The Alex Salmond Fit-Up 671


This new report is from a friend of impeccable credentials with whom I am collaborating; it reveals stunning new facts on the Alex Salmond affair:

Begins

I am an investigative journalist who has been researching the Alex Salmond case. I am not alone as there are to my knowledge at least three television programmes doing the same thing. I make no claim to be impartial, partially because of my sympathy towards the independence movement and partially because my previous work has dealt substantially with failings in the criminal justice system. As far as the criminal case against Alex Salmond is concerned I will not be able to publish or comment until it is over. However the expenses settlement last week of Alex Salmond’s successful civil action allows me , without any prejudice, to relate just a few the dramatic and deeply troubling things I have already discovered about the civil case.

This same opportunity for comment was taken up with gusto last week by the mainstream media in Scotland. Their coverage centred on the scale of the legal expenses agreed to be paid by the Scottish Government to Alex Salmond. This was followed up by the Sunday Mail and the Sunday Post last weekend with stories suggesting that Salmond’s lawyers might have been overcharging and blaming the Scottish Government for not having them independently audited.

True to form the unionist press have gloriously and entirely missed the point. The reason that the expenses were an eye watering £512,000 and change is that they were awarded by the Court largely on an “agent and client” basis. “Agent and client” is a punitive award used by the courts when the losing party to litigation has been causing the other unnecessary expense. It means that the victorious party (ie Salmond) is entitled to full expenses as opposed to the normal 60 per cent or so which accompanies victory. Having the expenses audited (or “taxed” in the legal parlance) is a complete red herring. No such process could set aside the decision of the court for that element of expenses which were awarded on an “agent and client” basis.

And so to the real story which is why the expenses were awarded by Lord Pentland in the Court of Session in this punitive manner. The likely reason lies in three equally devastating parts.

First Salmond won the action. The court found on the admission of the Government that the process against him was “unlawful” and “unfair” in that it had been “tainted by apparent bias”. Despite the attempted spin of Scottish Government Permanent Secretary, Leslie Evans, that all the mistakes had been an innocent and inadvertent error of process (a “muddle not a fiddle” as someone else famously said in another context) the statements in open court do not point to that nor does the complete collapse of the Government case. We should look rather to Salmond’s senior counsel Ronnie Clancy QC and his comments in open court that the behaviour of the Government’s Investigating Officer, was “bordering on encouragement”. In lay person’s terms it looks like Salmond was being fitted up by officials in the Government he once led with such distinction.

Second, we know that Lord Pentland in mid December 2018 granted a “Commission and Diligence”. This is a relatively unusual legal process for forcing the recovery of key documents in a case. Pentland did this having previously warned the Government from the bench that as a public authority it would be expected that they would freely produce all relevant documents. That such a Commission was necessary to secure key documents should be a clear warning to the upcoming Scottish parliamentary investigative committee, already concerned with suggestions that e mails may have been deleted. We have no way of knowing what came out of these hearings except that top civil servants were compelled to appear under oath and be questioned. I do know that Evans appeared before the Commission as did Investigating Officer Judith Mackinnon. I also know that Nicola Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff, a Ms Elizabeth Lloyd, was due to appear when the Scottish Government suddenly decided to collapse the case on January 3rd 2019. Finally we know that when Ronnie Clancy QC appeared in the Court of Session he had a large folder of killer documents to underline his case. Incidentally all of the expenses for this Commission and all other court hearings are part of the Salmond expenses award.

Thirdly and finally my researches point to a group within the Scottish Government who had been been established to defend the Judicial Review. I know that it either met with, or conferenced called, external legal counsel a minimum of seventeen times between August 2017 and January 2018. It featured key civil servants familiar with the case. It was this group who likely decided to prolong the legal action when they , by definition, must have known that they would lose spectacularly once the compromising information and revealing documents were forced into disclosure through the Commission process. I believe that the aforesaid Elizabeth Lloyd was a member of this group, an absolutely key issue which , when confirmed, will open a range of pointed questions, the most fundamental of which is what on earth a political appointee was doing on a civil service group charged with the defence of a legal action? The further interesting and devastating question will be what exactly did this group, or others taking the key decisions, possibly hope to gain by prolonging a legal action and running up the clock at such gigantic public expense?

Perhaps the full answer to these questions will have to await developments but answers there will have to be. For the moment let us content ourselves with this observation. Regardless of anything else, how on earth can a Permanent Secretary who, by her own admission and a Court of Session judgement , presided over an “unlawful” process still be in her position and who exactly is to be held accountable for the unnecessary loss to the public purse thus far of a minimum of £600,000?

All of my journalistic life I have campaigned for justice and equality including across race class and gender. However, without proper process there can be no justice. And from what I already know, some of which can print, and a lot more I can’t reveal as yet, this entire process against Salmond, already judged unlawful in the highest court in the land, stinks to high heaven.

Ends

The Salmond Affair indeed stinks to high heaven and no aspect of it stinks more than the role in steering the affair, throughout, of Liz Lloyd, Nicola Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff. Lloyd is also known to be personally friendly with David Clegg of the Daily Record who published what were claimed to be leaked details of one of the “allegations” against Salmond.

I am not amongst those who has faith in the fairness of the police and prosecutorial system in Scotland. In my view, the centralisation of Police Scotland made it highly susceptible to political influence. I recall the case of my friend the estimable Michelle Thomson, who was announced by the Police as under investigation for mortgage fraud, which “under investigation” status lasted for over two years, until Thomson was obliged to stand down at the 2017 general election. Yet the facts of the case were extremely simple, and would have taken two days, maximum, to clear up if the investigation had been genuine. After two years of being “under investigation”, in which entire time she was never even interviewed, Police Scotland announced there was no case to answer. By then the job was done and she was out of parliament.

Police Scotland put 22 officers full time into trying to dig up historic dirt on Salmond. I have personally seen a statement from a woman who was astonished to be interviewed by Police Scotland after having been seen, years ago, to have a greeting peck on the cheek from her friend Alex at a public function. This has been the biggest, and most maliciously motivated, fishing expedition in Scottish police history.

The Salmond case aside (phrase inserted on legal advice!), it ought to be a public scandal that the procurator fiscal can arraign and parade a person in public and charge them with grievous offences, then delay matters for months and years while attempting to somehow cobble together the pile of mince they have as “evidence” into some sort of case. Justice delayed is justice denied.

Meantime the parties behind the Salmond case can hide indefinitely from investigation on the pretext that it would prejudice a so-called independent criminal process.

There is one question to the Scottish government which from my own certain knowledge (which I cannot publish pending the never-never trial) would bust the entire Salmond affair wide open:
Could you please detail every contact between Liz Lloyd and Police Scotland anent Alex Salmond?
They will refuse to answer the question so long as the so-called “criminal case” is pending. Expect it to be pending for a very long time.

Meantime, as the above account makes crystal clear, we have a judicial ruling that the Scottish Government engaged in a process that was unlawful and had every appearance of bias. They persisted recklessly in that unlawful course of action and eventually cost the Scottish taxpayer over £600,000. Yet none of those responsible for these unlawful actions – Leslie Evans, Judith Mackinnon and Liz Lloyd – has been sacked. That fact is indicative of monumental arrogance right at the heart of Holyrood.


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671 thoughts on “The Alex Salmond Fit-Up

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  • Peter A Bell

    I have long refrained from comment on the ‘Alex Salmond’ affair – or should it be called the ‘Leslie Evans, Judith Mackinnon and Liz Lloyd affair? But I can no longer refrain from at least remarking upon the stench emanating from it. As you rightly say, “justice delayed is justice denied”. And, the Salmond case aside, any denial of justice is not to be tolerated. Which begs the question, what can be done?

    I have long refrained from comment on this matter because I am painfully aware that, while a case is active, a legal minefield lies between any campaign for justice and the justice that is sought.

    • Brianfujisan

      I read it that Craig has Info on this Stich up.. Witch it certainly is..we shall just have to wait a wee While

      Also.. My Patience with SNP is all but gone.. SNP Silence is becoming a bit Deafening.

  • Ros Thorpe

    Does Scotland have a crown prosecution service which reviews the case against the chances of successful prosecution. I’m a bit baffled how rape/ sexual assault accusations get put to a political party for initial investigation. Surely it is a matter for police and prosecutors. Personally I would never convict someone without actual evidence if I were on a jury.

    • Jo1

      This case started with a Civil Service Investigation involving various complaints. It wasn’t investigated by a political Party. Ultimately some findings were announced in a blaze of publicity along with the news that police would now become involved.

      Details involving the nature of the complaints were leaked to the Daily Record’s David Clegg. Salmond successfully challenged the process followed.

      The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service brought charges in due course. As has been pointed out we are restricted legally in what more can be said about the case.

  • Geraldine Waugh

    That monumental arrogance is descriptive of Nicola Sturgeon. The former MP Anne McLaughlin (Member of Parliament 2015-2017) consistently claimed that Sturgeon is her good, longstanding friend. Sturgeon came out to Blackhill in Glasgow to help the 2015 campaign to get McLaughlin elected (I witnessed this). When she was elected, McLaughlin then proceeded to have her cronies chosen as candidates for the local council election in 2017, including her partner Graham Campbell. McLaughlin had Gerry Boyle deselected as a candidate for local council government in Glasgow; Boyle was the sitting SNP councillor and a very good, committed councillor who won the loyalty of his constituents through hard work. McLaughlin’s partner, Campbell, handed over £2000 in public funds to Anne McLaughlin. This has been reported in the Glasgow Herald recently. Both McLaughlin and Campbell are thoroughly dishonest and corrupt. McLaughlin’s cronyism was brought to the attention of the media (The Herald) in 2017 just before the General Election 2017. It cost her and the SNP the seat (Paul Sweeney was voted MP for Glasgow NE). In the event of a GE, Anne McLaughlin is being prepared as the SNP candidate; I am spitting with fury at the prospect.

    • Jo1

      “I am spitting with fury at the prospect.”

      Yes, that’s obvious Geraldine.

      You mention the Herald article. I read it at the time but it doesn’t allege either corruption or dishonesty.

      McLaughlin was refunded expenses by Campbell. The amount wasn’t in dispute, what was in dispute was whether Campbell had cleared it with the relevant committee first. I think the organisation involved was the African and Caribbean Centre in Glasgow.

      • Geraldine Waugh

        Yes, Campbell had not cleared it with the committee. That gives all the appearance of theft, especially as McLaughlin is his partner. The McLaughlin cronyism is not in dispute. A group attached to Provan Branch of the SNP brought the attention of the voters of Glasgow NE to voters. This may not have been the sole reason for voting her out, but it certainly influenced them. I am not a member of this particular group; despite my contempt for McLaughlin I would not get involved in any activity that cost the SNP a seat.

        • Jo1

          “That gives all the appearance of theft, especially as McLaughlin is his partner.”

          Geraldine

          I don’t know that it does. The Herald certainly didn’t say that the findings were that theft or corruption had occurred. It also didn’t say McLaughlin wasn’t owed the money so we need to be careful what we say. If she was owed the money then this wasn’t theft.

  • giyane

    Revenge is a long time coming.
    it was more than 40 years ago that my ex. who was raped while on holiday at the age of 11 fit me up good and proper by telling the world I was mad and taking an elderly man as a lover in my abscence as a cover for her bonking around. i was not going to play her gane and i certainly wasn’t going to be part of teaching my children this game. She became a vicar in the church of England and carried on lying until now , when 40 years later her parishioners are objecting to what’s still going on.

    My mother told me that women who have been raped cope with the trauma by denying their sexuality. I have no idea whether she knew that from personal experience or second-hand. What I do feel is that i was made to pay for somebody else’s crime. Square pegs in round holes. That’s life . We have to expect in life to be the unwarranted target of other people’s unsolvable mental health problems.

    In the Salmond slander we don’t know whether politics added to the scarey business of being a human being or whether it was just personalities acting out a comic / revenge tragedy of shakespearian proportions on the backdrop of Scottish independence. We do know that maybe half underage women may have been sexually exploited when they were children . The proportion appears to be growing, or at least the public awareness of it. Like all vices it knows no boundaries of culture or religion. human beings make up all sorts of stories about themselves in order to explain their inner worlds.

    IMHO to rationalise false accusations by seeing them through the lens of political intrigue is a mistake.
    Those who think this stinks to high heaven may be haven’t noticed that a lot of life literally stinks, dustbin lorries dead animals, sweaty human beings. Our job is not to oversimplify life by saying it’s politics or religion or race or anything else. don’t blame the traffic : you are traffic. our job is to humbly recognise what we find in others in ourselves, forgive ourselves and forgive others and spiritually march on under God’s omniscient hand.

    • Ishmael

      No thanks. Things happen for a reason & conditions are one of the critical factors. If it’s abuse that has taken place, or use of the issue for political ends, That “political” realm is contingent, specific.

      How are things arranged? By & for those with vast wealth, the means to maintain this elite class which necessitates poverty to exploit people. Not many sell themselves if given a choice. …Really, what do people expect to come out of society arranged this way?

      Defenceless outcasts ensure their profit. And are critical for army recruitment. ‘Take you out of the mess we made boyz’? Make you feel like a “man” !, (though not a human) It all ties in, …& not that confusing really.

      • .giyane

        Ishmael

        From your comment I deduce you would favour the reviving of the “”” sunnah “”” of raping non-Muslim women.

        Rape is a tool of war and you think it is used as a tool by the elite to retain power.
        There are two ways of looking at it:
        1/ from the point of view of hatever elite is using the tool of rape to wage vif
        2/ from the point of view of the victim’s family.

        In my case the taper was German and the victim was a Jew.

        I regard the western proxy jihadists who raped the Yazidis as the desperate failed descendants of the defeated ottoman empire trying to hold onto the elitist tools of Islamic power.

        The last throes of a fascist concept of Islam. Erdogan now realises that he will never escape the tag of being Mongol hordes by this disgusting behaviour.
        I suggest you read voltairenet.org
        Erdogan has now repented from his disgusting treatment of ethnic minorities

        Oh well , one step at a time…

        • Ishmael

          “I deduce you would favour the reviving of the “”” sunnah “”” of raping non-Muslim women.”

          ?

          I wasn’t actually commenting on ANY specific case. I dunno what you deduce means… If you have a specific question ask it.

          “Rape is a tool of war and you think it is used as a tool by the elite to retain power.”

          Both are clearly true to some extent. I don’t need specifics to see the conditions surrounding most cases. & sure, we all have vice, or are not “perfect” but i’m not just going to put it down to that & leave it to god. & nor do you it seems.

  • joel

    MI6 and the CIA knew this boat rocker could not be enticed aboard the Epstein jet and blackmailed and brought to heel like so many bog-standard establishment simpletons. So the task was subcontracted to some fervent anti-Salmond coven up in his own backyard. Their stitch-up was ruthless and begs many questions — particularly of the relationship between Vauxhall Cross and the coven’s mistress.

    • Republicofscotland

      Yes, Mansfield Smith-Cumming, the first head of the (SIS) was a big fan of using semen as invisible ink. His motto was Every man in his own stylo) Smith-Cumming was the son of a banker.

      The (SIS) were a bunch of bankers back then, and are even more so now. 😀

  • N_

    I am not alone as there are to my knowledge at least three television programmes doing the same thing.

    Your sub will correct that to “three”. You can’t know of “at least three” unless you’re being coy.

    I have to wonder what a journalist with impeccable credentials actually is.

    • N_

      The Scottish authorities must be quaking in their pants if everything is about to be revealed as a large number of television channels plan to shine light on all the filth that bedecks the corridors of power. Nice one.

    • S

      Bizarre criticism of the writing style. You _can_ know that “there are at least three”. You probably can’t know that “there are three”, which typically implies that there are exactly three.

  • Hatuey

    Twitter user’s Question: “Do you think Nicola is involved in these malicious allegations against Alex? Do you think she wants Indy?”

    Craig Murray’s response: “I am quite certain she is behind the allegations against Salmond. I too worry that other things – identity politics, the EU and perhaps Bute House – seem higher on her priorities than Indy”

    And there it is, you don’t get any clearer than that.

    The only thing that puzzles me is the “Bute House” reference. What does that mean?

    • Node

      Bute House is the Scottish Government version of 10 Downing St., so Craig is suggesting she is more concerned with protecting her job than doing it.

    • Republicofscotland

      .” I too worry that other things – identity politics, the EU and perhaps Bute House – seem higher on her priorities than Indy”

      But she could still want it going by that, its just that its not a top priority. Which it should be.

      “And there it is, you don’t get any clearer than that.”

      I wouldn’t quite say that yet.

      • Hatuey

        I’m optimistic, RoS. I said it before, the fact that many of us on the indy side doubt her is possibly a good sign. It means many on the unionist side will also be doubting and may now be thinking she isn’t the one trick “neverendum” pony they thought she was… and maybe she genuinely wants to stop brexit and isn’t just using it as an excuse for another indyref…

        It’s complicated in written form but clear enough in my head.

        I remember thinking much the same way about Tony Blair, though. Where did that get us?

        • Republicofscotland

          I think Hautey that post-Brexit, especially if its a no deal and there’s still no movement from Sturgeon then yes, concerns should be raised to a higher level until then I’ll remain optimistic as you say.

          I don’t want to equate the targeted attack on Salmond as a definite no, no to a second indyref just yet.

      • RandomComment

        So it’s a “nice-to-have”, as long as it doesn’t interfere with more important priorities.

        I don’t pretend to understand many of the nuances regarding Scottish politics, or the Scots’ deep, dark feelings on the matter (which I can somewhat understand, believe it or not).

        It’s a gut feeling perhaps, but I don’t trust Sturgeon to deliver your Independence – although I guess if the UK dissolves into the larger union of the EU, the issue may become moot.

  • Ishmael

    I get Salmond is a prominent important figure in Scotland, But I wonder what the coverage has been vs the Epstein case, & what evidence we do know about suggests about the political significance of each (even to those in Scotland in the latter case), & likelihood of truth.

    I know how I feel, but it doesn’t matter, digging does…

  • RandomComment

    Often wondered if SI and Brexit spring from the same ideological roots. Ever thought about being pro-Brexit? it would be a hard case to argue against Scottish Independence – if you’ve worked out that the UK establishment wants neither

    • RandomComment

      If you haven’t it’s perhaps because identity politics, the EU and perhaps Bute House – seem higher priorities than Indy

  • Small timer

    [ Mod: This is ‘Anon1’. ]

    By the time Israels Manchurian candidate (JCPOA sabotage, Embassy transfer, kushner baksheesh of the century West Bank annexation precursor, Acosta epstein cabinet appointment) is unmasked, we may already be in a pre WW3 scenario. Trump has just threatened Iran (yet again) with a ‘very violent’ (nuclear) attack, Brexit and Indyref2 should be the least of our worries, he may pull the trigger in the next few months if Sheldon Adelson deems Trumps Nov 2020 re-election unlikely. Epsteins handler, Ehud Baraks movements need to be tracked, he may also be the CICs handler holding a treasure trove of Lolita Love Island videos.

    • .giyane

      You mean it might take a split second for the Potus to end the planet?

      I don’t think even Trump wants his legacy to be Armageddon Ehud yes. Barking at the moon

    • RandomComment

      At least you’re admitting Epstein was almost certainly a sloppy jobber 😉 I’m no Zionist, but there’s at least as much evidence to suggest that Obama was a manchurian candidate for Iran/China…

    • Kempe

      ” Trump has just threatened Iran (yet again) with a ‘very violent’ (nuclear) attack ”

      As opposed to a moderately violent nuclear attack… He could always claim he was aiming for a nearby hurricane.

      Word from the G7 is that Trump is going to be meeting his Iranian counterpart so who knows.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Is it not about time that billionaires who trigger war are deemed the enemy, rather than a nation state they hide behind?

      How hard would missile strikes on all known Adelson abodes be, making it quite clear that war is with him, not with the Usa?

      Seriously: going to war with 1000 billionaires, half of whom are geriatric, sounds eminently logical. You seriously think that 150 million Americans on the breadline give two flying farts whether someone blows away 500 billionaires? I don’t….

    • Dungroanin

      Trump was supposed to be allowed 10 mins with the strike codes if he won wasn’t he?

      The bs about him nuking hurricanes now.

      Yeah, where is the whole russian interference bs this week? Move along now. Nothing to see here ….

      Dumbanonddumber.

      • Node

        [ Mod: This is ‘Anon1’.

        Exactly.
        Anon1 is a self avowed Zionist, yet here he is, sock-puppetting an anti-Semitic rant.
        Who benefits?

  • N_

    The most interesting revelation in these Alex Salmond threads, if we leave aside the obvious fact that nationalists don’t realise that the guy made lots of money from running the Scottish government for 7 years but didn’t achieve one single concrete socially useful goal that they are able to mention, has been that in the Scottish jurisdiction, we are informed by someone with experience, it is normal (and the level of proof that is established in court was not mentioned) only to recoup 60% of your expenses if you sue somebody and win.

    Funny that my local Tesco branch boasts that it takes part in a civil recovery scheme. You wouldn’t have thought they’d bother if it lost them 40% of their costs every time. But never mind. Let’s assume the man on the internet is right.

    The conclusion is that in Scotland even when you can prove to the highest possible standard that you’ve been wronged you should not, most of the time, sue the person who has wronged you, because you’d be out of pocket if you did.

    Is that yet another bad fact that only exists because the country, here represented by its almost-independent judicial system, is languishing in a state of not being fully and absolutely volkisch independent? Is it yet another reality that the left had better keep quiet about for now, because it will certainly be fixed come the glorious day when the twin cities of “London” and “Westminster” are given the heave-ho out of the country’s affairs? In the meantime, the left should support the nationalistic right, right?

    C’mon, call for a Scottish election if the party’s got any guts. Let it risk what its leaders have been benefiting from for so many years with their snouts in the trough, even since they were walloped in the referendum and then a second time in the subsequent election in which they lost their majority. What specious “I truly believe what I’m saying” reasons might we hear for why only a race traitor, foreigner, idiot or wicked MI6 stooge would suggest a course of action?

    • Hatuey

      I guess we should all give up on Scottish independence and get back in line behind the Marxist cadres who, like the dogma they espouse, claim to have an answer for just about everything.

      Socialism, the opium of the people…

      • Ishmael

        What dogma? That we’d be better off without ruling classes with separate, divergent interests? That rapes the planet for profits when they need for nothing?

        The dogma is that socialism is what they did in Russia (Even though they basically admitted they were a holding action to revolution) Along many other cold war favourites of state brainwashing.

        No fantasy in moving toward a better more just society. It’s just the ruling classes beating the idea out of peoples heads, “Never in America” = We will never care about people, you’re on your own, Now rent yourself to us monopolists.

        What really bugs them about socialism is if people own the means of production, control their own subsistence, what will happen to the “Mega” corporations & the dirty profits for a tiny elite of utter ..utter scum. ? ..Cry me a river.

      • Ishmael

        See, unlike you I say shove the government, but people who relegate the tripe like you parrot ALWAYS have their heads right up it.

        Im fine thanks. In fact i’m better than i’v been in a long time. O the joys of not “making it” in this system. A gift that keeps on giving, I get to say & do more or less as my heart says a lot of the time. & not beholden to any dogma, like the ones that maintain the status quo.

        • Hatuey

          You make a few odd assumptions above.

          First of all, my comment was directed at N and you seem to think it was for you. That’s fine though. The beacon of reason is able cast light in many directions at once…

          Secondly, I think you should drop the binary worldview. It makes you look silly. For example, you shouldn’t assume anyone that is opposed to socialist dogma is a selfish capitalist. This good guy / bad guy dichotomy will get you nowhere.

          As for raping the planet, have you considered that we’d need to rape it more, or find about 12 new planets, if everyone had the material riches that the average middle class person enjoyed? As I understand socialist dogma, that or something like it is the plan.

          My biggest problem with those who define themselves as socialists or communists though is that they are usually fake. The Labour Party is and always has been full of very good examples. Socialist doctrine is like a marketing strategy for them, aimed at gullible idiots, that they only reach for when they are out of power.

          The system we call capitalism, which isn’t capitalism at all, is full of flaws. Anyone can see that. Nobody who is alive today really chose it; we inherited it. It isn’t all bad though. Somehow it feeds about 8 billion people which, in historical terms, is a record-breaking number.

          • bevin

            “Somehow it feeds about 8 billion people which, in historical terms, is a record-breaking number.”
            Yes it is and, if it were true-which it isn’t because a large number of people die every day of starvation- it would be equally true that there is a record breaking number of food producers.
            The system we call capitalism, by the way, is capitalism. What is not capitalism is the Utopian plan of subjecting everything to the market-and the appetites of the strongest- which exists only in the diseased minds of the followers of Ayn Rand and her ilk.

          • pretzelattack

            link to support “have to find about 12 new planets if everyone had the material riches that the average middle class person enjoyed?” what middle class in what country, when? climate change is going to rape it good and proper, and i don’t think socialism caused that or plans to cause it. the average middle class person in britain, at times, enjoyed a somewhat prosperous lifestyle, due to their empire, not capitalism per se, as did the average us citizen during the period of its hegemony. i think farming fed and feeds people, and does so under feudalism and monarchy and socialism and communism and capitalism.

          • RandomComment

            You’re going to have to take a position here – either the population of humanity is at historic highs, or it isn’t

            Yes it is and, if it were true-which it isn’t 😉

          • Hatuey

            It must be tough subscribing to ideologies that can’t accommodate basic and uncontroversial facts.

            It is a basic and uncontroversial fact that there are about 8 billion people living on this planet and the population is rising, not falling as some suggest here.

            I’d be happy to explain why I think the system we call capitalism is not really capitalism. To do so would require a working definition of what capitalism is though, and we don’t seem to share one.

            Pretzel, we’d probably need more than 12 earths if you rolled out British middle class levels of material to every person in the world. Maybe you have a number? As far as I know, nobody has attempted to make let alone substantiate the argument… I guess I’m ahead of my time on this.

            It’s interesting that the very thing socialists and Marxists criticise capitalism for the most, depriving people of material wealth, could be the silver lining that saves us all and the world. Maybe it has already saved us.

            If depriving say 4 billion people of material wealth is good for the environment, and I’d say it was, does that mean the system we call capitalism is good for the environment? Imagine those 4 billion people had cars, big houses full of furniture, heating, air conditioning, access to meat and burgers, etc., etc.

            If I claimed to be a socialist, Marxist, or environmentalist, I’d have answers to this stuff. I don’t see any answers though.

          • Ishmael

            No. No “it” doesn’t feed 8 billion people. It doesn’t exist, its dogma. That you are clearly full of as you spout more tripe.

            What feeds us (some more than others) is production & distribution of goods, In a system that serves capitalists primarily, & always has. & has always maintained poverty to keep the arrangement as is.

            You sound like a stupid brainwashed uncle, like the idiots who spout there dads cold war military brainwashing all over twitter.

          • Ishmael

            I mean ffs, “it’s not really capitalism” ?

            The alt right rallying cry. …As if such a thing could exist.

            & you think your being intelligent? Have some grasp of reality? I see no evidence of it.

    • Jo1

      Don’t flatter yourself that no one could take you on and take your arguments apart! The truth is it’s not worth it.

      If people are choosing not to indulge your spiteful, vicious outpourings there is good reason. Your ignorance about the changes introduced from the SNP’s first term in government is downright embarrassing. It’s simply not worth engaging with you. You’re only here to needle people with lengthy posts that only highlight the fact that you don’t even know your subject.

      You speak often about “nationalism” and attach labels to it that simply aren’t applicable. YOU, in fact, display the very tendencies you associate with anyone who wants independence for Scotland. YOU are full of hate, arrogance and rage. It’s a hell of a load to carry around. I feel sorry for you.

    • Republicofscotland

      “but didn’t achieve one single concrete socially useful goal that they are able to mention,”

      Now either N is a ignoramus too lazy to do any research or as its more likely he/she is taking the piss again with regards to the SNP. Either way he/she has been rumbled.

      Of course as we all know except N of course Alex Salmond abolished tuition fees (No Nick Clegg bollocks) he removed bridge tolls, quashed outstanding/historical Poll tax, brought in free prescriptions, and helped with the finance for the V&A in Dundee, which has become a very popular tourist attraction just to name few things.

  • Mist001

    We all know about Alex’ rap sheet but imagine if there’s only one complainant and that one complainant turns out to be Sturgeon? What a day in court that would be! In fact, it might be easier for all concerned just to go through the motions and eventually drop the whole matter for whatever reasons and keep the salacious details safe for a rainy day. After all, knowledge is power, isn’t it?

    • defo

      One’s leaving it to chance mist, multiple complainant’s however… JA for example!

      I doubt, in the extreme, but if?

      Indy is far bigger than personality, however which way yoon media spin it, esp now, and there’s plenty capable of seeing us over the winning line.
      Eh Craig ? 🙂

    • Hatuey

      Have you ever wondered when you crossed the line and began getting more pleasure out of other people’s failings than you get out of your own achievements?

  • David Tait

    You keep saying the Scottish government, surely it is the civil service that is supposed to be assistant to the Scottish Government that is at fault here. If that is the case, it should be made clear, as the civil servants in question do not necessarily have to be Scottish Nationalists, and could indeed be Tory, Labour, or Lib Dems in a conspiracy to undermine the Scottish government.

  • George Watt

    It does indeed stink, but why are people within the Scottish Government, determined to do Westminster’s or at least, the Unionists’, dirty work?

  • pretzelattack

    oh so it could be .1 earths. good to know now all we have to do is winnow it down with scientific precision. as far as “depriving people of material weatlth” switching from something that is making the climate difficult to live in is not something most would classify as being deprived of a material good. many roman citizens lived quite well, too, with slavery and all, which i suppose was later turned to the purposes of capitalism, but not at the time. the externalized cost of environmental damage makes current capitalism a net loss on the balance sheet.
    maggie thatcher was wrong about a lot of things, but at least she wasn’t one of those conservatives that claimed global warming was a hoax.

    • Dave

      Maggie promoted the hoax, because as right-wing and Zionist she wanted an alternative to socialist coal and Arab oil, and so promoted nuclear power under guise of saving the planet.

      But after Scargill helped her close the mines and Saudi (and Scottish) oil became a secure resource, there was no enthusiasm for nuclear power from fiscal conservatives due to cost, but overruled as a civil nuclear programme was needed to provide the skills and technology to renew Trident and hide massive cost in fuel bills.

      • Dungroanin

        The Climate Change monetisation scam started after Maggie and during Blair.

        Remember the new exchanges anticipated for Carbon Trading??

        Or has that all disappeared down the memory black hole, along with the Skripals and Assange and the content of Gillary’s emails…?

  • Ishmael

    I hear the same stuff from some on here as I do from the kids down the pub. brainwashed into corporate killers by the “MoD” (Orwellian phrase) & who actually seem to flaunt their psychopathic re-adjustment.

    I was thinking I may write something about the symbiotic relationship of the corporate state & the army, though it’s quite obvious really it may serve some function to unpack it more, As most acutely in the Army seem to believe they are not actually a major danger to all of us. When they clearly are.

    • Ishmael

      One aspect i’ll highlight here is the use of prostitution. Army officials send boys to this pub (that’s well known for it) to gain “confidence” .

      & people Like Owen Jones, though he does a great job highlighting it’s effects, isn’t addressing where these misogynistic attitudes primarily steam from. The army is a cancer in this country. Right wing extremists fostered in the heart of civil society.

        • Ishmael

          I wish. To many times now iv found the person i’m chatting to while out just trying to relax & have fun, is actually a psychopath. Has been make into a killer on order, & clearly totally fine with that. ….Then you have the right wing idealogs from the same institution running party political campaigns in the shadows.

          & what about blowback? … Naa they escalate violence everywhere, as is their remit & the perverted violent supremacist value system they are indoctrinated with as “individuals” .

    • Dungroanin

      Why don’t you?
      Why not write about how many Private Military Companies (PMC’s) there are registered in the UK? Compared it to how many there arein other countries? What their connections are with the regular forces? And the military industrial companies?

      That is the next can of worms to explode.

      • Ishmael

        Thanks, more factors wroth considering.

        Made me think about a reply I got when I spoke to a soldier about Yemen & Maybot & arms sales, As if that wasn’t the armies business. As if this military supply isun’t being backed up by active ongoing logistic support etc, from the UK. It’s certainly a real shit show whatever….

        Though I don’t care about other countries so much, or comparisons, many have a good excuse as they need to defend from USUK invasion & robbery etc, context matters. “WE” just do it to maintain an elite attempting to control as much stuff as they can to make themselves even more filthy rich.

        • kathy

          I remember being shocked on a train once at the foul language of some young recruits. One of them shouted about the joys of army life “you get to kill c…s”. I shuddered.

    • N_

      @Ishmael – Good point about the Ministry of “Defence”. Up until 1964 there was the more accurate name “War Office”, which was put together with the Admiralty and Air Ministry in that year.

      “Warfare state” is a useful term.

      • N_

        “Private Military Companies”? Yes they have connections with regular forces, but “mercenaries” is still a far better phrase than “PMCs”.

      • Ishmael

        Agree, ..good term.

        & going back some, Seems the use of coinage essentially arose out of the military. A major influence on social relations.

        & they always claim to be A-political. …hmmm. I don’t think I buy it.

    • kathy

      Mod alert – I didn’t make this comment.

      [ Mod: It doesn’t appear to be a case of impersonation. This kind of duplication is likely to happen, if you use one of the most common first names in Britain as your ID. ]

  • Dave

    Was AS subject to an internal investigation following an anonymous complaint of sexual improbity? If so no one can be found guilty in the true meaning of the word, because there is no sanction that can be imposed on AS by this process (which is quite distinct from a police investigation) and yet something can always be found to leave a stain on character, because merely touching someone else without permission can be deemed inappropriate and even without that these investigations usually end with “members should behave appropriately and respect others at all times” implying that they hadn’t.

      • N_

        These revelations are part of the ongoing destabilisation of Britain. There’s a huge amount of filth about the royal family for anybody who’s interested, going back to long before Prince Philip’s involvement in the circles around Stephen Ward (hello the Profumo scandal) in the 1960s. Personally I still think the “headless man” in the Duchess of Argyll and John Profumo case was Prince Philip, if it wasn’t Duncan Sandys.

        Prince Philip was active not just in those circles but also in illegal gambling circles with his pals John Aspinall and Lord Lucan. The family has been close to international organised crime for generations, right through from Meyer Lansky in the 1930s, the Colony Club in the 1960s, and Boris Berezovsky and others more recently. But journalists know what kind of issues they’re not supposed to touch. And seriously who can blame them? If you want to know who rules you, look at who you’re not allowed to criticise.

        Wouldn’t it be great if France were to release video etc. from the assassination of Princess Diana? That would bring down the monarchy in about five minutes flat.

    • Jo1

      Dave

      Salmond was the subject of a CS investigation. Information obtained during that was passed to Police. Charges were brought against him. We now await court proceedings. It is perfectly possible for such an “employer” to deal with the relevant “employee” via their own disciplinary process. It’s also possible to pass information of a potentially criminal offence to police for further investigation.

      Salmond’s successful challenge of the Scottish Government process was hugely useful because we had a judge taking it apart and actually citing bias within it. The judge’s words were dynamite!

      We now need to wait and see what happens next but we also can’t discuss the court case.

  • Hatuey

    https://twitter.com/AngusMacNeilSNP/status/1165762934888370179?s=20

    Worth looking at the comments on that thread.

    It’s clear to me that Sturgeon is finished. If she cares about Scottish independence, she should resign. That sounds harsh but it isn’t intended to be. There are two ways for this to go. Resign now and let someone with a plan take over, someone with fight, or continue with the useless passive-aggressive crap that got us here.

    Right now it looks like Scotland is getting dragged out of the EU on a no-deal basis, by a PM and a party we didn’t elect, and there’s a good chance we won’t even get a second indyref.

    It’s now time for Joanna Cherry and others to intervene, before it’s too late. Nobody wanted this, nobody asked for this, it’s simply a fact that Sturgeon’s strategy has failed to deliver a thing. The polls would have moved towards Indy anyway, regardless of what the SNP did. Less than nothing has been achieved in the last 3 years.

    And it’s time to mobilise the indy movement instead of shunning them. AUOB, Yes, Wings, Hope Over Fear, everyone. We are inches away from being a mass movement that sweeps all this Brexit crap aside and goes on to take independence.

    • N_

      Get a grip, @Hatuey. You are not inches away from being a mass movement.

      Of the leading politicians in Britain, including SNP ones (and whatever I may say about the ultra-annoying McVolkisch Partei leader Nicola Sturgeon I welcome her statements that she would support a government led by Jeremy Corbyn and that she supports Revoke), the one person who is talking most sense is…well, it’s Jeremy Corbyn. He is right that the plan is to bankrupt Britain and for scummy largely US-connected big business, aided and abetted by Tory scum in the City, to buy up whatever pieces are left of resources such as the NHS at fire-sale prices. That is indeed what Brexit, also now known a “No Deal” Brexit by Noel Edmonds fans and a Crashout or Off-the-Cliff Brexit by the more astute, is about.

      Meanwhile the government is moving towards putting the country on a war footing. Has anyone got any news about bringing in this year’s harvest? Everything going fine, is it? There are going to be problems all round and I am putting it mildly.

      For all the b***ocks that gets talked about new centrist parties, another rise of the Liberal Democrats (yawn), Tory “rebels” (ditto), and the newly-created but curiously well-funded “Brexit Party”, what’s being prepared by the Tory party as it pulls on its jackboots is a kind of Malthusian Gotterdammerung. It’s obvious that a mass-democratic election event is about to be deployed. “The people will rise”. or White Power, as it’s also known. The f***ing Liberals are playing the same role they’ve played since the early 1920s, except for a few years in the 1970s: helping the Tories.

      • Ishmael

        “one person who is talking most sense is…well, it’s Jeremy Corbyn”

        This is just the trouble, as far as politicians go he’s credible, honest, cares about stuff. People like that just can’t be tolerated, it shows the state up, an eye saw among the self serving bunch of sycophants & their game show.

        • Republicofscotland

          “This is just the trouble, as far as politicians go he’s credible, honest, cares about stuff.”

          He’s anything but credible on Brexit, he’s dithered for years on the matter, a torn old Bennite who knows deep down inside that out of the EU is the road to go.

          However, he’s desperate to become PM, and knows the wind of change in some of the no camp has switched to remain.

          Basket case Britain is becoming even more empirically racist and isolationist, and downright nasty to the poor and disabled, and Johnny Foreigner, via the far right Tory government, which has Orwellian like plans just waiting to be let loose from their cages post no deal Brexit.

          I’ve not doubt Corbyn would be a better leader than Johnson on many levels, however it’s debatable if Corbyn can muster enough support to sit in the hot seat, rumour is abound a GE is to follow closely after Brexit, is Corbyn battle ready?

          • Vivian O'Blivion

            Johnson could call a snap GE before 31st October. Farage has proposed a Tory / Brexit party, “non-aggression pact”. Farage reaches for yet another WWII dogwhistle, who would have thunk it.
            Reference the most recent YouGov poll, combined Tory / BP votes in England and Wales would average 45%. Combined Labour / LibDem (even assuming such a pact is possible) in England & Wales would average 46%. So a dead heat? Not so. The Tory / BP pact comes out ahead in three out of the four regions. A Labour / LibDem pact would massively take the London region with a surfeit of votes and in our FPTP system that means “wasted” votes.

          • Ishmael

            Well it’s not a simple issue is it. Im all for dithering tbh, The public have been led by blatant lies on the very nature & complexity.

            You’d know something about that perhaps. Selling unicorns.

          • Goose

            RoS

            The real risk is silly Tory-lite Swinson’s party doing an SDP.

            In 2017’s GE, the Lib Dems were nowhere, still tainted by the coalition. As the mist cleared, people read Labour’s manifesto, May floundered it was a straight transfer in support Tory to Labour. The Lib Dems risk being our ‘spoiler party’ as they call any 3rd party candidate in the US. You could well see Labour losing seats if the Lib Dems poll anywhere near 20- 25% and Johnson winning a majority with 35%. The Lib Dems are apparently receiving large donations from known Tory donors too.

      • Hatuey

        The fight with the right wing racists, xenophobes, and gammons is an English fight. There’s no support for any of that stuff up here. I’m happy to let you deal with that alone.

        And I respect the decision of English people to Brexit and do what they want to do. Knock yourselves out. I could hardly care less; your political culture is alien to me.

        As for Corbyn, he’s doing what Labour leaders always do when out of office — trying to woo us with his luvvie socialist marketing pitch. I’ve watched this ‘Dr Jekyll – Mr Hide’ crap play out too many times to take it seriously.

        It’s English independence you should be worried about, though, not ours. At some point you’re going to have to define yourselves without the cloak of Britannia. The politics of that ought to be fun to watch. Economically speaking, you have even less going for you.

        Oh wait, I’m forgetting how resourceful and inventive my neighbours are… I mean, look at the industrial revolution, the slave trade, all those colonies, concentration camps, and mass graves they gifted the world.

        England gave the world “enlightenment” and we’ve been grappling in the dark ever since.

        • Loony

          I always though that Scotland produced a number of influential numerate and literate figures that contributed so much to the “age of reason” People like Adam Smith, James Watt, John Logie Baird, Alexander Fleming etc. etc

          I wonder what such figures would make of present day Scotland? For example people that imply that slavery was an English phenomena. Could there be any honest reason at all not to mention that in the 18th century Scotland had one of the highest proportion of slave owners relative to the general population of any country in the world.

          What could possibly explain the failure to mention that in the reference period (18th century) residents of Edinburgh were almost twice as likely to own a slave as residents of London?

          Do you really think that a denial of your own history provides a solid platform to launch an independent country? or are Scottish nationalists racial supremacists? Why is it that Germans are forced to acknowledge the crimes of their Nazi past whilst Scottish people are not only able to deny and ignore their country’s own culpability in slavery but are positively encouraged to blame the English for their own crimes? What happens if the English get sick of the lies and smears?

          • Ian

            Lol what a bunch of twaddle. Been busy on wiki have we, desperately trying to construct some retro argument about guilt. Look to your own first.

          • Hatuey

            “Do you really think that a denial of your own history”

            Please show me where I denied that?

            The difference is Scotland is collectively ashamed of its role in that stuff where England seems to be proud of it.

            My university, University of Glasgow, has just agreed to start paying reparations towards addressing its historical role in slavery. That should be applauded.

          • Loony

            I don’t see too many Englishmen celebrating slavery – maybe you can let me know where I should be looking for pro slavery sentiments.

            I do know that the Glasgow University “slavery reparations” is one more con job designed to do nothing more than to expand the scope of debt servitude.

            Ask why Glasgow University is so interested in historic slavery and yet so resolutely uninterested in the 100,000 estimated slaves in the UK as of today. Dead slaves are so much more fascinating than living slaves. Using debt to recreate servitude is so enlightened. You want to applaud something so nefarious that words do not exist to adequately set out the sheer horror of the mentality that produces such policies. There truly is no hope.

          • Republicofscotland

            “What could possibly explain the failure to mention that in the reference period (18th century) residents of Edinburgh were almost twice as likely to own a slave as residents of London?”

            I’d like to see you produce some reliable figures on that, many Scots in the 18th century were only one step away themselves from slavery such was the poverty.

            Not to mention the Highland Clearances, that saw people worth less than sheep, and those forced by economics into indentured servitude.

          • Iain Stewart

            Thank you Kempe for that fascinating article (oddly enough by a former colleague of my father).
            It reminded me of being told that the first ever use of modern mechanical ventilation was to reduce mortality on Clyde-built slave ships. About the same time, the enlightened (?) “Edinburgh Review” presented contributions to the slavery debate with ingenious (or disengenuous) arguments to stop complaining about the necessarily harsh treatment in Jamaica when English factory workers and Highland labourers were even worse off, and nobody makes a fuss about them.
            http://bit.ly/Edinburgh-Review-Slavery

        • Garth Carthy

          “England gave the world “enlightenment” and we’ve been grappling in the dark ever since.”
          Well, I think France also contributed hugely in giving the world “enlightenment” with people like Voltaire, Rousseau and Diderot. David Hume and Adam Smith were great enlightenment thinkers. Englishman, Tom Paine was surely one of the greatest of all “enlightenment” thinkers. However John Locke failed to practise all that he preached: He was involved with the slave trade.
          So, yes, I suppose I agree with you about England grappling in the dark ever since but if we had not had the “enlightenment” I think we might have become even more brutal – like the Nazis. Over the centuries, we seem to have inflicted plenty of brutality comparable with the Nazis throughout the Empire.
          Anyway, I don’t believe in singling out any particular race for criticism. I think virtually all nations have plenty to be ashamed of and only a more equal balance of power between nations can stabilise world affairs. The US is still the dominant nation but it has so many internal problems and genocidal interventionist foreign policies that the rest of the world (except for UK and Israel) are tired of kowtowing to this devouring, corrupt “world policeman”.

          • kathy

            Scotland played a leading role in the Enlightenment. As Voltaire said “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization”.

          • Iain Stewart

            — Scotland played a leading role in the Enlightenment. As Voltaire said “We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization”.

            I’ve seen that quote often before, but despite spending some time searching for it specifically in Voltaire’s complete works and letters (which revealed other references to “Ecosse”) I couldn’t find a trace of it anywhere in his writings. It would be nice to think he did say such a thing, of course, but it seems to be a myth.

        • N_

          The fight with the right wing racists, xenophobes, and gammons is an English fight. There’s no support for any of that stuff up here. I’m happy to let you deal with that alone.

          You don’t know my Daily Express-reading neighbour. She voted Leave, and when she asked me whether the Leave victory would mean Britain would go back to feet and inches she was disappointed when I said “No”. A while later she commented in a tone of having been let down that despite the Leave victory “the P***s probably won’t be made to leave now, will they?”

    • Republicofscotland

      “It’s clear to me that Sturgeon is finished. ”

      Brexit hasn’t even happened yet and you’re throwing in the towel. I’d see your point if a no deal had been the outcome and no significant movement from Sturgeon had taken place, just be patient and hold the line until Brexit is concluded.

      As for Sturgeon’s fixation on remaining in the EU, I can see her point.

      Imagine the scenario we’re out of the EU (no protection there) and Johnson decides to quickly negate Holyroods powers, leaving us in a Stormont like stupor, what then?

      The polls show were are inching ahead towards independence, and we’re not out of the EU, they could remain favourable if we remain in the EU, until we gain independence. That would cancel out Johnson’s option on styming Holyrood after a no deal Brexit.

      Just maybe that’s Sturgeon’s plan.

      • Hatuey

        We can assume that the inching in the polls would have happened anyway. It absolutely would have.

        Up until today, I would have been content to continue with the Sturgeon strategy but it’s clear to me that she has lost the support of the grassroots and many in her party. The evidence is there for all to see.

        The “wait and see what happens with brexit” strategy is Sturgeon’s now but she didn’t really choose it — May forced it on her when she said “now is not the time”, one of the biggest humiliations of a politician I have ever witnessed.

        It doesn’t take much imagination to suppose that things could have been so different. With a different approach, the SNP could have forced the issue. We could easily be independent by now.

        The loss of seats in the last General Election should have been the end of Sturgeon, she caused it by downplaying the independence argument, but instead of acknowledging that she took it as proof that “now was not the time”.

        It’s clear that brexit is going to happen and that it will probably be on the hard side. Once that’s done and dusted, I can easily imagine the media getting behind the argument that it would be unnecessarily damaging and destabilising for Scotland to have another referendum. In other words, “now is still not the time”.

        If you’re with Nicola, that’s where she’s taking you. You’re going to come out of this with nothing.

        • Republicofscotland

          “If you’re with Nicola, that’s where she’s taking you. You’re going to come out of this with nothing.”

          It makes me wonder who you’re with, with all your kneejerking reactions? Don’t divide the camp let’s not forget the Scottish government has no control over Brexit, we’re on a British raft with no paddles up shit creek, and you want us to jump right off into the deepend before we can find a landing point.

          Brexit is going to happen one way or the other, Sturgeon as I said might be basing her strategy around whichever outcome it is.

          • Jo1

            “It makes me wonder who you’re with, with all your kneejerking reactions?”

            Well said RoS. Division leads to where the Labour Party is now.

      • Doghouse

        RoS, the fact that one has to find optimism in the idea that Sturgeon may or may not have some kind of plan that is kept secret from the Scottish people is…..well, not sure what it is. Flimsy at best.

        The problem with Sturgeon is very simple – she is a politician. That’s it. Rare is the person that enters politics through altruism and because they are few their choices are being side-lined, co-opted, corrupted, pressurised or blackmailed one way or another. She will have surrounded herself with like minded sycophants almost certainly serving themselves rather than the good Scottish people. The chances of that not being the case are about zero and the fact that people are hunting and speculating on reasons for optimism doesn’t bode well.

        The referendum is the easy part, history and global observation shout that loud and clearly, it also shouts that unless the people of Scotland have their wits drastically about them, they will exchange one method of shafting for another. The seeds of that outcome may not simply be well and truly sewn, they may be well and truly in bloom, simply hidden by the larger surrounding bed. This very incident here stands as a neon warning.

        I’ve no vested interest either way but I do honestly wonder how much the seeming appeal and draw to the European behemoth of a bureaucracy is genuinely heartfelt amongst the Scottish people and how much is generated through fear of isolation post referendum. We all want to be part of an inclusive society, I do anyhoos but it is a fact beyond debate the bigger the monster the bigger the corruption and more self serving it is. Europe is no knight in shining armour and no point in conversing with anyone who thinks it is, if it ever was is ample evidence to say its heart is well and truly rancid.

        I have no care whether we remain in Europe or leave, or whether Scottish people do or don’t, neither either way are the problem, the real problem is the mind-et of those that are drawn by desire to rule us. I have no idea what the answer is (chuckle) or even if there is or ever has been one. People count, that’s what I care about, and if you can give me five caring, currently serving politicians with a burning desire to represent the people and the ability to carry it through, well, I’d love to hear those names. I see nothing in Sturgeon to indicate she is one, anymore than I see it in Bojo. Blair, Bush, or o’Bomber.

        • Republicofscotland

          “RoS, the fact that one has to find optimism in the idea that Sturgeon may or may not have some kind of plan that is kept secret from the Scottish people is…..well, not sure what it is. Flimsy at best.”

          Doghouse I take your points on board and if Sturgeon fails to deliver independence then I’ll be the first in line to acknowledge her lacking.

          However until Brexit is dealt with I remain optimistic that she will fufil the need for independence. Lets not forget the enormity of the task, breaking the British union, and combating all, its forces foreign and embedded in Scotland is a monumental task.

          • Hatuey

            She’s already failed. The SNP mandate for a referendum is so specific that it makes you laugh. It really couldn’t be more to the point in terms of what would trigger it.

            And Parliament has approved it. She has a mandate and refuses to use it.

          • Republicofscotland

            “The SNP mandate for a referendum is so specific that it makes you laugh.”

            Can you elaborate a bit on that, and how Sturgeon has failed.

            Plan A is constitutionally correct, and a internationally recognised route to independence. It’s Westminster that wants to force us to go down another road and use the divertion as a reason to call foul and negate the result.

            Of course I’m all for independence no matter what route that takes, however international recognition is vital to our cause, and following the correct procedures is the right way to go for now.

            As I keep repeating, if after Brexit there’s no significant movement from Sturgeon then yes serious concerns must be raised.

          • Hatuey

            RoS, you’ve been loyally defending Sturgeon and her failed approach on here for at least 2 years that I know of.

            Here we are. Can you honestly say we are closer to that referendum now than we were 3 years ago? If so, I’d love to hear you explain why.

            You ask me to elaborate on my point about the specific terms set out in the 2015 SNP manifesto which would trigger a referendum and I suggest you go and read it. It’s worth re-reading. It’s as if the person who wrote it knew in advance how the Brexit referendum would go.

            As it stands, the SNP have not achieved a referendum. That’s a failing. You are happy to say that this is down to May refusing a section 30 but that doesn’t wash. You could only use that as an argument and excuse if Sturgeon did everything in your power to extract a section 30 from May, but Sturgeon didn’t — she responded with nothing.

            Sturgeon had a bunch of options available to her when May said “now is not the time”, many of which were perfectly legitimate, constitutional, legal, and reasonable.The option she chose was the worst of them.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Sturgeon had a bunch of options available to her when May said “now is not the time”, many of which were perfectly legitimate, constitutional, legal, and reasonable.The option she chose was the worst of them.”

            Thank you Hatuey for that reply, however it all very vague with no real substance attatched.

            Could you possibly point out Sturgeons “Bunch of options” as you put it in a wee bit of detail, for all to see, I’m fascinated to know what they are and how they could’ve given us independence by now.

            Thank you in advance.

      • Jo1

        RoS

        There are people in the SNP who are itching for confrontation. Angus MacNeil is one. Sadly, Joanna Cherry is another. I’m sad about that because she’s a very capable lady.

        Over recent times one of the biggest concerns I’ve had was how delighted the MSM people are that the SNP divisions are finally visible, and worsening. And boy are they ready to exploit them.

        The “movement” takes a huge risk indeed by disintegrating into one containing various factions, making it no longer a movement at all. I worry that’s where we’re headed, if we’re not already there.

        Sturgeon has made mistakes, no doubt about that, and the Salmond business in particular has thrown up a lot of deeply troubling questions.

        Her apparent obsession with identity politics has created problems too. Her support for May in the Salisbury nonsense didn’t help either.

        On Brexit, however, it was her absolute duty to represent all of Scotland by pointing to the clear result here to remain in the EU. I part company with those who condemn her, and the SNP, for that. It’s not an “English” issue. The effects will hit all parts of the UK and, right now, that includes Scotland. It’s an almighty mess and, in my view, with all that’s looming, the last thing we need is to see the SNP descending into turmoil and fighting.

        What I’m seeing is a group calling for Indyref2 now without any certainty that this time it will be won. Yes, we’ve seen a few favourable polls but nothing showing a significant lead. I believe there are many wavering NOs who are almost over to YES but I also think the infighting in the SNP and the looming No Deal Johnson wants are also creating panic and dreadful uncertainty.

        There are many passionate commentators in this debate but currently I’m seeing their passion being simply about securing Indyref2. The real prize would be to win it! I think their antics put that in jeopardy.

        In the current climate I think Brexit dominates everything. Sturgeon needs to make that her priority and I’m glad the SNP is working with opposition Parties at Westminster. That’s the responsible thing to do.

        With all that’s going on just now I imposed a news blackout last week because I couldn’t stand much more of the general carnage. I suddenly remembered my late father, who liked his politics, warning me that the deeper into that subject you go, the filthier it gets and that it had destroyed many. He wasn’t wrong.

        • Ishmael

          I empathise with aspects of the movement. But it’s weak. Really not driven from below. If it was the’d have no issues with loosing just one voice, that Craig sights as motive for what he thinks.
          Strong movements come from below & are normally driven by material issues along class lines. But once you get to trying to found a state? All kinds of other interests & ideologies become apparent & involved.

          I imagine it’s not that sustainable, People look at their circumstance & what do they think? That it will be magically transformed by indy & the SNP ? The’d have to because iv not seen how, Yes HOW ..& if it’s true why are they not convinced? How many years has it been now? Are they just ignorant & stupid? As the English are painted?

          Is this more about a bunch of ideologues felling important, & getting comparatively very wealthy? ..I wonder. …Im sure there are some good intensions, but we are also dealing with human beings.

        • Hatuey

          Thanks for that, Jo, we were looking for another few reasons to sit with our fingers crossed waiting on polls to swing and Westminster weirdos to grant us a right to a say in our future.

          Genius.

          • Republicofscotland

            Oh right and what do you suggest, shouting out UDI from the rooftops, as British tanks once again roll into George Sq to declare martial law?

          • Jo1

            Hatuey

            My post laid out genuine concerns. I hope you can respect that.

            I accept your views are different and I respect that. I do read your posts. It’s ok to disagree but when real disunity starts to sow its seeds in a political Party it brings forth nothing but trouble… over which its enemies will rejoice because they’re thinking they don’t have to go after it now, it’s destroying itself. An already hostile media will rejoice too.

            For an example, look at the Labour Party. Its own Fifth Column is kicking it to death, it’s even willing to actively sabotage its own election chances because it has another agenda altogether, and another master! The MSM has been right behind Labour’s Fifth Column. Do you want that to happen in the SNP?

            Some people in your camp are calling this the perfect storm. I disagree. There is so much flying around in this particular storm that it could take a lot of ships down, including some who welcomed the storm at the start!

            To assess and weigh up risk isn’t to sit on our hands, Hatuey. It’s sensible, it’s astute. Securing Indyref2 is one thing, winning it is what matters.

            You said earlier on this thread:

            ‘The loss of seats in the last General Election should have been the end of Sturgeon, she caused it by downplaying the independence argument, but instead of acknowledging that she took it as proof that “now was not the time”.’

            I disagree again with your take. In the immediate aftermath of the EU vote, Sturgeon spoke at Holyrood and immediately won the support of all opposition Parties, apart from the Tories, to defend Scotland’s position. She won consensus. She spoke about them all working together against a terrible outcome for Scotland and was applauded for it. I listened and applauded too.

            Next thing you know, she’s talking Indyref2 – less than two years after the previous one – and the consensus is shot to pieces! Davidson bounces back, giving it, “Nicola Sturgeon is hijacking Remain votes for Independence!” She had her slogan for the 2017 GE and Labour and the LibDems were happy to use it too. That, in my view, is what lost the SNP 21 MPs.

            You shouldn’t dismiss the concerns of others as simply caving in. It’s very unfair and solves nothing.

            I want wavering previous NOs to come over to YES. With respect, I don’t believe your way will do that.

          • Republicofscotland

            Jo1.

            Well said, I think we need to be careful, some in here are not what they first appear to be in my opinion, though rigorous debate is healthy.

          • Hatuey

            Jo1, I read some of the stuff you type and it’s like we are talking about two different planets. It reeks of seemingly lofty principle regarding the importance of unity in the face of a hostile media etc., and that all sounds great on a superficial level, blessed are the peacemakers etc., I get it, I’m sure it makes you feel great coming out with these platitudes, but what you’re saying doesn’t stand up to a second of serious scrutiny.

            Since you introduce the Labour party as an example, it stands that I too should respond with reference to that example.

            Now, anyone with even an atom of knowledge about the recent history and demise of the Labour party must know that its fall can be attributed directly to people like you talking about party unity and sacrificing principle at the altar of political expediency. That’s what you’re doing, knowingly or not. This concern is actually at the core of everything I say about the SNP and Sturgeon.

            The lesson of the Labour Party is this: if you sell your core support down the river, if you turn your back on principle, if achieving socialism (or in our case independence) is to be more than just some plastic marketing line, if you reveal yourself to be fake and turn your back on those who put you there and what they put you there for, and reduce politics to the shallow pursuit of seats and power, you might as well self-destruct as a party.

            That’s the lesson of New Labour and it’s what we are trying to avoid.

            What use are more seats in Holyrood or Westminster without a purpose? Winning seats might suit careerist politicians but it isn’t what the grassroots is in it for. We had about 50 years of Labour politicians playing that game, arguably better than the SNP ever could, why on earth does anyone think we will cheer on the SNP if they start? I have zero loyalty to the SNP except as a vehicle for indy — this isn’t a game with cheering fans, and if it is I am definitely not one of them.

            Finally, as for strategy, you seem to make the assumption that an alternative to Sturgeon’s approach is doomed to fail. If I’m willing to accept you might be right about that, you should be willing to accept you might be wrong. But the bottom line for me is that I’d much rather lose a fight that I wanted to win, a meaningful fight, than win a fight that meant nothing.

            The polls, btw, if we are honest, have barely moved. That’s actually quite unbelievable when you think about it. I would suggest that they would possibly have moved more in our favour if Sturgeon had said and done nothing over the last 3 years. You should think about that, it isn’t ridiculous.

          • Hatuey

            “Oh right and what do you suggest, shouting out UDI from the rooftops, as British tanks once again roll into George Sq to declare martial law?”

            I think this is the first time I’ve ever referred to UDI on here.

            I guess that’s me tarred.

          • Republicofscotland

            “I think this is the first time I’ve ever referred to UDI on here.”

            “I guess that’s me tarred.”

            Again nothing but empty platitudes from you, no substance, your comments on Sturgeons “failings” on calling a indyref, which are not yet conclusive, give off more heat than light.

            Why am I not surprised by that..hmmm.

          • kathy

            I doubt that. Everyone is puzzled by Nicola’s behaviour. She seems unable to communicate with her followers. You would have to be a brain-dead idiot not to wonder.

        • Republicofscotland

          Jo1.

          Of course we all have concerns its only natural at this critical moment in time, what if this happens and what if that happens. All political parties have infighting and differing ideas and approaches to what should happen next, I quite like Joanna Cherry and Angus McNeil, and they may well have viable options, but that doesn’t mean Sturgeon is wrong just yet.

          However unless irrefutable evidence is forthcoming that Sturgeon is a plant, and has no intentions of calling a date for a second indyref, then I’m for staying the course, and so should you be.

          • Hatuey

            lol @ “unless irrefutable evidence is forthcoming that Sturgeon is a plant, and has no intentions of calling a date for a second indyref”

            How I’d love to have loyal customers like that buying my products and services…

          • Republicofscotland

            “How I’d love to have loyal customers like that buying my products and services…”

            Well you could if you ditched the empty rhetoric, I’ve no doubt they see right through you, if several indy comments in here are anything to go by.

  • Sharp Ears

    A large gathering at Church House today signing a placard announcing their opposition to a No Deal Brexit. In front of cameras needless to say.

    Luciana Berger to the fore as their ‘voice’. Bradshaw. Soubry. Swinson. et al.

    Boris Johnson news – live: Corbyn and opposition leaders agree to block no-deal Brexit through legislation
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-news-live-brexit-corbyn-no-deal-confidence-vote-latest-a9079906.html

    (Burley on Sky saying to Berger ‘Surely you don’t think Corbyn would make a better Prime Minister’. She is an appalling shill for the NWO. Remember her disgusting treatment of Craig? She thinks she’s wonderful.)

    • Dungroanin

      Meanwhile LBC Mair show leads with Farages speech! ( he is also on their daily 6 o clock slot following – tell me that is not stuffing the Fartage down peoples throats?).

      This after opening with the false headline that opposition parties had met and agreed to REJECT brexit. When what they actually agreed and signed upto is reject a HARD brexit.
      And finally they turn to Corbyn … err no words just a quick report.
      And now the first vox pop caller – its a Brexit party canvasser from the NE having a kick at Labour! Surprise. Mair giving her plenty of time… shameless!

      This is the spin being deployed across the msm and on various boards btl.

      I think that todays ratchetting of Corbyns letter from couple weeks ago is yet another killer move and has got the Cummings hard brexiteer boys and girls on the run.

      • Ishmael

        “Fun fact about LBC.
        It is owned by Jersey-based firm Global Radio Group Limited “paying no UK tax after sending m offshore”
        Now why would they provide a platform to “We need to be out of the EU in 2019″/person of interest Farage? ”

        Curtesy of twitter.

      • Peter

        Likewise Humphrys on BBC R4 Today this morning.

        When discussing Brexit with Starmer and Swinson all he appeared interested in was ramming home, time and again, the notion that Corbyn, the elected leader of her majesty’s official opposition, could not be allowed anywhere near Downing Street – absolutely disgraceful bias which we all have to pay for on pain of going to prison.

        As Tony Greenstein recently said, quoting John Pilger, the BBC is the most refined propaganda service in the world.

        http://azvsas.blogspot.com/2019/07/the-bbcs-war-on-corbyn-panorama-would.html

        Pretty accurate I would say.

        Something should be done.

        • Peter

          Ps.

          This was not meant as, nor is it, an argument to end the licence fee. It is simply a demand that the BBC does what it says on the tin – Public Service Broadcasting – which, in news and current affairs at least, it is very far from at the present time.

      • Ken Kenn

        You know this all reminds me of Sooty Sweep and Mr Corbett.

        The question is: Who is Mr Corbett – Aaron Banks.

        Sweep I think is Farage.

        And Sooty is Johnson.

        It’s strange that a party with zero Mps is calling the shots.

        All the more reason to have a GE.

        Let the bluffing end and reality impinge on illusion.

        Who knows – the Lib Dims could reach 15 seats?

  • Sharp Ears

    BBC South Today, which is broadcast from Southampton. are featuring the 40th anniversary of Lord Mountbatten’s death. From Romsey Abbey where he is buried, they will be telling us more about his ‘controversial life’. Wonder how far they will go? 😉

  • bevin

    Interesting Kit Klarenberg article at Sputnik News-https://sptnkne.ws/98UU.
    Links between SNP MPs, the Ukraine and Integrity Initiative.

  • SB

    The idea that Michelle Thomson is an estimable person is a bad joke.

    Her business model involved buying properties from vulnerable people below market value then taking out mortgages at a higher price whilst profiting off letting the properties.

    That Craig speaks highly of her is very telling. I stopped regularly reading the blog because of his clear contempt for the poor.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      She fronted for the Mojahedin e Khalk. In the company of disgraced LibDem MP Mike “Handy” Hancock no less. Eugh! I may have thrown up a little in my mouth.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Did Sajid Javid’s abrupt change of plans signal a pre-Brexit GE? Well, the possibility of a Tory / Brexit party “non-aggression pact” makes that a very real possibility. In three out of four English & Welsh regions in the latest YouGov poll, a Tory / Brexit party pact would have a working majority over any putative Labour / LibDem pact. What’s the advantage to “going to the people” before the 31st October? Well, a Tory / Brexit party alliance with an outright Westminster majority can put Customs Officers at Belfast and Larne and fuck the DUP. Let’s be honest, Johnson and Farage know fine well that a soft border between the Republic and the North without a backstop is a smuggler’s dream and unworkable in reality.

    Here’s a rhetorical exercise. Today 54% of NI, MLAs (Sinn Féin, SDLP, Greens and Alliance) signed a letter to Brussels reminding them that the backstop was indispensable. With all the talk of “non-aggression pacts”, why don’t they form one and take on the DUP? Because they would have to exclude Sinn Féin candidates because soft Unionist voters wouldn’t vote for them and Sinn Féin MPs don’t take their Westminster seats in any case. This is a rhetorical exercise because Sinn Féin have not fallen for the trap of saving England from English nationalism, unlike the SNP who gleefully plunged down that hole.

    • Tom

      It’s quite possible. But it’s also possible the election talk is all ruse to get the DUP to fall into line with whatever Johnson decides. And as for a pact, it looks to me a non-starter, despite the apparent numbers. Are the young professionals and mums who get the Tories over the line in the marginals really going to vote for a party in a pact with Farage’s outfit? I suspect not.

    • N_

      Did Sajid Javid’s abrupt change of plans signal a pre-Brexit GE?

      Yes. His spending review will now be delivered on 4 September, the day after Parliament reopens.

      The Brexit Party won’t agree an electoral pact with the Tories. Its function is to take votes from Labour. The Tories have learnt the lesson of the 2017 general election. Clothed in “We the People” garb, they are enjoying an “Enoch was Right” crescendo.

      The Tories arranged with the BBC – which always been their property but which they love to hate because it “gives” entertainment to the working class for a flat fee – that the broadcasting agency would say it intended to make over-75s pay for their licences and then the heroic Boris Johnson would tell them to think again.

      That will spur some oldies of the type who can’t walk past a tree without thinking a black man is going to jump out at them to get down to the polling station and vote for white power the Tories rather than staying at home.

      But that’s small potatoes.

      Another non-Brexit promise that will get huge coverage and have a much greater effect, I am predicting, will be a promise to birch mouthy “chavs” in the street reintroduce corporal punishment in schools. That’s what the “improve school discipline” promise will entail. You read it here first.

      • Hatuey

        Of course, but we can assume that with this they are preparing for the future and factoring in the possibility that Scotland will opt to be independent. Like so much that goes on in the oil industry, it doesn’t get a mention in the mainstream news. And if you look at the numbers involved they are huge.

        If there was any good faith in Scotland’s relationship with England, this sort of thing would be discussed openly and Scottish representatives would be given some sort of role and say.

        Even if you take the crap about us being equal partners in this Union seriously, you’d expect them to involve the Scottish government in some way when it comes to carving up huge chunks of Scottish resources for decades into the future.

        • N_

          If there was any good faith in Scotland’s relationship with England, this sort of thing would be discussed openly and Scottish representatives would be given some sort of role and say.

          Even if you take the crap about us being equal partners in this Union seriously, you’d expect them to involve the Scottish government in some way when it comes to carving up huge chunks of Scottish resources for decades into the future.

          Don’t Scots have a vote in Westminster elections then?

          • Hatuey

            Yes. And in the last two Westminster elections the SNP won a majority of seats. Has it made a molecule of difference? No. The English partners are carving up our resources decades into the future without giving us any say.

            I guess if we were Vietnamese or something, crude Marxists like you would have sympathy for us and we’d be accommodated in your childish understanding of the world.

  • Dennis fraset

    Why is the Scottish goverment involved in a police case.is this a stitch up.why did these women take so long to bring there complaints to the police when
    The alleged incidents took place.i hope these women
    Realise what would happen if there complaints
    Are found to be false.

    • N_

      I doubt this case will come to trial, not because of false statements by alleged victims but because of what might come out about various other people if it did. But if it does, the alleged victims will deal with the question you raise in their evidence in chief., because the matter will obviously be of interest to the jury. And in the event that they omit to cover it, Alex Salmond can ask it in cross-examination. That’s how trials work. You sound a bit threatening, Dennis. It can also be said that if the alleged incidents ARE found by the jury to have taken place then I am sure Alex Salmond knows that in that event he will be unlikely to get off with a non-custodial.

  • N_

    Many independence supporters are saying that they’ve seen it all before and that false allegations of sexual abuse have been made against Julian Assange and others. But actually the making of false allegations that lead to the jailing of man who was until recently a senior politician for a crime as serious as attempted rape is very rare. I cannot think of an example in Britain. I can, however, name several politicians (in one case a “neutral” figure) who were guilty of sex crimes over long periods of time who never served a day in prison and were never successfully prosecuted. These include Cyril Smith, George Thomas, and Greville Janner.

    Those were before the days of the “Non-Disclosure Agreements” as used by Boris Johnson to keep Danielle Fleet’s gob well and truly shut.

    • kathy

      According to reports, one of the women involved was surprised to be approached by the police as the “assault” was so trivial and they had made it up afterwards. I think you can forget “Attempted rape” and bear in mind that Alex could crowd fund a case of defamation of character at the drop of a hat.

      • N_

        That woman doesn’t sound as though she’s one of the people accusing him of attempted rape.

        He has always maintained his innocence and the best place for him to clear his name is in court. He hasn’t been remanded in custody, he’s not facing possible extradition and execution, and he’s not under house arrest, so if his case relies at least partly on discrediting all the witnesses against him then what’s the problem with him making it in a criminal court when he’s in the dock? After all, a criminal prosecution would have to meet a higher standard of proof than a civil suit for defamation, so he should be on strong ground, no? The witnesses too deserve their day in court. Everyone knows perjury is a serious offence that, like attempted rape, carries a long prison sentence. Are they lying? Well let them say what they’ve got to say to a jury. This is nothing like the Julian Assange case.

        • N_

          After all, a big criminal trial in which his accusers will be bound to be proven liars would increase the size of the advance he could get for his memoirs, because the name and face of this former politician will be in many potential readers’ minds. Win-win: vindication and lots of money. What’s not to like?

        • Hatuey

          “a criminal prosecution would have to meet a higher standard of proof than a civil suit for defamation, so he should be on strong ground, no? ”

          No. Arguably the opposite is true.

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