Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights


After the Currency Union debate the #IndyRef is dead, so long live the SNP…

Thu 20 February 2014, 12:33pm

Tweet Lots of remarkable happenings in the last week or so in Scotland’s #IndyRef debate. Some of it needs taking with salt. For instance, whilst Barroso is correct to say that an independent Scotland will have to apply for membership of the EU, it’s hard to see what grounds anyone in the EU would have […] more »

David Cameron and love bombing the Scots

Fri 7 February 2014, 10:11am

Tweet The tempo is picking up at last with maybe just a hint of panic?  The BBC, the Times£, the FT, even the Sun are splashing David Cameron’s defence of the Union in the patriotic venue of the Olympic Park.  The future of the United Kingdom is up in the air, David Cameron will warn […] more »

Book Review: Battle for Britain: Scotland and the Independence Referendum

Thu 12 December 2013, 1:01pm
Battle for Britain and Scotland

Tweet The Battle for Britain: Scotland and the Independence Referendum. By David Torrance. London: Biteback Books 2013. pp.xiv + 370. Paperback. The nature of the policies advocated by those seeking a ‘Yes’ vote in the September 2014 referendum on whether Scotland should depart the 306-year union dominate this timely and often insightful book. Perhaps its […] more »

SNP must fight their campaign, not rely on foibles of #IndyRef opponents

Fri 5 April 2013, 10:29am
Indyref flags

Tweet Great piece from Lallands Peat Worrier, who is, erm, worried that the SNP is too quick to dismiss the possibility of the Conservatives, Lib Dems and even Labour of making good on hints that some form of Devo Max could be on the table if the Scots reject independence. Yes, the British state is […] more »

Scottish Independence campaign certainly knows how to tell a good story…

Thu 21 March 2013, 10:25pm

Tweet Picked this up this evening from Bella Caledonia (via James Bailey on Google Plus)…. Whatever about the capacity or otherwise of the Scottish economy to easily pick up the tab for its two pillar banks (and there’s nothing in the public domain heretofore to suggest that it would not have happened), this is a […] more »

Salmond prepares to let Westminster take the hit over post-Leveson press regulation

Wed 20 March 2013, 11:59am

Tweet It may surprise you to learn that a separate Scottish response to the Leveson report on press regulation is looking unlikely. Stage One  was a separate report by an “expert group” headed by  the former Scottish judge Lord McCluskey who recommended “draconian “ powers and a regulator appointed by the Scottish government. If the […] more »

Opening shots muffled in UK government’s fightback against Scottish independence campaign

Tue 12 February 2013, 9:11am

Tweet Significantly as PM and not as Conservative leader David Cameron launched on Sunday a “heart and head” campaign against Scottish “separation” as unionists like to call it, with a upbeat image of four happy partners. Britain is admired around the world as a source of prosperity, power and security. Those glorious Olympics last summer […] more »

Referendum blues

Thu 24 January 2013, 12:00pm

Tweet Bad news for the Yes campaign for Scottish independence, analysed by the psephological  guru of gurus John Curtice. It’s a debate worth following not only for its own sake but for  how issues wider than the border itself might feed into any referendum debate in Ireland. First off, the headline: just 23% now say that “Scotland […] more »

Bold alternative urgently needed to Scottish independence

Mon 21 January 2013, 2:29pm

Tweet In Scotland the Better Together campaign has deservedly come in for some stick. The pro-Union cause has so far failed to agree on devo-more, the alternative to independence many politically aware Scots seem to want. (Incidentally if it ever comes to an NI referendum, their website is not the model to follow: remarkably for a […] more »

“it is in the public interest to know the type of information that the Ministers were taking into account”

Sat 14 July 2012, 8:29pm

Tweet Here’s a little referendum related snippet from Scotland.  The Scottish government is reportedly “surprised” at a recent ruling by the country’s Freedom of Information Commissioner. In response to a request by Labour MEP Catherine Stihler on 30 May last year, the Scottish government had refused to confirm or deny whether it had received legal advice […] more »

Whilst Scotland moves towards its big national debate, we’ve already had our political ‘big bang’…

Wed 4 July 2012, 10:36am

Tweet James Maxwell alludes to an interesting aspect of the burgeoning of the Scottish nationalist cause, and it’s likely runners off in Northern Ireland. Whilst Irish nationalism has become synonymous with Republicanism, the SNP is and remains a soft monarchist party. These difference are as much historical as geographical. Since James VI took up the […] more »

Scotland – choose your narrative.

Tue 8 May 2012, 9:29pm

Tweet Gerry Hassan just gets better: Rupert Murdoch, the Referendum and Rangers FC: Self-government has to be a democratising process and project, or it will produce a change in name only which won’t affect the lives and experiences of Scottish people. That entails nourishing a culture which is both honest and humble, respecting different viewpoints and […] more »

“The last thing the Northern Isles want is to be ruled by Glasgow trade unionists and Edinburgh lawyers…”

Mon 19 March 2012, 3:12pm
Flag of Shetland

Tweet At the Guardian’s Scotland Blog, Severin Carrell notes the independently-minded Shetland and Orkney Lib Dem MSPs Tavish Scott and Liam McArthur’s attempt to play Alex Salmond at his own game – with a joint, “at best provocative and, in constitutional terms, at least playful”, submission to the UK government’s consultation on the independence referendum.  Short […] more »

Paxman: the gowk goes over the top.

Wed 25 January 2012, 7:14am

Tweet Playing the man I know but needs saying: Not Newsnight’s finest hour. After a twee introduction from a whisky sampling reporter then came Paxman’s interview with the Times’s Briton of the year. You can see some of it here. Zimbabwe, Mugabe, One party State?? Opting out of the BBC? the cheek of it all. […] more »

Scotland: Degrees of Freedom.

Sat 21 January 2012, 12:00pm

Tweet Devo Max (or Full Fiscal Autonomy) seems to be getting some traction. There’s been two big name proponents over the last week or so. Canon Kenyon Wright wrote to the Herald: My own view is that a straight choice between independence and the status quo effectively disenfranchises a large number of Scots who want neither. […] more »

Cameron to Salmond: “Right, now I’ve got you right where you want me…”

Tue 10 January 2012, 2:22pm

Tweet As noted here a few months back, the Conservatives are struggling to maintain relevance outside England (and to a lesser degree, Wales). It’s tough job when you barely have any elected representatives to bring some political capital to the literal party. It’s not even an English thing. For reasons not entirely within their control […] more »

Alex’s New Year Message….it’s time !

Sat 31 December 2011, 12:15am

Tweet Super stuff from Alex. Watch it all – it ain’t long – quote below. Our universities, colleges and scientific institutions are working on cures for the illnesses that beset humankind as well as the renewable energy machines and environmental initiatives that will make human progress compatible with the future of our planet.” But he […] more »

Scotland – it’s time – why wait?

Sun 11 December 2011, 6:36am

Tweet With the latest opinion polls showing the SNP at a sensational record 51% for Holyrood, and a pretty impressive by-election win in Lanarkshire, it’s getting tempting for Alex to go for an early independence referendum. The context is key – the Scottish government and SNP are acting like history is working their way. We have: The […] more »

“Are the Scots more the Greeks or Germans? I couldn’t possibly say.”

Mon 24 October 2011, 1:18pm

Tweet “It’s starting”, is it?  [Whatever 'it' is - Ed].  The Guardian’s Michael White spots a flaw in Alex Salmond’s cunning plan.  [Does it involve turnips? - Ed]  Neeps.  From the Guardian Politics Blog The SNP and the Tory Eurosceptics have much in common – and I don’t mean that as a compliment, decent people […] more »

Scotland, it’s starting…

Mon 24 October 2011, 4:09am

Tweet You can do some stuff with close to a million quid…. Angus Robertson at SNP conference at Inverness: Today I am delighted to confirm that Scotland’s independence campaign has been generously supported by the late, great Scots poet and Makar Edwin Morgan with a substantial contribution of £918,000, which is ring-fenced for the referendum […] more »

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