‘Scotland likes to see itself as a bold, brave, progressive, dynamic 21st Century nation, but the truth is more insular, conservative, deferential and, in the end, suffocating – not just for individuals, but for ideas and innovation too. Unless that changes, nothing else will.’
‘Every major party in Scotland has contributed to the process of centralisation and this has undermined local responses to the crisis. Scotland’s constitutional status is an important issue but not at the cost of considering the need for reform of local governance….’
‘The current COVID-19 events are not a “second wave”, or a “second peak”, or “second spikes”. They are continuations of the ongoing epidemic. There was no second wave with SARS, a closely related coronavirus, and we are still waiting for one in Wuhan.’
In his latest piece, senior statistician James Urquhart, investigates how the UK Government uses UK data to buttress policy decisions for England and asks: manipulation or malfeasance…
The Scottish Government has yet another new group of economic advisers (on the recovery): it should think more about practical delivery of any new policy ideas, says FAI.
‘Scotland has the devolved power to follow its own strategic objectives. The question is: does it have the courage and skills to start planning now for an exit strategy which wholeheartedly and comprehensively embraces contact tracing? The answer firmly rests with all our politicians and their advisors. We should be hearing from them now.’
‘Without real and substantive change in council funding, both fiscal and legislative, then the only budget option for councils will be more cuts, fewer services, fewer workers.’
‘Without fundamental change in the way we produce data in Scotland, we may find ourselves reheating old data to try to answer new policy questions’: the case for an independent Scottish Statistics Agency (Pt 1)
‘Decarbonisation should be promoted and adopted as a national mission (for Scotland),’ says the author, but this requires a change of institutional mind-set to deliver the full benefits of a net-zero carbon economy. (Part 2 of 2).
The resignation of finance secretary Derek Mackay overshadowed the fourth budget of this parliamentary term, which has led to a healthy increase in the resources available to the Scottish Government. How does it propose to spend this money?
Fraser of Allander identifies key points