Ex-Home Secretary Leon Brittan Dies


Sir-Leon-Brittan_2961184b

Tributes are paid to Lord Brittan, the prominent former Tory cabinet minister, who has died after a long battle with cancer.

By @ShaunyNews VIA: http://news.sky.com/story/1412943/ex-home-secretary-leon-brittan-dies

Strange or just a crazy coincidence here, I have been reporting on the UK Political Sex Abuse story, same as a few main stream media and I said in an article a few weeks ago “They threw the TV Personalities out to the wolves first, who will die to keep this out the court’s” 

https://acenewsdesk.wordpress.com/?s=UK+Sex+Abuse

The 'LOST FILES'

The ‘LOST FILES’

Via Sky News> They bring up the paedophile ring also. Former Tory leader Lord Howard has said it is a “tragedy” Lord Brittan’s “last days were dogged by unsubstantiated allegations” about a Westminster paedophile ring. The former Home Secretary and Tory peer died in his sleep last night at the age of 75 after a long battle with cancer, his family said in a statement. Lord Brittan, a key figure in Margaret Thatcher’s government, last year became mired in the historical child sex abuse scandal after claims he was handed a dossier containing details of allegations of a paedophile ring operating in Westminster in the 1980s.

He was accused of failing to act on the evidence passed to him by the Tory MP Geoffrey Dickens in 1983. While he admitted he had met Mr Dickens and had been handed a file, he said he had passed it on to officials and was not contacted on this issue again.  However, the Home Office released a letter in which Lord Brittan, who was knighted in 1989, wrote to Mr Dickens saying the material had been assessed and “had been passed to the appropriate authorities”.

Sadly this will be the man's legacy, like Saville, we will never know now

Sadly this will be the man’s legacy, like Jimmy Savile, we will never know now

Speaking on Sky News Lord Howard said it was a “tragedy his last days were dogged by unsubstantiated allegations” and said he was a great parliamentarian. Former Cabinet colleague Lord Lamont said he had been very “brave and stoical” during his illness and added he was a kind man and one of the “brightest of his generation”. In a statement from Lord Brittan’s family, they said: “It is with great regret that we announce the death of Leon Brittan. “As a family, we should like to pay tribute to him as a beloved husband to Diana and brother to Samuel, and a supportive and loving stepfather to Katharine and Victoria, and step-grandfather to their children.

Sky News and others are running this story NOW

Sky News and others are running this story NOW

“We also salute his extraordinary commitment to British public life as a Member of Parliament, Minister, Cabinet Minister, European Commissioner and Peer – together with a distinguished career in law, and latterly in business. “Leon passed away last night at his home in London after a long battle with cancer. We shall miss him enormously. There will be a private funeral service for family only, and a memorial service to be announced.” Leon Brittan was elected as MP for Cleveland and Whitby in 1974 and then for Richmond, Yorks in 1983 when he became the youngest Home Secretary since Winston Churchill.

He was as prominent in the Thatcher government for taking on the NUM during the miners’ strike in 1984-85 as he was for his resignation over the Westland affair in 1986. In 1984 he led the Government response to the shooting of police woman Yvonne Fletcher outside the Libyan embassy in London because both Mrs Thatcher and Foreign Secretary Geoffrey Howe were away. He went on to become a European Commissioner, spending ten years in the role and rising to vice-president of the Commission between 1989 and 1993. Nick Clegg was a member of his office. Lord Deben – who served alongside Lord Brittan in Margaret Thatcher’s administration as John Gummer – said: “Very sad to see Leon Brittan has died. A good and honourable servant of his country. A decent and lasting friend. He will be sorely missed.”

Lord Hestletine told Sky News Lord Brittan was a “talented and highly respected minister” and that they had in later years enjoyed a friendship despite the differences that emerged during the Westland affair. Speaking in the House of Commons as the news was announced William Hague, who replaced Lord Brittan as MP for Richmond, paid tribute and gave his condolences to the family.

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Leon Brittan Videoed at Paedo Orgy

http://www.theduckshoot.com/was-leon-brittan-arrested-on-paedophile-charges/

Are the vile paedophile allegations against Leon Brittan a sinister MI5 smear plot?

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2816508/Are-vile-paedophile-allegations-against-Leon-Brittan-sinister-MI5-smear-plot-Labour-MP-uses-Commons-privilege-link-Tory-abuse.html

http://beforeitsnews.com/the-law/2014/01/queen-named-in-parliament-paedophile-ring-leon-brittan-raped-me-says-child-abuse-survivor-2454948.html

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/margaret-thatchers-cabinet-bigwigs-named-3919442

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Salmond convinced of second referendum vote


Scotland's former First Minister Alex Salmond

Scotland’s former First Minister Alex Salmond

 By @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews – Via: http://www.itv.com/news/2014-12-20/salmond-convinced-of-second-referendum-vote/

The article I did below this one https://acenewsdesk.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/alex-salmond-hints-at-westminster-snpred-tory-vote-deal/ leads me to believe what I have all along. Alex has something on the Tory Party. Be it the ‘Edinburgh Agreement’ or the ‘Vow’ or something more sinister? 😉 Watch this space people. Another Referendum is coming sooner rather than later. I think this is breaking news, only ITV are showing so far

Alex Salmond has admitted today that he has not given up on his ambition for an independent Scotland and said he believes there will be another referendum vote in his lifetime. Scotland’s former first minister told The Times (£) if England votes in future to remove the UK from the European Union then that will be the “tipping point” at which Scotland will push for another independence vote. He said: “If you believe there are four equal nations, partners in this United Kingdom, then it seems reasonable that no one country should be dragged out of the European firmament against its will.”

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond with Yes supporters in Inverurie, Scotland during the Scottish referendum vote

First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond with Yes supporters in Inverurie, Scotland during the Scottish referendum vote

Salmond, who stepped down following the yes campaign’s referendum loss also remained positive that should there be another independence vote this time the outcome would be different and told The Times (£) “I think we would win if there was another referendum.” He added: “Luckily in life, as in politics, people sometimes get a second chance.”

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article4302614.ece

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Watch Ian Duncan Smith Laugh at BedRoom Tax Debate


IDS

Scotland THIS is why we need a new referendum

By @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews Via http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/watch-iain-duncan-smith-laugh-4829195

I watched this in anger at Ian Duncan Smith, the man doesn’t know reality of the people of the UK. For him to laugh during a VERY IMPORTANT debate tells us all a story we should already know. The man is out of touch with himself and his job. I think his days should be numbered, the good thing is very soon he will have NO SAY AT ALL over Scottish benefits. Now that has to be a good thing. Make no mistake, the SNP have a date they were told in the event of a No vote thanks to the “Edinburgh Agreement” and the “Vow” that on this date certain measures come into play. Nicola has already withheld £2Million that was to support the Queen, watch this play out as the SNP take what is promised. Fun viewing it will be. Also for anyone having issues with the Bedroom tax here is a small trick. Turn your spare bedroom into a Dining Room. Legally it’s not a bedroom 🙂 Try it. Also I am not saying Labour’s John Robertson is any better, he voted for many things he now argues about… Anyway

Tory minster Ian Duncan Smith has sparked outrage by laughing during a heartbreaking debate on the affects of the Bedroom Tax. He was spotted throwing his head back and chortling while being accused by Labour’s John Robertson of simply not listening to anyone else and was “bored”. The comment came after the minister appeared to be talking to Tory MP Mark Harper as another MP spoke about the reality of the stress the Bedroom Tax would have on a Scottish estate.

Mr Robertson said: “The one thing that we can tell from the honourable gentlemen who are having a wee chat amongst themselves… This perhaps is exactly the problem with this government. They sit and have their little chats because they’re bored with the talk of people on this side trying to help them. “And they can say whatever they like, that is how it looks to me.”

Labour MP Jack Dromey described the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions as “grinning like a Cheshire cat”, while viewers took to Twitter to agree and voice their disgust. While Ed, branded the minster a scumbag, posting: “Dim-witted sociopath Iain Duncan Smith laughs as he hears stories of vulnerable people he has driven to suicide. He is absolute scum. #IDS”Russell Corbett tweeted that while the result of the vote was not surprising, Mr Duncan Smith’s behaviour showed how “evil” he was. While Ed, branded the minster a scumbag, posting: “Dim-witted sociopath Iain Duncan Smith laughs as he hears stories of vulnerable people he has driven to suicide. He is absolute scum. #IDS”

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No doubt Mr Duncan Smith would have had even more to be happy about when the Government defeated the Labour motion by a reduced majority of 32, winning the vote 298 to 266. A Government amendment was then carried 300 to 262, majority 38. The Lib Dems were criticised for voting with the Tories, as with their votes Labour would have been successful in getting the tax abolished.

In September Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves pledged to call a parliamentary vote to scrap the Bedroom Tax – calling Lib Dems to join her party. Labour has pledged to repeal the Bedroom Tax if it wins in May. New figures show victims have lost an average of £1,260 since the 2013 launch of the hated policy, which docks housing benefit of tenants deemed to have a spare room.

Labour's John Robertson sparked IDS' laughter

Labour’s John Robertson sparked IDS’ laughter

The Bedroom Tax debate was not the first time Mr Duncan Smith has appeared to laugh off misfortune of others. Almost exactly a year ago, he sneered at the plight of hungry families forced to rely on food banks. During the debate last December Tory MPs laughed and jeered as they were told how some hard-up shoppers were so desperate they fought to snap up discounted items in supermarkets. Astonishingly, all the Government ministers from the responsible departments – including Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith – sneaked out after just an hour of the crucial Commons debate.

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UK Government decision to close fund helping disabled people live independently ruled lawful


Iain Duncan Smith decided on 6 March this year to close the Independent Living Fund

Iain Duncan Smith decided on 6 March this year to close the Independent Living Fund

By @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews

A government decision to close a fund which would allow disabled people to live and work independently has been ruled lawful by a High Court. The decision to shut down the Independent Living Fund (ILF) by 30 June 2015 was made by Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith in March this year. The High Court was asked whether Duncan Smith had unlawfully failed to discharge his public sector equality duty (PSED) under the 2010 Equality Act by closing the fund.

The £320m ILF fund currently provides support to allow 18,000 disabled people to live and work in their community rather than residential care. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) previously warned that closure of the fund “will result in loss of dignity and independence for many ILF recipients”.

Judge Justice Andrews, sitting in the High Court, has ruled that the closure was lawful following an appeal, but added she knew the decision would be of “great disappointment” to some. Richard Hawkes, chief executive of the disability charity Scope, said following the decision the care system in the UK is now “on its knees.” He said: “Scope is very concerned about the closure of the Independent Living Fund, because it’s likely to lead to fewer disabled people being able to live independently. “Funding will be transferred to councils, but there will be no guarantee that the money will be used to support disabled people to live independently, or that former ILF users will receive the same levels of support, given the pressures on local authority finances. “The care system is on its knees. Chronic under-funding and year-on-year rationing mean that too many people that need help to get up, get dressed, get washed and live independently face a daily struggle for support.” “With its recent care reforms, the government has set out an ambitious vision for the future of social care. But if this vision is to become a reality, social care needs sustainable funding”.

The Department for Work and Pensions said: “This government is absolutely committed to supporting disabled people and we continue to spend around £50bn a year on disabled people and their services.”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30374254

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/pa/article-2865114/Decision-fund-disabled.html

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UK Police Tweet – Girl Held By Police As No NHS Beds Available


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A senior police officer uses Twitter to highlight the case of a teen with mental health issues who was held for almost two days.

 

By @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews

It really is time Britain to stand up. Over the last few months I have talked and walked for the Scottish cause, but this Tweet by a Policeman is PATHETIC. Anyone who voted Tory deserves to be in Police custody also from here on in. As the policeman said #Unacceptable This was from Devon and Cornwall Police, at least we can say the police are decent in this country, they don’t kill people, they save them

BOW YOUR HEAD YOU MONSTER!

BOW YOUR HEAD YOU MONSTER!

A senior police officer has told how a teenager with mental health issues was held in police custody for almost two days because no NHS beds were available. Assistant Chief Constable Paul Netherton, from Devon and Cornwall Police, took to Twitter to vent his frustration after he was left with no choice but to keep the girl in custody in a police station. He said the 16-year-old was detained on Thursday night and sectioned on Friday lunchtime. She should have been taken to hospital, but police were told there were no places for her anywhere in the UK. Labour said the case was “an appalling reflection of the crisis in mental health services under the current Government”.

NHS England confirmed on Saturday evening that a place had been found for the girl. ACC Netherton told Sky News : “I was very concerned because we shouldn’t be put in a position where we have a 16-year-old schoolgirl kept in custody now for three days because there is no place where we can house her safely. “A police station and a custody block on a Friday and Saturday night is simply not a place where a young child should be placed. “We wouldn’t put a criminal in custody for that long and we certainly don’t want to put someone who is suffering from mental health issues in a custody block for that length of time.” ACC Netherton said an area of the station’s cells had been closed to keep the girl in a “quiet and calm” environment and her mother had been allowed to visit to reassure her.

Well done Devon and Cornwall Police

Well done Devon and Cornwall Police

He said the case was symptomatic of an ongoing problem, with 750 people with mental health issues in Devon & Cornwall alone detained in police stations in the last year. He said: “What concerns us in this case and is certainly a problem across the country… is the fact that it involves children and I do not think there is enough provision for children who suffer mental health issues and need to be detained in an emergency situation.” The officer originally highlighted the case on Twitter, posting: “We have a 16yr old girl suffering from mental health issues held in police custody. There are no beds available in the uk! #unacceptable”.

This is how bad the NHS is in England!! Get the Tory party out of here for good!! Thatcher did the same

This is how bad the NHS is in England!! Get the Tory party out of here for good!! Thatcher did the same

But he told Sky News he did not fear for his job, adding: “I don’t think my position is at risk. We’re just stating the facts –  I think that is my job. “I have a duty of care over all prisoners who come into the custody blocks in Devon and Cornwall and therefore I think I need to flag it up and do something about it when we are frustrated.”

He later tweeted: “Just heard that a place of care has been found for our 16yr old. Good result.” A spokesman for NHS England acknowledged there was more work to be done but said mental health crisis services had been expanding so the number of people ending up in police stations was down by a quarter. Labour’s shadow health minister Luciana Berger said: “This sad situation is becoming worryingly common. People shouldn’t face the indignity of being kept in police cells when they are at their most vulnerable. “The Government promised parity for mental health services, yet we’re going backwards. In recent years, they have suffered more than other NHS services and are falling deeper and deeper into crisis.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/nhs/11262751/Police-fury-about-teenage-girl-held-in-custody-because-no-NHS-beds.html

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/girl-16-with-mental-health-problems-held-by-police-for-nearly-48-hours-as-no-nhs-beds-free-9892833.html

http://www.itv.com/news/story/2014-11-29/teen-girl-with-mental-health-issues-held-by-police-as-no-nhs-beds-free/

I Think A Large Majority of Scotland Have Walked Away From Politics


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The statistics read well for the SNP

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

https://acenewsdesk.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/nicola-sturgeon-tops-politician-trust-rating-poll-way-ahead-of-the-pack/

The blog above I did a few days ago now and I am seeing a very disturbing trend through AceNews and ShaunyNews where I write and also many are saying the same. Scottish people seem to have walked away from Politics. Could you blame them? I don’t know, maybe. And now the 45%+ are being told to ‘Shut up and get on with it’ by the very people who said ‘Vote no’ I find that very interesting.

WE HAVE TO DECIDED SCOTLAND

WE HAVE TO DECIDED SCOTLAND

In a referendum fraught with lies and social media plants Scotland is now more than aware we were tricked at the last second or cheated, take your pick. My blog for example was getting 80,000 views a day on the days leading up the vote and 40,000+ in the weeks leading to the vote, today I am averaging 15,000, this tells me and others who are writing about the referendum that indeed, many Scottish people have walked away.

I ask Scottish people to stay engaged as they were in the lead up to the vote. Should we turn our backs away and leave it be and say ‘Time to get on with life’ We lose. We can do both, we can stay involved and we can get on with life

I urge Scottish people to stay with Politics, Nicola Sturgeon needs our help. We can’t be fooled 3 times now Scotland. 1979, 2014 and we have the 2015 elections coming fast, in these elections Scotland WE MUST say how we feel, we must get Labour out of our Scottish parliament, they lied to us. Ex Labour and UK leader Gordon Brown was the so called ‘Last Second Saviour’ for the no campaign, now he has a petition to make sure London keep its promise

How Stupid must Labour feel. Do not listen to the lies again Scotland, Labour lied, we were lied to, Labour illegally opened 1/4 of the vote, the postal vote to see a trend, they seen a trend showing the over 65’s were voting no, so in the run up, we all know this now, Labour called all the over 65 voters and scared them to death

Scotland already the World are looking at with eyes of “How stupid could you be” We can change this in the 2015 Elections, we must Scotland or all is lost

Lets help Nicola become our history by freeing Scotland

Lets help Nicola become our history by freeing Scotland

Shaun

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Claims – SNP Membership Now at 100,000 Members


membershipfigs1 (1)

See my AMAZING Photoshop skills? 

I asked the question here, could we catch the Tory Party: https://acenewsdesk.wordpress.com/2014/09/27/the45-imagine-70000-of-the-1-6m-people-who-votes-yes-paid-1-a-months-to-the-snp/

Sometimes people need a metaphorical kick in the arse to fully dedicate themselves to a cause; in this case, the failure of the referendum for Scotland’s independence would have been pretty much all they needed. Who says we don’t respect the decision? We just don’t believe that the British government will fulfill their end of the bargain, we just want to see a party that’ll actually push for the powers promised and that actually represents Scotland (as opposed to the Tories and Red Tories).

The SNP membership is up by 75,000 since the vote and already people across Scotland are planning for how we can obtain independence as quickly as possible. When 71% of teenagers vote yes, it is only a matter of time… and how. If anyone seriously believes this matter is finished, it isn’t far from it. The yes camp are more energised than ever and will make this happen with the help of the Tories down south who seem hell bent on helping us. The SNP are now the third biggest political party in the UK, and membership is still increasing at an encouraging rate. With Labour supporters burning their cards and the SNP’s membership rising exponentially, i think it is time that the press evaluated their response. The backlash from this could be immense in Scotland and would not be unjustified. In fact it appears that indyref has strengthened the SNP rather than weakened it. Labour are seen as traitors because they stood shoulder to shoulder with the Conservatives and the right wing press has ben vilified.

I heartily applaud Salmond for banning the ‘hunting down’ of ancient poll tax debts. The poll tax was one of the most badly designed and grossly unfair taxes ever to have been foisted on modern Scotland. Families on low income sway their local taxation double, treble, quadruple and so on – virtually overnight. Crucially the poll tax or community charge tax bore no relationship on people’s ability to pay. It was a Thatcherite tactic to cut taxes for the wealthy and further impoverish the poor. Many people simply could not afford to pay the tax, this was not helped by heavy charges being levied by councils for late payment. Some people refused to pay the tax on principle. The whole thing was an absolute unjust regressive farce.

Eck may be standing down in November, but I am enjoying the fact that he’s going out with a bang, and I’m sure he shall return to lead an increased SNP contingent to Westminster. And continue to be a fly in the ointment for the Unionist parties, whilst fighting Scotland’s corner.
Alex Salmond is showing he’s closer to the people of Scotland than any of his parliamentary opposition who should totally support him in drawing a line on a social experiment started in Scotland unsuccessfully and then in incredible folly, introduced into England where the good people killed it stone dead.

And Nicola Sturgeon in tacking IDS and Cameron this week over Universal Credit is indeed encouraging stuff, this bodes well for Sturgeon’s tenure as FM. She’s no afraid of those Thatcherites’ in Westminster! In fact in a new poll conducted by Panelbase, Salmond and Sturgeon, were the only two leaders of the political parties to score a positive rating – by far the most successful and longest lasting partnership in Scottish politics. A positive rating after seven years – remarkable.They did the impossible – transformed a small party into one with a majority in the Scottish parliament. Just shows there is another world outside where the sun shines and positive things happen.

JOIN TODAY AND HELP SCOTLAND BE FREE – 35,001 new members needed! 

JOIN TODAY > https://my.snp.org/join < JOIN TODAY

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http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/alan/snp-membership-now-at-100000-members_b_5935416.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

http://www.nationalheadlines.co.uk/383345/snp-membership-now-at-100000-members/

http://www.englishnews.info/sitio/news-uk.php?id=27-3619&id_sm=1&titulo=snp-membership-now-at-100,000-members!#.VDLWDvldWQU

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Tories Reveal Plans To Scrap Human Rights Act


Tories To Scrap Human Rights Act

Tories To Scrap Human Rights Act

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

This is a VERY dangerous course the Tory’s are taking us on, imagine one day UKIP came into power? This isn’t good 

A Tory government would scrap the Human Rights Act and replace it with a Bill of Rights giving British judges and Parliament the final say on rulings. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling proposed the plans after David Cameron told the Conservative Party conference he intended to end what he called Strasbourg’s meddling in trivial cases. Mr Grayling said the “mission creep” by European courts on issues such as voting rights for prisoners had become intolerable and the new Bill would relegate European judges to an advisory role.

“We will put in place a provision that will say the rulings of Strasbourg will not have legal effect in the UK without the consent of parliament,” he said. The Bill would include principles from the European Convention on Human Rights, but UK judges would not be obliged to take Strasbourg rulings into account when coming to decisions. “What we have effectively got is a legal blank cheque, where the court can go where it chooses to go,” Mr Grayling added. “We will put in place a provision that will say that the rulings of Strasbourg will not have legal effect in the UK without the consent of parliament. “Effectively what we are doing is turning Strasbourg into an advisory body.” But the plans have come under fire from civil-rights group Liberty which declared the proposals provocative and illegal.

The European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg

The European Court of Human Rights building in Strasbourg

Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti said: “As legally illiterate as politically provocative, this plan would gamble with our fragile Union and put us in breach of international law. “This so-called British Bill of Rights would diminish everyone’s freedoms and make Government even less accountable in the future.” Labour’s shadow justice secretary Sadiq Khan said there were “so many contradictions, inaccuracies and myths” in the proposal, it could only have been “cobbled together on the back of an envelope”. The Labour MP went on: “Once again, David Cameron is pandering to UKIP instead of standing up for the rights and best interests of the people of Britain. “The truth is that our courts have been free to interpret rulings by the European Convention on Human Rights for 50 years – the Human Rights Act did nothing to change that fact.” “The European Court of Human Rights does need reform, which is why Labour has called for Strasbourg to do more to improve the quality of its judges and give member states the wriggle room to interpret decisions appropriately. “But leaving the ECHR, which the Tories appear to be proposing, would be a disaster for this country – putting Britain in the same bracket as Belarus, Europe’s last remaining dictatorship.”

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling warned of 'mission creep' from Strasbourg

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling warned of ‘mission creep’ from Strasbourg

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SNP condemns UK plans to allow fracking drilling below people’s land


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By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

The Scottish Government has condemned UK plans to allow fracking companies to drill below people’s land without their agreement.

Sinkholes have been appearing all over the World due to Fracking and there is no guarantee it wouldn’t happen in Scotland, this is the Sinkhole to anyone unsure 

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A sinkhole which swallowed a car on a driveway in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

hole-india

sinkholes-around-the-world

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said it will press ahead with proposals to simplify underground access for oil and gas developers despite the objection of 99% of respondents to a consultation. The UK-wide plan would give companies the right to drill at depths of 300 metres or more under private land without negotiating a right of access. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said decisions on oil and gas drilling in Scotland should be made by the people who live there, and powers relating to the issue should be included in the current devolution process. Mr Ewing said: “UK Government proposals to remove the right of Scottish householders to object to drilling under their homes, without so much as debate in the Scottish Parliament, flies in the face of Scotland’s cautious, considered and evidence based approach on this issue. It is also fundamentally an issue affecting land ownership rights.

“Whatever your view on the issue of unconventional oil and gas – and it is clear that there are both opportunities and concerns – there is only one way that the people of Scotland can determine the approach in Scotland – including beneath their homes and land. “That is with the devolution of the necessary powers to Scotland and the current devolution process for the “extensive new powers” promised in the vow should include these powers. “Unconventional oil and gas developments should only ever happen under a robust regulatory regime, and the Scottish Government takes this issue particularly seriously.”  Hydraulic fracturing or fracking involves pumping water, chemicals and sand at high pressure underground to fracture shale rock and release the gas trapped in it. Wells can be drilled horizontally, leading to exploration under land around the site.

fracking-infographic

The DECC ran a consultation from May 23 to August 15 asking respondents whether the government should legislate for underground access to gas, oil and geothermal developers below 300 metres. Of the 40,647 people who responded, more than 99% opposed the idea. In their submissions opponents said there should be more focus on renewable energy sources and that “changing laws that protect people’s private property to aid the extraction of unconventional gas is wrong”. People who supported the plan said there was significant economic benefit in easing access for developers.

The Government response, published today, said: “We acknowledge the large number of responses against the proposal and the fact that the proposal has provided an opportunity for the public to voice their concerns and raise issues.

“However the role of the consultation was to seek arguments and evidence to consider in developing the proposed policy. Whilst a wide range of arguments were raised and points covered, we did not identify any issues that persuaded us to change the basic form of the proposals. “Having carefully considered the consultation responses, we believe that the proposed policy remains the right approach to underground access and that no issues have been identified that would mean that our overall policy approach is not the best available solution. “We will therefore put before Parliament primary legislation to implement the policy proposals set out in the consultation paper. Parliament’s scrutiny of the provisions will provide further opportunities for public engagement on the issues.”

The consultation stated that under the present system a single landowner had the power to significantly delay a development “even though the drilling and use of underground wells does not affect their enjoyment of their land”. “We intend to change this system by making it less burdensome for companies to gain underground access rights,” it said. Companies looking to develop shale gas and oil would still need to obtain all the necessary environmental and planning permissions but the proposed legislation would effectively remove the issue of trespass at depths of 300 metres or more. Under the proposals people living on the ground above a horizontal well extending more than 200 metres would receive a payment of #20,000.

fracking

Mary Church, head of campaigns at Friends Of The Earth Scotland, said: “It is absolutely outrageous that the UK Government has ignored over 99% of responses to this consultation, and the stated objection of the Scottish Government, that the removal of people’s rights to object to fracking underneath their homes is simply unacceptable. “This is literally legislating for the 1%. “(David) Cameron and (George) Osborne’s blinkered dash for gas risks putting the UK on course for climate catastrophe and endangers the health and wellbeing of communities across central and southern Scotland.”

Sturgeon trump card is not in any doubt


A year that will define a countries future

A year that will define a countries future

By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

HISTORY is written by the winners, according to the old truism.

Not the history of the independence referendum. Not so far, at least. The SNP has enjoyed considerable success in implanting its story of the campaign in the public consciousness while the winners have struggled to be heard. The Nationalist narrative is clear. The referendum has given life to a new age of democratic and political engagement in Scotland. Despite being pitted against the formidable apparatus of the British state, the Yes campaign came within a whisker of victory by giving voice to a clamour for radical change. It failed only because people were “tricked,” as First Minister Alex Salmond put it, by promises of more powers for Holyrood and frightened, the older generation especially, by Westminster’s scaremongering. A referendum process characterised by mature democratic debate, the argument goes, has empowered and enriched Scotland. The result was a bitter disappointment but the country has been transformed.

The No side sees it quite differently. In their narrative, a decisive majority of Scots rejected the SNP’s sketchy and implausible economic prospectus. Faced with a noisy and often intimidating Yes campaign, people across the country stoically endorsed the advantages of remaining in the UK. They saw through the Nationalists’ cynical and dishonest claims about threats to the NHS and fantastical claims about Scotland’s untapped oil wealth. They now want politicians on all sides to put the referendum behind them and get on with the business of running the country.

There are lots of reasons why the first version is taking root in people’s minds. Mr Salmond’s well-timed resignation announcement the afternoon after the night before has ensured the SNP has remained the story this week. Mr Salmond himself, his sure-fire successor Nicola Sturgeon and the candidates fighting to replace her as deputy leader have all used platforms to tell their story of the referendum.

No campaigners, meanwhile, vacated that particular field. David Cameron moved instantly from the referendum to fighting the looming General Election. His focus has been putting Labour on the spot by talking about English votes for English laws. Labour decamped to Manchester to indulge in its favourite conference-time activity: infighting. The party’s failure to secure a No vote in the heartlands of Glasgow, North Lanarkshire and West Dunbartonshire has sparked a bout of briefing against Johann Lamont’s leadership. It has also put Labour on the defensive. The main message from Margaret Curran MP, shadow secretary of state for Scotland, and others has been the need to reconnect with the large minority of Labour supporters who voted Yes.

The SNP’s success has put it on the front foot in the new debate about devolving more powers to Holyrood. Although Lord Smith of Kelvin’s commission was established to reconcile competing proposals from Labour, the Conservatives and the LibDems, it is the SNP’s demands which have grabbed the headlines. The details of a new Scotland Bill will not be known until the end of the year but Ms Sturgeon is already positioning herself to argue, as surely she will, that whatever emerges is wholly inadequate and a betrayal of voters who put their faith in the No parties’ home rule vows.

Astonishingly, then, the week after the referendum was lost and its leader resigned has proved a good one for the SNP. And that’s without mentioning the party’s membership has more than doubled.

It cannot last, the downcast winners are muttering with a shake of the head. Unionist MSPs believe the hangover will finally hit the Nats when they see there is no realistic possibility of a fresh referendum, when people embrace the new devolution package, and when those new SNP members turn out to be vanguards of the so-called “45” movement hellbent on dragging the party towards the electoral wastelands of the hard left. It sounds like wishful thinking. In a perfectly-pitched speech announcing her candidacy for the top job on Wednesday, Ms Sturgeon revealed an acute understanding of all those pressures. And her trump card was this: she left no-one in any doubt she actually wants to run the country, not just petition for independence. That should worry her opponents more than anything.”””

www.heraldscotland.com/comment/columnists/sturgeon-trump-card-is-not-in-any-doubt.25366890

http://www.trading-house.net/news/international-sturgeon-trump-card-is-not-in-any-doubt-39156039

http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Current+Affairs/Scotland/Scottish+Independence/’Yes+Scotland’+Independence+Campaign

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