Region Archives: Scotland

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Launching the ‘Political Innovation’ project

When bloggers meet, I often find that old allegiances (be they left right, or Unionist/Republican) often dissolve into a different political spilt. Those of us who imagine that we ‘get’ the read-write web against the political colleagues that we have who, we believe, fail to foresee the possibilities or the threats. I’ve occasionally witnessed left-right-and-centrist more…

Ulster the “Man City” of the Magners…

Hmm – Mr Humphreys -“We believe we’ve recruited very well this year and I believe this is the best Ulster squad that’s been assembled.” – that’s confidence for you. (more…)

Plaid in UK Elections – what next?

Over at Wales Home Daran Hill and Adam Higgitt discuss “Is Plaid in Crisis” As usual it’s worth reading the lot and the comments but pertinent from Darran is: (more…)

Radio Scotland drama by David Ireland, also pictured actors Gary Lewis, Veronica Leer and Robert Jack

Will you take a sausage roll First Minister?

That’s a line from radio drama Trouble and Shame written by David Ireland, produced by BBC Scotland and broadcast on Radio Ulster/Foyle last Monday night. Andy Hunter is a slightly unhinged Glaswegian. He comes over and kidnaps the First and deputy First Minsters, holding them hostage in his car. Not for financial gain, or terrorist more…

We’ll All Pay for Devolved Administrations’ Budget Cuts

The reality of massive public spending cuts has finally hit the devolved administrations (if not all their politicians). As Mick highlighted in his recent essay, NICVA’s report suggests that Stormont will have to make budget cuts of (at least) £1.2 billion in the next five years. Earlier today, the Independent Budget Review in Scotland recommended a fall more…

Calman Will Deepen Scots Economic Misery

In May, the new coalition in Westminster pledged to implement the long-delayed Calman Commission recommendations for the Scottish Government. The Calman report, originally published in June 2009, was sat on by New Labour, but now its recommendations for Holyrood seem certain to be introduced within the coming months. The most eye-catching feature of Calman’s proposals is in more…

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Lost opportunities the common theme of Labour, past and present

Blair looking back and David Miliband .looking in both directions- it’s been a week of contemplation for Labour in unfamiliar opposition, as the coalition absorbs the pressures of government. Ironically the common theme of the former and the most likely future leader was lost opportunities, under Blair and under Brown. From Blair a confession; from Miliband more…

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Slugger’s comment thread rebuild – redux

You may recall that – a few weeks ago – I posted an idea on how we can add value to Slugger’s comments thread. It met with a mixed reaction, and while some of you liked the idea and saw possibilities in it, there were also some extremely perceptive objections. As a result, we have more…

A solid statement that North-South cooperation is here to stay

Armagh is now on the Irish diplomatic circuit.  Next month the highly regarded Southern Joint Secretary of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC), Tom Hanney, leaves to become Irish ambassador to Belgium. His successor, Anne Barrington, is finishing her days as ambassador to Tanzania. The man who will fill in over the summer, the current more…

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Friday thread: Improving Slugger’s comments

One of Slugger’s virtues is its comments thread. Unlike a lot of blogs, Mick applies a certain standard and trolls, threats, sockpuppetry and flamebaiting are generally discouraged. This isn’t done perfectly or consistently because it’s a big job to do and involves hours of unfunded work. We do the best we can under the circumstances more…

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From the Scotland Bill to Scottish independence…

The inclusion of the Scotland Act amongst the UK Government’s 22 Bills has pushed Scotland’s place in Britain back up the discussion list in many quarters. Personally I am surprised that the Conservatives have moved so quickly on the issue when it potentially poses such a risk for the continuation of the union, particularly given more…

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Gordon Brown’s gaffe ‘detoxifies’ Tory immigration policies…

Interesting times. Danny Finkelstein said on Newsnight last night that Brown’s clumsiness comes already discounted with the price, and therefore this won’t have much of an effect. I beg to differ Danny. It will have an effect almost precisely because in comparison with the larger affairs of state, it is relatively trivial. It will matter, more…

Sunday polls: Conservatives nose ahead in a volatile race

Still not brilliant news in Sunday’s polls for the Tories, but I would rather be in their shoes than Labour’s today: no momentum and the campaign (substance vs, erm, ‘the damned Tories’) is slowly disintegrating. Things are still holding up pretty well for the Lib Dems. And after last week’s wobble (as Clegg came into the more…

Are Tory bloggers an asset to their party?

Hindsight is a great thing isn’t it? Surely we all saw that the Tories weren’t on a winner going into an election with the promise of nasty medicine? I mean, I wondered if it would hurt them, but at the time, it was a consideration that got crowded out by others. But it hasn’t worked, more…

Any CU wins will be despite the Tory deal...

Any CU wins will be despite the Tory deal…

Much ink has been spilt over the current misfortunes of David Cameron and the conservatives… Over on CIF, I argue their apparent demise (still two weeks to go yet!) is bad for Scottish nationalist hopes to take seats from Labour and any gains in Northern Ireland for the CUs (or UCU-NF’s, or UCs, or whatever) more…

About that Daily Mail interview…

This article appeared in the Daily Mail last week… It’s an interview with Peter Hain, as you may never have seen him before… with one Petronella Wyatt… (I’d be scared in the unlikely event she asked me for an interview)… Much to the delight of one blogging supporter of one his rivals for the Deputy more…