2007 - 2022

On Forms of Journalism

One of the many weird ironies about the circle of people around Alex Salmond and Craig Murray is the claim that the Scottish Courts are riddled with corruption and are at the very heart of a vast plot against The Great Men AND (simultaneously) these very same courts – this very system – absolved Salmond of all crimes because the same system is to be absolutely trusted.

Now Craig Murray is claiming that: “The Salmond trial was a vindication of the jury system. I did not get a jury. Which is why Dorrian and Sturgeon are planning to abolish juries in sex crime trials, in the new parliamentary session.”

It’s really really not – and memo to self – everything in the entire universe isn’t about you. It’s about, in this case the absolutely appalling conviction rates for rape and sexual assault.

There’s a load of absolute drivel being written about Craig Murray and if it’s left without response it becomes normalised and repeated.

First of all the idea that there is some kind of binary between dire sell-out corporate journalists who are all uniformly awful – and plucky truth-tellers, salt o’ the earth bloggers who speak Truth to Power. The reality is a bit messier and just regurgitating this trope feeds a Trumpist narrative about the media being evil. The fact is there a continuum of good and bad journalists and good and bad bloggers. ‘New media’ employs ‘old media’ and ‘old media’ employs ‘new media’.

Second of all the idea that “citizen journalism” is dead as a result of the court case is nonsense.

Jonathan Cook writes: “Now, Lady Dorrian has put the final nail in the coffin of citizen journalism.” Well, no she hasn’t she’s enforced the fact that you can’t very deliberately and persistently undermine the anonymity of witnesses in a trial concerning serious sexual assault. That’s not the same thing at all. Why “citizen journalism” would be reliant on undermining a trial is a baffling notion.

The new independent media, which emerged out of an ongoing and urgent critique of the problems of corporate media can’t just operate without any controls, checks, values or redress. When Murray as an unaccredited journalist tried to gain entry to the court he was initially declined, so he got himself appointed Political Editor of Black Isle Media, run by Alex Tiffin. Tiffin –  a former soldier – who has admitted assaulting a pregnant woman as was reported by the Daily Record in 2019. So that was the individual that Murray turned to in order to give himself credibility.

Third the idea that Murray is at the heart of a vast conspiracy is just wrong.  Jonathan Cook writes: “Murray is also the first person to be jailed in Britain for contempt of court in half a century”.

Well, apart from, say Tommy Robinson who was jailed for contempt of court in 2019? Or specifically Clive Thomson?

Murray isn’t being held to some higher or different standards, he’s being convicted for breaking laws he knowingly and deliberately broke despite being warned to desist.

Fourth the idea is bounced around and around that other journalists also ‘leaked’ the names of witnesses but went unpunished. Murray and others consistently point to Dani Garavelli as one of these citing a Panelbase poll. What’s less often noted is that Craig Murray wrote and paid for the question to be added to the poll. In other cases journalists or other individuals may have inadvertently released information and when warned then instantly apologised and deleted such material. Not so the Ambassador who when warned pressed on. There is quite a difference.

Attitudes to Garavelli echo the theme of misogyny that runs through these court cases like a toxic stain and through which, over and over and over men reposition themselves as the victims.

Murray sought to identify women victims of sexual assault. He did so deliberately because he decided his friend was innocent before he’d heard a word of evidence. He did so because of a very specific theory of power and history he holds.

In 2011 he wrote: “The DSK case and the Assange case have brought to the fore the true ugliness of sex negative feminism and man hatred, and the extent to which they made inroads into our culture and society just as insidious as the right-wing propaganda of the Murdochs. They have also shown how those right wing forces can so easily hijack stupid blinkered man haters to the right-wing agenda.”

‘DSK’ is Dominique Strauss-Kahn a French economist, politician, and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who was accused of the sexual assault and attempted rape of 32-year-old Nafissatou Diallo, a housekeeper at the Sofitel New York Hotel in the Manhattan.

You can read Craig’s views on rape and feminism here.

The problem with public debate on this subject is that those who believe in the vast conspiracy that’s out to get both Salmond and Murray are so deeply embedded in that reality there is little room for nuance. They inhabit a world of totalising truth.

Finally Jonathan Cook writes: “Salmond was actually the victim of a high-level plot by senior politicians at Holyrood to discredit him and prevent his return to the forefront of Scottish politics. The intention, says Murray, was to deny Salmond the chance to take on London and make a serious case for independence …”

Much of this is just wild fantasy.

Murray’s done some good things in the past and I don’t favour a prison sentence. But it’s hard to find any conclusion other than he is entirely responsible for the predicament he finds himself in.

Democracy and journalism is under threat in this country, but not by this court case and not by Murray’s conviction.




Comments (56)

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  1. CathyW says:

    Well said and well done for saying it, Mike.

  2. Micheal MacGilleRuadh says:

    Mike, is it your view that only Craig Murray revealed the identities of the complainants? Genuine question. Leaving aside your claim of misogyny on his part do you feel that Garivelli and others did not reveal some of their identities?

    1. It’s not my view it’s fact. Certainly of one person. I have spoken to Dani Garivelli and she explained at length how she had consulted with legal advisors to avoid naming people. As a journalist she is advised to do this.

      1. Seumas McCue says:

        Well I’m sorry, but I think that I identified two of the complainants from what Dani Garivelli wrote. Now of course I can’t sure of this, but if my understanding is right then there is a very serious situation.
        What in fact we have in this case is one of these situations where the people who support the SNP and their present management through thick and thin will see this as a veritable Daniel come to judgment.
        Those of us who do not so believe see it as a very dangerous development.
        We may well get answers in the cases which are yet to be tried where there are questions of malicious prosecution and Salmond’s case.
        I would suggest that those who seek an open society where Justice is seen to be done might pause before they get too happy about this development.

  3. Murray says:

    I’m sorry but I don’t agree with some of the items mentioned. There was a conspiracy between senior unionists supporters to put the knife into the SNP by way of Salmond. When the Police , Tory party members and witnesses had a covert meeting to talk about who and what information they needed to fit up the SNP . If the Court had looked into the mobiles phone usages they would have had all the information to show collusion. The Tories declared War on the SNP and Scottish people way back , their colonist thinking clouds their judgement. Strange who the police never investigate any Tories or their unionists friends , it’s always the SNP that’s in the firing line .

  4. Axel P Kulit says:

    A much needed breath of sense here. If Craig felt there was an establishment conspiracy against him he needed only to have stopped writing, or asked a lawyer to review his posts before they went out.

  5. seonaidh says:

    Well said.

  6. Wul says:

    Whatever the ins and outs of the Salmond case, and Craig Murray’s reporting thereof, the fact is that Mr Murray did indeed hold contempt for the court. He made that abundantly clear in his blog.

    I can’t remember the exact phrase, but more than once he referred to the court as a sham and an attempt to “get” Salmond. I remember reading his blog and thinking “Surely you can’t say that!?” I’m sure even Craig Murray himself would admit to holding feelings of contempt towards the court and making that view public, even as the trial progressed.

    Having said that, I admire Mr Murray’s courage, indefatigability and willingness to be a whistleblower. I wish there were more former Establishment figures like him.

    1. Axel P Kulit says:

      If he had stuck to saying the case against Salmond was a WM generated sham in order to “get” Salmond” and left it there, he would not be going to jail.

      You can verbally express contempt for the court, I believe, within very broad limits, but it would have been sensible not to disobey the orders of the judge.

      The fact we cannot rule out the possibility there was a conspiracy says a lot about how little we can trust WM, a distrust born of experience.

      Unfortunately I cannot also rule out the possibility Craig disobeyed as a publicity stunt.

  7. Jim Hagart says:

    “Well, apart from, say Tommy Robinson who was jailed for contempt of court in 2019? Or specifically Clive Thomson? ”

    Murray’s case was actually the first jailing in the world of anyone for jigsaw journalism – a crime for which it seems his treatment was distinctly different from others who disclosed information and seemingly also harsher than would be normal simply to serve as a warning to others. That can’t be determined with any certainty but it seems a fair assessment given the nature of the offence and the fact that Murray did not actually name anyone while those he reported on (anonymously) seem in some cases to have got off Scot free with perjury in a case that could have seen someone jailed for the remainder of his life.

    1. Mouse says:

      Are you sure? You have actually trawled through every contempt of court case in the world, over a period of years? Obviously you haven’t. You haven’t even tried. And neither has the source of your idea.

  8. Daniel Raphael says:

    As someone who likely will never know the truth of the matter in this case, I did the following today: I tweeted two articles–this one and one the favored Mr. Murray, posted at Consortium News–in a single tweet, posing the question of whether Murray was guilty and if so of what, and leaving it to readers to weigh the matter for themselves. It’s probably the closest thing to truth that I, at least, will achieve in this matter. I became aware of Mr. Murray many years ago, when he lost his ambassadorship to Uzbekistan as a result of his forthrightly speaking against the torture of Islamists by the ruling despot of that land. I have also appreciated his forthright defense of Julian Assange, who appears doomed to die in one prison or another for the crime of letting us know the ill deeds of the globalized 1%.

    I’ve followed the SNP/Salmond/Alba doings as best I can, almost exclusively via this site. And that’s about all I can say. My guess is there are and likely will remain a great many people with uncertainty and mixed feelings in this matter. Not ideal, but better than having a firm conviction on the basis of less than comprehensive evidence and understanding.

    1. Wullie says:

      An excellent article, convicted persons used to announce that they would dae the time staunin oan their heid in defiance of the judge. His is a poor response. He
      Guilty as charged.

  9. Greum Maol Stevenson says:

    When Mr Murray recently compared Nicola Sturgeon to Caligula, I wondered if he might be preparing to plead insanity.

    I wrote him this letter last year: https://stevenson.scot/its-not-all-about-you-open-letter-to-craig-murray

  10. Edward Andrews says:

    According to Craig Murray’s Blog

    “I want to touch on one other aspect of liberty in my own imprisonment that appears not understood, or perhaps simply neglected, because somehow the very notion of liberty is slipping from our political culture. One point that features plainly in the troll talking points to be used against me, recurring continually on social media, is that I was ordered to take down material from my blog and refused.

    There is an extremely important point here. I have always instantly complied with any order of a court to remove material. What I have not done is comply with instructions from the Crown or Procurator Fiscal to remove material. Because it is over 330 years since the Crown had the right of censorship in Scotland without the intervention of a judge.

    It sickens me that so many Scottish Government backed trolls are tweeting out that I should have obeyed the instructions of the Crown. That Scotland has a governing party which actively supports the right of the Crown to exercise unrestrained censorship is extremely worrying, and I think a sign both of the lack of respect in modern political culture for liberties which were won by people being tortured to death, and of the sheer intellectual paucity of the current governing class.

    But then we now learn that Scotland has a government which was prepared not only to be complicit in exempting the Crown from climate change legislation, but also complicit in hushing up the secret arrangement, so I am not surprised.

    What is even more terrifying in my case is that the Court explicitly states that I should have followed the directions of the Crown Office in what I did and did not publish, and my failure to not publish as the Crown ordered is an aggravating factor in my sentencing.

    If the Crown thinks something I write is in contempt and I think it is not, the Crown and I should stand as equals in court and argue our cases. There should be no presumption I ought to have obeyed the Crown in the first place. That Scottish “justice” has lost sight of this is disastrous, though perhaps as much from stupidity as malice.”

  11. Mouse says:

    A brave article in the face of monotonous indy-blog group-think.

  12. Niemand says:

    Much of this comes down to whether you trust Dorrian or not, since at no point has it been made plain what Murray wrote that allowed jigsaw identification. He does not know either, depending on who you believe; he was certainly never told by the court. Yet she stated he *deliberately* set about jigsaw identification. This is an opaque form of justice (can opaque justice ever be proper justice?), and any opinion piece about it is therefore at least half built on sand as a result.

    Bella here clearly trusts Dorrian as it provides no other evidence: ‘Murray sought to identify women victims of sexual assault’. Yet here we see something strange since Salmond was found innocent. Was it just a typo to leave out ‘alleged’?

    1. The idea that Craig doesn’t know what he’s being convicted for is beyond belief.

      1. Niemand says:

        Beyond belief? Maybe but it is all ‘belief’ isn’t it as we don’t know any of the details at all. And yet, if the jigsawing happened it must be pretty factual material. In terms of justice being seen to be done it is a highly unsatisfactory process that is bound to lead to mistrust. I literally have no idea who to believe; I hold no special candle for Murray, truly, but nor do I have much faith or trust in this opaque judgment, and I have not seen any real arguments as to why we should.

        1. It’s not all belief. many of us know precisely who he exposed and why. If we know he knows. One’s not possible without the other.

          1. Colin Robinson says:

            ‘…many of us know precisely who he exposed and why.’

            I think Niemand’s wondering just what this precise knowledge is that you claim and on what evidence it’s based. The basis of the knowledge that all the various parties with an interest in the matter claim – that’s what’s opaque.

            As far as I’m concerned, I haven’t a clue what went down in the Salmond affair, such has been the obfuscation that’s surrounded it from all sides. THAT’s the real scandal.

          2. Maybe he is – my knowledge is about who the protagonists were – and watching with astonishment – as many did Murray expose them. I can’t reveal their identities but its an open and shut case that he did what he’s convicted of and its beyond belief that he claims not to know himself.

          3. Niemand says:

            Sure, and I have no reason not to trust you on this, and I am sure you would not have written the article if you were not personally sure.

            But from my point of view, and I suspect the many who do not have this inside info, we have no evidence to judge anything on at all. We do simply have to believe it (you, the judge, or whoever), or not. I am always very circumspect about making judgments about court cases unless you were actually in court and heard the evidence (and ironically, this led to a great surprise at the end of the Salmond trial due to the way it was reported as it progressed). But when you have no evidence to go on at all, no jury either, it is even more circumspect. I could trawl through Murray’s blogs I suppose and try and do the jigsawing, but that is morally suspect of itself.

            I am wondering if people’s ability to ‘do the jigsaw’ is based on what they knew already and it makes me speculate about what jigsaw identification means i.e. identification by whom and with what prior knowledge? I admit I find the concept very wooly and worrying in terms of the law since if it assumes anyone in that ‘whom’ (i.e. those with prior knowledge), then the bar for it being a crime is very low indeed.

          4. Yes I understand the confusion and it is – as someone else said ‘opaque’.

            I suppose the alternative is however that the judge just made it up because (insert a number of wild and strange suggestions here …).

            Maybe you think that we live in a country that’s so corrupt this happens. But as I said the Salmond-Murray brigade also cherish and celebrate the Salmond trial, so they have to argue that we simultaneously live in a country where the court system is both exemplary AND utterly corrupt.

          5. Colin Robinson says:

            ‘…my knowledge is about who the protagonists were… I can’t reveal their identities…’

            I respect your need for secrecy.

          6. It’s actually their need for secrecy.

          7. Timothy Rideout says:

            I got five of them from Garavelli and the only one I got from Murray was a man who was not a complainant. And Murray’s January 2020 story (along Yes Minister lines) was written 3 MONTHS BEFORE the court granted anonymity. You should also recognise that in this case it is the first time in 300 years that the Crown (i.e. the prosecution) have succeeded in a contempt case. In all other cases it is the Judge that instigates it. At no time in the Salmond case did Lady Dorrian or any of the other judges complain about contempt. I understand that in normal circumstances the Crown is deemed strong enough to look after itself and does not therefore propose contempt. The Crown Office DOES NOT have the power to censor anything. Murray is right that whenever the Judge / Court ordered anything he immediately complied. To suggest that the prosecution (the Crown) should be able to ‘order’ anything would be exceptionally dangerous. I did not live in apartheid South Africa for 10 years for nothing.

          8. Craig says:

            Isn’t that part of the problem Mike? Youself and others are part of a political bubble, with a network of contacts/sources which means that are party to information that many many others are not. I can honestly say I have no idea who the complainants in the Salmond case are. Equally I can also honestly say that, based on what information I have read, there seems to be some serious questions to be answered in relation to this whole sorry tale.
            1. Who leaked the inital story that Salmond was under investigation to the press? – this was, I remind you, a criminal offence
            2. Some of the evidence, particulalry that of “H”, was completely repudiated by independent witnesses. Does that means she lied. was she mistaken? That’s pretty damning if it’s the case as a man’s liberty was at stake. What would have happned if there hadn’t been independent witnesses? – are you comfortable with this, given you are more in “the know” than I?
            3. Who was the famous actor? Why couldn’t they be called as a witness and cross examined?
            4. The alleged “WhatsApp” group and messages – in a case where the defendent is claiming they are being conspired against – why wasn’t it admissiable as evidence?

            I fully appreciate that there may good answers to these questions (which you may know but be unable to share) but when justice isn’t seen to be done it leaves ambiguity and innuendo. You may well have a better knowledge of everythign that happened and clearly you have made up you mind that there was no conspiracy but as someone who isn’t party to that information – I find that there are many things that don’t add up in this fiasco and no one involved comes out to this well, be it the SNP, Scot Gov, COPFS or our media. The only people who should be happy about this are those implacably opposed to Scotland’s self-determination.

    2. HarryR says:

      ‘Murray sought to identify women victims of sexual assault’.
      Clearly, it was no accident that the word ‘alleged’ was left out because, in the world of Mike Small, an accusation of sexual assault is the equivalent of guilt.
      It would appear to follow that juries can simply not be trusted to deliver on desired conviction quotas.
      Having read through the various posts written by readers in response to this article, it was immediately clear to me that Mr. Small cherry-picks those posts to which he can provide a response of some kind. Others are simply ignored.
      ‘Edward Andrews’ posted a lengthy quote from Craig Murray’s blog in which the journalist stated that he had, in fact complied with every order from the Court but not those from the Crown. Murray gave his justification for taking such a position. Apparently, Mike Small felt unable to address this matter.
      ‘Micheal MacGilleRuadh’ asked whether it was Mr. Small’s opinion that Dani Garivelli and others had not also provided information which could be used to identify some of the complainants. Mr. Small replied that Garivelli had not enabled identification and that that wasn’t only an opinion, it was a fact. How had he established the veracity of this ‘fact’? Incredibly, he had simply asked Dani Garivelli. To paraphrase Mandy Rice-Davies, ‘Well, she would say that, wouldn’t she?’

      1. Hi Harry – it’s not that “juries can simply not be trusted to deliver on desired conviction quotas” it’s that all the evidence is they don’t convict because of the pervasiveness of rape mythology.

        1. Colin says:

          “they don’t convict because of the pervasiveness of rape mythology “: Yes, you really ARE saying normal people are too ignorant. This is a very dangerous path-If you believe the public too ignorant or prejudiced, then surely you should at least be supporting a stepping stone of all-feminist juries first ( about 2/3 in Salmond trial were women, I think ), or all-white juries in cases involving blacks-such as that of OJ Simpson, for example.

          1. Colin Robinson says:

            I’m also suspicious of any argument that proposes that juries can’t reach just verdicts because their minds are misinformed. It’s up to the advocates involved to challenge any misconceptions that are prejudicial to a just outcome for their respective clients.

  13. Cuchulain says:

    While there are very sound reasons for protecting the identity of the complainants, isn’t it at least somewhat concerning that some of them, having been granted lifelong anonymity with legal force, have embarked on a campaign to undermine the Salmond verdict from behind that veil of anonymity? And that Salmond or his allies effectively cannot mount his defence in the court of public opinion for fear of identifying any of them?

    1. Timothy Rideout says:

      I would say it is concerning that at least one brazenly lied on oath. The lady who complained about an attempted rape at Bute House after a dinner was found by the court (based on the security and kitchen logs) to have never been at the dinner. Furthermore she claimed to have met Tasmina the next morning (Saturday) while the truth was Tasmina’s father had died in London on the Friday and thus Tasmina missed the dinner because she was travelling to London to arrange the funeral. Furthermore this woman did not know the other lady at the dinner had her arm in a plaster-cast. That was because she took her description of the dinner from Salmond’s book ‘The Dream Will Never Die’ and it was not in the book about the broken arm. Why has this lady not been charged with perjury?

  14. carthannas says:

    “I have spoken to Dani Garivelli and she explained at length …”.

    Oooh, now I get it! Then there’s the clever, clever stuff about what, and who, you know but can’t disclose. In that case I’ll disregard all informed opinion and listen to your bleating instead! Yeah, right. Pathetic.

    1. Interviewing key people is what journalists do. As Garivelli has been repeatedly accused of leaking information I spoke to her and had to put those allegations to her. Why doing my job makes me ‘pathetic’ I dont know?

  15. john halifax gentleman says:

    I am no more informed on the Salmond case than any other member of the general public, but my reading of Mr. Murray’s two volumes of memoirs left me with the impression of a martyr desperately looking for a cause. His disgust with British foreign policy in Uzbekistan was principled and courageous, but his subsequent career of misogyny and conspiracy theory makes me suspect he might be disappointed with a short prison sentence, rather than being crucified upside down on the wheel of a gun carriage.
    I have to say, incidentally, that while the idea of people self-identifying as another gender leaves me basically unmoved (if a wee bit bemused), I find the idea of self-identifying “journalists” troubling. In an age when even properly trained, professional journalists can seem barely literate or unable to present a logical argument, this “citizen journalist” nonsense only points up the faux-democratization of debate that the internet introduced. And yes, I’m aware of the irony of the current context. I still contend that ownership of a smart phone does not make one a journalist, and Mr. Murray’s attitude to the Salmond trial may well have owed something to that fact.

    1. Colin Robinson says:

      The idea of citizen journalism is meant to be troubling, John, no less than that of transsexuality. It disturbs the established order of things.

      It’s the idea of everyone playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analysing, and disseminating of news and information, and it’s based on the democratic principle of active citizenship. This is counter to and challenging of the passive role that’s normally expected of people as part of their social construction as manageable heteronomous subjects as opposed to unmanageable autonomous citizens.

      The argument against citizen journalism is usually that the hoi polloi are too stupid, gullible, or otherwise ‘evil’ to play – or even be entrusted to play – such an active role in the construction of their lives, and that consequently the collecting, reporting, analysing, and disseminating of news and information needs to be administered by experts.

  16. Anna Phillips says:

    This is really important and very enlightening.
    I’ll never forgive a man who wilfully named a rape complainant on live TV- asking viewers to dig up the dirt on her. He’s a gross history of misogyny

  17. Duncan McKay says:

    “Murray sought to identify women victims of sexual assault.”

    Do the court verdicts not show that there were no victims of sexual assault in the Salmond case? Are you suggesting that the jury got it wrong? Do you hold their decision in contempt?

    “He did so deliberately because he decided his friend was innocent before he’d heard a word of evidence.”

    You appear to be cherry picking the court decisions that you like. Murray verdict: good, Salmond verdict: bad. Regardless of Murray’s personal opinion, the jury decided that Salmond was not guilty after they had heard all the evidence and, as other contributors have said, had it not been for Murray none of us would have heard details of the defence case.

    Murray may be guilty of jigsaw identification but much of the rest of the media is guilty of failing to fully inform, and at times, of deliberately misleading the public.

    1. Timothy Rideout says:

      Your exactly right. As Murray said every time the Defence stood up all the reporters put their notebooks away. Without Murray nobody would have any idea as to what the Defence was.

      1. Colin Robinson says:

        Surely, what mattered wasn’t the defence case (that wasn’t what was being tried), but the prosecution case and whether it stood up to the scrutiny of a jury.

        Clearly, it didn’t stand up. Though, as Mike says, this is likely to be because the jury before which the prosecution case was tried was minded more by rape mythology than by insufficient evidence.

        1. Niemand says:

          On what basis do you say there was insufficient evidence? In terms of the rape charge (there was only one), the evidence was virtually incontrovertible that it could never have happened in the way it was alleged.

          There is no doubt the reporting on this case was a travesty. I hate lazy terms like ‘MSM’ but in this case they really let the public down and frankly did show gross bias. I know this because I followed the case via the MSM (Scottish press, BBC, Guardian, tabloids) and became convinced he man was guilty as sin. I had no special interest in the case and am just an average punter who has no inside knowledge of any of it. Any of the defense’s points that did get reported were few and far between and always played down, whilst there were endless salacious and ‘damning’ details about the accusations. Then the verdicts came and I was shocked and thought, ‘wha??’ It was that that led me to look at blogs to find out what was going on (Murray, WoS). I had never looked at these sites before. Here I found the direct reporting of the evidence that explained the verdicts, evidence that was not being reported elsewhere. The detail of that made me realise the verdicts were the only reasonable ones to come to.

          We live in worrying times: legitimate and valuable causes should never trump the truth and journalism should report that truth. It is naive to think the ‘mainstream’ media can act like a saint or ever will, but we can expect them to try to be honest. In the Salmond trial they really were not and the evidence is simply in the fact of what was said and shown at the trial by Salmond’s defense that they failed to report with sufficient weight: they had decided he was guilty, probably before the rial started.

          1. Colin Robinson says:

            On the basis that the evidence presented to the jury was insufficient to convince it of the justice of the case against Salmond that the Crown was prosecuting. Hence the verdicts it reached. Had the evidence been sufficient, the verdicts would have been different.

          2. Niemand says:

            So where does ‘mythology’ come in? It wasn’t mythology that made it clear the crime could not have been committed, it was hard evidence and not, for example, two people’s different account of what happened when they were alone together. So to invert your language, the evidence was sufficient to prove innocence.

          3. Colin Robinson says:

            There’s a theory that the decision-making of juries is informed by something called ‘rape mythology’ (prejudicial, stereotyped, and false beliefs about sexual assaults, rapists, and rape victims), through which the jury members’ perceptions of the evidence presented is filtered and/or interpreted. This theory purports to explain why so many rape trials – including Salmond’s, for example – return so few guilty verdicts.

          4. Niemand says:

            I know what the idea is but you seem unaware of the evidence presented in the Salmond trial. Best to familiarise yourself with it before assuming any filtering of perceptions by the jury. Duncan describes it very well below.

          5. Colin Robinson says:

            You seem to have gotten hold of the wrong end of the stick, Niemand.

            I’m cool with the verdict the jury delivered on the prosecution case against Salmond and with jury trials generally. In fact, I’d love to see more cases ‘tried’ by juries; for example, the case for independence from Westminster/Brussels, or the case for the reopening of a quarry in my neck of the woods. I didn’t really follow the Salmond trial because it wasn’t for me to judge; it was for the jury, which heard all the arguments for and against the prosecution case and not just the snippets that were moderated by the media.

            I’m also suspicious of any argument that proposes that juries can’t reach just verdicts because their minds are misinformed. It’s up to the advocates involved to challenge any misconceptions that are prejudicial to a just outcome for their respective clients.

        2. Duncan McKay says:

          The most serious allegation was attempted rape. Murray reproduced verbatim evidence from the trial which proved that Salmond could not have attempted to rape that accuser as they were not in the same building at the time of the alleged incident. This evidence was based on the accuser’s own diary and correspondence and the evidence of other witnesses who were with Salmond. The only possible conclusion that the jury could reach was that Salmond was not guilty. This was nothing to do with “rape mythology”. Unfortunately, for whatever reason or reasons, the majority of the media decided that this crucial evidence was not newsworthy.

          Murray may have decided that Salmond was guilty before hearing any evidence but the trial proved him right. The bigger question here is why much of the media persevere with the Salmond guilty narrative even after hearing incontrovertible evidence proving he was not guilty?

  18. carthannas says:

    Many thanks to all those above who have come out so clearly about the complete lack of reporting in the MSM (sorry for use of the term, Niemand) of the defence case. I found it impossible to do so coherently.

    I know from personal experience that this lack of information has been, at least partially, responsible for the continuing belief amongst some that, despite the verdict, Alex Salmond was guilty. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to change that now. There was/is a conspiracy amongst MSM to make sure that the defence case was never heard. Unfortunately, they were, and are, aided and abetted in one way or another by some fellow-travelling ‘Indy supporting’ blogs. Including this one. Unless I missed your reporting of the defence case. In which case I apologise profusely.

    1. The language of “fellow travelers” and suggesting this blog is not indy supporting is disgusting, but unsurprising.

      It may be useful to disentangle three things:
      1) Salmond was found not guilty
      2) His behaviour was widely thought to be appalling
      3) It doesn’t take a conspiracy fir this to be a career-ending event.

      1. carthannas says:

        Fellow travelling – with those not wanting to report the defence case.

        ‘Indy supporting’ – supporting a particular clique – not that the blog doesn’t support Indy.

        I should have been clearer.

      2. Craig says:

        When you day his behaviour was widely thought to be appalling do you mean in the context of the events covered in the trial through the lens of the press? As many have pointed out that did not present a fair picture as it barely covered defence arguments.

        Which specific elements of the case do you think show Alex behaving appallingly?

        1. “Which specific elements of the case do you think show Alex behaving appallingly?”

          I don’t really know how to respond to this. I mean we can all exist within bubbles but when you saw Alba get 1.7% did the penny not drop?

    2. florian albert says:

      I read accounts of the trial in the ‘mainstream’ media. I was surprized that the reports tended to be much shorter than you might have expected for such a high profile criminal case. As a result of what I read in the ‘mainstream’ media, I was very surprized when Salmond was acquitted.
      Later, I read the – much more detailed – trial reports by Craig Murray. These reports cast a very different light on the proceedings and made the verdicts reached seem
      entirely rational.

      This reinforced by belief that Scottish journalism has declined in a manner similar to Scottish coal mining and heavy industry in the past forty years. The worrying thing is that the collapse of the first has not been recognized.

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