Today’s Thinking

Jamie Greene
HS2 could be good for Scotland

HS2 could be good for Scotland

VARIOUS REPORTS and studies have been underway in order to determine whether a new HS2 is a good idea or not. In 2011, a report from the Westminster Transport Committee found that there was a ...

Liam Kerr
 Beyond the smoke and mirrors of crime statistics

Beyond the smoke and mirrors of crime statistics

IN HIS BOOK “How the Good Guys Finally Won: Notes from an Impeachment Summer”, journalist Jimmy Breslin suggests "All political power is primarily an illusion... Mirrors and blue smoke, beautiful blue smoke rolling over the ...

Murdo Fraser
SNP abandons science with its hypocritical fracking ban

SNP abandons science with its hypocritical fracking ban

IN THE END, it was an announcement that took no-one by surprise. The SNP’s Energy Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, told the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday that fracking in Scotland was to be banned on a permanent ...

Alex Story
We need a new vision for Europe after Brexit

We need a new vision for Europe after Brexit

FOR BORIS JOHNSON, voting Leave is a Great Escape. Referring to the EU in March 2016, before the June 23 vote, Johnson told the BBC’s Andrew Marr that “the jailer has accidentally left the door ...

Jill Stephenson
The Catalonian defence: Adrenaline for Scottish separatists

The Catalonian defence: Adrenaline for Scottish separatists

THE SCOTTISH NATIONALISTS have been energised by the illegal referendum in Spain – the one that has been declared illegal by the UN chief Ban Ki-moon. They seem totally uninterested in the referendum in Iraqi ...

Murdo Fraser
Is it time for an Amazon Tax?

Is it time for an Amazon Tax?

THE RECENTLY PUBLISHED Barclay Review of Non-Domestic Rates for the Scottish Government contained some interesting ideas about how the current rates system might be reformed. The review stopped short, however, of recommending a wholescale replacement ...

Owen Polley
The EU's Irish position is neither coherent nor credible

The EU's Irish position is neither coherent nor credible

LAST MONTH the government published its Brexit position paper on ‘Northern Ireland and Ireland’ (by which it meant the Irish Republic). It was hardly a scintillating document, but at least it tried to imagine how ...

Miles Saltiel
May didn't buckle under the weight of EU and remainer perfidy

May didn't buckle under the weight of EU and remainer perfidy

My take on Theresa May's Florence speech:

  • Her content was gratifyingly tough. Although emollient in tone, she did not flinch from sotto voce repeating the offer in the Article 50 notice: cooperation on ...

Jonathan Stanley
Theresa may is no Machiavelli

Theresa may is no Machiavelli

EVERYTHING has changed since the Florence flannel served up on Friday. It really was quite absurd to fly an entourage to Florence with all its fine buildings only to deliver the drabbest, dullest speech I've ever ...

Murdo Fraser
The SNP lurches left on tax

The SNP lurches left on tax

ONLY LAST YEAR it was quite clear where the SNP stood on Income Tax increases. The SNP manifesto for the Holyrood elections ruled out an increase in the basic rate.

Challenged by Scottish ...

Michelle Ballantyne
It's smarter to take smartphones out of the classroom

It's smarter to take smartphones out of the classroom

MORE AND MORE young people are inhabiting a ‘smartphone society’ of Instagram filters and Facebook shares, Twitter likes and Snapchat streaks. This is a place alien to many parents, myself included.

Undoubtedly, ...

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 ...