Surreal Scotland

By Derek Bateman Have we become Irish? I ask because there is such a hilariously contradictory mood around that it could ...

Commentary | Monday, 24 November 2014 | Comments

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Review: Sturgeon plays to a packed house at the Hy

By Robert Given I joined the SNP 24 years ago. I have carried the card ever since. I liked them when ...

Commentary | Sunday, 23 November 2014 | Comments

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Now comes the real test for Nicola Sturgeon and th

Commentary by Thomas Connolly Welcome to the start of the SNP’s UK general election campaign. With a new leader in ...

Commentary | Sunday, 16 November 2014 | Comments

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More in: Commentary

News - Scotland and International

Surreal Scotland

By Derek Bateman Have we become Irish? I ask because there is such a hilariously contradictory mood around that it could be St Patrick’s Day. ‘Happy? Of course we’re happy. We lost our independence and our living standards are going backwards but isn’t the party grand?’ Makes you wonder just what we would be doing if we’d won the referendum… ‘Cabinet members ... Read More

News in Brief

Glasgow sets standard on climate change

By A Newsnet Reporter Glasgow University has become the first in the UK to promise to pull its i... Read More

Scottish Greens welcome 3000 new members

The Scottish Greens are thanking over 3,000 new members who have joined the party since the close of polls on ... Read More

SNP membership surge means party could overtake UK Lib Dems

The wave of democratic engagement resulting from the referendum is continuing, the SNP has said today, as 16,694 new members ... Read More

SSP referendum meeting halted after pro-Union protestors berate locals

  By a Newsnet reporter  A public event to discuss the referendum, arranged by the Scottish Socialist Party, has had to ... Read More

Greens across Europe show support for Yes vote

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party's campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum, will today (16 Sep) show the ... Read More

Darlings for Yes

Alistair Darling's plea to Scots to vote No has been given a giant thumbs down - by his own namesakes.  Another ... Read More

More in: In Brief

Exclusive by Jolene Cargill

A letter sent to the heads of planning across Scotland urging them to be realistic about the level of affordable housing in new developments ignores the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, according to housing leaders in Scotland.

Chief Planning Officer James McKinnon wrote to the heads of all planning authorities on the 15 March asking them to be ‘realistic’ about the percentage of affordable housing agreed in new developments.

by G.A.Ponsonby

Perhaps the most pertinent comment from the first Leaders’ Debate was on Twitter.

“Bit of advice for Iain Gray: Don't click your name in the Trending Topics column. You won't like it one bit”.

The use of Twitter and other social media showing live comments during the debate provides the opportunity to react immediately to what has been said, not only to the official party commentators but also to members of the public.


Spending £1.6 billion on a new Forth road bridge at a time of public service cuts would tie Scotland to an old style of economic development blind to climate change realities

writes Patrick Harvie

You fucking beauty, he thought ... What a gorgeous great device you are.  So delicate from this distance, so massive and strong close-up.  Elegance and grace; perfect form.  A quality bridge; granite piers, the best ship-plate steel, and a never-ending paint job ... Iain Banks, The Bridge

The SNP’s plans to build a second Forth Road Bridge may have seemed like fantasy, especially given the growing pressure on the budget, but they are now – with the announcement on March 21 of a winning consortium bid to build the additional bridge – becoming a bit more real.

You and I go back a long way ... some of my earliest memories involve me watching you, sitting on my mother's knee with her explaining to me what was going on in the world.  You developed my thirst for knowledge.  A thirst which has lasted until now and remains a cornerstone of my life.

You were like an old friend, coming to my house to tell me what was going on "out there" and making sure I was up to date with everything.  You're Scottish too, so you understood me.  You believed in what I believed in.  You were "wan o' Jock Tamson's weans" just like me ... Or so I thought.

by Paul Kavanagh

Scientists have warned of an outbreak of the potentially devastating profollia bacteria at John Smith House, Labour's Scottish headquarters in Glasgow.  According to researchers from the Edinburgh Epidemiological Joint Institute of Technology and Science, the bacterium has been incubating in storage cupboards in the building amongst abandoned piles of electoral materials rendered useless after fresh instructions were received from Labour HQ in London.  A chemical reaction between the ink in the glossy leaflets and years of tobacco smoke mixed with human sweat and fat from takeaway food creates the perfect breeding ground for the bug.

Hugo Chávez, president o Venezuela an yae o the fyow freins o Libyan dictator Muammar Ghaddafi is on a short veisit ti the South American kintra o Uruguay the nou.  Yestreen at a press conference in the Uruguayan capital o Montevideo, he wis speirt bi Latin-American journalists anent his relacionshap wi the Libyan leader, nou fechtin fur the survival o his regime.

by Brian Nicholson and G.A.Ponsonby

As we enter the second week of campaigning for the Scottish elections the trials and tribulations being experienced by the Conservatives and Lib Dems are now well documented.

The Tories have little to lose in Scotland and, as our own James Aitken pointed out yesterday, they have been stagnating north of the Border with support sitting at around 15% for the last three Holyrood elections.

by Paul Kavanagh

What does Catalunya have six of, Galicia has four, Bavaria has seven and the Basque Country five?  The Frisians of the Netherlands are quite modest, they manage with just one.  Even Gagauzia - an autonomous region within the impoverished republic of Moldova, a tiny speck of a nation in the poorest corner of the poorest country in Europe - they've got one too.

What am I referring to?  Publicly owned TV channels.  Scotland has but one, BBC Alba.  Although BBC Alba is an excellent channel which makes a fair fist of scant resources, it does not broadcast 24 hours a day, it is limited in its budget and it broadcasts in a language understood by less than 2% of the population.


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