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Two liars

Posted on January 12, 2021 by

So we have our answer. According to press reports today (although we haven’t seen an actual official reply), John Swinney has refused to formally tell James Hamilton that his inquiry into possible breaches of the Ministerial Code by the First Minister over the Alex Salmond investigation ought to include the matter of whether she repeatedly lied to Parliament about what she knew and when.

Wave goodbye to justice, readers.

Because the First Minister and her deputy are now proven liars and cowards.

Both had explicitly assured voters that Hamilton’s inquiry would encompass all aspects of the Code, which requires ministers to resign if found to have misled the Parliament.

So there was no conceivable reason or justification for Swinney to refuse to officially clarify Hamilton’s remit to that effect, unless they were both lying about it.

Yet refuse he has.

There are now three possible outcomes of Mr Hamilton’s probe:

(1) He publishes a report finding that the First Minister did lie to the Parliament, which would require the First Minister to resign or face a vote of no confidence in a chamber where she has no majority.

(2) He publishes a report finding that she did NOT lie to Parliament, which would be so farcically ridiculous – given the evidence that’s already been published proving that she definitely, indisputably did so – that his report would be quite properly mocked and decried as a grotesquely, farcically corrupt whitewash and probably lead to a vote of no confidence anyway.

(3) He publishes a report which makes no reference either way to the issue of whether she lied to Parliament, which would prove that both the First Minister and her deputy were deliberately deceiving voters and Parliament about the remit of his inquiry (while also strongly implying her guilt over the original accusation), and again be mocked and decried as a shameful whitewash and probably lead to a vote of no confidence.

So all he can really tell us now is whether two people are grossly corrupt liars, or three. We look forward, nonetheless, to finding out which it is.

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    1. 12 01 21 15:56

      Two liars | speymouth

    110 to “Two liars”

    1. BuggerLePanda says:

      They are going for broke, thinking / hoping that the personal vote for NS will continue and carry them over their line, whatever it is.

      If that is their plan, they are heading into a bear trap

    2. James Horace says:

      They are now 100% gambling on Sturgeon’s popularity saving her. Sadly, I still think it will.

    3. Intractable Potsherd says:

      There is, just feasibly, one other option for Mr Hamilton – resign from the enquiry stating that his role cannot be fulfilled. How large a cat that would put in the pigeon-loft is an exercise for the reader!

    4. Patsy Millar says:

      I seem to be saying, ‘Yikes!’ a lot these days.

    5. George Rutherford says:

      The untouchable Sturgeon is laughing at every single one of us, giving us all the middle finger.

      My detestation of her grows.

      And she is meant to be leading me to Independence.

      One of us has turned down the wrong road, and it certainly wasn’t me.

    6. robertknight says:

      SNP Government using so much concealer these days I hope Estée Lauder gives them a discount.

      Thinking of the time, money and effort I spent getting theses charlatans elected makes me want to puke. Or break something. Or puke AND break something…

    7. Morgatron says:

      Just watched Lesley Evans grilling. Medium rare in culinary terms I think. When the square of sunlight was glaring in her eyes , it looked like the gestapo would enter the room. I can’t believe I’m saying old Jackie (the pish) Baillie gave her a good ride for her money. I’m sure I heard the sphincter open slightly.

    8. WhoRattledYourCage says:

      “That’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to study what we do.” – George W Bush aide, 2002.

      I don’t know why that quote came to mind…

    9. Captain Yossarian says:

      It’s all about momentum and once a political party becomes so mired in lies and corruption that it brings the whole of civic-Scotland into disrepute, then it is pretty much the end.

      I would be surprised it there wasn’t a wave of indignation aimed at Swinney and Sturgeon now. Think of the Westminster expenses scandal and think of the £0.5 million missing from the indyref 2 fund….all under Sturgeon and Swinney’s watch.

      Scots aren’t daft.

    10. Douglas says:

      Started small
      Deeper and deeper they go
      Each lie can only be covered by a bigger one

      ‘I am in blood / Stepped in so far, that, should I wade no more, / Returning were as tedious as go o’er’ (III. 4.136–8)

      -Shakespeare’s Scottish Play
      (no murder was committed)

    11. Another_Ian_Blackford_Speech says:

      What’s the mechanism that would instigate a judicial review? Would it have to be recommended in the final report from the parliamentary inquiry?

    12. Triangular Ears says:

      Is it possible that Nicola Sturgeon could survive a vote of no confidence regardless of the lack of majority?

      Unionists want her to stay on after all, as they know the union is safe in her hands while an S30 is the only show in town.

      They could dress up support as “ensuring stability through covid” etc and look magnanimous into the bargain. They could ‘believe’ her ‘forgetfullness’ at getting the dates wrong.

      I mean, who ever remembers the exact date you’re told your mentor and friend of years is supposedly a rapist?

    13. Sharny Dubs says:

      Westminster in Holyrood

    14. Mungo Armstrong says:

      I’m a Scottish Nationalist and have been all my life, I’m in my 40’s, I’ve never voted for a unionist party. I was thinking over a conundrum I have and was wondering what other people’s opinion might be. I understand the argument for voting SNP, greater good and all that, in the hope that sturgeon can be removed and the SNP taken back by those that actually place gaining Scotland’s independence at the top of their priorities. But morally, I wonder what is worse, voting for the SNP and returning a woman who quite obviously tried to get a man jailed for crimes he didn’t commit or not voting at all and risking letting a unionist party gain power? What’s worse, a unionist government and first minister or one who has committed the most despicable crime?

    15. Peter S says:

      Well! – surprise, surprise!

    16. SilverDarling says:

      She will have been found to have broken the code ‘in a very limited and specific way’ but will apologise profusely saying what is important is the pandemic.

      There will be a vote of no confidence in her and she will lose but will say in the interest of the country she will stay on to oversee the management of the pandemic.

      There will be an election where there will not be an SNP majority but they will have the most seats so she will say that Independence is not on the cards for now and she will continue as mandated by the people to manage the pandemic and reform the GRA…

    17. crisiscult says:

      @mungoarmstrong Who am I to give “moral” advice but as you’re asking, here’s my view:

      The evidence strongly suggests corruption, self-seeking, vanity, greed, power-hunger and so on and so forth.

      The UK, with all the powers of a state (that is also a nuclear armed state and a lapdog to the most powerful state, the USA) has destroyed and will continue to destroy the lives of millions whether here or abroad.

      So, weighing those two up, it’s more important to leave the UK, and perhaps reduce its capacity to inflict misery but at the very least remove Scots from collective guilt (you’ll note how we modern Scots are supposed to be guilty of all the crimes of the British Empire throughout history!).

      However, I am convinced by the various pieces of information coming out that Nicola and the inner circle of the SNP will not bring us independence. For that reason, and predominantly that reason, I want her gone and a change of leadership.

      If the SNP go into the May election with a woolly statement on their approach to independence, I a) will not vote for them in the constituency vote, b) will vote ISP on the list, and c) might campaign against the SNP (not sure what campaigning will be going on at that time e.g. if canvassing and pop up stalls will be allowed).

    18. Muscleguy says:

      @Mungo Armstrong
      I watched the harrasment committee proceedings, live tweeting commentary on it. If I was Jackie Baillie’s constituent I would seriously be thinking of voting for her since I think we need her obvious forensic talents in the parliament.

      I say that as an experienced indy campaigner who is now a member of the ISP. We live in Interesting times.

    19. Bob Mack says:

      They cannot be believed to keep their word.

      I used to admire Nicola Sthrgeon to be honest, but I think events over the last few years have taken the shine completely off thst admiration. She is as sleekit as any politician and probably becoming more prone to excess as time in power continues.

      I believed her to be so very different.

    20. kapelmeister says:

      Sturgeon was, when Depute FM, fond of accusing unionist politicians of “cowering in the corner”. Now it’s her turn.

    21. Lorna Campbell says:

      It just gets worse and worse. That is politics, though, and the FM is still held in very high esteem by very many people, so she might well hang on, regardless of what they do. That could be a good thing from a purely pragmatical viewpoint – if she were to: a) win the election and hold a referendum thereafter (not my choice because it could be lost again, but better than a kick in the teeth); or, b) hold a plebiscitary election and go straight into negotiations to withdraw Scotland from the UK.

      The question is: will she? I think not. If she does, it will be a complete departure from the pattern we have seen thus far – which is to hang on till it’s too late to retrieve any credibility, then bluff thereafter, convincing the faithful that you really, really mean it this time… or next… or the time after that… or the Twelfth of Never.

      I hope she does the thing no one expects and orders a plebiscitary election with a main Manifesto policy to negotiate our immediate withdrawal from the UK, and, failing Westminster’s co-operation, take the Treaty case to the UN. That way, she might salvage her reputation and become the country’s darling – at least long enough to save her political skin and depart politics with a smile instead of a tear, and above all, with some of the respect that so many of us once felt for her. How did it get to this?

    22. David R says:

      Both NS and her supporters know that supporters of indy will vote for SNP as they’re the only show in town. The unionists know that she’ll not rock the boat and is focused on creating a feminist utopia where trying to get a man jailed is seen as a progressive action against the patriarchy. If there was a chance of her losing I think they’d come to her rescue. For both sides a nice comfortable minority SNP government would be favoured option.

      In the same way that loosing half the MPs got the SNP to kick an indyref into the long grass them maybe getting kicked out of government will get them to focus on their supposed priority. As said can’t see it happening and Saint Nicola will continue to be worshipped by her acolytes.

    23. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Is it possible that Nicola Sturgeon could survive a vote of no confidence regardless of the lack of majority?”

      Well, yes, obviously she can survive it if she wins it. But why would the opposition bother calling one if they weren’t going to vote for it and confident that they’d win it?

    24. Mungo Armstrong says:

      Thanks crisiscult, good answer. Think that’s what I’ll do too.

    25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “There will be a vote of no confidence in her and she will lose but will say in the interest of the country she will stay on to oversee the management of the pandemic.”

      She can’t do that. If she loses a vote of confidence she isn’t the First Minister any more.

    26. George Rutherford says:

      If Sturgeon or the SNP ask me for just one favour, I swear, I will ram it back down their throats so fast, they won’t know what hit them.

    27. Astonished says:

      I think if you vote for Nicola Sturgeon in May you will get genderwoowoo and humza’s thought crime bill – so you can’t complain or you’ll likely be fitted up.

      What you wont get is independence for at least five years.

      If voting in Boris has taught us one thing it’s never vote for a liar or liars.

      P.S. I will be voting ISP with my second vote. I might use my first vote – to try to stop the genderwoowoo train.

    28. Lene says:

      This whole sorry tale is the last nail in the coffin for me. Life got bad enough being an EU citizen living in UK after the 2016 referendum but there was the hope initially that Scotland could be saved – we would break free of the Union and build an independent country, striving towards creating a better and more equal and just society. To now be faced with the situation of the only political party I ever trusted – and of which I have been a member for over 30 years – being shown to be as dishonest and corrupt as the rest of them is absolutely heart breaking. I could just about cope with gender issues and the Hate Crime bill (although deeply unhappy about them) and being deeply disappointed and frustrated with the focus on trying to overturn Brexit (which England legitimately wanted..) rather than going all out to get Scotland out of this disaster. The fight for Scottish independence is now over for me and I will finally do what I have been told so often by many people in the past nearly 5 years: “Go back to your own country if you don’t like the way things are run here!”. I will return to my birth country later this year once C19 (hopefully) settles down, to take my rightful place as a committed citizen in an independent and prosperous small country rather than continuing being told when I have the gall to voice an opinion as ‘an immigrant’, ‘an economic unit’, ‘a foreigner’, ‘a cuckoo in the nest’, ‘a benefit scrounger’, ‘a thief of jobs’, ‘a usurper’, ‘a fanatic’, ‘a vile separatist’ (just a small selection of labels which have been applied to me) – and having to sacrifice all my principles of truth and justice to vote for a party which has by now lost all my respect and affection. A country where the values continue to be based on lies, injustice, backstabbing, cronyism and corruption is not the kind of country I wish to continue to live in. I’m sorry but I’m out, as the dragons would say.

    29. Astonished says:

      Another thought – Machiavellian – I know.

      What if the yoon members asking for a widening of the enquiry was a deliberate ploy ? Knowing full well that it would be refused.

      That way fewer folk can say the yoons want her to stay (although obviously they do).

    30. Livionian says:

      Anyone still enthusiastically voting SNP in May? Scotland can do so much better than these two tossers. I hope future generations of indy supporters don’t wonder about how we managed to blow this period and have the biggest party of our cause ran by absolute snakes.

      Come on indy movement, we have to do better

    31. kapelmeister says:

      Swinney may look like Michel Foucault these days but he must be far from smart if he thinks we’ll buy his lies.

    32. Willie John says:

      It could be that the high popularity that NS enjoys is from all the unionist likes that she is getting!

    33. Clwyd Griffiths says:

      Rev, the day after a Uk wide poll that showed Nicola Sturgeon is the most popular party leader by far, you write an article like this?

      As Pete Wishart says “What the Tories and the SNPbad bloggers and their followers don’t appreciate is just how much our First Minister and John Swinney is admired and trusted. All their efforts to bring her down simply won’t work. The nonsensical SNPbad should just stop. It is corrosive, undermines confidence and could end up with us beating ourselves.”

      It’s hard to disagree with that.

    34. Eileen Carson says:

      NS is popular in the rest of the UK!

    35. John Swinney what has happened to you? I always considered you to be one of the most honest politicians in the whole of the U.K. I’m sitting here shaking my head in disbelief.

    36. Bob Mack says:

      I will definitely withdraw my constituency vkte from the SNP.

      I will vote ISP on the list.

      If Unionists love her so much now, they can help her push for Indy in 5 years time. Im out.

      Good luck with that Nicola.

    37. James Horace says:

      Rev, if is is clear to all in parliament that Sturgeon has broken the ministerial code on multiple counts, how confident are you that the greens would vote against her to remove her?

      They have form….

    38. Republicofscotland says:

      If Hamilton publishes numbers two or three, we must call him out as well, his reputation would be in tatters and no one in officialdom would ever request he handle anything of any gravity ever again.

      A couple of indepth articles from you on Mr Hamilton read by your almost a million viewers would be shared far and wide if Hamilton knuckles under and goes down the number two or three route.

      The Scottish public aren’t daft Mr Hamilton we see you, so do the right thing.

    39. kapelmeister says:


      Look sonny, we fight for Scotland, not for superficially popular and utterly superficial politicians such as Sturgeon.

    40. SilverDarling says:

      “If she loses vote of no confidence she isn’t the FM anymore”.

      That is good to know and you would hope it would mean she steps down as leader with haste if it comes to that. She is a brazen piece though and rules are only rules for others it seems in this incarnation of the SNP.

    41. TruthForDummies says:

      The unionists aren’t going to let it go, and it is sad that it has come to us relying on unionists to sort out our evil, incompetent leader but sadly it has. Where they succeed or fail depends on what line the press take do they have NS’s back. It looks very likely.

      Failing this we need a new party the SNP is unsaveable. There is no prospect of independence anytime soon so may as well get a new pro-indy party set up. ISP is registered and has a good name so people that are sick of Nicola could move there. But, their constitution is not very democratic, there are no elections to the executive people are invited on.
      If the Holyrood election is postponed it would give breathing space to maybe create a party that would pull all the small initiatives together but it would need to be a big name ie Alex Salmond at the head of it to gain consensus and support.

      That’s all I can think off other than we are screwed

      Also I know the general public doesn’t follow along the way we do but if they know what we know they would be just as horrified.

    42. James Harper says:

      jings as an expat I don’t feel I want to return any time soon

    43. Joe M says:


      Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris were admired and trusted. Most people are, until the truth is revealed.

    44. wee monkey says:

      Astonished says:
      12 January, 2021 at 3:21 pm


      “Another thought – Machiavellian – I know.

      What if the yoon members asking for a widening of the enquiry was a deliberate ploy ? Knowing full well that it would be refused.

      That way fewer folk can say the yoons want her to stay (although obviously they do).”

      Living proof that there is NO hope for SCOTLAND when you cannot see what this site (and others) have been plainly illustrating for months.

      Get rid of the snp as an entity.

      Form a new party that encompasses the hopes and aspirations of the MAJORITY whilst encompassing the wish for self determination AND CEASE THE POLICIES OF DIVISION that have caused so much damage to Scottish society.

      Move Scottish politics forwards out of the middle ages.

    45. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “That is good to know and you would hope it would mean she steps down as leader with haste if it comes to that.”

      In the interests of scrupulous accuracy I should say that’s only strictly the case if it’s a vote of no confidence in the GOVERNMENT. If for some reason the opposition made it about Sturgeon personally she’d be EXPECTED to resign but not strictly techically obliged. But if it’s in the government then under the Scotland Act they’re fired.

    46. holymacmoses says:

      Surely this now requires James Hamilton to suggest that his remit be broadened as Sturgeon says:

      ‘ If he thinks that there are any issues that engage the ministerial code or could in any way constitute a breach of the ministerial code, my view is that he is free to look at them. If he considers that that requires any change to his official remit I am sure that he is perfectly able to say so’

      Note the tone of that remark
      It is almost like a throwing the gauntlet down to the people asking the question AND to James Hamilton.

    47. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Rev, if is is clear to all in parliament that Sturgeon has broken the ministerial code on multiple counts, how confident are you that the greens would vote against her to remove her?”

      I think that’s the key question. It’s not a great situation for them and they could definitely go either way for a few reasons, but on balance I think they’d PROBABLY calculate that it was worse to be seen to prop up a corrupt leader when there was an election coming up anyway. And I’m not sure the opposition would call the vote if they didn’t think they had the Greens on board.

    48. Iain Hamilton says:

      Triangular Ears @ 2:42

      “I mean, who ever remembers the exact date you’re told your mentor and friend of years is supposedly a rapist?”

      The news of John Lennon’s death is indelibly stamped on my memory. I can remember *exactly* where I was (Glasgow Uni Vet School), what I was doing (making tea) and who broke the news (my line manager). I can also remember exactly how I reacted: “who the fuck would shoot John Lennon?”

      I also remember exactly where I was when I heard Alex Salmond had been arrested.

      There is no way she could blank or forget anything about hearing of the allegations against him.

    49. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “As Pete Wishart says”

      Hi! If you were wondering where you lost all credibility, it was there.

    50. TruthForDummies says:

      There is another thing.

      Alex deserves proof of innocence as long as the country doesn’t know about the stitch up, they can believe the official line ‘inappropriate but not criminal’. And the sickening smears from Surgeon and Swinney. Only by the truth about the conspiracy being publicized and believed will truly restore his reputation.

    51. Saffron Robe says:

      And so we approach the final dénouement Stuart.

      Two liars don’t make a right!

      The liars said that what they said wasn’t a lie. So you were telling the truth then, they were asked? Yes, they said, as far as we are concerned we were telling the truth. But if what you said is true then it’s contradicted by the evidence? It’s not a contradiction, they replied, the evidence is lying!

    52. holymacmoses says:

      Clwyd Griffiths says:
      12 January, 2021 at 3:31 pm
      Rev, the day after a Uk wide poll that showed Nicola Sturgeon is the most popular party leader by far, you write an article like this?

      Donald Trump got 74.5 million votes – people don’t think – and clearly you don’t either if you can’t see what the problem is here.

    53. Ottomanboi says:

      On the topic of liars, cowards and the self-serving systems they feed off.
      Fear is what my family had to endure in their homeland. Daily fear of being killed or maimed by some cowardly car bomber. But even that fear became existentially manageable.
      is a toxic flight of authoritarian government repression. Open ended « fear » is not manageable.
      Prefer the « honesty » of a car bomb to these lying functionaries turning your brain to mush.
      Who the hell do think they are? Not boss of me!
      By their works etc…
      Trust…like snow in hell.

    54. Stevie d says:

      Fudge issues sling some mud confuse the voters with half truth lies and misdirection .If James Hamilton as been got to already then the spin machine will be at 20000 revs a min and NS will dodge the bullet .The issue is what is to be done to put the train back on an independence track .Campaign for ISP vote oust the SNP thats a long shot,Get a more hard line SNP leadership that will take years as NS and the rest of the boys in the band are snouts deep in the trough thankyou very much.The implications of this issue needs to reach a wider audience Get the truth out there by whatever means possible stage protest make it impossible to ignore whats going on ,If this chance is lost the inderpendence can has been kicked down the road as if stuart Hogg had launched it

    55. Kenny says:

      Mungo Armstrong: what is important is Scotland. And the rule of law. And, most importantly, basic human decency.

      The SNP government is a unionist government anyway. At least a unionist government does not hide the fact.

      List vote is easy: tons of real pro-indy options.

      Constituency vote: vote for whatever candidate is best, in your opinion. Or make your feelings known on the ballot paper. Just make sure that voting is a positive act.

    56. Ian McCubbin says:

      I will vote SNP 1st vote and ISP list, won’t help this corrupt party until the top layer is gone and replaced by new blood of ‘Good Guys’ whom a number of us nominated and who were elected to NEC.
      Many critics on here, but few trying to act for change in the SNP. It starts at the bottom too.

    57. Stephen P says:

      James Horace says:
      12 January, 2021 at 3:35 pm
      “how confident are you that the greens would vote against her to remove her?”

      Can she be guaranteed 100% support from her own party?

    58. James Horace says:

      Rev, how the greens choose to vote in a no confidence vote is one thing. But do you think there is a realistic chance of many/any SNP MSP’s breaking rank and voting AGAINST Sturgeon?

    59. James Horace says:

      Stephen P, you beat me to it.

      SNP party discipline is legendary, and many of Nicola’s biggest critics are down Westminster way instead.

      If any MSP’s were to break rank, who may they be?

    60. Triangular Ears says:

      “Well, yes, obviously she can survive it if she wins it. But why would the opposition bother calling one if they weren’t going to vote for it and confident that they’d win it?”

      I guess I’m thinking in terms of the opposition not behaving as a block. If one of the opposition parties brings a VoNC but others decide to support her, or abstain, then she could conceivably still win one.

    61. TruthForDummies says:

      Alex Neil might vote against he is retiring and is close to Salmond
      Wouldn’t it be funny if Derek Mackay has to turn up to vote to save her

    62. JSC says:

      I’m wondering, due to his clear efforts at obstruction, if a VONC in Swinney (I know one failed recently, but the landscape has shifted) would be viable & an easier target in the short term, i.e. take the enabler out the equation and NS stands alone, weakened and vulnerable. Might also be more likely to get the Greens on board with it as they wouldn’t want to burn any bridges ahead of this year’s election

    63. Andy Ellis says:

      @ Clwyd Griffiths
      If Stu Campbell doesn’t ban you for coming in here quoting #cosyfeetPete he’s not the man I thought he was!
      The Sturgeonista Loyal truly are the #MAGA of the indy movement aren’t they? ?

    64. stonefree says:

      @ Mungo Armstrong at 2:49 pm

      What to do,is the question?
      Can you sacrifice YOUR integrity for a person who you regards as morally corrupt?
      In the past few days it is apparent to me the lies are embedded in Sturgeon’s National Party,and by lies I mean including possibly lying to obtain funds from ordinary people to pay the likes of Smith’s bill , and Murrell potential legal fees
      That is only the financial aspect, to possibly try to rig a conviction on such serious charges

    65. Ross says:

      Huge difference between someone inadvertently breaching a code and being corrupt.

      This is going nowhere unless there is more evidence. The Greens can easily defend a vote in favour, at present. To vote her down on what we’ve seen so far would be over zealotry about a code, not shining a light on corruption.

    66. TruthForDummies says:

      @Andy Ellis

      We have to let them work through their grief

      Denial -‘NS is the most popular FM ever, eyes on the prize’
      Anger – ‘You are a yoon, blocked ‘
      Bargaining – ‘It was a white lie‘

      Some many have reached

      Depression – ‘our chance for Indy is over‘

      Hopefully most will reach

      ‘Acceptance – she has to go ‘

    67. The Dissident says:

      @Stephen P, James Horace

      If the vote of no confidence is driven by Sturgeon misleading parliament, it is very difficult to see how any MSP could vote against it.

      It is bad enough being lied to by your political opponents, but being lied to by your own leader to cover up their part in knifing your former leader?

      Would anyone that voted to support a proven liar have any political future? I’m sure I wouldn’t fancy running for election with that easy hit available to my opponents.

      But I certainly wouldn’t rule out her trying to brazen it out. Not only does her hubris almost demands she does but I often wonder just what else currently lies buried under the weight of the twin leadership of the Sturrells. Once patronage goes, so does the loyalty that it buys.

    68. The Dissident says:


      I wouldn’t be surprised to see a parliamentary motion demanding Swinney extend Hamilton’s remit being introduced shortly, with the threat of that VONC in him should he ignore the will of parliament.

    69. Vronsky says:

      They’re going to get away with this, aren’t they?

    70. Mike says:

      If she goes, who replaces her? The SNP are fast becoming a corrupt, petty spent farce.

    71. Ron Maclean says:

      Interesting article ‘What is Plan B’ by Angus Brendan MacNeil MP on

      Good comments too.

    72. Beaker says:

      There seems to be a little bit of subtle manoeuvring by Blackford. Hinting that the FM’s position is untenable if shown to have lied.

      Is he thinking of being the next leader? That would be a gift to the unionists.

    73. Mist001 says:

      I detest Mrs. Murrell with almost every bone in my body and I’d love to see her resign. I don’t drink but I swear I’ll have a dram when she goes.


      What I want or what we want and what SHE wants are two different matters. She has been proven by The Rev here and elsewhere to be liars and that she has broken the ministerial code on various occasions, that much we know but she and her acolytes must be aware of the same information that we are, so why’s she toughing it out and hanging on?

      She must have some kind of get out of jail card free up her sleeve or be privy to some other information that we’re not aware of to allow her and her acolytes to appear unaffected by it all. She looks pretty confident in her daily briefings, certainly not behaving like someone on the brink of resigning or in a shit load of bother.

      So, she and the others must have something we’re not aware of.

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Mrs. Murrell is bulletproof and is going nowhere.

      And I won’t be having a dram.

    74. Vronsky says:

      If UK can assign the leadership they also control the succession. Dumping Nicola probably leaves us with the same problem, different name.

    75. kapelmeister says:

      Jeez, Sturgeon’s husband is the CEO of the party she leads and her depute decides the scope of the inquiry into her conduct. Cosy.

    76. ScottieDog says:

      I reckon she’ll get through this. And the bar is so low in U.K. politics that the person in the street won’t bat an eyelid.

    77. Effijy says:

      Nicola’s popularity is the dam with the hole in it.

      Andrew Neil, Marr, Question Time and every newspaper in the U.K.
      will tear her, Sweeney and the SNP apart before the election and
      the voters will turn against them all.

      The Green will put her out as they can’t be seen to be helping her in this cover up
      and they could reap a harvest from these turning away from SNP but who will never
      Vote for any London Unionist mafia party.

    78. ScottieDog says:

      Just need the greens to do a deal
      She stays IF she uses May as a plebiscite for independence
      (Won’t hold man breath)

    79. Hatuey says:

      One of the things that gets repeated again and again is the claim that Salmond brought this on himself because these complainers came forward (we are encouraged to presume they did so of their own accord), precipitating the whole process.

      When you think about it, a great deal hinges on this assertion; it’s really the last line of defence, if you assume – as I do – that the whole investigation under the new Procedure was flagrantly unlawful and biased, and “designed” to deliver the verdict of guilty.

      And, so, isn’t there any hope of addressing the question of what inspired these complainers to come forward at this particular time and juncture? I’m not interested in who they are, don’t know and really don’t care, but it is legitimate to ask why they came forward at this time and address the possibility that they may have been encouraged to come forward.

      And, surely, if it’s true that they came forward of their own accord, and in doing so compelled the Government to consider retrospective action, the Government would be happy to supply information that supports their claims in this regard. It’s a chance for them to put a really big baby, as I see it, to rest.

      The language used when this subject is broached is highly suspicious. For example, the wording is usually along the lines of “these complainers came forward”, without the additional “of their own accord” or anything like it. Keep an eye open for that and you’ll see how consistently they do this. Knowing what I know about politicians and how they phrase things, I can’t help but think that wording can’t be accidental.

    80. holymacmoses says:

      3 Liars in a lair – and no doubt lots mair.

      Linda Evans fails to concede or understand in the whole of her ‘opening statement’ a basic fact.
      IT was all none of her business. I would contend that she broke the law by ‘investigating’ Mr Salmond in the first place.
      This was always a matter for the court or nowhere. She and others are arrogant enough to believe that their powers are ubiquitous and absolute.

    81. true scott says:

      ..what I don’t understand is why the question was asked in the first place – it looked clear that there was already a remit to look at all potential breaches of the ministerial code. Asking has allowed the answer to be no; and it’s always easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, especially where permission was writ large in the national press in advance. To the average punter though I suspect this will have as much relevance as a debate on the offside rule – she has become very popular

    82. Mia says:

      I am trying to get my head around at how it can possibly be seen as acceptable by ANY MSP, other than the culprits themselves, for them to look the other way while the deputy FM appears to be abusing his position of power obstructing this inquiry by withholding evidence or directly denying access to it.

      The only explanation I can find is that there is now a consensus among all parties that Holyrood must go so they are presenting it to us as a completely corrupt and worthless hole so we let it go more willingly.

      If it is the actual government and its civil servants who are being investigated for potential misconduct and abuse of power, how can ever be found acceptable that the gatekeeper of all the implicating evidence is the government itself?

      By the culprits being in control of the actual evidence, how can this enquiry be seen as anything other than a totally biased charade? It is like putting a pyromaniac in control of the national records library

      Parliament is allowing this government to control both the pace of the inquiry and also its scope. Why?

      By allowing the Deputy FM to get away with not submitting evidence within the deadlines established by parliament and by allowing elements from the government, civil servants or otherwise to lie under oath, to claim sudden amnesia or momentarily confusion of dates and facts so they have to be called time and time again, the culprits have been given control of the pace of the inquiry.

      By allowing the government to redact information to the point of rendering the document blank, and denying access to the information as seemingly Sweeney has done by not allowing Liz Lloyd to be interviewed by the committee and now denying power to Mr Hamilton to investigate breaches of the ministerial code by the FM, the culprits are being given full control of the scope of the inquiry.

      How can this inspire any confidence in the inquiry and be seen as acceptable by MSPs? The only way I can think of is if those MSPs know the days of Holyrood are numbered.

      Are Holyrood’s days numbered?

      Surely we have more than reached the point where this charade should have been thrown into a court of law or to subject this completely non-cooperative and corrupt government into VONC.
      So why hasn’t this happened yet and why is this charade allowed to continue while the government is in control of the evidence?

      If the subject of the investigation is also the entity controlling the investigation, what is the point and how can it ever be seen as objective?

      This matter should have be taken completely out of the hands of the government long ago. So why hasn’t it been?

    83. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “To the average punter though I suspect this will have as much relevance as a debate on the offside rule – she has become very popular”

      The average punter’s view is of no consequence in terms of the Ministerial Code. And the short answer is that the matter was NOT being looked at by James Hamilton as things stood.

    84. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Mia (5.17) –

      ‘…a completely corrupt and worthless hole’

      That’s a keeper!


    85. Lenny Hartley says:

      Mungo Armstrong Think you have to hold your nose and vote SNP on the Constituency vote. if Sturgeon is still in charge after May and does not come up with the goods within 18 months she will be oot on her erse. Abstaining means that there is a chance that there will not be a pro indy majority And there aint any chance whatsoever of A referendum in those circumstances.

      Tbh when I was in the Hydro at her Coronation Cheering like a skoolwean in my wildest nightmares i could never imagine her turning out the way she has. But it is what it is, we always knew it wasnt going to be easy. But we aint gonna get anywhere with not voting SNP.

    86. velofello says:

      Baby and bathwater dilemma.

      I’m lucky, MSPs Emma Harper and Joan McAlpine represent my area and so I feel able to vote SNP in the constituency, and will vote ISP on the List vote provided a suitable candidate is available.I’m doubly lucky that Dr Philippa Whitford is my MP.

      And so, no baby and bathwater dilemma for me but I suggest you quiz/assess whether your SNP candidate is a seat warmer/camp follower, or in politics to fight and achieve independence.

      I abstained at the past council election, a first for me, the SNP candidate I considered the problem not the solution to furthering independence.

    87. laukat says:

      I think the key words in both Sturgeon and Swinney’s statements are “Look at”

      The fact both have said “Look at” is surely no coincedence. It leaves a door open for Hamilton to say ‘I was asked to report on the remit provided and no breach of this remit was found. I looked at lots of other ineresting stuff but wasn’t asked to report on if a breach occurred elsehwhere’

      Call me a cynic but I suspect there will be a form of words found that doesn’t address the issue and allows Swinney and Sturgeon to dance on a pinhead.

    88. Hatuey says:

      On the specific question of lying to parliament and widening (or narrowing) the scope of the investigation, as I understand it you wouldn’t necessarily need an investigation as such. I’m pretty sure parliament itself could consider the question and come to a decision based on a vote.

      Could be wrong but they’ve discussed and voted on other much more important things.

    89. Dan says:

      @ Clwyd Griffiths

      Have you previously posted using the name C Griffiths?

    90. Iain More says:

      I am sick to the pit of my stomach. Swinney who I have met and liked is now churning my insides out as well.

    91. Muscleguy says:

      ‘Inadvertently’ offering Aberdein a meeting they knew the nature of in Sturgeon’s office then telling the diary secretary not to record then to lie to parliament about when she first knew to further obscure the meeting.

      Then inadvertently is not the word you are looking for. It’s like saying Blair and Bush inadvertently invaded Iraq.

    92. 100%Yes says:

      Sturgeon will beleive she is unstoppable, sad day for the people who believed that with the SNP at the head of Scottish politics we had something diffrent. I really don’t see the point in Holyrood anymore when at the first hurdel we have a government that is no better than Westminster.

    93. Al-Stuart says:

      Dear Pete Wishart,

      I owe you a debt of gratitude.

      Many of us do.

      Stuart Campbell indicated he was considering a sabbatical. Putting this website on the back burner and taking a WELL DESERVED break from your lying, cheating cabal that currently infest the SNP high command.

      Pete, you pi55ed Stuart Campbell off so badly with one of your cringey inane Twatter tweets that he came right back at you.

      See this thread? See the past three threads? See the huge pile of REAL forensic journalistic work on my pal Stuart Campbell’s in-tray?

      All that might have gone away if the Rev and the Toonster had bugger end off for a year to do something else.

      but thanks to you Peter Wishart, The Rev kept going.

      Your legacy is this. You pissed off one of the finest forensic journalists in this country and he has STAYED THE COURSE.

      Pete, by your feckless self-serving behaviour and idiotic amateur comments you have probably saved Scottish Independence.

      You and your corrupt leadership are about to get the bum’s rush.

      Yes we will have some difficult months and a ton of dirty washing from the Murrells, Swinneys and Blackfords, but once they get their jotters and we gain an HONEST leader of the REAL SNP, then IndyRef2 will follow.

      CosyFeet Pete, you will be a small (but expensive) footnote in history. More like a skidmark. But you have, by your clumsy, selfish twatterty, helped disinfect the midden that the Murrells have made of Bute House.

      Thankyou Pete.

      Now you can fuckity fuck right off.

    94. crazycat says:

      @ velofello at 5.24

      I’m finding your post puzzling.

      If Philippa Whitford is your MP, you live in Central Ayrshire.
      If Emma Harper and Joan McAlpine, who are currently both list MSPs in South of Scotland, also represent you, you must live in that part of Central Ayrshire which is in South of Scotland region – Prestwick, for instance.

      In that case, your current constituency MSP is John Scott (Con), or, just possibly, Jeane Freeman. You won’t be able to vote for Emma or Joan, because they are standing in Galloway and West Dumfries and Dumfriesshire respectively. They may be near the top of the list again (it was because of them that I voted SNP on the list in 2016; Jeane is my constituency representative), but you have said you’re going to vote ISP…

    95. Nosey says:

      I don’t know who to hate more? Stu for writing this, Swinney or the Murrell’s????

    96. Annie 621 says:

      Bob Mack,
      feelings mutual, we are (now)face to face with a ‘sleekit, cowr’rin, tim’rous beastie.
      A Dangerous one too.

      I fear for my country.

    97. Muscleguy says:

      @Crazy Cat
      I see nothing puzzling in Velofelio’s post. Do you assume that just because someone is standing for the SNP that they must ipso facto be beyond reproach or everyone must instantly find them absolutely puckka?

      I do not like my SNP MSP because she was one of those who voted to kill Margo’s Assisted Dying bill. I did not vote SNP in the constituency for the last two elections because of this. I voted for my SNP MP because I like, respect and admire him. He has also answered every email i have sent him. On more than one occasion during the Indyref he came canvassing with us in RIC as just another set of boots on the ground. So I’ve also met him.

      This idea that we must like everyone in a party regardless is dangerous. After all the hullabaloo over the MSP selection procedures for you to just assume that is naive.

      Yes I know I’m in the ISP but my points stand nevertheless.

    98. Cod says:

      Given the press reports were in, well, the press, I’d like to wait to hear someone ask Swinney directly whether A) Hamilton definitely requires an actual official amendment to the remit to widen his investigation and B) whether Swinney and Sturgeon have actually refused the request from the investigation committee members who wrote to Swinney.

      It strikes me that neither Swinney nor Sturgeon have officially refused the request at this point, either in writing or verbally, else the three members who wrote the request would be falling over themselves to publish the response on Twitter or elsewhere, rather than referring to a newspaper headline.

      Of course, that’s not to say that Swinney / Sturgeon wont refuse to officially change the remit, or advise if that is indeed officially required, but in the interests of accuracy we should wait for an official response (or lack of one).

    99. Muscleguy says:

      @Crazy Cat

      Now with my ISP hat on I will point out that even in the South of Scotland it will take many fewer votes to elect an ISP MSP on the List because we will not have any constituency divisors on the List.

      So if your aim is to maximise the number of Yes MSP’s and minimise the number of unionists then voting ISP on the List even in the South of Scotland makes good sense.

    100. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Given the press reports were in, well, the press, I’d like to wait to hear someone ask Swinney directly whether A) Hamilton definitely requires an actual official amendment to the remit to widen his investigation and B) whether Swinney and Sturgeon have actually refused the request from the investigation committee members who wrote to Swinney.”

      The Daily Mail piece did have a quote from Swinney, although like you I want to see a proper formal full reply.

    101. Robert Hughes says:

      Mia @ 5.17 . Once again , you envision an all too plausible scenario : I just wonder if the whole , entire political UK system is so hopelessly corrupt and alienated from the common man that the utter scandal of the self-management of this enquiry will just be absorbed as no different or worse than what we see emanating from the Tories and WM generally . The political culture has been so debased we’re in danger of becoming inured to ever-diminishing ethical standards from our elected representatives

    102. G H Graham says:

      Holyrood is infested with gormless idiots but Andy Whiteman (Independent for Lothian region) for example, whose politics fills me with revulsion, isn’t one of them.

      So I’m sure he and others like him, are already considering the personal consequences come the election in May, if responsibility for Sturgeon’s career as FM, effectively lands on his shoulders, if it all boils down to a VNC.

      Don’t forget, most politicians are at heart, self serving, self interested careerists who would struggle in the private sector to earn anything close to what they enjoy as a serial bench-warmer in parliament. Just ask Pete Wishart. Or the proven to be scientifically thicker than an 1980s phone book, James Kelly.

      Earning infamy then, as the person who cast the deciding vote to have the FM, the head of the SNP & the face of the Scottish Government during a global pandemic, metaphorically decapitated, might be too much of a political risk to bear.

      It’s not easy to get a replacement gravy-train ticket once you’ve lost it, no matter what the excuse was.

    103. crazycat says:

      @ Muscleguy

      Do you assume that just because someone is standing for the SNP that they must ipso facto be beyond reproach or everyone must instantly find them absolutely puckka?…

      This idea that we must like everyone in a party regardless is dangerous. After all the hullabaloo over the MSP selection procedures for you to just assume that is naive.

      I’m even more puzzled that you can think my post said anything remotely like that! 🙂

      What I was saying is that velofello has located himself in a particular (Westminster) constituency; says he’s lucky to be represented by Emma and Joan (I agree about the latter but am less sure about the former); but then says he’s not going to take the opportunity to vote for either of those women, which, because of where he lives, he can only do via the list (and maybe not even then, if they don’t stand on it, or are too far down the list).

      He’s going to vote SNP in the constituency (fair enough) because of Emma and Joan, but he can’t vote for either of them in Ayr/Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, which is where he must live (there may be tiny bits of Central Ayrshire in eg Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley; I’m not sure exactly where the boundaries are). So I don’t see why his approval of them somehow allows him to vote SNP in whatever constituency he does live in. That is what I find puzzling.

      As for me; in 2016 I did not believe the Tories would lose any of their constituencies in South of Scotland, and that therefore if I wanted Emma and/or Joan in the parliament – which I did, because I approved of them as individuals – I needed to vote SNP on the list. I turned out to be right; the Tories actually gained a seat from Labour, defeating Joan in the process.

      This time, whenever the election turns out to be, I am exceptionally unlikely to vote SNP on the list. It’s fairly unlikely that I will vote for them in my constituency, even though I know the candidate quite well; it will depend on the manifesto, and on “events” between now and then. I expect to deliberately invalidate my ballot for the first time ever.

    104. iain mhor says:

      * edit
      Damn just noticed I was ninja’d by #Cod at 7:11pm
      Oh well, it’s worth seconding…

      Just a pedantic observation:

      A request by members of the committee has (apparently) been refused – I note that James Hamilton QC’s name is not appended.

      Is there any intelligence whether Mr J Hamilton has also formally requested the widening of the remit?
      Is the committee member’s request to be considered a de-facto official proxy for his request and does it matter whether it is James Hamton himself, or the Committee members who request the remit?

      I ponder this for a few reasons; the first is that the FM explicity excludes mentioning considering a request by the Committee – mentioning only directly from JH (in #1 example above)
      I wonder whether JH will directly make such a request and whether ScotGov has the balls to further refuse a request directly from a QC.
      Finally I wonder whether JH will indeed make a formal request and if not, why not? Unless of course, the committee request is indeed his proxy and ScotGov have indeed, effectively refused a direct request from James Hamilton (QC) to expand the brief.

    105. Saffron Robe says:

      I’m not so sure NS can survive – after all nature abhors a vacuum!

    106. Big Jock says:

      I could just about stomach the lies. If I thought for a nano second Nicola was serious about independence.

      The fact that she is a liar, a back stabber,and is conning us all on independence. Is enough for me to say ” throw her to the dogs”. I don’t care if we lose 5% off the independence vote. If we had been at 80% , independence was never happening with her in charge.

    107. Big Jock says:

      GH That’s why it would be better for our movement if Sturgeon had resigned. But she doesn’t care about the movement.

      She will wait to get toppled in public before she goes. She thinks she is the Pope!

    108. Big Jock says:

      Swinney is now in full self preservation mode. Nicola saved his bacon a few times, but she is an Indian Giver.

    109. StuartM says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      12 January, 2021 at 3:43 pm
      “That is good to know and you would hope it would mean she steps down as leader with haste if it comes to that.”

      In the interests of scrupulous accuracy I should say that’s only strictly the case if it’s a vote of no confidence in the GOVERNMENT. If for some reason the opposition made it about Sturgeon personally she’d be EXPECTED to resign but not strictly techically obliged. But if it’s in the government then under the Scotland Act they’re fired


      My understanding is that if a government loses a vote of no confidence the next step is a general election, in this case of the Holyrood Parliament. The danger of that is that Sturgeon might actually win on the back of her current popularity, as the majority of voters don’t see what the big deal is. It would also abort the current Inquiry, since I’ve read a number of the Panel are not standing for reelection, and there’s always the chance that others lose their seats.

      For those reasons I don’t see the opposition parties moving a VONC in the government rather than a VONC in Sturgeon as PM. The Inquiry may yet come out with damning evidence against her between now and May, and NS resigning in disgrace before the election would suit the opposition parties very well.

    110. lawrenceab says:

      @TruthforDummies 3.39pm
      So you also noticed the not-so-democratic NEC structure at ISP!

      I actually raised this question when deciding whether to join (I have joined) and I post Colette Walker’s reply below.

      On the plus side, it is pleasant and reassuring to get a prompt courteous response from the party leader. (Of course, these are early days!) On the minus side, she gives no real commitment that the National Conference will, as it should, take the reins and control the Exec Committee

      (email sent Friday 30th October 2020)

      I have followed ISP’s progress and am impressed.
      I also received a prompt answer from Colette Walker recently to a question, and thought that a good sign since she is a busy person.
      So I am considering joining a political party (for the first time in my life!).
      Please let me know the subscription. I live in Malaysia.

      Please also answer this question, following my perusal of your constitution:

      It seems your Executive Committee is self-perpetuating. Unless I am mistaken, there is no provision for the National Conference to elect (or remove) Executive Committee members. The Executive Committee can also expand its numbers by simple vote of the existing six members. Is that correct?

      I ask because as you know, the current shenanigans surrounding the SNP National Executive Committee have highlighted the importance of ultimate member control.

      Look forward to hearing from you.
      Kind regards
      Lawrence AB

      (reply received 31st October)
      Hi Lawrence

      Thanks for your email
      here is link to website , which tells you the joining options , payment is via PayPal

      Regarding constitution, this was authorised by EC.
      This constitution remember is also for forming a new party and is clearly stated that it can be changed and any changes are then given to EC
      We are totally open and transparent
      The executive we have right now, have been made up of co founders and members

      We now have many committees working very hard to build ISP, again this is myself and rest of exec, committed to involve as many members as possible
      We have branch organisers, new branch committee
      IT team
      Social Media etc, these again are all made up of our members. We are a team here, we are building a very strong party to stand in next years elections

      I hope this eases any concerns

      Leader ISP

      (my response 1st November)
      Hi Colette,

      Thanks for your mail.

      What you’re saying is “just trust us” which is of course hard to do with politicians, but ok, will do so.

      The National Conference, representing all members, is meant to be the ultimate source of authority.

      It would have been more reassuring if your constitution simply stated that the “composition and powers of the Executive Committee shall be subject to approval by majority vote of the National Conference at its initial assembly and annually thereafter”.

      (yours, etc)

      So @Truthfor dummies, ok — the truth will out during the first National Conference they hold. I hope they don’t disappoint; we need an ISP right now.

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