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However this still has a long way to go ...

On Feb 9th Alex Salmond gives evidence to the Holyrood Enquiry over his stitch-up

- get yer popcorn! Wink


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James D wrote:
The Great Grovelling

We’ve said for a long time that the SNP, with a 35-point cushion in the polls, would be very happy indeed to shed some voters and come back as a minority government again rather than getting a majority – giving them the perfect excuse for five more years of non-delivery on independence, but knowing that they can still pass all their toxic woke policies that the public hates but can do nothing about unless they’re willing to vote Tory, because the Greens, Lib Dems and Labour will all back the SNP on them.
The Tories, unfortunately, are the only party in my area with a chance of giving the SNP the kick in the arse that it has worked so hard to earn.

It's a horrible thought.
For most of my life, I would never even have considered it for a moment.

However, if that's what it takes...
Whatever else happens, I'll definitely not be voting for the SNP.
My real name is Gerry.
James D
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However, if that's what it takes...
Whatever else happens, I'll definitely not be voting for the SNP.
Yeah, I hear you dude - it's amazing that with everything seemingly lined up for #indy that the very "getaway vehicle" hasn't just stalled but has the driver pissing and pouring sugar into the tank!

However ... where you are in Inverness, Highlands & Islands, it's one of the few areas (along with Southern Scotland) where SNP 1&2 is probably useful for keeping out Tories (Con, Lab & Lib Dem combined). In all the rest I'd vote SNP 1 and ISP 2. But each day, with more shite coming out, that's definately getting harder and harder. Talk about rock and a hard place!

There are also some SNP 1s that are so toxic I think someone should seriously look at standing one of the "Good Guys" (Alex Salmond, Duncan Hamilton, Joanna Cherry, Kenny MacAskill, Angus B MacNeill, Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh, Michelle Thomson, Mark Hirst, Craig Murray, Tommy Sheridan, George Kerevan, Denise Findlay ... etc.) against them.

However that and the list vote will have to be very well orcastrated and coordinated with AFI and any others - if the #indy vote is to be maximised.

I can see a lot of people abstaining on the first vote and voting ISP etc. on the second due to being so pissed off with the SNP. Something like 40,000 members have left the SNP in the last 4/5 years and up to as many as 15,000 left this week due to the Joanna Cherry/Alex Salmond stitch ups.
Here’s why the SNP should organise indyref2 sooner rather than later

The public might not care as much about standards in public life as the political classes purport to but they know what “taking the piss” looks like. And Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell, Leslie Evans, several special advisers, more than a few MSPs and a gaggle of £100k-plus civil servants now all stand accused of taking the piss. Big time.

Sturgeon’s video in support of transgender rights could also be filed under “taking the piss”. In so doing, she effectively encouraged misogynistic aggression against several of her party’s female members by painting a target on their back over transphobia.

One of them, Joanna Cherry, consistently outshines Sturgeon’s acolytes and the collection of bottom-feeders who somehow made it on to the SNP’s candidates list.

It seems integrity, honesty and ability are rated lower than inarticulate grandstanding, bullying and sanctimony on the SNP’s front bench at Westminster. This would appear to be nothing more than the politics of envy and spite by Scotland’s First Minister.

The SNP’s party managers better organise an independence referendum sooner rather later. There’s a limit to which the Scottish public, including many Yes voters, will permit being thought of as idiots by Nicola Sturgeon and her party within a party.
There was hope that something would be cleared up soon with the possible removal of Mr and Mrs Murrell but every day with each new revelation, that seems less and less likely -

Today the commission refused to publish Alex Salmond's evidence!!
So basically when he appears he won't be able to answer any questions!

But truth will out someday -
The last tickings of the clock ... the-clock/
Alex Salmond says Nicola Sturgeon’s government acted disgracefully

Yesterday it emerged that James Hamilton, QC, an independent adviser on the ministerial code, had gathered evidence from a wide range of witnesses and was compiling a separate report on Sturgeon’s behaviour. It is understood that the former director of public prosecutions in Ireland is aiming to publish his report before the end of this month.

One way or another, the current hell of Scottish politics will soon be at an end.

But it’s a huge relief to know that we hopefully only have three more weeks to wait to find out, because either way we’ll finally know where we stand and all the stagnant, miserable uncertainty of the last 18 months will be over. Either Nicola Sturgeon will be victorious (and independence will be dead for a decade), or the truth will be.
But anyway here is Alex Salmond's full
SUBMISSION ON JUDICIAL REVIEW - it's shocking stuff!

Alex Salmond inquiry: Former first minister hints at future action against Leslie Evans

Amid all the scandalous revelations something else popped up -
You mustn’t slip up

The next few paragraphs deal with Salmond’s repeated attempts to have the matter dealt with by arbitration, which would have protected the identities of all parties, but which were rejected out of hand by permanent secretary Leslie Evans without even consulting the two complainers.

Salmond instead sent in a general rebuttal, which was more or less ignored by the Investigating Officer, Judith Mackinnon, who sent her findings to Evans, who a month later – again without consulting the complainers, who she knew didn’t want to take their complaints to the police – gave her report to the Crown Agent, (ie to the Crown Office), who illegally attempted to pass it to the police.

(The Crown Agent is an intriguing figure. Readers may or may not place any particular meaning on the phrase “seconded to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office”.)
[The Crown Agent - David Harvie - ... -biography]

Pretty much every single stage in the process up to this point, then, had been completely unlawful and improper. The entire basis of the procedure was unlawful. The contacts between the Investigating Officer and the complainers were unlawful. The attempt to pass the Decision Report to the police via the Crown Agent was unlawful.
That Crown "AGENT" ...
https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.c ... ce-do-you/


In a corrupt society where the system is geared to protect those at the top and important organisations all cooperate to do so. Organisations like the Government, the Crown Office and the police all working in tandem. So far in Scotland we have been lucky and not faced the full impact of this for the sole reason that the court system is either based on juries or honest judges. Thus far there is no evidence the judges are involved and are anything other than fair and just.

Amid all the investigations and close scrutiny there is one “player”whose full role remains not fully clear and that “player” is the Crown Office whose role throughout has been difficult. To say the least it has highlighted the very conflicted roles the Lord Advocate finds himself in. Conflicts that will almost certainly lead to very significant changes being introduced to create much clearer division between Government and the Justice and Court System in the future.

Now it is easy to blame all this on James Wolffe, the Lord Advocate but he has not been alone in creating this series of cataclysmic disasters, the Crown Agent and Chief Executive David Harvie must be in the frame as well. I have to confess to not having come across his name before until my sources introduced his name to me and therefore, at their suggestion I paid him a bit more attention. They suggested I have a look to his early career, a period not extensively covered in his biography published on the Crown Office website. They tell me he was for a time an employee of the security services, he later worked for a time in Paisley (to his credit) before joining the criminal investigation team into the Lockerbie Bombing, attending the entire high security trial in The Netherlands before spending some years in the Foreign Office.All things considered my sources suggest I should pay more attention to the second word in his job title than the first. He is of course the Crown Agent at the Crown Office. Word is he leads an increasingly nervous and disillusioned staff with some reluctant to put their names to correspondence relating to these controversial matters.

I mention all this because there was one item in Leslie Evans evidence that deserves more scrutiny. Throughout her evidence she went to great lengths to insist every action she took was taken in line with all legal advice and entirely compliant with the rules and regulations set out in the Scottish Government procedures. However when under pressure from questioners about why she reported the complaints to the police, despite the complainants having made clear she did not have their approval to do so, she slipped up and revealed she didn’t send them to the police as the procedures and rules stipulated she was required to do, if potential criminal activity was involved. Instead she sent the complaints to the Crown Office direct. She ordered her staff to send them to, wait for it, Crown Agent David Harvie.
MI5 Security Services directing the Alex Salmond stitch up! :shock:

... there's more -
https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.c ... orces/amp/

My article yesterday stirred up a lot of comments, some offering new information. I thought readers might be interested in reading this one today from A Mr Le Carre.


“They suggested I have a look to his early career, a period not extensively covered in his biography published on the Crown Office website. They tell me he was for a time an employee of the security services, he later worked for a time in Paisley (to his credit) before joining the criminal investigation team into the Lockerbie Bombing, attending the entire high security trial in the Netherlands before spending some years in the Foreign Office.All things considered my sources suggest I should pay more attention to the second word in his job title than the first. ”

In many ways this is the most important passage in this very important post. I think we might now be getting to the nub of things in the Salmond stitch-up – and the involvement of Agent Harvie.

His ‘secondment’ to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is deeply significant – it being a major sponsoring department of the British state security. Might it in fact be better to think of his present post as the real ‘secondment’?

His involvement in Lockerbie and the Camp Zeist Fiasco may be just as telling. There can be little doubt now that the “Scottish Court’ in the Netherlands was no such thing; rather it was the security services stitch-up in the Netherlands – solving a problem for both US and UK Foreign policy in respect of the real perpetrators of the Lockerbie atrocity.

And we already know that the Security Services were all over that.

For example – there was the strange role of Andrew Fulton, former Station Chief of MI6 in Washington, and subsequently Chairman of the Scottish Tories. ... Party.html

Fulton – with no known academic credentials – suddenly pops up as a ‘professor’ of Law at Glasgow University and is sent as an ‘observer’ to Camp Zeist. When his cover was blown, it caused substantial embarrassment to both the University and to the Scottish legal authorities. ... e.scotland

“A Glasgow University law professor is being dropped from an expert panel on the Lockerbie bombing following allegations that he was a high-ranking MI6 officer. Andrew Fulton will be asked today to stand down from his role as deputy director of the university’s Lockerbie trial briefing unit.

Revelations that Harvie was involved in both the Camp Zeist and Salmond fiascos ought now to provoke some serious questions and begin to provide answers as to the extent and nature of British Security in the present difficulties facing the SNP.

The Tory Party/Security Services connection is not coincidental either.


We would be wise to recognise that Independence threatens the future of the United Kingdom and as such will involve efforts by the British State to disrupt and damage the SNP and Scottish Government.

That is to be expected. What is not expected is just how easily prominent members of the SNP can find themselves aiding and abetting such disruption motivated by petty political jealousies or insecurity.

The full story of the Holyrood Inquiry remains to be told. What is certain is that the Scottish Government has behaved very badly, is heavily involved in a major damage limitation exercise involving a host of delaying and blocking tactics, which reveal their undoubted guilt, but which they accept as preferable to an open and honest Inquiry that would reveal the whole truth.
Oh how the plot thickens!
Who knows what will be revealed tomorrow and next week?!
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What about Texas Independence - Texit?
James D
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Craig Murray (in his real voice) discussing the corruption at the head of the Scottish Government -

"And one thing is very, very plain to me was that there was very improper collusion going on, between the Sturgeon Government, Sturgeon's inner circle, and the Crown Office, and Police Scotland, over the charges against Alex Salmond.
The Crown Agent, a Mr Harvie, happens to be a former employee of MI5. He used to work full time for MI5.
Now the fact you've got at the head of the Crown Office, taking the day-to-day operational decisions, an MI5 man is ... worrying ... but he was appointed by the Scottish Government, he wasn't appointed by the UK Government."

Scottish Government paid thousands to top lawyers trying to block MSP questions on Alex Salmond case

Misled, divided, obstructed and racing the clock: Salmond Inquiry MSPs reveal an investigation in crisis

https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.c ... peaks-out/

This week should be revealing with Peter Murrell, Alex Salmond (although not allowed to say anything nor present any evidence) & Nicola Sturgeon all scheduled to appear before the committee.

What might be more revealing and potentially much more explosive is the possibility of Alex Salmond holding a press conference!! :wink:

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James D
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Truely shockingly bad video! Fintan! - where do you find them?!
... it's not even remotely funny and verging on slanderous - I hope Alex Salmond sues him just to shut his smarmy puss!

Yeah, Derek MacKay is a vomit-inducing creepy sleaze still troughing up his salary, but not for much longer ...

... and Yeah, Nicola Sturgeon tweeting about Jimmy Savile is also vomit-inducing, but there's waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more shit about come out on her ... and she too will soon be gone!

However the rest is shite!

You can always tell when someone refers to the SNP as the Scottish "Nationalist" Party instead of its correct name the Scottish "National" Party - it's a total give away, it's done on purpose - Boris Jonhson does it all the time to distract from the fact that he can't answer any of their questions.

Mark McDonald was hysterically thrown under a bus in order to start the whole process of stitching up Salmond.
The trail of breadcrumbs

We’d never understood the quite extraordinary over-reaction of the SNP to the events around MSP Mark McDonald. McDonald was reported to the Standards Committee at Holyrood in 2017 for a case which amounted to his mobile phone autocorrecting the word “dingied” to the word “fingered” and him making a very innocuous joke about it.

We could never figure out why such an absurdly minor “offence” had attracted such brutally draconian sanctions and such a treacherous knifing from his own colleagues, until we read this passage from Tom Gordon’s column and all the dots suddenly turned into a straight line.

The wild extremity of the reaction to McDonald was necessary to ostensibly justify the creation of the new rules, without which no action could have been taken against Alex Salmond. Mark McDonald, whose mobile phone’s spellcheck destroyed his career, was just the wrong guy in the wrong place at the wrong time.
And Alex Salmond's QC Gordon Jackson does NOT think that he is a sex pest. That remark was comes from a dodgy, selectively edited and taken out of context video made secretly on a train.

Here is Craig Murray's rebuttal of a Danni Garavelli's article. She did actually write a jigsaw-puzzle-indentifying-contempt of court article (but her hubby works for the COPFS so no charges there then :wink: ) -
“I Have a Plan So That We Can Remain Anonymous But Have Maximum Effect” ... um-effect/

[Garavelli in blue ]

Of all the witnesses, Woman H was the one most comprehensively shown to be a nasty and ill-motivated liar. Her comments on the character of Alex Salmond are just that. The jury did not believe Woman H. We will come to her later.

The attempted rape charge was dismissed along with all the others, but the broader sentiment was endorsed. Both Prentice and Jackson, prosecution and defence, quoted Woman H in their closing submissions. “I wish on my life the First Minister had been a better man and I wasn’t here today,” Jackson said. “It’s a good line. Maybe it was rehearsed. But it is true. Because if, in some ways, the former First Minister had been a better man, I wouldn’t be here, you wouldn’t be here. None of us would be here.”

Jackson was using the understood rhetorical device whereby you start off by appearing to concur with your opponents’ point and then you go on to demolish it. This is yet again an example of Garavelli’s extraordinary and quite deliberate distortion by omission in presenting the defence case, and in particular omitting in virtually its entirety the evidence of all the defence witnesses, seven of them female.

This was, in fact, the core of the defence case: that Salmond was a flawed, demanding, irascible leader, whose behaviour could be inappropriate, though never quite so inappropriate as to be criminal. Never that.

This is simply an untruth. The core of the defence case was, plain as a pikestaff, that the allegations were lies concocted in collusion as part of a conspiracy to destroy Alex Salmond politically. The defence was not “he felt her up but that is not illegal”. By failing to present the actual facts of the defence, – in which Garavelli is in lockstep with the entire rest of the state and corporate media – Garavelli is quite deliberately seeking to encompass the goal of Salmond’s political destruction through repeating the allegations, seeing the innocent verdict as merely a bump in that road.

It was an impression reinforced last weekend when footage emerged of the garrulous Jackson discussing his client loudly on the Edinburgh to Glasgow train at a time when the trial was still in progress. He referred to Salmond and the allegations, as “inappropriate, arsehole, stupid, but sexual?” He also risked being in contempt of court by mentioning two of the complainers by name, and said his strategy included trying to “put a smell” on the women.

Many had wondered at the wisdom of choosing Jackson as a defence lawyer for a high profile sexual assault case. He did secure the acquittals, but at what cost? His indiscretion has effectively “put a smell” on Salmond, and he has referred himself to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission.

Garavelli at least here correctly admits Jackson was saying Salmond’s behaviour was not sexual, unlike the Murdoch media’s false claim he called Alex a sex pest. The taping of Jackson is highly suspicious. That Jackson, a former Labour MP, is not Salmond’s greatest fan is unsurprising. And we do not know his motive in modulating his views to his particular interlocutor on the train. There is no “smoking gun” here, no indication of any wrong act by Salmond, despite the media excitement.

STATEMENT Gordon Jackson, QC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates: “I have decided that the proper course of action is to self-refer this matter to the Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, and that has been done. It will be for the Commission to consider this matter.

“To be clear, however, I do not regard Alex Salmond as a ‘sex pest’, and any contrary impression is wrong. I also deeply regret the distress and difficulties which have been caused, but given the reference to the SLCC it would not be appropriate to comment further.”
Alex Salmond's lawyer faces inquiry after 'sex pest' comment

Gordon Jackson QC was caught on video making comments about the former first minister and two of his accusers.

The Sunday Times said the incident happened on a busy train before the ex-SNP leader's trial concluded.

Mr Jackson said he "deeply regrets the distress and difficulties which have been caused" by the footage.

But he added that he did not regard Mr Salmond as a sex pest.

It's hard sometimes to remember that Alex Salmond was cleared of all cherges and is an innocent man, but still people like yon twat in that video continue to smear him.
An innocent man
Posted on March 23, 2020 by Rev. Stuart Campbell

Today a mostly-female jury drawn from the most Unionist city in Scotland and directed by a female judge delivered the only verdict it was credibly possible to reach on the (total absence of) evidence before it: that Alex Salmond was not guilty of any crime.
Alex Salmond is neither a sex pest nor a nonce.
Tomorrow he will present his evidence to his Stitch-Up-Commitee - the shit is already hitting the fan!
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Alex Salmond's Evidence Should End Nicola Sturgeons Career
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James D
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Sorry but that guy's accent just does my head in!
But from the few minutes of what I could stand to listen to of the "nails-down-a-blackboard" recount of the events, minus his opinion - it was at least accurate.

Indeed Salmond blew everyone away the other day - He has the gravitas of low orbiting moon!
The Longest Day

In the end the four-hour session ran for almost exactly six hours, and Alex Salmond looked like he could have done another six standing on his head. Now, it would be only fair to acknowledge that this site was on his side before the start, but by any rational objective assessment the former First Minister delivered the performance of his life.

(We use “performance” there in the Lionel Messi sense, not the Laurence Olivier one.)

The contrast with every other witness who’s appeared before the committee was night and day. With Salmond there was no evasion, no hesitation, no forgetting, no “I’ll get back to you on that in writing”. (We recommend the Twitter feed of Scotland Speaks for some choice clips.)

Every question was answered fully, directly, fluently and immediately, without recourse to notes, and the content was never less than devastating from his opening statement to the final surprise bombshell. We were exhausted just watching it.

His words, tone and body language all absolutely radiated candour, solemnity and honesty. When the SNP members tried to trip him up on some arcane point or other, he was on them like an extremely calm hawk, methodically tearing their assertions to ribbons with the correct fact or quote at his fingertips, and ice in his veins.

Salmond came across like a man who’d been planning this day for almost a year and wasn’t going to mess it up. And he didn’t. Heavens, how he didn’t.

Andy Wightman, too, deserved credit for some pretty good forensic questioning in the second half, but the strangest moment came from Murdo Fraser.

And that one was just left hanging in the air like a weird smell.

This site has long been of the view that the Fabiani committee was a mere circus, a bit of theatre for the masses with no chance of producing any sort of meaningful findings while the real meat would be delivered by James Hamilton QC in his own separate inquiry. But Alex Salmond’s evidence today has made a whitewash very considerably more difficult, so who knows?

But what we can say for sure is that – not for the first time in her life – Nicola Sturgeon has an incredibly tough act to follow. We’ll be watching most avidly next week to see what sort of a fist she makes of it, but even with McMillan, Watt and Allan bowling her softballs for all they’re worth (as they surely will), we don’t fancy her chances.
Nicola Sturgeon's appearance at the committee tomorrow and indeed her survival will depend on what evidence is "allowed" to be seen. However the reason for all the redaction and injunction and banning is this -
The man who ruined Scotland ... -scotland/

We’re just watching today’s session of the Fabiani inquiry, featuring the Lord Advocate, the Crown Agent and the Principal Crown Counsel. There’s been an extremely long preamble from both Fabiani and James Wolffe mainly concerned with the anonymity order passed by Lady Dorrian during Alex Salmond’s trial, which is the foundation stone of everything crooked that’s happened around the Salmond case.

The order – and for clarity we make no suggestion whatsoever that this was its intent – is the basis for every piece of evidence that’s been suppressed in the inquiry, and for the prosecutions of Mark Hirst, Craig Murray and others, and also for the threats of prosecution issued to this site, The Spectator and to Alex Salmond himself, preventing him giving his evidence in full to the inquiry.

And we couldn’t help wondering how different things would have been, how much less damage would have been done to the integrity and credibility of the entire Scottish political and legal establishment, if it hadn’t been for this guy.



Byline Times court reporter James Doleman – extraordinarily, as he’s a specialist court journalist and as such knows the rules better than most – tweeted the name of one of the accusers very early in the trial to almost 40,000 followers, almost causing it to collapse. It was his doing so that directly led Lady Dorrian to pass the anonymity order – in Scotland, such orders do NOT apply automatically as they do in England.

(Doleman was not prosecuted for actually naming one of the women, although Craig Murray still awaits a verdict, five weeks after his trial, which could see him imprisoned for up to two years for merely allegedly hinting at their identities.)

Without the order, it would have been perfectly lawful for people to discuss the names of the complainers – whose allegations the jury found to be false – after the trial. It would have been possible for people to know, and form an opinion based on, who they were and who they were connected to and what the “plan” they were “mulling” was.

But because it isn’t, Scotland has been turned into a laughing stock – a byword for ham-fisted corruption and malice – the independence movement has been torn in two, and the Scottish Government itself may yet collapse.

So, y’know, thanks for all of that, James. Great job.
Anyway, today it's the turn of MI5 Crown Agent David Harvie, so that should be interesting.
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We’re only two-thirds of the way through Nicola Sturgeon’s evidence to the Fabiani inquiry, and there’s probably not much point in expressing our opinion on it because you could almost certainly have guessed what it was going to be. The First Minister has been disingenuous, evasive, defensive and at times outright dishonest.

But although we were expecting all of that, this truly shocked us:

That’s the First Minister flatly stating, under oath, that even now she doesn’t know who all the complainers are. And readers can make their own minds up about how credible a claim that is. But I can tell you this:

I know who they all are.

Craig Murray knows who they all are.

Every journalist who covered the trial knows who they all are.

(And we can reasonably assume their editors also know who they all are.)

In fact pretty much everyone who’s in any way connected to Scottish politics knows the identity of every single one of these women.

If you’re willing to believe that we all do but Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t, well, fair enough.

But also, I’m a Nigerian prince and I’d like to pass several million pounds through your bank account. Please get in touch. ... ever-told/

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James D
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Well, Nicola Sturgeon is a skilled politician and a lawyer, and she demonstrated that yesterday as she dodged all questions and waffled her way through the proceedings, helped by her hand chosen party colleagues who carefully managed her over any sticky patches.
Comment: Sturgeon's performance was a masterclass in obfuscation and deflection,c ... deflection

Woodrow Wilson, America’s 28th President, was a better scholar than politician. In his study of Congressional government, published in 1885, he argued that "Congress in session is Congress on public exhibition whilst Congress in its committee-rooms is Congress at work."

That is generally true of legislatures. But Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance before the committee investigating the ‘actions of the First Minister, Scottish Government officials and special advisers in dealing with complaints about Alex Salmond’ was pure parliament on public exhibition.

Sturgeon’s performance was a masterclass. As an exercise in open government, transparency and accountability, her performance and that of her government throughout this enquiry was lamentable. As the best debater in Holyrood, with skills honed over a career in adversarial politics, she knows how to parry, obfuscate and shape agendas. She used the same skills before the enquiry.

From her opening statement, the First Minister set out to deflect her government’s failings onto matters beyond the committee’s remit. When confronted with robust questioning, she almost invariably looked to her mentor for support. Alex Salmond became Nicola Sturgeon’s shield to deflect difficult questions. She framed the discussion in simple binary terms: Salmond vs Sturgeon.

We are still left with no explanation, no comfort in assuming that something like this would not happen again. How can we be assured that the repeated failures to disclose information timeously and fully is aberrant and not systemic?

A large part of the problem arises from the committee’s inability – sometimes for good reason but not always – to access to relevant information.

There is something fundamentally wrong when important evidence is withheld until there is a threat of no confidence in the Deputy First Minister and then only appears the evening before the First Minister’s appearance in the morning.

This evidence should have been released earlier
. It raises the question of whether and what else has been withheld. It stretches credulity to breaking point to dismiss that possibility out of hand. But there has been no shortage of credulous commentary throughout this saga

Nicola Sturgeon’s government failed. It failed two women complainants. It failed the Parliament in its consistent refusal to share relevant information. It failed the public in allocating large sums of money, not to improving life chances but on a legal case its advisers warned about. It has failed to be accountable. It has failed to be transparent. This ought to worry all of us, including members of the SNP.

It should be possible in a mature democracy, especially one that may become an independent state, to recognise that the Scottish Government must be more accountable, more transparent and share power.

Whether the parliamentary committee can rise to the occasion in addressing these matters will only become clear when it issues its report (assuming it is even able to agree a report). But don’t hold your breath. ... -minister/
https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.c ... -all-time/

I think I got it mostly right in my article yesterday. If anything I was too generous in terms of Nicola’s presentation skills. It was not as smooth as I expected and there were times when she was seriously rattled.

First of all the contrast. Last Friday an innocent man, who was the subject of attempted framing that might have resulted in him being jailed, potentially for the rest of his life, turned up, presented his evidence factually, calmly, armed with documentary evidence readily available. No avoidance, no hedging, straight answers to every question.

In contrast yesterday we had Nicola turning up to explain how terrible this has been for her, how she has suffered, the sleepless nights, the tossing and turning, the constant questioning. The look at me, the poor soap star act, full of emotion, totally lacking in detail.

How many times did we hear, I assume, as far as I am aware, I was not aware, I was not involved, I believe, to the best of my knowledge, I am not sure, I don’t know, each phrase an escape route to deniability in the event more evidence emerges. The language of cover up by a politician. Not a document in sight. Indeed last night after Nicola had finished John Swinney then released more of the legal advice. I think we all know why that happened.

Every time she was in trouble out came the old standby “unfortunately due to legal restrictions” which was used repeatedly. Nicola herself was in machine gun mode throughout, while Alex Salmond went to great lengths not to personalize his evidence Nicola Smeargun took every opportunity to further smear him. Personally I found that quite disgusting. In the first section it looked like there was a competition to put the words Alex Salmond and sexual into every sentence. Subtle it was not!

The SNP has a huge problem here, they have a leader with no interest in Party unity. Quite happy to further widen the division, indeed to provoke it to new heights, or should that be depths? All semblance of honesty and decency gone, if existing members want that then they are going to need a new Party, or certainly a new leadership. The SNP are going full blown Woke and to hell with the consequences. GRA and the Hate Crime Bill is on the road if people return them in May. Independence supporters are going to have to agonise over that.

This leadership already threw away the opportunity to act at the time of Brexit, now they may be throwing away the big advantage Covid offered by only going to the polls as the issue fades due to extensive inoculations changing the whole picture. It is a huge gamble that GRA and the Hate Crime Bill don’t become serious issues in the campaign. If they do, the damage, particularly amongst women, could be very extensive.

Nicola let herself down badly today, we saw a nasty, cheap, smearing side to her which until now has been well disguised. It is not the look of a winner. She has been tarnished forever. The days of sainthood have passed.

For information purposes I detail below a statement from Alex Salmond.

Press Statement by Alex Salmond

1. Mr Salmond has lodged a formal complaint with the Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government under the civil service code, on the conduct of the official who is alleged to have breached civil service rules, by disclosing the name of a complainant in the Scottish Government process.
... ... ny-others/ ... game-away/
The twain shall never meet ... ever-meet/

As I write, it looks very much as if Nicola Sturgeon’s reign will continue. Lesley Riddoch’s verdict on the First Minister’s appearance before the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints is probably about right – “she survived”, As Lesley notes, that’s “not a particularly glowing review”, but it’s enough for an explosion of triumphalism among Sturgeon’s famously fervent devotees. They’re an unquestioning and undemanding lot. Sturgeon didn’t have to break sweat to keep them sprawled adoringly at her feet. All she had to do was turn up and remember to bring her technique with her. ...

Sturgeon’s technique is like a magic trick. It fascinates only so long as you can’t figure out how it’s done. Once the mechanics of it become apparent, all you see is the machinery. You may still admire the slickly oiled machinery with all its smoothly meshing gears and silently spinning flywheels and perfectly tensioned springs. But the magic is gone. There is a sense of loss at its vanishing. But there is also a feeling of release.

... The whole affair is grist to the mill churning out British Nationalist propaganda. The feeling that there is something not right about the way both Alex Salmond and those who made complaints against hive have been treated. For all the talk of #MeToo and the unarguable need to treat complainers with respect, the sense remains that there was another agenda in play. The anti-independence campaign has proved adept at amplifying such suspicions. Damage has been done. Nicola Sturgeon is responsible. She will not be held accountable.

The biggest test of all may be the coming election. It is clear what the ideal outcome is for Scotland’s cause. A crucial element is a massive win for the SNP. It has to be something quite extraordinary to serve the independence cause. By her behaviour, Nicola Sturgeon has decreased the likelihood of this. There is no way of knowing by how much. But damage has been done.

Besides, we’ve had exceptional opportunities before during Sturgeon’s incumbency as First Minister and party leader. All have been squandered. As a doubter, I am looking for some reason to believe that it would be any different should that massive win for the SNP be achieved.

The so-called list parties – self-styled alternative pro-independence parties – are a further complication and another product of Nicola Sturgeon’s inability to lead the independence movement or keep it united. If Sturgeon was doing the bang-up job the faithful claim she’s doing then there would be no list parties. There would be no erroneously perceived need for them. There would be no electoral space for them.

Nicola Sturgeon has survived. But at what cost?

Image Denise Findlay

There is a massive split in the Yes movement. The Nicola/GRA/HCB/s30 faction cannot be reconciled with the GetIndyDone faction. The problem for the GetIndyDone faction is we’ve no Party and no Leader

Indeed, No party and No leader, but for how long? Politics hates a vacuum! :wink:

So, even though more evidence has arrived today, too late to be of any problem for Nicola Sturgeon, that's basically the Mikey-Mouse Committee over and it has not disappointed to disappoint.

However, now comes the Hamilton Inquiry -
The state of Scotland ... ore-127411

Our views, too, are the same as they were before – unless James Hamilton QC is as corrupt as the rest of the Scottish establishment, which we have no grounds to believe he is, we can see no way for him to avoid concluding that Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly and deliberately misled Parliament (as well as breaking the Ministerial Code in numerous other ways), in which case she would be required to resign.

That doesn’t mean she WOULD, of course. She left any normal ideas of decency, dignity and integrity behind a long time ago. But clinging on in defiance of such flagrant breaches of the rules might just possibly be a step too far even for the spineless Greens to stand idly by.

All there is to do now is wait and see. And while we’ve had a couple of false dawns in terms of when the waiting time will be over – Hamilton’s report was meant to be published last month – it really can’t be much longer now.

Parliament officially rises in less than three weeks, and both reports have to be in before then. Either Sturgeon will be gone, or Scotland will be doomed to five more years led by a corrupt liar passing policies almost nobody wants and occasionally making token pretences at delivering an independence she has neither the intention nor the ability to achieve. But at least we’ll know.

So hang tight, readers. Go do something that makes you happy, from the very limited range of options that are still legal. Let the bots and the sockpuppets and the activist accounts have Twitter for now. One way or another, truth is coming.
Just over two months to go until #Holyrood2021 on May 6th, but plenty still to fall in place before that I suspect.
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James D wrote:Well, Nicola Sturgeon is a skilled politician and a lawyer, and she demonstrated that yesterday as she dodged all questions and waffled her way through the proceedings, helped by her hand chosen party colleagues who carefully managed her over any sticky patches.
Pour apprécier la vie, il faut contempler la mort
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