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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.

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

Who are the real bullies in the Scottish independence debate?

19 February 2014 10:27

Stewart Hosie, the SNP’s finance spokesman at Westminster, said something unwittingly revealing last night. Taking part in the latest of BBC Scotland’s referendum debates (you can catch it here), he… Continue reading

242 Comments
Alex Salmond Makes His Keynote Speech At The SNP Autumn Conference

Revealed: the Salmond-Osborne Tapes

17 February 2014 13:40

A recording of a conversation between Alex Salmond and George Osborne has been leaked* to The Spectator. An edited extract follows: Alex Salmond: Scotland and England are different countries. So different,… Continue reading

246 Comments
George Osborne Underlines UK Government's Opposition To Currency Union

Osborne nixes currency union; Salmond hops around claiming it’s only a flesh wound

13 February 2014 15:08

An interesting day, then. As I suggested yesterday, George Osborne has ventured across the border on a punitive raid. Nothing like a spot of rough wooing to get you through… Continue reading

237 Comments
General Election - Documents Stock

George Osborne gives Alex Salmond a lesson in power politics

12 February 2014 15:26

Politics is about power. It is surprising how often this is forgotten. Power and the application of power. Sure, there’s policy too and noble aspiration and all that happy-clappy stuff… Continue reading

317 Comments

With friends like these the Union has no need for enemies

6 February 2014 16:44

In the cover story for this week’s edition of the magazine (subscribe, by the way!) I write that “The battle for Britain is being conducted on a wavelength which unionist… Continue reading

104 Comments
A picture taken 13 December 2007 shows t

Relax, you can safely ignore BP’s “warnings” about the impact of Scottish independence

4 February 2014 17:31

Why, a Tory grandee asked me recently, won’t more businesses come out against Scottish independence? It was, in his view, axiomatic that independence would be bad for businesses north and… Continue reading

54 Comments
NETHERLANDS-RUSSIA-MUSIC-RIGHTS-POLITICS

Enjoy the Winter Olympics but remember – and listen to – Pussy Riot as well.

4 February 2014 11:05

And so to the winter Olympic Games which should not be hosted by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. Sure, Putin’s Russia is not nearly as horrific as Stalin’s Russia but when that’s… Continue reading

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Imagine the uproar if a Tory minister proposed a “do-it-yourself” NHS?

3 February 2014 9:25

Consider these two stories. In the first the government approves new proposals to overhaul hospital outpatient care. For once there isn’t even much of a pretence that this will improve… Continue reading

9 Comments
Bank Of England Cut Interest Rates To All Time Low

The Battle for Threadneedle Street

30 January 2014 16:13

I thought it obvious that Mark Carney’s trip to Scotland yesterday was a bad day for Alex Salmond and the Scottish nationalists. Sure, the governor of the Bank of England… Continue reading

111 Comments
Statue Of Economist Adam Smith Unveiled At Edinburgh's Royal Mile

The right-wing case for Scottish independence

29 January 2014 12:07

Chuckle not, it exists. Wealthy Nation, a new grouplet formed by the eminent historian Michael Fry, is making the case that Scotland can be an admirably prosperous little country after… Continue reading

38 Comments

Alex Salmond writes a cheque – in pounds sterling – he cannot honour

29 January 2014 9:52

As I type this, Alex Salmond and Mark Carney are chowing over porridge at Bute House, the First Minister’s official residence in Edinburgh. There is always the risk of exaggerating… Continue reading

301 Comments
north_south

To fix the north-south divide, revive the Council of the North!

28 January 2014 15:32

These, ranked from first to tenth, are the urban areas in Britain with the highest average weekly earnings in 2012: London, Reading, Crawley, Aldershot, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Aberdeen, Southend, Brighton.… Continue reading

69 Comments
England v South Africa: 1st Investec Test - Day One

India holds the cricket world to ransom; England and Australia agree to pay

27 January 2014 12:56

Almost no idea is rotten enough that it can’t or won’t be defended by some scoundrel somewhere. Even so, the equanimity with which some folk have greeted the proposed ICC… Continue reading

2 Comments
The Labour Party Annual Conference

Labour and the Conservatives are both wrong about income tax

27 January 2014 10:30

Never interrupt your opponent when he is making a mistake. On the other hand, when your opponent has made a mistake try not to match him by making an equal… Continue reading

13 Comments
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What is Europe good for? Rather a lot, actually…

23 January 2014 12:50

Europe, eh? Good for nothing, innit? That’s the prevailing narrative you hear these days. But, as so often, this is a matter of perspective. The chart above, plundered courtesy of… Continue reading

58 Comments
NHS

The SNP’s blinkered, ideologically-driven, approach to the NHS is typically dismal.

21 January 2014 11:30

Anyone who questions any aspect of the way the NHS performs – whether in Scotland or England and Wales – soon becomes accustomed to being accused of harbouring some kind… Continue reading

162 Comments
England v Australia: 1st Investec Ashes Test - Day Five

A Carve-Up That’s Just Not Cricket

20 January 2014 15:14

By god, you know matters have come to a wretched pass when you feel inclined to defend and protect the International Cricket Council. And yet, remarkably, such a moment is… Continue reading

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

The Emotional Case for the Union

15 January 2014 14:19

For a long time now, the case for the United Kingdom has been made in a tiresomely negative sense. That is, Unionists have spent more time pointing out the practical… Continue reading

111 Comments
FILES - This pool picture provided 03 Se

The Winter Olympics should never have been awarded to Vladimir Putin’s Russia

14 January 2014 11:49

Last month’s terrorist attacks in Volgograd were doubtless an attempt to warn foreigners off the Winter Olympics in Sochi next month. An attempt, too, to remind Vladimir Putin that his… Continue reading

21 Comments
Members of both houses of parliament fil

The Quiet and Sorry Death of Liberalism, Part CCXXXIV

10 January 2014 14:31

The whole point of the House of Lords is that it lacks democratic legitimacy. This, as they say, is a feature not a bug. A damn good feature too. It… Continue reading

7 Comments
Senate Chairman Of Transportation Committee Calls For Investigation Into George Washington Bridge Lane Closures

Rumours of Chris Christie’s political death are exaggerated.

8 January 2014 21:35

January 2014, two years before the Iowa caucuses and already Chris Christie, the pugnacious governor of New Jersey, has been handed the Black Spot. His chances of securing the Republican… Continue reading

9 Comments
Statistics Suggest Poverty Is A Major Issue For Scottish Children

The SNP school Labour in politics. Again.

8 January 2014 12:20

Alex Salmond might not wish to be compared to Gordon Brown but there is one sense in which the two dominant Scottish political personalities of the age are more alike… Continue reading

19 Comments

Storm in the Sound of Jura; Mainland Cut Off

7 January 2014 20:11

Digital Detox is grand even when, as this New Year, it’s partly unplanned. Back today from an extended break on the Isle of Jura which, like much of Britain, has… Continue reading

3 Comments
Cape Penguins wearing Christmas costumes

Christmas Quiz 2013

23 December 2013 19:17

That time of year again, I guess. Here is this blog’s fifth annual Christmas Quiz. I hope it has not been compiled in quite as absent-minded a fashion as last… Continue reading

21 Comments

Chris Grayling plays Scrooge

23 December 2013 11:01

Chris Grayling is a nasty piece of work, isn’t he? To wit: [N]ew rules, which forbid prisoners from receiving any items in the post unless there are exceptional circumstances, were… Continue reading

10 Comments