The meaning of independence

“If we do leave, it is vital that we do so with realistic expectations of what we can achieve and the difficulties we will face. The unqualified use of the term “independence” raises expectations beyond that by ignoring the many practical constraints on the legal freedom of the Scottish people.”

Nicola’s new model army

“The referendum created a realignment in Scottish politics allowing the SNP to fulfil its long-standing ambition of replacing Labour. But it may also signal a change in the nature of political activity. That may be put to the test in the next couple of years.” A look forward to the SNP conference – and beyond

Hilltop vision of independent Scotland in Europe

“It is a compelling argument for an independent Scotland in the EU that it would mean Scots free to work and trade across Europe and the many amazing Europeans who choose to live and contribute here could do so with confidence.” Jackie Kemp on why she’s switched to Yes

October 2018: Brexit deal and #indyref2?

“For political parties that want a second vote – whether on the UK staying in the EU or Scotland being independent in the EU – this will be the key time.” “If the talks break down, then autumn 2018 will be a moment of crisis – one that all players should be making their plans for now, too.”

The SG’s secret SpAds

“The Scottish Government recently declared itself a “global leading light in the campaign for more open and accessible government”. Going backwards in terms of openness and accessibility in relation to special advisers suggests that there’s still a bit of work to do making good that commitment.”

What’s holding them back?

“Holyrood is an incredibly powerful Parliament with the ability to make a real positive difference to the lives of people in Scotland. Sadly, it is not in the interests of those who value independence above all else to use these powers to their full effect. The powers they need must always be those they don’t have. It is the only way their constitutional obsession can be achieved.”

Being German in Brexit Britain

“A few months ago I walked down the street talking to my mother on the phone. I spoke German. I was told to ‘f- off back to your country’ by a bystander. Never before 2016, never once, has any such thing happened. But I probably imagined that – or so many Leave supporters gladly tell me all the time” Another EU national on the reality of life under the Brexit ‘will of the people’.

Children tell Scottish cabinet how it is

“There are teachers in the playground but bullying usually gets taken to the classroom teacher and they don’t always deal with it. Teachers think their job is to educate children but they should realise it is also to support children and to help them when they are finding things difficult.”

Don’t hold your breath for indyref2

“Why might she want to delay a decision? One reason is that she cannot guarantee to win a second referendum. Opinion polls still show a majority for remaining within the UK. Calling another vote now carries a high risk.” Nicola Sturgeon’s narrowing options examined.

Scotland’s productivity performance: try harder

“This blog examines the recent trend in productivity in Scotland, and we unpick the numbers (3.5% rise in 2015) to see if they are as positive as would initially appear.” “..if policymakers are hoping that the recent statistics herald a new found surge in productivity in the Scottish economy then they are set to be disappointed”.