Today’s Thinking

Murdo Fraser
Say NO to the SNP's Swim Tax

Say NO to the SNP's Swim Tax

ON TUESDAY the Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, announced the Scottish Government’s response to the Barclay Review of non-domestic rates. This was long-awaited by those in business, particularly in sectors like hospitality that have seen massive ...

Murdo Fraser
Why the GERS figures finish off nationalist economic case

Why the GERS figures finish off nationalist economic case

THE ANNUAL publication of the GERS figures (Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland) always sparks a lively political debate. This year, the SNP Government moved publication of the figures to Parliament’s summer recess, no doubt ...

Jonathan Stanley
Frank's Law extends an already bad policy - can that be right?

Frank's Law extends an already bad policy - can that be right?

I HAVE SEEN the tweets. The press releases. The special pleading. The eponym. The Scottishness. The policy failure. 

Frank's Law is precisely how all bad policy starts: confusing will for the deed ...

Jonathan Stanley
State collective planning of housing? Seriously?

State collective planning of housing? Seriously?

THE PICTURE says it all for conservatives – but anyone who is not, and that includes many Tories, should heed the words of William F. Buckley Jr, the founder of National Review,

Jill Stephenson
Pledges, excuses and hypocrisy: an anatomy of bad losers

Pledges, excuses and hypocrisy: an anatomy of bad losers

AS WE APPROACH the third anniversary of the Scottish referendum, it is time to take stock of some of its effects. Although the pro-union side won, the separatists have behaved ever since as if they ...

Liam Kerr
Why has Scotland fallen behind England in tackling FGM?

Why has Scotland fallen behind England in tackling FGM?

FEMALE Genital Mutilation, commonly known as FGM, is a barbaric practice. We cannot allow political or cultural sensitivities to mask that simple fact. Nor can we allow them to get in the way of eradicating ...

Jonathan Stanley
Kill the 'kill switch' on mobility

Kill the 'kill switch' on mobility

The day has a y in it, therefore some idiot in government or opposition thinks the free mobility of citizens needs degraded. In less than a week it has been suggested laws on van hire need tightened up and ...

Stuart Crawford
Barcelona Attacks: Edinburgh Next?

Barcelona Attacks: Edinburgh Next?

ANOTHER WEEK, another terrorist outrage in a European city. This time Barcelona (and nearby Cambrils) joined Nice, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm and London (three times) in the list of recent targets for ISIS’ new terrorism strategy. This so-called “low tech” terrorism, involving driving vehicles at ...

Eben Wilson
Whose problem is the Irish problem?

Whose problem is the Irish problem?

THE IRISH TAOISEACH’S recent speech in Belfast repeated a standardised pro-EU political position including the mantra that there should be “a plan for a hard Brexit“. This echoed what many of the commentariat demand and, ...

Jonathan Stanley
Big Bobby is watching you

Big Bobby is watching you

FEW THINGS irritate advocates of civil liberties that the perverse need of our authorities to spy on fellow citizens.

The Oyster card you scan on a bus,  the smartphone that logs onto available networks, the ...

Joseph Hackett
Abolishing the 'Tampon Tax' should only be the start of Brexit reforms

Abolishing the 'Tampon Tax' should only be the start of Brexit reforms

IN MARCH 2016, Britain appeared to have scored a rare victory in Brussels. The deeply unpopular and unfair “tampon tax” – the 5 per cent VAT applied to women’s sanitary products – was finally going to ...

Jonathan Stanley
Pro or anti treaty? Could you make that choice?

Pro or anti treaty? Could you make that choice?

A CENTURY AGO a plucky new nation, the Saorstat, embarked on a voyage. How could the Irish Free State survive and thrive outside the UK and strike up trade relations with the rest of the ...