Sunday, 7 March 2021

Teflon Nicola

 

Nicola Sturgeon compared the legal case which the Scottish Government lost to Alex Salmond paying him more than half a million, with the case about minimum unit pricing for alcohol. She said that in every such case there is negative legal advice and if a Government ceased every case whenever a lawyer suggested it might lose it would never be able to win a case as it eventually did with minimum unit pricing. The implication was that the lawyers in the case about Salmond were just being lawyers and that the Government was right to proceed.



Unfortunately for Sturgeon we can now read the legal advice in this case. I would be surprised if the Scottish Government received similar advice on alcohol pricing. The lawyers involved state in section 31 that they are perilously close to not being even able to mount a defence

[We] are not in a position where we are professionally unable to mount a defence (because, for example, there is no statable defence). We are, however, perilously close to such a situation.

Yet still Sturgeon’s Government continued. But why were they so close to being unable to defend the Scottish Government. The reason becomes clear from the text. The investigation into Mr Salmond was biased. In section 10 we find

 

It was intended that the disclosure should be made at the same time as a small number of additional documents, identified in the course of further searches and including an email that we had not previously seen from Ms A to the Permanent Secretary of 3 November 2018 indicating support for the Permanent Secretary’s announcement of the review of harassment policies and expressing views on the content of that review, were also to be disclosed.

What this means is that the Scottish Government’s own lawyer had discovered an email between one of the eventual complainers in the Salmond trial discussing the review of harassment policies that eventually led to Salmond being investigated and charged with sexual offences. This is obviously unfair and biased.

 

It continues:

It is an email chain in which Gillian Russell asks questions of Judith Mackinnon about the circumstances in which complaints of harassment should be reported to the Police and is in the context of wider exchanges about the developing policy for handling complaints against ministers and former ministers. We were (and remain) concerned that it will add fuel to the fire of the petitioner’s ‘conspiracy theory’.

It is clear from this that the Scottish Government’s own lawyers thought that there might be evidence of Salmond’s conspiracy theory. What can adding fuel to the fire in this context mean other than that Salmond would believe his conspiracy theory more likely to be true by the email chain and that he would believe it because the email amounted to evidence.

Sturgeon’s Government wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds continuing a case when its own lawyers made absolutely clear that there was no chance, they would win. But the reason they wasted this money was that there was evidence that Salmond’s claim that the investigation was unfair and biased and amounted to a conspiracy was true.

Sturgeon herself weeps at the idea that she might have conspired against her friend and mentor, but her own lawyer sees the behaviour of those developing the harassment policy as adding fuel to Salmond’s belief that there was a conspiracy. Why? We are forced to conclude because there was a conspiracy. If there had not been a conspiracy, if witnesses had not contacted investigators and had not contacted those devising the changes to the policy, it would have been fair and unbiassed. What made it unfair and biased was contacts that amount to the conspiracy that Sturgeon denies. We are supposed to believe that Sturgeon knew nothing about what her own permanent secretary and that an investigation into Salmond that court would eventually decide was tainted with bias took place without her knowledge. Imagine if the investigation had been against Peter Murrell, would Sturgeon have known nothing then too?

If these events had happened anywhere in Europe apart from Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon would not merely have to resign, she would also be in danger of being sent to jail for misuse of public funds and attempting to pervert the course of justice. But this is Scotland and Nicola Sturgeon is a non-stick pan covered in Teflon.

Teflon Nicola has survived up until now, partly because most of the Committee questioning her last Wednesday were either incompetent or desperately trying to protect her from telling the truth. The eventual verdict will most likely be decided by the MSP’s position on independence rather than their position on truth. There is an independence supporting majority in the Scottish Parliament, so unless something surprising happens any future vote of no-confidence in Sturgeon will fail.

But Sturgeon and the SNP have been weakened. We know that the Scottish Greens merely prop up the SNP. The Greens are a party that has nothing to do with concern about the environment. Its only concern is independence. It is SNP yellow rather than genuinely Green. What has independence to do with the environment. The UK Greens don’t want independence for Wessex.

We must take advantage of Sturgeon’s weakness by using our votes in the upcoming Scottish Parliament election cleverly. You have two votes. Using both of them for the same party obviously defeats the purpose of having two votes. The most advantageous situation would arise if you use your constituency vote for whichever of Labour, the Lib Dems or Conservatives have the best chance of winning where you live, and then vote for All for Unity in the list seats. This is our best chance of depriving the SNP of an overall majority.

If Sturgeon suffers an electoral setback in May, we can expect the men in grey kilts to scratch off all her Teflon. It is vital for this reason that all Pro UK parties work with All for Unity. If we don’t get Sturgeon with the Inquiry, let us at least get her at the polls.


Thanks to @Cartoonsbyjosh  http://cartoonsbyjosh.co.uk

 

Friday, 5 March 2021

Did Sturgeon want a criminal to lead an independent Scotland?

 

During the day of the referendum in September 2014 Alex Salmond thought Yes had won. Polls and momentum were with the SNP. David Cameron was panicking. We might have woken up to a world where Alex Salmond was the First Minister of an independent Scotland in March 2016. In that case would he have been investigated and eventually charged with sexual assault and attempted rape only a year later?

The alleged offences that Mr Salmond was charged with and acquitted happened between 2008 and 2014. If what the women accusers said was true, then the person Nicola Sturgeon campaigned to be the first leader of an independent Scotland in centuries was a man who assaulted women. Was she wrong to campaign alongside him? If so, she ought to apologise to all of us.



Sturgeon accepts that Salmond was acquitted but maintains that he behaved badly to various women. But in that case, she wanted the first leader of an independent Scotland to be someone who behaved badly towards women. Every member of the SNP who campaigned for independence in 2014, who accepts Sturgeon’s version of events wanted a man who caused nine women to complain about sexual assault or worse to be the leader of an independent Scotland. When do they apologise for this?

The only alternative to this version of events is that what the women accused Salmond of was untrue. This is essentially what the jury believed. If the jury had believed the events that the women accused Salmond of doing had taken place, they would have convicted him. It may be that Salmond sometimes behaved badly, but the jury believed he did nothing criminal.  But to believe that he did nothing criminal is to believe that the events the women described did not happen.

So, the SNP are on the horns of a dilemma. Either Salmond assaulted women, but was lucky enough to get away with it, in which case it was monstrous that they wanted him to lead an independent Scotland, or the accusation of criminality was untrue, in which case why was there an investigation of Salmond beginning in November 2017.

We can assume that there would have been no investigation of First Minister Salmond in 2017 if he was the first leader of an independent Scotland. There might have been statues of him, but not court cases. What changed because he lost the referendum in 2014? The main thing that changed for him was that he ceased to be First Minister and leader of the SNP and was replaced by Nicola Sturgeon.

So why was there an investigation in November 2017? It is worth remembering that the initial Harvey Weinstein revelations started on 5th October 2017. A month or so later the procedure for dealing with complaints was changed to include former ministers and not long after that an investigation began to search for people who might have been sexually assaulted by Salmond.

Now either Sturgeon wanted to elect a monster as the first leader of an independent Scotland or the allegations against Salmond were untrue. But if the allegations were untrue, how did it come about that nine women witnesses came forward. Did this just happen spontaneously? But why would women put themselves to the trouble of describing a series of untrue events against Salmond? Did they all just happen to come forward or were they encouraged? To suppose that what the women said was untrue, and otherwise Sturgeon wanted a monster leading Scotland, is to suppose that there was a guiding hand behind the women coming forward. It is highly unlikely that nine women would make up stories just for the sake of it.

The courts decided that the investigation by the Scottish Government into Salmond was tainted with bias and awarded him more than half a million in costs. It was biased because the person in charge of the investigation knew those involved beforehand. But it was biased in another way. It only took place at all because Salmond lost the referendum in 2014. If Nicola Sturgeon had not been First Minister, there would have been no investigation biased or otherwise. But not only would there have been no investigation, there would have been no accusations. It is unimaginable that the nine women would have accused the first leader of an independent Scotland of sexual assault during the years prior to that referendum, not least because it is reasonable to assume that many if not most of them were independence supporters or SNP members.

What this means is that if Alex Salmond had been sent to jail, he would have essentially been sent to jail for losing the independence referendum in 2014, which is a harsh punishment for losing an election.

We know that Nicola Sturgeon was and is sympathetic to #Metoo. We know that there was only an investigation into Salmond because she was First Minister.  We know that the Scottish Government forced the women accusers to go to the police and various text messages suggest that people close to Sturgeon like her husband Peter Murrell were opposed to Salmond and keen for the police investigate him. But we are supposed to believe that Sturgeon was not involved in any of this, knew absolutely nothing and had no view or even knowledge of Mr Salmond’s behaviour.

If the accusations against Salmond were true, then women who closely worked with Salmond and probably Sturgeon too were regularly sexually assaulted for many years up to the referendum in 2014. Either Sturgeon knew nothing about this, in which case we may wonder why women were so unwilling to confide in her or she was well aware of Salmond’s behaviour but chose to ignore it because winning independence was more important. If allegations of sexual harassment against Salmond had become known in 2014 it would have destroyed the Yes campaign.

If Salmond had really been harassing women for years prior to 2014 it is as unimaginable that rumours would not have reached Sturgeon just as rumours about Weinstein were known years before he was finally accused.

But if Salmond had done nothing criminal, which the jury believed, how was it that an investigation into him started. We know that it would not have started if he led an independent Scotland. It only started because he lost in 2014 resigned and was replaced with Sturgeon. Yet we are supposed to believe she knew nothing about it and was not involved.

If Salmond did nothing criminal, then not only the investigation into him was unjust, but the court case should never have gone to trial at all. In that case Sturgeon should apologise to Salmond and to the rest of us for wasting so much public money.

If on the other hand the women who accused Salmond of criminal acts were telling the truth, then Sturgeon like every other SNP politician in 2014 wanted a monster to become the leader of an independent Scotland and wanted that even though there were rumours widely known in the party about him.

We don’t know the ultimate truth about what Alex Salmond did or did not do. There are a variety of versions of events. But either Salmond was justly acquitted or unjustly. Sturgeon’s Government either unjustly went after an innocent man, or she wanted a sexual predator to be the leader of an independent Scotland. Either way she can no longer evade responsibility by claiming implausibly that she knows nothing.

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

She is ever fair and false

 

“There goes a true-bred Sturgeon,” wrote Walter Scott ``for they are ever fair and false.” Of course, he didn’t because Sturgeon is not really a Scottish name. Scott was writing about a Campbell, but I thought of this quote while watching Sturgeon on Television today. She wants to appear straightforward. She puts in little jokes and pieces of humanising emotion. But it’s all fake. Fair and false.

Sturgeon theoretically takes responsibility and in doing so wants to appear noble. She is inordinately proud of her role as First Minister even snapping at Margaret Mitchell when she used the term to describe Alex Salmond. “I am the First Minister” stated Sturgeon just to make sure there was no doubt about it. As First Minister Sturgeon was willing to shoulder the blame, but only insofar as she would remain blameless because she knew nothing about whatever it was that had been going on. Her taking of the blame was just another way of deflecting it.



Her testimony was helped by the four SNP members of the Committee feeding her questions that appeared as if they had been rehearsed. It made the whole process still more tedious than Salmond’s testimony on Friday. You have to sit through while the SNP member kills time while only pretending to probe. It’s all part of the fa├žade that Sturgeon has erected about the Alex Salmond case. It’s all part of falsity while appearing to be fair. What could be fair about four SNP MSPs asking questions with an SNP convener there to umpire the match.

While being inordinately proud of being First Minister Sturgeon knows remarkably little about what goes on in her vicinity. From the Autumn of 2017 she wanders like Helen Keller through people devising new policies for investigating former ministers, but she sees and hears nothing. The only person ever investigated by the procedure was Alex Salmond, but the procedure was not discussed with Sturgeon. The answer to every difficult question was that she wasn’t there, she didn’t know, or she had forgotten.

Sturgeon likes to think of herself as politically correct and so it was necessary for Scotland to go through its #Metoo moment. But I think it is for this reason that she can never quite bring herself to accept that Alex Salmond might have been innocent.

I first started writing about Alex Salmond because I saw the potential for injustice not merely in his case but in every other case where the testimony of one woman about harassment or rape is supposed to encourage others to come forward with the cry of “Me too”. The getting on the bandwagon element of this movement always struck me as dubious both morally and legally, especially when the accusations were about events that happened in private sometimes many years ago.

Sturgeon can’t see this. She says of course that she accepts that Alex Salmond was acquitted, but she acts and speaks as if he were guilty. Her failure to accept that he might have been innocent is the root of her failure to accept mediation as a way forward when Salmond suggested it.

We now know that the women who accused Salmond were reluctant to go to the police and were compelled to do so. It is likely given this reluctance that they too might have been glad of mediation. But the chance was never offered them, because Sturgeon refused to offer it. It is this that leads one to think that Sturgeon was determined that Scotland too would have it’s prominent #Metoo celebrity humbled and perhaps jailed on the alter of her wokeness.

Her testimony about her feelings when she heard about the accusations from Mr Salmond, also suggest her falseness. If she really cared for her friend and mentor who she admired so much, why didn’t she entertain the possibility that he might have been innocent. But this is the structural fault of the #Metoo movement it never entertains the thought that a man might be innocent of sexual harassment. This after all is the purpose of gathering other victims to confess “Me Too”. With enough “Me too” victims he is bound to be convicted. Let’s gather nine. That should be enough.

The Scottish Government investigation into Salmond was tainted with bias. It was advised by its own lawyers that the case was hopeless, but Sturgeon while “taking responsibility” knew nothing about it and so it was not really her fault. There’s always someone else to blame with Sturgeon. Usually it’s England, but now it is some unknown other. To date no one has resigned for the botched investigation, no one has apologised for the cost to the taxpayer of taking the case beyond the point even the lawyers thought was wise. But no one is at fault and least of all Sturgeon.

One of the most startling points of evidence we have learned in the past days is that someone very senior leaked the name of one of Mr Salmond’s accusers to Geoff Aberdein. But in response to this all we get from Sturgeon is that Mr Salmond himself knew the accuser because he had been there when the incident occurred and had apologised for it. But this is merely an attempt to blame Mr Salmond for something a senior member of Sturgeon’s staff actually did. It is to imply that maybe it was Mr Salmond who told Mr Aberdein. But it wasn’t and she knows it. Sturgeon whole testimony was a clever attempt to avoid the implications of the recent revelations that have led people to suggest she ought to resign.

Close associates of Sturgeon not merely leaked a name to Mr Aberdein, they also conveniently leaked details to the Daily Record just when Mr Salmond’s lawyers were about to prevent a Scottish Government press release about the case. But Sturgeon knew nothing about either of these leaks. If she was using a sieve, she would no doubt not know that it leaked also.

Sturgeon is a very able politician and a very good performer. But this is the point. Hers today was performance designed to hide the truth of what has gone on in the Scottish Government over the past years.

Teflon Nicola has been excellent at dodging responsibility for her poor political record in Scotland, but now she has egg on her pan. She is intent on dodging any responsibility for a tainted, biased amateurish investigation into Mr Salmond that the police stated should never have taken place and which almost led to Mr Salmond going to jail. She is ducking responsibility because of her #Metoo dogma that men who are accused are automatically guilty.

Sturgeon’s evidence requires us to believe that she knew nothing about any allegations about Alex Salmond even though she shared Bute House with him and was a close associate of many if not all of those who accused Mr Salmond. We are to believe that she knew nothing about a procedure being drawn up that led to the investigation of Mr Salmond and knew nothing about that investigation until suddenly there was a meeting in her house on April 2nd, 2018.

We are supposed to believe that nine witnesses were found, probably all of whom had worked closely with both Salmond and Sturgeon, but that she had heard not a single whisper about any of this and she had nothing whatsoever to do with these women coming forward.

In the Design Argument for the existence of God we are to infer a guiding hand from the nature of the world. We infer a creator from creation. But likewise, we can infer Sturgeon’s guiding hand from the fact that a procedure was devised, an investigation begun, and a man put on trial. The idea that this happened accidentally without Sturgeon’s guidance, is the equivalent of seeing a watch and not inferring the existence of a watchmaker. If Sturgeon really saw nothing, heard nothing and forgot everything she would not be First Minster.

The difference between Salmond and Sturgeon is that Salmond is direct and natural and human all to human. A man with flaws. It was this that made his testimony convincing. Sturgeon is all artifice. She is incapable of error. Even without sin. She is responsible for nothing while nominally responsible for everything. She has begun to believe her own personality cult. But someone who is as perfect as Sturgeon cannot also be natural.  Her attempts at naturalness come across as staged. Her perfection and freedom from error is itself evidence that she is a fake. She would have us believe she approaches an angel, but she has fallen rather far. There goes a true Sturgeon for she is ever fair and false.

 

 

Monday, 1 March 2021

The task is to get rid of Sturgeon

 

Alex Salmond’s extraordinary testimony on Friday could only have happened in Scotland. But it is crucial to realise that it could only have happened in the Scotland that he helped to create. Ever since the SNP came to power in the Scottish Parliament there has been a blurring of the distinction between the party, the state and those employed by the state. This precedes the referendum of 2014 but has got worse in the years afterwards. It reached its culmination with the Scottish Government’s investigation into Salmond. Alex Salmond is the classic tragic figure who built the very thing that later tried to destroy him.

The SNP had already taken over the Scottish Civil Service by 2013. Only SNP supporters could have written the Scottish Government’s White Paper Scotland’s Future. But more importantly it became necessary for every person employed by the state to become careful of criticising either the SNP or independence. I remember a senior university official newly arrived from England explaining to a meeting that staff were required to attend about the benefits of independence. It is simply not possible to imagine such a person holding such a views while living in England. But he had grasped quickly on arrival in Scotland what it is was necessary to say and do in order to succeed. Independence supporters spoke openly, while you would have thought there were no Pro UK people in the room as we all stayed silent.



Suddenly there were demonstrations outside BBC Scotland because a reporter had asked difficult questions or came up with a good counter argument. Gradually the counter arguments ceased and then it became ever clearer that BBC Scotland had been taken over by independence supporters in the same way that in London it was taken over by Remainers. You could perhaps still be a Brexiteer in the BBC or you could support Scotland remaining in the UK, but you had to be careful what you said. This began to happen everywhere in Scotland.

I only ever talked about politics with people I already knew to oppose Scottish nationalism. I never once have had a casual conversation in the street or at the bus stop about the SNP. The day after the 2014 referendum was passed in silence with passers-by.  Celebrations were not visible. I imagine the same goes today for discussion about what Mr Salmond said to the Committee.

The surge in support for the SNP after 2014 was a result of the disappointment that Yes voters had about coming so close and it still further centralised power in the person of Salmond’s successor Nicola Sturgeon. The task was to create an independence supporting majority by all means necessary. That end justified anything and everything.

First Sturgeon politicised education. The SNP developed a school curriculum that would emphasise Scotland and denigrate the United Kingdom. The task of the Curriculum for Excellence was not to turn out well educated school children, but rather to turn out Scottish nationalists. Education standards have fallen, so there was not much excellence, but its easy to find school children who are willing to parrot independence slogans and their devotion to Sturgeon.

As the SNP grew in power Sturgeon made it clear that MPs and MSPs could not dissent from SNP policy. It was contrary to SNP rules to publicly disagree with her. The result is that SNP politicians began to resemble members of the Supreme Soviet. They clapped when told to and everything they said and did came from the Party. We all saw these colourless figures during Friday when they did all they could to hinder Mr Salmond from telling the truth.

It isn’t that Sturgeon officially controls the police, the judiciary, the civil service and BBC Scotland. They are all officially neutral. But when someone does something that displeases the SNP hierarchy an email is sent, or a phone call is made and the person who stepped out of line finds it necessary to step back. It is in this way the Crown Office finds itself unable to provide the evidence. It is for this reason that the Police interviewed over 400 people to establish Mr Salmond’s guilt. It’s for the same reason that a senior university official from England suddenly converts to Scottish nationalism.

There must be no dissent and Sturgeon’s Teflon must continue to mean that all scandal slides off her like an omelette from a frying pan. This worked until something surprising happened.  

First the courts found that the investigation into Mr Salmond by the Scottish Government was tainted with bias and then he was acquitted. This was not supposed to happen.

I think Sturgeon thought that she could keep everybody in line and that the lack of dissent that had been the feature of her leadership would continue. It was for this reason that she promised that the Scottish Government would cooperate with the Inquiry. But something else that was unexpected happened. There was dissent and it got worse.

There was an attempt by opinion formers in Scotland to suggest that Alex Salmond was lucky. The jury was perverse and that he ought to have been convicted. Perhaps these people really believed this or perhaps they thought it in their interest as for a long time it looked unimaginable that Sturgeon could be toppled by Salmond. But as her popularity surged the evidence against her increased.

A group of independence supporters began to put principle before their desire for independence. If the price of independence was an innocent man going to jail, then that price was too high. It was too high not least because an independent Scotland run without dissent by Nicola Sturgeon controlling everything would not be a place either independence supporters or Pro UK people would want to live.

The cracks in the SNP machine became more and more visible. SNP politicians have spoken out against Sturgeon and behind the scenes support for Mr Salmond has increased. It was this that broke the Omerta that kept all of Scotland silent. It was this that led to a steady trickle of revelations that has now become a flood.

Alex Salmond has convincingly said things under oath that cannot be unsaid. The task for principled independence supporters and Pro UK people is to get rid of Sturgeon so that at least we would all know that whatever happens to Scotland, independent or part of the UK, it would be a free, open society where such conspiracies could never happen.

The first task is to get rid of Sturgeon. She and her husband are running Scotland like a medieval kingdom with courtiers and lackeys who do her bidding. But it is not enough to get rid of the Murrells. We need to deprive the SNP and the Greens of an overall majority. We need all Scots to get behind a Government of national unity whose task is to rid Scotland of all corruption. Only then can we decide what sort of Scotland we want to live in.

The same principle that is leading independence supporters to criticise Sturgeon is leading George Galloway of All for Unity to consider voting Conservative, because the Conservative candidate has the best chance of defeating the SNP where he lives. This doesn’t mean he is lacking in principle. Quite the reverse. The only way he can help create the free and fair society he has fought for all his life is to get rid of the SNP.

The SNP and Sturgeon are weakened by Salmond’s revelations. Now is the time for all principled Scots to work together to defeat the SNP. If we don’t do it now, we may not get another chance. If she survives this, she will centralise her power still further. If that happened anyone who spoke out might be the next Salmond and there might then be neither an Inquiry nor an acquittal.


Thanks to @Cartoonsbyjosh  http://cartoonsbyjosh.co.uk


 

 

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Resign Sturgeon

 

Nicola Sturgeon thinks that Alex Salmond is a fantasist living in an alternative reality.  It was his behaviour towards women that led to his going to court rather than a conspiracy orchestrated by her. She thinks there is no evidence whatsoever that she did anything wrong. It is quite clear that she believes that Salmond is a liar lucky to be acquitted as she fundamentally believes the women who accused him of wrongdoing.

I didn’t intend to watch all of Alex Salmond’s testimony before the Inquiry, but even though it started slowly, I found something compelling about it and watched to the end. I had forgotten what an impressive figure Alex Salmond could be. For six hours he answered every question in detail. He was never flustered. He provided detailed answers and provided logical arguments. He was moderate and far from vengeful. His criticism of Sturgeon was measured and restrained. He was able to put everything he said into a moral context that went beyond politics. He was massively impressive, and I believed every word he said.



The Committee that questioned him was less than impressive. Only Murdo Fraser and Jackie Baillie provided useful questions. The SNP members were more interested in protecting Sturgeon than finding out the truth. The others struggled to organise their own thoughts and sentences. Ludicrously the Lib Dem Alex Cole-Hamilton appeared to be intent on coming to the rescue of Sturgeon as if he couldn’t bear to see a fellow Remainer damaged. Linda Fabiani the Convener allowed much waffle and tried to prevent some truth from emerging but was fairer to Salmond than might have been expected.

Alex Salmond lives not far from me and I know him very slightly. I have always found him to be agreeable on the rare occasions that we have met by chance in a supermarket queue or on the street. I have always disliked his politics, but I have never disliked the man. He has something of the Rob Roy about him. A gambler. A rogue. But a human being too. I hear he has a bit of temper, but he is not a man I fear. If Scotland had become independent in 2014 and Salmond had emerged as its first leader, it would not be like now. I campaigned against Salmond with everything I had in 2014, but not because I feared him, not because I questioned his intentions or his morality. I fear Nicola Sturgeon.

Sturgeon is a better politician than Salmond. She campaigns to those who initially disagree with her and has won over more of the Scottish electorate than Salmond ever did or perhaps could, but it is not for this reason that I fear her. What worries me is that I see no limit to what she is capable of doing. On the surface she has an appealing manner that can win over a large TV audience who believe her to be capable and kind, but under this, glimpses of the real Sturgeon sometimes emerge. When thwarted her anger is without limit. This plus her unlimited ambition made her capable of trying to send Salmond to jail. This scares me.

Alex Salmond like Jim Sillars is a basically decent man. I disagree with Scottish independence, but under the leadership of either we would not have to fear what we fear now under Sturgeon. Salmond and Sillars would be decent, moral beings. It might turn out, as I believe, that independence would be a mistake, but it wouldn’t be because of their intentions. What I fear about Sturgeon is that her head has been turned by the adulation she has received. She has begun to believe that anything is justified for the cause of independence and her mission to deliver it. I believe that she is capable of trying to put an innocent man in jail and if she is capable of doing this, she is capable of doing anything. This I fear above everything else.

A new policy was designed by civil servants to investigate former ministers, but the only one that it was designed to get was Alex Salmond. We are supposed to believe that Sturgeon knew nothing about this because it happened months before she was supposed to have found out about allegations about Salmond’s behaviour.  Can you imagine an investigation into Salmond happening without Sturgeon’s consent? Would a civil servant risk it without asking?

The allegations against Mr Salmond increase. There is something of a recruitment drive. But they don’t want to go to the police. They are forced to go despite their wishes. But somehow, we are supposed to believe that there is no conspiracy against Mr Salmond. Perhaps it all happened by chance.

There is a court case and nine witnesses testify that Mr Salmond assaulted them, but the jury disbelieves them. It is unreasonable for a jury to reject the testimony of nine women unless it finds they lack credibility. The defence must have provided something that made the jury doubt the testimony. One explanation is that the jury thought there was a conspiracy against Mr Salmond.

I found Mr Salmond’s testimony to be convincing. He was not a fantasist living in an alternative reality. He did not come across as a liar. Or at least he came across as a human being who tells the occasional lie as we all do.

I’ve seen through Sturgeon. When threatened as she has lately been by Mr Salmond, she has shown herself to be willing to lash out. We don’t know what happened in 2017 or 2018, but I am left to wonder whether Sturgeon felt herself threatened by Salmond then too. Will no one rid me of this turbulent Salmond, I can imagine her crying out in the presence of certain people loyal to her. From there it escalated. Witnesses came forward. Alex Salmond did this.  They all gossiped together the witnesses and those who encouraged them. It began to resemble the Crucible. Witches were discovered in Bute House. A stake was readied. But Nicola Sturgeon knew nothing, even though she knew everyone involved and even though the witch was the man who had put her where she was. She had seen nothing when Salmond was supposed to have been assaulting women, though she was in Bute House every day. No whisper of gossip had reached her about the events or the investigation. But this is the same Nicola Sturgeon who is so in control that she and she alone appears on TV daily for the Covid briefing and who barely allows a deputy to eclipse her spot in the limelight.

The Salmond trial was Hamlet without Ophelia. Where was Sturgeon? It had nothing to do with her. But when Salmond was acquitted it gradually got closer and the mood changed from cooperation with the Inquiry to cover up. But why go to desperate lengths to prevent the Inquiry getting all the evidence, if there is nothing to hide? If there were no conspiracy and if Sturgeon were not involved in it, the Scottish Government and the civil servant witnesses who appeared before it would have been candid and open about their mistakes. But everyone connected with Sturgeon including the SNP MSPs on the Committee fear the truth coming out. This is why portions of the evidence that has been redacted are about Sturgeon. It is she who is being protected not the anonymity of the trial witnesses.

As her popularity has increased with daily briefings the evidence against Sturgeon has been building up. The greatest evidence of all has been her apparent fight to prevent this evidence being evaluated by the Committee. If you have nothing to hide Nicola Sturgeon, why are you hiding? It is the act of hiding that is the evidence of the conspiracy.

Convincing as he is Mr Salmond is saying I will convince you even more if you let me present all of the evidence. This is neither the action of a liar nor a fantasist. It is the action of someone convinced that he is in possession of the truth, willing and able to show it. This no doubt is what convinced the jury too.

Sturgeon is hiding, not Salmond. It is this that convinces me that it is she that is the liar. Liars must resign. Resign Sturgeon. 

 

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

How to deal with SNP corruption

 

The Northern Ireland Assembly was shut down for four years because of a scandal about renewable energy. The scandal involving Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon is rather bigger, but there is no mechanism for cross community power sharing across in Scotland. The opposition parties cannot walk out and thereby dissolve Holyrood. Sturgeon would remain in charge without opposition.

Nicola Sturgeon and others are accused of plotting to put Alex Salmond in jail. But whenever he appears to be about to provide evidence that might actually be damaging, we find that a Government agency in this case the Crown Office finds a way to prevent that evidence being evaluated. The Crown Office ought to be completely independent, but so too should BBC Scotland, Scottish universities, the police and all the other organisations that are supposed to be free from political bias.



A free society is not merely one that has elections. It is one where the political leadership does not control those organisations that make free and fair elections possible. If Sturgeon and the SNP control the most important state organisations in Scotland, then it will not be possible for Scots to form political opinions in a free and fair way.

Russia’s transition from an emerging democracy after the collapse of the Soviet Union to a dictatorship was such that Mr Putin could still pretend that Russians lived in a democracy. But Mr Putin controlled everything, the media, the civil service, the courts and the police so that any opposition that might have emerged never stood a chance even of competing. Something similar has happened in Scotland.

If Boris Johnson were accused today of trying to get David Cameron sent to jail for rape and if David Cameron were able to put forward a tightly written description of events and have it published on a House of Commons Committee website, it is simply unimaginable that the Crown Prosecutor would order it censored. If it were suspected that Boris Johnson had influenced the Crown Prosecutor, the media frenzy would have been unimaginable. The idea that David Cameron would be prevented from telling his side of the story is preposterous, the media would not allow it. You see Boris Johnson is only the Prime Minister, he is not Nicola Sturgeon.

Nicola Sturgeon with her tame BBC Scotland and her control over every aspect of our lives will be able to continue her daily broadcasts right up to polling day for the next Scottish Parliament elections. The Salmond story is the biggest political scandal anyone can remember, but it is somehow relegated below Tiger Woods having a car crash. We can hope that the Scottish people will vote her out of course, but the hope is rather similar to hoping that the Russian people will get rid of Mr Putin. What if anything can be done?

1. Westminster must make clear that under the present circumstances where there is suspicion of corruption there can be no question of a Scottish Government gaining a mandate for independence or indeed anything else. Genuinely free and fair elections cannot take place if the Scottish Parliament cannot even conclude an investigation into the Scottish Government. Scotland has become a flawed democracy and until that flaw is rectified the Scottish Government obviously cannot organise a free and fair referendum.

2. Opposition parties must consider not taking their seats in the Scottish Parliament. If there is corruption in Holyrood it is necessary to expose it by leaving it to the SNP plus other independence supporting parties. Under these circumstances the Scottish Parliament would lose all its legitimacy quickly. Of course, the opposition parties will not do this. They will complain but, in the end, do nothing.

3. If there is no other way of ridding Scotland of corruption Westminster must repeal the Scotland Act. The act of one Parliament cannot tie the hands of another. For this reason, even if the Scotland Act refers to the Scottish Parliament as permanent it can still be abolished or suspended.

I no longer trust the Police, the Crown Office, the Procurator Fiscal or the courts in Scotland. Alex Salmond could easily have ended up in jail and was saved only perhaps because a jury suspected the witnesses against him of being involved in a conspiracy. What happened to Alex Salmond could happen to any opponent of Nicola Sturgeon. It could happen to anyone who crosses her, thwarts her or who might expose something damaging about her.

This is how you end up in a tyranny, sent to a Labour Camp like Alexei Navalny for daring to criticise a leader like Sturgeon.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Only three people understand the Salmond business.

 

Only three people have ever really understood the Alex Salmond business—the Prince Consort, who is in hospital—a German professor, who has gone mad—and I, who have forgotten all about it.

It is for this reason that Nicola Sturgeon is able to get away with demanding that Alex Salmond provide evidence for his conspiracy claims. It is the equivalent of a policeman tampering with the evidence and then demanding that I prove myself innocent.



The attempt to get at the truth of what happened between Sturgeon and Salmond has been hindered at every step by someone. Witnesses at the Inquiry have been evasive. Testimony has been contradictory. There have been votes along independence supporting lines as to whether the Committee can see this bit of evidence or not. The Scottish Government promised to cooperate, but instead has hindered. Who can the someone directing the hindering be or are we to suppose that it just happens accidentally?

Salmond’s latest submission about which he is due to speak on Wednesday is a detailed legal document including words like “sisting” (pausing) that I did not know.

It would not be discussed in the pub even if the pubs were open. This is crucial because it will be public opinion that decides the outcome unless there emerges some information that makes it obvious to even the most uninformed viewer that Sturgeon has done something seriously wrong.

We begin in the Autumn of 2017 with Leslie Evans, Sturgeon’s Permanent Secretary briefing Sturgeon about a Sky news story about Salmond’s alleged misbehaviour at Edinburgh Airport. Immediately after this we find civil servants devising a procedure for investigating the behaviour of former ministers, which was unique in the UK.  Are we to suppose that this was purely coincidental, and that Sturgeon knew nothing about it? Suddenly we are investigating former minsters when no one else does. Why? Perhaps someone saw the chance to get rid of a rival.

This unusual procedure for investigating the conduct of former ministers was then used to find people who wanted to make complaints about former ministers. It succeeded. A draft of the policy was even shared with one of the complainants. The Investigating Officer Judith McKinnon and the complainants knew each other and had worked together although this was contrary to the procedure. This meant that there was bias in the investigation from the start.

Sturgeon claimed that she knew nothing about the allegations against Salmond until she was informed on April 2nd, 2018. But this requires us to believe that there was an investigation into Alex Salmond’s behaviour which began the previous Autumn and Sturgeon wasn’t told about it. Imagine if Sturgeon has still been best friends with Salmond in 2017. How would it have gone down if civil servants on their own initiative had started to investigate the former leader of the SNP?

It was probably the Scottish Government that leaked the whole story to the Daily Record in August 2018, but what is extraordinary is that this happened immediately after Mr Salmond’s legal team sought to prevent the Scottish Government from releasing a statement about the case. It is clear that the Scottish Government sought to publicise the case and then actively sought witnesses against Mr Salmond by sending emails to SNP supporters and former SNP employees asking them if they wished to raise concerns about Salmond.

That there was a witch hunt against Salmond is obvious. It is impossible to imagine that it could not have taken place without the consent and cooperation of Nicola Sturgeon. Everything we know about Sturgeon is that she is controlling and in charge.

We already know that the Scottish Government investigation into Salmond was tainted by bias as this was the finding of a court, but what we didn’t know then is the extent to which the Scottish Government would go to cover up the story.

There are arguments for and against allowing anonymity in certain cases. Women might be reluctant to testify if their identity was not protected is an argument in favour. An argument against is that anonymity might hinder the discovery of the truth. It is clear now that the Scottish Government has used the requirement to protect the anonymity of the witnesses as a cloak with which to hide its own actions.

The problem furthermore is that if there were a conspiracy against Mr Salmond, the identity of the conspirators is part of the evidence. If some of the women who testified against Mr Salmond were also part of a conspiracy, it might only be possible to know this if we knew about what relationship they had to Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government, what position they took on the division in the SNP between Salmond and Sturgeon supporters and whether or not they had any grudge or ill will towards Salmond.

Nicola Sturgeon’s demand for evidence is similar to her demanding that Salmond roll a pair of sixes when she has loaded the dice to make this impossible.

But the rejection of a jury of the testimony of nine witnesses suggests that the jury did not trust them collectively. One reason for this is that the jury might have suspected that there was a conspiracy and that it viewed the whole investigation of Salmond as tainted with bias.

It is not merely that Salmond must provide evidence. He has done so within the limits allowed. Sturgeon must also prove that she has nothing to hide. She must provide an explanation for why the Scottish Government has been so obstructive and why she used so much power to go after her former friend who was later acquitted. Why investigate someone who was innocent?

Even if Sturgeon is shown to have broken the Ministerial Code she will survive, because the pro-independence bias on the Committee would vote to exonerate her even if she were shown to be complicit in the Massacre of the Innocents.

There is little doubt that Sturgeon sought to get Salmond jailed, but the details will remain obscure until there is some action of hers that can be pointed to that everyone can grasp intuitively and which she cannot avoid or evade. We are not there yet. Only three people understand the Alex Salmond business.

Sunday, 21 February 2021

No star for Sturgeon

 

One of the most divisive aspects of the SNP is how it has politicised the use of flags. The saltire used to be the flag of all Scots. It was completely uncontroversial. Now it is the flag of independence supporters. Likewise, the Union Flag used to be completely uncontroversial in Scotland. No one objected, no one much noticed. Now the Union Flag has become a political statement in Scotland in the same way that it makes a political statement in Northern Ireland. It is no longer the flag of every British citizen living in Scotland but is rejected by independence supporters as something alien in just the same way Irish nationalists reject the British flag in Northern Ireland.

In most countries a flag says nothing about politics. It is used at sporting events and flies mostly unnoticed on public buildings. These countries are fortunate because they don’t have nationalism. People don’t have to take sides about flags and so flags fade into the background. This is how we used to be in Scotland before the SNP came into power. We would fly Scottish flags at football or rugby matches, but we were happy to fly the Union Flag at the Olympics and didn’t notice if it appeared on public buildings. It simply reflected the truth that Scotland was part of the United Kingdom. There was no need to notice, because this simply a fact rather than something to disagree about.



The SNP don’t want Scotland to be part of the United Kingdom, but they also don’t want to acknowledge even that we are a part of the United Kingdom. Somehow, they hope that politicising the Union Flag will make it more likely that one day their wish will come true. By delegitimising the Union Flag in Scotland, they hope to delegitimatize the idea that we can be both Scottish and British, which again merely expresses the truth that Scots are also British citizens. If we are not, what are we? Stateless.

The hypocrisy of the SNP however is that it wishes Scotland to receive all of the advantages of being part of the UK while denying that we are a part. If any UK wide initiative did not apply to Scotland, the SNP would be the first to complain, but it is unwilling to give any credit to the UK for what it does, but only blame for the fact that it exists at all.

The truth is that nearly all Scottish voters including Scottish nationalists hope that various features of the UK would continue after independence. They want there to be open borders and they would prefer that there was a continued currency union. No one actually prefers to use the pound unofficially.  They want to be able to live and work anywhere in the UK and receive exactly the same benefits as they do at present. They would like the BBC to continue broadcasting in Scotland and the British Army and intelligence services to continue to keep them safe. There is rather a lot in fact that independence supporters like about the UK while at the same time rejecting the flag that indicates the unity of our country that made all of these things happen.

While being unwilling to fly the flag of the United Kingdom that we are a part of Nicola Sturgeon has decided to fly the flag of the EU which Scotland was never a member of. A SNP spokesman said

The EU flag is flown to reflect the overwhelming vote of the people of Scotland to remain in Europe, and as a mark of solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of EU citizens who continue to call Scotland home despite Brexit.

But by the same logic the Union Flag should be flown as a mark of solidarity with the 55% who voted No in 2014 who expressed their wish to continue to be British citizens. By doing so we explicitly voted to accept the will of the UK majority. We could instead have voted to leave the EU in 2014, which would have deprived every EU citizen of their leave to remain which they obtained from the UK.

Scotland’s geographical position has not changed. We are still in Europe. Every single EU citizen living in Scotland who wanted to stay after Brexit was given that right not by the Scottish Government but by the UK Government. Why anyway do EU citizens need any more solidarity than people from Africa or Asia who also live in Scotland. Everyone who has the right to live in Scotland has the same rights as everyone else.

Nicola Sturgeon likes to give the impression that she is a Europhile but dig a little deeper and it turns out that she is not. The two main ways in the which the EU seeks to bring its people closer together are Schengen and the Euro, but Sturgeon wants Scotland to continue using the pound unofficially for the foreseeable future after independence and wants Scotland to remain part of the Common Travel Area which is incompatible with being part of Schengen.

It is reasonable to assume that she would oppose Scotland becoming a region in a United States of Europe so the relationship she would want Scotland to have would be as semi-detached as the UK used to have with the EU. Whatever new initiative the EU proposed to bring about ever close union would doubtless be opposed by “Europhile” Sturgeon and indeed most of the Scottish electorate. Support for the EU is at best conditional because precisely the same arguments that the SNP use about the UK can equally well be applied to the EU. No wonder the EU is wary of secessionists.

If you insist that Scotland is country rather than a region then it makes no sense to leave the UK in order to gradually be drawn into a European super state. If you dislike being outvoted by your fellow citizens in the UK, why put yourself in the position where qualified majority voting will outvote you in the EU?

Many Scots think of the EU as benign, liberal and generally preferable to the UK. It is this that is reflected in Sturgeon’s decision to fly the EU flag while apart from one day a year rejecting the flag of the sovereign nation state that we are a part of whether we like it or not. But it the UK that has provided Scots with furlough and business support. More importantly it is decisions made by the UK that has led to 25% of British citizens being vaccinated as opposed to 5% in the EU.

A reasonable response to the debate about the EU is to accept that there are plusses and minuses to membership and that Brexit may involve gains as well as losses. This means accepting that Britain’s decision to not take part in the EU’s vaccine programme (despite the opposition of the SNP) was correct and that this was politically only possible because we had left the EU. If we’d followed Sturgeon’s advice, we would have vaccinated hardly anyone and would be looking at lockdown continuing for most of this year.

If Scotland had not been part of the UK during the past year but instead was part of the EU, we would not have received furlough and business support from the EU and we would now be 20% behind the former UK in protecting our elderly people from Covid. So, the UK not only provides us with currency union, free movement and benefits across the UK it also provides us with free vaccines and free furlough while the EU would provide neither.

Scotland will gain the economic benefit of being able to open sooner because of the UK’s vaccination programme. Many Scottish jobs and businesses will have been saved by the Treasury. To wish to leave the UK under these circumstances would be the most perverse form of nationalism, because our recovery would be due to Union Flag that we reject even though it contains a saltire in favour of an EU flag that never had a star for Scotland because we neither joined nor left, because only independent nation states can be members of the EU.

 

Friday, 19 February 2021

Getting to the top of the list

 

The SNP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) recently decided to reserve the top spot on the 8 regional list seats for someone who was either disabled or an ethnic minority (BAME). It also decided that it would allow candidates to self-identify as BAME or disabled. This is extraordinary because it shows the SNP moving towards the ultra-woke position of transracialism and transableism.

The logic of allowing people to define themselves as men or women without regard to anatomy or any other objective characteristic is that being a man, or a woman is subjective. But once this is allowed the next step is to allow people to define themselves as black even though they lack the objective characteristics such as skin colour or ancestry that would normally be associated with this. If I can define myself as a woman even though I lack the anatomy and chromosomes of a woman, then why can’t I define myself as black even though both my parents were white.



The same logic applies to disability. If I can define myself as black though my objective ancestry is white, why can’t I define myself as disabled (e.g. I have one leg) even though I in fact have two legs. Likewise, I could define myself as schizophrenic even though no doctor has diagnosed me as having the symptoms of schizophrenia. This might seem absurd, but it merely follows the logic of allowing someone to self-define as a woman without there being any medical diagnosis either of gender dysphoria or of having female anatomy.

But the extension of the logic of transgender to other areas has proved controversial. In 2017 the feminist philosophy journal Hypatia published an article by Rebecca Tuvel In Defense of Transracialism and was subsequently accused of transphobia and racism.  Even in academia the idea of transracialism has been a step too far.

The SNP might deny that they are believers in either transracialism or transableism, but it follows logically from its decision to allow someone to self-identify as BAME or disabled. If someone applies to be head of the SNP list because of being black the SNP official administering the decision will not be able to ask “Are you really black?” because it will be a matter of self-identity. To question someone’s self-identification about their ethnicity or disability would be the equivalent of questioning someone about their gender identity. But this means that the SNP must suppose that someone who self-identifies as black really is black even if the candidate neither appears to be black nor has black parents.



Likewise if a candidate says he is disabled it follows merely from his self-identification that he really is disabled, because to question that the candidate defines himself as one-legged by the fact that he appears to have two legs would be to doubt the self-identification in the same way as doubting a person’s self-identification as a woman because of a lack of female anatomy.

The SNP position is that the person really is BAME or disabled even though they lack all of the objective characteristics of a BAME or disabled person. The SNP isn’t merely saying that such a person says the he is BAME or disabled, it is saying that he really is these things. If the SNP admitted that a BAME or disabled candidate who self-defined as such might really not be these things, it would be to question the whole logic of allowing self-identification as a method of determining truth. For this reason, the SNP must allow that someone without black parents can really be black and that someone with two legs can really have one or that someone with good mental health might have schizophrenia.

Of course, the SNP might argue that we are just trying to be kind to BAME and disabled people by not subjecting them to intrusive tests. But being an MSP is a lucrative position. It is reasonable to assume that someone who is neither BAME nor disabled might pretend that they are. How is the SNP to weed out those who are pretending? Can I self-identify as an SNP supporter? I'm also willing to pretend to be disabled black man so long as they give me the job. If anyone denied I was an SNP supporting disabled black man I would get Mr Yousaf to prosecute them.

But this is our problem. How are we to tell the difference between a transgender person who really is transgender and someone who is merely pretending to be transgender? What objective test could we use to determine that this person really is transgender and this one is not? We cannot use physical appearance, we cannot use chromosomes. All we are left with is the person’s assertion. But so long as the person pretending maintains the pretence there is no way of telling them apart.  

To weed out those candidates who are merely pretending to be BAME or disabled we must rely on objective characteristics, ancestry, appearance and medical diagnosis. But that is to admit that self-identification is not a reliable method of determining ethnicity or disability. But if it is not reliable, why use it? Worse if it is not a reliable method of determining ethnicity or disability why do we suppose is a reliable method of determining sex?



The reason transracialism has been so controversial is that it annuls race as an objective characteristic. But this has the consequence of making for instance Black Lives Matters self-refuting because how are we to determine which lives are black? It also annuls racism. What if the policeman who murdered George Floyd defined himself as black? There would no longer be a racial motivation for his crime. We would no longer be able to blame white people for historically oppressing black people, because we would not know how these people racially defined themselves. If race becomes a matter of self-identification, then anyone could avoid the charge of racism by changing his self-definition. We could all then say whichever forbidden words we pleased and sing along to rap songs.

More importantly if race were no longer to be a matter of skin colour and ancestry there would be nothing for us to be racist about. How can I be prejudiced against a black person if I cannot know he is black? I cannot know it because race would be a matter of self-identification rather than skin colour.

So too the concept of disability dissolves if it becomes a matter of self-identification. If society provides extra resources or parking spaces for disabled people and these become available to anyone who defines themselves as disabled, then there will be no extra resources and no more parking spaces because the term disabled will apply to anyone who chooses it and it will be impossible to judge from appearance if someone is disabled or even if they have one leg or two.

If anyone can define themselves as black or disabled it would follow too that anyone can define themselves as Scottish. Why should being resident in this particular corner of the world called Scotland prevent self-identification as Scottish? But if any person in the whole world can define themselves as Scottish, then Scottish comes to mean human being. But if that is the case why is this small group of humanity trying to become independent from the rest of humanity? If on the other hand being Scottish is an objective characteristic only available to people with these characteristics, why does the SNP suppose that being BAME, disabled or indeed a woman is a matter of self-identification?

To suppose that human characteristics are a matter of self-identification is to abolish truth. If I can define myself as being black when I am white, I could equally define myself as being well when in fact I am infected with Covid. But this is to abolish medical science in a pandemic. If truth were a matter of self-identification there would be no science, because science requires an objective shared space rather than how we identify. But once this becomes clear the whole concept of defining what someone is by how they identify becomes untenable.