After boarding at gate 2014, we can do without this flight of fantasy

  Living in Scotland right now is a bit like waiting in an airport departure lounge. You’ve got the tickets in your pocket, Himself is already on his second G&T and the kids have suspended hostilities to gaze at their iPads. A fortnight on the Costa del Deckchair awaits, with no chores ahead of you […]

Spitting lentils, even Patrick Harvie turned on Sturgeon

The First Minister was reeling. Under a raging barrage of questions, she ducked, twisted and side-stepped with all the grace of a gazelle at a beginners’ jazzercise class. Try as she might to placate her interrogator, Sturgeon spun herself into a tizz and collapsed into her seat defeated. Dearie me, that Ruth Davidson can be […]

Thatcher took our milk. Nanny Nicola wants to empty your entire fridge

Until a few days ago, the only contentious opinions I held about pizza were: 1) Anchovies, please; and 2) Chicago deep dish is not a pizza. Call it an Italian pie, a tomato and mozzarella flan, an edible bucket of sauce, whatever you like – just don’t call it pizza. Now, as if she hadn’t […]

The SNP’s Voldemort… She Who Must Not Be Questioned

How to describe Nicola Sturgeon’s performance at First Minister’s Questions? Dismal? Too generous. Hopeless? Closer. Dunderheided? Yes… that’s about right. (Besides, using a Scots word probably entitles us to a grant now.) The First Minister dundered and blundered and chuntered her way through 45 minutes of the greatest hits of SNP failure. Education, health and […]

Bloodletting at STV will sound alarm bells for BBC Scotland’s new channel

‘A positive vision.’ That is how Simon Pitts, STV’s chief executive, touted his decision to shutter the broadcaster’s digital channel, STV2. The loss of 59 jobs – 25 at STV2 and an additional 34 from news output – would ‘re-establish the company as a creative force in Scotland and beyond’. What Mr Pitts sees as […]

Why one brilliant man’s death was not just a tragedy, but a screaming, painful injustice

The death of Scott Hutchison, the acclaimed singer-songwriter who took his own life last week, poses a question we can’t avoid. This brilliant young guy, a poet with a Gibson slung across his chest, took the hectic blur of life and gave it form and structure, every note and syllable drawing out meaning from shattered […]

Fast food and hard drugs… it’s all in a week’s work for MSPs

Richard Leonard had another good week. Embarrassed Nicola Sturgeon on childcare. Even quoted one of her old speeches back at her. He’s getting good at this.  But you don’t want to hear about that, not when there’s fast food and hard drugs on offer. Scholarly Tory MSP Adam Tomkins enquired: ‘What is the First Minister’s […]

If we lose our free Press, the wicked, cruel and corrupt will sleep easier

Freedom does not want for foes in this illiberal age, and freedom of the Press is especially blessed with enemies. It may be our ancient right, replicated in constitutions the world over, but of late it has fallen out of favour in Britain. Error has been exploited and demagogues have fed heartily on the troubles […]