One of the reasons Scottish unionists give for remaining with the UK is the UK’s great moral influence over world affairs. How does that stand up in the context of today’s most pressing issue of Syria and weapons of mass destruction? The harsh reality is that it seems that the UK is firing diplomatic blanks… read more →

10 Apr 2017
April 10, 2017

Cops

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Today’s Westminster Abbey funeral of PC Keith Palmer will serve to remind us all how few degrees of separation there usually are between regular folk and a momentous, in this case tragic, event. It’s a chance for us to reflect too, as people and nations, how folk who become cops are perhaps our greatest treasure… read more →

Two interesting schools stories today. The first is the Supreme Court judgement that parents can’t take kids out of state schools willy-nilly for off-peak holidays. In England, where the brouhaha has played out, most heads have the power to be sensible re: authorised absences depending on that child’s attendance over the 90% minimum. The problem’s.. read more →

We posted here about how a Daily Mail mindset at the Scottish Labour Party has led it to invent a crisis in Scottish schools. The was done in order to attack the Scottish government’s pursuit of an independence referendum by claiming it was ignoring all manner of serious policy issues in the meantime. Today we provide.. read more →

The Scottish Labour Party’s central proposition at the moment is that we should accept Brexit and long-term Tory rule because these are simply distractions from key policy issues we aren’t tackling properly in Scotland. They’ve hired a Daily Mail guy not just as a regular staffer, but to personally lead their case in the media… read more →

Just a wee thought about democracy, this fine Friday evening. It’s widely accepted that the notion of representative democracy involves people standing for election – generally, but not quite always on a party programme – then those who are elected all get together on a regular basis. They debate stuff and at the end of.. read more →

Today, journo-turned-Tory-press-guy-and-future-mid-range-PR-bloke Eddie Barnes tweeted  an unintentionally hilarious form of words from aparently-still-billionaire Sir Tom Hunter. I guess Eddie thought they sounded wise: “To conclude, a story perhaps apocryphal, is told of a car industry chief taking a union leader around his factory and noting that his robotic assembly machines didn’t strike. The union man.. read more →

Sgt Blackman, known during his trial as Marine A, has had his sentence reduced from murder to manslaughter. He’s had his life sentence reduced to 7 years and because of time served he’ll be home in the next few weeks. Scotland has a big community of Royal Marines and ex-bootnecks, along with Arbroath’s 45 Commando,.. read more →

Just for a bit of light relief after today’s truly abysmal front-page, Daily Mail columnist Stephen Daisley wrote this yesterday; “Grievances are the carbohydrates of nationalism; eliminate them and the body grinds to a halt”.  Evidently, Daisley is not a man who has given serious thought to the Atkins diet. But more tragically, Daisley used to.. read more →

Theresa May is meeting Nicola Sturgeon today so we can expect to see the return of nonsense about hard borders and whatnot for a few hours. But in truth, the Tories’ position on a referendum is much more coherent than Scottish Labour’s. Theresa May’s argument is that Scots can’t have a well-informed referendum until they know.. read more →

Like most folk, I think Red Nose Day seems a pretty good thing. I know that those who conceived it are good folk. I don’t really stop to wonder if the money raised on the night displaces donations elsewhere in a zero-sum competition between big NGOs. I just think the folk on the telly and.. read more →

22 Mar 2017
March 22, 2017

Martin McGuinness

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I first met Martin McGuinness formally a few years ago during a short spell as shadow minister for Northern Ireland. He was Deputy First minister. Before this first meeting Shaun Woodward, who’d recently been Northern Ireland Secretary of State, told me that however many times I met Martin McGuiness, each meeting would always feel slightly.. read more →