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Independence referendum. The morning after the night before.

The Dynamic Earth evolution exhibition opposite the Scottish parliament was not a very happy place to be a 6.00am on the morning of Friday 19th.. The venue of Yes Scotland’s “victory” party had presumably been chosen to suggest that a dynamic new independent Scotland was going to evolve to the next level. Instead Scotland decided … Continue reading

Turning Devo Vow into Devo Max: the road FROM the referendum.

  Scots are very good at heroic defeats – in football, on the battlefield and in elections. They’ve had plenty of practice after all. But the challenge for Scotland after the independence referendum is to realise what they have won, and this is more difficult.  The temptation is to indulge in the consolations of victimhood, … Continue reading

Alex Salmond. He’s not gone away, you know.

  A week is famously a long time in politics.  Alex Salmond  who resigned following the defeat of the Yes campaign in Scotland’s independence referendum, had been leader of the Scottish National Party for nearly a quarter of a century.  That’s an eternity in politics – as I can testify from personal experience.   I … Continue reading

5.00am 19/9/14. Scotland will not be an independent country.

They may have won the campaign, but the Yes campaign didn’t win the night. As Midlothian delivered a thumping victory for No at four am, the hopes of the enthusiastic independence campaigners finally died. In the cavernous BBC headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow, there was jubilation amongst the unionist commentators and Labour politicians as … Continue reading

The Union finally lost it last week. I’m voting yes.

Scotland stands on the edge of history. 4.2 million of us, the largest registered electorate in Scottish history, are weighing up the arguments, considering the implications, calibrating the risks. There has never been a political debate like this in my lifetime and I’ve been covering politics in Westminster and Scotland professionally since 1979. The UK … Continue reading

Don’t expect any gratitude for a No vote. The future’s Boris.

‘Never go below the line’, friends tell me. They mean don’t look at the comment sections on UK newspapers if you want to retain your sanity. But you would think the liberal Guardian would be an exception. After all, it is the organ of the thinking classes and supports constitutional reform and self determination for … Continue reading

Poundland – Monetary exclusion and the end of the Union. Extract from my book, Road to Referendum.

“Road to Referendum” Cargo (see reviews on Books page of this blog). On February 13, 2014, many Scots were wondering whether they could be bothered buying Valentine cards again this year, when news broke that Chancellor George Osborne had arrived in Edinburgh on a flying visit. What he said had a profound and enduring impact … Continue reading

Forget the oil, it’s Scotland’s pound.

THE really objectionable thing about the argument over Scotland’s currency is the scolding, high-handed manner in which it is conducted. There is a serious debate to be had about what currency Scotland should use if it becomes independent. There are arguments on both sides. But the way Unionists such as George Osborne and Ed Balls … Continue reading

Why Scots have turned away from Labour’s Gradgrind Union.

READ IAIN IN THE HERALD AND SUNDAY HERALD.  Over the last six months or so, though they would never admit it, many supporters of independence had settled into a defeatist rut, consoling themselves that they had run the best campaign but in the end could not break through the default unionism of the “mainstream media” … Continue reading

Back Pages: Whatever happened to the Tartan Monster?

It seems a light year ago, but there was a time when many Unionists seriously believed that Alex Salmond had set the referendum for September 2014 in order to exploit a surge of nationalist emotion that would follow the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn and the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Well if he did, it was a … Continue reading

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