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Scottish independence

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As the Yes side rises in the polls, Scotland prepares for a Neverendum

23 April 2014 13:37

I suspect I might be one of the Scottish journalists Iain Martin considers keen to make a melodrama from the independence referendum. Ten weeks ago I warned in this magazine that… Continue reading

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Will Philip Hammond challenge the SNP’s conceits?

15 April 2014 8:51

First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas has said, in the Telegraph, that the sum of the Royal Navy’s parts is not greater than its whole. Scottish independence, he says,… Continue reading

123 Comments
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

228 Comments
Is William Shakespeare the key to saving the union? Photo: Getty Images.

Podcast: Can William Shakespeare save the union, plus Maria Miller’s resignation

10 April 2014 9:39

Did William Shakespeare invent Britain and can he save it? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Fraser Nelson debates this week’s Spectator cover feature with the SNP’s Westminster leader… Continue reading

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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
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The other awkward May elections and why they matter

3 April 2014 16:06

After all the excitement of Nick vs Nigel and the endless mutterings in the Tory party about uprisings following the European elections, you might be forgiven for thinking that the… Continue reading

51 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
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

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Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond (

Osborne and Alexander deny Scotland could keep the pound

29 March 2014 9:48

After Nick Watt’s stunning scoop this morning on an unnamed minister saying that an independent Scotland could keep the pound after all, George Osborne and Danny Alexander have released this… Continue reading

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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

64 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
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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
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
Gordon Brown – risking the union? Image: Getty

A ‘no’ to Scottish independence won’t save the Union

10 March 2014 14:40

The longer the Scottish referendum campaign goes on, the more I fear for the long-term future of the Union. I suspect that the pro-Union campaign will win this September, but… Continue reading

381 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
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

186 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

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Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond (

Standard Life intervention in independence debate suggests business nerves about chance Scotland could vote ‘yes’

27 February 2014 10:32

The Yes campaign’s response so far to the story that Standard Life would consider transferring some of its operations to England from Scotland in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote… Continue reading

74 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
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David Cameron’s ‘unremittingly positive’ case for the Union

24 February 2014 21:03

David Cameron says he wants the case that he makes for the Union and against Scottish independence to be ‘unremittingly positive’. Is it? In an interview with BBC News, the… Continue reading

56 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
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Salmond attacks credibility of ‘No’ campaign threats

24 February 2014 9:01

There’s not much the Cabinet can do about accusations by the SNP that today’s visit to Aberdeen is a typical Westminster attempt to bully Scots by flying up to make… Continue reading

246 Comments
Image: Getty

Is there a difference between voting to get out of the UK and voting to get out of the EU?

20 February 2014 12:15

Those of us who want a referendum on the European Union need to be cautious in our approach to the Scottish one. What is sauce for Alex Salmond’s goose may… Continue reading

68 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