🍒 Andrew Fletcher 🍒 Profile picture
We want freedom for ourselves But we can´t give it to each other. We want peace between nations Yet we battle with our lovers.
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8 Feb
From behind a pay wall - Alex Salmond’s appearance before a Holyrood inquiry into the Scottish government’s unlawful handling of sexual harassment complaints against him has been cancelled.

A row over the legality of evidence submitted by the former Scottish first minister,
which alleged that Nicola Sturgeon, his successor, had broken the ministerial code on multiple occasions, has left the cross-party investigation at a crisis point in its final stages.

Salmond was due to give evidence tomorrow but that has now been shelved after his lawyers
accused the Scottish parliamentary committee of an “offensive” snubbing of his submission.

The inquiry was set up after Salmond won a judicial review against the Scottish government over its handling of sexual harassment complaints from two civil servants. The Court of
Read 18 tweets
7 Feb
The Scottish Government paid thousands of pounds to a team of top lawyers to try to block MSPs probing Alex Salmond’s botched sexual harassment case from hearing key evidence.
The Sunday Mail has obtained ­documents showing a firm – hired using public cash – demanded
­investigating ­committee members give written guarantees they wouldn’t ask a ­senior official crucial questions.
No-go areas related to meetings held between the First Minister and Salmond at her home in 2018.
Detail of the appointments form the basis of allegations Sturgeon
broke the ­Ministerial Code of Conduct.
When MSPs refused to sign up to RGM ­Solicitors’ demands, the witness – a senior official – failed to give ­evidence at all.
The leaked email demanded: “Members need to email me to confirm they are content to abide by the written
Read 11 tweets
30 Jan
From behind a paywall -
A senior adviser to Nicola Sturgeon said criminal charges would ultimately “get” Alex Salmond when the Scottish government admitted its own investigation had been unlawful, according to a witness statement.

Mr Salmond has submitted new evidence to a
Holyrood inquiry into the way civil servants handled allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

Last March a jury found Mr Salmond not guilty on 12 of the sexual assault charges facing him while another was found not proven, following a trial at the High Court in

Allies of Mr Salmond believe he has been the victim of a conspiracy from within the Scottish government, a claim that has been branded “nonsense” by Nicola Sturgeon.

A spokesman for the first minister has previously accused Mr Salmond of “spinning false
Read 11 tweets
30 Jan
2015 first sign that all was not right with our Glorious Leader, Queen @NicolaSturgeon .
Documents revealing Scottish police had access to a GCHQ spy programme which collects information on individuals’ communications, use of social media and movements have been passed on to
The Ferret.

The documents, revealing the existence of GCHQ’s project MILKWHITE, come from US whistleblower and former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden and also reveal the existence of a surveillance unit – the Scottish Recording Centre (SRC) – which
was granted access to the project.

The SRC had access to metadata regarding phone calls as well as emails. GCHQ defines metadata widely and it includes, among other things, passwords and website browsing histories.

MILKWHITE also retained information on individuals’ use
Read 14 tweets
24 Jan
Mines had always had a large female element in their workforce; women were generally employed to carry coal to the surface. It was only in 1842 – with the Mines Regulation Act – that women and young children were banned from working below ground.
The following passage is an extract of a book that was published by Robert Bald, a mining engineer at Alloa, in 1812.
Robert Bald, A General View of the Coal Trade of Scotland, Chiefly that of the River Forth & Lothian, to which is Added an Inquiry into the Condition of the Women who Carry Coals under Ground in Scotland, Known by the Name of Bearers, Edinburgh: Oliphant, Waugh and Innes, 1812
Read 15 tweets
24 Jan
Robert Owen and Child Labour, 1816
Robert Owen (1771-1858) was born in Newtown, Montgomeryshire in Wales. During a series of business trips in the West of Scotland he visited the cotton-spinning village of New Lanark which he purchased in 1799, thus becoming the manager of one of the largest cotton spinning
plants in Scotland. New Lanark became the place where Owen put into practice his social and economic theories. Owen was convinced that good working conditions would give him a loyal and productive work-force and improve the efficiency of the system: he instituted progressive
Read 24 tweets
22 Jan
The United Kingdom maintains a fleet of four ballistic missile submarines with the ability to devastate even the largest of countries. This fleet came into being after its ally, the United States, cancelled a key weapon system that would have been the cornerstone of London’s
nuclear arsenal. Fifty years later, the UK’s missile submarine force is the sole custodian of the country’s nuclear weapons, providing a constant deterrent against nuclear attack.
Here's What You Need to Remember: At 15,000 tons displacement, the Vanguards are twice the size of the Resolution class that preceded them. Although each submarine has sixteen launch tubes, a decision was made in 2010 to load each sub with just eight American-built
Read 6 tweets
13 Jan
Civil servants' clarifications and corrections.
At an evidence session on September 15, Barbara Allison was asked whether she received a text message from Leslie Evans, in January 2019, stating “battle may be lost but not the war.” She twice claimed that she had not received
the message. However, she later wrote to the committee, ahead of a second appearance, admitting she had received it after all. She claimed she "must have deleted" the message. She maintains that she cannot remember what she sent to Ms Evans to elicit the response.
The Scottish Government has repeatedly been accused of obstructing the inquiry by refusing to hand over legal advice it received about Mr Salmond's legal challenge. Mr Salmond has claimed ministers continued to fight his case until January 2019, despite being warned in October
Read 11 tweets
13 Jan
Breaking - Nicola Sturgeon's government has spent more than £50,000 "preparing" civil servants to give evidence about the Alex Salmond affair at hearings where they suffered "collective memory loss", it has emerged.
Information obtained by The Daily Telegraph shows that
by early November, £54,378 of taxpayers’ money had been spent on external assistance to help senior civil servants get ready for appearances at a Holyrood inquiry.
The Scottish Government refused to say which organisation or individual had been hired, but members of the
committee branded the cost “astonishing” and said it raised questions over whether witnesses had been “coached”.
Staff logs released in response to a Freedom of Information request also show that witnesses spent several hours preparing for sessions, only to then face criticism
Read 23 tweets
13 Jan
What's in a name ?
Like many other church lands throughout the country at that time, some of the possessions described in the Inquest had probably passed into the hands of laymen, but were no doubt restored, as most of the lands specified can be identified among those
subsequently belonging to the bishopric. Those adjoining Glasgow, so far as identified, were situated to the east of the Molendinar Burn. It seems to have been considered unnecessary to mention the site of the Cathedral and Glasgow itself, unless such possessions are included
under designations that have not been recognised. All around Glasgow the lands not belonging to the Church seem to have been part of the royal domain, and the whole of that territory was disposed of by King David
before the close of his reign. Rutherglen was erected by him into
Read 13 tweets
13 Jan
For more generations than is comfortable to recall, Scottish servicemen/women have been at the forefront of the UKs projection of power. It was necessary in 1939-45 war against fascism but before that it was often to advance or defend British imperialism. The sentimentality
exhibited at any threat to the Scottish regiments, shows the Scottish mind still engaged with the idea of hard power. The new independent Scotland , if it wants to be influential in the International community should be projecting soft power. Power that delivers
humanitarian aid is preferable to power that delivers a bullet from a gun.

Juxtaposed to that military tendency, there is a broad streak of idealism in the Scots which makes them ready to respond to those in need or danger across the world. This policy gives expression to
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
By the end of 2020, the Holyrood inquiry had held 10 oral evidence sessions, given under oath, including several with Leslie Evans, the permanent secretary; the senior civil servants involved in drafting the sexual harassment policy used to investigate Salmond; and the
officials who carried out the inquiry. MSPs heard that officials were aware of unspecified rumours about Salmond, including alleged bullying.

The government has released thousands of pages of evidence to the committee but MSPs have repeatedly accused ministers of breaching
promises to do so quickly. After ministers repeatedly refused to release their legal advice on the Salmond case, Holyrood voted to insist it was handed over. The government has not given way, and the committee has only been allowed to see a summary of the advice.
Read 5 tweets
8 Jan
Alex Salmond has launched an extraordinary personal attack on Nicola Sturgeon, describing her testimony to the inquiry into sexual assault claims made against him as “simply untrue”.

In his submission to the inquiry, the former first minister said that Ms Sturgeon had misled
the Scottish parliament and broken the ministerial code which, if he is proven to be correct, would almost certainly spell the end of her political career.

Mr Salmond said that the breaches included a failure to inform the civil service in good time of her meetings with
him, and allowing the Scottish government to contest a civil court case against him despite having had legal advice that it was likely to collapse.
The allegations against Ms Sturgeon, who replaced Mr Salmond as first minister and leader of the SNP after the 2014 independence
Read 24 tweets
7 Jan
I WAS born at a place called Plean, in the parish of Ninians, in the shire of Stirling, where my mother's forbears were residenters for generations unknown, although I can only trace them to the days of Charles the Second. The name of my mother was Paterson, her mother's name
was Square. She was the daughter of Ellshander, or
Alexander Square, the companion of John Balfour of Burley in his Covenanting campaigns; My father's name was Dugald Cameron, he came from a place called
Braemar; his mother's name was Stewart. The earliest account I can give
Read 25 tweets
6 Jan
As noted by Scottish historian Michael Lynch, there has been a ‘remarkable advance of knowledge [on Scotland’s history] over the course of the past generation’. Equally notable have been the efforts made by leading historians such as Lynch to make this knowledge
accessible to the wider public. Such efforts have led to the publication of several excellent one-volume histories of Scotland, including Lynch’s own Scotland: A New History (first published in 1991), R. A. Houston and W. W. J. Knox’s New Penguin History of Scotland (2001)
and the updated edition of Christopher Harvie’s Scotland: A Short History (2014). Concerning Scotland’s history since its Union with England, Tom Devine’s The Scottish Nation: A Modern History (2012) is invaluable. Much less numerous are the one-volume editions of Scottish
Read 4 tweets
18 Sep 20
Nicola Sturgeon’s husband suggested that pressure should be brought to bear on police investigating Alex Salmond, according to leaked messages.
In a copy of a WhatsApp exchange seen by The Times, Peter Murrell, chief executive of the SNP, said that prosecutors having brought
charges left detectives in Scotland “twiddling their thumbs”.
The messages suggested that questions should be asked of the Metropolitan Police, who had been passed complaints about the former first minister’s alleged behaviour in London.
In one WhatsApp message sent on
January 25, 2019, the day after Mr Salmond was first charged with multiple sexual assaults, Mr Murrell said: “Totally agree folk should be asking the police questions . . . report now with the PF on charges which leaves police twiddling their thumbs. So good time to be
Read 6 tweets