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Gray man v ginger rodent

 Just Iain Gray’s luck.  He makes his best conference speech since becoming leader, and is upstaged by a ginger rodent.  Harriet Harman’s extraordinary attack on the Liberal Democrat finance minister, Danny Alexander, as a redheaded rat inevitably stole the headlines at the Scottish Labour Conference in Oban.  There was no way that the Iain Gray … Continue reading

CSR: forget it, Osborne isn’t serious

 It’s one of Westminster’s favourite cliches that a budget that looks good the day it is delivered usually falls apart by the end of the week.  George Osborne’s CSR lasted about four hours.  That was how long it took the Institute for Fiscal Studies, to contradict the central claim that the deficit reduction plan was … Continue reading

Osborne’s CSR and the ghost of Gordon.

  We were warned in advance that it was going to be the most savage round of public spending cuts since the Geddes Axe nearly ninety years ago. An unprecedented  25-40% reduction in departmental spending.  The state would be reduced to a forest of bleeding stumps, forecast Labour,  after George “slasher” Osborne had swung his Condem … Continue reading

Broken promises: what would the Greeks have made of it?

As the general election campaign drew to a close in May, I wrote that the political parties were playing a game of bluff with the voters.  They didn’t want to tell us the truth  and we didn’t want to hear.  All of them knew that the deficit was running at around £150bn and that this … Continue reading

Tuition fees – bigger than the poll tax?

   It is one of the most cherished myths of Scottish national identity: the lad o’ pairts.  The image of proud Jock, of peasant stock, striding out of the kailyard with his bag of meal in one hand and his bible in the other. Whistling a Man’s a Man while preparing to take on the  … Continue reading

Now I know why Cameron wears that condom

I’ve never quite understood the cartoonist Steve Bell’s caricature of David Cameron wearing a condom over his head, except for the rather obvious suggestion that he is, well, a male member.  However, following the row over how many children benefit claimants should be allowed to have, I finally do get it.  Vote Tory and stop … Continue reading

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