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Alex Massie rssAlex_Massie

Alex Massie a freelance journalist and former Washington correspondent for The Scotsman. He was short-listed for the 2012 Orwell Prize for his blogging.

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Douglas Carswell’s defection is a disaster for David Cameron and great news for Ed Miliband

28 August 2014 12:13

I like Douglas Carswell. He thinks for himself and has always, I think, added some welcome colour to parliament. But I don’t understand his defection to UKIP at all. If… Continue reading

176 Comments
BRITAIN-SCOTLAND-POLITICS-VOTE-MEDIA

Not Tonight, Darling

26 August 2014 12:59

Well that was a gubbing. No doubt about it. Alex Salmond won last night’s debate against Alistair Darling just as thoroughly as he’d lost their first encounter. Sure, some Unionists… Continue reading

185 Comments
Television Debate Between Alex Salmond And Alistair Darling

Alex Salmond vs Alistair Darling, the Rematch

25 August 2014 15:10

Like Paradise Lost, no-one – not even humble freelance hacks – ever wished the Scottish independence referendum campaign longer. We are, most of us, exhausted. Almost all passion has been spent.… Continue reading

40 Comments
Boris Johnson Speech on Europe

Boris Johnson is not fit to be leader of the Tory party, never mind Prime Minister

25 August 2014 10:10

Awkward, especially here, I know, but there you have it. But, look, if any other high-profile politician were suggesting the burden of proof in criminal trials should be switched from… Continue reading

213 Comments
james-i

The Matter of Scotland: Try, try and try again.

21 August 2014 11:05

PG Wodehouse, who was only the twentieth century’s greatest English-language novelist, once remarked that there existed just two ways to write: “One is mine, making a sort of musical comedy without music… Continue reading

10 Comments
The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Five

English voters send a message to Scotland: we can’t go on living like this

20 August 2014 11:07

Way back in the olden days, Scottish Labour won the 1999 elections to the Scottish parliament, at least in part, on the back of the slogan Divorce is an Expensive Business.… Continue reading

537 Comments
IRAQ-UNREST

Britain abandons foreign policy. And abandons debates about foreign policy too.

19 August 2014 16:10

Cynics have long suspected that Britain’s foreign policy is as independent as its nuclear deterrent. Cynics have a point. Perhaps, as some suggest, it’s time to concede the game’s a… Continue reading

75 Comments
British Union Jack flags flutter in the

After Scotland, whither Britain? Divorce is a costly business.

14 August 2014 17:48

If, like me, you missed Andrew Neil’s BBC programme exploring What the Hell Happens to the United Kingdom if Scotland Votes for Independence Next Month you might be interested to know that… Continue reading

100 Comments
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We may not think ourselves at war with ISIS but they are pretty sure they are at war with us.

12 August 2014 15:26

John McTernan’s column in today’s Telegraph about Kurdistan – and our, that is the West’s, debt of honour to the Kurds – is a piece of which, I think, the… Continue reading

217 Comments
Royal Bank Of Scotland Unveil GBP8bn Profits

Alex Salmond remains trapped in a currency quagmire with no way out in sight

11 August 2014 16:45

It has not been a happy few days for supporters of Scottish independence. It remains too soon to say whether – unusually – last week’s debate between Alistair Darling and… Continue reading

290 Comments
Television Debate Between Alex Salmond And Alistair Darling

Alex Salmond took a beating last night. And his supporters know it.

6 August 2014 11:36

How about those twin imposters, triumph and defeat disaster? The reaction to last night’s debate between Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling reveals as much as anything that happened in the… Continue reading

114 Comments
Image: Getty

The argument about Britain in Europe is just the same as the argument about Scotland in Britain

5 August 2014 10:28

I know some readers have tired of Scotland’s independence debate. That is understandable, even forgivable. It has, after all, been rumbling along for 40 years. There may only be six… Continue reading

93 Comments
Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

Two Sober Men Fight Over A Thistle

5 August 2014 8:36

Never before have so many waited so keenly to hear Alistair Darling speak. Tonight’s the night, however, and the fate of a nation hangs upon his words. Or so some… Continue reading

119 Comments
German NSA Investigation Committee Considers Typewriters Out of Data Leak Concerns As Sales Rise

Tunes of Numpties: Scottish novelists on independence

31 July 2014 13:26

There are many ways to commission fat-headed political analysis but, in my experience, by far the easiest is to ask a novelist his (or her) opinion on the great issues… Continue reading

182 Comments
20th Commonwealth Games - Opening Ceremony

Who cares whether English commentators like or respect Scotland?

29 July 2014 15:18

Because the Commonwealth Games are a thing and because newspapers need to fill their pages every day it is natural, even unavoidable, that they have in recent days been stuffed… Continue reading

267 Comments
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The political implications of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

23 July 2014 13:01

Several people have asked me to write something about the politics and potential implications of the Commonwealth Games which open tonight in Glasgow. As is sometimes the case, I am… Continue reading

54 Comments
Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

A game of loyalties: the Scottish independence debate is about belonging, not policy

23 July 2014 12:07

It’s less than two months until the referendum on Scottish independence. Two months to decide the future of two (or, if you prefer, four) countries. No pressure and it’s not… Continue reading

81 Comments
BRITAIN-US-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CRISIS-DIPLOMACY

Britain has very little to fear from the ECHR. So why are so many Tories so afraid of it?

22 July 2014 15:36

On matters domestic (England and Wales division) I was sad to see Dominic Grieve turfed-out of the cabinet in last week’s reshuffle. Today he pops up in the Times to remind us… Continue reading

151 Comments
PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-CONFLICT-GAZA

Hopeless in Gaza; Israel’s tragically futile war

22 July 2014 12:05

Travelling back from holiday yesterday we had Jeremy Vine’s show on the car radio and the Radio 2 man was talking about the fighting in Gaza and as is often… Continue reading

189 Comments
Ken Clarke

Farewell Ken Clarke, last of the Tory Big Beasts

14 July 2014 19:24

But for Europe, eh? It is a mark of how thoroughly the European issue has poisoned Tory waters that many party activists – and MPs – will be celebrating the… Continue reading

71 Comments
NHS

The problem with the NHS? The soft bigotry of low expectations.

9 July 2014 11:57

In many ways I’ve endured enjoyed a very fortunate life. Not least because, perhaps unusually, I’ve had almost no dealings with the National Health Service. I mean, apart from a… Continue reading

67 Comments
Ed Miliband election campaign

Labour’s true believers ask Ed Miliband to repeat past Tory mistakes.

8 July 2014 10:49

The first, and perhaps most important, thing to say about the 2015 general election is that it is Labour’s to lose. The second thing to say is that Ed Miliband… Continue reading

47 Comments
The Liberal Democrats Hold Their Annual Party Conference

Proof that the Liberal Democrats are a party of ninnies

30 June 2014 16:44

I know that it is unfashionable to feel sorry for Liberal Democrat MPs. Nevertheless there are times when, contemplating their unhappy lot,  it seems appropriate to feel the odd pang… Continue reading

9 Comments
Crisis Talks Continue At The BBC Following The Resignation Of Director General George Entwistle Over The Newsnight Scandal

Yes, of course the BBC is biased against Scottish Nationalists

30 June 2014 14:35

There are many reasons for this but let’s begin with the first and simplest: it is the British Broadcasting Corporation. Who could have imagined that an organisation that, rightly or not, sees… Continue reading

99 Comments
BELGIUM-EU-SUMMIT

Confronting the Tories’ original sin: they are still seen as the party of the rich.

30 June 2014 13:13

Dominic Cummings is at it again. Michael Gove’s former advisor has become a reliably entertaining guide to the Whitehall labyrinth. It is plain, too, that Cummings likes to think of… Continue reading

13 Comments