Living in a 1970s concept album

Living in a 1970s concept album

Meet the new plan, the same as the old plan. Even though the Prime Minister has been utterly humiliated, she keeps going on. Theresa is missing the shame gene. It is now clear that Theresa May is giving the UK a lesson in masochism. It’s about the only sense in...

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The temple of doom

The temple of doom

It’s being reported today (Sunday) that the British Government finds it “extremely concerning” that MPs are trying to delay Article 50 in order to avoid a no deal. It’s a bit like that scene in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull when our hero and his chums...

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The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast : Jan 18

The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast : Jan 18

The second edition of The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast featuring yours truly and Callum Baird, editor of The National. This week we discuss the events in Westminster and the growing impetus for Scotland to have a say on its future. And we also talk about the dog’s bollocks. As you...

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The Ice Queen’s sandcastle

The Ice Queen’s sandcastle

After the devastating defeat of the government’s Brexit deal on Tuesday, came Wednesday’s vote of confidence called by Jeremy Corbyn. As expected, those Tories who voted down the central policy of their own government yesterday lined up to support it today. They might hate Theresa May’s deal, but they hate...

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The great defeat

The great defeat

After delays, prevarications, and attempts to sideline Parliament, Theresa May finally put her deal to the House of Commons on Tuesday. Theresa May never wanted this vote. She wanted to ram her deal through Parliament without any vote at all. Today we discovered just why she was so reluctant to...

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The Great British Pseudocracy

The Great British Pseudocracy

Theresa May is currently engaged in a competition with Donald Trump to see which of the two of them can get away with the most lies. If she is in a competition with Trump, she’s narrowly in the lead. It’s the only plausible explanation for the Prime Minister’s curious lack...

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Scenting blood

Scenting blood

The Scottish media pack has got itself a bone, and it’s going to chew it. And chew it. Lost amonst the vast tundra-like acreage of the Scottish media’s coverage of Alex Salmond, there was an article this week entitled Alex Salmond Is Looking For Blood. And I thought to myself,...

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The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast

The National’s Wee Ginger Dugcast

Every Friday I’ll now be doing a podcast for The National which will be published on the newspaper’s site, and which I’ll also be sharing here. So now instead of reading my rants, you’ll get to hear my not-so-dulcet tones every Friday. You can help to support this blog with...

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An Atlas of Opportunity, putting Scotland at the centre of the map

An Atlas of Opportunity, putting Scotland at the centre of the map

A review copy of a book was delivered when I was away visiting my husband in the USA over Christmas and the New Year. Unfortunately I didn’t get it sooner, as it would have been ideal for readers to purchase as a Christmas present.

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Sock washing and constitutional crises

Sock washing and constitutional crises

So you finally get around to doing the pile of washing that’s been staring at you in the dirty clothes basket since you got back from your holidays, you make a proper dent on the housework, go to the supermarket, all those wee chores that you’ve been putting off, and...

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The problem with Holyrood

The problem with Holyrood

This year the Scottish Parliament becomes 20 years old. For the past 20 years Scotland has had a forum to express its national will, we have seen a parliament restored to our capital city and for the first time in the history of this ancient nation the people have enjoyed...

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The year of the making of Scotland

The year of the making of Scotland

Many thanks to Sam for looking after the blog while I was away. Like the British political establishment, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks avoiding work and responsibilities. I went off to the USA to spend Christmas and the New Year with my husband in Connecticut and had a...

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A two-way street

A two-way street

A guest post by Samuel Miller Respect (Noun) 1. a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. 2. due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others. 3. a particular aspect, point, or detail. Lot of talk of respect doing the...

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Twas the night before

Twas the night before

A guest post by Samuel Miller Righto. I’ve got the same artisanal baps on order that we had last year and Mrs M. will be making what is probably the world’s most potent (lethal) brandy butter to hide the taste of the shops own Crimbo pud. The turkey (small budgie)...

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Breaking up isn’t always hard to do

Breaking up isn’t always hard to do

Opponents of independence have got a new argument against independence. It’s not much of an argument, but then the British establishment is increasingly clutching at ever more desperate straws. The argument goes that Brexit has shown how difficult it is to leave a union, and therefore Scottish independence is likely...

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Stupid is as stupid does

Stupid is as stupid does

The British government unveiled its new immigration policy today, and as we’ve come to expect from this government it’s petty, cruel, restrictive and nasty. EU citizens will in the future have to earn over £30,000 a year in order to apply for residency in the UK. What the government didn’t...

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The definition of tyranny

The definition of tyranny

Despite the fact that it is clear to everyone that there is no support for Theresa May’s Brexit deal in Parliament, the Prime Minister blindly and stubbornly refuses to countenance any alternatives. We have a Prime Minister who heads a government which has, at every turn, attempted to block the...

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The unwitting midwives of independence

The unwitting midwives of independence

Do you know your place yet Scottish people? The media and the Tories would like you to believe that the Scottish government was slapped down by the UK Supreme Court this week. The Court struck down important parts of the Scottish Government’s EU Continuity Bill, passed with the support of...

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That’s a fine forfochten fanklefyke the Tories have got us into

That’s a fine forfochten fanklefyke the Tories have got us into

Yesterday the story could have been Labour’s to tell. Jeremy Corbyn could have stamped the Labour party’s mark on Brexit and alongside the SNP, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, and the Greens he could have brought forward a motion of no confidence in the government and shown that there is...

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Knowing our place

Knowing our place

According to the BBC political editor Nick Watt, a senior Conservative spoke to him about his frustration at the way Brexit has been going. What this Tory grandee was specifically upset about was the amount of power and influence that Dublin has had in the Brexit negotiations. Dublin has been...

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A bit of a corbyn

A bit of a corbyn

So does anyone know what’s going on? Nope. Me neither. There are just 63 working days left for Parliament before the Brexit clock runs out, and British politics isn’t just broken, it’s been reduced to its constituent atoms, sucked into a black hole, and squeezed out the other end into...

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Trapped between vampires and a flapping plastic bag

Trapped between vampires and a flapping plastic bag

It was St Andrew’s Day last week. According to East European tradition, vampires are most active around the time of St Andrew’s Day, and there was indeed a confirmed sighting of one in a leather factory near Bridge of Weir just before St Andrew’s Day. Although only very briefly. Not...

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The fart of the deal

The fart of the deal

Today, Thursday, there was a cabinet meeting that the cabinet office assured Sky News wasn’t a cabinet meeting. There was the usual carcrash of Conservatives pitching up at Number 10. Liam Fox was there, looming like bit player actor auditioning for the part of Lurch in the Addams Family. Andrea...

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Three strikes but she’s not out, yet.

Three strikes but she’s not out, yet.

It’s been one of those days when you start writing an article, and by the time you get to the end of the sentence there’s been some other significant development in the catastrocrash that passes for British politics. My hard drive is littered with the ruins of aborted and unworkable...

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The myth of the Union

The myth of the Union

As the UK lurches towards a Common vote on Theresa May’s Brexit deal, and it becomes ever more obvious that no route out of the Brexmess enjoys the support of a majority of MPs, the entire future of the UK and everyone in it is being held hostage. British politics...

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Telling Theresa the time

Telling Theresa the time

According to an article in The Times today, Theresa May will refuse to agree to any request from the Scottish government to hold another independence referendum. Well that’s a relief, because no one in Scotland has the slightest intention of requesting anything from Theresa May. Scotland will be informing Theresa...

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Thick skin in a leather factory

Thick skin in a leather factory

Theresa May appeared before the House of Commons Liaison Committee this morning to speak about her Brexit plans. Committee members were keen to ask her what her Plan B was in the likely event that her deal would not attract the support of sufficient MPs in order to pass through...

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Theresa’s listening exercise

Theresa’s listening exercise

Theresa May is on tour in what she fondly imagines to be a listening exercise, or at least what she thinks we will be fooled into thinking is a listening exercise. She’s visiting Wales and Northern Ireland in an attempt to sell her Brexit deal. Scotland is supposed to be...

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A Scottish reply to Theresa’s letter

A Scottish reply to Theresa’s letter

Dear Theresa, Thank you for your begging letter. However let’s not be too churlish, congratulations are in order. The UK was divided as never before, fearful of the future, angry and anxious, and against all the odds you have managed to unite this disunited and dysfunctional kingdom. Everyone thinks that...

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Ireland’s superpower is independence

Ireland’s superpower is independence

There’s a new and deeply unpleasant narrative developing amongst Brexits. Although to be honest this is scarcely unsurprising since Brexit was always a deeply unpleasant narrative in the first place. However now that the Brexit pigeons have come home to roost and have crapped all over Liam Fox and David...

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David Mundell hasn’t resigned yet

David Mundell hasn’t resigned yet

David Mundell hasn’t resigned yet. I say yet, but that’s like saying Donald Trump hasn’t taken the blame for anything yet, or Ruth Davidson doesn’t have any policies except self-promoting photo ops yet, or the Scotsman hasn’t published a pro-independence front page yet. In a letter that he sent to...

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Hypocrisy, thy name is North Briton

Hypocrisy, thy name is North Briton

I had originally planned to write this blog article yesterday, but events got in the way in the shape of the news that the Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell had once and for all definitively killed off the much touted British nationalist myth that Spain would veto an EU membership...

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The final death of the Spanish veto myth

The final death of the Spanish veto myth

There’s one thing that this blog has been saying consistently ever since I started writing it in 2013, and that’s that Spain would not veto an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU. I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, but this blog has been a lone voice in Scotland...

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This is the state we’re still in

This is the state we’re still in

This is the state we’re still in. Back in 2014, another age, another era, when the UK could still pretend that it was open and welcoming and respectful of the people who make it up, Scotland was promised that by voting against independence, we could have the best of both...

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Acknowledging Scotland’s existence

Acknowledging Scotland’s existence

Finally, Theresa May has managed to unite the UK. Everyone thinks her deal is rubbish, even the guy who was supposedly in charge of negotiating it. The Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab has resigned, so Raab C Brexit is now Raab C Exit. Fellow Brexist Esther McVey has taken time out...

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A very big deal

A very big deal

You can’t turn on the telly today without seeing some eager interviewer standing outside Westminster or Downing Street, sticking their microphone in the face of a random political passer by and asking them about the government’s Brexit deal. The cracks are already showing, not least in the rictus grins of...

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Journey to Yes #22 : Clive Ponting

Journey to Yes #22 : Clive Ponting

The latest instalment in Phantom Power’s fantastic Journey to Yes series. Clive Ponting is the original British whistleblower. Long before Assange and Snowden, Ponting leaked details of a cover-up that shook the British political establishment. Working as a senior civil servant at the heart of power, Clive Ponting grew increasingly...

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Stopping the spreading rash of Union flegs

Stopping the spreading rash of Union flegs

When I was a kid, the Union fleg was only regularly seen flying on Orange Walks. As a Catholic wean from a family that was partly of Irish descent, it was a flag that said that people like me were not welcome, that we were excluded, that we were regarded...

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A draft constitution for the Scottish state

A draft constitution for the Scottish state

The constitutional scholar Dr. Mark McNaught, who is a Professor of Law, Philosophy, and US Civilization at the University of Rennes, is one of those who has been attempting to devise a draft constitution for an independent Scottish state. Other groups and individuals have also been working on similar projects....

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Sold out going in, sold out going out

Sold out going in, sold out going out

Sorry for not having blogged the past couple of days, but I’ve been having internet issues. Virgin Cable’s online service check thingy insists there’s no broadband issues in my area, but I’m constantly getting DNS lookup errors. Fingers crossed it’s sorted now. Onieweys, it’s not like there’s a whole lot...

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The only poll that matters

The only poll that matters

There’s been a bit of gloating from British nationalists this week over the opinion poll that never was. Those nats eh, what are they like. After Channel 4 broadcast its programme Brexit – What the Nation Really Thinks, claims were made on social media that the megapoll conducted for the...

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Norway: The Twin Nation

Norway: The Twin Nation

The latest in Phantom Power and Lesley Riddoch’s Nation series. The Norway film tells the story of Scotland’s twin nation. We have the same population, share the oil, gas and fishing resources of the North Sea and have similar geography. But over the last 200 years Norway has withdrawn from...

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If no one is going to save you, you have to save yourself

If no one is going to save you, you have to save yourself

Well that’s me back from the USA with a ring on my finger. And thanks to Theresa May and her hostile policy for immigration, I’m married with all of the consequences that brings for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, but without actually being able...

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Stronger than fear (part 2)

Stronger than fear (part 2)

A guest post by Samuel Miller Yes. The UK is a pretty dark and forbidding looking place just now. And yes, there has been a marked rise in intolerance, societal division, austerity, isolationism and wealth disparity. Seems whichever way you look there’s anger, fear and uncertainty on the rise. As...

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Buttons up the back

Buttons up the back

A guest post by Samuel Miller It’s a safe bet that the next few days are going to be eaten up with dissection of the latest austerity ending budget. Now stop snorting at the back. And we’ll have no swerry wurds either. It’s not seemly you know. Anyroads. You can...

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Exactly what it says on the tin

Exactly what it says on the tin

A guest post by Samuel Miller This isn’t going to end well you know. Brexit that is. I mean. We are aware that there never was an exit strategy. A plan for removing the UK from the EU. Right? That everything done (or not done) in the past two years...

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When words fail

When words fail

A guest post by Samuel Miller Y’know, you read appalling stuff about yer political class every day. Brexit shambles, leadership backstabbery, cash for access scandals, election campaign under investigation because reasons sorta thing. The levels of hypocrisy, cynical abuse of power and public manipulation can leave you speechless. For instance,...

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A better way

A better way

A guest post by Samuel Miller Been quite the autumn so far. Seems everything is going off all at once and it’s coming at you from every direction. That can be frightening. And to be fair, it is. The politics of intolerance, exclusion and isolation seems to be rearing its...

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Kicking the can down the road

Kicking the can down the road

A guest post by Samuel Miller Wednesday’s summit went well then. Okay, perhaps a tad sarcastic, but the meeting went pretty much along expected lines. That would be the summit where some people had a fair idea that there wouldn’t be any agreement. That one. Ms May’s bespoke deal was...

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