Scotland,  SNP

Alex Salmond to Abolish an Independent Judiciary…

… well, that appears to be what he is suggesting in an interview with the Holyrood Magazine when he dismisses Lord Craighead as someone who, unlike this blightèd land’s pater familias did not “go to the bother of being elected”.

Salmond also appears to think that with by granting Nat Fraser leave to appeal against his murder conviction, Craighead has been “exercising his right to free speech”, just as Fish-heid McMoonface now is exercizing his.

No, Alex, Craighead was passing legal rulings which, as a former Dean of the Faculty of Advocates and a former Lord President of the Court of Session and current Deputy President of the UK Supreme Court, he is eminently qualified to do. As First Minister of Scotland, you have relinquished significant levels of your freedom to say what you please in return for this power. Yet, like a bloviating beached beluga, you have yet to come entirely to terms with this responsibility.

A review has been launched by the Scottish Government, to be led by Lord McCluskey whom Salmond describes as having been practicing law when anyone who dares disagree with Alex Salmond still were in school. Although this would include the current chairman of the Faculty of Advocates Criminal Bar, Donald Findlay, this Advocate who also has taken silk observes that under any national government – let alone one with a unicameral legislature held-by super-majority in which all the key comittees and oversight bodies are controlled by the ruling party – overt political grandstanding over the judiciary should raise grave concerns.

The other two examples of a concerted campaign to subordinate Scots law to an outside authority which is not the EU have been backdating 2001 compensation claims on slopping-out; and the Cadder ruling, which reinforced the unremarkable notion that Police should not question suspects without allowing access to a lawyer.

Had these cases gone to European Court of Human Rights, Salmond assures us they would have been ruled in Holyrood favour. No further explanation has been offered.

On slopping-out, Salmond has… well… whined really is the only word I can think of… in response to the Advocate General, Lord Tankerness’ objections to his personalized attacks on members of the judiciary by blaming Tankerness for failing to modernize Scottish gaols when he was Justice Minister. On Cadder, Salmond has accused Craighead personally of granting compensation to “some of the vilest people in the country”.

This would not include, I assume, James McLintock on whose behalf Mike Weir, SNP MP for Angus has intervened on repeated occassions despite his not being a constituent.

Joining in like Sauron to Salmond’s Morgoth, Kenny MacAskill the current Justice Minister has dismissed the combined knowledge of Scots law amongst the members of the Supreme Court as little more than what could be gleaned from an Edinburgh Fringe event. MacAskill was eight years old when Craighead began practicing law.

If we are going to have Italian politics, can we at least have the Italian climate and coffee?

Scotland, wha’ like us? None, thank fuck.