The flame of hope burns bright in the storm

Back in September 2014, on the day after the defeat of the Yes campaign in the referendum, I wrote about the importance of keeping the flame of hope alive during the storms and gales that were about to strike. The arrest of Alex Salmond on fourteen separate charges including breach of the peace, sexual assault, indecent assault, and attempted rape is one of those storms. There is going to be a howling gale of British nationalist gloating, of finger pointing, and taunting on social media and in the pages of the anti-independence press.

These are serious and shocking charges. This is a very big story. However it must never be forgotten that Alex Salmond deserves due process, and so do those who made the allegations which led to his arrest. He is innocent until proven guilty and he deserves a fair trial, if this matter comes to a trial. Those who made the allegations against him deserve a fair hearing. That needs to be said, because it is a point that is likely to be lost amidst the rush to judgement in a hostile press and the insults and slurs that have already started to fly on social media. He deserves to make his case, and the case of those who made the allegations against him must be heard as well. We must, all of us, respect the legal process. Justice demands it.

It is cold comfort to those of us who have looked up to Alex and respected him as the single individual who has done more than any other to bring the cause of independence into the forefront of Scottish politics, who has made independence respectable and realistic, but we must acknowledge that it is a desireable thing that this is a nation in which no one is above the law. We are not campaigning for an independent Scotland in which a person’s position or status protects them from justice. A Scotland in which no one is above the law is a Scotland which all of us can be proud of living in and being a part of. We should be seeking a Scotland in which those who feel that they are victims of sexual assault are able to make a complaint and have it dealt with sympathetically and seriously no matter how prominent or powerful the person against whom the allegations are made. That’s the independent Scotland we strive for. But it is still a shock to see one of the great heroes of our movement be arrested and potentially face trial.

The flame of hope burns stronger now than it has burned since 2014. We are closer to independence now than we have been at any time since. The British state is reeling from the self-inflicted wounds of Brexit. There is the buzz of expectation of another independence referendum, and many of those who voted no in 2014 are reconsidering their decision in the light of the contempt with which Theresa May’s government has treated Scotland, and remain voters in general, since the EU referendum vote. We have seen all the promises and commitments that the Better Together campaign made to Scotland in 2014 turn to dust.

As the likelihood of a no-deal crashing out of the EU looms ever larger, independence for Scotland is the shining beacon that shows the only clear path out of the mire, the only escape from an eternity of right wing governments and cruelty as official policy. Only independence offers the prospect of a kinder, gentler, better land. We are getting close to the tipping point. We must not be distracted from that. We are winning.

The very last thing that the independence movement needs right now is to succumb to some self-inflicted wounds of its own. It will do the independence movement no favours if we indulge ourselves in conspiracy theories and dark mutterings about the nefarious doings of a British state that is threatened like it has never been threatened before. Such musings and mutterings will do nothing to persuade undecided voters to our cause, at a time when we have succeeded in pushing the rock almost to the top of the hill, at a time when the vista of a better Scotland, an independent Scotland, is almost clear for all to see. So we need to stay calm. We need to stay dignified. We need, above all, to remain focussed on the prize.

Opponents of independence have always been keen to personalise the independence cause. They have consistently sought to portray the desire for independence as the personal creature of first Alex Salmond, and more latterly of Nicola Sturgeon. Naturally they are going to seize with unseemly glee on the arrest of Alex Salmond and the court case which will follow should the Procurator Fiscal’s office decide to proceed with a trial. It’s all their SNPbad Christmasses come at once.

Alex Salmond is a giant of the Scottish independence movement, but he is not the movement. Alex Salmond has had and continues to have a huge influence on the independence movement, but he is not the reason for independence. Our movement is bigger than any individual. The reasons for independence are not embodied in any one person no matter who they are.

Above all, the reasons for independence are to do with the consistent and continual failures of the British state and the British political establishment to respond to, to take on board, and to act upon the democratic desires of the people of Scotland. The story of independence is the story of the systemic failure of the British state, that remains unchanged no matter what personal failures are alleged about any individual.

Making the case for independence means making the case for a nation in which the government is democratically accountable to the people of Scotland, elected by the people of Scotland, and which works in the interests of the people of Scotland. That case remains the exact same today as it did yesterday. That is why no matter what happens with respect to Alex Salmond’s legal issues, the reasons for independence will remain unchanged. We must, as a movement, continue to focus on those reasons. We must continue to tell the story of the better Scotland that is within our grasp. Scotland deserves nothing less, our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

We will prevail, because we have right on our side. We will get to the top of the mountain, and will see the better land beyond. The flame of hope still burns brightly in the storm. It will light our path to a better Scotland.

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117 comments on “The flame of hope burns bright in the storm

  1. Yes, due process MUST be followed. But it is hard not to see the hand of British nationalist politics at work in this. Alex? Of all people? VERY hard to believe.

    • Liz Gray says:

      Absolutely, and just can’t get my head round this.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      He may be innocent or guilty, time will tell.

    • Lisa Smith says:

      Totally agree…..I make no apology in saying that these allegations, at this moment in time, are just not credible – perfidious Albion at work for all to see, as blatant as their track record ever has been when needing to get rid of a threat to their precious British State…..anyone with an iota of gumption knows and sees this as a stitch up pure and simple.

      • Lisa Smith says:

        Sorry Paul, I should have said, I agree with your article,….tthose like yourself who write publicly in support of the Indy movement of course should maintain a dignified , neutral approach to this case….just lost the rag a bit there with my own gut feelings on the matter….thanks again for your excellent articles.

    • Interpolar says:

      Yes, I don’t want it to be true that he is guilty of such offences. But even more, I want the truth to be revealed, whatever that may be. Due process and a fair hearing for both sides, regardless of the outcome.

      Indeed, the Independence movement has outgrown it’s dependency on illustrious individuals. May Scotland, so often abused at the hands of the British state also receive a fair hearing and enjoy a fair process.

  2. Margaret Barrie says:

    Thank you. Paul. You always so succinctly say what we need to hear, just when we need to hear. Couldn’t agree more.

  3. Walt Hopkins says:

    Thank you, Paul. This is exactly what I’ve been saying all day. You have said it much more eloquently. Independence is bigger and more important than any of us as individuals. Onward.

  4. Craig P says:

    Paul – you have called this correctly from the start, and continue to do so. Everyone in the indy movement would do well to follow your approach.

    • grumpydubai says:

      Indeed we need to ‘keep the heid’ in all respects and also allow the parties their day in Court. You are right to say our movement is bigger than the sum of each individual.

  5. […] Wee Ginger Dug The flame of hope burns bright in the storm Back in September 2014, on the day after the defeat of the Yes campaign in the […]

  6. diabloandco says:

    Spot on.

  7. crabbitgits says:

    Aye, maybe caution is required, maybe no. Musings and mutterings have never been my thing but what is happening here would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic; they’re throwing the book at him and expect us to all swallow it and keep shtum? Your asking a lot Paul. We all know what this is all about. We all knew it was coming. But I’ll zip it for noo.

    • Lisa Smith says:

      I feel as you do crabbitgit….I’m livid about this

      • Weechid says:

        Aye. Me too Lisa.

        • Eric the Cheeseman says:

          I too, feel that we should let due process take it’s course.

          However, having blown all their false promises since 2014… I believe that this time around, there will be NO level to which the British State will stoop, in order to cling on to our oil reserves, their submarine & WMD storage facility, and the last crumbling remnants of their fading, barbaric, warmongering empire.

          A momentous challenge lies ahead. However, maintaining our dignity whilst every scaremongering tactic and smear in the book is thrown at the Indy movement, is a must.

          Great piece Paul.

  8. For a Dancer says:

    Well said and measured piece Paul (and no doubt they will be few and far between in the days to come!).
    No matter what has happened we must encourage the truth to be found. This is what will see us through and reinforce that we are a fair and honourable nation in our own right.

  9. annraynet says:

    Wise words and timely. You have been indefatigable recently in clarifying issues and giving us all hope. You do not dissapoint this time.
    I cannot help feeling that the timing of this court case is not a coincidence but only time will tell and we must hold to our belief in the Justice system for the longer term.

  10. Son of Perth says:

    Thank you Paul. As always you hit the nail on the head. The prize is within reach. We must not lose sight of that. The British Nationalists will endeavour to personalise the case for independence in Alex Salmond but our movement, our dreams and our hopes for the future are not wrapped up in one person.

  11. Malcolm says:

    Thanks Paul for your wise words. Im sure Alex would be saying the same. This is a stitch up by MI 5/6. They are going overboard on this one and the idea of this is to keep the pot boiling while the Indy Ref is on the go. Scotland keep the heid and ca cannie the prize is close.

  12. Ghillie says:

    Here’s to a ‘kinder, gentler, better land’ 🙂

    • Ghillie.
      That is truly only all I want and by extension the world.
      What we have today just hurts me and hounds me to an early grave.
      I just want the hurting of all good people to end.

  13. bringiton says:

    A sharp contrast between the English establishment and Scotland’s where Westminster sweeps allegations against ViPs under the carpet and Scotland is clearly saying that no one is above the law.
    Lessons to be learned by those who hold the “union” up as an example of integrity and probity.

    • gerry parker says:

      Hit the nail on the head there. I’d rather live in an independent Scotland which has shown that allegations will be followed up regardless of the social or political position of the person, than a country which allows perpetrators to go free in order that they can be controlled.

  14. Anne Martin says:

    The thing is, Alex is no longer FM or even an MP, so no matter what the outcome of this it has absolutely nothing to do with independence. We therefore need to keep our eye on the prize and leave it to the justice system to do its work.

    • Rab1942 says:

      I agree absolutely. But given the amount of negativity heaped on this by the MSM, I can’t help but think it’ll have an impact among switherers if Indy2 happens soon. (As others have said, our enemies will use anything to taint the cause for independence.)

    • crabbitgits says:

      I disagree Anne, this has everything to do with independence. it was only recently that AS threw his hat back into the ring and voiced his intention to pick up the cause again – not that he ever left it – and it was only this last week that he said it was time to call it while Westminster is in the state it’s in. They’re terrified of him! It’s obvious to anyone with half a brain what’s going on here. But Paul is right, we must, if possible hold our collective breaths and let due process take it’s course. Can’t see the Unionists doing so though.

  15. Mark says:

    How many times has the British state tried to tarnish, stitch up and destroy Mr Salmond over the years?
    Why should we play their game once again? A game where the cards are stacked against us and the rules and goalposts can be changed to our detriment whenever we bare down on the goal?
    This whole matter stinks worse than a 10 week old roadkill in the middle of a heat wave.
    Are we to just accept this blatant dirty trick? Do we really have no choice?

    • Lisa Smith says:

      Agree….we’re just too damn polite and reserved in Scotland to call out rank rotten corruption when we feel it in our bones…what’s wrong with us??……I only hope undecideds will see this as the deliberately contrived scheme by the BS that it is imo, and come on board the Indy movement – the whole things a sick joke… least they didn’t bump him off….that might really have made him a martyr

      • Robert Harrison says:

        Because going on the attack they play the victim and call us the racists I’ve been on the attack at every opportunity and that’s what happens most people are to afraid of being labeled by others and can’t say screw them the media makes it worse as standing up to them the same result and it takes courage determination and a lot of rage to stay on the attack when the other sides being a coward and crying like a school bully who’s victim is kicking its butt.

  16. Pentland Firth says:

    Well said, Paul.

  17. Anne Martin says:

    Off topic: I have a subscription for The National online and for the last few days have been unable to open the website on either my desktop computer or my iPad. Can anyone please give me an email address to contact The National to find out what has happened?

    • Mark says:

      Just keep trying to load it Anne, it usually loads up on the 2nd or 3rd attempt. More shenanigans undoubtedly dismissed as conspiracy theories by the ‘proud Scots but…’ brigade.

    • weegingerdug says:

      It seems to be an issue with certain web browsers. I’ve seen the same reports about difficulty accessing The Herald, which is hosted on the same server. I use Firefox and both sites work fine for me.

      • Anne Martin says:

        OK, thank you. I’ll keep trying

      • crabbitgits says:

        Not ISP’s? Just a thought. It’s always easy to blame the browser.

      • Margaret E says:

        I use Firefox too and for two days I have not been able to access the National online, using three different computers with different owners. Apparently there has been a virus attack – something to do with which is what all my computers connect to, before disallowing the contact with the National website. I have no idea ow to cope with such a situation. Strange timing, don’t you think?

    • Tatu3 says:

      I’m having the same problem. Can’t access The National anywhere/anyhow. No matter how many attempts I make or on what machine I use. Very frustrating indeed.
      Although via Facebook, even though I can’t open the individual articles I can read fb comments and comment myself!

    • Donald Urquhart says:

      I don’t recall any journalist calling for the English music industry to cease activities the Sir Cliff Richard was arrested, yet there is an expectation from them that the independence movement now ceases activity.

      It’s almost if they’re biased.

  18. Millsy says:

    If he is innocent then I hope that is proven in a court , though the damage to his reputation will remain in some people’s minds ; if he is guilty then I hope that is proven in court , though he will be one of the few in public life who will have been prosecuted for the crimes that so many public figures get away with .

    As for Scottish Independence – it is not in the gift of one man , not even Alex Salmond , nor will it be defeated by any slurs that opponents throw at it by trying to equate Salmond’s alleged crimes with this movement .

    Independence is almost here – the ‘proud Scots’ in opposition have assured us of victory !

  19. Glendon Franklin says:

    I’m an Englishman in England but I feel that Westminster treats us the same way as it does Scotland and Ireland – that is high handedly and with contempt. They have systematically plundered our social capital and reduced many to Victorian levels of poverty. Lucky Scots – at least you will one day escape. Keep up your good struggle.

    • Susan Smith says:

      Thank you.

    • deelsdugs says:

      Aye we will Glendon. Thanks

    • Toni Young says:

      Thank you, and hopefully when Scotland’s political landscape proves that there is a better way to run a nation, the people of England can benefit from their political classes seeing it and copying it.

    • Jason Smoothpiece says:

      Cheers mate, when we do, and we will you would be welcome to join us as many from England no doubt will do.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      Of course it has I’m sorry to say glendon Westminster has financially ruined England your nation as it is is finished bankrupt if only the majority of your nation woke up sooner this could of been avoided but it wasn’t because in my experience of living in your nation that supremacist attitude I see in the conservatives ukip edl etc was festering big time in English society and Brexit has made it even worse I’m glad I left in 2015 and hope my nation of Scotland gets out soon as this so called british state is nothing but a dictatorship by English supremacists.

    • grizebard says:

      It’s the aftershock of Scotland’s departure that will finally bring the necessary reform to the antiquated political system in England. It will be a win-win, though few probably realise that at the moment. And afterwards we can be true friends, the kind that can only come from equality.

    • grumpydubai says:

      When your compatriots have had enough, I am sure they will side with you in demanding a change from the rotten core that runs the British State. Good luck. Ian

  20. Catherine Kerr says:

    We have always known that this time round the book will not be thrown at us, it will be the sledge hammer. Better together was like ice cubes in the desert, compared to what we will experience. But we will prevail.

  21. Alba woman says:

    Thanks WGD….heartfelt thoughts and words…..this storm will pass.

  22. I don’t know about the rest of you, but this tawdry little episode has galvanised my resolve.
    I presume Clegg will be obliged to reveal his ‘sources’ now.
    Independence is within our grasp; nothing, no amount of Black Ops shenanigans will change that.
    I feel for all parties involved in this. The gutter press will have a field day.
    My last word on any of this, ever.
    Let’s hope that Monica Lennon feels emboldened to seek justice now.

  23. Ken Clark says:

    Thank you, Paul.

    Even last year I encountered people hoping that, “Salmond gets what’s coming to him”. Or words to that effect.

    On asking why they should pre-judge a man convicted of no crime, their hatred of independence and Alex’s part in the drive towards that goal rose like bile.

    The British state has a history of personalising, demonising and marginalising those it can’t bully or bribe. Time will tell if this is yet another example.

    Let them gloat, their poison is killing the union they claim to love.

  24. gillian m abel says:

    Your words are wise counsel as always. Thank you for your calm and thoughtful writing today. We will need to keep the heid for a bit longer, but our time will come yet. Thank you Paul.

  25. Molly McC says:

    I read your blog an hour ago Paul, thanks as always for a straightforward approach.
    Alex arrest has just been on the CBC news here in Calgary. I for one, don’t believe it.
    Let’s not lose sight of the goal. Scottish Independence.

    I had hoped that Nicola would fire the starters pistol for Indyref2 tomorrow, on Robert Burns day. Maybe someone else thought the same? These things don’t “just appear” especially after all this time.

  26. jeans-jacques says:

    Fit-up. The day after Nichola Sturgeon meets the Queen-Empress and says that it’s Scotland’s opinion that matters and not TM.
    I suspect the trap was set for Sturgeon to fire the treacherous swine and that would have given them the case for saying she interfered in due process.
    Salmond may have ro be sacrificed in the short term but will be rehabilitatedafter indy and then
    we will have some ‘show trials’ of our own.

  27. Jim Coll says:

    Thanks for another measured piece of wisdom. Lacking your wisdom I cannot stop myself making a ‘whitabootery’ point. Aye, the procedures here are correctly applied, compared with those employed in Westminster where a file lies on a desk with, we are told, serious allegations, and an allegation of rape against an MP is met with his suspension being lifted in time for an important vote.

    • jeans-jacques says:

      This is a propanda war not a legal debate. And if you lose you lose. You lose everything.

  28. The Gillies says:

    Thank you for the sanity.

  29. Napoleon: “Never interfere with your enemy when he is making a mistake.” 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    To quote one of the finest people in history isn’t wrong when England’s London is behaving like our enemy!

    The enemy is dishonourably wrong! It is time to END that so-called ‘Uk’!

    Alba/Scotland Saorsa =
    Freedom, liberty and redemption! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    © Ewen A. Morrison

  30. Iona says:

    Spot on, Paul, as ever.

  31. Gordon Hardie says:

    Excellent measured piece Sir. In contrast and by way of a flavour of things to come, when the court appearance was announced this morning, LBCs political commentator referred to Alex not as former FM, but as the man who ,”led the campaign to break up the UK” (paraphrased). Living in the South of England, I dread to think of some of the ill-informed “conversations” to be endured in the coming weeks…

  32. Derick fae Yell says:

    Thank you for saying the exact words that needed to be said, at this time

  33. Sandra Hunter says:

    Many thanks Paul.

  34. Stuart Middleton says:

    MI6 has already used their Willie MacRae card and needed to find an alternative method in these modern times. Distraction tactics from Westminster again. Time to batten down the hatches as the gloves are now well and truly off.

  35. Susan Smith says:

    Thank you Paul for setting out in the public domain that independence is the most important thing here, if we have faith in the judicial system.

  36. Macart says:

    Well said and couldn’t agree more.

    With what’s right in front of all the populations of these islands, self determination, self government, has never been more necessary.

  37. Eilidh says:

    You are right Paul Alex Salmond is not the intedependence movement. I am a woman and a feminist and fully support anyone who has suffered sexual assault. However I am very suspicious of these allegations and charges. Why not even a sniff of this stuff until now.

  38. deelsdugs says:

    My word they were always going to throw a real stinker on the Indy movement, but what they fail to undersgand is that we are united with each other, not them and their shabby, appalling treatment of Scotland and it’s people.
    Great post Paul. And from the heart. And I do think they’re very concerned about Alex and his ability to stay strong, focussed and sincere.

  39. Robert Graham says:

    My what a day for the unionist media salivating at the scent of a big scalp .

    When was the last time you saw the national news being interrupted every few minutes to go to updates from Edinburgh Sheriff Court .

    Ford could be leaving Britain hold that back to Edinburgh.

    Airbus could be leaving Britain hold that back to Edinburgh.

    Polaris missile accidentally fired and heading for Glasgow hold that back to Edinburgh – this last one was of course fiction just like MI5s attempts to smear a good man who is a real danger to this precious union , I fully expect another Willie MacRae was contemplated but the result of the last MI5 wee episode didn’t go according to plan , fiction ? who knows what this lot would do .

  40. Douglas says:

    Thank you Paul, very balanced and measured.

    I think this is a situation where it would be very difficult for a Police officer (no matter how senior) to decide not to refer to the Procurator Fiscal.

    We should all agree with you that there is nothing more to say regarding the allegations. This needs to run it’s course in a way that is fair for the complainants and the accused.

    Regarding the impact on the Independence. I don’t think it will have as much effect as the British hope. Not because Independence supporters don’t care but because, as you point out, our reason is the failure of Britain and hope for a better Scotland -not the leadership of one person.

    Alex Salmond is not a King, but even the Declaration of Arbroath written in more deferential times makes it is clear that if leaders falter (whether guilty or not Alex Salmond will be effectively out of play at a crucial time) it will not change Scots determination.

    ‘Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule.’

    (I would substitute Britain/British for England/English and try to make the language more gender neutral and republican).

    To take a different (extreme and unlikely) example, if Alex Salmond turned round and said:

    ‘Guess what folks, I’ve changed my mind. I think we should stick with Britain’

    …it would not change our reasons (although I hope that rather than ‘drive him out’ we would encourage him kindly to seek urgent medical assessment).

    In this climate, I expect that there will be more casualties and frantic hunts for even more who can be brought low. There may even be a few well placed people who have ‘second thoughts’ about independence.

    I guess this is where we find out how much strength in depth we have.

    I’m confident.

    • Illy says:

      “whether guilty or not Alex Salmond will be effectively out of play at a crucial time”

      And this is the whole point.

      • stewartb says:

        Illy I agree with the point you extracted from Douglas’ post. However, I would also pick out this extract from his post to complement your pick:

        “We should all agree with you that there is nothing more to say regarding the allegations. This needs to run it’s course in a way that is fair for the complainants and the accused.”

        In my view this is the plain and simple common sense position to adopt given where matters stand.

        But regrettably in my view there are too many indy supporters turning into conspiracy theorists, without a shred of supporting evidence, BTL on various blogs today – providing rich pickings for our opponents.

        • Millsy says:

          By ‘taking out ‘ Alex Salmond ( whether innocent or guilty ) if that is what has transpired then ‘they’ have made a grave error .
          It was a major plank of the Project Fear last time to label the referendum as ” Alex Salmond’s ” , and like him or not , many No voters didn’t and may have been influenced by this propaganda . The next referendum cannot be laid at Alex’s door so , in a way , one of the impediments to success has been removed .
          Those who support Alex will be all the more determined to win despite the vitriol thrown at him , and by association , the Independence movement .

  41. ArtyHetty says:

    You are absolutely correct here Paul. Of course. The problem is, this will be used against anyone involved with or supporting a) the SNP and b) independence. It will be all we will see and hear in the Britnat media in Scotland for the forseeable, until Brexit is done and dusted at least, until the Britgov can somehow oust the SNP from Holyrood.

    They will not allow this to quieten down, to become small print. That is what we are up against and it is very very sinister. We have few ways to counter the incessant anti SNP anti Scottish media, a media that has it’s claws in many corners of the globe, not just the UK.

    Today is a bad day, with Venezuela facing another US coup, and England’s Brexit looming, being forced on Scotland, major companies leaving the UK, many people already facing the dole queue. It’s horrendous.

    You know, given the huge number of charges against AS, it just makes this incredibly suspect. It paints AS as a potential serial abuser, and potential serial rapist. I can’t think of any case where a person has had sooo many charges made against them all of a sudden, it’s just not credible.

    My fear is, they will make sure this is a long drawn out court case, in fact if you look at the charges, it could take years. If it were one, or two yes we could say, OK, let due course of the law take place and see what transpires. But a serial attacker, all of a sudden?

    There is something amiss, it’s too far fetched. Of all of these charges, are they saying that not one single potential victim thought it a good idea to go to the police? They knew their attacker, unless masked, I mean, why would people not feel they could report such a crime against them, not even one? In which case it would be imperative for the police to take action, to stop that attacker before they hurt anyone else!

    Still, people can masquerade as upright citizens and be abusers etc, as was shown in the case of the halls of Westminster and the BBC, was it not. Yet, not one of those known abusers/rapists were brought to justice. It’s been completley hushed up. Utterly disgusting, utterly criminal.

    The Britnat media will not let this go. We are up against a monster.

    • crabbitgits says:

      Every word Hetty. Well said.

    • Jamie MacDonald says:

      Well put Paul, and thanks..
      Hetty, we are up against it no doubt, but using your point is the perfect foil to the slurs that will follow (I won’t say argument cos well -y’know how these things go!)

      We have an independent justice system here in Scotland where as Paul notes, no one is(nor should be) above the law.. We can hold our politicians etc to account if anyone is accused of a crime up here..
      In England it seems, not so much..
      So Mr or Mrs Britnat, you want us to be taken over by their system do ya? That is also what your no vote will bring.. More Jimmy Savilles..? Let that hang in the air for the bstds to defend!!

      (I would love to have our justice system fully tested however, the next time ole Dukey goes for a spin without seatbelt , or drives into another drivers path..)

      I haven’t posted for ages -happy burns nicht a’body!

      “It’s comin’ yet, for a’ that”

      We slay them with kindness and hope..

      Let’s go!

  42. p young says:

    I felt this news like a physical blow and wept. I realised that we must keep our independence dream going but this has thrown me. If they can take Alex down….whether true or not an awful lot of effort has gone in to this and I fear that more is on the way. I know I’m reacting with emotion and feel fearful for what other shitstorm will descend on our indy hopes. I’m ready to fight, the bad guys never take a day off so the good guys need to be bigger and better. Alex , chin up mate. Cui bono.

    • Weechid says:

      Same here. Keep wondering who is next on their list.

    • Molly McC says:

      p young.
      I felt the same and a sense of helplessness. But then I’m 5000 miles away and have no say, just a gut feeling.
      If he needs another Crowdfunder, just say the word.
      Like Jack, above, this is my final word on it, until it’s over.
      Wha’s Like Us?

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Same. It was a bit like 19th Sept feeling in 2014, the feeling that the monster Britnat state had won. I know we need to keep going, and do all we can to secure independence for Scotland, but as has been said, this is heavy stuff. It’s a sustained attack because it will be used against the SNP, THE party of independence, the most popular party in Scotland who are actually working in Scotland’s interests.

      I watched the interview of Nicola Sturgeon after her meeting with T.May, and she sounded quite defiant, and very concerned about the meeting re Brexit being forced on Scotland.

      We cannot allow the Britnats to roll back the work that the Scotgov ie SNP have done in the last 10 years, having had decades of Britnats at the helm, then Labour at Holyrood who, as far as I can fathom, did absolutely nothing at all for Scotland in all those years. Not one positive policy, not one. They did though plunge Scotland into £billions of debt, neglect our infrastructure ( what existed of it, with 300 years of neglect being ruled over by the English) and then sent back £1.5 BILLION to Westminster in 2006, saying ‘nothing to spend it on in Scotland’.

      That alone tells us all we need to know about what sort of country they wanted and it was to be a backward, poor, unhealthy, violent wasteland. It’s how they get to steal a countrys’ resources after all.

      Scotland has gained confidence and status even on the world stage, that’s a threat to the Britnat empire, or what’s left of it.

      The last days of empire, and the Britnats are in a panic.

  43. Electric blue says:

    Thanks for this thoughtful article. It cheered me up after I heard the news.
    What has happened to innocent until proven guilty?

  44. Robert Pollock says:

    Independence is within all of us. Scotland United!

  45. Fillofficer says:

    I hear ye Paul
    They are gaun fur AS
    They went fur tasmina
    They refused s30
    They blocked the continuity bill
    They said ‘noo is no the time’
    It’s fekkin time
    We’re aw fekk’d if we don’t dae summit noo
    We’re at the edge

  46. Noirin Blackie says:

    Paul you’ve hit the spot as usual xx

  47. Jason Smoothpiece says:

    We cannot and should not comment on the pending court case in question.

    However I will only say this, is it just me or does anyone else smell something.

    Know what I’m saying.

    • Janet says:

      Yes. They laughed at us in 2014. Now they will fight with us!

      But we will remain calm and dignified. Then we win.

  48. Therapymum says:

    Thank you Paul for being a voice of reason. It’s been a bit of a day, to say the least, but you have brought some sanity to a tragic situation. The complainers do have the right to be heard, AS does have the right to defend himself, the PF does have the right to determine that there is a case tthat to answer and the police do have a duty to investigate complaints. No one should be above the law. Alex is not the Indy movement, however much he has done to advance the case for independence. We have to keep the flame burning!

  49. Gavin C Barrie says:

    Assange forgotten about him? it is just so easy for the state to neutralise opponents via alleged “honey pot” scams. Seems he has no case to answer, and yet the UK ensures he’s still neutralised.

  50. Eckle Fechan says:

    Let the truth be out. Let Scots law and justice prevail. Let words of wisdom and evolved ideas be the beacons of light that guide us out of this age of Kali and into a new age of enlightenment, whilst we fight on and on in the Intellectual Wars of Independence.

    As long as but a hundred of us remain alive, pen in hand or poised ready to type.

    And remember Him – published first in Killie, recognised everywhere.. Imagine what words he’d have to share with us today, his latter-day subversive pen no longer incognito from the bunker in Dumfries, but instead a flame ignited online and posing the question, “A Revolution: of Hearts and Minds?” And answering, “Time and a Word: The word is Yes and the time is Now.” (All in Lallans of course..)

    Let Them Eat Haggis!


  51. astytaylor says:

    Nelson Mandela.
    Stay strong.

  52. Martin Edmunds says:

    Whatever happens next Alex Salmond is out of the game. Innocent or guilty the unionist media will ensure that the old adage ‘mud sticks’ will be brought to fruition with every sinew of their being and they will ensure that as much of that mud as possible sticks to the SNP and the wider independence movement. Where they cant find ways to link this case to the independence movement they will just make the links up splash it on the front pages and then print a two line retraction on page 52 six months later.

    In 2014 as another poster on here said the unionist press and TV made every effort to ensure that the YES campaign became all about Alex Salmond … they knew he wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea and if they demonised him it would inflict a significant amount of damage …. whether we like it or not they did it very successfully.

    The challenge for the independence movement in the months ahead will be to get it into the minds of the Scottish public that Alex Salmond is not the independence movement. It was and is far bigger and far more important than one individual … even an individual who was a colossus of the movement as Alex Salmond surely was.

  53. ScotsCanuck says:

    … wise & sage words, Paul … and I concur with them … but I cannot but feel a political “Assassination” at play here.

    Alex Salmond may indeed be jocular & popular (and enjoy a Dram) … but in his 40 + year journey into Politics (Scottish National Independence) … not even a whisper of any impropriety until now ? …. it stinks !!! …. welcome to GB dirty tricks …. and the real vermin (AKA the “Traitors” – Anthony Blunt, Pedophiles – Cyril Smith .. ..and how many others ???) … the “Establishment” swept up & covered up the “Mess” …. I believe he is innocent and will support him financially (be that ‘crowd fund’ or direct contribution .. if he so requests) …. the rule of Law must be paramount … but as you have pointed out, Paul …. throw enough shite, and some of it will stick !!

  54. I agree we want Scotland to be a country where who you are does not colour the approach the authorities take to you. Everyone treated equally. The British Establishment is the opposite of this – who you are is paramount in the British state.

    Why else would a very elderly man, photographed breaking the law, be given ‘words of advice’ for not wearing a seatbelt (in his brand new replacement Range Rover) the day after he was involved in a serious accident?

  55. grizebard says:

    Great article, Paul, and wise words. As always, the truth – when it comes out – will set us free.

    The independence movement continues undiminished, because it is in the right.

  56. Johnny come lately says:

    This stinks to high heaven. I find it very difficult to believe that a person in the public eye like Salmond, who is despised by the medie and establishment alike, having his every move monitered by a medie intent on destroying him would be going about sexually asaulting people, attempting to rape people and commiting breaches of the peace.

    And apparently Britains offshore medie supposedly didn’t get wind of any of this at the time. Add the ruling that the investigation at the offset was judged to be illegal, unfair and biased.

    He has the right to be heard and defend himself and the alleged victims have the right to have their case heard, but still I can’t help thinking, that this whole case stinks. It just seems to me so far fetched.

  57. Alba woman says:

    In the pursuit of justice which is a supposed touchstone of the British State and given the historical nature of the charges, why wasn’t Alec charged years ago?

    Timing is everything it seems

  58. Gray says:

    There is plenty of solid evidence that MI5 have been actively working against the SNP and independence.

  59. Enough of all this, my dearest friends.

    On today of all days, our most famous ploughman, Robert Burns is celebrated.

    In dining halls in Rotary, Masons, Lions, and Golf Clubs the length of this land some well girthed burgher of wealth and prominence will rise unsteadily to his feet and recite ‘A Man’s a man for a’ that’ to a well fed and well soused room full of very comfortably off Brothers and, perhaps in some rare instances of new found Enlightenment, Sisters, without a hint of embarrassment or irony or even shame.
    One million Scots live in Establishment engineered poverty…

    Meanwhile, our modern day ploughmen and women, our Scots bothers and sisters, will till our soil, tend our cattle, plant our potatoes, barley and corn, and plan for an uncertain future.
    Liam Fox, who has previous form in selling the UK out to the USA Capitalist Machine, (q.v., his ‘Think Tank’ The Atlantic Bridge, Thatcher was patron, US military bases on UK (Scottish) soil, Free Market,and so on) is already making deals with US Health Providers, and loosening regulations under a WTO umbrella to open up the flood gates to swamp the UK with GM crops, chlorinated chicken, steroid Texas beef, and Private Health Companies hovering up NHS ‘contracts’.
    Under his Version of WTO rules ‘Scotch’ whisky can be distilled in Kentucky, and we Scots, and our Parliament will powerless to do anything to stop the sell off of our essential industries and public services.

    The Bakers’ Dirty Dozen Blue Tories demanded that May and Barclay exclude the Scottish Government from trade talks post Brexit, and May has been only too happy to oblige.

    Crush Scotland, vote for Brit Nat Blue Red and Yellow Tories in Scots seats. Commit social financial and political suicide for the good of the Party, and a nice little earner for the Placemat you voted into office.

    The 13 Blue, and their Red and Yellow Tory Brit Nat Better Together Pals, have betrayed Scotland and more importantly lied to the poor sods who voted for them.

    They are not there to serve the people who elected them. They are paid to suppress the people who were mug enough to believe their lies.
    Crush Scotland, vote for a Brit Nat.

    On today of all days, with your permission, Paul, I reproduce this absolute classis of World Literature.

    I don’t think Burns had fat self satisfied Golf Clubs in mind when he wrote it.

    “Wee, sleekit, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
    O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
    Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
    Wi’ bickering brattle!
    I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee,
    Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

    I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
    Has broken Nature’s social union,
    An’ justifies that ill opinion,
    Which makes thee startle,
    At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
    An’ fellow-mortal!

    I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
    What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
    A daimen-icker in a thrave ‘S a sma’ request:
    I’ll get a blessin wi’ the lave,
    An’ never miss’t!

    Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
    It’s silly wa’s the win’s are strewin!
    An’ naething, now, to big a new ane,
    O’ foggage green!
    An’ bleak December’s winds ensuin,
    Baith snell an’ keen!

    Thou saw the fields laid bare an’ wast,
    An’ weary Winter comin fast,
    An’ cozie here, beneath the blast,
    Thou thought to dwell,
    Till crash! the cruel coulter past
    Out thro’ thy cell.

    That wee-bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble,
    Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
    Now thou’s turn’d out, for a’ thy trouble,
    But house or hald.
    To thole the Winter’s sleety dribble,
    An’ cranreuch cauld!

    But Mousie, thou are no thy-lane,
    In proving foresight may be vain:
    The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men,
    Gang aft agley,
    An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
    For promis’d joy!

    Still, thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me!
    The present only toucheth thee:
    But Och! I backward cast my e’e,
    On prospects drear!
    An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
    I guess an’ fear!”
    The case for remaining in a Union with England has been refuted soundly and irrevocably now.

    England’s ‘wee bit housie’ is now in ruins.

    May’s best laid Brexit Scheme A has ganged ‘agley’, and there’s ‘naething, now to big a new ane’.

    Rennie, Carlaw and Leonard’. a parcel of rogues in a nation.

    Have a great nicht, proles.

    • And as if to add insult to injury, Donalda Mckinnon has commissioned a Burn’s Night Celebration in..wait for it, Belfast, ‘Burns by the Lagan’, at the Titanic Centre.
      Our National Bard is showcasing Belfas?
      I think I can guess. It’s perhaps part of the £1 billion bribe to the 10 DUP MPs for supporting the Blue Tories?

      It’s Uber DUP, rabid Brit Nat ‘Unionism’, promoting Ulster Scots and the Land Grab in the North of Ireland?
      It is to commemorate the British Empire’s glorious past?

      ‘The Scots language arrived in Ulster during the early 17th century, when large numbers of Scots speakers arrived from Lowland Scotland during the Hamilton and Montgomery Settlements and the Ulster Plantation.The earliest Scots writing in Ulster dates from that time’.

      Thanks BBC, PQ.
      Fuck you,Scotland?

  60. Robert Innes says:

    Hi Paul, thanks for such a balanced article, reminding us that the accused is to be presumed innocent unless proved guilty and that the “victims”, if such they be, are also due their day in court.
    In the meantime, I’m sure I speak for all of us, when I say that I’ll continue to work for Independence irrespective any verdict. I just hope it’s a clear one and not, “not-proved”. That would be a disaster for everybody.

  61. Andy Anderson says:

    What annoys me about the charges against AS is that the women in this case have their identities hidden. To me in any sexual case both parties should have their identities held incognito. Then one party does not have their reputation tarnished if found innocent.

  62. Robert Graham says:

    We are blessed and should give thanks that we have a unionist supporting media , yes you are reading correctly , we have a blinkered media whos only mission is to protect the union well in Scotland anyway ,

    Every single thing they have done to try and crush support for independence has had exactly the opposite effect they are unable to learn from past mistakes yesterdays feeding frenzy is just one example , carry on chaps you are playing a blinder keep up the good work .

    Today’s Scotsman quotes an Advocate and their opinion on whether the former First Minister was able to receive a fair trial ,if indeed it goes to trial in Scotland ,oh dear i thought after reading the learner-ed Advocates comments and this from a supposedly educated person , his opinion was oh certainly its not a problem given the passage of time and reporting restrictions imposed i see no difficulty , they then go on to mention two such trials of people would most folk would barely recognise their names never mind the cases in question as proof ,

    If this is the quality and mindset of people in the legal profession i give up , if this person actually believes they will find anyone in Scotland who has never heard of Alex Salmond and has no opinion either way they must inhabit a totally different universe from the rest of us .

    The one thing that stood out was the quote ” given the passage of time ” eh exactly how long are these people contemplating dragging this saga out because someone is calling the shots here given the timing of this case it looks and feels very suspect and a political hatchet job .

  63. Cubby says:

    We should not forget, of course, the police behaviour at Hillsborough or the innocents convicted in two separate bombings by the IRA.

  64. Andy Anderson says:

    Different topic: The European Medical Agency closed its doors for the last time in London yesterday. That is 990 jobs lost. Leave they voted so leave they did.

    • Andy, it’s all about to get very nasty indeed.
      I am told by my contacts that the army are already at the border between Londonderry and the South of Ireland.
      It has started.
      The lights are all going out in the UK.

  65. Alba woman says:

    A Guardian editorial on 25th January 2019

    Editorial Banner proclaiming…”Comment is free….but facts are sacred’

    Urging politics in Scotland to continue despite Alec Salmond’s charges, the writer declares….

    ‘It must be proper to say …putting it as neutrally as possible….that the trial and its outcome will hang over political life in Scotland until it is resolved and will do much to shape Scottish politics once it is concluded.’

    The writer then goes on to declare the impact upon and within the SNP will be ‘inescapably substantial’

    Hope springs eternal Guardian writer. The writer’s words Appear spookily like the hopes of Westminster.

    Two following paragraphs describe Alec Salmond as currently the ‘most significant figure in Scottish Politics’
    Followed by the second paragraph ‘Mr.Salmond’s political influence has nevertheless been in decline ‘.

    This paragraph concludes with the following “It is unlikely that, after these charges, Ms. Sturgeon is now going to call a second referendum any time soon’.

    Again, hope springs eternal in the Britnat mind. Again appears spookily like hopes of Westminster

    The Yes movement does not exist for them in their proud claim of giving the reader the sacred facts.

    ‘Comment is free..but facts are sacred’

    NO laughing at the back.

  66. Allie Neave says:

    Paul, you have expressed my own feelings so much more eloquently than I ever could. Please keep on doing what you are doing.

Comments are closed.