Despite the inclusive blog title above on these topics today, I have virtually nothing to say, since Ian Bell has said everything I want to say in today’s Herald, and infinitely better than I could ever have said it.
His piece illustrates the real difference between a truly professional political journalist and a blogger like me. Regrettably, his depth of analysis, prescience and perceptiveness is rarely matched by other Scottish political commentators, with one or two exceptions.
I take issue with Ian Bell only on his closing remarks on the death of the Scottish Labour Party, that “we (I take him to mean all Scots) do not yet own an alternative.”
If he means a party of the left that is internationalist in outlook and values, yet deeply committed to all the people of Scotland, especially to the poor, the sick and the disadvantaged, we do own such a party - it is the Scottish National Party, and he is wrong.
If he means a party that is all of the above things, but that is also committed to the Union and hostile to the independence of the people of Scotland, then he is right.
And there will never again be such a party, because its time has irretrievably passed.