“We’re taking one step forward, five steps back,” Devi Sridhar, professor of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh and on the Scottish Government’s covid-19 advisory group, wrote yesterday, in summing up her exasperation about the covid-19 situation in the UK. She’s not wrong.  Lockdown was a big social sacrifice, one where the vulnerable suffered […]

“Remember that the stock market value of oil and gas firms is based on their oil and gas reserves. They are worth what the stock market thinks these can be sold for. So for them, these reserves must be part of the solution to climate change; this is why they place dirty, fossil fuel-based hydrogen at the heart of their plan.”

Iain Black: Beware green Trojan horses




Another year, another banking scandal. They’re like clock-work these days. This time, it’s the FinCEN files: a leak of 2,657 documents from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the US Treasury that deals with money laundering. The files total $2 trillion worth of transactions, and contain 2,121 ‘SARs’, Suspicious Activity Reports which […]

The FinCEN files: What you need to know



“What are the costs of little or no governance, scrutiny and understanding of multiple health data initiatives when governments, academics, public sector organisations and businesses can avoid the normal controls and transparency?”

Covid-19 and questions of data


September 18th. The sixth anniversary of Indyref. I’m sure I am not alone among Source Direct subscribers in wondering if we will ever see as politically vibrant times again as the summer of 2014, when it felt like there wasn’t a person in Scotland who wasn’t actively engaged in shaping the country’s future. So much […]

Don’t lose sight of what made 2014 special




‘A fish rots from its head’ is an old Chinese proverb that I like. When any system begins to fail, look to the top to figure out why. The international system is not headed by Boris Johnson, he is merely an opportunist looking to take advantage of new trends to protect his interests. No, if […]

Rule-breaking is the new normal in the era of US unilateralism



The Scottish Household Survey has just been published. This data provides the most detailed account of the demographic make-up of Scotland’s communities, and how it has changed over time. It also provides information on people’s views and beliefs on a number of issues, from climate change to religious belonging. Here, we will focus on what the […]

Scotland’s communities: divided by money