LibLink…Tavish Scott: Courting election woe with party first

Nobody ever goes near a court without there being severe stress involved. Whether it’s for a criminal matter, because you’re in debt or going through a horrendous family situation, being able to access the justice system easily is critical. The SNP Government in Scotland seeks to centralise court proceedings, meaning long journeys and increased pressure on already over capacity city courts. Last week a Holyrood committee, with a majority of SNP MSPs, backed the Government’s approach. What was striking was that they all spoke up for their own local facilities before voting to close them.

Tavish Scott used his Scotsman column this week to take these MSPs to task. Tavish is no stranger to acting on principle to stand up for his constituents. He resigned as Deputy Minister for Parliament in 2001 when he could not agree with measures taken on fisheries by the Scottish Executive.

If those SNP MSPs had done the same thing and voted to save their local courts, what would have happened to them? The Government’s overall majority is on a knife edge already, so they would have got little more than a hard stare from the Chief Whip.

Tavish writes in the Scotsman that putting party unity first in the hope of achieving independence in the referendum next year won’t do them much good in the long run.

The big picture still points to 18 September, 2014. The independence referendum provides a laser-like focus for Nationalists. Nothing is allowed to get in the way of the objective that remains the only factor that unites all SNP members.

Divided parties do not look good as the electorate looks in on parliament. Look at the embarrassment of the SNP’s numerous positions on the currency an independent Scotland would adopt. Alex Salmond’s assertion that Scotland would walk into a sterling currency zone is hotly disputed. Not only by the UK government, but also by leading advocates of independence. The chairman of the Yes campaign openly disagrees with Salmond.

But the loyalty demanded by SNP ministers of their back-benchers must have come at a cost. A new constituency member such as North East Fife’s Rod Campbell voted this week to close Cupar Sheriff Court, despite arguing to the contrary. Uncomfortable stuff. Mr Campbell must be hoping the Kingdom of Fife forgets this before the 2016 election. He is not alone.

Could it be that these back-benchers are so wedded to nationalism that the greater goal of independence must be put before local people who elected them to represent their interests? Will these backbenchers ever say no to the great leader?

The whole article is available here. 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , , or .
This entry was posted in LibLink.
Bookmark the web address for this page or use the short url http://ldv.org.uk/34981 for Twitter and emails.
Advert

3 Comments

  • “meaning long journeys and increased pressure on already over capacity city courts”

    In don’t know the details but the County Courts that have been closed in my neck of the woods were very poor in terms of facilities. It’s one thing having a nearby Court – but if you get there and there is nowhere to park nearby, nowhere private to speak to your lawyer, there is no disabled access, no facilities to get tea/coffee let alone a sandwich then other factors come in to play.

  • Fair enough Robin – like I said I don’t know the local circumstances. But there are a few courts I can think of that have closed in my neck of the woods that few people will regret the passing of!

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndrewMcC 2nd Sep - 9:29am
    Eddie, I agree with you about VAT avoidance but for any business that buys and sells things the real VAT rate (and thus what needs...
  • User AvatarJayne mansfield 2nd Sep - 9:28am
    Frank- ' - It's that flaw which forces him to take the inevitable step towards his own doom. You see? Whereas Rita, a woman'S hair...
  • User AvatarKaterina Porter 2nd Sep - 9:23am
    In Sunday's LDV I quoted from a Demos report of last summer - that the benefit of public expenditure is not included in calculation of...
  • User AvatarSIMON BANKS 2nd Sep - 9:04am
    A good article. I've been critical for vague calls for us not to "retreat into our comfort zone", which sometimes seem to mean that we...
  • User AvatarJohn Tilley 2nd Sep - 8:39am
    Chris_sh 2nd Sep '15 - 12:51am Thank you. I once worked for someone called Sharman, she was an excellent librarian. I don't often quote The...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 2nd Sep - 8:26am
    “the privateness of English life… The most hateful of all names in an English ear is Nosey Parker.” In contrast to the more collective society...