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Category Archives: Justice

Financial tricks..

Once upon a time there was a building, a rather splendid and imposing building which was named The Custom House. It was a building paid for by the local taxpayers and it served the various sea borne custom which came in and out of the fairly large docks close to it. Over a long number of years the building served the purpose it had been designed for, but as it is with many things, times changed, the docks were much less busy and The Custom House was closed.

The building lay empty for some time and after a few possible uses were discussed and then rejected a temporary use was agreed. A public organisation was given leave to use the building for storage whist a larger new facility was being for them. It wasn’t in ideal building for storage and neither were the items being stored but at least it was in use.

Once the public organisation using it for storage they were them granted ownership of the building. Now that’s a bit odd. They were given ownership of a building which didn’t really suit the purpose they were using it for.

When the time was right for them to begin to seriously plan to move out they put the building up for sale. Now isn’t that a bit strange? It was a publicly funded building, which had been given to them free, and now they were selling it?

The local community council were shocked and a group was formed to take over The Custom House so it could be turned into a local museum. But they only had a month to find over £600,000 so they could buy it back for the local taxpayers.

The local City Councillors wanted to help and be the saviours as is their want. They found a way to save The Custom House. They decided that they could use the Common Good Fund to buy The Custom House back from the other public body. Everyone was happy with that. (Not the taxpayers though).

Now at this point you will be looking for the “living happily ever after” ending. Alas no. Within a few weeks the City Council had changed their plans for the building. Yes it would be a museum but a museum which had a foot print the size of a single tennis court.

The City Council were now going to sell most of the building to developers. Isn’t that clever? Money coming from the Common Good fund, which could only be used for supporting the local community council, was used for buying a building, which had belonged to the public in the first place.

And here is the wee sting. The developers would pay a much higher price for the building, less the small museum space. And where would the money that the developers paid end up? Well, the City Council of course. Isn’t that a surprise?

What a slick wee scheme is it not?

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Posted by on November 25, 2014 in Edinburgh, Justice, The Environment

 

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Justice according to whom?

In Scotland we have a lawyer, Kenny MacAskill, who became a politician who is now the Justice Secretary. This sort of background would make you think that he’d know his stuff and he’d be careful when dealing with legal issues. Hmmmm…

We have a verdict in court, which was, as far as I know unique. You were innocent, guilty or the case was “not proven”. Not proven was one of those things which had been around for a along time and cases were judged to be not proven. It was a sort of but not quite result. It meant that someone may have been innocent or guilty but the evidence wasn’t clear enough although it was clear enough not to be innocent or guilty.

I always thought it was a good idea.

Along came Kenny and he tries to get rid of it. It’s an old law and is no longer fit for purpose. What? Like thousands of old laws you mean? None of which are fit to be thrown in the bin?

Not content with that, the bold Kenny then decides that corroboration should also be scrapped.  The requirement for corroborating evidence means at least two different and independent sources of evidence are required in support of each crucial fact before a defendant can be convicted of a crime. Again seems like a pretty reasonable and important piece of law.

Police persons in Scotland go about in pairs for that very reason. Although there may well be occasions when the two police persons perhaps record stuff in a Hillsborough fashion, but that’s a different story.

Why would a justice secretary want to do away with two Scots Law tools? Is there likely to be a good reason for this?

Lets say two people are in a room and something happens. One of them calls the police and makes an allegation about the other one. The police come along and take a statement and look for evidence to support the allegation. which might be serious enough for a forensic investigation to take place.

In court the evidence found and/or the forensic evidence supports the claim made by the accuser and the other person is dealt with accordingly.

Or…

In court the evidence found and/or the forensic evidence supports the claim made by the accuser and the other person is dealt with accordingly.

Or…

In court the evidence and/or the forensic evidence does nor fully support the claim made by the accuser and the other person receives a not proven verdict or is acquitted.

Fine so far?

Now what may happen when both of these tools of justice are no longer in place?

In court the evidence found and/or forensic evidence does not support the claim made by the accuser? The lawyer for the accuser makes a strong case as does the accuser. The judge or the jury may decide that the accuser makes a better case of it and the accused is sentenced accordingly.

Two things in wrapping up.

Firstly both of these tools have been heavily criticised in cases of assault and sexual assault and rape. This has lead to claims that victims are being let down by the justice system. It’s even been said that these tools have led to guilty people being let off. .

If there is no real evidence how can anyone be tried on the basis of what someone said and to which no one else had heard apart from the accused?

Secondly, the Judges are not in favour of removing these tools. The police were also not in favour but then they changed their minds. Bear in mind that Kenny appoints senior police officers and that we have a Scotland wide police force.

Is this justice? No one wants to see anyone leaving court not having been found guilty when they have in fact been guilty. But neither does anyone  want to see someone who is innocent sentenced.

The aim to bring more people to justice should not be based on anything other than real and corroborated facts. Anything else may be the result of aims which are not in the best interests of our society.

 
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Posted by on February 26, 2014 in Justice, Politics, Scotland, SNP

 

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Who will pay for social justice?

Okay, at times I get a bit utopian. I know this. But I also know that if you want to effect change you have to aim high because by doing that you should get more of the things further down the tree that you want. Getting the whole tree is the aim but it’s a big bite.

There’s a lot being made of equality, social justice and various other trendy sounding stuff. People want a fairer local community just like we used to have. This will require change and change is never cheap is it!

So where will the money come from to gain the benefits from the changes which some people think need to be made?

Who has money? The government? Your local council? The EU?

It’s an easy answer. None of those have any money. Not even a single penny.

Does that shock you?

So how do the government, local councils and the EU spend money then? Easy they dream stuff up and then they set a budget and then they spend the money. There is a smidgen of some sort of controls but not enough to bother them apart from the EU who haven’t had their account signed off for years and years!

The money all comes from you and me too. Taxpayers. People who buy stuff. Companies who buy stuff and then pass on their costs which are taxes of one kind or another onto us whilst making a profit which is also taxed.

It’s a never-ending roller coaster of take, take, take by the government, councils and the EU.

So the money that needs to be found to enact social justice comes from the taxpayer. But what if the taxpayer is unemployed? What if people stop spending money? What if employers employ less people and make less profits? What if the economy bombs and tax revenues go down? What if a lot of large companies stop paying taxes in the UK and pay them to another country because it’s cheaper for them and EU says that’s all right to do so?

The government, council or the EU won’t have enough money to enact the changes they want.

The solution? Well an economy, which is working well, is the answer. It’s a no brainer.

Now I have to introduce a bit of bad language. In order for the economy to grow and be stronger, capitalism has to be used. Nothing else can happen unless there is some sort of capitalism in place. Ask the Russians. Ask the Chinese. Ask a whole variety of countries from all over the world.

The lack of controls on capitalism isn’t capitalisms fault. It’s the fault of the government and the EU and also the councils who have the controls but don’t implement them.

The government have a mechanism, which oversees the capitalist system. It’s a government department without a minister. It’s the Office of Fair Trading and another department within a department the Monopolies and Mergers Commission. Both are tasked with maintaining fairness and ensuring that large businesses do not have too big a part of the markets in which they operate.

Have you heard of these? Not recently? Do you remember the OFT was taking the banks to court to stop them charging people ridiculous fees on their bank accounts? That’s the sort of thing the OFT was set up for. They didn’t win because it was claimed that they weren’t entitled to take actions against the banks, which the government supported.

That’s known as a fudge. Not one of those wee finger of fudge jobs though. It was just a way to ensure that the banks didn’t have to pay out for charges they had illegally levied. It did ensure, however, that the banks were able to continue making charges they continue to illegally levy.

The government then is not on our side even although we pay for it several times over. The political parties and their MPs are not on our side either.

Social justice has a cost. Taxpayers will have to foot the bill. Maybe those who are keenest to see social justice happen should form a queue and throw all their cash into a huge fund which will pay for it.

Totally not going to happen is it?

 

 

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New rules for post independent Scotland – Part 1

Part One.

In a newly independent Scotland there are a few rules I’d like to see adopted. Here are the first 5.

Windmills, solar panels and their like can stay but only if there are no subsidies and a band is in place for every last one to be used to demolition them. If you want one then buy it with no subsidies although you can make money from selling your surplus, which would be priced at an average price.

Politicians next up. In our new shiny Scotland we will need new and shiny politicians. They will be very different than now though. They will have to follow the instructions of the voters they represent. They won’t be subject to the “whip” and they will get paid a reasonable amount but not a huge amount. They won’t be able to take on any other employment all they will do is represent their constituents. They will also be required to behave correctly in the Scottish parliament. It is really essential that the debating chamber is just that, so no banging on desks, shouting and behaving like small children. Listening to what other politicians are saying and always be looking for common ground and agreement.

All prices for all products sold throughout the whole of our new Scotland will be the same. That means that someone on Orkney will pay the same for petrol as someone in the central belt. Same with all goods and services no more paying extra to cover delivery charges because people don’t live in the central belt. The supermarkets can set their own prices but they have to sell their goods at the same price all over Scotland.  They can charge what they want for what they sell but it’s at the same price nation wide. If they try to abuse their position they will have to answer to the Office of Trading in Scotland, which will have real teeth.

The police, NHS, fire brigade etc. will all be split up and made local once again. Probably similar to pre-regionalisation days, all the ridiculous legislation will be binned and again the power will lie with the local community through the local council with local councillors. People are far more accountable when they live and work within the same small area. If they make a decision they have to live with the repercussions and being accosted in the street by people who might not agree with them. The cost savings made by ditching all the silly regulations will result in a much cheaper local administration etc. and we won’t have any situations where someone dies because a bit of paper hasn’t been completed or no one has been trained on how to use a ladder.

Scots Law will also have to be re-instated. That means that we will retain corroboration and not proven etc. All the PC stuff, which we have had to put up with, will go instantly and we’ll revert back to the rule of the majority. Oh but you say that makes minorities vulnerable. That won’t be the case. Apart from the fact that we all find ourselves in the majority for some things we also find ourselves in the minority. The system will be much better than the present equality rules which are anything but.

That was part one then….

 

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Only the best will do…

Well where to start?

Light can be seen although it’s greyish and cold mostly. I’ll make an effort to get blogging again. Honest.

I had a letter from Nicola the other day. You know who I mean? That nice wee weegie wummin who is Wee Ecks right hand person. She is pushing for the YES vote for the Scottish Independence Referendum.

Well the letter also contained a four page leaflet and one of the articles was about encouraging more women into politics. A quota is being worked out and women will be able to attend women only events to make sure that equality is recognised.

Impossible on more than one front. First up I’d like to say I like ladies. It’s a male thing. Most chaps tend to like ladies although some chaps prefer laddies but that’s a completely different story.

Anyway, quotas don’t work. Oh yes they do you say. Well maybe as a means of maintaining a quota and so satisfy a numeric target. They don’t work though because the true aim of a committee or a board or any sort of talking shop is of course to have the best people who can do the best job in place and quotas don’t allow this.

Of course women sometimes don’t reach where they should be but it’s the same for guys.

Only the best will do.

If you would like to see quotas in action take a look at the fetching women who speak on behalf of the Labour party in Scotland for example. Only the best will do? Really? And the definition of best is being female and being the best because they think they need to act more aggressively than men.

There is not an organisation of any description anywhere on this planet which can afford not to have the best possible people in all levels to ensure the organisations future. Simple.

We have all worked with guys and ladies who were a nightmare. We have also worked with men and ladies who were terrific. A quota system does not support the latter.

Equality means what it says on the tin.

That is we are all equal. It is safeguarded by other regulations, which deal with issues, which lead to people of both sexes being passed over etc. for reasons which do not meet equality requirements. Again we have all seen this.

Only the best will do.

That’s not being elitists either. We can’t all be pop stars, film stars, football players, etc. etc. Lots of us are good at what we do and helping people find the best job, which suits their needs, is what is needed rather than quotas.

Phew.

I’ll be heading for the dark room in which I shall be laying down in shortly.

 

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New model army available soon

I am dismayed at the news that British troops are being sent to Mali. The loan of two aircraft and aircrews was a step too far for me never mind troops being used. I can’t say that I have much confidence that a UK involvement will not grow and grow.

There is a bright light on the horizon though. Thank goodness.

We actually have a force in the UK that could form a very robust military force, which we could feel happy to deploy and we wouldn’t mind too much about any casualties.

Let me introduce their leader, the main man who has already gained vital and very useful military experience. Ladies and gentlemen please welcome our new leader of all things military, Prince Harry of the House of Windsor. Yes, that’s right. I actually saw him on the TV news discussing how he’d personally shot people who were, obviously shooting at him or at least some of his mates anyway.

He has led an impeccable life. He is a model for us all to follow. His exploits in the military speak for themselves, he has more medals than Chris Hoy although his thighs are significantly smaller. He took Las Vegas by storm and stood it on it’s head. He personally invented the new liberating phrase – “What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas it gets plastered all over the papers, TV and the internet”.

Oh yes he is the man. He doesn’t go along with convention. He is brave enough to expose bodily parts ,which the rest of us mere mortals keep hidden and he’s comfortable knowing that his aging Grandmother saw them too. What a guy. Just what a guy.

Slight draw back? There’s only him. He doesn’t have a gang as such. His brother is far too busy thinking up baby names, worrying about his disappearing hair and what his sister-in-law is going to do next. Not to worry though because, you’ll be surprised to know, I have another plan for you. Oh yes.

We have had another hidden military asset being hidden in full view for many, many years. They have all the answers, they don’t mind going outwith of the rules and they really like wars and shooting and stuff. They number three in their composition. They are our beloved politicians at all levels, the civil service, councils and the establishment and the ladies and gentlemen of the press and media in general. In reserve we will also have the Greens, climate scientists, medical experts, mouthy slebs and the terminally offended.

Harry is at this very moment arranging transport to get them all off to Afghanistan, Mali, Syria… you name the trouble spot, they will be there. They will be equipped in the same manner of our present military who will be home from all conflicts within days. They will have to buy a lot of their own kit and pay for their own care and rehabilitation as is the case presently for existing military. This will pose no problem for our mighty new fighting machine.

You’ll be wondering what will happen if some of them bruise a knee or split a nail etc. Well they’ll be so busy beating all our (well theirs really) enemies that they won’t have time for the niceties of personal grooming etc.

Of course some may succumb to injuries received in the field of battle. Some will, alas , not make it home whilst still alive. Yes I know it’s shocking but that’s war is it not? They are keen on war, they are keen to make people do what they think they should and they have never been shy about coming forward and saying how wonderful they are.

What happens when they start to get killed? Easy. They have already thought of that. Into a box, onto a huge aeroplane and then taken to Brize Norton and slipped out the back gate. Their funerals will be very quiet affairs. No need for TV coverage.

If only…

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2013 in BBC, General, Justice, Politics

 

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Lockerbie and the Scottish justice system

Wasn’t it enjoyable to see our old friend valued colleague David Cameron in Libya. There he was showing how courageous he was to have gone there in the first place and how wonderful he had been, along with the French to support active regime change. A true world statesman? Perhaps not. This seems to be his jetting around the world period during which his stature will grow and je will be remembered as a great leader.

Perhaps not.

He was interviewed on the evening news and his speech to the adoring Libyans also covered in part. He was able to tell us that police from Scotland would be heading to Libya very soon to try to obtain more information and evidence of who was behind the Lockerbie bombing.

You may wish to follow this link.

You can make up your own mind as you are a responsible, thinking adult. Conspiracy theory? That’s become a label for those who wish to rubbish something which could be troublesome for them otherwise.

Should questions be asked of the Scottish justice system? Should questions be asked of the Scottish police? Should questions be asked of the senior politicians in Scotland at the time and their southern bosses?

Perhaps. Unlikely? Very.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2013 in Justice, Politics

 

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