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Liberal green taxes hit the poor, but so does global warming

It may not have been Ming’s High Noon, but it was arguably his Clause 4. The Liberals have left redistribution behind them – at least by the route of progressive taxation on income. Higher income tax was their most distinctive domestic policy at the last election – it was what made the LibDems different. Its … Continue reading

Proportional Representation will happen – if we make it.

It’s enough to give the Daily Telegraph kittens. Gordon Brown and Ming Campbell, fixing the future of Westminster on their trips home to devolved Scotland. Well, they do talk, you know – a lot. Campbell and Brown sit for neighbouring Fife constituencies, and they regularly discuss politics on the shuttle to and from London. Recently, … Continue reading

Blair’s real legacy is devolution – funnily enough.

With the count down to the end of the Blair era well underway, the search for a suitable legacy for Labour’s most successful leader is becoming increasingly desperate. What is there in the trophy cupboard? The Millennium Dome? Hardly. ASBOs and the respect agenda? Please. The public service reforms are in trouble, and anyway borrowed … Continue reading

Can the Scottish Tories go Gay?

In future the Scottish Tories are going to have to learn to love homosexuals. Well, that’s surely the implications of the historic meeting between the Conservative party chairman, Francis Maude, and the gay pressure-group “Stonewall” on Friday. I wonder what plans they to follow up the rapprochement with Scotland’s gay community? Will Annabel Goldie be … Continue reading

Negotiating Trident away isn’t such a daft idea

Jack McConnell can’t win. If he speaks about important moral issues like nuclear defence, he is attacked for getting above himself. If he avoids the issue, on the grounds that defence is not a responsibility of the Scottish Parliament, he is accused of moral cowardice. Well, increasingly, on issues like asylum, immigration, Trident, Jack McConnell … Continue reading

The Scottish Media is Doomed.

We’re all doomed – how often have we heard the Scottish media sound it’s own death knell. But look around – the stench of decay is unmistakeable. The Scottish press is engaged in a desperate war of all against all in a rapidly shrinking market. Scottish broadcasting is in a dreadful state with STV having … Continue reading

The Scottish opposition parties could govern after May – but do they want to?

There’s only one question at the start of this crucial election year: have they got the bottle? Do the Scottish opposition parties really want to be in government after the Holyrood elections in May? I’m afraid that the short answer is: no they don’t. Which is very unfortunate because a change of government is precisely … Continue reading

The Mirror memo reflects Blair’s vanity

It would be tragic if it weren’t so funny. The Downing St memo on Blair’s last days reads like the curtain call for some Eastern European dictator. It is all about personality, about stage-managing the departure of the Dear Leader so that it creates maximum resonance with posterity. And as such it invites nothing but … Continue reading

For God’s sake Gordon, get on with it.

So, now we know. Tony Blair isn’t going, according to the Times on Friday. Oh yes he is, according to the Guardian on the same day. The PM has decided that it would be destabilising to give a timetable for his departure says one news outlet. But he has agreed to go next summer say … Continue reading

The immigrants are welcome here

There’s a newsagent on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile which sells foreign papers. These days, the vast majority of titles on sale come not from France or Germany, but Poland, bought by the thousands of Polish workers who have come to work in Edinburgh in the last two years. Indeed, we may shortly discover that Scotland’s second … Continue reading

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