Pain, loss, and the miserably high price of seizing Scottish Labour’s poison chalice

Not many party leaders launch their political career on a sofa in front of daytime TV but that is where it all began for Kezia Dugdale. The Aberdeen University graduate was 23, unemployed and bingeing on trashy talk shows in her Edinburgh flat when her roommate came out with a curious suggestion — Dugdale should … Continue reading Pain, loss, and the miserably high price of seizing Scottish Labour’s poison chalice

Control-freak SNP and its vast army of spin doctors see facts as the enemy

'When the facts change, I change my mind,’ said the economist John Maynard Keynes. When the facts change, the Scottish Government changes the facts.  This secretive, control-crazed administration has been caught changing the facts again. This time their blue pencil set to work on an Audit Scotland report into colleges, a sector which has suffered … Continue reading Control-freak SNP and its vast army of spin doctors see facts as the enemy

Corbyn wiped the smirk off SNP faces. Will he do the same to the Unionists?

Jeremy Corbyn might be a saviour of the Union. Alternatively, he might help bury it. So tumultuous is our political life these days that it’s impossible to predict which course events will take.  It’s like those childhood favourites, the Choose Your Own Adventure books, that allowed junior readers to change the plot at key moments … Continue reading Corbyn wiped the smirk off SNP faces. Will he do the same to the Unionists?

Forget No.10, Ruth is aiming for Bute House

In fractious times, Ruth Davidson is the great Tory unifier. Brexiteers love her, Remainers adore her. Left and right, young and old, urban and rural, there is no faction that does not sing her praises. Her public utterances on everything from social justice to immigration lead the BBC news bulletins. Serious people speak seriously about … Continue reading Forget No.10, Ruth is aiming for Bute House

SNP’s road to the Promised Land has turned into a path to penury

Scottish politics has come to resemble a never-ending courtroom drama, with Nicola Sturgeon the hostile witness in the dock. The First Minister was at the heart of the dishonest, two-year campaign for independence, the longest attempted mugging in history. She tried the same confidence trick again after the EU referendum but by then the country … Continue reading SNP’s road to the Promised Land has turned into a path to penury

Blood, outrage and tears… and why we have to challenge every extremist

How do you drive a van into a crowd of people? What dark justifications gird your mind as the key turns in the ignition and your foot connects with the pedal? What aberration of the human soul seeks the glory of God in the random slaughter of the innocent? The terrorist attacks in Barcelona and … Continue reading Blood, outrage and tears… and why we have to challenge every extremist

Frank watched his final goal and asked me: ‘Who scored that?’

Amanda Kopel steps onto the pitch at Tannadice and it all comes back. This is where her husband Frank spent ten years of his career as a footballer. It was at Dundee United that he scored his most celebrated goal, a shot from the 40-yard line in the 1979 UEFA Cup first-round match against RSC … Continue reading Frank watched his final goal and asked me: ‘Who scored that?’