News in Scotland - Wednesday

With exactly one year to go until the Scottish independence referendum
a former top Salmond advisor has warned the SNP approach to the
campaign should be less about flags and more about winning over minds


Scottish News: News in Scotland - Wednesday (67)


SNP all flag and no substance, warns former Salmond-aide

Alex Salmond's former head of policy, Alex Bell, has launched a withering attack on the SNP leader's approach to the independence referendum which is due to be held a year today. In an article written for The Guardian Mr Bell, who spent two years as a special advisor to Salmond and considering the government's white paper on independence, said that the campaign so far has been fought by both sides based on a "tedious parade of flags and pop identity about caring Scots versus heartless Tories.", and warns that the SNP leadership has relied on winning hearts with insufficient focus on designing a "profound" crusade to win minds. Warning that Mr Salmond's brand SNP approach is failing in the polls, Mr Bell argues that it is not too late for the Nationalists to offer solutions to how citizens can regain control over their collective welfare."[...]"The yes campaign should offer a critique of how such issues impact on the local and the individual and show that a Scotland empowered has a better chance of tackling them than a directionless UK. To date, the Scottish government hasn't had the confidence to embrace this." Mr Bell's intervention is the latest in a string of criticisms from high profile pro-independence figures over the SNP leadership's approach to the campaign.

Royal Bank of Scotland face court action over £12bn cash call

RBS faces further litigation as major firms, including insurer Standard Life, consider suing the taxpayer-owned bank over a 2008 cash call. The institutions represented at a court hearing yesterday believe they may have been misled over the health of the bank at the time of the cash call. The bank has recently faced investigations and fines over Libor-rigging fraud, ISDAfix rigging, 'mis-selling' of financial products and other nefarious activities.

More Scottish news:



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

Greek austerity leads to collapsing birthrate

Hospitals in Greece are reporting a 10 percent decrease in births over the last four years of austerity as families are making a financial decision not to have children according to a senior government official. The unparalleled fall is an indication of the severity of the austerity cuts being experience by the Greek population where a recent investigation found that many young students are forced into sexual acts for as little as five euros to pay for food. One German psychotherapist recently warned that the EU member was suffering "collective trauma" akin to a country facing civil war. The news comes as thousands of civil servants are expected to demonstrate in Athens today (Wednesday) against further cuts just hours after the killing of an anti-fascist artist - believed to have been murdered by a suspected neo-nazi. Greece is a member of the euro currency union.


UK crisis: UK government incompetence to cost taxpayer £10bn over aborted IT system

Westminster incompetence has led to the 'biggest IT failure ever seen' costing the UK taxpayer over £10bn. The IT system to manage NHS patient records was originally planned to be aborted at a cost of £6.4bn and according to a report by Westminster's public accounts committee is evidence of a "systemic failure" in the UK government's competence in designing and managing IT contracts. The committee pointed the recent universal credit project as further evidence that "there is still a long way to go before government departments can honestly say that they have learned and properly applied the lessons from previous contracting failures." Other incidences of costly UK government incompetence relating to IT solutions include a failure of the child support agency system leaving thousands of families without money; a tax credit system now open to fraud; delayed payments from the rural payments agency; problems tracking foreign national prisoners and serious disruption inside the passport agency.

New evidence proves chemical attack was by 'rebels', says Syrian government

Syria has passed "new materials" to Russia which it claims proves the gas attack in Damascus last month was committed by forces opposed to the Syrian government. The development comes after a UN investigation into the attack has been reportedly dismissed by the Russian foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov as "biased and one sided". The Russians warn that the approach taken by the UN Secretariat and UN Inspectors has been to report "selectively" and to disregard other circumstances the Russians believed to be pertinent including chemical attacks which the Syrian government had urged the UN to consider. The report does not blame the Syrian government however the US and its western allies argue that the technical report as damning. UK Foreign Secretary WIlliam Hague claimed: "it is abundantly clear that the Syrian regime is the only party that could have been responsible." Mr Ryabkov Syria has said that Russia will assess the new evidence Syria claims implicates 'rebels' in the atrocity. Of the 100,000 western-backed forces fighting against the Syrian government only one-quarter are nationalists or secular groups with the remainder religious groups according to UK military experts IHS Jane's. These groups are directly or partly aligned with al-Qaeda and many of them are not Syrians.

Canadian billionaire warns that the global US dollar reserve system about to end

The Canadian billionaire Ned Goodman has warned that the global US dollar reserve system is about to end. Mr Goodman said: "in the 1930s, everyone wanted USD (backed by silver)," but today, backed by nothing, "everyone wants to get rid of them." In relation to how to protect wealth, he added: "I'm keen on anything that's going to live with higher inflationary numbers, because I can't see the world getting out of the problems that it's in."

Brazilian president postpones visit with Obama over spying

An official visit with US President Obama and Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has been postponed after evidence that the Obama regime has been spying on the Brazilian president. The evidence emerged after information was released by US whistleblower, Edward Snowdon, which shows the US National Security Agency (NSA) had been spying on the private communications of the president of Brazil and spied on communications by her aides and Brazil's biggest company, Petrobras. The spying revelations relate to compromising more governments as well as potentially millions of private citizens around the world.


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commented 2013-09-18 17:38:18 +0100 · Flag
The case for independence is cultural. Our social policies, our style of government, our economics, our external relations flow from that. This is understood on the European mainland. It is an intellectual “identity” based on a unique philosophical outlook. The difference that makes Germans, for example, largely unsympathetic to anglo-saxon laissez-faire economics. The Yes campaign needs to tap into this cultural DNA. The SNP by playing safe on currency and the monarchy for fear of being labelled radical is certainly not. The Saltire waving can wait until independence day. Until then the intellectual heat under the Union needs to turned up to max.
published this page in News 2013-09-18 14:23:09 +0100