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24 Feb 2017
February 24, 2017

Unionists and oil

3 Comments

Sometimes, civil servants get paid to lie – other times they’re paid to just keep quiet, knowing truths are being distorted or hidden and untruths are being insinuated into place by their paymasters. That’s just the way it is. You can’t blame regular folk for just earning their wages, looking after their families, paying the.. read more →

Yesterday’s tweet about Trump’s UK state visit drew some surprise from folk that the Scottish government would have a role at all. Today, though, here’s today’s Evening Standard (and to be fair, yesterday’s Daily Record which we’d missed) following up on the strong possibility that Scotland might well be used as a neat way of.. read more →

FromNotoYes.Scot is unambiguously all about Scottish independence. This is because the ‘equal’ union with England is already dead. The UK government, made up entirely of English nationalist politicians*, is simply forcing Scotland to accept its right wing populism, ideological direction towards reduced public services, removal of the protection of the ECJ and ECHR, alienation from.. read more →

This week a widely-read Fabian Society paper argued that in future Labour can only win ‘national’ office through an alliance with the SNP. The paper’s central proposal is therefore about Scotland in the UK yet it comes wholly from an English perspective. Below, a centrist former chair of the UK Fabian Society and a former Convener.. read more →

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 →

26 Sep 2016
September 26, 2016

The Agency

3 Comments

There is a theme which binds together the phenomena of Trump, Farage, the UK Tories, this week’s Labour conference and much more. It is the dominant political and even existential notion in these amazing and bewildering days. It operates at many levels: the national, community, family and the individual. It is the idea of agency… read more →

Here’s a heartfelt article about Labour by Observer and Guardian columnist Barbara Ellen. She’s staunchly anti-Corbyn and writes that people like her will desert the Labour Party when Corbyn inevitably wins re-election this week. Her difficulty, and that of her like-minded readers, is that they have nowhere to go to. Not the Tories, obviously, but.. read more →