Some thoughts on ‘that documentary’

Last night the BBC decided to regale the nation with a documentary entitled The Trial of Alex Salmond, or more accurately The Media Trial of Alex Salmond and We’ve Found Him Guilty. There were numerous issues with the programme, not the least of which was that the documentary had started to be produced before the court trial had even begun, and the programme makers were very obviously expecting a guilty verdict. That assumption of guilt pervaded the entire documentary and fatally undermined any pretence that it might have had of being a fair report of the events rather than being a participant in them – and a participant who was hostile to Alex Salmond’s case at that.

Anyone in Scotland who follows politics knows that the presenter of the programme, Kirsty Wark, was a close friend of the former Labour First Minister Jack McConnell and had appeared visibly angry and unsettled when the Labour party lost control of Holyrood to the SNP led by Alex Salmond. The programme was produced by Kirty Wark’s husband’s production company.  It was a documentary which had the taste of a dish intended to be served up cold, only those inconvenient not guilty verdicts spoiled its revenge recipe.

The prosecution witnesses were interviewed sympathetically, voiced over by actors in order to preserve their anonymity. And before anyone complains, it is right and proper that the alleged victims of sexual assault are granted a legally enforceable anonymity and I strongly advise anyone commenting on this piece to refrain from saying anything which may identify them. If people who allege that they are the victims of sexual crime are not given anonymity it inhibits them from coming forward. That is deeply damaging to the rights of women, of children, of anyone who ever finds themselves the victim of a sexual assault.  Legal anonymity in such circumstances is vital and necessary even if the complaints are later thrown out by a court.

However the problem here is that the impression was given by the BBC that a man who has been found innocent in a court of law can continue to be slighted while his accusers remain hidden behind a cloak of anonymity. There were several references to the Me Too movement, which with the hindsight of a not guilty verdict appear as a not so subtle attempt by the BBC to draw an equivalence between Harvey Weinstein, who has been convicted of rape and other serious sexual crimes, and Alex Salmond who was found innocent in a court of law.

There were some serious structural flaws in the documentary of which the most significant was that there was little effort given to presenting the views of witnesses for the defence. Kirsty Wark found plenty of time during the 60 minutes of this documentary to film herself looking pensively at her mobile phone, but couldn’t find any time to speak to any of the defence witnesses. These witnesses were crucial because their testimony undermined and contradicted that of some of the prosecution witnesses in key respects. Moreover these were key respects which caused the jury to refuse to accept the prosecution case and are therefore vital to any attempt to understand this story properly. The viewer was given none of this. If the intent had been to produce an unbiased and objective view of the trial and the events around it, the voices of these defence witnesses were key. Yet they were absent from this programme.

Witnesses for the prosecution were interviewed sympathetically and allowed to restate their case. This might have been acceptable had, as the programme makers so clearly expected, a guily verdict been returned. But that’s not what happened. What had happened was that the jury had refused to accept key parts of the evidence presented by the prosecution witnesses, and had refused to accept that Alex Salmond’s behaviour was criminal as they had alleged. The result was a programme which appeared to be setting out to convict the former First Minister by other means and without the balance that would have been provided by the inclusion of the defence witnesses.

We were told, quite some way into the programme, that Alex Salmond had refused a request to be interviewed, to which an impartial observer could only retort “nae bloody wonder”. This was a programme which had been filmed, produced, and edited with a guilty verdict in mind and when the not guilty verdicts were returned was quickly and unconvincingly given a light makeover rather than putting the entire thing in the bin where it should probably have gone.

Of course it’s big news when the former leader of a country is charged with serious offences. It is precisely the kind of news story which merits examination in a documentary. Unfortunately this documentary was rushed, biased, and deeply flawed. Its flaws have been compounded by the fact that the story is not yet over. The Holyrood enquiry into the Scottish Government’s (mis)handling of the original complaints against Alex Salmond is still on-going. We have still to hear from the former SNP leader who has told us that, at some point, he will speak and will present the evidence which he claims proves that he has been the victim of an organised and coordinated attempt to remove him from politics for good. Without his voice and evidence, no one can produce a balanced and objective account of what really happened.

However that was never the intention of this BBC documentary to begin with. It set out to be a hatchet job on Alex Salmond, to write a damning political epitaph on a man whom it clearly expected to be a convicted criminal and then to stamp on his political grave.  Failing any conviction in a court of law it set out to convict him anyway.

This evening BBC Radio 4 will broadcast a programme written and presented by the journalist Dani Garavelli entitled “The SNP’s Civil War” which purports to examine the rift between Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond. This is the same journalist who has previously done sympathetic interviews with the complainants in the case against Alex Salmond. The programme is not yet available and so the public has not been able to listen to it, so we must give it the benefit of the doubt, but given that it’s written and presented by a journalist who has close and sympathetic relations with those who complained against Alex Salmond, it is reasonable to wonder just how fair a hearing that the former First Minister is going to get in this radio programme. Going out on a limb here, probably not much of one at all.

The way that the BBC has dealt with the trial of Alex Salmond shows us, if there was still any doubt, that the BBC is not an impartial reporter on politics in Scotland. It is an active participant in framing a narrative which is hostile to Scottish self-determination.

Finally – a reminder that the complainants in this case have a legal right to anonymity. Please refrain from saying anything that may identify them.

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217 comments on “Some thoughts on ‘that documentary’

  1. andyfromdunning says:

    Impartiality my arse!!

    The Beeb has broken its so called charter.

    Two women in court perjured themselves but seem to have been let of.

    Saw the programme, it made me angry at the Beeb for showing such biased reporting. All as expected.

    Your analysis seems spot on to me Paul.

  2. A spot-on analysis indeed, Paul. The correct response to the whole affair, at least until the ongoing inquiry has been concluded, is to say as little as possible about it. The BBC must be censured not only for the bias in their nasty little documentary, but for putting it on air at all at this stage.

  3. Lulu Bells says:

    You will have noticed that Kirsty Wark gave out sufficient information for the identification of at least one accuser. The same information that the Garavelli woman gave out, yet they are not facing contempt of court charges as are the others who gave out much less information, or at least I never identified anyone from what Craig Murray said but I did from the work of Garavelli and Wark!

    • Petra says:

      The Crown Office contacted the BBC yesterday, Lulu, to warn them of the potential contempt of court implications in relation to the Kirsty Wark programme about the Alex Salmond trial. Will they do anything about it now?

      Mark Hirst:- ”My lawyer and Crown Office themselves, today contacted the BBC today to warn them of the potential contempt of court implications of their utterly biased #SalmondTrial film.
      Regime broadcaster ignored that. The film was so biased I believe I cannot possibly receive a fair trial.”

      • Mark Russell says:

        I imagine the Lord Advocate would be in a fit of apoplexy watching this. It completely undermines the entire criminal justice system. Furthermore, the Advocate Depute was filmed being interviewed by Mark, but we didn’t hear him speak – instead Wark gave her impression in a voice over. I sincerely hope the BBC provided the Crown Office with a segment and transcript before broadcast and had express permission, otherwise there must surely be grounds for contempt.

        Words only account for part of communication though – the expression on Wark’s face throughout said everything she couldn’t speak on camera. Smith & Wark – The Bitter & Twisted Twins.

        • Iain says:

          Maybe London’s aim is to abolish Scots Law. To this end Ms Wark fronts a show displaying disregard and contempt for this country’s legal system. She will not be sanctioned by the very system she is undermining. “Arise, Baroness Wark of London “

    • John Muir says:

      Craig Murray’s Yes Minister pastiche did give me a single woman’s name when I read it and assembled the pieces. It’s not a wise thing to have published, let alone kept up when asked to take it down.

      He does deserve equal treatment, however. Which he’s obviously not getting! But I do fundamentally agree that he’s breaking the jigsaw identity ban. That’s playing with fire.

    • Wee Chid says:

      Ditto, Lulu Bells. Wark should face prosecution for this.
      Or the case against others should be dropped.

    • Peter Barlow says:

      I was also able to identify one of the women from Garavelli’s article.
      I did read Murray’s (earlier than that article) blogs – trying to get all angles – and while I disagree with some of his assumptions and conclusions, was not able to identify any of the complainants.

      Perhaps if I had more inside knowledge, I’d have been able to jigsaw identify some of them.

      I wonder if the Scottish Government’s legal advice, which is not being released to the Enquiry, is being withheld because it would lead to identification of complainants.

  4. Dr Jim says:

    The BBC don’t want Scottish Independence so they attack it by using the previous fIgurehead and they’re gambling that will return the not sure voters to the side of NO because at the moment they daren’t attack the current FM right at the height of her popularity as that might have the opposite effect

    As Nicola Sturgeon persuades Scotland towards YES the BBC attempt to dissuade them to NO

    The opposition are desperate and it’s becoming frantic now, just a little bit more of this and even the disinterested will notice this behaviour and make their decisions accordingly

    • Harry Bickerstaff says:

      The BBC don’t need to attack Nicola Sturgeon: there is a whole army of ‘nationalists’ who have been manipulated into doing that for them and unfortunately Craig Murray couldn’t resist the chance to be a gossip! An ambassador? Surely, one of the first things he learned in that job was to hold his own counsel? How much damage has HE done, to Scotland, by not shutting his mouth?

      • Petra says:

        He’s like a daft wee lassie who can’t wait to regale her pals with the local gossip. He’s shouted his mouth off about Alex Salmond before Alex himself has had his say, about his very own business, and he’s now condemning Nicola Sturgeon without knowing all of the facts. He and his Nicola hating mate make a big deal about people like themselves being presumed innocent until found guilty but that doesn’t seem to apply to Nicola Sturgeon. Hypocrites (and worse still) 👹. As you say, ”how much damage has HE done (they’ve done), to Scotland, by not shutting his (their) mouth?” More than all of the BritNat media put together, I’d say Harry, as they have the capacity to influence current and potential supporters due to purporting to be independence supporters themselves.

  5. vivianoblivian7 says:

    Well, what did ya expect. Donalda MacKinnon owes Sturgeon big time for staying stumm while MacKinnon was trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube during the Question time / Billy Mitchell / Menthorn media, fiasco. MacKinnon told demonstrable lies and not a peep was heard from Bute Hoose.

    • weegingerdug says:

      That may or may not be the case, but this documentary has Kirsty Wark’s personal disdain for Alex Salmond all over it.

      • Ann Christie says:

        Paul, indeed it does! I believe the BBC has breached its charter with this mockumentary at Salmond’s expense. It’s a hatchet job on a man found not guilty, and on the Scottish legal system and should never have been shown. I hope as many people as possible complain to the BBC, though the BBC will probably deny bias, but OfCom may take a different view.

        Excellent summary by the way!

    • Petra says:

      MacKinnon’s role no longer exists.

  6. Hamish100 says:

    Great summation.

    ..and yet the bbc still refuse to identify the Tory MP in England charged with serious offences.

    The Wark programme was bad. It was biased and if I was an TV editor or producer I would be embarrassed to allow this onto any airwaves. It was like a poor play put on air by amateurs.

    It showed the bbc big guns Wark, Smith, Cook all on over £100000 a year behaving liking juvenile gossip mongers even quoting what was allegedly overheard by someone in a toilet. Of course I prefer to think it was just made up.

    BBC Scotland went for the predicted kill and then got their biased, vindicated noses knocked out of joint when ordinary jurors found an individual Innocent. Senior management and their lawyers colluded.

    It takes some bile to try and convict the person on a so called Public Service Broadcaster service. It has tried to undermine our justice system, the judge and jury.

    Still the production company got its bag of silver.

    This programme on its own deserves to be investigated. Who commissioned it, how much public money was used, who financially gained from it and did this included the accusers?

    Are there any real journalists out there?

    Will the bbc commission it? It would be far more illuminating. Lol

    • Hugh Lou Nisbet says:

      ‘Who commissioned it, how much public money was used, who financially gained from it’ – See Wings over Scotland.

  7. “The Holyrood enquiry into the Scottish Government’s (mis)handling of the original complaints against Alex Salmond is still on-going”

    wrong, the enquiry explicitly ruled out any reference to Alex, it is an enquiry into civil service procedures concerning the implication of a new piece of legislation

  8. Petra says:

    ”Finally – a reminder that the complainants in this case have a legal right to anonymity. Please refrain from saying anything that may identify them.”

    Fair comment however the law should be changed to ensure that the ”accused” remains anonymous too until such time as they are found to be guilty, if that’s the case.

    Alex Salmond was found to be innocent of all criminal charges and yet he is still being hounded by the BritNat media. Surely there’s a law against this? Defamation of character? Or was Kirsty Wark, the BBC, et al, and her lawyers crafty enough to ensure that there was absolutely nothing ”concrete” in that production that he can complain about? And what about the ”complainants – accusers” whom the jury didn’t believe? In other words they seemingly lied about Alex Salmond? Will there be no repercussions for them? If so, this sends out a clear message that one person (who will remain anonymous) can lie about another in Court to the point that if their lies are believed the person in question will go to prison. Life and reputation ruined. Doesn’t lying under oath constitute a case of perjury?

    Well anyway, so it goes on here in Scotland with the latest AS enquiry commencing today. Next up Nicola Sturgeon for the chop and another few weeks of the MSM doing their utmost to destroy the SNP and our chances of becoming independent. Professor John Robertson has stated, ”These final thoughts (on the Wark programme) are known to be influential in the opinions an audience takes away with them. Those two notions, that the SNP is damaged by this and that the verdict is in doubt, are both, if strengthened by this documentary, just what Scotland’s pro-Union media and political elites hoped for. Luckily, as poll after poll has been telling us recently, the people are not that daft.” Let’s hope that he’s right.

    • Wee Chid says:

      Wark may or may not have ensured that there was nothing for Alex Salmond to complain about but until I heard about a certain statement she made in that film I was completely in the dark as to who the anonymous women were. Thanks to Wark – I now know who one of them is. if others are to be prosecuted for doing this – so should she, along with the production company and the BBC itself.

      • Petra says:

        ”I was completely in the dark as to who the anonymous women were. Thanks to Wark – I now know who one of them is.”

        Me too Wee Chid.

        • Steviesparkie says:

          And me….

          • Elmac says:

            I agree with Petra that anonymity should extend to the accused as well in this type of trial. I would go further and say that where the accused has been named, has been found to be innocent, and there are strong reasons to believe that the accusers have committed perjury and have been involved in a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, then the accusers should be named and put on trial. Otherwise there is no justice only a mockery by the establishment because they know they are unaccountable. Let us not forget post independence who did what to whom, and take the opportunity to right any outstanding wrongs.

  9. raineach says:

    I suppose one benefit is that it was so bad that non-political people [ie, voters] actually noticed

  10. dorancaird says:

    Thank you for this piece , Paul. I wasn’t going to watch the programme . I was never a Salmond fan ,but, I contributed to his fund raising for his case against the Scottish Government. I have heard from an eye witness, whom I trust ,that Salmond berated an assistant over something trivial in front of an office full of people and did seem to be a bully . I also think he probably did get touchy feely if he thought it would be accepted . I think the stresses of the Referendum led to him drinking more. His behaviour is the behaviour of many many men. It is wrong, it should not be condoned ,ever, but…it’s not Weinstein, Epstein or Savill. The bias in this lamentable excuse of a programme lowered Wark’s reputation immeasurably. A blunted hatchet at work.

  11. ALLEN RALSTON says:

    The documentary is similar to when after an oily curry you don’t actually have view the toilet bowl in detail to know its going to be fu o shit with a gloss on it , they are fooling no one except perhaps themselves . what ever happened to journalistic integrity ? .

  12. carolclark1 says:

    Alex Salmond was found NOT guilty, end of. I’m sorry if Wark etal are upset about it, too flaming bad. They cannot carry on impuging the man in public in this way. It’s an absolute bloody disgrace. We cancelled the EBC tax in 2014 and haven’t missed it one bit.

    Wark and Smith are really nasty pieces of work, their bias against the SNP and Mr Salmond is glaringly obvious. When today, The Herald, Telegraph and the Daily Mail are not on your side with this rubbish, even below the line comments think it’s awful and should not have been shown,, tells you something. Wark has not done her reputation any favours with this hatchet job.

    • raineach says:

      Good. Going in to elections it helps if the BBC’s reputation is low

    • Petra says:

      ”When today, The Herald, Telegraph and the Daily Mail are not on your side with this rubbish, even below the line comments think it’s awful and should not have been shown,, tells you something.”

      Thanks for the info Carol. Pleased to hear that.

  13. deelsdugs says:

    Heard it was up for an airing, knew it would be undoubtedly biased in favour of the complainants, so didn’t even attempt to consider looking at it. The BBC…say no more.

  14. Hamish100 says:

    BBC iPlayer “The trial of Alex Salmond” is on BBC iPlayer for the next 29 days.
    Contains upsetting scenes.

    Fully agree,

    with James Cook like a “ wee Jessie wallop” as my granny would say- and she knew a lot in full stomach churning mode.

    Maybe he thought his toilet story was as a good as the one about the French official and Nicola Sturgeon, supplied by the the torygraph and Alistair Carmichael which he sported as fact. We know how that ended.
    Still at that one he got quite upset that people thought he made stories up. I won’t copy the Huntington post link but it is there for all to see.

    I would also say Smith with all her labour links along with her coterie such as Wark, the unfunny ex no.10 and pundit, Hazarika shows that labour supporters are as bitter as the tories or even more so.

    This was a political hatchet job by the Labour Party paid by bbc Scotland or us.

  15. Wendy Beautyman says:

    I am not sure that this is the right place to ask this question so please delete Paul if it is inappropriate, a court of law found AS not guilty (or not proven) of all charges, does that not mean then that the women who brought the charges against him have been, at the very least, unreliable and at worst downright liars? Why then should they keep their cloak of anonymity so that they can carry on sniping from the sidelines? This all seems absurd. With regard to the documentary, I don’t have a tv licence and I don’t watch BBC shyte, very glad I saved myself the money and the angst.

    • weegingerdug says:

      No, it does not necessarily mean that the complainants are liars. It means that the jury found that Alex Salmond’s behaviour, if indeed it had occurred as the complainants alleged, was not criminal.

      • Petra says:

        But what about the case of the alleged r*pe, Paul? Surely that was dropped because they didn’t believe what that complainant had to say? Someone had to be lying. If not Alex then who?

        • weegingerdug says:

          It’s not always the case that someone has to be lying. I’m speaking in general terms here and not about this case specifically, but sometimes charges being dropped means that the prosecution either doesn’t think that the evidence will support a conviction, or that the behaviour at issue won’t be found by a jury to be criminal.

          • John Muir says:

            Exactly. I served on a jury fairly recently (in a case involving the Moorov doctrine no less!), so the rules are still clear in my mind.

            The crucial thing every jury reckons with is whether the given charge was proven *beyond a reasonable doubt*. That is absolutely hammered into you by judge and counsels alike. You’ve got to be convinced by the evidence, and your certainty must pass that high threshold. If you’re in doubt, you must vote to acquit (and yes, Not Proven is another variant of acquittal).

            You aren’t judging characters. You aren’t deciding that the alleged events did not happen. And you certainly aren’t establishing the grounds for suing witnesses for perjury if they later insist something did still happen. You are deciding whether the prosecution’s case passes beyond a reasonable doubt on that specific charge. That is all.

            You’re very tightly limited, and this is by design. The whole point of the trial is to be objective: on that one measure alone. Your work is not to decide which version of the truth won out, just whether the prosecution’s carefully chosen and stated case was proven beyond reasonable doubt. That alone is what decides the defendant’s guilt or innocence.

            The trial decided Alex Salmond’s innocence, not his accusers’ truthfulness. They were not on trial, only him.

            • Wendy Beautyman says:

              thank you all for clearing that up for me, that makes a lot of sense

            • Petra says:

              Yeah thanks for that John plus the comments from Paul.

            • Cubby says:

              It’s true that it’s not always the case that someone has been lying if the accused has been found innocent but in the Salmond case the complainers WERE proven to be lying.

              • weegingerdug says:

                No they weren’t. They weren’t on trial and so nothing was proven except that the jury decided to return a not guilty verdict on most of the charges and a not proven verdict on one of them. That’s how the law works.

            • Cubby says:

              10 women 14 charges and all were telling the truth but the jury acquitted Salmond on all charges. Wow!

              It’s bloody obvious that the women were lying some more than others. The trial details proved it.

              Glad to be back from hol and obviously rattling a cage already.

  16. […] Wee Ginger Dug Some thoughts on ‘that documentary’ Last night the BBC decided to regale the nation with a documentary entitled The Trial […]

  17. Kenzie says:

    “it is right and proper that the alleged victims of sexual assault are granted a legally enforceable anonymity”

    Is this still the case Paul even where they are proven liars?

    • weegingerdug says:

      Yes. Because there is a very low conviction rate when rape is prosecuted, and that must not deter victims from coming forward.

    • Legerwood says:

      Were they ‘proven liars’? See John Muir’s post at 3.57pm above.

      • katielass04 says:

        Well yes, someone did actually lie. One of the accusers’ witnesses said something happened when a certain person was at a dinner party. However, defence witness went on to say that person WASN’T EVEN AT THE DINNER PARTY, so it could never have happened.

        That statement is either TRUE – or FALSE. It cannot be both. Therefore, ONE of them was lying. The jury believed, backed up with supporting evidence, the defence witness was telling the truth.. Therefore it follows, they must believed the complainants” witness was lying.

        What the jury has to determine is which side to believe. Evidence which backs up one theory over than another, is usually how juries determine on which side the truth is LIKELY to be. So if you have doubts, you must find someone not guilty. But it doesn’t change the fact statements ARE truth – or lies.

        • John Muir says:

          Your final point is correct: clear statements, like whether someone was present at the time of the allegation, are either true or false. But the jury does not decide on whether all items of evidence are true or false when they give their verdict. We don’t get that information from them. They’re giving their verdict: was the defendant proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt? That is all. Everything else remains in the jurors’ room.

          It’s annoying, I do agree, for those of us on the outside. But trial by jury is a very serious thing, and really isn’t just grist for the mill of the trial by media that, sadly, this is all really about!

          • weegingerdug says:

            It’s actually pretty difficult to prove perjury. It’s not enough to say that “You lied because the jury didn’t believe you.” That’s not proof of perjury. As I understand it, what is required is independent proof (other than the original statement in court that is alleged to be perjury) that the person knowingly lied and deliberately mislead the court. That’s actually pretty difficult to prove.

  18. Bob Lamont says:

    Excellent, well said… As I’m physically beyond the Glenn Campbell sphere of influence I was curious what you would add to what I’d surmised already.
    Having read Stu Campbell’s synopsis (not a fan it was a link) early doors amongst others, there are common threads to them all, “guilty” structure, loathing of Alex Salmond, timing of broadcast to coincide with the Inquiry with an associated Garavelli radio broadcast to follow, a “hatchet job” rather than “trial” by media, Wark should never work again, Pacific Quay should be powered down permanently, none were impressed…..
    As a passing thought I wondered if Wark’s husband only got paid if it was broadcast, the media mafia have never been known to be quite so blatant or desperate unless it involved money, even “We seek him here we seek him there” safaris to save Lesley Laird’s lab would have been on “expenses” in a brown envelope…
    Pacific Quay, Kirsty Wark, Sarah Smith, and Dani Garavelli have fatally misjudged their own influence… Instead of making AS the focus, they are in the middle of a cesspit with the public looking on in horror and pity as they cover themselves in excrement…

  19. WT says:

    I agree with Petra above about the accused being given anonymity too. I think the cases against famous people like Paul Gambaccini and ordinary folk like Liam Allan show that anonymity must apply to both sides – or none. The scales of justice must be evenly balanced, we must all be equal under the law and at present we are not – particularly with regard to sexual crimes. I do not know who any of these women are, but the term ‘alleged victims’ (used in the BBC run-up to this programme) is not applicable – particularly after the accused/defendant has been found not guilty. At that point the term ‘victim’ is redundant. Indeed, even before trial the term ‘alleged victim’ is redundant it should be accuser or plaintiff.

    The ongoing battle of the sexes driven on social media and now in the MSM is dangerous. The way people sign up to fashionable movements without any critical examination of the possible consequences of blind faith is worrying. The #metoo and #believeallwomen movements have their place, but justice should be served by considered and even practice, blind to the prejudices and predilections of the day.

    As to the BBC I do not think they have ever been unbiased, we just didn’t notice it until the miner’s strike and 2014 when they were caught. Since then they have been so unmasked they don’t even bother now to act unbiased. Nothing happens to them when they lie so they just keep at it.

    • weegingerdug says:

      That’s exactly what I argued in an article for The National just after the verdict. If those accused of serious sexual offences were also given anonymity until the moment of conviction in a court, then there would currently be no issue.

  20. I wouldnt ask alex to crowd fund a legal case against wark, i’d ask him to crowd fund a screen play and a film to be made where the truth could be acted out. even keeping the witnesses identity secret, people would finally know what happened.

    animal farm springs to mind 🙂

  21. uno mas says:

    One thing about the Wark prog from last night is that it appears to have unified ( even if only temporarily) all the factions of the indy campaign in their revulsion, condemnation and disgust.

    So that´s got to be a bonus for us.

  22. Jim Coll says:

    A complaint to the state broadcaster is a waste of time. Is there any merit of someone with knowhowto setting up an online and very public MSM complaints register?

  23. we spend too much cash fighting legal cases. we cant win going down this route, alex being found not guilty being the case in point. even when we do get justice, there is no justice.

    spending money on legal cases isnt a good use of our cash. we’d be better off crowd funding a repost to bbc pravda using the same medium

  24. fiona Murray says:

    In Scotland they are ‘complainers’ not complainants, but other than that, a fair, balanced article.

  25. Cenedl Geltaidd says:

    Dug is correct again. As they say, if a tree falls in the forest and no-one hears it, will the BBC still blame the SNP?
    The BBC is the mouthpiece and propaganda department of the Westminster Establishment – as it always was. There is no difference between Auntie Beeb’s anti-Nazi programming during WW2, and its anti-SNP programming today. Where there is a clear and present danger to the Empire, the BBC’s job is to gag it. And the SNP is definitely a threat to the ‘country’.
    We should expect nothing less – and take it as a compliment that they are taking Independence seriously. Almost as seriously as we are!

    • Petra says:

      ”These days the channel could more honestly have a flagship programme called Brass Neck.”

      Wow says it all 😀

  26. Hamish100 says:

    Ot – watching Jackie Bailiie on the Internal Market debate on Parliament tv

    Could someone please advise her that Scotland is not a devolved nation but is a Nation. It may have a devolved administration set up but that is just temporary.

    • Dr Jim says:

      They love doing that, many times I’ve pointed out the meaning of *devolved* I’ve even written to various misusers of the term but still they persist in the same way they call the SNP the Scottish Nationalist Party, it’s deliberate

  27. Arthur Thomson says:

    Thanks for your measured piece Paul.

    I didn’t watch it and I won’t listen to the radio hatchet job.

    Fortunately for us, the Brits continue to do the heavy lifting in our pursuit of independence. Normal people in Scotland are going to be turning to friends and family and saying “I thought Sa!mond was found not guilty? WTF! ”

    Our opponents truly are beneath contempt – but we knew that.

  28. Hugh Lou Nisbet says:

    Is there anyone in Scotland that STILL expects the BBC to be unbiased when they have £340 MILLION Per Annum at risk?

    • Petra says:

      And that’s just from the Scots, Hugh. Paying to have propaganda piped right into your livingroom 🙄.

  29. SophiaPangloss says:

    I can understand anonymity being given to victims of sexual assault and won’t break the ban here, but I think we should question how far that anonymity can stretch, once it stretches to granting anonymity to someone who says they are a victim of having a hand placed on the small of their back as they were climbing stairs in a public place, of course there is a danger of the whole thing snapping.

    These women are not all the same, and their accusations are not all the same, yet because one accused Salmond of a serious sexual assault (not believed by their peers mind) all 9 are bunched together under the same ‘victimhood’. This is wrong, and unsustainable.

    • As has already been explained the jury has to decide if a person is guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
      I f they decide they are not , it could be that there is some doubt perhaps the evidence wasn’t strong enough
      It’s also possible therefore that even if the evidence is not strong enough for the jury to say that they are guilty the accused might in fact be guilty but the evidence is too weak
      Evidence is essential
      Good evidence that puts it beyond reasonable doubt

      It is unfair that those found not guilty are not anonymous the way their accusers are

      I agree that keeping accusers anonymous helps to encourage accusers to come forward and should continue
      But the inequality shown in the Alex Salmond case where the many accusers remain anonymous ten in this case
      But the one accused Alex Salmond is not anonymous and is still being accused by the ten women
      shows that it is an urgent requirement that the law be changed so that the accused is given equal anonymity

      Otherwise what you get is inequality in your treatment by the law

      It also makes it a bit of a nonsense the fact that it’s ten against one
      It does make you think
      Is it actually possible that ten could accuse one person and all ten have evidence that did not reach the threshold of “ beyond reasonable doubt “ ?

      What are the odds on that ?


  30. Millsy says:

    I have in the past complained about the attitude of BBC Scotland – but that is wasted effort . They invariably send a bland reply , which is their equivalent of two-fingers to YOU !
    This time I have entered a comment on their website – but , again , this will be ignored and they will continue as before .

    However , I am now doing what I should have done years ago – withdrawing from their propaganda tax and cancelling my DD .

    I often wonder when I ( occasionally ) accidentally catch some of their news reports from Scotland – Are their journalists OK with their biased attitude to Scotland’s Government / SNP /Alex Salmond et al ? Or are they simply wage slaves with no thought of the damage their reporting can do to their own nation ?

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I suspect you are far from alone in refusing to pay after this particular “episode” of Pacific Quay’s less than illustrious output, so well done you.
      Wark will retire to be a contract pundit for a year as an ease to obscurity, if Smith were wise she would do so similar, but she’s not.
      I look forward to PQ’s cuts, Glenn Campbell’s next election antisemitic safari on a tandem with his cameraman will at least make him a healthier individual to ignore, and a less frequent disturbance for both his fans, currently shitting all over QEUH for his next exclusive…

  31. Dr Jim says:

    The very best we ever get from the BBC is *They made a mistake* accompanied by a whole load of words meaning they don’t give a damn

  32. First Witch
    When shall we three meet again?
    In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

    Second Witch
    When the hurly-burly’s done,
    When the battle’s lost and won.

    Third Witch
    That will be ere the set of sun.

    First Witch
    Where the place?

    Second Witch
    Upon the heath.

    Third Witch
    There to meet with Macbeth.

    (The play opens with the Witches greeting each other in Act I, scene 1. From the opening, the dark and disturbing tone of the play is clear. The Witches speak easily of warfare as something to watch avidly until it’s time to meet with their newest victim: Macbeth.)

    First Witch
    All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Glamis!

    Second Witch
    All hail, Macbeth! Hail to thee, thane of Cawdor!

    Third Witch
    All hail, Macbeth, that shalt be king hereafter!

    “Double, double toil and trouble;
    Fire burn and caldron bubble.
    Fillet of a fenny snake,
    In the caldron boil and bake;
    Eye of newt and toe of frog,
    Wool of bat and tongue of dog,
    Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
    Lizard’s leg and howlet’s wing,
    For a charm of powerful trouble,
    Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

    Second Witch
    By the pricking of my thumbs,
    Something wicked this way comes.

    Smith Garvavelli and Wark, slurping pasta on my TV licence money, salivating at the prospect of bringing down the King.

    Paul, a smashing measured comment.

    I am keeping my powder dry, but rest assured, when the dust settles, I promise to unleash the dogs; something wicked this way comes, Kirsty, the Hon Sarah and Dani.

  33. JoMax says:

    Craig Murray’s quick off the mark with “This is all down to Nicola Sturgeon”. At a time like this, it’s all very disheartening because we folks who are ‘not in the know’ seemingly must rely on those who say they are ‘in the know’. What little bit of truth may at some point come out is therefore tainted by the time we get it and we end up not trusting anyone. Perhaps that’s the plan.

    • Dr Jim says:

      There are plenty of folks who don’t know who enjoy telling you they do know even if they don’t know when they know you don’t know, in school we used to slap them round the face for being mixing wee shits, I guess they never grow up

      • John Muir says:

        Craig Murray is an interesting figure, to use a euphemism! I do think his heart’s in the right place, but his instincts are wild, and always lead him toward conspiracy. Now, there is a lot of collusion out there, but a conspiracy is a mighty charge to wave around. My view is that cock ups and incompetence are far, far more common, and always deserve first consideration.

        What he and Stu are saying about Nicola Sturgeon just doesn’t pass the sniff test for me. She’s given up on independence, conspired to put her mentor in the slammer for the rest of his life on a lie, and is the Tories little helper in Scotland because… come on, this had better be good! Because what? Her husband likes his salary? And she likes Bute House’s comfy chairs? Get a bloody grip!

        There is control freakery on show in the SNP—let Edinburgh Central branch select Joanna Cherry if they like!—that I’ll admit as clear as day. But complete abandonment of the independence cause, and treachery so vile we should all be voting for someone else entirely? Show me the proof, fellas. And it better be something!

        • what pisses me off about the 2 of them is they rail about alex being found not guilty but are happy to convict nicola on their respective blogs on the basis that they know the truth but cant tell and because they have been servants of the indy movement for several years they “deserve” to be believed.

          while nicola’s service is somehow swept under the carpet and she is denied the opportunity of even being innocent until proven guilty

    • Golfnut says:

      Yes, his comment that ‘ it came out of the FM’s office ‘, begs the question, who took it in there?

  34. robert graham says:

    My initial thoughts on the Inquiry ” Dross ” we will all be dead and Buried before the members of this committee extract any meaningful answers to questions asked ,great pains have been made by Trisha Marwick as to the scope of the Inquiry and all no go areas pointed out and by christ they are many to the extent that it places so many obstacles it renders the inquiry a pointless exercise .

    Why is a English civil servant Leslie Evans at the heart of our Scottish Government and why is the English government in any way involved in what is a purely Scottish government matter

    Leslie Evans has so far cited the defence of ” it Wasn’t me defence ” especially when being asked searching question in particular from Alex Cole Hamilton who asked a direct question ” was it the intention to go after Alex Salmond ” quickly followed by a robust No No definatly No from Evans, we believe you , Aye right dear our head really does button up the back and a zipper fitted for safety.

    A English Civil servant who reports directly to the English cabinet office , does not install confidence and not a good start especially when this civil servant has to be led childlike line by line through the Affirmation process confirming that she would tell the whole truth maybe it should have been printed on a card for her to read just as presented to juriors when taking the oath

  35. Dr Jim says:

    Still, the BBC have succeeded in one thing, they’ve managed to take the minds of the Nation away from mulling over how much support there is for Independence

    Well for today, if they can call that a success

  36. David Agnew says:

    From what I have been told of it, it came across as an attempt at a retrial by smear. A programme that (according to Derek. Bateman) looked like it was made with a guilty verdict assumed as given. Then hastily re-edited when they didn’t get the verdict they were drooling over. When I saw the name Kirsty Wark, i knew this would be a hatchet job. Her connections to Scottish labour are a matter of record and I well remember her “documentary” that provided a lot of shade over the dodgy shenanigans over the building of Holyrood.

    It seems that even in the BBC the Bain principle is alive and well.

  37. Hamish100 says:

    BBC radio Scotland — Jackie Baillie agrees can’t mention names and encouraged by Fiona Stalker — Hi Jackie.. Jackie… Jackie -are they friends ? Then mention Alex Salmond, the Edinburgh airport concern? and then the role of the First Minister.
    BBC Set-up, set-up,set-up

  38. Isobel Macrae-Wilson says:

    I was so upset last night I couldn’t sleep. The suggestion that for women you could only be an *at metoo* or pro-big Eck. The truth is I woke up angry. what Wark did, and by the way she was reputedly a wee sneak when a *Wellie* circa 1969 and grew up to be narrow-minded and nasty. Daniella G, she was a sweet child, with an incredible mama and a funny witty Grandma. Sad to see her become a bitter twisted mouthpiece and in tow with Wark and Smith, who of course had an amazing father!! yes, of course, anonymity must be preserved, but not used as a device to do a hatchet job on a man proved innocent of criminal behaviour.No doubt he was touchy-feely and overstepped the mark, but for any of us who did suffer real criminal behaviour in the past and couldn’t do anything the accusation of sexual offence being a hand on a knee or a hand on the lower back is a bit white-knuckly snowflake behaviour. Bad taste, badly executed, typical beeb Maybe this will give the auld guard males pause for thought before they overstep with women, who now thankfully are more inclined to dishing out a quick knee in the nuts

  39. Macart says:

    A good post.

    Didn’t watch it tbh. I tend to avoid watching beeb commentary at the best of times. Appears I was right not to.

  40. Hamish100 says:

    For the record I should say as a married man of many, many years that some of the reports not disputed by Mr Salmond has reduced my view of him.
    Sad but true.

    • grizebard says:

      As a person, you may not be wrong. He would not be the first. But as a political high-achiever on behalf of us all?

      This ongoing industrial-strength striving by the likes of the BBC at insidous character assassination as a desperate underhand attempt to return life back to their cozy privileged little political-media cartel is arguably more morally dubious, since it directly affects every one of us. Using our own licence-fee funding to rub salt in the wound, besides! NorthBeeb coverage is despicable in two ways: firstly it is heavily loaded with double standards (why is is the same treatment not dished out to morally-dubious Prime Liar Bozo, for example, and why have answers to properly hard questions never been sought from his bought-up patsy Buffalo Gal Dame?), and secondly because it is a cowardly attempt to sow disenchantment and disillusion among folk like you in the only (dirty) way they can, having continually tried but miserably failed to find anything substantive instead.

  41. Republicofscotland says:

    With the enemies cannons close enough to our walls to bring them down (Westminsters power grab on Holyrood) and the new staging post (the Hub) now active, that will help Westminster severely weaken and eventually Stormontise Holyrood, Sturgeon must surely know that actually calling a independence referendum post May 2021 is not only her only escape route out of this self made quagmire, but ours and Scotland’s as well.

    There is no other route, post the 31st of December this year we’re on our own, no EU input whatsoever, Holyrood will stand alone like a Scottish castle under siege from an invading army. Our MSPs abilities to create policies without Westminster input will be very limited indeed, if not impossible after the power grab and their transference to the Hub.

    Sturgeon is on the verge of some damning evidence linking her to the Alex Salmond fit up, our including Sturgeon’s only way out of this debacle is if she obtains independence for Scotland. I really hope she makes the correct choice for all our sakes.

    • Alex Clark says:

      “Sturgeon is on the verge of some damning evidence linking her to the Alex Salmond fit up”

      Really, fancy sharing what this “damming evidence” is? The floors all yours.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      From the “With the enemies cannons close enough to our walls to bring them down” via “post the 31st of December this year we’re on our own, no EU input whatsoever, Holyrood will stand alone like a Scottish castle under siege from an invading army” to “Sturgeon is on the verge of some damning evidence linking her to the Alex Salmond fit up…” I kept thinking…
      Egg and chips or a #77…
      No idea why

    • Sturgeon is on the verge of some damning evidence linking her to the Alex Salmond fit up

      on the verge you say? except you have no idea about this evidence. do you want to impale her through the heart after her trial or just do it now on your say so?l

      • Republicofscotland says:

        Correct I don’t but Craig Murray does, and it will see the light of day.

        • Petra says:

          Craig Murray does what exactly, RoS?

          Craig Murray states in his article that, ”The adoption of a new complaints procedure that permitted retrospective complaints against former ministers was in fact cooked up between Leslie Evans and Nicola Sturgeon. LONDON ADVISED AGAINST IT.”

          Firstly it wasn’t a new complaints procedure. It was an existing policy that was amended to include historical cases of abuse including those committed by former ministers previously (and why not?).

          Secondly where does the ‘cooked up” come from? Why would Nicola Sturgeon not sign off such an amendment especially in light of the allegations that were being made about Holyrood and Westminster politicians (and celebrities etc) at the time?

          Thirdly he screeches (in bold) that London advised against it and yet they too were looking at dealing with the self same situation albeit dragging their feet as usual. He’s also the very person who states often that Nicola Sturgeon shouldn’t comply with ”London’s” demands and yet on this occasion he’s irate that she didn’t do so.

          Craig Murray says, ”Nicola and Evans decided to plough ahead and implement the policy against London’s advice. They must have had a strong motive for that.”

          Maybe the strong motive was to stamp out harassment, bullying and abuse in the workplace and afford those who had been abused previously to come forward. That’s not to say that Nicola Sturgeon knew anything about AS at that time and for all we know had no knowledge of the communication between London and Westminster either. And if she did she’s always keen to pip them at the post.

          His video shows Jackie Bailey bringing up the contact between Holyrood and Westminster and saying their office had expressed disquiet and asked you (LE) to await their review. And that’s it. Proves or disproves what?

          He says that, ”the drafting of the new complaints procedure so that it could be used to fit up Alex Salmond was NOT a unionist scheme hatched in Whitehall.

          How does he know that? Maybe someone at Whitehall already knew about the AS allegations and asked someone at Holyrood verbally to go ahead with this, with a wee email asking them not to, as they kept putting off dealing with their own alleged historical abusers.

          And to be honest, although I’m very angry at the way that Alex Salmond has been treated his (admitted) behaviour has practically made it untenable for Nicola Sturgeon to do her job properly and heaped unnecessary stress upon her. Maybe Mr Murray should reflect on that one.

          • Republicofscotland says:

            Thank you Petra for that semi rant on Mr Murray’s article, though I’m pretty sure Murray is far better placed to know what’s actually going on than you or me are. Do you have contacts at Whitehall or Holyrood, that can shed light on the matter like Craig Murray has? No I didn’t think so.

            • Petra says:

              Rant? I reckon that it’s Craig Murray’s article that is a bit of a rant and I’m just responding to it or is that not allowed?

              He even commences his article with what’s seemingly supposed to be a dramatic announcement, lol, by saying, ”The first piece of evidence came out at the Holyrood Inquiry today which I have known for the last year but had not been allowed to tell you. The drafting of the new complaints procedure so that it could be used to fit up Alex Salmond was NOT a unionist scheme hatched in Whitehall and implemented by Leslie Evans, a UK civil servant.”

              How was that news? Most of us were well aware of that already. And as I said previously how does he know that a scheme wasn’t hatched in Whitehall? For someone who’s supposedly on the ball he seems to have great faith in Westminster Civil Servants and their bosses at Westminster.

              The key to it all is did Nicola Sturgeon sign off the updated policy knowing that they (Civil Servants) were out to stitch up Alex Salmond or not (if that was their motive?)? And for that matter if that change of policy was already in the pipeline when she found out about what was going on (complaints about AS) she would have had no choice but to go ahead with it.

              Mr Murray is basing his opinion on what another or others have told him and who knows who the hell they are and their motives for speaking to him, IF that’s the case. He doesn’t have first hand knowledge of anything at all. I do have contacts at Holyrood, Westminster and the UN as it happens but that’s neither here nor there. I’ll wait until the investigation is completed and make up my own mind then not meekly follow people like some kind of sheeple. That applies to Alex Salmond too. I’ll wait to hear what he has to say not what Mr Murray has to say about Alex’s business.

      • Liz g says:

        Well I’ve some damming evidence and it can be posted ( don’t worry Paul)
        The the Leader and senior members of the SNP cooperated in the making of a Hit Piece by the BBC, is beyond dispute.
        Do they not know or care of any damage to the Yes movement?

        We identified the BBC as the biggest threat to our campaigning for Indy years ago… we self policed as best we could about not giving the opposition any ammunition…… We all did!
        We encourage not funding the BBC and we tell all who will listen not to take the BBC seriously.
        We demonstrated that they were biased and went demonstrating about them because of it. ( and paid the price of their ire )

        Yet all our efforts were ,it seems , of no concern to ” that” “only hope for Indy vehicle” because, as it turns out.
        They thought nothing of helping the BBC make a hit piece to damage us. .. And the BBCs a real target is, and always has been us.
        Alex Salmond has but one vote…the BBC need more scalps than that so were obviously going to use any means they could to do damage.

        That the participants of that travesty last night came from the SNP and handed them ammunition to fire at us, is such giant slap in the face to all who have worked to diffuse the power of the BBC to hurt us…
        To all of us who have held our own council on many things and encouraged every one to keep their “eyes oan the prize”.
        Evidence enough,I think, that our “trust” and “support” should not be beyond question after all !

        • weegingerdug says:

          That’s not evidence. It’s an assertion.

          • Liz g says:

            The evidence is the existence of the programme,which could not have been made without them. That it’s a BBC hit piece seems to also be beyond dispute.
            Taking the “what were they thinking ” approach is I agree an assertion!

        • Alex Clark says:

          Who are you talking about Liz from the SNP that helped make that for the BBC?

          “the Leader and senior members of the SNP cooperated in the making of a Hit Piece by the BBC, is beyond dispute”

          Beyond dispute you say, then what is your evidence?

          • Liz g says:

            Alex ,I’m talking about all those from the SNP who cooperated in the making of the programme.
            Again,what were they thinking?
            We’ve show time and time again exactly what that organisation is!

            • Alex Clark says:

              That was my question Liz, who were “all these from the SNP” that you are referring to?

              I only saw Jim Sillars and an ex-advisor for Alex Salmond taking part as co-operating in the program.

              I saw that there was a section with Nicola Sturgeon in it being interviewed by Wark for Newsnight but that had nothing to do with this “mockumentary” it was put in there in order to contradict others who talked of conspiracy.

              In other words, that question during an interview on Newsnight was asked specifically so it could be inserted into this crap program. If you think about it, isn’t it obvious that they would do something like that?

              • weegingerdug says:

                I assume she meant the women who made the complaints against Alex Salmond.

              • Liz g says:

                Well firstly the Alphabet Women ( one of whom at least is still a senior member of the SNP ) all of whom are under the protection of the court and the control ( in a party sort of way ) of their party leader.

                Secondly… My whole point…any and all interviews given to the BBC have the potential to be used in this way…. Hand an interview to Kirsty Walk/the BBC and you hand them a stick to beat us with.
                How this far in do they not know this ?
                Most of us seem to know the BBC are bad news for us..why don’t they?
                We’ve told them often enough!
                Yes, in our current circumstances the BBC to a certain extent are unavoidable for the SNP….but my Christ Alex, allowing for every good intention how did they not manage to side step this one?

            • Liz g says:

              And as for any “assertions” Alex . ..would you give an interview to the BBC about this issue ?
              Is there any here who would with confidence of not giving them ammunition ?
              Those who took part in that programme must have and known what the BBC are like by now….and if they don’t….then there’s a whole load of other questions we should be askin!

              • Alex Clark says:

                Liz I do agree! 🙂

                Of course, I wouldn’t have anything to do with the BBC or any other MSM. I can see where you are coming from now and that’s why I agree there were a tiny number of SNP who collaborated but if you are an accuser and part of the SNP then what else can you do since the cat is already out of the bag.

                The reason I asked you to explain was that you referred to the Leader, or Nicola Sturgeon taking part in the making of the program. Yes, she was in it but not as part of the making of this program but of another one entirely unconnected to it. That was a Newsnight interview and in my opinion, that question about a conspiracy in the Scottish government was deliberately asked so as it could be inserted into the program.

                They knew that never in a million years would they have gotten her to actually take part and be interviewed about Alex Salmond’s trail so they inserted their own piece from another interview.

                See how easy it is to get people confused. We haven’t disagreed much in the past and I doubt we will in the future. I know that our goal always remains the same 🙂

                • Liz g says:

                  Oh Alex no I don’t disagree with you ( and these comments are crossing somehow) I’m just one of those people who will give no quarter to the BBC …the real obstacle 🙂 …therefore I do question anything beyond the necessary engagement with them and those who took part last night put more than a toe over the line…

                  And don’t worry Alex…I’m not the falling out type,we can chew stuff over till Paul throws us oot 🙂

            • Petra says:

              Who Liz? Sillars and McAskill? If so, that’s no surprise to us and then of course people still get duped by the BBC. They say that they want them to be interviewed on behalf of Alex and then they snip, snip, snip and leave in the the only semi-negative point they’ve made during the whole conversation. That in fact is what happened last night from beginning to end. A whole load of data just spliced and put together to cobble up their desired vision of events.

              • Alex Clark says:

                It was so bad it looked exactly like that. I doubt many missed it, hence the negative reviews from the Tory cheerleading newspapers today.

              • Liz g says:

                Yes .. A warning long given to them Petra.. I expect better…Nae cut and splice from the other side of the debate, to use by anyone minded to ,because it doesn’t exist
                That’s what I’m sayin…they should have been one step ahead of this stuff by now in the interests of the matter what their views on the issues..if we’ve to mind our campaigning they can’t get a free pass on the “first do no harm stuff” either.
                Otherwise we’re entitled to draw our own conclusions..Aye?

                • Petra says:

                  You and I (and others) would chase them or better still give them a mouthful of home truths, but yes I totally agree with you that everyone should have avoided this with a bargepole. Sillars and McAskill really annoy me. Can’t wait to hear their own belly’s rumble. Never mind Liz it looks as though the whole thing has backfired on them .. Wark and the BBC.

                  It was broadcast to co-incide with the AS Holyrood investigation of course and that’s more of a worry. The newspapers are full of it now filling in the ”blanks” with their own interpretation. Let’s hope that that isn’t going to be long and drawn out and more so that we get to the bottom of it all …. maybe?

              • Petra says:

                vision? or version 😀

    • grizebard says:

      Besides your other inventive nonsense, your comment about the EU is also completely inverted (and moreover doesn’t require any mind-reading perception or arcane knowledge either). Post-Brexit, the EU will no longer feel in the least obliged to defend the interests of an ex-member state as it was once obliged to do, and several European leaders have already made that very plain. It is not us but BoZo’s UK that will be on its own.

      • Republicofscotland says:

        ” the EU will no longer feel in the least obliged to defend the interests of an ex-member state as it was once obliged to do, ”

        An ex-member state that we happen to be part of called the UK.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        I’m on Eastern European time but keep weird hours, you don’t suppose he’s clocked off at 5pm in southern England ? His/her supervisor will have a word in the morning presumably or simply rebrand him/her under another name, standard fare.

  42. william purves says:

    It was put on as being recorded during the trial, they were all waiting for a guilty verdict, instead, it was a NOT guilty verdict. This is complete contempt of the court and should be prosecuted. It was not intended as fiction, the BBC should be prosecuted every time it is shown. Salmond should also sue the BBC for defamation.

  43. Arthur Thomson says:

    “Sturgeon is on the verge of some damning evidence linking her to the Alex Salmond fit up”.

    OK let’s hear it here first. Don’t delay, spell it out and let’s get it public. This is your opportunity to attach a wee bit of history to your impressive nom de plume.

    I’m waiting.

    • Alex Clark says:

      I hadn’t gotten this far in the comments lol

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Sorry Arthur, Alex, didn’t scroll far enough to read one and coincided with the other but all 3 wondering whether Poison Pennington has has a fresh injection of embalming fluid…

  44. Gordon Dunbar says:

    Forensic as always Paul and always a blog which is a delight to read.

    The documentary should never have been made; should never have been broadcast; and certainly should not have been screened by our supposed public service broadcaster. Wark made her programme *during* the trial, transmitted now as a *retrial* of Alex Salmond. Her comments are trite, placing herself in a central role of a retrial disgusting. She forfeits the right to be called a journalist. This was nothing more than a failed attempt at profiteering from Salmond’s trial by attempting to sell a scandal and a presumed guilty verdict to the broadcast media. Wark, Garavelli, Sarah Smith and another discussing the case on camera over lunch as if it was a soap opera. Unreal. Their glee, hatred and self absorbed importance, camouflaged the obvious; several complainers are flat out liars. Wark omitted days 8 and 9 of the trial when the complainers’ testimony was proven to be unsubstantiated and, in some statements, demonstrably untrue by independent eye witnesses. The “day by day” account just jumps from day 7 to day 10, omitting the defence witnesses! No mention of Ian McCann or ‘Woman H’s’ testimony that she was told the SNP would sit on it her allegation of serious sexual assault though hopefully wouldn’t need to use it – apparently to stop his selection again as MP/MSP. The no make up on Wark and others, or done hair was deliberate too. The voice actors really flung themselves into the role, as directed. Usually these type of voice actor to protect Id speak in flat tone, especially with sensitive topics. Staged and manipulative, all the actors voiceovers were those of sweet-sounding young girls. Wark was previously reprimanded for her unprofessional interview of Alex Salmond and her hatred of the man, whatever you think of him, trailed throughout. Her innuendo and alignment to the ‘Me Too’ brigade was prominent, although Salmond’s behaviour was unacceptable to which he admitted being “no saint!”. It’s not just an attack on Salmond, but Scots Law too. Interesting timing with the Inquiry going ahead today!! This blog takes the documentary apart if you are interested:

  45. Julia Gibb says:

    The dinner scene with the coven of Unionist “journalists” did it for me!

    This dregs of society reporting on Scottish affairs (((((shudder)))))

  46. Golfnut says:

    For those who haven’t yet read Craig Murray’s comments/assertions. We’ve got a lot more of this come.

    • Alex Clark says:

      This absolutely garbage so called “documentary” fronted by a well known Scottish Labour devotee and with the program made by her husband’s production company has fallen flat on its face.

      I watched it tonight and it was utter garbage, Wark seemed to relish in the role of an architect in Salmond’s downfall, she was filmed numerous time poring over her notes, no doubt late into the evening and signing as if it all wasn’t going to end well.

      And it didn’t! Well at least it didn’t end well for her and her husband’s crap documentary that should have buried the SNP. Instead it has down her untold damage when you have the likes of the Torygraph and the Daily Fail writing about how bad it was. Even they could see that it was a program reeking of anti Alex Salmond bias.

      I’ve no idea how tonights R4 program went and I really don’t care and very much doubt anyone else will. If anything, those that might be just a tiny bit politically switched on and who watched this would have been asking themselves by the end WTF!

      The BBC copies it’s Westminster masters and gloriously shoots itself in the foot once again. Good job.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Wasn’t meant as a response to you Golfnut duh!

    • Petra says:

      Yeah a lot more manipulation from the independence supporter. Any chance of him letting us hear what Nicola Sturgeon actually has to say?

  47. Mbiyd says:

    I cant understand why the BBC let Wark front this documentary. A quick web search and you will see that Wark was heavily criticised for her discourteous conduct during an interview of Salmond in 2007. She doesn’t like the man.

    Most of the Unionist press are trying to distance themselves from Wark’s attempted hatchet job. Even the Daily Mail are asking why he is subject to such BBC scrutiny in comparison to Saville etc.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      “I cant understand why the BBC let Wark front this documentary” – ?
      Odd that you focus on the presenter rather than the willingness of the broadcaster to air what is blatant propaganda piece, and refer to it as a documentary? Really ?
      Yes it has spectacularly backfired despite all the time to prepare the media, who knew the public would vocalise “SHITE” north and south of the border….not their “finest hour”

  48. Mbiyd says:

    I have been meaning to say can we all use the phrase complainer or complainers. The word Complainant(s) is an English legal term used in civil court actions. On an indepence blog it beggars belief that we are so indoctrinated that we do not know Scottish legal terms.

  49. Welsh Sion says:

    Is benmadigan in the house?

    benmadigan says:
    August 13, 2020 at 12:20 am
    hope some kind soul will upload it on to You Tube for all the Scottish Diaspora


    Now on You Tube, Ben:

    (I won’t say, ‘Enjoy!’)

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Cheers WS, as horrible a confection as had been surmised…

    • Tam the Bam says:

      I wonder if Auntie will respond in a fair and equitable fashion by allowing a ‘response’ to this Kirsty Wark programme.

  50. Welsh Sion says:

    And here’s something for you all from June 2007.

    Obviously, Wark doesn’t like it up ‘er!

    • Tam the Bam says:

      Indeed Sion……ultimately..on a live broadcast the power lies with the interviewer to ‘cut off or curtail an interview which is evidently not going the way in which the interviewer hoped!……thats the Beeb for you.

  51. Welsh Sion says:

    My last for tonight. (I hope it works ok – I can’t access BBC for some reason. No loss, I know!)

    Scotland’s Uncivil War

    The Dani programme on BBC Radio 4 earlier tonight.

  52. Hamish100 says:

    Well thanks to all those journalists, bloggers and all who are not members of the SNP who offer an opinion or demand action.
    Your opinion means so much to my fellow members and I. Sweet diddily Lol.

  53. Robert graham says:

    What a venom spewing bitch she is , don’t speak when I am speaking says the shrill high pitched annoying voice , no wonder Alex Salmond refused to be interrogated by this Labour supporting obnoxious piece of garbage , Even contributors to that well known Indy supporting fair minded publication the Herald have seen through her biased one sided hatchet effort ,as has been said the innocent verdict was not planned for or even considered so to get the time and money invested back she must have called in a few favours , I doubt even a FOI request would uncover who was responsible for saving her and her husbands financial arses , Aye yer well imbedded in the BBC wark enjoy it won’t last dear .

  54. Arthur Thomson says:

    With regards to comments/assertions by Craig Murray – I began to question his intentions when he was inclined to drop little comments of approval about Corbyn, supposedly based on insider knowledge, nudge, nudge. Apparently Corbyn wasn’t really anti the independence movement – despite his willingness to lie about the Scottish Government and his Tory level contempt for Scotland’s right to determine its own future.

    I’m not a mind reader so I obviously can’t know Murray’s motives but my doubts about his comments/assertions pre-date the Alex Salmond accusations.

  55. Dr Jim says:

    Aye but she’ll still get her ermine

  56. Alex Clark says:

    There are too many clairvoyants in the Indy movement now. Ten a penny 🙂

    • Dr Jim says:

      I’m 71 years of age and apparently I’m young and woke because I happen to stand in support of the FM who actually has the job
      First I’m obviously not young, and second whatever woke is I don’t care much for the sound of what it is I’m supposed to be but I’m guessing it’s some king of insult to be considered that, but it strikes me the whole thing’s got a bit football supporty sounding as if we’re on opposing teams if you support one person or the other, and you have to ask who and what kind of people use this kind of stuff to split up a united cause, and the people who are asking nay demanding that we all support the former FM I don’t understand either, Mr Salmond isn’t in the job and not likely to ever be again, so what are these folk asking us to support

      This is Unionist division tactics being employed by individuals who state they support Independence, but if they really supported Independence they’d be getting behind the party that can achieve it and not running around advising people not to vote for it because because because

      There’s only one kind of Independence and I support that, I couldn’t give a monkeys how we get there or who’s in charge when we do, Nicola Sturgeon has the job so I’m on her side haudin her handbag, if Fred Flintstone gets elected tomorrow to lead Scotland I’ll be the one standing there haudin his Sabre toothed Tiger Jaiket

      • Alex Clark says:

        It’s not by accident that it’s “got a bit football supporty sounding”, Creating division and protecting the UK state is the raison d’etre of powerful forces that want to maintain the status quo. The reason is simple, it’s in their interests to do so and that’s what we’re up against.

      • Golfnut says:

        We’re accused of being sheep for blindly following the FM, instead we are supposed blindly follow the FM accusers… sheep like without question.
        This may sound a wee bit big headed, but I think I’m savvy enough to judge the evidence, if evidence ever appears, to judge its worth for myself.
        Evans has form, was she not involved in the PFI scandals. Is
        it possible that it was Evans who introduced retrospective prosecution for former ministers. Is it possible that the cabinet office were savvy enough to cover their own arses by advising against such a process.
        Was it Nicola, enemy number 1 of the UK establishment, who asked military intelligence to hire a PI(£100,000spent on this apparently) to dig the dirt on AS.
        Nicola was, is and will continue to be a danger to the UK establishment as long as she is the leader of the Scottish Government, the leader of the SNP and the leader of the Independence movement.

      • So many people have no idea what “ woke” means
        Lots of people think it means things that it doesn’t actually mean

        If you check it’s meaning in a dictionary it’s actually a good thing

        “ alert to injustice in society, especially racism.
        “we need to stay angry, and stay woke”.

      • WILMA !!!!
        Ace, Dr JIM.
        I find it hard to believe that 30 year old presumably higher educated women, on salary, middle class types, fiercely ambitious, according to their own ‘put up with almost anything to get on’ suddenly morphed in to helpless maidens plied with drink by the Master Rapist.
        There, I’ve said it.
        I take it that Wark used body doubles to include wringing hands to accompany actors’ ‘interpretations’ of the Anonymous Alphabet Women anguished cries.
        These women have set feminism back 100 years, if you ask me..
        I have quite literally worked with 100’s of outstanding women…none of them shrinking violets.
        This whole saga STINKS.

        The Caps above are Freudian…I can’t be ersed editing them out.

        Two million of us are not listening watching or reading this junk any more.
        Equally we are not sitting on her hands dutifully waiting until May ’21 before we act.
        In October the EU 27 will close the borders to England…
        Now is the day…

    • Tam the Bam says:

      How do you see yesterdays weather going Alex?

    • Hamish100 says:

      Alex, I knew you would say that!🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿😜

  57. steelewires says:

    “… it is right and proper that the alleged victims of sexual assault are granted a legally enforceable anonymity …” Agreed. The case being closed and the accused being acquitted, the Alphabet Women can no longer be classed as alleged victims. By judicial decree they must remain anonymous. I think that decree should be overturned. The reason is that those women committed perjury and some committed a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. They should be prosecuted. Also they are in positions of trust and authority in the Scottish Government, or the SNP, or the Civil Service. They should have been dismissed, as should Leslie Evans. It’s not in the public interest that they remain anonymous.

  58. Petra says:

    If anyone is interested in watching this is the first hearing involving Leslie Evans.

    ‘Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints – 18 August 2020.’

  59. Tam the Bam says:

    Anyone watch the re-run of the Wark smearfest tonight after Newsnight?….didnt think the Beeb would have the nerve to broadcast it 2 nights running.
    There;s contempt for you!

  60. Macjim says:

    ”if there was still any doubt, that the BBC is not an impartial reporter on politics in Scotland”… hence the reason why I didn’t watch it, nor will I listen to the radio show either.

  61. Julia Gibb says:

    Very sad that posters now put all their efforts into defending or attacking other Independence supporters.

    “We are right, you are wrong” comes from each camp.

    Defeat snatched from the jaws of Victory.

    Long establish Independence blogs are now “branded” as the “wrong type” of Indy supporter.

    Remember when we were all on the same side!

    • Dr Jim says:

      Divide and rule the old tried and trusted favourite tactic, the BBC should change it’s motto to *Must cause division* on the instructions of the high command
      Then the high command spread some money around to enlist the help of the weak and the greedy and Kaboom! you’re on the way to having caused enough confusion to dissipate the enemy without firing a shot

    • Millsy says:

      You are talking about a very few people in the context of the Independence movement . How many people bother to take any notice of these blogs ? Very few !
      These are mostly nerds who don’t have a life , who take offence at presumed slights to their ”cause” . They are not worth bothering about .

  62. Dr Jim says:

    At one time owning slaves was considered normal and big countries owning smaller countries was also considered normal, now most countries are independent but the people who own the UK are still behaving like the slave owners of the past defending their position that slavery was normal by defending their claim to owning Scotland which is a country

    Each time the subject of Independence comes up it’s treated by the UK owners as though it’s not normal to be Independent therefore the folk who desire it must defend that position when it’s the complete reverse, the owners of Scotland are the people guilty of being abnormal

    If I remember correctly the people who own the UK were delighted at the reluctant breaking up of the USSR although for the different reason they hoped it would make the country of Russia weaker therefore more vulnerable in conflict or trade situations, so owners of people property or countries never willingly give up what they think or feel they own, and if they’re forced to they never accede to it on human rights issues because they fear it’ll make them weaker, so in that respect the owners of the UK who used to refer to the owners of the USSR as communist fascists are more badly behaved than the owners of the old USSR

    The owners of the UK have some incredible sized cheek and brass neck to defend the thing they accused the USSR of being indefensible on

  63. Republicofscotland says:

    On Craig Murray, for whom some in here find him an anathema to say the least, because he has the audacity to expose the dark underbelly of we shall the SNP’s machinations on Alex Salmond.

    For his troubles of trying to inform you on the Trial of Alex Salmond of which he was present at on several occasions before being ejected and on which many folk followed his daily reports from the court on his blog, as he rightly pointed out the misgivings of the SNP and the complainants, he now finds himself in the dock, and like Julian Assange, the judiciary are making it difficult for him to properly defend himself against his dubious charge of contempt.

    Ask yourself why that is and why the COPFS hasn’t charged several journalists that did jigsaw reveal the complainants from the Alex Salmond trial.

    “The Crown Office is objecting to the appearance of, and trying to block from court, ALL of my witnesses and ALL of our proposed evidence for my defence at my trial for Contempt of Court.”

    • Hamish100 says:

      I have my own views of Craig Murray but he is entitled in my view to call on witnesses in his defence. That is what is supposed to happen.

      Incidentally I have found one of the complainers re Alex Salmond thanks to the bbc Wark programme and a newspaper article. Happy to be called for the prosecution.

  64. Ask yourself why that is and why the COPFS hasn’t charged several journalists that did jigsaw reveal the complainants from the Alex Salmond trial.

    because the establishment isnt going for the other journalists, its going for craig.

    with out his witnesses and evidence, they will get him.

    • Republicofscotland says:

      “because the establishment isnt going for the other journalists, its going for craig.”

      Yes we know that but why, what is that Craig Murray has done, that the Garavelli Nine hasn’t? I know what they have done they clearly jigsaw identified at least one of the women.

      More to the point whose behind this unjust singling out of Craig Murray, and the Kafkaesque denial of a proper defence.

      Is this really going on in Scotland, I thought this type of thing only occured in Belarus and other countries where democracy was in retreat.

      • you really think this is due to the salmond case? no, craig was centre of the brit establishment, an ambassador until he turned on that establishment. it has a long memory and they wont miss this chance to get their revenge. it wouldnt do for other ambassadors to get ideas above their station ROS

  65. Bibbit says:

    Kirsty Wark’s venom against Alex salmond oozed from every pore, in this ‘documentary’. The personal animosity was shockingly appalling.

    Snidely Wark identified the lady who accompanied Mr Salmond to court each day as his sister and office manager, as if that was somehow not allowed, or perhaps that only his sister would work for him?

    Wark also went out of her way to reference Alex’s wife, Moira, in a totally irrelevant manner. Wark states Mrs Salmond was not in court. Implying Mr Salmond’s wife was not supporting him.

    Then Wark made sure Mrs Salmond is included in her dreadful film, on one day Mrs Salmond did accompany her husband to court. Wark even went so far as to relate gossip that Mrs Salmond might have been called as a (defence) witness, but then somehow wasn’t called! Wark clearly wished to imply that Mrs Salmond was not called as she would not be able to defend her husband as well as the defence team would have liked! All rubbishy, gutter level gossip but this was passed by whoever vetted this ‘documentary’ as acceptable. How the BBC standards have fallen. But then, whenever the BBC is kicking the SNP then all their alleged high standards of impartiality are ignored. Their ‘impartiality’ is always trumped by the SNP being the greatest danger to the integrity of a one nation UK and therefore impartiality is dismissed in favour of out and out propaganda to ‘save the UK’. Mr & Mrs Salmond are simply collateral damage in the BBC’s war propaganda.

    All her comments on Mrs Salmond were complete supposition and tittle tattle gossip on Wark’s part. Wark failed to mention that perhaps Mrs Salmond did not attend court every day because she is, of course, elderly and may, for all any of us know, have been in a ‘shielding’ category, ( as the trial transpired at the start of the Covid Crisis lockdown). With all Wark’s sympathy for abused women (rightly, of course), Wark showed no sympathy or empathy for Mr Salmond’s wife and how all these ‘salacious’ accusations may have affected Mrs Salmond and her marriage. No-one anywhere seems to have given any thought to Mrs Moira Salmond in all of this, certainly not one word of empathy from Wark, Smith or Garavelli.

    Where were Wark’s ‘sisterhood’ empathy for Mrs Salmond?

    An interview with Mrs Salmond where she gave her candid views on her husband’s accusers, is one interview I would want to watch. But Mrs Salmond has more integrity and dignity in her little pinkie, than Wark, Smith and Garavelli et al in the MSM put together


    A new poll by Panelbase, commissioned as part of a series of ongoing polls by Business for Scotland, has found support for independence has reached 55%, with No to independence falling to 45%.

    yes 51%
    no 42%
    Undecided 7%.

  67. proudcybernat says:

    Kirsty Wark, the Phyllis Schlafly of our day. Out of touch & out of control.

  68. Eilidh says:

    I havent watched the programme yet. Spent Monday catching up on a favourite scifi show and last night watching a concert by my favourite band. It seems I have had a much better time than anyone here who watched this Kirsty Wark documentary. I am probably enough of a masochist to force myself to watch it just so I can make up my own mind. However I have had enough of recent BBC bias so will be cancelling my tv licence direct debit anyway. As far as Indy blogs go I only read this one and James Kelly’s now on a regular basis. Quite simply I have had enough of unsubstantiated slurs against Nicola Sturgeon emanating from the bam from Bath and other bloggers. They do the Indy cause no favours at all.

  69. wullie says:

    Its like watching a programme on the New York crime families, they had their finger in every pie and controlled the courts judges juries police unions the media the whole shebang. They could do what they wanted to anybody or organisation with impunity and those they accosted had no recourse to justice.
    Make no mistakeThey want Scotland disappeared

  70. Ken2 says:

    Mrs Salmond is ill. The way they have been treated is absolutely despicable, Disgusting.

    These privilege women are beyond belief. The monies wasted could have gone to women and children who need support.

    • Republicofscotland says:


      According to Craig Murray who’s now being denied the right to a proper defence in Scotland, (Edvard Munch’s Scream comes to mind) 22 officers from Police Scotland (still actively looking for dirt on Salmond as of last month) and the half a million pounds paid out to Salmond due to the SNP’s tainted process, the Civil servants involved in the matter, the Judicial Review, lawyers costs, High court costs, Court of Session costs, a Parliamentary inquiry, and MI5’s involvement, this debacle will have cost the Scottish taxpayer North of £10 million pounds.

      The half a million pounds alone fiasco should’ve seen Lesley Evans fired immediately not have her contract extended by Sturgeon, wouldn’t you agree?

      • Petra says:

        Do you have any evidence to support saying that Nicola Sturgeon extended Lesley Evans contract? We know that it was extended but is that part of Nicola Sturgeon’s remit? Additionally could anything be done about that at the time knowing that she was going to be involved in an investigation?

      • Petra says:

        ”According to Craig Murray who’s now being denied the right to a proper defence in Scotland, (Edvard Munch’s Scream comes to mind) 22 officers from Police Scotland (still actively looking for dirt on Salmond as of last month).”

        Looks as though Craig Murray has got that wrong.

        Golfnut (11.39am) …. ”Alex Salmond will face no further criminal investigation into allegations about his conduct after the Metropolitan Police dropped complaints linked to his time as an MP.”

      • Ken2 says:

        If she had gone she would not have been held to account. Retired with a massive pension. With the Inquiry the guilty might be held to account.

        It is just disgusting. Corruption.

  71. JMD says:

    Beats me why anyone on here would want to watch something with the terms bbc and wark attached to it in the first place. I certainly didn’t, it’s not as if you don’t know what to expect. I think the best way to kill the bbc in Scotland (apart from independence itself of course) is to simply make a point of not watching it.

  72. another poll, this time for comres
    Yes: 54%
    No: 46%

    • Mbiyd says:

      Unbelievable. A majority of Scots want independence and the English wont give the nod to a fresh referendum. No wonder they fear Sturgeon her insistence on their consent must have the establishment petrified.

      • weegingerdug says:

        “The English won’t give the nod to a fresh referendum”

        It’s the Tories, not “the English”. And even the Tories recognise that they cannot keep saying no to Scottish democracy forever.

        • It’s the English people who vote the tories into power over and over again

          It’s not just the tories either is it

          Labour and Lib Dem’s both have the same policy to deny a Scottish independence referendum

          And both labour and Lib Dem’s just like the tories get the majority of their votes and seats from English people

          It is English people that don’t want Scottish independence to happen , not all of them but not all the tories are against a Scottish independence referendum either

          • diabloandco says:

            Westminster don’t want Scottish Independence YET – there is still much creamy milk to be had from this cash cow country.
            English folk couldn’t really care less with the possible exception of the Daily Mail pondlife.

Comments are closed.