Contemporary from being embarrassed over a ridiculous smear story this week about somebody complaining to the police about the usage of a well known political phrase by a Wings commenter, Tom Gordon of the Herald went on fairly the assault yesterday.
The thread, which incorporates numerous elementary factual errors*, continued for a number of extra tweets typically rubbishing our scoop from Friday afternoon and suggesting that no correct journalist (“the remainder of us”) would have run the story.
So he have to be feeling fairly neglected this morning.
(We had been additionally contacted by the Mail On Sunday and the Scottish Solar in regards to the story, however we’re not but certain in the event that they’ve run something. We’ve additionally spoken to Personal Eye, who’d lined our scoop from final month in regards to the resignations of three members of the occasion’s Finance Committee over the occasion’s shady funds on this week’s subject.)
Panicky injury limitation is already below means by each Tom Gordon and the SNP, who’re rubbishing the supply of the criticism (eccentric activist Sean Clerkin) as if that may make the lacking £600,000 all of a sudden seem again within the SNP accounts.
And we’re certain Police Scotland will rethink their complete inquiry once they hear that the Electoral Fee has beforehand stated “It’s actually not inside our jurisdiction to look into this type of factor”.
However after all they received’t do this, as a result of if the cash has been spent then it was unquestionably obtained below false pretences, and that’s DEFINITELY against the law, which is why Police Scotland despatched two officers from the Monetary Investigation Unit spherical to Clerkin’s home inside hours of him giving his preliminary assertion fairly than simply saying “that’s good expensive” and throwing it straight within the bin.
The SNP has now provide you with three or 4 completely different tales about the place the cash went, however none of them get them out of the inconvenient actuality that they swore up and down that not a penny of it will be spent till there was a second indyref.
Which is one thing Tom Gordon is aware of advantageous effectively, as a result of he was the one that wrote the unique story within the Herald about it.
And the SNP’s large squawking flap of a response solely underlines that:
As a result of the cash wasn’t raised to “arrange an independence unit”, no matter that really means – isn’t your entire SNP speculated to be an “independence unit”? It wasn’t raised to “make different preparations for a referendum”, no matter these could be. And it wasn’t meant for use for obscure unspecified “independence-related campaigning” in a 12 months wherein there completely positively received’t be an independence referendum.
(Additionally, the occasion’s earlier makes an attempt to wave the story away concerned the then-treasurer angrily insisting none of it had been spent in any respect and each penny was nonetheless accessible.)
And we now know that the present plan was to rebadge atypical workers wages for 2021 as in actual fact being the “Referendum Enchantment Fund”, in order that it may very well be “accounted for” in subsequent 12 months’s books and the entire mess neatly whitewashed. But it surely’s too late for that.
The actual fact is that the cash is spent, readers. It isn’t within the occasion’s accounts and political events aren’t allowed to simply disguise over half 1,000,000 quid in a secret cabinet and maintain it off the books. The fundraiser money has gone away. However the story isn’t going to.
* (1) Gordon has no concept what Clerkin really stated to the police, or whether or not all of it got here from Wings. We don’t both.
(2) No person informed Wings something about seeing “a police automobile” on the home. Our supply, who was NOT Clerkin, informed us very particularly that officers had gone to Sturgeon and Murrell’s home to query them in regards to the subject. We do not know in the event that they went there in a automobile or a van or on foot or on horseback or on penny-farthings.
(3) The police did NOT “deny a proper investigation” at any level. Certainly, they seem to now have formally confirmed it to a number of newspapers, and we’ll be contacting them on Monday to ask why they refused to substantiate it to us. Perhaps we didn’t use the particular secret real-journalist password that Tom is aware of.
(4) We’re not conscious of the SNP really denying that the police spoke to Sturgeon and Murrell. “The SNP has no data of the investigation” is a carefully-vague phrase that reeks of the farcical distinctions each Sturgeon and Murrell made to the Salmond inquiry about which issues had been occasion issues and which had been authorities ones.