Alex Salmond Makes His Keynote Speech At The SNP Autumn Conference

Scottish independence: the Union is endangered by premature and misguided complacency

15 November 2013 16:48

Somehow I managed to miss Iain Martin’s praise for the manner in which David Cameron has “handled” the referendum on Scottish independence. Happily, John Rentoul has prompted me to take… Continue reading

Alex Salmond Makes His Keynote Speech At The SNP Autumn Conference

One Great Thing gets embarrassing for the Yes campaign in Scotland

15 November 2013 16:47

Big Country’s song ‘One Great Thing’ is an anthem for the Scottish Yes campaign: it was soaring in the background during an item recorded at a ‘Yes’ rally on the… Continue reading

New Naval Ship Launch In Glasgow

I see no ships (on the Clyde)

6 November 2013 10:32

The sorry truth of the matter is that Glasgow has been in decline for a century. 1913 was the city’s greatest year. Then it produced a third of the railway… Continue reading

Home Secretary Theresa May Speaks At The College of Policing Conference

Theresa May’s grubby little warning: an independent Scotland will be out in the cold

29 October 2013 18:10

It is a good thing that government ministers come to Scotland sometimes. It is a bad thing that they insist on opening their mouths when they do. Earlier this year… Continue reading

Alex Salmond Speaks At Scottish Independence March And Rally

Life after Scottish Independence: lower taxes, lower spending, no free lunches

29 October 2013 8:40

Every so often a report is published that cheers you up. Not because it contains any particularly good news but simply – that is to say, selfishly – because it… Continue reading

Closure Of The Grangemouth Petrochemical Plant Announced

PMQs silence on Grangemouth benefits SNP

23 October 2013 13:07

Ed Davey is currently answering an urgent question in the Commons on the Grangemouth petrochemical plant. He urged Ineos and Unite to return to talks, describing the failure of the… Continue reading

Blackpool's Shale Gas Drilling Begins

Why won’t the SNP embrace the shale gas revolution?

11 October 2013 10:08

One of the odder elements of the current energy debate at present is that the political party that spends the most time talking about energy – that’s the SNP by… Continue reading

Some of the ministers who are in or out in today's reshuffle.

Small Reshuffle in Britain; Not Many Dead

7 October 2013 14:56

First things first: a reshuffle in which only one cabinet minister is sacked redeployed is a reshuffle in name only. It means the action – if you can call it… Continue reading

Prince Charles Attends Drumhead Service in Edinburgh

David Cameron ducks a debate with Alex Salmond. This makes sense but is still depressing.

27 September 2013 15:07

A novice poker player quickly learns – or had better quickly learn – that strength often connotes weakness and weakness is a reliable indicator of strength. But as the stakes… Continue reading

England And Scotland Fans Arrive To Renew The Oldest Rivalry In Football

A Cheap Parcel of Rogues

16 September 2013 15:28

What price a Scotsman’s vote? About £500 apparently. Beneath a headline claiming ‘New poll gives Yes campaign hope’ The Scotsman reports that support for independence, as measured by ICM, rises to… Continue reading

Selkirk's annual remembrance of the Battle of Flodden. Image: Getty

Alex Salmond’s selective history lesson

9 September 2013 14:22

The First Minister of Scotland is masterful at mixing anti-English rhetoric, rose-tinted recollections of Scottish history and no gloves politicking. When he does it right, it can be devastating. History… Continue reading

The Championships - Wimbledon 2013: Day Thirteen

A Game of Numbers: Pollsters Go To War in Scotland

3 September 2013 12:19

On Sunday an opinion poll was just a poll. Nothing to be too excited by. Unreliable too. The real poll – the one that counts – is still a year… Continue reading

Credit Crisis Threatens Banking Jobs

The Closing of the Nationalist Mind

29 August 2013 17:52

A paper with the title Scottish Independence: Issues and Questions; Regulation, Supervision, Lender of Last Resort and Crisis Management is not one liable to set pulses racing on the streets of… Continue reading

Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

Two nations, two cultures? Britain is divided by the Trent, not the Tweed.

19 August 2013 13:26

Of the many certainties those Scots in favour of independence hold to be self-evident two in particular stand out. First that Scotland and England are fundamentally different places whose political… Continue reading

Members Of Scottish Parliament In Temporary Debating Chamber

David McLetchie’s decency served the Tories well but they need bolder leadership now.

14 August 2013 14:51

David McLetchie, who died this week aged only 61, was a politician who, in style and manner, rebuked those cynics who presume – lazily – that politicians go into politics… Continue reading


Nate Silver on Scottish independence: Alex Salmond has “no chance”

13 August 2013 11:07

Nate Silver, in Edinburgh to punt his new book, appears to have annoyed some Scottish nationalists today. The “polling guru” (according to all newspapers everywhere) has told the Scotsman that he thinks… Continue reading

Alex Salmond's nationalists are afraid of people who think for themselves.

Independence would not change single ideology Scotland

12 August 2013 16:12

There is probably no other country in the democratic West where the state oversees economic activity and regulates private life as thoroughly as in Scotland. So it has come as… Continue reading


Denial is a River in Scotland

27 June 2013 13:25

Aye, the old ones are the best. You might think that George Osborne’s decision to  leave the Scottish block grant more-or-less untouched in yesterday’s spending review would be a cause… Continue reading

Scotland's First Minister Launches His Economic Paper For Independence

Prime Time for Nationalists: STV screens a 60 minute advert for the SNP

5 June 2013 13:04

Until now, television coverage of Scotland’s independence referendum has largely been confined to news bulletins and specialist, late night, political programmes unwatched by most of the general public. In that… Continue reading

Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

Free Caledonia: a land of opportunity (and corporate welfare) for Big Business?

28 May 2013 11:54

It is not unusual to hear dark warnings of what might happen if Scotland votes for independence. Big Business is flighty. It is rather more unusual to hear leading business… Continue reading

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