Debasing the Unicorn

Much has been written and will be shared again on Scotland’s currency options. Where I’ve written about our currency before, I’ve shown the evidence proving that Sterlingisation literally makes meeting the EU entry criteria impossible and that unilateral adoption of the Euro ( like Montenegro) isn’t a path to EU membership. My contribution to theContinue reading “Debasing the Unicorn”

Deficit Denial

Scotland’s Democratic Deficit Unionists and Nationalists are in deficit denial – but about different Scottish deficits. Unionists, quite correctly, highlight the challenges of Scotland’s nominal deficit – which would become structural, and therefore problematic, upon independence. Many nationalists downplay it or even deny it exists at all. In contrast, Nationalists highlight what they see asContinue reading “Deficit Denial”

Serious as Cancer

Humans are poor at intuitively assessing risk: leaving us vulnerable to being manipulated into acting against our best interests. In their book “Merchants of Doubt”, Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway outline how, in the mid-20th Century, tobacco companies developed a nine-point public relations playbook to cast doubt on the increased risks of cancer fromContinue reading “Serious as Cancer”

Last Exit to Brigadoon

All political careers end in failure: What if Nicola Sturgeon is looking to snatch an exit strategy from the jaws of defeat? We often assume that Nicola Sturgeon, a life-long Scottish nationalist, wants independence at all costs and frames her decisions to that end. What if we assumed instead that her top priority is herContinue reading “Last Exit to Brigadoon”

The Politics of Parchment

The Scottish and American reactions to school shootings have been worlds apart. The Dunblane Massacre shocked, shamed and scared Scotland: on 13th March 1996, Thomas Hamilton shot dead 16 pupils and one teacher and injured 15 others before killing himself. The almost immediate reaction by the Government in Westminster was a UK-wide tightening of gunContinue reading “The Politics of Parchment”

Self Determination or Self Integrity?

It is a  jus cogens (generally accepted)  principle established in international law that ‘a people‘ have a right to ‘self-determination‘, and it’s surely one liberals and democrats should support. It has been a key factor in creating the stability of the post-war settlement. It is recognised as a principle in the UN charter. Unhelpfully inContinue reading “Self Determination or Self Integrity?”

Attacking the Media

“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” Napoleon Bonaparte The technique we look at in this chapter of the Populist’s Playbook is “Attacking the media”. I like to start out with some definitions and parameters. So, what do we mean by media, and what do we mean by attacks? WhoContinue reading “Attacking the Media”