News – Scotland and International

Labour fantasy of how Union works

  By George Kerevan
ON TUESDAY we got Labour’s Mark III devolution plan – or Mark IV if you include the abortive 1979 version. My point is not to denigrate Labour’s efforts. In fact, I think these latest fiscal proposals should be examined seriously and on merit. I merely observe that this is Labour’s latest offering – which suggests dissention and … Read More

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News in Brief

UK budget can’t hide continued cuts

Independence is the only way Scotland can properly create opportunities and secure the investment in public services and the economy … Read More

Full tax power discussions herald ‘great opportunity’, say SNP

Evidence given to a Scottish Government committee discussing the benefits of the country having full control over its own tax … Read More

£110 million youth funding

Minister for Youth Employment Angela Constance will highlight that the area qualifies for an allocation from the EU’s Youth Employment … Read More

Glasgow SNP group elect new leader

Glasgow City Council’s SNP Group today (Tuesday, the 18th of March) elected Councillor Susan Aitken as the new Leader of … Read More

PFI contract reviews to save £26 million

Plans to deliver £26 million savings across the 28 existing Private Finance Initiative (PFI) projects in NHS Scotland have been … Read More

Boost for Yes after Unison branch debate triumph

INDEPENDENCE campaigners have received another boost as a Unison trade union branch sided “positively with the Yes side”.
Nation-wide branch Skills … Read More

More in: In Brief

  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.

By Derek Bateman

How do you report a larger deficit in Scotland’s budget? Easy – you report that the income is down because oil is volatile and get someone from each side of the debate to state their case. In essence, that is it. It is the simple, formulaic process used to inform the public. But does it…inform?

Only if you think reporting a car crash amounts to saying two vehicles hit each other on the road.  If you are interested in why that happened and how it could be avoided in future, you are unlikely to learn from most broadcast news where the event itself is classed as ‘news’.

  By G.A.Ponsonby

This week the Scottish Parliament will look into a study carried out by an academic that suggested the news output of BBC Scotland was biased against independence.

Professor John Robertson’s research suggested evening news output favoured the No campaign by a ratio of three to two, allowed more comment from pro-Union commentators and led with anti-independence stories more than pro-independence stories.

  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 G.A.Ponsonby

It’s the annual report that, when written of, compels the author to clarify he or she is not referring to the blue clad Glasgow based football team.
 
GERS is back in the news, and the colour is not blue but red.  Scotland’s finances that is.  The latest Government Expenditure for Scotland Report showed Scotland in deficit for the first time in five years.

By Colin Fox

  There is a perfectly sensible debate to be had over what currency an independent Scotland should use but as usual the No side prefers to invent scare stories and deliver empty threats.  George Osborne’s visit to Edinburgh’s Point Hotel on 13 February to tell Scotland that “leaving the UK means leaving the pound” is a case in point.

By Derek Bateman

Wow! What a reaction…dozens of conversations and observations and some truly enlightening contributions full of fact and analysis. This is the place to be, I think. Even with all the assortment of emphasis and approach, it is clear we are all agreed that we are not being well served by BBC Scotland. That’s putting it mildly.

I know some responders are suggesting I am defending the BBC against claims of bias. I am not. I said at the outset that there was a general thrust in news and current affairs which doesn’t challenge enough and is too happy to accept a script which has Made in Britain stamped on it.