CARERS CONTINUE TO BE PRIORITY FOR SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT The SNP is today welcoming the publication of the new Carers Bill – making clear that carers will always be a top priority for the SNP in government. The Bill launched by Jamie Hepburn today will entitle all adult carers to their own support plan and all young carers to a young carer statement, setting out the help and support each carer is entitled to. The Bill will also lead to the establishment of local carer advice and information centres and mandate all councils to publish local carer strategies. The Scottish Government has always made carers aRead More →

SNP BACK CAMPAIGN TO INCREASE POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AMONGST DISABLED PEOPLE The SNP has today signed up to the ‘One in Five’ campaign to encourage political participation amongst people with disabilities in Scotland – and has welcomed moves to make Scottish politics more reflective of Scottish society at large. The campaign calls on political parties and organisations to sign up to a charter which pledges to ensure that meetings are held in accessible venues, material is available in a variety of formats and to increase awareness and understanding of issues affecting people with disabilities.Read More →

The SNP is today accusing the UK Government of abandoning the Smith Commission – after it was revealed that the UK Crown Estate will be able to build up a new portfolio in Scotland after the devolution of the existing portfolio to Scotland.   During questioning at a session of the Scottish Parliament’s Devolution Committee today, it emerged that following an agreement with the UK Government, the UK Crown Estate would still be able to make new investments and build up a new portfolio of land in Scotland – the surplus revenue of which would flow to the Treasury rather than to the Scottish Government.Read More →

The publication of a new strategy for supporting veterans in Scotland has been welcomed today as a positive step forwards. The post of Scottish Veterans Commissioner was established in 2014 to deliver improved support for veterans in Scotland and the publication of today’s strategy sets out the work that the Commissioner will undertake. The answer to the Parliamentary Question setting out the strategy also makes clear that housing and employability issues will be prioritised by the Commissioner in 2015. Commenting, SNP MSP Gil Paterson said: “The publication of this strategy is a positive step towards improving the support that is offered to veterans in Scotland.Read More →

The journalist Kevin McKenna wrote recently about his take on Jim Murphy’s pitch to regain the votes of “Glasgow Man”. I’ve been thinking about that a wee bit this past week as I’ve been chapping doors in various neighbourhoods in Glasgow. I always enjoy having conversations with the voters I meet, finding out what’s led them to their political views. Often, it’s through their own experiences as much as what’s featured in the media. I’ve spoken to both men and women in the past week who have shifted in their views, some over a short period of time, some over the past ten years. The vastRead More →

Thursday 29 January 2015   SNP MOVE TO SCRAP POLL TAX CLEARS MAJOR HURDLE   The SNP’s move to abolish outstanding Poll Tax debts cleared a major hurdle today as the Scottish Parliament voted in favour of the move at stage one.   Following a surge in voter registration during the referendum, several councils began to indicate that they would use the new data to pursue ancient unpaid poll tax debts. The Scottish Government has acted to prevent this move which would act as a barrier to democratic participation by introducing the Community Charge Debt (Scotland) Bill.   Commenting, SNP MSP Mark McDonald said:  Read More →

The pre election silly season is upon us. The main parties are too scared to offer policies that you might want them to actually keep if they get elected, so let’s aim for the lowest common denominator………………DRINK. Are they really being serious? Our government is being bombarded by campaign groups to somehow make the people look after themselves. Over indulgence in all food groups, “healthy drinks”, snacks and alcohol are all having a detrimental effect on the public purse via increased use of A&E facilities, social care in the communities, mobility allowances and other payments made to people who struggle with normal day to dayRead More →

How amusing. The party that was joined at the hips with the Tories all through the Referendum and told Scots to say ‘No Thanks’ is now to be the party that wants you to say YES. Yes for Scotland? Bit late for that. Scottish Labour’s new leader, Jim Murphy and his cadre of campaign chums have realised, rather too late, that those traditional Labour voters (190,381 to be precise, well kind of), who voted Yes on 18 September 2014 are not returning to the fold as expected on 7 May 2015. How very dare they! So Jim’s, or is it John’s, or maybe Blair’s responseRead More →

Readers will be aware that at the end of 2014 I handed the Flag in the Wind over to Margaret Hamilton, so this is my first contribution as a Compiler. Very sorry to see Andy Murray losing the final of the Australian Open, and am still aghast at the publicity given to his fiancee swearing, as it is not uncommon nowadays to see ladies swearing in public. A few years back I was in the stand at Easter Road – a freebie, and I got it that week as Hibs were playing Dundee. There was a middle aged lady in the row in front, wellRead More →

Unfortunately, a watered down skinking ware is what has been delivered by the Smith Commission following the publication of the Government command paper and draft Bill. Far from the Home Rule promised by the now infamous ‘vow’, and while welcoming the further progress in the devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament, these draft clauses highlight the limitations not the ambitions for Scotland’s future. Not least of the disappointments are the ‘veto’ clauses which would appear to enshrine Scotland’s begging luggie in the process of defining our own welfare system, fuel poverty, energy and transport policies. As one of the two SNP members who participatedRead More →