Kenny MacAskill should never have been appointed the Justice Minister of Scotland.
When MacAskill was given one of the big three posts in the Scottish Government, it wasn’t because he was “talented” as Salmond would have you believe, it was because of he was Salmond’s pal.
Other reasons which helped him remain as Justice Minister where there is a serious lack of talent in the Scottish National Party and the Salmond ran the SNP as a little more than a cult for the benefit of a small group.
MacAskill’s career has been dogged by failure, his greatest failure was to release Al Megrahi, the biggest mass murderer in modern Scottish history who he let leave Scotland’s jurisdiction.
The stigma of Al Megrahi is a continual bad smell of this SNP Government. The SNP said Al Megrahi’s release it was done on compassion but many people believe it was done to stick two fingers up to the British Government over their prisoner transfer policy with Libya.
Kenny MacAskill is under pressure to resign when his future as Justice Secretary is debated at Holyrood, but he shouldn’t get the option to resign, he should be publicly sacked.
Leading the charge is the Labour Party who are going with MacAskill’s handling of controversial policies in policing and court reform.
MSP Graeme Pearson has lodged a motion claiming the Justice Secretary has ‘’failed to provide effective governance’’ of Police Scotland.
I proposed Police Scotland at the SNP National Assembly in September 2010, what you have now is different from what I proposed, the third lock of accountability was removed and the Justice Minister was little better than a puppet. MacAskill spent his time as Justice Minister sucking up to the Crown Office instead of doing what he should have done which was stand above it. The role of the Justice Minister is to ensure fair trials in Scotland; MacAskill’s views were far too biased for the role.
His catalogue of failure includes the stop-and-search of children, armed police on routine patrols, claims about the “manipulation” of crime figures and my personal favourite standing beside the confiscated cars of drugs dealers like an Arthur Daley character.
Spokesman for outgoing Alex Salmond has dismissed the move as a “pathetic stunt” and said Mr MacAskill has presided over a near 40-year low in recorded crime.
The 40 years low is not down to MacAskill.
Pearson, Labour’s justice spokesman, said:
“The cross-party support for our calls for Kenny MacAskill to resign highlights that the Justice Secretary is fast losing the confidence of parliament. It is only a Government majority that will be able to save his position but I call on SNP members to put the integrity of the justice system ahead of party politics. His position is untenable”.
MacAskill’s position was untenable years ago, this debate should have been called years ago.
“His inability to effectively manage his portfolio, from corroboration to stop-and-searches, court closures to attacks on the Supreme Court, highlights the need for the Cabinet Secretary to do the honourable thing and jump before Nicola Sturgeon pushes him. The arming of police during routine duties was just the final nail in a coffin that is full of blunders and embarrassments”.
So, the question now arises can Scotland’s Deputy First Minister unpopular Nicola Sturgeon do the right thing?
If she does, she will also have to remove Alex Neil for lying to the Parliament, and it also follows that Mike Russell must also be history in any reshuffle.
The problem isn’t getting rid of people, the problem is that there is no real talent to draw on, Salmond ran the Scottish National Party as a ‘rat ship’, he and others firewalled their positions to keep them in power, their members are basically ignorant and the vast majority of their MSPs are dross, little better than sheep with no independent thought.
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie demanded MacAskill’s resignation last week after Police Scotland’s u-turn on the arming of police on routine patrols.
Although MacAskill got that right, it was done at the wrong time; again, massive error in judgment, Police Scotland would only be an armed force if Scotland became independent as a backup for the military. This was my idea for stage two of reform of Police Scotland, stage one was botched as the SNP clique sought to claim ownership of my idea that they couldn’t think through.
Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont said the justice secretary had “messed up” on crucial issues such as ending corroboration; this is the requirement for evidence in Scottish criminal trials to come from two sources - court closures and armed police.
On the issue of corroboration, this is one of the most serious charges against MacAskill which demands his removal from the post of Justice Minister; it is so clear cut that there is no wiggle room there.
A mistake was made appointing MacAskill as Justice Minister, that mistake so far has lasted seven years, given his inability to learn, it is time to close the book, MacAskill is an affront to justice.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University