This category contains 27 posts

Is the independence referendum already lost?

SCENES from the independence debate: I took my son, Jamie, to the very excellent Stand comedy club shortly after New Year. It was a packed and raucous show, with a mostly young audience. The compere – a tubby guy from Edinburgh whose name escapes me – launched into an obscene rant about Alex Salmond and … Continue reading

Independence in Europe. Jose he say "no".

It recalled the BBC Director General, John Entwhistle, being jeered by MPs over the Newsnight/Savile affair.   John Swinney, the Scottish finance secretary, was ridiculed by the House of Lords economic committee on Tuesday for trying to argue that an independent Scotland would be able to remain in the EU because it would still be … Continue reading

Who won the phoney war of the independence referendum?

So, who won the referendum phoney war? There was an air of quiet satisfaction among senior Tories at their conference in Birmingham recently.   “Wily” Alex Salmond had been put back in his box, I was told. Forced to drop his devious plan to turn the ballot on Scottish independence into an each way bet … Continue reading

How many nations was that Ed?

     How many nations was that, exactly? Ed Miliband borrowed the tailcoat of Benjamin Disraeli this week to pronounce his faith in “one nation”. Constitutional pedants (like me) might have pointed out that there are actually two nations in the United Kingdom, Scotland and England. Oh, and one of them might be about to … Continue reading

Catalonia. Bankrupt. Scotland next?

    Scottish nationalists could be forgiven for cursing fate this week. Both Ireland and the autonomous Spanish region of Catalonia, the two most admired constitutional role models for a post-union Scotland, are sinking under the weight of their debts. Today, Ireland’s voters are expected to vote reluctantly for an EU financial austerity package that … Continue reading

Pound, euro, groat – what currency for Scotland?

Whatever happened to Braveheart?  Time was when the debate about Scottish independence was all about heroic issues like freedom, national destiny, culture. Even the mild-mannered former leader of the SNP, Gordon Wilson, used to talk of it being a “revolutionary” party.  Not any more. Nowadays the independence debate seems to be all about the small … Continue reading

Salmond launches "illegal" referendum campaign.

 As we waited in the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle for the arrival of Moses, sorry, Robert Mugabe, sorry Alex Salmond, there was much chatter about Tuesday’s now infamous Newsnight interview in which Jeremy Paxman compared Alex Salmond to Zimbabwean dictator and suggest that he wanted to set up a one party state in Scotland. … Continue reading

2011. Why I think independence is inevitable.

  Spare a thought for Iain Gray this festive season He was by no means a bad politician – as his party discovered when they looked to replace him.  But the abiding image of the 2011 Scottish parliamentary election campaign has to be Labour’s Scottish leader seeking refuge in a “Subway” sandwich bar after being … Continue reading

Of course Scotland would be admitted to the EU. Look at Latvia, Estonia etc etc.

  I’ve been in this game too long.   I remember being taken by the Tories nearly twenty years ago to Brussels to hear Baroness Ellis  warn that Scotland would not be allowed to join the EU.  Don’t even think about it!  France and Spain would block an independent Scotland to discourage their own separatist … Continue reading

Hasta la vista Jeremy. The end of the car is nigh.

  A hundred pounds to fill a tank. At first I couldn’t believe it – staring at the pump in disbelief.  Ok,  my VW campervan has a slightly larger tank than most cars.  And yes, I was up north where fuel prices are higher.   But still – a ton just to fill up!  How did … Continue reading

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