Robin McAlpine: The Scottish education agenda shows bad policy-making makes bad policy
Common Weal director Robin McAlpine argues that the Scottish Government has made a mess of education policy, principally because it’s approach to policy-making is uninformed, top-down and half-baked
AS THE Scottish school holidays peter out, parents' minds turn to all those little back to school jobs that need done. But the challenges for the Scottish Government over the coming school year are somewhat greater than buying lunchboxes and pencil sharpeners.
Robin McAlpine: Escaping corrupt London finance is one of the biggest opportunities of independence
Common Weal director Robin McAlpine argues that Scottish independence offers the only escape from a system in which bankers win every time
IT IS a little known that the first draft of Franz Kafka's seminal novel The Trial opened with a small businessman called Joseph K becoming a client of the Royal Bank of Scotland and ended with a statement by the Financial Conduct Authority expressing regret they didn't have the power to stop him getting his head chopped off by the bankers.
Robin McAlpine: Indy movement - stop looking up, start looking out
Common Weal director Robin McAlpine argues that yet to be released public attitude research on Scottish independence has convinced him that the messages coming out from the top of the Yes movement are way out of kilter with what needs to be done and said to win converts to independence
THE interminable game of armchair indy strategy continues apace – all you need is an anecdote or two, a half-remembered statistic and a couple of untested assumptions and you too can talk confidently about how to win Scottish independence.
Robin McAlpine: Is Scotland brave enough for your liking?
Common Weal director Robin McAlpine says Scotland should take some inspiration from the Croatian football team, and remember that no underdog has ever won with a fearful mindset
THERE’S no doubt that Croatia has some very good footballers. But they nearly won a world cup in which they were behind in every single knock-out game and had to fight it into extra time on each occasion to win.
That's not good football alone; that's attitude, determination, strength.
Robin McAlpine: Four lessons the independence movement should learn from the Brexit fiasco
Common Weal Director Robin McAlpine looks at the lessons the independence cause can learn from the disastrous Brexit process
NOW that Brexit is going so well and Westminster politics has proved itself to be both effective and harmonious, it might be time to try and draw some conclusions about what the Scottish independence movement ought to be learning from the experience.
Robin McAlpine: Europe's autonomy movements represent islands of optimism in a sea of democratic decay
Common Weal director Robin McAlpine says the autonomy movements across Europe are the most promising alternative to the rise of right-wing populism
I SPENT last week in Bilbao at a conference on European autonomy movements, just getting back in time for the Democracy 21 conference in Glasgow on Saturday.
Do I feel more positive or more negative as a result? Not sure. But one thing I feel stronger about (if anything) is the situation in Scotland; here we still have hope, and that's in short supply.
Robin McAlpine: Every future Scotland – why you might be wrong about our indy work
In his weekly column Common Weal director Robin McAlpine asks readers to take a fresh look at Common Weal’s White Paper Project, which he says is an attempt to plan the establishment of an independent Scottish state so that it is fit for every future, not to impose Common Weal’s vision onto the first democratically elected government
Robin McAlpine: Scotland - fit to be a country, fit to have a currency
Common Weal director Robin McAlpine argues that establishing a Scottish currency is essential for Scotland to be a properly sovereign independent country and to banish the ‘too wee, too poor’ tag for good
OK, what now? What does the indy movement do next in shaping a pitch for the electorate? Can I suggest that we try to tackle the currency question first, since that will sort the rest out for us.
Robin McAlpine: From Yes Bikers to Yes Bankers - Why the Growth Commission gets its strategy terribly wrong
Robin McAlpine argues that whatever you think about the economics in the SNP’s Sustainable Growth Commission, the political strategy is doomed to fail because it is not based on any data-based analysis of who we need to convince and how we need to convince them
YOU’LL have had your discussion then – how was it for you? Despite the promise that the Growth Commission report was the start of a discussion, the full force of Charlotte Street Partners' lobbying and PR power has merged with the machinery of the SNP leadership. This is now clearly a three line whip.
Robin McAlpine: We need a swift end to this Growth Commission madness - and to find some self-respect
Common Weal director Robin McAlpine says the Growth Commission’s model of independence, where a foreign state controls Scotland’s monetary policy with no obligation to act in Scotland’s interests, is so alarming that Yes activists must resist it
WHO will set monetary policy in the Growth Commission's Scotland? From this question spirals an alarming vision of our future.
In the proposals Common Weal has set out Scotland would get its own currency and a central bank; monetary policy would be set domestically and democratically.