The right to be heard

 

By Ian Hamilton

There are no more important laws than these governing an election. These laws are made at Westminster.

Despite Scotland’s recognition as a separate country the BBC has denied us a place in the electoral debate. Coverage has been given to the three Unionist parties. No equivalent coverage has been given to us. This makes the election a sham.

The Atlantic Charter of 1941 set out the war aims of my generation. Among these was the right to self determination of small nations.

As a result many young Scots, I among them, volunteered for armed service to sustain this right. I have never forgotten this nor swerved from it. We disdained conscription.

The three Unionists Parties offer us their brand of financial management. None offers us a principle.

The right to be heard in free speech is a principle. This is particularly so at election time.

Let the law decide.

If London made law decides against us then let us, who get free TV licences, picket the BBC entrances. On arrest let us refuse to be bailed and go on hunger strike. If released let us resume our pickets.

The right to be heard at election time is a principle worth fighting and dieing for. We who have only a little time left should lead the way.

Is there any support for such direct action?

Ian Hamilton

I posted this second thought as a comment on the day the SNP action was due to be heard.

Ian Hamilton
http://www.ianhamiltonqc.com | ianvr764@gmail.com | 81.131.83.220

Whatever the result of today’s court case I realise that there is no hope of organising a demonstration outside the BBC between now and polling day.

To be effective this would need to be at the weekend which gives only three days. Everyone I could turn to for help is busy working fior the election.

However civil disobedience of one sort or another is something that must be prepared for in advance and I shall be writing about it in a future post.

I bit off more than I can chew here. But I would rather bite off too much than not bite at all.

Ian

18 Responses to “The right to be heard”

  1. Ian Hamilton Says:

    Meantime in case the legal action goes against us is there someone who can save me an extra trip to Glasgow by photographing the entrance(s) to the BBC for me?

    I will be making my own visit as soon as it is necessary.

    Ian

  2. CWH Says:

    Agree completely. Another thing the BBC will not tell you:
    Poll after SKY News debate today featuring Scottish party leaders:
    Alex Salmond – SNP – 45%
    Alistair Carmichael – Lib Dem – 33%
    David Mundell – Tory – 15%
    Jim Murphy – Labour – 5%.

  3. Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers Says:

    Damn the free licence restriction, I’m with you.

    Provided the B&B in the clink is guaranteed.

  4. Davie Park Says:

    I really admire your commitment to your principles Ian. Most people I know don’t care about justice or fairness or democracy, so long as their ‘team’ wins.
    I know you would hate it Ian, but in a future Scotland’s own version of Mt. Rushmore, I see you next to RB Cunninghame Graham, John MacCormick, Wallace and (who knows) Alex Salmond :)

  5. Gaavster Says:

    Living in Ayrshire, working in Edinburgh tomorrow Ian, I’ll take a detour on my way home and get the photos for you if we still need them after the court of session… Let me know when you plan to go to Pacific Quay, I would be proud and priviliged to stand shoulder to shoulder with you Ian

  6. Ian Hamilton Says:

    Whatever the result of today’s court case I realise that there is no hope of organising a demonstration outside the BBC between now and polling day.

    To be effective this would need to be at the weekend which gives only three days. Everyone I could turn to for help is busy working fior the election.

    However civil disobedience of one sort or another is something that must be prepared for in advance and I shall be writing about it in a future post.

    I bit off more than I can chew here. But I would rather bite off too much than not bite at all.

    Ian

  7. Hamish Scott Says:

    Pleased to see civil disobedience being considered. I agree with Ian Hamilton that it is probably too late for this election, but in a year’s time the Holyrood election will take place and, perhaps sometime soon, a referendum on independence. Any such campaign has to be well organised and thought through with participants aware and prepared of the likely cinsequences. There is mounting opinion about the failure of the BBC in regard to Scotland in a number of ways.

  8. Newsnet Scotland Says:

    With your permission sir we would like to publish this piece on Newsnet Scotland.

    Regards
    Newsnet Scotland

  9. bcnsco Says:

    the snp raised £50,000 in 31 hours so a protest at the bbc before may 6th could easily be done.

  10. Snowthiistle Says:

    Count me in.

  11. Ian Hamilton Says:

    Use anything you want from my blog anywhere but please acknowledge where it came from.

    You will be interested in my piece on civil disobedience which is at present under a chicken in my head.

    Go ahead with your demonstration, bcnsco. I think too many people are electioneering to make it possible at such short notice. You need a mass of people and a mass of police or the press will label it an SNP failure. For that reason I’m out. I only take calculated risks and my calculations are against this one.

    Ian

  12. indyleith Says:

    Great to see the response to the SNP appeal and the goodwill towards them in taking this to court on our behalf. At last the public begin to act in Scotland.

    What the unionists fear most is the ’snowball’ effect from the public. Direct action was always going to be on the cards against the BBC, it always is the world over against propaganda mouthpieces who dont appear to respect democracy.

    Great call Ian.

  13. Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers Says:

    Tax returns sent to Bute House, or the Scottish Treasury - mass appeals against rate charges - request fuller information on any enquiry by government departments - delay, procrastinate, query everything governmental - keep all correspondence to snail mail;you may keep some poor sod in a job while driving them nuts.

  14. mato21 Says:

    I am becoming increasinly worried about myself. The older I become the more strident I seem to be getting.Count me in for the protest and a cell if necessary it will be a new experience and I do pay for my licence which to my mind makes this debacle all the worse I feel personally affronted

  15. Lenathehyena Says:

    It would have been amazing had the SNP’s appeal been accepted by the courts. The courts are not in the business of upsetting the status quo in the UK. What has been clear is that the general discussion of political issues on the Meeja has been pretty dismal. Nothing like an election to discover which masts and which colours are favoured by news programme presenters. Mainline I think most would agree.

    It is also apparent that the big three, as we are encouraged to refer to them, are all twitchy about their votes which is one reason why they all renounce true democracy in this instance. What is certain is that none of the three want to talk about the elephant in the room - the gradual disintegration of the UK.

    So bury their heads in the sand they might, and think of England. Let them get on with it. A year from now the political and social landscape in this country will have been transformed and the grim reality of cuts from one, two or even all three of the big ‘uns working its way into the minds of their default voters. Just don’t blame us, mates, we warned you.

  16. Albert Bigelow Paine Says:

    The Dancing Bear.

    CalMerc poster, you said, ‘But undoubtedly the moral victory will be the SNPs. Unfortunately,the Law does not work by morality or even fairness at times. But by rule of law.’

    Isn’t laws based on ideals of morality already? For laws to be excused as ‘just’, then they must be morally based. Therefore, any decision will be ‘just’, or an abrogation of law and its intents. Thus… see below!

    You also said, ‘They will know full well that if anyone wants to watch the dabate here,all they would have to do is watch the debate on Satellite or pc.’

    This part I love; think about it, just being able to receive the BBC signal determines why their license fee is demanded under UK law. This happened to an old lady a few yeras ago; she was able to receive the BBC signal, but she told the court she didn’t watch BBC. But that didn’t matter to the judge, he said if she received the signal, under law, she had to buy the license, by law! She chose to go to prison rather than buy the license, so the judge sent her to prison because she refused to pay her license fee to the BBC.

    Now, if the BBC fail to screen the 3 stooges circus antics throughout the whole UK, then they are in breach of contract to all those license holders who are disconnected from the screening. So it’s not so simple to just exclude Scotland from the viweing; how are the BBC going to justify their demands under law of the license fee in Scotland when they themselves are defaulting on their own terms of contract to every license fee payer in Scotland???
    allymax.

  17. start a blog Says:

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  18. Odd news Says:

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