‘The BTP merger isn’t what it said on the tin and, if anything, now looks like a threat to both the future of Scottish policing and railway policing on both sides of the border.’
‘It is not true to say nationalisation or state ownership is forbidden by the EU. There are plenty of models of ownership in Europe, often involving workers sitting on boards or devolved regional governments making laws to support local economic development.’
The author hears Sir John Sawers, ex-MI6 chief, tell a Harvard audience how Scottish independence won’t happen even though the UK will be diminished by Brexit – and that includes its voice in Washington.
“It (review of timetable for BTP merger) needs to be independent, transparent and at arm’s length from government. Oversight by a board that is co-chaired by senior civil servants and reports to Scottish Ministers doesn’t pass this test and would allow the Scottish Government to mark its own homework.
‘I hope the parties do split. This is a time when the country needs some people prepared to step out of the shadows and offer leadership, and a vision that moderates from both sides could share. It could be the best thing for Britain and Europe…’
‘But whatever measure or comparison used, it is clear that the challenge to boost Scotland’s long-term rate of productivity shows no sign of disappearing. Back in 2007, the Scottish Government set a target to “rank in the top quartile for productivity amongst our key trading partners in the OECD by 2017”. It is clear that this target will be missed’.
The fact that Gormley had direct oversight of undercover policing at the Met before he became Scotland’s chief constable just adds another curious twist to the ongoing Police Scotland saga. Now his resignation puts to rest one long-running element of what many consider a damning indictment of Scotland’s centralised police force. But lack of institutional reform and the blurring of accountability means further problems will surely not be far away.
‘Whilst there is clearly a negotiating advantage in the government holding back some monies as part of their tactics to get the Budget Bill through, one can see MSPs from now on assuming that £100 million is a useful ballpark for the amount the government may have ready to hand to push through a deal’.
The power of words was the theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day. Gordon Munro reports on how Jewish poets/authors and others wrote about and recorded the (hidden) atrocities occurring in 1942 onwards and asks today’s governments to match fine words with the right deeds to prevent any repetition.
Advice For Our Times, a pop up event at Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery on Thursday 8 February, highlights gaps in advice, support and social services for people suffering adversity of many different kinds.