‘ I would advise any Scottish government to aim broadly to balance the budget. At present, without support from Westminster, Scotland would be running a large deficit. If the proponents of independence want to increase their economic credibility, now is the time to start setting out how that deficit could be closed’.
“…we are faced with the extraordinary prospect of less cooperation with our immediate neighbours, even a situation where borders are restored within an island – now referred, even by English politicians, to the ‘island of Ireland’ – divided many years ago by a cowardly British establishment”.
‘Poetry readings were performed here for Refugee Week. Poetry postcards offered to passers by on National Poetry Day. Poetry twirled on willow stakes in the garden. Poetry projected on to the plinth of the Melville Monument and hung on buildings under construction around the square’. But no more…?
‘The purpose of such devolution would be to ensure that Scotland’s particular demographic challenges, which differ significantly from those elsewhere in the UK, can be met by the public authorities responsible for implementing immigration policy.’
‘We need to recognise the bawdy sense of mischief that was common currency in the tradition before it was swept aside by the religious revival in the 19th century. In contrast to the shortbread tin image of Highland culture, this sheds vital light on the past and the present – as Mac Mhaighstir Alasdair would have it, breasts, pricks, warts and all’.
‘Rights without any means of enforcement are truly useless. As part of the UK, Scotland is bound by the UN’s Aarhus Convention which requires that people must be able to challenge situations where their environmental rights are denied or environmental laws are broken. Article 9(4) says that these challenges must be “not prohibitively expensive”. But access to environmental justice is prohibitively expensive in Scotland’.
‘The Index goes beyond a simple measure of GDP growth in trying to determine relative changes in well-being across similarly developed countries. Indeed, given the tenuous link between government policy and short term economic growth, the Index is better suited to identifying areas which government can influence in order to improve the economic fundamentals’.
The upcoming budget debate is an important opportunity for policymakers from all sides to set out what they would do, yes on taxation, but also on expenditure and growth. The new income tax powers provide some measure of relief, but it’s far from the only game in town’.
‘What we have here is clear evidence that points to what many people believe anecdotally: there are many parents in Glasgow who believe their children’s education is better served by a school in one of these more affluent suburbs’.
‘If many Scots retain a certain ambivalence towards the British monarchy, they have not rebelled against it nor do they have any plans to declare any unilateral declaration of independence’.