Tuesday, 12 February 2013


The current Scottish Government has expressed its intention to hold an independence for Scotland referendum in the autumn of 2014. Scotland remained an independent country until the Treaty of Union and subsequent Acts of Union in 1707.

Several reasons have been put forward by Scottish Nationalists in favour of independence, which include:
  • The principle of self-determination; the Scottish people will be making decisions for Scotland themselves.
  • Control over defence and foreign policy means Scotland can choose, for example to no longer have nuclear weapons in its seas and or be part of NATO.
  • Access to oil revenues means greater funds directly to Scotland. In the 1970's a slogan used for this was It's Scotland's Oil.
Opponents of independence believe Scotland is economically stronger as a part of the UK and that Scotland is better able to prosper in a globalised economy with the international influence and stability derived from being part of the UK. David Maddox, writing for The Scotsman newspaper says that Scotland's levels of public spending (higher in relation to the rest of the UK) would be difficult to sustain after independence, without raising taxes, as North Sea Oil revenues will decline in due course.

Personally I hope Scotland separates from the UK and then support their own education and health care systems, fund social security, defence, transport and make provision for the elderly (pensions) - all from a population of 5¼m and...Sean Connery. Passports to visit the rest of the UK - why not?
The Scottish Government has outlined a possible transition to independence in the event of a "Yes" vote in the referendum. Independence Day for Scotland would be in March 2016, with the first elections to an independent parliament in May and First Minister Alex Salmond said the timescale was in line with previous international experience. Independence Day for Scotland - let me know when it is? I'll get my SuBo CDs out and celebrate! Bloody hate tartan me!

Oh - and can we persuade Berwick Rangers to play in the English Football League? - Berwick is in England when all is said and done...

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Saturday, 9 February 2013


A return to horsemeat in the food chain verbiage - I'm afraid - (see BLOG #98) - but the discovery of horsemeat in products described and sold as beef are likely to be the "tip of the iceberg", a parliamentary report into the scandal said earlier this week.
"The scale of contamination emerging in the meat supply chain is breathtaking," said Anne McIntosh, a legislator who chairs the cross-party Food and Rural Affairs Committee (FRAC), which published the report. "More revelations will doubtless come to light in the UK and across the European Union."
Certainly the scale of the problem seems to have put EU food ministers very much on the back hoof, since they cannot comment meaningfully on the extent of the scandal. Growing revelations about the use of horsemeat in products labelled beef have raised questions about the safety of the European food supply chain and prompted governments to send out a European Union (EU)-wide alert. Talk about closing the door after the horse has bolted!

Of particular concern last week was the news that the British operation of frozen foods group Findus began recalling its beef lasagne on advice from its French supplier, Comigel, after tests showed concentrations of horsemeat ranging from 60 to 100%. 100%? - how can that be possibly described as beef?

And if you can find that your beef product has horse meat, then what else are they putting in there that we don’t know about?


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