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The Herald

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

New food watchdog planned
SCOTTISH ministers are to step up work on establishing a stand-alone food standards watchdog north of the Border in the wake of the horsemeat scandal.

Bills to rise as Ofgem chief warns of energy squeeze
ENERGY bills are set to rise further, the head of regulator Ofgem has warned, as Britain faces a "horrendous" supply crunch.

Sub-committee to oversee policing
MSPs have agreed to put in place a special sub-committee to oversee the controversial new unified police force, after resolving an initial row over Holyrood privacy.

Sturgeon claims EU deal a blow for Scotland
SCOTLAND could lose almost one-third of its European funding because of the deal struck by David Cameron last month, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has claimed.

Cameron grilled over ethical concerns
David Cameron's efforts to boost trade links with India ran into trouble yesterday amid a furore over alleged corruption.

'Cosy' deal nets MSP £20k public cash
A Scottish Labour MEP is under fire after it emerged she had given a party MSP over £20,000 of publicly-funded expenses in rent.

Missing: the £1.6m Tory donor
A bankrupt Tory donor and close political ally of Foreign Secretary William Hague, whose business empire was put into administration, has gone missing, according to a judge.

Osborne: Labour's tax plans are a con
Chancellor George Osborne has dismissed Labour's tax plans as a "con" that would see state inspectors assessing people's homes.

MSPs to rebuff call for meeting at SPA
MSPs are to reject a request for a meeting with the controversial head of the body overseeing Scotland's single police force.

Cameron promises same-day visa service for Indians
A SAME-DAY visa service for Indian travellers was unveiled by the Prime Minister during his three-day mission to India to drum up trade in a bid to address fears Britain is becoming hostile to foreign workers.

Geologists hit back in Poundland row
THE row over a flagship Government employment programme has taken another twist when geologists hit back at comments by a Cabinet minister.

Welsh call for police devolution
Powers over policing should be devolved to Wales, the country's First Minister Carwyn Jones has said.

Clegg plan 'twice as good'
NICK Clegg will today insist the Coalition policy of raising income-tax-free allowances js "twice as good" in helping working families as Labour's plan to resurrect the old 10p income tax rate.

Sarwar talks tough on tax
SCOTTISH Labour's deputy leader Anas Sarwar will today accuse the Coalition Government of "political immorality" for having rewarded tax-dodging multi-national companies with government contracts.

Tories to battle Brussels over new migrants
THE Coalition has been accused by Ed Miliband of raising false expectations that migrants' rights to benefits can be restricted to reduce an expected influx of workers from Bulgaria and Romania in 2014.

 

Scotsman

Scotsman.com - Politics Feed

Vicky Pryce retrial as jury fails to reach verdict

FORMER Eastleigh MP Chris Huhne’s ex-wife faces a retrial after a jury described by a judge as suffering “absolutely fundamental deficits in understanding” failed to reach a verdict in her case.



Council poll: Edinburgh happy with way city is run

A record number of people have hailed the Capital as a good place to live, with the city scoring a 97 per cent satisfaction rating in the council’s annual survey.



Edinburgh council has most chiefs above £50k

CITY chiefs have been urged to slash staffing costs after it was revealed Edinburgh employed more officers on annual salary packages exceeding £50,000 than any other Scottish council.



David Cameron lays wreath at Amritsar memorial

DAVID Cameron today laid a wreath at the memorial to the 1919 Amritsar massacre in India, bowing his head and standing in silence to pay respect to those who died.



Huhne?s partner drops privacy appeal

Carina Trimingham, the partner of disgraced former Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne, has dropped her bid to appeal in her privacy battle against Associated Newspapers over stories which appeared in the Daily Mail.



Council wants to keep control of new Forth bridge

COUNCILLORS must continue to help run the Forth Road Bridge which is to be transferred to the private sector, the capital’s transport convener told MSPs today.



Scottish teenagers offering sex for drugs

Teenagers are offering sexual favours in exchange for alcohol and drugs, MSPs have heard.



One in five children in Britain is living in poverty, says campaign

One in five British children lives below the poverty line, new
research reveals.



Allan Massie: War crimes trials are only for the losing side

Threats of court action will not encourage the opposing forces in Syria to come to the negotiating table, writes Allan Massie



Girls ?offer sexual favours for drugs?, MSPs hear

Teenagers are offering sexual favours in exchange for alcohol and drugs, MSPs have heard.



EU budget cuts ?will favour the English?, says SNP

Scotland is set for a cut of about £250 million in European funding for growth investment and jobs over the next six years, the Scottish Government has claimed.



Eddie Barnes: Alistair Darling must emerge from the shadows

A POLL last week asked voters in Scotland how they thought the key figures involved the independence referendum campaign were faring. One striking finding emerged on the head of the Better Together campaign, Alistair Darling.



?More Scots families face struggle on low income?

THE number of young families among Scotland’s lowest earners has increased by more than 25 per cent in six years, according to a major study.



Brian Wilson: No borderline case on child poverty

The idea that all Scotland’s woes can be blamed on our neighbours south of the Border has to be challenged, writes Brian Wilson



Analysis: Politicians must give children priority in every budget decision th...

Evidence of more family-friendly employers, satisfaction with health visitor services, increasing numbers of parents reading to their children and fewer children suffering accidents is all good news for children’s wellbeing across Scotland – as is the Scottish Government’s investment in the early years.



Wingsland Blog

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

On Catalonia and Scotland
This is a letter sent to the Scotsman this week, as yet unpublished by the newspaper, in response to this. It is reproduced here with the author’s permission. SIR ? I have read David Maddox’s article on Scotland and Catalonia (19th February 2013). As a Catalan that has lived and worked in Scotland for many [...]

Pushing at an open door
The most interestingly consistent trend of recent opinion polls has been a significant movement away from the No vote to the Don’t Know camp. Almost every one conducted in the last few months has shown the proportion of the population intending to vote against independence dropping below 50%, but the Yes campaign has only picked [...]

Better late than never
It might have taken three days, but we got there in the end. After: And before: It’s a lot harder to get away with stuff when people are watching.

And finally? #21
For those of you not on Twitter. Click for full-fat glory. (From here, via alert reader Paul Martin.)

Back-seat driver
We’ve been (rather childishly, we admit) suggesting that “deputy” Anas Sarwar was Scottish Labour’s real leader for longer than we care to remember now. It was nice of the Daily Record to finally confirm it for us today, though.

Arbroath smokies and mirrors
It’s always a matter of concern when supposedly impartial newspapers put out stories which appear more openly partisan than a party press release, and doubly so when the author is a staff news reporter rather than an opinion columnist. (As the latter are under no obligation to exercise impartiality, or indeed even to feign it.) [...]

A radical plan
We’re tired of listening to the Unionist parties’ incessant “We cannae dae it!” carping about how an independent Scotland couldn’t afford, well, pretty much anything, which is why we won’t be wasting our time and yours by writing about Anas Sarwar’s empty, cynical platitude of a speech in Glasgow today. We’ve had an idea. A [...]

We are the 51%
I’m not a feminist. I’m barely feminine come to that: a pushing-40 tomboy. My initial reaction to comments about gender balance is a cringe. So what if there are four men and no women on a panel? What do women bring to a debate that a man can’t? If I’m really honest, a man will [...]

Quoted for truth #8
From last year, but no less pertinent for it: “Labour campaigned in Scotland on the basis of being the only party that will stand up to savage Tory cuts in local councils. Whilst the Tories’ vote declined significantly, their influence in Scotland has increased massively due to Labour?s willingness to enter into coalitions with them [...]

Karine Polwart statement
Karine Polwart is a Scottish folk singer and Green Party supporter. Earlier today we highlighted a curious editorial choice by Scotland On Sunday, which framed a column she’d written on independence as an attack on the SNP, despite Ms Polwart not mentioning the SNP anywhere in the text, either directly or indirectly. Below is the [...]

BBC Scotland

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

SNP defends infrastructure spending
The Scottish government defends its spending on infrastructure after claims ministers have "over-promised and under-delivered".

Scots unemployment falls by 13,000
Scotland's jobless total fell by 13,000 to 206,000 between October and December, according to official figures.

Bridge corrosion problems 'resolved'
Corrosion problems on the Forth Road Bridge appear to have been resolved, according to the latest inspection reports.

Report due on high-speed rail line
The business case for building a high-speed rail link between Edinburgh and Glasgow is to be outlined by the Scottish government.

Shetland set for £12m budget cut
Shetland Islands Council is to cut its budget by almost £12.5m next year.

Spending study uncovers failings
An investigation into the financial management of social work in Dumfries and Galloway uncovers a number of failings.

Scotland 'faces EU funding cut'
Scotland is facing a disproportionate cut in European structural funds thought to be worth about a quarter-of-a-billion pounds, SNP ministers claim.

Meat scandal 'boosting Scots beef'
Scottish meat sales have increased since the start of the horsemeat scandal because of its reputation for quality, Scots ministers say.

Universities urge fees cap rethink
University leaders call for a rethink of plans to introduce a legally-enforceable cap on fees for students coming to Scotland from the rest of the UK.

'More work needed' on breastfeeding
Extra work is needed to encourage more women to breastfeed after a "significant decrease", according to the Scottish government.

Deals signed for 114 new city flats
The Scottish Government announces plans for more than 100 new affordable homes to be built in Dundee.

VIDEO: Scottish Parliament
Minister says a report into the high-speed rail plan for Glasgow to Edinburgh is underway.

AUDIO: 'Need to understand' EU funds cut
Scotland's Deputy First Minster Nicola Sturgeon says she wants to "better understand" why the country could be facing a disproportionate cut in European structural funds.

VIDEO: Could Scotland have a film industry?
The Glasgow Film Festival is under way and the first UK screening of the Hollywood movie "Cloud Atlas" will take place on Sunday. It is one of a raft of US block-busters which chose Scotland as a location. But given the recent success of some of our home-grown talent, is it too much to consider whether these big films could be developed here too?

VIDEO: Pensions - should we be worried?
If you are young enough you don't think about it. If you are old enough you are probably worrying about it. Pensions are a big problem. More people are drawing them and fewer people are contributing. As the UK government warns us to take more responsibility for our retirement, there's a warning Scotland will enter the pension crisis before the rest of the UK.

Newsnet Scotland

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

Rosyth's last hope is sunk by Tory traitors

By G.A.Ponsonby
 
It?s quite a headline isn?t it ? the ?traitors? word isn?t one that nationalists should use and it's banned on this site, we can already hear the squeals from the Better Together campaign as Labour join their Tory and Lib Dem allies to denounce the narrow minded nats.
 
The headline though is from the Daily Record in 1996.  It accompanied an article which followed the decision to award a contract to refit Trident submarines to Devonport instead of the more deserving Rosyth.



The world after Saddam, Blair and the Iraq invasion

By Gerry Hassan, The Scotsman, February 16th 2013

February 15th 2003 was a moment in global history: a rare articulation of political connectedness and consciousness.

From London to Glasgow to Ullapool to New York, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Tokyo, people took to the streets to protest about the Blair-Bush march to war with Saddam Hussein?s brutal Iraqi dictatorship.



Science, Evidence and History

By A. Anderson

We who have been fortunate enough to have got some education, think in scientific mode when we are considering alternatives, or at least we try to.  We recognise that a rational assessment of the pros and cons is the best way to consider something important, rather than responding to emotion or following tradition, that indeed is part of a modern education.



Like vandals, we are about to destroy a 2,500-year-old mystery

By Kenneth Roy

The Celts went down three nil to the visitors on Tuesday night. That's Scottish history. The following morning their Irish supporters trudged dejectedly on to an aircraft outside this window. That's Scottish history too. We can remember these events. Just.

Looking a bit further back, there's Bannockburn. I paid homage once at the 1314 Inn and was challenged by the owner to a duel because of the disobliging things I wrote in the Glasgow Herald about his establishment. They still like a fight in Bannockburn.



Enjoy an exile of your own on Elba

By Norrie Hunter
 
Most famous as the place where the French banished their emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to a short term period of exile, Elba is an island off the west coast of Italy that few British tourists visit.  Many would be hard pressed to tell you exactly where it is! The island is, however, an international vacation hot spot for Italians for over five decades.



Scotland and the EU ? the polling evidence

By Dave Taylor

53% of Scots would vote for the UK to remain part of the EU, with 34% opposed and 61% think an independent Scotland should be an EU member.

Until now there has been very limited evidence as to what Scots attitudes are to the EU, and whether they differ from attitudes in England.  Guesses have been made on the basis of the small Scottish samples in GB wide polls.



Smaller nations driving EU Foreign Policy

By Alex Orr

Much has been written of the benefit of being a large state in the European Union, especially in the ongoing debate over Scottish independence.  And it is naturally the big states that make the headlines in EU policy making.

This year has been no different on that front, from Germany?s austerity drive; to France?s intervention in Mali or Britain?s announcement of a likely referendum on its membership of the EU.



Miliband should look to Wilson for inspiration

By George Kerevan
 
IT is 50 years since Harold Wilson became leader of the Labour Party, on St Valentine?s Day 1963. Amazingly, the world then looked a lot like it does today.
 
There was a Tory government led by an old Etonian (Harold Macmillan), the economy was in recession and we?d just had the worst winter in decades. General de Gaulle had vetoed the UK?s bid to join the EEC, sparking another round of hand-wringing over what to do about Europe. The latest Bond movie was out (From Russia with Love) and there was a new Pope (Paul VI). Across the Atlantic, an eloquent young President occupied the White House.



For Unionists, the Uncertainty Shoe is on the Other Foot

By Mark McNaught

The Scottish government has released ?Scotland?s Future: from a Referendum to Independence and a Written Constitution?, which starts to put the constitutional meat on the bones concerning Scotland?s future in the event of a ?yes? vote in 2014.

Alistair Darling has stated that it is not within the remit of the Better Together campaign to lay out what powers might be devolved in the event of a ?no? vote. What is their purpose then, other than to issue predictable scare tactics and fanciful statistics forecasting economic doom?



We can only hope they have nothing to hide

By Kenneth Roy

Last weekend (7 February), we published an article by a retired civil servant, James Aitken, on the unequal resources with which Whitehall and St Andrew's House are engaged in the struggle over Scottish independence. It may have been prompted by an editorial of mine on Whitehall's relative command of intelligence and propaganda and the exclusion of the head of the Scottish civil service, Sir Peter Housden, from the constitutional working parties beavering away in London in support of the status quo.



Referendum 2014 (Scoop.it)

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

Wings Over Scotland | On Catalonia and Scotland

This is a letter sent to the Scotsman this week, as yet unpublished by the newspaper, in response to this. It is reproduced here with the author’s permission.

    SIR – I have read David Maddox’s article on Scotland and Catalonia (19th February 2013). As a Catalan that has lived and worked in Scotland for many years and also as a former Representative of the Government of Catalonia to the UK, I was surprised by the contents of the article.

    The relations between Scotland and Catalonia have traditionally been excellent and since devolution they have become even better. How would you otherwise explain the lessons learnt from the Catalan political system when designing the devolution settlement for Scotland?; or the Scottish and Catalan governments Protocol of Cooperation signed in 2002?; or the symbolism associated with the fact that the Scottish Parliament was built by the Catalan architect Enric Miralles?; or even the extremely successful visit of the First Minister Salmond to Catalonia just a few years ago? These are powerful statements of friendship between two countries.

    Catalans, and the rest of the world, know that Scotland is at the most important crossroads of the last 300 years. Now it is time for Scots to decide the future of its nation. We wish Scotland and its people well and we are very pleased to see that Scotland’s future is in the best possible hands.

    Xavier Solano i Bello
    Tiltman Place
    London


Peter A Bell's insight:
Another wee slap for The Scotsman.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Wings Over Scotland | Pushing at an open door

The most interestingly consistent trend of recent opinion polls has been a significant movement away from the No vote to the Don’t Know camp. Almost every one conducted in the last few months has shown the proportion of the population intending to vote against independence dropping below 50%, but the Yes campaign has only picked up a minority, with the rest now firmly undecided.



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Brian Wilson: No borderline case on child poverty

The idea that all Scotland’s woes can be blamed on our neighbours south of the Border has to be challenged, writes Brian Wilson
Peter A Bell's insight:
Only in the weird world of fanatical British nationalism does Brian Wilson get to decide what represents the "unembellished voice of Scottish Nationalism". Were I as bitter and twisted as he, I might pop over to The Telegraph where I would readily find some bilious, xenophobic comment about "sweaties" which I could then hold up as the authentic voice of the unionism that Wilson espouses with such intellect-crippling fervour.Avoiding the pitfalls of Wilson's brand of pettiness, let's move on to the rancid horsemeat that is the added ingredient in his latest dour diatribe. What's the international man of misery whining about today?Apparently, the Scottish Government isn't doing enough to ameliorate the impact of the UK Government's onslaught against the poor and powerless in society. While insisting that the powers necessary to adequately tackle child poverty remain firmly in the grasp of the austerity-fetishists in London, Wilson summons all his not inconsiderable powers of puffed-up righteous indignation to berate the administration in Edinburgh for failing to fully compensate for the ravages being wrought on Scotland by those he is adamant have a right to impose their will and their policies here despite being rejected by the electorate.If this makes little sense, remember please that we are dealing here with the lunatic fringe of an ideology that has an unnatural amount of fringe and very much more than its fair share of lunacy. And the bizarreness of Wilson's arguments may be further explained by the fact that, within this British nationalist ideology, here is a man beset by an acidic resentment of the SNP; a bitter hatred of the democratically elected Scottish Government; and an irreconcilable detestation of the Scottish Parliament.Let's face it! Brian Wilson is not the most impartial commentator on Scotland's politics. And certainly not the individual any sensible person would be looking to for an honest account of the SNP's attitudes or a rational analysis of the current administration's policies.Buried within Wilson's hate-fuelled ranting is one of British Labour's most specious and meretricious arguments. The claim that issues of poverty and deprivation in Scotland cannot be addressed independently because it would be “selfish” to do so while poverty and deprivation exist elsewhere. It is akin to the argument that, unless we can eliminate WMD globally, it is wrong to seek to have them removed from Scotland.It is an argument that says, “If we can’t do everything, we should do nothing!”. It allows pseudo-socialist British nationalists like Wilson to make superficially sincere-sounding noises about tackling poverty while pandering to the British establishment and supporting the status quo.It is the kind of argument that has brought British Labour in Scotland to the sorry pass that Wilson and his ilk continue to blame on the SNP and the electorate.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Wings Over Scotland | Better late than never

It might have taken three days, but we got there in the end. After:


Peter A Bell's insight:
Scotland on Sunday changes dishonest headline.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Dutch bank in UK split warning

DUTCH banking group ING has warned independence risks damaging economic growth in Scotland and the rest of the UK.



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Things aint wot they used to be

The Better Together campaign has launched its strongest defence of the Union yet, warning that an independent Scotland will no longer be allowed to call things ‘things’. Speaking on...



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Welfare bill would bring tax hike after UK split

Scots would face tax rises to pay for the country’s growing welfare bill if it became independent, a report has warned.
Peter A Bell's insight:
Surely the important thing is that the people of Scotland should have the choice of whether their taxes are used to support a civilised welfare system or fund WMD. And independence is the ONLY way we will ever have that choice.

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Warning on welfare costs | Herald Scotland

THE SNP Government has yet to present a "clear, costed vision" of an independent Scotland's welfare system, a leading economist has warned.


Peter A Bell's insight:
Magnus Gardham appears to be totally unaware of the Yes Scotland campaign. Which is more than a little odd for someone who styles himself Political Editor of what was once one of Scotland's leading national newspapers.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Wings Over Scotland | Arbroath smokies and mirrors

It’s always a matter of concern when supposedly impartial newspapers put out stories which appear more openly partisan than a party press release, and doubly so when the author is a staff news reporter rather than an opinion columnist. (As the latter are under no obligation to exercise impartiality, or indeed even to feign it.)



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

David Maddox: SNP wins no friends by snubbing the underdogs

THERE was a sense of betrayal among some of the guests at the annual dinner held by the Catalan Delegation in London last month.
Peter A Bell's insight:
We do not, of course, expect impartiality from David Maddox. But if we may not feel entitled to hope that his analysis might at least be rational then surely his employers have a right to expect that much. They must be feeling rather cheated today.The leaders of the various independence movements referred to in the article are not the petulant children that Maddox evidently takes them for. They are, for the most part, hard-headed political operators well aware of the realities of the world in which they move. Not being intellectually crippled by British nationalist fervour, they will readily recognise the reasons for Salmond's caution.Not being blinded by the rosy mist of a pseudo-religious faith in British exceptionalism, they will clearly see the danger in allowing their opponents the resort of facile comparisons between different independence movements. Comparisons in which the strengths of one case will inevitably be portrayed as the weakness of another, and the susceptibilities of any argument be represented as a common defect.There is strength in unity. But the price may be vulnerability. It is important that diverse independence movements, in Europe and beyond, be as one in upholding the fundamental principle of self-determination. Beyond that, each must be mindful of its own circumstances and develop arguments appropriate to its history, its present condition and current constitutional status.While all these independence movements are heading for the same destination, they are not all starting from the same place. Each will have to travel its own path. Alex Salmond certainly recognises this. I see no reason to suppose that Xavier Solano i Bello, Pauline Marois and others are not similarly aware.Which leaves David Maddox.But perhaps I'm being overly charitable in assuming that the observational and analytical deficiencies of this article are explained by the benign if, from an employer's perspective, inexcusable inadequacies of its author. Perhaps what we see here is an ambitious attempt by David Maddox to drive a wedge between the Scottish and the Catalan independence campaigns, as well as others. If so, we have to wonder at the monumental arrogance of some rent-a-hack on a newspaper in a state of terminal decline imagining that his puny, puerile scribblings might affect the course of international affairs in any way at all.

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Nicola Sturgeon: No new accession treaty needed for EU bid

AN INDEPENDENT Scotland would not need to sign a new accession treaty to be a member of the European Union, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has claimed.

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Wings Over Scotland | A radical plan

We’re tired of listening to the Unionist parties’ incessant “We cannae dae it!” carping about how an independent Scotland couldn’t afford, well, pretty much anything, which is why we won’t be wasting our time and yours by writing about Anas Sarwar’s empty, cynical platitude of a speech in Glasgow today. We’ve had an idea.



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Alan Bissett: Independent Scotland Will No Longer Be Able To Call Things ?Thi...

The Better Together campaign has launched its strongest defence of the Union yet, warning that an independent Scotland will no longer be allowed to call things ‘things’.



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Wings Over Scotland | We are the 51%

I’m not a feminist. I’m barely feminine come to that: a pushing-40 tomboy. My initial reaction to comments about gender balance is a cringe. So what if there are four men and no women on a panel? What do women bring to a debate that a man can’t? If I’m really honest, a man will often persuade me to a cause long before a woman – they can exude an air of authority most women would feel embarrassed to display.


Peter A Bell's insight:
I would first of all question whether exchanges on Twitter could be classified as “debate”. But to whatever extent such exchanges might be so characterised, I was party to the one referred to. Although I did not actually use the phrase, “women exclude themselves”, I had no problem accepting it, and some difficulty understanding why these words provoked such a visceral response. I was content with the phrase because I took it to mean no more than that women tend to opt out of involvement in politics. To my mind, this does no more than state the issue. Women do tend to opt out. Or, to be more precise, womenn tend to opt out in greater numbers than men. What remains to be explained are the reasons for this. And we won’t make any progress towards finding a satisfactory explanation if we can’t even state the problem without being shouted down by the strident voice of shallow gender feminism determined to see a male conspiracy in every utterance. What was significant about that Twitter exchange was that it was not the views of women that were being “dismissed”, or the issue of the lack of women in politics. In fact, it was certain females who were doing all the “dismissing” with banalities of the ,”Typical men!” variety in response to male contributors who sought an earnest discussion of an issue that is crucial to our democracy and so of just as much concern to men as women. It is also perfectly fair to say that women “exclude themselves” because this accurately reflects the reality that even when the formal barriers to their participation have been largely swept away, the tendency to opt out remains. Appreciating that this opting out is a matter of choice for many women is essential to any exercise that seeks to address the question of why women continue to be under-represented even when participation is better facilitated than ever before. In order to adequately address an issue we must first ask the right questions. It is obviously important to ask why there are not more women involved in politics. But it is at least equally important to ask why so many women (and men!) choose not to become involved. Each of these two questions is likely to have a quite distinct set of answers. With both sets of answers we will have a more complete understanding of the situation and will thereby be better equipped to bring about change.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

For A? That Episode 14 ? Time And Again

In this episode Andrew and I spoke with Craig Gallagher, who is a doctoral student at Boston College. We spoke about some of the historical legal wrangling between Scotland and England, the lack of...

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Daily Record

dailyrecord - Politics
RSS feed from Daily Record

Conservatives want SNP to follow UK Government and create cancer drug fund in...
TORY MSP Jackson Carlaw has said the fund has helped 25,000 people receive treatments which are not available on the NHS.

Ofgem blasted as they warn energy bills are set to soar
ENERGY watchdogs' boss Alistair Buchanan warned households to prepare for higher bills as oil and coal-fired power stations close.

Horsemeat scandal could be good for Scottish economy following increased sale...
RICHARD LOCHHEAD says Scots are now taking a closer interest in where their food is coming from and buying from local butchers.

Scotland risks becoming a 'cash cow' if it removes the tuition fee cap to stu...
ORGANISATIONS including the NUJ and University and the College Union gave evidence to MSP's on the Education Committee questioning plans to scrap the university fees cap.

David Cameron urges RBS management to hurry up and return to the private sector
SCANDAL-HIT RBS - which is 82% state-owned after a £45 billion bailout - could be ready for privatisation this year, but at present prices that would mean a huge public loss.

Labour to hit out at tax-dodging companies in speech on equality in Glasgow
SCOTTISH Labour leader, Anas Sarwar will name Amazon in a speech on equality and fairness in Glasgow's Gorbals area this morning.

High price for free university
ALMOST 25,000 part-time college places have been lost in the last four years as a result of the Scottish Government's £25million cuts.

More than 80,000 part-time college places axed under Scottish Government cuts
PART-TIME students, who combine learning with work or caring duties, are losing out on the chance to retrain for a new career as a result of the Government cuts.

Indy's leap of faith is only issue
THE No campaign needs to start highlighting why the Union can make Scotland better instead of focusing all their efforts on why independence would be a terrible thing.

Nicola Sturgeon condemns brutal bedroom tax and claims Tories are enjoying th...
THE Deputy First Minister has vowed to scrap the bedroom tax in Scotland if the country votes for independence in the 2014 referendum.

Ministers urge supermarkets to source products locally as more European firms...
SCOTTISH Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead called on suppliers to help retailers purchase Scottish meat in light of the recent crisis.

Scots actor Kevin McKidd hits out at council chiefs for axing arts budget in ...
THE Elgin-born star took to Twitter to vent his anger at Moray Council's decision to cut all financial support for arts in the area.

Scottish Labour turn up heat on SNP as deputy leader Anas Sarwar slams priori...
IN a major speech on Monday, the Glasgow Central MP will argue that few kids in his constituency will gain enough qualifications to get to the gates of university and benefit from free tuition fees. 

Labour pledge return to 10p tax rate as Ed Miliband vows to hit millionaires'...
MILIBAND said ex-PM Gordon Brown had made a "very big mistake" in scrapping the 10p rate five years ago as he unveiled plans for a mansion tax on homes worth more than £2million.

Fears raised over Jobcentre's new online service which could see jobseekers' ...
REGARDLESS of computing skills, claimants and jobseekers are expected to apply for jobs online, despite the website confusing those who use computers regularly.

Guardian - Scottish Politics

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

Independent Scotland would have little influence on bank policy, says minister

Westminster would control Bank of England decisions even if Scotland kept sterling as its currency, says Michael Moore

An independent Scotland would not be allowed a role in setting policy for the B...



Scotland: Britain's real referendum | Editorial

Bit by bit the arguments and terrain for the 2014 referendum vote are taking sharper shape

It is about time that British politics got real about the referendum. Not the hypothetical referendum on th...



SNP urges Cameron to start handover talks for Scottish independence

Nicola Sturgeon says independent Scotland could begin 15 months after a 'yes' vote but critics dismiss timetable as 'absurd'

Nicola Sturgeon has challenged David Cameron to start talks on an "order...



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...



Bella Caledonia


We Own The Future

Senior Citizens for Indy
By Dave Coull We have a referendum on independence for Scotland next year. It was suggested to me (by a young woman friend) that there should be some sort of [...]

Anti-Trident weekend planned for 13-15th April
by David Mackenzie, Scrap Trident Coalition There are three main arguments against Trident. One is the growing acceptance among senior ex-military types that it has no strategic relevance to Britai...

Things aint wot they used to be
by Alan Bissett The Better Together campaign has launched its strongest defence of the Union yet, warning that an independent Scotland will no longer be allowed to call things ?things?. [...]

Food, Unfit for Purpose
What kind of a world is it when those who till the soil to fill our dinner-plates can barely make enough to survive for another planting season? When milk and alcohol can retail at a lower price in...

No Evictions for Bedroom Tax
By Mike Dailly [Mike Dailly is the Principal Solicitor of Glasgow?s Govan Law Centre and is a member of the Financial Services Authority?s Financial Services Consumer Panel. He writes in [...]

For A? That Episode 14 ? Time And Again
In this episode Andrew and I spoke with Craig Gallagher, who is a doctoral student at Boston College. We spoke about some of the historical legal wrangling between Scotland and England, the lack [...]

Finding Scottish Art
No country can afford to have its culture devalued in this way, no culture can afford to be defined as ?out of history?.

The Intransigence of British Nationalism
By Scott Lavery Symbols of British cultural identity were constantly displayed during the Olympics, the Diamond Jubilee and throughout 2012. Alongside the fluttering Union Jacks, the inconvenient s...

Something For The Weekend? Our Fuzzy Friday Top 5
1. GO WILD IN THE COUNTRY (FORTINGALL) Strictly speaking our Fuzzy Friday feature is about events in Scotland that Bella thinks worthy of flagging up to our perpetually curious, open-minded [...]

The Case for a Mass Voter Registration Drive
By Pete Ramand Perhaps the most eye-catching statistic contained in the latest Ipsos MORI research, published in The Times yesterday, was the spike in support for independence among young people: [...

Scotland and Independence

scotland independence - Google News
Google News

Scottish independence - The Economist

The Economist

Scottish independence
The Economist
POLITICAL campaigns are usually won or lost on the basis of easy-to-understand ideas and slogans. But on February 11th campaigners for and against Sco...


ING admits independence talks worry - Paisley Daily Express

ING admits independence talks worry
Paisley Daily Express
A Dutch banking group has raised its concerns about the impact of Scottish independence negotiations on economic growth. The group, ING, ques...


Glasgow Uni hosts mock independence referendum - The Edinburgh Journal

Glasgow Uni hosts mock independence referendum
The Edinburgh Journal
A mock independence referendum process has begun in Glasgow in a bid to understand students' views on Scottish independence. As Gl...


A stray Catalonia - The Boar

A stray Catalonia
The Boar
A previously autonomous region calling for independence from a country with which it shares a tumultuous history that has been buffeted by the financial crisis. Sound famil...


Michael Moore MP's Westminster Notes - Liberal Democrat Voice

Liberal Democrat Voice

Michael Moore MP's Westminster Notes
Liberal Democrat Voice
As the debate surrounding Scottish independence gets underway, the UK Government published its first in a series of '...


Catalonia is following Scotland towards independence referendum in 2014 - The...

The Independent (blog)

Catalonia is following Scotland towards independence referendum in 2014
The Independent (blog)
The Spanish federal government is far less amenable to the referendum proposed by ...


UK government launches Scotland analysis programme - The Edinburgh Journal

The Edinburgh Journal

UK government launches Scotland analysis programme
The Edinburgh Journal
The UK government formally launched the Scotland analysis programme on Monday 11 February in a bid to equ...


Scottish Independence: Can't We do Better Than This Dismal Campaign? - Specta...

Spectator.co.uk (blog)

Scottish Independence: Can't We do Better Than This Dismal Campaign?
Spectator.co.uk (blog)
Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York state (and father of the present governor) i...


Putting forward the working-class independence case - Morning Star Online

Putting forward the working-class independence case
Morning Star Online
A potentially very important arm of the campaign for Scottish independence is under construction and growing - Trade Unionists ...


Nicola Sturgeon finds an unexpected ally despite attacking his analysis - The...

The Guardian (blog)

Nicola Sturgeon finds an unexpected ally despite attacking his analysis
The Guardian (blog)
On Monday morning, as the UK government prepared to publish its legal advice on the UK a...


SNP

SNP - Google News
Google News

ING admits independence talks worry - Paisley Daily Express

ING admits independence talks worry
Paisley Daily Express
"There will be many months of discussion to agree a deal on the split of assets and liabilities, currency union, fiscal rules and such like, ...


Russell "arrogant and dismissive" - The Edinburgh Journal

The Edinburgh Journal

Russell "arrogant and dismissive"
The Edinburgh Journal
In exclusive interviews with The Journal over the last month, committee convener Stewart Maxwell (SNP) and deputy convener...


Conservatives want SNP to follow UK Government and create cancer drug fund .....

Scottish Daily Record

Conservatives want SNP to follow UK Government and create cancer drug fund ...
Scottish Daily Record
The Tories want the SNP administration to follow the UK Government and set up...


SNP name Cummings for council by-election - The Southern Reporter

The Southern Reporter

SNP name Cummings for council by-election
The Southern Reporter
Leaderdale and Melrose councillor Jim Torrance has back his fellow SNP member's campaign. Mr Torrance said: ?As a ...


SNP donations down more than £2m after record-breaking year in 2011 - stv.tv

SNP donations down more than £2m after record-breaking year in 2011
stv.tv
Donations to the Scottish National Party fell fivefold last year following a bonanza year in 2011, according to figures from...


MSPs back free tuition at universities - The Courier

The Courier

MSPs back free tuition at universities
The Courier
The SNP administration has promised to maintain free university education for all, while the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition at W...


Recently Released Market Study: Almac Diagnostics Limited - Product Pipeline ...

Recently Released Market Study: Almac Diagnostics Limited - Product Pipeline ...
SBWire (press release)
Its offerings include SNP genotyping, gene expression, quantitative real time PCR (qPCR), and C...


SNP urge Moore to be part of "Team Scotland" - SNP (press release)

SNP urge Moore to be part of "Team Scotland"
SNP (press release)
SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber & Badenoch Dave Thompson questioned why the Scotland Office has not done more within the UK government and ...


Willie Young derides SNP claims over Union Terrace Garden balustrades - STV L...

Willie Young derides SNP claims over Union Terrace Garden balustrades
STV Local
Aberdeen City Council's finance convener has launched an outspoken attack on the SNP following claims that the council ...


Largest youth unemployment fall since 2006 - SNP (press release)

Largest youth unemployment fall since 2006
SNP (press release)
The SNP has welcomed statistics showing youth unemployment has fallen by 28,000 over the last year ? the largest annual fall since 2006....


Referendum 2014 (Google News)

Scotland referendum - Google News
Google News

Glasgow Uni hosts mock independence referendum - The Edinburgh Journal

Glasgow Uni hosts mock independence referendum
The Edinburgh Journal
A mock independence referendum process has begun in Glasgow in a bid to understand students' views on Scottish independence. As Gl...


A stray Catalonia - The Boar

A stray Catalonia
The Boar
Whilst in recent days David Cameron has trumpeted the ?unbreakable bonds? between England and Scotland, in October his government nevertheless granted the Scottish Parliame...


Catalonia is following Scotland towards independence referendum in 2014 - The...

The Independent (blog)

Catalonia is following Scotland towards independence referendum in 2014
The Independent (blog)
The Spanish federal government is far less amenable to the referendum proposed by ...


UK government launches Scotland analysis programme - The Edinburgh Journal

The Edinburgh Journal

UK government launches Scotland analysis programme
The Edinburgh Journal
The executive summary of the analysis says that: ?It is crucial that the referendum debate is properly in...


Brodies LLP | Independence referendum: under starter's (section 30) Orders - ...

Brodies LLP | Independence referendum: under starter's (section 30) Orders
Linex Legal (press release) (registration)
Further to my previous post, the section 30 Order enabling the Scottish Parliamen...


Change required now, says Labour - Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra

Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra

Change required now, says Labour
Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra
While he said the SNP administration "use the language of social justice as building blocks for a ref...


New euro czar 'will cost Government thousands' - Herald Scotland

New euro czar 'will cost Government thousands'
Herald Scotland
Some, most notably the Nationalists' opponents, will see his appointment as tacit acknowledgement that Scottish Government ministers hav...


'Yes Scotland' campaign lacks political strength - Palatinate

Palatinate

'Yes Scotland' campaign lacks political strength
Palatinate
The question on the referendum ballot paper in 2014 has been finalised at the time of writing and reads: 'Should Scotland be an i...


Change to tackle inequality needed now - Herald Scotland

Herald Scotland

Change to tackle inequality needed now
Herald Scotland
People cannot afford to wait until after the independence referendum for action to tackle inequality, Labour's deputy leader said...


Tories blast EU expert 'cronyism' - ic Lanarkshire.co.uk

Tories blast EU expert 'cronyism'
ic Lanarkshire.co.uk
She said: "Andrew Scott is an extremely eminent academic and one of the leading experts on the EU anywhere in Scotland. I am therefore absolutel...


Tartan Army Message Board (often features political threads)

Anything Goes

Aliens - Do You Believe ?

Personally i don't think that we've been visited or are indeed the ancestors of E.T.

 

But........

 

I'm convinced that there is almost certainly intelligent life out there (maybe even thousands of...



Midweek Joke

Records show that the University of East Anglia has the highest population of students from China in the UK.

 

It's because of their insatiable thirst for Norwich



Fight, Fight, Fight, Fight

http://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/celebrity/any-time-any-place-duchess-tells-novelist-2013021960222



James The 4Th

 Thought thi smight be of interest

 

http://www.heraldscotland.com/comment/letters/neither-king-james-iv-nor-his-belongings-have-been-given-dignity-in-death.20271826



Big Hexagon On Saturn

This is Saturn's north pole. The hexagon is rotating whilst keeping its shape, and has been there for at least twenty years.

 

http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130220.html

 



Ted Christopher

Ted Christopher playing in the Railway Tavern,Cardenden,Saturday 23rd March at 9pm.Admission £2.



Illuminate The Debate Public Rally 23/2/13

Was in the pub last night and a guy came round with flyers for this. If anyone is interested theres more info at www.bard2014.com

 

 



Is The Daily Record Crowd Waking Up To Indy...

Shocked by the honest tone of this piece! 

 

 

 

AFP PHOTO / ERIC PIERMONTERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty

FOR months, whenever anyone asked about the referendum debate, we all had to furrow our brows ...



Rhubarb And Custard No More

Richard Briers deid.... one of my fav cartoons



Richard Briers, Expires



Political Betting - Scotland section

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

The Scottish Leadership ratings change, year on year and the future.
    Leader Net Rating Jan 12 Net Rating Feb 13 Change Alex Salmond Plus 22 Plus 7 Minus 15 Ruth Davidson Minus 12 Minus 4 Plus 8 Johann Lamont Minus 6 Plus 8 Plus 14 Willie Rennie Minus 12 Minus 7 ...

The latest Ipsos-Mori polling on Scottish Independence
The Nationalists Strike Back Ipsos-Mori have polled for the Times on Scottish Independence, the changes are from their last poll in October. The poll, which asked the same question as the one now c...

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...

Scot Goes pop

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

Will the Tories rebrand themselves as 'Scotland for Socialism'?
I received a glossy No2AV-style purple leaflet the other day from an organisation calling itself 'Scotland for Marriage', and yet curiously their main preoccupation seems to be with preventing cert...

Yes voters who were born outside Scotland
I'm not sure if this has been commented upon elsewhere yet, but one feature of last week's Ipsos-Mori poll on independence that struck me as particularly interesting was the breakdown of voting int...

Creative accountancy on Twitter
Spotted on Twitter earlier this morning -

Katherine O'Donnell ?: Comparison with Nov 2012 Ipsos MORI poll suggest Scots keener than the English on EU - 50% of English wanted out, 53% of Scots want...

Labour vote falls 4% in Rutherglen South by-election - Labour councillor desc...
This was the rather startling verdict of Labour councillor Davie McLachlan on yesterday's Rutherglen South by-election -

"Amazing result and body blow to the nats. The downfall begins"

"Massive d...


Another tragic example of the 'empowering' effect of owning guns for self-def...
Unconfirmed media reports this morning are suggesting an unimaginable human tragedy - that legendary South African athlete Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead after mistaking h...

Ipsos-Mori becomes third pollster this year to show a swing in favour of inde...
Here are the latest Ipsos-Mori findings on independence, which make highly encouraging reading for the Yes campaign -

Should Scotland be an independent country?

Yes 34% (+4)
No 55% (-3)


In theor...

My campaign to be Pope starts here
I was surprised and delighted to discover on the BBC website a couple of hours ago that I am fully eligible to be elected Pope next month. It seems that there are no boring requirements about havi...

I-I-I-I wouldn't change a thi-ing
From the BBC -

Writing before the launch of the Westminster government's document, Mr Cameron pledged that his government would put the "facts" about Scottish independence to the public.

He said:...


The right of Scottish Labour MPs to deny equal marriage rights to English peo...
A few days ago, someone asked me on PB if I couldn't think of some good points to the constitutional status quo.  "There must be something, surely," he said (or at least that was the gist).  After ...

Angus Reid finds 1.5% swing in favour of independence since last month
The Mail are manfully spinning this for all it's worth (yes, they even use the traditional words "huge setback"!), but I'm afraid facts are chiels that winna ding - the first poll on independence u...

Photos on Sunday : Celtic Connections
Before anyone accuses me of stealing the title of this post from Tris, he got the idea from me. Honestly. (I think.)

Yesterday I went to the finale of the Danny Kyle Open Stage, which was a far ...

Six Nations prediction
I've been meaning to post this for a few days, and with kick-off only hours away it's probably now or never! Here is my annual Six Nations prediction (which I only ever get round to doing because ...

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...

 

     

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