Summer of discontent in the independence movement

‘For many on the independence side this is all a bit of a let down, but instead it should be seen as a challenge and window. Scotland’s journey to greater self-government isn’t all about the SNP. Nor is it about keeping quiet and burying any reservations until Independence Day.’

Ruth D for leader: many rivers to cross

‘If Davidson was to be elected to Westminster via a Scottish constituency, her status as a political outsider would be cemented. Every time a piece of legislation affecting England passed through the House of Commons, Davidson’s opponents would be able to highlight her lack of a democratic mandate in England.’

The EU Withdrawal Bill and devolution

‘The initial reaction from the Scottish and Welsh Governments repeats their concerns about the new restrictions on devolved legislatures. Given its breadth and constitutional importance, a Scotland-wide debate is surely needed to make sure it leads to an outcome which wider Scottish civic society can support’.

Give us peace: the Scottish Tories

“It is this total vacuity of devolved politics, self-consciously free from conflict and danger, that allows the spectre of Scottish Toryism to haunt us so brazenly. They can happily adopt the rhetoric of the centre-left parties that have predominated in Scottish politics, articulating a politically empty ‘Scottish’ interest that means whatever the voters want it to”.

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.”