The insidious input of UK Government officials in the conspiracy to destroy Alex Salmond -part 3 – The control over Scottish politics by Sir Jeremy Heywood

Cameron’s EVIL statement

Within hours of the independence referendum declaration giving the Unionists victory, David Cameron, acting on the advice of the UK government Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood and ignoring warnings, pleas from “Better Together” campaigners not to do so, went ahead and declared that English Votes for English Laws (EVEL), would be proceeded with at the same time as processing the “Vow”.

The announcement prompted the SNP Government to accuse Cameron of reneging on the “Vow” and in the weeks following the SNP surged in the polls. By mid-December the SNP were 20% ahead of Labour Party. A SNP landslide victory was predicted in the next General Election .

Danny Alexander, the Liberal Democrat chief secretary to the Treasury, who was denied sight of Cameron’s statement before the announcement said “it was an appalling episode … He went from being a prime minister who had absolutely done the right thing in the national interest to making a very partisan judgement on behalf of the Conservative party, that’s how it felt to me”. Adding: “talk about trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. What it did was just give the nationalists a whole grievance agenda from a minute after the result was declared. It was just dreadful”.

It was revealed in early December that during the referendum campaign the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, had commissioned a poll on the “West Lothian question”, in England, at a cost of cost around £600,000.

The data collected found that 53 per cent of voters in England supported the concept of not allowing Scottish MPs in the UK Parliament in Westminster to vote on issues that did not impact on Scotland. 23 per cent opposed the idea and 24 per cent who did not know.

The also found that 44 per cent supported the concept of giving more decision making powers on issues such as tax, education, policing to big cities and regions in England with 40 per cent agreeing with the need for a fully-fledged English Parliament.

Sir Jeremy Heywood, Cabinet Secretary, UK Government

Heywood’s name was in the thoughts of many political commentators as revelations surfaced of his “Svengali” like power over Westminster politicians. Having been in post at the time Major, Blair, Brown and Cameron were in control of UK Government’s he was aware of all their political wrong doings himself having discharged an executive role in many of the events. Ultimte unfettered power was his, gained, retained and exercised through knowing where skeletons were buried.

Many claims have been made that the 2014 independence referendum was won for the Unionists by the “Better Together” Campaign. It wasn’t. Heywood was the driving force behind Westminsters aasult on the “Yes” campaign.

Reporting only to David Cameron, and armed with an unlimited financial budget, Heywood, created a “defence of the Union” team comprised of around a dozen of his most talented senior Civil Servants.

They were removed from from all other duties for 6 months before the referendum and functioned out of the Cabinet Office. Their “dirty tricks” spoilers were a major contribution to the successful campaign and they were given due recognition and were well rewarded for their efforts.

A few examples of Heywood’s insidious artistry in the 2014 independence referendum:

The Queen’s “off the cuff” remark to one of her “specially placed” subjects at Balmoral four days before the referendum where in answer to a query about the future she said: “Well, I hope people will think very carefully about the future.” This was a Heywood inspired intervention. He had contacts in high places.

Contacting Heads of State world-wide seeking their public support encouraging Scots to remain with the union.

Covering up the illegal release by a Civil Servant of a confidential document from the Scottish Secretary, Alistair Carmichael’s office detailing malicious and untrue allegations about Nicola Sturgeon and the French Ambassador to Scotland.

Another Heywood inspired spoiler. A week before the referendum the Royal Bank announced that it would move its legal headquarters to England in the event of a “Yes” vote boosting the Unionist cause.

The announcement was released apparently following a specially arranged board meeting. And this from a bank the subject of bail-outs, mis-selling scandals, lavish bonuses for most of the six years that RBS had been majority-owned by British taxpayers.

Alex Salmond was furious and demanded that the “Treasury leak” of the RBS plan be investigated. But the timing of the leak which was accompanied with similar statements by Lloyds Banking Group, TSB and Clydesdale threatened to deflate the argument of the SNP that the economy of an independent Scotland would be sustainable.

He organised a “breakfast meeting” at Downing Street attended by the captains of British industry together with the chair’s and chief executives of many large businesses.

Right after which he arranged the distribution of a “letter from industry” signed by all of those in attendance warning Scots of the many pitfalls that would accompany independence and warned that there would be a major shift of industry away from Scotland.

Jim Sillars was furious and accused the signatories of “subverting Scotland’s democratic process” by making high-profile interventions in the independence referendum debate.

He also warned that Oil giant BP would face nationalisation in an independent Scotland and greedy bankers’ would be called to account for their abuse of the nations financial assets.

In Jun 2014, in a blatant political move just weeks before the Scottish referendum Heywood arranged for the Grangemouth plant to receive a £230 million UK Treasury loan guarantee from the UK Government.

The plant owner Ineos intended to build Europe’s largest ethane storage tank, with the loan also allowing the construction of an import terminal to process ethane from shale gas shipped from the US.

The Electoral Commission for Scotland

The Electoral Commission (EC) for Scotland a supposedly impartial organisation was formed in 2001 with a mandate that included, increasing public participation in democracy and regulating political donations. The role was further strengthened adding security arrangements for postal voting and a number of investigatory responsibilities.

The guarantee of a strictly impartial Commissioner and support team was crucial to the success of the new organisation and John McCormick, employed by the strictly unbiased BBC for 34 years, as Secretary then Controller of BBC Scotland, 1992-2004 was appointed to the post of Commissioner in 2008.

But the failings of the EC were soon exposed following a number of Scottish elections in which there were tens of thousands of claims of electoral fraud, voters being turned away from polling stations and an insufficient number ballot forms.

The Glenrothes by-election of 2008 was one such fiasco where the boxes containing the counted votes went missing, preventing a recount, where the by-election victor held his seat.

In the 2014 referendum Clackmannanshire voted “no” which was a body blow to the “yes” campaign since it had been accepted the electorate was pro-independence.

Its recently appointed Counting Officer and Council Chief Executive, Elaine McPherson, who surprisingly resided in Cheshire, England, was a former business partner of the master of shady deals, Sir Philip Green, the notorious British tycoon and die-hard Zionist-for-Empire-and-Austerity.

Mary Pitcaithly, a senior Civil Servant and Unionist was appointed Chief Counting Officer, of the independence referendum.

A qualified corporate lawyer she was second chair of the “Queen’s High Commissioner” Arbuthnot Commission which considered and recommended controversial constituency boundary changes and voting systems in Scotland.

She then joined the Tory/Labour coalition in 2012 and played a major role in the organisation of the anti SNP “spoiler” Unionist biased Bannockburn 700 celebrations.

In her referendum brief to the public she stated that there would be no national recount even if the result was close.

The referendum held in September 2014 wasn’t so much an electoral process as an unfettered festival of jiggery-pokery and gerrymandering Conspiracy!!!!! witnessed by the triumphalist behaviour of Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Scottish Tories who claimed minutes after the outcome of the referendum that she and many Unionist campaigners within the “Better Together” group were aware that they had won the referendum before the 18th of September which meant that they had to have had access to the postal votes which were supposed to have been held secure until after the live voting had concluded at 2200 hours on the 18th of September.

Davidson was interviewed by the police but the public were not informed of the outcome of their investigations.

The Smith Commission

Core structures & desired outcomes

Civil servants worked effectively to construct an intelligible process that established and maintained momentum and reached a conclusion by the agreed deadline.

The deal reached created the potential for policy divergence between Scotland and the rest of the UK, symptomatic of the shift to competitive but restricted welfare federalism.

The UK government,though not formally present at the negotiations exerted considerable control feeding their policy preferences into the Commission and shaping an outcome that fitted their preferences.

From Whitehall, the short-term political agenda was driven by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jermey Heywood, who claimed to be serving the political agenda of the UK Goverment.

The Treasury bowed to political realities in the short-term, confident of its ability to reassert its authority in the more technical negotiations that to follow the Commission’s conclusions

The Deal

The outcome of the Commission most closely reflected the preferences of the Conservative party.

Both Conservative members of the Commission claimed, in interviews, that they had successfully “delivered Strathclyde” (the Conservative’s devolution proposals were the result of an internal party commission that was informally named the Strathclyde Commission, after its chair).

The Conservatives, a party who opposed Scottish Home Rule through to the 1960s and Tony Blair’s devolution proposals in the 1990s had managed to find a middle ground between the maximalist position of the SNP and Labour’s proposals. The intellectual argument had been won by the better politically equipped Conservatives.

The technical success of the Smith Commission in that it reached an outcome by the agreed deadline came at the expense of ambition and detail.

In order to secure a minimum level of agreement in a short space of time, certain contentious or complicated issues remained unresolved. The result was a terse report with a low level of analysis and argument.

The devolution of welfare was not sufficiently explored and thought through, and the discussion was ultimately cut short not only by the time pressures limiting the extent of the engagement by Scotland’s academic and third sector but also by the recurring intervention of the Cabinet Secretary in London.

The report also relied on abstract concepts such as the principle of “no detriment” that required subsequent inter-governmental negotiations to give it substance.

A short-term fiscal framework was agreed in February 2016, but negotiations afterwards were punctuated by the intransigence of the Scottish Secretary, David Mundell who laboriously insisted on conducting a long drawn out campaign of delaying tactics aimed at reducing devolved powers.


The Smith Commission was a political fix in the guise of an investigation. Its predetermined task, which it accomplished, was to put together a package of powers that could be presented as delivering a ‘powerhouse’ Holyrood. This neutralised the heat of the referendum battle by creating some legitimacy and consensus around the next stage of Scotland’s devolution journey. Its report was simply a checklist of agreed points and mentions of unresolved issues.

The source document is well worth a long read (


The insidious input of UK Government officials in the conspiracy to destroy Alex Salmond -part 2 – the rise of Sturgeon and Leslie Evans

Autumn of 2014

Announcing the 2014 independence referendum result a clearly relieved Prime Minister David Cameron, confirmed the “Vow” published in the DailY Record, would be fully implemented by the UK Government.

He then went on to announce that a consequence of increasing the powers of the devolved Scottish Government generated a need to resolve the “West Lothian” question and to facilitate this an urgent “Bill” would be introduced at Westminster barring Scottish MP’s from any involvement in legislation impacting on England and Wales.

For many Scots the off-handed manner of his surprise pronouncement of momentous change was an ominous portent of events to come.

Although the referendum had been lost the close run outcome promised a bright future for the SNP which contrary to expectations was polling very highly.

But a despondent Alex Salmond took stock and judged it was time for him to give up his role as leader of the SNP and Scottish Government. It would be for a new leadership team to take the cause of independence forward.

Sturgeon Coronated SNP leader

The Party membership on 14 November 2014 at the Autumn Conference in Perth, formally inducted Sturgeon, as Party leader.

Her first ill judged decision, against the advice of Alex Salmond, and other senior Party officials was to confirm her husband Peter Murrell would continue in his role as Chief Executive of the Party.

In acting as she did she exposed a style of leadership closely resembling that of her political hero the consumate control freak, Margaret Thatcher. But would the two headed monster consume the Party? Early indicators were not promising.

She got a dream start. The SNP’s main rival, Labour, was in turmoil. In contrast the SNP had experienced a massive surge of support for independence. Party membership had grown from 25,000 before the referendum to more than 90,000 and rising, making it the UK’s third-largest party, indicating independence had only been briefly delayed.

Sturgeon went on to complete a week long tour of Scotland meeting these many new members, culminating in her triuphant address to the Party faithful at a fully booked 13,000 capacity SSE Hydro in Glasgow.

But there were concerns that the expectations of the vast bulk of the new members who wanted independence to remain central to the SNP political agenda would be ignored when she said that the rumoured watered down proposals for increased powers were sufficient to continue to negotiate in good faith with Lord Smith, who was heading the multi-political team tasked with to drawing up a package of new tax and welfare powers for Scotland by early January 2015.

Addressing independence she said she still believed Scotland would become independent: “at some stage in the future”. But a decision to include another referendum in the Party’s next manifesto would be determined by circumstances, including the impact of a delivery of more powers and the possibility of an EU referendum.

Sturgeon Gains Power

On 20 November 2014, Sturgeon was officially sworn into the office of First Minister of Scotland. The next day she unveiled her Cabinet with a 50/50 gender balance.

Sturgeon’s bold move demonstrated one significant difference between herself and Thatcher. The latter was dismissive of feminism, while she made promoting gender equality her top priority, regardless of ability. When questioned about style and substance she said:

“Thatcher didn’t do anything to open opportunity for women coming up behind her. I want to make sure I use whatever time I get to be First Minister to make sure that it’s not another 20 years before we have another woman leader in Scotland.”

And her fervent advocacy of the cause of feminism was not confined to Cabinet appointments. Her first “programme for government”, included proposals to force larger Scottish companies to introduce gender-balanced boards by 2020.

At a conference for women members of the Party she promised her personal intervention for any woman seeking official roles. And when When a female SNP councillor complained that a male party colleague had criticised her for wearing white linen trousers at work, she empathasised with her saying: “If it wasn’t for the fact that I know you are perfectly capable of dealing with that yourself I would suggest that the next time he makes a comment like that you send him to me for further discussion.”

In a follow up interview she said that political commentators’ obsessive focus on appearance was just one of a multitude of obstacles to women’s progress. Adding: “It’s probably not a single day goes by when I don’t read some derogatory comment about myself, about how I look or what I’m wearing. I’m used to it but what angers me is the thought that there might be some young woman out there just now who would really like to get into politics but picks up a newspaper and reads some awful commentary about my hair, or how I look, and thinks: “I don’t think I could put myself through that.”

And Sturgeon was quick to dismiss Unionist claims that a constitutional referendum would be a “once-in-a-generation” event with a counter that another vote could be held as soon as public opinion permitted it.

Citing Neil MacCormick, the Scottish legal philosopher, as distinguishing between existentialist and utilitarian nationalists, the latter wanting independence mainly for the power claiming it would provide politicians with the ability to build a better country. She offered: “There’s probably a mix of both of those things in most modern nationalists but I’m more of the utilitarian type than the existential type.”

Mid-January 2015 The new broom begins her sweep

Sir Peter Howsden, Scotland most senior Civil Servant, whose tenure as Permanent Secretary was dogged by opposition allegations that he had gone “native” in his relationship with Alex Salmond’s nationalist administration announced his retirement from office saying he would leave his job well before the May 2015 UK General Election.

Alex Salmond said Sir Peter had handled the referendum process and talks with the UK government “particularly well”, as an “outstanding public servant”.

But Sir Peter was called to Westminster to face a charge that he had breached the Civil Service Code over an internal briefing in which he had advised those in attendance that the referendum debate had left “the status quo lost in the mists of time”.

He was found not guilty. But many Unionist politicians continued to question his impartiality, including Sir Bernard Jenkin, Conservative convener of Westminster’s Public Administration Committee, who asked whether he could impartially serve another administration in the event the SNP was voted out in 2016.

Sir Peter denied acting as a “cheerleader” for independence and told the Commons committee he had raised no concerns with SNP ministers that the white paper on independence could have compromised civil service neutrality.

Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott suggested Sir Peter had presided over a politicised civil service and the promotion of SNP policy with the launch of the white paper in late 2013, saying : “The Scottish civil service needs a shake-up. If they are to be impartial and above reproach, we cannot see repeats of the infamous independence white paper which was an SNP political manifesto and contrary to the values of an independent civil service. Change at the top is needed and Scotland will look for a new approach from a new permanent secretary.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, welcoming Sir Peter’s departure, said: “We need to draw a line underneath that period and given that, Sir Peter’s decision to leave before a potential change of government is the right one.”

UK Cabinet Secretary regains control of Scotland

Sir Peter’s departure provided the UK Cabinet Secretary and head of the Civil Service, Sir Jeremy Heywood, with the opportunity to re-establish his authority over Civil Servants employed in Scotland and he did so with great speed ushering in to power a team of hardline feminist and Stonewall activist Civil Servants led by a newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Leslie Evans.

The change brought with it a reintroduction of the Permanent Secretary’s weekly meetings with UK Cabinet colleagues in London requiring Leslie Evans to rise at 0455 hours so that she could catch a first class early bird flight from Turnhouse.

Expensive but reinforced Heywood’s control of herself and the 5000 Civil Servants in Scotland.

The stage was set for Stonewall to deploy its considerable LGBTI resources to Scotland.

Which it did with Sturgeon’s enthusiastic support and £400,000 of Scottish taxpayers hard earned cash.


The insidious input of UK Government officials in the conspiracy to destroy Alex Salmond -part 1 – setting the scene

Alex Salmond – his drive for Scottish independence

The SNP first gained power under the inspired leadership of Alex Salmond at the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, forming a minority government, before going on to win the 2011 Parliament election on a platform of supporting independence and of holding a referendum.

Alex challenged the status of a “devolved executive” asserting that the electorate of a sovereign country had every expectation that their votes cast in a general election would result in the formation of a government and ignoring protests emanating from the Cabinet Office London went ahead and changed the terminology then created the Scottish Government.

He then changed the roles and responsibilities of the civil service in Scotland, stating, “It is the role of the Scottish civil service to work with the elected government of the day to implement its policies”.

The Cabinet Secretary of the UK Government was quick to condemn the change claiming there would be “constitutional fiction” since officials in Edinburgh and London were part of a single unified civil service and the long established principle of a single civil service responsible to the UK Government Cabinet Office Secretary was worth protecting.

But Sir Peter Housden, the Scottish Government Permanent Secretary and Civil Servants in Scotland fully embraced the regime change and adapted its policies accordingly ignoring any contrary instructions from London.

He praised Scottish ministers’ “vision, skill and energy” and their “ambitious and exciting programme”.

After the SNP’s election victory he wrote:

“This will be a remarkable period in Scotland’s history as we embark on a journey toward constitutional reform with the near-term strengthening of the Scotland Bill and a referendum in the second half of the parliament. The terms of this debate have changed irrevocably in just three weeks.”

He also urged staff to read an opinion piece by a politics professor which argued the SNP no longer had a “conceptual” problem with persuading voters to support independence. The stage was set for confrontation.

This was triggered when in November 2011, Alex Salmond launched the SNP Governments white paper for independence, “Scotland’s Future”.

Unionist politicians in Scotland wrote to the Cabinet Secretary in London forcefully criticising the Permanent Secretary, saying the paper, prepared by the Civil Service in Scotland was close to being a Party manifesto and lacked candour and accuracy and did not uphold the factual standards expected of a government white paper.

They also questioned the use of public money for partisan purposes, stating that Civil Servants should not be required to carry out ministers’ wishes if they are being asked to use public funds to promote the agenda of a political party.

The Scottish Government insisted that “Scotland’s Future”, “met the highest professional standards and that its contents were entirely appropriate for a government publication and it was a proper use of public funds.

The 2014 Independence Referendum

The September 2014 Independence Referendum inspired the UK Government and Unionist political supporters at Westminster, in business and the news and television media to execute a brutal “Project Fear” campaign against the future well being of Scots.

But despite their best efforts when their deceitful “Better Together” campaign was faced with the probability of defeat its leaders unlawfully broke the agreed rules of campaigning by illegally publishing an offer to the Scottish electorate, in the Daily Record, to establish a devolved Scottish Government armed with “Devomax” powers. That was self rule just short of full independence. Many Scots fell for the ruse and voted to remain within the Union.

Alex Salmond resigned soon after, opening the door in November 2014, for Nicola Sturgeon to be appointed by acclimation to the position of Leader of the SNP and the Scottish Government.

2014: Stonewall and its Gender Gestapo set the agenda on diversity

Stephen Frost, the Director of Stonewall, one of the largest organisations campaigning for the rights of LGBT people across Britain was contracted, cost £millions, together with his organisation to act as expert advisors to the UK government advising Heywood on the implementation of Stonewall’s ideals on the delivery of diversity and inclusion policies within the Civil Service in England and Wales.

Accepting all recommendations, Heywood decided on the execution of a civil service diversity drive led by a single cross-government team run through his offices.

The initial push would commit the civil service to an intensive programme” of informed assistance for departments and agencies enabling them to fully integrate diversity and inclusion into their business processes.

Heywood then announced his intentions in an address to a Civil Service summit saying:

“The implementation of diversity policies will be scrutinised by non-executive directors with established track records on diversity. While the most senior civil servants will be deemed personally responsible for tackling discrimination. As long as I’m head of the civil service this will be one of the top priorities and we will relentlessly focus on it. I want each individual permanent secretary to have a clear, evidence-based objective relevant to their department for which they will be held accountable. The objectives will be public so there will be public pressure. They will be agreed stretching objectives such that if we meet them consistently over the parliament we’ll have made a big difference.”

The drive for change was designed to eliminate the then prevalent culture of working which was holding back disabled Civil Servant’s of which a disproportionate number reported being bullied or harassed in the workplace.

It would also bring order to the inconsistent and uncoordinated implementation of the new policies being designed to ensure talented black and minority ethnic (BME) civil servants would be recognised through promotion and correcting the paucity of senior lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) role models in the Civil Service.

The Civil Service in Scotland was not included in Heywood’s agenda for change since the Permanent Secretary, Sir Peter Housden took his instructions from Alex Salmond and ignored any of the overtures from London. Another confrontation was inevitable.

To be continued


Sunak-The uber rich UK Prime Minister that broke the Royal Bank of Scotland will replay the tactic on Scotland with his freeports

Rishi Sunak – A history of banking scandals and tax evasion

Sunak shone as a partner in the interventionist hedge fund the Children’s Investment Fund (TCI) while it targeted Dutch bank ABN Amro to the point that Royal Bank of Scotland ill-advisedly bought it up in 2007 and needed a £45bn taxpayer-funded bailout the following year.

That history may or may not help Sunak clear up his former firm’s mess as he takes charge of the 62 per cent stake in RBS the taxpayer still owns.

Soon afterwards, in 2009, Sunak left TCI to co-found another hedge fund, the Anglo-American Thélème Partners.

It is closely linked to the Cayman Islands – where Thélème funds were supposedly principally managed in the classic tax-avoiding way that hedge funds operate, slashing tax bills from California to Mayfair.

Just three days before his promotion to Chancellor, the eager-to-please Sunak launched his pet policy for freeports around the UK. A plan he first pushed as a relatively new MP in a 2016 paper for the right-wing Centre for Policy Studies.

Now he has his hands on all of the financial controls of government he can and will do whatever it takes to entice major investment to the soon to be created freeports (ie big tax breaks and few questions asked). (truepublica)


Blinkered and driven by a single minded determination to destroy Alex Salmond yet the SNP leadership permit Holyrood to be used as a sex predators playground

02 Mar 2018: Sex scandals in Scottish parliament under Nicola Sturgeon’s watch

The publication date, early March 2018, is very relevant. This was a Scottish Government survey conducted right at the start of the efforts to destroy the reputation of Alex Salmond.

The report was a political bombshell, and yet it never appeared in any of the copious senior management texting correspondence. Nicola Sturgeon maintained she knew nothing about anything, which is impossible to believe since she read and commented on the document.

The October 2017, “Me2” campaign and the Westminster sex scandal arising from it prompted the completion of a confidential survey of people employed at Holyrood, including MSPs, their staff, parliamentary workers, and news reporters. Over 1000 individuals responded and the results were shocking.

The Holyrood sexual harassment report was sent to Nicola Sturgeon at the beginning of March 2018. It listed more than 200 allegations of harassment, most dating from 2016. Of the 137 women who said they had been sexually harassed, 67 reported that the perpetrator was an MSP. The report was quickly buried, and only Alex Salmond was put through the ringer. Why?

The findings showed that Holyrood perpetrators were nearly always male, regardless of the gender of the victim and in the majority of cases, the alleged perpetrator was in a position of authority.

Reports included 5 instances where the perpetrator had attempted to pinch or grope the victim’s bottom, and 10 where they had tried to kiss their victim. There was even 1 attempt to grope the breast of a woman, and another attempt to grab at a victim’s crotch.

The report also indicated that victims and their perpetrators were “most likely” to come from the same group of people. Nine of the 13 MSPs who had reported sexual harassment said their abuser had been another MSP.

Some 40 percent of respondents said they had been targeted by a parliamentary worker, and a further 20 percent by a member of MSPs’ staff. The total percentage exceeds 100 percent, as some respondents reported more than one case of harassment.

A total of 29 percent of respondents – which is approximately 300 people – said they had witnessed sexual harassment. One-in-five women said they had received sexist comments, 16 percent reported unwanted looks or leers, and another nine percent reported unwanted physical contact.

Of concern was that 11 people who had reported harassment said their cases were not taken seriously or acted on by their managers, while four said their complaints had caused problems for them at work. Most had taken no action at all, and a quarter of respondents said they didn’t feel confident that they knew how to report such incidents. (Sputnik)

The Scottish National party (SNP) is the only party in Scotland that cannot provide evidence of overhauling its sexual harassment policy following the #MeToo revelations of November 2017. This after a confidential survey conducted on 01 March 2018 found that one in 10 staff had experienced sexual harassment, 45% of whom said that the perpetrator was an MSP.

After note: All political parties, apart from the SNP, introduced revised procedures after 2017. Asked for comment, the SNP said it “continually looks to improve [its] policies and processes” and planned to introduce, in time, trained sexual harassment advisers.

The SNP is the only party which did not at the time display a code of conduct and relevant harassment policy on its website, or offer an easily searchable contact phone numbers or email to make a complaint. Indeed, the SNP code of conduct made no mention of sexual harassment specifically. (Guardian)


Swinney – A political numnut whose 25 year career is blotted by costly blunders and abject failure wasting many millions of Scottish taxpayers hard earned tax contributions

John Swinney – The early years

He was born on in Edinburgh on 13 April 1964.

He attended the University of Edinburgh, where he graduated with an MA Honours degree in politics in 1986.

John Swinney's ex-wife branded a “b***h” after her pet groomers was falsely  accused of slicing dog's ear

Personal life

He married work colleague Lorna in 1991. They had two children. The marriage ended in 1998 (annulled in 2000) after he discovered she was cheating on him with a married school-teacher.

She retained the family home and the children and he moved into rented accommodation nearby.

In July 2003, he married BBC journalist Elizabeth Quigley.

The wedding was was overshadowed by his decision to have his first marriage annulled by the Roman Catholic authorities.

He was a “practising member of the Church of Scotland”, but his wife was a Roman Catholic and the only way for them to marry in a Roman Catholic church was for him to obtain an annulment of his first marriage – a declaration that it had no legal existence and any children he might have with his new wife, would be brought up as Catholics.

Scottish Shadow First Minister John Swinney MSP and his new wife BBC  Correspondent Elizabeth Quigley leave Saint Peter's Parish Church,  Morningside, Edinburgh,after their wedding Stock Photo - Alamy


Swinney was a research officer for the Scottish Coal Project (1987–1988), a senior management consultant with Development Options (1988–1992), and a strategic planning principal with Scottish Amicable (1992–1997).

John Swinney : Police Scotland are not investigating SNP's finances | The  National

Early Party and political Career 1979-1997

He joined the SNP aged only 15 and was an active member of the youth wing, progressing over the years to the post of Assistant National Secretary then, in 1986, at the early age of 22, National Secretary until 1992, when he was promoted to the post of Vice Convenor, then Senior Vice Convenor (Deputy Party Leader) holding the position until 1997.

He was elected Member of Parliament (MP) in 1997, for the Tayside North constituency, and in 1999 he became an MSP for the same area in the Scottish Parliament.

He gave up the “dual mandate” as a Westminster MP at the 2001 general election in order reducing his time away from home.

He supported Margaret Ewing in her 1990 bid to become SNP leader, but transferred his allegiance to Alex Salmond who won it.

John Swinney admits Government kept defending Alex Salmond case despite  'reservations' | HeraldScotland

2000 to date: The Holyrood years – MSP Tayside North 1999-2011)-MSP Perthshire North

Alex Salmond resigned the Party leadership in 2000 and Swinney was elected Leader in the ensuing election.

His leadership was ineffectual, with the Party losing an MP in 2001 and a disastrous loss of 27 MSPs in 2003 despite all the political advantages being with the party.

His role as leader was challenged in 2003, but he was stubborn and held on to office only to be forced to step down following a disappointing 2004 European Parliament election in which the Party lost further ground.

16 Jun 2002: Swinney’s Chief of Staff departs

Stuart Borrowman walked out because of savage in-fighting just eight months after becoming the party’s top official.

His decision to quit came as senior members of the party fought a bloody battle for re-selection as candidates for the Holyrood elections.

Borrowman was one of Swinney’s vital strategists and was in charge of parliamentary staff and the Holyrood group budget and was the key to building an effective opposition to the Labour-led Executive.

The run-up to the series of Nationalist hustings was a bruising internal battle with spin and smear campaigns being waged against some of the most senior MSPs in the party.

Informed sources advised that Party members, fed up with the dithering gradualists wished to appoint fundamentalist candidates and senior MSPs could end up well down the list – endangering their Holyrood seats.

Aug 2003: Swinney’s Leadership challenged

West of Scotland List MSP, Campbell Martin became the first MSP to publicly back Bill Wilson in his leadership challenge and Swinney’s supporters feared his breaking ranks might spark an open revolt amongst the other 27 MSP’s. Speaking to the press Martin exposed deep divisions in the SNP saying his position reflected growing grassroots opposition to Swinney’s lack of commitment to independence. He said:

“The SNP is supposed to be the party of independence but under the current leader we have started to walk away from our core belief. Instead, we have argued to be allowed to form the Scottish Executive and manage devolution within the United Kingdom. I am sure the leadership of the party still believes in independence, it’s just that, to them, it has become an eventual aim that would be nice if it happened but no longer the main priority”.

Martin claimed Swinney was losing support of large swathes of the SNP because of the “New Labourisation” of the party and that he had surrounded himself with a clique of MSPs and unelected advisers who were shifting the party to the right. He continued saying:

“The clique that surrounds Swinney believes that if you are not with them, then you are against them and you are fair game to be attacked – even if your “crime” is nothing more than simply disagreeing with them. In the years of his leadership a number of SNP MSPs have complained about their treatment by the clique around the leader”.

3 Sep 2003: Stalking Horse candidate submits nomination papers

Although Dr Bill Wilson stood little chance of winning, it was the hope of Swinney’s critics that a “stalking horse” bid would provoke a serious challenge to a leader whose standing with Party members had been damaged further by the loss of 8 MSP’s in the last election.

Critics blamed the losses on the Swinney’s style and his lack of charisma.

But Swinney’s dictatorial style of leadership had alienated a number of MSP’s including former MSP, Dorothy-Grace Elder and legendary SNP, figure Margo McDonald both of whom had resigned from the Party.

A senior Party activist commented:

“This shows the widespread frustration among the grass roots. This was Labour’s worst election performance, but we could not capitalise on it – in fact we lost eight seats. And to add insult to injury, we had John Swinney and others claiming that it was a good campaign.”

10 Sep 2003: Swinney wins leadership battle

In a result marked by a low turnout and many abstentions an unhappy membership confirmed Swinney as Party Leader.

Speaking just after the result was announced a relieved Swinney said:

“This has been an uncomfortable summer for the SNP. But we have emerged stronger. I have made it clear that I have listened to members concerns and I will continue to listen. But the row between the gradualist side of the party and those who are in favour of an independence referendum, and the fundamentalist wing, who want all or nothing, should now end. The door is shut on these arguments”.

MSP Campbell Martin, the most prominent of Dr Wilson’s supporters, said:

“John will be pleased with the result. But he must now look over his shoulder. Bill took almost 20 per cent of the vote which means Swinney is effectively on probation until next year’s conference. Any danger to his leadership could now surface from people within his own leadership clique, who could now see an opportunity for themselves.”

21 Sep 2003: Swinney talks to other Party leaders about an independence referendum

Swinney hoped the prospect of a referendum would quell rebellion in the Party after he discussed his proposals with the Green Party and other independence supporting MSP’s.

But Senior SNP figures, who believe victory at the ballot box is all that is needed for independence, say that Swinney’s failure to grasp the nettle of independence by fudging the issue only confused voters.

One senior fundamentalist said: “What we want is independence not indecision”.

Swinney commented: “the choice for the SNP now is to follow a route into government and deliver independence through a referendum, or go into the political wilderness as we did in the 1980s, and that wasn’t a nice place for us. I’m prepared to talk to any political Party who supports independence”.

But a senior party figure questioned the wisdom of his plans to build such a coalition, saying: “This smacks of desperation. Swinney wants to reform the party believing a referendum on independence is the way forward. But to announce a week before the leadership vote that he wants to do that along with the Greens and SSP makes us look like a fantasy party. If this is a ploy to silence the fundamentalists it won’t work. All it does is show that we don’t have full confidence in winning a majority in the Scottish Parliament”.

Covid Scotland: Everything John Swinney said during Scottish Parliament  briefing - Edinburgh Live

27 Jun 2004: Swinney blames Alex Salmond for his downfall.

Furious Swinney bowed out from the Party leadership with an angry swipe at internal back-stabbing in the SNP.

In a veiled attack on the fundamentalists he said: “You know who they are, I know who they are.

Let’s make sure they don’t corrode the SNP and thwart our campaign for independence.

The small and vocal minority must understand this – our leader is democratically elected and once elected should be supported by every single member.”

The distancing between Swinney and Sturgeon came after Sturgeon and Roseanna Cunningham locked horns over over their ages.

Sturgeon, 33, said that she would “relatively have youth on my side”.

But Cunningham, 51, fired back that her remarks were “cheeky” and “a tad ageist”.

The bitching convinced Swinney to back Cunningham in the leadership contest.

He had thought Sturgeon to be his ally but was “raging” to hear that she had been briefing against him.

He told friends he blamed Alex Salmond, the man he replaced, for turning Sturgeon and much of the party against him.

He later visited Cunningham at her home and told her he would be backing her bid for the leadership.

His support would tip the balance in Cunningham’s favour and she would be almost certain to lead Scotland’s official opposition.

A senior Party member said: “As the knives came out, Swinney was astonished to hear Sturgeon was briefing against him.

He thought it a poor show after everything he’d done for her.

He’s been destroyed by back-stabbing and is convinced Alex Salmond orchestrated a whispering campaign against him.

It’s one member one vote and his move will gift 1,000 votes to Roseanna out of the 8,000 up for grabs.

That will swing it for her and Sturgeon has only got herself to blame.

She was Alex Salmond’s star girl then Swinney took her under his wing when he took over.

Now he finds out that she’s been stitching him up at what he thinks is Alex Salmond’s instruction.

Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond (L), with deputy John Swinney,  clap as The Queen opens the Scottish Parliament in the parliament chamber,  Edinburgh, July 1. Today's ceremonies mark the official opening

2004: Alex Salmond returns to the role of Party leader in the 2004 leadership contest.

2007: The Party went on to win the highest number of seats, (just short of a majority) in the Scottish Parliament in the 2007 election and he was appointed First Minister.

As the head of a minority administration, however, he was unable to secure the approval of Scotland’s Parliament for a referendum on independence.

Salmond, who studied economics at the University of St. Andrews and had worked as an economist for the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Salmond emphasized his priority would be issues such as as sustainable economic growth, fairer taxes, education, and environmental awareness and he quickly implemented a number of popular measures, such as freezing council tax rates.

He also maintained a close watch over Swinney whom he appointed Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth. A post in which he served until 2014.

2011: Alex Salmond’s diligence in the previous parliament was rewarded with the Party gaining an overall majority in the 2011 election and in 2012 he signed an agreement with British Prime Minister Cameron to hold an independence referendum in 2014.

In the weeks leading up to the referendum, he inspired the pro-independence cause, steadily eroding a significant lead held by the Unionist Party’s.

In August 2014 he emerged as the clear winner of a televised debate with Labour politician Alistair Darling, the leader of “Better Together,” the multiparty campaign committed to preserving Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom.

In polls held shortly after the debate, 51 percent of those expressing an opinion favoured independence. This marked the first time since polling on the matter began that the pro-independence camp had registered a lead, and Cameron response was to promise through “the Vow” (published in the Daily Record illegally, within the purgatory period) greater autonomy for Scotland.

On September 18, 2014, Scots went to the polls in unprecedented numbers, with turnout approaching 85 percent, and 55 percent voted to reject independence.

In his concession speech, Salmond declared that Scotland had “decided not, at this stage, to become an independent country,” a statement that raised the possibility of another referendum on the matter at some point in the future.

The day after the referendum, he announced that he would resign as first minister and SNP leader, a move that became official at the SNP’s national conference in November 2014, when he was replaced by Nicola Sturgeon.

John Swinney - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The Independent

Nov 2014: Sturgeon succeeded Alex Salmond.

Swinney retained his job as Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth adding the title Deputy First Minister to his CV.

May 2016: Sturgeon decided to freshen-up her government with the addition of new faces and Swinney, who publicly claimed he had asked for a new challenge, was removed from his comfort zone to the post of Education Secretary where he remained until 2021.

2021: Scottish Elections saw the SNP returned to power. Sturgeon, unhappy with Swinney’s performance in the Education brief, removed him from office to a new post as Covid Recovery Secretary.

John Swinney apologises for 'misleading' P1 tests letter | Dorset Echo

Honest John under the cosh

19 Aug 2011: Scottish Finance Secretary makes a profit at taxpayers’ expense

Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth in the Scottish Government, has made a large profit on his taxpayer-funded apartment.

The two-storey terraced property was recently sold for £430,000, after being bought for £355,000 in December 2003, while he was Leader of the SNP.

After capital gains tax, his total profit was around £57,000. But between the purchase and the sale, Swinney claimed more than £60,000 of taxpayers’ money to pay for the interest on his RBS mortgage.

Swinney is overseeing the implication of the UK chancellor’s austerity spending cuts and a public sector pay freeze, but saw no problem in claiming this huge sum of money from taxpayers.

It should not be forgotten that Swinney already earns a six-figure taxpayer-funded salary, which makes his claims and profit another kick in the teeth for hard-working families.

The way politicians are able to make a profit from taxpayer-funded homes is a scandal. (taxpayers alliance)


Was UK Government Cabinet Secretary Heywood a key contributor to the Alex Salmond conspiracy – get a taste of him before I write up the case

 Jeremy Heywood was appointed Cabinet Secretary following the announcement of Sir Gus O’Donnell’s retirement in December 2011. From September 2014 to October 2018, he also held the title “Head of the Civil Service”.

Prior to that, he was Permanent Secretary to two successive Prime Ministers at 10 Downing Street.

He also spent over three years as a Managing Director including as co-head of the UK Investment Banking Division at Morgan Stanley.

Before joining Morgan Stanley, he occupied a range of senior civil service roles, including as Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister (1999–2003).

Prior to that, he had a variety of senior roles at HM Treasury including:

  • Head of Securities and Markets Policy
  • Head of Corporate and Management Change

He also served as Principal Private Secretary to Chancellors Norman Lamont and Kenneth Clarke and had a spell at the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC. His first job in the civil service was as an Economic Adviser to the Health and Safety Executive.

He died of cancer in November 2018

The extraordinary man in the shadows who ruled 10 Downing Street

Jeremy Heywood – The civil servant who ran Britain

1932 -2022 – 90 years of Westminster Unionist abuse of Scots acquiesced by our own political representatives

The Labour Party in Scotland

Keir Hardie founded the Labour Party and championed the cause of the working class who had been badly governed for many years.

But political power in Scotland had been vested with the Tory and Liberal Party’s for nearly 240 years until the advent of change in the political scene, brought about by an awakening of the working class after WW2.

In the period 1945-1979 Party growth in Scotland was spectacular as factory workers, coal miners, shipyard and steel workers flocked to its banner.

In the same period the Party sent many able politicians to Westminster ensuring Scotland’s voice was heard in Parliament.

Scotland effectively became a one Party state as Labour dominated the political scene.

In the West of Scotland Labour votes were weighed not counted. In heavily industrialised Lanarkshire it was said that the Party could put up a donkey for election to office and it would win.

But the first past the post voting system of the UK had ensured Scotland would be governed by the Tory Party ( apart from brief periods between 1960-79 when Labour governments were elected but with small majority’s preventing effective policy delivery.)

The Thatcher years

The eighties brought twenty years of extreme right-wing government, introduced by Margaret Thatcher ending in 1997 with John Major.

Margaret Thatcher, since Scots refused to embrace her “dog eat dog society” asset stripped Scotland of its industrial base, transferring it to England and Wales.

She funded the changes abusing revenue accrued from Scotland’s oil. Using it to finance unemployment in Scotland resulting in many hundreds of thousands of Scots aged over 30 never working again. A lifetime on the dole, families at the mercy of the welfare state initially a safety net which she soon denied the children. Poverty and deprivation last witnessed in Scotland in the 1930’s. And she was proud of her government’s achievements.


Twenty years in the political wilderness was not encouraging for aspiring Labour politicians. The Party in Scotland failed to attract students of politics of the grade it had previously and yet the Labour heartlands of

Scotland persisted in voting less able individuals into office believing the alternative to be unpalatable. The capable but lazy “old guard” was replaced with incompetent corrupt regimes akin to those in place in Eastern Europe.

The Thatcher years rekindled the fires of desire to be free of a political system that had eclipsed Scotland to it’s detriment. The Scottish National Party (SNP) started to make an impact at local and national level.

But not in the West of Scotland which remained in the grip of the “Red Flag.”

The New Labour years

In 1997 Tony Blair and Gordon Brown introduced “New Labour” to Britain and inspired the electorate to get rid of a Tory government mired in scandal and corruption. The motto of the party was “things will only get better” and people believed it.

But major policy divisions soon emerged shattering the media hyped illusion of unity and harmony within labour yet the Tory Party was still in disarray and unelectable and the electorate returned New Labour to office in 2001 and 2005.

The world financial crash in 2007-8 sealed the fate of the New Labour government which had proved to be a “basket case” entity controlled by a warmongering elite who took Britain to the gates of hell in just about every aspect of an abuse of the power gifted to them by a gullible electorate.


Salmond and the SNP

In Scotland the SNP finally recaptured its purpose under the inspired leadership of Alex Salmond who had heeded the call of its members and returned to Scottish politics replacing the dull and incompetent John Swinney.

The response was electrifying. Scottish Parliamentary elections delivered an increased number of MSP’s. Disappointingly the changes in the fortunes of the Party were largely in the the rural areas and in the East of Scotland.

The Labour Party maintained it’s dominance over the West of Scotland.

The breakthrough came in 2007 when the SNP was returned by the Scottish electorate as the largest Party but without a majority and no offers of a coalition.

Overcoming many obstacles placed in his way by truculent Unionist politicians Alex Salmond formed a minority government which performed admirably and completed a full term in office.

The demise of New Labour

In 2010 many self penned Labour Party men of the people left their offices of state in a state of financial chaos contrasting their own futures which were guaranteed as peers of the realm holding positions of power and influence in big businesses (often linked to their previous employment as ministers).

Multi-millionaires one and all and no looking back at the people of Scotland who they had promised to represent faithfully but cynically betrayed.

The 2010 UK General Election

But lessons had not yet been learned by Scots and the electorate in the West of Scotland sent a bunch of incompetent Labour MP’s back to Westminster.

The red coloured political mapping in areas such as Motherwell, Hamilton, East Kilbride, Airdrie, Coatbridge, Bellshill and Glasgow stood with the labour Party.

Scottish Independence Referendum Odds | 6/1 For 2021 Vote

The 2011 Scottish General Election

The Scottish electorate was impressed by the competence of the government of the SNP lead by Alex Salmond and the Party was returned to government with an unprecedented overall majority.

Once more it had provided good governance despite the imposition by the UK government of  brutal financial austerity cutbacks which destroyed the hopes and aspirations of many thousands of Scots.

Poll: Support for independence hits historic high of 58% - STV News

The 2014 Independence Referendum

The referendum was lost by a small margin primarily due to the Unionist’s clubbing together with other interested groups to deny Scotland its independence.

But Scottish desire for independence had been reawakened by their near success and the revelations of Unionist skulduggery in the 2014 referendum and the electorate was no longer accepting of mistreatment by Westminster politicians.


The 2015 UK General Election

Unionist politicians at Westminster arrogantly believed that the additional very limited devolved powers recommended by the Smith Commission would silence the Scots but in doing so failed to recognise the new political reality.

The election, only 6 months after the September referendum provided Scotland with the opportunity to send a message to politicians in Westminster that the betrayal of the pledges made by Unionist politicians in the 2014 referendum “Vow” was unacceptable to a Scottish electorate that was fed up to the back teeth being recognised by other nations of the World as a quaint wee colony of England, occupied by haggis eating, bagpipe playing, whisky drinking layabouts who existed only with the guarantee of financial handouts by a benign and over generous England. And in a shot across the bows they sent 56 SNP MP’s to Westminster with a remit to declare Scotland’s independence. That they failed to do so cast a mortal slur on the leadership of the SNP and its members commitment to the cause of Scottish independence.

Scottish Independence equals record 58% high in new poll – Business for  Scotland

The 2016 Scottish General Election

The election provided the opportunity for the people of Scotland to stand up for their rights and get rid of the corrupt, incompetent, crime ridden Labour controlled councils in the West of Scotland and Aberdeen. 

But the lack lustre performance of the SNP leadership in the course of the campaign provided the Tory Party, under the hi-profile control of Ruth Davidson, with the opportunity to  take seats from the labour Party, which was in meltdown. And she duly did so. Seats that should have been won by the SNP were lost to the Tory’s.

 Nicola Sturgeon and her team’s indecisive campaigning very nearly brought an end to the SNP government. With the help of the Green Party it was returned to government but only after making significant unacceptable concessions. Hardly inspiring!! and things would get worse.

The feud between Sturgeon and Salmond could derail Scottish independence |  Scottish politics | The Guardian

The 2017 General election was a disappointment for the SNP

The 56 MP’s elected only 18 months before had achieved absolutely nothing at Westminster. The Unionist dominated House of Commons mocked, ridiculed and contemptuously dismissed the opinions, views and contributions of SNP representatives as irrelevant nonsense at every televised sitting of the House.

The embarrassing spectacle and daily humiliation of Scottish MP’ in the Commons was witnessed by viewers worldwide and  many Scots at home and the absence of any decisive action by Nicola Sturgeon was reflected in the loss of 21 MP’s.


The 2019 UK General Election

In the election campaign the SNP told Scots it was firmly committed and would demand the right to hold another independence referendum if  the electorate indicated a desire for it by returning a majority of Scottish MP’s to Westminster.

The SNP subsequently gained a 45% share of the vote winning 48 seats and claiming second place in the 11 others.

Nicola Sturgeon told Boris Johnson he had no right to stand in the way of another Scottish independence referendum adding that the overwhelming victory  reinforced and strengthened the mandate for  another independence referendum.

It is now 2022 and three years on from the General Election and there is no firm indication a second referendum will be held.


My 2017 warning of impending failure at the ballot box fell on the deaf ears of an incompetent SNP leadership

10 Jun 2017: Petra commented:

“Boris or Jack? I have no idea who you are but suffice to say you must be working your butt off in promoting the Independence cause. The level of your depth of knowledge, historical and otherwise, and obvious talent for carrying out investigations and research is second to none. I follow your articles (every one – plus save them all) and they are truly amazing. More than anything I use a great deal of what you have to say online and on the doorstep to great effect. Keep up the good work. It’s people like you and Stuart Campbell who are making a massive difference and we won’t forget it when we get our Independence. Maybe then I’ll find out if you are Boris or Jack, LOL. Best of wishes from me and more than anything thanks a million.”

10 Jun 2017: Barry Watson commented:

“A true voice for Scotland jock, your knowledge is an inspiration to read, not just the divisive one liners that all too often get spouted from the keyboards of some “yessers”. You should be heard on a bigger stage in my opinion, are you in contact with serving MSP’s? Maybe someone could get you time with the first minister’s team, I’m sure they could learn even a little. Keep up the good work!”

12 Jun 2017: Andrew Smith commented:

“I share all your blogs on Facebook, and have noticed a few posters on ‘wings’ sharing them, I think you reach more people than you imagine.
But, like you say, the SNP leadership should be taking more on board the material served up by yourself and several other excellent sites, let’s face it, you’re all doing them a great service at no cost to party funds!”

12 Jun 2017: Caltonjock replied:

“Thank you for the kind words. I have been active for around three and a half years now and have clocked up 654,000 hits, to date. I know Wings attracts many more people but it is aimed at a different audience. I prefer to gather facts supported by evidence so that the information can be passed on with confidence. I often results in long articles but careful reading aids understanding of complex issues. I can only keep working away in the hope that someone near the top of the SNP tree recognises my efforts and gets the information to the right places.”

15 March 2017: Petition against a second Scottish independence referendum

A petition stating;

” A second Scottish Independence referendum should not be allowed to happen” has reached 123,000 signatures.

It stated:  “We in Scotland are fed up of persecution by the SNP leader who is solely intent on getting independence at any cost. As a result, Scotland is suffering hugely.

The majority of Scottish voters wish to remain in the British union, despite Nicola Sturgeon’s latest demands for a Scottish referendum, according to the latest polling from YouGov.

Some 57 per cent of Scots would vote No in an independence referendum, according to the poll, although younger people aged 18-24 were overwhelmingly in favour of independence.

The petition, on the Government’s official website is growing daily and is well in excess of the 100,000 signature threshold required for a debate on the issue at Westminster.

Ruth Davidson’s Media Manipulation Team In Action

The passage of time might reveal that the petition was a “spoiler” prepared and submitted to the internet social media by Ruth Davidson’s recently appointed high profile media manipulation team headed by Gordon Hector.

But fair play the ploy worked since it succeeded in raising the public profile of the possibility of another Independence referendum, which (at the time) had not been given mention by anyone other than Ruth Davidson.

The bellicose behaviour of Ruth Davidson at First Ministers questions, in the period after publication of Mundell’s pronouncement gave impetus to this review and analysis of information arising from the petition.

Methodology – Analysis of Petition Figure’s

Information was sourced from official lists and records providing numbers of acceptable signatories by Scottish Constituency.

Electorate totals were included and a percentage signatory total was established for each constituency.

From that the mean figure of 3.75% was used to forward project the outcome of an Independence referendum, should one be held after Brexit.

The figures suggest that from an electorate of 4,021,203 the outcome of another referendum would result in a: 48.00% “Yes” vote in favour of independence with 52.00% preferring to remain with the Union.

The information would be best used to forward plan strategy.

Edinburgh, Aberdeen, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire recorded higher than average figures favouring remaining with the Union.

Others appear to be less dogmatic which is encouraging.

The 2017 General Election

The landslide victory achieved by the SNP in the last GE cannot realistically be achieved. My analysis suggests 23 seats might change hands with the Tory Party being the main benefactor: The SNP campaign management teams will need devote additional resources to the marginals to be sure of a maximum turnout of supporters otherwise many of the under-noted constituencies will be lost.


This group of seats are marginals – The risk of loss decreases as the % number drops

71749: Edinburgh W., Michelle Thomson: 4388-6.12% Lib Gain

69982: E. Renfrewshire, Kirsten Oswald: 4241-6.06% Tory Gain

66966: E. Dunbartonshire, John Nicolson: 3977-5.94% Lib Gain

65846: Edinburgh S., Ian Murray: 3579-5.44% (Labour) Lab Hold

73445: West Abdn, Stuart Donaldson: 3961-5.40% Tory Gain

80978: Edinburgh N. & Leith, Deidre Brock MP: 4280-5.29% SNP Hold

66208: Paisley & Renfrew N., Gavin Newlands: 3158-4.77% SNP Hold

68875: Argyll & Bute, Brendan O’Hara: 3277-4.75% SNP Hold

62003: N. E. Fife, Stephen Gethins: 2937-4.74% SNP Hold

67236: Stirling, Steven Paterson: 3175-4.72% Tory Gain

77379: Ochil, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh: 3645-4.71% Tory Gain

79393: Gordon: Rt Hon Alex Salmond: 3711-4.68% Tory Gain

68056: Aberdeen South: Callum McCaig: 3618-4.65% Tory Gain

79481: East Lothian, George Kerevan: 3676-4.63% Lab Gain

72178: Edinburgh South West, Joanna Cherry: 3283-4.55% SNP Hold

72447: Perth & North, Pete Wishart MP: 3033-4.19% SNP Hold

71685: Moray, Angus Robertson: 2995-4.18% Tory Gain

78037: Lanark & Hamilton E, Angela Crawley: 3272-4.19% SNP Hold

68483: Dumfriesshire, David Mundell: 2816-4.11% Tory Hold

74179: Berwickshire, Calum Kerr: 3026-4.08% Tory Gain

86955: Linlithgow & East Falkirk, Martyn Day: 3570-4.11% SNP Hold

68609: Banff & Buchan, Dr Eilidh Whiteford: 2772-4.04% Tory Gain

73445: W. Abdn, Stuart Donaldson: 3961-5.40% Tory Gain


Offering reasons why Gender Identity ideology is now firmly rooted in Scotland and its adverse impact on women’s sex based rights and gay rights

Jacqui Gavin: Trans campaigner

I came across Jacqui quite by accident. I was in the middle of a blog on some Stonewall teaching materials for primary schools and during the course of that research I looked up Pearsons; who co-produced the teaching materials. This led me to Pearsons Spectrum UK who have a YouTube channel. The only person featured on that channel is Jacqui, a rather charming Scottish male who claims a ”transgender” identity. You can find it here: (

Jacqui is asked to outline their history and tells a lovely anecdote about being a ten year old boy, coming across a black and white picture of a naked man but the nudity wasn’t what caught the young boys attention, it was the sadness in his eyes. Turning over the page there is another image of the same person, clawing at his skin and peeling off his male exterior to reveal a beautifully made up and glamorous woman.

This was in the 1970’s so Jacqui describes a few years of going to visit psychiatrists who ”prodded and poked me” all the while saying ”little boys can’t become little girls”. Jacqui’s parents, we are told, encouraged the young Jacqui to take up masculine pursuits and Jacqui was so successful they became a schoolboy signing for Aberdeen, under Alex Ferguson, who is better remembered for his management of Manchester United. Sadly, we are told ”Fergie” found out that I was a little bit different which “prompted me to lose my schoolboy contract”.

At this point, we learn, that Jacqui moved to London, age 15, but returned home after a year because their mum was terminally ill. In a surprise move the next event of significance involved joining the military, only to be discovered to be ”different” and forced to leave or face a criminal sentence. Their account here differs from other versions which stated that they were in fact discovered wearing women’s clothing. And another in which they stated that they made the decision to leave after being threatened with demotion.

According to Jacqui these are their qualifications.

Marriage and Modelling.

Jacqui then describes being outed as ”transgender” by the media. This is true and was occasioned by a 1995 marriage ceremony, to a man, in the Caribbean. An article in 2015 describes the relationship as 23 years long. The coverage was indeed cruel and sensationalist.

Once again, we are told, the modelling career was ended when it was discovered they were not female.

Civil Service

Jacqui then describes joining the civil service and within two weeks being contacted by Terry Moran and asked to help the Civil Service with the ”trans” issue. This is Terry’s CV. {Jacqui also talks about having their own private cheerleader in Jeremy Heywood; he was the Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet under both David Cameron and Theresa May}.

You can see Jacqui’s career trajectory below. All from Jacqui’s linkedin. Financial Conduct Authority, posts in the Civil Service at the Department for Work and Pensions, Department for International Trade and the Cabinet Office. Not bad for someone who’s highest qualification appears to be a City and Guilds. During their spare time Jacqui also found time to be on the advisory board for Diva Magazine and worked with Diversity Role Models. Jacqui was also awarded the Order of the British Empire and regularly appears in lists of influential LGBT influencers.

Jacqui became first Chair of the Transgender Network and then joined the steering group a:Gender

As Jacqui explains this allowed the combining of a role as a Trans activist and a Civil Servant and their influence spread across the Civil Service.

In the YouTube for Pearson Spectrum Jacqui talks a good game about listening to all voices; ”even those we don’t want to hear”, its somewhat spoilt by the addition of “even those spouting hate” but it’s an attempt, at least. There’s some guff about walking a mile in other peoples shoes, and a patronising assumption that lack of acceptance is because people don’t understand. Women could say the same to Jacqui, who also doesn’t understand what it is to be us.

Women’s right to feel safe.

One of the interviewers then asked a question which looked as if there would be some meaningful engagement with the concerns of women but the question was how we include trans-identified males ”transwomen” in the conversation so they are not marginalised. However Jacqui threw them a somewhat ”terfy” curve ball. Seems Jacqui is a bit concerned about the ever expanding ”trans” umbrella and female spaces.

I would love to see a source for this quote. I cannot find any reference to this anywhere online. After some checking I don’t think this is true but there are other examples of men with transvestic fetishism committing sex offences against women.

Jacqui then talks about how self-conscious they feel using female facilities even though they have had a ”full transition”. Maybe this reflects some subconscious (or conscious) awareness they are violating women’s boundaries and women are undressing because they think they are in an all female facility?

Jacqui’s preferred solution to this issue is ”gender neutral” (a.k.a mixed sex) facilities. Unfortunately for us Jacqui was listened to over women and gender neutral facilities spread across the civil service and wider society. If Jacqui had walked a mile in our shoes and understood women’s history they would not casually strip single sex spaces from women.

This is what the government had to say on it’s consultation toilet facilities, launched in January 2021.


In recent years, there has been a trend towards the removal of well-established male-only/female-only spaces when premises are built or refurbished, and they have often been replaced with gender-neutral toilets. This places women at a significant disadvantage. While men can then use both cubicles and urinals, women can only use the former, and women also need safe spaces given their particular health and sanitary needs (for example, women who are menstruating, pregnant or at menopause, may need to use the toilet more often).

Women are also likely to feel less comfortable using mixed sex facilities, and require more space.

By then Jacqui was out of the civil service.

It’s difficult to make an assessment of how much damage was done by the various trans-identified males in the Civil Service. I sense Jacqui has a growing appreciation that the, ever-expanding, ”trans” umbrella presents a range of new challenges. Developments over the last decade have jeopardised the privileged access to female spaces they have enjoyed for over 30 years. At this stage the ethical decision is to campaign for gender neutral spaces and single sex spaces and illustrate your good faith by ending use of female only spaces. By continuing to use female spaces, by stealth or emotional blackmail, you are violating women’s boundaries in any space where women are undressing or merely meeting to discuss issues that only affect women, as a sex class.

This article was written and posted to her blog by one of the best informed women on women’s issues on planet earth. (

Close friends Leslie and Jacqui leading a Scottish government Trans Inclusion event bringing colleagues together with inspirational trans-role models & those involved in improving the experiences of trans people at work & in our society