Today’s Thinking

Murdo Fraser
SNP’s Growth Commission promises “Austerity Max”

SNP’s Growth Commission promises “Austerity Max”

ONE OF THE MANY acknowledged weaknesses of the 2014 ‘Yes’ campaign was the Scottish Government’s White Paper on Independence, particularly in relation to economic issues. In more than 600 pages, there was just one devoted ...

Tom Gallagher
The laid-back Irish are confronted by a life or death choice

The laid-back Irish are confronted by a life or death choice

“THERE ARE so many children and young people around here” is an observation I’ve heard frequently from other visitors to Ireland.  

The Irish Republic has one of the highest birth-rates in the ...

Murdo Fraser
Confusion reigns at Holyrood over prisoner voting rights

Confusion reigns at Holyrood over prisoner voting rights

SHOULD prisoners be given the right to vote in elections? That was the issue considered by the Scottish Parliament this week, following a report from the Equalities and Human Rights Committee, published on Monday.

...

Jim Sillars
More intellectual rigour and less virtue signalling needed by the SNP government

More intellectual rigour and less virtue signalling needed by the SNP government

ELSEWHERE on this website, Murdo Fraser argued about Fracking in the manner an opposition spokesman usually does, legitimately, when a government is in a mess.  My view, however, is a reflection of a deeper anxiety about ...

Murdo Fraser
The fracking ban that wasn’t a ban?

The fracking ban that wasn’t a ban?

The Scottish government could not have been more clear. One senior figure after another repeated it boldly: fracking had been banned in Scotland.

In October last year, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ...

Jill Stephenson
How the SNP baby-boxed itself into a corner

How the SNP baby-boxed itself into a corner

IN AUGUST 2017, the SNP Scottish Government introduced its baby box scheme for newborns. The box itself was to provide a ‘safe sleeping space’ for babies, while the contents – much of it made in ...

Elizabeth Smith
Consultation responses force John Swinney to plan his own route

Consultation responses force John Swinney to plan his own route

THIS WEEK, the Scottish Government published its consultation findings into the proposed new education bill planned for later this year. It must have made uncomfortable reading for John Swinney and his ministers. Out of 674 ...

Tom Gallagher
The strange case of Irish heritage Scots and the Scottish National Party

The strange case of Irish heritage Scots and the Scottish National Party

IT WAS ALEX SALMOND who I have to thank for alerting me to the changes that were sweeping through Scotland’s Catholic community, (originally of mainly Irish descent).  In mid-2014, not long after the Commonwealth Games had ...

Liam Kerr
SNP sentencing policy puts criminals before victims

SNP sentencing policy puts criminals before victims

NICOLA STURGEON’S 2017/18 Programme for Government committed her Government to increasing the current presumption against jail terms of 3-months to 12-months, on the basis that short sentences simply do not ‘work’: that short sentences do ...

Martin Livermore
Pessimists should let the facts speak for themselves

Pessimists should let the facts speak for themselves

HANS ROSLING’S NAME is not one that is widely known, but it should be. He died last year at what today is a young age – just 68 – but his last book Factfulness has ...

Murdo Fraser
Tory Victories banish spectre of the Poll Tax

Tory Victories banish spectre of the Poll Tax

IT DIDN’T MATTER how hard we campaigned, how good our candidates were, or the reputation of sitting Councillors. For roughly two decades from the early 1990s, the Scottish Conservatives simply couldn’t make any progress when ...

Tom Gallagher
Scotland is paralysed – and Sturgeon's undemanding fan base may explain why

Scotland is paralysed – and Sturgeon's undemanding fan base may explain why

ONE OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS in my new novel "Flight of Evil" is Clova Bruce, a nationalist with a background in the musical entertainment business. 

She is too easily written-off ...