What does Jeremy Corbyn mean for Scotland and the SNP?

Good news, Scottish Labour – your eight years in the wilderness are about to come to an end. Jeremy Corbyn has been elected leader of the UK party and as his Scottish boosters assured us during the campaign his anti-austerity agenda is poised to return Scotland to the Labour fold. The SNP was swept toContinue reading “What does Jeremy Corbyn mean for Scotland and the SNP?”

For the sake of the monarchy, long may the Queen reign

Oh to be a republican today. The flags, the bunting, the crowds crammed into Edinburgh’s Waverley Station iPhones at the ready. Cloying front pages, peppy breakfast presenters and breathless royal correspondents. Royalist Britain — which is to say Britain — in a carnival atmosphere for its sovereign’s special day. It must be hell. The Queen’sContinue reading “For the sake of the monarchy, long may the Queen reign”

David Cameron is wrong on refugees but he’s not the only one

“Anyone here been raped and speaks English?” one of those brilliant bastards of the trade would proclaim upon arriving in the latest war zone. That reporterly black humour speaks not just to Fleet Street cynicism but to the reality of foreign news: It feels very far away until it reaches our shores. The rising tideContinue reading “David Cameron is wrong on refugees but he’s not the only one”

Independence is coming. It’s now only a matter of time.

Let’s just get this out of the way right from the start: Scotland is going to be independent in our lifetime. I know it seemed like we said No in last year’s referendum but it was actually “not right now”. The timing wasn’t right, key questions remained unanswered, and Alex Salmond just rubbed some peopleContinue reading “Independence is coming. It’s now only a matter of time.”

Nicola Sturgeon goes back to basics in policy agenda speech

In politics, celebrated strategist Kenny Rogers (almost) advised, you gotta know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, and know when to keep people who read the Daily Mail on side. That is what Nicola Sturgeon does in her programme for government, unveiled in Edinburgh on Tuesday. The delivery was calm and assuredContinue reading “Nicola Sturgeon goes back to basics in policy agenda speech”

BBC won’t be devolved till SNP stops obsessing about it

“I pray God to deliver me from my friends,” remarked Voltaire. “I will defend myself from my enemies.” The Daily Mail columnist Chris Deerin is afraid he might be falling for Nicola Sturgeon — join the queue, mate — but you don’t need to swoon over her political nous and personal charisma to wish theContinue reading “BBC won’t be devolved till SNP stops obsessing about it”

We don’t need more Scots in the arts, we need new Scots

How did you mark Wallace Day? Yes, there’s an annual celebration of Elderslie’s favourite son and it took place over the weekend. While you were trudging through the aisles of IKEA or more happily marching at Pride, people with full-body tattoos of Robert Burns sat in Hope over Fear T-shirts watching Braveheart for the 879thContinue reading “We don’t need more Scots in the arts, we need new Scots”

Backing Corbyn is another step on Daily Record’s journey to Yes

The Daily Record was once a giant of Scottish life, at its height read by one in every two Scots. The days of such sales figures are long gone but some newspapers retain a certain status, conferred by journalism or symbolism. The Record qualifies on both counts and even if it is no longer Scotland’sContinue reading “Backing Corbyn is another step on Daily Record’s journey to Yes”

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?”