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It’s not even jam tomorrow. But at least we now know austerity was nonsense.

JUST as the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, was approaching peak boredom after speaking for more than an hour and a quarter, the nation suddenly woke up. “I am going to abolish the Autumn Statement”, he announced. Great!  An end to the annual exercise in self-serving public relations that was turned into an alternative Budget by the … Continue reading

Are the working class to blame for Brexit and Donald Trump?

ARE white working-class men to blame for Brexit and Donald Trump? Well, they voted for him in large numbers, and his brash style obviously appeals to some who feel left behind by the march of feminism and racial equality. In America at least, the red-neck, rust-belt white man has become almost an object of hatred … Continue reading

Rail renationalisation? Anything would be better than hell on wheels we have now.

IT doesn’t take a genius to understand why public support is growing for nationalising ScotRail. Just gag as you are charged £23 for a day return to Edinburgh on a dirty train in which you will very likely have to stand, even though you aren’t a Labour leader. The trains are often late and toilets … Continue reading

The truth about post-truth politics.

THE Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year 2016 is “post-truth”, meaning a culture in which objective facts are less influential in shaping opinion than emotional appeals. It was chosen ahead of rival buzzwords “Brexiteer” and “alt-right” which, as it happens, are rather good examples of post-truth. The Brexiters of Vote Leave claimed £350 million a … Continue reading

Donald Trump the Versace Mussolini? Or just a real estate huckster?

THE Italian dictator Benito Mussolini ruled Italy for 17 years after a comic opera coup in which a band of his followers marched on Rome in 1922. He rapidly extinguished democracy, installed himself as “Il Duce” and ran a delinquent autocracy, with some narrow success, until he was finally strung up by communist partisans in … Continue reading

Waking up to a nightmare: President Trump.

LIKE most people in Britain I went to sleep on Tuesday night and woke up to a nightmare. Donald Trump: 45th President of the United States of America and successor to Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy and Barack Obama. Was I still dreaming? A belligerent, semi-racist misogynist with a distant acquaintance with truth and the … Continue reading

President Trump: what’s the worst that could happen now.

As the shock subsides at a leader of mass destruction elected to the White House, the world is trying to make sense of where we go now. Significantly,  Vladimir Putin has been first to congratulate Donald Trump, and diplomacy dictates that western leaders will have to follow suit. Nicola Sturgeon made clear her distaste for … Continue reading

The Scottish NHS isn’t in crisis – but it soon will be. We’ll have to pay more.

EVERY so often, through the fog of Brexit, you catch glimpses of what Scottish politics would have been like had it not been dominated by the confusion and uncertainty caused by Britain’s imminent departure from the EU. Clearly, health would have been one of the issues dominating the air waves; school reforms and the “privatisation” … Continue reading

Of course I’d vote Hillary – but with a platinum nose-peg.

WHAT do you do when the greatest democratic country the world throws up a presidential election in which neither candidate seems worthy of office? Donald Trump is a vain, belligerent, bigoted, misogynist with a borderline personality disorder who should never get within five feet of the Oval Office. But Hillary isn’t exactly whiter than white. … Continue reading

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