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Iain Macwhirter +IainMacwhirter
Pale, stale, middle-aged male. Automated feed from Wordpress account
100 Posts   141 Followers
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 →
MODERN Monetary Theory sounds like a pretty boring module in a university economics course. In fact, it is becoming the leading economic theory on the left and has largely replaced Marxism for this generation of radicals. Advocates include Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the economist Stephanie Kelton and the Labour-supporting tax specialist Professor Richard Murphy. It …...
  Supporters of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are getting organised. Momentum managed to land a raft of his supporters onto Labour’s National Executive much to the chagrin of the new leader, Sir Keir Starmer. Corbyn has kept quiet, and the left are being ultra-cautious, but they haven’t gone away. There is a deep … Continue reading →
 “The Anxious Triumph – a global history of capitalism”, by Donald Sassoon, Allen Lane “Fully Automated Luxury Communism – a manifesto”, Aaron Bastani, Verso. ======================================================================= Following the Great Recession, the longest period of wage stagnation since the Napoleonic Wars (and now the Covid pandemic), people are wondering,...
He’s past his best, which was never that great”. So opined Sir Kim Darroch, the former British Ambassador, last month about the man who will shortly become the 46th President of the United States. It’s fair to say that 77-year-old Joe Biden did not enter this race exuding dynamism and star quality. He looked like … Continue reading →
GERS day came and went last week with the usual headlines cut and pasted from previous years. Scots in hock to UK…Union Dividend…Black hole.   Just fill in the blanks: £15bn deficit; £2000 per head; 8% of GDP.  It’s become something of an annual ritual. Perhaps they should make it a national holiday.  TWITS Day: … Continue reading →
There are few politicians in modern history who have been subjected to such relentless scrutiny as Alex Salmond.  He has been under almost continual investigation, one way or another,  for 30 years, since he became leader of the Scottish National Party. A politician who has rocked the establishment, both in the UK and Scotland, the … Continue reading →
When Boris Johnson was won a near landslide majority in December, he was hailed as nothing less than a blue messiah.  How long ago that seems. Tory commentators and many MPs are now deeply disenchanted with Boris, and not just because his government made an even worse cock-up of the exams than the Scots.  Tory … Continue reading →
When the Scottish Police, the Catholic Church, the Law Society of Scotland get together to condemn the Scottish government’s Hate Crime Bill for endangering freedom of speech, you’d think that ministers might be tempted to listen. I can’t off-hand think of any issue that has united policemen, lawyers and churchmen in quite this way before … Continue reading →
The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has single-handedly turned the UK Conservatives into the party of big government, big spending and – ultimately – big taxation. Ironic really, since the former investment banker used to be a bit of a free-market Thatcherite. Coronavirus is no respecter of ideology. At the height of the furlough programme, nearly half … Continue reading →
Much of the Brexit commentary, especially from Remainers, is that nothing changes tonight.   Trade talks have yet to begin.  Nothing resolved.  It’s all just symbolic. No it isn’t. Tonight we lose citizenship of the European Union, and the protections and privileges that went with it.  That is  much more than a symbolic act;  more … Continue reading →
 The SNP may appear to be at the very zenith of its political power.  Nicola Sturgeon’s dominance of Scottish politics was cemented in the December general election when it reduced Labour to one solitary seat in Scotland.  It was almost a repeat of the 2015 Tsunami. Yet the SNP face the biggest crisis in their … Continue reading →
Scotland flag - the saltire Made In Scotland. For Scotland.
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