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british politics

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Scottish independence: an exemplary or cautionary foreign policy Rorschach Test?

9 April 2014 15:35

The eyes of the world are upon us. Or so Scottish Nationalists like to say. Whae’s like us? There is some truth to this even if you think unseemly all… Continue reading

149 Comments
United Kingdom Minister of State for For

Alas poor Jeremy Browne, the man who loved this government not wisely but all too well

8 April 2014 11:20

Poor Jeremy Browne. Sacked for believing in the government in which he served*. Then again, no-one claims politics, or life, is fair. So it is good to see Mr Browne… Continue reading

35 Comments
Scotland Prepares For The Independence Vote

The Scottish Tories have a chance to make themselves relevant at last. Will they be bold enough to take it?

3 April 2014 10:02

Like everyone else, I’ve often been mean about the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party. I recall suggesting they were the worst, most useless political party in the world. Fushionless and… Continue reading

44 Comments
British politician George Galloway celeb

Who will rid us of George Galloway?

2 April 2014 14:16

Nothing George Galloway says or does should surprise anyone any longer. Even so, his latest musings on the situation in Ukraine – delivered on the Iranian propaganda channel Press TV - are… Continue reading

122 Comments
Consumers Feel The Pinch With Christmas Around The Corner

From time to time it is necessary to execute a government minister to encourage the others. This is one such moment.

30 March 2014 11:04

Hanging. Shooting. Beheading. Defenestration. Take your pick. It doesn’t matter which method you choose but the government minister who told The Guardian’s Nick Watt that “of course” there would be a deal to be… Continue reading

253 Comments
Alex Salmond Speaks At Scottish Independence March And Rally

Alex Salmond is not a Nazi. He’s not even a Fascist.

27 March 2014 11:50

Every so often you come across an article so bizarre it forces you to re-examine long-held certainties on a subject about which you happen to be tolerably well-informed. This year… Continue reading

179 Comments
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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

61 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
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

80 Comments
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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

79 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
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
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
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
A picture taken 13 December 2007 shows t

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
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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
Statue Of Economist Adam Smith Unveiled At Edinburgh's Royal Mile

The right-wing case for Scottish independence

29 January 2014 12:07

Chuckle not, it exists. Wealthy Nation, a new grouplet formed by the eminent historian Michael Fry, is making the case that Scotland can be an admirably prosperous little country after… Continue reading

38 Comments