The Budget Drinking Game. Or, ‘How to get through George Osborne’s speech’

As muggers go, Chancellors of the Exchequer are a conscientious bunch. Your average bag-grabber just lunges at you in the street, snatches away your valuables and makes off, possibly shoving you to the ground in the process. No style, no class. Not Her Majesty’s Second Lord of the Treasury. He politely lists in advance whatContinue reading “The Budget Drinking Game. Or, ‘How to get through George Osborne’s speech’”

What five hours in A&E taught me about politics and life

I have nothing for you on the SNP conference. I missed Nicola Sturgeon’s speech entirely. I heard John Swinney’s rallying of the troops first thing on Saturday then Mhairi Black planting a steel toecap in the gonads of Iain Duncan Smith’s pension reforms. Soon after, I took ill and ten minutes later found myself inContinue reading “What five hours in A&E taught me about politics and life”

Quiz: Are you Dundonian enough to be in a BBC Question Time audience?

So Question Time was in Dundee on Thursday night. The popular BBC One current affairs programme tours the country every week and allows members of the public to put questions to politicians and commentators. The panel included Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, SNP deputy first minister John Swinney, Labour MSP Jenny Marra and Scottish LibContinue reading “Quiz: Are you Dundonian enough to be in a BBC Question Time audience?”

The SNP’s case for independence is starting to look like a con trick

The SNP’s independence White Paper was not a document of half measures. Scotland’s Future, as it was grandly titled, was a comprehensive blueprint for a separate Scotland. It covered everything from tax and welfare to the health service and immigration. There was even a section titled: “Regulation of Outer Space Activity in an Independent Scotland”.Continue reading “The SNP’s case for independence is starting to look like a con trick”

Antonin Scalia was a giant of the intellectual right

Antonin Scalia, the cheery antithesis of Atticus Finch, was an unlikely radical. The US Supreme Court justice, who died over the weekend aged 79, was a graduate of Harvard Law School who interrupted his academic career with a five-year stint working for Richard Nixon, the squarest of squares, and later Gerald Ford. But a radicalContinue reading “Antonin Scalia was a giant of the intellectual right”

Westminster beware, Scotland won’t get fooled again

“If polls in Scotland don’t change revise the saying ‘you can’t fool all the people all of the time’ as almost all are appearing to be fooled.” So tweeted George Foulkes — Comrade Baron Foulkes of Cumnock, to give him his full socialist honours — over the weekend. Casting the voters as fools is aContinue reading “Westminster beware, Scotland won’t get fooled again”

Can the Scottish Greens make a breakthrough at Holyrood?

Left-of-centre? Care about social justice? Want to see an independent Scotland? It’s obvious who you should vote for in May, right? Well, not as obvious as you might think. The Scottish Greens are hoping to challenge the SNP’s dominance at Holyrood and offer a radical alternative to the centre-hugging timidity of the other parties. OnContinue reading “Can the Scottish Greens make a breakthrough at Holyrood?”

Kezia Dugdale gets bold with risky pre-election tax move

Anyone longing for Kezia Dugdale to take the fight to the SNP just got their wish. Call it a Penny for Fairness. The Scottish Labour leader has pledged to hike Scots’ income tax by one per cent should her party win the Holyrood election in May. (Itself contingent on lightning striking the same flying pigContinue reading “Kezia Dugdale gets bold with risky pre-election tax move”

We must mark the Holocaust but it is only part of the Jewish story

Yisrael Kristal is 112. Yisrael Kristal is a candidate for the title of World’s Oldest Man. Yisrael Kristal is an Israeli Jew and Holocaust survivor. Born in Poland in 1903, he worked as a confectioner until the Nazis came. They killed his two children in the ghetto and murdered his wife in Auschwitz. He left the deathContinue reading “We must mark the Holocaust but it is only part of the Jewish story”

RISE and fall of ‘Yes Alliance’ a predictable affair

The nativists are getting restless. Not content with their war on Tunnock’s tea cakes and the rest of the vast Unionist conspiracy, the cybernats have turned on former comrades in the campaign for independence. The dissenters, mostly left-wingers not affiliated to the SNP, had the temerity to suggest voting for a party other than theContinue reading “RISE and fall of ‘Yes Alliance’ a predictable affair”