Sturgeon, the Stasi and state guardians: A conversation with David Coburn

David Coburn is wrong about absolutely everything. Immigration? Wrong. The European Union? Wrong. TTIP? Wrong. (I am in the unusual position of being both to the left and the right of Ukip.) And we won’t get into his crass comments about Humza Yousaf, the lip-quiveringly luscious Scottish Government minister. No, there’s nothing I could everContinue reading “Sturgeon, the Stasi and state guardians: A conversation with David Coburn”

David Coburn on Brussels, Bake Off and Bernie Sanders. (Yes, his mic’s on.)

The next interview in my series of conversations with party leaders is David Coburn. The leader of Ukip in Scotland sat down with me to talk about health, education and, yes, you guessed it, the European Union. I understand it was one of two interviews he’s done in his entire career with someone other thanContinue reading “David Coburn on Brussels, Bake Off and Bernie Sanders. (Yes, his mic’s on.)”

In the path of the juggernaut

The 110th anniversary of the parliamentary Labour party passed by in February largely unremarked. The decision by Keir Hardie’s Labour Representation Committee to rename itself ‘the Labour party’ after winning 29 seats in the 1906 election was a historic one. It marked the beginning of organised labour as a force in the House of Commons,Continue reading “In the path of the juggernaut”

Will voters give Green light for bold policies?

It’s good to be Green. After years of parrying barbs about tie-dyes and tofu, the party is getting the last laugh on those who dismissed them as a political punchline. Undeodorised tree-huggers and yurt-dwelling vegans no more; the Greens are a growing force in Scottish politics. They head into the Holyrood election in better shapeContinue reading “Will voters give Green light for bold policies?”

Patrick Harvie on Grumpy Cat, Donald Trump’s wig and Captain Planet

As part of STV’s Holyrood election coverage, I am sitting down with all the major and minor party leaders to talk about their prospectus for government. First up is Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Greens, who joined me to talk about taxation, education and a second referendum on independence. That interview will be publishedContinue reading “Patrick Harvie on Grumpy Cat, Donald Trump’s wig and Captain Planet”

Why can’t Scottish parents choose to send their child to an academy?

George Osborne is not an easy man to love. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has the great misfortune not only to be rich but to look it too. “The trouble with Michael,” Thatcher-era minister Michael Jopling once stung Lord Heseltine, “is that he had to buy all his furniture.” Osborne does not have the appearanceContinue reading “Why can’t Scottish parents choose to send their child to an academy?”

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”