The Coalition parties appeared to be too scared to defend their controversial welfare reforms, after opting out of a televised debate on the independence referendum, as reported in today’s Sunday Herald.
Both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats ducked thechance to appear on next month’s head-to-head debate on STV about welfare and pensions. Scottish Labour’s deputy leader Anas Sarwar will speak for the No campaign, with Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon representing the Yes campaign.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It speaks volumes that both parties in the UK Government are running away from debating their welfare and pensions policies – but it is hardly surprising given how deeply unpopular those punitive policies are.
“However, people will be shocked that Labour is prepared to do their work for them, and that Anas Sarwar has been sent in to bat in defence of the Bedroom Tax. His party have refused to commit to scrapping it, and only a Yes vote next year will ensure it is axed.
“I am looking forward to the chance to debate with Labour on why they believe decisions on welfare should remain in Westminster’s hands.
“And I’m relishing the opportunity to spell out to people how an independent Scotland, in which we always get the governments we vote for, will have a fairer welfare system that protects the most vulnerable in our society.”
The controversial decision of the UK government to celebrate the beginning ofthe First World War, [conveniently in Glasgow where all-UK state events are never held, only weeks before the referendum on the future of Scotland] is causing some disquiet in Germany.
This of course may be of no interest to the average Brit, but Cameron might want to consider that about the same time he will be trying to persuade other EU countries to allow the UK (or England, Wales, NI) to have special conditions attached to its memberships, and opt outs from almost everything that doesn't make the UK money.
Having already made himself unpopular with Spain, upsetting Germany might be considered to be a pretty silly move.
Imagine! Cameron doing something stupid.
Having only a couple of weeks ago read that the estimated cost of the new British (ha ha) high speed train link between London and Birmingham, which is supposed eventually to go as far as the "north" of the country (Leicester and Manchester... you know, a couple of hundred miles south of here) had doubled to £40 billion, it came as a bit of a surprise this morning to hear that it had happened again.
The estimate cost for the Birmingham part is now some £80 billion. If it doubles every month and isn't due to start until 2017, would anyone care to offer an opinion on the final cost?
On top of stories about the Queen and Prince Charles having bills changed tosuit them, we now read that MPs are concerned that Charlie has put moles into a couple of government departments (Cabinet Office and the Department of the Environment) without the knowledge of the ministers concerned.
It's bad enough having to fork out vast sums for this family to live in unseemly luxury while their subjects are being thrown onto the street for having a spare bedroom, but adding yet another level of undemocratic government, Charlie Rothsay, to a house of placemen, churchmen and aristos and a whipped first past the post commons, was step too far. it's outrageous he now appoint people to departments of government without letting the government know.
No wonder there's a shortage of jobs for ordinary people.
**********Oh yeah. I thought you might like to see a picture of the Scottish Defence League march in Edinburgh on Saturday. You'll note that they have decided to adopt a novel version of the Saltire and that they come from McBlackburn and MacSunderland... Oh Aye, hoots the noo...innit?