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Opinion

George Kerevan: A small risk for the greater good

JOHN Smith, Labour leader and prime minister who never was, died 20 years ago next month, on 12 May, 1994. ...

Commentary | Wednesday, 16 April 2014 | Comments

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Is the war over yet?

  By G.A.Ponsonby  It feels like the blitz.  The heavy artillery has been deployed [again] to bombard the Scots into ...

Commentary | Wednesday, 16 April 2014 | Comments

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A response to Professor Colin Kidd's interview in

By Ashley Husband Powton Eleanor Roosevelt stated that 'Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people'. Throughout ...

Commentary | Tuesday, 15 April 2014 | Comments

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News - Scotland and International

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Salmond hails highest Scottish employment level on record

  Employment levels in Scotland are at their highest since records began with 2,575,000 people over 16 now employed, according to labour market figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  The employment level is now 13,000 above its pre-recession peak of 2,562,000 in 2008.  According to the latest statistics, 2.575m people over 16 – 13,000 more than ... Read More

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News in Brief

Academic pours scorn on Commons Committee report on education after Yes

Another No campaign attack has suffered a setback after a senior academic described claims on higher education as being based ... Read More

Countdown begins to best Games ever

With 100 days to go to the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, at least 100 young people from across the ... Read More

Scottish Independence: Yes or No? - A new book by Alan Cochrane and George Kerevan

In September 2014, a referendum will be held in Scotland to decide whether or not the nation should become independent.  ... Read More

Millions of criminals’ cash to fund future football stars

Millions of pounds confiscated from criminals is to be invested in Scottish football for young people as part of the ... Read More

Scotland’s Electoral Future consultation launched

Maximising voter turnout at Scottish elections is the focus of a consultation launched today. The consultation paper “Scotland’s Electoral Future” asks ... Read More

100 jobs created by US Kaiam Corporation

A US based optical components company, Kaiam Corporation, will generate 103 new jobs in Livingston, First Minister Alex Salmond has ... Read More

More in: In Brief

  In the 1997 budget, Chancellor Gordon Brown made an un-noticed technical change to the tax treatment of pension funds.  It was the ultimate victimless crime, creating barely a ripple and raising £5 Billion per annum of tax revenues from faceless pension funds & city fat cats. 

The only flaw in this cunning plan is that it turned out that it wasn't the fat cats whose money was being taxed, it was ours.

  By G.A.Ponsonby
 
BBC Scotland bosses answered questions this week, an unusual event from a broadcaster whose standard response to queries from licence payers in Scotland is usually to tell the complainant to bugger off.
 
These questions though were posed, not by members of the public, but by MSPs from Holyrood’s Culture and Education Committee.

The UK’s most northerly regions have suffered over the last century from the decline in primary industries such as coalmining and shipbuilding, but their long coastline and blustery climate are forging new employment opportunities in the fast growing renewable energy sector. 

Amazingly, the proportion of electricity generated from renewables in Scotland reached a record two fifths of total Scottish electricity usage in 2012.  The country’s target is to achieve 100% of electricity consumption being produced by renewables by 2020 and, by next year, it should be about half way towards this figure.

  By David Torrance
 
Two windows in a flat facing the Edinburgh International Conference Centre had been put to creative use. 'TORY SCUM BACK TO YOUR CASTLES YOU SPOILT LITTLE BRATS,' screamed the one on the left, while that alongside added: 'NO TO FOOD BANKS. EAT THE RICH. YUMMY.'
 
This caused a degree of amusement among delegates at the Scottish Conservative Party conference, but then I guess it was supposed to. It was also well targeted, for quite a few Scottish Tories do actually live in castles, so-called knights of the shire that once dominated the party in the 1950s and '60s.

By Colin Fox

There are now six months to go until the independence referendum and if you thought the events of the last few weeks were intense you have seen nothing yet. As the contest enters the final straight the opinion polls still have the No side in front, albeit with a lead that has shrunk considerably.

The question on every Yes supporter's lips therefore is how are we to secure that illusive majority? There are many outstanding factors that can shape the outcome of September's vote.

By Mark McNaught
 
When I was growing up in the United States, every classroom was adorned with an American flag, and we were obliged to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of every school day.  We were taught what amazing patriots George Washington and the founding fathers were, and they were venerated to a cult-like degree.
 
Even though I gradually learned the non-fairy-tale version of America's founding, it is clear that the way Americans perceive themselves is heavily influenced by the version of history they learn, for better or for worse.

  By Peter Geoghegan
 
A century ago, the constitutional future of Scotland seemed irrevocably bound up with that of Ireland. In 1912, Liberal Prime Minister Herbert Henry Asquith – a proponent of 'Home Rule all round' – introduced the Government of Ireland Bill, soon followed by a similar devolution settlement for Scotland.
 
The rest, of course, is history. The Great War put paid to both Scotland and Ireland's hopes of devolved government. By the time the conflict was over, Ireland was on the cusp of independence, and Scottish Home Rule had slipped (or, depending on your reading, was pushed) off the political agenda.

  By George Kerevan
 
GORDON Brown is that rare animal in politics: a card-carrying intellectual who likes ideas. I say this as a compliment. Unlike the Tories, Labour has always attracted the big brains. The list is almost endless: think Harold Wilson, Denis Healey, John Mackintosh, Richard Crossman or Anthony Crosland.

Curiously, most of this bunch hid their intellectual brilliance behind a façade of thuggish pragmatism. This is explained partly because Stalinist Labour distrusts middle- class intellectuals as being unreliable elements in the class war.

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