‘Trident is a weapon designed for the past. Britain’s willingness to squander billions on a technology which may well be redundant before it’s been fully installed would be absurd if it were about military strategy. But as a substitute for a proper process of truth and reconciliation over empire, it’s utterly useless.’
“But as good as nobody is speaking out loud for what has always been the preferred option: EU membership as an independent country on a par with Denmark, Latvia and Slovakia.” How Scotland’s GE2017 campaign is missing a golden opportunity to confound dreary Mayism.
‘We believe there are now grounds for a review of the Scottish government’s treatment of and policies for dealing with freedom of information requests, and would urge the Scottish government to address these concerns by immediately acting within the spirit and letter of Scotland’s freedom of information legislation’.
“The Scottish system is not debt-free in the absence of fees: indeed Scottish students are borrowing a substantial amount as a group each year. The Scottish approach relies heavily on loans to cover the state’s role in providing low-income students, in particular, with living cost support. Grants are now so low that those from the lowest incomes are taking on the most of that living cost debt.”
“As in 2015, the main slogan is ‘Stronger for Scotland’. The manifesto repeats the trick of running this alongside a tartanised version of the famous green leather seats in the House of Commons.” “In fact, the expected Conservative majority would mean strong SNP numbers have practically no impact on this area” (health spend).
“The UK government might wish this to be about the Brexit referendum and the mandate for negotiations, but there is early evidence that it’s another referendum Scottish parties want voters to have in mind – whether they want one or not, whether they will vote Yes or No – when they cast their ballots in June.”
Professor Emer Smyth,from the Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, on the widespread, but little studied, issue of the underperformance of boys at all stages of education from pre-school to first degree. What are the causes and what can be done?
“A similar stiff upper lip will be required amongst many Labour candidates going into this election with the hope that they too might in time sit on the Commons’ green benches with similar majorities some time in the future.” Prof James Mitchell on ScoLab’s vale of tears
“Perhaps Corbyn’s rather diffident manner and his failure to communicate effectively will be put to one side now that the election campaign is underway, and he channels his inner Percy Blakeney.”