Category Archives: Scottish politics

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

Posted in Scottish politics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Scottish politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Life, Scottish politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Scottish Borders, Scottish politics | Leave a comment

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

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

Renewable energy – dependent on English gold

I’m always a little bemused why the Unionist camp in Scotland doesn’t make more of the fact that renewable energy here benefits from an enormous subsidy transfer from the rest of the UK. It must be worth about half a billion … Continue reading

Posted in Scottish politics, UK | 2 Comments

Lying by implication

For months now, the Scottish Government has been giving the strong impression that it had sought specific legal advice on whether an independent Scotland would be allowed automatically into the European Union. It has blocked attempts to force it to … Continue reading

Posted in Scottish politics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The revolutionaries

Settling down to a rare TV treat on Tuesday made me think about the nature of nationalist politics in Scotland. The Border ITV franchise includes both parts of both Scotland and England, so you get to see England football internationals … Continue reading

Posted in Scottish Borders, Scottish politics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

All benefits should be universal

You can’t talk about the benefits system unless you mention taxes too. Both have become so complicated that fiddling with one has unpredictable consequences for the other. The only sensible solution is for all benefits to be universal, regardless of … Continue reading

Posted in Scottish politics, UK | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A u-turn on wind farms?

With the exception of independence itself, renewable energy is Alex Salmond’s greatest political passion. So what’s he doing appointing a rural, ex-Tory, bird-loving windfarm sceptic as Minister for Environment and Climate Change? Read my take on it here.

Posted in Scottish Borders, Scottish politics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment