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The Herald

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

Tory Eurosceptics insist in-in poll is unacceptable
DAVID Cameron has promised real change on Europe and a real choice in effecting that change.

One million families face £1300 cut in child benefit
MORE than one million better-off families across the UK ? around 100,000 in Scotland ? are set to lose an average of £1300 in child benefit this year as the Coalition seeks to cut the nation's welfare bill and save £1.5 billion by 2013/14.

Cameron in tax loophole pledge
DAVID Cameron has promised to ensure that foreign companies found to be legally avoiding paying corporation tax in Britain have to pay their fair share.

Fears port checks could scupper cruise ship trade
Hugely lucrative tourism spin-offs from the frequent visits of cruise ships are being threatened by an abrupt change in the system of immigration checks, the industry has warned.

Union flag protesters ready to target Sturgeon
DEMONSTRATORS supporting the Loyalist Union flag dispute in Northern Ireland are turning their attention to Scotland's independence referendum, with a protest planned against senior SNP figures next week.

PM rejects plan to scrap Winter Fuel Allowance
DAVID Cameron has rejected a Liberal Democrat plan to scrap the Winter Fuel Allowance for more than 10 million British pensioners ? 750,000 in Scotland ? to help pay for elderly care in England.

Tributes paid to former SNP leader
ONE of the key figures in the development of the SNP, Jimmy Halliday, who led the party from 1956 to 1960, has died in his adopted home city of Dundee.

Labour in call for jobs guarantee
Labour today calls for a compulsory jobs guarantee for Britain's 129,000 long-term unemployed adults.

PM backs business ideas of UK youth
David Cameron has extolled a can-do spirit among young entrepreneurs, telling them he wants to encourage as many new businesses as he can so Britain can create the next Facebook, Amazon or Google.

NHS facing £40m equal pay bill
A HUGE backlog of almost 10,000 equal pay claims is threatening to engulf NHS boards with more than £40 million in settlements, it has been claimed.

Benefit cut 'shock' for Britons
MANY Britons face a "nasty surprise" when planned changes to child benefit come into force next week, Labour has warned.

Independence debate leaves business people feeling uncomfortable
Businessmen and women are ?uncomfortable? about discussing independence, according to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce?s chief executive. 

New plea by LibDems for Lockerbie public inquiry
THE case for a full public inquiry into the conviction of the man found guilty of the Lockerbie bombing has become more urgent following a pledge by the Libyan Government to release documents relating to the atrocity, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats has claimed.

Parties clash ahead of Commons welfare vote
Labour and the Tory-LibDem Coalition have traded blows over welfare ahead of a Commons vote.

A year of omnishambles, cuts and referendum rows
To a large degree UK politics in 2012 was dominated by one thing ? money.

 

Scotsman

Scotsman.com - Politics Feed

Tories promise voters ?real change and real choice? over Europe

VOTERS will be offered a “real choice” on Britain’s future relations with the European Union, David Cameron has said, ahead of a keynote speech on the issue this month.



Labour will target pensions of high-earners to fund 130,000 jobs

Pension tax relief for top earners could be slashed to fund guaranteed jobs for the long-term unemployed, under plans unveiled by Labour yesterday.



Think?tank attacks child benefit cuts

Child benefit cuts will cause “incoherence” in the welfare system and undermine other UK government reforms, a respected economic think-tank has warned.



Tony Sinclair: Charities may need to mergeto survive this crisis

WITH three out of four charities expecting competition for resources to increase, while four out of five expect the financial situation to worsen for the Scottish voluntary sector this year, half of all Scottish charities are focusing on business development while a fifth are planning a restructure.



Christine Jardine: SNP is leading us along the road to nowhere

A YEAR, to borrow a well-known phrase, has been a very long time in Scottish politics.



The Scotsman cartoon - 05/01/13

Working out political issues



Cartoons of the week: 29 December - 4 January

A look at the past week in politics, in cartoons.



Better Together webchat: Alistair Darling

Better Together campaign leader, Alistair Darling, will be taking part in a live webchat on Monday to discuss the arguments in favour of a no vote in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.



Sun publishes advert in Argentinian press over Falklands claims

The Sun newspaper has published a full-page advert in an Argentinian paper warning the country’s president to keep her “hands off” the Falkland Islands.



Thousands fewer soldiers will be based in Scotland than promised, reveals gen...

ONE of Britain’s most senior generals has revealed there are set to be thousands fewer regular soldiers in Scotland than the government has promised.



Ministers ?spreading prejudice against benefits?

The coalition government has been accused of spreading “prejudice and ignorance” over benefits, after research showed the public was hostile to welfare.



Tributes as ex-SNP leader Halliday dies aged 85

ALEX Salmond last night led tributes to a former leader of the SNP who died yesterday at the age of 85.



Nicola Sturgeon pledges £21m boost for regeneration

Funding of around £21 million has been announced for projects aimed at regenerating parts of the west of Scotland.



Joyce McMillan: Political nit-picking serves no-one

The future of Scotland must be determined in broader terms than the simple Yes-No option currently offers, writes Joyce McMillan



George Kerevan: Their short-term gain is long-term pain for us

Wilting economies and feuding neighbours bristling at each other haven’t finished yet – don’t be beguiled,
warns George Kerevan



Wingsland Blog

Wings Over Scotland
the stories in Scotland's newspapers tomorrow, today

Vote Yes for a nuclear-free England?
In a slightly surprising development reported late this afternoon by the Guardian, the Ministry of Defence appeared to suddenly and officially confirm what most supporters of independence have asserted for some time: that if Scotland becomes independent the rUK will lose its nuclear deterrent, as it has nowhere else to put it. In a surprisingly [...]

Unionist Libel Of The Day
There’s an absolutely despicable article on Labour Uncut today that we’re reluctant to link to. There’s a Google Cache version here, and in case it dies we’ve reprinted the whole thing below (sue us, Labour Uncut) so you don’t need to give the site traffic. For the most part it’s a tedious rehash of the [...]

Little rays of sunshine
Yesterday we reported the excellent news that US media giant CNN’s travel arm had named Scotland their No.1 travel destination of 2013, a move likely to generate many millions of pounds in increased tourism business for the Scottish economy. And to their credit, both the Scotsman and Herald also covered the story. (Though neither of [...]

A difference of tone
Journalists and broadcasters tend to be very prickly about allegations that they do their job in a biased way, and it’s a difficult claim to prove. Much of the time it centres around the belief that “If this story was about Party Y rather than Party X you’d be covering it in a different way”, [...]

Positivity vs negativity: results in
The travel division of American TV channel CNN this week named Scotland its No.1 tourism destination for 2013. In its announcement CNN Travel cited “international buzz, major events, savvy marketing and economics” among the reasons for its decision. It would seem reasonable to include in that “savvy marketing” the efforts expended by the Scottish Government [...]

We are redundant
The only downside to the success of Wings Over Scotland’s first year was that the site took up so much time it had a damaging effect on our finances. (So extra-special thanks to those who contributed a few quid via the Donate page to help keep us in webhosting and 35p pasta.) Luckily, it looks [...]

Adequately explained by stupidity?
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie should be commended for starting 2013 with a legitimate request rather than a party-political attack. The Herald today reports his renewed call for a public inquiry into the events of the Lockerbie disaster. The call was prompted by the new Libyan government’s pledge to release documents relating to the [...]

FAO the Scottish Conservatives
The Scottish Tories have issued a rather pompous press release today, seemingly based on the curiously mistaken assumption that their 15 Holyrood MSPs out of 130 are in a position to give orders to the Scottish Government “The Scottish Conservatives demanded in early October that Finance Secretary John Swinney outlines exactly how policies such as [...]

The days ahead
We were going to get 2013 up and running with a piece on how we’d like to see the independence debate approached in the coming year, but Ewan Crawford has rather kindly done the job for us in The Scotsman, in a snappy 113 words: “Labour has decided to mount a campaign based primarily on [...]

A New Jerusalem
Someone recently directed us towards a recording of an episode of BBC Radio 4′s “PM” news and current-affairs show broadcast early in June of this year. It featured a discussion between presenter Eddie Mair and Dr Alex Woolf, a listener to the show who’d contacted it after an interview with Alex Salmond. You can listen [...]

BBC Scotland

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

Warning on oil spill anniversary
An environmental group warns Scotland's coastline remains at risk, on the 20th anniversary of the Braer tanker disaster.

Cost concern over Royal Mail sale
A cross-party group of MPs calls for standard postal charges to remain so that rural areas are protected should Royal Mail be privatised.

NHS 'facing equal pay timebomb'
A high number of equal pay claims in the Scottish health service means it faces a "financial timebomb", say opposition parties.

Cruise ship checks 'detrimental'
New immigration checks for cruise ship passengers could damage Scots business, according to the industry body.

Former SNP leader dies aged 85
The first minister leads tributes to former SNP leader Jimmy Halliday, who has died at the age of 85.

Officer calls for 50p 999 calls
A Tayside Police officer is calling for people to be charged to dial 999 in an effort to cut the number of nuisance calls.

Economy 'continuing to stagnate'
Business optimism rises slightly despite evidence the Scottish economy is continuing to stagnate, a survey of firms suggests.

Derelict land set for £21m revamp
Derelict land in the west of Scotland is to be brought back into use with £21.2m of public money.

Supermarkets to help smokers quit
A major supermarket chain teams up with the Scottish government to help smokers kick the habit.

Cyclists get £3.9m funding boost
The Scottish government is to invest an extra £3.9m in cycling infrastructure over the next two years.

Leaders issue New Year messages
The leaders of Scotland's main political parties issue New Year messages focussing on issues from tuition fees to the economy.

New homeless law comes into force
Legislation which aims to effectively end homelessness in Scotland comes into force as part of a government commitment.

Moves to level pay for lecturers
Scotland's further education colleges look set to return to national pay and conditions for lecturers.

VIDEO: Scottish Parliament
Alex Salmond insists free higher education will be part of the Scottish tradition "not just for Christmas but for all time" in the last first minister's questions of the year.

VIDEO: Economy shows 'glimmer of hope'
The Scottish Government's 'biggest fall in unemployment in four years' but are the latest employment figures a glimmer of hope for the economy.

Newsnet Scotland

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

Shortlisted designs for Glasgow's George Square to go on show

By a Newsnet reporter

On Monday the 7th of January the six shortlisted designs for the revamp of Glasgow's George Square will go on show to the public at the Lighthouse, Glasgow and also online on the council's website.

George Square was first laid out as private gardens in the 1780s for the impressive townhouses which lined its east and west sides.



Debate into the role of broadcasting in Scotland

In December 2012, the Constitutional Commission held a debate on the role of broadcasting in Scotland.

Panellists taking part in the debate included journalist and broadcaster Iain MacWhirter, Professor Tom Devine, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, Scottish Greens MSP Patrick Harvie, blogger Kate Higgins, media advisor Ewan Crawford and Pete Murray of the NUJ.



Ross Greer, Yes Scotland's Youth and Student Co-ordinator speaks to Lynda Wil...

Over the festive period I was lucky enough to visit the Yes Scotland office in Hope Street in Glasgow and while I was there I spoke to Ross Greer.

Ross is an active member of the Scottish Green Party and in January he will take up a post with Yes Scotland as their Communities Assistant and their Youth and Student Co-ordinator.



Call Kaye and the dangers of prejudice

By a Newsnet reporter

On December 12th an official Scottish government report showed that racist attacks against a group describing themselves as ?white British? had increased by twenty four per cent in the last year.

The statistic resulted in newspaper headlines suggesting, or in the case of one newspaper asserting, that attacks on English people was on the increase.



Scotland as an Idea and Place of Substance

By Gerry Hassan, The Scotsman, December 29th 2012

It has been a tumultuous year, across Europe, the world, and in its own way for Scotland.

It was the year that the independence referendum was agreed, of the collapse and rebirth of Rangers FC, and the continued decline of the British establishment and public trust in it.



Scotland and the European Union

By Sir David Edward

In this post I have tried to set out my analysis of the position in European Union law if there is a vote in favour of Scottish independence in the 2014 referendum.  I have been greatly helped by the comments of colleagues and friends, but the views expressed are my own.

The first part of the paper sets out what I believe to be the most relevant texts.  I then set out my analysis of the problem.



The Untouchables

  A Newsnet Scotland special report 
 
Since this site was created back in March 2010 one aspect of our coverage of news and current affairs in Scotland has stood out - our refusal to accept that the BBC in Scotland is an unimpeachable pillar of virtue, an institution bereft of fallibility, an organisation that can be trusted unquestionably.
 
Most regular readers of Newsnet Scotland will be all too aware of the many examples highlighting what we euphemistically call ?questionable broadcasts?.  However what isn?t widely known is the almost total impunity with which the BBC operates in Scotland.



Does Scotland really want to do something about inequality?

By Gerry Hassan, The Scotsman, December 22nd 2012

Scotland thinks and acts left.

The complexity of evidence on values and policies shows that Scotland isn?t that much different from the rest of the UK. But the dominant account of Scotland is centre-left, or even left, in how it sees and positions itself, and how it votes.

Such a political culture not surprisingly spends a large amount of time articulating its concerns on social justice. We see ourselves as more egalitarian and less hierarchical than our Southern neighbours and maybe even more Nordic and Scandinavian, certainly more social democratic.



Modern haruspicy - the latest Ashcroft poll

By Dave Taylor

When Agricola decided to mount his invasion by land and sea to curb the wild Caledonians, he would have asked the priests to sacrifice a sheep, then examine its liver (haruspicy) to decide whether the gods were on his side ? if specific parts of the liver were diseased or malformed, one or more of the gods were disapproving.

Today, political parties and associated geeks do something very similar.  They examine the responses of members of the diseased body politic for prophetic signs.  The priests are the opinion pollsters.



Imagining Radical Scottish Independence: Learning from the Venezuelan Experience

By Ewan Robertson

With two years to go until the Scottish National Party (SNP) puts an independence referendum to the Scottish people, the likelihood appears that the form of ?independence? on offer will look more like ?devolution-max?: ditching any policy that would either prove unacceptable to ruling elites across the UK and further afield, or would bring meaningful sovereignty and political participation to an independent Scotland.



Referendum 2014 (Scoop.it)

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

Scottish Independence Referendum - Scots 9/4 to vote yes

Scotland will have a referendum on independence and punters are starting to believe that they will vote yes

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Christine Jardine: SNP is leading us along the road to nowhere

A YEAR, to borrow a well-known phrase, has been a very long time in Scottish politics.
Peter A Bell's insight:
As I ploughed through this article I found myself increasingly perplexed about what the point of it was. The answer came in the final few paragraphs when it became clear that this was just another unionist telling herself comforting bedtime stories about imagined failures of the Scottish Government.I suppose that, for British nationalists, these fictions are more conducive to a good night's sleep than reports of the SNP's soaring membership or the polls which show the SNP taking a massive lead in Westminster voting intentions.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

The anatomy of a referendum, and the messy consequences of cutting off your n...

I am currently writing a doctoral thesis on the dyanamics and strategies of environmental debate in Sweden, a land popularly assumed to be a paragon of environmental virtue. This is a belief apparently held by the Swedes themselves, as illustrated by their somewhat smug showing in Doha where they failed to mention the motorway the size of the Channel Tunnel they are about to build in Stockholm.



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Wings Over Scotland | Vote Yes for a nuclear-free England?

In a slightly surprising development reported late this afternoon by the Guardian, the Ministry of Defence appeared to suddenly and officially confirm what most supporters of independence have asserted for some time: that if Scotland becomes independent the UK will lose its nuclear deterrent, as it has nowhere else to put it.



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

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

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Wings Over Scotland | Unionist Liar Of The Day

There’s an absolutely despicable article on Labour Uncut today that we’re reluctant to link to. It’s here if you really need to see it in situ, though we’ll replace that version with a Google Cache one as soon as there’s one available, and we’ve reprinted the whole thing below (sue us, Labour Uncut) so you don’t need to give the site traffic.



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Alex Salmond wants to disenfranchise millions of Britons. Don?t let him.

Peter A Bell's insight:
Another representative of British Labour displays his bitter resentment of the SNP along with that disturbing obsession with ethnicity that seems to infect so many British nationalists.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Wings Over Scotland | Little rays of sunshine

Yesterday we reported the excellent news that US media giant CNN’s travel arm had named Scotland their No.1 travel destination of 2013, a move likely to generate many millions of pounds in increased tourism business for the Scottish economy. And to their credit, both the Scotsman and Herald also covered the story.



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Union flag protesters ready to target Sturgeon

DEMONSTRATORS supporting the Loyalist Union flag dispute in Northern Ireland are turning their attention to Scotland's independence referendum, with a protest planned against senior SNP figures next week.



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

A Conservative win in 2015 isn't only possible: right now, it's the most like...

Paul Goodman is wrong. Not only is a Conservative majority possible after the 2015 election, it’s the most likely outcome.
Peter A Bell's insight:
British Labour talks up their chances of winning the 2015 UK election in part at least because they know that anticipation of another Conservative UK Government makes the chances of a YES vote in 2014 much more likely.

Tories, meanwhile, talk up their chances of overall victory because Scotland doesn't really enter into their thinking.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Wings Over Scotland | A difference of tone

Journalists and broadcasters tend to be very prickly about allegations that they do their job in a biased way, and it’s a difficult claim to prove. Much of the time it centres around the belief that “If this story was about Party Y rather than Party X you’d be covering it in a different way”, and that’s hard to back up because it’s based on an assumption rather than an empirical, demonstrable reality – it’s very rare that two parties or two politicians ever find themselves in directly comparable situations.

So we’re very grateful to the good people of the Herald this week for kindly providing us with an eye-opening illustration of what happens when they do.



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Coalition plans to expand 'manifesto for the Union'

The Coalition Government is preparing to expand its upcoming "manifesto for the Union" if the fight for Scotland's future intensifies, sources have told The Herald.


Peter A Bell's insight:
British state mobilises civil service to work for anti-independence campaign at taxpayers' expense.

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Independence debate leaves business people feeling uncomfortable

Businessmen and women are “uncomfortable” about discussing independence, according to Glasgow Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive.


Peter A Bell's insight:
Is there anything that doesn't scare the shit out of these "business leaders"?

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Resolution

Bella is in reflective mood and wants to respond to the challenge laid down by Gerry Hassan about ‘the thinness of much of what passes for public debate’. We want [...]

See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

BBC coverage of the Scottish Independence referendum should be impartial and ...

BBC coverage of the Scottish Independence referendum should be impartial and balanced.



See it on Scoop.it, via Referendum 2014

Daily Record

dailyrecord - Politics
RSS feed from Daily Record

Take a bit out of the food giants, not magazines, Jo
MP for East Dunbartonshire, Jo Swinson, has urged magazines to give readers a more positive and realistic idea of what is a normal body image.

Lib Dem MP sparks outrage by suggesting pensioners' winter fuel allowance sho...
PENSIONERS organisation SAGA warned this move to axe fuel allowance could kill more elderly people unable to afford to heat their homes.

NHS Scotland could face £41m equal pay claims bill
MSPs have warned the outstanding equal pay claims could cost taxpayers up to tens of millions of pounds.

Elderly to suffer winter fuel cuts in a bid to aid reformed care system
AT present, elderly people in England have to contribute to their own care costs if they have savings of more than £23,000.

First Minister and oil sector 'to work closely' as environmentalists say the ...
ALEX SALMOND has pledged to work with oil and gas firms to maintain the sector's "vital" role in providing energy.

Relief as US avoids fiscal cliff adding £33bn to value of UK's biggest firms
BRITAIN and the rest of the world narrowly escaped another recession as last minute fiscal cliff deal will impose tax rises on the wealthiest and spare the working-class.

Take us away from cliff edge
SIMILAR to America, Scotland - with or without independence - faces an unprecedented economic future in the years to come.

SNP slammed as proposed £36.4m college budget cuts threaten the future of Sco...
THE National Union of Students in Scotland have launched an online campaign, asking the public to demand the Government drop plans to slash college budgets.

Scotland's cycling routes to be upgraded in multi-million pound Government sc...
ALMOST £4 million is being spent to improve cycling routes and provide better bike access to train stations.

Revealed: George Osborne's jaunt to cheer on Chelsea in Euro final cost taxpa...
THE trip to the final was classed as an 'official visit' because Osborne had talks with German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

Scots encouraged to cycle more ahead of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014
As the Scottish Government invests £53million in Scotland's cycle paths, the Transport Minister is urging us all to get on our bikes as a way of getting around.

Why Alex Salmond will be viewing 2013 with a little trepidation
FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has many reasons to be cheerful but he will still be glad to see the back of 2012.. and a little worried at what 2013 may have in store.

Martin McGuinness steps down as Mid-Ulster MP
THE Sinn Fein politician said he will concentrate on his role as Stormont MLA and deputy First Minister.

Scotland's political leaders issue their New Year message to the country
FIRST minister Alex Salmond, Labour leader Johann Lamont and Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie have issued their Hogmanay messages.

Paralympic riding heroine Sophie Christiansen slams government's disability b...
THE three times gold medal winner says that the removal of Disability Living Allowance is a "big mistake" from David Cameron's government.

Guardian - Scottish Politics

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

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...



Election watchdog begins 12-week review of Scottish referendum question

Electoral Commission will assess proposed question on Scottish independence for bias, clarity and simplicity

The Electoral Commission has begun scrutinising the Scottish government's question for th...



Scottish lawyers and hospital doctors threaten to strike

Scottish government faces industrial action in spate of disputes over cuts in legal aid funding and pension reforms

Alex Salmond is facing a series of strikes by lawyers and hospital doctors in disp...



Johann Lamont: Facing up to Scotland's 'stark choice'

Scotland's Labour leader wants free healthcare, not the independence debate, to dominate the political agenda

When Johann Lamont, Scotland's Labour leader, called for a mature debate on the funding ...



Stonewall unapologetic over Scottish cardinal's 'bigot of the year' award

Gay rights group says it will retain category in next year's awards, after criticism from politicians and Catholic church

The gay rights group Stonewall has refused to back down after it provoked a ...



Westminster rejects Alex Salmond claim on Scotland's EU membership

UK government issues statement fuelling row over an independent Scotland's status in the European Union

The UK government says an independent Scotland would have to apply as a new member state to jo...



Nick Clegg attacks Philip Hammond for 'jumping the gun' on Trident

Deputy PM shows anger at defence secretary's plans for deterrent renewal without coalition-agreed study of alternatives

Nick Clegg has accused the defence secretary, Philip Hammond, of "jumping the ...



Bella Caledonia


GET ABOVE OURSELVES

From the Province of the Cat: Dounreay is a war crime
by George Gunn Because Dounreay was built to produce plutonium for military use during the Cold War Dounreay is a war crime perpetrated on the people of Scotland by the [...]

Resolution
Bella is in reflective mood and wants to respond to the challenge laid down by Gerry Hassan about ‘the thinness of much of what passes for public debate’. We want [...]

Arc of Innovation?
Here’s an unashamed plug for Lesley Riddoch’s Nordic Horizons series with two events coming up ‘The Great Green Danes’ in January and ‘Iceland Bounces Back’ in February. First up, something [...]

On to a New Media
The media in Scotland remains a travesty of poor quality, underfunded, grossly biased and deeply conservative broadcasting and print media. There’s not a newspaper in Scotland that is pro-independe...

Lamont?s Apostasy
By Callum McCormick 2012 in Scottish politics was a year to be remembered for two meetings. The first occurred on the 15th of October in Edinburgh between Alex Salmond and [...]

Fade to Gray
By Harry McGrath Watching Scots administer a beating to one of their greats is an unedifying but, sadly, not an unusual spectacle. All the more so when it happens in [...]

Punctuation and Persuadables
In the next part of our review of the year, Kate Higgins looks at the highs and lows of the Yes and No campaigns and our political class … Reflecting [...]

Energy Futures
Shaun Burnie on why Big Energy can't deliver Green Energy, and why we need an energy descent plan for Scotland...

2012: YEAR OF MADNESS
Continuing our series #bellasbigreview ? Michael Greenwell reflects on the year in politics, asking: are we a society addicted to a failed economy? The definition of insanity is doing the [...]

This Land is our Land
Right over the holidays Bella will be publishing a series of review of 2012 and previews of the year ahead. Collectively, these are Bella’s Big Review #bellasbigreview. To kick start [...]

Scotland and Independence

scotland independence - Google News
Google News

Salute Scotland's great and good of 2012 - The Guardian

Salute Scotland's great and good of 2012
The Guardian
David Cameron came north and conceded what every reasonable person had already acknowledged when the SNP won a landslide in 2011: that there woul...


Union flag protesters ready to target Sturgeon - Herald Scotland

Union flag protesters ready to target Sturgeon
Herald Scotland
DEMONSTRATORS supporting the Loyalist Union flag dispute in Northern Ireland are turning their attention to Scotland's independence refe...


Questions on Independence - The Caledonian Mercury

The Caledonian Mercury

Questions on Independence
The Caledonian Mercury
?We have provided the Scottish Government with our initial paper ?The Scottish Government's Independence White Paper ? issues th...


CBI urges Scottish Government to assist businesses - bdaily

CBI urges Scottish Government to assist businesses
bdaily
The White Paper is due to be published by Autumn this year, and CBI Scotland said the business community will be bracing itself, and carrying...


English voters targeted in fight to save UK - Herald Scotland

Herald Scotland

English voters targeted in fight to save UK
Herald Scotland
The Conservatives are planning to target English voters as the battle over Scottish independence enters its penultimate year...


Yes campaign reveals its 'grassroots' groups - Scotsman

Scotsman

Yes campaign reveals its 'grassroots' groups
Scotsman
By EDDIE BARNES Published on Tuesday 1 January 2013 02:48. MORE than 100 grassroots groups backing Scottish independence have been set up...


Scotland should thank the English settlers - The Guardian

The Guardian

Scotland should thank the English settlers
The Guardian
Gray's work is included in an anthology published by Word Power Books nine days ago entitled Unstated: Writers on Scottish Independ...


Scotland independence referendum pushed forward in 2012 for people's choice -...

Scotland independence referendum pushed forward in 2012 for people's choice
Shanghai Daily (subscription)
EDINBURGH, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- Scotland's independence referendum was pushed forward in 2012 ...


Scotland's political leaders issue their New Year message to the country - Sc...

Scotland's political leaders issue their New Year message to the country
Scottish Daily Record
Mr Salmond invited Scots to consider how they might vote if the referendum in 2014 was for an independen...


SNP 'could disband' after independence - Scotland on Sunday

Scotland on Sunday

SNP 'could disband' after independence
Scotland on Sunday
In an era in which the independence question no longer dominates Scottish politics, Noon also suggests a number of coalitio...


SNP

SNP - Google News
Google News

SNP: I did NOT sign-up for this! - Daily Sentinel

SNP: I did NOT sign-up for this!
Daily Sentinel
As our family recently rang in the New Year, I reflected upon our experiences. I was equally curious what the children thought of a year that had, in m...


Vital statistics and the Scots economy - Herald Scotland

Vital statistics and the Scots economy
Herald Scotland
The SNP claims there is an economic as well as a political case for independence. Specifically, it asserts that Scots would be individually £500...


Labour Party is not progressive - Herald Scotland

Labour Party is not progressive
Herald Scotland
PETER A Russell suggests that one of the defining features of the SNP is opposition to the Labour Party, which he describes as the true source of socia...


Row flares as Treasury blasts SNP oil dividend - Herald Scotland

Row flares as Treasury blasts SNP oil dividend
Herald Scotland
The SNP Government had claimed official figures showed Scots would benefit to the tune of £500 per head each year. But the figure has be...


Christine Jardine: SNP is leading us along the road to nowhere - Scotsman

Scotsman

Christine Jardine: SNP is leading us along the road to nowhere
Scotsman
It was only by asking Lib Dem MEP George Lyon I discovered the scope of the deep cuts in that budget that the SNP MEPs ...


SNP lead in Westminster voting poll of polls - SNP (press release)

SNP lead in Westminster voting poll of polls
SNP (press release)
Analysis of the most recent Scottish voting intentions from the latest samples by UK polling companies shows the SNP hold a lead with ...


Death of SNP stalwart - Guide and Gazette

Death of SNP stalwart
Guide and Gazette
While Stewart Hosie MP for Dundee East added: ?Jimmy was a positive influence on Scottish politics both through his early leadership of the SNP and his signifi...


Why the delay? - Kincardineshire Observer

Why the delay?
Kincardineshire Observer
NHS Grampian infrastructure projects identified by the SNP and listed as 'shovel-ready' projects included Stonehaven Health Centre. Nanette Milne, MSP said: ?F...


UK gov breaking defence promises to Scotland - SNP (press release)

UK gov breaking defence promises to Scotland
SNP (press release)
Following the latest reports that the UK government is their breaking defence promises to Scotland by reducing army size numbers, the ...


Weekend Warmup: Jonathan McDonald's five best bets, only at provincesports .....

Weekend Warmup: Jonathan McDonald's five best bets, only at provincesports ...
The Province
BASKETBALL: Virginia Tech at Maryland, 9 a.m., WSBK; women's, Purdue at Nebraska, 11 a.m., CBS; Miami at Ge...


Referendum 2014 (Google News)

Scotland referendum - Google News
Google News

This year, Cameron's crass EU game will finally be up - Herald Scotland

This year, Cameron's crass EU game will finally be up
Herald Scotland
Herald Scotland. Saturday 5 January 2013. Complete archive of articles from 1989 to today · News · Home News · Crime & Courts · H...


Row flares as Treasury blasts SNP oil dividend - Herald Scotland

Row flares as Treasury blasts SNP oil dividend
Herald Scotland
SCOTS would each be £1 a year worse off and not £500 richer in an independent Scotland due to declining North Sea oil revenues, the UK G...


Alistair Darling urges respect in referendum debate - Scotland on Sunday

Scotland on Sunday

Alistair Darling urges respect in referendum debate
Scotland on Sunday
She added: ?Now that the legal basis of the referendum has been confirmed through the Edinburgh Agreement, the...


Joyce McMillan: Political nit-picking serves no-one - Scotsman

Scotsman

Joyce McMillan: Political nit-picking serves no-one
Scotsman
All of Scotland's major political parties are, of course, much to blame for their role in creating this situation. The SNP ? shock...


If you want to be a total pedant, write 'referenda' not 'referendums' - The I...

The Independent (blog)

If you want to be a total pedant, write 'referenda' not 'referendums'
The Independent (blog)
A referendum on Scotland's future is due in 2014. The Falkland islanders are holding...


Michael Kelly: Confident Labour to decide referendum result - Scotsman

Scotsman

Michael Kelly: Confident Labour to decide referendum result
Scotsman
THE Labour Party in Scotland goes into 2013 in buoyant mood and filled with a commitment to make this phase of the anti-in...


Independence debate 'will dominate' - Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra

Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra

Independence debate 'will dominate'
Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra
"Next year's referendum will continue to overshadow Scotland's political debate, but if ever there...


Impact of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom - Fresh Business Thinking

Impact of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom
Fresh Business Thinking
"As part of their due diligence ahead of the referendum, many business leaders will carry out an assessment of the possible impac...


Ruth Davidson calls for UK unity to drive economic recovery in 2013 - stv.tv

Ruth Davidson calls for UK unity to drive economic recovery in 2013
stv.tv
"Next year's referendum will continue to overshadow Scotland's political debate, but if ever there was a time for the devolv...


David Torrance: Value of EU unlikely to flag - Scotsman

Scotsman

David Torrance: Value of EU unlikely to flag
Scotsman
The result of the referendum was decisive, with 67.2 per cent of voters expressing support for continued membership of the EEC on a 65 pe...


Tartan Army Message Board (often features political threads)

Anything Goes

A Church Of England Compromise
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20914799

So you can become a Bishop if you are Gay and in a Civil Partnership as long as you're Celibate!

This will just lead to an outbreak of "Bashing the Bishop".
...

Church
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20914799

So no bum fun.

Do blow jobs count?

Hand Translant
Would you start peeing one-handed or just sit down...?

Loyalists Target Nicola Sturgeon
DEMONSTRATORS supporting the Loyalist Union flag dispute in Northern Ireland are turning their attention to Scotland's independence referendum, with a protest planned against senior SNP figures nex...

Favourite Crisps
And none of the fancy schmancy stuff like sensations and all that. Proper crisps. Ill start.

1. Salt n Vinegar french fries
2. Pickled onion monster munch
3. Salt n Shake

Celebrity Big Brother
Anyone ?

Bronchitis
After my bout of norovirus, I have managed to develop bronchitis while my immune system was low.

Had it a week or so now and feel generally ill, no appetite, hot and cold, and lack of breath!

Blo...

Scotland Is The World's Top Travel Desitination For 2013
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/01/01/travel/top-destinations-2013/index.html

Embarrassing Clothes.
Okay it's the silly season and most of us know about Flure's housecoat and Flat Earth's short shorts so do tell looking back what has been your most embarrassing fashion faux-pas moments.

Was it s...

Advice Needed

A Good New Year to everyone / Bliadhna Mhath Ùr.


This is a genuine request for information. I need to start a website to plug a book series, and I’m new to this game. I can’t do programming (yet?)...



Political Betting - Scotland section

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

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...

Will being called ?Skintland? boost the YES or NO campaigns?
What’ll the “Economist cover” do to the referendum? Above is a version of what’s said to be the front cover of the latest Economist which hasn’t going down too well in nationalist circles overnight...

Scot Goes pop

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

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...

John McTernan has a butler, or the kitten gets it
A couple of years ago, I did a brief round-up of the more unusual search engine queries that had led unsuspecting surfers to this blog. I thought it was high time for a more comprehensive list, al...

Our Head of State for 2060 has just been selected...
We don't have a clue about his or her personality, talents or intelligence, but we're absolutely certain that he/she will be just the chap/chapess for the job.

Democracy and rationality at its fin...

Open questions
Leaving aside the obvious jibe that 'Open Unionism' is a contradiction in terms, my eye was caught by this article of the 'anyone to the left of Enoch Powell is a Marxist' variety -

"It became mor...

Response to Rhoda Grant's consultation on criminalising the purchase of sex
Having got into the swing of responding to consultations earlier in the year, I thought I'd have another go with Labour MSP Rhoda Grant's consultation on criminalising the purchase of sex (ie. the ...

Ashcroft poll : SNP lead in Westminster voting intention
The Tories' billionaire puppet-master Lord Ashcroft recently conducted a UK-wide mega-poll of Westminster voting intention, with a sample size some eight times larger than a regular poll. That mea...

Special appeal : Scots Wikipedia contributors needed!
I've just found myself writing a rather impatient email reply to someone whose heart is in the right place, but who I think is lashing out in entirely the wrong direction. Basically, he's one of o...

Clinton doesn't just oppose "separatism" - he opposes democratic self-determi...
Our old friend Duncan Hothersall was full of beans yesterday about the supposed 'endorsement' of the No campaign by Bill Clinton. In truth, of course, it was no such thing - the comment Clinton ma...

Today is Thursday 15th November 2012...
Remember that date. It will live in infamy.

Just eighteen months ago, brave men and women across the United Kingdom raised their hands in defiance, and said: "No. This shall not be." In doing s...

It's been a while...
There was a time (in 2009, I think) when this blog was primarily a round-up of Scottish subsamples from UK opinion polls of Westminster voting intention. It would be a bit difficult to sustain tha...

The black hole where the US media's coverage of third party candidates should be
It was an interesting experience watching CNN's election coverage as one of the roughly 1% of voters who had plumped for someone other than Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. Although I'd been in that p...