News in Scotland - Wednesday

vince-cable.jpg
Vince Cable has asserted the Royal Mail services will be under threat from
independence while his government is in the process of privatising it to
prop up broke treasury

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Wednesday

SCOTLAND

Scotland's membership of EU "a mere formality", says top Danish politician

Interviews with senior Danish politicians and academics have revealed the belief that Scotland's membership of the EU would be straightforward. One leading Danish politician, Rasmus Helveg Petersen MP, who is the Social Liberals spokesman on foreign affairs said: "The criteria is very objective. Scotland would qualify. If Scotland wants it, yes. It would be a mere formality." A number of senior Danish figures confirmed this position - which went further to include straightforward membership of NATO - in interviews undertaken by the pro-Independence National Collective online magazine. The findings run contrary to statements made by the pro-Union Better Together campaign and Westminster politicians that an independent Scotland would face protracted and precarious negotiations. Given that an 'in-out' referendum on EU membership is now all but certain the irony is should Scotland remain part of the UK, it could find itself outside of Europe whether Scots wants to be or not. It is not clear if Scots want to remain part of the EU or opt for Scotland to join EFTA which confers most of the rights of EU membership without the constitutional bindings.

Project Fear Update: Cable and ‘no’ campaign continue ‘scaremongering’ over Royal Mail

Mike Weir MP has called on Business Secretary Vince Cable to apologise for scaremongering over the future of the Royal Mail in an independent Scotland ahead of a Westminster debate today on the future of postal services in Scotland. Cable, as part of the 'no' campaign has said the Royal Mail is under threat from independence, but in reality it is already being dismantled and sold off by the UK government. Commenting ahead of the Westminster debate on postal services , Mike Weir MP said: “It is highly likely that Royal Mail will soon end up losing its independence and becoming part of one of the larger European mail companies, or worse still, fall into the hands of those seeking to asset strip the organisation [...] Only with independence can Scotland be assured of a mail service that meets the needs of Scotland and our communities rather than the money men of London”.

More Scottish news:

Glaswegian ‘miracle cure’ to lead way in combatting eczema epidemic

Dermatique, a cream that cures eczema developed by Glaswegian James McPeake when his four year old daughter Patricia developed severe skin rashes, is to lead the way in combating a eczema epidemic that experts predict will sweep throughout the UK. The British Society of Cutaneous Allergy is demanding action to protect consumers against methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone, two agents found in shower gels, deodorants, hand lotions and washing-up liquids which are thought to be behind huge rises in skin irritations. McPeake said: “With experts predicting an outbreak of allergy, the scale of which has not been seen before in our lifetime, I would urge every eczema sufferer to stock up on our miracle eczema cure”. A key aspect of Dermatique is the avoidance of ingredients such as petrochemicals, colour or perfume.

CURRENCY INDEPENDENCE v UNION LATEST

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

Berlin outmuscles Brussels over banking tussles

A proposal by the European Commission to create an agency with the power to close or salvage insolvent banks across the eurozone is facing resistance from Berlin. The new body would work together with the European Central Bank (ECB) as a supervisor and constitute the second phase of the 'banking union' set in motion to prevent a systemic financial crisis across the euro currency zone. The scheme however does not have the finances required to order bailouts or wind-ups. The European Commission - which is not elected - will not provide any guarantees through the 'European Stablility Mechanism' which is strongly opposed by Germany who does want to bail out 'zombie banks' across the eurozone when the sector faces more stringent ECB regulation starting next year. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the 'banking union' will require a new EU treaty. The proposed agency would allow powers to save or dissolve banks without reference to the government of the nation where the bank is based.

INTERNATIONAL                                             

English MPs could get veto on laws for England

English MPs are being given the power to “veto” Westminster laws that do not relate to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, as part of radical constitutional reforms being drawn up by ministers. Under the proposals, expected to be announced in the autumn, English MPs would be able to reject legislation on devolved issues such as education, the NHS, transport and the environment, even if it had been passed by a majority of all MPs in the House of Commons. Labour, who could find themselves unable to pass significant legislation, described the proposals - which effectively create a two-tier Commons of English and non-English MPs - as a “hare-brained scheme”. The move comes amid Westminster claims that Scotland would be given more powers in the event of a 'no' vote in September 2014, and is designed to end situations where Scottish MPs can be used to force through laws that only concern England.                                             

Miliband’s reform plans could ‘modernise’ the Labour party

The Labour party could lose up to 90 percent of its annual income from the unions, the GMB general secretary, Paul Kenny, has said amid Ed Miliband's reform plans. Kenny said he would be balloting his union members in the autumn about whether they should retain an affiliation to the party, or to see if they individually wanted to affiliate - saying he would be lucky if more than 10 percent of his membership said they wanted to be affiliated individually. However his view contrasts with the stance of the Unite general secretary, Len McCluskey, who has welcomed the proposals. Larry Whitty, the former Labour general secretary, also issued a statement to say he thought the Miliband reforms could be implemented. He said: "I felt that delivering this change would be difficult. But that was true when we were modernising the Labour party under Neil Kinnock and John Smith too. It was done then and I'm sure that it can be done again".                                        

Survey shows British public opinion wildly wrong on big issues

A new survey conducted for the Royal Statistical Society and King's College London shows public opinion is repeatedly incorrect on issues such as crime, benefit fraud and immigration. The research, carried out by Ipsos Mori, lists ten key misconceptions held by the British public. Among the biggest are; benefit fraud: the public think that £24 of every £100 of benefits is fraudulently claimed, but official estimates are that just 70 pence in every £100 is fraudulent. Immigration: some 31 percent of the population is thought to consist of recent immigrants, when the figure is actually 13 percent. Among the other staggering figures are that 26 percent of people think foreign aid is in the top three items the Government spends money on, when it actually only makes up 1.1 percent of expenditure. Hetan Shah, executive director of the Royal Statistical Society, said: "politicians need to be better at talking about the real state of affairs of the country, rather than spinning the numbers. Secondly, the media has to try and genuinely illuminate issues, rather than use statistics to sensationalise”.                                           

Monsanto’s GM seeds aren’t working

Biotech and chemical companies like Syngenta are showing huge surges in sales as million dollar Monsanto pest immune GM corn seeds don't seem to be working. Having spent many millions creating genes that would make corn plants poisonous to the corn rootworm, it now seems the pest has begun to develop an immunity. Throughout parts of the US, farmers are discovering that rootworms are immune to the genetically modified corn – and are returning to chemical pesticides in attempts to combat it. According to University of Nebraska entomologist Lance Meinke, the increasing use of chemical pesticides is likely due to the current politics of growing corn, particularly in the face of alternatives such as crop rotation. "I think economics are driving everything," Meinke said. Meanwhile, companies such as Syngenta and AMVAC Chemical, which produce soil insecticides for corn, have reported increases in sales of 50 to 100 percent over the past two years. It is now estimated that in the period from 1996, when the GMO crops were introduced, to 2011, an additional 404 million pounds of chemical pesticides were applied to US fields.

Egypt's interim PM to hold talks with National Salvation Front leaders

Egypt's new interim president has approached the liberals in attempts to put together plans in aiding the failing economy after the ousting of Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi. Hazem el-Beblawi, a 76 year old economist and former finance minister named to head the cabinet on Tuesday, told Reuters he would begin selecting ministers, starting with meetings with National Salvation Front leaders Mohamed ElBaradei and Ziad Bahaa el-Din. Both are supporters of a stalled $4.8bn loan deal with the International Monetary Fund, which would require Egypt to make politically strategic reforms to its subsidies of food and fuel. Bloodshed has curbed since Monday, however, there are fears that the political violence could lead to a breakdown in security, especially in the Sinai peninsula region bordering Israel. The Brotherhood's downfall has been welcomed by wealthy Gulf states Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who offered Egypt $8bn in aid on Tuesday.

 

 

 

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published this page in News 2013-07-10 11:13:41 +0100