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We have several questions

Posted on March 01, 2021 by

So this is a thing now:

And basically, what?

QUESTION 1: WHY NOW?

The committee first asked for the legal advice back in August, right at the start of the inquiry. Then Parliament voted to demand it early last November. Then they voted for it again in late November. When it was turned down a third time they threatened a vote of no confidence, but didn’t actually do so for three vital months. Why the delay?

QUESTION 2: WHY CAVE?

A vote of no confidence in the Deputy First Minister is a purely symbolic gesture. He can’t be forced to resign as a result, and it would make very little significant difference to anything if he did, especially with the election only a few weeks away. Sturgeon would just replace him with another obedient stooge, or simply have no deputy at all for a couple of months. The UK hasn’t had a Deputy PM since Nick Clegg in 2015.

QUESTION 3: WHY NOT CAVE SOONER?

Many expected Sturgeon to sacrifice Swinney to avoid revealing the advice, for the reasons above. If she’s prepared to let the committee have it after all, if it’s not actually all that incriminating, what was all the previous evasion about? Why not just give them it in August or November, and look less shifty and obstructive?

QUESTION 4: WILL IT BE REDACTED?

Clearly if it is, eg to remove dates, then it’ll be next to worthless and presumably the no-confidence vote would go ahead anyway. So what would be the point?

QUESTION 5: WAS IT ALL DOWN TO THE GREENS?

The only obvious answer for why a confidence vote wasn’t called in November would be that the Greens weren’t prepared to back it. And if that’s true, why are they now? What’s changed?

Like almost everything else relating to this inquiry, this evening’s events make almost no sense. We can only sit dumbly by and wait and see what happens tomorrow.

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    235 to “We have several questions”

    1. Republicofscotland says:

      I can’t answer any of the questions but question four seems a most likely outcome redacted info hurts no one, and Swinney gains brownie points, by being seen to do the right thing.

    2. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      But he wouldn’t have done the right thing, and the confidence vote would reflect that.

    3. Richard M says:

      No redacted information always hurts the party doing the redaction. It just alerts everyone to the cover-up and raises more questions.

    4. Jaf says:

      Its hard to believe Swinney has taken this decision himself. If he has, then its a break in the ranks and NS is surely toast. If he has not, then presumably he was told to do it, and it will be redacted to point if uselessness. Its hard to believe that it is not incriminating.

    5. Normski says:

      What’s changed?

      There’s now an election imminently. The Greens know most people don’t buy into their hyper-woke policies, but if they can poke the SNP in the eye (on the basis of faux rectitude) and steal some votes and gain a seat or two – suits them just fine.

      And did I mention the Greens don’t give a fuck about independence?

    6. solarflare says:

      The calculation might be “it’s bad, but it’s not quite as bad a look as sacrificing a deputy FM to stop it from being published”.

      OK he might not *have* to resign if he lost a confidence vote, but if he did lose and didn’t resign that would be a doubly bad look.

    7. Desimond says:

      Has Andy mentioned how he will vote yes?

    8. holymacmoses says:

      What about Mr Aberdein’s testimony. Is that to be shown?

    9. Annie 621 says:

      Every day some different shit comes.
      Every next day it’s about how Sturgeon rides the storm.

    10. wull says:

      Could the answer to Question 5 be that the Greens want to show they have done something during the last 5 years after all, thereby ‘proving’ to the electorate that they are an effective parliamentary Party, and reminding us that despite everything that suggests the contrary, they are still worth voting for?

      After all, there has been no real evidence for any of that since the last Holyrood elections. Making this move just before Holyrood is prorogued for the election gives them a profile they were lacking, and something to brag about, at the opportune moment. ‘Hey Everyone – Look at Us!’

      Just grandstanding, in other words. Nothing real – only ‘perception politics’!

    11. SilverDarling says:

      Maybe the Greens think that by not supporting the SNP now they put clear water between them in time for the election? Too late for any meaningful budget concessions. They’ll hope to mop up the wokies migrating from the SNP.

    12. Republicofscotland says:

      “But he wouldn’t have done the right thing”

      No he wouldn’t, but that wouldn’t stop SNP minister’s telling the press and whoever else would listen to them that they release info, unless of course they were prompted to answer why there are redactions.

      Will it be enough to satisfy those who seek a VONC, who knows.

    13. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Saw this yesterday.”

      That’s a totally different set of documents.

    14. merganser says:

      What time is it Mr. Wolfe?

    15. Dan Hardy says:

      If the opinion is redacted of any information other than any complainants identification, then it will be obvious once again that the FM and her Govt is indeed covering up.

    16. PB says:

      Anything to do with Andy Wightman? Presumably he was still in the Greens at the time when the vote of no confidence was first threatened but now as an independent will be able to vote freely. He’s mostly followed the SNP committee members so far when it comes to releasing evidence but at Salmond’s evidence session he seemed pretty serious about getting hold of all the relevant documents, so I wonder if he’s changed his view on that?

    17. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “OK he might not *have* to resign if he lost a confidence vote, but if he did lose and didn’t resign that would be a doubly bad look.”

      They gave up caring how stuff looked a while back.

    18. MaggieC says:

      Re Harassment and Complaints Committee ,

      The Committee will next meet on Tuesday 2 March when it will take evidence from James Wolffe QC, Lord Advocate, Scottish Government, David Harvie, Crown Agent, COPFS and Alex Prentice QC, Principal Crown Counsel, COPFS. This meeting will be held virtually.
      .
      From the public papers for tomorrow’s meeting ,

      Committee will meet at 10.00 am in a virtual meeting.

      1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee will decide whether to take agenda item 2 in private.

      2. Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints: The Committee will take evidence from—
      James Wolffe QC, Lord Advocate, Scottish Government; David Harvie, Crown Agent, and
      Alex Prentice QC, Principal Crown Counsel, COPFS.

      3. Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints: The Committee will take evidence from—
      James Wolffe QC, Lord Advocate, Scottish Government, and
      David Harvie, Crown Agent, COPFS.

      4. Work Programme (in private): The Committee will consider its work programme.

      Public papers for tomorrow’s meeting ,

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/Meeting%20Papers/20210302SGHHCPublicPapers.pdf

      .

      The Committee will meet on Wednesday 3 March 2021 when it will take evidence from the Rt. Hon. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister.

      The Committee will meet at 9.00 am in the Robert Burns Room (CR1).

      1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee will decide whether consideration of its draft report should be taken in private at future meetings.

      2. Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints: The Committee will take evidence from—
      The Rt Hon. Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, Scottish Government.

      3. Review of Evidence (in private): The Committee will review the evidence heard on the enquiry.

      Public papers for Wednesday’s meeting ,

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/Meeting%20Papers/20210303SGHHCCommitteePublicPapers.pdf

    19. Scott says:

      The elephant in the room here is that the legal advice to the Government is a Civil Service matter, not a party of Government matter…why the SNP are even standing up for their position is strange.

      All the committee have to do is sit in private after they’ve left a post-it note to the heid bottle-washer, demanding the legal advice, on the tray for the civil servants to pick up .

    20. solarflare says:

      You have to remember the covid briefing after the CMO was found to have broken the rules, and Sturgeon initially tried to style it out and defend her. It was the most awkward briefing I can remember and it was so bad ultimately Sturgeon then had to cut her loose anyway.

      The worst outcome for her would surely be the evidence doesn’t come out, Swinney loses a VONC but doesn’t immediately resign, the furore means Sturgeon basically has to tell him to resign a day or two later which is even worse PR, and then the evidence has to come out anyway because she couldn’t be seen to still not release it in that case.

    21. Cringe says:

      Has he decided he doesn’t want to go down with Sturgeon?

    22. Ian Mac says:

      I expect it’s another squirrel, designed to look like they are complying with the request to release information, while releasing nothing incriminating. More of the same game, a pretence at co-operating.

    23. DreamBrut says:

      I think the key word here is ‘key’ … he won’t release all of it.

    24. Bob Costello says:

      It all runs the clock down, heading to what could have been the most important election in the history of Scotland, had it been a plebiscite election. If she can hold on until then, regardless of how wounded she is, the result will reflect this god awful mess, It will put off independence indefinitely and she will have done her job.

    25. PhilM says:

      In deference to the feelings of the family, I’ve redacted the following breaking news:
      Today a former head of state with the initials NS was given a
      3-year jail sentence for corruption…
      (subscription required for rest of story)

    26. David H says:

      I reckon Swinney is Sturgeon’s double agent. A former leader of the SNP himself. The informant in her cabinet that has lead to some leaks rightfully being fed into the public domain. Such as the emails. Caught between his conscience and protecting corruption of alphabetties. Let’s hope he sets the truth free and there’s no reactions.

    27. Ian Spruce says:

      @Desimond

      “Has Andy mentioned how he will vote”

      With the Conservatives if this tweet is anything to go by

      https://twitter.com/andywightman/status/1366459961933508609

    28. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I think the key word here is ‘key’ … he won’t release all of it.”

      Then the vote of no confidence will go ahead.

    29. Lost says:

      There’s an election coming up. My local rag is filled to the gunnels with councillors complaining about roads, trees, housing, etc, etc. Not seen them for 4 years but now they’re out and about. Greens want to be seen as doing something

      But the cynic in me has been watching too much of the House of Cards and got me thinking just what do the Greens gain from this?

      Could it be a, ‘give us this or were backing no confidence vote’ and if so, what is it they’re wanting?

    30. TD says:

      Swinney is reported as being willing to release the “key” advice. That means not all of the advice. Who decides what is key and what isn’t?

    31. Wrinkly Racer says:

      Hello all . . .The point, in my estimation, is to get people to wake up, sadly not all will, for various reasons.
      What is going on in our country is draconion, we are the only country in europe to ban church going, it is devide and rule as ever,confuse and lie, when are we going to stand up and be counted, refuse their “guidance” as unlawful start some critical thinking, where, for instance, did all the “normal” flu deaths go,as there is NO spike in the week by week, month by month, death statistics . .
      How high and which direction is the norm, I could and do weep. .
      Sorry this is a bit off subject, but I grew up just after the war and this shit would not have been tolerated by people just back from clubbing others to death in trench mud and gore for our freedom . .
      What a fucking waste

    32. Mark English says:

      The legal advice issue is interesting

      But – what about the text messages AS claimed to have , and would need to be requested from his lawyers…. where is that now. Surely that’s where the smoking gun is ?

    33. Louise says:

      Have the greens promised the FM and SNP an easy ride as to the result of the inquiry there has to be something in it for both SNP and the greens. Perhaps the greens have agreed a pre election pact with SNP if SNP hands over legal advice? Because as far as I can see the greens are the only ones who have even the slightest sliver of hope of actually gaining something from this?

    34. laukat says:

      There is another way of reading this: Swinney thinks Sturgeon is done for and doesn’t want to go down with the ship?

    35. m_alc says:

      I have to imagine auld Roddy Dunlop QC will be watching this development with interest. Redacted or not, doing so to alter the inference of the advice would be (not unexpected tbh) a big mistake. No way RD sits back and lets it slide if so.

    36. Robert graham says:

      Eh given the collective intelligence of this committee .

      I wonder Would they actually know if information was missing and do they know how to investigate the documents that they at the last minute have been given ,without it being drawn attention to by the omission of the big black bits , see its not redacted no big black bits , sorted end of problem .

      Want to disappear a problem , instigate a Inquiry, fill the positions on the Inquiry with MSPs , fk sake I can’t keep a straight face typing this shite , anyway make sure the committee is filled with intelligent trustworthy individuals , Ha Ha no no I can’t go on Ha Ha .

      Anyway I guess you get the gist , she’s not going to be sorted out by this or any other committee , she’s a asset because she’s managed to fool a lot of people into believing she wants Indy ref2 and the SNP are fighting for it every single day , we know they are not but why spoil a good yarn eh

      A bit like painting by numbers

    37. Terry says:

      Running down the clock. Timetable for evidence was end of October. Report (I think December). Pays Nicola and the wokes to string it out so no time to replace her. Also pays the unionists on the list as it gives far less time for a viable indy party to gain traction and take seats off of them on the list?

      They’re all playing politics. I’m sure the master strategist has worked it all out…

    38. Sweep says:

      Said this yesterday – they’re propping each other up. They all know too much. They all know any one of them can – and will – take the others down with them. Like a circular firing squad. And not a shred of honour among them.

    39. Jimmy Hutton says:

      Could it be she’s using Alex’s auld trick…..little to see in the advice, but all the build-up raises expectations and we’re all a bit deflated when it is presented ?

    40. Caledonia says:

      Think Glen Campbell said there would be retractions

    41. Bob Mack says:

      As someone has said ,is this to avoid Alex producing his evidence via his lawyer? Deflecting attention away to save the rest at the expense of the government lawyer?

      Something is going down.

    42. Desimond says:

      Nice to see the Crown Agent also up tomorrow.. thats one character that could be asked some interesting questions..could not necessarily meaning will be of course

    43. Mist001 says:

      The Greens will back Mrs. Murrell and the SNP all the way because the SNP are implementing Greens policies that the Greens themselves have no chance of ever implementing.

      So, it’s ‘You do this and we’ll support you’ and that’s why no matter how many votes of no confidence there are, Mrs. Murrell is bulletproof, because she’ll bend to the will of the Greens.

      The other major factor which has brought about this change is something that nobody has mentioned yet:

      Salmonds testimony to the enquiry. He kicked the ball firmly and squarely into their court.

    44. Louise says:

      Here’s a thought….to stop them or put them off directly requesting AS legal documents straight to the commitee with no redactions thereby further running down the clock

    45. Gordon Hay says:

      I think it highly likely that Sturgeon will go down the “plausible deniability” route, claiming that she righteously kept her distance from the civil service investigations and was out of the loop regarding the legal advice until the decision to concede was taken thus hoping to neutralise anything damning it it – redacted or not.

      As for the “why now?” elements, for the opposition parties it was gesture politics last year but now they scent blood, for the SNP see above, and for the Greens there is an election in which they don’t want to be portrayed as SNP poodles.

    46. Kate says:

      TD says:
      1 March, 2021 at 7:05 pm
      “Swinney is reported as being willing to release the “key” advice. That means not all of the advice. Who decides what is key and what is not”

      SWINNEY does.. And it has already been mentioned on the news that there will be redactions..he will use the claimants to redact as much as he can. This is all to just try to save himself. They need to press ahead with that vote of NO confidence.. HE has been abysmal both as a FM, and as Deputy FM & just as bad if not worse as minister for education..

    47. Denise says:

      Could it be they have sprung a trap?

      Is it possible that the external legal advice in October/ November was – ‘you have a good chance of winning’ ?

      They then hid the advice until Salmond had committed himself saying they knew they would lose the judicial review and that’s why they fitted him up. And so discredit the entire story and him ?

      I’m seriously not going to sleep tonight.

    48. Craig Murray says:

      The Legal Advice is not a single document. It changed over time as Roddy Dunlop learnt more. Salmond says Dunlop advised the game’s a bogey in October, So expect the advice released to be before that,

    49. colin lees says:

      if the scotland act can be used to obtain information from alex salmonds solicitors,then why can it not be used direct to the governments lawyers used during the judical review.

    50. Effigy says:

      Rev if you don’t list the questions the Committee
      should be asking each of them tomorrow, they
      Will be flailing around in the dark again.

    51. 100%Yes says:

      It’ll already be redacted with the bingo marker before its served on the committee.

    52. m_alc says:

      Craig, surely thats where Roddy comes in to alert people to that? Not to necessarily reveal what changes but just to say, ‘this is old and inaccurate’.

    53. Frank anderson says:

      What happened about the old adage, if you become the story, it’s time to go?

    54. katherine hamilton says:

      We are still waiting to find out if the committee have asked for Mr. Salmond’s lawyers’ documents. Only one of them is the legal advice re the Judicial Review. The real info the committee need is the contacts between Murell &co about the reasons for delay in addition to the legal advice. This completes the picture. Mr. Salmond made this clear in his evidence.
      They are releasing one to show co-operation in a last ditch attempt to prevent the whole package being exposed. I can see no other reason. Lesser of two evils.

      Question is if the committee have asked for Levy and MacCrae’s info, and they get it, will they have the bottle to publish it all?

    55. holymacmoses says:

      I think Mr salmond knows exactly what the advice was in his case .HE might not have seen it BUT he has a counsel who would never let him stray into dangerous territory so they know fine well what is in the advice . People don’t threaten to resign unless there’s a good reason.

      UNLESS of course Ms Sturgeon’s paid someone to change the documents:-)

    56. holymacmoses says:

      BTW Is the committee getting Mr Salmond’s full set of papers without redactions?

    57. A Person says:

      Isn’t is possible that the Greens will get rid of Swinney to protect Sturgeon, knowing she always does exactly as they want?

      How much would NS care about losing Swinney anyway? Do we know what her relationship with him is like? Might she be glad to be rid of somebody that has been around for so long?

      We’ve seen certain allegations made against Swinney by those who comment btl, who knows how true they are, but he has been in politics for a long time and must have some skeletons somewhere. Isn’t it possible that if defeated he’ll just have to keep his mouth shut as there might be skeletons he doesn’t want exposed?

      But by the same token, if he has been in politics for so long, he must know where a few of the bodies are buried- and he might also want his revenge…

    58. john rose says:

      Simple answer to your first question (and most of the others) is “the election”. I would expect all the media outlets to suddenly discover the story so that it reaches a peak at election time. They didn’t want to shoot their bolt too early as they only have one, and they realise people will get bored of another scandal all too soon.

    59. Graham says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
      1 March, 2021 at 6:40 pm
      But he wouldn’t have done the right thing, and the confidence vote would reflect that.
      “I think the key word here is ‘key’ … he won’t release all of it.”
      Then the vote of no confidence will go ahead.

      Where is this faith in the greens coming from? Have they not failed to hold the SNP to account all this time?

    60. Denise says:

      Alternatively it’s the messages again.

      They will release legal advice but it will be the ‘wrong legal advice‘ and heavily redacted with no smoking gun documents released. But enough to waste the committee’s time.

      After they’ve released it , they will try to spin the whole thing as ‘see no conspiracy’. ..
      Get their tame journalists to say ‘no proof of wrong doing etc,….’

      Yes they might still go for a VONC but when Swinney loses, they just say we released all we could – protect the women etc – so that’s it,

      Which is enough for the MSM and NS fans to spin as co-operating as much as they can and there not being evidence to back up AS claims,

      It is very different losing a VONC because you refuse to release advice (hard to defend) and losing a VONC after releasing ALL you could why protecting the ‘poor women’

      So it will make them look slightly better than they would have done.

    61. Dave Llewellyn says:

      Question 5.
      The Greens have seen the polls and thought “better to take the 1q% now than risk an Indy list party getting traction and killing their vote.”
      Especially if Salmond joins one of them.

    62. Andybhoy says:

      If the vote of no confidence was lost and Swinney refused to resign and Sturgeon refused to sack him, could we then be facing a vote of no confidence in the First Minister as a result?

    63. Bob Mack says:

      Key point 1. Legal advice will not capture Sturgeon because remember she said she had nothing to do with shaping this policy.

      2. As Craig Murray indicated there may be less available advice for key times.

      Why has Andy Wightman also just grown a spine according to his twitter?

    64. Sylvia says:

      I think if is “hilarious” Alex Salmond still has to tell them how to do their job!

      Alex Salmond spoke with conviction on Friday. He was aware he was being beamed across the world, no way would he have sat there and perjured himself. It was his one opportunity of “truth to power”.

    65. Derek says:

      @PhilM says:
      1 March, 2021 at 7:03 pm

      Today a former head of state with the initials NS was given a
      3-year jail sentence for corruption…

      I noticed that earlier on; he’ll only have to serve one, if that. More’n’likely he’ll have a tag and avoid the jail.

    66. solarflare says:


      Bob Mack says:
      1 March, 2021 at 7:56 pm
      Key point 1. Legal advice will not capture Sturgeon because remember she said she had nothing to do with shaping this policy.

      2. As Craig Murray indicated there may be less available advice for key times.

      Why has Andy Wightman also just grown a spine according to his twitter?”

      To be fair to Wightman he did at least sound like he was interested to get to the bottom of the whole thing on Friday, or at the very least make the effort to sound like he should get the documents he’s being told are pertinent to the whole thing.

    67. Dan says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says: at 6:53 pm

      That’s a totally different set of documents.

      Soz, was busy making tea and should have stressed the point that making redactions in documents seems to be the vogue these days.
      Presumably they make this choice so they can spin it that they released the information, and that is of more superficial value to them because less aware folk won’t dig deep enough to realise the info is all but worthless as it has been clipped of anything of true value.

      Also, all this delaying and prevarication just runs down the clock, and they’ve probably factored in that folk’s attention wanes to the point of switching off through boredom so there is ultimately less scrutiny of what they are doing.

      TBH I find it repulsive the more I see of these self-serving twats and their actions. The disproportionate amounts of taxpayer funded time they expend on playing their own wee political maneuvering games rather than developing and administering decent sensible policies that would benefit wider society.

      I noticed this post earlier in the day which is relevant to these ongoing attempts to hide information.

      https://wingsoverscotland.com/truth-always-has-an-audience/#comment-2622506

    68. Garrion says:

      At this point anything coming from inside the tent is either a cunning plan or hail Mary squirrel. It’s all gonna be theatre, because that’s all they’ve got.

    69. BoDubios says:

      Has Andy Wightman grown a pair?
      “ But what the DFM is promising to do is to release the “key legal advice” It is not for the Scottish Government to determine what is key legal advice. Keep that Motion of No Confidence on the table.”

    70. Stephen P says:

      Did Mr.Salmond not suggest calling the Scottish government’s external counsels to the committee to give evidence?

      Surely this would circumvent the political shenanigans and get the information required.

    71. A Person says:

      -Andybhoy-

      I’m pretty sure that, historically at Westminster, if a motion of no confidence was passed in a minister, they either had to resign, or the prime minister would move a vote of confidence in the whole government.

      There was a situation in 1895, the Campbell-Bannerman, the defence minister, lost a VONC, offered to resign, so Lord Rosebery, the PM, moved a VOC which he then lost and there had to be an election (both Scots incidentally).

      Don’t know if that has happened since though and besides NS ignores constitutional conventions.

    72. Ingwe says:

      Whatever is released, I’d check the metadata for date of creation etc.There’s been long enough to procure an alternative “advice” possibly one with which the original counsel has had no involvement. If it’s not a damning document, then one has to ask why the extreme reluctance to release it earlier. If it’s been redacted, then it’s of no value. But don’t rule out a “new” document partially redacted but creating the impression of the original document.

    73. Scott says:

      I’ll come back later when yer Da’s home.

    74. Gordon Hay says:

      Re Q4 “Will it be redacted?”

      Swinney has released a statement which ends “Subject to the mandatory legal checks and processes, we will release the key legal advice.”

      So yes, it will be.

    75. Andybhoy says:

      @ A Person.

      Interesting information, I hadn`t heard that before.

      Yes NS just does what she wants and may well ignore such a vote. But, given the proximity to the election, would she take the chance of going to the polls with the opposition and the press attacking her as a tin pot dictator who pays scant regard to the democratic process?

      I think that it is evens that you may answer yes btw.

    76. Craig Sheridan says:

      QUESTION 1: WHY NOW?

      The committee has been slow and blundering. Salmond has bumped it into action by telling them the powers they have and why they should be using them. Embarrassed into action.

      QUESTION 2: WHY CAVE?

      SP election. VONC would be used as a hammer to beat SNP. And likely have an effect.

      QUESTION 3: WHY NOT CAVE SOONER?

      They thought they could supress it without repercussion. They’ve waited as long as they possibly could get away with.

      QUESTION 4: WILL IT BE REDACTED?

      Doubt committee version will be redacted as VONC anyway as you say.

      QUESTION 5: WAS IT ALL DOWN TO THE GREENS?
      Yes, no Green VONC support = no release of legal advice.

      Don’t know what’s in the legal advice but clearly they want to hide something. Dates? Illegal behaviour from ScotGov? No worthy case? Conspiracy?

      The picture ScotGov don’t want you to see will be another step closer tomorrow. This is like the longest game of Catchphrase ever but I think the answer is “Conspiracy of silence”.

    77. John H. says:

      Sturgeon is a control freak and a narcissist. Nothing will be released that will damage her in any way. Swinney seems to be her accomplice, so he should be ok, but everyone else involved should be worried unless they’re planning to retire.

    78. JB says:

      The document from the LA linked to by “MaggieC at 1 March, 2021 at 6:56 pm’ above is interesting, so it the letter from Kenny Donnelly it links to.

      The LA writes:

      COPFS itself is subject to legal restrictions which prevent it from disclosing information to the Committee or to any other person unless there is a proper legal basis for such disclosure. That was explained in detail in Mr. Donnelly’s letter to the Convener of 10 November 2020. That letter identified to the Committee that a notice under section 23 of the Scotland Act 1998 could, subject to the application of section 23(10), provide such a legal basis.

      So use of S23 SA-1998 provides a legal basis for a person to release documents contrary to S162 CJL(S)A-2010. There is a proviso in S23(10) that COPFS can resist that basis. However no other party can.

      It seems to be that the text is waffle to hide the fact that the suggestion Salmond made about serving a S23 notice on his Lawyers would be effective. I certainly got the impression that his Lawyers had agrred to that; presumably as S23 providing a legal basis for release serving as a defence to S162.

      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1998/46/part/I/crossheading/proceedings-etc
      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/asp/2010/13/section/162/2011-12-13

      The one question that strikes me is if Salmond’s Lawyers would be obliged to make use of SA-1998 S25(4), citing the conflict with S162 of the other act.

      It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under subsection (1)(a), (b) or (d) to prove that he had a reasonable excuse for the refusal or failure.

    79. Scott says:

      JB says:
      1 March, 2021 at 8:23 pm

      The one question that strikes me is if Salmond’s Lawyers would be obliged to make use of SA-1998 S25(4), citing the conflict with S162 of the other act.

      Levy & McRae can provide all evidence under legal privilege. It’s up to SPCB to redact for the Official Record.

    80. A Person says:

      -Andybhoy-

      My answer certainly is yes. As others are saying she is a narcissist. I expect her to break down in tears about something at the hearing as a publicity stunt.

      Incidentally, if she does lose office, she wouldn’t be able to take it. To someone with an ego that size, it would be “the voters’ fault”. Her clique would venerate her even more, she’d stay as leader, go on television to moan about how unfair her defeat was (a la her idol, Hillary Clinton), continue down the same policy path, and in 2026 the SNP would be pummelled.

    81. AWhiteLife says:

      Wee commissar sturgeon better have a big supply of incontinence breeks to hand. The rats are all jumping ship. Her beard will be ready to squeal like a pig too no doubt, can’t see him going down alone considering their ino relationship. Might need to order more popcorn!

    82. Runner 118 says:

      This legal advice is a smokescreen. Salmond got the legal advice into his own evidence. That’s done and dusted. What’s now relevant is the disclosure information held by Levy and Macrae. That is dynamite as it includes the WhatsApp messages in full. Hopefully, Murdo reads replies to his Tweets.

    83. Tommo says:

      Thank you JB- one would assume however that the proper and essential performance of a committee delegated by the Scottish (dictatorship -sorry -please redact) Parliament would provide ‘a proper legal basis’ -if anything did
      However nothing at all makes any sense in the shambles that has ben created since this lady took office

    84. crisiscult says:

      As far as I understood from Salmond’s evidence, and from reading here and Dangerfield, key information was withheld during Commission and Diligence. Is it not also the case that the Scottish Gov withheld material information from their own solicitors?

      If the legal advice were redacted to conceal full details of the basis on which the solicitors viewed the case as, for example, weak but winnable then the legal advice is not going to be as exciting as it could be. Basis for redaction? Possibly because complainers in the criminal case could potentially be revealed, such as a complainer being involved in the complaints process.

    85. Saffron Robe says:

      Yes, it is a strange one. One thing we do know about the SNP government is that for them it is all about appearances and nothing to do with the reality. Therefore redaction is the most likely. However, with John Swinney so implicated, it may be he has just decided to stand together or fall together with the First Minister.

      Unfortunately, with the government so compromised, we are defenceless as a nation. The dominant partner in the Union is determined to push ahead and impose its will and the English Crown upon us. Of course, they have no right to do so, but who is going to speak up for Scotland and tell them so? Everyone who tries is shot down by the SNP leadership.

      I do not think that this mess has been instigated by the Unionists. The blame can be laid squarely at the feet of Nicola Sturgeon. The Unionists are simply taking advantage of the opportunity offered to them by such a supine and craven leader.

    86. PhilM says:

      Legal Advice

      Having consulted with senior counsel, our legal advice to the Scottish Government is, on the balance of probabilities, that the RT employee, also known as Wee Eck, the failed former First Minister Alex Salmond is likely to [REDACTED] his despairing petition for Judicial Review and by all accounts be found [REDACTED] guilty in any subsequent criminal trial. We therefore further advise the Scottish Government to [REDACTED] immediately in order later to [REDACTED] (insert: win the war. Ed. Lorelei Havens)
      N.B. The Canadian Geese fly with the prevailing wind at dawn.
      (Crown Agent)

    87. James Barr Gardner says:

      The Greens had 140,00 votes lent to them by non Green members on the list vote they’ve just lost Andy (Red) Wightman so 1 MSP down and the election still to come.

      The SNP’s insistent edict both votes SNP, thus a great many in the SNP camp and followers who lent their list vote to the Greens last time are unlikely to do so this time, so the Greens have been thrown under the bus by the SNP.

      The Greens will now have to fight to retain list votes so all bets are off in the case of the SNP !

    88. Benny says:

      Its fucking ridiculous what is going on . Why on earth would you trust any one of the msps. If it looks like a turd smells like a turd it probably is a turd . For Alex salmond to guide the enquiry on how to force the hand of the snp government shows just how much his knowledge is needed

    89. John Cleary says:

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/Meeting%20Papers/20210302SGHHCPublicPapers.pdf

      Mr Salmond comments: “I believe that the Committee should ask the Lord Advocate directly whether he instructed two unwilling complainants to make police statements.”

      I did not direct any complainer to make a police statement; indeed, I have no power which would enable me to issue such a direction.

      Woolfie in his submission.

      Wasn’t you though, was it Woolfie? It was your offices through which something wicked came. You just did what you do best, you looked the other way whilst evil took place.

    90. Contrary says:

      Humph. Timing, it’s all to do with timing. And image.

      Probably.

      Probably because there will be reams and reams of impenetrable legalese, that’ll be vague and mostly indecipherable. The hopeless Committee cannot get through it before NS appears, but she can still say ‘but we have released it ‘all”. It will not be clear cut what it says anyway.

      And it’ll be to distract from the actual juicy stuff that Alex Salmond told them to get a hold of – those 17 meetings held with all varieties of conspirators & counsel – discussing the JR, where are the minutes? Where are the emails discussing arranging the meetings and summaries, and route maps etc etc. ? Why have those not been submitted.

      It’s a squirrell and a distraction, and might reveal something a few weeks down the line – but not before the saintly Nocola Sturgeon appears before the committee and insists she’s ‘done the right thing’ and ensured the committee got everything they needed…

      They’ve done this repeatedly, the Scottish gov’t – released piles of evidence the night or day before a session so the committee has no time to read it all before questioning a witness. But the committee just rolls over and accepts it. Farce.

      It’s got nothing to do with VONC’s I imagine.

    91. robertknight says:

      So, the Government/Swinney will release key documents, eh?

      Beware Greeks bearing gifts.

    92. crisiscult says:

      Quite a few straw men and a few holes in Lord Advocate’s statement https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/Meeting%20Papers/20210302SGHHCPublicPapers.pdf Holes, for example regarding withholding of key information: “It was, and is, deeply regrettable that all the relevant documents were not identified at an earlier stage in the process.”

      Also, he reveals the theme that Craig Murray previously identified (when talking about contempt of court). It is for the court, not the Lord Advocate and his Crown Office, to decide on matters of law; I mean what does he mean “I understand that the Committee intends to serve a further notice on COPFS; any such notice would be addressed in light of the relevant legal rules.”?

    93. McDuff says:

      Have the committee at the invitation of AS contacted his solicitors who would provide them with further written evidence?
      I still believe this will be an orchestrated whitewash with mainly fluffy questions for Wolffe and Sturgeon with the odd mildly tricky one to make it look good. This committee has been mucked around for months by the SG and has been reluctant to use its authority. Why.

    94. Geoff Anderson says:

      Why say release “key” legal documents?
      Who decides what is key. I expect dirty tactics afoot!

      They are up to something!

      Release all documents !!!

    95. Hatuey says:

      If you assume Sturgeon can’t release the legal advice in unredacted form, that it’s so damning that she’d be as well resigning, you can anticipate where we are heading on this.

      The SNP will want to release it with damning info redacted and to do that they will need the Greens to bail them out if there’s a VoNC. We can only guess what the Greens will be offered in return, but they’re usually a cheap date.

      Sturgeon and the SNP are hanging by a thread; one honest person away from collapse.

    96. holymacmoses says:

      From Mr Wolffe’s meandering:
      Mr Salmond comments adversely on the way in which the Scottish Government
      passed the matter to the police. The particular approach chosen was adopted
      precisely because of the sensitivity of the case and with a view to enabling the police
      to put in place, from the outset, appropriate arrangements for handling the case.

      That didn’t turn out very well did it

    97. CMack says:

      John Cleary says:

      Mr Salmond comments: “I believe that the Committee should ask the Lord Advocate directly whether he instructed two unwilling complainants to make police statements.”

      I did not direct any complainer to make a police statement; indeed, I have no power which would enable me to issue such a direction.

      Remember the old adage – Never ask a question you don’t know the answer to!

    98. Big Jock says:

      Motion of no confidence still on the table!

      “But what the DFM is promising to do is to release the “key legal advice” It is not for the Scottish Government to determine what is key legal advice. Keep that Motion of No Confidence on the table”

      Andy Wightman

    99. Sylvia says:

      CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS!!??

      Scotland’s top civil servant may have destroyed notes of meeting with Nicola Sturgeon linked to Alex Salmond probe.

      SCOTLAND’S top civil servant may have destroyed notes of a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon linked to the Alex Salmond probe, documents obtained by The Scottish Sun suggest.

      Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans admitted under oath that she destroys all of her notebooks – and might have done so with notes from a summit with the First Minister that the Tories have branded “secret”.
      https://archive.is/jrowo

    100. John Cleary says:

      Something else to bear in mind for tomorrow’s participants:

      “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons,”

      Ralph Waldo Emerson (not necessarily when talking about James Wolfe)

    101. A Person says:

      -Sylvia-

      If that Sun story true it would be a serious tactical error. I have been an SNP member, avidly follow the news, have been following the whole issue for about eighteen months and even I get confused about the ins and outs of it- I actually have a notepad where I take notes of what happened so I can understand the stories on it. By contrast, “whoops, I seem to have destroyed incriminating evidence” makes you look decidedly dodgy to anybody…

    102. Helen Yates says:

      How are the Scottish government able to decide what is and is not Key advice?
      Apparently Evans may have destroyed notes on the meeting between Sturgeon and Alex.
      Andy Wightman now appears to have grown a pair.
      The Crown agent David Harvie and Alex Prentice QC will also be appearing before the committee tomorrow along with the lord advocate.
      Sturgeon has been strangely quiet since Friday.
      Something is afoot I just have no idea if it’s going to be good for Alex or not.

    103. Jack Murphy says:

      From The Sun:
      “Labour’s Jackie Baillie, who sits on the Holyrood inquiry into the government’s unlawful harassment probe of Mr Salmond, said: “If this extraordinary allegation is true, then Leslie Evans has further serious questions to answer.

      “This is contrary to the practice of most civil servants that keep records of important meetings, particularly of meetings with ministers.

      “It is deeply disturbing and quite unbelievable that she destroys these records immediately.”

      For the third time in as many weeks I find myself in agreement with Jackie Baillie.

    104. James Horace says:

      Aberdein Speaks

    105. Emma Royd says:

      I think it highly likely that Sturgeon will go down the “plausible deniability” route

      FFS!!! How often does this lying crook think she can get away with her “it wiznae me” and “a bad boy* did it and ran away” defences?

      * Wokerati can of course replace that b-word with the gender identification of their choice.

    106. Big Jock says:

      Monday Covid briefing I meant to say.

    107. crisiscult says:

      The Aberdein statement. https://twitter.com/bridgesforindy/status/1366507453337264130?s=20

      Let Alex Salmond present evidence for all his mad claims (and we’ll suppress it).

    108. Anonymoose says:

      Q1 Why now?

      Because it suits the Scottish Government and Nicola Sturgeon.

      Q2 Why cave?

      This will not be seen by them as caving, its purely for public brownie points and virtue signalling to the Sturgeonites so they can claim that their sacred one is abiding by the will of the Parliament.

      Q3 Why not cave sooner?

      Because Politics is theatre, this suits the Government, its another virtue signal, string everyone along until it comes down to the wire and then release a pre-neutered document.

      Q4 Will it be redacted?

      Like every document the Scottish Government and COPFS have released, this is one thing that you can 100% guarantee that it will redacted before the clerk to the committee even recieves it.

      This act of accepting pre-redacted evidence is something which is wholly wrong and has been wrong with this enquiry from the start.

      It is not for those submitting documents to redact them, that is squarely the job of the clerk to the committee to decide if any evidence require redactions, not by those who submit it.

      They have the power to serve notices under the Scotland act for evidence, they should now be using that power to serve notice for untampered documents and holding in contempt anyone who pre-redacts evidence because it is starving the committe of its legitimate right to see all of the evidence in full.

      Q5 Was it all down to the greens?

      I cannot rule that out, Wightman (ex-green) seems to have his teeth into something. The greens previously voted along with the rest of the parliament to have the legal advice published, I don’t see why they’d change tact now, they have no reason to with an election coming up, they could potentially win more seats if the SNP are shown to be riddled with dirt over this whole fiasco.

    109. holymacmoses says:

      I wonder why Mr Salmond suggested that the committee should ask Mr Wolffe whether he suggested that the two complainants should make statements to the police? Is Mr Salmond suggesting that one of the ways out of the problem of their ‘problematic’ policy was to complain through the police, thus taking the heat off the parliament.

      And does Mr Salmond think (or even know) that this was the policy offered by someone in the legal department with the added suggestion that if they could get a court date for Mr Salmond then it would put the Judicial Review into abeyance (sisted is what I understand that to be) until after the criminal trial. Does Mr Salmond believe that all the inept handling was done by Mr Wolffe and his dept:-)

      Has Mr Wolffe done himself damage by writing categorically that he made no such suggestion and was he trying to avoid getting the question asked under oath and again having to deny it?

      Has Mr Salmond got someone VERY important in his corner?

    110. Big Jock says:

      Maybe it was all hands on deck at Bute House for the shredder.

    111. solarflare says:

      “crisiscult says:
      1 March, 2021 at 10:13 pm
      The Aberdein statement. https://twitter.com/bridgesforindy/status/1366507453337264130?s=20

      Let Alex Salmond present evidence for all his mad claims (and we’ll suppress it).”

      Well, the Murdo Fraser moment has some context now.

    112. Cudneycareless says:

      Tommy Box says:

      That does not matter because Nicola has got an excellent memory…..

    113. cynicalHighlander says:

      Is it a Chubb or Yale that is the key question.

    114. Graham says:

      Swinney will release the evidence, heavily redacted of course.

      Consequently, he’ll lose a vote of no confidence.

      Sturgeon will continue to bullshit here way into the election in May and it will all be behind her.

      That’s it. That’s Sturgeon’s game plan; basically she couldn’t give a fuck so will charge on regardless so that she can pass new legislation to provide free birthing pools to men in dresses, warn parents not to let their kids eat pizzas & rebrand devolved benefits so that poor people in Govan feel more equal in their poverty.

    115. Famous15 says:

      I am totally against legal advice being seen by other than the body seeking the advice.

      If it became commonplace that legal advice lost confidentiality it would soon become worthless or so anodyne or on the one hand this but on the other hand that, you would not get any meaningful advice.

      Alex Salmond offered papers held by HIS lawyers and that is what should be sought.

    116. Big Jock says:

      Graham you are right. That will be her strategy. Unless someone breaks ranks and blows her cover. We wait in hope.

    117. AYRSHIRE ROB says:

      O/t

      Apparently the Mennie’s are at their nepotism again. No shocks there then.

      Jessica Mennie gets a paid post Not advertised.

    118. ian murray says:

      At most companies a visitor has to sign in with basic information
      Time, Name, Company Representing, Appointment with,
      Any body know what was required when Geoff Aberdein visited ?

    119. John Cleary says:

      Sooner or later Ms F will realise that she MUST out herself to save her own life.

      Learn from others. Monica Coghlan and Angela Peppiat.
      And of course Jill Dando (though unintentionally).

      You are in the same place as Angela Peppiat.
      When she saw what had happened to Jill, and then Monica, she knew she had to fight for her life.

      Lord Archer’s QC sought to under-mine her honesty. But questions about expenses claims and a disputed £10,000 bonus failed to dent her credibility.

      Why did she risk her reputation in what some would describe as an act of disloyalty to a man who had trusted her so much that he left a picnic basket full of signed, blank cheques by her desk? The answer is that he offended her deeply by questioning her integrity.

      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-61503/The-woman-knew-hed-nailed-day.html

      Huh?
      Ten days of hostile cross-examination, because he questioned her integrity?

      I think not.

      Angela Peppiatt became Lord Archer’s personal assistant in 1985 after he was appointed deputy chairman of the Conservative Party. She was a main witness in the recent trial.

      During the perjury trial she told the court that in May 1987 Lord Archer asked her to fill in a blank 1986 diary, using a list of names he provided, and to deliver it to his solicitors. She says this was the diary used during the 1987 libel trial.

      Mrs Peppiatt told the court she had kept the genuine diary after she left Lord Archer’s employment in December 1987, and handed it to police in 1999.

      She said she had photocopied the new diary pages before and after making the entries. The court also heard that she counter-signed a letter with another assistant, Caroline Norman, saying she had acted under Lord Archer’s orders.

      Angela Peppiatt told the court she had falsified a 1986 diary

      During the perjury trial she told the court that in May 1987 Lord Archer asked her to fill in a blank 1986 diary, using a list of names he provided, and to deliver it to his solicitors. She says this was the diary used during the 1987 libel trial.

      Mrs Peppiatt told the court she had kept the genuine diary after she left Lord Archer’s employment in December 1987, and handed it to police in 1999.

      She said she had photocopied the new diary pages before and after making the entries. The court also heard that she counter-signed a letter with another assistant, Caroline Norman, saying she had acted under Lord Archer’s orders.

      Michael Stacpoole was a good friend of Lord Archer’s for around 20 years, and worked with him on business and fund-raising deals.

      He was a high society PR man who later gained notoriety when he was photographed handing over an envelope of cash to the prostitute Monica Coghlan, on Lord Archer’s behalf.

      When the Monica Coughlan story broke, Mr Stacpoole left the country.

      Monica Coghlan

      In 1986 Monica Coghlan claimed that Lord Archer had agreed to pay her £70 for sex. She told her story to the News of the World which then taped Archer on the telephone offering her money to flee overseas.

      Lord Archer told Ms Coghlan to go to London’s Victoria station to collect the money. Michael Stacpoole was photographed by the paper offering Coghlan a packet said to contain £2000.

      The scandal caused Lord Archer to resign from the Conservative party. He sued the Star newspaper, which had alleged he had spent the night with Monica Coghlan.

      Lord Archer won the case and £500,000 in damages.

      Monica Coghlan died in a car crash in April 2001.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/1441326.stm

    120. Meindevon says:

      Isn’t it Budget day on Wednesday? Wonder if NS will even get a mention on the news. Great day to bury bad news.

    121. Dan says:

      @ Big Jock at 10:39 pm

      Sun link archived.

      https://archive.is/kIT7o

    122. Frank Waring says:

      Yes, it’s a puzzle…… I don’t think you should entirely discount the possibility that some members of the committee, and some other SNP MSPs, were taken aback by the strength and breadth of the negative reaction from London to the Alex Salmond session of the enquiry: ‘negative’, that is, not to Alex Salmond but to what he said about how public affairs have been carried in Scotland. Perhaps they hadn’t fully appreciated how squalid and immature it looks to a detached observer.

    123. Dan says:

      @ John Cleary at 10:49 pm

      Daily Mail link archived…

      https://archive.is/ZZ9G9

    124. John Cleary says:

      holymacmoses says:
      1 March, 2021 at 10:22 pm
      I wonder why Mr Salmond suggested that the committee should ask Mr Wolffe whether he suggested that the two complainants should make statements to the police?

      holymac,

      Salmond’s suggested question was whether the office of the Lord Advocate had instructed the two complainants to make their statements to the police.

      We are talking about coercion by those very same people who are acting “in the complainants interests”. The original complainants (F and K) were forced, against their will, to do what they did NOT want to do.

      Remind me again about the definition of rape, of sexual assault. Anything to do with using force to overcome resistance?

    125. ElGordo says:

      Woops wrong thread earlier…

      But which legal advice are they releasing?

      The legal advice from August, September, October or November?

      I would imagine the legal advice changed somewhat as information, reluctantly, became available.

    126. Winston Smith says:

      Maybe I’m too cynical, but…

      I noted that Mr Salmond’s suggestion was to ask whether ‘…the Lord Advocate had instructed’. The Lord Advocate’s ‘denial’ uses the word ‘directed’. Some legal sophistry at work there methinks.

    127. John Cleary says:

      Thank you Dan

    128. Clavie Cheil says:

      Will they be real documents? I doubt it r they will be so redacted as to be meaning less. I cant believe Swinney let himself be badly used like this. What does Sturgeon and her Stasi have on him?

    129. ElGordo says:

      Apologies, never read other comments saying same

    130. Big Jock says:

      It’s interesting that Kate Forbes is a fierce critic of Gender reform , and also favourite to replace Sturgeon.

      She might be a bit young to be FM. But seems to have her own way of thinking. Certainly better than Robertson.

    131. Breastplate says:

      Famous15,
      I would agree up to the point where there is an official enquiry into how this clusterfuck happened, then the legal advice that precipitated all this should be front and centre for a forensic examination.

      So yes, in normal circumstances we shouldn’t be shown the legal advice but this isn’t anywhere near normal and if it does become normal that legal advice leads to a fucked up omnishambles then the scrutiny of legal advice should become normal.

      The whole idea is whether this legal advice is absolutely pish which would be bad enough but what would be worse is if the legal advice was sound and was simply ignored.

      We need accountability, simple as that.

    132. willie says:

      I’d be absolutely sure tat the legal opinion is out there.

      So who cares if Swinney continues to hold people out of knowledge that should be in the public domain. Folks will know by his continued redaction that he is a scum bag – but his big secret will be out.

      and of course as a result he’ll be gone.

    133. holymacmoses says:

      I thought Mr Aberdein had been given a post in ONE up in Aberdeen and that Sir Ian Wood had been appointed as chair of the Board later. I see that Mr Aberdein’s job seems to have changed and I can’t find any corroboration of my initial ideas. Does any one else remember Mr Aberdein being appointed to the ‘sport’ job three months ago?
      I had thought that once Sir Wood was part of the organisation that Mr Aberdein would probably be in trouble.

    134. Captain Yossarian says:

      @Willie – It’s Swinney himself that’s doing the redacting, not the lawyers. This story that he’s putting about that he’s following legal advice is a spoof story.

      Give Aberdein’s statement to Andrew Neil and he will publish it. Andrew Neil doesn’t care and he’s not worried about Swinney.

      That’s the short route to a solution. Not a solution that anyone in the SG would like of course.

    135. dropthevipers says:

      So the committee have taken up Salmond’s offer and spent the last days perusing the evidence from the solicitors. So horrified are that by what is revealed they they realise the gig is well and truly up. Not wanting to go down with the ship they toss a nonstop barrage of un-answerable hand grenades to NS….. No, me neither. NS is either a world class bluffer and bullshitter or she knows something we don’t.

    136. Saffron Robe says:

      Re Leslie Evans and her notebooks. I thought destroying evidence was a crime?

      Also, it may be the case that the legal advice released is highly selective, along with the interpretation of what is “key”. It could just be a diversionary tactic.

    137. rob says:

      dropthevipers says:
      1 March, 2021 at 11:37 pm

      So the committee have taken up Salmond’s offer and spent the last days perusing the evidence from the solicitors. So horrified are that by what is revealed they they realise the gig is well and truly up. Not wanting to go down with the ship they toss a nonstop barrage of un-answerable hand grenades to NS….. No, me neither. NS is either a world class bluffer and bullshitter or she knows something we don’t.

      Is it true the committee have approached Salmonds Lawyers?

    138. Sylvia says:

      holymacmoses@ 11:23

      Geoff Aberdein’s Linkedin profile – https://www.linkedin.com/in/geoff-aberdein-62a05972/?originalSubdomain=uk

      The OSS Board of Trustees is made up of people who believe community sport activity should be available to all ages and abilities across Scotland, and that it is key to the future health of the nation.

      Chaired by Geoff Aberdein, former Chief of Staff to the First Minister and Global Head of Public Affairs at Aberdeen Standard Investments, the board draws on a wide range of skills and experience across education, research, sport, finance, government, communications and business, in the UK and across Europe.

      https://oss.scot/ourboard/

    139. Hatuey says:

      There’s a potential defence available to NS that could be a huge curve ball. It’s complicated.

      Imagine though, in the same way that Alex Salmond was prevented from telling the truth, NS claimed she was prevented from telling the truth, purportedly for the same reason… as I said, complicated.

      Don’t be surprised if it is argued that she had to lie or be economical with the delicate truth. At a stretch that would get her off the hook with regards to the question of “what did you know and when did you know it?”

      The vulnerability is the legal advice. Clearly ensuring the Government acts lawfully is of a high priority as far as breaching the ministerial code goes. And that’s why they have a team of legal experts advising them so that they can avoid doing so.

      It’s hard to see how NS could survive if legal advice was to emerge that suggested she knowingly walked the Government over an unlawful cliff edge. That, of course, is why we will most certainly never see that legal advice.

    140. Hatuey says:

      Yosserian: “Give Aberdein’s statement to Andrew Neil and he will publish it… That’s the short route to a solution. Not a solution that anyone in the SG would like of course.”

      Actually it’s the short route to zilch.

      The question or solution hangs on it being published by the Committee. If it isn’t published by the Committee, it might as well not exist anywhere and it won’t (can’t) have a bearing on their final report.

    141. Robert graham says:

      The last minute surrender well that’s pish for a start all froth to divert attention from the real stuff

      Something Alex said during his testimony

      During the criminal investigation people associated with either the SNP or the SNP Government yes I know it’s a bit confusing , anyway a person or persons unknown were interfering with the police investigation and offering to supply information it the police had a problem finding it .

      Also who has been feeding the media the Daily Record in particular seems to have exclusive access to information no one else has who has been leaking details in order to steer the people involved in the investigation in the direction required in order to keep with the program i.e. Get Alex

    142. rob says:

      Hatuey says:
      1 March, 2021 at 11:51 pm

      Yosserian: “Give Aberdein’s statement to Andrew Neil and he will publish it… That’s the short route to a solution. Not a solution that anyone in the SG would like of course.”

      Actually it’s the short route to zilch.

      The question or solution hangs on it being published by the Committee. If it isn’t published by the Committee, it might as well not exist anywhere and it won’t (can’t) have a bearing on their final report.

      You are correct of course but….if the committee don’t publish evidence that would prove beyond a doubt that Sturgeon is corrupt and a liar… and this same evidence is out there for the world to see, then they lose all credibility and so does their verdict.

    143. President Xiden says:

      Just remember, it’s the cover up stupid.

    144. Robert graham says:

      Two Paragraphs that’s all I could bare to read on WGD fk me

      Still pushing this shite about the SNP fighting on our behalf for Independence and anybody who questions it are playing the unionist game and really threatening the cause well fk a duck total pish

      Listen up there isn’t a plan never has been a plan and the direction of travel means we end up hitting a brick wall. that’s not fanciful thinking that’s guaranteed nail it to your forehead so you don’t forget it Bawjaws will never in a year or Sundays say aye ok you are right go ahead and have a referendum, nothing to loose Bawjaws will shoot himself in the head and both feet simultaneously

      We were all tricked into believing the carrot of , just round the corner, within touching distance,we are almost there, just one more push , six years they’ve had to put together a believable program for a Scotland free of Westminster , point to one thing just one bit of progress and I will shut up . you in the Nicola Sturgeon support group want to give yourselves a good shake it ain’t happening everything you hope will happen is a fkn illusion it’s not going to happen with this SNP

    145. Anonymoose says:


      Murdo Fraser:
      Hearing tonight that the ‘key legal advice’ being offered by @scotgov
      may in fact be a carefully selected set of documents designed to paint them in a good light and not give the full picture. If true, then that is appalling bad faith, and we will pursue the VONC in @JohnSwinney

      https://twitter.com/murdo_fraser/status/1366533337607790592

    146. John Cleary says:

      The Dando Connection:

      Dando death claim in Archer case

      Disgraced peer Lord Archer is to appeal against his perjury conviction, citing evidence including a claim that he was responsible for Jill Dando’s death.
      He says the verdict should be quashed as some evidence – such as the baseless claim – was not shared at his trial, his wife has told the Mail on Sunday.

      Police were told Ms Dando was killed by mistake after the former Tory peer ordered a prosecution witness’s death.

      His ex-employee Angela Peppiatt lived in the same road as the TV presenter.

      ‘Preposterous claim’

      The former deputy Tory chairman was jailed for four years in 2001, and was released in 2003.

      Archer’s wife Mary said that her husband was preparing his appeal, but could not say how long it might take before it reached court.

      His argument will hinge on claims that certain allegations against him were not divulged.

      These include the charge that he ordered Ms Peppiatt to be killed.

      The claim was that television presenter Jill Dando – who lived very close to Ms Peppiatt and drove a similar car – was murdered in 1999 by mistake.

      Speaking on her husband’s behalf, Mary Archer told the newspaper: “I have long known false allegations were made to the police to assist the prosecution and undermine Jeffrey’s defence.

      “I am astonished that the police did not make known to us, as the law requires they should have done, the preposterous claim that Jeffrey commissioned the murder of Angela Peppiatt.

      “We believe that some of this material was included in the successful applications by the prosecution to the trial judge to withhold material from the defence on the grounds of public interest immunity,” Mrs Archer said.

      She added the failure to disclose all of the information “fatally undermines the fairness of Jeffrey’s trial”.

      ‘Reparations’

      A Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) spokesman said it would not comment about a case ahead of a possible appeal.

      “If an appeal is launched then we will deal with it in the normal way and deal with the Court of Appeal in the normal way,” he said.

      Barry George was jailed for life in July 2001 after being convicted of Ms Dando’s murder.*

      Jeffrey Archer has served a five-year ban from the Conservative Party, and in February Conservative Party co-chairman Dr Liam Fox hinted the party would consider his return.

      “I’m sure that in line with people having served their sentence and having done some reparations for what they did wrong, we would look at that sympathetically,” he said.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/4386441.stm

      *Subsequently quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2007.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_George
      Yes. Another fit-up.

    147. Hatuey says:

      Rob: “if the committee don’t publish evidence that would prove beyond a doubt that Sturgeon is corrupt and a liar”

      In our minds, yes.

      The SNP operates and plays to the crowd on a really dark tabloid level though. It’s quite disturbing what they’ve become.

      On a psychological level it’s straightforward gaslighting and they’ve developed a truly abusive relationship with their own support base

      Turn a blind eye to the lies, deceit, and corruption or you aren’t getting indyref2…

      If they were more honest, they’d consider using that in their manifesto. Actually, if you throw in a picture of Nicola and a hollow slogan that suggests Scotland is on the brink of some amazing decision, that really is their whole manifesto.

    148. James Barr Gardner says:

      Who has been feeding the media the Daily Record, when it was done just a few hours before Alex’s legal team were about to apply for an injunction.

      The Police said it could be about 2 dozen so did not bother.

      However the likelihood was that there was a rush to leak this to the Daily Wrecker so that in itself must narrow the field and contacting the yellow rag with a scoop like this I would say in all probability this person has had contacts with the shit rag on many previous occasions.

      Newspapers even gutter press need a good degree of confidence that their source is well known to them and as such believe the inside story with minimal need to check it out.

      No wonder Alex knows who it is but there you go, the lazy (or instructed) plods first question should have been to the 2 dozen staff would be step forward if you have multiple dealings with the Wrecker, as for the rest of you go and get a coffee and doughnut.

      Shit how hard was that what are you left with 2 or 3 at most, then they are interviewed, the penalties for breaking Official Secrets Acts are explained in full,graphically and then the first one to blink is het ! There’s always a tell and it will be spotted.

      One down and then deals are offered to obtain names of others who are involved ! Job done !

    149. James Barr Gardner says:

      Clavie Cheil says:
      1 March, 2021 at 11:12 pm
      Will they be real documents? I doubt it r they will be so redacted as to be meaning less. I cant believe Swinney let himself be badly used like this. What does Sturgeon and her Stasi have on him?

      John Swinney was a lackluster Leader during his 4 year tenure as the Leader of the SNP and he is just as lackluster as a Deputy Leader but what Nicola and John have in common is that they are both gradualists, they both have lost tens of thousands of party members. (Fundamentalists read Independentista eg Alex Salmond, Joanna Cherry.

      For Gradualists read Devolutionists ! The Scottish People deserve much more if you want their vote to mean something needs to change and fast the majority of Scots want to end London Rule, Trident, Foreign Wars and many other things,however Independence is a requisite in achieving these goals.

    150. Innes Newton says:

      To my mind THE most despicable thing about the SNP is that they happily pit Scot against Scot. There are no English involved in this debacle. It’s just Scot fighting Scot. Terrible. What sort of leader is content to allow that. Indyref1 was horrible. Friends, family, colleagues……..arguing bitterly and often hatefully. That’s no way to go forwards. The SNP has been bad, bad, bad for Scotland. The SNP have got away with ruining SCotland for far too long. NOTHING has improved. They have no imagination, no great plans. Just dreamy air heads. Scotland does deserve better, but sadly it has just got worse.

    151. Willie says:

      So reluctantly at the last minute having denied request after request this paid public servant, and that is what Swinney is, is going to release documents that should have been made public.

      The guy is the absolute stereotypical arrogance of politicians who think they are accountable to no one and tat the public, mushroom like, should be kept in the dark. And the they can do as they please under the cloak of cover up, redaction and secrecy.

      Certainly no openness with this SNP. Not from Sturgeon, not from Swinney, and the public accept this at their very peril. Scotland under their leadership, is being exposed as a failed state.

      Failed in the management of COVID, failed educationally, and failed utterly in the rule of law, justice and fairness – and all of the reluctance by Swinney to provide this simple document, is just another example of why the country is in the mess that it is.

      Time we voted this rotten SNP out.

    152. Clavie Cheil says:

      ” Innes Newton says:
      2 March, 2021 at 5:54 am

      To my mind THE most despicable thing about the SNP is that they happily pit Scot against Scot. There are no English involved in this debacle. It’s just Scot fighting Scot. Terrible. What sort of leader is content to allow that. Indyref1 was horrible. Friends, family, colleagues……..arguing bitterly and often hatefully. That’s no way to go forwards. The SNP has been bad, bad, bad for Scotland. The SNP have got away with ruining SCotland for far too long. NOTHING has improved. They have no imagination, no great plans. Just dreamy air heads. Scotland does deserve better, but sadly it has just got worse.”

      =======================================================

      Aye Right!!!! Bullshit!!!!

      You are a Worm-tongued Yoon obviously. The present SNP leadership and ("Tractor" - Ed)s like you have been ruining Scotland along with the Union has been ruining Scotland for my whole life. It was the treacherous Yoons in my own family that stooped to lying to my face. Their own flesh and blood allegedly.

    153. Eileen Carson says:

      RE- the notebook destruction especially because it is HARD evidence of which there is no electronic copy.

      As any good administrator/office manager knows, every physical item should be retained and filed by relevant subject and date. In case you should need to refer back to your notes at a later date [like now!].

      Impossible to think of this as anything other than LE protecting NS’ ass.

    154. oneliner says:

      Whatever happens, you can rely on Sarah Smith to misrepresent the facts.

    155. oneliner says:

      Did I mention Sarah Smith – I didn’t mean to.

    156. Donibristle says:

      1.Why now ? Just another drip of information to give the appearance of reacting to the threat of the VONC.
      2.
      Why cave ? I can’t see them really caving. John Swinney is far too entangled in this web to walk away with any self respect, but resigning now might be his way out and take some heat off Sturgeon. So the information wont be enough for Murdo and the VONC will go ahead.
      3.
      Why not sooner ? The advice will be incriminating, but we won’t see half of it. Just another delay tictac.
      4.
      Redacted ? Without doubt !! There has been virtually nothing so far that hasn’t fallen victim to our Ministry of Truth.
      5.
      Down to the Green’s ? Good question, although perhaps their career politicians are looking beyond Sturgeons fall and realigning themselves. She will fall, its just a question when ?

      But the cancer spread throughout the SNP is rampant. We can cut out a few tumours at the top, but they’ve appeared in all vital organs. Can the patient be saved ?

    157. Charles Hodgson says:

      “Indy Ref 2 it’s in the post”.
      The latest guff received from the SNP by post. I haven’t opened it. Straight to landfill.

    158. highseastim says:

      Sylvia at 9.30pm

      Why the surprise, if you’re old enough to remember on the “tory watch” before devolution 114 files went missing or were destroyed regarding child abuse at Westminster, swept under the carpet, and more recently after the 30 year FOI rule, the shenanigans with Thatcher’s son Mark and his African coup, were buried for another 50 years in the national interest. More like those that are up to their necks in it, will have passed away by then.

    159. ScotsRenewables says:

      Innes Newton says:
      2 March, 2021 at 5:54 am
      To my mind THE most despicable thing about the SNP is that they happily pit Scot against Scot. There are no English involved in this debacle. It’s just Scot fighting Scot.

      Pentland Pirate you old Yoon, what on earth brings you crawling out of this particular woodwork?

      Half the SNP in my local branch are English. Good to see you are still peddling the same poisonous guff you were eight years ago.

      Back in your hole now, leave this discussion to the grownups.

    160. Breeks says:

      Occasionally, somebody who’s done the wrong thing will have a change of heart and do the right thing.

      But from an Occam’s Razor perspective, more often than not, that sudden change of heart doesn’t come from any blessed epiphany, but the sudden change of priorities which occurs when you realise the thing you thought you were getting away with is coming back to bite you, – and it’s grown bigger teeth.

    161. Eileen Carson says:

      Clever [but obvious] move by Sturgeon to extend LE contract to ensure there’s a fall guy in place to take the flack. There must be so much more not immediately obvious … wish I had the solicitor’s files for a day or two.

    162. Robert Hughes says:

      Innes Newton –

      Did a rock rather than an apple fall on your head ?

      The multiple failures of the current SNPG management – which this site has been exposing for some time ( where ya been Innes , under that rock ? ) only serve to emphasise even stronger how much we need Independence , to rid ourselves once and for all of colonial and quasi-colonial ( ie the current SNP ) interference in our affairs , allow the emergence of a more diverse range of Parties and more effective opposition to whatever is the dominant party at any given time .

      Types like yourself may enjoy sunning yourselves , attempting to heat your cold blood , in the glow of WoS real journalism , but your facile and opportunistic attempt to equate the current SNPG to the immensely larger , wider , deeper question of regaining our Independence will convince no one here , or anywhere the true desire for freedom exists .

    163. Mac says:

      I hope the last few days and weeks have been horrible for Nicola Sturgeon, sleepless nights, sleeping pills, waking up and immediately all of this racing through her mind, guts knotted, anxious, moments of internal panic that need to be suppressed.

      Basically a tiny tiny fraction of what she subjected an innocent man to, for what, two years…

      At least Salmond could reassure himself that he was innocent during his horrendous ordeal.

      Nicola in contrast knows she is as guilty as sin.

      I hope Sturgeon and her vile cabal of plotters are put the same ringer they so causally put Alex through… I want to see some of them go to jail for what they did, including the barefaced liars in court.

      There should be serious consequences for what Sturgeon did.

      And to think it seemingly done for her grubby personal ambitions. Sturgeon deserves everything she gets at this point and more.

    164. James says:

      It’s because there is an election in May and the Greens want votes and their supporters are making it very clear they will not vote for them if they continue to defend the indefensible.That’s what always happens to coalitions when elections loom.

    165. Frozone says:

      Anyone else feeling trepidation this morning? I’m becoming quite down about the whole debacle. Hopefully enough good people left to do the right thing. My nervousness is that the Greens buy the bollocks Swinney puts forward today.

    166. Fishy Wullie says:

      @Mac

      There’s nothing I could add to that perfectly worded and I couldn’t agree more

    167. Effigy says:

      Newton posted-

      To my mind THE most despicable thing about the SNP is that they happily pit Scot against Scot. There are no English involved in this debacle. It’s just Scot fighting Scot. Terrible. What sort of leader is content to allow that. Indyref1 was horrible. Friends, family, colleagues……..arguing bitterly and often hatefully. That’s no way to go forwards. The SNP has been bad, bad, bad for Scotland.

      What utter despicable nonsense.

      Keep the baby and throw out the bath water.

      Yes SNP have many issues but not in the league of
      the Tory Empire of corruption and lies.

      I’m happy with free University education, Toll free roads and bridges,
      Free Hospital Parking, the removal of the bedroom tax on the disabled,
      the smoking ban the free period products the curb on cheap alcohol,
      etc.

      I wants Scots deciding Scots future not Lord Snooty and chums in Westminster.

      Your Union stinks and it always has and it always will.
      The sooner we get rid of it the better.

    168. Wee Chid says:

      Innes Newton says:
      2 March, 2021 at 5:54 am

      So you think we should just remain under the colonial yoke?
      Nah.

    169. birnie says:

      Apologies for my confusion – but is it the case that Alex was not allowed to introduce information in his trial because that information had to do with the judicial review, and then is not allowed to introduce other information to the inquiry because that had to do with his trial? In spite of both sets of information being to do with his stitch-up?

    170. Alex says:

      Has anyone subpoenaed The Herald yet, to find out who leaked the information to them, given it’s in the national interest?

    171. ScotsRenewables says:

      For clarification, Innes Newton is English and lives in England.

      He is an idiot.

    172. Mac says:

      We are not in the situation of Scot fighting Scot.

      What we have is a handful of people in leadership positions who are corrupt. They in turn fostered much more corruption, a culture of corruption, which has become at this point, rampant.

      I would be very interested if someone like the Rev or Craig Murray who know who the plotters and the accusers all are (or mostly know at this stage) could estimate just how many people we are talking about here.

      To me it looks like maybe a dozen people are involved, some much more heavily than others.

      If they were all removed from their positions and a proper investigation into their conduct was done with charges to follow if criminality is discovered then I think that would suffice. Hell I am even prepared to give them a fair trial which is more than they were prepared to give Salmond.

      It is very simple, these people attempted to stitch-up an innocent man. They did so using every dirty and unfair trick they could muster. They escalated it to a police investigation to try to stop the judicial review (they failed but they tried) and this pattern of unfairness continued well into the police investigation.

      The scrapped Fairness at Work for Salmond because it was too Fair! and instead they invented a ridiculously unfair process to railroad him (as found by the Judicial Review).

      At every single step they have been astoundingly unfair to Salmond, every single step. The reason for that of course is that treating him fairly would have seen him cleared, and they did not want that.

    173. Desimond says:

      Would be nice if the Committee asks

      “First Minister..given your loud and clear passion for openness during this Inquiry… can you confirm how many times you personally pleaded for John Swinney to release all the documents available”

    174. Auld Jock says:

      First time contributor. Just read in yesterday’s Scotsmen that Jackie Ballie stated on behalf of the committee ‘That they are considering writing to AS legal team’ ffs this is not rocket science why is it taking so long to request this important information. I despair. As we age Cynicism in out politicians knows no bounds.

    175. Effigy says:

      Innes Newton

      Lying on the shoulders of giants!

    176. Auld Jock says:

      Thanks Effigy I meant to say ‘As we age, Cynicism in our politicians knows no bounds’

      I agree but considering to write.

      I wonder if AS will ever receive any absolution? Can he not bring private prosecutions against those who have so obviously harmed him and his reputation?

    177. John Digsby says:

      @Effjy

      You might have gone a bit overboard in your list – please don’t try smoking in a public building in England as it is banned there as well. There aren’t that many toll roads or bridges in England either (and none you can’t easily avoid)

      The others are fair points, though there is truth that nothing is quite “free” and plenty of academic evidence that English students from poorer backgrounds have better access to university than Scottish ones (tuition fees there being essentially just a graduate tax in practice) e.g. https://www.suttontrust.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Access-in-Scotland_May2016.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwi6upeYppHvAhV0F1kFHWBZD2gQFjAAegQIAxAD&usg=AOvVaw2gUdypvrLu-99EKAAjmas_

      The other point is that these achievements have been made under devolution (and at least one under the Labour government), so I would set them aside when making arguments for independence.

    178. Hatuey says:

      “They escalated it to a police investigation to try to stop the judicial review (they failed but they tried) and this pattern of unfairness continued well into the police investigation.”

      There are indications that they intended to involve the police from the start.

    179. Shug says:

      Caught a bit of call kaye today.

      BBC going full pelt on “alternative facts” regarding vaccinations for teachers and schools reopening.

      What is it with BBC Scotland. They seem to be doing everything to spread misinformation to make the pandemic worse. Have these people no conscience

    180. John Cleary says:

      Wolfie Smith to the Committee:

      Any suggestion that prosecutorial decisions in that case were susceptible to political
      influence would not only be unfounded, but would be a serious slur on the integrity
      of the professional prosecutors involved, who, as part of their professional
      responsibilities, routinely take difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions, always
      independently, in the public interest.
      I also reject the criticisms of the steps which the Crown has taken in respect of the
      evidence to the Committee. All decisions, in relation to these matters have been taken
      by senior professional prosecutors, exercising their professional responsibilities
      independently and with a view to the proper application of legal rules and restrictions
      which are designed to protect the integrity of the administration of justice.

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/Meeting%20Papers/20210302SGHHCPublicPapers.pdf

      Can this possibly be the same team that submitted a signed statement to Lord Pentland to the effect that there were no further documents?

      You know. The same team that committed this perjury?

      Now I know that they have faced no sanction for this felony, but that does not mean that Wolfie and his gang are not criminals: they are.

      It just means that Queen Elizabeth II has taken a personal interest.
      And of course, she knows nothing about what she is doing.
      That would be a breach of her Coronation Oath, wouldn’t it?

    181. Ottomanboi says:

      Unionism is a killer. It almost killed the very idea of Scotland as anything other than a region of a greater England, consider the use of the term North Britain. Note, there was never a South Britain. Among the Scots ëlite few baulked at the term English being applied to them as individuals. English a variant of British, carried more status than Scot, Scottish, Scotch and with the right accent, obtained by visits to the elocutionist or English ‘public’ schooling, fitted many a ‘proud Scot’ into the imperial system. The Raj operated similarly on ‘native rulers’.
      In Unionism Scotland survives as a quaint regional identity, not as a nation in anyway comparable with England, to which it ought to be grateful for release from corruption and internecine strife.

    182. Bob Mack says:

      @John Cleary,

      The same team who maliciously prosecuted the Rangers Administrators and Charles Green. Yes!!

    183. Hatuey says:

      I have no problem with the “Scot against Scot” argument. It was true in 2014 and it’s true today. It’s been true for hundreds of years. That’s how colonies work.

      Where today are the proud men who took sides with the British against their own countrymen in places like Egypt, India, Kenya, and the Middle East?

      They rarely even make the footnotes.

      When we win independence, all of their treachery will be forgotten. Nobody will be more keen to forget than they themselves. They’ll thank us for letting them forget.

    184. ITB71B says:

      Effigy says:

      I wants Scots deciding Scots future not Lord Snooty and chums in Westminster.

      I don’t particularly want Central belt politicians deciding on what happens up here either….

    185. Hatuey says:

      “ I don’t particularly want Central belt politicians deciding on what happens up here either….”

      Where is “up here”, the heavens?

    186. katherine hamilton says:

      The deflection tactic of publishing the legal advice is confirmed in Swinney’s letter last night. He writes-
      “With the release of Counsel’s advice, the Scottish Government will have responded to ALL of the committee’s requests for specific documents within our legal and other obligations.” (My capitals).

      No other documents will be forthcoming, so we can forget seeing the e-mails, whatsapp and other communications organising the criminal case.

      Unless the Committee speaks to Mr. Salmond’s lawyers, which at this point they clearly won’t. Clock is ticking. This Parliament folds in 29 days. Report needs to be written.

    187. ITB71B says:

      Hatuey says:
      2 March, 2021 at 10:04 am
      “ I don’t particularly want Central belt politicians deciding on what happens up here either….”

      Where is “up here”, the heavens?

      Yea you could call Moray that

    188. Effigy says:

      ITB71

      No one is suggesting Central Belt politicians would dictate what happens else where.
      I’d expect Holyrood to vote for what is best for the nation while taking account of local issues.

      You won’t have things such as Shetland wants to keep all the oil revenue there
      and the rest of Scotland get nothing.

      It’s one thing to share as part of a nation in which your priorities and votes matter
      as an equal and another to have all your income sent to another country only to get change
      and insults sent back.

    189. CM says:

      Lord Advocate appearing more confident today than he did last week in Parliament.

    190. Andrew gordon says:

      James Wolffe giving his opening remarks, one thing is very clear at least we know he can read !
      It’s a start

    191. ITB71B says:

      Effigy says:

      “I’d expect Holyrood to vote for what is best for the nation while taking account of local issues.”

      That’s the problem isn’t it though… I’m no fan of “central government” at all. It’s usually the case that the furthest away from that power feel disenfranchised

    192. Bob Mack says:

      Wolfe constantly licking his lips. Clear sign of anxiety

    193. Innes Newton says:

      ScotsRenewables says:
      2 March, 2021 at 9:03 am
      For clarification, Innes Newton is English and lives in England.

      He is an idiot.

      Thanks for the ringing endorsement. ScotsRenewables proves so many points about the longterm nastiness and small mindedness of some SNP anti-English fanatics

    194. Ebok says:

      Despite the testimony of Alex Salmond, and interventions by Jim Sillars, Kenny MacAskill, and Joanna Cherry, the appalling disregard and disrespect being shown at HR to these heavyweights of the independence movement simply reinforces the view I have previously expressed, that the party system is the problem.

      It is deeply flawed, and on many levels unfit for purpose. The recruitment and appointment of those we trust to run our country must become far more stringent. We must develop a system whereby MSP’s primary concern is that of the wellbeing of Scotland and not of a party. It is also essential to address the wholly undemocratic inevitability that political parties and influential organisations are infiltrated and/or funded by outside interests, rarely for the national benefit, or that of the ’party’. The naïve belief that propaganda, corruption and dodgy governments belongs to socialist or third world countries has now, finally, been brutally exposed.

      We seem to blindly accept that the current ‘democratic’ party system as the only game in town. Not enough questions are asked of a system that allows leaders to take a party on a path completely at odds with the wishes of the electorate, that damaging information can be buried, or the crazy concept that thick, inept morons, can be appointed to senior roles with responsibilities for overseeing budgets of millions of pounds. It simply beggar’s belief.

      Sadly, the renowned SNP brand is the latest – perhaps final – to have become so tarnished it would need a herculean effort for it to recover.
      My wife asked the question that many here have asked: if I don’t vote SNP, then who?
      Yet that is the reality of the situation we are in, that every voting option is toxic. Are we so devoid of imagination we cannot come up with something better?

      Independence will come, but for now all I can do is cling to the knowledge that there are many fine, upstanding Scots who can help rid us of the gangsters manipulating the system, then guide us through the transformation of our country and fulfilment of its potential.

    195. Big Jock says:

      “Central Belt Politicians.” Lot of nonsense.

      The majority of Scots 3 million live in the Central belt. Without it there would be no Scotland. Industry, commerce and airports all in the Central belt.

      I live in Falkirk. The parliament is in Edinburgh and I used to work in Glasgow before lockdown. I have no problem with the parliament deciding for Falkirk. Where are we going to put the Parliament….Inverness!

      I go to the highlands regularly , skiing, climbing, vsiting relatons. My brother lives in Aviemore owns a shop. This idea that we never get further than Dunblane , so don’t get the highlands. Is crap.

      Kate Forbes is from Elgin, Sturgeon is from Ayrshire, Swinney is from Perth.

      Scotland isn’t France, it’s a quarter the size.

      Most of the tourist things are run by English incomers in the highlands. Do they understand Scotland better than me?

    196. mountain shadow says:

      The Lord Advocate has read more from written prepared statements in the the first 20 minutes then Alex Salmond did in 6 hours.

    197. ITB71B says:

      Big Jock says:
      2 March, 2021 at 10:26 am
      “Central Belt Politicians.” Lot of nonsense.

      The majority of Scots 3 million live in the Central belt. Without it there would be no Scotland. Industry, commerce and airports all in the Central belt.

      Just because the majority of Scots live in the central belt area doesn’t mean they know what’s right for all of us.your argument could very well be applied to Westminster. It’s no coincidence that the central belt areas are the most Indy supporting ones. The further away you get from that central seat of power, the weaker the support becomes.

    198. Footsoldier says:

      The sound from the Scottish Parliament committee is absolutely dreadful – had it been tested beforehand? Amateurish presentation at best.

    199. Craig Murray says:

      Alasdair Allan on, reading prepared questions to the Lord Advocate for him to read prepared answers.

    200. Dorothy Devine says:

      ITB71B, so your preference is westminster ruling for Moray? Is that right?

      I prefer my politicians closer to home , most in Scotland can make a day trip to Holyrood to through custard pies at those who forget who put them in power. And that includes folk from Moray.

    201. McDuff says:

      ITB7
      80% of Norway’s pop live around major cities and for Denmark it’s 88%. The same applies around the world. So what’s the problem.

    202. Big Jock says:

      ITB71B – Yes but lets not start dividing up our country, when we haven’t even got independence yet. The point is London is 400 miles away in another country. Edinburgh is 155 miles from Inverness in the same country.

      We are not comparing like with like. Culturally England is different to Scotland. Someone from Elgin or Dumfries is Scottish and that binds us.

      It’s insulting to suggest if you live in the Central Belt , you are ignorant of every other part of Scotland. As said before. We are not a large country geographically, but any talk of regional assemblies is for after independence.

      Get the power of a full nation first and then look at regions.

    203. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “is it the case that Alex was not allowed to introduce information in his trial because that information had to do with the judicial review, and then is not allowed to introduce other information to the inquiry because that had to do with his trial?”

      That is correct.

    204. Cudneycareless says:

      ITB71B says:
      2 March, 2021 at 10:17 am
      Effigy says:

      “I’d expect Holyrood to vote for what is best for the nation while taking account of local issues.”

      IT IS THE HOPE THAT KILLS YOU.

    205. Big Jock says:

      The weaker support for indy in parts of the north. Is mainly down to incomers from the rest of the UK and less poverty in the highlands.

      Moray – Is awash with middle class English and retired Army types. Hence they nearly voted for Brexit. Reflecting the different culture of Scots and English.

    206. ITB71B says:

      Dorothy Devine says:
      2 March, 2021 at 10:39 am
      ITB71B, so your preference is westminster ruling for Moray? Is that right?

      Errrr no! If you had been following the thread you’ll have seen me say I’m no fan of centralised government. That includes Brussels , Westminster and Holyrood.

      Big Jock says:
      2 March, 2021 at 10:47 am
      The weaker support for indy in parts of the north. Is mainly down to incomers from the rest of the UK and less poverty in the highlands.

      Moray – Is awash with middle class English and retire

      I’ve not met you and it’s hard to know if you are being sarcastic or not, but that is the biggest load of pish I’ve seen on this site. Can it explain the same for the orkneys and Shetland? For the borders?

      You obviously don’t like the facts, and they are such that the further you get away from the seat of power the more voters feel disenfranchised. But it is so. Call it whatever you want but it doesn’t change that fact. I lived near Falkirk for a while, and I have to say I felt just as much a foreign visitor there as I have in other parts of the world I’ve lived.

    207. ITB71B says:

      McDuff says:
      2 March, 2021 at 10:42 am
      ITB7
      80% of Norway’s pop live around major cities and for Denmark it’s 88%. The same applies ….”

      I know, 90% of my work these days is in Norway, and they feel exactly the same way!!!

    208. Robert says:

      There’s no plausible reason for redacting the legal advice. This is advice relating to the JR, which was all about the procedure, I can’t imaging it mentions the names of anyone who went on to be a complainant at the
      criminal trial.

    209. Big Jock says:

      Some interesting facts about Moray –

      The latest census data shows that Moray has a very small proportion of
      residents (5.2%) from out with the British Isles. “White Scottish” account for 77.7% of
      Moray’s overall population which is significantly less than the national figure (84.0%).
      The “White – Other British” residents contribute 18.0% of Moray’s population which
      is proportionately double the national figure (7.9%).

    210. PhilM says:

      My completely imaginary child just ran through from the living room saying, ‘I want to be the Lord Advocate when I grow up’. When I asked why he/she said ‘because you have complete freedom to do nothing whatsoever all the time and proclaim your utmost integrity as well’.
      To this I said, ‘but isn’t that a total abdication of responsibility?’
      He replied, ‘I won’t be drawn into hypotheticals…’
      I pressed further, ‘Wouldn’t you rather be the Crown Agent?’
      With barely a pause, he said,’only if Evans got the sack and that’s debatable at the moment’.
      A little wunderkind wouldn’t you agree?!

    211. Dorothy Devine says:

      So what is your preference , if you are no fan of any of the alternatives ?

      Federalism ?

    212. PhilM says:

      ‘Nothing untoward at all’
      (huge smile)
      It’ll be a braw bricht gaslicht nicht taenicht!

    213. Big Jock says:

      Moray Brexit result –

      Leave 49.9%
      23,992 VOTES
      Remain 50.1%
      24,114 VOTES

      Scotland voted 62% remain.

      ITB71B – I prefer facts to dismissive retorts.

    214. Career: Politician says:

      Listening to James Wolffe now. It’s very embarassing.

      I don’t think there is a more pompous or arrogant person in Scotland.

    215. Kiwilassie says:

      PhilM says:
      2 March, 2021 at 11:28 am
      My completely imaginary child just ran through from the living room.

      Brilliant! Oh! how I miss the Scottish humour.

    216. Career: Politician says:

      James Wolffe and his helper appear to be saying “we couldn’t possibly have done anything wrong; we’ve got loads of experience”.

    217. PhilM says:

      According to the LA’s characterisation of the COPFS, it should be impossible for anything rotten to issue from its hallowed precincts and yet we have a fucking great £100 million abyss of a malicious prosecution left dangling like a big dangling thing.
      Heh, pal, can ye no see whit’s in front o’ yir e’en?
      It’s like some kind of legal macular degeneration.

    218. Sarah says:

      @ ebok: snap. I have been thinking for years that the party system is a snare and delusion.

      How can one party, Labour, encompass all the attitudes/needs/wishes of most of the half who don’t fit into the Tory voting group? They can’t hence the splintering at frequent intervals.

      And to be whipped to the party line when the line isn’t even clear to the party let alone the voters.

      We desperately need a better system. A good start would be a limit on number of terms. Also qualification for office – age, work experience, IQ, character… These would make being an MP/MSP less attractive and less easy to access hence discourage the self-interested.

    219. avocado devil says:

      Big Jock says: (and others…)
      2 March, 2021 at 11:24 am
      Some interesting facts about Moray –

      back in the 1970’s on my summer holidays we visited Inverness and then Elgin. Elgin i have to say was the most English town i have ever seen, more than a caricature of an English town than anyone could ever imagine: a brass band playing on the bandstand in the park and fecking cricket match in progress.
      If indy ever happens i expect moray to seceed and rejoin England.
      It’s go nothing to do with recent migration/ demographics it always was an English enclave.

    220. SilverDarling says:

      James Wolffe’s argument seems to be centred on his own importance and experience. ‘Who do people think you are to question ME?’

    221. Big Jock says:

      Aye Avocado – The worst types. Middle class, Brexit voting naw bags! If I was a local it would drive me nuts!

    222. Cuilean says:

      When we were weans, lang syne, one of my uncles, if giving us a lift in the motor, used to let us get to open the car door then drive off, then wait again til we caught up, then drive off. This could go on some time, with the odd wean tantrum thrown in for good measure. We always fell for it. Every time.

      The SNP’s drip, drip, drip approach to releasing info, minds me o my old uncle. It (a) allows the SNP to run down the clock & (b) gives them a thin veneer of respectability & transparency.

      My uncle eventually used to let us in the motor. He’d then laugh all the way to the chippie, whilst we fumed in the car. We were always mollified wi pokes o chips & irn bru and we’d laugh at ourselves.

      What the SNP are going to do to mollify the scant followers they hold onto, remains unclear. Chips ‘n irnbru won’t do.

    223. Scott says:

      avocado devil says:
      2 March, 2021 at 12:30 pm

      Elgin i have to say was the most English town i have ever seen, more than a caricature of an English town than anyone could ever imagine: a brass band playing on the bandstand in the park and fecking cricket match in progress.

      FUN FACT

      There were more cricket players per head of population in Scotland than in England up until recent years. It may still be the case.

    224. James says:

      Eh baa goom tha shoud com to Doomfries! A pageant every year it’s just like ‘ome wi t’ brass band playing God Save T’ Queen by the church on t’ high street. And you might see our local hero MP’s Alister Jack or David Mundell.

    225. avocado devil says:

      Scott…

      I get no fun from that factoid.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cricket_in_Scotland :

      “The game was more generally introduced to Scotland by English soldiers garrisoned in the country.”

      I think the point i was trying to make is that it’s in no way a Scottish cultural phenomemon (huh? speling?) and the impression you get from a visit to Elgin is that it’s a spaceship full of people that would rather live in Surrey.
      It’s like a Disney ‘England’, even the English would be repelled by it.

      I’d like to quote RevStu:

      “fucksake”

      IMHO it’s as bad as freemasonary, good job Scotland isn’t riddled with that was well.

      Oh… wait a moment …

    226. Gavin Convery says:

      Well written Benjamin. Sums up nicely my own feelings of the 2014 election through to current events. I was also dissapointed not to receive a reply to my email resigning my SNP membership last summer.

    227. Harry Dunlop says:

      Avocado Devil…

      If you think cricket isn’t a Scottish cultural phenomenon, think again, sir.

      Cricket has been played in Scotland longer than the game of association football has been established. More children play it than rugby, and I don’t doubt the proportional difference between Scotland and England in adults, either.

      The East coast of Scotland in particular has clubs that are vibrant parts of their local, often working class communities (see, Arbroath CC or Meikle CC). Of course many Scottish Asians play now too, bring real vibrancy and a love of the game.

    228. avocado devil says:

      scott harry and brian

      ok i submit to your greater knowledge.

      kicking and screaming…

      truth hurts.



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