A buzz of excitement crackled through Holyrood as the Budget was handed down. Not for Derek Mackay’s speech – God love him – but because the proceedings were scored to the whirr-growl-thrum of an orchestra of mobile phones. Updates from Westminster whooshed in and MSPs jabbed their screens in anticipation of some fresh calamity. By … Continue reading Mackay was like a renegade elf… pinching back the gifts left by Santa
I want Derek Mackay to read this so I’m going to start by saying something nice about him. This column has been known to have a dig or two at the Finance Secretary but make no mistake: he is a skilled politician with legitimate ambitions to lead his party. When he replaced John Swinney in … Continue reading How Derek Mackay can help the Tartan Tiger roar
Fidel Castro used to deliver nine-hour speeches and have his political opponents shot. Patrick Harvie tries to combine the two: during his 301-word question at Holyrood yesterday, some Tory MSPs took on the glazed register of people longing for a bottle of brandy and a revolver. Mr Harvie does not mean to torture his opponents. … Continue reading The end of the world and Brexit’s not even in sight
The First Minister is ready for her close-up. As soon as she got wind of a live Brexit debate, up went Nicola Sturgeon’s peremptory demand that she be included. It is an invariable law of Scottish physics that the shortest distance at any given time is between the First Minister and a TV camera. A … Continue reading Sturgeon in the Brexit TV debate? Pass the remote.
Jackson Carlaw is a frightfully nice man who should not be allowed to dress himself. Yesterday at Holyrood he turned up sporting a chartreuse tie that hinted at a second job as the night manager of an Elvis-themed Las Vegas wedding chapel. It wasn’t quite atomic green but Fin Carson might want to get himself … Continue reading Carlaw takes Tories in a neon-conservative direction
Politics is nothing like normal life and the rules are different there. In normal life, it’s the quiet ones you have to keep an eye on, as every ashen neighbour who has ever told a TV news camera ‘he always kept himself to himself’ will attest. In politics, it’s the loud ones that need watching. … Continue reading Authenticity in politics? I’d rather have character, Darling.
First Minister’s Questions is no place for alarmism. Nicola Sturgeon made that clear when she warned Jackson Carlaw against ‘inadvertently undermin[ing] public confidence’ in the flu jab. On what tenuous basis was the interim Tory leader engaging in such wanton scaremongering? Other than the fact that 61 per cent of over-65s haven’t received the vaccine … Continue reading Bomber Baillie goes Full Metal Jackie