Greedflation; the condition where business increases prices because of a crisis but refuse to reduce them when the crisis passes. It’s what I believe is happening now to most things we buy but especially to foodstuffs. We could all understand when the oil price went through the roof last year as Mad Vlad tried to rebuild the Russian Empire by initially invading Ukraine. It was easy to accept that the rocketing price of fuel meant there would be knock-on impacts on everything, not that we foresaw just how horrific those impacts would be. Everything rocketed, fuel for the car, or lorry, electricity and the costsRead More →

Well, it’s certainly been an interesting few weeks since the Leadership contest got underway, exploded into a fair bit of acrimony, settled down (largely) into a debate, was decided and then the famed iron discipline disintegrated as so many rushed to air their every grievance.  Every cop in Scotland except Taggart and Rebus descended on poor Uddingston and we found out that the auditors had resigned months ago and we had acquired a caravan for the Sandra’s to use at Saltcoats presumably. Just as well they had that exercise to dig up the soup pot. In the middle of this one of the most bizarre episodes when my local MP and LeaderRead More →

There was I, sitting on my bed in Aberdeen Royal after my latest cancer surgery, happily extolling the virtues of the Scottish Government and its stability compared to the never ending chaos in London when one of my fellow patients bursts in to say “Aye well but who’s going to replace Nicola now”? Talk about pulling the rug…. It’s sad to see Nicola and now John stand down after so many years of unstinting service but at least we now have the opportunity to blood a new FM and their team before going to the polls again. Like the vast majority of folk I’m enormously grateful to both for yearsRead More →

I’m frequently confused, baffled and frustrated by some of the commentators who claim to be ardent supporters of Independence.  On one hand there’s a steady stream of “advice” on what the SNP should be doing to lead the campaign and drive forward the case for various courses of action from convening conferences, parliamentary disruption and calling for yet more marches. In the following weeks some will have columns which will frequently demand that the SNP stand aside and let the “wider YES movement” take the lead in developing campaigns etc. Occasionally, I think that the habit some had developed of knee-jerk opposition to the SNP, built up over decades of slavishly following whatever line theRead More →

Well, whatever history may record about 2022, it certainly hasn’t been boring. We’ve had just about everything mankind can throw at itself from continuing to destroy our planet, war and chronic tory masochism. With a side dish of misogyny thrown in. Many of you may have watched the Netflix series of self-justification from the couple who want away from the Royal Family crap, oh except for the titles and maybe some taxpayer funded protection when they visit. Personally, I had about as much interest as I had in watching the proverbial paint dry. But, just when I thought it had vanished from the public eye,Read More →

In a recent piece for The Atlantic, “How the UK Became One Of The Poorest Countries in Western Europe”*, Derek Thomson wrote ” When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, it hit hard, smashing the engine of Britain’s economic ascent. Wary of rising deficits, the British government pursued a policy of austerity, fretting about debt rather than productivity or aggregate demand. The results were disastrous. Real wages fell for six straight years. Facing what the writer Fintan O’Toole called “the dull anxiety of declining living standards,” conservative pols sniffed out a bogeyman to blame for this slow-motion catastrophe. They served up to anxious voters a menu of scary outsiders:Read More →

In a recent piece for The Atlantic, “How the UK Became One Of The Poorest Countries in Western Europe”*, Derek Thomson wrote ” When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, it hit hard, smashing the engine of Britain’s economic ascent. Wary of rising deficits, the British government pursued a policy of austerity, fretting about debt rather than productivity or aggregate demand. The results were disastrous. Real wages fell for six straight years. Facing what the writer Fintan O’Toole called “the dull anxiety of declining living standards,” conservative pols sniffed out a bogeyman to blame for this slow-motion catastrophe. They served up to anxious voters a menu of scaryRead More →

There is something both off-putting and at the same time intensely compelling about the tragedy currently playing out at the heart of UK politics.  As a Prime Minister who is so utterly unsuited, unable and unworthy of the job for which she has battled, schemed, twisted and turned all her adult life seems to be the only person who cannot see the writing on the wall. Go and for God’s sake, go now! Everyone is to blame, the markets, Mad Vlad and most of all KamiKwasi who had to be tossed under a bus after years of friendship. No amount of past alliances, co-authorship or ideological purityRead More →

In the midst of all the preparations for the Royal Funeral, it seems an appropriate time to lift our horizons a bit and have a look at events away from these shores. It may not seem like it with the media doing nothing but wall to wall, 24/7, coverage of the funeral arrangements and constant reheating of the same tributes to a life well lived, but there are things happening across the globe and some of them will have a major impact on our lives. In the US, it seemed just a few months ago that President Biden and the Democrats were heading for aRead More →

Over recent months, I have become a bit of a fan of the “The Rest is Politics” podcast. Hosted by Alistair Campbell (Tony Blair’s Head of Communications) and former Tory MP and failed leadership candidate Rory Stewart. Not, I hasten to add because of their capacity to provide answers but for the unintentional irony they serve virtually every week. One of the things I like is that they aim to “disagree agreeably” and that’s a lesson many could benefit from. Just because someone doesn’t see Scotland’s future the way we do doesn’t make them a traitor or any less of a Scot. Equally, not everyoneRead More →