Today’s Thinking

Jill Stephenson
The Catalonian defence: Adrenaline for Scottish separatists

The Catalonian defence: Adrenaline for Scottish separatists

THE SCOTTISH NATIONALISTS have been energised by the illegal referendum in Spain – the one that has been declared illegal by the UN chief Ban Ki-moon. They seem totally uninterested in the referendum in Iraqi ...

Murdo Fraser
Is it time for an Amazon Tax?

Is it time for an Amazon Tax?

THE RECENTLY PUBLISHED Barclay Review of Non-Domestic Rates for the Scottish Government contained some interesting ideas about how the current rates system might be reformed. The review stopped short, however, of recommending a wholescale replacement ...

Owen Polley
The EU's Irish position is neither coherent nor credible

The EU's Irish position is neither coherent nor credible

LAST MONTH the government published its Brexit position paper on ‘Northern Ireland and Ireland’ (by which it meant the Irish Republic). It was hardly a scintillating document, but at least it tried to imagine how ...

Miles Saltiel
May didn't buckle under the weight of EU and remainer perfidy

May didn't buckle under the weight of EU and remainer perfidy

My take on Theresa May's Florence speech:

  • Her content was gratifyingly tough. Although emollient in tone, she did not flinch from sotto voce repeating the offer in the Article 50 notice: cooperation on ...

Jonathan Stanley
Theresa may is no Machiavelli

Theresa may is no Machiavelli

EVERYTHING has changed since the Florence flannel served up on Friday. It really was quite absurd to fly an entourage to Florence with all its fine buildings only to deliver the drabbest, dullest speech I've ever ...

Murdo Fraser
The SNP lurches left on tax

The SNP lurches left on tax

ONLY LAST YEAR it was quite clear where the SNP stood on Income Tax increases. The SNP manifesto for the Holyrood elections ruled out an increase in the basic rate.

Challenged by Scottish ...

Michelle Ballantyne
It's smarter to take smartphones out of the classroom

It's smarter to take smartphones out of the classroom

MORE AND MORE young people are inhabiting a ‘smartphone society’ of Instagram filters and Facebook shares, Twitter likes and Snapchat streaks. This is a place alien to many parents, myself included.

Undoubtedly, ...

Murdo Fraser
Say NO to the SNP's Swim Tax

Say NO to the SNP's Swim Tax

ON TUESDAY the Finance Secretary, Derek Mackay, announced the Scottish Government’s response to the Barclay Review of non-domestic rates. This was long-awaited by those in business, particularly in sectors like hospitality that have seen massive ...

Murdo Fraser
Why the GERS figures finish off nationalist economic case

Why the GERS figures finish off nationalist economic case

THE ANNUAL publication of the GERS figures (Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland) always sparks a lively political debate. This year, the SNP Government moved publication of the figures to Parliament’s summer recess, no doubt ...

Jonathan Stanley
Frank's Law extends an already bad policy - can that be right?

Frank's Law extends an already bad policy - can that be right?

I HAVE SEEN the tweets. The press releases. The special pleading. The eponym. The Scottishness. The policy failure. 

Frank's Law is precisely how all bad policy starts: confusing will for the deed ...

Jonathan Stanley
State collective planning of housing? Seriously?

State collective planning of housing? Seriously?

THE PICTURE says it all for conservatives – but anyone who is not, and that includes many Tories, should heed the words of William F. Buckley Jr, the founder of National Review,

Jill Stephenson
Pledges, excuses and hypocrisy: an anatomy of bad losers

Pledges, excuses and hypocrisy: an anatomy of bad losers

AS WE APPROACH the third anniversary of the Scottish referendum, it is time to take stock of some of its effects. Although the pro-union side won, the separatists have behaved ever since as if they ...