• Politics
  • Taxing Scotland’s Future

    The decline of local government in Scotland is a long and depressing saga. “The cooncil”  has long been a byword for corruption, incompetence and political stagnation. Familiar stories of small scale alienation, ineptitude and a process of relentless, unprecedented, centralisation in the 1980s have made our town halls places of disappointment — the sites of political […]

  • Politics
  • Democracy or deferral? The SNP’s Reluctant Radicalism

    On Wednesday two front pages summed up the uncanny effect that the Scottish National Party, now gathering for its party conference in Aberdeen, has had on Scottish public life. The Spectator ran with a feature by aspiring Scottish Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins casting Nicola Sturgeon as the sinister ruler of a ‘one party state.’ Meanwhile the National, the pro-SNP […]

  • Europe
  • At Belgrade Pride

    On stepping off the airport bus it was clear that central Belgrade was in lock down. A vast chunk of the city centre was off-limits. Armoured vehicles, water cannon, dogs, tear gas: all were deployed in force. In total some 5,000 riot police had encircled an area of around three square miles in the heart […]