Blair's Heir Alive and Well in Scotland
THOUSANDS of criminals, including thieves, housebreakers, vandals and fine-defaulters, will be spared prison sentences under radical plans announced yesterday by the new Scottish Executive.
Kenny MacAskill, the justice secretary, said he wanted to adopt a more liberal approach to penal policy....
Mr MacAskill also announced the SNP government would recruit an extra 1,000 police officers and launch a crackdown on under-age drinkers and those who sell alcohol to them.
He intended to move to ban discounted alcohol promotions in shops and off-licences and launch an anti-violence agenda focusing on changing the culture on knives.
Stealing a well-known line from Tony Blair, Mr MacAskill said it was time to be "tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime".
He said the government would come down hard on serious offenders, but it would concentrate on the social and economic problems that led to many other crimes.
Lucky old Scotland to try out these policies again - I would advise any Scottish readers to keep a Mashie niblick handy around the house, just in case you want to take up golf at three in the morning.