Syria: An international imperative

Last night the USA, UK and France launched a joint military operation to strike against President Assad’s regime and the infrastructure suspected of delivering a chemical weapons attack in Douma earlier this week. Public opinion is divided on whether this was the right course of action, especially with Russia’s support of the Syrian Government being a dangerous factor that risks considerable conflict escalation. But, the decision to take these strikes was essentially about whether a Government should be allowed to get away with murdering its — Read more →

Tackling sectarianism in Scottish football

This week in the Scottish Parliament, MSPs voted for the repeal of the 2012 Offensive Behaviour at Football Act.  This law was introduced by the SNP Government against strong opposition, and now that the SNP is a minority government this is the first serious attempt, led by Labour, to reverse the Act. The OBFA, as it’s more snappily known, is widely considered to be a poor piece of legislation.  The goal was to crack down on sectarian and violent behaviour at football games, which reached — Read more →

Scottish Draft Budget 2018-19

Today Scottish Government Finance Minister Derek MacKay unveiled their draft budget for the next fiscal year. By far the most eye-catching of the proposals was the remodelling of income tax, with the standard rate being broken into three bands of 19%, 20% and 21%, and an increase of 1% on the higher and additional rates, bringing them to 41% and 46% respectively. In total, these measures will raise an additional £164 million for the Scottish Government, whilst ensuring that those earning less than £33,000 (which — Read more →

Fake News: Learning the lessons of 2016

In many ways 2017 has been a year where little “original” news events have happened, but rather where we have been living through the aftermath of 2016.  Whether that be because of Brexit on this side of the pond, or the Buffoon-in-Chief on the other, we’re still wading through the repercussions of what voters have destined for us last year.   One of the main problems we’re still grappling with is that of online “fake news”, which we now know helped drive both the Brexit — Read more →

Programme for Government 2017-18

After a reasonably quiet summer in the political world, the Scottish Parliament re-convened this week and already there’s plenty to talk about. Last week Scottish Labour leader became the fifth to resign in the last six years, marking the end of another chapter in the party’s grim demise. The two front-runners are quite polar opposite approaches, with Anas Sarwar being a Labour veteran, representing a Westminster/Brownite faction of the party, and Richard Leonard, a newcomer to politics who leans to the left. It will be — Read more →