Scotland

An open letter to AC Grayling on his thoughts on Scottish independence

Posted on February 15, 2014 by | 12 Comments

Dear Prof Grayling, I read your column in the Herald with interest. I think it’s important that people who are based in the rest of the UK engage in the independence debate, and so I am glad that you are doing so. I do, however, think much of what you say is claptrap. The idea [...]

UN Charter: “respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”

Posted on February 14, 2014 by | 4 Comments

Today, the Herald reports threats from the UK cabinet that, if Scotland votes yes in September, Westminster might deny the Scots their right to self determination. In this light, here the first chapter of the UN charter. You can read the whole thing on the UN website. The UN Charter Article 1 The Purposes of [...]

Yes campaign catching up: 13 thoughts

Posted on January 26, 2014 by | 1 Comment

Scotland on Sunday has an ICM poll out on the independence referendum today showing support for the Yes campaign up significantly. John Curtice has seen the tables, and you can see his detailed breakdown here. Below are my immeditate thoughts. It’s just one poll. But it is ICM. Who, as others have pointed out, have [...]

On migration, Scotland and Riace are in the same boat

Posted on November 3, 2013 by | No Comments

    This morning I listened to this programme on the World Service. It’s the touching story of Riace, a village in southern Italy which has opened its arms to migrants coming across the Mediterranean. It’s only half an hour long, and I consider it a half hour well spent, but if you don’t have [...]

Grangemouth: a few big men push the rest of us from society

Posted on October 26, 2013 by | No Comments

This week’s news has been grim reading for those of us concerned with democratising the economy. Big events which affect us all have been sewn up by a small number of very powerful men. First, the ‘rescue package’ which stopped the Cooperative Bank from going under left it now majority-owned by outside shareholders, primarily American [...]

After 160 years Central Scotland has had enough

Posted on June 23, 2013 by | 5 Comments

The central belt’s fossil-fuel industrialists: James ‘Paraffin’ Young; John (Lord) Browne, BP; Mark Lappin, Dart Energy. When new technology offers us great promise – and the new gas boom certainly does, offering up cheap, clean energy and jobs galore – it’s worth taking time to consider what lessons can we learn from history. Discussing the [...]

Are the SNP the Scottish UKIP?

Posted on May 20, 2013 by | 1 Comment

A crowd of activists pointing out that the UKIP leader is a bawbag does not a national sentiment make. In fact, with the good folks at Hope not Hate refocussing their ire from the scattered BNP onto its besuited twin, I imagine that Nige is soon going to have to contend with more crowds expressing [...]

The independence referendum has become a straight up left/right fight

Posted on April 2, 2013 by | 7 Comments

There is, of course, a left wing case for opposing Scottish independence. It is articulated best by the likes of Owen Jones – ‘we shouldn’t divide the working class’. Likewise, there is, of course, a right wing case for independence – the Scottish Enterprise Party got a handful of votes for espousing it, once upon [...]

Scottish independence would be good for the English left

Posted on March 31, 2013 by | 6 Comments

No Labour government has relied on Scottish MPs to get into power. They have, however, relied on Scottish MPs to get right wing policies through. The former point may be surprising – we are forever hearing that independence will leave the rest of the UK with perpetual Tory governments. But look historically and this simply [...]

The Yes campaign should welcome home rule for the Northern and Western Isles

Posted on March 19, 2013 by | 11 Comments

The leaders of the councils of Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides have announced they are to meet next Monday to discuss their demands for home rule – for autonomy from both Westminster and Holyrood. Here are some facts to kick us off: Between them, Orkney and Shetland and the Outer Hebrides have around 20,000 [...]

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