AS ever, George Kerevan’s article on trial by jury is well-researched, incisive and hugely informative (Why abolishing juries in rape trials risks being a slippery slope, Jan 10). His contention that juries are a “safeguard against arbitrary rule and excessive punishments” is accurate and particularly pertinent when considering the unethical motives and ruthlessly tyrannous nature of the current Westminster government.

The reaction of Conservative ministers and MPs to the acquittal of the Bristol Four regarding the Colston statue case comes as no real surprise from a government that has cut international aid to the most vulnerable, slashed Universal Credit payments and baulked at the prospect of having to provide school meals for the poorest children in their constituencies.

READ MORE: UK Government under fire for considering referral to Court of Appeal

The fact that the Attorney General, Suella Braverman, has felt the need to state that she is considering referring the decision to the Court of Appeal demonstrates just how much she and the Prime Minister are in thrall to a baying mob of increasingly intolerant right-wing backbenchers who wallow in a shamelessly immoral libertarian ideology. Members of xenophobic little Englander groups like the 1922 Committee and the European Research Group are outraged that the Colston decision has gone against their perverse imperial Weltanschauung, and their natural response is to curb the system that has allowed this gross miscarriage of their perception of justice to happen.

As Mr Kerevan states, we must be constantly on our guard as tampering with the jury system will allow increased politicisation of the legal system, which this UK Government will tailor to abuse its democratic framework for its own nefarious purposes. We can never endorse mass arbitrary actions such as the toppling of the Colston statue regardless of the historical principles that may be at stake, yet it can be viewed as a reaction to the casual racism and parochial dogmatism that pervades the Tory government and its faithful.

READ MORE: GB News in court over opinion piece published during Colston Four trial

I wonder how many applauded the toppling of the statue of Saddam Hussein in 1991 or the destruction of statues to Lenin and Stalin after the fall of communism in Eastern Europe? There has to be a mature, sensitive and sensible debate on public statues and monuments in an independent Scotland. The Irish blew up statues of Nelson and Queen Victoria in Dublin after their secession from British rule after centuries of subjugation. Scotland must prove itself to be more methodical, tolerant and objective in analysing its history and long-term future.

Owen Kelly

AS it stands, the law allows the Attorney General to refer a trial verdict for reconsideration where it is felt that decision was in error.

I therefore disagree with Gavin Brown (Letters, Jan 10) that the trial decision in the Colston case should not be referred.

The act of pulling down the statue was admitted and irrefutable, the means of doing so proved intent, satisfying the legal requirement the offence had been committed by those charged.

It’s in the remit of a jury to decide only on the evidence presented and direction of the judge. Notwithstanding that we may be entitled to empathise with the removal of this statue, it is clear that this jury added a political, sympathetic element to their decision well outside their remit.

With this particular “verdict” what we have effectively given credence to is allowing louts to take the law into their own hands, to take actions that should have no place in a democratic society.

Is this the kind of society we want to live in?

Do we really wish to allow mob rule to prevail?

Jim Taylor