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Expenses: MPs in the right, shock.

  MPs were in the doghouse again last week – or should that be the duck house – over  their expenses.  Employees at the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, who process MPs’ expenses claims, say they have been threatened, insulted and abused. Called  “f..ing idiots” and  “monkeys” by irate MPs one of whom described their computerised system … Continue reading

Edinburgh: how "Dodge City" really makes its money.

    Summertime and the living is easy – at least for Edinburgh’s commercial classes.   The Festivals are jumping – heading for two million ticket sales across the ‘cultural olympiad’.  The warm weather is stuffing the pockets of hoteliers and those Edinburgh folk who famously decamp for the summer in order to charge inflated rents … Continue reading

What goes up… Mobility isn’t very social

 I’ve always been just a little suspicious of people who advocate social mobility as a cure for society’s ills, as the answer to  inequality.   It isn’t.    When Nick Clegg said last week that social mobility is “the badge of fairness in society” he is missing the point.  The very image of “social mobility” is … Continue reading

Long Live al Megrahi

    Will the Queen be sending a telegram to Abdel Basset al Megrahi when he reaches a hundred?           Has this man no decency?  Doesn’t he realise that by clinging on to life he is daily destroying the credibility of our own Justice Minister, Kenny MacAskill.  Tony Blair – whose ‘deal in … Continue reading

Jimmy Reid’s failure

 Many and various have been the tributes to Jimmy Reid, hero of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders work-in in 1971.  The  occupation was a success, the yards saved, but politically it was downhill all the way from then on for Scotland’s favourite communist.  I don’t mean that to sound negative or unsympathetic:  Jimmy had a great … Continue reading

Gordon is Back – thanks to Mandy

   Peter Mandelson’s memoirs may have achieved the impossible:  kick started the rehabilitation of Gordon Brown’s political reputation.  By rushing into print while the wounds of defeat are still raw, by cashing in shamelessly on his insider knowledge and displaying breath-taking disloyalty, Mandelson hasn’t just discredited himself.  He has raised fundamental questions about Tony Blair’s … Continue reading

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