Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Muslim MSP Humza Yousaf castigates opposition parties for not supporting SNP sectarian bill, Labour leads opposition to ‘unfit for purpose’ bill
The SNP move to placate and get opposition MSPs onboard regarding the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill has failed.
The sweeter was introducing a freedom of expression clause.
By doing so, the Labour Party has stolen the high ground from out from under the SNP.
Now its all firmly about opposition to this ill-judged and ill-thought bill which is a disgrace and should be scrapped immediately.
It’s an embarrassment.
MSPs on Holyrood’s Justice Committee have voted for the clause.
Labour is right to maintain its opposition to the Bill by abstaining on amendments and insisted the legislation was not “fit for purpose”.
It’s junk, it’s a pig in a poke and one of the worst bills ever to pass through Holyrood chamber.
Justice spokesman James Kelly said Labour had abstained to let ministers reflect.
Kelly added Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham had “not interacted with the process”.
On the 13th May, I met Nicola Sturgeon in the street and we chatted, one of the topics we discussed was the need for the continuation of consensus politics despite the majority achieved by the SNP.
Consensus politics at Holyrood is dead in much the same way that the respect agenda between Alex Salmond and David Cameron was a mere fig leaf.
The new freedom of expression clause covers communications such as messages sent over the internet which may contain insults or abuse of religious beliefs.
It’s the ‘get out of jail free’ clause because the SNP are desperate to get other parties onboard because when the problems surface they could point out that other parties voted for this as well.
Their ‘get out of jail free’ card, unfortunately all opposition parties think this is rubbish, including myself.
Roseanna Cunningham said:
“The intention of the amendment is not to prevent legitimate religion debate. It aims to prevent the kind of communication we saw last football season when individuals were threatened with harm.”
I thought it was a bribe.
Muslim MSP Humza Yousaf said:
“I do not think anyone voted for a Labour MSP so they could sit on their hands on the issue of sectarianism.”
Mr. Yousaf is quite right, however people didn’t vote for a Labour MSP to leave their brains outside the Committee room door either when vetting legislation.
It’s all about judgment Mr. Yousaf, not about being a party hack, maybe if you had exercised more judgment you won't have lost the Pollok MSP nomination by 54 to 29 votes. You can't have your cake and eat it on this issue and as to the 'bribe', well, pathetic.
Unfit for purpose, this bill should be scrapped, unfortunately it won’t, consensus is gone.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University