Scotland’s Conjugal Dictatorship

His fingers trembled out of fear for his family, but still a Filipino scribe exiled in San Francisco sat down at his typewriter and did something we desperately need some influential voices in our small country to do right now – speak truth to power. Or rather to the powerless, for those ensconced in St Andrew’s House know the truth about what they’ve done and what they plan to do if they get another five years in power starting on May 7.

In 1976 Primitivo Mijares wrote The Conjugal Dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos for “all the remaining democracies in the world” as “a case study on how a democratically-elected president could operate within the legal system and yet succeed in subverting that democracy in order to perpetuate himself and his wife as conjugal dictators.” Sound familiar? It should because, if you just substitute First Minister for President and switch the genders around, that is a perfect summation of what has become of Scotland in the last few years.

The Murrells are oor ain wee version of the Marcoses, presiding over a deep-fried banana fritter republic in which there has been selective prosecution of the sole scribe who dared expose the lengths to which they were prepared to go in order to crush and destroy the only threat to their autocratic rule. Mercifully, there exists another, even more defiant, dissident who cannot be so easily silenced – because he is beyond the reach of their tentacles. Were he not in Bath but in Bathgate, rest assured he would have his Wings not only clipped by now but slowly sawn off with a rusty hacksaw. In perfect accordance with the provisions of the new Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Act 2021, of course.

How can any former senior national newspaper journalist (indeed the former head of several journalism schools) spout such nonsense, I hear my auld chums still toiling in the remnants of the legacy media mutter. Especially on the eve of a completely free and fair national election in which our esteemed First Minister – just crowned ‘reine d’Ecosse’ by Le Monde no less – will readily submit herself to the judgement of the Scottish people. To which I respond: just sit down and have a long, hard think about why the ‘Queen of Scotland’ survived to stand for re-election rather than getting ignominiously turfed out of office – as she undoubtedly would have been in any healthily functioning democracy. 

The full weight of the state was brought down on Salmond

Begin by pondering why so many in the media frequently refer to her affectionately by her first name and you’re on the first step to an answer. But only the first step. You need to proceed a lot further and consider why her spouse got off Scot free with seeking to pressurise the police into bringing the full weight of the state down on Alex Salmond. “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting,” wrote Milan Kundera, another brave author who wrote in the shadow of a dictatorship (in his case the Soviet satellite state of Czechoslovakia). So let’s all remind ourselves of precisely what Peter Murrell, the other half of Scotland’s conjugal dictatorship, messaged on WhatsApp to his minions at SNP HQ (of which he’s the chief executive, of course):

Totally agree folk should be asking the police questions.

Report now with the [Procurator Fiscal] on charges which leaves police twiddling their thumbs.

So good time to be pressurising them. Would be good to know Met looking at events in London.

TBH the more fronts he is having to firefight on the better for all complainers. So CPS action would be a good thing.

‘He’ was Alex Salmond, the man who trustingly empowered Murrell, Sturgeon and the whole clan of goons who have given us what Alex Bell (a former SNP government adviser) rightly calls “government by gang”. CPS is the Crown Prosecution Service, the body which is responsible for bringing to court (or not) criminal cases investigated in England and Wales. It didn’t take action against Mr Salmond down south – despite what Mr Murrell thought the Metropolitan Police were digging into – because, as it signals on its website, the CPS “prosecutes independently, without bias and works to deliver justice in every case.”

Scotland’s version of the CPS is the COPFS (Crown Office Procurator Fiscal Service). Peter Murrell had no worries about how it would respond after Police Scotland (which reports directly to the Justice Secretary appointed by his wife) spent almost £1 million on an investigation into Mr Salmond’s alleged conduct which lasted almost two years and had 14 officers assigned to it. He had nae need to fret because the head of the prosecution system in Scotland, James Wolffe QC, was appointed Lord Advocate by his darling Nicola. Yes, you read that correctly. Mr Wolffe is not just head of the Crown Office prosecutors but also the Sturgeon government’s legal adviser and a member of her Scottish Cabinet – unlike his predecessor. So you might now justifiably be wondering how the people under his command could possibly prosecute independently, without bias a man who had just fought – and won – a court battle against Sturgeon’s government over an internal investigation into his alleged conduct that was judged to be unlawful and “tainted by apparent bias.” A clear and serious conflict of interest, surely?

Separation of powers does not exist in Sturgeon’s Scotland

Some members of the Scottish Parliament wondered that as well and called during a subsequent Holyrood ‘Inquiry’ for the two extremely powerful positions held by Mr Wolffe to be split – as they would be in any jurisdiction with a proper separation of powers. He rejected that suggestion, telling the MSPs he was “satisfied” he could carry on in his dual role. And he could very easily do so because that parliamentary ‘inquiry’ was stuffed with pro-Sturgeon stooges. As we know after almost seven years with barely any murmur of dissent from any of them, the SNP contingent at Holyrood are a spineless brigade firmly under the control of Scotland’s ruling duumvirate.

So it would seem are much of the Scottish media, alas, especially the dominant source of news in this country, BBC Scotland. I wrote in an earlier blog about how our broadcasters – especially at Pacific Quay in Glasgow – have been treating Mr Salmond’s new breakaway party Alba almost like they treated Sinn Fein/IRA during the Troubles by starving it of the “oxygen of publicity”. It would be amazing if some of the emaciated newshounds in the Scottish press have not been similarly muzzled by the Murrells, given all the cushy numbers in the ever expanding SNP government spin machine they can dangle before their hungry eyes.

Revealingly, the strongest challenge to Sturgeon’s unlawful regime was waged not by any of the hacks up here but by two emigre editors in London, namely Andrew Neil and Fraser Nelson of the Spectator. It was this determined duo (and they alone) who took a case to the High Court in Edinburgh that compelled her deputy John Swinney to cease withholding from members of the aforementioned Holyrood inquiry access to the documentation they required to conduct their supposed investigation. That is the sort of thwarting of democratic accountability that occurs in a country where rule of law has been replaced by law of rule. Sadly, in such circumstances, it usually takes exiles or emigres to mount the most effective challenges to such rulers.

Remember that Filipino journalist (who was also at one point a propagandist for President Marcos) tapping out his words of dissent in America whilst dreading what trauma and suffering his act of rebellion might bring upon his wife and children in Manila. Here’s a segment from the foreword to his book:

While I availed of almost any excuse not to finish the manuscript of this volume, I felt the tangible voices of a muted people back home in the Philippines beckoning to me from across the vast Pacific Ocean…It was as if the Filipino multitudes and history itself were surging in an endless wave, presenting a compelling demand on me to San Francisco, California, to perpetuate the personal knowledge I have gained on the infamous machinations of Ferdinand E. Marcos and his overly ambitious wife, Imelda

Exposing the machinations of Nicola and Peter Murrell does not carry anywhere near the same terrifying penalty as that newspaperman from Manila faced for taking on the Marcoses – yet. Scotland has been placed only under medical martial law – so far. But none of us should ever be so foolish or complacent as to lightly dismiss Primitivo Mijares’ passionate warning to “all the remaining democracies of the world.”

24 thoughts on “Scotland’s Conjugal Dictatorship

  1. Fabulous blog which outlines the sickening cult of the Murrels and their conjugal cartel. The stance of the BBC is shocking and I would like to see a boycott of the licence tax. As you know the Scottish government bankrolled the dead tree press during Covid and is doing the same with government advertising for the broadcasters.

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    1. You’re right. Don’t know why there hasn’t been a mass rebellion against the tube tax by now on both sides of the Border. Thanks for your very kind comment. Please spread the word!

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  2. A superb article.

    I hadn’t made the Marcos analogy but seems appropriate. I had been was thinking along the lines of narcissistic Nic as Eva Peron and plodding Pete as the dull Juan.

    In ‘Evita’ David Essex as a snarling Che Guevara sang-shouted “she did nothing for you!”. I wonder when the Scottish people will realise the same about ‘Nicola’?

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  3. It is quite extraordinary how supine, obsequious and disinterested the entire mainstream media has been over this. They love to pose as ‘holding power to account’, yet when one of the biggest stories lands in their lap they look away, cravenly repeat what they have been told without question, and show a complete lack of interest in following the plethora of leads and evidence about how the country is run. It looks like collusion among the small nexus of establishment professions, as they join ranks, refusing to look at the questions that that are raised, or even care about governance and ethics in our parliament. Is it really beyond them to take a critical look at what has been going on, and do they really think their silence does anything other than damage their reputations and and their media? What exactly are they afraid of?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. With the MSM rapidly disappearing like the trees needed for their life it is so good to see/read another blog og intelligent integrity telling the truth.

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  5. Welcome to the party and where the hell have you been hiding?
    Great analogy of where we are at , though we could have done with you arriving on the scene sooner rather than later.
    Tremendous kickoff to your blog.
    You’re gonna be mega.
    Where’s the donate button.

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    1. Thank you, Thomas. I hope you’re right in your prediction. Just want to build a decent following and stimulate debate for now so, if you want to back me, spread the word far and wide!

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  6. Black affronted by the media silencing of the non-SNP independence voice, I went posting Alba leaflets into letterboxes. A couple of stalwart ladies leafletted most every inch of the very far north of Scotland, and I only did a little bit. But the ‘what-has-been-actually-done-for-Scotland by SNP government?’ question came up strongly in my mind.

    I researched carefully before moving to the far north, though I have family and friends here, it was a big move. I found transport links, air, rail and road, roads in good condition, repaired and well-marked; I found a small but excellent health system with local GP surgeries and hospital care (training hospital standard). I found good social care systems with excellent provision for the elderly and/or disabled. Not a keen shopper, the limited shopping wasn’t a concern. Shocking internet/mobile provision, but other services fine, water excellent. All systems go in December 2013. Knew absolutely nothing about Scottish politics, with the referendum looming, so joined the SNP to find out. Wonderfully healthy, democratic system connecting grassroots to central hub, manna from heaven after what passed for political representation in the south of England, where The Monster Raving Loony Party was the closest to democracy available (they were good!)

    Post-Alex, posting leaflets I was so aware of the differences. The roads are so dreadfully pitted with potholes that every route from my house endangers my car. My MOT in February revealed the need for repair to suspension…weeks later after another encounter with a pothole the other side had to be replaced, so it’s serious, and very expensive (nearly £500) Very few visible road markings, so good luck in a haar with ditches and cliff-edges. On arrival here, there had been some wind turbines, not many. Now there are what seem like hundreds, but not arrived at in any organised way – land sold off to highest bidder, and some compensation to local residents enough to paint the village hall maybe, no sign of a levy for the government purse or a pension scheme. Learned nothing from the oil bonanza. Several housing estates for the less well off, the disabled, the elderly, only signs of maintenance or care clearly provided by the residents themselves, planted their own pansies in pots, no pride in the place from a broader spectrum, like a policy for example. (We do have, however, a local councillor in place recently who is so far a live-wire, and does have a shout for us)

    So the local airport is being run down, the internet provision is worse, the hospital (which was a training hospital) has been reduced such that pregnant women with problems that the midwife team cant handle are required to travel by road for 3 hours before reaching the maternity ward, good luck with that, especially in bad weather or the dark season. And the buses! disabled people can’t use them. The trains! Our lovely Agatha Christie type Caledonian Sleeper handed over to cheapjack ad-speak cheats Serco.

    As well as wind-turbine forests, housing plots have sprung up everywhere, fortunately so far the planning laws which recognise the limiting effects of the weather have kept them low to the ground and with sensible roofs, but the locals can’t afford to buy in the area now, and much of the housing that comes up for sale is snapped up for holiday homes or the tourist ‘industry’. Poor Scotland. My lovely Shangri-la Scotland is now approaching the levels of uncaring, heedlessness so prevalent after 40 years of neoliberalist Tory rule, unless you’re wealthy. The change, it saddens me to say, under Nicola, is very clear to see. I’m not surprised that Alex Salmond thought he was handing over to a safe pair of hands. I thought so myself. But the gradual erosion of rights and services under the SNP government of the last 5 years actually tells a very different story. All the provision of services researched and mentioned have deteriorated slowly and people struggle more to meet the needs of their lives. Centralist and neoliberal economic ideology together with the careful, deliberate and insidious cutting of the branch and grassroots connections, so that government doesn’t have to hear, have wrought bleak changes.

    Well, I apologise for this huge post, I’m happy to have got that off my chest. I can only hope that the basic wild in the Scots will rise to the surface at the disgraceful way Alba, which represents the views of many, has been treated, and that despite the blackout and lockdown, Alba will get a decent number of seats in Parliament, with MSPs who have got their eyes open at least. I hope the first thing they do is clean out the COPFS.

    Thanks for the blog, Jaggy. Has the depressing ring of truth to me…..

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You certainly did get a lot off your chest there. Hope you’re feeling a bit better now after that and continue to enjoy my blog. Spread the word across the far north!

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  7. The problem is that there are not enough serious challengers to the SNP. Too many put too much faith in them and they simply won’t face facts. The SNP could have used the money from Westminster to prove their worth, to pave the way for Independence, but that is not their aim. Their obvious aim is to continue the Westminster way, the way of government of the people, not government for the people.

    This is why I welcome Alba, but I doubt they will be enough. I really think we need a new bold Independence Party, to shake free of the grip of the SNP… to show everyone there is a better way. One which has a proper plan in place, not one which is solely interested in serving capitalism but one which is interested in shaping capitalism to met the needs and desires of everyday people.

    Scotland has to break free of the tyranny of capitalism if we are to hope there will be a future worth living. How to do that and make such appealing? Easy. Scotland needs its own bank, issuing and controlling its own money. Not a bank owned by a private an individual or a collective, but one owned by the Country. Operated by the government within a set of agreed guidelines.

    Money, rather than a simple tool has become a means of absolute power. Those who control money have everyone chasing it, fighting for it, abusing one another for it. So sad, so unnecessary.

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      1. By having a proper National Bank we’d be operating on a different set of guidelines rather than the rules of capitalism where profit is the only goal. If Scotland issued its own money, we’d basically have an unlimited supply.

        That of course would give us a huge advantage as the false constraints of capitalism would be thrown off.

        For instance, someone comes up with a new means of producing electricity. Obviously a person experimenting in their garden shed isn’t going to get far, but having a State funded project would be another level. Those interested would come together to do such. Universities would be centres of learning, experimentation, application and production.

        So the slow technological progress we see now would be so much faster, and with a far more efficient outcome all round.

        Capitalism obviously puts certain ideas on hold as they would minimise profit and/or continual profit. Capitalism also holds back the development of ideas as that development costs big money at the moment. That’s why if we are serious about “green issues” we have to get beyond the grip of the world bankers, break their binds completely.

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  8. Stu Campbell used to do surgical, clinical Scottish political dissections. Now he mostly does strange, emotion-over-intellect-appealing pathological rants about trans people. I just don’t get the obsession, though I can see where he is coming from, to a much lesser degree. This stuff has turned me off him permanently, I confess.

    It just does not compute with me, and as for the whole BTL tone of his comments section, with its ‘vote for the SNP (I am not an SNP supporter, just for the record) and you vote for child mutilation and tape and a drug addict First Minister’ tone, with people urging voting for Labour and even the Tories…well, where (or even why) to begin?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean but the Rev Stu is a tireless muckraker who unearths a rich seam of useful data. Wings also provides a marvellous monitoring service. We’d be poorer without it.

      Liked by 2 people

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