An outbreak of coyness

We know that the media isn’t normally shy about identifying which side of the Scottish independence debate people are on, especially if they’ve been behaving badly. So we were a little puzzled by the papers this morning. The Scotsman, Evening Times, STV News, BBC, Scottish Daily Mail and more all …read more

The pros and cons of an EU Brexit (mostly cons)

Refugees, immigration, the Euro, Greece and the in/out referendum, The Catalan pro-independence majority, the EU is making headlines. It’s getting a bad press and, let’s be honest, it fully deserves it. The EU’s incoherent response to crises, overly expansive ambition, especially on setting up the Euro, and creeping centralization could …read more

Scotland 101

front cover

Today Commonweal launches it’s Book of Ideas. Here’s what it’s about: “The focus of this book is simple. There’s a Scottish election in May 2016 which will elect a five-year government; so what could that government do over those five years using the powers the Scottish Parliament has (or …read more

Data just in

Alert readers may recall that a few days ago we queried a dubious-sounding statistic from Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, who claimed that “50% of the poorest kids leave our schools unable to read“. We didn’t think that could be right, and dug up some figures suggesting that it was …read more

Normal service resumed

In the spirit of straight talking, honest politics, I’m going to put my cards on the table right now: I’m a Corbyn voter. As a classic hand-wringing, middle-class, North London leftie, the mad fact of Jeremy Corbyn’s candidacy compelled me to register as a Labour supporter; empowered me to bet …read more

Noam Chomsky on Trident & Austerity


Kiltr are bringing you a live discussion with Noam Chomsky on the implications of Trident & Austerity (7.20pm BST, 29 Sept). Go here to sign-in.

Noam Chomsky is the world’s leading public intellectual. While he may have come to the fore in the ‘60s with his pioneering work on structural …read more

On Land and Purpose


It was no accident that Jim Hunter’s excellent book, ‘On the other side of Sorrow’ was republished twenty years after it was first released. Its central theme is still as relevant today as when it was first published. The tension it describes between sustainable economic growth and environmental conservation runs …read more

A Woodworm Off the Old Block

I used to discuss foreign affairs with Tony Benn over tea in his kitchen in Holland Park when I lived a short walk away. I get a mention in his later published diaries in this regard. I was therefore saddened to hear his son, Hilary, at Labour Party Conference today …read more

Things we don’t remember

This is shadow Chancellor John McDonnell speaking to the Labour Party conference in Brighton just a few minutes ago (immediately prior to rather presumptuously inviting the Scottish electorate to “come home to Labour”): We don’t recall those things happening. We feel sure that if they had, they would have been …read more

Deserting Libya: the rhetoric of British Foreign Policy


If you care to read the British Government’s official advice to potential or actual visitors to Libya, which as at 26th September, 2015 is “Still Current”; you will find the following bleak message:

“Latest update: Summary – intense fighting continues in Benghazi, Sirte, Darnah and parts of southern Libya; the …read more