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.

Trade unions

Ed Miliband vs the Trade Unions (and why Tories should hope the Unions win)

10 September 2013 15:45

There is something distasteful about the latest Tory assault on the Trade Union movement. I hold neither candle nor torch for Len McCluskey and am, generally speaking, opposed to the… Continue reading

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Kerry And Hagel Testify At Senate Hearing On Use Of Force Against Syria

In London, John Kerry Promotes World’s Smallest Syrian Whirlwind

9 September 2013 12:25

There’s little need for people opposed to launching any kind of attack on Syria to expend much energy doing so when those tasked with making the case for reminding Bashar… Continue reading


Flodden 500 Years On: The Flower of Scotland, Lying Cold in the Clay

9 September 2013 10:22

As best I can tell it is not permissable to talk or write about the battle of Flodden without first asking why it is not talked about more frequently? But of course… Continue reading

The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Thirteen

A Game of Numbers: Pollsters Go To War in Scotland

3 September 2013 12:19

On Sunday an opinion poll was just a poll. Nothing to be too excited by. Unreliable too. The real poll – the one that counts – is still a year… Continue reading

UN inspectors inspect corpses in a hospital outside Damscus. Photo: YouTube/AFP/Getty Images

On Syria, parliament has voted to have no policy at all.

30 August 2013 11:29

A muddle and a cock-up. For all the talk of parliament reasserting itself, last night’s vote on Syria showed a parliament that voted, twice, to oppose actions it actually supports.… Continue reading

Credit Crisis Threatens Banking Jobs

The Closing of the Nationalist Mind

29 August 2013 17:52

A paper with the title Scottish Independence: Issues and Questions; Regulation, Supervision, Lender of Last Resort and Crisis Management is not one liable to set pulses racing on the streets of… Continue reading


Syria is not Iraq (but at least the Iraq War had a clear objective)

28 August 2013 15:47

A decade ago, I was sure that going to war in Iraq was the right thing to do. I persisted in that belief for a long time too, well beyond… Continue reading

King Rib supper, single smoked sausage, pickled onions, saltnsauce. My supper yesterday, actually.

George Orwell’s lesson for Jamie Oliver

27 August 2013 17:08

Jamie Oliver, eh, what a card? Why can’t Britain’s revolting poor eat better food? If they can afford televisions they can afford mussels and rocket too, don’t ya know? Something… Continue reading

England v Australia: 5th Investec Ashes Test - Day Five

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust, if Pietersen don’t get ya, the ICC must.

26 August 2013 11:11

It was pretty dark. Darker, in fact, than it had been when the players were hauled off for bad light earlier in the test. Darker, too, than it had been in Manchester… Continue reading

British Union Jack flags flutter in the

The answer to the West Lothian Question is to stop asking it

23 August 2013 11:45

Here we go again. It’s time for an English parliament! Actually, it’s time for a new Act of Union! Says who? Says Michael Fabricant in today’s Telegraph. Mark Wallace at ConservativeHome agrees.  English votes for… Continue reading


George Galloway blames Israel for the use of chemical weapons in Syria

23 August 2013 9:58

Say this for George Galloway: every time you think he cannot sink any lower he finds new ways to surprise you. His latest contribution to Press TV, Iran’s propaganda station,… Continue reading


Is Ed Miliband a) hopeless, b) on course to become Prime Minister or c) both?

22 August 2013 12:15

I have never quite understood Ed Miliband’s appeal. He always reminds me of Cuthbert Cringeworthy from The Bash Street Kids. I find it hard to imagine him becoming Prime Minister. Something… Continue reading

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

Two nations, two cultures? Britain is divided by the Trent, not the Tweed.

19 August 2013 13:26

Of the many certainties those Scots in favour of independence hold to be self-evident two in particular stand out. First that Scotland and England are fundamentally different places whose political… Continue reading

UK Terrorism Threat Level Raised To Critical

David Miranda’s detention shows that the state is not only malevolent but stupid too

19 August 2013 10:56

The problem is less that the state is malevolent but that it is stupid. And that stupidity means that a lack of malevolence may be a matter of luck, not… Continue reading

Members Of Scottish Parliament In Temporary Debating Chamber

David McLetchie’s decency served the Tories well but they need bolder leadership now.

14 August 2013 14:51

David McLetchie, who died this week aged only 61, was a politician who, in style and manner, rebuked those cynics who presume – lazily – that politicians go into politics… Continue reading

British Troops Use Desert Bases To Suppress Taliban Insurgents

War from the ground up and the limits of modern government?

14 August 2013 10:23

Emile Simpson’s War from the Ground Up, hailed by no less an authority than Michael Howard (the historian, not the politician) as a Clausewitz-for-our-times, is on my “to read” list. So I… Continue reading

England v Australia: 4th Investec Ashes Test - Day Four

Australia are just New Zealand in disguise (plus Michael Clarke and Ryan Harris)

13 August 2013 14:08

Thumping Australia is grand; thumping Australia without playing well almost feels like cheating. But in a good way. This is where England find themselves today. The Ashes are safe for… Continue reading

Photo: Getty Images.

Nate Silver on Scottish independence: Alex Salmond has “no chance”

13 August 2013 11:07

Nate Silver, in Edinburgh to punt his new book, appears to have annoyed some Scottish nationalists today. The “polling guru” (according to all newspapers everywhere) has told the Scotsman that he thinks… Continue reading

General Election - Education

Scotland’s disgraceful educational apartheid

9 August 2013 9:29

Scottish teenagers received their exam results this week and, for the seventh consecutive year, the pass-rate for Highers increased. So did the pass-rates for all other exams: the Advanced Highers… Continue reading

Chris Christie Makes Campaign Announcement

Chris Christie and the Average American Joe

6 August 2013 17:45

Jonathan Bernstein objects to the notion that it’s Chris Christie’s supposed ability to speak like an “average Joe” than makes him a strong candidate to win the Republican party’s 2016… Continue reading

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne Visits A Nursery

Yes, stay-at-home mothers have made a “lifestyle choice”

6 August 2013 13:06

Blimey, George Osborne has got something right! Astonishing scenes. Suppose the government thought it a good idea for us to eat more bananas and, recognising that bananas have become extremely… Continue reading

Amazon's Jeff Bezos To Buy The Washington Post For 250 Million

Taps for The Washington Post

6 August 2013 11:42

So it has come to this. The Washington Post, paper of Bradlee and Woodward and Bernstein and all the rest, has been sold to Amazon’s Jeff Bezos. For $250m. That, apparently,… Continue reading


Our Fracking Friends in the North

2 August 2013 15:20

An old Washington cliche has it that a gaffe is what happens when a politician inadvertently blurts out the truth or, in a variation on the theme, reveals what he really thinks.… Continue reading

A Pap.

Jura Days

2 August 2013 13:10

Jura, George Orwell wrote, is “an extremely ungetable place”. It is easier, but only modestly so, to reach Jura now than it was when Orwell lived on the island. Unless… Continue reading

Rangers v Celtic

Scotland’s Shame? Not In My Name.

23 July 2013 10:40

There are many Scotlands and they’re all dreadful. That at any rate seems to be the message from the Scottish government’s anti-sectarianism ‘taskforce’. We’re all in denial about sectarianism and… Continue reading