NEW LABOUR was humiliated by a court ruling in Scotland last week. Three protesters who had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage at the Faslane Trident nuclear submarine base on the Clyde were cleared of any offence. Sheriff Margaret Gimble ordered a jury at her Greenock court to acquit the three after ruling that nuclear weapons were illegal under international law.
The three admitted causing £80,000 worth of damage at Faslane. But they argued that threatening to use nuclear weapons was a crime, and that they were entitled to do whatever was necessary to prevent that crime. The sheriff accepted their argument, and the three walked free from court to cheers from supporters last week. New Labour had held the three women protesters in jail since their arrest in June, and spent £100,0000 on prosecuting them. The government is now to appeal against the sheriff's verdict.