By G.A.Ponsonby
 
The Royal Society of Edinburgh has indicated its support for the Scottish Government’s timetable for holding Scotland’s independence referendum.
 
In a response to the Scottish Government’s consultation on the referendum the society said that the period of Autumn 2014 was “persuasive”.

In its submission, the Society also said it would be inappropriate to rule out a third option on the ballot paper until the alternative to independence had been clearly defined.

The Royal Society said: “It is essential that voters have all the information they need to enable them to make an informed choice in the referendum.

“It is of critical importance that the full implications of the alternatives are clearly articulated before the referendum takes place.

“These considerations indicate that the argument for holding the referendum in the second half of the current session of the Scottish Parliament, to allow sufficient time for reflection, information and debate, is persuasive.”

The endorsement of the referendum date and the comments on the third option were welcomed by SNP MSP Linda Fabiani who called the Society's views interesting:
 
Commenting, Ms Fabiani said:
 
“This is an interesting and welcome contribution to the debate which recognises the merits of the referendums timings in the second half of this parliament.
 
“A referendum in Scotland is clearly a matter for the Scottish Parliament and Government – and the referendum that is happening is the one the SNP pledged in the election campaign, which we said will be held in the second half of this parliament. 
 
“We are in the process of a consultation on the independence referendum and once that is completed we will take forward our plans for a referendum in autumn 2014.
 
“That is the platform the SNP stood on last May, and which the people of Scotland gave us a resounding mandate to deliver.”
 
The Society urged both Edinburgh and London to reach agreement that would allow the so called Section-30 order to be introduced, thus making any result legally binding.

They also called for the Electoral Commission to submit advice to the Scottish Government on the proposed questions on the ballot and for that advice to be made public.

In the detailed submission the Society also argued that any decision on 16 and 17 year olds being allowed to vote should be made not just for the referendum but on its own “general and distinct merits”.

The submission from the RSE came on the same day that former First Minister Jack McConnell became the latest Unionist politician to claim that uncertainty was harming the Scottish economy.

In the latest intervention the former Labour MSP claimed that both Governments needed to compromise on the referendum process.

However despite arguing for compromise, Mr McConnell when pressed, ruled out all of the SNP’s proposals.

The former Labour First Minister ruled out any possibility of a third option appearing on the ballot paper, refused to back 16 and 17 year olds being allowed to vote and also insisted that the referendum should be held within 18 months.

Mr McConnell also claimed that the SNP’s proposed ballot question should be replaced with two separate questions asking whether people wanted independence or whether they wished to be part of the UK.


[Some readers will be aware that following the Newsnet Scotland article on the misleading BBC 'Bank Bailout' article published  after an interview with Nicola Sturgeon, the corporation corrected the headline wording, together with text in their article.

Newsnet Scotland has contacted BBC Scotland’s Online Editor Tom Connor asking for an explanation as to why this correction took two days, why there was no public acknowledgment or apology and who sanctioned publication of the original piece.  We have also contacted BBC Scotland Head of News and Current Affairs John Boothman, together with Political Editor Brian Taylor.

We intend to publish an article on this episode shortly, but will allow BBC Scotland time to reply to four questions we have submitted to them on this matter.]

Comments  

 
# Fungus 2012-03-14 07:24
I wouldn't hold your breath waiting.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-14 10:33
The strange thing is: www.newssniffer.co.uk/.../ which automatically record versions of articles in the Media, says there has been no changes.

Are we sure we have the facts right?

The only difference seems to be the first image of the video, which originaly showed Bryan and now shows Nicola.
 
 
# The_Duke 2012-03-14 11:13
Try this one Vincent

www.newssniffer.co.uk/.../1
 
 
# Aplinal 2012-03-14 11:26
 
 
# oldnat 2012-03-14 12:16
That's odd - because I saw the changes detailed on News Sniffer on Monday night.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-14 16:21
Thank you kindly People.

As Oldnat says, stranger and stranger. I even thought it could be a trap for unwary cybernats.
 
 
# john__ 2012-03-14 16:35
I think that is because of the search that you have put in. there is only one version with the title you have searched for. the other versions have a different title.

the other news sniffer results (below) search on the URL I think, hence they see the change in article and title.

I am just guessing here, but no need to see black helicopters when there are none...

John
 
 
# drangular 2012-03-14 15:23
I'm attending 'Brian Taylor's Big Debate' in Alloa on Friday and said I want to ask this question "What role should the BBC play in it's coverage of the issues and debate leading up to the Independence Referendum." Thought you might be interested in this extract from a little e-mail exchange I had with BT's office when I queried why they were asking if (i)I belonged to a political party and (ii) which party will I be voting for in the next elections.I was told that in view of the LG elections they want to try to ensure "balance" in the audience. They also said- "Impartiality lies at the heart of public service and is the core of the BBC's commitment to its audiences".
 
 
# ButeHouse 2012-03-14 19:15
"Impartiality lies at the heart of public service and is the core of the BBC's commitment to its audiences".

Shame they don't apply that to their own coverage of Scottish events, especially concerning the Referendum. VOTE YES
 
 
# lurker1 2012-03-14 07:51
I have noticed editing of this sort before on BBC Scotland. They wait a couple of days, let it drop off / down the front pages and then edit without comment or appology. I can understand how a story can be continuously updated as a story develops but this is different. They basically overspin, get complaints, wait couple of days, job done, stealth edit to cover tracks. Definately push this with BBC.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-14 09:34
It's like they say, late justice is no justice. Good luck, NNS.
 
 
# Lupus Incomitatus 2012-03-14 14:15
They are following Orwell's blueprint, 1984.

Eastasia always has been at war with Oceania.
 
 
# proudscot 2012-03-14 14:38
Quoting Lupus Incomitatus:
They are following Orwell's blueprint, 1984.

Eastasia always has been at war with Oceania.


...except when they're at war with Eurasia... Labour's political philosophy when dealing with anything proposed by the SNP Government.
 
 
# Edna Caine 2012-03-15 00:07
Quoting Lupus Incomitatus:
They are following Orwell's blueprint, 1984.

Eastasia always has been at war with Oceania.





1984 contains some memorable images for what we suffer today -

"It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same"

or even -
"And if all others accepted the lie which the [MSM?] imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth"

But -
"Until they become conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious."
 
 
# mealer 2012-03-14 07:53
McConnell is yesterdays man.
 
 
# ochyes 2012-03-14 07:53
Independence should bring revitalisation to much of central Edinburgh, which seems to be full of shabby empty buildings at present. Consulates, embassies and high commissions will need premises.
 
 
# colin8652 2012-03-14 07:54
I can give you the bbc response now. We are big you are little we are right and you are wrong and there is nothing you can do about it
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-14 07:56
I look forward to our national, taxpayer-funded broadcaster, responding in full, with a frank and detailed explanation of why they initially published a headline that was factually incorrect and damaging, and then why they changed it two days later, with no apology or statement of correction.

Good to see the Royal Society of Edinburgh contributing to the referendum debate with some well thought through suggestions and ideas. It seems the timetable of late 2014, not only adheres to the democratic mandate given by the people of Scotland in the election to the SNP, but it also works well for full and frank debate.

We need more intellectual debate on these matters, such as that described above, from the Royal Society of Edinburgh. More considered thought rather than knee jerk responses.

This is an important decision, and the longer we have to debate and discuss ideas, the better. 2014 seem just fine.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-14 08:07
Call me cynical, but will it be the Ally McCoist type of response? Admitting nothing even although it looked every bit deliberate (they had to splice the video in a particular way to get the offending end result).
 
 
# snowthistle 2012-03-14 08:25
The Ally McCoist thing was extremely useful in sowing the seed of doubt about the BBC in the minds of people who don't take too much interest in politics. I've pointed out to many football fans that if they think football is the only area where such things take place, then they are very naive. That doesn't convert people to the cause but it does lead them to at least question the BBC coverage of other things.
I think we are approaching tipping point concerning the BBC, a point where the general public no longer trust them, that will be a point of no return.
 
 
# Wave Machine 2012-03-14 08:22
Re the BBC.

A little bird tells me that there is a lot of stress within BBC production circles at the moment, as a result of cuts.
There is a visible lack of editors and a culture of editing by committee.

If the BBC are in flux, we may be waiting a long time for any significant reallignment to true democratic principles. It's always easier to remain in the comfort zone.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-14 09:03
I would hazard a guess that actually there is no editing by committee and the complete opposite is actually true - it's more like there are a set of rules published in 'how to edit out the SNP'. For example, you might try these out:

1) Don't invite them into the studio (makes them seem distant when they are not part of the studio discussion, they are 'outsiders')

2) If you can, get a statement from the SNP rather than an 'on-camera' quote from someone. ( Reading a quote does not carry the same weight as a statement made by the SNP on camera)

3) Try to limit the amount of time we see Alex Salmond on screen talking.
(the more you see a face on screen talking, the harder you listen to it, especially if that voice is persuasive and reasoning. Best example of this is the Paxman " Mugabe" interview. This interview was actually re-edited for another show in which we see AS being asked a question and him starting to answer, the visuals then changed to some panoramic general views of Holyrood for the next minute. It is the first and only time I have ever witnessed this happening in a political interview. The idea being that you listen harder when you see the face that is speaking. If, as in this case, you are looking at some pretty pictures, your brain starts to disassociate with the voice as the two elements of voice and picture are not linked.

4) In news bulletins, always finish the report with an unanswered question, preferably from a labour politician. This makes the SNP look as though they haven't thought out their policies well - so breaking down the story we have the initial report read by the newsreader, they then introduce a reporter who will give you a bit more in depth information. They then interview any party relevant to the story. If it's a political story, they tend to get the SNP interview in first, the followed by the opposition interview last. This is where the report will end, on a question of the the government policy.

Many more tricks of the trade, but this gives you an idea of what could be done.
 
 
# art1001 2012-03-14 11:13
Excellent summary of what they are attempting. I wonder what the BBC guys responsible think when they read this - and I sure they are. It is only a matter of time before they are rumbled by the population at large. It is becoming more and more blatant.
 
 
# src19 2012-03-14 12:16
And don't forget the tactic of when TV/Radio presenters asks a question let the SNP representative begin to answer the question and then talk over the answer when they are talking and try to ask another question at the same time.

And the unionist politicians do the same and try to talk over when the SNP try to give an answer to a question.
 
 
# Rusty Shackleford 2012-03-14 08:31
Slightly off topic. Just heard Robert Peston talking about 100 year Westminster Bonds on the Today programme, he was saying that it was Cameron wanting to make a statement about Britain having a AAA credit rating that far into the future. Although he acknowledged a little hubris on Dave's part, there was no question of whether there would still be a UK in 5 years time, never mind 100.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-14 08:43
If Scotland's 300 year bond with England is anything to go by...
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-03-14 09:02
Westminster; not content with mortgaging our children, they're now mortgaging our children's children's children too.

I get the impression lots of SE Tory voters are awaiting an 80's revival in expectation of wealth flowing there again. Problem is, just about everything was flogged last time so there's nothing left to sell to create that illusion again really. Apart from the NHS, Education and now the police that is...
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-14 08:44
Feeling a little fed up with organisations, such as the Royal Society, coming out with 'half hearted' statements such as this, telling Scotland and London to come to agreement over the referendum.

I remind myself of Hague's speech at the UN on Monday when he spouted of every freedom that a democracy should have, the right to self-determination and unimpeded elections along with the founding principals of the UN and every human right under the sun.

It is Westminster who are guilty of such crimes and their hypocrisy stinks. It is Westminster that illegally tampered with devolution in 1979. It is Westminster that published the unfounded scare stories and lies about Scotland's wealth. It is Westminster that show themselves to be undemocratic and morally corrupt.

It's simple - Scotland's people gave a mandate to the SNP to hold a vote on Scottish independence. Thats it. Let them do it.

The Royal Society are proving themselves to be as weak and insignificant in the debate as many other organisations. I don't know why they bothered.
 
 
# cjmasta 2012-03-14 09:07
Lets not forget the previous calls by unionist parties to focus on the current economic crisis and put back plans for a referendum . As soon as we get a majority and the referendum is a dead cert they want us to have it asap. The Scottish Government have the mandate, Not any of the Scottish unionist parties and definetly not any from westminster. They need to stop interfering.We need to point out at every oportunity the 1979 referendum and how devolution was stolen from us and we had to wait nearly 30 more years for our democratic will to be delivered and even then it`s seems to be only because westminster was forced into it by the COE.
 
 
# From The Suburbs 2012-03-14 09:10
Lord McConnell, the man who knighted Fred Goodwin and David Murray, can't even compromise with his neighbour over a coal shed. See story in to-day's Herald.
 
 
# Mako 2012-03-14 09:12
Why do people keep talking about independence/seperation from the UK or to remain part of the UK or not? Also, why do the SNP keep letting this slip? I thought it was the Union of parliaments that we were contesting, not the union of crowns.
 
 
# Exile 2012-03-14 09:42
I think you need to read your history again Mako. It was the so-called 'Union of Parliaments' in 1707 that created the 'United Kingdom'. There was actually no 'Union of Crowns' in 1603. James Stewart simply took on another, better paid title in addition to that of King of Scots.
 
 
# Suomi 2012-03-14 09:47
Good point Mako.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-14 12:10
You make a good point Mako. The real difficulty is that phrases such as 'united kingdom', mean different things to different people.

Great Britain is what was formed by the treaty of Union 1707, the united kingdom in the sense we know now came firstly in 1800, with the incorporation of Ireland, which then subsequently changed in 1926 with Irish independence and the partition of Northern Ireland.

The UK in its current form has only existed since 1926.

I think you are correct in what you say. It is not separation from the UK, because that implies that the UK would carry on, sans Scotland, but it wouldn't. Now, I have no doubt, that in the period of negotiations and run up to the big day of Scottish independence following the YES vote, Westminster will set about creating new legislation to 'paper over the cracks' so to speak, so their is a continuation of a new kind of UK, consisting of Wales, England and N.Ireland, but it won't be the UK as it currently is formulated.

So, yes, I think you are correct, Scotland is NOT leaving the UK, rather it is ending a political union of parliaments, which is ALL that ever happened with the union treaty of 1707. Either way, you can go around in circles talking about the UK and what it means, as different people see it in different ways. Some people argue that we ARE all British because we are in the British Isles (a geographic definition), but of course other people do not see being British as a geographic definition (I don't), but rather as a political definition. Again, you could go around in circles.

In many ways, the day independence arrives might be a bit of a let down for some people, as it will be pretty well business as usual. Unless England chooses to huff and sulk and behave in the most infantile way, then on the first morning of independence, you will still be able to catch a Virgin train from Glasgow to London, the airports will all be open, shops will carry on selling stuff, all the usual supermarkets would be open, buses would run, pubs would open (they might be busier than usual!). You will still be able to drive to Blackpool for the weekend, if that;'s your kind of thing, and so on.

Honestly, the only real major change will be that for the first time in 300+ years, political decisions on Scotland and its economy will be made in Scotland. If you hadn't been told it was happening, you really might not notice for a while.

It is that aspect, the fact that in real day to day life, there will be few changes, that is behind the anti independence parties using extreme terminology such as 'separatism', or 'breaking up Britain'. They want to make people in Scotland think that come independence, everything will change, that flights will stop, trains will stop, buses will stop and shops will close, and so on. It is nonsense, and frankly disgraceful.

In many ways, Scotland is already half way to independence. The Scottish parliament has full control of transport, Education, Health, Prisons, police, the courts, the legal system, renewables, planning, and so on. Independence will merely be completing the process, and allow the Scots parliament to take full control of Scottish matters.
 
 
# James 2012-03-15 12:34
i think we should be clear on one central fact. The future status of the rest-UK, and of Scotland, will not be decided in London, and certainly not in Brussels, but at the United Nations. The EU and everyone else will have to fall into line with that.

On the basis of every known precedent in international law, the future United Kingdom of England, Wales and Northern Ireland will step into the present UK's status and its seats in the UN general Assembly and Security Council. The new, albeit reconstituted, state of Scotland will start with a clean sheet and will have to construct its system of international relations from scratch.

This is exactly what happened when the Russian Federation took over from the Soviet Union, and its seceding states had to start afresh. There will be no automatic Scottish succession to membership of the EU or anything else.

Regarding the status of the Union, there was no such thing as a Union of the Crowns in 1603. James VI went moonlighting and took on an additional job without affecting Scotland's independence otherwise, as the designations of the following joint sovereigns show (James VII and II, William II and III).

The crowns of Scotland and England were united only on 1 May 1707 under the terms of Article 1 of the 1706 Treaty of Union and its two ratifying and implementing Acts of Parliament in 1706 and 1707. Read it it you don't believe me.

There was no Union of Parliaments in 1707. Both the English and the Scottish Parliaments simply stopped meeting, and a new joint Parliament was set up under the terms of Article 3 of the Treaty and Acts. That was a secondary issue - the 1706 Treaty was about uniting the crowns, not the legislatures, of Scotland and England.

These errors have been repeated from mouth to mouth, and hand to hand, for generations, and the Scottish national institutions are not to be absolved from blame for the spread of this mythology.

What will happen on independence will be a return to the pre-1707 situation, with a joint Head of State for two otherwise totally independent states, as elsewhere in several Commonwealth countries. Arrangements for functions that have to be run on a joint basis thereafter (immigration being the most obvious) will therefore be issues for negotiation between equal and autonomous partners. It will put a final stop to Scotland's subordination to foreign interests in so many fields.
 
 
# snowthistle 2012-03-15 13:24
James,
Stephen Noon argues that the issue of the EU will be decided by EU law and not International law

stephennoon.blogspot.com/.../...
 
 
# Am Fògarrach 2012-03-15 18:57
Stephen Noon is mistaken. He is also mistaken about the EEA/EFTA situation.

It is Scottish Democratic Alliance policy that Scotland should seek membership of the EFTA side of the European Economic Area, and should not apply to join the EU side. A considerable amount of nonsense has circulated regarding the alleged disadvantages of membership of the EFTA/EEA as opposed to the EU/EEA side. Commentators all too often advance a catalogue of mythology that been repeated far too often from hearsay alone. Seldom does one see a reference to any sources, above all the Agreement on the European Economic Area that came into force on 1 January 1994.

It is alleged that the EFTA states have to implement EU regulations and directives with no say in their drafting. Apart from the reality that no democratic government either would or could put itself into such an untenable position, the allegation is utter nonsense. Under the EEA Agreement, especially Articles 99 to 101, the EFTA members have exactly the same rights as the EU side of the EEA, as the following extracts show (since the Agreement predates the European Union, read EU for EC):

Article 99: 1. As soon as new legislation is being drawn up by the EC Commission in a field which is governed by this Agreement, the EC Commission shall informally seek advice from experts of the EFTA States in the same way as it seeks advice from experts of the EC Member States for the elaboration of its proposals.

Article 100: The EC Commission shall ensure experts of the EFTA States as wide a participation as possible … in the preparatory stage of draft measures… In this regard, when drawing up draft measures the EC Commission shall refer to experts of the EFTA States on the same basis as it refers to experts of the EC Member States. …the EC Commission shall transmit to the …Council the views of the experts of the EFTA states.

That disposes once and for all of the mythology that the EFTA states have no say in the formulation of EU legislation, but there is more to it than that. All the EFTA members of the EEA are represented individually on its governing bodies, including the EEA Joint Committee, EEA Council, EEA Court of Justice, etc., but its EU members are represented collectively by the EU Commission.

The same applies to the all-important "top table" of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to which the EU and EEA are subordinate. The EFTA members retain their individual voices in the WTO, whereas the EU members have only one voice – articulated by the EU Commission. Is this a seat at the "top table"? What happens when a collective EU motion to the WTO represents the interests of France and Germany, but runs diametrically counter to the interests of Scotland?

With the voting power of a nation of 5 millions within a union of 500 millions, Scotland as an EU member would be in a position ten times worse than the one we are presently with good reason trying to escape.

The EEA financial commitments are laid down in Articles 115 to 117 of the EEA Agreement, and are elaborated in protocols 38a, b and c. These contributions are specifically for the reduction of economic and social disparities between the EEA member states – a kind of development aid. They are NOT contributions to the general EU funds. Even the notoriously tight-fisted Swiss voters agreed by a substantial referendum majority to pay them, for the privilege of staying out of the European Union.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-03-15 19:12
Most of your post is wholly irrelevant to your original sentence.

Yes, we are all aware that the SDA does not want Scotland to be an EU member. However, there is an unfortunate tendency for people with strong views on this topic (from all sides) to be definitive that they (and only they) know the truth.

While I'm not convinced that the Kadi case is quite as prescriptive as Noon argues, it is certainly true that the ECJ will prioritise EU law over "international" law in those aspects where there is a difference between rulings of the ECJ and those of the UN.
 
 
# snowthistle 2012-03-15 20:12
Quote "Stephen Noon is mistaken."
I wonder if you could expand on this, in what way is he mistaken?
 
 
# Am Fògarrach 2012-03-15 20:34
Quoting snowthistle:
Quote "Stephen Noon is mistaken."
I wonder if you could expand on this, in what way is he mistaken?


I tried to do that,but the moderators said these threads are not the place for lengthy essays. So I suggest you read http.
 
 
# snowthistle 2012-03-15 20:54
Ok, so you don't like Europe, there is an awful lot of stuff to wade through on there. Could you point me in the direction of the specific bit that tells me how Mr Noon is mistaken.
 
 
# James 2012-03-15 22:13
Snowthistle:

Stephen Noon's enterprise in setting up his blog is no doubt commendable, but bear in mind that he is still a student, very inexperienced, and it will be many a year before he will be an authority on anything. He has a tendency to repeat old mythology that has been passed from mouth to mouth, and hand to hand, until it almost achieves the status of fact.

For example, he goes on about something he calls the "European Court of Justice", or ECJ. As a student of law he should know that no such institution exists, not even the name. The EU-internal tribunal adjudicates only on EU-internal regulations and directives, and other matters concerning only the 27 member states. It has no jurisdiction whatsoever over genuine European law like that emanating from the all-European institutions like the Council of Europe, the UNECE or the OSCE, all of which, unlike the EU, are repositories of important international treaties. The EU cannot make European law because it does not represent Europe.

The EU, like every other state and institution, is bound by superior international law. If the UN says that the rest-UK is the lawful successor to the present UK, and takes on its rights and responsibilitie s, including two United Nations seats, then there is nothing the EU can do but accept it.

It can no doubt make up its own collective mind what states it allows to become members, but it has no right to assume that Scotland will automatically join. The UK's membership has already been Scotland's worst economic disaster since Darien, with the likelihood of worse to come if the Scots are foolish enough to apply for membership without a cast-iron guarantee of whatever advantages such a move would bring - for the disadvantages are so overwhelming that nobody with any sense would even contemplate applying.
 
 
# oldnat 2012-03-15 22:56
You are being a little disingenuous there.

Agreed that the proper term for the Court is "The Court of Justice of the European Union" - although it is commonly referred to as the ECJ.

In the same way, the "Senators of the College of Justice" or "Lords of Council and Session" in the Court of Session are commonly referred to as "judges".

As to the comparative roles of the UN and the EU, you are correct to say that the EU cannot force the UN to accept Scotland as independent member. That would be decision for the UN. At the same time, the UN cannot force the EU to drive Scotland out of the EU. That is a matter for the EU.

You will be aware that there is something of a hierarchy of law, but it isn't as black and white as you seem to think.

On your website you declare the primacy of the Treaty of York over all international law. That seems a strange contradiction.
 
 
# James 2012-03-16 10:59
The Treaty of York covers only the terrestrial border between Scotland and England, as established by joint commissions in 1273 and 1552. No international law to my knowledge covers the case. The only relevant legislation to this day consists of the 1273, 1502 and 1552 treaties. The marine border, where international law comes into play, is a separate issue. The 1999 Order, that purported to shift the North Sea border northwards, covered only fisheries.

There is also a Court of Justice of the European Economic Area, but nobody attempts to inflate its status to that of an all-European institution. There are some 50 European states, and the EU's hijacking of the European identity, especially its use of the "European" terminology, is a fair indication of where its ideological activists have their sights set. It is brainwashing pure and simple. I used the court example only as an illustration of a much wider trend - and danger.

After 42 years of intensive involvement in European integration at academic and professional (government) level, I am positively alarmed at the trends being followed by this one half-European organisation. I have yet to see anyone spelling out what concrete advantages Scotland could anticipate from EU membership.

I have already agreed with you that only the EU can decide its membership, but if independent Scotland were not to be recognised by the UN it would be impossible for the EU to admit it as a member and thereby override international law. The one follows the other.

The EU is desperate to hold onto Scotland, as are individual member states, above all Spain. That, however, is an issue that must be decided solely on the ground of where Scotland's interests lie.
 
 
# Islegard 2012-03-14 09:44
O/T The looney lards are at it again! The Scotland Bill was always about stripping the Scottish Parliament of powers. The few powers which were to be handed to the Parliament have all but been wrecked by lards amendments. Now Forsyth has felt it necessary to amend the unworkable unusable tax powers so a referendum would be required to use tax varying powers. It can be viewed here:-

publications.parliament.uk/.../...
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-14 09:46
Independence means that instead of everything Scotland does with the rUK being uphill work, and orders coming from on high, contacts are put on a horizontal basis. (Even the map of the UK used in London is skewed!)

The vertical power structure of the UK includes people like the Royal Society, and their implying that there is a level playing field is part of the problem not the solution.
 
 
# Clarinda 2012-03-14 09:47
O/T
Perth, according to the Courier, will regain it's city status today after the assent of the Queen in an announcement from Westminster. Perth 'lost' it's city status in 1975 after some reorganisation in local government.
Rather than our unfettered "delight" as expected by the Courier, it should be a matter of quiet satisfaction - a status returned by historic right other than some gift bestowed upon us. Now for the regaining of our Independence - our rightful status to be taken back by our sovereign people.
I cannot find this story on the BBC or other MSM publications?
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-14 10:41
bbc.co.uk/.../...


But do not miss this: scotsman.com/.../...

Drugs proven to ease labour pain better than alternative cures

What a difference a wee ' makes.
 
 
# Clarinda 2012-03-14 11:22
Thanks!
- I presume that'll be Aspro-Max for Labour pains although I hear it is difficult to swallow.

I'm still cross at the spin of "granting" city status to Perth - I was under the impression it had been removed from us for 37 years and is now rightfully and belatedly returned.
 
 
# Embradon 2012-03-14 09:51
Another prolonged interview with a Unionist politician on Newsnicht with no opportunity for response.
McConnell urges compromise - but all from the SNP. I was waiting, with interest, for the Scottish Government's response - but nothing...

Its a while since I've seen McConnell make an appearance. It was a reminder of the ongoing decline in Labour.
Dewar, McLeish, McConnell, Alexander, Gray and Lamont... it's been downhill all the way for Labour in Scotland. Can they get worse?
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-14 12:30
Quoting Embradon:
Another prolonged interview with a Unionist politician on Newsnicht with no opportunity for response.
McConnell urges compromise - but all from the SNP. I was waiting, with interest, for the Scottish Government's response - but nothing...

Its a while since I've seen McConnell make an appearance. It was a reminder of the ongoing decline in Labour.
Dewar, McLeish, McConnell, Alexander, Gray and Lamont... it's been downhill all the way for Labour in Scotland. Can they get worse?


I watched the first few minutes of the interview,but switched back to the London based national Newsnight.
BBC Newsnight Scotland,with a one man band?
A prime example of a National Debate?.

Fox News manages better than that.

Let the people speak,and forget BBC Scotland News/current affairs.
Great for jobs in the area----but nil else.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-14 10:19
People, the Institute of Governance has published www.institute-of-governance.org/ the collective response to the Scotland Office consultation by Nicola McEwen, Ailsa Henderson, Eve Hepburn, Charlie Jeffery and Wilfried Swenden, who are academic experts on devolution at the University of Edinburgh.

The response presents the independent position of the authors and is not a formal position of the university.
 
 
# bringiton 2012-03-14 10:19
Watched McConnel last night on TV who seemed to be portraying and positioning himself as "honest broker" but of course failed when he refused to answer questions on his views on independence.To claim that this matter is not about "additional powers for the Scottish Parliament" is fatuous when clearly that is what it is entirely about.
Last time I saw Jim Wallace on TV,he was also claiming something similar in that we need to make the referendum "decisive" and "legally binding".Looks like the strategy is,if we don't allow Westminster to control the agenda,they can reject the result of the referendum on the basis that they offered to assist in making it "legally binding" but this was not taken up.
 
 
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-03-14 10:28
I would like to show my thanks to Newsnetscotland for taking BBC Scotland to task over their actions.

I like many others have become very frustrated with BBC Scotlands political slight of hand over the years, and I am very grateful to the many people who continually hold BBC Scotland to account.
 
 
# deepwater 2012-03-15 00:12
Thank you - there will come a time, soon I think, when the establishment spin efforts are the lone "voice in the wilderness".
 
 
# X_Sticks 2012-03-14 10:36
"former First Minister Jack McConnell became the latest Unionist politician to claim that uncertainty was harming the Scottish economy."

More like Joke can't get any decent directorships due to uncertainty over his contunued status as a lord post Scottish independence. That fact he is a lord at all is indeed a joke!
 
 
# Jimbo 2012-03-14 10:41
Did McConnell make a Freudian slip on Newsnight Scotland last night when discussing the referendum. He said: "This is a once in a lifetime, once and for all decision."

Are there plans afoot at Westminster to ensure that, if Scotland votes 'NO', the Scottish government will never again be able to hold an independence referendum?

bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Hugo 2012-03-14 10:48
Quote:
The former Labour First Minister ruled out any possibility of a third option appearing on the ballot paper, refused to back 16 and 17 year olds being allowed to vote and also insisted that the referendum should be held within 18 months.


That seems a fair compromise.
 
 
# bigbuachaille 2012-03-14 21:45
Wingsoverscotla nd has an apt article on McConnell's so-called compromise. wingsland.podgamer.com/.../
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-14 10:57
Students say Yes to Independence



Wed, 14/03/2012 - 10:12



The SNP have welcomed the results from mock referendums held across Scotland's university campuses showing a majority of students are in favour of Scottish independence. The question Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country? was answered by over 500 participants on campuses at The University of Edinburgh, The University of Glasgow, The University of St Andrews, The University of Dundee University and The University of Aberdeen.

The total sum of results gave a majority in favour of independence with 52% voting ‘Yes’ and 48% voting 'No'.

Gail Lythgoe, Convener of SNP Students, said: "These results are extremely encouraging and they indicate that support for independence is very high amongst young people in Scotland.

"The SNP believe in lowering the voting age, regardless of how young people in Scotland choose to vote. That trust in tomorrow’s generation is re-politicising the young people of Scotland who want their voices to be heard and votes to be counted.”

Andrew Barr, student SNP activist from Edinburgh, added: “Students who took part in the voting came from Scotland, England, Ireland, Wales and there has been an incredible level of interest from international students.

“Scotland’s national voice is greater now than ever before; imagine what we could do with independence and real democracy for Scotland. It’s time for the people of Scotland to take their rightful place in the global community as an equal and independent nation.”

NOTES Random Sample of 520 people taken in March 2012

Edinburgh University: Yes 63% - No 37%

Glasgow University: Yes 57% - No 43%

St Andrews University: Yes 38% - No 62%

Dundee University: Yes 56% - No 44%

Aberdeen University: Yes 46% - No 54%

Average - Yes 52% - No 48%
 
 
# Islegard 2012-03-14 11:06
St Andrews University doesn't have many Scottish students. I'm surprised with Aberdeen.
 
 
# dogcollar 2012-03-14 11:19
There are more foreign nationals (non Scots) at Aberdeen Uni than anyone else. Could this be the reason.
 
 
# Islegard 2012-03-14 11:27
It's funny you would think foreign nationals would be more inclined to support independence. Many of them coming from countries which have gained their own independence in recent years. You think the would empathise.
 
 
# deepwater 2012-03-15 00:16
But when Scotland becomes independent again what happens to their status here - good to excellent reason for a no vote.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-14 12:18
The St.Andrews result doesn't surprise me, at all.
 
 
# Signal Rock 2012-03-14 12:45
My son is at St Andrews. There really aren't many home-grown students. I wonder though if all those polled are actually eligible to vote in the Independence referendum.
 
 
# X_Sticks 2012-03-14 11:10
Interesting that the two who bring the average down are St Andrews and Aberdeen. Both areas with large numbers if "incomers" (I mean that most respectfully) - possibly vested interests either in the business world (oil in Aberdeen) or the establishment (St Andrews Uni and the Royal connections)?

Perhaps the SNP need to work hard in these areas before the referendum. I know in Aberdeen the SNP have lost quite a lot of support over some of the dodgy political decisions made recently in that area.
 
 
# Holebender 2012-03-14 12:30
And yet the SNP hold all the North East Holyrood constituencies and a North East list seat - a near-impossible feat!
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-14 12:57
Lets remind ourselves of the very vocal conservative group at St Andrews and their actions.

From the BBC:

An effigy of US President Barack Obama was burned over the weekend by members of the Conservative student association at St Andrews University.


bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-14 14:15
Will Cameron be coming back from the US brimfull of suggestions from Obama as to how he can foil the independence movement?
 
 
# Signal Rock 2012-03-14 16:12
Disgusting. I wonder how that went down with the very many American students, who are certainly not all right-wingers.
 
 
# cokynutjoe 2012-03-14 11:11
Somebody from the Labour party phoned me last night to ask how I would be voting in the local elections in May. This is a new tack as far as I'm concerned. She won't be phoning back anyhow!

Olympic Minister Hugh Robertson is insisting that all athletes competing for Britain will be required to know the national anthem. Will "Rebellious Scots" get a mention one wonders?
 
 
# Peter A Bell 2012-03-14 11:32
OT - But who cares? Perth wins city status!

bbc.in/zjddXI
 
 
# chicmac 2012-03-14 11:41
Even if there is to be only independence or status quo as the options, the Unionists should be asked to specify what 'status quo' means for a future dependent Scotland.

For example, they should be asked to predict, to the best of their ability:

Whether the UK will remain in the EU?

Whether the UK will lose its AAA credit rating?

Will the UK go back into recession?

If so will the required bail out be from the IMF or the EU?

Will the UK accept the need for the regulations signed up to by the rest of the EU (apart from the Czechs)?

Will Orkney or Shetland be allowed to leave the UK if Scotland as a whole votes no but the Northern Isles vote Yes?

Will there be any removal of existing powers from the Scottish Parliament?

Will the right to hold an independence referendum be denied in future?
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-14 12:20
Quote

"Will Orkney or Shetland be allowed to leave the UK if Scotland as a whole votes no but the Northern Isles vote Yes?"

Excellent point, well made.
 
 
# bringiton 2012-03-14 12:39
Absolutely chicmac.
Time they answered some important questions before the referendum.
Can I add a few more.
Will they continue to spend defence money on Trident ?
Will they guarantee that essential welfare services be protected and not reduced or privatised ?
Will they guarantee that current pension arrangements will be protected ?
I am sure others can think of many more questions the Unionists need to answer.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-14 12:12
"We intend to publish an article on this episode shortly, but will allow BBC Scotland time to reply to four questions we have submitted to them on this matter."
Thanks Newsnetscotland for telling us what some in Scotland do not wish us to hear.

Censorship by any other name.

Connor's,Boothman's and Taylor's responses will be in London within minutes.
That's where the power currently lies.

Lord Patten dealt well with Hong Kong,when rooting out the untruths of the Chinese press,prior to Britain's withdrawl.
He'll be determined the Northern Territories of BBC News don't hoodwink him closer to home.
He's an astute operator viz.Hong Kong, and will not allow his reputation for fairness,be dragged through the mud.
 
 
# Mark 2012-03-14 12:15
Mr McConnell, what does he know about the uncertainty is harming the Scottish economy.
Did he not return £1.7 billion pounds to London saying we did not need it!
He is an unelected member of house of lords, he is just scared with independence he has to pack and leave London and lose his salary.
Why does BBC give him any air time at all as he is a failed politician who failed to get back in Scottish parliment.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-14 12:35
"Why does BBC give him any air time at all as he is a failed politician who failed to get back in Scottish parliment."
PRECISELY BECAUSE of that !

That's the BBC agenda,and has been for a long time.
 
 
# Brechin 2012-03-14 12:23
O/T A truly appalling piece in today's Scotsman.
scotsman.com/.../...

Just when you think there are no barrels left to scrape, along comes something like this. Apart from the shameful tone of the article it is obviously factually wrong on so many levels, not to mention grammatically poor and generally incoherent. If the purpose of this type of gutter journalism is to ensure that I never pay for another copy of the Scotsman again, then it has certainly succeeded on that count. On all other counts, including normal standards of decency, it has failed abysmally.

Incidentally, I am not unfamiliar with prostate cancer and its treatments, both professionally and personally, which is one of the reasons that I am so incandescent about this piece. Perhaps this kind of morally bankrupt dross has been the Scotsman’s norm and will continue to be the norm, but for me it has been the last straw.
 
 
# nottooweeorstupid 2012-03-14 12:29
Sick. And no comments allowed. I'm with you Brechin. The joke is that a paper called 'The Scotsman' could be fairly expected to represent Scottish views and morals by anyone who hasn't actually read it.
 
 
# X_Sticks 2012-03-14 12:48
You can make comments nottooweeorstup id
 
 
# nottooweeorstupid 2012-03-14 13:52
weird...the comment option wasn't there earlier, or maybe I'm losing my mind. The Darkened Room beckons!
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-14 12:42
The drug in question was not even licensed by the EU until late last year. Libya bought the drug from the USA where it was licensed by the FDA some time ago.

The Herald had a very small piece about it yesterday.

See:


bbc.co.uk/.../...



But it would appear that the UK finds it too costly:

bbc.co.uk/.../health-16838825
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-14 12:47
Men and women of some intelligence read that rag precisely because there is no alternative.

It's either the Scotsman or one of the other tabloids.
Quality journalism has gone I'm afraid.

The S is good for Gardening and Hatches,Matches and Despatches,and that's it.
Now I buy my Gardening elsewhere----from a gardening magazine.
 
 
# Davy 2012-03-14 13:23
Brechin,
I have to agree with you 100%, its one of the worst pieces of journalisum I have ever read, its nothing but cheap and nasty. The person and the paper responsible for that article should be ashamed of themselves, but I doubt it.
Disgusting pap.
 
 
# admiral 2012-03-14 13:46
Quoting Brechin:
O/T A truly appalling piece in today's Scotsman.
scotsman.com/.../...

Just when you think there are no barrels left to scrape, along comes something like this. Apart from the shameful tone of the article it is obviously factually wrong on so many levels, not to mention grammatically poor and generally incoherent. If the purpose of this type of gutter journalism is to ensure that I never pay for another copy of the Scotsman again, then it has certainly succeeded on that count. On all other counts, including normal standards of decency, it has failed abysmally.

Incidentally, I am not unfamiliar with prostate cancer and its treatments, both professionally and personally, which is one of the reasons that I am so incandescent about this piece. Perhaps this kind of morally bankrupt dross has been the Scotsman’s norm and will continue to be the norm, but for me it has been the last straw.


I used to buy and read the Scotsman every day. I stopped soon after the Barclay brothers took over and installed Andrew Neil as editor.

The standard of journalism has been on a continual downward slope since and, though I glance at the online version but rarely actually finish reading stories or articles, I would never think to buy a copy again.

It's a long, long time since commentators of the calibre of Neal Ascherson wrote for the Scotsman. The current crew are barely literate in comparison.
 
 
# RTP 2012-03-14 14:19
"If you are a prostate cancer sufferer living in England or Wales, you may be able to gain access to a drug called abiraterone"

I think I heard that this drug was not available anywhere in the UK.

The article is a very sick attack on any cancer suffer.
 
 
# Brechin 2012-03-14 15:47
Quoting Brechin:
O/T A truly appalling piece in today's Scotsman.
scotsman.com/.../...

Just when you think there are no barrels left to scrape, along comes something like this. Apart from the shameful tone of the article it is obviously factually wrong on so many levels, not to mention grammatically poor and generally incoherent. If the purpose of this type of gutter journalism is to ensure that I never pay for another copy of the Scotsman again, then it has certainly succeeded on that count. On all other counts, including normal standards of decency, it has failed abysmally.

Incidentally, I am not unfamiliar with prostate cancer and its treatments, both professionally and personally, which is one of the reasons that I am so incandescent about this piece. Perhaps this kind of morally bankrupt dross has been the Scotsman’s norm and will continue to be the norm, but for me it has been the last straw.


STOP PRESS - The Scotsman appears to have removed all traces of this article. The link no longer works and when searching for terms it cannot be found. Surely not an attack of conscience? It was even worse than their standard offerings. For those that did not have the pleasure of reading the article it basically said that the scottish governement didn't care about prostate cancer sufferers - with the exception of Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. It had the usual innuendo etc. I may go back on my word and buy a paper copy of the Scotsman in order to keep the article for posterity and perhaps repost.
 
 
# nottooweeorstupid 2012-03-14 15:57
The link is working now Brechin?
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-14 15:57
Yep I can't find it either, and I posted a comment on the article earlier !

It seems to have been replaced by this shorter piece with no comments allowed:

scotsman.com/.../...

THE decision to deny Scots patients use of a cancer drug which is keeping the Lockerbie bomber alive has been blasted by local charities.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium this week opted not to approve the life-prolonging Abiraterone Acetate, despite it being available elsewhere in the UK.


The author of the original controversial article is Emma Cowing. If you google search her name the article will appear in your search results, also you can have a look at her twitter account as she posts a link there.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-14 16:10
Quoting tartanfever:
Yep I can't find it either, and I posted a comment on the article earlier !

It seems to have been replaced by this shorter piece with no comments allowed:

scotsman.com/.../...

THE decision to deny Scots patients use of a cancer drug which is keeping the Lockerbie bomber alive has been blasted by local charities.

The Scottish Medicines Consortium this week opted not to approve the life-prolonging Abiraterone Acetate, despite it being available elsewhere in the UK.


The author of the original controversial article is Emma Cowing. If you google search her name the article will appear in your search results, also you can have a look at her twitter account as she posts a link there.


Found her.
"Senior Writer on Scotland on Sunday. Columnist on The Scotsman".
That's her CV on Twitter.

The Scotsman employs journalists and columnists of the highest editorial standard.
Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
They are indeed fortunate finding her.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-14 16:53
I'm quite sure you all will be very glad to know that the latest (February) sales figures for the Britsman shows:

The Scotsman : 37,731 ; -9.73

Outstanding!

www.pressgazette.co.uk/.../

The Scotsman - 8.9 per cent drop = from 40,889 to 37,268

allmediascotland.com/.../...

Use this link to know about other papers figures
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-14 12:29
Slightly O/T but an interesting report from Eurostat based on 2009 GDP figures. North East of Scotland comes is in the top 20 regions. It comes in at number 14.

Regional GDP per capita in 2009: seven capital regions in the ten first places

epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/.../...

The Metro had the story today.
 
 
# neebor 2012-03-14 13:10
4th time trying to post

Lurker1

I see this tactic used a lot. I work in an Asian country with no free press. (As if we do!)

mmmm - I wonder who they learnt this from ? Suggestions anyone?
 
 
# The_Duke 2012-03-14 13:37
BBC are at it again...... with the sneeky way they report the statistics

Last month.....

Scottish unemployment rises by 16,000

"Unemployment in Scotland rose by 16,000 in the three months from October to December to reach 231,000, according to official figures."

This Month......

Scottish unemployment rate rises by 6,000

"Unemployment in Scotland rose by 6,000 in the three months to the end of January, according to new figures.

"The unemployment total, which includes those who are out of work and not eligible for benefits, was 234,000 - 18,000 higher than it was a year ago."`

Check out how they have reported the figures over the last three months and draw you own conclusion

bbc.co.uk/.../...

bbc.co.uk/.../...

bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-14 13:51
OK.That's an additional 20 doors I'll be knocking on after work tomorrow.
Thanks.
 
 
# chicmac 2012-03-14 14:23
Well spotted. AS well as the unemployment total staying at 231,000 despite the thousands increase headlined for each month, I notice that in each month the number of claimants fell. In one month they reported that employment in the private sector went up more than the fall in the public sector and the number of claimants went down but they still claimed that unemployment went up.
BTW might be of interest on a new facebook page set up to organise a demo about BBC bias in Scotland.

www.facebook.com/.../
 
 
# The_Duke 2012-03-14 14:32
Already "Liked" that page.... and will be there with my two boys...when it happens ;-)

Its interesting to note that they compare the figures with a "rolling" 3 mth period a YEAR ago..... wonder if they will do the same when unemployment starts to fall/plummet?

I suspect not.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2012-03-14 14:38
BBC trying to be clever
the best illustration is comparing the
14 December 2011 figures, which state that 'Unemployment in Scotland rose by 25,000 to 229,000 in the three months from August to October [2011]'
bbc.co.uk/.../...
So using that base line, we are to beleive that in the Quarter August to October 2011 unemployment was 229,000

So we go to the next full quarter shown on todays BBC Business page, from November 2011 to January 2012, we are told that employment has risen by 6,000
which is strange as if we are to take the previous quarter figure of 229,000 upto October and take that away from the current figure, the increase is 5,000

The way the BBC report unemployment figures is at best flawed as they dont report month on month figures, but variable quarters (ie Aug/Sep/Oct ; Sep/Oct/Nov ; Oct/Nov/Dec and Nov/Dec/Jan). Not sure if this is deliberate, or if someone at the BBC thinks this is the best way of repotring (which its not)
Perhaps someone should start publishing the actual month end unemployment for each month so we can all see clearer as to what the unemployemnt is for each month (not me though as my eyes glazed over at the ONS Data tables)
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-14 14:56
Of course, the other figures they omit deliberately are the breakdown figures.

What are the unemployment rates in Wales or the regions of England ?

Well, Wales has an unemployment rate of 9.1% according to the BBC today:

bbc.co.uk/.../...

The BBC don't break down the figures for the English regions, but many have rates much worse than Scotland - those rates being balanced out by the over subsidised regions in the south east.
 
 
# Jiggsbro 2012-03-14 16:33
Up 6,000 in three months? Hang on while I do the maths...

...I make that 400 women a day.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-14 14:18
O/T Students say Yes.
snp.org/.../...
Still a lot of work to be done despite this result.
Knocking on doors,with the facts.
 
 
# The_Duke 2012-03-14 14:58
St Andrews University: Yes 38% - No 62%

Now, I wonder why that would be.... let me think?
 
 
# Islegard 2012-03-14 15:08
There needs to be material produced which details the facts and counters the lies. In a clear easy to read format.
 
 
# Wansanshoo 2012-03-14 15:39
BBC Radio.


Of the last 144 editions of “Any Questions” only 4 have taken place in Scotland.

In an Independent Scotland all editions of Scotland’s Any Questions will be produced, managed and broadcast from Scotland.


The state broadcaster is nothing more than a fifth columnist.
 
 
# Legerwood 2012-03-14 16:11
Did they not used to have a Scottish Edition of Any Questions?

I seem to remember such a thing in the dim and distant past. One reason I remember it was that at the end of one show the panellists were asked who or what they would like to return as if there was re-incarnation. One of the panellists, a well known Scot, said he would like to return as Warren Beatty's fingertips.
 
 
# spagan 2012-03-14 16:22
OT
Labour have lost their majority control of Glasgow City Council.
The door is open!
We just have to persuade folk to go through!
Slainte Mhor
 
 
# Thee Forsaken One 2012-03-14 16:30
Quoting spagan:
OT
Labour have lost their majority control of Glasgow City Council.
The door is open!
We just have to persuade folk to go through!
Slainte Mhor


bbc.co.uk/.../...

Link above for those interested.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-03-14 16:52
Thanks for link - "Shaukat Butt is the seventh councillor to resign from the ruling Labour group, along with six who were de-selected ahead of May's council elections."

"If I am elected, I will be voting with Labour on the council so we can put the people of this city first."

A spokesman for Scottish Labour said: "Mr Butt was suspended from the party last September after being charged with assaulting his wife.

"The court case has not been heard, so Mr Butt remains suspended and cannot stand as a Labour candidate.

"He is keen to contest the local election, which means he can't stay part of the Labour group, but he is continuing to support and vote for Labour."
 
 
# GrassyKnollington 2012-03-14 16:26
Apologies for going OT and esp. to the [Edited - NNS Mod Team], but I enjoyed this story about how Asda is sensitive to the effect of union flag packaging on products being sold in Scotland in Olympic year.

I know their consideration is entirely commercial but thanks Asda.

dailymail.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# src19 2012-03-14 16:42
In my local Sainsbury's they have Olympic merchandise for sale. Little if any is sold it would appear :-)
 
 
# Islegard 2012-03-14 17:25
Good this really winds me up in shops. Morrisons are one of the worst. I refuse to buy produce with union flags. Another annoying point with supermarkets is not stocking Scottish produce.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-03-14 18:22
Totally agree, and I have to say, well done to Asda. The union flag is the biggest symbol of the union, and anybody with half a brain knows that not everybody in Scotland is happy about it.

I recently pointed out on this site, that my local Sainsburys now has the stupidity to stock what it calls- and I kid you not- 'British Scotch Broth'.

Like others here, I buy Scottish, and always avoid anything with a union flag on it. Waitrose and Morrison right now seem especially bad. Waitrose always seem to get their foods from outside Scotland, but labelled 'British' and their fish from Iceland, to make matters worse. Morrisons have more union flags than the queen.

I avoid both.

Buy Scottish and protect the Scottish farmers and businesses.

I don't mind the queen celebrating sixty years on the throne, but what I really strongly object to, is the way the event has been hijacked by the British Nationalists to turn it into a nauseating and turgid 'celebration of Britishness'.

Honestly, it's enough to make you vomit. Well done ASDA.
 
 
# red kite 2012-03-14 21:46
Picked up a cauliflower in Aldi last weekend. Turning it, saw the union jack on the bottom of the packaging.
It went back on the shelf.
 
 
# Alba4ever 2012-03-14 16:30
Off topic I know, but I've just read that no-one from "Scottish Labour" is on Question Time from St Andrews tomorrow night.

Johann will be fuming! Only Lab person included is north of England maverick MP Frank Field. Humza Yousaf for the SNP plus Charlie Kennedy and Ruth Davidson. Also Janet Street-Porter.

BBC bias again!
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-03-14 16:32
I think the SNP should have wheeled out one of the 'big guns' for this. Let's see how Humza does.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-03-14 16:58
Johann not invited---has she been suspended?
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-14 19:24
Oh no. Not Janet Street-Porter!
 
 
# RTP 2012-03-14 16:58
O/T

Just heard a real rant from Helen Eadie in the Parliament on minimum pricing.
 
 
# Hirta 2012-03-14 17:05
Big news. Labour loses its majority on Glasgow City Council.
bbc.co.uk/.../...

Watch this get buried on that website.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2012-03-14 17:07
Apropos of links check this if you need an argument agaisnt selling Scottish Water

bbc.co.uk/.../...

"The water authority responsible for the UK's worst mass water poisoning was "gambling with as many as 20,000 lives", a coroner has said"
 
 
# Hirta 2012-03-14 17:08
The party now has 39 out of 79 councillors, meaning Labour's near 40-year dominance in Glasgow is over.:-)
 
 
# rog_rocks 2012-03-14 17:21
Well I hope you won't mind my off-topic comment too, it's just that I heard a quote from David Cameroons speech in America 2day, (radio Scotland 3 O'clock news) after I heard it I felt compelled to send radio Scotland a txt, it said this;

Quote:
Re Dave ;
"in 50 years time a british prime minister & an American president will stand right here where we are just now"

I doubt it, given the 2014 referendum, even if (in the unlikely event) Scotland votes no at that stage but by 2062 I very much doubt that "Britain" will exist as it does just now, how un-thoughtful of him in his statement.
Never mind; why would we expect a british prime minister to ever think of Scotland... the most they ever think of it is as one of their colonies, to be plundered as much as possible ,as shown by his latest statement and many others.


In the 4 O'clock news they used some other dribbling part of his speech, I wonder if I had an influence or if they just want to deliver his whole speech bit by bit over the day, hmm.
 
 
# RTP 2012-03-14 17:28
A cracker from Nicola about Ballie and her blanket I hope we can hear this again.

Lab have just abstained on the alcohol bill even though they moved an amendment what a shower.
 
 
# J Wil 2012-03-14 19:26
Impotent bunch.

Is this to make Baillie and Simpson feel better and keep them on side?
 
 
# Brechin 2012-03-14 18:04
O/T Further to a post I made a little further up.

I provided a link to a Scotsman article in today's paper that was truly appalling. It was by Emma Cowing and was about prostate cancer treatment. The piece itself completely disappeared from the Scotsman website and Googling elsewhere also drew a blank. I can only assume that an attack of conscience encouraged them to hide all traces of the article's existence. It really was that bad. (PLEASE NOTE I'VE SINCE CHECKED AND IT HAS REAPPEARED! You can read it in all its glory at this link.)


scotsman.com/.../...


Against my better judgement I ran out to purchase a copy to remind myself of the content of said article and to share it with the good people of Newsnet. I'm not sure of copyright issues so I'll just post a couple of highlights:
(my comments in brackets)

Headline: HOW COME MEGRAHI CAN LIVE, BUT SCOTS CAN'T?

"If you are a prostate cancer sufferer living in England or Wales, you may be able to gain access to a drug called abiraterone, which has been found to extend the lives of patients by an average of 4 months."

(Please note that NICE rejected this drug in England long before the SMC. It may be available in some cases in England, as it is in Scotland - even the BBC acknowledges this)

"In Scotland, however, you will simply be left to die."

"...hands a death sentence down to hundreds of Scottish men..."

"This ruling sends out the message to thousands of men - not to mention their loved ones and families - that Scotland does not care about prostate cancer sufferers. It tells them that they would be better living in England or Wales, or Libya, if they want their government to support a means to prolong their life."

"The last prostate cancer sufferer the Scottish Government cared about was a man found responsible for the deaths of 270 people on Scottish soil. The rest of them, it seems, can simply be left to die."

As I said, truly appalling. Notwithstanding the morality of latching on to cancer sufferers to score cheap points and promote a certain agenda, the article itself is wildly misinformed, barely coherent and probably one of the most mean-spirited pieces of journalism I have ever read. I speak as someone with both a professional and personal interest in this disease.

Thank you for your post. To clarify you can post a link to an article and short extracts from it without infringing copyright, you cannot post the full article (or the majority of it) - NNS Mod Team
 
 
# Brechin 2012-03-14 18:30
Thanks for the note. I posted short extracts as the original article had disappeared. However, it later reappeared with changes. It was marginally more accurate but the rest of it was equally dreadful.
 
 
# ButeHouse 2012-03-14 19:19
Well done Newsnet for taking the BBC to hand on this matter. Their problem for too long has been the ability to say what they like without serious challenge from anyone.

I still think though that Newsnet should send some of their articles on unfairness by the London Government or the media to foreign news outlets. I am sure they would be more than happy to broadcast them which in turn will be picked up by rival media outlets here (rival to whichever UK media is under the spotlight).

VOTE YES
 
 
# Am Fògarrach 2012-03-15 18:59
[Comment threads are not the place for lengthy essays. Please feel free to submit an article which can be considered for publication - NNS Mod Team]
 
 
# Am Fògarrach 2012-03-15 20:29
Okay. Sorry.
 

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