Forbes is best for Scotland and the SNP

The race to succeed Scotland’s longest-serving First Minister was always going to be interesting, but who would have predicted the roller coaster ride we’ve witnessed in its first few days? Twists and turns; personal animosity; a debate on the intersection of religion and politics; and barely anything about independence or major issues that have populatedContinue reading “Forbes is best for Scotland and the SNP”

Farewell to a First Minister

This morning, in a public reception room at Bute House, Scotland’s longest-serving First Minister announced that she is stepping down. In a characteristically polished speech, bereft of the high emotion that sometimes accompanies such occasions, Nicola Sturgeon explained that after fifteen years in ministerial office, she simply doesn’t have enough left in the tank: “GivingContinue reading “Farewell to a First Minister”

End-of-life doctors won’t end lives

Data published this week deals a blow to campaigners vying for legal assisted suicide in Scotland. Survey results from the Association for Palliative Medicine (APM) suggest that most Scottish palliative doctors would refuse to participate in assisted deaths. Close to half of those surveyed also said they’d resign if their employer chose to offer assistedContinue reading “End-of-life doctors won’t end lives”

Scotland’s democratic deficit

Somebody once said that democracy is a slow process of stumbling to the right decision instead of going straight forward to the wrong one. There’s truth in that. When democracy is working well, governments, held to account by elected legislatures, take sufficient time to get decisions right. Decision-making follows robust and constructive debate, consultation withContinue reading “Scotland’s democratic deficit”

The gender law is a democratic failure

There you have it. After years of heated debate both inside and outside Holyrood, the Scottish Government’s gender law has been passed. This afternoon, after a marathon Stage 3 debate, 86 MSPs gave final assent to the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill. 39 voted against. In a few months, barring a legal challenge, people agedContinue reading “The gender law is a democratic failure”

Campus censorship must not become the norm in Scotland

Last night, a censorious mob gathered at the University of Edinburgh to disrupt the screening of a documentary about women’s sex-based rights. After occupying a lecture theatre and preventing those who had booked the venue from moving the screening elsewhere, they succeeded in their aim. The screening was called off. Attendees were forced to goContinue reading “Campus censorship must not become the norm in Scotland”

There’s worse to come in Scotland than the Hate Crime Bill

The Scottish Government has courted controversy with its social policy agenda: sweeping hate crime legislation, and gender recognition changes that undermine women’s rights. But what’s coming down the tracks at Holyrood looks even more troubling. In fact, the next item on the agenda could be one of the most controversial seen since devolution. Following activists’ demands, politicians’ promisesContinue reading “There’s worse to come in Scotland than the Hate Crime Bill”