Statement by Jim Sillars explaining why he has lodged a complaint to Police Scotland on the “missing” documents in the ferries fiasco. 

Like most people who value probity and effectiveness in governance, I have watched appalled as the CalMac ferries fiasco has unfolded, a fiasco compounded by missing documents that would, if available, hold those responsible to account. 

I have also watched MSPs and MPs demand a public inquiry which all knew the Scottish Government would not concede. They get high marks for political points scoring, but the public, that is the people who have paid the extortionate bills, are still in the dark; and the west coast communities who have suffered economic and social disruption have no one whom they can identify to seek recompense from. 

When Jack McConnell called for a police investigation, his view were reported but there seemed to be no action taken on his suggestion.  I had a look at the issue. 

There are three Acts of the Scottish Parliament which place a solemn duty on accountable officials and ministers to minute key decisions, and to safely store the documents recording who was there, the subject matter, and the decisions taken.  It is inconceivable that was not done by a professional civil service and ministers with long service in government. Indeed the First Minister confirms that there was a written record taken.  

Where are the document?  Who was responsible for placing them in the records?  Who failed to do so? Did they fail to do so? Were they destroyed?  Why, among all the documents relevant to this fiasco are these ones, the key ones about who made the contract decision, not to be found?

These are the questions that should fall now to the Police to find the answers, given that in Scots common law the crime of misconduct in public office is there to protect the public interest when those in a public administration fail disastrously to fulfil their duties.

I have made the complaint to Police Scotland and not to the Crown Office because, with all due respect to the new Lord Advocate, I remain unconvinced that the impartiality required when anything relates to the Scottish Government remains unproven.”


  1. Well played Jim Sillars. This is the correct course of action.

    Burning or shredding of documents is a well known ploy to hide criminality.

    And as Jim Sillars moreover points out governments have a legal obligation to keep records of key decisions.

    The Police and the COPFS cannot dodge this. Investigation and prosecution required.

    Liked by 17 people

    1. Full marks to Jim Sillars for taking this extreme Scottish Government incompetence, possibly criminal negligence, directly to the Police. For me, it is the height of “mismanagement” to let these key papers go “missing”. Let us hope that they have not been shredded or burned to hide the evidence. Surely in the Civil Service there must be copies kept?!

      Liked by 16 people

    2. I don’t think the pocket police and COPFS can save this crew of chancers – the public office that has been abused is a UK public office. Perhaps now Westminster will listen to the requests by Alba MPs to separate Scottish Justice from the Scottish state?

      Well done jim Sillars!

      Liked by 17 people

  2. As I have said repeatedly in The Herald (I am also a unionist), what the people in government in Scotland don’t seem to understand is that all of the records which pertain to the government of the country belong to the people of the country.
    They are part and parcel of our history and should be carefully filed and kept for future reference and prosperity

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Bill I respect your opinion on independence though vehemently disagreeing with it , BUT I don’t care who is involved in the corruption , lies and malfeasance in political or government service I will stand shoulder to shoulder with you to bring the perpetrators to justice , there should be NO HIDING PLACE for ANYONE involved or protecting miscreants

      Without making excuses or diverting from the discussion BOTH parliaments are riven with corruption , lies and malfeasance and it is unfortunate that the snp sg appear to be mirroring and mimicking all the parties in WM especially the ones who have formed governments with their sub branches in Scotland
      And unfortunately THAT is where I part agreement with you , for Scotland to elect honest people with integrity we have to be in control of EVERYTHING , this continual ability to select the WM scapegoat when things go wrong suits all the parties because we CANNOT have AGREEMENT ON PUNISHMENT , we have unionist parties calling for punishment and independence supporters either excusing them or defending them because unionist parties are using it as an excuse to undermine independence , whilst they are ALL morally repugnant

      Liked by 12 people

    2. Integrity and standards in elected office are key regardless of the political views held by the incumbent.

      The Civil Service was intended to be the guidance to consistent adherence to the rules. We have seen how far that has fallen during the Alex Salmond trial. Records of meeting missing. Procedures not followed. Leaks, Etc

      It is happening in every walk of life now. Far too many people are happy to turn a blind eye to bad conduct if it was by “their side”.

      A PM misleading or an FM forgetfulness and we judge it by our Party bias instead of measuring against a common set of expectations.

      It is now unacceptable to debate or challenge the Party (any Party). We are being herded into camps and expected to take the “package deal” of policies without question and to provide blind loyalty to a Party logo. My comments apply to all the tribal organisations from political Parties, Religion, Companies, extinction rebellion, Pro life, Stonewall, etc etc

      Debate has been replaced by Dogma.

      The Scottish Government should be held to account. It is not Political. It is to ensure high standards in office. I expect Bill MacIntyre and I would agree on that.

      Liked by 10 people

    3. correct they must be transparent in all their dealings…….unless of course they are the West minster government of the day then the 50 year or 100 year rule comes into play.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are right both parliaments are full of coruption but there is one common denominator the Westminster hand playing the Scottish puppet.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. I got this reply from Jim Sillars re your question. Iain

      The complaint of breaching the ministerial code was made to, guess who, Nicola herself as she is the only person who can act on such a complaint. She didn’t reply, and obviously did not refer herself.


      Liked by 5 people

      1. You would struggle to come up with anyone in the Scottish Parliament that was the equal of either Jim Sillars or Alex Salmond in terms of intelligence and grasp for detail.

        I am sure between the two of them and with the help of others we could do something to clear out the rot in Scotland.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Iain

      The complaint of breaching the ministerial code was made to, guess who, Nicola herself as she is the only perrson who can act on such a complaint. She didn’t reply, and obviously did not refer herself.


      Liked by 3 people

  4. Good work, Jim Sillars, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Police Scotland must have lots of officers tied up with the Daily Record leak and the allegation of perjury by a witness in the Alex Salmond trial.

    By the way, the National newspaper has you down as contributing to Jackie Baillie’s campaign fund. Maybe you should also contact the Thought Police..

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Bill for goodness sake, what age are you, about 8 or 9 going by your little missive above. If you have nothing SENSIBLE to say, then just go away you really are very tiresome.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. In the interests of clarity (evidently a concept with which you grapple), we are discussing a ‘ferry’ contract and not a ‘fairy’ contract.

    Should the need for the latter arise, then you will be our go-to man. You have obviously been ‘away with’ them for some time.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. What sort of person supports a quisling dictatorship and relishes in the Victory of colonialism over self determination.
    The same sort of people who betrayed Wallace for power and English gold.
    The voters have given an endorsement to Sturgeon when 2023 comes and goes with no referendum things will change. Sturgeon has been given the benifit of the doubt. Hope is all we have, I would rather be a Auld Fart than what Bill represents you should look at wings and take stock of the Supreme Leaders record, its not good reading.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Honestly Alba have dodged a bullet – the mess created by Brexit and the war in the Ukraine and Tory squandering of what cash there is means there will be no money even for a competent administration. People will condemn councils for the failures to come. The focus for the immediate term is demonstrated, to my mind, by Jim Sillars: get accountability into Holyrood. We need to prevent Sturgeon calling her indyref that she has carefully engineered to fail – her last act of treachery before getting her UN exit will be agreeing to no more indyrefs for 50 years – so it is very important her past catches up with her and the whole lot of them see the inside of jail. The establishment will try their very hardest to protect them – our job is to make sure they can’t.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I tend to think the leadership of Alba is exactly what we have needed throughout this period. Independence aside, brexit and the war in the Ukraine was an opportunity and a wake up call to put our ports on the map and boost our food and energy sovereignty and I believe Alba would have done a decent amount of work on that. The period of SNP leadership up until 2015 is evidence of that.
        With independence a central bank chairman telling us that we need mass unemployment to solve supply side inflation would hopefully have been dismissed and sent packing.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. With every respect, that’s not correct. If Alba had wanted to dodge a bullet they wouldn’t have put up 100 candidates. I’m sure thay hoped that they’d get at least a few respectable results so that they could claim to be relevant. They didn’t. Here in Angus, in the three wards Alba stood in they managed 1.4% of first preference votes. In two of the wards their candidate received less than 100 votes. In the one ward where the Alba vote was enough to go to allocation it got only 17% of SNP second preference votes. The SNP, on the other hand, increased their vote and their number of councillors.

        As for the SNP’s misdeeds, you say that “The establishment will try their very hardest to protect them – our job is to make sure they can’t” Indeed the Establishment will, but as the Establishment includes the media, the justice system, and our entire political system, it’s very difficult to see how anyone can do anything effective. Stuart Campbell’s latest tour-de-force on Wings (“A Game of Two Halves” – is astonishing reading, showing how badly the SG has done in Sturgeon’s time in contrast to the excellent achievements during Salmond’s leadership. As ever, the article is accompanied by loads of evidence. It should be required reading for all those who believe that theSNP is doing a good job. However, it won’t be – it’ll be dismissed and belittled if it is refered to at all.

        And the Establishment’s protection will be extended to ensure that Alba fails, just as it ensured that the SSP failed when it got ideas above its station. Indeed, the Establishment has already probably taken the steps it requires by its continuing and totally unjustified smears against Alex Salmond. We live in depressing times.

        Liked by 4 people

  8. Bill – The email should have been received on a government email service, no matter where it was sent from. If the police call in the email server backups for the time period in question they will find the email, rest assured.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Personally I think it was terrible how the Sturgeonites tried to discredit and smear Jim Sillars a man of integrity and honour. Someone who is committed to the cause of independence and making ordinary peoples lives better. A Senior Statesman a Colossus in the Independence Movement. Its a pity they dont take a leaf out of his book.They should be ashamed of themselves, but for the Narc it’s all about power.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. It’s long past time to entertain the belief that we are living in a normal polity and competing on an even playing-field. The facts simply do not support that thesis. It is now possible to believe that anything could happen in Scotland and the SNP would still come out in front and remain untarnished. People will have their own opinions as to how this impossible scenario has come-to-pass.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Fear. Psychologically speaking the colonized Scot is scared of his/her own potential and more problematically the potential of others. Unionists believe they live in the best of all possible worlds, even when prison hulk Britannia is riddled with worms.

      Liked by 5 people

  11. Many thanks to Jim Sillars. It’s great to see these vile civic actions – loss or destruction of important government documents by the civil service possibly on behalf of the Scottish Government – as criminal actions of the government in office.

    Time is the big factor in all this.

    It doesn’t really matter after the election what truth comes out. It really did matter that the truth of the ferries fiasco did not surface before the council elections.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. For a contract of this size there would have been a project team set up to manage the procurement. The project board would make a recommendation based on due process for contract award, which would be signed off by ministers. We are talking about an enormous number of missing documents here, all the project documentation in fact.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It is frankly utterly outrageous that contract award documentation does not exists.

      IT systems will have ensured that many many folks will have multiple copies. Moreover, aside of civil servant and politico involvement there will be many who have recollections of what was instructed and by who.

      Already on the internet their are copies of emails querying the contractual inappropriateness of the potential contract award. Indeed, these email set out the concerns about inadequate guarantees to protect the government purse in the event of failed delivery.

      If the documentation is missing as Sturgeon declares there must have been deliberate criminal shredding and deleting of documentation. Moreover, senior civil servants and politicians will have recollections of their involvement.

      Jim Sillars is absolutely right. This requires a police criminal investigation. These missing documents and trail of why decisions were made and by who and against what yardstick need to be investigated. This all screams of utter disregard for the law.

      Corruption – the hallmarks of a failed state without a rule of law.

      Liked by 4 people

  13. The missing link has been found! Produced in parliament without allowing the opposition sight of the email.
    The SG rejoices – but they are dealing with auditors now and this pantomime has some issues:
    An email is not a signature on a contract
    The email states that MacKay has been filled in on the background and now agrees to the sign off – do they not realise that this is damning? What background? There is the information required by the auditors and the email shows MacKay was instructed on/given this background – he is not the originator.

    So once MacKay looks down the gun barrel of a 40 year potential sentence for misconduct in public office we can wonder how his memory will be on what background he was given.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hm reading the bbc I see Swinney was provided with the background from MacKay. Seems Sturgeon knows MacKay got this advice on Oct 8th but can’t tell the auditors where it is or what is was:
      “The deputy first minister did not take the decision, he wasn’t even copied in to the advice of the 8th of October that was the basis of that decision,” Ms Sturgeon said.
      It also seems that Sturgeon feels senior ministers should give the green light to major contracts while having no clue what they are talking about. Seems about right …

      Feels like the liars road is running out – oh how I hope so. Then we must build back better: accountability and transparency need to arrive in this blighted spawn of Westminster. iScotland must never base parliament on this broken model.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Herald says:

    The First Minister insists that Mr Swinney “did not take the decision” and was simply briefed on it after it was taken.
    then immediately after that the FMQ stream says:
    Mr Ross said “it was high risk but you went ahead anyway” with awarding the contract.

    He points to documents showing the Deputy First Minister “understands the background and the way is clear to award”, adding that “if he doesn’t clear the deal, it doesn’t go ahead”.

    sorry for the multiple comments Iain – I’ll stop now but surely this shows Sturgeon knowingly lying to parliament? If the deal could not go ahead without a green light from Swinney then he could not have just been briefed after the event?

    Liked by 1 person

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