Here are some things politics is not. Politics is not a religion – the leader you idolise is a graven image. Politics is not self-help – government is about changing society, not boosting your self-esteem. Politics is not a lifestyle statement – if you are seeking affirmation, try Oprah. If these strike you as statements … Continue reading The false prophets of the ‘new politics’ making promises they cannot keep
There are fleeting moments when I forget myself and start to feel ever so slightly sorry for the SNP. A mere two years ago, it was untouchable. It might have lost the referendum but it had won the war for hearts and minds. Scotland had a majority SNP government at Holyrood, 56 Nationalist MPs at … Continue reading Jeremy to the left, Ruth to the right… I (almost) feel sorry for the squeezed SNP
The Labour Party is like one of those grim kitchen sink dramas set in the Midlands and invariably starring Julie Walters. The family home is a battleground of bad blood and betrayal. Fights erupt at random intervals. Grudges are so enduring even those who hold them no longer remember why. From time to time, the … Continue reading Blair may be a shouty old uncle, but he’s got a point about Corbyn
One month on from her disastrous snap election, Theresa May must be heartily sick of everyone lining up to tell her where she went wrong. Pundits, opponents, even her own backbenchers and Cabinet colleagues have been openly scorning the Prime Minister’s strategy and performance. Much of this is deserved; it is unforgivable that a leader … Continue reading Are zero-hours contracts and a flexible economy our PM’s legacy?
One of my proudest possessions is a pocket-sized copy of the United States Constitution. It was gifted to me by my friend Jason Bedrick, a school choice advocate and former legislator from New Hampshire, the Live Free or Die state. This tiny edition of modern democracy’s Talmud never leaves my side; I am a devotee … Continue reading The little red books
There's an old saying in Texas: You gotta dance with the one that brung ya. It's a blend of southern chivalry and clear-eyed pragmatism. It came to mind more than once in the past seven days. Two things happened in that time that tell you all you need to know about politics. Labour's unexpectedly enlarged … Continue reading Corbyn’s critics left with little choice but to dance to their master’s tune
As you approach the Scottish Parliament from the Royal Mile, a modest curve juts out from the obnoxious angles. This camber, the Canongate Wall, is studded with 26 slates of Scottish stone each bearing a quotation from the Bible and scriveners of more questionable repute. Among them is the instruction to ‘work as if you … Continue reading Scotland needed government. It got nationalism instead