Trident: a very British yearning for Empire bling

‘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.’

Standing up for Scotland in Europe

“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.

FOI and the SG’s dubious claims to openness

‘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’.

Student debt and grants in Scotland: an update

“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.”

The SNP’s conservative agenda

“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).

Tale of two referendums

“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.”

Scottish Labour’s unravelling continues

“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

Hunting for elephants

” Meanwhile, the SNP will hope that the request for #indyref2 will hold renewed credence. Or perhaps May will use any possible gains in Scotland as an excuse for maintaining her current rebuff.”