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Club Class Coalition – Sir Menzies Campbell and Gordon Brown are already talking about life after Blair

25/3/06 With one year to go to the Scottish elections, the talk at the LibDem gathering in Aviemore was all about the seven year old Liberal-Labour coalition breaking up. Labour MSPs re talking openly about the merits of going it alone, while Nicol Stephen, the Scottish LibDem leader is making nuclear power and council tax … Continue reading

Brown’s Tenth Budget

25/3/06 “An analogue Chancellor for a digital age”. It was an elegant put-down from David Cameron in last week’s Budget response. Gordon Brown has bored for Britain on information technology in many Budgets past, and this was a web-wise way of suggesting that the Chancellor is yesterday’s man. Gordon Brown knows just how effective those … Continue reading

Honest Mistake

11/3/06 An honest mistake, that’s how the First Minister, Jack McConnell, described the failings in the Scottish fingerprint service which led to the wrongful prosecution of detective Shirley McKie for leaving her fingerprint at the scene of a murder. Well, we all make them, don’t we. Accidents will happen. I mean, any day of the … Continue reading

Decline and Fall of Tony Blair

18/3/06 In Westminster they used to say that while Tory scandals are invariably about sex, Labour scandals are always about money and it still holds true today. What did for John Major in the 1990s was the Tory leader’s ‘back to basics’ policy initiative, which famously became “back to my place”, as ministers resigned successively … Continue reading

Trident Replacement – Why Tony Blair Should Just Say No

What is it that robs politicians of their sense of irony as soon as they reach high office? You would think the Prime Minister would see that right now, when we are lecturing Iran about breaking the Nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty might not be the best time to start talking about breaking it ourselves. But … Continue reading

Francis Fukuyama Got it Wrong

‘AFTER THE NEOCONS – AMERICA AT THE CROSSROADS” by FRANCIS FUKUYAMA. PROFILE BOOKS 30 MARCH 12.99 HB You might not have thought of George W. Bush as a Marxist revolutionary, but the one of the leading thinkers of the American new Right, Francis Fukuyama, in his new book compares the President to V. I. Lenin. … Continue reading

Why More Devolution is Inevitable

My Lords Steel and Vallance make unlikely revolutionaries,but their Commission’s report on the future of the Scottish constitution is little short of a declaration of independence. Giving Scotland control of taxation, broadcasting, welfare, immigration, asylum, the civil service, the constitution and many other powers would amount to a lot more than “fiscal federalism”, whatever that … Continue reading

What Devolution Has Done For England

There was a mixed response in Scotland to the news that there has been a marked increase in the number of English students applying to Scottish universities this year. Some nationalist politicians fear Scottish students are being elbowed out by English “fee refugees”. But at least it’s confounded those critics who said that the abolition … Continue reading

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