Sturgeon cares about power first and independence second

Politics has always been a ghastly business but at least there used to be ground rules. Families were generally considered off-limits (though, as Jacob Rees-Mogg’s son found out, not any more), as was an opponent’s health (Charles Kennedy learned the hard way that not everyone respects that convention). Knifing opponents in the back was fairContinue reading “Sturgeon cares about power first and independence second”

‘Crude populism’ decried by… *checks notes*… Nicola Sturgeon

As party conference speeches go, Nicola Sturgeon’s had all the force and originality of an afternoon telly repeat. And not a good series, either. We’re talking Doctors here. Highlights: Brexit? Still bad. Tories? Still evil. Scotland? Still oppressed. Even the Bay City Rollers managed new material every few years. First up was her much sought-afterContinue reading “‘Crude populism’ decried by… *checks notes*… Nicola Sturgeon”

Derek Mackay delivers his first leader’s speech

This afternoon, Nicola Sturgeon will take to the stage in Aberdeen and deliver the second leader’s speech of SNP conference. The second, because no one who turned up for Derek Mackay’s address yesterday was in any doubt: this was a leadership pitch near-shameless in its blatancy.  It was a speech perfectly calibrated to push members’Continue reading “Derek Mackay delivers his first leader’s speech”

Scottish nationalists are not anti-establishment. They are the establishment

One of the most amusing tics of Scottish nationalists is their unshakeable conviction that they are in the vanguard of a daring anti-establishment movement. If you count bravely standing up to the powers that be and telling them they’re doing an absolutely smashing job, I suppose they are. The same party which came to powerContinue reading “Scottish nationalists are not anti-establishment. They are the establishment”

Rambo of Ross-shire throws red meat to rank-and-file

Seeing Ian Blackford speak is like watching as a steam engine chugs towards you. It’s a nerve-wracking experience but you assume, always with vindication, that this thundering behemoth will career off the tracks and into a ravine soon enough. Blackford is the pretendy SNP leader at Westminster, or, rather, that was the role of hisContinue reading “Rambo of Ross-shire throws red meat to rank-and-file”

Good intentions and bad laws

Ever notice how the exact same words can mean very different things depending on their context? Last week, when the Scottish Parliament passed the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) Bill, a Left-wing and a Right-wing newspaper both ran the same headline: ‘Scotland becomes first UK country to ban smacking’. The implication of one was thatContinue reading “Good intentions and bad laws”

Tears, fears… and cheers for Ruth’s revolution

Jackson Carlaw is struggling to regain his composure. I’ve had politicians break down in front of me before but none have wept so openly or so helplessly for their constituents. Last week the Tory rebuked Nicola Sturgeon for declaring herself ‘open-minded’ about an emergency government led by Jeremy Corbyn. Carlaw, whose Eastwood constituency is homeContinue reading “Tears, fears… and cheers for Ruth’s revolution”