Scots justice in dock: Four-year north-south divide on police vetting condemned – The Herald

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SCOTLAND’s justice system is back in the dock as it emerged a system for vetting police and stopping officers avoiding investigation introduced four years ago in England and Wales has so far failed to emerge north of the border.

The UK government sanctioned the creation of lists of police officers who due to dismissals through misconduct or performance should be barred while an independent review into serious incidents and deaths in custody was being undertaken by former Lord Advocate for Scotland Dame Elish Angiolini.

Even if you support independence, you must accept The 60 per cent Rule – The Herald

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Nicola Sturgeon promising she won’t mention independence during a coronavirus briefing is like me promising I won’t mention independence during a column about independence. It’s not going to happen. And so it was no surprise at all when the First Minister diverted from last week’s Covid briefing to talk about the constitution just after promising she would not be diverted from last week’s Covid briefing to talk about the constitution. But let’s forgive her brazenness for once, shall we, because what she actually said about the constitution was interesting, and it matters.

The subject at hand, as you’re probably aware, was when and if another referendum on independence should be held and specifically what level of public support would justify it. According to the Scottish Secretary, Alister Jack, a referendum should only happen if 60% of Scots consistently supported it. Ms Sturgeon, on the other hand, said Mr Jack was making up the rules as he went along. “We have constitutional rules that are pretty well established in a democracy,” she said. “If a party wins an election on a particular proposition they should get to implement that proposition.”

Letters to the press, 30/08/21: SNP’s hypocrisy over referendum, SNP will bankrupt Scotland, Mutual damage.

Westminster must now confront the anti-democrats in the SNP/Green ‘alliance’ – CAPx

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Scotland’s new SNP-Green ‘alliance’ comes close to a coalition, which is a conventional way for a minority government to get its business through a parliament. However the SNP and the Greens have incompatible political goals on many fundamental issues, especially oil. The deal is not motivated by parliamentary considerations, but by the desire to force constitutional change on a country divided 50-50 on the issue. How might they be able to do this?

Essentially, by exploiting the peculiar voting system that Donald Dewar devised for the Scottish Parliament in 1998 in order, as he hoped, to keep Labour in power forever. But he was too clever by half. Now this system is being used to keep Nicola Sturgeon in power indefinitely by breaking up the United Kingdom. The system looks fair on the surface, but the devil is in the arithmetic.

About 220,000 people voted for the Greens in May’s Holyrood election, which represented 8% of the votes cast for ‘list’ seats, which are allotted on a proportional representation basis. In the constituencies, the Greens achieved a total vote of 35,000, in the whole country. That was 1.3% of the votes cast. Yet they are now to be in government so they can, as they hope, force the British government to bend to their and the SNP’s constitutional agenda.

Nicola Sturgeon has been complaining for years that Brexit was foisted on Scotland “against its will” because a majority of Scots voted for the UK to stay in the EU. But over a million votes were cast for “leave” in Scotland. Sturgeon says the Brexit result was an abuse of democracy as far as Scotland is concerned. Yet she is happy to use the derisory Green vote here to break up a nation of 65 million people.

Ambulance bosses blame Covid delays after leaving elderly woman to lie in Ayr town centre for four HOURS – Daily Record

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An elderly woman was left lying on a busy town centre street for more than four hours while she waited for an ambulance.

Horrified members of the public rushed to the lady’s aid on Wednesday after her fall in Ayr’s Newmarket Street.

But despite suffering a head wound, she was forced to wait the entire afternoon for a mercy crew.

Shocked eyewitnesses told how it was left to the public to treat the woman while she endured her marathon wait.

Another week, another fake SNP pledge on independence – The Herald

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YOU wonder if there’ll ever come a point when the SNP run out of idioms indicating support for independence without actually setting the controls for it. This week, Ian Blackford reached for another of these. The leader of the SNP’s Westminster group said the SNP had been handed “responsibility” to deliver a second independence referendum.

Mr Blackford’s address was replete with short, trite declarations of the stunningly obvious: “We had an election in May.” (Indeed we did). “There is a clear majority for an independence referendum in the Scottish Parliament.” (Really? Fancy that!) “We have the backing of the people who went to the polls in May of this year.” When this man speaks people tune in to the shipping forecast for light relief.

SNP-Green deal could be catastrophic for house prices – The Scotsman

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Maybe a Bruntsfield tenement flat, a Victorian semi in Trinity, a neat Borders or East Neuk bolthole, but with inefficient solid walls, draughty doors and windows. Some will have bright skylights above the stairwell through which your central heating can warm the world outside. And having followed the advice of successive TV chefs, it’s likely you’ll have a dual-fuel cooker with electric oven and gas hob.

As this column pointed out last week, the 2019 Scottish government house condition survey indicates Scotland has around 750,000 pre-1945 homes and, as the autumn draws near, their occupants will try not to dwell upon the winter fuel bills to come, while accepting that some warmth escaping through the walls is inevitable. It’s not necessarily a bad thing if it helps keep dampness at bay.

With housing responsible for a fifth of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions, upgrading the stock is at the heart of the new SNP-Green partnership deal unveiled last week, which outlines plans for mandatory requirements for all domestic upgrades and refurbishments to qualify for an energy performance certificate (EPC) C rating, the third-highest, from 2025.

Why green signals danger ahead – Daily Business Magazine

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The confidence and supply agreement between the SNP and the Green Party prompted a response from business that in some media has been described as a “cautious welcome”. That’s not how it looks from here, with statements from a number of organisations indicating that there are serious grounds for concern.

CBI Scotland’s Tracy Black stated that the SNP and Scottish Greens should “not seek to shut business out of the discussion on economic recovery”, an unequivocal warning that the new quasi-coalition could fall far short of promoting what is best for business and could make it more difficult to engage with ministers in growing the economy.

Liz Cameron at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce, declared: “Businesses have been clear that what they are looking for from the Scottish Government, whatever its composition, is a commitment to implement stronger pro-business policies”, an affirmation that current policies are not strong enough.

In a reminder of the precarious position many firms still find themselves in, Andrew McRae at the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland, said: “We would therefore ask for a focus on building on the fragile optimism in the Scottish small business community, avoiding heaping new pressures on these operators.”

 

Nicola Sturgeon’s Green jobs academy branded a ‘sham’ – The Herald

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A FLAGSHIP SNP scheme to “help people secure work in the low carbon economy” has been branded a sham after it appeared to be little more than a jobs listing website.

Scottish Labour said the Green Jobs Workforce Academy, which was launched this week, was a “gobsmacking” example of rhetoric falling short of reality.

Announcing the Academy in December, Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn said it would help ensure people “have the right skills to support a just transition to a net zero economy”.

e said it would support “those who are facing redundancy to upskill and reskill so they can capitalise on green job opportunities as they emerge”.

Launching it on Monday, Nicola Sturgeon said the Academy was “an invaluable step in preparing our current and future workforce to seize the opportunities” of a just transition.

SNP auditors make unprecedented fraud statement in party accounts – The Herald

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THE SNP’s auditors have included an unprecedented statement about fraud in the party’s new accounts as police investigate potential criminality around fundraising.

Finance experts Johnston Carmichael LLP inserted a lengthy section on the “extent to which the audit was considered capable of detecting irregularities, including fraud”.

The accountancy firm revealed it had been reading the minutes of the party’s ruling body and audit & finance committee to check for “events that may impact the financial statements”.

Three members of the finance committee resigned earlier this year in protest over a lack of transparency, as did the then party treasurer, MP Douglas Chapman.

The auditors also said they had “obtained an understanding of the legal and regulatory frameworks that the party operates in”, with a focus on “material amounts and disclosures”.