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
Tag: Scottish Parliament
Power from the people
Language matters! When discussing important topics, it is important to get the terminology right. For politicians, language matters because they may be speaking for their party or for the government or even for the country. Look at the way the common idiomatic expression 'once in a generation' came back to bite bums. Language matters because … Continue reading Power from the people
Sovereign powers and devolved powers
We are all, I'm sure, familiar with Enoch Powell's observation that "power devolved is power retained". The phrase is now a commonplace in discourse around constitutional issues in general and Scotland's devolution settlement in particular. It is often the case with such casually used aphorisms that familiarity breeds, maybe not contempt, but a certain disregard … Continue reading Sovereign powers and devolved powers
A straw to clutch
If you are clutching at straws, at least make sure they are real straws. The straw some independence activists had been clutching at was the notion of persuading Nicola Sturgeon to commit political hara-kiri by resigning and ultimately forcing an extraordinary general election as her colleagues in the pro-independence parties blocked the election of a … Continue reading A straw to clutch
Just because something is procedurally possible doesn't mean it is either practicable or politically sensible. What I'm seeing here is almost a rerun of the 'supermajority' farce started by Alba Party in the run-up to the 2021 Scottish Parliament election. The 'supermajority' nonsense took something that is procedurally possible - a two-thirds majority of MSPs … Continue reading Weighing options
AUOB March & Rally Glasgow 26/11/2022
Notes for speech Check against delivery I'm not quite sure why I'm here. Usually, for events like this, they want speakers who'll tell the crowd what they want to hear. That's certainly not me. I tell it the way I see it - good or bad. Right now, there's more bad than good. They usually … Continue reading AUOB March & Rally Glasgow 26/11/2022
So, the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) has issued its judgement and it is that the Scottish Parliament doesn't have the competence to authorise even the pretendy referendum that Nicola Sturgeon proposes. This was, you will recall, a referendum that had been stripped of all its legal and constitutional effect so that it was no more … Continue reading Rightful anger
The judgement and what matters more
The choice in a new independence referendum should be much bigger than in 2014, as Sir John Curtice puts it. But we are not being offered a choice. The referendum as proposed asks only for a preference on the basis that the expressed preference doesn't actually change anything. In 2014, we went into the referendum … Continue reading The judgement and what matters more
BE AWARE! BE ANGRY! BE ACTIVE!
I am honoured to have been asked to speak at the All Under One Banner (AUOB) rally outside the BBC's Glasgow headquarters on Saturday 26 November. I have accepted that invitation. Some may suppose this hypocritical given my comments regarding other such rallies being held to coincide with publication of the UK Supreme Court's judgement … Continue reading BE AWARE! BE ANGRY! BE ACTIVE!
It is almost physically painful to hear the SNP bleating about the consequences of Brexit (UK accused of 'outrageous power grab' as experts sound alarm over EU law bill) when it was the choice of that party's leadership to let Scotland suffer those consequences. They promised that they would not let Scotland be dragged out … Continue reading Outrageous!