The UK passed a grim milestone yesterday, as Boris Johnson announced that officially recorded coronavirus deaths have passed 100,000. Only five countries have crossed this number: ourselves aside, there is the US, Brazil, India and Mexico.



Melting glacier

According to research from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at the University of Leeds, global ice loss is speeding up. There has been a 65% increase in the rate of ice loss over the 23-year survey, with the ice loss over the study period estimated to have raised sea levels by 35 millimetres.

Global ice loss reaching worst-case scenarios


The prospect of state collapse, whether orderly or disorderly, remains very real. That said, theoretical possibilities are one thing. Making it happen is quite another. States of Britain’s standing don’t just topple of their own accord. Any breakup of a venerable old imperial power requires concerted political agency – a plan, in short.

Source Direct: Roadmap to Nowhere?


SNP trade minister Ivan McKee evocatively called them a “shiny squirrel” while Nicola Sturgeon noted they were widely associated with “low-cost, low-wage, low-value opportunities”. Fortunately, the Scottish Government aren’t proposing “freeports” but “green ports”…

Source Direct: As Free as a Green Port



Joe Biden’s inauguration yesterday thus had the feeling of a global event, with all of us vicariously participating. Much of the media, including our state broadcaster, put objectivity to bed and resorted to fawning, like Nicholas Witchell narrating the birth of a Royal baby.

Source Direct: Biden with Me



Capitalism, our system, is ageing, inept, bilious and barely able to rise from its sickbed. Economic news does not determine the constitution, but it does ask questions about what type of independence might be possible or desirable.

Source Direct: System Shock



It’s tempting to ignore the Scottish Labour leadership election. Here will be two career politicians with milquetoast opinions fighting for the soul of a party that long ceased to matter in Scotland’s real power stakes.

Source Direct: On the Slab


The SNP’s launch of a new “independence taskforce” was greeted with a predictable round of predictable scolds from a predictable group of unionist leaders led by a predictable Scottish Labour leadership candidate.

Source Direct: Breaking Free