Some St Andrew’s Day thoughts on Scotland and Scottishness

"St Andy's Day." The tabloids and the First Minister have rechristened the national feast day in honour of Andy Murray. The tennis powerhouse clinched the Davis Cup for Great Britain at Flanders Expo on Sunday. It marks the first title win for the national team since 1936 and the 28-year-old was understandably elated, posing for … Continue reading Some St Andrew’s Day thoughts on Scotland and Scottishness

George Osborne is all clichés and crossed fingers

Did you force the Chancellor to U-turn on cuts to tax credits? If not, you evidently didn't try hard enough. Among those who have claimed credit so far are Corbynites, the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, the Greens and Plaid Cymru. Don't buy the spin. The credit goes to the House of Lords, Conservative backbenchers, the … Continue reading George Osborne is all clichés and crossed fingers

Forget Trident. Syria is the security test for the SNP

The leader of the opposition has been making life difficult for the government again. After providing details of the strategic defence and security review, the Prime Minister was grilled on cuts to manpower, hardware and bases and lambasted for his 2010 decision to scrap the entire Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft fleet at a cost of … Continue reading Forget Trident. Syria is the security test for the SNP

The National supports independence for everything except itself

The National loves Scotland. In fact, it loves Scotland so much it spells its own name with a map of the country in place of the letter “i”. A patriotic touch, to be sure, but it does give the unfortunate impression that the paper is called the Nat Onal. The pro-independence daily marks its first … Continue reading The National supports independence for everything except itself

What next for Politician of the Year Nicola Sturgeon?

Nicola Sturgeon is one year into her premiership and six months away from her first election. In the hyperactive world of Scottish politics, it’s easy to forget that the First Minister has no mandate from the country. Unlike Gordon Brown, this is not because she is too frit to face them; the only thing she … Continue reading What next for Politician of the Year Nicola Sturgeon?

The economic case for independence is dead? Good riddance.

Independence is dead. Long live independence. The economic case for a Scottish breakaway from the UK has been mortally wounded - by no less a figure than Alex Salmond's former head of policy. "The dream shall never die," Mr Salmond assured us but his own right-hand man has beaten it to death with a shovel … Continue reading The economic case for independence is dead? Good riddance.

How to be a Western liberal in an age of terror

Nous sommes tous les Parisiens. Je t’aime Paris. #IStandWithFrance. Millennials are coming to terms as only we can with an attack on our own. The shootings and bombings that ripped through the French capital on Friday night targeted trendy restaurants and music venues. We were Charlie in January but our hearts weren’t really in it. … Continue reading How to be a Western liberal in an age of terror