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The Scottish Labour Party is looking in rather better shape than the London branch.

Can it really be only a year since Johann Lamont resigned as Labour’s Scottish leader, describing the party as “branch office” and some Labour MPs as “dinosaurs”? So much seems to have happened since then. There’s Jim Murphy for a start – who was heralded as the saviour of Scottish Labour. Where is he now? … Continue reading

On human rights we’re equal opportunities hypocrites.

IMAGINE the scene: the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, clinking glasses with the Queen, riding in the gold coach down Whitehall, knocking back pints with the Prime Minister in a typical English pub. Outrageous. Unthinkable. The very idea. Putin is a deeply authoritarian figure who has threatened the security of neighbouring countries like Ukraine, exploited tensions … Continue reading

The Lords gave Osborne a bloody nose, but that doesn’t justify its existence.

GO Lords! Opponents of the government’s tax credit cuts, including members of the Scottish National Party, were cheering the upper house last night. Their Lordships have made clear the Chancellor, George Osborne, needs to think again on this key measure of welfare reform. Now there is an obvious irony here. Many of those celebrating their … Continue reading

Steel. Scotland needs an industrial strategy for the future not the past.

There are few things more tasteless than people exploiting personal misfortune to make cheap political points. The row about the “shameful” failure of the Scottish Government/ UK Government to protect Scotland’s steel industry (delete as applicable) is a case in point. Scotland doesn’t have a steel industry. That ended nearly 25 years ago when the … Continue reading

Sturgeon: “Trust me, I’m a social democrat not a flags and anthems nationalist”

Trust. It’s a perishable commodity in politics. In fact, it’s hard to think of another politician in Britain right now who could get away with asking for it – other than the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon Most politicians today are regarded as corrupt until proven otherwise. But why did the SNP leader need to appeal … Continue reading

SNP: is it becoming a Caledonian version of New Labour?

There used to be a reassuring amateurism about the SNP conference: tombolas and pamphlet stalls; no security to speak of; anyone allowed to speak their mind; more a gathering of like-minded eccentrics, like a car owners club. Now the SNP has grown into a serious governing party and its annual conference has evolved accordingly. There … Continue reading

Mind the gap. SNP realise that Scotland will not be able to reverse Tory welfare cuts.

Gotcha! Labour and the Scottish Conservatives have been laying a fiscal trap for the SNP, and yesterday it looked as if John Swinney had fallen into it. Challenged on whether or not the Nationalists would reverse the UK Government’s tax credit cuts, he said there was “a significant amount of doubt” about whether the future … Continue reading

The Tories have cut tax credits and social housing and called it a war on poverty.

Credit where it’s due: David Cameron, a Tory prime minister leading the most right-wing party since the 1980s, has committed his government to abolishing poverty, inequality and discrimination. These are noble objectives. We should all earnestly hope that he succeeds. It is an abomination that two thirds of children in poverty live in households where … Continue reading

Tomorrow belongs to us, say SNP. But does the left?

“Corbyn can’t even snub the Queen properly,” remarked one commentator last week as the embattled Labour leader side-stepped his bowing-and-scraping session with Her Majesty. Mr Corbyn had said he was unable to attend his first Privy Council meeting because of prior engagements. He is now in a classic double bind: when Corbyn finally does do … Continue reading

Jeremy Corbyn. An apology.

READERS of this column may have detected a certain sympathy in recent months for the new Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. Headlines such as “Corbyn has killed New Labour”, “Corbynmania is transforming British politics” and “JC has made radical policies electable again” may have suggested that I thought this was a positive development. I’m afraid … Continue reading

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