Why can’t Scottish parents choose to send their child to an academy?

George Osborne is not an easy man to love. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has the great misfortune not only to be rich but to look it too. “The trouble with Michael,” Thatcher-era minister Michael Jopling once stung Lord Heseltine, “is that he had to buy all his furniture.” Osborne does not have the appearance […]

The Budget Drinking Game. Or, ‘How to get through George Osborne’s speech’

As muggers go, Chancellors of the Exchequer are a conscientious bunch. Your average bag-grabber just lunges at you in the street, snatches away your valuables and makes off, possibly shoving you to the ground in the process. No style, no class. Not Her Majesty’s Second Lord of the Treasury. He politely lists in advance what […]

What five hours in A&E taught me about politics and life

I have nothing for you on the SNP conference. I missed Nicola Sturgeon’s speech entirely. I heard John Swinney’s rallying of the troops first thing on Saturday then Mhairi Black planting a steel toecap in the gonads of Iain Duncan Smith’s pension reforms. Soon after, I took ill and ten minutes later found myself in […]

Quiz: Are you Dundonian enough to be in a BBC Question Time audience?

So Question Time was in Dundee on Thursday night. The popular BBC One current affairs programme tours the country every week and allows members of the public to put questions to politicians and commentators. The panel included Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, SNP deputy first minister John Swinney, Labour MSP Jenny Marra and Scottish Lib […]

The SNP’s case for independence is starting to look like a con trick

The SNP’s independence White Paper was not a document of half measures. Scotland’s Future, as it was grandly titled, was a comprehensive blueprint for a separate Scotland. It covered everything from tax and welfare to the health service and immigration. There was even a section titled: “Regulation of Outer Space Activity in an Independent Scotland”. […]