Thinkpolitics

Jill Stephenson
Put Out More Flags

Put Out More Flags

FlAGS HAVE long been emotive emblems. From 1789 and throughout the nineteenth century, the warring sides in France were recognisable by their respective flags, the fleur-de-lys for conservative, clerical monarchists and the blue-white-red tricolour for ...

Jonathan Stanley
Losing the news on the flag saga was a loss for unionism's credibility

Losing the news on the flag saga was a loss for unionism's credibility

SOMETIMES THE MEDIA gives us beautiful souls in the form of characters who mysteriously shape the news. The Thick of It, House of Cards gave us Malcolm Tucker and Francis Uruquart. Ruthless, devious, fine tuners ...

Stuart Crawford
The tragic tale of “Tankie Dan”

The tragic tale of “Tankie Dan”

MANY FOLK will have been as shocked and saddened as I was to learn of the death of ex-soldier Darren “Dan” Greenfield in Edinburgh just before Christmas.

Dan (as he called himself) ...

Jonathan Stanley
Advocating change in the NHS is tricky surgery

Advocating change in the NHS is tricky surgery

THREE THINGS are sure in life: death, taxes – and fury at taxes that delay death. No one likes paying tax and no one likes the idea of paying for their healthcare. Such is Britain. ...

Stuart Crawford
SNP fail: When a surcharge turns out to be a subsidy

SNP fail: When a surcharge turns out to be a subsidy

SOME SNP politicians have been kicking off lately about a so-called surcharge that electricity consumers face in the North of Scotland. As is so often the case with claims about energy costs, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Murdo Fraser
Time to clamp down on parking cowboys

Time to clamp down on parking cowboys

I AM SURE that there are few of us who have not had the experience of being hit with a parking ticket. Usually, we accept that it is our own fault. We overstayed our welcome ...

Liam Kerr
The Justice Secretary may duck and dive but the buck stops with him

The Justice Secretary may duck and dive but the buck stops with him

LAST WEEK’S NEWS was dominated by allegations that have been made against senior Police Scotland officers, leading to a number of suspensions. I was asked by various outlets to comment on this but declined to ...

Colin McFarlane
The Lobbying Act – a threat to democracy or win for openness and transparency?

The Lobbying Act – a threat to democracy or win for openness and transparency?

THE LOBBYING ACT – three words guaranteed to raise anxiety levels among the myriad organisations that regularly engage with the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

This Act, which largely slipped through ...

Alastair Stewart
The Scottish Parliament’s time limits should be reformed

The Scottish Parliament’s time limits should be reformed

ON DECEMBER 17, 2014, the former Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance, stood up in the Scottish Parliament to make an official statement on historic child abuse. The then Presiding Officer, Tricia ...