The light on the hill is growing dim but still worth fighting for

It is not over. There is still hope. A single scarlet petal blooms defiantly on the withered stalk. The Labour Party lives yet. Jeremy Corbyn will be on the ballot paper for the forthcoming leadership election. Per the bizarre decision of the national executive committee, he will not require as much as a single nomination. It […]

Saddam: A brutal psychopath whose reign was marked by sadism and corruption

Saddam Hussein started as he meant to go on. When he came to power in 1979, the new President of Iraq instigated a purge of senior Ba’ath Party officials. The aim was to eliminate potential rivals and exert his total control over the regime. The method foreshadowed the barbarism that guided Hussein’s blood-soaked political career. Gathering […]

Review: Iain Macwhirter rides the wave of a Scottish political Tsunami

Tsunami: Scotland’s Democratic Revolution Iain Macwhirter Ebook, pp. 159 Cargo Sometime in 2013, we lost Iain Macwhirter. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment he slipped away, but I remember feeling it build up in his writing over time. Scotland’s clarion liberal polemicist had spent much of the previous decade tearing into New Labour for its […]

Two words Britain should say to her immigrants — thank you

There are stories that just get to you. This morning’s Guardian brings news of a campaign to boost the number of blood donors in Britain. A sunny, upbeat tale, you might think. And in part it is. The campaign in question is the brainchild of the British Poles Initiative. Organisers want newcomers to the UK […]

Meet the woman who wants the toughest job in British politics

There’s something I don’t get about Kezia Dugdale. She’s young, bright and articulate. She has a law degree and a postgrad in public policy. She could make a career for herself as a solicitor, businesswoman or think-tanker. But she doesn’t want any of that. She wants the toughest, grimmest, least-rewarding job in British politics. She […]

Labour needs another leader with Tony Blair’s rebel soul

His role in the Labour leadership election has been called “counterproductive”,”totally unacceptable”, and “very silly”. Not Jeremy Corbyn – unilateralist, friend of Hamas and Hezbollah, committed opponent of economic reality – but Tony Blair. The former prime minister’s intervention last week into the contest to decide who will lose the 2020 election to George Osborne […]

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone at Tim Farron

There was a time when being gay ended your career as Liberal leader. Now it’s practically compulsory. At least Tim Farron might be forgiven for thinking so, given the hostile media treatment he has received in the past few days. Farron is a Liberal Democrat MP (ask your dad) and a practising Christian (ask your […]

Liz Kendall could help Labour regain purpose — and power

The Conservatives won the General Election. That much has sunk in for Labour people. But how they won. The Tories won men in every age bracket. They won women over 50 and overall. They won private sector workers by a margin of 17 points and trailed Labour amongst public sector employees by just three percentage […]

Civic or ethnic nationalist: Can you pass the Quidditch Test?

There are two questions which, unlikely as it seems, go to the heart of Scottish nationalism today. Question One: Is JK Rowling Scottish or English? If your answer to our first question is “Scottish”, you are probably a civic nationalist. Your framework of belonging is inclusive and dependent on choice and geography rather than heritage. If, […]

Rennie reminds us why, love them or hate them, we need Lib Dems

It’s not easy to go up against Bernard Ponsonby, STV’s wily and well-informed political editor. He is unrelenting, menacingly patient, with an acidulous wit, and more often than not knows more about your policies than you do. Now imagine you’re the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, those breakers of pledges and screwers of students. […]