Do ye, aye?
Well, yer ontae plums, son.
Because this isn’t North Korea and nobody needs your permission to report the news. There are no “claims” about what Andy Wightman did today, just published facts.
And if anyone were to contact him, we’re pretty sure that all they’d get would be more woeful, self-pitying whining like this, and we really can’t be bothered with that.
There is no justification for the committee refusing to publish Alex Salmond’s submission. It breaks no laws. It does NOT identify any of the complainers in his case – it was vetted carefully by Mr Salmond’s lawyers beforehand for that very purpose.
Nor, contrary to a remarkably dishonest statement posted tonight by the committee, would publishing a redacted version create any such danger by drawing attention to which passages had been redacted. 34 of the original document’s 35 paragraphs are still readable on the website of The Spectator – whose lawyers, we must assume, have also concluded that they breach no laws and can be safely read by anyone.
(Having also seen the redacted paragraph, we can see no way in which it does such a thing either. It provides absolutely no information even obliquely suggesting the identity of a complainer. Ironically, by the committee’s own logic, it is only the forced redaction of that paragraph three weeks ago by [REDACTED] that creates such a risk. We look forward to the committee urging the Crown Office to pursue the guilty party, whoever that may have been.)
So the committee could of course just publish the current Spectator version without adding an atom of new information to that which has now been in the public domain for over a month. But in a bewildering twist, they – or at least, five of them – have instead attempted to blame the people who published the submission for keeping it secret.
That entire paragraph makes no sense, for the reasons noted above. It’s farcical to pretend the committee alone haven’t read something that anyone else in Scotland with any interest in the case has read. The cat isn’t just out of the bag, it’s flown to Dubai, gone through a couple of weeks quarantine and is lounging on the beach.
And at no point has the committee actually addressed any of the enquiries from Alex Salmond’s lawyers about which parts may or may not be problematic. Time after time after time, Levy and Macrae’s legitimate and fair questions have simply gone entirely unanswered, as comprehensively as all the ones asked of Peter Murrell yesterday.
There was never any chance that the four SNP members of the committee would do anything that would damage Nicola Sturgeon. With them cancelled out by four Unionist members, all hope of the inquiry not being a sham rested on the ninth member.
So it is Scotland’s tragedy, and democracy’s tragedy, and transparency’s tragedy, and decency’s tragedy, and justice’s tragedy, that Alison Johnstone had to step down to attend hospital for an operation and was replaced by a gutless, useless, snivelling weasel like Andy Wightman. (We don’t know if she’d have been any better, of course, but she at least deserves the benefit of the doubt.)
Wings will not be joining the loud chorus on social media tonight of those speculating about what nefarious reasons may possibly have lain behind Wightman’s decision. We’re choosing to prefer the simpler explanation that he’s merely a wretched, pathetic coward – as illustrated by the last time his courage failed him, all too recently.
We hope that the imminent end of this benighted failure of a Parliament is the last Scottish politics sees of him.
So you go and take some advice on that, pal. And if you’ve got any spare time left, go and buy a dictionary and look up “refute” while you’re there.