Thursday, 27 September 2012

Another bad day for SACC

If we were independent, if we already were now after not waiting until 2014, would the American-British extradition treaty of 2004 apply to Scotland? not unless we signed up to it in our own right. So can we get all the pro-independence parties' intentions on that?

This is the treaty signed as part of the War on terror, that allows America to demand extradition of British citizens to be put on trial in America for actions committed in Britain, while no equivalent power exists in the reverse direction. it lies behind the news, on Monday, of the European Court of Human Rights rejecting an appeal application to review in Grand Chamber the decision it had already taken, to allow 5 British citizens to be deported with the prospect of life sentences in the ADX Supermax jail at Florence, Colorado.

The media have concentrated on the one who has a racial hatred conviction and is easily linked with terrorism in public awareness, Abu Hamza, and by this they have made the whole decision sound good. But less publicised, you would only hear of them at all if you read the Independent, were Babar Ahmad and Talha Ahsan, who the CPS in England had earlier decided it lacked evidence to charge for anything, who have never been charged with anything in Britain, and what America wants them for concerns entirely the geopolitical views of a website in the late 1990s that has no longer existed for years.

Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, a local campaign in the Central Belt that originated to defend the asylum seekers sent there and to publicise some other personal injustice cases that seemed to have happened because of racism, has taken a strong interest in the Ahmad-Ahsan case and its implications for the safety of us all, it has led the awarenss campaigning on it in Scotland. It has written on its own blog on the bad agenda the media is purusing this week, this post called "Another bad day for the media". It shows really well, anyone who doubts should read it, how it is implausible to think there was any actual error by the BBC in exposing the queen's views, that exposing them suited the impression the media wanted to give, of turning the public mood against all 5 of the folks in the case.

BUT - get this, BUT.

SACC has been told all about the court change, many times. The court change originated in the ECHR. The court change is what Ahmad and Ahsan most critically need now. The court change, itself deliberately ignored by the media and political class for 13 years, measns no court decision is any longer final. Every decision is faultable, and nobody any longer needs to apply for permission to appeal anything, the entitlement to fault the content and basis of every court decision is an absolute. Including this one. That is what Ahmad and Ahsan's supporters need to keep doing - speaking out that the court change exists and how, and laying claim to use the faulting power it creates. Telling as many ears as possible that the ECHR acts knowingly illegally every time it ignores the court change's existence, including every time it rejects any Grand Chamber application at all.

SACC writes "Why do journalists leave their best stories for their children to write? We need the truth now, while there is still time to act upon it. Why then does SACC not share the truth about the court change? SACC has never offered any argument against the reasons why the court change is real. Nor has anyone else, and that is unsurprising, because to deny the court change is real you have to be willing to claim that a factually impossible finding, a finding that 2 dated events happened in reverse order than their dated order in time, stands as a final decision by a court. By saying that you would abolish all factuality for any court outcome ever, you would openly abolish justice entirely. But the only alternative to that is to admit that the court change is real. I have explained this on this blog many times before.

SACC know all this, and expresses strong views on betrayal - yet in the blog post linked to, it still described the ECHR decision as final!!!

Work that out. What does that say about SACC itself having an agenda?

Back in May, SACC told me the court change "just hasn't been raised as an issue in cases going through the courts that we've been concerned with. We're not lawyers and we don't get to to decide how cases are argued. It's a bit abstact for a group like ours unless/until it comes up in a case we are concerned with." It was already as obvious then as it is now, that the court change comes up right in the heart of this case. It is part of the facts submitted to the court, emailed to the court president Nicolas Bratza, so that whether the court responded to it is key to whether its decision has any legitimacy as a decision or ignored part of the facts put in front of it. It is a tool for laying claim to prevent the deportations - DOES SACC WANT EVERY TOOL TO PREVENT THE DEPORTATIONS, TO BE USED, OR BY ANY CHANCE NOT?


Oct 8: Amnesty International: USA must respect rights of individuals extradited from the UK

Sunday, 23 September 2012

rallying call?

The unionist press today are all jubilant that the rally was so small. They are bound to be, but they are probably right. The audience fitted into the close vicinity of the Ross Bandstand under Edinburgh castle, slightly overspilling the actual seating. I was there, not in the audience of supporters, but in the outer watching fringes suitable for agnostic voters.

Much as the rally was filled with typical SNP history-patriotism, it was very clearly a fearful occasion. In over 2 hours of speeches and music, never was one word said about the zionist return entitlement for all the Scottish diaspora. Instead of the historical reawakening claimed, it was a historical betrayal to watch that omission happen. It meant the rally was not addressed to the Scottish people in our full number 25 million. It had the same most serious omission as the Yes campaign as a whole has. This is even though there was a "New Scots" speaker speaking up for the racial pluralism of our new state and the adopted Scottish identity of folks who have come to us from elsewhere. That is good in itself and one way our political culture is less nasty than England's at present - but see the contradiction between this and the total omission of talking about all the Scots in exile and their opportunity to come back.

A song about that silly lump of monarchism the Stone of Destiny said "How can anyone wipe away the tears of 700 stolen years?" - as if the centuries of statehood we still had during the stone's captivity don't count! Far more practical to real lives is the personal question for the disapora, about growing up in exile: How can anyone wipe away the tears of 26 stolen years?

The best point was made by the Green leader Patrick Harvie, who said the Yes campaign can't expect to sell just a Scottish version of the status quo as worth voting for, as the SNP has so clearly been trying to do, it has to float more radical possibilities for why independence would make a beneficial practical difference. There won't be agreement on what these should be, so different conflicting possibilities must be floated and will be issues in future Scottish elections. Entitlement for all the diaspora to return, is one such possibility that Harvie did not mention, but is the key radical difference determining whether independence really is even nationally just at all or not.

It was an entirely left wing occasion. What is strongly part of Harvie's radical agenda, and was in all the speakers' agenda, was the Yes side's wearyingly constant assumption that its new Scotland will be against the Bomb. No contrary voice to that was heard, though a contrary view to the SNP's on NATO was heard. With Isobel Lindsay speaking too, the rally was totally dominated by CND and it gave a dismal picture of the Yes campaign itself being controlled by them.

At the back of the garden, on the Princes Street railings, there was a disturbing banner about Padania, an alleged nation in north Italy that was only invented in 1992 by the Northern League there - which has a terribly anti-immigration reputation and of being the bad type of nationalism. Was there anything official about their presence? Actually maybe not, because there was a rally speaker from the Venetian nationalists, whose territorial claim directly contradicts Padania because would just be arrogantly included in it. It shows how you have to sort out the historical authenticity of nation claims before leaping to embrace all secessionist movements as your allies.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Secret session

In this quick new drama of the Information Commissioner taking the government to the Court of Session, over it legal advice on our future EU membership, both sides are at fault, for not disclosing that the court change exists.No matter which way the court decides, no matter which side's campaign it turns out to help, the winning side will miss a way to make Scotland better and the losing side will miss an opportunity to fight back against the damage to them.

As a result the issue will not be portrayed accurately to the public, who all have an interest in the court change becoming properly publicly known and functional as a result of this case. The court change is a massive advance in democracy that the media and political class have kept silent for 13 years, despite nobody ever having any argument to give against the clear reasons why it is real. Whatever is the position on Scotland's EU membership and whatever the court says about it, it includes that all its details are contestable under the court change.

What will you hear of this tomorrow, if you go and watch the Yes campaign's rally in Edinburgh?

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Schengen first, EU afterwards

Now the big row on EU membership. How disgusting of the Lib Dem leader, Willie Rennie, to say in parliament at PMQs, oh dear if we need to renegotiate our EU membership upon independence we will have to join the Schengen area .

I WANT TO JOIN THE SCHENGEN AREA. So should any humanitarian. So should the Lib Dems.

They are supposed to be the party of the European ideal. That includes common united travel among all these countries, moving away from apartheid passbook barriers betwen them - NB think about it, border controls and passports are a global apartheid structre, keeping the whole world living in separate racial boxes.

All we look likely to get in this campaign, on all sides, is them all bowing to the tabloid race hate vote. Lib Dems doing it, SNP certainly doing it by saying no no we won't join Schengen we will stary in the British Isles common travel area. The British Isles common travel area means the nasty chilling unfriendly "UK Border" corridor at the airport, the walls lined with intmidating threats, including the humanly unreasonable atrocity of being threatenable with prosecution if you have lost your passport during your flight. Then what if a criminal assault you and steals it, that is your fault and makes you criminalisable? It is against the facts of human fallibility, hence against human rights, for travel to depend on carrying any losable document at all. The medical conditions of dyspraxia and attention deficit affecting dexterity and fine motor skill, help to force this issue under discrimination.

The SNP has at least been good enough to say before that it wants us to have a more welcoming culture than the morally foul British immigration regime, that is the single item with most potential to attract my vote to Yes if the SNP stops blowing it by censoring its consultation responses from publication. So why the hell contradict it by pledging not to join Schengen? Probably because the threat that England would then slap border controls on us is unpopular. of course while it lasted it would be bad for that to happen, a new barrier, but it would be less bad than the good done by reducing the territorial size of the nasty racist UK Border regime and giving us the whole Schengen area without a barrier. We should be willing to squeeze England in that way for having the tabloid racism in its political culture, and to take some affordable trips to the continent instead of to England.

Though it was the EU that created the Schengen area and it is betteer to help to hold it in place by belonging to the EU, you can even belong to the Schengen area without being in the EU. Norway, which I visited recently, does that and certaibnly feels just like its EU neighbours as a result. For this reason, to be keener on Schengen would get the SNP off the hook of the difficulties over whether our EU membership would be continuous. We could stand eager to sign up to the Schengen area even for the duration of an interruption to EU membership. That will make the interruption less serious, hardly noticeable at the level of real people's travel.