‘Devolution was grafted onto an unreformed centre, an unreformed state. Without addressing what is literally the central problem, the prospect of constitutional stability looks remote. There are glimmers of hope. The assumption that there is no demand for reform in England ignores recent, albeit rudimentary, developments in need of leadership, elaboration and mobilisation.’
‘We end a year of sadness and sorrow with hope that 2021 will raise the overall level of ambition in Scotland, not just in terms of defeating the virus, but of paving the way for a society and economy that give the people a greater sense of belonging and sharing, that may act as a model beyond its borders, promote fairness and justice in international relations and help save the planet.’
‘This will not be unique to Scotland’s capital but does illustrate the double bind that local government is in with COVID-19: tackling the problems created along with the cost of doing so with insufficient funding and still having to make cuts of £39m at the same time. This is where the unallocated monies and the underspend can be used especially now in this time of great need.’
Too often love is invoked when individuals, institutions and governments seek to disguise transactions involving power, in this case children in public care.
Janice McGhee and Lorraine Waterhouse examine the ‘Promise’ and find it wanting
‘…presenting a policy package combining real home rule for Scotland in its own right, and a longer term commitment to the UK becoming a partnership union, would show that Scottish Labour was prepared to contribute constructively to the debate about the future relationship of Scotland with rUK, rather than being perceived as the junior partner to the Tories in a hard-line unionist front”
‘There was a day when anyone associated with the Duke of Buccleuch would have been anathema to the SNP but in its desperation not to frighten the horses, the current SNP leadership is willing to abandon what its membership in its heart knows is required. The SNP is simply letting a good crisis go to waste.’
‘.Like the Bourbons, the Conservatives have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing. But Labour are in danger of the same. Time is running out for a reasonably well developed alternative option that might be included in a future referendum. Not only would this enrich a stale debate but would allow Labour to escape the potentially lethal embrace of working with the Tories again.’
‘It’s right that we do not forget that the objective of protecting the NHS in Scotland resulted in people being denied essential care for non-COVID-19 conditions nor the mistakes made in respect of care homes…But the drawing of comparisons is not a political debating ploy. It is essential to our safety.’
‘Swinney’s actions during the pandemic have not inspired confidence. The pattern of announcing policy, being sent homeward to think again before quickly reversing that policy, has been almost comical. For instance, he should have foreseen that a categorical pledge to NQTs would marginalise any teachers who were not in that category.’
After questioning economic orthodoxy in his two previous articles, the author asks whether Scotland can deal with the ‘new normal’ and asks commentators/analysts to join nin the discussion.