Not much ‘insight’ here

Insight? That’s a good one. Has he had the insight to check the polls? Has he had the insight to check the full facts?

After a bit of schoolboy ‘hand-slapping’ after finding the above photo, Macwhirter opens with:

I think we can be sure that Nicola Sturgeon is not considering resignation after having been found guilty of misleading Parliament by the Holyrood Harassment Committee. The First Minister was never going to fall over a technical breach of the ministerial code. The Scottish Green Party leader, Patrick Harvie, has weighed in behind her so she will  survive Wednesday’s expected censure debate. Yet, there is little doubt that the First Minister did mislead MSPs about her meetings with Salmond’s aides in March 2018. The idea that she would somehow have forgotten that her friend and mentor of 30 years had been accused of sexual harassment is, as the committee says, just not credible.

Does Macwhirter balance his ‘insights’ with reference to the ‘minority report’ from the committee members pointing out the party political hijack of the report at the last minute? No. Here it is:


Does he mention at all the dismay over the leaks, expressed by the chair and by many leading politicians in Scotland? No.

Does he consider evidence of wider public perceptions beyond his wee bubble? No. This sort of thing:


Or this:


Or this:


Or, finally this:


Should he stop writing drivel? Yes.

9 thoughts on “Not much ‘insight’ here

  1. John, I admire your continued support for the First Minister. But, both sides of the committee were playing politics. Chair person Fabiani, in particular, was going after Alex Salmond big style. Might the fact he sacked her have had a bearing on this.

    Similarly the other SNP members were obviously pro-Sturgeon, and, whenever whe was in-bother while giving her evidence, Fabiani rode to her boss’s rescue.

    Yes, the non-SNP members were out to get both Salmond and Sturgeon, however, I feel the difference between the precise and forensic Salmond and the all over the place FM, might have had a bearing ont eh final outcome.

    I believe the FM is proving to be a Rank Bajin, she has done nothing to advance the cause of INdependence, and for all her good work on Covid, she has presided over the SNP becoming a corrupt and failing government.

    For Scotland’s sake, she has to go. However, she will not go of her own accord and this failing will cost the SNP dear come May – once the pro-Unionist media really turns up the heat on her.


    1. “precise and forensic Salmond” – nonsense – he clearly tried to mislead the committee on legislation he himself, and Kenny McAskill introduced to prevent evidence being used in other cases. He was found out by Andy Wightman, who quoted the precise section of the Act to him, and by Alasdair Allen, who was treated to a snide and supercilious put-down by Salmond ,”Congratulations on your research”. In other words, he knew he was misleading them and just hoped nobody would bother to check.
      Had Alex Salmond been a better man we wouldn’t be in this place (Gordon Jackson QC).

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I disagree Capella , what you are saying about AS is your opinion , their is no foundation to what you say .
        We have NS getting a date wrong
        We have AS quoting the wrong paragraph number but neverthless correctly quoting the right legislation
        Then we have people attacking both of them for what is trivial political pursuit
        All of this nonsense emanated from westminster and its helpers
        You become one of their helpers saying nay guessing about things
        Socrates did the same here above
        There is NO war between AS and NS only fantasies created by those who want to stop Scottish independence
        STOP helping them


    2. I watched all 8 hours of the inquisition. Because that’s what it was.

      Naively, I’d thought it was an inquiry into what went wrong, how and why the process failed and who knew what with a view to apportioning responsibility etc. The questions asked – when, indeed there WERE questions aot political attacks – didn’t seem to nod at an attempt to find anything out. Perhaps the SNP members were merely giving NS a chance to what she believed happened on record? Well, somebody had to – it was a disgrace.

      Why hasn’t anybody been sacked? Because responsibility is to be decided by the Committee and we haven’t had their findings yet.

      Fabiani biassed against AS because he sacked her? Possibly – but OTOH perhaps, having worked with him, she’s experienced his style?

      NS obfuscated by saying “I don’t remember” etc? Possibly – why no balance by mentioning the number of pious “Well, I’d tell you I *could*s”?

      On the subject of remembering a meeting, could I suggest a possible scenario where BOTH ‘sides’ are telling the truth, no harm done?

      Civil Servant (CS): Oh, Mr Aberdein wants to speak to you, so I said I’d set something up with you for tomorrow.
      NS: OK, when?
      CS: Well, he’ll probably be at thingy’s retirement do tomorrow. Probably about 3?
      NS: Right, I’ll speak to him then.

      HE goes away thinking he’s set up a meeting, which has been put in her diary, SHE thinks of it as one of many “wants a word” type exchanges.

      28th March.
      They meet, they speak. It becomes obvious that a ‘proper’ meeting to sort out exactly what’s going on is needed and arrangements are made for 2nd April. This is the way that personal problems are sorted out within the SNP. And it’s confidential – not even her husband need be brought into it.

      2nd April
      The ‘formal’ meeting takes place. NS prepared to do what she can, but then reads the kind of allegations being made. This is far more serious than anything she’d imagined. There’s nothing much she can do to help.

      When did she first hear allegations had been made? 28th March.
      When did she find out the full nature of those allegations? 2nd April.

      I thought what she was trying to convey about her state of mind was that it was as if she’d heard (say) that her father/favourite uncle had been accused by some old schoolfriends of being friendlier than he should. Well, he’s always been a bit flirty – it’s his way. It certainly doesn’t mean anything unsavoury (28/3).

      (2/4) This is much, much more serious than that. Maybe the allegations are true, maybe they’re not. It HAS to be properly looked into – and she’s recently signed a process to do that. Intervening will NOT help his case (SNP corrupt/cover up etc). She’d help if it was appropriate but he’s a seasoned politician, he must see when he thinks about it that she can’t.

      When did the “something’s come up, we need to discuss it” conversation take place? 28th March.
      When did an actual meeting at which she saw a formal letter, with a full list of complaints take place? 2nd April.

      AS maintains she’d been notified at a meeting of the complaints. This is true – his aide had met with and spoken to NS, apprising her of the fact that there was a problem they needed to discuss as allegations had been made.

      NS maintains that she first knew of the allegations on 2nd April. Also true. Because the first time she had knowledge of what the allegations WERE was 2nd April. She’d been told of their existence earlier, but that was all, so that’s the date she thought of.

      Both sides are right, neither side was deliberately lying. Did she hear about the allegations on 28th March, sign off the Procedure on 29th March and only mention the 2nd April so she could say “Whoops! It never occurred to me that this would affect AS”? No.

      In this scenario, she hasn’t knowingly misled anybody.

      And another quick thought. If I’d made a monumental mistake, which had exposed vulnerable women to the sort of vile comments they have been, cost the tax payer £512,000 and shaken my boss’s political career which would I want? A boss who’d see the error and how it might affect them, who’d then turn round and fire me to avoid possible repercussions on them? Or a boss who’d set up an inquiry to find out how and why it happened and fix it? Although I might still be fired, it’d be obvious why.

      If Independence is going to mean “I don’t care, you’re guilty of something. And even if you’re not, I don’t care and you’re fired anyway.”, how does that make us better off than being in the union?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lets put some perspective on all this

    A week is a very very long time in politics
    Events my dear fellow Events
    Oh how the Unionists would love to stop the clock now till May
    Tik Tok
    Tik Tok
    Tik Tok
    Tik Tok
    Hold hold.time is our friend now and the enemy of the Unionists
    They only have 1 furrow to plough
    Whilst we have a fertile field to do so

    Liked by 2 people

  3. did a word search and can see no sign at all of the name “Patel”
    An inquiry has found the Home Secretary Priti Patel did bully Whitehall staff, but the Prime Minister decided to take no further action, despite the independent investigator Sir Alex Allan advising that she had not met standards. The report said ““[the] Home Secretary had not always treated her civil servants with the consideration and respect that would be expected, and her approach on occasion has amounted to behaviour that can be described as bullying in terms of the impact felt by individuals.”
    Bo Jo’s excuse, the independent investigator (so it’s not even like there was a committee made up of MPs, numerically against Patel) “had advised that the Home Secretary had not consistently met the high standards expected of her under the Ministerial Code”
    Sir Alex Allan – the Independent Investigator – resigned from his role as the report was issued, saying “it was for the Prime Minister to interpret his findings.”
    This, btw, was only last November, so not exactly ancient history. Still one law for some and another for others (especially the ones you want to be rid of).
    My reading of the situation just now is that the SNP are factoring in that the Holyrood Committee report (due out Tuesday at 8.00 AM I believe) will find she has offended against the Code. While there will be an unbelievable amount of hostile comment about this, I expect the response from the FM to be along the lines of the statement issued by the three SNP MSPs that John has included above. More serious would be if Hamilton came to that conclusion as well. Two things about that possibility
    1. the Patel precedent can be used – and it’s not like she only did it once, and it cost us at least 340k compensation to the Principal Civil Servant she effectively bulllied out of the Home Office.
    2. I kind of doubt he will. Given the emphasis the SNP are placing on this report I feel they probably have an insight into the conclusions that Hamilton has come to.
    In any event, whethere she knew on the 29/3 or 2/4 is not going to cut through the Joe Public, is it?

    Liked by 1 person

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