Who would be a Catalan President? Or at least, a pro-independence Catalan President? Look through the list of those who have served as president of Catalonia before and after the period of dictatorship under General Franco and you will find that just one served out their term in office, the rest were forced out by […]

Banned for banners: Torra’s absurd removal


Within about 24 hours of a ‘Glasgow Uni Rent Strike’ social media campaign starting, university principal Anton Muscatelli stepped in with a one-month re-fund “to compensate for the disruption they are facing”. It appeared to be some sort of admission of guilt that there was, at minimum, a lack of institutional preparation for students moving […]

Box-room revolt



The title of what Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced yesterday, ‘Job Support Scheme’, flatters to deceive. The key thing to be aware of is that employers are being asked to pay one-third of the topping up of a worker’s wage who has been moved from full-time to part-time hours, which many of them are not going […]

Sunak’s ‘Job Support Scheme’ is a deception


Are you a ‘Kurzarbeit’ or a ‘chômage partiel’ person? UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak will make an important statement to the House of Commons this afternoon about what will replace the furlough scheme at the end of October, with debate rife about whether German or French models will be preferred, or something completely different altogether.  The Kurzarbeit […]

Beyond furlough


Exactly six months today since full lockdown, Scotland is back in a mini-lockdown again. This time, only other people’s homes are off-limits. As in England, pubs will shut at 10pm. There are good reasons to be sceptical that these measures will be sufficient to contain the spread of covid-19. They appear suspiciously like applying maximum […]

Six months since lockdown, is ‘Test and Protect’ ready?



“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 […]

‘One step forward, five steps back’