Well the dust is settling on the European elections and after effect for all parties is rippling through them. The new no-members, no-policies Brexit Party has failed to take a parliamentary by-election in a seat they romped home at European level, which suggests voters are clear that Farage is great for a protest vote but no one wants him or his party in Westminster. Labour’s humbling in Scotland to an all-time low in share of the vote has at least forced out arch-Brexiteer/Unionist Neil Findlay, and made his boss do a U-turn to support a second EU referendum and to Remain. A long realisation thatRead More →

Well that was conference. Not one but two independence campaigns are off and running this week. The SNP’s Yes.Scot and the Scottish Independence Convention’s Voices for Scotland. The big bang of the Scottish Growth Commission report proved to be less disruptive and more constructive; when all sides claim everything is hunky-dory in going forward now, then you know the art of compromise is alive and kicking. Whilst it was a fascinating pre-debate exchange of views over the past year or so, there’s nothing like an impending election to remind you just how far this is from voters’ minds.  Somehow, the minutiae of when an independentRead More →

It’s not long ago that a Leader column in the Scots Independent talked about Theresa May as akin to Harry Houdini. No matter how much she got tied in knots and chains, she somehow wriggles out. The last few weeks are a case in point. Just as commentators and opponents (both within the Conservatives and outwith) were predicting she would be out the door of Number 10 by Christmas, so the departure point was postponed to the first vote on her Deal. Well that has come and gone. Despite the biggest Commons defeat on any topic by a post-War government, Mrs May has arisen toRead More →

His Excellency Lubomir Rehak, the Amabassador of Slovakia to the Court of St James (aka Betty’s Club), gave a talk at the University of Stirling this week with the Provost and past Provost of Stirling in attendance with the civic regalia on show. The occasion of this talk was to mark the centenary of independence for Czechoslovakia in the aftermath of World War 1. He traced its modern history as an independent country with Czech Republic from 1919-39, skipped past the 1939-45 when Slovakia was a separate but crypto-Nazi state until the Iron Curtain fell in the aftermath of the second World War. Touching onRead More →

Fears of losing a pro-independence majority in the next Scottish Parliament elections can be put to rest in a new exclusive Scots Independent analysis published for the SNP’s Annual Conference and available online As delegates assemble, the SI has set out how a new two-vote strategy for the next Scottish Parliament elections in 2021 could return 96 pro-independence MSPs and a mould-breaking parliamentary majority of 31 based on the same share of votes from 2016. Both Labour and the Conservatives would face their parliamentary groups being cut in half with only the Liberal Democrats holding on to the bulk of their small group. The analysisRead More →

REVIEW: First Snow / Première neige It takes a little while to figure out why this drama is so titled. But then the main character, Isabelle, explains that the day after Quebec’s second referendum, which Federalists narrowly won, the ‘first snow’ of Winter landed on the deserted streets of Montreal. Fallout from the nuclear shock of a second defeat in fifteen years? Or a telling aide-memoire that you only get two chances in life. Make a mistake once but make it again and you’re a goner. So this is a dramatic piece co-written by Davey Anderson (yes, of City Limits fame), Phillippe Ducros and LindaRead More →

It was intended to make Britain Great again but the Brexit victory for Davis, Fox and BoJo is increasingly looking like being on a Pyrrhic scale unseen in modern electoral politics. Firstly, according to the official Leave campaign’s former Chief Executive, they have been found guilty by the Electoral Commission on four counts: made an inaccurate return of campaign expenditure is missing invoices and receipts failed to comply with a statutory notice exceeded its spending limit In a rare move, the Vote Leave campaign has gone public based on receiving a draft report from the Electoral Commission. Quite why Vote Leave it felt it hadRead More →

While the Indy movement rips into itself over whether to march or not, yet unites around the media bias (have to say BBC Scotland online news did report organiser’s and Police estimates of the number of marchers and it was top story for the afternoon), a lot of England went to the polls last Thursday. At first glance, the outcome of mayoral and council elections tells us very little. Tories wiped out the UKIP vote south of Birmingham to largely increase their overall representation in local government. Theresa May can breathe a sigh of relief that there wasn’t too much in the results to giveRead More →

Theresa May’s de facto Deputy, David Lidington took to the Brexit Roadshow in a long line of UK Cabinet ministers stamping their authority on the process of leaving the EU. Mr Lidington has reportedly sent a warning shot to Nicola Sturgeon telling her Brexit must not be used as an excuse to break up the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Theresa May’s ally said the UK is at a crossroads but severing ties would leave every one of the four nations “weaker and poorer,” even if Brexit has greater impact on Scotland than any of the other ‘home nations’. In fact, referring to the UK as four nations is infuriating enough.Read More →

Monday: what a bizarre day for political media management in 10 Downing Street. A Cabinet reshuffle that actually didn’t do very much but somehow managed to take hours to conclude. Maternal Theresa promised a new ministerial team of bright and bubbly women and BME as dynamic reformers. Instead she was left with no net increase in women in full Cabinet posts. She had to resort to the use of ‘attendees’ to make gender balance appear better. So poor Liz Truss (chief secretary to the Treasury) and Andrea Leadsom (Leader of the House of Commons) ‘attend’ Cabinet whereas their predecessors in these roles would have beenRead More →