Region Archives: Scotland

Is Scotland really about to make lying (by politicians) illegal? #Awkward

Now, in Northern Ireland we know loads about lying politicians. But whilst we acquiesce in their fabrications (and wonder whether our Legislative Assembly members will ever see another clean shirt) Scotland is well ahead of us, apparently. Over there, lying by elected politicians may be about to be made illegal. Punishable by being made to more…

There are lessons from Northern Ireland for the SNP’s row over Nick Robinson and the BBC

The row between the BBC’s outgoing political editor Nick Robinson and the former Scotland first minister Alex Salmond  reminds me of experience in  Northern Ireland during the Troubles  where there was a similar lack of fundamental agreement about the political destiny of the country. Nick’s row arose out of questions he put to Alex at more…

Abortion law is pawn in a Tory-SNP power game

The Herald reports that the Conservatives are thinking about devolving abortion law to Scotland where a strong Catholic lobby is opposed to the 1967 Act. What the point of doing it unless the aim is to repeal it? Not necessarily apparently. It’s really about the power game between Westminster and Holyrood, not about little matters more…

“future banknote designs, starting with the new polymer £5 note, will explicitly represent all four nations of the UK.”

As mentioned in this BBC report focused on the first Bank of England polymer banknote – a £5 note featuring Sir Winston Churchill which will be issued in 2016. Banknotes will feature images from all four nations of the UK starting with the new £5 note entering circulation in 2016. [Timing, eh? – Ed]  Eh?  more…

Can the next Labour leader act as a bridge between politics and people?

As it happens I seem to have acquired an irregular slot on Jonathan Lampon’s ‘Behind the Headlines’ slot on Radio Leicester to talk about UK politics. After a heads up from Jonathan’s team yesterday I found myself as one of an elite few watching the Labour leadership last night… Here’s the resulting discussion from this more…

Stormont: Let’s Keep it Closed

No money, no power

There’s a wonderful, fascinating irony developing – for political anoraks at least – in the devolved regions of this United Kingdom. Just a few days after David Cameron’s initial talks with Nicola Sturgeon of the SNP about devo-max for Scotland it appears that devolution in Northern Ireland is about to be handed back. Devolved institutions more…

The Election: What Scottish Labour Should Do Next (But Probably Won’t)

General Election 2015 campaign - April 8th

Post-election narratives don’t come much bigger than a party left staring into its very soul. Questions over leadership, policy, engagement with the electorate – this is how the debris of defeat is supposed to resemble. But to be so comprehensively outflanked by a party that – independence aside – occupies a similar wavelength of the more…

SNP revolution means it’s now make or break time for the union

Indyref flags

By Ben Wray, a journalist with CommonSpace, which is an online Scottish news, analysis and opinion website. They used to say if you pinned a red rosette to a monkey in Glasgow people would vote for it, such was the overwhelming dominance of the Labour party in Scotland’s biggest city. Labour is not just a political party more…

New British Bill of Rights would alter the Good Friday Agreement

The new Conservative government appears to be moving fast to  enact a new  British Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act of 1998 which is one of the cornerstones of the Good Friday Agreement. Tory dislike of the HRA has nothing to do with the Agreement. Indeed as so often happens, Northern Ireland more…

Why Unionism and Nationalism are Feckless

bagpipes-215549_1280

The SNP is on the crest of a wave. But it really has nowhere to go and, ultimately, will wane. Here’s why. The SNP is essentially a single issue pressure group pretending to be a real political party. In this respect it’s like Sinn Fein, the DUP/UUP, Plaid Cymru. Now, I hear you say, the more…

GE2015: The Autopsy

When there’s something puzzling or suspicious or unnatural about a death, there’s an autopsy. Sometimes it’s obvious what happened, sometimes it takes time and tests to discover the truth; just very occasionally it’s not possible to determine with certainty the sequence of events. Before 10 pm on Thursday night, we were all wrong; and immediately more…

“As Returning Officer for the Constituency of Tax Disc Holders…”

Well, who bought the most political car screen tax holder discs over the election? Who was least afraid to show their political affections in public?  That would be…   We suspect Sinn Fein’s strong showing is the revised version which came post Slugger’s intervention [on their behalf]…