Richard Baker - I invite you to consider some real facts about the costs of crime from Straight Statistics. Then, when you grow up, abandon the tabloid approach, and perhaps become a real politician with a soundly-based concept of what justice really means, you might just make a useful contribution in the Scottish Parliament and to Scottish society.
Tuesday, 19 April 2011
This man aspires to be Scotland's next Justice Minister. He relies on a 'cost' figure from Medics against Violence which they flatly deny ever making.
Rapidly shifting ground in the face of Isabel Fraser's facts, he relies on newspaper reports, newspapers such as the 'Daily Record', which simply reports Baker himself, and his unsupported assertions.
Faced with ridicule on this, he shifts ground again to 'figures from the Violence Reduction Unit'
Here is a quote from the publication that Baker appears to be misusing and misquoting in the interview -
"The Health Service bears a significant burden from violence. Conservative estimates from England and Wales suggest that three to six per cent of the annual Health Service budget is used in the treatment of outcomes of violence. This equates to an annual cost of between £258m - £517m in Scotland (Home Office Police Research Unit)"
pp21 of Reducing Violence: An Alliance for a Safer Future
As this clearly show, Baker is quoting England and Wales figures on the total cost of violence from all causes, either a blatant careless error or a disingenuous misrepresentation of what the VRU were saying.
Labour's policy on knife crime is knee-jerk populism, unsupported by any real evidence, and attacked as unworkable by the police and justice authorities.
(Andy Kerr last week made a fool of himself on the same topic with Gordon Brewer)
Don't let this man anywhere near the Scottish justice system, never mind a ministerial post!
Vote for the SNP and for Kenny MacAskill, the Justice Minister of Scotland, a qualified and experienced lawyer, former senior partner in a Scottish law firm, steeped in the law, and with a sound grasp of fact and figures.
Sunday, 3 April 2011
Who would you prefer as Scotland's Justice Minister?
A qualified lawyer, former senior partner in a law firm, principled, and with a proven record of reducing crime - including knife crime - and putting more policemen on the streets - a man who is hard on crime, but recognises the vital need to reduce the re-offending rate - a man who doesn't reach for simplistic, knee-jerk solutions - a man committed to tackling the alcohol problem, which is a prime cause of crime in Scotland - Kenny MacAskill.
Or would you prefer Richard Baker, a traditional, lock-em-up, flog-'em, bring-back-the-birch-type Tory - although he's LABOUR, with no track record, except that of opposing minimum pricing for alcohol, thus blocking something demanded and endorsed by every expert in Scotland, including the NHS and the police?
Watch these clips and decide ...
You've already guessed who I would choose? I'm astonished!
Vote SNP - vote for a crime free Scotland
Vote for your ain folk.
And lest we forget Labour's double-dealing and hypocrisy over the Megrahi issue, watch this again ...
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
It couldn't be clearer - the Labour Government was prepared to release him FOR COMMERCIAL and TRADE REASONS before he was ill.
At that time, the Scottish Government refused point blank to release him, and refused to accept that any deal made by Westminster or the application of the PTA to Scotland. No deal of any kind relating to Megrahi's release was offered or made by the Scottish Government Alex Salmond or Kenny McAskill.
This is a press smear which one source today suggested began with the right-wing Tory blogger, Guido Fawkes.
(David Cameron's dilemma in using the Wikileaks revelations to release the story - with the intent of damaging Labour's electoral prospects in England - was that it would also damage the puppet Labour Party in Scotland, and consequentially strengthen the SNP's position, thus threatening the Union. A convenient smear against the SNP was therefore a prudent insurance policy against such an outcome. May 5th will reveal how this sordid ploy has played out with the Scottish electorate.)
When Megrahi was diagnosed as having terminal cancer with 3 months to live by the Scottish Prison medical service, Kenny McAskill alone took the decision to release Megrahi on compassionate grounds in accordance with Scottish Law.
The idea that an SNP government would have cooperated with a Westminster Labour Government in any way over the dirty, expedient, realpolitik deal initially stitched up by Tony Blair ('the deal in the desert') and subsequently carried forward in clandestine negotiations by the Brown Government and Straw is utterly inconceivable- ludicrous, in fact.
The only alternative explanations for the hypocritical behaviour of Iain Gray and Richard Baker in Holyrood at the time of the Megrahi release decision and subsequently is
that they were NOT told what their Party bosses were doing at Westminster and acted in folly and ignorance
THAT THEY KNEW, concealed the fact that they knew, yet continued to make expedient political capital out of the situation in the vain hope that the truth would never come out.
In either case, in so doing, they damaged their own reputations, the reputation of Labour, the reputation of the Scottish Parliament and the interests of Scottish Justice.
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
Monday, 7 February 2011
The full, appalling, cynical nature of the Labour Government's lies about their involvement with Libya, under Gordon Brown, over the Megrahi affair are now revealed. The utter hypocrisy of their public posture is stark. But the behaviour of Iain Gray and Richard Baker in the Scottish Parliament over the release, and their public statement brings hypocrisy to the state of an art..
They must have know what was going on, yet they huffed and puffed and postured shamelessly for political gain.
The behaviour of the media today, however, reveals their confusion when faced with some hard facts that vindicate Alex Salmond, Kenny McAskill and the SNP Government totally. They have desperately tried to suggest, in misleading summary after summary, that the Scottish Government tried to do a deal with the UK government over the Megrahi release. This is a patent lie, and to peddle it, they have deliberately ignored dates and years, and distorted the topics of discussion that pre-dated the medical verdict that Megrahi was terminally ill that led to his compassionate release.
We expect this from the unionist media, but even the normally impeccably accurate and objective Jon Snow on Channel Four News got sucked in. peddling the same distorted facts, and apparently immune to Alex Salmond's patient explanation of the facts, which are a matter of public record in Scotland.
As for the US - well, they don't pretend to understand the nature of Scotland within the UK, nor do they understand devolution. This will confirm their worst fears.
But Cameron, in releasing this information for political gain over Labour, may have scored an own goal in terms of the survival of the UK as a political entity. That is always assuming he cares, which I suspect he doesn't. After all, an independent England is likely to be a Tory fiefdom, isolated from Europe.
POSTSCRIPT - Midnight 7/8th February
Newsnight (despite Paxman) and Newsnight Scotland, with the sublime Isobel Fraser, went a long way to redeeming the media on this affair. But she also asked the $64,000 question - How will it play with the Scottish electorate?
Thursday, 30 September 2010
Nobody came to Senator Menendez's kangaroo court in the US - a publicity stunt masquerading as a Congressional enquiry - so he had to make things up. His representative who came to Scotland - and failed to take notes at a meeting with Scottish Government officials - has total recall of a load of nonsense.
Fortunately our government officials did take notes. Of course, Holyrood's ****hole in residence, Richard Baker, predictably aligned himself with the US and Menendez. Perhaps he should have consulted his new boss, Ed Miliband, who if he has any sense will rapidly distance himself and the Labour Party from the Deal in the Desert/BP conspiracy theory - Jack Straw certainly did.