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    FALKIRK

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    LONDON

Nigeria is one of the most important countries in the world. It’s by far the largest country in Africa; it’s the fastest growing economy there by a long chalk. Nigerians all over the world hold positions of power and importance. From a UK perspective, one of the largest contingents of secret service (‘Mi6’) in the.. read more →

The Scottish Parliament’s ‘First Minister’s Questions (FMQs)’, modelled on the UK Parliament’s ‘Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs)’, sees the First Minister take questions in the chamber each week. Yet there’s a very significant difference which goes to the heart of what the parliament’s supposed to be all about. PMQs lasts half an hour. Members put in.. read more →

The Tory Party’s proposals on care for the elderly are aimed at one group – present Labour voters in Labour-held midlands/northern seats whose elderly parents live in bought council houses. And get this – technically, it’s actually progressive! This single policy shift may well lead to the Tories taking a number of ‘safe’ Labour seats in.. read more →

According to The Guardian, The Tories are running a social media advert which runs simply: “A vote for Labour is a vote for Corbyn”. The simplicity and apparently obvious truth of this statement makes it seem almost Zen-like. It has the touch of Lynton Crosby about it. He’s the man who won David Cameron his.. read more →

Here’s a wee test that might help clarify a thing or two for some folk. Think of a marginal constituency in Scotland. You might want to choose a Labour held one like Edinburgh South, where both the Tories and SNP are challengers. Or you might prefer a borders constituency where it’s neck and neck between.. read more →

12 May 2017
May 12, 2017

How The Daily Mail laughs

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Here’s Scottish Daily Mail man Alan Roden bragging today about his prize from the boy’s club which is Scottish journalism. Roden’s the identified spokesperson for Scottish Labour at the moment – the second most prominent Scottish Labour person at this general election time, in fact. Here’s our piece from last month explaining how by joining.. read more →

12 May 2017
May 12, 2017

Orange panic

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Herald reporter Gerry Braiden writes today that; “Ulster-style loyalism has again become a shorthand for elements of the Yes movement to denigrate opponents”. The article is entitled; “Folk devils, Orange panics and Scotland’s council elections”. So, who’s causing the ‘Orange panic’, then? Why, that’ll also be The Herald. So, hilariously, the Herald hyped an ‘Orange panic’.. read more →

09 May 2017
May 9, 2017

Not so Great Britain

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The ‘Just say No’ camp are fond of reminding Scots of the magnificent achievements of the UK as a nation. But Britain’s sense of itself is horribly distorted and the myths the No camp direct us to are so much self-serving claptrap.  Post-imperial historians have often questioned ‘Great’ British nationalist myths, of course, but the.. read more →

Sometimes, it’s worth a look at what the bookies are saying about elections. They’re a measure of where bets are being placed, of course, and not a perfect outcome predictor by any means. But it’s worth noting that what are passing in the media as ‘predictions’ of a dozen Scottish Tory seats are based upon.. read more →

Falkirk and I often get the blame for the Brexit, Corbyn and the Tories ascendancy. It’s an outrageous slur, obviously…… Yet today, my old stomping ground of Falkirk is indeed pivotal and provides the perfect illustration of the choice before Labour at this historical time. Over the last few elections, Labour and the SNP have.. read more →

It’s election day. Everything that can be said about today’s council elections in advance of actually knowing the result has been said, surely? So in this downtime, just for fun, I thought I’d speculate about a few things in respect of what might follow the first Scottish General Election. With any luck we’ve had the.. read more →

In the early part of the 20th Century, the Liberals dominated Scottish politics. That history is still important to the party today, with Scotland providing half of Liberal/Lib Dem leaders – all thoroughly decent people – over the last 61 years. Then the Tories tended to hold sway, often tussling with Labour but finally biting.. read more →

28 Apr 2017
April 28, 2017

Hey, STV, give us our Greens……

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STV say they won’t let the Greens take part in their “leader’s debate” on 24th May. They’ve made an editorial decision, they say, and it’s permitted by the Ofcom rules. Well, their ‘editorial decision’ is cackhanded and also balls. They’ll have to change it. It’s a UK general election and none of those taking part.. read more →

Well, it’s taken a while, but I’ve finally found an excuse to get antidisestablishmentarianism into a blogpost. The notion arose to describe those against the disestablishment of the Church of England. But when I studied this stuff years ago, we learned that some of the folk against the disestablishment of the Church were not actually.. read more →

Is today’s rogue independence poll a stunning example of a megacorps media company using a cheap trick to sell is wares through other megacorps newspaper companies, or just a crap piece of work by a rubbish branch office? There’s a poll out today by a company called Kantar (here, I prefer Kant). In spite of (actually, it turns.. read more →

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 →