“If we remain fixated on the constitution and neglect to debate properly the record of the Scottish (and UK) government, why would people vote for anyone except the SNP and, to a lesser extent, the Scottish Conservatives?”
“In terms of the effect of attainment strategies on future university entry, we can say that the SG expects substantial results from schools in 10 years and from its expanded childcare provision (to vulnerable 2 year olds) in 15 years. As described, this does not seem like a holistic or joined-up policy anymore, because it involves a gap, between the effect of one policy on another, so large that it seems unreasonable to link the two together.”
“It sounds simple to hold back a referendum until enough people tell you they’ll vote Yes. The complication is that many people don’t know what their choice will be until they can make sense of recent events.”
“The implicit argument that the Scottish Parliament would be just as crap in an independent Scotland as it is now and almost no-one cares is poor. Or, to put it in terms of the standard of partisan debate on twitter: shitey whataboutery might make you feel good in a tweet, but it won’t win you any votes in the next referendum.” Nicola listened: an update!
The “Ulsterisation” of Scottish politics is overblown. Identity politics may matter but leadership and competence matter a lot more. That’s why the SNP and Tories are Holyrood’s big beasts – and Labour lost its way yet again.
Scotland’s First Minister loves Cilla, Kate Bush and Simon Le Bon. But, while a year after replacing Alex Salmond her high standing is unassailed, what has her government really achieved – and what does she want to do with her power?
The newly elected Conservative Government may be considering full fiscal autonomy for Scotland in a struggle for power with the resurgent SNP. Prof Paul Cairney says it may backfire and fatally undermine the Union.