Just when you thought the farce over the non-existent legal advice on Scotland’s EU membership was over, yesterday’s Herald has news of yet another twist.
Remember how keen Alex Salmond was to refer himself on the Ministerial Code? Apart from that being a big red herring anyway, it turns out the Government re-wrote it to suit Alex Salmond’s case while the investigation on Catherine Stihler’s FOI request was going on.
If, as the Scottish Government spokesperson says, there was no difference in the meaning of the wording, why did they go to the bother of changing it?
Salmond wants to be able to say “Look, I didn’t breach the Ministerial Code so those nasty unionists are trying to smear me. Aren’t they horrible?”
Actually, relying on the Ministerial Code in this instance is a bit like trying to rely on the Highway Code to exonerat e you for a misdemeanour you committed during a boxing match. What we know is that Salmond and the SNP bent over backwards over several months to create the impression that they had the legal advice we’d all expect them to have on the subject of an independent Scotland’s EU membership. And then they had to confess, after they’d spent a small fortune of hard earned taxpayer’s money taking the Information Commissioner to Court to cover it up, that they had no such advice after all.
The word that best describes such behaviour is, I think, sleekit.
Willie Rennie said:
Alex Salmond’s emergency changes to his own Ministerial Code reveal the level of manipulation that enveloped his office following the receipt of the EU legal advice inquiry.