Thinkpolitics

Murdo Fraser
The cracking story of the Forth Road Bridge

The cracking story of the Forth Road Bridge

IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING that last week’s closure of the Forth Road Bridge to all traffic is having a catastrophic effect on residents of Fife and the East of Scotland. Commuters trying to get across ...

Murdo Fraser
Oil and gas need support, not divestment

Oil and gas need support, not divestment

THE DECLINE in our oil and gas production in the North Sea has rarely been out of the political spotlight in recent weeks. In the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement last week, he referenced the OBR predictions ...

Ian Duncan MEP
Brussels and Molenbeek: why they need to change

Brussels and Molenbeek: why they need to change

I FIRST MOVED to Brussels in 2005. The Scottish Parliament needed a man in Brussels and I was to be that man. It was a new venture for the Parliament, and arrangements were a little ...

Robert Durward
Trade associations can be dangerous

Trade associations can be dangerous

EMPLOYERS have trade associations just as employees have trade unions.  Employer associations lobby the government and interact with the civil service to keep legislation as business friendly as possible.  They issue frequent press releases, either ...

Murdo Fraser
Is it all over for Independence?

Is it all over for Independence?

ALEX BELL has always been one of Scotland’s more thoughtful Nationalists.  A former advisor to the ex-First Minister Alex Salmond, Bell has always been capable of providing some independent analysis of both the SNP and ...

Jonathan Stanley
For a Brexit model we should learn from South Korea

For a Brexit model we should learn from South Korea

A POST WAR miracle, a strong manufacturing powerhouse funded by domestic albeit very large levels of debt.  Steel, coal, heavy engineering and shipbuilding, Japan was unstoppable for a generation.  The 1980s saw Tokyo at its ...

Ian Duncan MEP
Scotland's political shame

Scotland's political shame

OF LATE, when Tories foregather, conversation turns to Manchester. The howling mob. The spitting. The threats. The intimidation. Tales are recounted. My friend and fellow MEP Geoffrey Van Orden told me of the crowd chanting ...

Murdo Fraser
Scotland Bill tax powers turn up the heat on SNP

Scotland Bill tax powers turn up the heat on SNP

LAST SATURDAY it was Halloween. As I took my children guising around Perth, they were terrified by the endless procession of hideous misshapen creatures from the underworld, ghastly ghouls, and the undead stalking the streets. ...

Elizabeth Smith
Some education crackers for the firework season

Some education crackers for the firework season

IN RECENT DAYS, the war between the SNP and Labour about who is the best guardian of state education has taken some interesting twists. 

Kezia Dugdale told her party conference that Labour ...

Lap Gong Leong
Interview: Case for federalism never stronger

Interview: Case for federalism never stronger

You’ve been an MSP since 2001. From your perspective, how has becoming and being an MSP today, compare with that to when you first started in 2001? 

The most significance difference is ...

Murdo Fraser
No, we’re not becoming a more unequal society

No, we’re not becoming a more unequal society

VETERANS of the independence referendum campaign will remember claims being regularly made by the ‘Yes’ camp that the UK was “the fourth most unequal society in the world”. These were quickly debunked at the time, ...

Elizabeth Smith
Our universities have a proud record when it comes to public accountability

Our universities have a proud record when it comes to public accountability

ONE OF the central principles of good governance in any sector is accountability. This is at the heart of the Nolan Principles of public life. Those in a position of power to make decisions and ...