Labour can only stand by and watch their electoral destruction

The latest glut of Lord Ashcroft polling data is nothing short of horrendous for Scottish Labour. It’s also terrible for the Liberal Democrats but we don’t have time to deal with their problems right now. The polling of five Labour-held seats, along with two Lib Dems constituencies and the sole Tory outpost in Scotland, showsContinue reading “Labour can only stand by and watch their electoral destruction”

Future of the Conservatives lies in being good, not just right

Political parties, let alone incumbent ones, don’t usually engage in public soul-searching ten weeks out from a general election. But with the ballot box looming, some of Britain’s leading Tory commentators are wondering aloud if the Conservatives are on the (centre-)right path. This kind of discussion may seem irrelevant in Scotland where the Tories willContinue reading “Future of the Conservatives lies in being good, not just right”

Rifkind and Straw scandal shows why we must pay MPs more

At this point, politicians should just assume every lobbyist they meet is an undercover reporter from the Daily Telegraph. Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw have been secretly recorded by journalists, allegedly offering to use their positions to advance the interests of a (non-existent) Chinese company. In the video, Mr Straw is said to claim thatContinue reading “Rifkind and Straw scandal shows why we must pay MPs more”

David Cameron rallies the Tory faithful at conference

The only things missing were the pom-poms. David Cameron came to Edinburgh to rally the Scottish Tory faithful, usually an unhappy task for a Conservative leader. The party has been in the doldrums north of the border for so long that Mr Cameron’s predecessors have copied and pasted the same speech year after year. “TheContinue reading “David Cameron rallies the Tory faithful at conference”

Scottish Tory leader introduces her same-sex partner in election ad

Scottish Conservative leaders aren’t obvious pioneers of same-sex equality. Ruth Davidson, however, isn’t your average Scottish Conservative leader. The 36-year-old MSP for Glasgow has broken new ground with a party election broadcast featuring her partner Jen. The broadcast, released on Wednesday evening shows Ms Davidson and her partner out walking and spending time with theContinue reading “Scottish Tory leader introduces her same-sex partner in election ad”

Will Scottish Labour survive and what will be left of it?

Analysing Scottish Labour’s standing in the opinion polls, the tagline from the 1974 horror classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre comes to mind: “Who will survive and what will be left of them?” According to Lord Ashcroft’s landmark Scottish polling, the answer seems to be: Not many and not much. Make no mistake, the natureContinue reading “Will Scottish Labour survive and what will be left of it?”

Choosing the chosen

Unchosen: The Memoirs of a Philosemite By Julie Burchill Unbound, 192 pages Julie Burchill loves the Jews, and she wants everyone to know it. The English controversialist informs us at the outset of her new book, Unchosen: The Memoirs of a Philosemite: “I have spent my life wrapping myself in the Jewish flag, sometimes metaphorically,Continue reading “Choosing the chosen”

Tricia Marwick’s kindness shows the human side of politics

The Australian Parliament is the most majestic prison in the world. Thirty-two hectares and A$1bn worth of isolation, Parliament House in Canberra is built into a hill in the Australian Capital Territory far away from the electorates most MPs represent. The complex operates like a city within a city, remote from the rest of theContinue reading “Tricia Marwick’s kindness shows the human side of politics”

Trident gambit tempts SNP away from the centre ground

Progressive parties win elections by promising to make things better, conservative parties by saying things used to be better and can be once again. Fittingly for a party that’s not quite left and not quite right, the SNP is trying to have it both ways. The Nationalists’ pitch to the voters ahead of May’s generalContinue reading “Trident gambit tempts SNP away from the centre ground”

Scotland poised to hold UK’s future in its hands once again

“You campaign in poetry,” said the late Mario Cuomo. “You govern in prose.” The SNP campaigns with a baseball bat, relentlessly pummeling the Labour Party, now bloodied and on the floor. Wednesday’s Ipsos-MORI poll for STV saunters over to the battered party and gives it another kick in the ribs. The telephone survey, conducted amongstContinue reading “Scotland poised to hold UK’s future in its hands once again”