Labour and Tories set a trap for Scotland as they vote against handing Holyrood power over universal credit

WE are all against tax credit cuts in Scotland, right? And being against them, we will do everything in our power to stop them, right?

Wrong, say the Labour Party . On Monday at Westminster , Labour voted with the Tories against giving the Scottish Parliament power over the system that will deliver tax credits in future – universal credit.

The logical conclusion is that Labour believe empowering the Scots is a greater evil than cutting a vital lifeline to low-income families.

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Eagle's hawks keep Labour pro-nuclear

YESTERDAY was an historic day for Scotland.

Labour and the SNP united in the Scottish Parliament to vote against the renewal of Trident – on which a decision will soon be taken by the UK Government.

The main objection is moral.

A fully armed Trident submarine has 192 times the destructive capacity of the Hiroshima bomb. The world would not survive such a strike, so the bombs can never be used.

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Whisky tax trolls have a dram cheek

IN NORTHERN European folk tales, a troll is a creature who lurked in caves under rocks. It is slow-witted, aggressive and harmful to human beings.

The modern usage relates to the age of the internet and, in particular, social media.

According to the Oxford dictionary, this kind of troll makes a deliberately provocative online post with the intention of getting a reaction.

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Big Business write their own tax rules.. with the Tories’ pen

ONCE upon a time we talked about the redistribution of wealth.

Now it’s the upward distribution of wealth.

Once, most right-thinking people thought sharing fairly should be the aspiration of any decent society.

Now, those with most pay the least to the collective pot – because they have the tricks to hide their wealth.

And right-wing governments, like the one we currently endure at UK level, allow them to get away with it.

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Scotland's only Tory threatens to blow away lifeline to his own constituents

 IT's a long time since coal has been deep mined in Sanquhar, Kirkconnel and Kelloholm on the border of Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire.

These close-knit, friendly places enjoy a spectacular setting in the upper Nith Valley.

But the mining and textile industries which once supported them have all but disappeared and, as my dad used to say: “You cannot eat the scenery.”

Then their luck seemed to change, quite literally with a gust of wind. Like most of Scotland, it’s blowy on the hills. Wind farm developers are interested in building turbines there.

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Don't mention the S-word as Labour give Scotland a Great British shake-off

IT WAS compared with Basil Fawlty’s “Don’t mention the war” sketch. But in this case, it was no joke.

Labour MPs at Westminster have been told by advisors not to use the word Scotland.

Apparently, it “plays to the SNP’s separatist agenda” and should be avoided at all costs.

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Labour guilty of hypocrisy over implementation of living wage across UK

EVERYBODY deserves to get paid the living wage.

It is the amount calculated to allow workers to live in dignity – £7.85 an hour.

Unfortunately, it’s voluntary. Only the pitifully low minimum wage, set by the UK Government at Westminster, is legally enforceable.

Labour in government didn’t get it together to pay their own employees the living wage.

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Lord Mike Watson's new post will fan the flames of shame

THE night was not young and most guests had left the annual Politician of the Year awards of 2004 – a glitzy affair in Edinburgh’s venerable Prestonfield House Hotel.

I was the deputy editor of The Herald newspaper, sponsors of the event, and was having a nightcap with some of paper’s advertising staff in one of the hotel’s snug reception rooms.

We had spent the last 45 minutes outside in the cold November air after talk of a fire alert.

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Scots won’t be naive and trot back to Labour like puppies

THERE will be no more talk of Red Tories, was the verdict of one of Jeremy Corbyn’s high-profile Scottish supporters when he won the UK Labour leadership.

Definitely, maybe, is probably the best response to that.

Corbyn is no Red Tory – we can say that with some certainty.

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Ordinary people are putting heartless David Cameron to shame

MOOL is my word of the week.

It stands for “Massive Outpouring Of Love” and was invented by my friends Moxie DePaulitte and Tabitha Mudaliar to describe their charity drive to help refugees.

Like millions of other people, Moxie and Tabi were shocked by the photograph of little Aylan Kurdi, drowned with his mother and brother while trying to reach safety.

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Life after No vote even worse than I’d feared

IT’S now almost a year since the referendum. Inevitably, that means a bit of reflection and reminiscence.

I wrote dozens of columns during the campaign. They were shared tens of thousands of times on the internet and some were cut out and used by activists on the doorsteps.

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Iain Duncan Smith is hurting the sick and disabled with his welfare changes

IT’S hard to believe, but Iain Duncan Smith was once considered the champion of “compassionate Conservatism”.

On a visit to Glasgow that was dubbed his “epiphany”, he was said to be moved to tears by the deprivation he encountered.


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Jeremy Corbyn is tuned into the present and is not a blast from the past

JEREMY Corbyn is just too old-fashioned to lead the Labour Party, according to his rivals. His are the ideas of the past.

That’s a bit rich coming from people who don’t appear to have a single new idea to rub between the three of them.

Burnham, Cooper and Kendall all came of age, politically speaking, under Tony Blair’s New Labour, which seems increasingly out of time.

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Opinion polls are important but most vital survey right now is Fairer Scotland

With almost two thirds of Scots set to vote for her next year in the Holyrood elections, Nicola Sturgeon could be forgiven for kicking off her glossy stilettos and putting her feet up.

But there is absolutely no chance of the First Minister reaching for the pipe and slippers – or even the prosecco and and fluffy mules – any time soon.

Because the 62 per cent backing for the SNP in this week’s opinion poll is absolutely no reason to go on slo-mo.

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David Cameron has no right to deny Scotland a second independence referendum

MY VIEW on a second independence referendum is very firm.

I don’t want one to take place… until we are sure of Yes winning it.

What should be in no doubt is our right to decide.

That’s why David Cameron made a huge political error this week when he said he would not allow one to take place.

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Labour abandoned another core principle by refusing to vote against Tory Welfare Bill

SO Labour have sold the jerseys… again. By refusing to vote against the Tory Welfare and Work Bill at Westminster this week, they condemned hundreds of thousands of ­children to poverty.

Another core value bit the dust.

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Why the SNP were right to take on the tally ho brigade at Westminster

NICOLA Sturgeon shot David Cameron’s fox yesterday – and how.

Facing defeat at Westminster, the Tories were forced, quite literally, to call off the hounds.

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Lords get more say on Scotland Bill than the Scottish National Party

ENGLISH votes for English laws sounds perfectly reasonable on the surface – as long as we get Scottish votes for Scottish laws as well.

But there’s the rub. Under the current set up, all manner of Scottish matters are decided by English MPs – more often than not of the Tory persuasion

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The wait for answers from the Chilcot inquiry into the Iraq war is scandalous

TONY Blair was an accomplished amateur actor at university. And the skills he learned there came in useful in Downing Street too.

He fooled a great many people – and the Iraq War was probably his greatest deception.

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Westminster Can't be Trusted With the Scottish Parliament

IT was not a political party who created the Scottish Parliament – it was the people themselves.

It therefore follows that only the people should be able to get rid of it – to disempower themselves, if you like.

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