A photo taken on April 2, 2012, shows Fr

Scottish independence: it’s still (almost) all about oil.

21 May 2013 15:57

The Scottish government published a paper on the national economy today that, according to Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, makes the case for independence. You can read the pamphlet here… Continue reading


Will Nigel Farage and UKIP help ditch Alex Salmond?

21 May 2013 10:05

Yesterday’s Survation poll reported that UKIP (22%) are, for the moment, just two points behind the Tories (24%) and therefore and given the margin of error in these things possibly… Continue reading

The Labour Party Hold Their Annual Party Conference - Day 4

Who is allowed to speak for, and to, Scotland?

7 May 2013 13:39

I shall be on hiatus for the next week as I’m getting married on Saturday and I have an inkling that this is no time to be concerned that people… Continue reading

Lucky Escape

Margaret Thatcher and Scotland: A Story of Mutual Incomprehension

8 April 2013 19:48

There is a poignant passage in Margaret Thatcher’s memoirs during which she contemplates her failure in Scotland. She seemed puzzled by this, noting that, in her view, many of her… Continue reading

HMS Astute sails up Gareloch on the Firth of Cylde to her base at Faslane. (Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images)

Nuclear weapons, Scotland and the future of the United Kingdom

5 April 2013 10:47

David Cameron – who, in case you’d forgotten, leads the Conservative and Unionist Party – made a rare visit to Scotland yesterday. He spoke about defence. His message was clear:… Continue reading

2012 Olympic Games - Opening Ceremony

David Cameron’s Legacy? Preserving the Union or presiding over the Break-Up of Britain

4 April 2013 15:51

Politics is at least partially a matter of perspective. The same object can look very different depending upon the angle from which it is viewed. Which brings me to Brother… Continue reading


Independent Scotland: neoliberal nirvana or Scandinavian paradise?

2 April 2013 13:37

So, an independent Scotland. Neoliberal nirvana or Scandinavian paradise? True, these are not the only choices available but as a useful shorthand for the size of the state and its… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron And Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond Meet To Set Out Independence Referendum Deal

Referendum Spin: Beware the Tory Bogeymen!

21 March 2013 18:50

So we have our date with destiny. Scotland will march to the polls nine days after the 501st anniversary of the Battle of Flodden. September, 18th 2014. There are fewer… Continue reading

Celtic v Rangers

The Boys of the Green Brigade

21 March 2013 14:27

Och, now’s the hour and now’s the day for the Historic Announcement of the Historic Date for Scotland’s Historic Referendum on Independence. It’s only taken the SNP the best part… Continue reading

Pipe Major Scott Taylor, 34, from Glasgo

Nemo me impune lacessit: defending an independent Scotland

14 March 2013 15:38

Sometimes I wish Conservative cabinet ministers would couch their arguments in favour of the Union in terms of principle, not process or drab accountancy. Philip Hammond, the unimpressive Secretary of… Continue reading

Fishermen Sort Catch At Peterhead Harbour

Scotland's position in europe is weaker than the SNP would have you believe

26 February 2013 20:13

Nicola Sturgeon, arguably the SNP’s most effective asset at present, went to Brussels today to deliver a speech about Scotland’s future relationship with the EU. Most of it was as… Continue reading

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond.a

Brave, the Oscars and the Scottish Cringe.

25 February 2013 13:47

Hurrah for Brave, the little movie that could! And did! All Scotland salutes her Oscar for Best Animated Feature. Another triumph for the plucky underdogs at Disney-Pixar. That, at any rate,… Continue reading


Scottish Independence: Can't We do Better Than This Dismal Campaign?

20 February 2013 12:05

Mario Cuomo, former governor of New York state (and father of the present governor) is perhaps these days most famous for his quip that politicians campaign in poetry but govern… Continue reading

The Scottish Parliament building is pict

Borgen and Scotland: A Love Affair Founded on Self-Congratulation

6 February 2013 17:37

Borgen – the title refers to the Danish equivalent of Holyrood or Westminster – has been terrifically popular amongst those people interested in sub-titled political dramas from Denmark. I fancy… Continue reading


Is the press biased against the SNP? Probably. But we are all nationalists now. - Spectator Blogs

31 January 2013 13:03

So we have a question and it is a simple one. Should Scotland be an independent country? There, that wasn’t so difficult was it? It is, after all, the nub of the… Continue reading

Morrissey In Concert

Morrissey and Johnny Marr Explain Scottish Independence... - Spectator Blogs

29 January 2013 1:11

There are only 600 or so days to go until Scotland has its referendum on independence. The excitement is almost palpable. Fortunately The Smiths back catalogue is all you need… Continue reading

Prime Minister David Cameron Meets Newly Appointed Leader Of The Conservatives In Scotland Ruth Davidson

Scottish Tories: It's Time To Man Up - Spectator Blogs

26 January 2013 1:17

Ruth Davidson became leader of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party in large part because she was the candidate favoured by the party establishment. Where Murdo Fraser suggested – rather… Continue reading

A picture taken 13 December 2007 shows t

No Country for Green Men - Spectator Blogs

16 January 2013 10:50

This week’s Think Scotland column takes a gander, just for once, at the Scottish Green party. Patrick Harvie’s party is in favour of Scottish independence for reasons that, frankly, seem… Continue reading

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond Speaks At The SNP Annual Conference

2013: Can the SNP move beyond preaching to the already converted? - Spectator Blogs

9 January 2013 10:31

Alex Salmond is back in Bute House, refreshed and chippered by a much-needed holiday. If 2012 was a year in which the Referendum Guns were first deployed it was still,… Continue reading

President Of European Commission Receives Honorary Degree

Scottish Independence and Europe: Who does this Barroso guy think he is? - Spectator Blogs

11 December 2012 12:10

Today’s Think Scotland column takes a gander at the rumpus over an independent Scotland’s accession to the EU. Until recently the SNP promised that said accession would be automatic. Now… Continue reading

Scottish National Party Hold Their Annual Conference

Nicola Sturgeon is ready for her close-up - Spectator Blogs

4 December 2012 12:39

In the rabid hamster-eating-hamster world of Scottish politics Nicola Sturgeon is a rarity: a politician of obvious competence who’s respected by her peers regardless of their own political allegiances. There… Continue reading

British European deputies and Euroscepti

Britain, Scotland, Norway and Europe: lands of magical Sovereignty-Unicorns - Spectator Blogs

12 November 2012 12:38

Even the cheapest, Poundland crystal ball will tell even a blind observer that Europe is pretty soon going to be a pretty hefty problem for almost all of Britain’s political… Continue reading

Alex Salmond is now Scotland's longest-serving First Minister. Picture: Getty

Alex Salmond, Scotland’s longest serving First Minister

7 November 2012 13:26

So Alex Salmond has achieved the feat of becoming Scotland’s longest serving First Minister. This is a notable achievement. After all, he has avoided the fate of one of his predecessors… Continue reading


Trident: political football, folly, or matter of principle? - Spectator Blogs

29 October 2012 12:58

Philip Hammond is one of those ministers who seems to be held in greater esteem by those inside the Westminster hamlet than those of us who live beyond its boundaries.… Continue reading

Belfast Titanic Centenary

Will David Cameron grant Northern Ireland control of corporation tax? - Spectator Blogs

29 October 2012 8:53

Monday morning in dreich late October. What more appropriate moment to ponder the questions of corporation tax and Northern Ireland? The question of whether the Northern Ireland Assembly should control… Continue reading