Print Media Nicola Sturgeon election CRISIS: Unemployment rises by 43,000 in Scotland under SNPNicola Sturgeon raged at Nigel Farage on Monday afternoon, after the Brexit Party leader said he would not stand MPs in seats which were won by the Tories in the 2017 general election. The Scottish First Minister said on Monday it was important to “put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands”. Nicola Sturgeon ‘has 73,000 fake Twitter followers’ says university studyTwitter has been urged to investigate hundreds of “suspicious” accounts linked to Scottish politicians after a snapshot study suggested that up to one in seven of their followers are fake. Academics conducted a sweep of 7,000 accounts that track politicians including Nicola Sturgeon, John Swinney an Mark Smith: The 16 Scottish seats that matter – and the critical group of voters that will decide who wins themBIT of news from the doorstep. My postie was telling me the other day what the election means for him and his colleagues. The good news: they’re going to be paid a bit extra to deliver all the political leaflets; the bad news: there will be lots more long shifts in the cold and wet. Nicola Sturgeon defends policy over claims of destruction of government notesIt emerged the First Minister’s office destroys her handwritten notes, rendering them unobtainable by Freedom of Information (FoI) requests. However, Ms Sturgeon explained the notes are typed up into emails, which she said were “fully open to FoI legislation” and denied it was done to avoid the content of her memos being seen. First Minister apologises over Aberdeen Art Gallery claims | Press and JournalNicola Sturgeon has apologised over her previous claims on the funding arrangements for Aberdeen Art Gallery. A row has been growing after the First Minister recently claimed that the city council had not applied for any Scottish Government funding during the planning stages for the £34.6 million revamp. General Election: Nicola Sturgeon talks of ‘inclusion’ but demonises a million Scots – Brian WilsonNicola Sturgeon’s demeanour at a recent pro-independence rally in Glasgow may not have made passers-by with the ‘wrong’ accent feel particularly welcome, writes Brian Wilson. Scotland is “open, welcoming, diverse and inclusive” and “no Tory is every going to be allowed to change that”. Scottish Tories find reasons to be cheerful on the campaign trail | Coffee HouseWill the Scottish Conservatives face near extinction in the snap election? In recent months, talk in the Tory party has turned to what seats the party can pick up in the Midlands, North and Wales to make up for the seats they will lose north of the border. Liberal Democrats launch their #GE2019 campaignYes folks, it is silly season when politicians will do almost anything to get themselves noticed. The LibDems were launching their 2019 General Election campaign. Neither Willie Rennie or Alex Cole-Hamilton are actually standing for election, as both are MSPs at Holyrood, but they are in positions of power when it comes to the upcoming vote. Sturgeon has no fears of backlash from pro-Brexit SNP supporters – The CourierNicola Sturgeon has said she is not concerned about alienating Brexit-supporting SNP voters by adopting a pro-EU stance in the upcoming General Election. Scotland’s First Minister claimed the party’s position of backing a confirmatory EU referendum and calling to stop Brexit entirely has not cost them any support. Nicola Sturgeon pays tribute to ‘brave work’ of Martin McGuinnessNicola Sturgeon paid tribute to the former deputy first minister of Northern Ireland after he died aged 66. The First Minister released a statement on Tuesday saying that without Martin McGuinness’ “hard and brave work to bridge the divide” that “peace would not have been achieved” in Northern Ireland. General Election 2019: Scotland’s future ‘is on the line’, says Nicola SturgeonNicola Sturgeon has claimed that Scotland’s future is “on the line” when voters go to the polls next month at a general election the SNP leader believes is “the most important in our lifetimes”. Pro-union parties team up in bid to oust SNP Westminster chief Ian BlackfordTORY and Labour chiefs are said to have formed an informal pact where they will give ground to Lib Dem candidate Craig Harrow to help unseat Mr Blackford in Ross, Skye and Lochaber. Mr Blackford would be the second successive SNP Commons boss to fall. Scottish independence: SNP’s referendum plans suffer blow in Holyrood reportThe SNP’s hopes of using the same question in a future independence referendum from the 2014 vote have been dealt a blow in a report published by Holyrood’s constitution committee today. It has called for the elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission, to be have a role in testing the question to be used – which could see the body rule out a Yes/No question. A £200m ‘shambles’: Questions grow over fund to help deprived Scots childrenA TWO-YEAR-OLD scheme that has spent more than £200 million into boosting learning amongst disadvantaged pupils in Scotland is making little difference due to its “shambolic” implementation, it has been claimed. SNP blasted for ‘social media spin’ as 120 Holyrood Twitter accounts exposedThe Scottish Government has admitted to running an astonishing 120 official Twitter accounts – including one with just three followers. Figures released through Freedom of Information have revealed the bewildering array of social media profiles being updated by civil servants. The Sunday Mail found one account – @roadbotscot – with three followers, while many others numbered in the low hundreds. SNP telly ad offers struggling actors £600 to say they now back independenceCASTING agencies want No voters to declare they have switched sides in a bid to persuade others for a potential IndyRef2. But the website listings – made on behalf of Nats HQ – were slammed amid fears unemployed performers would lie to secure a quick buck. Poll: Scottish independence voters switching to support the UnionThe Progress Scotland survey found 37 per cent of voters “completely support Scotland staying part of the UK”, compared with 26 per cent who “completely support Scotland becoming independent”. Read more: Poll: Nicola Sturgeon’s push for election out of step with Scots The Survation poll was commissioned by Progress Scotland, headed by former SNP Westminster leader Angus Robertson, and surveyed 2,000 Scots at the start of the month. Scotland is taxing itself to death – MoneyWeekYou will be taxed more than anywhere else for parking your car at work. You will have to pay an extra levy if you spend the day exploring a historic site. If you buy or sell a property there will be another charge, and you will owe higher income tax as well. Nicola Sturgeon calls for second independence vote in 2020Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday that a second Scottish referendum “must happen next year” as she dismissed Westminster’s continued refusal to grant another independence vote as unsustainable. In an upbeat speech enthusiastically received by Scottish National party activists, Ms Sturgeon closed her party’s three-day conference with a message aimed at reassuring critics frustrated by the lack of progress on independence. The real reason Nicola Sturgeon is campaigning against Brexit | The SpectatorNicola Sturgeon, who claimed this week that ‘Scotland is rich enough, strong enough and big enough’ to take its place ‘among the proud, independent nations of the world’, is a slippery fish. SNP spent more on Shetland byelection than EU referendumTHE SNP spent more on their attempt to win the Shetland byelection than they did on the EU referendum, it has emerged. The party’s Northern Isles campaign, which included three visits by Nicola Sturgeon, cost just under the £100,000 legal spending limit. Sorry Mr Mackay, economic case for Union, not independence, is ‘stronger than ever’ – Murdo FraserSNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay told his party conference that Scotland could “more than afford to be independent”, but the nationalist prospectus is threadbare, while the unionist case is clear, writes Murdo Fraser. It is generally accepted that politicians can get away with saying things to their party conferences that would be inappropriate in any other setting. Court battle over indyref2 ‘cannot be ruled out’SCOTTISH ministers have not ruled out taking legal action if the UK Government refuses to hand over the powers to hold a second independence referendum. Nicola Sturgeon told the SNP conference in Aberdeen that she will seek a so-called Section 30 order in the coming weeks. Former SNP MSP: English not a “proper language” of ScotlandTHE leader of a new ‘”inclusive” campaign group for independence has told most Scottish voters they do not speak a “proper language”. Dave Thompson, chair of Voices for Scotland, risked insulting electors by suggesting at the SNP conference that only Gaelic and Scots had true standing. Nicola Sturgeon ‘leading SNP into cul-de-sac by rejecting independence referendum alternatives’Nicola Sturgeon is leading the SNP into a political “cul-de-sac” by refusing to consider more radical ways of getting independence than another referendum, one of her most senior MPs has warned. Speaking ahead of Sunday’s opening of the SNP conference in Aberdeen, Angus MacNeil urged the First Minister to drop her insistence that a legal referendum is the only way for Scotland to separate from the UK. SNP faithful head to Aberdeen with independence on their minds | Press and JournalThe SNP will claim momentum is building for independence when the party arrives in Aberdeen for its autumn conference tomorrow. Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said a referendum “has to” happen next year, despite the UK Government’s opposition to holding a second poll. Workplace parking levy is an unfair, regressive tax – leader commentMany will see the workplace parking levy simply as a tax-raising measure, rather than one aimed at cutting carbon emissions. Climate change, air pollution and traffic congestion are all problems of varying degrees of seriousness. Neil Mackay: Why Glasgow’s Imelda Marcos shames the city, the SNP and the Yes movementAS a Yes voter my greatest fear is that after independence we discover that we’ve simply replaced one failed system with another. That we get rid of Westminster and find that Holyrood becomes just as bad. Independence can’t be a palace revolution, which merely replaces one group of self-interested elites with another. Scottish Child Payment ‘will not bring Scotland close’ to child poverty targetScotland is predicted to fall well short of its interim target for reducing child poverty, according to the annual ‘Poverty in Scotland’ report from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). The Child Poverty Act 2017 sets the Scottish Government a target of bringing relative child poverty to less than 10 per cent by 2030, with an interim target of 18 per cent by 2023-24. Glasgow’s Lord Provost Eva Bolander urged to resign after £8000 expenses exposedGlasgow’s Lord Provost has been urged to resign after spending more than £8000 of public money on clothes and beauty products. Labour MSP James Kelly accused SNP councillor Eva Bolander – who claimed £1150 for 23 pairs of shoes and £152 for underwear – of going on a “grotesque spending spree at the taxpayers’ expense”. Mark Smith: The lessons Unionists can learn from the pro-independence marchTHERE was another march for independence at the weekend which meant there were the usual estimates about the size of the crowd. It was 100,000! It was 200,000! It was a million! Every single person in Scotland was there! Except one, obviously – the First Minister, who said she was “not able to be there in person”. Scottish Lib Dems targeting lost heartlands including SNP Westminster leader’s seatResurgent Liberal Democrats are ready to recapture the party’s traditional Scottish heartlands in a snap election and are targeting the prize scalp of SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. The party’s election chief in Scotland says it has come through the dark times of the Coalition when its “existence was in jeopardy” and is finally on the rise again under new leader Jo Swinson. Scottish Secretary Alister Jack suggests creating bank holiday to celebrate the UnionScottish Secretary Alister Jack has used an appearance at Conservative Party conference to back plans for a bank holiday to celebrate the union by getting rid of one of the ‘left wing’ statutory days off. Former SNP MP ‘vows to demolish’ Queen’s Gallery and create ‘Freedom Square’A former SNP MP has vowed to demolish the Queen’s Gallery in Edinburgh and create a “Freedom Square”. George Kerevan, who lost his East Lothian seat during the 2017 General Election to Labour’s Martin Whitfield , wants to level the art gallery which sits across the road from the Scottish Parliament building in the capital. It is vital that we offer doubters a positive vision of our futureWHEN we try to convert No voters to vote Yes, can we say with any certainty what an independent Scotland looks like? The “devil’s advocates” amongst my friends say that it’ll just be a smaller version of what we have now. I disagree, but where can I show them a vision of what an independent Scotland looks like?NB: Scotland Matters do not support The National. Police crisis sees officers called out in their pyjamasSTRUGGLING police officers in rural Scotland have been forced to attend incidents in their pyjamas after being called out of bed in the middle of the night, it has been claimed. The Scottish Police Federation (SPF), which represents rank and file officers, said the force was now at crisis point in many parts of the country. Nicola Sturgeon shamed by Greens as co-leader reads out list of failed targetsNICOLA Sturgeon was shamed in parly by her Green allies – as a senior MSP read out a list of the First Minister’s missed targets. Alison Johnstone blasted failures in public services amid a row over climate change emissions aims for the next 25 years – and whether they will be met. SNP councillor: I’ll send English MP ‘homeward’An SNP councillor has been accused of using divisive language after saying he would send an English-born Tory MP “homeward” in a campaign video. Graham Lindsay, the SNP education spokesman on Clackmannanshire Council, made the comment about Luke Graham, the MP for Ochil and South Perthshire, who was born in Swindon. SNP MSP reported to party bosses in Westminster ‘dirty tricks’ rowAN SNP MSP has been reported to Nicola Sturgeon and party officials over alleged “dirty tricks” in a battleground seat at the coming election. Richard Lyle is accused of improperly using a membership database to promote a political ally in the SNP’s Westminster candidate selection for Coatbridge, Chryston & Bellshill. SNP ministers lose public £135m in bad loans and investmentsSNP ministers have been forced to write off almost than £135m of taxpayer loans and investments used to prop up failing companies. The Scottish Government’s consolidated accounts for 2018/19 show massive write-offs for the Ferguson Marine shipyard, Prestwick Airport and BiFab engineering. The accounts also show the government underspent its £37bn budget by £778m last year. SNP must not be allowed to rig the terms of Indyref2 – Murdo FraserLast week marked the fifth anniversary of the 2014 independence referendum, giving rise to questions as to how attitudes might have changed in the intervening period. This was all helpfully informed by a new poll by Survation, commissioned by the campaign group Scotland in Union, which disclosed that 59 per cent of Scottish voters wanted to remain in the UK, including 36 per cent of those who voted Yes in 2014. SNP ministers accused of hiding preparations for Scottish independence referendumThe Scottish Government has been accused of attempting to hide its preparations for a second independence referendum after it redacted sections of a letter from its most senior civil servant to the Deputy First Minister. Schools’ attainment gap could take 15 years to be reduced warn expertsWhile they said there had been progress in closing the gap, sustained progress was required before a “sudden growth spurt” would see it substantially narrowed. And they recommended a focus on investment in additional needs education and bringing parents and communities into the classroom in more rural areas. SNP Finance Secretary under pressure to boost funding for ‘filthy’ GlasgowA trade union will urge SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay to back a funding boost for Glasgow council following claims the city is close to going bust. The GMB will use a meeting with Mackay to make a special case for Scotland’s largest city to get more cash, which could include a demand for hundreds of millions of pounds. Indyref would have been successful if held today, says Alex SalmondFormer first minister Alex Salmond has said he would not have held the vote on independence in 2014 if he had known Boris Johnson would become Prime Minister and the UK would be facing the prospect of a hard Brexit. Nicola Sturgeon confirms a Yes vote on independence could be reversedNICOLA Sturgeon has confirmed a vote for Scottish independence could be reversed within a few years if the country changed its mind. The First Minister said she thought such an outcome was unlikely, but acknowledged democracy meant people would be entitled to cancel a Yes vote though another referendum. “They are running scared” Readers react to petition requiring two-thirds majority for independence referendumA campaign to raise the bar for a second independence referendum by insisting any constitutional change must be backed by two-thirds of voters has sparked debate amongst our readers. The Herald reported today that The Scotland Matters group has lodged a petition at the Scottish Parliament on the issue. Scottish Government to concede defeat over Named Person policyEducation Secretary John Swinney will today announce he is to repeal the controversial ‘Named Person’ laws which were rejected by the Supreme Court two years ago. The Herald understands he will scrap parts 4 and 5 of the Children and Young People Act of 2014, which provided for a ‘named person’ to ensure the wellbeing of every young person in Scotland. Petition launched to require two-thirds majority for independenceUNIONISTS have launched a campaign to raise the bar for a second independence referendum by insisting any constitutional change must be backed by two-thirds of voters. The Scotland Matters group, which includes figures from the Better Together campaign of 2014, has lodged a petition at the Scottish Parliament on the issue. McEleny claims SNP asked if he would talk less about his faithAN SNP councillor has claimed party bosses told him to “curtail” his Catholicism if he wanted to be a parliamentary candidate. The incendiary remark from Inverclyde group leader Chris McEleny has been flatly rejected by the party, who have all but accused the prominent activist of lying, saying that no one is ever asked about their religious views during the vetting process. Nicola Sturgeon accused of ‘dodgy comparisons’ when boasting about Scots schoolsNICOLA Sturgeon is being accused of using “dodgy comparisons” to boast about the condition of schools. The First Minister hailed stats showing estates deemed “good” or “satisfactory” rose from 61 per cent to 88 per cent since the SNP came to power in 2007 as “great progress”. Why SNP is even more extreme than under Alex Salmond – Martin WhitfieldWe’re in the middle of the greatest constitutional crisis of modern times. Boris Johnson has shut Parliament’s doors for five weeks, and it has taken action in the Scottish courts to expose his shameful attempt to silence democracy. I am proud to be a petitioner in the cross-party challenge, and the legal battle now moves to the Supreme Court. Nicola Sturgeon says SNP landslide would ‘wash away’ IndyRef2 oppositionTHE FIRST Minister claims arguments against separation are already ‘crumbling’ as the threat of Boris Johnson’s No Deal Brexit looms large. Labour No2 John McDonnell says a second referendum would not be a priority for a Labour government – and they won’t make a pact with the Nats for powers to hold one. Odds ‘now clearly in favour’ of Scottish independence, says bookmakerA bookmaker has cut the odds of Scottish independence after predicting that more voters would back Yes than No in a new poll. BoyleSports said it had cut the odds on a Yes vote from 5/6 to 8/11 amid the fallout from the ongoing Brexit wrangles. Nicola Sturgeon refuses to commit to ending North Sea oil production amid climate emergencyNicola Sturgeon will today unveil an “ambitious” package of measures to tackle climate change, but has refused to commit to ending oil and gas production in the North Sea. Nicola Sturgeon quizzed by Annie Wells over Govan riot during FMQsNicola Sturgeon has told a Tory Glasgow MSP not to turn the trouble at a republican march in Govan and decision to allow Saturday’s marches to go ahead, into a “political bunfight”. Annie Wells MSP said it was a bad idea to allow the march to go ahead on an ‘Old Firm weekend’. Mark Smith: Yes First Minister, anti-Englishness is a problem in the SNP, but so is anti-ScottishnessAN SNP supporter once said to me – and he meant it – that he could tell straight away if a person was English just by looking at them. It wasn’t clear what method he used, but presumably he searched for the obvious signs of Englishness. A top hat, say. Waste, mismanagement and poor service: MSPs’ report slams Scotland’s public sectorThe quality, management and delivery of public services in Scotland has been slammed in a cross-party parliamentary report highlighting instances of wasted money, expensive and unnecessary payoffs to departing staff and poor delivery of vital services. The reports concludes, among other damning judgments: * It can’t be sure that public money is being spent wisely. Scottish Independence: report warns austerity looming outside the UKAn independent Scotland would quickly amass “unsustainable levels” of debt and would need embark on a fresh wave of austerity, a new report has found. The Oxford University Study warns that figures released this week setting out a £12.6 billion black hole in Scotland’s public finances present a “major challenge” for the SNP’s plans to leave the UK. Alan Roden: Why the SNP’s opponents are making it easy for themThe gazebos on College Green are back, the man playing his glockenspiel is back, and the MPs are back – for one week only. Or at least that’s Boris Johnson ‘s plan, unless he’s stopped by the courts or the cross-party rebel alliance. Neil Mackay: I’m a Yes voter, but I’m getting sick and tired of my own sideI WAS speaking to a well-known SNP politician recently, who told me that they thanked God that “most of the zoomers” had stopped coming to their local party meetings. A “zoomer” is social media slang in Scotland for a political extremist, a conspiracy theorist, a hate-peddler – someone who comes across as downright crazy. SNP’s plan for independent currency ‘could spark £200bn crisis’The SNP’s plan for a new currency in an independent Scotland could see the nation facing an economic crisis costing up to an eye-watering £200 billion, a leading currency expert has warned. Plan to hold Scottish independence vote in 2020 thrown into doubtNicola Sturgeon’s preference for holding another referendum on Scottish independence in the second half of next year has been put in doubt after the Electoral Commission recommended a gap of at least nine months between the completion of the required legislation and polling day. Any new state trying to plug £12bn gap with no credit would be in world of painThe annual release of the Gers figures always brings out the worst in the Scottish political scene. Indy cyber warriors bunker down and expend a lot of energy outlining increasingly ludicrous arguments for denying reality. Unionists, meanwhile, try valiantly not to look too gleeful at the fact Scotland is broke. Stirling MP brands SNP ‘weak’ over ‘Tory scum out’ banner issueStirling SNP has said it does not condone a ‘Tory Scum Out’ banner which recently appeared at a demo during former PM Theresa May’s visit to the city days before her departure from office. They were responding to a letter by Stirling Conservative MP Stephen Kerr – who had branded the banner “bigoted and hateful” – in a letter to his opponents. Leader in The Scotsman on the need for fairness on the wording of any future independence referendum. JENNY HJUL: Lord Ashcroft’s poll on Scottish independence is not supported by evidence – The CourierLord Ashcroft’s latest poll showing a majority of Scots are in favour of independence may be the first such result of its kind in more than two years. But Nicola Sturgeon, desperate since 2016 to build momentum for separation on the back of Brexit, is gloating already. For Unionists, there is some comfort. Brian Monteith: Ruth Davidson’s decisions have imperilled the UnionIt is time we saw the Conservative Unionist that Davidson claims to be, not the Liberal Unionist she resembles, writes Brian Monteith. There is no escaping it. Nicola Sturgeon and Ruth Davidson have a mutual symbiotic relationship. Both benefit politically from the success of the other, and both could also lose from the decline of the other. No-deal Brexit spells calamity for union, warns Gordon BrownGrowing nationalism is pulling the United Kingdom apart, driving it towards an unprecedented economic calamity and unleashing the most serious constitutional crisis since the 17th century, Gordon Brown warns on Sunday. Industrialist blames Scottish Government for crisis at country’s last commercial shipyardA billionaire businessman who has acted as an economic adviser to Nicola Sturgeon has accused the Scottish Government of “incompetence” over its handling of a crisis at the country’s last commercial shipyard. Jim McColl, who stepped in to save the historic Ferguson Marine yard on the Clyde when it was threatened with closure in 2014, has blamed SNP ministers for threatening the future of the business. Scotland’s new benefits agency sparks fears over ‘appalling invasion of privacy’WIDE-RANGING powers to allow Scotland ‘s new benefits agency to investigate fraud have sparked “deep concerns” over privacy and confidentiality. One organisation said officers working for Social Security Scotland would potentially be handed “more powers and latitude” than the police under the plans. Police representatives hit out at SNP boast over rising officer numbersPOLICE representatives have criticised the SNP after it trumpeted a boost in officer numbers. Community safety minister Ask Denham hailed statistics showing the number of officers has risen by 1,025 to 17,259 since the SNP took power in 2007. But Calum Steele, general-secretary of the Scottish Police Federation (SPF), which represents rank and file officers, took issue with the boast. Scotland used to have the best schools system in the world. Then devolution happened | The SpectatorOnce one of the best in the world, Scotland’s education system has been steadily marching backwards for the past ten years. From the outside, it seems baffling: why, given that Scottish spending per pupil is among the highest in the world, are things going so wrong? From the inside, it’s far easier to understand. JENNY HJUL: Lord Ashcroft’s poll on Scottish independence is not supported by evidence – The CourierLord Ashcroft’s latest poll showing a majority of Scots are in favour of independence may be the first such result of its kind in more than two years. But Nicola Sturgeon, desperate since 2016 to build momentum for separation on the back of Brexit, is gloating already. For Unionists, there is some comfort. SNP councillor raises questions about party’s £500k indyref2 fundraiserA senior SNP councillor has quizzed party bosses about a £1m fundraiser for indyref2 that was abandoned. Councillor Chris McEleny yesterday used a meeting of the SNP’s national executive committee (NEC) to ask what had happened to cash that was raised in 2017. SNP politician angers bosses over Scotland ‘holiday resort’ row with English BBC DJAN SNP politician angered party bosses by telling an English BBC DJ that Scotland “isn’t a place where you go on your holidays”. Dr Moira Shemilt, a Nats councillor in West Lothian, slammed Liz Kershaw amid a rammy over Nicola Sturgeon’s frosty reception for Boris Johnson at Bute House this week. David Mundell: Unionists must win 2021 poll to head off indyref2The 2021 Scottish Parliament election will be a “pivotal moment” in determining whether Scotland faces another independence referendum, the former Scottish Secretary sacked from his role this week has warned. David Mundell said Boris Johnson had to “listen to Ruth Davidson” and take her lead on how the Conservative Party and UK government approach Scotland in order to reduce the risk to the Union. Citizens Assembly hit by row over link to pro-independence operationSCOTLAND’S Citizens Assembly has been hit by a new row over its credibility after a senior Nationalist’s business adviser was hired to find its members. Mark Diffley, who works for Progress Scotland, which was set up by former SNP depute leader Angus Robertson, will recruit the forum’s 120 members. A&E waiting time target missed 280,000 times in last two years, say Lib DemsMore than 280,000 patients have waited too long for treatment in accident and emergency since wait time targets were last achieved two years ago, the Liberal Democrats have said. The Scottish Government’s A&E target is for 95% of patients to either be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours, but this goal has not been achieved since the week ending July 30, 2017. https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/thousands-of-scots-patients-are-waiting-too-long-to-be-seen-at-ae/?fbclid=IwAR17h_Esqm8S9PaxCqOBMPhnkDpe5U-RuFvHALNVDobKTNc62aMZ4TqQ98g The Courier and Advertiser, 25th of July 2019 SNP take note: the way to protect jobs is to look closer to home | Kevin McKennaScotland’s first minister might be deploying Napoleon’s battlefield maxim in her approach to Boris Johnson: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” You formed an impression of this with the letter she sent to Johnson after his coronation. “Scottish government analysis shows that a no-deal outcome could cost 100,000 Scottish jobs,” Nicola Sturgeon told him. A secessionist lust for power that tears lives asunderTwo prominent British politicians recently asked me for advice about how to stem the rising tide of independence in Scotland. The rough stuff – threatening to keep the Scots out of the pound or out of Europe – had failed. Senior SNP figures acting like ‘golf club bores’ over IndyRef2Senior SNP figures using the election of Boris Johnson to push for IndyRef2 are behaving like “golf club bores”, the Scottish Conservatives claimed today. Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that she may “accelerate” plans for a second referendum on Scottish independence as she expressed “profound concern” Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister. Exporting waste to England could affect island ferries, Tories warn | Press and JournalIsland ferries could face a “real problem” as a result of sending rubbish to England to meet a Scottish ban on landfill. Tory politicians have warned that the Scottish Government’s plan to stop traditional black bag waste and recyclable materials being buried could have repercussions for lifeline ferry services. SNP can’t spin its way out of life and death issues – Brian WilsonIt must have seemed an easy hit for Michael Russell, our grandly titled Constitutional Relations Secretary. Sunday morning radio, blah-blah-blah, headlines tomorrow. So we had Mr Russell informing the anxious nation that a no-deal Brexit would “result in businesses closing down … problems in the food chain … The Press and Journal, 18th of July 2019 New ructions as AUOB is rocked by sacking of director Manny SinghALL Under One Banner confirmed last night that it had sacked Manny Singh, the organisation’s director of operations, after a conduct hearing in Glasgow yesterday. Singh is refusing to accept his dismissal and is questioning the right of the National Executive (NE) group of All Under One Banner (AUOB) to sack him. Kevin McKenna: Glasgow’s miles worse, and this time the SNP can’t blame the ToriesLIKE a sad clown Glasgow is adept at concealing its despair with a happy face. Does anywhere else in the UK laugh in the face of adversity like Glasgow does? Here we are in the corner being typically Glasgow and paying for the drinks just after we’ve been escorted from the office with our belongings in a cardboard box. Scotland’s prisons under pressure as inmate numbers riseScotland’s prisons are nearly at full capacity, putting undue pressure on inmates and staff, immense strain on budgets and restricting access to rehabilitation. Despite the Scottish government’s emphasis on “smart justice”, which last month saw the extension of a presumption against short-term sentences to 12 months, some campaigners believe that sentencing policy is becoming more punitive. SNP minister abandons entire devolved benefit to the DWPThe Scottish Government has quietly abandoned attempts to devolve one of 11 welfare benefits that were due to be handed over by the UK Government, it has emerged. Administration of Severe Disablement Allowance (SDA) will now continue to be handled by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) indefinitely. Nicola Sturgeon humiliated by Scottish Brexit Party MEP – ‘I represent a million Scots!’Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly called for a second referendum on the UK’s EU membership. She is also demanding another referendum on Scotland’s place within the UK, despite the unionist victory in the 2014 referendum. During the 2016 Brexit referendum 1,018,322 voters in Scotland voted to leave the European Union, representing 38 percent of those who case a ballot. SNP MP fearing deselection from party over pro-life viewsSNP MP Lisa Cameron said she fears she will be deselected by the party after she voted against the legalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland. Cameron, who represents East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, said she had been subject to “vitriolic attacks” over her stance on the vote. SNP’s hypocrisy over ‘private finance’ is brazen – Brian WilsonThe Scottish Government’s ‘non-profit distributing’ model of funding public building projects was a skilful, but largely cosmetic makeover, writes Brian Wilson. Among the political hypocrisies infesting our little land, few are more brazen than excoriation of “private finance” for delivery of schools, hospitals and other necessities. Scottish independence: UK firms slash investment in Scotland amid indyref2 fearsThe prospect of another referendum on Scottish independence has seen a “dramatic” slump in investment from UK finance giants north of the border, it has been claimed. Constitutional uncertainty has seen property investment from London-based finance houses fall to a record low, according to Professor Colin Anthony Jones from Heriot Watt University, who says Glasgow and Edinburgh have been badly hit. Murdo Fraser: Why Nicola Sturgeon may end up like ThatcherThatcher believed her position was unassailable but she was eventually seen as aloof, out of touch and unable to listen – and the same applies to Nicola Sturgeon, writes Murdo Fraser. Watching the excellent BBC series The Thatcher Revolution brought back memories for those of us who lived through that turbulent period in British politics. Independence without a second vote is proposedA plan to make Scotland independent without a second referendum has been presented to SNP policymakers. A nationalist majority at the next Holyrood or Westminster election should be enough to begin negotiations on independence, according to the SNP politicians Angus Brendan MacNeil and Chris McEleny. Leaving the EU is straining the union with ScotlandG ORDON BROWN is doing a much better job of being an elder statesman than he did of being prime minister. A man who was seen as a failure in office has transmogrified into a widely respected figure. In April he delivered an electrifying speech on the shame of anti-Semitism in his Labour Party. Scottish Government pressed to respect Moray views over turbine objection | Press and JournalScottish Government officials have been urged to respect the view of Moray communities and throw out the latest plan for huge wind farm expansion. The council objected to plans from Fred Olsen Renewables this week to build 29 turbines up to 738ft tall as part of a development christened Rothes III. Kenneth MacAskill: SNP is ‘at a crossroads’ over independenceTHE SNP urgently needs to decide its direction and purpose after failing to advance the cause of independence under Nicola Sturgeon, a former cabinet secretary has said. Kenneth MacAskill said his party had become too cautious and preoccupied with middle-class concerns and was “at a crossroads in terms of where’s it going and what’s it for”. The Herald, 29th of June 2019 Scots outside the Central Belt ‘failed by devolution’A new television documentary on 20 years of devolution suggests the Scottish Parliament has focused too much on the Central Belt and failed to do enough for people in Scotland’s more distant geographical locations.