Thursday, January 31, 2019

SNP, the Fake News Political Party of 2019; Key SNP figures have been told by SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon to prepare for possible election, dogged by failure, dogged by sleaze, dogged by internal civil war, Nicola Sturgeon isn’t leading a unified party, you can’t expect a ‘small’ woman to make the ‘hero’ call and pull the plug

Dear All

In these weary days of fake news, the goal in the SNP seems to be deflection for the Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon story, from the SNP civil war, and from Nicola Sturgeon in general. To that end, we get this piece of nonsense, key SNP figures told by Nicola Sturgeon to prepare for possible election.

Is the noose of destiny tightening around the throat of Nicola Sturgeon?

Is it better to go out as a defeat First Minister and tuck that FM pension away than to hang around and see Team Salmond plot and plan for her exit! Although any excuse will do to bolt, we should be careful about this election scare story. Has Nicola Sturgeon got enough ‘Scottish roubles’ put away, has she a fallback position of another job in the wings? The fact that SNP parliamentarians have been told by Nicola Sturgeon to prepare for a possible Scottish election if the government at Holyrood fails to pass its budget today doesn’t impress me.

Nicola Sturgeon gets a lot wrong and she isn’t any good at strategy despite the hype by the press as a canny politician. That muck of her being a thinker has no place in the history of Scotland, from botched job to botched job appears to be the history of Sturgeon in political office of State.

Health was a disaster.

Face of indy was a disaster.

Law career turned out to be a dud.

The Scottish Greens by use of the discredit list system see themselves in a position to extent pressure to get through their agenda. The only thing good about a Holyrood election is that it might suppress their votes and help get rid of some of those clowns. An election doesn’t help Sturgeon; her minority government only stands to lose seats and voter share. Of course this seems like a ‘tactic’, a tactic used before way back in 2009, when an SNP minority government had its budget defeated by the Scottish Parliament. Salmond as First Minister then threatened to go to the polls before the deadlock was broken.

Elections cost money and are a risk!

If the purpose of Sturgeon’s possible election is to secure a fresh mandate from the electorate to secure another referendum on independence, she is onto plums; the issues in the Scottish NHS will feature highly in any possible election. And given the number of child who have died under Sturgeon’s watch with her new handpicked Health Minister, you can feel how uncomfortable would be. Nicola Sturgeon uses children as ‘props’, this is part of her ‘Chief Mammy’ agenda to stay in power, the illusion of being liked and popular.

The use of a Trojan horse in history is well known, publicly, the government has stated that it is focused on getting its spending plans passed and is confident of reaching a compromise. If they are confident then what is Nicola Sturgeon saying re election?

I would suggest she is laying a false trail of bird seed, the closer the turkeys get to the oven, the more they will want to turn back and save their skin. Scottish Green leader Patrick Harvie is a turkey who doesn’t want the pleasure of hopping into the gas oven.

In what must be laughable, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay is appealing for MSPs to “act responsibly”, this is a man who betrayed his wife and kids and is calling for MSPs to “act responsibly”?

How does that work when we all know he is a rocket?

Mackay must secure the support of the six Green MSPs to pass his budget, with all other opposition parties committed to voting against it, we are in this situation due to the list system, I have always favoured smaller MSP constituencies so that MSP must win a mandate from an area they stand in.

Scottish Greens Patrick Harvie has dismissed suggestions his party could bring down the government by rejecting the SNP’s budget as a “myth” but this type of ‘soap opera’ doesn’t play well with the voters. Scotland is in political flux, no one going to the polls at this time can guarantee that they will keep their seat. The only exception in general is those who may it to the top of the list, minus a few places where special circumstances exist.

SNP committee convener Gillian Martin used the fable spectre of a second Scottish independence was at risk to a Green MSP by tweeting:

“You’ve seen the way the other parties coalesce against us to try and bring down the government. Since 2014 everything for them is about defeating the pro-Indy Parliament.” She added: We are at risk of an election that might see pro Indy parties lose seats and put us in a weaker position.”

The writing is on the wall for Holyrood 2021, we are looking at a hung parliament, a parliament that cannot get a referendum bill through, anything between now and then is meaningless.

Nicola Sturgeon has no decent record to lead the SNP into an election, high tax, bad services, ineffective government and she is a bitter angry woman who needs pushed out the door.  

At present Polls show the SNP remains in the lead in Scottish Parliament voting intention, but that the nationalists have lost ground. Can you seriously imagine Nicola Sturgeon pulling the plug for an early election when so much bad PR is swirling around her personally?   

Scottish Conservative shadow finance secretary Murdo Fraser claimed uncertainty around the budget showed the SNP were “unfit” for government which is an open secret. He added:

“The SNP has neglected the day job so badly that it’s now struggling to get the single-biggest responsibility taken care of. Nicola Sturgeon is so resigned to the weakness of her own administration; she’s been forced to rally the troops for another election.Hers would be the first government in the history of the Scottish Parliament to call an election because it couldn’t pass a budget. That would be a shameful legacy, and shows just how unfit the Nationalists are for government of any kind.”

Rallying the troops this time might not be so easy, you don’t plunge a party not unified into an election, because you find that even in your own side, there are people with an interest in seriously seeing you lose.

Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP said:

“We’ve made clear to the SNP that we want a budget that focuses on education, mental health and local government funding. “If their inability to get a budget through necessitates a new Scottish Parliament election then I have every hope that people in Scotland will want to use that to eject the Nationalists.”

Quite so ma’am!

A Labour spokesman said:

“No credible anti-austerity party would propose” the draft budget put forward by the SNP”.

If I was Scottish Labour, I wouldn’t want a Holyrood election at this point in time being the third party in Holyrood, the ground operation isn’t exactly dynamic at the moment.  

Finally, the only reasons for Holyrood election is if Nicola Sturgeon wants out the door, or wants to gamble, but since she would be gambling FM ‘roubles’, I don’t think she has the mind to pull the pin. The Scottish Greens in a way are like the SNP at Westminster, people see them as useful idiots, a few coins thrown their way will probably see them back in their cage and the ‘soap opera’ will be over. The high drama, the cliff hanger will yet again prove to be a huge letdown at Holyrood.

Who is up for an election?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Another Day, Another SNP Shit Show; SNP minister Maree Todd apologises after plugging speech by blogger with 'abhorrent' views, the SNP is like an open cesspool in high summer, should we be surprised what it attracts, more grief for Nicola Sturgeon’s imploding party

Dear All

The Scottish National Party whether people like it or not is a cesspool, although they kept a lid on it for some time, the Scottish independence referendum blew the lid of it. One of the things which emerged quite quickly was the section of the party which I dub ‘Sein Fein Lite’. The Sein Fein lite brigade don’t believe in Scottish independence, that is a convenient cover for their real agenda, breakup of the United Kingdom.

Scottish Nationalism is just a vehicle for them to attempt that goal…. nothing more.

Recent events have plunged the SNP into chaos, the leadership is in a war with a former member; another ex-MP is facing criminal trial next month in Glasgow Sheriff Court. Brexit is going badly for the party, and ‘Call centre’ Humza, the ‘Justice Minister’ is failing badly as crime stats show he is failing to get a grip.

To show what you get when you vote SNP, another SNP minister has been forced to apologise after plugging a speech by a controversial pro-independence activist. The blogger suggested British soldiers in Northern Ireland are “legitimate targets” and labelled the poppy a “bloodied weed”.

‘Sein Fein lite’ is an element of the SNP that should have been dealt with, but the leadership embraced these people in an attempt to secure the Catholic votes in the West of Scotland and the Central belt. The details of the latest mistake in judgement is that Maree Todd, minister for children and young people, shared information about an upcoming event featuring Jason Michael McCann in Alness, and marked herself as “interested” in attending on Facebook.

McCann, who is based in Dublin, has previously labelled the British state “an oppressive anti-democratic regime” and accused it of trying to ignite a war in Northern Ireland and Scotland.

This is of course nonsense by him, but the Sein Fein lite crew generally have a screw loose when it comes to the UK.

McCann recently tweeted:

“British soldiers returned to the streets of Northern Ireland. Good Friday Agreement now utterly defunct. Without peace, as the rules of war have it, these British soldiers are now legitimate targets.”

Clearly barking mad, the UK has no interest in a hard border with Northern Ireland or a soft border, they would rather that people swan across back and forth doing their own thing not just in terms of trade but also local relations.

In one blog, McCann wrote: “When I see my fellow independentistas wearing the poppy I see a contradiction. This bloodied weed is nothing short of ‘Britain the brand’ painted over the bones of its victims, and we Scots have given it enough. Yet, my anger is not with those who wear it to remember. My frustration is that still there are people who fail to see how it is being used – with massive cultural force – to forge a sense of national unity in a state that is anything but one nation. It is being used by the British state and by the nationalist foot soldiers of British thuggery as a nation building tool much in the same way a dog marks its territory – all over its victims in Flanders, France, Ireland, India, and all over Africa.”

I think the only pish which has been ‘marked’ here is what spouts out the mouth of Jason Michael McCann. What McCann is doing is echoing the rubbish that the SNP spout in the House of Commons about the ‘end of the good Friday agreement’ which the DUP properly shot down as an MP said they didn’t know what they are talking about.  

McCann also wrote:

"Brexit is not only the end of the Good Friday Agreement, it is the beginning of a war that will be fought in England."

Clearly, he has missed the boat, the only acceptable show in town in Ireland is peace, and the people in various communities will not be slow to angry if anyone tries to break that peace.

In a Tommy Ballesque rant, he suggested unionist politicians and media outlets are the “scum of the Earth”.

Surely not the BBC, they are always very nice anytime I have popped in the door!

In a climbdown, SNP Minister Maree Todd has crawled out to  apologised for retweeting information about Mr McCann’s upcoming Alness speech, which described him as a “great speaker with an important message”.

“Great speaker with an important message”?

The guy is a shit talker of the highest order, who probably has bought himself an open file by the security services with his talk of war in England.

Todd told the press which highlighted his views:

“I was not aware of the, frankly, abhorrent views held by this individual and was horrified when they were pointed out to me. Obviously I am sorry for having retweeted this event.”

She added:

“As soon as I was made aware, I contacted the organisers to share with them his views. They have, rightly, moved to cancel the event.”

So, by acting like an arse, McCann got what he deserved, tossed out in the street, no welcome here.

Definitely McCann told the press, he stood by his comments, obvious self-reflection has passed him by!

He said:

“I’m a pacifist and a devout Christian and I don’t want Ireland to return to violence. The target comment comes from the Green Book issued to Provisional IRA volunteers. It’s a quote from the book.”

Anyone want to hazard a guess why McCann reads quotes from the Green Book issued to Provisional IRA volunteers?

My guess is fud!

Finally, with so few people backing SNP style Nationalism, should we be surprised that people like Ms Todd; an SNP Minister is tweeting people like McCann? When I was a kid, there used to be coalmen who would deliver coal to houses, these days it appears that there is a 'shit wagon' which stops outside the SNP each day to deliver a full load on their doorstep. 

And long may they keep delivering!

Yours sincerely

George Laird

The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Last Dance on The SNP ‘Ratship’, Nicola Sturgeon says the Alex Salmond criminal charges will not damage case for Scottish independence, the ‘case for independence is bigger than any one man’, Sturgeon attends SNP Burns supper as fevered Nats take to twitter to tell people everything is already, oh no it isn’t, the clock is ticking on so many fronts for Sturgeon

Dear All

Last week was a very bad week for Nicola Sturgeon and the Nationalist cause in Scotland, you couldn’t make it up how bad it was, and how it has played out for Sturgeon. Two of the people that SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has been very close to have been in the news about facing serious criminal charges. Ex SNP MP Natalie McGarry described by Nicola Sturgeon as a ‘good pal’ is in Court in Feb 2019 facing multiple charges. McGarry is appearing in Glasgow Sheriff Court. Former SNP leader, former First Minister Alex Salmond appeared in Court this week to face charges in his case of alleged two attempted rapes and several alleged sexual assaults.

Natalie McGarry and Alex Salmond are going to trial; they are seen in the eyes of the Court to be innocent of any criminality despite each facing multiple charges in their cases.

Both Natalie McGarry and Alex Salmond weren’t just mere SNP members; they held senior positions in the SNP. The Scottish National Party is faced with seeing the end of Scottish nationalism under their watch. The party and the current leader Nicola Sturgeon are so discredited, that we will see a tsunami and exodus of support not witnessed since the Westminster expenses scandal. As the bad week continued for Nicola Sturgeon trying to save the SS ‘Ratship’ from sinking, her crew have taken to social media to say that the movement was “bigger than any one man”.

The notion by Nicola Sturgeon that the Alex Salmond criminal charges will not damage case for independence is just bizarre. The idea that everything is just ‘business as usual’ is laughable. If you look SNP’s members tweets feed post Salmond and McGarry, you would see Sturgeon at a Burn’s night supper. What the Nationalists are facing is the ‘last supper’ because the only show in town sees them as bit players as events unfold around them.

In order to deflect attention away from the current troubles, Sturgeon has suggested she will set out a timetable for a future referendum by March 29, when the UK is due to leave the European Union. Of course this is nonsense of the highest order because she can’t get the legal authority to hold a second Scottish referendum in this term of the Scottish Parliament.

And Nicola Sturgeon knows that only too well.

Sturgeon said:

“I don’t think it has an impact on the future political and constitutional direction of Scotland. The case for independence is bigger than any one man – it’s bigger than any one woman”.

This latter comment, “it’s bigger than any one woman” might make people think that this is an admission that her future is bleak, Nicola Sturgeon will not lead Scotland to independence, she will not lead Scotland to be a better country. She will not lead Scotland to be a fairer country as the Alex Salmond Court of Session case aptly showed all too well.

Sturgeon added:

“It’s not about individual personalities, it’s about what is best for the country now and in the longer term. It’s about how we put ourselves in the best position to protect our interests and build prosperity and fairness in Scotland.”

Alex Salmond is the Scottish National Party, Nicola Sturgeon as ‘cuckoo in the nest’ temp leader changes nothing in the eyes of many people.

What is risible beyond belief is Nicola Sturgeon saying Brexit had “strengthened” the case for independence “immeasurably”, it hasn’t, and will never will. Previously a Law Professor at Glasgow University apologised for his part in teaching Sturgeon law, he said he failed. I wonder who is to blame for the failure in teaching Nicola Sturgeon politics, because she is failing in that as well.

Finally, to see the Sturgeon attack dogs on twitter using the ‘case for independence is bigger than any one man’ is a joy to watch, the sense of fevered brows and little fingers on the keyboards trying to flog a dead horse is amazing. Sturgeon’s dug; SNP Cllr Mhairi Hunter’s tweeting shows that the SS ‘Ratship’ is letting in too much water and the pumps can’t handle it. SNP People better keep an eye open for a motor launch drawing up alongside; just in case Nicola Sturgeon decides to abandon ship and let everyone else drown. Times like this I remember the Bond movie where the baddies machine gunned survivors in the water before sailing away.

Does anyone have a political MG 42 for Nicola?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The End of Scottish Nationalism; Former SNP First Minister Alex Salmond charged with attempted rape and multiple counts of sexual assault, 14 criminal charges to answer, Nicola Sturgeon and Salmond were effectively ‘joined at the hip’ politically for years, the SNP is now a party so badly damaged that they will need to change leader

Dear All

We are all used to seeing politicians in the media and the press, if you end up doing political campaigning, you will run across the leadership at major by-elections. You always remember the first time you meet someone famous, for me meeting Alex Salmond, the year was 2008.

It was the famous Glasgow East by-election.

I had just done a campaigning session and was grabbing a few sandwiches and a cup of tea in a portacabin which was situated on a car lot. I just managed to get a seat in what passed for the small kitchen. In popped Alex Salmond, he promptly sat down and struck up a conversation with me, so we spent a few minutes ‘shooting the breeze’, then up popped Austin Sheridan, who ended up being an SNP Councillor later down the line. He just butted into the conversation and declared that he wanted to be ‘Prime Minister’ of Scotland, me and Salmond just looked at each other, then settled in as Austin Sheridan rambled on. SNP Candidate John Mason beat Margaret Curran of Scottish Labour by 365 votes, I wasn’t at that time in any political party; I was just a volunteer.

Over the next couple of years, I would bump into Alex Salmond at other by-elections and events, to that end here is a picture of me, Alex Salmond and Elaine C Smith taken at an ‘Ask Alex’ event in the East End of Glasgow. I had made a name for myself as a campaigner in Glasgow, which is why he recognised me. The next major time, I had interaction with Alex Salmond was the Glasgow North East by-election. The SNP fielded David Kerr as the candidate after two previous other contenders, Grant Thoms and James Dornan pulled out. David Kerr made a decent candidate but he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, he was better suited to Newton Mearns or Bearsden.

By the time Salmond saw me in any meaningful way, I had joined the SNP, and on that GNE campaign was ‘seconded’ to be the assistant of the Campaigns Room Manager, Ari Mack. He asked me personally to be his assistant, despite the fact I was more of a street campaigner. So, I said yes, and started learning on the job; then due to an incident, Ari Mack ended up having to switch roles and take on more responsibility leave me in charge of the Campaign Rooms. Basically, I ended up working to keep everyone ‘happy, the office staff, the volunteers and anyone else who trooped in the door.

I left the SNP after being subject to a nasty vicious smear campaign and an attempt to set me up and brand me homophobic which I am not as people who know well know.

The revelations against Alex Salmond were an eye opener to me because my encounters were always cordial with him, he had a good way getting round everyone and flying the flag. In my encounters with Nicola Sturgeon, these were always cold, as much as I try not to prejudge people, Sturgeon made me feel uncomfortable, although I managed to hide. Basically my gut feeling was that she wasn’t to be trusted, despite many attempts on my part, I could never shake off that feeling.

The police investigation into Alex Salmond has taken a dramatic turn; the former first minister faces 14 criminal charges, attempted rape, sexual assault and breach of the peace. 14 charges in total, two alleging attempted rape, nine alleging sexual assault, two alleging indecent assault and one alleging breach of the peace. When in Court, Alex Salmond made no formal plea; he appeared in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court. Outside the Court, he made a statement "absolutely refuting" any criminality, which I suppose would get people wondering why he didn’t say not guilty.

Arriving at court, the former first minister was accompanied by solicitor advocate Callum Anderson of Glasgow law firm Levy & McRae, and by his former special adviser and spindoctor Campbell Gunn. Gunn was also at the Court of Session hearing where the case against Alex Salmond collapsed due to the process being unfair. That said there is a world of difference being in Court on a civil issue and being in Court facing criminal charges.

Salmond said outside Court:

"In September, shortly after I became aware of a police investigation, my solicitors wrote on my instruction to Police Scotland indicating that I was happy to meet them.
Yesterday, by prior agreement and consistent with my previous offers, I voluntarily attended a police station with my solicitor. I co-operated fully with the police. I was released by the police after interview and agreed to attend court today. I have always maintained that I have never engaged in criminality and that remains my position. I said throughout the Judicial Review that it would be inappropriate to comment further until the conclusion of that case and I did not do so until I gave my full statement on the steps of the Court of Session two weeks ago. Faithful to that principle, and given that the case is live, I am obviously not able to say anything more at this stage other than to reiterate that I absolutely refute any allegations of criminality."

The seriousness of the criminal charges against Alex Salmond cannot be understated; conviction means prison is highly likely. Although many people will be quietly celebrating the trouble that Alex Salmond finds himself in, I will not be one of them. I would also suspect that many people in politics will feel the same way. To go from running the highest office in Scotland to this place where Salmond finds himself now is very much a sad affair.

Here is his wiki page highlighting his career.

So, what future for Alex Salmond now?

That will be for a jury of Scots to decide as they assess the evidence presented by the prosecution for them to assess, and listen to the witnesses relating their story. One thing for sure, the Scottish independence campaign will take a massive hit along side Nicola Sturgeon and SNP. Sturgeon and Salmond were effectively ‘joined at the hip’ politically for years, I would say high possibility she will be called as a witness. For many in Scotland, they will be seeing wall to wall coverage media coverage when that trial kicks off in the Courts.  

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Getting the Right Players; Scottish Conservatives want to block Nicola Sturgeon and her Government from post-Brexit trade role, if Prime Minister Theresa May thinks she can get Sturgeon on side to back her Plan B, she is full of wishful thinking, the Nats don’t do diplomacy well, they don’t do team playing well and they can’t grasp global politics

Dear All

Recently you may have keeled over laughing at the suggestion by Team Salmond that that the attack dogs would be ‘called off’ on the Nicola Sturgeon crew. The proposed Peace Treaty lies in tatters, before the ink was dry. Up pops Kenny MacAskill, a friend and ally, and a Court of Session attendee to say that it is time that Nicola Sturgeon’s husband ‘move on’. Sturgeon’s pensioner husband is the Chief Executive of the SNP, so no doubt many people will wonder, after recent events, is this the second front on the ‘War on Sturgeon’?

Between Sturgeon and her husband, the ‘fighters for social justice’ rake in about a quarter of a million a year.

So have they made Scotland a better place?

Well, that depends of where and who you look at, the general population, I would say that comes in as a big no. The ‘Murrell’s’ seem to be in no hurry to abandon power, so it looks like Kenny MacAskill won’t get his wish of an early departure. This leaves Team Salmond to go back to the old fashion ‘blood and guts’ approach, backstabbing, smears, garnering supporters, and picking up intel to use against Nicola Sturgeon.

In the grand scheme of things, the ‘War on Sturgeon’ is a popcorn event for most of us; there are still bigger issues in the round to cast an eye over. The Scottish Conservatives have decided that they want to block any post-Brexit trade role for Scottish Government. As the SNP have shown their true colours on Brexit, it is only natural that the Conservatives want to shut them out, so that Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t get any surplus glory and selfie opportunities should they arise.

I can’t blame the Scottish Conservatives, if the SNP had been reasonable, they would have got a place at the table by the Conservatives; Nicola Sturgeon blew that almost immediately, with her anti Tory diatribe. Although Scottish Conservative MPs have warned the government they will not support any move to give the Scottish Government a formal role in trade negotiations after Brexit, you can work out that this is because they are planning an assault on winning Holyrood in 2021.

So, only logical to use any means to curtail Nicola Sturgeon’s grandstanding!

Nicola Sturgeon is set to meet Theresa May in London to discuss the Prime Minister’s offer of an “enhanced role” for devolved administrations in the remaining stages of Brexit. Personally, I think this is a waste of time, the SNP have no positive role in Brexit, quite the opposite, allowing them access to talks would only be used by them for independence campaigning and mischief.

Speculation that Mrs May could offer the First Minister and her Welsh counterpart a greater role in trade talks in exchange for support in getting the UK government’s embattled Brexit deal through the House of Commons seems to me to be farfetched given the SNP voted against the last deal. And they also voted against the government in the no confidence vote, and planned to table their own no confidence vote which didn’t pan out.
Before Christmas, trade minister George Hollingbery told the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster chaired by the SNP growler Pete Wishart that he would be “drawing [devolved governments] as closely in as is reasonable to the actual negotiations themselves”. Clearly Mr. Hollingbery isn’t up to speed on the ‘Scottish problem’ and grievance monkey-ism used by the SNP.

A Scottish Tory source saying they wanted devolved trade envoys to “sell Scotland and nothing more” but as seen at the Olympics, the SNP setup their own little trade mission which was a disaster, they aren’t team players. A source told the press; “The idea of Nicola Sturgeon joining Theresa May on international trade missions isn’t new, it’s been around for some time.” The idea on paper may sound okay, but the problem of two agendas would emerge very quickly, and everyone should know that.

A spokesman for Nicola Sturgeon said previous pledges from Downing Street to involve Holyrood in the process have amounted to “warm words and platitudes.”

So, there you have it in a nutshell, the same old story of grievance, why bother to get into a vehicle you know is going to be in a car crash?

Finally, you let Sturgeon and her crew in, they mess up and then you have to kick them out, then you have even more trouble; bad PR, and a continuation of the same song of not listening to Scotland’s interests. For devolved administrations to work with the UK government, you have to have understanding not just between players but also understanding of what their roles are. Sometimes, it is best to leave a can of worms on the shelf when you want to get the global fish!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, January 21, 2019

SNP Cult Fiction; Alex Salmond says he has ‘called off the dogs’ in the war between him and Nicola Sturgeon, in his ‘Lady Di’ interview in the press, he calls on Sturgeon to focus on indyref 2, but a new poll shows SNP’s credibility has been damaged by the Alex Salmond allegations, bad news for Nicola Sturgeon

Dear All

In a war, there are always casualties, and the first casualty of war is usually the truth, in the war between Team Salmond and Team Sturgeon, there will be no winners, but a lot of popcorn will be consumed by avid watchers.

Although the ‘War on Sturgeon is going well for Team Salmond, he has decided to use what some people term as the ‘Lady Di’ tactic, the tactic of being reasonable, the tactic of playing the victim, the tactic of winning over more supporters. Yes, in his best ‘Lady Di’ voice, he has let it be known that he and his mob; are to be more statesmanlike and called for an end to hostilities. Previously, they were in the gutter with their political combat knives trying to ambush Sturgeon allies and end their careers.

Some good news in the war, more a byproduct of the feud is that a new poll shows that the SNP’s credibility has been damaged by Alex Salmond allegations. These are the allegations that Alex Salmond sexually harassed two women. After the attempt to stitch up Salmond in an unfair process crashed onto the rocks at the Court of Session, an outbreak of civil war between two factions in the SNP has been played out in the party and media.  

A survey of 1,000 Scots was carried out in the wake of a Court of Session ruling asked the question and found a bleak picture for Nicola Sturgeon. Team Salmond was leaking a Cambridge spy ring, the goal, damage Sturgeon and it worked, very well, aside from the poll results, you would see it in Nicola Sturgeon’s face, and in her hair as she let her grey roots show through. Incidentally, when at Westminster, you could see it also in the faces of her MPs, who stood behind her, miserable as sin, and looking like they were getting looking forward to eating a plate of sick.

Scotland asked respondents:

“Has SNP credibility been damaged by handling of the Salmond harassment allegations?”

The answer is of course, you don’t need to be Einstein to work that out, but with the spiral of decline already in the Sturgeon Government, this is another straw on the camel’s back.

42 per cent said Yes; 32 per cent said No and 26 per cent were Unsure, the tide is turning, and the long lasting effects could usher in a shock result at Holyrood 2021 for the SNP.

Conservative MSP Annie Wells said:

“What the public see is a battle of two egos at the top of the SNP. Instead of sorting domestic issues and getting on with governing, the SNP is completely distracted by internal warfare”.

Prior to that event, they were distracted by indy, indy indy and of course indyref 2.

An oily spokesperson for the SNP said:

“With the clock ticking down to Brexit date - and with the Tory government incapable of governing and Labour incapable of effectively opposing - the SNP will continue to focus on standing up for Scotland’s interests in the face of a disastrous Tory-driven Brexit and further austerity, and setting out the case for Scotland thriving as an independent nation.”

Stock answer, a tired reply not even given a serious update, you have to wonder how things are in the Bute House Bunker, with Sturgeon under pressure and no way out.

Team Salmond know that they face a long road, their pushing for a second poll on independence is a good gag, because it is designed to stick the knife into Sturgeon when she doesn’t deliver in this term of the Holyrood Parliament. The longer there is no date, and that would be an agreed date with the UK Government, the more support will leach away from Sturgeon to Salmond.

As there is no one to take on the leadership of the party, this leaves ‘Lady Diane Salmond’, who would answer the call, the call coming from his own side naturally.

Then there is the ‘cleansing’, the day of full revenge, the removal of the bad seeds, the unbelievers; the false prophets, those who worship the ‘fake’ Queen and didn’t pay true homage to the ‘Return of the King’. 

This assumes that Alex Salmond lasts the pace and doesn’t drop dead of a heart attack.

Finally, is this the end of the SNP Civil War?

The short answer is no, there is plenty more action coming down the pipeline, more victim playing, more attacks, and more fireworks to be lit. In the movie, Highlander, there is a signature quote;

“There can be only one”.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Nicola Sturgeon; The Politics of Failures, Prime Minister Theresa May easily wins vote of no confidence in Commons as unpopular SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon rushes to London to get SNP MPs to vote against the UK Government, did Sturgeon really want a general election or did she see that as a vehicle to get rid of Alex Salmond’s Westminster MP allies?

Dear All

First, the Brexit vote, this was the worst defeat in Parliament’s history for a sitting PM, Theresa May was never going to win this vote because the other political parties had other agendas. MPs were never going to be convinced no matter what the deal was on the table. The Labour Party wanted a general election, the SNP wanted a second referendum and DUP; well they didn’t like the Irish part of the agreement. Theresa May tried her best but almost everyone was going for ‘party interest’ while she trying for what she believed was ‘national interest’. As to the speech by Geoffrey Cox at the dispatch box, his pitch was to berate MPs, turning to look at the Conservative backbenchers, very much the wrong tact.

This guy couldn’t sell ice cream in a desert.

As we know the PM survived the no confidence vote that the Labour Party brought forward, I think the idea was to ‘strike while the iron is hot’. That said, with the defeat of the Brexit vote out of the way, this left ‘the problem’ of coming together mute for the Conservatives.

This was the wrong time to have a no confidence vote but you can understand why Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn wanted to push through with it, it was always going to be a gamble on his part.

But not a gamble of the UK Government!

Now, do you remember all those SNP Conferences where Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon would walk up to each other and kiss on stage? This looked to me as a sickening spectacle of false affection for the cameras which was so oily it was sickening. As the camps of both Team Salmond and Team Sturgeon circle each other looking for an opening to thrust a ‘political combat blade’ into the back of an opponent and get a career ruining moment, we all waited with hushed breath. Clearly in this fight between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon someone has to lose rather big since it is to the death.

We know have a comic moment however as a bright young spark has asked Nicola Sturgeon a simple question, ‘is Alex Salmond still her friend’? Oh to be there when that question was asked to see the look on Sturgeon’s face. Nicola doesn’t hide her emotions well; even the media training of fake concern to create an air can’t help her. As the fight develops, Sturgeon has insisted she will not have to resign over the Alex Salmond row but admitted she faces “difficult issues” because of the rift. The rift isn’t just with her predecessor; it is with his allies who wait their chance.

Imagine being caught out like this on the issue of her relationship with Salmond, you would have think she would have a stock answer all lined up, ready to go, just dripping of the tongue.

"I'm not going to comment," she said.

Of course, Nicola Sturgeon has gone to London for the no confidence vote, getting out of Scotland when she is in trouble is a Sturgeon speciality it seems. She is attempting to play out the scenario that everything is ‘business as usual’ but it is not. The press sense blood in the water even although Westminster is pretty interesting at the moment.

Speaking on Sky News, Ms Sturgeon was asked:

“Do you actually feel at the moment that your own job is on the line?”

She replied:

“No, I don't… With regards to Alex Salmond, there are investigations underway which should be allowed now to take their course. But my job as First Minister is to do everything I can to protect the best interests of Scotland, to see the SNP - as far as we can - play a part in stopping the whole UK jumping off the Brexit cliff edge.”

Just bluster, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP in Westminster have no role, no part and not influence in regard to Brexit.

Interesting, people will be looking at her statement:

“I've been a friend and colleague of Alex Salmond for 30 years - for most of my life. Obviously, there are difficult issues that we're confronting around that at the moment, there are a number of inquiries underway, and it would not be appropriate for me to comment any further while they're ongoing.”

Nicola Sturgeon seems to ‘hedging her bets’ on Police Scotland and their investigation into Alex Salmond to save her bacon. If Salmond comes back into the SNP, you can expect fireworks, possibly a leadership challenge as Sturgeon continues to sink as leader. All Salmond would have to do is pick his moment, build up a consensus that Sturgeon is a liability then pounce.

Here is something to think about, why did Alex Salmond need his former Chief of Staff to broker a deal for Salmond to meet Sturgeon? The reason for this question is obvious, according to Sturgeon, “I've been a friend and colleague of Alex Salmond for 30 years”.

Finally, Brexit is still rolling on, I believe that ‘Hard Brexit’ is more in the UK national interest than the deal which was presented to the House of Commons. People voted to leave the EU; that should be delivered on in full by the government. Of course there will be a relationship with the EU in the aftermath, but it should be based on mutual agreement, not as the EU attempted to do, ram their agenda down our throats.   

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The ‘French Spring’, yellow vest protesters in France faces a new danger as French riot police deploy on streets with G36 weapons, intimidation will not stop what is turning into the second French revolution, how many people is President Macron will to kill to hold power?

Dear All

In France, the people have been protesting for months, the ‘yellow vest’ protests have become a people’s revolt against a government that they feel strongly no longer represents them. The French President Emmanuel Macron is said to be a President for the rich, and his bio tends to bear that out.

Note that he was an investment banker in a highly-paid position at Rothschild & Cie Banque, he uses a party which he help create to get elected which says their goal is to get closer to what the French people want.

Basically as his actions show, this was a con!

The ‘yellow vest’ protests are the people of France railing against him and his agenda, now his government is in crisis as the protesting shows no sign of stopping. In a sign of desperation, French riot police are now using semi-automatic weapons with live ammunition against Yellow Vest protestors as Macron's law and order crisis spirals, The use of armed police is an escalation which basically says that Macron is willing to see people die to hold onto power.

Police Officers were filmed brandishing weapons by Arc de Triomphe in Paris, rifles such as the Heckler & Koch G36 weapons are pretty good, they use the 5.56 mm Nato round and have a range of 800 metres.

Interestingly, a former conservative minister Luc Ferry has called for live fire to be used against what he terms the ‘thugs’ from the Yellow Vest movement who he says 'beat up police'. 

Yellow Vest protestor Gilles Caron said:

‘The CRS with the guns were wearing riot control helmets and body armour – they were not a specialised firearms unit. Their job was simply to threaten us with lethal weapons in a manner which is very troubling. We deserve some explanations.’

The CRS riot police are known for their tough approach to policing, they frequently using distinctively wide-barrelled guns to fire flash-ball projectiles and tear gas canisters and are not slow to use physical force.

If protesters end up dead after being shot, the position of French President Emmanuel Macron will be untenable, there will be calls for a general election and far from backing down, the ‘yellow vest’ protests will see their ranks swell. The French have a history of revolution and standing up against tyrants.

A French National Police spokesman confirmed that the CRS were equipped with H&K G36s on Saturday, but would not discuss their operational use ‘for security reasons’. It is plain to see what their operational use is, much in the same way as someone buying condoms, it explains itself.

Worryingly a police G36 was stolen from inside a police van during a Yellow Vest demonstration by the Arc de Triomphe on December 1; however this was seen as an opportunistic theft rather than a planned event.

You don’t steal a G36 as a souvenir; it isn’t like you can walk about the streets of France showing off your new toy. And I am sure that like the British, the French have a database of recovered bullets that trace a weapon’s history.

 When former conservative minister Luc Ferry who is now a full time philosopher was asked about the escalation, he said in reply to the statement that guns might lead to wounding or worse, Mr Ferry said:

‘So what?’

He added:

‘Listen, frankly, when you see guys beating up an unfortunate policeman on the floor, that’s when they should use their weapons once and for all! That’s enough.’

Of course, if the police start the fight, this is of no matter to Ferry, he is just interested in the outcome; the protesters are dead. Police were attacked in major cities including Paris on Saturday on an Act 9 Day of Rage by the Yellow Vests. They have pledged to continue their campaign calling for social, political and economic reforms indefinitely and they mean it. It seems that French President Emmanuel Macron is calling for a ‘grand debate’, whether this is to buy time is speculative. One thing he will be working on is a new anti riot law to be used against the people.

Finally, there will be a number of reasons why the French people are protesting, but you can be sure that the EU will figure in the equation. The French are unhappy that French President Emmanuel Macron is firmly in the globalist camp and not representing them. In a sense they have a right to be unhappy, their country has been hijacked by an uncaring political elite. A political elite which will do anything to hang onto power, even kill!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Monday, January 14, 2019

Inside the SNP Bunker at Bute House; Nicola Sturgeon’s Office accuses Team Salmond of 'smear' campaign against Sturgeon as bitterness engulfs supporters on both sides, allegedly a ‘Salmond insider’ has told the press, ‘She already knew about the inquiry. She knew.’ if Nicola Sturgeon hasn’t got the backing of her own SNP MSPs, then you have to wonder seriously about the SNP Westminster crowd

Dear All

The ‘war’ between Scotland’s unpopular First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and ‘vengeful’ Alex Salmond appears to be boiling up considerably. The panic in the Sturgeon Empire after the collapse of the case against Alex Salmond in the Court of Session has left Sturgeon on the back foot.

'Toxic' Nicola Sturgeon has dodge her own party’s National Executive Committee and referred herself to the Standards watchdog, there is even said to be a criminal investigation in the leak in her inept government.

You get the feeling that there is an outstanding stench of alleged sleaze and alleged criminality swirling around the place that threats to choke the life out of anyone caught up in its stream. In an attempt to play the ‘victim card’, Nicola Sturgeon’s Office has claimed she is the victim of a “smear” campaign by friends of Alex Salmond.This is one time that the Nats have used the ‘victim card’ and there isn’t a sign of race or homophobia attached to it. 

The pressure is on Nicola Sturgeon personally to sack her top civil servant and the investigating officer in the Alex Salmond case. It literally beggars belief that the investigating officer in the Alex Salmond case still has employment after what has happened.

As the silence by SNP MSPs showed at FMQs in Holyrood, the support for Sturgeon is on a very sticky wicket, even the silence outside the chamber speaks volumes which no one can ignore.

Where are the SNP MSPs saying they stand with Nicola?

Where are her MSP friends?

Clearly her manufactured ‘popularity’ can’t even be made to work for her in this case!

There is a bunker mentality, a sense the tide has turned against her administration and the feeling that a ‘reckoning’ is coming. Even the press in multiple papers such as Herald Scotland and The Scottish Sun sense blood in the water as Sturgeon has to repeatedly deny that misled the public and parliament. You can smell the fear as the First Minister’s office flatly rejected reports in two Rupert Murdoch-owned newspapers about her role in the botched sexual misconduct investigation.

A statement issued by her official spokesman said of the actions of Salmond’s supporters:

“This appears to be an attempt to smear the First Minister.”

What is now becoming a focus is a report that Sturgeon's chief of staff Liz Lloyd had tried to advise Salmond against a return to elected politics. Her rationale for this last March was by the mentioning possible complaints. Apparently Ms Lloyd did discuss misconduct complaints with one of his friends in March, the bit that may confuse people is the fact that she insisted that it had been in the abstract.


How many times has someone just made up a story of someone?

It appears that Ms Lloyd’s ‘get out of jail free card’ was that a report said:

“Any reference to allegations or complaints of harassment against Alex Salmond in that discussion was in the context of media enquiries made around the time the #metoo campaign began. Ms Lloyd did not know of any complaints against Mr Salmond or of a Government investigation.”

This is an SNP government full to the gunnels of SNP Special advisers who operate like NKVD Russian Commissars.

In a retort back from the Team Salmond brigade, they hit back insisting that Ms Lloyd "knew of the existence of complaints some time before" she and Ms Sturgeon met Mr Salmond on April 2.

If I was Liz Lloyd, I would be looking for employment opportunities in Wales just in case everything goes pear shape, as the old story goes, when you become the story, you have got to go.

Allegedly it has been said that Nicola Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff is on the Salmond’s wanted list. In what may seem to others as pure schadenfreude, Salmond has confirmed he would be "happy" to cooperate with the looming investigation into whether Ms Sturgeon broke the ministerial code.

Surely he must be called as a witness in that investigation?

Team Salmond are hopping mad, they want revenge, full revenge, not an apology, not an intern goat staked out, they want the full bhoona, They also want ‘The Return of the King’, which means the Sturgeon Empire must fall, and the Scottish purges can take place by Salmond. It’s the old ‘let’s put the band back together’ scenario. The ‘war of words’ illustrate the bitterness of the feud between the SNP’s two most successful leaders which now threatens to split the party. Sturgeon’s success however was made on the back of everything Salmond done.

Sturgeon referred herself on Sunday to her external ethics watchdogs is to buy time from the questions from her own party. Sturgeon has maintained that the first she knew of the probe into Salmond was when he told her himself at a meeting at her Glasgow home on April 2. According to the Scottish Sun, they cited a “Salmond camp insider” contradicting this to claim that Ms Sturgeon was aware in advance of the April 2 meeting.

The paper said:

“The source claimed: ‘She already knew about the inquiry. She knew.’”

If this account is true, it would mean Sturgeon has misled the public and Holyrood about the chronology which prompted the First Minister’s spokesperson to quickly deny the claim. The plot seems to thicken as Team Salmond have been ‘making the rounds’ of the press to get their version out into the public domain, which has Ms Lloyd advised Salmond, via an intermediary, not to stand for election because of harassment allegations against him. The contact was on March 6, this would also allegedly point to prior knowledge by Ms Sturgeon’s closest political aide according to The Times’ piece.

On Monday, in a furious attempt to rebut both stories, Sturgeon’s official spokesman issued the following statement:

“This appears to be an attempt to smear the First Minister. Suggestions by Mr Salmond’s ‘insiders’ that the First Minister knew about the investigation before April 2 are not true.
The suggestion put to Ms Sturgeon’s Chief of Staff by the Times, that she knew of complaints when she met someone who could be described as an intermediary for Alex Salmond on 6th March, is also not true. Given that issues around the First Minister's meetings with Mr Salmond have been referred to the Independent Advisers to consider, we will not comment further."

See what I mean about Nicola Sturgeon buying time, problem is that time is short in a relative sense, and in the meantime, Team Salmond will be not calling a truce and the artillery shells will still keep falling.

Nicola Sturgeon needs to get rid of bodies from the bunker!  

Sturgeon’s official spokesman added:

“At the heart of this matter remains the fact that complaints were made that could not be swept under the carpet – and the First Minister and Scottish Government will not say or do anything which might risk prejudicing the police investigation.”

It seems that the Sturgeon Empire have been reduced to hoping that Police Scotland will be their saviour and led them out of the political wilderness, if that case doesn’t materalise into charges, the pressure will be ramped up on Nicola Sturgeon like a boiler on the verge of blowing.

Salmond's spokesman said:

"We will not be commenting on the content of private meetings or discussions on or off the record but Alex has made it clear that, if asked, he will be happy to give evidence to the panel of independent advisers. This then is our first and only comment on this issue of the Ministerial code. In the interests of accuracy, it is the case that the First Minister’s senior special adviser knew of the existence of complaints against Alex some time before the meeting of April 2 and that she initiated the first contact through an intermediary. They then arranged the meeting which Alex asked for. Alex has no certainty as to the state of knowledge of the First Minister before then. In any case we regard this controversy about these meetings as of secondary importance. The substantive issue right now is not the possibility that Nicola Sturgeon may have broken the Ministerial code but the fact that despite repeated warnings the Scottish Government behaved in a manner which was “unlawful”, “unfair’ and “tainted by apparent bias” and further that their decisions have been struck down by the Court of Session at a cost to the Scottish people of over £500,000. The responsibility for that institutional fiasco lies at the door of the Permanent Secretary not that of the First Minister. It is high time that the Permanent Secretary accepted it”.

Let’s cut to the chase, if this was a chess game, it would possibly seem to some that Alex Salmond wants is to take out the ‘pawns’ before attempt to take out the ’Queen’. Has Salmond taken a multi strategy approach in fighting on many fronts which his ‘supporters’ are doing some of the heavy lifting? For Team Sturgeon, recent events show that they are in a bunker mentality, unaware when the next grenade will drop through the door but they know and sit and wait for it coming.

Finally, if Nicola Sturgeon hasn’t got the backing of her own SNP MSPs, then you have to wonder seriously about the SNP Westminster crowd.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Cleansing of The SNP; Alex Salmond says plotters are trying ‘to remove him as political threat’ as Kenny MacAskill says ruthless SNP will shield Nicola Sturgeon at all costs, the SNP 'ratship' is in real trouble, are the battle lines being drawn in the fight to get rid of Nicola Sturgeon?

Dear All

We have all heard conspiracy theories in our time, whether it be UFO’s, reptile people ruling the world or political back stabbing. The thing that is needed to make a good conspiracy theory is of course a sprinkling of truth and the benckmark of ‘possibly’. On twitter, people have taken to using the hashtag of #snpcivilwar, this is clearly a reference between the Salmond and Sturgeon factions.

So, is there any truth in Alex Salmond’s claims?

Well, he could point to the court case he raised in the Court of Session about how the case against him was conducted.

And it isn’t a huge leap to suggest that there those who see him as a political threat, but who are ‘those’ who see him as a political threat?

It isn’t the pro UK camp.

So, who is it?

Standing back and looking at this from a distance, you could be minded to formulate a theory that the only people who stand to lose out from a Salmond return are Team Sturgeon.

Salmond back means Sturgeon’s position as First Minister is in danger.

Leaks have occurred by where did the leaks come from, and who stands to benefit, are questions you probably want to chow down on.

Many would see Team Sturgeon having a direct benefit from a damaged Alex Salmond, although people can climb many mountains in politics, climbing ‘Mount sexual misconduct’ is too much for most people.

Oh, for the record Alex Salmond denies all allegations against him.

Today in the long running saga, we may be seeing a clearing of the mist as Team Salmond and Team Sturgeon appear to emerge to be at each others’ throats. Today sees Alex Salmond being accused of spreading “conspiracy theories”. In the SNP fostering grievance is an ‘art form’, and rallying ‘allies’ and the rank and file is crucial in the forthcoming battle between Salmond and Sturgeon.

Quick of the mark, Salmond used a message to supporters on his online fundraising page to suggest that he was “close to finding out” who leaked details of the complaints to the Daily Record newspaper.

Alex Salmond, for the record isn’t Sherlock Holmes, and of course the ‘leaking’ isn’t that big a deal, what is more meaningful is who done it, was it a solo run by someone, or was this someone who was acting for a third party with their full support. Let’s face it, if you are in a job and asked to do something like this, you would want to know that you are protected, fully protected, especially if your job is online. But spare a thought that the ‘leaker’ may have been handed the data from a third party to someone connected to the SNP, and therefore attempted to put their buffer in place.

On his online fundraising page, Salmond wrote:

“I have been in public life in Scotland for 30 years. Over that entire time I have had an unblemished record in terms of personal conduct, despite being perhaps the most investigated politician on these islands”.

You then remember Salmond’s other comments, ‘I am no saint’.

Interestingly, Salmond’s pal Kenny MacAskill has said that an inner circle of hardliners surrounding Nicola Sturgeon are “driving out” anyone who threatens to damage the SNP leader’s public reputation.

So, who are these hardliners?

Was one or more of these hardliners behind the leak?

When Salmond went to Court, Kenny MacAskill was at his side supporting him, in times of trouble, it is interesting to see who standby you. MacAskill also mentioned that the party’s treatment of Alex Salmond over his sexual harassment case,  and accused senior figures of a “prejudicial and unfair” approach in order to protect the current First Minister. 

Of course; people will automatically assume that senior figures means elected politicians but it would be a mistake to limit your scope to just solely them?

MacAskill wrote:

“It now seems that, for a coterie surrounding the SNP leadership, not one blemish must be allowed to be cast upon the party leader and First Minister. She is to be whiter than white and the SNP purer than the driven snow. Misconduct will not be tolerated and any who might taint her are to be driven out, whether by leaks to the press or overt actions.”

One person says conspiracy; people laugh it off, two people say conspiracy?

A point mentioned by MacAskill:

 “Loyalty needs not just to be earned but shown, and that has been remiss lately within the SNP leadership.”

You may remember that I wrote many years ago that the SNP is a ‘rat ship’; the problem which MacAskill highlights was never a problem until it was used against Salmond directly. In one sense, this episode shows how weak the position of Nicola Sturgeon actually is, although she holds the position of leader, she is no leader.  When push comes to shove, Sturgeon gets her authority from the position of leader, not from within herself.
Finally, as I mentioned yesterday, the main battle has yet to come between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, Sturgeon will want to keep Salmond at arms’ length, but just as the voters are leaving the SNP, 

I can see the support for Sturgeon dipping among SNP members. 

An Alex Salmond return to the SNP cannot mean anything else but a return to Holyrood, a return to being party leader. He can only wield the knife as leader to cut out the bad seeds, and that must include SNP HQ staff. I don’t see Salmond accepting just a crack at a Westminster seat and forgetting, he might see this as destiny calling for him to revenge fully.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

‘If you wrong us, shall we not revenge’, former SNP leader Alex Salmond accused of 'personal vendetta' against top civil servant Leslie Evans, Nicola Sturgeon needs as many human sandbags as possible between her and Salmond as she backs top civil servant, this is the phoney war, the real big nasty fight is between Salmond and Sturgeon

Dear All

The Alex Salmond ‘show’, not the one on RT but the piece of theatre being played out in the Courts and Press, like a steam engine, this drama is building up steam gradually, but before you get carried away, this is the ‘phoney war’ at present.

No shells of 105 mm have crossed the battlefield, no one is dead yet career wise, a few people have been shellshocked but everyone is still standing. Of course we haven’t seen much in the way of ‘troop deployment’ yet either. One person who has decided to pop his head up is Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA trade union which represents senior civil servants. Penman has accused Alex Salmond of 'personal vendetta' against top civil servant, Leslie Evans.

It may seem to many or a few that Leslie Evans, Nicola Sturgeon’s handpicked choice for the top civil service job is a ‘proxy’ for attacking Sturgeon.

Isn’t it awful when ‘best buddies’ fall out?

Yesterday Salmond attempted to do his ‘Lady Diana’ after winning his victory, he expressed regret dressed in black, but he couldn’t sustain it. In a roller coaster of emotions, he went from sorrow to attack mode and called for Leslie Evans to quit over the "unlawful" way the Scottish Government dealt with sexual misconduct complaints against him. It was an unremarkable performance but a warning shot across the bows that, ‘if you wrong us, shall we not revenge’. Of course, this bit is from the Merchant of Venice but clearly it rather seems that Alex Salmond wants his ‘pound of flesh’.

Perhaps several pounds!

An interesting take on this drama can be found at the Craig Murray blog.

If you were to do a list of people who appear to owe a ‘pound of flesh’, you might come up with this list.

Nicola Sturgeon

Leslie Evans

Judith Mackinnon

Who is Judith Mackinnon, she is ‘Head of People Advice’ at the Scottish Government, she allegedly cost the Scottish Government a whopping £500,000. She was previously Head of Human Resource Governance at the Scottish Police Authority according to Craig Murray’s article. A senior policeman allegedly told Murray that appeared in practice to mean professional feminist. Someone else who was also at the Scottish Police Authority as a board member was SNP Minister Jeane Freeman.

Yesterday also saw Nicola Sturgeon on the back foot while being interviewed on TV, it seemed the wind had been taken right out of her sails by the collapse of this case by her side throwing in the towel. Judge Lord Pentland declared that the Scottish Government's actions were "unlawful in respect that they were procedurally unfair and that they were tainted with apparent bias".

Reading the explanation put forward by Craig Murray, one has to wonder about the future of both Leslie Evans and Judith Mackinnon. Murray’s take is that their position appear to be untenable, but just as Evans is a buffer for Sturgeon, Mackinnon is a buffer for Evans. There was talk of starting the whole process again but given what has transpired, many would say that the ‘window’ for action is gone via the Scottish Government route.  

Everything down the tubes because the person who investigated the complaints had some involvement with the two women prior to being appointed investigating officer!

Craig Murray uses the rather catchy title, “The Salmond Stitch-Up – the Incredible Facts, and why Mackinnon and Evans Must Be Sacked”.

I would have added in Nicola Sturgeon’s name but I am all about ‘belts and braces’.

Salmond repeatedly calls for Evans to quit her post is victors revenge, he demanded:

"When she has got some time for mature reflection, I hope that the Permanent Secretary considers her position."

I think not, Evans has time, it would take quite a few years before Salmond could affect the employment of Evans, even if he could return to front line politics, by that time, Evans could be sitting on a beach with her golden goodbye pension sipping Evian water.

Back to Mr Penman, he said:

"I think what has been disappointing is the way Alex Salmond has continually targeted Leslie Evans from day one on this case, he's called it the 'Leslie Evans procedure'. Yesterday he made repeated assertions that she should resign. He has always portrayed this as a personal vendetta, even going as far as suggesting the Civil Service was acting without ministerial authority, so it was no surprise yesterday that Alex Salmond would therefore call for Leslie Evans' resignation."

He added:

"Confidence in the Permanent Secretary is a matter for the First Minister. I'm sure when Alex Salmond was first minister that is what he would have said and I don't think anyone could be in any doubt from what Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that Leslie Evans retains the confidence of the First Minister."

Yesterday Nicola Sturgeon said that Ms Evans took the decision to settle the court case "with my support".

Do you see why Nicola Sturgeon should be on the ‘pound of flesh’ list?

Nicola Sturgeon maybe at present ‘standing by’ Evans but given how quick she abandoned her mentor Salmond, I wouldn’t count on Sturgeon’s support. You can almost see the storm brewing the ranks of the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon rammed her ‘women’s agenda’ down the throat of the SNP, the Government and anywhere else she could, and look how it ended up.

Finally, there is an ongoing police investigation; Salmond has admitted no wrongdoing or criminality. It seems almost a foregone conclusion that if Salmond gets back into the SNP, he would want to challenge for the leadership, then become First Minister again.

Is there room at the Cabinet table for Nicola Sturgeon?

I would hazard a guess and say only temporary till he gets his feet under the table and he moves his own people into power, then we could see a Stalin like era of the purges, the backbenches being the ‘new Siberia’.  

‘If you wrong us, shall we not revenge’!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University