Exclusive – Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s New Blueprint for Scottish Justice**

My sources close to Crown Office and the Justice Department have been able to locate for me the working draft of Mr MacAskill’s latest press release, designed to accompany the next stage of his proposals to “modernise” and “improve” Scottish criminal law.

After all, this follows a week where the Bill bringing to an end the need for corroboration in Scottish prosecutions has been published, despite the united opposition of the judiciary, the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland and where the future of the “not proven” verdict has again been placed under scrutiny, with the clear intention that it disappear too.

The draft below might never see the light of the day, and there are clearly a few parts for the Minister to tidy up. Maybe the Justice Secretary will decide that the latest proposals might be far enough to go.

Or maybe we will wake up soon to see the following in our morning papers…

Now, over to Mr MacAskill with the latest statement. You will see from the various strike throughs that it is a draft, and I suspect some civil servant has tried to tone down the Minister’s triumphalism.

————————————————————————-

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “All recent crime figures show that recorded crime in Scotland is now lower than the last time it was higher. I announced in June that we were determined to have a justice system that is efficient and streamlined and the changes we put forward then were designed to move towards that goal.

“You will recall that I said that those reforms were targeted to strike a balance between strengthening the powers available to police and prosecutors, while protecting the rights of the accused. No one laughed when I said that, to my astonishment.

“You will also recall that I have said often that I believe that the requirement for corroboration had to be abolished as it can represent a barrier to justice. I decided that this rule was outdated. Just because Scots law had it for hundreds of years and even though it was seen as the cornerstone of Scotland’s unique legal system, these were not reasons for retaining it. After all, would we still rather use a horse and cart or a sports car, or live in a croft fuelled by peat or in a mansion powered by gas and electricity?

“You will also recall that I viewed the corroboration rule as one which can deny victims the opportunity to see those responsible for serious crimes brought to justice. Basically you see it means that guilty people get away with it.

“I also announced that removing the need for corroboration represented a move towards focusing on the quality of evidence rather than quantity. And remarkably nobody laughed at that either!

“The changes I am announcing today are a further part of our Making Justice Work programme. This aims to create a justice system fit for to a modern democratic society – one that contributes positively to a flourishing Scotland, helping to create an inclusive and respectful society in which all people and communities live in safety and security, where individual and collective rights are supported and where disputes are resolved fairly and quickly.

“I have therefore taken the issues mentioned above and moved them to their logical conclusions.

“We abolished the need for corroboration because, to be frank (and I am not referring to the Lord Advocate), it allowed the guilty to go free. How can victims’ rights be respected where people who are criminals can be released? Any acquittal is a slap in the face for a victim – and adds insult to their injury. After all, nobody, except for criminals, ever tells less than the whole truth to the police.

“As I mentioned, the rejection of the need for corroboration came about because of the desire to look at the quality of evidence rather than quantity. It was well known that two witnesses, especially of police officers, were almost always believed, without the courts considering if that evidence was truthful. However, sometimes the evidence of the two witnesses or more contradicted itself leaving Sheriffs and juries confused about how they could convict the criminal guilty person crook accused.

“We therefore decided that we would eliminate this confusion by only choosing the best witness for the prosecution – as there will be no need for corroboration, we can prevent sneaky defence lawyers trying to show that there is reasonable doubt.

“After all, how can there be doubt? Our fine national Police force would not report anyone to the Fiscal unless they were guilty, and our Crown Office, led as it is by career prosecutors who know that getting convictions upholding the interests of justice is their goal, would not bring proceedings against an innocent person.

“Indeed, as recognition of the fact that we only prosecute guilty people, we restricted rights of appeal to the Supreme Court and allowed the High Court to reject cases sent to it by the Criminal Cases Review Commission if this might undermine the certainty of a verdict, even where the verdict was argued by lily-livered do-gooders as wrong.

“As well as the intention therefore to abolish the verdict of not proven, we have also decided to abolish the verdict of not guilty. Juries therefore will be directed to return a guilty verdict in any case where a plea of not guilty is tendered. This will act to uphold the rights of the victims, whilst also reducing the financial pressures on the court system. No longer will we need to devote days and weeks to long and boring trials. No longer will Police witnesses have to sit drinking tea in court waiting rooms. No more will we need to inconvenience hard-working members of the public by dragging them to court as witnesses and to face lawyers who will accuse them of telling lies. Instead the combination of our Police and Prosecution agencies will provide all the safeguards an innocent person will need.

“We are also answering those who say that we are tilting the playing field against the accused by saying that of course we are. After all, the accused is a criminal! But we have agreed to provide more resources to the Duty Solicitor scheme so we don’t get picked on by the European Court of Human Rights.

“Therefore I can announce that I have appointed Horace Rumpole, a 25 year old solicitor from Stirling, to be the Duty Solicitor for Scotland. He will be provided with a phone allowing him to speak to every police station in the country, and any criminal we arrest will be entitled to see the Duty Solicitor. The Duty Solicitor will be given Legal Aid to represent any client in any court although we will not allow him to farm out cases to anyone else, as this would dilute the high standards we will require of Horace. So, if he is in court in Ayr and a murderer is in Aberdeen, we will provide that villain with a card saying ‘Horace the Duty Solicitor says plead guilty’ thus complying with our obligation to provide free legal advice.

“Why should we have Duty Solicitors in every court district in the land, being paid literally tens of pounds for acting for criminals? The safeguards we have introduced mean that only guilty people will need the Duty Solicitor, so even if Horace is on holiday, it won’t stop justice being done and victim’s rights upheld.

“As for those who will bleat and moan about the damage this will cause to lawyers, then I don’t care. I got out of the legal profession years ago and if my former colleagues were daft enough to stay, then that is their fault. (Minister, perhaps that strikes the wrong tone?) However criminals will still be allowed to choose and pay their own lawyers but on conviction we will arrest their lawyers as receiving proceeds of crime. After a very short time we will not see any desire on the part of the lawyers to risk their own freedom just to act for criminals.

“So all in all, what will we have?

“We will have ONE verdict – guilty – thus upholding victims’ rights and avoiding confusing juries.

“We will save millions of pounds spent on defending criminals under Legal Aid. For too long hard pressed criminal lawyers have had all the advantages of working for less than £50 per hour to defend the crooks they represent as opposed to the burdens that our thousands of Police and hundreds of Prosecutors have worked under.

“We have strengthened the Duty Solicitor, and have even provided Horace with an answerphone so he can receive messages when on the phone.

“Having abolished the need for corroboration, we have taken the next step and abolished the need for evidence.

“We have listened to the people whose judgement we respect and acknowledge – the press – and ignored the special interest groups, like the judiciary, the advocates and the solicitors, all of whom have been involved in finding criminals not guilty in the face of a police officer saying that they were guilty. And, as all of these posts are of hundreds of years standing, the next step will be to consign them too, like the need for corroboration, to the dustbin of history.

“As I said this Government is proud to be creating a criminal justice system which is fit for the sixteenth century the twenty first century.”

Statement ends.

————————————————————————

**Please note, that what is written above is NOT a genuine statement by Mr MacAskill. It is my attempt at humour/satire. After all, no respectable or responsible government would consider acting in such a manifestly unjust manner.

On a serious note, what this Government has shown, and which is replicated in Westminster, is a desire to treat an accused as guilty and to make the chances of acquittal, which are not high anyway, even lower.

Expanded rights of appeal for the Crown, combined with the abolition of the age-old rule against double jeopardy mean that a man, or woman, who walks free from a court “without a stain on their character” can no longer treat the episode as over. They will frankly never know if, at some indeterminate point in the future, some “new evidence” will appear and the Crown will attempt to have a second, or third or fourth bite at the cherry!

At the same time restrictions on the rights of a guilty person to appeal, including tightening up of time limits for doing so, will mean that almost certainly we will have more innocent people languishing in Scottish gaols than we already have.

I was at a local Sheriff court last week – most of the lawyers who do criminal defence work were the same ones who were doing it ten years or more ago. Apart from the hair being a wee bit greyer, and the waists a wee bit bigger, and the faces a bit more wrinkled, it could have been 2003 or even 1993. But the optimism of the criminal solicitor seems to have long gone, as they face ever greater difficulties in getting paid for the work they do, at the minuscule rate offered. At the same time the pressures on them get greater and greater and the responsibilities to clients ever more onerous. Their focus is, as it always has been, on doing the best job for the client. But resources to do so are stretched ever thinner. And if they do not do the work, then the Public Defender will do so, or else we will be on the fast track to contracting, where in each Sheriffdom one or two firms will get the contract to do the work, cutting costs to the bone to keep people in work.

Or else some organisation like Eddie Stobart will try to move in to get the contracts (and that is NOT a joke – Stobarts see themselves as poised to take over a major chunk of the English legal market).

Graeme Pearson, the Labour MSP who was formerly Head of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency, and who has consistently shown himself to be, in my opinion, one of the few outstanding Members of the Scottish Parliament, made a very telling comment in the Committee Stages of the Offensive Behaviour at Football Bill. A fellow member of the Committee had asked the Police representative who was giving evidence to the Committee whether or  not the police wanted the new powers which came with the Bill.

After the Assistant Chief Constable had answered that the police would welcome them, Mr Pearson pointed out that, in his experience the police NEVER turned down new and additional powers.

In the same way, neither the Police nor Crown Office can be expected to reject changes which will make their jobs easier, even where it would be right to reject them.

The need for corroboration is not some ancient traditional relic kept for the sake of history (such as the robes judges wear or the wigs on their heads) but something which was an integral part of the system and a protection against miscarriages of justice.

We are not on the brink of a police state. But changes in the Scottish system in recent years are not designed to protect the rights of the accused – after all, only the guilty need lawyers. (And let’s ignore the fact that, should Mr MacAskill ever be prosecuted for anything, he would seek the very best legal representation to defend his freedom rather than rely on a lawyer chosen for him because his employer put in the lowest tender – but that would be OK because Mr MacAskill is clearly not a criminal).

And finally, Mr MacAskill’s statement about the changes proposed this week can be read here. That is the real statement.

Now, can anyone read it and work out what on earth he meant about focussing on the quality of evidence and not the quality? Would it be unfair to accuse him of mouthing meaningless sound-bites?

A politician – talking nonsense? Heaven forfend!

Posted by Paul McConville

 

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458 Comments

Filed under Alleged Humour, Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill, Criminal Law, General Scots Law Rambling

458 responses to “Exclusive – Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill’s New Blueprint for Scottish Justice**

  1. SairFecht

    Och, Cam! Stockbridge is a vagabond of the highest (lowest) order, the Inverclyde Krays are on the team, Uncle Wat is drumming his fingers on the table and Malcolm is asking what he is and isn’t allowed to do next. Ally is spending £millions to conquer the mighty second (third) division and the share value chart looks like the graph on a cirrhotic patient’s bed-end. Still, ain’t it great to be a bear?! Have a gill of golden Campsie-watter on me!

  2. Stevie

    It fair warmed the wee cockles to see the 5*’s back where they belong on the upcoming season’s Rangers strip.
    Having been a Ranger for nearly forty years i occasionally fret about the 17 title parties i missed.
    I also have to admit to withdrawal symptoms especially where treble winning celebrations are concerned. The honest Celtic man will no doubt concur as they have had to endure that cold turkey process over a longer period.
    Right enough of nostalgia,let’s get back to the present.
    Despite all the predictions of doom and gloom and the pontfication of the recently annointed hero of the tim’s Saint Charlotan, i would like to induce a balance of fairness into the debate. Don’t worry Monti and Mick i will attempt to describe this strange new concept as i go along.
    The twitter king/queen has an opportunity here to bring both sides together.
    Impossible! i hear you say. Successive governments and other agencies have failed for decades i hear you mumble! It’ll never happen cos “Rangers are deid” i hear Mick and Monti say! Well the cry is no surrender and Puma’s latest creation would appear to counter their rediculous claim. Plus i’ve already seen them at training! Consider also that Blackthorn have come on board. Now i have to say i’m not totally at ease with the alcohol advertising concept,but i do prefer this brand to Magners.
    Now Cha you can’t afford to miss this opportunity. Your stock will never be higher and you can add to your already massive Tim following while also bringing the Bears into the fold.
    You could start by telling wee Craigy and co to stop sending you all their dirty laundry. Then under the guise of balance and fairness why not ask them to send you the tapes and documents of the discussions with the SFA SFL and SPL.
    A real deal cruncher would be a prediction of impending doom and eternal damnation for messr’s Doncaster, Lawell, Longmuir and Regan regarding their shameful blackmailing and treatment of my much loved and trophy laden football club.I feel confident that this will appease most fans. You could add Mr Ogilvie as a potential sweetener to get the fanatics onside.
    I predict a bright future post twitteration offering full time employment,a book deal? What about contributing to an unbiased/ accurate documentary on the bbc to stave off the calls for the return of an unwarranted Emmy.
    How do you like them apples Charlotte?

    • Monti

      Stevie your club was LIQUIDATED!
      I can’t be clearer than that, also if you don’t want to take my word for it, ask Walter smith,Richard Gough,Charles Green & Jabba…..THEY KNOW THE TRUTH, RANGERS ARE DEAD, 5 STARS? 1 THIRD DIVISION TITLE IS ALL YOU HAVE, OH AND THE WORST SUPPORTERS TO GRACE PLANET EARTH!
      DENIAL IS FOR FOOLS STEVIE!

      let me ask you a question Stevie…if Celtic had been liquidated & the Celtic fans claimed after liquidation, we are the same club, what would the Sevco fans say?

      • Stevie

        Lol.

        Hi Monti.
        WHAT ABOUT THE SFA SFL and SPL and how they stooped to such stoopedness?
        Lawell’s going down …he’s going down… he’s going….

        • Monti

          In what way is St Peter “going down” Stevie?
          I don’t understand,pray tell?

        • Monti

          Tell me what the SFA & SPL have actually done?
          Celtic fans & all fair minded fans across Scotland despise the two bodies for doing….NOTHING to Oldco!
          & don’t give me this shite about being relegated, your club died,reborn under the name Sevco & the SFL broke existing rules to grant the newco a licence!
          Sevconians should be GRATEFUL ANY LEAGUE FOOTBALL WAS PLAYED LAST YEAR AT IBROX AT ALL!
          If it had been my decision, Sevco would have played Junior football for three years until they had three years audited accounts, then & only if they won the top Junior league, placed in the bottom professional league in Scotland.

      • willy wonka

        “Clearer” ?
        Haw haw haw.
        You’re not even correct. Lol.
        Rangers have NOT been liquidated.

      • Stevie

        I would have been looking forward to the next bustling encounter between our old firm rivals. I can say with heart in hand that i’d be stood standing or sat sitting uttering those long held mutterings of affection at my team while urging them to get right intae they liquidated barstewards!

      • graham

        That they couldn’t give two monkeys
        F…k’s about you two bob mob club
        Just as we did when you changed your club name dropping the athletic bit aff it and the holding company when ocean shelf or somewhere
        Rangers are not dead
        Then
        Now
        Forever
        54 titles

    • Monti

      Liquidation liquidation na na na na na na liquidation liquidation na na na na na!
      GOODBYE RANGERS NICE TRY 😀

      TIOCFAIDHARLA!!!!!!!! 😀

  3. Geddy Lee

    Careful Cam.

    Spain has burned guys like you in the past , simply for being a “protester”

    Your certainly not “Ra People” over there.

    Best to keep to your hotel room and follow the “festivities” live from Norn Iron on your laptop. LOL

  4. mcfc

    Tom English certainly seems to have bated a few bears with his article in the Scotsman this morning. I haven’t seen so much revision since last year’s A levels. I particularly like the version where everything was going just fine at RFC until that crook CW duped the sainted DM into selling him a healthy football club for £1. Check your priviiege guys – http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/quiz/2013/jun/05/check-your-privilege-quiz

    • willy wonka

      ” Tom English has an opinion piece in today’s Scotsman. His objective is to challenge some Rangers fans who he claims are alleging differences in the way Hearts and Rangers have been treated as each set of supporters endures the uncertainty of an insolvency event. Clearly there are a number of differences, however, a few significant ones were omitted in Tom’s overview. There are also similarities: suffering fans, egotistical and largely unaccountable individuals driving football clubs into desperate situations and plenty of media interest.

      To be clear from the outset, I take no pleasure from the events unfolding at Tynecastle. I know too many good Hearts fans and consideration for what they are going through outweighs the ranting of any number of anonymous idiots on Jambos Kickback. I would be happy if Rangers were to accept an invitation to take part in a fundraising friendly. If it were to happen, I hope such a gesture would be appreciated by the Hearts fans who rushed to condemnation last year. This argument has been made on this site in the past and elsewhere more recently. Others, possibly the majority, would no doubt disagree and that is understandable. The truth is the Hearts situation will provoke a diverse range of responses from Rangers fans, something Tom English did an unsatisfactory job of explaining. Even the partial explanation he offered suffered from omissions and distortions.

      This was not so much an exercise in destroying a strawman as using a nuclear bomb to clear a field of scarecrows. Tom simplified a complex situation and gathered together what he understands to be the grievances of Rangers fans by focusing almost exclusively on the findings of the SFA judicial panel. Discussing the £160,000 fine and illegal transfer embargo ‘Rangers’ incurred for bringing the game into disrepute, he began by pointing out ‘Rangers’ were ‘found guilty of not disclosing the fact that Craig Whyte had been disqualified from being a company director.’ Was Broxi bear meant to disclose this? Ticketus, with whom Whyte signed a multi-million pound deal to finance the acquisition of Murray International Holdings’ shares, in the absence of any real capital of his own, didn’t know about this disqualification. This is the reason the High Court has ordered Whyte to pay eye-watering damages.

      Tom then proceeded to reel off a number of other things ‘Rangers’ were guilty of. He dismissed the idea that Whyte was solely responsible for the crimes that made up the disrepute charge (who else was not remitting the VAT and payroll taxes?), citing the judicial panel report that ‘collared many of the directors at Ibrox’, while being happy to overlook the resignations of John Grieg and John McClelland and the concerns raised by Paul Murray and Alastair Johnston. Contrary to what Tom argued, we know they were suspicious because they made it clear they were suspicious, albeit most were not in a position to know the full extent of Whyte’s misbehaviour. Ironically, the governing bodies probably had a better sense of what was going on. The allegation that the football authorities knew this was happening months before administration is strangely overlooked-perhaps they too should have ‘collared’? I hope Tom would agree that this might be the basis of a legitimate grievance. Of course there are others, not the least of which was the attempt to impose title stripping based on prejudgement of guilt during the five-way negotiations last July.

      Many Rangers fans were unhappy with the punishments Tom focuses on. It is difficult to argue otherwise when an estimated 10,000 marched to Hampden to protest against them. Transfer embargoes and fines on a company in administration seem uniquely unsuitable punishments. The latter might be viewed as particularly prejudicial to the resolution of an insolvency process because it is a serious complication for potential new owners. On the other hand, the football authorities had to punish someone or something for the rule breaches and crimes that occurred. For our benefit we are reminded us of the SFA tribunal’s opinion ‘that only match-fixing could constitute a more serious offence than the collective violations of the Whyte era.’ This was ridiculous hyperbole which only served to nourish those with an unhealthy interest in all things Rangers and probably distorted the impression of the situation held by those with only a limited interested in the story. It isn’t to Tom’s credit that he is repeating it and sounding like Alex Thomson in the process.

      Saying the people who operated Rangers and Hearts are guilty of different things-this seems to be the crux of Tom’s argument- is hardly revelatory, in fact it’s rather basic and obvious. Moreover, just because Whyte and a couple of accomplices were guilty of things doesn’t mean Romanov and co. are guilty of nothing. Again, a fairly basic point put to Tom on Twitter by Rangers Standard contributor Professor David Kinnon (no reply at the time of writing). The SFA might yet hand down severe punishments for actions that have already occurred and further difficulties would be encountered in the event of liquidation. But the actions of the football authorities are just one, and arguably not the most important, reason why some might be claiming differences in the responses to the two situations.

      Let’s take a few examples from last Thursday’s Sportsound broadcast. Bryan Jackson, BDO’s man in Tynecastle, essentially admitted administration should have happened months ago. One possible explanation for the delay is that it allowed Hearts to stay in the Scottish Premier League by postponing the points dedication which is applied in these situations. This issue was returned to later in the programme:

      Tom English: ‘Is he [Jackson] saying they were insolvent a couple of months ago? In that case why didn’t they go into administration? He seemed to be saying this club would be much better off in administration quite some time ago.’

      Richard Gordon: ‘Bottom line is they managed to get to the end of the season without going bust so therefore…’

      Tom English: ‘Yes…so let’s…let’s…yeah, yeah they did…’

      Robust stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree, but this rather serious point wasn’t mentioned in today’s Scotsman article. That the delay cost Dundee a place in the SPL next season wasn’t subject to much discussion but just a year ago this the sort of thing that would have had the sporting integrity brigade pushing each out of the way as they clambered up onto the soapbox. Here is another exchange:

      Jim Spence: ‘I don’t think we should compare this with the Rangers situation because Rangers of course went into liquidation. But one of the points that has to be made, and I’m quite happy to make it, particularly from the safety of the east coast, is that the Hearts fans are not blaming anyone else for their plight…

      Tom English: ‘That’s right.’

      Jim Spence: ‘They’re taking it on the chin absolutely as you said and I think the Hearts fans, the vast majority, have taken this with a great deal of dignity and a great deal of forbearance.’

      Classic Spencyian logic aside (‘you can’t compare the two situations but I can in order to criticise Rangers fans’), this all part of a narrative which contends ‘Rangers fans feel there should have been no punishments but since we were punished others should be punished too’. Close associates have included ‘Rangers fans haven’t shown enough contrition’, ‘Rangers fans are acting out of defiance of others’ and ‘Rangers fans blame everyone else for their misfortune’. It is worth making it clear that Rangers fans are capable of distinguishing between those who got them into an awful situation and those who attempted to make it worse or actually did so through incompetence and time wasting. Hearts fans should consider themselves fortunate that they aren’t being subjected to such nonsense on a daily basis from people who should know better.

      Later in the same programme, Tom agreed with John Robertson who, in response to a listener claiming to have no sympathy for Hearts, said: ‘Does he not think that every Hearts fan knew Vladimir Romanov was paying too much in wages? Does he not know that the debt was huge? Does he not know that the wage bill was huge? But nobody could stop him, it was his club. He was paying it so what can you do?’ Tom then went on to offer a definition of ‘Hearts’ that clearly differentiated it from the actions of one individual, a courtesy he can seem unwilling to extended to Rangers if today’s offering is anything to go by. We also had this exchange:

      Richard Gordon: ‘What you can’t have sympathy for neither here at Hearts nor at Rangers is those people who actually operated the clubs and drove both into the…

      Tom English: ‘Well twelve months ago, or whatever it was, February last year, there was contempt for the people who drove Rangers into the state they were in. Similarly there is contempt for Romanov and all his foot soldiers…’

      I would say this is fairly blatant revisionism and I don’t think Tom would find too many Rangers fans to support his suggestion that there was a clear distinction between the actions of Whyte and Rangers. Even if this was the case, Tom himself seems to have lost the ability to distinguish between the actions of an individual and a club.

      This website has taken issue with his writing in the past while accepting that much of his contribution over the past year or so has been largely balanced and reasonable. Not all criticism of Rangers, those who run the club or even the fans is unjustified. It isn’t healthy for fans to subscribe to this view but neither is it acceptable to contemptuously dismiss different points of view as an inability to accept criticism. Back in February, John DC Gow responded to an uncharacteristically petulant (‘The Rising? It’s a little too early to say don’t you think?’) article by Tom which coincided with the anniversary of administration. It was short lecture that nevertheless did a good job of reflecting the moral posturing that continues to be a massive part of the Rangers story. John argued in response: ‘Like Graham Spiers’ use of ‘cheats’ or sins when describing Rangers, there are unspoken assumptions about the club that you won’t find elsewhere. Even when Tom was challenged on twitter he resorted to talking about “shame”. Terms like shame, disgrace and humiliation totally out of context with what happened or who was to blame.’ It is worth noting that Craig Whyte wasn’t mentioned once in the article John was responding to. So much for ‘contempt for the people who drove Rangers into the state they were in.’

      There are other differences too. Where are the blogs and websites churning out little more than anti-Hearts propaganda? Where are the equivalents of Mac Giolla Bhain, McConville, RTC (which Tom criticised when others where saluting) and Bella Caledonia? Where is the morally charged language of ‘sporting integrity’, ‘cheating’, ‘tax avoidance’, ‘shame’ and ’disgrace’? This was fuelled by the blogs above and enthusiastically spread by their acolytes but it also, on too many occasions, came from some of his colleagues in the media and even, as was the case with the article referred to above, from Tom himself. It will always be worth remembering that much of this occurred before the likes of the First Tier Tax Tribunal and Lord Nimmo Smith had ‘pulled up the bonnet’, as Tom put it today, and delivered their verdict. Plenty were willing to look at the make of the car and tell anyone who would listen that it had failed its MOT in spectacular style. Here is a final exchange from Sportsound:

      Richard Gordon: ‘There are mixed views out there. There are people who will take some degree of satisfaction from what is happening right here. There is certainly no question that the Hearts fans of course they lapped up the good times, all of us as football fans would lap up the good times. When they saw their team going to Hampden and winning the Scottish Cup on two separate occasions, of course on moments like that you’re not going to look too far behind the headlines.’

      Tom, in fairness and probably accurately, said most Hearts fans did both. They enjoyed the cup successes when they came but they also had a strong sense of unease about where Romanov was ultimately leading their club. But he then added:

      ‘You could batter Hearts. You could say “they had it coming”, “they had it coming”…I think it’s really harsh.’

      There are certainly some things in Scottish football that are ‘really harsh’ and Tom English is, at times, one of those things. There are naturally differences and similarities in the responses to the Rangers and Hearts situations. If Rangers fans have been given reasons (crucially there is more than one) to think there is inconsistency then Tom English would be better reflecting on how his own contributions might have, at times, led to this state of affairs. “

      • Stevie

        Thanks for that WW. An articulate and factual summary of events.
        I’ve had many an axe to grind with Tom English over the years some of which you have alluded to above. As ordinary football supporter’s we are held to ransom by our loyalty and devotion to our club. We are indeed a fickle bunch. Happy to go with the flow as long as things are going well on the pitch.
        Rangers success at the time ensured that we closed our eyes and ears to what we was being mooted by various sources. Of course we didn’t want to listen because we had no axe to grind with the board at the time. We dismissed the comments of Hugh Adam as bitter retribution from a former employee who had fallen out with the chairman. Of course the fickle side of the Celtic fan will tell you how they assembled and forced change for their club,and yes it has to be said they did so.However their situation was entirely different. They wanted rid of the White’s for adopting their biscuit tin approach to running the club which diluted Celtic’s challenge on the pitch.
        Irronically the same fans who orchestrated “Celtic for change” were actually wanting Celtic to spend beyond their means are same people who castigate Ranges fans today. They booed their knight in shining armour when he left. Ironic that they only appreciated what FM did for them after Rangers troubles became apparent and the realisation that their club had sailed so close to the wind. I wonder if any of them reflect on what could have happened to their club if the White family had succumbed to their earlier demands to spend money?.Of course this is where the seperation between the boardroom and the fans becomes palpable and the romantic notion of a family all backing each other up is shown for what it really is.
        Rangers and Hearts are evidence enough that when a chairman decides to protect his own self interets rather than the institution he has been reponsible for then there really is only going to be one outcome.
        Look what happened to Gretna when their sugardaddy succumbed to illness. This is why one man should never have the power and autonomy that the former Rangers owner and chairman commanded. Of course we knew less of Romanov at Hearts and their current situation is equally as tragic.But come on, Rangers had Sir David Murray a distinguished businessman knighted for his contribution to industry. Rangers fans could not possibly have seen this coming,despite the soothsayers predictions that we chose to ignore.
        All we did was trust one of our most high profile and successful business
        people to look after the club . I’m sure Hearts supporters did exactly the same. That is why i disagree with Tom English.

  5. lordmac

    here is a test case for CELTIC THAT THEY SHOULD TAKE UP
    knowing the SFA allowed a team to play without a license
    in the champions league
    yes i believe Celtic have a claim against the SFA for £15 million, for loss of coefficient and after payment being paid to Celtic the SFA can then set about claiming rangers to recover there loss, and what Celtic should do with this win fall is give all the season ticket holders of that year a refund, its not much but, IT lets the SFA know not to F / with us. ps all season ticket holders should form a orderly Que out side Parkhead for back payments, drawn lines ain’t no good, withdrawing cash from SFA and there bank would be better,

    • Monti

      Well said lordmac & as a PR gesture, Celtic should pay all the Oldco Rangers creditors, sadly we would need more than £15m to do that tho….lol

      • lordmac

        yes but it was the SFA that has caused Celtic allot of money and also the team that finish 3rd those years uefa and fifa took seon to task,
        Celtic has had to pay plenty in fines for breaches of rules this only need fans to apply to the courts and supporters groups to demand compo

        • willy wonka

          Lol. Best of luck with that one.

          • Monti

            “Best of luck” is that what Murray said to the creditors ya prick!
            It’s fkn Huns like you that bring the game into the gutter!!!

            • willy wonka

              Come on Monti. Do your Plastic Paddy thing. You’re GOOD at it. In fact, the best I’ve laughed at.
              Lol.

        • Raymilland

          @Paul McConville

          Celtic shareholders entitled to sue the S.F.A. for loss of opportunity to generate profit from participation in the Champions League?

          • Monti

            @PaulmcConville
            Do we have the influence to claim lost revenue, how do we take action?

          • Raymilland

            @willy wonka

            OK Perry ‘Mason’, you explain why an individual cannot sue the SFA?
            I wonder if Harry Hood has shares in Celtic.

            • willy wonka

              Er, because there was quite simply NO ” loss of opportunity to generate profit from participation in the Champions League “.
              Todays wet-dream from the deluded is based on the SFA granting Rangers a licence to play in the C.L.
              The SFA had absolutely no , repeat NO basis for refusing Rangers that licence.
              Ray, I’ve told you before, stop listening and believing half arsed theories and rumours from those who really should know better.
              I hope Harry is successful. Your club will be paying if he is.
              Lol.

  6. Monti

    YES YES YES, That’s me finished my last shift before my holidays….on the way home from work on the train ‘the lonesome boatman’ blasting from my beats haha
    Rangers are dead, my life is complete! GBTP & THE GREEN BRIGADE! 😀 HAAAAAA

  7. Monti

    @Stevie. Lol haaahaaa lol give me a minute aaaaashhhhhhaaaaaa…ahem ok aaaahhhhhhhaaaaa
    Stevie Rangers are gone mate, a new tribute act started in the third division, had to buy oldco’s history & oldco’s best players didn’t type over to the new club.
    If it’s the same club Stevie, why would the players have to tupe over?
    How much did Charles pay for the history again?
    Haaaaaahaaaaaaa lol aaaaa haaaaaaaaa lol

  8. Monti

    In 1840 Andrew Kerrins arrived on Scotland’s shores, Andrew was sent by our Holy father to do god’s work in the east end of Glasgow, & with passion & love he formed our great club ….GLASGOW CELTIC!

    GOD BLESS YOU BROTHER WALFRID, WE DON’T FORGET WHAT YOU STARTED IT FOR! HH!

    REST IN YOUR GRAVE OUR BROTHER WALFRID, YOUR CELTIC FOOTBALL CLUB IS FLOURISHING…

  9. SairFecht

    A wish A wiz is thick az a berr
    A’d huv nae botherz ur concerns nae merr
    Aw the wurrulds problemz dizzolvin afore ma eyes
    Jist thinkin aboot Rool Britannia an hauf time piez

    A wid think the queen wiz magic
    Even tho she’s an aristocrat
    an hur ancestorz pished aw oo’er minez
    it widn’ae matter that

    Even though they didn’ae want uzz votin
    an hud us bidin ten tae a room in durty auld slumz
    It diznae matter near it duz
    a jist like batterin flootz an drumz

    Cuz a’m a Royal subject so am ur
    a’m wan ae the peepil man
    a’m a proddie an so is she
    even though she’s an Anglican

    Even though A don’t go ‘ae church but
    a’m still a Prawdissant, right?
    Ur mibbi A jist like blamin somedae else
    cuz deep doon A know this place is shite

    Deep doon A’m uneasy aboot bein Scoaatish
    kinna insecure an aw that
    so A jist sing Rool Britannia
    Cuz it makes me feel a bit less ae a twat

    Rangerz, Raaaaaaangerz,
    A’ve seen Ireland oan a map, erritzerr
    Rangerz, we arra peepil
    A wish A wiz thick az a berr

    Life wid be eazy, eazy, eazy, eazy….

  10. willy wonka

    I see someone else is out to “get” popcorn teeth –
    http://news.stv.tv/scotland/231048-neil-lennon-speeding-trial-postponed-for-celtics-german-friendlies/?
    IT’S A CONSPIRACY !!

  11. jimmy white

    The Bhoys won’t let it lie, keeping the “obsession” in the name of justice…
    HAIL! HAIL!

    http://saynotothesameclub.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/letter-to-the-scottish-football-association/

  12. Niall Walker

    Charlotte Fakes are a collection of edited and selective tapes, they are useless as evidence until they are examined and verified, CW has form for tampering with things, just ask his housekeepers.

    Everyone was told by CG he had dealings with CW, no one is that interested about the minutiae, if CG led CW along the garden path and promised him the moon, then boo hoo, who cares, Craig Whyte is no innocent lamb. The two of them can fight it out in court.

    Do you think CW is going to release any tapes of CG telling him the deal was off after the CVA failed, and there never was any deal involving a liquidated sale ?

  13. JimBhoy

    http://billmcmurdo.wordpress.com/

    Never read as much bollox in all my life…. The blue pound FFS.! Do rangers fans feel ok with this eejit making these suggestions after what happened last year… If I was a rangers fan it would not sit well with me.. A success these days in the rangers corner is not another fuk up breaking that week..

    Has anyone ever verified the Hearts – Gers benefit match, seemed to have been a conversation at best… Sh!t news thrashed to death by a desperate media.

    You look at anyone wanting a last big payday and tell me they will not come to the famous Glasgow Celtic first because, if nothing else, they don’t have to shut all the pubs and check all the Telly’s are working.. And they have a worldwide fan base to draw upon..

    • Allfanstogether

      JimBhoy,
      Re: McMurdross,
      Its a pity, David Murray never thought how lopsided Scottish football would become if his master plan had continued, a very self-indulging club.

  14. Niall Walker

    Please tell me if I have missed any out, here are the reasons why Rangers will die:

    1. Rangers will run out of money, and their share price will collapse.
    2. The fans will desert them.
    3. EBT employees claim footballing debt from newco.
    4. BDO rules sale of assets was illegal and orders resale.

    Which one do you believe is more likely ?

  15. Budweiser

    As there is a period of relative calm on here at the moment , perhaps some holiday reading ? Regular readers will have noted my ‘scepticism’ over the alleged ‘Arab’ attacks on the Twin Towers, and subsequent posts on possible Israeli involvement. I then posted on Israeli/US dual citizens and their massive influence in US Administrations [ both Republican and Democrat ] ! So, how could Israel possibly have such massive influence in the States ? Could this be true?
    http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/spyring2.html
    I then commented on PRISM. Wikipedia on Prism,–
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PRISM_(surveillance_program)
    Now, if you click on 2.2.4 – ‘ Responses and involvements of other countries’
    and then click -Israel – then two companies feature. One is Verint.
    Is Verint an embryo PRISM ? The answer can be seen here.
    http://www.antiwar.com/orig/ketcham.php
    If we can accept that any future world conflict will occur in the middle east and that Israel will be involved, then,as we are America’s poodle,we will also be involved, should we not be concerned?

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