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North Lanarkshire Update

As the summer holiday season in Scotland begins to draw to a close, I think this is probably a good time to post a brief update about the the ongoing fight for equal pay in North Lanarkshire. As regular readers know a series of meetings...Show More Summary

The 'V' Word

I have to say I have no idea why someone would want to engrave the word 'vagina' onto their iPad, but I take the wider point that Janey Stephenson is making in this interesting and thought provoking piece from The Independent. If guys...Show More Summary

Ed Ain't No Tony Blair

The nub of this opinion piece by Daniel Finkelstein is that 'Ed Miliband ain't no Tony Blair' which is a play on the put down used by Lloyd Bentsen who famously told his political rival, Dan Quayle, in a vice-presidential TV debate: "Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. Show More Summary

New Formula

Here's an intelligent article from The Scotsman on the much abused Barnett Formula written by Brian Monteith a former Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP). Now Brian is absolutely correct about the intention behind the Barnett Formula...Show More Summary

Scottish Labour Overruled

The Scottish Labour leader, Johan Lamont, loses the plot in this interview on the Daily Politics programme with Andrew Neil, if you ask me. After a bright start, Johann stumbles over questions about Ed Miliband's leadership before falling...Show More Summary

Five Years On

Howard Jacobson wrote the following essay about the ongoing conflict in the Middle East all of five years ago. What jumps out to me is that while the violence and loss of life in Gaza continues to attract a great deal of political attention,...Show More Summary

Thinking Big

The BBC reports on a proposal I've always found very attractive - creating a major new hub airport, possibly in the Thames Estuary, and replacing Heathrow with a new mini city within London that would result in the building almost 200,000 new homes. Show More Summary

Dying for Equal Pay

I had to laugh at this ridiculous article by Kevin Maguire in The Mirror in which he argues for justice for victims of Mesothelioma and blames the present Coalition Government for short changing the workers. Because the same thing is...Show More Summary

The Exorcists

While Pope Francis continues his efforts to reposition the Catholic Church in a more caring, progressive light some of his lieutenants in the Vatican still seem to be living in the Middle Ages. Because just recently a six day seminar...Show More Summary

The chances of a LAB majority have dropped by 10% since the budget according to Betfair punters

But Labour’s inherent electoral advantages could be being ignored Exactly 8 months today on April 1st 2015 the formal general election campaign will begin and my intention at the start of every month is to monitor betting prices on the Betfair exchange to see how the mood is changing. The chart above shows current latest […]

Harry Hayfield’s Local By-Election Preview: July 31st 2014

Thurmaston on Charnwood (Con Defence) Result of last election to council (2011): Conservatives 33, Labour 16, British National Party 1, Liberal Democrats 1, Independent 1 (Conservative majority of 14) Result of last election in wardShow More Summary

Look where Tony Blair’s messianic fervour has left us

While trawling down the Mail Online’s right-hand-side of the page porno strip, to consider analytically the latest photographs of Jessica Alba in a swimming costume, I came across a rather… Continue reading The post Look where Tony Blair’s messianic fervour has left us appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

The insidious re-normalisation of smoking

The NHS has long since been smoke free, banning smoking on-site for patients and staff alike back when I was a nursing student. Of course this is ignored pretty much… Continue reading The post The insidious re-normalisation of smoking appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

Ed Miliband’s union bosses would change Britain for the worse

Trade unions have an important role in any decent society, but their stranglehold on the Labour Party is something we must fight against. I will never forget walking the streets… Continue reading The post Ed Miliband’s union bosses would change Britain for the worse appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

Booze bracelets? Even Orwell did not foresee this dawn of the wearable policeman

Even with all their dystopian prescience, Aldous Huxley, George Orwell or Philip K Dick did not foresee a future state that would monitor its citizens' sweat for signs of deviant, boozy behaviour. I mean, what kind of swirling mind would it take to think up a system whereby citizens would walk around with sweat-reading gadgets [...]

If the Edinburgh Fringe thinks it’s fine to give in to bigots, I might have to give up on the Edinburgh Fringe

When is a great international arts festival not a great international arts festival? When it can’t uphold even the most basic principles of free speech. Last night a play by an Israeli… Continue reading The post If the Edinburgh Fringe thinks it’s fine to give in to bigots, I might have to give up on the Edinburgh Fringe appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

David Cameron can’t afford any more slip-ups

From now until September 18th, the Scottish referendum will rightly dominate national politics. Tuesday night’s debate between Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond is the Yes campaign’s last and best chance… Continue reading The post David Cameron can’t afford any more slip-ups appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

Fifty shades of Grayling

With the delicacy of an Israeli F-16, the Tories entered the summer campaign today with an achingly dull speech in Westminster. Something about Labour and the unions. Mud flew everywhere.… Continue reading The post Fifty shades of Grayling appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

Tunes of Numpties: Scottish novelists on independence

There are many ways to commission fat-headed political analysis but, in my experience, by far the easiest is to ask a novelist his (or her) opinion on the great issues… Continue reading The post Tunes of Numpties: Scottish novelists on independence appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

"Short Breaks in Mordor" now has 38 favourable reviews

My new e-book ‘Short Breaks in Mordor’ has now garnered a combined total of 38 favourable reviews (the great majority with five stars) on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. It is the sum of almost all my travels, Burma, North Korea, China...

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