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

1 2
    • craig Post author

      The problem is that you have to change your perception of the character of the FM, and you do not wish to.

    • james

      Brian the only thing you know about “the character of the FM” is what you have saw on TV and read in the paper.

      • N_

        Thanks for that link, @Spencer. That is truly disgusting. I hope @Craig mentions it or even headlines in it in a future blog post, because it says so much.

        I have said that “clapping for the NHS” is essentially clapping for the Tories and Boris Johnson.
        It is vile social submission, and if it doesn’t scare people it bloody should.

        The very idea of “NHS workers” that includes medics who tell lies for drug companies 100 times a day alongside nurses who wash patients’ bottoms on crap wages is propaganda.

        And now there is a tartan variant where the “clap for the Leader” side of it is completely out in the open.

        How about a “Moon the leaders” event, some time?
        Let’s all drop our pants and flash our a*ses at all who occupy senior positions of authority.

        No?
        Well that’s how far we are from a radical social movement.

        Long live the memory of the Scottish workers who gave their lives fighting fascism in Spain.
        Well now fascism is coming here.

        *Worldwide solidarity against fascism in all countries*

    • N_

      @Brian, would that be the “FM’s” “character” as it is shown in how her husband Peter Murrell is fake, a “beard”?
      Even if one didn’t already know, it would be obvious from the way they act when they have to stand near each other for the cameras. They’re practically throwing up – “ugh, a member of the opposite sex”.

      Or what about the Edinburgh sex clubs the “FM” frequents, and what she is known for in that department?

      When she falls, it will be with one almighty crash.

        • Nick

          Bill mclean
          No dog in the fight but your ad hom remark to n is weak. If you can’t break his point down with a counter argument its best not to comment

  • Tout Pret

    The truth will out Craig. The Rev has done a superb job exposing what underlies the AS issue and the pointers to those who initiated the case. The Scottish press are mired in the manure and they know it.

  • Goose

    Who else in the SNP has this FM’s stature?

    Really don’t see what good can come – in terms of the independence movement – from undermining her at this critical junction. Polls are frequently showing a majority now favour independence. Nothing seems more likely to derail that inde support than an internal SNP putsch to remove Sturgeon, one that involves the SNP airing its dirty laundry in public. The MSM sure as hell aren’t covering this because they believe in transparency.

    Independence is the big prize, score settling can come later.

    • craig Post author

      Does it not occur to you that I did not choose the time when they are trying to send me to prison in order to keep this story quiet?

      • Goose

        What is happening to you, just like what is happening to Assange, is an outrage.

        But you finish with: The degree of penetration and influence by the UK security services behind these events must not be underestimated.

        How does anything ever change without independence?

        • Rhys Jaggar

          With the greatest of respect, I was being spied upon by numerous Scots working in England, the majority of whom were avowed Scottish Nationalists. They were bugging my personal computers, they had knowledge of my credit card transactions they had no right to have access to, they were tracking my mobile phone, they were doing plenty more besides.

          To try and make out that only the English spy and the Scots are moral upstanding Pope-like figures is almost as much claptrap as the reports Sky has issued described in this blog post….

          • Bill McLean

            I think you will find Rhys that English history swarms with spies against lots of countries not just Scotland but do you really believe that there are not agent provocateurs, trolls, misinformers, and outright spies from London in Scotland, the SNP and the Independence movement. I enjoyed the humour, or is it irony, of your preamble but to imagine that such activities are not being used against Scotland’s right to independence is downright naive! I don’t think for one moment that Scots are any more morally upstanding than other nationalities but England’s activities and it’s activities, under the cover of Britain, around the world are well known and recorded – even by the owner of this blog.

          • N_

            @Bill – if you pulled your chauvinistic head out of your a*se, you might realise two wrongs don’t make a right.
            When you see a Scotsman in a fight with an Englishman, you know what side you’re on, don’t you?

          • N_

            Admit it, @Bill, you don’t think an English person who lives in Scotland has as much right to walk along the street and contribute to the social environment as his ethnic-Scottish neighbour does, do you? I’ve yet to meet a Scottish independence supporter who does.

      • jake

        Interesting. I’d always assumed that the motive for keeping you busy and distracted was elsewhere and the Salmond thing was just a convenient opportunity to do so.

        • Bill McLean

          Sorry if i’m replying on the wrong post but I just wanted to say to “N” – you may be a racist sunshine but i’m not! My Englsh wife walks everywhere with me, supports Scottish independence, and knows well who the racists are! Stick you’re we’re all the same lie up wherever you’d like to! You are an ass!

      • Sue Varley

        I quite agree, James. I’ve been worried for some time now over the question of what is the point of swapping one totally corrupt regime (UK) for another that is revealing itself as equally corrupt in some areas at least? Do we ignore the corruption becoming apparent in the Scottish Government and justice system in our natural desire for independence (end justifies the means), or do we cling to the hope of something better arising from the opacity and unaccountability and wait for that?

        Although it just may be a moot point since Sturgeon has now said that she will not pursue independence until the economic effects of Covid are over. I suspect we will wait a long, long time for that since the UK gov will be holding the purse strings and pulling the policy levers that will dictate what that recovery is to be.

        • Rhys Jaggar

          To be honest, there is never a ‘right time’ to pursue independence. You either pursue it or you do not. If it really is that important, the hardship will be borne because the freedom was more than worth the hardship.

          You can say the same about Brexit, whichever side of the argument you sit on. The Italians will be saying the same about Italexit, whichever side of the EU fence they sit on.

          People get married often when they can barely rub together two hundred pounds sterling. They get married not because they are rich and prosperous, but because they are in love with each other, and believe that, rich or poor, they wish to spend many years together.

          • Little+Bat

            That’s a great post, Rhys. It’s empowering to read, and cuts through the walls of silliness set up around us, with all this propaganda and repression. The Irish nationalists of the Easter rising would have agreed with you. James Connelly said that he knew there was “no hope at all.” But he went on. It was of course a complete disaster, then redeemed into victory through the power of their sacrifice. “I am ready to fight,and to die, and to rise again.”

          • Nick

            Well said rhys
            You have an uncanny knack for cutting through the shite posted on here often.

    • Intp1

      But is it a prize she ever intends to seize?
      I think if she ever threatens to edge toward full support of actual independence she will be shown how the underside of a bus looks.
      Did you see the telegraph piece on her insisting that the new legislation could be back-dated to Salmond’s times in office and how she shared that decision with one of the accusers? 7/17

      ” I would like you to consider ways in which we are able to address if necessary any concerns from staff – should any be raised – about the conduct of current Scottish Government ministers and also former ministers, including from previous administrations regardless of party.”

      Previously, there was no policy in place to deal with sexual misconduct complaints against former ministers.

      The documents also show that a draft of the policy was shared with a woman who would go on to make a formal complaint against Mr Salmond and that the UK Cabinet Office said it was “uncomfortable” with this.

      • Hamish McGlumpha

        Indeed so, and this was referred to in the infamous Garavelli Tortoise smear job
        https://members.tortoisemedia.com/2020/04/01/dani-garavelli-alex-salmond-verdict-scotland/content.html

        – you know the one that most emphatically does NOT provide jigsaw revelations – but which nevertheless MUST NOT be quoted – lest our impartial, incorruptible Crown Office be forced to do you for contempt:
        “In November 2017, Mark McDonald was forced to resign as Minister for Childcare for sending “inappropriate” texts.”

        So I can’t quote it, but I can provide (above) the URL

        There is substantial evidence that the case against McDonald was concocted precisely to provide the pretext for the “Get Salmond” conspiracy to commence.

        • penguin

          Don’t forget kezia Dogface and her useless idiot supporter amar anwar repeatedly claimed that sexual abue was rife in the Scottish parliament and monica lemon sucker face was weeping all over the papers about her savage abuse at a labour function. She’s still not named the man or the event where this happened. S
          Some may say that it was all of a piece in order to provide cover for the attack on Salmond.

        • Mbiyd

          I have to say on a different note I’m surprised that the female journalist in her article talks about cybernats. That’s completely subjective. Wellwishers might have been more apt?

          In addition, the word complainants- that’s an English legal term not a Scottish one.

        • Louise+Hogg

          October 2017 would not have been a good time for Nicola Sturgeon to make sound judgements on the subject, for entirely unrelated reasons.

    • JOML

      Goose

      To derail the push for independence, it must first be on track. At the moment, I have zero confidence in the current SNP being on track for independence. Independence needs a new figurehead, free from UK influence.

      • Goose

        Even were that true, I don’t believe it is, but even if accurate, they’ll have to face their passionately pro-independence membership eventually.

        As seen in 1995 Quebec independence referendum, fail a second time and it becomes the de facto ‘settled will’, it’s incredibly high stakes stuff. Things would unravel quickly, the SNP would be torn asunder by rancour and division were another referendum(even an advisory one) to be lost. The UK government won’t grant a section 30, as you’ll know. At the very least the SNP have to win another big mandate at Holyrood and exhaust pleading, before considering alternatives.

        • james

          “As seen in 1995 Quebec independence referendum, fail a second time and it becomes the de facto ‘settled will’”

          Says who?

          I suppose the 54% of independence supporters are just going to go away?

          • Goose

            Look at the way the unionists cling to the throwaway ‘once in a generation” remark as if it was a sworn statement, back in 2014.
            Were another referendum to be lost, the independence drive would have to wait a least a decade or more to rebuild and go again; it’d be an absolutely shattering blow. And 54%, given all the UK state + MSM can and will throw at Scotland to prevent independence, isn’t in the polling comfort zone Sturgeon would be likely hoping for, my guess is ~65%.

        • JOML

          Goose

          I don’t share your confidence, particularly as it appears some within the SNP may welcome a 1995 Quebec outcome. That’s why I believe a new figurehead is required, to reduce the risk of failure.

        • Cubby

          Goose

          Quebec was never a nation never mind one of the oldest nations in the world. If you are Scottish your Cringe is showing.

          Why not just go for 85% even though Brexit got done on 51.9%.

          • Goose

            I’m not Scottish, though I have Scottish relatives who are in favour of independence.

            Apologies for that province vs nation comparison. I merely used it to illustrate what I believe would happen in the event of a second rejection.

          • Cubby

            Goose

            Independence supporters are not going away. Not now not ever. British forts placed all around Scotland suppressed independence by physical violence just as control of the mainstream media and Scotlands revenues today suppresses independence. But they haven’t got control of the internet.

        • Muscleguy

          Except Canada followed through on the love-in which they launched to persuade the Quebecois to vote No. Quebec got more powers, more autonomy which satisfied many former independence voters. That was what the Smith Commission was supposed to be but the format meant it could not fulfil that role. That failure means such a proposal will not be trusted in Scotland again. No Vow2 will work. Polls show over 70% of people in Scotland do not think it was lived up to.

          Also post that as the Quebec govt the PC went all language fascist with the new powers & English speakers there have felt like second class citizens. Now out of power they doubled down on the language thing and are sliding into irrelevance. The Unionists would love the SNP to go all Gaelic fundamentalist but they aren’t going to. That danger is for another PC Plaid Cymru to navigate. They must win over folk who don’t want their kids to even learn Welsh. Often English settlers who number a great proportion in Wales.

          If the SNP can avoid the mistakes of the PC in Quebec there is no reason why we must repeat their results. We are not Quebec. But since no love-in will be believed in Scotland means that means of winning indyref2 is not open to WM even if it were constitutionally capable of meaning it. Project Lie 2 is what they will use in the knowledge that we find them all hilarious now. They will just spawn twitter and Fb memes for us to chortle over.

          That is if we are ever allowed indyref2. The unionists don’t seem to believe Sturgeon’s kick it into the long grass words. They have kicked off already.

    • Greg Park

      Goose

      The MSM is frenziedly anti-independence yet it has studiously avoided any criticism of Sturgeon over the fitting up her predecessor. Why, given the jury’s verdict, are all the smears still being directed the old leader and his allies rather than the current leader and hers? Sturgeon is supposedly the main threat to the Union. How do you account for it?

      • Goose

        Even if secretly she doesn’t want independence, as some allege, it may become unstoppable as current events progress.

        And the reason the MSM hate AS could simply be because he’s on RT. How many senior politicians have made calls for him to quit the channel?

        • Greg Park

          No. They fear Scottish independence far more than they fear RT. My question is why are they spurning an open goal to destroy its figurehead?

          • Goose

            They probably fear both.

            Any platform pushing pro-independence, could become a counterweight to the BBC ‘s biased anti-inde coverage. The BBC played an atrocious role in the last referendum, as you’ll know, so of course, they don’t want a popular figure like AS with a platform like that.

          • Goose

            “You clearly don’t like the question.”

            It’s far from certain the media could ‘bring Sturgeon down’ and if they(the UK establishment) do have people close to her, for want of a better word, ‘spying’, they’d be risking those people being cleared out too. No doubt there are some people in the SNP, around Sturgeon, maybe civil servants, who aren’t committed to independence. Those people can’t stop independence though, they’re manageable.

            Having jumped on the bashing Alex Salmond bandwagon and made all sorts of sleazy accusations, the same media people aren’t going to hail his court victory.

          • Piotr Berman

            From the chronology of the criticisms of Jeremy Corbyn, I made some conjectures about “hierarchy of values” in the establishment. The first conjecture is that apart from trite stuff like riding a CHEAP bike, bad taste in sock selection (beetroot color? even so, why to latch on that?), the initial criticism reflected the deepest fears, visceral reactions. And they included opposing the Trident and NATO scepticism. Stuff like “anti-Semitism” was added later, NATO as a fighting cry would not appeal to Labour members, but anti-Semitism got some traction.

    • 6033624

      The entire AS affair is a gold mine for unionists. If he’d been convicted then jail time, reputation gone and everything he had been involved with would be damaged, independence especially.

      But we should learn the lesson of Labour. They have spent the last five years trying to oust Corbyn by deliberately damaging the reputation of their own party and causing, deliberately, a MASSIVE loss at the GE. They are on their arse simply because one part of the party didn’t like the leader and couldn’t ‘let nature take it’s course’ I do hope the SNP doesn’t do this, navel gazing never leads to popularity and when people like ‘Mx Senior Advisor’ deliberately cause problems you have to wonder if they are actually working for the opposition, no one’s THAT stupid. No, not even politicians..

  • Ilya G Poimandres

    Thing is, misleading Parliament only matters when the misleading is against elite plans. Blair misled Parliament to illegally bomb a country – he’s all fine and dandy, because his actions worked with elite plans.

    Nothing will come of this. I have, for many months now, tried to get my feminist, lawyer friends into reading your blog, especially with respect to the Salmond case, but alas, the side against him is ideological – the witch must burn, and is guilty, whether proven innocent or not! There is a fraction of the population that does not submit to critical thinking, whatever evidence you shove their face into.

    If you expect the rule of law to come down on elite plans, without semi-direct democracy, in our evolutionary autocracy, well, everyone’s a dreamer with respect to something!

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I do not know what sort of lawyers your feminist friends are, but ignoring evidence as a trial lawyer may tend to get you into hot water…

      Of course, if they are hard-boiled commercial lawyers who crush a counterparty to a pulp to make money, that is different….

      • Muscleguy

        The problem with lawyers is they can get all PoMo on matters of evidence and believe it is not the evidence which determines guilt or innocence but the arguments made by brilliant lawyers, like themselves. Thus they use this to ignore evidence which does accord with how they think the world works.

  • Republicofscotland

    Wings Over Scotland, addresses your unjust predicament today and the COPFS’s reply, and what can be ascertained from it.

    Reading your excellent coverage of the Salmond trial, I’ve come to realise that corruption and deception is rife amid the echelons of the SNP, and that the Civil Service in Scotland and parts of the judiciary are complicit in this as well.

  • Lawrence AB

    What happens if you produce in court this document whose existence the Crown denies, you having received it from a reputable third party, for example, Alex Salmond’s law firm? Is the Crown’s approval required before it can be tendered as evidence? Or is that the judge’s decision to make? This judge must have read the document in question since she herself ruled that it was not to be used as evidence. She can therefore hardly play along with the Crown’s assertion that it does not exist. Or can she?

    • craig Post author

      Lawrence AB

      Alex Salmond’s solicitors do indeed hold the document. They say they may not release it to anybody without the permission of the Crown Office. The Crown Office now deny it exists. I have seen it with my own eyes.

      • craig Post author

        This judge does know it exists. Finding a way to get the matter in front of her nose is surprisingly tricky.

        • Lawrence AB

          Indeed. It looks like she alone has agency in this matter (in practical terms – to try to get a ruling from above her or around her would be a face-slap and counterproductive).

          She needs cover; somehow to be given sufficient cause to issue a ruling, since the Crown has raised the stakes and she presumably does not want to incur lasting enmity. She has to live with these people, after all, in her profession. I hope your earlier opinion of her fair-mindedness still holds

        • IMcK

          Craig,

          I’m confused (which is not unusual).

          Surely logic dictates the Crown Office cannot object to the release of a document that they claim does not exist. Thus If Alex Salmond’s solicitors accept the existence of the document but will not release it on the basis they claim the Crown Office exclude the release of the said particular document, the solicitors and Crown Office are in direct conflict – mutually calling the other a liar.

          Could not such a conflict be resolved since the question could be posed to the Crown Office whether they object to the release of a document they claim does not exist:

          1. If the Crown Office does object then their credibility is lost
          2. If the Crown Office does not object then they are agreeing to release of the document, which of course (if released) would also result in loss of their credibility. If the solicitors do not release the document under these circumstances (and given they have acknowledged the document’s existence) then the solicitors credibility is lost.

          The credibility of the Crown Office and of Alex Salmond’s solicitors cannot both be sustained at your expense

          • Watt

            Astute thought process! However, I would not bet on receiving any straightforward replies.

          • Bayard

            Cannot CM ask AS’s lawyers to send a copy of the document they hold to the Crown Office and ask if the CO will sanction its release? They could hardly come back and say “the document of which you have sent us a copy does not exist”.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Can you ask his solicitors to email a scanned copy to the Crown Office to prove them wrong, with an open invitation to view the original if desired?

        It would then say that the Crown Office was wilfully dissembling, which a less harsh judge than me might vindictively rule as constituting a ‘perversion of the course of justice’….

      • Graham

        Raise a civil action for recovery of the document, Craig: https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1972/59/contents

        1 Extended powers of courts to order inspection of documents and other property, etc.
        (1)Without prejudice to the existing powers of the Court of Session[F1, of the Sheriff Appeal Court] and of the sheriff court, those courts shall have power, subject to the provisions of subsection (4) of this section, to order the inspection, photographing, preservation, custody and detention of documents and other property (including, where appropriate, land) which appear to the court to be property as to which any question may relevantly arise in any existing civil proceedings before that court or in civil proceedings which are likely to be brought, and to order the production and recovery of any such property, the taking of samples thereof and the carrying out of any experiment thereon or therewith.

  • Tout Pret

    Perhaps this “time difference” is the real reason why NS did not give evidence at the AS trial.

  • Mervyn Hyde

    Craig, What actually puzzles me is what Sturgeon’s gripe is against him, that she would want to destroy him. As other posters here have alluded to – is that the SNP is riddled with corruption and no better than politics elsewhere in great democracy.

    • Tout Pret

      MH – have you ever considered the possibility that the current SNP administration don’t want independence but are happy to settle for power ?

      • Lawrence AB

        For me, the glaring evidence is the presence of Stuart Hosie on the Parliamentary Intelligence & Security Committee. That speaks volumes.
        The ISC is about the most powerful committee in Westminster. It monitors the security agencies, MI5/MI6/GCHQ and the rest. It gets to see the deepest darkest workings of the British State. Therefore its members must have the highest possible security clearance and to get that they are thoroughly vetted by very, very top, those who sit behind the posturing politicians and run the ship of State.

        Hosie’s presence tells us the SNP leadership is viewed as ‘safe’, well under control, no danger at all to the British State, no need to Willie-Macrae anyone of them.

        • james

          They are all a bunch of pussies and not one of them is fit to lick Macrae’s boots.

        • Goose

          Who chose Hosie over SNP leader at Westminster Ian Blackford? The previous holder of the role on the ISC.

          This whole ISC vetting process, looks a lot like marking your own homework. Then tend to pick those associated with the right and/or authoritarian / hawkish views. Dominic Grieve, the previous chair was very much the exception.

          • Mary

            That’s Grieve, the Attorney General, who refused to grant a lawful inquest for Dr David Kelly and then contested the application for a judicial review of his decision. There never was an inquest. Instead there was Blair’s Hutton’ Inquiry’. A whitewash.The papers in the case were locked away for 70 years.

        • Gary Littlejohn

          While I agree with Lawrence AB about Stuart Hosie, I very much doubt that the ISC gets to see the deepest darkest workings of the UK state. The recent ISC report strongly suggests tat they have been gaslighted by the very intelligence services that they are supposed to scrutinise. It is a worthless document. They show almost no capacity for critical thought or independent gathering of evidence. They evidently got to see some material that was redacted but they swallowed a lot of garbage whole, surely more than was necessary if they were going to keep up the appearance on independen scrutiny. That includes routine reference to the “DNC hack leak” covered by Craig in a post a few days ago. Both Craig and Julian Assange are now in the same boat in terms of being victims of political charges in defiance of known evidence. Sky News this morning also carried an interview with a critic of Assange’s trial, but I did not catch the name of the person or his organsation.

          • Goose

            It’s a fundamentally flawed oversight process that loops back on itself. The PM is in the inner most circle, therefore ISC criticism would be reported back to that very same PM.

          • Piotr Berman

            It reminds me a presentation by someone working on robotics in Australia about sheering sheep. In the process sheep offer surprisingly little resistance, and we were explained that they are bred for docility, so you can clamp their legs, stuck a bulky electrode in the mouth and put on the special table for the robot to sheer the wool very quickly. The electrode allows the robot to “feel” (by measuring the electric resistance) the distance of the cutting scissors from the skin, but one could apply the same procedure to properly brainwashed committee members, so you would not hear “bah, bah” when not appropriate but only on a cue. Capacity for “critical thought” is also about the same.

        • Muscleguy

          The SNP as the third largest party are entitled and even required to nominate a member for this and other committees. That is what Hosie is doing there. He doesn’t have to have gone native and kowtowed to the Establishment to get there. The other parties would much rather he was not there and would deny him if they could. But the rules mean they must accept one SNP member.

          • Muscleguy

            And think of it this way, during the independence negotiations and afterwards rUK cannot pretend to some whiter than white cloak because we know and they know we know about all their dirty secrets. Post Independence a book can be written and published in Scotland on all this and rUK cannot do a thing about it. Think Spycatcher being published in Australia.

            This stuff is gold, it means they have no way to cover their blushes if we so much as hint about making it public during the negotiations. It’s like a divorce where you have snooped on your partner or have absolutely intertwined finances. There is no hiding or pretending except if you want to make yourself look foolish.

      • Rick McL

        I enjoyed this article. It was fairly balanced and refreshingly free from the more outlandish theories circulating here. So Nicola Sturgeon is a bit of a control freak – so be it. She sees capturing the more right wing vote at this juncture as key for getting independence over the line? – she’s probably right.

        There’s nothing there to intimate she doesn’t actually want independence, just that her idea of how to get it doesn’t marry with those who came before. Is she over cautious? – almost certainly, but the unionist wolves are scratching at the door hanging on to every word and action (joined by some faux-indy wolves too)

        Do I believe Sturgeon wanted to ruin Salmon’s life because of ideological differences? No I don’t. It was refreshing to see Alex’s populist neoliberal pandering touched upon though. As much as I like him and admire his stagecraft, he’s not quite the sainted figure painted here.

        As always, the SNP are a means to an end. Infighting and subterfuge will only lead to one place, and the Unionists are sharpening their talons with glee…waiting. Please don’t give them the bait.

        • Greg Park

          The Unionist wolves had plenty of scope to finish her after Salmond’s acquittal. She leads a movement they despise but they did not touch her when she was at her most vulnerable. Wonder why.

          • Rick McL

            The same reason Alex told everyone on the steps of the HIgh Court that there were bigger things going on in the world at that particular moment I imagine?

            It’s starting NOW though (that the virus has left the headlines) Any conspiratory ideas on why that could be Greg?

      • Mervyn Hyde

        Thank you Craig, that was enlightening. It also gives the global dimension to politics most people never see, or believe as conspiracy theories.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        So the Scottish people kicked out Labour and replaced them with the SNP.

        Who could you replace the SNP with??

        • Goose

          Post Independence, the SNP would in all likelihood splinter. Politically they’re a fairly diverse bunch; from clear leftists, through to the liberal centrists, and even a few could be described as on the political right.

        • Muscleguy

          There is a generally approved plan post Indy for all the leftists in the SNP etc to decamp into SLAB & reform it into how a Scottish Labour party should be.

          There is no reason, especially given their parlous membership stats at present why we could not do simply bring that process forward and make SLAB our Indy Vehicle. A very large number of former Labour voters who are now Yes would love it to bits.

  • Natasha

    “Lies, evasions, sophistry and denials…” is one of the key definitions of psychopathic personality & behaviour disorders, for which many psychological tests have been devised and in regular use by medical and other authorities to identify and treat people who display such destructive antisocial behaviours and personality traits.

    For example, the UK Ministry of Justice opened its 2010 “Offender PD strategy” observing that “Between 4 and 11% of the UK population has a personality disorder” i.e. antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). The report notes that ASPD “criteria are unlikely to have created a new population which is distinctly different from other prisoners transferred to hospital under the Mental Health Act 1983’s former category of psychopathic disorder.”

    About 1% of humans would be clinically diagnosed as psychopathic. Most psychopaths are not offenders, and even offending psychopaths are not necessarily violent.
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/making-evil/201902/what-we-get-wrong-about-psychopaths

    So, if as Craig suggests, personality and antisocial behaviour disorders “…are perhaps to be expected from politicians” then surely its time to require everyone who puts themselves forward as a candidate for public adoration / vote to public office to have their personality & behaviour clinically assessed by a professional and published for all to see?
    https://sites.google.com/site/flagenglish/why-we-should-psych-test-political-candidates—psychopath-test-all-policymakers
    https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/02/psychopathic_behavior_and_leaders.html

    What to do next?

    1. Gather together the best knowledge we have about human nature – as it emerges from the cognitive and social sciences — to inform the design of institutional policy, legislation, incentive structures, and regulatory bodies.
    2. Diagnose the current global economy to reveal pathways where psychopathic tendencies are expressed.
    3. Create policy-development frameworks that promote cooperative behaviour amongst people and with the broader environments on which we depend for our survival.
    4. Introduce incentive systems (with clearly defined and enforceable punitive measures) that enable our psychopaths to participate in society in a more beneficial and less disruptive manner.

    https://empathysurplus.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/how-will-the-99-deal-with-70-million-psychopaths/

    • L. Campbell

      Natasha: with you on that one. Have been saying the same for years. I’d extend to anyone in public office or who seeks to benefit in any way from public systems. Politicians are often manipulated by others, even more dangerous.

    • Contrary

      Natasha, I would certainly support that – clinal assessment of personality and behaviour. I have been trying to think if a job interview style assessment would work, before candidates were allowed to be selected – the interview published for the public to see – but the professional assessment would seem more worthwhile.

    • Yr Hen Gof

      One can have a bit of fun with Dr Robert Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist.
      https://sociopathicstyle.com/psychopathic-traits/
      https://www.businessinsider.com/hare-psychopath-checklist-test-sociopath-2016-11?r=US&IR=T

      It’s surprising how many boxes you can tick on behalf of high profile politicians, or for that matter friends and members of your family.
      I’d say our P.M. is a classic case but in Westminster he hardly stands alone.

      Our society hosts a much higher proportion of sociopaths, psychopaths and narcissists than one might imagine and recognising the behavioural traits may help us to predict their future actions and expose likely past falsehoods.

      As a family we suffer such a narcissistic sociopath as a relative through marriage; a woman who ticks all but one of Dr Robert Hare’s checklist boxes. If she is typical, I can say they will all lack empathy and conscience, lie with impunity, yet are possessed of a superficial charm. Very manipulative with a high degree of self worth, scary even, if not machete wielding and there is neither treatment or cure.
      We have been much affected by the behaviour of this individual over the last eighteen years, so have researched the mental condition in some depth.

      Indeed it has been argued that making a sufferer conscious of their condition, could make their behaviour worse.

      Robert D. Hare CM (born 1934) is a Canadian psychologist, known for his research in the field of criminal psychology. He is a professor emeritus of the University of British Columbia, where his studies centre on psychopathology and psychophysiology.
      Hare developed the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (PCL-Revised), used to assess cases of psychopathy. He advises the FBI’s Child Abduction and Serial Murder Investigative Resources Center (CASMIRC) and consults for various British and North American prison services.

  • Normski MacBorg

    Thing is though – the complaint that she mislead parliament – is really down to semantics.

    It would be possible to know a complaint had been made – but nothing of the details or that civil servants had launched an inquiry.

    They’ve smeared Alex Salmond, now they are turning to smearing Nicola Sturgeon.

    • Eye-Haver

      It is not “down to semantics”. The idea that Nicola Sturgeon – a control freak who doesn’t take even her own ministers into her confidence – would be the last to hear what was going on is a farce.

      • Marmite

        If the Salmond trial proves anything, it is that the whole issue of independence has become a distraction, a cunning tool to divide peoples rather than bring them together in the struggle against anti-democracy, privatisation and violent statecraft in Britain.

        I was all for Scotland just after Brexit. But now that both the English and the Scottish have an ultra-powerful common enemy, facing the pure evil that is the British state, I don’t know why we have not moved on from all the scapegoating and nationalist divisiveness.

        In the name of decency, and even law and order if I may use such fascist terms, we should be working on the ground to foster a pan-UK resistance to Westminster.

        The more I hear, the less sympathetic I become now to the idea of an independent Scotland. The whole discussion around that should now take a backseat to the much more pressing issue of saving the people who have to live in these isles from a dictatorship of the corporate sector.

        • frankywiggles

          By that curious logic Ireland should foreswear its independence too and join this more important struggle on behalf of English people.

          • Marmite

            There is no logical connection there. Ireland is not in the process of trying to separate. Very poor comparison, and totally out of context.

            Also, it is really shallow and inaccurate to say that English people keep voting for these governments. See N_’s post below. It is doubly shallow to blame them when they are so much at the mercy of the media, and haven’t had very good schooling. It is kind of like punishing the child for not knowing any better.

            I will concede to Tom74, and as I said, I was all for wishing Scotland well, and once thought the best way to damage the Tories was through independence. But that time is passed, I think. Should we really be so nostalgic for that past, or should decency across petty borders and walls join hands.

            My point was that you are not going to get anywhere in putting out a global-wide fire by fostering more divisions and distractions.

            When the dire emergency that is Tory power dissipates, and a modicum of decency reappears, then there will be time again for talk about separations and walls.

        • Rob.

          “Lets fight anti-democracy by figuring out how to stop England from getting the governments they keep voting for.”

          Lol.

          • RogerDodger

            As an Englishman, that is painfully succinct.

            I’d wish only the best to any viable state that could free itself from the pernicie of Tory rule. That is all any of us under Union are ever likely to get.

        • Tout Pret

          The fight for independence must never be surrendered to the lipspittles within.

          • Marmite

            A couple months ago I might have agreed, but now that just sounds nostalgic and extremist, if not terribly boring and only fit for a nineteenth-century dustbin.

        • Tom74

          There isn’t any way of fostering pan-UK resistance at Westminster – that’s the whole point. The system is rigged for the Tories and their interests, with the opposition parties divided and destroyed by the media and the security agencies.
          I’m English but wish the Scots well in their battle for independence. I hope that in time, when sanity has prevailed in England and Wales, we can form some kind of friendly alliance that benefits all our nations.

          • Tout Pret

            The reason for that is the English voted overwhelmingly for the Tories despite the financial damage wreaked on people with disabilities and the poorer members of the community. There was no realistic opposition to the Tories even after many years of austerity and Turkeys and Christmas springs to mind. Your comments carry some merit but they are nevertheless a sideshow to the main event.

          • N_

            the English voted overwhelmingly for the Tories

            No they didn’t. 47% voted Tory. 53% voted for other parties.
            The nearest equivalents in England to the SNP were UKIP and the Brexit Party. Thank goodness they only got 2% between them.

            Nationalism and xenophobia are on the rise throughout Britain in this the early stage of coronafascism.
            Today’s latest:

            * BBC encouraging white waverers on vaccination to see resistance to vaccination as something only neurotic black people overworried about racism do;

            * Boris Johnson saying he wouldn’t go to Spain if you paid him. (Will the BBC repeat Fawlty Towers soon? Britain’s reported deaths with Covid per million population is higher than Spain’s, but try telling a Daily “bloody foreigners” Mail reader. They might go straight into a “Manuel” impersonation.)

          • Cubby

            N

            British Nationalism has always been there and you N are an example of a Britnat. Neither perfect or on the rise but the nationalism that British Nationalists like you deny the existence of. But your own posts highlight its existence perfectly clearly.

          • Cubby

            N

            You say the SNP are the equivalent to the Brexit and UKIP party. The SNP policy is to remain in the EU but both the others are to leave.

            Another of your comments that can best be described as British Nationalist hatred of Scottish independence that is just nonsense.

    • Dave Llewellyn

      Except that Sky are reporting what was actually said in court by numerous witnesses. Witnesses that Craig and I both heard and saw . Both for prosecution and for defence. OK SKY are not telling the whole story but as it affects the one today its factual though skewed. Just because someone is smeared doesnt mean they didnt do it. and if you knew the name of the 4th person who attended the meeting any doubts you have would become despondency . A despondency many of us have been living with for months.

    • L. Campbell

      NM: I always felt that, had Salmond fallen, she would have fallen, too, by association. I must admit to thinking that they wanted both taken out, and that can only be the British State itself. The Carmichael affair was certainly an attempt to bring her down, but how far and how deep it went beyond the civil service in the UK Office in Scotland is another matter.

  • Republicofscotland

    So how do we removed careerist Sturgeon and her clique, along with £100,00k a year Murrell from the party who’s her publicity manager too boot, and get back on track to independence?

  • Steve

    I presume that your point about the document that the Crown Office denies the existence of, must exist otherwise the Judge in the Salmond trial wouldn’t have excluded it.
    It all sounds very Alice in Wonderland.

    • L. Campbell

      Certainly, a record of why it was excluded should be available, Steve, so, if that exists, so should the document somewhere. Couldn’t Alex Salmond help, or his representatives, Mr Murray?

        • Bayleaf

          Even if they can’t reveal its contents, Crown Copyright should not prevent Alex Salmond’s lawyers confirming the existence of the document.

          • Ian T-W

            Indeed, perhaps they could be called as witnesses to confirm its existence. Perhaps then the Crown would be able to “find” it.

  • Anndra

    Dear Craig,

    I just want to preface this by expressing my gratitude to you for your writings. I check your blog constantly for updates and regularly share your articles with friends, (though I’m not on any social media). Thank you, you are very inspiring, and a voice without which many would be lost in these times. I’ll try and keep these thoughts as succinct as I can, I hope you find the time to read them.

    I’ve been considering recently the value of fighting for the soul of the SNP, the English Labour Party and the US Democratic Party. As you often discuss, the parliamentary core of these parties, their veteran politicians and their ‘party machine’, as you often call it, have over the course of the past twenty-to-thirty years, fully embraced neoliberalism, and have shifted the parliamentary parties much to the right of the majority of their supporters. Attempts by fresh grassroots movements and their leaders to recalibrate the direction of these machines crashed in both the US and in England during the past year. Your analysis of the leaked Labour Party report has shown quite precisely how the ‘party machine‘ was instrumental in achieving this failure in England. It is obvious that comparable shenanigans have been at play within the Democratic party in the USA, and it appears that the Salmond affair reflects this conflict in the Scottish political sphere.

    One of the major obstacles socio-democratic movements have faced over the past few years is that their leaders never seem to be as deceitful and as manipulative as the individuals at the core of the party machine they are fighting for. This has been true for both Sanders and Corbyn, both of whom, while having wide popular support, were despised and ultimately eliminated by the parties for which they ran. The conundrum faced by those parties is that the leaders preferred by the ‘party machine’ are disliked by the party base, and the leaders selected by the base are unacceptable to the machine. Unfortunately, it seems like the SNP is on a similar crash course now, where if its leadership were to be challenged by a candidate that more closely reflected the ideology of the party base, the candidate would be destined to fail, not due to lack of popular support, but because the party machine would work tirelessly to undermine any leader that does not embrace neoliberalism.

    This however leaves an ever-increasing share of the population without political representation, a situation that is very volatile in the current climate of pandemic, growing income inequality and economic hardship brought on by years of austerity.

    As I’m sure you know, the Irish Parliamentary Party became obsolete in Ireland when a fresh, more radical party gained momentum, winning an overwhelming majority in 1918. Sinn Féin achieved this by being unapologetic in its embrace of independence, ousting the party that had traditionally lead the campaign for Irish home rule. The desire for devolution evaporated once Sinn Féin made the much bolder offer of an independent republic.

    The formation of a new party that is prepared to follow Sinn Féin’s abstentionist policy and that is unapologetic about Scotland’s legitimacy to independence may be the only serious option available to the Scottish Independence movement.
    The reasoning behind such a calculation is that, just as Corbyn and Sanders were unable to re-establish social democracy in England and the US via the means of the parties that historically embraced that philosophy, a battle for the soul of the SNP will eventually be won by the neoliberal faction that is now at its parliamentary core. I think many of those in the English Momentum movement, and in Sander’s movement will soon, and may have already, come to this conclusion, and will opt to form new parties in order to pursue their political objectives.

    A few months ago I believed that Corbyn and Sanders would succeed, but that prospect vanished in just a few months, with no back up plan and no suitable alternative. I think the idea that ‘there is nothing wrong with the machine, it’s just the people controlling it’ doesn’t work in this case, because even when potential radical leaders emerge or are elected, their own party’s machine works tirelessly against them. It failed in England, it failed in the US, and I fear it will also fail in Scotland. I don’t think Salmond’s recent victories in court can be transformed into political victories for the Independence movement if those battles are fought within the SNP. On the other hand, they have a much better chance of being won if they are fought within the wider AUOB movement.

    I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this topic. Thank you very much for your time and for sharing your thoughts.

    • L. Campbell

      Very interesting comment, Anndra. Food for thought. Perhaps it is less that the neoliberalism exists within the party machine itself as that outside neoliberal influences (almost certainly state influences in the present political, social and economic climate, the state being the preferred means of control in any system) as that it influences and controls the party machine through those who are unaware of how they are being used?

      • Goose

        V. interesting.

        Could it be that Sinn Féin are more wary of infiltration by those with ulterior motives and spoiler agendas given attempts in the troubles?

        The real scandal of Corbyn’s time is how he was in a position to do something about it and did nothing. When you read about the poor relationship between the LOTO’s office and HQ staffers it’s hard not to conclude Corbyn was either inattentive, cowardly or both.

    • Contrary

      Thank you for your thoughtful post Anndra, I don’t fear that the change might be needed, but I believe you are correct – I am saddened by what the SNP has become, but not so invested in it, or have any real expectations of any political party, that I feel totally disillusioned. It will be a lot harder for the majority of SNP supporters and a difficult time with difficult decisions to be made.

    • Dumb Unicorn

      @Anndra

      Reading your comment I wonderful had a flash of ‘what if’ – how different the world would have been if things had gone the other way in just three nominations/votes between 2014 and 2017. What if we had ended up with Bernie Sanders in the US, Corbyn* in the rUK and Alex Salmond in an independent Scotland.

      Theoretically it was perfectly plausible but in the reality none of them were ever possible because the ‘powers that be’ could never allow the world to change for the benefit of ordinary people. The defeat of all three was always, always inevitable.

      (*on a personal note I was disappointed in Corbyn by the end and not sure he would have delivered for rUK what people wanted, especially with the no-win albatross of Brexit, but it would have been infinitely better than the last two governments).

      • Dumb Unicorn

        Actually, if we add just one more vote to that and flip the Brexit result to remain, things would have been completely different. Personal financial security, free/affordable healthcare and free/affordable education are probably the most important things we need in modern life, even though many don’t appreciate it. After that, everything else falls into place.

    • Clark

      Anndra – “I think the idea that ‘there is nothing wrong with the machine, it’s just the people controlling it’ doesn’t work in this case…”

      Macrocosm dominates microcosm.

      These various party machine systems all function within a larger, more powerful system, and all are therefore dominated by it. The larger system is the global neoliberal economic system. Here’s how it dominates the US political system:

      Our democracy no longer represents the people. Here’s how we fix it –
      Larry Lessig, TEDxMidAtlantic:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJy8vTu66tE

    • Muscleguy

      ” Unfortunately, it seems like the SNP is on a similar crash course now, where if its leadership were to be challenged by a candidate that more closely reflected the ideology of the party base, the candidate would be destined to fail, not due to lack of popular support, but because the party machine would work tirelessly to undermine any leader that does not embrace neoliberalism.”

      We are seeing that with Edinburgh Central the arch gradualist Angus Robertson is fighting GRA opponent & gung ho for indy Joanna Cherry for the nomination. The party machine is trying to find ways to stop Joanna from running.

  • Kenneth+G+Coutts

    Hi Craig.
    Sounds a bit like yes minister, where a government official ,
    Or in this case the crown office denies knowledge of a document even though they have seen it , yet officially they have not signed as seen.
    In the Navy I had documents passed to me in folders in those folders was an attachment with all the names of departments
    For eyes only, to be signed after reading.
    This procedure also applied in big private companies with
    Government contracts.
    I know I was there.
    Still stinking.
    I remember Vince the weasel cable admitting with documents he knew well in advance about the banking collapse , yet officially the documents didn’t cross his desk.
    Dirty stuff.
    I’m hoping you give it to them the full exposé.
    It can only be good for Scotland and Independence.
    It will be a renewal, as it seems the SNP hierarchy have forgotten that the people of Scotland are sovereign.
    Stay safe, keep on keeping on.
    Onwards and upwards.
    XXX
    🐼🐼

    • L. Campbell

      If the document was not allowed to be lodged in evidence, it may well be the case that the Crown Office genuinely does not have it. All that will exist will be a record of the document and the reason(s) why it was not allowed to be lodged as evidence. In which case, over the Mr Salmond.

      • L. Campbell

        Addendum: ‘over to Mr Salmond’. If the Crown Office will not agree to the document being given to Mr Murray, then let’s get this in the media, all over social media, etc. If they go ahead with another case where the evidence is so weak as to stagger out on crutches, then they will be lambasted, and the Scottish legal profession will be held in contempt.

  • Dave Llewellyn

    Not only that Craig but on Alex’s acquittal he actually posted this on a live broadcast. I was standing less than 4 feet from him at the time. That broadcast mysteriously vanished from the SKY site just afterwards never to be seen again so to say now that they have just discovered is utter nonsense. I guess their lawyers have been going all over it and with Wings suddenly getting the letter from the COPFS I gether SKY now know that they are not going be charged with jigsaw identification even though todays video broadcast IS in at least two different ways . I guess its an advantage to pay a load of money to governments. It seems the law is applied disproportionately.

  • L. Campbell

    “…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…”

    Could it be that what we are getting is a conflation of Nicola Sturgeon’s two hats? One as leader of the SNP and the other as leader of the Scottish Government? I must admit to believing early on, that this had, indeed, been the case, and I gave the FM the benefit of the doubt. If she knew about the allegations before the stated later date, that could have been as leader of the party, and as Mr Salmond’s party leader, rather than as leader of the SG? The two roles are, by definition, mutually exclusive, albeit they might overlap. I can see no conflict of interest in discussing allegations before they become live in the public/political sphere to discover how compromised the SNP itself might be by these allegations, and to hold informal talks with her old mentor, as a courtesy. Indeed, you might say that Nicola Sturgeon, the party leader was duty bound to try and discover just how said allegations would affect the party. So long as she stepped back from involving herself by the date that the allegations became public property, or, at least, became live in the wider political sphere, I cannot see how she can be accused of conspiracy or of interference in due process. It is not knowledge that is the point, it is whether she had any input into the subsequent process itself, either civil or criminal.

    I must admit that I always found it hard to understand why someone who was given a sincere apology for a past incident, whatever it was, and accepted that apology at the time and went on to continue to work alongside Mr Salmond, should, later, have decided to make a formal allegation and complaint, and I take into account historic situations where time has passed. Some form of ‘persuasion’ must have taken place once the retrospective procedure, which included former ministers, was in situ. It does appear that there was some problem around Mr Salmond which certain people ‘required’ to be investigated. Once the civil procedure was activated, however flawed, the criminal investigation was certain to follow, rightly, of course, but the evidence for wrongdoing was simply too weak to stand up to scrutiny in a court of law, even using the Moorov Doctrine, which actually worked in reverse and helped to cut Mr Salmond. The trial was a massive mistake in more ways than one.

    I am quite certain that the SNP is compromised near the top by infiltration from the British State, but, as these things usually play out, the top itself is not normally party to that compromise. I am also quite certain that elements inimical to independence that are deeply embedded in the parliamentary party around the FM are being used to disrupt and cause division, and slow down progress to independence, but, again, it is, perhaps, a step too far to suggest that the FM herself is part of this, at least knowingly. I am also certain that Alex Salmond is a target, in or out of active politics, as may be others. If Nicola Sturgeon is implicated, we have all been played for fools; if not, and we start to believe she is, we are being played for fools; if she is not, but others around her are, both she and we have been played for fools. I have always thought that she gives far too much credence to people who are not necessarily the best people to give credence to and has difficulty in seeing where people have her, and the party’s, and the country’s, best interests at heart.

    If the SNP and the parliamentary party become conflated in the public mind, and I rather suspect that it is what the three English parties want, this could become a massive mess that will have repercussions for all parties. I think that the establishment has made a grave mistake in going after you, Mr Murray, not just because you showed no criminal intent, but because this will run and run, and, having opened Pandora’s box, they have let out everything but Hope. What they will have let in remains to be seen, but I think it will blow Scotland asunder in ways they never envisaged. It will become so much bigger than they could ever have imagined, and, when the dust settles, it could well be the Scottish establishment and the three English parties that are left lying on the ground, fatally wounded. Let’s Hope so. The ‘collateral evidence’ provided by this ‘missing’ document cannot be denied you, if you are to receive a fair trial and be seen to receive a fair trial, if you go to trial. If you cannot have access to a certain document as evidence, the trial will fall before it takes off. They should take a leaf out of the Salmond trial and drop the case for lack/inherent weakness of evidence. They should not have gone after you.

    • penguin

      That woman didn’t just revoke her previously given consent to being consoled while in an emotional state. She changed a cuddle into an attempted rape where she was hurled onto a bed and her clothes ripped from her body, before she fled in terror. All without showing any sign of distress to any witness or making any mention of this event to any of her closest friends for 6 years.

      That woman committed outright perjury while taking part in a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. The question is why she has been given lifetime immunity from prosecution and who authorised such protection following orders from which current First Minister and her equally guilty cabinet member.

      • Louise+Hogg

        ? I thought F was the one involved in the drunken cuddle and anxious complaint, later persuaded to renew a formal complaint?

        While Lady Godiva, who wasn’t ACTUALLY THERE was H?

        (Who had earlier been involved in a consensual, entirely legal, drunken snog. And thus may have had a ‘motive’. “A woman spurned”? Perhaps she hoped to oust Moira Salmond and move into Bute House? At some point..)

    • Johny Conspiranoid

      ” if you are to receive a fair trial and be seen to receive a fair trial,”
      What will be seen depends on what will be shown.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      On the collapse of the Civil case, Leslie Evans stood outside the Court and made a statement to the effect that while the Scottish Government had conceded on one of the points raised by Salmond, the Judge had found in favour of the Government in all other points. This was palpable nonsense as the Judge had pointedly refrained from making findings on all other points.
      Sturgeon went on to repeat this false line of mitigation. We’ve all seen Nicola thinking on her feet and choosing her words carefully over the last few months. The notion that Sturgeon is being manipulated by Machiavellian advisors is I’m afraid, clutching at straws.

  • Colin Alexander

    “In Scotland, SNP or no SNP, the Scottish criminal justice system is rotten to the core. Run by a rich powerful clique for the benefit of a rich powerful clique. And the financial Establishment are part of that clique, so are the politicians”.

    Part of a comment I made three years ago. But, nobody would listen to my warnings then.

    • Graham

      It’s only since the Salmond trial and the subsequent prosecution of Craig Murray and Mark Hirst that I’ve begun to question how the system is run, Colin.

  • Jay

    Be grateful the truth is finally dawning on one of the halfwits. Matthew’s report will put the fear of God into the conspirators, especially if other hacks start slouching towards his story and jumping aboard.

  • Tony O'Neill

    I have believed from the very beginning of this whole very murky episode that it was a conspiracy between the Scottish and English establishment. You Craig more than most understand how they and security services work, and to the levels they aim to infiltrate among their enemies. It is my opinion that the SNP have been infiltrated to the very highest levels.
    Julian assange, Alex salmond, and your self are very serious threats to those in power, and their fire has been directed against yous for a good while now. I truly believe that an independent Scotland is not only a threat to those establishments on these islands but even further afield.

  • Jennifer Allan

    “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 “

    If a copy of this was lodged with the Court by Alex Salmond’s defence team, then this copy should still be available, ether from AS’s defence team or available from the Court. Such evidence should be retained by the Court in case of an appeal by the Crown Office. ‘Official’ shredding of documents is illegal of course but is virtually impossible to prove. I did read about the sworn evidence of Geoff Aberdein at the Alex Salmond trial, and it was my impression he was a sincere and honest witness.

    • craig Post author

      Jennifer

      Alex Salmond’s defence team have the document. But as they were given it by the Crown on disclosure, they say they cannot give it to me without Crown permission.

      • Jennifer Allan

        Thank you Craig. That clears up something that has puzzled me. Since the document in question obviously DOES exist, I could not understand why the Crown office is insisting it does not. If this document is essential to your defence, then I do not see how the CO can continue to withhold this evidence from being perused by the 3 judges chosen to judge your case.

        I have been in a similar position in the past, when attempting to submit relevant evidence to a Judge led Inquiry into hospital acquired C diff infections. (I’m a survivor; the then Labour Party campaigned, along with the grieving relatives of victims,for a Scottish Government Inquiry to take place). Nicola Sturgeon was the SNP Government Health Secretary at the time and tried to prevent an Inquiry into this scandal which happened on her watch. (Like Covid-19, Nicola had previously claimed these lethal bugs were mostly confined to England and stopped at the Scottish border.)

        I sent my submission directly to the Inquiry Judge, but received a terse response from someone calling himself ‘The Solicitor to the Inquiry’, stating my evidence was inadmissable. This annoyed me, since as in your case, only the Judges should decide what evidence they are permitted to see! My objective in making the submission was to flag up mistakes in infection control procedures in hospitals and how they could be improved to prevent future infections. This was part of the remit of the Inquiry.

        I sent copies of my submission to the Labour Shadow Health Ministers and my own MSP. I am confident their nagging will have got this through to the Judge, but I felt very sorry for that poor Judge, plainly having NS ‘on his back’ for the entire time the Inquiry was taking place. The Judge’s report was released a day or two after the 2014 Referendum. A quick apology from junior Health Minister Shona Robison and that was the end of the matter. The following is extracted from the Inquiry’s Conclusions. I am pleased to say improvements in hospitals have since been implemented:-

        Extract:-

        “The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing is the Minister responsible for the SGHD.
        6.7 Conclusion The introduction of CDI as a HEAT Target in 2009 was an appropriate and timely response by the Scottish Government to the disclosure in June 2008 of the CDI problem at the VOLH. A rigorous inspection system of infection prevention and control should have been in place prior to 1 June 2008. This represents a failure on the part of the Scottish Government. Had such a system existed in the period from 1 January 2007 to 1 June 2008, its existence would at the very least have raised awareness of HAI throughout Scotland. If the VOLH had been inspected during that period the CDI problem would have been identified.”

        Do not allow SNP Government agents, solicitors or or any other spurious excuses to prevent your evidence from getting to the Judges. Since the Crown Office is prosecuting you, it is against natural justice for them to block important defence documents. I have faith in Lady Dorrian who would want justice to be properly done via due process. Good Luck

        • Jennifer Allan

          Sorry-I should have explained the central management of the NHS in Scotland is undertaken by the Scottish Government Health Directorate (SGHD). The C.diff Inquiry report states clearly, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing is the Minister responsible for the SGHD. At the time of the Vale of Leven Hospital C.diff fatal outbreak, (and several other smaller fatal ones in other Scottish Hospitals), Nicola Sturgeon was the Cabinet Minister with responsibility.

  • 6033624

    On the one hand ‘Mx Senior Advisor’ provides deniability to Sturgeon, even if it is not ‘plausible deniability’ On the other, if I am correct, ‘Mx Senior Advisor’ was the driving force in taking what had been a prior, and resolved, incident and then looking for other incidents that could be ‘weaponised’ It could be that ‘Mx Senior Advisor’ has more of a hand in this than Sturgeon does. Just because you are the leader doesn’t mean you can’t be manipulated and duped. I’m thinking of many episodes of Yes Minister and a previous life in the Civil Service.

    Maybe I’m being too charitable. I think the idea was merely to tarnish his reputation with rumour but it got out of control or perhaps ‘Mx Senior Advisor’ became TOO ambitious. Of course the result was a unionist’s dream either way. Either Salmond went to jail for a very long time, reputation in tatters and actual damage done to anything he’d ever been involved in (particularly Independence) OR, as actually happened, he was acquitted on all counts and the current leadership are under the microscope. It’s too good to be a coincidence. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, and I don’t think this IS a conspiracy. I think there was one manipulator at the centre going back and forth pulling strings and telling people that other folk said such and such when they hadn’t etc. I vote for Mx Senior Advisor in this role. But who knows, I wasn’t there..

    • Out+of+Affric

      If you don’t think that the UK establishment is capable of such a convoluted deception process, I would refer you to the writings of Professor R.V. Jones and others who outlined the techniques employed against the Nazis

  • Graham

    The Truth will out, I hope.
    So far, there’s definitely a case to answer on the charge of conspiracy, but I’m not entirely sure yet who the conspirators are, and whence they emanate. The Scottish Government from the FM down, are clearly in the frame, along with unnamed officials (who, I’m guessing, are employed by the Civil Service which is run from London); but you introduce at the end of your piece ‘the UK security services’ which again I’m guessing, is a separate organisation from any of the other players. If, as you argue, the civil servants would not act on their own initiative, who then, is pulling the strings of the UK security services? That’s rhetorical of course – no doubt your website is being monitored as I type.
    Finally, who do you think will portray you in the movie when it eventually comes out? If Tom Hanks is still around then, I would email him now!

  • Louise+Hogg

    So do you reckon the ‘collaretal evidence’ has been conveniently destroyed? Or merely withheld? Would Mr Salmond, and his lawyers be able to testify to its existence, if they intended to use it? Will they be willing to testify on your behalf?

  • Louise+Hogg

    Unfortunately I could believe, that senior staff may have been acting behind Nicola Sturgeon’s back. Sadly there is such a thing as re-victimisation. I could also believe that they may have ‘sold’ the ‘issue’ to her without naming names, and certainly without going into details. By claiming confidentiality, impartiality, privacy.

    Therefore I can also believe that Alex Salmond may well have been the one who informed her of what was really going on.

    I would LOVE to hear her explanation of the 29th March and 2nd April date discrepancy though.

    And, since I haven’t looked back to whenever she claimed this in parliament, I’d also be interested in knowing why she’d perjure herself over a date difference of three days? Was it supposedly so she could say she first heard directly from Alex, on the 2nd? Rather than admitting that she likely heard the gory details then, but an outline allegation on the 29th?

    If so, worth looking at what EXACTLY she said in parliament. Knowing what politicians are like for ‘the art of not (quite) lying’.

  • Richiard

    SNP are establishment, are people that taken in by government in general to believe they actually care about those who need help the most. They keep you in a box and make the rules, you are the property of the state. Government has shown it is not the way forward for humanity. Consider the money spent on tragedy, imagine the world with that money spent on a better future, better technology and wonderful cities, without creaking infrastructure. We are not moving forward, we are in reverse. We have accepted this as the “norm” because it has gone on for so long. There are no great leaders (although some might disagree) to drive humanity forward. Step out of line and see what happens. You do not have to commit an actual crime because they will make one up to fit you and no one will care because they will believe the lies the state tell. People have it in their head that if someone is charged they must be guilty. That mindset and it is near impossible to change that perception. “why would they lie?”

    Humanity at rock bottom.

    • Marmite

      That’s right. I often wonder whether all those dystopian post-1984 science-fiction movies about corporatocracy were meant to a) warn us about what was happening, or 2) indoctrinate us into believing that this is the natural state of things.

  • Contrary

    To Scottish independence supporters:

    Richard Murphy has produced a long article (also in PDF format) on Scotland’s debt – what we would owe on independence:

    https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2020/07/28/scotland-debt/

    He’s is doing this for us, he has no need to and has no skin in the game except his strong sense of social justice, so please read, ask questions and understand what it means.

    I believe the economical arguments are the strongest thing we have in favour of independence – it turns it from a ‘nice to have’ to something not only preferable but worthwhile. It you understand why it is, you can convince others of the same.

    Forget the SNP, for now, the politics will play out, it is us, WE are the strength behind independence, we don’t need to lean on anyone: everyone that can, understand what the economic arguments mean – it will give a solid base as we move forward to new things, and ensure our representatives are not leading us a merry dance.

    • FranzB

      Contrary – I’d say point 4. is a very strong argument. Perhaps Scotland should just agree to pay debt off the UK’s debt burden pro rata with any repayments of debt the UK makes – which will probably be nothing at all. The pro rata would depend on any level of the UK debt that Scotland accepts would be apportioned to Scotland. Scotland will in any case wish to maintain its bona fides in the finance markets.

      In respect of the economic arguments, which model would Scotland go for? Low tax Ireland or a social democratic scandinavian model?
      CM has referred to George Kerevan’s article, which indicates that the SNP is moving further to the right and adopting a neoliberal model.

      https://www.conter.co.uk/blog/2020/7/7/snp-at-the-crossroads

      • Contrary

        Hi FranzB,

        There is no real ‘debt’, and it is doubtful the UK would want to highlight this by asking for any of it… But yes, if it was so, there are quite a few options – so we can be flexible about it.

        Economic models: the precise detail will be decided politically really – so that’s a personal choice, but you are limiting yourself to existing ‘models’ that do not necessarily take in the reality of MMT – if I personally had a choice I would introduce the Green New Deal or a version of it, and progressive taxation that should go with it. The overarching – the macro-economic – awareness that Scotland needs (because we do not have existing systems in place, like the Bank of England or the Treasury with people that do understand it) is described in MMT, and means we must, should, have our own currency instituted at the very start (preferably) – then we have fiscal and political independence. Tim Rideout (an SNP member) has a well thought out plan of how to bring this about – and reasons why it is the right choice. The SNP leadership is insisting on going with the – neoliberal – Growth Commission suggestion that has sterlingisation at its core – that is not or should not be SNP policy – Tim Rideout’s proposal was passed as a resolution at conference last year. Why the leadership are ignoring this, I do not know, but for me it is a serious flaw.

        Richard Murphy is producing a wealth of You Tube videos and writes a lot about MMT – it is a fundamental thing that describes how the macro economics of countries actually work (those that produce their own currency – fiat currency) – if you listen or read what you can on the subject you can get a good understanding of why something like the finance markets are not something to worry about (on the broad macro-economical scale, and not really a concern for starting up a new economy).

        • Mary

          Whatever ‘the debt’ was pre-coronavirus, it’s larger now. But no worries. Rishi will get the printing presses going.

          ‘The Government has paid out more than £25 billion to furloughed UK workers, while guaranteeing nearly £43 billion-worth of loans to businesses across the country, new data has revealed Figures released on Tuesday by the Treasury and HMRC show one extent of the Government’s massive spending spree to help shore up a faltering economy hit by the coronavirus crisis.

          As ministers ordered Britons to stay at home unless they had to shop for food in March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised to do “whatever it takes” to support the companies whose business would be decimated by the decision. It meant launching three Government-backed loans, the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS), a similar scheme for larger businesses called CLBILS, and the bounce-back loans, which help out some of the smallest companies.’

          https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/full-cost-furlough-scheme-far-22276068

          • Contrary

            Our government creates our money – they are the only currency provider in this country (well,,, it’s illegal otherwise) – when the Bank of England does QE, they are just creating a big swathe of money that the government spends. What is the value of the currency? The value is in us wanting to use it – if we don’t, it has no value. All money is, is a ‘promise to pay’ (as is written on bank notes) – and the government, as the only currency provider, is guaranteeing that it will be paid. So when the government borrows money (via QE, money creation) it is borrowing money from itself, and can decide when and if it wants or needs to ever pay it back. They have injected ‘cash’ into the economy which is a good thing, and will ask for some of it back (taxes), which it wants to do so that the money does not lose value, but there is absolutely no obligation for the ‘debt’ to be ‘paid back’.

            If you take a tenner out of your own piggy bank, you then owe your piggy bank that tenner. How obliged do you feel to pay it back? If you are a government, and CREATED that tenner, from thin air, in the first place and then put it in the piggy bank before borrowing it,,, well. Austerity economics is a scam.

            The government can pay for all those schemes, all the furloughs and didn’t need to make it a loan to businesses – they could have paid that too. The benefit of doing so is that it still has an economy to run when the crisis is over, businesses are up and running immediately, people still have jobs, and all these things keep the flow of money and taxes moving, but mainly keeps production high. Destroying the economy in the short term because of a fear of debt will have long term and devastating consequences.

      • Contrary

        I will give a taster of some of it: Some of that National Debt that they keep saying ‘we’ need to pay back? It is your savings, and the money in your pocket… are you really willing to hand all that over?

        • Mistral

          Does it not bother anyone that the “government” forces people to use its credit and imposes strict penalties on anyone who tries to differ. It’s a monopoly on labour. You can only use the currency of a gov who use it for their own personal gain. Inflation: let no one believe actual gov statistics. Take a 4 pack chocolate bars sold around 2006, compare that with now. It is not the packet size that has shurnk but the value of your currency, it buys considerably less than in 2006. We are led to believe that inflation averages around 3%, with the money printing since 2008 i have to question that?. Who are banks and anyone else to say we must go cashless? they can because they have a monopoly and that monopoly makes everyone who uses gov labour credits accept it through zero alternatives.

          International finance will as in all crisis make a fortune. The UK gov is banktrupt. If not for its creditors it would not survive another day. These people write bad cheques for future generations, burdened with rising debt. When your country needs international finance that country is owned by international finance and said country will do as told, or else.

          • Contrary

            Em – of course the government has the monopoly on money (or credit),,, that’s it’s job. Whose credit would you prefer to use? You are pretty much guaranteed the government won’t go bust. Cashless makes no difference – it’s all just number on a ledger, or in the computer, anyway – your notes and coins are just physical IOUs (a ‘promise to pay the bearer,,,’). Countries that use a currency other than their own – that’s where you get runaway inflation, bankruptcy etc. If you use your own currency, you can’t go bankrupt.

            The U.K. Government has very little foreign currency debt, and it has very good interest rates on what it does owe apparently. The government is mostly its own creditor and owes itself money,,,

            If you start by looking up the definition of ‘fiat currency’, then read on to MMT – the Deficit Myth by Stephanie Kelton – you can get a fair idea of the broad macro-economical realities. I’m not saying you shouldn’t moan about the way the world is, but you will have a different focus on what it is you should moan about.

  • N_

    Nicola Sturgeon is a small-time crooked politician, working in a public sector where there is corruption from top to bottom – in the executive, the civil service, the judiciary, the police, the universities, the NHS, local authorities, anything to do with “enterprise”, and so on. Some find this hard to articulate, preferring to view this turd of a woman as a race traitor who is in cahoots with “England” to stitch “Scotland” up and prevent it from achieving its holy racial destiny.

    For some reason this view is common among those who stayed in Scotland doing humdrum jobs while their siblings got better qualifications and then found better paid work in Southeast England.

    • Yr Hen Gof

      All of which you accuse Scotland of; whether tongue in cheek or not, I believe to be true of England and most likely Northern Ireland too, I’d add in the CPS, Britain’s military and all arms of the secret intelligence services.
      In fact without exception, every office and function of state, whether described as ‘independent’ or not.
      Despite being Welsh, I cannot say with any confidence how much of the above applies to Wales, much I suspect, because if it’s not corruption it’s political incompetence on a galactic scale.

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