Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Alex Salmond is blamed for putting a family through hell for 11 months after their son is dragged to Court 5 times for singing a few songs at a football game; the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act is the clearest example of why the SNP Government isn’t fit for purpose!

Dear All

The Scottish Parliament should be about passing law, however, another function of the parliament should be about making the law fit for purpose and where needed removing laws that don’t work.

One law that is in desperate need of being removed from the Statute Books is the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.

It was a mistake in its concept, it was a mistake during the write up and it is a mistake in its application.

It is sheer crap!

The Scottish National Party pressed ahead with this affront to justice and tried to offer sweeteners to other parties in Holyrood to get them onboard, they refused to be part of the debacle.

A Celtic fan, Joseph Cairns was previously cleared having been charged under the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act. The Crown not likening the verdict went for a retrial.

And, Joseph Cairns has been cleared again; this deals a serious blow to the ­anti-bigotry law.

Yesterday, at Dingwall Sheriff Court, Sheriff Jamie Gilchrist ruled the case against Mr Cairns was not proven.

Third time lucky, who knows in this case!

Mr. Cairn’s father who is also called Joseph said:

"It's taken its toll on the whole family, particularly on Joseph's mother. We've been up and back to ­Dingwall five times. If Joseph had been done for assault I'd hold my hands up. They'd be entitled to drag him through the courts. But we've been through the mill and back over allegations he sang two songs. Alex Salmond has a lot to answer to on these laws. He should go to some football games in Europe and witness some real offensive behaviour."

Alex Salmond because of an incident at a Rangers & Celtic game between Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon acted in his usual knee jerk fashion. A law was then drafted to meet a football season timetable; hence we have a load of crap which the SNP MSP like the unthinking drones that they are just rubber stamped.

Labour's justice spokesman, Graeme Pearson, said:

"Our police officers are being put in an unenviable position of making a judgment about what falls within the freedoms of expression which individuals enjoy and behaviour which falls foul of the law. This case is evidence that the position our police officers are being put in is simply unacceptable. The legislation needs review."

If ever there was a need for a Bill to be removed from the Statute Books then the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act fits that bill to a T, should football games be banned, because such large numbers historically act as a catalyst for public disorder?

What then about other large gatherings, pop concerts, anti war demos, trade unions meetings and fair grounds?

We need law to be clear, to be understandable to the ordinary person and this Bill fails that test spectacularly.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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