We Won’t Comply With Sturgeon’s Crown Office Censors Because When Truth is Silenced, the Silence is a Lie

Today’s Spectator has a leader (The Crown Office, The Spectator and a Fight for a Free Press) which explains how the Crown Office, led by a member of Sturgeon’s cabinet, is seeking to censor and redact Alex Salmond’s allegations against Sturgeon. Allegations which were published on the Holyrood Parliament’s website, in the Spectator and here on Guido. The Crown Office subsequently instructed that they be removed from the Scottish Parliament’s website, the parliamentary authorities meekly complied. Which signals the Scottish Parliament is subordinate to the Scottish executive. A constitutional state affairs that is not the case in Westminster.

We reported and explained the story to our readers here, taking care not to name any witnesses, which we thought responsible. We produced another story after the take down highlighting an example of a redaction demanded, specifically where Salmond’s original submission states that Sturgeon’s tale to the Scottish Parliament of when she first learned of complaints “is untrue and is a breach of the Ministerial Code”. The redacted version deleted this entirely. We described this as “fishy”.

The Scottish Crown Office subsequently wrote to us on March 5th demanding we remove the article. Guido decided to ignore it as it seemed unlikely to prejudice matters or reveal witnesses. The Spectator has taken the same approach to the same letter.

The Crown Office even told us not to tell our readers about its demand, which we are now also ignoring. As the Spectator’s leader puts it

“we can’t be silent about its mendacious threats to a free press. Even if we end up succumbing to its censorship, we can still put its methods on record. This is how the SNP government and its supine supporters operate. The recently passed Hate Crime Act gives them even more powers to menace the press. Scotland is being ushered towards an era of censorship, threats and state repression. The good news for those who cherish the principles of democratic debate — and those of the Scottish Enlightenment — is that this will not happen without a fight.”

Guido wouldn’t comply with an instruction from a Chinese Communist Party official to censor criticism and has no intention of complying with a Scottish National Party cabinet official’s demands. Fraser Nelson and Andrew Neil may be more vulnerable to threats from the Scottish jurisdiction. Good luck extraditing Guido’s editor to Scotland…

mdi-timer 18 March 2021 @ 12:54 18 Mar 2021 @ 12:54 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Brexit Big Beasts Going Wobbly

Brexiteers are getting seriously nervous after Parliament voted this week first to block no deal, and then in favour of an Article 50 extension – with Theresa May’s support – with another load of egregious antics from Bercow thrown in. The Benn/Cooper/Letwin coup was seen off by just two votes. While neither of the main votes was legally binding, the fact that an extension was proposed by the Government and carried with a majority of over 200 has alarmed many committed Leavers…

Numerous Brexiteer MPs have been dropping hints over the past few days that they are starting to feel that voting for May’s dire deal may be the lesser of two evils, given the risks of losing Brexit altogether once lengthy delays start being put into law. The price is that May herself agrees to quit

Resolute Leaver Lucy Allan told the FT: “I have to seriously consider supporting the prime minister’s deal, although in my view it is a worse option than remain”. Conor Burns added: “I’m actively looking for reasons to support the withdrawal agreement. That’s why the attorney-general’s advice was so important, critical to many of us to see whether we could be persuaded to support it.” Burns is one of Boris’s closest allies…

Even Esther McVey dropped a very strong hint today, saying “people are going to have to think a different way next week”. Her diehard Eurosceptic other half Philip Davies already raised eyebrows by voting for the deal at MV2…

Other leading Brexit supporters are also coming round to this view, Fraser Nelson wrote in The Telegraph yesterday that May’s deal is:

“a pale imitation of the Brexit that could have been, the Brexit a different leader might have been able to negotiate. It’s half a Brexit – but it’s better than no Brexit.”

Matt Ridley tweeted out Fraser’s article this morning, adding: “I am fairly sure now, after yesterday’s votes, that this is right.” Even deeply committed Brexiteer economist Professor Patrick Minford wrote yesterday: “Let not the best with little chance be the enemy of the good with a reasonable chance”…

The DUP will be in London all weekend to try to hammer out further reassurances from the Government over the backstop, after Nigel Dodds told the press “we want to leave with a deal” this afternoon. Ultimately they still hold the key, if the DUP come over then many MPs will follow, if they don’t budge then MV3 is going the way of MV1 and 2…

mdi-timer 15 March 2019 @ 17:00 15 Mar 2019 @ 17:00 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
May and Rudd Trying to Be ‘More Brexit Than Brexit’ on Immigration

Two pieces today express the unhappiness of Brexiters with Theresa May’s version of Brexit. Boris tells the Telegraph leaving will be “pointless” if we cannot diverge from the EU and strike trade deals with other countries, and makes the case for a “liberal” immigration policy that allows us to take “software people from Hyderabad” and “Australian paramedics” as well as skilled migrants from the EU. Fraser Nelson blasts May for pursuing “the wrong Brexit” in the Spectator, warning:

“Many Remainers genuinely believed they were engaged in a battle of ‘open’ vs ‘closed’ — and that ‘closed’ won. So as democrats, they ought to obey what they believe to be the demand of Brexit voters: clamping down on migration, sounding more tough and less liberal. This is a tragic misreading not only of the referendum result, but of public opinion today. Seeking to control immigration is not the same thing as being anti-immigrant…

Limits should be placed on unskilled labour, as is common in most countries, but skilled workers should be welcomed with open arms. There should be no more treating Australians or Indians as second class immigrants, and no more violinists deported to Massachusetts because they don’t earn enough.”

This is essentially the problem with two Remainers, May and Rudd, being in charge of the post-Brexit approach to immigration. In an effort to win the support of Brexiters, May and Rudd have overcompensated and tried to be more Brexit than Brexit, playing up to their caricature of what they think Leave voters want. A Leave Prime Minister would not have used EU citizens as bargaining chips as May did for so long. A Leave Prime Minister would not continue to favour EU migrants over non-EU migrants post-Brexit, as Brexiters fear May and Rudd will do to get a better deal. Polling by Open Europe found 56% supported continuing immigration “as long as there are controls to make sure they will contribute to our society, economy and way of life”. It is about control and fairness, not the cold approach exemplified by the Windrush scandal…

mdi-timer 19 April 2018 @ 10:21 19 Apr 2018 @ 10:21 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Fraser Burns Polly

Zinger from Fraser Nelson as Polly Toynbee went after Toby Young’s record on free schools:

Polly: “He wanted to create a school for his kids.”

Fraser: “Yes, it’s better than sending them private like some columnists I could mention.”

Remember Polly sent two of her children private. Zing…

mdi-timer 7 January 2018 @ 10:27 7 Jan 2018 @ 10:27 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Fraser Nelson Takes Tories to Task on NI

Karen Bradley wheeled out the nonsense Tory line that the legislation only referred to Class 1 NICs. It is the same line that has been sent to Tory MPs doing broadcast today:

This is dire stuff. The legislation came after the election – the manifesto did not mention anything about Class 1 NICs. As spin goes it really is weak…

mdi-timer 10 March 2017 @ 10:55 10 Mar 2017 @ 10:55 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
John Cleese’s Spectator Column So Bad It Was Canned After One Article

nelson-cleese

After John Cleese asked his Twitter followers why “half-educated tenement Scots” are allowed to run the English press, Fraser Nelson had to look up the term. Since the Speccie editor isn’t “educated, cultured and intelligent” (in the words of Cleese) his regular Telegraph column standing up for press freedom was merely an example of how his “craving for social status” makes him an “obedient retainer”.

Fraser hits back today in the Telegraph today:

“his writing fell short of the standards expected of a Spectator contributor – which is why his status as a contributing editor did not last longer than his first article. An expensive education, you see, can’t buy you everything.”

Indeed Cleese’s first and only piece in 2009 was so dull and unfunny that they never had him back. Not much has changed since then.

mdi-timer 5 October 2016 @ 11:15 5 Oct 2016 @ 11:15 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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