Jeremy Corbyn and Nicola Sturgeon are both at the STUC today. They have very different audiences, though. Jeremy Corbyn will be a lot less comfortable with hard-nosed trades unionists than people might think. The history of British trades unions is characterised by sectional interest; working class folk representing others in the workplace, trying to get.. read more →

21 Apr 2017
April 21, 2017

The Daily Mail harms only Labour

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That the Daily Mail practically exists to make money for its owner by destroying Labour (amongst other things…) is well-known in England. In Scotland, it’s just as true but some Scottish Labour folk seem confused about it. The Daily Mail’s commercial success is rooted in English conservatism. In Scotland, because of Labour’s terrible weakness, this.. read more →

The Fixed Term Parliaments Act was both a con and a mirage. A con, because it was  primarily intended by David Cameron’s Conservatives as a way of redressing a demographic oddity which which meant Labour required far fewer votes at election per seat than everyone else. The number of seats would reduce from 651 to.. read more →

The orthodoxy at Westminster is that Scotland and Northern Ireland have been discounted for UK general elections. Not just this one, but for a couple of generations or forever. The Tories think they might be able to sneak their present seat and perhaps another, like Perth maybe (they’re culturally conditioned to always think this about.. read more →

Theresa May has called the election to give her a proper Brexit mandate. If the Tories are as successful as the polls suggest, then she’ll get what she wants. That mandate will of course come entirely from England (and Wales). Michael Gove, hoping for a government job after the election, was going about today saying.. read more →

Below: Murray Foote, Daily Record Editor in velveteen jacket, getting a prize for some old crap from two other comedy-trousered boys-club members.  The Scottish Tories and Scottish Labour are saying that their first priority at the local authority elections is the union. This makes nonsense of their claim that it is the SNP which obsesses.. read more →

[New postscript below main article] There’s been talk amongst SNP MSPs and MPs about changing the way the Scottish parliament list system works. They’re fed up that some folk stand at election after election, often coming third or even fourth but then entering parliament anyway on their party’s list. I initially viewed this as a.. read more →

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 →