Welcome to Scrutiny – a place for debate and discussion on politics today.

Time to stop believing this military Smack Game

UK Policy, World Policy Apr 24, 2012 1 Comment

The defence and security establishment functions exactly like one of the oldest confidence tricks. But to make the game work we have to believe that Only They can save us from All Of Them out to get us. If only that submarine had crashed somewhere a bit more private.

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We’re all nationalists now – but what nation?

Scottish Policy, UK Policy Apr 23, 2012 Add a comment

We’re all nationalists now – such seems the evidence of a new poll on national identity. It seems that ‘Britain’ as an identity is in rapid decline in comparison to Englishness, Welshness and Scottishness. So what could Britain mean if it survives?

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PFI – are we really powerless in the face of this scandal?

Scottish Policy Apr 20, 2012 6 Comments

It is time the Scottish public sector considered a much more robust and comprehensive challenge to the PFI landscape, putting real effort into finding legal ways to rip up unjustified contracts. Claiming we can’t do anything about it is not a good enough response.

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Economic recovery: either have a servant – or be a servant

Media, Scottish Policy Apr 19, 2012 Add a comment

That business leaders and right-wing economists are celebrating a minuscule shift in deeply flawed economic statistics without considering what lies beneath the statistics is just a continuation of what got us here. Meanwhile, the rest of us are supposed to celebrate getting a job as a housemaid.

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Loyalty never seems to get in the way of the voracious right

Left Strategy, Political Parties, Scottish Policy Apr 17, 2012 4 Comments

If the right of the SNP is allowed to simply disregard Party discipline and kidnap the agenda in an attempt to create a New SNP, then New SNP will pay a price. It is the left of the party which has shown loyalty and discipline that needs to stop this – by speaking out now.

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There’s no such thing as ‘commercial freedom of speech’

UK Policy Apr 14, 2012 Add a comment

Abhorrent and disgusting is my immediate reaction to the idea that cigarette manufacturers have the inalienable right to sell us poison and that we have ‘no right’ to prevent them. Inventing the concept of ‘commercial freedom of speech’ makes it more abhorrent again.

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Face down these ‘philanthropists’ with their hands in our pockets

UK Policy Apr 13, 2012 Add a comment

George Osborne was actually right to cap tax relief on charitable giving for the very wealthy. If they are ‘such great guys’ who got rich with the help of clever accountants and ‘tax minimisation strategies’, should they not both give something back and pay their taxes?

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Butterfly or dysfunctional caterpillar?

Scottish Policy Apr 12, 2012 Add a comment

The Curriculum for Excellence was designed to be a transformation. Instead it looks too much like the old system with bits bolted on. Just don’t blame the teachers.

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US justice isn’t fit for a dog. Why won’t people say it?

UK Policy, World Policy Apr 11, 2012 Add a comment

There is no crime which could justify the way the US goes about its system of ‘justice’. Rape, torture, slavery, executions, racial bias and rigged trials are a fundamental feature of the system. Why does Britain still go along with this horror?

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Neither a diversion nor a cause, but a big question

Scottish Policy Apr 11, 2012 Add a comment

Blaming universities for graduate unemployment is an intentional diversion from the real cause of youth unemployment. But we need to open up a much wider and better informed debate about what universities are for.

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