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Don’t believe what you’ve been told about Quebec.

   The Scottish imprint on Montreal is unmistakeble; it’s everywhere.  The civic coat of arms has a thistle on it. The financial district rings to the names of the Scottish businessmen – Angus, Ballantyne, Cameron, McGill, Torrance, McTavish – who turned this fur trading station on the St Lawrence river into one of the great cities … Continue reading

Salmond v. Hope. Politics v. Law.

  The highly personal row between Alex Salmond and the Deputy President of the Supreme Court, Lord Hope, gets more astonishing by the week. Further evidence of the enmity between the Bench and Bute House has emerged in an interview given recently to the Holyrood magazine in which the First Minister accused the former Lord Justice … Continue reading

Who’s afraid of the Supreme Court?

Who’s afraid of the Supreme Court?  Some nationalists are worried that judges might stomp all over Scotland’s forthcoming independence referendum. The Conservative MP, David Mundell, suggested at the weekend that if the wording of the SNP’s question wasn’t clear the issue might be put before the UK Supreme Court – the very legal body that … Continue reading

Welcome to the University of Kerrching

 You must be joking, I thought. £18,000 for a degree at maverick philosopher, Christopher Grayling’s, new for-profit university? Why? when, for only £9,000 you can get a degree from Oxford or Cambridge, and in Scotland a degree from one of the best universities in the world, Edinburgh, for nothing. Many of the courses at the … Continue reading

Why stop at only having two referendums on Scottish independence?

The row over the Scottish Secretary, Michael Moore’s call for a double-headed independence referendum took me back fifteen years to the torrid summer of 1996 when Labour wrestled with the same problem. Tony Blair had decided that a referendum was required to ensure that a Scottish parliament was indeed“the settled will” of the Scottish people. … Continue reading

I don’t want my twelve year old singing about sado-masochism.

When I first heard it on the car radio, I nearly hit a bus.  “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but whips and chains excite me”.  “S&M”, by the Barbadian popstar, Rihanna, is a celebration of sexual sadism, in which she invites here lover to “give it to me strong”.  Her video depicts life in … Continue reading

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