. This is a cult in every sense of the word.

      And so Sturgeon and her inner circle must fall and fall hard to be made an example of and remove any influence they have over the easily manipulated. Then and only then will it be possible to build bridges.

    131. Alf Baird says:

      …and, related to my comment @ 6.57:

      “The Committee considers it to be imperative that, in line with the legislative provisions detailed above, all witnesses who give evidence to committees in the Parliament are able to do so safe in the knowledge that they will not be subjected to intimidation or threatening behaviour by other parties”

    132. X_Sticks says:

      @katherine hamilton
      “Many on here have been agog (alright me) about the obscene amount of money the Yes community (for it is us) have had to raise to support the Rev, Mr. Salmond, Mark Hirst, Craig Murray, the Orkney case and maybe more”

      Aye, and that is all monies that could have been getting used to support the drive for independence. £100s of thousands.

      Instead we’ve had to use it to defend ourselves from the Scottish “justice” system. Almost like they planned it to reduce the warchest for indy. And where’s the ringfenced campaign money the SNP raised from us.

      The “Scottish” justice system is as british nationalist as the tories. They are not our friends. Never have been.

    133. James Che. says:

      Johnny Martin, just catching up, sorry not exactly understanding your reply,
      My overall view is in looking at this from afar metaphorically speaking, the main instigators, the main political parties having a controlling influence, are civil servants, Murdock Frazer, Jackie bailey, the newspaper that tell porkies,
      And then foreseeing whom the beneficiaries are if the snp start folding with no leader creating chaos, while at the same time having no alternate independence movement that could take up the breach or replace them. That would set us all back years, as this involves taking out the front of the independence movement .
      it can only be surmised as a honey trap, dash sting,

    134. Craig Murray says:

      Captain Yossarian,

      You don’t get the lawyers involved for anything near £300 an hour. You are very optimistic.

    135. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Twathater (and Craig Murray last night) –

      Re ex-Wings WGD commenters, youse are probably right.

      Was saying to another Winger last night that Petra in particular seems on the verge of issuing an actual fatwa against Rev.

      I suppose it’s possible I’m just suffering from some other strain of the denial which is afflicting them – hate losing friends!

      😉

    136. Sarah says:

      @ Dan: you’re showing off again 🙂 – pumpkins, forsooth.

      Mind you we have heard of Perth cannonballs [unripe fruit of some kind, I think] so imagine what a pumpkin could do!

    137. Robert Hughes says:

      Twathater @ 5.54 . Suffice to say the response to my 1st comment on WGD was hardly a surprise , I could have wrote them myself such was their predictability .

      I usually don’t bother commenting as there is too great a gulf in perceptions between WOS readers and WGDers making it futile to even attempt to engage constructively , sadly .
      I only commented yesterday out of sheer frustration at the continuing mob-lynching of Alex Salmond .

      Don’t know if you seen my other comment in reply to the guy Dr Jim , but I noticed there was no incoming fire related to it , so maybe it was deemed to be valid ?. To be honest , opinions don’t matter that much to me . Even my own .

      However , I agree with Breeks , Ian B and Polly and have been thinking similarly recently . Frustrating as it undoubtedly is when people fail to see things that appear to ourselves as clear as day , things of crucial importance , and seem to be desperately trying to avoid seeing them , it’s usually of value to try to understand why they are doing so .

      I have no doubt that followers of other blogs are every bit as desirous of Independence as we are , though we disagree emphatically on the best way to achieve it , and are scared that the current sturm und drang we’re going through will seriously damage our prospects , hence the vitriol and blind lashing out at any divergence from the NS/S30/Wheest4Indy dogma .

      At the end of the proverbial though , these people are not our enemies , and I look forward to a time when we can concentrate and unify all our energies and talents in one unshakeable , ultimately , unstoppable force directed at fulfilling our destiny , finally , becoming a free Independent Nation again

    138. James Che. says:

      Johnny Martin, just catching up, sorry exactly understanding your reply,
      My overall view is in looking at this from afar metaphorically speaking, the main instigators, the main political parties that are having a controlling influence, civil servants, Murdo Frazer Jackie bailey, the newspaper that tell porkies, and then a look at the beneficiaries, it can only be surmised as a honey trap, dash sting,

    139. Frank says:

      It makes no sense to agree with any kind of sentiment agreeing that the complainers were “badly let down” when we know that a judge and jury agreed that their complaints were fabricated or embellished.

    140. Polly says:

      @ kapelmeister

      ‘Stop being quite so nice Polly. Reconciliation is for when after you’ve won.’

      I don’t know why folk seem to assume I’m ‘nice’. Perhaps because I’m usually polite even when harshly insulting folk, but insult I often do, and it may be the politeness that sometimes deceives. My partner, knowing me best of all, believes that I mostly try to behave well, but I’m more than capable of being completely ruthless when needed and do so without compunction or regret. So it isn’t ‘niceness’ but strategy and quite frankly reconciliation – or the appearance of it now – might be better than reconciliation after, which might never happen, or even be particularly useful then.

      What I meant about ploughing their own furrow was let others write and believe what they will, there should be room for them and us so long as they add to the numbers for independence. Strategically it makes more sense to let many viewpoints proliferate, even when you know some are rubbish, since if segments of the population believe them then they are useful. Then use that, allowing them to believe it until it is no longer useful. It seems I’m more morally dubious and less ‘nice’ than many here, for despite what is suspected of Sturgeon, and I have for a while suspected the very worst, I would keep her in place until after the next election to use her popularity to our ends, win the election, then take her out any way we can soon afterwards. Some others here (from what they say) are more squeamish in not even wishing to vote for the party now while I have no such compunction.

    141. Hatuey says:

      Sarah says:
      13 January, 2021 at 5:50 pm
      @ Hatuey: hen house manure is extremely useful so I think you must be mistaken

      You can have my share, Sarah. Do you know there’s a bird flu outbreak happening right now in India? Nobody wants anything to do with birds.

    142. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      You know what will happen? Sturgeon and company will brazen out any outcome to any inquiry, ignoring hostility from the opposite side, and just blithely go aboot their scum business as usual. Worked for Trump for years, and our FM and her manhater cabal have already shown they have more than enough brass neck, and contempt for the ordinary electorate, to just keep on keeping on.

      Ms. Sturgeon has more than a touch of the messiah complex zeal aboot her, seemingly seeing herself as a feminist messianic figure sent to lead Scotland out of the 20th century mucho macho ways she despised (and so did I, for that matter), and hopefully destroy some (boohissspit) men along the way. After all, you can’t make a UN-job-securing job without (tee hee, the the male pigs deserve it!) breaking a few balls and, well, if that changes you beyond all recognition from the person and politician you used to be well, that’s just the oo-high price to be paid. I do find out FM to be a deeply disturbing, disturbed person, to be honest, and politically compromised with it. What a horror show. Scotland does not deserve this unprecedented filth; never has and never will.

    143. Gordon Currie says:

      The comments about PP’s trouser content put the title Pension Pete’s Pickle into perspective!

    144. Onlooker says:

      Sturgeon has dealt with the pandemic well? Contracts for covid testing centres round Scotland have just been extended until December. Draw from that what you will.

    145. cirsium says:

      @Ron Maclean, 3.34
      prosecutors must decide without fear or favour, affection or ill-will – objectively and professionally, on the basis of an assessment of the available evidence; and it is one of my constitutional responsibilities to promote the integrity and independence of prosecutorial decisionmaking.’ James Wolffe, September 2017

      Mark Hirst v The Crown, 7 January 2020. Acquitted – no case to answer.

      “What they say is not important. What they do is what is important. It is not important what they promise. “ (Hassan Nasrallah). I think that quote also applies to the FM and Depute FM .

    146. Dan says:

      @ Hatuey

      Aye, all captive birds in the UK are meant to be kept undercover since Dec 14th to reduce potential bird flu transmission issues.
      That said, I guess my neighbour must have some kind of exemption to this rule seeing as theirs have continued to wander about outdoors and into my garden… Have considered taking one for the pot, but they are ancient, so it would probably be like eating a shoe.
      Knowing my luck I’d probably catch a combined covid birdflu mutation bug off the scabby old fecker. That’s the chicken, not the neighbour by the way. 😉

      Haven’t been to town shopping this year. Wonder if the price of fish in the shops dropped at all as a “Brexit” bonus…

      https://twitter.com/Santibuesa/status/1348622424758251527

    147. Sylvia says:

      “Concern raised that witnesses were ‘coached’, with majority having to later correct or clarify their testimony despite costly preparation”.

      https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2021/01/13/taxpayers-foot-55000-bill-prepare-civil-servants-salmond-inquiry/

    148. Dan says:

      @ Sylvia

      Link archived for you to save giving unionist papers clicks.

      https://archive.is/uJDo5

    149. Sarah says:

      @ Hatuey: re hen house manure – I was joking – saying it is more useful than the people to whom you were referring… alright, it wasn’t that funny..

    150. James Carroll says:

      I look forward to the day when Alex truly gets justice.

    151. StuartM says:

      ‘ “In the Scottish system of criminal investigation, the procurator fiscal directs the investigation and not the police. In the early stages of an investigation, the police almost always act on their own initiative; but it is their duty to report on their investigation to the procurator fiscal and to act upon his further instructions.” ‘ (Quoting Lord Gill)

      So basically the responsibility for wasting the time of 22 police officers on a futile fishing expedition rests with the Lord Advocate James Wolffe, who directed the police investigation. Is there a shortage of crime in Scotland such that you can devote so much police resources in this way?

    152. Alice says:

      lol I almost choked on my lobster thermidor when I read that. Since when did telling the truth become a criminal offence?

    153. Dick Wall says:

      Please one serious question. You assert,

      “since all their accusations were found to be false”

      Were their accusations found to not meet the standard of beyond reasonable doubt as evidence of a crime? None of us know, but the jury might have thought “probably true but not defo”. A very long way from ‘proved to be false’.

      It would be a pity to wrongly accuse these people to suit your political purposes.



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