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There was something alien about Brown’s conference

It’s the eyes that are the give-away. In the sci-fi comedy Men in Black, you could tell the aliens who had stolen the bodies of earthlings because their eyes always behaved in inhuman ways. Well, the Brownite young turks have similar oracular ataxia – think of the thousand yard stare of Ed Balls, the manic … Continue reading

Wigs at dawn: why Lord Hamilton was right

Why do judges wear wigs? The same reason they used to pretend not to know about the Beatles – because they want to convey the impression that they are above and apart from society. Fashion and politics don’t influence them, for they are the guardians of the eternal flame of law – the nearest thing … Continue reading

Will Wendy be spending more time with her family?

Could Labour really be in crisis in Holyrood after only a week under it’s new leader, Wendy Alexander? Well, it’s beginning to look very like it. She’s had an appalling press over the weekend, a grim curtain-raiser to her first conference speech as leader today in Bournemouth. The headlines told of resignation, internecine warfare, cronyism, … Continue reading

Why Brown should call an early election.

A week ago it looked as if the prospect of an early general election was disappearing like the deposits in the Northern Rock bank. But then something extraordinary happened. Black Monday became Brown Tuesday, as the first run on a British bank in over a century turned into yet another demonstration of the Prime Minister’s … Continue reading

No one supports the unionist status quo anymore.

For once the hype was justified. “The most important debate the Scottish parliament has ever engaged in” said the Scottish Tory leader Annabel Goldie during last week’s debate on setting up a Constitutional Commission to extend home rule. She could be right. All the major forces in Scottish politics are now united as never before … Continue reading

Petticoat strangle

Annabel Goldie called it “a petticoat strangle” with that slightly lurid coquettishness the Scottish Tory leader brings to parliamentary occasions. It was Alex Salmond’s final conflict with the women at First Ministers Questions. Petticoats at dawn – well, midday. Would Alex be able to hold up the y-front with pride, or would he go down, … Continue reading

Will there be a run on Alex Salmond?

As the dark clouds dissipate from over the British banking sector, after the Northern Rock debacle, the Scottish Labour Party is looking for silver linings. After the first run on a British bank in over a century, the Scottish opposition parties are hoping that the next run will be on the SNP’s fiscal credibility. That … Continue reading

Labour’s Black Monday

“There are two kinds of chancellor”, said Gordon Brown famously,”failures, and those who get out in time”. No surprises for guessing which category Gordon fits into. And what is French for “apres moi le deluge” by the way? Poor Alistair Darling (I still can’t get used yet to calling him the Chancellor) has been left … Continue reading

Was Salmond Scotland’s twelfth man?

No one said it; but it was in everybody’s minds. Was Alex Salmond the twelfth man? Had the Scottish football team in Parc de Princes been so inspired by the new Scottish government that they were moved to deliver the greatest Scottish sporting achievement in recorded time? SNP MSPs are in no doubt that nationalism … Continue reading

Liberal Democrats lose the plot

Pity the Liberal Democrats. Ok, you might find that difficult, many do. But as they prepare for their UK conference , this once proud political party is in a dismal state, with a crisis of leadership at almost ever level. Sir Ming Campbell is being portrayed as a geriatric nightmare; Nicol Stephen is little boy … Continue reading

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