A bad day
Today Craig Murray went to jail, what for all intents and purposes was the outcome of a politically inspired, vindictive (and selective) trial. Murray, the blogger, freedom of speech campaigner and former UK Ambassador was allegedly in contempt of court over his reporting of the Alex Salmond trial. It seems to me Murray’s real offence was taking on the SNP establishment, which seems to have a direct line into the Scottish judiciary. Hopefully he will be out of prison after three months of his eight month sentence, no doubt he will be commended for his good behaviour whilst inside, but there is always a doubt in cases like these that that may not earn him an early release. It is in any case hard to understand how somebody without a criminal record wasn’t given a suspended sentence, also bearing in mind his ill-health. Which all backs up the view that this was vindictive.
In the context of a general drift towards a more authoritarian approach to justice and democracy, noticeable in Conservative plans and desires to weaken the Supreme Court, to introduce new restrictions on demonstrations, to proposing the abolition of the watchdog the Electoral Commission, to voting only with photo-ID, to diluting the right to bring judicial review, to undermining freedom of information—the list goes on—we can see in the Craig Murray case where this tendency leads. The SNP has eroded the dividing lines between party interest and constitutional propriety. You would think that the Labour Party, in opposing Tory authoritarianism south of the border would be equally condemnatory of SNP authoritarianism north of it. But a Google search for a Scottish Labour Party comment on the injustice meted out to Murray has revealed nothing. It’s possible my search was not exhaustive enough, but if that is the case then it shows that Scottish Labour has not made an issue of the case. You don’t have to agree with Murray or indeed Alex Salmond to see that there was something particularly politically corrupt going on in this saga.
But Scottish Labour is now led by Anas Sarwar, and a search for him on Google is revealing. He doesn’t quite seem to fit the description of ‘a new broom.’ See here, for example.
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