As Scotland enters its new tiered system of restrictions today, England is getting prepared to dump it. Boris Johnson’s Saturday announcement of a four-week national lockdown, only for England, came about six weeks after his SAGE advisors had argued for a two-week circuit-breaker lockdown and he offered up the tiered system. What a mess.  The […]

A second lockdown will be very different


A new IPPR Scotland report published today, ‘Weathering the Winter Storm‘, paints a bleak picture of the financial hit people have taken from the pandemic crisis. Almost half of all workers in Scotland (45 per cent) have suffered a fall in income since April, while the number of households behind on bills has risen from […]

Where is the plan to address Scotland’s personal finances’ crisis?



Last week, North Edinburgh Arts opened up a new ‘Pennywell Pantry’. For a weekly membership of £3.50, members of the Pantry will be able to choose a selection of food with a value of £15-£20 each week. The Pantry is laid out just like a small super-market, where people go in and select items for their […]

Community solidarity will be needed to survive the coming weeks and months


Common Weal head of policy & research Craig Dalzell, author of a paper last month proposing a tiered approach to covid-19 restrictions, examines the Scottish Government’s new five-level alert system. Over a month after Common Weal called for a localised, tiered response to the Covid pandemic and six months since countries like France adopted one, […]

Craig Dalzell: @ScotGov tiered Covid-19 restrictions a step forward


Nick Kempe, former head of service for Elderly People in Glasgow, examines what we know so far about the review of adult social care, and if it’s really thinking radically enough about the scale of changes required to address the deep structural problems in the sector which have been so evident during the covid-19 crisis. […]

Nick Kempe: Towards a genuine National Care Service?


“The purpose of an experiment is to determine whether observations of the real world agree with or conflict with the predictions derived from a hypothesis. If they agree, confidence in the hypothesis increases; otherwise, it decreases.” It is time for the independence movement to get to grips with the scientific method. Something does not become […]

Robin Mcalpine: Sterlingisation is a terrible idea and a massive liability


As damning indictments go, the government-supported, Fife-based BiFab withdrawing its bid to build jackets for the government-licensed NnG wind farm project off the coast of Fife is right up there. If there is a more obvious example of a failing industrial policy, I can’t think of one.  Let’s remind ourselves of the back-story. In December […]

The Bifab failure is a fiasco


What should the UK Government’s strategy be to stop Scottish independence? One would think this is the sort of thing Tory politicians and their staffers think about themselves. But no, in these days of neoliberal governance, Ministers seem happier to outsource all of their thinking to ridiculously expensive private consultancies.  Bloomberg has now reported on a leaked 21-page memo […]

Preparing for a “velvet No”


At the end of this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will outline plans for Scotland’s three-tier system for restrictions on covid-19. Then when MSPs return to the Scottish Parliament at the start of next week, the proposals will be scrutinised, debated and voted on. It’s the first time in quite awhile that there will be […]

Should the response to covid-19 be democratised?