The only people who can stop this

Ah right, so the email was titled “CMAL contract aware to Ferguson shipyard – a request for Ministerial approval” with a priority of “high” and was sent from the responsible civil servant to either CMAL or Fergusons (redacted, naturally) containing the words...

Learning for Change

First published by Common Weal When I left a successful career to set up think tanks there was a very particular reason. At night I was doing lots of leftie things; by day I was in charge of political strategy for Scotland’s university sector. I imagined a...

After Alba

I was on the phone to a senior independence activist when the news broke that Alex Salmond was starting a new political party. We discussed it in real time. Strangely, I don’t our first reactions have turned out to be wrong. We both held the view that the...

Am I missing something?

Every so often in life I find myself stopping, looking at strong assumptions I hold and I wonder to myself if I’m missing something. I’ve never been afraid of being wrong or admitting it. My goal in life is always to find out what I’ve missed, what...

Democracy is something you do – and can do better

First published by Common Weal From academics to democracy experts, local communities to activist, small businesses to political commentators, constitution-builders to serving councillors, it seems that absolutely everyone now recognises that there is something deeply...

Bad bureaucracy burns buildings

When there is something seemingly murky happening in public life and I can’t quite get a solid take on it I will often look to see what others whose opinions I respect think on the matter. I’m damned if I can quite put my finger on what is going on with...

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