13 Events, No Witnesses: The Prosecution Concludes the Case Against Alex Salmond 305

Today the prosecution concluded its case against Alex Salmond. The most important point was that, now the final prosecution witness has been called, we can conclusively say that the Crown did not produce a single eye witness to any of the 13 alleged incidents. This is even though many of them occurred in public; at a photo opportunity in Stirling Castle, in restaurants, in a vehicle with other occupants. It is strange that a behaviour allegedly so continuous and so compulsive was simultaneously so invisible – that is invisible to anybody who was not either a member of Nicola Sturgeon’s very closed inner circle – which describes six of the nine accusers – or a senior Scottish government civil servant, which describes the other three. It is the very narrow and connected milieu of the accusers which distinguishes this case from the comparisons the media had everywhere drawn with the monstrous Weinstein.

The nearest thing the crown had to an eye witness was Mr Donald Cameron, head of the private office of Leslie Evans, Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government. Mr Cameron testified on Friday that he had witnessed Alex Salmond attempt to brush the hair from the cheek of a civil servant in a lift (which is not one of the charges). Mr Cameron also agreed under questioning that there was not, to his knowledge, any policy against female civil servants working alongside Mr Salmond in Bute House, which claim had been the major trial media headline on Friday morning.

The other main point of interest since my last report has been the acknowledgement by accuser Ms J that she had been in messaging contact with Ms H – before making her allegations. The Crown did not after all call one of its listed witnesses, Ian McCann, the SNP official who had been in the WhatsApp group discussing (ahem) the accusations and who had been involved in the strategy to “sit on them” until they were “needed”. The cross-examination of McCann would have been very interesting; I am rather unsurprised the Crown have pulled him.

I had a conversation on the last AUOB march with a lady who used to be a senior British Airways air hostess. British Airways used to host promotional events such as conferences and dinners at venues such as Turnberry or Gleneagles. Air hostesses would be present for hospitality duties, in their uniforms in the day and then changing into evening wear for the evening function. Social mores change, and this would be viewed as pretty tacky now, but it was perfectly normal twenty or thirty years ago.

The lady told me that she very frequently had problems with guests becoming over familiar and trying it on with the hostesses, particularly after drinking at dinner. The guests were generally very senior executives and politicians. The hostesses would frequently discuss among themselves who was and who was not “handsy”, who to avoid and who was nice company. She told me that Alex Salmond had been very frequently, over many years, a guest of BA at these functions, in a variety of capacities. She had never once heard a single word of complaint about him. In the starkest contrast to many other public figures.

The media have had over a week of lurid headlines. Tomorrow will see the start of the defence case – and the good news is that means the court will be open to the public. If I can wake up and queue up early enough, I hope that I shall be able to bring you detailed reporting.

Shortly after Alex Salmond left the Scottish parliament, Robin Mcalpine told me that he had been entering the parliament with Alex Salmond for a meeting. The security guard had been rather embarrassed to tell the former First Minister that he would require to be signed in as he was no longer a member. Salmond replied “of course, call the First Minister’s office”. The guard did so, and the First Minister’s office refused to sign him in. That was when I first knew something was badly wrong.

Under Alex Salmond, Scottish nationalism was radical and challenged the imperialist English nationalist narrative that so dominates UK politics and media. Since his departure, there has been a radical change of emphasis. On Syria, on Ukraine, on Huawei, the SNP has decided to join in with Britnat union jack patriotism and indeed be still more militaristic than the Tory government. Rather than explain, let me present some contrasts which you should easily understand.

Last week the SNP at Westminster sided with the most right wing Tory rebels in voting against Huawei’s involvement in constructing the UK’s 5G network. On Syria the SNP is actively calling for regime change and criticising the UK government for not adopting a policy of regime change.

On Ukraine also the SNP is actively more hawkish and anti-Russian than the Tory government and criticises from the extreme NATO hawk position. The SNP defence spokesman, Stewart MacDonald, posted a twitter stream of the books he read in 2019 which was an astonishing collection of Russophobia, both Russophobic “research” and Russophobic spy fantasy fiction. MacDonald was actually awarded a medal by the President of Ukraine for his services to Russophobia – sorry, services to Ukraine’s image abroad. (This is true, not a joke).

With Salmond out of the picture, the SNP has been captured to become a political party with an absolutely safe, dependable neo-con worldview. The SNP leadership unquestioningly now accepts and actively promotes the Britnat framing of China and Russia as the enemy. Salmond never did. The SNP has been successfully neutered by the British Establishment both from challenging the Britnat worldview and from any genuine intention to break free of the UK state. This has been a major success for the security services in neutralising what the UK state saw as its biggest single danger. It explains absolutely why Alex Salmond needs, from a UK security service point of view, to be permanently put out of the picture.

Neither China nor Russia is the enemy of Scotland. Quite the opposite. I am going to say that again so it sinks in. Neither China nor Russia is the enemy of Scotland. The acceptance by the SNP hierarchy of this Britnat imperialist framing is a betrayal of the Independence movement.

On Huawei, it seems to me extremely improbable that the Chinese state – which has enjoyed phenomenal success through peaceful economic expansion – has any intention of spying aimed at harming the interests of Scotland. What I do know for certain is that the UK government will use 5G, exactly as it has used every other communications technology, for mass spying on its own citizens. What I know for certain is that the UK government’s mass spying on its own citizens includes those it views as being a danger to the UK state through their support for Scottish Independence.

I should have been a great deal more impressed by the SNP’s vast coterie of Westminster MP’s, all of whose arses are becoming increasingly well padded from their long and comfortable sojourn on the green benches in Westminster, if they had taken the opportunity of the Huawei debate to speak, not in Churchillian terms about the Chinese Red threat to the United Kingdom, but to speak about GCHQ and MI5 spying on Scottish people. That is what the SNP should be about, not British patriotism.

Consider the above change in the SNP’s geopolitical stance. Consider that the majority of accusers are senior SNP figures close to the current leadership. Consider the role of SNP Party HQ in (ahem) discussing the accusations. I hope you now understand that is why I shall be in court every day from tomorrow.


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305 thoughts on “13 Events, No Witnesses: The Prosecution Concludes the Case Against Alex Salmond

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  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Witness B did not report the incident because she “would have suffered in my career as a result.” This is a common theme among the witnesses. If circumstances changed and her career could be enhanced by raising accusations, would witness B act to further her career? This is not an entirely appropriate line of argument but it is a possibility.

    • Tom Welsh

      ‘Witness B did not report the incident because she “would have suffered in my career as a result.”’

      Is there any actual (or even conceivable) proof of that? How could she possibly know what would have happened has she done something other than what she did?

      Are people’s feelings now admissible as legal evidence in court?

  • Tony Little

    For a long time I have wondered just how high and how senior the inevitable UK-SS agents, moles, sleepers, agent provocateurs etc. are in the SNP (and wider YES movement) and the recent events have done nothing to dissuade me that they are VERY senior indeed. For anyone in doubt, just examine recent UK-SS history. They are definitely there, the question is who?

    • James Caithness

      I have long thought that Nicola Sturgeon was an MI5 plant probably recruited at university and injected into the SNP.

      • Chris Downie

        James, my suspicions were raised on the night of the referendum, when she was interviewed at the Glasgow count. Her demeanour said it all, when she said (paraphrasing as close as I can remember) “och well, I’m disappointed we didn’t get a YES vote, but…”

        I filled in the blanks and finished the sentence for her… “but tomorrow, all this will be mine!”

      • Cubby

        James Caithness

        Nicola Sturgeon joined the SNP as a school girl aged 16. So good try but no injection into the SNP.

  • Derek Aitken

    If true about the SNP it is very worrying indeed and the grassroots branch members need to hear about this.

    • Tom Welsh

      It’s one of the fundamental drawbacks of political parties. We could take a long step closer to real democracy by making it illegal, and severely punishable, to set up any kind of formal party political organization. As soon as a party is set up, it starts to pursue its own interests and those of its members and sponsors, and not those of the voters.

      Representatives should be elected and should then deal with every issue on its merits.

  • Richard Colvin

    Very interesting comments, Mr Murray.

    Me, too, thinks that on foreign affairs the SNP has been very disappointing.

  • Merkin Scot

    Spot on,Craig. It is clear that the SNP leadership is now owned by the Establishment – and has been for sometime.

  • iain

    Yes, night and day between the two when it comes to war and war criminals. (Iirc, she also eulogized old red hands McCain and is a confirmed Hillary fangirl.)

  • Tatyana

    “Neither China nor Russia is the enemy of Scotland” – thank you for saying this, Mr. Murray.
    Russia is not an enemy of Scotland, it is 100% true.

    Ask any Russian what he knows about Scotland.
    Kilt, bagpipes and whisky, then we would recall Loch Ness monster and Duncan MacLeod 🙂
    As to the real people, we know Byron, Conan Doyle and Walter Scott, also some would remember that Lermontov’s ancestor was a Scotsman.
    A brave nation, who can live happily and with dignity, with values and culture that are close to ours.

      • Phil

        Mikhail Lermontov had Scottish ancestry through the paternal line. Learmonth became naturalised into Lermontov.

        • Phil

          Doh! My reading skills have clearly degenerated in the last few years. Skimmed over the Lermontov reference somehow.
          Byron considered himself “half a Scot by birth and bred/ A whole one”.

    • James Caithness

      Russia, knows a lot about Scotland probably the biggest is Rabbie Burns. Also a Scotsman, a teacher was employed closely by Catherine the Great. And a Scottish General was in the employ of Peter the Great, this particular General was the one who started the The Toysoldiers the guard that Putin reinstated.

      • Tatyana

        James, shame on me, I personally know little about Burns’ life. We learn his poems at schools, translated by Marshak.
        Again, this is my personal opinion, Scotland is far away, but still closer to me personally than some neighboring countries. I have never heard that Hitler collaborators were honored in Scotland (unlike Bandera in Ukraine). Or, I’ve never heard that Scotland celebrated ‘Waffen SS legionnaires remembrance day’ (unlike Latvia today, March 16)

        • Jimmy Dorith

          Arthur Donaldson was the SNP leader during WW2. He was a great fan of Hitler.

          • Cubby

            Jimmy Dorith

            Was Mosely Scottish. Go on look back and try and find some ancestors who were Scottish – you know you want to – I am sure you won’t let facts get in the way.

            Did Donaldson set up his own blackshirts like Mosely. Did he march them through Glasgow or Edinburgh like Mosely did in cities in England. Mosely supported by the Daily Mail.

            Donaldson was leader in the 60’s not during WW2. as you say. If you want to post a pathetic comment try and get your facts corrects.

            I am more concerned about the current fascists wandering around Westminster in London who are still wearing white shirts and ties and a suit.

      • craig Post author

        Of course he was Scottish. He was a Gordon from Aberdeen. And his earlier poems were written first in Scots – “We’ll gang nae mair a reiving”.

      • Brian Fleming

        Of course Byron was Scottish. In his own words: “Born half a Scot and raised a whole one…”

    • bevin

      Jocks and Ivans by the score…
      From Wikipedia, (where John Maclean is either a makeup artist, a lord or a hockey player)
      “In January 1918 Maclean was elected to the chair of the Third All-Russian Congress of Soviets and a month later appointed Bolshevik consul in Scotland.[13][14] He established a Consulate at 12 South Portland Street in Glasgow but was refused recognition by the British Government.[15]”
      Here’s a song from Hamish Henderson:

    • Tom Welsh

      Thank you, Tatyana. I am sure I speak for most Scots in returning the compliment. We know that Russia is a great, proud and extremely able nation that, as a rule, wants only peace. And Russians have many very fine qualities – one of the best of which (in my eyes) is their unique sense of humour.

      • Tatyana

        Thank you, Tom Welsh. I’d say it is not the sense of humor that is prominent trait of the russian nature. It’s self-sacrifice, fatalism and faith into higher raison d’etre.

        • terence callachan

          Well said
          We have the free life we enjoy because of their sacrifice
          We owe a great debt to the Russian soldiers

          • Tatyana

            Apparently I used wrong word. I had on mind sacrifice time, effort, personal comfort, in daily life. When we meet a westerner, who calculates that, outside of business, we feel like… Surprised maybe. Calculating effort and comfort is absolutely non-russian.

        • Tom Welsh

          I bow to your superior knowledge, Tayana. I don’t know any Russians personally, but I enjoy the sardonic wit that I often notice. It’s so dry that maybe Russians don’t even think of it as humour.

  • James Caithness

    Will Alex’s defence team be able to call McCann, Sturgeon, Evans, Murrell and also able to recall those who have given evidence?

  • Doug

    Britnat Westminster treats SNP MPs with contempt yet SNP MPs continue to meekly abide by Westminster’s rules. The large tories’ majority means the tories can continue to ignore Scotland. SNP MPs must get radical. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain by causing as much disruption as possible in England’s parliament. Scotland will thank them for it.

    • bevin

      From a Blairite New Labour political caste to the current bunch: out of the frying pan into the fire.

    • Tom Welsh

      “Britnat Westminster treats SNP MPs with contempt yet SNP MPs continue to meekly abide by Westminster’s rules”.

      Exactly as Washington treats Westminster.

      As the master, so the servant.

  • Cubby

    The cat has been well and truly let out the bag with that post.

    Glad to see you are well. Look forward to reading your coverage of the trial for the remainder of the week assuming it continues.

  • James

    Of course – we have to wait and see the rest of the trial – but based on the prosecution case, it is quite clear to me that this whole business is a fabrication of false accusations against Salmond for political reasons.

    When the police publicly name a person who is under investigation for sexual offences, they do so because if the allegations are true, then they usually find many more people coming forward with similar allegations – and these people are usually unknown to each other.

    In this case, they seem to have had absolutely nothing outside the original nine accusers – all of whom share the same political outlook, which is opposed to Salmond’s.

    But I simply can’t believe that Nicola Sturgeon could possibly be behind this – that would be so ball-breakingly stupid, when she is actually an astute and shrewd politician. The outcome clearly won’t be good news for her (in the sense that the SNP vote will go down drastically) – and she must have been aware of this before the case came to court.

    Which raises the question of why? The whole business makes the current SNP look like an un-electable joke (and she would have been aware that this would be the outcome).

    • Hattie McTattie

      It wasn’t meant to come to court. It was, we know from evidence, an internal SNP matter meant to – in the words of the witness herself – to keep AS from returning.

      Unfortunately someone leaked to the Daily Radar – and hence to the police – who have considerably more powers than Mr McCann. That’;s when it got out of control – and they had to hang together – as the old saying goes – to avoid hanging separately.

      • liz

        That is an interesting comment.
        Could be a reason why one of the witnesses pulled out

      • James

        …. and they probably are going to hang together. It looks like a stitch-up and A.S. would have a very good case if he prosecuted them.

        In fact – it looks to me as if A.S. must have forced the issue – I can’t understand it in any way. He didn’t like the `under the carpet’ slander at SNP headquarters to keep him out – so he forced them to put up. Otherwise I can’t understand how they would have been so inordinately stupid as to try prosecuting him with this …..

      • Cubby

        Hattie McTattie

        Still no Scotgov investigation in to who leaked the very personal details of the initial complainants to the Daily Redcoat. No reason/excuse available once the trial is completed for not doing so. Funny how every detail was leaked except for the names of the accusers. Of course the accusers own testimonies in some of the cases do give clear clues to their identities.

      • Jimuckmac

        That Sunday Herald article released only a few hours before Salmond’s trial began was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the trial. They didn’t want it to go this far. I do think they are going to ‘hang together’

    • Stephen Ambartzakis

      James, I may be mistaken, but, I really see the hand of hostile feminism and the “me too” shower at work here. Nobody else has the necessary spite

  • Jeff Dempsey

    Indeed this is all very strange. We have people seeking SNP seats who are “not very political” and “soft Yes” supporters. Worse careerism than the Labour Party, which was early penetrated by Oxbridge, the SS and careerist bampots with no interest in the rights of working people.

    What the hell has happened to this party – the supposed vehicle of Scottish Independence?

    It really is now a case of “Lloyd-George Knew my Father”. All good paid servants of Queen Elizabeth.

    Worse careerists than Lords Darling and Robertson – touring the Angus Glens in search of God knows what?

    Worse SPADS than Alastair Campbell.

    I lean to the view, myself, that party has been well and truly penetrated. So sad.

  • Willie

    Absolutely astounding that Ian McCann was not called to explain his comments about sitting on the Salmond allegations ‘ until needed’

    Needed for what Mr McCann. Was there an agenda, a conspiracy, and who do you report to.

    What discussions did you have, did you coral a case against Mr Salmond.

    Seems that this individual, in his role as compliance manager, and in conjunction with others did just that.

    An establishment set up by a totally and utterly compromised SNP leadership

    Sturgeon has to go.

    • Nut Brown Maiden

      Absolutely astounding that Ian McCann was not called to explain his comments about sitting on the Salmond allegations ‘ until needed’

      This is what I was asking about in a later post. Was that comment recorded on a phone/computer?
      Did the police confiscate the phones/computers of the members of the ‘Whatsapp’ group?

      • pasha

        Summon him as a defense witness. I assume Scottlish jurisprudence has some mechanism for dealing with hostile witnesses and bias. Clearly his evidence is important.

  • Nelson

    Craig comes across as a major Vlad Putin fanboy, and hates Georgia and Ukraine so much that he thinks they need invasion and permanent occupation. You know – like Israel did to Jordan and Syria, but without provocation. It’s pretty far out, really, and I speak as a Russophile. The Russians I talk to think Putin’s way more bonkers than Trump, and the other day he just about declared himself Tsar.

    • Tom Welsh

      What very peculiar things to say. Most of the world regards Mr Putin as the sanest political leader in the world today. Knowing that the leaders of Georgia and Ukraine were misled by Washington to engage in trials of strength with Russia that could only end in defeat is nothing to do with “hating” anyone. Pity is more appropriate.

      And Israel has never invaded or occupied Jordan or Syria.

      Are you feeling quite well?

      • Robyn

        Tom Welsh – agree with your first paragraph but, ‘And Israel has never invaded or occupied Jordan or Syria.’ Golan Heights?

        • Tom Welsh

          Robyn, while my sympathies are entirely on the side of Syria, and while Israel does occupy the Golan Heights illegally, it first occupied them during the Six-Day War. While the war lasted – obviously not very long, as its name makes clear – it was legal for Israel to occupy the Golan Heights as they were captured in the course of the fighting.

          So while Nelson’s reference to “permanent occupation” was accurate, “invasions” was not as it was Syria that invaded Israel. Rather as Germany invaded and occupied France after 1940, in a war that was started by France declaring war on Germany.

      • Tatyana

        Yes, the Golan Heights.
        Nelson has got a point about Putin.
        I am ambivalent to what is happening now. On the one hand, I do not mind if Putin remains in the position, because I like the way he works. On the other hand, Putin will not work forever. There’s no guarantee that the next one will also work well. I would like to be able to choose another president if I am not comfortable with the current one.

  • Bayard

    It’s all going very “Animal Farm”, isn’t it? Paraphrasing Orwell: “The creatures outside looked from SNP to Tory, and from Tory to SNP, and from SNP to Tory again: but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    • Nelson

      Only if you actually think blogist conspiracy theories consist of more than theories – theories that tend to be based on bigotry.

      • pasha

        Whyare you bothering to read and comment if you’re so quick to dismiss everything as an empty theory?
        Just because it’s a conspiracy theory doesn’t mean there isn’t a conspiracy.

  • Mist001

    Anyone who criticises Mrs. Murrell and the SNP is automatically branded a British spy, a mole, something called 77th Brigade and all this. Mark my words, their attention will focus on Craig Murray soon and he’ll be branded one of the above. Now, it doesn’t matter to me what a few anonymous posters on the internet call me but Craig has a much higher profile than I do, so allegations of that kind could be quite damaging to his reputation. People will start to believe it.

    It’s a very dangerous game of being critical of the SNP these days.

    • Nelson

      Anyone who criticises Mrs. Murrell and the SNP is not automatically branded a British spy anywhere outside your head, and a handful of internet nutters.

  • Crabbit Geezer

    Craig, Can I ask after reading this excellent blog piece what you would suggest tactically regarding any future voting intentions for elections to both the Scottish Parliament and Westminster? I have always held, up to now that is, that the SNP was always the best route to independence for Scotland but the way things have been shaping up recently, I have serious growing doubts!

  • Nut Brown Maiden

    Did the police confiscate the phones/computers of the members of the ‘WhatsApp’ group or did they give the information about what has said voluntarily?

    Was the info about ‘holding on to the info incase it was needed in future’ taken from a phone/computer?

  • AliB

    I would like to know why Nicola Sturgeon thought it was wise to rush into a General Election. Her call, when the MSM were going for Corbyn for being too frit forced his hand and landed us all with a Johnson landslide and a very hard Brexit. For that alone I will find it very hard to view the woman favourably.

  • Brian c

    Some unsettling pictures there. A reminder that as Assange and Salmond stand in the dock the real criminals were never convicted.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    It appears that you are reaching a parting of the ways in ‘Scottish Nationalism’ Mr Murray. A bit like what may happen to the Labour Party too.

    However, just as your split might naturally occur, you are going to be banned from holding public gatherings to display your views to a wider audience. I am sure Nicola :Sturgeon is delighted the effect that Coronavirus will have on the ability of rebel Nationalists to challenge her orthodoxy.

    With Boris Johnson pretty much declaring martial law today, all pubs, clubs, restaurants, cinemas, theatres and sports organisations are going to have zero income coming in.

    I remain 100% confident that no MPs, civil servants, government scientists, nor MSM scribblers will see their own salaries hit rock bottom.

    If they were to experience that, they might learn to govern responsibly, comment responsibly, interrogate responsibly.

    What you have is a crowd of ‘we’re all right Jack’ parasites funded by the taxpayer or billionaire sugar daddies telling everyone else to go bankrupt.

    It is about time people started asking why the US released CoVid19 in China.

    Then we would end the Special Relationship, instigate legal proceedings demanding that the US pay 100% of the economic costs of countering the virus they deliberately released into the wild and the whole world would unite in demanding that all bioweapons be destroyed in a ‘weapons handover’ like that. Along with all chemical weapons, weather weaponry and weapons encased in depleted uranium.

    • craig Post author

      Not at all – I am even more determined we should achieve real Independence, against the wishes of the Britnat establishment that currently has gained control over the SNP.

      • James

        I used to favour independence for Scotland, but I changed my mind on this. Scottish independence will do absolutely nothing to smash the Britnat establishment. It will leave the Britnat establishment entirely unaltered. As the rise of Nicola Sturgeon shows, you’ll simply end up with a wee Britnat establishment at Holyrood.

        • James G

          So you favour the status quo than the ability chose our own government?

          Even if we did get what you suggest, at least we could vote them out.

          The independence movement was never going to restructure western politics. People unfortunately vote for these middling Blairites. Scotland is no different.

          That’s a bizarre logic.

          • James

            James G – it became completely clear to me that the English tend to be nice people (those who haven’t been sent to fee paying schools that is) and are just like us. They have the same problems as we have and the solutions are the same.

            When you talk about choosing a government and you talk about the Blairites – it seems to me that Nicola Sturgeon is the last of the Blairites. It also seems to me that Blair’s government was packed full of Scots – and a fat lot of good it did.

            When we get to choose our own government, we will get to choose it from exactly the same (cess)pool of candidates that we have now – those who feel oh-so-comfortable in Westminster and they’ll end up implementing exactly the same policies. The Scottish Foreign Office will be extremely chummy with the Westminster Foreign Office – and independence will offer absolutely no solution to the very real problem that Craig Murray has correctly and incisively seen.

            Unless something fundamental changes, don’t expect an independent Scotland with a Holyrood government to be any different from a Westminster government. It will be a cesspool, just like Westminster, doing exactly the same things, but on a smaller scale.

          • Cubby


            “Blairs government was packed full of Scots”. Nope sorry they were and still are, at least the ones still alive, 100% British – commonly known as Britnats.

            An independent Scotland will have all its own resources at its disposal, make its own decisions and vote in and out its own government. Basically, not have its resources stolen and be told what to do by governments in Westminster.

            The English are like Scots as are all humans on earth – we are humans.

        • terence callachan

          Really James ? But what if we vote the britnats out and continue to do so we will eventually have no britnats

  • DonnyDarko

    Thanks once again for confirming what I’ve feared, and suspected for quite a long time.
    The SNP have gone off the rails.
    That the rot at the top in the SNP has been instrumental in this witch hunt for Salmond is sickening.
    It’s similar to the Anti Semite Sh*te that the media threw up about Corbyn and Labour leading up to the election.
    When you control all media, its not hard to get your narrative across.
    Our security services must be high fiving like madmen.
    Take good care Craig ! You’re a f***** hero.

  • James G

    I’ve only recently discovered this website and the writing is interesting, insightful and at times alarming (the information given not the approach).

    The articles over the last few days have given more insight and shine a light in party politics than anything I’ve seen in the mainstream media. Until these posts I genuinely believed the accusers were civil servants and not at all related to the SNP in any way. It is alarming.

    One thing I am aghast at though is the number of folk willing to cast aspersions on Nicola Sturgeon. The SNP are a massive party now, broad based and will attract careerist politicians and it is evident that there are small but significant political differences. I’m thinking Mhairi Black compared to Ian Blackford or Tommy Sheppard vs Pete Wishart.

    Regardless of all that, they aren’t Westminster plants or secret unionist(it’s an awful lot of shouting down, ignorant comments and grief to be a mere ‘plant’) that stuff only weakens us. Nicola Sturgeon has won elections like Salmond never has, has increased party membership fivefold, has mass support among women it never had before, shows intellect, strength and tact.

    We have had more polls in support of independence in the last three months than in the last 30 years – its nearly here.

    Whether folk like it or not, Scotland is still rather conservative (small c) in nature. Folk don’t want massive changes: they’re scared of the future and economic uncertainty. Sturgeon is taking a slower and gentler approach. It’s frustrating but it’s the only way we are winning this. Alex was able to take a gung-ho approach – we can’t afford that now. The next referendum is it and if we lose that’s it done for at least 20 years.

    • Liz

      The vast majority of the increase in SNP membership was on the back of the independence referendum, not because Nicola Sturgeon took over. A huge number of women are frankly dismayed at the Gender Recognition Act ( and the vitriol that has surfaced with any attempt at debate on it) that according to Shirley-Anne Somerville WILL be made law (regardless of the results of the currnt consultation) and Nicola’s approach to how we gain our independence could see us waiting 20 years anyway. There is no chance of a labour gov in WM any time soon and I see absolutely NO chance of Boris Johnson changing his tune. In fact the corona virus crisis might well give him the opportunity to make sweeping changes to devolution – all in the name of ‘protecting the people’.

  • m biyd

    I always thought of Sturgeon as a Father Gapon type figure .Now i am completely convinced. I often wondered whether the British state had something on her?

  • pete

    Avoiding the main stream media has kept me in ignorance about the serious contrast between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon on the issues Craig has mentioned. Clearly I need to get out more. Thank you Craig for drawing our attention to the contrast in the views of the SNP leaders.
    In other news I read today that Chelsea Manning has been released from jail, see: https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2020/03/chelsea-manning-is-out-of-jail-after-almost-a-year/
    Because a $1000 a day fine was also imposed on her, her collective debt is now considerable and she has no way to pay this back. The USA has clearly refined what Cruel and Unusual punishment is.

  • Muscleguy

    I agree with you that the current SNP leadership is a disappointment from the Radical side of Indy. We have been meeting in Dundee RIC and criticism of Sturgeon and ScotGov has apparently discomfited an SNP party member of us. I’m glad to say we are still Radical for Indy here in the Yes City.

    • James G

      I’m sorry but RIC is a bit of a joke.

      It’s all well and good having these ideas but clearly there isn’t mass support for it.

      In the 2016 elections for example, RISE gained less voters than the Scottish Christian Party and Solidarity.

      People do not want a radical approach. After independence I agree it’s a possibility but just now that’s not what they want.

      I fell hook, line and sinker for the RIC rhetoric during the indy campaign but we were all in our little echo chambers and preaching to the already converted. It creates a bubble of ignorance to the point you believe that wider society is in agreement. The elections in Scotland and the U.K. have very much shown this not to be the case. Just take a look at Jeremy Corbyn for example!

      People want steadiness and continuity. They might not trust Westminster as the protector of society and the economy; however they don’t want to take a full 180 with independence. They want parties with grown up, sensible and dependable policies.

      • Anthony

        Grown up sensible and dependable policies according to billionaire owned newspapers and Tory controlled BBC.

        • James G

          Or capitalism with state intervention such as rent controls like in Germany, or nationalised railways that many nations have?

          I fully subscribe to the idea of a radical approach but in the real world against every other state, you have to play the game.

          Even the Nordic nations are capitalist but with largesse state aid and intervention. That’s what Scotland can aspire to.

  • Alisdair Mc

    Craig, what gets me about this whole business is the procedure whereby accusers have the protection of anonymity but the accused, innocent or otherwise, is subjected to a farrago of lies and mudslinging by the media. That, of course is the whole purpose of the exercise; especially for public figures and other “inconvenients”. But what chance does any ordinary man, famous or not, have under such a perniciously unfair procedure that allows such a mendacious onslaught? Whose turn will it be next? Be careful of your work colleague, she may belong to a cabal.

      • James G


        I’ve read one article – the Guardian – which was ‘fair’. In reality though it merely reported some of what the defence had to say.

        Sky news for example and reporting none of the defence arguments and the DR are giving the most lopsided report.

  • Glyn Paterson

    I had a bit of a moment reading this. One where what was possibly seen and known beforehand in shadow was thrown into the light. I’ve since resigned my SNP membership.

    • mogabee

      I’m definitely not resigning now. I’m going, with a great many others, to get that cabal out of the party and into the sea asap!!

      Independence has always been bigger than one party too.

      • Cubby


        Your approach has got to be what is done. What does people resigning achieve.

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