“Sometimes at night, when the rain is coming down like iron spikes and the road is as dark as a werewolf’s armpit I feel that the brown signs directing you to local services are a sick joke. The signs don’t contain any information as to distance, so you could come off and find it is a 20-minute drive..”
How sustainable are Scottish tax and spend policies?
“under current Scottish and UK fiscal policies, if public services in Scotland are to continue to be delivered as they are today, Scottish Government spending over the next 50 years will exceed the estimated funding available by an average of 1.7% each year.”
Scotland needs a new politics – and fresh policy options
As the SNP leadership campaign crawls to the finish post, time for a Big Debate on the political and socio-economic future in Scotland and the UK
ChatGPT, you’re fired!
“The quotes were generally ideal, exactly what I was looking for, so I searched a little harder. But after fouterin for literary hours, I realised that it just makes the damn things up.”
Prospects for future fiscal devolution?
“Are current fiscal powers optimal for managing day-to-day and longer-term risks? And do the devolved administrations have the right tools to manage the financial risks they are likely to face now and in the future?”
Scotland’s currency options under independence
“The transition to full use of a S£ would take time, with high use of the UK£ within Scotland even once the S£ is established, whether at independence or soon after. In my view, it should start on day 1 of independence.”
Isla Bryson: a trauma-blind response in prison
The Bryson case reveals a long-standing tension in Scottish prisons policy between gender self-identification principles and trauma-informed care. For the best part of a decade this contradiction has played out in plain sight, with minimal scrutiny, to the detriment of female offenders. That it has taken the case of a double rapist to bring it to the fore raises serious questions about political priorities as well as the susceptibility of public authorities to lobbying.
Swinney should use his fiscal powers to the full: Update
“But there are also flexibilities that the Deputy First Minister has for the next financial year that were not available to him for this year – the Scottish Government does have tax powers that could be used, if he wishes, to raise more revenue.” FAI sets the scene for Thursday’s Scottish Budget
Unhelpful clarifications on #indyref2
“The way is now open for the UK Government to say that there is no time or way for Scotland to exercise its acknowledged right of self-determination, for no other reason that it has the power to do so. As others have noted, this turns from one of consent to a union of (narrowly interpreted) law.” Michael Keating on Scottish self-determination and UK sovereignty in the light of the Supreme Court ruling.
Scotland deserves better than two bad choices
The latest Building a New Scotland paper on the economy is being roasted – including by informed nationalists. Here a prominent unionist dissects a weak case. “Doubtless the SNP will argue all this is “Project Fear”. It really isn’t. It is the reality that flows from our underlying economic position.”