THE INQUIRY COVER UP BLOWN APART
We hoped it would happen with one of the MSP’s on the Inquiry getting by all the obstruction, delay and avoidance as the combined forces of the Scottish Government and the Crown Office as they sought to cover up the plot against Alex Salmond.
Alas the only thing we have learned is that the current powers under the Scotland Act ensures the Scottish Parliament lacks the power to hold the Scottish Government and the Crown Office to account when they are both acting in concert to block all routes off.
Last night, in the House of Commons, a Tory MP, DAVID DAVIS demonstrated how any MP can deal with such obstruction thanks to the use of Parliamentary Privilege, which can set aside, without any risk of prosecution, many of the legal constraints the Scottish Government have been delighted to accept and which the Parliamentary Inquiry lacked the power and probably will to oppose or overrule. He made a powerful speech calling on stronger powers for the Scottish Parliament, including the extension of Parliamentary privilege to ensure no possible future cover up, like the one we are currently witnessing at Holyrood will ever be possible again.
For a supporter of Independence it does not come easy to be grateful to the House of Commons or indeed to a Tory MP but I am certainly grateful to both this morning
So what happened. What did he do?
Well he comprehensively exposed and demonstrated the total deceit and dishonesty of both the Scottish Government and Crown Office highlighting that the redacting process was being used to defend the First Minister not the complainants.
He highlighted and reported, protected by Parliamentary Priviledge many of the contents of the police download of Sue Ruddick’s messages, messages which Peter Murrell had stated ,under oath , did not contain matters relevant to the Inquiry but which Davis made abundantly clearly did, including messages Peter Murrell denied existed stating there were no more messages than those already provided. David Davis revealed there were dozens of other messages which he had seen and had in his possession and which he had forwarded to Police Scotland.That lie alone should be enough for Peter Murrell’s employment with the SNP to be terminated. It should also be the end of the road for his fellow plotters Sue Ruddick and Ian McCann. If they are lucky it will be a taxi that will be called. It could as easily be the police. Peter Murrell will be extremely lucky to escape prosecution, he probably will because he will get some protection from the complicit Crown Office. They knew about these messages as well.
Using Parliamentary privilege Davis revealed Liz Lloyd, the First Minister’s Chief of Staff was interfering in the Salmond case as early as the 6th February 2018, not the date she volunteered as being in April in her statement to the Inquiry where she claims she first heard of it and which conveniently coincides with the date the First Minister first heard of the investigation. Once again the Government employees involved seem to be staggeringly forgetful, it seems like a widespread epidemic.
It is impossible to believe two things about this. Firstly it is inconceivable the First Minister’s chief of staff would feel sufficiently empowered to interfere in the civil service investigation into the former First Minister, to the point where two senior civil servants were describing the interference as being a serious problem, without the First Minister knowing about it. Secondly it would be astonishing if the First Minister’s Chief of Staff was in full knowledge of the investigation into Alex Salmond and did not mention it to the First Minister for several months. We have already learned from Peter Murrell’s evidence that he did not discuss any of this with his wife, even though it appears he was talking with and organising a lot of others to become involved in trying to find fresh allegations to back up the pathetic ones supplied by the Alphabet women themselves. All this after the police investigation was well underway. Worse it was revealed in the text that there was a coach and pressures campaign underway. Improper for sure, but possibly, indeed probably, illegal. We are now expected to believe her own Chief of Staff never talked about it either, for several months, while at the same time putting pressure on and interfering in the investigation itself. The story has fallen apart.
The way I see things for the Civil Service is at the very least Leslie Evans should be gone. Liz Lloyd must surely be a casualty as well and if it is confirmed she mislead the Inquiry about the dates she first became aware of the investigation into Alex Salmond at the behest of, and to protect the First Minister, then the First Minister should resign as well.
It is such a big story I think most readers will know the full story already and Wings have a full video and text of the entire speech for those who want to hear every word. I am taking part in the Through a Scottish Prism Special podcast which will be posted late morning today and where we discuss all the events in more detail.
Despite knowing a great deal more about this, including the names of the others involved, I am still stunned about three things. Firstly how and why was this plot hatched? Secondly how could they believe they could get away with taking out a figure so well liked, respected and capable as Alex Salmond with such flimsy and ridiculous allegations, and finally how did they build such a team of such shockingly incompetent plotters in the first place?
Being an optimist I hope it was inexperience and that they had never done anything like this ever before.
They must hope there is no judge led Inquiry because everything in David Davis’s speech and a lot more that has yet to come out would be in full public view. It would be the end for several more key figures.
This gives me no pleasure, despite taking a pile of abuse for months on end from those blind to the truth I knew this day was certain to come. Learn from this.
I am, as always
Yours for Scotland.
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