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Why 2016 may go down in history as the year the Union died.

IT’S become a New Year cliche that 2016 has been a year of revolutions – like the Glorious Revolution of 1688, the civic nationalist revolts of 1848, the Russian revolution of 1917, or the French and Czech rebellions of 1968. Take your pick. And there is no doubt that from a constitutional point of view, … Continue reading

Lest we forget. The Chilcot Report a damning indictment of UK political establishment.

“I’m with you, whatever”. Tony Blair’s memo to US President George W Bush, as recounted by the Chilcot Report, read like something out of a Mills and Boon romance. But this was a deadly embrace that led a weak prime minister to endorse a war he must have known was on a dodgy legal basis. … Continue reading

The Offensive Behaviour etc. Act is unfair, unworkable and illiberal.

2016 was all about taking offence at things. The Scottish Government took profound offence over Fifa’s ban on players wearing poppies at the Scotland England fixture It also took offence on a monthly basis against those calling for the repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football etc Act.  How dare they condone sectarianism – SNPBad!  … Continue reading

After nearly ten years in office, and with a sea of trouble, the SNP still dominated 2016. Question is: why

There wasn’t a lot of Christmas cheer at the last First Minister’s Questions of 2016.  Nicola Sturgeon received a verbal pasting for releasing a highly critical report on police funding from Audit Scotland on the last day of term.  Her protests that this was not an attempt to bury the report, claiming a £190m shortfall … Continue reading

Brexit dividend? Don’t assume Holyrood will get new powers after UK leaves Europe.

AT the height of the Supreme Court hearings on Article 50, the Law Lords launched into a debate about the meaning of the word “normally”. The Scotland Act 2016 says that the Westminster Parliament “will not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent of the Scottish Parliament”. But what does “normally” mean? … Continue reading

After Aleppo, Assad is not going away anytime soon.

SAMANTHA Power, US ambassador to the UK, asked as Aleppo fell to Syrian government forces: “Is there no execution of a child that gets under your skin, that creeps you out just a little bit. Is there literally nothing that shames you?” The Russians replied in terms of was there no flight of hypocrisy that … Continue reading

The SNP is not like horror-show euro-populism. Mercifully.

THE liberal Left hasn’t had much to celebrate recently, what with Brexit, Donald Trump and the rise of the alt-right. So there was understandable jubilation over the defeat of the far-right candidate in the Austrian presidential elections, Norbert Hofer, by the former Green party leader, Alexander van der Bellen. There was rejoicing too over the … Continue reading

The Great Wage Depression. How Brexit can really damage your wealth.

ECONOMISTS call it an inflexion point. For the rest of us it’s like that moment in the film Aliens when the space marines realise they are doomed unless someone seizes control from their dithering commander, who clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing. Tony Blair fancies himself as Ripley in this remake, though let’s not go … Continue reading

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