A Helot Society

So we are back with a vengeance to notions of the undeserving poor. Electronic cards are to ensure that the poor can only spend their benefits on basic necessities like food and clothing, and not on a lifestyle of alcohol and illegal drugs.

Having lived a rather spectacular life encompassing …read more

Ten days after

A guest post by William Duguid

Call off the search party, I’m still here. It’s just taken me a bit longer to return to blogging than I expected.

It’s not that I’ve been lying disconsolately in bed, surrounded by tear-sodden Kleenex and empty beer cans. Apart from that first Friday, anyway. It’s …read more

Returning Soldiers


There were many reasons why Scots did not permanently settle overseas. One group of returnees among which the Scots are disproportionately highly represented is that of military pensioners, especially in the early nineteenth century. Existing scholarship has largely focused on soldiers settling in the colonies at the end of their …read more

Scotsman column: Ready and waiting for a new way

My Scotsman column, 28 September, 2014

My side lost, clearly and incontrovertibly. Like many of my fellow Yessers, outwith matters of the heart or family, it’s probably the hardest loss of my life.

What makes the loss acutely hard – the defeat of the enthusiasm, innovation, commitment and …read more

At last, a timetable

To be fair, it’s just brilliant finally to get a guaranteed timetable for the delivery of Scottish Home Rule and an undertaking from those who have solemnly promised to deliver it that they will do so and that they won’t let the grass grow under their feet.

Deliver. Grass won’t grow …read more

Technology breakthrough boosts North Sea oil future

A team at Heriott Watt University are celebrating another break-through in North Sea extraction technology. Professor Mehran Sohrabi, at the centre for enhanced oil recovery, has announced progress in gas injection technology and ‘low salinity water injection’. When combined, these new forms of extraction can add decades onto the lives …read more

We are One Scotland: Anatomy of a Referendum

We are One Scotland: Anatomy of a Referendum

Gerry Hassan

Scottish Review, September 24th 2014

It was a momentous moment in Scottish and British history. The Scottish independence referendum. It dominated Scottish and British airwaves in the last couple of weeks, and became a huge international story.

Nearly every single cliché has been dug …read more

It seems we’re all agreed

So, as highlighted in the last post, we have been promised “home rule”, “nothing less”. Home rule/devo max means that we have control of all our affairs bar our currency, defence and foreign relations. And just as I accept we lost the referendum, I expect the No side to honour …read more

Yes – Business for Scotland will continue

Business for Scotland has been around in one form or another since our successful devolution campaign targeting business people in 1997. In the run up to the 2014 independence referendum we morphed from a small pressure group into a fast growing and influential business network and think tank. Many …read more

The Future is Independent

Trident, Austerity and Dentures. Those are the key components of the Labour brand in Scotland. The unionists demographic is overwhelmingly old. Independence had a majority in every age group except the over 55s.

Unionism is not a factor of age in the sense that once people reach …read more

Over to you, No voters

My side lost the referendum. I was at the count. It was entirely, and quite upliftingly, fair. Anyone saying otherwise is wrong. The “Shock and Awe” campaign may have been (was) untruthful, bullying, and unfair. The actual vote was, however, entirely fair. And, to repeat, we lost. …read more