UKIP leader Nigel Farage was invited on to BBC Question Time in
Edinburgh despite his party having no Scottish elected representatives
Scottish News: News in Scotland - Friday
Outrage at BBC Question Time 'pantomime'
The BBC is today facing accusations of bias and sensationalism after Question Time, which this week was produced in Edinburgh, failed to include representatives from the Scottish Green and the Scottish Liberal Democrat parties on the show whilst having George Galloway and UKIP leader Nigel Farage. The programme's audience were made up of 16 and 17-year-olds all of whom will have the ability to vote in next year's referendum. Both Mr Galloway, who made - what some see as his trademark - insinuations of racism and bigotry and Mr Farage represent English constituencies and their respective parties have almost no support in Scotland. The programme was also denounced as a "pantomime" by the Electoral Reform Society in Scotland. SNP MSP Jim Eadie has written to BBC director-general Tony Hall asking for an explanation. A motion was today [Friday] tabled in the Scottish parliament concerning the BBC Question Time broadcast. After tabling the motion Kenneth Gibson MSP said: "in assembling such an unbalanced and unrepresentative panel, the BBC failed to cover the independence referendum properly."
Scottish independence: banks will have profits attributed to Scotland
Scottish banks with headquarters in Scotland but registered offices in London have their corporation tax payments attributed to London rather than Scotland meaning Scotland's tax contribution to the treasury is systematically underestimated. After independence such banks will be required to have their registered offices in Scotland should they wish to retain their headquarters there. This should not pose a problem for global banks such as RBS which before the crisis had around 95 percent of its operations outside of Scotland. In terms of the bailout received by RBS, governments are expected to bailout operations of foreign banks within their own territory given they are the regulatory jurisdiction. This means that had Scotland been independent at the time of the RBS bailout it would have been responsible for only 5 percent of the total funds required. However, there is a strong moral argument that the taxpayer should never have had to pay for the losses of private companies in any case.
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Independence: former Slovakian minister says EU will welcome Scotland
The former Slovakian foreign minister and diplomat Eduard Kukan MEP has said that an independent Scotland will be would be “an enrichment to the European family and to the European Union”. Mr Kukan added that an independent Scotland would be welcomed by the overwhelming majority of EU nations. SNP MSP Christina McKelvie, said: “These are extremely welcome comments from not just a sitting MEP but a former Foreign Minister of an EU Member State, which tell the truth about Scotland and the opportunities of independence."
UK crisis: was Osborne behind RBS chief's resignation?
Questions are mounting in relation to the role Chancellor George Osborne played in the resignation of Stephen Hester as the Royal Bank of Scotland's chief executive. The chancellor came under fire as speculation grows over who would replace Mr Hester. Mr Hester joined RBS 5 years ago and during that time the bank has faced fines relating to money laundering and Libor rigging and has now been implicated in manipulating the ISDAfix market worth hundreds of trillions of pounds globally. Mr Hester stands to receive a £5m pay-off from the taxpayer-owned bank.
RBS implicated in fresh benchmark and currency manipulation scams
RBS traders are among 132 which the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) says have attempted to manipulate borrowing and currency rates. The Singapore central bank has censured 20 banks including RBS ordering them to set aside additional reserves of at least s$1billion (£530mn) for the period of one year. Some cases have been referred to the nation's white collar crime unit although it is unlikely that the banks will face the same fines they were forced to pay in the UK and the US which themselves were insignificant compared to the profits accrued from the fraudulent practices. The relatively small fines have led to many analysts arguing the fines do not deter the rate-rigging business model. The fact that RBS traders are still being found to be manipulating rates raises questions over whether the bank is still manipulating Libor and other markets.
Syria: doubt cast over US chemical weapons claim
Despite deep misgivings from Russia, Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed that Britain shares the US's "candid assessment" that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against insurgents during the nation's military conflict. Mr Cameron's comments evoke memories of the British government under Tony Blair agreeing with the US that there were weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in Iraq. The WMD claim was used as a pretext for invasion and later turned out to be entirely false. Like Iraq, Syria is geopolitically important and the US and its allies have sponsored the insurgents whose challenge to President Assad has resulted in the deaths of almost 100,000 people since hostilities began. President Putin's foreign affairs adviser warned that Moscow is not convinced with Washington's claim that Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons. Yuri Ushakov told reporters today [Friday] that the information provided by US officials to Russia "didn't look convincing." Any intervention in Syria risks a regional conflict involving Iran and could see direct involvement of nuclear state Russia.
Obama regime goes after Snowdon
The US government is determined to take "all necessary steps" to prosecute National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowdon after he exposed how the Obama regime was spying on domestic and foreign citizens' phone calls. Mr Snowden, who was a sub-contractor working on computer networks for the NSA, is now located in Hong Kong, where he is expected to resist US attempts to extradite him. Snowdon will request asylum after he passed secrets to Britain's Guardian newspaper and the Washington Post as he believed the US surveillance programmes were both illegal and intrusive. After the treatment of Julian Assange’s and his Wikileaks disclosures, campaigners are anticipating a campaign of character assassination against Mr Snowdon.
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