Baby boxes, universalism and higher taxes


In many ways the baby box provision can be understood as a heart-warming initiative here in Scotland at a time when the ‘nasty party’ in Westminster seems to be intent on destroying everything universal, and free and civic and kind.

What’s not to like? Who is not a little proud of or even just simply relieved to have a government that seems to care? It seems curmudgeonly to cry ‘Bah Humbug’, or even to question whether the relatively few £millions (a piffling percentage of that wasted on Edinburgh trams) could have been better spent.

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Women for Justice, Justice for Women!

National Committee member Maggie Mellon recently spoke about our justice campaign at the Scottish Parliament.  Read the text of her speech and find out what Women for Independence are campaigning for.   (Photo shows Maggie hosting session on justice at our 2015 AGM).

Women for Independence  campaigned against the building of the large new superprison that was proposed. It was not  the only voice, but it has been recognised as  a game-changing voice because we took the debate out of the usual channels and addressed a new and much broader audience, women who had been engaged by the referendum debate and were asking questions about  the kind of Scotland we want to live in.

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New Prisons? Old Wine in New Bottles


Maggie Mellon of the WFI National Committee and WFI #Justicewatch argues that WFI need to stand firm and that prisons are not the answer.

Many WFI women who have support our campaign for justice for women will have read of the newly released plans for prisons for women in Scotland. These are to replace the super-prison which we campaigned so successfully against last year.

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Justice Watch Update August 2016


National Commitee member Maggie Mellon updates on #JusticeWatch.

In this blog, I am going to write about not just my own experience and views but also cover some of the issues that we all have encountered and the experiences of women in a number of courts.

A fair hearing?

Readers who have not been in a criminal court will have seen film and TV court scenes. In these the public gallery can hear everything clearly and understand it too.  But its not like that at all. Those who have been in an actual court will probably have had a different experience.

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Justice Watch: Edinburgh Week 5

(Photo: Press Association)

In her fourth post reporting on the Women for Independence #JusticeWatch initiative, Maggie Mellon queries waste, fines and poverty and something odd about domestic abuse cases.

Blunders, mix ups and waste of time and money

After two previous court visits without even one women actually appearing in the dock, although several had been called but were not present, or whose cases were discussed but they had not been ‘ordained’ to appear, I was beginning to wonder how many cases actually arrive at any conclusion at all.

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Justice Watch: Edinburgh Day 3


In this third part of her #JusticeWatch blog Maggie Mellon finds court more and more interesting – and depressing. Where are the social workers?

This week I did not get to visit the court until the Friday after Easter weekend. I once again found myself in Sheriff Katherine Mackie’s court. As once again she seemed to have the majority of women listed to appear before her.

It just gets more and more interesting – and depressing too in equal measure. Here are the two things that interested and depressed me this week.

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Justice Watch: Launch Day Edinburgh Part 2

In this second part of her #JusticeWatch blog Maggie Mellon reflects on women accused of domestic abuse.

There were three women listed as having been in police custody over the weekend or part of it, and friendly court staff told us that hey would not be up till the afternoon. Before that there were all those listed to appear in one of the 8 court rooms devoted to sheriff summary proceedings.

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