Holyrood’s latest cop drama? It’s the poor man’s Netflix

If the Police Scotland saga were a Netflix series, it would now be in its tenth season and even diehard fans would be wondering if it was time to call it a day.  The current storyline has seen Chief Constable Phil Gormley accused of multiple misconduct, go on special leave, be told he was coming … Continue reading Holyrood’s latest cop drama? It’s the poor man’s Netflix

The paranoid style in British politics

Is the Daily Telegraph front page anti-Semitic? Not intentionally, I don’t think. It is, however, an astonishingly ill-judged rocket-fuelling of a story that belongs, at best, six or seven pages in. In its rush to damn the hated Remainers, the paper has oversold a middling story, splashed in primary colours a tale better told in pastels, … Continue reading The paranoid style in British politics

The Ten… women who were pioneers in British politics

Britain is marking the centenary of votes for women. The 1918 Representation of the People Act extended the franchise to men over 21 and women over 30. This has prompted a renewed interest in the Suffragettes who fought, and in some cases died, to secure electoral rights for women. The first thing to note is … Continue reading The Ten… women who were pioneers in British politics

Scotland is paying a heavy price for the SNP’s independence obsession

Say what you like about Nicola Sturgeon but she’s consistent. Every autumn, when she sets out her programme for government, the First Minister makes the same pledge: ‘We will make it a priority to improve the educational outcomes of pupils in the most disadvantaged areas of Scotland… a targeted approach to attainment that will help … Continue reading Scotland is paying a heavy price for the SNP’s independence obsession

Grid girls, and a culture war that can only end in defeat for all sides

In a comfy chair in the corner of a living room, 50 years from now, a snowy-haired gent will bounce a child indulgently on his knee. ‘What did you do during the war, papa?’ she will pipe up, inquisitively. ‘Well, you’ve heard of the Moon landing? And the astronaut who said it was “one small … Continue reading Grid girls, and a culture war that can only end in defeat for all sides

Sinister backdrop to the War of the Luvvies

The relationship between art and politics has never been an easy one. The artist is a cultural trouble-maker by profession, illuminating the human condition in ways that upset received wisdom and inspire angst in the powerful. This is why the Church dedicated such effort to censorship and tyrants seldom brook the dissent of novelists and … Continue reading Sinister backdrop to the War of the Luvvies