Saturday, 30 October 2010

Kirkcaldy Esplanade

Was out walking this morning and here are some of the photos I had taken

Monday, 11 October 2010

North East Scotland target of govt welfare reforms

Talk about using Scotland as a testing ground as happened with the Poll Tax.

Except this is the North East region of Scotland that is the target of the British government which will affect claimants in Aberdeen, Banff, Peterhead and Fraserburgh.

The BBC report is below or click here to read it in full.

Incapacity benefit claimants in north-east Scotland and Burnley in Lancashire are to be the first to be reassessed ahead of UK-wide welfare reform.

Those deemed fit enough to work, using a points-based system, will be moved to the jobseeker's allowance.

Mental health and disability charities have already questioned the effectiveness of the test, claiming that it does not "distinguish accurately" between those able to work and those who cannot

"We believe that this test is fundamentally flawed," Richard Hawkes, chief executive of Scope, said.

"It asks people to do things like pick up a coin off the floor or can they take their pen out of their top pocket. The test does not ask people what previous work they have done, it doesn't ask people what support they might require in the work place."

There are already concerns about the way incapacity benefit tests are being conducted.

The Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) has reported a 57% increase in the number of people challenging the outcomes of their tests and mental health charity Mind says that, in 40% of cases, initial verdicts are being overturned at appeal.

"From all the claimants I have met, I believe the vast majority have been genuine," CAB's Paul Hogarth, who has supported 60 people at tribunals in Burnley over the past year and won in 85% of cases, told Today.

"It comes back to the fact 'is the pressure on the medical professionals to fail the vast majority of these claimants or is it going to be a genuine assessment?"

The full extent of the welfare cuts will be announced in the comprehensive spending review later this month.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Petition calls for Inquiry into Lockerbie Trial Verdict

A campaign group that includes UK relatives of the victims of Pan Am 103 have launched a petition with the Scottish Parliament calling for an independent inquiry into the conviction of the man known as 'The Lockerbie Bomber' - Abdelbaset Al Megrahi.

The group, Justice For Megrahi (JFM), believe that a miscarriage of justice may have taken place in 2001 at Camp Zeist in the Netherlands and are seeking a review of the verdict reached.

To sign the petition Justice for Megrahi click below:

And read the article on Newsnet Scotland.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Tories in a state of confusion

PM in referendum challenge to SNP I found was a headline on yesterday's BBC News Scotland online page.

Well the Tories in Scotland have said they would not support the Independence Referendum Bill.

In response to the PM's call, the SNP's Alasdair Allan said: "The confusion between David Cameron and (Scottish Tory leader) Annabel Goldie continues. Do they even talk to each other?

"The truth is the Tories - like all the London parties - have consistently refused to support the people of Scotland's right to choose."

Their Scottish wing and London partners are in a state of confusion about where each of them stand on fundamental issues.

And so I still believe the SNP should of put the legislation to the Scottish Parliament just before the Scottish elections in May 2011. In my mind the SNP have missed a golden opportunity to expose the hypocrisy of the unionists.

Anyway I am not going to cry in my beer but continue my support for the SNP as a member of the party.

Constitutional change is much needed for Scotland especially as we will feel the pressure with the cut public services from Westminster more than the rest of the disunited kingdom.

The London based parties can bleat all they like, the arguments we nationalists present for independence will not go away in bankrupt Britain.

Monday, 4 October 2010

The Sheridans up against the Establishment

The perjury trial of former Scottish Socialist Party leader Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail is due to start today. Sheridans to face perjury trial report by the BBC.

As a Republican Socialist I can see no other way but to show my support here for the Sheridans. Best wishes can be left by clicking here. Tommy was a great MSP and fighter against the Poll Tax during the Thatcher years. A good article about the fight against Murdoch is on the online edition of Socialist Worker. Messages of support for Tommy & Gail Sheridan can also be left by visiting the Solidarity website.

This weblog will await the trial with interest as Tommy and Gail find themselves up against the Establishment.