Writer and journalist.
iain2macwhirter has written 1037 posts for Iain Macwhirter

10 years under the cosh of Scottish Nationalism. (Well, cautious social democracy).

TEN years ago the Scottish National Party entered government for the first time after the most chaotic election in Scottish electoral history. It was a wild night: ballot boxes went missing and thousands of voters inadvertently spoiled their ballot papers. Next day, the result was far from clear, even as Alex Salmond helicoptered into Edinburgh and declared himself … Continue reading

Advertising is the original sin of the web. If they make money from content they publish, Facebook et al can’t avoid being responsible.

The internet is a huge achievement and an immense force for good. It allows free access to information at the click of a mouse. It is transforming African countries through innovations such as mobile banking. However, there has been a confusion between the internet itself, or strictly speaking the world wide web, created by scientists … Continue reading

Local Elections: the SNP won, but the Tories were the story.

The Scottish Tories succeeded in their project of turning the Scottish council elections into a kind of referendum on a second independence referendum, and reaped the electoral reward. The result was a triumph for the Scottish Tory leader, Ruth Davidson, with the Tories gaining more than 164 seats across Scotland, pushing Labour into third place. Mind you, … Continue reading

The SNP’s message? Every vote for Ruth is a vote for Theresa May.

Labour’s celebration of the Tory resurgence in Scotland is not helping them in their darkest hour. Kezia Dugdale and Ian Murray bigging up Ruth Davidson’s success in the local elections as a ‘blow for Sturgeon’ only encourages more of their voters into the Conservative camp. Why bother voting Labour if the Tories do it better? … Continue reading

If this election is a referendum on independence, the SNP are going to win it.

From Herald, 20/4/17 The General Election of 2015 in Scotland was one of the most remarkable in British electoral history. In General Elections, a swing of 10 per cent is exceptional; in the “tsunami”, as it was called, the average swing to the SNP was 30 per cent and famously broke the BBC’s swingometer. Labour lost 40 out … Continue reading

Macron is bad news for Brexit.

Herald 24/4/17 YOU could almost hear the sighs of relief in Brussels as Emmanuel Macron, the Tony Blair of French politics, came top of the first round of the French presidential elections. The one thing we know about the mercurial Mr Macron, a former socialist who set up his own party, En Marche!, to promote … Continue reading

May is a serial abuser of the democratic process.

ELECTIVE dictatorship is an ever present danger in Westminster’s antiquated system of government, where the Prime Minister still exercises the pre-democratic powers of monarchy. The Fixed-term Parliament Act of 2011 (FTPA) was one attempt to modernise our system by denying political leaders the undemocratic right to call an election at a moment of their own choosing: … Continue reading

The rape clause shows Tories are still the Nasty Party.

On any level, the  rape clause is an abomination. The idea of compelling victims of rape to revisit the experience and compile evidence in order to claim benefits is simply inhumane, not least to the children so identified. It is also unworkable. It will require bureaucrats to adjudicate on sensitive issues like marital rape and … Continue reading

Whatever happened to Jeremy Corbyn? Rudderless Labour is letting Tories get away with Brexit

READ IAIN EVERY WEEK IN THE HERALD AND SUNDAY HERALD. Whatever happened to Jeremy Corbyn?  You know the controversial leader of the UK Labour Party who led the people’s revolt against Blairism and turned Labour into the largest mass membership party in western Europe.   Has he been accidentally buried in his allotment?  Is this … Continue reading

Scotland’s Brexit future? A tartan theme park largely populated by pensioners.

Read Iain in the Herald and Sunday Herald. Shortly before the 2014 referendum, I was asked what I thought Scotland might look like in the long term if it didn’t seize the opportunity of independence in Europe.  I replied that it might resemble a tartan theme park with a shrinking population largely composed of pensioners … Continue reading

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