Moving on

From TuS regular, Alasdair Galloway:

OK, we all know that Alex and Nicola aren’t best pals anymore – anything but. So, its not a big surprise that Nicola is being hostile to Alex’s new party, which she makes very clear in an interview in that SNP supporting organ, The Daily Record, whose Political Editor is Paul Hutcheon (remember him on the Herald?).

There were three points that jumped out at me in the National’s report:

https://www.thenational.scot/news/19196889.nicola-sturgeon-issues-stinging-rebuke-alba-party-alex-salmond/

The first was “The First Minister insisted the only way to secure independence is to win a majority in Parliament and persuade the bulk the population to back Yes.” Well ok, it’s hard to argue with that, BUT, what preceded it was this “We can’t game, or cheat, our way to that.” Eh? Sorry, Nicola, but who is cheating here?

I could argue here (and I would if I had to) that the electoral system we use is “gamed” already – it was set up as a sop to the Lib Dems in the Constitutional Convention, to make sure that Labour were unlikely ever to form a govt on their own and would need a coalition which at that time was most likely with the Lib Dems. The problem was that at that time, the notion that ANY party – not even the Labour Party (which treated Scotland at that time almost like its own property) could ever win 59 of 73 constituency seats as they did in 2016. Even in 1999, Labour won “only” 53 constituencies and 3 List members.

You can bet your last button that if Douglas Ross thought that Salmond’s party was a “cheat” in a legal sense, he would have been on to the Electoral Commission last weekend. The fact is that the Unionists don’t like what Salmond’s party could achieve. They are frightened by it. But, despite what the First Minister says, it’s not cheating. It is perfectly within the rules, even if when the rules were drawn up, no one foresaw the current situation.

When the leader of the SNP echoes the thoughts of the leader of the Scottish Tories, I think we have reason to be concerned.

Secondly, when she says “We will only become independent when a majority of people in Scotland want it and are prepared to vote for it, and we are able to do that in a democratic, legitimate – and seen to be legitimate – process that then can win support and recognition in the international community.”

There is much to agree with here – there must be majority backing independence – that’s democracy. We might not always like how it works (see above), but it’s the only way. Our independence must be perceived as democratic and legitimate. But it’s here she starts to go wrong. Just where is the connection between voting Alba and independence, other than that pressure for the latter is brought forward by the former? Even if the presence of Alba makes a referendum more likely, of and by itself, it wont win the referendum. That depends on securing the support of a majority of the Scottish electorate.

But the bigger error is the “international community”. Certainly, our independence needs to be recognised by the community of nations, as otherwise we end up in the situation many of the states that emerged from the collapse of Yugoslavia were in for some years (and I think, one might still be). The role of the international community is really limited to that. Anyone who imagines the international community are going to ride to our aid in our struggle with the UK govt – if that is what she means by “support” – really is smoking something really good. To understand that point just remember the old women in Catalonia, dragged downstairs by the hair on their heads by the thugs in Rajoy’s Civil Guard. And the international community wrung its hands and did nothing! Did you know that EU membership requires a commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights? If not, you are in good company. Brussels must have forgotten as well.

Sure, we need the international community to accept we are independent, and if there is agreement with London that will be forthcoming. I suspect at that point there may be a sense of schadenfreude around Brussels. But again, Alba has little to do with this. All it is doing is to put pressure on whoever is SNP First Minister to take forward the case for independence and insist on the right of the Scottish people to determine their own future, and – and this is crucial – in a determined and effective way.

Lastly, she is quoted as saying at the end of the National report, ““Alex wants to move on because it suits him now to say that he wants to move on “But there are a number of women out there who believe he behaved inappropriately towards them and he has shown, even now, no sense of reflection or contrition, or even an acknowledgement of that.

“And therefore, he may want to move on but there are people who I think will find it harder to do that.”

Perhaps, the First Minister might do well to remember that prior to the Judicial Review and the criminal case heard at the High Court (where of course Salmond was acquitted on all 14 charges), that he (ie Salmond) had suggested arbitration and conciliation between him and his accusers, but this was peremptorily refused by Sturgeon’s Permanent Secretary. Such a process would, almost inevitably involved much of what the First Minister seems to want, even though it was her side that refused it in the first place.

That notwithstanding, Alba is not Alex Salmond – it is more, much more than this. And the First Minister’s concerns about this new party cannot just be Alex Salmond’s role in it, but also the number of senior officials who have left the SNP for it, including (at the time of writing) two MPs and two Party convenors. The SNP have recently made much of the number of new members who joined after the First Minister’s appearance at the Holyrood Inquiry into how her government totally screwed up its “investigation” into allegations about Alex Salmond. I wonder if they will be as open about the number who have resigned to join Alba? Nope, I don’t think so either. 

Footnote from the Editor:

Together we stand, divided we fall
Come on now people, let’s get on the ball and work together
Come on, come on let’s work together, now now people
Because together we will stand, every boy every girl, woman, LGBTQi person and a man!

Guitar solo.

End

49 thoughts on “Moving on

    1. And no, arbitration, in order to sweep the accusations against Mr. Salmond under the rug, would most definitely not have been appropriate. What he did whether it came to the level of criminal behavior or not was too serious to be ignored or covered up. You continually try to minimise the seriousness of what his counsel admitted to in court. The fact is that his behaviour was abhorrent to any decent person, this coming from someone who was always a very sincere and enthusiastic supporter of his for years.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “We can’t game, or cheat, our way to that.”

        What’s that all about, other than a concern to maintain your power-base. What about the Tories abusing democracy and constitutional law? IMHO, the FM needs to re-focus, and remember that you can’t appeal to international standards if your not prepared to acknowledge and support international law. Someone also needs to remind her that placing politics above the law, is a direct route to a state of totalitarianism.

        Btw, I might have more sympathy with the opinion that opens these comments, if the commenter did not appear to believe that men can physically and emotionally become women. Just saying.

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      2. So you KNOW what it was he did, or it was claimed he did. I mean IN DETAIL. If so, good for you, because no few others do. It seems to vary from touching someone’s hair to “utterly abhorrent behaviour” (Alex Cole-Hamilton). As long as its kept out of the public domain (the internet, I understand, notwithstanding) then we will never know and can never come to our own view. I dont minimise the seriousness at all, for we dont know the seriousness. I’m just not prepared to join a claque that would crucify him even though he was found not guilty. That verdict does not mean for sure, nothing happened. But neither does it mean something did happen.
        As for sweeping it “under the rug”, did the current FM not know, or hear about this when Salmond was still in office? I find that hard to impossible to believe, at best. Scottish politics is not a big village and working as closely together as they did, I just cannot believe in 2013/14 it didn’t come to her notice. But it took till after 2017 for her to do anything about it. Why?
        And, what is wrong with “sweeping it under the rug”? Is washing your dirty linen in public an obligation now? Do you think that dragging this whole shambles through the courts and the media have benefited the women? Perhaps dealing with it quietly might have been better, particularly if, at the end, they felt Salmond “got it”?
        Have you noticed the sexual shenanigans going on down south? Did you not read John’s piece on Damian Green, yet BoJo hopes he will be back in public office? One rule for them …..
        Let’s not forget too that he was acquitted, and that in one case, the evidence suggested the lady in question was being a wee bit economical with the truth as it appeared she wasnt in Bute House on the night in question, not just according to Salmond, but at least two others.
        Two points to finish. First, much has been made of the responsibility there was to the women who made the allegations. Was there no responsibility to Salmond at the time? From what I can gather, alcohol was involved in every case. He was said to be drinking heavily? Why did no one support him? Help him to deal with the stress of the referendum without getting blitzed?
        Lastly, I note your use of “his behaviour was abhorrent to any decent person”, which of course implies I am not a decent person. I just wish I had your sense of superiority!

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      3. I too was disappointed to hear of the behaviour of Alex Salmond, but the court found him not guilty and weighing against that, in 2003, he inspired me to march against the Iraq War in which many women, children and old guys like me now were to die. Against the UK/US establishment, he had the courage and the will to push for the trial of the war criminal Tony Blair. These still weigh heavy on the scales in his favour. If they are to be forgotten now, surely his failures must too?

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      4. To John R
        Yes indeed John. God knows we all have flaws.
        To be honest, Alex long struck me as the old Uncle that before a family event your wife/ mother would say “keep Uncle **** away from the booze”. I always thought he could well be a bit “overly familiar” especially with a couple of JW’s BL in him. But that makes him a bit of a pest, but not necessarily a criminal. Perhaps if we had more transparency in this, we could come to an informed view, but transparency is in short supply in this matter, as Craig Murray will shortly find out.
        That said, I am always a wee bit queasy about reassessing behaviour from the past using today’s norms. If it was criminal then (eg Weinstein) then fine. I agree with and support #metoo whenever that is the case and a powerful man has used his power to avoid his just desserts. What makes me nervous is when behaviour that was acceptable in the past (though may not be now) is condemned using current norms. It always strikes me (and I realise this is a trivial example) like a road has had a 40 mph speed limit which is reduced to 30 mph, but you get prosecuted for driving on it at 40 before the limit changed. If what Alex did in 13/14 was wrong then, why was it not acted on then?

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        1. Iamsoccerdoc
          Very eloquently put
          And all i would describe as his behaviour
          Being due to what may be referred to as
          The Johnnie Walker Wisdom

          Liked by 1 person

    2. If she really believes ‘united we stand’ then she might want to lay off on he attacks on AS.

      It’s most unedifying to watch.

      She should be above personal attacks.

      A little dignity would be nice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with soccerdoc and Gordon about the continuing smearing of Alex Salmond which I think is largely because the defence evidence in his trial was never properly reported while salacious details of the prosecution case wre all over the front pages.
        Meanwhile Craig Murray is under threat of prison for his reporting while other journalists who revealed a lot more about the complainants go free.
        I leave you to form your own conclusions.

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  1. Alex Salmond was proved innocent in Court by women witnesses, a female judge and a predominantly female jury. Alex Salmond is not guilty. There are a few liars going about. According to the Court transcript and the evidence. They are trying to keep secret.

    One incident in 2013 found not proven. One person’s word against another. A consensual or a sexual hug. An apology was given. One incident in over 30 years of public life. Alex and Nicola were continually hugging. Not sexual. Alex Salmond has been extremely badly treated. He did more for Scotland than anyone. A great statesman. The lies that have been told are appalling. People lied to vetting committees.

    Alba is a no brainier. It is brilliant. Getting rid of unionists and increasing support for Independence. Breaking D’Hond’t. It has been needed for years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That notwithstanding, Alba is not Alex Salmond – it is more. Yes its got Alex Arthur. To be fair he did apologise for his grossly offensive tweets on Gipsies and Covid. Why not d’Hont with the Greens?

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I’ve read a fair number of comments like this.

      I’m going to try to answer your points, not in a ‘hang him by the dangly bits’ way, but purely from the point of view as to why what you say won’t gain any traction with many women and the men who understand and support them.

      “One person’s word against another”
      That’s why the jury decides on ‘reasonable doubt’. It’s always possible that he thought it was, she knew it wasn’t. It’s why so many rape and assault cases aren’t even brought in the first place. They very rarely take place in front of witnesses – or not the sort who want to give evidence. Or they’re very quick. In cases of bullying, it’s often the bullied one’s response that’s seen but the cause is missed and not dealt with.

      “A consensual or a sexual hug”
      Ah. Consensual. How will that play in the wider world?

      Are you making this comment AS a person who’s been trapped by a person to whom you haven’t given any encouragement, who’s bigger and stronger than you, drunk, much older, your boss and the vengeful sort who may well ruin your career?

      Or perhaps as a person who’s been ‘guided up the stairs’ by a hand on their backside? Who’s been seated on an aeroplane with a ‘sleeping’ man whose hand keeps “accidentally” falling on your thigh? Or maybe, like all women, you wear a double Z bra – which must be the case, as your breasts keep getting in the way of men who “accidentally” brush against them? Or been victim of the “harmless, boyish prank” of having a phone camera stuck up your skirt. You didn’t object at the time – you were too busy picking a Father’s Day card – so it must have been consensual. (That last was my daughter, 14 at the time. Although, actually, she ran after him to punch him – that’s my girl – but lost him in the crowd)

      Obviously not – but you’re commenting TO them. And often their husbands/sons/partners/ brothers.

      “An apology was given”.
      Do you have to apologise for an incident that never happened?

      “One incident in over 30 years of public life”.
      It wasn’t one incident, or one person, though, was it? And before you present the argument that he was “found not guilty”, I agree. He was. Of legal wrong-doing, NOT of inappropriate actions. HE ADMITTED THEM HIMSELF. There’s a difference between ‘innocent’ and ‘AN innocent’. And we voters are always being told what an astute politician he is. He knows how to play any situation etc

      “Alex and Nicola were continually hugging. Not sexual.”
      You may be right. She probably even thought so herself. Speaking as a woman, I’d be stunned if, amongst the many things stopping her from thinking clearly at that 2nd April meeting one of them wasn’t “Oh my god, he hugged me all the time… What was in his mind…?”

      “Alex Salmond has been extremely badly treated.”
      Speaking from the outside – the view that the people whose votes you need have – Alex Salmond seems to have brought a lot of that on himself. Not just by his ADMITTED ACTIONS, but by his apparent need to not only be innocent in the eyes of the law, but to bring down the system and everybody in it.

      “He did more for Scotland than anyone.”
      Possibly. But the people whose votes you need very often won’t know that. What’s more THEY WON’T CARE. They’ll want to know who’s going to do what for them NOW. And it isn’t him.

      “Alba is a no brainer”
      Is it? From reading comments on TuS alone, if it was a no brainer, all SNP members at least would be saying “SNP 1, Alba 2”. They’re not.

      So, if it’s not a no brainer to them, why should it be to me? Why should it be to the rest of the people of Scotland?

      We may need a majority of seats to show a clear mandate for a referendum, but we need a majority of the whole of the people of Scotland to WIN it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The transcript of the trial is extremely revealing. Try and look it up. It is on the internet. No wonder it is being hidden. It is an absolute load of nonsense. From witnesses, called out by other women. Defence witnesses. A claim Alex passed a woman in a lobby while canvassing ‘with sexual aggression. A lawyer whose name is known. A friend of the woman says it never happened. She was there.

        Another woman made claims of an incident taking place. It was established by other women witnesses that she was not in the building. She had wanted support to be a candidate. In a constituency. There was a woman candidate already being supported.

        People who lied to vetting committees. Also made claims. After being supported. It is an absolute scandal. The way Alex Salmond has been treated. He is innocent and was cleared in Court by women defence witnesses who were there at the time. Their names are known. A woman claimed he touched her bum at a photo call. Other women witnesses there testified it did not happen.

        The Police did not want it to go ahead. After the malicious pile on charges. They knew it would not get a conviction.

        The authorities were told, Evans went ahead. It was only when the Advocates said they would not go ahead. It was dropped. The wrong procedures had been followed, It amounted to entrapment. Evans was seriously out to get Alex Salmond. There were text messages given as evidence.

        The one incident in over thirty years of public service. The drunken bed cuddle. Both had been drinking. Consensual or sexual. Not proven. One person’s word against another. 2013. It went through arbitration procedures and there was an apology. Which was accepted. There was no police complaint until 5 years later. Then plastered over every news outlet for two years. A total waste of time Committee. £Millions wasted. No wonder no one comes forward with complaints, He did not do it.

        No wonder they are hiding the charges. They would be so ridiculous. Touching someone hair. When everyone was at it. The person laughed about it. If they did not want their hair touched. Tell people to stop it. It is easy enough, ‘Stop touching my hair’. They had some of the best privileged jobs in Scotland. They are supposed to be smart. Yet they could not tell people to stop touching their hair? Cut it out.

        A lawyer calling someone a bully. On a train with everyone listening. Lawyer bullies are ten a penny. Money grabbing ambulance chasers. They made a packet out of the whole proceeding. Kerrching. A total waste of time and monies. That could have been better spent. A damn disgrace.

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        1. Gordon
          A most excellent synopsis of the whole. Sordid episode and i use the latter as this episode is not finished yet
          As Alex has taken out action upon L.Evans and demanding the Police investigate as to who leaked the information to the Daily Record, which in fact was the pin being pulled out the grenade and thrown into the domain of
          Independence
          I have no doubt whatsoever that all this
          Has been planned,organised,ordered,manipulated,
          Supervised and controlled entirely by the
          Dark Forces of The British State from the very beginning & right through to the enquiries ( Hamilton,s they had to keep their mucky paws off)
          It is most Disgraceful to think that the State would sink to such a level
          But such is easily explained,when you jump into their minds, who consider each and everyone of us none other than
          Merely being a expendable colonial subject of the Imperial crown and as such they consider our words and actions as none other as seditious
          All i say here is neither hearsay or fantasy
          Tis a matter of reality

          Like

  2. At the very crux of the reaction of all
    Regarding the Sudden appearance upon the stage of Alba
    If you care to take a look at the Natural world in order to understand as to how to interpret the immediate and ongoing reaction of those already upon the stage
    So as a very good example I choose the scenario of a pet large brightly coloured
    And very noisy Amozonian Parrot escaping and taking flight into the open air and space, where all other birds of a feather currently exist within the habitat
    That the Parrot has all of a sudden made a swift,noisy and spectacular entry
    Personally I have witnessed such a event
    And luckily it was on a fine early April spring morning and chronologically at a time where all involved one way or another heavily involved in ensuring survival of their species by either looking
    For or having established a breeding partner,having constructed a nest,had eggs or young in the nest

    Hope all can realise as to why I have chosen such scenario
    And to help you along consider the scene
    As this All the politicians and MSM are the Current bird species
    Alba is the parrot
    So
    1 The immediate and initial response is all take flight for and to what they consider safety
    2. Once and very soon after a cacophony
    Of bird calls obviously sounding out distress and immediate threat and danger to all and especially any others of their respective species who have yet to
    See sight of the parrot
    3. When the Parrot moves and or flies 2. Above repeats instantly
    4.When the Parrot Squawks it back to Square one for all
    5.Slowly but surely the birds realise that
    What they perceive as great danger
    Is here to stay
    6.The bolder species embark upon recon.
    Flights with the utmost of caution
    7. Sooner than you think attacks will be
    Launched against the intruder
    Becoming more daring as new waves
    Of attacks launched
    8.The Parrot initially behaves as the other birds do.But importantly it soon realises it is all just bravado by the other birds
    9.Slowly but surely matters calm down but far from normal and it is the Parrot who is the Quickest to adapt ( and that is why the owner is unlikely ever to see his pet return)
    Now for the rest of the story
    You have to wait for the results from polling day
    Alex Salmond and Alba are not the Elephant in the room but the Parrot flying around the political and MSM stage
    He has still to take to the air or Squak
    As he is currently upon a perch assessing
    The reactions
    All i describe is no accident as all invoved
    Are pre programed to react in the given manner described.What happens next will very quickly be executed and very much
    So on a trial and error basis ( All bar Alex have already made serious errors )
    Expect if and when such appears to be a successful response strategy then very quickly all involved shall turn into copycats modifications of theirs to suit
    Their capabilities
    And to date my observations are
    1.Labour under A.Anwar by far the cleverest player on the stage to date
    He does not feel threatened but sees advantage so all his efforts will be not
    Against SNP or Alba but the Tories and less so the Liberals, taking great care with his words in relation to those on the Yes side
    2. Dross and The Tories along with The MSM have all acted so far stupidly and wrongly Why because they know that tis them that are in the most danger and that The Parrot wants rid of them and will not tolerate anything whatsoever from them
    3.From last nights Leaders debate ABC (BBC) have somewhat calmed down and placed a remote controlled editors muzzle upon Sarah
    But more importantly overwhelming efforts to set the narrative and agenda
    Going forward
    The participating virtual audience was chosen and presented in a very clever manner
    No doubt organised and set behind the scenes at and from a very high level along with outside expertise in this field
    Whoever they are we now have a formidable foe
    But as far as they concerned The Parrot is still in the room. Watch this Space
    4. The SNP better get their Act Together and bloody fast STOP squeaking back at The Parrot, live with it,adapt and get a Indy majority DROP fast Both votes SNP
    it is you weak and blind spot.Labour know this and will work like trojans and aim to
    Take as many list votes in key regions
    The Tories will soon get their act together
    Once they realise the Parrot ain’t going away and observe the successful strategy of Labour, realising they have no alternative
    But to switch tact and now treat Labour
    As their deadliest of opponents
    As for the Libs. PHEW !
    And finally The Greens to me so far they probably have reacted the best cleverly
    Staying friends with SNP and not attacking Alba
    Remember and never ever forget what the strategic outcome we seek
    A Indy Super Majority in poker terms such is a Royal Flush
    Bet your house on it

    Like

  3. Salmond failed to back Nicola Sturgeon for FM when asked twice on CH 4 News, it’s clear he’s first and foremost after her head,
    The pop up Alex Salmond Revenge Party will only split the Indy vote, don’t give them the chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Alba cannot split the independence vote. On the contrary the SNP mantra of vote SNP 1/2 and attacks on Alba can only harm the independence cause. These attacks make it more likely that Alba supporters will not vote SNP on the constituency vote and SNP supporters will not vote Alba on the list vote. According to the polls SNP candidates seem likely to win another huge number of constituencies and therefore a huge number of SNP votes on the list with the D’Hondt system will result in a tiny number of SNP MSP winners. It will result in the likes of Murdo Fraser and Annie Wells being re-elected to Holyrood. Alba therefore cannot split the independence vote. Vote SNP 1 and Alba 2 if you want independence.

      Like

    2. In 2016 the SNP got 41.7% of the list (second) vote. This got them 4 list seats.

      The other parties combined got 55.7% of the vote and 50 list seats.

      It does not take genius to figure out where your second vote should go.

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  4. “that he (ie Salmond) had suggested arbitration and conciliation between him and his accusers” – at that stage he was possibly feart.

    “But it’s here she starts to go wrong. Just where is the connection between voting Alba and independence, other than that pressure for the latter is brought forward by the former?”.
    Sorry isn’t it Alba who go wrong here by assuming a “supermajority” gained through by your own admission gaming a gamed system would outweigh the views of the voters in a referendum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A couple of facts in reply
      1. if Alba succeed it will be because the electorate voted for them. As for the Unionist element, they will always complain – shouldnt be another vote for 40 years, should need a super majority for independence – and they complain about someone else gaming the system
      2. what is it Alba have done/ are doing wrong. If Ross thought it was illegal he would have been at the electoral commission already
      You also need to remember that all Alba intend doing is to secure a referendum. Whether they win it or not is up to the voters.
      Lastly, re Salmond, if your reputation was at stake, what would you do? Also, is it possible it might have been a better option for the women making the allegations? Better perhaps than what did happen?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Brit Nat Ultra propagandist Brian Wilson in the Herod, states today, that “Vote Sturgeon, get Salmond”.
    I think that would be over her dead body?
    But the thing about the 3 “Stooge” parties is:–
    “Vote DRossy, Starwars and Wee Wullie” and get Boris.

    And that would suit Mr Wilson.
    A.-Because he is a right wing British (and Irish) nationalist.
    B.-He wants to see the end of devolved government, and Boris will do it.
    C.-He is a nasty wee git.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. GO.

      Good post . . . . . However for the first and hopefully the last time I find my self agreeing with he who spouts poison…… Salmond was seen as a divisive by many . . . . . “Vote for Sturgeon get Salmond ” does seem like an obvious (and effective) attack line.
      And effective. . . . His popularity is rock bottom. . .

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m wondering when you guys sleep, with these posts and comments during night hours!!
    By the way, like the bit of “Canned Heat”, with minor adaptation.😁

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I noticed on another blog that a statistician had analysed the Scottish trial rates of criminal cases over time. By his calculations the probability of Mr Salmond being found innocent on all 14 charges were quite staggeringly low. Those probability experts that read this blog might be able to explain that better to us lesser mortals. Perhaps that is why so many charges were brought in the first place?
    I must say i like Mr Galloway’s investigative reporting. Do we now have two freedom fighters ex West of Scotland University?
    Keep it up, this is getting interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So jrtomlin barpe beveridge and others
    Ten women fourteen charges
    Court and judge snd jury says not guilty
    What is it you people want now
    Imprisonment is what a guilty verdict quite rightly might have brought
    Do you want AS in prison

    Do you think the court jury judge got their decision wrong

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terence
      You distort my words – a true indication of your views!!!

      I never said anything about imprisoning Salmond or his not guilty verdict – there are many people that I have lost faith in and do not wish them any ill, it’s just my feelings on the matter. He had his chance and blew it, he should (IMHO), retire gracefully and leave it to the next generation.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Both in the “solemn” and the “summary” acquittals, not proven is interpreted as indicating that the jury or judge, respectively, is not convinced of the innocence of the accused; in fact, they may be morally convinced that the accused is guilty, but do not find the proofs sufficient for a conviction.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. the burden of proof is on the prosecution to show the accused did do it. Not for the accused to prove he did not. Thus “not proven” means the prosecution didnt do prove it beyond reasonable doubt. Your conjecture is just that – a conjecture without evidence.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. As far I read the situation, the Alba party has come about as a means of escaping the political cul-de-sac of ‘our’ electoral system, which was designed to make an SNP government next to impossible. It is also responding to the many who are unable to tolerate much of the current SNP’s strategy, policy, and practice. So it appears to me that the Alba party is a democratic mechanism responding to a democratic need. The job of convincing the electorate that self-government is the sensible and appropriate choice for Scotland, still need to be completed. But I don’t think that possible if we continue to use the master’s tools, and continue to play the master’s game.

    Deliberative Democracy as Open,
    Not (Just) Representative Democracy
    https://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/DAED_a_00446

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just as a very small point, when the system was agreed at the Constitutional Convention, the intention was to prevent Labour getting a majority and treating the place like Strathclyde Region writ large. In the 90s the SNP were still small players.
      The more important point beyond this is however, that I dont think any thought was given – as I pointed out above – to the possibility of a party getting a majority on constituencies alone.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. “The SNP have recently made much of the number of new members who joined after the First Minister’s appearance at the Holyrood Inquiry into how her government totally screwed up its “investigation” into allegations about Alex Salmond. I wonder if they will be as open about the number who have resigned to join Alba? Nope, I don’t think so either. “

    1. “Her government totally screwed up it’s “investigation” into allegations about Alex Salmond”

    The FM. Has stated that she distanced herself from the investigation. The error was made by a civil servant. Nothing to do with the FM.

    2. “I wonder if they will be as open about the number who have resigned to join Alba? Nope I don’t think so either.”

    I’m sure I read in the National that the SNP said that after ALBA’s launch they had lost 100 members, but gained 300.

    Constant sniping at the SNP with baseless assertions

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Are you a friend of her’s?
      A wee bit investigation on your part would reveal the lengths gone to in order to put apparent distance between her and the report. Do you really think she had no idea what her Permanent Secy was doing? Sleeping on the job? After all, it was only her predecessor. She might have had no role in the investigation but that’s different from saying she didnt know. Moreover, the FM has an Honours degree from GU in Law – what was she doing allowing a procedure to be used that got laughed out of the Court of Session? If they were making an error, I find it hard to believe she should not have corrected them, particularly as she has the background to do this.
      As for your second point, I think we can agree it hasnt had the publicity of the increase in membership following her evidence session. But what raw numbers omit is the significance of the losses – two MPs and two Committee Chairs.

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      1. never even knowingly been in the same room. The nearest I ever got was a launch event at Hampden (ie outside) for a campaign against bigotry (actually that is something I do have against him – but that is a longer story)

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  11. Such is the nature of this medium, it may well be that attention by TuS readers will have moved on and what follows will only be read by me when proof reading! However, I note one particular paragraph in Mr Galloway’s post that I feel merits further comment just in case there remains some readership potential. This is the part that stood out:

    “…. he (ie Salmond) had suggested arbitration and conciliation between him and his accusers, but this was peremptorily refused by Sturgeon’s Permanent Secretary. Such a process would, almost inevitably involved much of what the First Minister seems to want, even though it was her side that refused it in the first place.”

    First of all, as both the Parliamentary Committee and the Laura Dunlop reports state, the offer of arbitration was to address Mr Salmond’s concerns about the NATURE OF THE PROCEDURE being followed by the Scottish Government. It is my reading of these reports that it was NOT to arbitrate between Mr Salmond and his ‘accusers’ i.e. the women involved. If I am indeed correct in this interpretation, the quoted statement is misleading by seeming to conflate.

    From page 115 of the Parliamentary Committee report: “13 July 2018: The former First Minister writes to the Permanent Secretary on the matter of arbitration stating that it is not intended to cover “the substance of the causes of concern” but the dispute on “competency and illegality”.

    Remaining on arbitration, the Committee itself concluded (Para 446): “Given the nature of arbitration, the Committee’s view is that, while it might have been seen to have some advantages, such as securing confidentiality, it was REASONABLE for the Scottish Government to conclude that it was NOT AN APPROPRIATE MEANS by which to resolve this type of situation. As there were a number of grounds of challenge made to both the procedure and its application, the Committee recognises that the Scottish Government could conclude that there was also no guarantee that arbitration would have been the end point to the dispute and that aspects of the matter might have proceeded to a judicial review in any event.” (my emphasis)

    Evidence of ‘peremptory’ action here on the matter of arbitration?

    Turning to mediation and again this claim of peremptory action. I’m not sure quite what meaning of ‘peremptory’ is intended but at least on one, namely ’admitting of no contradiction’, the evidence taken as a whole suggests the contrary.

    The Parliamentary Committee report states (Para 426): “Ms A and Ms B confirmed that they were informed of the first offer of mediation after it had been rejected and that the second offer of mediation was PUT TO THEM BEFORE IT WAS DECLINED.”

    And in any event we learn more on this matter. The extracts below also come from the Parliamentary Committee’s report including from the ‘Note of private oral evidence session held by the committee on the Scottish Government handling of harassment complaints on Monday 15 March 2021’ . The latter note records the evidence given by the two women who brought the initial complaints.

    From the latter we learn that one of the witnesses told the Committee: “I felt absolutely unable to take part in any mediation at that point—because I did not want to enter into that conversation, because I was quite anxious about that potential encounter, but also because it was very clear that he was, at that point, not accepting any responsibility for any of his behaviours or actions. Therefore, I did not see what could possibly be achieved through mediation at that point.”

    Further on mediation, the Committee itself concludes (Para 430): ‘The Committee is concerned that mediation could be problematic in the case of the procedure specifically because of the intrinsic power imbalance between a civil servant and a former Minister and the sensitive nature of such complaints. The Committee notes the view of Laura Dunlop QC that mediation CANNOT BE COMPULSORY but that it should “be referred to as an option in any process for dealing with complaints against Ministers”.’

    On mediation the Committee offers further perspective (Para 417): ‘Whilst mediation is generally used to settle disputes about working relationships, it is not always considered appropriate. For example, when considering the Parliament’s approach to sexual harassment, the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee noted “paragraph 6(d) of Section 9 of the Code [of Conduct for MSPs] which states that “opportunities for conciliation will be pursued in the first instance”. We [the SPPA Committee] think this provision is inappropriate in cases of sexual harassment and should be revisited”.’

    Might I suggest, given all that is presented here, that the statement to which I referred at the outset is some some way off giving a sufficiently full and reasonable account?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I think you are right about Salmond wanting to address the legality of the procedure that was being used – as it turned out it would have avoided a great deal of bother if the govt had agreed this (eg a Judicial Review which cost us all at least half a million). What Salmond wanted in the longer term was for the Fairness at Work procedure to be used, and it does include remedies such as mediation.
      No arbitration might not have resolved it – or perhaps it might? I dont know? Do you? Likewise, mediation cannot be compulsory – that is obvious. If either side is not going to cooperate then it becomes impossible.
      However, to argue “it was very clear that he was, at that point, not accepting any responsibility for any of his behaviours or actions” suggests that the person in question had a “solution” in mind and was not going to be shifted from this, so indeed mediation was not possible for that reason.
      I agree too that mediation can be inappropriate in cases of sexual misconduct – indeed in cases with other causes (eg bullying) – but it can be (eg in cases of misunderstanding or a lack of awareness, which I suspect is quite relevant in Salmond’s case).
      But let me bat this back to you. All the complaints, as far as I am aware, took place 2013/14 (except the alleged Edinburgh Airport instance). Why were they not dealt with then? Salmond was probably the most scrutinised individual in Scotland at this time. How many editors would have offered body parts for just one of those stories. You dont think there was a process of historic reassessment going on. Dont get me wrong, what Weinstein did was criminal (eg the rapes) when he did it – no reassessment was necessary. What Salmond did was not even criminal today.

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      1. Let me respond to your ‘batting back’ notwithstanding it seems to involve what is actually a bit of a shift from the specific matter previously discussed!

        You write: “All the complaints, as far as I am aware, took place 2013/14 (except the alleged Edinburgh Airport instance). Why were they not dealt with then? ”

        Are you not in danger here of unfairly questioning – even impugning – ALL the individuals in many countries that have come forward to make public concerns/experiences in the wake of #MeToo? Can you not conceive of individuals genuinely coming to a time in their lives when – perhaps aided by roles models in the public eye and/or a heightened sense of solidarity due a current movement – they decide to reveal an historic experience? Many, many beyond the Scottish Government’s employ clearly have around the same period of time and since!

        From the Parliamentary Committee report I note this:

        ’13. The Scottish Government began to talk about harassment in the wake of the #MeToo movement in late 2017. Speaking of their decision to speak out at that time, the witnesses (i.e. the women who complained) told the Committee:

        “the motivation for coming forward was never around any procedure… All I knew was that these things had happened…I wanted to make sure that something had been done so that they never happened again, regardless of what the procedure was.”

        ’14. One of the witnesses also explained that it was not a different procedure which gave rise to them speaking out, but rather a shift in context around the wider #MeToo movement, saying:

        “It was not the content of the policy that made a difference in whether I felt able to make a complaint. It was the context and the many surrounding factors, rather than what the procedure said.”

        To finish, none of this relates to my lived experience. So my own inclination is not to risk impugning those I do not know and whose experiences and associated feelings I have not had. I have attempted only to place here and earlier before readers reasoned arguments based on relevant, specified sources: it seemed important to offer a counterweight to your assertions.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am impugning the Scottish media for not finding out about this sexual predator during the referendum campaign – assuming it all happened. I mean FOURTEEN charges and not a whisper in 13/14 when Salmond was probably the most scrutinised man on the planet. Does that not seem to you even a wee bit odd?

        “I wanted to make sure that something had been done so that they never happened again” – so why not at the time? I think you cite the reason – #metoo. This might either be powerful man gets what is coming OR reassessing a historical event?

        “So my own inclination is not to risk impugning those I do not know” – so you are ok with Alex Salmond? Or do you know (I mean really know on a personal basis – I know people who just cannot believe he did these things, that it was totally out of character). I am not impugning anyone. I am saying we dont know. I think its fair to say that Salmond continues to be impugned. The Not Guilty verdicts seem to be diminished to such as “well he got away with it”, or “something must have happened” (not not guilty means just that – it doesnt mean nothing happened but it doesnt mean something did) However, the actions of the Scottish Govt and in particular the Crown office to keep a lid on this is, in my view, do make me more than a little uncomfortable.

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  12. OK, my reading of the reason for the structure of ‘our’ electoral system may have been wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’m correct in seeking to support open democracy. Which I don’t think is well served by placing all your eggs in one basket, or by undermining the emergence of a new voice that’s supportive of Scotland’s self-government. I don’t consider the Greens a serious party, as they aren’t prepared to support women’s legal identity. So I don’t see how they can be effective in supporting Scotland’s.

    Public Value and Participation: A Literature Review for the
    Scottish Government
    https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/research-and-analysis/2008/03/public-value-participation-literature-review-scottish-government/documents/0057753-pdf/0057753-pdf/govscot%3Adocument/0057753(dot)pdf

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