Made in the First Minister’s Office 265

The first piece of evidence came out at the Holyrood Inquiry today which I have known for the last year but had not been allowed to tell you.

The drafting of the new complaints procedure so that it could be used to fit up Alex Salmond was NOT a unionist scheme hatched in Whitehall and implemented by Leslie Evans, a UK civil servant. I have seen fellow SNP members give themselve false comfort with the idea it was Whitehall and not Nicola; I have tried gently to explain they are wrong, without ever being able to produce the evidence, although I had it.

This is the first morsel of a very great deal of evidence that is going to come out.

The adoption of a new complaints procedure that permitted retrospective complaints against former ministers was in fact cooked up between Leslie Evans and Nicola Sturgeon. LONDON ADVISED AGAINST IT. The Cabinet Office strongly advised that it would be “unwise” to allow retrospective action against ex-ministers. Nicola and Evans decided to plough ahead and implement the policy against London’s advice. They must have had a strong motive for that. Evans denied today that the policy was designed against Alex Salmond. I certainly do not believe her, and there is much more to come.

This is the evidence of Leslie Evans that confirmed this today. As I say, I had known this a long while but was not able to reveal it as I was pledged to confidence. The emails before the committee show indisputably in writing the Cabinet Office advice against the retrospective complaints policy. This is the first piece in a jigsaw, but it is a key piece. I have seen enough other pieces, too, to have no doubt at all of the final picture.

I cannot tell you how desperately I wish all of this was not true. I cannot tell you how desperately I wish the plot against Alex Salmond had indeed all been made in Whitehall. I cannot tell you how much I have hated the fact that my knowledge of Nicola’s plot against Alex has alienated me from so many fellow SNP members I worked alongside during the 2014 campaign. I do hope that scales are at least beginning now to drop from some eyes.

Put this together with Nicola’s insistence there can be no Independence without a referendum, and there must be no referendum without Westminster permission and a S30 order. Put this together with Nicola’s insistence that even discussion of Independence is off the agenda until after Covid and its economic consequences are past. Put this together with the NEC blocking of Joanna Cherry – which Sturgeon and Murrell were definitely behind. Put this together, if I may, with the attempt to jail me for writing this blog.


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265 thoughts on “Made in the First Minister’s Office

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    • craig Post author

      Funnily enough I feel Indy is close and getting closer. There is a cabal in the SNP which has been squandering mandates, holding Indy back and much more interested in pursuing an identity politics agenda. Once people see that, I think they will be swept aside and we will move on to Indy.

      • Big Jock

        What has Nicola been offered to delay independence? This is incendiary evidence. She is toast!

        • Muscleguy

          It might not be what she has been offered but what she fears will be revealed about her and/or a loved one (like Murrell). That rather than inducements would be much more like the UK state. If they can find something to hold over you they will.

      • Ilya G Poimandres

        I wish you are right Craig – that people will open their eyes and see. For my 34 year old ‘Russian optimist’ (jolly-pessimist) frame, I wouldn’t hold my breath – most swallow the lies hook, line, and sinker!

      • Eric+McCoo

        Salmond is no more interested in independence than Sturgeon. He was the one that did the dirty deal with Murdoch and turned up at the referendum debate with no policies for EU membership or currency.

        “Leveson said the email evidence from News Corp about Salmond’s talks with the Murdochs did not prove there was a deal to trade political favours for Murdoch’s media influence, but he added: “Mr Salmond’s readiness, when the subject was first raised in November 2010 and thereafter, to stand ready to assist News Corp is striking.”

    • BrettMurphy

      I financially contribute to and watch the discussions on this website avidly. From an Irish immigrant family yet English identifying person have chosen not to comment on the Devolution subject here.
      Given Craig’s begrudging yet honest admission that Mi5/Mi6 are not the reasons (mainly, although they no doubt have their fingers in much of the pie) for this assault on opinion and free speech. Maybe, just maybe this is the time to admit a much higher hand is playing a part here. As Sun Tzu said that it’s preferable to fight a war where the opposition don’t realise they are fighting, in their own backyard.
      Not for me to say who the entities are but maybe give Lukashenko a call, he’s been on the case all year.

    • craig Post author

      A number of reasons, but the most important is neutering the “independence now” tendency and advancing her social agenda instead.

      • Goose

        Could it be that he’s still seen as a towering figure and she feels somewhat diminished by contrast?

        His show on RT really seems to have put some noses out of joint too.

      • portside

        A brutal way of going about it, trying to get an old friend sent to prison, even against the advice of Whitehall. Very, very strange.

      • Wee Chid

        I’ve heard that the tendency to advance her social agenda is in pursuit of a Nobel prize of some sort. It won’t be for peace if the internal SNP war is anything to go by.

      • Lorna Campbell

        Alex Salmond himself was a gradualist and ‘played the long game’, Mr Murray. True, he did bring us the indyref, but he kept out of any leading movements within the SNP after he left office. I’m not having a go, just curious as to what he could have done that would have hindered the new FM. I cannot recall how I heard, but I did know that the Holyrood process that was drawn up and implemented was drawn up at Holyrood, and that Whitehall did warn against its use retrospectively.

        Also all retrospective legislation and processes lead to confusion and a mess. I cannot judge whether Nicola Sturgeon herself was involved in its appearance (such process was already in place for ordinary MSPs) and nor can I speculate as to why it was retrospective, when that would normally be avoided, but I do believe that she would have fallen, too, had Mr Salmond fallen (been convicted), and that, surely, could not have been her intention? The Carmichael case keeps coming back to me. The world would have crashed down about her ears, so why would she have risked that?

        That it might have been other loose canons close to her, I can believe, especially of one particularly stupid group who were always open to manipulation by powers unseen. There is also the not-so-little matter of the pathologically calvinistic, whiter-than-white red line set by the SNP hierarchy for fear of falling foul of Unionist accusations, which has led, on several occasions to a fall from grace and Unionist accusations, anyway.

        The other points I would make are that juries with a female majority are more likely to acquit in sex crime trials, and that fact has been known for a long time, both here and in the US; a jury verdict of acquittal does not in itself mean the the jury believed the prosecution witnesses lied, because we cannot know what they thought, only that the evidence was not sufficient to clear the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ hurdle, and they would be remiss in their duty had they brought in any other verdict if they felt unsure; and the Kirsty Wark programme last night was a disgrace precisely because Mr Salmond was acquitted and they appeared to be trying to hold a second trial.

        I had personal dealings with Mr Salmond some years ago, and he was very kind and helpful to me in my work. He was a touchy-feely person, but so are some women, and I never felt threatened by him. If he said he was going to do something to help you, he did it, in my experience, and I have reason to be grateful to him.

        I have a great deal of respect for him as the politician who brought us so close to independence. He did admit that some of his behaviour was not proper, but none of us is perfect, and clay feet are found everywhere. Inappropriate behaviour is not necessarily criminal behaviour.

        I have no idea whether there was a conspiracy to keep him away from the front line of politics or whether he was just very unlucky to be caught in the net of the new process for behaviour that, while, perhaps inappropriate, was not criminal. I’m a woman, and I know that guilty men get away with inappropriate behaviour and sex crimes every day, but nothing is to be gained by laying aside the presumption of innocence – nothing. The real problem, I believe, is that, often, men and women view men’s inappropriate behaviour very differently, but men do not have to put up, daily day, as women do, with mild harassment and male entitlement.

        Equally, nothing is to be gained by a programme such as Kirsty Wark’s, when a man has been acquitted. It is tantamount to holding a second, media trial to negate the actual, legal trial, and is, frankly, utterly deplorable. I have to say that the women, who used their anonymity to make their allegations afresh, fell in my estimation. They should, no matter how galling, have accepted that their evidence, and the circumstantial evidence, fell far short of the required suffiency or strength. It was, indeed, a trial that should never have been, even in the public interest, as both your and Mr Hirst’s charges should be dropped for the same reason and because you have each been singled out ‘pour encourager les autres’ – quite which ‘autres’ remains the question.

        • tartanfever

          ‘a jury verdict of acquittal does not in itself mean the the jury believed the prosecution witnesses lied, because we cannot know what they thought, only that the evidence was not sufficient to clear the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ hurdle,’

          – Did you follow Craig’s reporting during the trial ? Because if you did, I’m not sure how you could write this.

          • Lorna Campbell

            I was writing in the general, not the particular, tartanfever. Have you ever sat through a rape trial? If you have, I’m not sure how you could write that.

            I have never claimed to know what a jury thought, and neither should you, or anyone else. Juries are directed by the sitting judge to make their decision on the facts and only the facts. I have always maintained that the evidence was insufficient and too weak for a trial to take place and that it should have been dropped. Normally, the Moorov Doctrine helps to build up a case, to make the main accusation more plausible through attaching other offences to it; in this instance, it diminished the alleged main accusation because of the weakness of the rest of the evidence and because the main alleged accusation was open to he said/she said, and because no supporting evidence could be found to corroborate the woman’s allegation, it fell. No one can possibly know either what happened between two people who dispute the facts or what was in the minds of the jury members. Evidence alone, circumstantial and corroborative, must be decided upon. Mr Salmond was acquitted. End of. The Kirsty Wark programme was a media trial after the acquittal and was, therefore, despicable.

          • Penguin

            Woman H stated UNDER OATH, that she was in Bute house, with her GINGER HAIR, while WEARING A DRESS, and has her ARM IN A CAST.

            The PROSECUTION WITNESS, on her side remember, identified her as a BRUNETTE, who was WEARING JEANS, and strangely didn’t notice the BROKEN ARM!

            The woman lied. Not an if, but or maybe about it. She is guilty of perjury but has been given lifetime immunity from prosecution thanks to sturgeon having a word with wolfie.

          • Lorna Campbell

            PENGUIN: where was the CCTV evidence that she was there or not there? Are we to believe that the residence of the FM is not covered by CCTV or that no CCTV exists anywhere near Bute House? Where was the ledger into which all persons have to sign and which either should have contained her signature or did not contain her signature? Are we to believe that there is no ledger, when signing in is common practice in most such places? Where was the invitation list for the occasion? Are we to believe that there was no invitation list? Was it a private party or an official one, how many persons attended? None of these questions have ever been asked or answered, to my knowledge. Please don’t start having a go. I do my own thinking, mate.

            To rely solely on evidence of witnesses appears to me to be very strange, and only really resorted to when there is no other, corroborating evidence, or when it is the best evidence available. Witnesses’ visual recollections are notoriously questionable, and, here, we had one side claiming she was there and the other claiming she wasn’t, so, he said/she said, no? If she lied, so did the witness or he/she was was mistaken either way. Are you claiming that all the witnesses lied? We know they didn’t because Mr Salmond himself admitted to some of the inappropriate behaviour. That some of the behaviour was trivial, I’d agree, and certainly did not warrant a criminal trial, and should have been handled by the women themselves or by reporting to a line manager or some such.

            I also find it incredible that two of the women – with the two more serious allegations – accepted an apology (for what?) and then went on to allege a criminal action, having been given the opportunity to continue to work with Mr Salmond or to move to another position, presumably at the same pay grade and with the same status. Over-egging the pud is not lying per se, albeit, it comes close. What I find absolutely incredible is that the residence of the First Minister of Scotland was so lax in its record-keeping, so much so that no written records or CCTV footage have appeared, or, at least, none that I heard of. You may know better. Moreover, almost all female (and male, incidentally) alleged victims of sexual assaults are granted lifetime immunity. It is a matter of course. There is enough around this case to fill a roomful of books, so it does no good to speculate and make judgements on what we don’t know, and cannot possibly KNOW for fact. I have stated that I like and respect the former FM, and have reason to be grateful to him in a professional capacity, but I will not be partisan, like the Unionists. That does him no good at all, and it does Mr Murray no good either.

        • Easygoing Onlooker

          ‘I’m a woman, and I know that guilty men get away with inappropriate behaviour and sex crimes every day…’

          So do women. Could tell you a few dealings with sleazy women, in work and in public, of my own. The one-sided hypocrisy of the whole ‘innocent women’ defence has grown tired and disgusting.

          • Lorna Campbell

            Do you people not distinguish between the general and the particular? Did I argue otherwise? What is this? Don’t let the wee wummin speak day? I have never, ever claimed that all women are all innocent all the time, and the ‘honey trap’ is the favoured method of taking down or compromising a man with power, but, hey, nothing to do with men, eh? It’s a honey trap for a reason: it works. Look, Casual, the facts speak for themselves as far as sex crimes go. We know that fewer than 10% of all sexual assaults are reported If you know differently and that men are disproportionately attacked by women, then quote the figures. I do not, and never have, claimed that the women did or did not lie. No one actually knows that except the people involved. All I do know is that the verdict was not guilty and Alex Salmond was acquitted. That is that for me. I believe in the presumption of innocence. I believe that when the verdict is reached, unless new and damning evidence to the contrary comes to the fore, that is that.

          • bevin

            “We know that fewer than 10% of all sexual assaults are reported.”
            How on earth can we know that?

          • glenn_uk

            B: ” How on earth can we know that?

            Because it comes from the same impeccable sources that tell us we use less than 10% of our brain.

        • Tollcross

          Lorna, thanks for your post. You’ve reminded us that reality is a lot more nuanced than we sometimes care to admit. Only hope everybody takes it on board and we can all move forward together rather than bickering about details.

          • Lorna Campbell

            Tollcross: thank you. As a long-term independence supporter, I have seen both the former FM and the present FM in their political niches in all kinds of circumstances. An open mind is always best, but I try to remember that everyone has feet of clay, and that includes me. As far as I am concerned, the evidence at Mr Salmond’s trial was weak and insufficient and there should never have been a trial. I stick by that, but I do understand the notion of ‘public interest’. What a mess.

            I hope that Mr Murray’s and Mr Hirst’s cases are dropped before too long for precisely the same reasons: weak and insufficient evidence; and the fact that they have been singled out when others have done the same thing. I believe it was almost impossible for anyone to write about the trial and the circumstances surrounding it, without giving away information. However, I would also like to think that, when the Crown Prosecution talks of ‘the public’, they mean the ‘the wider public’, most of who would not have a clue, so it seems to me to be wholly academic, anyway, and rather pointless, very much like the Salmond trial.

        • Willie Hogg

          The reasonable doubt hurdle does not apply as the jury had three choices guilty, not guilty and not proven. If they were in doubt they would have returned twelve not proven rather than the one they did.
          With regard to the moorovian doctrine the defence were not allowed to lead evidence of collusion.

          • Lorna Campbell

            Willie: the Moorov Doctrine has nothing to do with collusion. It is used to show that other, perhaps lesser, allegations are suggestive of behaviour. In Mr Salmond case, it worked against the prosecution because the other offences were of such a trivial nature that they threw doubt on the two more serious allegations, particularly the one of attempted rape. The subsequent behaviour of the women involved, by choosing to remain working with Mr Salmond, also threw doubt on the seriousness of their allegations. We can never say that the jury believed the witnesses lied because we do not KNOW what they thought. They must have decided, however, that the evidential facts laid before them were of such a weak and insufficient nature as to render a verdict of guilty beyond reasonable doubt impossible, and in that, I would concur. That does not mean either that Mr Salmond was guilty but got away with it. It means that a not guilty verdict was the only one possible on the evidence.

            Even the ‘collusion’ theory becomes questionable when you think about the circumstances: women alleging misconduct of a sexual nature will almost certainly discuss their experiences if they all work in the same environment. I do not find anything strange in that. I am not saying there was no collusion. I am saying there may be discussions of experiences between colleagues that does not amount to collusion.

            Had the women phoned other female employees of Mr Salmond in other offices to warn them and to talk about their experiences of working with Mr Salmond and of any alleged behaviours on the part of Mr Salmond, either ahead of the police investigation or to instigate a police investigation, and these phone calls were traced and used as evidence, yes, that would have been collusion.

            Neither, I think, is it collusion for those leading the procedural, civil investigation to make it known that they are doing so, thereby bringing forward other witnesses with similar allegations, but it would have to be on their own volition. If they actively solicited information about prior allegations that had been dealt with already, and approached the witnesses to get them to make the same allegations, but, this time, under the procedure, then that might well be construed as collusion. Two of the women, I think, accepted an apology from Mr Salmond and that should have been that. I could be very wrong, but I believe that Mr Salmond was to be dealt with under the procedure, but, when Mr Salmond challenged the procedure, and the civil case arose, a criminal investigation became far more likely.

      • A C Bruce

        Jesus! For that she would let him spend the rest of his days in jail? Ye Gods! Who is that woman?

        • Mazzie white

          Very true…
          This is a vicious onslaught and makes me believe in Scotland all the more.

      • Nickle101

        Only a psychopath would try to stitch up somebody like this. There is no justifiable reason.

  • nevermind

    what will happen first? Scottish Independence, or a united Ireland?
    they are linked, as the same old traditional vestiges of Unionism span both Scotland and Ireland.
    Looking at last nights fairy tales by Kirstie, I have the suspicion that your case will be ‘compromised’ somehow.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Please let it be an independent Scotland first. Otherwise we may end up with custody of the knuckle dragging Loyalists. There’s enough of them polluting the Ayrshire coast as it is.

      • Goose

        This whole messy business is a damn shame. …Almost as if someone is trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?

        11th August :

        Those planning to back SNP next May: 57%

        Support for independence: 53%

        Sturgeon approval rating: +50

      • Justin Fayre

        And therein lies Scotland’s never ending problem.
        Whereas the people in Ireland are slowly step by step learning to tolerate and embrace their differences, the people of Scotland are becoming more and more intolerant led by the Pied Pipers.
        I hold no affection for the Orange Order but
        1.I tend to admire their fierce loyalty.
        2. Most of their followers are not the brightest. A large majority are semi literate. To treat them like scum only leads to never ending entrenchment.
        What people regard as abuse and intolerance the OO regard as barrack room humour. Brutal perhaps but actually if you realise that they indulge in the same banter and slagging among themselves it is actually funny and in a weird way refreshing.
        Remember that there are historical precedents for the Orange and Green to set aside their differences and come together to fight injustice.
        I am sick and tired of the unending bickering.
        Time to grow up and stop treating decent people like shite.

        • Leonard Young

          “I hold no affection for the Orange Order but
          1.I tend to admire their fierce loyalty.”

          The problem with “fierce” loyalty is that it is based on, or leads to, the worst kind of tribalism, usually violence, certainly utter intolerance and always an obsession with the past. So having absorbed that, are you still in admiration?

          • Justin Fayre

            Alas its a lot more nuanced than that.
            Imagine your a teenager brought up in a family with OO heritage. You idolise your father and grandfather both ex servicemen and hard workers and probably war heroes.
            Loyalty to the Queen as Head of State is inbred into their DNA.
            By treating these people like scum you risk losing potential converts.
            Believe it or not there were members of the OO who were persuaded by reason until certain Individuals poisoned the well.

    • Gary Littlejohn

      I too am very angry at Kirsty Wark’s programme on BBC1 TV yesterday evening, but it was not fairy tales. It was a cleverly concocted set of omissions combined with sometimes quite correct statements, and then coupled with smears and a bid for the sympathy vote for women whose testimony had evidently been at least in part discredited. For example, Kirsty Wark stated that the testimony of Woman H had been contradicted by a friend without commenting on how comprehensive and definitive that repudiation of H’s testimony had been.

      • Wee Chid

        She also made a statement which enabled me to discover the identity of one of the women. something I hadn’t been able to piece together from anything Craig printed. I await her imminent prosecution.

  • Peter Moritz

    They learned intrigue from the best, but missed the advice to be careful when using it wisely to the best effect – or when not to proceed at all.
    I hope for your and Alex sake it will bite them in their collective arses, unfortunately it all will reflect very badly on the SNP and not only on the “leadership.

  • DiggerUK

    Last night I watched Kirsty Wark present a BBC4 documentary “The Trial of Alex Salmond”.
    It followed the narrative to date of highlighting the allegations and testimony against him;;; with what I saw as a twist…… gave some insight in to the fact that there was in fact a defence presented, a defence that meant no guilty verdicts were returned.
    Now forgive me if I’m wrong, but this wasn’t the Kirsty Wark we have all grown to ‘love and respect’ because of her quest for facts and the truth. She seemed to be covering her backside at the end with what I recall was “there’s more to this to come out”…_

    Anybody else see the correlation between that documentary last night and today’s revelations as reported here…_

    • DiggerUK

      Sorry, it was on BBC2……and it contains some upsetting scenes. But they don’t say who it might upset…_

    • Gary Littlejohn

      Yes absolutely. It was an establishment attempt to shape the narrative just as very awkward evidence is abou to come out. Sorry to get the channel wrong in an earlier comment. By the way, Kirsty is by no means always keen to get at the truth, or may fail to understand quite complex situations, even in her own home town. She is often under-prepared and analytically weak when on Newsnight, in my view.

      • DiggerUK

        Whatever the original aim of the trial, the agenda has quite possibly been totally revised. I am suspicious that Sturgeon did indeed want to bury the Salmond faction. Problem is that the whole narrative from here on is possibly out of the hands of both Salmond and Sturgeon. Hence ‘honest’ Kirsty to the fore.

        The whole monolith of a single powerful nationalist party for Scotland could be wiped out, there is more possibility of a meltdown in to rival parties than a ‘New’ Scottish National Party under Blairite Sturgeon, or a return to ‘true’ independence campaigning by ‘Momentum’ Salmond…_

      • Leonard Young

        I think you are being far too forgiving of Wark. I realised which side of the toast she buttered after the Glenn Greenwald interview about Snowdon. Since that moment I have nothing but contempt, yet would alter that view if she made a single attempt to make amends, but she slides inexorably into the establishment pit.

        • Penguin

          You missed her screaching like a fishwife at Salmond in 2007 after he’d kicked her friend, holiday companion (and probable lover) Union Jock McFondle out of office?

          Or her part in the Parliament building disaster? The labour quisling who said this, “if we were worried about the cost then we’d have ended up with a shed” That was my money she was burning, before trousering another few million to make a film about it.

          Now there was a politician who abused his office for sexual gratification, before his affronted wife was given a sinecure at the public expense, and now sits in the house of ill-repute for £300 a day. It is never mentioned when he crawls out from under his rock. Strange that.

      • Northern+Sole

        An acquaintance of mine once told me that she tried to jump the queue at Mellis’s cheese shop on Great Western Road. When challenged by my acquaintance (who has a physical disability) she stormed out of the shop in a fit of pique.

        Kirsty Wark epitomises the self entitlement of the upper middle classes and, as such, should be laughed at and told to get to the back of the queue. These champagne “socialists” are beneath contempt.

    • Steeve Greene

      Kirsty’s cheap dyejob was especially impressive.
      Really gave her that reamed-out, two-dollar whore vibe.
      Pretty standard BBC Mind Control Product.

  • HorizonT

    Craig, thanks for this.

    I don’t want to argue this possibility one way or the other, but I do want to raise it, because what hangs on what you have reported here is huge.

    Suppose that London DID recommend permitting retrospective complaints against former ministers, indirectly, but having plausible deniability? Evans now tells us that London did not recommend – Craig Murray shown the plausible evidence London recommended against.

    Result: Sturgeon deeply slimed, SNP damaged, Indy movement forked.

    If I am arguing for anything, it is for keep the heid time, for thinking deeply about the best interests of Scotland and not reacting too hastily.

    • Goose

      Careful, or you’ll have folks claiming Craig is a deep cover independence saboteur.

      That would be a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma stuff.

      • HorizonT

        Which I would not want. Craig I accept as genuine, but then the motivation to get Craig to get hold of the wrong end of this and disrupt the Indy side would be quite high. Having said that, the Salmond trial has raised huge doubts for me over the conduct of the interface between the SNP and the Scottish government.

        • Goose

          He’s 100% genuine, of course.

          Terrible timing though, isn’t it. As if Ruth Davidson is writing the script.

          My take…
          After the setback in 2017’s GE I think Sturgeon and the SNP felt stung by their unionist opponents’ attack lines, that they[ the SNP] were ‘banging on about independence’ to the exclusion of Scottish domestic matters, which, according to the unionists were being neglected.

          They seem to have oversteered in response however, by virtually going silent on independence. Although, it’s working, insomuch as the polls show unionists feel comfortable voting SNP – and the 2019 GE results were stellar backing up the strategy. And therein lies a dilemma.

          • HorizonT

            I agree – I have felt for quite a while that Sturgeon has allowed her thinking and action to be framed by Davidson’s ‘Day job’ jibe. As luck would have it, that seems to have turned out quite well, given the pandemic.

          • Goose

            At some point Sturgeon is going to need to bank that hard won unionist support (trust) if they’re going to get independence over the line. It may be a naive opinion, but I honestly believe the silence is strategic, and not because secret clique in the SNP has secretly abandoned independence. Frustrating as that must be for inde supporters.

          • Goose

            You only have to read Alyn Smith MP’s leaked email. Smith was widely accused of being one of the obstacles:

            …equalities are close to my heart, but not as close as independence.

          • Goose

            Just to be clear, because what I’ve posted reads almost I’m contradicting my earlier post:

            I don’t think any animosity between Sturgeon and Salmond (which may well exist and have some history behind it?) relates to some secret plot or desire to undermine the moves towards independence. I don’t think the two are linked

    • TenaciousV

      I’m with you on that H. Just cos NS agreed on this part to be included against Londons’ wishes does not mean she set AS up! London telling Scotland what it should do ..Come in we are fighting that very thing now! I do not think NS would have been so pissed off with AS popularity she’d get him him jailed on false charges! (some others might) didn’t HOC recently vote against MPs getting same treatment in the last yr? They would not want Scotland leading the way AGAIN!

      • Clara

        Totally agree..until it’s proven inconclusively that NS deliberately went out to get AS jailed, then all this whataboutery regarding her own social agenda and getting a Nobel Prize does no one any favours, it just feeds division. I don’t believe that either AS or NS would do anything to harm the independence movement.

        Yes it could be said that she’s made some errors wrt waiting for the right moment and has been overly cautious, but I don’t think she is secretly plotting to never have another referendum. If anyone on here has evidence of that rather than innuendo then I’ll accept the fact we’re all getting taken for mugs.

        • Ilya G Poimandres

          She supported the blatantly facetious campaign against Salmond in court. Or at the least, she stood by and let it happen.

          So she is not seen as actively drowning a friend, but she sure let them drown when she could have helped.

          She is complicit enough for me, especially after the acquittal, since she has not made any public moves towards the man proven innocent.

          • Penguin

            She is a worm who apologised to the “victims” when she lost the first case against Salmond. A worm who joined in the whole #believeher shite over the Kavanaugh case. A woman who chose to publicise one of their tame rape charities on the same day that Salmond launched his crowd-funder. A worm who threw Salmond, Hay, Hanvey, Thomson, Grousebeater, and a thousand others to the wolves to appease the yoon media and her woke-nazis.

            She is a coward. A coward who has rid the party of anyone who could present any threat to her leadership. A coward who folds in the face of any claims from the English media in Scotland. A coward who said she wished her party had a different name!! #

            She is a coward who refuses to admit being a dyke and hides behind her lavender marriage to her gayboy husband.

            She is a maggot. If she ever did support an independent Scotland then she doesn’t now.

          • Nick

            Agreed penguin
            The timing of her woke identity initiative launch to coincide with the crowdfund was the final straw.
            Anyone thinking that was coincidence is naive.
            When one can’t even be honest about their own sexuality and sham marriage,why should we believe them on other matters. Playing identity politics whilst hiding their own.

      • Easygoing Onlooker

        Remember when the first fiasco part of the trial was exposed, and the half-million quid was laid out by the SG? Remember Nicola Sturgeon apologising to the two women involved, and Alex Salmond, for the investigation being flawed? Well, I remember very clearly the women being apologised to. But as for the former FM…hmmmmmm…

  • Chris Downie

    Good afternoon Craig,

    I have always trusted in your integrity on this matter and have keenly awaited the final outcome. It appears this is getting closer. What I would say to the doubters however, is to consider the fact that, while Sturgeon has enjoyed plaudits from political opponents and media (often grudging, sometimes earnest) the actual cause of independence hasn’t won a single ounce of reprieve from any of them. Not one ounce. Why is that, I ask?

    Craig will undoubtedly have a more nuanced perspective on this, but at the least it might be because they understand there is absolutely no chance of a Tory election victory in Scotland again and are settling for an FM who is, at best, lukewarm about independence (I’m being kind here) as the next best option.

  • Out+of+Affric

    The puppeteers were successful in closing down the debate on the killing of the troublesome Willie McRae – when a hit man went rogue.

    The troublesome Alex Salmond could not be dealt with in the same fashion, so other means had to be found to (attempt to) discredit him. This became increasingly high-priority after his Russia Today involvement. The machinations behind such an action quite possibly involved the use of a fifth column in the Scottish Government (which includes Civil Service Scotland) and proven tame media practitioners.

    I believe there are dark forces at work, some of whom may have been schooled the old fashioned way – diplomatic corps etc. I am sure you know the type, Mr. Murray.

    Any attempt to conflate the political aspirations of Scotland and Ireland is obfuscation. Ireland does not have a nuclear arsenal close to its major centre of population. There’s the Achilles heel for any spook programme.

    • Muscleguy

      Especially since during indyref1 the Navy did a study on alternative homes for Trident in the event of Yes winning. Sensible contingency planning. They concluded there wasn’t. Well unless they complusorily purchase in the national interest adjoining Devon or Cornwall fishing villages nestled in steep valleys. Not as good as Faslane & Coulport but prob good enough. But the fight over it would be huge. Can you imagine? if Cornwall then a fillip for Mebyon Kernow as well.

      I think Scotgov should tell rUK to simply build enough bunkers at Aldermaston to hold the warheads & mothball Trident that would be safe. Not our problem where they put it functionally. We just need it gone.

      And anyway increases in technology mean the seas are likely to become transparent. Russia has swarms of aquatic drones which can be dropped where the subs emerge & follow them. Also Russian subs have a system which can detect disturbances in the water, from an otherwise silent prop or simply the sub moving through the water. It is entirely possible that if things get tense enough Russia will simply take out the US & UK subs in a coordinated manner.

      The Trident replacement could be redundant before the first in Class is commissioned.

  • Wee Chid

    “The adoption of a new complaints procedure that permitted retrospective complaints against former ministers was in fact cooked up between Leslie Evans and Nicola Sturgeon. LONDON ADVISED AGAINST IT.”
    There is no way London would introduce this sort of procedure. Too many former ministers would be wide open to prosecution. The SNP needs a good muck out if we are to ever achieve independence.

    • Easygoing Onlooker

      ‘There is no way London would introduce this sort of procedure. Too many former ministers would be wide open to prosecution.’ That’s exactly what I thought too. There would be nobody on the Westminster benches!

  • stuart mctavish

    If the procedure needed to conform to the fairness at work policy (which includes a reference to harassment claims against current and former ministers), as appears to have been stated in the clip, surely Nicola is off the hook completely.

    Ironically, being dated September 2010, the fairness at work policy itself was probably drafted under a (Brown) Salmond government before being implemented by the (Cameron ) Salmond government.

  • Matthew

    I must confess to being baffled by all those people who believe that ‘independence’ will solve anything for anybody. Whatever the system, it will attract the same kind of narcissists, sociopaths & psychopaths – all squabbling with each other for the keys to the toybox. Craig has done an excellent job of showing that with the Julian Assange disgrace & as well as these muppets in the SNP & their treatment of Alex Salmond etc..

    In the case of those who want both ‘independence’ and ‘EU membership’ . . . WTF is that all about? I suspect it means you get to play with the toys & suck up all the bennies without actually having any real responsibility – that will no doubt appeal greatly to the N, S & Ps.

    If people are genuinely seeking independence, how about an independent Glasgow? Those b******s in Edinburgh have been dragging it down for years. Or was it the other way round? Whatever . . halfway between the two cities will be a settlement wanting independence from both of them – and it has my sympathy. Whatever the form of government, let’s have less of it & get shot of the N,S & Ps.

    • Colin Smith

      That’s pretty much my view, with the added (dis)advantage that the separation process gives a prime opportunity for those in power at the time, their cronies and their puppet masters to loot the public at the the same time, dividing the spoils of current assets and future positions behind a fog of euphoria.

      The UK government is terrible, Scotland’s is dire. They are in a race to the bottom both for sheer incompetence and active malevolance against the rights and prosperity of the common man.

      • Matthew

        Agreed. Of course the real government isn’t elected at all – the ridiculous game of Simon Says that we’ve been subjected to for the past 6 many months has revealed the utter uselessness of our elected windbags – irrespective of rosette colour.

        The civil servants are running rings around them because the politicians are either too stupid to ask the right questions (& understand the answers) or they’re actually riding on the same gravy train. Sir Humphrey McHumphreys, with his gold plated pension that money can’t buy, is the real boss. People like Sir Mark Sedwill & his minions rule the roost, yet they get no serious scrutiny. The windbags are a useful distraction for them.

        Of the (*ish) government, what proportion of their cabinets & shadow cabinets have at least a decent degree in maths or hard science? Last time I looked it was approximately none. Mostly lawyers, PPEs & suchlike. I’m not suggesting that STEM makes an expert, but if they did it prior to recent debasements they would at least have a properly scientific scepticism, hence ask proper questions & have some grasp of the answers. They might, for example, have figured out that even an N95 mask’s pore size is a 1000 times bigger than a virion. No doubt some chancer is using the same mask arguments at this very moment & flogging chain link fencing to the *ish parliament for use as a fly screen. That’s the kind of thing I’d expect to see in the ‘race to the bottom’ that you highlighted above.

    • Prasad

      ‘Whatever the system, it will attract the same kind of narcissists, sociopaths & psychopaths – all squabbling with each other for the keys to the toybox.’

      Of course but we would be able to choose to boot them out (or not) at the ballot box.
      Not having any choice with every Tory government since 1955 is not democracy it is an invasion.

      • Butties

        “Of course but we would be able to choose to boot them out (or not) at the ballot box.”
        Remind me how we have not been able to do this for decades. The current system allows only one of the two same choices.

        • Penguin

          I see you are unaware of the existence of Scotland and a government which is neither of the two arse cheeks.

          “When we had a king, and a chancellor, and parliament-men o’ our ain, we could aye peeble them wi’ stanes when they werena gude bairns – But naebody’s nails can reach the length o’ Lunnon.”

          Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) Mrs Howden in “Heart of Midlothian”

          Now educate yourself or piss off.

    • Stonky

      “I must confess to being baffled by all those people who believe that ‘independence’ will solve anything for anybody…”

      I sympathise. It’s dreadfully difficult to see the difference between a country that is an outspoken critic of the Neocon’s destruction and wholesale slaughter in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, and the Neocon’s new cold wars against Russia and China, and a country that is a slavish supporter of same.

      Like you, I often find myself baffled as to what earthly difference there is between the two viewpoints, and what conceivable difference it could make whether you’re one or the other.

      • Easygoing Onlooker

        Mentally and emotionally the benefits for the Scottish population would be immeasurable, or at least for large parts of it. Who wants to be a slave to inbred southern fools?

        • Stonky

          Who wants to be a slave to inbred southern fools…

          …who themselves are slaves to overlords with a much more vicious and malignant agenda.

      • Susan

        Great insight, Stonky. I totally agree with your analysis. It is shocking how seamlessly the so-called ‘progressive’ community has lapped up and enthusiastically regurgitated the Neocon’s anti-China sentiment and rhetoric.

    • Fredi

      Indeed Matthew, it’s rather tedious reading so many comments from wide eyed earnest people who seem to believe they have some sort of fundamental ‘choice’ when it comes to governance.

      Zealous supporters of some arbitrary blue team or red, perhaps a green one, whatever, mere limbs attached to the same body, all their teams will lose for them in the end, those are the rules of a game that has been played out for a long time . Well at least it gives them some sort of illusion of having a choice, having some hope of creating meaningful ‘change’, where there is little to none.

      The devil worshipers agenda will continue relentlessly, the propaganda fed masses have much learn as we move into the control grid transhuman age, a cashless world, with a micro chipped population, one World governance, and drastic population reduction, are just some of their plans for humanity.

      Until people en mass realise the divide and rule strategy used against them for millennia is the only real obstacle we face the game will go on and on..

  • N. Holmes

    Nicola Sturgeon is looking increasingly deceitful and manipulative and if she is suppressing Scottish independence in favour of crap North American-style neoliberal identity politics (transgenderism and self ID is based on nebulous feelings, comparable to religious sentiments, and is in denial of biology and science and therefore is an affront to the Scottish Enlightenment tradition of rationalism, science and philosophy based on material reality) , then that really is unforgivable. What is even more unforgivable is that Sturgeon is pretending to be democratic, transparent and accountable when in fact she is the exact opposite. It’s interesting to see she can contradict London in private when it suits her to develop her own policy to fit her agenda, while her public position is utter obedience and compliance to what the Tories say about granting a section 30 order. She must go, and go soon.

  • Bobby McPherson

    I’m sorry Craig but I still can’t and don’t believe Nicola Sturgeon is capable in that kind of back stabbing of her friend and mentor. There’s nothing in what you’ve just written or what Evans said in that link that makes me even remotely doubt Nicola Sturgeon’s integrity as a person and as a first minister. I’ll reserve judgement until she makes her own statement to the parliamentary enquiry and until and when she either does or fails to hold a referendum in 2021. I feel we are being gaslighted. Just enough elements of truth to make us think she is untrustworthy and divide the YES movement, bring Alex Salmond down and Nicola with him. It’s a disgrace.

    • craig Post author

      As I said, Bobby, that is the start of the evidence. The first piece of a jigsaw.
      Why do you think the 2014 campaign’s most hard-working campaigners, folk like Robin McAlpine, Stuart Campbell and me, have all been forced to this same conclusion?
      If you don’t believe what I say, I suggest you find another website. People who call me a liar are not welcome here.

      • kitbee

        Craig -I don’t think Bobby is trying to call you a liar- he is finding this difficult to believe that’s all. It may be true yet difficult to believe.

        • Stonky

          Sigh… I appreciate that Craig can be somewhat prickly.

          But he has stated on several occasions, both factually and figuratively, that he knows that Sturgeon was a prime mover in the plot against AS, and that he has seen proof that this was the case.

          So if you come onto his blog with some mealy-mouthed mumbling that you “just don’t believe it…” and that you have “no reason to doubt her integrity…” then you are effectively calling him a liar.

          • Rev. Stuart Campbell

            Not warranted?

            “I feel we are being gaslighted. Just enough elements of truth to make us think she is untrustworthy and divide the YES movement, bring Alex Salmond down and Nicola with him. It’s a disgrace.”

            That’s pretty much a direct accusation that Craig is a saboteur working for the UK.

      • Goose

        Craig, it’s possible to believe there is bad blood between Sturgeon and Salmond and that is the limit of it i.e., extrapolating that out to some conspiracy within the SNP to thwart independence seems a stretch.

        Maybe with some historical context to the long Sturgeon-Salmond relationship? – Salmond admitted he is far from the perfect gentleman, he gets overly friendly (amorous) when tipsy and can be a bit touchy feely… some people aren’t comfortable with that stuff. I disliked last night’s programme as much as you , but did you see how uncomfortable Nicola looked when he kissed(?) her at conference?

        • Penguin

          Have you seen how uncomfortable Nicola looked when he (Murrell) kissed her? She clearly doesn’t care for men kissing her. Have a think why.

          People shouldn’t kiss each other in public. It always looks awkward and any still frame can be chosen to make it look like the people involved are mortal enemies.

          • Goose

            Suppose so. Point taken.

            I think the #metoo movement has taken lots of things that looked innocuous, and reinterpreted them incorrectly as sinister, and I don’t want to do that. One reason I hated Wark’s programme, her take on events, was how she name dropped Harvey Weinstein as if there is a regular pattern i.e., very prejudicial behaviour for a BBC journo mid trial. It was more like feminist activist journalism, especially the part with Sarah Smith et al where sat around the meal table, basically treating it all as some sort of entertainment.

      • Gordie

        Craig, you have seen the proof. We haven’t. You have that advantage over us.

        The leadership, in my honest opinion, of the SNP has been absolute shite since the EU referendum.

        The media isn’t trusted by many people at all but its power is right here. Public trust is at its highest high when the membership has lost trust. Pushing away the Independence movement, Andrew Wilson’s long grass exercise, refusal to make a plan, to do the work to answer any of the questions that the media pummel us with, to make common ground with the wider movement on the institutions we will need when we get out Independence, and on and on. The question I want answered is the why of it?

        Then we can clean it out and move on.

    • Stevie Boy

      What’s patently obvious is that we have here a cabal of androphobic misandrists, if Alex had been an Alexandra the events would have been different.

      • Easygoing Onlooker

        They definitely hate men, but women can be incredibly vicious towards other women when they get in positions of power, too. Just ask Joanne Cherry or Joan McAlpine…

    • Easygoing Onlooker

      Sturgeon apologised to the two women at the start of the initial trial when it went pear-shaped, and the SG had to lay out a half a million quid of taxpayers’ money. She did not apologise to her mentor. Does this not tell you something?

  • Fazal Majid

    Wouldn’t an alternative interpretation be that they don’t want the Scottish Executive to become a den of privilege like Westminster, where war criminals like Tony Blair or ordinary crooks like Robert Jenrick will never be held to account? Specially considering both are women living in an era of #MeToo raising standards for public life?

    • craig Post author

      No, because it is plain that they went on to encourage and orchestrate accusations against Alex Salmond which they knew very well were false. Sensible question though.

      • craig Post author

        Also very strangely the retrospective part applied to former ministers only, not to former MSPs and civil servants. Which makes it look somewhat targeted, as opposed to a #MeToo move.

        • David G

          I wouldn’t devote too much energy to identifying differences between the Salmond case and the typical, “legitimate” #MeToo accusation. The two may be far more congruous than some might like to believe. (And to be crystal clear, I don’t mean that as an imputation of guilt to Salmond.)

          • Niall McDevitt

            One difference between what you call ‘the Salmond case and the typical, “legitimate” #MeToo accusation’ is that the average MeToo accused is not the leader of a political movement intent on overturning the status quo of the United Kingdom.

            Heavyweight political dissenters are much likelier targets for an orchestrated smear campaign.

    • Easygoing Onlooker

      Raising standards for public life? Really? Trying to put an innocent man in prison for the rest of his life is ‘raising public standards,’ is it, eh? Hate to see what a derogation of them would be.

  • Niall

    Craig, thank you for the brave reporting, you are a breath of fresh air. Honesty really is the best policy.
    What kind of person would attempt to subject even their greatest foe to the kind of persecution Alex has had to endure ?

    4 months to save Scotland folks! lets get busy.

    • craig Post author

      That is the thing that is so horrible. If they had succeeded, they would have almost certainly put him in jail for the rest of his life.

      • Niall

        Twisted and evil. My god she puts on a good show though. I nearly find that more unsettling.

      • Goose

        I didn’t like Wark’s weird emphasis on the ‘#metoo’ movement… as if this was a crusade to right a thousand years of patriarchy.

        Really inappropriate, mid-trial behaviour from Wark, when someone’s life was on the line.

        • Easygoing Onlooker

          You clearly missed the underlying theme of the programme, that she was trying to present herself as ‘everywoman,’ fighting for justice for all women. It was a shitty attempt to couple her crap programme to the #MeToo movement, giving it a veneer of being about something other than anti-Salmond propaganda and personal, obsessive hatred of the ex-FM.

        • Penguin

          There is no patriarchy. It is a useful tool of an evil movement to render all men guilty. See also International Jewish Conspiracy, Reds under the bed, and Putin supportin the Yes campaign.

          • Northern+Sole

            Indeed Penguin. It ocurred to me some decades ago, that the “battle of the sexes” was just another divide and rule tactic.

        • Steeve Greene

          Kirsty Wark, like most BBC presenters, is a glorified tea girl. Do you think she dreamt this whole thing up on her own? She was sent to do a hatchet job and delivered a product acceptable to her bosses. She earned her 30 pieces, which for some reason she chooses not to spend on a more convincing hair dye.

      • Lorna Campbell

        Mr Murray: the evidence itself was so weak, so insufficient and so full of holes that no jury in a country still governed by human rights could have done other than find Mr Salmond not guilty. It is very strange that a case would go ahead on such flimsy evidence, even in the public interest. If Mr Salmond had been convicted, he would have become a martyr, with all the implications of that situation, and Nicola Sturgeon would also have fallen from power, leaving a power vacuum in the SNP and the Scottish government. By his being accused but not going down, he was neutralized very effectively.

        I have little doubt that elements within Holyrood wanted Mr Salmond neutralized (which the procedure, had it not been flawed, and had Mr Salmond not challenged it, leading to the civil case against the SG, would have accomplished) but I sense something else at work than that which resides at Holyrood. Ms Sturgeon’s management of the independence cause might well suit interests not a million miles away, the ‘woke’ brigade have already caused division that will not be healed easily, list parties have arisen to challenge the SNP’s hegemony independence and, overall, despite the polls ‘soaring’ to 55%, the same people in the same numbers would, apparently, vote in much the same way again, as they did in 2014. Meanwhile, we draw ever closer to a NO Deal Brexit, trade deals will steam ahead, and we will be tied into the British Single Market, making it ever more difficult to rejoin the EU. Quite whose hands are pulling whose strings remains to be seen. It is possible to be both the problem and the solution – for different reasons and for different interests. It is possible to be a prime mover and a prime moved, as any chess player will attest.

  • Mike McMonagle

    When was the complaints procedure first proposed or mooted? Was Salmond’s investigation already underway or was that a later development? I would be interested in the timeline because – Salmond case to the side for a moment – the actual lifting of any obstruction to charging ex-ministers should surely be something we laud rather than condemn. If only the UK Govt had a similar policy we might see some Westminster scoundrels deservedly taken to task.

    If the procedure proposals and the investigation into Salmond’s actions ran in tandem then questions have to be asked but even then the concurrency itself is no guarantee that the motives were sinister. I understand you (Craig Murray) are privy to more information than we mere mortals, but on this evidence, the case against Sturgeon is as flimsy as the one against Salmond.

    • Lorna Campbell

      Mike: the whole #metoo movement is predicated on historic alleged offences, so retrospective procedures/legislation can be helpful on specific occasions. However, it is not the norm for obvious reasons, and, as in this instance, it has caused a considerable mess. It could well have been brought in against Whitehall’s advice to snare Mr Salmond, Or, it could have been the case that the SG, as per, tried to be ‘whiter than white’. This Calvinist attitude to everything has been its undoing, in my opinion, on several occasions. The SG also ignored London’s advice on GRA reform, and tried to bring in the most extreme version, which few other countries have done, thereby putting women’s rights in peril, when London kicked it into the long grass. This could have been the same kind of intransigence. Not everything that emanates from London is toxic. However, I am willing to take Mr Murray at his word and wait to see what he, and Mr Campbell, and others, bring forth in the way of potentially damning evidence. Let us just hope fervently, and keep up the protests, that he is not silenced by this court case. In fact, let’s hope it is dropped before it ever reaches the court.

  • Skip_NC

    The pardon is a posthumous one for Susan B Anthony, convicted by an all-male jury of voting illegally in 1872.

    • Tony

      How about a posthumous pardon for James Earl Ray who was framed for the assassination of Martin Luther King?

      • Skip_NC

        If he thinks he will get votes out of it, he will do that. If he doesn’t, he won’t. Everything that the president does is in his own self-interest. That is why many of us who see parallels between the Democratic Party and the worst of the Labour Party will take a deep breath on November 3rd and vote for Joe Biden.

        • Penguin

          You’d vote for a racist child-abuser? Says a lot about you.

          A racist child abuser with a VP who imprisoned thousands for life due to third strike marijuana possession while admitting being an addict herself?

          There’s something in a book of some repute about choosing the lesser of 2 evils.

          There’s also the consequence that in doing so you are choosing evil, and doing so in full knowledge of your sins.

      • Easygoing Onlooker

        How about who gives a fuck aboot American politics in a Scottish political thread?

  • schrodingers cat

    unlike alex salmond who at least got a trial

    nicola is condemned on the say so of social media

    your great reveal shows nothing

    • U Watt

      Salmond was tried and convicted on mass market TV and in the press and is still. Craig’s great reveal shows precisely what he says it shows: that Sturgeon was advised by English civil servants to just let it go but she wouldn’t.

      • schrodingers cat

        big deal

        as i said, in court, alex at least had the right to reply

        here, this piece of non info is held up as proof that nicola is the anti christ.

        gie yer heid a wobble son

        • Penguin

          Had the right to reply in court at the cost of several hundred thousand pounds. A reply which was ignored by every TV and radio outlet in Scotland, alongside every scum newspaper.

          Some right that.

          Have you not had enough of trying to claim that black is white and 2 + 2 = 5 yet?

      • Al-Stuart

        I was genuinely enjoying some intelligent debate and especially the replies where Craig interacts. Then the master baiting troll Shroedinger’s Cat turns up to pollute vast swathes of this thread. It’s bad enough that Merde Chatte is ALL OVER Wings. Now he has forced Craig’s flap and is “marking” every thread in the way that cats do. With smelly stuff that sticks to the inside of your nose and is most unwelcome. I would generally scroll on by, but Le Baiser Chatte has got my right wrist aching so much scrolling on by that my wife thinks I have been doing something else with the computer to end up with wrist-ache. Cat PLEASE just go away. Give us all peace.

    • Stonky

      “nicola is condemned on the say so of social media…”

      Fortunately, once all the information is in the public domain, she’ll be able to confound all her critics…

      Wait. Hang on. Strike that. I just spotted a fatal flaw in my argument…

      • schrodingers cat

        I just spotted a fatal flaw in my argument…

        aye, the idea that folk are innocent until proven guilty seems to be a foreign idea to you.

        • Stonky

          “…aye, the idea that folk are innocent until proven guilty seems to be a foreign idea to you.”

          Sheesh. It’s bad enough having to read your drivel on Wings.

          “Innocent until proven guilty” is a principle that is relevant to formal criminal proceedings. It is part of a much wider set of procedures intended to guarantee as far as possible that justice will be served.

          It is of no relevance whatsoever to the case of “nicola” because (unlike AS) she has not been accused of any criminal offence. She does not find herself in a court of law, bound by criminal law procedure, and as a consequence (and again unlike AS) prevented from making available evidence that would clear her name.

          She has been accused, effectively, of being a lying, scheming, manipulative phoney.She is perfectly at liberty to make available any information she chooses, to disprove these accusations. The fact that she is busy doing exactly the opposite tells me everything I need to know.

  • Malcolm Gardner

    Whilst I respect and admire your dogged support for the cause of Scotland’s independence we share, I would make a couple of observations.
    The first is an obvious one and it would not be the first time that Sir Humphrey’s motives are suspect.
    Whitehall would have understandable objections to not have retrospective complaints accepted as legitimate.
    There is a lot of ‘dirty washing’ that Westminster’s political establishment needs kept in the laundry bag as far as they are concerned.
    The other is something that neither of us have evidence for either way and mine might be a naive view, but I have been elected in the past and have experience of the political dynamics within council groups.
    Nicola may well have been persuaded of the arguments for retrospective complaints, as I had been when this came up when I was a councillor.
    One thing I share with our current First Minister is that she is very loyal and sometimes too trusting, hence the former CMO issue as an example.
    However, she may or may not have known that the process would be used against her predecessor.
    Even if she did, given that her actions would have been leaked, would it have been sustainable to block the proposal?
    In those circumstances her only option, knowing Alex as closely as she must do, she had to trust that natural justice would prevail.
    I was not surprised by the revelations about Huhne, Rennard or Smith in my former party, but Nicola Sturgeon revealed as someone entirely different from the person she presents herself as would make me mistrust my judgement on what day of the week it was !

    • kitbee

      But NIcola of all people should have seen the ‘general danger’ of retrospective rules even if she knew nothing of any individual case. That’s what I can’t get my head around. Did she know about the Salmond allegations at the time? Or did she not know and was somehow persuaded about the retrospectivity. Anyway as Craig says we will have to wait for more to come out.

      Worst case scenario is that she knew and designed the retrospectivity deliberately herself!!

      • Out+of+Affric

        Second worst case scenario – she was set up by Westminster (is there another kind?) civil servants. All too convenient.

        • Muscleguy

          As a lawyer she should know all about the dangers of retrospective rules. Those caught can legitimately claim they did not know about such things then so prosecuting them now is deeply unfair. That is why retrospective laws are very, very rarely made even when it would catch a lot of ne’er do wells. Better that than the mire of retrospectives.

          Imagine if they changed the tax laws retrospectively. What if you had no money to pay your now huge tax bill because you had no cause to set aside monies to cover it?

          • Penguin

            Change the speed limit on motorways to 50mph and fine every driver for speeding since 1974. Genious idea. That’ll sort out the national debt.

        • Kitbee

          But if she realised that she had been set up by Leslie Evans why was Leslie re-appointed by Nicola when she could have asked for a change. Has Leslie Evans got something on NIcola?

    • bevin

      “Whitehall would have understandable objections to not have retrospective complaints accepted as legitimate.”
      Given the appalling travesty of the case against Salmond, from which, as I recollect it, only the Jury and the accused emerged with any credit, Whitehall, Sir Humphrey and all, would be right.

  • Tom74

    I suppose they would say that, wouldn’t they? The British government’s vendetta against Salmond would have been carefully concealed to avoid their fingerprints being too obvious on it.
    That said, it is fairly clear that Sturgeon is being used as political cover in Scotland for the Johnson government – I don’t think the Tories could possibly have enforced the coronavirus lockdown with no political mandate there, and the stringent measures also served as a ‘warning’ to the English. Maybe the British government is playing to Sturgeon’s vanity or maybe threats are being used to ensure her cooperation – I don’t know.
    I’ve never much cared for Sturgeon as a politician but I’m getting the feeling the British government is starting to fear the SNP, hence perhaps the undermining of Sturgeon. For us in England, Scottish independence, ironically, would probably finish off the British establishment and the Conservative Party, leaving us to be more like an independent Scotland.

    • lysias

      It’s not just the British government. There’s also the U.S. government and deep state and their Zionist allies. Faslane.

      They have a lot of power and are utterly without moral compunctions about using it. Have you been following the Epstein story?

      Look what happened to Gough Whitlam when he was trying to withdraw Australia from Five Eyes. The correspondence between the Royal Palace and Governor General Kerr is still being kept secret, I believe.

      • lysias

        We know from what came out in the trial of Christopher Boyce (of Falcon and Snowman fame) of the extent of involvement of the U.S. intel community in the plot against Whitlam.

        And then there is the plotting against Harold Wilson.

      • Muscleguy

        It has in fact been recently revealed. It has been all over the Aussie media for the last 2 months. it was certainly not a good look. Whitlam was after the Labour govt from the start showing clear political bias.

        Note 5 eyes was absolutely no use in detecting the Christchurch shooter. NZ’s only recent act of terrorism after the Rainbow Warrior affair which was state terrorism. During that affair NZ learned that your erstwhile allies will not act on your behalf if it is not in their interests. The US invasion of Granada shows you can be ‘rescued’ even when you don’t wish to be.

  • Bill Austin

    Put this together….with taking 56 of 59 seats in 2015 and we’re still in the union. Put together winning every election since and we’re still in the union…

    ….We win Holyrood 2021……tumbleweed blows from London…..

  • Maureen Ferguson

    Thankyou for your honesty stay safe take care x Was a subscriber however due to lack of finances..Sorry Shall follow you for our truth.Thanking you.

  • Bridget

    I find it gob-smacking how many good intelligent people refuse to believe Nicola had anything to do with the frame up.

    I saw she was involved as soon as one of the alphabet ladies was jigsaw identified by the unionist press during the trial. That person is so close to her, it just doesn’t wash that she would be ignorant, and from the beginning of the case, she showed no loyalty. Now her government is fighting transparency.

    The truth is, no one is entirely good or bad. Nicola has some excellent qualities, but I believe she did this knowingly. Her reasons I won’t begin to speculate on.

    I don’t know why I am still in the SNP…Hope for a miracle? And because there is at the moment no alternative.

    Politicians are really a treacherous kind of human being..

    • Clara

      Maybe, just maybe, she was led to believe that there may well be something in these complaints and that she couldn’t be seen to let her relationship with AS stand in the way of taking these forward?

    • Muscleguy

      There’s the ISP. I’m a member. In favour of women (anti GRA) & very, very much in favour of Indy. Want to be elected both to remove Unionist no hopers from the List but also to put pressure on the SNP over Indy. Something the Greens have signally failed to do since they are even further down the Woke rabbit hole they are pursuing identity politics in place of Green issues. That is how bad this has become.

      Never underestimate the Woke, they are single minded, if heavily deluded. They will have to be identified & removed & their like guarded against in the future if we are to be safe from them. A new generation not subject to them will arise. They will marry & have kids & the women especially will change their views & work on the men. The reason older women are against is largely due to the changed perspective of motherhood. IOW they will wake up & smell the roses & wonder why they once thought that stuff was so important.

      • Bridget

        Muscle guy–Yes, I am drawn to the ISP for all the reasons you state. However we can’t have more than one alternative party. I am waiting for the ISP and the Alliance for Independence party to make a deal so that they don’t run against each other in any constituency. We can’t split the vote so many times. Do you know if there are negotiations going on?

        I will definitely give my second vote to someone other than the SNP. I was at the last Holyrood election count and was witness to a huge SNP seconf vote returning only 1 extra MSP and a huge amount of Tories. Most of the Tories and Labour are from a minority of list votes. Can’t happen again.

      • Justin Fayre

        Sixty odd years ago a large percentage of Scotland’s population went completely bat shit crazy with the idolation of Billy Graham.
        One hundred thousand people filled Hampden Park to hear the Rev preach his American style evangelism.
        There was civil war in the clergy. Anyone who dared use common sense or voiced concerns were classed as heretics. Brave men and women faced abuse and worse by taking a stand.
        Eventually good old Scottish common sense prevailed and things returned to normal
        Today’s Woke and PC zealots will eventually be seen in the same light and will suffer the same fate as the good Rev

  • Denis Dunn

    I never believed it was a conspiracy in the first place.
    Surly there is nothing wrong with the head of a government having transparency in their HR dept.
    What would be said if it was swept under the carpet. The real issue here is why the complaints went to court. The reason because it would be ultimate and not a whitewash if it was done internaly. AS is a clever man I’m sure he won’t jepordise independence. Let’s wait and hear NS side before making rash comments. This is not the demeanour of a woman who doesn’t believe in independence.

  • vin_ot

    Shocking. Even Trump didn’t go through with getting a rival framed and locked up. Had he actually done that to Hillary wee Sturge would have been one of the loudest over here in condemning him. We all know it.

  • Stuart

    Hi Craig, what were your thoughts on Fabiani not allowing the question about whether there was a civil service rule about working late with Alec?

      • Stuart

        Hi Stu, I’m DreamBrut on Twitter … yeah, strange … I thought maybe it was because it would expose one of the alphabet women as lying in court.

        • stuart mctavish

          ..or maybe it was to save the panel’s blushes from the revelation that Alex Salmond was no longer an MSP when Leslie Evans was appointed to her current role.

          Either way, assuming it was tied to the one about the public declaration of a culture of bullying, it will doubtless be explored eventually with a view to establishing whether the motivation for some of the wording in the fairness at work policy arose through concerns about the behaviour of previous administrations, was written to give civil servants long term leverage over elected employees (and Scottish ministers in particular), or was the result of something ostensibly more mundane such as compliance with an EU directive, or UK initiative, with a view to facilitating the eventual righting of historic wrongs (eg Mr Murray’s grievance with Mr Straw)

    • schrodingers cat

      she didnt, she said she believed it to be outside the remit of the enquiry she was leading. she also said she wanted to seek legal advice and that if given a yes, then lesley could either email or come back and answer the question

    • Penguin

      That was already answered in court. There was no such rule. The only prosecution witness to actually turn up stated as much.

  • Republicofscotland

    Right Craig, with the enemies cannons at the walls of Holyrood (Westminster) via the power grab that will severely weaken Holyrood, and see the newly opened Hub absorb them away from Holyrood, would it not be in Sturgeon’s general interest to actually go for an independence referendum.

    What she and her clique have done has been an almighty kick in the stomach to indy movement, it tough enough fighting off one parliament without having stave off a rear attack from within, but Sturgeon must know her credibility is about to be damaged. Many already know she’s not the leader we thought she was, her calling an independence referendum post May 2021, would surely save her bacon, and all the other MSPs as well by placating those who know what she’s really done, I see no other way out of this for her, and the independence movement with Westminster breathing down our parliaments neck.

    Even if she has the brass neck to ride this out, Westminsters power grab awaits our parliament, it wouldn’t surprise me if it turns out like that, that she got a comfy UN post waiting in the wings.

    • Shatnersrug


      reading the comments here tonight many can’t accept that Nicola isn’t what they’d hoped. People want to bully Craig – a man facing imprisonment for telling the truth – rather than see what’s plainly staring at them.

      Personally I’ve seen this coming since Alex stood down. I never understood what happened there. To me the indie vote was shockingly successful, Alex had proved himself the politician of his generation. But then he was gone.

      These people, Nicola included may have failed to imprison Alex but they are attempting to imprison our friend Craig. I find it sickening

  • Calum Hunter

    You don’t think this email is a simple case of ‘covering your back’ and ‘plausible deniability’? Convenient there is an email with London disavowing the policy their own Civil Servant cooked up and brought to Sturgeon.

    Seems far for likely that Westminster is behind this than Sturgeon. After Evans predecessor “went native” in Scotland, according to Westminster, do you really think they’d allow that to happen again, or would they keep tighter control, even if covertly?

    They have everything to gain in this, Sturgeon has little to nothing to gain.

    Follow – if not the money, then the advantage. Both Sturgeon and Salmond look to be damaged by this and it all stems from a Civil Servant placed on a shortlist by Westminster.

    • Stonky

      “…it all stems from a Civil Servant placed on a shortlist by Westminster.”

      Who could and should have been sacked for grotesque levels of incompetence, and instead was publicly praised by Sturgeon and had her contract extended.

      Spin me that one Calum. Explain to me how Sturgeon was yet again duped by Westminster…

      • Calum Hunter

        I think Sturgeon was perhaps duped by the apparent worthiness of the cause and she has a tendency to be a bit too loyal.

          • Calum Hunter

            Yes indeed, it’s a flaw. Same flaw which saw her initial defence of her CMO. It should be the other way around. I think perhaps she forgot who Evans really works for.

            But it’s not the same flaw as attempting to bring down Salmond.

        • Gordie

          I’ve probably given up on that one Calum. I want to know what is going on. Hopefully the enquiry won’t block everything coming out.

          • Shatnersrug


            Craig was prepared to go to jail when he revealed Blair and Campbell’s shenanigans. He is prepared to give his freedom for Julian and for the independence movement

            Craig is a man that believes in the truth above all and unlike those dreadful 18th and 19th century liberals he seems to like so much, Craig is not a hypocrite.

            I know he will do all he can to arm us with the facts, and his suppositions.

        • Stonky

          “she has a tendency to be a bit too loyal… “

          Uttered without irony by someone busy defending a person who has spent the last two years repeatedly stabbing in the back (and front) a man who was once her mentor and a good friend.

          I’m truly glad I don’t have a “loyal friend” like wee Nicy.

          • Calum Hunter

            It that argument a bit circular Stonky?

            Having prematurely concluded, before all the evidence is aired, that Sturgeon was plotting to bring down Salmond, then you say she’s spent the last two years stabbing him in the back – and you say that in order to prove she’s not loyal and that can’t be why she trusted Evans – when “we will win the war” Evans was the one who was targeting Salmond.

            See what I mean?

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