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.