Danus Skene

party: Scottish National Party (SNP)
constituency: Orkney and Shetland

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How would you reform surveillance law, oversight and practice to respect the rights of law-abiding people?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

There have been major improvements in oversight of the police in Scotland. Police Scotland is accountable at a policy level to an elected Parliament -- some thing not being enjoyed by the Chief Constable at present. operationally, there is co-ordination with councils. Let's review these arrangements when they have had a chance to bed down.

The right of parents to remain with their children in hospital has been established for over forty years. How would you ensure carers of people with dementia are equally welcome in hospital?

organisation: John's Campaign

Good point. Here in the Isles we are planning one new hospital and considering the other. I take on board the point that we should consider building in carers' accommodation.

Recent polling show that people support rent control by a margin of nine to one. Do you support a rent control that limits rent rises between tenancies as well as during tenancies?

organisation: Generation Rent


Britain spends £24 billion on housing benefit and less than £1.5 billion on building homes. Do you support an increase in the social housebuilding grant to £5 billion a year to build homes?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes. An absolute priority.

To what degree should access to information on the internet be restricted by the state or private companies?

organisation: Open Rights Group (ORG)

(Not sure I am understanding your question right) Companies profiting from internet data transfer -- Google, Facebook, whatever -- should have enforceable responsibility to prevent transfer of data that is inappropriate because of its personal or criminal nature.
The state should hold the internet under ongoing scrutiny with a view to considering control of access to some data as technology evolves.

Should people in Scotland and Northern Ireland have the same free speech protections from libel bullies as their neighbours in England and Wales?

organisation: English PEN

In principle, there should be such legislation wherever someone lives, and not just in the UK. Scots law is o course distinct, and I confess to ignorance about the differences in victims' rights in this respect. Point taken in. Will be open to whatever needs to change.

The standards of goods and services that are essential, such as food and water, are generally highly regulated. Do you support enforced minimum standards in housing as a precondition of a renting?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes. The practical difficulties are considerable in a market where private lets tend to involve owners of a single or just a couple of properties. We have few "professional landlords" in the Isles, and a housing shortage, particularly in Shetland.

Governments implement policies that directly and indirectly impact on house prices. Do you think house prices are too high?

organisation: Generation Rent

Yes they are. The 80s "property owing democracy" sell off by Thatcher's government was unreservedly a bad thing -- not only socially but economically, creating a society of debtors. We need more (and a higher proportion) of social housing, and we need to end the culture of presuming ownership is the ideal. cf Germany, etc.