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Iain McKie

Independence and Justice: The Debate

From time to time over the past months there has been fleeting discussion about how our justice system would evolve were Scotland to vote for independence.

For a justice forum like this however the  debate has hardly dominated matters and yet we are arguably approaching a momentous decision that will effect justice profoundly in the future.

The feeling of contributors to date has been that the Scottish Government and Kenny MacAskill in particular have proved to be regressive forces favouring the system at the expense of the individual and taking a hands off approach to the judiciary, Crown Office and Police resulting in virtually no oversight of the prosecution system in some areas.

The approach to the outside world in the shape of the Supreme Court and Europe has been obstructive and  the ‘wha’s like us’ culture has flourished.

All of this has been taken as an indication of what life will be like after independence and certainly for contributors to this forum they don’t appear to like what they see.

There is an argument however that it is only after establishing Scotland as an independent country that a different culture will develop where individual freedom is valued above sustaining the status quo and that visionary voices will be heard urging a break away from the old systems and values.  

I will certainly be offering some thoughts as the big day arrives and I would welcome any and all contributions.
Karen

Quote:
There is an argument however that it is only after establishing Scotland as an independent country that a different culture will develop where individual freedom is valued above sustaining the status quo and that visionary voices will be heard urging a break away from the old systems and values.  


If we get Independence then we the people of Scotland will have a voice to get the changes we want in the justice system.

That is very much my hope if it happens.

People must remember this is not a vote for Salmond, MacAskill or SNP. This is a vote for Scotland.  
There would be a chance for the people of Scotland to vote who they want in power.
Big Wullie

They Should Go To The European Court Of Human Rights Because They Cannot Open Prison Doors.

This was the comment that was the turning point for me.

Twice I voted SNP and was a huge supporter of an Independent Scotland until I heard our top Government Officials uttering these words after the success of Fraser and Cadder at the Supreme Court.

Taking Cadder we can see what would happen in an independent Scotland.

He never got leave to appeal in Scotland and was refused permission to go to the Supreme Court.

We even had Lord Carloway saying the two top Scottish Judges at the Supreme Court knew nothing about corroboration.

Top Government officials saying England should not be interfering in Scots Law.

This was despite the well known fact Lord Rodger and Hope once held the most senior positions in Scottish Courts.

People are under the mistaken belief that the European Courts can overturn conviction, They cannot and for anyone who does not believe this visit their website as an applicant and read what the ECHR say about overturning decisions in our domestic and civil courts.

I have no faith that the SNP Justice Minister (MacAskill) or our First Minister (Salmond) will protect our Human Rights in an independent Scotland and simply for these reasons I will not be voting for Independence.

Remember Independence will make Salmond the first Scottish Prime Minister or as he would wish the King of Scotland.

Justice!  They cannot spell it.
david

I will be voting no in the referendum.

Not one political party apart from SNP had the referendum in their pre Scottish election manifesto so its fair to say that the referendum is all about the SNP.

Their trawling for female votes since the protests outside parliament relating to Bill Walker SNP MSP is disgusting. Abolition of corroboration and every accuser is a victim is ridiculous. What kind of government takes the opinion of wee Betty from victim support over the highest judge in the country.

We are also at the stage where anybody accused of a sex crime is guilty until proven innocent. Nobody will get a fair hearing.

I'd prefer it if we stayed a part of the union then the UKSC can continue to highlight Human Rights breaches that the SNP government continue to cover up.





david
Big Wullie

Found some interesting stuff here:

http://glasgowunihumanrights.blogspot.co.uk/2012_08_01_archive.html


Dear All

On occasion I do a bit of blogging on Scottish law and the lack of talent in the Scottish Parliament.

Here is a direct quote from Alistair Bonnington, a former honorary professor of law at Glasgow University:

"If you read the Scottish legislation, a lot of it looks as if it's been written by a primary school child. It really is embarrassing”.

It isn’t just the fact that it is badly written; it’s the concept behind the ideas that are disturbing, some people have no business in drafting and proposing law.

The reason is that they are out and out pricks who have no understanding of human rights, justice and so it seems law itself!

Bonnington goes on to add that Holyrood has inflicted more damage to Scots law since devolution than Westminster did in 300 years, and he is a leading lawyer.

Rather than the A Team, Holyrood has been filled up with the Z Team of politicians and they churn out shit such as the Offensive behaviour at fitba Act, done to meet a fitba season timetable, it is a piece of shit that should have been struck down by the SNP Government.

Sadly they didn’t and are probably proud of it.

Kenny MacAskill, Alex Salmond’s pal, ergo, a Cabinet filled out with his buddies, he never should have been appointed Justice Minister, but then the argument probably used by Salmond is that MacAskill is the best person for the job.

This begs the question how bad are the others?

Justice is a sham under the leadership of Kenny MacAskill, however unionists love him, he is a Stella reason for not voting for independence, he isn’t trusted, hence Scots will be voting to keep the UK Supreme Court as a backstop.

MacAskill’s judgement is warped, we saw this in Megrahi, we saw this in Cadder and we are seeing this in a whole host of other issues, including the ending of double jeopardy, a centuries-old tradition which prevented a person being tried twice for the same crime.

His attack on eroding legal aid is well known which includes effectively wanting to fine innocent people to appear at court.

You just can’t write enough about how bad justice is under his tenure.

Another sustained attack is the wanting to remove corroboration and the ban on juries being told about an accused person's previous convictions.

Effectively this means evidence is secondary to smearing and poisoning the jury, perhaps MacAskill thought because smearing works within the Scottish National Party, it is appropriate to roll it out into the legal profession.

And since the review of the law by Lord Carloway, he has been given his reward, pushed up the legal tree when he should have been persona non grata for his work.

Ironically SNP Ministers are currently consulting on how best to implement Lord Carloway's recommendations.

Bonnington added:

"Sadly it is not going too far to say that Holyrood has done more harm to Scots law than Westminster managed in more than 300 years."

And also he rightly attacked the one party state mentality of the SNP Government by saying that Scotland now had "Soviet-style laws on double jeopardy" and that the "established traditions of Scots law have been abandoned to fit in with right-wing tabloid thinking".

All of this erodes confidence in the legal system and confidence in government and gives people a reason not to vote SNP.

In looking what Holyrood has done, Bonnington said:

“these are the kind of rules one expects to find in the third world."

George Laird was right again, some people in Holyrood are really talentless and oh how it shows.
Iain McKie

In terms of moving ahead I believe that Karen has uttered the greatest truth in this debate.

Quote:
If we get Independence then we the people of Scotland will have a voice to get the changes we want in the justice system.
That is very much my hope if it happens.
People must remember this is not a vote for Salmond, MacAskill or SNP. This is a vote for Scotland.
There would be a chance for the people of Scotland to vote who they want in power.

The options to me appear to be to stick with a discredited UK political system which favours one class over another, (in this I term the classes as the rich (bankers) and the poor (unemployed and disabled), and where London sets the agenda and sucks the regions dry. This is not an anti London statement but a realisation that is the reality.

Yes the SNP Scottish Government in justice terms has been a disappointment and yes  the quality of some MSP’s is in doubt but the way things stand you are never going to encourage a higher quality of political representation unless you offer with it the power to change things in an independent country.

Self determination comes before real change can take place.

Yes the SNP might rule for a while but surely the other political parties will encourage those of vision to their cause and lead to a slow but steady regeneration in Scotland.
Karen

Quote:
The options to me appear to be to stick with a discredited UK political system which favours one class over another, (in this I term the classes as the rich (bankers) and the poor (unemployed and disabled), and where London sets the agenda and sucks the regions dry. This is not an anti London statement but a realisation that is the reality.


That above is it for me in a nutshell Iain.

People need to be educated on what is happening in our justice system.  That seems to be the job of people like us who care about justice, injustice and fairness for all.
Change can only come within the justice system when people learn what is really happening in their name and say Enough is Enough.
Nothing will change until people make the changes happen.

We the public vote the politicians into power. We the public should be asking them more questions publicly and getting the answers we need.

Politicians all over the world promise the earth, moon and stars while waiting to be elected into power.
They all go on about crime and how it affects people, they even use scare tactics to frighten people into thinking what they are saying is true.

These politicians who want our votes, need to be held accountable to the electorate.  After all who pays their wages? And who voted them in? They need to remember they are but servants of the public to work for their constituents.

I am sick of politicians in  London making decisions about us in Scotland as if we are some after thought.

Cap in Hand by the Proclaimers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gApwpSWAhbQ
Big Wullie

Karen wrote:
Quote:
The options to me appear to be to stick with a discredited UK political system which favours one class over another, (in this I term the classes as the rich (bankers) and the poor (unemployed and disabled), and where London sets the agenda and sucks the regions dry. This is not an anti London statement but a realisation that is the reality.


That above is it for me in a nutshell Iain.

People need to be educated on what is happening in our justice system.  That seems to be the job of people like us who care about justice, injustice and fairness for all.
Change can only come within the justice system when people learn what is really happening in their name and say Enough is Enough.
Nothing will change until people make the changes happen.

We the public vote the politicians into power. We the public should be asking them more questions publicly and getting the answers we need.

Politicians all over the world promise the earth, moon and stars while waiting to be elected into power.
They all go on about crime and how it affects people, they even use scare tactics to frighten people into thinking what they are saying is true.

These politicians who want our votes, need to be held accountable to the electorate.  After all who pays their wages? And who voted them in? They need to remember they are but servants of the public to work for their constituents.

I am sick of politicians in  London making decisions about us in Scotland as if we are some after thought.

Cap in Hand by the Proclaimers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gApwpSWAhbQ


Has everyone gone mad lol

He who pays the piper is the way proposed by the Scottish government.

Let us all not forget the emergency legislation after Cadder and the comments after Fraser.

The biggest telling moment for me really is the Following "Lets Abolish Corroboration Because One Judge Out Of Our Entire High Court Judges Says SO.

The way the SNP legislate tells us we are in for Dictatorship and a government likened to Hitlers.

Our Law Or No Law.

Think about it on a larger scale.

Howe many SNP MSP's have you seen voice their own opinions when it comes to the crucial vote they all vote the same.

We need a Government not afraid to voice their own opinions and I am afraid the SNP have not convinced me they are that Government.

Sorry It Is definite NAW from me and I think all my family.
Karen

Genuine but hypothetical question or two here.

On the morning of 19th September we get up and the result is No to Independence.  The No vote won.

Now what?  What will change?
How will it change? Will the powers that be suddenly say "oh we made some dreadful mistakes lets fix everything?"

In my opinon NOTHING will change. Everything will remain the same except what "they" decide to grant us mere minnions here in Scotland.

I know you are voting No just as you know I am voting Yes.
The vote is not for SNP, Salmond, MacAskill or any person in power in Scottish Governenment.

I do not like Salmond or MacAskill but I support Independence despite them.  Principles above personalities!

If it is YES, then in my opinion  WE the Scottish people will have a voice to make the changes we need in many things, not just matters of justice.  Right now we only have what we are being allowed to have and sometimes grudgingly allowed.

And with my tuppence worth added I am off to bed.

Nite x
Big Wullie

When have the Scottish Government listened to reason Karen:

Quote:
If it is YES, then in my opinion  WE the Scottish people will have a voice


If they will not listen to every high court judge apart from Carloway we are doomed.

There is very little chance of listening to the commoners if they do not listen to Judges.

david

The government doesn't listen to the highest judges in Scotland so what makes people think that Joe Public will have a say in an independent Scotland?
Karen

We would be able to vote in a new government. At present a lot of our rules etc come from Westminister and they pay no attention to us the voters in Scotland and never will.
david

I agree with you Karen that Westminster have too much to say in matters which is frustrating to say the least but that doesn't relate to the justice system.

If it was up to the Scottish Government human beings would still be slopping out in dungeons in the 21st century.

If it was up to the Scottish Government people would not have access to legal representation during questioning in the 21st century

If it was up to the Scottish Government people would have to pay towards their own defence and lawyers would have to chase payments.

If it was up to the Scottish Government they would still be fitting people up with flawed fingerprint evidence and other dubious expert testimony that is used in our courts on a daily basis. They have not even learned the lessons from the fingerprint scandal.

Lets not forget how they continue to cover up one of the worst Miscarriages of Justices EVER.


There may be important improvements with independence but I don't believe the justice system will be one of them.

Can anybody envisage an impartial Supreme Court in Scotland?
Karen

I acknowedge there are huge failings in the judicial system.

What we need is a brand new government!

What we also need is for the Scottish public to stop sitting with their heads in the sand and find out what is happening in their own country.
If people do not like something then they should try to do something to change it.  This would come from educating people about the judicial system.

As you say though
Quote:
There may be important improvements with independence but I don't believe the justice system will be one of them
.

Justice is important, of course it is but there also many other just as important issues which would improve in my opinion with Independence.  The judicial system is probably not on many people's list of priorities.
People have become complacent and have not stood up and made a noise about changes that have happened for the worst. They have just accepted them.  
If we have Independence then these politicians and their parties need to be made aware of what is really important to people.  The politicians need to ask us what we want, and they need to listen to the voters.

Politicians like MacAskill and many before him have stood up and said we will be hard on crime. They play on people's fears. So when they then come up with some hit them hard law, then the public think its wonderful.
Much of the population have never had the misfortune to have been dragged into the judicial system so they think it does not affect them.
Big Wullie

Karen wrote:
We would be able to vote in a new government. At present a lot of our rules etc come from Westminister and they pay no attention to us the voters in Scotland and never will.


Surely after hearing everything about Cadder, Emergency Legislation and plans to remove corroboration what David is saying is true.

If they do not listen to our Top Judges, what chance is there of a Scottish SNP Government listening to the people ?

At least the Westminster Government can call their Judges To Parliament and demand they attend Select Committees.

In Scotland the judges dictate what they will attend:

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news...-top-judge-refused-appear-1831511
Karen

Who says it will be an SNP Government?

The vote is for Independence. Not for SNP.
If there is a yes vote then there will have to be a vote to see who is in power.

I hear what both of you are saying re Cadder and Corroboration but if we stay the way we are right now, then nothing will change at all. It will all still be the same.  And we will still not have full power to change what we want and need changed.  In fact we have the power now to change laws but it is not happening. Which is one very good reason why we need to be rid of the ones we have in power already and replace them with hopefully politicians who will indeed listen to what the public really want.

How does Scotland's Parliament make laws for the country? Firstly, of course, it can only legislate on devolved issues.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracyli...guides/newsid_8138000/8138441.stm

So we are only allowed to change what Westminister allows us to change. And in my opinion they get away with changing things for the worse because people have become too complacent and just let them carry on until it affects them personally.

Quote:
The issues upon which the Scottish Parliament can make laws are known as devolved matters.
However, some issues – in general, those with a UK-wide or international impact – remain the responsibility of the UK Parliament alone.

The issues upon which only the UK Parliament can make laws are known as reserved matters.


We are allowed to make decisions it seems on this list of things, which includes law and order. I am assuming this includes everything to do with the judicial system in Scotland.

Devolved matters include:

Quote:
   agriculture, forestry and fisheries
   education and training
   environment
   health and social services
   housing
   law and order (including the licensing of air weapons)
   local government
   sport and the arts
   tourism and economic development
   many aspects of transport


Basically we have no power to change any of these things below because Westminister does not allow us to do so and this is what many people including me object strongly to.
Quote:

  benefits and social security
   immigration
   defence
   foreign policy
   employment
   broadcasting
   trade and industry
   nuclear energy, oil, coal, gas and electricity
   consumer rights
   data protection
   the Constitution


http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/visitandlearn/25488.aspx

Wanting Independence is not a new thing.

Quote:
The demands for political change in the way in which Scotland was run changed dramatically in the 1920s when Scottish nationalists started to form various organisations


The newly created Scottish Parliament (as a result of the Scotland Act 1998) had powers to make primary legislation in certain 'devolved' areas of policy, in addition to some limited tax varying powers (which to date have not been exercised). Other policy areas remained 'reserved' for the UK Government and parliament.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devolution_in_the_United_Kingdom[b]
Iain McKie

While David, Wullie and others make valid points and are right in expressing their disillusion with recent developments in our justice system, Karen has captured the essence of the argument exactly.

It is to my mind extremely important to understand that Voting ‘No’ is a vote for more of the same.

There is absolutely no option. Perhaps a few crumbs of comfort will be thrown from the table but we will forever be tied to a discredited and dysfunctional system.

We will still have the same Scottish Government, with the same politicians, the same self serving culture and the same power held centrally in Westminster and by the money men in London.

My challenge to David, Willie and others is to tell me what will change if we wake up on 19th September still part of the UK?  Who will create the change and how will they do it?

It is only by voting ‘Yes’ that real change will ever be possible and how can people who profess to want change ever believe that the staus quo will deliver it.

Given a ‘Yes’ vote the 19th September will feel much the same.

Independence only provides the basis for change. That change will come as Scotland and its people realise the opportunities that independence brings – and also the responsibilities.

No more blaming others for our ills. It’s stand up and be counted time. Have we the will because we now have the way?
Big Wullie

Quote:
My challenge to David, Willie and others is to tell me what will change if we wake up on 19th September still part of the UK?  Who will create the change and how will they do it?


I can assure you nothing will change on the justice front because Scots Justice is already independent from Parliament in London.

The independence debate is very much about the SNP because they were the ones that promised it in their manifesto.

I did not see any other political party calling for this so for that reason it is all about the SNP and their Oppressive Government.

If people want a government that thinks every child in Scotland needs an overseer over and above and undermining parents throughout the country then they are free to vote for such A Government.

This is only the start of the SNP dictatorship.

The way they legislate is appalling and this tells us what we are in for.

Our Law Or No Law.

No Thanks.

I would rather retain the UKSC who seem more independent and willing to abide by Human Rights Legislation.

Cadder would never have been successful and neither would Fraser yet look at the importance of their decisions from the Supreme Court.

We now have the right to a lawyer while being interviewed and Disclosure of Important Exculpatory Evidence.

Just remember what our Scottish Judges did with both cases.

In an independent Scotland Prison Doors Will Not Be Opened regardless of the Miscarriage.

Iain McKie

Willie you want change. You don’t like the SNP so how are you going to achieve your goal by raging how awful they are? Even if we all agree that the status quo is unsatisfactory how are you going to get rid of them and bring in politicians who see things differently? Do you really believe that the existing Labour, Conservative and Liberal MSP’s could do any better when their strings are so obviously pulled from London.

We will go into an independent Scotland with the same people in charge and the same culture and principles but the very act of separation will change the whole dynamics of politics and hopefully encourage those who have something fresh  to contribute to seek political power and move for real change.

At present all you are calling for is more of the same. You don’t like it but so far haven’t shown how the change you legitimately want will be achieved.

Justice will not be achieved by railing against those who have the power but by changing them and their culture and principles. It’s out with the 'old' and in with the 'new' not out with the 'old' and in with the 'old' as the ‘No’ group seem to want. This is known as the status quo, not something you are in favour of.

Outside of revolution and independence I cannot see the democratic means available to us. As I don’t see revolution as freeing anyone I will plump for independence and at least hopefully provide the means through which real change and hopefully a better justice system can be achieved.

Enjoying the contributions.
Big Wullie

The majority vote went to the heads of the SNP and still affects their judgements to this day.

Does anyone seriously think if they get independence they will not get even more big headed than they already are.

It seems to me that not a single SNP MSP is allowed to choose themselves what way to vote when we see the narrow margins their legislation scrapes by with.

Taking Corroboration as the main issue here.

Is anyone under the impressions every single SNP MSP agrees with Carloway ?

Yet they all voted for the status quo.

The way legislation was proposed in the removal of corroboration was oppressive.

Here we are taking away corroboration, What do you think we should replace it with.

Then to add insult to injury not provide enough time for such suggestions.

The consultation should have read like this.

In the event of removal of corroboration what do you think should replace it.

MacAskill just thinks he can do what he wants to and because of his way of legislating he was forced to backtrack.

Our justice system is the laughing stock of the world because of the SNP.

While calling for an enquiry into the recent Malaysian aircraft atrocity they deny the victims of Lockerbie the same enquiry.

Hypocrites.
nugnug

if Scotland did gain independence  would that mean case papers could be published in England..
Karen

Surely it would mean they could be published in Scotland nugnug?

I don't know the answer though. I don't suppose anyone does as yet since it would all be brand new to everyone if it happens.
nugnug

well i was just thinking at the moment theirs certain things that cant be published. but of course.if they were to make there way over the border there would be very little that could be done about it.
Karen

Quote:
I can assure you nothing will change on the justice front because Scots Justice is already independent from Parliament in London.


Change will be forced on every area I believe.  We will be starting off brand new and while it may take a wee bit of time, everything will be up for change.
Karen

nugnug wrote:
well i was just thinking at the moment theirs certain things that cant be published. but of course.if they were to make there way over the border there would be very little that could be done about it.


This is one of things I would like seen changed too nugnug. Lets hope that if/when Independence happens then we will be able to do many things we are prevented from doing now.

People want transparency and accountability and we the voters need to start to be more active in saying what we want.
Big Wullie

Nugnug I think you will find the answer to your question is this:

If documents are disclosed to you or your defence on the understanding they will not be released, then it does not matter in what country they are released, you will still be under your obligation not to release.

I have heard of a recent case where the Law Society refused to sanction release of documents to a University doing an INUK investigation in a Scottish Case.

The Law Society and I say that again nugnug, not Crown Office but the Law Society such is the perverse justice system we have in Scotland.
david

Scotland is such a small country that their is an appearance of bias everywhere within the Justiciary

All the judges are friends and probably friends with the Crown to whom most of them worked for.

The Crown are friends with the police

The Crown are friends with the experts

Lawyers would rather not highlight defective representation against their friends

I believe the presence of the UKSC keeps these people in check as can be seen with Cadder and other cases.

Surely it would get worse with no outside scrutiny and the legal village would become one house.
Karen

david wrote:
Scotland is such a small country that their is an appearance of bias everywhere within the Justiciary

All the judges are friends and probably friends with the Crown to whom most of them worked for.

The Crown are friends with the police

The Crown are friends with the experts

Lawyers would rather not highlight defective representation against their friends

I believe the presence of the UKSC keeps these people in check as can be seen with Cadder and other cases.

Surely it would get worse with no outside scrutiny and the legal village would become one house.


All of what you say is correct. However the way I see it is this.

We at present can use the UKSC  IF the courts here allow it, since first we have to ask the High Court for permission to do so, and that is usually refused.   Or if you can get a lawyer to file an appeal on your behalf then you can apply anyway but not before going through the charade of asking the Scottish Courts to be refused first.  Then what happens?  If they take the case on, they refer it back to Scottish Courts.  People win points of appeal in the UKSC and then many appeals are rejected by the Scottish Courts anyway.

I do not see the point in all of that.  All it does is drag things out.  This should all be dealt with in Scottish Courts. I know when there is a miscarriage of justice case, they never want to admit they got something wrong. Again this is a worldwide problem.   This is where there should be changes in laws and policies.  They should be having an overhaul of the entire judicial system.

There should also be changes in the people who are in the jobs in the judiciary. They seem to get their feet under the table and take root. with all their old ideas and rules that do not move on with the times. Maybe Judges  too should have a life span of 4 years and new faces and ideas should be allowed to come in.

As for judges, police, lawyers and experts being friends or on friendly terms.  That is something nothing will change. It happens worldwide.

If nothing changes on 18th September  then we are at a stand still. None of the issues you mention will be addressed. Why would they be?  Those crumbs of comfort Iain mentions will probably not be about judicial matters.  They will be crumbs of no real consequence from officials who will see we need to be appeased for a short time to keep some people "sweet"

Scotland does not need a babysitter.
david

Scottish independence: Law Society calls for answers in referendum campaign


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-28283991


A sense a bit of deja vu from cowboy politicians along the lines of we'll abolish corroboration and ask questions later. Its the exact same with their Yes campaign.

How can somebody be expected to vote for something when they don't even know the repurcussions of a yes vote. Very risky.
david

iain said

Quote:
My challenge to David, Willie and others is to tell me what will change if we wake up on 19th September still part of the UK?  Who will create the change and how will they do it?



In the event of a no vote the SNP would be finished. From a personal view that is a positive change for a start.

The problem in this country is there are no persons or bodies who are prepared to protest. The only reason the lawyers protested outside parliament was because it involved their pay checks.

There are no justice organisations in Scotland who publicly damn the justice system or government.

A newly elected government and a change in public attitude where demonstrations are an occurrance could force change. One only has to look at the necessary protest outside parliament relating to Bill Walker MSP. All of a sudden they are abolishing corroboration, every accuser is a victim and donating 600k to a domestic abuse charity. Protests do work.

It certainly helped in obtaining me thousands in legal aid for what turned out to be a biased legal challenge.
Karen

Quote:
Law Society president Alistair Morris said: "It is essential that everyone is equipped with the right information so each person can make up their mind and collectively deliver a decisive result.


This is important. because I am hearing all sorts of theories here in Glasgow.  Some very wrong ones.
My wee grandson has joined an orange walk band. (that is another story altogether lol )  He is 15. He has aspergers and loves music.  He tells me that we need to stay in the UK because if we aren't then the bands will be no more. I questioned the people in the band saying, "I thought that they were there to teach the kids how to play music, read music and discipline not to teach them about politics and if they were going to do that then they should give them a balanced view.
I was told they don't teach them politics but they would not be advertising the YES vote.
Someone then added in lovely language that this was a loyalist band and its time the Fenians Bs gave them their country back.

This appears to be the thinking of many in Scotland.  I come from a mixed religious family. I say religious very loosely because some do not go to church or practice any religion but have this deep seated belief from way back in the bad old days.
This is what some are basing their No vote on. They are not basing it on anything to do with Scotland.

I am hearing on here about how bad the judicial system is. How bad the SNP are. How bad the whole lot are and we are just rubbish. I find this all very negative because there is nothing about what positive changes could and should be made whether the vote is yes or no.

People will protest when something is important to them, thats a reality. Sometimes people need to be made to care. All it takes is for someone to begin to make them aware enough to care.  Us who do care really should be making it happen.  We can all debate on forums till the cows come home but if we want change then we need to do something positive to make it happen.  I am not saying it would be an easy thing to achieve. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy.  I would be involved in something like this to help change laws and make things better.

The Justice Committee while not being a protest group, should be able to help out with educating the public also.  Perhaps they could have some information on their website about how things work.

The media should also be helping with this but they will only care when enough people show they too care. So once more its back to getting enough people who do care enough to do something about it.

I don't think that corroboration being abolished was brought in soley because of Bill Walker's case.  His case happened during this debate about getting rid of it for rape cases and domestic abuse cases. Though because he was an MSP and in a position of trust and some power it did make the headlines. Most domestic abuse cases do not make the headlines.  Personally I do not see how this can work either because unless someone has been beaten badly and there are witnesses of some sort to prove it there is usually only the word of one against the other.

Quote:

The Scottish Parliament has narrowly backed plans to scrap the centuries-old rule of corroboration in Scottish courts.

MSPs voted by 64 votes to 61 against an amendment to the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill that would have removed the controversial rule change.

Justice secretary Kenny MacAskill had told MSPs they would be denying justice to victims if they fail to support the abolition of corroboration, which requires evidence to come from more than one source.


http://news.stv.tv/politics/26568...roboration-is-vote-for-injustice/
Quote:

Scotland's most senior judge has told MSPs the concept of corroboration in the criminal justice system should not be abolished.

The comments by Lord Gill, the Lord President, echoed those of other senior legal figures, including Lord Hope.
Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, who has also been giving evidence to Holyrood's justice committee, said that in the past two years more than 2,800 cases of domestic abuse had been unable to proceed to court because of a lack of admissible evidence.

However, Lord Gill insisted that corroboration was a hallmark of Scottish law that should remain.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25013883
Karen

Quote:
The problem in this country is there are no persons or bodies who are prepared to protest.


All  it takes David is for concerned people to get together and do it.

As I have been taught by my mum and dad, we should be following the motto "Let it begin with me"

This is the sticking point it seems because everyone is waiting on someone else doing it and it never happens.

Action is the magic word!  Smile
Big Wullie

Quote:
I do not see the point in all of that.  All it does is drag things out.  This should all be dealt with in Scottish Courts.


Why is it turning out to be so hard to explain that in an independent Scotland Cadder and Fraser would have been cast side, swept under the carpet.

We need only look at the process both cases had to follow to get to the Supreme Court.

Both were refused at every level by the Scottish Courts.

Only because of the UKSC do we now have access to a lawyer while being questioned by the police.

Only because of the UKSC was the issue of Disclosure properly addressed.

It would never have happened in an Independent Scotland.

We know this because The Top SNP Politician (Salmond) was up in arms at outside courts overturning and undermining Scottish Courts.

Believe me there will be no independent hearings.

The mere thought that someone would think otherwise after what myself and David have highlighted about Judges sitting on their Own Causes, Their Fathers Causes and their Brothers Causes.

We will not get independent and impartial hearings in an independent Scotland who are reluctant to have anyone oversee the Courts System
Karen

What happened in the Fraser case was appalling. Salmond, MacAskill and anyone else in power should never have been allowed to say the things they did. They jeopordised that case in so many ways.

They also prejudiced it beyond belief.

I know what you are saying Wullie, honest I do.

This is why we need rid of these people including Judges who think it is okay to interfere in cases because someone in office has an opinion.

What annoyed me most about what they did was, if you write to any of them, including Salmond about a case. And I know this to be true because I have done so, he will tell you he cannot interfere in matters of justice.

Well he did and he did so for God only knows what reason.

People should not have to jump through hoops for justice. They shouldnt have to go to an English court in the first place for them to say something is wrong.

When I say I don't see the point in it, I mean look at what happened in Fraser's case.

There seriously needs to be an overhaul of our courts and sooner rather than later no matter which way the vote goes.
gordo

I can't help feeling that the judicial system in this country is one of the points that holds up with the independence issues at stake just now in this country, In reality our judicial system has been independent for centuries and it's something Salmond holds dear to his heart. His claim that the Scottish system id almost revolutionary in terms of the UK in general will mean that we will remain in the realms of historic incompetence for decades to come.
nugnug

i think the probely stems from the fact that for 200 years Scotland had an independent legal system but dident have have a government of its own meaning that the legal system was really accountable to nobody.
gordo

More than 200 years mate but you could be right,people become more concerned about things when they have a slightest of voices and try their hardest to make that count. It only takes one person at times to do so.
david

Quote:
All  it takes David is for concerned people to get together and do it.

As I have been taught by my mum and dad, we should be following the motto "Let it begin with me"

This is the sticking point it seems because everyone is waiting on someone else doing it and it never happens.

Action is the magic word!  Smile




very true karen
Karen

A TEAM Scotland supporter was escorted out of her seat by police at the swimming event in Glasgow for holding up a Saltire with the word Yes on it.

The woman – who the Daily Record would like to hear from – also had a Yes badge on her handbag and was escorted from her seat at Tollcross by two officers.

Police Scotland later issued a statement saying that officers were acting in line with the ticketing terms and conditions laid down by the Games organisers and that political messages or symbols are not allowed within venues.

The statement said: "Comments suggesting Police Scotland does not allow Saltire Flags into venues is inaccurate. Saltire Flags are allowed into venues as are flags associated with other competing nations.

"However, flags from non-competing nations or flags affiliated with to other organisations or causes, political or otherwise, are restricted.

"This is outlined in the Glasgow 2014 Venue Regulations and is part of the ticketing terms and conditions."http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/glasgow-2014-team-scotland-fan-3928716
Karen

A wee bit of happy news for a change from us Scots Smile  I do hope the cops bosses take this in the spirit it is intended, Community bobby mixing with the community. Smile

People have taken to Twitter to sing the officer’s praises, with many showing concern that he might get disciplined for his actions.

Video on this link

http://metro.co.uk/2014/07/29/bob...nwealth-games-goes-viral-4814183/
Iain McKie

Further to the Games ejection. The Police apparently acted on the request of stewards after the woman had refused to put the ‘Yes’ flag away.

The ‘No’ campaigners have still to tell me how aside from Independence they are going to achieve change in our justice system when it is clear that by rejecting Independence they are ensuring more of the same.

Of course change on this scale is risky because no-one can know exactly all that will happen after Independence. What we know however is what will happen on a ‘No’ vote. More of the same and being even more marginalised than at present.

For those seeking change the ‘No’ philosophy is self defeating. Using the dislike of Messrs Salmond and MacAskill as a reason to vote ‘No’ appears to be saying we need a change in leadership but then failing to provide any coherent route to change.

Two choices.

Vote ‘No’ and ensure the same power cabal endures and ensure that the existing cosy and incestuous justice system thrives unchecked.

Vote ‘Yes’ and while in many ways it will be a journey into the unknown there is little doubt that Scotland and its people will survive and just perhaps the status quo will be challenged.

I still await one coherent response telling me how aside from Independence real change will be achieved.
Big Wullie

Iain McKie wrote:
Further to the Games ejection. The Police apparently acted on the request of stewards after the woman had refused to put the ‘Yes’ flag away.

The ‘No’ campaigners have still to tell me how aside from Independence they are going to achieve change in our justice system when it is clear that by rejecting Independence they are ensuring more of the same.

Of course change on this scale is risky because no-one can know exactly all that will happen after Independence. What we know however is what will happen on a ‘No’ vote. More of the same and being even more marginalised than at present.

For those seeking change the ‘No’ philosophy is self defeating. Using the dislike of Messrs Salmond and MacAskill as a reason to vote ‘No’ appears to be saying we need a change in leadership but then failing to provide any coherent route to change.

Two choices.

Vote ‘No’ and ensure the same power cabal endures and ensure that the existing cosy and incestuous justice system thrives unchecked.

Vote ‘Yes’ and while in many ways it will be a journey into the unknown there is little doubt that Scotland and its people will survive and just perhaps the status quo will be challenged.

I still await one coherent response telling me how aside from Independence real change will be achieved.


If we vote yes we know for definite there will be no route to the UKSC.

This will mean absolutely no route to challenge ANY breach of human rights in Scotland.

We are not just talking about Criminal cases when we talk about Human Rights.

Scotland will become more oppressive and more backwards.

The very fact they want to abolish Corroboration after losing the Cadder case and make no mistake this is the only reason for abolishing corroboration tells us how an independent Scotland will progress (Sorry Move in a backwards Steps.) and tells us everything we need to know about how at least the SNP intend to Ligislate.

You ask Iain how things will change ort what ways things will change.

There simply is no answer to this.

One thing I do know is SNP are being conservative with the truth when it comes to the pound and jobs.

What else are they being conservative with ?

Please if you have visions of how things will change share them.

I can only see a government hell bent on making their views the only views in Scotland.

The mere fact every SNP MSP vote for the status Quo tells us they are being controlled like Puppets by Salmond and they are afraid to voice their own opinions.

I want a Scotland where MSP's are not afraid of their bosses but again with Salmond and SNP at the helm I do not see these changes taking place.

Please if anyone knows differently or are sure these things will change tell us your views.

MSP's Who can voice their own opinions would be a great start but I do not see the SNP allowing such a thing to happen.

I do not believe for one moment not a single SNP MSP has reservations about the removal of Corroboration yet they all voted for it.

Until someone can convince me there will be more Human Rights in Scotland I and all my family will be voting no.
Big Wullie

A vote to separate from the rest of the UK in my view is a vote for uncertainty because I am sure no-one on this or any other forum can say for certain what will happen with Jobs in Shipbuilding, Banks and many other businesses.

Can anyone tell me for sure we will have a pound or will we need to adopt the Euro ?
Big Wullie

Bearing in mind MacAskill visited Megrahi to discuss his release my MSP who is an SNP MSP asked for a meeting with Kenny MacAskill to discuss my case.

Bill Kidd MSP was refused a meeting with MacAskill to discuss my case.

Surely at the very least this shows he is biased.

At its highest it shows he is not interested in Miscarriages Of Justice.

And people think there will be changes with an Independent Scotland Governed by these people.
david

Quote:
Can anyone tell me for sure we will have a pound or will we need to adopt the Euro ?


the answer to that question would be beneficial to lawyers as they will probably be collecting fees from clients direct. lol
Karen

What the Scottish Government Proposes

The Scottish Government, based on expert advice, believes that Scotland should continue to use the pound after a Yes vote, as part of a currency union with the rest of the UK (“rUK”).

A currency union also means cooperation over other issues including financial supervision and agreed fiscal rules.  

As is the case now, the Bank of England (which is publicly owned) would retain responsibility for monetary policy - including interest rates - throughout the currency area, as well as continuing to act as lender of last resort to financial institutions in difficulty.  
- the £ is Scotland’s currency – and will remain so after Yes
- a currency union is common sense for both Scotland and rUK
- Scotland can’t be compelled to join the Euro

Do we need the agreement of rUK?

We don’t need anyone’s permission to use the £;  however, a formal currency union - including cooperation on financial regulation, and shared oversight of monetary policy - requires a mutually beneficial agreement between rUK and Scotland.

How likely is a currency union?

Sharing the pound within a formal currency agreement will happen because it makes common sense for both countries and both governments.  Privately, one UK government minister has acknowledged that "of course" there would be a formal currency union.  So why does the UK government publicly rule it out just now?  Simply because it is in the UK government's interest to say one thing before the vote to create uncertainty - and to do the opposite after a Yes to protect the interests of rUK companies and citizens.

The dishonesty of the Westminster government was made clear when the Guardian reported  comments from a UK government minister that after a Yes vote, "of course there would be a currency union".  Confirming that Westminster would change approach after a Yes vote the minister stated "saying no to a currency union is obviously a vital part of the no campaign.  But everything would change in the negotiations if there were a yes vote".  
http://www.theguardian.com/politi...dependent-scotland-may-keep-pound

In the same report, a UK Treasury source told the newspaper that the decision to "toughen up the message" on the pound was made on the specific advice of No campaign chief Alistair Darling MP.  "We just did what they said", the Treasury source explained.  

The Guardian article was consistent with earlier reports in the Sunday Herald (2nd March) that the parties campaigning for No "agreed the line and the schedule" for George Osborne to announce opposition to a currency union "more than six months ago.  Rather than a reaction to recent polls, the timing was set to coincide with the onset of the financial reporting season, forcing big businesses such as Standard Life to comment".

It's clear that No campaign comments on the £ are campaign rhetoric and cannot be relied on.  

Some key advantages for rUK:

   a currency agreement would support continued trade with rUK’s second biggest export market - Scotland
   if Scotland required to establish its own currency, English exporters doing business with Scotland could lose up to £500 million per year through transaction costs – threatening thousands of jobs
   it secures Scotland’s positive contribution to the currency area’s balance of payments

So while George Osborne will threaten to veto a currency union now – he would be reckless to turn down a currency union after the referendum.  In fact, even No campaign leader Alistair Darling has acknowledged that after a Yes vote a currency union would be both “desirable” and “logical”.  And Tory Deputy leader in Scotland, Jackson Carlaw, has admitted that he will be campaigning for a Sterling Area if there is a Yes.

The expert view:

The expert Fiscal Commission concluded:  “retaining Sterling would be a sensible currency choice that would be attractive both to Scotland and the UK”.  With our economies closely aligned, the two states would form an “optimal currency area” within which the conditions were right for a shared currency while retaining budgetary independence.  The Fiscal Commission is comprised of internationally renowned economists, including two winners of the Nobel Prize for economics.

Professor Anton Muscatelli of Glasgow University wrote in the Financial Times: - “Look at the facts and I would argue (as I did recently in evidence to the Scottish parliament) that a successful currency union would actually be in the interest of both sides – and especially the rest of the UK.…the most damaging prospect to the rest of the UK from rejecting a sterling currency union is what it will do to its own trade and business activity. Whatever the political tactics involved, it would be tantamount to economic vandalism.”

Professor Leslie Young from the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing, has conluded that it is "as clear as can be expected for any complex issue in applied economics: a currency union is better for both Scotland and rUK than any other currency option for an independent Scotland. It follows that if Scotland voted for independence, then it would be in the interests of both Scotland and rUK to negotiate a currency union".

What does the public think?

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey in 2013 found 79% of Scotland’s people believe Scotland should retain the pound after Yes.  And a poll in December 2013 found that a large majority – 71% - of people in the rest of the UK want an independent Scotland to continue using the pound in an agreed sterling area.  

Wouldn’t we have to use the Euro?

No!  You can’t just join the euro, there are rules and conditions to be met, which are set out clearly in EU law. There is also a point of decisions – to join the euro you have to be part of the Exchange Rate Mechanism and membership of that is voluntary. As expert Dr Daniel Kenealy, of Edinburgh University, has said: "The notion that Scotland could be forced or compelled to adopt the euro is simply untrue."

Other options

Just as the No campaign includes those who argue for the UK to join the euro at some stage, there are Yes supporters who believe that in the longer term, different options might work better for Scotland.  But for this to happen, either in the UK or Scotland, we’d have to elect a government that was proposing a different choice and that means you will have the final say.

Conclusion

Scotland can and will keep the £ - and will have other options open to it for the future.  Moving smoothly to a currency union is in the best interests of Scotland and rUK – despite the campaign rhetoric from No.  
Posted by Stuart McDonald, 28.02.14

http://yesscotland.net/news/common-sense-currency
Karen

We are voting for or against Independence.

NOT for Salmond, MacAskill or SNP.
Nowhere on the ballot paper will it mention any of these people or SNP.

A referendum asks you to vote Yes or No to a proposal. For this referendum, you will receive a ballot paper with this question:

"Should Scotland be an independent country?"

If the outcome is Yes wins, then there would have to be an election to vote in who we want.
Iain McKie

Thanks for the summary Karen which serves to highlight the scare stories that have been circulated.

That said no-one can fully predict what will happen on independence and only a fraudster or a fool would argue otherwise. What is certain however is that without it the status quo will pertain and the promises made by Westminster and elsewhere will quickly be forgotten.

To paraphrase Robert Burns –‘But promises are like poppies spread, You seize the flower, its bloom is shed; Or like the snow falls in the river, A moment white--then melts for ever.’

I also challenge the assumption  that in an independent Scotland things would remain the same with the same power base, same politicians and same catastrophic justice policies. While this scenario is likely initially you can be sure that it will change as the potential of independence is fully realised.

It is my belief that Scotland as it is presently constituted provides no incentive for many who have the vision, intelligence and integrity to turn us on a different path. Forced to accede to the increasingly  divisive  policies of Westminster governments of whatever shade those of a progressive independent mind are marginalised and utilise their skills elsewhere.

All relationships individual or collective exist where both sides continue to satisfy at least some of the important needs of the other. When these needs are not satisfied the only way of retaining them is the use of power to force one will on another.

While I believe that Scotland and the other parts of the UK will always be close and co-operative the power and control is increasingly vested in Westminster and London. The needs of the metropolis do not serve the needs of Scotland.

That said what do I know?  Like everyone else I move forward unsure and uncertain. Voting ‘Yes’ is part understanding, part intuition, part vision and part blind faith. I suggest those in the ‘No’ camp are little different.
Big Wullie

Quote:
My fear remains, although I support independence, that if it comes our judiciary will become even more insular and complacent about their  omnipotence and even further removed from the consequences" of their failures.


Not exactly my words but what I have been trying to say for ages.
Iain McKie

Seems like something I might have said Wullie and it is a real fear which I know you share.

It seems however that the 'No' campaign is predicated on playing to people's fears in the hope that it will prevent them voting 'Yes'.

That is the subtlety of the ‘fear’ approach. However in my case I know that the status quo is a recipe for ensuring that the  genuine fears raised  have no chance of resolution.

While, as already stated, I have fears and cannot be certain about the future I have come to the conclusion that the only way change will come about will be through encouraging the undoubted talent that we have in Scotland that they can contribute rather than being marginalised and sidelined by the existing ‘power elite’.

Can you tell me what incentive there will be for anyone to change their behaviour when it has been endorsed by a ‘No’ vote?

Of course change increases uncertainty  but it is only though real and sustainable change that what you want has any chance of realisation. Not a guarantee but at least a fair chance.

I would rather take a calculated risk to realise my dreams than stick with what I know and ensure that nothing changes.
Karen

Alert readers will of course remember a few short weeks ago in April, when “Better Together” attracted much great hoopla in the press for its relaunched, “more positive” campaign strategy which would dazzle Scots with the feelgood benefits of the Union.

We thought it’d be worth checking in and seeing how that was going.

Remember, these are only the scare stories SINCE APRIL 2014. Older classics here.

http://wingsoverscotland.com/when-youre-happy-and-you-know-it/
nugnug

the no campaign would have a lot more credibility if the torys  were not at the front of it.
Big Wullie

Iain McKie wrote:
Seems like something I might have said Wullie and it is a real fear which I know you share.

It seems however that the 'No' campaign is predicated on playing to people's fears in the hope that it will prevent them voting 'Yes'.

That is the subtlety of the ‘fear’ approach. However in my case I know that the status quo is a recipe for ensuring that the  genuine fears raised  have no chance of resolution.

While, as already stated, I have fears and cannot be certain about the future I have come to the conclusion that the only way change will come about will be through encouraging the undoubted talent that we have in Scotland that they can contribute rather than being marginalised and sidelined by the existing ‘power elite’.

Can you tell me what incentive there will be for anyone to change their behaviour when it has been endorsed by a ‘No’ vote?

Of course change increases uncertainty  but it is only though real and sustainable change that what you want has any chance of realisation. Not a guarantee but at least a fair chance.

I would rather take a calculated risk to realise my dreams than stick with what I know and ensure that nothing changes.


Like I have said many times on this forum we will have no Human Rights if Scotland becomes independent.

For me at the moment we have a chance the UKSC will listen to Scots cases they think worthy.

Fraser and Cadder would never have been successful in Scotland and we know this by the way our Scottish Courts dealt with their cases.

Now we have some kind of Disclosure rules and access to a solicitor while being questioned by the police.

I agree with Lord Carloway in a sense that our system is dilapidated.

For me if something is working then you should stick with it.

Salmond showed his true colours when muttering about Fraser that ENGLAND should not be over ruling Scotland, he showed true bias towards England with his rants in my opinion and for this reason I will not be voting for independence.

I also think as a United Kingdom we are much more stronger.

I would demand much more say in how our country is run but not to the extent of separation.

Mr Salmond showed for me anyway exactly how divisive he was.
Big Wullie

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/p...d-to-halt-independence-drive.html

Former SNP Lord Provost urges Alex Salmond to halt independence drive

Alex Murray tells the First Minister to 'slam on the brakes' because he has no answers on a separate Scotland's currency and EU status.

A former SNP Lord Provost yesterday appealed to Alex Salmond to “slam on the brakes” of his independence campaign because he has “no answers” about a separate Scotland’s currency or EU membership.

Alex Murray, the SNP’s first Lord Provost of Perth and a party member for 53 years, told the Telegraph he has written to the First Minister urging him to drop independence in favour of Scotland remaining part of a federal UK.

Despite the First Minister’s assertions otherwise, Mr Murray said Mr Salmond and the rest of the party’s hierarchy were “not too sure” about how independence would actually work.

In particular, the former Yes campaigner said Mr Salmond, who is a long-time acquaintance, had “no answer at all” about what would happen to the pound or Scotland’s EU membership.

Mr Murray argued that the SNP had performed about-turns on so many issues such as the monarchy and Nato membership that it was effectively arguing for federalism instead of independence.

The former concept, which is also supported by the Liberal Democrats, would see Westminster retain control over areas such as defence and foreign policy, with tax powers and benefits devolved to Holyrood.

Mr Murray, a former parliamentary candidate, said federalism would result in much less upheaval and save billions of pounds that would otherwise have to be spent creating new armed forces and a separate currency.

The intervention by the SNP stalwart is deeply embarrassing for Mr Salmond, who has claimed the Chancellor is bluffing by ruling out a deal to share the pound and that Scotland would be fast-tracked into the EU.

Some former Labour Lord Provosts have announced they are backing a Yes vote but Mr Murray, a farmer from Aberfeldy, is the first Nationalist to publicly change his mind. The 83-year-old, an SNP member since 1961, said he was “quite sure” that others in the party felt the same way.

“Alex Salmond is a very able person and he is very, very convincing but over the last number of months he seems to be having doubts about things,” he said.

“I look at his performance – we don’t have an answer with regards to the currency, no answer at all. We don’t have any answer on whether we will be in the Common Market (EU) or not.”

He added: “I’ve got a feeling they are not too sure themselves how it is going to work – people within the party and people within the hierarchy of the party.”

Mr Murray said “independence is only a word” before concluding: “I appeal to the powers that be to slam on the brakes and go for federalism.

“Every change is going to cost a big, big lot of money. If we went federal, we could carry on the way we are and gradually introduce any new idea we need for independence.”

Mr Murray said he wrote to Mr Salmond last week but had yet to receive a reply. With the referendum less than seven weeks away, and the ballot paper offering a straight choice between Yes and No, he said he wished he had spoken out sooner.

He also sent a letter to the Dundee-based Courier newspaper admitting he had been “definitely a bit naive” about independence and casting doubt on whether “we have the experience required to run a country”.

“I would hate to think that future generations would regard our action as isolating Scotland from the rest of the world as a retrograde step from which, I doubt, we will benefit,” he concluded.

John Lamont, a senior Tory MSP, said he had debated Mr Murray, who was representing the Yes campaign, at a referendum hustings for the agricultural community in Kelso in October 2012.

Mr Lamont said: “Mr Murray is typical of many others in Scotland who are starting to understand the implications of what the Yes campaign is proposing and deciding we’re better off in the UK.”

The First Minster refused to comment but an SNP spokesman said the Westminster parties had blocked a ‘more powers’ option appearing on the referendum ballot paper and a Yes vote is needed for this to happen.
Iain McKie

All this Telegraph and other articles show is that there is little unbiased reporting and comment to be found. It’s like saying that Usain Bolt doesn’t like Glasgow (although he does) as if it was some tablet of truth from a higher deity. Aside from being a topical talking point to be debated ad infinitum  on social media I doubt if any thinking person would form their opinion based on one person’s very partial and prejudiced viewpoint.

The article  is right however in suggesting that no-one really knows exactly what will happen but then  who in their right mind would say that we Scots are incapable of running our own country?

My central point on this forum in responding to ‘No’ voters like Wullie is that, while acknowledging the uncertainty and the fact that immediately post independence things would continue as normal with the SNP administration probably continuing to make a fist of our justice system, the only way real change will ever take place is through independence.

New talents, skills, philosophies, cultures and visions will be encouraged to challenge the present moribund status quo which short of independence will have absolutely no reason to change.

A ‘No’ vote will certainly ensure the Supreme Court remains a force for good but is it sensible to protect this narrow interest when so much else is at stake? Is it sensible to perpetuate the current negative and divisive  UK political philosophy shared by all the main parties because in the process of change some  positive protection offered by the union might be temporarily lost.

Do I think this argument will persuade the ‘No’ voters? No I don’t . Will they regret the missed opportunity? Yes I believe they will.
Big Wullie

Quote:
A ‘No’ vote will certainly ensure the Supreme Court remains a force for good


Surely better to have a force (UKSC) who's opinions are binding rather than a European Court who they just ignore ?
Karen

Irish lessons for Scottish Independence

Despite the many predictions made during the Scottish independence debate nobody really knows what the future holds if there’s a ‘Yes’ vote on September 18th.

Both sides have argued their cases resolutely. However, a useful rule of thumb in judging each side in a debate are the number of ludicrous claims they resort to – generally the more ridiculous the claims the weaker the underlying argument is.

In this particular measurement the No side is winning hands down.

Better Together and others have made dire predictions about a Yes win and many have raised concerns about the ‘unanswered questions’ regarding a Scottish exit from the United Kingdom.

Another unanswered question of course is how any of the world’s non-UK nations manage to function at all, to run economies, postal services, health services, pension systems, national defence, academic research, or in general not to collapse into Mad Max-style failed states?

Borders, foreigners and the BBC

Some of the stranger claims from the No side can be examined by looking at the relationship between the Republic of Ireland and Britain.

Regarding fears of passport checks between Scotland and England, it’s worth pointing out that there are no border controls between the Republic and the UK.  When driving to Northern Ireland (generally keeping to the left side of the road) the only way you know you’re in the UK are the signs telling you road distances are in miles not kilometres.

You don’t need a passport to travel between Ireland and Britain due to the 90-year old Common Travel Area.  Not only that but Irish and UK citizens can vote in each other’s General Elections – residency is the only requirement.

Another claim is that after independence people in Scotland will consider their relatives in England to be foreigners.  As it happens there are a few people in the Republic of Ireland who have relatives in Britain, and when I say a few I mean practically every family.

I have cousins born and bred in Birmingham, oddly enough I don’t think of them as ‘foreigners’, I think of them as my cousins, and I imagine that’s how most people think of relatives from other countries.  As many have already noted, this particular argument is inherently racist as it implies that being ‘foreign’ is by definition a bad thing.

Could Scotland lose the BBC? That’s unlikely given Ireland’s experience.

We get UK channels on TV in the Republic – BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, TLC, Dave, the Comedy Channel, Discovery etc, etc – more or less everything you can get in Britain.  People in the Republic watch Coronation Street, Eastenders, The X Factor, Come Dine With Me, Downton Abbey, Dispatches – some of us even watch Newsnight.

The Republic’s relationship with British TV is different from people in the UK however.  For example, if you’re interested in current affairs you might tune into the BBC, ITV or Channel 4 news for their foreign coverage or if they’re reporting on issues in the UK that can apply in Ireland too, like health privitization, public transport or the environment.

We also have our own TV stations, RTÉ, TV3 and TG4, which provide a mix of mainly Irish, British and US shows.

In terms of football the Republic is probably more Anglicised than Scotland. The English Premiership has a massive following on this side of the Irish Sea, much bigger than the League of Ireland.

When clubs like Manchester Utd or Liverpool play friendlies against Irish teams the vast majority of supporters cheer for the English teams against the Irish ones.

Loss of global influence

It’s said that Scotland won’t have the UK’s influence on world affairs if the Yes side wins. What this argument doesn’t mention is that ‘global influence’ can be negative as well as positive.

Irish soldiers have a proud tradition of serving with the United Nations and many have been killed while performing this duty. An independent Scotland could also contribute to international peace-keeping missions, instead of partaking in the various war-making missions carried out by the UK military.

The Irish Cringe

Ireland and Scotland share other attributes that derive from our relationship with England.

You’ve probably heard of Riverdance, you might be aware of the strength of traditional Irish music or the huge popularity of Gaelic football and hurling.

It may therefore surprise you to hear that Ireland has not completely rid itself of its cultural cringe. Among some sections of Irish society traditional music is referred to as ‘diddly-eye music’, Gaelic football is ‘bogball’, hurling is ‘stickball’ and the Irish language is ‘dead’ and ‘useless’.

While our methods of entry into the United Kingdom were different, Ireland and Scotland both ended up under de-facto English rule – in an unequal union that fostered a cultural cringe in what were now ‘peripheral’ nations.

So if Scotland does become independent that doesn’t mean any lingering inferiority complex will disappear overnight – although like Ireland it will undoubtedly decline.

No Guarantees

There is no guarantee that Scotland will be better off as an independent country – just like there are no guarantees for most things in life. The future will depend on the choices an independent Scotland makes, and that’s the whole point of being independent – making your ain decisions, as they say.

On a final note I will admit that people in Ireland have our own reasons for hoping that Scotland becomes independent – our spectacular fall from grace in the Eurovision Song Contest. At this stage a voting block comprised of Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales (and Cornwall?) is about the only chance we have of winning the damn thing again.

Colm Ó Broin is an Irish journalist who has written for thejournal.ie, meoneile.ie and the newspapers Lá and Gaelscéal.
http://www.irishforyes.org/irish-lessons-for-scottish-independence/
Big Wullie

I voted SNP twice because I thought I would see changes.

Nothing has changed for the better since they took over office.

Indeed with the way they brought in emergency Legislation and tried to abolish corroboration without any other safeguards shows us SNP are not listening on matters of Justice.

If they will not listen to all our High Court judges apart from one, we have no chance of a fair and just society in an independent Scotland.

Gun Law

On this subject Kenny MacAskill legislated and indeed sanctioned the police to carry guns on our Streets then had the audacity to say the Biggest Majority Of Public Wanted Gun Cops On The Streets.

The fact he did not ask the public for their opinion on this matter shows us Kenny MacAskill is now deciding what the public want.

SNP and their systematic destruction of our Justice System must be stopped.

I suggest the best way to tell the SNP they need to sit up and listen to the Public is by voting not to leave the united Kingdom because this will finish them at the next election.

They just do not listen and do not represent the very people that elected them in the first place.

When was the last time someone had an MSP represent them on a matter of a Miscarriage Of Justice ?

They all seem to forget their old arses when they get new ones, and get above themselves when they are given some power.

Time we demanded they represent us.
Iain McKie

Don't argue with your assessment of the SNP Wullie in relation to justice.

That said what do you suggest as a remedy and how will things be changed other than by independence?
Big Wullie

I get your point Iain that an independent Scotland might attract fresh meat willing to change the system.

I would argue though that the SNP have had long enough and made matters worse within the justice system.

Cutbacks and closing courts and police stations has done nothing to speed up the justice system.

One could argue it has indeed made it worse.

I do not know what answer you are looking for to the following though:
Quote:

That said what do you suggest as a remedy and how will things be changed other than by independence?


The simple answer really is there is no quick fix, certainly not when the SNP are in control because MacAskill alone appears to be deciding what the Scottish Public Want.

Will any other party do things differently ?

I really do not know.

Making the justice system in Scotland accountable and answerable would be a great way forward.

Support Petition PE1458 and show the courts we are not accepting their lack of Independence and Impartiality.

I supported and voted for SNP twice, never again they have had their chances.

I know most people are saying the Independence vote is nothing to do with the party.

I am sorry I do not see matters this way.

It was only the SNP that called for the debate.

Ask them for an enquiry into Lockerbie and see what happens, well we all know the answer to that one.

I will be voting for the next party that offers such an enquiry.

If they can commission an enquiry into the Fingerprints then they could easily do the same for Jim Swire and all the other Lockerbie Families left in doubt.
Iain McKie

All laudably logical Wullie but it seems you are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

For me independence means opportunity and change without requiring to define who might facilitate it. That said I do believe that should the vote be ‘No’ that ministerial changes will follow because it is realised that changes in our justice system have not been a vote winner. So you might yet be rewarded but unfortunately I suspect you will have condemned yourself to further years of frustration.

Hopefully with a ‘Yes’ vote new faces and a heightened interest in politics will raise political standards. We will have  independent political parties not tied to the whims of Westminster offering real power to   political and intellectual heavyweights.

For you it is evolution for me peaceful revolution through change.
Karen

I have seen complaints like this several times since the night of the debate.

This is shocking!!   This comment is not mine I took it from another page.
Quote:

I love a fair and balanced debate...

Neil Gillespie says:

A little background about myself:
I am a firefighter of 18 years, aged 42 married with four children. Professionalism, honesty and integrity are things that I hold in high regard. I was selected, along with a no voting friend of mine from Barrhead Main street by a representative from Ipsos Mori to attend Tuesday Night's Debate. I was really looking forward to it. I had to get the night off as I was working. I received a text from the Ipsos Mori rep 20 minutes before the opening of 18:30 hrs asking if I had received a call from STV today. I hadn’t. She replied to say that this would be a problem and that I wouldn’t get in! I tried anyway.

Here is a rough transcript of the conversation:
I was asked by a STV Rep for my Name.
I said Gillespie.
He said, John, we spoke today.
I said, No its Neil.
He replied, I dont have a Neil Gillespie. Who contacted you to attend this evening.
I said the Rep from Ipsos Mori (Name).
He replied. You are the third person to mention her name. I'm afraid that your information was never passed onto us and as a result, that you won't be getting in this evening.
I argued with him telling him that I had taken time off and that a mistake had been made.

I was still refused entry.
I had the Ipsos Mori Rep's Mobile number from her text to me and I called her to see what she had to say.

She stated that this was all bull shit and that she had given them the details the Thursday before. She said that she would phone her boss in London and find out what has happened.
I walked down the steps of the auditorium and felt deflated. I was gutted.

5 minutes later she phones me back.
This next bit took me aback.
She said that all of the Yes voters and undecided persons that she had put through to attend the event were not contacted and instead STV had replaced them with their people, No people. This came from high up in STV.
I will repeat that as this is the important part.

She said that all of the Yes voters and undecided persons that she had put through to attend the event were not contacted and instead STV had replaced them with their people, No people.

This made my blood boil. I was and am still livid. I have spread this every where i can. Please share it, it needs done. Oh and one last thing, my no voting friend who was vetted at the same time i was, what happened to him……..
He was in the audience, he got a call from STV, he was allowed to attend! So the bullshit responce from STV stating that Ipsos Mori hadn’t passed on the details is exactly what it says on the tin….Bullshit.
I have made formal complaints to STV and Ipsos Mori and i am still awaiting a reply from this. I wouldn’t lie about this, I could lose my job if I was caught out lying about something as important as this. I will chat with anyone on here as to the post and any other referendum issues. I am a passionate Scot who loves his Country and this is just another example of the lengths the powers in Westminster will go to, to win this referendum
Big Wullie

I asked STV if I could be included in the Audience as I had questions about Human Rights in an Independent Scotland.

Given Salmond had said the ECHR could not open prison doors I was interested to know how an independent Scotland would protect Human Rights and whether or not an Independent Scotland would make ECtHR decisions binding in Scotland.

The reply I got follows:

Dear Mr Beck,

Thank you for your interest in the debate.

In terms of participating in the debate, the audience will comprise of members of an existing database to ensure the audience fairly represents views from all sides.

It is not possible to be added to this database at this point however viewers will be encouraged to join the debate from home throughout using the hashtag #ScotDecides on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

We hope this is of help to you and we thank you for taking the time to get in touch.

Kind Regards

It was obvious at the start of the debate that Questions were submitted prior to the debate and they cherry picked which ones to allow.
david

via Law Society of Scotland

Independence Justice Debate with Lord Wallace and Kenny McAskill MSP

video footage can be found here

http://www.lawscot.org.uk/members...14/the-justice-debate-august-2014
Karen

A Letter to the First Minister


http://www.wealthynation.org/a-letter-to-the-first-minister/
Big Wullie

david wrote:
via Law Society of Scotland

Independence Justice Debate with Lord Wallace and Kenny McAskill MSP

video footage can be found here

http://www.lawscot.org.uk/members...14/the-justice-debate-august-2014


At 48 minutes MacAskill says we will keep the pound
Big Wullie

Not taking responsibility for UK debt if UK does not share the pound says MacAskill.
david

the lawyers debate

http://new.livestream.com/IndependenceLive/lawyers
Big Wullie

Humza Yousaf (SNP) happy to show cake depicting the words: Make the river the only thing that divides Glasgow:

Humza Yousaf SNP Not Happy To Divide Glasgow

But agrees to divide the UK.

Couldn't make it up.

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Sincere thanks to all those who have supported Shirley and challenged miscarriages of justice on this forum.