This tag is associated with 17 posts

The SNP is not like horror-show euro-populism. Mercifully.

THE liberal Left hasn’t had much to celebrate recently, what with Brexit, Donald Trump and the rise of the alt-right. So there was understandable jubilation over the defeat of the far-right candidate in the Austrian presidential elections, Norbert Hofer, by the former Green party leader, Alexander van der Bellen. There was rejoicing too over the … Continue reading

The biggest political decision Nicola Sturgeon will ever make. Long read on options for indyref2

IT could be the best of times, or it could be the worst of times. In the next few months, Nicola Sturgeon must make the most difficult decision she will probably ever face in her political career: deciding when to hold the next independence referendum. If she gets it wrong, the cause could be set … Continue reading

Forget the referendum. SNP is really about independence by stealth

THESE are strange days. This lacklustre Holyrood election campaign has come alive in the last week over something that almost certainly isn’t going to happen: a repeat referendum on Scottish independence. It dominated the BBC leaders’ debate on Sunday; it’s all over the front pages; and John Humphrys on the Today programme yesterday spent a … Continue reading

It’s not often I have to apologise to bankers…

It’s not often that I find I have to apologise to bankers. But in an article last week on the 50p tax row I said that the additional rate on those earning above £150,000 was essentially a “bankers tax” because, with their bonuses and inflated salaries, they are the only group in Scotland who earn … Continue reading

Do we seriously believe that Britain would be too poor, too wee and too stupid to survive on its own outside the EU?

“Brexit could plunge Britain back into recession”, according to Morgan Stanley. “Vote to Leave could trigger economic and financial shock” says Credit Suisse. “EU exit could cost £55 billion a year” says think tank. The EU referendum debate has become a kind of bizarro version of the Scottish independence referendum, with banks, newspapers and think … Continue reading

Two parliamentary elections in two years and two independence referendums: prepare for voter fatigue in 2016

SCOTLAND’S voters could be forgiven for complaining about election fatigue. They had the nerve-racking excitement of the 2014 independence referendum, which divided Scotland down the middle. Then there was the Tsunami General Election of 2015 when the Unionist parties were swept into political oblivion. Now Scots are being invited to deliver another landslide to the … Continue reading

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

Scotland’s self-mage as a tolerant country free of prejudice could be in for a reality check.

From Herald 17/11/15 The first plane load of refugees from Syria arrives in Glasgow today. First of many, we are assured. But will they receive a warm Scottish welcome? Not if the BBC Radio Scotland Call Kaye phone-in programme is any guide. Now, a radio programme is not a representative sample. Nevertheless as a straw … Continue reading

Corbyn honeymoon is officially over – at least in Scotland.

Corbyn mania hit Brighton this week in the blazing heat. It was the sunrise of the New Politics: a new age of grass-roots radicalism, with the Labour conference sovereign, real debates, and an end to top down machine politics. Well in your dreams. Within 24 hour the old politics reestablished itself as the conference arrangements … Continue reading

List wars. The SNP has a new challenge on the left from RISE.

The emergence of a new party of the radical left in Scotland, Rise (Respect, Independence, Socialism, Environmentalism), launched this weekend, has aroused much derision and allusions to Monty Python’s People’s Front of Judea sketch. “How long before Rise sinks?” Ho, ho. But it’s surely a tribute to Holyrood’s proportional electoral system that new political formations … Continue reading

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