Westminster Governance of Scotland Policies – Post Brexit – Rule Britannia

 

 

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Post Brexit the Tory Party Will Continue to Govern Scotland With Mutual Respect

David Mundell, (affectionately known as “Fluffy”) will remain in office as Scottish Secretary.

He is an accredited mediator in “Alternative Dispute Resolution”, which has proved to be a useful tool in his successful time in office.

The “Barnett Formula” is a red rag to the Tory Party and a majority want it scrapped, and it will be..

The Tory’s firmly believe that Scots are, “subsidy junkies”, and they intend to further reduce public spending in Scotland.

This will be achieved through the implementation of recommendations resultant of a needs-based assessment, which will form the basis of a new funding system for the nations and regions of the United Kingdom.

Legislation, “English Votes for English Laws”, another aspect of Tory governance, (introduced in 2015), will further advance the already strained relationship between England and Scotland since it will increasingly disenfranchise Scottish MP’s at Westminster.

But a senior Tory gave a solemn promise that:

“the Scottish Parliament is a fact and it will remain in place, and it will be able to legislate and implement policies for the newly reduced devolved responsibilities. A Tory government will not interfere with that. It will continue to govern Scotland with respect. Scots will see that and that will consolidate our support in the medium to longer term”.

The Tory and Labour Party’s will also continue to “sing” from the same constitutional hymn sheet acutely aware that the Nationalists are the main enemy of the “Union”.

 

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Improper Use of Government Masking Tape to Secure Troublesome Civil Servant To be Thoroughly Investigated at the Highest level – Just Not On-Money is Tight and Times Are Hard

 

 

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Judith Mackinnon – Authoritive Figure Addressing Mental Health and Wellbeing

2005 – 2015: Judith was the Director for HR and National Programmes for the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), for 9 years.

She introduced “The Managing Mental Health at Work Strategy” for the 800 strong workforce, as well as promoting it and other support to external organizations and employers.

She also had responsibility for developing and leading the national programmes for Suicide Prevention; Anti-bullying and Sport and Physical Activity.

 

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05 Apr 2016: Living In The Shadow Of Suicide

Scotland has the highest suicide rate in the UK, and every day two people take their own lives.

But behind these statistics there are hidden stories. The Scottish Association for Mental Health — SAMH — raises awareness and supports those affected by suicide, which still carries a baffling stigma.

They are launching a programme for suicide prevention with a national network of support.

SAMH director Judith McKinnon said: “When someone dies by suicide, family, friends and communities deal with the aftermath. It’s always a deeply painful experience. People who survive suicide attempts also struggle to rebuild their lives.

We want to involve communities across Scotland in providing this support and prevent suicide through training and awareness-raising for the general public.” (The Sun)

 

 

 

 

30 Dec 2010: Judith McKinnon, Director of Human Resources at SAMH, talks about mental health, employment, stigma and discrimination.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShlCfgw8HBQ)

 

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30 Jan 2011: Judith Mackinnon: Member of The Scottish Government National Suicide and Self Harm Monitoring and Implementation Group.

(http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:9GFmDFfoeDsJ:www.gov.scot/resource/doc/924/0113165.doc+&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk)

 

 

Judith Mackinnon

Employed by Scottish Government from Jun 2017 as “Head of People Advice”, presumably with added responsibility for developing and leading national programmes for Suicide Prevention; Anti-bullying and Sport and Physical Activity.

 

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15 Aug 2018: Government worker found taped to chair and gagged loses bullying and harassment case

A fisheries officer who claimed she was bound-and-gagged to a chair by colleagues has had her allegations of bullying and harassment thrown out.

An employment tribunal, which sat in Aberdeen for two days in June, rejected DeeAnn Fitzpatrick’s claims she was mocked and targeted in a campaign of sexist harassment by colleagues.

The 49-year-old Canadian insisted there was a racist and misogynistic culture within Government agency Marine Scotland while she worked at their Scrabster office.

In an earlier hearing DeeAnn alleged she was taped to a chair and gagged by colleagues in 2010. She produced a photograph which appeared to back up her claims.

Although that evidence was time-barred the tribunal went ahead and heard how DeeAnn was bombarded with fake Valentines day and birthday cards she believed came from male colleagues.

A message in one called her an “old troll” and another warned her about trying to “climb the ladder of success”.

DeeAnn told the tribunal the harassment was so bad she considered taking her own life and contacted an assisted suicide clinic.

She told the tribunal: “When I first started getting the cards, it made me feel awful. But as they continued, yes it’s affected my self-esteem. It’s actually made me become a recluse – I stay at home, I have gone more into myself. With everything going on, I contacted Dignitas in Switzerland. I had enough.”

DeeAnn, who has worked for Marine Scotland since 2006, was struggling to grasp the tribunal’s verdict that nothing was wrong.

She said: “It is difficult when you spend your entire career fighting racism, misogyny and bullies. Then to make matters worse when you report the incidents, you are the one that is being targeted by an ongoing campaign by senior management because you exposed what they have worked very hard to hide.”

The Scottish Government put up one witness, Judith MacKinnon, their head of people advice, who has over 25 years experience in human resources.

MacKinnon, who took up the job last year (2017) said those who dealt with DeeAnn’s complaints were too scared to appear because of the intense media interest.

But she backed the decisions taken by junior staff who found insufficient evidence to back up DeeAnn’s suspicions about the letters.

However First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs she was “absolutely horrified” when shown the photo of DeeAnn allegedly taped to a chair and gagged.

She has ordered a top civil servant to conduct a full review into the circumstances and report to her personally.

DeeAnn’s sister-in-law Sherry said: “The Fitzpatrick family are hugely disappointed with the result of the tribunal.

However this was not unexpected given the decision was made prior to the employment tribunal by the previous judge not to look at the restraint and other behaviours over a decade that our sister suffered while working in the Scrabster Fishery office.

The tribunal did however highlight that the human resources department should have been more proactive in dealing with the matter by launching an investigation, questioning staff and reminding staff that such matters might be regarded as being grounds for disciplinary action.

Not only the judges on the tribunal panel but us as DeeAnn’s family found it astonishing that the Scottish Government’s disciplinary policy allows employees the right to remain silent and they need not answer questions that may incriminate them.

What is far more important now is that the Scottish Government delivers a safe work place for DeeAnn and other employees. Thank you to everyone for their continuing support and this is not the end of it.”

https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/government-worker-found-taped-chair-13087825

Comment:

In noting Nicola Sturgeon was “absolutely horrified” when she was shown a photograph of DeeAnn taped to a chair and gagged and that she had ordered a top civil servant to conduct a full review and report back to her personally.

It would surely be inappropriate to appoint her Permanent Secretary or “Head of People Advice” who represented the government at the tribunal and supported decisions taken by local managers of LeeAnn.

To successfully defend the indefensible requires a great deal of skill and the system excelled in this regard.

But the final word goes to the relative who said, “thank you to everyone for their continuing support and this is not the end of it.”

The great Hank Williams is singing “Cold Cold Heart” in the background as I compile this. Appropriate in the circumstances.

 

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Judith Mackinnon

Personal Details:

Born Judith Kerr, Kilwinning 1967.

1990-1992: BA Personnel Management, Glasgow Polytechnic.

1993-2003: Married and divorced Anthony Chalmers.

2004-2019 (Current): Married ex Rangers soccer player – David (Skippy) Mackinnon.

2004-2019 (Current): Director: Mackinnon & Partners 50/50, with husband David Mackinnon – 2003 – Current – Business and Sports Development – family business – 2 people.

 

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Remunerated Employment:

2000-2001 (9 months): Director: Punch Taverns – public house chain – short term appointment.

 

2002-2003 (6 months): Director: Aortech Biomaterials – Glasgow based medical (cardio-vascular) device maker – introduced a revolutionary medical device to the healthcare environment at the start of 2000 – at its peak valued at £400m – failed to attract badly needed investment finance to remain operational – folded in 2004 – short term employment!

 

2005-2014 (9 years): Director – Human Resources & National Programmes – The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) – introduced a “Managing Mental Health” at Work strategy for the workforce – promoted the Association to external organizations and employers – developed and led National Programmes for Suicide Prevention – anti-bullying – Sport and Physical Activity.

 

2015-2017: (2 years): Head of HR Governance for the Scottish Police Authority – oversees Police Scotland People and Development – provides assurance to the Authority that they are a responsible employer – builds a sustainable organization.

 

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January 2017: Scottish Police Authority Complaints Audit – criticized over handling of complaints

The body that oversees Scotland’s troubled national police force has repeatedly failed to deal properly with complaints.

The most common concern raised by senior officers was their perceived lack of transparency, clarity and lack of communication surrounding the SPA complaints investigation processes.

They also expressed grave concerns about the length of time taken by the SPA to deal with complaints and to undertake preliminary assessments in misconduct allegations.

The audit further identified that the level of communication by the SPA with senior officers was inconsistent. In some instances, subject officers had been invited to address the allegation/complaint but in others, an invitation had not been extended.

In a number of cases, the SPA did not notify the subject officers about the complaints and the first that the officers became aware of the complaints made about them was through media coverage with result that there is a significant lack of confidence in the SPA’s complaints processes.

Notes:

1. Misconduct Regulations state that the subject officer must receive immediate formal notification of the misconduct allegation once it has been determined that an investigation is required and an investigator has been appointed, so that the subject officer is provided with the opportunity to address it if it is their wish.

This was denied to Alex Salmond and the decision to appoint an “investigating office” should not have been taken by Evans on her own!!!!

2. The audit report concluded that there were a “number of deficiencies” in the SPA’s handling of complaints between April 2015 and March 2017. (https://pirc.scot/media/4447/spa-audit-report-2017.pdf)

4. Susan Deacon, (SPA chair), said the report identified a “number of important areas” requiring the authority’s attention. And it was essential that the SPA systems and practices were robust and worked effectively to maintain public confidence and trust.

5. Addressing the concerns of senior officers, procedures would be revised requiring more than one “deciding” officer to ensure key decisions were taken ensuring a better oversight of the complaints process.

 

 

 

Jul 2017: Mackinnon left her post in July 2017 to take up employment in the newly created post as Head of People Advice for The Scottish Government

The Alex Salmond debacle occurred within 6 months of her appointment. But another incident is worthy of comment:

Nov 2018: A Government review into an incident which saw a Scottish Government employee bound and gagged on an office chair has concluded that ‘disciplinary procedures’ were followed.

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick worked as a fisheries officer for Marine Scotland and claimed to have been subjected to years of bullying and sexist harassment from colleagues. In May 2018 a picture of her taped to a chair, (said to have been taken in 2010), was published by a number of media outlets.

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was horrified by the picture and ordered Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans to carry out a review into what happened.

Evans published a statement regarding her review into the circumstances surrounding the chair incident and was “satisfied” disciplinary procedures had been followed.

She stated: “Earlier this year I was asked by the First Minister to carry out a full review into the circumstances surrounding an image of a Marine Scotland employee taped to a chair. I am clear that this was completely unacceptable, whatever the circumstances.

A comprehensive internal review has now concluded. The Scottish Government has robust disciplinary procedures to address behaviour that falls below expected standards and I am satisfied that these have been followed thoroughly and objectively in relation to this incident.

A broad set of actions are underway in Marine Scotland to ensure a working environment which meets both the Civil Service Code and Scottish Government Standards of Behaviour.

I do not normally comment publicly on staffing matters but I am issuing this short statement to update the public record given the previous parliamentary and wider interest in this issue. My unwavering commitment to ensuring a positive workplace for all employees in the Scottish Government remains.”

Notes:

1. In August 2018, DeeAnn’s claims of bullying and harassment were rejected by an employment tribunal on the basis that the photograph of her taped to a chair was considered time-barred in terms of the proceedings.

2. DeeAnn was devastated when the employment tribunal rejected her claims.  She said she had been bombarded with fake Valentines day and birthday cards she believed came from male colleagues.

3. She also told the tribunal the harassment was so bad she had considered taking her own life and contacted an assisted suicide clinic.

4. Judith MacKinnon, Head of People Advice for The Scottish Government, who spoke for the government at the tribunal, supported decisions taken by junior staff (who failed to attend the hearing to give evidence claiming they had been scared off because of the intense media interest) who had found insufficient evidence to back up DeeAnn’s suspicions about the unsolicited cards.

5. DeeAnn’s sister-in-law said: “The Fitzpatrick family are hugely disappointed with the result of the tribunal. However this was not unexpected given the decision was made prior to the employment tribunal by the previous judge not to look at the restraint and other behaviours over a decade that our sister suffered while working in the Scrabster Fishery office.

The tribunal did however highlight that the human resources department should have been more proactive in dealing with the matter by launching an investigation, questioning staff and reminding staff that such matters might be regarded as being grounds for disciplinary action.

The judges on the tribunal panel and DeeAnn’s family find it astonishing that the Scottish Government’s disciplinary policy allows employees the right to remain silent and they need not answer questions that may incriminate them.

What is far more important now is that the Scottish Government delivers a safe work place for DeeAnn and other employees. Thank you to everyone for their continuing support and this is not the end of it.”

(https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/bullying-review-scots-civil-servant-13558314)

Comment:

A very sad outcome to a clear case of bullying,  in consideration of Mackinnon’s nine year employment with The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) where she compiled and introduced a ” National (Scotland) Programme for Suicide Prevention and Anti-Bullying.”

 

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Other Commitments Not Directly related to Main Employment

(Currently): Chair of “The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development” (CIPD) – West of Scotland branch – a registered charity – established to promote the art and science of the management and development of people for public benefit – effectively a large networking body of persons with a bent for personnel management – 10,000 members in Scotland – organizes wide range of courses and events all directed to providing individuals with professional qualifications.

(https://www.cipd.co.uk/learn/branches/west-scotland). Remuneration?

 

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(Currently): Chair of “Venture Scotland” – Charitable organization – governed by a voluntary Board of six Trustees – meets as a whole a minimum of four times a year – contributes to sub groups and committees in support the overall governance of the charity. Voluntary?

 

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(Currently): Edinburgh Coaching Academy – leading provider of quality coaching – partnership of well-established coaches in personnel management with successful track records in delivering quality coaching to organizations and individuals. Seven partners – Alison Denton, Diane Peebles, Joanne Kerr, Judith Mackinnon, Colby Adams, Monica Merson, Jo Thomas – No men!

(https://edinburghcoachingacademy.com/the-team/) Remuneration?

 

HR Network

 

(Currently): Hr NETWORK – Human resource and people development – access to Scotland’s most influential human resource and business professionals across all sectors in Scotland.

(https://www.hrnetworkjobs.com/judith-mackinnon) – Remunerated?

 

 

Leslie Evans & Judith Mackinnon – Is there a Conspiracy to Destroy the SNP Government by Innuendo? or Are They Just Incompetent?

 

 

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Leslie Evans

Born in Northern Ireland in 1958. Relocated to Sheffield. Attended High Storrs Comprehensive School 1970-76. Gained a degree in Music from Liverpool University. Married Derek McVay 1990. One son.

At School: (her own words, nearly)

Absorbed lots of knowledge. Music important – soft spot David Bowie, likes reggae and dub, Bach + Bartok. Rereads Jane Austen, theatre lover, views Shakespeare regularly. Learnt to like poetry – Sylvia Plath, Jackie Kay, John Donne.

Loved history – fascinated with Gender politics. In particular her feminism and yes she is a feminist. Dated back to learning about Elizabeth 1st’s speech at Tilbury,

“I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king”.

Not just knowledge absorbed – learnt to ask not just what or why? But – really? Experience shaped her politics and values, and views about diversity, equality and inclusion.

Cultivated skills and capacities and the propensity to be curious, the ability to analyze – the desire to inform opinion and the appetite to question everything.

Gained 8 “O” levels in one year. Lost focus in the years following. More interested in partying than studying. Poor “A” level results.

Hard to take. Failure brought home the importance of hard work.

Despite poor results secured a place studying music at Liverpool University. Not talented or dedicated enough to be professional performer. Used musical skills to earn cash – in orchestra pit and teaching piano.

Used music degree as means to end, getting onto a post graduate course in London to get into arts administration.

Course included an employment secondment – worked really hard – made herself indispensable – gave up wild life and became totally dependable.

 

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Employment with District councils

Offered employment in arts with local authority in London. Then similar work in Sheffield.

Moved to Edinburgh 1985 – employed with Edinburgh District Council in senior management roles, (1985 and 1987 and from 1989 to 2000).

Ensuring effective delivery of arts, theatre, entertainment and recreation. Similar work with Stirling Council (1988).

On each transfer of employment moved up the management ladder – role and responsibilities became broader and more diverse.

Learnt to seize every opportunity offered – to show enthusiasm – to speak first – to answer yes – to think about whether and how to do it later. Learned to feign confidence – faking it until able to make it.

 

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Edinburgh District Council Scandal -Leslie Evans Nailed In Public

If someone in a position of authority is determined to smear you, it is very difficult to recover. Mud sticks.

Now, it is simply not the done thing for a Councillor to ever criticize an officer at a public meeting.

Politicians may only address their concerns to the Head of Department who is paid shed-loads to take the flack.

Those below departmental head know they can get away with not owning up to manipulations and misrepresentations, because that is what Department heads are for.

Back then, officers didn’t even have their name anywhere in the papers.

However, on this rare occasion, Councillor  Steve Cardownie stepped over that thin red line and fingered one such officer.

“Is it possible”, he thundered, that a very senior officer (there could only be one!) had tampered with the report, thereby undermining its validity and “independence”?

You could hear a pin drop. All eyes turned on Leslie Evans, who became bright, bright red with fury and froze, stock still. You could almost see the steam coming out of her ears. Her Video Strategy died before it had lived.

Footnote

It is said Leslie Evans caused Edinburgh Council to lose millions in the Usher Hall Lottery debacle of ’98, which led to the resignation of Roger Jones, the best and most popular Head of Department the Council ever had.

When Roger was forced to resign over the loss, Leslie had the temerity to give him a leaving card comparing him to Churchill – he was a hero, she said. If she truly felt that way, maybe she could have ‘fessed up and taken the rap, resigning in his place? Not our Leslie.

Full Article here: http://www.kidsnotsuits.com/fake-news-how-public-lies-begin/

This is a must read since it provides confirmation of views held by an increasing number of Scots that Leslie Evans is not an appropriate person to hold the position of Permanent Secretary to Scotland’s First minister.

 

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What A Con – The Civil Service and Their Janus Faced Illegal Politics

Leslie Evans reported to Francesca Osowska OBE in David Mundell’s office.

Osowska was formerly Principal Private Secretary (PPS) to the First Minister (Alex Salmond) between 2007/09.

Francesca Osowska, in a number of evasive statements to the Scottish Affairs Committee, glossed over the expensive and extensive work of a large group of (supposedly politically neutral) Civil Servants who actively supported the objectives of the “Better Together” campaign.

A gross misuse of public finances and Civil Servants presumably by David Cameron and Sir Jeremy Heywood.

She also confirmed that Mundell retained funding sufficient to employ up to 100 whole time equivalent (W.T.E.) posts and that salary and incidental costs arising from such employment are (top sliced) from Scotland’s block grant before the allocation of finance to the Scottish government.

The slush fund created is an ever increasing annual financial nest egg, skimmed off Scotland’s block financial grant and used, abused by the Mundell for purposes such as UK government anti-devolution leaflet production, printing and distribution.

And Hiring of Special Advisors (SpAds), usually sons, daughters, other relations, friends of ministers or other MP’s and employment of Civil Servants from other Government Departments in times of need.

Reflect also on the disgraceful actions of the UK Cabinet Office and Treasury Civil servants which contain the proud admission that they had been seconded to the Scottish Office (in Westminster) and were tasked, for an extended period of time to provide active support to the “Better Together” campaign.

Actions that brought about the defeat of Scots who wished only to be an independent nation once again. What a bunch of charlatans.

Full Article here: https://caltonjock.com/2017/07/24/mundell-and-the-tory-party-actively-aided-by-the-scottish-office-are-the-legal-government-of-scotland-holyrood-politicians-need-to-be-mindful-of-this-or-westminster-will-shut-it-down/

 

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Civil Service (CS):

Joined CS in 2000 soon after devolution – new Scottish Executive. Early 40s represented a major career change – big risk. But had gained experience in public service with local government – government service a cakewalk? – not so – miserable at work – didn’t seem to add value or make any difference. First year fish out of water. Held nerve – stayed resilient.

 

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Permanent Secretary Scottish Government

The retirement of the permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government, Sir Peter Housden (1) created a vacancy within the Civil Service.

The competition to succeed him was overseen by the First Civil Service Commissioner and open to candidates across the UK civil service, including in Whitehall.

Ms Sturgeon was presented with a shortlist of vetted candidates and selected Ms Evans.

Evans was appointed as Permanent Secretary to the Scottish Government on July 1, 2015.

In this role, she is the principal policy adviser to the First Minister and Secretary to the Scottish Cabinet.

She is also the Principal Accountable Officer for the Scottish Government with personal responsibility for the propriety and regularity of Government finance and for economic, efficient and effective use of all related resources.

Evans is the senior Civil Servant in Scotland and leads more than 5,000 civil servants working for the Scottish Government, supporting development, implementation and communication of government policies, in accordance with the Civil Service Code.

She joined the Scottish Government in September 2000, having spent 20 years working for local authorities in Scotland (City of Edinburgh Council and Stirling Council) and England (London Borough of Greenwich and Sheffield City Council).

Her previous post within the Scottish Government was Director General Learning and Justice. Other positions held include, Head of Local Government Constitution & Governance Division, Head of Public Service Reform Group, Head of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and Director of Culture, External Affairs and Tourism.

(1): Insiders briefed that Sir Jeremy Heywood remained livid over the behavior of Housden during the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum.

When he was accused of betraying the Westminster Civil Service brief by “going native”.

He was also criticized by Commons select committee for allowing the publication of swathes of Alex Salmond’s White Paper on independence that were politically “partisan” and failed to meet “factual standards”.

And a Westminster public administration committee said he should not have allowed taxpayers’ money to be used to publish sections that amounted to an SNP “agenda”.

The recruitment and appointment process of the new Permanent Secretary was tasked to the offices of the “First Civil Service Commissioner”, based in Whitehall so that the Westminster government would assured the appointment of their preferred candidate.

So as to be satisfied there would be no repeat of the conduct of Sir Peter Housden one of the new Permanent Secretary’s key tasks would be to rebuild trust with Holyrood’s opposition parties and Whitehall mandarins.

Leslie Evans is the Westminster Government’s “safe pair of hands” at Holyrood.

Over time she will add other Senior managers of the same ilk to her team, effectively emasculating the Scottish Government at Holyrood.

 

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Salmond’s Nark Has Fallen Foul Of The Whitehall Mandarins

What do Whitehall’s top people do when one of their own goes native? When he breaks the code of the mandarins, stops giving his minister unwelcome advice and fails to say “No, Minister”

What they do is exclude him from their inner counsels – as we can see in the strange case of Sir Peter Housden.

Housden, 61, is permanent secretary – top civil servant – to the Scottish government and his political boss is First Minister Alex Salmond.

Officially, he is no different to the other permanent secretaries and regularly attends their Wednesday morning meetings in Whitehall.

Unofficially, though, they regard him – there’s no nice way to put this – as “Salmond’s nark”.

He is not on the crucial committee that is bringing together Whitehall’s campaign against Scottish independence. “Good God, no,” said one insider in shocked tones. “Housden would just report everything back to Salmond.”

Full Article here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9645906/When-it-comes-to-Sir-Peter-Housden-we-have-a-problem.html

 

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Sir Peter Housden Faces Fresh Accusations of Partisanship

The head of Scotland’s Civil Service faced fresh accusations of being politically partisan last night after he told thousands of his officials that he expected Alex Salmond to emerge victorious in the independence referendum.

Sir Peter Housden circulated a briefing, in which he informed civil servants that he expected “substantial negotiations” with UK ministers after the ballot — all but dismissing the prospect of an SNP defeat.

Sir Peter, the Scottish Executive’s permanent secretary and Alex Salmond’s most senior mandarin, predicted that the referendum process would have several stages and told his civil servants that they “don’t need to swallow this elephant whole” as it would “stretch now over a good number of years”.

He then considered what would happen after the referendum and predicted: “The other side of a referendum is likely to involve substantial negotiations.” He continued that it “will certainly require a major constitutional bill in the Westminster parliament to reflect a positive result”.

He did not spell out why he believed the SNP would win in the face of opinion polls that show only about a third of Scots would vote for separation.

Opposition leaders last night renewed their accusations that Sir Peter, who remains part of the British civil service, had “gone native”. The code governing officials prevents them expressing political views or advice.

Full Article here: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/9021782/Sir-Peter-Housden-faces-fresh-accusations-of-partisanship.html

 

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Independence White Paper Failed To Meet Civil Service Standards

Scotland’s most senior mandarin should have blocked the publication of swathes of Alex Salmond’s White Paper on independence that were politically “partisan” and failed to meet “factual standards”, according to a damning report.

The Commons Public Administration select committee said Sir Peter Housden, the Scottish Government’s permanent secretary, should not have allowed taxpayers’ money to be used to publish parts of the blueprint that amounted to an SNP “agenda”.

At “the very least”, the committee found that Sir Peter should have sought a “letter of direction” from Mr Salmond, a document requested by civil servants when they disagree with a minister’s decision so strongly that they refuse to be accountable for it.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scottish-independence/11488869/Independence-White-Paper-failed-to-meet-civil-service-standards.html

 

Judith Mackinnon

 

 

The Alex Salmond Debacle

In 2016 Nicola Sturgeon announced that “open government” would be a feature of the Holyrood parliament and new policies were to be put in place.

Leslie Evans had no personnel management qualifications and needed to strengthen her team.

In 2017 she recruited Judith Mackinnon, an experienced human resources manager, to a newly created, (very well remunerated) “Head of People Advice” position.

This is the same person that was previously Head of Human Resource Governance at Police Scotland.

Hardly a recommendation for employment in the Scottish Government given the many scandals in the force in the years she was in post.

Leslie Evans approached Nicola Sturgeon with proposals to draft new procedures in line with the Scottish Governments transparency in government drive.

Authority gained, Judith Mackinnon compiled the policy document, which was duly signed off by Nicola Sturgeon in December 2017.

One one month later, in January 2018, two complaints were made of sexual harassment against Alex Salmond under the new rules.

The incidents were alleged to have taken place at Bute House in 2013.

It was almost as though there had been “malice aforethought” and complainants had been waiting for the new rules to come into force.

There certainly seems to have been no attempt to make the accusation until the policy was active, protecting the accusers from exposure.

No matter the outcome of any subsequent investigation, the political damage to the SNP government would be considerable at a time when a new Scottish Independence Referendum was being mooted.

Alex Salmond was not made aware of the complaints despite the procedure requiring him to be informed, but Evans briefed Nicola Sturgeon and made a Police report.

The police investigation is on-going but there is justifiable concern that the appointment of an investigating police officer to lead the investigation might have been arranged!!!! determining the outcome.

Supported by £100K “crown funding”, Alex instructed legal action against the Scottish Civil Service for the breach of procedure which gave the impression it had been deliberately enacted to damage Alex and the SNP.

At court the Scottish Government accepted that there had been significant procedural errors in the handling of the complaints.

The Judge rebuked the Government and instructed that the matter should be closed.

Costs of the proceedings (possibly around £500K) were charged to the government.

 

 

 

The procedural errors:

A weird sequence of events. Complaints against Alex Salmond made by two female staff about alleged incidents they said occurred in 2013 (four years after the event) and only one month after the new procedures had been put in place.

The government follow up investigation revealed that the recently appointed personnel professional, Judith Mackinnon (who had no direct management authority over them), had solicited the complaints against Alex Salmond, from the two female officers.

She then spoke to them, at length on a number of occasions, in a manner “bordering on encouragement to proceed with formal complaints” against Alex Salmond.

The Government legal team further accepted there had been a “significant amount of inappropriate direct personal contact” between Mackinnon and the complainants.

Evans stated that the nature of the complaints had been brought to her attention by Mackinnon and she appointed Mackinnon to formally investigate the matter and take the appropriate action as required by the new procedure. But in doing so Evans compromised the procedures she and Mackinnon had only recently put in place. Plonkers comes to mind.

 

BBC Democracy Live - Lack of business case for Police ...

 

The Stranraer to Belfast Ferry and the Near Miss With the Nuclear Submarine – You Do Know What’s Down There?? – The Toxic Time Bomb Gifted to Scots By The Westminster Government – Yet the residents of the South of Scotland Still Voted to Retain the Union in 2014

 

CENTCOM confirms depleted uranium use against Islamic ...

 

 

 

Nov 2011: Depleted Uranium – Kirkcubright – Cancer and Birth Defects

A summary of early government papers covering the period 1973 to 1977 was released by The National Archive. The exchanges showed there was knowledge about potential persistent contamination from Depleted Uranium dust. But what also emerged was the manoeuvring by the Westminster government and MOD to keep the firings secret from the Scots and the contempt with which the public was held.

Full Article here: http://theseacannotbedepleted.net/article/penetroy/

 

PressTV - US fired depleted uranium at civilian areas in ...

 

 

 

2013: MoD Dodge Ban and Dump Depleted Uranium Shells Into Scottish Waters

The MoD used a legal loophole to fire thousands of depleted uranium shells into Scottish waters.  Military bosses dodged an international ban by saying the 30 tons of radioactive waste had been “placed” not “dumped” off the beach in Kirkcudbrightshire. Outraged campaigners called on them to retrieve the toxic waste.

A spokesperson for the “Campaign Against Depleted Uranium”, said: “The Scottish public will struggle to understand how the MoD thought they could evade their legal and moral responsibility not to pollute the sea by calling this a ‘placement’. Whatever they name their firing programme, the fact remains they have purposefully released nuclear waste into the Solway Firth.”

The toxic rounds end up in the water when tanks at a military range at Dundrennan fire shells at canvas targets on the cliffs.

Minutes of secret MoD meetings released after a Freedom of Information request show an official raised concerns in 2004 that the practice could breach the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic.

He was told the MoD’s interpretation was that “the projectiles were placements not dumping”. The convention states dumping doesn’t include “placement of matter for a purpose other than the mere disposal thereof”.

Depleted uranium is linked to increases in cancers and birth defects in Serbia, Iraq and Syria. The MoD fired more than 6700 of the toxic shells into the Solway Firth over the last 30 years.

Full Article here: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/mod-dodge-ban-dump-nuclear-1759193

 

 

 

 

2014: Scottish Independence and The UK’s Depleted Uranium Weapons

In the late 70s, the UK MoD was busy massaging ministerial approval for its plans for a controversial DU firing range in South West Scotland. The site, near Dundrennan in Dumfries and Galloway, had been selected after other areas that could have provided open range firing were deemed politically unacceptable.

The Scottish Office was nervous. In a strongly worded memorandum a civil servant, who had been busy trying to mitigate public opposition to a nuclear power station in the area noted that: “The allegation that Scotland has been made a “nuclear dustbin” is receiving a good deal of publicity in the press”. The plans went ahead regardless.

From Dundrennan to Dalgety Bay (where former Prime Minister and No campaigner Gordon Brown had been campaigning for a clean-up), the MoD’s actions over the years have only helped reinforce the nuclear dustbin claim.

The Dundrennan range is one of two main UK DU ranges. Both are situated on the shores of the Solway Firth, which separates Dumfries and Galloway from the English Lake District and Cumbria.

On the English side, Eskmeals was used for testing the penetration of DU rounds. Poor management of the fumes created by firing resulted in DU particles being found six kilometres away in the village of Milom.

Across the Solway, Dundrennan has been used for assessing the accuracy and range of the UK’s 120mm DU tank rounds.

Since 1982, more than 6000 rounds have been fired from the cliffs into the Solway, equating to 31 tonnes of DU.

Following developmental testing, the UK’s CHARM3 tank rounds require additional testing every five years; this is to guarantee that the explosive propellant functions as intended. This has ensured a regular cycle of firing and local and national opposition.

The UK Campaign Against Depleted Uranium CADU) has been a leading voice against the tests. Indeed the only thing to disrupt this cyclical process has been the Scottish independence referendum.

Last year, in what can only be described as a U-turn, the Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, advised the MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, that the MoD would not fire DU as part of the current Life Extension Programme. This unprecedented decision flew in the face of the historical ammunition management cycle.

The Local Scottish National Party (SNP) MSP said: “There’s no question that this is a clear U-turn on the part of the UK government. Until now they have only ever been willing to say there are no current plans to test-fire DU munitions.

The concerted efforts of the Campaign Against Depleted Uranium have obtained the clearest statement to date that there are in fact no plans to test fire DU shells at all during the current, planned life extension programme of the munitions.” Adding: “Although this is a step forward, the campaign must continue until there is a clear guarantee that there will be no more test firing of DU shells in Scotland at any point in the future.”

The MoD has said nothing that would guarantee an end to test-firing, hiding behind the phrase ‘no plans to test fire’. However, the current Scottish government took steps to claw back some control over radioactive emissions at MoD sites in Scotland.

As defence matters are retained by Westminster under the current political settlement, the Scottish government and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) had limited powers to oppose tests.

However, in March this year, and after a scandal concerning a radiation leak at the Vulcan test reactor at Dounreay, the SNP government moved to remove the Crown Exemption from MoD sites.

This gave more control to SEPA over emissions and licensing, where previously there had only been a weak memorandum of understanding over access and oversight.

In theory, this shift permitted the Scottish government a greater say over any plans for renewed testing at Dundrennan, particularly as the dumping of DU in the Solway may be a breach of the OSPAR Convention – an environmental law designed to protect the north Atlantic marine environment from toxic waste.

Future headaches

The SNP, which passed a conference motion supporting a ban on DU in 2011, is on record as being opposed to any further DU test firing in Scotland:

“The SNP is committed to ending the use of DU shells, and has supported local, national and international campaigns on the issue as well as raising the matter in the Westminster parliament. It seems possible that a future independent Scotland would oppose any further DU testing.

Scottish independence would also require that another question be resolved – that of liability for the environmental clean-up of sites such as Dundrennan and Dalgety Bay: a not insignificant sum of money and a process beset by the risk of setting dangerous precedents.

Full Article here: https://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/09/16/scottish-independence-and-the-uks-depleted-uranium-weapons/

 

 

 

 

2016: UK Sending Nuclear Waste To The USA – A Dangerous and Unwise Move

700kg of highly enriched (weapons grade) uranium (stored at the Dounreay Storage Facility in Scotland) will be sent to the US. The decision to move the radioactive waste out of the UK was presented by David Cameron as making it harder for nuclear materials to get into the hands of terrorists, but this is utter tosh.

The UK is well capable of managing homegrown highly enriched uranium itself. And the plans contradict the principle that countries are responsible for managing their own nuclear legacy……. The enriched uranium has the potential to harm human health for tens of thousands of years into the future and raises profound ethical issues of equity between generations.

Full Article here: https://nuclear-news.net/2016/04/06/uk-sending-nuclear-wastes-to-america-dangerous-and-unwise/

 

The cancer of war: United States admits to using ...

 

 

 

2016: Rocketing Cancer Toll in Serbia From The Use Of Depleted Uranium Weapons

The use of depleted uranium during NATO bombing of Serbia has caused long-term damage to Serbia and the Serbian people.

In Kosovska in 2011 there were 185 new cases and in the year following numbers of new cases increased to 225 and in 2013 the figure was 250.

Forecasts projected in 2002, that the use of depleted uranium during the aggression of Western military alliance against Serbia would cause an epidemic of malignant diseases, turned out to be accurate.

A medical Consultant Cardiologist employed in Serbia said: “those who used the depleted uranium had to know the consequences.

We should also remember Italy, which revealed that Italian soldiers, deployed to Kosovo, had been irradiated and that the increased number of hematological diseases contracted by them was a direct consequence of the use of depleted uranium ammunition.”

Full Article Here: https://nuclear-news.net/2016/04/20/cancer-toll-in-serbia-from-natos-use-of-depleted-uranium-weapons/

 

Serbia SOS: Depleted Uranium weapons are nuclear weapons!

 

 

 

2016: Radiation Effects of Depleted Uranium Continue To Bring Disease And Death In Iraq

Desert Storm 1991

Cancers in Fallujah (pop. 300,000) catapulted from 40 cases among 100,000 people in 1991 to at least 1,600 by 2005 making it the most contaminated city in Iraq

In 2010 a International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health article reported a 38-fold increase in leukemia, a 10-fold increase in breast cancer, and infant mortality rates eight times higher than in neighboring Kuwait.

The hair of Fallujah women with deformed babies was sampled and found to contain enriched uranium.

It is little known that for the past 25 years, the United States and the UK have routinely used radioactive weapons in battle, in the form of warheads and explosives made with depleted, undepleted, or slightly enriched uranium.

The military categorizes the weapons as “conventional non-nuclear”, but they are they are highly radioactive and chemically toxic.

In Iraq, where the United States and its NATO partners waged two recent wars, toxic waste covers the country and poisons the people and NATO military personnel alike.

A former Marine Corps officer and United Nations weapons inspector, said, “The irony is we invaded Iraq in 2003 to destroy its non-existent WMD (weapons of mass destruction). To do it, we fired these new weapons, causing radioactive casualties.”

The weapons were first used in 1991 during “Desert Storm”, when the Nato forces fired guided bombs and missiles containing depleted uranium (DU), blasting through tanks and bunkers with a density, speed, and heat, never before seen.

It is estimated that between 315 and 350 tons of DU were used in the 1991 Gulf War.

A spokesman for the World Health Organization (WHO) Center of Environment and Health, responding to a marked increase of babies born with grotesque birth defects, such as two heads, or missing eyes, hands, and legs, Or stomachs and brains, inside out, explained:

“When uranium weapons explode, their massive blasts produce gray or black clouds of uranium oxide dust particles. These float for miles, people breathe them, and the dust lodges in their lungs. From there, they seep into the lymph system and blood, flow throughout the body, and bind to the genes and chromosomes, causing them to mutate. First, they trigger birth defects. Within five or more years, cancer. Organs, often the kidneys, fail.

At one Basra hospital, leukemia cases in children up to age 14 doubled from 1992 to 1999. Birth defects also surged, from 37 in 1990 to 254 in 2001, according to a 2005 article in Environmental Health.

Leukemia—cancer of the blood—develops quickly. A British chemical physicist, explained: “Blood cells are the most easily damaged by radiation and duplicate rapidly. We’ve known this since Hiroshima.”

An independent weapons researcher in Britain, said the dust emitted alpha radiation 20 times more damaging than the gamma radiation from nuclear weapons. The military insisted the dust was harmless because it was not able to penetrate the skin. But they ignore the fact that is can be ingested.

Iraq Invasion 2003

Fast forward to 2003, when the United States and the UK once again invaded Iraq, launching bunker-busting guided bombs, cruise missiles, and TOW anti-tank missiles.

It also fired new thermobaric warheads, much stronger explosives with stunningly large blasts. Much of this weaponry contained some type of uranium, whether depleted, undepleted, or slightly enriched. The new Thermobaric weapons exploded at extremely high temperatures. The only material that can achieve this is uranium. Iraq has been left as a large hazardous waste site,

Fallujah is Iraq’s most contaminated city. The U.S. military attacked it twice in 2004, and in the November siege, troops fired a large number of thermobaric weapons, including a shoulder-launched missile called the SMAW-NE. (NE means “novel explosive.”) The soldiers thought it was wonderful, raving about how one round could destroy a building. Concrete bunkers were instantly incinerated and collapsed.

Burn Pits and Toxic clouds

In addition to the weapons’ lethal dust, Iraqis and NATO troops were exposed to poisonous smoke from huge open burn pits, some stretching 10 acres in size.

From 2003 to 2011, U.S. military bases burned waste in the pits around the clock—spewing toxic clouds for miles.

Two pits were located near to Fallujah.  A NATO soldier said: “We dumped everything into the pits. Plastic bottles, tyres, human waste, batteries, oil, solvents, unexploded weapons, and even medical waste. The Balad Air Base pit, burned around 90,000 plastic bottles every day. When plastic burns, it gives off dioxin—the key ingredient in Agent Orange….

Health Implications of Exposure to Depleted Uranium

Human epidemiological evidence identified an increased risk of birth defects in the offspring of persons exposed to DU.

A 2001 study of 15,000 U.S. Gulf War (1991) combat veterans and 15,000 control veterans found that the Gulf War veterans were 1.8 (fathers) to 2.8 (mothers) times as likely to have children with birth defects.

After examination of children’s medical records two years later, the birth defect rate increased by more than 20%.

In early 2004, the UK Pensions Appeal Tribunal Service attributed birth defect claims from a February 1991 Gulf War combat veteran to depleted uranium poisoning.

The risk of children of UK Gulf War veterans suffering genetic diseases such as congenital malformations, commonly called “birth defects”, found that the overall risk of any malformation was 50% higher in Gulf War veterans as compared to other veterans.

Full report here: https://nuclear-news.net/2016/04/11/radiation-effects-of-depleted-uranium-continue-to-bring-disease-and-death-in-iraq/

 

Use of Depleted Uranium proved in NATO Bombings ...

 

 

 

2016: Southern Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia Permanently Polluted With Depleted Uranium

Iraq was the fertile crescent of antiquity, the vast area that fed the entire Middle East and Mediterranean, and introduced grains to the world.

It was Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, which propelled humanity forward with its invention of writing, domestication of animals and settled life.

Now its groundwater and soil store the radioactivity of 630 tons of depleted uranium weapons. The waste that has been thrown onto civilian targets has permanent consequences.

It pollutes southern Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia with uranium oxide dust that spreads as far as 26 miles, blowing with sand, weathering into water.

Uranium 238, with a half life 4 ½ billion years, lies on the region in the scattered tons of wreckage. Contamination is permanent. Its radiological and chemical toxicity exposes the population to continuous alpha radiation that is breathed into lungs, absorbed through the skin, touched by the unwashed hands of kids who roam the scrap metal yards for parts to sell to help their families.

Full Article here: https://nuclear-news.net/2018/05/02/southern-iraq-kuwait-and-saudi-arabia-permanently-polluted-with-depleted-uranium/

 

Depleted Uranium by OrderOfTheNewWorld on DeviantArt

 

 

 

Our Lips Are Sealed – British Media Silent About Radiation Effects on The Iraqi People

Britain also used uranium weapons but denied there were any adverse lasting effects. So too did the WHO and the Iraq Ministry of Health, which concluded in 2012 that Iraq had fewer birth defects and cancers than developed countries.

But investigations into the conduct of the studies revealed that the Iraq Ministry of Health had surveyed households instead of hospital records. The findings were useless and a Lancet article called for a new study. Another report has not yet been completed.

But the American Public Health Association asked the US military to ban burn pits and to fund research on their health effects. It also asked the WHO to rethink its conclusion.

Researchers tell of attempts by authorities to quash investigations. In 1991, for example, the United States tried to keep the WHO from “surveying areas in southern Iraq where depleted uranium had been used and caused serious health and environmental dangers.”

A British oncologist who headed WHO’s cancer program in the 1990s, advised that his supervisor (who focused on non-communicable diseases) warned that they shouldn’t speak publicly about the cancers and birth defects, “because this would offend member states.”

Why Wont They Admit Liability?

NATO does not want the public to know about toxic dust, because of the liability. As for Iraq, it will conform with the wishes of the country that it is dependent on for financial and military support.

But despite the denials there is a growing international concern about uranium weapons, since they’re radioactive.

As predicted in 1991 by Lt. Col. Ziehm (US-Army) who warned in a memo that because DU weapons “may become politically unacceptable,” after-action reports must “keep this sensitive issue at mind.” In other words, don’t tell.

Media coverage of uranium weapons and the spiraling sickness has been scant. Newspapers refused to carry information and a BBC reporter said, “the public does not want to know about uranium weapons.”

In the meantime, NATO continues to build and sell them to anyone with the necessary finance. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon hold patents for enhanced bombs and cruise missile warheads that include uranium options.

Today, with the U.S., Britain, France and Saudi Arabia bombing Syria, and with the Saudis bombing Yemen, (with UK assistance) and the U.S. firing drones into Yemen, with some of the same weapons unleashed in Iraq it is likely that the people living there, along with huge numbers of refugees, will suffer the same trajic fate as the Serbs, Iraqis, Syrians, Lybians and NATO veterans.

Uranium oxide dust is like a bomb that keeps going off. “People’s genes are damaged for generations. Scientists found this in 22 generations of mice, after Chernobyl. The only way mutated genes disappear is when carriers don’t have children.”

Full Article Here: https://nuclear-news.net/2018/03/19/iraq-is-left-with-long-term-toxic-legacy-of-usas-use-of-depleted-uranium-weapons/

 

radiation-effects | Eyre International - Bringing You The ...

The Westminster Government is Content that All Is Well With Procedures for Nuclear and Hazardous Waste Disposal and Incident Reporting At Coulport and Faslane But The Facts Indicate Their Content Is badly Misplaced

 

 

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Coulport

 

 

28 Nov 2018: Marked Increase in Safety Incidents Aboard UK Atomic Submarines

A recent report released by the MOD lists around 259 safety incidents on Trident submarines, and 246 on other nuclear-power but conventionally armed hunter-killer submarines, in the past 12 years (including near-misses, equipment failures, human error or procedural failings) and the number of incidents is growing.

23 incidents had high potential for releasing radioactive elements, posing a potentially a serious health and contamination risk which was fortunately averted.

It is of increasing concern that 30% of the 12 year total had been added in the last 2 years. So instead of getting safer, the situation has gotten more dangerous. The MOD has downplayed the risks but so long as these weapons are maintained the danger of a more serious and potentially catastrophic accident remains.

Arthur West, chair of the Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, highlighted that there are many who are against the deployment of nuclear weapons.

He said: “The majority of Scottish politicians are opposed to nuclear weapons and the public are increasingly aware that the risks involved in maintaining Britain’s nuclear arsenal heavily outweigh any perceived security advantages that Britain might gain.”

Full article: https://sputniknews.com/europe/201811191069938994-trident-nuclear-near-misses/

Comment: The health and safety record at Coulport and Faslane is appalling but there is sod all the Scottish government, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) or local authorities can do to bring about any improvement since devolved environmental laws exclude MOD sites such as Coulport and the neighbouring nuclear submarine base at Faslane.

A representative of the Scottish government described the MOD waste failings as “deeply worrying” and raised the question, “are these incidents a result of negligence or is the MOD willfully cutting corners placing public health and our environment at risk”? He also called for the MOD to be made accountable to the Scottish Government for the environmental impact of its operations in Scotland.

 

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30th Dec 2018: MoD’s Secret Plan To Dump 22 Nuclear Submarines In Scotland

The UK Government secretly planned to dump the radioactive hulks of 22 nuclear submarines in the sea off north west Scotland, documents released by the National Archives reveal.

A survey for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in 1989 identified six sites for “seabed storage” of defunct naval submarines near the islands of Skye, Mull and Barra for up to 60 years – and probably longer.

Detailed and highly confidential MoD studies concluded the plan was “feasible” and would “obviate the international problems which we would face were we to dispose of these vessels in international waters.”

One MoD official said the aim was “to remove submarines from public view”. Another hoped that “everyone will forget about these submarines and that they will be allowed to quietly rot away indefinitely.”

Full Article: https://www.thenational.scot/news/17325734.revealed-mods-secret-plan-to-dump-22-nuclear-submarines-in-scotland/?ref=twtrec

Comment: The plan was shelved but not abandoned. They will be back with another plan which will include Scotland as the favoured location for dumping redundant Subs.

 

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Massive Blast at Dounreay- Huge Concrete Lid Blown Off Lethal Secret Radioactive Effluent Dump

Early in the morning of Tuesday 10 May 1977 there was a loud explosion at the Dounreay nuclear plant on the north coast of Scotland.

The UK Atomic Energy Authority, which runs the plant, had dumped sodium and potassium down a 65-metre shaft packed with radioactive waste and flooded with seawater.

The results were dramatic. The sodium and potassium reacted violently with the water. The explosion blew off the shaft’s huge concrete lid, threw its steel top plate 12 metres to one side, badly damaged the 5-tonne concrete blocks at the mouth of the shaft, and blasted scaffold poles up to 40 metres away. An eyewitness reported a plume of white smoke blowing out to sea. And, as government watchdogs much later revealed, the ground around the shaft was littered with radioactive particles hot enough to injure and kill. Over the past 18 years, almost 150 of such particles have been found on Dounreay’s beaches.

The accident is the most serious ever at Dounreay, and the particles it spewed out perhaps the most dangerous ever released by the British nuclear industry.

Full article: https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg14619830-600-lid-blown-off-dounreays-lethal-secret/

Comment: The “clean up” is still in progress 50 years after the incident. It is understood that a similar “dump” is in use at the Hunterston nuclear power station. Thats the place where 2 of the four reactors have been shut down because of significant cracks in their structure. The plant is scheduled to close in 2023 but, on the grounds of safety, it should be shut down now.  The good news is that the clean-up of the site will provide highly specialized jobs for a few workers for 50 years.  Jackie Baillie would be well chuffed if she was able to claim Hunterston to her constituency.

 

 

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Possible Perimeters  for a Sovereign Base at Coulport and Faslane?

 

 

MoD Waste Dumping on Peaton Hill halted Amid Investigations

Work transferring lorry loads of waste from Faslane to a hillside on the Rosneath Peninsula on the Gareloch has been dramatically halted.

It emerged this week that there are problems with the licence of the Rosneath Peninsula site being used by the Ministry of Defence.

For several months lorries have been moving waste material – said to be soil and stones from building work at HM Naval Base Clyde – to a site on Peaton Hill.

The MoD says that 15,500 cubic metres of waste – the equivalent of six Olympic-sized swimming pools – has already been moved.

The moorland site has seen significant excavation work, while the public are deterred from access by a sign warning of ‘bull beef’, although there is no sign of cattle.

Full article: https://thelochsidepress.com/2018/10/26/exclusive-mod-waste-on-peaton-hill-halted-amid-investigations/

Local Comment: When dumping first started it was said that it would comprise non-hazardous materials only. So there was nothing to be concerned about. But the MOD has form when it comes to dumping.

The exploding shaft at Dounreay, the radium dials in Fife, some really nasty stuff at Rosyth and closer to home the August 2017 incident at the Royal Naval Armaments Depot at Coulport, when at the time of a visit to the site Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) staff found untested waste from submarines, potentially containing radioactive material, had been mixed with other waste.

Meaning that radioactive waste could have been taken off site and disposed of as if it were non-radioactive waste.

The only reason the untested material was not taken off the base was because vigilant civilian waste contractors refused to pick up the incorrectly processed waste.

A Sepa letter to the MOD said that the watchdog considered this type of incident as “significant” adding that had the Royal Navy been a civilian operator, it would have considered issuing a formal written warning.

Campaign group Navy not Nuclear pointed to a long history of MOD “poor practice” when it comes to handling nuclear materials in Scotland, dating back more than a decade.

“The most damning thing about this is that nothing has changed. The MOD are still failing to follow their own operating procedures, and they’re still failing dismally when it comes to telling the regulator and protecting the environment.”

The group called for more to be done by both the MOD and Sepa to alert the public when environmental incidents occur.

“It shouldn’t be the case that this information should come to light by freedom of information, they should have a statutory public duty to disclose this information,” it said.

Goodness only knows what the MOD has dumped in uncontrolled landfill sites in Scotland as “Non Hazardous”.

 

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50 Years of Discharging Radioactive Effluent into the Gareloch

The Ministry of Defence has revealed proposals for a new ‘Nuclear Support Hub’, which it says will reduce the amount of radioactivity discharged into the Gareloch.

It adds that radioactive liquid effluent and solid waste from nuclear-powered submarines has been successfully treated and disposed of at Faslane since 1967.

The new building would treat and dispose of liquid waste, treat and condition solid waste and decontaminate tools and equipment used in maintaining nuclear-powered vessels.

Effluent would be processed to a level where it can be discharged into the Gareloch.

Full article: https://thelochsidepress.com/2014/11/09/new-plant-to-treat-radioactive-waste-planned-for-faslane/

Comment: Well! well! well! Confirmation solid waste and effluent has been routinely dumped at Faslane for over 50 years. Our children and grandchildren will never forgive the folly of UK governments who actively promoted the retention of nuclear submarines and weapons on the Gareloch.

 

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MOD Police at Faslane and Coulport to Police Rosneath Peninsula

MoD police based at Faslane and Coulport are to expand their operations into civilian areas outside the nuclear bases on the Clyde. The moves have prompted fears about “increased militarisation” of policing.

The MoD police are not accountable to the Scottish government but instead answer to the Ministry of Defence in London.

Police Scotland said there had been no discussions about the expanded civilian role of MoD officers.

MoD police officers have told the local community to expect “greater interaction” as they increase efforts to combat crime and terrorism across the Rosneath peninsula.

Full article: https://www.helensburghadvertiser.co.uk/news/15009201.armed-mod-police-begin-patrolling-civilian-scotland/?ref=ar

Comment: This type of activity is a pre-curser to the introduction and expansion of a controlled area within which members of the public are first prevented from free movement, then over time the public will be banned from the area completely.

Electrified fencing will be put in place prior to the entire area becoming a “Sovereign Base” in perpetuity. Mirroring an arrangement in place in Cyprus. Scottish independence may only be permitted with the foregoing rider.

 

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Tories Confirm Ruth Davidson Has No Future in the Party- But Will She Resign??

 

 

 

 

 

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Tory Party Hard Right Wing Views on Society Exposed in New Poll

Ruth Davidson’s views on society are at odds with her colleagues and her future in the Party is uncertain in the event of a leadership election should Teresa May resign given the findings of a new poll of Party members. Murdo Fraser might be a challenger for the leadership.

Report summary.

Conservative Party members are a “breed apart” from the loyal followers of other UK political parties on issues like the death penalty, same-sex marriage, and education, according to new research.

Academics at the Queen Mary University of London have found that a card-carrying Tory is much more likely to hold authoritarian views compared to Labour members and those of the Liberal Democrats.

The polling, published on Thursday, is the biggest ever into the views of British political party members. It is based on responses from over 1,000 members of each party since the June snap election.

The findings suggest that future Conservative leadership hopefuls from the moderate wing of the party, such as Ruth Davidson, could have a tough time trying to woo the membership, who ultimately crown the leader.

The research found that:

59% of Conservative members do not support gay marriage. Over 80% of members in Labour, Lib Dems and the SNP support it.

54% of Tory members support the death penalty. On the other hand, just 9% of Labour members, 8% of Lib Dems, and 23% of SNP members do.

84% believe schools should focus on teaching kids to obey authority. Just 31% of Labour members and 38% of Lib Dems and SNP members agree.

44% support the censorship of the media in the name of “upholding moral standards,” which is significantly more than members of the other parties.

11% felt that austerity measures had gone too far, compared to 98% of Labour members, 93% of SNP members, and 75% of Lib Dems.

14% of Tory members want Britain to remain in the single market and customs union, commonly described as a “soft” Brexit whilst 87% prefer a hard brexit. In contrast, 87% of Labour members want to stay in the single market and 85% want to remain part of the customs union.

14% of Tories believe there should be a nationwide referendum on a final Brexit deal, compared to 78% of Labour members.

It goes some way to explaining why Jacob Rees-Mogg, a socially conservative backbench Brexiteer, has been a popular choice among Conservative members to be a future leader in recent opinion polls. Mogg opposes gay marriage and abortion.

 

Full report here:

https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:NbXKyoGeiKgJ:https://www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/2017/hss/survey-of-britains-party-members-reveals-glaring-contrasts-between-tories-and-other-parties.html

 

 

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