Friday, 18 November 2016

Tories Must Apologise to Crofters Over "Unbelievably Patronising" Attack

Tory MSP Peter Chapman has been criticised as “unbelievably patronising” for personally attacking three members of the Scottish Land Commission as “not real farmers”.

The Tory rural affairs spokesperson made the bizarre attack on the Commission members, saying that “looking at this list of appointments, there isn’t a single real farmer on here.”

He continued: “You can’t call someone with two sheep and a back garden a farmer.”

Two of the Commission members are crofters, while a third is a partner on a 650 acre farm.

Commenting, SNP MSP Maree Todd said:

“This is an unbelievably patronising attack and the Tories must swiftly apologise for describing crofters as ‘not real farmers’.

“Unlike some Tory MSPs, not all of Scotland’s farmers and crofters have estates large enough to parade as Laird of the Manor – but they deserve better than to be belittled by the opposition.

“Peter Chapman should apologise to Scotland’s crofters – and he should apologise to the Land Commission members themselves for this needlessly personal, unprofessional attack.”

Sunday, 13 November 2016

200-Strong Audience for Peterhead Independence Meeting

Local Yes campaigners have hailed a productive public meeting on Scotland’s future, following a debate and discussion at Peterhead’s Palace Hotel on Wednesday evening.
Around 200 people attended the event, which was hosted by Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford, with guests Gordon McIntyre-Kemp of Business for Scotland and Mhairi Black, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South.

The panel covered a range of topics, including the impact of Brexit and the American presidential election on the Scottish economy and wider geopolitics, and was followed by a question and answer session with the audience.

Speaking following the event, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“This was a fantastic meeting, and a good opportunity for local independence supporters to discuss the sort of country we want to build.

“In light of Wednesday’s American election result, and following on from the Brexit vote, hope – and the desire to build a better nation – are more important than ever.

“We had a good turnout, with a diversity of views and some frank exchanges. There were also some really good ideas and suggestions, and I would like to thank everyone who came along.”
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Sunday, 4 September 2016

Tories Can't be Trusted with Rural Scotland's Interests

The SNP has criticised the Tories’ "brass neck", while highlighting why they cannot be trusted to represent Scotland's rural interests, ahead of a summit Ms Leadsom is due to chair on Monday (5 Sept) on the Great British Food campaign.

The Tories have a shameful record in protecting Scotland's rural economy, with damaging actions having been taken across a range of areas that are vital to jobs and growth in Scotland's rural communities. This includes:
  • Failure to guarantee over £350 million of EU funding for farming and fishing, threatening investment and jobs in Scotland’s rural and coastal communities;
  • withdrawal of subsidies for the renewable energy, threatening wind energy projects that would power 1.2 million homes;
  • refusal to pass on £190 million of CAP convergence funds – EU funding Scotland was entitled to receive but which was withheld by Westminster;
  • failure by the UK Government to stop the payment of £1.4 million levy income paid by Scottish livestock producers being spent in England.
Commenting, SNP MP and Environment and Rural Affairs Spokesperson at Westminster, Calum Kerr, said:

"It is blatantly clear that the Tory government has no interest in protecting Scotland's rural communities - their failure to ensure Scotland gets its fair share of EU and other monies shows us exactly that. And their determination to drag Scotland out of the EU against our wishes will only increase the Tory-inflicted damage to our rural communities.

"Their failings are not limited to these areas - with the threats to Fort George and Kinloss, failure to improve grid connections and tackle high transmission charges for Scottish islands, and historic failure to protect Scotland's fishing interests, the list goes on and on.

"Most concerning of all is that one of the most ardent Brexiteers – Andrea Leadsom - has now been appointed as Minister for DEFRA, given her previous desire to remove direct support from farmers.

"In the week when statistics show Scotland’s food and drink sector achieving record growth and success, the Tories have a brass neck putting a Minister in charge of a new Great British Food campaign who only a few short months ago was advocating the replacement of sheep with butterflies on Scotland’s hills.”

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

UK Labour Leadership Contender Tells Scottish Leader: Westminster Trumps Scotland


"Car Crash Interview" Shows Labour Out of Touch with Scotland

Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith has insisted that the Westminster party should ignore Scottish Labour on Trident renewal – while claiming that promises made prior to the independence referendum were “contingent on Labour being in power”.

In a car-crash interview on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Mr Smith also described income-tax rates as “non-devolved”, despite them being devolved under the Scotland Act.

Just days after former Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that the Scotland Act was now out of date and that Scotland should receive full Home Rule, Mr Smith said that the “nature of devolution” was that Scottish Labour’s positions would be trumped by Westminster.

Mr Smith also said that it was for the Scottish people to determine whether there should be a second independence referendum – in direct contradiction of Scottish Labour’s manifesto commitment to oppose a new referendum.

Commenting, SNP MSP Gordon Macdonald said:

“This car crash interview shows just how out of touch Labour is with Scotland – with a potential party leader seemingly unaware of Scottish Labour policy and ignorant of what is and isn’t devolved.

“Owen Smith is completely at odds with Scottish Labour on a second referendum and on Trident – and this is the candidate backed by Kezia Dugdale – but we welcome a Labour voice acknowledging that it is ultimately for the Scottish people to decide on a second referendum.

“But what’s most galling is that Mr Smith brushed off the promises made to the people of Scotland on EU membership and on shipbuilding during the independence referendum campaign saying that these were ‘contingent’ on Labour being in power.

“Such a dismissive attitude to these broken promises only reminds people in Scotland that Labour campaigned shoulder-to-shoulder with the Tories during the referendum – a fact that has haunted Labour ever since and which will continue to do so.”
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