David Cameron promises more powers for Scotland

The Tory leader made the offer in a speech in Edinburgh, where he set out his defence of more than 300 years of political union between Scotland and England.

“This doesn’t have to be the end of the road,” he said.

“When the referendum on independence is over, I am open to looking at how the devolved settlement can be improved further.

“And, yes, that does mean considering what further powers could be devolved.

“But that must be a question for after the referendum, when Scotland has made its choice about the fundamental question of independence or for the United Kingdom.

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I would like to thank all those bloggers kind enough to be ‘following’ and/or ‘liking’ some of my offerings – very gratifying; I am most grateful.

I have visited your sites, and often tried to respond, but for some reason, though the comments procedure appears to work from my end, recently, for some reason, it is not being ‘saved’ at yours. 

Any suggestions would be appreciated but I expect it will be necessary to ask the WordPress forum for assistance, once I have found the time to determine how to make contact with this esteemed body.

Gracias y adiós por ahora.

Saudi Arabia isn’t sending women to the London Olympics – but a boycott wouldn’t help women’s rights

go to a gym – or at least I did before the extortionate fees led me to cancel my membership – in an area with a large Muslim population. I know this not because of demographics, but because the gym had a “women only” section. And on any given day it would be full of women wearing headscarves, fully covered-up, working out with the best of them.

Islam isn’t the only religion to proscribe certain clothing as immodest; Judaism has strict laws on modesty too, and certainly Christianity calls for women to behave appropriately in other respects.

But, regardless of which religion it is, there are ways to uphold the requirements of the faith without compromising on lifestyle; this can be anything from working in “male professions” as a woman, to Orthodox Jewish women wearing the latest trends with added sleeves, or Muslim women exercising to their hearts’ content in private spaces.

Modesty laws don’t have to be an impediment to lifestyle, yet they are in several countries, including Saudi Arabia.

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The middle-aged unemployed are being slowly crushed between Government cuts and Labour complacency

Yesterday’s cold, sparse unemployment figures had a human face. Michael Taylor, an unemployed teacher, appeared on the BBC 10 O’Clock News and spoke in uncompromising terms of what it meant for him to be among the ranks of Britain’s 2.67 million jobless. His voice cracking, Mr Taylor spoke of being “humiliated”. “I feel like it’s my fault”, he said.

I don’t know Michael Taylor’s personal circumstances, or whether there’s truth in his argument that in his North West community, jobs simply aren’t available for those who want them. But he appeared sincere enough. Painfully so.

He was followed by the Prime Minister, who offered his ritual cold comfort. The jobless figures were “disappointing”, but the number of people actually in work was rising, as were the number of job vacancies. He, David Cameron, would be “rolling up his sleeves” to get Britain back to work. Though he appeared to be wearing a very nice suit jacket when he said it.

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David Cameron has given in to Vince Cable over Les Ebdon – will his MPs forgive him?

Shortly before the Commons broke up for Christmas, and a week after he “vetoed” the EU fiscal compact, David Cameron attended one of the most generous meetings of the 1922 committee of his career. Ordinarily touchy backbenchers nodded enthusiastically at their Prime Minister as they went inside. As one joked, Dave could have made a Christmas present of the Falklands to Cristina Kirchner and no one would have minded.

No more. The suspicions of the Tory backbenches are back. This week, they are worried about Dave’s announcement that he will do nothing to stop Vince Cable from appointing Professor Les Ebdon to the head of Offa, the university access watchdog. Ebdon is an academic from the University of Bedfordshire, who has annoyed several elite universities by threatening to cut the fees they can charge if they don’t admit enough applicants from poor backgrounds. Despite the fact that he has the support of David Willetts, his appointment is opposed by Tory backbench MPs. All four Conservative members of the Business Select Committee voted against Offa-ing him the job (sorry).

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