Saturday, December 15, 2012

Scottish independence: Scotland’s gormless and inept Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill’s bungling leads to Lawyers pull out of vital legal aid scheme; MacAskill tries to escape the Megarhi shame by denying human rights to accused poor people!

Dear All

The campaign by lawyers against the SNP Government for trying to deny the poor access to justice continues apace.

The latest escalation sees hundreds of Edinburgh solicitors pulled out of a vital legal aid scheme; this means they will take no part in the Police Station Duty Scheme for Edinburgh Sheriff Court in the first quarter of 2013.

The problem is Scotland’s inept and incompetent Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill, who is just Salmond’s crony; he is pocketing a ministerial salary while being out of his depth and out of touch.

Although Scotland hasn’t had a proper Justice Minister since 2007, this latest incompetence cannot and will not remove the stain of Megrahi from MacAskill’s record.

He carries that shame to the grave.

The Edinburgh Bar Association (EBA) has 31 firms in its and their withdrawal throws justice into chaos, Police station detainees are entitled to access to legal advice, they can only be held for a maximum of 24 hours.

This provision has to be available day or night.

No Lawyers means Police will be forced to wait to interview suspects, possibly this could result in more injustices happening; and all because MacAskill wanted to save a few miserable pennies.

It is expected as a racing certainty that other associations will climb onboard and follow the EBA example to protest at controversial plans by the Scottish Government to change legal aid.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said:

"This action by the EBA, which seeks to put the criminal justice system at risk for the convenience of solicitors, is extremely disappointing and attacking the police station duty scheme in this way is totally unjustified."

Fuck you sycophant.

Unsurprisingly the Scottish Legal Aid Board (Slab), which runs the Police duty scheme, added that action "appears to risk damage to the justice system". Lukewarm response and trying to tread a thin line, but slightly edging towards the government, at least in public!

Cameron Tait, EBA president, said the action may cause delays in policing.

In a letter to Slab, he said:

"This is in protest at the planned expansion of contributions in criminal legal assistance and their collection. It is also a protest against the position adopted by Slab and the Justice Secretary in the public domain over these issues. This Association is of the view that Slab and the Scottish Government are making little secret of the lack of value they attach to the service which is provided to the public and to the Criminal Justice System as a whole by the independent criminal bar in Scotland."

At a recent lawyers meeting which touched on independence, they were asked who supported indy, according to reports, not a single hand in the room went up.

Not a single hand!

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill wants those with a disposable income of £82 a week or more to pay a contribution to their legal aid, but lawyers claim this will limit access to justice.

This means an innocent person at the start of proceedings is effectively fined for being innocent.

What kind of justice is that?

Justice in the SNP Government is largely seen a joke, the idea that Scottish people looking at what is happening are going to vote for independence when MacAskill is fashioning a Justice system fit for a third world country is risible.

Mr Tait added:

"Slab and Government ministers refuse to discuss sensible alternatives for collection of summary contributions. We believe it is clear that Slab is now directing Government policy, is capable of riding roughshod over the considered views of Parliamentary Committees, and is pursuing a policy of attrition against the independent criminal bar."

As a minority government the SNP was forced to constrain their stupidity, however a majority has allowed them to show utter contempt for people and human rights, Alex Salmond has outstayed his welcome among Scots.

Some people tell me they are embarrassed when they meet new political people to tell them they are in the Scottish National Party, I can understand why.

The talent and the caliber are not there at the top, the majority has allowed this to come out.

This quote by Winston Churchill sums Kenny MacAskill rather well:

"I had hoped that we were hurling a wildcat onto the shore, but all we got was a stranded whale." 

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow university

No comments: