BBC Radio nan Gàidheal interview

The full BBC Radio nan Gàidheal (Gaelic radio) interview with Dr Donald Boyd, the leader of the Scottish Christian Party for broadcasting on 19th May 2017, which was only partially broadcast on the day.

Dr Boyd was asked about the SCP vision for Inverness and the Highlands, and he was asked in conclusion what the SCP would do to promote the Gaelic language.

He pointed out that Gaelic road signs are unnecessary but of much more use would be to teach school children the meaning of the Gaelic names of the mountains on Highland maps, helping them to understand the geography of the Highlands and to increase interest in one of the main features of the Highlands.

He repeated his 2015 claim that the Scottish National Party has no specifically Scottish vision for Scotland and the Highlands, and this is the reason for voting for the Scottish Christian Party instead.

The Law against Natural Justice

It is a well-known adage that only the very rich and the very poor can afford to go to law, because the poor receive Legal Aid from the public purse.  Not only does this give the poor an advantage over middle-income earners, but it is contrary to natural justice.  If there is not equal access to the legal process there is injustice.

The legal aid budget is being squandered by inefficient bureaucracy whereby legal aid lawyers turn up in court to find that there is a procedural irregularity that requires further postponement  of the case – another day’s pay from the Legal Aid budget for no work at all.

As social workers gain more control of the nation’s children through Named Person’s legislation, more and more middle-income earners will discover their income being reduced as they employ lawyers to fight for their God-given rights to their own children.  They will watch in dismay as each court case is postponed to the next.  If there are penalties for late trains and late airflights, we need to introduce penalties for postponed court cases.  Law-abiding citizens should not be harassed by a social system that expects them ‘to obtain legal advice’ in order to defend themselves against the draconian powers exercised by social workers.

There needs to be equal access to the law, just as we have equal access to health care.  We need a National Justice Service like the National Health Service, to be free at the point of access to justice.

As a step in this direction, I suggest that where a person has the right to apply for legal aid, other parties to the process should have a similar right.  This will 1. begin to address the injustice, 2. help the legal aid board to assess the probability of success in granting legal aid and 3. reduce the opportunities for abuse of the system.

As for appeals from a decision – the core of a justice system – this may involve not only extra expense in travelling costs and time, hotel fees and the risk of paying hefty legal fees if one loses – but the tricks that lawyers employ to drag out a case (more fees for no work) will ensure the necessity of employing a lawyer who knows how to circumvent the tricks, or at least keep up with them.  So justice is not served by such an appeal system – it is itself contrary to natural justice if one must find the funds to employ a lawyer simply to keep abreast of the procedure.

Procedural irregularities are a good way to avoid addressing the issue or at least spinning it out as long as one can milk the system for what it’s worth.  This is not justice and it needs reform.  It is time to reform legal services and to develop a national natural justice system.

Update:

10/5/2017: the leaked Labour Manifesto advocates a National Education Service to provide “cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use” from early years to adult education.  “The National Education Service” is the fifteenth episode of the BBC comedy series Yes, Prime Minister and was first broadcast 21 January 1988.

17/5/2017: Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party leader, is also promoting a National Investment Bank, which Natalya Naqvi on the Newstatesman website thinks could help to fix ‘our damaging financial system’, but which Oliver Riley on the Adam Smith Institute website thinks is ‘barmy’.  Interesting and helpful though the idea is, we need rather to revisit how money is created –  instead of creating money by indebtedness to private banks.

15/7/2017: I have heard of a case where two lawyers receiving legal aid argue the same case against another lawyer also receiving legal aid.  Is this sensible, far less just?

21/8/2017: what would you think if your doctor told you to get legal advice to know what your options are?  Apparently in a legal case it is ‘legal advice’ to be told your options!  I would have thought that legal advice is advising which option to choose, but it is part of the cabal of the legal system that you must pay lawyers even to find out what one’s opinions are within the legal system.  Why does the system not freely tell a person their options?

 

 

 

 

Morality and women in politics

The Women’s Equality Party is the new lassie on the block. It does not like Donald Trump’s victory in the USA. Its spokeswoman on the Daily Politics today complains that his election means that one can demean woman and ‘it doesn’t matter’. Secular morality is offended.

The secular elite is now discovering how Christians have felt for decades about the absence of morality in politics. We have complained for long enough that successful politicians can support abortion ‘and it doesn’t matter’.

The creation of the Women’s Equality Party is the latest stage in feminist politics and the feminist agenda.

It is another example of single issue politics – like the SNP, the Greens, UKIP, etc.

It reminds Christians that our ‘single issue’ is worth making the basis for the Christian Party.

The difference is that Christianity is not going away any time soon – but single issue parties either attain their aim (as UKIP) and lose their purpose, or their issues are taken on by other parties (the Tories took on UKIP issues and various political parties have taken on Green issues).

How does the Women’s Equality Party become a majority concern? Look at how many cows are in the field compared to the bulls – and think – IVF, feminism, redefining the family, and imagine their future.

We look forward to Christian Party issues and policies being further adopted by other political parties.

How do we hold politicians to their promises and Manifesto pledges?

The national debt is being used by politicians to justify massive changes of policy which did not appear in the election Manifestos of the main political parties.  The Lib Dems are the biggest casualties, and the public suspect that the Tories are using this opportunity to cut benefits and excesses in the system which could not be done in good times.  Just as a big news story can be a good day for ‘burying bad news’, so economic hardship can be a good time for implementing unpalatible policies.  Although Labour is in opposition, they are not immune from the discussion, for whenever the ConDem alliance blames Labour for the cuts they must implement, the Labour response is to blame the credit crunch caused by the American subprime mortgage defaults.  However that was simply a tipping point and it was not the cause of all our woes.  Thus the major parties are not being honest in debate, with themselves nor with the public.  Corruption is endemic in the system.

None of the major parties were prepared to say prior to the Election how savage the cuts would be.   They would not say where the cuts would fall, nor if they would raise VAT.  If they did, they would lose votes.  At the General Election every Lib Dem candidate made this promise to students: “I pledge to vote against any increase in fees and to pressure the Government to introduce a fairer alternative.”   This won them a lot of votes, as Labour MP Charles Clarke found out to his cost when he would not make this pledge.  He lost his seat by 310 votes to the Lib Dems and he can feel justifiably aggrieved now that Vince Cable the Lib Dem Business Secretary has jettisoned this pledge.

Yet the problem is not wholly with the politicians, but with the gullible public who believe these weasel promises.  Will students be any wiser next time round?  A new generation of students and politicians will arise and events will move on.

So – what policy should Christians introduce to hold politicians to account?  It would help to recover a Christian conscience in public life, but one cannot legislate for this – besides, law-making does not include the motive to keep the law.

How can the public insist on politicians keeping their promises?  They cannot.  It seems that the sovereignty of parliament has been translated into political parties doing whatsoever they deem in their best interest – disguised as “the national interest” which politicians hope will deceive the gullible public.

Your help wanted – your country needs you

This section of my blog hopes to explore, with your help, what a Christian Manifesto should say on the pressing issues of the day.  It begins with a Manifesto itself.  To what extent can we expect a Party to stick to its own Manifesto when in Government?

The excuse is that an incoming Party of Government does not know what “the books” are like, and so they justify breaking their Manifesto promises.  This is not good enough.   The Christian Party Manifesto said it would increase VAT to 20 per cent while the main parties kept quiet.

Should the Christian Party Manifesto include the promise to introduce legislation along the lines that a Government will not be allowed to legislate contrary to its most recent Manifesto?  Some advantages include:

1. This begins to curb the irresponsible interpretation and extrapolation of the doctrine of the sovereignty of Parliament.

2. The electorate do not have to wait five years till the next election to hold the Government to account.

3. It will make parties more responsible for what they put in their Manifestos.

4. It will improve the relationship between the electorate and politicians and begin to restore trust in the political system.

What do you think?