The MSP for whom I work part-time, Dr Bill Wilson, is lodging a motion on Monday criticising the use of the fear of terror to erode civil liberties and human rights, but calling for consistency in the implementation of such legislation as exists. You may read about this in today’s Sunday Times.
The UK Government used the The Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001) to seize the assets of the Iceland bank, Landsbanki. Dr Wilson is arguing that they should do the same to seize the assets of the likes of Sir Fred Goodwin, disgraced former banker implicated in the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland, who emerged from the ashes with a £16 million pension. His pension amounts to almost £2,000/day!
Yes, as his researcher, I helped Dr Wilson draft the motion and write to Alistair Darling to make the suggestion. What do you think?
[UPDATE 17 MARCH. The motion has now been lodged:
S3M-03711 Bill Wilson (West of Scotland) (Scottish National Party): Seizing the Assets of Economic Terrorists— That the Parliament, while disapproving of the use of the fear of terrorism to erode civil liberties and human rights, urges the UK Government to be consistent in its application of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001); considers that the executive actions of those who ran Scottish and UK banks resulted in thousands of job losses and required the injection of billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money to prevent the collapse of the banking system; holds that these collective failures could be considered to be economic terrorism on an unprecedented scale and that the full weight of the law is, therefore, required to protect and recover taxpayers’ money, and, accordingly, urges the UK Government to use the powers that it has by virtue of the Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act (2001) to seize the assets of these individuals.
Lodged on Monday, March 16, 2009; Current
P.S. I strongly recommend you look for the extract from an essay by Richard Layard in this posting, in which he states that grossly unequal societies (such as the UK) are not even good for those at the top of the tree. Interesting and important stuff! Close down tax loopholes and tax havens, I say, and pay footballers no more than nurses and teachers.