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Wendy Alexander. Labour sleaze – again

What is it about Labour and expenses? As Wendy Alexander departs tearfully into history after the latest donations scandal, the question has to be asked: how could a nominally socialist party get into such difficulty with money? Wendy is the second Scottish Labour leader to have resigned over a funding scandal in less than seven … Continue reading

Wendy Alexander resigns. The End.

“This is actually a good outcome for us” a former Westminster Labour minister told me as Wendy Alexander delivered her resignation statement on Saturday morning. Well, politicians are supposed to put a brave face on adversity, but seeing silver lining in the resignation of Labour’s second Scottish leader in less than a decade over expenses … Continue reading

Henley By Election. Labour beaten by the BNP

When he called for “British jobs for British workers” in that infamous conference speech, who could have imagined that, within eight months, Labour would be beaten by the British National Party in a by-election. Labour never expected to come anywhere in Henley – one of the safest Tory seats in the land. But never before … Continue reading

1970s economic crisis It wasn’t so bad. I was there

The Winter of Discontent in 1979, when “the rubbish went uncollected in the streets and the dead lay unburied in the graveyards” , was the climax to a pretty dismal decade. But it was nothing like as bad as what was to come. The 1980s has had a better press but only because history is … Continue reading

Alistair Darling calls for wage restraing. But why should people accept lower wages?

Bankers and Chancellors are very good at telling other people to tighten their belts. All week we’ve been receiving pious lectures about how Britain must never return to the dark days of 1970s when wage claims drove up prices in a ruinous inflationary spiral. The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, and Alistair … Continue reading

Brown’s year in office

Spare a thought for Gordon Brown. His world has been turned upside down. Only a year ago, he was congratulating himself for the longest period of economic growth in British history. ”In this, my eleventh Budget” he boomed, “my report to the country is one of rising employment and rising investment; continuing low inflation and … Continue reading

Europe could disintegrate after Lisbon

The trouble with Europe is that it just keeps going on and on. Countries vote against treaties, like Ireland last week, but it rarely seems to make any difference in the stuffy corridors of Brussels. Which, of course, is one important reason that the Irish voted against the Lisbon Treaty. Another was the ?Bertie? factor … Continue reading

Holyrood MSPs made homeless

Gloom descended on Holyrood last week as MSPs realised the significance of the new rules on expenses. No longer would they be allowed to buy second homes at public expense using their £11,000 a year accommodation allowances ? a practice that has allowed many to make a fortune in the Edinburgh property market. . MSPs … Continue reading

David Davies may surprise us all

Magna Carta, the Glorious Revolution, Haltemprice and Howden – doesn?t have quite the same ring somehow. The former Tory home affairs spokesman, David Davies, has been ridiculed for resigning his seat in his outrage at the erosion of civil liberties in Britain. He is being cast as a self-indulgent ego maniac, engaging in a meaningless … Continue reading

Lets all speak Gaelic. It’s the only language BBC Scotland understands.

Last week, the King Report, for the BBC Trust put a bomb under BBC Scotland. Though I?m not sure they have noticed it yet. The report identified the corporation?s complete failure to reflect the new constitutional reality in the UK. But the task of crafting a service that is adequate to the new Scotland has … Continue reading

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