Saturday, April 16, 2011

Holyrood independents Caroline Johnstone and Mev Brown unite on crime policy, one doesn’t understand it and the other is a raging crack pot!

Dear All

At every election whether it be Westminster, Holyrood or Council, people stand who are independents.

The most famous group of independents are of course the Monster Raving Loony Party, they have never won or even come close but they do add a bit of colour to make the counts a festive affair.

In the Holyrood election there are a number of independents standing.

One such person is Anti-knives campaigner Caroline Johnstone, she won’t be elected.

As part of her ‘manifesto’ such as it is she wants online mug shots and tougher prisons.

What does she mean by tougher prisons, God only knows.

Johnstone has joined together with former homeless sector worker Mev Brown saying they will work with each other on law and order issues if elected to Holyrood.

This begs the question, why isn’t Johnstone standing as a Tory?

Johnstone is standing on the Glasgow list after resigning as a Justice of the Peace earlier this year.

The Glasgow list is very popular with some people depending on who you talk to.

Mev Brown worked at a homeless drop-in centre in Edinburgh, and said the mainstream parties "really don't get it" when it comes to crime.

He said:

"If our political elite got out of their ivory towers more often they would know about the gulf between the image of the hard man with street credibility, against the substance of a coward”.

He added:

"If we want to change the culture, we need to stop promoting these thugs' image with convictions like GBH and assault. Let the charge fit the crime. We need a new legislation: The Cowardice Act”.


He went further:

“We must hit these thugs were it hurts most, their reputation. A key component of this policy will be to post conviction details and a mug shot on court websites. These thugs must be seen for what they are: cowards."

Has he never heard of the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights?

When a person is convicted and receives a sentence, he/she is then processed to start their sentence whatever that maybe.

That is the punishment aspect demanded by society, online mug shots and tougher prisons are old style Tory and even they have abandoned such rhetoric down south.

Brown also believes this policy would have a particular impact on domestic violence.

And there is no evidence to back that claim up.

He said:

"These days, many women do an internet search on their new partner. With conviction details available online, this would provide an opportunity to avoid a disastrous relationship for countless thousands of women."

People can simply change their name under Scots Law provided it isn’t done to defraud.

Brown hasn’t thought this through and I suspect even taken the time to study the law, he has just opened his yap and let spew.

Is he really MSP material?

True there are some dense pieces of cannon fodder at Holyrood but they have the sense to keep their mouth’s shut and sit up the back and just take the salary.

Brown is just venting crap.

Slightly wiser Johnstone, said:

"Looking at Labour's knife policy, it simply doesn't stand up”.

It’s a con, not even legally and highly immoral to boot but at least with her JP training she could work that out.

But she goes awry:

"At a time when prison budgets are being cut, to free up spaces for violent offenders, we need to seriously consider prison reform and we need to ensure that prison is a tougher option that involves mandatory interventions to change values and beliefs. How else will we change the current culture?”

Mandatory interventions don’t change values and beliefs; she doesn’t understand the mindset of these people.

"With Labour's approach, where is the justice in a thug putting somebody in hospital with a baseball bat and getting off with community service, while somebody who didn't actually hurt anybody gets six months for carrying a knife? Labour really hasn't thought things out."

She really doesn’t like the Labour Party but that isn’t enough to go to Holyrood, she needs proper policies, encompassing policies that would help break the cycle of reoffending.

Just say no, tough on crime etc etc hasn’t worked, time to be smart on crime but I fear she doesn’t have the mental tools for the task.

And she will always fear want she doesn’t understand.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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