The Times, 14th May 2021. You often hear that complainers in sexual offence cases have “an automatic right to lifelong anonymity in the UK”. But this isn’t true. Not legally. Not in Scotland. Here, complainers have no right to anonymity at all. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it is a crime to identify complainants … Continue reading Complainers in sex offence cases need full legal protection
Sunday National, 2nd May 2021. I’ve been saying it since the summer of 2016: Brexit drives a coach and horses through the prospectus for independence put to the Scottish people in 2014. The 2014 campaign was premised on the idea that both Scotland and the rest of the UK would remain in the European Union. … Continue reading Independence, after the coach and horses
Sunday National, April 25th 2021. Like the messiah: always promised and never appearing. A section of the Scottish media is always waiting to be wooed by the pro-union political centrist they can believe in again. Jim Murphy briefly wore the mantle – receiving a remarkably good press as the coming man and saviour of Scottish … Continue reading He’s not the Messiah
Sunday National, 18th April 2021. “The choice is basically this: Does Scotland want to be a small, independent nation, likely back in the EU but with new barriers to trade and travel with the rest of the UK; or does it wish to remain in the UK, with its own powers over some areas but subordinate … Continue reading Resisting the Restoration
Sunday National, 11th April 2021. If you know anything about Scots law, chances are you know that alone in the world, our juries can return one of three verdicts in criminal cases: guilty, not guilty, and not proven. But perhaps not for much longer. The Scottish Tories have pledged to abolish not proven in the … Continue reading Not proven?
Sunday National, 4th April 2021. My military correspondent was unimpressed: “I see the Tories have gone from Thatcher as prime minister commanding a Chieftain tank, to Ruth Davidson on a piece of self-propelled artillery they’d hired for an hour, to Douglas Ross on an armoured car. Their military stunts can’t fall much lower.” Karl Marx … Continue reading Parking the bus with Douglas Ross
Sunday National, 28th March 2021. “Thatcher Thatcher, milk snatcher!” The former Prime Minister never quite shrugged off the soubriquet she earned in 1971 when, as education secretary in Ted Heath’s government, she decided the free market should decide whether Britain’s children got a carton of milk in the morning. Many went thirsty. When Holyrood unanimously … Continue reading The elephant’s bad dreams
Sunday National, 21st March 2021. Spring has sprung. This week, the sun finally broke through the long winter of anxiety, fear, and utter tedium of the last few months. Daffodils are blooming. Green shoots are rising. Some taps, I can confirm, were aff – and not just to receive a swift shot of AstraZeneca. This … Continue reading Spring has sprung! (Well, kinda…)
Sunday National, 14th March 2021. Good, basic information can be hard to come by – particularly when things get politically heated. If you’ve been watching Holyrood this week, you can’t have missed the controversy around the Hate Crime and Public Order Bill which passed on Wednesday with cross-party support, 82 votes to 32. In the … Continue reading What’s actually *in* the Hate Crime Bill?
Sunday National, 7th March 2021. In Holyrood this week, much of the attention was fixed on committee proceedings in the Robert Burns room – and rightly so – but back in the main chamber on Tuesday, MSPs unanimously passed the Defamation and Malicious Publications (Scotland) Bill. In a torrid political week, you could be forgiven … Continue reading Why reforms to Scotland’s defamation law were long overdue