The next Prime Minister will have to fight for the Union

Cyclone Brexit continues its destructive path through British politics. Wrecking careers and upturning certainties, it sends most of us fleeing for shelter every time the evening news comes on. This week, the tempest claimed the political life of Theresa May, who vowed to stand down if MPs backed her in the third meaningful vote onContinue reading “The next Prime Minister will have to fight for the Union”

Flag-waving oddballs. Flag-waving oddballs, everywhere

Eight seconds in, the Presiding Officer called a halt to First Minister’s Questions. What sweet mercy was this? Up in the public gallery, a delegation of student environmentalists had unfurled green flags to protest climate change. A terribly polite young woman tried to ask Nicola Sturgeon for action on emissions but was cut off byContinue reading “Flag-waving oddballs. Flag-waving oddballs, everywhere”

Theresa May’s successor must fight for Britain’s soul

By the time you read this, Theresa May could already be gone as Prime Minister. The Sunday papers spread out before me form a tapestry of treachery, the headlines booming with news of a fresh coup against the PM. A dozen or so Cabinet members are said to be involved in the plot, which willContinue reading “Theresa May’s successor must fight for Britain’s soul”

The economic case for independence will always be a loser

Flipping through my calendar over the weekend, my eye fell on this coming Sunday. There was something special about it but it wasn’t a birthday or family occasion, nor had I agreed to meet up with a source to conspire over a beer or six. Then it hit me: this would have been the thirdContinue reading “The economic case for independence will always be a loser”

Richard Leonard: An Apology

In the 15 months since he became Scottish Labour leader, I have suggested Richard Leonard lacked the killer instinct needed at First Minister’s Questions. I have bemoaned his earnestness and failure to play dirty. I would now like to withdraw these scurrilous allegations. At Holyrood on Thursday, Leonard delivered a slow-burn own that will haveContinue reading “Richard Leonard: An Apology”

Sturgeon slaps down Looney Tunes by ruling out ACME independence

It was the shortest crime caper since Wile E Coyote lit the fuse on an ACME rocket then forgot to let go. Thursday morning’s papers had brought news of a speech by SNP deputy leader Keith Brown in which he hinted that Nicola Sturgeon might hold a second independence referendum even if Westminster said No.Continue reading “Sturgeon slaps down Looney Tunes by ruling out ACME independence”

Vaccine truthers going viral threatens everyone’s health

It is the thorniest dilemma of the social media age: When, if ever, is it appropriate to ‘unfriend’ someone on Facebook? That rollcall on the right-hand margin of your screen is the real sidebar of shame. The school chums you looked up for a laugh, or a nosey; the university friendships that have not survivedContinue reading “Vaccine truthers going viral threatens everyone’s health”

Shining a light on the Ena Sharples of Holyrood

How many MSPs does it take to change a lightbulb? There was an answer, of sorts, at First Minister’s Questions thanks to Christine Grahame. Grahame — imagine Ena Sharples flitted to Galashiels and turned political — is Holyrood’s brashest battleaxe. She is the deputy presiding officer who can reduce senior MSPs to a chin-chewing huffContinue reading “Shining a light on the Ena Sharples of Holyrood”