This weekend has tragically seen the death of six people in lochs, beauty spots and rivers across Scotland. This is a heart-breaking figure which brings the dangers of open water swimming to the forefront of public concern. Four of these deaths occurred at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, with two others occurring in Hamilton and Lanark respectively.
On privatisation of the nationalised UK coal mining industry in 1994, the Mineworkers’ Pension Scheme (“MPS”) was closed to further contributions and privatised. The UK Government became guarantor to the Scheme, and guaranteed that pension members would always receive the benefits they had earned up to privatisation, and that these benefits would increase in line with inflation. In return, it was agreed that the Government would be entitled to a 50% share of any surpluses in the Scheme’s value at future valuations. The other 50% would be distributed to members through bonuses.
To most people (other than a select few like me who need their head checked) the topic of pension advice is not the most captivating. However, the fact that it is not a particularly sexy subject should not detract from the impact that it can have on someone’s life.Victims of negligent pensions advice can see their life savings wiped out in an instant after years of hard work and planning.
In September 2020, protestor Sean Clerkin was arrested after displaying a banner at Edinburgh Airport reading “England Get Out of Scotland”. He was charged with a racially aggravated breach of the peace and displaying a banner without permission on Edinburgh Airport property. The banner had previously been displayed by him in other locations during 2020, including at the England-Scotland border at Berwick and outside Glasgow Central Station, all reportedly in protest at the border not being closed given the rise of Covid-19 cases. He denied it was an expression of any anti-English feeling.
Take a pause, have a deep breath, and ask yourself: how are you really feeling? If you aren’t doing well or if you are struggling, remember that is okay. It is okay not to be okay, you have gotten through one of the toughest years in modern history.
International Workers’ Memorial Day is marked on 28th April to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of work related disease or injury, or in accidents at work. For many, this conjures up images of the dangerous industrial work environments of the past, rather than a current and relevant issue, but that does not reflect the reality. The theme of IWMD this year is health and safety as a fundamental workers’ right, and over the course of the past year, the importance of this has hit home for everyone.
Another session of the Scottish Parliament has ended without legislation being passed to tackle the glaring failure in our criminal law that has been well know to everyone for decades. It is a failure that is of course felt most acutely and heartbreakingly by those families who have lost a loved one to gross negligence or recklessness, particularly on the part of organisations, but who did not see justice done through a conviction for Culpable Homicide. It is a failure that puts us all at risk. It is a failure that if anything ought to be a priority for our politicians at Holyrood it is surely one. In fact, it ought to be at the very top of their list.
In the first case of its kind, a victim of sexual assault has been awarded £35,000 in compensation for the inhumane treatment she received when in the witness box. Lord Carloway condemned the behaviour of solicitor Andy Aitken and refusal to intervene from Sheriff Hammond as a ‘serious failure in the administration of justice.’ Shannon brought a case against the Lord Advocate after seeking legal advice and being told that a previous case at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) found that judges must ensure victims of sexual crimes are protected during proceedings.