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Tags Alex Salmond , Scotland cases , sexual abuse cases

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Old 26th February 2021, 09:50 AM   #121
Rolfe
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
To declare an interest I have always liked Salmond. As an MP he helped my father. I much prefer his style to Sturgeon's which comes across as more combative.

However I guess most of those who like him prefer to think that despite his affairs and his own admissions of inappropriate behaviour that this is all a conspiracy and nothing he ever did was either normally questionable or could have been handled better in any way. Then again I may just be making lazy assertions of stupidity about people who disagree with me. Seems to be the popular thing to do

"His own admission of inappropriate behaviour." Do you think there's a man breathing who has reached the age of sixty who could put his hand on his heart and say he had never done anything that might possibly be inappropriate?

Salmond was trying to be conciliatory, trying not to appear arrogant and insensitive and unrepentant. He probably did start to consider that his touchy-feely manner might have made some women uncomfortable, in retrospect, when at the time he thought he was only being avuncular. I think you're reading too much into all that.

If you're following this case at all, you surely can't have failed to notice the huge signs pointing to the conspiracy.
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Old 26th February 2021, 10:02 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Oh, I forgot about Jeffrey Archer. That was fun. But it was a pretty extreme case.

You keep repeating what we all know about the meaning of a verdict. You seem entirely incapable of understanding what I'm actually saying, which is that in this particular case there is so little scope for an intermediate view that perhaps the complainer was mistaken or misinterpreted something, that you're left with two rational possibilities. Either woman H (and most of the rest of them actually) is lying, or Salmond is lying. It's perfectly legitimate to note that the possibility the jury chose is the one in which the women were lying.

I suppose you think we should bear in mind that Knox and Sollecito may very well be guilty, in the end it was only decided that it wasn't proved beyond reasonable doubt that they did it, and none of that disreputable procession of Italian liars were actually lying?

*sigh*

The reason why so many rape trials result in acquittals has little or nothing to do with whether or not the court believes the alleged victim to be lying (or exaggerating about what happened, or even honestly misremembering what happened).

The reason why....... is that in order to convict in a criminal trial, the guilt of the accused must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt.

And in almost all "he said / she said" types of case, this means that the court has to be effectively 100% certain that a) what "she said" was empirically, factually true, and b) what "he said" was empirically, factually false, before it votes to convict.

It's entirely possible - and indeed it's precisely the case in very, very many rape trials of this variety - for a court to believe the alleged victim, but to conclude that there's simply not sufficient evidence to make the court certain of the defendant's guilt BARD, and that therefore there is no other option open to the court but to acquit.

(I hope, at least, that you don't hold the belief that acquittals in "he said / she said" rape trials convey even the tiniest amount of implication that the alleged victim must have been lying or otherwise mistaken...)


Now apply this to the Salmond acquittals.
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Old 26th February 2021, 10:20 AM   #123
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You're not big on the evidence in this case, are you?
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Old 26th February 2021, 10:38 AM   #124
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Do you still have “not proven” in Scotland?
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Old 26th February 2021, 12:02 PM   #125
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There's also the extremely salient matter of courts having the extra burden of deciding what (assuming there has been no specific genital contact) constitutes the criminal offence of sexual assault.

Obviously in a rape trial, it centres upon a specific act. And as far as the act itself goes, it's pretty much a binary issue of "it happened" or "it didn't happen", with no grey area.

On the other hand, when a court has to make a determination on a sexual assault charge, it has the additional job (on top of trying to determine what happened) of trying to determine whether what happened constituted sexual assault.

Example:

Man A approaches Woman B (a work subordinate) in a quiet corridor at a social function. A put his hands round B, hugs her, and kisses her on the cheek.

Scenario 1: A's hands are only loosely round B's upper waist; A hugs B for only a fraction of a second; A plants what might be described as "a very quick peck on the cheek" to B.

Scenario 2: A's hands contact B's waist but immediately slide down to the top part of her buttocks; A pulls his body tight up against B's, with particular pressure coming from his groin, and holds that pressure for 3 or 4 seconds; A places an open-mouthed kiss of about 2 second's duration onto an area just to the side of B's lips.


I'd argue that Scenario 1 is - though very possibly improper and out of order - by no means a criminal offence. However, Scenario 2 most certainly does take us into the area of sexual assault. So how about a scenario which falls somewhere in-between 1 and 2? And how can a court come to the BARD certainty (a requirement for conviction, remember) that what happened is 2 (or close to 2) or not? If it can't be certain, it has to acquit.

But hey-ho.
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Old 26th February 2021, 12:13 PM   #126
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
"His own admission of inappropriate behaviour." Do you think there's a man breathing who has reached the age of sixty who could put his hand on his heart and say he had never done anything that might possibly be inappropriate?

Salmond was trying to be conciliatory, trying not to appear arrogant and insensitive and unrepentant. He probably did start to consider that his touchy-feely manner might have made some women uncomfortable, in retrospect, when at the time he thought he was only being avuncular. I think you're reading too much into all that.

If you're following this case at all, you surely can't have failed to notice the huge signs pointing to the conspiracy.
I haven't failed to notice that you put a positive spin on everything Salmond did and a negative one on the other side. It seems that for you it is the darkest black or the whitest white. My starting point for each side is a bit greyer than yours.
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Old 26th February 2021, 12:22 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Do you still have “not proven” in Scotland?
Yes. The charge against Salmond of sexual assault with an attempt to rape was not proven.
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Old 26th February 2021, 12:28 PM   #128
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I was able to watch a lot of today's hearing, surprised that both Sky and BBC cancelled everything to show events. I think Salmond came over very well.

I think the strongest part of his message is that a judicial review and a jury have found in his favour, so he is not on trial, the leadership of the government, COPFS and the civil service are.
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Old 26th February 2021, 12:30 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by Lothian View Post
I haven't failed to notice that you put a positive spin on everything Salmond did and a negative one on the other side. It seems that for you it is the darkest black or the whitest white. My starting point for each side is a bit greyer than yours.


Likewise.

But from what I've read, it seems like an awfully large proportion of people who might describe themselves as SNP activists are similarly polarised: they're either categorically on "Team Alex" or they're categorically on "Team Nicola". To me, it's a very interesting, though rather unedifying, thing to observe.
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Old 26th February 2021, 12:41 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I was able to watch a lot of today's hearing, surprised that both Sky and BBC cancelled everything to show events. I think Salmond came over very well.

I think the strongest part of his message is that a judicial review and a jury have found in his favour, so he is not on trial, the leadership of the government, COPFS and the civil service are.


You shouldn't have been surprised. The 24-hours news channels LOVE things like this - it's real-time drama in a heightened, quasi-judicial atmosphere.

We saw exactly this phenomenon play out, for example, in the matter of the Brett Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings in the US Senate. BBC News and Sky News cleared out their schedules wholesale for most of those hearings, even though their subject matter was only of the least consequence for UK audiences. What mattered was the drama of it all, together with the delicious prospect of tales of people's sexual impropriety being mixed in with the pomp and solemnity of high office.

Just as with today's Salmond hearings.


(To wit: had the root cause of today's hearings been, for example, allegations of fraud against Salmond, I doubt very much indeed whether the two UK 24-hour news channels would have cleared their schedules for it....)
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Old 26th February 2021, 12:52 PM   #131
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I cannot wait for the away leg with Nicola Sturgeon. I have cleared my schedules for that.
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Old 26th February 2021, 01:21 PM   #132
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If nothing else, I am glad to have come away from reading Salmond's submission with the knowledge of a new (to me) word: timeously.

I am now going to use it every chance I get.
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Old 26th February 2021, 03:31 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
You're obviously not familiar with (for example) Jeffrey Archer then....
And another Tory with the same initials, Jonathan Aitken.
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Old 26th February 2021, 03:40 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I think there is another point. Supposing someone is acquitted of a crime because a jury doesn't believe a witness who is clearly lying their head off. Supposing then that witness is charged with perjury. The Crown Office purports to be concerned about the possible effect on any witness coming forward, if there is an implied threat hanging over them that they will be prosecuted if the jury doesn't believe them. I'm not sure how real a danger that is, but I can see the force of the reservation.

But there's another aspect. Suppose that lying witness is charged and tried for perjury, and the jury in that case decides the case isn't proven beyond reasonable doubt? Where does the original, acquitted, accused stand then? Another jury has just retried his case, in effect, and declined to confirm that the witness the original jury clearly thought was lying, was indeed lying. It's a huge can of worms. Does that then mean that the original accused wasn't innocent at all, despite the original verdict?

Then we come on to cases where the accused is acquitted and the Crown declines to prosecute these witnesses for perjury. Cue wagging tongues for decades declaring "well of course he did it really, look, they didn't charge the prosecution witnesses with perjury."

Better not touch that one with a barge pole I think. I can't think of a case where a lying witness (or indeed accused) has ever been charged with perjury.
Roberto Conchie Harris was jailed for 8.5 years for perjury for lying in the trial of David Wayne Tamihere for the murder of two Swedish tourists in Coromandel about 1989.
He was tried and convicted about 3 years ago, after a private citizen, Mike Kalaugher prosecuted him. The police would never have gone near it because Detective John Hughes wrote the lies for Harris to tell in court to secure the false conviction.
An appeal for Tamihere is pending and worth watching, there is a thread here I will update.
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Old 26th February 2021, 06:09 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Matthew Best View Post
If nothing else, I am glad to have come away from reading Salmond's submission with the knowledge of a new (to me) word: timeously.

I am now going to use it every chance I get.

Just remember to pronounce it "time-ously", and not "tim-ee-ously" (which is definitely how it reads to me!)
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Old 26th February 2021, 07:17 PM   #136
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Don't worry - I looked it up before daring to say it out loud - which I have already done when telling my wife I needed to leave the house if I was going to get to work timeously.

She was not impressed.
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Old 27th February 2021, 03:09 AM   #137
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Rolfe, you might be right or you might be wrong and there is no doubt you have the firm conviction of your beliefs. In addition, sexual harrassment is incredibly difficult to prove so many men know they can get away with a quick touch here or a sly leer there.

However, when you claim Sturgeon's husband is 'as camp as a line of tents' to insinuate she merely married him so they'd both control the hegemony of the SNP, I think you are being a bit over the top. Even if he is gay, then it doesn't mean 'wee Jimmy Cranky' only married him for the ulterior motive of being one up on Salmond. You are reading too much into things, as though there is a great conspiracy against Salmond when really it is just pure political rivalry (and quite fishy, too, with the recurrence of salmon and sturgeon as the main course).
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Old 27th February 2021, 04:18 AM   #138
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It's not me that's reading that into the situation. I have no idea if it's true or not. I'm passing on what many people who are closer to the protagonists than I am are saying openly.
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Old 27th February 2021, 09:05 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It's not me that's reading that into the situation. I have no idea if it's true or not. I'm passing on what many people who are closer to the protagonists than I am are saying openly.
Why do I keep getting visions of Les Dawson...?


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Old 27th February 2021, 04:32 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by Lothian
I haven't failed to notice that you put a positive spin on everything Salmond did and a negative one on the other side.

Things like this?
Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
But the sheer absence of people outside the witches' coven...
I don't know anything about this case apart from what is written in this thread. So there was an actual "witches' coven"? If not, why use that phrase?

Quote:
...in a context where tweaking one woman's hair and leaning forward past his wife to give another woman a push in the back to hurry her up an outside staircase in rainy and windy weather were deemed to be criminally inappropriate
I don't know about criminally, but IMO these actions were definitely inappropriate. My reasoning is simple - if someone did that to me I would consider it very inappropriate, possibly even assault.

Perhaps you are right and there was a conspiracy to accuse this man of things he didn't do. But the spin is tainting your argument. You would do better by just sticking to the facts.

Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Do you think there's a man breathing who has reached the age of sixty who could put his hand on his heart and say he had never done anything that might possibly be inappropriate?
I know of one.
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Old 28th February 2021, 01:13 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
I know of one.
He'd be lying then, just ask his partner.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 11:07 AM   #142
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The legal advice to the government

https://www.gov.scot/binaries/conten...tee%2Bcopy.pdf

"5 In our view the majority of the grounds of challenge are weak and should be capable of being resisted successfully.

6 Nevertheless, we think that there is a real risk that the Court may be persuaded by the petitioner’s case in respect of the ground of challenge based on ‘procedural unfairness’. This is a lengthy ground of challenge attacking various aspects of the investigation process. We consider that the areas of greatest risk are in relation to the fact that witness statements and the initial report prepared by the investigating officer were not shared with the petitioner. The Procedure does not provide for the sharing of such information with the minister or former minister who is the subject of the complaint. We should stress that we do see an answer to this point and consider the defence to be perfectly statable, all for the reasons outlined below. However, it would be wrong to pretend that we do not see a vulnerability in this regard. Equally, we should stress that the vulnerability arises from the Procedure itself, and not from its implementation in this particular case."

The government was warned that there was a particular weakness in the procedure which made it vulnerable to Alex Salmond's challenge.
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Old 2nd March 2021, 04:10 PM   #143
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Oh, there's a lot more than that. It all seems to be coming out now.

The earth-shattering ka-boom
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Old 2nd March 2021, 04:34 PM   #144
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I note on Twitter tonight that a lot of people are asking why woman H is not being prosecuted for perjury. This article is a good summary of the evidence she was lying in her teeth in the witness box, but the twitter thing started before the article went up.

And justice for some

Basically she had an arm injury (not sure if she actually had a stookie on it but it was in a sling) so although she had originally been scheduled to attend the dinner and had actually organised it, she phoned a friend, Samantha Barber, and asked her to go in her place. So, she organised the dinner, but couldn't go because of her injury and asked Samantha Barber to go. There were only three people there, Samantha Barber, the Z-list actor and Salmond. I'm struggling to imagine how this could possibly be a mistake as to the date, especially as the Z-list actor only ever went to one dinner at Bute House. I understand they did check diaries and dates to see if there was another occasion she could have got mixed up with but nothing appeared to fit.

This being a government office and the official residence of the FM, they keep security logs of everyone who goes in and out. There was no record of woman H being there that day, although the other people at the dinner were logged in the usual way. Checking these logs on other dates didn't show woman H being present on any other day when this allegation could possibly have happened.

Woman H also prayed in aid Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, something about attending an international football match with her the following day. Tasmina gave evidence that while there was indeed such a match, she hadn't been there. She had been scheduled to attend but her father died suddenly and she'd had to call off.

The only apparent support for woman H was the Z-list actor, who didn't give evidence in court. He was allowed to send a video of his (unsworn) testimony in which he said he vaguely thought there had been a fourth person at the dinner (but if woman H was there, why was Samantha Barber there, SB was a substitute for H) but his description of this shadowy fourth person was nothing like woman H, he also described clothes entirely different from what she said she was wearing, and strangely he didn't mention the arm in a sling. A bit hard not to notice someone who is eating with one arm tied up in a sling. He couldn't be cross-examined so his evidence was essentially worthless.

While she was giving evidence H was apparently warned several times by the judge to be careful what she was saying, and warned about possible contempt of court. I didn't follow the trial closely enough to have spotted that but several people are now claiming this happened. If I find proof, I'll post it.

This is the person we're all being threatened with jail if we even vaguely hint at her identity, but she's not being charged. Or not yet, let's see how this goes.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 05:27 AM   #145
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Nicola Sturgeon giving evidence, defends reporting to the police the allegations against AS, despite police advice to respect the complainer's wishes, not make a complaint. Fails to report to the police criminality over leaks of a complainer's name and information to the Daily record.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 05:52 AM   #146
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Says she had to take action (about the complaints) when there were allegations of criminality, but that doesn't explain why the complaints were originally to be buried in a file in SNP HQ only to be referred to if Salmond applied to be a candidate in a future election. And that hopefully they wouldn't have to be used.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 06:38 AM   #147
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Alex Salmond had a far greater knowledge of the evidence than Nicola Sturgeon has. She has had to said she does not know or is not sure on many occasions.

I think the legal advice on minimum alcohol pricing has to be published, since she claims that advice was even more negative than the advice about the AS judicial review.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 06:50 AM   #148
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We have to bear in mind that she is a consummate actress whose main talent lies in presenting absolutely negative information as if it was good news (the covid briefings) or just plain lying - either about what had happened in the past or what she intends to do in the future.

I've been taken in by it myself and it took me quite a while to see it. I'm seeing many people on twitter still being taken in by it, and while I grind my teeth and say, why can't you see it after all this time, I concede that people might have said the same of me up to a couple of years ago, with just as much justification.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 08:04 AM   #149
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There is a lot of I do not know, I do not remember, I am not certain, as I understand it, I am not sure, my understanding, indeed phrases like that are being used constantly in every reply and then assertions without any evidence from NS.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:04 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
We have to bear in mind that she is a consummate actress whose main talent lies in presenting absolutely negative information as if it was good news (the covid briefings) or just plain lying - either about what had happened in the past or what she intends to do in the future.

I've been taken in by it myself and it took me quite a while to see it. I'm seeing many people on twitter still being taken in by it, and while I grind my teeth and say, why can't you see it after all this time, I concede that people might have said the same of me up to a couple of years ago, with just as much justification.


I think you'll find that much the same applies to every politician who's ever ascended to the top echelon of his/her political party. Salmond included, probably.

The key is a) to always cover your tracks (and leave no evidence connecting you to any cover-up), b) to concoct a plausible deniability, c) to bury all incriminating evidence, and d) to never to let things escalate until they're totally outside your control. If any or all of those things fail, then all bets are off. The most famous political figure to fall foul foul of this was Richard Nixon*; Sturgeon is merely the latest - in a very long line of senior politicians throughout c20-c21 history - to be (apparently) on the brink of joining their ranks.


* where, famously, it was the combination of an escalation of events and a failed cover-up which felled him: he'd previously successfully managed to distance himself from the Watergate break-in and the subsequent attempts to sabotage the investigations, but failed to prevent matters spiralling out of control to the point where his own taped phone calls and Oval Office conversations were ordered to be overturned - and those tapes explicitly proved his direct involvement and complicity.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:08 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
There is a lot of I do not know, I do not remember, I am not certain, as I understand it, I am not sure, my understanding, indeed phrases like that are being used constantly in every reply and then assertions without any evidence from NS.


The frustrating thing (which, of course, Sturgeon and her legal advisers know full well) is the legal efficacy of an "I don't remember" approach. It's as close as someone can come to a "no comment" response - but with the benefit of not appearing overtly obstructive or as someone with something to hide.


ETA: Ooh I see that Sturgeon has just introduced a whole new layer of finesse into the tactic: "My recollection is still not as vivid as I would like it to be" - now she's claiming that she *really wishes* she could remember it, but is frustrated that she cannot...

Last edited by LondonJohn; 3rd March 2021 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:22 AM   #152
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She's a pro. So is Salmond of course, but with different skill sets.

He was very careful not to slag off Sturgeon even though everyone and his budgie knows he's absolutely incandescent about what she did. She has spent the entire time slandering him and pretty much working on the assumption that the not guilty verdicts were some sort of aberration that can be ignored.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 09:53 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
She's a pro. So is Salmond of course, but with different skill sets.

He was very careful not to slag off Sturgeon even though everyone and his budgie knows he's absolutely incandescent about what she did. She has spent the entire time slandering him and pretty much working on the assumption that the not guilty verdicts were some sort of aberration that can be ignored.
I don't know what affect it will have on the outcome but this vindictive tactic by NS shows her in a very poor light.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:14 AM   #154
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I was half expecting Linda Fabiani and Margaret Mitchell to start fighting each other. Shame the BBC cut away at the end.

Overall, I think AS is more credible than NS, primarily due to her poor memory and recall of events and her lack of evidence to counter corroborated claims about her officials and their conduct. It is quite right, this has been a huge muck up and no one is apparently responsible.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:17 AM   #155
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Oh, I think we can all make a stab at who is responsible.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:23 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I was half expecting Linda Fabiani and Margaret Mitchell to start fighting each other. Shame the BBC cut away at the end.

Overall, I think AS is more credible than NS, primarily due to her poor memory and recall of events and her lack of evidence to counter corroborated claims about her officials and their conduct. It is quite right, this has been a huge muck up and no one is apparently responsible.


Ah but this is precisely the name of the game for Sturgeon and her advisers: "Yes, it's clear that there have been failings etc for which some people must be to blame... but you can't - on the balance of probabilities - pin any of that blame upon me, can you?"

It's an intensely frustrating thing to witness, and it must be intensely frustrating for all the Committee members (well, the non-SNP ones at least). I am very confident that they all know exactly what's going on here. But in the absence of unimpeachable smoking-gun-style evidence of Sturgeon's complicity, or Sturgeon's lying, or both, there's very little they can actually do about it.
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Old 3rd March 2021, 10:31 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by bluesjnr View Post
I don't know what affect it will have on the outcome but this vindictive tactic by NS shows her in a very poor light.


Unfortunately Sturgeon (with or without legal/political advice) is doing this very deliberately: a key plank in her attempted explanation of events is that she felt shocked, hurt and betrayed - not so much by the allegations in themselves, but by what (she claims) Salmond admitted to her personally in that 2nd April meeting.

She categorically does not want to give the impression of trying to "save" Salmond - whether policically or legally. After all, this would lend considerable credence to any theories centering upon her and other senior SNP figures spending that crucial period in early 2018 trying to sort things out politically rather than what should have happened (ie handing the entire matter over to the police, with all political matters being suspended until the end of any criminal proceedings).

And the best way of doing so is to come out all guns blazing against Salmond as she has done today.
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Old 18th March 2021, 06:04 PM   #158
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Well well well:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotla...itics-56451170
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Old 19th March 2021, 01:33 AM   #159
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Originally Posted by LondonJohn View Post
Unfortunately Sturgeon (with or without legal/political advice) is doing this very deliberately: a key plank in her attempted explanation of events is that she felt shocked, hurt and betrayed - not so much by the allegations in themselves, but by what (she claims) Salmond admitted to her personally in that 2nd April meeting.

She categorically does not want to give the impression of trying to "save" Salmond - whether policically or legally. After all, this would lend considerable credence to any theories centering upon her and other senior SNP figures spending that crucial period in early 2018 trying to sort things out politically rather than what should have happened (ie handing the entire matter over to the police, with all political matters being suspended until the end of any criminal proceedings).
Well, it sounds plausible that they first tried to save Salmond but then their hand was forced by the process, and after that the falling out happened. Now the initial complaint is barely remembered and all attention is on this SNP civil war, but I always found those original accusations quite credible.
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Old 19th March 2021, 07:16 AM   #160
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She apparently stands by all of evidence, including everything that she could not remember. She still cannot remember any of it and she stands by that.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotla...itics-56451170
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