From every beam of every ceiling in Glasgow's SECC droops the same giant banner: 'HOPE', styled in Nationalist yellow and black. From a distance, it looks like a motivational talk has got out of hand and staged a military coup. Underneath, SNP members trudge in dismay from conference halls to party tat stalls. Their only … Continue reading Ian Blackford belched out words like a stubby little chimney
After their years of navel-gazing politics provoked the populist spasms we are now contending with, the major parties have decided to inspect their belly buttons some more until the problem goes away. At least, that appears to be the strategy. How else to explain the state of politics today? The Conservatives occasionally squeeze a bit … Continue reading Richard Leonard is turning Scottish Labour into Corbynism with a kilt
There is an eerie pitch to Scottish politics these days. It began the year as a mumble, inaudible to all but those listening intently, but in the past few months the volume has swelled. A cawing groan echoes through the forbidding corridors of St Andrew’s House and winds its way down Calton Hill to stalk … Continue reading Nicola Sturgeon’s zombie government
After Theresa May shimmied onto the conference stage in Birmingham to ABBA’s ‘Dancing Queen’, I had hoped Nicola Sturgeon would make more of her entrance to First Minister’s Questions. Maybe she and Derek Mackay would lead the rest of the Cabinet in a Dashing White Sergeant across the debating chamber. Great was my disappointment when … Continue reading RoboSturgeon in no mood for dancing
I wasn't around to see Titus welcomed back to Rome after the conquest of Jerusalem, Nelson hailed in Naples for sinking the French on the Nile, or the Lisbon Lions and their European Cup roared around Celtic Park in an open-top lorry but I got to witness Ruth Davidson's reception at Conservative conference five months … Continue reading She’s the toast of the Tories but what does Ruth Davidson stand for?
My granny used to tell us: ‘If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.’ My granny didn't live to see the Scottish Parliament so I reckon her injunction is moot. The carnival of mediocrity cranked up again yesterday and sputtered along for 45 eyelid-anchoring minutes of First Minister’s Questions. Westminster … Continue reading Nicola had the look of a cat who’d just sat on a porcupine
The Japanese martial art of aikido hinges on two connected philosophies – first, that it is wiser to use your opponent’s strength against him than it is to attempt to subdue him with brute force and, second, that you should only use as much force as is necessary to defend yourself. Morihei Ueshiba, the founding … Continue reading Brussels has undermined the chances of a second referendum