A week ago we told you this:
And you’ll never guess what.
The Times today reports:
But in truth the content of the messages will NOT be “devastating” for Alex Salmond, because Alex Salmond has known all along that they’d been carefully selected to be of no use to anyone. Exactly as we told you last week, via Craig Murray:
Thanks to the craven intervention of the four SNP members of the inquiry, the request was designed from the start to be worthless by excluding all of the key texts – those between the SNP’s chief executive Peter Murrell and its chief operating officer Sue Ruddick. Murrell will also be dodging questions on those texts today, because he’s refused to make a second appearance before the committee in order to clear up all the contradictions from his last appearance.
Committee member Murdo Fraser suggested last night that the inquiry will (belatedly) use its powers to force Murrell to appear on another date:
But of course, that will probably waste at least another week or two, taking the inquiry perilously close to running out of time before it can deliver any findings, which it has to do prior to the official dissolution of Parliament next month.
(Particularly if, as seems quite likely, having to drag Murrell kicking and screaming to the witness box puts back the appearances of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon – originally due in December – yet again. And it seems the inquiry has given up entirely on Geoff Aberdein and Liz Lloyd, the two key witnesses at the heart of everything.)
Four weeks ago today, we also said this:
But that last sentence has now been placed very much in question, because it seems increasingly likely that the Scottish Government’s deliberate and dogged obstruction of the inquiry might after all lead to it being unable to fulfil its brief before the election, and that’s simply not acceptable. Stalling should not be a viable way to escape justice.
A couple of weeks ago we also asked a poll question through Panelbase:
In line with other polling on the subject, we found that a clear majority of voters want the May election to be postponed on the grounds of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now the opinion of this site that a delay of two to three months should be undertaken so that the Fabiani and Hamilton inquiries can perform the absolutely vital task of holding the government to account.
(We still see no justification for a longer delay.)
Although frankly, given the burning radioactive trainwreck of the last few days, we’re not at all sure that an SNP majority capable of surviving a vote of no confidence is a likely outcome of the election anyway.