The cruel hounding of Tim Farron is bloodsport for secularists

For the benefit of Sky News, standard Christian doctrine says gay sex is a sin. It’s the sin that gives sinning a good name. There ought to be a stewards’ inquiry into why it didn’t make it into the Ten Commandments. But, yes, it’s one of those trespasses we ask to be forgiven.  Sky’s Darren…

Voting Green is about feeling morally superior to lesser mortals

In this, as in all things, Paul Keating was right. It was the former Aussie Prime Minister, a Beethoven of political invective, who called his country’s Green Party ‘a bunch of opportunists and Trots hiding behind a gum tree trying to pretend they’re the Labor Party’. Keating’s acid scherzo could apply just as readily to…

Len McCluskey’s hollow victory

Len McCluskey has seen off a challenge to be elected to a third term at the helm of Unite. And what a seeing off it was. When the votes starting to come in, and reportedly showed the top two contenders neck-and-neck, McCluskey’s rival was promptly suspended. Gerard Coyne was stripped of his duties as West Midlands…

A cynical take on Project Fear

A confident Tory Prime Minister. Labour led by an untested left-winger. The SNP surging north of the Border. If Election 2017 feels awfully familiar it’s because we have been here before. Just two years ago, Britain went to the polls in the wake of a divisive constitutional referendum that upended decades-old allegiances. And there were…

Theresa May is right to say no to a TV debate

I worked on the first TV debate of the Scottish referendum. I was involved in countless more. I was to be found on the production team for televised clashes during the 2015 general election and the 2016 vote for Holyrood. So I speak with some experience when I say TV debates are a terrible idea….

The trial of Kelvin MacKenzie

Kelvin MacKenzie’s baffling compulsion to pick at Liverpool has brought him up a cropper again, with the Sun pulling his latest polemic on Everton FC player Ross Barkley. MacKenzie has compared the footballer, recently victim of an assault in a nightclub, to ‘a gorilla at the zoo’ and added that, in Liverpool, ‘the only men…

Labour has abandoned workers. Trade unions must avoid doing the same

I’m not a member of a trade union but I should be. As a freelance journalist, my employment situation is precarious — yet it still wouldn’t occur to me to join the National Union of Journalists. My reasons are both personal and political, but mostly practical: the NUJ talks tough but, in the end, seldom…

Twice in a generation

It seems like only two and a half years since the last referendum on Scottish independence but the Scottish National Party assures us a generation has passed, and I would advise you not to question them. It seldom ends well. Nicola Sturgeon has demanded a rerun of that plebiscite, in part because Brexit seems to offer a propitious set of…

All politics is local (except maybe in Scotland)

‘All politics is local’ ran the maxim of legendary American politico Tip O’Neill, a deal-making Democrat of the old school. O’Neill worked his way up from the back room of the party machine to become Speaker of the House of Representatives and the wily nemesis of Ronald Reagan. In the middle of the 1982 recession,…

The Labour party has become institutionally anti-Semitic

The Labour Party is institutionally anti-Semitic.  No fair-minded person can read its failure to expel Ken Livingstone any other way. The national constitutional committee, after careful consideration of his latest calumny, has chosen merely to extend the former London mayor’s suspension for a further year.  He was originally suspended in April 2016 after he came…

Why smug SNP sanctimony means its love-in with EU will soon be over

If you have had the good fortune to encounter one of the many exciting Nationalist marches Scotland has to offer, you might have noticed a subtle change in presentation.  Woad is still in. The ‘End London Rule’ banner is a bit crumpled but will do a few more rallies. The Royal Standard of Scotland is…

Whatever the question, Sturgeon’s answer will always be independence

Do you find your job dull and unfulfilling? Do you spend your days seeking out distractions or furtively pursuing your real interests? Millions find themselves in this position and pass the time meandering on Facebook or searching for a new career. Fair enough, you might think. There are some pretty humdrum posts out there but…