You can say what you want about the Scottish Government, the Crown Office and the civil service [IMPORTANT LAWYER’S NOTE: NO YOU MOST DEFINITELY CAN’T], but there’s certainly no faulting their reaction time.
That was less than eight hours, for example. Great work, team.
There’s something curious about the Geoff Aberdein story, though.
The Times claims that his evidence has been “withdrawn”, but it doesn’t say who by. Logically and semantically the only person who could do that would be Geoff Aberdein himself, but our information – from a very well-placed source – is that he hasn’t.
The paper also quoted committee member Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, whose comment appeared to clearly indicate that it wasn’t the committee’s choice either.
The Daily Record’s report was also rather circumspect about who was responsible:
According to the committee website “the Parliament” made the decision. (We’re not clear on why it took them three months.) But we don’t recall any debate or vote on it in the Holyrood chamber. So who exactly is “the Parliament” in this context?
The Scottish Parliament Corporate Body mentioned above comprises six people – one MSP from each party in the chamber plus the Presiding Officer:
That means five of the six members are NOT in the SNP, and one of them – the now-independent former Green MSP Andy Wightman – is actually on the inquiry committee. So it would be quite strange for them to have been the ones choosing to obstruct the committee’s work.
But if this site has learned one thing in the past 18 months or so, it’s that nobody in Scottish public life is actually responsible for anything.
Whenever anything goes wrong, no matter how many people are put through years of hell and no matter how many millions – or even tens of millions – of pounds it costs taxpayers, it’s nobody’s fault and nobody gets punished and nobody resigns. You might, if you’re very lucky, get a half-hearted and insincere muttered apology.
But either way, there are usually contract extensions and pay rises all round.
It seems that the only thing that’s efficient in Scotland now is corruption.