Jeremy Corbyn is not the Messiah, not in Scotland anyway

There’s an old Jewish joke – usually attributed to Teddy Kollek z”l – about the parting point for Judaism and Christianity. What would you say to the Messiah if he appeared on Earth tomorrow, the former mayor of Jerusalem was asked. “Is this your first time here?” he quipped. If only supporters – devotees, reallyContinue reading “Jeremy Corbyn is not the Messiah, not in Scotland anyway”

Kezia Dugdale offers Labour a fresh start but will the voters?

My commiserations to Kezia Dugdale, who has been elected leader of the Scottish Labour Party. It’s something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, so to see it happen to such a nice person is difficult. The Lothian MSP can’t even take comfort in a near-escape; she trounced rival Ken Macintosh by 72%, a remarkableContinue reading “Kezia Dugdale offers Labour a fresh start but will the voters?”

Is David Cameron incredibly smart or incredibly dumb?

David Cameron is either the savviest political strategist in the land or the most dim-witted. I haven’t decided yet. His comments to journalists ruling out a second independence referendum are a case in point. He said: “I think it is important that a referendum is legal and properly constituted and that is what we had,Continue reading “Is David Cameron incredibly smart or incredibly dumb?”

We waited ten weeks for Mhairi Black’s maiden speech. It was worth it.

Given the mix of excitement and bemusement that greeted her election, there were always going to be high expectations for Mhairi Black’s maiden speech. Since ousting Labour’s Douglas Alexander in May, she has become the youngest MP in 348 years and taken a first in politics from Glasgow University before reaching her 21st birthday. (I’mContinue reading “We waited ten weeks for Mhairi Black’s maiden speech. It was worth it.”

Mhairi Black stirs anger in those left behind by the new Scotland

Mhairi Black fair riles them, doesn’t she? The SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South was termed a “slut” by the prominent Unionist academic Dr Jill Stephenson during a Twitter exchange, the Sunday Herald has reported. In the comments made before the general election, Dr Stephenson described the Nationalist politician as an “appalling harridan” andContinue reading “Mhairi Black stirs anger in those left behind by the new Scotland”

Tunisia shows there is no opting out of struggle against Islamism

The grammar of 21st century terrorism is depressingly familiar by now. First comes the outrage: Innocents savagely cut down going about their lives. Then the reaction, as politicians emote, 24-hour news speculates, and viewers gasp at the brazen, bloody theatrics. We move quickly onto the clichés. “They hate us for our freedom.” “Terrorism is causedContinue reading “Tunisia shows there is no opting out of struggle against Islamism”

The speech Nicola Sturgeon could give to put an end to cybernats

I am writing this from a coffee shop in Edinburgh. Half the people in the room are tapping away on laptops, smartphones or tablets. Who knows what they’re doing. Some might be emailing clients. Others will be checking Facebook. At least one might be updating a Tumblr dedicated exclusively to Photoshops of Jim Murphy asContinue reading “The speech Nicola Sturgeon could give to put an end to cybernats”

Watching Scottish Labour fade away made for awkward viewing

Never speak ill of the dead, our mothers instructed us, and I suppose that taboo extends to the dying. But those shuffling off this mortal coil are encumbered by no such niceties. Indeed, they can be vicious, lashing out frantically at everyone else, dreading the looming inevitable. Scottish Labour is raging against the dying ofContinue reading “Watching Scottish Labour fade away made for awkward viewing”

Labour is the Hiroo Onoda of Scottish politics

World War II didn’t actually end in 1945, you might be surprised to learn. Japan’s aggression against the Allied Forces in fact ceased on March 11, 1974. Or at least it did for Hiroo Onoda, a second lieutenant in the Imperial Army, who finally surrendered on that day. Onoda spent 29 years cut off fromContinue reading “Labour is the Hiroo Onoda of Scottish politics”