Just when you thought that the Nasty Party had been put away along comes an election campaign to shatter such illusions. For a number of years David Cameron worked very hard to lose the Tories the label of “the Nasty Party” which Michael Howard etc had deservedly earned. Annabel Goldie and then Ruth Davidson had done their bit to help lose that tag and earn a bit of electoral credibility and crucially acceptability. That work has, at least in Scotland, been undone over the course of the campaign for the Council Elections. Now the Tories have a toxic mixture of: past membership of the BNPRead More →

Whether you call it trust, honesty or integrity it’s the single most important commodity in life and especially in politics. When trust goes out of a relationship there is rarely anything left of value. I was reminded of this simple fact again quite recently when watching that car crash of an interview poor Kez had with Andrew Neil on the back of Sadiq Khan’s speech to the Scotland Branch of Labour. Trying to defend the indefensible is never an edifying sight and Kez was in an impossible position. The more she refused to condemn Sadiq, the more distance she put between herself and the ordinaryRead More →

As we head into 2017 with the half of the media rabbiting on about how much of a triumph we are going to have in May. The other half of the media keep up the recurring theme of the SNP poll figures are about to collapse. There are only two things we can be sure about. One is that the polling industry got it so badly wrong in so many cases in 2016. From the Scottish Elections through the Tory civil war which became Brexit to America failing the collective IQ test. They predicted, pontificated and pronounced to all and sundry; and they got itRead More →

I suspect that the two groups who will suffer most from the shambles of Westminster’s economic “plan” are our Senior Citizens and the organisation on which many of them depend; local Councils. In the Autumn Statement, Phillip Hammond made it perfectly clear that the much vaunted triple lock on pensions was going to be “reviewed”. As an aside, why is it that so many tories are so mealy mouthed? There will be no “review”, the triple lock, like so many other solemn commitments, is dead. The history of the last few months tells us all we need to know about tory consistency. On 31 JulyRead More →

  Although I was not at Annual Conference this year, I did enjoy watching much of it from home and I am delighted in one way to see the back of it.   Away back in the Spring of this year when we thought there was some political certainty, SNP Government, place in Europe etc we were looking forward to building our Local Government campaigns from the Autumn with candidates selected before Conference and campaign strategies in place. Such fond memories.   Then came what Macmillan called “events dear boy, events”.   First an unexpected contest for Deputy Leader and although it turned into aRead More →

It’s perhaps worth bearing in mind that under normal circumstances we would be heading headlong to another General Election at a rate of knots. That many, perhaps most, commentators do not assume so is largely down to the Fixed Term Parliament Act. This was a price the Tories paid to get back into Downing St on the back of the Libdems. But does it really matter? We currently have perhaps the most xenophobic and imperialist Government ever seen in the UK. Theresa May’s collective of zealots will be willing to make people pay any price just to prove that “Brexit means Brexit”. Collapse in sterling?Read More →

“When the facts change, I change my mind, what do you do Sir?” John Maynard Keynes is reported to have said.   Let’s just recall the feelings on the morning of September 19 2014. Despair, depression and dejection were the high points as I came to terms with what had happened on the day to be forever known as Black Thursday, I wanted to chuck it all in, move to Spain and live out my remaining years without another canvass pack or leaflet run. Ever. In the following days, tens of thousands of people changed their minds. Some had been out campaigning for a YESRead More →

This piece tries to capture my thoughts over a four week visit to family in Canada over July. It covers conversations with family, their friends and in some cases complete strangers. Long story short; my parents divorced when I was a toddler and just 5 years ago, at the age of 60, I discovered that I have two brothers and a sister in Canada. Fortunately, we all get on well and over the last few weeks, the Boss and I have been visiting them for a family wedding in Calgary with stops along the way. But I wanted to take the time to have aRead More →

Well, that’s another referendum out of the road, and yet another on the horizon. As a movement we now have some serious thinking to do before the starting gun s fired for #indyref2 and we will need to come up with pretty good answers to win. One question which we did not convince the electorate about last time round was currency and it will be much harder this time to argue for a shared currency. A rUK which comprises, or at least faces being only England & Wales, will be much harder to convince on the merits of a shared currency. It may well alsoRead More →

There is an old cliché which we all fall back on some times, about having won the debate and lost the vote. Especially true in Council Chambers across Scotland where after the 2012 elections unionists cobbled together all manner of coalitions which had one aim; to stop Independence and the SNP. But in the run up to, and on, polling day this year, one thing which became increasingly obvious was that although we lost the vote on September 18 2014, the debate is virtually over. Nothing made this more obvious than the sheer hostility unionists displayed over even flying the Saltire, even more so SNPRead More →