Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Court for Salmond Cheerleader



One of Alex Salmond's biggest cheerleaders on social media, a chap called Craig Murray, has been charged with contempt of court,

I can't say I'm surprised, but I wonder if Craig will attempt to crowdfund his legal costs given previous efforts at crowdfunding his own blog - see post below dated 05 April 2020.

I suppose Alex Salmond himself might step into the breach since the legal costs of his appearance at the Court of Session were reimbursed, so presumably the 'Alex Salmond Defence Fund' raised by crowdfunded donations remains intact.     

   

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/scotland/ex-diplomat-craig-murray-charged-over-alex-salmond-trial-pdltrzlch

Ex-diplomat Craig Murray charged over Alex Salmond trial

Alex Salmond, the former first minister, was cleared of all charges at the High Court in Edinburgh - Photo 
ANDREW MILLIGAN/PA


By Kieran Andrews - The Times

A former British diplomat has been charged with contempt of court after writing blogs about the trial of Alex Salmond. Proceedings had started against Craig Murray, a former ambassador to Uzbekistan, the Crown Office confirmed.

Mr Salmond, the former first minister, was cleared of all charges at the High Court in Edinburgh after nine women accused him of sexual assault, including an attempted rape.

It is a criminal offence to publish the identities of the women after a court order was made by Lady Dorrian during the trial. Mr Murray attended two days of the trial in the public gallery and on each day produced blogs of the proceedings. He had been declined access as a member of the media.

Alex Salmond and Conspiracy Theorists (05/04/20)


One of Alex Salmond's biggest cheerleaders on social media is a chap called Craig Murray who seems to have taken a leaf out of his hero's book with a new crowdfunding initiative - in Craig's case to fund his blog.

But the Daily Record's Paul Hutcheon can spot a good story when he sees one and in the piece below Paul explains that while Craig has put out the 'begging bowl' to finance his seemingly endless conspiracy theories - the former UK diplomat bought a nine-bedroomed mansion just two years ago without the need for a mortgage.

   

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/alex-salmond-blogger-trial-high-21789285

Blogger who believes state tried to frame Alex Salmond asking for donations after buying £600k mansion

Craig Murray, a former UK diplomat, splashed out on the nine-bedroom pad in Edinburgh two years ago.

By Paul Hutcheon - Daily Record

A notorious blogger who is asking punters for donations bought a £600,000 gated mansion without needing a mortgage.  

Craig Murray, who believes the state tried to frame Alex Salmond, splashed out on the nine-bedroom pad in Edinburgh two years ago. 

However, the 61-year-old is now asking readers for £100 a month to keep his “conspiracy” blog going.  

Labour MSP Neil Findlay said: “There are people in the wackier reaches of the Nationalist movement who see the footsoldiers as folk who can fund their hare-brained conspiracy theories.  

 

A house purchased by Craig Murray in Edinburgh two years ago (Image: Daily Record)

Murray has claimed “corrupt” institutions conspired against the former First Minister and insists the former First Minister's female accusers lied.

He also wrote about having “definite good source information” about MI5’s involvement in the Salmond allegations - a claim that led to him being mocked.

On his website, he flagged up a “change of policy” for his blog which involves seeking donations.

He explained: “I am no longer in a position to devote my time to it without income – the need to earn a living caused the blog to go dark for almost five months last year, and the last six weeks this journalism has stopped me doing anything else to pay the rent.”

Readers have the option of subscribing to his blog, with contributions of between £2 and £100 a month accepted.

However, despite Murray’s cash plea, official documents confirm he is asset rich.

Official documents show he bought a huge house in the south of Edinburgh in 2018. No mortgage is on the property, which was purchased for £607,500.

It was described online in 2018 as an “impressive 8/9 bedroom detached house”, which has been the subject of a “substantial extension”.


Alex Salmond was cleared at the High Court in Edinburgh (Image: PA)

Four of the bedrooms were listed as en-suite and the property also boasted a gym, “gated driveway” and an “integral double garage”.

After being contacted by this newspaper, Murray said he bought the “uninhabitable” property in Edinburgh after selling a home in England.

He said his blog is his only source of current income.

He added: “I have continually stressed that I do not want anybody to subscribe if it causes them the slightest financial difficulty.

"You do not have to subscribe - the site is free to read.”



We Need To Talk About Alex 7 (01/04/20)



Paul Hutcheon, the Daily Record's political editor, takes a well-deserved swipe at the absurd conspiracy theories being promoted by Alex Salmond's supporters.   

"If SNP politicians can find time to tweet about ducks and football, it should be possible to find a few seconds to comment on the biggest crisis facing the party in decades.'

I agree, I have to say, because in my experience SNP politicians tend to keep their heads down out on controversial or divisive issues, equal pay for example, instead of standing up and speaking their minds.

Just the other day Glasgow City Council announced  plans for yet another round of redundancies which was met with complete silence by Glasgow's constituency MSPs and MPs - all of whom represent the SNP in either the Holyrood and Westminster parliaments.

   

Alex Salmond trial witnesses deserve better from the SNP

Daily Record Political Editor Paul Hutcheon says the lack of public support for the female complainants by SNP parliamentarians is startling




By Paul Hutcheon - Daily Record

THE statement from the nine female complainants in the Alex Salmond trial was powerful and timely. 

After he was acquitted of sexual offences charges, Salmond made a series of comments outside the High Court that were widely reported in the media. 

No such platform was realistically available to the women, who had to endure endless post-trial coverage in what would have been the worst week of their lives.

Their collective statement addressed the troubling behaviour Salmond’s defence admitted to in court, but which did not lead to a conviction.

It also repeated the view there had been no credible way of complaining at the time about a “powerful figure” like Salmond.

The press release was a reminder of how the days after the trial were portrayed through the lens of Salmond, not the women.

Public debate was dominated by SNP politicians congratulating Salmond, calling for him to be readmitted to the party, and airing the claim he had been the victim of a political conspiracy.




I, like many others in my trade, reported on these comments. SNP divisions are a legitimate story.

However, during these turbulent days I also spoke to SNP figures who were gutted for the women.

They know how hard it is to put yourself through the vagaries of the criminal justice system. They realise the anguish involved in giving evidence in a courtroom.

They are nauseated by the nature of Salmond’s defence and agree with former special adviser Alex Bell’s description of the former First Minister as a “creep”.

Yet, despite their private sympathy for the female witnesses, very few expressed public solidarity. The number of MSPs and MPs who have said anything is startlingly small.

In a lawyerly statement, Nicola Sturgeon restricted herself to saying the verdict "must be respected".

Dealing with the Coronavirus crisis is understandably the top priority, but it should not preclude commenting on other issues of vital public importance.

If SNP politicians can find time to tweet about ducks and football, it should be possible to find a few seconds to comment on the biggest crisis facing the party in decades.

Debunking the absurd notion of an internal SNP conspiracy against Salmond would be a noble place to start.

According to Salmond’s allies, some of the allegations were cooked up by SNP figures who were trying to thwart a political comeback.

This is baloney. In 2018 - when police started their investigation - Salmond was a former politician who had tarnished himself by fronting a show on the Putin-linked RT.

He was, to put it charitably, a spent political force. The chances of this damaged figure returning to Holyrood were nil.

It should also be noted that some of the complainants do not know each other’s identities. Not exactly a robust basis for a conspiracy.

If SNP politicians feel uneasy about the trial, now is the time to speak out.