Too few answers in this too-long question session

The 1980s was a mixed bag as decades go. There was Depeche Mode, shoulder pads, and glorious cat fights on Dynasty. Alas, there was also Phil Collins, Swatch watches, and Hi-de-Hi! But the most egregious sin of the Eighties — worse even than mullets or Arthur Scargill — was management-speak, that soulless jargon of boardroom … Continue reading Too few answers in this too-long question session

The SNP is sinking and outrage over a fake power grab can’t right the ship

When I heard they'd formed a chain at Holyrood, my heart leapt. Finally, someone had taken up my idea of bulldozing the joint and sticking a massive Starbucks in its place. Alas, not. It was a human chain, forged on Friday by demonstrators who say the UK Government is attempting a post-Brexit 'power grab'. The … Continue reading The SNP is sinking and outrage over a fake power grab can’t right the ship

Shades of Maggie as Nicola loses control of classroom

She walked into the parly like she was walking onto a yacht. A cerulean streak of polyester cut a businesslike stride to the First Minister's seat. There enthroned she exuded the easy confidence of a star arrived on the lot, ready for her close-up, and keen to remind these B-listers why she was still top … Continue reading Shades of Maggie as Nicola loses control of classroom

Russia Today, Britain tomorrow

The poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal was not the work of the Russian state. It was ‘a complete set-up’; Theresa May had ‘found this one issue that can boost her’. The attempted murder in a Salisbury restaurant was ‘a provocation intended to worsen relations even further between Russia and the West’. Whoever was responsible … Continue reading Russia Today, Britain tomorrow

Auntie Calamity is gone and it’s Mrs Strong and Stable confronting Putin

She’s back. After a year of drift, our doughty, no-nonsense Prime Minister seems to have returned. In the wake of the Salisbury poisoning, Theresa May has reminded the country of the qualities it once admired most in her. She has been firm, resolute, decisive – to borrow a phrase, strong and stable. Her package of … Continue reading Auntie Calamity is gone and it’s Mrs Strong and Stable confronting Putin

Putin the boot in to Comrade Alexei and his telly show

The SNP is a bit like a Russian doll. Every time you strip away a layer, you find another (usually more sinister) one underneath it. At First Minister's Questions, Ruth Davidson tried to test the Nationalists' unity on the poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a Russian spy who defected and who Theresa May says was targeted … Continue reading Putin the boot in to Comrade Alexei and his telly show

Want to restore faith in Holyrood? Give voters a right of recall

MSPs will be back at Holyrood tomorrow for the start of another parliamentary week. This time all 129 of them will be there because, for the first time in almost four months, Mark McDonald will turn up too. The former childcare minister hasn't been seen in parliament since he was suspended from the SNP amid … Continue reading Want to restore faith in Holyrood? Give voters a right of recall