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Ten years after independence

. It’s now ten years since the repeal of the Act of Union between Scotland and England. At times, it looked as if the two countries would never learn to live together in harmony again. But things have been looking up recently. Iain Macwhirter reflects on the turbulent years since Scotland went its own way. … Continue reading

Trident is still wrong.

You’ll have had your debate. It took about an hour on Thursday for the decision to be taken by the UK Cabinet to replace Trident. The consultation will be an empty one, taking place over the Christmas holiday season, and the vote in the New Year will be a formality. Faced with a fait accompli, … Continue reading

Good speech. But Blair gets it wrong on the SNP

When Tony Blair told the Labour conference in Oban that: “In this election there are only two possible outcomes: a Scottish Nationalist Party Government or a Labour one” he was talking nonsense, pure and unalloyed. Everyone knows that this is not the choice facing Scotland. Holyrood is condemned to coalition, and no party is ever … Continue reading

Now everyone wants to cut orporation tax

The First Minister, Jack McConnell, is in trouble again with our old friend “Government Source”. Mr Source says that the FM “blundered” when he appeared to call for the Scottish Parliament to be given power over corporation tax, as is being proposed for the devolved Stormont government in Northern Ireland. McConnell is accused of giving … Continue reading

Clunker Brown

“However much you dance around the ring, at some point you’ll come within reach of a big clunking fist” jeered Tony Blair during the Queen’s Speech debate last week. The “dancer” is of course the Tory leader, David Cameron; the “clunker”, we assume, is Gordon Brown, now Blair’s anointed successor. The remark told us all … Continue reading

So now we talk to Iran and Syria?

Somebody help me. I’ve lost the place. One minute Tony Blair is asking Syria and Iran to help broker a peace deal in Iraq; the next, he’s attacking them for supporting the very Iraqi insurgents who are killing British soldiers there. The Prime Minister really has to make up his mind. Are we still at … Continue reading

MSPs and their mortgages

Last week, as a result of disclosures in this paper, the Scottish Parliament agreed to review the system of living allowances which has permitted MSPs to make large gains on the Edinburgh property market at public expense. None of the MSPs involved had done broken any rules, or acted improperly. And that is precisely the … Continue reading

Hanging’s too good for him

12/11/06 Look, I too am also opposed to the death penalty. But sometimes even I wonder if there should be an exception made. For Tony Blair. After all, there we were last week condemning Saddam Hussein for causing the deaths of tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, when our own Prime Minister has … Continue reading

Waiting for Gordo

Where is Gordon? What is he doing? The SNP are continuing their climb up the Scottish opinion polls, now leading Labour by 32% to 30% in the latest Mori survey. 51% of Scots told the same poll that they supported independence. But Gordon Brown, the Godfather of Scottish Labour politics, seem to be doing precious … Continue reading

Have they heard of Stern in the Scottish Executive?

8/11/06 Typical. You wait forever for a fast rail link to Edinburgh and then three come along at once. In fact, as the Herald reported yesterday, there could be four different ways of getting to the Capital from Glasgow. Yes, it’s election time again, and the bribing is easy. The centrepiece is a new “express” … Continue reading

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