Such is the state of the independence campaign collapse that the Scottish Government is now breached its own Freedom of Information (FOI) rules.
Independence has been made complex by the sheer utter stupidity of the Scottish Government under the leadership of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon.
Instead of being ‘masterminds’ they are rapidly turning into never minds!
The latest piece of self inflected wounds is an official report finding the SNP Government believing they don’t have to obey the law of Scotland.
By not releasing e-mails, opposition parties have another open goal to shoot at, a slight tap and it’s in the net, they say this debacle exposes attempts to “nobble” a leading expert who clashed with ministers over the referendum.
Trust is now a major issue in the independence debate and with Scotland’s Information commissioner ruling that ministers “frustrated” an FOI request.
The Scottish Government’s top civil servant is now facing fresh calls to re-open an inquiry into the row but given the civil service is paralysed, it is doubtful an inquiry will be heard unless it would clear the SNP Government.
Faith in due process has disappeared in the minds of opposition parties and the public.
The ruling yet again puts fresh pressure on the SNP over compliance with FOI. Previously, Ministers have clashed with information commissioner Rosemary Agnew.
That episode was regarding the existence of legal advice on Scotland’s place in Europe after independence.
It later emerged there was no such advice exposing people in the SNP Government to the charge they were liars.
Alex Salmond was publicly branded a liar, and despite appoint his own judge and jury to clear him, the court of public opinion didn’t, the charge is still uttered by opposition MSPs.
The background to the Qvortrup incident was First Minister Alex Salmond reading out a letter to MSPs at Holyrood in October 2011.
This letter was purported to be from Dr Qvortrup, recanting his referendum criticism in a newspaper article.
One major problem for Salmond, he was forced to apologise after it turned out the letter had been drafted by an SNP adviser and was not endorsed by the academic.
When pressed by the Labour Party officials withheld an exchange in which SNP adviser Kevin Pringle attempted to get the academic to change tack and urged him to claim he had acted first without interference from the government. It was only released under appeal.
SNP adviser Kevin Pringle is widely regarded as smart, well maybe in the Salmond clique he is something due to the others being so lacking but this is an incident that need not have happened.
Stupidity caused this, lack of ethics caused and arrogance caused this, now the price has been paid, another brick has been laid that the SNP Government cannot be trusted.
Labour’s Hugh Henry said the ruling left further questions for Mr Salmond to answer over the affair.
“The Information Commissioner’s decision is a damning indictment of the disgraceful manner in which the SNP government operates and the extraordinary lengths they will go to cover up their deceit.”
“It was serious enough that the First Minister read out a faked letter of retraction to parliament, but for his adviser to then seek to persuade Dr Qvortrup to be complicit in a fraud and then withhold the incriminating e-mails, confirms that this SNP administration is incapable of being straight with the Scottish people. There remain big questions as to what the First Minister knew about the attempt to nobble Dr Qvortrup and the subsequent cover-up. If Mr Salmond is clinging to the excuse he was misled himself, why was no disciplinary action taken against those responsible? In light of this ruling I intend to write again to Permanent Secretary.” A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We have received the Information Commissioner’s decision and are considering its terms.”
Independence support has totally collapsed.
The public aren’t stupid and each day, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon by their actions provide reasons to vote no to independence.
You can’t buy independence, you can’t lie your way there either; and as we are seeing Salmond’s judgment is being called into question, too many bad decisions and no forward thinking.
Nicola Sturgeon is a liability as independence minister, the blame game better start early because out of that solutions can be found, and if the Salmond Government could obey the law of Scotland it would be so peachy!
Another bad day for Alex Salmond, have another pudding Alex!
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University