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RECENT THINKING

Stuart Crawford
The time is overdue for cyclists to face their responsibilities

The time is overdue for cyclists to face their responsibilities

I HAVE TO BE totally honest from the very start; I’m not a great fan of cyclists. Not that I haven’t cycled myself in the past, mind, but I found it much easier to give ...

Miles Saltiel
Book Review: Fire and Fury reveals how three tribes go to war

Book Review: Fire and Fury reveals how three tribes go to war

MICHAEL WOLFF’S Fire and Fury supercharges conventional views of the forty-fifth President with excited goss from a fractured White House. Wolff’s sourcing is broad, but close reading reveals its imperfections – the closer you get to ...

Stuart Crawford
Christmas in uniform

Christmas in uniform

WHILST MOST OF US cosied up with family and friends this Christmas time, exchanging presents and sharing the Christmas dinner in, as we can normally expect, relaxed and pleasant company, we should take a moment ...

Martin Livermore
How and why our environmental priorities are shifting

How and why our environmental priorities are shifting

EARLY CIVILIZATIONS evolved after the development of arable farming about 10,000 years ago. This enabled settled communities to grow and some people to specialise in skills other than hunting and foraging. Life was still unbelievably ...

Murdo Fraser
Another blow for Sturgeon as Scots reject SNP Brexit stance

Another blow for Sturgeon as Scots reject SNP Brexit stance

PROFESSOR JOHN CURTICE must be the closest thing that Scotland has to a national treasure. The recent rash of elections and referendums has made him a fixture on our television screens, presenting polling research and ...

Eben Wilson
Free lunch politics means taxes versus freedom

Free lunch politics means taxes versus freedom

IMAGINE YOU RUN a company and are planning your forward budget. Unlike a government, revenues are not guaranteed, so what you decide is important not just for your success but for your very survival. Being ...

Jackie Anderson
Merry Christmas from the Nanny State

Merry Christmas from the Nanny State

COUNCILS the length and breadth of Britain are always bleating on that they have little money to provide the services the public expect. Budgets are routinely cut they say, most of them citing poverty as ...

Martin Livermore
The perils of pessimism – and optimism

The perils of pessimism – and optimism

BEING of a naturally optimistic disposition, I’ve often thought that the environmentalist movement has a deep streak of pessimism running through it. At the extreme, the world view is one of our species – and ...

Jill Stephenson
Referenda: Democracy in action or dictator’s device?

Referenda: Democracy in action or dictator’s device?

GIVING EVERYONE a say in policy matters through the medium of a referendum is the ultimate in democracy, isn’t it? Well, no, it isn’t. The referendum appears to be thoroughly democratic because everyone’s voice counts ...

Murdo Fraser
MacKay’s smoke and mirrors budget masks SNP economic failure

MacKay’s smoke and mirrors budget masks SNP economic failure

IT WAS ALMOST as if Derek MacKay had been taking lessons from George Osborne.  The former Conservative Chancellor had a particular approach to Budget statements – a summary of economic data, a plethora of spending ...

Christopher Anderson
Number crunching? Count me out!

Number crunching? Count me out!

MATHEMATICS, they say, is an exact science. With that claim I cannot argue, although I must confess, to me it is more of an exact mystery. I am, to the precise skill of numerical calculation ...

Ewen Stewart
Productivity? Is there something wrong with the math?

Productivity? Is there something wrong with the math?

IT IS FASHIONABLE to suggest UK productivity is weak. At the Budget the OBR cut GDP forecasts materially, largely blaming a cut in forecast productivity growth as the culprit. The OECD too has jumped onto ...