Mr Archie Kirkwood, MP,
House of Commons,
Palace of Westminster,
DEAR Mr KIRKWOOD,
May I express my disgust and extreme displeasure at the story of the arbitrariness of the sacking, by the Lord Advocate, Lord Hardie, of Mr Jock Thomson ( as reported in “The Scotsman” of 5th May 1999) because of second-or-third-hand gossip about an alleged “racist” remark.
Let’s be quite clear what we’re talking about here. For a complaint about malicious “racism” to have any real validity, the complainer needs to show that the action (whatever it was) involved malicious or injurious hostility. A friendly joke is neither here nor there. The law is not there to be used for trifles of a fatuous nature. Moreover, the complaint must be openly presented by the person claiming to be the aggrieved party; and the onus is on him or her to show that the complaint is justified.
Our country, it seems, has a new form of ” McCarthyism”. Instead of, as in the USA, a situation whereby hundreds of innocent, respectable and honourable people had their careers ruined by whispered allegations of ” Communist”, now in this country, if you really want to ruin someone’s career, you put about the backstage whispers of “racist”.
Lord Hardie’s actions, in responding to gossip and an obviously malicious, anonymous letter, are shockingly similar to methods used by the tyrranical “Ancien Regime” in France before the revolution of 1789. It was that regime which made great use of the monstrous and notorious ” Lettres de Cachet” system, whereby it only took a secret letter (or a whispered word) from an aristocrat of power to have someone arbitrarily thrown in the Bastille without a trial, without a chance to defend himself, and without coming face-to face with his accuser.
How is it then, that we find the same system surfacing, two centuries later, in the Scottish Legal System? My belief is that it is the Lord Advocate, Lord Hardie, who should be sacked – and the sooner the better.
This letter was also sent to “The Scotsman” newspaper. Once again Evelyn took on one of the establishment bears, and didn’t pull her punches. The background to this letter is as follows:-
Andrew Rutherford Hardie, Baron Hardie PC,QC, was Lord Advocate at the time these events took place. Hardie was called by some in legal circles, behind his back of course, “The Hanging Judge”, because of the severity of his sentences. A review of judicial performance in 2008 named him ” Scotland’s worst judge”. Eighty-four of the sentences delivered by Hardie had been overturned on appeal. Originally Hardie had been given the task of prosecuting Megrahi in the “Lockerbie Trial” but withdrew 2 months before the trial began. Some said that Hardy suspected the case would fold and ” Didn’t want to be left holding the baby” when the case folded.
In complete contrast Jock Thomson QC, who unfortunately and sadly died in Sept 30th 2013, was highly regarded by almost all of the Scottish judiciary and by many outside it. He was however, outspoken in his criticisms of the Scottish Law System and many in it, and that included Andrew Hardie. Hardie received an anonymous and cowardly complaint about Jock Thomson supposedly making a racist remark and jumped into action immediately ( time for payback) and tried to get Thomason sacked. Jock Thomson was eventually cleared of everything, but it almost certainly cost him the post of Lord Advocate which most people had been predicting and no doubt pleased Hardie no end.
Hardie has now retired from law and sits in the House of Lords, Although this incident happened some time ago, it highlights the hidden intrigue and back-stabbing which still goes on today in establishment circles. It was just this kind of thing that Jock Thomson fought so hard to eradicate from the Scottish law system, and the reason why Evelyn wrote to defend him.