Alex Massie rssAlex_Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

(FILES) A file picture taken on December

When did it become OK for the police to electrocute children?

25 February 2015 11:23

Hard as it may be to imagine, dear reader, once upon a time the police managed to fulfil their obligations to society without resorting to electrocuting children. The sky did not… Continue reading

230 Comments
David Cameron and Ruth Davidson MSP, leader of the Scottish Conservatives

Ruth Davidson’s Blue-collar Conservatism subtly rebukes David Cameron

20 February 2015 18:49

Today’s Scottish Conservative conference in Edinburgh proved unexpectedly interesting. No, really. Or, rather, yes, really. Or whatever. David Cameron spoke, you see, and so did Ruth Davidson and they said… Continue reading

98 Comments
Maria Miller's adviser tried to warn the Telegraph off publishing a story about her expenses by mentioning her connection to Leveson. Picture: Getty

Peter Oborne has performed a great public service today

17 February 2015 21:48

Well, this is awkward. Peter Oborne is a friend and The Spectator shares a proprietor with The Daily Telegraph. So there is a danger that anything written in this space… Continue reading

194 Comments
Benefits_Street

Bold new Tory election strategy: Tax cuts for our chums; welfare cuts for you

17 February 2015 11:29

“There’s a lot we need to do in this party of ours. Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies. You know what some people call us… Continue reading

101 Comments
Nicola Sturgeon Delivers Anti-Austerity Speech At Universtiy College London

David Cameron is lucky he faces Ed Miliband, not Nicola Sturgeon

11 February 2015 19:03

In some respects David Cameron has been a lucky politician. Lucky that his predecessors had failed so completely that his initial brand of so-called modernisation seemed a punt worth taking.… Continue reading

518 Comments
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Another day, another UKIP dog whistle. Fancy that!

3 February 2015 16:34

You will recall that when Talleyrand died, Metternich is supposed to have asked ‘What did he mean by that?’ Say this for Nigel Farage: he’s no Talleyrand. Subtlety is not part of… Continue reading

232 Comments
BRITAIN-SCOTLAND-INDEPENDENCE-VOTE

Unless something changes soon, Scottish Labour is doomed

3 February 2015 15:22

The headline figures in today’s YouGov poll for The Times are brutal for Scottish Labour. Labour (27 percent) are still 20 points behind the SNP (48%). But that’s the good news. Because everything else… Continue reading

462 Comments
B8ChyblCIAE9603

Conservative Central Office appears to be working for the SNP

23 January 2015 15:07

Even by the standards of the Conservative and Unionist (sic) party this is an impressively stupid poster. Do they really want to encourage Scots to vote for the SNP? Evidently… Continue reading

310 Comments
John Chilcot holds a news conference to outline the terms of reference for the inquiry at the QEII conference centre on July 30, 2009 in London

Delaying publication of the Chilcot report is the right thing to do

21 January 2015 12:03

I don’t know about you but I tend to think Sir John Chilcot’s report into the Iraq war should not be published before it is finished. Actually, I do know… Continue reading

97 Comments
Mitt Romney Campaigns With AK Senate Candidate Dan Sullivan In Anchorage

The ineffable sadness of Mitt Romney 2016

16 January 2015 14:58

The suggestion Mitt Romney might make another run for the Presidency of the United States made me think of a line from one of my father’s novels: ‘There’s nothing so sad… Continue reading

52 Comments
Nigel Farage speaking at a press conference in Westminster this afternoon. Photo:  Mary Turner/Getty Images

Nigel Farage: a two-bit demagogue and believer in lazy ‘Root Causes’

13 January 2015 15:29

Nigel Farage has performed a useful public service this week. Yes, really, he has. The UKIP leader, you see, is a believer in Root Causes. He is, in fact, a Root… Continue reading

574 Comments
Somebody called George Osborne has been helping Labour with their campaigning

Boffo new Tory election strategy: reinforce negative stereotypes

11 January 2015 17:55

Following the success of the Tories’ last anti-UKIP strategy session, I’ve been leaked details of the latest election planning at CCHQ: [...] I say, what’s the most damaging – and widely-held… Continue reading

33 Comments
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Je Suis Charlie

7 January 2015 14:18

It is important, today especially, to remember that this is nothing new. We have been here before. On the 11th of July, 1991, Hitoshi Igarachi was murdered in his office… Continue reading

281 Comments
<> on December 15, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Does anyone in London actually know how the Barnett Formula works?

6 January 2015 11:49

We’ve just had two years of intensive constitutional politics. Time enough, you’d think, for even London-based politicians and commentators to work out how British politics actually works. But if you… Continue reading

149 Comments
pscot copy

Scotland: No Country for Free Speech

5 January 2015 15:35

Behold, the most offensive tweet I’ve seen in months. You don’t have to be an off-grid anarcho-libertarian freedom-squirrel to see there’s something distinctly unpleasant – even something dystopian – about… Continue reading

378 Comments
Sunrise over the Sound of Jura, Christmas morning.

Christmas Quiz 2014: The Answers

29 December 2014 11:13

Here, earlier than is traditional, are the answers to this year’s Christmas Quiz. As always scoring is discretional but if five marks are awarded for an entirely correct answer then… Continue reading

2 Comments
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Christmas Quiz 2014

24 December 2014 17:18

Greetings from the Isle of Jura whence the sixth (!) edition of this blogs’ annual Christmas Quiz comes to you wherever you may be cloistered this festive season. As always you… Continue reading

22 Comments
David Cameron and George Osborne Visit Eastbourne Pier

The fatal contradiction at the heart of the Tory message: there is no money, except for people we like.

18 December 2014 16:55

Next year’s general election looks like being the most gruesomely entertaining in years. Entertaining because no-one knows what is going to happen; gruesome because of the protagonists and the sorry misfortune… Continue reading

255 Comments
US-POLITICS-OBAMA-DEPARTURE

Restoring diplomatic ties with Cuba? What’s with all this eruption of sanity in Washington?

17 December 2014 16:38

The conventional wisdom, at least in Britain, seems to be that Barack Obama’s presidency has been a desperate disappointment. That is partly a reflection of the extravagant – impossibly so… Continue reading

48 Comments
Pentagon Holds Departure Ceremony For Rumsfeld

The CIA’s torture regime shames the United States. It will not be forgotten

10 December 2014 10:34

We knew and we knew years ago. Anyone who has been paying attention has known for a long time that the CIA committed appalling acts of brutality in the years… Continue reading

225 Comments
Michael Clarke speaking at the funeral of Philip Hughes in Macksville, New South Wales today.

Death of a Cricketer: Phillip Hughes 1988-2014

3 December 2014 11:53

If sport is a quest for the epic it is also, at the highest echelons, a tilt at immortality. Phillip Hughes has achieved that in the most unconscionable fashion. He… Continue reading

13 Comments
Members Of The Royal Family Attend The Commonwealth Day Of Observance At Westminster Abbey

Who cares that Liz Lochhead has joined the SNP?

2 December 2014 15:11

Is it acceptable for writers to sport their political allegiances publicly? In more sensible times you’d hardly need to consider the question since its answer would ordinarily be so bleedin’… Continue reading

33 Comments
Mel

The latest immigration madness: prove you love your wife (or husband)

26 November 2014 9:44

Sometimes it is the small things that tell you everything you need to know about the madness afflicting British politics at present. Consider this small detail from the new immigration… Continue reading

222 Comments
Rochester and Strood Parliamentary By-Election

The saga of Ed Miliband and White Van Man reveals a politics based on grievance and cowardice

24 November 2014 14:42

Say this for the current state of British politics: it keeps finding new lows. A while back I made the mistake of suggesting voters might already have priced-in Ed Miliband’s… Continue reading

144 Comments
Nicola Sturgeon Is Voted In As Scotland's First Minister

Farewell Alex Salmond, hello Nicola Sturgeon

20 November 2014 11:36

And so the Age of Nicola dawns. Elected First Minister by the Scottish Parliament yesterday; sworn in this morning. Taking First Minister’s Questions this afternoon. Alex Salmond’s departure was a… Continue reading

49 Comments