BBC won’t be devolved till SNP stops obsessing about it

“I pray God to deliver me from my friends,” remarked Voltaire. “I will defend myself from my enemies.” The Daily Mail columnist Chris Deerin is afraid he might be falling for Nicola Sturgeon — join the queue, mate — but you don’t need to swoon over her political nous and personal charisma to wish the…

Review: Iain Macwhirter rides the wave of a Scottish political Tsunami

Tsunami: Scotland’s Democratic Revolution Iain Macwhirter Ebook, pp. 159 Cargo Sometime in 2013, we lost Iain Macwhirter. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment he slipped away, but I remember feeling it build up in his writing over time. Scotland’s clarion liberal polemicist had spent much of the previous decade tearing into New Labour for its…

We don’t need more Scots in the arts, we need new Scots

How did you mark Wallace Day? Yes, there’s an annual celebration of Elderslie’s favourite son and it took place over the weekend. While you were trudging through the aisles of IKEA or more happily marching at Pride, people with full-body tattoos of Robert Burns sat in Hope over Fear T-shirts watching Braveheart for the 879th…

Jeremy Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. It’s so much worse than that

What do you have to say about Jews not to be invited to Parliament by Jeremy Corbyn? The Labour leadership frontrunner has a singular talent for extending a warm welcome to anti-Semites and extremists. He invited “friends” from Hezbollah and Hamas, both proscribed terrorist organisations. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah says of Jews: “If they all…

Two words Britain should say to her immigrants — thank you

There are stories that just get to you. This morning’s Guardian brings news of a campaign to boost the number of blood donors in Britain. A sunny, upbeat tale, you might think. And in part it is. The campaign in question is the brainchild of the British Poles Initiative. Organisers want newcomers to the UK…

Backing Corbyn is another step on Daily Record’s journey to Yes

The Daily Record was once a giant of Scottish life, at its height read by one in every two Scots. The days of such sales figures are long gone but some newspapers retain a certain status, conferred by journalism or symbolism. The Record qualifies on both counts and even if it is no longer Scotland’s…

Jeremy Corbyn is not the Messiah, not in Scotland anyway

There’s an old Jewish joke – usually attributed to Teddy Kollek z”l – about the parting point for Judaism and Christianity. What would you say to the Messiah if he appeared on Earth tomorrow, the former mayor of Jerusalem was asked. “Is this your first time here?” he quipped. If only supporters – devotees, really…

Kezia Dugdale offers Labour a fresh start but will the voters?

My commiserations to Kezia Dugdale, who has been elected leader of the Scottish Labour Party. It’s something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, so to see it happen to such a nice person is difficult. The Lothian MSP can’t even take comfort in a near-escape; she trounced rival Ken Macintosh by 72%, a remarkable…

Meet the woman who wants the toughest job in British politics

There’s something I don’t get about Kezia Dugdale. She’s young, bright and articulate. She has a law degree and a postgrad in public policy. She could make a career for herself as a solicitor, businesswoman or think-tanker. But she doesn’t want any of that. She wants the toughest, grimmest, least-rewarding job in British politics. She…

Is the rise of Jeremy Corbyn Labour’s ‘Scotland moment’?

After its Highland hammering in May, it makes sense for Labour to listen to Scotland. It may have been attending a little too hard, though, given the course of the leadership election. The surge in support for Jeremy Corbyn is eerily reminiscent of events north of the border, where debates over jobs, education, and the…

An open letter to a Labour Party losing its way

Dear Labour, You don’t know me. I am not part of the Labour family. I have voted for you once, from memory. So you might dismiss this letter out of hand. Keep your nose out of our business. Fair enough. But while I’m not blood, I am a friend. Not an ideological ally as such…