Dazzled by data, the SNP – just like Labour – stopped talking to voters

‘Why do you never write anything nice about the SNP?’ It’s a gripe I hear from time to time. My view is that it’s a journalist’s job to chuck bottles at whatever mob happens to have inveigled its way into power. Plus the Greens – I mean, just look at them. Still, if you’ve been […]

Ruth’s long journey to transform the Tories starts with small steps here

Back in the old, pre-referendum Scotland, with its old, pre-referendum certainties, three things in life were unavoidable: Death, taxes, and think pieces about the future of the Scottish Conservatives. No commentator ever went hungry who could knock out 1,000 words on ‘whither the Scottish Tories’ by teatime. How had ‘the only party ever to win […]

Whisper it, but could Scotland live without Holyrood?

Fed up with Holyrood? Frustrated with a First Minister who jets around the globe like a head of state? Had your fill of mediocre MSPs, freedom-snatching laws and endless posturing about independence? Ukip reckons it has the answer and thinks its solution will win your vote next time round. The populist party is set to […]

A smoking gun? More like a leaky water pistol, Nicola!

It was around 10 o’clock yesterday morning when a strange orb of light appeared over the summit of Arthur’s Seat. The mercury simmered to a balmy 18 degrees, Scottish Parliament catering staff wheeled a barbecue out to the garden, and sweltering MSPs cleared a freezerful of ice cream. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay sought the cooler […]

The Big Yin got it right: there’s more than one way to cherish Scotland

My mum has never forgiven me for the time I stopped her meeting Billy Connolly. It was early 2000s and my parents had gone for a run in the car to Ballater, stroppy teenager in tow. It was a difficult time for me because I knew everything and it was my burden to explain the […]

Without injection of fresh initiative, prognosis for NHS looks very poor

The Sturgeon economy is taking its toll on the rest of us but there’s one job she seems committed to saving. Health Secretary Shona Robison, personal friend and political ally of the First Minister, is resisting calls to resign over an NHS cash row. Robison replaced NHS Tayside’s management team after it emerged that charity […]

Why face the bitter truth when you can just blame Brexit, Nicola?

What do NHS understaffing, low growth and imitation whisky have in common? It’s something they share with a weakening of environmental protection rules, lack of teachers in our classrooms and threats to agricultural support. So too business anxiety, rising import prices and fears of mass job losses. Getting warmer? Ask yourself what unites rising inflation, […]