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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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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

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
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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
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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