10 Nov News in Scotland Friday
New Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael will relaunch the post of Scottish Secretary as one which represents Scotland in the cabinet
Scottish News: News in Scotland – Friday
Carmichael – I’m Scotland’s man in the cabinet
Westminster politicians should not use visits to Scotland as a “lecture tour” ahead of next September’s independence referendum, according to the new Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael. In his first Scottish public engagement the new Scottish Secretary warned his fellow UK cabinet colleagues against lecturing Scots on independence. Many Scottish Secretaries have been pilloried as being the UK cabinet’s man in Scotland however, during the referendum campaign Mr Carmichael is expected to demonstrate the opposite is the case. Previously Mr Carmichael argued that there was no justification for Scottish Secretary post however he is now expected to play a key role in that job advocating a ‘no’ vote in the referendum.
Union vrs Independence: Red Cross mobilises to feed Britain’s starving
The Red Cross, normally mobilised to work in disaster zones, is preparing to collect and distribute food to Britain’s poor for the first time since the Second World War, according to The Independent. Britain has been identified by the international charity as a nation in crisis as welfare cuts, currency devaluation and economic contraction combine to place a large number of citizens in severe distress and fearing for their basic survival. Scots are among the needy who are turning to food aid in order to feed their families as life inside the Union becomes increasingly poverty-stricken for hundreds of thousands of people. The issue of social and economic collapse threatens to become a key issue in next year’s independence campaign as Scots voters weigh up the pros and cons of remaining inside the Union or voting for independence. The Red Cross are planning to send volunteers to collect food from shoppers in supermarkets and distribute it to starving families across Britain. Earlier this year charities revealed that over half a million Britons use food banks – they expected that number to continue growing rapidly over the summer.
Labour wins symbolic Govan ward in council by-election
The Labour party has won a council by-election for the Govan ward from the SNP. The by-election was called after former councillor Allison Hunter, who was a popular local figure and within the SNP, died of cancer in July. Labour’s John Kane took the seat with 2055 votes to the SNP’s Helen Walker who received just 1424 votes. John Flanagan who stood on a No Bedroom Tax – No Welfare Cuts came in third place with 446 votes which is insufficient to argue that Labour won because the vote was split. The SNP and Labour have vied for political control in the Govan area for decades and so Labour will be delighted that there are no Nationalist councillors there now. With less than a year to go until the independence referendum the SNP will be disappointed at the result which back up recent opinion polls which indicate that, under the current ‘yes’ campaign team and strategy, there is no momentum towards a ‘yes’ vote.
UK crisis: Guardian performed ‘public service’ exposing NSA surveillance
After publishing secret NSA files which were leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowdon the Guardian has been backed by Business Secretary Vince Cable. Mr Cable has said that the publication of the materials which exposed the extent of the US and UK governments’ surveillance of private citizens domestically and internationally as an “entirely correct and right” and “courageous” decision.
Syria: Western-backed forces slaughtering civilians, warns Human Rights Watch
‘Rebels’ supported by the US and its allies slaughtered 190 people and took 200 hostages in Latakia in August, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). Many sectarian-related executions were conducted by militant groups – many of whom are not Syrian and are linked to al-Qaeda – constituting crimes against humanity, warned HRW. Described in the western media as ‘rebels’ a large portion of the ‘anti-government’ forces are in fact foreign mercenaries. The al-Qaeda groups have also been accused of being behind the chemical attacks committed during the summer and which US allies blamed on the Syrian government. Meanwhile, the organisation currently tasked with destroying Syria’s stock of chemical weapons has won the 2013 Nobel peace prize. Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has received the award however many are concerned that the chemical weapons’ stock was one of the few effective defences the nation had to deter a military attack by Israel.