Student debt and grants in Scotland: an update

“The Scottish system is not debt-free in the absence of fees: indeed Scottish students are borrowing a substantial amount as a group each year. The Scottish approach relies heavily on loans to cover the state’s role in providing low-income students, in particular, with living cost support. Grants are now so low that those from the lowest incomes are taking on the most of that living cost debt.”

The SNP’s conservative agenda

“As in 2015, the main slogan is ‘Stronger for Scotland’. The manifesto repeats the trick of running this alongside a tartanised version of the famous green leather seats in the House of Commons.” “In fact, the expected Conservative majority would mean strong SNP numbers have practically no impact on this area” (health spend).

What kind of Scotland?

“Yet we all still need to ask and find answers to these questions: is Scotland genuinely more egalitarian? How does Scotland tackle early mortality, poor health outcomes, rising poverty, educational under-achievement – and with what instruments?” This boring binary campaign ignores all these.

#GE2017: proxy vote for #indyref2

“Any Tory gains may well not be enough to stop the SNP using the return of over 30 MPs to further its agitation for a second referendum. But the party’s high command would not be filled with confidence at seeing its battalion of MPs substantially reduced and its total vote decreasing.”

Goodbye to the UK

” If stonewalling by London continues, Edinburgh may well have a legal and democratic case for calling a referendum on its own behalf which could lead to a unilateral declaration of independence.”

Thought for the day: anywheres and somewheres

“Holyrood has now voted to trigger Section 30, a call for a new independence referendum. I very much hope that this will be the first step on a path that will allow Scotland to retain its membership of the European Union, to respect and protect the rights and freedoms that we value.” The author’s continued journey towards Yes…