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Sunbathing to independence?

In London last week the Guardian columnist, Jonathan Freedland, told me that when he filed his copy from the Scottish election campaign, his desk editor him asked what dateline to put on it, as if it were a foreign report. A telling illustration, perhaps, of London’s attitude Scottish independence: a lot of people already seem … Continue reading

Why the Sunday Herald supports the SNP – sort of.

Given that the entire Scottish press is agin’ them, the success of the SNP in this election campaign so far is pretty remarkable. The nationalists have consolidated and even increased their pre-campaign lead – something they have never done before. They haven’t won the election yet, but they have already won a moral victory of … Continue reading

This time Macavity was there

Well, this time Macavity was there. Gordon Brown can’t escape responsibility for the Scottish Labour election campaign, as he has so many of Labour’s earlier disasters. The Chancellor was very visibly at the scene of the crime, having spent much of the last six months masterminding the effort to stuff the Nats. If Labour goes … Continue reading

The Liberal Democrats: the Abominable No Men

Last week, at their manifesto launch in in Edinburgh, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, Nicol Stephen, retired exhausted following an arduous fifteen minutes of questions. The assembled hacks demanded extra time to discuss the party’s opposition to a referendum on devolution and other matters. Tavish Scott, the party transport spokesman, was obliged to convene an … Continue reading

Dead Men Sell No Tales / Cash for Dishonours

I didn’t know that I had such a high regard for our armed forces until last week. In fact, coming from a pacifist family, I wasn’t aware of having any regard for the services at all. It was only on observing my reaction to the ‘cash-for-dishonours’ affair that I discovered just how much my mindset … Continue reading

Campaign Commentary, Week 2

The titanium-clad Lindsay Stewart lecture theatre in Edinburgh’s Napier University, where the SNP launched its manifesto last week, pokes out of the ground like the head of one of those mechanical monsters from War of the Worlds. You half expect it to rise up on its tripod legs to the sound of foghorns and start … Continue reading

Is this the SNP’s 1992 revival?

Herald: 8/4/07 It’s not been a happy Easter for Labour. Another weekend poll, this time in the Mail on Sunday, showed the SNP twelve points ahead in the race for Holyrood. There were stories about Brown and Blair arguing in the back of their limo over the impending electoral disaster; there was renewed speculation about … Continue reading

Campaign Commentary Week 1

The first week of any election campaign is usually an anticlimax, and this one was no exception. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown came north to warn again of the economic cost of independence, the SNP tried to keep their heads down, the Tories tried to persuade themselves that they still exist. But the image of … Continue reading

A Very British Hostage Crisis

It was a very British hostage crisis. We just can’t take ourselves seriously anymore as a nation at war, and the return of the gallant fifteen was pure Monty Python. In their appalling suits, clutching their goody bags containing Iranian craft items, sweets and Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography, the gallant fifteen smiled and shook hands … Continue reading

Sorry, but Brown isn’t to blame for the pensions crisis

Of all the stealth taxes dreamed up by the Chancellor Gordon Brown in his decade in office, the pensions tax was by far the most obscure. It wasn’t a tax for a start, but a tax break, a loophole. Ten years after closing it, the Chancellor is now in the dock for wrecking the pension … Continue reading

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