I'm a columnist for the Herald. Author of "Road to Referendum" and "Disunited Kingdom". Was a BBC TV and radio presenter for 25 years - "Westminster Live" and "Holyrood Live" mainly. Spent time as columnist for The Observer, Guardian, New Statesman. Former Rector of Edinburgh University. Live in Edinburgh and spend a lot of time in the French Pyrenees. Will that do?
@iainmacwhirter has written 1103 posts for Iain Macwhirter


I have moved to Substack. It’s easy to subscribe and it’s free. Just click: https://iainmacwhirter.substack.com That’s where all my columns and podcasts will be in future. Look forward to meeting you there.

Final Herald column: It’s been a hell of a ride

This is my last column for the Herald after around 2.5 million words.   THE WORLD HAS TURNED AND I MUST TURN WITH IT In late 1999, when I returned from London to help launch the Sunday Herald, everyone told me I was mad. “It’ll no’ last six months” was the accepted wisdom in media … Continue reading

Told you Boris’s replacement would be worse

I said it during partygate and I’ll say it again. The Tories were mad to ditch Boris Johnson because his replacement would be more right wing and even more incompetent.  But not even I thought it could be this bad. Tory MPS were suckered by social media and Dominic Cummings into ditching the only leader who, … Continue reading

The melons have it: why the new right is built on the ruins of the old left.

Italy’s first female prime minister, Georgia Meloni, caused outrage on polling day by posing suggestively with a pair of melons.  Italian feminists didn’t like her bawdy humour, even though Ms Meloni would surely qualify for Hillary Clinton’s list of “gutsy women”.  At any rate, you couldn’t imagine Benito Mussolini, the alleged ancestor of Meloni’s Brothers of … Continue reading

Could Keir govern without the SNP? There’s just a chance thanks, er, to the SNP 

The run up to the 2024 general election, if calamity Truss makes it that long, is going to be dominated by one question: can Keir Starmer win an absolute majority or will it have to do a deal with Nicola Sturgeon? The SNP currently commands 48 seats and is the third force in UK politics. … Continue reading

Twilight of the Tory Right

 “It’s a declaration of Class War”.  Guardian commentators have been struggling to encapsulate the iniquity of Liz Truss’s tax-cutting dash for growth. Having spent the past three years claiming that Boris Johnson was spawn of the devil, scribes are having to ransack the register of righteous indignation to characterise someone who is genuinely on … Continue reading

The Uses and Abuses of Referendums

Referendums had a bad name after the Second World War. We tend to regard them as the most democratic way to resolve constitutional issues.  Back then they were seen as the tool of dictators.  Putin’s plan to hold plebiscites in the occupied territories of Ukraine is about to demonstrate just why. Adolf Hitler was an avid … Continue reading

Trussonomics what’s not to like? Well…

I have a sneaking admiration for Liz Truss. Not for her economic policies – they make little sense – but for her cojones. She has taken on the tax and spend consensus and turned it upside down. All those hysterics on Twitter who claimed that Boris Johnson was “the most right wing prime minister in … Continue reading

Monarchy is an absurd anachronism. But so is nationalism. ————————— “The monarchy is not rational”, opined The Guardian editorial in a statement of bleedin’ the obvious. Like much of the media it  has been issuing stifled groans and guffaws for the last ten days at what many of its writers and its readers regarded as tantamount … Continue reading

Discontented Liberals Read On

“Liberalism and its Discontents” by Francis Fukuyama. Profile Books £16.99 The American political scientist, Francis Fukuyama, has made a career out of being wrong. He famously announced “The End of History” in a seminal work 1992 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. History has been getting its own back on him for the last … Continue reading

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