News in Scotland - Monday

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Toom Tabard: Johann Lamont's attempt to bring more economic powers
to the Scottish parliament seem set to be dumped after Westminster MPs
reject the plan CARTOON: NORRIE STEWART

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Monday

SCOTLAND

Lamont brought to heel

Johann Lamont’s plans to bring more powers to the Scottish parliament after a 'no' vote in the referendum are reportedly to be ditched following a strong backlash from Labour's Westminster MPs and Ed Miliband's unease at the plan. An English newspaper has quoted a senior Labour source as saying her proposal to bring full control of income tax is “dead in the water” and report that internally many are angry at her attempts to 'bounce the party into backing her plans’.

Scottish bank-notes could be withdrawn after independence, claim treasury

In a further sign of Westminster intervention in Scotland's independence referendum, the treasury will issue a warning that Scottish bank-notes could be withdrawn should Scots back independence. Currently, for every Scottish banknote in the system a pound sterling must be deposited in the Bank of England meaning that there will be zero economic impact if the notes are withdrawn, the only difference would be that Scots would not be able to be proud of the pictures on them. What Scots should be concerned with is the collapse in the value of the pound sterling which would see their wealth lost as the Bank of England continues its policy of various quantitative easing (money printing) which transfers wealth to those who receive the printed money who are almost entirely based in London. The treasury has not said why they might withdraw the banknotes given the economic irrelevance of the move. Last week another ratings agency, Fitch, downgraded the UK economy to AA+.

More Scottish news:

                                                

Fortunes soar for Scotland’s rich

Scotland's rich are getting richer as the rest of the country continues to struggle economically, the latest list of the UK’s wealthiest has revealed. A record number of Scots billionaires appears in this year’s Sunday Times UK rich list, which includes a total of 78 people from Scotland, the most to feature in a decade. Scotland’s economy significantly outperformed the rest of the UK in the final three months of 2012, growing by 0.5 percent compared with a contraction of 0.3 percent for the UK as a whole. But, as the most affluent Scots saw their personal wealth soar by up to 58 percent, with water, oil and whisky helping to fund their fortunes – many of the Scottish population are now feeling the squeeze of the Westminster austerity cuts that came into force at the beginning of April.                                             

Treasury admits failure in calculating nuclear power costs

A UK government report has revealed the estimated cost of decommissioning nuclear power has increased by around £16bn in 4 years, with the treasury admitting mistakes over its failure to calculate the costs. The Public Accounts Committee report shows the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority’s estimated cost of civil nuclear decommissioning increased by around £16bn to £53bn between 2007 and 2011. The report claims “The Treasury acknowledged that not considering these costs when the power stations were built had been a mistake”. SNP Energy spokesperson Mike Weir MP said: “This report is further evidence that Westminster cannot be trusted”. "Scotland has massive renewable resources - why on earth would anyone want to put all of that at risk by diverting money to pay for new nuclear white-elephants that are significantly more expensive than renewables?”                                           

Gordon Matheson told to reconsider position in run up to Commonwealth Games

Following Gordon Matheson being reported to the Public Standards Commissioner over alleged improper staff coercion over the George Square design project - the SNP are calling for him to consider his position as Glasgow gears up for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Councillor Graeme Hendry, Leader of the SNP Opposition in Glasgow, said: “I am calling on Councillor Matheson to give a personal assurance that neither he, nor anyone on his behalf will try to intimidate anyone else who may come forward to whistleblow on his or anyone else's behaviour over George Square, planning issues or anything else...I would encourage any officers current or past who feel rules have been broken to come forward now this first allegation is in the public domain”.

INTERNATIONAL                                              

UK crisis: Osborne told that austerity is not sufficient for UK recovery

George Osborne will announce an expansion of the Bank of England's £80bn funding for lending scheme (FLS) ahead of a visit to the UK by the International Monetary Fund next month, in attempts to persuade the fund that the coalition can boost growth without doing a U-turn on its deficit-reduction strategy. The IMF is convinced that the UK is operating well below its full potential, and is keen to discover in talks next month why the economy has failed to respond to four years of monetary stimulus. During this time bank rates have been pegged at 0.5 percent with the Bank of England's solution being to create £375bn of electronic money through its quantitative easing (money printing) programme. The IMF added that this current monetary policy is not sufficient to produce a lasting UK recovery, noting that a credible medium term plan to improve the state of public finances together with structural reform is needed.

Swiss to have referendum over gold sales

The Swiss People's Party has gained enough signatures to force the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to stop selling its gold reserves. With 100,000 signatures the federal chancellery will now hold a referendum that would ban the central bank from selling its reserves and force it by law to keep a minimum of 20 percent of its assets in the precious metal whilst demanding the repatriation of reserves held abroad. The "Save Our Swiss Franc" initiative states, "today gold is almost the only really valuable asset left on the SNB’s balance sheet." Gold appears to be becoming a safe-haven as competitive devaluation in fiat currencies grips the world, led by the dollar. China is leading the world in gold purchases having a acquired hundreds of tonnes in recent months. The IMF is demanding that Cyprus sell its 'excess' reserves of gold and observers point to gold mines in Mali as they real reason behind the UK and France's military initiatives there. Last week, the futures market in gold saw a huge sell off driving down prices whilst around the world ordinary people queued up to buy physical gold and take advantage of the discount.                                        

Grillo denounces Italian president’s re-election

The enigmatic leader of Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, Beppe Grillo has denounced the re-election of President Giorgio Napolitano. Following Saturday’s broad right-left deal to give Napolitano another seven year mandate, hundreds of Grillo supporters took to the streets in Rome to make their feelings known about being under-represented by Italian politicians. Napolitano agreed to remain in office for an unprecedented second term after the country’s parliament failed to elect a replacement in five rounds of voting. With Italy still without a government two months on after inconclusive elections, Napolitano is will have to spell out his strategy to end the political stalemate - whilst facing increasing discontent among the Italian people.                                              

Right-wing US radio host deems Boston bombings a conspiracy

Right-wing US radio host Glenn Beck has stated that he believes a massive government cover-up is underway in relation to the April 15 Boston bombing massacre. RightWingWatch reports that Beck,a former Fox presenter, made the accusation on his radio show, issuing an ultimatum, that unless the feds “come clean” by Monday and admit their “malevolent misdeeds and deception of the American public,” there will huge consequences. His theory arises from the handling of a Saudi national who was named by the media as a likely "person of interest" just after the bombings had occurred, who was later ruled out as a suspect by all law enforcement agencies. However other commentators have since stated that this was not what Beck and his associates wanted to hear; CNN's John King later mis-reported - that for Beck, the principal suspect would much preferably be “a dark skinned, Middle Eastern Muslim”. Meanwhile, the surviving Boston bombings’ suspect could be so seriously injured that investigators may struggle to interrogate him effectively, raising further questions about the FBI's violent gun battle that left his brother dead.

Syrian insurgent defeats threaten leadership resolve

The leader of the Syrian insurgents, Ahmad Moaz al-Khatib, has threatened to resign blaming the "inaction" of the world for a series of defeats by government forces. Infighting among the insurgents and alliances with al-Qaeda have brought into question the wisdom of further support from the West against President Bashar al-Assad's government. Meanwhile the humanitarian crisis intensified with many more civilians caught up in the crossfire and many more displaced.

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published this page in News 2013-04-22 11:41:25 +0100