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Blog Profile / Douglas Fraser

Filed Under:Politics / UK Politics
Posts on Regator:404
Posts / Week:2.3
Archived Since:July 6, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Scary horrors for Smith commission

Hallowe'en seems an appropriate point for Lord Robert Smith's commission on new devolved powers for Holyrood to close the door on public submissions. The first scary prospect is that it has got a massive amount of reading to do. Vast...Show More Summary

Global slowdown for black and distilled gold

There's both symbolic and a real significance behind Shell's announcement to close down and scrap two of its platforms in the Brent field, east of Shetland. And it tells us quite a bit about the impact of global forces on the Scottish...Show More Summary

Grangemouth a year on: energy prices and business attitudes

A year since the Grangemouth dispute, and the energy markets are in an even more topsy-turvy place. We're told by the Scottish Trades Union Congress that the dispute didn't change industrial relations in Scotland - though that's notShow More Summary

Middle class obscured in a Scots myth

A month on, the referendum reverberates. We've heard a lot about "the 45%", or at least we've heard a lot from them - the determination to keep the campaign spirit alive, to push on towards independence, and the sense of disappointment that they didn't get a majority on 18 September. Yet we've heard rather less from the 55% who voted "no". Show More Summary

The blast furnace of globalisation

Steel is something of a national virility symbol - not just for Scotland, Wales and northern England, but for emerging and emerged economies for whom it has been the first burst of industrialisation. The blow to Scottish economic virility...Show More Summary

The spending state we're in

It's time to talk about the state, as a historic shift in government spending emphasises the National Health Service and older people's benefits at the expense of quite a lot else. That's the message from people who crunch the fiscal...Show More Summary

Craig Whyte's broke stockbrokers

Just when you thought his 15-year ban as a company director had finally driven through a stake through the heart of the Craig Whyte saga... it's back again. This time, it's the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ruling on Pritchard's,...Show More Summary

Taxes come home to Holyrood

Remember the referendum campaign? Well, you'll probably also remember the warning that taxes are a volatile way of funding services. That argument was mainly about offshore oil and gas tax, which is the most volatile of government funding...Show More Summary

More passengers down the ScotRail track

There will be more space for parking your bicycle at railway stations, says the winner of the franchise battle to run ScotRail from next April. That should be no surprise from Abellio, part of the Netherlands' state-owned railway company. Show More Summary

Oil's corroding pipeline

Oil and gas burned furiously through the independence referendum campaign. Quite a lot was said by people on both sides who should have known better. It's now the subject of a conspiracy theory suggesting vast reservoirs were being hidden...Show More Summary

Back to the future squeeze

So it's back to austerity. The battling over future projections for an independent Scotland's budget can be binned. It's time to focus on the budgets which Holyrood will have, rather than the ones it might have had. And that day of reckoning, to coin a phrase, is coming soon. Show More Summary

Neverendum: 'Not at this stage'

So when is the next independence referendum? No, hang on. Stop whimpering like that. Bear with me. You may soon have withdrawal symptoms from the campaign, so why not plan for the next one? After all, 1.6 million people wanted Scotland...Show More Summary

Headquarters: Who needs 'em?

We're told the only threat from Scottish banks taking their registrations south of the border is that the nation's stock of brass plaques will be diminished. The first minister said this week that Scots are interested in jobs and company operations rather than corporate name plates. None of the finance firms is threatening significant job losses. Show More Summary

Profit or loss?

One side has a letter with 130 signatories, who together employ 50,000 people. The other responds with 200 names, and they employ, well, quite a few as well. One side says the case for independence has not been made. The other says "oh...Show More Summary

Mandate with destiny

Picking up my dictionary and looking for the definition of the word "mandate", I found this sentence: "Political authority supposed to be given by electors to [party in] parliament". It also gave an alternative legal definition thatShow More Summary

Who speaks for Scottish business?

The distinction between lobbying and political campaigning can be a fine line. The Confederation of British Industry hasn't just stepped over it. In doing so, it's tripped over itself, and fallen on its face. Its registration with the...Show More Summary

The Shetland Dividend

Shetland has no intention of playing its oil card and pushing for its own independence, the council leader has told me. Gary Robinson says that would be too greedy. It would mean far more wealth than Shetland could possibly use. Whether...Show More Summary

Growth, insecurity and change

For most of these downturn years, the Scottish economy has behaved rather like that of the UK as a whole. As I've noted before, Scotland may be the outlier in its geography and constitution, but it's far more like the UK average than, say, London. The latest figures show that may be changing. Show More Summary

Chinese firm buys House of Fraser

From Mohamed al Fayed to Iceland's business buccaneers, the House of Fraser portfolio has secured its owners many of Britain's most prestigious retail locations. And at a time of unprecedented change for the industry, that is testament...Show More Summary

Scotch whisky exports stagnate

We've heard from individual distillers that the fall-off in the Chinese market has a lot to do with official government disapproval of conspicuous consumption, and a crackdown on the culture of business gifts, as they easily cross the line into corruption. It's a challenge that has hit the premium and luxury goods market in quite a big way.

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