Scottish self-pity proves Sandi Thom has flowers in her head

Sandi Thom is quitting the music industry. It’s a bit like me announcing the end of my edible thong modelling career. The ersatz hippie chick had precisely one hit nine years ago and, save for being caught up in an expenses row over Scottish Government sponsored events in 2009, hasn’t done much else of note.Continue reading “Scottish self-pity proves Sandi Thom has flowers in her head”

Scotland Bill fulfils The Vow but not promises of home rule

Substantial new powers are coming to Scotland. This fact no Nationalist demagogue can inveigh away. The Scotland Bill, approved by the Commons on Monday night, means Holyrood’s permanence will be enshrined in the constitution and MSPs will get the power to set income tax rates and bands, as well as significant welfare powers and controlContinue reading “Scotland Bill fulfils The Vow but not promises of home rule”

Kezia Dugdale finds her voice in powerful speech

Kezia Dugdale has the best job and the worst job in Scotland. She is the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, a torment even Torquemada would have backed away from. Dugdale’s thirties will be spent performing CPR on a party that will likely slip into a coma anyway. In return, she gets a nice mentionContinue reading “Kezia Dugdale finds her voice in powerful speech”

#ScotLab15 conference diary: Welcome to the new old Labour Party

Scottish Labour gathered in Perth this weekend for a conference of firsts. It was the first since Kezia Dugdale succeeded Jim Murphy (all the feels) as leader. It was also Jeremy Corbyn’s first as Comrade Number One of the UK party and he seemed to enjoy it, regaling delegates with tales of socialist sunshine andContinue reading “#ScotLab15 conference diary: Welcome to the new old Labour Party”

Sunshine of socialism clouded by nationalism in Scotland

Jeremy Corbyn’s speeches are getting better. There is more structure, a line of thought; an editor has crashed the speechwriting staff. The Labour leader retains the unorthodox habit of speaking in complete sentences, with verbs and everything. Most politicians gave up on verbs some time ago. Troublesome little buggers, they are. They’re all about doingContinue reading “Sunshine of socialism clouded by nationalism in Scotland”

Sturgeon could return Scottish education to greatness

The General Election saw her branded “the most dangerous woman in Britain” but Nicola Sturgeon could turn out to be subversive in a way no one expected. According to reports, the First Minister is considering a bid by parents to set up a state-funded primary school outside local authority control. St Joseph’s in Milngavie has beenContinue reading “Sturgeon could return Scottish education to greatness”

I am ‘pro-life’ but it shouldn’t be this easy to limit abortion

My name is Stephen and I believe life begins at conception. There, I said it. Now you know: I’m one of Those People. Measure me up for the village stocks. I won’t be adding a coat hanger Twibbon to my social media profile, as others have in response to a motion on abortion from NationalistContinue reading “I am ‘pro-life’ but it shouldn’t be this easy to limit abortion”

SNP’s biggest conference ever poses three big questions

Three questions emerge from SNP conference 2015. Question one: What is the SNP today? Answer: Who knows. The angry and aggrieved are still there; muttering the old prejudices, their faces etched with resentment. A BBC fringe meeting turned ugly, as the Nats’ raw paranoia about the broadcaster spilled out. Elsewhere, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, a walking pressContinue reading “SNP’s biggest conference ever poses three big questions”

Nicola Sturgeon is not for turning on second referendum

To watch Nicola Sturgeon address the SNP’s annual conference is to observe a leader at the height of her political prowess. They leap to their feet for her, drown even the weakest lines in rapturous applause. They are hers, like teenagers in a dreamy crush. She would never, ever break their hearts. Alone among leadersContinue reading “Nicola Sturgeon is not for turning on second referendum”

Scottish Greens vote to remove Hamas from terrorist list

The Scottish Greens, perhaps feeling Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was lonely out on his limb, have echoed his support for Hamas. The left-wing party passed a motion at its autumn conference in Glasgow on Saturday backing the removal of the Islamist militants from the list of proscribed terrorist groups. The motion, which runs to moreContinue reading “Scottish Greens vote to remove Hamas from terrorist list”