Viewed from Scotland, England's failure to win the world cup reveals a land that has lost itself, led by a political class of blaggards. But perhaps a different kind of bid for 2030 could show the way for a much better, more original and attractive country.
Gerry Hassan examines the proposals made by the Calman Commission, established to review the provisions of the Scotland Act 1998. He argues that, far from strengthening devolution and the union, the proposals reveal a gross misunderstanding of the nature of the UK and the nations and regions within it.
The unreflective anti-Tory mindset prevalent across much of the left in the UK produces a tribal and blinkered politics. Those of us who disagree politically with Conservative values, ideas and policies have to do better and aim higher.
The current issue of the Spectator claims to be investigating the political and social elites that form the "new establishment" in the UK. Yet this leading conservative journal has no interest in mapping the wider networks of real power and privilege of which it is a part.
When trying to understand what happened to New Labour, it is instructive to compare the spirit of progressive optimism found in Blair's first book in 1996 with the defence of power and privilege to be found in his recently released autobiography.
The reflections of The Economist and Tony Blair on Scottish devolution are united by a sense that Scotland matters and that its politics, priorities and dynamics are a threat to the preservation of the existing order.
The Scottish left is in decline and crisis today, bereft of ideas and numbers. Yet a new generation of novelists provide hope of a conversation about Scotland which goes way beyond devolution and embraces genuine self-government.
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