‘Scotland’s current “justifiable assault” defence therefore contravenes children’s human rights. Quite frankly the law must be changed to ensure compliance, both in Scotland but also across the UK.’
‘The challenge with setting ambitious targets is that parliament can be judged, not just on whether or not it is meeting these targets, but on the effectiveness of the reforms they are implementing.’
‘ Based on patterns of investment, Scotland is closer to the approach taken in Serbia than Sweden.’ ‘But free higher education has to be well-funded higher education for it to mean anything.’
‘If reforms are to be effective, rebuild trust and be regarded as legitimate by all governments, collaboration and mutual consent will need to go hand in hand.
‘If national and local government and umbrella bodies do not feel that is their role, then they should not be recommending or providing support for particular practical advice to those on the front line, and even less requiring compliance with it.’
Auditors in England are under the cosh while the Scottish public audit model wins plaudits. But no room for complacency argues the Auditor General for Scotland
In his short story, The Nummer 14 Bus, James Robertson evokes the daily struggle played out on a bus ride through Scotland’s affluent capital. It could be a bus ride in any UK city.
‘In short, ‘ending austerity’ is possible with significant but not unrealistic spending increases. What makes a promise to end austerity politically difficult is that it cannot be achieved without tax rises if the government is to keep to its fiscal rules and commitments.’
‘Modern Scotland, both before and after devolution, emerges as a country that is more committed to bureaucracy than democracy’.
‘The UK Government needs to take more ownership for the perceived troubles of the Scottish deficit because it is clearly responsible for many of the revenue and spending decisions that have got us to where we are…’