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Category: Scottish politics

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Johnson should back England team for taking the knee, says Brown

Former PM says country should support footballers and ‘stop fighting these culture wars’Gordon Brown has told the government to support the England football team’s decision to take the knee before matches and stop fighting culture wars over “unimportan…

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Scottish football fans given legal right to buy their clubs

Supporters’ groups will be given first and preferred bidding if club owner decides to sell or if it faces closure

Scottish football fans are to be given legal rights to buy their football clubs using powers traditionally given to crofters and island communities to mount buyouts of Highland estates.

The powers would give supporters’ groups the right to become the first and preferred bidders if the owner of their club decides to sell or the club is facing closure after a financial collapse.

Continue reading…




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Scottish football fans given legal right to buy their clubs

Supporters’ groups will be given first and preferred bidding if club owner decides to sell or if it faces closure

Scottish football fans are to be given legal rights to buy their football clubs using powers traditionally given to crofters and island communities to mount buyouts of Highland estates.

The powers would give supporters’ groups the right to become the first and preferred bidders if the owner of their club decides to sell or the club is facing closure after a financial collapse.

Continue reading…




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Scotland match with Qatar to go ahead despite criticisms over fixture

Scottish fans and trade unions have questioned the wisdom of a match with the hosts of the 2022 World Cup after reports of widespread human rights abuses

A friendly football match between Scotland and Qatar will go ahead in Edinburgh on Friday despite widespread condemnation of the human rights abuses reported to be prevalent in the construction of venues and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup.

As the Guardian first revealed two years ago, Qatar’s building frenzy ahead of the international tournament is set to cost the lives of thousands of migrant workers.

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Andy Murray has no regrets over support for Scottish independence

• But British No1 says tweet was ‘not really in my character’
• Murray wants to move on after receiving online abuse
• Murray’s tweet added to sport’s list of political gestures Continue reading…

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Andy Murray on Scottish independence vote: ‘Let’s do this!’

Wimbledon champion tweets apparent endorsement of yes vote in referendum, criticising negativity of the no side Continue reading…

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Jenny Colgan: I want fewer walls and barriers and to be wonderfully, quirkily British

The novelist says Scots shouldn’t turn away from the spirit that made the 2012 Olympics a beacon of Britishness Continue reading…

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Scotland v England friendly debate: football will overshadow politics

Celtic Park stages Auld Enemy showdown on 18 November and a fan from each side of the border gives their take on how the referendum and banter have replaced the ills of past encounters Continue reading…

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Scotland v England friendly debate: football will overshadow politics

Celtic Park stages Auld Enemy showdown on 18 November and a fan from each side of the border gives their take on how the referendum and banter have replaced the ills of past encounters Scotland to face England in November at Celtic Park Hodgson says Sc…

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Scotland team may miss Rio Olympics in event of vote for independence

Sir Craig Reedie: I dont know if it could be done in time Many sports will have qualifying competitions all but finishedScottish athletes are highly unlikely to be able to represent their new country at Rio 2016 in the event of a vote for independence …

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Commonwealth Games feel like a home games for seven home nations

Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey fans cheer on local heroes as Glasgow welcomes seven teams from British Isles Continue reading…

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Andy Murray: I did not like Salmond’s Wimbledon Scottish flag-waving

Tennis champion remarks on SNP leader’s action after 2013 final and says he has been competing for Great Britain for 16 years Continue reading…

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Andy Murray keeps quiet on Scottish independence

Scottish Wimbledon champion says his views are not relevant as he cannot vote as a resident of England

Andy Murray will not make his views on Scottish independence known because he does not want a repeat of the furore that followed his comments about the England football team.

Murray joked in an interview before the 2006 World Cup that he would be supporting anyone but England and the remark has dogged him ever since.

It is still cited by some English people as a reason not to support him, even though the reigning Wimbledon champion has explained many times that it was not a serious comment.

As one of Scotland’s highest-profile celebrities, were Murray to express his opinion before the independence referendum, it would be a big story, even though as a resident of England he cannot vote.

But speaking at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, he said: “I will take a position. My thoughts on it aren’t that relevant, because I can’t vote myself.

“I wouldn’t personally choose to make my feelings on something like that public either because not a whole lot of good comes from it.

“I don’t know a whole lot about politics, and I have made that mistake in the past and it’s caused me a headache for seven or eight years of my life and a lot of abuse.

“So I wouldn’t consider getting involved in something like that ever again.”

Murray spoke after beating Lukas Rosol 4-6 6-3 6-2 in the second round of the competition.

Voters in Scotland will go to the polls on 18 September to decide whether to break the 200-year-old union and go it alone.

Murray’s comments are a reversal of what he said following his Wimbledon triumph last summer, when he stated he would say what side he was on once he had made up his mind.

He spends a lot more time in America these days than in Scotland, with Miami his base for pre-season training and other blocks during the year.

He said: “I love the States. I have loved it since the first time I came for the Orange Bowl when I was 11 years old.

“I just enjoy the positivity of the people here. You wake up at 6am and go to Starbucks and the person that’s serving you just genuinely seems happy to see you. They are awake and just have a positive outlook on life.

“It’s not the case everywhere. That’s why I always enjoy coming here and why I spend my off seasons training here and why I have made Miami my second home.”

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Esther Addley’s diary: Bad news Alex – the beating hurt of curling is unionist. All hope is lost

‘It’s a British victory’, says microgranite stones manufacturer

• Not the best of months, perhaps, for the Scottish yes lobby, with the UK parties vowing not to share the pound and the EU president suggesting it might not let an independent Scotland join — all topped off, most painfully of all, with the loss of David Bowie. So hurrah for the curling, the (Scottish) sport in which five (Scottish) women on Thursday claimed bronze in Sochi, and five (Scottish) men compete on Friday for gold. Were the country to sever from the union, indeed, the sport could provide a flagship industry for the new independent economy, with 70% of the world’s curling stones manufactured by one small Kilmarnock company, Kays of Scotland (got that?). The Sochi stones were made at Kays, quarried, like the rest, from the tiny Ayrshire island in the Firth of Clyde, Ailsa Craig, whose dense microgranite is commonly agreed to make the finest stones in the world. The small workshop produces about five £400 stones a day, says the factory’s manager Bill Hunter, but production might have been down a bit this week as they have all, understandably, been gripped by the unfolding events on BBC Sport. So was the women’s medal a victory for Team GB or for Scotland? “As a personal view, albeit they are all Scots, it’s a British victory,” says Hunter. Oh dear. Why? “Independence will never happen. I just can’t see the Scottish people, when it comes to it, voting for it.” So Kay’s of Scotland is not … “Very independently minded. No.” Oh, Alex Salmond. The beating heart of curling is unionist. All hope is lost.

General Michael Hayden, former director of the NSA, former director of the CIA and big, big fan of the Guardian, has been doing a tour of Oxford, where he will this year serve as the Humanitas visiting professor in intelligence studies. In one lecture at Pembroke College, the former spook-in-chief revealed how it had been his responsibility in 1999 to install extra security on Barack Obama’s BlackBerry so it couldn’t be hacked by foreign states. Was it just possible, knowing this, that the US had overreached itself by hacking the phone of the German chancellor, a student asked the following day. “We probably didn’t get much knowledge about al-Qaida from Angela Merkel’s BlackBerry,” said Hayden, adding, “I’m not confirming or denying we did or didn’t do it, and I think honest men can judge whether it was a good idea if we did do it.” Wasn’t it obvious that it was a terrible idea? “I have political guidance. I was waved off targets because of their sensitivity. If we did this, maybe I should have been waved off that.” That’ll be a yes, then.

• Happy news from Wisconsin, whose governor, the Associated Press reports, is poised to sign into law a bill that will (at last!) legalise rubber duck racing. The game, a sort of neon Poohsticks in which thousands of numbered yellow plastic ducks are released into rivers to race downstream, is a popular local fundraising activity, but for years has officially been banned in the midwest state as “illegal gambling”. The new bill will mean that illicit duck meets like the Sheboygan Falls Ducktona 500, sponsored by Blattner’s Piggly Wiggly, can at last come out from the shadows. We’ll have a tenner on number 12,834.

• Reader Liz Semeonoff gets in touch about our item earlier in the week about The Bread Shop, a small bakery on Aigburth Road in Liverpool, that flogs its wares under the slogan “Crap sweets and rude staff”. “It’s a fabulous shop which sells a huge range and the staff are great,” she says. “The shop owner always has a smile and a hello for customers.” We try once again to call and this time reach Alan Gordon, whose grandfather Len and father Frank have been running the shop since 1958, now joined by next door sweet shop (The Sweet Shop) and cafe (The Cafe). Turns out he’s not rude at all. “We’ve always had pretty good banter with the customers,” he says. “Not like Tesco where they don’t look at you”. You can also buy T-shirts and mugs reading “Terrible service and lousy food”, while the shop’s carrier bags carry the slogan “I’ve just supported a family business” along with a picture of Gordon’s three-year-old daughter Ava and the words, “I’ll be the boss one day.” Lovely.

Twitter: @estheraddley

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