Where Should Power Lie in Scotland?

A view of Edinburgh, Scotland, with the Salisbury Crags in the background on a sunny day

Everybody cares about local matters. Yet if previous local elections are anything to go by, fewer than half of us will bother turning out to vote for local politicians on May 5th. If only to restore interest in local democracy, Scotland would benefit from a renewed debate about where power lies and how services are best delivered.

Continue reading

System Reset Required: Go To Settings

Local government across the UK faces some of its biggest economic, political, and social challenges since the immediate post-war era. The Covid-19 pandemic amplified such inequalities, putting increasing demands on already stretched local authorities. Recent global events have also accelerated a growing cost of living crisis playing out in local communities.

Continue reading

Take Back Control

Exterior of Glasgow City Chambers, George Square, Glasgow, Scotland

A recent poll from Our Scottish Future found that 47% of respondents agreed with the statement that ‘a serious plan to change Britain could be more attractive than independence’. This raises the million dollar question  – what would a serious  plan to change Britain have to look like in order to convince ‘middle Scotland’ voters to remain part of the UK?

Continue reading

The Council Tax Thaw is a Missed Opportunity for Change

A row of terraced houses in Scotland

Despite 15 years of manifesto promises to replace it with a more progressive alternative, council tax will not be reformed this Parliament. Yet Council Tax is widely agreed to be a regressive tax and there is already cross-party support for its replacement. As even SNP council leaders accuse Holyrood of a power grab, perhaps it’s time for a fresh start in local government.

Continue reading

We Only See You Lot When There’s An Election On

A sign attached to multicoloured school railings directing people to a polling place for Scottish elections

Waiting for publication of the list of election candidates reminded me of my sister’s reaction when I constantly check football scores during some family event. “Why are you checking it every 2mins! You won’t make anything happen by checking!” She is unlikely to read this so I can safely say, she’s probably right!

Continue reading

Wanted: Scottish Babies

The task of reversing Scotland’s falling birth rate is a project lasting decades without a straightforward solution. That means that mitigating the economic pressures – by encouraging immigration and delaying retirements – is going to be important in the short run. It is a daunting task, but one the country needs to confront head on.  

Continue reading

A Chance To Make Hampden Roar Again

With the right ideas, energy and boldness Euro 2028 can be a celebration of the different cultures across the British Isles. The UK government can demonstrate it is a government for all by engaging with the devolved governments on an equal footing. It will also show the benefits of membership of the UK: with opportunity and diversity on our doorsteps.

Continue reading