jimtoggleJim O’Neill says that very serious allegations that have come to light, about Police Scotland helping a police force with a history of torture, need urgently to be addressed.


A very interesting letter in Private Eye, from “Larry” of Inverness, tells us that, while he was training as a policeman at Tulliallan, he noticed a group of senior Sri Lankan police present. When he asked why we were training a police force with a history of torture, he was told by his instructor to “shut the f*** up” and it was not his business.

In its most recent report, covering 2015 and 2016, Amnesty International accuse the Sri Lankan police force of arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, deaths in custody and other crimes and human rights violations. If Larry’s report is true, why are we supporting this evil regime?

The question must be asked whether this is an initiative of the Chief Constable alone. If so, he should be hauled before the Justice Committee to justify his action. And if he has done this without the OK of the Justice Secretary, Mr Mathieson should be carpeting him about undermining the principled position of the Scottish Government on not giving succour to rogue regimes. After all, the First Minister has often, and rightly, criticised the UK Government for helping some very dodgy regimes, particularly in the Middle East.

However, if the visit was sanctioned by the Justice Minister and the Scottish Government, Mr Mathieson should himself be hauled before Parliament to explain how this is any different from the Metropolitan Police sending officers to Bahrain to train their police. In that case, he should also be considering his position. This would undermine the Scottish Government’s holier-than-thou human rights stance. They would no longer be able to criticise Mrs May’s appalling cosying up to extremely dodgy leaders like Erdogan of Turkey.

This is a very serious accusation. We must be told the truth!

Meanwhile, at Westminster, Lord Alf Dubs managed to steer through a piece of legislation requiring the UK Government to take in unaccompanied child refugees from across Europe. Alf is a particular expert in this area having come to Britain on the Kindertransport which rescued many refugee children from the ruins of Hitler’s Germany. Campaigners fully expected that some 3000 children would come to the UK through this route. However, the Government have just shut down the scheme, for no discernible reason, when they have brought only 350 children into the country.

This seems to be a deliberate attempt to defeat the purposes of the Dubs amendment and is typical of the reluctance of May’s Government to fulfil their duties under the 1951 Convention. Indeed, there are still many children with a legal right to come to Britain to join families here who are still stuck in France by British immigration paperwork. It all goes to show how much Tories are Little Britons at heart (if indeed they have a heart at all).

Finally, back at Holyrood, the continued failure of the SNP Government to improve education rears its ugly head again. The well-respected education charity, the Sutton Trust, has released a report that shows that the system is not only failing poorer children, but that high performers are also underperforming. This is particularly shown in the key STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths} subjects which will be essential to our nation’s future. It is absolutely no good for Nicola to wring her hands at FMQs and say “we must do better”. They have had ten years of failed initiatives by successive Education Ministers from Mike Russell to John Swinney to “do better”. It is also not an acceptable excuse to say that the report is based on the statistics in the recent PISA report, as if that undermined the value of the Sutton Report. And it is an insult for her to demand that we must all get behind her latest wheeze, the Attainment Fund. Why should we believe that will do any better than all the rest?

It is time for Scotland to wake up, take the independence blinders off their eyes, and recognise that this government have failed us in education, health, housing and so many other ways. Come on, Nicola, Scotland deserves better.

Related Posts

47 thoughts on “Training torturers?

  1. Surely if a Police force needed training it is the Sri Lankan force? Why on earth would anybody take the time to try and train a Police force that didn’t need it so badly?
    Showing the Sri Lankan force proper Policing techniques is surely a way to ween them off their bad habits. Alternatively they could be left to their own devices and own techniques.
    Maybe we should offer our Police services to the US or London? Try and ween them off their bad habits as well?
    I would have thought having the influence of Scottish policing introduced to a Policing regime such as Sri Lankan would be a good thing not a bad thing Jim Bob but hey maybe you can try and squeeze an SNP BAD article out of it eh?

    Education Jim Bob? Seriously? With Labours present record in Wales and past record in both England and Scotland ? You think the people of Scotland are going to vote Labour based on the comparisons between the SNP and Labours performance in Education?

    You do get why I refer to you as a clown don’t you?

    1. But the SNP in Westminster rightly condemned Met Police going to Bahrain to train their Police. What’s the difference?

      1. Seems to be a big distinction between Police Scotland training Sri Lankan Police through college courses and the Met Police training UAE Police in Riot control and Civil order. Not to mention supplying the UAE police directly with tazers gas grenades gas guns batons electric prods and instruction on interrogation techniques.
        You’ve always got to dig for the details when Labour clowns spout off their “SNP BAD” mantra.
        Not to mention the fact that the Scottish Government doesn’t run Police training colleges nor interfere in the day to day running of the Police force as that would be despotic and lead to accusations of “Police State”.
        Unlike the UK Government of course who are combining the Police training programs with arms deals and para military training of armed forces for internal security.
        One big foreign office package to any despot with money power and influence.
        Something Labour has done everytime it took the reins of power at Westminster.

      2. From the Police Scotland site:

        “Police Scotland has delivered specialist Child Protection Training in the Maldives, United Arab Emirates and Bhutan as well as a strategic level Community Safety training programme which offers an International Vocational Award in Community Policing for the Sri Lankan Police Service. ”


        “Drawing from our experience in Probationer Training in Scotland, Police Scotland designed and implemented a range of bespoke entry level training programmes on behalf of the Sri Lanka Police Service that are in keeping with current international standards.”

        Compare this with the training the UAE police received from The Metropolitan Police Service;

        “The joint training activities with the MPS included the use of “advanced equipment and devices to handle moderate and high-risk security incidents.” Further exercises included drills, methods for tactical firearm use and marksmanship, alongside implementing various security scenarios. Colonel Khaled Al Shamesi, Head of the Security Support Department at Abu Dhabi Police, said the visit aimed to promote the exchange of field expertise in the areas of security support. The inspector and training manager at the Metropolitan Police Specialist Training Centre (MPSTC), Lee Spittlehouse, said he was impressed by the officers’ “exceptional firearm skills and professionalism.””

        They hardly compare. Hypocrisy could be claimed if the SNP raised concerns about The Met, and you are desperate beyond reason to stick one on them, but it is pretty thin gruel. Calling for the resignation of a Minister is beyond hysterical. To paraphrase John Oliver ….. see that way up there Mr O’Neil, way above the clouds, that’s the bottom of the barrel; you are currently way below that in your SNPbad rants.

  2. ‘They’re bad!’
    ‘Well let’s train them and make em good.’
    ‘But… The SNP are still bad though, right?’
    ‘Yeah yeah, they’re still bad, now take your tablets…’

  3. Good article Jim.

    The SNP created a Police State in Scotland with the creation of Police Scotland in 2013.

    Prior to the creation of Police “State” Scotland, our country had eight regional Police Forces all under democratic local authority control.

    The Scottish Police Forces were;

    Central Scotland Police
    Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary
    Fife Constabulary
    Grampian Police
    Lothian and Borders Police
    Northern Constabulary
    Strathclyde Police
    Tayside Police

    The SNP Government abolished these locally democratically accountable Police Forces, merged them together and created Police Scotland. They then placed Police Scotland under the direct control of the SNP Government in Holyrood.

    It is well worth remembering that the SNP Government is an elected dictatorship, where SNP MSP’s are never allowed to voice a different opinion from the Sturgeon leadership.

    SNP MSP’s are not representatives of their communities; they are merely puppets, toadies and lap dogs for Sturgeon’s leadership.

    The SNP Government is a top down dictatorship. SNP MSP’s are weak and feeble minded. They always unfailingly obey their orders.

    The SNP leadership now have direct unfettered control over Police Scotland.

    Therefore, the SNP Government preside over a Police State.

    The good people of our beloved Scotland, deserve better than to have a Scottish style “Stasi” inflicted upon them.

    You don’t have to look overseas for the rise of dictatorial fascism, as we have it here in our own back yard.

    Stronger for Scotland?

    1. Gibbering willful unadulterated pish again Andy. You’ve obviously given up pretending you’ve anything real or valid to say and have decided to just run with unfettered click bait instead.
      I was always under the impression that it was the Freemasons and Orange Lodge who controlled the Police in Scotland.

      1. Mike,

        Are you going to dazzle us with your spellbinding, intellect, wit and wisdom?

        Will you demolish my post, point by point and earn extra “kudos” amongst your National Socialist friends?

        Have you something insightful and relevant to say?

        Or are you going to remain in your default position, peddling never ending pure “unadulterated pish”?

        1. Between this and your earlier post, you’re now positively embarrassing. But you’re also insulting the memory of my father and millions like him who gave up six years of their youth to fight National Socialism.

        2. Point by point? “Police State” you cry. A “Devolved” Government is running a “Police State” under a benevolent Democratic whiter than white mother of all Parliaments.
          Didn’t you once or twice describe the Scottish Parliament as nothing more than a Parish council?
          You’re perfectly capable of demolishing your own pish Andy all you have to do is post more than once to contradict yourself because you offer nothing but unadulterated pish.

        3. I doubt any of that will be necessary Mr McMillan. If you can’t see how “extreme” your post makes you appear then no amount of critique will persuade you otherwise.

    2. Scottish Labour are at 14% in the polls and still dropping.
      Reading what Andy has to contribute, the its not difficult to see why.
      Andy seems to be an amalgam of Tory, UKIP and Trumpism, unchained, or perhaps unhinged.

      In the past, children would have poked Andy with a stick, to get a good chase. Now, in more enlightened times, we can only shake our heads in sorrow.

        1. It takes courage to face uncomfortable truths.

          That is why you have chosen to;

          See no evil, hear no evil and to speak no evil.

          1. It’s the usual exaggeration to the max, “Crisis, crisis, crisis”. If you’d ever lived in a police state you wouldn’t have the gall to use that phrase about Scotland.

      1. “Andy seems to be an amalgam of Tory, UKIP and Trumpism”


        Seeing that you like to reminisce;

        During the 2nd World War, the SNP prayed that our beloved United Kingdom was invaded by Nazi Germany.

        The SNP were itching to do a deal with Hitler, so they could head up a Scottish, Vichy-style puppet regime.

        So, you can call me whatever you like, at least I’m not a Scottish Nationalist.


        1. No Andy, you are a British Nationalist.
          Leading up to WW2, the leading fascist was an ex Labour MP. He was not alone in his admiration of Hitler, however. The King, many aristocrats and MP’s were also included in Adolphs fan club. The Anglo-German Friendship Society along with some in the press, agitated for a alliance to turn their guns against Stalin.
          Oh that’s right, Stalin and the communist dictatorship which murdered millions. Didn’t Labour have people who admired him as well?
          And didn’t the mince about the SNP turn out to be a stitch up by one corrupt secret service agent? If it HAD been true, then the SNP leadership would have been interned for the duration—probably shot as traitors, but it never happened, did it Andy?
          The Scotsman was once a “newspaper of record”, but that was many years ago. Now it isn’t fit to wrap fish suppers in, but some gullible fools still read it—-don’t you Andy?

        2. Most of the mainstream British political parties contained at least one or two fascists among even senior figures in the 1930s, before the SNP were even founded in 1934.

          Oswald Mosley as you’ll know served as a Labour MP between 1926-31 and was rewarded with Ministerial Office as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster in the Ramsay MacDonald Government.

          No doubt you’ll believe the future British Union of Fascists leader and great admirer of Benito Mussolini gave no inkling or ever voiced these views while in the Labour party.

    3. ‘Elected dictatorship’
      What on earth is this you speak off?
      Unionists are going collectively potty.

    4. ‘Therefore, the SNP Government preside over a Police State.

      The good people of our beloved Scotland, deserve better than to have a Scottish style “Stasi” inflicted upon them.’

      I think if you want to retain any credibility, you should have read this statement over a few times either aloud or in your head before posting it.

      For all the faults there may be of Police Scotland and I don’t disagree there have been serious issues with the implementation, the idea that Scotland is operating under a ‘Stasi style police state’ is one step removed from David Icke and shape-shifting lizards.

      For the record both Labour and the Conservatives were in favour of the creation of a single police force in their 2011 election manifestos.

      Mysteriously but not surpisingly Labour’s 2011 manifesto seems to have disappeared from google searches, suggesting they were so embarassed by the much publicised typos in it, they have taken it off their website (or maybe in your head Police Scotland removed it?).

      But the BBC website has the summary http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-12990283

      See bullet point 5 under Justice: ‘Create single, national police force and single fire service’

      Or maybe you think this is a fake BBC web page created by Police Scotland?

    1. …..and “Deep” Davy has absolutely nothing to contribute to the “discourse”, as he is totally and utterly out of his depth.

      1. Yep it’s hard to compete with literary giants like yersel & Jim, your unswervingly ability to avoid common sense and the truth of your parties situation is frankly spellbinding.

    1. Mungo, political debating really isn’t your forte, is it?

      Take my advice. It’s best to first make a political point, and then hurl a few insults about.

      If I were you; I would stick in at school and find something that you were good at.

  4. I’m pretty certain that over the course of my life, Labour in various Governments have “aided” and “trained” the police and military of some very nasty regimes—usually on the grounds of “improving” them. But we don’t have to scour the records to find this stuff.
    Labour aided and abetted the USA in “rendition” flights, taking captured on the battlefield or kidnapped people to some of the worlds most brutal interrogation centres for torture. What they learned is not specifically known, but we do know that some of the US’s alphabet soup operators came to the view that torture was worse than useless in gaining meaningful intel.
    There is also the little matter of the people who lived in Diego Garcia. Labour’s “cleansing” of the indigenous population is and was a human rights crime. No ifs or buts.
    Health? Scotland has the best performing NHS in the UK.
    Education? Its doing better than Labour run Wales, or the Labour run North of England. In fact England now relies on children of an ethnic background to boost its education performance. White English boys are a genuine problem from and educational point of view, and its worth considering why that should be, given Scotland has a mostly white population.
    And I’m afraid Labour doesn’t convince that its a pro migration party, whether they are children, refugees or Martians. Labour is now sandwiched between the Tories and UKIP, and is taking on the stench and hue of both of them.

  5. Let me see if I can help. I wonder did anyone really look at the record or care what goes on in the countries these traine e cops come from. Who sets up the courses who checks on what happens when the course is over. We have in the past trained Libyans and others .There is also the slight matter of who the military train .Parm Sandhu a Police Commander with the Met and who led the Mets disclosure response into undercover policing has questions to answer. It appears that for the last 6 years she has been a co director of a company that offers training in all aspects of policing including advice training and development. Clients include Abu Dhabi Police Institute and management consultants in the Middle East. The Met say her interests have been registered. Decisions on outside interests are made by her former dept the Anti Corruption Command. This is what we are up against. I saw on tv that John Swinney has called for the Scotland action on knife crime to go UK wide . Also the report he received into the death of the school boy was redacted in parts. I don’t know why. On knife crime. In 1990 I was working as the attendant in a community centre .A well known 14 year old boy was in the centre .He should not have been there. When I asked him to leave he told me I would be stabbed that night. He left and came back with his grandfathers ww2 bayonet. He threatened me again in front of witnesses who did not help. I forced him into a toilet cubicle .This boy had form he had robbed a shop the week before. He robbed another shop the next week cutting a pensioners arms.That was my last day in that centre .I was transferred at my own request the next day .Like most attendants I did not tell my family. Another Attendant in a different pavilion had the local sports day.He went for a walk this was in the days when most pavilions had no phone .He spotted 2 local drug lords and their troops squaring up to each other in a side street. A running fight broke out . It spilled onto the playing area where the sports gala day was being held. People stabbed and slashed. It was on tv. That was on a Saturday. On the Monday I was on duty in a nearby pavilion it was bingo night. The retaliation went in cars in the carpark windscreens smashed in knifes and cleavers being shown not used . Pavilion attacked to get at me to stop me phoning the cops. Building in lockdown . People screaming trying to leave me trying to keep everyone calm 2 other attendants who lived locally gave me a hand. Again we did not tell our families We also need to look at people working on their own I have written about what happened to me and my colleagues it did not happen every night. But you never forget it . And we are talking men not boys. No cctv

  6. It should be taken as a compliment that the Sri Lankan police have sought training in Scotland the Scottish Police are respected world wide and are in the top five police forces in Europe and in the top ten world wide for such a small county this exemplifies maximum kudos.

  7. Out of interest, who sought and who sanctioned the training of Sri Lankan police officers (if it has actually happened – a letter in Private Eye is hardly evidence) by Police Scotland. It is my understanding foreign affairs and security are reserved to Westminster. It is my understanding the authority to sanction this lies at Westminster with Holyrood possibly by-passed. Just because Police Scotland is devolved to Holyrood, it does not mean it is beyond Westminster’s ultimate control. Just as the Met and other English forces are.

    Basically, I’d like to know if this ever happened; if it did, when it happened; who sought it and who sanctioned it?

    1. Googled it and have answered the first three of the questions myself. Still don’t know who sanctioned it. In my opinion it could only have been Westminster. Though, having compared and contrasted the training offered by Police Scotland and what was given by The Met, it is pretty much “chalk and cheese”. Police Scotland offered basic community police training, child protection, tackling gender based violence and the like. The Met were giving fire-arms training (including sniper training) and advanced security training. Its a bit much to say one compares with the other. But that is Mr O’Neil for you. Nothing gets in the way of a good SNPbad story.

  8. Is it true that ISIS use recordings of Jim O’Neil’s articles as a means of sleep deprivation? Now that is torture.

  9. Jim in the blog also quoted Amnesty International. On refugees all over Europe and in America the world is making the same mistakes that led to the rise of Hitler

  10. The Royal College of Radiologists say that in Scotland hos and pitals cannot cope with the daily workload of diagnosing and treating patients for injurie s and cancer. The college say this is because of a shortag to make e of Radiologists. This means patients are waiting for more than a month for diagnosis and treatment for cancer. The report says the service is on the point of collapse . There is low trainee numbers increasing demand and chronic vacancies. The college want the Scottish Government to support recruitment from overseas. On things like this I believe it has to be taken away from politicians. This was their reaction Tories SNP has failed to train. SNP radiography staff risen by 24 per cent. On vital issues like this we need to rise above political point scoring. Meanwhile an American company offered to operate the baby box scheme free. The catch parents had to complete an antenatal education programme. I agree with the baby box scheme I agree the Scottish Government were right not to give a contract to a private company . Although saying they would run it free a private company needs to make money. The Tories say it should have gon e private they would wouldn’t they. Scotlands business rates system is in uproar because of appeals against the increase in their bills. But hold on all is not lost the SNP HQ in Edinburgh will get a reduction of 19thousand. Then there is Scotlands rising unemployment figures. Up 6thousand to 135 thousand. David Mundell thinks there are grounds for cautious optimism .Sir Tom Hunter and Alasdair Locke both think the possibility of a second Indy Ref is harming investment. Jamie Hepburn Minister for Employability and training. Theese figures are encouraging and show that Scotlands Labour Market remains resilient. I have heard comments like this before from a politician trying to explain unemployment figures her name was Maggie. Oh and Scotlands claimant count including universal credit was 76thousand 400.Finally we are told Charles Dickens died of a stroke. A handwritten Inventory of his celler reveals it contained a 50 gallon cask of ale 18 gallon cask of gin 9 gallon cask of brandy 9 gallon cask of rum and dozens of bottles of wine . The list is dated 1865. Cheers

  11. Well folks here is some more stuff Argos can now join the hall of shame . They are another large firm who have not been ca paying the minimum wage. They are going to have to pay 3 million in back pay and fines. Argos say they discovered they underpaid 37thousand workers for 4 years. It came to light when the tax people told Argos staff had not bee n paid for time spent in staff briefings before their shifts began. They were also not paid for doing security checks after completing their shifts. Sports Direct Debenhams and French Connection have all fallen foul of minimum wage laws. Noway will I blame this on th e Scottish Government. Perhaps someone more intelligent than me can come up with an answer. It should not have been up to the taxman going through the books after the Sainsburys ta ke over. Maybe we need to organize employee courses to teach them their employment rights. Make it compulsory for employers to organize it. There is also an obvious need for trade union involvement. Next the tourist industry have told the finance secretary they want another 30 million. Its because of rises in the business rates. The finance secretary says get it off the councils. Meanwhile over at the Airports the Ryanair Chief Exec has said unless the Scottish Government as promised cuts air passenger duty. They will cut flights from Scotland. Just when we thought he had gone away Tony Blair has stepped into the brexit mess. The NATS have said his remarks back their case for indy. .An SNP Tony alliance maybe. Also on tv a lot more mutch needed money for Govanhill from the council and Holyrood. Funny what can happen with elections in May

  12. A few things in the Sunday papers here are a few. On Indy the centre for Economics and Business Research are claiming that after Indy Scotland would need Greek style austerity cuts. They claim that Scexit would mean 19 billion in cuts .They also say Scottish Ministers need to get away from their addiction to tax and spend. Glasgow University say that Scotlands latest GDP 158 billion as grim. That’s the kind of stuff the remain team will through at the public. Team Indy or Scexit we are being told that the team around the FM have recognized that they will have to make an announcement in March. They recognize that on this the membership wont let them backdown. The new idea apparently is at the conference to by time by not giving a date but by demanding the power to call one. The FMS husband has devised a programme to use social media to target supporters and opponents. They think that the pound public finances oil pensions and passports will be key. We are told that Andrew Wilson former SNP MSP has produced a report that has been very well resourced and will be published when the FM is ready. It seems to me the only certainty is that the phony war has started both sides are already throughing mud all of it will stick. The last time as soon as one side said something the other side contradicted it. I think the consequences of brexit and public finances will be vital for both sides remain will need to prove that we as part of the UK can survive with no more austerity. Leave will have to prove that we can afford to leave the UK .They will also need to prove we will be allowed to join the EU. Also no economic backlash from the UK We will be their best pals wont do because they might decide they are not ours and don’t think the SNP leadership are not thinking about this .

    1. Two things david;

      The CEBR report is simply a rehash of the same old scare stories this “Think-Tank” have been throwing about since the 1990s. Each time, the time scale to an independent Scotland’s economic Armageddon changes dramatically. As the BBC’s politics editor wrote on an earlier intervention from the CEBR;

      “But lets not treat this analysis too seriously. As Prof. McWilliams [ CEO of CEBR] struggled through the Edinburgh festival crowds last week, his analysis might be better suited to the comedy end of the Fringe Programme”.

      You can’t take everything the CEBR say at face value. Especially as it is an avowedly right wing organisation with its own agenda. It is not a neutral source. The author of the report you cite is Douglas McWilliams (Professor and advisor to George Osbourne). His reputation has taken some what of a hit due to his “leisure activities”. I wont go over his “indiscretions here (Google him if you want to know more), however, its safe to say he isn’t the best example of a fine upstanding citizen you might wish to cite in defence of the Union. I’m surprised a Labour supporter is citing an extreme right wing, City, Tory supporting Think-Tank anyway. Or, nowadays, maybe I shouldn’t be.

      If Scotland’s economy is so grim, by what reasonable measure could that be described as an argument for the Union? The economy is a reserved matter. The Scottish Govt has very, very little it can do to alter it. Any little nudge they can give it can be overwhelmed by an unthinking Govt in Westminster acting in the “best interests of the UK” and for whom Scotland barely registers. If the Scottish economy, governed by Westminster under the Union, is so bad, why on Earth do you want to continue that Union?

      1. I was and will continue to try and point out the stuff both sides are going to and are throughing at the public. I think both sides are gearing up for Indy 2 . The grim report is from Glasgow University

  13. Here are a few other points. Some care boards have been using a Scottish Government fund that was meant to help fund care for the elderly to cover for cash shortages. The result a multimillion pound shortfall. They are considering charging for basic equipment to balance the books. It might be over 44million by the end of March. Scottish Enterprise executives have been staying in dozens of 5 star hotels all over the world at public expense.

Comments are closed.