Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman of valour

Ruth the Moabite is the only Biblical figure to merit the description ‘eshet chayil’ – ‘a woman of valour’. One rabbinical exegesis sees Proverbs 31’s womanly virtues as a reference to Ruth: ‘Many women have done well, but you surpass them all.’ Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died aged 87 on Erev Rosh Hashanah, surpassed the expectations andContinue reading “Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a woman of valour”

Scotland’s approach to lockdown is not working

Scots, or at least those I encounter at a two-metre distance, are growing scunnered with lockdown. The impositions grand and petty on everyday life. The endless changes to increasingly unintelligible rules. The glum dawning that it’s going to be like this until a vaccine is manufactured. We are fortunate, of course, those of us whoContinue reading “Scotland’s approach to lockdown is not working”

Sturgeon explains things to Richard Leonard verrrrrry sloooooowly

Tracking coronavirus? There’s an app for that. First Minister’s Questions was buzzing about the new technological doohickey intended to save us all from Covid-19. What the Protect Scotland app couldn’t do is save us from a major reversal of lockdown: meetings, indoors and out, would be cut to only six people across two households. OrContinue reading “Sturgeon explains things to Richard Leonard verrrrrry sloooooowly”

National emergencies require national responses

With the aviation industry on its knees, Boris Johnson is under pressure to embrace airport testing. Screening arrivals is thought more effective than the current policy: a blanket requirement to self-quarantine for 14 days. Airline and tourism chiefs warn this is crippling their sectors and putting thousands of jobs at risk. The Scottish Conservatives wantContinue reading “National emergencies require national responses”

In the court of Queen Nicola

Someone on the BBC got a bit overexcited and teed it up as ‘the Queen’s Speech of Scotland’. Nicola Sturgeon’s annual Programme for Government doesn’t boast quite the same pomp and glitz, though she does wear her customary crown of virtue. Addressing her court, the Nat regnant declared that this was ‘not a normal, business-as-usualContinue reading “In the court of Queen Nicola”

It’s time for Boris to back Israel

Dominic Raab has visited Israel for his first trip as Foreign Secretary. By all accounts, he was made very welcome, despite the UK’s craven abstention at the UN over extending an arms embargo on Iran, a country where they arrest our ambassador, burn our flag and chat ‘Death to Britain’. Quite the dilemma we faced in that vote. According to theContinue reading “It’s time for Boris to back Israel”

A small step in the right direction

This week there will be an almighty row about Westminster stealing powers from Holyrood. You may be wondering how that differentiates it from any other week. Ginning up grievance over imaginary encroachments on your authority is infinitely easier than governing. Scottish ministers are so concerned they could lose some of their powers they might evenContinue reading “A small step in the right direction”