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A referendum in Scotland is inevitable – and Labour realise it.

What Wendy Alexander didn’t say in Aviemore turned out to be rather more interesting than what she actually said. Her first conference speech as leader did not once mention her Constitutional Commission. Since this is her flagship policy, her one distinctive contribution to Scottish Labour politics, this is intriguing to say the least. A bit … Continue reading

Angels on pins – those voting methods for the Scottish referendum

Controversy raged in Holyrood last week over the method for counting the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin. Labour erupted with undisguised fury at Alex Salmond’s suggestions the Single Transferable Alternative Preference Vote was the only sensible way to count the angels. Wendy Alexander accused him of blatant “gerrymandering” … Continue reading

Will Iceland beat the hedge funds?

It looks a fight to the death between the puffin-eaters and the fat-cats. The Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Harrde had declared war on the international financial speculators. He claims that “false rumours” are behind a recent run on the Krona which has lost a third of its value. The international investors say that Iceland simply … Continue reading

Come back Karl Marx – all is forgiven

THE RED MENACEThe world’s markets gambled on financial alchemy. They lost.By Iain MacWhirterComment | Read Comments (9)COME BACK Karl Marx, all is forgiven. Just when everyone thought that the German philosopher’s critique of capitalism had been buried with the Soviet Union, suddenly capitalism reverts to type. It has laid a colossal, global egg and plunged … Continue reading

Change is what Wendy cannot do

“Change Is What We Do” – or so says the title of Wendy Alexander’s latest mission statement. I’m tempted to say: what – leaders? But that would be cheap. As it happens, neither of the last two Scottish Labour leaders will be in Aviemore to hear Ms Alexander address the party’s annual conference this weekend. … Continue reading

The poetry of Gordon Brown

“At Downing St upon the stair, I met a man who wasn’t Blair. He wasn’t Blair again today. Oh how I wish he’d go away.” So read the mystery quatrain, allegedly penned by a disgruntled cabinet minister, which circulated Westminster last week. The verse is a paraphrase of the American poet Hughes Mearns’ Antigonish, “As … Continue reading

trash and cash

Trash and cash – it’s the new investment strategy that everyone’s talking about. Spread a rumour, buy some cheap stock, make a packet. So, let’s try it out, shall we. I’ll spread a rumour that the Royal Bank of Scotland is in a pickle – pass it on! That it’s going cap in hand to … Continue reading

Super-Salmond can deliver everything but independence

Right now, I’d say Labour’s best bet looks like assassination. With Alex Salmond leading by a ridiculous 75% over his Labour rival, Wendy Alexander, in a weekend poll, Labour’s only immediate chance of getting back in the race would be to eliminate the SNP leader altogether. Super-Salmond’s party isn’t doing nearly so well. In the … Continue reading

The food crisis is caused by speculation

What has the food crisis got to do with Northern Rock? Well, quite a lot actually. The rocketing price of wheat, soyabeans, sugar coffee etc is all part of the credit crisis which has caused panic in financial markets and encouraged investors to take their money out of risky mortgage bonds and shaky equities and … Continue reading

Jack McConnell the unlikely hero of democracy

The story so far: The former Liberal Democrat leader, Sir Ming Campbell, last week spilled the beans on his and Gordon Brown’s attempts to prevent the SNP taking office after the May election. Secret talks were held – over the heads of their own Scottish parties – about how to keep Alex Salmond’s paws off … Continue reading

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