Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Scot Goes Pop / Survation poll: Sensation as Scottish voters give their backing to the McEleny/MacNeil plan to use *this year's* Holyrood election to secure an outright independence mandate

Every time I've crowdfunded a poll, by far the most requested question has been on the subject of a 'Plan B' to secure an independence mandate if a Section 30 order is never granted.  To avoid duplication, I've taken a different angle for the question each time, and it might be worth starting this post with a reminder of the results from the previous three polls (all conducted by Panelbase) - 

January 2020: By a margin of 50% to 39%, respondents said the Scottish Parliament should legislate for an independence referendum in the absence of a Section 30 order, and then allow the courts to decide whether it can take place.

June 2020: By a margin of 49% to 29%, respondents said pro-independence parties should consider using an election at some point in the future to double as an independence referendum.

November 2020: By a margin of 63% to 37%, respondents backed the general principle of a Plan B being used at some point over the coming five-year Holyrood term if the UK Government remains intransigent.

The June question was in principle fairly similar to what Chris McEleny and Angus MacNeil MP are proposing, but it wasn't quite as specific, because of course they don't just want to use an election to obtain an indy mandate at some point in the future - they essentially want to do it right now, in the Holyrood election that is only a matter of weeks away.  So as I'd already covered pretty much every other angle in previous polls, I thought I might as well throw in the kitchen sink this time, and use our new Survation poll to ask about the specific McEleny/MacNeil plan.  I was fully expecting this to be the first occasion on which we'd got a negative result on a Plan B question, because I thought that voters would think that we shouldn't rush our fences, and that we should at least go through the motions of making one last push for an agreed referendum before moving on to Plan B.  But I was wrong.

The UK Government has stated that it will seek to prevent a Scottish independence referendum taking place for several decades, regardless of whether Scottish voters elect a Scottish Government committed to holding a referendum.  In view of this stance, do you think pro-independence parties, such as the SNP and the Scottish Greens, should or should not include an outright independence pledge in their manifestos for this year's scheduled Scottish Parliament election, to give people the opportunity to vote for or against independence?  (Scot Goes Pop / Survation poll, 11th-13th January 2021): 

Should: 45%
Should not: 36%

With Don't Knows excluded, it works out as -

Should: 55%
Should not: 45%

I'd suggest this result poses a major problem for the Pete Wisharts of this world, who base at least part of their opposition to Plan B on the assumption that voters are intrinsically hostile to any way forward that does not involve the express permission of the UK Government, and that the SNP would thus pay a heavy electoral price for flirting with the idea.  But that's a difficult argument to maintain when voters have given the thumbs-up to what is just about the most 'extreme' variant of Plan B - ie. abandoning Plan A right away and going for an outright indy mandate in just four months from now.  SNP voters from the 2019 general election are behind the McEleny/MacNeil plan by the overwhelming margin of 74% to 10%, as are Yes voters from 2014 by a margin of 75% to 12%.  Unionists are naturally opposed on the whole, although substantial minorities of Labour voters (31%), Liberal Democrats voters (26%) and Leave voters (35%) are in favour.  

My own thinking is that once every option for a referendum is closed off, a plebiscitary election should not just be considered a possibility, but should become a default certainty.  However, we will not reach the point of every option having been exhausted until we've legislated for a referendum and the courts have adjudicated upon it - and that can't happen this side of the 2021 election.  On the other hand, Chris McEleny and Angus MacNeil do have a very good point in the sense that if we spurn the opportunity of using this election to gain a mandate, when will the next opportunity come?  We surely can't just twiddle our thumbs until the 2026 Holyrood vote.  In theory, we could easily engineer an early Holyrood election in 2022 or 2023, but there are strong grounds for thinking the current leadership are far too cautious to ever do that.  The only other possibility is the 2024 Westminster election, but I've always thought it would be a big mistake to try to use the 'away fixture' of a UK general election, during which the media would be shoving Britain-wide issues down our throats, to seek an indy mandate.  

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There are still lots more questions to come from the poll, most of them Brexit-themed.  If you'd like to be the first to know when the results are published, you can follow me on Twitter HERE.  

68 comments:

  1. I disagree that it causes major problems for Pete Wishart. Dispute not supporting 'plan B' which as you say a majority of SNP voters support, he still got elected by said SNP voters with a healthy majority. The only thing he has got to worry about it being shouted at on Twitter, there is no risk to his job for the next 3 years.

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    1. Either you don't understand my point or I don't understand yours, because your reply would appear to be irrelevant. Nobody is suggesting that Pete Wishart's opposition to Plan B will cost him his job. (Some would say that's exactly the problem, although that's probably too cynical.)

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    2. Sorry was not clear enough. I was just saying that I did not agree that the result of the question is going to cause Pete major problems. I can't see it causing him any save getting shouted at on twitter or people disagreeing with him.

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    3. OK, now I'm sure you didn't understand my point. The problems I was referring to were with the credibility of his anti-Plan B argument.

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    4. Got you, yes this finally puts rest that 'plan B' is some sort of fringe theory only supported by fringe 'yes' parties / people on social media blogs etc (which I have heard some say on social media etc). Be interesting to see if Pete and other 'anti' plan B people soften there opinion on it now.

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  2. I personally don't have any issues with obtaining a mandate for outright indy via election if somehow a referendum is actually blocked. That can include the coming election if it wins a mandate for a referendum, but somehow that's prevented by 'UK' courts or something.

    I don't think its possible to stop such a vote though, not unless, ultimately, you send in tanks.

    It's simply asking the electorate a question; it does not itself bring about independence. So I cannot see how it can ever be 'illegal'. That's bollocks. But then if Scots do vote freely and fairly for Yes in a referendum, then that's that. It's a mandate for indy negotiations.

    I think plan A is correct and plan B is highly unlikely to be needed. If B is needed, the UK is finished anyway as it means the tanks are required to occupy Scotland as Scots no longer support being in the UK voluntarily.

    People need to understand that Scotland will be independent if it wants to be. Even if became forcibly occupied, that cannot last.

    But Scotland didn't want to be independent until recently it seems. If the polls are correct and it wants that now, its people will get it that.

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    1. Smearer Skier - a referendum has been blocked - it happened last year when Sturgeon gave her surrender speech after Johnston told her to get lost. Were you sleeping or something.

      Do not listen to the do nothing Wisharts and Smearer Skiers.

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    2. No, a court case would be needed to block a referendum or delay it.

      Don't know much do you.

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    3. You understand calling me 'Smearer Skier' makes you the smearer?

      How can you expect anyone to listen to what you have to say when you just name call.

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    4. While it's true that majority of Scots until fairly recently (let's say 2016) didn't want to be independent (and for independence to actually happen you either need the national elite to be for it or the majority of people), it's also true that independence is a legal process that won't happen by wishful thinking, polling, general talking about it, discussing it etc.
      One of the biggest mistakes the present SNP leadership has made (in my opinion) is that they a kind of chained themselves to S30 or Edinburgh Agreement. While I understand that that would be the easiest path, the continuous references to it muddled the situation and made the people outside of Scotland think that that is the only way to (legally) achieve independence. Commentators outside Scotland (and GB) who are no adversaries to independence now write as if it were an established fact that S30 is needed to start the process. We know this isn't true, but continuous references to S30 make it sound true (Edinburgh agreement was just an agreement to facilitate a referendum in 2014 - nothing more and nothing less).
      It has to be put into the SNP's manifesto (and SNP leadership has to keep repeating this) that a vote for the SNP is a vote to start the independence process and that S30 and that S30 is only one of possible (and yes legal) solutions.
      While you're very certain that Johnson and Tories will want to repeat the S30 process, I'm fairly certain that they won't. There's too much to lose for them (just read what Osborne's just written) and nothing to gain to just go for it because the Scots want it or because the SNP won the Scottish elections.

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    5. Except that legally, a referendum can be held without a S30 and 2014 didn't need one of these, so it doesn't matter what people think. The S30 was used to bounce Salmond into a referendum while winning pro-union votes; it worked and Yes lost. It was also used by Westminster to try and pretend it was need, even though it never has been. At most it just made a legal challenge a bit less likely to delay any vote / call it into question.

      The referendums act 2020 now legally provides for the Scottish government, under Scots law, to hold referendums on any subject, including consulting the electorate on independence. This is the law of the land for a year now. By March, we should have a draft bill outlining the proposed question etc for iref2. A mandate will be sought for this specific bill in the election; if Yes parties get a majority, they have the mandate to proceed with framework legislation backing that.

      The S30 is a red herring designed to print Yes votes while preparations continue and the Scottish government try to judge when Scots are ready to say Yes.

      The reason we are not independent is because it's not been clear Scots wanted it. Only the past six months suggest they do, and if so, they will make it known in May, which will be the nod from voters to go ahead.

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  3. Good work, James. Thank you!
    I appreciate the value of looking at 'Plan B' from different aspects. Yes, let's interrogate it fully, from every angle, so we can get to the heart of the matter. And yet, it's considered best practice in Indy polls to keep to a single, set question regarding whether Scotland should be an independent country. I can see the sense in that, too. It removes ambiguity, and means we can track what people think on that single question over time. But do you think there would be any value in a set, single question over 'Plan B'? If we had that, we would be able to see whether voters prefer one over the other. No? Interested to hear what folk think.

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  4. 'Trump clone' fails like Trump.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55725718

    UK and US fail to do mini-trade deal as Trump exits

    Maybe he'll have more luck with Irish Biden.

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    1. Smearer Skier back to promoting the Britnat BBC as a credible and trustworthy source of information. What a snake oil salesman. Oh and have I mentioned recently he is a compulsive liar just like Trump.

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    2. Biden is no fan of the English stroke British Tories. After all he did say he was no King and the Senate was no House of Feckin Lords. There will be no special relationship for the Yoons to drool over.

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    3. Next time I'll link to an anti-Yes party S. English blog so you can believe what's written.

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  5. Good to see this blog and Wings agreeing for once

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  6. This makes me smile. However I fear the end of Indy Cultists will not budge on the Section 30 BS.

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  7. So the "Scottish" Tories call on voters to stop Indyref2 by voting Tory in May.
    They lose but call on Boris s Johnson to refuse to "grant" the Indyref anyway.
    Any TV or newspaper journalist of any calibre should have no problem in filleting a Tory trying to peddle this as democracy. Will Scottish
    Labour once again back the Tories, either openly as in better together or
    will they for once get on the side of the people.
    The answer is too tragically predictable.

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  8. Interesting article and pleased to see what I have been saying for years is no longer "extreme " as you say above.

    We cannot wait around - The Tories have already started taking away money and powers from Holyrood. SNP stop being bloody scared of independence - you are supposed to be the party of independence. The worst thing the current leadership of the SNP did was convince Independence supporters only an independence referendum is democratic. It is not.

    PUT A MANDATE FOR ACTUAL INDEPENDENCE IN THE MANIFESTO

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    1. People come here for informed debate not for idiots like you to scream yer insults tone it down!!!

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    2. Rings - your post is screaming an insult - you idiot. Never seen any informed comment from you ringo ever.

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  9. Just completed a Panelbase poll. Usual questions, but included questions on the difference other Tory leaders or Starmer might make to my vote.
    Also a question about a 3rd option being added to the Indy question.

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    1. I guess even physcho bampots need to be represented in polling to make it an accurate sample.

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    2. How's your impotence Cubby aka Independence for Scotland 'coming on'?
      Is drooling over Scottish Skier keeping your pecker up? :-)

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    3. Juteman - keep confirming you are a physcho troll.

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    4. You're working hard today, Cubby aka Independence for Scotland.
      Oops, i didn't mean to say hard.
      Pour yourself a stiff drink and flop down on a comfy seat for a wee while.

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    5. Juteman taking over from GWC as the SGP site disgusting psycho troll. I hope you are not an independence supporter because you are a disgusting human being. At least GWC was a Britnat.

      You know what people say about projecting personal problems on to other people.

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    6. So is that you admitting you were GWC? Is that you projecting?

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  10. Jame,

    You say that a plebiscitary election "should become a default certainty. However, we will not reach the point of every option having been exhausted until we've legislated for a referendum and the courts have adjudicated upon it"

    What would be your view of the way forward if, having been tested in court, it was adjudged that a plebiscitary election was not legal?

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    1. That's pretty much impossible. The courts don't generally censor the contents of manifestos, and a plebiscitary election isn't anything more than that - it's just a manifesto pledge.

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    2. Well said James Kelly. Do people posting on this site not even understand what a manifesto for an election is.

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  11. Whilst I agree with the idea that " it's just a manifesto pledge", the fact that any party feels confident enough to publish such a manifesto should mean that Westminster has to recognise that they either accept the result, and start divorce negotiations or they will face face UDI.

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  12. There is another possibility that very few folk seem to consider a possibility. If the BBC start talking about the upcoming election, and English folk start paying attention, causing them to start talking about "getting rid of the pesky Scots", and Mophead sees an opportunity for his own political advantage, it's possible that he might grant a S30......

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  13. I remember when you used to rail against folk using leading questions - changed times huh?

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    1. Give us your wisdom. How would you have written it? It seems a fair question. Not everyone who takes part in surveys are political junkies and it needs explaining to them.

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  14. I'm against using a Scottish Parliament election as an Indy vote simply because if it didn't work whoever wins will still be the government for the next 5 years.

    Still controlling health, education etc. Therefore you'd still need a manifesto on these matters and the whole Indy debate would be lost etc.

    Mix into that the unionist tactics of confusion... is it FFP or the list that counts... is it just SNP or do the Greens count as YES... if a majority in Parliament is achieved on say 48% of the vote is that good enough?

    No doubt I'll get abuse but it leaves the result open to question. Will the international community recognise it? I have my doubts.

    HOWEVER.. a Westminster vote is very different. Simple majority of MPs needed. No question of manifesto issues as the SNP won't be the UK Government etc.
    Also easy rebuttal from Tory attacks as it was their policy until recently that if a majority of Scottish MPs were SNP that meant Indy.

    The key to all this is the international community. The section 30, although ideal, is a smoke screen. If its rejected after a majority SNP win we hold a referendum without one on the same rules/franchise as last time. We cite precedent. We look the reasonable party and the UK Gov the anti democratic party.

    One way or another its coming. And as I've said before.... alot quicker than many of us probably expect.

    Alastair

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    1. if a majority in Parliament is achieved on say 48% of the vote is that good enough?

      HOWEVER.. a Westminster vote is very different. Simple majority of MPs needed.


      Why would 48% of the vote in a Westminster election be good enough, but 48% in a Holyrood election would be questionable? Of course you'd need 50%+ in either case.

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  15. Best approach is a manifesto commitment to hold a referendum with or without an S30 and if that is forcibly blocked somehow, then UDI followed by referendum to confirm indy as the will of the people.

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    1. I do insist on Scots giving a clear Yes to this, ideally be binary choice. If indy is to be a success, it does need to be the will of the people and Scots are able to see / accept that is what their countryfolk wish.

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    2. A Section 30 order was a one of for the 2014 referendum,there is no law saying a section 30 order is needed. Anyway the Scottish People are Sovereign

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  16. Why is calling Smearer Skier a valid observation.

    Smearer used to say I was trying to speak for Salmond but of course I wasn't and I told him that.

    Smearer Skier used to say that Salmond has never spoken out against Sturgeon and he will listen to what he says and not me. Well that is reasonable and his right to do so.

    Salmond speaks out and criticises Sturgeon and says she broke the Ministerial code in a number of ways. Salmonds submission is on the Inquiry website no need to look at Britnat sources like Smearer does.

    What does Smearer immediately do? Does he analyse the comments? No he starts to smear Salmond and say he is not doing enough to promote independence.

    In conclusion it is very fair and reasonable to say Smearer Skier because that is what he is.

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    1. This is a case in point example of smearing, complete with lack of any evidence / links to claims.

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    2. The truth to Smearer Skier is like disinfectant to the virus.

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    3. May I asked why would Salmond arrange to meet the FM at her house and not at Holyrood unless it was private party business he wanted to talk about?

      As former FM of Scotland and current privy councilor, he knows that he should only meet Sturgeon at home on private or party business, and that if he wants to discuss government business with this minuted, he should arrange a meeting at Holyrood.

      Is this wrong? Did he want to discuss government business, breaking former FM protocols? Unionist claim this to try and get Sturgeon and him into trouble, but I don't believe it.

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    4. Smearer Skier smearing Salmond again and again. He was not a minister Sturgeon was the FM. Liz Lloyd arranged the meetings that's why she first requested to see Aberdein and that's why she was at Sturgeons home for the April 2nd 2018 meeting.

      Smearer says - "why would Salmond arrange to meet the FM......" where is your evidence for that comment - did Sturgeon say that Salmond arranged the meeting - no - just made up by Smearer. On the other hand you have the testimony of Aberdein in a criminal trial as a witness saying the opposite.

      It is Sturgeons home - she invited Salmond, Aberdein, Hamilton and Lloyd to the meeting.

      Now Smearer Skier is always saying people like Lloyd are Whitehall employees not SNP so why was she there at the meeting if it was party business. You cannae have it both ways Smearer.

      Just why does Smearer Skier go to such convulated lengths to avoid the truth and the facts of these matters?


      Smearer all you have are lies and smearing.

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    5. Salmond is the former first minister of Scotland and a privy councilor. He is party to numerous state secrets and knows that government business should not be discussed in private. To suggest otherwise is to imply he's an idiot, smearing him.

      He was not forced to visit Sturgeon's home at gunpoint. If he felt the meeting was wrong because it was government business, he could have refused to attend unless it was held at Holyrood or Bute house and minuted. That or not attended at all.

      He could have also reported the matter to the civil service immediately if he felt there was something untoward about the meeting.

      Salmond freely attended this meeting and agreed to the circumstances it was held in.

      I assumed that was because he, like Sturgeon, saw the meeting as party / private business first and foremost, so nothing wrong with it.

      Is this not true?

      You are smearing Salmond by implying he attended some sort of secret, dodgy meeting here. That's not on.

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    6. I assume Geoff Aberdein was acting on behalf of Salmond, so would have informed the latter of his meeting with Sturgeon and anyone else after this, including what was discussed. If not, we cannot trust Aberdein and would need to question what he was up to.

      In light of this, we can only assume that Aberdein did not give the significant details of allegations to Sturgeon, which would have negated the need for Sturgeon to then meet with Salmond. No, Aberdein must have just said there were same allegations and Salmond wants to meet with you about these where he'll fill you in. Salmond must have wanted to tell here what was happening himself, otherwise, why meet?

      So when Sturgeon said she first heard details of the allegations from Salmond, this must be substantially true. Certainly, it must have been the event where rumours from former employees became confirmed by a friend and mentor. Where she first heard the extend of allegations and what Salmond had to say about them in terms of his innocence, party membership etc.

      Finally, as we know, Sturgeon wasn't part of the investigation as you've told us many times IfS, so her meeting with Salmond in such a way was acceptable as long as neither broke rules on confidentiality etc or tried to influence the investigation.

      Of course, once hearing the details, both rightly had to distance themselves so as neither could be accused of trying to sway the outcome.

      This all seems logical and is what's been reported.

      Of course unionist try to smear Salmond by saying this meeting he arranged was dodgy.

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    7. The problem with Smearer Skier us that he just does not have any facts and makes up pish.

      Smearer says - "Of course, once hearing the details, both rightly had to distance themselves so as neither could be accused of trying to sway the outcome. "

      Pity for your nonsense you post that in Sturgeons own submission to the Inquiry she states she had subsequent meetings with Salmond and other communications with him about the matter.

      It is clear your posts are designed to deliberately confuse by lying and ignorance.

      Smearer Skier smears Aberdein. Lloyd invited Aberdein to the meetings in March.

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    8. right or wrong, it sounds like what we might expect to be put forward, once all this stuff allows some sort of plain speaking by someone - almost anyone would do!

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    9. replying to skier there...
      bit off guard by actually being able to post replies...

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  17. Has Salmond provided a written submission to the committee yet?

    https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/115516.aspx

    I can't seem to find one from him? Genuine apologies if it's there and I've missed it.

    Hopefully he'll attend on the 2nd February.

    https://www.holyrood.com/news/view,alex-salmond-invited-again-to-harassment-committee

    I would like to hear his side of things, but so far am unable to.

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    1. The highly qualified (in his own words) person cannae find docs in the Inquiry website but is happy to punt lots of uninformed pish on this blog about the matter.

      What was it Ringobrodgar said above " people come here for informed debate" - well you won't get that from Skier all he does is read and punt Britnat journalists material.

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    2. It will be a no. I see your stalker is back.

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    3. What's a no? No referendum this year?

      Funny how Smearer Skier cannae find any papers submitted by Salmond directly or by his lawyers but in a post below he can reference Sturgeon papers from the Inwuiry website.

      Talk about selective facts. You are a charlatan Skier.

      Unknown best stay that way. I gave Smearer two opportunities to agree to not comment on each other's posts he declined. He is the stalker who won't go away not me.

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    4. Smearer Skier says - " genuine apologises if Its there and I missed it ."

      Nothing genuine about you at all. You are capable of finding Britnat articles all over the place but none of the docs submitted by Salmond and his lawyers on a Scottish Parliament website.

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    5. See below.

      I'm interested in Salmond's side of the story, not legal arguments from his lawyers and requests for documents. Just him describing events from his perspective like others have done.

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  18. The 500,000 payed to Salmond should be payed by Westminster as it was the chief of the civil service in Scotland who brought the case against him after discussions with the accusers. It is her who should be in court.

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    1. Aye, that's why he called for Evans to resign at the time, and not anyone from the SNP cabinet.

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  19. I thought Sturgeon set Salmond up?

    If so, why does she back him up in her submission?

    https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/Nicola_Sturgeon.pdf

    I had no general concerns at the time about Scottish Government culture from 2008-14, and certainly not about sexual harassment.

    What not even an inkling? Some rumours? Maybe had seen him being a bit overly friendly at the office party? Nothing? Zip? Zilch?

    These are not the words of someone trying to get someone else done for sexual harassment. It's the opposite.

    Anyway, definitely worth a read.

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    1. Of course not what she said in her Sophy Ridge interview and not what she said in response to Salmonds submissions to the inquiry. Funny how plenty of people including Sturgeon and her staff can find Salmonds papers on the website but the highly qualified (in his own words) Smeare Skier just didn't have skill to do so.

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    2. Wait, there is some sort of submission.

      It was right down the bottom separately from all the others, I assume because they are in order of receipt.

      https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/115516.aspx

      https://www.parliament.scot/HarassmentComplaintsCommittee/General%20documents/Written_submission_from_Alex_Salmond.pdf

      I offer my apologies.

      However, it doesn't contain his side of the story, but just arguments over documentation he would like released.

      Has he provided his side of the story somewhere?

      I would like to read it before listening to his testimony.

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    3. Smearer Skier - demonstrating that he has been punting his fairy stories about the Inquiry for months and has never got to grips or even looked at its contents. Too busy reading the BBC Times Telegraph etc and all the Britnat take on everything.

      Too complicated for you is it? You expect me to guide you around the Committee website 🤣🤣🤣🤣

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    4. So that's a no then? There isn't a submission from Salmond where he just goes through the timeline with his version of what happened?

      I'm assuming he'll do this when he testifies at the committee?

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    5. And note I don't rely on English media sites for my news, unlike some.

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  20. Let's hope this poll strengthens the hand of those on the SNP NEC who are in tune with the views of the people as demonstrated by these findings.
    We cannot afford to stall when the voters are ready to bite the bullet ASAP on independence.
    Thanks James for not just asking the standard questions.
    We are all now better informed..

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