We’ve been quiet over the last few weeks – we have a new format and a lot of new things planned for throughout 2017, starting early in January with a new podcast and a new site layout.  For tonight, we thought we’d wind up 2016 – the year of Brexit, Trump and a new right.. read more →

Today in the Scottish parliament, Scottish Labour will apparently argue that on economic grounds Farage/English-Tory-led Brexit trumps Scotland’s continued EU membership through independence. Look at all that trade that flows through England, they’ll say. Seriously? Much of that trade in one way and another ends up in EU countries, of course, because England adds value.. read more →

Trump’s victory has, for now at least, destroyed the basis of unionists’ economic arguments against independence.  Trump and Brexit together so alter the prevailing economic orthodoxies and assumptions of the 2014 independence referendum that refusing to re-consider the situation afresh would be the very definition of dogmatism. The ‘bad economic outcomes’  arrow has disappeared from the.. read more →

Here’s (from 50:50) pretendy ‘professor’ Jim Gallagher being interviewed on BBC’s Sunday Politics two days ago. In introducing Gallagher, veteran host Gordon Brewer notes that the previous interviewee, Mike Russell MSP, said he (Russell) “made no claims” to being an eminent legal expert. Russell, of course, understands very well that political actors must take care.. read more →

Following our first report on the mystery of Taymouth Castle, some readers told us that the golfing community have noticed that the Taymouth Castle Golf Course seems, well, a bit odd. We’ve looked carefully at that, spoken to some new people and chased a few leads. Below, we explain where we’ve got to and link.. read more →

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 →

30 Sep 2016
September 30, 2016

The UK’s Far Right

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Anna Soubry MP is a fairly right-wing Tory with quite a high public profile on account of having been very outspoken about her Tory rightwing-ness during her short parliamentary career. Some of us (!) have shared a platform with her in public debate for the chatterati and thought she was about as right wing as.. read more →