It’s goodbye from her … and it’s goodbye from me

When Kezia Dugdale opened our Politicians & Professionals series in January, I introduced her by saying she was the first Labour leader in the four-year history of the event to appear more than once. All the other party heads had been in post throughout the period. I knew then that I would not be able […]

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The young at the back of the jobs queue need a story to get political attention

Fifteen years ago I was helping to implement the recommendations of the Determined to Succeed report, trying to improve the employment chances of school leavers who did not go on to further or higher education. A few year later that initiative metamorphosed into More Choice, More Chances, which was aiming to do the same thing. […]

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Largest section of voters may be dragged out of EU and UK against its will

By Ray Perman, Director If you divide the Scottish electorate into four parts, the unhappiest – and on recent voting possibly the most numerous – are those who face being dragged out of Europe and the UK against their will, to use the First Minister’s form of words. To them I offer the optimism of […]

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There will be more huffing and puffing about a second independence referendum – but don’t hold your breath, it isn’t coming soon

By Ray Perman, Director Next week’s Scottish National Party conference will provoke another flurry of speculation about the likelihood of a second referendum on independence, but it is unlikely we will get a date and it is possible the First Minister hasn’t yet made up her mind whether to call one at all. Nicola Sturgeon […]

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Universal basic income – a new idea whose time has passed

By Ray Perman, Director The news that two Scottish local authorities – Fife and Glasgow – are investigating the feasibility of introducing pilot schemes for a universal basic income has caught the zeitgeist. Prof. Adam Tomkins, the Conservative MSP, tweeted approvingly (although with a reservation about whether councils had the power to do this). Labour […]

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Scottish Budget: Austerity deferred, but not by much and not for long

By Ray Perman, Director You wonder why they continue to try to get away with it? Any UK Chancellor of the Exchequer delivering his budget speech should know that sleight of hand will be spotted by the Institute of Fiscal Studies before he sits down – and in Scotland we now have an equally vigilant […]

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Can a super-quango solve the puzzles of Scotland’s high skills and low productivity?

By Ray Perman, Director I joined the board of Scottish Enterprise in 2005 not long after Careers Scotland, itself the product of the amalgamation of numerous local careers bodies, was merged into SE. The public justification was that you could not properly encourage economic development without influence over skills, but the real reason was that […]

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Brexit case reaction: a worrying attack by the press on the rule of law

By Ray Perman, Director The most worrying aspect of the Brexit debate so far is the vicious attack on the rule of law by the tabloid press following the ruling by the High Court that parliament must vote before the Government can trigger Article 50, the process which will begin the UK’s exit from the […]

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Brexit: First Minister’s frustration at having a weak hand to play

By Ray Perman, Director It is easy to share the frustration of the First Minister after the meeting between the Prime Minister and the administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. She told BBC Scotland: “We discussed the UK’s negotiating position in general, but it is safe to say we got no more information or […]

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Brexit, Trump and the ‘deaths of despair’ – Sir Angus Deaton’s David Hume Lecture

By Jane-Frances Kelly How do we explain the high levels of support for Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump in the US? Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Sir Angus Deaton, offered a possible explanation in his David Hume lecture Prosperity and inequality: from the Enlightenment to BREXIT and Donald Trump. At the event, hosted by […]

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