J’Accuse 293

A 22 person team from Police Scotland worked for over a year identifying and interviewing almost 400 hoped-for complainants and witnesses against Alex Salmond. This resulted in nil charges and nil witnesses. Nil. The accusations in court were all fabricated and presented on a government platter to the police by a two prong process. The first prong was the civil service witch hunt presided over by Leslie Evans and already condemned by Scotland’s highest civil court as “unlawful, unfair and tainted by apparent bias”. The second prong was the internal SNP process orchestrated by a group at the very top in SNP HQ and the First Minister’s Private Office. A key figure in the latter was directly accused in court by Alex Salmond himself of having encouraged a significant number of the accusers to fabricate incidents.

The only accusations Police Scotland could take forward were given to them by this process. Their long and expensive trawl outside the tiny closed group of accusers revealed nothing. Let me say that again. Police Scotland’s long and expensive trawl outside the tiny closed group of accusers revealed nothing at all.

Let me give you an example. I have personally read an account by a woman who was contacted by the police and asked to give evidence. She was called in for formal interview by the police. The massive police fishing expedition had turned up the fact that, years ago, Alex Salmond had been seen to kiss this woman in the foyer of a theatre. She was asked if she wished to make a complaint of sexual assault against Alex Salmond. The woman was astonished. She told them she remembered the occasion and Alex, who was a friend, had simply kissed her on the cheeks in greeting. No, of course she did not wish to complain. She felt they were trying to push her to do so.

That is typical of hundreds of interviews in the most extensive and expensive fishing expedition in Scottish police history. That turned up nothing. Zilch. Nada.

What the police did get was eye witness evidence that several of the allegations they had been handed by the closed group were fabricated. Two eye witnesses, for example, appeared in court who had been within six feet of the alleged buttock grab during a Stirling Castle photocall. Both had been watching the photo being taken. Both testified nothing had happened. The police had that evidence. But they ignored it. A more startling example is below.

You may be interested to know the police also spent a great deal of time attempting to substantiate the “incident” at Edinburgh airport that has been so frequently recycled by the mainstream media over years. MI5 also hired a London security consultancy to work on this story. The reason so many resouces were expended is that they were desperate to stand up this claim as the only incident from outside the tiny cabal of Scottish government insiders.

They discovered the actual Edinburgh airport “incident” was that Alex Salmond had made a rather excruciating pun about “killer heels” when the footwear of a female member of staff had set off the security scanner gate. This had been reported as a sexist comment in the context of a much wider dispute about staff conditions. That is it. “Killer heels”. A joke. No charge arose from this particular substantial waste of police time, in which the involvement of MI5 is highly noteworthy.

You will probably know that I too faced politically motivated accusations of sexual misconduct from the state, in my case the FCO, when I blew the whistle on British government collusion in torture and extraordinary rendition. I too was eventually cleared of all charges. When you are facing such charges, there comes a moment when you reveal the evidence to those defending you. They, of course, will not necessarily have presumed your innocence. I recount in Murder in Samarkand this moment in my own case, when after going through all the evidence my representative turned to me and said in some astonishment “You really didn’t do any of this, did you?”. He had been disinclined to believe the British government really was trying to fit me up, until he saw the evidence.

In Alex Salmond’s case, after going through all the evidence, his legal team were utterly bemused as to why it was Alex Salmond who was being prosecuted; rather than the members of the WhatsApp group and senders of the other messages, texts and emails being prosecuted for conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. There could not be a plainer conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Not only were members of this very small political grouping orchestrating complaints in the documented communications, they were encouraging their creation.

It is much worse than that. There is plain reference to active and incorrect communication from the SNP hierarchy to Police Scotland and the Crown Office.The reason that Police Scotland and the Procurator Fiscal’s office prosecuted the victim of the conspiracy rather than the conspirators, is that they had themselves been politically hijacked to be part of the fit-up. I fully realise the implications of that statement and I make it with the greatest care. Let me say it again. The reason that Police Scotland and the Procurator Fiscal’s office prosecuted the victim of the conspiracy rather than the conspirators, is that they had themselves been politically hijacked to be part of the fit-up. Just how profound are the ramifications of this case for the Scottish establishment has so far been appreciated by very few people.

Alex Salmond’s counsel, in his summing up for the defence, said that the evidence of collusion and conspiracy in the case “stinks”. It certainly does; and the stench goes an awful long way. A new unionist online meme today is to ask why the accusers would put themselves at risk of prosecution for perjury. The answer is that there is no such risk; the police and prosecutors, the Scottish government including, but not only, as represented by the accusers, have all been part of the same joint enterprise to stitch up Alex Salmond. That is why there is still no investigation into perjury or conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, despite the evidence not just of the trial but of the documents and texts which the judge prevented from being led as “collateral”.

I cannot begin to imagine how evil you have to be to attempt falsely to convict someone of that most vicious, most unforgivable of crimes – rape. But it is impossible to have followed the trial, still more impossible to know the evidence that the judge ruled inadmissible as collateral, without forming the view that this was a deliberate, a most wicked, conspiracy to fit him up on these charges. Furthermore it was a conspiracy that incorporated almost the entire Establishment – a conspiracy that included a corrupt Scottish Government, a corrupt Crown Office, a corrupt Scottish Police and an uniformly corrupt media.

Coverage of the trial was a disgrace. The most salacious accusations of the odious prosecutor were selected and magnified into massive headlines. The defence witnesses were almost totally ignored and unreported. The entire stream of evidence from credible witnesses that disproved the prosecution case in its entirety was simply never presented in the papers, still less on radio and TV. A great deal of that evidence proved that prosecution witnesses were not merely mistaken, but had been deliberately and coldly lying.

Let us consider the lead accusation, that of attempted rape. I want you honestly to consider whether or not this should have been brought before the court.

Woman H claimed that Salmond attempted to rape her after a small dinner with Alex Salmond, an actor (the publication of whose name the court banned), and Ms Samantha Barber, a company director. Salmond gave evidence that the entire story was completely untrue and the woman had not even been there that evening. Samantha Barber gave evidence that she knows woman H well, had been a guest at her wedding reception, and that woman H had phoned and asked her to attend the dinner with the specific explanation she could not be there herself. Indeed, affirmed Ms Barber, woman H definitely was not there. She had given that firm evidence to the police.

Against that, there was a vague statement by the actor that he believed a fourth person had been present, but he described her hair colour as different to woman H, described her as wearing jeans when woman H said she was wearing a dress, and did not say the woman had her arm in a sling – which it was established woman H’s arm was at that time. One arm in a sling would be pretty debilitating in eating and the sort of detail about a fellow diner at a very small dinner party you would likely remember.

Given the very firm statement from Samantha Barber, her friend, that woman H was definitely not there, a number of lawyers and police officers with whom I have discussed this have all been perplexed that the charge was brought at all, with such a strong witness to rebut it, given that the police were relying on an extremely tentative identification from the actor (who did not appear in court to be cross-examined). The truth is, as the jury found, that woman H was not physically there when she said the incident took place. Woman H had lied. More importantly, the evidence available to the police and prosecutor fiscal showed that there was never any realistic prospect of conviction.

So why was the charge brought?

You might also wish to consider this. While the jury was considering its verdict, two members of the jury were removed. Here I know more than I can legally say at present. That might be put together with the chance that somebody was tailing Alex Salmond’s defence counsel and video recording his conversation on a train. If you look at the recording, it is obvious that if it were being taken with a mobile phone, that act of recording would have been very plainly visible to Mr Jackson. It appears far more likely this was done with a concealed device, possibly routed through a mobile phone for purposes of metadata.

I only have definite good source information on MI5 involvement in the attempt to dredge up charges at Edinburgh airport. While I have no direct evidence the juror expulsion or the Jackson tape were underlain by security service surveillance, I am very suspicious given the knowledge that MI5 were engaged in the witch-hunt. Which of course also begs the question that if any of the alleged incidents inside Bute House were true, the state would by now have produced the MI5 or GCHQ/NSA recordings to prove it (claiming they were sourced from elsewhere). Salmond has been considered by them a threat to the UK state for decades, and not only over Scottish Independence.

I also ask you to consider who has been, and who has not been, persecuted. Alex Salmond stood in the dock facing total ruin. The conspirators have faced not even questioning about their collusion.

I have published the only detailed account of the defence case. In consequence not only was I slung out of court by the judge on a motion of the prosecution, and threatened with jail by the Crown Office for contempt of court, the judge also made an order making it illegal to publish the fact that I had been barred from the court, in effect a super injunction. Yet the mainstream media, who published ludicrously selective and salacious extracts from the proceedings designed deliberately to make Salmond appear guilty, have received no threats from the Crown Office. They continue to churn out article after article effectively claiming Salmond is guilty and massively distorting the facts of the case.

One consequence of the extreme media bias is that lies which were told by the prosecution are still being repeated as fact. The lie that a policy and/or practice was put into place to prevent women working alone in the evenings with Alex Salmond, was comprehensively demolished by four separate senior civil service witnesses, one of them a prosecution witness. That was never media reported and the lie is still continually repeated.

It is only the person who published the truth, as agreed by the jury, who faces hostile action from the state.

Because the only thing that was not fixed about this entire affair was the jury. And they may well have contrived to nobble even that with jury expulsion.

We should be very grateful to that jury of solid Edinburgh citizens, two thirds of them female. They were diligent, they did their duty, and they thwarted a great injustice in the midst of a media hanging frenzy that has to have impacted upon them, and probably still does.

I would however state that, up until she inexplicably expelled me from the court, I had found Lady Dorrian’s handling of the trial entirely fair and reasonable. Equally it was a judicial decision in the Court of Session that had found the Scottish Government process against Salmond to be “unlawful, unfair and tainted by apparent bias”.

Which brings me on to the role of the Head of the Scottish Civil Service, Leslie Evans. “We may have lost a battle, but we will win the war”. That is how, in January 2019, Leslie Evans had messaged a colleague the day they lost in the Court of Session. It is an interesting glimpse into the lifestyle of these people that the colleague she messaged was in the Maldives at the time.

It is incredible that after a process Evans claimed in court to have “established” was described as unlawful and unfair by a very senior judge, her first thought was on “winning the war”. That message alone is sufficient to sack Leslie Evans. Is shows that rather than being a civil servant engaged in an effort to administer justly, she was engaged as parti pris in a bitter battle to take down Alex Salmond. She would not even accept the verdict of the Court of Session. It astonishes me, as a former member for six years of the senior civil service myself, that any civil servant could commit themselves in that way to try ruthlessly to take down a former First Minister, with no heed whatsoever either to fair process or to the decision of the courts.

It is quite simply astonishing that Ms Evans has not been sacked.

Well, Leslie Evans did carry on her war. At the cost of many millions to the Scottish taxpayer, she has now lost the battle in both Scotland’s highest civil court and in Scotland’s highest criminal court. The campaign to destroy Salmond has been trounced in both the Court of Session and the High Court. That Leslie Evans is still in post is a national scandal. That Nicola Sturgeon a few weeks ago extended Evans’ tenure by a further two years is an appalling misjudgment.

Evans has a particularly unionist outlook and regards her role as head of the Scottish civil service as equivalent to a departmental permanent secretary of the United Kingdom. Evans spends a great deal of time in London. Unlike her predecessor, who regarded Scotland as separate, Evans regularly attends the weekly “Wednesday Morning Colleagues” (WMC) meeting of Whitehall permanent secretaries, chaired by the Westminster Cabinet Secretary. She much values her position in the UK establishment. What kind of Head of the Scottish Civil Service spends the middle of the week in London?

Rather than any action being taken against the perpetrators of this disgraceful attempt to pervert the course of justice, even after their plot has been roundly rejected in the High Court, the Scottish Government appears to be doubling down in its accusations against Alex Salmond through the medium of the state and corporate media, which is acting in complete unison. It has now been widely briefed against Salmond that Police Scotland has passed a dossier to the Metropolitan Police on four other accusations, set at Westminster.

What the media has not told you is that these accusations are from exactly the same group of conspirators; indeed from some of the actual same accusers. They also do not tell you that these accusations are even weaker than those pursued in Scotland.

In the massive effort to prove “pattern of behaviour” in Alex Salmond’s recent trial, incidents which happened outwith Scottish jurisdiction could be presented as evidence in a separate “docket”. Thus the defence heard evidence from the “Chinese docket” of Salmond “attempting to touch” a colleague’s hair in a hotel lift in China. Well, the London “docket” was considered even weaker than that, so it was not led in the Edinburgh trial. The idea that Leslie Evans’ “war” against Salmond will be won in an English court, having failed in both the civil and criminal Scottish courts, is just black propaganda.

As is the continued campaign to claim that Salmond is really guilty, carried on by Rape Crisis Scotland. They yesterday published a statement by the nine anonymous accusers attacking Salmond further, and rather amusingly the nine wrote together to deny they were associated with each other. It seems to me entirely illegitimate for this group to be able to conduct a continued campaign of political harassment of Alex Salmond from behind the cloak of state-enforced anonymity, after he has been acquitted of all charges. I understand the reasoning behind anonymity for accusers in sex allegations. But surely state backed anonymity should not be used to enable the continued repetition of false accusations without fear of defamation law, after the jury has acquitted? That is perverse.

It is also a fact that Rape Crisis Scotland is just another instrument of the Scottish government, being almost entirely funded by the Scottish government. There is a very serious infringement of public conduct here. One of the nine conspirators, whose statement is being amplified by Rape Crisis Scotland, is personally very directly involved in the channeling of government money to Rape Crisis Scotland. That is a gross abuse of office and conflict of interest and should be a resignation matter. Here again, direct wrongdoing is being carried out from behind the screen of state-backed anonymity.

Let me give you this thought. Alex Salmond having been acquitted, you would think that the unionist media would seek to capitalise by training its guns on those at the head of the SNP who sought to frame him, who after all are still in power. But instead, the unionist media is entirely committed to attacking Salmond, in defiance of all the facts of the case. That shows you who it is the British establishment are really afraid of. It also confirms what I have been saying for years, that the SNP careerist establishment have no genuine interest in Scottish Independence and are not perceived by Whitehall as a threat to the union. And in that judgement at least, Whitehall is right.

I should state that in this article I have, absolutely against my own instincts, deferred to Alex Salmond’s noble but in my view over-generous wish to wait until the Covid-19 virus has passed before giving all the names of those involved and presenting the supporting documents. I have therefore removed several names from this article. Alex Salmond believes that it is wrong to move on this at a time when many people are suffering and grieving, and he has stated that it would indeed be narcissistic to think of his own troubles at this time of wider calamity. I find this extremely upsetting when his enemies are showing absolutely no respect nor restraint whatsoever and are engaged in full-on attack on his reputation. I can assure you this is even more frustrating for me than for you. But while the mills of God grind slowly, they grind exceedingly small.

Those who do not know Scotland are astonished that the Alex Salmond trial and its fallout have not damaged support in the polls for Independence nor even for the SNP. I am not in the least surprised – the reawakening of the national consciousness of the Scottish people is an unstoppable process. If you want to see it, look not at any single politician but at the mass enthusiasm of one of the great, self-organised AUOB marches. The spirit of Independence rides the SNP as the available vehicle to achieve its ends. It is no longer primarily inspired nor controlled by the SNP – indeed the SNP leadership is blatantly trying to dampen it down, with only marginal success. This great movement of a nation is not to be disturbed by fleeting events.

That is not to underplay the importance of events for those caught up in them. As Alex Salmond stood in the dock, he was very probably staring at the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison, of never being with his wife Moira again, and of having his reputation as Scotland’s greatest national leader for centuries erased. The party hierarchy had already overseen the Stalinesque scrubbing of his image and name from all online content under the SNP’s control. The future now looks very different, and I am cheered by the brighter horizon.

Let me finish this article by observing that the British state continues to keep the unconvicted Julian Assange in conditions of appalling detention and receiving brutal personal treatment reserved normally for the most dangerous terrorists. The British state has refused to let Assange out of jail to avert the danger of Covid-19. By contrast the government of Iran has allowed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe out of prison to reduce her danger from the epidemic. Which of these governments is portrayed as evil by the state and corporate media?

With grateful thanks to those who donated or subscribed to make this reporting possible.

This article is entirely free to reproduce and publish, including in translation, and I very much hope people will do so actively. Truth shall set us free.


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293 thoughts on “J’Accuse

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  • Gordon G

    Excellent stuff, Craig. Following the trial day by day on GrouseBeater’s blog and yours, I, like many others, was shocked at how weak was the prosecution case, and surprised indeed that the Fiscal would bring forward such a collection of rubbish to the High Court. The only exaplanation is surely that the Crown Office was under immense political pressure from very high levels – something I fondly thought couldn’t happen!

    But just last week I was looking at two documentaries on the cover-up of a PPP scheme in North Ayrshire, which indicated fairly clearly that the Fiscals there too were under inescapable presure to act (or not act) as they did. Interesting that in that case too, a certain Leslie Evans was involved in some way!

    • Republicofscotland

      “But just last week I was looking at two documentaries on the cover-up of a PPP scheme in North Ayrshire, which indicated fairly clearly that the Fiscals there too were under inescapable presure to act (or not act) as they did. ”

      If you haven’t seen this with regards to that, then I suggest you watch it, Leslie Evans plays her part in it as well.

      The Only Game in Town II.


  • michael

    Great read Mr. Murray. Frightening but very good. You hear stories and have seen films about such things going on but it is never anywhere or anyone you know but when it is happening in your own country and to someone you respect, it is very difficult. Mr Salmond must act.

  • Peter

    “The idea that Leslie Evans’ “war” against Salmond will be won in an English court … is just black propaganda.

    As is the continued campaign to claim that Salmond is really guilty … ”

    They most certainly haven’t given up yet.

    To be sure, our democracy is battered and bloodied and flat on its back.

    There is no trustworthy news source to be found in the MSM; our voting system is open to corruption in plain sight; and our judiciary is being used for character assassination and (in the case of JA) worse.

    Just as in America the Establishment completely ignored the evidence of corruption against Joe Biden to go after Trump (no friend of he I) so now here we see the evidence of legal malfeasance being completely ignored in order to go after Salmond.

    And in a ‘democratic’ society where is the opposition to this?

    Not on the public service, ‘news gold standard’, £3.75bn public money per year BBC.

    Their news reports yesterday were running with entirely one-sided reports of Salmond’s lawyer’s (Gordon Jackson) secretly videoed indiscretions – though they did, of course, include the obligatory, token single sentence at the end of the report that “Gordon Jackson denies … “.

    Listen from 10:55:


    We are in desperate need of a democratic reformation.

    Jeremy Corbyn could have been the man to deliver it. I very much doubt (Sir) Keir Starmer will be.

    • Bramble

      That is precisely why Jeremy Corbyn had to be destroyed. Starmer will threaten nobody embedded in the current power structure. Yet still people refuse to see what is plainly before them. They will vote Tory, Red or Blue, till the cows come home.

  • Thomas Ritchie

    Alex is being targeted for his knowledge, his integrity, his strong beliefs, strong work ethics and leadership qualities. The establishment is running scared but he will willingly debate with anyone unlike the spineless Westminster establishment. They are known for their dirty tricks and underhand methods but truth will prevail

    • Mo Bowman

      I joined SNP some years ago because I was ashamed of the disgusting behaviour of the Tories on Westminster towards Scotland & their MPs! When the case against Alex Salmond was mooted , I could not believe it & not for one second did I see him as guilty! Now I am even more shocked to hear of the skulduggery that has gone on & believe it
      I am old enough to know that clever, highly principled & successful people will always be seen asa threat to the less able. I hope Alex Salmond will pursue the wrong doers, support for him will be tremendous!

  • Jane

    Spooky. Independent of having your knowledge on the above, I sent a number of tweets with what I think is evidence supporting exactly what you are saying. I also did some research which made mincemeat of the feeble Crown attempt to convince the jury to convict AS under the wide ranging Moorov Doctrine. The Crown were trying to say a “pattern” existed & used “old man liking young girls”. as that pattern. My findings turned that entirely on its head, with the lead accuser having a clear liking & passion for older men. My tweets never saw the light of day. On one of them, I referenced a person at the very top & extremely close to the FM that I suspected of being paid by 2 bosses, ie a double agent, a spy, an “enemy within”. Now that “grouse beater” has blocked me, I can’t help but wonder if there is more than one “enemy within” ?

  • Sheila MacIsaac

    Thank you Craig, for all you have done in this respect. You have put your own reputation at stake to defend the truth in this matter and I believe this is very necessary.
    Already there have been those online who are seeking to undermine the court decision and who have tried to use your comments among others to fuel this, especially in trying to drive a wedge between Alex and Nicola and Alex and the SNP. At this point in the Independence movement and at this time of international crisis this is hugely detrimental and like the London allegations is driven by an agenda that is highly suspect.
    Thank you for rising above this dissonance and clarifying you view and the pertinent facts of the matter.

  • Frank mckenna

    The stupidity of Jackson a long established and revered lawyer to openly discuss that which was sub judicial in an open train carriage must be concerning.

    However from what I can gather from the incident it speaks only of his personal take and therefore should not reflect on the guilt or innocence of Alex.

    It is perfectly normal I would presume for a legal defence attorney to plan a strategy in order to discount the prosecutions witnesses testimony, therefore this scurrilous attempt to make the conversation a mudslinging attack on Alex Salmond is benign and shows the secret service AKA big brother is watching.

    • Muscleguy

      Only if you believe the Times’ interpretation of his words. Many others have viewed the footage and there are words before which cannot be heard. It is entirely possible he said ‘Alex Salmond is not a sex pest’ but the is not is not clear enough type of thing. Just because the words Alex Salmond and sex pest occur in proximity it does not necessarily follow the speaker is accusing him of it. He might have been venting about the prosecution’s attempt to portray him as such.

      • Gavin Barrie

        For a large part of what the QC says, you can’t see his face, the camera moved to obscure.
        You therefore have no guarantee that it hasn’t been edited after that point.

      • Shardlake

        For not one second do I believe the footage broadcast on TV to be genuine in its presentation. The footage bears all the hallmarks of a ‘doctored’ piece set up for ill-informed public consumption. What I do believe is the likelihood that it had to be a culprit with access to enough technical skills to deceive a substantial proportion of the population who would be persuaded the clip was genuine. Fortunately, as demonstrated here, not everyone is fooled and it indicates the true level of competence of the people who do these things for a living.

        Unlike those responsible for this clip Mr Salmond won his case largely because he was represented by a competent legal team who convinced a jury to declare him innocent of the spurious charges levelled against him and natural justice succeeded over what was a clear conspiracy to denounce him.

        • Black Joan

          Incredible that he’d be so indiscreet within the hearing of others on a train, isn’t it? Could the carriage actually have been empty, but with a hidden microphone/camera, and the footage manipulated later to suggest otherwise?

          • Bunsen Honeydew

            Sadly, having been party to aforementioned QC’s regular case discussions in public on the regular, very public service from Edinburgh to Glasgow (standard class) its the kind of thing that is likely well known in legal circles that he conducts case discussions on the train, so would be relatively easy to tail and capture. It was only a matter of time before he would be captured chatting about the AS case, but to be honest he’s left himself open to being caught out by his confidence in openly discussing cases in public, regardless of the content manipulation involved or not.

    • Bramble

      To whom did he make these revelations? I don’t seem to have caught that in the coverage.

  • Doug

    Excellent article, Craig. As you say, English/British nationalist media types can’t fathom that the independence movement in Scotland is far more stronger than any one person or any one party. English/British nationalist arrogance and ignorance towards Scotland shows no sign of abating – one reason why Scotland will soon regain its independence.

  • Doug

    “It is quite simply astonishing that Ms Evans has not been sacked.”

    Aye. Astonishing, yet illuminating.

    • Muscleguy

      If she has any sense of shame she would have resigned by now. But her career has been one of overseeing massive unnecessary public spending then scuttling off unscathed into a better job. So I expect she will see this as just the same. I also suspect Sturgeon will not sack her for fear of what she might say outside the tent or for fear of who the Civil Service would give her a choice of as a replacement. She doesn’t get to select someone she wants, only from a selection presented to her by the civil service. Evans could well be Hobson’s choice.

  • michael norton

    Ken McCallum has been appointed the new director general of MI5, the security service has said.

    Mr. McCallum led counter terrorism investigations during the London 2012 Olympic Games and MI5’s response to the attempted assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in 2018.

    Oh Dear, we are sleep walking in to a police state at an ever quicker pace.

    Now parliament is shut, who can ask the government where is Yulia.
    Where is Sergei.
    Why were the hounds put on Salmond.
    Why is Assange rotting in Belmash.
    Why are we all locked down for no crime?

  • Derek Aitken

    Another great article Craig! Many thanks!
    The Scottish Government is made of ministers and junior ministers all SNP MSPs and civil servants.
    It is my understanding these civil servants come under the control of Westminster therefore
    we have to assume they are not pro Independence.
    It is not difficult to think that some are actively working to destroy the independence movement.
    I find it hard to believe all if any of the SNP MSPs in the Scottish Government are anti Alex Salmond.
    I agree this debacle is the work of the British establishment.
    It’s intent is to destroy the SNP by attempting to stir up suspicion and create a split within the party.
    As you have mentioned before Craig it’s a tactic used in other colonies.

    • Doug

      “It is my understanding these civil servants come under the control of Westminster therefore
      we have to assume they are not pro Independence.”

      I’ve often heard that, Derek, but to be honest I’ve no idea if that’s correct or not. Has Craig, or others, looked into this matter? I’d be grateful if someone could give me a definite Aye or Naw.

      • Kate

        It WOULD seem the appointment system for the Civil Service is:

        Lesley Evans, Permanent secretary to the Scottish Government, who is appointed by the First Civil Service Commissioner in London, who is appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the Minister of the Civil Service, who is (surprise! surprise!) the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Boris Johnson.

        Nicola Sturgeon was given the choice of three candidates & got to choose which of the three she found met HER requirements. As they are employed by WM, it is not in Nicola’s power to hire, or fire. HOWEVER, their salaries are paid for out of Scottish Block Grant! Again – SURPRISE, SURPRISE.

        Scotland is given a portion of Scottish Revenue, the Block Grant back to us by WM, WM appoints their chief spy and ancillary spies – and WM requires WE PAY FOR THEIR SPIES IN OUR CAMP. A rather ingenious idea on their part, eh what… ???

      • stewartb

        ““It is my understanding these civil servants come under the control of Westminster therefore
        we have to assume they are not pro Independence.”

        Anyone remember this regarding the ‘sympathies’ of a permanent secretary to the Scottish Government? Anyone know more about it? See: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26344766

        “The issue of civil service impartiality has previously been raised in the Scottish Parliament when Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats complained to the head of the UK civil service about Sir Peter Housden, the permanent secretary to the Scottish government in 2011,

        Sir Peter was accused by the former Liberal Democrat leader, Tavish Scott, of “rapidly becoming the chief cheerleader” for independence.”

    • Cubby

      Derek Aitken

      One of the alphabet sisters was reported from the trial coverage as an SNP politician.

  • DaveX

    It seems that if you are seen as a threat to the status quo, the state, its apparachiks & its media will do everything and anything to silence you or discredit you in the eyes of the population. Its also been applied to left figures in the Labour Party and Corbyn since the GE in 2017- when the prospect of a anti-status quo government seemed possible. Very sinister times.

  • Tim watson

    Absolutely brilliant piece, nothing surprises me about the state and how they dictate to the media what to write and say. It’s a lot easier to be given what to publish or say than to actually go out and look at stories and seek the truth.

    I fear that using emergency powers due to Covid 19 the next round will be similar to those in the USA which allow people to be imprisoned for not believing in what their media tell them! This includes anyone accused of fake news or supporting conspiracy theories about the virus! Bad times are here and it’s not just the virus

  • Murdo MacRae

    Excellent presentation Craig it is not a surprise to me that the behaviour of government has been as such I am an ardent expat supporter of the SNP but I have of late concurred with your thoughts on the Scottish Hierarchy and cohorts. I believe that a comfort zone exists at senior levels who have got too comfortable and dont want the status quo. I feel that Nicola has exposed herself or naively listened to her feminist cohorts and will ultimately pay the price unfortunately, I have been quite suspicious of her overall desire for independence and this is becoming more apparent. Alex will rise from the ashes despite all attempts of the establishment to bring him down including dare i say it the ultimate!!! We are living in the worst episode of my life including Maggie this lot are something else, will they last 5 years I have my doubts, keep the info coming makes a great read, Murdo

  • Michael Sims

    The more I read the more aghast I am at the machinations of the UK state and their agents in the Scottish Government, the Scottish Civil Service and now, it appears, top-level officials in the SNP itself. The British establishment’s talons reach very far indeed. Nothing is beneath them, they are a cult of very long standing, and scruples are irrelevant to them. They fight dirty and for keeps!

    They must be fought on every level.

    At my own level I have just processed a monthly subscription to your site. I should have done it years ago, and I apologise for the delay!

  • Margaret

    Thank you, Craig, for your wonderful coverage.

    I am not working at the moment – older person with health conditions forced to work as contractor under IR35 and not getting contracts – but once I get some cash flowing, I’ll be sending some your way.

  • bevin

    Zola would have been envious.
    “I cannot begin to imagine how evil you have to be to attempt falsely to convict someone of that most vicious, most unforgivable of crimes – rape. ”
    Nor could I. But one has to. The case of Julian Assange- against whom the third hand testimony of sexual assault was even thinner and less substantiated- reminds us that such cases, in which the woman gets the benefit of the doubt and the accused gets ten years to life- have become routine.
    I think the answer to the puzzle is that, much more important in the prosecutor’s eyes than the facts of the particular case, are two objectives.
    1/ To make highly publicised examples in order to deter.

    2/ To take revenge for millennia of perceived rapes and assaults by men on women.

    The basic rule being that all men are guilty but that those who serve the Queen (State) are rewarded with impunity.
    The saddest thing about this case is the reminder of the wide stripe of moral cowardice that runs through the middle of our society.

    • Lorna Campbell

      What is just as amoral is the fact that, in so many of these types of cases – they happened in the Southern states of the US against black men before and during the civil rights movement marches, etc. – is that women are often used to bring down those who form a threat to the powers-that-be. Women who are real victims of sexual assaults are diminished by those who allow themselves to be used in this way. I am not saying that this has been the case here with Mr Salmond, because I do not know, but the comments below the newspaper articles are so full of hateful misogyny, you just know that many men will use any excuse to persecute women. Sometimes it is the case that women themselves are used and duped to achieve an end that is of neither benefit to them or their sex, nor to the men they accuse. The end justifies the means. That is a sad fact of life. So many men cannot conceive of women having any autonomy of their own. They view females as being the ciphers for their own needs, desires, vengeances. It is as if women do not exist when a man’s eye is not on them; as if they are conjured into life only when men need, want or desire something that only women can provide. I think that is the root of all the strife between the sexes. On the other hand, women can be mean and spiteful and self-seeking too, and not just to men. Whatever happened here, Mr Salmond was acquitted. End off.

  • John Sweeney

    This article makes me wonder…has the SNP been infiltrated by UK intelligence services?

    As one of the biggest, and most realistic threats to the United Kingdom, it would perhaps be more surprising if the SNP weren’t targeted in this way.

  • Lorna Campbell

    While I agree with much of what you have written, Murray – well, almost all of it, really – I think there are two outcomes to this debacle that were not foreseen by those with an agenda. One is that Scottish independence will be revitalized; and the second is that women may yet receive better legal justice in the longer term if and when the names of the accusers are published because the law must now do something to prevent the routine publicizing of female alleged victims’ names and the vindictive motives that lie behind this practice. I think we might yet see special courts for sexual assault cases come out of this.

    For several years now, I have noticed things about the SNP that have disturbed me, and although I am wiling to believe that some people higher up in the SNP are bum polishers of seats and/or petty jobsworths, I also believe that Nicola Sturgeon herself is a target, as well as the independence movement. Putting the brakes on the momentum towards independence, I think, has led to the present paralysis. I think that both she and Mr Salmond were targeted for bringing down – she as a direct result of his intended fall, having been ‘implicated’ in it presumably. It wouldn’t be the first time, would it? Carmichael? Civil Service leak? This scenario is very reminiscent of the Adams/MacGuinness affair where double agents were run by the British State. Adams and MacGuinness, though, found out and turned the tables by signing the Good Friday Agreement and fighting elections on both sides of the border.

    Something happened within the SNP to slow the pace of independence to a standstill, of that there is no doubt. Where you have dissent and division, it is easier to topple or neutralize. Ask Jeremy Corbyn or Arthur Scargill or myriad other ‘threats’ to the hegemony of the British State, including Julian Assange? What I find hard to believe is that someone with Nicola Sturgeon’s intelligence could not know that something was happening, and it makes me wonder if it is worse than is apparent, if there is more that we are not seeing? Has the threat been stepped up to a level where real fear has been activated.

    • Penguin

      Nicola Sturgeon refuses to have a referendum unless the english prime minister agrees. That is not the action of a genuine Yesser. The alphabet women work in her office. Her husband is responsible for all party matters and knew every intimate detail of the false complaints and helped draw up the accusations used in court. Either she didn’t know and is incompetent, or she did know and must face the courts and then prison. Given her reaction to the loss of the first court case. Expressing her total support for evans and sympathy to the “victims” in the Scottish parliament, it’s pretty obvious what the truth is. Why are you so sure this evil woman is just a tragic victim of circumstances.

  • Margaret Eleftheriou

    It is very brave of you to publish this account in such na timely way. What it must have cost you, I cannot begin to fathom: not only time spent in baldly sticking to the facts (so soon after your own health crisis), the inevitable emotions stirred up when confronting such blatant and cold-hearted corruption, the punishing reminders of your own similar experiences. PLEASE take the greatest care. I can’t think that you could be under an even greater threat, but with COVID 19 everywhere, it would be easier than ever to stage such an event.

  • Brian Cuthbert

    Alec Salmond is playing this like a boxer, letting his opponents tire themselves out with these statements. Then when the opportunity comes, he will hit them with the knock-out blow and silence them once and for all.

  • Rigg Robertson

    That Alex Salmond’s first thoughts are for the size of potential global catastrophe that may engulf so many of us shows he’s not lost the art of a true great statesman.

  • Bob Costello

    Brilliant Craig I will be posting this on every site I have access to. Most of these sites have been used over the last four and a half years by the mindless, to attack me for warning of Sturgeons closeness to the British state and reluctance to go for independence. I wonder how many of them will now apologise. Hellish few I would imagine

  • David G

    Despite Craig’s iterating it twice, I don’t get clearly what the charge that the police were “politically hijacked” is meant to impute specifically, though I suppose that’s somewhat intentional at this point, with a fuller explanation to follow in good time.

    I will say this, as someone from overseas. Any illusions I may have formerly held about the helpful (and unarmed) London bobby died with Jean Charles de Menezes.

    Nevertheless, the fact that any British (if you’ll pardon the expression) police force would perpetrate a politicized fraud on this scale is still pretty shocking to me.

    I really look forward to learning what “politically hijacked” means.

    • Kafka

      The leaders of the political process always have considerable influence on the high command of the police because the leaders of the political process control their budgets. Although, in many cases this is countered by the high command of the police having blackmail material on the leaders of the political process.

  • Yr Hen Gof

    My only surprise is that they didn’t rig the jury, I can only surmise that for some reason it might have been more difficult in Scotland.
    I am cynical enough to believe that this would have been the case had the trial been set in England.

    GB is a stinking pit of corruption, with every office and function of state affected – no exceptions. All those bodies and individuals involved in this attempted stitch up are enemies of the people, justice and democracy.
    Any student of modern European history would see clear parallels with Germany in the years prior to the outbreak of WW2.

    Thank you Craig for your work, both in this area and so many others.
    Please, stay safe and mind your family does too, the British state is a vengeful beast.

  • Kafka

    In terms of the media, what you describe, while corrupt and horrible behavior, is quite standard in terms of the way the prosecution and defense are treated. At least here in the States.
    Here, in the Land of the Free, the case first hits the media with salacious coverage of the indictment. There is no presumption of innocent until proven guilty, and the accused has no rights of privacy at this stage when charges are not yet been proven. Instead, the prosecutors indictment is covered in detail, while video clips of the accused in handcuffs are shown repeatedly. When the trial is scheduled to begin, the same reports will be recycled. Then, the prosecutors opening statement and key witnesses are covered in depth. Any cross-examination is ignored. The coverage fades away as the prosecution case drags on, and it is completely gone by the time the defense begins to present its case. In the rare event that the by now highly tainted jury comes back with an acquittal, it is regarded and reported as a miscarriage of justice and the entire prosecution case is repeated in the media as proof of guilt. That is Justice in the Land of the Free, which also leads the world in incarceration. I am sorry to hear that the UK has its own version of this, but can’t say I’m really surprised, as by now it is quite clear that the Tories won the American Revolution and are in power here as well….. it just took a lot longer than they had planned.

  • Lawrence

    I totally agree, it’s absolutely outrageous the lengths they went, to try and bring him down and I’m pleased he has been found not guilty of any criminal act , but the bit you are all just brushing over and accepting as ok, is that he still had sex, “by his own admission ” still came on to women in the workplace, still was touchy and feely and flirty and trying it on with women who reslly just came to work, since when is that okb? Since when is it ok for a boss to be chatting up and trying to have sex with employees or business associates as part of normal business, since when have that been magiced ok ? It’s not the 1970’s no woman should have to put up with that when the go to work , it’s outrageous behaviour, unprofessional at the very least and really quite creepy, so he’s been cleared of any criminal act, fine, that doesn’t excuse acting like an entitled predator in the workplace, he should in no way be allowed back in to the SNP and in no way ever be allowed public office again, no it’s not acceptable

    • Cubby


      Still had sex by his own admission you say.

      Did you hear that in court. If not what account did you read that. Your comment is so vague. It would be a surprise if he’d never had sex. Sounds like you are just trying to smear him.

    • Ort

      Sorry, your response amounts to “It’s gratifying that it has been definitively established that there was no fire, but all of that billowing smoke is still stinging my eyes.”

  • Bruce MacDougall

    Leslie Evans is the Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, and part of the Scottish Civil Service, which is part of the UK Civil Service run by Westminster. As such could Nicola Sturgeon demote or fire her? If not is she keeping her enemies close, knowing that whomever Leslie Evans replacement, would be still an arm of Westminster.

  • Duncan Spence

    I wrote the following yesterday to The National. Needless to say, it was not published.

    Dear editors,

    I note that Alex Salmond has said he is not going to comment further on his recent acquittal while there is an ongoing pandemic.

    While it must be right for victims of rape and unwanted sexual domination by men in powerful positions to draw distinct lines between what is and is not acceptable, there can only be one conclusion to be drawn from the timing of the open letter from Mr Salmond’s accusers. That indeed, this whole sorry affair is an element of a wider political project.


    Gentleman D

    Under these circumstances the exhortation to suspend independence campaigning for the duration of the pandemic can only be seen as utter hypocrisy. I wanted to add this to the letter, but felt it would not increase the chance of it being published.

    There was much talk before the pandemic about the formation of another pro Independence Party in Scotland. Perhaps it is time now too for another pro Independence Newspaper, or at least for Independence supporting bloggers and internet activists to come together in some way.

    There is also talk of factionalism within the SNP. Such a broad church as the SNP is bound to suffer internal contradictions and differences of opinion. There has been however since the result of the EU referendum a great big contradiction between two roles that the SNP is expecting itself to fulfil: leading the vanguard of the independence movement and looking after the government of Scotland. Clearly these two roles must now be separated.

    I await with great interest further revelations and reiterate what others have said. Be careful. It would be very easy under current conditions to make people disappear.

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