The mandate for ditching gardens

Fast forward to 2014. In the Scottish Independence referendum the majority of people vote “no”.

Labour and City Garden vote comparison Read More...
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What now for Aberdeen city centre?

Unless you have been taking a spin in Curiosity on the surface of Mars, if you have any interest in Aberdeen you will know that Aberdeen’s councillors have voted not to proceed with the Aberdeen City Gardens Project and the £182 million package of city centre funding that went with it.

Aberdeen City Garden Read More...
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New Scottish Goverment

The formation of the new Scottish Government is under way, following the SNP’s landslide success in the Scottish Parliament elections earlier this month.

Scottish_Parliament Read More...
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All wealth flows from England?

Quietly fuming at a comment in the article by Bruce Anderson in The Telegraph. He is talking abut the increasing use of the cross of St George by English football fans and how, he believes, it indicates a potential deeper malaise with the union.

St George's Cross Read More...
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Election debate: Perhaps SNP have a point

When I first heard that the SNP were demanding to be part of the TV debates for the forthcoming UK election, I was inclined to question the justification. But, no that had some more time to think about it, I think they have a point.

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Where has all the money gone?

I got back into my car, turned the ignition and on came the news. There were three items about lack of money for public projects. It all made for extremely depressing listening.

How have we got ourselves in this mess?

Money squeeze Read More...
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A tax on your view?

There were probably many, like me, who sat and chuckled as the panel members on ‘Have I Got News for You’ joked about government plans to tax people’s view from their homes. But, the warning bells are ringing that this is not such a far-fetched story.

Sea view Read More...
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Call for an oil fund strikes a chord

The renewed call for an oil fund from the Finance Secretary is bound to strike a chord with many Scots.

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Scotland would be in deficit even with oil?

So, according to a UK Government report, Scotland’s economy would still be in deficit even with the oil and gas revenues from the North Sea.

oil rig Read More...
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Political turmoil

When we were assimilating the seriousness of the international money crisis at the end of last year we were warned that these were unprecedented times and that no-one really knew what the future held for us. Read More...
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Expenses row grows

It is almost three weeks since we commented on the MPs expenses row. Since then, the on-going revelations have been quite shocking. Yet, here is evidence that, ten years ago, Westminster decision makers knew that the system needed changed.

UK Parliament Read More...
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Mystery over Cameron's 'rule Scotland'

All the headlines quote Conservative leader David Cameron as saying he would “rule Scotland with respect”.

UK Parliament Read More...
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What happened to the political antennae

At a time when young couples are finding it difficult to afford a homes, when families are cutting back on non-essentials and those approaching retirement age are realising that their pensions are going to be worth a fraction of what they expected, some of our MPs show themselves to be out of tune with the times by awarding themselves frankly ridiculous expenses. Read More...
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What was no 10 thinking about

What were the spin doctors at No 10 thinking?
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50 mph limit is wrong tactic

Thos of us who use roads in the North East of Scotland (and that is the vast majority of us), tend to drive longer distances and greater miles. In future, you may find that many of these journeys are limited to 50 mph. Read More...
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Yet another local government reform?

The Herald today runs a story about a growing demand for the reform of local government. The suggestion is that the current 32 local councils in Scotland should be cut to just ten. Read More...
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Spend, spend, spend

We now have the lowest interest rates in the UK. Good news for borrowers and spenders. Bad news for savers.

Money Read More...
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Big Brother: is 2009 our 1984?

Watch out. From March, the government will have a record of your visit to this website.

people Read More...
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RIP conventional bulbs

The EU is taking control of your home lighting.

candle Read More...
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Politicians - let's have a new approach?

I found the short-lived consensus approach to the financial crisis quite refreshing. Suspension of the usual school-playground ‘ya boo’ style of name-calling was good while it lasted. Read More...
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Bus lanes fines increase? Let's have a rethink.

So Aberdeen City Council plans to increase fines for driving in bus lanes to £80. What is the justification? Where is the proof that by strangling traffic flow on our arterial routes we are providing benefit for our citizens... the electorate? Read More...
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Scotland in surplus say Scottish Government

Figures just released by the Scottish Government show Scotland had a current budget surplus in the last two financial years. The most recent surplus is said to be £837 million, compared with a UK deficit of £4.3 billion. Read More...
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Trump headlines first day of golf inquiry

Donald Trump added an element of show business to the normally staid atmosphere of a public inquiry. His motorcade arrived at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on Tuesday and the star of the show strode through the door, surrounded by some 40 television cameras, journalists and photographers. Read More...
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Unity needed to rebuild Aberdeen's reputation

The Accounts Commission report into the financial state of Aberdeen City Council is yet another blow to Aberdeen City and Shire's reputation, coming, as it does, hot on the heels of the Trump debacle. Read More...
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A modern parable?

I normally don't pay a huge amount of attention to email funnies, but this one I did like. See what you think. Read More...
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Funny how Chancellor and PM find the way to Aberdeen when they need oil

Isn't it funny how the Prime Minister and Chancellor suddenly remember the importance of Aberdeen as the centre of the UK oil and gas industry when they need a favour? Where were they when the industry was calling for help to extend the life of the North Sea? Where were they when the industry was pleading for an equitable tax regime? Where were they when we were pleading for investment in our infrastructure to support the industry? Read More...
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Let's show Aberdeen has a heart

The rally yesterday - albeit organised by the Labour Party - cannot be dismissed as purely a political stunt. It shows the depth of anger in the city about the £27 million cuts and how they will impact on the most vulnerable members of Aberdeen's society. It matters not whether it is Aberdeen City Council who have brought this financial crisis on, or whether it is a desperately unfair system that means Aberdeen gets £320 less per head than any other local authority in Scotland. Read More...
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Unfair system squeezing Aberdeen finances?

It seems there is more to these £27 million cuts in Aberdeen City than meets the eye. Many of us may take issue with the services that the councillors have chosen as the target for their axe, but there seems to be a basic unfairness in the way Aberdeen City Council is funded. Read More...
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Aberdeen cuts deep into support for society's most vulnerable

Aberdeen City Council's announcement of £27 million of cuts in its budget has caused shock tremors throughout the city and further afield.

The initial headlines concentrated on the loss of the Bon Accord Baths and the Lynx Ice Rink. However, as time has gone on, there has been growing shock at how deeply the cuts may impact on Aberdeen's most vulnerable citizens. Read More...
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Trump saga takes another turn

You have to hand it to the politicians. They really know how to screw things up good and proper sometimes. Donald Trump is clearly not a man known for having endless patience. He wanted to build "the world's greatest links golf course" here in the North East of Scotland.

I'm sure that even he would not have expected the proposal to get the green light without due scrutiny. But he could never have expected to get lost in the dither and prevarication that is the British planning system. Read More...
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EU oversteps its mark again

Patio heaters are the latest target for the beuocrats in the EU. Apparently they are not environmentally friendly enough. But, are there not issues about restricting personal freedom? Read More...
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The vitality of the oil industry

Which is the bigger oil producer? Kuwait or the UK? The answer may surprise you. It also raises questions about why our politicians are not supporting and sustaining the North Sea industry for the future.
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Aberdeen drops off Edinburgh's radar

The National Planning Framework has gone out for consultation. It identifies nine infrastructure developments of national significance. Guess what? None of them are in Aberdeen City and Shire! Read More...
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Do politicians have a death wish?

Judging by the letters and columns in the newspapers, I am not the the only one who is watching the ever unfolding Trump saga with growing disbelief.

First Aberdeenshire Council get themselves into a total guddle, because a minority committee rejects a planning application. The majority of the councillors are apparently in favour, but the council is unable to refer the decision for ratification by the full council. Now when the £1 billion plan looks like it has been saved by the Scottish Government, other politicians now pop out of the woodwork desperate to stick more spokes in the wheel and, potentially, derail the plan. Read More...
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Aberdeenshire Council moves to sort itself out

The removal of Councillor Martin Ford from the chairmanship of the Infrastructure Services Committee and the decision that major projects must be capable of consideration by the full council go some way to sorting out the Trump mess at Aberdeenshire Council. We can also take heart from the support demonstrated by the full council for the Trump International Golf Links Scotland development. Read More...
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Credibility of Aberdeenshire Council is on the line

It is no exaggeration to say that the credibility of Aberdeenshire Council is on the line as a result of the Trump International Golf Links Scotland debacle. How on earth can a council allow seven councillors to halt a £1.5 million project? That's only around 10% of the councillors on Aberdeenshire Council! Read More...
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Trump will not appeal and is looking to Northern Ireland

Donald Trump has confirmed that he will not appeal Aberdeenshire Council's extraordinary decision of just seven councillors to refuse planning permission for the Trump International Golf Links Scotland development. Reports say he is already talking to landowners at an alternative site in Northern Ireland. Read More...
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Councillors' Trump refusal causes outrage

Why would you turn down the potential of a £1 billion investment to create a prestigious development that would not only draw thousands of visitors to Aberdeen City and Shire, but also focus international attention on the quality of the environment and services here in the North East? Read More...
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It's whose oil?

The Offshore Europe conference and exhibition opens in Aberdeen today, with delegates from a hundred countries converging on the city for the biggest oil exhibition outside the USA. True to form, if you are not in Aberdeen you probably don't know it is happening. That's a shame, because the role of North Sea Oil in underpinning the UK economy is something that is all too easily forgotten. Read More...
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Independence within the United Kingdom?

The Scottish Government has put forward its proposals for a referendum on independence, with the launch of what it calls Scotland's Future: A National Conversation. Read More...
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The new road tax coming to your car...

The Eddington Review has been published and proposes, surprise surprise, a tax per mile for the roads you use. A satellite receiver in your car will track your every move and the government will send you a bill for the roads you use. You can find an e-petition on the Downing Street website.
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Politicians need to focus on sustaining, not milking, the oil and gas industry

The UK North Sea oil and gas industry, which is predominantly controlled and operated out of Aberdeen, provides the UK with 75% of its prime energy needs. By 2020 it is estimated that figure will rise to a staggering 80%. It also sustains something like 400,000 jobs in the UK. Read More...
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The people have spoken, don't defy their will

As Scotland looks forward to the appointment of a new Government, following one of the most exciting election battles for years, the Lib Dem spokesman this morning took a swipe at the SNP. Basically he was sounding remarkably like Gordon Brown, in effect saying that they wouldn't work with anyone who wanted independence. Read More...
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Teenage Deputy Provost for Aberdeen stirs comment

The news that Aberdeen is to have a teenager as deputy Lord Provost and that two other councillors in their early 20s will take control of powerful committees on Aberdeen City Council has produced a froth of coverage in the media.
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Controversy about Scottish Prime Ministers

I simply cannot understand this controversy about Scottish Prime Ministers, which seems to have been whipped up at the time of Gordon Brown's elevation to the Premiership.
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