Opinion

Why Britain shares America's torture shame

Commentary by Derek Bateman If America’s torture regime was shameful, as even their allies claim, how much of that shame is ...

Commentary | Wednesday, 10 December 2014 | Comments

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A Big Boy Did It …

Commentary By GA Ponsonby The National is set for an indefinite print run.  The first daily newspaper to back ...

Commentary | Saturday, 29 November 2014 | Comments

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All hail the Stupid Party

By Derek Bateman The chorus of whines is alive in the shires of England, and in Scotland the sound of deflating ...

Commentary | Thursday, 27 November 2014 | Comments

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News - Scotland and International

Treasury officials praised for 'No' campaign work

By Thomas Connolly   The civil service team behind the UK government's anti-Yes campaign in the Scottish referendum have been patted on the back for a splendid job by their peers.   The Treasury's "Scotland Analysis Programme Team" - little known during the referendum campaign - has been given the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Award in the annual Civil S... Read More

News in Brief

Glasgow sets standard on climate change

By A Newsnet Reporter Glasgow University has become the first in the UK to promise to pull its i... Read More

Scottish Greens welcome 3000 new members

The Scottish Greens are thanking over 3,000 new members who have joined the party since the close of polls on ... Read More

SNP membership surge means party could overtake UK Lib Dems

The wave of democratic engagement resulting from the referendum is continuing, the SNP has said today, as 16,694 new members ... Read More

SSP referendum meeting halted after pro-Union protestors berate locals

  By a Newsnet reporter  A public event to discuss the referendum, arranged by the Scottish Socialist Party, has had to ... Read More

Greens across Europe show support for Yes vote

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party's campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum, will today (16 Sep) show the ... Read More

Darlings for Yes

Alistair Darling's plea to Scots to vote No has been given a giant thumbs down - by his own namesakes.  Another ... Read More

More in: In Brief

By Thomas Connolly

 

The civil service team behind the UK government's anti-Yes campaign in the Scottish referendum have been patted on the back for a splendid job by their peers.

 

The Treasury's "Scotland Analysis Programme Team" - little known during the referendum campaign - has been given the Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service Award in the annual Civil Service Awards.

 

According to a glowing review in the magazine, Civil Service World, the senior team "was tasked with producing analysis in the lead-up to the Scottish referendum of how both, Scotland and the rest of the UK, benefit from being part of one country".

By a Newsnet Scotland Reporter

A former top diplomat has told the inside story of how he was hounded out of the British Foreign Office after raising concerns of torture linked to the US led and UK supported "war on terror".

Craig Murray, the UK's former ambassador to Uzbekistan, reported to London that Uzbeki secret police were torturing Al Quaeda suspects in 2002 and 2003 at the chest of the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), with the knowledge of its British equivalent, MI6.

In an exclusive interview with Bateman Broadcasting's Derek Bateman, Mr Murray believes that his complaint was communicated directly to the then Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, but ignored.

Analysis by Thomas Connolly

Whatever your opinion of Alex Salmond - and there are few people with no opinion - his every move continues to fascinate supporters and critics alike.

The former First Minister confirmed the worst-kept secret in Scottish politics earlier today when he told supporters at a SNP rally in Ellon that he intends to stand as the SNP candidate for the Westminster seat of Gordon in the UK General Election next May.

bbc indyref

How The BBC Stole The Referendum is a book currently being written by GA Ponsonby, founder of Newsnet Scotland.

Ponsonby, a fierce and consistent critic of the BBC's role during the referendum campaign, has pulled together his critique of the corporation, and the influence he believes it had on the final vote. It is a view shared by many Yes campaigners.

Here Newsnet Scotland reproduces a late draft of the opening chapter. Its author is raising funds to publish the book by April 2015: in time of the UK general election, where the BBC's coverage will be under intense scrutiny once again. Details are at the bottom of the page.

By Derek Bateman

Be lucky is the most common piece of advice in politics. (Richard Nixon preferred: Never pass up a chance to go to the men’s room). And being lucky in your opponent is the best advice of all. Think of Tony Blair’s adversaries…John Major, William Hague, Michael Howard, Iain Duncan Smith. When the cast changes to Brown versus Cameron, the game changes too.

So with Salmond confronting McConnell, Gray and Lamont. How lucky is that? Well, from today Nicola’ Sturgeon’s luck turned. In Jim Murphy she has a full-size problem with the capacity to disconcert and derail, if not handled carefully.

Commentary by Derek Bateman

If America’s torture regime was shameful, as even their allies claim, how much of that shame is shared by the UK?

From the handwringing and teeth-sucking there is a cloud of hypocrisy rising from those who prefer not to interfere in the United States’ actions and, if necessary, will participate in it, but then pretend ignorance.

At every level the orchestrated state torture of individuals, illegal and unconstitutional, is massaged by the guilty into self-serving convenience. So the President can shake his head at the anti-American morality of it all while simultaneously offering pardon to the culpable and the CIA can say of its barbarism  the ‘programme had shortcomings’.

By Newsnet Scotland Reporter

The new Scottish Labour leader faces two "damage limitation" elections at UK and Scottish levels until a hoped-for recovery in fortunes at the end of the decade, according to former leading party figure Steven Purcell.

Purcell, Glasgow City Council leader until his abrupt exit from politics in 2010, believes that the "anointed" leader - Jim Murphy MP - will see his party lose Westminster seats in next year's UK General Election, followed by a third SNP victory in Holyrood in 2016.

By a Newsnet Scotland Reporter

George Osborne's Autumn Statement demonstrates that the UK Government's austerity measures have failed since 2014, according to SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie MP.

After the election in 2010 the Tories promised that debt would begin to fall as a share of GDP by 2014/15: that the current account should be in balance by 2015/16 and that public sector net borrowing would fall to £20 billion in the same year.

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