Kenny MacAskill was the worst Justice Secretary in the history of the Scottish Parliament.
He got the job because he was basically Alex Salmond’s pal; this was the criteria it seems to hold Ministerial Office in the SNP Government. Through-out his rein he was dogged by controversy, one of the cases which showed him up as a lemming was the Cadder Case.
What is interesting about the Cadder Case was the UK Supreme Court had to act to ensure that Scots got access to a fair trial. MacAskill fought tooth and nail against this case, at the time, I opined that human rights couldn’t be replaced by effectively what was ‘gifts’ by the Crown Office. Although Cadder the individual wasn’t exactly a pillar of the community, he did more for justice in
as ‘deadbeat’ than Kenny MacAskill did while holding ministerial office.
On the Cadder Case, George Laird was right again by the way, it was they say an open and shut case.
During the Scottish referendum, the SNP deliberately continued to disenfranchise a section of the population resident in
exercising their right to vote. These people were prisoners who were locked in
prison. The issue of prisoner voting is an issue that most politicians won’t
touch with a barge pole because everyone is signed up to ‘tough on crime, tough
on the causes of crime’.
This slogan was Tony Blair’s mantra while in public office.
Anyone not signing up to this was attacked by the other parties and described as being weak and pro criminal.
Giving people their human rights isn’t and shouldn’t be a matter of whether we like them, or what they stand for, or even what they have done previously.
So, a political consensus emerged which was ‘fuck criminals, we don’t want their votes if they are in prison’.
My position when the issue cropped up at the referendum was that the prisoners should be allowed to vote. This view is in line with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) who ruled the blanket ban on prisoners voting is a breach of human rights.
According to MacAskill view now, the Scottish Government must review its "shameful" position, during the ‘shame’ episode, Kenny MacAskill had no problem in doing two things, one, collecting his Ministerial salary and secondly keeping his mouth shut.
Keeping your mouth shut doesn’t make you a team player, just in case you motherfuckers didn’t know that!
You are either the Justice Secretary of
Scotland or you
are not, is my opinion, plainly MacAskill was Alex Salmond’s placeman.
MacAskill’s sudden conversion to ‘faith’ is that he thinks the SNP must back prison votes to fight Tory human rights plan.
I get the sense, this isn’t about restoring democracy and human rights but rather this is a political manoeuvre. The Conservatives want to repeal the Human Rights Act 1998, and replace it with what is termed the British Bill of Rights.
The problem with the Human Rights Act 1998 isn’t that the Bill is wrong, but the wrongful judgments which arise from it, like allowing terrorists to have a revolving door to attempt to defeat the ends of justice. Another misuse is allowing foreign criminals the right to remain in the
the basis they can cite another part of human rights as a justification as a
One of the gags used is right to family life to avoid deportation.
David Cameron wants to replace the human rights act with a British Bill of Rights but it rather looks like people will get less rights; and as we head towards a possible exit from the EU, this may look to some as long term housekeeping.
We don’t have a bad human rights act, we have bad judges.
Writing in The National newspaper, MacAskill admitted that he was "complicit" in the "wrong" decision to oppose granting convicted prisoners the vote.
"That's an issue that has come before the European Courts on many occasions and in which they have been quite clear. A blanket ban is unacceptable and in conflict with human rights, notwithstanding that the UK Government has simply refused to comply and indeed Prime Minister David Cameron has said that the very thought of it makes him sick. Shamefully, the Scottish Government has so far refused to adhere to the spirit and the judgements of the European Courts. Initially it hid behind the franchise being reserved to
Westminster but did indicate that it did not
support its extension to prisoners. That was compounded by replicating the Westminster line in the
franchise for the referendum. Votes were granted for 16 and 17-year-olds but
Kenny MacAskill also said:
"In that act I am as complicit as any as the former justice secretary. It was the wrong thing done, albeit for the right reasons. It was to avoid any needless distractions in the run-up to the referendum, to deny the right-wing press lurid headlines that could tarnish the bigger picture. But the referendum is behind us and the Tory press have failed to stop us. To have credibility on the issue the Scottish Government must now review their position on votes for prisoners or the defence of the Human Rights Act will ring hollow."
This is basically rubbish, but lets us home in on this part:
“It was the wrong thing done, albeit for the right reasons. It was to avoid any needless distractions in the run-up to the referendum, to deny the right-wing press lurid headlines that could tarnish the bigger picture”.
So, I read this and I think, this is a person who doesn’t give a shit about human rights, doesn’t give a shit about justice and thinks that Government exists as an election and referendum tool.
The job of the Justice Secretary is to oversee a justice system that is fair to both sides in a legal, during his tenure as Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill was so far up the arse of the Crown Office; you would have thought he was their employee instead of being their boss.
As to Sein Fein SNP adopting MacAskill’s position, I don’t see unpopular Nicola Sturgeon taking an interest in giving people their human rights; she hasn’t really expressed an interest in that as a politician.
The Campaign for Human Rights at