Opinion

Why Britain shares America's torture shame

Commentary by Derek Bateman If America’s torture regime was shameful, as even their allies claim, how much of that shame is ...

Commentary | Wednesday, 10 December 2014 | Comments

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A Big Boy Did It …

Commentary By GA Ponsonby The National is set for an indefinite print run.  The first daily newspaper to back ...

Commentary | Saturday, 29 November 2014 | Comments

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All hail the Stupid Party

By Derek Bateman The chorus of whines is alive in the shires of England, and in Scotland the sound of deflating ...

Commentary | Thursday, 27 November 2014 | Comments

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More in: Commentary

News - Scotland and International

Murphy 'consensus' doctrine falls at first hurdle

By Thomas Connolly Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy's conversion to consensus politics appears to be stuck in first gear after just a week in charge. The performance of his deputy, Kezia Dugdale MSP, in trying to pin responsiblity for the woes of the oil sector on the SNP at First Minister's Questions last week, suggested that Labour cannot shake itself ... Read More

News in Brief

Glasgow sets standard on climate change

By A Newsnet Reporter Glasgow University has become the first in the UK to promise to pull its i... Read More

Scottish Greens welcome 3000 new members

The Scottish Greens are thanking over 3,000 new members who have joined the party since the close of polls on ... Read More

SNP membership surge means party could overtake UK Lib Dems

The wave of democratic engagement resulting from the referendum is continuing, the SNP has said today, as 16,694 new members ... Read More

SSP referendum meeting halted after pro-Union protestors berate locals

  By a Newsnet reporter  A public event to discuss the referendum, arranged by the Scottish Socialist Party, has had to ... Read More

Greens across Europe show support for Yes vote

Green Yes, the Scottish Green Party's campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum, will today (16 Sep) show the ... Read More

Darlings for Yes

Alistair Darling's plea to Scots to vote No has been given a giant thumbs down - by his own namesakes.  Another ... Read More

More in: In Brief

By Derek Bateman


The chorus of whines is alive in the shires of England, and in Scotland the sound of deflating bagpipes can be heard. If the drones could fashion a dirge it would be Smith’s Retreat from Devo Max.


God, but it’s embarrassing for old Scotland to have such a gang of spivs and chancers picking over her entrails to see what’s worth keeping and what can be safely consigned to the bin.


My own lament is simple: Why, in Heaven’s name, didn’t we have the courage of our forebears and bestow on our country what is rightfully hers – sovereign independence.

PQ Insider considers what the Smith Commission might say about Scottish broadcasting

Here in BBC Scotland very close attention will be paid to Lord Smith’s report this week.

The rest of the world may be rightly concerned about the high politics, and the detail of fiscal and welfare devolution. Our news department and its hangers-on will be telling the story in their usual way. The audience will have no problem discerning the Labour line, plus whatever the SNP government spinners have told Brian Taylor.

Analysis by Maurice Smith


At the height of the independence campaign, as Gordon Brown paced the stage during his carefully-choreographed interventions, my attention was drawn to the faces of the party loyalists who had been co-opted into the act.


They sat behind him, dutifully holding their “No Thanks” placards and seemingly engrossed while the Great Man burped and farted through a familiar litany of rhetorical threat and constitutional half-promise.


Each intervention was billed as a major one, of course. Here was the Saviour of the Union, called in at the 11th hour to seize Scotland back from the jaws of narrow nationalism.


A desperate Westminster establishment had projected the Bat-sign over Gotham,  and there was mighty Brownman ready to leap from his den in faraway Fife, where he took his rest from saving the world.

By Phil Mac Giolla Bhain

Shareholder pressure has forced one of Scotland’s sporting institutions – Celtic Football Club – to back down partly in a two year battle over the “Living Wage”.

Club chairman Ian Bankier signalled a change of heart at the opening of its annual general meeting when he announced that 180 permanent staff currently on the minimum wage can expect their pay to improve to the “living wage” level of £7.85 an hour.

By Andy Wightman

 

Nicola Sturgeon today announced the Scottish Government’s legislative programme for the remainder of this Parliament. It contains a proposal for a new Land Reform Bill as well as a Succession Bill and a review of the Council Tax. Announcements of further proposals are expected in the consultation paper to be published next week.


After a decade of absence, it’s great to see the land question back on the political agenda. This is an important, substantial and meaningful set of proposals. Taken as a whole, they will hopefully shift the baseline of the debate – that is to say the set of assumptions and norms that have too often been taken for granted and in which politicians have too often been reluctant to tackle.

By Derek Bateman


Have we become Irish? I ask because there is such a hilariously contradictory mood around that it could be St Patrick’s Day. ‘Happy? Of course we’re happy. We lost our independence and our living standards are going backwards but isn’t the party grand?’


Makes you wonder just what we would be doing if we’d won the referendum… ‘Cabinet members arrived for their first meeting dressed in assorted onesies. First Minister Sturgeon came in a panda outfit accompanied by the Shotts and Dykehead Caledonia Pipe Band…The Cabinet sang Do They Know It’s Christmas before going into Bute House where they debagged Brian Taylor and threw his trousers on to the street. Reflecting off the windows were the flames of bonfires set by the mob in Charlotte Square gardens…’

By Robert Given

I joined the SNP 24 years ago. I have carried the card ever since.

I liked them when it seemed very few people did. I canvassed with Nicola and remember Alex and Kenny from the poll tax campaign days.  In rock and roll terms I bought the first single, watched them play the student union. Now that they have double platinum-selling albums, play stadiums with an international fan base and have changed lead singer a couple of times, is it still possible to love the SNP?

To The Hydro!

By Thomas Connolly

Finance Secretary John Swinney was promoted as two long-standing colleagues lost their Cabinet posts in First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's new government today.

As expected, Swinney will combine his finance role with that of Deputy First Minister, a role for which he was tipped heavily.

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