Region Archives: Scotland

#SluggerSoapBox: In praise of Bob Purdie 1940 – 2014…

From Stephen Howe who is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, having previously taught for many years at Ruskin College Oxford and worked at the New Statesman.  Irish writings include the 2000 book Ireland and Empire, and contributions to Irish Political Studies, Irish Historical Studies, and the new Oxford Handbook of Modern more…

“Can Scottish Labour, under Murphy, learn to think big?”

So Jim Murphy, a machine politician from his very earliest days in the NUS, takes over the helm at Scottish Labour. He has an unenviable task ahead of him. The Yes campaign may have won the #IndyRef battle but the unionist parties now show every sign of terminal weakness in their war for the future of the Union. more…

Alex Salmond plans to return to Westminster

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If the good people of East Sussex think I’m as big a danger to the Westminster Parliament as Guy Fawkes, then they’re right. Alex Salmond Scotland’s former First Minister, Alex Salmond is attempting to make a return to the Westminster Parliament in May 2015. Salmond who has always enjoyed the House of Commons, will likely more…

Brown bows out-what is his legacy?

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Former Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has announced today he is stepping down at the next election. He was the leader that steered us through the financial crisis, borrowed and spent money like there was no tomorrow. Yet to most people he was completely unsuited for the job of Prime Minister. Indeed, when articles like this more…

Has Sturgeon thrown a spanner in the works over Corporation Tax?

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There is increasing speculation that the Chancellor, George Osbourne is to announce that Corporation Tax powers will be devolved to Northern Ireland. All of the main parties here support the move, so you would think it would be relatively simple to do it. However, the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Stugeon might have just thrown a more…

New powers for Scotland threaten constitutional crisis for the UK

David Cameron’s claim that the Smith report will create “a stronger Union “ rings hollow when  set against  his insistence that the case for  English votes on English laws is “ unanswerable,”  If it means that English MPs should have a veto on any measure they don’t like that a future  Labour government proposes, it will more…

#OpenGovNI: Why a loose, distributed and eclectic network is vital… [updated with audio and video]

BCT launched Northern Ireland Open Government Network 2014

A key irony noted by Tim Hughes of Involve is that conversations about Open Government can very quickly become wonky and technical, and as a consequence begin to close out the ordinary citizen with techno jargon and insider speak. Wednesday’s launch of the Open Government Network Northern Ireland at Malone House in Belfast was moderately successful in broadening their more…

SNP surge dominates Scottish Labour

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As the race for the Scottish leadership gets underway two new polls indicate that the SNP could take 20 plus from Labour at next years Westminster election basically imploding Miliband’s 35% strategy. (This is to basically win off the back of disaffected Lib Dems). The latest polls put the SNP in a commanding lead over more…

Federalism – Wherefore The Union?

I have long been of the view that a federal UK would be the eventual outworking of devolution.  Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, has been calling for a constitutional convention for the last few years. Scottish Conservative Murdo Fraser outlined his thoughts on Slugger earlier this year. Why Murdo Fraser is right to promote UK more…

#Indyref – According to Ashcroft poll, Protestants saved the Union #updated

Interesting post independence referendum poll from Lord Ashcroft (results mirrored actual referendum result). calculated from Ashcroft’s data, makes clear, there does appear to have been a simplistic correlation between religious affiliation and referendum voting patterns. Essentially, the majority of Catholics, non-Christians, and those professing no religion all favoured independence. It was only the votes of more…

#IndyRef: “A similar, but more demanding, act of political dexterity will be required from Labour now”

This is one of the sanest pieces of writing I’ve seen on #IndyRef (h/t Tom Griffin) from Associate Professor Ben Jackson. First this… It is extremely difficult, absent a deep economic or social crisis, to break up an existing democratic state. The fact that Scottish independence got so close to winning a majority tells us more…

#IndyRef agus Tuaisceart Éireann: Níl an cluiche ach ina thús.

Achoimre deas ar an áit ina aimsiú muid féin i ndiaidh an IndyRef, le Póilín Ní Chiaráin: Drochsheans go dteastaíonn ó Shinn Féin go sásófaí a n-iarratas ar a thuilleadh cumhachta do Stormont. Ar éigean a mheallfadh sé sin daoine atá ina choinne chun tacú le hÉirinn aontaithe. Tá Cameron agus an DUP ag suirí more…

Has anything been happening while I’ve been away?

For the past few of months I’ve been buried in other projects, not least the Scottish referendum. So Northern Irish affairs are as inward looking and deadlocked as ever. Well I never! Paisley’s death passed off with little fuss amid the  customary respect the Irish reserve with fingers crossed  for the recently dead in contrast to more…

Alex Salmond: “For me as a leader my time is nearly over…”

Following defeat in the Scottish Independence referendum, Scotland’s First Minister, and SNP leader, Alex Salmond has announced he will stand down as First Minister in November when a new SNP leader will be chosen.  More at the Guardian’s Scotland Independence live- blog Adds Here is the official resignation statement, via the SNP, from Alex Salmond I am more…

IndyRef: A new dispensation

The returning officer for Fife declared at 06.09am and he stated that 114,148 votes had been cast for YES, but 139,788 for NO. That put NO over the winning line. The Better Together campaign had triumphed by a margin of 55% to 45%. On a turnout of 86% that means that 1.6million people in Scotland more…