News in Scotland - Monday

osborne-budget.jpg
Labour have been accused of exposing Scots needlessly to George
Osborne's policies which "scapegoat" the unemployed

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Monday 

SCOTLAND

Labour conflicted over Osborne's crackdown on unemployed, say SNP

UK Chancellor George Osborne will announce that he will force 200,000 long-term unemployed claimants to attend jobcentres daily or face losing their benefits. The scheme will offer the option of a full-time programme aimed at tackling the reason behind a claimant's unemployment which assumes they are always personal rather than economic. If the Labour Party are concerned about Osborne's plans then, according to the SNP, they should support the transfer of benefit payments to the Scottish parliament rather than leave Scots exposed to Tory policies from London. One Labour MP and Shadow Business Minister Ian Murray, who represents an Edinburgh seat, described Mr Osborne's policy as an "outrage" adding “Osborne is now trying to scapegoat the unemployed with a return to the poorhouse of the 19th century”. However SNP MSP Kevin Stewart, who sits on Holyrood's Welfare Reform Committee, said: “Labour is campaigning to keep these powers [welfare] in the hands of a Tory Chancellor who has shown complete disregard for Scotland’s needs and is fully complicit in George Osborne’s actions as a result."

Salmond advises Cameron to 'butt out' of Scotland's referendum

First Minister Alex Salmond has urged Prime Minister to face him in a live debate on independence or "butt out" of the referendum campaign. As Scots decide whether they want to remain controlled by Westminster or become independent, there have been growing public anxiety over the volume of external interference from Westminster in the campaign. Most observers note that UK government departments have put significant resources into activities which support the 'no' campaign's objectives leading to concerns that the vote may not be fair and free. Mr Salmond has now told the Prime Minister that if he does want to influence votes in Scotland and defend the Union then he should be prepared to do so publicly in a live televised debate with himself as the head of the SNP government which supports independence. The Prime Minister has dismissed calls for such a debate and defended his position by accusing Alex Salmond of trying to make the debate about "Scotland against England" or "the SNP versus the Tory Party". Mr Cameron argues that Mr Salmond should debate instead with the former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling who leads the Better Together campaign which is against independence however Mr Darling's opposite number is Blair Jenkins who is chief of the Yes Scotland pro-independence campaign. Mr Darling has accused Mr Salmond of "silly posturing". While Mr Salmond, Mr Cameron and others wrestle over personality popularity and campaign strategy, the issue over whether or not Scots will be allowed to have a vote free from external influence appears to be of little significance.

More Scottish news:

 

East Coast rail line could be run by Eurostar

Eurostar which operates the Channel Tunnel high-speed train line has lauched a bid, in collaboration with a French firm, to run Scotland's East Coast rail line. The winning bid is expected to be announced in October 2014.

Glasgow's George Square re-opens

Glasgow's George Square has been reopened to the public after a revamp which saw its red surface replaced and two grassy section introduced. The project was riven with controversy after council leader Gordon Matheson was accused of trying to fix the redesign competition and breaking statutory procurement rules. Mr Mathieson was cleared of misconduct by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life.

CURRENCY INDEPENDENCE v UNION LATEST

(International news on currency union to inform the Scottish referendum debate)

‘New land league’ in Ireland to “fight for our basic civil rights”

An brother of a junior Irish Minister, who recently took his own life, is fronting a 'New Land League' organisation which has the aim of freezing mortgage payments, forcing debt reduction and fixing mortgage interest payments. Jimmy McEntee, the brother of the late Shane McEntee, warns on the organisation's website that; "The time is now for the man in the street to unite, organise and fight for our basic civil rights." The website states: "The people of Ireland have found themselves back in the same situation that they were in, in the post famine period i.e. a landlord system (The Banks) and a government who are indifferent to the suffering of its own indigenous people. We are experiencing the total annihilation of the ordinary people in Ireland." It was shown that Anglo-Irish Bank lied to the Irish government in order to obtain taxpayer funded bailouts. Given the huge costs of the bailouts the Irish government have forced austerity policies on the nation. Ireland is a member of the euro currency union.

Leaders of third most popular party in Greece arrested

The leadership of the far right Golden Dawn Party in Greece have been arrested on charges of running a criminal organisation. The political crackdown is considered the most extreme since the fall of the country's military junta in 1974. Party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos and a dozen other senior members of the party were arrested by police. Commentators believe the arrests will be viewed by party supporters as politically motivated and warn that it could lead to further social and political unrest. Greece was recently described by a German psychotherapist as experiencing collective trauma akin to a civil war. An increasing number of citizens and organisations are calling for EU/IMF/ECB bailout debt terms to be cancelled amid widespread 'anti-austerity' revolts. Many are calling for the nation to return to the Drachma while the IMF admit "mistakes" in its handling of the Greek debt situation. Greece is a member of the euro currency union.

Italy: Vote of confidence in government as CEO of nation’s largest bank resigns

There are reports that all Italian government ministers, who are members of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) Party, have resigned from the nation's Coalition government. If confirmed the resignations may trigger another general election in the debt-stricken nation. With a the government facing a confidence vote expected to be on Tuesday news comes as it emerges that the CEO the largest bank (by assets) in Italy - Intesa SanPaolo has announced the resignation of its CEO and replacement with Carlo Messina. According to sources, the now former CEO had lost the confidence of shareholders despite the bank's stock being near a 2-year high. Italy is a member of the euro currency union.

INTERNATIONAL

UK crisis: LibDem groups latest to warn of Osborne housing bubble

There is growing opposition from with the LibDems to the plan by Chancellor Osborne to bring forward a £12bn mortgage scheme which many believe will artificially drive up housing prices to dangerous levels. The LibDem grassroots groups are against the acceleration of the Help to Buy scheme which had been due to commence in January as they believe it will inflate a house price bubble. Reports suggest that senior LibDems were not consulted over the acceleration of the scheme which critics suggest is a ploy aimed at raising house prices to help the Tories get re-elected. The groups are the latest to warn that the scheme will create an unsustainable boom which will lead to many homeowners being stuck in negative-equity traps once the house prices crash again.

UK crisis: Former Labour PM charters private jet

The former Prime Minister Tony Blair regularly charters a private airplane, according to reports, which costs the ex-Labour leader £7,000 per hour. The aircraft fully fitted with stateroom, lounge, 2 kitchens and a double bed is reported to have been regularly chartered by Mr Blair as he tours the world fixing its problems. Mr Blair is believed to have built an estimated £40mn in wealth as well as seven homes since leaving office. Within days of leaving office Mr Blair commenced on a multimillion pound contract as a consultant for global bank JP Morgan which won the contract to run the Iraq Trading Bank immediately after the invasion of Iraq. Mr Blair was recently very vocal in support of bombing Syria which is also of key global strategic interest in terms of energy supplies.

US government near to closing down

The government of the US is close to closing down after the House of Representatives Republicans refused to pass a budget unless Obamacare is suspended. Democrats accused Republicans of holding the government to ransom for party reasons. On Sunday a resolution was passed which will only allow the federal government to be financed if there is a one-year postponement of Obamacare. There appeared to be no breakthrough in the impasse as House Republicans appeared determined to stick to their threat. The government will close down services tomorrow unless a solution is found.

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published this page in News 2013-09-30 14:52:31 +0100