Will Britain Pass the Jeremy Corbyn Test?

With seven days to go until a general election called in expectation of a landslide Conservative victory, Theresa May is suddenly facing the prospect of an extraordinary reversal. Two weeks ago, polls consistently put her 20 points ahead of the opposition Labour Party, but if a week is a long time in politics, the past…

Sorry, Comrade Sturgeon… but nobody’s buying this clap-trap

It’s been a decade since the SNP faced any real opposition and it shines through in their manifesto. For the past ten years, the Nationalists have coasted, their gravity-defying poll numbers affording them the luxury of defining their opponents and steering clear of difficult decisions. Now Professor Newton has caught up with them and they…

Paul Nuttall is nationalist but a hopeless one

Paul Nuttall doesn’t want to be a hangman after all.  There was some doubt over the weekend when the Ukip leader said he’d bring back the death penalty and would even pull the lever himself. Naturally, this left Andrew Neil somewhat curious and so he used his election interview to enquire if Nuttall had been…

The SNP is on the attack because it has nothing to defend

If it wasn’t for their election blunders, the SNP would have no campaign at all. After an Edinburgh nurse grilled Nicola Sturgeon on live TV over the SNP’s one percent NHS pay cap, Nationalist frontbencher Joanna Cherry told the BBC the healthcare worker was the wife of a Tory councillor. Not that it should matter…

The three lies that Jeremy Corbyn told Andrew Neil

We learned something important from Jeremy Corbyn’s interview with Andrew Neil: The Labour leader wants to be Prime Minister and will do whatever it takes. His soppier critics often announce their sympathy for a man who would be much happier on the backbenches. Do not believe a word of it. Listen instead to what he told the BBC…

Robert Peel gets a third term

What does Theresa May actually believe? It’s the question perplexing MPs, journalists, and those members of the public admirably slogging through this election, powered only by Nescafe and matches. The confusion is understandable; Mrs May’s record is inconsistent. She’s the moderniser who became an unabashedly authoritarian Home Secretary, the scolder of ‘the Nasty Party’ who…

Ten Labour MPs that Tories should vote for

The Conservatives are going to win the election — that much we know.  The question is what kind of opposition Britain is going to be left with. If a slew of moderate Labour MPs are swept out, the Corbynite grip on the party will strengthen. The leader will not go and Labour will take a…

The Not-So-Darling Buds of Theresa May

If you seek a symbol of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s inscrutability, look no further than a recent edition of the Sun, the conservative tabloid that is the United Kingdom’s most popular newspaper. The Sun handed a double op-ed page to the Tory leader to stump for votes ahead of the UK general election on June…

We cannot let this be the final chapter for libraries

The Coatbridge of my childhood had four corners: The school, the church, the video store, and the public library. Today, only the church survives and the status of religion being what it is, I wonder for how much longer that will be. My school, St Ambrose High School, the educational pride of the Lanarkshire town,…

Labour’s manifesto reveals one thing: the Left has run out of ideas

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for Labour, Noam Chomsky goes and endorses Jeremy Corbyn.  ‘If I were a voter in Britain, I would vote for him…He’s quiet, reserved, serious, he’s not a performer,’ Chomsky told the Guardian. But the more you read of Chomsky’s endorsement, the more you wonder if he…

Theresa May is the Mrs Brown’s Boys prime minister

Theresa May’s appearance on the One Show was awkward, halting, and unrevealing. It was a million sofas away from Tony Blair’s smooth and easy chat show turns. It was in truth rather dull.  It was a resounding success. May, accompanied by husband Philip, fielded questions about when she knew she wanted to be Prime Minister,…

Generation’s life chances sacrificed on the altar of independence

If the SNP was being marked on its handling of Scottish education over the last decade, it wouldn’t get an F — it would get expelled. Education was central to the Nationalist pitch in 2007, back when they still pretended to care about things other than BBC mind control and Union Jacks on punnets of…

Stuck in the middle with Ruth

Ferguslie Park has one claim to fame and one claim to infamy. The Paisley housing estate inspired the title of Stealers Wheel’s second album; Gerry Rafferty and Joe Egan, the folk-rock band’s founders, were born and raised in the town. Ferguslie Park is also the poorest place in Scotland. The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation…

A quiet revolution in faith schooling

In a leafy suburb on the outskirts of Glasgow, a quiet revolution in faith schooling is under way. Pupils and teachers in Newton Mearns might be counting down the weeks till the summer holidays but come the autumn they launch a bold experiment. For around 650 youngsters will start the next school year at a…

SNP facing a fight as Scots turn to Tories

Like a faded starlet spurned by the spotlight, Scotland is struggling to pull in the crowds this election season. We got used to being the centre of attention in the 2014 independence referendum and again in 2015 when it looked like Britain was heading for a hung parliament with the SNP as kingmakers. Last May,…

#FMQs sketch: Why does Murdo Fraser hate Scotland?

And so, on the eve of Scotland’s local election, it fell to Murdo Fraser, the Tories’ chief Nat-baiter, to stoke the political fire.  He riled the SNP by asking Nicola Sturgeon about Scotland’s low rates of immigration. First Minister’s Questions had been brought forward to avoid a clash with today’s vote. Thoughtlessly so, since this…

The moral agony of the lifelong Labour voter

It’s the dilemma facing millions of moderate Labour voters: can they in good conscience support their party this time around without endorsing Jeremy Corbyn? This is no mere academic puzzler. Many are horrified at the transformation of their party from Europe’s most successful social democratic movement into a glorified protest group, and one with more…

The boring mystery of Theresa May

Theresa May spent the weekend in Scotland and not even the civilised bit. The Prime Minister was posted to the wilds of Aberdeenshire, which are handsome and underpopulated but not exactly a commuter hub. Journalists grumbled about the remoteness of the location, well aware that inaccessibility was the point. May has not been campaigning in…