Letter: Supreme folly
YOUR REPORT(30 May) on the forthcoming "gathering" of the Scottish Cabinet to discuss "remedying" the referral of Scottish criminal cases to the Supreme Court on human rights grounds reflects a clear indication that the nationalist politicians increasingly resemble a coterie of huffy oafs quaking in the throes of a tartan tantrum.
Their insular and provincial mindset was clearly offended by the Supreme Court's decision in the Fraser appeal and their emotional well-being was consequently destabilised by an acute fit of bagpipe pique.
This minor handicap relieved them of the need to consider the merits of the Supreme Court's role regarding the enhancement of justice and that serious omission may have been aided and abetted by an eager consumption of Brigadoon broth - a notorious starter, universally recognised as a potent remedy for rational thinking.
In support of the gathering, a spokesman for Kenny MacAskill stated: "Scotland's distinct legal system, including our criminal law, has served our country well for centuries, ensuring justice for victims while also protecting the rights of those accused of a crime."
The ghosts of Paddy Meehan and Oscar Slater would not challenge the distinct nature of Scotland's legal system but they might query the contention that the system "protects the rights of the accused".
The Cadder and Fraser appeals suggest that it is "Scotland's distinct legal system" that needs "remedying" and that the "distinct" nature of the system is reflected in its failings rather than its merits - hence the need for external scrutiny by the Supreme Court.
I'm sorry to disappoint David Stevenson (Letters, 31 May) but I haven't actually read the Treaty of Union, nor, like the rest of my fellow Scots, ever felt the impulse to do so. Three hundred years have passed since it was signed and, believe me, those were the years that gave the people of Scotland every single freedom that they possess today. This includes Mr Stevenson's democratic freedom to be able to express his own opinion on any subject whatsoever, which is a far cry from the circumstances of 1707.
Mr Stevenson thinks that, because it was wrong to subject "Scottish courts to oversight from London" in the 1700s, it must still be wrong.I suppose that it's a matter of opinion but mine is that what is wrong is to suppose that a clique of nobility 300 years ago should be able to bind a modern democracy which evolved far beyond anything they could possibly have envisaged.
Of course, this dispute does highlight the chief difference between nationalists, wed as they are to symbols and customs of the past, and democrats who must always look to the future and decide what is best for their fellow countrymen on the basis of the needs of today.
To put it another way, while Mr Salmond hoists his Saltire over the Scottish courts and swears to defend it to the death, the progressive parties of Scotland would rather see justice for all the people continued as the UK's number one political priority.
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