I was tempted to write about the unfolding crisis engulfing Theresa May’s Government but the story is moving so fast that my article would almost certainly be swiftly overtaken by events. Instead I will focus on Catalonia. The tide of events is a little more sedate there at the moment than in London but there have been a great many waves recently. Quim Torra was inaugurated as the President of the Catalan Generalitat on 15 May after the Spanish State refused to allow Carles Puigdemont to take up the post, even though he had the backing of a majority of the elected representatives. Puigdemont is,Read More →

Here we are again, Ruth Davidson, ever the champion of sticking to the day job, has given a speech on the economy this evening at Glasgow University. Her press team informed journalists in advance that she wouldn’t be answering questions or giving any interviews. So far, so the very same as last time and the time before. As an elected politician, it is incumbent on you to be able to not just articulate your position to the public but to defend it when subjected to scrutiny. This is the very essence of politics and the fact that the Leader of the Opposition in the ScottishRead More →

It’s astonishing to watch as events continue to unfold in Catalonia. The news from there seems increasingly incredible. We are watching the Spanish state blow it’s international credibility to pieces in front of us, as they repeatedly and meticulously aim at their feet and pull the trigger. There are so many different things happening that almost defy belief. We have the peaceful leader of a civic nationalist movement being kept in prison without trial because he wont recant his pro-independence views. Amnesty International are now calling for the release of Jordi Sanchez, calling his continued imprisonment “excessive” and “disproportionate”. He is the leader of theRead More →

There isn’t long to go now in the Catalan election contest which was triggered by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy at the same time that the imposition of Article 155 and the annulment of the Catalan declaration of independence came into force. It is hard to see how the people of Catalonia can have any great faith in the fairness of the elections given the recent actions of the Spanish state. It seems that Article 155 is being used as an excuse for all kinds of cultural violence in Catalonia, culminating in the removal of disputed works of art from a museum in Llieda byRead More →

I know that there are a lot of people in Scotland following the latest from Catalonia and looking for parallels with our own push for independence but the situation in Catalonia is nothing like that in Scotland. In Catalonia their democratically elected government called a referendum on independence for which, unlike here, there was no prospect of agreement with the Spanish Government. This was a move long in the making and despite the brutal repression from the Spanish state on referendum day, many turned out to vote, with the turnout topping 50% once the votes that were stolen by the security forces are included. ItRead More →

Today, the day before the General Election, is #SNPBecause day. I’m looking forward to reading and watching the reasons that many people will give why they are members of the SNP. I have been a member for over twenty years and I joined because I held then, as I hold now, the firm and unwavering belief that my country of Scotland is the equal of every other country in the world. There is a common misconception, often assisted by the media, that the SNP falsely aggrandise Scotland, that we claim Scotland is better than it actually is, for political gain. We don’t, we see theRead More →

The comments by Sadiq Khan (which were toned down in his Labour Conference speech but widely reported in the media nonetheless) show that the campaign for the new independence referendum has started in earnest and independence supporters are going to face even worse lies and smears than in 2014.   Make no mistake, this wasn’t bad briefing or a simple misunderstanding of the Scottish political landscape. This was tactics. You don’t get to the dizzy heights of London Mayoral office without a large measure of political nous and the ability to finesse your arguments. You certainly don’t get there by going off-message at party conferences.Read More →