Scotland poised to hold UK’s future in its hands once again

“You campaign in poetry,” said the late Mario Cuomo. “You govern in prose.” The SNP campaigns with a baseball bat, relentlessly pummeling the Labour Party, now bloodied and on the floor. Wednesday’s Ipsos-MORI poll for STV saunters over to the battered party and gives it another kick in the ribs. The telephone survey, conducted amongstContinue reading “Scotland poised to hold UK’s future in its hands once again”

Alex Salmond takes STV behind the scenes of his week* (*Not really)

In the week that Alex Salmond confessed he sometimes forgets he is no longer First Minister and the Sunday Herald revealed the SNP will continue to provide its former leader with a chauffeur-driven car, STV publishes the following excerpts from Mr Salmond’s diaries, with an introduction by the man himself.* Greetings, fellow sovereign Scots! You will haveContinue reading “Alex Salmond takes STV behind the scenes of his week* (*Not really)”

Joan McAlpine’s stridency shows disdain for alternative views

A conspiracy operates before our eyes, its devious puppet masters conniving in plain sight. Their nefarious aim is nothing short of the destruction of parliamentary democracy in Scotland. If news of these machinations shocks you, you will not be alone. We are indebted to Joan McAlpine for alerting us to the dastardly plot. The SNPContinue reading “Joan McAlpine’s stridency shows disdain for alternative views”

Is Jim Murphy trolling or is he really not a Unionist?

There is a chance — distant, I grant you — that Jim Murphy only stood for Scottish Labour leader so he could troll the cybernats. Every time he skooshes open a can of Irn-Bru or talks about football or jogs past STV in his Scotland top (hey there, handsome), Twitter is soon ablaze with 45ersContinue reading “Is Jim Murphy trolling or is he really not a Unionist?”

What have we learned from the first Ashcroft poll of 2015?

We know nothing, those of us who write and talk about politics for a living. That is, of course, an overstatement but it speaks to a problem particular to the 2015 general election. Columnists, pundits, and the professionally opinionated – sometimes we call ourselves “analysts” to lend an air of science to our prognostications; justContinue reading “What have we learned from the first Ashcroft poll of 2015?”

1000 reasons why Jim Murphy’s nurses pledge needs a rethink

At first glimpse, Jim Murphy’s 1000 nurses announcement bears all the hallmarks of canny policy. It’s bold, makes clear Scottish Labour’s commitment to the NHS, and shifts the focus to the SNP for a counter-offer. This is not an easy ask for the Nationalists; they do not enjoy access to the kind of resources theContinue reading “1000 reasons why Jim Murphy’s nurses pledge needs a rethink”

A strong start for Dugdale but Sturgeon remains untouchable

The keenest-sought accolade in Scottish politics today is to be deemed to have had “a good referendum”. Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davidson, and Jim Murphy all had good referendums. Johann Lamont, Alistair Carmichael, and Anas Sarwar generally did not. Kezia Dugdale, though, secured her good referendum status later than most, winning praise for her impressive turnContinue reading “A strong start for Dugdale but Sturgeon remains untouchable”

Neil Findlay outlines his vision for a socialist Scotland

Neil Findlay has no business being a politician. The brickie turned housing officer turned teacher turned MSP didn’t come up through the special adviser/policy wonk ranks like so many parliamentarians today. And it shows. He doesn’t talk like a career politician, in it for power and position. That sincerity shouldn’t be confused for the poisonousContinue reading “Neil Findlay outlines his vision for a socialist Scotland”

Interview: Jim Murphy on patriotism, socialism and Labour’s future

Jim Murphy loves Scotland. I know this because he assures me of it at least a dozen times in a half-hour interview. Scotland is his country. He’s proud of it. He intends to do well by it. Asked why he wants to lead Scottish Labour, the first thing he says is: “It sounds trite, butContinue reading “Interview: Jim Murphy on patriotism, socialism and Labour’s future”

Gordon Brown: A flawed giant who got a rare second act in political life

“There are no second acts in American lives,” F. Scott Fitzgerald once lamented. As an admirer of the American political scene – he idolises Robert F Kennedy and his “strain of moral commitment” – Gordon Brown could have been forgiven for assuming his defeat at the 2010 general election would similarly curtail his political career.Continue reading “Gordon Brown: A flawed giant who got a rare second act in political life”