David Cameron has given Alex Salmond an opportunity to play the statesman

9 January 2012 19:45

Shockingly, it is possible some of you did not see my appearance on BBC News this afternoon. Thanks to the wonders of Youtube and the baffling enthusiasm some people have… Continue reading


Cameron’s Caledonian Gamble: Unwise and Unnecessary

9 January 2012 12:13

So. it looks as though David Cameron is following the Spectator’s advice not mine. What a nincompoop! But if the reports are correct then Cameron is playing us for fools.… Continue reading


Cameron’s balancing act over Scotland

9 January 2012 9:38

The Cabinet is meeting about 5 miles away from Downing Street today, at the Olympic Park in Stratford. But its collective mind will be on a patch of land another… Continue reading


Would you bet against Alex Salmond?

2 January 2012 18:37

Alex Salmond has a soft spot for horse racing, and I’ve just seen some odds that could make the First Minister a very rich man: William Hill is offering 9/1 on… Continue reading


Salmond’s Advantage Over Labour

21 December 2011 19:24

A reader asks: What do you think about Johann Lamont winning the Scottish Labour leadership contest? Well, jings, far be it for me to intrude into these matters but it… Continue reading


Is Scotland a Nordic Country?

12 December 2011 19:13

This is a question that meets the classic definition of John Rentoul’s famous-to-them-that-ken series of Questions To Which The Answer Is No. That is, the people asking the question think… Continue reading


How To Lose An Argument: Jim Murphy Edition

6 December 2011 18:18

Meanwhile, in more examples of sloppy Labour arguments here’s a tweet Jim Murphy sent this afternoon: Oh dear. Murphy is usually better than this. I know and everyone else who… Continue reading


1707 And All That

1 December 2011 15:22

In the midst of a futile* call for partisans on either side of Scotland’s great constitutional debate to avoid twisting history for their own ends, Professor Richard Finlay and Dr… Continue reading


Up with the IRA and Down with the Pope of Rome

23 November 2011 14:36

Joan McAlpine’s column in the Scotsman this week is uncharacteristically unpersuasive. Since she decided to defend the SNP’s plans for so-called anti-sectarian legislation she was backing a losing horse from… Continue reading


The SNP hit the jackpot

21 November 2011 13:03

Some political leaders might be a bit hesitant when it comes to approaching lottery winners in the hope of securing some of their dosh for the party cause – but… Continue reading


Why are the SNP Talking Scotland Down?

16 November 2011 15:26

These days "Talking Scotland down" is both the gravest sin imaginable and the standard SNP response to any suggestion there might be even the occasional or minor drawback to independence.… Continue reading


Lessons in Leadership from the Eurocrisis

15 November 2011 14:00

Paul Krugman has a good paragraph on the euro: [T]his incident exemplified something that was going on all along the march to the eurodebacle. Serious discussion of the risks and… Continue reading


Euro crisis knocks Salmond off course

10 November 2011 16:06

A few years ago, SNP strategists coined the slogan ‘independence in Europe’. They don’t champion it too much now, for obvious reasons. To put it bluntly: they are in a… Continue reading


The Union needs a champion

6 November 2011 17:51

The First Minister of Scotland v the Secretary of State for Scotland on the Politics Show today was a non-contest. Michael Moore was hesitant and failed to fill the screen.… Continue reading


The government goes cuckoo

28 October 2011 10:57

The government has, this morning, confirmed The Spectator’s cover story: that it is considering supporting Rebecca Harris’s bill to move Britain onto Central European Time. As we argue in the… Continue reading


Stephen Birrell’s Conviction Shames Scotland

18 October 2011 1:27

Sectarianism, we are often told, is "Scotland’s Shame" though there’s also ample evidence it’s actually "Scotland’s Pleasure". For some at least. The prosecution and conviction of Stephen Birrell for comments… Continue reading


Salmond’s bonnie boat

16 October 2011 19:57

Meanwhile, Alex Salmond’s journey is going depressingly well. The SNP conference starts in Inverness on Thursday and a ComRes poll today suggests 39 per cent are in favour of independence, against 38… Continue reading


The Case of Hope vs Salmond

12 October 2011 12:35

I’m not convinced the Scottish parliament’s 2009 bill permitting individuals with pleural plaques to sue for asbestos-related damages was a good law. Nor ca one be wholly comfortable with retrospective… Continue reading


Does Alex Salmond Fear Ruth Davidson?

11 October 2011 12:28

The ballots for the Scottish Conservative and Unionist party’s leadership election have been posted to members and few people, I think, have any real idea as to what the result… Continue reading


A Unionism That Does Not Deserve to Prevail

29 September 2011 13:52

Regarding Mr Miliband’s hapless interview with BBC Scotland David, like James Kirkup, expresses what is the conventional view in London: But, as James Kirkup notes, the Scottish Labour Party is… Continue reading


Miliband’s revealing Scottish gaffe

29 September 2011 12:43

Ed Miliband can’t name the candidates for leader of the Scottish Labour Party. Miliband’s discomfort during his excruciating BBC interview is fairly amusing. But, as James Kirkup notes, the Scottish… Continue reading


A Labour attitude to Scotland

25 September 2011 19:31

As a coda to James’ post on Labour’s attitude to Scotland and the Union, it’s worth relating this little snippet from Ivan Lewis MP at a fringe event earlier this… Continue reading


SNP stretch lead over woeful opposition

11 September 2011 17:41

How long will Alex Salmond’s honeymoon with the voters of Scotland continue? Given that his next mission is to hold and win an independence referendum, much depends on his popularity… Continue reading


All Hail the Free Unionists, Saviours of Brave New Scotland!

7 September 2011 11:05

Like most sensible folk I have a grand opinion of Alan Cochrane and, this being the case, alert readers will know that this is by way of a throat-clearing before… Continue reading


The Way of All Tory Flesh

6 September 2011 11:07

There are three things to be said about Murdo Fraser’s willingness to put his own party out of its misery: this is not a new idea, it is not enough,… Continue reading