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Newsweek Scotland: CIA, SNP, Trams

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Derek Bateman Derek Bateman | 17:10 UK time, Friday, 2 September 2011

So, having been ill last week, the producer is now off on a prolonged break...no doubt to some secret CIA training camp where they learn how to subvert BBC presenters. The upshot is that the programme has been concocted by a BBC committee and you can imagine how creative and decisive they are. As I've said before, I go to meetings in the Cathedral of Chaos here at Pacific Quay and I'm not exaggerating when I say I sometimes forget what the meeting's about. Is it just me?

So I can't guarantee what you'll hear in the morning but here's a rough outline.
We noticed letters in the papers from two of our MEPs, one Labour and one Tory, separately pointing out bloomers in the SNP prospectus. One said you couldn't have different rates of corporation tax under EU plans to harmonise taxation and the other said Scotland would automatically be expelled from the EU on independence while the rest of the UK stayed in. And just to cap it all, Scotland would have to join the Euro, which it seems is no longer SNP policy, at least in the short term. So it looked like a belt and braces case against the SNP. We asked the European Commission if they were right and they refused to speak on the matter. Why not? What on earth is the Commission for if it's not to service the public? We pay enough for it...couldn't they just answer some questions, not on politics as such but on Commission policy. So instead we turned to one of our eminent professors on such matters to judge wether our MEPs are correct. Or, more subtly, are they nearly correct? You can hear the result in the morning.

There have been more turns in the trams saga than there are on the route to the airport. It now looks like it will go into the city after all. So we thought we'd look back at where it all went awry...arguably when the council opted for a referendum on congestion charging which could have helped fund the whole operation and cleared the city centre of unnecessary vehicles. We speak to an expert on London's scheme and, after hearing from Dublin last week, we're in Bergen where they have manged to build a tram scheme under budget. Sorry, Edinburgh. We hear about music in the Free Kirk and the Blues and we're in South Africa and Algeria. Bet the weather's better there. Must go. The programme team is about to meet. There are so many putting their oar in in this week, we're holding it at Hampden.

See you tomorrow at 8.

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