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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 →

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 →

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 →

Speaking in his very former constituency of Kirkcaldy, Gordon Brown will apparently say today that the SNP and Tories are both sooo yesterday in their obsession with parliamentary sovereignty. What he’s all about these days is ‘popular sovereignty’. Hmmmm. What’s that then, mate? Well, it’s; “the idea that power rests with the people and that.. read more →

The SNP has taken command of the moral high ground. If Scottish Labour’s leadership can’t learn fast in the coming few days, they’ll let down many decent folk who still have faith in them and Scottish Labour will be done for. The UK prime minister has said she’ll ignore any decision by the Scottish Parliament.. read more →