Ahead of SNP annual conference tomorrow, Living Rent tenants’ union are delivering their Tenant Manifesto to the SNP’s party HQ in Edinburgh. They’re calling for proper rent controls, after the Scottish Parliament introduced Rent Pressure Zones in 2016 that councils have been unable to use, due to the cost of data collection requirements placed on them to […]
The UK Government’s budget deficit for this year will reach 19 per cent of GDP for 2020/21, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak. It’s worth reflecting on that figure in the context of the Scottish independence debate. For years, we have been told by opponents of independence that a prospective budget deficit in an independent Scotland […]
Doubling down on the Growth Commission is a huge mistake
As furious statements from the trade unions go, the latest from the STUC on the demise of Bifab is right up there. “The Scottish Government trumpets its support for ‘Fair Work’ and ‘workers voice’ at every opportunity, but when it comes to key issues such as the future of hundreds of workers at BiFab they […]
‘Just Transition’ no more?
What should we expect from Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spending Review today? Not austerity – at least not yet, at least not for most. The hedge fund chancellor was keen to emphasise that point with Andrew Marr on Sunday, that there “will not be austerity” now, but at some point borrowing will “have to be grappled […]
Does Sunak have a plan?
What unites Thatcher’s man in Scotland Sir Malcolm Rifkind and left-wing, anti-Tory firebrand Labour MSP Neil Findlay? They’re both agreed – it’s time for a federal solution to the Scottish question. In an interview yesterday, Rifkind, who was Scottish Secretary from 1986 to 1990 and was in charge of the notorious introduction of the Poll […]
Federalism is a trap we should not be lured in to
Who’d be a school teacher? The job sounds stressful enough at the best of times, but in the current context it must be very difficult indeed. Teaching classrooms full of masked secondary school students, not knowing from one day to the next whether students will be in class or at home isolating, all while worrying […]
Teachers would be right to strike
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the largest increase in military spending for 30 years, with an extra £4 billion a year being pumped in to the MoD for the next four years. He said he was announcing the Defence spending boost “in the teeth” of the pandemic because “the defence of the realm […]
Johnson’s prioritising militarism in a pandemic – who will stand against it?
Lockdowns don’t hit all businesses equally. That’s a point that Andrew McRae, the Federation of Small Businesses policy chair, made following the latest announcement of tougher restrictions. He said that small businesses like retailers had to shut their doors for the next three weeks, “when many big businesses face few operating restrictions”. If you can […]
Small businesses are suffering – and it’s the banking system that’s the problem
Devolution has been a “disaster” in Scotland, and was Tony Blair’s “biggest mistake”. Boris Johnson has only said what is almost certainly the quiet consensus in the British establishment, but it’s important that the words are now on record. I would wager that Blair thinks the same. You have to see devolution from the the […]
Johnson’s devolution comments are a sign of weakness
Two things are clear from the news this morning: a) there’s an election coming, and b) there’s an SNP annual conference soon. A flurry of indyref chatter always precedes these events, and this time is no different. Those of us who have seen this act play out time and time again can be forgiven for […]