Agenda – Scottish News

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SUPREME SURPRISE?

Now where were we before we were rudely interrupted…

The Cabinet will meet this afternoon with the row over the Supreme Court’s judgement in the Nat Fraser case top of the agenda.
Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland is believed to have taken ‘soundings’ in the legal profession about the row sparked by the First Minister Alex Salmond and Justice Secretary Kenny McAskill both saying that the Supreme Court should have no role in Scottish criminal justice.

As newsnetscotland.com has reported, there are differences of opinion, with Professor Robert Black making the salient point that if Scots law operated in accordance with human rights legislation, there would be no need for appeals to the Supreme Court.

As we predicted from the outset, this massive row is going to run and run. The Scottish Government was already demanding that the Scottish legal system come up to scratch on human rights issues, so that may be the basis of some of today’s deliberations.

There could be a surprise development, however. We will report on any such news later.

There will be happy congratulations but very weighty matters to discuss when the First Minister meets his Welsh equivalent Carwyn Jones and Peter Robinson, First Minister of Northern Ireland and his deputy Martin McGuiness in Edinburgh later this morning.  A unifying statement from all three devolved governments is due.

MEDIA DIGEST

Is there a Scottish role to be played in the ongoing FIFA scandal? Forget it, the craven mob at Hampden will stay well out of the way on this one, just as they sold out their former President who, it turns out, might well have been correct about FIFA corruption all along.

All the major newspapers today carry the latest pictures of bundles of dollar bills said to have been offered to, and accepted by, delegates in the Caribbean football associations. The claim and counter-claims are carried in detailed stories as the Scottish press finally joins in the race to put the boot into the vast, bloated and undoubtedly unfit for purpose FIFA.

Four years ago, former SFA President John McBeth was accused of, among other things, racism when he alleged that corruption was rife in African and Caribbean  football. Jack Warner, the man now under investigation for his supposed role in dodgy practices, was the man who accused McBeth of spouting “racism of the worst kind.”

The SFA rushed out a statement disassociating itself with McBeth’s remarks. If Warner is now found guilty, will there be an apology to McBeth from all those who castigated his clumsily worded statements?

Interestingly, among the first to condemn McBeth for “damaging FIFA’s image” back then was one Sepp Blatter…

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

Apologies to the SFA. Looks like they have found some gumption after all.

Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan has just said:

“The Scottish FA can today confirm its position that the FIFA Presidential election be postponed in light of recent uncertainty.

“We believe the election should be rescheduled to facilitate a period of consultation to deal with the issues that have arisen in recent weeks. The events of the last two days, in particular, have made any election unworkable. The integrity and reputation of the game across the world is paramount and the Scottish FA urges FIFA to reconsider its intentions, and calls on other member associations to consider the long-term implications for the game’s image.

“We also propose the following actions:

•         FIFA should appoint a wholly independent Ethics Committee
•         A significant comprehensive plan should be formulated and presented by FIFA to its members regarding essential changes to its governance, decision-making processes and transparency
•         A new date is set for the Presidential election, giving suitable candidates time to prepare and present their plans for a more transparent and accountable FIFA.”

Not bad for an organisation which has only just realised its own shortcomings in the governance and transparency departments. We can presume, therefore, that all the McLeish Inquiry recommendations are going to go through at the SFA’s own AGM on June 6.

Meanwhile back on planet Earth, as opposed to planet football, the Herald has an exclusive on licensing boards preventing people under the age of 21 from buying booze at off sales premises. It’s actually a power that the boards were given by the SNP Government nearly two years ago, it’s just that they weren’t sure how to use it – on a case-by-case and shop-per-shop basis, it transpires.

STV reports that the Piping Live Festival and World Pipe Band Championships, which both  take place in August in Glasgow, have been launched in the city’s George Square.

ANOTHER SPORTING UPDATE

Andy Murray came back from being just two points away from losing his French Open fourth round match to beat Victor Troicki 7-5 in the fifth set of their interrupted game in Paris. Murray showed amazing grit and played some inspired tennis to beat a very tough opponent. The Scot now meets Juan Ignacio Chela in the quarter-finals with a likely meeting with Rafael Nadal in the semi-final facing the winner.