THE WORRY

A soft focus shot of a stop sign on the road from Freepix.

THE WORRY

Irrespective of what you thought about the Inquiry into the shambles that was the botched attempt to fit up Alex Salmond few cannot fail to have noticed the incredible connivance between the Scottish Government and the Crown Office. It attracted justifiable criticism as it not only resulted in around £1 million pounds of taxpayers money being lost, caused by ignoring.the facts from when Alex Salmond’s lawyers flagged up the clearly flawed procedures, to the refusal of mediation, the rejection of expert external legal advice that stated they were virtually certain the Government would lose the case. The abject and ill tempered surrender only came when faced with an ultimatum from their own legal team that they were going to be no longer able to act on the Government’s behalf. 

The evidence that the Government and the Crown office were operating on a very questionable basis was a concern, not just for the public but also for the legal profession and was the subject to strong criticism from the most senior law bodies in Scotland. They considered it unhealthy and they were right. It is likely greater separation between the Government and the Crown Office will be the result. The question I ask is will it happen in time?

The talk that there are already plans to do away with both jury trials for sex crimes and the not proven verdict fill me with dread. Jury trials are crucial in any democracy. It is the guarantee that the state and the law cannot get so close and in each other’s pocket that justice is lost and unfair prosecutions can be imposed on any citizen the Government seeks to punish. The introduction of people, ordinary citizens to determine guilt or innocence is hugely important and makes such state and legal collusion much more difficult.

Likewise the not proven verdict is a valuable option that again is an important defence and puts the burden on the Government or prosecution to prove their case to a satisfactory degree of guilt rather than the jury having to second guess what might have happened or not, and perhaps condemning an innocent person in error. It’s very presence in the trial process gives confidence in a guilty verdict, knowing a jury had the not proven verdict available, but chose guilty because they were certain.

Now changing either of these tried and tested parts of our justice system after all this time is very concerning. To be doing so when many, myself included, feel this Government and this Crown Office are abusing their powers on a regular basis makes it not only wrong but highly dangerous to our freedoms.

Think about it, our legal system is tried and tested. In general it has widespread support and acceptance. There are no calls from the public to change things. What few calls for change come from, wait for it, the Rape Crisis Centre, or as it is better known these days, the Alphabet Women Press Office.

Now I can understand why they would like to get rid of juries, or at least one in particular. The one that evaluated their allegations, listened to the counter evidence from the mainly female defence witnesses, evaluated all they had heard in detail, not smear or evidence free innuendo, and consigned the entire content of the alphabet women’s allegations to the bin. Not one single guilty verdict!

Now we know some of the Alphabet women have the ear of the First Minister so it’s not a giant leap of speculation to come to a view that this is their Plan B, and unlike Chris McEleny constitutional version, this time the First Minister is listening. She seems convinced the jury got it wrong. She must do or how else do you explain her despicable cowardly smearing of Alex Salmond ever since.? Not satisfied with being First Minister her spite demands she should be the jury and judge as well. I doubt any of the real jury members will be voting for her next month, she has treated them most shabbily, disgracefully in fact.

So how is this recipe? Introduce the Hate Crimes legislation, get rid of jury trials in sex crimes cases and for good measure get rid of the not proven verdict at the same time.

See what I did there? I exposed the real dangers we are facing in this country. There has never been a more important time for our ordinary citizens to stay wide awake and be very aware of these very dangerous proposals which must not be implemented, because if they are, we are all at risk of malicious prosecution. There is nothing easier or more damaging than manufacturing false or frivolous sex allegations. Even now, before the Hate Crime Bill makes it even easier. It is so easy, politically ambitious people can find it so tempting. Not just in Scotland, not just restricted to politics either. You might recall there was an outburst of these cases around the time of the Me Too movement’s birth, some that were genuine and brought justice, others that were false. We would do well to remember that as folk move to remove the protections for the innocent that currently exist and would make malicious prosecution that much easier.

This is a very, very dangerous SNP agenda, they are passing the HCB without any internal discussion amongst ordinary Party members. GRA is next. Democracy has been by passed. History provides terrible examples from many areas of the World when political leaders manage to manipulate the legal and justice systems for their own purposes.

We are going to need good people in the Parliament, people with experience, people who know how to defeat and expose those responsible. My friend, Mr AS suggests there are a lot of Alba Party candidates who would be very good at this. I would listen to him if I was you. He knows about these things.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland

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38 thoughts on “THE WORRY

  1. “So how is this recipe? Introduce the Hate Crimes legislation, get rid of jury trials in sex crimes cases and for good measure get rid of the not proven verdict at the same time.”

    Maybe just bring back hanging too while we’re at it?

    In 1933 Adolf Hitler passed the Enabling Act in the Weimar Republic.

    Now I am not suggesting that the Nazis very particular brand of totalitarianism is what Nicola Sturgeon has in mind.

    But just because Nicola Sturgeon does not agree with, or like, a particular verdict (substantiated by the evidence submitted) doesn’t mean she gets to set herself up as judge, jury and – dare I say it – executioner.

    Liked by 11 people

      1. Not a capable solicitor I’m afraid. Failed to lodge the legal aid application for a client in financial distress. Failed to apply for a court order seeking protection for the same female client against threats of violence from an abusive husband. Tells the lie about Sturgeon’s pose of caring about women’s rights, what a hypocrite. You have to wonder what other skeletons in the closet led to her being shown the door at that firm of solicitors. IIRC she left them BEFORE being elected to HR, not after as you’d expect.

        OTOH when it comes to soliciting false allegations against a political rival ……….

        Liked by 3 people

  2. You have articulated my worries very well. I find this tinkering with Scots law hair raising and endangering to everyone – especially men and I am quite fond of men and even more fond of justice and fair play.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. ! too was concerned at the headline about scrapping ‘not proven’ as my preference would be, as one comment in the National article on this topic suggested, two verdicts – proven and not proven.
      I also dislike the tinkering with Scots Law, particularly as it seems to be bringing ir more into line with English Law. I’m nt sure where the impetus is form, Scotland or England However I feel that, at a time when Westminster politicians are trying to reduce any differences in laws, policies etc and bring us into line with England, doing this in a voluntary and entirely unnecessary way will only encourage them to go further.
      I would much rather see a move to separate clearly the government and the judiciary and that the first move after the election should be to remove the Lord Advocate’s right to sit in government.

      Liked by 12 people

      1. Well given Smyth and macdonald met up with mi5 recently, I’d not put it past them to be bringing the laws into line, making it easier for uks internal market bill to succeed. Someone’s being blackmailed….

        Liked by 2 people

  3. It seems that there are two types of people in Scotland today. Fair minded who accept the outcomes of justice and enquiries and the Sturgeon minded who only accept outcomes in their favour.

    If the SNP/Greens are so proud of their identity politics and hate crime agenda why does it never feature in their election campaign literature?

    So far between them, I count one single mention of independence (SNP) and none on identity policy on the leaflets through my door.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Very strange that. You would think they would promote their new bills with a fanfare and claims of being ‘right-on’ and progressive in their virtue signaling. Instead it is secretive and any mention of it is avoided. I find that positively weird.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I share your concerns
    My difficulty is that the tactics to achieve a super majority keep those in power who want to make these changes
    There is no guarantee that there won’t be an overall SNP majority by voting SNP 1 and Alba2 and they would happily pass that legislation

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Can they pass changes to the law before the election? If they do, they may seek a retrial for Alex on some other trumped up grounds, though they had to trawl for tiddlers even last time. But it’s past the time when you wake up and find yourself back in reality.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think if they did that there would be violent reactions and riots in Edinburgh – not that it stopped them from pursuing their own arrogant agenda in the 18th century , but an angry modern mob might persuade them their own safety was more important.

      Liked by 4 people

  6. It is amazing how resolute and determined you can be to pursue an issue when you are spending public money.

    I wonder who is paying for the 2 interdicts Nicola has ongoing against the press at the moment? (Keeping secrets costs a lot of money)

    In both cases the Officer of the Law (Lord Advocate) is conflicted by being in her cabinet.

    Liked by 9 people

  7. In 1707 the Legal profession of Scotland correctly worked hard to protect our system of Law. The issue of verdicts is a minor part. Why change a system that has been in force for several hundred years in order for the FM to have another “squirrel” headline. RCS was quick of the blocks as usual. They should be re-registered as a lobby group for the SNP.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. “In 1707 the Legal profession of Scotland correctly worked hard to protect our system of Law.”

      Well, that’s perhaps one way of looking at it, Julia.

      However, some might argue that the Scottish legal establishment made certain, within the treaty/act which disposed/sold Scotland’s sovereignty, and which they helped draft, to protect their own privileges and monopolies. And don’t forget they also moved in to the auld parliament buildings in which Scotland’s Commissioners used to sit, and they are still there today.

      Liked by 4 people

  8. Scary stuff Iain. However, those familiar with Scottish courts might appreciate such matters as part of an ongoing process rather than something entirely new. Previous legislation (e.g. Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act), wide application of Moorov doctrine, summary procedure trials hence without jury, and a wholly inadequate police complaints process (Angiolini 2019), etc. raises numerous concerns.

    The fact that Scotland has the highest prison population per head and the highest number of probationers under supervision in Western Europe surely tells us something. It tells us either that native Scots are inherently the baddest folk in Europe, or there is something inherently wrong with our system of justice (and hence our wider governance). Given recent and ongoing events I think many folks would suggest the latter to be the case.

    There is a reason George Osborne referred to the crown and civil service as ‘the arms’ of the British state in Scotland. Scotland appears to be held in a colonial-like vice grip by these ‘arms’; is there anything else ‘holding’ Scotland in the UK union, but crown and civil service? Is it not therefore to be expected that we have a colonial-like justice system? What Nelson Mandela described as a governing system of social institutions which oppresses the people rather than serves them, which aye hauds fowk doun.

    Here it may be worth noting the lessons from post-colonial theory (Fanon, Cesaire, Memmi etc), which tells us that the oppressions of colonialism include racism, and prejudice, and fascism. No doubt this is why the UN regards colonialism even today as “a scourge” (i.e. a form of punishment) that should be ended, and why it also considers independence to be decolonisation (https://www.un.org/dppa/decolonization/en/c24/about).

    Liked by 9 people

    1. And you might wish to note Alf that that work is underway to double the prison estate in Scotland.

      Part of a wider initiative from Westminster there is a recognition that we need the capacity to be able to jail twice as many people as present.

      check it out, a new, a new Inverness and others too. It’s happening, and not a cheep from the Scottish Government,

      Liked by 5 people

  9. Look at the post today on the ‘Independence for Scotland’ Facebook page. It’s horrendous and is a perfect example of what some can do to use half truths and lies to further their aims and to besmirch those who are against their aims.
    Actually having seen the story yesterday about Smith and MacDonald having talks with MI5 I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t their work. The most ludicrous bit was the suggestion that we who are in favour of independence should ask a unionist for advice on what they think of Alex Salmond. Really like that would get us a reasonable and truthful answer, well it would give us their truth.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Mid Scotland and Fife list votes 2016

    SNP 41.3% no seats
    Con 25.2%. 4 seats
    Lab. 17.6%. 2 seats
    Grn. 6.1%. 1 seat

    Allocation
    Party………%……….divisor………….%/div…………Seat
    Con………..25.2………1………………..25.2……………1
    Lab…………17.6………1………………..17.6……………2
    Con…………25.2………2………………..12.6……………3
    Lab………….17.6………2…………………8.8…………….4
    Con…………25.2……….3…………………8.4…………….5
    Con…………25.2……….4…………………6.3…………….6
    Grn……………6.1……….1…………………6.1…………….7

    Alba requires 6.1% to win one seat
    Alba requires 12.7% to win two seats.

    Note 41.3% for the SNP delivered zero seats for the SNP. It would give FOUR seats to Alba.

    That Is Four Regions looked at. Half a million SNP votes on the list in those four regions delivered not one SNP MSP.
    Those same votes could have put an ALBA contingency in double figures into Holyrood.

    Do you think SNP1/Alba2 makes sense now?

    Liked by 7 people

    1. LOOOKY HERE

      Scottish Tories who want to see Scotland have access to the European single market are urging voters at the Holyrood election to cast their second vote for Alex Salmond’s Alba Party.

      He He Conservatives 1 ALBA 2

      WOOOO HOOOO if they do that 6% {just now} could become 20% + on May 6th

      Gosh a week is indeed a long time in Scottish Politics

      Lest have more of the same please.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Jesus, Mary, mother of Joseph just as well they have the LA in their pocket BUT that really means THREE for the chop OMG!!!!

      How many weeks to go till May 6th and can they survive till then????

      Scottish Politics has never been so interesting what a shame the MSN are not on board with this YET!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Breaking news this morning is that Noel Dolan who was Nicola Surgeon’s most trusted aide for over a decade has come out in favour of SNP supporters giving their second vote to Alba.

    No doubt there about the logic of SNP 1 and Alba 2.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Rape trials will, in future, be like the old witch trials: accused will be thrown in a pond and if they drown they will be judged to have been innocent; if they float tney will be guilty. At the moment the guilty will only be imprisoned but do not dismiss burning at the stake or stoning to death from any review of the legal system.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. We can all see the negative outcome of a juryless trial such as that of Craig Murray, who I think if he’d have had the benefit of a jury, he would’ve saw off the preposterous contempt of court charge aimed at him for nothing more than reporting the truth on the Alex Salmond fit up.

    One of the so called complainers in the Alex Salmond kangaroo trial, wasn’t even in the building as witnesses testified in court, when he (Salmond) was supposed to have attempted to rape her, a clear case of perjury if you ask me yet not only has this person not felt the full force of the law, she will remain anonymous for the rest of her days, sniping at Alex Salmond via the SNP solely funded Rape Crisis Scotland, who vehemently back juryless trials, and who often put out innuendos aimed at the former FM Alex Salmond. It would appear in the eyes of Sturgeon and RCS, that even though Alex Salmond was cleared by a jury of his peers, made up mostly of women and by a woman judge, that he’s guilty.

    Meanwhile a wee bit of positive news for ALBA.

    https://archive.is/18y6K

    Liked by 5 people

  14. O/T.

    I think Alex Salmond is giving a route-map speech to Scottish independence at 2pm today. Today is the 701st anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.

    Not sure where we can watch his speech though, I doubt the BritNat propaganda terrestrial channels will air it.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks Iain but I found it eventually.

        I should add after watching Alex.

        Isn’t it wonderful that in Alex Salmond we have a party leader that can actually quote Scottish history. Salmond easily sounds off on facts and figures about Scotland’s past, and give us a sense, that here’s a man and party leader that knows and cares about Scotland and its rich history.

        When was the last time you heard Sturgeon speak of Scottish history? Nevermind in an endearing way that Salmond does.

        I know who who has Scots interests at heart and its not Sturgeon.

        Still as Alex asks of us, SNP 1 ALBA 2 votes wise.

        Liked by 6 people

  15. and yet we seemingly have no choice but to give SNP our first vote. What’s the point of moaning about what she might or might not do and then still vote for her. because that’s what is happening. She will use every vote to say that we all voted for this. At least we now have ALBA on the list, but we urgently need a mainstream party standing on the constituency and for GE 2024. Yes, there will be one, there is no chance we will be Indy by then. Not with Sturgeon still in place.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. There are 3 most telling things about the attempt to fit up Alex Salmond.No appeal by any of the women complainers.No civil action by any of them.Idont know very much about law but I think that you can not be anonymous in a civil action.The most telling of all is that there have been no charges brought against those who perjured themselves especially woman H.That is why it is so vital to get as many ALBA MSPs as possible in to Holyrood,the biggest nightmare would be this present SNP leadership having an outright majority supported by the Greens(if there are any left).We can not wait till after Independence to sort it out, it must be done beforehand.At the present rate there will be no safeguards left for the ordinary members of the general public in the very near future.This Election is one of the most important for the people of Scotland and not just for Independence but also for our freedoms which we took so much for granted before.

    Liked by 6 people

  17. It might seem a bit naive to ask this but who, or what, are The Crown Office? Are they Unionists or are they an arm of the Scottish Government?

    Like

    1. The crown is the ‘legal embodiment’ of the British state in Scotland.

      Arguably the ‘Scottish Government’ remains a spending department of the British state.

      There is, as yet, no Scottish state.

      Liked by 1 person

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