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To the editor of The National

Posted on March 14, 2021 by

I’m bemused that The National is now dragging up a nine-day old story for no apparent reason other than to assist the SNP in its determined recent attempts to smear my site.

But I’m extremely disappointed that in doing so it’s chosen to ignore a document I sent to your previous reporter, Emer O’Toole, more than a week ago, proving the accuracy of my leak.

[I have redacted the email in this screenshot. Ms O’Toole saw it unredacted.]

The document was an email forwarded to me by two separate people, which was originally sent from the official SNP members address, unambiguously describing the document as “the proposed manifesto written by Mike Russell”.

I haven’t published it on Wings because even with the names of sender and recipients redacted the full text of the message would enable the sender to recognise themselves, and therefore likely identify the people who leaked it to me.

The National has known this for over a week, and I told Kirsteen Paterson specifically at 10.30 last night (as soon as I got her email), yet almost 12 hours later there is no mention of it in the article. It is a disgraceful piece of journalism and I hope it will be corrected before I have to make a formal complaint to IPSO.

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We also received these messages last week.

We hope to have the video soon.

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    112 to “To the editor of The National”

    1. Wulls says:

      FFS. Openness and integrity appear to be in short supply these days.

    2. Zander Tait says:

      Mike Russell spent 6 years at an institution whose motto is ‘Hic patet ingeniis campus’, here lies the fields of learning.

      I guess Mike neglected to learn the art of honesty.

    3. Monica Worley says:

      I used to respect Mike Russell.

    4. Astonished says:

      It has come to this. Are we going to need samizdat ?

      After much thought I’ve decided the SNP needs to go – the woke, their handmaidens and the cowards who refused to stand against them. I will not be voting for the SNP at the May election.

    5. Giesabrek (the original) says:

      Stu, you shouldn’t have bothered giving the SNP mouthpiece a chance to correct their story, you should’ve just gone straight to IPSO with a complaint. They clearly had your email and clearly chose to ignore it when publishing their story.

    6. Footsoldier says:

      I fear The National is in danger of becoming an SNP mouthpiece and denying the leak smells of yet another SNP cover-up. Recently one headline was to the effect that “Swinney beat the Tories” in the vote of no confidence. It was not a contest and Swinney survived.

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing and while I was all for it at the time, changing the name of the Scottish Executive to the Scottish Government has created delusions of grandeur which simply do not exist. Perhaps Billy Connolly had it right when he called it “a wee pretendy parliament”. An example of this is Stephen Gethins article on foreign policy in today’s Sunday National – a good article but we are talking about a devolved government with no powers of any description over foreign policy.

      Since 2014, the SNP should have concentrated on running Scotland competently with every other resource devoted to a permanent independence campaign, painting a picture of what an independent Scotland would look like, answering questions outstanding from 2014 and make the people want independence. Then and only then, hold an independence referendum.

      Instead of promoting independence, the SNP leadership and their compliant MPs and MSPs have pursued an agenda which has nothing to do with independence and everything to do with self-interest. Forget these contentious vote losing issues until we are independent when the SNP can stand on their favoured prospectus in a Scottish General Election alongside other parties and see where that gets them.

      As for right now, I have no idea but I do know quite a few long standing members like myself who are in a real quandary on who to vote for. Realism says it has to be SNP otherwise Unionism could prevail but it’s difficult.

      Once lockdown is over, awkward as it may be, a march on SNP HQ and parliament demanding change, may have some merit – likewise a specially convened conference demanded by the members to force change?

    7. Frank Gillougley says:

      Authority and the display of it, invariably has the same smell and language to it every bloody time.

    8. Patsy Millar says:

      The SNP don’t seem to be able to answer queries from members, not even acknowledging receipt but have no problems in answering in public any criticisms that come their way. This was one of the primary reasons I cancelled my membership recently.

    9. Dave M says:

      @Footsoldier The National has been an SNP mouthpiece for a while. It’s why I binned my subscription to them a couple of years ago.

    10. Keith says:

      Well, well, well, looks like I’m not the only one unhappy in my branch. That last section is clearly from my branch and the same meeting I was at. If only I’d had the sense to record douglas chapman at the same meeting…

    11. X_Sticks says:

      It’s a concerted campaign against the “anti-SNP bloggers” I bolocked this one pushing pishy Pete’s pap this morning. https://twitter.com/Gravy_Stock/status/1370736735349538821?s=20 They’re out to get anyone who can think for themselves. They don’t like free-thinkers.

    12. ScottieDog says:

      @Dave M
      Yes they’re a Nicola mouthpiece. The 50th birthday ‘coronation’ was just so embarrassing. I binned it after that.

    13. ScottieDog says:

      @Keith
      “ If only I’d had the sense to record douglas chapman at the same meeting…”

      Where does Douglas stand these days.?
      When I lived I his constituency I thought he was a great guy and was delighted when I he went from being a councillor to an MP.

    14. Effigy says:

      A very big part in my determination to see an independent Scotland
      was the revelations within the McCrone report.

      30 years after the discovery of vast oil fields in Scotland’s waters,
      We see that both Tory and Labour wanted to make the report top secret
      as it showed that such fabulous wealth would likely lead to Scottish independence
      and Westminster wanted it for themselves.

      McCrone predicted oil revenue could make Scotland or Norway the second richest economy in Europe. He knew his stuff as Luxembourg and Norway are Nos 1 and 2.

      So there we are, Westminster decides that Scotland has no right to access vital economic information that will clearly affect its citizens and its future.

      Scotland is there to be controlled and contained within Westminster constraints.

      Like Norway, we could also be boasting of a $2 Trillion Oil fund as opposed to a
      share of England’s £2.3 Trillion of ever growing debt.

      We were informed by all Westminster parties in the 70’s that we have the type of oil that runs out?

      They assured us in the 80’s, 90’s, 00’s, teens and 20’s.
      They just laid a new pipeline designed to bring oil ashore to England for the next 50 years
      A 100 year long lie and they say we can trust them. They love us. You bet they do.

      We don’t count in any shape or form but our resources do.

      No more!

    15. Graham says:

      It is quite fascinating to watch the British media trash the SNP at every opportunity while at the same time, defend them from any risk of being unable to form the next Government.

      I think it’s fair to conclude that the media is quietly happy to keep Sturgeon in office since it knows that she has absolutely no intention of upsetting the constitutional settlement & risk her authoritarian role as Scotland’s Nanny Superior.

      And that no matter how crap her administration is at handling things like ferry construction projects, the national investment bank, job creation, inward investment, education, etc, it is still preferable to the painfully parochial, bench warming clowns in opposition.

      How sad that this is all we have to show for over two decades of devolution. Meanwhile, all Westminster has to do is observe & chuckle from a distance & occasionally remind Scots that the real power actually still rests in London. If this is the price it has to pay to hold the Union together, it really is a dirt cheap one.

      So don’t expect any significant changes any time soon.

    16. NellG says:

      Do we expect any less from the Nicola Gazette? The best bits from the holy one 24/7. “Indy is coming”, “Boris has nowhere to hide on S30”. Absolute Joke of a paper if you can even call it that. It’s more like a student magazine and is reflective of the sad state of the movement at present.

    17. Republicofscotland says:

      I really don’t understand why the National has taken this position, it was, if I recall correctly, set up to support Scottish independence, and not to be pro any party.

      Of course this all changed when the National’s first editor Richard Walker decided to run as an SNP candidate, even though he was no longer the papers editor when he did so.

      Mike Russell can deny it all he wants, your evidence is surely enough to prove that its true.

      This could be some sort of fishing expedition by the National and the SNP to flush out the those who are keeping you informed.

    18. 100%Yes says:

      The National is the SNP very own BBC.

    19. Al-Stuart says:

      .
      Stu.,

      I bought The National EVERY day right up to the point when it slavishly went Sturgeonite McWoke. I STOPPED buying The National and every day I now read Wings Over Scotland and put the money I would have spent on The National McWoke paper into Wings fundraisers.

      Keep doing what you are doing Stuart. Your have between 1,000,000 and 4,000,000 readers a month. The National is avariciousy wanting the reflected glory from you by getting some of your 4,000,000 to visit their 12,000 regular readership under dubious Calum.

      Also Stuart, you are making a difference. A winger on another thread used an excellent phrase relating to Pete Wishart’s vice… EGO-SURFING.

      Blood-on-his-hands Pete wrote about you and many of us naming him cosy-feet Pete or Pension Pete, so he definitely feasts his ego on Wings BTL. This is his swipe at you.

      https://archive.is/HI5h1

      He tends to get between 3 to 10 BTL comments on his website. Compared to 900 you got on an earlier thread this week.

      It is a fact that Blood-handed-Pete is one of the enablers of Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousef.

      On the very day the police over-reacted disgracefuly manhandling defenseless women at a vigil in memory of murdered Sarah Everard, Bloody-Pete and his cabal of gerrymandering cowardly politicians passed the shameful SNP Hate Crime Act DELIBERATELY LEAVING WOMENS SAFETY OUT.

      Worse. Pete and his pals like 43 year old Derek-Chat-Up-A-Cute-Schoolboy Mackey MSP have given men in dresses the absolute right to self-ID without any police checks nor safety credentials and thereby allow WOMEN’S SAFE SPACES IN SCOTLAND to be extremely unsafe as any man in a frock can go into women’s and young girls changing rooms. We are now a thousand times worse than the disgusting state of safety for women in England.

      Pete Wishart, you call us all names here, but go look in a mirror. Rabbie Burns had it spot on.

      Wishart, you are a careerist money grubbing member of the Parel O’ Rogues. A Poundland Wannabe Speaker of the U.K. House of Conmans. You are wetting your pants wanting to be knight or elevated to the House of Lords. You are nothing more than a political has-been who SETTLED INTO Westminster when you were TOLD your job there 20 years ago when you joined was to SETTLE UP.

      If there is any way you can answer for your crimes as a member of a corrupt, gerrymandered political party controlled by an unlawful NEC, then your time in front of a sheriff will come.

      Sad Little Ego-surfer.

    20. kapelmeister says:

      I believe everything I read in McPravda.

    21. ScotsRenewables says:

      Republicofscotland says:
      14 March, 2021 at 10:23 am
      I really don’t understand why the National has taken this position, it was, if I recall correctly, set up to support Scottish independence, and not to be pro any party.

      Perhaps because the editor of the National still believes an SNP majority in May is the only way to progress independence.

      Delighted to see Wingers in Lothian now have someone credible to vote for on the list. Are the ISP going to stand down and endorse the AFI candidate?

    22. Trans gammon says:

      I note the stories today that the latest troubled young idiot to be fingered for nastiness to Joanna Cherry was less of a trans gammon and more of a Sturgeon loyalist. Wonder if Pete will update his charming article to reflect the complicated reality that people get angry on both sides of political debates /s.

    23. Mark Boyle says:

      This is becoming beyond hilarious! Every single time they go after Stu, they dig themselves deeper into the mire, whether it be the Herald/Times group’s comic The National or the SNP themselves.

    24. Republicofscotland says:

      “Perhaps because the editor of the National still believes an SNP majority in May is the only way to progress independence.”

      Scottishrenewables.

      Yes that’s a fair point, the current editor Callum Baird by his twitter feed appears to be pro-SNP. However it also seems to be a bit foolish on the Nationals part, Mike Russell can deny it till the cows come home even after the evidence has been presented, but the National newspaper, per se gains nothing from this, if I were the editor after seeing the evidence I would quickly issue an ad apology in the paper, after all there are Wingers who buy the paper.

      I could go deeper and say the Scottish government is funding the press in Scotland so the kickback from this furore and loss of sales could be offset by the funding from Holyrood.

    25. kapelmeister says:

      ScottieDog @10:15

      “Where does Douglas stand these days?”

      Permanently behind one of the burladeros I should think.

    26. Alf Baird says:

      This is another excellent example of how SNP ‘leadership’ ‘functions’ and why its ‘strategy’ is all over the place. Peter Bell also covers aspects of SNP leadership and strategy here: https://peterabell.scot/2021/03/14/kamikaze-strategy/

      As someone who used to lecture in strategic management, I found Peter’s analysis insightful and helpful to understand where the SNP is heading. His linkage to leadership style and the contrast between Alex and Nicola is also highly important. The present dysfunctional SNP hierarchy reminds me of many organisations that failed and the corporate graveyard is overflowing with them. The SNP now seems long overdue a leadership and senior management change and with that a new strategy and structure for decision making and planning.

      What is also absolutely clear is that the SNP’s present ‘strategy’, as far as one exists, is no longer aligned to the ever changing environment in which it operates. In management studies this is known as ‘strategic drift’. Here the strategy is way out of kilter with the demands of consumers or ‘the market’, i.e. the independence movement, as well as many ‘shareholders’, i.e. party members. The ‘market’ (us as indy voters) and ‘shareholders’ (party members) are now in the process of transferring or partially moving their ‘consumption’, their ‘investment’ and loyalty/goodwill to other ‘suppliers’ who can better meet their needs, i.e. AFI and ISP, the latter demonstrating a more focused strategy and planning, and more competent leadership.

      The ‘bottom line’ here is that the SNP absolutely needs to jettison its top management, like yesterday, if it has any hope of turning the organisation around. Like a complacent and deceitful Scottish Labour before them, and thousands of other poorly led organisations and businesses more generally, the SNP under its current inept leadership and its lack of strategic thinking is most assuredly heading for the rocks.

    27. robertknight says:

      Haven’t bought Nicola’s fanzine, a.k.a The National, since it ran the post-trial smear Salmond piece by the ‘Alphabites”.

      Just another rag not worthy of my hard-earned.

      This case in point proves it.

    28. Strathy says:

      Later in the article it says:-

      ‘But this newspaper’s source – who did not share any of the other draft manifesto materials – said erroneous claims about the party’s plans are “the absolute last thing we need” as the May 6 contest nears.’

      In order for those materials to be ‘OTHER DRAFT MANIFESTO materials’, the manifesto referenced earlier in the article must be a draft also.

      Not the hair-splitting cobblers that it is a ‘proposal’.

    29. Willie says:

      For me when I hear the words Mike Russell I think of the grand “ Pooh Bah ‘

      Bumptious self importance just oozes out this guy. He’s made a good living out of it. But that isn’t the only thing that makes me despise him and his politics.

      His sentiments exposed in his book where he would privatise every hospital, every clinic and issue health care vouchers to people to allow them to buy healthcare was absolutely shocking. Mor3 Tory than the most right wing Tory, here was a man masquerading as an SNP politician arguing for the total destruction of the NHS.

      And now he is President of the SNP and writing the election manifesto.

      Still think you are SNP with people like him at the helm who want to destroy the NHS. No wonder Sturgeon let Brexit happen. No wonder Blackford a merchant banker let the UK Internal Market Bill happen that removes power over the NHS to Westminster. No wonder the SNP let legislation go through that will allow privatisation of the Scottish NHS as part of a Trade Deal.

      Enjoy the NHS whilst you can folks!

    30. I’ve never trusted The National. The phrase “foot in both camps” springs to mind when thinking of their publishers.

    31. Lothianlad says:

      The national is a sturgeon SNP rag! No credibility . They fear wings as dies the entire brit establishment.
      The snp fear wings for exposing their lies!

      Stick with it stu. We need you man.

    32. mike cassidy says:

      How soon will there be a ‘no phones’ rule at SNP meetings?

    33. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      Sadly these days the

      SNP= no honour
      SNP= no honesty
      SNP= no integrity
      SNP= deceit & fraud

      We can’t have a true independent nation built on these principles. It’s just more of the same WM crap we’ve had to endure for 314 years.
      If you vote for this ,then well.

    34. Willie says:

      Taking your point about the bias of the National one has to say of course it is.

      The SNP are no longer an Independence Party. It’s conduct these last yesrs more than attests to that. Brexit sold down the river. Independence sold down the river as the internal Market bill and the location of 3,000 Westminster civil servants make provision to usurp utterly the power of the Scottish Parliament. And the removal of democracy all to be replaced by an authoritarian clique prepared and able to deploy the law to destroy opposition and not a real cheap about it in the press.

      So yes, look at the owners, the US owners of the National and you’ll realise the Trojan Horse that they are in their support for a Vichy SNP. And that exactly is what Rev Stu is exposing.

      As Brigadier General Adirondacks Frank Kitson emphasised, controlling and creating your own media is crucially, just like infiltrating all local campaign groups from the most basic levels up, is critically important to resist movements seeking independence..

      SNP and the Nation, different sides of that same policy.

    35. Michael B says:

      The recent shenanigans within the SNP remind me of this quotation…
      “As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.” – Abraham Lincoln.

    36. true scot says:

      Hannah Bardell suggesting a curfew on men being out after 6pm in any area where a woman has been attacked. What’s next in the SNP’s brave new world – an annual purge?

    37. holymacmoses says:

      I wonder if Russell et al would swap the name of the person who leaked the information about Mr Salmond to the press for the name of the person who sent you this email? Would the person who sent you this correspondence agree to such an exchange?

    38. Captain Yossarian says:

      I was writing earlier about the Shirley McKie case which took place in the early days of Holyrood. Jack McConnell was FM at the time and Helen Liddell was Secretary of State for Scotland.

      Shirley McKie was framed by bent finger-print cops who wanted to bankrupt her; no-one knows why, they just did. The bent cops were protected by a cover-up carried-out by Holyrood parliamentarians.

      Shirley McKie’s father, Iain McKie was disgusted by the corruption of Holyrood and the Scottish legal profession and he went to consult American experts. They sorted it out within days. Iain McKie had been conversing with the dullards of Holyrood for years and had been getting nowhere.

      Helen Liddell instigated an independent check of Police Scotland and they identified the bent cops. They were removed and Shirley McKie was awarded damages against a bent Scottish Government.

      Ironically, the most honest man/woman at Holyrood during that time was Mike Russell. How times have changed.

      Holyrood really does need to dispose of those who are determined to bring us all down. I would start with John Swinney.

    39. Cenchos says:

      Remember this?
      Dennis McLeod and Michael Russell, Grasping the Thistle 2006. p155-6:

      ‘Take health first of all. We would encourage the private sector to compete with established NHS hospitals, clinics and other services. We would encourage NHS management and staff to buy out existing NHS facilities and services under favourable financial terms and join the private sector. We would require NHS facilities that remained in government ownership to be run at a profit however modest. Those that failed to maintain profitability over a reasonable time frame would be privatised. In each geographic area the government would solicit bids from the area’s medical facilities and GPs for the various services it required for its citizens. Fragmentation of services may well see the redundancy of large general hospitals and their replacement with privately run clinics specialising and competing in particular medical procedures and services, at least in the more populated areas.’

      Now, read again, the last line through the prism of transgenderism:

      ‘Fragmentation of services may well see the redundancy of large general hospitals and their replacement with privately run clinics specialising and competing in particular medical procedures and services, at least in the more populated areas.’

    40. Shocked says:

      The national, propaganda arm of the SNP leadership.

      Mike Russell, a man so right wing with dreams to abolish the NHS and social security that the tories wouldn’t even have him… an incomer who thinks us native born scots are drunks and lazy slobs who live in shitholes and spend our days lying in the gutter.

      If anyone doubts me read “grasping the thistle”.

    41. Robert Graham says:

      All they had to say is a draft manifesto is out for discussion ,that was it story ended

      This denial and subsequent story from the national just makes them look stupid
      Stu could have some fun by publishing shite knowing for a fact the detractors of anything and everything everything he does is wrong ,

      Ok Indy ref2 will be held on the 10th of June this will on condition of the results of the Plebiscite election held in May that will give everyone a indication of the strength of feeling about support for independence .

      This of course will be automatically denied and that fkr from bath will be pilloried for stirring up trouble and is at it again, he should be shut down , for weeks this site has been in the cross hairs of every Nicola supporter it’s been constant shut him down . I wonder what they have to fear.

    42. Mike Russell has replied to my tweet linking this article

      @Feorlean Replying to ??@IndyLassie and ?@theSNP?

      “Just to confirm, I didn’t write it. No ifs, no buts. Nor did I send it to anyone for discussion. The person who did write it has confirmed his authorship to me”

    43. Cenchos says:

      This from Bella:

      ‘After scanning the first draft of Grasping the Thistle, Alex Salmond grasped Mike Russell by the lapels and told him to delete the most politically-dangerous passages or he would probably never sit again in the Scottish Parliament – certainly not within the SNP’s ranks.’

    44. John says:

      Use to put the National on top of MSM newspapers in supermarkets, gave that up a long time ago. Would not go near the National now. I am sure others have taken the same view. We need an opposition pro lndy party to get independence. How long and when I do not know.

    45. stuart mctavish says:

      @Kapelmeister

      McPravda not as parochial as it could be for all that – especially when it manages to ignore (in)credible claims that a prominent supporter of an even more prominent Ayrshire golfer (and former Scottish business ambassador no less) had her young assistant VAPORIZED (allegedly as part of the intimidation campaign against him and/or anyone inclined to stop the steal)!

      https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2021/03/13/explosive-statement-attorney-sidney-powell-alleges-kelly-loeffler-staffer-harrison-deal-was-murdered/

    46. Geoff Anderson says:

      So glad I cancelled my subscription last month. It should have been about Independence not a Party propaganda sheet. The National is now a mini UK style party politics rag now, not grown up free thinking journalism.

      I still always suspected that the Herald Masters dictated the path anyway.

      Interesting that protecting Sturgeon has become so important to these Unionist owners.

    47. Ottomanboi says:

      Overthrow the Junta!
      Pull the rug away. The way to do it?
      https://votingcounts.org.uk/spoilt-ballot
      http://www.spoilyourvote.co.uk/
      A so called spoilt vote is still a vote.
      Independence being the only authentic choice, « Independence » printed in bold, diagonally on the ballot paper, being careful not to mark any box, makes that point.
      Sufficient « spoilt » ballot papers and the results of an election might be considered compromised.
      There is only a very slim chance of a referendum on independence if Westminster says no.
      The alternative is staring you in the face.

    48. I am not interested in divide and conquer>Most times I read what people say with an open mind.Most of these discussions focusing on attacking the S.N.P. and a lot of people in the party.Many using made up names.I have yet to see the object of attacking people for independence,I never find too many attacking the common enemy WESTMINSTER,the most CORRUPT,greedy,lying parasites,supported by BILLIONAIRE RAGS and mis-information from the B.B.C. I haver seen this Westminster mob or its readers attacking Wings???? I am a supporter of both Alec Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon,as for someone calling her evil well over the top,shit stirring plans from south of the border!!

    49. Patrick Roden says:

      Re: transferring phone audio to your computer device. (in case the person is reading)

      I had the problem of ‘sorry this file is too large to send by email’ recently and it was easy to solve,

      Just play the audio straight from the phone (boosted by connecting a speaker, if you want), then simply play it next to your computer’s input mike.

      You can then chop this audio down into the file sizes needed to send by email.

    50. Hamish Anderson says:

      Frankly, redacted documents are of no value to anyone. The truth never needs to be redacted.

    51. McDuff says:

      I have never bought the National as it was an obvious cynical ploy to get yes voters business while having pretendy pro independence articles.
      It’s a unionist rag which supports Sturgeon as does almost all of its posters.
      Don’t buy it or subscribe.

    52. TheSNPLeftMe says:

      Hamish

      The information needs to be redacted when you are protecting whistleblowers.

    53. Wee Chid says:

      Robert Galloway says:
      14 March, 2021 at 12:11 pm
      I’m from North of the Border and would ask what else other than evil you would call a woman who conspired to jail a former friend, who has derailed independence and who has thrown other women under the bus simply to further her own ambitions of a job with the UN?
      Open your eyes – she’s lying to us. She is the one doing the dividing – WM don’t even have to bother, she is so bloody good at it.

    54. Beaker says:

      @Giesabrek (the original) says:
      14 March, 2021 at 9:56 am
      “Stu, you shouldn’t have bothered giving the SNP mouthpiece a chance to correct their story, you should’ve just gone straight to IPSO with a complaint.”

      He is doing things correctly. When you raise an issue with a regulator, it carries a hell of a lot more weight if you have tried to resolve it beforehand.

    55. Tom says:

      Does the brilliant Martin Hannan still write for The National? (I cancelled my digital subscription about two years ago, then my print one soon after, so I can’t know.)

      If so, he must be finding the slavish SNP fandom tough to stomach ..

    56. TheSNPLeftMe says:

      I don’t know what has happened to Mike Russel? It started a few years back when I noticed he kept pushing any concerns about the Wokes off the agenda. He started with the soft line “you don’t understand it from their perspective”. I think they all had a correct thinking indoctrination.

      I’m still surprised though. He should have been defending the membership and internal democracy better.

      If he was standing again I wouldn’t vote for him. Brendan had joined the same club and he will not be getting my vote ever again. The SNP have a new candidate and I’m thinking about it given the top list candidate for the SNP is ultra Woke. Obviously the SNP will not be getting my list vote.

    57. Ian Mac says:

      The quality of governance and the media in Scotland at the moment is deplorable. It puts a massive dampener on the indy movement if you think that this is exactly how the current SNP clique envisage a future Scotland – an absolutist party government with a pathetically compliant media dependent on handouts. You might want a Scandinavia or an Iceland, they want a Belarus.

    58. Cenchos says:

      It strikes me that nothing has happened to M Russell. He maybe had to hide his candle for a time, but it’s safe to relight it now.

    59. Paul McRae says:

      Russell is a fervent believer in the privatisation of healthcare. He cannot be trusted

    60. Ian Mac says:

      “I had the problem of ‘sorry this file is too large to send by email’ recently and it was easy to solve”

      If that is the issue, then all you need to do is put the file on dropbox, icloud, google drive or one of the free upload sites like MediaFire. Then just send the link to the file.

    61. sarah says:

      @ Rev: have you asked Chris Hanlon? That will solve it.

    62. Liz says:

      Re changing Scot Exec to Scot Gov, was a good move under Alex S.

      Under him all the big projects took place, The QFC, Borders railway, removing Skye bridge tolls, saving Grangemouth, Prestwick.
      IMO he was preparing the ground for indy, Prestwick to be our international hub.

      Under Sturgeon we’ve had baby boxes.
      Prestwick is up for sale, all the promised big projects have come to nothing.
      We’ve gone from Holyrood preparing to be a government to Holyrood, the glorified social work dept.

    63. Saffron Robe says:

      Stuart, The National is in the pocket of the SNP and acts as their party mouthpiece. I know from personal experience that whatever you say to them, if it does not confer with their editorial line, will be selectively edited to paint you in the worst light possible.

      However, as a consummate professional perhaps you will have more luck in taking them to task. You have the documentation to prove it after all.

      Lying and misinforming seems to be running as wild in The National as it is in the SNP. Both are as tainted as each other and there is no hope of redemption for either.

    64. boris says:

      https://caltonjock.com/2021/03/14/scottish-independence-the-gathering-storm/

      The Westminster Government’s underhand decision to further emasculate the government of Scotland through the establishment of a UK Government in Scotland, right in the heart of Edinburgh, presents new challenges for Scottish supporters of the devolved Scottish Government and its already limited powers.

      Powers greatly reduced from January 2021 after Brexit are in breach of the “Vow” signed by Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband, which was published only two days before the 2014 referendum warping the outcome, leading to a “no” vote, the creation of the Smith Commission and devolution of significant new powers to Scotland.

    65. Dan says:

      So the Conservatives pledge to repeal Hate Crime Bill should the unionist win power in upcoming Scottish elections.

      Doh! I mean if only the SNP had the wisdom and political expediency to have foreseen such an astute counter move…

    66. Shocked says:

      @Robert Galloway

      So you support Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon who set him up and tried to jail him. Let’s just forget that not only did Nicola Sturgeon try to assassinate Alex Salmond by sending him to die in prison, as we all know attempted rape is a life sentence. Let’s forget it was the attempted rape accusations of woman H (I believe) that ended up being shredded in court. Let’s forget that Nicola Sturgeon instructed her goons to erase Alex Salmond from the history of the SNP. Let’s forget Nicola Sturgeon’s goons have labelled Wings a “far right hate site”. Let’s forget that hate crime Bill has been passed and that Sturgeon’s goons will be scouring this website to try and indentify subversives to be prosecuted.

      Aye “Robert”, let’s just forget all of it. We see you.

    67. sog says:

      The recent Stephen Paton column attacking WoS was the reason for my cancelling my Nat subscription. If it hadn’t been, this would have done the same.

    68. Garrion says:

      Oh whit a surprise, the Notional turns out to be not that independence minded after all…

    69. Republicofscotland says:

      So two Holyrood party leaders are to go head to head, as SLAB’s Anas Sarwar takes on the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon in her South Side constituency, this should make for an interesting single contest.

    70. Kiwilassie says:

      Al-Stuart says
      Keep doing what you are doing Stuart. Your have between 1,000,000 and 4,000,000 readers a month. The National is avariciousy wanting the reflected glory from you by getting some of your 4,000,000 to visit their 12,000 regular readership under dubious Calum
      _________________

      Al-Stuart Always like reading your posts. I have to say I couldn’t read all of Pete Wishart’s blog. The man is such an ass & spouts a lot of pish.

    71. ClanDonald says:

      A thought just occurred to me about the random capitalisation in the draft manifesto – putting capitals on every noun is something that people who are German (or speak German) do, they find it difficult to stop when they write in English.

      Could Nicola have tasked the half-German and fluent German speaker, Angus Robertson to write it but got Mike Russell to release it as coming from him? Nicola has a long track record of giving lucrative contracts to her favourite chums so it wouldn’t surprise me. It would explain why they claim it was someone else but won’t admit who.

    72. Ottomanboi says:

      Independence = Constitutional Crisis.
      Surely it is not beyond the wit of the SNP to provoke one?
      On the basis of past practice it does appear not.
      A certain Mr Gethins in the National writes of Scotland and « foreign policy ».
      Ok, until you read between the lines. I detect the soft centre of compromise. Scotland, now with devolved powers, can impact foreign policy within the UK. Independence is the goal but we can still influence the course of such policy. From the English perspective that does look very much like a small tail wagging a big dog, As Dr Johnson might opine like a monkey writing a novel, not a serious hypothesis.
      Sentimental attachment to Britishness within the SNP and the wider electorate is hobbling the independence process. Sentiment and fear are the only weapons the Unionists have. The lack of focus and dynamism in nationalist politics empowers both.
      The British State has rarely been as « frail » as it is now. Why the grinding of teeth and wringing of hands?
      Fear, sentiment….staying safe?

    73. Morag MacMillan says:

      While we all , that are supposedly after the same thing are at each other’s throats the dream of ruling ourselves is becoming more unlikely, it’s all so depressing and tragically predictable. Bit like our football team .

    74. Republicofscotland says:

      Boris @12.53pm.

      I’ve read that there’s to be a five-hundred staffed Westminster government ran cabinet office in Glasgow, and that MP’s representing Westminster are to sit in at Holyrood on a number of occasions.

      Of course its all a plan to undermine and negate Holyrood piece by piece. As I’ve said before a SNP minority government will allow Johnson to proclaim in the media that Scots voted for it by not giving the SNP a majority.

    75. Angus F MacLeod says:

      1000 Footsoldier says:

      “Since 2014, the SNP should have concentrated on running Scotland competently with every other resource devoted to a permanent independence campaign, painting a picture of what an independent Scotland would look like, answering questions outstanding from 2014 and make the people want independence. Then and only then, hold an independence referendum.”

      That’s it in a nutshell Footsoldier. When we view the administration now rife with lies and corruption, a failing education system, rusting ferries costing an additional fortune each month, the CO having to pay out £100m to Rangers, the HCB and GRA, etc, etc, my God, would we want a one party state run by the SNP if we got independece? We need new people to rise up and carry us forward for the next WM election and get rid of the Murrells and cronies. This one is a waste of ballot papers.

    76. TheSNPLeftMe says:
      14 March, 2021 at 12:31 pm
      I don’t know what has happened to Mike Russel? It started a few years back when I noticed he kept pushing any concerns about the Wokes off the agenda. He started with the soft line “you don’t understand it from their perspective”. I think they all had a correct thinking indoctrination.

      Stonewall and Mermaids, both funded by Scotgov, continue to give ‘guidance & training’ to Scotland’s parliament, schools, and institutions.

      We’re actually paying for identity politics indoctrination.

    77. Marie Clark says:

      I too have cancelled my subscription to the National. I did tell them that I was not happy that it had turned into an SNP pamphlet and lead cheerleader for the Nic fan club.

      All I got was sorry that you are leaving us, perhaps you will come back in the future. Aye right. Nae Chance of that.

    78. holymacmoses says:

      Boris and Nicola are playing politics aren’t they

    79. Mia says:

      “a SNP minority government will allow Johnson to proclaim in the media that Scots voted for it by not giving the SNP a majority”

      Giving the SNP a majority will be endorsing the hand over of powers to England MPs that Sturgeon’s SNP did over the last 5 years endorsing their erosion of females’ rights and freedom of speech and their putting Holyrood in such position in the first place.

      SNP is not a synonym of independence. Under Sturgeon it is in fact the precise opposite. Johnson does not live in Scotland, does not vote in Scotland and has no mandate from Scotland to govern us, to dictate us or to speak on our behalf. He can say whatever nonsense he wants. But it will be just his opinion and as valid as that of somebody in Timbuktu.

    80. Keith says:

      @scottydog

      I don’t know him that well outside one campaign a good few years ago. I get the feeling, from his response, that he is ‘one of the good guys’ and that there’s more to come on this but he’s tied on what he can and can’t say about it. I feel we’re maybe the first branch that’s asked him about it as his coupon hit the floor when it came and he went into full media interview mode.

      Was an uncomfortable few minutes for all.

    81. Eileen Carson says:

      Very likely they were scared of this in the Sunday Post overshadowing anything they had to ‘report’. https://archive.is/iiWXa

    82. Josef Ó Luain says:

      Mike Russel has always been a Tory of the extreme variety, but was considered too radical to be allowed into the old Scottish party back-in-the-day, no matter how hard he worked to cultivate his accent.

    83. David says:

      If SNP hierarchy are happy to attach Mike Russell’s name to a document written by someone else, it looks like he’s not as well-regarded as he thought.
      Watch your back, Mr Russell, the party regard you as expendable.
      (That’s the *favourable* reading of what happened – the unfavourable is that Mr Russell is just plain lying and *did* write or co-author the document.)

    84. Mark Boyle says:

      @Eileen Carson says: 14 March, 2021 at 2:13 pm
      “Very likely they were scared of this in the Sunday Post overshadowing anything they had to ‘report’. https://archive.is/iiWXa

      Salmond warns Sturgeon about Grady being accused of sexual harassment three years ago. Nothing happens – except Salmond is accused of sexual harassment one year later. What a remarkable coincidence.

      It would be hilarious if this does turn out to be the final nail in Sturgeon’s coffin – jings, crivvans, help ma boab, sunk by the Sunday Post!

    85. sarah says:

      I claim my Alert Reader badge: Rev may have been given some duff gen, in all good faith. I have my sources…

    86. Wee Chid says:

      ClanDonald says:
      14 March, 2021 at 1:13 pm
      Maybe she got Spier to do it. she wouldn’t know the difference between a common noun and a proper noun.

    87. Wee Chid says:

      Sorry Spear

    88. Patrick Roden says:

      @Ian Mac
      If that is the issue, then all you need to do is put the file on dropbox, icloud, google drive or one of the free upload sites like MediaFire. Then just send the link to the file

      I think the problem is at the ‘phone end’ with some phones (including mine) not allowing the user to send files bigger than the ‘allowed’ size from the phone to any device.
      I found that once you have it copied onto your PC device it stops being a problem.

    89. dakk says:

      Are all you liars on here still trying to pretend Nicola Sturgeon conspired with the judiciary, the UK civil service, and various women to frame Alex Salmond when Alex himself stated he had no evidence of such?

      Whether unionist, or just gullible idiots,using Alex Salmond’s name to promote your crap is beyond shameful.

      All the thousands of man hours spent trying to jigsaw he said she said tittle tattle into a Nicola Sturgeon witchunt.

      Epic fail.

    90. Wee Chid says:

      dakk says:
      14 March, 2021 at 4:23 pm

      Whatever.

    91. Dan Hardy says:

      Nae offence like, but the The National resembles Breitbart more and more as time goes by, both in content and in readers comments.

    92. PeterM says:

      Is it perhaps the old trick of leaking slightly differing versions of a document or article, to different groups, so that they know who has passed it on to others?

    93. Gregor says:

      No wonder The National Pinocchio no longer believes that public comment is free.

      What a public embarrassment.

    94. Natal XX and proud says:

      @Dakk
      Listen up mate-we are not liars.
      AS himself said that he did not believe that NS was the instigator/at the centre of a conspiracy.
      There are other forces at work behind NS.

    95. Tim Rideout says:

      I am afraid on this one your informants got the wrond end of stick completely. This was a proposal from one member of the NEC and never had anything to do with Mike Russell. Probably never got discussed, as that meeting was mostly on another subject as you know. It was then sent to all the PEOs as a discussion starter, hence where you got it. The actual manifesto is written by Keith Brown and approved by the FM, so Russell has no formal involvement. At no time was it ever the actual start of a draft manifesto.

    96. Peter Bell throws down the gauntlet

      “They can neither refute nor rebut anything that is published on Wings Over Scotland; much of which is casting the SNP leadership in a very bad light. So they try to damage his credibility.

      https://peterabell.scot/2021/03/14/shooting-the-spotlights/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

    97. Boaby says:

      Brought up as a youngster in the 70’s in NI by catholic parents, the word, catholic nationalist, put the fear of god into the brits, put that against scottish nationalists, still pissing myself laughing.

    98. Boaby says:

      My irish/scots brother(as i am) in england today drove his english wife 200 miles to see her 85 yr old mum in lockdown, to celebrate mothers day.(she’s 90 in aug) She cried when her daughter turned up as a surprise on her doorstep. So, a message for you scots, fuck your cowardice, fuck your FM, and sorry, you dont deserve be anything other than an arse wipe for england.

    99. Boaby says:

      Must be that weee bit of irish blood that makes us rebellious. Because it certainly aint scottish.

    100. Boaby says:

      Sorry wifes mum is 90 in 2006. Lockdowns doing ma heid in.

    101. Boaby says:

      Jeezo 2021, im going tae bed.

    102. Boaby says:

      She is 90 in aug , she’s 89 now. Wife’ll kill me.

    103. Boaby says:

      That it i’m pished, goodnight.

    104. Fungi guy says:

      Dear Stuart. Hmmm. Many years ago, I was involved with the airborne. I think that you are missing something. If someone pulls a gun on you, you do not pull a gun upon them? OK? It is stupid to do so? You call in an airborne strike, and an area battering of the enemy with mortars, etc. So, present evidence, make sure that the evidence get’s spread to people who have not heard it, and let us all spoil our first votes, then vote AFL ON THE PLACE

    105. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I am afraid on this one your informants got the wrond end of stick completely. This was a proposal from one member of the NEC and never had anything to do with Mike Russell.”

      I have solid evidence to the contrary and nothing to back up any other version. The protests about it seem to me to be largely over a semantic irrelevance anyway, more aimed at attempting to damage/discredit Wings than anything else. It appears agreed by all sides that it was a genuine SNP discussion document, and its precise authorship and demarcation seem fairly unimportant details.

    106. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Dear Stuart. Hmmm. Many years ago, I was involved with the airborne. I think that you are missing something. If someone pulls a gun on you, you do not pull a gun upon them? OK? It is stupid to do so? You call in an airborne strike, and an area battering of the enemy with mortars, etc. So, present evidence, make sure that the evidence get’s spread to people who have not heard it, and let us all spoil our first votes, then vote AFL ON THE PLACE”

      I have no clue what any of that meant.

    107. Don says:

      @Effigy 14 March, 2021 at 10:20 am

      “A very big part in my determination to see an independent Scotlandwas the revelations within the McCrone report.
      Westminster constraints.Like Norway, we could also be boasting of a $2 Trillion Oil fund as opposed to a
      share of England’s £2.3 Trillion of ever growing debt.”

      Dear God our Oil Revenues pay for our Public Services , so you cant use them for an Oil Fund without scrapping our Public Services, why are so many so still completely clueless?
      Scotland isn’t Norway
      “It does not explain when it would be set up, how the books would be balanced or where lost income [for services paid for by oil revenues] would be saved.“There are many questions that need to be answered. But in the end, why set up an oil fund when you can pay off national debt instead?”
      https://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/scottish-independence-alex-salmond-takes-step-back-oil-fund-2511096

    108. Don says:

      @sog says:
      14 March, 2021 at 1:02 pm

      “The recent Stephen Paton column attacking WoS was the reason for my cancelling my Nat subscription. If it hadn’t been, this would have done the same”

      Was that the guy that was dressing up as a female before ? Another of the wokerati ?

    109. Don says:

      Well when Mike Russell can deny a phone ringing right in front of him isn’t his he could probably lie about anything https://twitter.com/Mike_Blackley/status/1370019504122601477

    110. Kcor says:

      The National has been a fake since its launch.

    111. Roger says:

      @Cenchos and @shocked just read your stuff about Mike Russell. I didn’t know that and am fkn shocked. Between him and Stewart ‘they gave me the Iron Cross’ McDonald, this SNP Gov is starting to smell a bit like Pinochet’s Chile.
      Quite apart from all the gender woo woo crap WTF is going on?



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