The Victims Final Right – Political Party
- General Principles
In this period of discussion on Independence, we are a truly independent party, completely devolved from the narrow restrictions apparent in current political parties. We see that our role would be to build a society based upon Civil values derived from The European Court of Human Rights. It would be on top of this minimum deliverable that our Health, Education and Legal systems should be built.
It is our fundamental belief that for any nation to aspire to give its citizens the environment to live and prosper, it must ensure that everyone has their Human Rights fully implemented within the fabric of Society. We believe that in Scotland any future Government must be obliged to implement our Human Rights as declared by The European Court of Human Rights within a predetermined schedule. In turn, any policy being implemented must be tested against these rights before being implemented.
An aspiring nation must implement the Laws and Legal framework to ensure that the said Human Rights are upheld. The Justice system is the backbone of democracy and it should not be allowed to be a Law unto itself but is held to account for ensuring delivering Justice to ALL through the highest level of integrity.
For our society to reach our aspirational peaks we need to make members of our Justice system and Senior Public Servants legally accountable for delivering impeachable integrity with total transparency. The individuals holding these roles should be the guardians of sustaining our Society values and therefore must be held to account for any breach of the values they are paid to uphold. If integrity is lacking here it cannot be expected within the rest of society.
In delivering a Just and Accountable Society, there must be a mechanism developed that facilitates the individuals of Scotland the means and systems to challenge the workings of the State in a timely and affordable manner.
It is our belief we need to move away from the agenda driven politics of the left and the right. There are far too many good people in our nation, whether poor on benefits, middle income in employment and wealthy who desire to and actually contribute to society. It is neither the unemployed nor the rich who are the scourge of our society but the individuals in all levels of society who abuse the very systems there to help everyone. It is dealing effectively with these individuals that is needed rather than using their individual status to create the divisions in society that political parties thrive on.
- Human Rights
It is our belief that our society should be built on the foundation of the European Court of Human Rights as the minimum society we must deliver and we must ensure we hold ourselves accountable for delivering this.
While it is our desire to see the full European Court of Human Rights implemented into the fabric of our society, through our collective experience, today we see that there is a glaring omission in the implementation of Article 2, The Right to Life.
A key component of Article 2 is that suspicious and unexplained deaths are thoroughly investigated with the findings being visible for public scrutiny. While deaths deemed to have been caused by illegal actions are subject to public scrutiny through criminal trials, the vast majority of deaths do not get tested to the same degree. In this we do not meet the obligations of Article 2 and are far behind that of England and Wales where there is a public enquiry for all unexplained deaths. This is an area that must be corrected immediately.
In the last 30 – 40 years there have been numerous cases where individuals have been wrongly imprisoned through either deliberate or negligent work by the authorities. These people were imprisoned by being processed within the Justice system, having full disclosure (sometimes) of the investigation, a legal defence and subsequently being convicted beyond reasonable doubt. How many cases are therefore wrongly assigned for cause of death when they are not subject to full disclosure, the right of defence and the public scrutiny required to agree that it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
In failing to deliver a comprehensive public scrutiny of death investigations we deny the individual to their last right and that is to defend their actions and circumstance. How many families are denied the financial security of the life insurance of their loved one, how many mental health issues could be highlighted, how many murders are missed and how many of these decisions are the results of the inappropriate actions of our Police organisation?
We feel that one wrongly diagnosed suicide, preventable mental health death or missed murder is one too much, this needs to change.
- Law & Order
Crime is something that affects all age-groups and the need for an effective Justice System to maintain balance within our society is essential. An important cog in delivering this effective system is a Police Force that commands the respect of the population as a whole.
It is our belief that there has to be a change in one of two fundamentals of how Police are assessed when it comes to handling complaints, i.e., Accountability and Effective Independent Metrics.
Today we have a situation where there is a non-actionabilty against the police, i.e., immunity from Law Suit and this is coupled with the Police having the right to Self- investigate any complaint before it can be taken to the effectively toothless PIRC.
If we are to have belief in the Police Service we must move away from this double blockade to integrity and ensure accountability. We should either have the right to take out a Law Suit if we are wronged or more appropriately we should have complaints dealt with immediately by a completely independent Police Review Commission. This latter change would ensure that while the Police remained with immunity there would be accountable, in a timely manner rather than the massive delays that can be allowed to develop. We believe that when negligence and corruption occurs within the Force there would be little opportunity to cover up by Senior Officers.
A further change that should take place relates to the determination of performance. Today we have metrics that can be improved through not only performance improvements but also negligence and incompetence. If our Police Officers fail to attend a scene, investigate poorly or even deliberately falsify accounts then by the legal definition there has been no crime as it cannot be corroborated and will have no record. Also, the metrics are managed and controlled by the Police Force itself. We have seen that the improvement in serious assaults recorded by Police is not matched by those recorded in Hospital and in Fife the disparity is greater than any other region. For the metrics to have effect and deliver trust for the constituents they must derive from a source not totally controlled by Police and open to manipulation.
Why would Government not ensure this already takes place? Unfortunately, the longer Government are in Office they want to show society that they are leading effective management of the Justice System and they use Police metrics to that end. As such, they risk becoming corrupted for the same need to massage results as Police officers may.
We believe that the changes asked for here will help create an environment that the majority of Police Officers with high integrity and capability are not undermined by the actions of a few and once again be given the credibility for what is an important and difficult role.
- Civil liberties and Political Structure
We feel that there is a current knee jerk behaviour being taken within the Scottish Assembly in developing and implementing new Laws. These Laws do not appear to be subject to the degree of scrutiny a mature nation should have in place and can be implemented by any Party with a majority using The Whip. These laws seem to be agreed to be almost trial and error with the prospect they may be removed again after a test period.
While the concept of trial periods for society changes can be appropriate, we do not feel that this applies in the creation and Implementation of Law. In the context of Civil Liberties we see individuals can be convicted of a crime that within a couple of years the Law may be removed from the statute books but yet the criminal conviction will remain.
This is absurd.
We need to develop a mechanism for slowing the whims of political groups down to a pace that shows genuine comprehension for the effects their actions will have. In the Assembly we need to have a secondary selected group to test the Law plans before implementation and if Independence is achieved we need to have a Second House to keep the Laws and Financial practice of Government in check.
We believe that the long-term prosperity and stability of Scotland lies with the effective education in the required skills of all. This means that this a commitment to life-long learning, change management skills and a commitment to identifying future needs.
While supporting free University places we see that there has to be a shift in the presumption that University is the only way open to young people to gain effective education. We need to have the same attitude of excellence through apprenticeships and other vocational educational possibilities.
- Living Wage
We absolutely believe in the principle of a living wage and support this wholeheartedly. We believe that there should be time plans in place for all those hired directly and indirectly by the State to meet the living wage requirements.
In private businesses we want there to be a limit to Salary/Profit taken by business leaders if they fail to meet a living wage. It is inconceivable that in a fair society, individual business owners/leaders can over reward themselves at the expense of their staff.
Minimum wage may be appropriate in start-up situations, troublesome periods and other extreme situations. This reduction in income may be agreed with a future share in profits if achieved.