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independence referendum

This category contains 56 posts

2015: the year Scotland turned SNP yellow while England remained Tory blue.

N the early hours of May 8, 2015, a 20-year-old politics student, Mhairi Black, defeated the Labour campaign chief, Douglas Alexander MP, one of the most experienced and highly regarded figures in the UK Labour Party. It was the most dramatic and poignant moment in the most extraordinary general election in Scottish history, which drew … Continue reading

The Independence Referendum. What really changed?

BACK PAGES……………………….. EVERYONE has their favourite ­anecdotes about the 2014 independence referendum. How people were queuing up to vote at 7am; ­pensioners turning out to vote for the first time in their lives; people discussing the finer points of monetary policy at bus stops. It wasn’t just journalistic hyperbole either. The country was alive with … Continue reading

“Disunited Kingdom: how Westminster won a referendum but lost Scotland” Out now.

Here is a brief summary of some of the arguments in my new book.  “Disunited Kingdom: how Westminster won a referendum but lost Scotland”.  Published 8/12/14 by Cargo Books. http://www.cargopublishing.com   ‘Changed, changed utterly” was Alex Salmond’s verdict, ­echoing WB Yeats on the referendum’s impact on Scotland. But how much really did change in those hectic … Continue reading

The losers take it all.

READ IAIN ON TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND SUNDAYS ONLY IN THE HERALD AND SUNDAY HERALD     25/10/14   JOHANN LAMONT has resigned as leader of the Scottish Labour Party, accusing “dinosaurs” in UK Labour of undermining her leadership. London Labour she says, “must recognise that the Scottish Labour Party has to be autonomous and not … Continue reading

Tory spending cuts? Barnett scrapped? English votes? Vow broken? Can’t say we weren’t warned.

Scottish voters can’t say they weren’t warned about George Osborne’s £25 billion austerity programme. But even I’m shocked that Britain’s already paltry benefits are to be cut in real terms for two years. Forget the bedroom tax; this is the austerity tax, and it’s hitting the poorest. But that’s the Union we’ve voted to remain … Continue reading

Why Scotland needs a pop up constitutional convention.

READ IAIN IN THE HERALD AND SUNDAY HERALD ON TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND SUNDAYS   28/9/14 The Scottish independence referendum, it turns out, wasn’t a finishing tape but a starting gun. The national question may have been resolved for a generation, but Scotland is now in a race for home rule. History has been speeded up. … Continue reading

Turning Devo Vow into Devo Max: the road FROM the referendum.

  Scots are very good at heroic defeats – in football, on the battlefield and in elections. They’ve had plenty of practice after all. But the challenge for Scotland after the independence referendum is to realise what they have won, and this is more difficult.  The temptation is to indulge in the consolations of victimhood, … Continue reading

5.00am 19/9/14. Scotland will not be an independent country.

They may have won the campaign, but the Yes campaign didn’t win the night. As Midlothian delivered a thumping victory for No at four am, the hopes of the enthusiastic independence campaigners finally died. In the cavernous BBC headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow, there was jubilation amongst the unionist commentators and Labour politicians as … Continue reading

The Union finally lost it last week. I’m voting yes.

Scotland stands on the edge of history. 4.2 million of us, the largest registered electorate in Scottish history, are weighing up the arguments, considering the implications, calibrating the risks. There has never been a political debate like this in my lifetime and I’ve been covering politics in Westminster and Scotland professionally since 1979. The UK … Continue reading

Don’t expect any gratitude for a No vote. The future’s Boris.

‘Never go below the line’, friends tell me. They mean don’t look at the comment sections on UK newspapers if you want to retain your sanity. But you would think the liberal Guardian would be an exception. After all, it is the organ of the thinking classes and supports constitutional reform and self determination for … Continue reading

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