Everything you need to know about the UK Internal Market Bill

Sunday National, 13th September 2020. Consider, if you will, the fate of a rubber chicken. During the brief and steroidal first weeks of its life, this unfortunate bird is raised to plumpness in a dank shed in the United States. Having hit its desired weight, the chook is throttled and processed with a view to … Continue reading Everything you need to know about the UK Internal Market Bill

Endless sequels in Scottish Labour’s Jurassic Park

Sunday National, 6th September 2020. “Grandee.” (Noun). Definition: political has-been, grousing once-was, allegedly influential former politician. Tory, Labour or SNP: it is an iron rule of political reporting that just as all QCs are “top”, the media style guide provides that political grandees should be designated as “senior” or “respected formers.” Quite who decides these … Continue reading Endless sequels in Scottish Labour’s Jurassic Park

Vilifying asylum seekers? Attacking lawyers? Just standard Home Office operating procedure

Sunday National, 30th August 2020. From the deepest well of grief, it is impossible to imagine a scene with more pathos. It has been stuck in my mind all week. A young mother lies dead. Beside her, a child of just one year of age, crying and hungry, calls out for a parent whose spirit … Continue reading Vilifying asylum seekers? Attacking lawyers? Just standard Home Office operating procedure

Crowdfunded #indyref court bid may end up resolving nothing

Sunday National, 23rd August 2020. WHEN Helen Steel and David Morris were sued for defamation by McDonald’s in 1990, their McLibel Support Campaign raised £40,000. At the time, this was a ground-breaking sum, collected from a combination of high-profile donors – Linda McCartney famously gave the campaign £1000 – and a mass of smaller contributors … Continue reading Crowdfunded #indyref court bid may end up resolving nothing

Ruth Davidson’s return tells us the Tories are fresh out of new ideas

Sunday National, 16th August 2020. The pub door swings open. The regulars shift uncomfortably on their stools, as a grizzled, half-familiar figure pushes her way through the crowd. The camera pans to the landlady, whose face freezes. She shares a look of shocked recognition with the newcomer. Dramatic pause. “Hello mum. I’m back.” Duff duff, … Continue reading Ruth Davidson’s return tells us the Tories are fresh out of new ideas

Do the Hate Bill critics really care about reality of hate?

Sunday National, 9th August 2020. It remains one of the saddest and most infuriating things a student has ever said to me. In the spring of 2018, anonymous letters began to circulate across the UK. Copies were sent to prominent public figures, to places of workshop and to communities, and were quickly picked up in … Continue reading Do the Hate Bill critics really care about reality of hate?

Is Douglas Ross any more than Ruth Davidson’s sock puppet?

Sunday National, 2nd August 2020. If you’re a connoisseur of political assassinations, you’ve got to admit it was neatly done. Bye bye, Old Yeller. The golden Labrador was led solemnly out into the backyard one last time. Jackson Carlaw said it was a “painful conclusion” to demit the Scottish Tory leadership. If it felt painful … Continue reading Is Douglas Ross any more than Ruth Davidson’s sock puppet?

Check your head … the Tories think it’s buttoned up the back

Sunday National, 26th July 2020. You may need the assistance of a bathroom mirror or a sympathetic relative, but every six months or so, I strongly recommend that you check the back of your skull for signs of a zip, clasp or fastener holding your cranium together - because significant numbers of our politicians seem … Continue reading Check your head … the Tories think it’s buttoned up the back

The UK cloaks failure with a job retention scheme in the House of Lords

Sunday National, 19th of July 2020. Lloyd George once described the House of Lords as “a body of five hundred men chosen at random from amongst the unemployed.” Now, of course, there are far more than five-hundred barons and baronesses, and the choice of which wobblebottom to settle on the red benches is hardly random. … Continue reading The UK cloaks failure with a job retention scheme in the House of Lords

No appetite for a profit-before-people Tory meal deal

Sunday National, 12th July 2020. I was a little surprised to find myself confronted by a Facebook ad from an organisation calling itself “UK Government Scotland” this week. Over a photo of a deserted Ashton Lane in Glasgow, the ad instructed me to go forth into the street and “enjoy summer.” It didn’t mention that … Continue reading No appetite for a profit-before-people Tory meal deal