So, it looks like we are going to have another referendum - #scotref
I found this article on WingsOverScotland which is worth a read:
According to the seven judges that decided on the UK Government's appeal regarding allowing the MPs to vote regarding invoking article 50:
The Sewel Convention has no legal force. Holyrood’s legislative powers can be over-ridden as and when the UK Government chooses.
David Mundell said this in May 2016:
"The permanence of the Scottish Parliament is now written in law, as is the Sewel convention, which states that the UK Parliament will not normally legislate in devolved areas without the consent of the Scottish Parliament".
Is it safe to assume that either the only Conservative MP in Scotland was ignorant, or not telling the truth?
At least now we know that when any of the #toryelectionfraudsters say Holyrood is a powerhouse parliament, that is a complete lie.
Fans of Scottish football club Celtic have launched a petition urging Rod Stewart, a lifelong fan of the team, to cancel an upcoming concert in Israel.
Celtic supporters are demanding Stewart reconsider playing Tel Aviv on 14 June as part of a worldwide tour.
The club's fans are known for their support for the Palestinian cause – last year it faced a fine after fans waved Palestinian flags during a match against an Israeli team.
In response, fans set up a fundraising campaign called #matchthefineforpalestine, which aimed to ensure that the fine would "make a positive contribution".
That campaign raised more than £172,000 for two Palestinian charities within a few days, dwarfing the eventual £8,615 fine handed down by UEFA, European football’s governing body, for the fans’ behaviour.
The club was fined £16,000 in 2014 over a similar incident during a match against Iceland’s KR Reykjavik.
Stewart’s planned concert in Tel Aviv will the final leg of his worldwide tour. He previously played in Israel in 2010.
SNP MPs have tabled the first four of the fifty amendments they have vowed to make to the UK Government’s Article 50 bill.
The UK Government published its bill for parliament’s approval to trigger Article 50 to leave the EU yesterday.
But it has faced down calls by opposition MPs and some of its own backbenchers to publish a white paper outlining its position on leaving the EU in more detail.
The four amendments tabled by the SNP today include asking for a UK-EU membership reset clause, meaning that if the Prime Minister fails to seek agreement from the European Council to approve the terms of exit for the UK, it will result in UK membership continuing on existing terms.
It adds an amendment that the Prime Minister must seek agreement of all members of the Joint Ministerial Committee on European Negotiation to an agreed UK wide approach to, and objectives for, the UK’s negotiations for withdrawal from the EU.
Another SNP amendment calls for EU nationals resident in the UK to be given a guarantee that they are entitled to stay here on the same terms as currently.
And the fourth amendment requires the Prime Minister to bring a white paper on the UK exiting the EU before both houses of parliament.
Alex Salmond, the SNP’s International Affairs spokesperson at Westminster, said: “The UK government may choose to treat devolved administrations with utter contempt but let it be clear that these amendments tabled by the SNP should show the Prime Minister that here, in Westminster, the SNP will lead the charge in bringing the hard Brexit brigade back to the House to answer over their lack of plans.
“These tabled amendments are to address some of the ongoing and abiding concerns of EU citizens, devolved administrations and respect for Parliament in its most fundamental and basic duty.
“The pressure is piling on Theresa May when she returns from her jaunt to cosy up to Donald Trump. She should prepare for the SNP putting forward an effective opposition."
Perhaps Trump & May should sort out their foreign policy first, before banning refugees and migrants.
It seems that Facebook are stopping this original article from Craig Murry getting shared:
I have watched incredulous as the CIA’s blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton’s corruption. Yes this rubbish has been the lead today in the Washington Post in the US and the Guardian here, and was the lead item on the BBC main news. I suspect it is leading the American broadcasts also.
A little simple logic demolishes the CIA’s claims. The CIA claim they “know the individuals” involved. Yet under Obama the USA has been absolutely ruthless in its persecution of whistleblowers, and its pursuit of foreign hackers through extradition. We are supposed to believe that in the most vital instance imaginable, an attempt by a foreign power to destabilise a US election, even though the CIA knows who the individuals are, nobody is going to be arrested or extradited, or (if in Russia) made subject to yet more banking and other restrictions against Russian individuals? Plainly it stinks. The anonymous source claims of “We know who it was, it was the Russians” are beneath contempt.
As Julian Assange has made crystal clear, the leaks did not come from the Russians. As I have explained countless times, they are not hacks, they are insider leaks – there is a major difference between the two. And it should be said again and again, that if Hillary Clinton had not connived with the DNC to fix the primary schedule to disadvantage Bernie, if she had not received advance notice of live debate questions to use against Bernie, if she had not accepted massive donations to the Clinton foundation and family members in return for foreign policy influence, if she had not failed to distance herself from some very weird and troubling people, then none of this would have happened.
The continued ability of the mainstream media to claim the leaks lost Clinton the election because of “Russia”, while still never acknowledging the truths the leaks reveal, is Kafkaesque.
I had a call from a Guardian journalist this afternoon. The astonishing result was that for three hours, an article was accessible through the Guardian front page which actually included the truth among the CIA hype:
The Kremlin has rejected the hacking accusations, while the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has previously said the DNC leaks were not linked to Russia. A second senior official cited by the Washington Post conceded that intelligence agencies did not have specific proof that the Kremlin was “directing” the hackers, who were said to be one step removed from the Russian government.
Craig Murray, the former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan, who is a close associate of Assange, called the CIA claims “bullshit”, adding: “They are absolutely making it up.”
“I know who leaked them,” Murray said. “I’ve met the person who leaked them, and they are certainly not Russian and it’s an insider. It’s a leak, not a hack; the two are different things.
“If what the CIA are saying is true, and the CIA’s statement refers to people who are known to be linked to the Russian state, they would have arrested someone if it was someone inside the United States.
“America has not been shy about arresting whistleblowers and it’s not been shy about extraditing hackers. They plainly have no knowledge whatsoever.”
But only three hours. While the article was not taken down, the home page links to it vanished and it was replaced by a ludicrous one repeating the mad CIA allegations against Russia and now claiming – incredibly – that the CIA believe the FBI is deliberately blocking the information on Russian collusion. Presumably this totally nutty theory, that Putin is somehow now controlling the FBI, is meant to answer my obvious objection that, if the CIA know who it is, why haven’t they arrested somebody. That bit of course would be the job of the FBI, who those desperate to annul the election now wish us to believe are the KGB.
It is terrible that the prime conduit for this paranoid nonsense is a once great newspaper, the Washington Post, which far from investigating executive power, now is a sounding board for totally evidence free anonymous source briefing of utter bullshit from the executive.
In the UK, one single article sums up the total abnegation of all journalistic standards. The truly execrable Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian writes “Few credible sources doubt that Russia was behind the hacking of internal Democratic party emails, whose release by Julian Assange was timed to cause maximum pain to Hillary Clinton and pleasure for Trump.” Does he produce any evidence at all for this assertion? No, none whatsoever. What does a journalist mean by a “credible source”? Well, any journalist worth their salt in considering the credibility of a source will first consider access. Do they credibly have access to the information they claim to have?
Now both Julian Assange and I have stated definitively the leak does not come from Russia. Do we credibly have access? Yes, very obviously. Very, very few people can be said to definitely have access to the source of the leak. The people saying it is not Russia are those who do have access. After access, you consider truthfulness. Do Julian Assange and I have a reputation for truthfulness? Well in 10 years not one of the tens of thousands of documents WikiLeaks has released has had its authenticity successfully challenged. As for me, I have a reputation for inconvenient truth telling.
Contrast this to the “credible sources” Freedland relies on. What access do they have to the whistleblower? Zero. They have not the faintest idea who the whistleblower is. Otherwise they would have arrested them. What reputation do they have for truthfulness? It’s the Clinton gang and the US government, for goodness sake.
In fact, the sources any serious journalist would view as “credible” give the opposite answer to the one Freedland wants. But in what passes for Freedland’s mind, “credible” is 100% synonymous with “establishment”. When he says “credible sources” he means “establishment sources”. That is the truth of the “fake news” meme. You are not to read anything unless it is officially approved by the elite and their disgusting, crawling whores of stenographers like Freedland.
The worst thing about all this is that it is aimed at promoting further conflict with Russia. This puts everyone in danger for the sake of more profits for the arms and security industries – including of course bigger budgets for the CIA. As thankfully the four year agony of Aleppo comes swiftly to a close today, the Saudi and US armed and trained ISIS forces counter by moving to retake Palmyra. This game kills people, on a massive scale, and goes on and on.
Rumour has it that that the really explosive emails will be out tomorrow.........
Have a read of the draft referendum bill. The closing date is the 11th of January 2017, to add your thoughts:
According to the Scotsman, "Darling claims Sturgeon is bluffing with indyref2 bid", if Alistair Darling thinks Sturgeon is bluffing, then why would he bother to attend at least two Scotland In Union events this year?
With the lies and manipulation from the Better Together Campaign, and now also from Scotland In Union. A certain person who was involved in both groups, is not what he seems.
This article was found on: http://ericjoyce.co.uk/2016/10/the-anti-independence-professor-who-isnt-quite-what-he-seems/
University academics have a special place in the public dialogue around Scottish independence. They sometimes venture personal opinions and reach out to the wider population, but this is invariably placed by readers and listeners into the context of their assumed scholarship.
As we’ve written before, it’s critical that academics make it clear when they’re veering off their area of expertise and this does not always happen. However, there’s little doubt that authentic academics are important because of the methodology, method and knowledge which informs their public utterances.
Universities today don’t simply serve as ivory towers, though. They work with local people, and often national figures, of experience and interest. They ask such people in to talk to students about their work and ideas. This enriches everyone. Such visitors are sometimes accorded the title ‘visiting professor’. When they are at the university they called ‘professor’ as a courtesy.
Of course, it is essential to the integrity of universities, indeed that of academic study itself, that there is a clear distinction between a recognised scholar and a visiting professor. They each serve very different purposes. Other institutions have similar practices, too. The British Army, for example, invites lucky civilian recipients to become ‘honorary colonels’ and to attend dinners and events, but does not expect them to lay claim to being senior military officers. Similarly, by tradition, the army appoints ponies and goats as non-commissioned officers but it would be a mistake to ask one to lead a section battle attack.
And so it is of great public interest that it seems that a Scottish ‘professor’ often cited by the media as“an eminent economist”, ‘law professor’, ‘professor of government’, ‘politics professor’ and ‘leading constitutional expert’ (odd to be all of these simultaneously, no?) seems never in fact to have held a salaried academic appointment at any level. He is not a trained economist. Nor a practising lawyer. Nor a renowned constitutional scholar. He is not a professor at Oxford University as he appears to imply and as genuine Scottish academics believe. He does not appear to publish peer-reviewed academic papers, nor supervise doctoral students. In fact, he appears to be precisely the kind of visiting professor universities ask to present to staff and students because of their non-academic experience, while urging them not to masquerade as a professional, or tenured, university professor.
Jim Gallagher is a former, fairly senior civil, servant who describes himself as “a professor based at Oxford and Glasgow Universities”. He was secretary, but not a member, of The Calman Commission. He has written a small number of accessible pamphlets and has co-written a book with a tenured academic. He writes newspaper articles. He dabbles as a study group member alongside professional academics and helps them understand more about how the civil service thinks. This all makes him an interesting person to listen to and for academics to take advice from. However, it manifestly does not make him an ’eminent economist’, nor a Glasgow or Oxford professor of the highest scholarly standing.
His public placing of Oxford ahead of Glasgow, where he holds honorific status as a visiting professor (when he is actually visiting Glasgow University only) is striking in view of his legally stated (scroll down) residence in Scotland. Interesting, too, is his careful use of the word “based”. His carefully written Wikipedia page, reflecting other identically-worded sources, describes him as “a fellow in Nuffield College, Oxford University” (NB: this page was updated to remove all references to academia just before midnight the day after this article was published). The eagle-eyed might spot that being ‘based’ at Oxford technically doesn’t represent a claim of being an Oxford professor; being a fellow ‘in’ Nuffield College can in theory mean something different from being a fellow ‘of’ Nuffield College.
In fact, Mr Gallagher is simply an ‘associate member’ of Nuffield College, although he does not appearon the College’s list on-line. A person may apply for associate membership if they have some association with the college; this does not necessarily mean an academic one. Such membership gives access to social and other practical facilities. It manifestly does not confer academic status of itself. A Nuffield College spokesman said today that Mr Gallagher’s; “association was extended in June 2016 until September 2017”, and explained that this was done normally on the basis of collaboration with a fellow of the college.
And indeed, Mr Gallagher does collaborate with a fellow of the college as a member of a study group there. This is the study group. Its explicit purpose is to encourage academics – like the aforesaid fellow of the college – to work with experienced former civil servants like Mr Gallagher. By definition, therefore, the study group includes people who are not academics. Members of this study group, Mr Gallagher says, are confusingly also called ‘fellows’. And so, Mr Gallagher is a ‘fellow’ OF a mixed-group of academics and non-academics IN Nuffield College. Angels may dance on the head of a pin.
For the avoidance of doubt, an Oxford University spokesman said: “Jim Gallagher does not hold a professorship at Oxford. His (only) affiliations are those listed by the spokesman for Nuffield College”(see above).
Meanwhile, Glasgow University confirmed the role and status of visiting professors and that this is Mr Gallagher’s (visiting professor while at Glasgow University) status:
“The university of Glasgow benefits from the expertise of many visiting professors of whom Professor James Gallagher is one. Visiting and honorary professors are entitled to use that designation. Professor Gallagher has contributed to a number of events and lectures, including one last week under the auspices of Policy Scotland. He was clearly titled as Visiting Professor of Government, School of Law, University of Glasgow”.
Genuine Scottish professors we asked this week believed that Mr Gallagher is indeed an academic fellow of Nuffield College with a professorial appointment there. Some assumed that his Glasgow visiting professorship was simply a small addition to a distinguished Oxford professorship. They did not think for a moment that his widely-used professorial title extended from that Glasgow courtesy title alone. Glasgow University’s own rules show why they may very reasonably assume that (see point 1 under ‘Visiting Professorships’). As one Scottish professor said, there is a growing trend for professional people in late-career to enter academia as full, tenured professors. This happens for various reasons – lawyers who may have published extensive legal papers, or novelists who may have published successful novels. But this is not the case with Mr Gallagher. He has simply allowed it to be ‘assumed’ given the highly nuanced presentation of public information about him.
Until now, Mr Gallagher’s apparently high scholarly and academic status has been treasured by elements of the Scottish media because this status raises his views above those of politically partisan commentators. He gives extensive interviews with the Scottish media about diverse issues of economics, law, the UK constitution and politics. In turn, the Scottish media describes him as “an eminent economist” or a renewed professor specialising in constitutional matters. In fact, he seems happy to be described in any way which fits any story.
Yet if it might be felt that he is not responsible for how he is reported in the media, he has been reported on repeatedly by the same journalists and publications and has had many opportunities to disabuse and correct embarrassing and aggrandising misdescriptions. Journalists cannot be blamed for how Mr Gallagher presents himself and in turn allows himself to be presented. For a person with a trusted association with famous academic institutions, his self-presentation appears audacious.
Over time, Mr Gallagher has proven to be a consistent and somewhat conservative opponent of independence. He is a board member of Scotland in Union and was an adviser to Better Together. He is quite obviously politically motivated. His language is peppered with emotion. Most recently, he compared current SNP MPs to Charles Stewart Parnell’s; “holding a knife at the throat of the British establishment” – a comment which of course came before years of pre-independence and much post-independence violence on that island. Today, this is an enormously sensitive matter. He is entitled to put his arguments in public, of course, although they do have the whiff of reverse engineering – producing research and arguments to fit his prejudices. This latter style is of course precisely the opposite of the method and methodology of the professional academic.
However, as a visiting professor and even as a junior associate of a college, he is under a powerful obligation to avoid at all costs the public perception that his words are those of a senior and eminent academic talking within his field of academic expertise. A failure to do this risks making public debate dishonest, and it risks marginalising the views of genuine scholars. Authenticity, transparency and integrity amongst those taking part in public debate is essential if the wider public interest is to be served.
It is to be hoped that Mr Gallagher, or visiting professor Gallagher while in his occasional role at Glasgow, will actively avoid being presented as something he is not in future. This may help with his application next year for continued associate member status at Nuffield College, and indeed in future as a visitor at Glasgow University. Insiders at each learned institution have suggested that his coat might be on a shoogly peg.
The screenshot below is on the Scotland In Union site dated the 10th October 2016.