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JOHN Swinney, the SNP leader, made a passionate and deliberate attempt to reverse decades of Nationalist rhetoric yesterday, when he warned his party that independence would not turn Scotland into a "land of milk and honey".
AND so we present John Swinney: man, bloke, wearer of specs.
PLANS to reduce class sizes for younger primary school children to 18 or fewer will be a flagship policy of the SNP in the run-up to next year’s Holyrood election, the party’s education spokesman said last night.
SNP leader John Swinney today accused the Scottish Executive of stashing £400 million of taxpayers’ money in "slush funds" which they can dip into when they find themselves in trouble.
AN INDEPENDENT Scottish government would employ a full-time regular defence force of 20,000 - an increase of 5,000 on the present military establishment employed in Scotland, the SNP conference was told yesterday.
LABOUR Party managers dismissed last night the defection of a leading activist to the SNP, insisting that Gordon Guthrie had left the party only when he realised his political ambitions had stalled.
THE SNP yesterday devoted its annual conference in Inverness to discussing defence and foreign affairs.
IT WAS MacAskill Day in parliament yesterday. We refer to Ranting Kenny of that ilk, who was holding Holyrood for the SNP while John Swinney was in Inverness hobnobbing with his party’s hobbledehoys.
ALEX Salmond launched a vicious personal attack on the Prime Minister yesterday over his handling of the Iraq crisis.
JOHN Swinney will use his leader’s speech to the SNP conference today to put the economy at the centre of his party’s election campaign and to accuse the Executive of mismanaging taxpayers’ money.
SCOTLAND desperately needs a strong and effective opposition party.
IT sounds more like an ad for an energy drink, or perhaps an innovative investment scheme, but the SNP hope it will prove an election-winning campaign slogan.
JOHN Swinney, the SNP leader, yesterday announced his total and unequivocal opposition to action against Iraq unless it was supported by full United Nations backing.
THIS week’s gathering of the SNP in Inverness represents John Swinney’s last chance to mould the party in his image before May’s election.
MARGARET Ewing, one of the SNP’s most popular MSPs, was given a rousing standing ovation by activists yesterday when she returned after a painful battle with cancer to deliver a pre-election rallying cry to the party conference, writes Hamish Macdonell.
JOHN Swinney, the SNP leader, will use his keynote conference address tomorrow to announce a major change in the campaigning approach of his party - effectively ditching the strategy adopted by his predecessor, Alex Salmond, in 1999.
AN SNP administration would create new family courts, to deal with both civil and criminal cases, and would punish parents for anti-social crimes committed by their children, Roseanna Cunningham announced yesterday.