“Independence supporters face the prospect of explaining and reaffirming the expanded mandate for they have won. Many will not look forward to beating their head against this particular brick wall once again, as the unionist counter-argument will only become more shrill, obstinate and unconcerned with democracy the more they are put on the defensive.”

Sean Bell: After the election, what comes next?


Five years on from the Brexit vote, everything has been leading to this moment of truth for independence. But that mood of certainty is giving way to frustration and self-doubt. Whisper it, but the Yes bloc is experiencing an identity crisis.

Source Direct: A Yes Slump?


For the aspirational politico, fretting over Alba has convenient side-effects, giving the aura of a moral high ground without damaging your prospects among those with real power. True progressives should treat all such risk-free stances with a dose of scepticism.

Source Direct Election Profile: the Alba Party



For me, the true danger of Alba is that it could amount to nothing. And, in establishing itself, it will have emptied the SNP of many of its most eloquent internal opponents, including Kenny MacAskill and, in all likelihood, many others to come.

Source Direct: Blackmail, Derangement and Pied Pipers


Leftists may view Alba as a break from Sturgeon’s dreary post-neoliberalism; nationalists as a break from Sturgeon’s constitutional coquetry; unionists as (an ironic) break on SNP government. Will this add up to a serious vote? It’s late in the day, but theoretically, yes it could.

Source Direct: The Spectre at the Feast


“It would be really, really nice is Hamilton’s verdict signalled a new stage of our political discourse – one which prioritised the issues facing Scotland, rather than its current and former first ministers, and where matters of sovereignty, social and economic justice, and protecting the vulnerable and the marginalised do not take a backseat to tortuous inquiries and the shenanigans they allow.”

Sean Bell: In the wake of Hamilton, Sturgeon’s critics must realise there is no cheat-code to victory


For all the fuss, the revelation itself is no smoking gun. Her account was undeniably marred by factual bloopers. The real questions are about their relevance in the grander scheme of things; and, most of all, about the intent lying behind inaccurate statements.

Source Direct: Leading and Misleading



It’s long past panto season, but Scottish politics didn’t get that memo. With each day the inquiry into the Government mishandling of the Salmond affair gets more slapstick, more ribald and more grotesque.

Source Direct: He’s Behind You!