Sturgeonspeak: A guide to dodging tricky questions

Mairi who?  It was halfway through First Minister's Questions when the Presiding Officer called a backbencher. The name sounded like 'goujon', though that might have been because lunchtime was approaching. From the din of desk-thumpers behind Nicola Sturgeon -- She Who Must Be Applauded At All Times -- up popped Mairi Gougeon, who it turns … Continue reading Sturgeonspeak: A guide to dodging tricky questions

Colin Kaepernick takes a knee in America’s culture war

American football is rugby played badly but they seem insistent on it. Place kicks and end-runs are as bound up in American identity as mom, apple pie and the flag. As such, NFL games are occasions for overt displays of patriotism that are probably benign but nonetheless unsettling to British audiences. The most ostentatious of … Continue reading Colin Kaepernick takes a knee in America’s culture war

Our faith in politics vanished as dunces replaced firebrands

Sir Teddy Taylor. The name was enough to return a resounding 'hear, hear' from Tories and a gasp of horror from liberals. The MP for Glasgow Cathcart and later Southend East, who died on Wednesday, was the sort of politician the euphemism 'colourful' was invented for. He was also a man of strong, if not … Continue reading Our faith in politics vanished as dunces replaced firebrands

Et tu, Alex? Day Sarwar’s ambitions were skewered

Friends, comrades, snivelling Blairite sellouts. Alex Rowley might not have come to bury Anas Sarwar but he may as well have. Whatever possessed Labour's interim leader to launch into a jeremiad against millionaires, his well-coined would-be successor wound up with a dagger in his back. The scene was First Minister’s Questions, yesterday. Enter stage Left, … Continue reading Et tu, Alex? Day Sarwar’s ambitions were skewered

Let us all pray for religion. It is slowly dying as a force in public life.

It is the last taboo, a predilection indulged by a small segment of the population and looked upon with disapproval by mainstream society. In Scotland, just seven percent will admit their involvement and even then they are reluctant to talk about it. Churchgoing is a minority pursuit these days, and if you attended services yesterday … Continue reading Let us all pray for religion. It is slowly dying as a force in public life.

Nicola Sturgeon takes Brexit myth out for a spin

A rare joy of First Minister's Questions is spotting the Toady of the Week, the Nationalist backbencher who bids to ingratiate themselves by asking Nicola Sturgeon the softest question. It's a balancing act and all too easy to trip over your forelock as you tug it. Sometimes it’s James Dornan, the Glasgow Grunter, who confronts … Continue reading Nicola Sturgeon takes Brexit myth out for a spin