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Could the future be John McCain?

It seems incredible, but as the Democrats gather in Denver to anoint Barack Obama, America could be on course to re-elect a Republican as their president. Not just any Republican either, but a belligerent 71 year old who can’t remember how many houses he owns, would happily nuke Iran and whose answer to global warming … Continue reading

Alex and Maggie

“Linwood no more; Bathgate no more; Ravenscraig no more…Salmond no more” The First Minister has reacted with fury at the claim that he has praised Thatcher’s economic policies in the 1980s which inspired the Proclaimers’ famous list of industrial closures. In an interview with Total Politics Magazine about Scotland’s attitude to Thatcherism the FM said: … Continue reading

Everyone can have as many houses as John McCain

The Republican presidential candidate John McCain was left floundering last week over his property empire. Asked in an interview how many houses he owned “I think, eh, um, I’ll have my staff get back to you on that.”. Well, it’s easily done. How can anyone remember how many houses they have now that everyone owns … Continue reading

Talkin’ Third World War

Great international conflicts have a habit of starting in ‘far away places of which we know nothing’: Sarajevo, Poland, Pearl Harbour, and now South Ossetia. The escalation of the conflict in the Caucasus into a kind of post-modern Cold War has been breathtaking. One minute, you are looking for South Ossetia on the map; the … Continue reading

Credit Crunch 11: The Abyss

Cheer up! It could be worse. At least estate agents themselves have been the first casualties of the credit crunch. The greatest collapse in the housing market since records began, with home loan approvals down 70 per cent on the year, has turned the high street into a killing field. At least 15,000 estate agents … Continue reading

Prescott does have two jags

John Prescott really does have two Jags. He didn’t when he was Deputy Prime Minister, but he does now. His old XJS is too low slung for Pauline, his wife, to gain an elegant exit, he claims. So, he had to buy a second hand Sovereign to restore marital balance. Well you would wouldn’t you. … Continue reading

The Russians are coming! Again!

The world held its breath last week as Russia and America exchanged increasingly belligerent rhetoric over the crisis in South Ossetia, the worst we have heard since the end of the Cold War. Moscow has even hinted at possible nuclear retaliation for the siting of American missiles in Poland. Some see in the crisis in … Continue reading

Glenrothes: Brown’s last stand.

It’s a measure of how much Scottish politics has changed in the past year that a constituency with a Labour majority of 11,000 is s now regarded as a safe seat – for the SNP. But such is the case with the Westminster constituency of Glenrothes in Fife. The nationalists require a 14% swing here … Continue reading

Belladrum: cuttings from the verb garden

I didn’t know what to expect from at the Belladrum music festival in Beauly near Inverness at the weekend – except for a good time. I’d been asked to chair a some debates in the Verb Garden – a big tent devoted to the spoken word. Would anyone be interested, would anyone be sober, would … Continue reading

Scottish Labour must declare UDI

I’m not sure of the origin of the phrase “elephant in the room”, except that it is American and applies to issues which are so large that only the most blinkered could fail to see them. Well, someone has finally spotted that that the world’s largest land mammal is sitting in the Scottish Labour Party’s … Continue reading

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