‘The factors behind the revival – particularly in the North-East – look to be more Unionist than conservative, with Indyref2 and Brexit, as well as SNP governing competence all significant factors’.
“It is this total vacuity of devolved politics, self-consciously free from conflict and danger, that allows the spectre of Scottish Toryism to haunt us so brazenly. They can happily adopt the rhetoric of the centre-left parties that have predominated in Scottish politics, articulating a politically empty ‘Scottish’ interest that means whatever the voters want it to”.
.’.the allocation of an additional £1bn funding to Northern Ireland over two years represents a particularly large financial settlement to have bypassed Barnett. To secure an equivalent funding increase via the Barnett Formula, the UK Government would have had to increase comparable English spending by £30bn; this in turn would have generated Scottish consequentials of £3bn..’
‘Rural conservatives want to see an end to the instability caused by perpetual referendums and progressives want to support an authentically left-wing political party. The basis of the SNP’s support is being eroded from left and right’
“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?”
‘When I vote tomorrow it will be for the party which will do the most to stick up for my EU friends who have made their lives here; which will argue for my children’s horizons to be broadened by freedom of movement; which treats our European alliance with respect and welcomes its citizens with friendship’.
‘Over time, in contrast to the UK where the twin foundations of foreign policy have recently been shaken (its ability to influence policy formulation in Washington and as a leading shaper of EU policy in Brussels)…Scotland’s position in both the EU and NATO would prove a valuable anchor for stability and influence in a complex world.’
“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.
“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).
“But positive ratings alone will not be enough to defend intelligent audiences from the suppliers of fake news, peddlers of propaganda and from chauvinist, tabloid shlock. Democracy needs the BBC to live up to that stellar reputation.”