Hamish Macdonell rss

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A new poll shows Scotland on the brink of independence. Time for the ‘no’ side to panic

20 April 2014 11:05

Politicians always manage to take some crumbs of comfort from opinion polls but, if you are Alistair Darling, it would be difficult to find anything positive in the dramatic new poll published by… Continue reading

SNP Leader Alex Salmond Delivers His Keynote Speech At The SNP Conference

Alex Salmond’s message to Labour supporters: vote ‘yes’ to escape the Tories

12 April 2014 17:28

When is a conference not a conference? When it’s a rally. Sitting in the hall listening to Alex Salmond this afternoon, it was hard to ignore the feeling that this… Continue reading

No campaigner and object of Lib Dem bitching Alistair Darling. Image: Getty

Enough complacency. Enough bitching. The No camp needs to fight to save the Union

1 April 2014 10:14

Look up complacency in the dictionary and the chances are you will find a picture of a Scottish unionist next to it. For months – no, make that years – politicians… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Alistair Darling needs football fans—not financiers—to save the union

26 March 2014 12:08

Has the No camp got it wrong? This may seem an odd question to ask when the unionists are still leading in the referendum race but there is no doubt that… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Ed Miliband pushed left-wing Scots’ buttons today – but he needed to do more

21 March 2014 16:29

English Labour leaders tend to find Scottish party conferences difficult. The Scots tend to be more old-fashioned, unreconstructed and left-wing than their English colleagues which can make it difficult for English… Continue reading

Johann Lamont - a match for Red Ed (Photo: Getty)

Johann Lamont shows Labour’s true colours – red in tooth and claw

18 March 2014 16:45

Just occasionally in politics, the mask slips and political parties reveal what they really are – rather than what they would like us to believe they are. Today in Edinburgh… Continue reading

David Cameron addressing the Scottish Conservative Party. Image: Getty

Did David Cameron just promise Scots devo max?

14 March 2014 16:45

Scotland will get more powers – including control over taxes – if Scots vote No in September. That was the message David Cameron took to the Scottish Conservative Party at its… Continue reading

Ming Campbell. Image: Getty

Ming Campbell knows how to kill off the Scottish nationalists. Shame no-one’s listening to him.

10 March 2014 14:13

The independence campaign could be over now. The Yes campaign could be all but destroyed with six months to go before the vote. The unionists have it within their power to… Continue reading

Image: Getty

How Osborne’s tactics drew Standard Life into the independence debate

28 February 2014 14:48

In politics, as in comedy, timing is everything. It is worth bearing this in mind when considering George Osborne’s ‘you can’t keep the pound’ speech and what has happened since. There… Continue reading

‘Scotland – stay with us’. Image: Getty

David Bowie, George Osborne and the PCS union have given Scottish nationalists momentum

21 February 2014 11:27

Ask any election strategist and they’ll tell you that momentum is everything. For the past 18 months, the No campaign has had all the momentum in the referendum debate. The Yes… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Now Scots know: an independent Scotland won’t be Salmond’s ‘same-but-slightly-different’ vision

16 February 2014 16:50

Personally, I’m now waiting for the Queen to get involved. After all, there’s not much left of Alex Salmond’s independence-but-not-independence blueprint that is left intact. First it was his ‘we’re going… Continue reading

George Osborne is being serious when he says Scotland won't keep the pound (Photo: Shaun Curry/AFP/Getty

Osborne is serious. An independent Scotland won’t be keeping the pound

13 February 2014 16:39

Could it be Bodie and Doyle? Perhaps Starsky and Hutch? Morse and Lewis? Whoever provided the inspiration, someone in Downing Street has clearly been watching too many old TV cop shows… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Cameron’s unionism speech was laudable in substance, but it made him look afraid of Alex Salmond

7 February 2014 14:53

I got a text from a mischievous friend in London this morning. ‘David Cameron has asked me to ask you not to leave the UK. We would miss you all… Continue reading

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond (

Poll shows Yes camp are within striking distance of victory

27 January 2014 20:00

‘It has given us a good, old-fashioned kick up the backside,’ said one member of the ‘No’ camp yesterday. He was being charitable. It could end up being an awful… Continue reading

Do you want this man on your side?

Putin’s strange intervention over Scottish independence

20 January 2014 14:48

Is it useful to have Vladimir Putin on your side or not? One would have hoped anybody in the UK Government would have considered this question before, apparently, asking for the Russian… Continue reading


Europe will affect the Scots referendum, but not in the way everyone expects

17 January 2014 17:59

With William Hague in Glasgow this morning, the Scottish independence debate has swung round to Europe once again. Europe is indeed going to be important as we head towards the… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Alex Salmond is impaling himself on problems of his own making

13 January 2014 15:39

When the independence debate finally started to rumble last year, most people thought it would be the big issues which would dominate as we approached polling day – defence, foreign… Continue reading

She wanted to cut Scotland's budget. Does he? Image: Getty

Now Margaret Thatcher is being drawn into the Scottish independence debate

5 January 2014 14:45

It may be more than 23 years since she last held office but the late Baroness Thatcher has now been drawn into the battle over Scottish independence – by the… Continue reading

Image: Getty

Nobody’s noticed, but the White Paper on Scottish independence has failed to move public opinion

2 December 2013 10:33

It is not surprising that the first Scottish opinion poll to be done since Alex Salmond published his White Paper on Independence last week would slip by almost unnoticed. After all,… Continue reading


What’s hidden inside the Scottish Independence White Paper?

26 November 2013 18:09

Hidden away in the 650-page White Paper on Scottish Independence are a number of very interesting developments, none of which were championed by the SNP beforehand but every one of… Continue reading

Alex Salmond today announced that the independence referendum will be on 18 September 2014. Picture: Getty

Salmond goes for the surprise referendum date

21 March 2013 15:36

Always the showman, Alex Salmond did the unexpected today when he announced that the referendum on Scottish independence would be held on Thursday September 18 2014. He knew everyone was… Continue reading

Image by Carla Millar

Salmond caught on the rock of Europe

10 December 2012 14:19

Europe, so often the rock on which Conservative hopes foundered, is now causing considerable trouble for Alex Salmond. The Scottish First Minister has long campaigned for Scottish separation under the… Continue reading

Alex Salmond is now Scotland's longest-serving First Minister. Picture: Getty

Alex Salmond, Scotland’s longest serving First Minister

7 November 2012 13:26

So Alex Salmond has achieved the feat of becoming Scotland’s longest serving First Minister. This is a notable achievement. After all, he has avoided the fate of one of his predecessors… Continue reading

The SNP yesterday admitted that it had not yet sought legal advice on the position of an independent Scotland in the European Union. Picture: Getty

Salmond’s darkest day could be yet to come

24 October 2012 14:56

For years Scotland has been waiting to see when his luck would run out – well, now it has. Alex Salmond: gambler, tipster, political animal and First Minister now has another… Continue reading

Burbo Bank Wind Farm Now Fully Operational

Spectator debate: Scotland’s energy policy is just hot air

21 September 2012 21:15

Donald Trump and the world’s first ‘professor of carbon capture’ clashed last night in the Spectator’s first debate in Edinburgh over the motion :  as they sparred over the contentious motion… Continue reading