A VERY SCOTTISH COUP (PART TWO)

In Part One, I asked what would happen if we suspended disbelief, and all of our critical faculties, and took Nicola Sturgeon and her civil servants at their word on the handling of complaints against Alex Salmond.

Specifically, I asked what would happen if we believed Sturgeon, Evans and the rest that the First Minister knew nothing of the allegations against Salmond from the time they were made in November 2017 until 2 April or 29 March 2018 (depending on which version of the First Minister’s story she is presently sticking to).

Thus began the story of how unelected civil servants staged the most breathtaking coup against the First Minister and the Scottish Government – and of how the First Minister and her Government unaccountably stood back and let it happen.

That story continues now in Part Two. It turns out, however, that simply doing justice to the early Scottish Government handling of complainer Ms B’s allegations, even before they converged with those of complainer Ms A on 20 November 2017, let alone explicating properly the significance to the coup of Ms A’s own story up to that point, and then all that followed from there, will take a good deal more time and space than I had anticipated.

So instead of three parts of A Very Scottish Coup as I’d planned, there will now be at least four. I hope you’ll agree that what follows in Part Two is worth the demands asked of your time and patience, and that by the end of Part Two you’ll still want to see how it all turns out in Parts Three and Four.

The allegations of Ms A and Ms B against Alex Salmond

In January 2018 two formal complaints of sexual harassment against Alex Salmond were made under the new Scottish Government procedure which had been designed exclusively, and which has only ever been used, for that purpose. The first formal complainer, designated Ms A, lodged her complaint on 16 January 2018, while the second formal complainer, Ms B, lodged hers a week later, on 23 January 2018.

But although Ms A had been the first to get in touch with Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, just a day after the review of the then current complaints procedures was announced to staff on 2 November 2017, and although she was the first to lodge her formal complaint in January of the following year, it was actually Ms B who was the first of the two to raise specific allegations against Salmond.

She did this on 8 November 2017.

It makes sense, then, to look first at Ms B’s allegations, and at how unelected senior civil servants used them to further their remarkable coup behind the backs of the First Minister and her Government.

The “concerns” of Ms B

According to senior civil servant Barbara Allison in her evidence to the Fabiani inquiry, she was walking to work on 8 November 2017 when she received a phone call from Ms B, during which allegations against Alex Salmond were made to her by Ms B. The call was made, according to Allison, in response to an email which had gone out to all Scottish Government staff on 2 November 2017, and which was headed “Sexual harassment – message from the Permanent Secretary”.

It might be noted that the message from Evans to which Ms B was responding contained no mention whatever of former Ministers or historic complaints of any kind. Indeed, the message stated in terms that respondents were being invited “to share concerns about current cultures or behaviours” (my emphasis) and if need be, to access “sources of support” in relation to those current concerns.

Why Ms B contacted Allison to make her historic allegations, rather than her Trade Union representative or line manager, or anyone at the Scottish Government’s bespoke Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), or any of the other “sources of support” set out, with full contact details, in Evans’s staff message is also something of a mystery.

The EAP, for example, according to the staff message, existed specifically to provide “emotional and practical support on a range of issues through trained welfare and counselling practitioners offering confidential, independent and unbiased information and guidance”. Its helpline was free to call, “open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year” and offered “1-2-1 counselling support” with “in-house access to a Counselling and Wellbeing Officer” who could also be contacted directly on the number given.

Further, although she had been at one time Director of HR, Allison no longer had any such responsibilities, being now Director of Communications, Ministerial Support and Facilities.

On the face of it, then, the Director of Communications would seem just about the least apposite person for someone in Ms B’s position to contact about such a sensitive historic matter and, whatever the latter part of Allison’s job title may designate, it’s a fair bet that it isn’t counselling, support or complaints handling.

Of course, as in other aspects of this whole affair, it may be that the MSPs on the Fabiani inquiry have had access to some explanatory information on this matter which has not been released to the public and which would throw some light on the mystery. Certainly, one of its members asked Evans a pointed question on this which suggests he had such information, but Scottish Government stooge Fabiani was predictably on hand to shut down the line of questioning before it could reveal anything significant:

Alex Cole-Hamilton: If I could draw it back specifically to Ms B, who raised a complaint and specifically asked that it be shared only with you.

Leslie Evans: I do not recognise that at all.

Alex Cole-Hamilton: Okay. You do not have a recollection of that, but—

Leslie Evans: I do not have a recollection of Ms B asking for a complaint to be shared with me. I have a recollection of a concern—

The Convener: Can I stop this here? I am becoming concerned again. That was not pulling it back.

Alex Cole-Hamilton: I will move on.

Again, it might be noted that the use here by Evans of the barrack-room lawyer distinction between a “complaint” and a “concern” – a distinction which was not even thought up by Evans and the rest as a back-covering device until much later in the process – is typical of the non-answer “answers” given by all of the civil servants to block productive questioning at the inquiry, and presumably reflects the tens of thousands of pounds of public money spent on “preparing” them for their evidence.

(It might also be noted that even as barrack-room lawyers in their own interests these people are scarily incompetent, having undermined their own precious distinction more or less completely by calling each head of formal complaint against Salmond a “cause of concern” – my emphasis – in their correspondence with Salmond’s lawyers from March 2018 onwards, when they finally deigned to tell him of the complaints.)

Be that as it may, however, the allegations made against Salmond by Ms B on 8 November 2017 were clearly of such import that Allison texted Permanent Secretary Evans that same day to arrange a phone conversation so that she could pass them on.

Then, according to Allison’s evidence at the inquiry, “I spoke to the Permanent Secretary on 9 November. At that point a concern had been raised, but there was no complaint.”

Note again the carefully rehearsed distinction. If a “complaint” can only be a formal complaint made under a published procedure, then of course there can be no “complaint” raised by a phone call, no matter how detailed or serious the allegations made in that call. The point, though, for all those of us who have not had the benefit of thousands of pounds’ worth of witness “preparation”, is that serious allegations against a former First Minister had now been passed to the Scottish Government’s top civil servant and she had to decide what to do about them.

The obvious answer is that she should have forthwith, and that very day if possible, informed the First Minister of these allegations which had emerged, however unexpectedly, from the review of current processes ordered by the First Minister’s own Cabinet “commission”.

She should have forthwith advised the First Minister of the various options for responding to these allegations, including the option which Police Scotland would have advised, and when consulted in December 2017 did actually advise, namely referring Ms B to properly trained and professional support workers and keeping the senior civil servants of the Scottish Government out of it altogether.

This was, remember, no more nor less than her duty under the Civil Service Code:

“You must … provide … advice to ministers on the basis of evidence, and accurately present the options and facts.”

“You must not… deceive or knowingly mislead a minister…”

“You must not … ignore inconvenient facts or relevant considerations when providing advice or making decisions.”

Instead, if Evans’s own evidence and that of all of her senior colleagues is to be believed, she spent the whole of November and most of December 2017 advising Nicola Sturgeon on a procedure being manically developed to action these allegations without ever telling her about the allegations themselves.

How could that be an accurate presentation of relevant evidence, options and facts?

How could it fail to be deceptive and misleading?

How could it not constitute the active concealment of inconvenient facts and relevant considerations?

The initial handling of Ms B

In her evidence to the inquiry, Allison summarised how, after that initial phone call, she then continued to be involved with Ms B and her “concerns”:

“I had early contact with Miss B. That contact was a series of texts. I also had, I think, three telephone calls with her, but no meetings. No record was ever taken of any of her concerns.”

All but one of these contacts were in the period 8 November to 29 November 2017.

Now, given that throughout that time Allison was Director of Communications for the Scottish Government, in addition to whatever responsibilities she had for Ministerial Support and Facilities, and given that a plethora of much more qualified support was already in place for someone in Ms B’s position, with even more about to be added, one might legitimately wonder how this came about.

The answer of course is Leslie Evans.

On 9 November 2017, the day Allison informed her of Ms B’s allegations, Evans met with Director of People, Nicola Richards. The email which Evans’s private secretary then sent out at 20.09 that evening indicates their main topic of discussion, and the actions that were to follow from it. One action was this:

“Perm Sec would like to have calls/conversations tomorrow with… Barbara Allison… Gillian Russell.”

Another was this:

“Nicky – copied for info (and we’ll confirm timings to you asap) and also because you are providing ‘lines’ for Perm Sec for BA and GR conversations and didn’t want to set up before you had a chance to provide.”

Some context may be necessary here for readers new to this blog.

Gillian Russell (GR) was a senior civil servant who had been under consideration for a few days prior to this as a potentially suitable candidate to act as a “confidential sounding board” for staff to go to with “concerns about current cultures or behaviours”. As someone who was outside the HR Department, it was thought that she might be seen as to some degree “independent” of HR processes for staff who were, for whatever reason, mistrustful of HR.

As it happens, one of the strong advocates for such an “independent” role to be created was Ms A, and I’ll come to that in due course. For now, what is relevant is that – however much it might seem like overkill to outsiders like myself – the creation of this role seems to have been a legitimate outcome of feedback from staff at this early stage of the review of current complaints processes and one that had been in contemplation before the allegations against Salmond arose.

The role now being contemplated for Barbara Allison was, however, an entirely different matter.

A new role for Barbara Allison

The next morning, 10 November 2017, Evans duly made her calls as arranged to Russell and Allison, using the “lines” prepared by Richards as the basis for the discussion. The calls were made quite separately to each of them, for reasons which will soon emerge.

The resulting appointments of Russell and Allison, and the roles assigned to each, are evidenced in an email from Richards which followed the separate phone calls and in the two “updates” to that email which were added by Evans’s private secretary in the course of the day.

At 10.28 that morning, Richards emailed Evans and others to run down “what’s needed for today and who’s leading on what”. One of the things needed was for Richards, on behalf of Evans, to provide an “outline for Gillian and Barbara on what is asked of them”.

What was being asked of Gillian Russell was straightforward and in line with what had been previously discussed. As set out later that day in an email written by Richards but sent out from the Permanent Secretary’s own account, her new role was:

“To provide a further choice for staff as a confidante and sounding board (in addition to established mechanisms such as HR / TUs / EAP etc) to help them consider options. If they want to take things forward more formally then you would pass to Judith [Mackinnon, Head of People Advice] and team.”

Its boundaries were also clearly described:

“To keep this manageable the focus is on those who have had experiences of sexual harassment.”

And the line of communication of “issues” through HR to Evans herself was clearly evident too:

“It would be helpful if you could give regular updates to Nicky [Richards]/Judith if issues are raised with you – anonymised if that is the person’s wish. They will then provide me (Perm Sec) … with updates as required.”

So what was Barbara Allison’s new role? What else could possibly be added to this cornucopia of sexual harassment support now being offered by the Scottish Government to their staff?

At 12.40 that day Evans’s private secretary updated the part of Richards’s note which related to what was being asked of Allison with a warning added in blue highlight:

“To bear in mind this outline may become public. There is a phrase Perm Sec thought good for BA role that I’m double checking.”

By 13.11, that double checking was evidently done. Evans’s private secretary added a further note:

“It’s ‘pastoral care’.”

Well, let’s just pause for a moment to digest that. The Permanent Secretary has personally come up with a “phrase” for Allison’s new role, and has done so in case the existence of that new role becomes public. The phrase that the Permanent Secretary has come up with for this wheeze is “pastoral care”.

So what exactly is “pastoral care”? This was Allison’s own description of her role to the Fabiani inquiry:

“The pastoral care role was to be there in case anybody wanted to say, ‘I am concerned that things are coming out; this feels tough, so where can I go for support?’ You would mention trade unions, the welfare officer and the employee assistance programme and so on.”

Huh?

Can it really be the case that Leslie Evans, Scotland’s top civil servant, landed one of her most senior colleagues with a role that was already being fulfilled not only by her newly-appointed “confidential sounding board” but by emails and intranet messages to staff?

Did she really go to all the trouble of dreaming up a job and naming it personally as “pastoral care” just so that one of Scotland’s most senior civil servants could be a human signpost, directing staff to where they could access actual care and actual support?

Well no, of course she didn’t.

Allison’s actual job – not the ludicrous one dreamed up by Evans herself for the express purpose of fobbing off the “public” – was to keep in place the evidently vital connection that had caused Ms B, for reasons we don’t know, to single out Allison in the first place as the person to whom her allegations against Salmond should be made.

Allison’s actual job had nothing to do with “pastoral care” and everything to do with keeping Ms B, and her “concerns” about Salmond, on board while the joyous frenzy to develop a procedure to deal with them began in earnest.

In a rare moment of candour during her evidence at the inquiry on her dealings with Ms B, Allison herself even admitted as much: “I felt that I was trying to hold a space open for her,” she said.

Again, it’s glaringly obvious that this development – a senior civil servant being given a fake job so that a space could be held open for a specific complainer while a procedure was cooked up to action her complaint – was one that the First Minister should have been told about as soon as it happened.

How could the First Minister possibly make informed decisions about that procedure, and assess properly the provisions it should contain, without knowing – as her senior civil servants knew – that a space was being held open so that a specific complainer with a very specific complaint could be the first one to use it?

Let’s leave that for now, though, and complete the story of Allison’s “pastoral care” of Ms B.

The pastoral care of Ms B

On Monday 13 November 2017, a message from Evans was sent out to all staff. It was headed “Sexual harassment at work Permanent Secretary update” and, among other things, it intimated Russell’s new role as a “confidential sounding board”. According to the evidence of the civil servants at the inquiry, it also intimated Allison’s new role of “pastoral care”. A comparison of the two intimations is highly instructive.

The part of the message regarding Russell was perfectly clear. It gave her name and contact details. It described her role of “confidential sounding board for those who have experienced sexual harassment”. It even added for the first time, in an obvious nod to the now frantic efforts being made to develop a procedure to service Ms B’s “concerns”, that the experiences to be confided to Russell could be “current or in the past”.

The part of the message regarding Allison on the other hand…

Well, here’s a test. What follows is a full and complete transcription of the part of Evans’s staff message intimating Allison’s new role.

So imagine you’re a Scottish Government employee in want of “pastoral care”. See if you would be able to divine from this that such care was on offer from Allison. See if you can even find the words “pastoral care”:

“I am aware that some staff have been contacted by the media. It is standard practice to redirect journalists to submit requests through the newsdesk – 0131 244 0222. If you have concerns please contact [REDACTED] or Barbara Allison [REDACTED].”

I promise you that’s the whole thing.

If you don’t think that this would have been sufficient for you as a Scottish Government employee to learn of Allison’s availability for “pastoral care”, you’re not alone.

Gillian Russell didn’t know of it either. Here’s her evidence to the inquiry:

“To be honest, at the time, in November, as the documentation will demonstrate, I was not aware of Barbara Allison having that role of pastoral care. I was aware of the role that the permanent secretary asked me to do.”

In fairness to Allison, though, in addition to her true role of keeping Ms B and her allegations on side while a procedure was drafted to action them, she did also fulfil her fake role of human signpost, at least as far as Ms B was concerned.

On 13 November 2017, Allison forwarded Evans’s staff message containing Russell’s contact details to Ms B, texted her to advise of Russell’s role, and spoke to Russell to advise that someone might be in touch with her, providing no further details.

Russell’s somewhat cool response at that time, as recollected in her evidence to the inquiry, was perhaps hardly surprising, given that Russell, in common with almost all of her Scottish Government colleagues, had no idea of the secret role Allison was performing then for Evans:

“After I took on the role on 13 November, there was an engagement with Barbara Allison, in which she advised me that somebody might want to come and speak to me. I advised Barbara that the text number for that purpose had been made available to staff and that, if anyone wanted to contact me, I would obviously be happy to see what I could do to support them, as had been set out in the note…. She said that she had been approached by somebody who wanted to speak. That was all I knew.”

In fact, Russell never did have any contact with Ms B. Throughout the whole complaints process from “concerns” to formal complaint to ultimate decision, she was handled entirely by Evans through Allison, Richards and Mackinnon.

Indeed, even as late as the time of giving her evidence to the inquiry last year, Russell still wrongly assumed that the “somebody” Allison had been referring to on 13 November 2017 was Ms A. In what is now standard procedure for the inquiry, Allison had to write to them on 9 December 2020 to correct this misunderstanding, and point out that the “somebody” was actually Ms B.

And throughout that whole process, the First Minister was, we are to understand, told nothing.

But again, let’s leave that for now because the handling of Ms B and her “concerns” is about to converge with the handling of Ms A and her “concerns”, and to understand properly how and why that happened, and what it tells us about this very Scottish coup, we need to look now at Ms A.

WHICH IS WHERE I’LL PICK UP IN PART THREE

HOPE YOU’LL COME BACK SOON FOR THAT.

POSTSCRIPT ADDED ON 20 FEBRUARY 2021

I made this reply to a commenter below, and I’ve decided also to give it more prominence here:

The misleading statements of the law being put out to the public on behalf of the Salmond complainers by Scottish Government funded agencies like Rape Crisis Scotland concern me deeply.

An accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. When an accused person is acquitted — either by not guilty or not proven verdict, both of which are of identical legal effect — the presumption of innocence is maintained. Therefore an accused person who is acquitted is innocent of the crimes of which (s)he has been acquitted as a simple matter of law.

This is not rocket science, nor is it in any way controversial. I would be saying it, as would any person of integrity, if Woman H or Woman A or anyone else championed by Rape Crisis Scotland had been accused and acquitted of a crime by a jury of their peers.

Rape Crisis Scotland and all of the others who are trying to peddle some kind of grey area of guilt in the Salmond case should be deeply, deeply ashamed of themselves. They are doing a very grave disservice to a cornerstone of our justice system.

117 thoughts on “A VERY SCOTTISH COUP (PART TWO)

  1. This is truly shocking stuff Gordon.

    You have hoist these bastards on the petard of their own evidence through your (obviously very patient and forensic) analysis of it.

    Right from the start the only interest these despicable cowards had was using the experience of what I still assume to be genuinely vulnerable women to wage a vendetta against a perceived political enemy.

    I don’t think I have the words to express how disgusted I am or how disgusting these people are.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks, GeeK, that’s much appreciated. They were certainly used but as for Ms A and Ms B being “vulnerable”, I don’t buy it. Ms A at least was genuine in her belief that she had a grievance that had been inadequately dealt with in the past. Other than that, they were/are self-evidently smart, capable career civil servants who knew well themselves how best to exploit the system to achieve the outcome they wanted — in my view, a very dishonourable one — and they may well have done so but for the utter incompetence of Evans and crew.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. The outstanding feature of this whole sorry saga has been the involvement of people who are not nearly as clever as they would like to think they are. The childish use of sophistry by Evans and her crew, the Murrels and their crews, and the SNP in general, with a few honourable exceptions, only serves to underline their guilt.

        Like

  2. Well done you for dissecting this midden.

    I have a question re the bigger picture if you feel able to shed light upon.

    Ms A and Ms B for the civil harassment allegations would appear not the same A and B for the criminal procedures.

    For the civil complaints A and B – is it possible to divulge a thumbnail sketch of what their complaints consisted of?

    There is a world of difference between an allegation of attempted rape, and one of grabbing hands, or hand on leg.

    One would expect responsible adults in any professional organisation to know that the first is so serious that Police referal/signposting is essential. Not ploiter about for another year, contaminating evidence, pretending to carry out lawful enquiry when not qualified to do so.

    At heart, I’m trying to establish when the Criminal allegations were reported and to whom?

    If the 2 civil complaints from A and B were passed to Police Scotland – via the Crown Agency, and they did not amount to Criminality. Police Scotland had no power to go on a great big fishing exercise thereafter. They could have kept it as intelligence, in case of further, more substantiated complaints, but not instigated the huge enquiry from the outset on the basis of 2 harassment complaints that did not amount to criminality.

    I suspect the answer to my question is that one of the civil complainer A or B, went on to be allocated the letter H in the criminal procedings… attempt rape.

    If so, it means, that for about 1 year, Scot Gov civil servants, were ploitering about in something that was at the most serious of criminal levels, attempting to sort it by means of employment legislation and making any proper Police enquiry thereafter almost impossible.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Neither one is Woman H, Daisy.

      Dani Garavelli’s long anti-Salmond story which is still on line will tell you what letters Ms A and Ms B became in the trial. I feel safe referring you to it because it was specifically reported to COPFS by Stuart Campbell and others — for other reasons — as being allegedly in contempt of Lady Dorrian’s order and COPFS evidently decided it was fine.

      However, it’s a subject I’ve avoided in my posts, and would ask others to avoid in comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for that. I hope I have tread carefully – no intention of overstepping the line.

        With that in mind, it appears the civil complaints did not amount to criminality.

        In August 2018 I wonder how many complaints/allegations/complainers were reported to Crown Agency by Leslie Evans.

        If it was the initial A and B complaints and they did not amount to criminality – Police Scotland had no authority to go on a great big fishing exercise.

        They certainly could not justify 22 Police Officer team for it.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. Does this mean when Nicola Sturgeon said she knew of no “complaints” she was telling the truth because at that point it was only “concerns” she knew about?

    Liked by 7 people

  4. Thank you so much for going to such lengths to uncover the alarming truth. If only the Harassment Committee could invite you along to do some questioning, on behalf of truth and justice and in the interests of all tax-paying Scots who are now learning what some of their highly rewarded and self-satisfied civil servants get up to.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Black Joan, that’s truly appreciated.

      It’s such an outrageous lie they’re telling, and apparently getting away with, that I think people feel overwhelmed by where to start — exactly like when everyone else seems to see the Emperor’s new clothes and you don’t.

      Getting right down into the details helps with that, I think, though it doesn’t stop you wanting to say, “Oh for fuck’s sake, the man’s bare-scud naked, you cretins!”

      Liked by 5 people

      1. If you were to describe the core lie in similar terms to your description of the Emperor’s New clothes, how would you do it?

        I ask simply because I am so deep in the intrigue I am actually losing the big picture; it’s good to a have helicopter perspective

        Like

      2. 1. Some of the most powerful people in Scotland (some of whom happen to be women) could not possibly have got together in a conspiracy to bring down a political enemy because powerful people (who happen to be women) would never do such a thing.

        2. Although a good number of those powerful people (some of whom happen to be women) are some of Nicola Sturgeon’s closest allies, and one of them is her husband, Nicola played no part in what they did at any time and for five whole months at the outset knew nothing about what they were doing.

        Liked by 4 people

      3. Totally naked, yet dozens of people in high places who know that to be the case continue to say nothing, or (absurdly) to believe that “independence first” is much more important. Or that their jobs are. And meanwhile the perpetrators hide behind shields constructed from their own pomposity and linguistic obfuscation, and those pointing out the nakedness are called traitors, and worse.

        Good to read that a judge-led inquiry may be next (though no doubt we’ll all be paying for that too, and for the further time and courtroom “training” of the tangled-web-weaving participants). Your four-part Very Scottish Coup should be the foundation document for any future analysis of all this. I’d suggest turning it into a play or a novel, like the Very British Coup, but it would be dismissed as too improbable for fiction. Thanks again. Parts Three and Four are eagerly awaited.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I think it’s inevitable whether the SG inquiry collapses or not, Tenruh. Too many people know now what really happened for them to get away with their present tactics indefinitely. If the Fabiani farce collapses, it’ll definitely come sooner though…

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Interesting,,,

      Is it not quite late in the day to see the committee inquiry collapse? And in what manner could it be collapsed?

      If enough committee members were shown to be compromised,,, (undeclared interests,,)?

      A vote of no confidence by the parliament? That would actually seem reasonable – considering the number of obstructions the SG has put in the inquiry’s path, and how can any of the evidence be trusted anyway – I could see Alex Cole-Hamilton or Jackie Baillie leading a VONC in their own inquiry! Once they realise it isn’t just a bit of fun.

      They’ve dragged out this inquiry to be too close to the May elections, of course – which the SNP have no intention of setting back, of course. So we may find a known, but unproven, corrupt government being elected back into office.

      Well, I suppose, if the Italians can do it, we can too.

      I can only assume that the desperate attempts to stop Alex Salmond testifying are because he will put some very big flies in the ointment. Anyone want to make a bet that NS won’t testify if AS does? (I have doubts she will anyway, however much she ‘looks forward to it’)

      Another 5 years of delays and obstruction to another inquiry until everyone is sick & tired of it, and have forgotten what it was for in the first place? – I really hope the SNP do not get enough seats to form a government alone this time round. (I’m hoping other pro-independence parties get enough seats, to make an alliance the SNPs only option – they preach enough about ‘working together’, would be nice to see it in action for once).

      (Actually, I’m hoping for a plebiscite election in May, and then full mobilisation of the independence movement, and a change of leadership, or complete overshadowing of the corrupt elements of the SNP, as plans and decisions are implemented despite them. Then complete reform of our electoral system and etc)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a fantastic piece of work Gordon. I would happily have binge-read episodes 3 and 4 if they had been available. Rendering the whole process comprehensible is a remarkable achievement, although I’m going to have to go back and reread that passage where Russel, McKinnon, Richards and Allison are all getting tangled up together to make sure I’ve got the gist of it..

    Putting aside all the issues of content, this provides a fascinating insight into the upper echelons of the Scottish civil service, which appears to be a labyrinth of byzantine complexity staffed by a heaving mass of spectacularly pointless wimmin with nonsensical job titles and no actual work to do.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Ach, come on now David, you know fine there’ll be just as many spectacularly pointless men in there as women, and probably a few stunningy useless non-binary folks too.

      Kind words as always much appreciated and (famous last words) I’ll try to be a bit quicker with parts 3 and 4.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Epic stuff indeed. I feel overcome with cliches when l see you patiently tightening on this cabal Softly softly catchee monkey comes to mind if it’s not too ( persona non grata alert ) Kiplingesque.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Derek, much appreciated.

      And no problem here with Kipling or any other literary genius whose politics I don’t happen to share. Or, for that matter, with any literary diddy whose politics I don’t happen to share.

      That we should have to be explaining this to people in 2021 is sad, sad, sad…

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Earlier someone asked you to explain the core lie at the heart of this mess. You did so very well.

      Can you explain the core truth at the heart of it, the truth that the lie is intended to hide and protect from prying eyes?

      Great work. Really impressive in many ways.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks James, that’s very kind of you. I’d say it’s something like this:

        The First Minister of Scotland was a key part of a conspiracy by those closest to her, including her husband, to bring down former First Minister Alex Salmond. She has lied repeatedly, including to Parliament, about her part in the conspiracy, and indeed has falsely denied even knowing about it. She is now part of a conspiracy to cover up what she and others did to Alex Salmond.

        Liked by 5 people

  7. How can a judge led enquiry be brought about? I assume it has to come from the Scottish parliament. The SNP MSPs are all towing the line. Even if some were to go against the government and vote for one, after May, Sturgeon may have a super-majority to block it. Could it come from Westminster?

    Also, sex scandal is the modus operandi of the establishment to remove threats (read intelligence services). Do you think this goes deeper than parochial vendetta?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Has to come from the Scottish Parliament, Alistair.

      I think it’ll happen for the same reason the Lord Advocate had to concede one in the COPFS malicious prosecutions scandal, though I’m sure Sturgeon would have protected him if she could have. Just as she has with the Fabiani farce, Sturgeon will have to brazen it out and pretend she has nothing to fear.

      Too many people now know what really happened for her to do anything else.

      Yes, the Russian establishment even has a word for it — kompromat, if I remember rightly.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I despair. The current leader (+husband) and a large number of SNP MPs and MSPs are undeserving of the support of the Yes movement. They are careerists who are squandering this opportunity.

        I can’t see any clear way out of this – although it could all backfire for the UK establishment if Salmond, Cherry, McCaskill etc jump-ship for a list party and hold the balance of power after May’s election – that would really hold the SNPs feet to the fire over Indy! Very, Very big risk though.

        Thanks, and keep up the excellent work.

        Liked by 2 people

  8. I can’t claim to understand what is going on, but for me too (pun intended) the main take away is the existence of this slew of women in the civil service with mysterious jobs and, no doubt, VERY high pay.

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  9. What a fucking bourach of a cairry oan. Ower mony folk wi naithin tae dae an a day tae dae it in. Ower much time tae slooter aboot in the glaur wi petty concerns an yaisin folks “concerns” tae manifest thir personal grievances, real or imagined, against anither body. Weel done Gordo an mair pooer tae yir pen.

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    1. Sad to say I lack the confidence to reply in Scots, Mosstrooper, but I’m well chuffed to get your praise and astute comments in such vivid language, and if you — and anyone else reading this — are interested in my own native dialect — Kirkie-speak — please do check out my wee novel A Thousand Hearts which is written in that voice. Oh, and almost entirely in the second person for good measure!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Phil, you’re spot-on! I stole the whole second person voice from Lewis Grassic Gibbon — and much else besides!

        Sunset Song is my favourite novel and Wordsworth’s The Prelude is my favourite book of any kind and I plundered them both shamelessly, as I hope you’ll see and enjoy if you read ATH.

        Jay McInerney uses the second person voice in Bright Lights, Big City but it doesn’t work in my opinion, partly because he doesn’t have the range of Scots “non-specific you” that LGG and (dare I say it) I have as background culture to work with, whereby in one sentence you can go from specific you, to multiple specific youse, to universal one, to “Speak of the Mearns”-style gossipy you, and back and forth between them. It’s such a wonderful device I can’t believe it hasn’t been used more by Scots writers. Would love to know what you — and others — think if you have a look at ATH.

        (Love of Sunset Song is probably one of the very few things I share with Nicola Sturgeon at this point, and sad to say, I’m not even convinced she’s genuine about that now. How could anyone who truly grasped what that book says at an emotional level behave the way she has and does?)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you greatly for this work – it really helps to paint a picture of just what has been happening, which is absolutely not at all clear from the popular presses. I would greatly appreciate if you could elaborate on the ‘pastoral care’ role creation. What possible reasons for this could there be? Are they saying they thought the normal channels (which I presume will have been determined and ratified as HR Policy) were somehow not sufficient? What reasoning for this? It’s completely bizarre, frankly….

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  11. Gordon, a wonderfully clear and concise instalment. Making a complex series of events with a sizeable cast of characters clear is a huge task and you’ve achieved it superbly. As we learned in the army, speed is fine, accuracy is final. So take the required time to continue with this exposition. It will, in time, be required reading.

    I suspect that you’re right and that, ultimately there will need to be a judge-led enquiry if not court proceedings. In the light of that, it is going to be interesting indeed how the fact, not disputed as far as I’m aware, that public funds were used to prepare the witnesses on how to handle questions raised in the enquiry, will be dealt with by the judge and/or court. I don’t know about Scots law but in English law, witnesses are not allowed to conspire and share evidence and lawyers certainly cannot coach witnesses. During court proceedings, a witness is not allowed inside the court before they have given their own evidence and been cross-examined.

    It begs the question of why, if these civil service witnesses are telling the truth, they felt the need to be coached. It may well be that a judge-led inquiry or proceedings is to be hoped for, given how weak and supine the committee has been to date. If Mr Salmond has to fall back on a press release, rather than attend the committee, I fear that the press will simply embargo the release and the caravan will move on.

    Really looking forward to Part 3, in due course.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Many thanks indeed, Ingwe, for the generous praise and it’s always a pleasure to get your own insightful comments.

      As it happens, I was in a consultation last week with a very senior QC and he was making exactly your point about the coaching of the witnesses. He was outraged that the Committee had not called everyone involved in to give evidence and explain themselves.

      I think he was itching to cross-examine them himself and get to the bottom of it, and having seen him in action I’d pay top dollar for a ringside seat if we could only make that happen!

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I can see why the enquiry witnesses might be scared. They’re notionally appearing as witnesses, but they are drifting into being the accused. Unlike a court of law, they have no legal representation present.

      As for the press embargoing a press release, there are plenty of bloggers who would publish iyt in a heartbeat!

      Liked by 3 people

  12. Gordon,

    Thank you so much for your diligence it is so very useful. It’s increasingly difficult in Scotland to get to any truth. It’s very concerning the current direction of travel of this whole situation …..can you give me your comments on the following…as I lay this out….any comments you can make would be welcome……..

    1. Fabiani Enquiry, today it went to the SPCB to decide what of Alex Salmond’s testimony can be used/released. The committee themselves seem not to be able to decide, they have voted down using the evidence twice,once was after after the Dorian decision/clarification……

    It going to need something special to get anything out of this Committee, the odds are reducing with time….the clock is running down.

    2. We still have James Taylor QC, which is an investigation into FM performance vs the Ministerial Code. My worry here is if you have invited someone into ‘mark your homework’ how could that ever turn out to be a firing offence.

    So I’m looking at this being a damp squid.

    3. We are awaiting the judgment from Lady Dorrian on the Craig Murray case, I must say the writing must be awful for him. If he gets off which I hope he does, would this mean his evidence would stand…..would be helpful I guess but damaging for the current SG…….I would not think so.

    4. Therefore I’m concluding, there needs to be a VONC in the current SG to make any headway in this….this is a tall order to deliver……the numbers are not solid…..it would need some hard decisions to be made by SNP MSP’s.

    From what I understand its not cutting through in the MSM either…I cannot blame people either. But what does this say about the health of democracy in Scotland…….regardless of who is in power.

    Many thanks again……Jimmy

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    1. Thanks Jimmy, that’s much appreciated. My take on most of this would be much the same as your own. A lot of people seem to be putting a lot more faith in the Hamilton referral than I would for sure. Hope I’m wrong.

      Craig’s affidavits are what they are — his sworn testimony in court proceedings in the highest court in Scotland. The case is still “live” until the court gives its verdict so it’s unwise to say much at the moment but, regardless of the verdict, the information in the affidavits is now out there in the public domain as a resource for people to look at and I’m sure that was Craig’s main purpose in publishing them.

      Liked by 3 people

  13. Let me add my own thanks Gordon. You have surgically removed so much obscuring fat from the carcass that we can get on with the post mortem and see quite clearly what was the cause of death.

    But I am not so optimistic about where we go from here

    Those going on about a judge led inquiry have clearly forgotten the Hutton Inquiry and the Diana Inquiry.

    Hutton heard masses of incriminating evidence, then gave his verdict as the exact opposite. When a judge does that there is nothing you can do but ask for another inquiry, so what is the point?

    And the Diana Inquiry knew that she had herself predicted her murder in a car crash arranged by her former husband, saw the prediction in her own undisputed hand …..and then nothing. So again, what is the point of a judge led inquiry?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John, that’s kind of you. I share your cynicism about the findings of public inquiries in general but the real purpose in this case would be to get professional counsel who know how to examine and cross-examine witnesses and competent clerks who know how to organise documents for witnesses to refer to, a judge who won’t put up with prevarication or failures of memory from witnesses and knows how to make everyone focus on what’s relevant etc etc.

      If we could get that, the whole house of cards would collapse very quickly. I’d be surprised if the judge’s eventual findings even mattered.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thank goodness for good honest people like yourself, Craig Murry, Stuart Cambel, Grouse Beater, Barhead Boy, Jason, Joanna Cherry, Angus McNeil etc, etc. Without you guys and girls we would be swallowed up in the black hole that is the Murrels.
        Got your book by the way and look forward to a good read.

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  14. Gordon , as many have said , thank you for the forensic clarity of your work , and for the quality of your prose .
    I have two observations. First , it is a measure of the horrifying extent to which the civil service has been degraded and politicised under the SNP. The corruption and incompetence you describe would have been unimaginable in Scottish public life even ten years ago .
    The second point relates to the whole scale break down of any proper governance in Scotland . Holyrood is mediocre , weak and not fit for any purpose , and certainly not for holding its Executive to account . The litany of failures ( ferries , hospitals ,shipyards , airports , failed prosecutions ) speaks of a country which has jettisoned principle and morality and has become a one party state , run by people for whom “ might is right” is everything.
    How the people who facilitated and enabled this state of affairs expect to be trusted with our collective futures is beyond my understanding .I fear only a Herculean cleansing of the Augean stables will suffice!
    Thank you again
    James

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, they seem to enjoy an unsurpassed level of trust even now. This whole saga so far hasn’t dented their reputation as it hasn’t really being perceived by the public (no surprise there, if it were a movie it would be too convoluted even for Christopher Nolan). By and large the cabal is seen as one that can do no wrong.
      So far.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Thanks James, that’s very kind of you. It sounds like you have some experience on the topic so I’ll bow to your superior knowledge that things were once better in the civil service. As far as the politics goes, I’m optimistic that we can get back on track as a broad-based and properly left-leaning independence movement if we can get rid of the corrupt Sturgeon clique and the McCarthyite cult that they nurture and protect.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you, Gordon. I’d been checking daily for Part 2 ever since reading Part 1 and I was not disappointed. Nor am I disappointed that there are several more Parts to come. Though I’m itching to understand the whole story so please don’t delay!

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I echo all the others sentiments of grateful thanks and it is reassuring that we have some in the legal profession who are willing to show that they will not stand idly bye and allow their profession to be tainted by illegality and corruption . If only we had senior members of the judiciary willing to show their integrity and honesty and calling out this farce for what it is.

    The old saying is very appropriate ” all it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing” I call on the senior judiciary to DEMAND an investigation into the behaviour of the Lord advocate , the COPFS and Police Scotland

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  17. What power does this inquiry have? When they come to write their report, even if they find wrongdoing, do they have the power to sack the main actors? Coz if we’re expecting those main actors to show integrity and resign I think we’re in for a rude awakening. They’ll skip right back into their SG desks on the following Monday like nothing ever happened.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think their instinct will be to scapegoat Evans for the whole thing, Scozzie — and she has certainly given them plenty to work with! — but I don’t think even now they understand properly how much Evans and Sturgeon have tied their fates together. If Evans has to go, so will Sturgeon, and I’m sure that sooner or later that’s what will happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always remember how Evans repeatedly said she takes instruction from ministers (or words to that effect) so she herself was tying her actions to NS. So hopefully you’re right in your hypothesis.

        I’m also curious as to why more has not been made on – if we take NS at her word, the 2nd April meeting was a party matter to do with AS allegations. Why then was he being held to account on a SG harassment policy rather than a SNP harassment policy. Or maybe I’ve missed inquiry questions on that….

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      2. It’s a confusing mess at the moment, Scozzie, and I’m sure it’s one of the main reasons why Salmond is so determined to get his very clear account of it on the record, on oath, next week. With that at last to read from, even the idiots on the inquiry (honourable exception, Jackie Baillie) should be capable of putting that account to Sturgeon directly and making her answer it — also on oath.

        One of them will then be a perjurer and no prizes for guessing who I think it will be.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. And who can forget Sturgeon’s unconditional backing of both Evans and MacKinnon immediately after the JR had collapsed?

        Their fates are inescapably tied together.

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  18. Excellent article Gordon, as you say nae bad at all!

    Hopefully I’ll get time a bit later to indundate you with all sorts of awkward questions, but I know there will be much more juicy stuff when you introduce and link this to Ms A events!

    I’ll just express my lack of patience, and annoyance that you’ve now extended this to 4 parts – I KNEW you’d do that (and in fact expect 6 parts! Or maybe 10 if you wanted to carry on this theme into the ‘handling’ stage – except they were already ‘handling’ the allegations right from the start, weren’t they? I want to say more on that too, but my annoyance first,,,) – which means I’ll have to wait ages for the breakdown in your thinking for the 20th Dec 2017 date,,, which I want revealed immediately (because I have no patience).

    Despite my irritation, I admit the way you’ve explained the significance of Ms B allegations and handling is worth the part 2 on its own, and throws a lot of light on included and excluded evidence, decisions, and phrasing – haha, if only we’d all been ‘prepared’ like them too! – and I’m eager to read similar for the saga on Ms A.

    What was happening before the 7th Nov 2017? Did Ms B really first make allegations on the 8th? Why DID she contact BA first?! (My thoughts initially on that last Q was that BA could have been her staff manager, and it was too revealing to tell us that,,,). For later – I’ll be here for ages if I start now!

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    1. Ah Contrary, I detect the anguished cry of a fellow obsessive. Wish I could move faster but I’ve been this way for 58 years (or at least the 53 or so that I can remember well) and wishful thinking to imagine I’m gonna change now.

      (Actually, I suspect it’s hereditary, though maybe skipping a generation every so often. My Pop (my mum’s dad) used to get up at 5.00 every morning so he could be ready to set out for his work at 8.00.)

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  19. Gordon, yet again you have provided for many people in Scotland and beyond a detailed and dispassionate account of what can only be described as utter shenanigans in many of the civic ‘levers of power’ in this country.
    Sky TV seem to be aware of what is going on and are sniffing around while the BBC and STV should hang their heads in shame.
    For many people blogs like yours ( but especially yours) have become essential reading to understand what is going on and I thank you for this tremendous public service.
    As a matter of interest are you able to provide any indication in these presumably rising levels of interest in your blog?

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    1. Many thanks, Mike, that’s all much appreciated. The traffic for the blog is rising rapidly and if I get a chance I’ll try to put out some figures as I think people will be encouraged to see that the information is getting out there despite — as you say — the usual shameful performance from the establishment media.

      As it happens, I was just over looking at the front pages of all the newspapers on the stand at Sainsburys this morning and only one that I could see — Scottish Daily Mail — had a cover story on Salmond giving his evidence next week. I forget the terms of their banner headline but it was something about this being the end for Sturgeon.

      That shows it’s a front page story, and all the rest of the establishment media hate the SNP just as much as the Mail does. The “wheesht for Indy” folks should ask themselves why almost the whole unionist media, which hates them and hates independence, is now wheeshting for Sturgeon.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Really enjoying the blog, having only recently started reading.
    Very impatient for part 3 now. Any clue as to how long we may need to wait?

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  21. Many thanks for this Gordon. With all that has been going on, this, plus Craig Murray’s affidavit, has cleared much of the fog.

    A forgotten tragedy in this saga is that it seems there are women with genuine complaints against Salmond who never got the due process they were entitled to.

    Instead (correct me if I am wrong anywhere here), it appears opponents of Salmond:

    1.created a flawed procedure to deal with complaints,
    2.when that procedure collapsed, they bypassed the police (who may have concluded there was insufficient case to refer to COPFS) and went direct to COPFS, to ensure the next stage would be a criminal trial,
    3.put pressure on other women to come forward with genuine incidents that the jury considered did not meet the threshold for harassment,
    4.added their own claims, which in one case at least the jury did not believe to be true, and
    5. are currently doing their best to ensure the cover-up of their own behaviour continues, aided by the very necessary laws that protect the anonymity of sexual abuse accusers?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think the complaints were genuine from the start, Craig. As others have pointed out in detail, all of the complaints come from a tiny clique of powerful, very well-connected women and, despite the police having apparently interviewed around 400 women, spanning all the years of Salmond’s public life, and chasing up every possible lead of who he may have kissed on the cheek in a theatre foyer etc, they came up with precisely NOTHING outside of this clique (who by the way were all “supporting” each other throughout).

      Other than that, I agree with a lot of what you set out here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for the clarification Gordon. If there really are no genuine complainers, that makes the whole thing far worse and more cynical than I would have thought. It is hard to get my head round the concept to be frank.

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      2. Craig, if Salmond was really the sexual predator that the women and the PFS claimed then the 22 strong police “Salmond Squad” engaged for a year conducting 700 interviews with 400 “witnesses” would have come up with cases a lot more substantial than the flimsy allegations they eventually ran with. The very fact that they didn’t after this extensive fishing expedition should have given any competent prosecutor cause to doubt the SNP women’s stories. Real sexual predators like Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Rolf Harris and Harvey Weinstein have long histories of this sort of behaviour, they don’t suddenly start in their 50s, and their behaviour is widely known in their circles.

        Salmond has been in public life for what – 30 years? In that time he has been constantly surrounded by staffers, civil servants and bodyguards, senior politicians are rarely alone. How is it possible that no hint of sexual misbehaviour attached to him until these women came forward? Even more telling, given the degree in which he is hated and feared by the English media would they not have published any scandal they could find about him during his years at Westminster? The reason they haven’t is because there was nothing to find. I think it was Gail Sheridan that wrote that when she ran the VIP lounge at Edinburgh Airport it was common knowledge among the female staff which VIPs were handsy and to be wary of. She never heard a word against Alex.

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  22. Really, really enjoying reading your forensic analysis Gordon. It is so refreshing to see what really happened after so many years of (deliberately engineered) murkiness. I cannot wait for part 3 & 4. Do more if need be!

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  23. Thank you so much Gordon. I am really enjoying reading this epic tale. It’s the stuff of a Jeffrey Archer novel but alas its non-fiction. Looking forward to the next instalment with great eagerness. I have lots of the little old ladies in my village hooked. Thank you for the lockdown “entertainment”

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    1. Many thanks, Olly, I’m so loving the image of the little old ladies of your village huddled eagerly round the laptop!

      I’d say turn them on also to my wee novel, A Thousand Hearts (see comments above a bit with full details), but it may not be exactly the preferred reading of LOLs… (Then again, one of my very good friends is 82, favourite actor Harvey Keitel, favourite film Bad Lieutenant, and she LOVED it, so who am I to stereotype?)

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  24. ‘Wheest for Indy’ should perhaps be abbreviated to ‘Windy’?
    A) They are full of hot air
    and
    B) They appear to have the wind up.

    As for the media, BBC editorial staff are of the same anti-brexit and ‘woke’ leaning as Ms Sturgeon and are as I have mentioned in a previous post suffering some form of cognitive dissonance.
    The story with STV is more prosaic, simply follow the money. Covid has decimated their advertising revenues and the money coming in to their coffers and paid-for by ScotGov is quite staggering..

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  25. Gordon, thanks for you great summarising of this convoluted story. it seems to me that Sturgeon and company are determined to fight on, and are pinning their hopes on Alex Salmond being such a Marmite politican, with MSM always ready to demonise him, that most people will instinctively not believe him.

    It is probaby more important victory for them to supress the submisson and testimony of Geoff Aberdein, and Anne Harvey who made an assertion in the Salmond trial that on 31 October 2017, the very day the civil service were tasked with examining the CURRENT complaints procedure, she received a series of 16 text messages to her private number asking for information and whether she could disclose anything about past issues.

    As I understand it, her evidence was ruled indmissable, I presume because the sender of these texts was not one of the Alphabet women complainers.

    Revealing the texts and the sender’s identity would put the witch-hunt theory front and centre.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Sceptic, that’s much appreciated. Yes, there’s some confusion about these text messages to Anne Harvey which won’t be resolved unless and until her full evidence is made public. The statement she released to counter Sue Ruddick’s fictional allegations against Salmond referred to a previous statement she made in August 2018 about a “witchhunt” after she received messages from SNP HQ, and the ones put up in court were apparently dated 31 October 2017.

      If, as seems most likely, the two things refer to the same set of messages, then the 16 texts came from SNP HQ, but I know there are other claims out there so we’ll just have to hope for definitive clarification at some point.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Gordon since we are allowed to read Sue Ruddick’s name I presume she is not covered by the court order, yet she claims she reported an incident to the police. Is it possible that she is the 10th accuser dropped from the case at the last minute and the reason for that was to enable the exclusion of Ann Harvey’s evidence?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. George, I’d be very surprised if the Ruddick accusation whose details we know even made it to COPFS. It had no sexual element so they couldn’t use Moorov and it was flatly contradicted by the only eye-witness (Harvey). I may be wrong but I’d hope even Police Scotland would know that one was a no-hoper.

      As to the other allegation(s) Ruddick now claims she made, who knows? We have no information so best not to speculate.

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  27. Gordon
    Thanks again for all this. I guess you’ll be first off the blocks with the book of the film?

    Turning to the events:

    “Why Ms B contacted Allison to make her historic allegations, rather than her Trade Union representative or line manager, or anyone at the Scottish Government’s bespoke Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), or any of the other “sources of support” set out, with full contact details, in Evans’s staff message is also something of a mystery.”

    Initial approach could have been just because Allison was someone she knew and trusted?

    Doesn’t explain why Ms B wasn’t immediately directed to the proper channels.

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    1. Yes, your last sentence is the crucial one, Robert. Even if her job as a human signpost was legit (which it wasn’t of course), she was still taking calls and exchanging texts after she’d done it. Just that in itself tells you something else was going on.

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  28. Thank you so much for deconstructing all the lies, duplicity and utter malice involved in the attempted criminalising of AS.
    I remember, I think it was 1996, when I was at uni interviewing NS for our uni radio station.
    After the interview I thought to myself ‘She is just a frightened wee lassie behind a mask’ if that is still the case her overriding insecurity is one of ‘fear’
    Fear of being ‘exposed’ and it looks like she will fight tooth and nail not to be exposed and she has and will continue no matter what the cost. She will bring anyone down to save herself, including Evans and Murrell.
    The brutal sadness is, potentially she will bring Scotland down with her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gordon thanks so much for both instalments in this sordid saga. Like you I am on the left fought racism, sexism and homophobia when it was existential, necessary and not at all universal. . I now see primarily middle class opportunists with other agendas subvert that agenda in favour of a damaged and destructive cultism if the idtarians.

      That said it suits some fairly base political agendas too. I am aghast at the corruption of the Scottish state and utterly despair at our bought media. Only the unofficial media and experts like you keep any enlightenment going in this great nation. We all have to be a bit coy about identifying ourselves given the career cancelling potential of our enemies. But I know HR and I know most of the players involved from the SG. If you take the term “pastoral support’ it is usually met by employees with irony and suspicion. Generally it’s about arse covering or virtue signalling. In BA’s case it’s about control and gate keeping. A pint when we can and I will tell you more.

      Finally,Gordon if you can explain the labyrinthine complexity and mind- coddling dullness of civil service and HR protocols as grippingly as you have, I know your novel will be a treat. I have bought six foot friends and family.

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      1. This has totally made my weekend, Davy — can’t thank you enough. There’s plenty politics in there as well as many other things that I’m really proud of so hope you all enjoy it. Needless to say, it wouldn’t pass muster with the new McCarthyites who think novels should be virtue-signalling contests or trauma narratives (or ideally both) and not attempts to carry the reader along on an authentic journey. They can get it right up them. Please do let me know how you get on with it. Hooray!

        And yes, we’re absolutely on the same page about what’s real and what’s not when it comes to struggle. Let’s definitely get that pint whenever we can.

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    2. After the interview I thought to myself ‘She is just a frightened wee lassie behind a mask’. If that is still the case her overriding insecurity is one of ‘fear’… Fear of being ‘exposed’, and it looks like she will fight tooth and nail not to be exposed and she has and will continue no matter what the cost…

      Imagine you already suffer from impostor syndrome…
      Imagine you’ve succeeded in creating the public image of a champion and heroine…
      Imagine that you know in your heart you’re a nasty, vindictive little liar and crook, and that all those around you, all your closest colleagues and confidantes, are also nasty vindictive liars and crooks…
      Imagine living with the daily fear that it’s all going to unravel and everyone is going to know the truth…

      It can’t be much fun being Nicola Sturgeon these days.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Was it ever, maybe.only when she was flying on the wings of her mentor and I think that is where the deep hatred stems from and the catalyst was the me-to campaign.
        I believe that NS feels that she was used and abused by AS and set at out to get him by ‘proxy’ using all the mechanisms at her disposal
        Resentment builds up over the years that another person has control over you and when the opportunity arises you want to destroy them for controlling your life.
        But of course, the problem is not the ‘other’ the problem is yours but most people are in denial of their own responsibility in the relationship.
        NS looks on herself as a victim and a champion for women.
        That’s my theory

        Liked by 1 person

  29. While we all wait for Part III, I wanted to flag up an issue concerning Woman H, who is a very interesting case. I actually tried to post this yesterday, and got an odd message about me “not being logged on this device” when I did so – odd because I’m always logged on on my devices. Then when I did log on my comment simply disappeared…

    In the context that Alex Salmond did acknowledge a previous consensual liaison with Ms H, one could be as charitable as it is possible to be, and assume that something did happen between them that upset her badly, and that she became confused about the date when originally recalling events.

    However, her evidence was very specific about very specific events around the incident, making it impossible that it could have occurred on any date other than the one she claimed. But other very clear evidence by other witnesses makes it as close as you can get to certain that she was not at Bute House on that date.

    Which means that Ms H stood up in Court and lied quite brazenly under oath.

    There are only two plausible explanations of this. One is that she stood up in Court and lied quite brazenly under oath because she suffers from a serious personality disorder that leads her to take enormous risks heedless of the potentially drastic consequences.

    The other is that she stood up in Court and lied quite brazenly under oath with impunity, knowing for certain that she was immune from any consequences because she enjoyed protection at the highest and broadest levels – levels that must have stretched beyond even the political leadership of the SNP and the Scottish Government and into the Scottish justice system.

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    1. David , I suspect the latter is nearer the mark but also don’t forget that Ms.H had political ambitions. However AS had refused to endorse her candidacy, preferring someone else.
      I believe simple revenge played a great part.

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  30. One of the biggest things this Part 2 clears up for me is the confusion I still had about Gillian Russell receiving the text re a ‘concern’ on the w/c 13th Nov from Barbara Allison – I had missed the clarification in BA’s letter that it was about Ms B – and couldn’t figure out how those dates fitted in with Ms A’s allegations on the 20th Nov.

    So they were desperately trying to get Ms B to report officially to an ‘independent’ sounding board – which she refused to do. GR did appear to be genuinely unaware of this – and possibly that she didn’t know of BA’s role or the policy change through Nov, but the email exchanges in late Nov put those claims on a shoogly peg, I’d say.

    Also, Gillian Russell knew her role, had done her part for Ms A, taking a record of the allegations and passing it to HR, and offering further support. What we have after that is Ms A not wanting any further support from GR, but GR involved in exchanges of emails to determine what to write to Ms A, and another complainer, and offer to show a developing policy,,, if she didn’t realise the whole thing was a ruse by then I’d be very surprised. If Ms A didn’t want further support from GR, and the allegations were, by then, the responsibility of HR, GR was sending out unsolicited emails to Ms A.

    I think you are working towards a proof here, Gordon, that the bespoke Procedure was only created after complaints were known about (or willing complainers had been found)? The only evidence I’ve seen of allegations being made before the 7th Nov – the supposed date the bespoke Procedure was conjured from thin air – was from within the SNP to the SNP. Which is wholly separate from the government civil service, of course.

    Several questions spring up from this:

    why weren’t SNP policies being reviewed (they still haven’t all these years later)?

    Why didn’t the SNP act on those allegations immediately – particularly if they were are serious as they claimed, which they weren’t, of course, as later found out?

    It would suggest that the SG employees were being used to ‘fix’ an internal Party matter – and as non-political, civil servants should not have been involved?

    Was the decision made to use government staff to add a degree of ‘legitimacy’ and distance – knowing the outcry of the SNP destroying their own most prominent and effective politician, & ‘civil war’ headlines, where the lack of separation between party leader and CEO could not as easily be covered over, I think I can see the reasoning behind using the SG staff. Peter Murrell I believe is known to have hated Alex Salmond since the start of both their careers – he would have advised keeping it away from the Party.

    Sorry just working through some reasoning there, above, I’ll leave it in case anyone wants to pick holes in it.

    Part 1 of the Coup establishes that, if Nicola Sturgeon really did know nothing, the her Permanent Secretary was staging a coup, breaking every civil service code in the book to do so. But even then – Nicola Sturgeon saying she ‘made no effort’ to find out what was going on is breaking the Ministerial Code too – it’s her JOB to make the effort and her responsibility to ensure lawful actions in the SG.

    Of course, the bespoke Procedure wasn’t required for handling historic complaints, the U.K.-wide civil service had written out policies for them by the 17th Nov, which didn’t have a Permanent Secretary investigating anything – why would anyone consider that role as the appropriate one for dealing with sexual harassment allegations, you have to wonder, and of course a new appointee to the role in the SG would immediately change it — ahh, there we have the reason LE was kept in post, because anyone new coming in would put paid to the ruse that their bespoke Procedure was in any way reasonable.

    I’m wandering off-track again…

    The ruse that they needed to develop the procedure at pace because of the hashtag-MeToo movement, is false. The seeming pride that LE and James Hynd had in ‘beating’ the Westminster guys to it, is false. They were racing through the procedure development and signing it off well before the publish date (7 or 8 weeks later), before any of the reasonable general civil service policies could come into effect, so they could carry out their unfair and unlawful investigation targeting just one man. The flurries of activity around the times the uk-wide civil service sent out draft policies is telling.

    We could ask – why didn’t the rest of the HR team, who must have known about the draft uk-wide policies, question the bizarre bespoke Procedure? But then, if the big boss tells you something is being done, you usually have to go along with it.

    I wish I’d realised the real import in the distinction between ‘concern’ and ‘complaint’ earlier – because it might get them out of some problems while describing the procedure development, but it falls apart while explaining the complaints handling – the investigation – where they appear to have used concern and complaint interchangeably. I noted, just out of interest at the time, that LE used the term concern while describing what was by then an official complaint (by her definition) in her last evidence session.

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    1. A lot of good points here, Contrary, which I’ll leave for others to ponder while I try to get Parts 3 and 4 out before Salmond gives his evidence.

      On the whole “concerns” thread, don’t forget that the dreaded paragraph 11 of the “recast” procedure, and in due course the procedure as published in August 2018, which gave all power and authority over formal COMPLAINTS to Evans, actually begins: “If the Permanent Secretary considers that the report gives cause for CONCERN…”

      Can open. Worms everywhere.

      Like

      1. Yes, can of worms, wriggling and spewing all over the place, opened as soon as they started to implement the fateful, ill-considered, procedure.

        I think you said Alex Salmond was informed of ‘concerns’ too – I was going to look over some of the investigation phase evidence in light of the distinction, before saying any more about it. Though, I think we can be sure their definitions are a falsehood, and any oral evidence given, under the presumption they are distinct, were also falsehoods.

        You can hope someone keeps me distracted while you get on with the real work 😉 . I understand the problems though, trying to set out a distinct clear narrative when it’s all so interwoven, convoluted and based on false premises, is nearly impossible. You can’t write part 3 without knowing how part 4 is going to look etc. All strength to your quill – keep at it!

        I keep trying to write a list of where we have got so far, but that’s impossible, as is the ‘Leslie Evans decision tree’ – maybe because none of her reasoning makes sense. It’s all too convoluted! (I’ll just quietly get on with reading through the rest of the SG submissions I’ve still to look at, and leave any creative thinking for later, before I strain something).

        Like

  31. David, it’s quite clear to me too — and I think to anyone who looks at the evidence, most obviously the jury — that Woman H lied. As things stand now, we just don’t have enough information to say with any confidence why she did that, other than that she was clearly being encouraged, and probably pressured, by Woman A to do it.

    Rape Crisis Scotland and others are quite right to say that this is not an AUTOMATIC conclusion form the jury’s acquittal of Salmond on the charges based on her complaints. It is, however, an entirely legitimate conclusion for anyone who looks at the evidence to reach, and I’m personally confident that it’s the conclusion the jury reached.

    And on that general subject:

    The misleading statements of the law being put out there on behalf of these complainers by Scottish Government funded agencies like Rape Crisis Scotland concern me deeply. An accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty. When an accused person is acquitted — either by not guilty or not proven verdict, both of which are of IDENTICAL legal effect — the presumption of innocence is maintained. Therefore an accused person who is acquitted is INNOCENT of the crimes of which he has been acquitted as a simple matter of law.

    This is not rocket science, nor is it in any way controversial. I would be saying it, as would any person of integrity, if Woman H or Woman A or anyone else championed by Rape Crisis Scotland had been accused and acquitted of a crime by a jury of their peers.

    Rape Crisis Scotland and all of the others with agendas in this case who are trying to peddle some kind of grey area of guilt in the Salmond case should be deeply, deeply ashamed of themselves. They are doing a very grave disservice to a cornerstone of our justice system.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes; deeply, deeply ashamed.

      It’s like they are blind to the damage they are doing – the polar opposite to what they claim to do.

      Like

  32. Why wasn’t this committee set up and started, and finished, before the criminal trial, or during it for that matter? Why the delay – as their remit states, it is nothing to do with the criminal trial, or the allegations themselves, it is only to do with how the SG, FM, SpAds, etc handled the complaints they received – so I cannot see the reasoning behind them delaying. They couldn’t have interviewed Alex Salmond, of course, but he was the victim in this, and if they truly were investigating a SG matter, in honesty, it should not have needed him at that time.

    As soon as the police started their investigation, the matter was out of the SG’s hands. Which begs the question of why the Procedure says that they might continue to investigate even after the police have been handed the allegations?! I don’t know how these things actually work, legally, but I would have thought concurrently running your own investigation during a police one into the same matter would not be legal – yet they wrote it down in a workplace procedure, and are still trying to pretend it’s lawful!? Maybe Gordon could comment on the actual allowed division of labour here?

    When I read through that exchange between Alex Cole-Hamilton and LE above – I can easily see the validity in his questions, which were nothing to do with Ms B and her allegations themselves, but everything to do with when LE knew about them, and he had the right to tie her down after her concern/complaint obfuscation. So then the question arises for why Fabiani shut down this line of questioning?

    I think I’ve given Fabiani a greater benefit of doubt than most people, she may just have been being extraordinarily careful or particularly thick in this instance, but given all the other decisions she’s made, and the careful and planned shutting down of certain lines of enquiry – there seems to be no doubt that she is enacting a cover up, of the cover up. Of course, once you start down that dark path, you are forever entrenched in it – like we see our civil servants never straying from the script – Fabiani can’t alter course now.

    How do the SNP members of the committee see themselves? As honourable upstanding citizens representing their communities and country?

    As party loyalty before country and citizens? And what does that make their party? That they have made the decision to support corruption and wrong doing – wrong-doing against one of their own, someone they pledged loyalty to before! – makes that party morally bankrupt.

    The SNP MSPs – all of them – appear to feel that using government office to try and destroy the life of, and succeed in destroying the career of, their most successful and respected politician and member, is somehow fine, and doesn’t cast a shadow over them and their party.

    With friends like those,,,

    The SNP has descended down a dark path indeed, led by Nicola Sturgeon and her husband, and once you head down it, it seems impossible to turn back – without each ruining their career anyway – there will be no light for any of those supporting this current regime. Once you throw all morality and ethics to the wind in favour of – what? In favour of what? What is or was there to gain? There is no independence down that dark path, it leads nowhere. There are no upsides – except maybe their own personal gain as rewarded by the British State.

    I really believe Nicola Sturgeon and followers have already destroyed the SNP ‘brand’ – it is tainted as ‘untrustworthy’. For Alex Salmond to get any true justice from this, everything would need to be revealed – I believe Salmond would always try for damage limitation at the same time, but I don’t think he should at this stage, the SNP needs thoroughly gutted and scraped clean, they’ve stood in the way of independence for long enough.

    It doesn’t matter how big and popular the SNP are just now, since 2014 they have been introducing unworkable or ineffective policies, and trying to introduce unpopular ones now – forgetting that they are representatives and not overlords – these will starts to show serious cracks soon, and even if the wider public only ever get hints of what they’ve done – of what they’re willing to do – here, the black mark of doubt will mar all their actions. Slow degradation and death, or a swift decapitation to try and save the body and a hope of independence in the near future? I know many people more knowledgable than I think the SNP can be saved, but I hae ma doots.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. Re your postscript Gordon, I agree. It can only be allowed to go on like this with the backing of Nicola Sturgeon and her government. Does anyone else stand to gain anything from continuing to smear Alex Salmond? We are truly in a corrupt land and like Contrary I hae my doots that the SNP can be saved. What a mess.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Currently sat at home in Cardiff catching up on The Pelican Brief aka The Sturgeon Scandal (amongst my friends and neighbours . ). I first set foot on Scottish soil in 2015 and spent significant period of time there as my partner worked on a Construction project . The Scottish evening news like the Welsh remains completely devoid of any resemblance to reality.. same for the Scottish /Welsh MSM.

    Several weeks ago I discovered the Craig Murray site and let’s say I have been hooked on this developing scandal since , far from presenting as a mad Conspiracy theorist , his blog clearly demonstrated the emergence without doubt of bona fide orchestrated hatchet job ! against the FFM .

    I listened in to CM Court case and detect LD delay perhaps , in some way helps shift the narrative ? I have examined the RCS organisation paying particular attention to the Board … WOW ! I encourage all your readers to do the same .. I posted for the very first time yesterday on the Wings with details re RCS available on Companies House .

    Last week I made direct contact with the Committee to advise that an important doc from Levy & McRae
    is missing .Still missing !

    I do not believe AS will attend the hearing next week …

    This is the dynamite week of Scottish Politics in my opinion ..

    I look forward to the next chapter .

    Best Wishes

    Claire

    Liked by 1 person

  35. The RCS Board names may not raise any eyebrows.I acknowledge your point however, I consider their
    backstories most definitely should. There is a clear theme . Significant funding to the tune of approx 4 million over last 3 years .

    Sandra Roberta Brindley appointed June 2005 Company Sec. advocate of GRA

    Emma Ritch sits on the Board he is Executive Director of Engender ! Also sits on the equality advisory of COPFS !

    Julia Donnelly Occupation Solicitor , partner of law firm appointed June 2007

    Margaret Curran former MSP , previous Minister for equalities.

    Lindsey Millen Policy Advisor speaks on Be What You Want project .

    Katy Wilson -Scott particular interest LGBT

    Companies House info includes further officers .

    Partnership alliances of RCS are Scottish Transgender Alliance also in receipt of Govt. funding .

    Both organisations are in support of the proposed GRA

    The RCS Trustees are allowing the Charity to be used as a vehicle for political views… those views expressed by NS very recently on her ad hoc recording re Transphobia. My personal opinion of course.

    Best Wishes

    Claire

    Like

    1. Thanks for this, Claire. There definitely needs to be an urgent investigation into how groups like Stonewall and Mermaids, with their utterly unhinged policies of “acceptance without exception” and finding your “gender identity” on a line from Barbie to GI Joe have managed to infiltrate the management, funding and “training” of these organisations. It’s as much of a scandal as if the Moonies or Flat Earth Society had done the same.

      It’s particularly scandalous that these groups are “training” COPFS and Police Scotland — and of course the Scottish Government — in this utter lunacy, rewarding them with gold stars as “Diversity Champions” if they submit and punishing them with negative publicity if they don’t.

      There used to be a name for a racket like that but I’m struggling to remember it…

      No point in asking Police Scotland or COPFS for obvious reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Well well. Well spotted David – the should have attributed a lot of that article to Gordon, imagine not even changing the wording?! And saying ‘the Sun investigation has found’. Ah well, plagiarise a lawyer at their own peril!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. See my reply to David, Contrary. They’re very welcome to it. But what hard work that must have been for them trawling through all those papers to create their “exclusive”! No wonder Nicola needs to give them £3 million of public money. They must be exhausted, the poor dears!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hah. The puir wee dears, indeed. Luckily Auld Nick’s backhander seems to have enabled much investigation and exclusivity – what a surprise they often come to the exact same conclusion as yourself, and word for word, in many cases – but this certainly seems to indicate that only one conclusion can be drawn from it all,,, when everyone agrees so exactly.

        Exhausted, indeed. And I anticipate a few more delicious ironic moments to come,,,

        Liked by 1 person

  36. https://archive.is/iac1y

    With this Times story on how the SNP are hoping to chuck Leslie Evans under a bus, the Scottish Sun “bombshell exclusive”, The Spectator already chipping in, and Andrew Neil making rather aggressive enquiries around the BBC, it seems the MSM have decided it’s finally time to load up and take aim. Is this the beginning of the endgame?

    If so, a lot of people who smugly believed they were leading actors in an ever-so-clever conspiracy (and I include Sturgeon, Evans, Lloyd, and Murrell in their numbers) are about to discover that in fact they were nothing but stooges in a much bigger conspiracy, diligently painting great big targets on their own backs and setting themselves up.

    I don’t read the MSM. Is anybody else joining the pile-on yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By the way that previous comment at 02.41 is me as well. I don’t understand why I’m posting under two different monickers when I only have one registration on this site.

      Like

    2. Spot-on David, you’re only a smart operator as long as they allow you to be. I used to enjoy prosecutors learning the same hard lesson on the very few occasions when a judge would bat for the defence and they would get a taste of what we faced every day as defence lawyers. They forgot it again soon enough and went back to their smug, high-handed ways but it was always nice while it lasted.

      Like

    3. I don’t read MSM either David, so no idea if there is a pile on. But this article shows a change in tone – less emphasis on the lurid headlines of sexual harassment, anyway. They are still being cagey about apportioning blame, and reproducing the mad Rape Crisis Scotland claim of ‘not following legal advice’ shows they aren’t really going into a pile on. We’ll see.

      (Are you using different devices to post comments? it’s those that’ll store your name. Your little pattern at the side is the same, so your details aren’t different, just how your name is written)

      Like

  37. I posted this on Iain’s blog, and I suppose it’s a bit of a summary of some of the horrors, and not in the usual detail… On judgements and the Committee handling of the Inquiry: (happy to have Gordon correct any inadvertent misremembered faux pas)

    The judge, Lord Pentland, said it was ‘tainted by apparent bias’ (I read ‘apparent’ in this case to be ‘obvious’), and was ‘procedurally unfair’ – that is, the procedure itself was written to be unfair to the person being complained about.

    The Judicial Review didn’t even get a chance to finish the review because the Scottish Government hastily conceded, as their legal team threatened to resign – actually resign their positions – if they were made to continue, because the case was unstateable – that is, it was a malicious defence in the first place, there WAS no defence. Hence Alex Salmond was awarded the highest rate of compensation possible – a very rare thing to do, and demonstrates the dim view Lord Pentland had of the actions of the SG in this.

    So Lord Pentland managed to find out in a few short weeks that the procedure should never have been written as it was, and the way the SG carried out the procedure was also atrocious – and here we are years later, with the committee inquiry dragging this out over months, allowing the probable perpetrators of this atrocity to pick and choose their own evidence and oversee the redactions applied, suppressing the publication of valid evidence, and preventing their own members from valid lines of inquiry, accepting the government refusing to submit evidence, ,,, one could go on – and what exactly is their difficulty? Which part of Lord Pentlands ruling was not clear? By conceding the JR case the Scottish government accepted the ruling of ‘procedurally unfair’ and ‘tainted by apparent bias’ – there should be no argument of this, yet Leslie Evans maintains the procedure is fine, even now.

    Other pieces of unfairness and bias have been revealed since the JR (Leslie Evans met with the complainers before contacting Alex about the ’causes for concern’, and she tried to obfuscate about when the procedure itself was published (weeks after the ‘formal complaints’ were made), and submitting the complaints to the crown office, not the police (as stated in the procedure), against the wishes of the complainers), so everything revealed only adds strength to the JR ruling. And shows clearly that they have been covering up and withholding evidence. As Lord Pentland found out years ago.

    The committee inquiry should only be trying to find out if it was on purpose, that is, planned solely for the stitch-up of Alex Salmond, and who were involved; and the extent of the unfairness/bias/unlawfulness, and of the cover up. The committee itself has allowed the central figure in all this – Leslie Evans – to continue in her role, and to choose the evidence submitted them, and to allow ‘coaching’ for all the civil servant witnesses to happen without question. How can we NOT conclude this is not just another cover up?

    Leslie Evans claims she followed legal advice throughout – but won’t say what that was – and that she followed the procedure to the letter. She claims it was ‘a Scottish Government procedure’ and she had nothing to do with the development. She also claims that the only problem with the procedure was the ‘interpretation of paragraph 10’.

    The first claim is moot because we don’t know her legal adice, so irrelevant. The second claim is untrue, most obviously because she took the complaints to the Crown Office, not the police. The third claim is obviously untrue because she was heavily involved in the development of the procedure – she led it! – , but she also wrote in a letter to Alex Salmond’s solicitors ‘the procedure was developed by ME’. The fourth claim is obviously total rubbish – ‘procedural unfairness’ does not mean someone misinterpreted a single paragraph, it means the whole thing has been written with unfairness in mind – and the procedure does not tie up with ACAS guidelines, the Civil Service Employee Policy guidelines or indeed Police Scotland advice (as also claimed).

    That’s only a tiny, tiny, portion of what the civil service did and is doing – and as Gordon Dangerfield is outlining in his ‘A very Scottish Coup’ series – if Nicola Sturgeon did not know of it, and wasn’t indeed in the heart of initiating the whole thing, right from the start – then the Scottish Civil Service has staged the most extraordinary coup of truly staggering proportions.

    I suspect a proper judge led inquiry would take a mere few weeks to pull the whole thing apart.

    Liked by 2 people

  38. David, I had the same problem. For some reason Gordon’s blog doesn’t keep me logged in no matter how many times I tick the Remember Me box. I have to log in every time I try to post a comment, even when they’re consecutive posts. Which is odd because every other WordPress blog does keep me logged in.

    I also found that if I used a name other than the one that I had registered against my email address with WordPress eg StuartM instead of stuartm99 then it simply wouldn’t post my comment at all.

    Like

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