A Very British Smear

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The assassins take aim

The British gutter press is a sewer unto itself. It seduces prurience and fucks integrity.

The editor of the toilet rag called the Scottish Daily Record – circulation in free fall and still using recycled manure as printer’s ink – takes great pride in announcing the former First Minister and distinguished MP, Alex Salmond, is accused of sexual harassment by two former female officials, of what status no one can say for the accusers are  protected by anonymity – a sleaze monger’s delight hoping to defame a public official.

Be warned, the British civil service are involved, two in particular, and they will ensure Sturgeon is mired in the mess one way or another.

In interviews Salmond vigorously denies the accusations, repeatedly accusing Leslie Evans, the permanent secretary to the Scottish government, of mishandling the investigation. Ms Evans was born in Northern Ireland, educated in Sheffield and Liverpool. She has lived in Scotland since the mid-Eighties, working in local and then national government from 2000. She is responsible to the Tory Scottish Secretary of State, David Mundell, but was chosen for her current post by Nicola Sturgeon.

By placing the matter in in the hands of the police Evans is one of the accusers. The other is Judith MacKinnon, whose job is weirdly described as Head of People Advice at the Scottish Government. She was previously Head of Human Resource Governance at Police Scotland. I have no idea what ‘Head of People Advice’ actually means.

Why the delay?

The accusation comes five years late. Five years. Five years is a long time to hold a grievance and stay in the same job never mind the same office. Did the complainants approach Evans or MacKinnon or did either approach the complainants? If the latter then one is placed in the position of encouraging, cajoling an individual to make a complaint, and how to make it, but that procedure is tantamount to a stitch up.

David Clegg the Record’s editor is unable to make up his mind if the alleged offence is a sexual assault, harassment, or mild misconduct; the headline changes more often than a greasy hack changes his underpants.

Expect British zealots to ramp up the story in an effort t claim the SNP is a party falling apart. Clegg’s boast that the Record broke the story and is was the ‘lead story on televisions and radio news” is no less than gloating. The BBC is having a field day, and will follow the story assiduously.

An easy prediction

Another referendum is on the horizon, Westminster is at its weakest, Labour and Tories in disarray, Salmond says he’d love to be back in politics to see independence through, the red warning lights flash on at Mi5 and Mi6 HQs, and they go into overdrive.

Scotland’s enemies have tried the following smears and more to ground him: he’s a loose cannon, unreliable as a team player; he’s grossly overweight from over-indulgence of pies; he’s an inveterate gambler with serious debts; he’s a full-blown alcoholic – none proving true in the slightest, and now we are to believe the most hated and hunted and watched Scottish politician alive is capable of treating women as if sex objects.

Another attack by the British Establishment was easy to predict. Discrediting a totemic Scots politician is guaranteed.

Sex is a very British smear.

Inevitably, and with justification, talk will come around to a set up, a smear to discredit Salmond. This is doubly so now we know the case was leaked to the Record, and not the result of an exhaustive investigation as implied by that rag’s sad editor. News of it arrived just before Sturgeon was due to announce a date for a referendum over the Brexit fiasco and its repercussions for Scotland.

When a nation’s security officials are unaccountable to the people or parliament they can do what they want without fear of punishment. Special Branch, hired infiltrators, MI5 and MI6 are all villains of the peace. They sleep with  women  who do not realise a spy is using them. Those same agents of the Crown tried to smear Nicola Sturgeon a few times and failed.

Granted, the accusation of sexual misconduct is a tactic used by governments the world over to defame vexatious opponents it cannot immediately execute; the worse the sexual deviance, the greater the public disgust.

Sex drives so many things. The are men in high office know their ‘habits’ will wreck their careers but the adrenalin rush of not being caught is the motivation. Women share that category. I hold the contrary view that barren Queen Elizabeth I saw Mary Queen of Scots as a sexual competitor as much as a contender for the throne.

Libido, pal, what’s that?

In modern times we have Westminster politics littered with the spent condoms of illicit sex. Tony Blair was linked to too many affectionate evenings ‘listening’ to the marriage anxieties of the Dirty Digger’s wife Wendi Déng who then divorced her for another courtesan, the ‘model’ Jerry Hall.

Lately we had the idiotic sight of two SNP MPs sharing the same woman. There was the case of Edinburgh Labour MP Nigel Griffiths using his House of Commons office as his  casting couch. And who can rid themselves of the vomit inducing image of Mr Cellophane, prime minister John Major humping MP Edwina Currie over his Cabinet Room desk – one assumes having first swept hard objects off it for her comfort except the one she was willing to accept.

Finally, we have Tory minister Damien Green with an office computer crammed with pornography. In all these cases there were witnesses to the event, and the offenders exhibited compulsive behaviour.

Sex makes the word go around

Sex is a complicated thing, in the office, a hot house where strange weeds are apt to grow. Getting spurned by a man can upset a woman. So too can a fatherly hand on a shoulder interpreted as patronising and unwanted, or a miss-timed risqué joke. I’ve heard women do the same to women. There are just as many belligerent woman as there are predatory men, and in that regard each one of us has a story to tell of a damn close thing.

Removing people from employment and power by sexual innuendo or accusation is as old as the pyramids. Fear of loss of status or banishment by your community is intimidating. Hysteria spreads fear.  Innocents are accused of evil, hypocrisy is everywhere, an unhealthy distrust of men the rule. In today’s climate no one wants to condemn an accusation as unsubstantiated.

A man and a woman

As for Alex Salmond, he’s stated he has failings like any other human being but sexual harassment of staff “is not one of them”. For the life of me I can’t think why he’d risk ruining a great political career and perhaps a nation’s hopes by jumping bones when he has so many enemies around him and friends he dare not trust implicitly. His offices like Sturgeon’s in Bute House are sure to be bugged.

I mentioned Nicola Sturgeon earlier. She makes plain the process of enquiry must be applied “without fear or favour, regardless of identity, seniority or political allegiance of the person involved”, a statement, nevertheless, profoundly disappointing.

It is depressing because it is so cold. Courage demands you say more of the political guardian who nurtured your path to power whom you found to be a person of honour.

 

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NOTE: A statement issued by Nicola Sturgeon a few days later redressed the balance somewhat, but not after her initial coyness caused a great deal of consternation among  independence watchers.

NOTE 2: The Sins of Salmond https://wp.me/p4fd9j-mTL

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33 Responses to A Very British Smear

  1. jamescaine709 says:

    Hmmmmm. Alex Salmond is rumoured to be thinking of a political comeback, scant weeks later this surfaces. Almost as if someone, somewhere in Westminster, on hearing the rumour said, “On no! Alex Salmond back in parliament, that’s all we need!” Only for someone else to say, ” Don’t worry . We can fix it so he’ll never be able to stand for election ever again. ”

    Don’t mind me I’m just ruminating.

  2. angusskye says:

    Whether he is guilty or innocent of these accusations matters not to the media. Thousands and thousands of words will be written judging him as guilty. He will receive more attention than all the unionist ministers, MPs, MSPs and councillors put together who have actually committed “improprieties”.

    It’s all about timing, mud-slinging and smoke without fire.

  3. Grouse Beater says:

    Salmond is tough, and he’ll tough it out.

  4. Start to think about how this could backfire very badly on the unionist establishment. They may well have bitten off more than they can chew this time.

  5. Grouse Beater says:

    I’d like to think you’re right, Donny. For a start, the Record better alert their legal representative to impending litigation!

  6. Lanark says:

    It is pertinent at this moment to amend the quote from the Scot who fought and died for Irish freedom, James Connolly.

    “Ruling by fooling is a Great British art, with great Scottish fools to practice on”.

    A perfect description of the smear tactics we have to contend with and those “newspaper” buyers who lap the slime up.

  7. Great read! Did Alex decide to get this out in to the open now, in the “silly season?” Yoons are extremely cunning ofcourse, they’d have planned to keep this for their next snap SNP out UK GE campaign or their Project Fear 2 arsenal, Scots indyref2. BBC r4 also used this to monster Alex’s RT show. They are clearly end of empire desperate and utterly ruthless.
    Keep it coming.
    Heedtracker.

  8. Grouse Beater says:

    I believe he tried to get a hearing in order to learn exactly what he was accused of, but in the end the enquiry was leaked.

  9. broonpot says:

    A passionate piece which you may reflect on no doubt once more facts become available, the smear campaign has run its course and instigators identified.

    Mr Salmond knows how to play the media and is a good strategist so I expect numerous twists and fireworks as more media & establishment grenades are thrown his way. As the mud dries & the dust settles the SNP and the independence movement will roll forward – now immutable forces.

    As a former civil servant my concern is for the long term impact this latest ‘scandal’ will have on the ranks of servants of the state in Scotland. The vast majority of civil servants aim to serve their employer professionally, competently & independent of party politics thus serving democracy by delivering the policy, procedures & services of our current and former elected governments. Men and women doing a job of work sometimes against their political beliefs but invariably for the greater good.

    Thanks mainly to my involvement with the SNP it is only since retiring that I have learned to overcome my inherent dislike of all politicians (familiarity breeds contempt). However my hatred for most elements of the press / media increases daily. Freedom of the press is a valuable asset for any democracy (real or supposed). Currently I see it as a force for evil and not reflective of the society it purports to serve.

    Thank god for bloggers.

  10. diabloandco says:

    I agree with you Grouse Beater , I was rather stunned when I read the e-mail from Ms Sturgeon.

    It was chillingly cold , devoid of comfort for the man involved.

    I do hope the party which I now support deals more kindly and sympathetically with this case than they did over Ms Thompson.

  11. Grouse Beater says:

    Broonpot, good informed opinion, and I note it.

  12. Grouse Beater says:

    Had I been the one in jeopardy I’d have been crushed.

  13. I agree with a lot of what you have said here. This is murky and dangerous stuff emerging in an environment where attitudes towards all sorts of social interaction are swinging wildly from one extreme to another: one person’s flirting is another person’s harassment; one person’s sense of humour is another’s gross insult- it depends on perspectives- generational and changing all the time.
    The law is supposed to clarify these things but it’s difficult to see how it will. The “me too” campaign was welcome at first but it has opened doors to other problems, including opportunism and abuse. As a political blow this disaster is immense and supremely efficient: disquieting everyone involved in the greatly revived campaign for independence and forcibly dividing two magnificent leaders of that campaign, inflicting great personal distress.
    We have to accept for the moment that the allegations are genuine. For the sake of the British State
    and everything and everyone associated with it, they had better be. A whirlwind awaits.

  14. I meant that the British State better hope that the allegations are genuine…….there will be no mercy for liars on this.

  15. Donald McGregor says:

    I share all the disquieted views here. I don’t think those of us supporting independence will be swayed away, but there are many who live a life just ‘knowing’ that they do not like AS. They will immediately now be a step harder to sway towards support for independence.

    I too was disappointed by NS statement, and I am disappointed also though by the ‘othering’ of ms Evans that accompanies many commentaries – where she was born and where educated and lived are offered up seemingly as clues to the obviousness of the state involvement. That not a comfortable companion to our vaunted ‘inclusive civic nationalism’
    Overall, the whole episode is a warning as to how far these state interests will go. Maybe we are living lives here not so far removed from the threat of vicious Spanish government style responses.

  16. Grouse Beater says:

    Donald – Ms Evans is the only named person making the claim official. The public have a right to know who she is. Alas, we still do not know who leaked the documents.

    When Sir Nicholas, head of the Treasury, attacked the independence movement and justified his release to the press of confidential documents, it took some time for people to know he had estates in Scotland. I bet few still do not know populist historian Dan Snow, a ‘stay with us’ advocate, is married to the daughter of one of Scotland wealthiest landowners.

    Giving background detail may tell us little, or it may tell us a lot. I do know from my own friends who are Scots and worked most of their career in London, are myopically London centric. They talk constantly of ‘grievance politics’. Ms Evans has no right to anonymity. Salmond has not received that right and yet a great deal of the populace have judged him guilty.

  17. Donald McGregor says:

    I agree we have the right to know about ms Evans, but I’m not particularly comfortable, in this context, with the description of who she is being so clearly framed around what looks like a ‘not scottish’ narrative. Maybe my ‘bubble’ reading has just led me to reading this descriptor too many times over the last few days. It just has that red-top type feel to it as a descriptor – blah blah blah blah etc and a final line : ms Evans is from Northern Ireland and England. She has been here for about 30 years from what I understand. What if the final line was ‘ms Evans is black/Jewish/Zionist/vegetarian?’
    Just my feelings.

  18. Grouse Beater says:

    Donald – those are your feelings. To me ‘transparency’ should mean exactly that on all sides – until such times as the accused is actually charged by the police of an offence. Ms Evans obviously believes the accusations have substance, ergo, she is one of the accusers. The issue here is anonymity for the accuser but not for the accused is a seriously flawed process. We’re left to speculate on the basis of Chinese whispers and that is what allows opponents to exaggerate and wallow as they like. And yes, if accused of anti-Semitism I’d want to know the politics of my accuser.

  19. Donald McGregor says:

    Fair enough!
    I come here to read your views because I respect them, believe them of value, and obv. I’m sympathetic to most of them.
    That can’t be true all the time.
    Thanks!

  20. Grouse Beater says:

    I don’t dispute that, and thank you for your tolerance, but we have to be consistent. We can keep saying there exists a slew of planned attacks on Scotland’s rights, but in this instance of no witnesses, no form or trail of evidence, there is truth.

    We must remain bullish and sceptical. Indeed, our opponents have two hits from one bullet. Sturgeon is one of the strongest advocates of anonymity in these cases; she is forced to defend a seriously flawed process.

  21. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I thought Nicola Sturgeon’s response was just right and anyone else I have met agrees.

  22. Grouse Beater says:

    Impartiality and courage are not mutually exclusive.

  23. The effort to discredit Mr. Salmond is an obvious move to have him taken off RT. It’s the only broadcast platform in the UK where a proponent of Scottish independence has an opportunity to reach to a wider audience beyond Twitter and the dwindling print media.

    That 5 years have apparently passed since the impropriety is alleged to have taken place is irrelevant. In my opinion, this accusation has only been created because of Mr. Salmond’s new platform on RT.

    Ms. Evan’s background then, rightfully mentioned above, fits well with the suggestion of being an alleged subversive agent of the British State; someone with eyes & ears close to the Scottish Government, ever ready to step in on behalf of Downing Street to help disrupt the journey towards Scottish independence.

    Thanks to social media, we can now demonstrate how Britain’s colonial mindset works to everyone.

  24. Grouse Beater says:

    Thank you for your comments, Graham.

    I am led to believe Ms Evans added the clause to the regulations that includes ‘former senior politicians’ – the very next day the two women made their complaint. As I said in answer to another reader’s fair point, I personally must remain consistent. I cannot argue we are under constant attack (and will be after independence) and then say, but in this instance there is no cause to be sceptical about the coincidences. If Salmond is a serial womaniser and aggressive with it, where are all the other women?

    My wife is one smart assessor of animalistic men. She said, “Salmond is a man who chases curries not women”.

  25. Amandine Guise says:

    Lesley Evans is answerable to David Mundell as, I think, is supported by “Armstrong Memorandum” as included in the document “Civil Servants’ Constitutional Role – Summary”.
    https://www.civilservant.org.uk/library/1996_Armstrong_Memorandum.pdf

  26. Grouse Beater says:

    Worth noting … in the scheme of things. Much obliged.

  27. Appreciate your blog. I also felt Nicola’s letter was devoid of any sympathy. I also feel she is caught between a rock and a hard place. The british establishment and it’s red orange and blue minions including the bbc are not just out to get him they will be watching Nicola’s every move and word and pressing her at every opportunity. A very upsetting situation. I have always looked to His Eck as a benevolent uncle. I’ve met him and been hugged by him on many occasions over the years and not a hand or a word out of place. That said I believe we need to keep an open mind. He can handle himself. I’m certain he has a few aces yet to play. And it’ll hurt those that hurt him when he does play them.

  28. Grouse Beater says:

    I agree, Bobby. 🙂

  29. Agree with the concerns that you have raised.

    I am particularly worried, as you say, by the response of Nicola – she seems to have gone further than she needed to. She should simply have stated that she has no role and that due process will be followed with the truth being outed at the end of it.

    Her judgment was flawed in the case of (the innocent & now exonerated) Michelle Thomson (her friend) and she did appear mild rebuke to Alex Salmond (her mentor and friend) previously for broadcasting on RT. In each case the British unionists made the accusations via their media outlets and Nicola, I’m afraid, appeared cowed by the mere accusations.

    We don’t know the truth in this case (yet) but I would suggest that if it transpires that AS is not guilty of harassment (of any kind) or of any other criminality that, never mind Leslie Evans ‘considering her position’ (as she should), the present FM might wish to examine her own fitness for position (as leader of SNP and Scottish Government). But let’s wait and see.

  30. Grouse Beater says:

    I appreciate your intelligent comments. I keep an open mind – we might be faced with the situation of consent turned into non-consent for sordid political reasons, but as you say, one step at a time.

  31. Iain McCord says:

    The account of the process Salmond has endured and that published elsewhere are at odds. Nicola’s problem might be she trusted the Civil Service to follow the agreed procedure. If Salmond is right then in March he should have been given the details of what he has been accused of and was not. He claims he’d offered to resolve the issue and was rebuffed. If Salmond is right then his problem is not with the procedure as written down but with it not being followed and an “illegal” version of it being use instead. Sturgeon’s problem is that there’s nowhere in the procedure that allows for an external observer to ensure that it’s actually followed.

  32. Pingback: Weekly Links – SNP Perth

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