The poisoned chalice

Looking at the polling for the SNP leadership election in The National, two thoughts immediately occur to me. The first is that there is clearly no unifying candidate. There is no candidate who, should they win, wouldn't be unpopular with almost as many people as favour them. What that graphic shows is pretty much the … Continue reading The poisoned chalice

Democratic media

Nicola Sturgeon opines that social media is damaging political debate. What social media is damaging is politicians' ability to control political discourse. It is damaging their ability to dictate the terms of debate. It is damaging their ability to totally exclude and suppress the voice of dissent. The degree to which a politician detests social … Continue reading Democratic media

The reset button beckons

One of the things that happens when a political leader steps down is that everybody (and it certainly seems like it is literally everybody) turns to poring over their resignation speech dissecting and examining it looking for clues as to the real reason the politician in question is quitting. The one thing most seem to … Continue reading The reset button beckons

A Rip van Winkle moment

This morning at about half past nine, I succumbed to one of the episodes of extreme fatigue which have plagued me since I had a bout of Covid some months ago. Fellow sufferers will surely sympathise. The onset of this extraordinary tiredness can be sudden and the effects debilitating. Today's episode was undoubtedly the worst … Continue reading A Rip van Winkle moment

The question for conference

The question of whether the public wants Nicola Sturgeon to remain as First Minister is quite distinct from the question of whether her remaining is what best serves Scotland's cause. Or for that matter, what best serves Scotland. Clearly, there is no appetite either within the SNP or among the general public for Sturgeon to … Continue reading The question for conference

What are you prepared to do?

Shona Robison portrays Alister Jack's intervention as if it was an outrage. The reality, of course, is that Jack has acted entirely within the law. So, it is not Jack's intervention that is outrageous but the law which permits it. Under Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998, the Secretary of State for Scotland needs … Continue reading What are you prepared to do?

The Sturgeon effect

The Sunday Times today gleefully reports that "support for the SNP, for Nicola Sturgeon and for Scottish independence has fallen sharply as the party’s crisis over transgender rights deepens" (£). A single poll doesn't tell us much, of course. But there are occasions when a sharp change in polling is so closely associated with a … Continue reading The Sturgeon effect

That ‘special’ sovereignty

If Neale Hanvey thinks that demanding a Section 30 order is a way to "assert Scotland’s right to determine its own future" then I can only say that he urgently needs to revise his thinking. He needs to have a serious talk with somebody about sovereignty and what it means. How the hell is asking … Continue reading That ‘special’ sovereignty

The wrong ground

There is no route to independence which does not pass through a point at which there is direct and acrimonious confrontation with the British state. This confrontation is inevitable. It is unavoidable. If Scotland's independence is to be restored, this confrontation must be faced. Preparations must be made. Scotland must prevail. If any doubted the … Continue reading The wrong ground