Last week at the House of Commons, SNP MP Richard Arkless raised (from 3.48pm) the issue of money laundering in central Scotland. This should be one of the biggest stories in Scotland, yet it’s gone quiet since The Guardian wrote about it in May. We followed up here at the time with a local perspective and.. read more →

In 2008 Jim Gallagher was an anti-Scottish-independence-minded civil servant working as ‘Director of Scottish devolution’  for Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Brown sent him to be secretary to the unionist Calman Commission to ensure the report reached the ‘right’ conclusions. In his spare time, like many folk of good professional standing, Gallagher volunteered as a ‘visiting professor’.. read more →

The Jim Gallagher affair is an unhappy one for him, of course. You can see how he would have enjoyed being a visiting professor while a civil servant, helping academics with his perspectives on the civil service. Then, when the visiting professorship came up for renewal after his retirement, switching the justification to his ‘academic’.. read more →

University academics have a special place in the public dialogue around Scottish independence. They sometimes venture personal opinions and reach out to the wider population, but this is invariably placed by readers and listeners into the context of their assumed scholarship. As we’ve written before, it’s critical that academics make it clear when they’re veering.. read more →

As the SNP meets in Glasgow, and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon begins to lay the legislative ground for a new referendum, it’s striking just how much Scottish unionists are being forced to resort to dogma and fallacy; how they’re being forced on to the ground of rubbishing, rather than engaging intelligently with, the challenges.. read more →

Right-wing populists have always beseeched ordinary people to ignore experts. We know why. Decent democrats, on the other hand, give experts their place while accepting that said experts usually disagree with each other and someone has to then try to make public policy decisions based in part on their advice. That’s a bit messy, but of.. read more →