SNP Dunblane attack BBC for seeking comments on Referendum Question

Immediate Release

SNP Dunblane attack BBC for seeking comments on Referendum Question

Local SNP members in Dunblane have taken to twitter to publically attacking the BBC for seeking comments from readers on the set question for the referendum seeking to separate Scotland from the rest of the UK.

@SNPDunblane tweeted:

“BBC on ‘the question’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-21245701 … Open for comments, but not just in Scotland – wouldn’t want the views of only Scots, would we?”

This was then followed by a number of similarly toned messages to those who replied disagreeing with them, and another dubbing the campaign to keep Scotland part of the Union ‘Bitter Together’, instead of its official title, ‘Better Together’.

Scottish Labour’s Dr Richard Simpson, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife said:

“It is absurd for a local branch of the SNP to be attacking the BBC for seeking comments, and then attacking people who wish to comment. This is a huge moment, not just in Scotland’s future, but for all those who are members of our Union. It is thought that approximately 800,000 Scots are living other parts of the UK. It has already been established that they will not get to vote in the referendum, but to suggest they shouldn’t have an opinion at all is astounding. Attempts to stifle much needed discussion are hugely disappointing to see from the SNP, and Keith Brown should be considering how to better keep control of his local party and SNP members.”

SNP Dunblane went on to delete the tweets, some hours later, highlighting the inappropriate nature of their comments.

ENDS

SNP Attack on Legal Aid Threatens Access and Equality

News from Scottish Labour

Immediate Release – 29 January 2013

SNP Attack on Legal Aid Threatens Access and Equality

Responding to the passing of the SNP’s Scottish Civil Justice Council and Criminal Legal Assistance Bill, Scottish Labour’s DR Richard Simpson, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said:

“Everyone agrees that we need to look at the total cost of legal aid, but that can’t be at the expense of the basic principle of justice: equality of access. Just because someone is on a low income, it doesn’t mean that they should be denied access to justice.

“What happens to the victim of crime, the witnesses who come to testify, when cases are postponed and delayed because a defendant has not been able to find the money to contribute to their defence? This bill had no answer.

“Kenny MacAskill has overseen a disastrous legislative process. He has brought our courts to a standstill, ‘negotiated’ but said that he wouldn’t move on key aspects and is now lining up to isolate and attack those lawyers who have disagreed with him by now proposing to exclude them from being able to undertake legal aid work.

“This is the beginning of the SNP’s attack on the distinctive Scottish legal tradition and Scots access to justice. On top of this erosion of access to legal aid, within weeks, there will be concrete proposals to close local courts, forcing victims and witnesses to travel substantial distances to see justice being done.

The structures providing legal aid will no doubt become increasingly valued in areas such as Alloa, where we see court closures greatly increasing the cost for victims and their families to reach their nearest court.”

ENDS

Water Charges Increase Will Add to Painful Squeeze for Scottish Families

Immediate Release

Water Charges Increase Will Add to Painful Squeeze for Scottish Families

Responding to the announcement by Scottish Water that residential charges will increase by 2.8% from April, Scottish Labour’s Dr Richard Simpson, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said:

“Scottish families will be dismayed by this increase which comes on the heels of gas and electricity price rises, making it even more difficult for hard working families to make ends meet.

“There is a strong argument that this increase has come in response to the SNP cutting the budget for Scottish Water. Each small increase in costs combine to create a real and painful squeeze for families which makes for a very unhappy start to 2013 for tens of thousands of Scots.”

ENDS