News – Scotland and International

ONS gaffe could have had severe implications for the independence referendum

  By Russell Bruce  During the final shopping and preparation days before Christmas the Office of National Statistics (ONS), now based at Newport in Wales, published a set of economic statistics showing growth estimates for the regions and nations of the UK.  For a period going back to1998, the new ONS data showed a growth rate for Scotland that was … Read More

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News in Brief

Independence can transform Scotland – speech by Deputy First Minister

Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon marked the start of 2014, the year in which Scotland will decide its future in … Read More

2000 new jobs in childcare announced

A package of support to equip the childcare workforce to grow by around 2000 jobs and ensure high quality care … Read More

Plans for organ donation memorial announced

A new memorial for Scottish organ and tissue donors is to be situated in the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh.The … Read More

Rights for young people in care extended

Hundreds of Scotland’s most vulnerable young people are to be given greater rights to continuing their care placement into early … Read More

Scots urged to remain vigilant on back-to-work commute

As the return to work and school begins, a multi-agency response team remains vigilant to help keep the vast majority … Read More

Praise for flooding prevention work

As agencies and emergency services continue to monitor the threat of flooding across Scotland, Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said detailed … Read More

More in: In Brief

By Derek Bateman

Nine months to go and it is time to make a stand. 2014 is the turning point and the moment we stop, turn and confront. In the time left those of us who believe in Scotland’s independence have to do more than resist.

We have to return the challenge with interest and make this the year when the Union is examined in relentless detail, when its worth is questioned and its agents pressurised.

  By Martin Kelly
 
The Yes campaign has flown out of the blocks in 2014.  Two clever surveys have placed the No campaign on the back foot.
 
People want the No camp to spell out what a No vote will mean and they also want to see a head-to-head between PM David Cameron and FM Alex Salmond.

By Mark McNaught
 
The release of Scotland’s Future has begun to put some flesh on the bones of what an independent Scotland will look like. However, further details on how a fairer, more egalitarian, and prosperous society must be developed not only to secure a yes vote, but to assure that a new Scottish democracy is not smothered by aristocratic and corporate plutocracy as Westminster has.

By George Kerevan
 
The fateful year has finally arrived after centuries of agitation. The political die is cast but the outcome is uncertain. One thing is sure: the date for the independence referendum is set… 9 November. In Catalonia, that is.
 
Catalan president Artur Mas has announced he will follow Scotland’s lead and hold a referendum this November, so the Catalans can “decide for themselves on their own future”. He made his historic statement flanked by the leaders of five parties who between them command two-thirds of the seats in the Catalan parliament. Polls put support for Catalan independence at 56 per cent.

  By Lesley Riddoch

Okay – the referendum’s just a few days closer than it was last week.  But that single digit change in the year will create a semblance of focus and momentum once Holyrood, Westminster, Better Together and the Yes Campaigns crank their publicity machines into action after the Festive Break.

  By G.A.Ponsonby

It’s the single most fought over issue in Scottish politics after independence.

The brainchild of Finance Secretary John Swinney in 2007 after the SNP’s local income tax idea hit the buffers, the council tax freeze has been a torch held aloft by the SNP and a thorn in the side of the Scottish Labour party ever since.

  By a Newsnet reporter

On Thursday 19th December, following a near year-long complaint against BBC Scotland, the BBC Trust finally came to a decision.  The ruling, yet to be officially announced but leaked to Newsnet Scotland, was that BBC Scotland had misled viewers over a high profile news item broadcast on the flagship news programme Reporting Scotland.

 By Derek Bateman

Some of Britain’s most respected economists have delivered a damning indictment on Alex Salmond’s plans for independence, I read in the papers. And quite right too, if that’s their view, delivered in the FT’s predictions poll for 2014.

You may not be overly surprised that 100 economists, none of them with any direct Scottish link I could see (bar one employed at RBS), and heavily concentrated in the City of London, should harbour doubts about the economic effects of independence.