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Zero tolerance doesn’t work with prostitution or drugs

Curious how human tragedy changes public attitudes. It took the deaths of five women in Suffolk for us to discover that we no longer regard prostitutes as moral outcasts. They are now “sex workers” or “working girls”, as if streetwalking was a perfectly normal occupation for a young woman. And maybe that’s how it is … Continue reading

Blair’s Black Friday

How Tony Blair must wish he had stuck to that agreement with Gordon Brown and left office in 2004. He could at least have claimed success of a kind after the Iraqi elections, and then claim he’d laid the ground for Labour’s third election victory. But by hanging on and on, things got worse and … Continue reading

Remember the "Barnett Squeeze"? It’s happening.

No spending announcement on Scotland is complete without a quote from Lord Barnett saying his formula should be scrapped. Yesterday he was at it again, saying that the Barnett Formula was “unfair” and giving the Scots “more than they should have” in comparison with England. He was commenting on the latest “GERS” figures on Scottish … Continue reading

Let’s hear it for Malcolm

Malcolm Chisholm, the communities minister, is a very decent man, perhaps too decent for the often poisonous world of Scottish Labour Politics. He is one of those rare politicians these day who is burdened by a conscience. Chisholm was the first Labour minister to resign from Tony Blair’s government. That was over lone parent benefit, … Continue reading

How does Blair remain in office?

I thought it couldn’t get worse, but it just has. The Iraq Study Group, far from showing a way out of the crisis, has become a new dimension of it. The wise men confirmed that the war is unwinnable, but didn’t didn’t say how to stop their leader fighting it. The Baker-Hamilton Report, published last … Continue reading

What’s the worst that could happen?

So, what’s the worst that could happen? If the opinion polls are broadly correct, and the SNP is returned as the largest party in May, what could be the realistic downside? given that most people seem to have dismissed Tony Blair’s forecasts of constitutional apocalypse. The reaction to the government’s warnings about families being split … Continue reading

Why England wants rid of Scotland

 Just as Scotland is beginning to tire of the latest flurry of nationalist speculation, based on a couple of rather optimistic opinion polls, England has  rediscovered perfidious Caledonia.  Last week, the London press was been full of challenges to Scotland to go for autonomy – if you think you’re hard enough.    Here’s Simon Jerkins in the … Continue reading

Labour could be left with only one council after May: North Lanarkshire

You couldn’t make it up. Our report today reveals that, according to You Gov, the Scottish Labour Party could be reduced to only one council after May 3rd: North Lanarkshire. Fitting that the local authority which has become a by-word for the deadhead, crony culture of the local state should be the last bastion of … Continue reading

Trident is a codpiece

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

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