31 January 2011

Juxtaposition of the day...

Ed Miliband, on the 28th September 2010, on short prison sentences...

“Wisdom is not the preserve of any one party. Frankly, the political establishment too often conducts debate in a way that insults the intelligence of the public. When I disagree with the government, as on the deficit, I will say so loud and clear and I will take the argument to them. But when Ken Clarke says we need to look at short sentences in prison because of high reoffending rates, I'm not going to say he's soft on crime.”

Richard Baker (Swine Pursuivant) on the 31st of January 2011, as a presumption against short sentences comes into effect in Scotland...

“The SNP have proved themselves time and time again not fit to run Scotland’s criminal justice system. They are soft-touch and out of touch and our communities deserve much better than this.”


  1. Not forgetting that it is Labour policy to send people to jail for carrying a knife...

  2. Of their mandatory minimum policy on knife possession, one Labourite recently told me, and I quote...

    "... with the exception of Baker they [the Shadow Cabinet] all know the "carry a knife blah bla blah stuff is all hot air. I think get feel given the sheer number of empty pledges in the Nats' manifesto last time round, they're allowed this one..."

  3. Well, the Alma mater must be proud of the erudite elan one of it's graduates in English Literature can embrace so handsomely - and in only two short sentences.

  4. In terms of Scottish institutions of higher education, I'm an Edinburgh and Glasgow man myself, and can thus feel entirely absolved of any fraternal responsibility for abomination that is the august Mr Baker.

  5. Calum Cashley came up with an amazing quote from Richard Baker on a case which was related to the Cadder ruling:

    "This started with not having a bent banana and all that stupid kind of thing, but now they have got onto the laws of Britain they shouldn't be allowed to change them whatsoever."

    Phew. I know politicians can't read from a prepared briefing all the time and nor would I want them to but good lord. Kenny MacAskill can be a tad alarming at times due to the speed with which he talks (you feel someone ought to interject and say Kenny remember to breath) and the number of times he refers to "matters". But there are no circumstances in which he would say something as stupid or as ungrammatical as that.

  6. I have been delving through the byways of the Scottish Constitution to understand why we Scots are in the pickle we are and it seem that constitutional legal beagles are fairly definite that the Treaty of Union is routinely breached by the Parliament at Westminster along with the written Scottish Constitution in its original form written into Scots Law in 1328 and restated in the Claim of Rights Bill 1689.

    The Crown is sensitive to the Scottish Constitution having sworn a separate oath to the sovereign people of Scotland while Westminster has taken on airs and graces that are not theirs to take and imposed burdens on Scotland that are not theirs to load.

    Baker is just one example of this imposition - a man that does not know the Laws or Constitution of Scotland and should be arraigned in the Court of Sessions ofr his abuse of his office.

  7. GrassyKnollington31 January 2011 at 22:35

    You don't have to be in favour of Scottish independence to want to slap Richard Baker across the head with a damp kipper. In fact you may even find yourself wanting to use something euphemistically known as "beyond reasonable force" with said smoked comestible.

    Why does he bring out the savage kipper basher in people?

    Just asking.

  8. Peter,

    No doubt, amongst more modern authorities, you've been particularly attending to Lord President Cooper's opinion in MacCormick v. Lord Advocate.

  9. GrassyKnollington,

    The pithy answer is because he is a pompous dolt without any apparent inhibitions or modesty about all of the things be ought to be modest about. It has long struck me, however, that it must be cripplingly embarrassing - most vexing of all - to count Baker a companion and ally, rather than an opponent. I dare say decent Labour voters and politicos must struggle with him - indeed ought to struggle with him.

  10. GrassyKnollington31 January 2011 at 23:05

    "I dare say decent Labour voters and politicos must struggle with him - indeed ought to struggle with him."

    Indeed, are we both talking Jackie Baillie, fourteen gallons of viscous mud and a sadistic referee?