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 1094 posts for Iain Macwhirter

How governments learned to stop worrying and love debt. At least for now.

MODERN Monetary Theory sounds like a pretty boring module in a university economics course. In fact, it is becoming the leading economic theory on the left and has largely replaced Marxism for this generation of radicals. Advocates include Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the economist Stephanie Kelton and the Labour-supporting tax specialist Professor Richard Murphy. It … Continue reading

Like Alex Salmond, Jeremy Corbyn can’t be got rid of that easily.

  Supporters of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are getting organised. Momentum managed to land a raft of his supporters onto Labour’s National Executive much to the chagrin of the new leader, Sir Keir Starmer. Corbyn has kept quiet, and the left are being ultra-cautious, but they haven’t gone away. There is a deep … Continue reading

Fully automated luxury communism – bring it on.

 “The Anxious Triumph – a global history of capitalism”, by Donald Sassoon, Allen Lane “Fully Automated Luxury Communism – a manifesto”, Aaron Bastani, Verso. ======================================================================= Following the Great Recession, the longest period of wage stagnation since the Napoleonic Wars (and now the Covid pandemic), people are wondering, not for the first time, if capitalism has … Continue reading

Already, the knives are out for Biden – the original Centrist Dad.

He’s past his best, which was never that great”. So opined Sir Kim Darroch, the former British Ambassador, last month about the man who will shortly become the 46th President of the United States. It’s fair to say that 77-year-old Joe Biden did not enter this race exuding dynamism and star quality. He looked like … Continue reading

GERS was an index of failure, post-Covid it’s a bogus bogeyman

GERS day came and went last week with the usual headlines cut and pasted from previous years. Scots in hock to UK…Union Dividend…Black hole.   Just fill in the blanks: £15bn deficit; £2000 per head; 8% of GDP.  It’s become something of an annual ritual. Perhaps they should make it a national holiday.  TWITS Day: … Continue reading

The jury found him innocent, but Alex Salmond is still on trial.

There are few politicians in modern history who have been subjected to such relentless scrutiny as Alex Salmond.  He has been under almost continual investigation, one way or another,  for 30 years, since he became leader of the Scottish National Party. A politician who has rocked the establishment, both in the UK and Scotland, the … Continue reading

Tories are saying they voted for Boris and got Corbyn. Yes, really.

When Boris Johnson was won a near landslide majority in December, he was hailed as nothing less than a blue messiah.  How long ago that seems. Tory commentators and many MPs are now deeply disenchanted with Boris, and not just because his government made an even worse cock-up of the exams than the Scots.  Tory … Continue reading

When will they learn? The illiberal and unworkable Hate Crime Bill is another assault of freedom of speech from a Scottish Government that has a tin ear for civil liberty.

When the Scottish Police, the Catholic Church, the Law Society of Scotland get together to condemn the Scottish government’s Hate Crime Bill for endangering freedom of speech, you’d think that ministers might be tempted to listen. I can’t off-hand think of any issue that has united policemen, lawyers and churchmen in quite this way before … Continue reading

Wealth taxes are the future – but just don’t touch pensions.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has single-handedly turned the UK Conservatives into the party of big government, big spending and – ultimately – big taxation. Ironic really, since the former investment banker used to be a bit of a free-market Thatcherite. Coronavirus is no respecter of ideology. At the height of the furlough programme, nearly half … Continue reading

I wish Remainers would stop saying nothing changes tonight. We lose European citizenship for a start.

Much of the Brexit commentary, especially from Remainers, is that nothing changes tonight.   Trade talks have yet to begin.  Nothing resolved.  It’s all just symbolic. No it isn’t. Tonight we lose citizenship of the European Union, and the protections and privileges that went with it.  That is  much more than a symbolic act;  more … Continue reading

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