Thursday, February 6, 2014

Scottish independence: Alex Salmond signals the strongest reason to vote No to Scottish independence, Salmond backs MacAskill in his bid to end the right of accused persons to a fair trial, Scots need UK Supreme Court protection

Dear All

Deary deary deary me, what is the world coming too?

Scotland’s ‘jolly fat man’ Alex Salmond has been told to overrule Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill by the Tories and Lib Dems.

The issue is the plan to scrap the need for corroboration in criminal trials.

As most people know the SNP Government is effectively run as a one man band, the ‘bandmaster’ is Salmond and the backing group is his ‘pals’.

His ‘pals’ for the most part got the Ministerial posts in Government.

Should corroboration in trials be scrapped?

The answer is no.

Has the SNP Government put in enough protection to safeguard miscarriages of justice?


The SNP don’t do law well as we have plainly seen.

So, will Salmond agree to the Tory and Lib Dems demands that the controversial part of the Criminal Justice Bill is removed, at present it is currently going through the Scottish Parliament.

If he agrees with the Tories and Lib Dems, it is akin to saying publicly Kenny MacAskill is incompetent and should be removed as Justice Minister.

Personally his arse should have been fired after Al Megrahi.

These changes by the SNP don’t guarantee a fair trial, they lower the bar towards more miscarriages of justice happening.

You could make a case that since the SNP are hiding behind the shield of this is to ‘help’ rape victims, it is nothing but a ploy to try and win votes from women in the Scottish independence referendum.

With ‘safeguards’ being flagged up by many people, MacAskill said former high court judge Lord Bonomy will lead a special group looking at what might be needed to prevent miscarriages of justice.

Presumably Lord Bonomy was picked because he is already on side with the scrapping but is tasked in trying to make it more palatable to opponents.

MacAskill’s announcement of a special group came as Holyrood's Justice Committee said the case has not been made to ditch corroboration.

It seems everyone has their nose out of joint on this one.

Tory leader Ruth Davidson said:

"This is now about the integrity of this Parliament."

That is the extent of the damage that Kenny MacAskill has done as Justice Minister.

Davidson added:

"What we as members are being asked to do is to vote through a Bill which we know to be deeply flawed on the grounds that Kenny MacAskill says he'll sort it later. There is an obvious solution here. Leave the scrapping of corroboration out of the Bill. Ask Lord Bonomy to report on the whole issue and then let us look at it again. Surely it is better to make good law later than bad law now."

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie supported Miss Davidson, adding that the Scottish Government's approach is "crackers".

Well if you put a ‘crackpot’ in charge who wants to find something, anything to remove the stigma of Al Megrahi, you can expect ‘crackers’ to be produced!

Rennie said:

"Appointing Lord Bonomy doesn't restore justice; it simply papers over the cracks with a veneer of respectability. Isn't it better to work out the fix before you deliberately cause the problem? Law making in reverse is a shoddy way to expect Scotland's Parliament to act."

Salmond’s response is that he doesn’t get it, and the attack is unfair.

It is unfair because MacAskill is his pal!

Salmond said:

"It's not a quick fix, it's a distinguished judge who's looking to make absolutely certain that as this change is made, appropriate safeguards are there to prevent miscarriages of justice."

Funny, the SNP have a habit of appointing ‘experts’ who then turn out to be wrong.

Salmond added:

"That is a substantial point and any recommendations before implementation would have to come back to the committee, back for discussion, and back to this Parliament for approval. By definition, this change cannot take place unless and until this Parliament is satisfied with the proposals that come forward."

Given the SNP control the Parliament, they can push anything through they like, on this issue like many others, they have gotten it entirely wrong.

But, what do they care if Scots can’t get a fair trial?

This is the tip of the iceberg, but it shows clearly why Scots should vote No to independence, we need the protection of the UK Supreme Court, Alex Salmond cannot be trusted to safeguard Scots or Scots Law.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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