Shock: the SNP are Right to Complain About the Debates

25 April 2010 15:17

No-one should be surprised that the SNP are going to court to try and change the terms and conditions of this week’s final "Leaders’ Debate". What may be more surprising… Continue reading


Will Cleggcapping Work?

22 April 2010 17:16

Well, yes, it probably will have some effect. But as Jonathan Freedland argues Clegg may survive the press’s assault with his dignity and credibility more or less intact. Indeed, the… Continue reading


The Land That Time Forgot

19 April 2010 12:34

That would be Scotland, of course. Dear old Scotia, meek and mild and quiet as a well-nursed child. There was another YouGov poll released at the weekend and this Scotland… Continue reading


Small Drama at Holyrood; Not Many Bothered

3 February 2010 23:06

A reader asks for a comment on the Scottish Budget "debate" at Holyrood. Well, I’m always sometimes happy to oblige: It passed. OK: the Tories and the Greens supported the… Continue reading


Rompuy wants the EU to slither onto the world stage

19 January 2010 13:05

Well hello there, Rompuy. We haven’t heard much from the new EU president so far – he was upstaged by Barroso at the Copenhagen conference, showing that the EU stage… Continue reading


Today Wales! Tomorrow Scotland?

18 January 2010 14:00

Iain Dale says he has absolutely no idea why the Scottish Tories have failed to make as much headway as their Welsh counterparts. A new opinion poll puts the Conservatives… Continue reading


Christmas Scandal: Bute House Edition

8 December 2009 18:48

Why do so many people hate politics? Partly because politicians insist upon making everything a matter of wearying, partisan, sillyness. Take this painting for instance. Hardly a masterpiece, not least… Continue reading


The odds on independence

30 November 2009 18:35

Whenever a London bookmaker made odds on Scottish politics, my former colleagues at The Scotsman used to make easy money*. The world of Holyrood, where yours truly served a one… Continue reading


An Open Letter to Alex Salmond

30 November 2009 0:14

Dear Alex, Happy St Andrew’s Day! Today you publish your mildly-awaited plans for a referendum on Scottish Independence. Alas, unless the Liberal Democrats can be persuaded to endorse the bill,… Continue reading


Caledonian Blues

27 November 2009 15:01

Ochone, ochone! The plight of the Scottish Tories has been receiving attention again this week. As Pete pointed out, the latest Tartan poll puts the Tories at just 18% north… Continue reading


The SNP flees for the hills

17 November 2009 13:05

Last week, I argued that the Glasgow North East by-election would force the SNP to alter its tactics. The Scottish press are reporting that Salmond will scrap his plans for… Continue reading


The tactics of political insurgency

13 November 2009 17:46

That Labour held one of its safest seats is newsworthy either indicates how desperate the party’s predicament is or that it is a very slow news day. Anything other than… Continue reading


Lessons from Glasgow North-East

13 November 2009 1:06

The result hasn’t been officially announced yet but it’s clear that Labour have won a handsome victory in the Glasgow North-East by-election. That’s no surprise. I don’t think the SNP… Continue reading


Referendum Questions: The 1707 Edition

5 November 2009 0:42

Now that the Conservatives have promised a referendum on any future transfers of power to Brussels and have, in general, become fans of referenda perhaps the party leadership can address… Continue reading


The State We’re In

3 November 2009 11:42

Deficits aren’t necessarily the end of the world but they’re not your best chum either. This chart, pinched from Burning Our Money, is a handy reminder of where we are… Continue reading


Referendum Delayed: 2012 to be the new 2010?

2 November 2009 13:53

So, it seems that dreams of a referendum next year have been dashed. 2010, once the Year of the Referendum, will now be plebiscite-free. No referendum on the Lisbon Treaty… Continue reading


Dancing to a Scottish Jig? Aye, Right.

18 October 2009 15:40

Och, David, dinna fash yersel’. The chances of Alex Salmond playing a tune for anyone to dance to next year are a good deal slimmer than the First Minister himself.… Continue reading


Scotland the Brave

18 October 2009 11:20

Everyone knows that Martin Luther King had a dream. It featured eloquent, high-minded ambitions about little white girls and little black girls playing together in harmony. Alex Salmond has dreams… Continue reading


Lockerbie & the Scotland Act

21 September 2009 14:17

Could government ministers in London have stepped-in to prevent the release of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi? A report in Scotland on Sunday yesterday says yes they could: Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy… Continue reading


Public Spending Cuts: The Theory vs The Reality

18 September 2009 14:15

Everyone agrees that cuts in public spending are necessary. Everyone also agrees that we could do with a better and more candid class of politician. And everyone should agree that… Continue reading


Who really freed Megrahi?

4 September 2009 10:48

Who really freed the Lockerbie bomber? The question cannot be answered by deliberately looking in the wrong place. And for the fortnight since Kenny MacAskill, Scotland’s Justice Secretary, announced Mr… Continue reading


Lockerbie: Why Did the SNP Do It?

3 September 2009 15:11

Party discipline can be a troublesome thing. Especially when insisting upon it actually works against you. Yesterday’s votes in the Scottish parliament criticising Kenny MacAskill and the decision to release… Continue reading


Why did the SNP do it?

2 September 2009 16:54

Looking through correspondence published yesterday, it is clear that Alex Salmond and Kenny MacAskill understood immediately that they would be “left to deal with the consequences” of releasing a convicted… Continue reading


What If Megrahi Didn’t Have Cancer?

2 September 2009 14:28

There’s still plenty, I’m afraid, that needs to be said about the decision to send the Lockerie bomber back to Libya. But, since many people think that there was a… Continue reading


The Lockerbie papers

2 September 2009 9:03

Bill Rammell’s admission that the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary told the Libyans that they ‘did not want al-Megrahi to pass away in prison’ is the bombshell the government… Continue reading