Monthly Archives: June 2012

Why ‘devo-max’ won’t lead to lower tax

Quite a few right-wingers in Scotland now favour more tax powers for the Scottish Parliament. Some of them want outright independence and others think the move will stave it off, but they all reckon that, with more ‘fiscal accountability’, Holyrood … Continue reading

Posted in Scottish politics | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Prokofiev and Miers-Beckenbauer

With the knock-out phase of Euro 2012 upon us, this is where the Miers-Beckenbauer solution to the penalty shoot-out conundrum comes into its own.

Posted in Life | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Muddle #3: Renewable energy

As with monetary policy, leaving the UK will actually reduce Scotland’s influence over renewable energy. Trying to square this circle is a mistake, but the SNP has made such a fuss about green economics that they’re now trapped into an impossible … Continue reading

Posted in Scottish politics | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

The Kruger of the North

The main problem with wildlife conservation is that it’s based on bans rather than trade, as Prince William highlighted so effectively yesterday by seizing the wrong end of the rhino horn (sorry).

Posted in Global, Life, Scottish politics | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s wrong with touting?

On the front page of the Sunday Times yesterday, two similar stories: The paper has exposed a ‘mass black market’ in Olympic ticket sales, and reports a ‘crackdown’ on fishing quota sales. Haven’t we got it upside down on both … Continue reading

Posted in Life, UK | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Right, that’s the Olympics done. Back to the real thing …

The village of Gordon (pop 415) has never seen a traffic jam like it. A dozen police motorcycle outriders, beeping happily and waving at the crowd (how do those colossal bikes stay upright at 2mph)? Then several anodyne beige minibuses … Continue reading

Posted in Life, Scottish Borders, UK | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

What’s the optimal currency for an independent Scotland (or muddle #2)?

Nationalists are in something of a no-win situation when it comes to the currency. But actually they’ve made the least-bad choice, according to US currency expert Lawrence White.

Posted in Scottish politics, UK | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Borders education – how good, and which school?

After my blog on the Scotland v England education stakes, a few local friends have asked me about the performance of schools in the Borders relative to Scotland and England. Well, here’s the overall chart:

Posted in Scottish Borders | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Would Salmond abandon the Falklands?

If a state such as the UK breaks up, its assets and liabilities should be divided on reasonable lines, perhaps proportionately to GDP or population, or according to some sensible geographic or cultural delineation.

Posted in Scottish politics, UK | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Muddle #1: The armed forces in a separate Scotland

In my last blog I mentioned three muddles the SNP have already got themselves into. Since I wrote about their defence policy in The Scotsman today, I’d better start with the military muddle.

Posted in Scottish politics, UK | Tagged , , | 1 Comment