Wednesday, February 24, 2021

"But what motive could there possibly have been?"

The people who try to paint Alex Salmond's supporters as irrational, tinfoil hat-wearing "alt-Nats" tend to incredulously make two claims: a) that there "isn't a shred of proof" of a conspiracy against Mr Salmond, and b) that there was no conceivable motivation for a conspiracy anyway. Well, I'll leave others to grapple with the question of whether there's any proof or not, but the idea that there was no possible motive is self-evidently daft.

First of all, the fact that Mr Salmond lost his seat in the 2017 general election did not mean he was a "busted flush politically".  He had suffered a political setback, but so had the large number of other SNP MPs who lost their seats in the same election - and yet several of those people either got their seats back at the 2019 election, or will be standing in winnable seats at the 2021 Holyrood election.  Mr Salmond could easily have made the same journey back to parliamentary politics if the investigation against him hadn't intervened - indeed he still could, albeit perhaps not under the SNP banner.

But there were voices in the SNP that very much wanted his defeat in Gordon to be the end of the road for him.  One reason was his decision to have The Alex Salmond Show broadcast on RT.  As we all know, there is a small but influential faction within the SNP group at Westminster that has a paranoid obsession with Russia, very much in the fashion of controversial journalist David Leask.  Any connection with the Russian state, no matter how absurdly tenuous, is regarded as a type of contamination.  That alone led to a conviction in certain quarters that Mr Salmond must never be a frontline SNP politician again.

But that's unlikely to be the main reason for the way that events unfolded.  More significant was the period of #MeToo and #IBelieveHer - the latter of which can have two distinct meanings for different people.  It can quite properly mean that if a woman makes an allegation of sexual assault, it should always be taken seriously and be scrupulously investigated.  But it can also, for some people, mean that if a woman makes an allegation of sexual assault, it is automatically true.  That's a mindset that is quite simply incompatible with the most fundamental priniciple of our justice system - ie. that no-one is guilty of any crime unless it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt.

If there was an assumption that the allegations against Mr Salmond must have been true, it's not hard to see why corners were cut and an unfair, biased investigation process was allowed to unfold - the ends justified the means, it might have been thought, to get long-overdue redress for female complainants.  Nicola Sturgeon and the people around her might have wanted to capture the zeitgeist of #MeToo by seizing an opportunity to demonstrate that no man was untouchable - not even the former First Minister, her own political mentor, the leader of the Yes campaign in the 2014 referendum.

But having overreached themselves with a tainted process for what they might well have thought was the best of motives, they may have then panicked about the political damage that would be done to them as a result of a legal defeat.  I've heard it suggested, and this is just an interpretation but it's not an especially implausible one, that they became concerned that Nicola Sturgeon's own position as SNP leader might be under threat as a result of the misjudgement, which by extension threatened the career prospects of her closest aides and advisers.  One possible way to head off the threat was to totally discredit Mr Salmond so that any victory he enjoyed at judicial review would be left looking like an unimportant technicality.  What would discredit him? Well, if you could ask around and come up with lots more allegations, that might do the trick, because people will think there's no smoke without fire.  But ultimately there's nobody quite so discredited as someone who has been tried, convicted and sent to jail.  It would obviously be a very serious matter for people to try to get a former colleague imprisoned for reasons of self-preservation, and I'm not in any position to say whether that happened.  But it's what I've heard suggested.  There may or may not have been a conspiracy, in which case there may or not have been a motive - but if you really can't see what motive there could possibly have been, well, there's your answer.

*  *  *

If you missed my podcast chat with Dr Tim Rideout of the Scottish Currency Group on Monday, you can catch up with it HERE.


  1. The why of it goes back to the period 2014-2017:

    Alex Salmond bequeathed Sturgeon a government with a majority in the Scottish Parliament.

    Following the 2014 indyref, we had 3 years with a UK or Scottish election.

    Let's look at what happened in those elections:

    2015 UK GE: SNP wins 56 of 59 seats, partly down to Sturgeon's popularity, partly down to the 'wave' which had begun to build during and after the 2014 indyref - you may decide for yourself which of the two contributed more to this remarkable result.

    2016 Sco GE: Riding high on a series of polls that have the SNP in the high-50s and low-60s, Nicola Sturgeon triumphantly leads the SNP to ...(checks notes) ...a loss of their majority in the Scottish Parliament.

    2017 UK GE: Having been made to look weak and ineffectual (by Theresa May, FFS!) over the call for a new indyref, the SNP loses 22 of their 56 seats. Even though they have 9 more seats than the rest of the Scottish parties combined, they still manage to look like 'losers.' (It's only gossip, but Sturgeon was not exactly devastated when Salmond lost his seat in the 2017 GE.)

    So, there's the context for what happened next.

    A leader who was lost a parliamentary majority AND almost 40% of their UK seats, AND who, by her own admission, suffers from Imposter Syndrome, AND who has seen Alex Salmond 'come back from the dead' once before to retake the leadership...

    ...saw the possibility of Alex Salmond returning to frontline politics (After losing his seat at the 2017 UK GE, Alex Salmond said: "You've not seen the last of my bonnets and me."), the possibility of Alex Salmond attempting to regain the leadership from a leader who had overseen two consecutive election results perceived as being exceptionally poor (even if they weren't, it's the perception that counts here) - and that could not be allowed to happen.

    1. Opinions and hearsay. 2011 was an exceptional result where against the odds the SNP won a parliamentary majority due to the "Both Votes SNP" strategy. What about the 2019 Westminster election? The Yes side going into the lead consistency during 2020, how many times before 2014 did the Yes have a consistent lead?

    2. In my shaky opinion, it was a conspiracy between the Westminster Government and the Crown Office, {Civil Service], to get rid of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon before an independence referendum. There has been hundreds of sexual harassment claims in Westminster but were payed of and brushed under the carpet.

    3. overseen two consecutive election results perceived as being exceptionally poor

      Perceived by unionists as this.

    4. I think the 2015 result was a reaction by Scots who were disgusted with themselves at being the only country in the world that has ever refused to grasp its Independence when offered....Nothing more. At the time I always felt that the SNP should have stepped down and forced the opposition parties to run a minority gov ... a sort of machevelien way of showing the Scottish populace how pathetic and useless they were.

  2. "controversial journalist David Leask"

    quite the understatement

  3. But why now ,this election is so important for independence , Alex is potentially going to bring down the SNP couldn't he have waited ?

    1. A question best addressed to those that set the timing (clue - it wasn't him)

    2. I don't think the electorate are going to give up on voting for a party they like and independence because Salmond doesn't like Peter Murrell apparently.

    3. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - most normal people would not like someone ( Murrell)who plotted to send them to jail based on fabricated malicious accusations. You clearly are not normal.

  4. Alex Salmond might not have been a busted flush in 2017, but in 2021 he is totally busted, like an old mattress on the scrapheap, admitting inappropriate behavior towards his work colleagues and agreeing he could have been a better man, busted.

    1. Do you know anyone male who COULDN'T be a better man? Because they'd have to be literally perfect for that to be the case.

      Salmond neither admitted nor was found guilty of ANY non-consensual behaviour with ANYONE.

    2. It's good you take a break from polishing your halo to tell us mere mortals how we should conduct ourselves.

      We appreciate it, even if we're not worthy

    3. Please Release Me from your sanctimonious crap.

      What Sturgeon and her allies have shown is that a sexual smear will always work to ruin someone's reputation because people are too lazy to look at the actual facts and believe in the headlines.

      I doubt this will be on the next list of SNP achievements in government - we revived the old political classic attack of a sexual smear and gave it a modern #metoo makeover.

    4. 'a sexual smear and/or a corruption conspiracy theory'

      Are the two classics.

    5. but, Alex Salmond was the First Minister of Scotland when he was acting like a prick, he's admitted that himself, he wasn't some Joe Public on a night out ffs.

      Who would vote for him now?

    6. Please Release Me - " he's admitted that himself" - where and when? Are you another independence supporter that believes Britnat media?

      I'm not asking anyone to vote for him now and I have never said he will make a comeback. I only ask for the truth to be posted.

    7. I'm using shop floor language, " acting like a prick " for the phrase, he apologised for in appropriate behavior, and this happened at Bute House when he was pished and meant to be working on Government Business.

      Gordon Jackson his brief said in his summing up, he could have been a better man, what does that mean to you?

    8. Please Release Me it means you are a pompous sanctimonious individual. There you are - a lot of people would say that was inappropriate of me. If I had a lawyer they may say you could have been a better man and been nicer to Mr Me.

  5. I think James's explanation is pretty credible, though it won't be possible to prove or disprove it until the political memoirs era opens in a decade or so.
    We're now heading for an indefinitely-prolonged stalemate in the Scotish Parliament, and more widely, on the independence question.
    Which of the following parties will not regard this as, at least, a mildly positive outcome?: Labour, Tories, Lib-Dems, SNP, Greens?

  6. This seems far more plausible than any of the pish Wings has been fantasising about

    1. Murdo Fraser seems convinced by Campbell's Bath based theories on the matter.

    2. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - I see the man you love to hate Campbell has an article about Sturgeon called: - Lying liar lies again. I thought he was referring to you at first.

      Are there not any big rocks left in the South of Scotland that you could spend some time bashing away at. They used to make prisoners do that in America as a punishment you know. You now get paid by public funds to do the same - well done what a scam. As you spend so much time posting pish on here I guess the taxpayer is not getting many rocks bashed per £.

    3. Mike Lothian if you like to read pish you have come to the right blog. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) posts pish every day on this site.

  7. I prefer the secret trans cult motive myself. #StuAnon

    Whatever the imagined motive, it first requires a crime. This then requires all elected SNP representatives to be in on it given the apparent lack of these arguing there was a grand internal party conspiracy.

    That aside, it seems the public either don't notice or don't care; as political geek, I get asked about politics stuff by friends and colleagues. I've continued to get all the usual stuff about brexit, the next election, when there might be an iref, covid stuff, but never once about the Salmond thing. It's just not important to people because it has no bearing on their lives whatsoever. It's the proceedings of a Holyrood Committee FGE. The court cases did actually garner a bit of attention, but then not much given Salmond had retired. Nobody mentions the trans thing either for similar reasons. I mean most people don't even know a trans person; it's not like they are fearing for their lives from hordes of dangerous trans cultists marching the streets forcing passers by to use the correct pronouns or face being made to wear a dress.

    As for the committee...

    Excellent article from Fabiani here:,salmond-inquiry-chair-fabiani-frustrated-by-criticism

    Salmond inquiry chair Fabiani 'frustrated' by criticism

    The chair of the committee set up to investigate the Scottish Government’s handling of complaints against Alex Salmond has said she is “frustrated” by criticism of its work.

    SNP MSP Linda Fabiani said the committee’s work had become “very politically charged” and was subject to “horrendous” commentary on social media...

    ...Asked whether the committee had become about the complainants when that was not its original remit, she said: “It has been allowed to become about them, I would say.

    "That’s become quite difficult, but that’s based on the law. There was a court case, there were provisions put in place after the court case. So, the committee has to take cognizance of them and be very, very careful. I suppose that’s what I’m talking about by some people having opinions that are not based on any fact.

    “Some of the stuff that’s been on social media is horrendous, based on complete misunderstanding of the legal system and how it works and based on a complete misunderstanding of how the committee is working and what the committee’s remit is.

    Of course those guilty of this are doing so knowingly to try and undermine Holyrood as an institute so they can then attempt to overturn May's result, saying it's not valid. 'Drain the swamp' was all done with the goal of the attack on democracy to try and undermine the outcome.

    With a majority for iref2 apparently, it was only to be expected. Don't think you won't see a capitol like attack from unionists at some point. They do have terrorists groups; they've even bombed Glasgow before.

    Hell, even Salmond isn't prepared to say there was any conspiracy; just that some people he doesn't like acted maliciously in the affair as far as he's concerned, and you can make of that as you want.

    I hope Evans gets roasted for the mess 'London's woman in Scotland' made of this. I can't believe the SNP wanted to bring this on themselves.

  8. No doubt the UK civil service in Scotland is unfit for purpose. It's clearly political. As the BBC says, there's a real 'crisis in credibility' for Whitehall's operations in Scotland now.

    We need an independent, apolitical Scottish civil service that's answerable only to the Scottish people.

  9. Another interesting article James. I see that the Nicola is a Saint bampots are starting to turn on you.

    The nonsense that there can be no crime without a (known) motive just shows how deep they are in to an alternative reality.

    Here is motive for all to consider.

    1. Summary of Motive. Sturgeon wants her pal and her husbands pal Angus Robertson in Holyrood to groom him as her successor when she eventually leaves. Sorry to break it to all you Sturgeon is a god people - Sturgeon will not be around forever.

    2. Timeline- Robertson has lost his seat in 2017. The plot is commenced in Nov 2017 to create the new Harrassment procedure for FORMER ministers that no other country in the world has and also to make it apply retrospectively to ensure it gets Salmond. The last part (retrospective) is completely unlawful and any lawyer would know that applying it to Salmond retrospectively would be likely to be deemed unlawful by a court of law. They pressed on nevertheless and Sturgeon herself a lawyer signed it off.

    3. #metoo is weaponised and used as a cover to get Salmond. Smear him and stop him ever entering politics ever again.

    4. Next part of the plan is to create an opening in the Scottish parliament for Robertson. How will this be done? Poor old Mark MacDonald gets set up using the cover of # metoo and Sturgeon tries to force him to resign using a pathetic sexual smear based on next to nothing. Sturgeon tries to force MacDonald out in Spring 2018.

    5. What has this got to do with Salmond? Well they were worried that Salmond may fancy taking advantage of any vacancy in the Scottish parliament and prevent Robertson from getting MacDonalds seat. So they had to ensure he would be out the picture.

    6. Of course MacDonald did not bow to intimidation by Sturgeon and resign as an MSP and accordingly was ostracised.

    7. The plan failed. Robertson was still not in Holyrood but now the Salmond fightback was creating a major problem for them. They then escalated matters to "fish" for more women who could be persuaded to raise complaints with the police in the hope that a criminal tral would take the heat away and they could sist the Judicial Review. Both failed.

    8. Remember the lengths they went to get rid of Cherry to try and clear the way for Robertson again.

    9. There is more logic behind this possible motivation but legal restraints prevent me posting them.

    10. Of course the above is just a possible motivation only the people who actually carried out their malicious actions will truly know.

    1. Thanks Hans. Another great fairy story.

    2. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - on cue a "Nicola is a Saint bampot" turns up.

    3. I can just see 9+ women, including 7 Whitehall employees, perjuring themselves at the high court so Robertson can get an MSP seat. Makes total sense.

    4. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - you really really cannot read well can you. Who was it that first told you that ? On that's right Campbell. Well he got that spot on didn't he. Or you are just wilfully misinterpreting what I posted. Either way you are a complete arse and should stick to rock bashing.

    5. I don't know what you are on about. The occupations of the complainers in court was well documented in court records and a range of sources, including the National.

      Even if it wasn't, you'd have to be complete imbecile to not understand they were mainly civil service. If they all worked for e.g. the SNP, how on earth would there be a UK civil service investigation at holyrood led by Leslie Evans? The harrassment procedure was for civil service employees working with ministers, not random folk on the street.

      Jesus wept.

    6. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - 3 lies/deliberate misinterpretations.

      1. The criminal trial was instigated to try and get them out of the mess of the potential loss of the Judicial review. That is what my post on motives says. Not what you claim. The criminal trial was never about getting Robertson an MSP slot.

      2. If you knew anything at all you would know that plenty people float between Special adviser/civil service/SNP positions. The criminal trial showed that to be the case.

      3. You think that from now back to when the accusations were supposed to have taken place ( approx up to 8 years ago) all of them stayed in the same category of employment. You are the imbecile.

  10. Given the way that the BBC now presents the mooth's baseless accusations of a corrupt Holyrood I can't help but feel that this narrative will grow to the point that Johnson is 'forced' to step in and take power back to Westminster. Solves all the headaches were causing him.

    1. It's not a corrupt Holyrood it's a corrupt leadershiplGovernment. There is a difference.

      The useful idiots are the people who carried out the malicious acts.

    2. I wasn't saying that it is. It's the narrative that the union parties are pushing.

    3. Keith, It was a reply to andypoliticscot post but James or himself deleted it.

    4. Keith based on the Andypoliticscot post below James deleted it.

    5. The sirens on here saying the Scottish government / Holyrood is totally corrupt / undemocratic are the same folk saying the coming election is what should be the mandate for indy and not an iref.

      It's a bit of a giveaway.

    6. Here's what I mean about the 'Scotland's government is corrupt and undemocratic' thing.

      Brexiteer Liam Fox claims Alex Salmond saga could ruin UK's reputation

      TORY MP Liam Fox has claimed the Alex Salmond saga at Holyrood could “bring politics in the whole of the United Kingdom into international disrepute".

      The former minister, who infamously claimed in 2017 that a free-trade deal with the EU would be “easiest in human history”, asked what mechanisms the UK Government has to safeguard its reputation in the eyes of foreign observers.

    7. Independence for Scotland - thanks for clarifying that. Sadly what you are saying is in line with what Davidson is claiming - that it's the leadership and government at Holyrood who are corrupt.

      Scottish Skier - it's not just 'the sirens on here'. It was the lead news item on radio 4 PM program, tonight.

    8. BBC really going for it too today.

      My guess is that the committee is going to come down hard on Leslie Evans and the UK civil service so as much diversion as possible is needed. Polling must have them shitting bricks too.

      Fabiani's latest article suggests the committee is doing just fine in its remit; it is unionists on social media doing the damage. Very well written; cool, calm and collected. Exactly as you'd want for someone in that role.

    9. This is classic BBC. Insinuate, insinuate, half truths and imagined 'public anger at the SNP'.

      Then down the bottom to avoid accusations of that, squeeze in a a wee nugget of truth when folk have hopefully stopped reading:

      That difficult dual role is carried out by Lord Advocate James Wolffe who, it should be said, did not take a decision-making role in the prosecution of Mr Salmond.

      Of course he didn't; that would be a conflict of interest. Just like it would be if Sturgeon intervened in the investigation.

    10. Oh, aye, we need a motive for Wolfe too. Ok he didn't make the decision on Salmond, but let's say he was part of the conspiracy and using his influence. What was his motive to perjure himself and risk his career / jail by trying to get an innocent man jailed?

      I mean he won't be head of the CPS forever, not if he aligned himself politically, so he couldn't hide from such actions. He's already got a great job and to be lord advocate is really reaching the top, so there'd need to be some sort of bribe involved? Career advancement isn't on the table.

      Anyone got a motive here? Maybe he was shagging Sturgeon and Murrell? Maybe head of trans cult?

      Sounds plausible.

    11. Keith Jones it is sad but it also a disgrace and the truth whether anyone likes it or not. People who have nothing to hide do not lie all the time and go to extreme lengths to hide evidence.

  11. You need motives for each individual involved in a conspiracy, from direct to collusion / turning a blind eye. That's what makes a conspiracy; a group who all have motives to work together to commit a crime or allow it to happen for their personal benefit.

    So in addition to personal motives for all the women who went to court (especially if you are arguing they committed perjury), we need motives for pretty much all elected SNP, from Sturgeon and the cabinet to MSPs and MPs.

    You can't just give an 'SNP' motive or even a leadership motive. These are not one person. Conspiracies are normally only a few people for good reason; they need strong motives and it only takes one to spill the beans.

    Whitehall employees (Evans and 7/9 complainers) taking out Salmond is about as plausible as it gets. Even that is pushing it for all 7. A mix of some truth (on consensual) and exaggeration (on non-consensual) probably.

  12. Smearer Skier (liar since 2014) - is punting out so much you would think he had been bought and paid for like Sandy Brindley of Rape Crisis Scotland. If you check the accounts of that organisation I bet they were given a substantial grant from the Scotgov not long after Salmond was acquitted in his criminal trial. Oh and I'll bet you will find Margaret Curran ex Britnat Labour MP involved as well just for good measure.

    Brindley is never off the telly or issuing statements telling the world how Salmond is really guilty. Smearing Salmond seems to be all they have - the same as the lying smearing Smearer Skier.

  13. The real reason is, when Salmond walked away there was a pact that he would not re-enter politics. Then he changed his mind. The conspirators said "you know we have dirt on you". He said "Do your worst". It spiralled out of control, with neither side backing down.

  14. James Doleman = an obvious ostrich.