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I’ve just read The Wired’s gripping Joshuah Bearman’s ‘Untold Story of Silk Road’ (part 2 is flagged at bottom of part 1). I can’t wait for the book (and the movie too, I hope), but for now Bearman’s piece (with others credited) is more than worth spending an hour on, along with the other super.. read more →

29 May 2015
May 29, 2015

Sepp Blatter – only an excuse?

1 Comment

There’s a strong scent of fish around the Sepp Blatter ‘schlock’. Football fans seem pretty unmoved. It’s not like no-one knows how grubby international football is and, frankly, most people just want to watch decent football. Most folk don’t seem that bothered about the dodgy-ness and if they want ethics they’ll go see a priest/Imam/Rabbi. The.. read more →

24 May 2015
May 24, 2015

Insurgence

8 Comments

John Prescott wants Andy Burnham to lead ‘Now Labour’ (see what he did there?). Yvette Cooper wants Labour, in the wake of its historical defeat, to ‘move neither left nor right’. Brilliant, really. Labour should stand still in the middle of the carriageway ‘NOW’ and get run over like a badger. Or, how about none.. read more →

I try to post around once a week if I have something to say which might be of interest to others, but having posted earlier today I was driving along under a lovely London sky and heard Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s interview on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme (package starts at 33.26, interview at.. read more →

Stephen Kinnock, Neil and Glenys’ boy, was saying in the Guardian the other day that what Labour in Scotland really needs is a jolly good ‘re-branding’. “…calling it the Scottish Democratic Labour party. Or the Scottish Radicals. Or the Scottish Progressive party.” He later clarifies that “the word ‘Labour’ has to stay in there, because.. read more →

16 May 2015
May 16, 2015

The fuckwits are coming

18 Comments

The people who are best at putting the self-indulgent, worker-shafting, job-destroying, moronic ideological argument from the far-left are always the ones being paid good money to do so. So it is with Unite officials. £130k for the UK’s Unite leader and £80k for the halfwit in Scotland with the haircut. Labour in Scotland (too dim.. read more →

So prime minister Cameron has finally found some sucker prepared to be an un-elected minister at the Scotland office in the face of a Scottish opposition comprised of a Falkirk double-decker busload of SNP MPs and Lib Dem and Labour ‘groups’ who could, with some care, share a moped. It quite a feat that rather.. read more →

One of the oddest ideas in UK politics is that Labour chose ‘the wrong brother’. Surely the very idea that we had to choose between two sons of the same grandee and, oh, by the way, the Labour leadership was really the birthright of the eldest in any case, is absurd at every level. The.. read more →

08 May 2015
May 8, 2015

The coming SNP storm

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Over the next few days, David Cameron will ‘offer’ some kind of ‘Superfuckinmaxdevoplus’ deal to the SNP. “Hey, we recognise that Scotland has spoken and so have all these tax-raising powers beyond the Smith document (which is obviously dead now)”, he’ll say. He’ll probably call it ‘Home Rule’, or ‘Federalism’, or some such. The SNP.. read more →

Some Scottish Labour back-room boys are punting the idea that in the event of a Labour minority government the SNP will be stuck because that party is already committed to blocking the Tories. This idea is so hollow and frankly daft that it’s disappointing to see it repeated today without any interrogation by normally-thoughtful columnists like.. read more →

29 Apr 2015
April 29, 2015

Scotland’s one-party state

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A poll today says the SNP might win every Scottish seat at the UK elections. I find the oddest thing about it all the attempts by commentators to place that rampant nationalism into the context of regular arguments about public policy. The Iraq War, for example, had no effect at all on the Scottish vote.. read more →

Here’s one way of getting ahead. Although, technically, that guy’s getting everything but a head, right? A more conventional way of getting ahead, at least as far as politics is concerned, is by getting more votes than other folk. That’s a rubbish link, I know, but this is just a blogpost and not something intended.. read more →

04 Apr 2015
April 4, 2015

Pardon?

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The French Ambassador to the UK had a “truncated” chat with Scotland’s First Minister; the Edinburgh-based French Consul General made a note of the conversation. The latter reported his note verbally to a UK Government civil servant, as protocol requires. The note includes of Nicola Sturgeon; “She would rather see David Cameron remain as PM.. read more →

09 Mar 2015
March 9, 2015

A real Scottish Labour Party?

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Yesterday’s Sunday Herald reported that the Camelon Labour Club in my constituency of Falkirk has applied to trademark: “The Scottish Labour Party”. The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) is still considering the application, which was submitted in December. It’s an imaginative move. Dennis Goldie and May McIntyre (my office manager and long-time colleague), highly-respected Labour figures of huge.. read more →

The BBC, slightly oddly, makes a confident claim today that an SNP-Labour coalition; “simply won’t happen”. It goes on to lay out the arithmetic and schemes behind a ‘confidence and supply’ arrangement. Well, I guess the BBC bod has had good access and I knows it’s a popular thesis, but really? Imagine an earnest prime minister Miliband.. read more →

In today’s Telegraph, John Major, still very much the Tory partisan, argues for Labour to rule out a deal with the SNP. This makes perfect sense for the Tories, since it would remove one significant means of Labour forming a minority government. In the meantime, the Tories are working hard on the Lib Dems for.. read more →

Today’s Times leader (paywall) says that Scots want a Labour-SNP coalition and that Labour’s leadership wants the same. It concludes that the SNP would use its influence in or on government to de-stabilise the UK, and that the net effect of a Labour-SNP arrangement would be harmful for everyone. Certainly, the SNP is currently polling at.. read more →

Here’s my piece today for The Spectator on Charity lobbying. Like everywhere else, the overwhelming majority of workers in my constituency of Falkirk work in the private sector. Most of them feel that as well as looking after their families, they’re doing their bit for society at large – building buses, refining oil, serving the.. read more →