Sunday, September 24, 2023
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Wings Over Scotland | Lipstick On Your Collar

Till a couple of weeks in the past Calum Steele was the chief of the Scottish Police Federation, in order due-credits go we notably respect this one.

So let’s remind ourselves of some issues.

Firstly is that Peter Murrell is entitled to the presumption of innocence like every other suspect, even when he wasn’t so eager to increase it to the person he owes his complete profession to.

Secondly: the story that £600,000 of fundraiser cash supposedly ring-fenced for a second independence referendum had gone lacking was damaged completely by Wings Over Scotland in January 2020.

I tried to attract the eye of Scotland’s mainstream press to the story. My very own Twitter account had simply been banned, so I DMed many of the political press pack from a covert account I used to maintain observe of Unionist trolls.

I despatched messages to Paul Hutcheon (then of the Herald, now editor of the Day by day File), Severin Carrell of the Guardian, Kieran Andrews of the Occasions, Andrew Picken of the BBC, Andy Philip of the Sunday Mail, Gareth Rose of the Day by day Mail and Davie Clegg (then of the Day by day File, now editor of the Courier), suggesting it was one thing they could wish to look in to.

Even when fed the story on a plate, not one among them replied or did something.

Thirdly: when three members of the SNP’s finance committee resigned in March 2021 over Peter Murrell’s refusal to allow them to see the books and examine the place the cash was, that story was completely damaged on Wings Over Scotland.

We’d already written to SNP treasurer Colin Beattie in October 2020 inquiring concerning the whereabouts of the cash on behalf of involved get together members/donors who’d contacted us. Mr Beattie ignored us. We then repeated that request to new treasurer Douglas Chapman in January 2021:

Mr Chapman tried to unravel the matter, was additionally refused entry to the books by Peter Murrell, and he duly additionally resigned, in Could 2021. (We didn’t get the unique on that one, as a result of by that time we’d retired.) Hilariously, he was changed by Colin Beattie, the person he’d been elected to exchange particularly with the intention to present better transparency.

Fourthly: the month earlier than Chapman’s resignation when a proper criticism was made to Police Scotland in respect of the lacking cash and the story of their investigation was completely damaged on Wings Over Scotland, the Scottish political press pack didn’t simply fail to take it critically, they actively sneered at and rubbished our reporting on the matter.

(Within the pursuits of our trademark scrupulous equity we should word that a few years later Tom Gordon did ultimately give Wings correct credit score over the story. Such grace nonetheless eludes David Leask, as one would count on.)

Fifthly: when it was discovered that Peter Murrell had made a mortgage of £107,000 to the SNP, which hadn’t been correctly declared to the Electoral Fee, that story was completely damaged on Wings Over Scotland.

For investigating this matter, Wings has been subjected to infinite, horrendous abuse from the SNP and its supporters, regardless of our years of dogged work for the reason for independence. We’ve been smeared within the vilest conceivable methods by supposed indy supporters for merely reporting simple info, whereas additionally being mocked and traduced from the opposite facet by the individuals whose job it was to report these info however who failed to take action.

(The entire affair has some uncanny parallels with the dying of Rangers FC in 2012, an enormous story about an enormous Scottish establishment which needed to be mainly damaged by so-called “web bampots” as a result of as soon as once more the Scottish press couldn’t see what was staring it within the face, on account of the truth that it was face-down on its dinner-plate sucking up the gravy from succulent lamb.)

So we hope you’ll forgive us if we take pleasure in right this moment with no small diploma of non-public {and professional} satisfaction.


We simply want it hadn’t taken so lengthy, and that such horrible injury hadn’t been wrought on the Sure motion within the meantime, as a result of individuals didn’t wish to consider it and lashed out on the whistleblowers telling them uncomfortable truths, even when these truths have been screaming in black and white from the pages of the SNP’s revealed accounts.

We hope there’s a lesson there, however we’re not holding our breath.

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