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british politics

20th Commonwealth Games - Opening Ceremony

Who cares whether English commentators like or respect Scotland?

29 July 2014 15:18

Because the Commonwealth Games are a thing and because newspapers need to fill their pages every day it is natural, even unavoidable, that they have in recent days been stuffed… Continue reading

30 Comments
CGAMES-2014-BOWLS-VENUE

The political implications of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow

23 July 2014 13:01

Several people have asked me to write something about the politics and potential implications of the Commonwealth Games which open tonight in Glasgow. As is sometimes the case, I am… Continue reading

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

A game of loyalties: the Scottish independence debate is about belonging, not policy

23 July 2014 12:07

It’s less than two months until the referendum on Scottish independence. Two months to decide the future of two (or, if you prefer, four) countries. No pressure and it’s not… Continue reading

77 Comments
BRITAIN-US-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-CRISIS-DIPLOMACY

Britain has very little to fear from the ECHR. So why are so many Tories so afraid of it?

22 July 2014 15:36

On matters domestic (England and Wales division) I was sad to see Dominic Grieve turfed-out of the cabinet in last week’s reshuffle. Today he pops up in the Times to remind us… Continue reading

151 Comments
Ken Clarke

Farewell Ken Clarke, last of the Tory Big Beasts

14 July 2014 19:24

But for Europe, eh? It is a mark of how thoroughly the European issue has poisoned Tory waters that many party activists – and MPs – will be celebrating the… Continue reading

71 Comments
NHS

The problem with the NHS? The soft bigotry of low expectations.

9 July 2014 11:57

In many ways I’ve endured enjoyed a very fortunate life. Not least because, perhaps unusually, I’ve had almost no dealings with the National Health Service. I mean, apart from a… Continue reading

67 Comments
Ed Miliband election campaign

Labour’s true believers ask Ed Miliband to repeat past Tory mistakes.

8 July 2014 10:49

The first, and perhaps most important, thing to say about the 2015 general election is that it is Labour’s to lose. The second thing to say is that Ed Miliband… Continue reading

47 Comments
The Liberal Democrats Hold Their Annual Party Conference

Proof that the Liberal Democrats are a party of ninnies

30 June 2014 16:44

I know that it is unfashionable to feel sorry for Liberal Democrat MPs. Nevertheless there are times when, contemplating their unhappy lot,  it seems appropriate to feel the odd pang… Continue reading

9 Comments
Crisis Talks Continue At The BBC Following The Resignation Of Director General George Entwistle Over The Newsnight Scandal

Yes, of course the BBC is biased against Scottish Nationalists

30 June 2014 14:35

There are many reasons for this but let’s begin with the first and simplest: it is the British Broadcasting Corporation. Who could have imagined that an organisation that, rightly or not, sees… Continue reading

99 Comments
BELGIUM-EU-SUMMIT

Confronting the Tories’ original sin: they are still seen as the party of the rich.

30 June 2014 13:13

Dominic Cummings is at it again. Michael Gove’s former advisor has become a reliably entertaining guide to the Whitehall labyrinth. It is plain, too, that Cummings likes to think of… Continue reading

13 Comments
The First Editions Of The Sun On Sunday Hit The Newstands

The War on Rupert Murdoch is the Real Story of the Hacking Saga.

27 June 2014 0:21

The hacking scandal was about many things but the way in which it has played-out and, crucially, been reported reminds us that it has chiefly been about power. Not just… Continue reading

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

Scaremongering and smearing: just another day in the Scottish referendum campaign.

17 June 2014 19:50

I was surprised to discover this morning that Gordon Brown last night suggested the Scottish education system should be abolished and replaced by a new pan-UK curriculum and examination system.… Continue reading

127 Comments
Spending Review - Government Ministry Buildings

David Cameron is a Tory, not a radical. Which is both a strength and a problem.

16 June 2014 13:07

There is much to enjoy in Dominic Cummings’ glorious attack on the ghastliness of Britain’s political system. It is a cri-de-coeur from a man who, whatever else may be said… Continue reading

64 Comments

The shocking, secret truth about Scotland’s independence debate: it is civilised.

12 June 2014 15:42

BREAKING: The night is dark and full of nutters. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been writing on the internet for nearly a decade now that this neither astonishes nor appals me.… Continue reading

126 Comments
Glasgow Prepares For The Independence Vote

Who will fill a coward’s grave? 100 Days to decide Scotland’s future

10 June 2014 14:24

In the new Scotland people may be able to count. Until then we will endure nonsense like yesterday’s hoopla claiming there were 100 days until the referendum when there were,… Continue reading

174 Comments
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The Trojan Horse affair illuminates a vital difference between the Tories and Labour.

10 June 2014 10:01

The reaction to the Trojan Horse scandal has, in my view, been as interesting – and telling – as anything in the scandal itself. It is not, of course, surprising… Continue reading

57 Comments
A plaque honouring the first Indian rest

Edible food: a triumph of immigration and globalisation

3 June 2014 12:43

As usual I enjoyed Hugo Rifkind’s column in the Times today. His central point that fights, whether on Europe or Scotland or whatever, can’t be ducked forever and that complacency is fatal… Continue reading

126 Comments
Scotland Prepares For The Independence Vote

Are we witnessing the strange rebirth of Conservative Scotland?

2 June 2014 14:33

Perhaps. Because when you cross the Rubicon you obliterate a line in the sand. Or something like that, anyway. Ruth Davidson was elected leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist… Continue reading

165 Comments

Oh Scotland! You’ve really let yourself down. You should be ashamed.

30 May 2014 13:41

Lord, grant me strength. And serenity. Further evidence emerges that supporters of Scottish independence are losing their minds. Yesterday Iain Macwhirter was in full Can we no do anything right? mode; today… Continue reading

54 Comments
Glasgow's finest: Rab C Nesbitt

What’s the matter with Scotland? It’s full of Scottish people.

29 May 2014 10:54

Here’s the thing many people misunderstand about Scotland’s referendum on independence: it isn’t really very much to do with England. When someone starts chuntering on about Braveheart and Bannockburn you know you’re… Continue reading

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

Scottish Independence: The Cost of Living Like This

28 May 2014 13:40

Yippee! The number-crunching boffins are at war again. The UK and Scottish governments have today released rival forecasts for life in an independent Scotland. It will not surprise you that… Continue reading

176 Comments
The Conservative Party Annual Conference

Michael Gove hasn’t banned Steinbeck – but perhaps he should have.

27 May 2014 17:06

I’ve never quite understood why so many people hate Michael Gove. I mean, really hate him. To my mind his heart is so obviously in the right place that I’m… Continue reading

119 Comments
(Photo: AFP PHOTO/BEN STANSALL)

Captain Britannia: Nigel Farage is the Union’s Useful Secret Weapon

27 May 2014 11:53

Your enemy’s enemy is not necessarily your friend. That is something forgotten too easily. Nevertheless, though he may not be your friend he may, for a time at least, be… Continue reading

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

The Bearable Lightness of Being A British Scottish Nationalist

21 May 2014 13:54

Backstory: I wrote a post suggesting that Scottish Nationalists’ rhetoric might these days usefully be compared to Doublethink. I suppose there were many who could have been chosen to serve… Continue reading

27 Comments
The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Thirteen

Scotching a myth: Scotland is not as left-wing as you think it is

21 May 2014 11:58

Alex Salmond and David Cameron have more in common than a shared appreciation for Andy Murray’s tennis. Not, of course, that you would ever persuade either of them to admit… Continue reading

59 Comments