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

The SNP yesterday admitted that it had not yet sought legal advice on the position of an independent Scotland in the European Union. Picture: Getty

Salmond’s darkest day could be yet to come

24 October 2012 14:56

For years Scotland has been waiting to see when his luck would run out – well, now it has. Alex Salmond: gambler, tipster, political animal and First Minister now has another… Continue reading

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. The SNP today suffered two major setbacks. Picture: Getty

Alex Salmond branded ‘liar’ over legal advice row as two MSPs resign

23 October 2012 17:08

It  has been a disastrous day for the Scottish National Party. Its majority at Holyrood has been cut to just one this morning after two MSPs – Jean Urquhart and… Continue reading

Alex Salmond speaks at the SNP annual conference. Picture: Getty

The SNP’s dismal conference

21 October 2012 20:32

The Scottish National Party conference in Perth ought to have been a festival of ideas, showcasing solutions that only be applied by independence. Instead it has reminded everyone that the… Continue reading

Alex Salmond

Sorry, Alex, but Scots are going off the idea of independence

18 October 2012 17:40

With two years to go, Alex Salmond’s campaign for a ‘Yes’ vote in the Scottish independence referendum is facing a big challenge to turn around public opinion. Ipsos MORI have… Continue reading

About the most Boris-like photograph of Alex Salmond as Getty Images appear to have in their files.

Boris Johnson and Alex Salmond: Unlikely political twins? - Spectator Blogs

15 October 2012 17:35

Here’s David Torrance with the kind of acute observation I wish I’d thought of first. There is, he writes, a comparison to be drawn between Alex Salmond and Boris Johnson:… Continue reading

David Cameron needs a decisive win in the Scottish independence referendum. Photo: Gordon Terris/The Herald

Scottish independence referendum: the Better Together campaign needs a decisive win

15 October 2012 14:09

There’s a quiet confidence in Unionist circles that Alex Salmond will be defeated in the Scottish independence referendum. But Unionists know that Salmond needs to be defeated decisively. If the… Continue reading