‘Official Scotland is a relatively small world and many of the key players meet and socialise on a regular basis. Cronyism with a Scottish accent is no more acceptable than the public school/Oxbridge variety…it exhibits many of the worst features of narrative privilege, bureaucratic defensiveness, professional protectionism and the abuse of patronage.’
‘It would be unreasonable of the Scottish government to object to temporary reservation as a matter of principle…Equally, it would be unreasonable of the UK government to insist that such temporary reservations can be without limit of time, just to give themselves leverage in the negotiation of the replacement. The scope for compromise is obvious, and as a result this legislation… can be dropped.’
‘It is no longer possible for any individual nation to collapse in isolation. Our closely integrated global systems will simply disintegrate.’ Sceptical Scot publishes an extract from Jim Whyte’s prophetic Letter to My Grandchildren confronting the legacy the older generation is bequeathing to a no longer distant future.
Given that farm support has historically been a major influence on UK land prices, how will Brexit impact the value of farmland? Deb Roberts examines the evidence.
‘Corbyn’s speech is most important for its opening up a clear policy divide – 20 months after the Brexit vote – between Labour and Tories. That should make for an opposition starting to hold the government more to account. Whether it will result in the torpedoing of May’s Brexit strategy or even in an early election are the big questions that lie ahead.
‘The Westminster system is, for now, failing. So what the EU faces is not just a huge challenge in getting to a Brexit deal with the UK. The EU also has to face the fact that one of its most important neighbours (as the UK is becoming) – its former partner, one of the largest European economies, one of the stronger foreign policy players, and an important democracy – is politically adrift.’
The long term-aim must be to return to a society where houses are viewed as somewhere to live, not as vehicles for accumulating wealth. This can’t happen overnight, and it won’t be easy. The task involves taking on the unholy alliance of private developers, banks and – most difficult of all – ordinary homeowners, many of whom now view ever rising house prices as normal and just.
The language of Scottish education needs to become less boastful and sentimental, and more honest. Professor Walter Humes calls for a national policy debate with people prepared to ask tough questions and challenge orthodoxies of an under-achieving education system.
‘On balance, the SFC’s GDP forecasts are not out of kilter with the recent past. And the SFC assumes that there will be no ‘bounce-back’ in Scottish growth to recapture weak growth relative to the UK over the past 2.5 years’.
‘To argue for the UK to stay in the EU’s single market and customs union is to argue to stay as close to the status quo as possible while giving up vote, voice and a seat at the table. Faced with a more damaging type of Brexit, it sounds sensible – until you look at the democratic cost. Compared to being an EU member state it is surely absurd’.