No new clods turned over and coaxed into anxiousness at the Peat Worrier today, but I do have a couple of pieces elsewhere on the web that you might be interested in. Mike over at Bella Caledonia has been scratching his head over the human rights debate recently. Can Scotland block abolition? Are the Tories plotting to pull us out of the European Convention on Human Rights? What are the key issues? He asked me to step in to provide a brisk, hopefully clear account of the key issues, where we are, and the main opportunities for resistance and devolved mischief making. My post went up over at Bella this morning. A wee excerpt:
"Britain’s human rights debate is a mess. From the new Lord Chancellor’s office to broadcasters’ studios, from human rights defenders to the offices of the most hostile newspaper, the public debate about Human Rights Act abolition is a picture of confusion. Is the HRA written into the devolution settlement? What about Northern Ireland? Can Scotland block repeal? What about our relationship with the Strasbourg Court? Will individuals still be able to send petitions there if Westminster cuts “Labour’s” Human Rights Act out of the statute book? So let’s get back to basics and try to straighten the damn thing out. If only to save us from the perils of complacency and dangers of false pessimism."
Read the whole thing here. In parallel, following on from yesterday's Coulson blog, I have a piece in the National this morning on Lord Burns' "no case to answer" decision in the High Court in Edinburgh, and the fallout for Tommy Sheridan and his increasingly desperate and shrill attempts to convince the world that he has been the victim of some kind of judicial coup. Another excerpt:
"ON October 11, 2010, weeks into his prosecution for perjury, Tommy Sheridan sacked his defence team. Having already dispensed with the services of Donald Findlay, the former SSP MSP gave Maggie Scott QC her jotters. Freed from his lawyers’ restraining influences, Sheridan conducted his own defence in characteristically rambunctious style. He stood accused of committing a fraud on the court, lying in order to win £200,000 in damages from the now-defunct News of the World newspaper. Against the backdrop of the gathering storm of the phone-hacking scandal, Sheridan promptly supplemented his witness list with a number of former News International employees, including the Prime Minister’s serving director of communications, Andy Coulson."