RIGHT from the word “Go!”, the allegedly anti-sectarian “Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Bill” has been swathed in controversy … and no wonder.
Opportunistically conceived, (at best) naively drafted and unwisely brought to the market with grossly indecent haste, it has been virtually doomed from the off. Now, the latest sinister internal allegations against one of the central figures in this legislative soap opera have cast an increasingly ominous shadow over the whole affair.
Let us assume Alex Salmond’s intentions in this are honourable, albeit, from many people’s and organisations’ points of view, seriously misguided. If so, the First Minister surely must now pause for collective reflection, withdraw the intended legislation in its present form and re-assess the whole thing from the ground up.
Hopefully, he will then come to the simple and obvious conclusion that nothing more is required than to oblige the civil powers and authorities to more effectively enforce current law, rather than stand back and ignore (even, occasionally revel in) blatant offending.
Then we might start to get somewhere.
And before anyone picks me up on it, yes, I acknowledge that this could be something of a double-edged sword (as borne out by some reports today) … I think I can safely say, though, that some would have infinitely more to fear than others from straightforward enforcement of the law of the land.
Honour thy neighbour.