No exit

Nicola Sturgeon gave a Covid-19 update to the Scottish Parliament on February 23, 2021. This is the text of my Scottish Daily Mail sketch of proceedings.  On hectic days like yesterday, with the Crown Office at loggerheads with Holyrood and the First Minister grilled on a much-trumpeted Covid statement, you appreciate the lilting Hebridean tones of Lewis Macdonald.  TheContinue reading “No exit”

Sturgeon reacts to scrutiny like Dracula to garlic bread

Nicola Sturgeon faced opposition leaders at First Minister’s Questions on February 17, 2021. This is the text of my Scottish Daily Mail sketch of proceedings.  Achilles had his heel, Superman his Kryptonite and Nicola Sturgeon the merest chance of accountability. Scrutiny is the First Minister’s greatest weakness. She reacts to it like Count Dracula to garlic bread. RuthContinue reading “Sturgeon reacts to scrutiny like Dracula to garlic bread”

Nicola’s miracle of the open and closed churches

Nicola Sturgeon gave a Covid-19 update to the Scottish Parliament on February 16, 2021. This is the text of my Scottish Daily Mail sketch of proceedings.  If you are a parent whose children will soon be going back to primary school, I can only imagine what a relief that will be,’ Nicola Sturgeon remarked yesterday, announcing a ‘phasedContinue reading “Nicola’s miracle of the open and closed churches”

UK has a right to protect itself from separatism

In political combat, treat even your opponents’ empty threats as real. Unionists should bear this principle in mind when approaching the SNP’s sabre-rattling about securing a second independence referendum in the event of a Nationalist majority after May’s Holyrood election.  I remain of the view that Nicola Sturgeon is bluffing to pander to her diehards,Continue reading “UK has a right to protect itself from separatism”

Rumpole of the Baillie shines in FMQs courtroom drama

Jackie Baillie, the Helensburgh Hitwoman, takes out her targets cleanly. Dumbarton’s answer to Liam Neeson, she has a very particular set of skills and occasionally uses them on someone other than the Labour Left. Yesterday, it was Nicola Sturgeon and whether she contravened ministerial rules, a matter under consideration by Irish QC James Hamilton.  ‘If theContinue reading “Rumpole of the Baillie shines in FMQs courtroom drama”

One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a straight answer…

Can I ask, Mr Murrell: is there anybody in the room with you?’ For a moment, I thought I had tuned into an impromptu Holyrood seance instead of the harassment committee. Jackie Baillie was giving SNP high heid yin Peter Murrell a forensic once-over via Zoom when she abruptly objected: ‘You keep looking off toContinue reading “One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a straight answer…”

Separate state? I’m more worried about a failed state

Everyone agrees: no one understands. At least that is the consensus on the Alex Salmond affair within the political and media bubble. The general public, so the thinking runs, finds the whole saga so bafflingly labyrinthine that they zone out when the story pops up in the newspaper.  There is, MSPs and journalists lament, noContinue reading “Separate state? I’m more worried about a failed state”

The case for a public inquiry

Sometimes there are breaking points that can’t be ignored. The inquiry into the Scottish Government’s handling of sexual harassment allegations against Alex Salmond has just suffered another low, dispiriting week. That does not distinguish the past seven days from any others since the committee began its work but the accumulation of indignities and inadequacies hasContinue reading “The case for a public inquiry”