Defend Mark Hirst 260


Mark Hirst, a former senior SNP staffer at Holyrood, is being criminally prosecuted under the 2003 Communications Act for saying this:

These women, and not just these women, some of the people involved in this are senior members of the Scottish Government, senior members of the SNP, and they have been involved in this active collusion to try and destroy Alex Salmond’s reputation and there’s not a cat’s chance in hell that they are going to get away with that.
So they’re going to reap a whirlwind, no question about it, that’s going to happen as soon as this virus emergency is out of the way, then there is going to be a bit of reckoning takes place and we’ll clear out the soft independence supporters which are currently leading the party, that’s why we’ve seen no movement in nearly six years and we’re going to claim the party back, get the country back on course for Independence but to do that we are going to have to wade through what’s left of this leadership and get them out of the way, which I am confident that we’ll do.

The Crown is making the ludicrous charge that this is a statement of a “menacing character”. Mark is being charged under the Communications Act 2003 Para 127 (1)(A)

The Crown Office has been briefing its favourite tame journalist at the Times on the charges against Mark Hirst. You will recall that when I was charged with Contempt of Court, I was contacted by the Times immediately after the police left my home.

As the Times reports, the Crown office are briefing that Mark Hirst has been charged for stating that Salmond’s accusers would “reap the whirlwind”. Both the Times and the Crown Office are guilty of gross dishonesty in presenting that phrase out of the context, which context you can now see plainly in the above full quote. The Crown Office is dishonestly attempting to convey the impression that “reap the whirlwind” implied some personal or even violent vendetta against the conspirators, whereas what Mark Hirst was actually referring to was a political campaign to take back control of the SNP from scheming careerists.

In fact what Mark is saying has precisely the same import as this tweet of mine:

Deliberately to miscontrue a call to political action in opposition to a political grouping as an act of “menace” is state persecution which has profound implications. The prosecution of Mark Hirst is the act of an executive with major fascist leanings.

Mark is the journalist and friend to whom I referred that had five policemen enter his home and confiscate all his phones and laptops. It is far from plain why that action was necessary when he is being prosecuted for the contents of a video that he openly posted online. The provenance of his video is not in dispute: why would they need his phone and computers?

This seems another example of Police Scotland’s “fishing expedition” approach. Remember, the police who did this described themselves to Mark as the “Salmond Team”. The burning question is, why does Police Scotland still have a “Salmond Team” going around to terrorise people in their homes during a pandemic, even after Salmond’s acquittal?

That the decisions on who to prosecute are entirely political is conclusively demonstrated here and here.

I am sorry to say that it appears that the very notion of free speech is anathema to the current government of Scotland.

When we consider what they are doing against Mark Hirst and myself to attack free speech using the Contempt of Court Act 1982 and the Communications Act of 2003, we have to seriously worry about the new legislation currently going through the Scottish parliament specifically to limit freedom of speech.

On 23 April 2020 the Scottish Government introduced its Hate Crime and Public Order Bill into the Scottish Parliament. This vastly increases the amount of speech subject to criminal prosecution. It introduces new categories of protected characteristics, and gives Ministers powers to add new ones without going back to parliament. There is a specific power in the Bill for ministers to add “sex” as a protected characteristic, for example. Crucially it removes the need to prove intent embodied in current law. If you call someone an “old fool”, you will be committing a criminal offence even if you meant nothing by it and were just using a common phrase, age being a protected characteristic. Calling someone a “stupid boy” will similarly become illegal. To possess “inflammatory” material will specifically be a crime even if you had no intention to communicate it to others.

Richard III would very definitely be illegal under this legislation for anti-disabled prejudice. The Merchant of Venice would be illegal for anti-semitism. Once “sex” is added by Ministers, The Taming of the Shrew would be illegal for misogyny. I was glancing through The 39 Steps yesterday and was struck by a very anti-semitic passage I had forgotten was there. Is possessing John Buchan to be illegal? I can see nothing in the bill which would protect you from prosecution for possessing Buchan, if the Crown Office decided to go for you over it. Can you see any protection? Genuine question.

The Bill specifically includes performance. Politically incorrect jokes will become an actual criminal offence. Really. Pretty well every Carry On film ever made would now be illegal and subject its producers, writers and performers to possible imprisonment if made now. I quite accept that the mores of society change, and there is much in Carry On films society would find unacceptable now, but criminal? The Act moves matters of taste and disapproval firmly into the field of the police and the courts. It is a grossly authoritarian piece of legislation.

Once you have statutes in place that make telling a sexist joke a crime, you are dependent on the police and on prosecutors to apply the law in a sensible and liberal manner. But what the case of both Mark Hirst and myself makes plain – as indeed does the Alex Salmond case itself – is that Scotland does not have that at all. Scotland has politically controlled, vindictive and corrupt police and prosecutors who will, as the Mark Hirst case could not demonstrate more plainly, twist any law to the maximum to contrive a prosecution against those labeled as political enemies.

Mark Hirst is a good man. I realise so many of you dug very deep to fund my own defence, but I do urge those who are able to do so to support Mark, who also faces jail for the “crime” of political writing and with whom I stand shoulder to shoulder. My own defence fund has raised more than we need at the current stage of proceedings so it is my intention, absent major objection from you whose money it is, to transfer £10,000 from my defence fund to Mark’s.

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260 thoughts on “Defend Mark Hirst

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  • Stonky

    Hopefully Mods won’t object to me reposting this. It strikes me that the previous version is far too long because it contains a lot of irrelevant stuff, and a lot of people will just skip over it.

    As for the subject of this article – Defend Mark Hirst – there is something we can actually do. We just have to repost his words on public forums, newspapers, blogs and Twitter. I have a Tweet here that I think serves the purpose:

    Prosecuting Mark Hirst is a vile abuse of the law. Thousands of comments are posted every day more violent than his words – comments that no one would ever dream of taking literally. I endorse Mark’s words and his sentiment:

    Alex Salmond’s accusers deserve to reap the whirlwind

    My plan is to post this as a Tweet starting from 10 o clock this morning UK time. I hope others will follow my example. I think it would be best to copy and post it as an original message rather than just retweeting it. If even one tenth of the people who contributed to Craig’s defence fund do likewise, we will render Mark’s prosecution unworkable, or a joke.

    • nevermind

      What of those who are not on twatter? Stonky, shall we raise a saltire or throw a haggis in the air…
      Or put your sample sentence on FB, other blogs, in context with what Craig wrote here about free speech.

      This new piece of bendy rubber/Act must not become law, it should be turned into a useful sculpture of a phallic nature, that, in an intense physical application, could be used by judges to calm them down whilst sitting on a case or two.

    • Giyane

      Stonky

      Most people in this country seem to believe that there was a vast swing against Corbyn and towards the right wing extremists who are now in power. They defer to the democratic will of the people.

      This is totally absurd. The election was won by Peter Lilley’s algorithms changing the ballots, and now , like Jurassic Park the monsters are chewing up civilisation.

    • Natasha

      The original quote from Craigs article is “reap a whirlwind” not “reap the whirlwind” (which is also misquoted in Craig’s article) but “a” [implying a plural] has a significantly different meaning and intent the “the” [implying a specific incidence].

      • Stonky

        The original quote from Craig’s article is a transcript from spoken words. One of the features of spoken language is that it is less precise than written language. That’s why that second paragraph is so ungrammatical and bitty.

        Strictly speaking you’re correct. There is a grammatical difference between “reap a whirlwind” and “reap the whirlwind”. But given that Mark is quoting (slighly misquoting) a recognised expression that is itself figurative, I’m not sure what point you think you’re making.

    • Squeeth

      It’s too long for twit. Try

      I endorse Mark Hirst’s words and his sentiment, Alex Salmond’s accusers deserve to reap the whirlwind.

    • Stonky

      Thanks. It looks like a long slow haul.

      The donations page was updated this moring and as of 11 am today Mark’s defence fund stood at just over £15,000. That’s a little disapponting given that 10k of that came from Craig’s fund. I know it’s not a “competition” (and if it were it would be a very depressing competition) but Mark’s prosecution is if anything even more egregious than Craig’s.

      So dig a little deeper in your pockets guys.

  • Derek Hopley

    Dear Craig ,
    Hi , although not specifically related to Mark Hirst’s defence , but in the interest of ‘open justice’ I made a Freedom of Information request to the Metropolitan Police Service in reference to a Daily Mail news report that the morning after his acquittal in Scotland more sexual assault charges were made of offences in London . My request was :

    CUSTOMER COPY
    FOI-3791-20-0100-000
    Request information about the police
    Date: 26 April 2020
    Time: 14:56
    This form has been sent to the Metropolitan Police via the Single Online Home reporting service.
    FOI-3791-20-0100-000
    Your request

    Following the verdicts in Alex Salmond’s Sex Assault trial in Edinburgh it was reported (MailOnline Published: 11:57, 24 March 2020) that further sexual assault charges were made to the MPS about offences in London . Is that report correct and if so , are any of the complainants one’s described as anonymous Witnesses Women A, B, C, D, F, G, H, J and K of the Scottish trial ?

    We normally provide information by email as a PDF. If you need a different format, please give details below
    not given ………

    and the point is , that anonymous or not could the complainants be regarded as ‘vexatious litigants’ ? I am promised an e-mail reply by tomorrow 17/05/2020 and I await with interest ,
    Derek

  • Spencer Eagle

    You have to wonder how long will it be before the police start using the Terrorism Act 2000 against those seeking Scottish Independence? While everyone is preoccupied with Assange and Salmond it seems to have gone unnoticed that in February, Britain First leader, Paul Golding, was arrested and charged under the Terrorism Act 2000 for not giving police pin numbers to his phone after returning from a trip to the Russian parliament in Moscow. Whilst we are undoubtedly agreed this guy wouldn’t be pissed upon if on fire, the use of the Terrorism Act against a political figure, however unsavoury, is the thin edge of a very dangerous wedge. Golding’s trial is set for May 20th and a demonstration had been organised protesting his arrest, it now transpires the Met has formerly made it clear they will use coronavirus legislation to arrest everyone there and prosecute Golding, adding another 3 months to the 6 months he faces for not handing pin numbers over, the Met have also made it clear they will use the ‘legislation’ to fine the organisation ‘an unlimited amount of money’. The state overreach continues unabated, it may hurt like hell but the phrase ‘hang together or hang alone’ is ringing out like an alarm bell.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-51668025

    • Piotr+Berman

      I found the language of the law that allows to prosecute Golding. It is terrifyingly broad: “An examining officer (including police, immigration officers and customs officers) can question a person at a port or in a border area to determine whether that person is or has been concerned in the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism. The officer does not need to suspect that the person has been concerned in acts of terrorism to exercise their powers. The person being questioned under Schedule 7 must hand over any information requested by the officer and declare to the officer whether or not he has such information in his possession. The officer may also search the person and any items on his person.”

      This is broad indeed.
      (1) officer, without suspecting a person of anything can
      (2) request any information
      (3) the person must comply — and Golding did not.

      Like, describe all your sexual activities in the last six month. That may sound fanciful, but the unlimited access to electronic recordings may give that and much more. And with “flexible” definition of offenses like “being menacing”, this is practically self-incrimination. And with the penchant of leaking anything that the powers to be deem useful, either to look better or to make the adversaries look bad (of which there are many) etc. this is a terrifying invasion of privacy. Needless to say, any link to “terrorism” is erased.

  • Blissex

    My impression is that the effect of these actions will be like to hit one (or two, or three) to educate one hundred, that stepping out of line involves getting into serious trouble, whether or not one gets convicted. All the people who follow your blog will get the message that to speak out is to invite a whole load of aggravation.

  • David Whyte

    Remarkable that the words ‘reap the whirlwind’ are a direct quote from the King James bible (Hosea 8:7) and that any witnesses will be offered an opportunity to swear an oath on that book whereby they will be swearing by the very words in the book.

    • Cubby

      David Whyte

      Your post perfectly highlights how outrageous this action by the police is. Shameful action by whoever is responsible.

  • Crispa

    I came across this guidance which seems to be a 2017 update for an Act that was causing a lot of legal headaches – remembering the case of the young man convicted under it for joking to blow up Doncaster airport because it was so unreliable. It includes this

    Communications Act of 2003
    COPFS Guidance on cases involving Communications sent via Social Media (2017)
    “Prosecutors should only consider action in this category (4) (which I think Mark Hirst is seen to fit) of cases where they are satisfied there is sufficient evidence that the communication goes beyond being:
    •Offensive, shocking or disturbing;
    •Satirical, iconoclastic or rude;
    •The expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it;
    •An exchange of communication that forms part of a democratic debate”.
    Where does this the tweet go beyond being part of a democratic debate which does get quite heated at times?
    https://www.copfs.gov.uk/images/Documents/Prosecution_Policy_Guidance/Book_of_RegulationsFinal%20version%2026%2011%2014.pdf.

    • Mightydrunken

      Maybe they don’t expect to win but send a message whilst also making Mark’s life much more uncomfortable for a time. Once bitten, twice shy. The message being that any strong criticism of those with sufficient power is dangerous and frowned upon.

  • Mist001

    A small number of protestors were seen in Holyrood Park today to protest against the current lockdown rulings.

    Again, as quoted in todays Evening News, “Protestors ignored clear warnings from the police and the First Minister, who told the public in her daily briefing that such kinds of gatherings were unlawful.”

    There are similar demonstrations being held throughout the UK and everything I’ve read about them have mentioned ‘Social distancing RULES’.

    Not laws, RULES.

    So as I originally asked, since when did holding a picnic and peaceful gatherings become criminal, ie, you could get fined or go to jail, in SCOTLAND???

    What the hell is going on in Scotland, with Alex Salmond, Craig Murray, Mark Hirst and these lockdown laws?

    Seriously, WTF is going on?? Where are all these laws and offences coming from? I’m certainly not reading about any laws being passed in Scotland.

    • Mist001

      Who? Me? I saw the writing on the wall a while ago and allowed my membership of the SNP to lapse some years ago and haven’t regretted doing so for one second.

      I won’t be campaigning for or against the SNP, but I will support anything which I consider to be an alternative to them, in terms of the drive for Scottish independence. Certainly, the SNP as it stands today, will never get my vote again, ever.

  • diabloandco

    This is appalling and it should make every one of us aware that at any time some devious , manipulating bleater could point the finger and demand ‘justice’ for some paltry hurt.

    I find this all deeply disturbing as I did the Alex Salmond case reporting by the ‘Scottish journalists’ .

  • Brianfujisan

    £25 Donated…It seems to be increasing Slowly

    I Am Staggered at this Abuse By Police Scot. Scot.Gov… It’s Evil and Vile..CO- 19 is starting to cost us all enough £

    I have Been £83 to Truth telling this month..It may be a paltry sum to many..But a small fortune to others.

    As we have seen in Many Comments here

    I see Craig has said on Twitter, that he WONT Be Running Away to Asylum.. Good Stuff, and Brave.

    I posted this earlier on my Fbook – Bizimkiler: Pink Floyd – Another Brick in the Wall (Folk Cover) – YouTube

    Stunning Stuff-
    P.S…And it’s Nothing to do with the Current Westminster Evil plan With their Evil MSM to Demonise Teachers… Thanks to Sct.Gov… Police Scotland ( So Called ) I could be taken to court Jailed For saying / Writing that – Wake Up People –

    • Laguerre

      The problem with that video is that Azerbaijan is a fascist dictatorship, and that video looked pretty state-approved, notably with the national flags at the end. You would have done better to choose another cover that wasn’t so political.

        • Kempe

          Bizimkiler and the whole project of performing western pop standards on local folk instruments were sponsored by ANS TV in the run up to Azerbaijan’s staging of the Eurovision Song Contest.

          ANS TV had their license revoked by the regime in 2016.

          Just enjoy the music.

    • Laguerre

      Hatred of your nearest neighbours works for a while, until you can’t understand why your pension is not being fully paid, because trade has collapsed.

    • nevermind

      its any flag of any country Spencer. I have a collection of flags, 3x5cm and they fit around large cocktail/BBQ sticks. Always carry some around for the big celebration of the nation, the marking and nationalising of dog shit.
      It looks so much more alert and safe when it has a German flag attached to it, or a Union Jack for that pile of Yorkie poo someone could not kick into the verge.

    • DonDon

      Hell’s bells! That left-wing fascist so-called Justice Minister named in that BBC article, Christine Lambrecht, comes from my adopted home-town! Never thought that when I moved to (then) West Germany I was moving in with the Nazis!

    • Bayard

      “Public display of the Nazi swastika and other Nazi symbols is already banned in Germany.”

      How about burning a Nazi flag? Does that get you prosecuted under two laws, or none?

    • Allesklar

      I wonder how it will go if someone burns a “not quite EU flag” with one star missing, or a flag with 50 stars and 12 stripes?

  • Laguerre

    I think the problem with Hirst’s appeal is that he is not that well known, compared with Craig, whatever the value of his appeal (I’ve done my bit). I’d never heard of him. It’s unfortunate that you have to be a public figure in order to get support.

  • KingofWelshNoir

    This account of the emergency Covid legislation enacted by the government without proper parliamentary scrutiny and where it might be heading is terrifying. Read it and shiver, especially if you support the work of Craig – it looks like it’s going to be a lot harder to do in the coming ‘new normal’:

    https://architectsforsocialhousing.co.uk/2020/05/12/the-state-of-emergency-as-paradigm-of-government-coronavirus-legislation-implementation-and-enforcement/

    • Steph

      Thank you for that link, although it is grim reading. A very clear and utterly irrefutable analysis. Should be read by everyone, particularly those currently worrying about covid-19. They are barking up completely the wrong tree. .

      • Clark

        So it’s not a pandemic, it’s a global conspiracy of every government and all the scientific institutions in the world, right?

  • DonDon

    Bayard, if I make a 1/72 scale model of a Messerschmidt or Stuka, I am not allowed to put a hooked cross on its tail.

  • Jm

    “Legislate in haste,repent at leisure.”

    Be certain,eventually,legislation such as this,so utterly assinine,ill-considered and open to serious abuse,will have to be amended or thrown out..

    Hopefully for Craig and Mark Hirst their cases,should they proceed before sanity intervenes,will be at the forefront of illustrating why this legislation is so dangerous and has no place whatsoever in Scotland-or anywhere else for that matter.

  • ramblingidiot

    It’s sad, but this persecution probably gives an accurate indication of life in an independent Scotland without the (slightly) ameliorating affect of the English. Small and beautiful Marxist independent state, or horrifying fascist police state version of the New Communism? I’d prophesy the latter.

    • Stonky

      Rubbish. The SNP has been infiltrated by entryists and that is all.

      Post-independence, Nicola Sturgeon’s “Extreme Feminist Support America’s Wars And Snuggle Up With Alastair Campbell Party”, who are behind this prosecution, will get a couple of percent of the vote. The SNP Twitleryouth’s “Transgender Agenda Obsessive Party” will get a couple of hundred votes.

      The rest of us will get on with voting for partes that want to estabish the kind of open, progressive, free-thinking country which the SNP used to stand for and which the vast majority of SNP voters actually want to vote for.

      • Bayard

        If the last Scottish election for Holyrood had been contested in an independent or a soon-to-be independent Scotland, but everything else remained the same, same candidates, same Scottish civil service etc. would not the SNP still have won and would not Nicola Sturgeon still have have been First Minister? Either you are saying that a post-independence SNP would have fielded totally different candidates, which seems very unlikely, why change? or you are saying that, post independence, people would have voted very differently, i.e. they would have punished the party that ostensibly brought them independence by not voting for them. This seems very unlikely, too.
        It’s all very well saying “The rest of us will get on with voting for partes that want to estabish the kind of open, progressive, free-thinking country which the SNP used to stand for and which the vast majority of SNP voters actually want to vote for” now that the would-be dictators in the SNP have shown their hand and lost, but that is now. Back then, that was all in the future, “The vast majority of SNP voters” would still have voted for the same SNP as they did then. So if Scotland had been independent, things could have been a lot worse and at the same time, it seems unlikely that they would have been any better.

        • Cubby

          Bayard

          Your analysis falls at the first hurdle. The SNP under the current regime will never take Scotland to independence.

        • Stonky

          I don’t know if you’re being deliberately obtuse Bayard.

          First of all, it won’t be the SNP or any other party who “bring us independence”. It will be the people of Scotland.

          Secondly, post-independence, any party that stands on a manifesto that says “The main planks of our policy are a commitment to an extreme feminist ideology, support for endless American wars, and a bizarre obsession bordering on fetishism with a transgender agenda” will get about as many votes as you would expect them to – somewhere between 0.5% and 2%.

          Thirdly, there will probably be more than one election, ever, in an independent Scotland. So even if “the would-be dictators in the SNP” did manage to trick us into electing them on a proper manifesto, and then exchanged it for an extreme feminist ideology, support for endless American wars, and a bizarre obsession bordering on fetishism with a transgender agenda, they would last precisely one electoral cycle – and probably less than that – and nobody would ever vote for them again.

          So calm your fears and look forward to a bright new future. Alternatively, continue with the Unionist approach of begging your Westminster superiors to stop kicking you in the face for just a second or two, so you can lick their boot.

          • Bayard

            “Your analysis falls at the first hurdle. The SNP under the current regime will never take Scotland to independence.”

            Your rebuttal falls at the first hurdle: my scenario was set in the past. Remind me, which was the party that nearly took Scotland to independence?

            “First of all, it won’t be the SNP or any other party who “bring us independence”. It will be the people of Scotland.”

            Ah, so the SNP had nothing to do with organising the last referendum, then. Sorry, I had rather got the impression from this blog that they had. I stand corrected.

            “Secondly, post-independence, any party that stands on a manifesto that says “The main planks of our policy are a commitment to an extreme feminist ideology,…..”

            Again, I was not aware that this was the manifesto of the party currently in power in Holyrood when they got elected.

            “they would last precisely one electoral cycle”

            Well, we shall see, when the next Holyrood elections are held, whether that is true, but in any case, one electoral cycle has been enough for the current lot to morph from a party that attracted enough popular support to win to one that you say is only going to attract between .5% and 2% of the vote. So if, as I supposed, independence had been achieved, just before the current lot won their election, we would be where we are today with a party in power with a “commitment to an extreme feminist ideology, support for endless American wars, and a bizarre obsession bordering on fetishism with a transgender agenda” running an independent Scotland.

      • Cubby

        Stonky

        Well said Stonky. The Britnats have infiltrated the SNP. It was always going to happen. To achieve independence we need to clear them out.

  • Joe Mellon

    Why this is the most serious matter imaginable for the Scottish legal system:
    – there is ‘commonplace’ perjury, where a not very bright criminal tells stupid lies in a vain attempt to get off. It is usually not prosecuted, as they are believed by no-one and it has no consequences.
    – there is the much more serious type where a criminal gang terrorize or bribe people into telling lies for them in court. This is also conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.
    What we have in the Salmond case is unimaginably more serious than even this second case.
    The police force and the justice system itself have been instrumentalised in order to remove a political rival. This is banana republic niveau.
    It involves the attempt to pervert not just the course of justice in one case, but to pervert the justice system itself. It requires the subversion of the right to free speech and journalistic freedom. It misuses the justice system to attack political rivals by getting them sent to jail on trumped up charges. It misuses the police force by making them complicit in criminal politic shenanigans.

      • nevermind

        From Davids link, a new angle, one which we all expected anyway.
        This is what Consortium news says about JAs trial at Belmarsh.and some of its attendees, with photos provided. last paragraph right at the bottom before the last 2 photos.

        ‘During the first extradition hearing this Feb. 24, Assange was confined to a glass box that prevented him from directly conferring with his lawyers. Observers including former British diplomat Craig Murray said they noticed U.S. agents conferring outside the courtroom with UK prosecutors.’

    • michael norton

      Like a laser Joe Mellon, you have described that which now exists.

      A terrifying glimpse of new normal.

      • Alf Baird

        Recent and ongoing events suggest that Scotland appears to hold to a rather colonial type of justice system, similar to that described by Frantz Fanon and others; in this regard any alleged criminality on the colonialist side will seldom if ever be prosecuted, whilst “in the colonies the native (seeking liberation) has always known that he need expect nothing from the other side”. In Scotland, prosecutors and police act for the Crown, which is the ‘legal embodiment’ of the British State. This might imply that, until Scotland becomes independent, the justice ‘system’ may be likely to be, and remain, anti-independence, and therefore biased, as appears to be the case given recent/ongoing events. The harassment and dragging of ever more independence-supporting intellectuals and leaders before the courts on questionable charges (surely itself a standard colonial type re-action?) also appears to coincide with a recent steady if meagre rise in independence support, as well as an apparent rise also in the number of police officers serving in Scotland who have a union badge on their tunics. The latter might suggest the ‘Salmond Team’ may be a strengthened/dedicated ‘anti-independence unit’, i.e. a politicised police ‘group’, which is primarily focused on targeting key leaders and intellectuals within the independence ‘movement’.

    • paul

      Joe,
      You illustrate the problem very well.

      The first case is easily dealt with by the notion of de minimus.
      The second and third case illustrate, I do not know if it exists in law, a de maximus case.

      The integrity of the current establishment will assemble as many angelic lawyers on the head of an infinitely, and brutally sharp, pin.
      An establishment that acts in such a way has rejected what normal people would regard as legitimacy.

      • Blair Paterson

        When are police Scotland going to prosecute Prince Charles with breaking lockdown by moving to Scotland ??? And when are the English police going to charge Prince Phillip with the road crash he caused ??? And what about the American women who killed the young motor bike rider ??? Being charged with murder ??? These are all known facts not just accusations or made up charges ???

  • Greg Park

    Unionist media still silent about Sturgeon’s outrageous “Salmond Team” and her obvious role in persecuting her predecessor and his supporters.

    Why are these fierce opponents of independence propping up the current leader of the independence campaign, ostensibly the greatest threat to the Union?

    • michael norton

      That is obvious.

      Ms.Sturgeon is not a lovable character.
      She has been a cult hate figure in England.
      It is the purpose of the present government to protect and keep in place Ms.Sturgeon and her Clique.
      This suits both Ms.Sturgeon and her Clique as well as the present U.K. government.
      They must seem to be cautious and questioning of each other
      but it reality they are two cheeks of the same arse.

  • Angus Coutts

    Will Tommy Sheridan ever receive justice after being blatantly fitted up and jailed?

    Has he ever received so much as a penny of the damages he was awarded against The NoW?

  • Jennifer Allan

    They could start with the UK National anthem:-

    Verse 2
    O Lord our God arise,
    Scatter our* enemies,
    And make them fall!
    Confound their politics,
    Frustrate their knavish tricks,
    On Thee our hopes we fix,
    God save us all!

    Verse 6
    Lord grant that Marshal Wade
    May by thy mighty aid
    Victory bring.
    May he sedition hush,
    And like a torrent rush,
    Rebellious Scots to crush.
    God save the Queen!

    source: https://www.lyricsondemand.com/n/nationalanthemlyrics/britiannationalanthemlyrics.html./p/

    • Bayard

      Let’s hope we get a new anthem when Scotland becomes independent. It’s not a “national” anthem anyway, it’s a royal one, about the monarch, not the country and the tune’s a dirge.

  • Tony M

    Buchan should have been prosecuted for his callous, mass-murdering administration of the concentration-camps for Dutch women and children during the Boer War – real crimes against humanity, and subsequently for his work at the heart of the British state’s anti-German propaganda machinery, not ripping-yarn novels but dishonest ww1 war-reporting, instead he was made Governor-General of Canada.

    Prosecution-mania is bad enough but when it becomes selective it is an even greater menace. All this draconian law will have to be swept away, everything since a certain date, probably the late Blair-era or even some of the Thatcherite stuff. Free-speech by any medium must be inviolable. That includes too being overly frit of the undue social-media giants, Faceache, Twatter etc. and those who manipulate them, bend them, state-actors and co-ordinated ne’er-do-wells with agenda. Fear of expressing honest opinion or facts contrary to prevailing mainstream orthodoxy is oppression, these are terrifying times, a smothering police and nanny state by increments, becoming bolder and more malicious every day, a slew of bad-law open to the widest possible interpretation, serving narrow interests and wide open to abuse without appeal or redress. Deaths and disappearances will become commonplace. Misandry however is the new state (sector) religion, far from being prosecuted, it’s celebrated.

  • Tony M

    They are turning Scotland into a country no-one, certainly no self-respecting Scot would ever want to live in. Their Scotland, if ever independent, won’t be Scotland any more, except in name. Shot themselves, or at least the independence movement in both feet. They’re supposed to be a one-issue party, independence above all else, meantime they’re only supposed to be minding the shop, what have they turned into? Take the worst of New Labour, plus the same from the Tories and you have the present SNP inner-party. We have created a monster, or at least given it the jolt of concentrated energy, the force, the fire that that brought it to life. We as its creators other it, reject it. Banish it to the frozen wastes, to end its days cold and alone.

  • Marmite

    Menacing? These words, as far as I can tell from the quote, seem more about exposing the criminal and very menacing behaviour of other parties (which are even respectfully kept anonymous here). But as always, those who make accusations and point the finger most vehemently are usually the guilty party. Making false accusations must be the epitome of menacing! But not in backward Little Britain, where people vote for things like Tories and xenophobia.

  • Bill Craig

    I see elsewhere that the Scottish government is being blamed for this bizarre accusation against Mark Hirst, but I think we need look no further than the COPFS itself. The person in charge there is Walter James Wolffe QC, Lord Advocate since June 2016.

    The principle of separation of powers, between government and law courts, seems to have been raised by judges in recent years, but without much change happening. WIkipedia has this:
    The Lord Advocate is one of the Scottish Ministers, though since 23 May 2007 the Lord Advocate has not attended the cabinet of the Scottish Government. The position of Lord Advocate has been the subject of controversy, most notably sparked by Scottish High Court judges, wanting the ministerial and prosecutorial role to be separated.”

    For what it’s worth, I agree will all of Stonky’s points.

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