It’s always a little weird when two former ‘best buds’ fall out. Even at school, primary even more so, love turns to hate so quickly. Look at the utter farrago that is Salmond v Sturgeon. A miasma of mistrust and accusations are flying around wildly but later this afternoon, matters will be polarised when the former FM and SNP leader finally gets his long awaited shot at presenting his side of the story. Believing that his version of events have been traduced, one can only expect ‘fireworks’ later today at Holyrood.
Mr. Salmond is likely to make incendiary allegations that the current FM, leader of the party and his protégé, ‘misled’ parliament. He also accused senior figures in the SNP – a so-called “gang of four” – of making a “malicious and concerted attempt” to remove him from public life. In his written submission, he has claimed that Peter Murrell, party chief executive and husband of Nicola Sturgeon, deployed senior figures to recruit and persuade staff members to submit police complaints against him. Extraordinary allegations and vacuous without substantive and corroborative proof. One assumes Salmond has such proof. At least in his eyes. Should those ‘allegations’ be found to be true, Sturgeon would be expected to resign for ‘breaking the ministerial code’.
This all stems from the manner in which the Parliamentary committee investigated claims of ‘harassment’ against the former FM and which were deemed unlawful. The subsequent fallout has led to nothing short of a civil war between the two in an ever increasing dispute which has snowballed astonishingly and now is as much about the integrity of each, as it is about the actual matter at hand. Yesterday afternoon, in another remarkable spat, the FM accused Ruth Davidson, the Holyrood Conservative leader of resting questions on ‘the alter of the ego of one man’.
The gloves , as they say, are well and truly off.
This has long ceased to be simply a political matter. It has become increasingly personal and, on the bais that both are unlikely to be right, it looks like one of them will leave with their reputation in tatters. This is notwithstanding the fact that hundreds of years ago when I started out at Law School, one of my greatest ever ‘criminal law’ lecturers told me that ‘ son, there are usually three sides to every story. One person’s version of events, the other person’s version of events and the truth, which is somewhere in the middle’. Wise counsel from a wise old owl.
It does certainly seem that one party is right here in their ‘belief’. Either there has been a case of Parliament having been misled, or not. Neither is giving an inch. Certainly one can only imagine that Sturgeon will doubtless be seething at the timing of all this. Her efforts to ramp up vaccinations ahead of May’s elections and her attempts at dealing with the pandemic in general are in danger of being totally overthrown by this unholy mess and damaging public quarrel which seems to have grabbed the attention of the press far and wide.
Certainly the noises surrounding this debacle have become increasingly louder over the past week. Accusations flying about regarding the redaction of evidence, aspersions as regards the very fabric and actions of our Prosecution Service, governmental ministers and various parliamentary procedures .
There are allegations of conspiracy that would make the producers of any soap proud. Sturgeon has certainly seemed a lot more assertive than we have seen her for sometime. Bullish even at times and certainly irritated. Effectively, she has said to her mentor and (former, one assumes) friend of some 30 years….enough of the posturing – put up or shut up.
Well, one assumes that is exactly his plan for this afternoon. The political temperature of the water is scalding hot in Holyrood just now, that’s for sure.
Wow – when he takes the oath, the bell will sound for ‘Round One’. Apparently, four hours have been set aside for his testimony.
Can’t think of a similar situation in recent history. Extraordinary stuff.
Most certainly one not to miss.