Happy birthday Scottish Government!

Please join with me in wishing a very happy fourteenth birthday to the Scottish Government! It was on 3 September 2007 that then First Minister Alex Salmond binned the old 'Scottish Executive' title and so in effect created the first Scottish Government of the democratic era. It would be another five years before the legal … Continue reading Happy birthday Scottish Government!

Alba offers no alternative

It seems that those hoping for some dramatic developments on the constitutional front arising from the upcoming Alba Party conference are going to be sorely disappointed. Of course, they would not be developments in the sense of something meaningful actually happening. Alba has no clout. The party has no leverage of any kind. No power. … Continue reading Alba offers no alternative

A place of political unreality

...this argument comes from a place of political unreality.Andrew Tickell: Home Rule in this reactionary UK would not answer our problems Reading Andrew Tickell's column in The Sunday National this morning, the phrase "a place of political unreality" struck a chord. This, I thought to myself, could be the strapline for 'brand Scotland'. We are … Continue reading A place of political unreality

The nature of grievance

You have to admire Chris Hanlon's commitment and dedication. But I fear he has painted a target on his back with his statement promising to continue the fight to reform the SNP from within. With other high-profile reformers lost to resignation or defection and some of the hijackers' most effective (vicious?) operators returned to the … Continue reading The nature of grievance

Conscience and calculation

The SNP has no intention of moving to resolve the constitutional issue with the urgency which Salmond at least recognises. But the notion that Alba will be in any position to force the pace is fantastical. There almost certainly won't be a supermajority and there definitely won't be a supermajority that works the way Alba claims it will. The reality is that regardless of how many seats Alba Party wins it will have no leverage over an SNP/SG Scottish Government. Absolutely none.

The gamble

There are vastly more bad gamblers than good gamblers. This is necessarily so because a gamble, by definition, offers many more ways to lose than to win. So there are massively more ways to be a bad gambler than there are to be a good gambler. Whether you are a good gambler or not is almost entirely a matter of chance.

Fundamentally true

The truth is that the Union gives the British state such overwhelming power that the makeup of the Scottish Parliament hardly matters at all. The British parties being ousted in 2007 was a matter of considerable concern to the British establishment. This was not supposed to happen. But the SNP in government has turned out to be far less of a threat to the Union than it was thought it might be.