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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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It is not surprising that the polls on Scottish independence are tightening…

26 March 2014 11:53

There are some pollsters who believe nothing has changed since 2011. All the storm and blast, bluff and bluster about Scottish independence has had no impact at all. The settled… Continue reading

68 Comments
Ed Miliband's Speech To Scottish Labour Party Conference

Ed Miliband’s speech in Scotland: Mr Pooter meets Alan Partridge

21 March 2014 16:01

Ed Miliband has just given a quite extraordinary speech. I don’t know if it was deliberately banal or merely unfortunately dull. It was certainly stupefyingly boring. The Labour leader gave… Continue reading

263 Comments
RUSSIA-UKRAINE-POLITICS-CRISIS-EU-US-PUTIN

The west has a choice: abandon Ukraine or punish Russia? It should choose the latter.

18 March 2014 14:47

An astonishing number of useless twits appear to think Russia’s annexation of the Crimea is somehow not Vladimir Putin’s fault. The poor Russia despot – no longer much too strong… Continue reading

94 Comments
The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Five

Ruth Davidson gives the Scottish Tories grounds for hope. At last.

17 March 2014 15:31

Because I spent the weekend moving house and being depressed by events in Cardiff I did not attend the Scottish Conservative’s spring conference in Edinburgh. A dereliction of journalistic duty,… Continue reading

119 Comments
BRITAIN-MEDIA-BBC-CHILD-SEX-POLITICS

Yes, of course the BBC is biased against you

17 March 2014 13:01

And it doesn’t matter who you are. Conservative, Labour, Liberal, Nationalist, Green or UKIP it’s all the same. The BBC is hopelessly prejudiced against you. As it should be. Why… Continue reading

83 Comments
This is George Osborne's last chance to secure a legacy as a reforming Chancellor.

This time George, let there be no Budget bodging

17 March 2014 11:53

The first and best thing George Osborne could do is start all over again. Of course he won’t and this week’s budget will be another missed opportunity. But each year… Continue reading

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Ed Miliband adopts a rope-a-dope strategy on Europe

12 March 2014 13:05

Hopi Sen is not alone. There are many people in this country supremely indifferent to the whole and vexatious question of whether or not there should be a referendum on… Continue reading

81 Comments
Gordon Brown's Speech Proposing Further Devolution To Scotland

The British constitution has never made sense or been fair. Why expect it to do so now?

11 March 2014 9:49

Well, yes, Hamish Macdonell is correct. A coherent devo-max option could win the referendum for Unionists. Some of us, ahem, have been arguing that for years. There were, of course,… Continue reading

47 Comments
Tensions Grow In Crimea As Diplomatic Talks Continue

The clock is ticking for Vladimir Putin in Ukraine. He has missed his best chance of victory.

7 March 2014 11:37

Tick tock. Tick tock. Time is running out in the Ukraine. Time passes and cements the “facts on the ground”. Russia controls the Crimea and, one way or another, we… Continue reading

52 Comments
RUSSIA-UKRAINE-POLITICS-PUTIN

Vladimir Putin is losing the battle for Ukraine

5 March 2014 12:20

It is always tempting, in the field of foreign affairs, to suppose we are led by dupes and fools while our opponents enjoy – or endure –  leaders of boundless… Continue reading

252 Comments
Alex Salmond Addresses Business Leaders On Referendum Plans

Alex Salmond’s taxing realism: Scotland cannot afford socialist dreams

5 March 2014 9:59

Alex Salmond ventured south last night to lecture inform the citizens of what he termed Britain’s ‘Dark Star’ of his latest plans. You can read his New Statesman lecture here. The… Continue reading

280 Comments
UKIP Annual Spring Conference 2014

Say it loud, say it proud: UKIP are a party for reactionary xenophobes

3 March 2014 12:49

Sometimes what doesn’t occasion interest or drama or controversy is more interesting – or at least more telling – than what does. So perhaps it is a tribute to the… Continue reading

386 Comments
Alex Salmond Addresses Business Leaders On Referendum Plans

Standard Life becomes the latest firm to bully Scotland. But is it bluffing?

27 February 2014 12:07

No-one should be surprised that Standard Life has warned it might leave Scotland should the country vote for independence later this year. It is not exactly a secret that Edinburgh’s… Continue reading

29 Comments
Gamekeepers Prepare For Launch of Red Grouse Shooting Season

Whatever happened to Scotland’s timid posh folk?

25 February 2014 13:57

Whatever happened to Scotland’s upper-middle class? That’s one of the questions asked by Hugo Rifkind in his characteristically interesting column this week. Why, more to the point, are they so… Continue reading

49 Comments
Cabinets From Both UK And Scottish Governments Meet In North East Scotland

The Etonian, the SNP and the Black, Black Oil

24 February 2014 12:00

You will recall that, according to the greatest account of England’s history, every time the English thought they had solved the Irish Question, the Irish changed the Question.  Something similar… Continue reading

204 Comments
Ukrainian MPs Vote To Oust President Viktor Yanukovych

Tory Europhobia cripples Britain’s attitude to the Ukrainian crisis

24 February 2014 10:00

Colin Freeman, the Telegraph’s fine chief foreign correspondent, made a remarkable claim the other day that merits wider attention. What, he asked, was Britain’s view on the crisis in Ukraine? The… Continue reading

115 Comments
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
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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

15 Comments
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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