Hugh Andrew | The joy of democracy

“All the endless consultation about what the people want has neither settled anything nor tracked any clear path. Indeed, the government has largely halted in the last few years in the ceaseless build up or wind down from one vote to the next. The Scottish Parliament has no legislation before it and – before the Prime Minister’s announcement – the sole topic of interest seemed to be another referendum.” (Read More)


Hugh Andrew | In the Kingdom of Allemonde

“There seem to me many Golaud’s in Scotland today. Their shrill and loud voices speak of their own desire to silence the still small voices of doubt inside them. And many of these Golauds speak too on the Unionist side of the argument. In the stentorian shouting match about the ‘answer’, people have forgotten what the true ‘question’ is. Nor it is it, of course, one ‘question’ but many (and many in each of us) which feed into a sterile and binary divide. And that question is at the deepest level about who we are.” (Read More)

'Jeremy Corbyn' / DonkeyHotey
UK Politics

Speaking Human: The rise of Jeremy Corbyn

The pundits are busy punditting away, the same pundits who said David Cameron would never be Prime Minister, that the winner of the 2010 election would have a poisoned chalice and be doomed in 2015, that 2015 would see Labour as the largest party and that the SNP would never break through as it has done. They have been wrong before, they may well be wrong again. Jeremy Corbyn was written-off from the start and won with an astonishing majority. His victory is neither that of a rank amateur or a fool. To write him off now as many will try and do would be an act of astonishing arrogance. (Read More)

UK Politics

George Osborne: Closet socialist?

A title given to this piece tongue in cheek but only slightly. The greatest surprise of our most recent budget (a budget which managed the signal attainment of making an already byzantine tax system even more complex) was the announcement of the Conservative party’s conversion to the Living Wage and ambition that in five short years not £6.50 but £9.00 would be the legal basis for earnings in the UK (outside London). The chatterati were delighted (money of course being a ‘free’ commodity), the business community muted – presumably too stunned to comment. (Read More)

'What we're reading' / CC

Salmond might love Scotland, but certainly not her publishing industry

I received a fair amount of coverage for my comments on our late First Minister’s Memoirs. Sadly much of it missed the point I was trying to make. It is a point well worth restating. Here is a man whose income by any estimation is comfortable, and who has pinned his career to talking to the hopes, dreams and aspiration of many Scots. He has told them to stand tall, talked to them of freedom, held a referendum on exactly that subject. And yet when it comes to publishing his account of that very referendum, he simply takes the first train to London. It is a silent statement so stunning that it is astonishing the commentariat of Scotland have not picked up and run with it. (Read More)

'Battle for Britain' / Surian Soosay / CC

Letter to The Herald: The Alex Salmond Memoirs

Dear Sir

Now I would never have expected our ex First Minister to have published with Birlinn Ltd. My own political views are too well known and to expect an ecumenical perspective is perhaps too much to expect of that most tribal of politicians. But there are of course many other smaller Scottish publishers who have supported the Nationalist cause. Many others in this country whose lives and businesses might have been transformed by a gesture from a man who claims a life dedicated to Scotland. (Read More)