Covert Professor, John ‘le Careless’ Robertson, a leading academic and a frustrated spy-writer, gives us his thoughts on the latest developments in ‘Salmondgate.’ Please note that this apparently humorous approach is a cunning ploy to fool conspirators into revealing themselves and, of course, to dupe vulnerable members of the public into believing a conspiracy theory. Please note that that last bit is, of course, a double-bluff.
The Mactwittersphere is alive with very lively conjecture. Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans, who led the internal complaints procedure against Salmond, is allegedly a Westminster appointee and allegedly the secret wife of the Head of MI5, Jonathan Evans. One half of the previous sentence is demonstrably true. She’s the allegedly dumped wife of David Mundell, Scottish Governor. According to her, he is in the music industry – ‘He works in rock and roll, touring with bands.’ Aye right! Clearly a spook.
@PlayMI5tyforme suggests that the head of the UK civil service had her allegedly appointed as a ‘sleeper’, to sit quietly and patiently waiting for an opportunity to ‘do-in’ the SNP and this is the best she could find. The likely presence of ‘sleepers’ in Scottish Government departments was exposed by a sleeping Scotsman writer in 2013:
“Sleepers” could already be embedded in Scottish Government departments. James Aitken, formerly involved in overseas development, said “sleepers” may have been placed “ready to be activated as required”.
Today, Salmond’s lawyer even accused Evans of ‘giving the complainants encouragement’ [Winding them up?] to pursue a case against the former First Minister, five years after the events. Her lawyer rejects that claim.
Perhaps wilder, but not impossible, is the suggestion put forward by @McGlashanTumshie that this is part of Operation Obvious Eejit, Labours joint campaign with some unions to weaken the SNP, previously exposed and named in this organ by Professor Robertson. In this scenario, the alleged Labour leader is contacted by an old pal in the Civil Service Union who tells him of the two ‘victims.’ He then, allegedly encourages the two ladies in question, with promises of vast wealth, to revive and inflate their complaints.
How plausible is any of this?
Well, you may say, the UK Civil Service has a proud history of unconditional loyalty to whichever party is in government and has served faithfully, politicians as diverse as Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair [What?]. However, the loyalty of the civil service to the Wilson government in 1964-70 does seem to have been questionable and led to calls for a purge from Labour leaders.
More recently, there have been suggestions that pro-Remain senior civil servants have been briefing against Brexiteer politicians, to protect their now well-established and valued links and jaunts to the EU.
Of course, you’d need to remember that the UK Labour Party is part of the UK establishment and not the fundamental threat to the very existence of the UK which the SNP represents. Readers may remember this:
‘Nicholas Macpherson, the Treasury permanent secretary and its most senior civil servant, said earlier this year that he believed impartiality guidelines “do not apply” in “extreme” cases like the Scottish Independence referendum. “Her Majesty’s Treasury is by its nature a unionist institution. The clue is in the name,” he told a meeting of the Strand Group at King’s College London. SNP Treasury spokesperson Stewart Hosie at the time said the comments were “astounding” and wrote a letter to the head of the civil service Jeremy Heywood in protest.
Much as I want all of the above to be true especially the Operation Obvious Eejit bit, I’m going to suggest a degree of overdone sisterhood combined with a dash of mental distress may be responsible for the Permanent Secretary’s misjudgement in this case.
Evans, a senior human resources professional is, not surprisingly, concerned about the pressures that have prevented many women from rising to her level in the civil service.
This suggests that she may have felt a kind of sisterly pressure to be too encouraging of the complainants and perhaps even pressurised them to revive their complaints on behalf of the sisterhood, when they had been reluctant to do so. If her contacts with the Scottish Secretary, with MI5 or with her line manager in the Civil Service played any part in her decision, we may never know.
The highly-esteemed Craig Murray has taken this thesis further in his blog:
Further increasing the likelihood of the above thesis, is the evidence of her being under high levels of stress recently. See this from the Herald on 8th September 2018:
‘Scotland’s most senior civil servant has been commended for speaking about her personal experience of mental health problems. Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans said she had worked through “several tough and very stressful episodes” in the past and had seen a health professional at one point.’
Well then, where are with this? You tell me.
Footnote: Readers confused or irritated by this, at times, flippant approach and, perhaps, doubting the subversive nature of TuS might like to read this:
“Well then, where are with this? You tell me.”
Since we are in Scotland with its ancient Nordic connections, I reckon we are in the midst of intrigues set up by the old Viking god, Loki – and he’s having a ball……
If any reader doesn’t.know about Loki, it’s worth looking him up…
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For Celts, Pooka?
On this subject, a must read . Deserves to be shared.
Post delayed by WordPress rules on links.
I am absolutely fine with the flippancy, BUT
I have a couple of issues with Craig’s blog and what has been implied here – Craig wrote that a friend in the police thought Mackinnon was ‘a professional feminist’ and you have written about ‘sisterly pressure’. To my mind these two people have acted unprofessionally and have and are behaving unethically – they are putting the procedure at risk, making the whole process something untrustworthy, and it is seemingly politically motivated (that comes under the unprofessional umbrella), and they have put any investigation at risk of being thrown out by perhaps influencing the complainants. At what point in this dire behaviour does it become relevant whether or not they or either are feminists? They are Witchfinder generals, their feminism or not is irrelevant, unless you think that feminism equals man-hating, and so their actions are not politically motivated. So it appears these two womans’ bid to affect the repuation of a major force in the independence stakes, have also destroyed the reputation of any woman wanting equal opportunities, if we want to start making their feminism relevant (or the perceived implication that it is seen as a threat to the status quo).
My opinion of police Scotland lowered by several notches just from that one simple, throwaway, unnecessary quote by Craig. I am sure it is just ‘banter’. Less influencial are your references to ‘sisterly’ interactions, and I should be taking this with the flippancy it was intended, but I have difficulty with seeing an entire group being tarred with the same brush as these two women. They are two arseholes that are behaving abysmally (did you read Evan’s statement, with the wholly poor excuse for an apology to the complainants?), and they should be called out. To start throwing in statements about feminism and implied feminism, just brings the whole thing back to the dark ages and suggests that their motivation is purely self-interested man-hating, instead of what it actually is, a tried and tested method of the security services smearing someone’s reputation. Feminism is about equal rights between men and women, though you will always get some extremists as with any group that misinterpret the message, not a method of bringing down men. It is possible they are motivated by both, of course.
The fact that this judicial review was concluded so quickly is very suspicious – Evans must have known they were going to get hauled over the coals on this and settled out of court to avoid embarrassment (or worse?), which just makes her statement all the more ridiculous – repeatedly insisting the it was in only one thing – bias – that caused the problem. There were all the other aspects that never got to review because she settled – must be nice to have all that taxpayer money to spend on your whims eh. I don’t doubt her employment is protected by Westminster, so doubt either of the women will get their books. I hope Alex gets the chance to sue, and sues the newspapers too.
The timing is interesting; just a week before the withdrawal bill vote, just enough time for a newspaper feeding frenzy on a SNP civil war perhaps, if they can be bothered. The vote, hypothetically, where we ‘know what is happening with brexit’ which may or may not trigger an indyref announcement. So I predict that the meaningful vote is going ahead this time, and that there will be many elements putting out obfuscation and doubt for our delectation.
Virtually all people who have done any work in HR, whatever the level, will know that the person who helps a complainant to make a case should not then be involved in investigating the case. Natural justice requires this. Also,a person who is the subject of a complaint must be told the nature and sufficient detail of the complaint against him/her in order to be able adequately to reply to the alleged charges.The only circumstance where this might not apply is if the person who is the subject of the complaint is in a position to exercise power over the complainant.
I am certain both the senior civil servants involved will have known these requirements.Why these well known procedural elements were not followed is an interesting question, one which Mr Salmond may wish to pursue.
It will have been clear immediately to the government’s legal adviser that these breaches in proper procedure were fatally undermining the government’s position. Why, then, were Mr Salmond’s early requests for mediation rejected? Why did the government not fold its case much earlier?
Even so, I agree with you, John, that this whole affair is more likely to do with misplaced zeal, lack of oversight and attention to detail than conspiracy. Incompetence with this kind of impact should normally be a resigning / dismissal matter for the civil servants involved and I think that will be, though it may have to wait the end of police involvement. That should be quick.
Hi John, The “wp2theakston.pdf” link is not working for me, showing “Service Unavailable 503”. Any suggestions – polite and helpful, please, given your current “Loki” persona. Oh sorry, I get it now. Do any of the the links work?