England’s imposition of a meritocratic elite on Scottish society created the dystopian environment that plagues the lives of many Scots who might be best categorised as “wee timorous beasties” afraid of their own shadow.
The English political system from the sixteenth century encouraged the development and implementation of colonial expansionist policies which were then forced on many countries by conquest with superior military muscle providing security for English born political and financially motivated individuals and organisations who ruthlessly imposed power and control.
Scotland’s existence as an independent nation was ended after a lengthy period of economic hardship imposed on it with stealth and force by England with the illegal signing of the 1707 “Treaty of Union” which changed the nature of the relationship between England and Scotland. Scotland had become a colony under English rule.
The Unionist’s established control over many of Scotland’s businesses and industry and migrated large numbers of English managers and their families to ensure their success through the introduction of English operational systems which required financial returns regardless of any adverse impact of the lives of employees. Foreign systems imposed on Scots by foreigners.
England destroyed the Scottish clan system in 1746 and gifted the highland region from Perth to the North to the ownership of the English aristocracy who were given a remit to ensure significant financial returns to the English treasury. They achieved their goals by cleansing their ill gotten lands of humanity, (replacing them with sheep) through the forced removal and compulsory emigration of many tens of thousands of clansmen and their families.
Between 1100-1700 England’s obsession with establishing and maintaining dominance over Scotland was manifest in hostility and aggression routinely culminating in an invasion and occupation of parts of Scotland. But on each occasion Scots determination to fight back against the yoke of oppression forced the English army to prevent free movement of their forces in Scottish society and to instead concentrate their troops in castles and forts resulting in a failure to win the hearts and minds of the population and in consequence a harried withdrawl of the invading force back to England.
In the late fifteenth century the introduction and growth of protestantism in many parts of Scotland culminated with the Scottish Reformation in the early part of the sixteenth century formally imposing religious ideaolgy division on the population with Roman Catholicism being practiced by significant numbers of Scots based mainly in the North. Scots were divided.
In the same period Henry the Eighth of England disposed of papal authority and transferred leadership of the Church of England to the sovereign. Noteworthy is that the reformed church retained all Roman Catholic religious observances enabling its leadership to be returned to papal authority.
The sixteenth century brought with it a period of dual sovereignty with the kings and queens of England being gifted the position of Sovereign by Scots. A King of some interest to Scots was Dutchman, William, Son of William II, Prince of Orange, and Mary Stuart (daughter of Charles I) who was born in The Hague. He married a grandchild of Charles I, Mary II (daughter of James II). He was formally invited by seven senior political men (the Immortal Seven), representing English Protestants, to invade England in order to replace the unpopular Catholic King James II. This Glorious Revolution went extremely well: William and his army landed on 5 November 1688 in Devon, James quickly fled to France and William and Mary were crowned joint monarchs on 11 April 1689. His formal title was King William III of both Orange and of England, but he was only the second king William of Scotland.
King William exclusively served England’s agenda and actively plotted the assimilation of Scotland as a colony of England, preferably through the implementation of political and market attrition or by force if needed. Only his death in 1702 prevented this.
In 1702 English politicians acting for Queen Anne, William’s sister-in-law, took up negotiations with Scottish representatives seeking a union of the crowns of England and Scotland which ended in deadlock in 1704 when the Scottish parliament rejected the overtures. The English response was the immediate introduction of the “Alien Act” a wide ranging set of punative measures severely restricting Scottish trade with England and countries on the continent and the new world with the stated intention of bringing Scotland to its forcing its return to negotiations.
In June 1706 the sealed “Articles of Union” were presented to Queen Anne and in January 1707 they were ratified by the Scottish Parliament and became law in March 1707.
An uprising led by Bonnie Prince Charlie ended with the defeat of the largely catholic Jacobite army at the Battle of Culloden in 1746 following which the “Clan System” and all it stood for was dismantled by the English government through an an act of parliament.
Right is might and Scots will be freed from the oppression of English rule
The desire of Scots for independence reflects a long standing consciousness of injustice the consequence of English domination over Scotland from the time of the imposition of the 1707 Treaty of Union, which was illegally signed up to for financial gain by an unrepresentative cabal of Scottish leaders of society and businessmen without the agreement of Scots.
As predicted by many Scots this resulted in the brutal colonialization of Scotland and the imposition of economic and human exploitation, political control, occupation and the enforced transfer of ownership and control of large tracts of land previously settled and owned by native Scots for hundreds of years to a meritocratic elite planted by the monarchy and those empowered with political dominance of Scotland. The accompanying programme of directed cultural change was designed with evil intent and implemented over many years and resulted in the outright conquering of Scotland through racism, prejudice, fascism and finally violent force.
England’s imperial oppression of Scotland needs to be brought to an end but this will only be achieved by reversing the impact of the intentional obliteration of our culture and languages/dialects through the promotion of “National Consciousness” a major factor in our future acceptance on the world stage.
Sep. 2018: Jack’s rapid and undeserved rapid promotion
Only 14 months following his election to the Dumfries and Galloway constituency, Jack was appointed to the role of Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) to Baroness Evans, the leader of the House of Lords.
As PPS he was an important connector working with the Whips’ offices in both Houses, particularly in regard to progressing key Brexit legislation.
His role was to advise the Leader of the Lords and the Front Bench on what was happening in the Commons in terms of Parliamentary business including providing up-to-date assessments of mood of the Parliamentary party and reporting on what was in the pipeline its fit with the Government’s legislative agenda. He also relayed what the Lords were thinking back to the Government.
Jack said: My additional responsibilities gave me even greater opportunity to raise awareness of constituency issues at UK ministerial level. My first priority always remained with the people of Dumfries and Galloway and I was honoured to have played a key role at such a crucial time for our country.”
Comment: Confirmation Jack was a prime mover, in the introduction and development of hardline Tory Brexit policies that brought about the demise of Theresa May. His actions directly contradict his statement that his priority was always the people of Dumfries and Galloway who voted to remain within the European Union. His loyalty is to the right-wing of the Tory Party and its damaging dogma which is bringing so much harm to Scotland.
Mundell, who was sacked by Boris Johnson, described Jack as a “Brexiteer” and followed up with the comment that he had been forced out so that Johnson could mould a Cabinet in his own shape, promoting those who would back a no-deal Brexit.
Jack has always been against Scottish devolution and is also a hardline opponent of Scottish independence and made it clear following his appointment that he would use his position to “defend the Union against those who would seek to tear it apart”.
The Jack Family of Dumfries
Alister Jack was born in Dumfries in 1963. His parents were David William (1936-1982) Jack and Jean Douglas Pringle (1941- ****).
He was educated at Dalbeattie Primary School, Crawfordton House, and Glenalmond College, (near Perth).
His father, a farmer died aged only 46y in 1982 when Jack was just completing his education at Glenalmond.
His mother Jean (one of the Hawick resident, Douglas and Pringle families) married John Glen Alexander Tulloch (1940-****) in 1985.
The Tulloch family is well connected at the highest levels of society and businessman and landowner John owns a number of estates and businesses in Scotland and wider afield.
As Jean Douglas Tulloch she was appointed to and held the position of Lord-Lieutenant for Dumfries from (2006-2016).
She took up ownership of Courance Farm, near Lockerbie, on the death of her first husband and gifted it to her son when she retired.
Alister is married to Ann Hodgson (1965-****), they live northeast of Dumfries and have three children;
Baroness Emily Ann Sweerts de Landis (nee Jack),(1981): Who married into a European family of note and wealth. Gifted academically she founded and runs her own successful business in London,
Alice (1991): Is the Operations manager of the Jack family business.
Will (1996): On completion of postgraduate studies at Oxford Brookes University he took up employment, in 2018 as a Graduate Surveyor with, DohertyBaines, a Commercial Real Estate Company based in London.
Alister is a former Deputy Lieutenant for Dumfries, (one rung down the ladder from his mum) and deputy-chairman of the River Annan and District Salmon Fishery Board and the River Annan Trust.
He is also a member of the Queen’s Bodyguard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers.
2013: Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) funding 2014-2020 – Financial allocations for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales remains the same for the next funding period.
This means that the historic intra-UK split of direct payments remains in place and the additional convergence funding received by the UK because of Scotland’s poor per hectare payment rate will be split between the UK countries.
Scotland’s allocation of CAP funds, by hectare Scotland now has the lowest amount of direct farm funding, per hectare of farmland, in the EU.
Average per hectare direct payments across EU countries in 2020
The Convergence Mechanism
During the negotiation of the 2014-2020 CAP programme at EU level, a convergence mechanism was agreed. This aimed to bring the amount of Pillar 1 funding all Member States received closer to the EU average, based on a per-hectare payment measure. The average EU payment rate was €268 per ha1. So, Member States with low payment rates per hectare received additional money.
As the graph below shows, Scotland had a very low per hectare payment rate at the time.
Scotland’s allocation of CAP funds in 2013
Late spring of 2019: The allocation of CAP funding in the UK has remained controversial since 2013 and responding to pressure from the Scottish government the UK Government initiated an independent review (the Bew review) into the factors that should be considered to make sure that funding for domestic farm support is fairly allocated. More information here:
Late Sep 2019: Boris Johnson buys the Aberdeen and North East Scotland farming community votes and stupid is as stupid as they fall for the empty promise
On a short stopover visit to Aberdeen Johnson announced that £160 million of European convergence funding wrongly withheld from Scottish farmers almost three years ago will be released to the Scottish government shortly. Johnson, who was in Aberdeenshire to meet local farmers, said:
“For too long, Scottish farmers have been given a poor deal by the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy, which is why we are taking this opportunity to change things for the better. I also made a pledge to resolve the historic funding gap for Scottish farmers and delivering on this promise has been a priority since I became Prime Minister. Today’s announcement is the first step in making sure future funding is fairly allocated across the UK, taking into account the unique farming environments in Scotland”.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack hailed the belated release of the £160 million funding for farmers, saying: “This is a brilliant boost. I’m absolutely delighted by this announcement and know our hard-working farmers across Scotland will welcome it warmly. Leaving the EU will give us a historic opportunity to tailor support better to Scotland’s unique farming environment. This is something I’ve lobbied for as a backbench MP and will continue to pursue as Scotland Secretary.”
NFU Scotland president Andrew McCornick described the money as being the “largest funding uplift for the sector in recent memory”. And stated: “Securing a fair agricultural funding settlement that recognizes the flaws in the historic approach has been a priority for NFU Scotland. We thank Lord Bew for undertaking this review and his conclusions on how agricultural funding should be allocated.”
Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, said:
“Three years too late, the cash is coming to Scotland”. And SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said: “It was the Tory government who stole tens of millions of European cash from the pockets of Scottish farmers. Boris Johnson is a thief returning to the scene of the crime. In doing so, he is reminding voters across the North East how disastrous his Brexit plans will be with experts predicting Aberdeen will be the worst-hit city in the whole of the UK.”
A Labour Party spokesperson commented:
“Boris Johnson’s disastrous plan for a no-deal Brexit will be calamitous for Scottish farming. It will create a crisis in seasonal farm work and NFU Scotland has previously warned his plans could mean tariffs on exports of up to 65% on beef and 46% on lamb. This Prime Minister is no friend to Scottish agriculture and he should do what Labour and businesses the length and breadth of the country are telling him to do – stop playing games and take no-deal off the table.”
The Register of Members’ Financial Interests: As of 17 June 2019 – Alister Jack (Dumfries and Galloway)
1. Employment and earnings
Until 21 February 2019, the non-executive chairman and director of Fulling Mill Ltd (manufacturer of fishing flies). Received £15,000 a year, paid monthly, for an estimated 60-80 hrs a year, chairing four board meetings a year and giving general advice.
2. Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organization or indirectly via a central party organization
Name of donor: John Cooper: Amount of donation, or nature and value if donation in kind: £6,000 paid to my campaign fund.
Name of donor: David D Stevenson: Amount of donation, or nature and value if donation in kind: £2,000 to my campaign fund.
6. Land and property portfolio: (i) value over £100,000 and/or (ii) giving rental income of over £10,000 a year
Agricultural land in Dumfries and Galloway:
Two cottages in Dumfries and Galloway:
Salmon fishery in Dumfries and Galloway:
7. Shareholdings: over 15% of issued share capital
7. (ii) Other shareholdings, valued at more than £70,000
One Rebel Ltd; fitness club.
Privet Capital Aeromet LP; supplier of aluminium and magnesium castings.
Privet Capital Pyser LP; supplier of precision optical and electro-optical equipment.
Rars Woodlands Ltd; Christmas tree grower.
Rars Woodlands 2 Ltd; Christmas tree grower.
Rars Woodlands 3 Ltd; Christmas tree grower.
Thomas Murray Network Management Ltd; custody rating on the global securities services industry.
Unpaid Director of Atlantic Salmon Trust, a charity for the conservation of wild salmon.
Until December 2018, unpaid Chairman of Fisheries Management Scotland, an umbrella organization for all fishery boards and trusts in Scotland.
From December 2018, an unpaid director (formerly Chairman) of River Annan Trust, a charity promoting conservation work in the River Annan Catchment.
From December 2018, an unpaid board member (formerly Chairman) of the River Annan and District Salmon Fishery Board.
Unpaid Director of Atlantic Solway Holdings Ltd; investment holding company.
Unpaid Director of Cantco Ltd; Lloyds insurance underwriting.
So much personal business to attend to. Where does he find the time to fully discharge his duties to his constituents as an MP?
Alister Jack MP is the new Secretary of State for Scotland after Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on his first day in office, sacked David Mundell.
Alistair Jack has been a Member of the UK Parliament since the General Election of 2017 representing Dumfries and Galloway which he won with a whopping 43.3% of the vote, ousting the sitting SNP MP who got 32.4%. Since then he has been rather quiet in the House of Commons.
They Work For You is an excellent site for checking how your MP’s voted on different issues. How did Alister Jack vote?:
Laws promoting equality and human rights UK membership of the EU Higher Taxes on banks Transferring more powers to the Welsh Assembly Transferring more powers to the Scottish Parliament Financial incentives for low carbon emission electricity generation methods
Raising the threshold at which people pay Income Tax Measures to reduce tax avoidance New High-Speed Rail Infrastructure Reducing the amount of funding local government gets from central government
He spoke in 11 debates in the last year — well below average amongst MPs.
He received answers to 10 written questions in the last year — below average amongst MPs.
So that is Alister Jack’s record so far as MP for Dumfries and Galloway.
What about the man himself?
He was born on the 7th of July 1963 and went to Dalbeattie Primary School. Then he went on to Crawfordton House—a private prep school near Moniaive, Dumfriesshire—onwards to Glenalmond College, at that time an all-boys independent boarding school and finally Heriot-Watt University.
From there he made a fortune buying, founding and selling businesses. He owns 1200 acres of land near Lockerbie on which there is a dairy farm.
Let us not forget either that Alister Jack is a member of the Queen’s Bodyguard for Scotland, the Royal Company of Archers.
Secretary State for Scotland
Since the setting up of the Scottish Parliament, it has been difficult to justify having the office of Secretary State for Scotland. Indeed it has been suggested many times that the position does not fit with a devolved system.
The role according to the UK Government:
The main role of the Scottish Secretary is to promote and protect the devolution settlement. Other responsibilities include promoting partnership between the UK government and the Scottish government, and relations between the 2 Parliaments.
It might surprise folk that despite this limited job description a massive new building has been constructed in Edinburgh for the Secretary of State for Scotland.
The new building – Queen Elizabeth House – will also house HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Another hub will also be opened in Glasgow. From the start of 2020, these buildings will be filled with UK civil servants – 3,000 in the Edinburgh one.
The offices will be equipped with the latest IT equipment.
At the handing over of the keys, the then Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said he was very much looking forward to inviting the Westminster cabinet to meet in it. Oops, that’ll be Alister Jack’s job now.
It is difficult to find out much about Alister Jack’s work in the UK Parliament and for his constituency.
A list of Farmer Jacks Business Interests
Scottish Tory MP has over £70,000 of shares invested in Jardine Matheson Holdings (JMH), which is incorporated in Bermuda.
Farmer Jack has significant business interests and declares shares in 16 companies, in 10 of which his personal holding is worth at least £70,000.
One of the entities is “industrial conglomerate” JMH, which is an Asian-based business group. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and provides management services to companies in the wider group.
JMH was incorporated in 1984 in Bermuda, a British Overseas Territory that can provide tax advantages to firms that register on the island.
JMH is chaired by Eton-educated Sir Henry Keswick. Jack declared £3,000 of support from Sir Henry in the following Westminster declaration category: “Support linked to an MP but received by a local party organization or indirectly via a central party organization.”
Jack also declared £5,000 from Percy Weatherall, who is listed as a JMH director, in the same category on his MP register of interest.
In JMH’s latest half-yearly results, the group’s underlying profit for the first six months of 2017 rose 20 percent to $765 million, while revenue was $19.4 billion.
A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives said Jack would not be disposing of the shares, adding:
“Quite rightly, there is no law banning politicians – or anyone else – from becoming involved in companies that happen to be registered in Bermuda.” (The Herald Aug 2017)
Alister Jack and his Gentlemen Tory Farmer friends wield their power at Westminster
A recent report advised that one-third of the UK population was cutting down on meat, including one in eight who are vegetarian or vegan. This was caveated by other evidence that many were not totally strict and would occasionally eat meat.
Nevertheless, the trend is clear, and people are reducing the amount of meat they eat. And a major reason for doing so is because of health concerns. It’s therefore interesting to read that globally, food production is focused on the wrong kinds of food.
Researchers in Canada investigated what kinds of food were being grown, and found a glut of grains, sugar, and oils, but not enough fruit and vegetables. This is certainly the case in Britain, where an estimated 85% of agricultural land is used to grow meat and dairy products, with most of the rest being used to grow grains, oil crops – and sugar.
The UK is self-sufficient in pork and chickens but has to import over half of our vegetables and most of our fruit.
By value, the UK imports over 90% of the fruit and veg we consume. Clearly, this needs to change, and quickly.
It is essential therefore that the new Agriculture Bill, currently being progressed through Parliament, provides the policy leadership so desperately needed.
But the majority of gentlemen farmer MPs are gathered against the proposals, as they stand at present and they are a powerful lot.
There are around 290,000 farmers, including spouses and business partners in the UK – about 0.5% of the UK’s adult population. Logic dictates that if the number of farmers (or their spouses) who became MPs was the same as for any other walk in life, we would expect to see 3-4 farmer/farmer’s spouse MPs. Instead, we have rather more than that.
Of the 55 MPs who spoke in the 2nd reading debate of the Agriculture Bill, an astonishing 25% of them were either gentlemen farmers, owned farmland, or owned part of a farming business.
Another 10% identified as hobby farmers, farmer’s spouses, or had jobs in farming, or in one case came from “a long line of ploughmen.” It is no surprise that almost all farmer MPs are Tory’s, aside from one DUP MP who owns farmland and a large meat-processing business.
There is a Parliamentary convention that an MP should declare any interests they may have in a topic under debate, before making comments.
Most of the gentlemen farmer MPs just referred to their register of interests, as in “I refer the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests”.
But ever coy Alister Jack, Tory MP for Dumfries and Galloway, failed to mention that his ownership of Courance Farms and a number of other agricultural enterprises are provided with six-figure farming subsidy payments each year.
The conflict is clear. The National Farmers Union (NFU) preferring that farmers be paid to produce more food, with a few crumbs being spent on the environment continues with its campaign to derail Tory plans to introduce payments to farmers for “public goods”, rather than just paying landowners for owning land, as is currently the case.
So far the Tory government has held out against the pressure. but for how long??
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has been accused of “immoral and offensive” behaviour for saying the Universal Credit uplift had “run its course” – despite himself taking almost £100,000 in subsidies last year alone.
The Tory Cabinet minister lists Courance Farms on his Register of Interests – along with a raft of others including investment holding firm Atlantic Solway Holdings Ltd, and hydro-electric power company Mollin HEP Ltd.
Official figures from the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) show that Courance Farms was handed £96,353.28 in handouts as part of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in 2020 alone.
In previous years, the grants handed to Jack’s Courance Farms were still higher, reaching almost £200,000 in 2014 and 2015, Defra figures show.
Jack was elected to represent Dumfries and Galloway for the Tories in 2017.
The amount handed to his Courance Farms from the EU’s public purse since 2014 is as follows:
2014 – £194,557.65
2015 – £195,322.61
2016 – £74,792.11
2017 – £83,552.63
2018 – £91,945.68
2019 – £99,762.11
2020 – £96,353.28
This comes to a total of £836,286.07 over seven years, an average of £119,469.44 per year.
According to figures from farmsubsidy.org – a project of the Open Knowledge Foundation Germany – Jack also took more than €600,000 from the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) between 2001 and 2009.
Defra data from 2013 was unavailable, while Courance Farms does not appear in the data from 2011 or 2012 – where it may have been redacted. Nor does it appear in the data from 2010.
Inquiry finds Sturgeon guilty of misleading parliament
March 2021: An investigation by a Scottish parliament committee into the government’s unlawful handling of harassment allegations against Alex Salmond concluded that Nicola Sturgeon had misled parliament.
A few weeks after, Liz Lloyd was dismissed from her post as Chief of Staff to Nicola Sturgeon and took an extended leave of absence, returning to the Scottish Government in August 2021 as a “Special Adviser” reporting direct to the First Minister fulfilling a new role, created by Sturgeon with responsibility to work across government and with stakeholders to provide strategic advice on the delivery of the government’s policy programme.
A kick in the teeth for many Scots who thought that a small amount of justice had been gained by her dismissal. No chance!!!!
Roles and responsibilities of the Special Adviser (SPAD)
SPAD’s are not civil servants but as paid employees of the State they are – subject to specified exceptions – required to conduct themselves in accordance with the Civil Service Code.” which states that the highest standards of conduct are expected of them.
i. “Specifically, the preparation or dissemination of inappropriate material or personal attacks has no part to play in the job of being a special adviser as it has no part to play in the conduct of public life.
ii. “Any special adviser ever found to be disseminating inappropriate material will automatically be dismissed by their appointing minister.
iii. “Special advisers…must observe discretion and express comment with moderation, avoiding personal attacks.”
iv “All contacts with news media should be authorized, in advance by the First Minister.”
Afternote 1: Liz Lloyd was awarded civil servant status and received more than £6,000 in legal advice relating to her conduct. She refused to to appear at the inquiry and instead submitted written evidence which could not be challenged. The content of the £6,000 letter to the inquiry was rendered useless since it was so heavily redacted by the Scottish Government before submission.
Afternote 2: It has been established, beyond reasonable doubt that the criminal passing of confidential government information about false allegations of misconduct in office by Alex Salmond to the Daily Record and journalist David Clegg in October 2017, was the act of a senior Scottish Government SPAD.
That person is still in the employ of the Minister concerned so it follows (interpreting the rule) that the leak was authorised, in advance by the Minister.
That person needs to be exposed to the public and the police so that appropriate action can be taken to restore the confidence of the electorate who are disillusioned by the s***house politicking of its government ministers.
“Special Adviser” activities are constrained by a number of restrictions.
They are not permitted to:
participate in Westminster or Scottish political activities, including, in a party political organisation, any office which impinges wholly or mainly on party politics.
speak in public on matters of Westminster or Scottish political controversy.
express views on Westminster or Scottish politics in letters to the Press, or in blogs, books, articles or leaflets
being announced publicly as a candidate or prospective candidate for the Westminster or Scottish Parliament.
canvass on behalf of a candidate for the Westminster or Scottish political institutions or on behalf of a political party.
Comment: In reality all of the foregoing restrictions are, with the tacit support of senior government ministers routinely ignored by Sturgeons “Special Adviser” team whose conduct is placed above the laws of good political practice.
Liz Lloyd tries to play both sides
Geoff Aberdein revealed that Liz Lloyd, Sturgeon’s, chief of staff told him at a meeting in Aberdeen, on 6 March 2018 that she “suspected” the Scottish Government was investigating the former first minister over sexual harassment claims. She also revealed the name of one of the complainants
The new details were contained in a statement released by Aberdein confirming he was the mysterious “intermediary” who, as a longstanding associate and friend of Alex Salmond and in the interests of transparency, helped set up a series of meetings between Sturgeon and Salmond in late March, early April 2018.
Lloyd later confirmed at a meeting between her Aberdein in late March 2018, arranged again at Lloyd’s request, that she suspected the Scottish Government had received an official complaint about Mr Salmond. She said she did not know the full details of any potential complaint and had not alerted the First Minister to her suspicions about a potential complaint.
Sturgeon insisted she first learned that Leslie Evans, Scotland’s chief civil servant, had launched an investigation from Salmond, in person at Sturgeon’s home, on 2 April 2018.
But a spokesman for Alex Salmond yesterday claimed: “In the interests of accuracy it is the case that Sturgeon’s, senior special adviser, Liz Lloyd, knew of the existence of complaints against Alex well before the meeting of 2 April 2018 and that she had initiated the first contact through Geoff Aberdein, “They then arranged the meetings which Alex asked for. Alex has no certainty as to the state of knowledge of the first minister before then.”
CIA Recruiting at Chapel Hill North Carolina University
Looking to live a life of intrigue and suspense? The C-I-A hopes so. It’s looking for a few good men and women.
The Central Intelligence Agency has recruited at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for over 30 years..
If your strengths are computer sciences, electrical engineering or foreign languages… you could be a spy!
American Studies 4 Year Undergraduate Course at Edinburgh University – Year 2 completed at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
The American Studies undergraduate program is an interdisciplinary, cross-cultural education based on the recognition that America is local, regional, national, and global.
Undergraduate study engages students in the study of the implications, possibilities, and challenges inherent in the simple question, What is America?
Through coursework, fieldwork, and critical and creative projects, American Studies students discover that the answer to the question, What is America?, is not only centred at home, but abroad; not only focused on culture, but on individuals; a story not spoken by one, but by many voices.
CIA training base is located at Harvey Point, Perquimans County, North Carolina
Harvey Point is where the Central Intelligence Agency has run mystery paramilitary and counter-terrorism courses for over 37 years. Set up weeks after the 1961 Bay of Pigs intrusion, this school for spies is protected by mystery, security wall and cypress trees decorated with Spanish greenery.
In the course of the last 10 years, the C.I.A. has provided training for more than 18,000 remote knowledge officers from 50 nations. A measure of that preparation occurred abroad, not at Harvey Point. The CIA does not talk about its preparation establishments – ever.
The Harvey Point Defence Testing Activity office, possessed by the Department of Defence, is situated on a landmass in Perquimans County, North Carolina, along the Albemarle Sound, close to the city of Hertford, NC.
With budgets tight and borrowing strictly limited it difficult, probably impossible, for the Scottish government to make up any large budget shortfall and the passing of the Westminster, Health and Social Care Bill which provided for the wholesale privatisation of the NHS in England will have very significant effects on Scotland.
Increasingly private healthcare companies financing an controlling the English NHS will result in less public money being spent on it.
Reducing the NHS financial burden will release finance to be used to further reduce the tax ‘burden’ on high earners.
Reducing state money expenditure in England also reduces Barnett formula finance for Scotland – possibly to the point where NHS privatisation becomes the only option.
The Tory government, which is no supporter of devolution and which is working to undermine it wherever possible, is more than happy to see these events unravel.
It needs to be remembered that Westminster retains overall control and won’t hesitate to overrule Holyrood to get what it wants, especially if opening up Scotland’s health services to American healthcare companies assists the process of completing trade deals with the USA.
And what might a privatised Scottish health service in the hands of American healthcare corporations offer? Frightening charges out with the reach of most people judging by this infographic from International Insurance.com
But even if you can afford insurance that doesn’t guarantee your medical bills will be covered.
In this Double Down News video Dr Bob Gill, NHS doctor and filmmaker, gives his views. Prepare to be shocked.
The American healthcare system is ‘totally dysfunctional, endemically fraudulent and hugely expensive” and the UK government is determined to copy it.
The Scottish government issued a press release stating that healthcare provision in Scotland will not be subject to profiteering by large private healthcare contractors.
Nov 2021: SNP to pay millions in private health amid fears of “NHS privatisation by stealth”
The SNP government has been accused of putting the public ownership of NHS Scotland at risk by paying millions out to private hospitals in an effort to solve the health crisis it created.
Leaked documents have shown that the SNP plans to pay private health firms up to £150million, bringing into question the commitment to keeping the NHS public.
The Scottish Government’s fund for private health firms has sparked concern that the NHS is at risk of being privatised “by stealth”.
The money is to be spent on the enormous backlog of operations and cancer treatment that are the result of “years of SNP mismanagement and cuts”.
28 Nov 2021:Scots NHS for sale: Firms invited to bid for over 1,500 Scots medical procedures
Private health care hospitals and firms are being invited to bid for the provision of vital medical care including lifesaving surgery normally carried out by the NHS in Scotland, the Herald on Sunday can reveal.
Scottish Government quango NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) has been sanctioned to create a dynamic purchasing system (DPS) for private firms to provide surgery and other medical care across the health care spectrum, raising serious concerns about how safe the NHS is in the hands of the Scottish ministers.
Civil servantJohn Somers – Nicola Sturgeon’s former principal private secretary (PPS) has been promoted by her to the post of Deputy Director of the newly created Police Division of the Scottish Government
Somers, who gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament inquiry into the handling of harassment allegations against Alex Salmond in December last year, became deputy director in the police division in August.
He had served as Sturgeon’s principal private secretary since February 2017.
It has also recently been confirmed that the government’s most senior civil servant, Leslie Evans, is stepping down, having survived calls to quit over her role in the handling of harassment allegations against Alex Salmond.
John Somers pivotal role and conduct in the Sturgeon Salmond debacle
16 Nov 2017: Hynd emailed (Private Secretary 1 to Leslie Evans). (Policy on Complaints Against Ministers.” As requested”. James.
16 Nov: Hynd circulated to the Scottish Government civil service senior management team, and Liz Lloyd (first sight, at her request) a second draft procedure titled “Handling of sexual harassment complaints involving current or former ministers.”
16 Nov: A copy of the draft policy was forwarded to the UK Government’s Cabinet Office in Westminster for approval.
17 Nov: Approval was not forthcoming. Instead the response expressed grave concerns about implications for politicians throughout the UK if the Scottish Government would be permitted to act in isolation from the other governments of GB and Northern Ireland introducing a process for complaints about ministers and former ministers which had not been universally approved. The cabinet Office instructed that the policy changes should be deferred until such time as the other governments had completed their own reviews. Reference was also made to the unfairness of the revised policies which demanded standards of personal conduct for Scottish politicians greatly in excess of those for civil servants which had remained unchanged. Double standards were not acceptable. The document was unfit for introduction.
Afternote: The Westminster “Cabinet Office” exposed the hypocrisy of the intent behind the proposed changes and rightly blocked the proposals.
17 Nov: Hynd forwarded the Cabinet Office response to an unnamed private secretary in the Scottish Government, (possibly Somers) who replied: “Oh dear, I did wonder if that would be their reaction. Not sure how long their review will take but the First Minister and Leslie Evans are keen to resolve quickly and discuss on Tuesday. I suspect we don’t have a policy on former civil servants. But we are looking at this in the context of the overall review of policies and the justification for having something about Ministers is the action that Parliament is taking in light of allegations about MSP conduct which includes a recent SG Minister?”.
Afternote 1: Questioned by the Inquiry Hynd said: “Nicola Sturgeon was keen to take national leadership on the matter and delaying implementation of the new procedure was not an option for consideration.”
Comment: But of note was that the procedure for civil servants was not updated to include retrospective consideration of harassment allegations.
Afternote 2: Lloyd stated that the inclusion of herself in the circulation of the draft procedure created a requirement to identify and amend the ministerial code, if necessary since the code was the responsibility of the First Minister.
Comment: But the Ministerial Code and the proposed complaints procedure were the business of the Civil Service and Miss Lloyd had no legitimate input.
20 Nov:Somers said complainer, Ms A, arranged a meeting with him at which she told him of her past experiences in a way that would improve the organization and make sure that no one else would have to go through that sort of thing again.
She stressed she was not making a complaint, she simply wanted to assess her options for how she could best share the information. Her wish was to be allowed to speak to the First Minister which was why she had approached him.
Somers (gatekeeper to the First Minister) said he had not briefed the First Minister about his meeting with Ms A or her request for a private meeting with the First Minister upholding his commitment to her to keep the details of their conversation secret. He said: “I wouldn’t tell the First Minister because it wasn’t my experience to share. That was my first priority. Secondly, had I done that, I would have put the First Minister in a state of knowledge about something she couldn’t have taken action upon at that point.”
Somers went on to state he was “overwhelmed”by Ms A’s disclosure and with her permission he advised his line manager Barbara Allison and the Director of Safer Communities, Gillian Russell.
Comment: If factually correct Somers escalated matters and failed in his duties as gatekeeper to the First Minster by not allowing Ms A to meet privately with the First Minister.
21 Nov: Somers and two unnamed officers met with Ms A and advised she would need to further discuss the matter with his line manager Barbara Allison, with a proviso that if she felt she was not being taken seriously or no one was listening to her, she should get back in touch with Somers who would set-up a personal meeting for her with the First Minister. He never heard from her.
Somers went on to say that he did not tell the First Minister that Ms A had confided in him because it wasn’t his experience to share and had he done so he would have put the First Minister in a state of knowledge about something she could not have taken action upon at that point?”
Afternote 1: This is weird. Ms A advised Gillian Russell on 10 November. Somers decision not to inform the First Minister denied Miss A the informal meeting she had asked for and escalated events from informal to formal. His reasoning was flawed since it was based on a rebuttable assumption. His choice of words is also significant. “at that point” would be a reference to the draft policy which he was working on with Lloyd. He fine well knew what he was doing.
Afternote 2: In her statement to the inquiry the Scottish Government’s Director for Communications, Ministerial Support & Facilities, Barbara Allison, who was Director of People from 2009 to 2016, said that Alex Salmond was a “visionary and dynamic” and although demanding and difficult to work for people also expressed that they enjoyed working for him. She had never heard of sexual misconduct concerns about him while he was the First Minister. Nor had she heard of any concerns being escalated to the status of formal complaints while she was in charge of human resources.
Afternote 3: Allison said she had not raised any issues of bullying or harassment with either Evans or Nicola Sturgeon and for clarity, she emphasized to the inquiry that she was not aware of any issues about sexual harassment” and added that she was a “huge advocate” for informal resolution, stating that if a matter could be resolved through this process, then “absolutely people must have recourse to a formal process”.
She went on to tell the inquiry that she was first notified of concerns in November 2017 when two unnamed female civil servants, (Ms A and Ms B) raised them with her.
It is for readers to question whether it is “plausible” that Nicola Sturgeon did not know until April 2, 2018, about the internal probe into her predecessor, (some 5 months after allegations were first raised about Alex Salmond.). If she did know she misled the public in her evidence to the inquiry
22 Nov: Nicola Sturgeon’s “instruction from the First Minister” was sent to to Leslie Evans. It read:
“As is clear from the continued media focus on cases of sexual harassment, in many instances, people are now making complaints regarding actions that took place some time ago. I wanted to make clear that in taking forward your review, and the new arrangements being developed, you should not be constrained by the passage of time. I would like you to consider ways in which we are able to address if necessary any concerns from staff, should any be raised, about the conduct of current Scottish Government ministers and also former ministers, including from previous administrations regardless of party. While I appreciate that the conduct of former Ministers would not be covered by the current Ministerial Code, I think it fair and reasonable that any complaints raised about their actions while they held office are considered against the standards expected of Ministers. I would be grateful for confirmation that this particular aspect is being included as part of the review you are leading.”
Note: The letter of instruction makes no sense since the newly written draft procedure was already in place and circulated within the senior Civil Servant management team. And James Hynd, the person who wrote the new procedure was not copied into the correspondence.
24 Nov: A fifth draft of Hynd’s, policy delegates authority to the Permanent Secretary to investigate complaints but makes clear the First Minister should also be alerted. A copy was also sent to the First Minister.
23 Nov: Nicola Richards sent an e-mail to Leslie Evans, copied to Judith Mackinnon “we would need to consult with the individual before disclosing to another party or the Police because of the risk of the matter getting into the press and the individuals being identified.
We have a duty of care for our staff which means we shouldn’t do something that puts them at risk, so if they don’t want us to share information or go to the police, it would be very difficult to justify (sic) doing so (without putting them at risk of being identified and wider impacts).
This was subsequently changed on 9th January 2018 to read “SG as employer will not refer specific cases to police without the knowledge/consent of the employee.”
24 Nov: Lloyd, Somers, Hynd and a member of the Permanent Secretary’s office, attended a meeting to further discuss the content of the “instruction from the First Minister” and to establish and agree clear lines of responsibility between the First Minister and the Permanent Secretary. A second purpose was to reword the second draft procedure inserting changes designed to prevent the First Minister from stopping the Permanent Secretary, who has a duty of care to civil servants, from investigating a sexual harassment complaint made by a civil servant against a minister if the Permanent Secretary judged there was something to investigate.
Additional input from Liz Lloyd included the view that it was essential that the First Minister should be made aware of an investigation or allegation into a serving minister, before the event, in order to determine if, under the ministerial code, that minister could remain in post whilst an investigation was conducted. Yet she later stipulated that on that date she had no knowledge, of any of the allegations against Alex Salmond that were subsequently investigated under the new procedure.
29 Nov: Gillian Russell wrote to Ms A “as agreed, I sent your narrative on in confidence to Nicky (Richards) and Judith (Mackinnon). I have now been asked by Nicky and Judith if you would be prepared to speak to them following receipt of your narrative. As part of this discussion Nicky would like to share with you the developing policy for handling complaints against former and current ministers. This would give you an opportunity to test whether this would have helped at the time and also to consider next steps.” Later that day Ms A agreed to do so but reiterated her wish to speak first personally with Nicola Sturgeon.
29 Nov: Ms Richards, met with Ms Evans, who then went on to have a “summit meeting with the First Minister, “to discuss the development of the proposed procedure”.
30 Nov: Richards emailed Hynd, the Head of the Cabinet Secretariat: “Would you be able to send me the latest version of the process I agreed with Leslie Evans that I would test against some key individuals?”
01 Dec: Hynd sent the “eighth” harassment policy draft to Ms Richards.
04/05 Dec: Richards, redrafted parts of the “eighth” draft procedure completing her work 2334 hours on the evening of 5 Dec. She then forwarded it under cover of an email, to Evans, Hynd, MacKinnon, and an unnamed lawyer. The email stated: “As discussed earlier today, I’ve made some revisions to the process.”
06 Dec: Richards, met with Ms B and shared with her the content of the revised 8th draft procedure, seeking and gaining from Ms B confirmation that had the procedures been in place at the time she claimed she had been sexually harassed it would have been of benefit providing clear instructions as to the courses of action available to her.
06 Dec: Mackinnon, met with Ms A and after sharing the draft procedures gained from her confirmation that had the new procedures been in place at the time she was sexually harassed it would have been of benefit providing clear instructions as to the courses of action available to her.
06 Dec: At 0528 hours Evans emailed Richards, Hynd, and a third person writing, “Spoke with John S (Swinney?) last night. We agreed you would send up tweaked codes in draft without any letters just now. and as discussed, info on the steps and touchpoints involved in the process also useful. Keep me posted back in the office tomorrow but happy to talk. John (Swinney?) also I’m sure.”
Afternote 1: Evans told the inquiry team that she did not see a “natural role” for Special Advisor (Liz Lloyd) in the Scottish Government response to the judicial review brought by Alex Salmond. But a freedom of information response listed 17 meetings at which lawyers involved in the judicial review met with Nicola Sturgeon or senior staff, with Liz Lloyd present at three meetings in Oct and Nov 2018. Evans, faced with the facts, was forced to correct her evidence to confirm that Nicola Sturgeon’s political special advisor, Liz Lloyd, did fully participate in meetings at which the allegations against Alex Salmond were discussed.
Afternote 2: Somers told the inquiry that he had no involvement in the development of the procedure used against Alex Salmond. This is not true. Somers, in his capacity as Sturgeon’s Principal Private Secretary, had a key role in developing the policy at a critical time.
5 Dec 2017: The “letters” that Somers was subsequently instructed “not” to send to Sturgeon were the “tweaked codes” which Somers and Hynd had been instructed by Evans to draft in line with the procedure as it had existed prior to her discussion with Somers, and for the purpose of intimating the new procedure to former Ministers and former First Ministers when it would be approved by the First Minister in due course. The “letters” disappeared from the development process after the discussions and the Scottish Government has persistently refused to disclose the contents.
Exactly what comprised the “steps and touchpoints involved in the process” was discussed by Evans and Somers but the content remains guesswork since no-one at the Inquiry asked Somers, or has ever asked Evans, what was meant by these terms. But what is clear is that both Evans herself and Somers were “happy to talk” to Richards, Hynd, and the third person about these “steps and touchpoints” in the radically recast procedure.
There is a hugely significant context of the very obvious involvement of Somers, acting on behalf of Sturgeon, in the development, actually, in the complete recast of the procedure. For now, it is worth noting that Somers’s evidence on affirmation was given, as Somers himself pointed out, with the specific advance endorsement of the Scottish Government.
Civil Service jargon for “not my words guvnor !!””