Sky News Miss the Story 180

Sky News are today carrying the story that Nicola Sturgeon attended a meeting with Salmond’s former Chief of Staff, Geoff Aberdein, about a historic sexual allegation made against Alex Salmond on 29 March 2018, several days before she claimed to parliament that she first heard of it. It will prove in the long term still more significant that this meeting also contradicts Sturgeon’s claim that it was Alex Salmond who first told her of the existence of the allegations.

This all appears to come as news to James Matthews, the Sky reporter. The extraordinary thing is, that both he and I sat through the testimony under oath on this point of Geoff Aberdein at the Alex Salmond trial.

On 8 to 9 March 2018 … had contacted him to say she was involved in a process of looking at complaints about Alex Salmond. He had spoken to Kevin Pringle and Duncan Hamilton by conference call to discuss this. On 29 March 2018 he had held a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon in the Scottish Parliament to discuss this. On 2 April he had attended a further meeting in Sturgeon’s home.

Matthews obviously thought it of no significance – but then again, it was defence evidence and Matthews, in common with the entire mainstream media, reported virtually zero of the defence evidence. Today’s Sky News article helpfully gives links to the headlines of their Salmond trial stories:

As you will see, lurid allegations from the prosecution witnesses – lurid allegations which were untrue – were prominently featured as the headlines. You will search those reports in vain for detail or even a bare outline of the defence case. The verdict is treated as a shock, and then we are straight in to stories querying the verdict.

Matthews and all the MSM hacks came for a hanging. They thus missed the real story, which is of a conspiracy at the highest levels of the Scottish Government to frame Alex Salmond. This finally seems to have penetrated even James Matthews’ thick skull. Had he been paying attention to the defence evidence, he could have published today’s article two months ago.

This relates to the single allegation in the Salmond trial which was about a real incident which actually happened, as opposed to a fiction, a distinction the jury appears to have made by finding only this one “Not Proven” and the others “Not Guilty”. Salmond stated it was a case of working very late together and drinking, getting intimate and going a bit too far with a cuddle. At the time he made a formal apology through a civil service process, which was accepted, and given the choice of transfer the official continued to work closely with him.

The separate official who contacted Aberdein about weaponising this initial Salmond allegation is somebody extremely close to Nicola Sturgeon and very senior in her office. She first contacted Aberdein on 8-9 March – almost a full month before Sturgeon claims she first knew of the allegation.

Anybody who knows how Sturgeon operates would find it extremely improbable that a senior member of her office would be undertaking such discussions without her knowledge. It is simply impossible that the staff member would then go on to arrange a meeting with Sturgeon herself on the subject, without Sturgeon’s prior knowledge and agreement. So we can be extremely confident that Sturgeon knew about the allegation before 29 March, and very probably before 9 March.

It seems from the Sky article that Sturgeon’s defence is to call Geoff Aberdein a liar.

A Scottish government spokesperson told Sky News that Ms Sturgeon does not dispute that the 29 March meeting took place but refutes the suggestion that it involved discussion of the Scottish government’s Salmond inquiry.

This may be difficult for Aberdein as at the 29 March meeting the only other person present was the senior official from Sturgeon’s office, a person whose truthfulness I am by no means alone in holding in great doubt. But in his sworn evidence Aberdein stated that he had a teleconference to discuss the development with Duncan Hamilton and Kevin Pringle, both persons of considerable probity.

I was deeply shocked, indeed shaken, on Friday evening when I was shown a new letter from the Crown Office, denying the existence of a document relevant to my own defence which I know for certain to exist and to be held by the Crown – it was one of those documents, proving the wider conspiracy, excluded from the Salmond trial by the judge as “collateral evidence”. I am now just as shocked by the above Scottish government statement about the 29 March meeting. Lies, evasions, sophistry and denials are perhaps to be expected from politicians, but they are being communicated by civil servants, which says something about the degree of corruption in Scotland today.

I am very sorry, but Scottish politics are about to get very dirty indeed. The degree of penetration and influence by the UK security services behind these events must not be underestimated.


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180 thoughts on “Sky News Miss the Story

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  • Ciaris

    I’d like to say I have a talent for clocking wrong-uns, but the truth is – most of them are. Nicola struck me as a wrong-un possibly 5+ years ago, and I was correct. However, previously I would have just had her down as a fairly smart, amoral careerist, but I was mistaken. Nicola has a personality disorder, and is unfit for office. My suspicion is pathological narcissism – Obama is similar. I think anyone who is interested in Scots Nationalism should take a long, hard look at Nicola, and ask a simple question: is this person someone who is working hard for the stated goal of independence, or is this someone who is working hard to ensure the stated goal is blocked?

    It’s the latter. Clear as day.

    I welcome the Salmond come-back, if he is willing. It would be a hard task indeed, and he would be forgiven for enjoying his retirement. However, we live in interesting times. Nicola’s career will end in disgrace, possibly quite soon, but Salmond’s, I don’t think so …

  • Joe Mellon

    Look on the positive side Craig: if the Crown Service are down to denying the existence of a document which certainly existed, then they are very desperate indeed.
    If the truth outs – and it usually does – where does that leave them? Facing very serious criminal charges. If they had a better option they would have taken it: this is a Hail Mary play by people looking at their reputations, careers, and lives swirling down the the toilet bowl.

    • Joe Mellon

      …or putting it another way: a complete loser in poker bluffs high on no cards (the AS investigation): loses, then doubles down and bluffs again: loses again (the AS criminal case)
      Now broke and desperate he trebles down and bluffs on the third hand too, hoping for a miracle…

      > The degree of penetration and influence by the UK security services behind these events must not be underestimated.

      Well yes, but the degree of breathtaking incompetence and arrogant stupidity should also not be underestimated.

      • Blissex

        You don’t get how this works: losing does not matter that much, what matters more is to continue spreading allegations. There is a “cognitive bias” by which most people start to believe a story, even if there is no evidence, if it is repeated several times by different sources. This comes from village gossip: if one person tells you “I saw Jane hitting Bill” that could be made up, but if 4-6 different people tell you the same then “it is probably true”. The critical point is that they must be not just different people, but *independent* of each other and third parties. But how to you know that someone sent to all of them a “talking points memo”, of if when one says it the others decide to say it too because they all dislike Jane?

  • jake

    Sir Humphrey Appleby : Well, this is what we normally do in circumstances like these.

    James Hacker : [reads memo] This file contains the complete set of papers, except for a number of secret documents, a few others which are part of still active files, some correspondence lost in the floods of 1967…

    James Hacker : Was 1967 a particularly bad winter?

    Sir Humphrey Appleby : No, a marvellous winter. We lost no end of embarrassing files.

    James Hacker : [reads] Some records which went astray in the move to London and others when the War Office was incorporated in the Ministry of Defence, and the normal withdrawal of papers whose publication could give grounds for an action for libel or breach of confidence or cause embarrassment to friendly governments.

    James Hacker : That’s pretty comprehensive. How many does that normally leave for them to look at?

    James Hacker : How many does it actually leave? About a hundred?… Fifty?… Ten?… Five?… Four?… Three?… Two?… One?… *Zero?*

    Sir Humphrey Appleby : Yes, Minister.

  • Rosslyn

    All this article has done is confused people. Some clarification is required. All this is going to do is set Indy back. What has anyone actually done wrong? All this infighting needs to be put on the back burner. Salmond was cleared so now it should be all out for Scottish Independence once and for all. As Boris always says when shit hits the fan ” That is now the end of the matter”.

    • Scott

      An alternative way of looking at it…

      Blind belief that the destination for the SNP must be independence when all your senses are telling you otherwise, will prevent the Scottish people from ever achieving independence.

    • Blissex

      «What has anyone actually done wrong? All this infighting needs to be put on the back burner.»

      Tell that to the people who are prosecuting on grounds that to me seem rather specious Craig Murray and want to put him in prison.
      How can Craig Murray put a criminal prosecution on the back burner?
      Your invitation seems to me a bit like “stop hitting his fist with your nose, let’s put infighting on the back burner”.

  • NKVD

    One of the neighbours was denounced on social media for failing to turn out to clap for Nicola.

  • p wight

    please show a bit respect and refer to her as First Minister and not ‘Sturgeon’

  • Mary

    ‘Nicola Sturgeon: First minister investigated after claims she misled parliament about Salmond meetings
    Ms Sturgeon says she stands by the statement she made to parliament about when she knew of the complaints against her predecessor.
    4th August 2020

    An investigation has resumed into whether Nicola Sturgeon broke ministerial rules and misled the Scottish parliament about when she knew about sexual misconduct complaints against Alex Salmond.’

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