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.
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.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

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

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 23rd Jan - 2:29am
    Simon I do get your comment and it explains your point earlier. I was combining the two arguments in a way not clear , gps...
  • User AvatarT-J 23rd Jan - 1:30am
    Thanks everyone for reading and commenting. And thanks to LDV for publishing an article that I think it would be fair to say, sits somewhat...
  • User AvatarMike S 23rd Jan - 1:03am
    Hi Lorenzo Quick question. Just wondered what your view was on providers such as 'Circle' running services that QMC (as the major teaching hospital in...
  • User AvatarTynan 23rd Jan - 1:00am
    Well I was trying to be provocative, maybe too much, I shall think on that. Marilyn could have done so much more, Likewise J.F.K. More...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 23rd Jan - 12:27am
    @Lorenzo Cherin "On the consultants, whether on days not working in the NHS, or after hours , as the consultants are contracted on a self...
  • User AvatarManfarang 23rd Jan - 12:26am
    J Dunn As an aside, there will be no spring now we are in the age of @imPOTUS. Mike S The EU is internationalist. It...