So we have our answer. According to press reports today (although we haven’t seen an actual official reply), John Swinney has refused to formally tell James Hamilton that his inquiry into possible breaches of the Ministerial Code by the First Minister over the Alex Salmond investigation ought to include the matter of whether she repeatedly lied to Parliament about what she knew and when.
Wave goodbye to justice, readers.
Because the First Minister and her deputy are now proven liars and cowards.
Both had explicitly assured voters that Hamilton’s inquiry would encompass all aspects of the Code, which requires ministers to resign if found to have misled the Parliament.
So there was no conceivable reason or justification for Swinney to refuse to officially clarify Hamilton’s remit to that effect, unless they were both lying about it.
Yet refuse he has.
There are now three possible outcomes of Mr Hamilton’s probe:
(1) He publishes a report finding that the First Minister did lie to the Parliament, which would require the First Minister to resign or face a vote of no confidence in a chamber where she has no majority.
(2) He publishes a report finding that she did NOT lie to Parliament, which would be so farcically ridiculous – given the evidence that’s already been published proving that she definitely, indisputably did so – that his report would be quite properly mocked and decried as a grotesquely, farcically corrupt whitewash and probably lead to a vote of no confidence anyway.
(3) He publishes a report which makes no reference either way to the issue of whether she lied to Parliament, which would prove that both the First Minister and her deputy were deliberately deceiving voters and Parliament about the remit of his inquiry (while also strongly implying her guilt over the original accusation), and again be mocked and decried as a shameful whitewash and probably lead to a vote of no confidence.
So all he can really tell us now is whether two people are grossly corrupt liars, or three. We look forward, nonetheless, to finding out which it is.