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Osborne is guilty of creative accounting on an epic scale. But at least those tax credit cuts are stopped

Budgets that look good on the day generally come apart by the weekend. Yesterday’s speech from the Chancellor was technically a spending statement but the same rule applies. However, the positive impact of George Osborne’s biggest ever U-turn may last a little longer. The tax credit reductions that could have left the poorest families in … Continue reading

Council tax: the tax that dare not speak its name.

IT’S the tax that dare not speak its name. Scotland’s parties vie with each other to profess their commitment to social equity, the common weal, care of the elderly. But this stops just short of lifting the council tax freeze which has been in place now for eight long years. But now the Chancellor has … Continue reading

Corbyn is right on shoot-to-kill and Syria – and Labour MPs know it.

Forget Syria. The Paris attacks have ignited the most vicious civil war in the UK Labour Party’s history. Right-wingers in the parliamentary party (we’re supposed to call them “moderates” apparently) have been seizing any opportunity to damage their leader’s reputation over his reaction to the crisis. He is a bonkers pacifist, we’re told, who wants … Continue reading

Scotland’s self-mage as a tolerant country free of prejudice could be in for a reality check.

From Herald 17/11/15 The first plane load of refugees from Syria arrives in Glasgow today. First of many, we are assured. But will they receive a warm Scottish welcome? Not if the BBC Radio Scotland Call Kaye phone-in programme is any guide. Now, a radio programme is not a representative sample. Nevertheless as a straw … Continue reading

The only weapon IS fear is tolerance .

“France is at war” said Francois Hollande on the morning after the worst attack on French soil since the second world war. But at war with what? Islamic State isn’t a country. They don’t invade with armies, but with fear. You can’t go to war with an organisation that doesn’t stand and fight and nor … Continue reading

Kezia Dugdale: pledges to compensate for tax credit cuts. Will the Scottish Government?

As I was perambulating around the rather sparse Scottish Labour conference in the Perth I bumped into the former Scottish (and UK) Labour minister, Malcolm Chisholm. He reminded me that, in 2006, he’d been sacked by the Labour leader, Jack McConnell, for voting against Trident in Holyrood. Changed days. Opposition to the renewal of Trident … Continue reading

With anti-Trident vote, Scottish Labour has rediscovered its soul.

  “I may be no expert, as a 16-year-old boy, but if you can find £100 billion to kill people you can find it for jobs. It’s a no brainer”. So said Labour’s latest rising star, Christoper Rimicans, who makes the SNP’s Mhairi Black look positively aged. He received a standing ovation from the Labour … Continue reading

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