After the recent rout of the Labour Party by the Scottish National Party (SNP), at the age of 20, Mhairi Black became the UK's youngest MP since the Reform Act of 1832. Her maiden speech to the House of Commons is a witty, sharp, unsparing account of how Labour failed Scotland and the UK, generally.
So the Scottish National Party is "nationalist" and "socialist." Does this mean they are secretly fascists? In what sense are "national socialists" "socialist?" [more inside]
In just 12 days, the 2015 general election for the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) takes place. On the surface, the math is simple: there are 650 seats, so winning 326 gives you a simple majority. In the previous parliament, governance was through a coalition of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. But this time, predicting who will be Prime Minister, or have the most seats, or what form the government will take, is ... complicated. [more inside]
So the question of Why We Lost? is really why did 33% of the electorate who are Heart Yes vote Head No?Gordon Guthrie on Scottish Independence: why we lost.
It is beginning to be appreciated, even in London, that Alex Salmond might just win his independence referendum in September. The break-up of Britain will have begun, David Cameron will have to contemplate being Prime Minister of a rump country — and HMS Britannia will be sunk, not with a bang but a whimper.
The governments of the United Kingdom and Scotland agree on a framework for the latter to vote on independence. Other reporting in the Telegraph, Guardian and the Scottish Sun. The referendum, for this nation of 5.25 million people and a unicorn as its national animal, will be held before the end of 2014. [more inside]
A recent article in the Economist followed up on the British cover of this week's edition with a scathing attack on the economic case for Scottish independence. The Scottish National Party, currently in power and preparing for an independence referendum, are not amused but at least they have a powerful friend that can help out these days. [more inside]
Sarah Nicole Prickett, who, as an interesting fashion writer, is something of a rarity, reviews the covers of September fashion issues for Toronto’s Eye Weekly (Part 1; Part 2). It is, on the whole, a sorry lot. Just for instance: “The September issue of British Vogue stars Kate Moss, for no other reason than six months have passed and she is still not dead or, worse, fat.... The level of fail can’t be expressed even in Caps Lock.”
Scottish trade unionist, journalist and broadcaster Jimmy Reid has died aged 78. Often described as the best MP Scotland never had, Reid was the instigator of the 1971 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders famous work-in, where rather than striking, workers demonstrated the viability of the shipyards by working to fill the orders on the books, drawing national and international support (including a fat cheque from John Lennon). The year after, he was elected as rector of the University of Glasgow, where he delivered a speech (behind a paywall, sadly) that the New York Times (which saw fit to print it in full) called one of the finest since the Gettysburg Address [more inside]
Polls open in the UK General Election. This has been one of the closest election campaigns in decades, with all three major parties polling within a few points of each other. [more inside]
So, how is that whole Iraq thing working out for you, Tony? What's going on with Scotland? Is the rise of the SNP your party's fault? Are they laying the groundwork for Scottish independence?