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Devolution of broadcasting doesn’t mean putting politicians in charge of the BBC.

It seems like ancient history, but it’s less than a year since the independence referendum. A lot has happened in the meantime, not least the SNP’s General Election success under Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership. But some things never change, and one of them is the beef between the BBC and Alex Salmond over its coverage of … Continue reading

Review of “Tsunami: Scotland’s democratic revolution”, by Iain Macwhirter.

“Another exceptionally lucid and thoughtful guide to Scotland’s ever shifting political scene will be of great interest whatever the reader’s political affiliation” Justin Reynolds, Scottish Fabians.   “Tsunami: Scotland’s Democratic Revolution” Out now.  Get it here:  http://www.cargopublishing.com/books/tsunami-scotlands-democratic-revolution-e-book-onl   Tsunami: Scotland’s Democratic Revolution is the third in Iain Macwhirter’s series of books attempting to map Scotland’s … Continue reading

Labour’s crack-pot McCarthyism leaves it looking hypocritical, incompetent and manipulative.

If they can’t run a competent leadership election, how can they claim to run a competent government? The membership purge launched by the Labour establishment in their efforts to block Jeremy Corbyn, is not only making Labour the laughing stock of the Edinburgh Fringe, it is doing immense damage to their own credibility. It was … Continue reading

Review: “In Some Lost Place- The First Ascent of Nanga Parbat’s Mazeno Ridge”.. By Sandy Allan, VP, £24.00

  Mountaineering books tend to follow a fairly predictable pattern. Expedition through exotic locations; long arduous haul up snowy slopes; a near death experience at high altitude; rounded off with some metaphysical reflections. Scottish mountaineer Sandy Allan’s account of his epic climb on the Mazeno ridge of Nanga Parbat (8,126 mtrs), observes the conventions. But … Continue reading

What does Kezia Dugdale need to do now?

  The SNP’s popularity is even higher now, at 62 per cent, than after the May “tsunami”, even though the Nationalists have been treading water recently as their lacklustre and self-satisfied conference agenda shows. Labour stand to lose all their constituency seats in the Scottish parliamentary elections next May. If this isn’t a moment for … Continue reading

Kezia Dugdale has an opportunity here to change Labour’s fortunes in Scotland by launching debate on Trident and independence. Can she take it?

“Labour’s coming home”, said one of the enthusiastic Corbyn supporters at the Edinburgh Conference Centre last week. “I’ve been disenfranchised since 2001, but finally this is a Labour Party I feel I can vote for again” Corbynmania hit Scotland last week, upstaging the coronation of Kezia Dugdale, the new Scottish leader. At Corbyn’s Edinburgh gig, … Continue reading

Labour attracts 250,000 new supporters. But they’re the wrong kind of supporters!

Labour were relieved to discover that milord Sewel of Coke, who has been all over the tabloids allegedly cavorting with prostitutes, had resigned his Labour Party membership some time ago when he became deputy speaker of the Lords. However, he remains “a non-affiliated member” so he could still be voting in the Labour leadership contest. … Continue reading

As RBS shares are sold at a loss, whatever happened to that £1.2 trillion bank bailout?

It should come as little surprise that the Government sell-off of some of its shares in Royal Bank of Scotland has apparently been accompanied by a billion-pound bung to the financial speculators who caused the crisis in the first place. That’s pretty much the story of the 2008-12 financial crash. It is an astonishing tale … Continue reading

Corbyn should be a huge headache for the SNP. So why isn’t he?

  What is it about the Scottish Labour Party that it seems incapable of recognising an opportunity for renewal when it presents itself?  South of the border, Labour is being remade by a grassroots revolution of precisely the kind that gave the SNP its landslide election victory. Yet ,Labour’s only Scottish MP, Iain Murray, has … Continue reading

A revolution in surveillance. How the Snoopers Charter threatens civil liberties.

Under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, 2000, the police already have wide powers to snoop on our internet trails. These powers are to be vastly extended by the UK Government’s forthcoming Investigatory Powers Act. This “snoopers’ charter” will require phone and internet companies to retain mobile phone traffic and email traffic for at least … Continue reading

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