Super Ed

Super Ed

Within hours of Richard Leonard being declared the new leader of the Labour Party Scottish Branch, there were a few issues, regarding his leadership techniques:

 

Richard Leonard taking credit for sorting the issues with the BiFab workers....

Richard Leonard taking credit for sorting the issue with BiFab workers

GMB, BiFab's Union thanking Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government for sorting out BiFab's contract issues:

GMB, BiFab's Union thanking Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish Government for sorting out BiFab's contract issues

Then we had this - Richard Leonard saying that Keiza Dugdale will be suspended for appearing on "I'm a Celebrity..... Get Me Out Of Here":

Richard Leonard saying that Keiza Dugdale will be suspended for appearing on

Then we had this: Jeremy Corbyn says Keiza Dugdale should not be suspended for appearing in "I'm a Celebrity......Get Me Out Of Here"

 

Jeremy Corbyn says Keiza Dugdale should not be suspended for appearing in

Will Richard Leonard do a good job, as the leader of the Scottish Branch of the Labour Party? 

Is Richard Leanord even in charge of the Scottish Branch of the Labour Party? 

 

Briefing No. 122 Sept. 2005

Introduction

The First Minister has announced the programme of legislation for the remaining 19 months of the parliament in the run up to the 2007 elections. He presented it as a programme:
• for justice and respect
• to ensure no child is left behind or held back
• for health improvement
• and for growing economic prosperity for all of Scotland to share

This briefing sets out the main bills as they impact on UNISON members.

SCOTTISH HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION BILL

Establish an independent and statutory Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC). The SHRC will have legal powers to obtain information. However, the SHRC will not be able to investigate individual complaints, provide support to individuals for taking cases through the courts, or bring cases in its own name. The SHRC will not deal with reserved issues. Human rights in relation to reserved matters will be dealt with by the proposed Great Britain Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), which is also to take over the role of the existing statutory commissions in relation to equality issues.

ADOPTION BILL

This bill will replace existing court orders with a single Permanence Order, Allow joint adoption by unmarried couples (including same-sex couples) and fostering by same-sex couples. There will be better adoption support services for adoption and foster carers together with clear rights to information about adoption for those involved.

CHILDREN'S HEARINGS AND INTEGRATED SERVICES BILL

The Bill will encourage all agencies to look at the child's needs and ensure that action is taken in an integrated and co-ordinated way. Integrated assessment, recording and planning will reduce paperwork and streamline activity to allow those working with children to deliver the service.

HEALTH PROMOTION, NUTRITION AND SCHOOLS BILL

The Bill will build on the progress made through Hungry for Success in improving the quality, attractiveness and nutritional value of schools meals. By putting the Hungry for Success nutritional standards on a statutory footing, it will effectively restrict the food on sale in schools to healthy options. It will also place a duty on local authorities to promote uptake of school meals, and also ensure that the school environment is health promoting. However, free school meals will remain targeted on those most in need.

SCOTTISH SCHOOLS (PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT) BILL

The Bill places a new statutory duty on education authorities to promote parental involvement. This includes a new, flexible representative system for parents. There will be a duty on every headteacher to provide a report to parents on their school's performance and ambitions with parental rights to request information and raise their concerns directly with Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ELECTORAL ADMINISTRATION AND REGISTRATION SERVICES) BILL

Modernising elections and improving the security of absent voting following the recommendations of an Electoral Commission study. The reorganisation of registration district boundaries to match those of local authorities and allow registration of a birth or death of a person to be carried out anywhere in Scotland. Together with a range of proposals to simplify registration.

 

SUMMARY JUSTICE REFORM BILL

Setting minimum national standards for the recruitment, appraisal and training of lay justices. Unifying administration of the Scottish courts system, by bringing district courts (which are currently run by local authorities) under the management of SCS. Increasing the level of fiscal fines and sentencing powers of sheriffs sitting summarily to a maximum 12 months imprisonment and £10,000 fine. Widening the range of circumstances in which accused can be tried in their absence.

SENTENCING BILL

A new regime for the release and supervision of prisoners. Criminalise kerb-crawling and clamping down on violent and abusive pornography. Legislation to improve how hate crime is dealt with and restricting the sale of knives and swords.

POLICE, PUBLIC ORDER AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE BILL

Bring together common police services such as the Scottish Police College and Scottish Criminal Record Office, along with the new Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency into a Scottish Police Services Authority. Establish an independent Police Complaints Commissioner for Scotland to oversee non-criminal complaints against the police.

Introduce Football Banning Orders, mandatory drug testing and assessment for people arrested for drug or drugs-related offences and amend the law and sentences on knife crime. Reform the law on marches and parades, introduce a system where those accused of a crime could receive a reduced sentence or immunity in return for providing information or evidence and give police the power to require a person to divulge their date and place of birth, to help identify them on the criminal record system.

LEGAL ASSISTANCE AND LEGAL PROFESSION BILL

Changes to the handling of complaints against lawyers and the provision of publicly-funded legal advice and assistance

JUDICIAL APPOINTMENTS & REMOVAL BILL

Place the independent Judicial Appointments Board on a statutory basis and set out the arrangements for removal of a judge from office on grounds of inability, neglect of duty or misbehaviour.

PLANNING BILL

Establishing the National Planning Framework to secure the delivery of national policies and programmes and a new process for developments of national strategic importance, applications for key large-scale development proposals, and for the majority of planning applications that are of local importance. Moving to a single tier of local development plans everywhere apart from the four largest city regions and a range of administrative reforms. No third party right of appeal.

VULNERABLE ADULTS BILL

The Bill will create a list of those who are unsuitable to work with vulnerable adults - and help ensure that the frail, elderly and vulnerable population gets the same level of protection as children.

TOURISM BILL

Provide a secure legal footing for the new tourism network established on 1 April 2005 by a merger between 14 Area Tourist Boards and the Scottish Tourism Board.

OTHER BILLS

Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Bill

Aquaculture and Fisheries Bill

Crofting Reform Bill

Bankruptcy and Diligence Etc (Scotland) Bill

Transport and Works (Scotland) Bill

The EU have been implementing an Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive and member states will have to implement these measures from January 1st 2019.

They are as follows: (source: Europa.eu)

Controlled foreign company (CFC) rule:
Controlled foreign company rule

Switchover rule: 
Switchover Rule

Exit taxation:
Exit taxation

Interest limitation:
Interest limitation 

General anti-abuse rule: 
General anti-abuse rule

WIth the release today of some people and their Tax Avoidance measures from the Paradise Papers: (source: The Guardian)

  • The Queen and millions of pounds from her private estate invested in a Cayman Islands fund
  • Tory Donor Lord Ashcroft and his $450million offshore trust

 Going back to 2016 and the release of the Panama Papers: (source: The Guardian)

  • David Cameron's Father avoided ever having to pay tax in the UK by hiring a small group of Bahamas residents to sign his paperwork

Then we have the Rothmere family, owner of the Daily Mail, on a list with (source: The Guardian):

  • Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, Easyjet
  • Sir James Dyson, vacuum cleaners
  • Laura Ashley, fashion

I've archived this page from the Daily Mail, which funnily enough has an article about companies in the UK that avoid paying tax: (source)

  • Boots
  • Apple
  • McDonald's
  • Vision Express
  • Starbucks
  • Thomas Cook

Then we have a list of Conservative donors: (source: East Devon Watch)

  • JCB Service – £1.5m. It’s owned by Anthony Bamford, who was not only named in the Panama Papers, but who operates JCB out of tax haven Bermuda.
  • John C Armitage – £1.1m. Armitage is the founder of Egerton Capital, a hedge fund that enables [xml] tax avoidance for investors.
  • John Griffin – £1.03m. Griffin and his private hire firm Addison Lee were caught up in a lobbying scandal in 2012.
  • Mark J. C. Bamford – £750,000. The younger brother of Anthony Bamford, owner of JBC Service, he was caught up in a row over a JCB subsidiary, JCB research, which, while only worth £27,000, was the biggest Tory donor in the run-up to the 2010 general election.
  • Andrew E Law – £525,000. Law is a hedge fund owner [paywall] whose firm Caxton Associates is registered in the US tax avoidance state of Delaware.
  • David J Rowland – £312,500. The Canary conducted a major investigation into Rowland in 2016, and described his offshore tax affairs as “mind blowing”.
  • Lord Michael Ashcroft – £500,000. Ashcroft has been involved in several tax avoidance scandals. He also co-authored the book at the centre of the David Cameron ‘Pig gate’ scandal.

Other Tory donors during the election period included:

  • Sir Henry and Lady Keswick – £150,000. Keswick’s company Jardine Matheson was linked to tax avoidance via Luxembourg and has numerous subsidiaries in tax haven Bermuda.
  • Charles ‘Julian’ Cazalet – £10,000. Cazalet is a non-executive director of NHS private provider Deltex Medical Group.
  • Malcolm Healey – £100,000. Healey was fined by HMRC in 2015 for making £8.6m [pdf] by using a tax avoidance scheme.
  • Bruce Hardy McLain – £100,000. McLain’s private investment firm CVC Capital Partners is currently embroiled in a £5m bribery and tax avoidance scandal involving Formula One.
  • Ayman and Sawsan Asfari – £100,000. Ayman is currently under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. He also runs oil company Petrofac, which avoids tax via Jersey.
  • Rainy City Investments – £100,000. Owned by Peter and Fred Done, who were fined £800,000 by the Serious Fraud Office over money laundering allegations.
  • Investors in Private Capital Ltd – £150,000. Co-owned by James ‘Jamie’ Reuben, family friend of George Osborne, it paid no UK corporation tax in 2014, despite a turnover of £35m.

As you can see, there are a lot of influential people, with a lot to lose if we were to remain in the EU, or leave with a hard or soft Brexit and a transtion period.

Nevermind the fact that thousands of jobs will be lost, wages will fall by £2000 per head, per year, there will be no freedom of movement, no single market, and then prospect of the UK Governement's Power Grab, regarding the Great Repeal Bill.

Brexit is for the 1% and the 1% only.

 

Friday, 03 November 2017 00:11

Spain jails eight Catalan ministers

Eight Catalan ministers have been jailed by a Spanish judge over their role in Catalonia's declaration of independence.

The members of the Catalan government are accused of rebellion, sedition, and misuse of public funds. 

The Spanish Government claim to be acting within the rule of law.

Does the rule of law allow the Spanish Police and the Civil Guard to attack innocent citizens?

Does the rule of law allow the Spanish Government to obtain money illegally - Mariano Rajoy will soon become the first sitting prime minister to appear as a witness in a Spanish court , when he gives evidence in a corruption case involving the alleged illegal financing of his Popular Party (PP).

Ref - https://www.politico.eu/article/spain-corruption-pp-rajoy-never-ending-problem-graft-ignacio-gonzalez/

Wings Over Scotland owner, Stuart Campbell was informed a few days ago, that no further action would be taken, regarding alleged online harassment.

Stuart Campbell, was arrested in August after a woman in London claimed that she was the victim of a two-year campaign of intimidation. 

To be fair, we didn't think the complaint would be taken any further.

Whether you agree with his approach and his politics, or not, he's always been transparent online, and the complaint appeared to be a response from someone who just wasn't getting their own way.

The MSM really enjoyed the occasion also. I believe they did not provide the same coverage when the news was released this week - I wonder why......

Sunday, 29 October 2017 12:43

The Bernera Riot 1874

I found this article on Facebook by Robert McAngus

The Bernera Riot occurred in 1874, on the island of Great Bernera, in Scotland in response to the Highland Clearances.

The use of the term 'Bernera Riot' correctly relates to the court case which exposed the maltreatment of the peasant classes in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and exposed the corruption that was inherent in the landowning class. The 'riot' was not fought in the streets or in the fields but in the Scots Law Courts. It is notable as the first successful legal challenge to nineteenth century Landlordism in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and was the catalyst for future resistance in what became known as the Crofters War. Modern land reform in Scotland has its roots in the outcome of this event.

Location
Great Bernera (Beàrnaraigh Mòr) is an island in Loch Roag, off the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. It is fairly close to Lewis, but it was not until 1953 that a bridge was built, after the islanders threatened to dynamite the hillside to create a causeway. Bernera was a crofting community at the time of the riot but today that form of land-holding is rapidly diminishing.

Beginnings
The whole of north west Scotland suffered from the Highland Clearance over a period of a hundred years or more. Although much lamented in Gaelic song, and literature, in very few places did they meet a stiff resistance - Bernera was one of the first places to challenge the authorities, and Skye was another, where the Battle of the Braes took place.

Sir James Matheson having bought the island of Lewis, also took charge of adjoining Bernera, and appointed a solicitor, Donald Munro to be his factor. Munro was perceived as being heavy-handed, and his evictions were naturally unpopular. As there was no security of tenure for the peasants and the vast majority were illiterate Munro had authority to issue very harsh and sweeping edicts.

The Bernera islanders had their summer grazings on mainland Lewis taken away from them in 1850 in favour of a new sporting estate known as the Uig deer forest. Furthermore, they were forced to construct dykes at their own expense as a new boundary between their stock and the sporting estate. In time this area was considered not large enough for the sporting estate and in 1872 Munro issued a notice that even this new smaller grazings area would be taken from the Bernera people and their ancient grazings rights would disappear altogether. The islanders naturally had enough and made a stance against this tyranny.

The Riot
When the Bernera people refused to bow to Munro's tyranny his response was to send the Sheriff Officer and the Ground Officer over to Bernera with eviction orders for 58 families. These eviction notices were initially greeted with quiet disbelief in Breacleit.

When the bailiffs arrived at Tobson however, they were pelted with a shower of clods of earth. The sheriff officer also had his coat torn and he issued a threat that if he had a gun many Bernera mothers would be mourning the loss of their sons.

The Response
After three crofters were singled out and arrested hundreds of Bernera men marched on Lews Castle, Stornoway with pipers at their head. They demanded an audience with Sir James Matheson himself. Matheson who was somewhat aged at the time disowned Donald Munro, who came to be dismissed in 1875.

The prisoners themselves were acquitted following the brilliant performance of the Inverness lawyer Charles Innes. Mr Innes's name is still revered in Bernera today. His most famous quotation from the trial was "Oppressed as they are I, as a stranger, cannot but admire them. Had Mr Munro, instead of being Chamberlain of The Lews, been an Agent in either Connaught or Munster, he would long ago have licked the dust he has for years made the poor men of this island swallow".

The Bernera court case of 1874 is the first documented victory for Highland crofters and correctly holds its place as the opening shot of the crofters fight-back which led to the Napier Commission and land reform.

Influence
The riot was mentioned in a number of Scottish radical journals in the following years.

The "Battle of the Braes" (Scottish Gaelic: Blàr a' Chumhaing) took place on Skye less than a decade later, in 1882, when crofters began a rent strike and confronted the Portree Sheriff's Officer sent to enforce eviction notices against them, forcing him to burn the documentation. This resulted in the deployment of around 50 police officers from Glasgow to the area, who were met by an angry mob of men, women and children armed with improvised weapons.

The Crofters' War took place about ten years later, and led to the founding of the Napier Commission, which led to compromises being made on behalf of the crofters, and the reform of crofting in Scotland, beginning with the passing of the Crofters' Holdings (Scotland) Act 1886.

The Gaelic poet, Iain Mac a' Ghobhainn (John Smith) lived in Lewis near Bernera at the time of the Riot, and wrote his poem Spiorad a' Charthannais (Spirit of Charity) in condemnation of feudal tyranny.

UN Independence expert urges the Spanish Government to reverse decision on Catalan autonomy:

Screen Shot 2017 10 28 at 16.21.25

 

The Catalan parliament voted to declare independence yesterday, with 70 saying yes, 10 saying no and 2 ballots were blank.

#RepublicOfCatalonia

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