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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.

David Cameron talks nonsense about vetoing future EU enlargement

20 December 2013 22:35

Fair’s fair. Ed Miliband might be a fish-faced ninny but that doesn’t let David Cameron off the hook. And not just because he’s trailing a fish-faced ninny in the polls.… Continue reading

62 Comments
Betting machines

The so-called “crack cocaine of gambling” is a myth. Trust Ed Miliband to believe in it.

20 December 2013 16:51

The puritan, as devotees of Baltimore’s finest know, is greatly exercised by the fear that someone, somewhere, might be enjoying themselves. Ed Miliband is a puritan. And a hopeless, nagging,… Continue reading

41 Comments
Labour MP For Falkirk Eric Joyce In Court Charged With Three Counts Of Common Assault

In praise of Eric Joyce

20 December 2013 10:24

Yes, Eric Joyce, the MP for Falkirk until the next election, has issues. Yes, his copy book is well blotted. He has a conviction for assault which scarcely reflects splendidly upon… Continue reading

40 Comments
Michael Gove, fighting for tougher teaching in schools. Photo: PA.

Education reform works. Who knew?

19 December 2013 13:50

Education reform that actually works is one of the noblest, but most thankless, tasks in politics. Noble because it’s necessary, thankless because it doesn’t earn much in the way of… Continue reading

13 Comments
Prime Minister David Cameron Delivers His Keynote Speech At The Conservative Party Conference

What is David Cameron for?

18 December 2013 14:45

A mischievous question, I know, but one prompted by Janan Ganesh’s latest Financial Times column. It is eight years since David Cameron became leader of the Conservative party and three and a… Continue reading

30 Comments
Australia v England - Third Test: Day 5

A time for despair but not for panic

17 December 2013 15:57

All winning cricket teams are alike; each losing cricket team loses in its own way. It doesn’t matter, right now, that Shane Watson and Michael Clarke will never be chums… Continue reading

4 Comments
RUGBYU-6NATIONS-SCO-IRL

No, the Irish are not afraid of Scottish independence

13 December 2013 15:06

If I were to say that I admire Charles Moore tremendously you would know there must be a ‘but’ looming towards the end of the paragraph. Nevertheless I do admire… Continue reading

65 Comments

The Dumbest Dog in the World

12 December 2013 16:26

That’s Duggy Dug, the latest champion of the campaign for Scottish independence. For some reason Brian Cox – the actor, not the physics professor – has decided to put his… Continue reading

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

Scottish Nationalism’s Dangerous Cult of Victimhood

11 December 2013 16:11

Danny Finkelstein’s column in the Times today is characteristically elegant and incisive. In politics as in life he writes, “whatever apparent power and temptation lies with the adoption of the identity… Continue reading

50 Comments
CRICKET-AUS-ENG-ASHES

A crucifixion in the City of Churches

9 December 2013 19:51

Here we go again. Time for another round of that perennial game so wearily familiar to England cricket supporters: Hunt the Positives. It is a mean game because, most of the… Continue reading

4 Comments
RUGBY-WC-FINAL 95-ZAF-NZ

Nelson Mandela gave us the greatest gift of all: Hope

6 December 2013 0:02

Sometimes when a significant public figure dies, even, perhaps especially, when that death comes as no surprise and may, indeed, be considered some form of release there is a natural… Continue reading

45 Comments
Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams speaks t

Gerry Adams: still a revolting man and still trying to steal Irish history.

5 December 2013 19:21

I know this is not exactly breaking news but Gerry Adams is a vile man. Since no-one devotes much attention to Northern Ireland these days it is easy to forget… Continue reading

222 Comments
Goldman Sachs Introduce £1m Salary Cap

A choice for Tories: Goldman Sachs or UKIP?

4 December 2013 21:21

Hats-off to James Kirkup for noticing that Goldman Sachs have suggested they would “drastically” cut their UK workforce (and operations) should Britain decide to leave the European Union. That is the view… Continue reading

55 Comments
englandinfrastructure copy copy

London is different: the government will spend money there

4 December 2013 18:14

The chart at the top of this post comes from the government’s National (sic) Infrastructure Plan 2013. (Sic because it is largely a plan for England.) You can find it… Continue reading

10 Comments
British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alis

Tory attacks on Alistair Darling show that WMD Unionism is MAD

4 December 2013 12:33

I don’t really understand why politicians spend so much time talking to journalists. Most of the time little good can come from doing so. Of course, from a personal or… Continue reading

94 Comments
Polish community Continues To Thrive In UK

When oh when will we ever be able to talk about immigration (sensibly)?

2 December 2013 16:16

I do wish we were never allowed to speak about immigration. That seems the only way to prevent folk from spouting – and writing – rubbish on the subject. But… Continue reading

104 Comments
SPAIN-FRANCE-SUMMIT

Scotland and the EU: Mariano Rajoy should just jog on.

28 November 2013 10:47

It’s bad enough being lectured by politicians from Edinburgh or even London. That, I suppose, is to be expected however. Irritating but normal. It’s rather different when foreigners – real… Continue reading

238 Comments
Alex Salmond Reveals The White Paper For An Independent Scotland

Scottish independence is a little more likely today than it was yesterday

26 November 2013 14:53

The argument about Scottish independence which, it should be said, is not a new one is best understood in terms of the Overton Window. James Overton, an American political scientist,… Continue reading

204 Comments
Mayor Boris Johnson Participates In St George's Day Celebrations

Is Boris Johnson the Man to Save the Union?

25 November 2013 13:27

This is not as obviously a Question to Which the Answer is No as it may initially seem. The Mayor of London is, in fact, well-placed to play a significant part… Continue reading

53 Comments
Australia v England - First Test: Day 2

Massacre at the Gabbatoir

22 November 2013 13:48

Don’t say you weren’t warned. You were. “Australia will win at least one test this winter…England will have a bad test or Australia an extremely good one…This is an Australian… Continue reading

5 Comments

The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage

21 November 2013 10:56

Perhaps there is something mildly tawdry about discussing an issue such as gay marriage in terms of its impact on perceptions of the Tory party or the extent to which… Continue reading

30 Comments
A Labour party supporter poses for photo

Nick Boles is right: the Tory party must change.

20 November 2013 17:07

Another outbreak of the Tory Modernising Wars! What larks! Nick Boles’s speech to Bright Blue, a newish think tank for metropolitan swells folk who think the Tory message needs rethinking,… Continue reading

64 Comments
Kennedy Addressing

John F Kennedy was one of the nastiest presidents in American history

19 November 2013 14:55

The fiftieth anniversary of John F Kennedy’s assassination is, of course, an occasion for a fresh outbreak of the virulent hagiography that has corrupted the memory of his actual record.… Continue reading

90 Comments
Pressure Increases For A Scottish Independence Referendum

An Age of Tartan Austerity looms after Scottish Independence. There are worse fates than that.

18 November 2013 15:53

The first thing to be said about the Institute for Fiscal Studies’ latest assessment of an independent Scotland’s long-term fiscal well-being is that the IFS’s assessments of the UK’s long-term… Continue reading

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

Scottish independence: the Union is endangered by premature and misguided complacency

15 November 2013 16:48

Somehow I managed to miss Iain Martin’s praise for the manner in which David Cameron has “handled” the referendum on Scottish independence. Happily, John Rentoul has prompted me to take… Continue reading

274 Comments