The situation in the middle-east between the Israelis and the Palestinians is decades (in fact centuries) old and, quite frankly, it's unlikely to be resolved any time soon.
I don't have any particular opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian problem and I don't support one side or the other. Instead, I tend to be of the opinion that we in the West should keep our noses out of the middle-east altogether as our involvement there has caused more harm than helped this tragic region (Iraq, Afghanistan, Lybia, Syria anyone)?
However I do understand that the middle-east is a thorny issue issue which produces very emotive and explosive opinions from those on both sides of the barrier. Most people I speak to have genuine heart-felt opinions on the Israel/Palestine issue and I believe that in a free and fair democratic country like Scotland each person has a right to voice their opinion.
Alister Coutts is 56 years old and he happens to be a supporter of the Palestinian side of the argument. Fair enough, that's his opinion and he has a right to hold it and freely express it.
At a recent rally/protest in Aberdeen, he chanted "Viva Palestine"...and was arrested!
Yes, that's right, Police Scotland and the Crown office have decided that Alister having a political opinion and freely and peacefully expressing it here in Scotland constitutes a crime.
A policeman ordered Andrew to leave the shopping mall in Aberdeen where he was peacefully protesting. Being a good citizen and not wanting to cause any trouble, Andrew did exactly as the policeman ordered. But as soon as he stepped outside the mall he was handcuffed, held for seven hours, and charged.
At first glance, it all seems very strange. After all, the police and the Crown office are supposed to be non-political. The right to peaceful protest is not only perfectly legal in Scotland but is the absolute cornerstone of our democracy and should be encouraged.
So why would Police Scotland and the Crown office act in such a clearly politically biased and dictatorial manner? After all they have no legal right or mandate to act in such a political way. They cannot just arrest members of the Scottish public for their political beliefs.
Well, a Freedom of Information request made to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service in Edinburgh may just have revealed the murky answer.
The FOI reveals the disclosure of a host of secret email exchanges between the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal service and Zionist organisations. It turns out there exists what has been described as a very 'cosy relationship' between the COPFS and the pro-Israel lobby in Scotland.
So Police Scotland and the COPFS have now made it clear to the Scottish public that:
1. Police Scotland will arrest you if you express a political opinion that they and their friends don't agree with.
2. The Crown office will prosecute you if you express a political opinion that is different from the one that they and their friends hold.
Here's something else you may not be aware of which makes this whole situation even more bizarre and, quite frankly, very worrying.
Many readers of a similar age to me (i.e. the over 50's) may remember an old 1970's song by Sylvia called "Y Viva Espana". Many of you will have, I'm sure, happy memories of those package holidays to the Spanish Costas back in the seventies where you probably belted out the song "Y Viva Espana" at the top of your voice with a San Miguel in one hand and a jug of Sangria in the other. Admit it, some of you probably had a toy donkey under your arm and a sombrero on your head at the time too!
"Viva Espana" translates to "long life to Spain". Nothing wrong with that. Wishing a long life is rather a nice sentiment to wish to anyone or sing to anyone.
The song "Y Viva Espana" was the most popular holiday song of 1974 and even made it to number 4 in the UK hit parade (the 'hit parade' is what we used to call the singles charts back in those days in case you young 'uns don't know what I'm talking about by the way).
Hey, I even remember the lovely Sylvia singing "Y Viva Espana" live on Top Of The Pops at the time (by the way, "Y" simply translates to "and" so the "Y" bit in "Y Viva Espana" just means "and long life to Spain", just in case you were wondering).
Here's the important bit though.
You see by singing "Viva Espana" and wishing long life to Spain, the seventies singer Sylvia was most certainly not wishing, by default, a short life or harm to everyone else who isn't Spanish. That would just be ridiculous. It's a line from a song, it's a simple phrase, it means what it means and it is what it is.
Yet untrustworthy Police Scotland and the corrupt Crown office are trying to claim in Alister Coutts case that because Alister wished a long life to Palestine he was also wishing, by default, a short life or harm to everyone else who is not Palestinian.
It's a total nonsense.
In another interesting similarity to Alister's case, Sylvia Vrethammar, the singer of the song "Y Viva Espana" is actually Swedish, she's not Spanish (and the song was written by a pair of Dutch songwriters).
So the person who sung and proclaimed "Long life to Spain" isn't Spanish, just the same as Andrew who chanted "Long life to Palestine" isn't Palestinian.
Go work it out Police Scotland!
And as if that wasn't enough, in yet another related snippet of historical information and fact about the phrase "Y Viva Espana", we find that it was actually adopted by the dictator and Spanish ruler General Franco.
Like most dictators, Franco ruled Spain with an iron fist and executed thousands of his political opponents. Not a nice guy by any means.
Many Spaniards still feel the phrase "Y Viva Espana" evokes connotations of the bad old days where you could be jailed or killed by Franco's police for your political views. Other Spaniards feel different of course and yearn for the old days of Franco-ism where you could leave your front door open and nobody would steal anything from your house. Yip, like all political issues, people have political opinions on both sides.
But the most important thing to take from this here is that Spain no longer has a dictator! Spain is now a democracy and has been for the last 30-odd years.
You are perfectly free to chant, shout or sing "Y Viva Espana" in Spain if you so wish. You will not be arrested for it. Whereas here in Scotland...
Untrustworthy Police Scotland and the corrupt COPFS need to get a grip.
Look, I'm Scottish and I love the Scottish people. I wish all my fellow Scots a long and happy life. I hope our great country of Scotland has a long and happy life span and continues to prosper forever.
So today, on this blog, I say, "Viva Scotland" - I wish a long life to Scotland.
And be assured that when I say "Viva Scotland", it doesn't mean that I wish everyone who is not Scottish and every country which is not Scotland a short life or any harm.
However I do realise that according to untrustworthy Police Scotland and the corrupt Crown office, I now risk being arrested for my patriotism.
So I have an important message for Police Scotland:
"If you are coming to arrest me for wishing the Scottish people well in this post today, can you make it a mid-week day please - I'm a bit fed up with you purposely arresting innocent members of the Scottish public on a Friday so that you can hold them in a custody cell all weekend till the courts open on the Monday. PS I'll wait in for you..."