Author Archives: tdpcm


I’m now working abroad and won’t be blogging on Scotland or anything else for a while. Advertisements

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5 point plan for Scotland’s economy

It’s a common misconception that the Scottish Parliament ‘lacks the tools to improve the Scottish economy’. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact I’d estimate that 85% of what governments can do to improve economic performance is already … Continue reading

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Middle-Earth and other worlds

Society is divided into two camps: Those who like thealternative reality of Tolkein / Star Wars and those who find the whole thing infantile and unrealistic. When visiting a ruined castle, those in the first camp imagine themselves wielding a battle … Continue reading

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Scandinavia is Tory

Just as in 1707 the debate on Scottish independence revolves around pounds and pence rather than national identity. I can’t work out whether this is a triumphant display of the continuity of Scottish pragmatism and penny-wariness down the centuries, or … Continue reading

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Post Leveson proves the case against Leveson

Until the Leveson Report came out I was pretty agnostic about the whole thing. Aren’t we all ‘regulated’ by Parliament, after all? In a sense, having to regulate the press via an arm’s length body might actually make it harder … Continue reading

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The curse of puritan Scotland

I’ve been toying with a theory that there is a correlation between incompetent politicians and their tendency to regulate our lifestyles. Why else would Scotland be both at the vanguard of smoking bans, minimum booze prices, hunting bans, football chant … Continue reading

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The trouble with oil funds

Infrastructure spending is often said to stimulate long term economic growth. But you have to build it in the right place. For example, the last Labour administration in Scotland maxed out its PFI credit card building lots of new schools. … Continue reading

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The churches need to work out what their audiences might like and offer it to them

I attended a wonderful Church of Scotland memorial service yesterday. The eulogies were excellent, the readings appropriate and the hymns were classics such as ‘Onward Christian soldiers’ and ‘I vow to thee my country’. You would never hear these in … Continue reading

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The e-cigarette revolution

I’m fascinated by e-cigarettes. In case you haven’t seen them, they look just like real fags, weigh a bit more, and have a light that glows when you puff on them. Instead of inhaling tobacco smoke, you drag on, and … Continue reading

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Borders Railway – a case study of pork in action

The economist Tony Mackay dissects and despatches the Borders Railway project with considerable elegance in his Monthly Report. The article is reproduced here in the excellent new Internet bulletin for Scottish business, Scot-buzz. It shouldn’t really be news to anyone … Continue reading

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