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Iain Macwhirter +IainMacwhirter
Pale, stale, middle-aged male. Automated feed from Wordpress account
 Joined January 2017
111 Posts   144 Followers
I have moved to Substack. It’s easy to subscribe and it’s free. Just click: That’s where all my columns and podcasts will be in future. Look forward to meeting you there.
This is my last column for the Herald after around 2.5 million words.  But it’s not an end; it’s a beginning. From next week I’ll be posting a free to read column every week on Substack. Subscribers to this WordPress Blog will automatically be moved over, in what should be a seamless technical move…I look … Continue reading →
I said it during partygate and I’ll say it again. The Tories were mad to ditch Boris Johnson because his replacement would be more right wing and even more incompetent.  But not even I thought it could be this bad. Tory MPS were suckered by social media and Dominic Cummings into ditching the only leader who, … Continue reading →
Italy’s first female prime minister, Georgia Meloni, caused outrage on polling day by posing suggestively with a pair of melons.  Italian feminists didn’t like her bawdy humour, even though Ms Meloni would surely qualify for Hillary Clinton’s list of “gutsy women”.  At any rate, you couldn’t imagine Benito Mussolini, the alleged ancestor of Meloni’s Brothers of …...
The run up to the 2024 general election, if calamity Truss makes it that long, is going to be dominated by one question: can Keir Starmer win an absolute majority or will it have to do a deal with Nicola Sturgeon? The SNP currently commands 48 seats and is the third force in UK politics. … Continue reading →
 “It’s a declaration of Class War”.  Guardian commentators have been struggling to encapsulate the iniquity of Liz Truss’s tax-cutting dash for growth. Having spent the past three years claiming that Boris Johnson was spawn of the devil, scribes are having to ransack the register of righteous indignation to characterise someone who is genuinely on … Continue reading →
Referendums had a bad name after the Second World War. We tend to regard them as the most democratic way to resolve constitutional issues.  Back then they were seen as the tool of dictators.  Putin’s plan to hold plebiscites in the occupied territories of Ukraine is about to demonstrate just why. Adolf Hitler was an avid … Continue reading →
I have a sneaking admiration for Lix Truss. Not for her economic policies – they make little sense – but for her cojones. She has taken on the tax and spend consensus and turned it upside down. All those hysterics on Twitter who claimed that Boris Johnson was “the most right wing prime minister in … Continue reading →
Monarchy is an absurd anachronism. But so is nationalism. ————————— “The monarchy is not rational”, opined The Guardian editorial in a statement of bleedin’ the obvious. Like much of the media it  has been issuing stifled groans and guffaws for the last ten days at what many of its writers and its readers regarded as tantamount … Continue reading →
“Liberalism and its Discontents” by Francis Fukuyama. Profile Books £16.99 The American political scientist, Francis Fukuyama, has made a career out of being wrong. He famously announced “The End of History” in a seminal work 1992 following the collapse of the Soviet Union. History has been getting its own back on him for the last … Continue reading →
The late SNP MSP, Margo Macdonald, was a long time champion of the rights of sex workers – “working women” as she called them. She campaigned for tolerance zones and defended sex workers against heavy handed policing, such as the attempt to close down Edinburgh’s saunas. There has been no one in the SNP willing … Continue reading →
Alex Salmond decided that there was little point in giving evidence to the Holyrood Harassment Inquiry yesterday, leaving an empty chair. He clearly thought that the chair could speak more eloquently than he could under the circumstances. He may be right. At the last minute, on Tuesday, under pressure from the Crown Office, the committee … Continue reading →
Covid has changed the landscape of employment out of all recognition. Around two million people have lost their jobs, millions more are on the government’s furlough scheme. Indeed, if you add in the public sector, some ten million people are now on the state payroll – nearly half the UK workforce.  So, why not just … Continue reading →
—————————————————————————————— Whenever I hear talk of decriminalising hard drugs, I think of “Hamsterdam”. That was the street name for an enlightened, albeit fictitious, decriminalisation scheme in the US TV...
—————————————————————————- The Prime Minister, Michael Gove, has told the First Minister, Angus Robertson, that there can be no agreement on the Scottish border issue, ensuring free entry for Scottish people and goods, unless there is agreement on...
For most of the 20th Century being on the political left meant supporting a set of principles dating from the European Enlightenment.  Humanism, progress, freedom of speech, scientific objectivity, tolerance. In 2020 the left seemed to be choosing a different course: a regression to dogmatism and narrow-minded intolerance. We saw this most egregiously when a small … Continue reading...
The Opposition parties were left flat-footed by Boris Johnson’s Brexmas deal. Too many had believed his propaganda about being content with a No Deal and were therefore left with little to complain about when one materialised. Not a bad deal, either, that ensures tariff and quota free trade in goods and (probably). services.  It’s not … Continue reading →
“Boris Johnson – the gambler”, by Tom Bower. WH Allen £20.  —————————————————————– Tom Bower is a prolific biographer renowned for his hatchet jobs, as we call them in the trade, on big political figures like Jeremy Corbyn and Tony Blair. Balance and...
—————————————————————————————– The shooting of Jacob Blake, seven times in the back, by police in Kenosha Wisconsin in August was one of the most appalling acts of police violence ever recorded on video. The casualness...
Matt Forde is Donald Trump.  He is the voice of the POTUS on the revived Spitting Image TV show, now available on Britbox. As a mimic he’s rather good and he does a convincing Boris Johnson for the same show. He also fronts well-received political podcasts.  Forde is following a long tradition of disillusioned politicos … Continue reading →
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