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The Herald

Scottish Political News | Herald Scotland
Scottish Political News | Herald Scotland

Food banks a stop-gap measure
PEOPLE on welfare benefits can afford to eat and rely on food banks for "short-term shortages", a UK Government source said as David Cameron revealed he would soon visit one.

GPs urge action on inequality in NHS spending
GPs in the country's most deprived areas say "20 years of failure" to address health inequalities will not be reversed by tinkering on the edges of the problem.

Addiction fuels child poverty
Having a parent addicted to drugs or alcohol is the most important factor in determining child poverty, a UK Government-commissioned poll suggests.

Sturgeon urged to pursue openness
THE Scottish Information Commissioner will today urge Nicola Sturgeon to commit her Government to a more open path on the public's right to know than is being pursued at Westminster.

'Obscene' banking bonuses attacked
A former senior Barclays executive has called for bank bosses to give up lucrative bonuses as she denounced "obscene" levels of payment.

New probe into factors legislation
THE ability of homeowners to hire and fire factors and maintenance firms is to be investigated by MSPs.

Government measures on climate are condemned
THE Scottish Government has been accused of doing too little to tackle climate change after its long-awaited progress report revealed just three new initiatives.

330 British troops to be sent to Mali
FEARS Britain is being sucked into a major new conflict were raised by MPs after the Government revealed 330 troops could soon be deployed to terror-hit Mali, mainly to train local forces.

Call for inmates to have phones in cells
SCOTTISH inmates should be given phones as well as televisions in their cells as part of attempts to make them feel like normal human beings and cut reoffending, the prison service's chief executive has said.

Legal aid changes made despite row
Controversial changes to criminal legal aid have been passed, despite opposition from some at Holyrood and lawyers.

Cameron in Algeria after terror attack
DAVID CAMERON will today visit Algeria, just two weeks after a terrorist attack at a desert gas plant which resulted in the deaths of six British people, including two Scots.

Cuts to hit recruiting centres for Army
The number of Army recruiting centres in Scotland will be slashed by three-quarters to just five within weeks, figures show.

Greening in defence of Pakistan aid
Justine Greening, the International Development Secretary, has defended giving millions in aid to Pakistan amid suggestions the state's politicians were "taking our taxes" while not paying their own.

Tories turn on LibDems after boundary humiliation
Conservative MPs have accused the Liberal Democrats of treachery after plans to redraw the UK electoral map were humiliatingly defeated.

Child benefits for 50,000 outside UK
ALMOST 50,000 children who live abroad are receiving benefits claimed by immigrant families living in Britain, official figures have revealed.

 

Scotsman

Scotsman.com - Politics Feed

Lockerbie: Scottish police to visit Libya

SCOTTISH police will head to Libya within weeks to launch new investigations into the Lockerbie bombing, which claimed the lives of 270 people.



Scottish independence: SNP welfare plan not outlined

DEPUTY First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday declined to outline how Scotland’s welfare bill would be met in an independence Scotland when she attacked the UK coalition’s plans to cut child benefit.



Scottish independence: SNP avoid naming vote date

ALEX Salmond has faced calls from opposition parties to name the referendum date and spell out his plans for an independent Scotland ahead of the vote on whether to leave the UK.



Scots defence jobs assured in £160bn spending plan

THOUSANDS of defence jobs in Scotland have been guaranteed after the coalition government committed itself to a £160 billion equipment spending plan.



Scottish independence: Shake-up could disrupt vote

A UK-WIDE overhaul of the system for registering people on the electoral roll will create “confusion” among voters ahead of the independence referendum and should be delayed in Scotland, according to election chiefs.



Scottish independence: School referendum classes

The school curriculum should include classes on the forthcoming independence referendum, according to election officials.



Libya: David Cameron pledges more security forces

David Cameron visited Libya yesterday and promised more help to improve the capacity of the police and army in the country, in the face of continuing militia and terrorist violence.



Alistair Darling could be set for shadow cabinet return

LABOUR leader Ed Miliband has raised the possibility that former Chancellor Alistair Darling and other party “greybeards” could be brought into his shadow cabinet as he prepares for the next election.



Referendum donor details ?should? be made public

DETAILS of the donations made to the two main referendum campaign groups should be made public as soon as possible, accordin the chief executive of the Yes Scotland campaign group.



Free bus travel to continue after deal struck

The Scottish Government has agreed a deal with bus operators to secure the future of the concessionary travel scheme for over-60s and people with disabilities.



FMQs: Lamont attacks SNP over EU membership

LABOUR leader Johann Lamont used First Minister’s questions to attack the SNP’s claim that an independent Scotland would automatically be handed membership of the EU after Ireland’s Europe minister said the country would have to formally apply to join.



Road repairs budget to be doubled to fix potholes

THE budget for fixing Edinburgh’s roads is set to be doubled to a record £24.5 million in a new bid to tackle the city’s potholed streets, it was revealed today.



Welfare reforms threaten our dignity - Salmond

NEARLY a third of people receiving an incapacity benefit in Britain have been told they are capable of working, according to new figures.



Officials lied about West Coast rail fiasco

A GOVERNMENT department has been condemned for being “irresponsible” over its role in the collapse of the £5 billion West Coast Main Line rail contract.



Angry Stonehaven flood victims demand resignation

FURIOUS residents of the Aberdeenshire town of Stonehaven – devastated by two floods since November 2009 – have been warned they will have to live with the threat of further damage to their homes for at least four years before an effective protection scheme can be put in place.



Wingsland Blog

Wings Over Scotland
sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul

And finally? #8
In the light of the Electoral Commission setting higher limits for referendum campaign spending, Labour’s Richard Baker, Dr. Richard Simpson and Alistair Darling embark on an urgent fundraising drive outside The Rangers’ next away game in SFL 3. (We might have gone with this, but it doesn’t seem to be possible to embed YouTube video [...]

There is no third way
Alex Salmond’s appearance on Scotland Tonight this week raised an issue we’ve been meaning to address for a while, so let’s do it now before we forget again. Of the numerous polls of the last few months, the most encouraging for supporters of independence was the one conducted by Panelbase for the Sunday Times in [...]

Here?s how this works
1. Scottish Labour says universal free bus travel for pensioners is unaffordable. 2. Scottish Government manages to reduce the cost of universal free bus travel. 3. “CUTS TO CONCESSIONARY TRAVEL WILL HIT HARD-WORKING SCOTS” 4. Repeat ad nauseam, ad infinitum.

Acts of non-compliance
There’s very little room for ambiguity in the Electoral Commission’s request that both sides in the independence debate provide voters with information in advance of the referendum about the likely consequences of either a Yes or No vote. Here’s how the Scotsman reported their comments, for example: “In a surprise recommendation reflecting widespread public confusion [...]

And finally? #7
This front page from the Sunday Herald is almost two years old, but seems apt today.

The audacity of tripe
Your jaw just drops sometimes at the sheer cheek of it. “I am pleased that this impartial body has [...] rejected the nationalist attempts to silence their opponents by setting spending limits that would have given them an unfair advantage.” – No campaign leader Alistair Darling, in a post on the “Better Together” site today. [...]

As you like it
In a Twitter conversation yesterday, we suggested that a solution to the problem of biased reporting in the Scottish media might be to adopt a variant of the “Whizzer and Chips” approach. That is, you’d have two newspapers in one – one way round the news would be presented from a Unionist perspective (as it [...]

Keeping score
Scottish Government proposals for regulated referendum spending limits: YES side: £1,250,000 NO side: £1,500,000 (advantage of £250,000 to NO campaign) Electoral Commission recommendations for regulated referendum spending limits: YES side: £2,994,000 NO side: £2,931,000 (advantage of £63,000 to YES campaign) Oh no! It’s another defeat for the SNP! Here’s the Guardian on the subject: “Salmond [...]

Arithmetic, Herald-style
And as we’re talking about money, we couldn’t resist this one. “Pro-independence parties will be able to spend £1.494m compared with £1.4m for the pro-UK parties, an advantage of £63,000.” Keep up the good work, chaps.

Follow the money
We’ve already offered our opinion on the Electoral Commission’s report on the question for the independence referendum. The Commission also made two other main recommendations: that both sides should provide information on the consequences of their preferred outcome (something the Unionist side has steadfastly refused to do until now), and that the campaign spending limits [...]

BBC Scotland

BBC News - Scotland politics
The latest stories from the Scotland politics section of the BBC News web site.

Lockerbie police to visit Libya
Police officers investigating the Lockerbie bombing are to visit Libya, Prime Minister David Cameron announces.

New deal secures free bus travel
The Scottish government secures a deal to safeguard free bus travel, but Labour says it will mean higher fares and poorer services.

Ryder Cup plan 'unacceptable'
Plans to recruit 1,800 volunteers to work at the Ryder Cup are branded "unacceptable" by the Scottish TUC.

IT firm plans 2,000 apprentices
The international IT giant, Microsoft, unveils an ambition to recruit more than 2,000 new apprentices in Scotland.

Farming incomes 'fall by a fifth'
Farm incomes in Scotland fell by almost a fifth last year, with poor weather, higher costs and a decline in livestock prices being blamed.

'Major failures' over rail deal
The collapse of the West Coast Main Line franchise deal was the result of "irresponsible decisions" and "major failures", says an MPs' report.

Trading standards 'under threat'
The long-term viability of trading standards operations is under threat, according to a report by the Accounts Commission.

Council scraps staff terms plan
Aberdeenshire Council has withdrawn proposals to change the terms and conditions of thousands of staff, BBC Scotland learns.

Scots Indy question change backed
The Scottish government agrees to change the wording of its proposed independence referendum question, after concern it may lead people to vote 'Yes'.

Crabs and lobsters tagged in study
Researchers in Orkney are to fit tags to thousands of crabs and lobsters over the next four years as part of a study to ensure stocks remain high.

Demand up for university places
Figures seen by the BBC suggest applications from the rest of the UK for places at Scottish universities have risen.

Actor calls for autism support
Actor Richard Wilson calls for action after a report suggests that people with autism feel neglected by organisations supposed to be helping.

University applications up by 2%
Figures from UCAS show the number of students from Scotland applying for university places is up 2%.

Concerns over care at Ninewells
Inspectors highlight concerns over the care of vulnerable and elderly patients at Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.

Council house rent rise proposed
The average weekly rent for Highland Council houses could increase from £67.60 to £68.95.

Newsnet Scotland

News Scotland | News - Scottish, Politics, Economy and Culture
Scottish News, News Scotland - Politics, Economy, Culture and intelligent opinion | Newsnet Scotland, uniquely Scottish

First Minister's Questions - 31 Jan 2013 - video

In keeping with our aim to provide, as often as we can, a full recording of First Minister's Questions, we have uploaded the latest session.

Many people are unable to navigate both the Scottish Parliament's own recordings and BBC Scotland?s online recording of the event, and thus Newsnet Scotland believes that by publishing here we make the event accessible to a much wider audience than would otherwise be the case.



The Cameron Neverendum: the Gold Standard for Uncertainty

By Mark McNaught

In his speech on January 23rd, David Cameron proposed a UK in/out referendum on adhesion to the EU.  The ?in? is predicated on Britain renegotiating its relationship with the EU so that it can have the common market and precious little else.  The ?out? is one way, no return.

There are so many contingencies, and so much hypocrisy, that it is difficult to know where to begin.



Cameron?s Dangerous EU Gamble

By Alex Orr

With UKIP and backbench Tories nipping at his heels, Mr Cameron has been forced into a referendum on the UK?s future relationship with the EU ? In or Out ? if the Tories win the next General Election in 2015.  A vote he could do well without, and ironically coming the day after the 40th anniversary of the UK?s signing of the Accession Treaty to join the then EEC.



Trade Unionists for Independence

  By Richie Venton, TUFI Steering Group
 
A potentially very important arm of the campaign for Scottish independence is under construction and growing: Trade Unionists for Independence (TUFI).
 
Initiated by a small group of trade unionists in Edinburgh a few months ago, TUFI has recently held two large, vibrant West of Scotland meetings, with further plans for meetings in Dundee and Aberdeen.



The Entirely Independent and Completely Impartial United Kingdom Electoral Co...

By David Nairn

So the Westminster Parliament has chosen to grant the Government of Scotland a ?Section 30 order? legally entitling it to hold a referendum on Scotland?s constitutional future - a referendum that was, of course, a core policy of the Scottish National Party, elected by a landslide in this country?s election in 2011.



Glasgow Rally to call for Balanced and Enlightened Independence Debate

  By a Newsnet reporter
 
A rally to be held next month in Glasgow will call for an open, informative and balanced referendum debate from Scotland?s broadcasters.
 
Scheduled to take place at 4pm on Saturday February 23rd, the non-partisan public event will demand that both the BBC and STV use 2013 in order to better educate Scots as the nation gears itself up for the historic ballot to take place in late 2014.



Panelbase poll takes us back to 2011!

By Dave Taylor

The latest Panelbase poll still has the SNP riding high on 45% in constituencies (44% on the regional list); Labour are 33% (31%); Conservatives 13% (12%); Lib-Dems 5% (5%); Greens are at 6% on the regional list.

According to the ?Scotland Votes? calculator, that would mean SNP losing 4 constituencies and 3 list seats; Labour gaining 4 plus 1; Conservatives losing 1 list seat; Lib-Dems unchanged; Greens gaining 3 list seats - resulting in pro-independence parties having an 8 seat majority over the Better Together coalition.



Can the world afford rising levels of inequality?

By Lynda Williamson

In these days of austerity and stagnation many people might be surprised to learn that there is one area of the economy that has enjoyed double digit growth in every year since the banking crisis hit.

The demand for luxury goods has never been greater; it seems that the world's billionaires just can't get enough champagne, caviar, luxury yachts and sports cars.



Polls, Irish banks and other spoilers

  By a Newsnet reporter  
 
What?s been the biggest political story this week?  Yes, that?s correct; it?s David Cameron?s announcement of an In/Out referendum on EU membership for the UK.
 
In one fell swoop Cameron put Scotland?s future EU membership in doubt whilst at the same time grabbing Eurosceptic Middle England from underneath Ed Miliband?s nose.  The Tories are now a shoe in for the 2015 UK general election and UKIP have been neutered.



Constitutional Voting Rights and Obligations in an Independent Scotland

By Mark McNaught

As a teacher of US Constitutional law and rights, cognisant of the degree to which the US does and does not uphold its stated rights, the possibilities for Scots to craft a novel approach to constitutional rights are truly unprecedented and promising.

There is much to learn from other countries and constitutions to help determine how rights can be formulated and applied in a written Scottish constitution.



Referendum 2014 (Scoop.it)

Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
All the new curated posts for the topic: Referendum 2014

Scotland's Referendum: Informing the Debate

The publication of the Electoral Commission’s report into the referendum question (.pdf) marks another milestone on the long road to Scotland’s independence referendum. We now know the question Scots will be asked in autumn 2014: ‘Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No’



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Wings Over Scotland | There is no third way

Alex Salmond’s appearance on Scotland Tonight this week raised an issue we’ve been meaning to address for a while, so let’s do it now before we forget.



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Alex Salmond prepares to name the day

The first minister resisted the invitation from Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson to reveal the date for the 2014 independence referendum, but it won't be long to wait
Peter A Bell's insight:
What the hell was Ruth Davidson on about at First Minister's Questions? Was that really the best use she could make of her right to quiz the FM? What was the point? Was she hoping Salmond would slip up and reveal the date?Why does she need to know anyway? What could she do today with that information that she couldn't do just as well without it?Final question! Assuming there are any, how long will more sensible folk in the Scottish Tories put up with Davidson's inanity and incompetence?

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Electoral Commission forces the pace on possible paths for Scotland

After reaching a sudden consensus on the independence poll question and campaign spending, the UK's elections watchdog made one new demand: the voters need clear, factual material on what a 'no' or 'yes' vote would mean...
Peter A Bell's insight:
It matters nothing what "proposals" the British parties make noises about in the interim, we will not be voting on any such proposal in the referendum. The unionists were given the opportunity to have a "more powers" option included in the ballot. They rejected that option unequivocally and with much rhetoric of their customary bilious variety.The anti-independence campaign has belatedly realised that they fell into one of Alex Salmond's cleverly constructed traps when they insisted on excluding any kind of devo-whatever option. Salmond knew that this was the unionists' best hope of defeating a YES vote. He also knew that he could rely on their knee-jerk reaction if he so much as hinted at a second question.Now they're screwed. The Bitter Together camp has nailed its colours to the mast. And it's the colours of the status quo - according to polls, the least favoured option of all.Only now are the British parties coming to the realisation that the key voters in the referendum are not the undecideds, but those who have already ruled out the status quo - the devo-maxers and their sickly cousins the devo-plusers, devo-morers, and whatever. It has all too slowly dawned on Darling and Co.that the electorate want to hear a message, and Bitter Together has only one line - "JUST SAY NO!". An empty, vacuous, grindingly negative mantra which, for the want of anything more, they have thus far padded out with increasingly laughable scare stories; desperately contrived smears against Alex Salmond; and an incessant drone about the need for CERTAINTY!(This insistence on CERTAINTY is, of course ludicrous. Not least because it is limitless. For example, if the British nationalists assigned to whine endlessly on the issue of defence were informed exactly how many soldiers there would be in post-independence Scotland, they'd then demand to know all their names.)Recognising their calamitous error, the anti-independence campaign now wants to talk about the option they rejected as if they hadn't rejected it in the hope that voters won't notice that they are talking about an option that doesn't exist - because they excluded it. They hope to dupe those who would have voted for that "more powers" option in sufficient numbers to stem the swing to a YES vote that will surely come about when people realise that the ONLY way to get anything like what they want is to vote YES.The very last thing the British parties wanted was the Electoral Commission throwing a spotlight on their little scam. No wonder they are squirming! They cannot comply with the Electoral Commission's recommendations without exposing the emptiness of their case - not to mention the dishonesty. And, after the fuss they made about the Scottish Government accepting these recommendations, they can't refuse to comply without flaunting their hypocrisy.Once again, the SNP has come out on top. The frenzied efforts of the media to portray the outcome as a defeat being a measure of the significance of their victory.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

FMQs: Lamont attacks SNP over EU membership

LABOUR leader Johann Lamont used First Minister’s questions to attack the SNP’s claim that an independent Scotland would automatically be handed membership of the EU after Ireland’s Europe minister said the country would have to formally apply to...
Peter A Bell's insight:
The SNP has never claimed that Scotland would automatically be handed membership of the EU. The very suggestion is preposterous as there is no such thing a "automatic membership". Nor any possibility of such a thing.Anyway, supposing it was not a figment of the lamentable one's imagination, why would we need this mythical "automatic membership"? Scotland is already part of the EU.And isn't Johann Lamont as abysmally ill-informed as ever? Hasn't she heard about Lucinda Creighton's subsequent remarks pointing out that she had been misrepresented? Poor Lamont always seems to be at least a week behind events.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Editorial: If You Don?t Like Nationalism, Vote ?Yes?

The Labour Party doesn’t like Scottish nationalism. This much we know. It is one of the few things shared between the left and right of the party, particularly now the combination of a successful SNP and a right-leaning Labour leadership has emptied their ranks of ‘independently minded’ Scots. Barely a press conference goes by without a high-profile dig at the ‘narrow’, ‘divisive’ nationalism of the SNP and their ‘nat’ cronies, and this rhetoric has been easily welded onto the Labour-led Better Together campaign. Just yesterday, Better Together frontman and former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling articulated his mistrust of those who support independence, telling The Independent that “anyone who knows anything about the nationalist will know that they’ll chance their arm, if you like.”



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Scientists for Indy

The Edinburgh International Science Festival today launches its 25th Festival programme today 'Join our futuristic adventures'. 25th?! Wow. As usual it's got amazing stuff happening. The 'Get Ready...

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Wings Over Scotland | Acts of non-compliance

There’s very little room for ambiguity in the Electoral Commission’s request that both sides in the independence debate provide voters with information in advance of the referendum about the likely consequences of either a Yes or No vote.



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Watchdog hits out at independence confusion

THE elections watchdog has said the public could be confused over how independence would affect Scotland and demanded the UK and Scottish governments provide clarity on key issues ahead of the referendum.
Peter A Bell's insight:
Electoral Commission forces Scotsman to produce even-handed report!

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Poll question agreed but voters demand answers

Why are Cameron and Moore making such a petulant fuss about "pre-negotiating" when nobody has even suggested such a thing? A case of answering the wrong question, perhaps? Isn't that what politician's do when they want to avoid giving answers to awkward questions?



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Tavish Scott: Festivals show we are more than one nation

Up-Helly-Aa is by any standards a spectacular show. Shetland’s capital reeks with a sense of identity and no little paraffin. A thousand flaming torches parade through the town in the early evening at the end of January.
Peter A Bell's insight:
Is this part of the LibDem's irresponsible agitating for partition. It started of as just a little bit of insanity from Tavish Scott and a handful of ermined eejits. But the LibDems are now looking to adopt partition of Scotland as policy. - http://bit.ly/VwdFzFWhat's the weather like out there on the lunatic fringe, Tavish?

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Electoral Commission advice leaves Unionists under pressure to define 'No'

Anti-independence parties have been urged to agree a “joint position” with the Scottish government on what will happen after the independence referendum, following a key recommendation by the Electoral Commission.

 



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

The reality check of SNP defence policies (or lack thereof!)

One of the most heated arguments about Scotland's future in the UK and Alex Salmond's independence plans will centre on its defence. For Salmond's opponents, the greater security and shared burden ...

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

A sneak peek at a Scottish Conference agenda full of controversy?

The Agenda for this year’s Scottish Conference will be sent to members tomorrow but I’ve had a bit of a sneak peek.
Peter A Bell's insight:
LibDems to discuss partition at Scottish Conference!

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Wings Over Scotland | The audacity of tripe

Your jaw just drops sometimes at the sheer cheek of it.

“I am pleased that this impartial body has [...] rejected the nationalist attempts to silence their opponents by setting spending limits that would have given them an unfair advantage.” – No campaign leader Alistair Darling, in a post on the “Better Together” site today.


Peter A Bell's insight:
Are Bitter Together supporters dumb enough to believe Alistair Darling's lies?

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Daily Record

dailyrecord - Politics
RSS feed from Daily Record

Child's plea to NHS boss Alex Neil for cancer-sufferer mum: "Give her the dru...
AIDEN GLASSWELL has written to the Health Secretary begging him to authorise a drug that could help his mum Janice live longer.

Prospects for children from poor backgrounds getting worse
AND the latest round of welfare cuts could see thousands more Scottish youths facing a shortened lifespan.

Westminster welfare cuts will push 15,000 more Scottish children below the po...
ACCORDING to Holyrood, Con-Dem cuts will have a devastating impact on those struggling to make ends meet.

Independence Referendum: Electoral Commission call on David Cameron to show w...
THE Electoral Commission wants both the UK and Scottish governments to make plain what would happen in the aftermath of the referendum - including potential new powers for a devolved Holyrood.

Scottish independence referendum: We find out what you think of the question
WE took to the streets to find out what the public think of the burning question of independence.

Divided society scars Scotland
THE Scottish Government must act to protect the poorest in society as Westminster cuts threaten to widen the social divide.

Independence referendum: Scottish Government accept change to wording of pref...
DEPUTY First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP government has accepted the Electorial Commission's recommendation that the question should be: Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes/No.

Fury as benefits bullies DWP force 50,000 disabled Scots to go back to work
LABOUR MP Tom Greatrex and disability campaigners hit out after an astonishing 70 per cent of people put through Atos?s tests were passed as being fit or potentially fit to get jobs.

Scots building workers blocked from getting jobs because they were union memb...
THE GMB union hope it will help identify the workers who appeared on the blacklist run by the Consulting Association in 2009.

Legal aid changes could see contribution level raised from £68 to £82
THE plans initially attracted anger from defence solicitors, who also opposed moves to make them collect the money instead of the Scottish Legal Aid Board.

Fury as taxpayer-funded firm are accused of insulting sick and disabled clien...
TRIAGE, who have been sub-contracted to deliver the Government's controversial Welfare To Work Scheme, admitted using the 'LTB' insult but insisted it was a one-off.

Deputy First Minister says independent Scotland will have its own security se...
NICOLA STURGEON says the Scottish Government are already working on the costs involved in setting up an intelligence agency to work alongside the likes of MI5 and MI6.

Scottish Government Minister welcomes assurances over HS2 rail-link plans
KEITH BROWN wants UK Department for Transport to produce a timetable for extending high-speed routes to Scotland. 

Adam Afriyie lined up to challenge David Cameron if Tories lose 2015 general ...
MULTI-MILLIONAIRE Adam Afriyie has reportedly set up a team to plot a leadership bid if the 2015 general election is lost by the Tories.

Scottish independence: Election watchdog brand Alex Salmond's preferred refer...
IT is feared the First Minister may choose to ignore the Electoral Commission's decision and push ahead with his preferred question.

Guardian - Scottish Politics

Politics: Scottish politics | guardian.co.uk
Articles published by guardian.co.uk Politics about: Scottish politics

Steve Bell on the wording of the Scottish independence referendum question ? ...

Alex Salmond accepts election watchdog's criticism of original wording as well as its proposed campaign spending limits

Steve Bell



Alex Salmond's Scottish independence referendum question rejected

Electoral Commission says SNP leader's choice of wording was biased in favour of a yes vote and should be dropped

Alex Salmond's preferred referendum question on Scottish independence has been rejec...



Scottish nationalists don't have a monopoly on Scottishness | Blair McDougall

The SNP's deeply negative independence campaign is at odds with the positive, outward-looking outlook of most Scots

Asking questions of your government is a basic feature of democracy. It is also de...



Support for Scottish independence slumps to lowest level since devolution

Less than a quarter of Scots are in favour of breaking away from UK, according to survey

Support for independence among Scottish voters has slumped to its lowest level since devolution, with less th...



Alex Salmond gave incomplete answers on EU legal advice, inquiry finds

First minister cleared of breaching ministerial code but criticised for 'muddled' response in BBC interview

Alex Salmond has been chastised for giving "muddled and incomplete" answers about his lega...



Pro-UK camp suffers friendly fire wound in first skirmish of the year

It has been a far quieter start to the independence campaign than in 2012 but the 'yes' camp scores the first point with its 'pay a pound for freedom' campaign, courtesy of Danny Alexander

If the st...



MoD: Trident submarines cannot be moved from Scotland to Plymouth

Devonport is ruled out as home for submarines, raising questions over future of fleet if Scotland votes for independence

Britain's nuclear-armed submarines cannot be moved from Scotland to the Devon...



Salute Scotland's great and good of 2012 | Kevin McKenna

Whether it was sport, politics or charity, this has been a memorable year for the nation

Being a large-glass-of-Bacardi-and-Coke-half-full sort of chap, I have tended to see the good in every year t...



Salmond sets up Leveson panel as Scotland prepares to go it alone

A five-person panel of legal experts and journalists has been appointed by the Scottish government to consider how to implement the Leveson report.

They are to spend three months considering how sta...



Scotland to ban cigarette displays in shops after court challenge fails

Ban on open displays of tobacco products likely to come into effect in April after supreme court throws out firm's case

Shops in Scotland will be banned from openly displaying cigarettes after a leg...



Scottish minister to make emergency statement on EU membership rights

Move comes after president of European commission says independent Scotland will not inherit UK's EU opt-outs

The Scottish deputy first minister has accepted opposition demands for an emergency stat...



Scotland calls for urgent talks over EU membership

Scottish government rejects commission chief's assertion that independent state would have to reapply to join European Union

The Scottish government is pressing for urgent talks with the European co...



As Scotland enters the EU, the rest of the UK exits? | Iain Macwhirter

An independent Scotland may not be an automatic EU member, but fundamentally there's no bar. Meanwhile, down south ?

The argument about an independent Scotland's relationship with the EU might seem ...



Leveson criticises Salmond for offering to lobby on behalf of Murdoch

Judge says Scottish first minister was willing to break ministerial code, but clears him of specific wrongdoing

Lord Justice Leveson has criticised Alex Salmond for being willing to breach the Scott...



Boundary changes for devo max: the Tory-SNP deal that may reshape the UK | Ma...

An agreement with the Scottish Nationalists could keep the Tories in power ? and settle the West Lothian question

For all of the miscalculations and cock-ups of the past two-and-a-half years, the To...



Bella Caledonia


independence, autonomy, self-determination

Scientists for Indy
The Edinburgh International Science Festival today launches its 25th Festival programme today ‘Join our futuristic adventures’. 25th?! Wow. As usual it’s got amazing stuff happening. The ‘Get Ready...

Jim Sillars critiques Yes: Is he right?
In an article published earlier in the week Jim Sillars questions whether the Yes campaign is producing enough high quality accessible information. He also questions whether Yes will produce useful...

Should Scotland Be an Independent Country?
By Mike Small The framing of discussion in the public eye is as important if not more important than the content itself. So today we have the Scotsman and other media outlining how the ‘SNP will ha...

The Markheims in our Midst
We need a state run bank in an independent Scotland, a bank with a social function in its charter, which supports entrepreneurs, social projects, and the vulnerable in society, that gives the custo...

For A? That 12 ? In And Out
Back to our roots this week as it was Andrew and myself, Michael Greenwell, having a chat. We talked about the EU from a few different perspectives. The referendum and how it will affect things was...

Addressing Alienation: the Opportunity of Independence
Tomorrow night First Minister Alex Salmond will answer questions on everything from tax and welfare policies in an independent Scotland to whether there could be an explicit  commitment to protecti...

Altogether Better (without oil)
There is little argument against a Yes vote, except fear mongering and fear itself. But it is independence from oil that is needed. Independence from the miracle fuel.

Separatism
By Mike Small Cameron’s ‘Eurovision’ is a fundamental misreading of the mood of the nation (sic). While concerns about democratic deficiency are shared across the continent, there are quite differe...

The Art of the Possible
We’re delighted to announce that the multi-talented Kate Higgins – who may be known to you via her usual scribblings over at Burdzeyeview .Kate is joining the Bella editorial team and lays out her ...

On Yes, Flegs and Little England
Three views on the national debates from around and about . . . First up the world from Dublin via the Irish Times, where Judith Crosbie writes giving some insight into how Ireland annd Wales see t...

Scotland and Independence

scotland independence - Google News
Google News

Alex Salmond prepares to name the day - The Guardian (blog)

The Guardian (blog)

Alex Salmond prepares to name the day
The Guardian (blog)
Alex Salmond has confirmed that the precise date for Scotland's independence referendum in the autumn 2014 will be reveale...


Electoral Commission forces the pace on possible paths for Scotland - The Gua...

The Guardian (blog)

Electoral Commission forces the pace on possible paths for Scotland
The Guardian (blog)
It implies the pressure will be heaviest on the "no" camp to show their hand, particularly o...


Scottish government changes wording of independence referendum question - The...

The Guardian (blog)

Scottish government changes wording of independence referendum question
The Guardian (blog)
The pro-independence campaign appears to have gained most from this formula: the Scottis...


Alex Salmond's Scottish independence referendum question rejected - The Guardian

The Guardian

Alex Salmond's Scottish independence referendum question rejected
The Guardian
Alex Salmond's preferred referendum question on Scottish independence has been rejected by the Electoral Com...


Kevin McKenna: I wrote a piece on Scottish independence and hit 'send'. Then ...

The Guardian

Kevin McKenna: I wrote a piece on Scottish independence and hit 'send'. Then ...
The Guardian
Four days earlier my latest column had been published in the Scottish edition of the Observer...


Are Scots getting cold feet about independence? - The Guardian

The Guardian

Are Scots getting cold feet about independence?
The Guardian
The debate about Scottish independence took off for real in 2012. Once the UK government announced exactly a year ago that it ...


Scottish independence: School referendum classes - Scotsman

Scottish independence: School referendum classes
Scotsman
Scottish independence: School referendum classes. By MARK MCLAUGHLIN Published on Friday 1 February 2013 00:00. The school curriculum should ...


Scottish independence: SNP welfare plan not outlined - Scotsman

Scotsman

Scottish independence: SNP welfare plan not outlined
Scotsman
DEPUTY First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday declined to outline how Scotland's welfare bill would be met in an independence S...


Scottish independence: SNP avoid naming vote date - Scotsman

Scotsman

Scottish independence: SNP avoid naming vote date
Scotsman
Scottish independence: SNP avoid naming vote date. Alex Salmond. Picture: Jane Barlow. By ANDREW WHITAKER Published on Friday 1 Febr...


Scottish independence: Shake-up could disrupt vote - Scotsman

Scotsman

Scottish independence: Shake-up could disrupt vote
Scotsman
A UK-WIDE overhaul of the system for registering people on the electoral roll will create ?confusion? among voters ahead of the ind...


SNP

SNP - Google News
Google News

Angus Robertson Calm down dear: Did David Cameron tell MP 'will you f*** off ...

Mirror.co.uk

Angus Robertson Calm down dear: Did David Cameron tell MP 'will you f*** off ...
Mirror.co.uk
The Prime Minister seemed to mouth the obscenity towards SNP member Angus Robertson when ques...


Scottish independence: SNP welfare plan not outlined - Scotsman

Scotsman

Scottish independence: SNP welfare plan not outlined
Scotsman
Scottish independence: SNP welfare plan not outlined. Nicola Sturgeon: Criticised overhaul of benefits system. Picture: Jane Barl...


Scottish independence: SNP avoid naming vote date - Scotsman

Scotsman

Scottish independence: SNP avoid naming vote date
Scotsman
Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont said ?the people of Scotland have made it clear they want clear, honest information?, a day aft...


No commitment over child benefit - icLanarkshire - East Kilbride News

No commitment over child benefit
icLanarkshire - East Kilbride News
Nicola Sturgeon said the SNP's commitment to "universal provision of key benefits" would be part of its policies but did not give s...


Understanding the benefits of genomic selection - Minnesota Farm Guide

Understanding the benefits of genomic selection
Minnesota Farm Guide
"There are a few different tests we can use, but the one that forms the basis for most of our genetic predictions is the Bovine Si...


Christopher Howarth: Two Unions, two borders, two islands ? why the future of...

Christopher Howarth: Two Unions, two borders, two islands ? why the future of ...
Conservative Home (blog)
The referendum on Scottish independence, set for 2014, and a potential Conservative referend...


Look Left ? Hunt's Lewishambles, the looming triple-dip, and more SNP ... - L...

Left Foot Forward

Look Left ? Hunt's Lewishambles, the looming triple-dip, and more SNP ...
Left Foot Forward
Save-Lewisham-Hospital-protest-march ? Health secretary Jeremy Hunt gave his long-awaited ...


Nat for Europe! - Dunferline Press

Nat for Europe!
Dunferline Press
Natalie McGarry didn't just join the SNP, she was "born into it". One of her first memories is campaigning in West Fife aged just four! Her mum is a well-known Inverk...


New energy proposals from Scottish Conservatives temper SNP's lofty ... - The...

The Independent (blog)

New energy proposals from Scottish Conservatives temper SNP's lofty ...
The Independent (blog)
Lead by First Minister Alex Salmond, the SNP is steering Scotland towards an ambit...


Is the press biased against the SNP? Probably. But we are all nationalists no...

Spectator.co.uk (blog)

Is the press biased against the SNP? Probably. But we are all nationalists now.
Spectator.co.uk (blog)
So we have a question and it is a simple one. Should Scotland be an indepe...


Referendum 2014 (Google News)

Scotland referendum - Google News
Google News

Alex Salmond prepares to name the day - The Guardian (blog)

The Guardian (blog)

Alex Salmond prepares to name the day
The Guardian (blog)
Alex Salmond has confirmed that the precise date for Scotland's independence referendum in the autumn 2014 will be reveale...


Electoral Commission forces the pace on possible paths for Scotland - The Gua...

The Guardian (blog)

Electoral Commission forces the pace on possible paths for Scotland
The Guardian (blog)
The Electoral Commission has ? in a refreshing moment for Scottish politics ? found rare con...


Scottish government changes wording of independence referendum question - The...

The Guardian (blog)

Scottish government changes wording of independence referendum question
The Guardian (blog)
Sturgeon, who is leading the Scottish government's referendum strategy, said she was ple...


Alex Salmond's Scottish independence referendum question rejected - The Guardian

The Guardian

Alex Salmond's Scottish independence referendum question rejected
The Guardian
Alex Salmond's preferred referendum question on Scottish independence has been rejected by the Electoral Com...


Scotland facing 'enormous' costs for independent security - The Guardian

The Guardian

Scotland facing 'enormous' costs for independent security
The Guardian
... earlier told the foreign affairs committee that officials were completing a "substantial piece on work" on a new...


How does Scotland's referendum fit into David Cameron's EU plans? - The Guardian

The Guardian

How does Scotland's referendum fit into David Cameron's EU plans?
The Guardian
The first of them is that independence will result in Scotland being cast adrift from the European fold, out...


Alex Salmond takes spotlight away from nationalists' 'summit' - The Guardian

The Guardian

Alex Salmond takes spotlight away from nationalists' 'summit'
The Guardian
Crucially, she later told reporters, it would boost her movement at home: Scotland too was to stage a referendum...


Kevin McKenna: I wrote a piece on Scottish independence and hit 'send'. Then ...

The Guardian

Kevin McKenna: I wrote a piece on Scottish independence and hit 'send'. Then ...
The Guardian
It would be premature to say that I will come out for an independent Scotland when the refere...


Election rule shake-up threatens referendum - Express.co.uk

Election rule shake-up threatens referendum
Express.co.uk
Holyrood's Referendum Bill Committee yesterday heard calls for IER to be delayed in Scotland but experts said Westminster may only agree to t...


Scottish independence: School referendum classes - Scotsman

Scottish independence: School referendum classes
Scotsman
The referendum roll, which will include the details of those reaching 16 by the time of the vote, will be available only to returning officer...


Tartan Army Message Board (often features political threads)

Anything Goes

Accident Claims Website, Customer Feedback

3/4 of the way down, right hand side

 

http://accidentclaims.org/



Burns Night In Albania

Imagine trying to explain Burns to an Albanian audience.

 

http://www.top-channel.tv/video.php?id=22240

 

The woman in the tartan / denim top is my big sister, speaking pure dead brilliant Albanian...



Ron Jeremy Unconscious, On Respirator...

http://www.aceshowbiz.com/news/view/00057567.html

 

Hope he makes it (and repents).



Billy Connolly - Interview With Kirsty Wark

On Scotland

 

"I have always considered myself a Glaswegian first before Scottish - not that i'm not proud of being Scottish"

 

On Devolution

 

"I was against it because the first thing i ask mysel...



The Ryder Cup Looking For Volunteers, £75 To Register.

Anyone else disgusted by this?

 

The Ryder Cup will generate millions of pounds, public money has already been spent in bringing it here on the premise that it will bring much needed jobs and inves...



Ipad Security Software
Any half decent free ones about?

European Music Festivals

Myself and a few mates are planning on going to a European Music Festival this Summer but we don't which one we should go for. I've been to a few in the UK now and I quite fancy a change. 

Can anyb...



David Cameron - What's Wrong With This Picture?

What next? Joining Marty McGuinness for a commemoration of the Gibraltar shootings? Rededicating the plaque with Binyamin Netanyahu at the King David Hotel?

 

Why didn't he just say no to them cons...



Serbian Pm Full Fronal Interview

I wonder if this lady is preparing to interview The TA when we're over there

 



Breakdown Cover

Got my renewal in from the AA today.

 

£160.85 for Roadside, Relay and the car breaking down while Lady Flure is using it.

 

That's a 6% increase from last year. I haven't used them since I last re...



Political Betting - Scotland section

politicalbetting.com » Scotland
The web's premier resource for political betting.

Has Rangers Football Club just made Alex Salmonds job harder?
BBC news What would pulling out do to the independence debate? Identity is one of the most potent forces in politics; the sense of who we are individually and collectively. That?s why the unusually...

Scotland?s most accurate pollster suggests that Alex Salmond?s magic might be...
Ipsos-MORI blows for Alex Salmond/SNP/YES in the week the referendum deal was signed. twitter.com/MSmithsonPB/st? — Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) October 18, 2012 In the week that the referendum dea...

A Marf Cartoon and a guest slot from James Kelly on polling and the Scottish ...
Have the polls “consistently” shown that Scots are opposed to independence? Something that I know has privately frustrated the SNP in recent weeks and months is their perception that the media, esp...

The SNP loses the battle for a multi-question referendum
BBC News But 16 and 17 year olds will be able to vote The BBC is reporting that a broad agreement has been reached between Westminster and Edinburgh on the Scottish independence referendum which is...

Will Westminster stage the Independence referendum before Alex does?
The Sunday Times are running a story that, if Alex Salmond doesn’t agree to a single question referendum, then Westminster will organise the referendum for next year, and not devolve the necessary ...

How will the Scottish independence referendum affect the next general election
James Kelly looks at the various scenarios. One thing is for sure ? Scotland will be returning MPs to Westminster at the next general election, whenever it is held.  On the SNP?s proposed timetable...

How will the Olympics affect the Independence debate?
Does a successful Team GB underline ?we?re stronger together?? PB reported earlier this week on a Comres poll which reported an upsurge in support for the Olympics now they?re underway (and taken b...

YouGov Scotland poll
There’s a new YouGov poll out on Scottish matters. On the independence front, 30% are in favour on independence. This represents a decline of 1% since March and a decline of 3% since January. 54% a...

And after the big disappointment at Wimbledon?
Marf gives her take If you would like to purchase one of Marf?s prints or originals, please contact her here. Recent Threads

MORI: SLAB closing the gap on the SNP in Scotland
Ipsos-MORI There’s a new Ipsos-MORI poll of voting intentions for the Scottish parliament and these show the same trends that we saw in the Scottish local elections on May 3rd. Scottish Labour movi...

Can the SNP and Greens work together in the pro-independence campaign?
James Kelly on the pro-independence campaign If there is to be a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum, a prerequisite is surely that the Yes campaign itself is as broadly-based as possi...

Why the SNP is playing down the consequences of YES
How changing the question added 16 points to NO’s lead There’s new polling out from TNS-BMRB into the form of wording for the Scottish Independence referendum due to take place in October 2014. The...

A MORI double whammy for Salmond and the SNP
Three weeks into the campaign and NO increases lead There’s a new telephone poll from MORI of Scottish voters and the results are not encouraging for Alex Salmond or his party in their effort to se...

How much of an influence will money have on the Independence referendum?
and the 2015 General election? The Sunday Times reported over the weekend that no campaign was in disarray, due to major unionist parties donors not willing to donate to the no campaign. Willie Hau...

Is Alex Salmond one of the day?s big losers?
Why did the SNP make Glasgow their key target? In our PB prediction poll a couple of weeks ago a reasonable majority of participants said that the SNP would win control of the city of Glasgow. That...

Scot Goes pop

SCOT goes POP!
A pro-independence blog by James Kelly - voted one of the UK's top 100 political blogs.

What's in a question?
It's not often that I spontaneously burst out laughing when I'm travelling alone on a bus, but that's what happened yesterday when I was browsing the internet on my mobile phone, and came across th...

Angus Reid subsample : SNP retake the lead in Westminster voting intention
A very quick post because I'm in a mad rush. Here are the latest Scottish figures for Westminster voting intention from Angus Reid -

SNP 39% (+3)
Labour 35% (-1)
Conservatives 18% (+5)
Liberal De...


Electoral Commission's reputation for impartiality in tatters as its opinion ...
If anyone needed a reminder of why so many of us wanted a Scottish rather than a London body to have oversight of the independence referendum, this is surely it. As a nation, the minimum we were e...

Panelbase : SNP in commanding lead for the Scottish Parliament
Many thanks to Marcia on the previous thread for alerting me to the fact that the Panelbase poll I mentioned also had voting intention figures for Holyrood. I was oblivious to the fact because it ...

Panelbase poll : Support for independence remains within touching distance
The latest Panelbase poll on independence is out, and although it shows an increase in the No lead, it's still more favourable for the Yes side than other recent polls.

Yes 34% (-3)
No 47% (+2)


S...

Vote Yes to independence to keep Scotland in Europe
Sorry that blogging has been a bit sluggish of late, but I haven't been entirely idle. I have a new article at the International Business Times, on how David Cameron has just blown a hole in Bette...

Political predictions for the year ahead
While I was making the long journey home from the Edinburgh Hogmanay street party (an experience I paid a heavy price for - I got caught in several crushes, and later came down with a bad cold!) I ...

Angus Reid subsample : SNP in joint lead for Westminster
As long-term readers will know, I regard Angus Reid's Scottish subsamples as being of slightly more interest than those of other pollsters, because the relative stability of the figures over time s...

Quote of the year, and it's still only week two
This is a two-and-a-half-day-old quote from Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, arguing for a hefty increase in MPs' salaries in order to attract the best 'talent'. As you read this, try very hard to remember...

"Disenfranchise" Neil Kinnock? How very dare we?
In spite of my best efforts (and several re-readings), I'm not sure I entirely understand the point being made by the Ian Stewart article republished by Wings Over Scotland. There are a couple of ...

Happy New Year
Just a very quick note to wish you all a happy new year - a year which for superstitious reasons I will exclusively be referring to as "this year", rather than using some arbitrary number that even...

Nuclear democracy
On a number of occasions I've made the point that Britain is, at best, a semi-democracy, due to the House of Lords being unelected. Some people react incredulously to that notion, and insist that ...

The imperial delusion lives on
The SNP's Angus MacNeil and Labour's George Foulkes found some rare common ground a few days ago in condemning the Queen's 'silent' participation in a cabinet meeting, on the grounds that it breach...

In wake of Newtown, Baker goes sinister
Question : If you were an American libertarian blogger who had spent almost every waking moment over the last decade advancing the fantastical notion that a gun free-for-all has made your country s...

Why the Northern Ireland demographic shift does matter
Ten years ago, the results of the Northern Ireland census were greeted with a not inconsiderable amount of unionist gloating. All the expectations had been that there would be evidence of a signif...