Neil Mackay is one of Scotland’s most respected columnists – and one of the most reliably pro-Sturgeon. His scathing assessment of the SNP’s campaign therefore merits attention

Source Direct: An Independence Election?


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?




It’s one poll, and (sometimes performative) panicked politics leads would-be critics to uncritically back the people in charge. For these reasons, too many leftists position themselves somewhere between cheerleader for and conscience of centrist governments.

Source Direct: Don’t Panic!



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