Money won’t keep the Union together

Despite its name, Gers Day is not an annual celebration of the Ibrox side that makes up one half of Glasgow’s notorious Old Firm. If only it were that uncontentious. In fact, Gers stands for ‘Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland’, the Scottish government’s yearly report on public finances. In a normal country, the publication of 76 pages of data tables and accountancy prose would go largely unremarked upon, so naturally in Scotland we have to turn it into another front in the independence wars. Because we really have nothing better to do. This year’s figures, like last year’s, reflect the unprecedented Treasury interventions during the Covid pandemic. However, they paint

Gordon Brown’s plan to save the Union won’t wash

Back in 2006, when he was close to executing his masterplan to chase Tony Blair out of Downing Street, Gordon Brown sought to address something that worried many voters: his Scottishness. ‘My wife is from Middle England, so I can relate to it,’ he pronounced, as if Middle England were a town somewhere off the M40. In fact, though Sarah Brown was born in Buckinghamshire, she spent most of her early childhood in Tanzania and her family moved to North London when she was seven. By mistaking a term denoting the provincial English psyche for a geographical area, Brown merely demonstrated that he was indeed all at sea. He has