Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Scottish Independence: outfought, outclassed and outwitted by Westminster, only 13 people turn up witness ‘historic’ event, Salmond and Sturgeon 'victory'!

Dear All

Did you notice that yesterday was a ‘historic’ day in Scotland?

If you didn’t it was the day that David Cameron and Alex Salmond signed the referendum deal.

A deal effectively done behind closed doors, as to those people who replied to the Scottish Government consultation, they were just ignored, their opinions don’t matter and never did, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon showed a startling contempt for the public and organisations that were egged on to campaign for devo max.

So a deal was made, ‘a deal in the political desert’ as far as the SNP Government were concerned. Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon put on a brave face as they were outfought, outclassed and outwitted by the Westminster Government.

At the Scottish Government HQ the press turned up in their droves with enough satellite trucks to cover a small war.

13 members of the Scottish public turn up, this was the high point of the numbers as Gordon Brewer observed, the Police were told to expect large numbers but no one turned up, not even Alex Salmond’s paid Nats.

Later at the press conference, Alex Salmond said his advisors said he shouldn't sound ‘too triumphant’.

What exactly did he win?

We already knew that there would be a referendum!

What he lost was more to the point, he lost devo max, now all his eggs are in one basket, its all or nothing, and not only doesn’t he have momentum, he doesn’t carry the Scottish people or even his own activists such as myself who have stepped back.

Yesterday wasn’t a win for Salmond, it was the countdown to the day of defeat, Salmond and Sturgeon both said that they would win the independence vote, polls show otherwise.

When a member of the Salmond middle class clique now at Yes Scotland, former MSP Anne Somerville was asked why so few people turned up she cited security, Gordon Brewer immediately mocked her by saying people could walk straight up to the barrier.

Rear sight, fore sight, target, breathe steady and squeeze, and with that Ms. Somerville politically shot herself in the foot.

Presumably she used a .22 ..... silenced!

I assume she wasn’t counted by Gordon Brewer as one of the 13!

13, an unlucky omen for some, especially Salmond and Sturgeon!

In Catalonia, 1.5 million people march for independence, yesterday saw 13 people turn up to what was supposed to be a ‘historic’ day, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon’s brand of non inclusive nationalism will see many people turn their back on them.

So, it Salmond, Sturgeon, their nasty vicious poisonous middle class clique plus some others on the ‘grassy knoll’!

As to the negotiations which Nicola Sturgeon conducted, she was outwitted by a Lib Dem called Michael Moore who generously tossed her a political ‘bone’ by allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote.

I don’t think I would employ Ms. Sturgeon as my lawyer if this is the best she can do, it was Westminster dictating terms all the way.

Alex Salmond is looking less cocky, maybe he is noticing that people are looking closer at his government as it becomes increasingly out of touch.

The SNP Government is said to want to strip £90 million out of the NHS health budget, money which many think will be funnelled to capital projects over the next two years via Nicola Sturgeon’s department.

You can’t buy independence and this is the wrong strategy to adopt.

And in 2014 when the dust settles, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon will still able to afford sirloin steak, finest champagne and caviar.

But ‘freedom fries’ will be off the menu, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon will be served their ‘chips’ by the Scottish public.

If you didn’t catch the Newsnight Scotland interview last night, then I advise you to do so to watch the calibre of SNP Minister Derek Mackay who sounds like a dullard and had to be reminded to answer the question put to him.

As I said, below Salmond and Sturgeon which the exception of Swinney and a few others, there is a genuine lack of talent in the Scottish National Party!

If Alex Salmond thought yesterday was a victory, he certainly sets the bar pretty low, he might have been laughing but the public will be wiping that smug look of his face in 2014.

Finally, I will be away for awhile and thanks to press, BBC etc for stopping by as well as the regular readership!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

Senior Judges reject SNP Government plan to scrap court corroboration, George Laird right again, Kenny MacAskill should be replaced as Justice Minister

Dear All

Sorry for being away, I am not back just yet, but there are two stories I wish to do before I pop off again, this is one of them and the other is yesterday’s signing on independence.

One of the things which define the SNP Government or any government is how the legal system operates to ensure that trials and law are fair, reasonable and just.

The general acid test used by the public is centred around commonsense; increasingly the SNP Government is totally failing the criteria. The ‘Justice’ Minister of Scotland is Alex Salmond’s pal, Kenny MacAskill seen by many as an incompetent who should be removed. Ian Hamilton of Stone of Destiny fame writes that MacAskill should be removed for being effectively in the pocket of the Crown Office.

MacAskill's tenure will be remembered for him being one of the worst Justice Ministers in Scottish Government history. If there is a train wreck in the Scottish Government rather than asking what department, it is easier just to ask what has MacAskill done wrong this time.

There was a major review of Scots criminal law carried out last year, judge Lord Carloway, I have written that his idea for abolish the centuries-old requirement for corroboration in criminal prosecutions is bollocks.

Despite that MacAskill climbed onboard thought it was a good idea, just like he thought releasing the biggest mass murderer in Scottish legal history was a good idea, Megrahi is MacAskill’s legacy.

If you ever had any doubts that MacAskill was unsuitable for the position of Justice Minister, Megrahi closes the argument, not just the release but letting him leave the country and more importantly not running the appeal hearing based on the six grounds put forward by his legal team.

Now, High Court judges have rejected proposals to abolish the centuries-old requirement for corroboration in criminal prosecutions which isn’t unexpected and is surely a step in the right direction.

Will MacAskill listen?

Probably not, MacAskill isn’t very bright in my opinion and there is a stack of ‘case law’ to back it up.

The Senators of the College of Justice said corroboration, unique to Scotland, provided a "major safeguard" against miscarriages of justice. And a court case should never be decided on who tells the best story on the day.

It should be decided on evidence.

Interestingly Judges also said removing the rule would lead to "decreasing confidence in the legal system" and to lower rates of conviction generally, juries can be fickle especially when it is pointed out that there is only someone’s word to condemn a person.

That kind of system is reminiscent of a fascist state.

Their Lordships also chipped in and said:

"In our view, it is often difficult to assess the true facts on the basis only of the evidence of one witness. A witness may be credible and plausible, yet not be telling the truth (or the whole truth). The Scottish courts have on many occasions been grateful for the requirement of corroboration, which in our view provides a major safeguard against miscarriages of justice."

They added:

"One particularly anxious area is that of alleged sexual offences, where (without corroboration) the issue becomes one of the complainer's word against the accused's. Our concern is that the abolition of corroboration may result in miscarriages of justice."

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said:

"The proposed abolition of the requirement for corroboration was recommended in an independent review by Lord Carloway. Lord Carloway's recommendations have been subject to a Government consultation exercise. The consultation specifically sought views on whether any additional safeguards would be required as a result of removing the corroboration rule and we will carefully consider all responses."

You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that removing corroboration was a bad idea; in fact it is a very bad idea, what a great pity that MacAskill didn’t possess the intellectual tools to recognise this right at the start.

George Laird right again and SNP Minister wrong, perhaps this adds weight when posters take me to task on law.

Judges think this is bad, lawyers think this is bad, juries will think this is bad and ordinary people will think this is bad, the weight of professional and public opinion is with me on this issue.

Another bad day and a significantly bad day for the SNP Government who obviously can’t be trusted to safeguard the nation’s legal system.

That lack of confidence is a plank why the people of Scotland will when the independence referendum vote comes want to stay in the UK.

At present we need the protection of the UK Supreme Court.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University