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 →