WELL I suppose it was called The Trial of Alex Salmond so the BBC got that bit right. It was more like The Second Trial of Alex Salmond by Television. I hear there is a backlog in the Scottish court so maybe we should just give up on the old-style, conventional justice system and put all major trials on TV. The BBC has at least four channels they could devote to this. It would bring new meaning to the term public service broadcasting.

BBC1 could do murders, BBC2 sex crimes, BBC Scotland crimes of violence and BBC Alba could be devoted to traffic offences. A few more internet services could deal with the rest. No need for expensive juries, judges or court rooms. Viewers could phone in or vote via the internet to say if the accused is guilty or innocent. Perhaps making it “pay for view” would help raise revenue for the hard-pressed BBC budget, and help pay the salaries of Kirsty Warp and co.

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There would be no real need for the procurator fiscal staff etc as the prosecution case could be put forward by a BBC “journalist”. All prosecution witnesses would appear by video link, be guaranteed permanent anonymity, have their faces hidden and voices spoken by actors. Tabloid newspaper headlines could be flashed on the screen. Dramatic music can be added for effect. No need to mention the contribution of several defence witnesses.

If the BBC decided that the public had arrived at the wrong verdict then they could order a retrial simply by repeating the programme and asking the public to vote again – and again until they got what the BBC considered to be the correct result.

I am sure valuable revenue could be raised by selling this broadcasting franchise internationally. Governments like Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria would be willing to pay good money for this concept of justice.

John Baird

I AM a firm believer in independence for Scotland. I do not put great store in personalities but nevertheless think the SNP has enjoyed excellent leadership over the last 30 years.

It was from this basis I watched the Wark programme on the Salmond trial.
To say I was shocked by this programme is an understatement. Not only did Wark set out to undermine the verdict of the trial but in doing so she also chose to put a bomb under the whole system of justice. Why the BBC allowed this to happen is astounding.

The basis of justice is that anyone is innocent until proven guilty. A jury did not accept any proof of guilt in this case and therefore Salmond is innocent. Wark and the BBC obviously did not like that verdict and set about to destroy the conclusion reached by the jury.

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There was no attempt at fairness in the programme. The scenes of hands being wrung, the tones of the actors speaking for the women, the omission of most of the defence, the summing up by Wark, these were all played out to condemn as guilty a man already found innocent.

I am left asking myself why was this programme ever made. Was it to destroy a man? Was it to hurt the cause of the SNP and independence? Was the public interest being served? 

I am unsure what the consequences of the programme will be and whether Salmond will be taking action. I do, however, contemplate the terrifying prospect that it in future it may not be sufficient for a jury to find you innocent but that Kirsty Wark and the BBC come to the same verdict.

George Kay

I HAVE just watched the programme on the Alex Salmond trial by Kirsty Wark on BBC and resent the fact that some of my licence fee was likely to have been used to pay for the commissioning and making of this programme. It’s rubbish!

The Two Rivers TV production company which made it has Alan Clements (Kirsty Wark’s husband) as its managing director. Maybe I’ve got this wrong, maybe they did the programme for nothing and gave it to the BBC for no payment – maybe they just wanted it to see the light of day. Either way, the content was drivel and I’m asking myself why the spiteful thing was ever made and screened.

In reporting the outcome of the trial on the news I remember thinking that Sarah Smith cut the figure of a woman thwarted and disappointed. I guess many folks like Ms Wark and Ms Smith were bitterly disappointed with the outcome of the trial and Kirsty’s thoughts of stardom via books, flash interviews and a Hollywood movie on the subject evaporated.

When Alex Salmond left the trial as a free man I would have expected someone used to making sound editorial decisions would have stood back from the material gathered for programme’s content and assessed if there was anything new that hadn’t already been put in the public domain, or was worth showing to an audience.

It felt like the makers of this programme engaged in the kind of contortion one uses to squeeze the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube. There was next to nowt in it, not worth the effort and I’m weary with the whole caboodle.

Anne Thomson

The BBC, via Kirsty Wark, is in full anti-independence mode. That programme on Monday was the most slanted piece of political propaganda I have ever witnessed. The whole tone of it was that the SNP is a male bastion that victimises women.

Wark re-ran the trial to ensure we reached a different verdict this time and skirted the fact that the jury consisted of nine women and six men and was overseen by a lady judge. The prosecution witnesses were given a chance to give their version on national TV once again, but the defence case and their witnesses were largely ignored, and the whole film was then pulled together very skilfully by professionals who wish us to be left with the right impression.

If you thought the BBC had any embarrassment after their pre-2014 behaviour, then forget it. They are at war again.

Alasdair Forbes

FOUR things are now greatly to be hoped. First, that the BBC, and Kirsty Wark personally, are about to be sued to kingdom come by Alex Salmond.

Secondly, that Mr Salmond is to top the list of the Alliance for Independence in Glasgow, where the SNP has no realistic hope of a list seat.

Thirdly, that either Craig Murray or Mark Hirst is to contest Glasgow Southside as an independent against Nicola Sturgeon.

And fourthly, that the voters of Scotland are going to vote for whoever was best placed to defeat the SNP in each constituency, while giving their list votes to the Alliance for Independence.

David Lindsay
Lanchester, County Durham

THE National Executive Committee of the SNP has reportedly ruled that an MP wishing to stand as an MSP has to resign before the election (running the risk of being without political office). What of councillors wishing to stand for Holyrood or Westminster? Shouldn’t a similar rule apply? It would seem fair. It might also restrain some politicians from using the council as a stepping stone to a parliamentary career.

It would be more impressive to see them show some commitment to the post for which they were elected in the first place, especially if they’ve only been in it for five minutes.

Ann Marie Di Mambro