Thursday 8 June 2017

Rally - Mull Murmurs

Just as there are good laws and there are bad laws, there are well-written laws and poorly written laws. Not everyone gets everything right first time and that applies equally to the most learned in our society as it does to the rest of us.

On that basis, what follows is not to be regarded as fact, but more one person's version of possible events set out in a non-prejudicial way leading us to where we are today. The following was written by the author of that scurrilous series of on-event Bulletins 'Mull Murmurs' which were a feature of early Mull rallies and therefore should be treated with a fair degree of suspicion. Naturally, I personally deny all knowledge of said individual and do not necessarily subscribe to any of his views, opinions or fancies.

     He goes on:

" It would appear that the current stramash in which Scottish closed road rallying finds itself dates back to the original Act of Parliament in 1990 which was primarily enacted for Mull. That Act contained a clause headed up 'Compensation'.  It also featured in the more recent 1996 Act which enabled the Jim Clark event.

In those more innocent days before the advent of ambulance chasers and pin-striped litigants, TV and telephone call claims specialists, the wording was of a nature that would imply that anyone injured during the course of an event was entitled to compensation. I won't repeat the full Clause here in case others may be so encouraged, but suffice to say that in light of events in the Scottish Borders, some sharp-suit may have spotted a loophole, hence the current, and understandable, state of nervousness ahead of the FAI.

There is also a lack of understanding why the Snowman and Jim Clark accidents are the subject of a joint FAI because the circumstances around both are entirely different. One involved a spectator and the other one didn't! Hopefully they will be regarded as such on the day, or the 7 weeks to be more precise.

However, in the light of this latter incident it would appear that someone of quizzical mind and material nature has chosen to interpret the intention of this 'Compensation Clause' rather differently and no doubt the final outcome of the FAI will have a bearing on subsequent actions.

Needless to say the wording in the more recent Act of the Westminster Parliament as pursued by the MSA is slightly different to those original Acts and this may also have had a bearing on how the wording and meaning of the previous Acts were interpreted.

To say that this year's event has been cancelled simply because adequate and affordable insurance could not be sourced is therefore a wee bit misleading. It stems from a questionable legal interpretation and insurers are always suspicious of uncertainty. In light of recent events, their lawyers have probably looked at the Clause and erred on the side of caution - to the sport's loss.

In other words, either the Scottish Government will have to update these earlier Acts or simply adopt the new 'English' Act."

     Signed - Yer auld pal, JB

As I said, the previous piece came from a thoroughly unreliable source and nowt to do with me. I am innocent of all insinuations and charges. I remain impartial, but in a bid to provide information without prejudicing the forthcoming Inquiry - a big boy wrote it and ran away.

There is a wider issue here. Other sports could be similarly affected if relying on 'old' legislation. We live in worrying times, eh?

No doubt I will return to this topic in due course !!

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