Policing – Scotsman Article – 14 October 2021

Policing has been under the cosh in London and in Scotland. Sarah Everard’s murder was truly shocking, serious mistakes have been made and changes there must be. That applies in Scotland as well as south of the Border, even if transgressions have been fewer and the situation less severe. But Police Scotland isn’t the Metropolitan Police. Both the scale of… Read more »

Offshore Wind – Scotsman Article – 14 October 2021

“The Saudi Arabia of wind’s” – the rhetoric, that’s even trumpeted by Boris Johnson. With Scotland possessing 25% of Europe’s offshore wind resource you’d therefore think we’d be firing on all cylinders. For sure there’s much happening with fields opening and work progressing. But for Scotland rhetoric isn’t matching reality. As I sat down to write this an e mail… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 7 October 2021

Preparations continue for the wealth that’s going to flow ashore in East Lothian from offshore wind but there’s still no sign of the county and its citizens benefiting from it. Research from the House of Commons library confirmed what I had suspected that there’s a gap in legislation. If the turbines were onshore, then community benefit would apply, and funds… Read more »

NHS Reform – Scotsman Article – 7 October 2021

A billion pounds pledged to the NHS by Nicola Sturgeon, who could possibly disagree? We want the best health service we can possibly afford. Compounding that Covid has proven costly and not just in lives, with waiting times lengthening and delays increasing. But is it all about the money? And with life expectancy increasing and pressures through the benefits of… Read more »

Direct Ferry Services – Scotsman Article – 7 October 2021

The sea can be viewed either as an obstacle to transport or a means to achieve it. For long Scotland was in the former category, building great ships and sailing the Seven Seas. Recently, though, it’s been the latter, as maritime links shrank and then the Rosyth direct service to Europe ended in 2010. But with Brexit beckoning, you’d have… Read more »

TIME FOR SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TO ACT ON INDEPENDENCE

SUPREME COURT RULING: ALBA REACTION MACASKILL CONDEMNS FULL SCALE ASSAULT ON THE POWERS OF THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT TIME FOR SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TO ACT ON INDEPENDENCE   Responding to today’s ruling by the Supreme Court ALBA Party Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP said: “ This was always going to be the outcome and is the inevitable consequence of Devolution.  It is the reason… Read more »

TIME FOR THE GREENS TO “GET REAL” AND DELIVER RENEWED FERRY LINK

TIME FOR THE GREENS TO “GET REAL” AND DELIVER RENEWED FERRY LINK   FROM ROSYTH TO EUROPE SAY ALBA MPS   ALBA Party MPs Kenny MacAskill MP and Neale Hanvey MP have launched a discussion paper on the maritime opportunities for Scotland as they call on the Scottish Greens to “get real” in delivering the direct ferry link from Rosyth to Europe they promised… Read more »

Henry Dundas – Scotsman Article – 30 September 2021

Crossing St Andrews Square I saw the revised plaque to Henry Dundas. Now I’m fully supportive of change ensuring his role in slavery’s laid bare. It’s important that Scotland’s role accounted for. Hence changes are welcome. For long its simply been a man high up on a plinth, with few able to say who it was. But why’s there no… Read more »

Labour Conference – Scotsman Article – 30 September 2021

Reading Barbara Castle’s biography recently was a reminder of Labour Party conferences when they huge national events and where Scotland was a pivotal part of them. But no more, now it’s a diminished show and north of the border’s an irrelevance to most in the British Labour Party. The great debates and battles that waged within them whether between Gaitskill… Read more »

STURGEON MUST NOT SCUTTLE THE SCOTTISH FLEET

MACASKILL TO HAND IN MODEL SHIP TO BUTE HOUSE AS HE WARNS “STURGEON MUST NOT SCUTTLE THE SCOTTISH FLEET” ALBA Depute Leader and MP for East Lothian Kenny MacAskill will together with local representatives from Greenock and Inverclyde Cllr Jim McEleny and Cllr Chris McEleny will hand in a model of a Cal Mac ferry  to the First Minister at her official residence, Bute House, 6… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 23 September 2021

Parliament debated cuts to Universal Credit last week. A few Tories spoke out against it knowing the severe hardship it’s going to cause. They included former social security Ministers who know just how inadequate our benefits system is. But as ever Boris Johnsons large majority drove it home. I spoke in it, mentioning how I’m from a generation who viewed… Read more »

1820 History – Scotsman Article – 23 September 2021

In Greenock recently I visited the memorial to those who had been killed on 8th April 1820 during the Radical War or Rising of 1820, call it what you will. It’s poignant as the eight names displayed contain three teenagers and an eight-year-old. They’d been part of a crowd seeking to free prisoners who’d been captured in Paisley and were… Read more »

Shipyard Betrayal – Scotsman Article – 23 September 2021

Scottish political absurdity was displayed this week with a SNP MP seeking MoD naval contracts for Scotland, whilst the Scottish Government failed to allow a Clyde Yard to even tender to build CalMac ferries for Islay. BAE at Govan are an outstanding Yard and deserve the work on merit. But the same skills exist on the Lower Clyde, as on… Read more »

Shipyard Betrayal – The Scottish Sun Article – 21 September 2021

The untapped resources of the North Sea are as nothing to the untapped resource of our people” said the legendary Jimmy Reid in his address, when installed as Glasgow University Rector in 1972. It was described by the New York Times as the finest since Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. But unleashing our people’s talents can only happen if there’s work… Read more »

MACASKILL RAISES CRAIG MURRAY CASE IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS

The Former Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Justice and ALBA Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP has raised the case of Craig Murray, the imprisoned journalist, with the UK Attorney General in an exchange in the House of Commons today (Thursday).  Following the exchange Mr MacAskill said: “A great injustice has been visited upon Craig Murray who has been jailed for eight months without the… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 16 September 2021

There’s no doubt that social care needs funded and the backlog in the NHS addressed. It’s who pays that’s the issue and that’s what makes Boris Johnsons National Insurance tax hike wrong. The low paid and young are bearing the brunt and that’s not right. Income tax is far fairer than national insurance and taxing wealth’s what’s really required. Those… Read more »

Universal Credit Cuts – Scotsman Article – 16 September 2021

I reshared a posting on my personal facebook page from Newsthump a satirical site that’s witty yet caustic. It was a picture of Theresa Coffey, the Work and Pensions Minister, with a caption declaring “majority of Paralympians fit for work” and suggestions of benefit rules changes to come. Some friends thought it was true, giving vent to their spleen in… Read more »

HEADS MUST ROLL OVER CAL MAC ‘KICK IN THE TEETH’ SAYS MACASKILL

“DIRECT AWARD” OF ALL SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT FERRIES TO FERGUSSON’S NOW ESSENTIAL ALBA Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP has slammed the betrayal of the workforce at Fergusson Marine over the decision to award the contract for the Islay ferries to overseas contractors. Mr MacAskill whose biography of Jimmy Reid, who led the UCS work in on the Upper Clyde, documents his political journey… Read more »

MACASKILL CONDEMNS CORPORATE BODY DECISION AS “SHAMEFUL”

  “AN AFFRONT TO DEMOCRATIC TRADITIONS” AND “THREAT TO CIVIL LIBERTIES” SPCB MUST THINK AGAIN ALBA Depute Leader and Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MP has written to the Scottish Parliament Presiding Officer, Alison Johnstone MSP who convenes the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) strongly urging the SPCB to think again on their “shameful” decision to request draconian powers from the Home Secretary in… Read more »

#FoodOnPlates Campaign by FareShare

Kenny MacAskill backs campaign to end scandal of unsold food being wasted, instead of donated to charities feeding hungry people  One in 8 people in the UK struggles to afford food, yet more than a quarter of all the food grown in the UK is never eaten. France – which offers tax breaks for businesses redistributes 6x more fresh unsold food… Read more »

SNP GREEN COALITION KICKS INDEPENDENCE CAN DOWN THE ROAD ONCE AGAIN

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TAKING THE PEOPLE AND INDEPENDENCE MOVEMENT FOR FOOL In a statement Kenny MacAskill MP said: “The SNP/Green coalition kicks the Independence can down the road once again.  The Programme for Government pays lip service to Independence while the First Minister confirmed today that no work has been done on preparing for Independence within Government since the 2014 White… Read more »

Steve House Resignation – Scotsman Article – 2 September 2021

Why I suspect Nicola Surgeon had a role in Stephen House’s resignation as Chief Constable. Suggestions that Steve House’s resignation as Police Scotland’s Chief Constable was sought by Nicola Sturgeon, despite protestation to the contrary, doesn’t surprise me in the least, as it bears all the hallmark of her centralised regime and blatant disregard for the separation of powers. Steve… Read more »

SNP-GREEN DEAL WILL SCUPPER NECESSARY ROAD-BUILDING PROJECTS IN SCOTLAND

What’ll the SNP/Green deal hold for vital road infrastructure projects the length and breadth of Scotland? Who knows but I fear it’ll not be as benign as the SNP is currently spinning. The Greens are historically hostile to road investment and that won’t be tempered by office. They were hostile to the commitment to dual the A9, despite the arguments… Read more »

SEEKING ASSURANCES SNP-GREEN DEAL WON’T HIT UPGRADES OF A1 AND SHERIFFHALL ROUNDABOUT

East Lothian MP Kenny MacAskill is seeking assurance that work he says is needed to upgrade the busy A1 road will not be blocked by the SNP’s Holyrood deal with the Greens. The former Justice Secretary has written to his ex-colleague, Transport Secretary Michael Matheson, asking him to confirm that vital road infrastructure projects will not be impacted by the… Read more »

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT MUST UPHOLD SCOTLAND’S SUPPORT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

MACASKILL CALLS FOR POLICE SCOTLAND TO CEASE TRAINING IN SRI LANKA OVER HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MP has called on Police Scotland to cease engagement with its counterparts in Sri Lanka until such times as its government adheres to international human rights.  Mr MacAskill has written to Keith Brown MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans calling for… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 26 August 2021

Westminster was focused on Afghanistan last week, as the world has been with the tragedy unfolding there. Sadly, despite the Prime Ministers statement there remains little clarity on the three issues that have arisen from the debacle. They are why we went in 20 years ago, how it collapsed so suddenly and most importantly of all, what’s to be done… Read more »

Minimum Unit Pricing – Scotsman Article – 26 August 2021

You’d expect a government that fought long and hard for a ground-breaking policy to want to make it work effectively. You’d also expect them to want to maintain progress in an area of social harm, especially one that’s long devilled Scotland and where another social ill of drugs’ are wreaking carnage. But not this Holyrood administration, as recent alcohol death… Read more »

Global Britain – Scotsman Article – 26 August 2021

The New American Century was a concept promoted by right wing American hawks. Pursued with venality yet vigour by the likes of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld and having both its summit and its very nadir in Iraq. Now it’s enduring its death throes in Afghanistan, yet who could have imagined it would come so suddenly and in this manner. Global… Read more »

TIME TO RAISE MINIMUM UNIT PRICING TO TACKLE ALCOHOL DEATHS SAYS MACASKILL

Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MP has written to the Health Secretary Humza Yousaf calling for the Scottish Government to raise Minimum Unit Pricing of alcohol from 50p per unit to 65p per unit following the publication last week of statistics which show that alcohol specific deaths are now at their highest level since 2008.    The figures which show alcohol specific… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 20 August 2021

The Council’s preparing a poverty plan and they’re right to do so, as many are facing hard times. It’s not coming about because of coronavirus but due to political choices. Matters have been exacerbated by coronavirus, but the trajectory had ongoing for years. The rich have been getting richer and the poor have been suffering. As a 60s child I… Read more »

The Miners Strike – Scotsman Article – 13 August 2021

Neither climate change nor the Miners Strike are laughing matters, yet Boris Johnson with his usual buffoonery crassly sought to make light of them. His comments were also not only hugely disrespectful but historically inaccurate. Margaret Thatcher’s attack upon the mining communities was nothing to do with global warming but everything to do with smashing the trade union movement. The… Read more »

In Power But Not In Office – Scotsman Article – 13 August 2021

The re-elected SNP administration’s first hundred days are fast approaching, and they’re resembling a Government in power, but with no idea for what purpose. Normally that honeymoon period’s viewed as critical for making your mark and setting political direction. To be fair as incumbents there’s perhaps slightly less need. But given that there’s new faces in office and the country’s… Read more »

Factory Failures – Scotsman Article – 20 August 2021

The closure of the McVitties factory in East End Glasgow’s an unmitigated disaster for the area. Poverty and unemployment already abound and this worsens it. Decades ago I recall the Golden Wonder site in Broxburn similarly shutting and likewise damaging Broxburn. Jim Sillars and I did a photo call at the closed site, placing Red Roses on the locked gates. … Read more »

Afghan Horror – Scotsman Article – 20 August 2021

As the Afghan horror unfolds before our eyes, I’m minded of Spinoza’s comment that “if you want the present to be different from the past, study the past”. From Alexander the Great, through the British Empire to the Soviet Union, history’s littered with failed military interventions in that forsaken land.  Tragically, that wasn’t heeded and it’s poor Afghanis paying the… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 9 August 2021

Boris Johnson’s pit closure comments last week were crass, distasteful and a distortion of history. East Lothian communities were shattered by the brutality of Thatcher’s war on the miners and many have never recovered. Where there had been employment and pride, came unemployment and despair, along with social problems like drugs and alcohol. Remember the Tories planned and prepared for… Read more »

DRUG DEATHS – FORMER JUSTICE SECRETARY KENNY MACASKILL CALLS FOR THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT TO  SHOW COURAGE

  Reacting to the latest Drug related deaths statistics published today (Friday) which show that the number of people who died in 2020 was 1,339 the Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, the ALBA MP for East Lothian said: “These statistics show that Scotland is losing the ‘War on Drugs’.  Every one of these deaths is a human tragedy and the… Read more »

East Lothian Courier – 29 July 2021

Parliaments final week before recess was a rerun of what had gone the week before. Then the debate had been about international aid, this time it was on Immigration and Asylum seekers. Once again, the views of Scots and the needs of Scottish society and its economy were ignored. No one was suggesting that immigration laws aren’t required. Every nation… Read more »

Who To Tax – Scotsman Article – 29 July 2021

Coronavirus is going to come at a price. For sure its been shown that governments can print money and old orthodoxies or even mantras have been exposed as false. Much of what Corbyn was accused of, not just profligacy but apparently economic insanity, has been done. But still there’s financial challenges, and taxes’ll have to rise. It’s whose to bear… Read more »

Ferry Fiasco Continues – Scotsman Article – 29 July 2021

The fiasco on Scotland’s ferries continues and still seems far from a safe harbour. It’s consequences felt not just on the island communities served by them, but in the industrial communities that should be benefitting from constructing them. Instead a tourist season’s ruined in the former and the threat of closure looms over the latter.  It’s not just a shambles,… Read more »