‘So St. James Square remained the province of a handful of small businesses and workshops and 3,700 or so of Edinburgh’s lower orders and their exploitative, ever-neglectful landlords. The long decline of James Craig’s tenement buildings continued. Rack followed ruin and ruin begat rack.’
‘The comment by the Scottish Finance Secretary at the time of publication that “Scotland’s economy and public finances are strong” seems fanciful given any reasonable analysis of recent low economic growth figures and a still high, by international standards, fiscal deficit.’
‘…the Scottish political system is particularly susceptible to progressive environmental policies whenever factors and policy actors are favourable.’
‘Westminster is also extending its reach to some detailed local policies that are clearly devolved and local. It is not clear, for example, why UK ministers should have a say in the decision about a new concert hall in Edinburgh…’
Poverty, neglect, abuse are among factors behind a mental health crisis among our children & young people. A new skills award offers some hope amidst the accelerating catastrophe.
‘Education policy as made by the Scottish parliament has certainly been distinctive. But it has not been obviously successful, and it is not, in any historical sense, particularly Scottish.’
‘…as good as citizens’ assemblies are, they are not a ‘silver bullet’ and politicians should consider carefully whether one is actually beneficial before committing to such a process in relation to a particular issue.’
The fact that a cross-party group of MPs has been able to coalesce around the reforms in our report … (underlines) the broad consensus that the time has come for the UK Government to take a serious look at the relationship between the UK and Scottish Governments.’
‘How the Scottish government plans to fund the £180 million policy remains to be seen. But after years of cuts to UK social security, it is a pleasant change to see significant new efforts to reduce child poverty’.
MSPs on finance committee debate the Scottish Budget: ‘Coming in the midst of the parliament’s 20th anniversary celebrations, this was not a good advert for parliamentary effectiveness in holding the government to account’.