Nicola: The figures are wrong. Kez: Eh, they’re yours, actually.

MSPs were heading off for their summer holidays but there was some last-minute business to attend to. Holyrood debated changes to the rules and members lined up to welcome the measures. This strongly indicated they hadn’t read them since they will allow the Presiding Officer to cut MSPs off mid-sentence when they get too long-winded. […]

The lady’s not for turning on independence

The referendum is dead. Long live the referendum. Nicola Sturgeon’s statement to Holyrood was billed as a ‘reset’ of her strategy on independence. She had gambled on anger at Brexit bringing her a majority for independence but the numbers did not materialise. Still, she pressed on, in some desperate hope that she could berate the […]

Now Sturgeon must show humility — and get on with the day job

This is the week Nicola Sturgeon never expected to face. The First Minister is preparing to address the question of a second independence referendum. When she announced her drive for a rerun of the first plebiscite, and pushed through a vote on it at Holyrood, it looked like discontent over Brexit could carry her over […]

Jeremy Corbyn and the cult of anti-knowledge

A funny thing happened on the way to the revolution. On Saturday, thousands of earnest millennials – and better-humoured Gen-Xers pretending to be millennials – gathered in a field in Somerset for a concert. The headliner was an ancient rocker of an even older tune but the crowd cherished every word as their own – […]

Children of Corbyn go to war against their parents

At first glance the line-up for Glastonbury, disturbing the peace of the Somerset countryside this weekend, is unremarkable. Foo Fighters, Biffy Clyro, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard — Australian psychedelic rockers, m’lud — will be familiar to habitual attendees of this annual celebration of mud and mind-altering substances into which music occasionally intrudes. But […]

Watching Trump’s Twitter come to life at FMQs

In fairness to Nicola Sturgeon, Kezia Dugdale started it. The Scottish Labour leader, spoiling for a fight, told First Minister’s Questions: ‘This week, the Scottish National Party unveiled plans to cut taxes for wealthy air travellers and voted to cut off puppy dogs’ tails.’ The First Minister bared her teeth. John Swinney yapped excitedly at […]

The SNP are guilty of shocking chutzpah in their claims over a Tory ‘stitch up’

I have an awkward relationship with the House of Lords. On the one hand, it regularly proves a doughty guardian of liberties against a rash, headline-chasing executive. On the other hand, it’s the House of Lords. Hereditary peers, bishops, Liberal Democrats — the clientele are a rum lot. We don’t have our constitutional troubles to […]

Gerard Coyne’s show trial is a stark warning to Labour moderates

‘There is no step, thought, action, or lack of action under the heavens,’ wrote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, ‘which could not be punished by the heavy hand of Article 58’. Unite the Union’s rules appear to operate on much the same basis as the Soviet provision against ‘counter-revolutionary action’. Gerard Coyne, Unite’s West Midlands secretary, has been […]

A lesson for inept politicians from parents fighting to control their school

It was an act of unforgivable cruelty. On Thursday, education secretary John Swinney stood up at Holyrood and dashed the hopes of hundreds of parents and children when he announced the Scottish Government would not support the campaign to save St Joseph’s. You might not have heard of this primary school in Milngavie, East Dunbartonshire […]

Independence is the SNP’s day job. Everything else is a distraction

‘Get back to the day job.’ The six magic words that delivered the Scottish Tories their best election night in decades. Ruth Davidson recited this incantation endlessly during the campaign and Labour and the Liberal Democrats quickly joined in. As messages go, it was blunt but effective, capturing the public mood that Nicola Sturgeon has […]