Saturday, 18 June 2011

Alex Salmond’s proposed new ‘anti-sectarian’ laws

Take a Liberty ( Scotland ) has launched a campaign against Alex Salmond’s proposed new ‘anti-sectarian’ laws. A statement and petition (see below) is being circulated around the UK to challenge what Stuart Waiton, from Take a Liberty (Scotland), believes is, ‘an almost unbelievably reactionary and authoritarian proposal’, being put forward by the Scottish government.

The statement reads,

We believe that introducing a law to imprison people for up to five years because of offensive sectarian chanting or online comments is extreme and illiberal.

Signatories so far include.

Stuart Baird, Scottish Secondary School Teacher, Rangers fan and Take a Liberty ( Scotland ) supporter.

Dr Carlton Brick, Sociology of Sport, West of Scotland University, co-author Key Concepts in Sports Studies.

Eamonn Butler MA PhD, Director Adam Smith Institute, author of Milton Friedman: A Concise Guide to the ideas and influence of the Free-Market Economist.

Dolan Cummings, cultural commentator and contributing author of It's Rangers for Me?

Stephen Field, author of Prison Law Index: The Definitive A-Z Index of Prison Law.

Dr Chris Gilligan, Senior Lecturer Sociology, University of the West of Scotland, editor, Northern Ireland Ten Years After the Agreement.

Dr Donncha Marron, Sociology Lecturer, Robert Gordon University and Take a Liberty ( Scotland ) supporter.

Tom Miers, Editor Free Society

Brian Monteith; former MSP, political columnist and writer.

Steven Purdie, Principle Teacher Humanities, Calderhead High School, Celtic fan and Take a Liberty ( Scotland ) supporter.

Kevin Rooney, teacher, writer and Celtic season ticket holder.

Jonathan Simon, Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley, visiting professor of law, University of Edinburgh, and author of Governing through Crime.

Dr Craig Smith, Scottish based moral philosopher.

Dr Stuart Waiton, FRSA, Sociology and Criminology Lecturer, University of Abertay Dundee , Co-founder of Take a Liberty ( Scotland ).

Graham Walker Professor of Political History, Queen’s  University of Belfast .



  1. No one in their right mind can compalin about positive steps to eradicate sectarianism from Scotland. However, like most Unionists, I'm extremely suspicious about the motives of Roseanna Cunningham and co. For years now, Scottish Unionists / Protestants etc have been demonised by polticians and the media with a bigoted agenda and this bill will only further fuel suspicions, this is another attack on the majority population. The SNP are now playing a very dangerous game and acrrying on the demonisation which Labour started against people with a Protestant ethos. I fear if the present trends and onslaught continues, Scotland could be heading for a very stormy future. Here's hoping Republican Rose thinks again.

  2. Totally agree. This is not a football related issue. This is a damnation of the protestant people of this country. Remember , to win a move away from the Union, the SNP must show appeasement to someone.......................The biggest load of tosh written in Scotland since the Declaration of Arbroath of 1320 which was an act of propaganda by Bruce to get himself back in favour with the Vatican after he had been ex-communicated by them for the murder of the Red Comyn in a chapel in Dumfries

  3. I don't think this has anything to do with a republican or anti-Protestant agenda - it's simply that the Scottish political and media classes have disdain for Old Firm supporters on both sides, and see them as emblematic of old loyalties and divisions they find embarrassing. The proposed legislation has more in common with anti-drinking measures - minimum pricing etc - an attempt to reshape Scottish culture through coercion and demonisation, rather than offering a positive vision of the future that people might choose to buy into.

  4. Wallace McNeish20 June 2011 at 10:58

    Although not nearly as institutionalised as in the past there is no doubt that sectarian attitudes do remain a very real social problem in the west of Scotland. However, the problem cannot simply be legislated away - indeed the proposed legislation may even make the problem worse. Social problems like sectarianism need answers that address the underlying social causes. Hence I have signed the petition against what is a stupid law.

  5. Why is this a petitiononline rather than a petition to the Scottish Parliament. Is it because Take a liberty (Scotland) is a self appointed guardian of libertarianism. Opposition to minimum pricing of alcohol ignores the impact of cheap alcohol on people's lives. Opposition to doing something about the sectarianism which follows football does cost lives. I have never seen such a list of middle class do gooders who do not live in the real world.

  6. There are several issues here. One is the usual denial there is a real problem. This is largely as many people hold such prejudices so deeply that they don't know why but to be told it is wrong is abhorrent .we are very good at blaming someone else for the problem - it's the schools , it's government , it's just banter. Other peoples activities does not induce hatred in a person - they choose to do it of their own volition. People enjoy hatred as it is very empowering. Many of these comments contain "why.. might... could..." and I gave read ludicrous comparisons with lybia and Syria. Do we have a problem ? Yes is is largely a west of Scotland problem? Yes . Should we do nothing ? Absolutely is a real shame that there are no alternatives being offered and no effort being diverted to sorting the problem. But then again that might take a bit of reflection that we might be doing something wrong in the first place.

  7. The root cause of the sectarian problem is not being addressed i.e.the continuing influence of religion on the education of young people and the separation of children at an early age into denominational schools.We should take a leaf out of France's book and have a completely secular state system in education and any other relevant state organisation and let people pursue their religious preferences in their private lives. Perhaps after a generation of this system religious bigotry on both sides would disappear and we could have a more enlightened society.

  8. The amount of people signing this petition is pathetic........Apethy has set in or the country is full of SNP lovers right enough. God help our country.