Police Scotland changes course

“Policing 2026 is not an officer reduction exercise, nor is at a ‘time-bomb’. Clearly Scottish policing is facing an eye-watering deficit: around £200 million by 2020/21 at the latest estimate. Still, putting it dryly, there are probably less painful ways to cut costs than devising and negotiating a ten-year national policing strategy.” A welcome shift to forward-looking, evidence-based policing strategy.

GERS and fake news, inadequate facts…

“All told, we need much more interest shown by the public on demanding detail about how the government spends our money, and then, most likely, demanding change.” Still true now – a look back at this August 29016 warts-and-all analysis to remind us of the fundamentals.

Nationalist ultras defy people’s sovereign will

“Far from denying Scots their right to decide their own destiny, Theresa May is seeing that the sovereign will of the Scottish people is upheld in defiance of the attempt by Nicola Sturgeon to thwart it.” A Conservative Leave voter takes issue with the FM.

GERS then and now

“It has never been claimed that GERS shows exactly what the public finances of an independent Scotland would look like.  We’ve only ever said this report, produced by the Scottish Government, shows where we are now – so you tell us what changes to improve that position.”

More powers yes, higher taxes no

“Scots are only slightly more egalitarian than people in England, while support for redistribution has declined across the UK. People will pay for specific services, notably health, but are not keen on redistribution. They want more powers for Scotland but are less keen on different policies or taxes.”

Scottish fast-track to the EU

“There is considerable political goodwill to Scotland in EU capitals since it is facing Brexit despite having voted to remain. That political goodwill, on current trends, is likely to feed into an effort to fast-track Scotland’s EU membership in the event of a successful independence vote.”

Baby boxes, universalism and higher taxes

“If it is baby boxes for all as a sign of our equality, let it be free fuel for all, free transport for all, citizen’s income for all, free school meals, shoes and coats for all. If the aim is the best start in life for all of Jock Tamson’s bairns, then why not? What would stop us?”