‘… the challenge remains for Derek Mackay as to how best to balance his resource budget with major commitments like additional support for the NHS, more money for childcare and public sector pay uplifts all to be paid for.’
“…we are faced with the extraordinary prospect of less cooperation with our immediate neighbours, even a situation where borders are restored within an island – now referred, even by English politicians, to the ‘island of Ireland’ – divided many years ago by a cowardly British establishment”.
‘To reiterate, our concerns in no way reflect the abilities, experience or skills of Hogg, or other Scottish Government secondees. The issue is the independence of the SPA and the fact that the water between police and government now looks even muddier’.
‘every time ministers highlight the increase in the threshold in 2016-17, they are doing so on the back of these dramatic losses for two or three thousand young people from low-income homes every year from 2013-14 to 2015-16. I’d not be so proud of that’.
‘Certainly, if Brexit in some shape happens in March 2019 and a 20 or 24-month transition brings nothing but economic pain and social conflict along with a revived Far Right, then the ‘progressive alliance’ between Labour and SNP at least in Scotland and/or in Westminster may not just be desirable but essential to save democracy – and a lot more’.
‘If the limit of our collective ambition is to elect a media-friendly performer (like some kind of reliable weather forecaster) who can deliver a few hits in Holyrood to rally the troops, we’re underestimating the scale of Labour’s problem. And running the risk of getting giddy on the political equivalent of the worst football managerial merry-go-round’.
‘EU member states are still divided on the recognition of Kosovo. The time may have come for some better European international principles about who has the right to self-determination and how’.
‘The flexibilities the Scottish government is introducing to Universal Credit could prove significant in easing budgetary pressures like the ones that the individuals in my research feared’.
‘In the weeks and months to come, the crisis could lead to the fall of the Spanish government, and the Catalonian one at that. The dream of an imminent independent Catalan state has been shattered for now, but those Catalans who support independence are now more alienated from Spain than ever’.
What is a nation? Ahead of the October 1 referendum, is Catalonia one. The author reflects whimsically on at least two mkinds oif nation…