Monday, August 15, 2011
In 1974, US President Richard Nixon was forced to resign from office in the wake of the Watergate affair. There was no suggestion that Nixon had any knowledge of the break-in to the office of his political opponents, but he was implicated in attempts to cover this matter up. Had Nixon simply held his hands up at an early stage and admitted that some of his subordinates had done wrong and would have to face the consequences of their actions then the Watergate affair would have been a storm in a teacup.
In the Hollie Greig case, it is important to distinguish between the allegations of abuse, which Hollie said took place between 1986 and 2000, and the failure of various arms of the state to properly deal with the allegations and to protect a vulnerable person. These failures continue to this day and include:
~ Grampian Police failing to interview alleged abusers and fellow victims named by Hollie
~ Aberdeen City Council Social Work department organising the brutal sectioning of Anne Greig
~ Shropshire Council and West Mercia Police breaking into Anne and Hollie's home
~ My arrest for Breach of the Peace by plain clothes officers of Grampian Police and the subsequent imposition of draconian bail conditions requested by the Crown Office
~ The former Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini, writing to various newspapers warning them not to publish the story
Today, the First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, finds himself in a similar position to Richard Nixon in the 1970's. He is aware of a scandal which, although he has no direct personal involvement in it, has the potential to cause his government huge embarrassment.
Regrettably, Salmond has given no indication that he will take the only morally correct course of action and instigate a proper criminal investigation of Hollie's allegations and an enquiry into why so many arms of the state have actively sought to deny her justice.
Therefore, Salmond's own conduct and suitability for high office must be called into question and I have learned of an organisation which considers complaints against the First Minister. However my faith in the independence and integrity of this organisation took a blow when I learned today that they had appointed two former Lord Advocates as "advisers". They are Lord Fraser, whose role in the Lockerbie trial was highly controversial, and the "Dame of Shame" herself, Elish Angiolini.
Another example of rampant cronyism in Scottish public life.