Gerald Kaufman: Labour hero, Jewish villain

Gerald Kaufman, who has died aged 86, was instrumental in saving the Labour Party, back when the Labour Party was something that could still be saved.  It was Kaufman who pithily pegged the 1983 manifesto as ‘the longest suicide note in history’. He knew the phrase would hang around the far-left and dog any attempt […]

The death of Jo Cox and why kindness must triumph over rancour and anger

Sixty-five million people went into the EU referendum but one of us didn’t come home again.  The murder of Jo Cox should have been the defining moment of 2016 but in a year of infamies, one seemed to blend obscenely into another.  When Ian Gow was murdered by the IRA, a cold dread hung over […]

Enter the janitor – merrily mixing up MSPs and the SNP

He could have been the janitor, or a weary geography teacher begging the lower fifth to set his car the right way up again. But the shambling figure who made his way to the podium was the leader of the Labour Party. At least for now. Not because he’s likely to be opposed as Labour […]

Trump has done what journalists should have done: boycotted the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

The most dangerous place in Washington DC, the old joke goes, is between a politician and a television camera. It’s a wonder there are any such places left, so intimate have the third and fourth estates become. Periodically, American journalism gets itself into a funk over its proximity to power and the consequences for integrity […]

Sturgeon dodged a banana skin flung down by NatBot 58

When the presiding officer called on John Mason, two dozen notebooks flipped open in the press gallery. The Nationalist MSP is an odd wee polecat — you sometimes wonder if he joined the SNP for a bet — but he makes cracking copy. Like when he wanted creationism taught in schools or the time he […]

Flip-flops, U-turns and proof SNP can’t be trusted on taxation

They say one man alone can’t change things. Tell that to Alex Salmond: He just upended the tax policy of a government which he (in theory) no longer leads. Over the weekend Mr Salmond broke ranks and joined the chorus of condemnation over the SNP’s inaction on business rates. Entrepreneurs, especially those in the tourism […]

Uncle Sam’s Nato broadside should be a call to arms for the whole of Europe

Once upon a time, there were three little pigs.  They lived not in a magical kingdom but a dangerous world where anyone building their house out of straw was liable to end up in a bacon butty.  But straw was cheap and two of the pigs wanted to spend their fortune on creature comforts. Pig […]

Is Donald Trump good for the Jews?

Yakov Blotnik, world-weary custodian of the synagogue in Philip Roth’s short story ‘The Conversion of the Jews’, has a simple outlook on life: “Things were either good-for-the-Jews or no-good-for-the-Jews”.  The Blotnik Test confronts us as the new administration in Washington begins to take shape. We’ve just seen the first hints of what to expect at today’s joint press […]