When Nicola Sturgeon is finally held to account for the charred, twisted and shattered ruins that she’s made of Scottish political and civic society in her desperate attempts to save her own neck, the complete discrediting of ostensible support organisations for victims of rape will be near the very top of the charge sheet.
But before we talk about that you really need to read this.
Because if you live in Scotland you can only rationally be one of two things at this moment in history: (a) terrified, or (b) an idiot.
The above link speaks for itself, so let’s move on to the Scottish Government’s latest intervention in the Salmond affair, which has once again been made in the name of its puppet entity Rape Crisis Scotland.
RCS is the nuclear option for the Scottish Government, the one that it deploys when it’s REALLY in trouble, because they believe the magical scareword “rape” makes it effectively immune from criticism.
But the statement above raises a lot more questions than it answers. It was issued when a third source (following on from the former SNP spin doctor Kevin Pringle and lawyer Duncan Hamilton QC) corroborated the claims made by Geoff Aberdein and Alex Salmond that “a government official” had disclosed the name of a complainer to Aberdein, and thereby to Salmond, in March 2018.
Absurdly we’re still not allowed to tell you who that government official was, because for some reason we’re not allowed to so much as publicly speculate about, the Crown Office is insanely, obsessively paranoid about people even saying their name.
Absolutely anyone in Scotland who has the slightest interest in knowing knows exactly who it is because the Crown Office’s own actions have made it abundantly, ridiculously obvious, but we still can’t actually say it here without being exposed to the same sort of threats issued against The Spectator.
Entirely unrelatedly, we know that passing on the name of a complainer would be a very serious matter because of the evidence submitted to the Holyrood inquiry by the First Minister’s chief of staff and close confidante Liz Lloyd, discussing the criminal leak of the story to the Daily Record in August 2018.
And this wholly incidental mention of Liz Lloyd conveniently brings us back to the statement released by an unknown complainer through Rape Crisis Scotland, because Liz Lloyd is the subject of it.
The statement itself is odd, in that we can find no sign of it on either the RCS website or their Twitter account. It seems to have been simply sent directly to newspapers with a covering note we haven’t seen that identifies its author as one of the complainers against Salmond, because at no point in the statement does the person actually identify themselves in such a way, yet every paper describes them so.
But we do know why the press would be able to take their word for it, because a very reliable source has told us today that Rape Crisis Scotland sent out two versions of the statement by email – one at 3.39pm yesterday and one at 4.19pm.
The statement was in the form of a Microsoft Word document attached to the email and entitled “Response1721.docx”, and the second email left recipients perplexed, because it said this about the file:
“If you have saved it, please destroy the previous version of the word document that you received and use this instead.”
This confused the people who’d had the emails, because the two Word documents were word-for-word identical. The reason for the second email only became clear when someone quite understandably examined the first version of the document in search of an explanation for the bizarre second email, and found that its metadata contained the name of the person who’d written it – ie one of the complainers.
In other words, Rape Crisis Scotland – and more specifically its Press and Campaigns Officer Brenna Jessie, in whose name the email went out – had just identified the complainer to everyone it had sent the email to.
We’re sure, of course, that the Crown Office will not prosecute Ms Jessie for contempt of court in identifying her, because Ms Jessie is not a supporter of Alex Salmond. (In fact she’s the ex-partner of batshit-mad SNP MP Hannah Bardell, who this week called for a 6pm curfew on all men just in case any of them were rapists.)
So let’s pass over the matter casually like we were the Lord Advocate, and get on with analysing the statement.
“I am aware of comments from David Davis MP, in which he suggests the Chief of Staff to the First Minister, Liz Lloyd, was aware of and “interfered” with complaints against Alex Salmond in February 2018.
These allegations are fundamentally untrue and are being deliberately misrepresented.”
So straight away we have a lie, because David Davis didn’t suggest that at all. Judith Mackinnon, the Scottish Government’s own investigating officer, is the person who suggested it. David Davis merely read out a message from her:
It wasn’t Alex Salmond or any ally of his that was raising questions about improper behaviour from Liz Lloyd, it was a member of Leslie Evans’ investigating team.
“In January 2018 I was approached by Scottish Government HR regarding an investigation they were undertaking into a complaint about Alex Salmond’s behavior during his time as First Minister.
I had been named as someone who experienced such behaviour in statements obtained during the course of HR’s investigation.”
This is very peculiar. We know the harassment procedure wasn’t even published on the Scottish Government intranet until February 2018 (the Scottish Government having previously lied that it appeared in December 2017), so how could anyone be already fishing for more complainers? What “statements” could possibly have been “obtained” at that point, and from who?
We know that the two accusations which kickstarted the investigation weren’t filed until 16 January and 24 January – again before the procedure had been published – so that doesn’t leave a lot of time for the events described in the statement to have taken place, especially as a Scottish Government spokesman has already said that the “interference” by Lloyd complained of by Mackinnon was actually nothing to do with either of those complaints.
So exactly who approached the complainer fishing for complaints, and why? Who had cited her name if it wasn’t Ms A or Ms B, since they’re the only two people who ever actually made complaints under the Scottish Government’s rapidly-constructed harassment procedure (rather than the criminal investigation)?
So many questions. Here’s another:
“After discussion with HR, I decided I did not in any way wish to share with them my own personal experiences, however I also did not want to obstruct an investigation. I did not know if I was obliged to cooperate after being asked to.”
This is odd as we know from all the media headlines that this person DID subsequently make a complaint in the criminal trial, yet at this point they say they’d already “made it clear” that they weren’t interested in doing so:
“I decided to raise the matter with a trusted senior person in government, Liz Lloyd, to gain advice and an understanding of my obligations.
I was extremely conscious of the sensitivity of the investigation and I, therefore, did not tell Liz who the complaint was from, who it was about or the nature of the complaint.
I informed her I had been approached by HR in relation to a current investigation. I said I had been asked if I wanted to make a complaint and made it clear to her I did not want to.”
So who or what changed their mind at a later date?
“She offered to convey my concerns and what I wanted to happen to an appropriate senior civil servant, who was the most appropriate person to discuss the issue with. I agreed to this course of action. This was not “interfering” but acting in line with my wishes.”
This is extremely murky. We’re being told that the complainer got Liz Lloyd to make it clear to an unknown “senior civil servant” that she did NOT wish to make a complaint – indeed we’ll hear in a moment that she was not merely a bit reluctant but extremely apprehensive about such a prospect.
So why on Earth would Judith Mackinnon consider Lloyd conveying that information to be “interference” – and why would she consider it to be “v bad” – if, as we’re told, it had absolutely nothing to do with the only investigations that were under way: those involving Ms A and Ms B? How can you interfere in something that doesn’t exist?
Especially after this:
“I then met with the senior civil servant and relayed my extreme apprehension about being involved in the investigation.
They offered me reassurance that should I decline to cooperate that I would not be impeding the investigation.”
So the senior civil servant clearly CAN’T have considered Lloyd’s intervention to amount to “interference” or “v bad” – they say it wouldn’t be impeding the investigation at all – so why would Judith Mackinnon think otherwise?
None of these questions will ever be answered, of course. The complainers, protected for life by an anonymity order despite their complaints having been found to be false, are allowed to issue endless statements, always through Rape Crisis Scotland and always dutifully reported by the Scottish media, effectively smearing Salmond as guilty despite the jury’s verdicts, with no accountability and no possibility of challenge.
It’s an outrageous state of affairs, but in Scotland it’s also the new normal.