THE FABIANI WHITEWASH

If you want to know how utterly bereft of truth the whole political process now is in Scotland you need look no further than the Fabiani Whitewash – aka the “Report of the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints”.

One of the many reasons why the Sturgeon clique had to concede Alex Salmond’s judicial review was that Investigating Officer Judith Mackinnon had effectively appointed herself to that role in the complaint of the individual known as Ms B.

This was in the clearest possible breach of the Scottish Government’s own procedure.

It’s just one of the many scandals in the process that ended up costing the Scottish taxpayer well over a million pounds and counting but it’s self-evidently an important one.

It’s one that should have been investigated with great rigour by the Fabiani inquiry so that clear findings could have been made and responsibility apportioned.

Instead, they’ve found the most contemptible way of avoiding any contact with the truth.

Counsel’s opinion

The Scottish Government retained two QCs and and at least one junior counsel for external legal advice and representation throughout the process of the Salmond judicial review. In the lead was Roddy Dunlop, QC.

Dunlop is now Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and has for a long time been one of the most sought-after and respected advocates in Scotland.

In an increasingly horrified series of legal opinions leading up to the final concession of the judicial review, Dunlop charted the ongoing failure of the Sturgeon clique, most prominently Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, to disclose to their legal team anything close to the full horrors of what they had done.

One such opinion came on 19 December 2018 when it had at last come to light that Investigating Officer (IO) Judith Mackinnon had not only had multiple inappropriate prior contacts with complainers Ms A and B but had effectively appointed herself IO as soon as Ms B’s complaint was received.

I’ll let you read the opinion for yourself. It’s admirably clear and no reader of it can be left in any doubt as to what their own senior counsel thought of the Scottish Government’s “alarming” conduct:

An “unstatable” defence; the deepening “dismay” of counsel; “unexplained” and “frankly inexplicable” failures to disclose vital and obviously relevant documents; the “extreme professional embarrassment” suffered by counsel “as a result of assurances which we have given, both to our opponents and to the court, which assurances have been given on instructions, turning out to be false as a result of the revelation of further documents, highly relevant yet undisclosed.”

And I’ll just remind you here that not a single person in the Scottish Government has resigned, nor has the Fabiani Whitewash even remotely suggested that anyone should resign, over this state of affairs.

But let’s go to the facts themselves:

One of the “alarming” disclosures that had finally been made to Dunlop, the concealment of which to that point was “unexplained” and “frankly inexplicable”, was that less than half an hour after receiving Ms B’s formal complaint by email on 24 January 2018, Judith Mackinnon was writing to Ms B, and arranging to meet her as Investigating Officer without ever having been appointed to that position as required by the procedure.

For the avoidance of doubt, Ms B submitted her formal complaint by email to Mackinnon at 1.56 pm on 24 January 2018.

Less than half an hour later, at 2.23 pm on 24 January 2018, Mackinnon emailed Ms B, acknowledging the complaint and discussing arrangements for meeting her as Investigating Officer.

This is what paragraph 10 of the procedure says about the appointment and status of the IO:

“In the event that a formal complaint of harassment is received against a former Minister, the Director of People will designate a senior civil servant as the Investigating Officer to deal with the complaint. That person will have had no prior involvement with any aspect of the matter being raised.”

The Scottish Government’s Director of People in January 2018 was Nicola Richards. Only she had the authority to appoint an Investigating Officer.

And of course that authority could only be exercised after a formal complaint was received.

No such appointment was made by Nicola Richards on 24 January 2018 – or ever.

Thus, as Dunlop points out in his opinion (having only just discovered these facts):

“The complaint had only just been made. No one had appointed an IO for this complaint. The IO has effectively appointed herself in that regard.”

This was just one of the bombshell disclosures finally made at this point that would very soon make counsel realise that the Scottish Government’s case had been “unstatable” from the outset.

It was, however, a self-evidently important one.

The Leslie Evans version

Reproduced exactly below (with my own gloss in square brackets) is how the Scottish Government – which means, in effect, Leslie Evans – tried to recast what you’ve just read above in their Statement to the Fabiani Whitewash.

Note that they can’t even get their own terminology right. The procedure provides for an “Investigating” — not “Investigation” — Officer:

“Ms B notified the Director for People [Richards] on 23 January 2018 of her decision to make a formal complaint. The Director for People [Richards] then contacted the Head of People Advice [Mackinnon] to inform her and to agree that the Director for People [Richards] would notify Ms B that the Head of People Advice [Mackinnon] was conducting the investigation and that she would be in contact. The Investigation [sic] Officer [Mackinnon] contacted Ms B to let her know that the Director for People [Richards] had informed her of Ms B’s intention to make a formal complaint. The Head of Branch People Directorate 3 [I have no idea who, or what, this is] then set up a telephone call for Ms B to speak to the Investigation Officer [Mackinnon]. Ms B followed this call up by submitting her complaint by email.”

There’s the trademark Evans obfuscation and use of ludicrous job titles to try to disguise the facts but if you struggle your way through it, you’ll see that the key trick is pulled here:

“The Investigation Officer contacted Ms B …”

When Mackinnon contacted Ms B, prior to the making of her formal complaint, “to let her know that [Richards] had informed her of Ms B’s intention to make a formal complaint”, she was not the Investigating Officer.

That is a brazen and quite deliberate Scottish Government lie.

It is simply impossible, as a matter of the most obvious fact, for Mackinnon to have been the Investigating Officer of Ms B’s formal complaint until that formal complaint was submitted, and at the time of this contact no such complaint had been submitted.

What Mackinnon was in fact doing was having “prior involvement” with Ms B which, along with many other breaches of paragraph 10, rendered her purported appointment later as Investigating Officer unlawful and the Scottish Government’s case at judicial review “unstatable”.

That is made as clear as can be in Roddy Dunlop’s opinion of 19 December 2018. It was one of the factors that forced Evans and the rest of the Sturgeon clique into finally accepting defeat, and therefore one of the factors which gave rise to Fabiani’s Committee in the first place.

So the attempt by the Scottish Government here to deceive Fabiani’s Committee should be obvious.

Anyone who looks at it with any degree of care can see through it immediately, let alone a representative group of Members of the Scottish Parliament who have been closely scrutinising the relevant issues for months, and have highly competent and professional specialist staff to assist them in the task.

Well, let’s see.

The standard of competence and integrity of the Fabiani Whitewash

These are the findings of the Fabiani Whitewash on Mackinnon’s unlawful “prior involvement” with Ms B and her effective appointment of herself as Investigating Officer, in the clearest possible breaches of paragraph 10 of the procedure:

“Ms A made a formal complaint on 16 January 2018 and Ms B on 23 January 2018. These were made to the Director of People” [my emphasis].

“The Director of People appointed the Head of People Advice as the Investigating Officer under the procedure. This appointment was made … on 23 January 2018 in relation to the complaint made by Ms B” [my emphasis].

Er, what?

How could Ms B’s complaint be made to Richards on 23 January 2018 when it was not made (to Mackinnon) until 1.56 pm on 24 January 2018?

How could Mackinnon be appointed Investigating Officer of Ms B’s complaint on 23 January 2018 when that complaint was not made until 1.56 pm on 24 January 2018?

From a Committee of the Scottish Parliament charged with the careful and diligent conduct of one of the most important investigations in the whole history of the Parliament, answer comes there none.

All we get is this timeline in an Appendix to the Report:

23 January 2018: Ms B notifies the Director of People of her intention to make a formal complaint.

The Head of People Advice is appointed Investigating Officer under the procedure for the complaint of Ms B. A call is arranged between her and Ms B for the following day.

24 January 2018: The Head of People Advice, acting as Investigating Officer, and Ms B speak on the phone. Ms B’s formal complaint is subsequently received by email.

26 January 2018: A meeting between Ms B and the Head of People Advice, acting as Investigating Officer, is held for the formal interview on Ms B’s complaint.

This is Orwellian doublethink hiding in plain sight.

I’m sure I don’t need to point it out by now but I will anyway, just in case any Fabiani Whitewash MSPs or staff are reading this (though even then, frankly, I’m not confident they’ll grasp it).

The Head of People Advice can’t have been appointed as Investigating Officer of Ms B’s complaint on 23 January 2018 because Ms B didn’t make her complaint until 24 January 2018.

The Head of People Advice can’t have been acting as Investigating Officer when she spoke to Ms B on the phone because it was only subsequently that Ms B made her complaint.

When a Committee of the Scottish Parliament specifically convened for the purpose can’t even get its most basic and important facts right, it’s clear that the Scottish people need to look elsewhere for some person or body that can get to the truth.

We need a judicial inquiry

The writer and academic David Lodge once described Jacques Derrida’s ludicrous poststructuralist “theories” of “deconstruction” as offering to impressionable young college students “the thrill of sawing through the branch you’re sitting on”.

We know of course that Sturgeon and her clique are in thrall to such post-truth “theories” because they lie behind the reality-denying “gender identity” nonsense, and much else, that they are about to try to impose yet more deeply on the Scottish people.

It’s disappointing to say the least that the whole Scottish Parliament are apparently ready and willing to saw through the branch they’re sitting on too.

The Fabiani Whitewash is a bad joke, and all that is said above is but one of myriad examples, some of which I’ll say more about in future posts.

We desperately need a judicial inquiry into what was done to Alex Salmond and why.

89 thoughts on “THE FABIANI WHITEWASH

  1. Yet again, Gordon, your clear explanatory writing highlights in stark awfulness, the obvious attempts by the involved parties of the Scottish Government to confuse, obfuscate and mislead the members of the Fabiani enquiry.

    Of course, this followed the equally cynical, narrow grounds and scope of the enquiry, so as to avoid the really difficult questions being asked. Similarly, the feeble and insipid chairing of the committee, which allowed some witnesses to be excused from having their evidence witnessed on camera, was only going to have one outcome; the hiding and distorting of the truth.

    Similarly, the chair, almost without exception, as the Americans say, “ran interference” when any potentially awkward questions were asked by shutting down the questioner or moving swiftly on to the next witness, usually a government ‘plant’ there only to lob easy, usually obsequious, questions or comments, intended only to to further cover or obscure the issues.

    Whilst a judicial enquiry, with all that entails with regards to the rules of evidence, oaths etc, is desired, it is also possible (as has happened many times in England) for such enquiries to be emasculated by the powers concerned with their vested interest against the truth being discovered. Hence the identity of the judge, their responsibilities, the terms of reference and the time period for conducting and reporting their findings are vital.

    It is not difficult to envision, as a response to public concern as to what was clearly a whitewash by Fabiani (as was indeed intended in my opinion), for a pro-establishment judge to be appointed, with a very narrow remit, having the power to relieve witnesses of the obligation to deliver their evidence under oath.

    Of course, if such events were to take place, they would need to be in the open and the flawed finding as a result, would once again, fail to address the disquiet, most rational people, both in Scotland and elsewhere, feel over this saga of injustice, lies, cover-ups and dishonesty.

    But, for the moment, each time you highlight the untruths and general impossibility of the Scots’ Government’s position, it brings the likelihood of a judicial enquiry that bit closer and is heartily welcomed. We have to start somewhere and believe that there are some honest people still exercising power.

    Liked by 11 people

  2. Gordon
    Salmond announced himself in March that he intended to take the SG to court over its treatment of him. That way, all sorts of factual information can be presented openly, information previously supressed by various parties, including Lady Dorrian. Do you know if Salmond intends to proceed with this because, personally, I can’t see any other way of the truth coming out. If you aren’t able to speak about this, fair enough, but I’m wondering daily if he’s going ahead with it and can’t imagine why he wouldn’t.
    And yes, a judicial review, sure, but the fact is, any attempt to get such a thing via the Scottish Parliament will be thwarted by Sturgeon and her Green friends. I have an email from Sarwar confirming that Labour had called for a judge-led inquiry into the SG’s actions but it’s all gone pretty quiet now. For reasons best known to themselves, the other Parties appear to have done that, “moving on” thing. On a matter such as this, that is deeply sinister. The means to bring Sturgeon down is there, without a doubt. Why are they reluctant to act? Is it, as I previously suggested that, like the Scottish media, they hated Salmond so much that they are happy to have seen him destroyed?
    It seems that Sturgeon was happy to go with a Committee “Inquiry” because she could rely on the SNP lackeys on it, (Maureen Watt for example, and Stuart MacMillan was it?) to toe the line and Fabiani to control everything. The really sad thing is that some MSPs from other Parties made fools of themselves in places, (Margaret Mitchell, Murdo Fraser, Cole-Hamilton) and undermined the Committee process by indulging in Party-politics at times. This allowed Sturgeon, who had originally pledged to abide by the Committee’s findings, to utterly trash its final report, declare herself vindicated by the other Inquiry and send Parliament into recess. Job done! I just can’t get over that.
    I’m not sure what ordinary folk out here can do. I wish I knew.

    Liked by 8 people

    1. Yes, sadscot, sorry for avoiding the question you’ve asked a few times here now. The straight answer is that an action for damages for misfeasance in a public office against Evans — and possibly others — would in my opinion be even better than a judicial inquiry as a means of requiring disclosure of all that has been hidden, of subjecting all of the relevant witnesses to proper and thorough examination and cross-examination by skilled questioners and so on.

      My reticence is simply over how much more of this we, the Scottish public, can place onto the shoulders of one man, who has already been through so much. Not the least of this is the financial cost he has already borne and the huge financial cost of pursuing such action, not to mention the risk of financial ruin if it is lost. Remember, this is against opponents who are prepared to spend limitless amounts of public money to try to win, as witness the Rangers cases, and to continue spending it even long after they’ve lost, safe in the (apparently justified) belief that the Scottish people will keep electing them anyway.

      One thing I suppose that ordinary people could do is what they did at the outset of the judicial review case and that is make it clear that they’ll pay, on Alex’s behalf, whatever sums are needed to get justice. He hasn’t asked for that, though, and I don’t know if he ever would at this point.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. Gordon I do understand that the danger and threat of Alex taking the SG to court for malfeasance could be EXTREMELY costly, not only that if we supporters of Alex crowd funded his legal costs we would actually be paying TWICE , once as supporters against a corrupt venal lying cabal of scum , and the other as taxpayers involuntarily and forcibly fighting to protect that selfsame scum

        In that despicable situation would it not be possible to take out private prosecutions against Evans , Lloyd , Richards , MacKinnon and any others who willfully and deliberately lied or perjured themselves

        If Alex was supportive of going that route if it is possible I am sure he would have NO trouble in crowd funding his legal bills , BUT the absolutely fantastic thing about it is that every person that Alex named and took to court THEY would have to pay their own legal fees , there would be no contributions from the public purse, us taxpayers would NOT be financing or contributing to the defence of people who were involved and conspired to send an innocent man to jail , possibly for him a DEATH sentence

        If these people were FORCED to finance their own defence how long do you think it would take for someone to break ranks and spill the beans

        Financial pressure and bankruptcy can be a wonderful catalyst at getting to the truth . Always chase the money

        Like

      2. Non-starter, I’m afraid, Robert. Even if you could bring what these people did within the ambit of criminal charges, COPFS would have to agree to a private prosecution by any private citizen and it’s absolutely certain that they wouldn’t agree. A civil action is definitely the way to go, but your points about that are well taken.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Did Fabiani & co just not see those dates & conflict of truth or did they just not care? The lack of critical thinking today is shocking & embarrassing, especially in so called ‘mature’ adults in Politics! Whatever the outcome of the plot against AS was supposed to bring about, it was always meant to damage SNP, Holyrood & Scotlands’ Independence cause. How could anyone be so niave as to think they could force AS to go away quietly under threat of a sex scandal story? I think the ‘leak’ was always going to happen even if AS had ‘went away quietly’. How NS could believe these civil servants are her allies & their part in this was merely HR protocol is showing she really does not get the British state!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. “Whatever the outcome of the plot against AS was supposed to bring about..”

      There was only one thing intended. The utter destruction of Alex Salmond’s career, character and reputation.

      “How NS could believe these civil servants are her allies & their part in this was merely HR protocol is showing she really does not get the British state!”

      I’m sorry, Valerie, but if you’re remotely suggesting that Sturgeon was hoodwinked in some way by the British state into going after Salmond, please don’t take that theory further. Sturgeon was behind ALL of this, no question about it. She personally signed off on the decision to abandon the official Civil Service Investigation Procedure. Her Chief of Staff was involved too. HR “protocol” didn’t come into it. It was only ever all about destroying Salmond.
      Her government stalled at every stage, withheld documents and even used the LA to redact info the Committee needed. Fabiani wrote various pathetic letters of “protest” about the delays without going for the SG’s jugular, which she was entitled to do. Fabiani and the others are every bit as disgraceful as Sturgeon and the many others in the SNP at Holyrood who haven’t uttered a cheep about any of this. Shame on the lot of them.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. It is the sheer reckless disregard of any risk displayed by the clique which is breath-taking though. I can’t really fathom what is fuelling it. Is it simply immoderate group-think which buoys them up, a singleness of purpose that binds them and emboldens them so that they begin to believe themselves untouchable? Is there something in their collective experience and shared history which made them so walled-in by certainty. It’s well known that groups can embark on enterprises that individually each might not contemplate, losing all sense of personal responsibility. However, it can also be caused by one central individual, not necessarily at all charismatic but more driven than the others. Subordinate personalities are inspired to group loyalty by this person and a common sense of purpose makes for intense connections.

        Of course, it could adequately be explained by stupidity but I can’t help thinking that they seemed to have absolute belief that they would succeed. Who or what is behind such over-weening confidence? Let’s be honest, they did succeed and that’s the most incredible thing of all.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Yes, JGedd, they succeeded all right, and more. It is terrifying what they have done and that they have survived it without sanction. It frightens me a lot that I, personally, trusted Nicola Sturgeon for such a long time yet now I can barely stand to hear her voice. She has shocked me to the core. I don’t know how she sleeps at night. I read earlier that the big announcement about her pact with the Greens will be announced shortly. And then she can do what she likes with the GRA despite what the public think, despite opposition from so many women whose rights she is meddling with. I sometimes don’t recognise the person she’s become. It’s as if she’s been possessed by someone else altogether.
        You are right, she actually believes she is untouchable. Why would she be so confident that no one could expose all she’d done? But then, look at us. We’re wondering ourselves how she has survived this. I wonder every day how her MSPs can hold their heads up. (I wrote to mine back in April expressing my strong reservations about the changes proposed to the GRA. I complained about the language used by both Shirley Anne Somerville and Nicola Sturgeon when they claimed such concerns were “bigoted and transphobic”. I told her that I was neither and, with many women, I was raising valid concerns which should be addressed otherwise my vote for the SNP would be in peril. I wrote to Somerville and Sturgeon in the same vein. Not a single response! Not one.) So they lost my vote and left me politically homeless. I hope they will all pay a price for the wicked things they did to Salmond and for the contempt they show to the electorate.

        Liked by 7 people

    2. Clearly, she assumes that the paint will never be scraped away – or that she’ll be long gone by the time it is.

      The one thing I do wonder is – when the names of the alphabet women emerge (which is surely inevitable with time) – whether it will be possible to keep a lid on this? Once people know, the public demand would surely be overwhelming; it would not just be Alex Salmond.

      I said on an earlier post that it’s a nuclear option. It would take out the current government, the media in Scotland (who, as Gordon pointed out, know all those involved) and much collateral damage to the Scottish civil service.

      It would, however, finally let daylight do its work

      Liked by 7 people

      1. What is to stop a foreign based blogger reveal the alphabet names, and would it create the impetus to rid us of the corrupt party leadership?

        Like

      2. 1971Thistle and ngataki5, I’ll post again here what I posted on a previous thread in answer to a commenter who raised this same issue:

        I honestly don’t know what the current law is on publishing abroad, and I must admit that I’m not really curious to find out. In my view, there’s one proper way, and one proper way only, to tackle this issue, and that is by way of an application to the High Court to vary or recall Lady Dorrian’s section 11 order preventing the Salmond complainers from being identified.

        Reading between the lines of the court’s decisions in the Spectator application and Craig Murray’s case, I’d say the court is most unlikely to be sympathetic at present but that can change depending on how much we can bring to light about the conspiracy against Salmond, and about perjury in his trial. (Personally, I think there’s a good case to be made already about the very marked chilling effect the order continues to have on what would otherwise be legitimate and necessary discussion in the public interest of high level government corruption as against the value of, say, someone who said she got her knee touched in a car not being identified, but that case can ONLY be made to any useful effect in the High Court of Justiciary.)

        Liked by 2 people

    3. Damage SNP? The SNP leader the F.M was the one leading the charge.She instucted her civil servants to falsify the facts.

      Like

  4. But will it happen? As I said in a tweet last week in a borrowed quote. ” The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” and there are plenty of them in the Scottish parliament

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Gordon, I would hazard the guess that within the serried ranks of MSPs at Holyrood most will have intimate knowledge of the facts as you present and then some. They have demonstrated by their combined silence that the electorate is to be held in contempt in the furtherance of their individual careers. I brand that despicable, particularly as the constituency in which I reside has as its MSP a serving government minister, Ms Kate Forbes, who apparently sets great store by the tenets of her Free Presbyterian upbringing. At the altar of truth they will collapse, all of them, for facts are chiels that winna ding.

        Liked by 6 people

  5. Thank you for that Gordon. You and some others have to be congratulated for your persistence and critical intelligence in exposing the lies and corruption at the very heart of this Scottish Government.

    Director of People and Head of People Advice WTF or Yikes.

    Liked by 6 people

  6. This, lest we forget, is all about the case of Mrs B who lied in court under oath about being groped on a balcony when dozens of witnesses and photographs of the actual event all proved Salmond innocent.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, the jury’s resounding verdicts do keep getting lost in all the talk about complainers being failed by the system. The person who was truly failed by the system was Alex Salmond. Thanks for the important reminder, Penguin.

      Liked by 6 people

  7. Yet again Gordon your exposure of the lies and deception at the heart of a Government which purports to serve Scotland and her people can be seen in the clear light of day for what it is, CORRUPT beyond all belief!

    Had honest men and women sat on that committee of enquiry, we would, all of us, now have learned of the lies and deception propagated at the highest level in order to destroy the character and reputation of the person they feared most capable of leading the case for Scottish Independence in our own parliament.

    Andy Wightman must be singled out for criticism of the highest order. Who or what did he owe his allegiance to, not the Green party surely given his recent scathing criticism of that organisation.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes, Wightman’s behaviour on the Committee is a puzzle to me, Robert, as was his support for Kezia Dugdale’s disgraceful slurs against Stuart Campbell. Can’t say I have much respect for the man despite some of the obviously good work he has done.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. And after Andy W’s case received support on WoS (my reason for contibuting), or so I seem to remember. He lost me over that.

        Like

  8. Aye, exactly that Gordon, a total whitewash – and the Scottish gov’t and associates seem to have taken the line, without shame, of ‘we’ve had the show inquiry, let’s move on and forget the whole silly episode now’ – *despite* the fact that even with what little was revealed during the inquiry, it obviously points collusion, conspiracy, illegality (in whatever form), lies ,,, etc!

    They were gathering complaints about one man, obviously, and lumping them all together without a by your leave, so it didn’t occur to them, our erstwhile IO, that she might need the complaint BEFORE being appointed IO (I liked your clarifying statements for the hard-of-thinking there btw, Gordon): because it was never about the complaints themselves, was it? It was about the person being complained about, and only one person was of interest to them – so the complaints could be lumped together (including any juicy gossip from the oh so terribly fearful witnesses) under the one IO umbrella. Thick as mince.

    Roddy Dunlop’s notes and language couldn’t have been more clear – the government & players breached every code of practice, they embarrassed themselves and everyone associated with them – and then they persistently continued to lie about it afterwards – if there was a shred of integrity among the lot of them they’d have been more circumspect at a minimum. It is unbelievable – inconceivable, that the Fabiani inquiry after seeing this evidence could have concluded there was nothing to see here, and the poor dears were just a wee bit mistaken. Heads should have rolled! Whitewash indeed.

    It was where Mr Dunlop QC says ‘Mercifully’ [they had not submitted the affidavits from the IO to the court, because they were brazen lies] – imagine NOT being embarrassed when your lawyer says that to you. Yet years later, they still are telling the same lies. It may have been merciful for him and his reputation, but not for us or Mr Salmond – if that judicial review had been concluded on their poorly created cover up, then we might not have got to this stage of whitewash – and with the Sturgeon government now back in power talking about needing to keep emergency powers in place because their governing skills are so poor. Brazen, lying, imbeciles that they are. They are getting away with it just because they keep saying ‘it wisnae me’, and the media and sycophants say ‘oh okay then’, despite every single tiny piece of evidence pointing to the contrary. I mean – they haven’t even been CLEVER about it – it’s not a carefully constructed ruse, that’s hard to find evidence for, they’re using obfuscation and giving poorly presented excuses, and brazen lies, to muddy the waters.

    I had Head of People’s Directorate 3 (or whatever) as ‘HR3’ as shorthand – it’s just someone in HR that was appointed to help the IO – ‘HR4’ was involved too, but HR3 was a major player (I think she had to do the hard graft for Mackinnon who is definitely someone promoted well above her abilities), and must have been on board with the whole ridiculous thing.

    I note what you say above about Evans getting taken to court by Alex Salmond – though he did promise, mind – and I understand the horror it might be (would likely be?) for him, but it would be one of the few ways we could get this cleared up, or some of it cleared up,,, but yes the uncertainty is a big stumbling block. Judging by how quickly he raised funds for the judicial review, I think he’d raise money for this quickly enough – I suspect playing the political field is more to his liking (and skill set) though.

    But – we do have the complaint he DID make to the police about who leaked the complaint, from the gov’t, to the Daily Record. Now, everyone in the universe, by now, knows who did it, except for the police it seems. But we don’t want to start up any lynch mobs, so we must let the investigation run its course,,, hold on, when did that start? Well, they said they wouldn’t make any statements because of the upcoming election,,, so that was in April – it’s now (checks diary), August. Righty-o, so how’s that investigation coming along? Has anyone heard anything? Have they made progress? I mean, with such a limited pool of people that could have done it, you would think that interviews wouldn’t take that long. Well, I suppose, if key persons of interest had decided to go travelling far away out of sight, it might be difficult for them to carry out all the interviews. Sigh.

    I despise, loathe, this Scottish government! They are destroying us; and by us I mean the whole of Scotland not just the independence movement. And don’t get me started on that dangerous gender ideology nonsense – unbelievable that they’re brazenly ignoring public opinion, and ploughing on ahead with it – and have been doing so for a while. People ask, why has none of the decent folk been speaking out – well, they will lose their job for a start – but I was reading an article about a couple of people who did try to whistleblow about serious concerns for women’s safety & harmful practices (this is in the Violence against Women sector) – but who do they whistleblow to, when all the people in lead positions are captured and the media won’t touch it? There are people willing to whistleblow out there – there is just nowhere to turn to now.

    The schools ‘guidance’ – horrific; and apparently with whole sections lifted out of their failed ‘named person’ legislation – putting the likes of biology denying gay-conversion supporting Stonewall as the ‘named person’ – to keep secrets from parents, and tell children they have the wrong body. And already it has been revealed that they’ve been promoting pornography in schools – enhancing the objectification of women (and there are enough studies out there to show the harm it can do, or there were some years ago) (Swinney said it was all ‘age appropriate’…). Child grooming and women’s rights taken back centuries. All to satisfy men’s sexual fetishes (because none of the self-ID or other stuff that’s being demanded as a ‘right’ by the ideology activists benefits trans people with gender dysphoria – so we are left with one group, those with the paraphilias, that NEED women to be subordinate and feminine, or want access to children in a way no one should, ever).

    Got a bit off-topic there!

    What do we do about the Whitewash? We need this government clamped down on – ousted preferably – we were too late to get them shifted before the general election (mainly because the media pretended there was nothing to see here) but we can’t survive another few years of this government, and the entire parliament, all the MSPs, are a waste of space so there is no point in looking at a political solution (I doubt even if the SNP was wiped out at council elections they’d notice they might not be that popular). Legal solutions are costly, and court cases needing funding are irritatingly frequent these days. Protest? Maybe (any, on any of the numerous things that are wrong). The more fronts they have to fight on, the better. Women have started the pushback, and it’s going to keep gaining momentum – Women won’t wheesht – while the SNP keep pushing their warped agenda, and it could be their downfall. (They should have been ousted just for the ferry contracts fiasco, never mind anything else). Hah! They should have been ousted for the scandalous treatment of Alex Salmond!

    Liked by 10 people

    1. Hooray, Contrary, it’s great to see you back — I was worried you were laying low for a bit! As usual you cover a LOT of ground here, but I’m particularly glad you picked up on Mackinnon’s affidavits and Roddy Dunlop’s clear implication that she’d have been at real risk of a perjury charge if they had been lodged before the truth was finally disclosed to him.

      There’s a reason of course why she then couldn’t “remember” the meeting she had with Ms A on 16 January 2018, the day Ms A’s formal complaint was lodged, and that is that if she had “remembered” that meeting on oath in the Court of Session less than a year later, a great many other lies would have been exposed.

      It’s just one of the many scandals of this whole affair that the Fabiani Committee had Ms A right in front of them in private session and couldn’t stop drooling over her wonderful bravery long enough to ask her for her own recollection of that meeting — or for her recollection of her meeting with the First Minister’s Principal Private Secretary on 20 November 2017, or exactly what happened next, or about exactly what input she had to the procedure that wasn’t of course anything to do with Alex Salmond even though he was the only person it was ever used against, or about… well, you get the drift.

      What an utter, utter failure of guts and integrity by all involved.

      Liked by 8 people

      1. It’s great to see you back blogging on this topic Gordon! Yes, I drop off the radar for a bit every now and again – I’m still reading & absorbing information, but with work taking up too much time these days I’ve got limited time for making comments – I have to take into consideration that my comments will NOT be a 5-minute-job, whatever my good intentions are!! (Like here, haha! I’m late for everything)(including life).

        Very good point I hadn’t thought of there – the committee did interview Ms A and should have asked her about the Somers meeting – how obvious is that?! We could have had answers to that mystery,,, the committee was a truly miserable useless waste of time wasn’t it? Mostly anyway.

        Huh and yes drooling over finding a ‘victim’ is a good way to describe it – this seems to be part of the current ‘woke’ fad – everyone desperately trying to see who can be the biggest ‘victim’ (meanwhile real victims are desperately trying to not be seen as one) – the relish they display over this perceived victim hood is sickening: instead of empowering women, they want us all to be feeble and pathetic, like a Fay Wray (have I the name correct? Images of the lassie in King Kong, the original, sprung to mind there) in real life. Ah, my bitterness shows through there.

        Do you think that if the judicial review had been carried out now, after so much has been revealed, the judge would have taken it to its conclusion in the public interest? I’m thinking that, at the time, everyone was still believing the Scottish government had good intentions, and perhaps they’d rethink their methodology and clean up their act – it’s now obvious none of their actions were unintentional and they sought to con the courts, and con us. Would a harder line be taken now that we can see their intentions are not good, and all integrity is out the window as far as the gov’t is concerned? Certainly the judicial review court was surprised that they had to do a commission in diligence on the gov’t… I suppose it doesn’t matter as its over and done with. Mr Dunlop QC was a bit too good at his job, I think.

        The lack of minutes for the meetings Nicola Sturgeon attended still hasn’t been resolved – she was there making direct decisions on the judicial review to keep pursuing the matter, with the lies,,, but she got away with not giving any direct answers (except: I followed legal advice,,, then we see legal advice that said not to do it, the direct opposite of what they did,,, and not a peep from the committee or the media – it’s crazy cognitive dissonance!). Oh how I wish they’d all been charged with perjury and were in jail even now, and Sturgeon and friends shamed and stripped of all ability to hold public office in any capacity ever again. Cruel and vindictive specimens that they are.

        Yes, an utter failure!

        We still have Craig’s appeal that may show up the Scottish Gov’t for what they are; anti-human rights (unless you are the right sort of human), and hopefully a damning conclusion from the Mark Hirst case on the crown office. It’s a start – and by the end I want to see people in positions of authority that we can half-way trust, people that have a tiny modicum of integrity.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Hello Contrary,

      There is, I think,enough in the report of the Committee looking at the handling of harassment complaints to see Evans out of her job. Except for the fact that her going as a result of the report also could mean Sturgeon should walk the plank. I don’t take the view that the Committee’s report is just a whitewash. It has divided on party lines at times. It has faced enormous difficulties,among them the weakness of the opposition parties.The main problem has been the cynical obstruction of the functions of the Committee by the SG and widespread “disinformation” of many giving evidence. This is what one paragraph of the report says about the JR.

      “598. The Committee concludes that the Scottish Government was responsible from an early stage for a serious, substantial and entirely avoidable situation that resulted in a prolonged, expensive and unsuccessful defence of the Petition. The Committee finds that this state of affairs is unacceptable by an organisation such as the Scottish Government and that those responsible should be held accountable.”

      There is more of that in the report which is one reason why Sturgeon felt the need to rubbish it as party political.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re much too generous, Sam. They’re a bunch of numpties.

        What does the paragraph you quote even mean? Who should be held responsible? What should happen to them? If they can’t even specify that (which they can’t because their “fact finding” is minimal and often wrong anyway — see the post for a specific example) how on earth could the SG follow it up even if they wanted to (which of course they don’t)?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have to agree with Gordon here, Sam – you are being much too generous! That’s what I was thinking as I read your comment.

        I think there were a couple of paragraphs that did name Leslie Evans, but in the main it’s all vague ‘isn’t it terrible, I do hope they pull their socks up’. It was a poor conclusion considering the absurdities and purposeful obstruction encountered, let alone the damning evidence, and the evidence not seen (mostly because they didn’t try very hard to see it). They didn’t question, once, why the government witnesses had been coached on how to answer questions, for instance. Then we have Leslie Evans, really seriously in the thick of it; caught out lying many times; her procedure already condemned by the judicial review,,,, and yet she was still allowed to be in charge of redactions, and selecting the evidence – no, the committee didn’t even try.

        At the time, I was willing to take what little we could get out of it, however frustrating. But now, looking back at the whole fiasco, the committee – our representatives – did us, and themselves, a gross disservice. They just glossed over, or blatantly ignored, very relevant material, didn’t ask the right questions – the obvious questions – didn’t press to get answers that made any sense, or suggest that not recalling any events was not good enough. Sturgeon herself – talking complete mince; one minute she says she’s constantly thinking about it all so hard, the next she can’t remember what it was – got the easiest ride ever (and then the SNP troll farm comes out and says her performance was so good they got a zillion new members! On what planet we ask, because she was awful; it was embarrassing and sickening).

        No one has been held to account, nothing has changed, no action has been taken – those things tell us how pathetic the committee report is.

        The procedure itself was condemned by Laura Dunlop – oh how the Scottish gov’t love their committees while they want delays (but at the same time want emergency powers for no questions asked legislation for a speedier outcome) – and they said they’d be updating it,,, hmm, has it been revised yet, or binned? I’ve not heard anything. I expect we are meant to pretend nothing happened.

        Nicola Sturgeon was ABLE to rubbish the report because it didn’t get to the heart of the matter, and the committee didn’t do what they were commissioned to do. A bit of scolding from the committee isn’t going see any wrongs righted, and their avoidance of facts and joining the dots – they never did build an overall picture, there was no narrative that made sense, that tied up all the events – isn’t going to see the conspiracy exposed. There was no reason for the consistent and repeated lying by the witnesses for the Scottish government, except that they must have been hiding the collusion and purposeful persecution of Alex Salmond – just the fact alone that nearly every one of them, Evans in particular, was caught out in a lie (or repeated and insistent ‘inadvertent misremembering’) should have seen them removed from post – let alone what they actually did. But the committee only managed to dish out a bit of scolding. Peoples’ lives, livlihoods and health are being wrecked by those sorry excuses for human beings, yet none of our institutions appear to want to do anything about it.

        The report was indeed political – in favour of Sturgeon; it gave her the opportunity to wriggle out of any responsibility, yet again. A ‘leader’ my arse. She was the one responsible in your quoted paragraph – where is the accounting? Who is doing the accounting, and when?

        Rant over 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

  9. Wightman had his chance at challenging the land-owning interest in parliament and shirked it. He relegated himself to tilting at the strawmen (airbnb) and passed the odd gentle criticism with regard to how timid the SNP were in pursuit of land reform. The last time I read his blog which would have been a few months back ( I haven’t checked since) he still had an article on the ‘Fabiani Whiewash’ – he chose to lay the blame at Alec Salmond’s door quoting ‘Mr Salmond’s behaviour’ as the sole reason for the whole chain of events that lead to himself sitting on that enquiry.
    in my view, he kent fine what went on and played along. If we are waiting for Independence from Sturgeon and Land Reform from Wightman not a single one of us will live long enough to witness either.

    Liked by 5 people

      1. Yes, ObairPheallaidh, I think you are right. The Greens whipped their people to oppose the Lamont amendment and then Wightman resigned.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Did AW not leave the Greens because of his discomfort over the GRA proposed reforms? I recall Harvie bitching that he was no great loss. Nasty little man, is Mr Harvie.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I’ll hae a read just now sadscot. He is a confusing person. He was never an Independence supporter btw, not that it would condemn him on its own.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Posh but fae Dundee? if not parted from long held principle he is gie easy diverted from it. It may be that he was just too soft and aye keen to keep his wages. Not a crime. He had an interview with Mandy Rhodes, who I respect as a journalist, on his departure from the Greens. He was in tears during it by that account. Some people are cowed by conflict. It is more than an instinct it is a reflex that leaves them feeling ashamed I think. We are all prisoners of our own personalities at the end up. Not many of us beyond redemption either. Trust is another thing. The Salmond stuff condemns him on that front in my humble estimation. Rather his being too feart, ulimately to act on his beliefs when he had the chance.

        I was angry at him at first because it was a terrible waste of a good brain and expertise in a field that is vital to us.

        Liked by 3 people

      3. I am worried about it yes. Fear? Aye maybe that too for my country, its women and young people. Lucky that folk are starting to take notice, women fighting for their rights and honest trained people are beginning to organise themselves. Taking the Crown Office to court for example! Genius. to recognise that it was a misfortune that was far too good an opportunity to not take advantage of it. As an ordinary person of modest abilities I realise very well how much I am in other people’s debt. Its the key I think to realising how much we need each other. Community returning to places or developing anyway.

        Liked by 4 people

      4. Yes, we’ve talked about this before. Community and solidarity are the keys — the things Thatcher said didn’t exist and then set about destroying. All the narcissists who think “me, me, me” is “progressive” really do need a history lesson in the struggles that gave them the freedom to be so deluded about what progress is.

        Liked by 5 people

  10. A wonderful piece of forensic analysis of one the most disgraceful episodes in Scotland’s recent history.

    I offer this as an aside – but I believe an important aside. Behind all the crazy titles “Director of People” and “Head of People Advice” business-speak bullshit is the even deeper idiocy of Human Resource Management (more business-speak bullshit translatable to Fuck-the-Workers Management).

    I spent several decades as TU Rep in various public bodies, but mainly Scottish Universities – some with famous and illustrious names and reputations.

    Sadly, they too succumbed to the HR Bullshit disease some two decades ago, and I spent many hundreds of unhappy and frustrating hours trying to get any sense – let alone any semblance of truth – out of these people.

    To be clear HR managers are paid liars – it is their defining ‘professional’ skill. They lie reflexively, continually and stupidly – most having IQs barely above that of a brain-damaged worm – and the personal integrity of a very, very good student of the morals of Alexander Boris dePfeffel Johnson.

    So when it emerged that the ‘professional’ backgrounds of some of the chief protagonists in this sad and sorry saga was that of “Human Resource Management” (however improbably disguised with an agrammatical post-modern, post-structuralist synonym) all became clear.

    What you have described above is classic HR lying of a kind and quality that would embarrass a 4-year-old caught with his hands in the sweetie-jar. This is what they do – and they get away with it because of the power imbalance implicit in the master-service agreement that is the contract of employment – and in this case the master-servant nature of Scotland’s political predicament as a colony.

    That this is the calibre of person chosen to run our Scottish Government bureaucracy is almost as worrying as having a duplicitous pathological liar in nominal ministerial charge of our country (on behalf of the occupying power).

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Many thanks, John. I can’t put it any better than you have here and everything I have learned about HR “experts” tells me you are right. It must take a great deal of “education” to be so oblivious to the most basic principles of fairness and natural justice.

      Like

  11. Thank you Gordon.

    Like most I am attempting to hold on to a slither of hope for Scotland’s future and I keep telling myself that if one of them crack the whole shit will come crashing down on Sturgeon. And her husband of course.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Thanks, scrandoonyeah. We should never forget that Sturgeon herself told a US news outlet that she came close to quitting at one point not so long ago when we were managing to apply some pressure, so you never know when the fan is going to be hit, as you say. (Of course she could have been lying to that US outlet in order to play the victim — it’s not exactly unknown!)

      Liked by 4 people

  12. Gordon ,
    Excellent synopsis of the nefarious scotgov, copfs, police, scotnats exec. I have followed the Harassment inquiry since late last year and have seen all the parliament.tv of proceedings ,and am in total shock at the blatant lies , obfuscation from our alleged betters . If the ordinary voters in Scotland were made aware of all the facts of these various gov. Depts.
    ‘The Shi.e would hit the fan’

    Like

    1. Thanks, russhobbs. I agree that if the ordinary voters of Scotland only knew what the entire political and press establishments know, the house of cards would have collapsed already. I continue to believe that too many of us outside their wee privileged bubble also know for the shit to be held back from the fan forever.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Re-read it. It is deeply worrying. Rhodes has a bit of savvy about her and a compass. I haven;t read the holyrood mag for a wee while but I respect her work. Hopefully my faith is not been misplaced again.
      There is something else in it too. Its rediculous. There is something deeply comic wrapped up in the actions, behaviours, conspiracies, vindictiveness, cultishness, corruption despite all the worry, pain and destruction. I reckon (in greater part due to the work of others) we will be able to laugh at the actions of these characters at some point in the future.

      Liked by 2 people

  13. Contrary and Gordon,

    Thanks for the mild pasting to which I offer this reply.

    It is common knowledge among readers here that the Committee producing its report was hampered at every turn, particularly by the Scottish government but also, for good reason, by Alex Salmond who was late sending in his written submission.

    Everything was done under pressure of time. The Committee’s requests for evidence were thwarted.In respect of its examination of the JR issue, the paperwork relating to requests for the provision of evidence was greater than the volume of evidence provided to it. Also, when requests for evidence were met, it sometimes involved the sending of large volumes of material that were not relevant and then the chaff had to be identified and discarded.

    The Committee were not given truthful answers from the start and more time was lost in the identification of that and remedying it by the recall of witnesses or sending of emails. With regard to the evidence given by the FM, paperwork relevant to the Committee’s questions was not produced until after Ms Sturgeon had given evidence.

    Party politics got in the way.Some paras in the report are there only because the opposition members outvoted the SNP members.Eventually a report that was acceptable to all Committee members had to be written hurriedly without full information and under time pressure.

    Paras 75 to 79 of the report are worth reading. For brevity I include the first para.

    “75. The Committee would have expected to have had access to the full records of key decision making through consistently made notes, minutes and document retention processes. However, as noted above, on the basis of the limitations in the information provided, the Committee is simply not in a position to say whether such key documents existed in the first place or whether they were not provided to the Committee

    Gordon says p598 which I quoted does not identify the people who the Committee says should be held accountable.

    “598. The Committee concludes that the Scottish Government was responsible from an early stage for a serious, substantial and entirely avoidable situation that resulted in a prolonged, expensive and unsuccessful defence of the Petition. The Committee finds that this state of affairs is unacceptable by an organisation such as the Scottish Government and that those responsible should be held accountable.”

    Gordon is right. But paras 608 and 609 do the job.

    “608. The Deputy First Minister’s letter of 14 October 2020 set out the officials who were involved to varying degrees in the oversight and handling of the judicial review process. They were— •The Permanent Secretary•The Director General, Organisational Development and Operations (“DGODO”)•Interim Director, Scottish Government Legal Directorate •Deputy Director, Scottish Government Legal Directorate

    609. In structural terms, the DGODO reports directly to the Permanent Secretary. The former Interim Director of Legal Services said in evidence that he reported in terms of line management to the Director General for Constitution and External Affairs, but he indicated that in practical terms he reported to the Permanent Secretary and her team as the team coordinating the response to the judicial review— ”

    The Perm Sec is right in the firing line.

    Earlier,the committee had this to say about the Perm Sec.

    “342. The Committee is clear on the central role which the Permanent Secretary had in much of the work being undertaken in the period between 31 October 2017 and 22 August 2018. This includes the corporate response to the #MeToo movement, the development of the procedure and the investigation of the complaints of Ms A and Ms B under the procedure. The Committee is concerned that the lines between these workstreams became blurred to the extent that the complaints themselves could not be viewed without reference to that wider context.

    343. The Committee is of the view that the multiple roles being fulfilled by the Permanent Secretary should have been identified as a significant organisational risk. The Committee believes that the Permanent Secretary, and senior civil servants supporting her, should have been alive to these risks and should have actively taken steps to mitigate them. No evidence of a risk management approach has been provided to the Committee. It is also essential to ensure there are sufficient HR specialists involved in advising and guiding the Permanent Secretary and others through this process.

    344. Ultimately it was the First Minister who signed off the procedure and it was the Permanent Secretary who had the responsibility to ensure its implementation was robust and to minimise the risk that the procedure itself could be challenged. Ultimately it was the prior involvement of the Investigating Officer which led to the Scottish Government conceding the judicial review but the Committee believes the degree of involvement of the Permanent Secretary and her actions as Deciding Officer also places a question mark over the process. The Committee is also concerned by the Permanent Secretary’s decision to make public comment when the investigation was concluded. This is explored in more detail later in the report.”

    These paragraphs tie Ms Evans to all the weaknesses the Committee identified in the procedure and its application: the speed in its development; the lack of clarity and guidance in it; the failure to draw on good practice elsewhere. All of the criticisms summarised here can be found detailed in the report at greater length. Taken together, along with the damning criticism of para 598, I think it does a good job of the demolition of the capabilities of Linda Evans.You are welcome to disagree.

    Gordon has ably demonstrated his ability to find the weaknesses of the report. In the unique circumstances applying, I think the Committee has done alright. Some of the Committee’s findings deserve a lot more prominence and support. We should be looking to ensure the recommendations are followed.

    Like

    1. Sam, I’m very glad to offer you the forum of the comments section here to continue to make the case that this wishy-washy bullshit can be used to any effect at all to make Evans and the rest responsible for what they did and to impose consequences on them. I’ll be the first to applaud if you or anyone else can pull that off, and I encourage others here to give you the time and space to do that, and not to discourage you, as has happened before when you’ve been making a case that I and others disagreed with.

      We each choose our priorities with the limited time and resources we have available and mine are to try to expose the actual truth of this affair. The Fabiani Whitewash actively hinders that task in my view and I give the clearest possible example in the post of why that is.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think, Gordon, I have already begun the debate and you may reply to the substance of what I have said if you wish. The Committee holds Evans ultimately responsible for the introduction of the procedure used by the complainers. It identifies flaws in it:lack of clarity, lack of guidance. All of which may be attributed to the speed of approach. A failure to look elsewhere for good practice regarding the implementation of the procedure which could readily be found elsewhere.

        It holds Evans ultimately responsible for the flaw in the procedure that allowed her to decide both that there was both cause for concern and that a complaint was well founded. Ms Evans is also at fault in the procedure lacking any guidance as the nature of contact she should have as Deciding officer with the complainer and complained against.

        The committee finds Evans responsible for the application of the procedure – in particular it decided that there should be no prior contact between the Deciding Officer and complainers.That there was prior contact between complainers and the Investigating Officer was a fatal flaw,the responsibility for which also fell to Ms Evans.

        The Committee holds Evans chiefly responsible for the decisions around the JR and the costs involved

        There is more that can be had from a reading of the report.Since you have already decided that the Committee’s report, apart from Appendix F, is bullshit without providing any evidence except for the substance of your post, I won’t be posting more.

        Like

      2. No problem, Sam, that’s entirely up to you of course. I don’t disagree at all that there’s plenty of useful material in the Report and in fact I’ll be using more of it in subsequent posts to keep pointing up what a missed opportunity this was for getting to the actual truth. I hope you’re right and that you and others can put pressure on for something to happen to the people responsible, based on the findings of the Report, but personally I won’t be holding my breath…

        Like

    2. Sorry, Sam, but I’m flabbergasted here. You think the Committee has “done all right”? Seriously? You’ve, rightly, gone to town on Evans but, by God, you’ve given Sturgeon an easy time of it! (And I speak as someone who had confidence and trust in her, prior to all this, for a very long time.) She was at the head of all this. She was up to her neck in it and, we know, much of what Evans was doing was “overseen” by Sturgeon’s own Chief of Staff! Sturgeon signed off on all of it and that means, the buck stops with her. What did SHE say of Evans following the publication of the Committee report? She said she continued to have “confidence” in Evans! Doesn’t that tell you everything?
      And, yes, Salmond delayed at times but he was willing to state precisely why and it was because Sturgeon’s government was already showing how it intended to proceed. And deceit was leading the way. At one point Salmond was so incensed by what was going on that he threatened to not appear at all because Sturgeon’s government was still refusing to hand over certain information. A vote of no confidence had to be threatened in the chamber to force Swinney to hand over certain documents. Even when the bundle finally was provided, it was heavily redacted and some documents were still missing. This was Sturgeon’s doing, not Evans’. These were Sturgeon’s tactics, not Evans’. Evans did her damage within the Civil Service, supported by Sturgeon, but the political decisions on what would be provided were Sturgeon’s. There is no getting away from that.
      On the “Party-politics”, indeed, a few members of that Committee did a great deal of damage through their personal conduct. Cole-Hamilton, Margaret Mitchell, Murdo Fraser. But you cannot ignore the behaviour of Maureen Watt whose face and tone made it clear from the start what she was there to do and that was to protect Sturgeon’s corner at all times. The other SNP guy, MacMillan was it? He was equally pathetic. Given what was being considered here, conduct which a judge had ruled was “unlawful, unfair and tainted with apparent bias”, it is disgraceful that there were SNP people in there prepared to ignore all of it and simply toe the Party line. It is worse than disgraceful that we’re talking about a bent investigation process being put in place while the existing long-standing official Civil Service Investigation Process was set aside for this ONE case. It’s called corruption, Sam. No two ways about it.
      You stress how little time the Committee had, in the end, to throw the report together. Why was that? It was because of the constant stalling and delaying tactics of Sturgeon’s government throughout. That stalling allowed Sturgeon to push progress further and further back until recess was only a few days away. And let’s also remember she said, on setting up the Committee Inquiry, that she would accept its findings. What did she do? She trashed its findings. She slammed the Committee as “Party-political” and declared herself “vindicated” by a separate report which, itself, was heavily redacted. (Oh, and in that final session before recess, she bade Maureen Watt MSP a fond farewell from Holyrood and thanked her for all the important work she’d done! I’ll say! It was certainly important to Sturgeon that she’d done some vital work on that Committee, protecting her back!) Several times since, Sturgeon has even trashed a verdict in a criminal trial and the jury who reached that verdict. If you are remotely comfortable with any of that then, I’m sorry, that makes me even more uncomfortable.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. sadscot, in addition to all that you say here, I have to say what incensed me most on reading the Whitewash — and I’m even reluctant to give it the oxygen of mentioning it here — was the utterly disgraceful section covering the Committee’s private meeting with Ms A and Ms B where the allegations of these two complainers — which allegations were dismissed by a jury — were treated as true by the Committee and reported as such by the officials.

        The Committee’s own statement of its remit was quite clear at the outset:

        “The Committee will not revisit the criminal trial nor reinvestigate the substance of the complaints originally made to the Scottish Government.”

        That commitment was brazenly breached by its MSPs as they fawned over the complainers and by its officials as they faithfully documented the fawning in the Whitewash Report.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. There is only so much I want to say. I have my own views about Sturgeon.They are not favourable to her or complimentary. I did not set out to give a comprehensive review of the work of the Committee.Take it or leave it for what it is.

        Like

    3. Hi Sam,

      You say the committee has done alright – but if you read critically, and think about what you are saying – did they?

      In making excuses for the committee you have slipped in a nice bit of victim-blaming there. Alex Salmond was LATE with his submissions? Are you aware that the committee was investigating the Scottish Government, not Mr Salmond? (They said they wouldn’t revisit the criminal trial – probably so they didn’t need to mention he was found innocent, and not only had the SG behaved atrociously, but had done so without due cause and had in fact invented the whole thing for the sole purpose of removing Salmond from politics – why else pursue the course of action they did?). On what point do you think Salmond was in any way obliged to make ANY submissions, let alone be involved in any way? He did so at great expense, of time money and energy, to himself – indeed he even had his lawyers trawl through reams of evidence, and even provide FREE legal advice to the committee to assist them, advice that they blatantly ignored.

      His submissions were late, to work round the threats from COPFS, and the play of the SG. And you think his part in this somehow excuses the committee? The committee that treated him just as badly as the SG. Explain how and why you think Alex Salmond was obliged to have any involvement with the inquiry at all. The SG made Salmond a victim, and it was them being investigated, not him.

      Look at the committee report – the paras you have reproduced:

      (1) the committee is concerned… Where is the committee now? Disbanded, done, gone, it no longer exists: what does their concern matter? Where to they tell us what the next steps are, who is to address their concerns, what is to be done to fix all these concerns? They aren’t around any more to do it.

      (2) they only name *positions* within the SG – it’s the people that hold, or held, those positions that are at fault, not the position itself. We know Leslie Evans is the Permanent Secretary just now – not for long – and say someone takes action on this report 10 years from now (in the usual glacial speed of civil servant action) – are they going to hold the new Perm Sec to account? Likely some of those positions will be renamed in ten years time.

      (3) those responsible should be held to account – well; by whom? When? How? What are the next steps? What is in place to hold that account? Where does the report state how this accounting should take place?

      (4) at what point does the report say anyone specific should be held accountable – in particular the FM (note that they divert everything onto the Perm Sec) – she was there at meetings on the judicial review, obviously saying to go ahead with it; she should have been informed about complaints prior to the procedure being in place, she was lying about what she knew and who she knew – and the committee must have known that – but decided no accountability was in order except for a vague ‘those responsible’ should be? Wasn’t it their job to find who was responsible?!

      You say that the committee had to wade through a jumble of confusing, and often irrelevant, evidence that was submitted late (or refused): this is true. But it must have been the committee’s decision to allow the SG – the very people being investigated! – to organise and supply the evidence! Where is the sense in that? The SG had proven already, during the judicial review, that they were happy not to abide by their duty of candour – so why allow it?

      But all those excuses aside for their hardships – obstacles that Fabiani appears to have purposefully put in their way – the main point is that if the report did its job to the best of its abilities, it would have put forward what should be done next – if they didn’t get all the evidence & too many uncertainties: a judicial review. If they thought they had enough evidence: who was to be held accountable, in what way, and who would carry out the accounting.

      I’m sure there is plenty of fairly condemning material in the report for those with a detailed interest – Dunlop’s review of the procedure absolutely slated it and told them to effectively scrap it – we don’t really know what’s in Hamilton’s report – and,,, what? If the SG ignore them (as they are doing), what happens next? What was the point? We need better – the SG are not going to police themselves.

      I just can’t agree that they did alright.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, that was inevitable, despite some people’s wishful thinking that Lloyd was on the way out when she had leave of absence, it was obvious that Sturgeon would keep her close and not have her quietly dismissed. She has to be kept inside the tent as to do otherwise would be dangerous to her and The Clique but also for personal reasons, in that all those involved in the plot are bound together to protect each of them. It still takes my breath away to see how easily they have subverted the whole body politic with their personal ambition and emerge triumphant.

      I also get the feeling, guessing at the personal dynamic of those in The Clique, that they can’t help enjoying flaunting our helplessness to do anything to hold them to account in our faces by Sturgeon’s almost insolent exercise of power. I also suspect that sometimes, in their solitary moments of inadvertent refection, that they too cannot quite believe how well they succeeded. They have exposed how weak are the pillars of our democracy in Scotland to withstand a determined group bent on power. It would be tragedy if it wasn’t so farcical. I don’t care whether people believe in the active involvement of Westminster or not; at the very least there must be a lot of private enjoyment of the spectacle in Whitehall. They can hardly believe their luck, I’m sure.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed, jgedd. Your last sentence also spookily echoes something I wrote on the “About” page of the blog when I started it a year ago (intending to mainly plug my wee novel and never imagining I’d spend a year writing about Sturgeon, Evans and the rest!)

        I said our masters can hardly believe their good luck as they stand and watch us tear ourselves apart over the identity nonsense. I agree completely that they’re loving this too. It’s all part of the same thing, and Sturgeon and her clique have fallen for it, hook, line and sinker.

        Oh, and speaking of plugging the novel:

        Zoe Wicomb, the acclaimed novelist and former head of the Creative Writing degree courses at Glasgow and Strathclyde Universities was kind enough to say this:

        “A Thousand Hearts really is magnificent. Demanding yes, as skilful free indirect and stream of consciousness always are, but it leaves one exhilarated and energised by the spirit of youth so beautifully captured. The surfing sections pure poetry, and the second person narration, which is so difficult to sustain, carried off seemingly without effort. It is a very fine novel.”

        Like

      2. Jgedd

        “they can’t help enjoying flaunting our helplessness to do anything to hold them to account in our faces..”

        Indeed. Nowhere was that arrogance clearer than when Sturgeon was arriving to “give evidence” to the Committee. The jaunty walk, the arm swinging and the knowing smile that said, “I’ve got this.”

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m allergic to clicking links like that too, so this is from a comment elsewhere (credit to RoS):

      “Also that vile creature Liz Lloyd, Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff is to return to work after a leave of absence, Lloyd who earned £108,000 per annum in that role, will return in a new role, she will become Sturgeon’s Strategy Advisor, likely a made up role (at the taxpayers expense) for services rendered.” (I’m sure this is very similar to the Herald piece).

      Strategy? Well, that’ll be a new concept for them.

      At least if Liz is back, she’ll be available for questioning regarding leaked documents to the press, if the police are bothering to ask questions. Maybe she’s already done her time in jail, hence her ‘leave of absence’?

      None of them have an ounce of shame, they seem to believe themselves untouchable – to think that failures and illegal practices can be rewarded with promotions with no comeback. Such confidence. At one point their position will be untenable – maintaining the ruse (of supporting independence) while playing to establishment rules (of doing everything to prevent independence) cannot last – it’s a question of when, of course. Once they’ve all left the political field, and left a devastated wasteland behind, is not very useful. Like the McCrone Report – there should have been national outrage when it was published – but it was too far in the past, for the public to get het up about it.

      Liz Lloyd’s failure to fade into obscurity tells us that either the SNP government is confident they are untouchable still, or that they’re just squeezing every last drop of wealth from the system before the fall. That ‘fall’, unfortunately, could include there being no Holyrood at all, not just their personal fall.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have the depressing feeling that there will be no Hollywood ending, no just retribution which would actually result in prosecution or even public humiliation for these people. Modern democracies, and especially ours, would not permit such a seismic disruption as politicians being held fully accountable for wrongdoing. I think we all know that. I can’t for the life of me conjure up in my imaginings, seeing these people in any court of the land, made to confront. what they have done in traducing an individual and suborning a party and political system into the bargain. The lesson for any politician is, if you are going to think the unthinkable, then think big; the establishment could not bear the fallout of politicians actually found guilty of debasing democracy.

        Look to Tony Blair, a political example no doubt, in the minds of our own political miscreants; take your country to war based on lies, cause unnecessary loss of life to your own citizens ( was that not cited against Charles I at his trial?) not to mention the horrific consequences to populations in other countries, yet walk away to enjoy a profitable international career. The establishment obviously shuddered at the possible reverberations of punishing a politician for such horrifically consequential dishonesty that they shied away from what should have been the just outcome. They could not allow such a precedent. That would have been ceding too much power to the people.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. * I should have said ‘prominent politicians’ in my comment. Lesser fry can be thrown to the wolves but once you achieve high office the establishment is extremely loathe to treat you by the same standards as ordinary citizens. You are one of ‘them’ and they shiver in their shoes at the prospect of ever standing in the shoes of someone in high office brought low.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Jgedd, I’m sure Hollywood will be just fine 😉

        But yes, you are probably right, our parliament will likely remain intact, it quells the restless natives. We should also bear in mind that the English elite only need a caretaker population for Scotland, they don’t want us thriving or our population getting too big and ruining their lovely landscape or interfering with their land ownership. There will never be any booming industries in Scotland as part of this Union, so any devolved parliament will not have to do any particularly difficult work (which appears to suit the SNP).

        Blair sprung to my mind too – a classic case of untouchable (the elite protects itself) – but you have to remember the SNP might be muscling into establishment territory, but they will be barely tolerated by the elite and only while they toe the line. Nicola Sturgeon definitely didn’t go to the right schools, and if her position becomes untenable, I doubt she’ll have the same backing. Maybe. I suspect everyone in power knows her skeletons in cupboards, but she knows none of theirs. Note that there was never any comment on or condemnation of Alex Salmond direct from Westminster – I suspect he knows of far too many skeletons there and the gentlemans agreement still stands. Sturgeon doesn’t know how to play the game though – she seems to be wildly out of control. I don’t really know what goes on in the background, just that it won’t be pretty.

        I think the SNP employ Blair’s old spin doctor, don’t they?

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Interesting reading Sam, Gordon’s and Contrarys posts on the merits of the Committees final report. Good to see you back posting in your usual passionate style Contrary.

    I find merit in all three of your comments.

    To me the key question is who is going to discipline any of the key players (culprits/ criminals) when they were only doing the bidding of the First Minister. Is the First Minister going to discipline herself? No. In fact Sturgeon is rewarding some of the key players. Will the electorate?

    This whole affair reminds me of Blair and his illegal war. The voters still voted for him just like they did for Sturgeon.

    As long as the politicians control the media democracy fails. Even a judge led inquiry (which I have previously said was required ) may not do the job.

    Sam do you now accept that Sturgeon was the person behind all this and is ultimately and directly responsible? She has boldly stated on TV that a lot of the alphabet women are her friends and that is why she knew that they were upset about Salmonds return to politics. This was stated during the election campaign for Mays election.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Sorry Gordon, it was during that pre election campaigning period when she was attacking Salmond as being unfit to be an MSP etc etc . I was certainly astonished to hear her say what she said as “bold as brass” on one of the news programmes – probably STV or Reporting Scotland. Pretty sure it was filmed in Glasgow near Hydro/SECC . None of the media thought anything about it because they all knew it anyway. But I thought this just shows how completely untouchable she believes she is – it would appear that is correct.

        Of course during the 8 hrs session of lying before the Committee she said she did not know who they all were but I don’t remember her saying any were her pals.

        Like

      2. If that was said before the she said she knew them it would provide a workable (for our dear leader) get out of course.

        Like

      3. Obair

        There are two sets of complainers.

        1.The original complainers to the Scottish Government then the

        2. Larger number of complainers to the police in the criminal trial.

        My comments above relate to the second set – the alphabetties. Perhaps your comment relates to the smaller number of original complainers.

        Hope this helps.

        Like

  15. You have to laugh at Patrick Harvie. He’s quoted today in the Herald, saying that the SNP-Greens pact will fall apart if “impossible requests are made”. He might want to consider the impossible requests that both his Party and Sturgeon’s are asking of the electorate. Like accepting that a person who is physically male, is a woman.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: