Tentative thumbs-up for the Conservative—Lib Dem coalition

A few days ago I wrote optimistically about the prospect of a coalition between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. Now that we have a coalition for real, I feel even more cheered. Part of my argument in my earlier post was that there needs to be cultural change in politics. When I listened to […]

Patrick Hannan — A Useful Fiction

Have you noticed that there is a lot of introspection about devolution just now? I suppose it underlines the fact that devolution is a process rather than a settlement that everyone is still looking at how to tweak it. Maybe it is just the newness of it. The Scottish Parliament is very young as these […]

The Scottish press in freefall?

It’s no secret that the Scottish media is going through a particularly tough time at the moment. In a sense, the past decade or so can probably be described as one long tough time. Job cuts have been piled upon job cuts. With sales plummeting, advertising revenues shrinking and the uncertain world of new media, […]

My view on Scotland’s constitutional future

If you haven’t read my previous post explaining what I’m trying to do here, feel free to take a look. In this post I will set out the thinking behind my views on Scottish independence. For what it’s worth, I think within a couple of decades the idea of the independent nation state will almost […]

The SNP dimension

To the extent that the SNP’s current electoral popularity is due to pro-SNP (rather than anti-Labour) effects, it must be remembered that there is much more than independence at play. Does an SNP success in an election mean that Scotland has suddenly converted to the cause of independence? Of course not. Firstly, support for independence […]

The controversial Economist article

“Home truths about home rule” Scotland has regressed into an inward-looking, slightly chip-on-shoulder, slightly Anglophobic country with no clear sense of direction. I think the controversial bit is where they suggest that it wasn’t all of those things before devolution. If Jack McConnell’s angry, you know it must be right. Update: Having read it all […]

Steel’s Scotland

Lib Dems open door to coalition with SNP. No big surprise there; it’s surely been on the cards since Jim Wallace resigned. And why not? A Labour–Lib Dem coalition seemed like the most sensible option at the time, but as a Lib Dem supporter (and I doubt I’m going to float my vote anywhere else […]

The big question

Smoking out the big (West Lothian) question. Apparently, “The only way to solve it once and for all would be to have no more Scottish MPs at Westminster and a fully independent Scottish state.” Er, no it’s not. How about devolved assemblies for England? (Via.)

Yet more splits in the Tories

The gulf between Scottish Conservative MSPs in Holyrood and their Westminster couterparts is growing ever larger. Murdo Fraser has now gone as far as saying that the Scottish Tories should break off from the Englandandwales party. A leading Conservative MSP has suggested breaking away from the party south of the border. Enterprise spokesman Murdo Fraser […]