For politicians of doubtful ability or morality, it always seems to end when the lawyers come in. Rather like the grown-ups taking away the toys of a misbehaving toddler.

That's how it ended for President "Tricky Dickie" Nixon, possibly the most dishonest man to ever occupy the White House. His desperate attempt to hold on to office despite his criminal wrongdoing came to an end when the Supreme Court ordered him to release the audio tapes which recorded his transaction of government business ( WhatsApp deletion wasn't possible then).

So the terrible truth was going to come out. The helicopter arrived on the White House lawn shortly afterwards and took Nixon away.

For Scotland that day seems to have come with the three week visit of the UK Covid Inquiry to Edinburgh . While Scots lawyers should be rightly proud of the excellent preparation and forensic skills of one of our home-grown KCs in Jamie Dawson, it seems shameful that it took a UK body presided over by an English iudge to expose the truth.

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Even amongst today's disreputable politicians it takes a particular type of low-life to see a global pandemic, which is known to be about to kill thousands of Scottish citizens, as a political opportunity. But it's clear from the evidence that the SNP government in Edinburgh saw Covid as just that - a chance to advance their only cause, independence.

The declarations of innocence and denials of improper motivation from members of the then Scottish government fly in the face of such evidence as they didn't manage to destroy.

Since 2007 it has always been a core practice of the SNP in government that they conceal their incompetence and gross loss of public money by spinning the story which the Scottish public receive in the media. In a small nation with a now unfortunately underfunded news outlets this has been largely successful. Huge sums of public money are spent by the SNP on special advisers ("Spads") whose job is to ensure that the voters never know the truth about what's going on.

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On Covid even the most expert manipulators such as Sturgeon’s chief of staff Liz Lloyd have now been defeated by a tsunami of inconvenient truths exposed by these dreadful lawyers.

All Scots, even committed nationalists, should welcome the UK Inquiry's work shining a light into the murky doings of the Scottish government. If Scotland is governed by a bunch of dishonest dafties, the voters should know about it. Unlike Nixon, I doubt they merit a helicopter to take them away. Some kind of bus will have to do.

Finally, must the pointless Scottish Covid Inquiry not now be binned? Set up by the SNP government and so designed to unearth nothing, what can be its aim now given the success of the UK Inquiry at finding the truth? Together with numerous other pointless public inquiries, Scotland's limited resources are being spectacularly squandered. After all, even when an investigation unearths something useful politicians often fail to act.

A study carried out in Scotland by scientists two years before Covid warned that a SARS like pandemic was inevitable and the government must prepare by having the NHS "battle ready", by buying PPE etc. We all know how politicians reacted to that sensible advice.


Alistair Bonnington
Former Hon Professor of Law
University of Glasgow