The Populist’s Playbook

The 12 Tactics

Against Nationalism

Why Do I Oppose Nationalism?  Many of the arguments I make are economic, or practical, or based on the fact that the case being made for Scottish independence is inaccurate, dishonest or weak. However, I have a more fundamental opposition to Nationalism as a philosophy.  Nationalism, the belief in the superiority of one’s own nationContinue reading “Against Nationalism”

Computer Says No

Populist’s Playbook asked AI ChatGPT to write an evidence based article arguing both for and against Scottish Independence. Here is what it produced: first the case against… Scottish Independence is a hotly debated topic that has been making headlines for years. While many argue that Scotland should break away from the United Kingdom and becomeContinue reading “Computer Says No”

Scottish Soothsaying 

Prophecy is a staple trope of mythology, and if Nationalism is anything, it’s an emotional appeal to mythology, often of an idealised past. The mythology of Scottish Nationalism has included a prophecy of the inevitability of victory, the surety in the collapse of the union, a glorious day coming where real or imagined wrongs willContinue reading “Scottish Soothsaying “

Separation Anxiety

The separation of the legislature and the judiciary is an indication, not a failure, of a healthy liberal democracy. It is the defining behaviour of populists to claim that they speak with the will and the authority of ‘the people against some defined elite. Independent courts must be able to hold the people’s representatives toContinue reading “Separation Anxiety”

A Scottish currency devalued against the English pound

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”

A Moment of Clarity

Liberal Democrat finance spokesperson John Ferry recently said of the SNP’s de facto referendum gambit-  “It would be entirely reasonable to request a UK constitutional convention with one aim being to secure a defined legal route to secession. What is not reasonable is re-writing the constitution of the state on the fly & in lineContinue reading “A Moment of Clarity”

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”

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