Standup and deliver: backstage gossip beyond the Fringe

Looking at the rapidly evolving comedy culture, Fay Young tiptoes behind the Fringe scenes to eavesdrop on backstage gossip between comedians Susan Morrison and Bruce Morton: ‘Well, that was a bit shit,’ remembers Bruce, recalling his badly misjudged session when, ‘flushed with success’ – and a few pints – from a previous gig he took up the challenge of an open mic in the Pleasance.

Police Scotland and failing parliamentary oversight

‘Police Scotland’s problems are by no means wholly reducible to parliamentary process. Still, it seems fair to suggest that the manner in which the Bill proceeded through the Scottish Parliament has not helped matters.’ Taking PLOs (ministerial aides) off committees does not alter the lack of proper scrutiny/partisan politics rather than acting in the public interest.

Sturgeon’s diminishing timeframe for Scottish indy

Nicola Sturgeon is about to launch the SNP’s much-delayed “summer” initiative to win over No voters to support independence and, maybe, #indyref2. But two books by two prominent Scottish professors, reviewed here, suggest she has a very steep hill to climb.

Media bloodbath a’comin

“The baby boomers’ stranglehold is broken. Let’s break the rules. Open shit up. The mainstream media is so closed to young people. Hand it over to the kids.” Shane Smith on the turbulent media times of merger an d consolidation ahead.

Seeing through Sturgeon’s economic spin

‘The entire ‘analysis’ is a dire, desperate attempt to provide a Very Big Number with which to counter the Very Big Number that is published in today’s GERS figures. Sadly for Ms Sturgeon though, in her own words, “people have got the savvy to see through some of the overblown claims”.’

Indy Scotland can’t bet on low bond yields

“Caution might suggest this would be a risky strategy given that we have no idea how long these ‘abnormal’ conditions will persist. Some supporters of independence will no doubt believe that it is a risk worth taking.” Scotland cannot bet on perennially low cost of borrowing…

Swinney’s magical mystery tour in education

‘As Paasi Sahlberg, the apostle of the Finnish education miracle, recently put it, Scotland’s system is “knocking on heaven’s door” – not quite paradise but within sight.’ Analysis of the tasks ahead for John Swinney….and the need for a balanced approach to testing.