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Income tax may double for Scots after independence - Gordon Brown

Income tax may double for Scots after independence - Gordon Brown | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

The chronic state of Scotland’s public finances could be enough to double income tax bills after independence, former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned.


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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 30, 3:01 AM

Never forget the lies! Never forgive the liars!

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Ruth Davidson signals support of Scotland staying in EU’s single market

Ruth Davidson signals support of Scotland staying in EU’s single market | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

Scotland must retain access to the European single market to protect the economy, jobs and public services, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has told Europe Minister David Lidington.


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Peter A Bell's curator insight, July 7, 5:39 AM

Somebody needs to point out to The Scotsman that, despite a hysterical response from the unionist media which suggested otherwise, the Ruth Davidson photo-op party did not win May's Holyrood election. Notwithstanding the vacuous adulation heaped upon her by the British nationalist commentariat, and her own ludicrous posturing, Ruth Davidson does not speak for Scotland or our democratically elected government. She does not represent the people of Scotland. She represents only the British Conservative Party and the Westminster elites whose criminal incompetence has been exposed by the Brexit fiasco.

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Brexit: 325 Tory MPs fail to turn up for House of Commons vote to guarantee EU nationals the right to remain in UK - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Brexit: 325 Tory MPs fail to turn up for House of Commons vote to guarantee EU nationals the right to remain in UK - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
The Government has refused to support a motion passed in the House of Commons calling for EU nationals to be guaranteed the right remain in Britain following the vote for Brexit.
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Nicola Sturgeon to address SNP conference for disabled members

Nicola Sturgeon to address SNP conference for disabled members | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

The SNP is to stage Scotland’s first ever political conference for party members who are disabled.


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SNP want polls to show 60 support for independence for a whole year before calling referendum

SNP want polls to show 60 support for independence for a whole year before calling referendum | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
The SNP will not seek another Scottish independence referendum until polls consistently show more than 60 of the public would vote to leave the…

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, October 19, 2015 5:09 AM

Let's be clear about one thing. This is not news, or analysis, or commentary. This is gossip. Notwithstanding the declarative headline, nobody in authority in the SNP has spoken of this "60% for a year" test. Nobody has spoken of any specific test. This is a case of the media defining conditions so that they can later claim that the SNP "lied" about what would be required in order to trigger a second independence referendum.

Not only has nobody in the SNP set a test of this kind, they never will. As anybody who is paying attention to Scottish politics will be aware, a large part of the SNP's success is down to the party  leadership's almost uncanny knack for keeping options open. They don't tend to paint themselves into corners. So why would we believe they might do so in relation to something as crucial as the second independence referendum.

There is a reason why the SNP will not lay down detailed conditions for a second referendum. It is simple and obvious. But apparently incomprehensible to ideological unionists. They seem unable to understand that the right of self-determination rests with the people of Scotland. It cannot be constrained. Not by the British state. Not by the Scottish Government. Certainly not by a political party. Nobody has the right to tell the people of Scotland that certain conditions must be met before they are permitted to have their say on the constitutional status of their country.

The concept of popular democracy seems to be totally alien to British nationalists. They are conditioned to accept the sovereignty of parliament. They are accustomed to being told rather than doing the telling. They are comfortable with being subject to the self-serving whims of the ruling elites. They are afraid of anything that threatens to upset the established order. They know their place.

It doesn't matter how often these people are told that they get to decide about a second referendum, they simply cannot imagine such matters being the province of anyone other than their political masters. They are baffled and confused by the idea that the First Minister's only role is to implement the decision of the people.

The British establishment takes the fullest possible advantage of this confusion.

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Gordon Brown-Ming Campbell - Lab-Lib plot - YouTube

Gordon Brown was so desperate to keep Alex Salmond from being First Minister he tried to cut a deal to keep him out of power. Revealed in Menzies Campbell's ...

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, April 7, 2014 10:25 AM

The British state and its dirty tricks.

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Catalan president: Spain cannot block our independence vote — RT ...

Catalan president: Spain cannot block our independence vote — RT ... | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
Defying Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy's insistence that he would not allow a referendum on independence for Catalonia, Artur Mas, the Catalan president, said a “knee-jerk” reaction to block it would seriously damage Spain's ...
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Controlling our future: Scottish fishing and the need for independence

Controlling our future: Scottish fishing and the need for independence | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
It is difficult to imagine that there is any connection between the success of a country’s economic strategy and Scotland’s fishing industry.� But there is and it’s a salient lesson. Scotland's economic strategy Strategy is the art of placing yourself in an advantageous position for the
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RBS would move to London if Scotland breaks away - Cable | Reuters

RBS would move to London if Scotland breaks away - Cable | Reuters | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland would inevitably move its headquarters from Edinburgh to London if Scotland votes for independence later this year, Business Secretary

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, February 5, 2014 11:29 AM

The claim in the final paragraph of this article is factually incorrect. It attributes to BP comments which were actually made by an individual speaking in a personal capacity.

It was BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley who made some (rather silly) remarks following BP's annual financial results. Dudley said: "It does not seem the right thing to me for the country [Scotland] to drift off. That's not a company view, that's from me."

Note that last sentence.

Not that Reuters should concern itself too much. When it comes to Scotland's independence referendum we are well accustomed to sloppy reporting and the blinkered, distorted perspective of London-based journalists.

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Why Scotland needs a strong independent online news media

Why Scotland needs a strong independent online news media | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
Scottish News, News Scotland - Politics, Referendum, Economy, Culture and intelligent opinion | Newsnet Scotland, uniquely Scottish
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Women for Scottish Independence
For anyone who missed this last night.

Women for Scottish Independence
For anyone who missed this last night.
Party Political Broadcasts - Scottish National Party: 18/10/2013
www.bbc.co.uk
A party political broadcast by the Scottish National Party.
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Scottish independence: White paper out in November

Scottish independence: White paper out in November | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
ALEX Salmond has revealed the Scottish Government will publish its blueprint for independence on Tuesday 26 November.

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Trident deal would be delayed until 2016, says Alex Salmond

Trident deal would be delayed until 2016, says Alex Salmond | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
Alex Salmond says that if Scotland votes yes in referendum and if his party wins re-election, then he will ask for nuclear fleet to be moved Alex Salmond has said a final deal on removing Trident nuclear submarines from an independent Scotland...
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SNP lift suspension of councillor at heart of 'McMafia' racism scandal

SNP lift suspension of councillor at heart of 'McMafia' racism scandal | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
THE SNP councillor at the centre of the McMafia racism scandal that exposed bitter divisions in the party in North Lanarkshire has been reinstated.
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Brexit: 325 Tory MPs fail to turn up for House of Commons vote to guarantee EU nationals the right to remain in UK - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk

Brexit: 325 Tory MPs fail to turn up for House of Commons vote to guarantee EU nationals the right to remain in UK - BelfastTelegraph.co.uk | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
The Government has refused to support a motion passed in the House of Commons calling for EU nationals to be guaranteed the right remain in Britain following the vote for Brexit.
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SNP MP calls for transparency regarding nuclear convoys in Scotland

SNP MP calls for transparency regarding nuclear convoys in Scotland | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

SNP MP calls for transparency regarding nuclear convoys in Scotland. SNP's Douglas Chapman has called for local authorities to be notified of nuclear convoys in advance.


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Standards commissioner launches full inquiry into SNP MP's financial interests

Standards commissioner launches full inquiry into SNP MP's financial interests | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

THE SNP faces the embarrassing prospect of a third MP withdrawing from the party whip after Westminster’s sleaze watchdog launched a full parliamentary investigation into the Nationalist’s conduct.

Phil Boswell, who admitted he had benefited from a tax avoidance scheme despite campaigning against them in the Commons, is being probed over whether he breached parliamentary rules on MPs declaring company directorships.


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Peter A Bell's curator insight, January 5, 5:36 AM

Were you aware that, among others, Karl Turner MP (Labour, Kingston upon Hull East) and Justin Tomlinson MP (Conservative, North Swindon) are currently under investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards (according to their website)? No? That's hardly surprising as there is barely a word about either case in the British media. Tomlinson's case gets a mention in the local press and an obscure corner of the BBC News website. Mainly, one suspects, because it involves a high-profile name - Wonga. Turner is alleged to have breached rules on declaration of interests, much like Phil Boswell. But there are no front page splashes about his alleged offence.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards (PCS) receives hundreds of referrals every year. Most go unnoticed in the world outside the Westminster bubble. Which is unsurprising as the vast majority of these are dismissed. Of the 464 referrals in 2014-15 only 17 were accepted. How many of those do you know about?

Bungling smear-merchant and smirking liar, Alistair Carmichael MP, inevitably got a lot of media attention. But it is likely that the only other names which will be familiar from the list of referrals accepted by the PCS are Michelle Thomson and Natalie McGarry. What they and Phil Boswell have in common is that they were elected as SNP candidates.

Obviously, the PCS has to deal appropriately with any matter that is deemed worthy of investigation. But we are entitled to wonder why the media coverage of these cases is so skewed. Apologist for the British media will doubtless refer to the concept of "news values". But, just as "terrorists" or "insurgents" tend to be defined as "anybody we have killed", so that which has value as news tends to be whatever the media choose to report. And those choices are never dispassionate or impartial.

The media have a political agenda. With newspapers, this is generally quite explicit. Nobody is under any illusions that the Daily Record is anything other than the house organ of British Labour in Scotland. The Telegraph is not nicknamed "Torygraph" for no reason. The broadcast media are more tightly regulated and so have to be more circumspect. But the political agenda is there, nonetheless.

We are not talking here about any kind of formal conspiracy. The people who write the stuff you read in newspapers are mere employees like any other. To the extent that they have any talent at all it is the ability to frame a story in whatever way is required by their bosses. That's their job. It has always been part of their job. All that has changed is that it is now pretty much the whole of their job.

The stuff we are, perhaps naively, nostalgic for - comprehensive and accurate reporting, informed analysis, insightful commentary - all come at a cost which profit-sucking corporations are not prepared to bear. With all of that stripped away, the underlying political agenda becomes a much larger proportion of what is left. It's not that there is more political spin in newspapers these days, it is merely that the spin is less diluted by what we might call "proper journalism".

All that is required for the appearance of a conspiracy is that there should be enough people, with enough influence, and a sufficient commonality of interest. Their doesn't have to be meetings at which plots are hatched or instructions handed down from some "evil mastermind". There need only be an environment in which that commonality of interest becomes the effective directing force. Invariably as a consequence of weak and incompetent management. In broadcasting, a vacuum tends to be filled by the vacuous.

The common interest effectively driving by far the greater part of the mainstream print and broadcast media in the UK is preservation of the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state. The British media is the voice of the British establishment. The British establishment is threatened by the wave of democratic dissent that has risen in Scotland. The SNP represents that dissent within the British political system. Therefore, the SNP is a threat. The British establishment is reacting to that perceived threat. Nobody really needs to initiate or direct this reaction. It is as instinctive as you or I swatting at an insect which flies in our face.

All of which explains why SNP MPs being referred to the PCS has a high news value relative to the likes of  Karl Turner or Justin Tomlinson. The cases involving Michelle Thomson, Natalie McGarry and now Phil Boswell are not the focus of media attention because they are more serious. They are latched onto by the media solely because they concern the SNP - the enemy.

It is, unfortunately, necessary to emphasise here that there is no suggestion that SNP MPs are being unfairly treated by the parliamentary authorities. Kathryn Hudson is simply doing her job. To the best of my knowledge she and her staff are competent and beyond reproach. Other than that, however, there can be no doubt that SNP MPs are being "targeted" in all manner of ways.

Whatever else one may think of the way our democratically elected representatives are being treated, only the most blinkered of hard-line unionists can be blind to the double standards and the hypocrisy. The British establishment is at pains to persuade us that we are all part of "One Nation Britain". Any suggestion of a distinctive political culture in Scotland is pompously derided or vehemently denounced. But the "all-in-it-together" rhetoric is contradicted by the reality.

From the constant denigration of Scotland's institutions, to the efforts to exclude our MPs from the democratic process. From the often highly personalised attacks on Scotland's political leaders, to the far from subtle pro-Union propaganda that pervades our lives.

From the way devolution is being used as a political weapon against the Scottish Government, to the way our politics is covered by the media. In every way, and to an increasing degree, Scotland is already being treated by the British state as an unfriendly foreign power.

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Why vote SNP at the UK Election?

Why vote SNP at the UK Election? | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
Nicola Sturgeon says this election – the UK Election on May 7th – isn’t about independence, and she is right.  Whatever the outcome, Scotland will not emerge as an independent nation.  So why are more and more Scots saying they will vote SNP, the...
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Barroso backtracks on Kosovo comments as pressure builds on EC President

Barroso backtracks on Kosovo comments as pressure builds on EC President | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

José Manuel Barroso has signalled a u-turn on claims he made in a BBC interview in which he compared a newly independent Scotland to Kosovo.

 


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Don’t Let Big Business Hold Back the EU Referendum

Don’t Let Big Business Hold Back the EU Referendum | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
Last week, Vince Cable stood before a gathering of economists and said: “The prospect of a referendum and possible exit from the EU is deeply unsettling for businesses trading in the European single market, from the car industry to financial...
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Scottish independence: unregistered voter call

Scottish independence: unregistered voter call | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
CAMPAIGNERS for Scottish independence have appealed to the country’s ‘missing million’ unregistered voters to ensure they are registered to vote in the referendum.

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Dennis Healey admits oil tax cover up

Dennis Healey admits oil tax cover up | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

FORMER Chancellor Denis Healey has admitted the Government underplayed the value of Scottish oil in the 1970s.

 

The Labour peer said figures were massaged to counter the threat of nationalism in the runup to the 1979 devolution referendum.

 

And he claims Westminster parties are now “worried stiff” about losing oil revenue if Scots vote to break from the UK.

 

THE former Labour Chancellor, Denis Healey, has admitted his Government played down the value of Scotland’s oil reserves in the 1970s because of the threat of nationalism.

 

Now Lord Healey of Riddlesden, the Labour peer said tax receipts from oil is the biggest factor behind Westminster opposition to both next year’s and the 1979 independence referendum.

 

The 95-year-old also claimed the Westminster parties are “worried stiff” about Scots voting Yes in next year’s poll because of the valuable income from the North Sea.

 

Meanwhile he joined former Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson in backing a bid for the UK to quit the European Union.

Lord Healey said the UK would “sufferenormously” withoutthebillions of pounds of tax from North Sea oil.

 

He said: “I think they [Westminster politicians] are concerned about Scotland taking the oil, I think they are worried stiff about it.

“I think we would suffer enormously if the income from Scottish oil stopped but if the Scots want it [independence], they should have it and we would just need to adjust. But I would think Scotland could survive perfectly well, economically, if it was independent. “Yes, I would think so . . . with the oil.” In 1974 a leading Government economist, Professor Gavin McCrone, wrote a report which stated that Scotland would have had “embarrassingly” large tax surpluses as a result of the North Sea oil boom.

Lord Healey’s Labour Government decided to keep that document under wraps until it was eventually released in 2005.

 

Reflecting on this time, Lord Healey said: “I think we did underplay the value of the oil to the country because of the threat of nationalism but that was mainly down to Thatcher.

 

“We didn’t actually see the rewards from oil in my period in office because we were investing in the infrastructure rather than getting the returns and, really, Thatcher wouldn’t have been able to carry out any of her policies without that additional five per cent on GDP from oil. Incredible good luck she had from that.”

 

Asked if he had considered establishing a sovereign wealth fund with the oil revenues to invest in the country’sfuturewhenhewasinoffice, he said: “It’s true that we should have invested the money in things we needed in Britain and I had thought about an oil fund, but it wasn’t my responsibility by then.”

 

Lord Healey also said he would now vote to leave the European Union.

He explained: “I can see a lot in favour of coming out of Europe and the thing is that we did keep out of most of the European institutions but we are still interdependent because of the relationship and if we decided not to be part of the EU I think, that in many ways, we would gain from it.


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The ground war

The ground war | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it
I make videos. The written word is not my weapon of choice. But "Better Together" have left me no alternative. Let me explain. I'm a recently-retired video producer. Another recently-retired video ...
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Scottish Independence via YES. Scotland should be an Independent Country
Energy...

Scottish Independence via YES. Scotland should be an Independent Country
Energy bills will be cut by 5% a year by the Scottish govt. after a Yes vote !
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BBC Platform for anti-independence campaign chief questioned

BBC Platform for anti-independence campaign chief questioned | Scotland Matters | Scoop.it

The BBC has come under fire for apparently breaking with convention by allowing a senior figure from the anti-independence campaign Better Together to attack the SNP in air in the middle of the party's Perth conference.

 


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