All for Unity

BY EFFIE DEANS We don’t know when the next Scottish Parliament Election will be. It might be in May as scheduled or it might be delayed. Polls suggest that the SNP will win an overall majority. Each of us gets two votes for the Scottish Parliament. The first is for 73 constituencies elected by First Past the Post. The second is for 8 regions elected … Continue reading All for Unity

Sturgeon Surrounded

BY EFFIE DEANS I talked to someone who lives in England the other day who wanted to know about the latest developments in Scottish politics. I mentioned the scandal surrounding the Alex Salmond Inquiry and the possibility that Nicola Sturgeon was involved in a conspiracy against Mr Salmond. This was the first time my friend had heard anything about it.   Sturgeon remains popular in Scotland … Continue reading Sturgeon Surrounded

SNP V SNP

BY EFFIE DEANS The latest developments in the Alex Salmond Scandal remind me of the famous David Low cartoon Rendezvous from 1939. Just like then it is tempting to hope that both sides lose. Just like then it is impossible to trust what either side says. On the one side we have Nicola Sturgeon, her husband Peter Murrell and probably still the majority of SNP … Continue reading SNP V SNP

Salmond V Sturgeon

BY EFFIE DEANS My initial reaction to Alex Salmond’s revelations was to be underwhelmed. The rather long, boring legalistic text that he intends to submit to the Inquiry has nothing juicy. We don’t find out that Nicola Sturgeon knew about Alex Salmond’s behaviour in 2014. We don’t find out that she has been leading a rather scandalous double life. We don’t find out that she … Continue reading Salmond V Sturgeon

The Overextending Mayoralty

BY EFFIE DEANS If going through final Brexit deadlines has become tiresome then SNP interventions into the negotiating process have become still more boring and absurd. The other day Humza Yousaf made the claim that Gunboat diplomacy would not be welcome in Scottish waters. He demonstrated not merely his ignorance of history, but also his wilful ignorance of devolution. Gunboat diplomacy has absolutely nothing to … Continue reading The Overextending Mayoralty

Cult SNP

BY EFFIE DEANS Joanna Cherry recently said that the SNP “shouldn’t be about the cult of leader, whether it’s Alex or Nicola, or anyone else”. Cherry is unquestionably one of the cleverest Scottish nationalists. She wrote Mental Health and Scots Law in Practice in 2014. She is willing to think for herself on moral issues such as gender rather than simply take the easy route … Continue reading Cult SNP

The Price of Free Gifts

BY EFFIE DEANS In recent days the SNP has decided to offer free school meals to all primary school children and to offer £500 to all NHS and social care workers. There is little doubt that free things are popular in Scotland. Who doesn’t like a bargain especially just before Christmas? But there is something intellectually incoherent about such gifts. If providing benefits in kind … Continue reading The Price of Free Gifts

End Conservative Declinism

BY EFFIE DEANS The problem with Scottish Conservatism is structural rather than personal. Ruth Davidson is better suited to leadership than either Douglas Ross or Jackson Carlaw. But this is because she is a first rate politician. It is not because her ideas are any different from theirs. They all more or less agree about everything and the everything they agree upon is mistaken. That … Continue reading End Conservative Declinism

Scotland’s Covid Disaster

BY EFFIE DEANS There are four European countries with populations of about five million: Denmark     5,799,640    757 Covid deaths Finland        5,545,596    369 Covid deaths Slovakia      5,462,617    510 Covid deaths Norway       5,436,637    294 Covid deaths Scotland      5,454,000   3280 Covid deaths Scotland is not listed as a European country, because it is not an independent sovereign nation state, but rather a region of the United Kingdom that happens to be called a country for historical reasons. However, … Continue reading Scotland’s Covid Disaster

Biden – Lame & Late

BY EFFIE DEANS In most European countries there is only a moderate amount of coverage of American politics and American elections. They are interested of course in who wins, but they are not that interested. They don’t follow all the day to day details of American political life like we do in Britain. This is partly because they don’t speak English, but it’s also because … Continue reading Biden – Lame & Late

Angry Salmond Haunts the SNP

BY EFFIE DEANS Something odd happened yesterday.  No. Let’s leave to one side the peculiarities of opinion polls, the American voting system and matters across the Atlantic that don’t really concern us, no matter how excited we might get about them. The SNP lost a vote in the Scottish Parliament. Opposition parties including the usually loyal Scottish Greens united to defeat the SNP Government 63 to … Continue reading Angry Salmond Haunts the SNP