The morality of Michael Ignatieff

My first reaction when I saw the gleeful tweets of unionists about the Michael Ignatieff article on separatism as a moral sin was to ignore it. As someone who has worked in international human rights for 25 years I have never had a lot of time for Ignatieff. He supported the war in Iraq and tried to construct a human rights argument for military adventurism and torture. Continue reading

The road to federalism?

Lets welcome Murdo Fraser coming out in favour of federalism and the sovereignty of the Scottish Parliament. Lets put to one side the absurdity of Ed Miliband wooing anybody. Lets consider for a moment what a progressive case for reforming the UK to make it more attractive for Scotland to remain might be. Continue reading

Barking illiberalism and the right to protest

I was in two minds about whether to join the anti-UKIP protest this evening in Edinburgh. On the one hand I wanted an opportunity to express my revulsion for Nigel Farage’s racist populism and the way it has been puffed up by the media. On the other hand I am conscious of how the anti-independence media distorted the coverage of the last protest, ludicrously claiming it was anti-English, even as they interviewed one of the English organisers.

And then I saw Willie Rennie’s offensive and illiberal comments in The Herald. Continue reading

Warning, blow, Cataclysm

(I may have taken the invitation to submit a Referendum Rant too literally)

The Better Together Lament

Warning, blow, Cataclysm

volatile with oil

Too wee, Too poor, Too stupid

lance the indy boil


Warning, blow, Cataclysm

Salmond’s self-obsession

Dambusters and Project Fear

Cybernat aggression Continue reading

Smears and fake outrage dishonours Putin’s victims

I started the week thinking that the manufactured furore about Alex Salmond’s remarks on Putin was a storm in a tea-cup best ignored. However, the desperate attempts of the unionist parties, the BBC and the right wing press to smear Salmond and divert attention from their failing campaign has reached a level of absurdity that is so disrespectful to the rights of people in Ukraine and Russia that I feel compelled to respond. Continue reading

Cameron to fall on his sword?

According to Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph:

David Cameron will resign if he loses Scotland. A Prime Minister who allows the break-up of the United Kingdom cannot suffer such a statement of no confidence and continue in office.”

I doubt that Cameron will fall on his sword following the Yes vote. I doubt that most Conservative MPs will want him to. Continue reading

Family ties?

Menzies Campbell is probably trying to “inject the love” when he writes about how he will vote No in September because he loves Scotland, but the unionists really need to understand how offensive it is to many people to talk about giving up “family ties.” Two of my three children live in England. I will be giving up no family ties when I vote Yes. I will be voting at least in part for my children. Continue reading

The embarrassment of Alistair Darling

The trouble with bouncing bombs is they might come back to bite you, if you will pardon the mixed metaphor. As the self-proclaimed dambusters strategy continues to wreak havoc in Better Together, and the hunt continues for the mole who leaked the truth about Emperor Osborne’s new clothes, it is worth remembering how this all started. Continue reading

The best ever relations between our two countries

David Cameron has said that relations between our two countries are, “at an all time high.”

Unfortunately for Better Together this was not part of the love-bombing, it was a comment following a recent meeting with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny that discussed security, economic cooperation and joint visa plans. The Irish media has been full of similar sentiments this week as plans were announced for the first state visit of an Irish President to the UK. The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, welcomed the news, “This is a further demonstration of the warm and positive relationship that now exists between Ireland and the United Kingdom.” Continue reading

England don’t go

England don’t go.


England don’t go and drift off into a fantasy isolationism,

anti-immigrant, anti-EU and anti the interconnectedness of the modern world.


England don’t go and vote for UKIP.


England don’t go on fuelling the London City-state with subsidies and tax-breaks,

denuding the rest of your country of jobs and opportunity.


England don’t go on privatising the NHS and education.


England don’t go on down the road of small-state neo-liberalism,

delivering fortunes for the fat-cats, huge inequality and massive social problems.


England don’t go on blaming the poor for the sins of bankers.


England don’t go on giving billions in subsidies to the governments of China and France

to build nuclear power stations in your green and pleasant land.


England don’t go and invest further billions in the post-imperial delusion

of Trident weapons of mass destruction.


England don’t go on living in the past.


England don’t go in the huff when we vote Yes.


England don’t go on thinking our self-determination is about you.

It is about democracy, our future, our children and grand-children, fairness and prosperity.


England don’t go. We secretly like you in an awkward, blokeish, unverbalised kind of way.

We couldn’t live with out you. The ferry to France would become a slog.


England don’t go.