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


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 […]

The Brown and Blackford double act


A bit of escapism is sometimes needed in these grim times, so Scotland’s men’s football team making it to a major championship for the first time since 1998 is not an unhealthy tonic. In 1998 there was no Scottish Parliament, Google had just been founded, and the DVD was sold for the first time – […]

It’s right to question Test and Protect


When we talk about regional inequality, we usually talk about the chasm between London & the South-East and the rest of the UK, including Scotland. On that scale, Britain is one of the most regionally unequal country’s in Europe. But regional inequalities matter within Scotland too, have been growing for a long time, and are being […]

Inverclyde, and why we should worry about Scotland’s regional inequality


With the US Presidential election all over except for the lawsuits, the hot-takes and the tantrums, let’s look ahead to Scotland’s big election in six months time. What can we expect from Holyrood 2021?  A new poll gives us a sense of the emerging political contours. Almost half of Scots (49 per cent) believe that […]

Six months until the Scottish elections: What’s the state of play?


How does indyref 2039 sound to you? Or indyref 2054? Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has sought to harden the UK Government’s position on opposing the right to decide on independence. Asked by the BBC if he was ruling out an indyref regardless of the Scottish Parliament election result, Jack said: “It’s no for a generation”. […]

“It’s no for a generation”


The US election result looks like being a nail-biter, and there is little value in speculating, so we will come back to that in tomorrow morning’s Source Direct. If the pandemic had not intervened, the UN Climate Summit would be just about to get underway in Glasgow. As it is, COP26 has been pushed back […]

With COP26 one year away, why are we letting a serious crisis go to waste?