‘Salmond has in the past proved an astute reader of the political runes. RT represents for him a platform for indulging his career and promoting the causes he believes in. It is therefore premature to conclude that Salmond’s latest venture marks his decline into irrelevance and disrepute’…
‘Certainly, if Brexit in some shape happens in March 2019 and a 20 or 24-month transition brings nothing but economic pain and social conflict along with a revived Far Right, then the ‘progressive alliance’ between Labour and SNP at least in Scotland and/or in Westminster may not just be desirable but essential to save democracy – and a lot more’.
‘If the limit of our collective ambition is to elect a media-friendly performer (like some kind of reliable weather forecaster) who can deliver a few hits in Holyrood to rally the troops, we’re underestimating the scale of Labour’s problem. And running the risk of getting giddy on the political equivalent of the worst football managerial merry-go-round’.
‘The Index goes beyond a simple measure of GDP growth in trying to determine relative changes in well-being across similarly developed countries. Indeed, given the tenuous link between government policy and short term economic growth, the Index is better suited to identifying areas which government can influence in order to improve the economic fundamentals’.
The upcoming budget debate is an important opportunity for policymakers from all sides to set out what they would do, yes on taxation, but also on expenditure and growth. The new income tax powers provide some measure of relief, but it’s far from the only game in town’.
‘The political landscape has been transformed by Brexit and Corbyn. New political cleavages, more complex than the simple Yes/No binary of the Indyref, have emerged. The terrain is now more challenging for the SNP. But if they are able to tack successfully into the new political winds, these challenges can be met’.
‘The question now seems to be why are these fundamental issues of governance and accountability only now are being exposed, and with such serious consequences? This debate should have occurred before a centralised police force was established four years ago’.
“Truth springs from argument among friends,” is often attributed to Hume, although it doesn’t appear in his writings. As long as it doesn’t count as a slogan or a soundbite, I’m happy to subscribe to it. The former David Hume Institute director says au revoir…as a happy sceptic to the end.
‘Of course, it is possible to close this (budget) gap by explicitly reducing certain expenditures or by assuming higher tax revenues – either through increased rates or faster growth. Others will argue though, that in the context of independence, there may be additional costs. The debates will no doubt continue.’ And indeed they do…
‘ Today, the Conservative Party is emphatically more nationalist than the SNP but some of its leading members still criticize the nationalist mote in the SNP seemingly oblivious to the beam in its own ideology’.