Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Opposition MSPs at Holyrood’s Justice Committee want an early review of anti-sectarian football law, the SNP put a bad law onto the books and now they are trying to ‘hold the fort’ to save MacAskill, it’s too late, he is a major liability

Dear All

Kenny MacAskill is trying to outrun his Al Megrahi legacy that is all about releasing the biggest mass murderer of innocent people in modern Scottish times.

As part of the plan to remove the stigma, Alex Salmond has allowed MacAskill to destroy main parts of Scottish law in his futile quest.

One such act of gross stupidity was to allow the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act to be rushed through without proper consultation and scrutiny.

It really is a piece of crap and qualifies for the first piece of Law produced by the Scottish Parliament. It should be struck off the books immediately.

It is an embarrassment much like Kenny MacAskill.

Now, there is talk about an early review of controversial laws to stamp out religious sectarian abuse at football matches.

Members of Holyrood's Justice Committee want to re-look as fans have concerns about the impact of the legislation.

That means that Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland and Chief Constable Sir Stephen House will have to defend this tripe in public.

The law came about because of the infamous Rangers and Celtic game, more precise, the rammy between Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon after a match which could have provoked serious public disorder.

In a classic knee jerk reaction which is now a hall mark of Salmond’s failing government; he allowed legislation to be rushed through onto the books, despite all the main opposition parties saying this is wrong.

This led to fans setting up the FAC, Fans Against Criminalisation, they have been politically campaigning for the law to be removed.

MacAskill, Mulholland and House have been asked to give their views to the Justice Committee within two weeks before a formal decision is taken.

So, we have cross-party agreement by opposition MSPs on the committee to force an immediate ruling on whether to look again at the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act.

In attempting to woo opposition parties to the SNP cause they made an agreement for the Scottish Government to review the operation of the offences after two full football seasons.

The fact is that although law in some situations will not be popular, this law is too subjective and vague.

The Police in implantation have attempted to try and make this tripe look dynamic by arresting people hence making it look like the legislation is effective.

And also as we are seeing, concerns have been raised by fans about police tactics and the Act in general.

For example the Kettling at the Gallowgate, not the Police’s finest hour, independent MSP John Finnie said there is now a case to answer.

Finnie said:

"When we're down to a sizeable group of people feeling that a piece of legislation disproportionately impacts on them, then I'd like to have an early review."

Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell also backing his proposal said:

"Clearly there is a lot of concern about how this legislation is operating in practice and about the drafting of it initially. It concerns me too about the amount of resource going to it."

However, SNP MSP Sandra White has decided to ‘hold the fort’ and supported by party colleagues and object.

She said:

"I don't think it will serve any purpose whatsoever for us to look at a separate investigation."

I think she means she doesn’t want anything to rock the boat before the Scottish independence referendum citing the review after two seasons.

Labour MSP Elaine Murray on the committee mentioned that she received only a small number of letters on the subject.

Plainly the FAC and the Celtic Trust need some help in political campaigning.

Murray added:

"But I think there are issues about the operation of the Act."

Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes said fans are now putting their heads above the parapet.

This is probably in response to the email campaign that is running at the present time by the FAC.
Scotland hasn’t had a Justice Minister since the election in 2007, we have had a Salmond crony. Presumably someone that Alex Salmond would call ‘talented’.

The truth is that Kenny MacAskill is no more than a shitty ambulance chaser, he is a disgrace to the Office he holds and is a serious contender for the worse ever Justice Minister at Holyrood.

And now his chickens are coming home to roost.

I don’t see the SNP scrapping this law, they nailed it to the mast and are stuck with it till 2015, maybe then will the SNP look at it if FAC makes a proper impact beyond the email campaign and by-election campaigning.  

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University 

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