Thursday, May 14, 2009

Paul McBride QC tells Tory conference Scottish court system is broken

In between defecting from one political party to another, Paul McBride QC, rumoured to be promised a top job in any future Conservative administration, attended the recent Scottish Conservative Conference to tell them the courts system is in crisis. (He's earned plenty from that 'broken system' too .. - Ed)

BBC News reports :

QC tells Tories of courts crisis

Law and order has completely broken down in Scotland's court system, a leading QC has warned.

Paul McBride told the Scottish Conservative Conference the system was at crisis point, saying "serious crime should mean serious time" in jail.

Mr McBride, a former life-long Labour supporter who now backs the Tories, attacked the Labour government and branded the SNP "irrelevant".

He backed Tory calls for two-year mandatory jail terms for knife crimes.

The proposal was also supported at the conference in a speech by John Muir, whose 34-year-old son Damian was killed after being stabbed in Greenock in July 2007.

'Scotland's scourge'

Mr McBride, who joined the Conservatives three weeks ago, told delegates in Perth that knife crime was the scourge of Scotland, with youths as young as 13 carrying blades on the streets.

The QC said: "If just one in 100 children, when leaving the house to go out on a Saturday night, decided to pause and not put a knife in their pocket, 50 lives a year could be saved."

Mr McBride said the police and courts must have the freedom to use existing law to do their jobs, instead of ministers passing new ones.

Mr McBride said Tony Blair's government's pledge to be "tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime" had ended up as one of the "cruellest con-tricks ever carried out by any politician in this country".

"The one exception I would make to issues about early release is the early release of this government from its misery, but there's no chance of that - they want to serve their full sentence," he said.

"I believe, and I believe the people of Scotland and the United Kingdom believe, they should be released back into the community where they belong, rehabilitated where they can trouble this country no more."

Throwing his weight behind Tory leader David Cameron, Mr McBride added: "The SNP are increasingly becoming an irrelevance.

"Two years into their term of office, they are out of ideas and their manifesto policies are in tatters."

Meanwhile, Mr Muir told the conference there would be more needless carnage on the streets if mandatory knife crime sentences were not introduced.

The policy has also been backed this week by Scottish Labour.

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