It was refreshing to be able to escape today from the stuffy confines of the Sheriff Court at Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire to the glorious, open countryside of Stirlingshire with its many ‘sudden’ little hills, each crowned with a castle in varying stages of crumbling.
Our digression from the direct route south back to England was not for the purpose of tourism or refreshment, however, but had a serious purpose and our specific destination was Dunblane, where Robert had a long overdue mission to fulfil, namely to report that town’s currently most high-profile resident, Dame Elish Angiolini, to the police for theft of funds from the public purse of Scotland.
It is over 2 years since Angiolini, then Lord Advocate, engaged the private law firm Levy & McRae in order to place an injunction on various organs of the press and media, including internet outlets, from publishing articles in which her name was linked to that of Hollie Greig.
The cost of this complex operation is said to have been in the region of £50,000 and what it would be very interesting to know – and certain legal organs have published articles posing this very question – is how the Lord Advocate, arguably the highest public servant in the land in 2009, financed this excursion into the private domain, ostensibly purely in her own personal interests. Did she therefore use her own funds, or did she, in some kind of cross-wired, confabulated reasoning going on in her mind at the time, consider this hygeinic expedient to be in the public interest and pay for it out of taxpayers’ money?
For the best part of 2011 the outgoing Lord Advocate resisted the attempts of the Freedom of Information Commissioner, Kevin Dunion to secure an answer to this question, from which it has to be concluded that Angiolini did indeed pay Levy & McRae’s bill out of public funds, but is unwilling to admit that publicly, knowing what the consequences will be.
Robert Green, having been freshly convicted as a criminal under Scottish law, largely because of Angiolini’s dereliction of public duty in blocking any investigation of Hollie’s allegations during the time that she was Procurator Fiscal for Aberdeen, 2000-05, and being quite sure the lady herself was behind his arrest in February 2010, feels no compunction about bringing criminal charges against her. If the full weight of Scottish justice has come down on him for trying to prevent crime, why not on her for actively encouraging it, and committing further crime in the process?
The young constable who admitted us to the police station and received Robert’s report took down the details in a methodical kind of way as if recording a car-theft, for which we gave him credit! and the matter has been passed to those immediately upwards of Dunblane in the police-service pecking order, Lothian and Borders Constabulary, for their consideration. At the time of writing it is not yet known if a crime-file has been opened and a number issued; we can only wait and hope some areas of the Scottish justice system are still free of corruption.
After carrying out the immediately necessary task we strolled around the pretty town of Dunblane, set against dark clouds both actual and figurative, on this significant day which happens to be Burns Day and now Night, 2012. Robert consumed a haggis pie at lunchtime, we chatted to various townsfolk and tried to fix my camera which had a glitch and simply wouldn’t record the video I had intended to take of Robert fulfilling his latest mission outside the police station.
And at several points in the day, Robert broke out into a rendering of Rantin’ Rovin’ Robin (composed by the bard, of course!) and I retaliated with the Address to a Haggis (not from memory, I hasten to add)
Us Sassanachs, what on earth are we doing meddling in Scotland?! I wondered privately during the day, my head full of displays of tartan and of that obscurely constituted national comestible, so prominent on this particular day. The people of Scotland (and I say it myself being one, not just by marriage), are as gracious, friendly and morally principled as people anywhere and their countryside is to die for. So what has happened to the Scottish justice-system and whom do their political class serve in 21st century?
And what would the famous bard himself make of the goings-on this week at Stonehaven, were he alive today? but as Robert and I agreed, by this time having arrived at the Wallace Memorial in Stirling, there are still brave Scots like Wallace ready to stand up against corruption, duplicity and perversion. We met at least 25 of them last week and this who had journeyed to Stonehaven to register support and we know that for each one who managed to get time off work etc. to support Robert there are at least 20 more who didn’t have the funds or the time to make the journey.
Thank you all for your support, and you know the score, whatever has happened this week at Stonehaven the fight goes on.