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If Scotland leave, we don’t owe them anything. But it’s no great favour if they stay

I doubt I’m alone among English readers of this magazine in having felt uncomfortable with our last issue. ‘Please stay with us’ was a plea I found faintly offensive to… Continue reading The post If Scotland leave, we don’t owe them anything. But it’s no great favour if they stay appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

Scottish nationalism has prospered because British identity has withered

In modern Britain, “nationalism” is a dirty word. Understandably so. It is associated with the racist far-Right; with the crazies who believe that the British are descended from Atlantis and that anyone from outside these islands is one of those “lesser breeds without the law”. But in rejecting nationalism with such ferocity, we encounter a [...]

Don't despair – there may be life in the Union yet

For the Better Together team, the early weeks of the Scottish referendum campaign must now seem like the summer of 1914 – a golden, innocent time that offered barely a hint of the carnage that was about to unfold. Even in those blissful days, however, there was a nagging doubt at the back of pro-Unionists' [...]

Yes Scotland are running a sneaky campaign

Here’s a clever poster from the ‘Yes’ campaign. It was handed to me by an activist outside Glasgow Central Station who was asking people if they wanted ‘more information for… Continue reading The post Yes Scotland are running a sneaky campaign appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

A formula for a political row

I know what you're thinking: let's talk Barnett formula. I normally hesitate to go down that road as it's so comprehensively covered elsewhere but today's developments in Scotland have put the issue of how the UK funds its constituent...Show More Summary

At home with the Hagues

William Hague is currently hard to avoid during his farewell tour of Parliament. Having stood in for the prime minister yesterday, today he answered MPs' questions in his day job as leader of the House of Commons. A question from Cardiff...Show More Summary

Scottish nationalism: turning neighbours into foreigners

  Nationalists build walls to keep their people in and the rest out. They create “us” and “them”. Friends and enemies. If you disagree, if you say they have no… Continue reading The post Scottish nationalism: turning neighbours into foreigners appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

Why Ipsos-MORI’s final #IndyRef poll could be the one to watch out for tomorrow night

It was by far the top pollster at the 2011 Holyrood elections There are at least five final IndyRef polls due out tomorrow. The online firms that use polling panels – YouGov, Panelbase and Opinium, Survation which does online and phone, and an Ipsos-MORI phone poll. It is that last one I’m most looking forward […]

Lib Dems switch on the sunshine – and attack ‘sinister’ Yes tactics

The Lib Dems have just launched the final leg of their campaign against Scottish independence, which is a poster van with Charles Kennedy’s head emblazoned across it and three of… Continue reading The post Lib Dems switch on the sunshine – and attack ‘sinister’ Yes tactics appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

The English want Scotland to remain part of the Union. But not at any price

And finally, the bribe. If the emotional appeals and thinly-veiled threats don’t work, then the time has come to cross their palms with silver. This morning’s Scottish Daily Record splashes on the “No” campaign’s final throw of the dice. Under the headline “The Vow”, David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband all pledge to honour [...]

Will an independent Scotland be secure?

A Yes vote in this week’s independence referendum would not just leave the UK politically and socially ruptured, but would also have potentially far-reaching consequences for British foreign and security policy. Much of the debate around independence has focused on future Scottish vulnerabilities, neglecting those that might arise in the remaining UK. A pithy and [...]

Shaun Wright stands down as South Yorkshire PCC over Rotherham sex abuse scandal

Shaun Wright, the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire, has resigned after weeks of pressure following the publication of a report into child sexual abuse in Rotherham. Wright was the… Continue reading The post Shaun Wright stands down as South Yorkshire PCC over Rotherham sex abuse scandal appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

The parallels between Alex Salmond and Vladimir Putin

Alex Salmond was criticised in the spring for endorsing certain admirable qualities in Vladimir Putin. Salmond told GQ magazine that Mr. Putin had ‘restored a substantial part of Russian pride… Continue reading The post The parallels between Alex Salmond and Vladimir Putin appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

Why the swing to Salmond? Because voters are attracted by optimism

Almost no one saw it coming. The surge in Scottish separatism over the past three weeks violates an elemental law of referendums: that there is a swing to the status quo during the last phase of the campaign. I’ve seen it happen all over Europe. I’ve been involved with successful Eurosceptic referendum campaigns in Sweden, [...]

Salmond's stoking of the Yes mob is reminiscent of the young Ian Paisley

In the sunset of his political career, Ian Paisley’s magnanimity was at variance with the destructive militancy of his earlier career in Northern Irish politics. In his younger days, his genius at fanning insecurity and, at times, bringing out the worst instincts in some of his supporters played no small role in tipping Ulster into [...]

Why do political parties always talk of 'battle grounds' and 'war rooms'?

The past few days in Clacton feel unlike any campaign I’ve experienced before. There is a freshness and enthusiasm in the air. As summer turns to autumn, there are hints that perhaps the political season is changing, too. We’ve had to do a second print run of window posters to keep up with demand. People [...]

Next year’s election will be the dirtiest ever

By the time a politician stands up to give a speech, it has been briefed out, pre-butted, rebutted, shredded in print and spat out on TV. Politics has become a… Continue reading The post Next year’s election will be the dirtiest ever appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

North Lanarkshire Council

I have submitted another FoI request to North Lanarkshire Council asking for information about the Council's controversial 'bonus' scheme or 'performance pay' scheme which is reserved for its highest paid officials. Now I'm pretty sure these payments are counted as part of 'normal pay' for chief officials in North Lanarkshire. Show More Summary

The Spectator at war: The cant of caution

From The Spectator, 19 September 1914: WHAT a nefarious little person is the captious critic! His watchword is caution, and he goes about damping down the fires of enthusiasm, only… Continue reading The post The Spectator at war: The cant of caution appeared first on Spectator Blogs.

Independence Debate

I revisited my thoughts on voting Yes in the independence referendum which I posted on the blog site back in August and I'm pleased to say that views have strengthened, if anything, as the campaigning has intensified over the summer....Show More Summary

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