Euan McColm

Euan McColm

Euan McColm is a Scottish journalist and political commentator who has written for The Times, The Scotsman and The Press and Journal.

Why the Michael Matheson roaming scandal matters

When it comes to pomposity, nobody in Scottish politics can compete with SNP president Mike Russell. A great comic archetype in the tradition of Captain Mainwairing or Hyacinth Bucket, Russell combines a thwocking great dollop of self regard with a devastating lack of self-awareness. As such, it was hardly surprising to see Russell clamber up

The ugly truth about the SNP’s white roses

Anyone paying close attention to television coverage of the King’s Speech on Tuesday may have noticed that SNP MPs in attendance looked as if their next appointment was a wedding reception, with white roses on their lapels. In fact, the Nats wear the rose in honour of poet Hugh MacDiarmid, a founder of the National

What happened to Nicola Sturgeon’s Covid WhatsApps?

A great modern Scottish myth is that the handling of the coronavirus pandemic by government ministers in Edinburgh was vastly superior to that of their counterparts in London. This rather distasteful display of Scottish exceptionalism ignores the fact that where the UK government got things right, so did the Scottish and that, likewise, mistakes were

Will Yousaf come to regret his council tax freeze?

After the SNP won its first Holyrood election in 2007, foolish council leaders across Scotland rushed to sign up to what then finance secretary John Swinney described as a ‘historic concordat’. In return for Swinney pulling back from his threat to centralise education, Scotland’s 32 local authorities agreed to uphold the nationalists’ promise to freeze

The SNP’s new independence strategy is worse than the last

SNP members really are the cheapest dates in UK politics — they’ll lap up any old swill dished out by their leaders. After the Yes campaign in the 2014 independence referendum was defeated, the nationalist faithful unquestioningly accepted repeated promises from Nicola Sturgeon that they’d soon have a second chance — and that, this time,

The desperate plight of Humza Yousaf’s relatives, trapped in Gaza

Scotland’s First Minister Humza Yousaf has his flaws as a politician but when it comes to the brutal attacks on Israel by Hamas terrorists, his response has been clear, dignified and – given his family’s current circumstances – courageous. Yousaf has risen to the moment. The SNP leader’s parents-in-law, Elizabeth and Maged El-Nakla of Dundee,

The SNP’s by-election hypocrisy

The SNP has never been noted for its capacity for self-reflection. Each and every time it suffers defeat, it plays the card marked victimhood. Dark forces, rather than its own incompetence, are aways to blame when things don’t go to plan. The SNP has reacted to defeat in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election with

How standing up for JK Rowling destroyed one author’s career

When the Scottish writer Gillian Philip posted a tweet in 2020, she could not have imagined the devastating consequences that would follow. At the time, her fellow author JK Rowling was under relentless attack for her view that a conflict exists between women’s right to use single sex spaces, such as refuges, and moves to

Humza Yousaf’s Brexit hypocrisy

Nobody ever accused the SNP of being consistent but when it comes to the question of EU membership, the party’s position is positively incoherent. At a Saltire-strewn rally in Edinburgh on Saturday, party leader and Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf told a crowd of around 5,000 (or 25,000 if you believe organisers’ spin) that Brexit was

Can the new chief executive of the SNP win members’ trust?

As plot twists go, it’s a doozy. Five months ago, Murray Foote resigned as the SNP’s communications director after misleading journalists over party membership numbers. The former editor of the Daily Record stormed off, throwing a grenade over his shoulder. He had only misled journalists because he himself had been misled. A day after Foote’s

Graham Linehan and the Fringe’s new puritanism

Back in the 1980s and ‘90s, Moira Knox was one of the biggest names on the Edinburgh Fringe. She was guaranteed acres of newspaper coverage and never had to update her routine. Knox, a Tory councillor in the Scottish capital, was a rumbling – but entirely approachable – outrage machine. A tabloid reporter looking for

Humza Yousaf will be judged on Nicola Sturgeon’s mistakes

We must hope Nicola Sturgeon’s remaining supporters are, right now, judging her. That’s what she wanted, after all. In a speech back in 2015 — the year she led the SNP to its third Holyrood election victory — Sturgeon said education would be her priority during her time in office. ‘Let me be clear,’ she

Will this Scottish by-election bring down the SNP?

The first by-election in Scotland since the SNP’s change of leadership is a huge test for First Minister Humza Yousaf. If the nationalists lose the seat of Rutherglen and Hamilton West, made vacant when constituents recalled their MP Margaret Ferrier after she broke Covid rules, Yousaf will face difficult questions about his party’s direction of

Labour’s self-ID mess

Scottish Labour lined up behind the SNP’s bungled attempt to reform the Gender Recognition Act last year and in doing so the party set itself firmly against the majority of voters. Around two-thirds of Scots are opposed to the SNP’s gender bill, but Labour chose to ignore their views and back the nationalists’ controversial legislation

Scottish nationalists are deluding themselves

Angus MacNeil’s attempt to hold the SNP to ransom on the matter of independence has played out both predictably and rather entertainingly. After the SNP MP was suspended for a week over an unseemly public spat with Chief Whip Brendan O’Hara, MacNeil announced he would not consider seeking readmission to SNP ranks until October. Once

Has Humza Yousaf achieved anything in his first 100 days?

Perhaps Humza Yousaf’s greatest achievement in his first 100 days as First Minister is that he has survived them. Since succeeding Nicola Sturgeon in March, Yousaf has stumbled from crisis to crisis. His leadership has played out like an extended episode of The Twilight Zone where, long ago, the lead character got the message that they

Is Scottish Labour really a threat to the SNP?

Members of the Scottish Labour party may be forgiven for feelings of jubilation following publication of a new poll. Sir Keir Starmer arrived in Leith near Edinburgh this morning to be met by comrades cheered by the suggestion their party is on course to defeat the SNP at a general election for the first time since

Douglas Ross has been a coward about Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson’s dwindling brigade of supporters point to the Conservatives’ landslide election win of 2019 as evidence he’s too gifted a politician for his party to lose. But they conveniently ignore the fact his charm stopped working at the border with Scotland. Voters across much of England may have flocked to Johnson but he repelled

The timing of Sturgeon’s arrest couldn’t be worse for the SNP

The arrest of Nicola Sturgeon by police investigating allegations of fraud within the SNP was hardly unexpected. After all, her husband – the party’s former chief executive, Peter Murrell – and the SNP’s past treasurer, Colin Beattie MSP, have already spent time helping officers with their enquiries. It was only a matter of time until