Brexit: bad for Scottish manufacturing

The Scottish Government’s new action plan, A Manufacturing Future for Scotland, is a welcome improvement on earlier papers. But it omits the key role of political leadership and of sustained funding via the financial sector. Above all, SG ministers need to mount an effective campaign against the follies of #Brexit.

Umberto Eco and Scottish nationalism

The recent death of Umberto Eco, author of the Name of the Rose, prompts one of Scotland’s leading scientists to reflect on science and nationalism. He finds the two very uneasy bedfellows – as witnessed by the empty chair of the chief scientific adviser.

Win, win for Scotland?

At the eleventh hour, the Treasury and Scottish Government reached a deal. Jim Gallagher gives credit where it’s due – to both sides – but now the SNP Government have to tell voters how they will use their extensive new powers.

There viewed from here

Gordon Munro reviews two poetry books challenging a west-centric view of love, life, war and exile. Here is his invitation to Take Tea with the Taliban and, by the way, Don’t Forget the Couscous.

Creativity and courage: Scottish women’s art

The exhibition on modern Scottish women artists at Modern 2 Edinburgh opens our eyes to a huge range of technique, subject – and genius – by these talented women over 80 years to 1965 and leaves us asking for more. The women had to overcome personal and institutional obstacles to their work which we celebrate here.

Divided nation – Germany’s refugee crisis

Germany’s welcoming culture for more than a million refugees last year is under siege as Angela Merkel struggles to retain control. The Far Right is capitalising on doubts and anxieties, notably since the New Year sexual assaults on women in Cologne. The author returns to her home country and finds it divided anew but determined to defend its liberal democracy against the extremists.

Presumption against prison – a game changer

The Scottish Government under the SNP is clear about its ultimate goal but sometimes confused about what are the best policies – and the powers to use. Women for Independence have proposed taking prison off the menu in the lower courts and won strong backing. Will ministers seize this clear game changer?

SG borrowing to keep the economy buoyant

John Swinney, finance secretary, is about to borrow money to help finance new construction projects and stimulate growth and jobs just when the economy is turning down. It’s a sign of things to come as Holyrood gains more control over tax-and-spend.

Why no deal on fiscal detriment?

As talks on the fiscal framework remain deadlocked, is John Swinney holding out for the best deal he can get or looking to rzeje3ct anything on offer for domestic political gain? A St Andrew’s House kremlinologist investigates.