One of Scotlands top prosecutors Alex Prentice QC, is set to speak at a masterclass tomorrow on ‘Pre-trial publicity in the internet age’.
It costs £30 to attend.
Let me save you that £30.
What Mr Prentice will say is that people who use this new fangled interwebby thingy to write about trials and gossip about cases 'n stuff are naughty and should be sent to bed early without any cocoa. He'll put forward an argument that discussions about cases before a trial could sway a jury, influence a judge, and pretty much hinder justice from being achieved.
Yeah right. As if trials have never been discussed by members of the public before?
Big trials - and the bigger and more gory the better - are one of the absolute favourite conversations among pub-goers the country over. Where do you think the expression bar-room-lawyers came from?
This ain't new, Mr Prentice.
Therefore let me translate what this is really about dear readers.
This is really about gagging the press so that the corrupt Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service can do what they want without the glare of publicity holding them to account.
It's already common knowledge that when you sue the Crown office and Police Scotland you must sign a confidentiality agreement not to disclose what they paid you in compensation. They insist on this in order to save them from any embarrassment and bad publicity. They don't want the public to know they messed up, so they pay up, and force you to shut up. Not really justice is it eh?
But not content with this, Alex Prentice and his Crown office buddies want to go even further. If they can ban bloggers, newspapers, television and all other areas of the press from reporting about what they're doing in the first place, the public will never get to know about the dodgy cases they prosecute and the chaos and mess they make of trials every day never mind the embarrassing payouts they have to shell out at the end of the botched trials.
So it's all about covering up their incompetence, preventing public accountability, and maintaining secrecy over what they do so that they can continue to act in the corrupt manner the Crown Office & Procurator Fiscal Service are infamous for.
There you go, £30 saved.
Don't spend it all in the one shop now y'all.