I write this the day after S.N.P. conference finished. I saw on Facebook this morning that Douglas Fraser has likened the S.N.P. leadership’s control over the membership as akin to North Korean control. He really must get out of the press box when at these affairs. As in all large groups there will be the sheep that blindly follow the leadership but in the S.N.P. there are many who question and debate, sometimes vote with the leadership, sometimes don’t. I reckon this number is possibly reflected in the numbers in the result on the N.A.T.O. debate. Talking of which, the N.A.T.O. debate was the firstRead More →

I was privileged to be at St Andrew’s House in Edinburgh this week and to see the arrival, and departure, of Prime Minister David Cameron and his entourage, all five cars of them.  Access to the public was denied to the street outside, with somewhere between twenty and thirty police on duty.  The most memorable moment of that event was when Michael Moore MP was going into St Andrew’s House and one of the assembled press called out “How does it feel to be the last Secretary of State for Scotland?”;  Mr Moore just carried on, but as I observed at the time, he wasRead More →

This has been quite a remarkable two weeks for Scotland’s opposition parties.  Not familiar with wall-to-wall media coverage in recent times, as the UK Tories and Labour party assembled at their respective conferences, Johann lamented the Scots addiction to welfare ‘handouts’ and Ruth went all Romney, declaring only 12% of Scots contribute to the country’s economy.  If they were both looking for headlines, boy did they get them. After the backlash following Mitt’s ‘47%’ gaff, to say both bold policy swerves came as a surprise would be putting it mildly.  The spin doctors, particularly in Labour’s case, seemed taken aback.  ‘Erm, no, that wasn’t whatRead More →

I saw Douglas Alexander on the Politics Show trying to defend the indefensible: the Labour Party’s lurch to the right.   In doing so he quoted Aneurin Bevan, or should I say misquoted as he reversed Bevan’s original sentence “The language of priorities is the religion of Socialism”.  Bevan coined this phrase for his 1949 Labour conference speech. But perhaps Mr Alexander and other Labour politicians should read the 1959 speech ten years later and following Labour’s defeat in the general election, where Bevan references himself but also goes on to say: “.. The language of priorities was the religion of Socialism, and there is nothingRead More →