Ms Alexander said she was not a Gordon Brown puppet
During the web chat, driven by questions from BBC viewers, listeners and online users, she was asked to score herself out of 10 for her performance since being elected leader unopposed in September last year.
"Rising all the time, I think is the answer," said Ms Alexander, adding: "Ten out of 10, 10 out of 10."
And Ms Alexander also dismissed claims of arrogance against Labour politicians and said her party's fight back was under way.
She added: "Frankly, as I look across the other benches in the parliament, I don't think the arrogance is on our side.
"I think that what people are looking for are politicians who are willing to listen, I think you will see this week that conference is listening and learning."
Brown foresees Alexander as next leader of Scotland
GORDON Brown used a wide-ranging address to Scottish Labour Party delegates today to bash the Nationalists, defend the Union and predict Wendy Alexander as Scotland's next First Minister.
Gordon Brown appears to imagine that all countries should be part of larger unions yet I doubt the former countries of the Soviet Union would agree, or Tibet for that matter. Labour's announcements have all the credibility of Pravda.
It is clear that Labour don't support the Claim of Right for Scotland. If they did they would support a referendum on independence. Instead they push Britishness down our throats and expect us to swallow any old lies. It didn't work for the Tories.
The people of Scotland are Scots first and foremost any party which ignores that fact is doomed, deservedly.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Ms Alexander said she was not a Gordon Brown puppet
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
FORMER Labour First Minister Henry McLeish has described independence for Scotland as “a positive option”. In remarks sure to infuriate his Labour colleagues, Mr McLeish said all positive options for Scotland’s future should be considered, including independence.
“The country is looking ahead and it’s important that all political parties do too,” Mr McLeish said. “We need an open and inclusive conversation to discuss our future, one in which all the positive options are included — the current devolution settlement, more powers, independence and also a form of federalism.
“The key thing is these ideas are debated in terms of how they will deliver a better quality of life for everyone who lives in Scotland — better health, housing, economic performance and education.”
The former first minister’s views will come as a major blow to Labour, which has been rallying support from other opposition parties to take part in a rival constitutional convention, that specifically excludes the option of independence.
Mr McLeish’s remarks came in advance of the launch of the second phase of the Scottish Government’s “National Conversation” on the country’s constitutional future on Wednesday.
“The National Conversation and further constitutional development should be the means to these vital ends,” he added.
“I welcome that the process of open debate is under way with the National Conversation, and look forward to the next phase developing with the prevailing mood of Scotland.
“The constitutional debate is vitally important for every Scot and fundamental for the future of our nation. And of course we should never forget that a confident Scotland should have a bigger role on the world stage.”
The news is likely to overshadow this week’s Scottish Labour Party conference in Aviemore, where Scottish parliamentary leader Wendy Alexander will try to convince delegates to support the transfer of more powers from Westminster to Holyrood, while allowing other powers to be returned from Holyrood to Westminster.
One of Scotland's business figures who has publicly backed the Labour party in the past has criticised SNP ministers for wasting their time pushing a "conversation" on independence when they should be concentrating on growing the economy.
Iain McMillan, the director of Confederation of British Industry Scotland, spoke out as Alex Salmond, the First Minister, prepares for tomorrow's launch of the second phase of his National Conversation, an event designed to involve "civic Scotland" in the discussion about the future government of Scotland.
The CBI chief said he did not want to "snub" the Scottish Government by refusing to take part [but is doing exactly that. JOE]
A spokeswoman for Mr Salmond said the best way forward was "open debate", and this was what the National Conversation was doing. She said: "Questions about our future need to go beyond government, parliament and the media to include individuals, groups, communities and all political viewpoints."
The launch of the second phase of the Scottish Government's National Conversation is designed to involve so-called "civic Scotland" in the process. Ministers have invited representatives from Scotland's churches, trade unions, environmental groups, universities and colleges, women's groups and Scotland's business community to an event at Edinburgh University.
Mr Salmond will make an opening speech and then the guests will be invited to join a series of discussion groups. The groups will focus on the Scottish Government's strategic objectives – a greener, healthier, smarter, safer and stronger, fairer and wealthier Scotland – and individuals can join any group they choose. These workshops are designed to begin a process ministers hope will take place across the country.
Each of the organisations represented is then expected to take on the discussion with its "stakeholders", reporting back with a detailed position for the consultation at a later date.
Teachers have vowed to stop military recruitment campaigns in schools that promote pro-war "propaganda" to teenagers. The National Union of Teachers (NUT) voted to back staff who resist Armed Forces recruitment drives and called for "education for peace" to be embedded in the school curriculum.
Delegates at the NUT's annual conference in Manchester called for a campaign to undermine efforts to enlist new teenage recruits in an attempt to hasten the return of British troops from Iraq. The union backed a motion committing the NUT to "support teachers and schools in opposing Ministry of Defence recruitment activities that are based upon misleading propaganda".
Paul McGarr, a delegate from east London, told the conference: "Personally, I find it difficult to imagine any recruitment material that is not misleading. We would have material from the MoD saying 'Join the Army and we will send you to carry out the imperialist occupation of other people's countries."'Join the Army and we will send you to bomb, shoot and possibly torture fellow human beings in other countries. 'Join the Army and be sent - probably poorly equipped - into situations where people try and shoot you and kill you because you are occupying their countries.'"
When I see the MoD putting out recruitment material saying that, then maybe I won't have a problem with using it in school. Until then, I think that all recruitment material is misleading and should be opposed."
Friday, March 21, 2008
CONSIDER this: the Union – safe in Alex Salmond's hands. The SNP may be miles ahead of Labour but support for independence is sinking like a stone.
Bizarrely, a successful SNP government is helping to cement Scotland's place in the UK by demonstrating how devolution can deliver for the people. Who needs separatism when things are going so well? Former defence secretary George Robertson was right after all – devolution has indeed killed nationalism stone-dead, albeit not in the way he intended.
That's the general suggestion offered in the wake of the latest opinion poll showing support for independence at 23 per cent. There's only one problem with this analysis – it's utter rubbish.
Full article in the Scotsman
Interesting article. Personally I don't believe support for independence is as low as this though I am sure people will be happier with an ambitious devolved Government led by the SNP than a timorous devolved Government led by Labour.
If the unionists really believed that Scots supported the union they would be happy to allow the Scottish Government to hold a referendum on independence. They don't which is why they want desperately to avoid one.
If the positive arguments for normal powers for Scotland were articulated against the usual scaremongering campaign from the unionists (which ultimately failed at the last elections despite mass media support for it) then I have no doubt independence would win. JOE
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Comments on two stories on the Edinburgh Evening News suggest that the paper's website is now being targeted by neo-fascists:
Gangs put library under siege
Terror suspect reunited with family after late reprieve
This story should be the final straw for the ill fated ID cards project. Losing 11,000 military ID cards goes beyond incompetence.
Monday, March 10, 2008
(Swans - March 10, 2008) Recently I attended an international advisers meeting in Barcelona to help organise the next CONSEU (Conference of Stateless Nations in Europe) and it occurred to me that Scotland has a great many advantages in its drive towards independence.
Full article here: