Friday, 2 December 2011

SNP has no justification for Criminal Cases legislation

[This is the headline over an item published today on the ToryHoose website, which describes itself as providing "fresh thinking for Scottish conservatism".  The relevant portion reads as follows:]

The Scottish Government has published the Criminal Cases (Punishment and Review) (Scotland) Bill. The bill seeks to resolve the sentencing anomaly which surrounds mandatory life sentences, and to try and force the disclosure of information relative to the Al-Megrahi case. (...)

When commenting on the Scottish Government’s attempts to provide more transparency on the Al-Megrahi case, [Scottish Conservative Justice Spokesman, David McLetchie MSP] said:

"The Scottish Government states that it ‘does not doubt the safety of the conviction of Al-Megrahi’. That being the case it is difficult to see the justification for this legislation. If any information is to be released then it should be all the medical evidence as to why the SNP Government set a mass murderer free, something it has consistently refused to do.”

[When I saw the headline over this story, I naively anticipated Tory recognition that (a) the Bill is unnecessary since all that it will do could equally have been achieved by secondary legislation (a Statutory Instrument) and (b) the Bill's provisions are so circumscribed and restrictive that no information that matters will ever be released by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission under it.  Silly me!  These are Scottish Tories we are talking about. Expecting them ever to identify the true issue on any Scottish topic of importance is utterly futile.  That is why they have become an irrelevance on the Scottish political scene.]

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